Summary: "I can't keep it a secret anymore."

Rating: Very mature

Warning: Yes

Characters: Barney driven

Notes: One-shot, I will NOT do a follow up. Took me twenty minutes to write. I haven't written anything lately, so I thought I'd do something fast. Not my normal style, not much thought went into this one. Oh, and duh I don't own How I Met Your Mother.

"I can't keep it a secret anymore." There had been a lull in the conversation for the last five minutes or so. It had been mostly comfortable. Ted, who was between Robin and Barney, had found it comfortable. Lily and Marshall had been having their own side-silent conversation with each other. Robin had been waiting for her beer from Wendy.

Barney, in the bastard chair, had been the only one that found the quiet to be nerve racking. He had been rolling the glass in his long fingers, playing with his tie, eyes darting every-which-way. No one had really seemed to notice. Until he opened his mouth.

"I love you. I can't stop thinking about you. And now I can't keep it quiet any longer. Robin, I'm in love with you."

The table was quiet again. Barney's bright silverblues looked on, hopeful, at the girl he desperately and, until now, discreetly wanted. Lily's darted from him to her and back again, mouth open and grinning like a madman. Marshall had a smug look on his face; he had just been telling Lily that Barney had been jumpy around the office lately, randomly spouting Robin's name at the weirdest times. Not in the random sex-in-your-mind kind of weird time, but the weird replacing-her-name-with-a-word-then-denying-it kind.

Ted just acted like nothing happened. Robin snorted into her drink.

"Wow, Barn? Out of all your lines, that has got to be the worst pickup line ever. I mean really, Tedding-out over some random girl is not the way to get her into bed."

"I resent that."

"I know you do Ted. Point is, that lineā€¦ really stupid."

Lily's mouth snapped closed, horror replacing her earlier jubilation. Marshall's copied hers. Ted watched Barney. Robin drank her drink.

Barney's face went from expectant to nothing at all. His chin dipped, finding the empty glass on the table in front of him to be so very captivating at the moment.

"Barney, hunny? Um, how about-"

Lily never got to finish. Barney snapped his head up, cheeky smile showing off as many teeth as it could, putting a confidant elbow on the table and picking up his glass. An old posture, one that reeked of lechery and too much drink. A mask, if Ted ever saw one.

"You're right Robin. It was stupid. So very, very stupid." Barney put the glass down far more carefully that he normally would have, and stood while fixing his tie. Without another word, he left. Robin shook her head, leaning back.


"On it Ted." Marshall rose, and quickly followed their friend. Robin gave Ted an odd look. Ted locked eyes with her for a moment, sighed, and leaned back. Sipping from his bottle he nodded to Lily who took her cue and leaned forward.

"That wasn't a line Robin." She hissed, venom in her words and fear in her eyes.

"You see, Barney meant what he said."

"Ted, come on, it's Barney. The last thing he'd say is the word 'love' when it's pertaining to something that isn't laser-tag, being your best friend, and tacos."


"Yeah, he came into our apartment once, screaming on how he loved tacos. It was kind of weird."

"Robin, believe me. Barney loves you."

"Right, Lily, like Barney loves anything other than himself."

"HE STOLE FEELY FROM ME! He took my bear and came into my classroom and told my kindergartners about how you and Ted were having sex because he was mad that he couldn't be in a relationship with you but Ted got to have sex with you and be mad at him even though he was sleeping with his ex and- HHHHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUU- and he really does love you." She hated her breath-control; she needed to work on that. She should have been able to get through that whole run-on with little problem.

Robin just laughed.

"It's Barney. The guy who's afraid of being hugged when it doesn't mean sex or being forgiven for being stupid."

Lily's phone rang. She answered it as Ted kept on to Robin, insisting that it was, indeed, real. The call didn't last long, and when Lily hung up she silenced her friends by putting it on the table, not back in her purse. Robin knew that was out of character for her.


"Guess it doesn't matter if Robin gets it or not. Marshall wasn't fast enough."