Chapter Eight:

Wendy the waitress brought over another round of beers to the booth. "I still cannot believe that you made Captain Hammer cry," Ted said to Robin.

"Wait," said Marshall. "So does this make you a supervillain now?"

"It's not that big of a deal, guys," said Robin. "I mean, it was just one punch."

"Yeah," said Lily. "But it knocked out Captain Hammer!"

Just then, a group of three men walked up to the gang's booth, and one of them asked Robin, "Hey, are you the chick that beat up that superhero?"

"Yeah," said Robin.

"Right on," said the guy, all three nodding and smiling in approval. "Can I maybe get you a drink or something?"

"Sure," said Robin.

That evening, the bar became very lively in celebrating Robin's earlier action. Robin was surrounded by large groups as she told her story, which became progressively more impressive during each retelling.

It was close to midnight when Barney walked through the door. He silently looked around the crowded space and spotted Robin in the epicenter of the commotion. When Robin saw him, she stood up from her stool and pushed her way towards him.

"Hey," said Barney, shyly.

"Hey, yourself," said Robin. "What happened to you afterwards? I was worried."

"Really?" he asked, a tinge more upbeat.

"Of course," said Robin. She looked around, deciding this wasn't really the best place to talk. "Here, let's go outside." They stepped outside MacLaren's and into the street. There was a slight chill, but not uncomfortable.

"So," said Robin. "How did the League feel about the events of this afternoon?"

"They were a little less than pleased," said Barney.

"Did they fire you?" asked Robin.

Barney let out a small laugh. "No," he said. "My boss was upset, but I made him see reason."

"Do I even want to know?" asked Robin.

"Let's just say that he's taking a long pause to think it over," he said. "But what about you? I'm sure your producer didn't love your punching out one of the biggest names in New York."

"Are you kidding?" said Robin. "Ratings have risen higher than they have in a long time. The public loves me."

"How could they not?" Barney said aloud, though to himself.

"What did you say?" asked Robin.

"Hm?" he said, shaken from his thoughts. "Nothing."

Robin took a deep breath and turned to face him. She looked into his blue eyes, and saw the same sadness that she had noticed many times before. "Barney," she said. "I think I have feelings for you."

"What?" said Barney, putting up his best defense. "Look, Robin, you're great and all..."

"Barney," said Robin. "Lily told me."

"Damn it, Lily!"

"So... we both like each other," said Robin. "And we're both free tonight."

"So," he said. "You're not weirded out by my evil alter-ego?"

"That depends," she smiled. "Are you referring to Dr. Horrible or Barney Stinson?"

"Come on..."

"Seriously," said Robin. "The way I see it is: everyone has an outer layer, which covers up their inner layer. So you think that you're hiding who you really are by the mask you wear on the outside for public show. But really, deep down, you're just you. Because then underneath that other layer is a third layer that is just the same as the first."

"Like with pie..." said Barney, eyes wide in amazement.

"Exactly," she said. "No one has ever gotten that before!"

"I think I love you," said Barney.

"Huh?" she asked.

"Nothing..." said Barney, hurriedly. "Wanna get a drink?"

"Sure, Barney," she said. "And did you just Mosby me?"

"No," mumbled Barney.

"Yeah, you did," smiled Robin triumphantly.

"You coming or not, Scherbatsky?" he asked, turning around to walk back into the bar.

"Yeah," she said, catching up to walk beside him. "Hold on a sec." She touched his arm, and he paused. Robin looked into Barney's eyes, and noticed that the sadness in them was gone. She leaned in and kissed him.

Barney felt Robin's lips on his. She was beautiful, kind, funny, could hold her scotch, liked laser tag, and accepted him for who he was, actually liked him for who he was. He always knew how awesome Robin was, but he never realized until now that she was everything he ever wanted.

Robin had never thought of herself as anything extraordinary. She may have been a former Canadian pop star, but that was more embarrassing than fascinating. When she moved to New York, she had decided to put her career first; Ted changed that. The way he devoted himself to her made her feel amazing. But he just wasn't the one for her. Barney, on the other, never made it rain for her, never stole a blue french horn, never re-returned. But he had always been there for her, cheering her on from the side line. It didn't matter who he was- Barney, Dr. Horrible- he was always her friend, always her source of comfort, always her hero. Now, he made her feel like she had everything she ever wanted. And that was enough.