Scherbatsky's Choice

Chapter One

In the year 2030…

Kids, as we all know, in the end of 2011, your Uncle Barney broke up with Nora, for a reason at the time, the rest of us had yet to be told. The break up was taking its toll on Barney, though he tried to act as normal as possible. We just didn't realize that he was hurting because of something else. It wasn't until February of 2012 that a tragedy woke us up to the truth and changed all of our lives forever…

February 12, 2012…

Four of the five of our little group sat at our usual booth inside MacLaren's bar that Sunday afternoon, as was Kevin, who sat beside Robin with his arm draped around her shoulder. Barney was the only one missing. None of us noticed as much as we should have that he had become distant whenever Kevin was around.

Our conversation that afternoon was mostly about what our plans were for Valentine's Day coming up in only two days. He had been so busy with work and worrying about his and Lily's baby that Marshall had completely forgotten about it and had begun to freak out as soon as the subject was brought up.

"I can't believe you allowed me to forget about Valentine's Day, Ted!" Marshall shouted after his wife got up and went into the bathroom. "Some best friend you are. Maybe I should make Barney my new best friend."

"How was I supposed to know that I had to remind you that Valentine's Day was coming up?" I responded. "You're the one who's married after all. I don't even have a date for the day. And for your information, Barney didn't remind you about it either."

Marshall replied, "Not the point. The point is that Valentine's Day is only in two days and I have nothing for Lily. What am I supposed to do?"

Robin answered, "Just get her something kinky. She'll love it!"

"I'm sure something kinky is exactly something any pregnant woman wants," Kevin said.

"Kevin's right," Marshall continued. "What if she gets offended by what I get her? What if I get her chocolates and she thinks that I am hinting that she's eating too much junk? What if I get her a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant and she was hoping for theater tickets? What if…?"

I cut him off as he responded, "Marshall, relax! I'm sure that whatever you decide to get Lily; she'll love it. As long as it comes from your heart."

Marshall scoffed as he replied, "That's easy for you to say, Ted. You don't even have a date. What do you know? Valentine's Day is in just two days. How will I ever find her something in just two days?"

"Ted's right, Marshall," Robin said. "You need to relax. Everything's going to be just fine. And by the way, Ted stole a blue horn from a fancy restaurant to impress me. He knows how to charm a girl. Up top!"

"What's going on?" Lily asked as she walked back out from the bathroom just as Robin and I gave a high five. "Did Barney call to tell us that he scored Ted a hooker or a stripper for his Valentine's Day date? Just tell me it isn't Stripper Lily cause that would be weird."

"Ted, I didn't know that you wanted me to get you a stripper for Valentine's Day?" Barney said as he finally arrived. "This is awesome! I can't believe you're asking me to find you a date again."

I replied, "I've never asked you to find me a date, Barney. You've always just tried to shove them at me. No strippers and no hookers either; I mean it!"

Barney responded, "Fine. Ooo, what about…?"

We all shouted out at once, "No!"

"Fine!" Barney groaned as he gave in. "I guess you don't want to hear about the Star Wars loving bookworm, and lover of architecture, whom I talked you up to when I met her earlier today while I was out."

"You talked me up to a girl, who loves Star Wars, who loves to read, and who loves architecture?" I asked surprised. "Barney that's awesome! Who is she? Would she be interested in going out for Valentine's Day? Wait, what's wrong with her?"

Barney put his hand over his heart and answered, "Ted, I am hurt that you don't trust me enough to think that I could set you up with a normal, boring girl as you like them."

I replied, "Sorry, Barney. It's just that your track record of finding me a date isn't the best. Is she really as great as she sounds?"

"She's only great for you, Ted," Barney responded. "I'll set up the date. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's something I have to do."

"But you only just got here," Lily said. "I thought we were all going to catch up? Marshall and I haven't seen you guys as much since we've moved."

Barney answered, "I've got something I have to do before five o'clock. We'll catch up later."

Kevin spoke up again saying, "I actually have to go run an errand before five as well, but I'll meet up with you guys a little later for dinner. Maybe we can go see a movie later?"

"Yeah, a movie sounds great!" Robin replied. "There's a great one about this hot couple, whose love lives are turned upside down when this other guy admits he has feelings for the woman and she struggles with who she is truly in love with."

"Sounds awful!" Barney responded. "That kind of stuff doesn't really happen, you know. Besides, it's hardly romantic."

Barney rolled his eyes as Robin looked at Kevin lovingly and he said, "Maybe, but it is still the perfect make out movie. Sorry, Ted. If you want we can see something else, we can. Robin and I can catch this one another time."

I answered, "That'd be great. I would hate to sit between you and Robin and Lily and Marshall as you all make love for two hours. I'm sure Barney feels the same way."

"Actually, I won't be able to make it tonight," Barney replied as he grew more and more uncomfortable as he watched Robin with Kevin. "I have a date tonight. I gave myself a challenge to have sex with a type of woman that I've never been with before and believe me, that hasn't been so easy seeing as I have been with almost every type of woman imaginable. However, I found her. She's a… wait for it… a professional clown. I told her to make sure she's all costume suited up for tonight. Yeah, Baby! Up top!"

"Ewe, is there any woman you won't sleep with?" Lily asked disgusted as I responded to Barney's high five.

Barney responded, "Uh, yeah. A woman, who've I've already had sex with. Ha! Gotta go! Stinson out!"

I couldn't help but laugh as Barney left and then Kevin stood as he said, "I've got to go too, but I will meet you guys for dinner around six at that burger joint you guys claim have the best burger here in New York."

"Not just here in New York," Marshall stated adamantly. "It's the best burger in the entire world."

"You know that you couldn't possibly know that seeing as you've never been everywhere in the world to try every single restaurant that sells burgers," Kevin answered.

Marshall glared at Kevin as he glumly replied, "Fine, it's the best burger in New York and that I do know for sure."

I confirmed his statement as I said, "Marshall's actually right about that. One night we went all around this city tasting every burger in order to find the perfect burger that Marshall had been searching for for years since having it one time. This place really does have the best."

"Great, I'll meet you there!" Kevin responded and then lent down to kiss Robin goodbye. "Just text me the address. See yah!"

The rest of us stayed at MacLaren's and ordered another round of beers and a tropical fruity drink without alcohol for Lily. About twenty minutes later, Kevin walked into a jewelry store and was shocked to find Barney standing at the counter with a gift bag in his hands as he finished paying for the gift. As he turned around to leave the store, Barney was just as shocked to find Kevin standing behind him.