Once again, I'm so so sorry this took so long. I feel terrible for how long this took. You should probably all hate me. I don't even have a good excuse. I'm sorry, guys! I will say that this story has one more chapter. I want to thank you guys so much for all your feedback! And your reviews and alerts and favorites is really what pushed me to finally finish this chapter. Anyway, I hope you guys like this and let me know what you thought!
Robin wasn't an idiot. She knew she needed to talk to Barney. There were a lot of unsaid things between them, but honestly Robin didn't think there was a reason to say them at this point in time. There's a saying: to everything there is a season, or something like that and right now isn't her and Barney's "season". Barney was with Quinn and there was no reason to bog him down with all of her feelings. There would be a time and a place to tell Barney how she felt, eventually. But that time wasn't now. So, basically, she was going to keep her mouth shut, pretend she was totally fine with Barney and Quinn, and forget about the fact that she hated that they weren't friends anymore. Whatever, there was no point worrying about it right now. She just needed to get some sleep.
Barney told Quinn everything, because he figured he had to at least be honest with her. He owed her that much. Besides, Quinn somehow seemed to know everything, so even if he tried to hide it from her, he couldn't. And he'd bet all of his money in the world that Lily was the secret informant. Not because she was trying to sabotage his relationship, well he was pretty sure that wasn't the reason, he figured it was because Quinn had confronted Lily and Lily couldn't keep a secret. But, anyway, all of that lead to this moment:
"Look, I just think that maybe you should stop seeing Robin for awhile. She clearly still has feelings for you." Barney ran a hand over his face and shook his head.
"I can't stop seeing Robin." He declared getting agitated. He stood up and started pacing. He knew there was no way he could have this conversation sitting completely still.
"Then we're over." Quinn stated crossing her arms.
"Quinn-" Barney pleaded with her.
"No, I've been understanding this entire relationship. I barely moved any of my stuff in, I considered quitting my job, I accepted your friends, but I can't sit around and watch you and your ex make eyes at each other all the time. So, either you stop seeing Robin or we're done." Barney sighed loudly and shrugged.
"There's nothing going on between me and Robin." He said forcefully. "We're barely even friends anymore." He murmured quietly running the last couple of months through his head.
"So, you just go pick up drunk girls and spend the night at their house when you're barely even friends?" Quinn asked with a raised eyebrow.
"She's going through a rough time and Carl called me to help. I couldn't leave her there." He defended.
"No, but you didn't have to lie to me about it and you definitely didn't have to spend the night at her house."
"I was tired," Barney shrugged not even daring to look at Quinn. At this point, he knew it was over. In fact, Quinn already said it, so, he wasn't sure why she was bothering to argue with him. They were over, they both knew it. This fight was just making things worse.
"That's not a good excuse and you know it."
"Why are we even arguing if you're going to break up with me?" He asked tiredly collapsing onto the couch.
"I was giving you a chance to maybe save this relationship, which clearly you have no interest in doing." Barney turned toward her hesitantly putting a hand on her knee.
"Quinn, I really care about you but you can't ask me to stop seeing one of my best friends. I can't do it."
"Are you in love with Robin?" She blurted out and Barney froze. He opened his mouth to answer and then closed it, realizing he didn't know how to answer that question.
"We're going to be over no matter how you answer it, so you might as well be honest." He rubbed a hand over his face and shrugged.
"I, uh, I don't know." Quinn sighed and stood up grabbing her purse.
"Whatever, I'm staying with a friend tonight and I'll come grab my stuff while you're at work tomorrow." She gave him a sad smile and a soft kiss on the cheek. "Bye, Barney." She said before slipping out the door.
As it turned out, Robin couldn't sleep. Her head was full of thoughts and she still felt bad or the way she treated Barney earlier. She had basically kicked him out of her apartment and her conversation with Marshall was still on a constant loop. Besides, as crazy as Marshall could be he generally gave good advice and she wasn't getting anywhere with her way of doing things, so maybe she should try someone else's way. She knew the only way she would sleep was if she at least apologized or something. Before she could talk herself out it, she was already out of bed dialing his number.
"Hello?" Barney's tired voice floated across the line.
"Hey," she said still wondering if this phone call was a good idea. "I, uhm, wanted to apologize for earlier. I was upset and I took it out on you and you were just trying to help. I jus-just I haven't been myself lately. And I guess I'm apologizing for the other night too and actually the last six months. God, Barney, I'm such an idiot. And now, I'm rambling. So, I'm sorry. I'm just really sorry." Robin mumbled biting her bottom lip to keep herself from talking more. Barney laughed softly on the other end and Robin let her lips twitch up in a slight smile. At least he didn't sound mad at her, that was a definite good thing.
"Do you think you could come over?" Robin hesitated thinking about all the things that could potentially go wrong if she went over to Barney's, but she also knew that at this point she couldn't deny him anything.
"Is Quinn there?" She finally asked and Barney barked out a harsh laugh that startled her.
"No, no, Quinn's not here."
"Oh, okay. Uhm, yeah. I'll be there in twenty minutes?"
"Okay, good." And Robin could hear the genuine smile in his voice, which put her at ease. She hung up the phone and quickly changed out of her pajamas. She realized as soon as she got in the car that her hands were shaking and when they pulled up outside Barney's apartment 10 minutes later. As she made her way up to his floor, she tried to calm her nerves and she reminded herself that it was just Barney. She shouldn't be nervous going to see Barney. She took a deep breath and collected herself before knocking on the door. Barney answered looking disheveled, well, disheveled by Barney's standards. His tie was loose and half of his shirt was untucked, but he managed to smile at her as he ushered her in. She sat down on the couch and Barney soon followed. He opened his mouth to speak, but Robin quickly cut him off.
"Okay, I had-have no intention of getting in between you and Quinn. I don't want you to think that's what this is about." Barney opened his mouth again. "No, just let me get this out. Please?" Barney nodded. "I know this is long overdue, but I'm really sorry about what happened in November. I think I may have apologized when I was drunk?"
"You did," he said with a soft laugh.
"Well, now that I'm sober, I'm sorry Barney. I was so afraid of us, of what could happen that I didn't even give it a chance and it was stupid. And I hate myself every day for how much I hurt you. I know I can't take it back and that you're with Quinn, but, God, I really really miss you. I want my best friend back." She said quietly glancing over at Barney. She was a little struck by the open way she was talking about her feelings. But it was probably long overdue, especially by the way her life was falling apart lately.
"I really miss you too." He reached across the space between them to grab Robin's hand. "And I guess, you can be the first one to know: Quinn and I broke up."
"What?" She asked with wide eyes. "You and Quinn broke up? When?"
"A couple of hours ago," he admitted.
"Are you okay?" She squeezed his hand, her face turning into a mask of concern and he felt the sparks between him and Robin again. It was impossible for them to be alone together without it happening.
"Yeah, I'm fine. It really isn't a big deal."
"Isn't a big deal?" Robin asked raising an eyebrow. "Barney, she moved into your apartment. That's the most serious you've ever been with anyone." He felt his stomach drop a little when he realized Robin was right. He couldn't believe he let things get this serious with Quinn, especially with the way he felt about Robin.
"Yeah, but I was kind of an idiot."
"What happened?" He paused trying to decide what lie he could make up to tell Robin. He obviously couldn't tell her the truth. Or maybe he could. Maybe it was time they both stopped hiding from their feelings. He knew that was the reason Robin hadn't broken up with Kevin, she didn't believe in what her and Barney had. And he totally understood that because that night, he really hadn't given her a reason to believe he would leave Nora, he hadn't given her a reason that he wouldn't break her heart. But after this entire thing with Quinn, he was convinced (and he was going to say a very Ted-like thing) that Robin was his one and he owed it to himself to try one last time.
"The real version?" He asked and he knew she would understand what that meant. He was giving her an out, so she wouldn't have to deal with emotional stuff. This was Robin's chance to say that this wouldn't go any further. He watched as she mulled the question over and finally nodded her head in affirmation. "She, uh, she wanted me to stop hanging out with you."
"Why?" Robin asked quietly and he was pretty sure she knew what he was going to say before she said it.
"She thinks we still have feelings for each other." He decided to push his luck, he knew he was going to have to in order to get Robin to admit to anything. "Which is ridiculous, right?" Robin was silent for awhile and Barney worried that maybe he had pushed it to far, but then she looked up to meet his gaze.
"Is it, though?" His eyes widened in surprise. He didn't know what he had been expecting, but that wasn't it. "I have to stop running away from everything that makes me happy." She said more to herself than to him, but he felt his heart rate pick up. "I want to be with you, Barney. And I totally understand if you don't want-" He cut her off with a kiss, not letting her finish that sentence. Once it was necessary to separate for air, they pulled away both breathing heavy.
"I want that. Of course, I want that." He met her eyes and they gave each other wide smiles.
"Wait, before," Robin took a deep breath steadying her voice and Barney braced himself for whatever she was going to say. "Before we do this for real, we need to talk."
"Okay," he nodded pulling away from her slightly.
"How bad do you want kids, Barney? Because I don't want to take that away from you. I can't take that away from you. You deserve to have a family, if you want it. You shouldn't miss out just because there's something wrong with me." His heart broke at the way she looked away from him and the tone of her voice. He put a hand on her cheek turning her face to look at him.
"Hey, there is nothing wrong with you at all. And I don't need kids, I don't even want them. We can be the most awesome aunt and uncle in history. As long as I have you, nothing else matters." Robin raised an eyebrow and he couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah, I did just say that. But I'm serious, I'm in this for real, for the long haul. No more stupid break ups." He mumbled twirling a strand of hair around his finger.
"Let's get married!" She said suddenly and Barney pulled away stunned. He couldn't help but think of their conversation in the hospital room years ago when they were Mosbying each other, but this didn't feel like that. This felt strangely real.
"What?" He asked eyes wide. Robin bit her lip and for a moment Barney thought she was going to take everything back, but she plowed ahead.
"We're both in this for real. We know we don't want to break up again, so what's stopping us from getting married?" He could hear the slight nervousness in her voice and he felt bad for not responding more enthusiastically but he was so shocked by the suggestion, he was still trying to wrap his head around it. Finally, he nodded.
"Yeah, yeah, okay. Let's do it!" He said smiling at Robin.
"Really. I have a guy, who can get us a marriage license and an appointment at the court house tomorrow, if you're serious." Her eyes softened and she smiled.
"Of course, I'm serious. But I think we're missing one more important step."
"And what is that?" He asked raising an eyebrow, still smiling widely. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to wipe the smile off his face. Robin took a deep breath and her face was suddenly serious.
"I love you, Barney." She said taking his face in between her hands. "I really, really love you." He leaned forward kissing her deeply, then pulled back slightly placing their foreheads together.
"I love you, too."
"God, when did we get so sappy?" Robin laughed.
"Only you can do this to me, Scherbatsky."