Summary: They've come so far and been through so much. Barney/Robin.
A/N: Here's to hoping that even if Robin isn't the bride, she'll still end up with who she's meant to.
On some level, it has to just be easy.
She's his best friend in all the world.
She can hold her scotch with the best of them, her laser tag skills are second only to his own, and more than anything, he has the most fun when he's around her. She's the only one adventurous enough to try and finish the Murtaugh list with him, the only one who will touch everything in the Natural History Museum with him, and the only one who high-fives in just the right way.
It breaks his heart to see her cry.
Tears just aren't his thing. He doesn't know how to help when a girl cries in front of him and would much prefer to run away and let someone else take care of it. But with Robin, his first instinct when she cries is to put his arms around her and do anything he can to make her smile. So when he finds out that he's the one that has caused her pain and tears, his body will literally revolt into sickness and he'll do anything to fix it.
And if that includes giving her the Super Date or tackling Ted to the hard ground, then he'll do that too, since he knows in his heart that Robin Scherbatsky always deserves the win.
He thinks she's beautiful.
He's seen her without make-up. He's seen her on her worst days, with clumpy cheeto-filled hair and tired eyes, seen her covered in horse poop, dressed in Canada garb or a denim jacket. He's seen her absolutely wasted and puking into a toilet, seen her disheveled and drooling onto his pillow.
And she's still flawlessly beautiful to him, in every single way.
The trouble still doesn't seem so troubling.
They've broken each other's hearts a few times over now, when the timing wasn't right. Their break-up nearly wrecked the both of them, left them empty, needy shells trying to fill the void. They've floundered in every relationship since, broken more hearts than they're proud of, and still felt the ache of missing each other. But after all the hurt and regret, he still wouldn't trade away the hard times if it meant that he couldn't keep the good.
They've got the kind of chemistry that doesn't go away.
It's chemistry when they look at each other. It's magnetism when they touch. It's gravity when they come together, like a fundamental law of nature. Somehow, no matter how far she travels, no matter how long they've gone without seeing each other, there's always a pull. It always, always comes right back to her. Thinking of her, dreaming of her, missing her, wanting her, loving her. She's settled roots into his heart, and no one and nothing can compare.
They love each other.
She's laying next to him in bed, hair splayed out across the pillow and trailing onto his shoulder. It's early morning now, and by all accounts, he should be sneaking out the window and never looking back. But instead, he's waking up to the most amazing person he's ever known and feeling like the luckiest man in the world. They've done it all now; they've made mistakes and have regrets, but they've come out stronger, braver. They've finally gotten the timing right, and they're ready for this. They've created this history together, this epic love story, the kind that Marshall and Lily can approve of, the kind that Ted's been chasing for years.
Robin stirs against him and opens her eyes, which immediately catch onto his. "Hey," she says with a smile.
"Hey." he says, pulling her closer.
His dad was right - settling down is the hardest thing he's ever done.
But loving Robin is the easiest thing in the world.
On some level, it always has been.