I had such mixed feelings writing this chapter, I wanted to write it, and yet also didn't.
She had ushered Lily and Marshall out of the apartment quickly, but 20 minutes later she was more than ready to leave, Lily had packed a bag for her just in case she started to panic, but things only got worse once she left the house, every other person she ran into would declare Marv a beautiful baby, and how small he was and then claimed it look just like her, She kept having to explain that he was not in fact hers, that by no means was she, nor would even consider being a mother, but that wasn't the worst part, the worst part she ran into Jennifer,
Jennifer used to do her hair on the morning show, during the early hours, they would chat away about their personal lives, and talk about their boyfriends, Jennifer's son was with her, and spent a few minutes talking about him, then moved onto to her now husband, and how they were doing, and where Jennifer was working now, part time as a hairdresser. She had quit when she became pregnant and while had heard many dirty stories of her and Barney, and even gotten as k far as hearing from a mutal friend about the engagment, she had never heard of the break up, so naturally she said "You two must be so proud, I always knew you would make it, how is Barney?" Robin didn't know what to say, the morning assumptions had already reduced her, and she didn't want to explain her life story to this woman who bascially a complete stranger by this point, so she said "He's great, we're great, we're very happy and the baby is..." She was barely holding back tears at this point, it was way too much of an emotional roller coaster, so she burst out the sentence "I have to go." and pretty much ran, in compleely the wrong direction, she had gone 8 blocks before she stopped and realized Marv had started crying, She pulled out her phone, she couldn't deal with this anymore, she needed a bar or a walk on her own or something, anything as long as she wasn't riding the baby emotional train anymore.
She called Ted, who said something about History Tuesday, but before he even finished talking, she had hung up, she then called Victoria,
"Oh hi Robin,"
"Where are you?"
We're on Ellis Island, Ted was giving me a tour,"
"Are you ok, you sound a little like well like you're panicking"
"Uh, yeah I have the baby, and suddenly New York is a very friendly town, everyone wants to talk to me, wants to know about baby, tells me I look great, he looks great, he looks like."
"Robin, calm down, we're coming, we can meet you at Lily and Marshall's apartment, we'll be there in like an hour, just go back and try to relax."
"Is there anyway we can cut that hour down at all? Can I meet you somewhere."
"Can you come to Battery Park?"
Robin bought Marv his first pacifier, and got there with a little time to spare, As soon as he fell asleep she covered him with a blanket and managed to aggressively shush observers,
Victoria was the first person off the ferry, Robin almost cried when she saw her, "Want to go somewhere and talk?" Victoria volunteered.
"No, I'll be ok, now, I just, I just had you, thank you, thank you"
"It's ok, I'm here, I'm taking over, I'll get him home, go relax, go for a walk or something."
Robin hugged her, and thanked her again, "Where's Ted?"
"Oh, right Ted, he's sort of become an unofficial tour guide assistant, he keeps tagging along the actual guide giving notes"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ruin your date."
"You didn't it was the third tour, I was ready to leave."
Victoria smiled kind of oddly, and looked a little into the distance, Robin thought maybe she should stay, but then Marv stirred causing Victoria to switch into mom mode, and Robin to remember the last couple hours of her life. Marv's pacifier had fallen out, Robin hid it in the diaper bag, and kissed him, and goodbye again, and almost took out an old tourist couple dashing for the exit,
She didn't want to go for a walk, or a drink, or go home, but she really didn't want to be alone either, a part of her wished she had gone with John, but another part of her just wanted, well just wanted that perfect scent to be in the room with her, he would be at work now, and she would risk running into Quinn, but before she had a chance to give it much thought, she was in a cab again, headed north.
The cab pulled over in front of his building and she surprised herself by jumping out, and walking so confidently towards the door, but getting to the elevator, that was harder, she stopped, and smiled towards the doorman.
"Is Miss Quinn" she paused and realized she didn't actually remember her last name.
The doorman answered her question without having to hear it. "She has already left for the airport."
The wedding, the wedding, they're planning it right now, flying out there to make plans. She turned to walk away.
"But Mr. Stinson is upstairs."
Robin stoped, he wasn't supposed to be here, why is she here? Why is she turning towards him, and not and not anyone else, the most complicated relationship in her life right, the one she's been trying to run away from for weeks now, and she's standing in his lobby.
She started to walk towards the door again, and then turned, and got in the elevator. She hesitated in front of his door, and her phone beeped.
"Where are you?"
He opened the door, the suit was as perfect as always, but he looked terrible, so much worse than last week, his eyes were red and have bags, she was shocked, and he would read her reaction.
"I'm..." Barney started,
"Let me go first," She turned her eyes away from him. "It turns out the only thing worse in life than having Barney Stinson in my life, is not having him in my life."
"I'm glad you're here," There was a few seconds of silence, he gestured her in, she cautiously took a step inside, she'd gone too far now, she had to commit to this. She sat on the couch and he began again,
"There is just so much happening right now, there's too much happening right now, Quinn, and marriage, and babies, and you're the only one, well you're the only one not busy being happy for me. At least I think."
She gestured for him to sit next to her, he obliged, and covered his eyes with his hands. He continued again, "I'm not ready for this, she's just so, I don't know it feels off, and this is terrible, terrible, but I wasn't, I don't really want it to be this complicated."
Robin rubbed his back and he leaned into her shoulder, she wanted to ask him if he meant the pregnancy, or maybe even more than that, but instead she settled for "When was the last time you slept?" He laughed, far too long.
Robin played with the curls in his hair, "It should be simple," she confirmed, this is dangerous, far too dangerous, being this close to him, "This is what I've been trying to avoid."
He sat up straight and looked at her, "Being this close to you, your scent."
Before she could finish he was off, "My scent" he laughed, "That's been getting me kicked out of a lot of rooms lately. Quinn's been" Robin shuddered at the name, and this close Barney could not only see it, he felt it. His mind raced back to the previous sentence. "But Prince John,"
"Prince?" Robin questioned.
"John then, I thought he was. well, the 4 of your dreams."
Robin smirked, "John's great, he's great boyfriend material, it just there some people, some exes, you never really, well you're never really ready to let go of." Her heart beat faster, that was a lot to admit for one night, for both of them.
Barney felt his heart race as well, that was a lot for her to admit, more than, more than she had possibly ever admitted to.
"This is dangerous, I shouldn't be here, I mean Quinn is."
"Pregnant" he finished.
"I was going to say your fiancee."
There was another pause in the conversation,
"Maybe I should go," She started to say,
"Don;t, I mean unless John is waiting."
"He's in Canada."
"Why aren't you with him?"
"I felt like I had to be here."
"Don;t go, I just, this may be the most selfish thing i ever ask of you, but I want you to stay. I don't have anyone I can say this stuff to," he he p;aced his face in his hands again, "And I'm sorry but I know I love her," he looked back up again, "But she's so wrapped up with the baby and marriage, it's like, it's being alone. I've never been this alone."
Robin gave into him "I'm here."
"I don't think I should have kids, what kind of father would I be? I mean, I make a great uncle, but my own kids? I was just screw them up,"
"Yeah, you probably would," He smiled, "But that doesn't matter now, you're going to be a father in 8 months."
"That's enough time to learn how to fake it," Tears were falling, and a part of her wanted him not to look up, not to notice and yet another part just wanted the conversation to be over.
He did look up, and their roles reversed he took her into his shoulder and started comforting her, "I'm sorry, I just needed someone to know, someone who wouldn't insist I'd be fine."
The tears really started to flow and she sat up, "I'm going to ruin the suit,"
He pulled her back in, "So what happened today?"
"I screwed up, Every other person in this city seemed to have something to say, suddenly everyone was friendly, and in my face commenting, asking questions, I was supposed to have Marv for the day, and I couldn't even manage to be cool Aunt Robin for a couple of hours, I can't even do this."
"He's not even talking yet, he's not even sitting up, the difference between one person and the next to him is mainly size of breast. So he's got the basics down. BUt really, when he;s two ro three, he's going to worship the ground you walk on."
Their minds both shifted to the impending baby, "I don't think I can do this," Robin sat up, "I don't think I can be Aunt Robin to..."
"Quinn's baby," he finished.
"Your baby," she corrected.
"It's all she talks about now, the baby and the wedding, I wish we could go back,"
"Tell me about Prince John." he interrupted.
"He's, well he's not like other men."
Barney shifted a little in his seat.
"He set this pace, it started out all fast and adventurous, and then slowed down."
"Scare him into submission?"
"I scared him a little at the start of the week."
She then told him about the past couple of weeks, omitting anything pertaining to him.
"You should have gone to Canada with him."
"Probably, but um, that just felt like it would commit me."
"Is that what you want?"
"If it's what you" he stopped breathing "Go for it. He sounds ok,"
"Yeah ok, first off he's still moonlighting as a glorified chauffeur, second he lives on a lower floor than me, third he's only a four, fourth..."
"Wait how do you know where he lives?"
"You ran a background check didn;t you?"
"Did you find anything?"
"It's all pretty dull, decent grades in school, never voted, bonds heavy portfolio, doesn't have a particular charity, but is on the board of some obscure children's art program for some reason, smart enough to buy real estate before the prices went up, not smart enough to sell before it came down again, owns the place here in New York, another in London, a house in Nice, and a house in St. Gallen,'"
That's in Switzerland?"
"I know what you're thinking, I checked, no Swiss bank account, but he checks out, boring but clean.."
He seemed a bit disappointed by the prognosis, he sat up a little to take off his jacket and shifted a little to lie even further back on the couch, she placed his arm around her shoulder, she had been a little thrown by the house in Switzerland, but was warm and comfortable where she was now, she felt herself breathing more deeply, She could feel his chest rise and fall, they sat quietly for a while, and when she looked up at him, he seemed to be asleep.
She got up to go, and he grabbed her hand "Don't leave."
"You should go to bed."
"Stay, I haven't slept in a week," he gulped, "and I think I could if I wasn't alone."
Robin pulled her hand away.
"Not like that, just stay."
He had put himself out there, all the way out, and a part of her loved it, not just for the win, but because a part of him was as vulnerable to her as she was to him. She told herself to go, but just couldn't. "I'll stay til you fall asleep."
It should have been awkward, but it wasn't, it should have felt wrong, but all his instincts were off, the thought of touching her, even casually made him nervous, but the second he did, he felt calm and natural like could breath again, he fell asleep quickly, the only contact between them was his hand on her upper arm, but that was enough, and for one night, he wasn't alone, for one night, he wasn't three weeks from being a husband and seven months from being a father, he was just himself.
He woke knowing he shouldn't have asked her to stay, She hadn't.
He had fallen asleep within moments, clearly exhausted, she had intended on closing her eyes for just a moment, but had woken up a little after 5am, she had removed his hand off her arm easily enough, but he's fingers had slide down her back, and had caused her to shiver.
It was cold for a spring morning, and she had borrowed one of Quinn's jackets on her way out the door.
She had walked for a few blocks enjoying the cool air before deciding it was time for a cab, Barney was definitely a part of her life again, but she shouldn't have spent the night.
Robin pulled out her phone, they had slept early last night and she had missed multiple late calls from John, she decided she would have to tell him where she was.
Two hours later she called him and asked him over. She had to tell him, he barely took a stop inside, and tried to kiss her hello, when she burst, "So you know how I had the baby yesterday? And I wanted, I wanted so badly to be a good aunt, it turns out, well I just failed just so utterly, I mean an hour with him and I was already calling Ted and Victoria to rescue me,"
"Well you're ok, and he's ok, so the first outing didn't go as planned doesn't mean."
"Please let me finish, I left him, and I started wandering, and I don't know how, but I ended up in front of my exes place."
He shifted, "Maybe I should sit down for this."
Barney sat up, he placed his hand where she had been, it was completely cold. He heard keys in the lock, maybe she was back.
He got up to let her in, it was Quinn, "We decided we didn't want to do this without you." She smiled, and held her breath to kiss him hello.
Robin continued "I was just really upset, I wasn't feeling adequate, and you, well you and babies, and I don't know how to say this, the last guy I told this to ran away, and I would understand if..."
"You don't want to have kids."
"How did you know? Do I give off anti-kid vibes?"
"Sort of" He smiled, but then dropped the smile, "But what you really have to tell me?"
Barney carried her bags in, she walked towards the bedroom, a thought occured, with her heightened senses, would she be able to tell?
"I can't believe you did this?"
"What do you mean? I know you slept in here."
Robin continued, "Nothing happened, I was just upset, and I had been avoiding him, I mean he's been going through so much with the wedding and now the baby, I just didn't want to be there for all of that."
"But nothing happened?"
"So what aren't you telling me?"
"We just talked, we talked a lot, about everything, really everything, and well, we talked all night,"
:Ok so maybe not all night, I may have slept over, it's just the baby, babies, I'm not good with them."
Barney argued through the door, "Ok, so yes, I slept in my own bedroom last night, it's my bedroom."
"I only have one room in this place, that I can breath in, and you just have to go parading all over it."
"So air it out, if it bothers you that much."
She stormed off towards the bathroom "My mother gave me hell for 14 hours straight and now you're, you're, I'm going to pee." She slammed the door closed. He stood outside, on one hand thankful she hadn't picked up on Robin, and on the other, preparing arguements.
Quinn screamed, fear overcame him, and he started pounding on the door.
"Robin, I haven't spent years looking for the mother of my children, I've spent years looking for a woman just like you. I'm not here for your genetics or your maternal skills, I'm here, cause when you talk to me in the morning, it makes my heart race, and when you cay goodnight to me at night, I want to wrap my arms around and feel at peace. I'm here because of you and an extention of you. Next time you panic, just call me." He paused, "Can you do me one favor, and this may be very immature."
Robin then did the worst thing she ever did to John, he continued, "Can you not see Ted for a while?"
Robin didn't correct him. "Sure."
The super broke down the door, Quinn was crying, a stream of blood was running down her legs. The super turned his back and Barney did the worst thing he had ever done in his life, for just a couple seconds he looked relieved, and Quinn, she caught it,
"What was that look? What was that look?" Tears were streaming down her eyes,
He tried to comfort her, going in for a hug, she pushed him back.
"Did you," she gulped, breathless and crying "Not want this baby?"
He paused, and lied "Of course I did." But the pause, she heard the pause, and all that it said, her baby, their baby, and he didn't even want it.
"Get out, get out, get out, get out!"
He backed out of the bathroom, stopped, and looked terrified. "Out of the apartment, out of my life, this was our baby, my baby, this was a baby, how could you, how could you, just get out."
Barney stood mouth agape, the super had been trying to make himself invisible, but he stepped in and helped escort him out, grabbing Barney's coat on the way, and shutting the front door behind him.