A/N: I really didn't intend to go this long without updating but I blinked and six weeks had passed since my last drabble. Blame work, graduate applications, too much good TV, and my futile attempts to write a one-shot about Mark and Derek off Grey's Anatomy.
"Imagine waking up every morning to that smile? And that little half-laugh, half-snort she does when you say something stupid? What I'm trying to say is that Robin is a fantastic pole vaulter." -Barney Stinson
All I Need
During their first years of marriage
Barney Stinson hasn't done all that much right in his life. He's spent his adult life working for corporations who have contributed little - if any - good to the world, and that's something he's never made apologies for. He accepts the generous salary and even more generous bonuses with barely a thought about the corrupt and sordid aspects of his job. He's slept with an obscene number of women and almost all of them were under false pretences. There are hoards of women not just in Manhattan but up and down the east coast, and even a few on other continents, who have fallen for the Barney Stinson spiel over the years. And he's never felt particularly bad about or sorry for the scams and tricks he pulled in the name of getting them into bed. And he's not even been an amazing friend or brother either. Sure he's officiated weddings while shedding a few tears and flown across the country to point out people's mistakes but the good moments are generally outweighed by the bad. He's not stupid. He's a selfish person who puts the people he loves through a lot of crap most of the time.
But he must have done something right. Maybe it was during his vegetarian, hippy days when he gave out high twos and thought his life should be spent in the Peace Corps. Or perhaps he was some sort of saint in a past life who saved children from burning buildings and donated all his earnings to charity. All he knows is that he racked up a hell of a lot of points with the big man upstairs at some point. It's the only way to explain the fact that, even with all the shitty things he's done over the years, he's the guy who is lucky enough to wake up every morning to Robin Scherbatsky and that beautiful smile.
She's the early riser in their marriage, at least in the beginning. It's not uncommon for him to wake up to the sounds of her clattering about in the kitchen as she fights with his coffee machine, which she is convinced has a vendetta against her, or for the glare of her laptop screen to almost blind him as she grumbles to herself about the news that has broken overnight. And there are some mornings where the only traces of her are the scent of her flowery conditioner on the pillow and a note telling him she's gone for breakfast with Lily or out for a run. But whether it's as he stumbles bleary-eyed into the kitchen in search of coffee, as he tugs a pillow over his head in protest at the light, or as he pulls her back into bed when she returns from her outing, she always gives him that wonderful smile that he likes to think of as the smile that is solely for him. It's the smile that makes him thank his lucky stars for whatever it was he did that made Robin want to be with him.
He fights her early riser nature though. The notion that Sunday mornings were made for doing nothing proves to be excellent ammunition. Barney declares it a sacrilege to get out of bed before noon for anything besides coffee, pastries, and the paper. He learns quickly that Robin saying she's going to pop to the bakery around the corner for croissants and danishes will turn into her getting waylaid by a million and one people on the way back. Apparently she's managed to charm every tenant in their building even though they've only been living there three months. So he buys croissants at the grocery store on a Saturday instead, and though they may not be as good as the real thing, he'll take an extra hour in bed with his wife over Marcel's melt in the mouth pastries. And it turns out that tempting Robin with sex is the perfect way to distract her from thoughts of things like brunch or an early morning jog. She still wakes up first, eager to put a day free from work to use. But if he holds her tight enough and sucks on that spot just below her ear that is surprisingly sensitive then it's enough for her to give him that winning smile and forget about activities that take them outside of the bedroom. And afterwards they sit in bed together, swapping sections of the New York Times and splitting a croissant between them. It's a domestic scene, the pair of them sipping coffee and discussing the merits of the latest bailout plans, and one that would have disgusted him just a few years ago. Now though he relishes it. For the longest time it was something he thought would never happen, lazy Sunday mornings in bed with Robin. It wasn't a part of his future. So he cherishes the fact that it's now his reality, and he always works to find the most cheesy story in the wedding announcements so he'll earn that little half-laugh, half-snort from her that he loves so much.
Winter proves to be his other great ally. Though Robin roundly mocks her friends for their heavy coats and thick scarves as she sits there in a cotton t-shirt, she could rival them and their grumblings when it comes to the bitterly cold winter mornings. Apparently Robin's resilience against what she calls a spring morning in Ontario only comes after a hot shower and a mug or two of coffee. Before that, she clings to their bed like a child on the day of a dreaded maths exam. Barney routinely wakes up to her buried underneath the covers and grumbling over having to go to work. Every morning she poaches more and more of the blankets, and it takes her longer and longer to leave the warm cocoon of the bed. If she could then she would find a way to report the news in her pyjamas. Eventually they reach the point where, at some point during the night, Robin latches onto the nearest heat source - him. So, by early December, it becomes normality to wake up to her legs tangled with his and her head resting on his shoulder. And apparently the comfort he offers her as her own personal pillow and heater is enough to overcome her need to be up before the alarm. That means he gets to start his day watching as his wife slowly wakes up and gives him that soft smile before grumbling about the cold. And though she usually decides that a quickie is the only thing that will motivate her enough to get out of bed and go to work - a need he has no problem satisfying - that smile alone is enough to make him feel pretty damn good about himself for the rest of the day.
Of course, winter always comes to an end eventually and Robin goes back to waking up before the alarm. He tries his best to get her to sleep in but her incessant need to start the day overpowers his pleas. She does give him Sunday though. On Sundays she does her best to sleep late, and he pretends he doesn't feel her fidgeting about as she waits for him to wake up. And that beautiful smile is always there on her face when he finally opens his eyes. The rest of the time though he wakes up to the sight of her scouting the bedroom floor for her missing shoe or in the middle of reading through the notes for that night's broadcast. But the moment she notices he is awake, no matter what she's doing, she always shoots him the smile that makes him feel like the luckiest guy on earth. He's not even sure that she knows that she does it, but every morning she does and every morning he remembers how close he came to missing out on this being his life. There were a million tiny moments that could have gone differently and would have left them both in another life where some other guy would have gotten to wake up to that smile every morning. So Barney thanks every deity and saint that he did something right at some point that was brilliant enough to outweigh all the selfish crap he's pulled. Because that's the only explanation he can come up with for how he got to be so damn lucky.