Look what I found! It's amazing what I'll do when I'm bored with no internet and have no books to read.
Anyway, this was written a few months back or so, after watching the episode "Atlantic City." So sorry if it might be a little OOC, I didn't really know the characters very well yet. I already knew about Barney and Robin and shipped them already, so...yeah. And for this to work, nothing ever happened with Robin and Ted, I guess.
"I propose a toast!" Barney announced dramatically, raising his glass. Back in the casino, sitting around a table, the group was ready to get drunk and gamble. "To Lily and Marshall…to Atlantic City…and to Robin's new shirt!" Everyone rolled their eyes at the latter statement and Robin hit him on the arm. He flinched and held his arm, mouthing "Ow" at her. She raised her eyebrows in a way that said "What'cha gonna do about it?"
"To Lily and Marshall," Ted echoed loudly, and this time everyone clinked their glasses together.
Robin met Barney's eyes staring, yet again, at her shirt-boobs. "Okay, if you guys are gonna keep looking at the shirt I'm changing," she stated. Barney and Ted quickly looked away, pretending they hadn't been. Still, Barney's eyes kept drifting back when she wasn't paying attention. Or when he thought she wasn't paying attention; she knew every time but decided to just let it go after a while.
"I'm so glad we decided not to get married here," Lily said, snuggling into Marshall's shoulder.
"Me too, baby," Marshall agreed. "A regular wedding—no boat captains, no music-playing bouquets, and no Barney gambling with weird Chinese dudes."
"Hey!" Barney cried. "I'll have you know those Chinese dudes are very important in their country! And they got you your almost-boat-wedding, didn't they?"
"Yeah," Lily consented. Her eyes lit up. "To the Chinese dudes!" This was met with a rounding cheer.
"You're so drunk," Marshall laughed, bringing his glass to his mouth. It didn't take much to get Lily's petite little body drunk, and by this point she had already downed more than enough to do the job.
"You know it," Lily giggled.
"Can we go gamble now?" Barney whined, coming back to the table after buying himself another beer.
Robin pointed her finger in his face. "No. Sit." She moved the finger to point at his chair.
"Robin, I'm not a dog," he scoffed, but then she raised her eyebrows and simply fixed him with the same stern gaze she used for her dogs when they misbehaved. He sat.
"Oh, who's a good doggy?" Ted teased. Barney narrowed his eyes at him and made a face before taking another swig of his beer.
Ted wiped the condensation from his hands and threw the napkin on the table. "You know what, I'm ready for some gambling. Who wants to come?"
"I do!" Barney yelled, waving his arm in the air like a teacher's pet with the answer.
Ted looked around at his friends. "Anybody?" he asked, purposely ignoring Barney.
Barney's hand went down, and his face fell. "Come on, dude," he said lamely.
"I'll come," Marshall said.
"Don't go, baby!" Lily cried, grabbing after him.
"Okay, we'll come," Marshall corrected himself.
"Wait, someone's gotta stay here and make sure Barney doesn't gamble," Ted realized, turning on his heel.
"I'll do it," Robin volunteered.
"Robin'll do it!" Lily yelled. "I teach kindergarten! I want another shot." She started to reach for one but Marshall stopped her, putting his hands on his fiancée's shoulders. "We should get you out of here," he said frantically.
"See you later, guys," Ted said.
When they were gone Robin swiveled back around to face her blond-headed companion. "Looks like it's just you and me," she stated. "Oh, will you stop pouting."
"Well, how come everyone else gets to gamble but me?"
"I don't get to," Robin pointed out.
"Yeah, but you volunteered to stay here. I didn't!"
"You get no pity from me." Keeping one eye on him, she sipped her beer.
"Can we at least go somewhere?"
"Barney, where are we going?"
After much begging, Robin had finally consented to let Barney take her someplace he had found back when he used to spend a lot of time in Atlantic City. He blatantly refused to tell her where or what it was, however, and it was bugging the hell out of her. She had a few guesses—strip club was first, followed by laser tag, and she even went to out-on-a-limb things like an old submarine—but he still clammed up. Funny, she thought, because usually he was so damn talkative.
"Stop asking. You're like a four-year-old." Hypocrite, she thought. How many times had he done the exact same thing?
"This from a man whose favorite pastime is laser tag and who wears footie pajamas."
"My favorite pastime is sex, Scherbatsky. And how did you know about the pajamas?" Realization dawned on him. "Was it Lily or Ted?"
"I don't reveal my sources."
Barney scrunched up his face and shook his fist. "That's right, you're a journalist. Dammit!"
Robin smirked. "What, it's not because I'm Canadian?"
He groaned. "Ugh, don't remind me about that." That earned him an eye roll.
Finally, the cabbie pulled into a parking lot. "We're here," Barney announced dramatically, turning to her and doing a weird little thing with his eyebrows. Getting out of the car, Robin looked around. A sign nearby proclaimed something in Italian, with the words ITALIAN RESTAURANT printed beneath it.
"Welcome to Bell'Amore," he said. "Best Italian place in Atlantic City. Means 'beautiful love,' in case you were wondering. Oh yeah. I know Italian. I'm just that awesome." Robin snorted a laugh. Barney narrowed his eyes and pretended to be offended. Then he extended his arm. "Come." She took it and they skipped gaily into the restaurant, swinging their linked arms together.
Somehow, and Robin would never understand exactly how he did it, but somehow they got a table in a packed restaurant within ten minutes. They sat and opened their menus.
"So how did you find this place?" she asked casually, even though she was dying to know. Barney just didn't usually come to places like this, at least not to her knowledge. Then again, how much did she really know about him?
"Oh yeah, back when I was spending a lot of time here, I met this girl who wouldn't let me bang her unless I took her out on a 'proper date' first." That explains so much, Robin thought. He said it so offhandedly, too, not even looking up from his menu, but putting air quotes around "proper date." Then he glanced up at her. "The sex? Not so great. But the food here is."
"I'm thinking chicken parm," she said, ignoring his sex comment. "What about you?"
"Seafood platter," he answered instantly. "Want an appetizer?"
"Since when did you get so nice?"
"Since I was apparently banned from gambling and assigned a babysitter. Seriously, appetizer?"
"Mozzarella sticks." If he was paying, she might as well get whatever she wanted.
"Sounds great." He flagged down a waiter and told him their order. And wine, of course. Lots of wine. And a trip to the in-restaurant bar as well.
Combined with the drinks they'd had earlier, by the end of the meal, they were extremely drunk.
"Hey waiter, there's a fly in my soup!" Barney cried. The waiter, who had heard fifty similar comments in the past half hour just from them, ignored them. Robin, however, cracked up like it was the funniest joke she'd ever heard.
She then jumped onto the table and began a loud rendition of Let's Go To the Mall. She was soon joined by Barney.
At that point a man came over with a tag reading MANAGER. "Okay, I've had it with you two," he said, attempting to pull them down.
Robin yanked her arm away. "Hey Robin, look, this guy's name is Manager!" Barney's face spread into a wide grin. Robin let out a cackle.
"Let's go to the mall!" she screamed.
Eventually, the manager was able to get them out.
"Can you believe we got kicked out of a restaurant?" Robin scoffed, her words slurred.
"An' banned," Barney pouted. "Now I can't nail girls like that one! Dammit!" He kicked a tree, then giggled. "That hurt." Robin grinned stupidly back at him.
"Where should we go now?"
"I wanna go home," Barney whined, sounding exactly like a six-year-old boy.
Robin sat under a tree and wrapped her arms around her legs. "Me too."
Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was adrenaline and false boldness, maybe it was the power of Atlantic City, maybe it was a combination. In the years to come, Robin would blame them all at different times. But no matter the factors, that was the night that went down in Robin's personal history as the night she first slept with one of her best friends.
She kissed him on the cab ride back to the hotel, muttering "I had a really great time tonight," against his lips. He pulled back and asked what she was doing. She ripped his jacket off in response and he kissed her that time.
In the morning, Barney awoke early and tried leaving like he always did after spending the night with a girl, mainly out of habit. In her sleep, Robin's arm went out and swept the area his body had just occupied, searching for him. Not finding him, she grabbed a pillow and hugged it. And he denied it for the rest of his life, but Barney crawled back into the bed and pried the pillow from Robin's grasp and took back the spot where he had just been.
She rolled on top of him and burped in his face.
So he jumped out of bed in disgust, pushing her away and waking her up in the process as she landed on the floor with a thump.
"What the hell was that for?" she yelled, still groggy from sleep.
"You burped in my face!"
Her eyes flew open. "Barney! What the hell! Why were you in bed with me?!"
"I was not in bed with you! You were in bed with me!"
"What time is it?"
He checked his six-hundred-dollar watch. "Seven-thirty."
"Oh God, oh God…" She was pacing now, fingers to her temples.
"You started it," Barney mumbled under his breath.
Robin took a deep breath. "Okay. Okay," and the second sounded a bit more upbeat. "It was just…it was nothing, I mean, we were both really drunk and…"
"I wasn't that drunk," Barney cut her off.
Robin stopped momentarily in her pacing and gave him a look out of the side of her eye. "Weren't you talking to a bush and calling it George?"
Barney's face paled. "You…you remember that?" Then he coughed, regained his composure and added, "We were just having such a great time, and yeah I was drunk, but notas much as you."
"So you knew what we were doing?!"
"You started it!"
She laughed, a kind of nervous laugh but not really. "No. There's no way I would've…I mean, I…I wouldn't do that!"
"Well, ya did!"
She pulled on her clothes. "I think I should go now."
He watched her go, wishing there was something he could say. Instead he collapsed onto the bed.