Disclaimer: Not mine and I'm making no money at all.

Spoilers: Generally for the show, nothing specific.

He arrives three minutes after Ted's firework display starts. They delayed it for a while, but Ted had a plan and you don't mess with the plan.

He slips up behind her quietly, arms wrapping around her waist and his hands sliding smoothly into her jeans' pockets.

"Hey." He dips his head, his nose nuzzling into her hair.

"You're late." She feels the sigh as it builds in him.

"I know, I got stuck in the office."

She twists her head, just enough that she can see one eye and the still-sharp line of his cheekbone. "Literally?"

His mouth quirks up, eye glinting. "Figuratively. The North Koreans called, it wasn't pretty."

He nuzzles her again, pressing a kiss against her crown and squeezing his elbows closer to her sides. She leans back into him, turning to watch the next wave of fireworks. "Well, it's you, so-had to ask."

"Of course." He sounds amused and relaxed; a far cry from the harassed man she spoke to three hours ago. "But you forget, Scherbatsky; the Barnacle has yet to find a room he can't escape from."

"Like you're still trying." She scoffs and then yelps when he pulls out a hand to slap against her thigh.

"I might be. Why, just last week-" She cuts him off, turning her head and capturing his lips. When she pulls back, his eyes are glazed and his smile is soft.

"You were saying?"

He looks at her distractedly. "Huh? Oh, uh…" But he has nothing and she grins smugly. He focuses slowly, his skin flashing blue and purple as the sky lights up with sparks. "Still got it, Scherbatsky."

"And I'll be getting it again tonight." She says and slaps his hand in a high-five.

His hand settles on her stomach, his fingers dipping beneath her sweater and rubbing idle patterns on her skin, while fireworks continue to crack against the sky hopelessly out of time with the music.

"Is that what I think it is?"

She groans against his familiar excitement. "Yes sir, it is."

"Awesome. I can't believe I almost missed this." And he hums along in her ear, breaking into the odd word here and there when he can't help himself. "You know, you could do a remake of this; Robin Sparkles sings 'Let's Go To The Gun Range'. Instant hit."

"You're an idiot." She can feel his chuckles through her back.

"Love you too, Scherbatsky. Think about it." And she will, because now he's thought of it he'll bring it up constantly for the next month until she either gives in, or thoroughly distracts him with an epic round of bedroom role-play. She can probably still find the gold bikini somewhere at home.

"So, everything okay now? At the office, I mean."

"Please." He huffs. All this time later, she's still not exactly sure what he does, only now he's on the top floor and his windows are shaded glass. (And if he says he doesn't want to be disturbed for forty-five to fifty minutes, he isn't, and Robin gets to indulge in some midday exhibitionism with her favourite Bro.)


"Nah, it's good. One more week-"

"Uncle Barney!" He cuts off at the shout, letting go of her and spinning around just in time to catch the three-and-a-half foot bundle that flies towards him.

"Mini-Mosby!" He swings the small boy up in the air by his waist, pretending to throw him to the boy's obvious enjoyment. "How's it hanging, kid?"

Robin rolls her eyes, he's so lame.

"S'okay, Uncle Barney." Barney spins around a few more times before gently setting the boy's feet back on the grass, kneeling down in front of him. "Are you gonna do magic?"

She bites back the instinctive groan, because of course the kids love Barney's magic, and their encouragement has left her home filled with props and tacky capes and led to more than one visit to the ER when a new trick went awry.

"Mmm, maybe." He bluffs and Robin coughs behind her hand, because he's been practicing for this night for weeks and driving her absolutely mad; seriously, if he'd asked her to pick a card one more time

"Aww, please Uncle Barney. Please."

She has to admit, Ted picked the right woman to mother his children, because the kids didn't get those puppy-eyes from him and damn they're good.

"What about the fireworks?"

"Fireworks are lame." Robin gapes, because oh no, she knew the kid had been listening when they babysat last weekend. She really hopes that's the only new word he picked up. "Magic's awesome."

"Yes. It. Is." Barney beams, tickling the boy's sides. "Magic high-five." He holds out his hand for the slap, before brushing it down the boy's head and pulling out a five dollar bill from behind his ear.

"Awesome." The little boy accepts the money with an excited smile. "How'd you do it Uncle Barney?"

Barney's face shifts to the innocent expression that Robin (and really, any other adult that's ever met him) knows all too well. "Do what? It was just sitting there, kid. You've gotta be more thorough with cleaning behind those things, Mosby." He stands up and Robin hears the crack his left knee makes. He doesn't falter. "Now go on. Barney The Magnificent will be making his appearance in an hour. Tell your friends." He nods eagerly, like he's pushing tickets to a real show and the boy bounces away with an excited giggle that's all Ted.

As soon as the child is out of sight Barney groans, twisting his hips until something else cracks. Robin wraps an arm around his waist beneath his jacket and rubs her thumb along the top of his hipbone through the soft cotton of his shirt. "You alright there?"

"I'm awesome." He says, but he leans a little into her anyway.

"You're getting old Stinson." She enjoys the dramatic stagger and he presses a hand up against his heart.

"How dare you!" She laughs, reaching up and kissing his cheek. "I just get more awesome as the years pass, Scherbatsky."

"And the grey hairs?" She asks, running her fingers through the spattering at his temple.

"Silver." He corrects. "And everyone knows that silver is awesome."

"Totally. My mistake." He huffs, but relaxes back against her.

The sky lights up again and she wonders just how much money Ted has spent on tonight. "So, you were saying; 'one more week'?"

"What? Oh, right. Yeah, apparently I've got too much holiday built up again." Which she knows is Barney-speak for 'I've done something so brilliant that I'm being rewarded with time off'.

"Oh, so it's that time again?" She smiles and starts working his shirt out of his pants.

"Uh, Robin, children." But he doesn't move away from her. "I was thinking, maybe Brazil? You know how I love a Brazilian. Bump this." She knocks her fist against his with a laugh.

"You're on. I'll talk to my Producer tomorrow." They do this every year; two weeks away somewhere they've never been before. Just the two of them. Her thumb finally finds skin and he jumps a little.

"Good, because I already booked the tickets." Of course he did. She scratches her thumbnail across his stomach and he shivers. "It's gonna be legen-wait for it-"

"-dary." She finishes and then checks to make sure no one else was around to hear her. Barney laughs, head tilted back and body shuddering.

"Ah Scherbatsky. How the mighty have fallen." She slaps him across the chest, the band on her finger flashing as Ted's grand finale booms and paints the sky in a rainbow. And because no one is watching them, she leaves her hand there and tucks herself against his side, just for a moment.

Barney quiets, his hand rubbing down her arm to settle on her ass. Predictable. He squeezes, just once and she smirks. Still got it.