Robin spends a good half hour filling her friends in on all the details about the guy she met at the shooting range – the guy who'd just happened to have been in a car accident a week earlier that had left his chiseled, athletic body unscathed, but his face sporting several sexy bruises – and doesn't notice when Barney excuses himself about five minutes in, claiming a prior engagement he forgot.
It doesn't matter. She told him the whole story on the phone the night before.
Lily nods politely, smiling and taking it all in, until Ted eventually takes a phone call, and Marshall goes downstairs to hail them a cab. It's getting late, after all, and they both have to work in the morning. Once the two of them are alone, Lily's smile fades.
"Robin, what kind of crap is this about some random guy at the shooting range? What do you think you're doing?"
Robin frowns, confused. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about Barney!" Lily sounds mildly outraged. "And how can you just go on and on about it, right in front of him like that? I know you're a tough as nails bitch who can handle herself in any situation, but I never thought you were mean."
Robin is more confused than ever. "Mean?" she echoes. "Why would Barney even care? Lily, we're just friends now."
Lily scoffs, rolling her eyes. "You two are not just friends."
"We are," Robin insists. "I know there's a lot of history between us, but we talked about it, and worked it all out, and decided that just staying friends is best. In fact, since we had that talk, we're better friends than ever."
"Robin, you and Barney are a lot of things… many of them I don't feel comfortable saying in the presence of my infant son… but you are not 'just friends'."
"You can't tell me what we are or aren't," Robin objects, indignant.
"I can tell you what my eyes see," Lily counters. "And the two of you don't act like 'just friends'. Not at all."
Robin squares her shoulders, a challenge in her eyes. "Name a single example of a time when we…"
"Forty-five minutes ago, right there on that couch – about five minutes before you started gushing about your mystery man." There's no hesitation at all in Lily's voice, or her smug smile.
Robin thinks back, frowning. "So he gave me a shoulder massage. What's wrong with that? Friends do that."
"And in order for him to give you that shoulder massage, you had to sit up and stop snuggling up to him like you were four and he was your security blanket," Lily pointed out dubiously. "Friends… especially friends who've dated at one point… don't usually snuggle like that."
"I'd seen that movie before, and I didn't sleep after work this morning, and I was tired and he was… comfy, and…"
"Nuh-uh," Lily cuts her off flatly. "Let me ask you something, Robin. How often do you and Barney talk on the phone?"
Robin considers, swallowing hard as her explanations begin to feel a little thinner, a little less convincing. "Well… every day, really. Sometimes… more than once, but… it's just because we're such good friends, and sometimes hilarious things happen, and I just need to…"
"How many times do we talk on the phone in a given week?" Lily demands, a single brow raised skeptically. "Two or three?"
"Well, but that's because I see you most days, and…"
"And you see Barney every day. You know, in between phone calls. Robin, face it. Whatever this thing is between you and Barney that's made it so easy to 'move on'? Is not friendship." Lily pauses, her expression solemn and knowing. "And it's not moving on. Not for him, anyway."
Robin is sobered by this revelation. She stares into space, slowly processing everything Lily's just said.
"Why do you think he ran out of here so fast when you started talking about this guy? Because he didn't want to hear it. Maybe you think you're just friends… but he doesn't, Robin. And… that's not fair to him. So… I think you need to figure out how you really feel about Barney, and soon. Before – before somebody gets hurt. Who is not named Robin. And is probably crying himself to sleep in his apartment by now."
Robin gets her coat and gets ready to leave, quiet and pensive. She goes home, thinking about all of this new information, processing.
Then, she walks down to the street again and hails another cab… and gives them Barney's address. As the cab pulls out into the street, she pulls the crumpled piece of paper from her pocket with the phone number of the attractive stranger on it. She stares at if for a long moment, before putting down the window of the cab… and tossing the useless scrap out, watching as it flutters away into the darkness.