AN: (Titled after a Cholera quote, sue me). Here's a quick Ted/Mother fic for you. Let me know what you think, as I may decide to follow up with more chapters (possibly just little snippets of their life together). I realize I never refer to the Mother by name in this one- I can't seem to decide what to call her, so I'm leaving it up to Carter & Craig. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

"But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me."

- Pablo Neruda, Your Feet

This date was something special.
He'd said this before, of course, but this time something inside him knew the words rang true. This girl was something infinitely more than any other he'd dated. More intelligent, with a better sense of humor, triggering more interest. Ted had always looked for certain women based on where he was at in life; Robin when he was at his most desperate, Victoria when he was at his highest, Jeanette when he was at his lowest. The independent girl, the perfect girl, the crazy girl. And this time- the right girl. She was warm and kind and honest, and Ted knew that's what he needed now (and could have used back then).
They agreed to meet for coffee.
It wasn't Ted's first choice- he'd wanted to take her to a fancy restaurant- but she had insisted the date be low-maintenance. It was another thing that was refreshing about this girl. The bell over the door jingled as Ted walked in, scanning the couches and tables before spotting her seated in an over sized, sinking chair. The cushions nearly swallowed her whole. "Hi there."
Her head shot up, as it had been dipped over a book. She smiled. "Hey, nice to see you again."
"What's that you're reading?" Ted wondered, taking a seat beside her. He leaned down to see the cover: the Inferno by Dante Alighieri. He had a flash of their first meeting, when they'd bonded over Love in the Time of Cholera. Ted felt his grin widen. "You," he began, amazed, "have impeccable taste." She laughed as Ted shifted to face her wholly. "I'm serious- first Cholera and now Inferno? What's next, Neruda?"
"I love Neruda." she confirmed, leaning closer. His energy was contagious.
"I think I need to buy you a coffee," he replied, tilting his head towards the barista. He stood and gestured for her to go first, following her to the counter.
The date was relaxed, the conversation flowing with ease. Ted didn't crack a marriage joke even once- but she had laughed at his lame puns. "You're amazing." he said later, as they stood outside her apartment, "I know we've just met-" he'd paused to consider his words, treading lightly, "But I think think there's a lot of potential here." It was a lame thing to say, but Ted couldn't quite bring himself to regret it.
"Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda." she replied, her voice soft and low. She followed this with a kiss goodbye. Ted smiled as she shut the door on him, her smug look resonating. He ran over her words and recognized the quote immediately. It was a line from Dante's Inferno; from a tiny spark may burst a mighty flame.