Hello all! So this is my first HIMYM fic, please be kind! B the W (hehe couldn't resist), a line in here means a 'side-woosh flash back' like in the series. happy R&R-ing! mbg.
Ted was beyond relieved when he entered MacLaren's at nearly one in the morning and saw the gang sitting at their usual table. Without bothering to answer their 'hey how are yas', he grabbed the half-drunk glass of alcohol from Barney's hand and polished it off.
"I take it the date didn't go so well," Lily ventured as Ted pulled up a chair.
"It was going fine, up until the whole bedroom part."
"So this is your room?"
"Yeah." Ted gave a small grin as he looked at Miranda. It'd been awhile since he'd been able to go on a date with a girl and genuinely enjoy it, what with the whole loss of his income debacle. Miranda had been sweet, beautiful and more than eager to seal the deal with him, though, and finally, after the initial two week touchy-feely stage, he'd finally see her naked and she him. Crossing over to her, he kissed her, once gently and then with more passion. As they began to undress each other, Ted went to strip off his shirt, but Miranda stopped him.
"Leave it on."
Ted looked at her, a furrow in his brow. "What?"
"Leave your shirt on. I like the feel of it."
"Oh yeah, that's weird, definitely made the right call ditching a hot girl who wanted to do you because she didn't want to see how much bigger your breasts are than hers, you big girl," Barney said . "On top of which, you could have checked off 'Secret Turn-On Chick' on the 'To Do' list."
Ted looked at Barney. "The What Chick?"
"You have a To Do list of Girls?" Marshall added.
"Yeah, since I'm not in jail-"
"Neither am I-"
"Then what's that handcuff around your finger? High five!" Barney said, holding his palm out to be slapped. When he got the love from Robin only, Barney straightened his tie and continued, "Ted, everyone, whether they admit it or not, has a secret turn-on that they'd never ever tell anyone except the person they're sleeping with. I call it the...wait for it...no, never-mind, it's just the secret turn-on."
"The secret turn-on?" Ted repeated. "How come I've never heard of this before?"
Lily rolled her eyes and drank her wine. "Oh come on, Ted, everyone has one. Marshall's is when I get a pedicure."
"Come on, Lil," Marshall muttered, turning beat red.
"Seriously, when I come home from the salon and he sees my toes looking all shiny and cool, my baby gets all hot and steamy."
Robin straightened up in her spot as if being drawn up by a string. "Wait a minute, is that why when I was crashing at your place, Marshall, you made me paint my toenails in the bathroom, even though you said it was because the smell bothered you? Wow, I am never wearing sandals around you, ever again."
"That's a lame married one, now if it was sucking on her toes-"
"Barney!" Marshall cut him off sharply before mellowing out with a smug smile on his face. "Lily's thing is when I get a shave."
"Nice." Barney held out a fist for a bump but only received Marshall's bland stare.
"Like when I go to an old-school barber and get an old-fashioned shave for special occasions, like getting a job interview or her cousin's wedding-"
"Or being a generally awesome hubby," Lily finished, a smug smile on her face as she high fived her husband.
"-There's an old-school barber I see in Brooklyn and get an old-fashioned shave. The stuff they use smells like vanilla beans and it's gotten me laid more than my Braun-and-Aveeno routine ever did."
Ted nodded. "So basically you're saying...I could have had sex tonight but like an idiot I opened my mouth and ruined it."
"Exactly," Barney agreed, "which is why you needed to pay attention more when I explained the hot/crazy scale. Clearly, this girl was below the line and you blew, as per us."
Lily could only shake her head. Leave it to Barney to rub it in when Ted made an obviously dumbass move he didn't need to be reminded of. Still, she was pretty sure she had something on Barney that would make him feel as embarrassed as Ted did now. Resting her elbows on the table, she leaned across as far as she could and said to Barney, "Oh yeah? Why don't you tell us about your secret?"
At this, Barney's glass paused only a fraction of a second, and only those who knew Barney as Lily did would have noticed the slight hitch in his voice. "My secret? Lily, have you met me? I have no secrets, I have no shame. Hell when the guy who installed my pornography shelving units saw my collection, he shook my hand and knocked a hundred bucks off the price just because he was so impressed."
Lily sighed inwardly as Barney sipped his scotch and shifted his eyes furtively to Robin who was trying to cheer Ted up with some kind of consolation about weird fetishes being weird for a reason. Obviously he wasn't going to talk about Robin when she was sitting right beside him. "Alright well, it's been a long week. Time to head out."
As the gang departed and went their separate ways, Barney headed back to his apartment with his last-call blond of the night, unable to stop thinking about what Lily had said about his secret. She had probably meant the Robin thing, but for a brief moment he thought about the nail she had so unwittingly hit on the head. When the cab stopped and they went inside to his place, the blond made an immediate beeline for his bathroom.
"Mind if I freshen up a little?"
"Not at all."
As soon as the blond was out of sight, Barney immediately turned on his television and went to his TiVo list, scrolling through until he found his program of choice. It had secretly become his turn-on and always put him in the mood for hot, if not always guilt-free, sex with one of his many last-call blonds (or brunettes, or redheads, or Asians with a little boob when he could score them). He wouldn't go so far as to say it was his new porn - that would fall into the 'just plain creepy' category - but it made it definitely easier to imagine that it was her he was inside of rather than a poor substitute. When he'd had his fix, he went into the bedroom, saw the blond in her underwear on his bed. Before he pounced, he closed hsi eyes a brief moment and brought to mind the image from the TiVo. If he tried hard enough, he could even hear her voice.
"I'm Robin Scherbatsky and you're watching Metro News 1 at 11. Tonight's top story..."