[Author's Note: I wrote this because I'm not satisfied with how the writers played out the Ted-and-Marshall-betrayed-Barney thing. I mean, why the heck did they make Barney apologize first? Why did he apologize at all? Ugh...
So anyways, I just wrote this because this is how I wanted it to be. Picks up from the beginning of The Perfect Cocktail.]
When she sees Marshall walks up next to Zoey, Robin's eyes immediately go to Barney. He looks...pissed. Well that's expected. But there's something different in his eyes, something that she can't quite decipher.
"Not only, do you quit the job I stuck my neck out to get you, now you sabotage the project I'm in charge of?"
Robin noticed that Barney was really pissed. And that scared her. She's never seen Barney really, legitimately angry before. Robin is not a coward. But seeing Barney like this made her shrink down in her seat a little.
[and the next day]
"What kind of dirt-bag doesn't stand by his best friends but instead sides with some self-righteous bitch with a pointless cause and a megaphone?"
"Dude, that's my girlfriend. And you know what, I'm on her side now, too."
"You have got to be kidding me."
And then Robin saw the same look on Barney's eyes. Is that...disappointment?
Barney didn't come to the bar for 2-3 days. Then he showed up, and Robin noticed how disheveled he looked, compared to his usual self. Barney stopped at the bar to get a scotch then walked over and sat down on the chair at the end of the booth. Robin found herself watching him. The other three threw him a "hey" and continued on with their conversation, completely unaware of Barney's unusual appearance.
Barney was quiet most of the night, which made Robin uneasy, but everyone else seemed oblivious. At one point, their conversation turned to Ted's relationship with Zoey. "Things are just amazing now that we don't have to ignore the topic of the GNB. Actually, we've been talking about the project quite a lot!" Barney gave Ted a look of disapproval that was completely missed by the recipient. "Siding with Zoey was the best decision I've made in quite some time!"
"Shut up!" Barney snapped. Robin's eyes darted to his, her heart suddenly races. Then she realized that she hadn't heard his voice in way too long. And she realized how much she's missed his voice.
Everyone was looking at Barney now, but he didn't say anything else. He just looked down at his scotch.
Ted, getting over the initial shock, started to get upset at Barney. He went on a rant about how Barney, being his bro and best friend, should support the fact that his relationship with Zoey is going well. Barney didn't react; he just kept staring at his glass.
The lack of response created a lull among them. Lily, in an attempt to ease the awkward air around them, began telling a story about one of her kindergartners. Robin was the only one to observe that a smile was slowly creeping into Barney's face. Later on, she would wonder why she was watching Barney the whole night, but now, all she could think about is how unsettling his smile is. She watched Barney start to lift his head, looked around the booth at each one of his friends, ending at Robin; their eyes locked for a few seconds and it shocked her when she saw how sad his smile was.
"Barney?" Robin said quietly, unsure.
Now, four pairs of eyes are on Robin, questioning her.
"I just can't do this anymore. Have a great life, guys. Thanks for everything," Barney said, in a low voice, while standing up. He turned around and walked towards the exit.
"What the hell, Barney?" Ted was clearly irritated. Robin was silent, worried, her heart beating three times as fast as normal. Lily and Marshal just looked at each other, confused, grasping each other's hands. Something in Barney's tone and voice brought a chill across the booth and they fell still. Little did they know, that was the last time they would see Barney Stinson in MacLaren's bar.
"Hey," Barney greeted quietly while opening the door.
"Hey," Robin was standing awkwardly in his doorstep. "I just came by to check in on you. You seemed pretty upset last night."
"Can I come in?"
"Um..." Barney looked around. "I'm actually kinda busy right now. Some other time, maybe?"
Robin couldn't understand how much disappointment she felt by this, but she turned around and walked away.
"You know I haven't seen Barney since he walked out of here," Lily said when all four of them were at the bar. Ted and Marshall nodded and voiced their agreements. Robin didn't mention her visit to Barney's apartment. "Does anyone know if he's okay?"
"Ah, come on. He's just Barney. He's just throwing a fit because of our little fight the other day. I'm sure he'll be back here any second now." Ted waved his hand while talking, smiling.
Then Marshall offered, "yeah, but since when does Barney not show up at MacLaren's 4 days in a row?"
Ted's face fell. Lily piped in, "I think I'm gonna go to his place and see if he's okay?"
"I'll go with you!" Both Ted and Marshall said at the same time.
Lily looked at both of them, and then at Robin, and then back at the boys. "Sorry guys, I know you're worried about Barney, but if he's upset and wants to talk, I don't think all of us there would be a good idea."
Ted nodded and slouched down at the booth. Marshall gave Lily a supportive smile. "But Robin, I think you should go," Lily added. Robin gave her a surprised look, but she stood up to follow her anyway.
"I'll see you guys later!"
About thirty minutes later, Lily and Robin were standing in front of Barney's door.
"Let's hope he's not with some skank in there," Lily said, smiling, while knocking on the door.
Barney opened it a moment later. He was still wearing a shirt with a tie hanging loosely around his neck, but it looked like he's been wearing them for days.
"You look awful." Robin gave him a soft smile, and she was hurt when he didn't return it.
"So... what've you been up to, buddy?" Lily asked with a forced-cheerful voice, with a little giggle at the end.
"Um... work stuff, you know." Barney opened the door wider and stepped to the side, allowing the girls to come in.
"It's just that we haven't seen you at the bar for some time and we're worried," Lily said, sitting down at his sofa. Robin followed her actions.
"You're worried?" Barney scoffed.
Robin grimaced at his reaction. "Yeah, and we missed you!"
Barney didn't say anything. He was leaning with his back against his kitchen island, looking at the direction of his guests. Robin studied his expression but learned nothing.
After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, Barney stood up and walked forwards. "Look, guys, I'm flattered that you guys came and checked in on me, but I'm fine. I've just been busy with work. And I'm still busy, in fact, so if you don't mind..."
"Oh..." Lily quiet for a moment, before continuing, "Barney, you know you can always talk to me, right? To us, I mean." Lily waved her hand between her and Robin and Robin nods.
"I know, but I don't really have anything to talk about." Barney was walking towards the door to open it, and Lily and Robin followed him. "I'll talk to you guys soon, okay?"
"Come down to the bar some time soon, Barney." Lily stole a hug when passing him at the door. Robin just gave him a small smile and a wave.
Barney smirked, "well with Ted and Marshall quitting GNB, I got a ton of extra work to do."
Robin was aware that Barney's smile didn't reach his eyes. And she couldn't force herself to smile a real smile.
[End of part 1]
I was actually planning to have everything in one part only but it's 2.30 a.m. and I don't know where to go from here. I kinda have an ending of this story but I haven't figured out how to get from here to there.
Anyways, this was my first (and maybe last, since I'm not really a writer, more a reader) fanfiction. I really hope you enjoy it, but don't hesitate to point out that I suck! I won't be offended, honest!
I do realize that, in reading so many HIMYM fics, that most writers notice all the small details from the show. I would like to apologize if I got the characters completely wrong or if I've made glaring mistakes about the HIMYM canon. But reviews or comments would be greatly appreciated! Let me know if you like it, and let me know if you hate it ;)
Hoping to post part 2 in a day or two.