He looked at her across the booth, using every ounce of energy he had not to smile. Damn, she was beautiful. Of course this kind of thinking was strictly forbidden for Barney Stinson. In fact, feelings themselves were forbidden. He tried to distract himself by looking at the blond girl at the bar. She looked stupid, like really stupid. And she was at least a C cup. So why didn't he want to go talk to her? She was hot and gullible, exactly his type. He looked back at Robin. What was happening to him?

Barney thought back to when this all began; it had all started with a phone call…

"Go for Barney"

The call was from Lily. "Hey Barney, listen I have something to tell you…

Of Course! He launched into his usual, perverted self. "OH boy here we go, I've been waiting for this one. You talked to robin, she told you what's under the hood and you wanna take it for a spin yourself." Hehe he smiled, he knew this day would come.

"Not even if you boiled it in detergent." Damn. Did she have to seem so disgusted? Who was he kidding? It's Lily. She continued talking "It's about Ted…"

"Ted?" Barney did his best to sound appalled, "Ted, my former best friend who I asked you never to mention to me again?"

"Yea, he's been in a car accident he's at Saint Anthony's hospital, everything's…." Barney hung up the phone. He couldn't believe it. Ted was in an accident. He had to get down there right away.

He looked at the other business people in the room with him. "My best friend needs me."

Barney ran out of his office as fast as he could. Maybe he and Ted weren't friends anymore, but he couldn't just sit through his meeting and pretend that is former bro wasn't in the hospital. Finally he made it there; it was just across the street. He started to run and right when he thought he had made it he felt the harsh impact of a bus hitting him against his body and before he could even feel any real pain everything went black and he lost consciousness.

A lot happened when his panic-stricken friends, and Ted of course, rushed to his side in the hospital, but all that really matters is that it ended in him and Ted revisiting their old friendship.

So him and Ted we're bros again. Barney didn't want to admit it, but he had missed Ted. Of course he was just as awesome without him. And he was still getting laid regularly, but he missed having a wingman. He had called everybody he knew looking for a new bro, even Robin. Robin was a good bro. And on top of that she was hot. He thought back to the first time they had hung out, just the two of them…

It was an awesome night, they smoked cigars, played laser tag, and damn she was good, and went to McLaren's where Robin had helped him score a hot chick. Of course, he didn't go home with her, either they all scored or none of them did. It was written right in the bro code. So they went back to Robin's apartment to play "battleship". Barney frowned as he thought back to this part of the night. He had attempted to get her into bed, but she had ruined everything by telling him she still had a thing for Ted. He understood, but he couldn't help but be disappointed. He sighed and got back to reality.

The hospital room seemed so cold and empty once his friends had left. So Barney decided to reminisce back to the best night of his life. The one he would now do anything to relive. The night he slept with Robin. It all started at the bar…

He had found her crying after being dumped by her loser boyfriend, Simon. He told her about just how lame she used to be and how awesome she was now. And she was awesome. And then something amazing happened.

"Barney, do you wanna go back to my place?" She asked.

His jaw had dropped as she whispered in his ear and before he knew it he was sitting on her couch, trying to hide his excitement. It was finally going to happen! I should explain. When Robin had first introduced Simon to the rest of the gang something had come out. There was another robin sparkles video. And he was about to watch it.

It was amazing. The night couldn't possibly have ended better than this. But then it did. After watching the "Sandcastles in the Sand" video numerous times Barney and Robin, kissed, which lead to other things. Of course Barney was used to having sex. In fact, he had had sex many, MANY times. With MANY different women. He'd had some pretty amazing sex. But he'd never experienced anything like this before.

Sleeping with Robin meant something. He actually cared about her. Of course, Barney hadn't realized this yet, but it was true. She was more than a one-night stand, more than just another number. She was Robin Scherbatsky.

Anyways, the most important moment of all was the moment when Barney realized that he loved Robin. It might sound cheesy, in fact Barney may have thrown up in his mouth a little when he thought back to this, but the teeny tiny amount of time, that fraction of a second from when the bus hit him to when he blacked out, he only thought of one person… Robin. He saw her face, her smile. He thought of her and that's when he realized how much she meant to him.

Barney sighed. When his friends had left Marshall and Lily had joked about all the things he might have seen right before the accident. "Boobs" "Scotch" "Money" "Suits". He couldn't blame them, most of the time he was that guy, but it was something Marshall had said after all this that really made him think… "I guess that's pretty much all you love right?" Was that all he loved? Or was there something else. Someone else…

Barney snapped back to reality. Whoa, he just realized he was having a flashback to a bunch of flashbacks, or something. He should invent a word for that… anyways, he'd think of it later.

"Hey Barney you ok? You haven't said anything for like 5 minutes you've just been staring into space."

"Yea, I was just uh" he thought, "thinking about what that I'm going to say to that chick over by the bar. STINSON OUT!" He got up and walked over to the girl. As he did he couldn't help but notice Robin's smile. He loved the way she smiled whenever he said something like that. He loved how she understood him. It felt like the entire gang just thought of him as some disgusting, womanizing joke, and they had a right to, but Robin could relate to him. She was afraid of commitment too. And it felt good for Barney to know he wasn't alone.

He didn't want to keep this to himself. He hadn't felt this way in a long time, and he wasn't sure how to deal with it. He looked at Lily. She was a good friend, in fact she only hot girl that he had never attempted to bang, even after knowing her all these years. And she was a hopeless romantic AND just happened to be best friend with Robin. If Barney was going to tell somebody about the way he felt, Lily was his best bet.

The next morning he called her over prepared to spill everything out to her.

"I think I'm in love with Robin." He told her.

Barney had never seen Lily look this shocked, for the entire time he had known her. The look on her face was as if he had just said… well exactly what he said.

"I don't believe it, I thought you called me over here to un-cuff you from your sex swing again, but you're in love?" her eyes widened. "That is so sweet!" she smiled excitedly, it was if her little boy was having his first crush.

"It's not sweet" Barney shivered, as if it was anything but sweet, perhaps the most disgusting thing in the world. "It's like a disease. I slept with Robin once and I caught… feelings." he looked at lily "I caught feelings bad. I used protection and everything" he said with a look of pure fear and helplessness.

Lily went into classic kindergarten teacher mode "oh, Barney, You don't catch feelings, you just have them. And they're good" she said happily, he was finally learning.

"They're terrible!" he said with a mix of disgust, and terror, "I can't eat, I can't sleep, she's all I think about, I close my eyes, I see robin, I-I hear a song, it reminds me of robin," he's interrupted by a blond girl in a towel greeting him "morning" in that voice so many bimbos have. "I sleep with that chick" he gestures to her " I'm thinking about robin!"

Lily's face turns to one of confusion, "you love her." Just when she thought he had changed those perverted ways of his… "Barney, how can you be in love and still be sleeping with anything that moves." She is genuinely disappointed.

Now Barney was the confused one, "I'm sorry I don't follow you. That's like saying how can an ant carry twenty times its body weight but root beer floats are still delicious. Are the two even related?" he shakes his head. This enrages Lily. Why, why, WHY does Barney have to turn back to his old ways, every time he has a chance at happiness. Why does he have to be so scared of commitment?

"Barney you're going to have to stop screwing around if you're gonna be robins boyfriend." She lectures.

Barney stops rubbing his arm, a look of pure shock goes across his face quickly before he turns around.

"woah, woah, woah!" he said with a smile, as if she had suggested the most outrageous thing in the world, which in his mind, she had, "haha, boyfriend, I don't think so," he says backing up. I don't wanna be robins 'boyfriend'"

"Well, what do you want then?"

That was a good question, one he'd been asking himself this entire time. What did he want? He loved Robin, but was he really willing to put aside his entire lifestyle for her? Or was that really what it was about? Of course it wasn't. He decided to go with the most honest answer he could.

"I don't know" he whines " I just wanna be with her, all the time. I wanna hear about her day, tell her about mine, I wanna hold her hand, smell her hair, pph but I don't wanna be her stupid boyfriend." It was amazing how fast he could go from all dreamy to 'cool guy'.

"Barney, what you just described is a relationship, between a boyfriend and a girlfriend." Lily told him before adding, "And a pretty clingy one at that."

He walks towards her "Lily, are you gonna help me out with this or not?" he begs.

She smiles, "I'm a kindergarten teacher, I see a confused little kid in the corner, trying to eat the lefty scissors," she shrugs "I gotta help the poor little bastard, but only if he stops sleeping around. Deal?"

Barney looks a bit annoyed but agrees. "deal."

When Barney arrived at the restaurant with Lily he expected it to be a normal evening with the gang. He'd make some inappropriate jokes about that busty waitress over there, maybe even run a play on her, go back to her place and have some fun. He had to admit it was a weird place for the gang to meet up. He had been here many times with numerous girls he was trying to hook up with, but it didn't make sense hanging out with his four best friends here. Ted must've set it up, damn it why did Ted have to be so pretentious?

When he enters the restaurant he notices Robin sitting alone at a table and looks at lily "wait, where are the boys, I thought this was a group thing."

"Yea, I lied. They're not coming, and I'm about to leave."

"Why?" Oh who was he kidding? He knew the answer.

She pulls him by his arm excitedly, "Because, they're not in love with Robin. And neither am I. I mean, she's great, and sweet, I'm not gonna pretend I haven't noticed her body" wait was lily… never mind. "but, this is off topic, Good Luck!" "Wait, wait, I can't do this, shell never take me seriously. She thinks I'm some womanizing idiot." He pleaded.

Lily takes the defensive "Hey. We both know you're more than that. Kay, just show Robin the Barney I met the other day."

He looks over at robin, "you mean the annoying, touchy-feely, she-male that sounds alarmingly close to ted."

"Well, hey, ted hit that for over a year."

"wish me luck" he says, seeing this situation in a whole new light.

Or maybe not, he thinks as he nears the table. There was no way Robin would take him seriously. Lily's last words to him had been comforting. If a snobbish, not-so-well-dressed girly-girl like Ted could score a chick like Robin, then this wouldn't be a problem for the Barnacle. But he was nervous, what if this was his only chance with the girl of his dreams? What if he messed it up? Not to mention there was a part of him that kept saying "What the hell are you doing? This isn't you! Your Barney Stinson, you don't fall in love. Everyday more and more hot, young, stupid chicks enter McLaren's bar and where will you be? In a … relationship? Don't become a Ted!" but the other half of him was saying this, "Robin is the perfect women. And if you… god forbid…. Were in a relationship, you'd want it to be her. She's everything you're afraid to let yourself want and if you lose her you will never forgive yourself." He decided to listen to the second half.

Robin was a bit confused when her best friend, Lily, had set her up on a date with Barney Stinson. Sure, she had slept with him the one time, and he was amazing, but they all knew that there wasn't a woman on this earth who could get him to commit. They were just good friends, that's what Robin told herself as she stepped into the restaurant. She remembered what it was like to sleep with him. She would never admit it to another human being, but it was the best sex she ever had. After all those one-night-stands, it only made sense he would know what he was doing. She sat down at the table, her surroundings looked fancy, a bit romantic, and she wondered what she was doing here. When Barney came over there was a bit of an awkward silence.

Barney pours some wine " So robin, tell me about your day. And not just what happened. How you felt about it." He was trying so hard.

"What?" Off to a weird start…

"I'm not looking to problem-solve, I'm just looking to listen."

"Why are you acting like this?" Robin thought out loud.

"Like what?"

"Your being super nice… it's freaking me out. Be gross, be inappropriate, be Barney.

"Uh, I am being Barney. And I think tonight's going to be de-wait for it-lightful. Delightful!"

What was happening to him? He was not being himself, it was a little scary. He was usually so, so Barney. She needed to bring him back… "So I went to the dentist today, that guy drilled me. He drilled me hard!" Oh my god why is he just smiling so pleasantly through all this, his jaw should be dropping he should be laughing or making dirty comebacks, "He filled all my cavities. Come on man!"

"Well your teeth look fantastic." He replied.

"Who are you?" she exclaimed.

Barney went on to explain that he didn't want to be that guy, that he had another side to him. Although the dinner was more than a little confusing, it turned out to be a nice night after all. She wasn't sure whether or not she liked the new Barney, but he obviously made an effort to be nice to her. And she owed him for that much. "Hey, your name's April, right?" She asked their waitress. "I'm Robin."

"Hello." She said with a smile, "How was your date?"

"Date? Oh my god… no you don't understand. Barney and I are just friends. Although, word of advice, he does know what he's doing if you know what I mean" , Yes! Her plan was working. Barney was going to love her for this.

"Oh really?" The waitress was interested. "You know he is pretty cute." She said with a little smile in Barney's direction.

"Yea, if he wasn't my friend I would go all sorts of crazy on him. Plus, he's a New York Yankee! Isn't that so cool?" Robin did her best to sound enthusiastic, but hey, for all she knew Barney was a baseball player. In all the time she had known him, he had never actually told her what his job was.

"Oh my God! I've always wanted to know a Yankee! I'd just love to have a guy hit a goal for me during a game, it's so sweet when they do in the movies." Wow, this chick was dumb, as if any of those big romantic gestures happened in real life. Well, except with Ted, but there was NO WAY Barney would ever do anything like that.

"Do you want me to introduce him to you? I'm sure you guys would hit it off really well." Robin offered. April replied with an excited nod.

So here he was, bringing home another meaningless bimbo, when all he really wanted was to bring home Robin.

"Look Barney, I've had a really long shift, and I need to have some fun, so why don't we skip the foreplay." April said very, very seductively.

Without another word Barney walked over to her and began to unbutton her blouse while pulling her in for a kiss. Like all the kisses he'd had since his night with Robin, it felt like nothing. It was just so routine, nothing special. As he continued to kiss her he closed his eyes. You see, Barney had still been sleeping around just as much as usual lately, maybe even more. He told himself that it was to get over his whole "in love with Robin" phase but the truth was that he did it so that when he was with some random chick, he could close his eyes and pretend it was Robin. He could pretend it was her lush body he was pressed against, her screams echoing through his apartment, her hair that he was running his fingers through. The hard part was when he opened his eyes he was faced with the reality that it wasn't Robin that he was on, under, or sometimes behind. And that reality killed him.

He moved his mouth slowly from her lips to her neck. As he pressed his face against her he couldn't help but mouth the word "Robin" against what should have been Robin's skin. He wished it was Robin. Oh, how he wished this was Robin.

The next morning while… what was her name again? Didn't it start with an A? Yes, ok, let's just call her Amy. So, the next morning while Amy was getting dressed, Barney called Lily over to tell him about his evening with Robin.

After telling Lily about the date, which had caused her to walk out dismissively in disgust, Barney was finally able to drop the act. Why was he so afraid to admit the truth? To his friends, to Robin, to himself? It's not like he could hide it anymore. He had to stop pretending. Deep down he knew that he loved Robin, almost like he had loved Shannon. Shannon had nothing on Robin of course, but she was his first love. His first love who had turned him into the womanizing, suit-wearing, guy he turned into and has been hiding behind all these years. The scary part was that Robin was so much more amazing than Shannon had been. Robin was perfect, he loved her more than he had ever loved anybody before, which is why he knew that if she broke his heart then it would never heal again and he would become someone much, much worse.

So he did something that he had been doing a bit too much lately. He reached for the remote to his 600 inch television, and turned it on, just to see her face. And it made him smile. Her face made him smile like nobody else's could. He wanted to take her into his arms and never let her go. To run his fingers through her thick, brown hair and to finally tell her that she was the only one that could make him feel so in love. He couldn't. He can't. Barney Stinson doesn't fall in love. And with a click of his finger the screen went dark. Oh, Robin.