Here it is! The final chapter. I'm so sorry it took me ages to finish and post this. Things got busy, I started writing other things, and for a brief time, could not access my account. Also, as I was re-reading this fic I realized it was a lot more cheesy than I had meant for it to be. Barney and Robin are my OTP and I just have a lot of emotions, so I apologize in advance if it is too romantic or anything. Anyways, I really hope it is worth the wait. Please review and let me know what you think.
Summer's face turned to a mixture of shock and anger that was, well unpleasant. The entire audience looked shocked and confused and intrigued, in the way one does while watching a movie with a twist ending. None of that mattered though, right now, it was one of those many times when my eyes were on Barney and only Barney. No one else mattered.
There was a pause, it was one of those pauses where everyone's eyes were on the same person, clinging to every word, waiting to see what would happen next.
"Robin and I are in love. And this, all of this, it was me running away from the fact that I love her more than words can describe. Robin, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I gave up on us, I'm sorry that this almost killed you. You have no idea." I could hear pain in his voice, mixed with confidence. He wasn't unsure of himself at all, not that he ever was, but I could hear that from the bottom of his heart, he really was sorry. "I was scared and I messed up and I was an idiot to believe that I could ever stop loving you. And I realize now that no matter what happens I will always love you. Nothing can change that."
I didn't know how to respond, I opened my mouth to try and say something but only air came out. I couldn't believe my ears.
He turned to Summer, "Summer, I'm sorry. You're wonderful and beautiful and I'm sorry for wasting your time. I feel terrible for what I've done but I can't be with you, it's not fair to you. It never was and all I can say is that I'm sorry."
She was speechless. I didn't blame her, because I was too. He looked back at me.
"Robin, say something."
All eyes were on me, waiting to hear what I had to say. There was so much tension in the room I could barely breathe.
"You're an idiot." I said softly, "Are you sure about this?
He didn't say anything back. He just walked towards me and kissed me. He kissed me more passionately than he should've. I was aware of the dirty looks people were giving me, I didn't need to see them to know. I was the bitch who got between the happy couple. Summer would be- was furious. And I didn't care about any of that, the only thing I cared about was the fact that after all this time, it was worth it. It was worth it to finally have his lips against mine, warmth filled through me and every bad feeling, every bit of pain was washed away and replaced with passion and happiness and warmth.
"I'm sure." He smiled.
For a moment everything was perfect. And then reality hit us hard. Barney realized this too.
"What the fuck is this?" Summer yelled, "Some big, show so you could get Robin back? What was I to you Barney? This is my wedding, our wedding, and all of a sudden you're choosing her? Why couldn't you have figured this shit out earlier?"
He sighed, this was far from over. "I said I'm sorry, I messed up. I know that. I'm sorry it took me until now to realize I can't marry you."
"Why not? I thought you loved me? But instead you've just been having some secret affair with this slut?" She was beginning to cry, and clearly close to slapping him at this point.
"I didn't have an affair. And she isn't a slut. Summer, it's not that I don't love you, but, I can't marry you. I did this, all of this, for the wrong reasons."
"Just tell me… did you cheat on me with her?"
"I kissed her, once. That was all that happened, I swear."
Summer's makeup had transformed from flawless to an absolute mess, streaks of mascara ran down her cheeks, blush and foundation were rapidly being washed away. "You kissed her? I can't believe I trusted you! I can't believe I was even okay with her coming!" she screamed, storming out angrily.
I felt horrible. Wonderful and warm and happy, but guilty and terrified at the same time. I felt bad for Summer. Despite how awful she'd been to me, I could see the pain in her eyes, and I knew it was because of me. Everyone else was too shocked to say a word. I figured this was the best time, if any, to get the hell out of here. I rushed to the nearest door, Barney not far behind. I couldn't deal with the amount of tension in the room right now.
I entered a small room inside the church, Barney at my side. I shut the door and sat down, finally taking a moment to breathe.
"Now what?" We both desperately wanted to rip each other's clothes off, and it would happen soon, I was sure of that much, but there were things we needed to discuss… a lot actually, and I was still too shocked and breathless to process what had just happened, let alone talk about it.
So, whether it would happen before or after sex, was something we'd figure out pretty soon.
Neither of us spoke right away, I was just trying to take it all in. Again, it was he who broke the silence.
"We could talk about… this. Or, or…" he grinned, kissing me the same way he had in the chapel, yet somehow more passionately, he wasn't holding back anymore.
I hated being the one to pull away, "Look, Barney, I really want to, but maybe we should talk. Or drink, or both. I'm still recovering from what happened in there.'
He sighed, and the realization that maybe this wasn't as easy, wasn't just a simple, fairy-tale ending seemed to sink in. It was silly though, because we should've understood that by now.
"So am I," he admitted, "MacLaren's?"
"Sounds good." We got as far away from the church as fast as possible, hoping nobody would see us. We hailed a cab and went straight to the bar.
"Barney, I need to ask. Did you plan that?"
"No. It was, kind of a spur of the moment thing."
"What do you mean?"
"Before, you could've called off the wedding but you chose her. Why, all of a sudden, what changed?"
"I guess I just realized that, I can't keep running from this. This thing between us, whether I'm with her or any other woman on the planet, it'll always be there. I thought that the marriage would change things, but I'm done trying."
"So you don't regret it?" I asked nervously, knowing that these sort of spontaneous decisions often ended in regret. I don't think I could handle him waking up one morning and realizing that it was a mistake.
"Picking me over her…"
"I regret that I didn't do it sooner."
This made me smile. A real, genuine smile. And for the first time I really could see how much he loved me, and it didn't hurt. I leaned in and kissed him, which I knew we'd be doing a lot of in the next little bit, to make up for all the time that we weren't. I was reminded of what it felt like, to have his warm body pressed up against mine, his hands caressing my hair. Even his scent intoxicated me, I have no idea how I survived so long without his touch.
"So, now what?" He asked, staring down at his drink, "What does this mean for us?"
"What do you want it to mean?" I asked.
"I want you. I want to be with you." He said with more confidence than I had ever heard in his voice. "Is that- is that what you want?"
"Yes. I don't know. I mean, we tried this. And if I lost you again, I don't know what I would do. I can't do that again."
He looked down, "You won't lose me. You never will, Robin, I promise. I will never hurt you again."
"You broke my heart. And, I want to be with you, so badly. I just don't know if I'm ready to trust you yet." It all came out more harshly, with more anger, than I had intended. "I'm sorry, I'm just, I haven't completely recovered…"
"No, I understand. Don't be sorry, I hurt you. If there is anything I can do to even begin to make it up to you…"
"There isn't. You don't need to, I'm not mad at you. I'm just afraid. I don't want to screw things up again."
"Look, I love you. And I'm pretty sure that you love me too. That's never going to change, I know that now. The way I see it, even if things do get screwed up, we just, we can't give up this time."
I didn't respond, I just smiled, and he smiled back.
"Okay?" He asked.
"Oh I forgot something… here." He pulled a neatly folded piece of paper from his suit pocket, sliding it across the table. "I guess I don't need to carry it around anymore."
My writing, which was messy to begin with, was barely readable anymore. The words had blurred together and the paper seemed to have been stained with tears. Only a few letters were legible at this point.
"You kept it?"
"You can't even read it anymore."
"I know what it says."
"I'm sorry." I said after a pause. "I'm sorry that this was all I left. I owed you a proper goodbye. I can't believe how selfish…"
"I was selfish too. And this note, it was something. Turn it over." He said with a smile.
I obeyed, to find more barely legible writing scribbled on the back.
"I felt like a total Ted when I did that." He admitted with a laugh, "but I had to. I thought I lost you and there was so much I wanted to say. I didn't think I'd see you again."
I couldn't remember when all of this became so serious, when we both became so openly emotional, when we could be honest and romantic without joking. A little while ago, it was nothing but scotch and cigars and laser tag and sex. And somewhere along the line, everything changed. I missed when things were easier, before there was so much pain involved and before I would have rather died than live without him. I couldn't figure out what the hell had happened to me, to him even. All I knew is we couldn't stop it, couldn't reverse it, or fight it. We had gone insane, and for the first time in a long time, it was okay. The insanity and messiness didn't seem so bad when I was with him. And, as I read is response, I knew that that would never change.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean for any of this to happen. Seeing what it's done to you has destroyed me. I realize now that it was a mistake, and a mistake that I'm stuck with. I shouldn't have ran away. And now, I don't know if I'll have a chance to run back. Even if I did, it'd be wrong, wouldn't it? We do have terrible timing. I truly want what's best for you. I don't care what you say, because I know that this whole thing is my fault, and I'd take it all back in a heartbeat if it meant you'd be okay. I just want you to be okay. I love you so damn much. I will always love you.