It was the day before Superbowl Sunday. Vikings versus the Steelers. Upon hearing his favourite team was playing, Marshall decided to finally take his son to somewhere he'd wanted to take him for awhile; his father's grave. Lily worried about her husband when he told her this. He hadn't been to his father's grave in years and she feared it might bring up the emotions he'd been trying his best to shove away. Marvin was about 4 and him and his dad had the same relationship as Marshall did with his dad. Marvin idolized Marshall, although Marshall was completely unaware of this.
"Now, you're sure you don't want me to come with you guys?" Lily asked her husband as he finished packing.
"No, it's fine. It'll give me some father son bonding time." Marshall answered.
"I just want to make sure you're okay with going out there by yourself."
"I won't be by myself. And I'm okay Lil, really. It's been almost six years."
"But you and your dad were so close, I just don't want you to get upset around Marvin. You're his hero sweetie, if your heart breaks so does his."
"I'll be fine."
"You ready to go daddy?!" Marvin burst through the door and began jumping up and down on his parents bed. Marshall had to grab his shoulders to calm him down.
"Almost buddy! Why don't you do me a big favour and go make sure you have your jersey. Ok? Go!" Marvin left as quickly as he had came in. Lily gave her 'worried mom look' to Marshall. "We'll be fine."
"Okay." She said. Marshall grabbed his bag and carried it out to their living room, Marvin waiting anxiously on the couch, Vikings jersey in hand.
"You ready buddy?!" Marshall asked his son with a smile on his face.
"Yes!" Marvin screamed, jumped off the couch and ran out the door. "Bye mommy!"
"I'll call you when we get there." Marshall said, kissing Lily.
"I love you Marshmellow." She grinned.
"You too Lilypad" He said and left.
Ted had been quite busy himself, he and his wife had just welcomed their daughter, Leia, a few months prior. Ted's wife had already gone back to work, Ted being a volunteer stay-at-home dad. She had a conference out of town for the weekend, making Ted a little more nervous than usual. He decided to call in back up. Barney agreed to come over, Robin spending the weekend with Lily once Marshall and Marvin left for their trip.
Barney wasn't Ted's first choice. Maybe third or fourth. But with Marshall out of town, and being stuck at home all day with a screaming baby, Ted needed a bro. Someone who could help him cut loose.
"Ted Evelyn Mosby, this weekend is gonna be legen, wait for it…" Barney began.
"Dairy, got it. Yeah I can pick it up later. Love you too, bye." Ted hung up the phone to see Barney standing at his doorway, six pack of beer in either hand. "I'm sorry what were you saying?"
"Nothing. You want one?" Barney offered, Ted nodded and Barney handed him a beer then taking one himself. "So where is it?"
"You know the kid thing."
"My daughter? She's sleeping."
"It's so weird to hear you say that word. 'Daughter.' It doesn't sound right."
"Well, it feels right."
"Ugh, don't start lactating on me Mosby." Barney said and took a big sip of beer.
"I can't believe neither you or Robin want kids."
"It's just such an amazing thing. I mean, it's you and the person you love the most as one whole person. You get to see everything you love be passed onto them, watch them laugh at everything, which will honestly melt your heart. Even Barney Stinson can't think a baby's laugh is the cutest thing in the world."
"Well, I don't, Ted. Now drop it."
"I was just saying."
"This isn't your place to say anything!"
"Barney I didn't mean to piss you off. Is everything okay with Robin?"
"Everything's fine with Robin, it's me. Things at work have been so stressful and she's been so great through it all, I mean the woman does everything. But I feel like we need time away, like just us two together for a while, I can't remember the last time we even had a weekend together."
"Hey, look, if you wanna go spend time with your wife, I get it. You don't have to stay if you don't want to."
"Nah, she said she'd have a girl's night with Lily."
"What's been going on at work that's been keeping you so late?"
"Oh, you know."
"No, I don't Barney, we don't even know what your job is."
"Just a bunch of lawsuits and paperwork and illegal trade, the usual."
Ted looks at Barney, confused. What did he even do for a living? This thought was interrupted by Leia screaming. Ted gets up and heads towards his daughters room, Barney trailing behind. Ted walks over to Leia's crib and picks her up, slowly rocking her back and forth until she falls back asleep. Ted doesn't place her back in the crib, instead he continues looking at his daughter, unable to fathom just how much he loves her. Barney stares at them, letting his mind wander.
Lily sits on the couch, flipping through channels as she waits for Robin to come over with food and alcohol. She checks her phone constantly, waiting to hear from Marshall. She knew it'd still be awhile before they were in Minnesota but she was a mother, she worried. Robin bursts through the door, a bag of Chinese food in her hand. Lily gets up to help her.
"You forgot the drinks." Lily remarked.
"Oh, shit, sorry about that Lil, my mind is all over lately." Robin replied.
"Is everything okay?" Lily asked concerned for her friend.
"Yeah, everything's fine, just haven't had much time alone with barney lately if you know what I mean." Robin replied.
"Oh, you could've stayed at home with him, I wouldn't have minded."
"Ted asked him to help baby-sit Leia earlier, and it's fine, we haven't really hung out just the two of us for awhile."
"Yeah, we haven't, it's nice. If you want I think Marshall has a few beers in the fridge, I'm sure he wouldn't mind."
"Actually, I'm good for now, just wanna eat this Chinese food, smelled amazing the whole way over."
Marshall and Marvin were only a couple hours into their roadtrip, Marvin sat in the back playing some sort of gaming device, Marshall keeping his eyes on the road, occasionally staring back at his son. He thought about the trips he'd gone on with his dad when he was Marvin's age, all the great memories he had with his dad made him hope that someday his son would feel the same way about their memories. He still missed his dad, though over the years the pain had gotten more bearable he knew he'd never get over his father's death, he prayed Marvin wouldn't have to experience death the way he did, no warning, no time to prepare, then again, would that really have helped? He shook these ideas out of his mind quickly, not wanting to think about Marvin losing him.
"Barney? Barney?" Ted called, Barney lost in his own thoughts.
"Oh, what?" Barney said, coming back to reality.
"You okay, you kinda spaced out on me."
"Yeah, just thinking I guess."
"What about?" Ted asked, Barney stayed silent and looked away, not feeling like Ted really wanted to know what was bothering him but instead looking to see what he'd fucked up now. "Barney, I'm your best friend, you can tell me."
"Did you, I am, really?" Barney stuttered, in all the years he'd known Ted whenever Barney had even mentioned in the slightest that he, not Marshall, was Ted's best friend, Ted had never admitted it.
"Yeah, really." Ted confirmed, Barney sighed before he spoke.
"When you were with Robin, did it ever bother you that she didn't want kids?"
"Um, yeah, but that's because I always saw kids in my future, I felt like the whole time we were dating that was my blind spot, she'd told me from the start what she wanted and I feel like I just took in what I wanted to hear. Why?"
"Lately, I've been kinda, sorta, maybe thinking about the possibility of having a kid."
"Barney!" Ted screamed in shock.
"It's not like I want a dozen, just one, maybe."
"Have you talked to Robin at all, I feel like she'd be kind of important in the scenario."
"Well, no, but I don't even know if it is something I really want and I don't wanna stress her out or make her panic if I'm not even sure. Whenever the topic has come up before she'd acted weird and changed the subject as fast as she could."
"Do you think she's hiding something?"
"I wasn't sure at first but now I'm thinking there's something she's not telling me, I want to ask but I don't know how to bring it up without pissing her off or upsetting her. I don't know what to say anymore I feel like everything I say is wrong lately."
"I thought you said everything was okay with you two."
"It is but it isn't, like we're not getting into fights about anything I just feel like she's hiding something, there have been times where she'll go to tell me something then say it's nothing. I'm worried there's something wrong."
"You gotta be honest with her Barney, if she is keeping something from you there's probably a reason for it, but if it's bothering you like this you have to ask about it. I don't care if it's weird or awkward. It's weird and awkward seeing you like this."
Meanwhile, Lily and Robin were having a similar discussion.
"So, how's work?" Lily asked.
"Since when do you ask about my job?" Robin snapped. She wasn't trying to sound like a bitch it's just no one other than Barney actually cared about how work was going. "What do you really wanna know?"
"What up with you lately? Everything okay with Barney?"
"Yeah. I mean I guess. I don't know."
"Sweetie, you want to talk about it?" Lily asked concerned.
"Things at work haven't been great for him, he's been spending nights there and I'm not worried he's cheating or anything, I just feel like he's trying to get away from me and I'm scared that I'm right and I don't know what to do." Robin buried her face in her hands, trying to hide that fact she was crying.
"Robin, Barney loves you more than anything, why would you think something like that?"
"Because even when he's home it's weird between us. It feels like he's itching to say something and then chickens out at the last second, not that I'm any better."
"What have you been trying to tell him."
"He still doesn't know I can't have kids."