A/N; This is the last and final chapter, basically a more dramatic version of what could've happened after hiatus. Please R&R and I hope you enjoy it J
He placed the ring down where he'd found it and poured himself a tall glass of scotch. He slept on the couch that night, fearing the thought of not falling asleep without his fiancée beside him.
Robin had been staying at a hotel for the past few nights. She knew if she went back to her apartment Barney would come and bang on the door until she opened it or it caved in. no one knew what was going on between the two of them, knowing Barney he would prolong telling the guys as long as he could, not wanting to hurt his pride. He probably bragged to them about all the sex they would've had if the Playbook had been burnt in the first place.
Over the past few months, she'd grown accustomed to fiddling with her engagement ring when she was nervous. She almost felt naked with out it weighing down her whole left arm. It had become such a big part of her identity in such a small amount of time.
She spent her nights tossing and turning more so than actually sleeping. She waited for a phone call or a text message, just some form of communication from him. When she thought of him coming home to her ring and the note she left, it made her stomach turn. She only had a the slightest tinge of regret which was masked by the hurt she felt.
Her phone buzzed on the table beside her. She leapt for it as it did. It was a voicemail from Ted asking where she was. She sighed and threw the phone back onto the table, not bothering to answer.
"She's not answering." Ted said to Barney as he hung up his phone.
"Dammit! Well, thanks for trying, bro." Barney sighed.
"So, what are you going to do?"
"I don't know Ted, I really don't. I'm so stupid, I knew I shouldn't have gone with you guys."
"You think that's why she left? Barney, she left because you lied about a HUGE part in your relationship."
"I don't understand why it upset her. I mean I do, but not to this extent. I think I'm just going to go home, in case she comes home, you know?" Barney said and left. Ted pulled out his phone.
Ted waited for Marshall to meet him. He lived upstairs, what could be taking him so long? When Marshall finally entered the bar, he walked over to Ted with a concerned look on his face. Ted told Marshall about what was going on with Barney and Robin.
"Why are you telling me all this Ted?" Marshall asked.
"This could be my last chance to get Robin back. Last time you told me to be selfish, and I didn't and she ended up engaged."
"Ted, you know I've always rooted for you to be happy, but you can't sabotage Barney like this man. This is a fight, not a break up. It would be like if you went after Lily when we "broke up" for that one summer. She loves Barney, you gotta let her go. But, knowing you, if you do go after her, don't make it obvious, and let her tell you about what she thinks. And don't come to me like and act like a wounded solider she doesn't reciprocate."
Barney stared at his phone for what seemed like hours. He just needed to know she was okay, that nothing had happened. Then maybe he could fall asleep without downing aspirin with a glass of scotch. He picked up his phone and dialled her number. Voicemail, of course. He left a brief message, without an apology. If he were to apologize, although he doesn't know why he would just yet, it would be in person.
Robin replayed the voicemail over and over, the words imprinting in her brain. All he said was he missed her and hoped she was okay. She could hear the heartbreak in his voice, hers breaking more and more each time she heard it. As she placed her phone down, finally, it rang again. She answered it without reading the ID.
"Hello?" she answered. Shit!
"Robin? It's Ted, where are you?" Ted responded.
"Listen, Ted, I really don't feel like talking right now, there's been some stuff going on between me and Barney and it's ju-"
"I know, he told me." Ted sighed, "he's really worried about you."
"H-he told you? What did he say?"
"Is it really that important?"
"No, I guess not. If I tell you where I'm staying, promise you won't tell him." He agreed to the term and she gave him the address of where she was staying.
Ted wasn't sure what to do after he was given the address. He was torn between telling Barney and fighting for Robin one last time. He loved her, but in what way? Sure, he had given up Victoria to be friends with Robin, but if he really loved her, would he have even thought about it? Wouldn't it have been an easier decision than it had been? Then again, he remembered the night Barney sent him the message saying the two of them were engaged. He decided to go see Barney. He couldn't justify the reasoning behind it, but he felt it would put his mind at ease.
Barney answered the door almost immediately, thinking it was Robin, almost calling Ted by her name. he invited Ted in and offered him a drink. Ted refused, worried it would somehow cloud his already hazy judgement. He sat on the couch, thinking of what to say.
"I got a hold of Robin." He blurted out. Why did he do that?! Barney's head almost flew off his shoulder's his head spun around so fast.
"You did? What did she say?" Barney asked, eagerly.
"She asked if I could go over." Liar.
"Why you?" Barney snapped. "Sorry, but, do you have any idea why?"
"No, she just said she really wanted to talk to me." STOP IT MOSBY! He's gonna catch on, you're a horrible liar.
"Oh, okay, can you give her something for me?"
"Yeah, of course, what?"
Barney left the room for no more than a minute and brought out a big brown envelope.
"Whatever you do, don't open it."
"Okay? It's not explosive is it?" Ted joked. Barney didn't seem to get the joke. Ted said he better get going and left with the envelope.
Robin waited for Ted in her hotel room, not bothering to clean up the millions of used Kleenex that were scatted on the floor. She hadn't showered since she'd gotten their, nor changed. it was worse than when her and Don had ended things a few years back. There was a knock on the door, she yelled at them to come in, her voice raspy and sore from all the sobbing. Ted had never seen her this depressed, she looked like she hadn't moved in days. Her eyes were swollen, her nose red.
"Hey, how are you doing?" He asked. He asked the stupidest question he could've asked.
"Fantastic!" Robin yelled out sarcastically.
"I'm sorry about all this Robin."
"Why should you be sorry Ted? You didn't do this to me. Hell, Barney didn't even do this to me, I did it to myself. I wish I hadn't just runaway, I always runaway, I never fight! Me, Robin Scherbatsky, I fight for my career but never my relationships. But that's the thing Ted, there was never a relationship I wanted to fight for. With Barney, it's so different, he understands so much without me having to say anything and it was just, nice. You know, when he proposed I didn't even have to think twice? It was just yes, it came out of my mouth like it was a race to the finish. With Kevin it wasn't like that, it took me forever to decide and once I did I basically talked my way out. It sounds, well it sounds a lot like you, but he just wasn't the one, Barney is. Sorry, I didn't mean to rant, why did you come over here?"
This was his chance, his last chance. He looked at her, his mind ran through everything she'd just said. When she spoke like that it's like she forgot they ever dated, although he knew that wasn't the case. Even if he didn't try to win her back, why was it his job to fix their relationship? What had Barney done for him? He thought over what Barney had done for him, it turned out to be a lot. If it weren't for him he would've never met Robin, he wouldn't have broken up with Robin and gotten a tramp stamp, he never would've met Stella, or almost married her. He never would've gotten his teaching job, he never would've designed the GNB tower. It turned out Barney was a pretty great bro to him. The thing that made Ted realize that Barney was a better friend than him was the fact that whenever he went after Robin, or something happened between them, he never kept it from Ted. He always wanted his approval, his blessing in a sense.
"Oh, Barney just wanted me to drop this off." Ted stepped down off his supposedly high horse and back to reality. He saw the way Robin's glum face lit up as he mentioned Barney's name. He could tell he would never be the one for her, and it was almost a calming feeling that washed over him. "And Robin, listen, he really loves you, more than anyone ever has and probably ever will, he just isn't so great at the whole moral compass thing. Even if you aren't ready to talk, just tell him you're okay, okay?"
"I will, thanks Ted, you're a really good friend." Robin smiled weakly and Ted placed the envelope beside her. She waited until he was gone before she tore it open. It was the Playbook. She didn't know what to feel, she wasn't necessarily hurt more, offended. She opened it up and there was a handwritten note.
I know you can't understand why this book is so important to me, and that's my fault, I should've showed you. I bookmarked the play I want you to see, hopefully it'll clear some stuff up. I miss you.
She opened to the bookmarked page and began reading a play labelled as "The Leap." As she read it that year became more clear to her. Why he always laughed at her stupid jokes, why he got into a fight, why he did so much to make sure she stayed in Canada, why she Mosbied him.
The play had stretched itself through the whole year, he had predicted almost everything, except when her and Ted had been friends with benefits. He knew she'd Mosby him, he knew how she would react to his feelings towards her, he just knew. He'd left another note on the page saying the Playbook was hers, she could do whatever she wanted to it. She got up, showered, and finally left the hotel room.
This time when there was a knock on Barney's door, he moaned on the couch, not speaking any real words. His hangover was pretty bad and he was out of aspirin. Even the thought of daylight made his head pound even harder. When Robin burst through the door, he tried his best to sit up straight and look his usual awesome self, failing at this attempt.
"What the hell Barney?" She questioned, holding up the Playbook.
"It's yours now, because if you honestly think that, that book is more important to me than you, you're dead wrong. I thought showing you why I didn't burn it and why it meant so much to me would make it mean a little something to you too. It's the whole reason we're together." Barney replied.
"Why couldn't you just tell me? Why did we have to go through this, all of this, the fighting and the feeling shitty for you to tell me?"
"Because I was afraid that you wouldn't like it okay? It's stupid, I know, but you didn't know about the Playbook when I was doing this, I didn't want you to think that I was some sociopath who was obsessed with you for almost a year before saying something."
"I thought you knew me better Barney. If you had shown me this, it would've made me love you even more. The fact that you knew me so well, even then, it says something about you Barney. If we're going to be in a marriage, you can't be afraid to tell me stuff because nothing could make me love you less."
"You still want to get married? Even after all this?"
"Of course I do. I'm a fighter. I fight for what I want, and I want this."
Barney pulled her engagement ring out of his pocket and placed it back on her finger, finally setting her body at ease.
"I love you, Scherbatsky."
"I love you too."
A/N: The only reason I didn't write out the steps is because I couldn't think of more than like 3 so sorry if you were looking for the steps, hopefully you thought up steps of your own, thanks for reading!