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21 January 2009 @ 08:34 pm
 
Title: Legally Binding
Author: GypsyJr
Fandom: How I Met Your Mother
Pairing: Barney/Robin, established relationship
Warning: general season 4 spoilers
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction, and no copyright infringement or disrespect is intended.
Rating: PG-13 for non-explicit adult language/situations
Summary: A rocky patch in Barney and Robin's relationship leads to an unorthodox solution.


"You're seriously not mad at me?"

Robin shook her head. It was Saturday night, and she was dealing with the fallout of a drunken Friday encounter between Barney and a frighteningly persistent brunette with great legs and a total maneater attitude. Strangely, he seemed to be taking things harder than she was.

"Really?"

She sighed as she tried to reply around a mouthful of toothbrush. "Really. It's no big deal."

He was looking at her like she'd suddenly started speaking another language, probably thinking that she was breaking every Girl Code article ever set down by her forebearers. "... Seriously?"

"Oh my god, yes seriously." After rinsing and spitting, she turned to face him. "I'm... disappointed, yes. And of course I wish it hadn't happened, but I'm not angry."

He looked completely baffled now. "Why?"

"Because you're you. And you're not used to the whole monogamy thing and it would have been naive of me not to realize that this might happen. The only thing I regret is that we didn't talk about it sooner."

A long silence ensued. He looked somewhat stricken. "I think I'd better sleep on the couch tonight."

"If you think you should."

She finished up her bedtime preparations as Barney made a deliberate show of digging a spare blanket and pillow out of the closet. She gave it less than four hours before he got over it and joined her in bed.

Sure enough, the clock on the nightstand read 1:38 AM when she felt him wrap an arm around her and bury his face in her neck.

"I'm sorry."

"I know."
_____

Two days later, Barney took her to dinner and presented her with a 32-page contract outlining the boundaries of their relationship in excruciating detail. It was all extremely formal, and she suspected he'd had it vetted by Marshall at work. (She'd really have to make it up to him if that was the case. Paying him for services rendered would probably be a good start.)

She returned the paper to Barney the next morning with a page of suggested changes and told him he really needed to stop overcompensating.
_____

You have a 'hooker clause?'"

"Yep."

Ted sighed. "I have a feeling I don't want to know, but I'm asking anyway."

Robin pulled the dogeared document from her handbag and pointed out the section in question:


Paragraph A, subsection 3: In the event that Party A is in dire need of a non-solo sexual encounter that Party B is unable or unwilling to provide, Party A is allowed to engage the services of a prostitute, with the provisos that:

I) The aformentioned prostitute is hired from a reputable escort service and the encounter is kept safe and legal.

II) Party B is informed of said encounter before it takes place so that both parties may deal with any issues that may have lead to the event.

III) All such encounters are otherwise kept entirely confidential.

IIIa) Said encounters are also not valid in games of 'I Never.'


"Wow, this is really specific."

"What, you think it's a good idea to be vague about this?"

"I'm not sure this is a good idea, period."

"Look, it's not as crazy as it sounds. This way, I know anything that goes on is strictly business and no gullible co-eds get caught in the crossfire."

"Your relationship has really weird metaphors."

"Anyway, it's not like it's gonna be an everyday thing. This is a strictly 'last-case scenario' deal."

"Does Barney know that?"

"Oh, trust me. He knows."
_____

Kids, there's a lot of things you could learn from this story. Lessons about the importance of communication, and the value of flexibility in relationships. But really, the most important thing you need to know is that in the eighteen years since Barney came up with Paragraph A, Subsection 3, he's never once used it.

"How would you know?"

"Yeah, you said he couldn't tell anyone."

Trust me. I know.
 
 
 
Butterflysnogged on January 22nd, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
Loved the hooker clause and the tone of this story

Nicely done
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
ellerigbeeellerigbee on January 22nd, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
Wow, people never deal with the "what if" of Barney slipping and Robin being okay with it because she understand change doesn't happen overnight. I loved the scene in the bathroom and the very quiet apology. Saget!Ted's bit at the end gave me warm fuzzie.

Great story.
Hippie Geek Girl: get fuzzy - hug of doomgypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I just liked the idea of Barney having a harder time with it than Robin... I think there's a closet romantic somewhere underneath the suits and cigars. ;)
(Deleted comment)
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I love that mental image as well. :)
How am I not myself?: NPH :: Just wasn't meant to happenspankymcgee on January 22nd, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Loved it! All of it. I can see their relationship working that way. I'd love to read more about the Robin/Barney relationship from you! You really had the shows tone down. It was great!
Hippie Geek Girl: get fuzzy - hug of doomgypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
midasu: It's a Brand New Day (When I was in themidasu on January 22nd, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
Barney would so do this. Mess up and punish hims self, and come up with a huge legal document to make sure he never messed up again.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shockedgypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I figured it would be his way of saying "this is what I'm going to do to fix this." He has a tendency to overreact. ;) Thanks for reading!
idioticonionidioticonion on January 22nd, 2009 09:01 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this - especially the Future!Ted voice at the end which injected it with a sweetness.

One tiny thing:

>(She'd really have to make it up to him if that was the case. Paying him for services rendered would probably be a good start.)

You may want to change one of the "him"s to "Barney" because I first read this that Robin was going to "make it up to" Marshall! And Ew! Lily would kill her. ;-)
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shockedgypsyjr on January 22nd, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Heh, well I wasn't thinking of that particular kind of "making up." ;) I probably could have made that part a bit clearer, though.
the mad lavenny 'shipper: passionate gesture!one_more_cherry on January 22nd, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
This is STILL one of my favorite pieces of yours - I love your Sagat!Ted voice; I love that Barney called in Marshall to translate their agreement into legal language proper; I love every bit of the Robin/Barney you've written. You GET them, esp. Robin! Mucho wonderful work, as always!
Hippie Geek Girl: futurama - yay!gypsyjr on January 23rd, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Thanks again. :)
the mad lavenny 'shipper: passionate gesture!one_more_cherry on January 23rd, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
As always, much welcome, man :)
promethia_tenkpromethia_tenk on January 22nd, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Gaaahhh--win, win, win! Some people express their love with pet names and marching bands; some with 32-page contracts with hooker clauses. To each their own.

Brilliant, clever, and sweet.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 23rd, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Exactly. :) Thanks for reading.
drcorncobb on January 22nd, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! I think you got the show down pat, and I could really see all of this happening.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 23rd, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed. :)
Hidden Willow: Psych // Shawn & Gus // TVhiddenw on January 22nd, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
Awww that was cute. We all know a Robin/Barney relationship would look nothing like a Lily/Marshall one so it's nice to see an example of what it might be like.

Of course now I'm wondering what clauses were put in there for Robin. Does she get a hockey player clause? How about a celebrity clauses? Like if either of them has a shot with a really hot celebrity they totally get to go for it.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 23rd, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure there's something of that sort in there. 32 pages leaves a lot of room for negotiation. ;)

Thanks for reading!(and I love your icon!)
fullof_gracefullof_grace on January 22nd, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
i loved it! it was short and sweet and, as previously stated, you really know how to write for barney and robin. excellent win!!!
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - unrequitedgypsyjr on January 23rd, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Otemps: Barney/Robinotempora42 on January 23rd, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Aw, this is so sweet. If Barney and Robin were in a relationship, it would take a lot of work -- we've seen that Barney can still have sex with other women when he's in love, and I don't see his urges letting up if he starts sleeping with Robin. But I love how Barney makes a show of making things right. This was really good.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 24th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah, they'd definitely have a lot of things to work through.
scubagurl22: tiredscubagurl22 on January 23rd, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I love the idea of a contract, and the fact that they added an "i never" clause makes it perfect. :D
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - shoulder leangypsyjr on January 25th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
Hee, thank you! :)
is that BABOU?!: {tv; himym}  smarleyoltha_heri on January 23rd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
This was amazing, and totally in character. One of my favorite parts was actually the Ted and Robin interaction just because it sounded exactly like something from the show.
Hippie Geek Girl: HIMYM - group huggypsyjr on January 25th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love writing their friendship.
gammameta: Kissgammameta on January 24th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
I loved this! So like Barney to draw up a contract. And I agree that all relationships aren't the same. I can see Robin not begrudging Barney some conquests because he seems to enjoy it so much (and actually - so does she). I could also see slips like this for him - freak-out slips or jealous-inspired slips or just 'there's girl offering me sex, must take her up on it' slips. I don't think he'll reform himself overnight, so if Robin can't handle it, then they shouldn't get together soon. So I loved Robin here, and the way she told him she was disappointed but no mad, let him sleep on the couch, come back, said they should talk about it, and then when they did, told him not to overcompensate. (I'd like to know about those clauses, actually!)

I find it interesting that the hooker clause was in case Barney might need something Robin couldn't perform but the affair seems to have been because he couldn't help himself. I wonder if part of what made it happen was that Barney didn't know the rules, and he was testing to see where they were. Like, he's pretty sure he's not supposed to do this (very sure), but they've never talked about it. What is she thinking? Would she care? Would she forgive him if it happened? Does that mean they're a couple or that they're not? I can see him settling down as soon as the rules were all there before him. Barney loves rules. They free him, instead of limiting him. The idea of a contract was perfect!

I loved the whole tone of this fic. So delightful and true to the show. The voiceover at the end was my favorite part. aw... Thanks for sharing!
Hippie Geek Girl: random - squeegypsyjr on January 25th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
I could also see slips like this for him - freak-out slips or jealous-inspired slips or just 'there's girl offering me sex, must take her up on it' slips.

Yeah, I tried to at least imply that this was in the third category. We've seen many times that he has major problems with resisting temptation, and that's definitely something they'd have to deal with.

I can see him settling down as soon as the rules were all there before him. Barney loves rules. They free him, instead of limiting him.

That was my thinking EXACTLY. :D It's kind of an "Okay, I screwed up, so now I'm going to try and make sure it doesn't happen again by spelling out exactly where we stand" kind of thing. I can definitely see communication being a major factor in making their relationship work, if it ever does.

Glad you enjoyed the fic! Thanks for reading and leaving such detailed feedback. :)
Katie the Blue Kitten: HIMYM - Robin whispering to Barneykatayla on January 26th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, LOVELY!

I'm really looking forward to when they're in a relationship and we get these moments on the show (I have hope!).
Hippie Geek Girl: random -  taking it too seriouslygypsyjr on January 27th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D And I totally agree. So much of this show is about what happens after 'happily ever after,' and it would be a shame if they glossed over that with these two, especially with such a large part of the audience so invested in them.

Edited at 2009-01-28 12:22 am (UTC)