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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.
 
 
 
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. :)