Fandom: How I Met Your Mother
Characters/Pairings: Barney, Robin, Ted, Marshall, Lily, Carly Whittaker, Barney/Robin, Marshall/Lily
Word Count: 1,472
Disclaimer: I don't own How I Met Your Mother and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: Written for hc_bingo prompt hostages.
Summary: After being taken hostage in a robbery, a traumatized Barney tries to pretend he's okay. His friends and wife see right through him and try to help.
Upon his discharge from the hospital, Barney Stinson holed up in his apartment and refused to leave, which worried wife Robin. A week earlier, he had been taken hostage in a grocery store robbery, during which he had been shot in the arm. Barney had also been kicked a few times in the stomach and punched in the face. His injuries would heal, but his friends couldn’t be sure if he would heal mentally. Barney had clearly been traumatized and declined to talk about what occurred that day.
The four hours that Barney had been stuck inside the grocery store were the most terrifying four hours of his family’s lives thus far. Robin didn’t want to annoy her husband, but she couldn’t help but be clingy. She wasn’t the clingy wife – That had never been her – but what had transpired during those four hours freaked her out and turned into that kind of person. Ted and his wife Carly – also Barney’s half sister – responded by constantly bringing food over so Barney and Robin didn’t have to worry about anything.
Marshall and Lily brought over their four year old son Jamie and two year old daughter Violet to help cheer him up. It did seem to work in spurts, but Barney’s mood quickly downturned. Everyone could tell that Barney was struggling and they didn’t like that he was retreating into himself. However, they were unsure of how exactly to approach the situation.
“I wish I could help him.” Robin stared into the living room, where her husband was watching TV (The Price Is Right, actually, which he didn’t like as much now that Bob Barker was gone.) and looking depressed.
“Oh, Robin. It’s only been, what, eight days, since it happened? You’ll be able to help him soon. He’s just traumatized. You need to wait this out.” The very pregnant Carly Whittaker-Mosby gave what she hoped was an encouraging smile to her sister-in-law.
“I guess you’re right.” Robin wasn’t sure of what she could say – There were no words for what Barney had gone through the day. The conversation turned briefly to other things – such as baby names. Carly and Ted had already decided to name their unborn daughter Leia since they were both Star Wars nerds. Luke was already on the table for the next kid, if they had one.
“What are you two whispering about in there?” Barney was suspicious he was the topic of conversation, but he wasn’t about to call Carly and Robin out on it.
“Nothing! Are you hungry, big bro?”
He shrugged. “Not really.”
“Tough. I’m knocked up and nesting. You’re going to eat.”
Robin laughed. “Thanks a lot for coming over.”
“No problem.” Carly grabbed two pieces of bread and started making a sandwich for her brother. She then handed it to him and watched him eat it.
Unfortunately, Barney was only able to eat about half of the sandwich before he gave up. His appetite was pretty much gone now. “Thanks, little sis. It was legen – wait for it – dary, but I’m full.”
“Uh-huh.” Carly eyed him suspiciously, but let it go. She’d call James and JJ later to give them updates. Speaking of which, her dad would probably want to know too. After saying goodbye to Barney and Robin, Carly headed home to her and Ted’s house.
“You want to go to bed?” Robin wasn’t at all tired, considering it was only 2:30 in the afternoon, but she was sure her husband could use a nap. He had dark circles under his eyes and was clearly exhausted. However, Barney didn’t want to sleep because of several nightmares he had experienced during his hospital stay. The robbery had completely fucked him up, and Robin wasn’t sure if the man she loved would ever return to his normal self.
Barney looked up and down at his wife’s body. “You ready for “I almost died sex”? I bet it’s awesome!”
Robin rolled her eyes and saw right through the “joke”. Barney was clearly trying to make it seem like he was back to normal. “Nope. You need to relax.”
“Aw man.” Barney really wasn’t about for sex, but he wasn’t about to let Robin know that anything was wrong.
“Get in there, Stinson!”
“You’re being really bossy tonight, Sparkles. I approve.”
She rolled her eyes and gently pushed him into their bedroom. Luckily, Barney fell asleep within ten minutes, despite the fact that he was fighting it. Unfortunately, he was up only an hour and a half later because of nightmares. Barney played them off, but Robin wasn’t buying it. “Hey, I know we don’t do this emotional shit all that often, because honestly, we’re both still complete fuck ups in that department, but you can talk to me if you want to. You don’t have to hold all this in.”
“I’m okay, Robin. Really. I’m going to watch a movie in the living room. You wanna join me for some couch sex?”
“You’re such an idiot.”
“Yeah, I love you too.” Barney gave her a real smile, which Robin appreciated. She hated seeing him in so much pain.
Robin put her hand on her husband’s knee and grabbed ahold of his hand as they watched one of their favorite movies. Oddly enough, Barney did seem to calm down, at least for a little while.
Over the next two weeks, their friends came over multiple times to cheer Barney up. They made it their new mission and all of them were determined to succeed.
Barney didn’t break until week three of their plan, which occurred four weeks after he had been taken hostage. His injuries had pretty much completely healed by that point, which he was thankful for. However, the nightmares were coming more frequently, which meant that neither he nor Robin weren’t getting any sleep. Robin herself was also having nightmares, even though she only witnessed the aftermath of her husband being taken hostage. She helped Barney by not leaving his side in their bedroom and making sure that he knew she was there.
Robin, Ted, and Carly were in the dining room, setting the table, when Barney let out a loud cry of pain. They exchanged panicked looks and bolted – as fast as they could – towards the living room, where Barney had been napping on the couch.
“Hey, you okay, buddy?” Ted couldn’t help but wonder if this was it.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Alright, I’ve had enough of this shit. You’re fucked up, Barney. Everyone can see that you’ve been traumatized. We want to help you, Barn, but we don’t know how.”
“Don’t you think I know I’ve been fucked up? Every fucking day is the same – Going through the motions and trying to pretend that I’m fine is hard and I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’m always worried someone is going to break in, so I check the security system twenty fucking times an hour!”
“Hey, I know you’re worried, but this was a freak occurrence. I’m not going to let you get hurt again. I’ll fucking shoot them if they try.”
“She is pretty serious about that,” they heard Ted whisper to Carly.
Barney was clearly holding back tears that he didn’t want to fall, so Robin was going to respect his wishes and let her husband fall apart in private, when Ted and Carly were gone. “You mean it?”
“Of course I mean it, Barney.” Robin hugged him briefly and she felt a few tears fall into her hair before he took a deep breath and calmed down. She rubbed his back for a few seconds, too.
Once Carly and Ted left, he fell apart completely. Robin sat there and held him in her arms, which was something Barney would never let her do on a normal day, and waited it out. He had comforted her this way after the fiasco with Simon and she was just returning the favor.
“I’m so fucking sorry.” Barney’s broken voice nearly broke her.
“Hey, don’t be sorry. You want to watch the Sandcastles in the Sand and Let’s Go to the Mall videos to cheer you up? I’ll even bring out the Space Teens tapes!” Robin was desperate to make him feel better.
He laughed. “Sure, I guess.”
“Okay then.” Robin went to go find them since she knew they were hidden in the apartment somewhere.
Barney’s mood did seem to improve as the music videos played on repeat, so at least there was something Robin could do for him.
Therapy – which he restarted for the first time in a few years – also helped Barney get through that horrific day.
The memory would remain with him forever, but his family was able to help him, and that’s all he could ever ask for.
Barney Stinson wasn’t alone, and he never would be.