Rating: Adult - warning - explicit sex (M/F/M - Devil's threeway), implied S&M, angst and dark, adult themes
Written for: An extremely belated response to masterful_liar 's Dark Option in Drabblethon
Summary: As Robin continues without a job, she gets more and more depressed and she developed damaging behavior that she doesn't even bother to hide from her friends. When Barney tries to help her, Ted steps in to rescue them both.
Fandom: HIMYM, Barney/Ted/Robin
Spoilers for: AU from the end of Three Days of Snow (The Possimpible never happened)
Word count: 1189 in part two
All he wants to do is to fix them. Ted can't stand to see them both in such pain, to see them both so out of sync that with every turn they shred each other's skin.
When he holds Barney, when he touches Barney, he sees the flicker of interest in Robin's eyes and Ted realises what he can do to help.
He's always wondered what it would be like to kiss Barney. There have been times, when they've both been drunk and curled up on the sofa, or horsing around playing video games that he's only just been able to control the impulse to reach out to his friend. Barney's reaction is just what he expects it to be. He's a little bit disgusted, a little bit confused by Ted's boldness and possibly a little bit turned on.
Ted can feel Robin, the heat of her hands, her nose nuzzling his neck as Barney suddenly and unexpectedly launches himself on Ted, palms either side of Ted's face, kissing him impulsively and thoroughly. Ted's instantly hard and thinking Oh god oh god we're doing this and he's pressed up against the back of the sofa, Barney's tongue down this throat, Robin's fingers pulling at his thigh and it feels like they are making love to each other through him.
There's desperation but no pain. There's need but no self hatred.
He doesn't feel like the third wheel. He doesn't want to regret this. Ted's hand covers Robin's and pulls it away, waiting patiently for Barney to release him.
Sex… the first time is always a rush to the finish, the initial swell of desire absolutely needing to be sated. Ted doesn't want that. He doesn't want it over with quickly.
Barney's confused look is really quite adorable.
"It's okay…" He says, to Barney, to both of them. "This is okay. I want this. I just… thought we might be more comfortable in my bed?" He laughs, lightly, because this is all still slightly unreal.
Ted catches the glance that Barney gives Robin, needing her permission, the tiny nod. He gets up and pulls them both to their feet.
Robin's lost all her strength, somewhere along the way, lost her ability to breathe, to move, to focus. She wants to hit bottom, so, so badly, but Barney won't let her. He's stepped up behind her and caught her again and again, even though it puts his own back against the broken glass that would have cut her to ribbons.
She knows, vaguely, that this is above and beyond simple friendship, but all of his actions stick like a lump in her throat, a blind spot that she just can't see. Barney's fuzzy around the edges and if she tries to focus on him even for a second, he just slips away, as if terrified that he'll lose her if she sees him for who he really is.
In Ted's bed, with Ted's hand between her legs, with Ted's fingers inside her, Robin feels wanted. She feels saved. She feels the beginnings of her sense of self returning. She moans, tears forming in her eyes for the first time in weeks and it's easy to be swept up in the waves of pleasure as she bucks her hips. Ted keeps her on edge, his attention switching back to Barney, kissing Barney, who seems to struggle, trying desperately to find his place in this ménage-á-trios.
She's so strung out, quivering beneath him, and nothing matters because inside she's building walls and foundations and Ted's right.
Everything is okay.
It's incredibly arousing to watch Ted and Barney make out, to watch their naked bodies writhe against each other. It's like a weird, secret fantasy made flesh.
She loves both of them. She feels something, a deep desire, for both of them.
But it's Barney who reaches out for her, just to know that she's there. It's Barney whose eyes follow his hands and who looks to her for reassurance.
And then she knows.
It's Barney who catches her when she falls.
It's Barney who follows her into the abyss.
She twists her body around Ted's and her lips meet Barney's. He tastes strange - salty and cool, like Ted's drained some of the white hot heat from his core. Her lips warm his. She devours him.
Ted's mouth locks on to one nipple, sucking it into a painful bud. She moans into Barney's mouth.
Somewhere inside, she feels ashamed.
She never kissed him. When he beat the pain out of her and fucked away her black pit of despair she never kissed him.
Tears roll down her cheeks.
Here. This is his place. Now. This is his time. This is what he does best.
Between the sheets, he is king and they are his subjects. Even with another dude, with body parts that are unfamiliar, it's just a variation on a theme. He knows his own soul and he knows what sounds to listen out for. He goes down on Ted with the same enthusiasm that he does on Robin. He doesn't let either of them come. That's left for later.
The power thrums in his veins. It thrills him.
He plays them both and lets them play with him in return. He aches, from his balls all the way back to his spine. He aches but he knows how to keep control.
It's not Zen, it's not any of that shit. He's Barney Stinson. He's a natural.
He's the best they'll ever have.
In the end, they start their final run together, strapped into the rocket as the countdown starts. Barney's inside Robin, eyes locked into hers because even now he'd pull away and jump without a parachute if she gave him the signal.
Ted's dick is in his hand and he wishes he were two people. He wants to fuck Ted - he's curious. He wants to know what that would be like.
Robin's hand closes over his own and she joins in the rhythm, him back and forth inside her, Ted's staccato thrusts and groans.
He feels an intimacy, a closeness that connects the three of them and, through Ted, gets him access to Robin in a way that's almost painful.
As he comes, he wishes he could tell her he loves her. Why can he say the words to Ted but not to her?
Perhaps he's said the words so many times that he's devalued their meaning.
Even as he comes he feels the fringes of despair, of desperation surrounding him, pressing against his senses.
He's flailing in the darkness but he pushes back against it because Barney Stinson doesn't give in to that sort of weakness.
Then Robin kisses him.
And, oh god, she rips out his heart. He dies and he's reborn. He doesn't know if he can cope with this cycle of life and death.
"I love you," She breathes. He can feel her lips move over his, shaping the words.
"He loves you too," Ted says, nuzzling his shoulder. His best friend says the words he can't ever say.
Barney smiles because Robin's got his beating heart in her hands and yet he's safe. Ted's fingers lace through his and Robin's kiss is soft, loving and warm, like a prayer.
For the first time in more years than he cares to remember, he's happy.