Spoilers: Only if you've not seen 7.10.
Summary: Barney prepares Robin's room after leaving Nora's apartment.
Comments: It hasn't got Linkin Park lyrics, I promise, lol. Also because it's never too late for some Tick, Tick, Tick... angst. It's not very atmospheric, I was more concerned about writing it from Barney's perspective, so.
It is now ten minutes to midnight, and Barney impatiently drums his fingers on the desk of the florists while he waits for the clerk to find his bag of rose petals. He isn’t worried about candles; he assumed Robin would have some in her room. She always loved the smell of floral candles; it was one of the girly things about her she didn’t like to show, and one of the things that made Barney only love her more.
He first decided to do this gesture for Robin the minute he was out of Nora’s apartment. The guilt he felt was overshadowed by his overwhelming excitement as he realised, right now, Robin was doing the exact same thing to Kevin. Because she too realised she and Barney belonged together. To spend the rest of forever together. To, maybe, one day, get married and live in blissful happiness, never again to feel the pain of a cold, lonely night. For the first time in his life, Barney felt no fear or hesitation about marriage, not now that he knew with Robin it was almost definite. He wanted it, as long as it was with her. No one but her.
Because he loves her, and he feels like hitting himself for not sooner realising just how strongly he does. He just loves her so much.
The clerk finally gets him a bag of rose petals and Barney throws an unspecified amount of money on the desk before practically galloping out the door into the freezing November air. He doesn’t have a lot of time, and he’s determined to make it perfect. Robin has spent too long worried he merely considers her a number, just another notch on his bedpost. He’s going to endeavour to finally show her just how untrue that really is.
At seven minutes to midnight Barney reaches the door of Ted and Robin’s apartment. He’s exhausted, cold and gasping for breath but he doesn’t stop to take a break; Robin could already be waiting for him in the bar and he doesn’t want to be even a minute late. He doesn’t want to risk breaking her heart because if he did he’d never forgive himself. He would seriously die on the spot if Robin felt for even a second that he’d purposefully let her down, that he hadn’t chosen her afterall.
He uses his key to get in and in Robin’s room he throws the petals on to the bed in a rush to get them all out at once. However, he then delicately moves them around so as to make sure the bed is equally covered. He then finds the candles, conveniently where they always were, hidden away in her wardrobe so Ted wouldn’t find them and make fun of her for them. Barney smiles fondly as he remembered the time Robin had them out when Barney visited her when they were dating. She flushed and tried to come up with some sort of excuse that a friend gave them to her for her birthday and Robin was using them so as not to be rude, but Barney simply kissed her and told her he didn’t care. After that, Robin brought them out a few times for “special occasions”, something she had never done with a boyfriend before or since. And even after their break up, Barney was still the only man who ever knew about her secret candles.
At five minutes to midnight, he lights the candles with some matches from Robin’s bedside table, and turns off the main light. The room glitters softly under the orange candlelight, casting a warm glow into the room that makes Barney feel delirious with happiness. He almost feels like he has to pinch himself to prove it isn’t a dream; this is really happening. He’s going to take Robin up here and tell her, for the first time, “I’m in love with you. I love you so much; I don’t want to ever be apart from you. You’re my best friend; you’re my soulmate, Robin. You’re all I ever want, and I can’t wait to wake up to your smile every morning and fall asleep to it every night.”
Satisfied with his speech, he straightens his tie in her mirror before excitedly rushing downstairs, ready to begin the rest of their lives.