It all started when Robin "accidentally" gave a gift of one of Lily's paintings to Ted's new girlfriend whose beloved bird immediately, of course, tried to kill itself. Luckily, Barney happened to be accompanying Ted to check out Ted's new girlfriend's boobs and saved the day by heroically ripping the painting off the wall and moving it. To the garbage.
"Completely and literally unintended birdicide," Robin said. "How was I supposed to remember that? It's not like we've talked about it or referred to it since that one time."
"We talked about it last week," Barney said. "We were talking about adventures I missed when Ted was all mad at me for no reason at all."
"You slept with Robin," Ted said.
"Yeah, he did," Robin said, leaning forward. "Remember how mad you were about that, Ted."
"He did not try to kill Bee's parrot, Robin," Ted said. "Good try."
"Did not remember," Robin said firmly.
"You reenacted the bird flying into the ceiling fan with your chicken fingers," Barney said. "Best non-porn puppet play I've seen in years."
Ted said, "You're not jealous, right? You're totally over me, right?"
Robin groaned, threw up her hands and walked out.
"Barney, I think Robin is still totally into me," Ted said.
"Not in the slightest," Barney said.
"She is totally over him," Barney said. He and Lily were shopping for shoes. Lily was sure Barney had some sort of sociopathic ulterior motive, but he was much better company than Marshall ("Those look great, Lily." Repeated for every single pair) or Ted ("I think those totally work" said about shoes that absolutely did not work. And he'd always get distracted by some girl who looked winsome or quirky or had big boobs and then Lily was looking at shoes and Ted was being Ted. Oddly enough, Barney rarely got distracted. He would say "this is our special time, Lily" by which he meant that he spent the entire time looking at Lily's boobs. "I love what becoming a mother has done for you," he'd say and make that horrible honking gesture with his hands.)
"She really is," Lily said. She thought: unlike you, she's totally not over you. Lily said quickly, "Totally over Ted."
"Unlike me. Sherbatsky? Still wants me. I mean, I'd hit that again but she's a little pathetic about it," Barney said. "Here, try these on."
"OOOhhh, Fluevogs? I can't afford Fluevogs." She immediately bent over in her practiced bosom shield formation and tried them on. Perfect. Barney really did have an eye.
Barney said, "Also, unrelated to Robin's never dying love for me, it's sad how much Ted's new girlfriend's parents hated her."
"I don't think they hated her," Lily said.
"Her full name is Bertha," Robin said.
They were lunching. They were ladies who lunched. Occasionally they were ladies who lunched with the tiniest Eriksen, who was actually not tiny at all and was the reason Lily had Madonna arms, as Ted and Marshall and Robin called them behind her back. But Lily knew and she was going to hurt them someday, Robin thought. They should really stop doing that.
"Bertha," Robin said.
"Her grandmother made them," Lily said. "Everyone calls her Bee. Sometimes family pressure is really hard to resist. I bet her parents love her very very much."
"Lily, it's okay. A little mayonnaise in a puree isn't going to harm your son."
"Who does that?" Lily looked miserable again. "She gave my son mayonnaise. At two months old! None of the books say that's okay. It's too early by two months for that kind of food and mayonnaise! Mayonnaise, Robin. And nearly everyone on the internet agrees it's almost child abuse."
"Nearly everyone on the internet agrees that every single thing any parent in the history of the world does is almost child abuse. Don't make me say the c word, Lily."
"DON'T," Lily said. Her eyes were wide and she threw up her hands reflexively. She whispered, "ircumcision-say is not something we ever talk about, ever ever."
"Anyway, I'm over Ted," Robin said. "I didn't try to kill her stupid bird, either."
"You definitely are," Marshall said. "That is not even a question. I mean, it's not like someone said you're not over Barney."
"Who I am also over,"" Robin said, clearly lying. Marshall decided to let it slide. They were at their happy shared place, listening to karaoke at the Hoser Hut. After the fourth song from Blue Rodeo in a row, Marshall was feeling a little punchy, honestly, and he didn't want to take out his Blue Rodeo anger on Robin by forcing her to admit the truth of her heart. He could do that, though, because he was that good.
"Also, I think Ted is going to break up with her," Marshall said.
"Really?" Robin shrugged. She intently watched the fifth very nice Canadian who ONCE AGAIN decided to sing BLUE RODEO and my GOD Marshall HATED BLUE RODEO SO MUCH and he'd never heard of them before a month ago, at country rock night at the Hoser Hut. What an awful horrible day that had been. He could never hear the name Rena without flinching again.
"Robin, I think I need to go," Marshall said, very very calmly.
"I know," Robin said, "I get it. That Blue Rodeo song makes me a little sad, too. So many memories. One time I just listened to Rena and cried and cried and ate a whole bowl of ice cream."
"I HATE BLUE RODEO," Ted said. "HATE."
"Could not agree more," Marshall said. "So you see how it was torture?"
Ted said, "I'm impressed you made it through, bro."
"A real soldier," Barney said.
"Please," Marshall said. "You secretly love them, like the Canadian you are."
"Take it back," Barney said. "Take it back like Ted took back his balls and bedtime funtimes and other things that start with b when he broke up with Bertha."
"Bee," Ted said. "No one called her Bertha, you guys."
Marshall said, "Did you ever call her that in bed? Like, oh, oh, BERTHA!"
Barney giggled. "Bo-NER kil-LER RIGHT there. Just saying 'Bertha' and zooop, down my big Bee goes."
Marshall tried not to giggle. "I bet Ted's Bee went down."
"Yes," Ted said, smirking. "Yes, she did. Very well. I will miss that, I have to say."
"You will not miss her name or her bird," Barney said.
"No," Ted said. "I hated that bird. Maybe the bird was in Blue Rodeo."
"Would not surprise me," Marshall said. "Would not surprise me at all."
Then, because they were three very funny guys, they made a lot of clever and hilarious jokes that Marshall refused to repeat to Lily because of how she reacted to that peanut butter joke. "I really love these nights," Marshall said. "Guys, we don't hang out enough."
"We hang out plenty," Barney said. "We just do it without the women dragging us down, making us not tell jokes about peanut butter." They all laughed. "Though, Marshall, if you want to bring Lily and let me choose the top she wears, that would definitely improve these nights."
"No," Marshall said.
"I miss Robin," Ted said.
"Maybe you shouldn't tell her all those lies about how she isn't over you. Come on, Ted," Barney said. "All your fault. You tripped the wire, the bomb went off and now Robin only talks to Lily."
"Robin hangs out with me," Marshall said.
"She's never had sex with you," Ted said. "Or Lily. And I think Lily is kinda sad about that."
"She is," Barney said.
"My Lilypad is not upset that I have not done it with Robin."
"No, Lily's sad she never had incredibly hot girl on girl sex with Robin. And I am, too," Barney said.
"I do not think that's true," Marshall said. But he looked a little disturbed. "Anyway. That's the way things are. Bee's bird was the tipping point. It's officially too weird for everyone involved that the three of you hang out. You all need to move on," Marshall said. He thought: and by move on, I mean Barney and Robin should get back together and move next door to me and Lily.
"I agree," Barney said. "Except mostly just Ted, Robin and I should totally hang out together all the time."
Ted just stared. "But Robin and I were friends. Now she's moved out and she doesn't hang out with me, she just hangs out with the two of you. Being the fifth wheel in your married couple happy fa fa la la land."
Barney said, "Isn't it third wheel?"
"Technically, no. The idea is that the extraneous wheel provides no use or function or stability - three wheels, as we know, is a tricycle. And those things are not extraneous. No way, no how."
"Thanks for the correction," Barney said. "Really helpful there. Okay, I'm bored, let's go back to penis jokes."
"So," Ted said.
"So," Robin said.
"Are we back to friends?"
"That would be nice," Robin said. "But no. Let's give it a another month or so, okay? I'm off to Spain for this documentary. If I come back alive, we can talk then."
"If you come back alive?"
"Yeah," Robin said. She shrugged. "It's a dirty jobs kind of thing - I'm going to be a bullfighter while the camera follows me around. You know, I hear you don't use guns. Which I'm a little confused about - why fight an animal without a gun?"
"No, you get a sword or something. And then you get gored and die. Robin, you can't do this."
"Yes," Robin said. "I really can. I can do anything I want." She almost smiled but it was more like a grimace. "It's going to be great. And I'll come back and we'll laugh and laugh and you'll have a new girlfriend that goes nowhere and you'll stop accusing me of not being over you and we'll hang out with that girl who will not be hotter than me."
And she was right, but that didn't make it easier. Unfortunately, when Robin came home alive, Ted's new girlfriend was actually hotter than Robin. Fortunately, she was from Iowa and wanted to name her firstborn child Cullyn, and yes, it was because she loved Twilight. She didn't last long.
Barney and Robin solved their hanging out with exes problem the way everyone expected: by stopping being exes.
And Lily made everyone pay for saying she had Madonna arms but that's a story for another time. Oddly enough, it involved a completely different goat than the last time.