Being friends with Barney is like being friends with someone who's addicted to cocaine. It's hard to tell they still care about you because ... they've forgotten, themselves. They'll use you to get what they want, what they need. And that's just the thing.
They need - you .
Unfortunately, in this case Barney was addicted to two things, two very unfortunate things. You. And the cocaine.
You, Ted, and the flimsy relationships he'd propped cleverly around his heart.
Ted never meant to become something Barney needed. He thought, What's one night of stranger-friendship? Thought he could let it all go in a few hours as just another night in this weird, beautiful city.
And there was Barney, missing a propeller to all of his antics. When Barney found Ted, it was immediate, it was... fate.
Neither one even knew what had happened until Ted was raising his voice and telling Barney that he was done, that Barney meant nothing.
Barney didn't know what hit him.
At first it was just a stunned silence that fell over him. The days stretched by on a whisper. Everything is fine, he thought, everything is normal, I don't know what I was so worried about. Even though 'worry' had not yet crossed his mind. That was the beginning.
The middle came when people talked about their best friends. When he'd see Marshall, or Lily. When he'd see Robin. When Barney wanted to say, "My best friend, Ted," and couldn't, because it was one lie he couldn't bare.
And then the end. Lily's call, the feeling of being turned up on his head.
Barney can't say he cried in between all those moments. There were ends of days he'd fall into bed, though, alone and bitter-tasting after sleeping with some random girl, just like he always had, and knowing that it was just as empty as it'd been before.
Barney will laugh sometimes, to himself, shake his head. Over the thought that being hit by a bus, and broken to pieces, was the best thing that could have happened to him at that point in his life. But it was. Because it fed his addiction. Suddenly life was good again.
And then he forgot, little by little, and replaced those holes of missing information with other things . And his friends forgot to question it.