Fandom: How I Met Your Mother
Pairing: Barney Stinson and Lily Aldrin
Spoilers: Major spoilers until 5.06 ("Bagpipes"), with minor spoilers until 5.07 ("The Rough Patch")
Author's Notes: I didn't have a beta as such, but this manifesto would not exist without da_phoenix13, who was there for pretty much the entire process of writing, and is my quote/cap monkey, despite not actually shipping Barney/Lily. I'd also like to thank my friends list, for letting me spam them and for their awesome feedback.
All of my screencaps were taken from Daydreaming, aside from the caps from "Bagpipes", which came from Daemon's TV, and the one from "As Fast As She Can", which was capped by da_phoenix13.
Barney: Lily, Lily, Lily! I was just getting warmed up!
How I Met Your Mother is, simply put, one of the best sitcoms of the 2000s. It tells the story of Ted Mosby, a man who is searching for the love of his life. In the year 2030, he is relating the tale of how he found her to his children through a series of flashbacks to the present. Luckily for us, Ted is not the most straightforward of narrators, and his stories allow us to get to know his circle of friends – Robin Scherbatsky, former candidate for the title of Ted’s One True Love and gun-toting badass Canadian pop star; Marshall Eriksen, Ted's caring, goofy best friend; Lily Aldrin, Marshall’s fiancée, then wife, evil master mind, and the dirtiest kindergarten teacher known to man; and Barney Stinson, an over-the-top suit-wearing womanizer with a soft side.
I entered the How I Met Your Mother, or HIMYM, fandom fairly recently – halfway through the fourth season. And, like most people, I was all about the canon pairings of Barney/Robin and Lily/Marshall. I still love them. However, it didn’t take me long to start to explore the non-canon pairings, and one of the more abundant of those is Barney/Lily. At first I was wracked by guilt – how could I enjoy a couple that broke up the show’s two OTPs, who were both so awesome? But, then, as Barney might say, I replaced my shame gland with a second awesome gland, and I started to ship them – harder, at times, than I do Barney/Robin.
At first glance, this pairing is almost nonsensical. The cynical among us might say that the only reason that it exists is to pair up the massively popular Barney with the only other female regular. And, admittedly, the combination of two characters played by Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan is, to put it succinctly, smokin’ hot. However, an examination of their characters shows that they could potentially be the two characters with the most in common, in terms of personality, out of the core five. Their arc, although not having as much screen time as some of the other dynamics, shows a real relationship form between them, challenging their initial impressions of each other, and resulting in a sweet rapport between the two.
”That’s right, you can’t think of any, because I’m AWESOME!”
Barney Stinson seems to be nothing but a caricature – a ladies’ man who spouts catchphrases, designed only to cater to frat boys. However, as the show goes on, it becomes clear that his personality is a façade, a suit of armor to protect him from being hurt. He is somehow self-isolating and incredibly needy at the same time. He does terrible things (in the third season episode “The Bracket”, he claims to have sold a woman), but his redemption comes through his devotion to his friends. He will, and often does, do anything for them, and one of the best examples of this is in “Bachelor Party”, which will be examined later. Eventually, he falls in love with Robin, a story arc which shows the best parts of his personality while still keeping him Barney (until season five, where the writers crapped all over it, but that is another rant for another time).
”Yes, I’m loveable, pretty, and wise, but is it enough?”
Lily appears to be the polar opposite of Barney – at the time of the pilot, she has been in a relationship with Marshall since the first day of college, and they later become engaged. However, underneath the kindergarten teacher exterior, we find that Lily is a free spirit who enjoys sex and alcohol, who briefly leaves Marshall to find herself, while still maintaining a moral center. In this respect, she is often presented as a foil to Barney. She is far from infallible, however – she can be overly manipulative (like Barney) and at times naïve. However, she is immensely caring and nurturing, and wants what is best for her loved ones, even if she sometimes goes about it in the wrong way.
Episodes of Interest
Lily: Okay, that’s my Barney limit.
Lily and Barney do not interact much in the first episode, and, when they do, it is when Barney dismisses the idea of settling down (in front of the newly engaged Marshall and Lily), and when Lily becomes fed up with his crude comments concerning Lebanese women. Thus, it establishes at the beginning of the show, they do spend time together, but they do not have a close individual bond. However, in the original pilot script (PDF file here), specifically on pages 53 and 54, Lily calls Barney a douche, and he buys her and Marshall champagne to toast to their engagement. The directions read “Lily smiles, surprised and touched.” Thus, their journey towards a real friendship, despite their differences, would have started in the pilot. However, as it is, the first real indication that Lily has as to Barney’s humanity is in “Game Night”.
Barney: My whole life’s some money in the bank, some suits in my closet, and a string of one-night stands.
Lily: Hey, come on. I mean, just because [Shannon’s] life went one way and yours went another doesn’t make your life any worse.
Barney: My life rocks!
Arguably one of the best episodes the show has produced, “Game Night” explores why Barney is... well, Barney. Lily meets a girl called Shannon at a party, who gives her a videotape, which reveals that Barney used to be a sensitive hippy. After much persuading, Barney tells the story of how Shannon, his college girlfriend, left him for the kind of suit-wearing jerk that he has become. What’s particularly interesting about this episode is the change in attitude of Lily. At the beginning, she is curious about the contents of the tape, despite (or rather, because of) Barney’s violent reaction to it, letting Barney smash up Ted’s graduation tape in order to trick him. Lily is positively gleeful at this turn of events. However, when Barney’s history is revealed, Lily is touched by his display of emotion, and when he tries to mask his pain by re-adopting his awesome persona, Lily sees right through him, saying that he experienced “a real moment of self-doubt”. And this is the moment where Lily starts to understand Barney, to know that there’s more to him than just the womanizer. And, of course, she is completely right, as the episode closes with Barney looking sadly at a happy couple, then taking a drink and hitting on a girl at the bar. This is the beginning of their arc – Lily trying to reveal Barney’s sensitive side, while Barney slowly comes to trust her.
World’s Greatest Couple
Barney: We redecorated my apartment. We stayed in and watched Letterman on a Friday night and didn’t have sex… oh my God, we’re in a relationship!
This is it – the birthplace of many (OK, like five) Barney/Lily shippers. After Marshall and Lily break up, Lily is living in a crappy apartment. When she breaks a wall, she is forced to move in with Barney. Eventually, Barney finds that having Lily pretend to be his wife is a sure-fire way to be rid of his one-night stands. However, after falling asleep together in the same bed, Barney panics that he and Lily are in a relationship, and Lily moves out. In other words, it is a shipper goldmine.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of HIMYM is the presence of Future Ted, the narrator. As he is narrating from the year 2030, it allows the writers a greater freedom of structure when it comes to the episodes. The opening sequence of “World’s Greatest Couple” is particularly interesting. After a brief explanation of how none of the main cast had ever set foot in Barney’s apartment, we see Barney, in bed, with a female arm slung over his bare chest.
However, when he turns over and begins to scream in surprise, we see that the girl is Lily.
Obviously, this is meant to imply that they have slept together. Furthermore, Ted does not actually negate this assumption, merely saying, “It’s a pretty good story. And, believe it or not, alcohol did not play a role”. So, straight off the bat the viewer is meant to place Barney and Lily together in a sexual context, and in fact watches the entire episode, thinking that they end up sleeping together. It’s not until their final scene together that it’s revealed that they didn’t have sex. Is it any wonder, then, that this is the beginning of many shippers’ enjoyment of Barney and Lily? As we watch their interactions and their compatibility in the light of their perceived one-night stand, we begin to think, “Hm, they might actually work together”. Even the media-savvy viewer, who anticipates there being a twist, cannot help but let the sexual connotations of the opening scene color their perceptions. I refuse to believe that the writers did not know this, and, in fact, plan this. It’s a huge tease on their part, especially considering that Marshall and Lily reunite two episodes later.
Barney and Lily’s interactions when they first begin living together differ greatly from how their relationship is shown over the course of their cohabitation and from the very end, where they eventually part ways. At the start of the episode, Lily holds Barney in a certain amount of contempt, admitting that she’s only considering moving in with him because she has nowhere else to go. Barney isn’t exactly enthused with the idea of compromising his lifestyle to accommodate a roommate, much less a female one, as his apartment is designed to drive off one-night stands. Lily disregards Barney’s insistence that she not change anything, and when he asks her to stay longer, she compares him to a “scavenging sewer rat”. However, even this highlights their compatibility.
Barney: How would you like to extend your stay here? All you’d have to do is pretend to be my wife and scare off the occasional one-night stand. I know, I know, you’ve got your ethics, you’ve got your principles…
Lily: (quickly) I’ll do it!
Barney: (looks surprised) Really?
Obviously, Lily, although considering herself one of the most moral characters in the show, is not above bending her values to benefit herself, making her not very different from Barney at all. (Also of note: Barney shows Lily his extensive porn collection, and she doesn’t seem too phased, merely commenting on his storm trooper. It is later revealed, in “The Front Porch”, that Lily can recognize a scene from a porn film simply by Barney’s description of it. So, either Barney and Lily have similar tastes in adult entertainment, or they have a lending/stealing system going on. Either way, awesome.)
And then there’s the final scene, where Barney decides to forgo going out to the bar in order to stay in with Lily. However, they fall asleep together. When they wake up, they both start to scream, because they genuinely believe that they have had sex. In other words: they believe that they would consent to, or initiate, sex. In other (different) words: they both, either consciously or subconsciously, wanted each other. If they didn’t want to sleep together, then they would not have assumed that they had, and thus woken up peacefully. Of course, the commitment-phobic Barney freaks out, believing that he and Lily are in a relationship. Lily sees right through him: “You’re not mad at me, you’re mad at yourself. You let someone into your life, and it actually felt OK.” Once again, Lily sees past his over-the-top persona to see the person underneath. Once again, she demonstrates a knowledge of how he works. Of course, then Barney denies it and they start to argue, and that, my friends, is the closest we will ever get to Barney/Lily being canon.
I can understand why they didn’t take Barney and Lily in a romantic direction. The beginning of season two would have been way too early for Barney to have a BrOTP-like storyline, and his devotion to Marshall and Lily, which is not really explored until “Bachelor Party”, is a major reason why Barney falling in love is plausible. However, I still can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they had actually slept together. Oh, well.
One final point – observe Barney’s attire when he settles down to watch Letterman:
And when he and Lily wake up:
I will leave the mystery of the disappearing shirt for you to ponder, readers. (Hint: they were totally making out earlier.)
Barney: Aw, Lily, I’d love to, but we’re not in college and I’m not trying to sleep with you.
Despite the reams that I wrote about “World’s Greatest Couple”, “Stuff” is probably my personal favorite Barney/Lily episode. I apologize in advance for any excessive squeeing.
Lily has been asked to be in a play, and Barney is reluctant to go (note: he tells her “I love you”! I mean, in a platonic way, but whatever, it still counts). The group all go to see her, and the play is, predictably, awful. However, Marshall, Ted, and Robin all tell her that they liked it. However, when it’s Barney’s turn to comment, he goes to hug her (Marshall, her future husband, did not give her an adorable hug).
He then proceeds to tell her that her play was awful. Lily is incredibly offended. Barney says, “I’m just being honest, 'cuz we’re friends.” Lily responds, “No, friends make each other feel good. They build each other up and support them. That’s what being a good friend is about.” Their conflicting views lead to Barney trying to prove his point in his usual fashion – by putting on the most terrible play in existence and forcing Lily to sit through it.
Let’s pause for a second. Barney is trying to put on a play in order to prove Lily wrong. He goes to great lengths, including several elements that are sure to piss her off (and also printing out playbills reading “Suck It, Lily”), and why? To prove his idea right, and hers wrong. When you take into account that, if he is right, it means that he was being a good friend to her after all, and that she will be less hurt by his honesty, the whole thing seems less mean-spirited.
Eventually, Lily gives up and admits that Barney was right. She starts to leave when Barney begins to extol the awfulness of his play, of which he seems very proud. Eventually, Lily decides to stay to watch the end of the play. And then this really adorable smile comes across Barney’s face:
Of course, he bows his head and brushes it off, but he’s obviously really touched that Lily would sit through his show, which was engineered specifically for her to hate, just to, as she said, make him feel good. So, at the end of the episode, neither Barney nor Lily have been proven wrong (Lily was honest, while still supporting him), and we see a glimpse of their friendship, which has already come so far - the Lily from the pilot would never have indulged Barney like that. Plus, Barney as the robot will never fail to be hysterical.
Barney: Yeah, yeah, yeah... Barney, what are you doing here...I can't believe it's really you...Come in, have a seat...You want some tea...I know the apartment's small but I don't need much space... let me show you some of my paintings...I think it's some of my best work ever. JUST STOP IT! Lily, you have to come home. You and Marshall belong together. The two of you have something most people search their whole lives for and never find. I know you love him and if you knew what he was going through right now you wouldn't be here for one more second. I bought you a ticket home. Marshall is one of the best people I know and it won't be long until someone else realizes that and you will lose him forever. I can't stand the thought of that happening and I cannot keep stealing chicks from him forever. Never ever tell anyone I was here, I will deny it tooth and nail; this trip never happened.
The quote is huge, but I had to include it all. This monologue is when Lily sees, really sees, that Barney is one of the greatest friends she has. He goes to San Francisco to save her from a lifetime of regret and unhappiness, and it's one of the most touching moments of the series. However, the episode begins with Barney completely ruining Marshall’s bachelor party and, by the end of the day, Marshall threatens to uninvite Barney to the wedding, saying that he never wanted them to get married. We can see how upset Lily is by this accusation:
She then tells the story of how Barney, upon seeing Marshall’s distress at losing Lily, flies out to San Francisco for three hours to give Lily a plane ticket home. After delivering his speech, he closes the door, leaving Lily alone with this new impression of him.
Ted and Marshall agree that Barney deserves to be Marshall’s best man, and Barney reacts with, “See, Lily, this is why I didn’t… wait, really?” His surprise and childlike glee is really sweet, as is Lily smiling at him:
Barney doesn’t want his friends to find out that he did such a good deed, and believes that they will somehow hate him or make fun of him for it. And Lily respects that, although it must have been killing her to keep that secret (something which she is notoriously bad at). She indulges him, while still knowing what a huge favor he did her. It changes our perception of Barney, as well as the relationship between Barney and Lily, completely, and for the better, shipper or no.
Barney: And if you recall, her computer had a webcam and a T1 line, so I…
Lily: Yeah, I know, Barney, you showed me, and that still doesn’t count as a Christmas present.
In this episode, Barney has a stalker who tips off all of his potential conquests as to what a sleazebag he is. She talks to Lily after having seen the two of them together. Barney insists that he remembers all of names of the girls he’s slept with, and even has a scrapbook of them, and, using this information, makes a March Madness-style bracket to find out the woman who has the most right to hate him. The group manages to narrow it down to four women, and Lily accompanies Barney in confronting them. Lily seems to show delight at the prospect of him getting what he deserves, even making a scrapbook out of it, and ultimately despairs of him as three of the four women let him off the hook. Finally, not having located the stalker, they decide to lure her into a trap. Barney, however, does not recognize her. He says, “I never thought that I was the guy who would sleep with a girl and not even remember her, so, from the bottom of my heart, for whatever I did to you, I apologize.” Lily then hugs him, saying that she’s proud of him. Then she takes a picture, calling it “Barney’s Redemption”. Of course, Barney doesn’t appreciate this, but still. Lily obviously disapproves of Barney’s treatment of women, and with good reason, but she wants to bring out the better side of him.
Do I Know You?
Lily: I’m a kindergarten teacher. I see a confused little kid in the corner trying to eat the leftie scissors, I gotta help the poor little bastard.
When Barney comes out of the hospital and realizes that he’s in love with Robin, there is only one person that he trusts enough to share this information with: Lily. He claims that she noticed that something was up when he laughed way too loud at Robin's joke, but the whole group was there. Barney obviously couldn’t tell Robin. However, he could have also turned to Marshall, and, even though Ted makes it clear in “Benefits” that he is OK with Barney being in love with Robin, Barney still does not volunteer that information right away (and, in fact, only really outright admits his intentions to Ted in “The Leap”). He chose Lily to share this with, and Lily alone, and she is incredibly supportive, despite insisting that he stop sleeping with other girls. Lily encourages him to ask Robin out, and arranges a dinner date for the two of them. Considering how, in “The Front Porch”, we see that Lily has no qualms about destroying relationships that she does not believe will work out, there is no way she would go to such lengths to help Barney out if she did not think that he was worthy to be with Robin, one of her best friends. She’s glad to see this side of him, and is disappointed when he decides to pick bimbos over Robin, because he’s choosing an empty life of meaningless sex over a relationship. In essence, she is trying to return the favor that he did her in “Bachelor Party”.
Lily: You’ll never pull it off. There’s too many distractions. The first drunk bridesmaid you see, you’ll have your head under her dress like an old-time photographer.
Only four episodes after “Do I Know You?”, Lily changes her tune completely, undermining Barney in his attempt to get Robin to sleep with him at Ted’s wedding, insisting that he will be unable to focus on her (and she’s right, of course). Why the change in attitude? Simple: look at Lily’s final scene with Barney in “Do I Know You?” He’s picked hooking up with random women over making a serious effort with Robin, as well as breaking his promise to Lily that he’d stop sleeping around. In addition, Barney’s phrasing doesn’t lend itself to sympathy – he tells Lily that “Robin’s the only chick I’m banging”. When Barney speaks about Robin in purely sexual terms, Lily is much less supportive than when his struggle is romantic, such as in “Benefits”. Although Barney tries to deal with his feelings by associating them with lust, Lily sees past this – she knows that him taking advantage of Robin when she's vulnerable won’t make his feelings go away, and could even completely ruin his chance to be with her. Thus, knowing his pattern of behavior, she discourages him. Even though she is less indulgent of him than she usually is, it's only because she disapproves of his plan, while recognizing the intentions behind it.
Barney: If Lily were here, she’d know exactly how to get rid of him.
Marshall: Maybe I can help.
Barney: Marshall, you’re no Lily. Lily is a diabolical puppetmaster subtly manipulating every situation to get exactly what she wants. She’s pure evil, Marshall. You got a good one there. Hang onto her.
The episode barely features Lily (due to Alyson Hannigan’s real-life pregnancy), but it opens with Barney telling Lily a dirty joke (because she’s “cool”, in his words), and her storming off, refusing to speak to him. However, Ted hires a new (male) assistant called PJ, who begins a relationship with Robin. Barney begins to fall apart, and doesn’t have Lily to talk to. Marshall (who was told about Barney’s feelings by Lily) tries to get him to open up, but Barney insists that Lily is the only one that he can talk to. This episode, although it divides Barney and Lily, shows just how dependent he is on her. She’s his confidante, and he can’t function without her. (Also, in “As Fast As She Can”, when Lily returns, he looks so happy!)
Barney: Look, I love you. But, baby, with the little energy I have left after work, I want to shower you with love, not wash some silly dishes.
Lily: You’re right, I’ll do the dishes. Right after I do this. (Cue sexy music.)
Lily and Marshall are currently having a dispute about the dishes, and Barney offers his advice about how he would handle the situation. Cue an incredibly misogynistic 60s-sitcom style fantasy of what life would be like, were Barney and Lily married.
One thing of interest, other than the sheer hot: Barney’s daydream is seriously elaborate. I highly doubt that it’s the sort of thing that could be made up on the spot, meaning that he’s definitely fantasized about this before. Also: HOT.
I think the question is, how does anyone NOT ship this.
Why Do I Ship It?
Their Physical Chemistry: Let’s get this out of the way – the pretty factor definitely contributes to my love for the ship. NPH and Alyson Hannigan are pretty much the top of my list for hottest male and female, and they’re hot together (see: “Bagpipes”). In addition, the characters have an obvious attraction to each other. Barney makes it clear from the moment he lays eyes on her that he thinks she’s hot (often saying that she’s way out of Marshall’s league). Lily’s at least curious about him: in “the Goat”, she interrogates Robin about his sexual practices (to the point where both Marshall and Robin are clearly uncomfortable), "The Naked Man" confirms that he gives her sex tips, and in “the Rough Patch”, she’s clearly disappointed that Ted stopped the tape before they could watch Barney in action. They both enjoy sex, and are both implied to be more than a little adventurous in bed.
Their Friendship: Many HIMYM fans, shippers or no, will cite Barney and Lily’s friendship as one of the great aspects of the series, and I agree. Even with the physicality of both characters, there’s a certain charm about their platonicness. As a quick example, in the Barney video at himym.com, found here, Barney describes Lily as “Cute. Easy to talk to. You just want to pinch her.” Even as a shipper, the lack of sexual context speaks a lot more of Barney’s high regard of her than if he’d made a sleazy joke. He hits on “anything that moves”, in Lily’s words – it takes a lot more for him to enjoy a girl’s personality. And Lily clearly holds the same regard for him, even if she disapproves of his behavior and attitude towards women.
They’re Kind of the Same Person: Both Barney and Lily have a duality that none of the other main characters really share. What you see is more or less what you get with them – Ted is the dreamy romantic, Marshall’s the nice small-town guy, Robin’s the tough-as-nails chick (although, of course, they all have different aspects of their personalities). However, Barney and Lily seem to have two different sides to them. Barney, of course, is the jerk with a heart of gold. Lily, on the other hand, is his complete opposite – underneath her soft, cute exterior is a cunning manipulator (as well as a sex fiend), and Barney seems to be the only one who really acknowledges that. Lily and Barney are two sides of the same coin, and thus they can understand each other in a way that no one else can. Lily recognizes that Barney is a human being, despite what he may want you to believe; Barney sees the less innocent parts of her personality and loves her for them.
Barney: She thinks I’m some womanizing idiot!
Lily: Hey, we both know you’re more than that.
Barney and Lily’s relationship has been growing from the first season, gaining strength as they understand that, despite their different appearances, they have more in common than they could ever have guessed. They come to respect and love each other, and their journey is one of the most subtle and affecting in the show. True, they aren’t canon, and they never will be canon. I don’t think that any of the shippers I know would want the circumstances necessary for them to be together. But their interactions are fun to watch onscreen and explore in fandom, and the guilt about breaking up the canon couples eventually goes away, I promise.
One unfortunate fact about the HIMYM fandom is that Barney/Robin almost completely overwhelms the fanwork produced, and thus leaving little love for non-canon pairings. However, there are a few people who produce Barney/Lily fic, generally of pretty good quality. These are listed in no particular order.
Totally Pretend by boundbyspells (PG-13): This is the oldest Barney/Lily fic that I can find, and it’s probably one of the best. It’s an AU of “World’s Greatest Couple”, and really examines what Lily’s thought processes could be when she’s pretending to be married to Barney. Funny, sweet, and creative.
The Itch You Just Can’t Scratch and Saved by idioticonion (NC-17): These two fics show both perspectives of the same encounter (Lily’s and Barney’s, respectively). Set between “World’s Greatest Couple” and “Swarley”, it’s a mostly AU one-night stand between them. The thoughts of both of them are perfect, and the sex is hot and believable. If I had to pick one that I preferred, it would have to be “Saved”, simply because Barney straddles the line between selfishness and selflessness so well.
Glimmer by stablergirl (NC-17): An AU of season two where Lily is still living with Barney after Marshall finds a new girlfriend. Seriously hot and playful and intense all at the same time. Also, stablergirl is the master of repetition, and it works particularly well in this story.
Alcatraz (If By Alcatraz You Mean A Bar) by torigates (PG-13): The three hours Barney spent in San Francisco is a goldmine for Barney/Lily writers, and this fic is one of the best. It’s actually mostly gen, but definitely with a sexual slant. Funny and with an excellent Lily POV.
I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Or, Five Times Barney Thought He Messed Up and One Time He Knows He Did) by droid_girl (PG-13): Whatever, she may be more famous for “Husbandly Duties”, but this one’s better. Again, an AU of season two, where Barney messes up a potential relationship with Lily. Lots of angst, and a completely believable explanation for Lily’s behavior in “Shelter Island”. If I was any more delusional than I already am, I would totally consider this as canon.
New Dart by secondmezzanine (NC-17): OK, so it’s complete PWP. But it’s so dirty and wrong and Barney’s just so manipulative that it blew my mind. So here it goes on the rec list. (There was also a sequel by darlingchaos called “Gone, Going”, which was a Marshall reaction piece and was completely awesome, but she recently removed her work from LiveJournal. Sadness.)
For Your Own Good by snogged (R): snogged doesn’t usually write non-pornographic fiction, and when it is, it’s usually short. However, I picked this piece by her because of the interesting interaction between Barney and Lily. However, she’s written plenty of porn about them, so you should also check that out.
What Dad Never Told Them by katayla (PG): This is a series of kisses between all of the characters on the show, but the first ficlet is Barney/Lily after “World’s Greatest Couple”. I actually refuse to believe that this is not how it went down. Fun, light, sweet, and could easily fit in with canon.
Tips on Being Awesome/5 Things Barney’s Fantasized About Lily Aldrin by kho (R): As the author describes it, this is a “fic and half a fic”. The first one is a missing scene from “The Bracket” and is an interesting take on the friendship between Barney and Lily (especially taking into account his lust for her). The second one is, as the title says, five fantasies that Barney has about Lily, ranging from hot to hilarious to sweet.
Not Breathing by devylish (PG-13, eventually NC-17): The first part of her verse, this fic explores the evolving relationship between Barney and Lily following the death of Marshall. The death isn’t merely a cheap means of getting the complications out of the way, but is an essential part of the story, and thus contains massive amounts of angst. However, if it’s your cup of tea, it’s a great read.