Character/pairing: Ted/Tracy, ensemble
Series: How I Met Your Mother
Summary: When Ted meets Tracy, he realizes for the first time that love can be easy.
Word count: 1739
Author's note: is it just me or have I never done a Ted Point of view? It was fun writing out his pretentious ways.
Hey, what does this say on my palm? Yes! It says "fuck the finale!" (Which is to say this flips a finger at that aired finale and goes straight into the alt finale which I live in. I just drive by the aired finale sometimes to pelt it with garbage sometimes.)
For bring_me_sugar in fandom_stocking.
Ted wasn't used to this.
Everything about Tracy was so utterly easy. Not in the kind of nicknames given to girls who loved to kiss in the back seats of cars (Which was bullshit, because who didn't like to kiss? He could've kissed a thousand girls in a thousand backseats and never got called anything but a stud), but in everything.
And for Ted, love had never been easy. He was the one who read Love In The Time Of Cholera and Romeo and Juliet and thought now there's some relationship goals.
And so it was that all his relationships had a tinge of tragedy to them.
Love was fleeting. With Robin, it was a tug of war. Every time he just thought he'd gotten close enough, the knots and rope would be tugged away as she ran; the first vision of her never quite could match up to her reality.
For Stella, it had been this grand vision of being a father, of being more than himself. For Zoe, it was like chaos theory, and the swirling of opposites. Karen was nostalgia, Victoria was daydreams, like soft sprinkled sugar over cupcakes.
But from the very moment he stood under that yellow umbrella next to her, everything unfolded. He felt like he was in a damn musical.
No games, no tug of war, no final goodbyes. Each date blended seamlessly into the next. And with each one was the continued sureness. No, she wasn't angry. No, she didn't mind him texting before the 'three day rule.'
When the thread in his favorite deep green cable knit sweater had spun through, and his day of teaching had more than the acceptable number of fart jokes from students sprinkled between arches, and all his souffles went flat, her smile made everything seem not so bad.
And as they settled in for a night, Netflix and fallen souffles and slightly burned turkeys with a bonus--his red cowboy boots, one thought went through his mind:
She's the one.
She's the one was the unsaid word always on the tip of his tongue. If his friends had heard that--an unsaid word there would've uproarious laughter, and another in-joke. Like major pain as they all saluted in turn.
There were always in-jokes with them. He was usually the butt of them. Or Barney, if his attempt had gotten turned aside by a sharp quip from Robin or Lily.
Hey Ted, your 'the one' is here to passing meter maids, pizza girls, and the occasional paralegal. But now, the jokes had quieted down. Even his friends knew what he'd figured out in those weeks, between stories and kisses.
So Ted kept it to himself, a secret all his own. When she smiled at him across the room, a whole new world opened. One where he could love and be loved and everything would be easy.
And with each kiss, the sureness coursed through him. Over and over again. She's the one. I found her. She exists. My journey if finally done.
Even though it was 3AM, Ted woke full of warmth and this new realization. He was in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, and best of all--she loved him back. When he reached out, she would take his hand with a little smile. She returned his texts without needing space. She even liked his red cowboy boots.
And when it came to moments like the, the only thing he wanted to do was share this with his friends. So, he carefully slipped out from bed, as not to wake her, and pulled out his phone. A few messages here and there.
Barney's was instantaneous, but surprisingly not a middle finger. He and Robin were still up, for a work party. Thumbs up from a guy who would've talked him down from marriage even just a couple years ago.
Bring her along for laser tag when we're back in NYC! Robin&I will kick your ass!
A few years ago (hell, a few months ago) the site of Robin would've made his heart twinge, but now he just smiled. He'd finally let her go, finally moved on to not clinging to embers and ashes, and instead
A few moments later he got a text.
Ted, I love you, but Lily is going to kill you if you keep waking us up with text sprees. She says congrats, by the way. And that I owe her 5 bucks.
Ted felt like he was in a musical. Like he could break into song at any moment, throw open the windows and scream I'm in love, I'm really in love. Just like he'd landed in some sitcom which he certainly didn't watch and cry, or reenact for hours with figures on top of models of New York he made himself.
And even better: she loves me too.
The one thing he'd been missing in all those close contact crashes, all those slight to major mistakes in the names of girls he'd known. He'd finally found synchronicity, and someone who was dancing in step with him.
One day, she came in with an answer to his daydreams of white wedding dresses and carriages fit for a princess. Just a few little words, which changed everything.
Ted was in a daze. That day, he wanted to buy a drink for everyone in that bar. Even Carl, and that creepy old guy who hung around the jukebox just to play as much Taylor Swift as possible.
I'm going to be a dad. We're going to have children together. They'll have adorable little socks, and we'll gasp and coo sock over them.
He was going to have a wife, and kids, and everything he'd almost given up on. All his dreams had come back when he saw a glimpse of her face, hidden underneath that yellow umbrella.
It was like he was kind of drunk all the time, except he was drunk on her--and love, always on love.
He was going to wake up his wife up with breakfast in bed. He'd make her some creme brulee--his specialty, that his friends, especially Robin, ribbed him about constantly. He'd woo her with his red cowboy boots.
She waved her hand in front of his face. "Earth to Ted."
She wore a floral dress, mid-calf, like the personification of Spring. Her soft waves of brown hair would fit perfect with a crown of Baby's Breath. He could just imagine her dressed in white, and waiting for him.
Waiting a little longer, now.
When she smiled at him, he was reminded all over again. Wife, children, family--even happiness. It was all his now. Just as sure as her hand was in his. Ted just leaned in and kissed her. It said more than all his jumble of words could.
On the way home, he'd stopped at a magazine vendor, only to think one day, I'll have a kid who reads Popular Science For Kids. He'd read them The Little Prince and fragments of more worksafe (child appropriate) Neruda. He'd write letters on their palms, and teach them how to say en-cylpo-pae-dia, not encyclo-peedia.
That could all be his.
One day, he'd tell her, but there was no hurry. There would always be tomorrow and tomorrow and so many more, until they were playing Bridge on Lily's front porch side by side. (Hopefully by then, Lily would've figured out how to play Bridge.)
Now, they were curled up together on the couch. Her hair tickled his forearm (which was falling asleep) but he didn't mind. He'd fared far worse. They hadn't even had sex tonight. The poetry was too good. It would come, it didn't matter. There was no desperate what-if-there's-no-tomorrow like with so many of his past girlfriends. (To name them was to like to bring up a ghost, so for once, he didn't overshare his past stories and past loves.)
And for the first time, it wasn't a desperate rush in case she changed her mind. She still liked him in the morning, messy hair and morning breath. She loved him crying over cooking shows and driving slow. She loved him down with a cold, barely able to speak.
She loved him. And that mere fact filled him with an endless warmth. As she shifted, with a slow, happy sigh, he leaned down to kiss her forehead.
"Hey--Thanks for existing," he said. "I'm so glad I met you."
"I'm glad I met you, too."
She smiled like sunshine, like hope he'd lost. She was like a line of poetry stuck in his head that he whispered to himself while he cooked. Neruda, or e.e. cummings.
She made him forget what it was like to be lonely, until all he remembered was this happiness, her elbow against him, her head to his chest. A line of poetry he hadn't written yet, but would, over a glass of White Zinfandel. He could write whole books just in the way her hair fell down her back, in the way she could sing in the mornings. He could spend his whole life finding new things to realize were incredible about her.
And Ted would. A thousand DIY projects, red leather nights and a chance to read poetry through every night of their lives, with a whisper of sweet words before bed.
Ted had made all the wrong choices in the past. It was time to start using all those sad stories to thread together his happy ending.
He'd made a one minute date, he'd stolen a blue french horn, and now he kept a yellow umbrella on the mantle as a reminder that true love was not a myth, a fairy tale or a cliché. And sometimes, it came in the most unexpected places. Through all the hard times, he'd endured.
And now, his I love you always had a response back. A kiss, an I know on Thanksgiving when they marathoned Star Wars together, a flutter of her eyelashes against him as she shifted in, or the classic: I love you, too.
If he could tell his past self anything, it would be just to wait a little longer. Because he'd be happier than he dreamed possible, dancing to Ella Fitzgerald in the kitchen with the scent of warm bagels in the toaster, and a new song on her lips.
Loving her meant never lingering in silence, never wondering if the time was right or off, never wondering if she'd bolt for the door the minute he said the word 'marriage.' Loving her meant knowing that every love song had a bit of truth in it, if only he waited long enough.