Later Sunday evening the gang gathered in Apartment 4A. Sheldon had texted Leonard informing him that Wyatt had departed for Omaha so he expected that he would appear and that he wouldn't be happy.
Sitting around the living room were Sheldon, Penny, Nora, Alex, Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Dr. Stephanie Barnett, who had enjoyed herself so much on Friday that she rushed over as soon as her Emergency Room shift ended on Sunday afternoon. Sheldon had ordered pizza and they were just starting to eat when Leonard walked in wearing a big scowl. He announced himself.
"You should all know that I'm not very happy with what happened on Friday. You embarrassed me in front of the whole department."
Then, pointing at Penny he added, "And what the hell is she doing here? I want her out. I don't ever want to see her in this apartment again. And I expect to have your support, Howard and Raj. You're my friends and it's bros before hoes."
"Leonard, I appreciate that you may be upset. However, out of respect for our friendship we have organized a testimonial of sorts in your honor to welcome you back after what must have been a difficult few days. Please have a seat in front of the television."
Leonard sheepishly sat down in front of the TV. Sheldon turned it on. The first thing everyone saw and heard was Wyatt Queen saying "It's rodeo time" as over a close-up of Leonard standing there with his hands covering his genitalia. The familiar strains of the William Tell Overture began. The music then swelled followed Leonard as he was chased around his lab and up and down the halls of the CalTech. It would often switch to shots of Leonard approaching. It was really quite well edited. When Leonard burst into the cafeteria a series of different point-of-view shots was presented, too many to count. The clip ended with President Seibert's comment about taking casual Friday too far.
Leonard jumped up and glared as it ended.
"Very very funny. So you got even, didn't you, Penny?"
"This wasn't about getting even, Leonard. This was about teaching you a lesson. A lesson you seem to still be unwilling to learn."
"So what, a bunch of my friends saw you naked. Now a bunch of my friends have seen me naked. We're even."
"Actually, Leonard, Casual Friday has received significantly more hits in the past two days than Girl in Shower with Ape ever has," Sheldon informed him.
"Wait, you posted this? This isn't just something Howard put together for your enjoyment?"
"Oh, we're enjoying it. We just aren't greedy. We decided to share it with the world," added Howard.
"You had no right to do that."
"Getting it now, Leonard? Getting what it feels like to have an embarrassing episode shared with strangers without your permission?"
"It's not the same thing."
"I kinda think it is."
"Well I still want you out of here. You and anyone who was involved with that thing."
"Leonard, that would be almost all of us."
Stephanie stood up. "I had nothing to do with it but I sure wish I had been there. And if they go, I go. You're kind of an asshat, Leonard."
"Actually, Leonard, I wish to address the subject of who should be in this apartment and who should not. I have determined that you are the one who should not be here."
"We have a Roommate Agreement."
Sheldon went to his desk and removed a large ziplock bag from the top drawer. In the bag were shredded documents.
"I have shredded the Roommate Agreement. I have concluded, with the help of a very close friend, that the agreements that I crafted and that I believed protected me instead harmed me and I have canceled every single one as I had wisely included a codicil allowing me to do that at my discretion. I have decided to become a hippie and go with the flow. And since I am aware that you have been suspended from Caltech for two weeks I have decided to allow you pack your things and flow out the door."
"What if I refuse?"
"Leonard, my name is on the lease. Yours is not. If I need to bring attorneys into this you will not enjoy the experience."
"I have my own attorney. She's beaten you before."
"Yeah, dude, my sister isn't your attorney anymore. She may not like Penny but she really didn't like what you did. And she also demands that you destroy any photographs or recordings of her that you might have."
"She can't do that."
"Actually, Leonard, she can. And if you post anything of Priya or Penny or any other woman you've been with online you will be subjected to fines and prosecution according to the laws of the State of California."
"Well, I can still keep them for personal use."
At that point Nora pulled Penny to the side and whispered something to her. Penny's face grew redder and redder until she marched over to Leonard and slapped him so hard he almost fell over.
"What the hell was that for?"
"Nora just told me what you mean by personal use. This asshole had the shower scene on a loop and he used it to masturbate."
Leonard pointed at Nora. "So you took my DVD!"
"That's what you took from that." And Penny slapped him again.
Howard stood up. "Buddy, you should know that I went through your computers here and at work and removed that clip. It's also a lot harder to find it online now and if you were to find it and download it you might give your computer a very pernicious virus."
"You're supposed to be my friend, Howard."
"Yeah, and a real friend tells someone when he's been a gigantic asshole. I'm really sorry to admit that I've had your back for a long time. I backed you up when you fucked with Sheldon's experiment in the Arctic. I backed you up every single time you and Penny split up and supported you when you got back together even though I could see that the relationship was destroying Penny. I am so, so sorry and I hope that someday she can forgive me."
"She loved me. She still loves me."
Penny jumped in. "Leonard, you are so fucking deluded. I thought you were a good guy. I loved that guy. Well now I know that guy never really existed. You are a fucking fraud. The only thing you love is yourself and your cock. Well, you should be happy now because we shared your cock with the world. Except it needs a sign that says Objects are smaller than they appear."
"It satisfied you for a long time."
"Two things, Leonard. One, I was drunk. And two, I'm an actress."
Stephanie couldn't hold back. "I'd like to chime in here. Um, Leonard, while you are quite good at negotiations you very rarely seal the deal."
"So, you too Stephanie?"
"Leonard, you introduced the subject. I believe we've now heard more than enough about your sexual prowess. If you wish us to gather more witnesses I'm sure that I could contact Leslie Winkle, Joyce Kim and Dr. Plimpton for further accounts. I'm not very sure it would be helpful. I still want you out."
"Yeah, his new roommate is chomping at the bit to move in," added Penny.
"And who's that?"
"Me!" And Penny strode up to Sheldon and gave him a big wet kiss on the lips. Sheldon returned Penny's kiss and they began full on making out right in front of Leonard.
Leonard fainted dead away.
"You all know your assignments," Sheldon announced.
When Leonard woke up in his bedroom he was surrounded by boxes containing his property. Taped to them was a note.
Attached is a check refunding your security deposit and the remainder of this month's rent. I have taken the liberty of engaging a storage facility who will shortly pick up and store your property until you find a new domicile and I have reserved a room for you at the local "Y". Please be gone by the time Penny and I return later this evening. We have plans which involve use of the entire apartment. Leave your keys in the bowl. Please do not return. Ever.
Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper
Across the hall
"I hope you didn't mind my little improv there, Sheldon."
"The kiss? It seemed to have the desired effect. Leonard was unconscious the entire time we packed his belongings."
"Was that the only effect?"
"Weren't you going to say something?"
"Penny, Nora and Alex are right there."
"Hey, don't mind us. If you guys want to get busy we're happy to sit back and enjoy the show. Might even be up for some audience participation."
Penny, Sheldon and Alex looked straight at her and together yelled "NORA!"
The next day was Monday. As Nora drove Penny and Sheldon to Manny's to rehearse Penny closed her eyes and thought. "Just a few weeks ago I was a mess. The two people who claimed they loved me the most didn't respect who I was or what I wanted one bit. They were trying to erase every bit of me and replace it with their idea of who they wanted me to be. I was an alcoholic co-dependent mess. All of my tomorrows were going to be exactly like my yesterdays. Now, I'm with the two people I love most in the world and I know they love me just as much. I'm about to take one of the biggest risks I will ever take and I know that if I succeed or fail they will still be there with me. And they'll help push me to take the next risk. But it will always be my choice. They've helped me go from just existing to really living. I have my future back in my own hands. How did I ever get so lucky?"
A/N: So that's it. My one-chapter story ends thirty-one chapters later. I have to admit this one took a lot out of me. Thank you all asking me to take this ride and for coming along. This story started in anger and ended with hope.
As for the show, I guess I'm getting kind of cynical. It seems that all the lousy things that Leonard has done to Penny during Season 7 are being interpreted as the cute things that people in love do. Man, does that suck. I don't expect The Big Bang Theory, a situation comedy, to be profound or to teach me life lessons. But their concept of love is pretty damned perverse and it's really depressing. I guess the only happy ending that Penny and Sheldon will ever find will be here, in our fantasies, because we may be the only people who really love them for who they are and for their dreams.
So, enough of the morose. I've got two stories in the hopper that need to percolate a little more before I start posting. One is my long-spoken-of continuation of The Non-Coincident Theorem called The Slipped Conjugation that I'm still a little stuck on. The other is a coda to The Dancing Diversion called After the Dance that I started yesterday and it's kind of flowing. If I were a betting man I'd put money on you seeing that one first. But hey, since I'm doing this for you as well as me, I'm willing to put it up for discussion. Let me know what you think. Just so you know, because she seems to have a few fans, Nora appears in both stories. And though I haven't been visited by the Zarneckies for a bit, I'm positive they'll hate both of them. It's likely Leonard will also.
See you soon.