Sooooo... a long time ago, a great friend, writer, and artist named Jislane35, asked me to do a story for her. She introduced me to Tabbie and I morphed and molded her into a character I reeeaaaallllyyyy love. This story was really fun to write and hopefully, it's still as good as it was the first time.
May you enjoy!
Change is a kleptomaniac of space and relations. It shuffles lives congruently as pieces of upon a chess board. One moment there seems to be peace, acceptance, and continuity, and the next, everything is scattered to the wind. For Leonard and Penny; it was the latter. Leonard's love only seemed to drown Penny and she finally had to come up for air. They separated and drifted into the sullen breeze of the wind of change.
Though change can throw hearts up in the air so haphazardly, it can lead the lost right into the gentle grip of another chance. Leonard's descending heart fell right into the lap of a beautifully munificent assistant. SHELDON's munificent assistant, to be specific, named Alex Jensen. Penny expressed many times how happy she was for them during many laundry nights, but Sheldon (becoming more inept at reading his closest friend's emotionally irrational state, now) could tell that she was still a little tender about that matter.
Sheldon HATED weddings. They were just an expensive manner of gloating to your closet family and friends about having someone to engage in coitus with until you tire of each other's company. Amy Farrah Fowler agreed to come with him even if she was quite disappointed of not being a part of it. She wanted to dance and he, profusely, declined each time she asked. This eventually caused Amy Farrah Fowler to take the extended, silent, and eager hand of Rajesh Koothrappali.
Penny came to the wedding, though she seemed more out of it than she normally was. It took Amy Farrah Fowler nearly 3 weeks to convince Penny she needed to come. Penny gave in and went shopping for an outfit to come in. She looked practically stunning in her tight, strapless, thigh high cream colored dress that extenuated her darkly tanned complexion. She wore dark blue high heels that matched her purse and was quite tasteful with her ensemble. She got quite a lot of attention but she didn't really seem to notice until a rather handsome, tall, dark ruffled haired man began to chat with her at the bar at the reception. She laughed, drank, and playfully slapped him (Sheldon learned this was a form of flirting) all through the entire reception. She finally brought the man over to the table that Sheldon had been sitting at the whole night and introduced the man as James Thornton. He was a MMA fighter and knew Leonard through his mother. Mrs. Hofstadter was Mr. Thornton's therapist. He lost his wife and new born baby 8 years ago. His heartbreak was unbearable, but he had slowly begun living his life again.
At the end of the night, Amy Farrah Fowler and Rajesh had disappeared, Leonard and Alex left for their honeymoon, Penny and Jugg (Sheldon didn't ask why Penny was calling him that) went back to the man's hotel room, and that left Sheldon retrieving a ride with Howard and Bernadette.
Sheldon barely saw much of Leonard after the wedding, even at work. One day, approximately three months and four days after their wedding, Alex placed her two weeks' notice right in front of Sheldon on his desk. Her smile expressed confusion for Sheldon. She shouldn't be so happy about losing this valuable experience. It was two days after this event that Leonard asked for everyone to gather at their apartment where he wanted to express his great news to all his 'friends'.
Sheldon's eyes were painfully wide as he sat at his desk in the apartment. He spun as fast as his chair would allow him, "What do you mean you are LEAVING? You have not given me efficient notice of such actions…"
Leonard sighed, but the smile on his face didn't leave, "I emailed you two days ago, right after Alex turned in her two weeks' notice. Alex and I… we're moving to New Jersey. I got a really great offer to run the Physics Department at Rutgers… and Alex will be my new assistant." He looked over at her fondly.
Sheldon jumped up and moved to argue this insanity, but Penny jumped in from 'his spot' on the couch, "That's GREAT! Congrats you two!" She took Leonard into a hug, then moved to Alex. That got the other's to jump in, excitedly. Standing and watching the couple receiving tearful hugs and handshakes, Sheldon crossed his arms and noticed an abrupt movement to his left. He watched as Penny slipped out of the apartment like water under the door. Sheldon stared after her, marveling at her acting skills just now. She seemed so happy, but her facial expression as she left expressed heartache. Amy snapped him out of his thoughts as she approached, "Sheldon, maybe you should give congratulations to your friend…"
Sheldon nodded to her. He took a step forward and crowed, "I wish you both the best at Rutgers. May you both be happy and content on your decisions." He moved past Amy and shot out the front door.
Sheldon moved to the door of his neighbor's apartment and raised his fist, ready to knock, but his peripheral vision caught a disturbance to his right leading up the stairs going to the fifth floor. He turned his head and saw Penny sitting on the top of the stairs, just before they curved to head upwards. He sighed and looked back at his own apartment door before he moved up the stairs. She scooted over a little and he sat right beside her, staring forward. Penny sighed loudly and tilted her head sideways and her head landed on his shoulder. He didn't jerk away or twitch… neither spoke… they just sat there in their silence they both needed.
It took Sheldon a while to get accustomed to having Leonard out of his life. He and Rajesh made an arrangement of transportation. It was on Rajesh's way, anyway. At first, the ride to the university was full of Rajesh talking about Leonard. It was cumbersome, but Sheldon threw in a few conjectures on the topic. Slowly, Rajesh's conversations shifted to 'Amy This' and 'Amy That'. Sheldon concluded the reason was Amy Farrah Fowler's insistence of Rajesh joining her trial that she conducted and was funded about the irrationality of brain function in those with selective mutism and possible remedies of such ailment. Sheldon found Rajesh's expressions of Amy quite fascinating. It was almost as if the man was infatuated with Amy Farrah Fowler. A month later, she severed the 'Relationship Agreement' and her and Rajesh were dating. Howard and Bernadette continuely asked Sheldon if he was alright after the breakup, and Sheldon just expressed that he was content on Amy Farrah Fowler's decision. Rajesh would be an adequate lover in that he seemingly 'had his heart on his sleeve'.
Sheldon waved to Rajesh as he drove off and saw a lot of burly, tall men taking a few boxes up the stairs. Funny, they didn't have matching outfits as if they worked for the same company. Sheldon shrugged and slipped into the apartment's entrance. He moved to his mailbox emptied its contents then headed upstairs. The men he saw before were now in Penny's apartment with the door wide open. There were 7 of them, including the man he recognized from the wedding (Jugg?), chatting, smiling, drinking and hovering over the three large boxes they brought up. Sheldon lost interest and slipped into his apartment.
Sheldon finally got to see Penny at Laundry Night. She seemed completely content as she shoved her clothes into the dryer. She looked up and smiled at him, "Hey, Sweetie… long time no see!"
Sheldon entered the room fully and placed his basket on the folding table, "Indeed, hello Penny."
Sheldon moved to an open washer and separated his whites and coloreds in silence as Penny cleaned out the lint vent, throw in a dryer sheet, and shoved the coin taker to erupt the dryer to work. The silence was quite comfortable as he, too, slammed the coin taker at his washing machine. Penny's voice cut through the humming and banging of materials from the dryer, "Sheldon… you still looking for an assistant?"
Sheldon was stunned for a moment as his hands paused at the handles of his laundry basket, "Why yes I am. All the applicants that were so called 'qualified' were not sufficient enough. One managed to cry when I explained her incompetence at the use of a stapler. Her staples were three inches down the corner… I couldn't read the top left corner of any page after the first. Quite unforgivable. Why the sudden interest, may I inquire?"
Penny smiled as she shook her head at the man before her, "Oh… well, my cousin is moving in with me and she needs a job."
Sheldon scoffed, "Oh Penny, Penny, Penny… your one room apartment barely has enough room for you from all the discarded trash scattered within its confinds, what makes you think it can take a whole other person. Another thing, what in the universe makes you believe that a relative of YOURS would be adequately capable of being my assistant… the woman who couldn't staple was a graduate of Harvard Law."
Penny narrowed her eyes at him, "Excuse me, MOONPIE… FIRST, I bought a Trundle bed and had it installed by my boyfriend and his friends from the gym. SECOND, Tabbie is one of the smartest women in our family. She graduated Summa Cum Laude at Florida State and got her BS in Marine Biology. She minored in Physics, too… SO, you HAVE TO give her a chance. For your most lovable, loyal, and gorgeous looking friend." She batted her eyelashes and tilted her head on her hands in a praying motion and whimpered, "Please, Please, Please, Pleeeeaaaassseee."
Sheldon groaned loudly… a groan of defeat and sighed out, "Very well…"
Penny squealed happily and pecked him on his cheek. He rolled his eyes as she smiled at him, "Knew I could count on you, Sweetie."
He knew he was going to regret this, but he still asked, "When will I be able to meet your cousin?"
Penny moved and hopped on one of the empty washers and smiled, "I pick her up from the airport tomorrow. I will get her efficiently ready for the great Doctor Sheldon Cooper on Monday."
Sheldon leaned on the corner of the folding table and crossed his arms and smiled at that, "An interview on Monday then. Very well." He pushed off the table and stood in front of the washing machine with Penny on it and threw his hand out expressing an interest in shaking hands, "You have played your cards well, Ms. Woods. If she is as ambitious as yourself… She may be the candidate I'm looking for."
Penny hopped off the machine and slapped her hand on her ass a few times to show she was cleaning it off and put her hand into his and shook it, "This is probably the smartest thing you have ever done, Shelly Bean."
Sheldon rolled his eyes as he shook her hand.
Penny stood on her tippy toes trying to see over the zillions of people waiting for their loved ones. She hadn't seen her cousin since they had a 'Going To College' party for her 8 years ago (before Penny moved to California). Tabetha Lockhart… her appearance may look like punk rock and pop vomited all over classical, but the girl was a freaking GENIUS. After Tabbie graduated, she immediately got a job working under some French guy. She shipped out from Rhode Island and went off the coast of Iceland and finally got back a few months ago. She called Penny as soon as she got to shore and asked if she could come 'VISIT' for a while… Tabbie needed something that wasn't Rhode Island in her life right now. Penny was glad to have her.
Tabbie… Tabbie is a spitfire. She is a 30 year old Marine Biologist. She can hold her liquor better than a KEG. She is small, but her punch feels like stone and her kicks are like iron. She took kickboxing for 12 years and still practices when she's on the boats. She is a geek by day and a rocker by night. She wears baggy clothes, never wears makeup, and has never bought high heeled anything, but that doesn't stop her from being sexy. She has an affinity for the ocean, but she hates seafood. She has three tattoos and twelve piercings. And her fashion sense is straight out of a Japanese music video. Penny collected stuff animals… Tabbie collected strange beanies, toboggans, and hoodies. Penny had a whole closet of shoes… Tabbie had three pairs of boots and a pair of worn out, low-top Converses. Penny drank wine… Tabbie drank Moonshine. They were so very different, but… so very much the same. Out of all the people in Penny's family… Tabbie was the only one she really got along with… and the funny thing was… she wasn't related by blood. Her sister's boyfriend's sister was Tabbie's mom. Penny never met the woman, but she knew that she survived breast cancer. Technically, Penny's only known Tabbie for 9 years… but that was enough for Penny.
Penny stretched herself taller on her toes and immediately saw her. Tabbie was in a blood red hoodie with wolf ears on top of the hood. There was grey fur around the hood, around the bottom, and on the ends of the sleeves. The ends of the sleeves had a little thumb holes where her thumbs now occupied as she strutted out of the gate. She had on baggy black shorts that had chains looped from the waist and just looped and hung. There were random buckles and clips hanging on the carpenter pockets underneath the pants pockets on the side underneath the waist. She had on red and black striped socks that bled into her Bates: SWAT team high cut boots. I could hear her pants jingling as she looked up through the fur of the hood. Penny couldn't suppress her smile as everyone just stared blankly at her. Penny threw her arms in the air and waved, "TABBIE! TABS!"
Tabbie's face went from brooding emo to a full out gorgeous smile. She threw her hood back and squealed, "PIG PEN!" Tabbie sprinted full speed towards Penny and leapt into the air to glomp her cousin like a spider monkey. Penny laughed and had to spin due to the momentum and finally went full circle and let her down. Tabbie was two inches shorter than Penny, but nearly had the same color hair. Her hairstyle was a spiky, wild, pixiecut that framed her face perfectly. Her skin tone was a dark-honey color from being on boats all the time. Her hair and her skin tone only enhanced her two different green colored eyes. The left was a dark, grass colored green while the right was a light jade color. Penny found it completely cool and has yet to really get used to it.
Tabbie blinked and moved her head, "Ummm… Pen? You're freaking me out here… do I have something on my face?" She wiped her face dramatically, bringing the furry ends of her hoodie up and all around her face. Penny laughed, "No, Tabs… I just forgot how awesome your eyes were. Oh… Dude… where're your bags?"
Tabbie turned her head to the left, looking towards the baggage claim area, showing off her pink puzzle piece that symbolized her mother's win against breast cancer underneath her right ear, and the two helix, two anti-helix, and single tragus piercings on her ear. Penny knew her other ear matched that pattern exactly. Tabbie's accent-less voice sung out, "Probably being sniffed by every dog they could find in California. Not saying I don't blame them… I mean… I did kind of threaten a US Marshall on the plane that kept slapping my ass every time I went to the bathroom… told him, fairly loudly, that if he touched my ass one more time; I'd rip his balls out through his nostrils. I was lucky not to get arrested for some stupid crap that the guy would've made up, but I DID have witnesses… and some of them were ass-grabbed just as much as I was… so… yeah… glad to be in Cali. Already looking to be a pretty sweet place." Tabbie gave her a sarcastic look with one brow up.
Penny could only laugh, "Oh Tabbie… you haven't seen nothin' yet! Now, let's go get your bags and get outta here… Airports make me nauseous."
Tabbie had about 7 bags all together. Two were huge and very heavy while the other five were bulky, but manageable. With Penny's charm and Tabbie's uncouth ability of spatting out NFL stats like a Christmas card… they managed to get three very cute guys to help them get the bags into Penny's car. With a kiss on the cheek on all three of the boys from both the girls, they hopped into the car and sped off. Tabbie leaned back and waved to the three boys before slumping back into the seat, "Pen… if all the men in Cali are THAT damn hot… I may have to start working on my girly girl routine." She unzipped her hoodie and tossed it in the back. Penny got an eyeful of Tabbie's Bach and Roll Suicide shirt. It was a portrait of Bach with a red lightning bolt clear across his face. Tabbie's voice cut in with a cocky grin on her face, "I might need a professional girly girl to show me how the proper way to curl my hair around my finger… you available for lessons?" Penny squealed and slapped her while still looking at the road, "BITCH!"
Both girls laughed as Penny drove on. Tabbie twisted and grabbed for the seatbelt and Penny saw two Chinese symbols on the back of her neck. When Tabbie clicked herself in, Penny smiled, "When did you get those tats on your neck?"
Tabbie looked over, "Oh… I've had those for about 4 years now."
Penny smiled again, "What do they mean?"
Tabbie crossed her boots and grinned, "Together they mean courage."
Penny's brows furrowed, "No…"
Tabbie looked at Penny with her brows raised up, "Oh yeah… Yuu… Ki… Courage."
Penny blew out her cheeks and let them out with a raspberry. Neither one of those symbols looked like the one she has on her buttocks… GOD she really hoped that symbol wasn't SOUP. That thought snapped Penny's mind for a moment, "Oh MAN… Tabs… I feel like I need to warn you about my neighbor… the guy I told you about that's giving you an interview tomorrow. Look. He… well… he's nuts. Ok… he has a set schedule for everything… AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. Clothes, food, shopping, bowel movements… hell, I think he has my menstrual cycle on the refrigerator. He has his own 'spot' no matter where he goes, but do NOT sit in them or he'll flip out. He has a real Spock fetish… Loves DC and Marvel comics. Wears the plaid pants with striped thermals… He is a cocky son of a bitch and knows everything except how to be human. Each day of the week is something new… like today is Paintball… Saturday night is Laundry Night…"
Tabbie just stared in horror at her cousin, "What the HELL Penny… you told me he was crazy… I totally understood that… but Wow… That's a long ass list of CRAZY… I'm sorry… did you just say he has YOUR menstrual cycle on the fridge?"
Penny leaned against the steering wheel than leaned back, "Dude… It has taken me 6 years to even understand a LITTLE bit that goes on in his head. Yes… MINE. God… he's tried to buy me a life time supply of tampons… ANYWAYS… Despite all his little… well… BIG quirks… He's really a sweet guy underneath it all. I mean, he's really come out of his shell since Leonard left. All his other friends are in relationships and off with their girlfriends and… I'm all he has. He'll never say it, but… he's lonely." Tabbie looked at her cousin with a grin on her face. Penny looked at her and rolled her eyes, "Look… He wants to earn the Nobel Peace Prize and is too damn smart for his own good. He's looking for an assistant who can buff his ego but get shit done… you can do that better than anyone I know."
Tabbie turned straight ahead, "Why Pig Pen… if I didn't know better… I'd say you were bragging for me. Awwww… Alright chick… I'll help your little crazy bastard to become human. I'm not a very good grasshopper, but… I'll see if I can get old Pinocchio on the right path to scientific excellence."
Penny smiled, "Another thing… he doesn't like to be touched… or have people invade his personal space… or eat off his plate… or call him Moonpie. Gosh… I wonder how Sheldon's going to like TWO of us pushing his buttons?"
Tabbie smiled at her cousin, "Poor guy… doesn't even see US coming."
They drove for a while when Penny felt nosy, "Gosh, how was the Norwal trip? You see any of those horny little whales?"
Tabbie smirked at her cousin's joke, "Girl… it was the most exhilarating experience I'll ever have. I mean… the scenery was breathtaking… and we got to see the Norwal's breeding grounds. Man… it was a year and a half worth spent on a boat full of the ugliest men you'll ever see… but… they're my boys and I was at home with them. But… nothing beats LAND. I really want to settle here. The west coast is slammed full of opportunities… I hope I can find a boat… there's a lot of coral out there… species GALORE."
Penny grinned at her cousin's love for what she did, "Well… I got you an interview with a man that knows the universe like the bottle of his hand sanitizer. He may be the 'Good Word' to get you in."
Tabbie smiled, "Well… if YOU haven't killed him yet… then I think I can try and deal with the guy… Sheldon? Right?"
Penny rolled her eyes that she had to do this, "DOCTOR Sheldon Cooper… He'll remind you of that all the time… especially if you work for him."
Tabbie looked over, "Penny… remind me one more time why you're not a famous actress yet?"
Penny groaned as she watched the road, "I'm too 'Mid-Western' or too 'Blonde', 'Bubbly', or 'Not Bubbly, Blonde, or Mid-Western' Enough… It's hard out there… I've been in a room of nearly 1200 people before… but, don't worry… I'm taking a few classes at the Community College… so… I'll get my degree and find a job and settle down with my Jugg head…"
Tabbie hummed, "That sucks Pen… Um… Jugg Head?"
Penny smiled at told Tabbie about Jugg. Tabbie grinned, "Oooo… He sounds quite yummy, Cuz… Lucky bitch you!"
Penny laughed, "What about you… you got a boy you're dragging around by the collar?"
Tabbie's smile faded a little, "Nope." The 'P' popped loud, "I… I just can't find that guy. You know what I mean? I LOVE the sex, but… none of the guys I sleep with have anything I want to stick around for. I know that sounds shallow of me, but… I haven't found that guy that has challenged me. Hell… I can't even get one to cuddle with me after sex. It's 'Thanks for the Bang… Gotta Go' kinda deal. I want a guy that has my heart racing or my body humming without the sex in the equation. I want a guy to just look at me and nearly steals my soul because of how deeply he stares at me. I want a guy who doesn't even have to TOUCH me to get me wet. Just a smile or a whisper in my ear and BAM… I'm ready to shag. I'm not talking about looks, Pen… I mean… I've see the ocean and I know how vast it is, and that just makes finding that one guy who understands that… so hard to find. I want a guy that looks out onto the horizon and has that itch of wanting to know what else is out there… what could possibly be under those calm waves. If he doesn't have that itch, Pen… then I'll leave him standing on the beach crying while I sail out past that horizon. I've left a lot of men on the beach… I wonder if they've started a beach volleyball team?"
Penny snickered and shook her head. Tabbie wasn't a 'relationship' type of girl, much like Penny herself… but if that right man came along; Tabbie would fall head over heels. All Penny could do was just hope the guy she choose was ready to catch her.
One by one, Penny and Tabbie took a piece of luggage and hauled it up the stairs. By the second bag, Penny gave a sarcastic grin, "Oh… by the way… the elevator doesn't work."
Tabbie laughed despite the cynical undertone, "That's good to know… if it wasn't and we were carrying these up anyway… I'd be forced to whoop your ass."
They teamed up to take the second heavy bag of Tabbie's up the stairs as Penny laughed at her cousin. They got up to the fourth floor and into Penny's wide open apartment as they talked about Tabbie's belly button piercing and set the bag down with a heavy thud. The two women let out a sigh of hard work and moved out into the hallway. Tabbie was turned around and walking backwards talking about how hot the guy was that did the piercing as 4A opened up and Sheldon stepped into the hall. Penny had saw her neighbor exit and stopped just as Tabbie was turning around and laughing. When she turned all the way around, she ran smack dab right into the Physicist. Her nose bounced against his chest and the girl stuttered stepped backwards a little. Sheldon stared down at the wide eyed Tabbie with his brows nearly touching as he narrowed his eyes at the woman below him. Tabbie, a little stunned by slamming into a 6 foot tall man, shook herself out of her funk. She was about to apologize when she was met with the most gorgeously ocean blue eyes she had ever seen and every last thought she had... turned into a cloud of silence.
Sheldon's scowl shifted curiously as their eyes met. He leaned down and forward to stare into Tabbie's eyes closer and he spoke softly, "Heterchromia Iridis… though not as uncommon as one thinks… it is still quite fascinating to see in humans."
Tabbie blushed a little at how close the man was, but it set itself to 'On Fire' as she felt his breath against her lips… Penny's voice rung out and shattered the hypnosis, "Hey Sheldon… this is Tabetha Lockhart… My cousin I told you about. Tabbie… This is Doctor Sheldon Lee Cooper."
Tabbie looked over at her cousin with a smile, and then shook the comatose state she was in and put on her 'Big Girl' pants, "It's a pleasure to meet you Dr. Cooper. I look forward to our interview tomorrow." She didn't bother reaching out for a handshake, but did give him one hell of a smile. Sheldon slipped his arms behind his back, "Well, Ms. Lockhart, your visible tattoos, piercings, boy-band hair cut, and anarchism-styled clothing aside… I'm looking forward to seeing what it is you believe you have that no other has possessed so far. I hope you are prepared, Ms. Lockhart… You may find that all your hopes and dreams are not as unbreakable as you believed." He spun around and went back into his apartment and closed the door. Tabbie just stood, slack jawed for a moment, before taking a step forward at the door and yelling, "TABBIE! MY NAME IS TABBIE!"
Penny snorted a laugh and flew down the stairs. Tabbie took a step back from the door and almost bared her teeth like a dog. This guy wanted a fight… he just GOT one.