Penny looked at the small piece of plastic and drew in a shaky breath. Well, she was fucked. A startled chuckle escaped her unexpectedly. That's exactly how she got this way. By being… well, you know. She stood on shaky legs and grabbed some tissues. She carefully wrapped the wand in them and shoved it deep into the trash can. She had a lot of thinking to do before she told anyone anything.
"Well, Ms. Queen, you're definitely pregnant." Dr. Sargent smiled reassuringly at her. "Let's find out how far along you are, shall we? Lay back dear, and let's take a gander at that little baby."
Penny laid back on the table and lifted her shirt out of the way. She grimaced as the gel hit her skin. Dr. Sargent began moving the wand across her belly, pressing firmly. Penny stared at the screen, unable to really distinguish anything.
"There you are," the doctor murmured. "Do you see that little pulsing object, Ms. Queen?"
Penny looked carefully, finally seeing a small fluttering movement. "I think so."
"That's your baby. Let's see how big she is, sugar." He clicked a few spots on the screen with his mouse. "Hmm. Well, you're about…"
"Seven weeks, four days and 13 hours?" Penny guessed.
Dr. Sargent looked at her with a grin. "Well, I can't be 100% sure of the exact hour, but I'd say you were probably correct."
Penny bit her bottom lip and closed her eyes tightly.
The doctor put away the wand and used a warm towel to wipe away the gel. "My dear, I have quite a few women under my care. I've been prenatal physician to thousands more. You aren't the first to sit here and be dismayed. Can I call a friend or partner for you?"
Penny sat up and shook her head. "There's no one to call."
"The father, maybe?" he asked gently.
Penny gave a sharp laugh. "Not an option."
Dr. Sargent patted her knee comfortingly. "My dear, there are lots of options."
Penny slid from the table and shook her head. "No, there isn't. This is my baby. Even if it's only the two of us, at least we'll have each other."
Dr. Sargent studied her for a moment before standing up and nodding. "I'll have the nurse make you another appointment, and I'm going to prescribe you some folic acid. I want to see you in a four weeks, okay?"
Penny nodded and gave him a small smile. "Thank you," she said softly. "Please don't worry about us. I'm tougher than I look."
Dr. Sargent smiled and placed a hand on her shoulder. "My dear, I learned a long time ago that women are most definitely the stronger sex. That's why you have the babies, and we just stand in the way."
Penny couldn't help laughing a little. She left the exam room a little cheerier than she went in.
Leonard looked up from his phone as the lobby door opened. He shuffled awkwardly as Penny's gaze found his. Ever since their break-up, he hadn't seen much of her. He sighed internally. He knew she had good reason to be upset with him. He had thrown her over for Alex just days after his return from the North Sea.
He hadn't meant to hurt her, but being away had given him plenty of time to reflect on things. He had realized that he and Penny were never going to work. He had realized that Alex was the woman for him. Someone he could actually talk to, and not be ashamed of. He loved being with Penny. She was a beautiful woman. But they were miserable together.
So, he had broken up with her and then went to see Alex. He was happier now than he had been in a very long time. Unfortunately, Penny was not. He stared at the pale skin, the bags under her eyes and the limp way she held herself. Guilt (and a small measure of ego) filled him as he studied her.
"Hey, Leonard," she said as she moved to open her mailbox. "How's everything?"
"Good," he said gently. "How are you?"
She shrugged and looked through her mail. "Okay. I was offered a promotion at work, and I got a B- on my history mid-term paper."
"That's wonderful," he smiled. "We haven't seen much of you lately. You know, it would be nice if you joined us for dinner. I know Amy and Bernadette have missed you a lot. Even Sheldon has mentioned that he never gets to see you anymore."
"I've been busy," Penny murmured.
Leonard's shoulders slumped and he looked at her worriedly. "Penny, I am sorry I hurt you. I want to be friends again."
Penny looked at him with surprise. Leonard found that look confusing. Could he be wrong about how heartbroken Penny was? She looked genuinely astounded that he thought she was hurt.
"Leonard, don't worry about it. You were right. We weren't working. I'm happy you and Alex are doing well. I just… I've been busy," she finished lamely.
Before he could reply Sheldon came down the stairwell. He paused for a moment when he saw Penny. Leonard watched with astonishment as a small light appeared in his roommate's eyes. Where had that come from? Had that been there all along? Could his emotionally repressed, neurotic friend harbor feelings for Penny? What would this mean for Amy? What did this mean for the group as a whole? Leonard shook himself slightly. Maybe he was just imagining it.
"Hello, Penny. How have you been?" Sheldon asked calmly.
She looked away from him quickly. "I'm okay," she mumbled. "Been busy. Work, school, that sort of thing. Excuse me, I have to go change for work," she finished in a rush. Seconds later the two men were alone in the lobby.
Leonard watched carefully as Sheldon's shoulders slumped slightly. After a couple of heartbeats Sheldon looked at him. "We are behind schedule. Shall we proceed to the comic shop?"
Leonard nodded and led the way to his car. The last couple of minutes had given him a lot to think about.
Sheldon sat behind his desk and stared at his formula without really seeing it. He thought back to the night of the breakup. They had argued so loudly. Bernadette, Amy, Raj, Howard had sat with him in 4A while Leonard and Penny fought across the hall. Every word had rang out clearly. Afterwards Bernadette and Amy had gone to Penny's to console her. She had refused them entrance, saying she just wanted to be alone.
At 9pm everyone had left except him. He had walked across the hall and knocked on Penny's door. She had opened it, slipping her feet into high heels. Her black dress had hugged her curves tightly, exposing much of her chest and legs. He knew Penny's history of bad decision making, and convinced her to allow him to accompany her. At some point, he had ordered a long island iced tea. Or three.
When he awoke the next morning he was on his couch, head pounding. He had showered and slowly made his way back across the hall. Penny was not only awake, but appeared to be gathering her dirty laundry. She had asked how he felt, and he had chastised her for allowing him to become inebriated.
Apparently, he had once again overstepped some boundary, because Penny burst into tears and threw him out. That was the last time he was afforded the opportunity to speak with her until last night. She avoided everyone, hurrying away as soon as she saw any of the group. He knew from his talks with Amy that she had spoken to her and Bernadette briefly over the phone, but refused all invitations for outings or girl's nights. She claimed she simply needed time, but so far, it appeared that she was no closer to resuming her friendships with any of them.
He could feel himself growing more and more distressed with each passing day. He just had to find a way to bring Penny back into the fold. Life without her was utterly unbearable.
A/N: Angst, angst, angst, angst. That's all you're getting from me, folks. Lots of angst and anger and hurt and Shenny suffering. I'm making you guys work for this one.