The Prom Equivalency Recalculation

Follows immediately after 8.08 - The Prom Night Equivalency. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it's called continuity.

Penny woke up the next morning in Leonard's bed with an enormous headache, partly from her drinking and partly from Leonard snoring loudly all night. "When the hell did he start doing that?" she thought. She opened her eyes and looked over at Leonard, the supposed love of her life, and the only thing she wanted to do was throw up. Leonard was already awake, staring at her and grinning and probably had been for God knows how long. It was one of his most endearing and annoying habits.

"Good morning, honey. Thank you so much for fulfilling one of my biggest fantasies last night. I finally got to take the most beautiful girl at the prom home with me. And I get to do that every night for the rest of my life."

Penny quickly blinked, retched, bolted from the bed and ran for the bathroom.

"Are you okay?" Leonard called after her.

All Penny could do was keep vomiting and think about what had gotten her to that point. When she was done she brushed her teeth and walked out into the living room even though she was only wearing a bra and panties.

Sheldon concentrated hard on not looking at Penny in her underwear while eating his cereal, highest fiber his choice for the day. "Good morning, Penny. I trust you have evacuated your stomach of all of the alcohol you imbibed last evening."

"Morning Sheldon. Thank you, I think I have. I'm going home to clean up and then I have some things to do. Do you have any plans for tonight?"

"It's Laundry Night."

"Right. I'd appreciate it if you and only you would join me for, um, some spaghetti and cut up hot dogs before you do your laundry. I have some things I think I'd like to talk to you about."

"You mean, "Talk about with me." But alright. If you insist."

"I do. See you later Sheldon."

Though he tried mightily, ultimately Sheldon peeked. "Penny, you do realize you are about to go out into the hallway in your underthings do you not?"

"I've been out in public wearing less. I am a slut after all."

"Penny…" Sheldon called out as she slammed the door to 4A behind her.

Leonard came shambling out to the living room still wearing a big smile.

"Sheldon, where did Penny go?"

"She went over to her apartment."

"In her underwear? Why? Did you say something to her?"

"I said nothing out of the ordinary. We made plans to have dinner together and then she left. I commented on her inappropriate attire and she responded by identifying herself as a slut."

"Yeah, but she's my slut. All mine."

"Leonard, I may still not be as attuned to sarcasm as I should be having dealt with Penny for these many years but I believe she was not being self-congratulatory with the appellation."

"You probably misheard her, Sheldon. I'll straighten it out."

Leonard went across the hall and turned the doorknob to Penny's apartment. Discovering it to be locked he knocked.

"Penny, sweetie, are you okay in there?"

"I'm fine, Leonard. I have stuff to do today. I'll see you later," Penny called through the door.

"But I was hoping we'd hang out today and maybe continue on from last night."

"I'll see you later, Leonard."

Penny sat on her couch going through her contact list looking for someone she could speak to who was not involved with her current crowd and who hadn't been so put off by Leonard that they would actually take her call. She took a shot at calling someone she hadn't spoken to in years.

"Penny Queen? It's been like forever, girl!"

"Hi Nora. Thanks for picking up. I was wondering if you'd like to get together for coffee. I have a problem and I really need to speak to someone who might have a little perspective."

"Well, luckily you got me in between gigs. Rehearsals don't start for another week so I have nothing but time on my hands. Why don't you come on over?"

"Um, what about your roommates? This is kind of private."

"Janet up and got married two years ago and Chrissy moved to Vegas and got a gig as a topless showgirl last summer. I have the place all to myself now, at least when I'm in town. You remember where I am, right?"

"I do. I'll see you in a little while."

Penny met Nora Glass back when she was auditioning regularly. They always seemed to turn up at the same auditions and both seemed to never get the gig. They bonded over that and usually went out for coffee afterwards to commiserate and share war stories. However, Nora eventually got lucky because she could also sing and ended up in one touring musical chorus after another and also got a decent amount of recording studio session work. She was hardly ever in town so Penny counted herself lucky to reach her. She lived nearby, just a few blocks from CalTech, in a house on Euclid Avenue that was owned by her uncle.

Penny parked in Nora's driveway, walked over to the door and knocked. Nora opened the door and gave her a big hug.

"Hey, nice wheels."

"Company car."

"Really? Company car. What are you doing or who are you screwing?"

"I just started as a pharmaceutical sales rep. The car comes with the job. And I'm engaged."

"Well, I know it's not to muscle-headed Kurt."

"I'm engaged to Leonard."

"That little scientist troll? What the hell possessed you to do that?"

"I keep asking myself the same question lately. He kept asking and when I finally said yes I was out of a job, broke and desperate. And I thought I was in love with him. Since then I got this gig and now I make more money than he does and let me tell you he is not comfortable with that. I've also been finding some stuff he's doing really annoying."

"Well, congrats on the gig. I'm really happy you're finally supporting yourself. I was worried that you might get desperate and start doing porn."

"There were times I thought about it, believe me. But I need to talk to you about some stuff that I'm dealing with, these friends I have and Leonard. Now that I'm getting more financially secure I think I might finally need to make some changes in my life."

"Well, mi casa es su casa. Come on in."

Penny and Nora talked for a couple of hours. Mainly it was Penny talking and Nora listening and nodding but Penny enjoyed finally having someone to talk to who was actually listening to what she wanted to say, didn't have her own agenda and wasn't invested in the status remaining quo. As Penny reached the conclusions she thought she might she got up to leave. As she headed to the door Nora handed her something.

"Keys? I don't understand."

"Sweetie, I have lots of room and I'm hardly ever here. Next week I start rehearsals for a six-month tour and I prefer that the house be occupied while I'm gone. If you need a place to stay you're welcome to stay here as long as you like or even forever. It's a big house."

"I'm not sure you realize what you're offering."

"I'm offering shelter from the storm to a friend who sounds like she really needs it. Now go ahead and do what you need to do and know that I'll be here to help mop you up afterwards. I'll go out shopping this afternoon and lay in lots of comfort food. Just no alcohol. I'm still on the program. Okay?"

Being keenly aware of Nora's sexual predilections, Penny added, "Nora, just so we're straight on this, nothing's going to happen between you and me."

"Honey, I gave up on that a long time ago. I just want to help an old friend. See you later."

Penny got into her car and headed over to Bernadette and Howard's place.

"Hi Penny what's up? Can you believe Sheldon told Amy he loves her?"

"Bernadette, Sheldon did what he always does. He told Amy what she wanted to hear to stop her from bothering him for more. Sheldon hasn't got a clue what love is and neither does Amy. She's just bullying him into doing what she wants just like she does everyone. She's just trying to fulfill another of her high school fantasies."

"But Penny, Amy's our friend…"

"About that…why the hell are you always backing her up and calling me a slut? I thought we were friends."


"Well what, Bernadette?"

"You have slept with a lot of guys."

"We've known each other for a while, Bernadette, since before Amy came along. I know you're not exactly the good little Catholic girl you like to pose as. You've slept with your share of guys. In fact you've slept with more guys than Howard has girls, a bunch more. And you were with your college professor Glenn for over a year and that guy is a hunk and a half. A really gifted hunk and a half."

"What do you mean gifted?"

"It was a long car ride and I was really angry at Leonard and it's not like I was actually with anyone then. And I am a big ol' five after all. Anyway, that's beside the point. Why didn't you have my back?"

"I thought the prom thing might be a fun. And once Amy was on board…you know how Amy is when she wants something."

"Yeah, like she was when she wanted to be your maid of honor and made your wedding totally about her. Like she was once she decided I was her bestie without ever asking me about it. Like when she decided to torpedo that article about sexy scientists so you couldn't be part of it. Amy's a bully. A needy, desperate bully who wants to be the center of all of our lives and I'm tired of apologizing for my life just to make her feel better. I'm sorry she had a lousy childhood and that all the other kids hated her but, well, if she was like she is now then I can totally understand it. And besides that, you're pretty happy now with Howard. Why do you want to relive something that wasn't so much fun the first time. I know you got over it and made up for it in college."

"I know. I guess I wasn't thinking. It was a little selfish of me. And considering how last night actually went it was a really bad idea. Amy seems like the only one who came out ahead. Well, Raj and Emily enjoyed themselves but only because they enjoyed watching the train wreck."

"So why is it that I have to keep reliving something I outgrew years ago just to help Amy feel better about herself?"

"Because she's your friend?"

"I'm not so sure she is. Remember how she tried to play us off against each other just to make herself feel more important?"

"Yeah. That was a pretty lousy thing for her to do to us and we didn't even call her on it because we were afraid of what she'd do."

"I made it really clear how much I didn't want to do this prom thing but she didn't care because what Amy wants Amy gets."

"But Leonard was into the prom thing too."

"Yeah, because it gave him another chance to complain how horrible and sad his life used to be because of people like me and he knew that after that I'd pity fuck his brains out to make him feel better."

"And you did."

"Yeah. I did. And now I just feel used. By Leonard. By Amy. And by you."

"I'm sorry."

"Well, I appreciate that you feel that way. And I also appreciate that you helped me get my new job. It's giving me a chance to do something that really needs to be done."

"What are you planning to do, Penny?"

"I need some space to figure stuff out. I'm not going top be around as much because I'm going to be staying with an old friend for a while till I can figure things out. I'm not telling anyone where I'll be. I'd appreciate it if you didn't say anything. They'll all know soon enough."

"But I'll still see you at work, right?"

"When I'm not on the road. But no telling anyone my schedule or looking up my itinerary for them. Especially Leonard and Amy. Okay? This is really important to me."

"Okay. Okay. Should I be worried?"

"No. But you should probably be ready to either hide out or help pick up the pieces when I'm done. It's Junior Rodeo time."

"Penny, please don't do anything you'll regret."

"Bernadette, I've already done a bunch of things I regret. And what I regret most of all is not doing this a lot sooner. I could have saved myself a lot of pain."

"Penny, I'm a little scared to even ask what you're thinking of doing."

"Better if you don't know ahead of time. See ya."

Penny then drove over to Amy Farrah Fowler's apartment. She went up to her door, took a deep breath and knocked.

Amy opened the door and with a big grin on her face.

"Bestie! I am so glad you dropped by to help me celebrate. Sheldon said he loves me!"

"Yeah, I'm not sure that means what you think it means."

"I don't understand."

"How did you expect last night to end up?"

"Well, according to accepted prom protocol I expected that I might end the night in my boyfriend's loving arms and finally have coitus with him. Or possibly end up face down over a toilet."

"Did either of those things happen?"

"No. But Sheldon said he loved me and I decided I shouldn't push him for more at that time."

"Sheldon's a pretty smart guy despite how he's been acting lately. He knows exactly what to say when he doesn't want to do something."

"You mean…"

"Yup. Sheldon said what he knew he had to say to stop you from forcing him into bed. He was really worried about that."

"That's very disappointing. I'll need to discuss that with him immediately."

"I'm not done, Amy."

"I don't understand."

"When we first met you called me a slut. You essentially did the same thing the other day and you've said and inferred the same thing many, many times over the past few years."


"I'm not a slut Amy."

"Well, I can't call you a whore because you don't actually accept money for your bounteous sexual favors."

"Yeah, that would be worse. But I'm still not a slut."

"Penny, you must admit that you've slept with many, many men. And you have referred to some of your clothing as slutty."

"Clothes, yes. Me, not true, Amy."

"Penny, Sheldon has done the math. I was there."

"Yeah, well Sheldon's math is wrong."

"I doubt that."

"First of all, many is a relative term. For you many would be more than one guy or maybe even one guy. Sheldon didn't take into account that I have been involved in two long-term relationships and, as you know, I don't cheat."

"But you have slept with a number of men and then never seen them again."

"So has pretty much everyone I grew up with and everyone I knew before I met you. And that includes Bernadette. It's part of dating."

"Penny, I don't understand what you are saying. Bernadette is happily married and you will be married to Leonard shortly. Your sluttiness is a part of the past."

"But you keep bringing it up."

"Only as a friend to remind you that you have grown beyond your formerly deviant behavior."

"See, that's the thing. You think me being sexually active is, what did you call it, deviant. It's not, Amy. It's pretty normal. I had a pretty normal high school experience followed by a pretty normal life with Kurt followed by a pretty normal dating life for someone single in her twenties. If anyone is a deviant it's the person who spent the past four years trying to deflower a virgin who wasn't interested in sex at all."

"I don't see that there's a need to insult me."

"Sorry, I think there is. I'm a little tired of being treated as inferior to you. I'm tired of being bullied by you and I'm tired of you and Leonard deciding the terms of how I get to live my life."

"First of all, Penny, like it or not I have several advanced degrees so I am superior to you and as someone who has been bullied most of her life I think I'd know whether I was bullying you. I don't believe I was. And as we have determined previously, being a bully was yet another part of your past life."

"Okay. As an example. Did I tell you that I wasn't interested in this stupid prom idea you had?"

"You did but as with a number of recent situations you were wrong and I was right."

"No, Amy. You were not. I drank more last night than I have in a very long time because I was absolutely not enjoying myself. And from what Bernadette told me, neither did she. Like any NORMAL person, I got past my high school and prom experiences ten years ago. I didn't need or want to go through it again. But you had to insist because Amy has to relive her entire life in a better light now that she finally has friends."

"What's wrong with that?"

"You can do whatever you want with your life. I would just appreciate it if you stopped insisting that I have to experience it too."

"But you're my bestie and I know you made Leonard very happy at the prom and after."

"You know what? Whether or not I make Leonard happy is really none of your business."

"But we're besties. Sexually satisfying our significant others and discussing it is a hallmark of our relationship."

"No. It isn't. But you certainly love butting into something you know absolutely nothing about."

"I don't understand. I consider our discussions of your sexual conquests a hallmark of my flowering social life."

"I've decided to graduate from your high school fantasy and I'm going to help you learn about another part of the high school experience you may have missed."

"You're finally going to introduce me to the delights of Sapphic love? I was so hoping that would happen. But I'll need to shave first."

"Amy, I've told you before that I have no interest in you that way. None at all. No I'm going to help you experience what happens to lots of girls after prom and graduation. I don't ever want to see you again. I'm moving on."


"You have insulted me and my background for the last time. We are no longer friends, best or otherwise. You are no longer welcome in my home and I would appreciate it if you lost my phone number. I'm blocking you on Facebook and, like I said, I really would prefer to not see you again."

"Penny, I understand you are upset but there is no need to do anything drastic. You live across the hall from my boyfriend and you are betrothed to his roommate and I expect to be the Maid of Honor at your wedding. I already have the dress. It would be almost impossible for you to avoid me. Please go on home. Take a hot bath and I will come over later and we'll drink copious amounts of alcohol and hug it out, as it were. And then perhaps…"

"Sorry. You won't find me there. I'm going to stay with a friend for a while as I think a bunch of things through."

"Then I'll find you at Bernadette's."

"Nope. I'll be with an old friend none of you know. Don't try to find me."

"But Penny, how will I continue to develop into the paragon of womanhood we all know I must be without your guidance?"

"It's not like you've been listening to me anyway. You're just using me as a pretty accessory, just like my fucking fiancé."

"Penny, I don't understand. You obviously have a problem but you're blaming it on everyone but yourself."

"No, Amy. I'll take a whole lot of blame for this mess. But you and Leonard like me being this way. It helps you feel superior and needed. Well, I don't need you anymore. Goodbye."

"I'm sure that Leonard will help you resolve your issues with another night of stellar lovemaking."

"Amy, on Leonard's best night he couldn't even approach orbit, let alone do something stellar. It's about time I did better."

"Penny, you are about to make a horrible mistake and Leonard and I may not be willing to help you recover from it."

"Have you even been listening to me, Amy? I don't want or need your help. I'll be just fine without you. Probably better."

"You'll end up drunk, naked and pregnant in an alley like the whore that you are."

Penny glared at Amy, raised her hand, reared back and slapped her across the face. Then she walked out. Amy chased after her.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. I was upset."

Penny turned around.

"No, you meant it. You absolutely meant it. Now fuck off and leave me alone."

While driving home Penny wondered why she wasn't more upset about what just happened with Amy. But then she realized that cleanly cutting things off was really her only option. She drove home, went up to her apartment and started packing what she'd need for her stay at Nora's place. She realized it might take a couple of trips.

Soon there was a not unexpected knocking at her door. Since it was locked she opened her door to find a somewhat concerned-looking Leonard.

"Penny, what happened with you and Amy? She's Skyping with Sheldon and sounds really upset."

"I asked her to stop trying to control my life. To stop coming up with group activities that only benefit her that she knows make me feel lousy. I asked her to stay out of my life."

"But last night was fun. You told me. And then you told me again afterwards. Three times."

"Yeah. I know. And that last time I almost actually had an orgasm."

"I don't understand. I thought you enjoyed sex with me."

"Actually I enjoy the appetizer. I've always found the entrée a bit wanting. But you try and I appreciate that."

"Penny, what's going on?"

"Something you said last night got me thinking."

"What did I say?"

"You sent a bikini shot of me to your high school buddies in the Chess Club, right?"

"Yeah. And the Physics Club, the Math Club, the AV Squad and the Honors Society."

"What did you tell them about me?"

"That we were engaged. I figured the picture spoke for itself."

"But you didn't actually tell them anything about me. You just let them have a look at your hot girlfriend."

"What's wrong with that? You are pretty hot. Hotter than anyone they thought I'd end up with."

"And that was pretty much the same thing you did on the boat when you showed everyone my shower scene from Serial Apeist."

Leonard looked nervous.

"You, um, know about that?"

"Leonard, you were on a boat with a bunch of science nerds. Every time you showed someone that scene I'd get a friend request on Facebook. At first I thought that it was nice that your new friends wanted to know your girlfriend. Then some of them started asking me for stuff."

"Asking for stuff?"

"Autographed photos. Stuff like that. Then a couple of them sent screen caps of the scene from Serial Apeist and asked me to sign them. They turned up on eBay. And then they started asking for newer naked pictures of me and used underwear."

"I'm so sorry. I'll get in touch with them and ask them to stop."

"I'm an adult, Leonard. I took care of it myself."

"Um, what did you do? I might have to work with some of those people."

"Figured you'd be more worried about how it would affect you. I sent them naked pictures."

"I don't believe you. Why would you do that? You wouldn't even send any to me."

"I thought about sending them a photo of me in the shower but then I figured they'd never stop asking for more. So I sent them naked pictures of Amy. Haven't heard from them since."

"Wait. How?"

"Leonard, you may be the most clueless man I've ever met. Amy has wanted to get into my panties ever since we met. Every time we have a sleepover she tries catch me naked and makes sure that I catch her. I just took a couple of pics while she wasn't looking."

"You're wrong about Amy. She's totally devoted to Sheldon."

"Leonard, the only thing Amy Farrah Fowler is devoted to is getting laid. It could be Sheldon. It could be me. It could be you. It could be one of her fucking monkeys. It doesn't matter. She is completely about what she wants and nothing else. But let's get back to you."

"I'd rather not."

"I bet. So basically you show me off to old friends, colleagues and pretty much everyone you've ever met as a trophy because it makes you look better. Right?"


"So why do you want to marry me? We could just make a sex tape and send it out to everyone you know and then you'd be the man. You'd be a legend."

"You'd do that?" Leonard responded with hope in his eyes.

"You're not really listening, are you? Instead of telling people that you're with this wonderful woman who's even said she'd marry you, you just send them photos of the hot blond you're fucking to make them jealous."

"Penny, you don't understand."

"Leonard, I've been hanging around you and your friends for eight years. I get that life wasn't exactly what you thought you wanted for a long time. But you were all pretty happy despite that. Then for some reason you decided that you couldn't be happy without me. And then when we didn't work out you decided you couldn't be happy without a succession of girls that you fucked. And then, for some reason, we got back together. But you're still back in high school trying to impress everyone. You're a successful scientist. You shouldn't need to do that."

"I guess it might be a bit immature."

"Ya think?"

"So what now?"

"I don't know. I'm going away for a while."

"No. You can't… Your job…"

"I'm not quitting my job. I'm just going to be living somewhere else while I figure stuff out."

"You can't leave. I won't let you."

"Leonard, I'm doing what I need to do. Some time apart may end up working out better for both of us. Then again, it might not."

"I don't understand."

"Look at it this way, Leonard. You get to have another part of the prom experience. You gave up your prom virginity and now you're getting dumped. Here's your ring. And here's a hint. If you get the chance to ask me to marry you again, and you might, try actually buying the ring for me. I spoke to Howard. I know exactly when you bought this ring from his cousin."

"You're mistaken, I…"

"It really doesn't matter. Please don't try to follow me or find me. I'll find you if and when I'm ready to continue this discussion or this relationship. Goodbye, Leonard."

"Penny, you're making a big mistake."

"Maybe so. I've made mistakes before. It's just that right now I feel like you're one of them. Like I said, goodbye."

Penny walked Leonard to the door and locked it behind him. Then the tears started coming. But she wiped her cheek and continued packing, pausing long enough to start dinner.

At 6:00pm…

Knock. Knock. Knock. Penny.

Penny opened the door.

"I told you I was banking a couple of knocks. I can feel Leonard's eyes burning through my back. He is very angry with you. Please let me in."

"Sure thing, Moonpie."

"Penny, I've told you many times…"

"Can we not argue, Sheldon? I've had a long day."

"So I am given to understand. Amy is very upset with you. As is Leonard. They both feel that you are throwing your life away. Amy insisted that I cease conversing with you and cut you out of my life."

"So why are you here?"

"We had made arrangements to dine together and I fulfill my commitments. I am also curious why you picked today of all days to undertake the actions you have."

"I'm tired, Sheldon. I'm tired of being the Penny that other people see me as. I'm tired of being Leonard's hot girlfriend slash fiancé that he shows off to people that I don't even know and I'm tired of being Amy's bestie who goes along with whatever she wants to make her feel more important. Now that I actually have a good job that I like it's time I had a chance to figure out who Penny is and who she wants to be. And I have a feeling that Leonard and Amy might not want to meet that person because they are perfectly happy with the Penny they have."

"I'm not sure I understand."

"I'm finally in a place where I can support myself. I might not exactly be doing what I thought I'd be doing but I'm actually pretty good at this sales stuff and finally having enough money to do what I want when I want has kind of helped me realize something."

"What would that be?"

"I'm not sure that a life with Leonard is what I want. And I'm pretty sure that a Penny who can stand on her own two feet is not what Leonard wants."

"He does seem to be happier when he is the answer to your problems."

"I know. And I'm not really happy with your girlfriend either."

"As I've informed you the feeling is apparently mutual."

"Sheldon, was I a horrible person when you first met me?"

"Not at all. You were a bit flighty. Somewhat promiscuous. But you seemed happy and you were very friendly to Leonard and me despite his incessant chasing after you. Unlike many others you took the time to get to know us. I often miss that Penny. We had wonderful battles. We are each quite formidable in our own way."

"I know. There are times that I feel like a wild animal that Leonard caught and tamed to be a house pet. Just like you miss that Penny I miss that Sheldon. The Sheldon who was devoted to his research and was certain he'd win a Nobel. Why have you let your whole life become about Amy?"

"I would disagree that I have done that."

"Sheldon, when was the last time that you did something without first considering what Amy would think?"

"I've been informed that is a hallmark of people in love."

"You were told that by Amy."

"Whom I believe was informed thusly by you."

"Touché. Well, you know what? I think I was wrong. And it's not the first time."

"I'm well aware. I could expand on other instances…"

"Not really the point, Sheldon. It just seems to me that both of us have spent a great deal of time making other people happy and they haven't exactly been doing the same thing for us."

"It has occurred to me that a number of Amy's and Leonard's actions regarding us have been quite self-serving."

"I kind of decided that the prom thing was a bridge too far. I'm done. I'm done with my past life being Amy's punching bag and I'm tired of everything I do being part of Leonard's grand plan. I've decided to take some Penny time to get settled into my new life."

"Amy has said you are planning to depart. She has intimated that you are bound to fail quite spectacularly. I find that quite upsetting."

"That I'll fail or that she thinks that?"

"Both, actually."

"Sheldon, I'll be fine. I'm actually good at this job. Once my commissions start rolling in regularly I'll be making more than twice what Leonard does. The place I'll be staying is rent free so I'll be able to keep up the rent on my apartment until I decide whether or not I'm coming back."

"There's a question?"

"There is. But I'm not going too far. And if you need me you only have to call. I'll always take your calls. Unless, of course, you're going to listen to Amy and not speak to me after tonight."

"Amy does not have that level of control over my actions. At least not anymore. You are my friend and have been for a very long time. And you are still the only person outside my family who can sing Soft Kitty to me. Amy tried and it gave me nightmares. I wish to continue being your friend."

"Sheldon, you understand that I can't tell you where I'll be staying because I don't want to put you in a position of having to lie if Leonard or Amy ask you. And they will ask you."

"Thank you for that."

"But here's the thing. If there's ever a time when you feel you need to do what I'm doing, just like you did last summer, there's lots of room and you'd be welcome to join me. And while I don't want to be too specific, you wouldn't have any problem getting to work from there."

"At the moment I see no reason to change my habitation paradigm. However, I appreciate the sentiment."

"And another thing. You've been part of my life almost every day for the past eight years…"

"As has Leonard."

"Please don't bring him up. Anyway, if you don't mind, I'm going to stay in touch with you every day, by text, email, LOLcat or something. You don't have to respond, but you'll know I'm okay. And I'd appreciate if you did the same thing, even if it's only to complain about what I send."

"That would be consistent."

"From the moment Leonard and I first started dating you said it was a mistake. Why?"

"It's always seemed to me that the only thing the two of you really had in common was the coitus. You are outgoing and friendly. Leonard is insecure and sullen. You have made him more outgoing. He has made you more sullen. You have fewer friends than you once had. He has more. You imbibe much more alcohol now than previously and Leonard enables and encourages that. You were lucky enough to move onto a new career track that is making you almost as confident as you once were and it is clear that Leonard is quite uncomfortable with that and would prefer you to aspire to be a stay-at-home wife and mother to his lactose intolerant progeny. Shall I continue?"

"So you don't have a problem with me dumping him? I remember you once asked me not to hurt your friend."

"I recall that. It seems I may have been mistaken as to which of you is my true friend. I have watched him hurt you repeatedly and he has never been taken to task for it. Though it may be problematic in the short run to cohabitate with Leonard, I have experienced it previously and know what to expect."

"If you want you can use the spare key and crash here if it becomes too unbearable."

"Thank you."

"One last thing. I think you should be careful with Amy. I think that you should only do things with her that you absolutely want to do. Don't let her bully you into doing anything you are uncomfortable with."

"I believe that is what I've been doing."

"So why did you tell her you love her?"

"I believe it was expected of me. After all, she has been my girlfriend for several years."

"Sheldon, if you were given a choice between winning a Nobel and being with Amy forever, which would you choose?"

"The Nobel, of course."

"Which would Amy choose for you? In her heart I mean."

"Oh. I see what you are saying."

"Anyway, keep thinking about that. I want you to achieve your life's dream. If you can do that and also be happy with Amy then fine. I'm just not sure that's possible. After all, since getting together with Amy has your career moved forward or backward?"

"Backward. Horribly, horribly backward. And I've made mistake after mistake. I've never done that before. Except in the Arctic."

"The Arctic wasn't your fault. We both know that. See, I don't want you to think that I believe you shouldn't be in love or even have a girlfriend. It just seems to me that Amy has been pressuring you constantly for years just like Leonard has been pressuring me. It takes a toll. Leaving for a while is how I'm dealing with it. You tried the same thing but I'm not sure you really dealt with the situation. You really need to figure out what you ultimately want."

"As Mirror Universe Spock once said, I shall consider it."

"That's all I can really ask of you, sweetie. So, let's have some dinner. Then you can go do your laundry and I'll finish packing. By the time you finish your laundry I'll be gone. Please remember that I am and always will be your friend."

"And I shall be yours. This is likely the point when I should ask you not to go…"


"You are doing the right thing. Let's plan to speak tomorrow evening."

"Sure thing."

The beginning.

A/N: So if the pattern holds this tale will garner a few attack reviews that claim that I couldn't possibly have watched the same show they did and that I'm delusional, their favorite charge. Sheldon loves Amy. He said so. And Penny loves Leonard. She has said so many times. And they are all so very, very happy. Blech! I don't friggin' care. Who the hell said that Big Bang Theory fan fiction has to proceed according to canon? Only the sheeple, sorry, Shamys and Lennys, believe that because they lack creativity and believe that the two most dynamic characters on the show, Sheldon and Penny, deserve to be subservient to a couple of dishrags like Amy and Leonard. That conclusion helps them rationalize their very sad lives and their even sadder fics. Sorry to crap on your pedestrian fantasies, folks. This may not actually be a Shenny tale but it allows for possibilities and fan fic is about possibilities, not foregone, sad conclusions.