Temperatures have gone down a bit but they're expected to rise again soon. Have I mentioned that I hate heat outside of saunas ^^
Disclaimer: Again, not mine.
The present – 6 years old:
"Happy birthday, sweetie." Penny smiled at her boy and pointed him to the wrapped gift standing on the floor.
"Thanks mom." Chris grinned and tore the wrap apart. "Wow, that's amazing."
"Yeah, that should help you with your research when you have to do your simulations."
"But it has the regular Core i9 CPU." Chris pointed out, looking at the specs of the computer he got. "What makes it so much better than what I already use?"
"This one has four top of the line graphic cards, connected to work together." Leonard explained. "It also is configured so it does your work not with the CPU but with the graphic processors."
"That's amazing, dad." Chris said surprised. "And with the water cooling system, heat isn't a problem."
"Exactly." Leonard smiled. "Howard's still waiting eagerly for your finished plans for the gravity generator."
"With this, I might be able to finish them soon." Chris nodded. "I just did a quick calculation in my head how much time I'll save with the simulations and if I'm right, it will cut down the time by two thirds."
"That's great." Penny smiled, even though she hadn't understood a thing.
"Actually, the reduction time for the simulations will be seventy point eight percent." Sheldon remarked from his seat on the couch. "See Leonard, he's not so smart."
"Get over it Sheldon, his IQ is higher." Leonard sighed. "Also, I saw you writing down the equation, so you didn't do it in your head."
"Bring out the cake." Sheldon muttered.
"Leonard, this is an amazing piece of machinery." Howard commented on the computer. "How can you afford this?"
"Well, we..." Penny hesitated, since they didn't want to tell their friends about their wealth.
"Howard, it's so obvious." Sheldon scoffed. "Leonard is misusing the Nobel prize money."
"There's no rule on how to spend prize money." Frank threw in. "He could blow it all in a casino if he wanted to."
"Then that's another rule that should be changed." Sheldon moped.
"So, are you going to change it when you make yourself overlord of Earth?" Howard mocked him.
"Here are the cakes." Penny proclaimed, putting down the two plates, one with a big chocolate cake with cream on top, and a smaller one without cream for Leonard and those of her guests who wanted to watch their figure. "So, what's the discussion about?"
"I was just pointing out that the money people receive along with scientific awards should only be used to further science." Sheldon stated.
"Well, since this computer will be used by Chris for scientific simulations, it would have been spent correctly anyway." Penny shrugged, taking a generous piece of chocolate cake with cream.
"Curses!" Sheldon grumbled, seeing that she was right.
"Chris, how far along with your plans are you anyway?" Howard asked the birthday boy.
"Well, have a look." Chris shrugged and handed his large notepad to Howard, who began browsing it.
"Holy sh... crap." Howard corrected himself in the presence of children. "That looks almost done."
"Thanks." Chris giggled. "With this computer, I can finish the final simulations, and if they hold up, you can begin building it."
"Ok, but I see another problem." Howard continued. "Once this is built, how are you going to test it? I doubt NASA would let us install it on the space station without knowing that it works."
"Couldn't you use these airplanes?" Cheryl asked. "You know when they fly up and then steeply down to create weightlessness inside."
"Doubtful." Howard sighed. "There would be a problem of interference, field direction and, of course, incline."
"I don't understand." Penny admitted.
"This generator uses gravitomagnetism to create artificial gravity. So, the airplane cockpit needs to be shielded against it, otherwise it could screw up their instruments and cause it to plummet to earth. That's the interference part." Howard explained. "And if you install this generator and don't adjust the field, everyone would fall towards the cockpit. That's the field direction."
"Why?" Penny asked again.
"Honey, lets assume this room was a room in the space station. Where would you put the generator?" Leonard took up the thought, knowing where Howard was going.
"In the middle of the room or under the floor in middle of the room, since Chris said the field would go up."
"Correct." Leonard nodded. "Now imagine this room to be tilted forty-five degrees. If we were weightless, it wouldn't be a problem but as soon as the generator activates, everything would slide to the side that's down."
"Ah, I get it." Penny nodded. "I think."
"I think the only way to really test it is on the space station itself." Howard went on. "At least the part that generates artificial gravity."
"True." Leonard nodded. "But they can test the effects on electronic devices here on earth. Just put it into a replica of the space station part this generator will affect, add all the electronic devices that the space station has and then activate it to see if anything either blows or shuts down."
"How long would it take to build?" Chris asked.
"No idea until you give me finalized plans." Howard admitted. "The shell is easily made and the cabling too but unless you finish your simulations, we don't know if any of the innards have to be changed out."
"Oh, before I forgot, I'm going to publish a paper soon myself." Raj smiled. "But I want your blessing Chris."
"Why?" Chris asked.
"Because it's a new equation to calculate the movement of planetary bodies around suns. It's an extension of the base eight equation you wrote a few months ago that Howard then sent me a picture of. I spent the last few weeks working on it and I've proven that it works using the planets of our own solar system." Raj told him.
"That's great." Leonard said.
"Just mention me and I'm fine with it." Chris shrugged.
"Alright." Raj smiled. "I will heap you with praise."
"He really does, I read the foreword." Cheryl chuckled.
"Could we stop talking about Chris here, and concentrate on the important issues?" Sheldon asked exasperated.
"Sheldon, this is Chris' birthday party, what else should we talk about?"
"I... uh..." Sheldon muttered, realizing his error.
"He's still upset that he can't think of an idea that might give him a Nobel prize, especially since both of Chris' inventions could give him one before long." Amy revealed. "And quite frankly, even if they don't reward his new superheavy element, an artificial gravity generator will surely do it."
"Et tu Amy?" Sheldon muttered.
"Sheldon, you need to face reality, what you do is a field where you can't really get anywhere." Howard winked at him.
"How can you say that?" Sheldon gasped. "Dark matter research is important. It could be responsible for the premature destabilization of stars."
"That's the subplot for a video game." Leonard scoffed.
"He's still not over the fact that you got a Nobel before him." Amy said.
"Traitor." Sheldon muttered.
"Sheldon, it's been almost six years since Leonard got the Nobel, why are you still peeved about it?" Penny wanted to know, losing patience with the lanky physicist.
"I'm not peeved." Sheldon objected to her assessment. "I just think that my work is more important in the long run than his discovery."
"You mean reactors that generate more power than nuclear energy while being completely environmentally friendly is less important than research into dark energy which might not even exist?" Howard snickered.
"Precisely." Sheldon nodded.
"Ugh, didn't we have this conversation already once before?" Penny groaned.
"I believe we did." Leonard nodded.
"Of course we did." Sheldon nodded too. "And look how far I regressed since then. Even Koothrapali is publishing a paper. I'm getting surpassed by an astrophysicist."
"Hey!" Raj complained.
"Can you guess what Leonard and Raj have in common regarding their discoveries?" Penny grinned, winking at Amy who looked at her confused.
"No." Sheldon shook his head, not getting what she meant.
"Think about it." she still grinned. "What did Leonard say helped him a lot and what did change in Raj's life before he wrote this paper he's going to release?"
"I don't... Oh!" Sheldon got it and looked at her, then Amy, then her again. "The circumstantial evidence is certainly there, though I don't know if that was truly a factor."
"I can confirm that it works for me." Leonard lifted his glass, having gleaned what Penny was referring to when he noticed Raj's holding hands with Cheryl. "Always feel refreshed and full of energy afterwards."
"Yeah, right. Full of energy." Penny scoffed in good humor.
"Hey." Leonard moped.
"Huh, your idea, as gross as I think it is, might have some merit." Sheldon admitted and stood up. "Come on Amy, lets go."
"Go where?" Amy asked confused.
"Home to have coitus." Sheldon said and pulled her towards the door.
"What?" Amy shrieked as they left the house, further discussions not being heard by the group due to the closed door.
The present – 6 years old:
"So, Amy, tell us about it." Penny grinned, handing her friend a glass of wine and a glass of juice to Bernadette.
"About what?" Amy asked, clearly uncomfortable.
"What do you mean, about what?" Bernadette said. "Having sex with Sheldon. Did you do it? How often?"
"Did it work for Sheldon?" Penny added.
"Yeah, we did." Amy grinned. "Though I managed to talk him into doing it properly, you know, preparing a bit and not just running home and ripping our clothes off. Not that he would do that anyway."
"What did you do?" Bernadette wanted to know.
"First, we had a nice dinner, takeout of course." Amy started. "Then we cleaned ourselves, dimmed the lights and began."
"Any foreplay?" Bernadette grinned.
"Does kissing count?" Amy asked.
"Depends on where you kissed." Penny winked. "If it's on the mouth, it's not really foreplay per se."
"Then no, no foreplay." Amy admitted.
"So, how long did he last?" Bernadette asked.
"It took three hours." Amy told them.
"THREE HOURS?" Penny and Bernadette shrieked at the same time.
"Wait, wait." Penny held up her arm to Bernadette. "Lets refocus here. How many minutes were more trying to do it instead of actually doing it?"
"Um, a lot of it." Amy muttered, slightly embarrassed.
"Where's Sheldon now?" Bernadette asked. "Howard told me that he hadn't been seen at work in a while."
"He's holed up at home, writing stuff on blackboards." Amy answered. "Apparently, he had a sudden breakthrough."
"So, did you do it again since the first time?" Penny giggled.
"Yes!" Amy shouted with happiness. "At first, he didn't want to do it again but I pointed out that if he got a breakthrough after the first time, his brain juices would continue to flow if we continued the coitus."
"And? Did it work?"
"Yeah. Every time he gets even a bit stuck, he uses the 'remedy'." she told them using air quotes and a wide grin.
"Amy, you vixen you." Penny grinned right back.
"I have a lot of catching up to do." Amy winked back.
"So, Bernie, how's the morning sickness treating you?" Penny asked her other friend, changing the topic
"Comes and goes on all times of day." Bernadette groaned. "How did you get through it twice?"
"Bearing it and having Leonard there." she shrugged. "He took care of me the way only he could."
"I still have to train Howard to do more for me. He's still a mama's boy, even though his mother has passed away."
"Is he that bad?" Amy wanted to know.
"You know that pregnancy book, What to expect when you're expecting?" Bernadette asked and Penny nodded. "I almost expect him to have a book that's called 'What I expect when you're expecting'."
"Oh my god." Penny laughed. "That would be something to see. I bet the cover would have a pregnant woman holding a vacuum cleaner in one hand while stirring food on the stove with the other."
"Ugh." Bernadette shook in horror. "Can you give me some advice when it comes to buying stuff for the baby?"
"Hm." Penny hummed. "Well, I can't really say too much about this since Leonard and I had the Nobel money to use. But if you want to save money, get diapers you can wash."
"Do they even make those anymore?" Amy wondered.
"Yeah, but we never found them in any discount store here, since the diaper companies don't want people to have wares they can use again." Penny nodded. "Look for them online. Before Chris was born, Leonard ordered about twenty bags of washable diapers from Belgium and we still have four we never needed to open."
"Oh, can I buy them from you? How many are in there? How do I wash them?"
"It's ten diapers a box and sure, you can buy them." Penny shrugged. "My girls don't need diapers anymore."
"And how do I wash them?"
"First, use the fine wash program with a reduced speed during the spin cycle. When I did it, I interrupted the program after the water intake and a few revolutions to let the diapers simply get soaked in water so the fabric is soft and then, you use a regular detergent with the one hundred forty degree washing program." Penny explained.
"Can I dry them in the dryer?"
"Yeah, if it has a fine drying cycle or one specifically made for cotton. Otherwise, hang them up and let them dry by air."
"How much do you want for them?" Bernadette asked, rummaging in her purse for her wallet.
"Uh, I don't know." Penny hesitated. "I'd have to find the bill, if we even have it anymore."
"Good evening, ladies." Leonard's voice interrupted them.
"Hey sweetie." Penny smiled at her husband and leaned her head back so Leonard could kiss her. "How was work today."
"It was great, mom." Chris giggled. "Dad let me play with the laser."
"Not play with." Leonard corrected him. "We were doing an experiment and I let him control the laser."
"Glad you had fun." Penny smiled warmly at her son. "Now go wash up."
"Okay, mom." Chris agreed and headed into the master bathroom.
"You're very blasé about the fact that your six year old son controlled a high energy laser." Amy mentioned.
"First, I know that Leonard would never allow himself to let Chris be in any kind of danger in his lab. Second, the controls for the laser are quite a bit away from the actual laser, so not even Frank with his ape like arms could accidentally touch the laser, much less put his hand anywhere in its path." Penny stated, remembering the day when the radiation alert went off in his lab, when he ushered them out as fast as possible.
"I don't think I could stomach the idea of Howard taking my future child into his lab." Bernadette shuddered. "He burnt a hole in his wall with a laser by accident, I couldn't even begin to imagine that my child is in the way."
"Why are you laughing?" Amy asked Penny, who had began chuckling.
"At how much we changed." Penny chuckled. "A few years ago, we would have sat on my couch and talked about this or that, maybe about our guys but here we are, talking about kids and their safety."
"You're a great mom." Amy said to Penny. "Kinda hard to believe given your past."
"Hey!" Penny moped.
"Yeah?" Leonard asked from the kitchen, sticking his head through the doorway.
"Wasn't directed at you, sweetie." Penny grinned, making Leonard shrug and turn back. "Leonard, wait, come here."
"What?" Leonard came back.
"Bernadette wants to buy our boxes of unused diapers. Do you still have the bill or do you remember how much we paid for each one?" Penny asked.
"Uh, let me check." Leonard said and walked to the wall where he slid part of the wall aside and walked into a small room.
"What in the name of all that's holy?" Penny shouted and got up to go to her husband. "Since when is there a room here?"
"It has always been here." Leonard told her. "I use it to store our older documents."
"What the hell?" Penny looked around, seeing plastic sliding containers filled with papers. "What's in here?"
"Everything in here is older than a year." Leonard said and rummaged in a row of drawers that had the year of their moving in printed on it. "I always found it prudent to keep documents. You never know when you might need a bank statement from five years ago."
"We have lived here for over six years and now I find out that there is a secret room." Penny threw her arms in the air, looking at Bernadette and Amy, who snickered. "Honey, if I ever find out there's a secret dungeon under our house, we're getting a divorce."
"That would be so cool, my own batcave without bats." Leonard grinned, knowing that Penny was only kidding. "Got it."
"You got the original diaper bill?" Penny asked.
"Yep." he nodded and handed to Bernadette. "Here you go."
"Oh, I don't have that much money with me." Bernadette sighed.
"Don't be ridiculous, take them." Leonard waved her off.
"I can't do that." Bernadette said.
"Bernie, he's right." Penny interjected. "We would have thrown them away at some point anyway."
"Okay, thanks." Bernadette grinned.
"I'll get them from the attic." Leonard nodded and moved upstairs.
"Is there a secret room too?" Penny called after him.
"Of course, where do you think do I keep my mistress?" Leonard winked at her.
"Jerk." Penny made a face but smiled anyway.
"Are you two always like this?" Amy asked.
"Yeah, I like this banter." Penny nodded. "It's not what you might think, we really don't have issues. I love him deeply and I know he loves me equally as much."
"Too bad I could never get Sheldon to engage in banter like this." Amy sighed.
"Howard can't do it really, though he's able to be pretty self-deprecating." Bernadette said.
"I think with Howard, it's more the fear he has of you." Penny giggled.
"Here are the diapers." a returning Leonard proclaimed, carrying four bags of diapers with french words on the covers.
"Great, thanks." Bernadette smiled and put them into two cloth bags she produced from her purse. "One thing already done."
"Yep." Penny nodded. "Imagine the money you will save. An average newborn needs about six to eight diapers a day. Take an average of twenty-five cents a diaper, depending on the brand and you can guess how much you would pay for all the diapers."
"Over seven hundred dollars in a year." Amy quickly calculated. "To be fair, it's not that much compared to other costs of a child."
"True, but knowing you won't have to fork over those seven hundred dollars in the first place helps." Penny agreed. "Also, if you ever have a second kid, you can use these diapers again as long as you don't rip them."
"Alright, I think it's time to head home." Bernadette proclaimed.
"Okay." Penny nodded and just in that moment, she heard her title of mommy being called from upstairs. "And as if on cue, my daughters are awake from their nap."
"Then I think I'll stay a bit longer." Bernadette giggled and hurried upstairs to get one of them.
Shaking her head, Penny followed her friend up. She wondered when Amy would get Sheldon to reproduce, then only Cheryl would need to convince Raj to start a family and all of them were in finally fully grown up without a vestige of their former lives left. A part of her was sad about her bygone youth but one look at her first daughter bounding towards her to be picked up washed that sadness away immediately.
Short and sweet. Not fat and ugly, like me :D
Review please :)