Chapter 01 -

The damned box was so heavy that Becky really doubted she could lift it, let alone accomplish anything in this life, whatsoever. But tenacity had always been her motto. She would never give up! It didn't matter if that huge freakin' box weighed a ton, the elevator was out of order and there were at least a flight of stairs or two to go...

"Damn it! Crap!"

"Um, lady, are you all right?"

Becky, flushed, a little sweaty and disheveled, caught herself staring at the guy who was apparently trying to offer her some assistance. She analyzed him, and concluded that his chances of carrying her boxes upstairs were as viable as Timon carrying Mufasa and Pumbaa to the top of Pride Rock.

"Thanks, but I'm okay. Besides, those are delicate stuff. That was supposed to be the moving company responsibility, but the assholes left me alone doing everything! Figures. Why the hell did I choose the cheapest. Great way to start the year, not to mention this crappy ornamental elevator."

The guy couldn't suppress a laugh and Becky felt a little embarrassed. She had to pay attention to her colorful vocabulary in front of random people... She couldn't keep behaving like a pirate, justifiable or not.

"I'm sorry. Becky Carlson.", she shook his hand, warmly.

"Leonard Hofstadter. And the elevator was kinda our fault here...", He shook hers, beaming.

This Leonard had nice hands, by the way, she mused. Not really large or small... She could never understand the reason why one had to shake hands, or applaud... Applauding was so bizarre... Wait, where was she? Oh, yes, she came back to the hall and to Leonard and her stuff all over the floor, ready to be moved upstairs.

"Are you okay, Miss Carlson?"

She nearly jumped with fright. The distraction...

"Becky." She waved her surname away, gesticulating hard to make her point. "And no, actually, I'm not okay, Leonard. I wish I were the fucking Hulk or something, to transport those boxes, like, now. Anyway, I'm nearly turning into some furious green monster."

"Oh, God." Leonard stared at her, puzzled and amazed. He was smiling and not in a checking-her-out sort of way...

"Hm? Please, clarify."

"You're a geek. A... girl geek. Is that even possible?!"

"I don't like stereotypes. I'm a girl that happens to like variety. I'm not like those losers who live in their parents' basement playing videogame the whole day and living off pizzas and nacho."

That hurt Leonard so much he felt like... He felt like High School.

"You say you don't like stereotypes", he said bluntly, "and what is to say to your hypocrisy right now? 'I'm not like those losers who live in their parents' basement playing videogame the whole day and living off pizzas and nacho'? Hmmm?"

Becky flushed, mortified once again. What a blunder!

"Leonard... I am so sorry. I didn't mean... I am so stupid. I know it's no excuse, but my Borg implants are experiencing malfunction probably since I was born. And I know that that probably doesn't make any sense either."

But Leonard did understand. For the first time... He was having second thoughts about Penny (and he felt horrible for that). He was still too impressed to help an out-of-breath Becky struggling with a heavy box. She could be a geek, all right, except that... She looked like anything but.

If anything, she looked like a fashion-model.

No, not really that tall, but definitely not average-looking. Starting by her hair, for example... What kind of color was that? Red? Copper? Auburn? Fiery? Was there even a word to describe it? It was stubbornly locked in a badly-made bun, but it should be waist-length when flowing loose...

"And, talking about waists... Oh, gosh, look at hers..." the persistent thoughts kept popping.

But if it was meant to be this time, he wouldn't make the same mistake. No. This girl, Becky (who had just fallen on her ass and the TV box on top of her), was different, more than looks.

He was lost in thoughts... She was kicking the box, cursing...

"What the hell are you staring at, now?!", she cut across Leonard's daydream. "Are you gonna help me or not?! Great. DAAAMN IT!" She finally cursed, kicking the biggest box she had been trying to move all along, "So much for a flat 55" TV!"

"Wow, what is going on, here? World War III?", someone asked.

It was a tall, scrawny boy. He was carrying a bag of some takeaway food and looked aghast, the poor thing. He had just arrived, Becky hadn't even noticed him.

"Sheldon!" Leonard said the word (that apparently was the boy's name), trying to control his fits of laughter, "This is Becky, the new neighbor."

"Oh, great. Another neighbor. Leonard, make sure you install her DTS, especially if she lives above us."

"Difficult guy and rude", Becky analyzed. But since they were going to be neighbors, she would try to be as nice as possible.

"Oh, hello to you too, and nice to meet you!" said Becky, feigning genuine pleasure. She even dared to shake him by the hand.

And his hands... They were so... symmetrical, perfect, polished nails, absolutely no hair on the fingers...

"Excuse me!" Sheldon finally managed to escape Becky's iron grasp, "Are you insane?!"

"I'm... I'm sorry! He said your name was... is Sheldon, right? Um, Sheldon, your hands... Your hands, they are so perfect, so flawless and beautiful... What kind of work do you do? Are you a musician?"

This certainly caught Sheldon off guard (and Leonard couldn't wait to hear the answer).

"Well, no. I am a theoretical physicist. But I can play the piano and the flute."

"Hm. And what is that supposed to be, a 'theoretical physicist'?"

"Excuse me?! 'What is that supposed to be?!' Well! Theoretical Physics is a branch of physics which employs both mathematical models and abstractions of physics in an attempt to explain natural phenomena. Its central core is mathematical physics, though other conceptual techniques are also used. The goal is to rationalize, explain and predict physical phenomena. The advancement of science depends in general on the interplay between experimental studies and theory. In some cases, theoretical physics adheres to standards of mathematical rigor while giving little weight to experiments and observations."

"Well. That sounds... Useful and all, but not really my cup of cocoa."

Sheldon merely scoffed and looked her over with such disdain that Becky winced.

"No wonder."

Becky was now indignant. She was gathering all her mind control not to burst into angry tears (since her lacrimal ducts were directly linked to the part of her brain that controlled her rage).

" 'No wonder'. Why? Explain exactly what you mean by that in very short sentences so I can understand, Physicist."

And then, again... Caught Sheldon off guard. Leonard was nearly peeing his pants grabbing his cell phone to record this promising discussion. Some witty new neighbor...!

"Because I deal with phenomena and I can prove anything. I can create and demonstrate phenomena based on statistics and reality."

"That's so interesting! What have you created, besides making your head bigger and bigger every day?

Sheldon opened his mouth once or twice.

"So?", asked Becky.

"It's a field of studies that is progressive, one can't force Science to develop!"

To what, Becky laughed. She laughed, but not a ridiculous, raucous laugh. It was a laughter that probably pierced Sheldon's very self.

"How many... Nobel Prizes do you have, Mr. Scientist? Are you even famous?"

Sheldon's mouth was dry, he wanted to curl up in a ball.

"I thought so. Dear. In the future, remember that two can play this game."

And Becky left, with all the dignity she could muster, even though shaking all over.

It seemed that this... Becky was somewhat venomous and dangerous, concluded Leonard, after realizing that his cell phone was still randomly filming the floor and walls, since she had lost the interest in her objects. Sheldon was there, having several sorts of fits and doing weird face movements and grimaces. This girl... She was tough and it was worse, way worse than Leslie Winkle. Sheldon, finally, would probably need a psychiatrist.