A/N Just a reminder that there may not be a chapter released next week on Sunday night/Monday morning, depending on your location. I'll be in California for a taping and visiting quite a few other places. Something I missed last week, a belated Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate that. Happy Holidays to everyone else, and my best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2019. Oh yeah, there's a stray word or two in this chapter, both uttered by Penny.

Chapter 28

Apartment 4B, 7:15 AM, Friday, September 7th 2012

Penny had kissed Leonard just before he left. She looked at the clock, and had another half hour to get ready, before she had to leave for the studio. Just before leaving she filled her travel cup with coffee and headed down the stairs.

It took her about a half an hour to get to Warner Brothers. She wasn't going to a sound stage today, but to the offices on Riverside Drive. She pulled into the parking garage and stopped at the guard. He checked her against his list, he explained where she needed to go, then waved her through. She found a place to park and walked to the elevator, taking it to the seventh floor.

While in the elevator, she mused on how much had changed in six months. She had been trying to get into the studio as an actor and now, she just had to announce who she was, her name was on the list and she was just waved through. She also knew, if she wasn't on the list, and she needed to be here, like today, she could have the guard call Kelli or Jim, and they would get her in.

She announced herself to the receptionist at 8:20, ten minutes early, and a few minutes later, a woman walked up to her. "Hi Penelope, it's so nice to meet you. My name is Gail Meador, I'm going to be your liaison for the show here in LA." Gail handled Penny a card, "This is my card, it has my phone, fax and email on it. Anything you need concerning the show, while you're here in LA, just call me. And if something comes up, while you're out here, I'll give you a call, so please let me know when you're going to be here. Just drop me an email, whenever you're coming back."

Penny nodded, then said, "So, what am I doing today?"

"You're going to do a promo or two, against a green screen. Our effects people will add the apartment from your series, so it will look like you're there. Jeanie will record hers in New York, we'll put them together, and it will look like both of you were there to film it."

"It should be rather simple for you today. All you basically have to do, is to stand in place, look to your left, and read off the cue cards we'll have for you. These are only 30 second spots, so it shouldn't take long."

Penny looked worried, and Gail asked, "Something wrong?"

"I've never read off of cue cards before," said Penny. "I may not get it very well."

"Don't worry," said Gail, "We'll run you through it several times, then record, so you'll be fine. I've seen the rough cuts of your first three shows. You're pretty funny."

"Where did you see those?"

"They're floating around here, on screeners" said Gail. "Were getting ready to send them out, so the critics can look it over and be ready to write a review. The first show is on next week."

Gail led her into what looked like a small studio, it wasn't much bigger than her living room in New York. "The production people will be in shortly, they'll give you everything you need. Break a leg."

Gail left, leaving Penny along in the studio. I wonder what a screener is? From what Gail said, I guess its several shows people can watch ahead of time. But, what's a rough cut? I guess people have seen me on the show. I wonder what they thought? I wonder if I can get one of those.

Three people walked in, and the one leading the rest said, "Penelope, you ready to get started?"

Penny nodded and one of the people took her to costuming, they would start after she got back.

Apartment 4B, 2:30 PM, Friday, September 7th 2012

Penny got home and kicked off her shoes, dropped her purse on the couch, and headed for her bed. She was going out with Bernadette and Amy tonight, she wanted to get a nap.

While she laid there, she was thinking about how her day had gone. She had gotten done with the promos around 11 AM, and she stayed and talked to the director and Gail for a half hour or so.

They both wanted to speak to her about her first three episodes. Penny was curious, and asked what Gail had meant by a Screener.

Gail explained that, in this case, they had taken the rough cut of each episode, and put it on a DVD and sent it out to major industry news outlets, so they could see the shows. To which Penny asked what a "rough cut" was. Gail reminded Penny about pre-shoots, which were then shown at the taping. The versions shown, weren't the final versions, those were rough cuts.

That made sense to Penny and she realized the first version of the show was a rough cut. Both the director and Gail were impressed by what they had seen of her on the rough cuts. Penny said thanks, but didn't think she deserved the praise. Gail and the director laughed and said, yes she did deserve praise.

Someone involved with Jim and Kelli's production company walked up and asked Penny if she minded going to lunch with her. Gail and the director said bye to Penny, and walked off. Penny agreed, thinking they would be going to the commissary on the lot, but she was taken to the cafeteria in this building.

There, the woman, her name was Teresa, asked her about her life, how she got started, where she learned to be so funny. Penny was flattered, but it felt as if Teresa was trying to get to know Penny. Teresa finally admitted she was the press liaison for Jim and Kelli, and was just trying to get some information for her production company bio, so Penny tried to be pleasant and helpful. After an hour, she said goodbye to Teresa, and headed home.

After another ten minutes, Penny finally drifted off to sleep

Apartment 4A, 7:00 PM, Friday, September 7th 2012

The whole group was in 4A, sitting in their usual places for dinner. Most of the talk was directed at Penny, asking her various questions, that had come up since Penny had told them about New York, her work, and her show.

Penny had tried to answer everything, but she had kept away from her more difficult struggles. This earned a couple of glances from Leonard, but the rest of the group seemed to accept it. They were cleaning up after dinner when Bernadette asked where she wanted to go.

Penny thought about it for a bit and said, "You remember that place we took Sheldon to? Not the place where Amy and Sheldon danced, but before that."

Bernadette looked puzzled, but Amy said, "The place where I kissed you?"

All the guys turned to face the women. Penny noticed that, turned to them and said, "Long, story, don't worry about it." Turning back to Amy and Bernadette, she said, "Yeah, that's the place. We can do some dancing there." The women all agreed, and continued cleaning.

Leonard said, "Why don't you all get going, we'll finish cleaning up, then we're going to play some Halo." The he added, somewhat sadly, "We don't do much of that anymore."

"Awwwwwww," said Penny, "My poor gamer nerd. At least I won't be here to kill everyone."

Howard spoke up, "Leonard we were supposed to play a couple of weeks ago, and you didn't show up."

Leonard look resigned and simply continued cleaning up, with Penny walking over to give him a kiss and say "Goodbye." Bernadette did the same with Howard, and Amy looked at Sheldon, who simply shook his head. With that the woman left, leaving the guys in 4A.

Club 54, Pasadena, 9:00 PM, Friday, September 7th 2012

They had just come off the dance floor, and were a bit breathless. Penny tried to pour another glass of wine, but the bottle was empty. She said, "Be right back," and headed to the bar, coming back in less than a minute with another bottle.

"Who needs another glass?" asked Penny.

"My second drink is still full," said Bernadette.

"I still have half of my first glass," said Amy.

Penny shook her head and said, "What's the matter with you two?" as poured another glass. "We took a cab, so we don't need to watch what we drink."

Bernadette looked at Penny, "I guess I've gotten away from drinking all that much."

Amy chimed in, "Without you, I guess we just don't drink as much."

"Well, I'm still drinking," said Penny, who then took a large drink.

Amy and Bernadette exchanged concerned looks, which Penny noticed, "What? You think there's something wrong with me drinking?"

"Penny, why are you drinking so much?" asked Bernadette.

"I'm not drinking all that much," said Penny. "I've been drinking more in New York."

"You told me on the phone that you weren't drinking all that much in New York, so which is it?" said Bernadette.

Penny was caught out, "Er, not a lot all at once, but pretty regular," said Penny.

"We're just worried about you," said Bernadette, "with how much you've been drinking."

Penny was starting to get angry, "I will drink when and …"

Penny felt an arm go around her waist, and before she could turn, she felt someone kissing her neck. She spun around, she was already angry, and wasn't happy finding herself looking at one of her old boyfriends. "Mike, what the hell are you doing?"

"Just trying to be playful," said Mike, "I remembered that you liked your neck kissed."

"Yeah, and I have a boyfriend," said Penny angrily.

"OK, OK," said Mike, "I was looking before and I didn't see a ring, so…"

"Just get the hell away from me," said Penny, still sounding angry.

"Backing up with his hands up, facing toward Penny, he said, "Jeez, I was just trying to…"

"I don't care what you were trying," yelled Penny, "just go." With that Mike turned and walked off.

"What was all that about?" asked Amy.

Penny poured another glass, and took another large drink. "I used to date him, back before I knew you Amy. You were at The Cheesecake Factory Bernadette, but we didn't know each other very well, I think you had just started and you were always running to school, when you weren't working. I broke up with him because he wrote about a bunch of times we made out, or had sex."

"Where?" asked Bernadette.

"In his blog, online," said Penny. "It was all over the internet. Guys in prison were reading it." She took another healthy swig, then refilled her glass.

"Leonard tried to calm me down and I thought I would give Mike another chance. So, I went over to Mike's apartment and he was already in the middle of sex with another woman. He was in bed with her less than an hour after he left my apartment, I've always thought he had been cheating on me with her, that's why he was with her so fast."

"Leonard told me later he was trying to get me to see Mike was bad for me," said Penny, "but I took it as he was encouraging me to get back together with him. When I saw Mike in bed with the other woman, I came back and yelled at Leonard. He still came over to try to make me feel better, and he ended up asking me out. It was our first official date."

Both Amy and Bernadette said "Awwwwww."

Penny smiled, "Yeah, Leonard is special. But, I'm not putting up, anymore, with guys acting like they can fuck me right here in the middle of the dance floor."

Amy and Bernadette were shocked, they hadn't hear Penny use that kind of language before.

"Er, Penny," said Bernadette, "You OK?"

"Yeah," sighed Penny, "I'm fine. Sorry, but those kind of guys make me mad now, now that I have Leonard." She downed another half of a glass of wine.

Amy leaned over and whispered to Bernadette, "Maybe we should take her home." Out loud she said, "It's getting late, why don't we head on home."

"What," said Penny, "don't you want to stay longer? It's only 10:30 and none of us have to get up early."

"Well," said Bernadette, "how about we stay until 11:15?"

"OK, lets dance some more," said Penny. She downed the other half of her glass, and headed to the dance floor. Amy and Bernadette followed her.

Cab #1114, Pasadena, 12:45 AM, Saturday, September 7th 2012

"Leonard ish, sho good to me," said Penny leaning on Amy's shoulder, in the back seat of the cab. "I've got to tell him that…that…ahhhh, what wassh that guys name, the one that tried to eat my neck?"

"I don't remember Penny," Bernadette lied. "It doesn't matter anyway, you shut him down."

"But, I elled, no IyelledatLeonard, about kishing Alish... no Alish, is that it? Told him not to be kishing other women.

"Alish?" asked Amy. "Er, who's Alice?"

Bernadette answered, "She was some woman who Leonard met at the comic book store, when he was dating Priya, just before they broke up. I didn't hear the whole story but I guess she was hitting on Leonard in the comic book store, but I didn't know he kissed her."

"Yeah, kished her, I told him not to do it, but he diditanyway. So, if shomeone kishes me, I should tell him, so he can yellathim, hehehe, no yell atme."

They pulled up to the apartment building, Bernadette paid for the cab, while Amy tried to help Penny out of the cab. It took both of them to get her out, as she was having trouble standing. Trying to help a woman who couldn't walk had both Amy and Bernadette struggling to get her up the stairs. They finally got to 4B and knocked on the door.

Leonard answered, and had to chuckle seeing Penny. "Hi, sshweeetie, I'm dunk, no I's drunk, no I'm drunk. I kished a guy, no wait, a guy kished me, but I shut down…"

"Of course you did," said Leonard.

"I dided shot him down," slurred Penny, "shuda punched him, oh, oh, oh, I shuda kicked him in the nuts, really fuck him up."

Leonard rolled his eyes, "Let's get you into the bedroom." He took her off of Amy and Bernadettes hands and half helped, half carried her to the bedroom. He laid her on the bed, on her back and threw a part of the bedspread over her. She spoke up, "Leonard, why ish the room shpinning." Then, he walked out to the door and asked, "What the hell happened tonight?"

Bernadette spoke up, "Leonard, some guy named Mike, someone she said she dated, came up to her, put his arm around her, and kissed and nibbled on her neck. She shut him down, hard and fast, but she was worried about it. About telling you, because she said she yelled at you to not to be kissing other women. Something about a woman named Alice. I don't know the whole story, but I know you weren't with Penny at that time. I'm telling you because she was upset, and worried, although she didn't do anything."

"Thanks Bernadette," said Leonard, "thank you both for getting her home. I won't yell at her. She shut him down, it's not her fault. You two don't seem to be in as bad of shape as she is."

"Leonard," said Bernadette, "she was drinking hard tonight. Taking half a glass gulps of wine at a time. We tried to get her to leave around 10:30. She said no, so we tried to get her to leave at 11:30, but she had bought another bottle of wine and wanted to finish that, so here we are at one in the morning. I told you she was drinking more. You should say something."

Leonard nodded, "We'll see. Mean time, again thank you both, and I hope you had a good night, bye."

Amy and Bernadette said goodbye, and Leonard closed the door. He shut off the lights, and went to the bedroom. Penny was by now passed out on the bed. He undressed her, down to her panties, then struggled to get her under the sheet and bedspread. After finally getting her properly in bed, he went to the bathroom.

He got two aspirins, and a cup of water. He put both the aspirin and water on her night stand. Hoping she would see them, if she woke up. He then went out to the kitchen and got her bucket, which he put on the floor, next to her side of the bed. He then stripped down to his boxers, brushed his teeth, washed his face and climbed into the bed next to her. He rolled over, kissed her check and said, "Goodnight Penny, I love you." He laid on his side and put his arm over her side, and soon drifted off to sleep.