A/N I'm still not well, running a fever, but getting better. I have started writing the next chapter in first draft, so here is this chapter. There is some humorous wordplay or references in this chapter (or what I consider humorous). If you think you spot both of them, let me know. I'll give the answer in an A/N in one of the next two chapters.

Chapter 31

Studio 44, 12:30 PM Thursday September 13th 2012

They had gotten through setting the blocking for the show, and had broken for lunch. Jeanie and Penny were sitting at their apartment's dining table, eating, talking, and reviewing their blocking, when Kelli walked up.

"Hi Kelli," said Penny, "What's going on?"

"How did the interviews go?" asked Kelli.

"I thought they were good," said Penny, "but I guess I'll know when I see the articles."

"Well, of course you want to wait, to see the full thing," said Kelli with a smile, "but, I have some advance information if you want to know."

Penny looked at Jeanie, and she simply shrugged. "OK, what did they say about me?"

Kelli smiled, "They are very happy for you. You charmed them. They thought you were very humble, telling them they should be interviewing Jeanie, or Dave, as they are the stars. They also found you rather funny. Overall, they are very impressed, and will write good articles.

Penny was smiling, but she was relieved, as she didn't know what, exactly, the press had thought of her.

Jeanie was looking at Kelli, smiling, "Should we tell her about the other thing?"

Kelli looked at Jeanie, "I don't know, do you want to tell her, or should I?"

Jeanie smile, "You go ahead."

"What are you two talking about?" asked Penny.

Kelli spoke up, "You have an appointment on Monday afternoon, with the William Morris Agency."

"What?"

"You have an appointment with the William Morris Agency," said Kelli.

"How did you…"

"It wasn't her Penny," said Jeanie, "I talked to my agent, who talked to the upper management…"

"Who then called to talk to me," said Kelli. "And, as a result, you have an appointment with, Jeanie's agent and upper management."

"Wait a minute," said Penny sounding upset, "what about my agent? Do you think I would just leave her?"

"You want to take this Kelli?"

"Sure, make me the bad guy," said Kelli smiling.

"Actually, they have talked with your agent. William Morris and your agent have agreed to terms. Your agent gets to keep her commission for this show, she gets a percentage of any and all of your work you start for the next five years. After that, she's done."

"But how did they know?"

"It's my fault Penny," said Jeanie. "After you got back from LA and talking to your agent, you were telling me you had some thought about changing your agent, as long as your LA agent was taken care of. So, I mentioned it to my agent and I figured there would be some preliminary talks, you'd get involved, there would be some more talks. I didn't expect for your agent to agree so quickly, and without talking to you."

"Just remember, if you don't like the deal, you don't have to take it. If you don't like my agent being your agent, you don't have to use her, you can get another from William Morris. Or, you can just not have William Morris, it's your choice. I didn't mean to overstep, and I feel bad about it. But, like I said, I also didn't expect things to move so quickly."

Kelli said, "Yeah, that was a surprise, it usually takes several weeks, at least."

"That's because my California agent agrees that I need an agent," said Penny, "well, actually, an agency, that can cover both coasts. So I'm not surprised she agreed so quickly. She does truly care about me."

"I truly am sorry, Penny," said Jeanie. "I just want you to know the main reason is I believe you have a great future ahead of you, and the sooner you get both coast representation, the faster your career is going to take off."

"Penny," said Kelli, "I agree with Jeanie, you really need representation on both coasts. Why don't you call your agent and talk to her? If you're not agreeable, we won't do it."

"That's OK," said Penny. "I know both of you were just trying to help."

"Yeah, but, I'm sorry."

"That's fine, Jeanie. Please don't worry about it." said Penny. "However, I want to talk to you, Kelli."

"What about?"

"Are you trying to help me here, also?" Said Penny.

"What do you mean?"

"My scenes this week," said Penny. "All of them have me either sitting down or standing behind some piece of furniture, I don't do any walking around this week, almost everything is me standing still. Did you, Jim, Sam, and the rest of the writers come up with that so I wouldn't make mistakes?"

"Actually that did come up," said Kelli with a sly smile.

"So you are doing it," said Penny.

"No," said Kelli laughing, "I said it came up. The writers wrote it, and I said, 'She's going to think we did this because of all her problems.' The writers didn't think you would, because they just wrote it as part of the plot, so now I get to tell them I was right. No, we didn't do it for you, it's just how the story worked out this week."

Penny looked sheepish, "Sorry, Kelli."

"That's OK," said Kelli, "I would have thought that too, so don't worry about it, but come and talk to me after you get finished today, OK?"

"What about?"

"I just want to go over some things about the agency, and what you can expect when you go in on Monday. You come too Jeanie, so you can correct me when I get something wrong."

"OK," said Penny, "I'll see you at the end of the day."

Apartment 314, 6:30 PM Monday September 17th 2012

Penny and Jeanie had just gotten back from dinner, they found an Italian restaurant a couple of blocks north of where they lived, not somewhere they normally went. Jeanie was interested in how Penny's meeting with William Morris had gone, but Penny wanted to wait until they got back to the apartment.

After getting to Penny's, Penny poured each each of them a glass of wine and they sat on her couch, Jeanie spoke up, "OK, we're home, tell me what happened today."

Penny smiled, "It went really well, and the stuff you and Kelli told me was really helpful. I met LeAnn, the VP as soon as I got there. I spoke with your agent, Cara and one they wanted me to get to know, Beth Davis. I talked to her for about an hour, and we're going to meet on Wednesday afternoon for lunch. I have a good feeling about her, but I just want to talk to her a bit more. LeAnn said if I didn't get along with her, they would recommend another one."

"I don't want you to be mad at me, but I decided not to go with your agent. It probably doesn't really matter, but we're close enough in age that we may get sent to the same jobs and I don't want have her have to decide which one of us to send, or having something like that affect us. The other woman probably has several younger women also, but I don't know them or know about them, so it's not such a big deal."

"I'm not mad," said Jeanie. "A bit disappointed, but just because you didn't chose her. Cara is a really good friend, as well as being my agent. But you have to be comfortable with your agent, you have to trust your agent, and if you can't, you're better off not having them. I don't think Cara would be a problem for either of us, or her representing both of us would cause a problem for her, but if you have any doubt, you did the right thing. How was everyone else?"

"They were so great," said Penny. "LeAnn took me around to meet all the people on the executive floor, the president, the head agent, all the different VPs, and they were all so nice. They all had seen everything on the screener disk and told me how glad they were to have me thinking about joining the agency."

"We also talked about my California agent. One of the financial guys told me which jobs my agent would get credit for, for how long, and how much. My agent had already spoken to the financial guy and agreed to all of this. They were working on contracts and I'll have to sign them, once they are finished. Cara did help me with one thing, even after I told her I wasn't going to have her as my agent."

"What's that?"

"She suggested I find an independent show business attorney, to go over the contract, and she gave me the name of one, someone outside of William Morris, so I would have someone look at the contracts. I think I'm going to do it."

"Was it Howard, Fine, and Howard?"

Penny grabbed her purse and pulled out a card and looked at it. She nodded and said, "Yeah, how did you know?"

Jeanie chuckled, "Cara recommended them to me, when I first signed with William Morris. They are completely independent and are a good choice. Many of the theatre actors use them as their attorneys. "

Penny said, "OK, thanks. I really don't know anything about finding a lawyer. I've never needed one, well maybe I should have gotten one with all my parking tickets."

"Make an appointment and stop by their office on Wednesday after lunch with Beth," said Jeanie. "Ask, Beth about it too. If she has your interests at heart, she should have no problem with you seeing them. They are well known as really good entertainment lawyers."

"I will," said Penny. "If I agree with the summary of the contract, I'll have them look it over before I sign it."

"Good move," said Jeanie. "And now, do you want to run over your lines and blocking?"

"You mean my two steps I take from the sink to the island?" laughed Penny.

Jeanie laughed and they went to get their scripts.

Caltech Laser Lab, 5:30 PM Tuesday September 18th 2012

Leonard was working on his whiteboard, trying to get some more calculations on the shape and size of the reflection for an electron, at different energies. He was getting a bit frustrated, but continued working as he was waiting for Sheldon to finish whatever he was doing and come down to the lab, so they could go home.

He heard a voice that was decidedly not Sheldon's say, "Dr Hofstadter?"

He turned to see Alex waiting at his lab door, and he said, "Hi Alex, what are you doing here?"

"Dr Cooper told me to come down here and tell you he would be going home with Amy."

"Why didn't he just call?" asked Leonard.

"Dr Kripke came into his office," explained Alex. "He was messing around with Dr Cooper's cell phone, and when Sheldon complained, Dr Kripke licked Dr Cooper's cell phone. Then as he was putting the cell phone down next to his office phone, he sneezed all over his office phone and his desk. He couldn't find any hand sanitizer, so he sent me."

"That sounds about right for him," chuckled Leonard. "I'm sorry you had to come down here, he could have given you my number and could have just called me."

"Well, then," said Alex as she brushed her hair back over her ear, "maybe you should give me your phone number, Dr Hofstadter." Leonard turned to look at her, and she quickly added, "you know, just in case he needs me to call you."

"That makes sense," said Leonard. He gave her his phone number and after she read it back to him, he said, "Alex, now you give me yours, so if I can't get in touch with Dr Cooper, I can call you."

She eagerly gave Leonard her number and said, "Thank you Dr Hofstadter."

Leonard looked at her and said, "When were not in an academic setting, you can call me Leonard."

"Ok I will, thank you Dr Hoftst… Leonard" said Alex.

Leonard smiled and turned back to his white board.

"What are you working on?" ask Alex, coming up and standing close to Leonard.

"Trying to calculate the shape of a laser beam reflection off of a particle," said Leonard, "depending on the power and frequency of a laser. I'm struggling with it. I asked Sheldon to look at it, and he hasn't gotten back to me."

Alex was looking at the board. "I'm not as conversant as you with the particle math, what are you trying to do with the reflections?"

"I'm thinking that if I can figure out the shape of any reflections," said Leonard, "I'll have a way to identify particles within an event at a particle accelerator…"

"And you would be able to detect new particles a bit more easily, by finding a new shape of a reflection." said Alex, finishing Leonard's sentence.

"Yep," said Leonard, "that's it. I'm also hoping to possibly figure out the reflection pattern of the graviton, as if we have the answer as to the shape, we might be able to determine the proper equations which give us that shape."

"And," said Alex, "a way to determine whether Quantum Loop Gravity or String Theory is correct."

Leonard nodded, "That's another thing I'm hoping for."

"Boy, you are really going after this thing aggressively, aren't you?" said Alex. "If you're having problems, why don't you show Dr Cooper this?"

"I've given him my work," said Leonard, "but, he probably thinks my work isn't up to his."

"I'm sure it is," said Alex. She put her hand on his arm and said, "Do you want me to talk to him about it?"

Leonard patted her hand, "No, you don't need to get involved in the craziness of your boss." He turned away and walked to his desk, as Alex watched him.

"Well, Alex," said Leonard, as he locked his desk and put his computer in his messenger bag, "It's time to go, and since he'll be with Amy, I guess I'll be eating alone again tonight."

"I know that feeling," said Alex. "It's really a bummer, isn't it? Having to eat alone and all. I've been eating alone every night since I got here." Her voice ended on what sounded like a hopeful note.

"Yeah, but you get used to it," said Leonard. "After a while, you start to find if you have no one, or the someone you have is far away, it's almost better to eat alone."

"I've never gotten used to it, Dr Hofst…Leonard," said Alex, looking at Leonard forlornly. "I'm always hoping I'll find someone to spend time with."

"I get that," said Leonard closing and locking the door to his lab. "I'll see you tomorrow Alex, have a good night."

"You too, Leonard," said Alex softly.

Leonard nodded and smiled, "That's better." He then turned and walked away, leaving Alex staring after him wistfully.

Studio 44, 10:30 PM Tuesday September 18th 2012

Penny was changing in her dressing room. As she expected, with no movement, the taping went rather well for her. Sitting or simply standing while she said her lines was so easy, it almost made her feel guilty at how much the others had to move around.

She was at her makeup table, wiping her heavy show makeup off, and after finishing, she applied some light color to her cheeks, a bit of eye shadow and some mascara. She gave her hair a quick brush, and then packed her new script, pencils and markers in her bag, grabbed her purse and turned off the lights in her dressing room. She closed and locked the door and headed down the stairs.

Thirty minutes later, her and Jeanie were sitting next to each other in a booth, with Kelli and Jim sitting across from them and Sam at the end of the table. Brent was there but had chosen not to sit with the group.

Kelli and Jim were asking Penny how her meeting had gone. She told them the same things she had told Jeanie. Kelli and Jim also agreed that Howard, Fine and Howard were a good choice for entertainment lawyers, but they also recommended their own lawyer, Donald Dewey, or one of the other partners of Dewey, Chetham, Goode and Howe. Kelli gave Penny one of Dewey's cards

Kelli laughingly congratulated Penny on how well her blocking went this week. Penny just shook her head. The whole table was excited and talking about the first show premiering on Thursday. Kelli had thought about having a viewing party for the whole cast and crew, but decided against it. Her and Jim both planned to talk to everyone on Friday, to get everyone's impressions.

Around 12:30 PM, Sam left, and around one, Jeanie and Penny decided to leave. They said their goodbyes, and headed for the door. Just as they got there, Penny pointed to the corner table, and there was Brent, talking to a woman, he had his arm wrapped around her. Jeanie said, "He didn't bother you tonight, did he?"

Penny was surprised by the question, but said, "No, he didn't. To be honest, it was quite nice not to have to deal with him tonight. Do you think he finally got the hint?"

"Appears that he has," said Jeanie. "Come on, let's head home."

Penny agreed, opened the door, and they walked out, heading home.