A/N Ok, After a week and a half, here's the next chapter. Next one will be a week from Monday. I've gotten two first draft chapters done, and should have a couple more done, and be caught up. I'm now also caught up on my completed copy edited chapters. So, now would be a good time to thanks my two readers. TBBT78 for checking the first drafts and great suggestions and bfm10 for the copy editing and also great suggestions. I wouldn't be at this point in the story, without you.
Marston's 10 AM Wednesday September 26th 2012
Leonard and Penny had just finished their brunch, and the waitress had laid the check on the table. Penny took a drink of her coffee and said, "So, can you get off this afternoon, like, get home around 2:30, since you took off this morning?"
"I think so," said Leonard. "The meetings will be short, they are with a couple of my grad students, just checking up on their work. Most importantly, I got Amy to bring Sheldon home, so yeah, I'll be off in time. Do I need to wear anything special?"
"I don't think so," said Penny, "if you wear a collared shirt, and a jacket or coat, I think that will be fine. You'll be in my dressing room the whole time."
"Ok, I'll change my shirt and grab a jacket when I come to pick you up. You about ready? If I'm going to get off early, I really should get back from being late." He grinned at her.
Penny laughed, then nodded. Leonard picked up the check, as they went to pay, then leave.
Apt 4B 2:15 PM Wednesday September 26th 2012
Leonard entered the apartment, calling out, "Penny, I'm here." He looked around and didn't see her, heard the shower and walked into the bathroom and called out, "Penny?"
He heard a shriek, then Penny saying, "Quit doing that Leonard. You scared the crap out of me. And what are you doing here, it's only two."
"Well, I didn't want you to be late," said Leonard. "And at this time, it could take 45 minutes to an hour to get there, so I wanted to leave about 15 minutes early, around three."
"Well, let me finish my shower," said Penny. "Why don't you go get a clean shirt and a jacket? Then we can talk about it."
Talk about it? thought Leonard. He ran over to 4A, picked out a white shirt, then found a sports coat, and put them both on, then walked back over to 4B. He sat at the table, waiting for Penny.
Penny had put her hair up in a bun, and after her bra and panties, put on a dark blue skirt, with a white blouse, then put on a pair of low-heeled white shoes. Leonard kept looking at her, and at one point said, "Wow."
"I take it you like it?" said Penny.
"Yeah, I do," said Leonard, "but, I thought they were bringing an outfit for you to wear, why not dress casual?"
"Because, silly," said Penny, "we're going out for dinner afterward, and I wanted to look nice for you. After all, you look pretty sharp yourself, with that jacket on."
Leonard stood up and looked in the mirror, "I suppose you're right. So what is this talk we're supposed to have?"
"We don't have to drive," said Penny. "They are sending a car for me. Since this is a network thing, they got me a car. It'll be here around 2:45, so they already have the time figured in."
"Oh, Ok," said Leonard, "so what happens afterward, they bring us back here?"
"Yeah," said Penny, "I have everything in my bag, or my purse. After the show, they'll bring us back here, then we can get in your car and go for dinner."
"So do we wait here, or outside?"
"We wait up here until I get a call," said Penny, "they'll…" At that moment, the phone rang and Penny answered, "Hello…" she listened for a few seconds and then said, "OK, thanks," she said, "they're here Leonard, come on, let's go." They left the apartment, locked it, then walked down the stairs.
CBS Television City, 3:30 PM Wednesday September 26th 2012
Penny and Leonard were at the guard gate, arguing with the guard. Even the limo driver was telling the guard who she was, but he would not let them in, as the paperwork he had said it was Penelope Jensen, and that name did not appear on Penny's drivers license.
Penny was getting rather angry, when Leonard suggested she call "What's her name, you know, the one that set this up?"
Penny realized he meant Gail, so Penny called her and explained the problem. Gail told Penny it would be a few minutes but just wait, then hung up. A few minutes later the guards phone rang, and he answered it. After a minute or so, he came out and asked for Penny's driver's license.
"Ok, I have it," said the guard, "yes, that is the name on the license. Yes, she has blond hair. It is? OK, I'll write up a pass for her. What about the guy with her? OK, thanks."
The guard hung up, leaned out and asked for Leonard's license. He gave it to the guard and fifteen minutes later, they both had visitor badges and the car drove to Sound Stage 58. There was a woman outside waiting for them. Their car stopped, and Leonard and Penny both got out.
The woman walked up to them and explained that she was on Craig's staff, and she understood Penelope had problems getting through the main gate. They didn't want her to have the same problem, so she was out there to greet her, and lead her to her dressing room.
Five minutes later they were in the dressing room. Penny noted it was smaller than hers, without a shower, but it did have several makeup chairs, and what looked like a changing room, which made sense, since this was used by someone else, every day, while they were getting ready for the show.
And, noted Penny, unlike her dressing room, it had a small food spread, with drinks laid out. Since it was going to be a few hours before they ate, they each made up a small plate and took a bottle of water.
CBS Television City, 4:30 PM Wednesday September 26th 2012
Penny and Leonard were talking about how her show was going, when there was a knock on the door. Penny opened it and there was Craig Ferguson. Penny started stuttering, finally managing to squeak out, "Come in, please."
He came in and shook Penny's hand, then Penny introduced Leonard. Ferguson's interest was piqued when Penny explained what kind of doctor Leonard was. The two of them spoke about physics for a few moments, then Craig asked, "Can I have a seat?"
Penny pointed to a chair and said, "Of course."
After he sat, he asked Penny, "So, how do you feel about being here tonight?"
Penny looked at him and said, "Excited, but I've never done a talk show before, so really nervous."
"Don't worry," said Ferguson, "I'll ask few questions, you just give me an answer. I understand is the first time you've been in a series."
"Yes, it is," said Penny. "Actually, it's my first time doing any kind of television."
"Your show sent over a clip of you," said Ferguson. "It's the one where you and…um…Jeanie Corbette's character, I think, are at some restaurant with her boyfriend, and you are making some really snarky remarks to him, do you remember that?"
"Well, if you think it needs setting up, come up with a line or two, so people might understand it a bit better. Other than that just be yourself, and try to relax." He turned to Leonard, it looked to Leonard as if he had thought of something, but he only smirked, raised one eyebrow, and said, "Make sure she's relaxed before she comes out."
He rose, "We'll see you out on stage in a couple of hours. Enjoy your stay here. Leonard it was nice to meet you." With that, he rose, and left.
CBS Television City, 5:30 PM Wednesday September 26th 2012
Sheila and Mindy were doing an intricate dance as they prepared Penny for the show. They were about Penny's age and really, like Penny, just starting out in the business. The two of them had come to the studio together, bringing with them the dress Penny had picked out. Now, all three of them were having a great time, talking and giggling, although Leonard didn't understand what exactly they were giggling about.
They took Penny into the changing room and a few minutes later, Penny came out. Leonard just looked at her, his mouth hanging open. Her hair fell in waves, down to her shoulder. Her face looked flawless, with some really fancy eye makeup, and her black dress was a few inches above her knee, and also exposed some of her cleavage.
"Close your mouth sweetie," said Penny, "it ain't polite."
Leonard said, "I thought you looked great when we left the apartment. But this… this is fabulous."
"He likes it ladies," said Penny with a laugh. "You both did a fabulous job, thank you so much. Now, all we have to do is wait about five minutes for the show to start."
CBS Television City, 6:10 PM Wednesday September 26th 2012
As her segment came closer, Penny had gotten more and more nervous. Finally, Leonard talked to her, told her she would be great, told her he believed she would do a wonderful job. He told her to just be herself, and she seemed to calm down.
Finally, one of the assistants came and got her, taking her to the stage. Sheila, Mindy, and Leonard watched from the monitor in the dressing room. When Craig introduced her, she came out, her and Craig hugged and he led her to the desk and chair.
After telling her she looked lovely, Craig asked her, "So, you told me your boyfriend works at Caltech in physics, how much physics do you know?"
Penny hemmed and hawed, with Craig making some snarky comments. Finally, Penny was able to give a rather coherent description of Schrödinger's cat, which seemed to impress Craig.
He then told her they had a clip and if it needed any setting up. Penny said no, it didn't need setting up. The clip played and Craig was laughing, and said, "That's funny, your facial expressions are really great. Where did you learn to do those?"
Penny looked embarrassed and dropped her head for a few seconds. When she looked up, her cheeks were red, and she said, "I don't know, they just come naturally to me, and I guess my producers thought it would be useful, on the show."
He then said she didn't seem nervous, and ask if her boyfriend had relaxed her, and an embarrassed Penny tried to give an answer, using a word, which Craig turned into another double entendre. This caused even more embarrassment for Penny, and when she tried to explain, Craig turned that into another double entendre.
Leonard wasn't sure if he liked the double entendre bit, but the audience was laughing and he had to admit it was funny. Mindy told him Craig used that on almost all guests so don't worry about it.
Geoff, Craig's robot sidekick, said something snarky to Craig, who looked at Penny, winked and said Geoff, being a skeleton, didn't have a penis. Penny just blurted out the first thing that came to her mind, and said, "Like you?" Craig looked surprised, but tried to one up her. She quit smiling, and suddenly looked demure, and hurt. Craig saw this and started looking flustered, which finally had them both laughing.
Penny saw the producer point at Craig, and pull a finger across his throat. Craig immediately said they were out of time, and asked her what game she wanted to play. She won the Big Cash Prize game, saying it would come in handy for dinner tonight. Craig looked at her and said, "Penelope Jensen, everyone. She stars on 'Major's Tales', tomorrow night at 8 PM, on CBS. We'll be right back."
After the camera light went off, Craig told Penny she did great, then she left the stage and went to her dressing room, taking off the dress, as Sheila had to take it back to Warner Brothers the next day. She was talking to both Sheila and Mindy, along with Leonard about the show.
She got back into her own skirt and blouse and Sheila and Mindy prepared to leave. Penny spoke up, "Mindy, Sheila, I don't have anyone here on the West coast to get me ready for things like this, can I hire the two of you to do all my work?"
Mindy and Sheila looked at each other, then Mindy said, "We were going to ask you if you wanted us to be your," she put her hands up for air quotes, "glam squad. We had a lot of fun with you, and like you, we're just starting out, so we kinda match."
Penny said yes and they both gave her their cards, and agreed to meet the next time Penny was in town, to set everything up. They all hugged and then the two of them left.
Leonard asked, "How do you think it went tonight?"
Penny said, "It was fun. I was so nervous, and then he asked that question about what I know about physics. Good thing I know about the cat. But the big thing for me, was he somehow knew when I was struggling and he winked at me, then said something that got me back on track. Then we had that back and forth, but he made it fun and relaxing."
"Well, thank you," said Craig walking into the dressing room. "Didn't mean to listen in, but your door was open and I was walking by. But, that's my job, make it fun and relaxing, so you look your best."
Penny nervously asked, "Did I? I was pretty nervous out there."
"You did great," said Craig, "you came across as kinda modest and self-depreciating. Also, you sounded really sweet, and funny. And you gave as good as you got, so I think you'll like the response to this."
"Well, I mean it," said Penny, "it was easy to just talk to you, although, I was kinda embarrassed when you started referring to mine and Leonard's relaxing, and added all those doubles entendres, along with the other subtle comments."
Leonard smiled, "I wondered about all those comments about us 'relaxing' and those other comments, but Mindy said you always do that, so I quit worrying about it."
"Don't worry about it, she's right," said Craig, "I do that with most of my female guests, hell, a lot of my male guests too. Just part of the show, my wife would kill me if she thought I was serious."
Both Penny and Leonard laughed, and Craig said, "You two look dressed up, were you serious about going out to dinner?"
Penny answered, "Yes, we're going out for dinner, once the limo takes us home."
Craig shook his head, "I'll take care of that. I'll have the limo take you to a place I recommend, do you like Italian?"
Penny and Leonard nodded.
Craig continued, "It's called La Pergoletta, I'll get that set up and have the limo take you there." Craig got up and walked to the door, "After you eat, the limo will take you home. So take you time and enjoy the meal."
"Thank you so much Mr Ferguson," said Penny.
Craig smiled and said, "It's Craig, and thank you for coming Penelope, it was really enjoyable, so was meeting you Leonard. If you get back to LA after the first of the year, give us a call, I'll be happy to have you back on. It was a real pleasure." He left, closing the door.
"He's pretty nice, isn't he?" asked Leonard. "You about ready to go? I'm getting hungry."
"Yep, let's go," said Penny as she grabbed her purse and bag. "And, yes, he is pretty nice."
They left the dressing room and about five minutes later, they were in the limo, on their way to the restaurant. They enjoyed a leisurely meal, and not having to drive, had a couple of bottles of wine before the limo took them back to Pasadena.
Apartment 4B, 8:15 AM Thursday September 27th 2012
Leonard was packing his messenger bag when Penny came out from the bedroom in her robe. Leonard said, "Glad you got up, I can say goodbye. You doing anything today?"
Penny was pouring herself a cup of coffee, "I've got to meet with my agent around one today, so we can go over my changeover to having William Morris as my agent. Then, I promised Sheldon I'd have all the plates and everything ready for everyone coming over tonight. I hope they enjoy the show, and I need to ask them about last week."
"Amy is bringing Sheldon home, I'll be getting the food and should be home around 6:45, and Howard, Bernadette and Raj will be over around seven. So I'll see you then."
Leonard walked over to Penny, gave her a kiss goodbye, started over to get Sheldon and go to work. Penny had a couple of cups of coffee, and mostly lounged around. She watched some television, looking around the internet on her iPad. She was a bit surprised she hadn't gotten any email, but it was still early in New York so it wasn't that big of a deal. She actually did some laundry, and around eleven, she took a shower, getting ready to go see her agent, probably for the last time.
She drove to her agent's office, parked her car and took the elevator to the tenth floor. The receptionist made a call and then told Penny she could go in. She opened the door and walked in. The woman looking out the window turned and Penny said, "Hi, Barb."
"Penny," Barb started excitedly, "where have you been, I've been calling you all morning."
Penny looked at her phone and it was on airplane mode. She had put it in that mode last night, and had forgotten to turn it back on. She had been on her iPad, but that was connected to her phone, so that explained the so she turned it on. She looked at Barb and said, "Why?"
"I've been getting calls from a lot of people, asking about you."
"I don't understand…what the hell?" said Penny. Her phone was continuously vibrating as notices that Jim, Kelli, Jeanie, Gail and many others had been trying to contact her came up on her phone. "Barb, what's going on?"
"You don't know?" said Barb.
"Know what?" asked Penny. "What the hell is going on?"
"Penny," said Barb, "You were a big hit on Ferguson's show last night. You got a lot of very nice comments in the trades. Everyone wants to talk to you."
Penny stood there with her mouth hanging open.