A/N First off, for the guest reviewer who ask why my updates were not appearing on the main site, I don't know. I reached out to this site and asked, they haven't got back to me yet. I'll let you get to it, but please look at the A/N at the end.

Chapter 40

Apr 314, NY 2:00 PM Saturday October 6th 2012

Penny put her phone down on the kitchen counter and started going through her cupboards and her pantry. She was looking for some food and realized there wasn't a lot of it in the apartment, so she decided to go to the store to get some meals, snacks, and some wine. She left the kitchen, and walked to her bedroom to get some shoes and a jacket.

She usually went with Jeanie on their way home from the studio, but they had gone out for dinner last night, and Jeanie wouldn't be home until the evening, having gone to see some friends of hers from her Broadway shows.

She was thinking about being on Letterman and some new interviews Kelli had referred to and laughed, Here's the big star, with her glamorous lifestyle walking to the grocery store to buy her food. She chuckled again as she went to put her shoes on.

Apt 4A, Pasadena 9:30 AM Saturday October 6th 2012

Leonard was doing some work on his computer, and still working on his first cup of coffee, when there was a knock on the door. Getting up, he answered it and was surprised to find Howard there.

"Come in," said Leonard, closing the door after Howard entered. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going to the convention in Long Beach with Raj."

"I am," said Howard, "but, Raj got a call about someone being unable to use a telescope, and they wanted to know if he wanted to move up his observing time. He had to go in to prepare for his observing run tonight, so I'm here to offer you his ticket."

"I don't know," said Leonard. "I was planning on doing some work today, run and get some new shoes, and stop by Stuart's."

"You'd be going to a convention, why go to Stuart's?" said Howard. "David Goyer the writer and Christopher Nolan the producer of the new Superman film will be at a seminar."

"Who need's new shoes, you're right about Stuart's, and it's Saturday, so why should I work," said Leonard. "Let me get some different clothes on and we can go."

Leonard ran into his room and changed. After he finished, he thought he'd better call Penny to let her know he wouldn't be home for the day. He pulled out his phone and tapped Penny's number.

Penny's phone was vibrating and playing Leonard's ringtone, on her kitchen counter. Leonard listened as the phone rang, and rang, and rang, when it went to voicemail, he hung up. No use telling her, if she's busy already. He put his wallet into his back pocket, his phone in his other back pocket, walked out of his bedroom, then left with Howard.

Apr 314, NY 3:30 PM Saturday October 6th 2012

Penny got out of the elevator holding three bags in each hand. She walked to her door and there was legal sized envelope at her door. She put down the three bags in her right hand, unlocked the door and entered her apartment.

She took the three bags she still held to the dining table and placed them on it, then she started looking around for her phone. She had tried to look something up at the store, and realized she didn't have it. She started looking in her bedroom, and not finding it, checked the bathroom. She found it in the kitchen, laying on the counter.

She placed her phone into her back pocket, without checking, and went back to the apartment door and grabbed the other three bags, and the envelope, closed the door and took the rest of the bags and the envelope to the table.

She took the frozen and cold items and put them in the freezer and refrigerator, then she placed the rest of the items in the pantry. She poured a glass of wine and sat down at the table. She opened the envelope and found a couple of magazines, and a sheet of paper.

Looking at the magazines, she found a post-it note on each, telling her to look at a specific page in each of them. Looking at the paper, there was a short note, and below the signature, was an online link. The note said:

Penny,

Here are the two magazines I told you I'd get for you. Below, you should see an internet address, that will take you to an online article. Sorry I missed you, see you Monday.

s/Kelli/s

Penny placed the paper aside, she would go to the site after looking at the magazines. Picking up one of the magazines, she opened it to that page on the note, and started reading.

Long Beach Comic-con, 1:30 PM Saturday October 6th 2012

Leonard and Howard had been walking around the exhibit floor, for several hours, looking for several older comics, but hadn't found anything that was in their price range.

Leonard had bought a couple of shirts, and Howard had found a couple more figurines, he was able to buy from the money Bernadette had given him. Now, they had left the exhibition floor and were walking to room S4, where the panel was to be held.

They got to the room, showed their passes and entered the room. The room was about half full already and there was still an hour to go. They found some seats, relatively near to the stage and then pulled out their phones. Neither of the them had a connection, so they put the phones away, and looked over their purchases.

A couple of minutes before the scheduled start, someone walked up to the mic on the podium where the moderator was going to be and announced they would be starting shortly. Leonard and Howard put their stuff away, and prepared for the program to begin.

454 West 58th, New York, 8:30 PM Saturday October 6th 2012

Jeanie entered the apartment building, after getting back from dinner, having spent the day, with a few of her friends, from when she was on Broadway. She decided to stop and see Penny, so she got off the elevator on the third floor. Going to Penny's door she heard the television, and knocked.

She waited for almost a minute, and knocked again. She thought she could smell something burning. Jeanie ran up to her apartment, grabbed the emergency keys for Penny's apartment and went back down.

She unlocked the door, and the deadbolts, and entered the apartment. She could now definitely smell something burning, but didn't see Penny immediately. She walked into the kitchen and turned off the burner, and moved the pot with some, now burnt, mac and cheese in it, off of the hot burner.

Jeanie walked out to the living room and found Penny on the couch, staring at her phone. She was surprised by Penny's appearance. With her face and eyes both red, Jeanie could tell she had been crying, so she sat down next to her.

"Penny," said Jeanie, "What's the matter? Why are you crying?"

"Why doeshn't Leonard anshwer?" asked Penny.

"Answer what?"

"Hish phone," said Penny. "I've wash calling for over two hoursh and he'sh not anshwering…"

"Why are you calling him?"

"Caushe I'm a fack, I mean fuck, no a fake," said Penny. "EveryonetellingmehowgoodIam… all thoshe articlesh, online, itsh all bullshit. Becaushe I'm not good…you're the one thatsh good, not me."

"How much have you drank, Penny?" asked Jeanie.

"Almost two bottlesh," said Penny. "You want a glassh"

"No, no thank you," said Jeanie, "it's only 8:30."

"Well, if you're shad," said Penny, "and your boyfriend won't anshwer the phone, all you can do ish drink."

"How about we get you into bed," said Jeanie. "I'll come over around 9 tomorrow morning and we can talk about it." Jeanie decided to wait until tomorrow to ask Penny about the mac and cheese.

"Well, I'm glad shomewbody ish willing to talk to me," said Penny. "Obvioushly, my boyfriend doeshn't want to."

"I don't think so, Penny." said Jeanie, "Leonard loves you and he may just not be around his phone. Come on, let's get you to bed."

Jeanie helped Penny get to her bedroom and out of her clothes. She helped her into her pajamas, then got her into her bed. She said good night to Penny and Penny mumbled something Jeanie couldn't understand back. Jeanie shut off the light in the bedroom, turned off the lights in the kitchen. She then left Penny's, locking the deadbolts as she left.

When she got back to her apartment, she called Leonard, she had his number when Penny gave it to her the first time Penny had gone back to California. Jeanie's call went to voicemail and she left a message.

Long Beach Comic-con, 6:30 PM Saturday October 6th 2012

Howard was driving out of the parking lot, looking to get on the 110. That took them from Long Beach to the southern part of Pasadena, three blocks from Los Robles. Leonard remembered his phone, and looking at it, he found eight calls, and eight voicemails, from Penny. He immediately called Penny, not bothering to hear the voicemails, but there was no answer. He didn't want to get worried just yet, but he thought he would wait until he was home, and by himself.

A half an hour later, Howard pulled up in front of Leonard's apartment building. Leonard got out, and thanked Howard for thinking of him for the extra ticket. He also told Howard he would see him on Monday, and to say hi to Bernadette. He closed the door, and walked to the building, and then up to his apartment.

He entered the apartment, put his keys in the bowl, and went to his room. He hadn't seen Sheldon, and really wasn't interested in finding him. He closed his bedroom door and touched Penny's number, then waited.

Again, there was no answer and the call went to her voicemail. He left a message asking Penny to call him when she got the message. Clearing out his voicemail, he saw one from a number he didn't recognize. He clicked on it and found it was from Jeanie.

He knew Penny had given Jeanie his number, in case Jeanie needed to contact Penny when she was in California, and couldn't get her on Penny's phone. A call from Jeanie worried him, so he hurriedly pressed the play on the message and heard:

"Hi Leonard. This is Jeanie. Can you call me back when you get a chance? Need to talk to you about Penny."

Leonard pushed on her number and waited. After two rings he heard Jeanie answer. "Hello?"

"Hi Jeanie," said Leonard, "this is Leonard. You called and wanted to talk to me?"

"Yes," said Jeanie, "I thought you should know. I went and saw some friends, and I stopped by Penny's when I got home and she was upset, drunk, had left a pot on the stove with some burning food. She was also saying something about not being able to get you to answer the phone."

"I was in a panel at a convention and our phones had no connection," said Leonard. "Besides, I didn't expect her to call today."

"That's fine," said Jeanie. "I figured it was something like that. I put her to bed and I'm going down there early tomorrow. I'll take her to brunch, and I'll talk to her. So don't try to call her in the morning. I'll tell her to call you tomorrow afternoon."

"Do you know what she was upset about?"

"How things are going on the show," said Jeanie.

"Is she doing badly?"

"No, she isn't," said Jeanie. "From an acting standpoint, she's doing great. She's getting great reviews, she's generating a lot of buzz in the industry, but she is struggling a bit with the mechanics of acting. Where and how to move, where to look, all of that."

"She's getting better," said Jeanie, "I've been working with her. I guess I'll have to try and drive it into her that she is doing fine. Try to get her to see that."

"Jeanie?"

"Yes, Leonard."

"Thank you." said Leonard. "I should be there helping her through this, but I'm really in the middle of things here at the university, and I want to thank you and tell you how much I appreciate you helping her with all this."

"You are quite welcome, Leonard." said Jeanie.

"Especially for someone who is just starting…"

"Leonard," said Jeanie, "I'm doing it because I like her and she is my friend. That it helps us, and the show, is just a bonus. I'll try and get her straightened out."

"Thanks, Jeanie," said Leonard, "I'll wait for her call tomorrow."

"I'll tell her," said Jeanie. "Goodbye, Leonard."

"Goodbye, Jeanie."

Leonard hit the end button, and headed toward the kitchen to make his dinner.

Apt 314/Apt 4A, 5:30/2:30 PM Sunday October 7th 2012

Leonard was taking a break from working and was in the kitchen, making a cup of tea when he heard Penny's ring tone. He walked to his desk, accepted the call, and said, "Hi Penny."

"Hi Sweetie," said Penny.

She sounds contrite, thought Leonard. Over the phone, he said, "How are you doing?"

"Better," said Penny, "Jeanie just left, she told me she called you last night. I'm sorry."

"For what?" asked Leonard. "You didn't say anything except call me."

Sounding embarrassed, Penny said, "Jeanie told me, I was telling her, you didn't want to talk to me."

"I would always talk to you," said Leonard, "you know…"

"Yes, Leonard, I do know that," said Penny. "But, drunk, sad Penny didn't. I was sad, I was calling and you weren't answering, and I was drunk and I got pissed. I was blaming you for not answering, but it was my fault. I didn't check my phone when I got home, and by the time I did, your phone was going to voicemail."

"You know I was at the convention, and had no connections, right?"

"I do now," said Penny, "Jeanie told me."

"Speaking of Jeanie," said Leonard, "what is going on? Why are you sad? Jeanie says you are doing well enough."

"I know," said Penny, "I'm having trouble with all the good reviews and talk about how well I'm doing, compared to all the struggles I'm having at rehearsals and tapings."

"But Jeanie says you're doing fine," said Leonard.

"Yes," said Penny. "Jeanie is helping me get through all this. Jeanie is teaching me stuff I'm finding out I should have known. And what is she getting out of all of this? Me getting all the good comments, me going on the talk shows. Me, me, me, Leonard, nothing about Jeanie, who is doing everything to make me look good. It's not fair to her, and I feel guilty about it."

Leonard was quiet for a moment. He wasn't sure what to say to her. Finally he said, "What did Jeanie say about it?"

"That's just it," said Penny. "She tells me it helps the show, and it keeps her employed. That she feels she should help other cast members where she can. She said friends should help friends."

"It doesn't sound as if she has a problem with it," said Leonard, "so why would you?"

"I DON'T KNOW," yelled Penny. She continued in a softer voice, "I shouldn't, but like I said, I feel guilty. I'm ashamed that I'm getting all the good stuff, and the person who is getting me through is getting nothing. And before you say anything, I don't know how to fix it."

"I brought this up before," said Leonard, "but how about cutting back on your drinking?"

Penny sighed, "Jeanie mentioned that too, and sounded angry about it. She said I had food on the stove that was burning, and she also said getting drunk in a city as big as this might make me vulnerable to being attacked or getting taken advantage of, so yeah I think I better cut back a bit."

"That's good, Penny," said Leonard. "Sounds like she knows what she's talking about and what's good for you. I know I kinda wasn't there for you yesterday, but if you call, and I don't answer right away, you should know the minute I do get a chance, I'm going to call."

Again Penny sighed, "Yeah, I know better, but I was feeling sorry for myself, and had a few too many to remember that, I'm sorry." There was a pause and Penny said softly, "Leonard, I miss you so much, when I'm here, and when I didn't get you…"

"It's OK, Penny," said Leonard. "I miss you too"

"And I miss everyone else," said Penny. "It's so stressful sometimes, I don't have you to talk to, I don't have my other friends out there to talk to, and when I feel like that, I drink. And when I do drink, I forget how bad I feel…"

"Don't worry about it," said Leonard gently. "The important part is you learn what you need to learn, and listen to Jeanie, about work about living in the city, all of that."

"I will, she does know a lot," said Penny.

"She seems to be your friend," said Leonard.

"She is," said Penny, softly, "but, it's not like the girls out there. I mean Bernadette knew me when I was just a waitress and I knew Amy when she was more like Sheldon. I have something different with Jeanie, and I miss what I have with everyone out there. I even miss that crazy roommate of yours."

"I understand," said Leonard, "but try to keep from drinking so much, OK?"

"Look, sweetie, I've got some studying to do, and I didn't get a lot of sleep and I'm still feeling a bit of the hangover, so I'm going to go study, then get to bed early."

"That's a good idea," said Leonard. "I'll talk to you tomorrow, I love you."

"I love you too," said Penny. "Talk to you tomorrow, goodbye."

"Goodbye Penny," said Leonard. They both disconnected, then got to work; Penny on her script, and Leonard on his computer and whiteboard.

A/N I'm not sure I'm going to have another chapter out next week. I'm still on vacation, and will be doing some traveling and thus writing time will be limited. Also, it's just this week that my arm and wrist are somewhat usable, it's healing slowly. The biggest thing, is I've been struggling with the last few chapters (55-57, yes I'm that far ahead.)). The planned plot is at a place where the subject has made it difficult for me to write, and I'm a bit insecure about the chapters. I'm spending a lot of time rewriting, and editing. My readers TBBT78 and bfm10 have been invaluable in helping me with this.