A/N It's a good thing I'm ahead in writing this. With the finale of the series, and a couple of other things, I haven't been writing anything, the last week. I also found a problem with some future chapters as I was working on 52, then worked on it on my laptop, and I ended up with two different versions of chapter 52, which I'm now checking paragraph by paragraph. It also appears that I've moved a couple of section around in chapters 44-46, (This chapter is fixed, i've got to fix the others). None of this, of course, is a concern of you, the readers, but I mention it, so you know i am checking and rechecking on this. I also have suggestions from my primary reader and my copy corrector. Anyway, this chapter is long enough, on it's own, without this long A/N. I'll let you get to it.

Chapter 44

Apt 4B, Pasadena 10:30 PM Thursday October 18th 2012

Penny and Leonard were just about finished getting ready for bed. Everyone had watched Penny's new episode and after Penny's show, they had broken out by gender, with the women gathering in the kitchen. Everyone started cleaning up around 9:30, and everyone was gone by ten.

"So what was all the girl talk about," asked Leonard.

"Nothing much," said Penny, "Asking me about my work, me asking them about their work, planning our girls night, on Saturday."

"Where are you going?"

"I think we are just going to meet here," said Penny, "since you guys are going to play video games across the hall."

"Oh, OK,"

"Is there a problem with that?" said Penny.

"No, no,"said Leonard, "not at all, just surprised you weren't going out."

"We can drink and talk here just as easily as going out," said Penny. "Actually, it's easier for m. What was the big news with all the guys?"

"Howard is picking up a new car tomorrow," said Leonard. "He went to the administration to get a parking spot."

"Maybe they can bring it over, Saturday night," said Penny.

"I'll see it, tomorrow," said Leonard.

They were getting into bed. Penny snuggled up to Leonard. Leonard put his left arm out, with Penny laying her head on his arm, her hand playing with the hair on his chest.

Penny had a wolfish grin on her face. "What do you say we get Sheldon to find his noise cancelling headsets?"

Leonard chuckled, "He knows exactly where they are, he was complaining earlier, that he had to use them last night."

"Well then, lets see if we can make it loud enough so he has to hear us."

Leonard pulled Penny in, kissed her deeply, and his hands started roving over her body. Fifteen minutes later, Sheldon was reaching for his headsets.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 8:00 AM Friday October 19th 2012

Penny opened her eyes, she could smell coffee and realized Leonard must have started the coffee maker. She stretched, threw the covers back and got up. She put on her robe and walked out to the kitchen. Leonard's back was to her, pouring another cup, when she walked up behind him, and gave him a hug.

"Hey, you," said Penny, "you want to pour me a cup too?"

"What are you doing up?" asked Leonard, "I figured you'd be exhausted after last night."

Penny smiled, "I got enough sleep. Besides, you obviously forgot I have to shoot some promos today," said Penny.

"Oh, yeah," said Leonard, grabbing another cup and pouring coffee into it, "What time?"

"I have to be at Warner Brothers at 10:30," said Penny. "and should be done by around two. Do we have plans tonight?"

"Just dinner, come home, find a movie or two to watch," said Leonard. "Unless you have an idea for something you want to do."

"No," said Penny, "that sounds great. We have girls night tomorrow, so I think a night at home together is something we should do."

Leonard smiled, and walked over to Penny. He kissed her and said, "Goodbye, I'll see you tonight. Break a leg today."

Penny smiled, "Thanks, have a good day." Leonard walked to the couch and picked up his messenger bag, opened the door and left.

Penny took a few sips of her coffee, then took her cup with her to the bathroom, so she could start getting ready to leave for her promo shoots.

Warner Brothers, 11:30 AM Friday October 19th 2012

Penny was sitting in the makeup room, as Shelia finished blowing out Penny's hair. Mindy was watching, just waiting her turn, to do Penny's make-up. All three were joking around, just starting to have fun, when Gail arrived and she was now getting involved, as she started giggling at the three of them.

Five minutes later, Mindy started working on Penny and by 1 PM, they were walking toward the small studio, to shoot her part of the promos. The procedure was going to be pretty much the same as it had been before. They had several scripts for Penny, a couple would just be her. Another couple would have Jeanie in them, once they filmed and added her to the tape Penny had recorded.

They had finished by two, and Penny had persuaded all three women to come to lunch, Penny was buying. About fifteen minutes later, Penny had changed back into her own clothes, wiped her makeup off, and was ready to go to lunch.

Caltech Cafeteria, 1:30 PM Friday October 19th 2012

Leonard was sitting in the cafeteria, a full plate of salad in front of him. He was paying no attention to his food, thinking over some of the new data he had gotten from Geoff.

They were both now calculating the shape of the reflections, and were getting the same answers, and those calculations were matching the experimental results Geoff was getting. There were some extraneous results, some of the reflections didn't match any of the particles, and Leonard was wondering if it was some resonance with reflections off of composite particles.

He was brought back to the world, when he realized someone was standing next to him. He looked up and found himself staring at Alex. With a blank look on her face, she said, "Dr Hofstadter, Dr Cooper wants you to know that Dr Fowler will be taking him home."

She turned to go, and Leonard said "Alex, wait."

She turned back to him, "Yes, Dr Hofstadter?"

"What's with the Dr Hofstadter?" Said Leonard. "I told you to call me Leonard."

"You requested I not speak to you outside of work," said Alex. "So, I do not believe I should refer to you so informally."

"Alex," said Leonard, "I may have over reacted a bit. But, you need to know I love Penny. I'm not looking to find anyone else. So, while I'm not interested in pursuing a relationship with you, or having you pursue me, I want to remain friendly with you. I'd also prefer you not being mad at me."

"I'm not sure that's possible, Dr Hofstadter," said Alex, "considering my feelings for you, my rather embarrassing approach, I prefer to just keep my distance. I assure you, I'm not mad at you, and I won't avoid you, but except for work, I won't seek you out."

"It's up to you Alex," said Leonard, "I don't have a problem with you, as long as you understand I have a girlfriend. But, you do what you have to do to feel comfortable."

"Thank you, Dr Hofstadter," said Alex, "you have a good day."

She turned and walked away, Leonard watched her leave, shaking his head, with a sad expression.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 6:00 PM Friday October 19th 2012

Penny had gotten a cab, as she was feeling rather tipsy, well, all of them were feeling tipsy. They would all have to go back tomorrow, to pick up their cars, but they all felt it was safer to take a cab. Their lunch had lasted for almost three hours, most of it just spent drinking, giggling, and learning more about each other.

Penny had dropped all the other women off first, and was now paying the driver. She tipped him, then walked into the building. She had minor difficulties with the stairs, but finally made it to the apartment and opened the door.

Leonard was sitting at the table, with some wine, and he turned when she walked in.

"Running a bit late this afternoon?" asked Leonard.

"Yeah," said Penny, "I bought lunch for my hairdresser and makeup person. I've hired them to be my people whenever I need hair and makeup done. Also, the person who I contact about the show here in LA. We mostly just sipped on wine, laughed, and learned about each other. Sorry I'm late, I had to take a cab. What are you doing over here?"

"It's silly really," said Leonard. "Sheldon got upset because they gave his parking spot to Howard, then…"

"Wait a minute," said Penny, "Sheldon doesn't drive and doesn't have a car, why does he have a parking space?"

"That's what the whole argument was about," said Leonard. "Howard said the university gave it to him, because Sheldon wasn't using it. So, Sheldon took Howard's Iron Man helmet, because Sheldon said he wasn't using it, it was just sitting on the shelf. So, when we got home tonight, we found Howard sitting in Sheldon's spot, with Sheldon's laptop on his lap."

"What's wrong with that?" said Penny.

"Howard was naked," said Leonard.

"Eeeeewwwwwww." said Penny.

Leonard chuckled, "That was mild compared to Sheldon's reaction."

"So what happened then?"

"I don't know, and I don't want to know," said Leonard. "Sheldon ran to his room, Howard started getting dressed after he rubbed the laptop on his junk, and his butt on Sheldon's spot. After that, I left to come over here. After the day I had, I didn't need that."

"What was wrong with your day?"

Leonard hesitated, he wasn't sure bringing up Alex was a good idea, but now that Penny asked, he started out trying to sooth Penny first, "Look, I don't want you to get mad, nothing happened, but something is bothering me."

"What happened with Alex?"

Leonard shook his head, he should have known Penny would pick up on it. "Nothing really, she brought me a message from Sheldon, and she was very formal. I tried to tell her she didn't have to be as formal, that she could still call me Leonard, but she didn't feel that was appropriate. Now I wonder if I could have handled it differently."

He waited for an eruption by Penny, but was surprised when she calmly said, "I don't think there is anything you can do, Leonard. She probably embarrassed about what happened, probably has feelings for you, and it's her way of handling it."

"Wow, I didn't expect you to be so calm about it," said Leonard.

"I can see her point of view," said Penny. "I may not like it, but I can see it. Just leave her alone. She may come around to being able to talk to you, socially, but until she feels right about it, you don't need to stick your nose in her business. But, remember what I said about you and her."

"I suppose you're right," said Leonard, nodding. "Now, if I could get to you to talk to Howard and Sheldon, maybe we can stop Sheldon rubbing his junk on Howard's laptop."

Penny was shaking her head, "I don't even want to imagine something like that. So, I'm like you, I don't want to know about it. Where is he?"

"Well, he's over there," said Leonard. "I heard Amy come over, but I'd rather just stay here. We were going to stay in anyway, how about I order pizza, one for you, one for me without cheese. And while we wait, we can figure out what movie to watch. After we eat, we can cuddle up on the couch."

"OK," said Penny, "you order the pizzas, I'll pick out the movies, pour the wine and I'll meet you at the couch." Leonard started dialing."

Apt 4B, Pasadena 4:00 PM Saturday October 20th 2012

Leonard and Penny woke up around 8, went for brunch at their usual place, and spent the day at a different farmer's market than they had gone to the last time Penny was home. They looked at antiques, at various crafts, and bought several different fruits.

Several times Penny was stopped and asked to have a picture taken or sign an autograph. Twice, Leonard was pushed off to the side, as fans surrounded Penny. She was worried about his reaction, but was relieved when he looked amused, rather than angry.

Around two they left, as Penny had to be back by four, as her and Bernadette were taking Amy on a surprise trip, then going to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

After they got home, they both got their showers, then got dressed. Penny was waiting for Amy and Bernadette, while Leonard went across the hall to 4A. Raj was already there, and he and Sheldon were setting up.

Leonard asked where Howard was, and was curtly told by Sheldon that Howard still didn't understand that parking place was Sheldon's, so Sheldon had told him not to come over and added that he, Sheldon, would take care of the problem.

Leonard sighed, and started dialing to order the food for the three of them. They started playing as a team online and had some success. About 45 minutes later there was a knock on the door, Leonard answered, it was their food, and he paid for it. The three of them took a break to eat, before getting back to playing.

They were looking forward to several hours of play, but about a half hour after they finished eating, Penny and Amy came into the room. Amy telling Sheldon she needed to talk to him, in private, and Penny telling Leonard to come back to 4B. As a result, the game broke up.

As Leonard and Penny were walking back to their apartment, Raj tried to get an invitation for the rest of the evening, which Leonard shut down quickly, then closed the door in Raj's face.

There were three glasses of wine on the coffee table, and as they both sat on the couch, Penny pushed one of the glasses over to Leonard, "Here, no one drank any wine here tonight, so take this one."

"What happened?"

"We took Amy to get a bikini wax…"

"I didn't need to know that," said Leonard, with a grimace.

"Sorry," said Penny. "Anyway, then we went to dinner…it was fun going back to the Cheesecake Factory. I knew several of the waitresses, and we were talking about…"

"Penny," interrupted Leonard, "what happened here?"

"Oh, sorry," said Penny, "when we got back here, Amy and Bernadette started talking about the fight Sheldon and Howard are having, then started arguing about who was wrong, then they started getting personal with each other. It got real nasty, Bernadette telling Amy her sex life was theoretical, and Amy telling Bernadette when they had sex, Howard thought about crawling back up into his mother's womb."

Leonard started laughing, Penny looking at him and finally broke down and started laughing too. When they finally stopped, Penny said, "Leonard, this is serious. Bernadette left, Amy's mad, and I don't know what to do."

"I don't either," said Leonard. "Howard didn't even come over tonight, Sheldon told him not to. Until we can get those two to stop, Amy and Bernadette may just keep going."

Penny sighed, "Yeah, I guess. So, there's nothing we can do?"

"Not that I can think of," said Leonard. "You want to just snuggle up here on the couch and watch a couple more movies tonight?"

"Yeah, that sounds nice," said Penny, with a smile."

"Good, you pour the wine, and I'll pick out the movies," said Leonard.

"No," said Penny, "you'll pick some science fiction thingy."

"Hey, you picked the movies last night, two romance things, so it's my turn," said Leonard.

Penny pouted at him.

Leonard ignored it, "Pouting won't do you any good, I'm picking the movies. So pour the wine and I'll meet you on the couch."

Leonard walked toward the couch, leaving Penny no choice but to start pouring the wine.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 8:00 AM Sunday October 21th 2012

Leonard and Penny woke up, when the alarm when off, got dressed and left the apartment. Leonard had planned the day, and after brunch at Marston's, took Penny to the same stable where they had ridden before.

This surprised Penny who said, "You sure, sweetie? Remember last time you were hurting, cramping, and couldn't walk for the day."

Leonard smiled, "Yes, I'm sure. This is something you enjoy, although, I asked about a shorter ride this time. We'll only be out for about an hour."

Penny smiled, "That should be plenty of time, thanks sweetie."

They got their horses, the same ones as before, and went out with their guide and several others on a different trail. This ride was definitely shorter than last time, and Leonard only hurt a little. He was able to get down off his horse, by himself, and walk with Penny back to the stable.

After riding, they started back to Pasadena, but Leonard stopped at the Glendale Galleria, and they spent several hours walking around the mall, just enjoying each other's company. They stopped briefly, to look into the windows of a jewelry store. Something caught Leonard's eye, but when Penny said she was ready to go, he left with her.

They got back to the apartment around five, then they both took a shower, got dressed and went to an Italian restaurant they had previously gone to. They got home at 8:30, at night, and as they were going up the stairs they ran into Amy and Sheldon, who was carrying a bag, coming down.

"Where are you two off to?" said Penny.

Sheldon's face started to twitch, and Amy quickly said, "We're going to the train store."

"Wait a minute, there aren't open this late on a Sunday," said Leonard.

"Yes, this one is," said Amy, "we were there earlier, and promised to bring in some, ah…ah…yeaah… cookies, yes, train cookies."

Leonard and Penny looked at them both strangely.

"Well," said Amy, "Gotta go," and with that Amy and Sheldon both started back down the stairs.

"Did that seem weird to you?" asked Penny.

"I don't even notice anymore," Leonard.

They finished their walk to the apartment, and Penny went right to the bookcase and pulled out a movie. Turning around, she said, "It's my night to pick the movie,"

Leonard chuckled and walked over to the refrigerator, got a bottle of wine, then poured two glasses. He took them to the couch, sat down, then placed the wine on the coffee table, just as Penny pushed play.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 8:00 AM Monday October 22th 2012

Penny woke up to her alarm. She shut it off, stretched and then got out of bed. She walked out to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee, then sat at the table.

She was waiting for Leonard. She knew he would come in to say goodbye to her. At 8:25, her door opened and Leonard walked in. He looked surprised, and asked, "What are you doing up?"

"I forgot to tell you," said Penny, "I have a meeting with a guy who may be my publicist. I met a guy, his name is Neil Parker, from their agency in New York, and he told me about this guy, Josh… er… ah… can't think of his name right now. Neil is getting ready to move to a management job, and Josh is young guy, taking over for him, here on the West coast."

"A publicist?"

"Yeah," said Penny, "someone to put out statements if I have something to say about the show, or announce if I get involved in anything new, or someone to offset if I get bad press from somewhere, that sort of thing."

"Ok," said Leonard, "see you tonight." He walked over and kissed her.

After they broke the kiss Penny said, "See you tonight, I love you."

Leonard looked at her and smiled, saying, "I love you," walked to the door, and turned for a last look, before closing the door.

Penny watched him leave, looked at the clock and decided she had time for another cup of coffee before she would have to get ready.