A/N I'm putting this up a bit early. I have somewhere to be tonight, and wouldn't get this up until tomorrow. I'm starting to wonder if, with the end of the show, the number of readers will start to diminish. As you'll see, I've made a couple of changes to the parking spot storyline, but the reason should be rather obvious.

Chapter 45

Apt 4B, Pasadena 7:00 PM Monday October 22th 2012

Leonard entered 4B, he was later than usual and was hoping Penny wasn't going to be mad. Penny was waiting on the couch watching TV. "Sorry, I'm late, one of the student needed some help and I didn't get a chance to call…" Suddenly he remembered something, "Wait a minute, weren't you supposed to go over to Bernadette's tonight?"

"Yeah, to look over the wedding album," said Penny. "But she called and said she had something to do, boy did she."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Amy called me," said Penny, "Amy had parked in Howard's place, to claim it for Sheldon. Bernadette called me and said she had Amy's car towed, and now Amy's car has a bunch of scratches on it. Amy said she was going over there. So I thought it best not to get involved, and to just to wait and go to dinner with you. Besides, I leave tomorrow, and want to spend it with you."

"Awwwwww," said Leonard, "that's sweet. So where do you want to go for dinner?"-

"That Indian place?"

"Ok, let's go," said Leonard. They shut off the lights and started down the stairs, going for dinner.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 9:30 PM Monday October 22th 2012

"So Raj is at the hospital now?" asked Leonard, as him and Penny walked up the stairs.

"Yeah," said Penny, "Amy went over to their house to confront Howard about towing her car, found out about Bernadette being the one, and swung her purse at her."

"What's Raj got to do with it?"

"He was trying to calm both of them down," said Penny. "But when Amy swung at Bernadette, she missed and her purse hit Raj. She had a coffee can of change in her purse."

Leonard was struggling to keep a straight face, "So what's going on now?"

"Well, Raj, Howard and Bernadette went to the hospital," said Penny. "Amy came to get Sheldon to take him to the hospital. He didn't want to go, but Amy was insistent. Told him they were going to settle this thing tonight. So I guess that's what's going on at the hospital."

Leonard was still struggling to keep from laughing as they got to their door. "Oh, by the way," said Leonard, "how did your meeting go today?"

"It went great," said Penny. "I now have a publicist. They guy I talked to today, Josh, works for the main guy, Joe Meyer, who's in New York. I would have someone on each coast. But, sometime in the next few years, Joe is going to move up, into management at the agency. So, Josh will end up being my publicist. I really liked him, he's going to be helpful."

"So, what are we doing the rest of the night?"

"You are going to help me finished packing," said Penny as she opened the door. Entering the apartment she continued, "Then, we are going to make Sheldon use his headsets two or three times, before getting to bed. We have to get up early to get me to the airport, remember."

Leonard grinned at her, closed the door, and pulled her suitcase into the bedroom, put it on her bed, and opened it, to help her finish packing.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 5AM Tuesday October 23th 2012

Their alarm went off, and Penny shut it off. Both of them got up, Penny started dressing, and Leonard turned the coffee on before getting dressed himself. They finished dressing, and each filled their travel mug, made sure they had everything and left.

There was little talking on the way to the airport, taking them about an hour to get there. They got into the terminal, after parking, at around 6:45. Penny checked in, then they walked to near the security checkpoint, buying some pastries and coffee from a Starbucks close to the checkpoint.

They found a table near security for terminal five and sat down, eating their pastries, drinking their coffee and talking until almost 8:30. It still wasn't filling up yet, but Penny only had another hour and wanted to get to her gate on time. So they rose and walked to the entrance to security.

They stopped, turned to each other and kissed.

After breaking the kiss Penny said, "I guess I don't have to worry about the comic book store, but no kissing grad students."

Leonard nodded, smiled, and said, "And, no kissing your costar, off stage."

Penny shook her head, "I already told you, Dave's married, and Brent holds no interest for me."

"I love you Penny."

"I love you Leonard."

They both smiled, kissed and hugged, then Penny started walking toward security, while Leonard watched. She got into the line, turned and waved at Leonard. Leonard waved back, started walking away. For no reason, he had a surprising urge to turn back around, and look at Penny, so he stopped and turned. Penny looked questionably at him, then smiled, and waved. Leonard smiled, waved again and walked away.

Apt 314, NYC, 7PM Tuesday October 23th 2012

Penny arrived at her apartment, she had trouble sleeping on the plane and was now rather exhausted, but the wanted to be up when Jeanie arrived home. She picked up the package at her door, entered her apartment, and closed the door.

She put the package on the counter then took her suitcases to the bedroom. Coming back to the kitchen, she opened the package and, as expected, it was next week's script. She started making tea, and while waiting for the water to boil, opened her script and started reading.

Apt 4B, Pasadena 6PM Tuesday October 23th 2012

Leonard had left work early, as he wanted to be back to the apartment by 7 PM, expecting to call Penny. He was now at the Galleria Mall, in Glendale, and entering the jewelry store they had looked in this weekend. One of the rings had caught his eye, and he wanted a closer look at it.

He entered the store and explained to the clerk the ring he was looking at. The clerk took him to the window display and Leonard pointed it out. The clerk took it out of the display brought it over, and set the display on the counter.

He was looking at it, the ring itself looked to be either white gold or Platinum. When the clerk handed it to him, he could tell it was platinum, from the heavier feel. The diamond didn't appear to be all that large. Looking it over, he realized what had caught his eye. The diamond was secured with six prongs.

"Aren't six prongs a bit much?" ask Leonard.

"It may seem like it," said the clerk, "but, the setting is for an engagement ring, and is designed for up to a three carrot diamond, so that's why there are six of them."

"What size is this diamond?"

"That is a one-third carat," said the clerk.

Leonard really didn't mind, he was just curious. Those six prongs are what caught my eye. It makes the setting look like a snowflake, at least to me. He continued looking, at it, wondering if he would be able to afford it. "How much?"

"That particular one is on sale for $1200," said the clerk.

Leonard continued looking at it, That's a bit much for me, he thought. Screw it, I'm getting it. The diamond my not be all that big, but that setting is perfect.

"I'll take it," said Leonard reaching for his wallet.

Apt 314, NYC 9PM Tuesday October 23th 2012

Penny was trying to read over her script, and yawning. She had had several cups of tea and she wasn't sure she was going to make it until ten, to get Leonard's call. Then, at nine, there was a knock on her door. She looked out of the peephole and found herself looking at Jeanie. She squealed and opened the door. They were both smiling and started hugging.

Penny led her into the apartment, and had her sit down at the table. She asked her if she wanted some tea and Jeanie nodded and Penny got her a glass. She then sat down and the first thing she asked was how Jeanie's mother was feeling.

Jeanie explained that her mother was going to have surgery a week from Wednesday. The mass turned out to be benign, but her doctor wanted to remove it.

"So, you won't be here next week?" asked Penny.

"I'll be at rehearsal on Wednesday and Thursday this week, come back Monday morning, then leave Monday night, and I'll be back again Friday next week."

"Wow, that's missing a lot," said Penny.

"Not really," said Jeanie. "I'll get my blocking and first run throughs on Thursday, I'll leave Friday afternoon after the first run through."

"What about the taping?"

"I talked to Jim and I'll come back and pre-tape all my scenes on Monday. Get my script then leave and come back on Friday. Tina will call me with my blocking, they'll have a stand in for you guys to work with, and I'll be back on schedule, when I get back on Friday."

Penny thought for a minute, "Ok, yeah, when you explain it, it doesn't seem that bad."

"It won't be, trust me," said Jeanie, "I've been through this before, not for me, but I've see how it works. Now, how about you, how was your week home?

Penny started telling Jeanie about her week, everything she did, and also mentioned she now had a publicist."

"Oh, really, cool," said Jeanie, "you're getting the hang of the business."

Penny shook her head at Jeanie, when she heard her computer Skype tone come on and said. "Excuse me," to Jeanie. Penny answered the Skype call, yawning. "Hi sweetie," she said, "sorry I'm yawning, I'm kinda tired after all the traveling and getting up early."

"I won't keep you up late," said Leonard. Jeanie stood up, "You two talk, I'll see you in the morning."

"You don't have to go, Jeanie," said Penny.

"Yes, I do," said Jeanie, "I'm tired, and I, like you, have to get up in the morning. So, I'll see you around nine, OK?"

"Sound's good, see you tomorrow, bye," said Penny.

"Bye Penny," said Jeanie. "She turned and left the apartment."

Penny turned back to the computer, "Hi sweetie, how are you doing?"

Studio 44, NYC 11:30 AM Wednesday October 24th 2012

The table read had just finished, and there were groups of people standing around the table. Penny was talking with Jeanie and Dave, they were going to do some blocking today, because Jeanie was going to be gone at the end of the week. They saw Kelli walking up to them, and when she got there she said, "Hi, will you two excuse Penelope for a few minutes? We have something to talk about."

They both nodded, and Penny looked at Kelli curiously.

"Come on," said Kelli, turning and walking away. Penny hurriedly caught up to her, walking along side. Kelli didn't say anything and neither did Penny. She kept trying to think of anything that required her to talk to Kelli, but couldn't think of anything.

They got to her office and not only was Jim there, but also Robert Church, who Penny recognized as the head of the CBS studio here, and she began to get nervous.

Jim asked Penny to have a seat, and she sat down nervously. "What's going on?" she asked.

"Penny," Kelli started, "we've gotten an email today, it's about an article that will be appearing in one of the paparazzi papers, the kind you see at checkout counters."

"What's this have to do with me?"

"It's about you," said Jim. "There is someone, we believe on the crew, who has been telling these sleazy type of papers that you have been causing trouble here on the set."

"What?" said Penny in shock. "Other than my struggles learning about the various things…"

"That's exactly it," said Kelli. "The article is accusing you of causing cost overruns, because you don't know what you are doing, we have to reshoot all the time, and shows are being delivered late."

Penny felt sick to her stomach. With tears forming in her eyes, she asked, "Am I? Am I being a problem with the show. I don't want to be." Her tears started running down her checks, "You've been so kind and supportive, if I'm causing trouble…"

"Penny, please, calm down," said Kelli. "You are not causing trouble. You have never caused any kind of cost overruns, nor have any of the shows been late. People are starting to become aware of you, and these type of papers use stuff like this to try and increase their circulation."

Robert Church spoke up, "Penny, we have some clues in the article and we think we know who the person is, who told the lies to the paper. We are going to try to verify who it is, when we do, they will be fired."

Jim was nodding, then said, "They are still going to publish, but we have strenuously denied you are causing or have caused any problems or delays, because you haven't."

"The why did you call me in here?"

"Penny," said Kelli, "we wanted to let you know what was happening. It wouldn't have been fair to let someone surprise you with it. Now, if anyone asks, you can honestly say that we don't have any problems with you and you've been told you are not a problem."

"Thanks," said Penny. She looked thoughtful for a minute, "I just hired a publicist while I was home in California, should I let him know?"

Kelli nodded, "Yes, definitely. As a matter of fact, give me his number and I'll explain it to him."

Penny asked to borrow a piece of paper and a pencil, wrote down the name Josh, and the number, and gave it to Kelli.

"Will you let me know when you call him?"

"Yes," said Jim, "we will."

"By the way, Penny," said Kelli, "That was a nice article in Glamour. You really looked good in it."

Penny blushed, "Thanks, I had fun with Jessica, we giggled a lot during the lunch."

"Well, she made you look good."

"I may need it," said Penny, "if this article is as bad as you say."

Jim said, "I think everything is finished here. If we find out any more, we'll let you know. Go ahead and go back out on the set."

Penny nodded and walked out of the office, toward the set, thinking, They say I'm not a problem, but I'm going to have to do better. I need to do as well as those articles say I'm doing. I've got to push myself, especially with Jeanie being gone.

Caltech Laser Lab,9:30 PM Wednesday October 24th 2012

Leonard had just finished talking to one of the grad students, his experiment was going along rather well, and he should be ready to run his own experiment in the next couple of weeks.

Leonard was looking at the test results, from the last run of the big laser for his own experiment. The faint reflections were still there, but with no reasonable explanation for them. Leonard was thinking about those faint reflections.

Can those faint reactions be low energy particles? New particles? Particles we know about, but haven't seen yet? I haven't heard from Sheldon, maybe I can try some calculations, or talk to Geoff and see if he has any ideas. He shook his head, starting an email, to get Geoff to call.

Studio 44, NYC 2:30 PM Wednesday October 24th 2012

Penny started walking home, Jeanie was still working on her blocking, and would be coming home later. Penny had promised Jeanie she would have dinner ready for her, so she was planning on stopping at the grocery store, before getting home.

She also had a message to call Josh, Kelli had talked to him and explained what had happened. He wanted to talk to Penny and give her some pointers so when she started getting questions, she would have an answer.

As she walked to the store, she was thinking, I'll get some spaghetti, salad and bread, that will be for tonight, and I'll get some pork chops, salad, and a vegetable for tomorrow.

I'm going to miss Jeanie this weekend, at least she'll be back on Monday, although she'll be gone again until Friday. Time to learn to do this on my own. I'm really going to work at it this week. I'm going to make sure that I get it, so Jeanie is proud, and whoever that asshole is who said something about me, doesn't have another chance.

Studio 44, NYC 2:30 PM Thursday October 25th 2012

Penny was feeling frustrated. She had messed up her lines, Dammit, this is the second time this morning, I've got to get it on the run through this afternoon.

She was looking around, trying to determine if there was anyone watching her. I know you're out there, you son-of-a-bitch, just waiting to report on me.

The director, Steve, said it was fine, they would pick it up in the afternoon run through. He wanted to run through Jeanie's scenes again, both before and after lunch, so she would have two extra run throughs, to make up for not being here tomorrow. With nothing else to do, Penny walked back up to her dressing room.

She pulled out her script, and was going over her lines again. I've got to get this. I can't mess up anymore. She finished her lines, then went back to the beginning, to start running through her lines again.

As expected, the article had come out and was being spread on Twitter, Facebook, other social media outlets, and in the trade papers, swamping the good article in Glamour. Penny was trying to ignore it, but every time she looked at her phone there was a notification about the bad article, a report on the article, or a tweet about the article, and it was just getting to be too much, as she went back to looking at her script.