The Awkwardness Theorem

The Awkwardness Theorem

"Sheldon, do you really think that I'll get that many people at my presentation?"

Sheldon sat crouched in front of his sleek black laptop, watching the vaguely distorted image of a barely-out-of-her-teenaged-years with blonde hair tied into messy braids stare, concerned, right at him. Webcam technology on Sheldon's side was a lot better than on the girl's, so there was obviously some issues with grain, visible on the LCD screen Sheldon had engineered himself.

The light flickered. Sheldon smirked – Chinese hackers were so humorous!

"What are you looking at?" the girl asked, her hazelnut eyes growing hard.

Sheldon looked back at her. "The light. Some Chinese hackers have been turning them on and off to entertain themselves for the last few months. You understand, right, Emile?"

The girl shrugged, looking at a chart in her hands. "Yeah, I get it, you're just as nerdy as ever. Tinkering with electronics when there's so much to be done in the field of genetics…"

"I do not tinker, Emile," Sheldon corrected hotly. "I am a physicist. I experiment."

"So do I. But unlike you, my experimentation has revealed the truth behind Anna Anderson's true genealogy, not a fourth form of matter that cannot be obtained in nature without an acetylene blowtorch," Emile said quickly, her voice containing the same amount of heat that Sheldon's did.

"You're still coming down on Saturday?" Sheldon inquired sternly.

"We can resume the debate then, Sheldon," Emile nodded, a coy smile erupting on her face, like a cat cornering a helpless, hapless mouse. "I need to go check on the mitochondrial DNA samples from Anna Anderson. See you at the airport."

"Bye," Sheldon nodded before terminating the web link and leaning back on the couch, rolling his eyes towards the ceiling.

His cousin Emile. What a piece of work. The only other intelligent member of his family, far as he knew, was a molecular geneticist and microbiologist who thought the world revolved around the germs in the dirt just waiting to be cultured and studied. Needless to say, after getting her degree, Sheldon's cousin didn't have much of a life outside of making cultures and transferring supernatant between test tubes. Sheldon himself was a bit taken aback when she found him online and remembered who he was. She said he'd changed; he said she hadn't. She still looked like she was seventeen, despite being twenty-four; her hair was still blonde, if a bit longer; and her eyes were still cold as ice, as they'd been since the last time he saw her.

Sheldon leaned back on his couch, sighing loudly. It was at that moment Leonard, carrying the world's largest bag of groceries, entered the apartment, glasses askew.

"Mind helping me?" Leonard asked.

"Sure," Sheldon replied. He walked over and adjusted Leonard's glasses. "There. You're symmetrical now."

Leonard scowled, walking over to the kitchen and placing the groceries on the kitchen counter. He ran his fingers through his curly brown hair, staring down at an onion.

"Sheldon, could you help me with this, please?"

Sheldon looked to the ceiling. "Of course. You don't know how to organize the food, anyway."

Leonard picked up the onion and put it in a vegetable crisper. He bit his lip.



"Is your cousin still coming?"

"Yes she is."

Sheldon put a box of Mini-Wheats on top of the fridge, behind the High Fiber-Os. Leonard stopped moving before laughing nervously.

"…Which cousin would this be?" Leonard asked, picking up a bag of carrots.

"Emile," Sheldon answered.

Leonard dropped the bag of carrots. "Emile Portmanteau?"

"Yes." Sheldon put some Lucky Charms on the low end of the fiber scale, not bothering to look at his roommate. "She's the only intelligent member of my family, after all. She's in town for a presentation, and asked if she could stop by."

"She's my ex-girlfriend."

Sheldon shrugged. "As we both know, my expertise does not lie in interpersonal relationships. I can't get you two back together, unfortunately. She has a career to think about, and you'd be much happier thinking about Penny for the rest of your life."

Leonard threw the carrots into the vegetable crisper. "Sheldon, how could you?"

"Easy, she called me and I –"

"How could you forget she's my ex?!" Leonard yelled. He slumped over on the small island in the kitchen, glasses going askew again. "She threw a hairdryer at me when we broke up. A-HAIR-DRYER. AND she burned me with your particle accelerator, and AFTER THAT she tried to give me E. coli poisoning."

"Oh right. I remember that now. Half of your salary that month went to scar removal cream," Sheldon recalled with an odd sort of fondness. Leonard wasn't amused in the slightest. He put a few cups of instant ramen in a cupboard, glaring at Sheldon every few seconds. A strained silence fell over the two.

Leonard grabbed at a jug of milk before sighing. "It's been six or seven years. She probably won't even remember me."

"Doubt it," Sheldon countered. Leonard's eye twitched, his hand holding the milk's handle in a death grip.

"When is she coming?"


"That's in two days!" Leonard cried.

"Oh, and she's staying here," Sheldon added as an afterthought. He folded up the brown grocery bag, sticking it near the fridge. Leonard watched him as he sat down on the couch and turned on the Xbox.

"How?" Leonard asked, barely able to disguise his anger.

"She said she was fine with staying in the living room," Sheldon answered.

Leonard sank down on the sofa next to Sheldon, eyes wide with fear.

"I'm going to start writing my will," Leonard said, his voice hollow and mechanical.

"Stop being such a pessimist." Sheldon started up Halo 3. "She won't kill you for at least another week."

A/N: Thus begins the twisted escapade known as 'The Portmanteau Rule'. This story is basically an experiment for me – I'm known in other fandoms for my realistic OCs, but what happens when you create a character for a fandom where some of the Mary-Sue giveaway traits (i.e., intimate knowledge of things understood by the main characters, relation/knowledge of the main characters' existence) have to be utilized? Emile was born out of that. Hopefully, when you actually meet her, you will enjoy reading about her. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

A/N 2: All of the chapter titles have something to do with a random thing in the chapter. So, in this case, 'The Awkwardness Theorem' refers to Leonard's feelings about seeing Emile again. Some of the chapter titles will be a lot more obvious than that – there's one chapter set in an airport called 'The Airport Doctrine'.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the Big Bang Theory.