I'm attempting a longer Leonard/Penny story, here. I've got a good bit of it written already, since I didn't want to start and find nowhere to go with it, aside from the usual path this type of story takes. I'm going to spend a lot of time trying to keep them in character, well, as much as any of us can without an expert physicist to throw in some science stuff! I haven't too much done, though, so whatever suggestions you all have is welcome!

I don't own any of these amazing people. Sadly, I'm not CBS.

"My, it's been a long and terribly unproductive day," Sheldon said, coming out of his bedroom and heading to the refrigerator. "Not only is the electron laser under repair, I cannot find the latest edition of Flash."

"Mmmm." Leonard was not paying much attention. He was reading a String Theory essay online, and the print was small, distracting. The essay was recommended to him by the department head, yet Leonard was finding nothing new in this particular dissertation. His boss was expecting a write up on this material, and Leonard had no idea what he was going to tell him.

"Since I'm obviously being ignored," Sheldon said, "I'm going to call Koothrapali and get him to take me to the comic-book store."

"Do whatever you want," Leonard said. "Just leave me alone."

Sheldon stopped just short of the door. "Sarcasm?"

Leonard's head jerked impatiently in Sheldon's direction. "No!"

"Well, I'm sorry but when you-" Sheldon cut off abruptly as he saw Leonard reach for his paperweight. "Have a nice afternoon."

Now that he was gone, Leonard rubbed his forehead and tried to focus. It had been a long and unproductive day, but it wasn't so bad that he should be feeling this irritable. It was probably the result of three fairly unsuccessful years. The nighttime research, the North Pole trip…nothing had produced significant results. It seemed like no matter what he did, he'd never be anybody in the world of Physics. And that was what he wanted, to make a significant contribution to the world, to make a difference.

Leonard clicked an icon in the corner of the screen in an attempt to enlarge the font. That resulted in the laptop freezing momentarily. With the font slightly larger, Leonard squinted at the paper, determined to get it read.

There was a light rapping at the door behind him, and he turned just as it opened slightly, feeling annoyed. Penny stuck her head in. "Leonard?"

"Hey." He turned in his swivel chair to face her, trying to replace his expression with a more pleasant one.

She slid inside and eased the door shut. "Do you have a minute? I need to talk to you."

"What's up?" Since they'd gotten past a somewhat rocky start to their dating relationship, they'd grown very comfortable with one another. When they shared news, they never informed each other that they needed to talk; they simply talked. The look on Penny's face added to Leonard's concern. She wasn't acting different enough that someone who didn't know her well would notice; but Leonard noticed. He stood and walked over to the couch. Penny had sunk down on the far right end and was wringing her hands, like she did when she was nervous.

Leonard sank down beside Penny, angled so he faced her. "Is it your mother?"

Penny shook her head. "Still in remission; I called yesterday. Leonard," she said looking first at him and then down in her lap. "Leonard," she said, pausing. She glanced back up at him, and opened her mouth as if she was going to speak. She closed it again, and looked back down. "I'm pregnant."

He looked at her in confusion. "What? How?"

She shook her head, not even bothering to joke about how a 173 I.Q. brain would ask how. "I don't know, but I am. I'm positive." She sighed. "I…I just don't know."

He cocked his head. "When?" She turned her hands palms up. "What are you going to do?"

She looked at him like he was crazy. "Keep it." He smiled. Her hair was combed, but it hung over in front of her face as she stared at her lap. Leonard noticed that her nails were bitten down to stubs. "How long have you known?"

"Yesterday, for sure," she said. "I'd suspected for a week or so, but since I wasn't sure I didn't want to bother you…with all you've had going on lately."

"All my important scientific contributions?" he said wryly. She looked up at him and gave a crooked half smile. It was gone the next instant. "Leonard, what am I going to do? I make minimum wage, I...I have no savings." She put her head in her hands, shoving her hair back. "God we…we were so careful!"

"Penny," Leonard said, still trying to make sense of what she was saying. He still struggled on what to say to people outside of his nerd bubble. Often he embarrassed himself, and now he wasn't thinking clearly at all, what with his work conundrum. But even he could tell that Penny was as stressed as he was. "It'll be okay."

Raising her head, Penny looked at him. "Leonard, we don't know the first thing!"

"Didn't you grow up on a farm?" he teased.

"Sure. I can raise calves. I can help birth pigs. What good is that going to do us?" She bit her thumbnail. "I won't be able to keep up my work hours, and-"

"Don't worry about the money," Leonard said with sudden determination. He put a hand on her shoulder. "I'll help you. You're not in this alone, you know. Marie and Pierre Curie raised children while spending a significant amount of time on their work with radium. And it's not like I have anything urgent to do. No more work trips. I'm here."

Penny turned to look at him. For a moment Leonard thought his words hadn't any effect. Her expression held the same worried tension. Then her features softened and she sighed, leaning over and resting her head on his shoulder. She reached over with her right arm and laid it on his hand. "Thanks, Leonard," she said softly.

Okay…there's the beginning. I promise it won't all be happy, sappy, sweet stuff, and I'll try to bring in people outside of the regulars…I'm for sure bringing in some Mrs. Cooper, Leslie, probably Stuart…any suggestions let me know. If I can think of any good material I'll try to give Penny and Sheldon some one-on-one banter…nothing romantic, I promise that! Let me know what you think and again, I'm open to suggestions!

Oh, and if anything I write here is similar to anything else on this site, it's totally unintended-there are a lot of stories out there about a lot of shows, and I can't possibly read them all!