Well, here it is: The last chapter of The Third Party Accumulation. Before I say anything else I, want to thank flboo22, LenaGuffi, , bbtfan, big bang theory fan number 1, FullHouseandPixarLover, CountryGrl, and Invisible Pawprint for reviewing this. I really enjoyed writing this, and I hope everyone who read it enjoyed doing so. To all you Leonard/Penny fans out there-I am a fan forever and we need to keep these two alive. Keep writing your stuff, and keep believing that these two can make it!
Oh, and as was kindly pointed out to me-I OWN SAVANNAH! Wow! I own something! Nothing else, of course, but…
"Let's get this little girl home," Leonard said happily the next day. Penny and Savannah had finally been discharged, and the couple was happy to be heading home. Francis had wheeled Penny and the baby out to the parking lot, and she watched as Leonard and Francis settled Savannah into the car seat. She had insisted that she didn't need a chair, but when Leonard had reminded her that she'd gotten dizzy walking to the bathroom and back, she'd accepted the help. Now she eased out of the chair and got in the passenger side.
When they got home, Leonard put Savannah in the baby basket they'd bought and carried her upstairs, walking slowly so Penny could keep up. Inside her apartment, they settled her into the crib, having set it in the living room near the couch.
"Knock knock knock LeonardandPenny? Knock knock knock LeonardandPenny? Knock knock knock LeonardandPenny?"
Leonard went to answer the door, and Penny sank down on her side of the bed. She could still see Savannah from that vantage point, but now she felt too tired to wait for Leonard to return. Her eyelids were heavy, and within minutes she was sound asleep, grateful to be in her own bed again.
When Penny awoke, she slid out of bed and went into the living room. Leonard sat there with a pile of papers. He was reading them intently, underlining sections. "What's that?" she asked.
"Stuff for work." Leonard was frowning, and Penny wondered if she'd caused him to get behind. Savannah had been their lives for the past several months, and she knew he hadn't been spending as much time on his work as he should have. She relayed her thoughts to him in the form of a question, and Leonard smiled. "Nah. This stuff is redundant, the same crap we've been analyzing for nearly a century." He patted the seat next to him, and she eased down on it, tucking her legs up. "My poor little homunculus," she said, patting his leg.
"What sort of awful names are you going to call Savannah?" he asked teasingly.
"Why would you want to call her that?" Leonard asked.
"No…" Penny said, laughing. "What's with the big stuffed bear in the crib?"
"Believe it or not, Sheldon," Leonard said. "He said something about traditional children's toys…he actually went with Wolowitz and Koothrapali to a Build-A-Bear."
"Really!" Penny grinned. "Maybe there's hope for him after all."
Leonard looked at her, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah, I didn't really think that through," she admitted, smiling back. "Let's move the crib into the bedroom."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. If she cries, we won't be able to sleep no matter where the crib is, and I want her near us."
"Okay," Leonard agreed, and Penny took Savannah into her arms while Leonard moved the baby's bed into their room, positioning it in front of Penny's nightstand. "Is that better?"
"Mmmm…" Penny pretended to scrutinize it. "It'll do, I guess."
Leonard shook his head teasingly.
Late that afternoon, when Savannah woke up, Leonard and Penny went next door to have dinner. They were surprised by a party welcoming the three home. Raj, Howard, Sheldon, Mrs. Cooper, Missy, Stuart, Leslie, Bernadette and the rest of the waitresses, and even Stephanie came, now officially Dr. Stephanie Young. She'd been married two months before to another surgeon. Penny and Leonard were shocked at first that Sheldon was able to keep this a secret…but it turned out that he'd just found out minutes before. Everyone took turns holding Savannah, and Penny and Leonard assured them all that when a wedding date was set, they'd be invited.
Savannah was too young to even react much to what was going on, but she stayed awake and alert throughout the entire party and seemed to take a special liking to Sheldon's mother. "I have not seen a cuter baby girl since my Missy was born," she declared, glancing over to where Missy was standing with Raj.
Penny suddenly stepped forward and hugged her. "Just…thanks again, Mrs. Cooper. For helping me and Leonard."
Her smile widened. "Oh, sweetheart," she said in her matronly voice, "I did nothing. I always knew you two were a cute couple."
It was late by the time the party was finally over and Leonard and Penny headed across the hall with their daughter. "I'm going to take a bath," Penny said as she and Leonard settled the baby.
"Okay," he said.
When Penny came back into the room, Leonard was still standing near the crib. Coming up next to him, she slid her hand into his while they looked down at their daughter. Savannah was sleeping peacefully, the build-a-bear from Sheldon tucked up next to it.
"I was wondering," Leonard said, pointing at the baby. "Is that supposed to be there?"
Penny cocked her head as she noticed a lump under the blanket where a tiny hand was resting. "What the…" Tugging the coverlet back, her hand flew to her mouth in shock. There, on two of Savannah's tiny fingers, was a beautiful ring.
She looked at Leonard, speechless. He just grinned at her. She looked back at her little girl wearing her engagement ring and slid it off of her daughters' hand slowly and carefully. Leonard slid the ring on her finger. "Do you like it?"
She was choked up and could barely see Leonard through her tears, but she knew where he was well enough to come into his arms and bury her head into his shoulder. She was sobbing as hard as she had back when they were fighting and she thought that she'd be alone for the rest of her life. Her tears this time, however, were happy.
She'd been thinking about getting married since she was twelve. She'd always pictured herself at the side of a handsome, muscle-bound jock. She'd expected to spend her days as a successful actress, living the easy life in a big house with her body-building man. She'd never believed that she'd marry a socially inept science fiction geek who lived in an old apartment building. She'd never imagined spending her life with a lactose intolerant, short, pale physicist who had none of the attractive qualities of the fantasy man of her teenage years. However, she'd never expected to love this much either.
"You'll still marry me, right?" Leonard asked with a smile.
"God, yes," she managed to say, lifting her head and kissing him. She stood as close to him as possible, hugging him close. When they pulled away, she smiled at him, and he back at her. "We're parents, Leonard," she stated, although she knew quite well he was aware.
"Nothing is going to be the same again," he said. "Now it's not just us, it's diapers, colic, and sleepless nights."
"Its school, friends, enemies, and teachers, good and bad," Penny agreed. "Growing up, moodiness…and it's not just Savannah. We'll have bills, events…"
"Other children?" Leonard asked.
Penny smiled. "I hope so."
"There are trials ahead of us," Leonard said. "Good days and bad. Highs and lows." He paused, looking over Penny's shoulder at their little girl. "But we can handle it."
"We're a family," Penny said, turning in his arms so their daughter was in her line of vision. She sighed happily. "It seems too good to be true. I never imagined this day happening for fear it never would…"
Leonard rested his chin on her shoulder, both of them looking lovingly at Savannah. "You, me, and Savannah." That was all he said, but it was enough for Penny to understand. He meant that their fights and their bad days had only made them closer. The downs had propelled the ups to new heights. It was pointless to talk about missing their chance together-they hadn't done such a thing. However it happened, they were here. She spun around again, so she faced Leonard. "We're a family," she said again, happily. She pulled him close again.
"I love you," he said, tightening his arms around her waist. "So, so much."
"I love you too," she said, meaning it with all her heart. She leaned into him, adoring the closeness of the man she loved and the child that they had created together. Her eyes were still watering, from pure joy and contentment. She had the two most important people in her life within feet of her, and it made her think yet again how lucky she was. Nine months earlier, she and Leonard were merely dating. She hadn't known he was the one until she'd thought he was gone forever. Now he was back, and they were together, and they would be married and stay that way the rest of their lives.
The one word, whispered against her neck. She turned her head to the side and rested it on his shoulder, and they continued standing there, watching their baby sleep.
Well, there it is. I'm a little sad this is finished, I loved writing it. I used to read fanfics and not understand how someone could carry on writing fiction for fiction for more than a few chapters, but…I certainly understand now.
For those of you who were waiting for the wedding, I'm planning either an epilogue or a single-chapter story about that, so it'll be coming.
Review, if you wish!