Disclaimer: Definitely do not own the characters. I'm not even sure I own the writing. I think an alien temporarily took over my brain. That would explain my headaches at least.
Author's Notes: Just to clear the air, I'm actually a Penny/Leonard shipper. But the other day I was trying to write some P/L fluff, when a multiple POV idea entered my head which somehow evolved into this. Which is pretty much the complete opposite of P/L fluff. I can't believe I did this to them. I owe Sheldon and Penny some fluff. And Leonard. And me. ;(
Sheldon never did come to terms with Penny entering their lives that fateful day. How could he? He abhorred change at the best of times, but when it's a blonde, messy, overly perky, ignorant ape of a woman who's only purpose in life seems to be creating chaos in her wake? Well that just shouldn't even be an option.
It didn't help that Leonard was instantly infatuated with her, and, because of said infatuation, Penny was forced upon Sheldon more and more often. For some reason that baffled Sheldon, she kept coming back. This was in direct contradiction to all evidence Sheldon had gathered thus far when it came to women interacting with any of the guys in the group in the past. Between Koothrappali's inability to speak to the opposite sex, Wolowitz's disgusting pick-up lines, and Leonard's utter failure when it came to romantic relationships., no woman hung around them for more than a day or two. Tops. Until Penny came.
There were times when Sheldon thought Penny was finally leaving their lives. Times when he thought Penny had actually had enough of their, what she considered to be, odd and ridiculous ways and would disappear and bother them no more. But, alas, Leonard would apologize, or Penny would come to terms and decide to either overlook or accept their quirks and she would return, often to hang around more than she did before the incident.
Penny never fully belonged to their group. True, she did at times prove to be tolerable company while at other times she was simply the lesser of two evils. But no matter how many times she sang Soft Kitty to him or how susceptible she was to chocolate-based operant conditioning techniques, Sheldon always considered her replaceable if and when something better came along. Leonard might fight him on it when that time came, but Sheldon was certain logic would eventually win out in Leonard's mind.
But when the day he had been waiting for finally came, and Penny was packing her belongings haphazardly in cardboard boxes while Leonard threw himself into his work and refused to speak to anybody, Sheldon experienced a very different reaction than what he had anticipated. In fact, his reaction was so removed from it's normal context, that he had trouble recognizing it at first. It wasn't until he was watching Penny place the last box in the moving truck and she gave him one last sad smile and a small wave before climbing up into the front seat, that Sheldon finally understood what that knot in his stomach and lump in his throat was about.
Maybe Penny had been a part of the group after all.