Alright, this is the final chapter. Hope you all enjoy it. And, as usual, I don't own anything.
The three months went by painfully slow. Everyday her thoughts were centered around Leonard: What he might be doing, how he was enjoying the expedition, and, most importantly, when he was coming home. Because when he got home...she tried not to think about it, knowing it would only make the waiting that much harder.
It hadn't taken Penny long to realize that only having Leonard as a friend wasn't going to satisfy her. Barely a week had gone by and she was already experiencing withdrawal. She needed Leonard with her, arms wrapped tightly around her like during that hug they'd shared before he left. The feelings she was harbouring for him and the happiness that ensued whenever she thought about being in a relationship with him, now over-powered the worry of what would happen if things didn't work out.
Penny was sitting on the couch, flipping through a magazine when it happened. She wasn't sure who she had expected to be knocking at the door, but it wasn't the wonderful, nerdy guy she'd been longing to see all summer.
Leonard stood just outside of her apartment, a beard covering most of his face. However, she could still make out that adorable grin that she'd been missing these past three months.
"Leonard, you're back!" Penny said, hardly able to believe it. She could feel her face getting hot and her pulse increasing.
"Yeah, I just stopped by to say-"
Penny cut him off. Unable to control herself, she threw herself at him and began kissing him. Her arms wrapped around his neck and she grinned into his lips as she felt his hands come to rest on her waist and he began kissing her back. She kissed him eagerly, letting all of her bottled up emotions out and loving the tingling sensation that kept shooting through her as they continued. They finally broke apart and Penny sighed contentedly as she smiled up at Leonard, their arms still around each other.
"Yeah, so, hi!" said Leonard, his expression a combination of confusion and happiness.
"Hi!" Penny pulled herself back in for another kiss and then pulled Leonard into her apartment, shutting the door behind them.
Leonard leaned against the door as Penny kissed him fiercely, not wanting to do anything else for the next few moments. Each kiss made her feel like she was on fire, making her want him even more. She'd kissed him before, but the first few, while enjoyable, had been very safe and hesitant. This was amazing. Even when Leonard's mother had visited and they'd gone to each other for comfort it hadn't felt like this.
"I missed you so much!" said Penny, breaking away for only a moment.
"I missed you, too!" said Leonard, recapturing her lips.
"I couldn't think of anyone else while you were gone!"
"Me either!" Leonard moaned slightly as he moved down to her neck. "Except for one night when the heat went out." Penny leaned back to stare at him curiously. "It's long story, just, don't ask."
He began kissing her again, which she had absolutely no problem with. Nothing could ruin how deliriously happy she felt right now.
Knock, knock, knock "Leonard!"
Knock, knock, knock "Leonard!"
Knock, knock, knock "Leonard!"
"Do not make a sound!" Leonard whispered, as they pulled apart.
They waited in silence for a few seconds, and Penny thought that Sheldon might have actually gone away, but of course he hadn't.
"Whispering, "Do not make a sound." It's a sound."
Penny sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Damn his Vulcan hearing!" said Leonard, annoyed. "Not a good time, Sheldon!"
"Yeah," sighed Penny and moaned as Leonard leaned back in for another kiss. They two began backing away from the door until they were interrupted again.
Knock, knock, knock "Penny!"
Knock, knock, knock "Penny!"
Knock, knock, knock "Penny!"
"Ugh, this is ridiculous!" Penny groaned, angrily going to answer the door.
"Hello, Penny," said Sheldon, when she answered. "I realize you're currently at the mercy of your primitive, biological urges, but as you have an entire life time of poor decisions ahead of you, may I interrupt this one?"
"It's great to see you, too, come on in," she said sarcastically, moving aside to let him through.
"Wolowitz has informed me of your grand deception," Sheldon said, folding his arms as he came to stand next to Leonard. "Do you have anything to say for yourself?"
"Yes, I feel terrible about it. I will never forgive myself, I don't expect you to either, and I would really appreciate it if you would leave me with Penny for a session of self-criticism and repentance." Leonard gave Sheldon a pleading look as he finished his sentence.
"Okay, will somebody please tell me what's going on here?" Penny asked.
"What's going on," said Sheldon. "is that I was led to believe that I was making ground-breaking strides in science, while, in fact, I was being fed false data at the hands of Wolowitz, Koothrapali, and...your furry, little boy toy!"
"Is that true?" Penny asked Leonard.
"It was the only way to make him happy," he replied.
"Why did you have to make him happy?"
"Because when he wasn't happy we wanted to kill him." Sheldon stared at Leonard incredulously at that. "There was even a plan. We were going to throw his kindle outside and when he went out to get it, lock the door and let him freeze to death!"
"That seems like a bit of an over-reaction!" cried Sheldon.
"No, the over-reaction was to tie your limbs to four different sled dog teams and yell, "Mush!" Look, we kept the original data; you can still publish the actual results." Leonard said, softening his tone slightly.
"Yes, but the actual results are unsuccessful and I've already sent an email to everyone at the university, explaining that I have confirmed string theory and forever changed man's understanding of the universe!"
"Oh, yeah, see, you probably shouldn't have done that. So, write another email; set the record straight, it's not big deal."
"You're right, Leonard!" said Sheldon. "It's not a big deal. All you did was lie to me, destroy my dream, and humiliate me in front of the whole university!" Sheldon turned and walked towards the door, but then turned back. "That, FYI, was sarcasm!"
"Oh, that poor thing," said Penny as she watched him go.
"Yeah, I feel terrible," said Leonard, coming back over to kiss her.
"Wait, wait, wait!" said Penny, holding him back. "Aren't you gonna go talk to him?"
"Oh, well, he'll be fine, the guy's a trooper! Come here." Leonard gestured for her to come closer.
"No, you're right, you shouldn't talk to him, I will."
Penny walked across the hall and entered Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, where Howard and Raj sat guiltily on the couch. She hoped that if she could straighten this whole situation out quickly, then there would be no more interruptions or things getting in the way in the near future. Then, she could have Leonard all to herself.
She entered Sheldon's bedroom where he lay curled up on his bed, almost perfectly symmetrical.
"Hey," she said. "Do you want to talk?"
"About what?" asked Sheldon sadly. "Being betrayed by my friends? Spending three months at the North Pole for nothing? And I didn't even get to go to Comic-Con!" Sheldon began crying into his pillow at this.
Penny slowly eased herself on to the bed and attempted to cheer him up. That, of course, ended horribly. She, in fact, ended up making him even more sad by indirectly reminding him that he'd missed the new Star Trek movie. After that, she'd given up and left his bedroom, leaving him mumbling incoherently about how he could use the force for revenge. She really didn't want to hear about that.
Penny went and flopped down on the couch, being sure not to sit in Sheldon's spot in case he came out of his room.
The apartment was empty; she wasn't sure where the Leonard, Howard, and Raj had gone. They'd probably gone to hide somewhere. Penny realized that this was the first time she'd been in the apartment since the guys had left. Leonard had given her her spare key back after she'd forgotten it there, but...well, she'd forgotten it there again, so she hadn't had any access to the apartment. She'd missed being in here; all of the action figures and posters were very comforting to her.
Suddenly, the door opened and Leonard walked in. His beard was shaved off and his hair was cut and combed.
"Hey," he said when he saw her on the couch.
"Hey," she said, giving him a small smile.
"How's he doing?"
"How do you think?"
Leonard sighed and sat down next to her on the couch. "Yeah, I kind of figured."
"So, unhappy Sheldon was really that bad, huh?"
Leonard nodded very seriously. "We weren't actually going to tamper with the results until we found out that Sheldon was about to start up a punishment system."
Penny raised her eyebrows. "Are you serious?"
"All of this would not be happening if I were not serious," said Leonard, smiling slightly.
Penny grinned back at him. Seeing that adorable smile gave her the urge to kiss him, and she thought that maybe they could still get things started after all. However, Leonard yawned suddenly and blinked sleepily. No, she should wait.
"I should probably get going," she said, moving to stand up.
"You don't have to go, you can stay," said Leonard, suddenly wide awake.
"But, you're tired," Penny pointed out, rubbing his shoulder. "You should get some sleep."
Leonard glanced down at her hand on his shoulder, looking pleasantly surprised to have it there. He shook his head. "I'm not tired," he protested, stifling a yawn as he did so.
Penny smiled at him, and Leonard grinned sheepishly back. "Go get some sleep," she repeated. He sighed and nodded.
Penny cupped the side of his newly shaven face with her hand and then gave him quick kiss. "I'm really glad you're back," she said as she got up off the couch.
"Me, too," Leonard sighed happily.
As she walked back to her apartment, Penny found herself unable to stop grinning.
Penny knocked on Leonard and Sheldon's door the next morning, a store-bought pie in her hands. Leonard answered and smiled at her.
"Hey," he said, stepping aside to let her.
"Hi-whoa..." As Penny entered the apartment she saw Sheldon standing in the kitchen, wearing a Darth Vadar helmet. "Morning, Sheldon."
Sheldon said nothing, he merely crossed his arms.
"Okay...I-oh! I got you an "I'm Sorry" pie!" said Penny, trying to get him excited. She put it on the counter in front of Sheldon. Again, the theoretical physicist said nothing. "Read it, it says, "I'm Sorry" on it." Still nothing. "In chocolate icing!" she added temptingly.
Sheldon looked down at the pie and then back up at Penny. He suddenly grabbed the box and put it in the fridge, nodding at her as he did so. Well, the pie had seemed to work, that was good. Maybe things were looking up.
Suddenly, Sheldon raised his hand and began slowly inching his thumb and index finger closer together, while staring at Leonard.
"What's he doing?" Penny asked, frowning.
"He's trying to choke me with the force," Leonard explained, sighing in frustration. On the other hand, maybe things weren't looking much better. "Come on, Sheldon. We have to get work. Could you please take a break from choking me, so we can go?"
Sheldon remained motionless for a moment, but then marched out the door and headed down the stairs.
"He's wearing that helmet to work?" Penny asked, raising her eyebrows.
"He's probably going to be wearing it for the rest of the week," Leonard sighed. "Well, I have to get going, so..."
Penny nodded and smiled as she walked back over to him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed him for a few moments. "See you later," she sighed, grinning at him when she pulled away.
"Bye," said Leonard, sounding out of breath.
"Hi," said Penny, smiling when she saw Leonard in her doorway.
"Hey," said Leonard, his grin just as big as hers. "Listen, since we got, you know, interrupted last night, I didn't have a chance to give you this." He handed her a red, velvet draw string pouch.
"Oh, Leonard, you shouldn't have," she said, opening the pouch and pulling out the contents. It was a small, glass slide... "Oh, boy!" she said, trying to sound excited. "What is it?"
"It's a snowflake," he explained. "From the North Pole."
Penny stared at him incredulously, holding the slide up to the light to try and see the snowflake. "Are you serious?"
"Uh huh. It'll last forever. I preserved it in a one percent solution of polyvinyl acidic resin, so..." Leonard nodded confidently, seeming to think that made things pretty clear.
Penny looked at him for a moment and then sighed. "Oh my God, that's the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me that I didn't understand!" She smiled at him affectionately.
"It's actually a pretty simple process," said Leonard, beginning to dive into a complicated explanation.
Penny let him talk for a moment, but then she couldn't stand it any longer. He was just too adorable to ignore right now. She closed the distance between them, putting her hands at his sides and her mouth on his. Leonard seemed to have no problem with being interrupted and quickly wrapped his arms around her and started kissing her back. Penny felt that wonderful tingling sensation again and moved her arms up to his neck. In this moment she couldn't understand why she'd been so afraid of this. It was amazing!
They continued kissing until, once again, they were interrupted.
"Red alert, Leonard, Sheldon ran away!" said Howard.
Penny pulled away, cursing inwardly.
"Man, I cannot catch a break!" said Leonard in annoyance.
"Sorry, how do you know he ran away?" Penny asked, praying that this was all just a huge misunderstanding.
"Well, he's not answering his phone, he handed in his resignation at the university, and he sent me a text that said, "I'm running away."," Howard explained.
"Okay, well, thanks for letting me know," said Leonard, turning back to Penny.
"Well, Leonard, aren't you going to do something?" she asked, stopping him.
"Well, of course, I'm gonna do something," said Leonard. "Uh...Howard, you check the comic book store, Raj, go to the Thai restaurant, I'll stay here with Penny in her apartment!"
Penny was about to stop him again when his cellphone ran.
"Oh, dammit," he sighed, pulling the phone out of his pocket and reading the caller ID. "It's Sheldon's mother. "A break cannot be caught. Hi, Mrs. Cooper...he is? Sheldon went home to Texas."
Texas? Ugh, that'll take so long! How much longer are we gonna have to wait for this?
"Alright," Leonard sighed, hanging up his phone. "New plan: Howard, you and Raj go to Texas, I'll stay here with Penny in her apartment."
"You're not going to go with them?" Penny asked, as Leonard came towards her again.
"Well, you know, I gave you the snowflake and we were kissing, and...yeah, come on! I don't wanna go to Texas!" he said in exasperation.
Penny frowned sympathetically. She didn't want him to go either, but she knew they'd both feel guilty if he didn't.
"Oh, and I do?" Howard asked. "My people already crossed the dessert once, we're done!"
"Trust me, you'll be fine, see ya," said Leonard, entering Penny's apartment.
"Well, wait a second, Leonard, how can you not go? He's your best friend," she pointed out, following him inside.
"Well, I already saw him naked, just come here," he said, smiling at her.
Penny sighed and put her hands on Leonard's jacket. "I promise I will be here when you get back, just go help Sheldon."
"Really?" Leonard asked, sounding unsure.
"Yeah," she said. "We've waited a few months; we can wait a few more days."
Penny slid her arms past his to rest at his side, still clutching the snowflake in her hand. She covered his mouth with hers and kissed him, causing one of the most wonderful sensations to course through her body.
"Maybe you can," said Leonard, only half joking as Penny reluctantly pulled away.
She laughed and smiled at him, still holding on to him. She didn't want him to leave, but she had a feeling that the amount of interruptions they'd received these past two days were going to become much more frequent if Leonard didn't go get Sheldon.
"Go," she said, smiling at him.
Leonard sighed and left.
Penny headed up the apartment stairs slowly, trying to kill as much time as possible. Shortly after Leonard had gone to Texas, she gone out to run errands, sit in the park, she'd even gone to the comic book store for a while, anything to waste away the day.
As she reached the stairs that led up to the fourth floor she stopped and inhaled excitedly. Leonard stood at the top of the stairs with Sheldon, who was unlocking the door.
"Hey," she said, hurrying up the stairs, now wanting nothing more than to get up them as quickly as possible.
"Hey," said Leonard, a huge smile taking over his face.
"Hello," said Sheldon as he opened the door.
"Hi." That was the last thing she said.
Penny wrapped her arms around Leonard's neck and began kissing him, closing her eyes and sighing contently. She felt his arms curl tightly around her waist as he eagerly kissed her back. This was what she'd been waiting for for the past three months. This wonderful feeling of happiness that she felt whenever she was around him. A feeling, she was certain, that wasn't going to stop anytime soon because she wasn't going to let any small worries or awkward moments ruin this for her. She had him now and she wasn't going to let him go.
So, that's it. Hope you all enjoyed it. I didn't include the sex because...well, I'm not comfortable writing that sort of thing. Thanks to everyone who reviewed!