The Cheesecake is Different Here
A/N: This is probably crap. I had a lot of trouble with the Barney vs Penny stuff. I really wanted more of a showdown between the two, but my brain died during production.
This, right here, is why one should not watch How I Met Your Mother when sitting down to write a Big Bang Theory fic.
"Man, why aren't we sitting in the bar area?"
"Because we are on vacation. We're trying to get away from our typical habits. Expand our horizons!"
"Is that why we're at The Cheesecake Factory?" Barney looked around the dining area in disgust.
"Yeah, I'm with Barney. We should have gone some place else for dinner. Besides this place doesn't even look like a Cheesecake Factory."
"Maybe that's because it isn't," Barney said. Robin rolled her eyes. "Maybe this place doesn't even serve the same food as the real Cheesecake Factory. I bet they don't even have cheesecake!"
"What?! No cheesecake? Ted, you promised me cheesecake! That's the only reason I agreed to this place!" Marshall complained. Lily immediately grabbed a menu and began scanning it frantically.
"Guys, come on! I'm sure this place serves the same food as any other Cheesecake Factory. They probably just build them differently in California."
"I don't know. If there's no cheesecake, I'm out," Robin stated, getting ready to stand back up.
"No, no! It's okay! They have cheesecake!" Lily exclaimed. "Ooooo, look the pumpkin cheesecake is in season."
"Mmmmm!" came the collective approval. Everyone settled down and started flipping through their menus.
A couple minutes later their waitress came over. "Hello! My name is Penny, and I will be your server for this evening. Can I start everyone off with some drinks?"
"Hmmmm, I know what you can start me off with," Barney said suggestively, while surveying the gorgeous blonde.
Penny raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"Hi. Barney." He held out his hand. Penny just stared at him.
"Ignore him. He's mentally deranged," Robin said, cutting in. Barney glared. "I'll take a Samuel Adams."
"Okay, and what can I get you?" Penny asked Ted.
"Scotch and coke?"
"I'll have a raspberry margarita."
"Ooo, that sounds good. Can I.."
"No." Lily shook her head.
Marshall turned back to Penny, dejected. "I'll have a Bud Lime." He muttered under his breath. "At least they make beer with a fruit now."
"Alright, and Barney, what can I get you?" Barney opened his mouth, but Penny quickly added firmly. "To drink."
Barney shut his mouth, disappointed. "I'll have a scotch and coke too." Loud shouting suddenly broke out a few tables away. The five friends looked over to see a group of guys with laptops sitting at the table getting in an argument over something. Penny took a deep breath and shut her eyes for a few seconds, possibly counting to ten.
"Are they arm wrestling while playing something on their laptops?" Robin asked, confused.
"How about you guys take a few more minutes to look over the menu, and I'll come back to take your order, okay?" Penny said with a forced smile. She turned away and marched over to the table that was making the ruckus. Slamming one of the laptops shut, she exclaimed, "Second warning guys! Keep it up, and I'll personally kick you out. That's right, Sheldon, without your Tuesday hamburger!" The man who had been about to argue, quickly shut his mouth and frowned.
"Penny, could we just finish this round? We're almost done! I promise!" The waitress turned to the guy in glasses and glared.
"No Tressling at The Cheesecake Factory!" She walked away to the kitchen, leaving the four guys frowning and pouting.
"Oh, Tressling. That's what they were doing!" Barney said turning back to the table now that the show was over.
"What's Tressling?" Lily asked.
"It's a game that combines Tetris with arm wrestling. Hence 'Tressling'," Ted explained.
"Yeah, it's a really stupid game," Barney added.
"You're just saying that because Ted kicked your ass when you two played it the other day." Robin said. Marshall and Lily both burst out laughing.
"Hang on, you played Tressling, Barney?" Lily asked.
"Psshh, no," Barney scoffed. "Why would I play such an un-awesome game? God, Lily!"
"He begged me to go best 2-out-of-3 after I creamed him," Ted said smugly. Everyone laughed at Barney again.
"Hey, wait, why wasn't I invited to play Tressling?" Marshall suddenly asked.
"Because you would murder us in the arm wrestling part," Ted replied.
"So? I still want to play! Tetris plus arm wrestling sounds like the best combo ever!"
"Hey, why don't we play right now?" Ted asked.
"Because we don't have access to Tetris right now," Lily said.
"Yeah, but they do." Everyone turned to the other table where the four guys had opened up their laptops again, clearly ignoring the second warning they had received.
Marshall's eyes lit up. "Oh! We should go over and ask if we can join them!"
"Robin! Come on!"
"No you guys. This isn't McClaren's. This is an actual restaurant. You're not playing Tressling here."
"Awww!" "Robin!" "Come on Scherbatsky! I want Marshall to make Ted cry!"
"Lily?" Robin appealed.
"Sorry, I'm with the guys. Tressling sounds awesome!"
"Yeah!!" Marshall high-fived his wife.
"Alright, let's do this!" Barney got up and marched away.
"Oooo, Howard's making a come-back!"
"No! Come on Sheldon, finish him." Leonard hissed, checking over his shoulder to make sure Penny hadn't come back out.
"Excuse me," a man in a suit said, coming up to the table. "Hi! Name's Barney. Listen my friends and I couldn't help but notice your Tressling and were wondering if we could join you."
Sheldon and Howard paused their game simultaneously and all four guys looked up blankly at the newcomer.
"You want to play Tressling with us?" Raj asked.
"Sure." Barney shrugged. "But mostly I just want to see my two friends go at it, and we don't have any way to play Tetris at our table. Ted Mosby will rue the day he beat me!" He glared off into space.
Leonard exchanged lost looks with the others, but never got a chance to respond because at that moment Penny returned to their table.
"That's it! Give me your laptops."
"What? Nooo!!! Come on!" the guys whined.
"Yeah, we were just getting ready to set up a massive Tressling tournament!" Barney chimed in.
"Oh, god! You're dragging the other customers into this now?"
"Hey he approached us!" Howard defended.
"Too bad. You guys got two warnings. Now the laptops are coming with me."
Sheldon clutched his computer. "I'm not leaving my laptop alone in such a public and unsecured location. There are too many thieves in this city."
"I'm not going to leave them out in the open, Sheldon. I'll put them somewhere safe, and when you're done eating, you can get them back." Sheldon shook his head and tightened his grip on his laptop. Penny sighed, and tried a different approach. "Fine, then just give me the batteries. I can put them in my purse."
"But..but..I was going to beat Sheldon finally!" Howard protested.
"Please! You were going to do no such thing."
"Just a few more minutes, and I would have had you!"
"Settle it later! Now hand over the batteries."
"Boys, boys, please. I got this." Barney confidently walked over to Penny. The four guys exchanged another round of looks and then turned back to Barney and Penny, morbidly curious to see how this would play out.
"We're never going to get served now."
"Why?" Ted pointed out into the restaurant and everyone turned to see Barney talking to their waitress.
"No. NO. Dammit, Barney! I wanted pumpkin cheesecake!" Marshall whined.
"Hang on, maybe he's not hitting on her. Maybe he's just trying to change his drink order or asking about something on the menu." Everyone stared at Lily. She sighed. "Oh, who am I kidding. It's Barney. Of course he's hitting on her." The four looked back over to watch Barney's latest escapade. They couldn't hear what was being said, but their waitress didn't seem impressed. The guy in glasses sitting at the table didn't seem very happy either.
"And I promise your tip will totally be worth your while. If you know what I mean," Barney added with a wink.
"We all know what you mean," Leonard said through a clenched jaw. Sheldon looked at him, baffled and said, "I don't know what he means." No one acknowledged him.
"So what do you say?" Barney smiled winningly. "Tressling tournament for all? And then later tonight, you and I can have our own 'Tressling' tournament."
"Oh, wow," Penny said stunned and appalled that this smarmy creep had the gall to spout this crap off to her. And then think it would actually work! She quickly counted up the consequences of kicking this guy's ass right her and now, and decided he wasn't worth getting fired for.
"Yeah, I have that effect on women," Barney nodded smugly. Penny cocked her head, eyebrows raised, and stared at him incredulously. "Excuse me?" Everyone but Barney recognized that look and knew what came next. Sheldon and Howard glanced worryingly at each other. Raj was ready to bolt to the bathroom at any second. Leonard kept watching carefully, wanting nothing more than to see Penny go junior-rodeo on the creep.
"Look, I have no idea who you think you are, but I'm trying to work right now. So I'm going to let you walk on back to your table and we'll just forget this ever happen. Okay?" She said in a fake-sweet tone.
Barney raised an eyebrow, trying to work out her meaning. "And then we meet up after you get off work?" Penny and Leonard both narrowed their eyes at him.
"Run, man! Run!" Howard muttered under his breath. Barney looked over at him confused, but snapped his attention back up to Penny as she continued.
"I am not meeting up with you! Ever!"
"Wait, why not?" Barney asked, honestly lost.
"Maybe because she has a boyfriend," Leonard inserted.
"What? No." Penny and Leonard both nodded. "No!" Barney staggered back a couple of steps. "But, but... he's not even wearing a suit!" Penny raised an eyebrow as Barney turned and stumbled back to his own table.
Raj leaned over and whispered into Howard's ear. Howard shook his head. "I have no idea what suits have to do with this."
Barney sunk into his chair, defeated.
"What happened?" asked Robin.
"I've been rejected. I've been rejected in favor of a nerd," Barney stated with confusion and a hint of disdain. The other four just kind of 'Hmmm'-ed and glanced back over at the 'nerd' table appraisingly.
Marshall looked at Barney. "So does this mean no Tressling?"
Coming later this week: Next installment in The Parallel Worlds Proof (finally!) and post-ep fic for webuiltthepyramids (also finally!)