When You've Used Up All Your Coupons

AN: So I should totally be reading up on fMRI's right now, but instead I wanted to write. So I opened up a document expecting to write another blurb for my Big Bang challenge fic or maybe even another LP break-up fic that I thought up the other day, but instead I wrote the sentence "I am more broken than you will ever know". And then I wrote this. 0_o I don't even know. Takes place, um, somewhere around 3.18? I did say 7 months below so, sure. Around ep 3.18.

Don't ask me about the title. The 'coupon' bit comes from a No Doubt song. It sounded as good as anything. And yes, I do fail at titles lately. Thank you for noticing!

***~~***

I lie awake watching him one night. I can't sleep. Not tonight. Too many thoughts are rushing around in my head after my epiphany earlier.

I am completely and utterly in love with Leonard Hofstadter.

And that terrifies me.

I've been in love before, or at least thought I was in love. I've given too much of myself to a guy and had him throw it back in my face. I've lived, I've learned, and yeah maybe I'm a little scarred from it, but I've still never been as scared as I am now that I know I'm in love with Leonard.

If it was any other guy, I could deal with it. But no it has to be Leonard and the one relationship of mine that had the least chance of ever working out. I mean he's an incredibly geeky, incredibly brilliant physicist and I'm?

Absolutely nothing.

He's bound to wake up and realize that one day. He has to. He's a genius. I won't be able to fool him forever.

Which is completely unfair by the way! It's his fault I'm in love with him so why am I doomed to be the one punished for it? I'm already furious at him. If he hadn't insisted on being my friend when I first moved in, if he had just let me down at some point earlier, maybe I wouldn't be lying here pondering the inevitable end that has to be moving closer with every passing second. Nothing this good can last.

(I hate Sheldon, too, actually. And Howard and Raj. Maybe if they had been more intolerable, Leonard's and my relationship would already be over or would never have started. Then I wouldn't be trapped in this waiting limbo of hell.)

He played it too safe. Kept his distance too well. Never pushing me for something more. Never forcing us to have a talk when I'd slip up by kissing him. It reeled me in, made me feel comfortable around him, tricked me into believing we could stay friends forever and it wouldn't be a problem.

Then he disappeared.

Took off for three months, leaving me behind with no one to talk to but my empty apartment on the very empty fourth floor. Suddenly all my thoughts led back to him. Every kiss, every hug, every missed opportunity. It was so frustrating! How, when he was around, I could be content with simply hanging out and talking to him, but then suddenly when he was gone, I wanted it all. Everything we could possibly be. The whole package.

And I got it.

When he returned, I grabbed him and kissed him and didn't let go.

And 7 months later, I'm still clinging to him. Batting my eyes, whispering in his ear, trying desperately to keep him preoccupied so that he doesn't catch on that I don't know what an atom is made of. So that he doesn't realize I can't remember which Star Trek series had Patrick Stewart in it. Maybe if I kiss him hard enough, often enough, then he won't see it. Won't understand.

That I don't deserve him.