AN: The most pointless scene revision ever! lol Major THANK YOU to webuiltthepyramids for fixing some grammar mistakes and pretending that this doesn't suck. You rock! :D
Home, at last! Leonard sighed in relief as he started unloading the equipment bags in the apartment. Sheldon, of course, was on the phone with his mother reassuring her of his safe return and bragging about the results from the trip. Oops. They should really tell him about that soon. Leonard was momentarily distracted by the clutter on his desk. Did I really leave it looking like that? Geez! He headed back out of the apartment.
"I'm going to go let Penny know we're back!"
He checked his coat pocket to make sure the snowflake he had preserved was still there. He hadn't thought much about how he would give it to her. Every time he had tried, nervous knots would grow in his stomach, and he'd get nauseated. So he shoved it out of his mind, opting to just see how that first meeting went and go from there. Now as he was approaching her door, he really wished he had a better plan. After all, winging it had never worked for him before.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked on her door and waited.
A few seconds went by.
Leonard knocked again.
Still no answer.
He frowned at the door. Penny must be out. Sighing with a mixture of relief and disappointment, he turned to go back inside only to find Howard and Raj standing in the doorway, watching.
He glared. "Really?"
Raj shrugged. "We were curious."
Leonard shook his head in annoyance and pushed past them. They turned to follow him in.
"Hey, at least now you can get a haircut and not look so much like a caveman when you go to see Penny," Howard pointed out.
Penny struggled up the stairs with her groceries hoping to god she didn't drop something. Again. (Hopefully that hadn't been the bag the eggs were in.) She wished, not for the first time, that the elevator actually worked in this stupid building. That would be nice.
She finally reached the fourth floor and nearly dropped her bags in shock. There, standing at her door, was Leonard. Her heart started racing. "He's back!" she thought excitedly.
Leonard must have heard her climbing up the stairs because he spun around and grinned at her. "Hi!"
"Hi!" she answered, a grin spreading across her face, too. She had to fight down the strong impulse to crush him in a hug. She really, really wished she wasn't holding a bunch of crap right then. It made her feel annoyingly awkward. "When did you get back?"
"Just a few hours ago," Leonard said. Penny felt a twinge. He's been back a few hours already? Dammit! "I came by to see you earlier, but you were apparently out."
"Oh, yeah. I had to get groceries and stuff." Stupid, stupid errands! "Actually, I should get these inside," Penny just realized, looking down at the bags.
"Here, let me help you," Leonard offered, taking a bag from her. Penny breath hitched and she tried not to blush as his arms brushed hers.
"Oh, okay. Thanks." Penny dug out her keys and unlocked the door. She worked to regain her composure as she walked into the kitchen. It was stupid to be feeling so nervous around Leonard just because she hadn't seen him in three long months. And because she suddenly wanted to kiss him really, really badly.
"So!" she said probably a little too loudly, setting her bags down on the island. "How was the trip?"
"Eh, it was okay." Leonard set his bag on the island, too. "It was cold and really white up there. We were incredibly tempted to kill Sheldon at one point."
"Oh, no! What was he doing?" Penny asked, eyes widening.
Leonard shrugged. "Being Sheldon, but in a confined space, and we couldn't catch a break from him."
Penny nodded in understanding. "Well at least you're back now! That's good." Leonard smiled.
"Well, yeah," Penny said, smiling back. "You can actually get away from Sheldon here. Plus it's warmer."
Something flickered across Leonard's face, but it was too quick for Penny to read. Disappointment, maybe? She got the feeling he had hoped she would say something else. She probably should have, but she didn't quite trust what stuff would come spewing out if she opened that can of worms just now.
Penny turned and started putting the food away so she didn't have to see Leonard watching her.
"So how was your summer?"
"Um, pretty quiet," Penny said into the refrigerator. "Worked, visited my family for a bit, oh! I saw the new Star Trek movie!" she straightened up and looked back at Leonard.
"Really? On your own?" Leonard seemed surprised.
"No, I convinced some friends to go see it with me. They didn't really want to at first, but then Cheryl figured out that it was 'the one with the hot guy in it' and then all the girls were willing to watch it." Penny rolled her eyes prompting Leonard to look at her suspiciously.
"Oh, and I suppose you didn't watch it for the hot actor?"
"No!" Penny exclaimed in mock offense. "I actually watched it because it was Star Trek." Leonard just stared at her like he didn't believe her. "And because you guys watch Star Trek and maybe if I watched the movie, I'd understand some of the stuff you reference," Penny continued. "It had nothing to do with the fact that Captain Kirk was really hot." She looked down at the counter and muttered, "Or that I was incredibly bored."
"Nothing!" Penny said, quickly. She noticed Leonard was fidgeting with something in his pocket. "What's that?"
"What's what?" Leonard asked.
"That," Penny pointed to his jacket pocket. Leonard looked down.
"Oh. Um, I sort of got you something," Leonard said, stammering a bit. He slowly pulled a red draw-string pouch. Penny was stunned.
"You got me something?"
"Yep." He handed her the pouch. Penny gently loosened the draw-string and pulled out a small piece of glass. She gave Leonard a questioning look.
"It's a snowflake," he explained, shyly, "from the North Pole." Penny's jaw fell open.
"Are you serious?" She held it up to the light to try and see it better. She couldn't believe he actually preserved a snowflake on a piece of glass.
"Uh, huh. It will last forever." His voice gained confidence as he launched into the science behind how he preserved it. He looked far too adorable for his own good, and Penny finally broke, cutting off his explanation with a firm kiss. Leonard didn't seem to mind, though. It only took a moment before he brought his arms up around her waist and was kissing her back. Penny grinned into his lips.
Knock knock knock. Leonard! Knock knock knock. Leonard! Knock knock knock. Leonard!
AN2: Apparently, Leonard didn't tell Sheldon about the electric can opener before seeing Penny. :P