Sheldon awoke at exactly 7:45 AM as he always did that dreary Monday morning. It was raining. He hated the rain. It made the bottoms of his pants wet and he did not enjoy the feeling of wet pant cuffs. He took a ten minute shower, dressed, and poured himself a bowl of cereal from the high fiber side of his cereal shelf. He sat in his usual spot on the couch and ate while waiting for Leonard to come out of his bedroom so they could drive to work like they had done for the past four or five years. He finished his cereal just as Leonard came out looking exhausted.
Serves him right. Sheldon thought to himself. He shouldn't be engaging in coitus with Penny on work nights.
"Ready?" Sheldon asked as he pulled his rain coat on.
"Yeah, let's get out of here," Leonard yawned, causing Sheldon to smile superiorly to himself. Such acts of intercourse were just ridiculous to him. Why have such relations without the intent of procreation? The thought eluded him.
The car ride to the University was quiet, as Sheldon quite enjoyed. He rather hated when Leonard attempted 'small talk'. Once inside the building he bid his roommate farewell until lunch and headed to his office for a day of thinking.
The day had been going quite smoothly so far, much to Sheldon's satisfaction. He had arrived at lunch just in time to get in line behind Raj, Howard, and Leonard. He received his macaroni with tomato sauce and bits of beef, or "beefaroni", as Raj had called it and was nestled comfortably in his seat and was about to take his first bite of lunch when his arch enemy, Leslie Winkle, walked up to the table.
"Sup gentlemen?" She smirked, "And Sheldon?"
Sheldon merely sighed and glared while his comrades laughed.
"Nothing much, Leslie," Leonard replied. "What's new in the world of experimental physics?"
"Oh, you know, it's very experimental," she said dryly. "We've got a new babe though."
Howard perked up out of habit, regardless of his relationship with Bernadette he was still as horny as ever. "New babe?" He asked anxiously.
"Yeah, she just started. She's from New York. She used to teach at NYU, this is her actually, hey Katherine!" Leslie called across the room to a tall, slender brunette who had just entered the lunch room. Her hair was pulled back in a messy bun and she wore a pair of thick black glasses over her blue eyes. She wore a pair of cargo pants and a superman t-shirt with a tie hung loosely around her neck. She smiled and waved at Leslie awkwardly and walked over.
"Hey," her voice was quite authoritative in contrast to her demeanor.
"Katherine, I want you to meet Howard Wolowitz, Raj Koothrappali, Leonard Hofstadter, and his delusional roommate, Sheldon Cooper," Leslie smirked at Sheldon again. "Guys, this is Dr. Katherine Thrice."
The guys all looked at her with a bit of disbelief.
Katherine smiled awkwardly, "Yeah…the name always gets me a bit of attention. I love "Battlestar" too. It's crazy close to the character's name, I know. You can call me Starbuck. Everyone back in New York did."
"I would not dare call you, someone who obviously has such a lax judge of character to be hanging out with this," Sheldon motioned to Leslie. "Starbuck. It would be an insult to the character. Scratch that! To the woman."
"Sheldon!" Leonard shook his head and shot him an angry look.
Sheldon just shrugged. Katherine looked at the table wide eyed, unsure of what to say.
"Just ignore him, he's an ass hat," Leslie reassured.
Sheldon glared at her once more and continued to eat his food.
"Why don't you two pull up a seat and eat with us?" Howard suggested with a sly smile. "You can sit next to me, Katherine. Or should I say, Starbuck." He smirked. Katherine cringed, but smiled all the same.
"Actually I already ate," Leslie said. "And I'd really rather not sit next to him." She pointed at Sheldon, who once again, ignored her and continued to eat. "Katherine, I'll see you back in the lab." And Leslie was gone.
Katherine smiled at the table awkwardly and grabbed a chair at the next table and sat at the head of the table between Sheldon and Leonard, not wanting to get too close to this Howard character.
"So, Dr. Thrice, what brings you to the University?" Leonard asked with a polite smile.
"Oh please, call me Katherine. Or Starbuck. Doctor makes me feel all grown up," she smiled. "I'm starting research on the idea that Chaos in Quantum Chromodynamics and the Hadron Spectrum can affect the universe, not just on a small scale, like previously proved."
Sheldon scoffed. Leonard threw him a look. Katherine turned toward Sheldon and as politely as she could asked, "And what, may I ask, is wrong?"
"Oh here we go," Howard groaned. The one known as Raj leaned over and whispered something in Howard's ear. "Yes, yes, we all know he's about to rant, Raj," Howard said out loud. Katherine would question that in a moment, but first, Sheldon had started to talk.
"It is impossible to prove something like that on a large scale without physically going into space and testing Chaos in Quantum Chromodynamics and the Hadron Spectrum across the universe," he said smugly.
Something dawned on Katherine at that moment. "You're Dr. Sheldon Cooper."
"Well yes, we established this about ten minutes ago," he replied matter-of-factly.
"You're the theoretical physicist who has spent the last six years trying to prove String Theory," Katherine was smiling now.
Sheldon glared at her, his left eye starting to twitch, "Why, may I ask, are you smiling like that?"
She continued to smile, "You can't prove it." And now Leonard, Howard, and Raj were taking great joy in watching this interaction.
"Excuse me?" Sheldon continue to stare at this woman.
Katherine cleared her throat and continued, "You can't prove string theory unless you can gather monopoles from the North Pole to confirm your theories, and if I recall correctly from your paper published two years ago, you didn't find anything."
Sheldon glared at her for another moment, stood with his tray, and said to Leonard, "I'm going back to my office. Don't let her sit with us again." And stomped off, leaving this new woman and his three best friends laughing.
"Katherine, that was awesome!" Howard exclaimed.
"Guys, we shouldn't poke fun at his misfindings," Leonard said with smile. "But it was pretty awesome, Starbuck."
Katherine smiled, "No, I shouldn't have done that. I'll go apologize. It really is very frustrating to have people say things like that about your research." She paused and stood to leave, "I should get back to work anyway. It was fun meeting you all."
"Wait!" Leonard said. "You're new in town, it would be rude not to invite you over for dinner with us." He gestured to the table. "You're welcome to come by tonight and eat and annoy Sheldon some more."
Katherine smiled, "I'd love to. Email me your address and I'll stop by after work. Seven o'clock alright?"
"Sounds great. See you tonight!" Leonard waved goodbye.
Sheldon was not pleased with this new woman at the University. She annoyed him. It had put him in a foul mood for the rest of the day. He gladly welcomed the end of the day and was very pleased to finally be home after a quiet drive home. He took his place behind his laptop at his desk and started to check his online forums and such.
"Hey guys!" Penny had just come marching in, her sunny disposition was all too irritating for Sheldon to handle right now.
"Why don't you ever knock?" he snapped.
"Ignore him," Leonard said while giving his girlfriend a peck on the lips. "He had a run in with a new theoretical physicist at the University today who basically owned his ass."
Penny smiled, "When do I get to meet her?"
"Tonight!" Leonard exclaimed happily.
"What?" Sheldon turned and stared at his roommate.
"Oh did I forget to mention? I invited Katherine to have dinner with us tonight," Leonard tried extremely hard to hide the smile crawling across his face.
Sheldon's left eye started to twitch once again, "Why? Why did you do that? You saw how rude she was to me at lunch today!"
"Precisely why I invited her," Leonard remarked back, no longer hiding his smile.
Sheldon glared and huffed a sigh of annoyance, "Well this is just great."
At that moment Raj, Howard, and Bernadette came through the door.
"Does no one knock anymore!?" Sheldon screeched marching off to his room.
"Chill dude, we brought Chinese," Howard yelled after him, taken aback while raising the familiar bag from Seshwan Palace.
"Great, come on in guys, Katherine should be here any minute," Leonard said, grabbing the bag from Howard. "Raj, want to help me get plates and cups for everyone? Penny, you think you can grab a chair or two from your apartment so we can fit everyone?"
Katherine locked her cherry red Vespa Scooter up to a telephone pole outside of Leonard and Sheldon's apartment building at 6:58.
Perfect timing. She smiled to herself and clipped her helmet to her messenger bag before entering the building. She was happy to have been invited to dinner. Back in New York she had a very close group of friends, also teachers at NYU, who she missed a great deal. She had to leave though. The city setting was just getting to be too much for her and she needed a change. She had gotten a call for Dr. Eric Gablehauser a few months back and after a bad break up from a fellow teacher she decided it was time to call him back and change her settings. She hoped tonight would be the first step in creating a new group of friends she could call "like family." She had trekked the four flights of stairs and knocked three concise times on apartment 4A's door. When the door opened she was greeted by a living room full of people. Katherine smiled, Here we go.