Here's the final chapter. And please don't be mad… :D
I still only own the characters I've created, so…Martha?
The residents of the apartment building gathered in the building's lobby. The wall across from the stairs, where the boxes had been lined up the day before, now housed a podium with a microphone that cheesily served as the announcement booth. The hefty woman standing at the microphone was named Martha, and she was detailing the amount of money that was raised in the Penny War, and how much that would help the cause. Then she began to discuss the actual individual achievements.
"We do have tallies from each individual apartment," said Martha, "if any of the teams are curious as to who individually had the most positive points."
"Do we want to know?" Leonard asked, glancing at his two partners in crime.
Penny looked at him, then at Sheldon, who in turn looked at her, and then Leonard. "Do we?" Penny asked.
"We had a bet!" Sheldon said. "We have to know who won it! But…I guess if all parties involved agree to nullify the aforementioned bet, it would be acceptable to not know."
Leonard saw Penny smirk at Sheldon's words, just a little bit. Clearly, she thought Sheldon was afraid that she'd won, hence his pretended hesitance at agreeing that the winner of the bet would remain unknown. He just didn't want to admit it.
"Well, I'm fine with us not knowing," Penny said, shrugging.
"Me, too," Leonard said, nodding. He really didn't care at all; he wasn't really involved in the bet, and if Sheldon thought Penny won and her winning didn't really mean, by the bet's rules, that anything drastic happened, there was really no point in finding out. "So the bet's off?"
Penny nodded. "The bet's off." The trio nodded at each other, and then looked toward the front as Martha stepped up to the microphone.
"Okay, and now we'll announce the winner," Martha said, and the lobby got quiet again. "The winning team, with a winning margin of only eight hundred positive points, is the entry of…" she paused and looked up to scan the crowd.
"Oh, stop the Hollywood drama," muttered Mrs. Grossinger.
"The fourth floor!" Martha announced.
"Yeah!" Sheldon said, throwing his hands up. "In your faces, fellow residents!"
"All right!" Penny said, looking at Leonard in surprise as he watched as Sheldon continued to sport a triumphant grin, Leonard himself just shaking his head in amusement. "What's up with you?"
Leonard gave a smile and half heartedly pumped his fist in the air. "We won," he said in mock enthusiasm.
"Well, some of us are actually competitive and care," she said, laughing.
He laughed. "I care. I was just enjoying watching Sheldon care."
"Congratulations," Martha said, handing them an envelope. "Your rent free card, so to speak, is in there; split it any way that you want. Do you want to know which of the two rooms had the most points?"
Penny glanced behind her, where the other residents were heading upstairs. "No, we don't want to know."
"Nope," Sheldon said, shaking his head. "Why would we want to know? We didn't have a bet."
"We called off the bet," Leonard said. "Remember?"
"I know," Sheldon said, twitching slightly.
"Me, too," Penny said, nodding.
Leonard could tell that both of them really wanted to know, just for the sake of knowing, who had won. In truth, now that he knew that they could know, Leonard kind of wanted to know, too. Martha's amused smile told them that she knew that they wanted the information, too. "Anyone?" she asked.
Penny, Leonard, and Sheldon looked at each other. Penny lifted her shoulders slightly; Sheldon looked at Leonard, and Leonard raised an eyebrow and sighed. Then they turned to Martha and spoke the same lie at the same time. "No." Leonard didn't even tell himself that 'no' was the truth. He knew it wasn't, just as he knew that Sheldon next to him and Penny two feet in front of him were also lying. They wanted to know. But the only way to truly be unable to go through with the bet was to not know.
"Okay," Martha said, smiling in clear amusement. "Will do. Thank you all for participating. It's going to a good cause."
Then she glanced at Penny, and then glanced at Leonard and Sheldon and winked.
"Well, we'll never know who won," Leonard said casually as the three of them climbed the stairs.
"Unfortunately," Sheldon said. "Amy Farrah Fowler will be so disappointed."
"She will?" Penny said in disbelief.
"I think that was a 'bazinga'," Leonard told her.
"Not necessarily," Sheldon said. "I have no idea if she'll take this information well or not. But I feel that she is a very competitive individual, with her constant insistence that her work is better than mine. So she will be upset to know that we…failed."
"Hey, you guys had almost everyone helping you," Penny said. "I'm sure you guys did great. I only had me and Bernadette."
"Bernadette and I," Sheldon corrected.
"Whatever." Penny rolled her eyes. "But my point is, I'm sure you guys did great."
"Thank you. We're sure you did just amazing, too," Leonard said.
"Thanks," she said, smiling. "But we'll never know, will we?"
"Nope," Leonard said, trying not to smile. Sheldon simply shook his head. "We'll never know."
Leonard and Sheldon closed the door to their apartment and high-fived. "We so won!" Leonard said.
Sheldon crossed over to his board, where the tally marks had been added up over the course of the week. He changed the current standings, Leonard and Sheldon, 6 and Penny 8 (unfortunately) to Sheldon and Leonard, infinity, Penny, zero. Then, what Leonard had said to him appeared to sink in, and Sheldon turned to face his roommate. "Really? That's what that suspicious wink was telling us?" Sheldon said, and then cocked his head slightly to the side. "Did you pick up on my sarcasm?"
"Yes," Leonard said, amused. "And Penny has no idea!"
"And she never will," Sheldon said, looking excited. "Classic."
Bernadette picked up on the second ring. "So?"
"We ended up winning!" Penny said. "So I have some money that I won't have to spend next month."
"Who got the most positive points?" the other waitress asked.
"Well," Penny said, "We called off the bet, so it didn't matter; we were just happy to have teamed up to beat the others in the building. We decided that we didn't want to know. Well…we said we didn't want to know, but the lady who announced could totally tell that we wanted to know. And…" Penny lowered her voice to a stage whisper. "Then she glanced at me and winked. So I totally won. Leonard and Sheldon just don't know that. And they never will."
Bernadette giggled happily. "Classic."
Sorry, I had to end it like this! And it wasn't impulse, I thought about it, that's for sure, and I just decided this was how I wanted to do it.