Disclaimer: All rights and characters belong to Chuck Lorre and CBS. Nothing is mine but the creativity and storyline.

Howard couldn't focus on the road as he drove home from Leonard's apartment that night. It was at least 9:30pm and the road was fairly dark considering his headlights were on and all the streetlamps were lit. Maybe it was Leonard's mother darkening everything she touched.

He sighed deeply, and his one sound bounced off the inside of the car and echoed around him. Somehow it made him feel more alone than ever.

Instinctively, he looked to his right at the empty passenger seat beside him, wishing for someone to fill it. He already had an image in his mind whom that person would be, and it wasn't Halle Berry.

Leonard's mom's words swam around his ears for what felt like the millionth time that night. An 'ersatz homosexual marriage'? Him and Raj? No, no, no-no-no, nono... They were best friends, nothing more.

Even as the thought crossed his mind, his chest tightened and he found it difficult to breathe. He hoped to God it was just his transient idiopathic arrhythmia and nothing more.

His grip tightened on the wheel until his knuckles turned a pasty-white. Even though it was freezing cold outside, he suddenly began to sweat in his turtleneck and skinny-jeans. He automatically put a little more pressure on the accelerator, hoping that the faster he got home that faster those words would get out of his mind.

What was he overreacting about it for, anyway? He bet Raj wouldn't be worrying about it as bad as he was. But, to be fair, Raj would have more reason to worry than he did. Raj had slept with fewer women.

He decided not to think on it, and turned the radio up full blast as he drew nearer his house.

Once he pulled up into his drive, he heard his mother call from inside.

"Howard, is that you?"

He sighed in exasperation. "Yes, of course it's me, Ma, who else would pull up on the driveway at nine-thirty at night!"

"Did you have fun with all your little friends?"

"For God's sake, Ma, I'm twenty-eight years old!"

"Well EXCUSE me, Mr. Big-shot!"

Just as he began trudging up his driveway – almost tempted to stick a long cotton-swab into his ear cavity – his cell phone vibrated in his pocket. He stopped to fish it out, with difficulty, from his skinny-jeans pocket.

Once it was free, he glanced down at the caller screen.

RAJ – it said.

A/N: Aww :) You decide what happens next. Does he answer, or does he realise it will hurt too damn bad to hear Raj's voice?

I just wrote this on a wimb, really. :P I hope you enjoyed anyway.

Thanks for reading, reviews = love! :D

Kelly xxx