For those of you who are following The Natural Selection Examination - Never fear! I haven't given up on that story or anything. I just don't have the time to devote to it right now, and it's a little heavy to work on as a study break. So here's this instead! There will be one more chapter.
"For someone who is so goddamned smart, you sure say a lot of stupid things!" Penny screamed at Sheldon before stalking out of the apartment and slamming the door behind her.
Sheldon seethed in his spot. That woman! When she wasn't busy eating his food and taking up space on the couch, she was finding ways to dig under his skin and drive him crazy. Everything she said seemed to be part of an elaborate plot to unhinge his concentration and kick his compulsions into high gear.
"What was that about?" Leonard asked, emerging from his room. "Was that Penny yelling?"
"Yes," Sheldon responded curtly. "I was sitting just as I am now, my attention wholly focused on my manuscript, when she barged into the apartment, sat down right there," he pointed forcefully at the couch cushion next to him, "and switched on the television. When I calmly asked her to turn off the television, she told me to 'loosen up' and proceeded to watch a show that featured those horrendous Kardashian sisters."
"I'm not finished. Once the television lost its entertainment value, she began to ask me questions. She wanted to hear a good joke. After a moment of consideration, I decided that a joke based upon quantum mechanics would be more her speed than a string theory joke."
Leonard blinked. "Did you. What was the joke?"
"Heisenberg went for a drive and was stopped by a traffic cop. The cop asked, 'Do you know how fast you were going?' Heisenberg replied, 'No, but I know where I am.' " Sheldon inhaled quickly a couple of times in response to his own joke.
"Ha ha. So I'm guessing she didn't get it?"
"Of course not. At this point, I had already wasted ten minutes of my day catering to her short attention span and was out of patience. So, in response to her blank stare, I told her she should find something else to do if my jokes were too intelligent for her. She then called me a 'jerk' and accused me of calling her stupid. I argued that I never said such a thing, although the evidence certainly speaks for itself."
"Ouch," Leonard winced. "Jeez, Sheldon."
"Then she stormed out and you decided to pick up where she left off." Sheldon looked down at his laptop and resumed typing. "I'm busy. Please leave me alone."
"First off," Leonard began, "You're in the living room, which is a shared space that invites social interaction. If you don't want anyone to bother you, hole yourself up in your room and do your work there."
"But I don't do my work in my room," Sheldon said, matter-of-fact. "I do my work in the living room."
"Secondly, you can't just be mean to people like that, especially Penny. She tolerates a lot of crap from you and you probably hurt her feelings by calling her stupid."
"I did not call her stupid!" Sheldon insisted. "And I would contend that I tolerate far more 'crap' from her. She interrupts me constantly, eats my food, steals my milk, makes fun of me, and generally does things that she knows will unnerve me. And when she is not on my Halo team, she makes a concentrated effort to hunt down my character and kill me over and over," he pouted. "She is a thorn in my side and I cannot for the life of me figure out why I humor her so often."
"She also sings Soft Kitty to you when you are sick," Leonard pointed out, "And took you suit shopping once. She drives you to work or to the comic book store when I can't and makes you spaghetti with little hot dogs. You may not have a roommate agreement with her, but she is definitely your best friend, because she puts up with way more of your behavioral quirks than I do." He waved a finger in Sheldon's face. "And you humor her because somewhere deep down, you realize that she's far nicer to you than you deserve."
Sheldon was indignant but did not respond to the statement. "Leonard, please go away."
"Not until you march across the hall and apologize to Penny."
"Why in the world would I do such a thing?" Sheldon was incredulous. "I am certainly not in the wrong."
"You hurt her feelings. Go apologize."
"How do you know that I- why is it even- there are far more important things that I should be doing!"
"You aren't gonna win the Nobel Prize tomorrow, Sheldon. Just do it. If you don't, I will sit here and turn the TV back on and watch Babylon 5 for the rest of the night."
"Oh, fine!" Sheldon finally yielded with a sigh. "But I don't think it will do any good."