Penny was not sure why she was sitting on the roof; the one thing she was sure of would be Sheldon's reaction to her sitting in his chair. She knew it was Sheldon's-who else would shrink-wrap a lawn chair? It was quiet on the roof and all she could hear were the faint sounds of the traffic below. Up here she had time to think, to try and work out how things had gone so wrong.
The break up with Leonard had been hard and had been over something so simple
"Penny I love you"
All she had to do was say it back and move on. Maybe old Penny (party girl Penny) would have lead Leonard on but not now. Over the last four years (Had it been that long?), she had changed. Hanging out with the guys most nights had changed her. Leonard, sweet puppy dog eyed Leonard, had followed her around since she had moved in only asking for the odd hug and a smile. At any other time when he asked her to go out with him, she would have put him off. She knew 'friends don't date' but she was just getting over her break up with Mike "that rat bastard" so she had agreed to go out with him which made Leonard a very happy man.
So whatever it was they had slowly limped along but she was happy for it took all the worry out of dating. Leonard was a safe bet. He would never cheat on her it was cute the way he would introduce her as "this is my girlfriend Penny". None of her other boyfriends had had the time.
Then Leonard had dropped the 'L' word when they were in bed and had just had sex. Poor Leonard was out of breath but he was so happy when his "I love you" had brought the whole illusion crashing down. All she could think to say was "thank you" as she turned over. She did not see the pain on Leonard's face. She woke later to find Leonard was gone. Penny cried herself back to sleep, she knew things would never be the same. She had not left the apartment for two days not sure what to say to Leonard or any of the guys. Then on the Friday morning
Penny opened the door, before Sheldon could finish
"Yes Sheldon" Penny snapped. The look of disbelief on Sheldon's face made Penny bite her lip. Sheldon moved closer 'knock'
She had to smile "Sheldon, what do you want?". Even as she said it, she knew she was setting herself up for an answer that could go on for some time.
" Penny, it is not what I want, it is what the world wants,. For Sheldon Cooper to prove string theory and win the Nobel Prize".
Penny could only look at Sheldon. No matter what happened there was always Sheldon; she hoped she could keep him in her life.
"Sorry Sheldon, I don't think I can afford to piss off the world right now." She smiled "How can I help?". Sheldon looked at Penny, his head to one side
"Was that sarcasm?"
"Little bit but now, Sheldon, what do you really want?"
"Penny" The same look of disbelief, "Were you not listening? The world…"
"Yes, yes Sheldon, the world blah, blah, blah" Penny rubbed her forehead. Talking with Sheldon was fun but not always. " Tell me without using the words ' world, Nobel or string thingy'. What the hell do you want?". Sheldon looked at Penny as if she had turned into a six foot man eating tapeworm, something which he knew he would now dream about.
" 'String thingy', Penny? 'String thingy'?"
"Sheldon you are 10 seconds from getting the door in your face".
This seemed to slow Sheldon down "Penny you were not at work last night to serve me my barbecue bacon cheese burger. I was forced to go to Big Boy which ,as you know, is my plan 'B' site but my whole schedule was off by then". Sheldon looked down at Penny, awaiting a response. As he looked at her, he saw something change. A light seemed to go out in her eyes; her smiled slipped
"I'm sorry, Sheldon." She closed the door. Sheldon went to knock again. What kind of answer was "I'm sorry"? His Vulcan ears picked up crying coming from inside the apartment. Sheldon did not do well with crying women When he lived back home with his mom and sister Missy, for no reason that he could see they would become moody and start to cry. He had thought to write a paper on it, but he found someone already had. Sheldon walked into his apartment and closed the door.
Sheldon's visit to her apartment had been close on a week ago. Penny had started work again, she had bills to pay. She had been working all late shifts so she would not run into any of the guys. She realized as she sat on the roof it could not last forever, before long she was going to have to face them. She missed her Halo nights in 4A, she missed eating with the guys. Sheldon's little idiosyncrasies -wow, before meeting the guys she would have said he was nut's. Ah' Sheldon and his spot. How she loved pushing him just that little bit to see if he would push back. She had spent almost as much time with him as with Leonard. When they teamed up for Halo, they were unstoppable. Penny remembered all her Saturday nights in the laundry room beginning at 8:15. It was their time. She would talk about work and new TV shows; Sheldon would nod with a small grin without hearing a word she was saying. When she stopped talking, he would give a Sheldon smile-the smile he only gave to her. And she loved him for it.
Sheldon was deep in thought as he climbed the stairs to the roof. This was his new place ' his fortress of solitude'. His life had become intolerable since the messy break up between Leonard and Penny (which Sheldon had foreseen but did they listen?.) Sheldon's life had had order; it had a set schedule. Without scheduled procedure, there was anarchy, without order you had "Team Leonard" which had started on a week long 'break up party', orchestrated by Howard (who else.)
"Sheldon you're part of team Leonard. Join in man. We need to take his mind off things". Howard had tried to be persuasive. Sadly the look Sheldon had given Howard, had not blown his head up. Sheldon stopped at the roof door , the one part he did regret about the break up was Penny. He had allowed her to become part of his life, in such a short time she become his friend. Sheldon sighed. What was wrong with him? His monthly doctor exam could not come a minute too soon.
As Sheldon opened the roof door, he smiled, " At last! Solitude", but today Sheldon was not alone. Someone was sitting in his spot on his roof. He frowned. People don't sit in his spot. Penny stood up at the sound of Sheldon's voice.
Sheldon looked down into Penny's face. It was clear she had been crying (why do women keep doing that?,). Her eyes were red and her face was blotchy.
"Sheldon, sorry about your chair "
She moved to sit on an old box. Sheldon stood and looked at Penny " Penny I come up here for solitude not company".
Penny was taken aback "Oh sorry Sheldon. I'll go", Not long ago, Penny would have stood her ground but the fight wasn't in her at the moment. Even Sheldon didn't want her around.
As the door closed behind Penny, Sheldon pulled some wipes from his pocket and ran them over the chair. His scheduled ordered life had been put into disarray by 'Team Leonard', but he thought Penny had been part of his life and she had walked away, crying.
Sheldon sat and tried to make sense of it . He had never been able to understand so called 'emotions' and had little time for them. He remembered when Missy would come in on a Saturday night after having a fight with her boyfriend (that man had a death wish). His sister would be crying so their mom would bring out the ice cream, and they would sit on Missy's bed, talking and eating ice cream. Sheldon liked ice cream.
Penny groaned as she opened the door "Sheldon I'll clean your chair, ok?" In response to her outburst, Sheldon held out a tub of double chocolate ice cream. Penny could only smile
"Penny, I believe the list of my responsibilities in our friendship contract states that I offer support in times of sadness." He waved the container of ice cream at her.
"Ok, Sheldon." The smile was back in her voice. "I'll get the spoons. Let's talk"