Author : Mirumo

Title : Five Stages

Rating : PG

Genre : Friendship & Romance. Set between 3x19 and 3x20, so mentions of L/P, and some very very vague implications of S/P.

Length : 1346

Disclaimer : My witty way to say that The Big Bang Theory, "I will survive" and the theory of the five stages of grief don't belong to me is : I don't have a witty say to say it, I've run out of ideas. How mise en abyme is that?

Notes : OK, it has surely been done at least a hundred of times, but as my German teacher always tells me when I don't want to express myself and I pretext that someone else already said everything that I had thought about : "Two persons can't think the same time, and they also can't say it with the exact same words. Also, Claire, was denkst du?". So, here's my version of Penny dealing with her break-up with Leonard, and Sheldon meddling in.

And as always, go watch Jim Parsons at the Golden Globes.

"At first I was afraid, I was petrified, kept thinking I could never live without you by my side ... "

Though Gloria Gaynor seemed to be doing well and shouted it at the top of her lungs, Penny wasn't. She might be singing along in a croaked voice - due to tears, a slight amount of alcohol and a singing voice that naturally sounded really bad when it hit a certain decibel level -, but the fervour implied by the lyrics really wasn't with it. It had been a couple of weeks since her break-up with Leonard and she had been through a lot of emotions and attitudes.

At first, she had been incredibly angry. Angry at herself, angry at Leonard, angry at that Wheaton guy for messing up with her head, angry at the costumers of the Cheesecake Factory that pissed her off ... Two of her pillows, a glass and a teddy bear had learned that she didn't do well with objects when she was angry. Wolowitz (and his crotch) had learned that she didn't do well with humans either, when he had tried to hit on her.

A few days later, she'd started to deny what had happened. She had put so much hope in this relationship, she thought it would be so different with a good guy like Leonard, and things had just got out of control in two days. And when she felt the thought that she had made a mistake going out with him like with all the other guys appearing in her mind, she went to that beautiful reassuring place called Denial. Then it happened that denial wasn't even reassuring anymore ; it just saddened her even more.

She had replaced it with bargaining. She wasn't a believer, but she sometimes caught herself begging someone, or something, assuring that she would do anything to go back in time and make things right. But even that hadn't worked long. Because of the stupid and depressing realisation that she would rather go back in time and not go out with Leonard in the first place so nobody would get hurt.

So there she was, on a Saturday afternoon, depressing, in a Nebraska sweater, yellow panties and sport socks, her hair sadly falling on her shoulders, trying to drink herself to death with a really bad vodka, singing I will survive two seconds late on Gloria Gaynor.

"... I should've changed that stupid lock, I should've made you leave your keys, if I had known for just one second you'd be back to bother me ... "

She vaguely heard three sets of knocks and three "Penny" in between, and shouted to come in. Great. Her neurotic neighbour. Who currently looked highly confused, as the young woman had just gone from "Come in!" to the "Go on, now go, walk out the door ... " part of the song. She sighed, already feeling on the edge of a breakdown, and knowing that it wouldn't make her feel better to listen to Sheldon Cooper explaining to her that, although she was upset about her doomed-to-fail relationship with Leonard, she shouldn't disturb grand scientific researches with such futile stories, even if the universal balance between useful and useless relied on her teeny tiny brain being only preoccupied by dumb things.

Better go directly to the apologies he was waiting from her than suffering a condescending speech.

"OK, Sheldon, I'm sorry for the loud music, I'll tune it down ; please, spare me the complains."

Sheldon looked genuinely surprised, still standing in the threshold.

"Why on Earth would you think I was going to complain?

- What?

- Well, your music has indeed crossed the line in good neighbouring terms, but it is obvious that you're currently in no state of being complained to." explained Sheldon as if it was the most evident thing in the world. "Although I do not agree with Plato's statement that no one is intentionally mean, I can't find any form of endearment in explaining what she is doing wrong to a person who, not only is without a doubt experimenting the fourth stage of grief, i.e. depression, but who also would feel a lot worse after it. I'd rather come back when you've reached acceptance, which is the fifth and final stage, and complain to you then."

Penny swallowed, confused and somehow moved :

"Well then ... why did you come here?

- Penny. Although your poorly singing over resentful music proved that you were alive, and therefore hadn't committed suicide, said-singing sounded highly tearful. Moreover, it is your behaviour of the past two weeks that indicated to me that you were going trough the so-called "five stages of grief", and depression is by far the most dangerous stage for someone as emotional as you : given how I saw you overreact the last thirteen days, I wouldn't have been surprised to find you lying dead across your sofa, after having mixed one of your numerous liquors with amounts of medications in a childish attempt at getting back at Leonard. If you did so, the daily schedule that you carelessly started to disorganise three years ago and that I entirely re-did in order to fit you in would be completely disturbed : if you ever attempted to take your own life, there would be no one in the laundry room when I come in on Saturday, which is laundry day. I would be confused, and lose time searching for you. Then, at the Cheesecake Factory, you would be replaced by some other waitress, to whom I would have to explain all over again the special indications for my orders. I would again lose precious time, and go to bed after my schedule. I would start to feel more and more tired, wake up late, miss work, the future of science would be suddenly uncertain, and before you know it, it's chaos. I am, therefore, checking on you to make sure that you're feeling alright and not suicidal.

- Woah ... Um ...

- ... but now I'm saving all my lovin' for someone who's loving me ... "

Before Penny could think of something to answer, overwhelmed by several emotions, Sheldon spoke again, in a robot tone that however didn't attenuate the warm feeling in her chest (Sheldon was being nice and caring! That didn't happen a lot, and it always took place in the weirdest way - a Sheldon way - that most people would take for insanity or rudeness, but it always made her heart melt. Like the first time he'd hugged her. You can't help but feel pretty darn special when someone you admire and who doesn't share emotions with people shows you that he cares about you. And tells you that it would be chaos in his crazily neatly-organised life if you weren't here).

"However, you seem to be doing decently good. I am certain you will manage to struggle through this awful state and reach acceptance on your own. When you do so, please indicate it to me, so that I can complain to you about the loud music, and other exasperating disturbs in my schedule. But before you do, please don't try to attempt suicide."

And with that he was gone without another look, shutting the door silently. Gloria Gaynor was still singing her revenge, and kept on doing so until the song was over, but without Penny.

" ... and as long as I'll know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. I've got all my life to live, and I've got all my love to give ... "

Penny eventually admitted that she had reached acceptance thanks to Sheldon and his gesture, which had meant a great deal to her, even if it didn't to him. She would never admit it to him directly, though. Too proud for that. But she was pretty sure he knew it too. How could it be otherwise? She had obviously became peaceful, content and back to a normal Penny lifestyle the morning after Sheldon's visit.

A/N : I don't know about you guys, but I always thought that "I will survive" was the best break-up song ever.

I was going for a drabble, there! And not a fluffy one as it is! I just wanted a really quick thing showing the song, Penny depressed, and Sheldon explaining that he wouldn't complain to her because she wasn't well. I didn't want such obvious display of Shenny-ness, but hey, it caught me off guard.

Best of luck to all of you, please review and I'll offer you virtual pot cakes that will make you want to become king of rabbits.