I just watched The Guitarist Amplification with my incredible friends over at Fanforum and our discussion of our favorite part of that episode inspired this entire fic. It doesn't get into stuff that happened in the episode until near the end, but I needed something to lead up to it.

Hopefully, this'll do a little to make up for not only not having a new episode this week, we didn't even have a rerun! But I can't get too angry at March Madness.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. *sad* I allude to a Sara Evans song in the final sentence - don't think it necessarily needs credit but I will since I thought of the song and then the sentence.

Leonard and Penny have kissed countless times. In public places, in front of their friends, and in private. And he loved kissing her. He'd thought about it a lot when they'd first met, back when she was just the pretty girl next door who he kinda wanted to get some action with. She'd kissed him for the first time a month and a half after they'd met, when she was drunk and upset and he'd sent her home before they'd do something that he knew he'd regret later, even if at the time it honestly seemed like a fantastic idea. They'd kissed several more times within their first two years of knowing each other, from that time they'd opened the box and let loose a shower of sparks to the time that the lime oddly wasn't where he'd remembered it when he closed his eyes, his lips meeting hers instead of the sour fruit, although he could taste the lime on her lips as it overpowered part of the taste of her.

Then their relationship had started, and he already knew what kissing her was like but he hadn't expected how different it felt when he knew where it was going. Their kisses as a couple weren't going to end with awkward expressions or the inability to make eye contact. Somehow knowing that she was his made every time their lips locked even more special, just as the sex became, over time, not just a series of hookups but an intimate relationship with a woman who he'd wanted, but never really expected, to feel more strongly for than any other relationship he'd had, even when it hadn't lasted as long as his other girlfriends.

He hadn't known what it was like to sleep with her before they got together, so he never had the chance to make the comparison between a casual fling and anything meaningful, but he figured that their awkward first time counted for that. They'd gotten past that 'not bad, but not great' stage very quickly, anyway. He'd never known what it was like to really care for the person he was with before he was with Penny. Before, it was just something he enjoyed doing. Now, it meant something, even though it was frequent, and he was unprepared for feeling that way. He'd heard of relationships like this one, sure, but no one really knows what it's like until it's experienced.

Despite all of these feelings swarming inside of him from their first real date as a couple, when he took her to the restaurant they'd been to on their date the year before, they strengthened immensely after their first fight. A fight was a test, their first real test as a couple. The disappointing sex? Breaking up over that, with no regret, was for couples that didn't really care about each other in the first place. They were never going to break up over that. Their first fight, however, scared him just a little. It brought up issues of honesty, trust, and exactly what they didn't like about each other. It wasn't enough for him to want to break up with her, but he wasn't sure how she felt about him. He thought her feelings for him were at least similar to his for her, but this fight, to him, was like asking her a question.

Am I worth it to you?

Hearing her tell Sheldon, and partly overhear her tell Stuart, that the fight was no big thing, and that couples fight and it's not a big deal, was a relief for him. He wasn't crazy thinking this relationship was real. He was her boyfriend, and she wasn't going to dump him over an ex from long ago.

"I talked to Justin," Penny said, coming into her apartment later that night. "He won't be staying here."

"Thank you," Leonard said quietly. He looked away, and then back up at her from his seat on the couch. "You know I do trust you."

She sighed, looking tired. She came and sat next to him. "I know you do." She looked from her knees to his face, and then put her hands on his cheeks, kissing him, that wonderful kiss that lit him aflame. He knew now that that same fire was burning in her.

Later, as they laid in her bed, Penny on her side with an arm around him, and his arm around her, he thought about how far they'd come. How much more the kissing meant, how much more the sex meant…and then he realized that what he loved most of all was just lying here with her, feeling her make sure she was as close as possible to him, and smiling both inside and out when she reached her nose up to nuzzle his chin. He tipped his nose down toward hers. She smiled. And even though they'd already apologized, he felt that suddenly, now, they were completely okay, all leftover anger dissipated. They were still as affectionate as always. And a little bit stronger than before.

Hope you liked it! And I'm sorry; still not getting review alerts so I'll respond as I remember to check the fic! Same goes for my other ones.