Okay, this is the final chapter. Hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks so much to everyone who reviewed.
Disclaimer: I still own nothing.
When the six reached 4A they found Raj laying on the couch, the coffee table littered with empty beer bottles and a few potatoes, prompting Amy to wonder if, in his desperation for alcohol, Raj had attempted to make vodka – a rather pointless endeavour, though, seeing as it would take him two weeks. The astrophysicist also had a Mario Kart Wii wheel in his hands and was lazily turning it in circles; Amy figured this was a testament to how intoxicated he was, considering that neither the television nor the Wii were turned on.
"Hey, buddy," Howard said, moving to sit on the arm of the couch.
Raj slowly tilted his head back so he could see the engineer. He blinked up at Howard. "You guys suck," he mumbled.
At a nudge from Leonard, Sheldon stepped forward. He went to stand in front of his spot and then looked at the astrophysicist. "Raj," he said, wringing his hands. "You're feet are in my spot."
"Sheldon," Leonard sighed, folding his arms across his chest.
The theoretical physicist cleared his throat. "But that is, of course, unimportant, for the moment." He hesitantly moved to sit down on the arm of the chair, a look of upmost discomfort on his face. He turned to look at Raj again. "I would just like you to know that I am very sorry for depriving you of a night of playing three person chess, and, as compensation, I have a proposition for you."
Raj lifted his head, eyes growing wide. "I get to sit in your spot?" he asked, hopefully.
"Don't be silly."
Penny rolled her eyes.
"But, not to worry," Sheldon continued. "I think you'll find my offer much more satisfying." He stood and headed towards the hallway, motioning for Raj to follow him.
The astrophysicist shrugged and then clumsily pulled himself up from the couch to follow the theoretical physicist.
Penny raised an eyebrow as she watched the two disappear down the hall. "Do we want to know what this proposition is?"
"Well," Leonard started before thinking better of it. He shook his head. "Yeah, probably not."
Amy, on the other hand, was quite curious as to what Sheldon had in mind for Raj, and hurried after them down the hall, ignoring the questioning remarks she got from Penny. She found the two standing just outside of Sheldon's room. Raj had a large grin on his face and was vigorously shaking the theoretical physicist's hand.
Sheldon grinned upon noticing her arrival. "Oh, good, Amy, perfect timing," he said. "I've found a solution to our problem."
"Problem?" Amy asked, already not liking where this was going.
"Yes, our issue with the alliances and who'd have the most power in a crisis."
No, this was certainly not good. "I was under the impression that we'd already solved that problem," she pointed out, frowning.
"Yes, but now I've found a better solution," the theoretical physicist explained, grinning from ear to ear. He gestured towards the astrophysicist. "Given that Raj's family is rich, by aligning ourselves with him, we gain the upper hand because we'll have the funds to pay off anyone who tries to oppose our decisions." He nodded proudly.
Raj stumbled forward and raised his hand up to Amy. "Up top, alliance buddy." Before the neurobiologist had a chance to give him a high five – not that she felt like giving anyone a high five at this point – Raj thrust his hand forward, missing both of hers completely, and then headed back down the hall towards the living room.
Still beaming broadly, Sheldon made his way to the living room, reluctantly followed by Amy. That was it for her master plan. A stroke of brilliance she'd thought flawless gone down the drain. She knew there was no way she'd be able to talk Sheldon out of his new plan – it lacked romantic outings, conversations, and physical contact - , and now that Raj was involved, it seemed unfair to try and break up this new alliance. Still, it left the neurobiologist feeling rather disappointed; all that work and now she still had no means of creating more girl time with Penny and Bernadette. She supposed she would just have to begin brainstorming again, though she doubted any plan would even come close to this one.
Penny was sitting on her couch, trying to decide which colour of nail polish would best disguise her man feet, when there was a knock at her door. "Hey, Bernadette," she said, upon opening the door and revealing the microbiologist. "What's up?"
"We have a problem," Bernadette replied, digging through her purse as she entered the apartment. She finally pulled a sheet of paper from her bag and held it out to the waitress. "This."
Penny raised an eyebrow as she took the paper. Her eyes grew wider as she read what was on it.
"I found it in Amy's apartment the other night when we were getting ready for the group date," Bernadette explained, not waiting for Penny to ask.
Penny shook her head incredulously as she looked at the page. It was titled "Operation Bringing Girl Time Back" and then went on to give a detailed summary of how their group date would allow Amy to spend more time with them. It also listed out all the steps the neurobiologist had taken in order to pull off her plan, from convincing Penny and Bernadette to convincing Sheldon.
Finally, Penny lifted her gaze from the sheet of paper and turned it to stare at Bernadette, eyes wide. The microbiologist simply nodded, again, not needing the waitress to speak to know what she was thinking.
"Why would she think she had to do this?" Penny asked, slumping onto the couch. "We spend plenty of time with her."
Bernadette shrugged. "Not as much as we used to. And it's rarely ever all three of us hanging out anymore." She took a seat next to the waitress. "What do you think we should do?"
Penny shrugged, tipping her head back. "I don't know. Do you think, maybe, she'll just get used to it?"
"Judging by the fact that she took the time to come up with that plan, as well as twenty others that are on the back, I'm guessing not."
Penny frowned and flipped the sheet over, eyes bugging out again when saw the contents on the back. "Devise a treasure hunt that will keep Leonard, Howard, Raj, and Sheldon occupied for at least one week." The waitress turned to raise an eyebrow at the microbiologist. "You're right. We have to do something."
"Leslie Winkle called me dumbass today."
Amy frowned, tilting her laptop so she had a better view of the screen. "I see. And are you looking for comfort or a solution to your problem?"
"A solution, of course," Sheldon replied. "My chamomile tea provides comfort enough; I need to figure out a way to best her."
Amy nodded, thoughtful. "Well, if this is a war in which colourful names are the primary weapon, then perhaps you should seek out the help of a blog or book dedicated to insulting names."
The theoretical physicist cocked his head. "There are books about mean nicknames?"
"No, but there are books about bullying, and those are full of colourful names. I'd suggest looking in the children's section."
Sheldon frowned, looking dubious. "The last time I relied on the help of a children's book, I ended up suspended in midair, unconscious."
Amy was about to ask for the details of the situation, when she was interrupted by a knock at the door.
"It appears you have company," Sheldon commented, glancing in the direction of her door, even though he couldn't see it. "I'm in no mood for group socialization, so I'll sign off now."
Amy gave a quick nod before getting up to answer the door.
"And don't forget, we're meeting at Koothrappali's this Sunday to discuss the rules for our alliance!" Sheldon called.
The neurobiologist sighed, shaking her head. Being in an alliance with Sheldon and Raj was actually quite enjoyable, and the perks of knowing you had power over the group whenever needed were quite nice, but it did take up time better spent planning ways to have more girl time. At least the treasure hunt she'd been working on was coming along nicely.
It was Penny and Bernadette at the door.
"Hey, Amy," Penny said. Both women were smiling brightly.
"Hi," she said, stepping back to let the two in. "What are you guys doing here?"
"We came to see if you wanted to hang out on Saturday," Bernadette replied, grinning.
"Really?" Amy asked, trying not to sound too excited. For the past while she'd been the asker in these situations, hardly ever the askee. But, still, she wanted to play this cool.
"Yeah," Penny said. "It's been a while since we've had some girl time. We really need to make more time for it."
"Really?" she repeated, this time doing an even worse job of 'keeping her cool'. She cleared her throat. "Yeah, sure. That's cool. Whatever," she said, overly casual as she tried to dial it back down.
The waitress and microbiologist grinned at each other.
"So, any ideas on what we should do?" Bernadette asked.
"Row boating," Amy said immediately.
"Row boating?" Penny asked, raising an eyebrow.
The neurobiologist nodded. Ever since she'd seen the three women row boating in the film they'd watched during the group date, she'd made a note to try it with Penny and Bernadette at some point.
Penny and Bernadette glanced at each other and then both shrugged. "Okay," Penny agreed. "We're going row boating."
Bernadette did a small fist pump. "Yes!" she said, trying to add a bit more enthusiasm to the idea.
"Yay!" she said, clapping her hands before engulfing to the two women in a hug. She was getting her girl time back, and, oddly enough, it had nothing to do with any of her master plans. They really were quite ingenious, but Amy liked things better this way. She wasn't manoeuvring herself into her Bestie and Bernadette's lives; they wanted her there, and no master plan could beat that. Although, she was still intrigued by her treasure hunt idea. She made a note to save that one for another time.