The Kirk-Spock Paradigm

SCENE ONE: Penny's (and Leonard's) apartment. We can see that, in addition to Penny's usual clutter, a little shelf space has been surrendered to Leonard's favorite toys and memorabilia. His computer desk also now sits where her dining table and chairs used to be. Otherwise, the apartment is much the same. PENNY is in the kitchen, preparing breakfast.

PENNY: (calling toward the bedroom) Honey, aren't you up? I'm making you a special breakfast. (two Toaster Streudels pop up in the toaster) And it's ready now!

LEONARD: (calling from offstage) Hang on! (there's a flush; a moment later, he enters in his bathrobe, checking his watch with a grin) 8:20! That felt good.

PENNY: (concerned) Oh, honey, did you eat too much last night?

LEONARD: Oh, no, it's just that Sheldon always uses the bathroom at 8:20, so…I could never use the bathroom at 8:20… Never mind. (crosses to the kitchen counter)

PENNY: No, I totally get it. After living with his rules for so long, any bit of rebellion probably feels great. Like when I first moved out of my parents' house, I ate pizza for breakfast, ice cream for supper, and had at it every night with a different… (changing the subject, she gives him a plate with a streudel on it) Breakfast is ready!

LEONARD: Aw, and you made hearts with the icing, thank you!

PENNY: You're welcome! (kiss, then she instinctively takes her plate to the back of the apartment, but halts when she remembers the computer desk there)

LEONARD: You know, if I move the computer to one side, there could be enough room to make it a dining table too.

PENNY: No, that's okay, let's just eat at the coffee table. I mean, we did it all the time at your place.

LEONARD: Okay.

(as PENNY goes to sit at the coffee table, she picks up some of the clutter from the sofa and just tosses it to the floor to make room to sit; LEONARD picks up the clutter on his side tentatively, trying to find a reasonable place to put it)

PENNY: What's wrong?

LEONARD: Nothing. (he instead drapes the clothes over the back of the sofa and just pushes everything else against the arm to make room to sit) This is nice. By now, Sheldon would've handed me a bowl of oatmeal and would be spending ten minutes lecturing me on the word of the day.

PENNY: Word of the day?

LEONARD: He would tell me a word, give me every definition and conjugation, the etymology and history of usage…I would have to use it in a sentence sometime during the day.

PENNY: Really? What was it yesterday?

LEONARD: "Elucidate".

PENNY: Huh?

LEONARD: "Elucidate". It means to make clear, or explain. (chuckles) See, the word "elucidate" requires elucidation. (PENNY stares blankly) I better get dressed for work.

PENNY: Okay, honey.

(cut to Sheldon's apartment; there's some empty shelf space and the obvious absence of Leonard's computer desk; otherwise, things are the same; SHELDON is in the kitchen, preparing the oatmeal)

SHELDON: Alright, let's see here…standard preparation calls for one and one-fourth cup of water, so half would be five-eighths cup. (looks at the markings on the measuring cup) No five-eighths mark? I knew I shouldn't have relied on Leonard to purchase a reliable measuring cup. (reaches down into the cupboard on the island and brings up a beaker) I guess this will have to do. But it's in milliliters…

(cut to the same location, though a few minutes later; LEONARD knocks then enters the apartment to find SHELDON busy with conversion formulas at a whiteboard)

LEONARD: Are you ready to go? What are you doing?

SHELDON: (without turning his head) I'm making oatmeal.

LEONARD: (looks with confusion between Sheldon, his board, and the kitchen) Looks like I got out of here just in time…

(cut to theme segment)


SCENE TWO: The university, in the hallway outside Sheldon and Raj's office. HOWARD and RAJESH are waiting near the water fountain as LEONARD and SHELDON turn the corner, heading toward them. HOWARD and RAJESH surround LEONARD.

RAJESH: So…? How was it?

HOWARD: Yeah, how was your first night?

SHELDON: It was splendid! I converted Leonard's room into a lego and train room—a model train set with lego buildings. Of course that's only temporary while I follow through on my research to construct a fully functional holodeck.

HOWARD: We weren't asking you. So, come on, Leonard, how was it?

RAJESH: Really? A holodeck?

HOWARD: Shut up about the holodeck!

LEONARD: It was great, guys! First, we watched The Bachelor.

HOWARD: Seriously?

LEONARD: Yeah, and then we watched Star Trek.

RAJESH: Original series?

LEONARD: Yes.

RAJESH: Which episode?

LEONARD: Amok Time.

RAJESH: Ooh, I love that one! I tear up every time when Spock finds out Kirk is alive.

LEONARD: You know, Penny actually understood the significance of Spock smiling!

RAJESH: Really?

LEONARD: Yeah!

HOWARD: Oh, for the love of god, can you get past the geeky stuff and get on to the sex?

RAJESH: Oh yeah, tell us about that!

SHELDON: Please don't start until I'm in my office with the door closed. I don't want the afterglow of a perfect evening to be ruined by your inane locker room conversation. (opens the office door, enters, and closes it behind him)

HOWARD: So…?

LEONARD: Come on, guys, you know I don't tell you about that stuff.

RAJESH: You have to give us something, dude!

LEONARD: (glimmers a grin) She was Sara Walker, and I was the Intersect.

HOWARD & RAJESH: Nice!

(cut to later, RAJESH and SHELDON at their desks in their office)

SHELDON: After we finish these conversions, we'll input the values into the formula and then break for lunch so our minds can be fresh when we approach the problem again.

RAJESH: Sounds like a plan. (beat) What do we have on for Vintage Game Night tonight?

SHELDON: We will be playing the ultimate in vintage video gaming: Atari's Pong.

RAJESH: Cool! We could have a tournament!

SHELDON: My thoughts exactly.

(beat)

RAJESH: So you haven't been lonely or bored at all since Leonard moved out?

SHELDON: No, on the contrary! Without the distraction of a roommate, I have been accomplishing more than previously possible, now that I'm not hampered with concerns about what demeaning or unsanitary things he's doing in my living space.

RAJESH: …I get lonely and bored living by myself…

SHELDON: Oh, that's probably just because your intelligence and imagination aren't as advanced as mine. Have you tried taking up a hobby or buying a pet? Buying an aquarium could satisfy both.

RAJESH: I don't want a fish. I want a woman.

SHELDON: I'll never understand why you people prefer a human being over an animal, which lacks the capacity for judgment and, properly trained, will be unfailingly obedient.

RAJESH: I had a pet rabbit once. She died while I was away at school. I guess that's the reason why I haven't gotten a new pet—I never really got any closure.

SHELDON: I don't understand. Wouldn't death be the most concrete form of closure?

RAJESH: But I never got to say goodbye. (starts crying, he pounds his fists on the desk) Why, Hopsy, why did you have to die?

SHELDON: (uncomfortable) Perhaps now would be an appropriate time for a break.

(cut to the lab, where LEONARD is working with a laser and HOWARD is setting up mirrors)

HOWARD: How's that?

LEONARD: Tilt it upward six more degrees.

HOWARD: Like this?

LEONARD: Yeah. Now move that one about three quarter-inches to the left.

HOWARD: How's this?

LEONARD: I think we've got it. Glasses on.

(they put on safety glasses. LEONARD turns on the laser. The laser bounces off the mirrors and to a far, high corner of the room. LEONARD turns off the laser and takes off the glasses.)

LEONARD: Well?

HOWARD: (removes his glasses and moves across to the corner where the laser was shot, looking up then at the ground) Yep, that sucker's dead.

LEONARD: Good. I've been trying to get that spider for days now, but the chemistry department keeps taking the ladder.

HOWARD: Why would the chemistry department need a ladder?

LEONARD: They created a new super-elastic polymer compound, but after one bounce, they haven't been able to find it.

HOWARD: Oh. Oh… That's probably that funky smell coming in my lab through the vent… (beat) So, married life is treating you well?

LEONARD: Make fun of it all you want, but you know…I like knowing that after a day at work, I can go home to my girlfriend. We'll eat dinner, then snuggle up on the couch, tell each other about our day…

HOWARD: …watch Wheel of Fortune, do the Yiddish word jumble, massage each other's feet…

LEONARD: You and your mother?

HOWARD: What? No! …yeah… But it's not far off from what you're going to have the longer you live with Penny.

LEONARD: How would you know? You've never been in a relationship long enough to make it to breakfast.

HOWARD: I'll have you know that my last girlfriend stayed until brunch!

LEONARD: The morning after?

HOWARD: …no. But I'm citing knowledge based on very sound research.

LEONARD: You mean like magazines, the internet, and cable TV?

HOWARD: Fine. Don't listen to me. I'm sure you and Penny will still be crazy about each other after bitching about the crappy day you had at work while sitting on a couch that smells like dirty laundry and moldy cereal and watching reality TV that depicts reality as tall, good-looking guys who have the power to send women packing without the hateful phone and text messages afterwards.

LEONARD: (points to the mirror that's level with HOWARD's height while standing by the laser) Could you just aim that mirror about three feet lower, then hold still for about five seconds?


SCENE THREE: Sheldon's apartment, where he, EDDIE, and HOWARD are gathered at the couch with Chinese food and gearing up for vintage video games; it should be noted that EDDIE is wearing her military cap and favorite sweatshirt and is seated on the floor.

HOWARD: So do we have an Atari hooked up, or what's the deal?

SHELDON: As I am unfortunately lacking an Atari gaming system, I found the game with an emulator online, and I've hooked up my computer to the TV.

EDDIE: How are we gonna do this? Like tournament play? Like whoever loses has to give up his paddle for the next guy to play?

SHELDON: Actually, I thought it would be fun to combine vintage video games with vintage guessing games.

HOWARD: Oh god, here we go…

SHELDON: After each match, we'll compete for the right to play with a round of 25000 Dollar Pyramid, the science edition.

EDDIE: Aw come on, I'm not a scientist like you guys, that's not fair!

SHELDON: I'll grant you the advantage of being the predestined starting player, and your opponent will be chosen by the game.

EDDIE: Alright. Here, hand it over so I can pick a card.

RAJESH: (enters) Hey guys, let's get our Pong on!

HOWARD: (looks from Eddie to Raj) Uh, Raj…

EDDIE: (whispers) Shh! Don't scare him away.

RAJESH: I heard we would be playing tournament style, so I wore my cricket champion sweatbands. (he wears one on his forehead and shows off the ones on his wrists) I've worn these to every sporting event I ever attended. …so they're still pretty new… (crosses to the coffee table to collect his share of the food) So when is Eddie getting here? Or is she not…? (his words fade out as he finally notices Eddie; he waves nervously, takes his food, and shuffles to the opposite end of the coffee table)

EDDIE: I knew I should have borrowed my brother's camouflage fatigues.

HOWARD: When's Leonard getting here?

SHELDON: The timing with his schedule must just be falling apart without me, like a newspaper in a rain puddle. I'll go see what's keeping him. (leaves the apartment, crosses to the opposite door; knock-knock-knock) Leonard and Penny. (knock-knock-knock) Leonard and Penny. (knock-knock-knock) Leonard and Penny.

LEONARD: (opens the door) Hey, Sheldon.

SHELDON: Our Pong tournament is starting in two and a half minutes, not counting the preliminary pyramid game to decide the players.

LEONARD: Oh yeah, Vintage Game Night! I'll be right over.

PENNY: (comes to the door) Actually, Leonard, I thought we could go see a movie tonight, maybe dinner afterwards. I mean, it is Friday night.

LEONARD: Oh. (looks between his two friends a moment) Yeah. Yeah, okay, a movie. It is Friday night. So, Sheldon, I guess I'll just catch up with you later.

SHELDON: Maybe I wasn't clear before. It's going to be a Pong tournament. And we'll be playing 25000 Dollar Pyramid, the science version. Pong and Pyramid.

LEONARD: Maybe another time, Sheldon.

PENNY: Alright, let's go! Bye, Sheldon!

(SHELDON watches as they leave together down the stairs, then crosses and enters his own apartment again)

HOWARD: So, where is he?

SHELDON: He's not coming tonight.

RAJESH, HOWARD, EDDIE: Not coming?

SHELDON: He and Penny are going to see a movie together.

EDDIE: Well, then, I guess this just goes for you three. (looks at her game card)

SHELDON: Hold on! (goes and sits at his spot) Alright, you may begin.

EDDIE: Okay…uh, Potassium…Sodium…Mercury…uh, Gold and Silver…

RAJESH: (whispers to HOWARD)

HOWARD: (repeating what RAJ tells him) Elements with atomic symbols that are spelled differently than their names.

EDDIE: That's right! So you're up for pong, Raj!

SHELDON: I knew that one too!

EDDIE: You'll have to speak up more quickly next time.

SHELDON: Well, I expected you to be listing off things that don't match the category at all, taking into account your lack of knowledge with all things science.

EDDIE: Not all things, obviously. I remember some things I learned in high school.

SHELDON: (incredulous) High school?

EDDIE: C'mon, Raj, you and me, let's go. (takes a paddle and hands one to him)

(SHELDON mouths "high school" to HOWARD, who just shrugs and eats Chinese while he watches them play)

(cut to the movie theater, where LEONARD and PENNY are seated and watching a movie)

PENNY: Isn't it great that they have a romantic movie marathon going on this weekend?

LEONARD: Yeah, great! (holds her hand as they lean against each other) So wait, why do they all think she's engaged to the guy in a coma?

PENNY: Because the nurse overheard her saying that she was going to marry him.

LEONARD: So they are engaged?

PENNY: No, when she said she was going to marry him, she was just sort of thinking out loud, like she wishes she was marrying him.

LEONARD: Oh. Okay. So she's not engaged, but everyone else thinks she is.

PENNY: Except Saul.

LEONARD: Which one is Saul?

PENNY: The old guy. He's the only one who knows she's not really engaged to him.

LEONARD: Saul knows? When did he find out?

PENNY: Remember when she was in the hospital and talking to him—the guy in a coma—and then at the end of the scene, the camera pulled back, and Saul was standing behind the glass?

LEONARD: Oh. Guess I missed that. Although scientifically, he probably wouldn't have heard, considering he might be more hard of hearing at his age, and she really wasn't talking very loud, by the time the sound would have traveled from her across the room and through the glass to him, it would have been too quiet to understand.

PENNY: Sweetie…

LEONARD: Yeah?

PENNY: Just watch the movie.

LEONARD: Okay. Sorry.

(cut to later that night; the hallway between apartments; HOWARD, RAJESH, and EDDIE are all leaving Sheldon's apartment)

HOWARD: (to EDDIE) You won almost every round of Pyramid! How did you do that?

EDDIE: Well, it was a lot of, like, vocabulary stuff. Like different states of matter, solid, liquid gas; different units of measurement, gram, joule, mole, watt… I've got an English degree, I know vocabulary.

SHELDON: (comes to the door with a game card in hand, stubborn attitude) Monoammonium phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate…

EDDIE: Chemicals safe to use for extinguishing Class B fires.

SHELDON: Drat!

EDDIE: (to HOWARD and RAJESH) Boy, did I learn that one the hard way! That's how I got the burn mark…

HOWARD: What?

EDDIE: Nothing. Never mind.

HOWARD: Why? Where's the burn mark?

EDDIE: Shut up, Howard.

(PENNY and LEONARD come up the stairs)

PENNY: Oh, hey, guys!

LEONARD: How was the Pong tournament?

SHELDON: Fine. How was the movie?

LEONARD: It was…great!

SHELDON: Oh. Well, I misspoke. When I said the tournament was fine, I meant to say it was great. Greater than any movie. It was epic. Right, guys?

RAJESH: (makes an "eh" gesture, then he, HOWARD, and EDDIE start descending the stairs)

HOWARD: Come on, where is it? You can tell ol' Howard.

EDDIE: If you ask me one more time, ol' Howard's head will be rolling down the stairs.

PENNY: Good night, Sheldon!

LEONARD: Yeah, good night, Sheldon!

SHELDON: Good night.

(they go their separate ways into their respective apartments; in Sheldon's apartment, there's a mess of Chinese takeout aftermath all over the coffee table. He starts toward the table to clean it up, hesitates, crosses to the TV to unplug the computer wires, hesitates, turns toward the table again)

SHELDON: Usually Leonard would clean up while I put the game away. I suppose I should put away the food first before it stinks up the apartment. But if I unplug the gaming things now, I can watch Battlestar while I'm cleaning. Ah, but there's a mushu stain on the rug; I should get that before it sets in. (pushes some buttons on one of the paddles, and we start to hear the mild "beep-boop" sound effects of Pong) I suppose that will have to do for my cleaning entertainment. (crosses to the kitchen to get the cleaning supplies, mimicking the sound effects as though singing along with a song)

(cut to Leonard and Penny's apartment; PENNY tosses her coat on the couch and heads for the bedroom; LEONARD starts clearing up the breakfast dishes from the coffee table)

PENNY: Honey, aren't you coming to bed?

LEONARD: Um, shouldn't we clean up first? These have been here since this morning.

PENNY: Oh, that's okay. We can just stick 'em in the dishwasher tomorrow. Come on, wouldn't you rather… (suggestively) Come to bed?

LEONARD: Yeah. Yeah, of course! I'll be right behind you!

(PENNY dashes into the bedroom; LEONARD hesitates to pick up a fork from the floor, stacks on top of the other dishes, then quietly carries them to the counter. He's about to open the dishwasher when PENNY calls)

PENNY: Leonard!

LEONARD: (drops everything) Coming, I'm coming! (quickly crosses to the bedroom)


SCENE FOUR: One week later, Saturday. Sheldon's apartment. He comes down the hallway and into the living room with his pajamas and bathrobe. As he yawns and rubs the sleep from his eyes he surveys the empty apartment with a satisfied grin. He then enters the kitchen, gets out a bowl and pours out some cereal into a measuring cup, then into the bowl. He then pours out some milk into a measuring cup, then into the bowl. He jumps slightly upon hearing the cereal crackle.

SHELDON: I never realized just how loud Rice Krispies could be. (looks from the cereal to the box) More like "snap, crackle, sonic boom". (putting away the milk and cereal as he talks) I suppose turning on the television will allow for a better equilibrium of sound distribution. (carries the bowl of cereal over to his spot on the couch and turns on the TV; he watches for a few minutes, then winces at the cereal) Now it just sounds like Doctor Who is caught in a hailstorm. (He lifts up the remote, but hesitates) As per the roommate agreement, the volume cannot exceed fifteen. But then, I suppose, the roommate agreement would be null and void without a roommate… (tentatively turns up the volume gradually until he can hear the TV over his cereal, and starts to eat as he watches and listens)

(cut to Penny and Leonard's apartment. LEONARD comes out of the bedroom in pajamas and bathrobe, crosses to the kitchen, and puts a toaster streudel in the toaster, checking the instructions on the box before pushing down the slot. He leans over the counter as he turns on the TV to Doctor Who. The volume is at first too loud, so he hurriedly silences it, knowing PENNY is still asleep in the bedroom. He grins for a moment as he watches, crossing to sit on the sofa. However, when he sits, he hears a "crunch". He warily rises to find out he's sat on an empty cookie tray from an Oreo package. He picks up a nearby plastic bag and starts filling it with trash when the toaster streudel pops up. He crosses, carefully takes out the pastry, and by prodding the middle, finds out it's still cold. So he puts it in the toaster again. He then continues to pick up trash around the house and is especially dismayed to find that now miscellaneous crap is being piled on his computer desk as well. He notices that one of his favorite comic books is trapped under the pile, slightly hanging off the edge of the desk. He slowly, carefully slips out the comic book, then like a feather tipping a scale, the whole pile comes crashing down with a loud rush of noise, while LEONARD futilely tries to shush. The toaster streudel then pops, so he rushes across the kitchen, takes it out, then drops it instantly with a loud swear, feeling like it's burned his hand. PENNY emerges from the bedroom, barely awake, rubbing her eyes and squinting at the light.)

PENNY: Leonard, what's going on?

LEONARD: Nothing, just making some breakfast…and cleaning things up a bit…

PENNY: Well, could you do it a little more quietly? (glancing at the floor where the pile fell, she reaches down and picks up a pair of sunglasses) Oh, I was wondering where I'd put these. Thanks, honey. (with that, she yawns and returns to the bedroom to sleep some more)

(cut back to Sheldon's apartment. He's finished his cereal and is watching TV. He fidgets slightly as he glances once and awhile to the phone until he finally picks it up and dials a number)

(cut to RAJESH, still in bed, moaning and groaning because the phone is ringing. He slothily reaches for the phone and answers it; the visual cuts back and forth as they converse)

RAJESH: Uhn…?

SHELDON: Morning, old chum!

RAJESH: (groggy) Sheldon?

SHELDON: It's customary for the recipient of a friendly greeting to return an equal salutation.

RAJESH: Morning…old…chum?

SHELDON: Did you sleep well?

RAJESH: I was, like a second ago.

SHELDON: Good. I'm glad. (beat) Wouldn't you like to know if I slept well?

RAJESH: Uh, did you sleep well?

SHELDON: I did, thank you for asking.

RAJESH: I'm…glad…I guess…

SHELDON: If you turned on the TV now, we could stay on the phone and watch the last ten minutes of Doctor Who together. Or could I perhaps interest you in a word of the day?

RAJESH: (stares at the phone a moment, unable to think of a response) I'm sorry, but the number you have reached does not speak English. Good-bye. (hangs up and drops back to sleep)

SHELDON: Well, that was rude.

(cut to the hallway outside their apartments. Both SHELDON and LEONARD leave their respective apartments at the same time, fully dressed and ready for the day)

LEONARD: Oh, morning, Sheldon!

SHELDON: Good morning…neighbor.

LEONARD: Penny's still sleeping, so I thought I'd pick up some things from the grocery store.

SHELDON: (defensive) Why would I have any interest in your plans for the day?

LEONARD: Well, you always go to the grocery store in the morning. I thought we could go together.

SHELDON: (indignant) I'm not going to the grocery store.

LEONARD: You're not?

SHELDON: No. I have far more important things to do.

LEONARD: Like what?

SHELDON: (hesitates as he tries to think of an answer) Like going to the gas station convenience store.

LEONARD: You hate buying groceries from the gas station. You complain about the prices, the shelf life and expiration dates, the questionable ventilation system…

SHELDON: Yes, well, that's the price you pay for convenience, and convenience is a time-saver, and my time is valuable, and despite what that Justin Timberlake movie suggested, one cannot buy time by any other means, at least not with the current technology available to us.

LEONARD: What are you talking about?

SHELDON: I said "good-day", sir! (leaves down the stairs in a huff)

LEONARD: (calling after him) You never said that! (shakes his head and rolls his eyes and he begins his descent down the stairs) He's probably experimenting with caffeine-alternative stimulants again.

PENNY: (opens the door and sees him leaving) There you are, hon, where are you going?

LEONARD: Oh, Penny, you're up! I was just going out to the store.

PENNY: Oh, great, could you pick up some tea and some Oreos?

LEONARD: Sure.

PENNY: Thanks. (kiss) Alright, I promised I'd play paintball with you guys today, so I'll make sure all my gear is ready to go.

LEONARD: Uh, Penny…

PENNY: Yeah?

LEONARD: (treading carefully with his speech) Uh…while I'm at the store…would it be possible if…I mean, it's not a big deal or anything, but…could you maybe pick up and put away some of your stuff while I'm gone?

PENNY: Honey, you don't have to be so afraid of asking me that. I know I'm not as neat as you or Sheldon, and you're used to things being more organized. It's a scientist thing…at least, that's what I call it.

LEONARD: Yeah, I guess you could say that.

PENNY: And I want you to feel comfortable in our apartment. (kiss) So don't worry. By the time you get back, you won't even recognize this place!

LEONARD: Great! And thanks for understanding!

(cut to one week later, Sunday. The apartment is just as messy as it was before. LEONARD emerges from the bedroom in pajamas and robe, just fixing his glasses on as he crosses the living room. He trips as his feet become tangled in clothes strewn on the floor. He's able to catch himself on the sofa, but his glasses fall. With a whine, he kneels down and disappears behind the sofa as he pats his hands around in search of his glasses. A moment later, he rises and puts his glasses on. We see that there is a dirty sock clinging to his robe and a popsicle stick in his hair. He plucks them off and crosses to the kitchen and takes out a box of oatmeal. Looking for a bowl, he finds out they're all dirty. He decides he has to do stovetop preparation instead, so he takes out a pot, fills it with water, and places it on the stove. He then gets to work loading the dishwasher. The noise of the dishwasher running wakes PENNY, who ambles in.)

PENNY: Leonard, I was still sleeping. Can't you do that later?

LEONARD: There's no clean bowls for my oatmeal. (taking a stand) It's now or never, Penny.

PENNY: You don't like the toaster streudels I got?

LEONARD: I do, I do. It's just that…I can't make them like you do.

PENNY: (sighs, resigning to the fact that she won't be going back to bed. She slumps on the sofa and turns on the TV) So you guys have Dungeon Dragons today? I was just going to go to the mall, but if you're willing to blow off Dragons, maybe we can make a daytrip to L.A. or something. (looks to him, but gets no response) What?

LEONARD: Penny…I asked you a week ago to clean up your stuff.

PENNY: (surprised by the turn of the conversation) I did, remember?

LEONARD: You picked up a few clothes, remembered a pair of pants that you loaned out to one of your friends, then spent the rest of the time on the phone threatening to hang her from a flagpole by her hair extensions if she wouldn't give them back.

PENNY: I wanted to wear them for paintball!

LEONARD: Penny…

PENNY: Okay, look, I'm sorry, I'll clean it up today. (beat) What, do I have to do it right now?

LEONARD: You've been saying for days that you'd clean up, and you never do!

PENNY: Well, I work all day, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is more work!

LEONARD: If you would just pick up after yourself, then you wouldn't make all this work for yourself!

PENNY: How about this, since you're the one bothered by it, then maybe you're the one who should clean it!

LEONARD: Because the last time I cleaned up your stuff, you threatened to kill me in my sleep!

PENNY: That was when I had barely been your neighbor for, like, two weeks, and you came into my room to clean without my permission while I was sleeping!

LEONARD: That was Sheldon's idea, not mine!

PENNY: Oh, well, I'm sorry I'm not an obsessive-compulsive cleaner like the Great Sheldon!

(they continue in an overlapping argument)

(cut to Sheldon's apartment, the silence a stark contrast to the scene just played. There's a knock at the front door. No response. Another knock, and we see SHELDON, slowly coming from the hall and into the living room, in his pajamas and robe. It's another knock until he reaches the door and opens it. HOWARD, RAJESH, and EDDIE enter with D&D accoutrements.)

HOWARD: Alright, let's get this twenty-sided die rollin'!

EDDIE: Yeah, my half-orc is thirsty for her weekly dose of goblin blood! (RAJESH, staring at SHELDON in confusion, nudges EDDIE) Hey, uh, Shelly…it's D&D time. Why are you still in your p-jays?

SHELDON: I have no reason to change into my clothes if I'm the only one in the apartment and I have no intention of leaving. Pajamas are more comfortable by far and pre-warmed by my nighttime incubation.

HOWARD: But…you're not the only one in the apartment. We're all here for Dungeons and Dragons Sunday…as usual…

SHELDON: (beat) Point taken. I suppose I'll go change now. (slowly exits into the hall to his room)

HOWARD: What the frack? Look at this! (they approach the coffee table, he runs his finger across it and shows the other two the dust. The others draw back in fear with a gasp) There's actual dust accumulation!

EDDIE: Dust on the coffee table?

HOWARD: Something is very wrong here…

RAJESH: (hums the "Twilight Zone" theme)

EDDIE: Let's just go back the way we came and call it a day.

(they slink out into the hall, then hear screaming and shouting coming from the apartment across the hall)

EDDIE: What the heck's going on over there?

HOWARD: Now that, I pretty much expected.

(sudden silence)

EDDIE: Wait, now it's quiet.

(beat)

HOWARD: I don't like it. Let's get the hell out of here.

(they go toward the stairs when the door to Penny's apartment flies open and LEONARD comes out, struggling to carry his bags and a box out the door, then PENNY slams the door shut behind him. Not even noticing the others, LEONARD carries his stuff across the hall and knocks on the door.)

SHELDON: (opens the door) Whaddyou want?

LEONARD: Can I move back in here with you?

SHELDON: (a huge grin sprouts across his face, excited) Leonard, you're coming back home!

LEONARD: Sheldon…?

SHELDON: (calms down, reverting to casual indifference) I mean, I suppose you can move back in, you know, since I haven't found anyone else yet.

LEONARD: Okay, thanks... (starts inside)

SHELDON: Let me help you out there, old buddy. (eagerly takes some of his bags into the apartment)

HOWARD: What the…?

RAJESH: What just…?

EDDIE: Damn, it's times like these that I need a camera phone!


SCENE FIVE: The lego and train room. SHELDON's wearing his engineer hat, LEONARD's wearing a conductor hat, and the two are gleefully playing with the train and making the whistle blow.

EDDIE: (opens the door) Come on, guys, the pizza's getting cold.

LEONARD: Oh, come on, just five more minutes!

EDDIE: Guys, you've been playing all day. It's time to stop for some supper and D&D.

SHELDON: But we're not done having fun yet!

(the guys go back to playing with train. EDDIE sighs "hoh boy" and closes the door)