The Jacka** Revelation
Summary: Penny invites Leonard out as a friend; only to find out he isn't one. WARNING: Not for Leonard fans!
Challenge: personal because Leonard pissed me off so much in the last episode 'The Ornithophobia Diffusion'. My first post – story-wise – for Paradox: The Sheldon/Penny Community on livejournal.
Timeline: season 5, episode 9.
Warning: bad language that may or may not be in character.
A/N: Barest hint of onesided Shenny…if you squint, but this is more Penny/Career.
Disclaimer: TBBT characters belong to Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and CBS. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Movie theatre lobby
Penny stood there speechless, feeling like a bull had just kicked her in the stomach. Not only was Leonard claiming that they always did what she wanted to do when they were together, but that he 'went along' with it because he thought it would get him sex with her.
Putting aside the hours she spent watching some sci-fi show she had no interest in, or the lectures she listened to about why such and such comic book hero was better than a different one…all to make Leonard happy, this revelation destroyed her delusion that he was different from her other exes.
At least she was honest that she wouldn't have slept with him after that stupid documentary about dams; hell, he'd be lucky if she was still awake after three hours of that. It didn't mean they couldn't pick a different movie they both wanted to see that they could watch together.
And she was almost going to agree to the movie when he said, "Tickets are eleven bucks." He smiled that smug, condescending smile of his and added, "Not a date."
Why had she asked him to join her for a movie again? She seriously couldn't remember now – other than maybe wanting to prove that they could be friends.
Rather than wasting $11 of her hard-earned tip money on a movie she could already tell would be mind-numbingly boring, Penny shook her head, "No. Tell you what…I want to see the Jennifer Aniston movie; you want to see the dam movie. You go to yours and I'll go to mine. We can meet up again afterwards."
She ignored the kicked-puppy look he gave her as she brushed past to buy her ticket. Maybe after their respective movies, they could have a civil drink together or something. Right now, however, she had to get away before she went all Junior Rodeo on his ass.
Any expectation that things would get better was destroyed when Leonard got up to order fries at the bar. After listening to him drone on about how she always stole his favorite kind of fries – the little crispy ones – that he was saving for last, she was reminded again that everything he did or said was to get sex with her. How the hell was she supposed to know that he liked those fries? He never told her that before, but now he was acting like it was some great crime.
And if she had a dollar for every time he said the words 'not a date' that night, she would have enough to pay for her own fries…and maybe even her drink! It was like he got some perverse pleasure out of 'putting her in her place' with that phrase or something.
Thank god for the guy at the next table!
Kevin was amusing, cute and interested in the acting industry…sort of. Hey, anyone who was writing a screenplay – even if it was only so his roommate could have sex in the apartment – had to have some interest in her non-waitressing life.
Penny could admit – if only to herself – that she got a small kick out of throwing the phrase back in Leonard's face. So sue her, she was feeling a little childish at the moment. Leonard seemed to bring out that side of her.
After talking to Kevin a bit, Penny realized she actually enjoyed talking to somebody who understood the need to be creative. It was a nice feeling when she was normally surrounded by scientists all the time. Yeah, they were creative too, but it was in a way she couldn't understand, so it made her feel like an idiot.
Of course, since she was enjoying herself, Leonard had to interrupt their conversation to make the night about him again. God that was getting annoying! When she made the comment about t-shirts, cheekbones, etc, a miniscule part of Penny's brain piped up that other than the glasses, she knew another guy who fit that description…and he just happened to be living across the hallway from her.
But even if she could convince herself that she would be interested in pursuing a relationship with Dr. Whackadoodle, it would be impossible to convince him to go along with it. Besides, Kevin fit the description and he wasn't as condescending as Sheldon.
Once she practically ordered Leonard to talk to other women, Penny went back to talk to Kevin some more. Eventually their conversation came around to her acting and how she wasn't getting any parts, much less ones she was interested in.
"Have you ever considered trying different roles?" Kevin asked. "I mean, you probably go to auditions for the same kinds of women, right?"
"Yeah," she admitted. "What's wrong with that? I feel the most comfortable trying out for those roles."
"Maybe that's the problem," he suggested. "You feel comfortable with the women you are trying to be, so you aren't stretching your talents. The casting directors can tell when actors are just parroting the lines." Kevin stared at her for a moment, then added, "Let me guess, you pick the damsel-in-distress types who wait for their knight in shining armor to come rescue them."
She looked down at her napkin, partially annoyed at how well he had her pegged and partially embarrassed by it. "Maybe," Penny allowed reluctantly.
Kevin smiled at her to show that he wasn't trying to hurt her feelings or anything. "I see you as more of the take-charge, kick-ass kind of woman. And to keep it from being too much of yourself in the role, add something that you don't know a lot about…like martial arts, or medicine or something."
"Thanks," she said, nodding her head in understanding. She avoided those kinds of roles because she thought it would be weird acting like herself, so ironically, she went the opposite direction during her auditions.
They traded phone numbers when he got a call from his sister and had to leave. Then Penny had to go and find Leonard again, hoping that he would be less of a jerk by this point.
Her hope was dashed again when she found him with a short-haired brunette.
The woman knew who she was and made a comment about 'totally getting it'…like Leonard had said something bad about her to a woman he just met.
For a second, Penny almost retaliated by spilling his most embarrassing secrets, but suddenly she was just so tired of the whole situation. She had tried to be Leonard's friend by inviting him to hang out with her, and the only thing he did all night was make her feel bad and treat her like her exes did.
The same exes who only saw her as a fucktoy – as one asshole told her to her face right before she kneed him in the groin and walked out. She was actually stupid enough to believe Leonard cared about her as a person, but apparently he just didn't want to upset his chances for a little bedroom action.
It made her feel cheap.
Oh, she knew she wasn't little Miss Innocent in their relationship all the time; she would use Leonard's attraction to her to get dinners or WiFi when she didn't have enough money to cover her bills. But to hear him state it so bluntly made her feel like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman' when she told Richard Gere that he just treated her like a hooker.
To know that he was never really her friend was the final straw for her.
"Goodbye, Leonard," Penny stated with a hint of finality in her voice before turning to walk out of the bar. She wasn't sure what their relationship would be in the future, but she wasn't willing to let a man make her feel like this – especially one like Leonard. From now on, she would concentrate on becoming the most dangerous, toughest woman in Hollywood. Screw Prince Charming…this Cinderella was saving herself!
A/N: Just had to vent a little. I may add to this someday, but for now I'll leave it as a oneshot.