Sadly, I don't own The Big Bang Theory
"You're being paranoid." Howard reassured Leonard as they sat in the apartment.
"Yeah the chances of that happening are slim to none, even factoring her previous relationship with you." Raj added, causing the Jewish man to nod in agreement.
"Just sleep on it and you'll see it was all in your head."
Leonard nodded, massaging his temples after his friends left the apartment. He was depressed, he had been dumped by Penny again and he was sure they were getting better. At least that's how he saw it but maybe they were right, he should make a clean break this time and move on to find someone else.
It all started a week ago exactly, bringing their Beta test relationship to an end. Turns out that even with the bug fixes you just can't completely change, a person no matter how hard you try. Leonard broke the final straw when he insulted Penny's intelligence when he gave her a book on quantum physics to read so they could have more things to talk about. It was so over her head she only got to page five and that's when the fight began.
"You said you would try to read it." Leonard said as she handed it back to him.
"I know but I just don't get science." She answered, leaning back against the couch.
"But this is beginner's quantum physics, with pictures. They teach this in grade nine." He defended, earning a sigh from Penny.
"So? My brain can't handle that stuff."
"I can teach you."
She waved her hand. "It's fine. I just don't have a need for it."
Leonard exhaled. "I didn't think you would be so-"
"Stupid?" Penny said, cutting him off.
"No, I was going to say something else."
She raised her eyebrow. "But you thought it didn't you?"
"Leonard I can't take this anymore." Penny stated, standing up from the couch as he looked up at her.
"What do you mean?"
"Us. Everything. We're obviously not meant to be. You deserve someone smarter like Leslie or Priya." She admitted, walking over to the door.
"Hold on." He said, hoping to stop her.
"No that's it. It's over for good this time."
Penny sat in her apartment when the OCD knocking began. She smiled slightly taking a sip of her wine when he knocked the final time.
"Come in Sheldon."
He opened the door and looked at her briefly before closing her door. "I believe alcohol isn't proper consolidation to an inevitable end of a baffling dalliance."
Penny placed the glass on the table as he stood awkwardly in the room. "I'm not upset about that. I kinda figured that it wouldn't work out the second time."
She patted the cushion next to her and he complied.
"Then why on Earth would you decide to enter into a relationship with him?" Sheldon asked, staring at her.
"I don't know, I was lonely?"
He frowned. "How could you be lonely? Our friends, including me, are an unchanging presence in your life."
She smiled slightly. "I know but Sheldon I'm twenty-six years old. My friends and people that I know are already engaged, married or have children. I just want what they have."
Sheldon paused. "I suppose what you described is the social norm in society, to settle down and procreate to carry on one's genetic line."
She took another sip from her glass. "I thought that Leonard might be the one since he already loves me. And that maybe I might learn to love him too but I can't force myself to."
He nodded. "I understand, marrying for love has only existed since the 19th century."
"Gee, why did Amy break up with you?" She asked sarcastically, taking another sip.
She stared at him and he cleared his throat before he began. "Wouldn't an intelligent, aesthetically appealing Alpha male be the likelier choice over a short, near-sighted, lactose intolerant Beta male such as Leonard?"
She laughed, "Where would I find someone like that? The chances are slim to none."
"Not exactly, if we calculate-"
Penny cut him off quickly. "No calculations Sheldon."
"Then how can I aide you in your endeavor to find your perfect mate?"
She blinked. "You want to help me?"
"Thanks Sheldon but I don't need a relationship right now." Penny said, patting his knee as she picked up her empty wine bottle and glass before walking over to the kitchen.
"I could start my calculations ahead of time but isn't your proverbial biological clocking ticking as they say?"
She shot him a death glare as he slowly stood up from the couch and moved to the door. "I think I'll leave now."
Leonard walked by a whiteboard near the kitchen, half asleep as he yawned. He paused and rubbed his eyes, walking backwards towards it.
"What the hell is this?" He asked aloud as Sheldon emerged from the bathroom.
"I see you've stumbled across my new experiment."
He looked back at the board and at Sheldon. "I figured you had no deal but I never thought-"
"I assure you I am not a homosexual. I am simply aiding Penny to find a suitable mate."
"I see. And these are her specific characteristics?" Leonard asked frowning as he read them off the board. "I only seem to fit into one, 'intelligent'."
Sheldon snorted. "If you fit into all these perhaps you and Penny might have already been joined in unholy matrimony. Although even then I believe the odds are against you."
Leonard sighed and sulked off to the coffee maker, ignoring Sheldon.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Penny.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Penny.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Penny.
She rolled her eyes before opening the door; doesn't he ever get tired of this? Sheldon stood near the door frame with a stack of papers in his hand, holding them out to her.
"What's this?" She asked curiously.
"I've narrowed down a list of possible suitors in Pasadena according to your preferences."
"There's like a hundred pages." Penny guessed earning a smug grin from him.
"Exactly, I found one hundred. I perused through social media as well as demeaning dating sites."
"Wow, I must be really fussy about what type of guy I want."
Sheldon nodded. "You, however, have every reason to be since you dated Leonard, unlike Howard's mindless fantasies of dating Megan Fox."
"Hold on, I thought I said I didn't want a relationship at this moment." She said, setting the stack on her table.
"Understood. There is no rush, decide at your own pace. Now if you'll excuse me-" He said, turning around to walk out the door when she stopped him.
"Wait. I have a condition."
"I'm listening." Sheldon replied, facing her.
"If you get to help me find a guy then I get to find a woman for you." Penny ordered, watching his face fall.
"I don't wish to meet women that watch the Bachelor or those Kardashian buffoons while mindlessly chattering about fashion."
"Hey, even Amy did that and she was supposedly your perfect mate and now look what happened." Penny defended.
"Acceptable but you had a hand in her corruption."
She glared at him. "Just give me your list and I'll try my best."
"I seriously doubt it but I guess it's only fair."
Penny stared at Sheldon's list; it really was an impossible feat. She scoffed, reading the first point: ruthless attention to hygiene. Maybe if she managed to track down that woman that was on Dr. Oz who had a cleaning obsession it would work. She was crazier than Sheldon and walked around in a bio hazard suit whenever she left the house.
Next on the list was taking care of him during illnesses. Scratch that, the crazy cleaner would probably jump out the window if he so much sneezed near her. The knock on the door broke her train of thought as she placed the list on the coffee table and walked up to the door.
"Hey Leonard." She greeted, opening the door wider for him to come in.
"Hi Penny. I just wanted to talk to you." He said, as she motioned to the couch.
Leonard cleared his throat. "I just want to say no hard feelings. It was expected for us to break up again in the long run."
"I'm sorry Leonard." Penny said, earning a smile from him.
"No I'm sorry. I shouldn't have started it up again; I should have moved on and turned around instead of asking you out on a date that day. Could we still be friends?"
Penny smiled and hugged him. "Of course. We'll always be friends."
He hugged back and they broke apart. "Two Mississippi's, a standard hug."
She let out a small laugh as he looked down at the list on the table. "Are you looking for a woman for Sheldon?"
"Yup, that was my condition."
Leonard skimmed the list. "I think you should scour the solar system because you won't find a life form like this on Earth."
He stood up as Penny laughed again. Leonard said goodbye before returning back to his apartment.
"Alright let's begin our discussion regarding our dates for the week. You may start." Sheldon offered as Penny picked up a page.
"Sure, I went out with this guy, Todd."
"Superb choice, highly accomplished lawyer-" Sheldon praised as Penny cut him off.
"The guy grabbed my ass."
He nodded. "A sign of attraction."
"And the waitress's ass."
"Point, next." Sheldon said, frowning as Penny picked up another page.
"James was alright until he started laughing like a goat."
Sheldon sighed. "Fine, moving on."
"That's it. Your turn." Penny answered, earning a look from him.
"But you had a hundred to choose from."
"I know but I narrowed it down to two. Turns out I'm really picky."
Sheldon picked up the first page in his pile and showed it to her. "Then I'll begin. I chose Megan and she met nearly every criteria-"
"See I pick them good!" She chirped as Sheldon stared at her.
"Until the food arrived."
"What happened?" Penny asked, thinking she talked with food in her mouth.
"The woman ordered a salad while I had my usual cheeseburger. Halfway through our conversation regarding cleaning supplies she had the audacity to reach over to my plate and take my fries."
She rolled her eyes. "Oh God."
"Indeed, no one touches food on my plate."
Penny sat up. "Alright, next date."
"Actually that was my only date. Turns out I am picky as well as you said."
"What are we going to do?"
Sheldon motioned to the stacks on her table. "I suggest we give up on this futile endeavor and simply accept the tragic human condition."
"And what is that?" She asked, crooking an eyebrow.
"Born alone, die alone. Which honestly does not sound so bad. At least it saves us tribulation down the road from pointless disputes, divorce settlements and child custody conflicts."
"So did Penny find a woman for Sheldon?" Raj asked, eating his hamburger in the cafeteria.
"Bernadette told me not yet." Howard answered.
"I'm not surprised, who would want to date Sheldon?" Leonard said smugly, eating a fry as Howard spoke up.
"You've got Amy, and those two grad students. Not to mention he walked out with Raj's date-"
"Alright I get the point. But I did manage to date Penny briefly."
Raj grinned. "And look how that turned out."
"Out of the four of us I dated the prefect woman so technically I'm still winning." Leonard defended.
"I bet that you will never marry Penny in the future." His Indian friend responded.
"Oh yeah then who will?"
"Me." Raj countered out with a smile.
"Please, you nearly slept with her so that gives you a chance?' Leonard asked, looking over his glasses.
"Better than Leonard's or your chances."
Howard looked up from his food. "Hey I love Bernadette so don't drag me into this but I can still have an opinion."
"What could an Oompa Loompa have an opinion on of any degree of importance?" Sheldon asked, walking up to their table with his tray.
"About which of the four of us would marry Penny in the future. Sheldon, tell them that she wants me, the exotic Indian."
Leonard scoffed. "Obviously me since I was the only one of us who dated her."
"Forgive me Leonard, but that hardly works to your advantage seeing as you were dumped twice by the same woman." Sheldon answered, placing his five napkins on the table.
"Furthermore, given the qualifications that Penny presented to me for a suitable mate none of you fit the criteria other than intelligence, except for Howard."
"...One of these days..." Howard mumbled through gritted teeth.
Sheldon paused, his mind working quickly as his friends stared at him in confusion with a hint of concern.
"It's starting to smell like bacon again. What could he be thinking about?" Raj asked, staring at him.
Sheldon shook his head and blinked rapidly. "Oh good God!"
Penny lay on her couch when she heard frantic knocking on her door. Before she was able to get up it opened and Sheldon breezed into her apartment. Seeing the frantic look on his face she slowly sat up.
"What's going on?"
"This." He answered, holding up her list. "I recently managed to find a suitable mate for you today only to surprise myself in the process."
She stayed silent as he ran his fingers through his hair. "I believe I have made a match, 100% for the both of us."
"That's great, who is it?" Penny asked cheerfully, sitting in the middle of her couch so that he could sit next to her.
"Penny, we already know them."
Her face fell. "Oh God, don't tell me it's Raj or Bernadette."
"Seriously Penny? It's us, we are the ideal match."
"What?" Penny asked in surprise.
"Just bare with me. I'll recite your list: tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, fun to be around, has routines, comfortable to spend time with, not afraid to argue, cooks, cleans, doesn't care about what people think of him, supports and believes in anything I do. Need I go on?"
Penny gasped quietly, tearing the page out of his hands, her eyes quickly skimming it.
"I'll dictate my own list from memory: attractive, caring, trustworthy, friendly, challenging, sings soft kitty, take care of me when ill, able to get along with my mother and sister, intelligent, stands up for herself and her beliefs. I believe I've said enough."
She mirrored his startled expression as they stared into each other's eyes. As much as she wanted to deny it, Sheldon was right. He was always right that it drove Penny crazy at times.
"Then you want to-"
"I suppose it would be the obvious choice." Sheldon said cutting her off.
"What if this doesn't work out and we ruin our friendship?" She asked with concern.
"Then we will simply terminate the relationship if we feel close to jeopardizing it." He simply replied.
"Are you sure?"
Sheldon walked over to her. "Penny if this means we are highly compatible I have no objections. You are my best friend, thanks to Leonard's betrayal two years ago, and the only one out of our circle of friends that I highly respect and trust."
"I feel the same way about you. You were always there for me when I needed you, although your condescension could have been toned down a bit over the years, but I learned to enjoy your idiosyncrasies. It provided a routine in my life to keep me from going mad from my messed up life." Penny admitted, looking up at him.
"I assume you prefer the social norm when it comes to accepting affection, correct?" He cleared his throat. "Penny, would you care to alter our friendship paradigm to include a romantic component?"
She smiled, it was so like him to do this and she wouldn't have it any other way. "Yes, I would."
"Ready for another date?" Leonard asked Sheldon, watching the television with Howard and Raj.
"Obviously, I'm wearing a suit can't you tell?" He asked rhetorically, picking up the bouquet of roses from the coffee table.
"You look very handsome." Raj pointed out, earning stares from Howard and Leonard.
Sheldon smiled at him. "Why thank you Raj."
"So who's the lucky lady?" Howard asked as the door opened, revealing Penny in a stunning knee length strapless black dress.
They watched stunned as Sheldon presented her with the flowers, earning a kiss on the cheek as she thanked him. He extended his arm to her and she took it, waving goodbye to them as they disappeared out into the hall.
Howard grinned."Wow, the geeky physicist gets the beautiful girl next door. Who would have thought?"
"I know and those heels completely accessorized her outfit. At least she could finally wear them unlike when she dated Leonard." Raj gushed, looking back at his friends.
Leonard sputtered, trying to say something but only blinked, his eyes focused on nothing in particular.
Raj watched him in fascination. "Cool. Is this what a brain aneurism looks like?"
Thank you for reading and please review!