Chapter 51 Permutations of Magic

I'm watching the rain and snow fall this morning from the golf course Patio. The official name for this weather in Oregon is Slushing. I should point out the extended summer we get in September and October usually makes up for this soggy spring weather, thus the Oregon Duck moniker. Now on to more important stuff, should this story inflame passions, dislikes, or other malefactors out there regardless if they are part of TBBT or just some odd psychopath I haven't met yet. You have my most sincere and sarcastic abject apologies. Sometimes it's difficult to try and achieve three goals at once in a story, humor, sweetness and a touch of angst or conflict. Any failure in this regard is mine and mine alone. I should probably just stick to wine tasting notes. This story has deep dark ruby color with a nose of slight discomfort yet the palate shows an overwhelming tendency to romantic justification of a bitter yet firm tannic finish. 92 points drink now or cellar for up to15 years.

The Great Howdini Mishap

Howard's magic show was going right on schedule. Most of his young audience and Sheldon were enthralled some were slightly bored but 4 and 5 year olds get that way. It was time for his big finish, producing the live dove on the silver platter. Howard did the trick placing the egg on the platter, covering it with lid that contained the dove. The egg fell through to the hidden compartment into the base the dove released on to the platter. The dove's wings had been clipped so it couldn't fly away. He'd borrowed it from a magician friend it was well trained to sit and not move. Howard removed the lid and there the lovely white dove sat. What Howard had not counted on was the dirty nosed white kitty also waiting for the tricks finale.

Schrodinger sprang the minute the lid came off, dove and cat both on the floor before Howard or anyone could react. The cat was very efficient the dove screeching as the cat's claws started digging in. The dove would have been lunch if not for the birthday girl yelling at the cat that looked up and let his prey live, though traumatized and damaged.

The words "dammit" escaped Howard's lips and then all the children started tittering as he bent to retrieve the now dis-shelved dove. Feathers wafted through the air as he held it up for all to see. The children applauded and the parents mostly laughed as Howard blushed. Lisel had picked up the cat and was admonishing him regarding the bird. She walked up to her Uncle Howard. "Thank you for the wonderful show Uncle Howard. Schrodinger says he's very sorry about the dove." Howard smiled down at Lisel and then at his wife and Penny who were sitting on the couch behind the children. He was pretty sure they had both laughed so hard they wet themselves. Amy sat beside them holding little Maria. Raj sat on the next couch over with his wife Aisha. Their 3 daughters Isha who was 10, Ishawni who was 8 and Cruppa who was 6 were all watching the show. Only Isha rolled her eyes at her parents. Tyler was sitting on Sheldon's lap who sat up front with children.

Leonard stood behind the couch where Penny was sitting with his hand resting on her shoulder. Howard gave a really awkward smile and held the dove close to him. "Now on to cake and ice cream," Howard pointed toward the long tables set up on the patio and children all started over. Chelsea, Amy and Aisha cut the cake and served the children. Penny with Leonard's help had gotten off the couch and followed. The house was beautifully decorated with balloons and streamers. Penny had helped Lisel pick out the theme, cats and dogs, and was more than happy with the decorations. Next year she would be able to help more.

Leonard stood beside her, "Can you believe that damn cat. That would have been fun to explain to the parents when they came back to get their children." Penny just looked over at him, "He was just playing honey. The kids are all fine, the bird survived and best of all Tish was recording the whole thing. I'll get to play back that look on Howard face for years to come." Leonard chuckled, "I have to agree with you there, Lisel 5th birthday video is going to be a very popular item in our circle of friends. Maybe even the next faculty party."

Complex Instincts

The Coopers were the last to leave. Leonard saying goodbye to them both at the door, Sheldon had pulled him aside on the way out. "Leonard don't you think Lisel should really be skipping kindergarten? She already speaks and reads English and German. Now Amy tells me she learning French. She can play piano and is starting to write." Leonard regarded Sheldon for a moment, "What else did my mother have to say Sheldon?"

Sheldon tried to seem shocked and as usual couldn't carry it off. "She just wants what best for Lisel Leonard." Leonard just shook his head and Sheldon and gave him a frown, "Sheldon someday you'll need to talk to my siblings about Beverly. You are right she is a brilliant scientist. Unfortunately she is also the most loveless mother you can imagine. She made no effort to raise us just to study us. I think I'll go with my gut on how I want to raise Lisel. You can let Beverly know."

Sheldon must have felt he'd done his best for Beverly because he just gave Leonard that little smile of his and turned to leave, "Hey Moonpie where's my rare Sheldon Cooper hug?" Penny was quite literally shuffling toward them. Sheldon smirked but was compliant and actually gave her a soft hug. Not awkward like he had once hugged people Leonard thought. He gets that from Tyler. Tyler doesn't care about touch and germ phobias he just wants to hug his father.

Penny turned to Leonard, "What did Sheldon have to say, I saw your face you were far from happy."

Leonard smiled at her, "a not so subtle message from my mother about how we should be putting Lisel in a school for the gifted." Penny was quiet then looked at him with a clearly guilty look. Leonard was at first shocked and then so truly taken aback he took a step backward from Penny.

She started to raise her arms to him, "Honey we talked about it on the phone the other day when she told me she wanted to come out. I told her we liked the little private kindergarten we found. But then she asked me why a child who can speak, read and now write in three languages should be going to kindergarten. I had to agree with her on that point though I'm not sure how we even started talking about it."

Leonard didn't have to really fight to control his anger. This was Penny after all and now a pregnant Penny. He couldn't stay mad, but he could act mad, "Penny do you know who Friedrich Nietzsche was?" Penny shook her head no.

"He was a philosopher who talked about morality and values of society. He actually was rather a misogynistic ass. But he did have one quote that applies to my mother."

"When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

"She got in your head Penny. Lisel will let us know if she's bored and wants something more from her school and then we'll provide it. But she needs to play with kids her age not older, not geniuses, just little 5 years olds making mud pies and having tea parties."

Penny got it, she saw it. She still didn't think Beverly was evil as Leonard implied but she was very manipulative in a more subtle way than Penny had known. She had to wonder how that got by her. Penny knew it was because Beverly was brilliant and a professionally trained manipulator.

She was on the verge of tears Leonard stepped forward and wrapped her in a hug. He kissed the side of her head. "It's okay baby it's what my mother does. Just remember something if you ever find yourself using an argument my mother talked about she put it there. I'm the one person she will aim you at so beware of her."

Lisel came up holding her bunny and looking at them, "Whatcha you guys doing?" Leonard pulled back from Penny with a huge smile, "Just talking about keeping dragons' away honey. Hey when you video chat with your grandmother Beverly ask her what she's up to just like that."

"Okay Daddy. What kind of dragons were you trying to keep away? Eastern dragons are considered good luck. If it was a western dragon was it the Norse type giant worm or the Celtic winged variety?"

Penny was smiling at Leonard now as he regarded Lisel, "Where'd you learn so much about Dragons Lisel?"

Lisel gave him a huge smile and stepped into Penny's right side to get a hug, "I Asked Tish. She told me all about dragons, Beowulf, St. George. Tish also asked me if I wanted to read a story called the Hobbit that had a dragon in it."

Leonard smiled at both his girls, "So are you going to read the hobbit?" Lisel shook her head no, "I decided to read Beowulf instead then the Hobbit." Leonard looked over at Penny "mud pies, tea parties, stuffed animal concerts, playing house. She needs that, "

Penny smiled at Leonard and just nodded. She touched Lisel's cheek. "Hey I have one more present for you come on."

Leonard followed Penny as she went toward her wardrobe in her little shuffle step. She let the dogs in from their run on the way by and they came tearing into house. Leonard had them both calmed down before turning to follow the girls into the wardrobe.

Lisel was holding a lovely baby doll dressed in pink. She rocked the doll very gently swaying from foot to foot. Leonard came into the room and put his arm around Penny.

They both stared at Lisel who was absorbed with the new addition to her family.

Tennis Ball Trick

Leonard was in the bath shaving as Penny got ready for bed. She had yellow long pajamas on with a white with yellow trim top. She turned sideways to the mirror and looked at herself in profile as Leonard came out.

"Leonard I look like a snake that swallowed an egg." Leonard laid his head on her shouldered and looked to see what she saw. "More like a tennis ball" She swatted at his hand as Leonard rubbed her bottom and lower back with his palm. He knew both were sore. "Do you need your feet rubbed?"

Penny shook her head. She was nervous she hadn't seen her parents in 7 years and then it had been just a short visit to Omaha for a couple of days. Her parents at the least her father would be there on Monday. She didn't want to stress out about it. She turned to find Leonard staring at her from the bed.

"Worried about you mom and dad coming aren't you?"

Penny chewed on her lip for moment, "Yep, I'm not even sure why. I didn't seek their approval when I was 18 why would I care now."

Leonard patted the bed and got Penny settled and as comfortable as a 39 week pregnant woman could be.

He cuddled up to her face to face, "You care because they love you and you love them. That's why it'll be fine they already do approve or they wouldn't be coming.

Penny thought about it then leaned over and gave him a very soft passionate kiss.

"Only a few more weeks and we can see where a kiss like that will lead." She gave him her best smile and a little leer.

Leonard reached over and turned off the light.

"Probably lead to you asking me to feed or change Matisse I suspect"

Penny gave him a small shove, "Love you Leonard"

"Love you always Penny"

Reviews are awesome folks let me know what you're thinking of Part III so far.

More reference material on the blog and the master file for Chapters 1-50. Character References tomorrow of the next day for those writing.