Chapter 54 Nocturnal Cycle

The purpose of this disclaimer is to let everyone know that I have no clue what I'm going to write about today. So as I write this I should come up with some tidbit of the story to expand on. That and of course I own none of the characters, nada, zero. They are like NPC characters in some odd role playing game where you can guess how they may react to some outside stimulus. Roll the dice, Penny is sad we could do postpartum depression. I wonder if Raj had that maybe that was his overall problem. We'll save that one, roll the dice again ooh snake eyes maybe Beverly should make a return visit. Maybe I'll put that at the end of the chapter. Roll the dice, dammit rolled under that rather large human over there. Excuse me, yeah sorry it's stuck to your butt, nope that's a gummy bear. Here it is okay boxcars. That's what I was looking for no not your butt sorry again. Hanging out with Howard's mother can be interesting.

Braced for the day

Penny heard the baby crying and started to get up the clock said 5:30AM. She sighed, almost 3 hours sleep. Leonard's hand touched her shoulder, "I'll bring her to you." Penny sat up on the pillow so she could breast feed Matisse. She certainly was well endowed now she thought. If I'd have had these puppies back in the day I might have got some really different roles. Leonard brought the baby to her and she started feeding her. There was a trickle of morning light coming in from outside but it was still pretty early. Leonard got back in bed beside her and leaned up on his elbow and watched her smiling. He had gotten up all weekend with her each time she fed the baby. He didn't look tired just kind of serene.

"You're going in today aren't you? You should try to get another hour of sleep."

"I think I'll wait until she's done and change her. Then you can try to get a few more hours. I'm going to take Lisel to school at 9:00 then head in. I'll get in the shower after Matisse is back down."

Penny smiled and leaned her head back enjoying her daughter suckling and knowing Leonard was right there.

When Matisse was done Penny held her for a bit while she slept. Leonard finally took her and went to change her. Penny slid back down and was instantly back asleep.

Leonard changed the baby and put her back in her crib. He turned around to say something to Penny. He smiled when he saw she was back asleep. Once they could get a supply of breast milk stored he could start bottle feeding the baby and make sure Penny got more rest. She was bouncing back remarkable well anyway. It pays to be in shape he thought and she had made sure she was. Leonard headed for the shower.

Lisel woke up to Tish saying good morning to her. She put Rascal down and rubbed her eyes with her hands sitting up in bed. Schrodinger was on the bed next to her pillow watching her. She reached over and rubbed his head. "guten morgen kitty", she mixed the German and English on purpose k├Ątzchen just not sounding as good as kitty. "Tish what is kitty in French?" Tish replied at once, "minou". Lisel continued to pet Schrondinger, " matin de bonnes minou" she added in French. Lisel looked over at the door to see her father smiling at her holding a coffee cup.

He was dressed for work she saw in grey slacks a white button down shirt and lighter grey sweater. He walked over to the bed and sat beside her offering his free arm. She hugged him, "Good Morning Papa, I'm going to school today right?" Leonard nodded and she smiled up at him. She'd missed school last week and wanted to see her friends and hold the class bunny and guinea pig. She had calculated the schedule of who got to hold the animals and she had the bunny today.

"Is mommy and baby Mattie up yet?"

"I think mommy might be waking up why don't you go check while I get your clothes out and make you breakfast." Lisel started getting up and turned toward him for a second, "Mommy got my clothes out last night they're on the dresser." She went down the hall through the open door and walked to the crib standing on tip-toe to see Mattie. Lisel saw her baby sister wrapped in a pink blanket sleeping on her back. She just stared and smiled at her when she heard her mother from the bed. "Hey you come give me some huggies." Lisel turned and ran over to her mother's open arms. She kissed her on the lips and snuggled in.

Penny held on to Lisel and looked over at the crib. She thought how life didn't get a lot better than this when Leonard walked in carrying a tray. It had fruit and scones from her favorite bakery and a cup of coffee on it. "Breakfast for two of my girls", Leonard said with a smile placing the tray on the nightstand. "

He walked over and got out a black and grey hounds tooth jacket and started out the door when Penny stopped him. "What no morning kiss?"

She watched him pull up and give her the smile, "I thought you'd never ask." Leonard came close and gave her soft slow kiss. He then turned and kissed Lisel on the head. "Eat your breakfast please we leave for school in half an hour."

Penny could feel her smile widen as he left the room. Look at that it did get better!

Long Protein Chains

Penny sat down on the couch with Matisse in the small bassinet beside her. The dogs were at her feet. Penny took one more look at the baby and picked up her laptop off the table. She started looking at her twitter account. She commented here and there and tweeted. "Home with the baby loving my life, love to my fans."

Penny started looking at the entertainment news. The announcement of Matisse's birth had been picked up. They were using a nice picture of Leonard and her from of all things the faculty mixer in January. They really were going to need to get some professional photos done. She started looking through the seedier tabloid blogs. Apparently she had actually had a surrogate and had just faked the pregnancy and labor. She opened the link and it was a picture of her and Bernadette leaving a restaurant a couple of weeks ago. She thought about forwarding it the gang but thought better of it. Last time Leonard and Howard had probably broken several laws to destroy the last tabloid blog website. Who knew what would happen if all four of them got fired up. A real bomb of some kind might be the result or knowing Bernadette an entire publishing company might suddenly get the black plague.

Penny shook her head it was actually rather funny. That wouldn't be something that anyone would cover up. If these people weren't so vile in their lies it could be satire. That's what Leonard thought anyway he was always looking for positive reasons why people did things. Penny looked over and checked on Matisse she was still sleeping. Just a few more weeks and she would start smiling and react more to the world around her. Penny could hardly wait. She put her laptop back on the table and realized she was actually lonely right now. She kept looking over to Leonard's spot and listening for Lisel. Penny wished her dad had not gone back yesterday he would have kept her company. She had given Chelsea the day off after she had been here both days of the weekend to help out.

She checked the time he should be at his office by now. She picked up Matisse and cradled her in her arms. "Tish please start a video call with Leonard at the office"

A few seconds later Leonard was on the screen at first a look of concern on his face. It softened quickly as he saw the baby and her smiling at him. "Hey you what's happening at the Hoftstader residence?"

"Matisse missed her father and wanted to say hi", She held up the baby so Leonard could see her face. Penny smiled what she knew was his favorite smile and watched his reaction. The smile came to his face and then he raised his eyebrows.

"Are you sure she's the only one that missed me?"

Penny could feel herself blushing, "Her mother may have come up with the idea if that's what you mean. How late will you be tonight?"

Leonard fiddled with his laptop a moment, "Later than I would like about 4:00 I'm going to get Lisel about 3:30 then I'll be home but have a conference call from home about 5:30 with a few donors. I should be all yours by 6:30 though.

Penny tried not to frown at least he didn't have a regents meeting or some faculty thing he had to attend.

"I miss you honey I'm sorry I sound like a home bound housewife or something."

Leonard laughed "Darling you'll never ever be that, if you want and feel up to it come down for lunch and we'll show the baby off in the cafeteria."

Penny felt better just hearing that option. "Maybe tomorrow sweetie, I'm not sure I'm up to the drive yet. I just missed you and Lisel today that's all. I'll be fine"

Leonard smiled at her but she could tell he had something serious on his mind as well, "Okay but if you're not fine call and I'll be home right away."

Penny tried to smile hoping it came off well, she held up Matisse, "Say bye to daddy, see you this afternoon honey". Leonard smiled and said goodbye and the screen went black.

She did feel a little better, well time to feed Matisse soon then I'll try the breast pump gizmo and see how that works. She settled back into the couch cradling the baby. "Tish play some light R&B please". The music helped at once as she waited for the baby to wake for her feeding.

Trays and Things

Leonard walked up to the table. Raj and Howard were already there. It seemed like the old days except everyone at the table was a lot older. He set his tray down and sat down, "Hi Raj, Howard where's Sheldon?"

Raj shook his head in disgust, "He's having an argument with the janitor who cleans his office. They keep moving the items on his desk to dust. He'll be here when he realizes the janitor doesn't speak English."

Leonard rolled his eyes and looked over at Howard, "What's up in the word of robotics and computers Howard? Oh and how's Bernadette doing?"

Howard looked at Leonard with a ghostly look, "It's definitely getting weird around casa Wolowitz. She's been craving weird food combinations last night it was peanut butter and pizza. I have to admit that one was actually tasty but she's getting pretty anxious. I may take the rest of the week off and stay home with her. Did you see the thing about her being the surrogate for you and Penny that's in the tabloids?"

Leonard looked shocked, "What are they saying?"

"They have a picture of her and Penny coming out of lunch from two weeks ago and are saying Penny was never really pregnant. They say the woman in the photo, Bernie, is the surrogate for your guys baby. We laughed it off this morning but she's pissed I can tell."

Leonard was both amused and concerned as Sheldon showed up with his tray. "Leonard we really must do something about our janitorial folks. They are moving things around at night its quite disturbing to come in to having my desk rearranged."

Leonard again rolled his eyes, "Sheldon I can either have them not clean your office or you can put everything inside your desk before you leave at night. Which will it be?"

Sheldon appeared to consider these options for a moment, "I'll just put my things away then but it will cut into my morning efficiency. How is baby Matisse doing?"

Leonard looked over at his old friend. Sheldon actually had concern on his face. Leonard was stunned at the change. Children had taken Sheldon into a whole new set of priorities he had failed to see before. "She's wonderful Sheldon, Penny is home with her and she's doing fine. How are Tyler and Maria doing?"

Sheldon got that rare smile that he would get when he solved something or at least found the right question that needed asked. "They are doing very well Leonard thank you for asking."

Leonard sat back in his chair picking at his plate of barely tolerable food. It was so wonderful to have the guys here again he thought. "Raj how is Aisha and the girls adjusting to the states?"

Raj smiled at him, "Remarkably well really. They do object to me having a hamburger or steak but they love how clean it is. They also are really enjoying their school. Aisha is like a new woman without my mother looking over her shoulder every moment."

Leonard felt for a moment that all was right in the world until Sheldon spoke.

"Leonard I could really use a bigger office farther away from distractions, Raj too. Then of course we will need more super computer time. Kripke is refusing us more time."

Leonard shook his head, going into administrator mode, "I'll see what can be done Sheldon"

Leonard saw Sheldon's hand shake an actual tremor. "Sheldon how long have you had that shake in your hand?"

Sheldon gave him a look of surprise, "I hadn't noticed that I was shaking." Sheldon grab his hand with the other and the tremor stopped. His face had a slightly confused look.

Howard chimed in, "Any plans for next weekend, they're having a special swap meet at City College. Stewart said there will be a bunch of vintage comic book collectors."

Leonard watched Sheldon he was excited and said he was in, Raj was in too. Leonard was still staring at Sheldon's hands. His left hand wasn't shaking anymore and he was starting on his lunch.

"Leonard, Leonard are you in?" Howard said insistently. Leonard shook his head to both decline and clear his thoughts, "I think I'll pass I want to spend time with Penny and the girls. You should bring Bernadette over though while you go we'll keep an eye on her."

Howard was all smiles, "Great sounds like a plan."

The rest of lunch was filled with gossip. Howard knew which new intern was sleeping with which professor. Sheldon scoffed and talked about how California really should have high speed rail. Raj told them he was trying to talk Aisha into another child.

Leonard listened adding the occasional comment or thought, but his eyes rarely left Sheldon's hands. He didn't have another tremor but Leonard had seen that kind of tremor before and he was frightened for his friend.

Rabbits Feet

Lisel handed the bunny back to her teacher. She loved holding the soft little animal. Lisel had carefully held and examined him very closely. The long soft ears, fluffy tail and twitching little nose were fascinating. She examined his feet wondering how anyone could consider them lucky. Her father was due anytime now she knew. The digital clock on the wall said it was almost 3:30 and they would all go home soon.

She'd had a great time playing with her friends Krystal and Megan today. Megan was very smart she already knew her letters, numbers and colors. They both helped Krystal learn hers and she almost had them all down. Art had been fun today. They had gotten to use paint and Lisel had spent a lot of time making new colors from the different paints. She at one point had six different colors of red she used in her painting. With a touch of green for grass and blue for the sky she had tried to recreate the brick building her grandparents lived in. She knew it was pretty close.

She looked up to see her father and several other parents come through the door and start signing them out. Lisel got her small backpack with Rascal in it and lined up with the other children to leave. Her father leaned over picked her up and started to carry her out. "How was school today little Lisel?"

"I had fun papa. I got to hold the bunny and paint. I played with my friends and helped the teacher's aide Miss Morton with her homework."

"What kind of homework was she doing Lisel?"

"Oh she had French homework from her school and I helped with some of the words."

Her father laughed and put her down and opened the rear car door for her to get in. Lisel got in and her father helped put her seat belt on. "What high school does Miss Morton go to Lisel?"

"Lisel thought about it, she'd seen her notebook. Somewhere called uckla"

Leonard looked over at her and kissed her forehead, he was grinning, "Do you mean UCLA?"

Lisel shook her head yes, "Oh yes that was it."

Midnight Musing

Penny had gone to bed early at 9:30 with Matisse. She woke to the baby crying at 12:30 and started to get up. She realized that Leonard hadn't been to bed yet. She picked up the baby from the crib cradling her for a moment and she quieted. Penny put her on the changing table and proceeded to change a wet diaper. She pressed Matisse to her breast and started feeding her and went in search of Leonard.

She found him sitting in his spot having a whiskey staring at the fire. Penny sat beside him as he looked up. "Sorry Honey I didn't hear her I should have told Tish to put the monitor on out here."

Penny could see worry and anxiety in his face. She cuddled up with his arm around her. "What's up sweetie?"

Leonard stared back at the fire, "I'm not sure I should tell you or anyone at this point. If I do tell you though you'll have to really keep it to yourself. At least until I decide what to do. You have a problem with that sometimes especially with our friends."

Penny reached over put her hand softly on his cheek and turned his face toward her. She looked in his eyes smiling. "I've learned how to keep my mouth shut the hard way Leonard, spill it"

Leonard didn't hesitate, "I think there may be something wrong with Sheldon honey. Something very bad, you know how he is I need to figure out the best way to handle it."

Penny was shocked, tears started to come to her eyes. "What's wrong with Sheldon?"

Leonard explained the tremor today and how he'd used his other hand to control it.

Penny listened and she got to the same place as Leonard, "He might have Parkinson's."

Leonard just nodded yes and took another drink of his whiskey.

Reviews are always appreciated, thanks so much

To remind the readers: As I said at the beginning of Part III the updates will be a little further apart but the longer chapters should be worth it.