Chapter 60 Fifth Ellipse

Sixty chapters who'd have thought this little one shot would go sixty chapters I really do need to reevaluate my use of free time. Basically an ellipse is the cross section of a cone when cut at an angle. Like a circle it's a closed shape with no ends. There is no beginning and no end just a continuous shape. Maybe that's how we got to sixty. I have no end to the story just of my own involvement there in. So someday I'll just stop adding to it. The Threads part of the title refers to those little pieces of twine that make up rope. If the entire story is a rope the threads are the little pieces of that story. Pull out this thread and it's dramatic, or pull another and it's funny and touching. I just keep pulling at those threads and hope the rope doesn't tighten around my neck and strangle me. That I don't write myself into a corner I can't get out of. This chapter may pull very hard on one of those threads. I haven't really decided yet. Yep I own everything today, our new company motto, Take over the world then search for new planets. Ouch bit my tongue must get bigger cheeks.

Direct via Fargo

Penny had watched the entire exchange between Leonard and his mother from the hallway. When Leonard had finally looked up and noticed her she smiled at him. He couldn't have handled the conversation better. She thought how easily it could have become acrimonious and hurtful. In fact she knew years ago it would have. Leonard would have boiled over and Beverly would have insulted his intelligence and accomplishments or lack thereof. Penny was so proud of him at this moment. He had used reason and logic to justify his position that Beverly had to accept at least for now. Then it hit her that the protocol had called for Leonard to use intellect instead of his emotions to solve problems. Oh how he'd turned it on her, he used intellect and logic to justify an emotional decision and goal.

Penny walked into the kitchen kissing Leonard's cheek on the way. "Good morning all umm need my coffee." Penny poured herself a cup and leaned on the counter where Leonard had been earlier taking a large sip. It was very strong and aromatic she smiled and enjoyed it eying the Hoftstaders young and old. I guess that includes me now. "It's nice to see you two talking do you have any plans for the day?"

Leonard looked over at his mother. "Mom is there anything you'd like to do today here in sunny Burbank California."

"If you two don't mind I'd like to spend the day with Lisel if she can stay home from school today. We could go to that lovely park that was by your old apartment."

Leonard was nodding his head, "Sure I think she'd love that we'll have lunch at the apartment if you like you've never seen the remodeled version."

Lisel chose this moment to round the corner of the hallway, rascal under one arm and the cat under the other. She was still sleepy Penny could tell and came over and crawled into Leonard's lap. He wrapped her in his arms and just held her. Penny looked over at Beverly who was intently watching Leonard. Penny could see it in her face. It was envy and regret that she had lost moments like this. Leonard must have felt it. He lifted Lisel and gave her one last hug then placed her in Beverly's lap. He then smiled at Penny, "I'll get in the shower grandma and mommy can love on you little Lisel"

Penny walked around and kissed Lisel on the cheek. "I think grandma might like you to herself I need to check on baby Matisse."

Penny smiled at Beverly and headed after Leonard. Penny found him in bathroom getting ready to shave. The foam was already on and she stood behind him looking in the mirror. He smiled back at her. "I have no idea why you like watching me shave."

She had always enjoyed watching him scrape away his whiskers. The long strokes with the razor very quick and efficient something very languid and fluid about his movements. Penny stopped him and took the razor out of his hand. "Let me do it."

His eyes got large she knew it was something she'd never tried before but it couldn't be more difficult than her ankles. Of course she usually had a waxing done these days. She started on the sideburns just like he always did and worked on one side then the other rinsing the razor in the sink as she went. She was very careful on his chin and neck. She handed him back the razor to do his upper lip. When he had finished she kissed him feeling the residual shaving cream on her face as she did. She backed them both toward the shower removing her pajamas and his boxer as they went.


Penny towel dried her hair as Leonard fed the baby. They had both had fun in the shower but Penny really was counting down to when they could actually have coitus again. Sheldon's favorite word for sex she supposed. Scientific yet it still sounded just a little bit dirty. Just a few more weeks and then they would be cleared for intercourse again. She started thinking about birth control. They both felt two children were what they wanted. Should she go with one of the new yearly shots, or something different? Leonard had offered to have a vasectomy but she wasn't sure yet. It was Tish talking that caught her attention.

"Leonard and Penny Lisel says something is wrong with her grandmother."

Penny stepped out of the bathroom to see Lisel run into the room.

"Something's wrong with grandmama she suddenly stopped talking and is breathing funny"

Leonard was by her on his way to the great room. Penny swept up Lisel looking over her shoulder to see the baby was in the crib. She started toward the great room with Lisel in her arms. "Tish monitor the baby please house wide please"

She found Leonard beside his mother on the TV couches looking into her eyes. He spoke rapidly not with panic but very insistently.

"Tish call 911 on the speaker."

Within a few seconds a 911 operator was on the speaker. "911 What's your emergency?"

Leonard instantly, "We need an ambulance and paramedics an elderly lady has had a stroke"

"Emergency services have been notified their ETA is 15 minutes do you need me to stay on the line."

Leonard shook his head, "No thank you"

Penny got to the couch and Leonard looked up at her. He was in that scientific mode very calm but she could see he was on the edge.

"One pupil is dilated the other reactive, Shit, Shit, Shit."

He was losing it a little now, he hardly ever cursed and never in front of the children. He quickly went to the chest behind the fireplace and retrieved a blanket. Penny noticed it was the blue one she had given him. He wrapped it around Beverly then sat beside her and held her hand. Tears were running down his face now when he looked back at Penny.

"Why don't you take Lisel into her room for a bit?"

Penny shook her head, "I'll take her to our room and get dressed. I'll call Chelsea and go with you or meet you there."

Leonard just nodded and stared back at his mother.


Leonard looked at the door to ICU repeatedly waiting for the doctor to appear. The emergency department had transferred her to ICU almost at once. All they had been able to tell him was that it was either a massive stroke or aneurism they would know when the MRI was completed. The Neurologist and Neurosurgeon on call were on their way and they'd know soon.

His phone buzzed, it was Penny texting, "Where the hell are you?"

He texted her back, "ICU waiting room 3 west."

Leonard had control of his emotions now. What had she not been telling him? Dammit Beverly you knew something was wrong. He should have seen it, but she was an enigma to him for most of his life. Penny came into the room moments later and he rose and wrapped her in a hug. He just held her it filled him up to be right there.

She pulled back and looked in his eyes.

"Either a massive stroke or aneurism their saying they don't know yet."

She hugged him again, harder this time.

After a time they pulled apart and sat on the couch behind them together she clasping his hand and touching his cheek softly. Leonard realized they were not alone in the room. Another couple sat on the opposite couch to them. A younger couple both looking shocked and in pain. He wondered what family member of theirs was in the ICU. Shared misery he supposed hoping it was not their child.

He looked into Penny's eyes, green and bright but filled with tears. He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it gently.

"She knew something was wrong, that's why she wanted to be here. I'm not sure what she wanted to accomplish but I hope she did."

He looked back at the doors to the ICU. He really should call Sheldon and let him know what's going on. He was much closer to Beverly than he was. Then he saw Sheldon and Amy come through the doors into the waiting room. He looked over at Penny. She had a that soft subtle smile.

"I called him on the way here, I knew he would want to be here."

Sheldon came over and sat beside them Amy taking a chair to the side.

"Leonard so we know anything yet?" Sheldon was calm but Leonard could see his friend was emotional, a rare and uncommon state for the brilliant physicist.

"Nothing yet Sheldon, she's either had a stroke or aneurism."

A young female in scrubs walked through the door then. "Hoftstader Family?" She asked.

Leonard waved his hand and the doctor came over and moved a chair so she could sit and talk to the group.

"I'm Dr Byrd I've been caring for Beverly."

She gave them all a very serious look.

"I'm afraid she's suffered a very massive stroke. The MRI shows it's not her first she may have been having these vascular problems for some time. We're waiting on records from Princeton right now. I'm afraid this is not a recoverable event. It is worsening as time goes on. She's on a respirator now. She would not be breathing on her own without it. When we receive her advanced directive from Princeton we'll know her wishes. I understand she has one. I'm very sorry but it's only a matter of time now."

Leonard was stunned he looked at Sheldon who was more matter of fact.

"She'll want to be removed from life support I'm sure."

Sheldon was pensive and there were tears in his eyes.

"I'm sorry Leonard she was a brilliant person it will be a great lose"

Leonard felt Penny's arm slide around his shoulder and he turned toward her. She was openly weeping now tears running down her cheeks. He knew that most of those tears were for him. Leonard did what he did best he held his wife in his arms and tried to comfort her even as she tried to comfort him.

Two hours later at 2:40PM on October 11th 2025 the respirator was turned off and Beverly Hoftstader PhD was pronounced dead. She was 77 years old.

Reviews and Ideas really do help the process one more chapter is already in my mind it feels like it should be a good one.