Hello, Big Bang fans! I have written several fan fiction stories, but this is my first Big Bang story, as I have only recently discovered the show. But thanks to TBS and You Tube, I've seen most of the episodes so far. Hopefully this effort will be worthy of the show.

The first few chapters hold to canon, as I set up the story, so bear with me if I am retelling what has happened on the show. It will branch off into my own story.

And to my House fans, don't despair. I haven't abandoned our favorite doctor, I just needed to write this one. I'd love to do a crossover because I think it would be so much fun to get House and Sheldon into the same room!

Chapter 1

When I was nine years old and in high school, I was only interested in studying science and mathematics. History was acceptable, but only barely. However, the school – and my mother – insisted that I study the humanities as well. I protested, of course, but to no avail.

Most of the books they forced me to read were useless. Oh yes, classic literature and well written, I suppose, but they had no meaning to my life. Really, the social mores of 19th century England? What did that have to do with me?

I kept this viewpoint until I was given Miguel de Cervantes classic, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha or, in English, The Ingenius Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha. (I would have liked to read it in its original Spanish, but alas, my knowledge of that language was and is lacking. Something I must correct…)

Finally, I found a book that spoke to me. True, I was not a delusional nobleman fighting windmills in Spain. But I was in the midst of tilting at my own personal windmills – 20th century Texas, a hard-drinking father and bible thumping mother – these were things with which I could identify.

The knight errant of the book was the subject of much derision by those he encountered and was often at the receiving hand of violence doled out by the bullies of his time. This was something I knew all too well.

I re-read the book many times throughout college and decided to adopt the hero's ideals. I would dream the "impossible dream" of obtaining a Nobel Prize. I would fight the unbeatable foes that were my family and acquaintances in my hometown. I would bear the abuse of my classmates. I would do all of this for the goal of bringing knowledge and advancement to the world.

And, most of all, I would love pure and chaste from afar.

I have always believed that by keeping love and emotion on a higher plane and out of my everyday life, I would be better able to concentrate on the important work that I was doing. My friends and acquaintances believe that I neither have the ability nor the inclination to love anyone. But they would be wrong.

I have a great depth of love and emotion inside of me. But I realized early on in my life that if I gave free realm to those feelings, they would overcome everything else in my life. That was why Don Quixote's pledge was much more practical for me. By loving only pure and chaste from afar, I would allow my feelings to survive without destroying everything else.

The only problem was that there was never a woman worthy of that sort of love. So I kept control of my life, while holding that pure and perfect love inside me for the woman who would be worthy of it. And when I did find her, I would never reveal my love. I would never sully her by expressing it carnally. I would be as Don Quixote de La Mancha and love from afar. But love I would.

(from the personal journal of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD)

Penny had learned a long time ago to treat everyone kindly. Oh she had gone through the phase in high school of being popular and thinking she was better than the other girls, but when someone tried to get the better of her by putting her down, she realized how wrong that was. From then on she decided to accept everyone as they were and be friendly to all.

So when she moved into her new apartment in Pasadena, she was happy to greet her neighbors. She could tell at first glance that they were a bit geeky, and even briefly thought they were lovers. She was wrong on that count, but not on the geek part. Still, when they invited her for lunch, she readily went and was truly impressed when she saw how smart they were.

Of course, both of them could use major makeovers, but she didn't see that as her call. The short one, Leonard, was trying so hard to impress her. She just knew he was the I-need-love type. At that moment, she wasn't interested in providing it. She'd just come out of a relationship and she needed some freedom.

The tall one, Sheldon, was another story. He was just as awkward, but he was also very sure of himself in his awkwardness. And he had the most amazing blue eyes. But when she asked him to sit beside her, giving him her sweetest smile, he was not interested.

And then when he cleaned her apartment while she slept , she was ready to write the pair of them off as weirdos. But then she realized that they needed acceptance as much as anyone. From then on, she did just that. She accepted them. As her neighbors, companions and, eventually, friends.

As time passed, the guys lost a little of their awkwardness. Not too much, which was good, since she thought they were sweet the way they were. And she also changed, learning to experience a different world and using her brain instead of always her looks.

Still, even though Sheldon annoyed her to hell most of the time, she found sparring with him to be extremely stimulating. And it was hard to be hurt by the things he said, since she knew that he only said what he saw as the truth. He was practically incapable of lying.

And since he spoke the truth, she was forced to examine herself. And she found where she could improve. Which she had.

The difference between Leonard and Sheldon was very basic: everything Leonard did and said to her was to impress her. Nothing Sheldon did or said to her was to impress her.

She knew from the beginning that Leonard was hoping to hook up with her. Men had been acting that way around her since she was fourteen. She recognized the signs. Even though Leonard was more awkward than the other guys, the signs were the same. She also knew he really cared about her, but he was enamored by her at first sight. The same as the other guys.

Sheldon, on the other hand, was not impressed by her at all. At least he didn't seem to be. She smiled at him, complimented him on his white board and invited him to sit beside her. While he seemed flattered that she liked his board, otherwise, he was immune to the charms that were obvious to other men.

As time went on, Leonard tried harder to impress her. They did eventually hook up and she enjoyed their time together and even regretted breaking up with him the way she did. But she knew there was something missing in their relationship. She was happy to retain him as a friend, but also happy the affair was over.

As the same time passed with Sheldon, they became friends. He never treated her as a sex object, since sex wasn't an object to him. He was as brutally honest with her as he was with everyone else, but coming from him it made sense. She knew that he came to appreciate and respect her as a person, not just as a pretty girl. That was unbelievably liberating to her.

She didn't have to dress up around him. He never cared what she was wearing anyway. She didn't have to flirt to get her way. Flirting never worked with him. Logic or blackmail were the only things that did. She didn't have to play the "girl" card to get him to listen. He paid attention to what she said mostly because he wanted to be able to refute it. But he would consider her words and, if they made sense to him, he would follow her advice.

And no matter how annoying he could be, he could also be incredibly sweet.

He was an unusual man. A strange mixture: The sad, spoiled little boy; the brilliant scientist; the OCD nut; and the sexy man.

Yes, she said sexy. Not that she'd ever want to explore that, nor would he apparently. But she'd always liked tall men, though usually more muscular than Sheldon Cooper. Still, recently, he'd bulked up a little bit and he looked even better than before.

And those eyes? Well, women would certainly melt under those eyes. At least until he opened his mouth. Then all bets were off.

Penny realized it was stupid to ask Leonard to retrieve her television from her ex-boyfriend almost the moment he and Sheldon left. Who does that? Meet a guy and use him to do something she should have done herself.

She was just in that place where she did not want to deal with Kurt. But one thing she knew: Leonard and Sheldon had showed her that their characters were better than her ex by a million fold.

Especially Sheldon. She could tell that Leonard liked her – he sent out the signals from almost the instant they met. But Sheldon was not in that category. Still, he'd accompanied Leonard. She assumed it was due to friendship and that said a lot about the man.

When they returned – sans TV and trousers – she felt awful and tried to bolster their lost dignity by taking everyone out to dinner, Which strongly affected her budget, but she knew it was the right thing to do.

At the sushi bar, she thanked them again.

"Thank you guys so much for doing that. And I am so sorry! He's such a jerk. I really don't know what I was thinking."

"That's okay," Leonard said. "It was no big deal."

"No," Sheldon countered. "It was a big deal. We faced a very large man on a futile quest for a piece of electronics. We lost our pants in the process – pants, may I add, that my mother bought me – and were forced to travel home in an embarrassing manner."

Penny looked like she would cry. "I really am sorry."

"While that is a noble sentiment, Penny, it does not recover our clothing, does it?"

"I'm buying dinner," she added in a small voice.

"Sheldon!" Leonard chastised him. "Be nice. Penny didn't know he would do that."

Sheldon looked at the blonde girl and sighed. He knew he would have to now put up with this girl for Leonard's sake, as tedious as that would be.

"Very well. I forgive you," he said in a tired voice.

She smiled and her face lit up. "Thank you, Sheldon. I promise I won't do anything like that again."

"Oh, I predict that you will do many things like that in the months to come and I shall have to endure it."

As a promise to readers: I never leave a story unfinished. So if you start this one, you won't be left hanging. Remember, reviews are like chocolate to a woman with PMS! And I'd love to know what all of you Big Bang fans think.