Leonard dropped his keys in the small bowl on the table next to the door, his eyes instinctively searching for the presence of his eccentric roommate, and was unsurprised to find the man sitting in his spot, waiting impatiently.
'It's about time,' Sheldon said loftily. 'I was beginning to think the traffic might have been more severe than usual.'
'Sorry,' Leonard replied. 'Howard and Raj wanted to talk to me and wanted me to tell you they can't make it tonight.'
'What?' Sheldon's face morphed into a shocked frown, as if the thought of not being able to make it to a previously planned dinner at a Thai restaurant was highly suspicious behavior. 'Are they sick? Fatally injured?'
'No,' Leonard shifted uncomfortably, not sure what to say. Raj and Howard had wanted to talk to Leonard about their new relationship, having upgraded from 'just friends', but they seemed reluctant to tell Sheldon and the small man was unsure how to skirt around the subject. 'They, ah, decided to spend the time strengthening their… friendship.'
Sheldon accepted this without argument, although his face showed his contempt at them having pulled out last minute. His eyes followed Leonard as the man collapsed tiredly onto the sofa and pulled his trainers off, before stating, 'I want to leave now.'
The shorter physicist groaned loudly and leaned back against the cushions. 'I just got home and I just sat down, Sheldon.'
There was a short pause and Sheldon wondered why Leonard was stating the obvious before deciding to try again. 'I want to leave now, Leonard.'
The silence lengthened when Leonard decided to just ignore him, closing his eyes and resting after a hectic day of running around after Sheldon, dropping him home early, and then running around after Howard and Raj. Not literally running of course, the physicist hadn't subjected himself to that particular form of humiliation since P.E classes in his youth unless absolutely necessary. Sheldon tolerated the silence for a total of ten seconds before he began to get impatient.
'Leonard, don't ignore me,' his voice held a slightly whiny tone, as he was quite accustomed to getting everything he wanted from his roommate.
'I'll stop ignoring you when you stop ignoring my pleas for some rest,' the smaller man replied shortly, his tired mood drifting closer to an angry mood every time Sheldon opened his mouth, which seemed to be a lot.
'Please, Shelly?' the use of the taller man's nickname that was generally only used by family had the desired effect. Sheldon's cheeks flushed very slightly and his complaints faded away. Leonard let out a content sigh, grateful to the silence. He had discovered his roommate become more compliant when the nickname was utilized; perhaps it was tied to a happy memory? Or maybe Sheldon was pleased Leonard was using a family nickname, thus declaring the two were close enough to be family. Either way, he had started using this to his advantage shamelessly, and he almost got his way as much as Sheldon now.
The taller man, meanwhile, was struggling to find a suitable topic to bring Leonard's attention back onto him. Eventually he settled on their mutual friends, although he had no real interest in the subject. He just wanted Leonard's eyes to open and focus on him again. 'Why on earth would Wolowitz and Koothrapali wish to spend time strengthening their friendship? They seem as close as they're ever going to get.'
His voice succeeded in turning Leonard's gaze on him. The tired looking man shrugged, but seemed to be watching him closely. 'I think Raj was worried that Howard wasn't interested in spending time between just the two of them anymore,' Leonard lied smoothly.
'Why would they want to spend alone time together when they see each other almost every day and spend time together with the addition of us on top of that?' Sheldon queried, looking bewildered.
'Think of it this way,' Leonard said in a soft tone. 'I like spending time with the group but I also like spending time with just you, Shelly. Its what best friends do.'
'Ah,' Sheldon replied tactfully. He was never very good at social dynamics and while he had gathered over the years that he and Leonard were in fact best friends, he hadn't considered that Raj and Howard shared the same best friend relationship as well. As he digested this information, he once again asked Leonard if they could leave.
Instead of being annoyed, Leonard only smiled slightly. The short rest had energized him enough that he felt okay about driving to the Thai restaurant and back. 'Alright, Sheldon, we'll go.'
Sheldon jumped to his feet, collecting his coat and waiting impatiently beside the door for Leonard to pull his shoes back on. Truth be told, he didn't really mind that Howard and Raj wouldn't be joining them. He looked forward to spending time with Leonard's attention focused solely on him.
He really was getting quite addicted to it.