Chapter 1 Freeing Others to Act

A not from SOK: This is a serialized work, I won't edit or rewrite it until its complete, so excuse, any typos or other issues I missed duirng proofing. Hope you enjoy my very own season 6 of big bang theory. As you move into the later chapters this piece is from an audience point of view.

What and Where is Home

Leonard trudged the last few steps up the stairs to the fourth floor. He rounded the corner next to the elevator and stared at the door to 4B longingly. He would have loved to knock and say hi to Penny. It would feel so good to wrap his arms around her one more time. The thought of her lips on his and her hands around his neck was almost intoxicating for a moment. Not today, he thought, too tired, too depressed. He slung his bag further up on his shoulder and walked into 4A.

Sheldon was on the couch intently scribbling on a small pad. He looked up at Leonard and abruptly stopped what he was doing. Sheldon had a funny look on his face, a mixture of annoyance and concern.

"So what did the doctor say?"

Leonard looked back at him with a smirk, "Are you concerned about my health or if your differential diagnosis was correct?"

Sheldon tried to put on a concerned face, failing, but tried Leonard could tell, "Both actually."

Leonard continued to smirk, "Well the answer is both actually. I have a lymphatic disorder but I won't know more until the biopsy tomorrow morning. The antibiotics aren't helping so they are pretty sure what it is."

Sheldon looked down at his shoes, "Oh"

Leonard dropped his bag on his desk and walked over to his chair. He flopped down and leaned his head back looking at the ceiling.

Sheldon stood, walked over and sat at his desk. He opened his laptop and began to type.

"Sounds like you'll need a PET scan and MRI next if the biopsy comes back positive. Then a full cardio workup before treatment, but there are some other tests they may want to do."

Leonard sat up and looked over at Sheldon's back. He'd heard the same thing from his doctor today at Caltech.

"Sheldon thanks for acting as my medical advisor the last few days."

Sheldon turned to look at him, a small satisfied grin on his face.

"That said, Sheldon you of course know what HIPAA means right?"

Sheldon stopped grinning, "Of course I do Leonard."

Leonard nodded his head now, "Then you know that you're bound by it also now as my medical advisor. You have to keep everything about this to yourself."

Sheldon looked stunned, he almost stuttered.

"But Leonard you can't hold me to that kind of secrecy. What am I supposed to say when someone asks? We'll need a cover story."

Leonard remembered vividly the last cover story Sheldon had come up with. No that wasn't going to happen again, way too much chaos would occur.

"If someone asks directly you may tell them that I have some health issues and they should talk to me. That it's private. If that doesn't work call me and let me talk to them."

Sheldon seemed better with that, "That should work, no need to lie or make up a plausible story, just call you and hand them the phone."

Leonard wondered how long it would be before he got his first call. He had arrangements to make though. He would need a ride to and from the surgery center where they were doing the biopsy. He would need to let his department chair know he was taking the day off. He took care of the latter with a text to Dr. Gablehouser. The former took a little thought but he really could only think of one person outside of the gang. He was sure they would do it, especially if a little compensation were involved. Leonard called Stuart at the comic book store.

When he ended the call with Stuart he saw Sheldon was staring at him.

"Why not just ask Penny to take you?"

Leonard tilted his head back to look through his glasses at Sheldon, "Penny's working tonight and she'll want to sleep in. Besides I don't want her to know anything is wrong. Things have been weird enough as it is. She hasn't so much as touched me or talked to me very often since Howard went into space."

Sheldon nodded, "The whole proposal during coitus issue still a problem?"

Leonard leaned back in his chair again, "It might not be if you would quit bringing it up."

"So noted, no more coitus rogationem"

Leonard shook his head, "Even in Latin, thank you very much"

"How about in Klingon?"

Sheldon was about to speak when Leonard held up his hand, "Enough, Sheldon really."

"Oh it's quite lovely in Klingon, but I'll keep it to myself."

Leonard stood and started down the hall, "I'm going to bed"

Sheldon looked after him, tilting his head slightly, "You do know it's only 6:13 in the evening."

"I know"

Sheldon turned back to his laptop, "Hmmm" and started typing before saying the line in Klingon.

He smiled to himself.

"I heard that Sheldon."

A Quick Bite

Penny had got off early. She rounded the third floor landing realizing she should have eaten at the restaurant before leaving. But you get tired of the same food you serve to people all day. Penny could have stopped off for something on the way home. She was pretty sure 80 cents and the 3 tampons in her purse wouldn't buy much though. Penny did have fruit at home of course, the liquid variety, juice and wine. Well margarita mix and wine that was kind of like juice. She rounded the 4th floor landing and stared at the door to 4A. She hadn't seen Leonard since last weekend and then only to say hi in the hallway.

Penny walked to the door knocked quickly and went in. Sheldon was in his spot eating popcorn.

He looked up at her, "One usually waits for at least a salutation before entering."

"I smelt the popcorn. Hey you have any leftovers from dinner, I'm starving?"

Sheldon gave her a condescending look, "There's containers in the fridge, help yourself"

Penny walked by hearing very softly, "You always do", as she walked to the kitchen.

She started to rummage around in the fridge. There was quite a selection, Chinese, Thai, and Indian. As Penny opened the containers she knew at once they were all Leonard's. Sheldon almost always ate all of his meals and none of what was there were things he liked. Most of the containers were almost full. Leonard had been eating lightly lately. She finally settled on the Thai Chicken and popped it in the microwave.

"How long for Thai Chicken Sheldon?"

"Put it on a plate and do 47 seconds."

Penny left it in the carton and pressed the 1 minute button. She waited until there was 10 seconds left then opened the microwave. Then she carefully picked up the now warm carton and a fork from the drawer. Penny walked in and sat on the opposite end of the couch and looked at the TV. A very old Japanese movie was on with a giant moth attacking a city. Penny would have left at that point and eaten back at her place but she didn't want to seem rude.

"What movie is this?"

"Mothra versus Godzilla, it's a classic."

Penny raised her eyebrows and looked over at Sheldon. Then her eyes fell on Leonard's empty chair.

"Where's Leonard at tonight?"

Penny knew instantly that Sheldon was hiding something. He fidgeted in his seat, he didn't have the tick yet, but it would come.

"What's going on Sheldon?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm just having a quiet evening watching "

At this point he had his phone out and was dialing.


Leonard awoke to the buzzing of his phone. He grabbed his glasses, picked it up and saw it was Sheldon.

"Well that certainly didn't take long."

He answered, "What is it Sheldon"

"Someone has some questions for you. I never said a word about your health."

Leonard was trying to respond when he heard Penny's voice on the phone now.

"Leonard where are you, and what's this about your health?"

Oh for god sake, "Nothings the matter, I'm in bed I was really tired okay. I had a doctor's appointment today and mister paranoid has issues. It's nothing really."

As he said this, the door to his room opened. Penny was standing there with the phone to her ear. He could see she was still in her work uniform. In her other hand was a takeout container with a fork sticking out of it. Penny ended the call and placed Sheldon's phone on the night stand. She stood next to the bed and started eating again.

"Give it up Leonard, you're no better than Sheldon at hiding things, I can see it on your face?"

Leonard looked down now. He really needed to learn to lie a little better.

"It's really nothing. I have a swollen Lymph node under my right arm."

"That bump, I felt it when we were, ah hmm, you know when, the other day."

"It didn't go away, so I went to the doctor and he gave me some antibiotics, but it didn't get better. So tomorrow they're going to do a very small procedure and biopsy it."

Penny took another bite now, as she still chewed, "What do they think it is?"

Leonard looked up at her, might as well let her know, "Hodgkin's Lymphoma"

Penny finished chewing, "What's that, is it serious?"

Leonard knew this wasn't going to go well, "It's a form of cancer."

The container fell to the floor along with the fork.

Leonard looked down at the mess. That's going to leave a stain. What a weird thing to think of.

Where am I going with this? Haven't got a clue yet. Just going to follow the road for bit and see where it goes.