This is the complete Winding Road Home in its edited form in 24 episodes instead of chapters.

Episode 1 Lymphatic Dislocation

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 of marriage 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.


Leonard started to get out of bed to clean up the mess. Penny though was just standing there now with her hand covering her mouth as tears were starting to stream down her face. He reached down to the floor and started scooping the food back into the container.

Leonard stood with the container as Penny stepped forward and crushed him in a hug. The food container was between them in his hand. Leonard could feel the sticky sauce soaking through his t-shirt. Leonard wrapped his free hand around Penny and gently held her lower back.

She was sobbing now, "It's okay Penny. It may be nothing we won't know until after the biopsy. It's okay."

Penny stepped back after a few more seconds. She wiped her eyes with her hands. Leonard was looking into her eyes. He quickly looked down to his now soiled t-shirt.

"I better change out of this."

He was very confused about what to do or feel at this very moment. At least removing the now sticky shirt was some kind of action. Leonard turned to his dresser placing the container on top then stripped off his t-shirt. He opened the second drawer and got another. Leonard put the shirt on as he turned. Penny was now sitting on the bed. Her hand was back to her mouth but she was no longer sobbing. Leonard walked to the door and put his old red robe on. He sat down beside her on the bed. Then slid his arm around her and she leaned into his shoulder.

Leonard just held her and waited.

Penny moved her hand to his chest finally and spoke very softly, "If it is cancer, what then?"

Leonard thought about what the doctor had said. The steps were pretty vivid right now.

"Then more tests to determine the stage of the disease. Once they know the stage then they'll suggest the treatment."

He didn't want to talk about the treatments just yet.

Penny stayed with her head on his shoulder. Leonard didn't move he just held her.

Moving on

Leonard finally felt her straighten up. He took the opportunity to rise from the bed.

"I better get the scrub brush and some cleaner for this spot. When I spilt a blue Slurpee on Sheldon's carpet he had a fit, thus spawning, 'the no food or drink in the bedroom clause', in the roommate agreement. I'm not sure it even applies to my room."

Leonard moved to the kitchen, grabbing a brush and spray cleaner. He turned and noticed that Sheldon was nowhere to be seen.

"Sheldon, Sheldon! Great now Sheldon had got out, maybe Penny left the door open." He chuckled slightly as he headed down the hall.

Leonard saw that Penny was now lying on the bed, her head on his pillow. He got down on the carpet and started scrubbing the stain. He was surprised that it came out pretty easily. Leonard stood and looked over at Penny. She was staring at him, her green eyes rimmed red.

"I have to go round up Sheldon, he's escaped again. I'll be right back."

Penny just nodded.


Leonard stood on the fourth floor landing trying to decide if he should go up or down. He started up the stairs to the roof.

Sheldon was standing on the roof several feet from the edge looking up at the moon.

Leonard walked up beside him, "Hey Sheldon, out for a little star gazing?"

Sheldon continued to stare upward, "I'm sorry Leonard. I heard Penny crying and realized why you wanted to keep it private for a while."

Leonard nodded, "Come on she's done crying, come back down and catch up on the Godzilla marathon."

Sheldon turned and started walking toward the stairs, "You know Leonard, Hodgkin's Lymphoma has an 85% or better survival rate for at least 5 years."

Leonard followed behind him, "Sheldon if I gave you a parachute and told you that you had an 85% chance of surviving a jump off the roof would you jump or just decide to take the stairs?"

"Point taken"


Leonard walked back into his room to find Penny asleep in her work clothes in his bed. Her head was on his pillow, she snored ever so softly. Leonard reached over and pulled the comforter up over her. Then softly brushed the hair off her forehead and kissed it. She stirred for a moment then was asleep again. He considered getting in bed on the other side but thought better of it.

"I wonder which Godzilla movie is on"

He closed the door gently to the bedroom as he left.

Leonard awoke on the couch not really sure when he'd fallen asleep. He thought he could remember 'The Return of Godzilla" had been on. He was covered in a blanket on the couch. What had woken him was a hand resting softly on his shoulder. Leonard blinked several times and looked up at her standing by him. She'd changed into his gray dress shirt.

"Come to bed sweetie, I don't want to sleep alone."

Leonard nodded as he stood letting Penny lead him toward his bedroom. She helped him out of his robe and into the bed. The spot where he lay down was still warm. He felt Penny crawl in the bed and turned toward her. She buried her face into his chest with her arms tucked up against him. Leonard put his right arm over her and closed his eyes.

"Leonard, I never did eat. I'm still hungry."

Leonard kissed the top of her head, "There's lots of food in the fridge."

"I noticed you haven't been eating much."

Leonard closed his eyes and smiled before sleepily adding, "I always get extra in case you come over, you just haven't been around much. I don't even like Thai chicken that's your favorite. I wonder if it will come out of my shirt."

Episode 2 Winding Up


Penny was awakened when Leonard walked back into the bedroom. He was wearing his favorite Star Wars boxers and white socks. His hair was still wet from the shower. She watched from the bed as he approached the dresser and opened a cellophane package on top of it. Leonard took a large wipe from the package and proceeded to swab it under his right arm and side.

"Sweetie what are you doing?"

Leonard turned and looked through his glasses at her, "I'm sterilizing the skin where they will do the procedure. Just following the instructions, it's kind of cold and sticky."

Penny laid her head back on the pillow and the previous night came flooding back.

She started to get up as Leonard went to the closet, "Why don't you sleep in for a while. I have to take Sheldon to work then meet Stuart back here at 10:00 so he can take me to the surgery center."

"I'll take you."

Leonard was putting on a blue dress shirt now and looked back at her, "I know you would, I also know you have to work the lunch shift today. Besides Stuart as usual needs the money so he's playing chauffeur today."

Penny watched him pull on a pair of dark brown cords and grab his shoes.

"Nice outfit today, no hoody?"

Leonard sat on the bed and started to put his shoes on, "I need to have something that buttons up for afterward. They said something loose fitting that doesn't have to go over my head."

Penny could feel herself becoming upset. Leonard was going under the knife today. She started to get up again. Leonard reached over and touched her shoulder.

"Really, stay in bed I'll be back this afternoon. Knowing you'll be sleeping here in my gray shirt will help."

Penny scrunched back down into the bed and smiled up at him. She was going to do her best to be upbeat. Penny did love Leonard's bed it was more comfortable than her own. If only Sheldon wasn't around to disturb them. He leaned over to kiss her forehead. Penny reached up and steered his lips to hers. Teeth brushed or not he needed a good kiss. Their lips met and she pulled him closer. When Leonard finally pulled back he had a bewildered look on his face. Penny just smiled and closed her eyes.

The Drop Off

Sheldon looked down at his phone as he rode in the passenger seat of Leonard's car.

"Did you tell Penny about HIPAA? She apparently has texted Amy and Bernadette that you may have cancer."

Leonard shook his head, "No need to, Penny answers to the higher law of gossip mongering. I knew she would tell them. Bernadette will tell Raj and Howard so the whole gang will know soon enough. You can tell my mother if you like."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon and saw the guilt written across his now ticking face.

"I see that's already been accomplished, was it email or video chat?"

Sheldon looked back straight ahead more relaxed now, "Video chat this morning when you were in the shower."

Leonard almost laughed, "Was she concerned?"

Sheldon looked toward him now, "Of course she was concerned Leonard. We went through the numbers together and scenarios of treatment. I'll need to recalculate the Mayo clinic research, their math seems highly rounded."

Leonard was about to speak when Sheldon continued, "If it does end up being Hodgkin's she'd like to do a brain scan and some cognitive test before you have chemotherapy. Then another set upon completion of your treatment."

Leonard smirked now and gave Sheldon a sideways glance, "Tell her no thank you for me. I think I'd rather not know."

Sheldon shook his head, "If it were me I'd want to know if those chemicals affected my mental faculties and brain waves."

Leonard lips were now pressed tightly together as he drove on in silence.

Resting but not quite

Leonard sat down gingerly in his chair after coming through the door. His side didn't really hurt but the skin felt like it was stretched. He knew under the sterile dressing was a wound about two inches long super glued together. Then covered with what they called steri-strips, he wasn't supposed to get it wet or lift anything over nine pounds until they fell off. He did feel tired though laying his head back and closing his eyes.

He heard the door click open then very softly close and click shut. Leonard knew it was Penny no one else just came in. He could tell she was trying to be quiet. He felt her hand take his left hand on the arm of the chair. Leonard turned his head toward her and opened his eyes. She was kneeling on the floor beside his chair looking up at him.

"Hey you, how are you feeling?"

He squeezed her hand in his, "Tired, but comfortable. How was work?"

"The restaurant is almost always the same Leonard. But I was worried about you most of the time."

"That's nice. Ahhm, I mean it's nice to have someone that worries about you, not that you were worried."

Penny held his hand to her cheek, "I know what you meant sweetie, when will you know?"

Leonard slowly came back from looking into her eyes to reality, "A week or so. Sooner is not better they say."

"Amy says it's just a matter of the workload the pathology lab has."

Leonard sat up a little as Penny continued to hold his hand, "What else did Amy have to say?"

Penny looked away now, "That if it's positive that the treatment is horribly harsh and can do permanent damage in itself. But that most people with this kind of cancer survive."

Leonard nodded and looked away as well, "That's what they tell me, Sheldon will know all the really depressing facts."

"I'll be there for you Leonard, every step of the way."

Leonard looked back over at her. She was staring into his face now. He held her eyes and believed her.

"Let's hope you don't have to Penny. It may be something else, let's just go with that for now. Want to do me a favor today?"


"Come with me to go pick up Sheldon this afternoon, I can probably do it fine but it would be better with a co-pilot."

"I'll drive."

"Ahh, no, I'd rather take my chances with cancer."

Penny smirked at him, "I may kill you first."

Leonard smiled now, he leaned over and she leaned up toward him. Their lips met for a moment, then a moment longer.

Leonard tilted his head down to look at her, "Okay you can drive."


Sheldon led the way through the door into the apartment, Penny close behind.

"You people had me read the driver's manual Penny and you broke at least seven laws on the way home. I'm not even going to mention several conventions for rules of the road."

Penny rolled her eyes, "You're here aren't you, no fatalities or citations received. Only a near miss and a warning from the officer, I don't think he came to a complete stop either."

Penny looked behind her to speak to Leonard and he was nowhere in sight.


She saw him now walking slowly around the corner from the third floor and up to the fourth floor landing.

"Are you alright sweetie?"

She started walking back toward the stairs, Leonard waving her off.

"I just needed to take a little break on the third floor for a moment. I think listening to you and Sheldon the last 15 minutes wore me out."

He gave her a goofy smile. Penny smirked back and stood in the doorway as he walked in. The smirk changed to a look of concern as he went past. He seemed to be exhausted after the car ride.

She was about to close the door and follow him when she heard, "Hey Bestie" from behind her.

Penny turned to see Amy followed by Bernadette and Raj coming up the stairs.

"Hi guys"

Bernadette smiled, "Hi Penny. How's Leonard?"

Raj grinned and nodded as he passed by carrying a brown paper bag..

"I'm fine, just a little tired from the procedure today." Leonard said now seated in his chair.

Penny closed the door and dropped Leonard's keys in the bowl then her purse on the table beside it. Amy had taken up her usual place on the middle cushion. Sheldon was at his laptop on the desk. Raj had gone to the kitchen and was putting a six pack of ultra-light beer in the refrigerator. Apparently he wanted to be able to talk with all the girls in the room tonight. Bernadette had gone over to Leonard who was sitting in his chair. She touched his hand with hers and Penny felt a twinge of jealousy for a second. What the hell was that about she thought to herself, she shook her head for a moment? Why would I be jealous?

"Leonard you look tired, having a surgical procedure takes a lot out of a person. Howard sent his best wishes."

"Tell him thanks for me, how's he doing in space?"

Bernadette rolled her eyes slightly, "He says the only reason he's there is so he can be subjected to using his own space toilet. All the other astronauts are calling him rocket rooter. I think he's homesick and wants to come down."

Leonard had a large grin on his face now, "What did you tell him?"

Bernadette smiled, "That he should just buck up and come home safe."

Penny watched the exchange as she walked to the kitchen and retrieved a chair to sit by Leonard.

Amy on the couch continued to stare at Sheldon's back, "Sheldon what are we having for dinner tonight?"

Sheldon didn't turn around, "It's pizza night should we get DeCarlo's or Pizza Palace?"

Raj took another drink of his beer in the kitchen before adding, "I think we should try a nice light gourmet pizza from Jeanette's. It's on a very light crust with Feta cheese and spinach."

Penny looked over at Raj as did Sheldon and Leonard. Leonard was first to react.

"Sounds like a big laid out pita to me. We should just have Greek food then."

Sheldon chimed in next, "No pepperoni and mozzarella cheese? That is not pizza. It wouldn't even be Italian, let's go with a couple of large pizzas from DeCarlo's. Oh, and maybe some cheesy breadsticks with that tangy tomato sauce, yummy."

Raj walked back in carrying a chair to put at the end of the couch, "Well shame on me for caring about everyone's cardiac health. Don't blame me when you all get congestive heart failure someday."

Penny saw Amy stiffen, "That's not a very nice thing to say Raj, considering what Leonard may have to go through soon."

Penny sat on the chair beside Leonard, Raj sat on his on the other end of the couch, a questioning look on his face.

Penny looked over at Amy, "What do you mean? Leonard might have cancer not heart disease."

She reached over and took Leonard's hand. He squeezed hers but continued to stare at Amy. Penny could see the look on his face. She knew that look he was almost shaking his head to tell Amy not to go any further. Sheldon still had his back to them didn't see the look of course.

"Well the first course of treatment, presuming Leonard's heart is in good shape now, would be chemotherapy starting with Adriamycin. It's known as the red death in the cancer survivor community because of its red color when it's in the IV bag. Adriamycin causes the valves of the heart to break down. There is even a lifetime dose limit to prevent cardiac toxicity. It inhibits cell growth and produces a very intense nausea during treatment. There is also a high risk of pulmonary toxicity if used in combination with radiation therapy on advanced Hodgkin's patients. The cell growth inhibitor action shrinks the tumors but also stops bone marrow production so the patient is very prone to infection. Oh and your hair doesn't grow anymore so you go bald."

Sheldon turned around now, "Okay pizza and breadsticks are ordered. What?"

Raj and Bernadette were both staring with their mouths open. Amy was nodding slowly agreeing with what had been said. Penny had her hand to her mouth looking over at Leonard. His face was stoic and he stared at the door to the apartment. She could feel tears starting to come into her eyes.

Her hand almost muffled the, "Oh my god"


Leonard crawled into bed and onto his left side. The incision under his arm had become more uncomfortable as the evening had gone by. He still hadn't taken any of the pain medication they'd prescribed, just some ibuprofen. He and the girls had calmed Penny down earlier and after dinner the girls had gone back to her apartment. Sheldon had never realized why what he said in a very clinical way would upset anyone. Leonard just agreed with him and let it go. He was about to take his glasses off when the door to his room opened slowly.

Penny came in dressed in her short pink robe. She took it off to reveal her pink short pajamas and white camisole.

"Hey you, want some company?"


She slid into the other side of the bed, her forehead touching his.

Very softly she spoke, "You know I love you Leonard."

Leonard felt himself choke up, "I know and you know I love you too"

As their lips met Leonard felt himself hope they had time to see just how much they loved each other.

Episode 3 Return of the Cat

Long, Long Distance

Howard's face stared back from Bernadette's laptop screen he hadn't shaved and had stubble on his face.

Bernadette frowned at her husband, "Howie why aren't you shaving?"

"Oh I haven't felt very well since yesterday, something about the reconstituted beef we had. Tell mom I miss her brisket. I'll shave tonight. How's Leonard holding up?"

Bernadette was concerned but moved on, "He's just tired from the procedure. Then Sheldon had to open his mouth about chemotherapy and upset Penny. I could see Leonard was angry about it but didn't act surprised about the information. He must know what to expect."

Howard nodded back, "My Uncle Manny went through chemo it can be pretty bad. So how's Penny doing with the whole cancer thing?"

"She told me and Amy at first that she was doing fine but later after some wine she let loose a little. Penny told us she really loved Leonard but she thought they had lots of time to work everything out. She's never told him how she feels Howie. Penny always comes off as so confident about her feelings and her relationship with Leonard. She's really worried about him and their relationship now. I think she's afraid she won't be able to handle it and be there for him."

Howard smiled back at her, "You'd be there for me I know that, well you and mom."

Bernadette heard Howard's mothers harsh voice, "Is Howard on the computer Bernadette?"

Bernadette yelled back in the same tone, "Yeah, come on up and say hi."

She frowned at Howard, "She showed me how you like your underwear folded today"

Howard looked around as if someone was near, "Sure wish I had a few more pair."

Chicken and Peas

Raj watched as Leonard pushed the chicken breast and salad around his plate. Sheldon hadn't appeared for lunch yet. Both Leonard and he had arrived earlier sitting across the table from each other.

"So how is Penny doing with all this?"

Leonard lifted his head and regarded Raj for a moment, "She's being very affectionate but she's just covering up how she feels. She's scared."

Raj took another bite and nodded, "Dude you are lucky you have someone who cares. If I was to get cancer I'd just have my little dog."

Leonard smirked but said nothing. Sheldon approached the table. He sat next to Raj across from Leonard with his back toward the buffet line.

"Good day gentleman", he then looked across the table to the empty spot.

"I miss Wolowitz. I would have never thought that would happen, but I do."

Raj looked at the seat now also, "So do I, it's like a piece of me is missing."

Leonard looked over at him with raised eyebrows then his face softened, "I miss him too."

Sheldon started to eat and after several bites looked up.

"It's Friday night, what should we do? I know how about a game night perhaps a rousing game of Cooper three way chess or Star Wars online?"

Leonard shook his head, "Penny is working the lunch shift then I promised her dinner and a movie so I'm out."

Raj shook his head also, "I'm going to Howard's house to help Bernadette deal with Howard's mothers corns. Every month they need filed down then we give her a pedicure."

Leonard got a wicked smile on his face, "Sounds like a wonderful evening perhaps Penny would like to skip dinner and we can come along."

Sheldon snickered for a moment then got serious again, "Sarcasm right, very good one Leonard, I wonder what I'll do then. I could solve some of the complex cryptologic equations I've been working on."

Leonard looked over at him now, "Still trying to break into George Lucas's computer and see which Star Wars movie he really did write first?"

Sheldon looked aghast for a second then returned to his meal, "Perhaps"

Raj took several more bites, "Why don't you invite Amy over or take her to dinner and the movies like Leonard's doing with Penny? My god dude you have girlfriend take advantage of it"

Sheldon looked over at Raj puzzled, "We've already had our date night this month."

"You can do more than one if you want Sheldon, Amy would be thrilled." Leonard added still pushing his food around the plate.

"You two are putting me off my lunch, but I'll consider having her over for a game of counter factuals."

Leonard and Raj both shook their heads and returned to their lunch.

Sorting things out

Penny walked into her bedroom and dropped her purse on the bed. She looked at the clock on the nightstand and shook her head.

Her phone rang as she started looking toward her closet. She dug the phone out of her purse and answered it on the speaker before tossing it on her bed.

"Hey Bernadette what's going on?"

"Nothing much, Raj told me you're going out to dinner with Leonard tonight."

Penny was going through her closet now, "Yeah he should be home any minute now. I'm just trying to figure out what to wear."

"How about that nice pink dress you have with the blue trim on the hem?"

Penny pulled out the dress and held it up to herself in front of the mirror, "Good choice, he hasn't seen this one in a while."

She laid the dress on the bed and sat down next to it beside the nightstand. Penny picked up the phone and set it on the nightstand. Beside the clock was the red velvet bag. Her hand went to it slowly.

"Are you still doing Howard's mom's feet tonight? Yuck"

Penny slid the snowflake out of its bag and held it up to the light.

"Yeah, the highlight of my week, at least Raj is coming over to help then give her a pedicure. What movie are you and Leonard seeing?"

Penny didn't answer, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She continued to stare at the snowflake.

"Penny are you still there?"

Penny shook her head and in a breaking voice replied, "Sorry yeah I'm here. Bernadette what am I going to do if I lose Leonard. What if I can't handle him going through chemotherapy? What if it's all too much for me?"

Bernadette sound very matter of fact, "Penny you two are not going to go through this alone. We are all family. We will all help. It's like Howard's mother's feet, family does what's required. I promise we'll all be there right along with you guys."

Penny tried to quit crying, "I know Bernadette you're right about being there to help. But if I lose him, then what?"

Penny shook her head. She put the snowflake on the nightstand and picked her phone up putting it to her ear.

"Thanks sweetie, that made me feel better, I should get off the phone and get ready. I don't want to keep my physicist waiting."

"It's going to be okay Penny"

"I know, thanks"

Penny ended the call, put the phone back down and picked up the snowflake again.

"I certainly kept him waiting long enough already, now what do we do?"


"Sheldon you didn't really invite me over to stare at your back did you?"

Sheldon sat at his laptop typing for several seconds more. He finally turned around looking at Amy sitting on the couch.

"Of course not, I was just finishing up some work on cryptology."

"Sheldon the man said he wrote the whole story then started in the middle for the first movie."

"Pish-posh, he went back and made the prequels match the later story. I'm sure of it."

Amy nodded slowly, "Let's suppose he did. Would it affect the way you felt about the movies?"

Sheldon looked contemplative for several seconds, "I suppose not, though changing the first movies when they re-cut them was rather dishonest don't you think?"

"Not at all, they were for a whole new audience. Mr. Lucas was doing what he does best, creating a work of fiction for his audience."

Sheldon snorted as he got up and sat on the couch beside Amy.

Amy shook her head, "Why is it that three very intelligent scientists and Howard take such pleasure in rather simple dramas"

Sheldon looked at her, his mouth hanging open, "Simple dramas!"

Amy had her scientist face on now, her voice a low monotone, "Simple fantasies really, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings. I find some of them entertaining but they aren't William Shakespeare or Hemingway. The space operas as they're called even defy the laws of physics."

Amy sat back now pursing her lips.

"I think it may be time for you to go home Amy Farrah-Fowler."

"Sheldon you're not angry at me for having an intellectual conversation about science fiction and fantasy genres are you?"

Sheldon seemed confused for a moment, "No not at all, it's just getting rather late."

"Sheldon it's 7:50. I do understand that really high IQ individuals need to escape into fantasy. It's healthy and relaxing. The female of the species tend to escape into romance genres. Thus the term chick flick was created."

Sheldon looked calm again a vindicated look on his face.

Amy smiled now, "So I suggest an experiment. I'll read The Lord of the Rings and you'll read Gone with the Wind. Then we'll discuss both at length."

Sheldon seemed less than happy, "Agreed, but couldn't we just watch the movies?"

Amy shook her head now, "No the written word is much more detailed."

Call and a raise

Penny walked next to Leonard as they stepped onto the 4th floor landing. Leonard looked flustered for a moment looking from one apartment door to the other. Penny had no such hesitation taking his hand and leading him toward her apartment.

"Let's stay at my place tonight."

Leonard dressed in his dark slacks, dark blue shirt, and grey sports coat let himself be led inside. Penny dropped her purse on the table by the door. She released his hand and walked toward the kitchen.

"Sit down on the couch and rest sweetie, I'll get us some wine"

Leonard sat on the couch looking about him for a second. Then his gaze fixed upon Penny in her pink dress behind the kitchen island. She poured two glasses of red wine. Penny looked up at Leonard a warm smile covered her face. Leonard sat there smiling back at her.

"You look lovely tonight Penny, well you always look lovely, I mean."

"Thank you sweetie, you've told me already. I know what you mean. You look pretty dashing yourself this evening. We made quite the couple."

Penny sat next to him on the couch, handing him his wine. Leonard was blushing slightly. Penny's smile got a little wider.

"I'm glad to see I still have that effect on you."

Leonard looked puzzled, "Effect?"

Penny laughed, "Leonard you and I have been together as a couple and friends for a long time. But I can still make you blush and squirm sometimes, the effect."

Leonard chuckled now, "Yeah okay the effect then. Does that include a rapid heartbeat, sweat and nauseous nervousness?"

Penny leaned over and their lips met. She pulled back smiling again, "Still nervous?"

Leonard started leaning forward again, "No now just the heartbeat and sweat", they shared another longer kiss.

Penny sat back and gave him a much more seductive smile, "Are you feeling up to it tonight?"

Leonard got it at once, "Yeah, I just need to careful with my right side"

Penny put her wine on the table and reached forward cradling his face. As she was about to kiss him she said softly, "I'll be gentle"

The kiss was long and deeper, Leonard sat his glass on the table and his right hand slid along her side.

Their lips parted and Penny stood with her hand extended toward him.

Leonard took her hand and began to rise, "Not too gentle"

Be Serious

Penny snuggled into Leonard's left shoulder, her hand on his bare chest, the orange comforter of the bed lying across them both.

"Did I hurt you sweetie?"

"Yeah, but my right side feels fine, the rest of me may be bruised tomorrow"

Penny slapped her hand lightly to his chest then got very quiet.

"Leonard sweetie, I need you to know I'm really scared for you. I'm scared for us."

"I'm scared to Penny. It's just kind of out of my control right now."

"Well at least you didn't ask me to marry you doing sex tonight."

Penny giggled slightly.

"I told you we'd laugh about it someday. At least I can tell you I love you now."

"I love you Leonard, I should have never waited so long to tell you."

"I think I've known for a long time, but there was always a fear about bringing it up again. I love you Penny, so very much."

"I've known it since the first time you said it, you meant it then. I just, I didn't know how I felt, it came to me later. Before you ask, it was before you started dating Priya that just confirmed it. I guess I was scared."

"I'm scared all the time, mostly about losing you."

"You don't act like you're scared of having cancer."

Leonard was quiet for several moments, "Do you remember when we were going to go on our first date and you were unsure?"

Penny smiled and nodded.

"Sheldon and I both talked to you about Schrodinger's Cat"

"Yeah I remember, you have to open the box to find out if the cats dead or alive. Until you do it's neither."

Leonard smirked, "Well, I feel like the cat."

Episode 4 Lord of the Wind

Monday Routine Shattered

Sheldon stood before the refrigerator in the kitchen freshly showered and fully dressed, "It's big bran day but oatmeal sounds enticing this morning." He stood there for several seconds, "Nope big bran it is."

Sheldon pulled down the cereal box off the top of the fridge as Leonard rounded the corner dressed in his red robe and a pair of white socks.

"Morning Sheldon, ah the coffee's ready."

Leonard pulled down two cups and began to pour the coffee.

Sheldon got the milk from the fridge and a bowl from the cabinet. He sat the bowl on the table and poured his cereal in the bowl. He opened the milk as Penny came around the corner in her short pink robe and bare feet. Her hair a wild mess on her head but pulled away from her face.

Leonard handed her a cup of coffee, "Here you go honey, you could have slept in for a while."

Penny took a large sip from the cup and tilted her head toward Sheldon, "Not with mister regular here using the bathroom so early."

"Being regular is a very desirable trait Penny. What are you doing here this morning? I wasn't awakened by sounds of coitus last night is Leonard slipping in that department?"

Leonard took a large sip of his coffee as Penny glared in Sheldon's direction, "We just came over here to sleep Sheldon. I had to get up and in the shower this morning besides Penny likes my bed better than hers."

Penny smiled at Leonard, "My place was the love nest last night Sheldon, I'll try not to be quiet next time when we're over there then you can judge if he's slipping."

Sheldon put the milk back into the fridge, "How considerate of you both to have your coitus at Penny's so as not to disturb me."

Leonard smirked at his roommate, "It was our first consideration Sheldon."

Penny giggled.

Sheldon looked over at Penny, "Sarcasm?"

She just nodded in reply.

Leonard drank more coffee and put the mug on the table, "Yes, it was sarcasm Sheldon."

He smiled warmly at Penny, "We were kind of extending a wonderful weekend into Monday morning. Penny has the afternoon shift today but I have to work so we slept here."

Penny came around the island now and wrapped her arms around Leonard. A long kiss was shared.

"You have a great day at work sweetie and call me if you hear anything. I'm going to my place and lounge around this morning until work."

Penny refilled her coffee and started for the door.

Sheldon looked over at a smiling Leonard who was watching her leave. Penny closed the door behind her as she left.

"I guess I'll need to start working on the Penny specific clauses of the roommate agreement again."

Leonard looked over at him still smiling, "You do that Sheldon"

Leonard took his coffee and headed down the hall.

Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Amy picked her phone up off the coffee table and sat back on her couch. She wrapped the blue robe around herself. She appeared tired as if she hadn't slept. Amy then placed her kindle in her lap and dialed the number. Amy made several rasping coughing sounds into the phone.

"Oh hello Janet, I won't be in today. I have some kind of upper respiratory infection. Yes it came on very quickly. Cough, gurgle, cough. I'll be better tomorrow I'm sure."

Amy hung up the phone and sat it beside her on couch. She picked up her kindle and gave it here entire attention.

"Boy that Balrog thing must be one tough demon to take out Gandalf. Frodo's going to be devastated."

Oh Tara

Raj walked into Sheldon's office looking at his phone. Sheldon was sitting behind his desk with his iPad in his hand.

"Sheldon, it's time for lunch. What are you working on dude?"

Sheldon looked up, annoyance clearly written on his face. "We can be a few minutes late. I just need to finish this chapter."

"Dude what are you reading?"

Without looking up Sheldon replied, "Gone with the Wind"

"Oh that's a wonderful classic, what part are you on?"

Still reading, "Scarlett just married Charles who she doesn't love because Ashley is marrying Melanie."

"Oh dude, you're just getting started, that Scarlett is a vixen, wait until you get to the part."

Sheldon looked up alarmed, "Don't tell me I want to read it for myself."

Eating Alone

Leonard looked around the cafeteria, then down at the plate of something gray over spinach with the green beans on the side. He was at the table alone, dressed in his usual dark tan jacket and today with a purple hoody. When his phone rang he quickly answered it.

"Yes this is Dr. Leonard Hoftstader. I can come right away. Okay, 2:00 is fine I'll be there."

Leonard looked around the cafeteria again no one was in sight. He looked back down at his plate. He shook his head as he stood, took the tray with him and headed for the door.

Afternoon Diners

Penny stood next to Cheryl the other afternoon waitress. They had a total of two occupied tables in the whole restaurant.

Cheryl had a disgusted look on her face, "So much for any tips today, at least we only have an hour left."

Penny nodded her head in agreement then looked up to see who was entering the dining room.

She watched as Leonard walked in. He had a huge smile on his face. She looked up and raised her eyebrows then smiled back. He simply shook his head no still smiling.

The tears rushed out of Penny's eyes she almost ran toward him and threw her arms around his neck.

"Not cancer," came rushing out now.

Leonard held her tight, tears coming from his own eyes now, "Nope not cancer"

Penny held him tightly for several seconds, and then looked around to see the people at the two occupied tables looking at them.

"Cheryl can you handle things so I can take a break?"

Cheryl looked up from the waitress station and shrugged, "With this rush? Sure"

Penny pulled Leonard by the hand to the nearest booth and sat down across from him. She had his hands in both of hers.

"What did they say?"

Leonard continued to smile, "Well first they scared me to death and asked me to come to the office at 2:00 when I was at lunch. The doctor came in and said the good news was it wasn't Hodgkin's. That they wanted some blood and an x-ray."

Penny looked concerned again, "Then what do they think it is."

Leonard was still smiling, "Was they hope. They think it was Sarcoidosis of the lymph gland. It can also affect the lungs so that's why they took a chest x-ray. They are checking my blood for an elevated vitamin D level. If that's what it is they are going to prescribe steroids and just keep track of it."

Penny smiled again, "So no cancer, no red death and chemo?"

Leonard shook his head, "No radiation, or complications and more cancer down the road either. Sarcoidosis of a lymph node usually doesn't even reoccur."

Penny's smile was even larger now, "I can't tell you how I feel right now Leonard, I'm just so relieved."

Leonard nodded then got a small grin on his face, "I know me too, I do know how I feel about you though."

"Oh Leonard"

They both leaned forward to kiss. The loud clattering of people entering the restaurant was heard. The lilt of Japanese was loud and getting louder.

Penny broke off the kiss quickly, "Dammit, tour bus."

Leonard sat back, "I'll see you at home."

Colorado Blvd, Pasadena

Sheldon looked up from his iPad, "Drat, I'm getting sick reading in the car. Do you think you could use less velocity and acceleration in the corners Leonard?"

Leonard smirked behind the wheel of the car, "I'm going under the speed limit now Sheldon. Did you hear me early? I don't have cancer"

Sheldon nodded still looking down. He looked up suddenly and swallowed several times. "Leonard you should to pull over."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, then quickly checked the mirror and pulled to the curb.

Sheldon quickly opened the door and leaned out. The sounds of vomiting and gagging soon followed.

Leonard sat with his hands on the wheel a disgusted look on his face, "Maybe you shouldn't read in the car anymore Sheldon. We're almost home."

Sheldon sat back up, his face ashen, "I believe you're right Leonard, my inner ear seems to be effected by your driving and a lack of spatial orientation to the movement of the car."

He closed the door and Leonard checked the mirror before moving back into traffic.

"So what do you think of your differential diagnosis now, Sarcoidosis wasn't even on there?"

"It apparently wasn't on your physician's either."

Leonard glanced at him sideways for a moment, "Actually it was but it's very rare. He told me it's better to rule out lymphoma first. He was actually surprised it wasn't malignant."

Sheldon nodded, "Well then I feel much better about my differential then."

Leonard looked over briefly again, "Thanks for your help Sheldon, you're a good friend."

Sheldon started peeking down at his iPad again, "I'm glad it wasn't cancer Leonard, and you're welcome."

"Sheldon quit reading in the car!"

"Oh alright, but Scarlett's husband just died."

Missing friends

Penny handed Bernadette a glass of white wine. She was sitting on the couch in her blue dress and pink sweater. Penny had on her black stretch pants and long red top with flats. She sat beside Bernadette on the couch.

Bernadette took a sip of her wine, "Where's Amy?"

Penny shrugged and raised her eyebrows, "She said she was sick today and then something about Shelob's lair when I called her. What's a Shelob?"

"Beats me, some tiny part of the brain I suppose. So tell me about Leonard. You said he doesn't have cancer. What caused the lymph node to swell up?"

"You'll have to ask Leonard, sacerinsosis or something like that, sounded like a non-sugar sweetener. The good news is he should get over it. There giving him steroids, I wonder if he's going to get big and mean like Kurt did when he took steroids."

"Oh he has Sarcoidosis. He'll get corticosteroids, I'm sure Kurt was taking anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass. Corticosteroids are for inflammation. You won't see any changes in Leonard. How about where you guys are at in the relationship now, will it change things?"

"Why should it?"

"Penny you thought you were going to lose him. You told him how you felt and have been spending every free moment together. Now that you know you have time again how do you feel?"

"I certainly feel like a big weight has been lifted off us both."

"Penny I would never give you advice about your relationship but."

Penny frowned at her now, "But you're about too, Okay shoot."

"Penny I watched you take your relationship with Leonard to a new level. The weirdness is gone and you made your mind up. Is it still made up? If Leonard asked you to marry him again, hopefully a little more conventionally to be sure, what would your answer be now?"

Penny started to answer but Bernadette cut her off.

"What would your answer had been if he had cancer when he asked you? Think about it Penny."

Penny didn't move for a second, she tilted her head and furled her brow, "I don't know the answer to either question."

Bernadette sipped her wine again then looked over the glass at Penny, "Well you better figure out the answer Penny, because after the last few day's you've had together, it's going to come up. If I know Leonard at all it will come up sooner rather than later. You can't go back to slow again"

"Dammit, we just got to where we could laugh about it"

"You still can, but you better be prepared for the next time or you could try a novel approach. Talking to him about it?"

Penny picked up her glass and took a large sip, "I guess you're right."

Bernadette emptied her glass, "Darn tooting I am, just listen to the old married lady"

Penny and Bernadette both started laughing.

Song of the South

Leonard sat in his chair staring at the door, "Sheldon you got a second."

Sheldon in his spot with his iPad didn't look up, "Why sir, can't you see I'm rather occupied at the present time."

"Did you just say that with a southern accent Sheldon? What are you reading?"

Sheldon did look up now, a slightly flustered look on his face, "Did I? I must confess I not sure", Sheldon's eyebrows shot up, "I did it again."

Leonard got up from chair and went over behind Sheldon, "Gone with the Wind, why are you reading that?"

Sheldon looked up a Leonard, "Amy is reading Lord of the Rings and I'm reading Gone with the Wind. It's an experiment to see if we find each other's entertainment genres compelling. So far I must say this is quite an enthralling book."

Leonard shook his head, "It's a classic romance novel Sheldon."

Sheldon shook his head, "It's also quite historical in nature, describing the old south and the civil war."

"Margaret Mitchell did gloss over a few things, like slavery! What comes next Sheldon, Danielle Steel novels?"

Sheldon put the iPad in his lap and looked at Leonard, "What was it you needed Leonard?"

Leonard sat down again, "I was just wondering what you think will happen between me and Penny now that the cancer scare is over?"

Sheldon smirked now, "First its medical advice and now matters of the heart. Really Leonard, what's next fashion and your personal hygiene." Sheldon shook his head and looked back down at his iPad, "and you think I'm going feminine for reading a book."

Leonard shook his head and started to speak as the door opened.

Penny and Bernadette came through. Leonard hissed under his breath, "Not a word Sheldon."

"Sorry we're late, we decided to share some wine and chat for a while. Sheldon what's wrong with Amy?"

Sheldon looked up at Penny confused, "Nothing that I know of, she's just staying home reading tonight."

Leonard looked up at Penny and got a smile in return, he smiled back at her, "Amy is reading Lord of the Rings and Sheldon is reading Gone with the Wind. Kind of a gender genre swap experiment."

Penny looked confused, "Those are books? I thought they were just movies. Oh can you tell me what a Shelob is?"

Sheldon responded first, "Shelob is a giant spider that has a lair in the pass of Minas Mogul. She is the last descendant of"

Penny rolled her eyes now, "I remember the spider from the movie now, thanks Sheldon."

Penny looked over at Leonard now, "What are we doing for dinner isn't it Chinese night? We could go out and celebrate instead."

Leonard's face lit up, "That sounds like a plan. There's a new Italian place on Maple."

Sheldon shook his head, "New is not better, I'll just stay here and read for a while longer"

Penny looked at Bernadette, "How about it?"

Bernadette shook her head also, "I need to get home for Howard's evening call"

Penny smiled at Leonard now, "Guess it's just you and me sweetie"


The restaurant on Maple was decorated in a dark reds and vibrant mustard colors. The table clothes dark purple with matching napkins.

Leonard sat across from Penny, he looked nervous. When he reached for another breadstick Penny caught his hand in hers

"What is it Leonard, that's three breadsticks now, this is not the effect I was looking for?"

Leonard looked down and up at her but continued to hold her hand, "It's just that, now that I know I don't' have cancer, I'll understand if you want to slow things down again."

Penny had a very serious look on her face, "Do you want to slow things down?"

Leonard looked like he wanted to say more but all that slipped out was "No"

Penny smiled now, "I've been thinking about it Leonard and I think we should do this."

She squeezed his hand and the smile became larger and warmer, "Were going to have a great dinner. Then we are going back and staying at my place tonight so I can sleep in tomorrow. When we get home we're going to have sex and Sheldon will get to hear it if I have to pound on the walls. Then tomorrow we'll figure out which place we want to stay that night and so on. We don't go backward Leonard, not again."

Her smile remained, then she pursed her lips at him, "I said I love you Leonard, I really meant it."

Leonard's grin was wide, "I love you too, don't bother trying to wake Sheldon he'll be up all night reading"

Penny just laughed and rolled her eyes, "Maybe we can make him lose his place then"

Episode 5 Retro Recombination

Broken News

Howard looked back at Bernadette from the screen of her laptop. He smiled weakly. The beard on his face was darker, at least several days of growth now.

"Hey Sweetheart, guess what I'm coming home next week. They've said since I've got everything working here that I can come home with two of the Russians."

Bernadette brightened up with a huge smile, "That's wonderful Howie, are you still not feeling well. You look horrible."

Howard tried to laugh it came out as a strangled chuckle.

"I've never really acclimated as well as they would have hoped. The guys have all helped though. They put me in the bunk closest to the space toilet. That's kind of a mixed blessing though. I'm using all my allotted water usage up rinsing my mouth out. None left over for shaving or brushing my teeth, or a shower."

"Bernadette frowned and looked concerned, "Oh Howie, thank goodness you can come home"

Howard managed a rather rueful smile now, "They have changed my nickname though. I'm no longer 'Fruit Loops' now it's 'Sir Ralphsalot', it's kind of a joke around here. Bernie I want to come home."

Bernadette gave him her best smile, "It'll be all right Howie, try to be more upbeat for your mother."

At the top of her lungs, "You can come up and talk to your Howard now!"

Mister Rhett Sir

Leonard walked through the apartment door and stopped in his tracks. Before him were Sheldon and Amy. Sheldon was dressed in a full civil war uniform, his feathered cap in his gloved hand, a saber on his belt at his side. Beside him was Amy in a full southern belle dress. She had on a lavender dress with many petticoats and hoops to make it bell shaped. Amy held a matching lavender and white umbrella over her shoulder.

Amy gave Leonard a grin and in a bad southern accent, "Well looky here Major Cooper, Dr. Hoftstader has arrived. Welcome to Tara Dr. Hoftstader."

Leonard dropped his keys in the bowl and turned his head slowly looking at them both.

"Okay, you two look, well, rather, I don't know, what's up?"

Sheldon looked very rigid and proper, "We are going to a dinner for civil war re-enactors tonight. There's a big battle on Sunday."

Leonard walked to his desk and dropped his bag on it. Then walked by them speaking as he passed, "You are aware that no battles of the civil war were fought in California right?"

Sheldon bristled, "Of course we know that Leonard. You can still re-enact battles from other places though. We are going to the period dinner tonight."

Leonard stuck his head in the fridge coming out with a bottle of juice. He started walking to his chair looking at them both again.

"How are you getting there, there is no way that Amy can drive in that dress."

Amy smiled sweetly at him still in character, "We all were hoping Dr. Hoftstader might take us in his carriage?"

Leonard slumped his shoulders, shook his head several times, "Fine, Penny has the dinner shift anyway."

He looked at Sheldon now, "So this is why Amy picked you up early today? When do we leave?"

Sheldon put his hat on his head at a rakish angle, "Now would be a good time."



Leonard looked up at the rear view mirror, "Amy can you pull you dress down a little so I can see behind me?"

Sheldon in the passenger seat turned to help. Amy could not be seen lying down in the rear seat. The only things visible were the large hoops of the lavender dress and white petticoats near her feet. Her hands came up and pulled the hoops down more. Leonard looked up again moving his head from side to side.

"You guys should take one of those minivan cabs home. This is ridiculous Sheldon."

Sheldon looked over at his roommate, "You let Penny drive us the other day Leonard, now that was truly frightening.

Leonard drove on in silence.

Burger and Fries, no cheese

Penny looked from the waitress station to see Bernadette enter the dining room with Raj in tow.

"Hi guys, come on I'll get you a table in my section."

Bernadette smiled back, "Hi Penny. That sounds nice."

Raj just nodded and smiled also.

Penny led them to a table for four and got them seated. She looked at Raj, "How about a grasshopper or a margarita Raj so you can say hello."

Raj smiled and gave her a thumbs up.

Penny looked over at Bernadette, she looked tense, "What would you like sweetie, are you okay."

"A white wine would be good. I'm okay, I should be happy Howie is coming home next week but he looked so miserable."

Penny reached over and patted her hand, "Well at least he's coming home. How's his mother doing?"

Bernadette shook her head, "Not well. The woman actually called NASA earlier to find out what was wrong with her son. It was quite the phone call, I'm pretty sure the guy on the other end was glad he couldn't understand Yiddish. I'm happy I can't."

Penny turned to get their drinks to see Leonard walk into the dining room. She smiled brightly at him tilting her head slightly. "Hi sweetie, is the whole gang coming tonight?"

Leonard smiled back, "Nope, I just dropped off Miss Scarlett and Major Sheldon at a civil war re-enactment dinner."

Penny looked surprised, Leonard shook his head, "Don't ask, it was just weird."

"You want something to drink?"

"Water's fine"

Leonard smiled at her and started to walk to the table, as he passed her she ran her hand softly up his arm.

Leonard stopped and turned to look at her, Penny didn't look back but Leonard's smiled increased. He walked to the table and sat beside Raj.

"Hey guys, what's up? I got your text that Howard's coming home next week. That's a little early but great for you two."

Penny brought the drinks now and sat them on the table. Raj started drinking his grasshopper right away. Penny looked over at Leonard, "Do you have your phone off?"

Leonard looked surprised, "I've got the ringer off so Sheldon would leave me alone. I told him to take a cab home that could fit Amy's huge hoop skirt."

Penny looked at him puzzled, "Hoop skirt? Anyway he texted me instead wanting to know where you were. I told him you guys were all here. He texted back they would be here in a few minutes."

Sheldon and Amy entered the dining room now in their old south splendor.

Penny's eyes got huge, "Oh my god, they're adorable."

Sheldon walked over followed closely by Amy. He sat in the chair next to Bernadette.

Penny looked at him then Amy, "I'll get an another chair for you"

Amy shook her head, "One thing I've learned about this kind of dress is you can't sit down."

Penny's eyes were huge again.

Raj finally spoke, "That's why all the men sat at the table and ate. The ladies all retired to the kitchen and ate standing up. That or they waited for the men to adjourn to the parlor for cigars and brandy. Then they would go upstairs and take off their skirts and eat in their petticoats."

Leonard looked over at Raj, "How does an Indian astrophysicist know these things?"

Raj blushed and returned to his grasshopper.

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, "So why did you guys leave early?"

Amy answered, "Because Sheldon got challenged to a duel?"

Penny was first to react, "A duel, how did you end up getting challenged to duel?"

Amy continued, "These people take the re-enactment very seriously, apparently Sheldon disparaged his honor when he called him an imbecilic Yankee. So he challenged Sheldon to a duel."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, "What kind of duel?"

Sheldon looked defiant, "Paint ball guns at 4:00PM. I'll need you to be my second Leonard"

Leonard shook his head looking over at Sheldon, "You're serious, a second. Aren't duels usually at dawn, I have a symposium tomorrow."

Sheldon was very serious, "That would be a huge breech of honor but I could ask for a postponement until 6:00. That was just when he got out of his last class."

Raj chipped in now, "You are having a duel with another professor?"

Amy shifted from one foot to other clearly wanting to sit somehow, "No a high school sophomore, he said his mother would bring him."

The other tables all looked up as Penny's could control her laughter no longer.

Second Place

Leonard led the way into the apartment the smile on his face was from ear to ear. Sheldon followed close behind. He had on a bright white ruffled shirt and black breeches. In the center of his chest was a large yellow paint ball stain.

"Really Leonard a second is supposed to be there to support his friend in a contest of honor. Not root for the other side."

Leonard dropped his keys in the bowl then his bag on his desk. He walked toward the kitchen, "I wasn't rooting for the other side Sheldon I was just conversing with the kid's mother. She said she's been his second five times now and has won every time."

"Still you're supposed to be there to protect my honor or take my place should I become incapacitated."

Leonard was rummaging around in the fridge now, "Well it's a good thing you weren't then. I would have just offered your abject apologies for the insult and came home. Instead I got to see you get slaughtered, at least the kid's mom was nice."

Sheldon started walking toward the hall when Penny came through the door. Sheldon turned toward her.

"Hey Leonard" She saw Sheldon's shirt and started laughing, then got her fake serious look on her face, "We will mourn your loss Colonel Cooper."

She started really laughing now. Leonard walked out of the kitchen toward her. Sheldon lifted his chin and started down the hallway.

"I think it was Major Cooper, but a posthumous promotion is appropriate."

Penny looked at him funny, "Posthumous?"

Leonard was next to her now, "After death"

He walked up close to her and looked in her face, "So what would you like to do tonight, I think all the normal plans are out the window."

Penny stepped up sliding her arms around his neck then kissed him softly. She kept her arms around his neck as she pulled her head back.

"I'd like to go to a Hollywood premier tonight and walk down the red carpet of my first movie. But I'll settle for some Indian food and bowling."

Leonard looked in her eyes, "You're not breaking up with me right. I have bad luck in bowling alleys."

He was smiling at her now. She raised her eyebrows at him.

"That's it Hoftstader, you've finally figured me out. I always take them bowling to dump them."

Leonard kissed her lightly again, "Okay we can go bowling, what brought this on?"

Leonard moved toward the bowl for his keys as Penny let her hands slide off his shoulders.

Leonard looked back over at Penny. She was dressed in her jeans today the tight black ones and shorter blue top over a lacy white one showing around her hips. Her hair was back in a clip.

"Well we are kind of going on a double date."

Leonard looked over at her surprised now, "Who with?"

Penny blushed slightly, "I met this girl"

"Oh how many times have I used that line" Leonard quipped.

Penny's face got hard suddenly, "Seriously Leonard you say that before we go to a bowling alley"

He paled, and then she grinned suddenly, "Ha got you. I met a girl I think might be perfect for Raj"

Leonard looked intrigued now, "Why?"

"Her name is Selene and she's a psychologist specializing in speech disorders. The worst she can do is end up with a new patient."

"Where did you meet her?"

Penny blushed again, "I'd rather not say it will spoil something else."

Leonard looked puzzled but shrugged. They headed out the apartment door.

"Does Raj know she's coming?"



Strike or gutter ball

Leonard rolled the bowl down the alley standing there looking at it. He twisted his body left then slumped. Penny sat back on the bench watching.

"Are you sure you wouldn't like the bumpers up sweetie"

Leonard smirked at her, walked back and sat beside her as Raj bowled. Unlike Leonard or Penny, Raj had worn a bright yellow bowling shirt with black trim at the collar and sleeves. He bowled his ball then stood and pumped his fist.

"Take that" Raj said

Leonard shook his head, and looked over at Penny again. She was looking behind him.

"There's Selene" She waved and Leonard looked behind him.

Selene was coming down the stairs. She was a little shorter than Penny with jet black hair and dark skin, Selene was thin and walked very gracefully down to the seat next to Penny. She had brought her own ball and shoes, and like Raj had a bowling shirt on. Hers was a light grey with her name on the front in small black scripted letters. It went nicely with her black stretch pants.

Penny made the introductions, "Leonard, Raj this is my friend Selene. I invited her and thought we could play teams for a while."

Leonard took her offered hand and smiled. Selene turned to Raj and smiled offering her hand. Raj was enthralled at once. He took her hand gently.

"Nice to meet you"

She set her ball bag across the way next to Raj's and started to put her bowling shoes on.

Leonard leaned over to Penny, "They're going wipe the floor with us you know that?"

Penny just nodded.

More Fries

Raj sat across from Selene in the bowling alley snack bar booth. Between them was a large basket of fries and two beer bottles.

Raj looked up at her and smiled, "We certainly destroyed Leonard and Penny tonight."

Selene grinned back, "Well Penny did her best she was pretty much carrying the team."

Raj took a sip of his beer and stared back at her smiling. Selene reached over and touched his hand.

"Penny tells me you have selective mutism."

Raj looked uncomfortable for second before holding up his beer bottle, "Not if I have mister beer around."

Selene continued smiling and now was actually holding his hand, "You know I might be able to help with that. Would you like to discuss it over dinner Friday? I also cook."

Raj could only nod, beer or not.

Sweet Dreams

Leonard was laying on the left side of Penny's bed the sheet up to his waist with no shirt. Penny came into the bedroom in her Nebraska t-shirt. Her hands were behind her back.

Leonard looked up and raised his brows, "What you got Penny"

Penny brought out a plastic wrapped comic book from behind her back.

"It's for you. Stuart's been looking for it for me. He told me you were looking for it. I told him we'd finally be even for me going to the wedding with him. So here it is, Superman #47."

Leonard's mouth was hanging open now. He reached over his hands almost trembling and took the comic book from her hands.

He looked at the plastic wrapped comic, "Penny I, thank you, I've been looking for this one for years."

Penny had a huge grin on her face now as she slid into bed beside him, "I know, Stuart told me."

Leonard set the comic down gently and pulled her close for a kiss. She pulled back slightly arching her eyebrow, "Wow, what would you do for #46."

Leonard smiled, "Who knows. When did you go by the comic book store?"

"Today after work, that's where I met Selene. Two women tend to gravitate toward each other there. We got to talking while I waited for Stuart. She's into comics like you guys. When she told me what she did of course Raj came up."

Leonard put the comic on the nightstand then turned back toward her. "You're pretty special have I told you that?"

"I seem to recall something like that."

"We sure got our butts kicked at bowling tonight"

Penny slid here hands up his chest and got very close, "All part of the plan sweetie, now no more talking more kissing."

Episode 6 Gravitational Locus

Bump Down

Penny squinted at the TV from her seat beside Leonard's chair, "Why's the picture so, I don't know, choppy?"

Leonard in the chair beside her leaned forward also. "It's because it's an internet feed from the Russian website. No American astronauts were supposed to be in the capsule so NASA didn't televise it."

Sheldon added from his spot on the couch, "That and it's the same internet where half the world downloads porn so that takes up most of the bandwidth"

Bernadette who was on the other side of Amy, who was beside Sheldon made a face, "Great, it's on the same line as porn?"

Raj sipped his light beer sitting in a chair beside Bernadette on the couch, "The largest internet porn servers are all in Russia so the bandwidth does get rather congested. Especially in the evening in the United States they are the biggest consumer."

Penny looked over at Raj, "Yuck, how do you even know that?"

Raj continued to stare at the screen, "Howard told me."

Bernadette gave him a sideways glance.

Raj blushed and took another sip of his beer, "He's the engineer, it's his job to know that kind of stuff."

Bernadette smirked back at him then looked at the screen again, "Sure it is"

Penny glanced over at Leonard who just shrugged then returned his attention the screen. Penny looked over at Bernadette, "That was the old Howard sweetie, remember."

Bernadette gritted her teeth, "Right"

Leonard pointed at the screen, "Look there it is, the chute is deployed. It looks good."

Penny turned to watch again, "Didn't they used to come down in the ocean?"

Sheldon still staring at the screen answered, "Only the American's did that, they called it splash down. The Russians have always used the dessert and called it a bump down."

Penny shrugged and continued to watch. She reached over and grasped Leonard's hand with hers. Amy reached over and grabbed Sheldon's hand also. He didn't seem to notice.

Numbers appeared at the bottom of the screen counting downward. As Penny opened her mouth Leonard spoke, "Those must be the altitude in meters, it's still moving pretty fast but getting slower."

Sheldon chimed in, "The rate of acceleration is decreasing at point three meters per second. At that rate they will hit at about 2g."

Leonard chimed in, "That's pretty hard I think the rate is decreasing further but it's an imperfect curve."

Raj was leaning forward now staring at the numbers, "No Sheldon is right about 2g."

Penny looked over at Amy. She shrugged, "They're doing the math on the deceleration caused by the parachutes but it's not perfect because of the wind and the atmospheric pressure being an unknown."

"Oh" Penny looked over and watched Leonard's face now, his brow furled, intensely concentrating.

He pointed at the screen, "There it's under 6 meters per second now, they will hit at under 2g"

Sheldon nodded in agreement, "The air pressure must be higher than they reported."

The space capsule bounced down in a huge cloud of dust, the parachute falling to the ground around it. The screen went to writing in Russian.

Sheldon sat back on the couch, "Howard Wolowitz has returned to earth."

Penny looked over at Bernadette and then at Leonard, "Aren't they going to show them getting out of the capsule?"

Sheldon answered, "They never do in Russia, because many times the cosmonauts have been in space for months and can't even walk."

Leonard nodded in agreement.

Penny looked over at Amy and Bernadette, "That was fun, who wants to celebrate over at my place with a glass of wine?"

Penny squeezed Leonard's hand and gave him a raised eyebrow, "I'll text you later then you can come to bed."

Leonard just smiled and nodded.

Penny led the way followed by Amy and Bernadette out the door. Raj moved over to the couch.

He looked over at Leonard, "She'll text you to come to bed?"

Sheldon stood and walked toward the fridge, "Leonard and Penny have started a new routine where they sleep together even when they're not having coitus."

He got to the fridge and was digging around now. Raj looked over at a grinning Leonard.

"Dude, things must be going pretty good with you and Penny?"

"Well yeah, things are pretty nice right now. We get to talk and spend time together every day. How are things going with Selene?"

"Well we've talked on the phone a few times, but our first real date is tomorrow. She's cooking me dinner at my place.

Sheldon came back in and sat in his spot, "I think we should start planning opening night for the Hobbit"

Leonard looked over at Sheldon smirking, "Planning? Sheldon, the first movie doesn't even come out until December."

Sheldon gave him a condescending look, "It's never too early to plan Leonard, besides Amy would like to come."

Leonard's mouth hung open.

Sip and Quip

Penny settled down in the chair next to the couch. Amy and Bernadette were already sitting on the couch, glasses of wine in hand.

Amy looked over at Bernadette, "Are you looking forward to the reunion sex? That should be quite frenzied after you two being apart since the wedding."

Bernadette blushed while Penny rolled her eyes, "Amy"

Bernadette chimed in, "No she's right, I'm not sure frenzied would be the word I would use."

Amy had a look of vindication, "So what was that little remark to Leonard as we left, come to bed?"

Bernadette smiled at Penny as if it was her turn to be under Amy's unfiltered sexual spotlight.

Penny blushed for a moment, "We haven't had a night apart since the cancer scare. Leonard and I either sleep here or over at his place. No Amy we do not always have sex." Then she said more softly, "Just most of the time."

"So you two are basically living together, at least at night."

Penny looked taken aback, "I wouldn't say living together, we're just, I don't know Amy. It is what it is."

Bernadette had a bigger smile now, "They're in love Amy and this is the new version of going slowly for them."

Amy grimaced, "I wish Sheldon and I could go that slowly. I did get to hold his hand again today."

Penny tilted her head at Amy, "So how did the civil war thing work out?"

Amy shook her head, "He's been less enthused about it since he lost the duel. Sheldon say's officially he's been killed before the battle. He still has the costume though. Now we're working on what costumes to wear to the opening of the Hobbit."

Penny looked at Bernadette, "The Hobbit?"

Amy answered at once, "It's about what happened before the Lord of the Rings. The book before the hobbit is called The Simarilians. It's the pre-history of the Lord of the Rings."

Penny looked lost as did Bernadette, Amy continued, "Sheldon and I are considering dressing as forest elves for the opening night. I'm sure Leonard and Howard will be going also. Should we make it the whole group? You guys could come as Goblins or elves though I'm sure Leonard and Howard will be hobbits or dwarves. I'm not sure about Raj."

Penny's eyes got big, "I think I'll sit that one out Amy. It was bad enough being Wonder Woman for New Year's Eve."

Bernadette made a face, "I'm not really into costumes"

Amy smiled back, "Suit yourselves it should be a hoot."

Dream Time

Leonard settled on the couch and waited for Penny to come in from the bedroom. Three empty wine glasses sat on the table. Penny entered dressed in her pink short robe open to reveal, blue short pajamas and a yellow camisole.

"Are you ready for bed sweetie?"

Leonard had watched as she approached. She sat down beside him on the couch her hand moving over to hold his.

"Yeah, hey Sheldon brought up that Amy is going to the opening of the Hobbit in December. Would you like to come too?"

Penny looked at him seriously, "Leonard, the only costumes I'm interested in wearing come from Victoria's Secret?"

Leonard's eye's got bigger and he grinned, "I think I can live with that."

Penny stood pulling his hand with hers, "I thought that would make up for it"

Leonard stood and let her lead him, "That costume will attract a lot of attention at the theater though you might get cold in line."

Penny continued walking, "No talking Leonard."

Knock, Knock, Knock Raj

Raj walked to his apartment door dressed in tan slacks and a silk red dress shirt. He opened the door.

"Hello Selene, I see you found my humble apartment."

"Hi Raj, yes, are you ready for some dinner?"

Selene walked into the apartment kissing Raj lightly on the cheek on the way by. He got a huge grin on his face as he turned to watch her walk into the kitchen. Selene was dressed in a black one piece dress that came to just above her knee. It clung tightly to her small frame and had a plunging neckline. The high heels she wore made her almost as tall as Raj. She walked into the kitchen turning toward Raj and placed the grocery bag that had been in her hands on the table.

Selene smiled at Raj and he blushed. She had high cheek bones and skin the color of burnt sienna with dark brown eyes and jet black straight hair. Her smile was dazzling, her lips full and covered in a lighter red lipstick. Each ear contained a two diamond studs one above the other on her earlobes.

"So how do you feel about Jamaican food Raj? I thought I would make Jamaican jerked chicken just like my mother used to make."

Raj nodded, "I'm very fond of the Caribbean flavor profile. So you mother was Jamaican."

Selene smiled and nodded her head, "My father was half Irish and half Italian. Do I need to warn you to not get me drunk or tick me off?"

Raj grinned again, "That would never be my intention."

Selene started poking around the kitchen, "I can see that you're a cook, why don't you come help me find everything and we'll cook this together?"

Raj walked toward the kitchen, a bounce in his step.


Penny followed Leonard into the jewelry store. She was dressed in a yellow sundress that came to her knees with small blue flowers and white flip-flop style sandals. Leonard was in his brown slacks and a blue t-shirt, in each hand he was carrying several bags.

Penny looked around, "I remember this place. This is where Sheldon got Amy's tiara."

Leonard was looking around when the tall well-dressed man behind the counter spoke. "You can put you packages over here by the counter while you browse sir."

Leonard walked over and dropped all the bags on the floor by the counter.

Penny looked over, "Careful Leonard"

Leonard smirked back, "They're shoes Penny I think they can handle being dropped."

Penny gave him a small glare in response. "Leonard you know how I feel about my shoes."

Leonard looked back, "Sorry, I'm sure they're fine"

Penny looked over at the display cases now, "So what are we looking for here?"

Leonard got a grin on his face, "I was thinking that I'd never bought you any jewelry. After the comic book the other day I thought I'd get you something but became terrified when I saw all the options. You knew what I wanted but I thought I'd bring you along and let you pick something out."

Penny gravitated to the bridal selections, "Everything in here looks very nice."

She turned and gave Leonard a wicked little grin. He looked stunned for a moment then went with it, "Yes they do but as I recall you declined my last offer. Though I freely admit the venue left much to be desired"

Penny continued to give him the grin and arched her eyebrows slightly, "Well let's move on then shall we, we can always come back here at a more appropriate time."

She turned to the next display case, "How about a nice bracelet?"

Leonard kept from laughing and nodded as he looked in the case, "Good choice"


Raj sat across from Selene as each ate vanilla ice cream out of a small bowl.

"The chicken was delicious Selene, I loved it, can I have the recipe."

Selene nodded as she swallowed a spoonful of ice cream, "The secret is in the spices, I'm sure my mother wouldn't mind. It went wonderfully with your saffron rice, is that an Indian dish?"

Raj shook his head looking down, "No it's Spanish actually, I'm not fond of Indian cuisine, too much curry. Should we have a nightcap?"

Selene was more serious now, "No thank you Raj, I have to drive home. The two glasses of wine is my limit. Do you mind if I ask how much you've had to drink this evening."

Raj blushed slightly, "I had a glass before you arrived and then the two with dinner."

Selene nodded now and pursed her lips as if in thought, "So it really doesn't require much alcohol for you to overcome your mutism does it?"

Raj blushed, "The truth is once I just thought I was drinking and it worked, that is until Howard told me the beer was non-alcoholic."

Selene reached over and took Raj's hand, "And if he hadn't told you then you would have continued to overcome it?"

Raj looked deep in thought for a second, "I suppose so"

Selene stood and retrieved her purse from the counter "Well I need to be going Raj. Would you like to go to a movie with me tomorrow night?"

He followed her to the door

"Would I, I mean, I'd love too."

Selene leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, "Great date Raj, only two more to go."

Raj looked puzzled, "Two more to go"

Selene walked out the door as Raj opened it, "Think about Raj"

He watched her walk out and down the stairs then it struck him, "Oh my god, Women have sex with you on the third date."

Selene's voice came back from a distance down the stairwell, "Bingo Raj"

Time Lapse

Penny was sitting on the couch admiring the silver chain link bracelet on her left wrist when the door opened. Leonard came in carrying a change of clothes in his arms.

Penny looked up at him surprised, "I thought you were taking a shower at your place and then we were going over there tonight?"

Leonard shook his head, "Too weird over there right now. Sheldon and Amy are dressed as elves and learning Sindarin."

Penny shook her head, "Sind what?"

"Sindarin, its Tolkien's language for the grey elves, there's a glossary in the back of the Lord of the Rings. I understand it's a mixture of Finnish and Welsh."

Penny nodded slowly, "Okay"

Leonard placed his clothes on the arm of the couch and sat down.

"I thought I'd shower over here and we can stay here tonight or we wait for Sheldon to go to bed. Otherwise they are going to insist on trying to converse with us."

Penny nodded her head as if this were reasonable, "Okay that sound good, Leonard I love my bracelet."

Leonard smiled and looked as she held up her wrist, "Well it's not a tiara but it fits you."

Penny just continued to look at it, "Yeah I'm much more a bracelet kind of girl. Not a lot of opportunities to wear a tiara, Leonard can I ask you something?"

Leonard leaned back and put his head on the cushion, "Ask away"

"If I say no every time you ask me to marry you, for say the next few years, would you keep asking?"

Leonard sat up and looked at Penny, his face serious, "Yes"

Penny looked serious at him and then gave him a soft smile. "Well, then just keep asking, sooner or later you'll figure out the right moment."

Leonard smiled now, "How about in the shower tonight?"

Penny started to get up, "Probably not but it's worth a try"

Episode 7 Postnuptial Permutations

Banner Moment

"Come on Sheldon hold your end up a little higher." Leonard shouted from the third step of the ladder he was standing on. He had the banner in one hand trying to hook it to the wall over the hallway. Sheldon was in the kitchen and now dropped his end of the banner. Leonard finally got his end hooked to the wall, looked over at his roommate and then the banner on the floor.

He climbed down the ladder "Well that explains why it wasn't high enough, Sheldon are you going to help or not? Bernadette will be here with Howard in another hour or so."

Sheldon was busy examining his finger, "Paper cut from the banner, going to need antiseptic and a band aid."

Leonard watched him go to the closet then pull out his huge tackle box first aid kit from the disaster supplies. Sheldon busily worked on spraying his finger with antiseptic.

"Why couldn't Bernadette have Howards coming home party at his house, it seems a more appropriate venue."

Leonard moved the ladder over to the other end of the "Welcome Home Howard Wolowitz" banner and started climbing up.

"I already told you Sheldon. His mother is having her Bunko night at her house. She's going with Bernadette to pick him up at the airport. Then they're dropping her at home before coming over here to the party."

Sheldon put the first aid kit away, a Monsters Inc. Band-Aid now on his finger, "So who is coming over tonight?"

Penny walked through the door now carrying paper plates and solo cups, right behind her was Raj with a large cardboard box.

"Okay the booze and the party supplies are here." She looked over at Sheldon who was looking at his bandaged finger. "What happened Sheldon did you get a booboo?"

Sheldon looked dismissive, "A paper cut can be just as dangerous as a sword wound if it gets infected."

Leonard had finished hanging the banner now, "Yeah but it's a lot smaller and doesn't bleed as much. To answer your question we invited pretty well everyone from the bachelor party."

He smiled at Penny now, "Penny has even invited some of her girlfriends to round out the boy to girl ratio."

Penny looked a little distraught now, "I tried Leonard but after your birthday party a few years ago the only one willing to come was the one that slept with Raj and she has a pretty serious infection right now."

Raj looked over at Penny as did Leonard. She looked at them both and raised her eyebrows, "A serious infection that might get spread if she has a few drinks, well more of an infestation really."

Raj blushed as did Leonard.

Sheldon commented though, "She should really see her doctor right away infections need to be dealt with right away."

Penny didn't look at Sheldon but mouthed the word "crabs" to Leonard who grimaced. "I'm sure she's taking care of it sweetie" she said to Sheldon.

He nodded and proceeded to sit at his desk and started using his laptop.

Leonard smiled at Penny, "It's probably for the best most of the guys said if it was like the bachelor party and we didn't have strippers they were going to pass anyway."

Penny looked miffed now, "Well whose coming then?"

Leonard looked over at Raj, "Selene?"

Raj nodded.

Leonard went on, "Let's see Will Wheaton said he'd stop by, Stuart of course never turns down a free meal, Amy, you, me, Raj, Howard and Bernadette. That's about it we were kind of counting on you to raise the attendance some."

Penny lowered her head and shook it several times, "Okay so the normal gang plus three, and we have enough booze for twenty. What are we doing for food?"

Sheldon spoke from his computer, "Got it covered, four pizzas and breadsticks on the way from DeCarlo's"

Penny tilted her head from side to side, "Well at least we'll know everyone." She looked toward Leonard, "Leonard the banner's upside down"


The Welcome

Howard walked into the apartment to a round of applause. He was dressed in tight light blue pants that matched his NASA polo shirt and turtleneck. There was a certain swagger in his step. Penny hugged him as did Raj, Amy and Leonard. Sheldon offered his hand and received a light hand shake. Will Wheaton and Stuart both gave him more hardy handshakes. At last Raj introduced Selene and Howard was slightly taken aback.

He took her hand and almost brought to his lips to kiss it when he saw Bernadette in the distance, "It's nice to meet you Selene", he looked over at Raj, "Nice work Raj"

Selene tilted her head at Howard then smiled warmly, "I'm not work Howard, I'm more of a pleasure."

Raj smiled at Howard, "What she said"

Howard made a rather nervous laugh and headed over to Bernadette, "Wow Raj's new girlfriend seems kinda tough, what's the story."

Bernadette looked at him, "She seems very sweet Howie and Penny set them up. They seem very taken with each other. It's really nice to see Raj with someone he's comfortable with."

Howard leaned close to her, "She's not gay is she?"

"No Howie, she's not. Though I admit when Raj told me he had a new love interest I thought it might be a guy."

Howard giggled for a moment and looked around the room, "Nice party but I hope we can leave early, need a little us time."

Bernadette frowned for a moment, "Yes we do but your mother's bunko games always go late. That is unless you'd like to go home and get introduced to that crowd as her astronaut son."

Howard grimaced, "Nah I think I'll pass on that honor. Oh, I don't think you've met Will Wheaton I'll introduce you."

"No I've just seen his video of your bachelor party."

"Oh, well maybe after Penny's done talking to him."

Axes to grind

Will smiled over at Penny who was sipping her drink.

"I see you and Leonard are back together. That's great I always felt bad about breaking you guys up at the bowling alley. But a bet's a bet you do what you have to do."

Penny stopped in mid sip, "What are you talking about."

Will gave her a sideways grin, "The bowling match when I told you about the girl who strung me along. It was pretty clear there was a lot of tension between you and Leonard. I just helped it along a bit, when you left we pretty much won by default. You were their ringer."

Penny's face was very neutral for a second, and then a very sweet smile was on her face, "So there was never anyone who just strung you along?"

"No, it's never happened to me."

Penny held up her finger, "Excuse me for a second"

Penny walked over to Leonard who was in the kitchen talking to Stuart, "Leonard sweetie can I talk to you for a minute, excuse us Stuart."

She pulled Leonard toward the hallway. Penny turned to him, at first Leonard smiled then he had a more serious look, "What's up?"

Penny looked seriously into his face, "Leonard you love me right."

Leonard nodded, "Yeah you know that"

Penny pursed her lips for second, "Sweetie, I want you to remember that for the next few minutes. No matter what okay?"

Leonard looked surprised, "Of course"

Penny smiled sweetly, kissed his cheek. She then turned, walked over to Will Wheaton, smiled at him then proceeded to break his nose with a round house right.

Howard looked up from the couch with Bernadette by his side, "Oh now it's a party"

Chilling Out

Penny sat down on the couch in her apartment holding her right hand gingerly. Leonard came through the door with a large bag of ice. He proceeded to the kitchen and put the bag in the sink, looking sideways back a Penny as he went by. Leonard sat down next to her on the couch moments later with a smaller plastic bag of ice.

"Here let's put this on your hand it should help"

He placed the bag gently on Penny's right hand she was looking at his face the entire time.

"Ouch, ouch,"

He held the ice on her hand with his and looked up at her concerned, "I hope it's not broken."

Penny wiggled her fingers and grimaced slightly, "I don't think so. He must have a hard head. I should have just kicked him in the nuts."

Leonard nodded, "You did that too right after you hit him."

Penny grinned, "Oh yeah I almost forgot that. Thanks for taking care of me Leonard."

Leonard looked at her more concerned now, "You told me to remember that I love you. It was a pretty easy choice about who to take care of. Though I get a feeling we won't be invited to his next party."

Penny smirked now, "Suits me just fine the little weasel."

"So are you going to tell me what that was all about?"

Penny actually started to cry now, "It was about me not controlling my temper. I'm sorry Leonard I really should have behaved better."

Leonard smiled now, "It's who you are Penny, besides we've all had our run-ins with Will. What did he say to you?"

Penny swallowed, then reached up and wiped her eyes, "He told me that he broke us up at the bowling alley so they could win that stupid bet."

Leonard had a puzzled look on his face, "He broke us up? I thought it was me wanting to move to fast?"

Penny looked at him, she tried to smile, "It was that and me not knowing how I felt. But he's the one that told me that I shouldn't string you along. He said it had happened to him and he'd just wished she would have ended it. He made me think it was the right thing to do. So instead of working through how I felt and where we were going I just got upset and ended things."

Leonard looked angry now, "That son of, he broke us up to win the bet?"

Penny was crying again and nodding, "When he told me tonight I just kind of snapped. But I needed you to know what was going to happen. The little weasel."

She turned her head away now. Leonard reached over touching her chin lightly and turned her back to face him.

"You had every right to feel angry. I love you and I'll stand by what you did."

Penny was wiping her eyes again when the knocks came on the door.

Knock, Knock, Knock

Sheldon's voice came through the door "Leonard and Penny"

Leonard moved to get up but Penny stopped him, "You have to let him finish sweetie."

Knock, Knock, Knock

"Leonard and Penny"

Penny rolled her eyes at Leonard, "Just one more"

Leonard was up and walking toward the door now.

Knock, Knock, Knock

"Leonard and Penny"

Leonard opened the door. Sheldon stood there crowded behind him was the whole gang and Selene.

"We would like you and Penny to come back to the party. Stuart has taken Will Wheaton home. Raj has wiped up all the blood and we'd like you to come back."

Penny started to cry again, "I don't know Sheldon, I'm"

Bernadette walked in to Penny's other side followed by Amy. Raj and Howard moved up into the doorway.

Bernadette put her arm around Penny's shoulders, "Will told everyone what you guys were talking about. That he had broken you and Leonard up the first time. I would have socked him too. Maybe not kicked him in the groin as well that's more your style."

Penny was nodding looking around at them all.

Amy smiled at her, "Nobody should mess with my Bestie. Not only is she a passionate radiant vixen but also has a big right hand."

Howard stepped forward, "You're our friend Penny at best Will is just an acquaintance, come back to my party."

Amy added, "We might play twister?"

Penny let them all lead her toward the door, as she passed Sheldon he said, "Remember I told you not to let Will Wheaton in your head."

She glared up at him for a second then grinned, "You were right Sheldon"

Sheldon followed her out, "Of course I was right."

Evenings do End

Howard pulled the cell phone from his ear, "Bye mom"

He gave a raised eyebrow smile to Bernadette then looked at everyone else. Leonard and Penny were on the left side of the couch. Raj and Selene were at the kitchen table chatting quietly. Sheldon was at his laptop, Amy in a chair beside him watching what he was doing.

Howard was beside Bernadette who was sitting in Leonard's chair, "Okay folks time for the missus and I to head home for a little married couple time. Mom's Bunko game is over."

Bernadette stood and smiled over at Penny, "Thanks for the wonderful welcome home party for Howie. We really appreciate it."

Penny stood and Hugged Bernadette then Howard. Leonard offered his hand to Howard, "Glad you're back Howard"

Selene hugged Bernadette as Raj hugged Howard, "Dude it's so good to have you home."

Tears were in Raj's eyes, he wiped them and stepped back as Sheldon approached and shook both Howard and Bernadette's hand lightly. Amy gave Howard a huge hug then another to Bernadette.

"Enjoy your reunion sex you two"

Penny rolled her eyes even as Bernadette shook her head.

As they walked to the door Selene put her arm through Raj's. "We should probably being going too Raj."

Raj looked at her for a moment.

She smiled at him and winked, "I think this would count as our third date don't you?"

Raj's smile suddenly became huge, "Selene's right it's time we should be going too."

Leonard looked over at Penny perplexed she had a grin on her face as well. She looked over at Leonard, "I'll tell you later"

Amy unexpectedly leaned over and pulled Sheldon down to her and kissed him on the cheek.

Sheldon blushed but didn't pull away.

"I should be going also, are we still on for the train show tomorrow?"

Sheldon got his little grin, "Of course, 11:00 sharp"

Amy walked to the door, "See you then, bye bestie, Leonard"

The door closed and Sheldon walked to the couch and sat beside Leonard and Penny in his spot. Penny was in the middle, Leonard on the far end.

Sheldon looked over at them, "What a wonderful party, it is pretty late I should be getting to bed."

He started to get up and Penny put a hand on his arm, Sheldon looked down at her hand then back at her.

"Sheldon, I'm sorry about starting a fight over here tonight"

Sheldon gave Penny that odd little smile of his, "Oh Penny I've been waiting for some to punch out Will Wheaton for years. It actually made the whole evening tolerable."

He rose and headed down the hallway rubbing softly at the spot she had touched on his shirt sleeve.

Penny leaned her head back into Leonard's shoulder as his arm went around her.

"How's the hand?"

She held it up and wiggled her fingers smiling, "A little swollen but fine now. Leonard have I told you today I love you?"

Leonard tilted his head, "Not in so many words but in deeds most certainly."

Penny snuggled in more, "In deeds? Doesn't sound like enough, I love you Leonard"

Leonard smiled and tightened his hug, "I love you too Penny. Now I think I know why your dad calls you Slugger."

Penny smirked, "That was because of baseball"

"Yeah right"

Episode 8 Transportation Conflagration

Breakfast at Rajesh's

Raj set the table in the kitchen turning toward the bedroom, "Selene breakfast is ready."

"Be right there"

Selene came through the door in a lovely long silk red robe wrapped around her. She walked slowly to the table smiling at Raj. Raj smiled back he was dressed simply in his black boxers and a white t-shirt.

Selene sat down and looked over at Raj, "I love your robe Raj, smells good what's for breakfast."

Raj opened his mouth to speak and nothing came out. He suddenly looked embarrassed.

Selene got up quickly and wrapped Raj in a hug.

"It's okay honey let's just work on our non-verbal communication skills this morning."

She stretched up kissing him and he held her gently. He looked better when they broke the kiss. A smile and grin on his face. Selene went back to the table and sat down.

"You bring the food and I'll describe it for you okay."

Raj nodded and brought a plate to the table.

Selene looked around him at the stove then down at the plate, "I've cooked you a lovely eggs benedict Selene with homemade hollandaise sauce. I used smoked salmon instead of Canadian bacon and sliced tomatoes instead of hash browns."

Raj smiled at her and nodded then sat down opposite her with his own plate. Selene took her fork and took a bite.

"Oh it's wonderful Raj, just a touch spicy and the smoked salmon is delicious. Your own recipe for the hollandaise I take it."

Raj nodded again and then started eating.

"I find it interesting Raj that you could talk to me until I came into the room. You weren't visualizing me until then. That's really fascinating what were you thinking about. Not over cooking the eggs and letting the sauce burn?"

Raj looked deep in thought for a moment, then smiled and nodded his head.

Selene took another bite then looked up at him again.

"That's why alcohol lets you get by your mutism you lose focus or don't think so quickly. Your selective mutism probably has a lot to do with how intelligent and focused you are. You need something that slows your mind down a bit but isn't intoxicating."

Selene got up and got something from her purse. She came back with a large pill and handed it to Raj.

"Take this Raj and let's see how you react to it. I promise it won't hurt you or effect you in any negative way."

Raj looked at the pill and then back at Selene. He shrugged his shoulders and swallowed the pill washing it down with his coffee.

Selene pushed her plate to the middle of the table, "It takes a while to be effective, what should we do until then?"

Raj's eyes got big and the smile beamed from his face. Selene stood and started walking toward the bedroom.

"Come on Raj time for me to tip the cook."

Another Kind of Breakfast

Leonard walked into the kitchen in his red robe, hair wild and disheveled with a pair of white socks on his feet. Sheldon was already up ensconced in his spot on the couch cereal bowl in hand.

Leonard walked to the coffee maker and poured himself a cup. Turned around and took a sip.

"Morning Sheldon"

"Morning Leonard"

Leonard turned and got another coffee cup down as Penny turned the corner. She had on her pink short robe and fuzzy pink slippers. Penny shuffled to the kitchen accepted the cup from Leonard and poured herself some coffee. She took a large drink and stood beside Leonard.

Penny cocked her head slightly, "This feels like déjà vu"

Sheldon looked up from the couch and studied them for a moment, "No you had on a yellow robe last time you both stood there watching me have breakfast."

Penny just shook her head, "Oh"

Leonard shook his head also, "He's probably right, eidetic memory"

Sheldon just snorted in derision.

Penny nodded now and started drinking her coffee. She finally looked over at Leonard.

"So I have the whole day off, what kind of plans do you have."

Leonard put his coffee cup down, "I have none except spending the day with you"

Penny smirked, "That's nice sweetie you can help me clean the apartment."

Leonard looked very surprised, "Really?"

Penny gave him an annoyed glance, "No let's do something fun today, Magic Mountain or Knott's Berry Farm, we could go to Dis."

Leonard stopped her with his hand then said softly, "Don't say it he'll want to go too"

"Don't say what Leonard, Disneyland? That's the next obvious place on Penny's list of attractions. I already have plans to go to the train show with Amy today. Disneyland is there every day, the train show only comes once a year."

Sheldon had not even looked up but then continued to eat.

Penny suddenly lifted her head, "Paintball, let's go play paintball it's been awhile I need to shoot something."

Leonard nodded, "Paintball it is, there's always an open game on Saturday."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, "Can Penny use your paintball gun Sheldon."

Sheldon looked at Leonard and Penny from the couch as if he'd been struck, "I think not, the last time we did paintball you shot me."

Penny protested, "He shot you because you shot me"

"Come on Sheldon, she'll take good care of it, I'll replace it if anything happens to it."

"Oh fine, but no shooting it in the apartment, remember what happened last time?"

Penny rolled her eyes, "I'll be good Sheldon, I promise"

Sheldon went back to his breakfast, "The probability of that is extremely low"

Penny was excited now, "She gave Leonard a peck on the cheek, okay I'm off to the shower see you in an hour and a half."

Leonard looked up as Penny started for the door with her coffee.

"It takes an hour and a half to get ready for paintball?"

Penny turned on him and glared at him then her face got a crooked grin, "Might even take longer if you come along."

Leonard started for the now open door, "See ya Sheldon, have fun at the train show."

Sheldon looked up as Leonard walked by, "How could you not have fun at a train show."

Leonard continued out the door, "I'm sure you'll find a way Sheldon."

A Controlled Substance

Selene snuggled closely into Raj's side. The blue silk sheets of the bed wrapped around them.

"Hmm that was better than breakfast."

Raj smiled, "Or lunch and dinner"

His hand flew to his mouth he pulled it away a few seconds later and tentatively spoke.

"It worked, the pill worked what was it?"

Selene smiled, "It appears to have worked, I was hoping it was the sex and intimacy."

Raj pulled her even closer, "That was wonderful also. But what was the miracle drug"

Selene continued to smile, "It was synthesized Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC for short, the active ingredient in cannabis."

Raj seemed shocked, "You gave me weed?"

"No not weed, just the active ingredient in weed. A very low dose actually we've been trying it on children at higher doses. You don't feel stoned do you."

Raj looked around for a moment, "No I feel pretty normal, relaxed. Does it relax you?"

Selene's smile widened, "No silly it was the sex that relaxed you."

Raj pursued his lips and nodded his head in agreement.

Friendly Fire

Leonard followed Penny into the apartment. They were both still dressed in the camouflage and chest protectors of the paintball course. The most apparent difference between the two was that Leonard's chest protector and clothing were covered in red, yellow and pink paintball stains. Penny's had none at all.

Penny walked over and put the paintball gun, helmet and goggles on the kitchen table. She turned around to see Leonard trudging toward her.

"Well that was fun, sorry you got killed so many times sweetie."

Leonard looked up and gave a grimacing smile, 'Well being the bait so you can kill the sniper has its disadvantages."

Penny giggled and just raised her eyebrows, "Sorry about hitting you a few times but it was pretty intense."

Leonard nodded, "I understand all the times except for these"

Leonard turned and showed the butt of his camouflage pants, two green paint marks were visible one on each cheek.

Penny giggled some more, "Well it was when you were hiding behind the log with your butt in the air. It was just too good to pass up."

Leonard turned to her with a small glare then a smile, "It was a lot of fun though."

Penny came over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, "My poor wounded solider"

Penny lips met his and the kiss was passionate until door opened.

Sheldon followed by Amy entered the apartment. Sheldon was dressed in his normal way, dark tan pants, and a long sleeved shirt under a "I heart trains" black t-shirt. Amy had on a plaid skirt and her own oversized "I heart trains" t-shirt.

Penny looked up, her arms still around Leonard's neck, "Oh look, how cute, they match"

Amy smiled as Sheldon scowled and walked toward the kitchen, "We only match in our choice of shirts"

Amy rolled her eyes and looked at Penny, "I told Sheldon I was much fonder of the old steam engines. He is much more into the diesel locomotives."

Sheldon turned toward her at the kitchen table, "First generation diesel motive power. They brought about the demise of the steam era with their higher efficiency and easy maintenance."

"But Sheldon you must admit the old steam engines with all their gears and external machinery is much more interesting."

Sheldon snorted, "Maybe if you're Howard Wolowitz and you love gizmos. But using electromotive force is all about the physics of converting energy into force. It's much more compelling. Oh I made a pun, very good."

Sheldon looked over at Penny who was standing beside Leonard now. Her face looked like she was lost. "Oh don't you get it, locomotives propel the train and I find them compelling."

Penny looked back at Leonard who smirked, "He's correct, but it's weak Sheldon, very weak."

Amy was not so amused, "So you're comparing me to Howard Wolowitz?"

Sheldon was about to respond when Penny hopped in, "Sheldon sweetie you really should think about this before you speak."

Sheldon was taken aback for a moment, "I would never compare your intellect against Howard's Amy. You did that yourself when you decided steam was better than diesels."

Amy looked shocked then turned and walked out the door.

Penny looked over at Sheldon, "Aren't you going after her?"

Sheldon looked mystified, "I'm sure once Amy thinks it over she'll see that I'm correct."

Penny frowned, "Would Rhett go after Scarlett?"

Sheldon frowned, "Drat, alright, I'll go"

Penny smiled and watched him walk to the door, "Just apologize Sheldon, don't try to be right."

Sheldon reached the door, "Women"

"I better put Sheldon's paintball gun away."

Penny walked to the table and picked up the paint ball gun and turned as Leonard bent over his laptop.


Leonard straightened up then put his hand to his behind. He turned and looked at Penny who was all smiles.

"Sorry, couldn't help it"


"Talk to you later Raj"

Howard set his phone on the desk beside his computer. He was dressed in his silk red silk pajamas. Bernadette was behind him on the bed in her blue robe typing on her laptop.

"What did Raj have to say Howie?"

Howard turned to look at his wife, "Well he said Selene gave him a pill that helped with his problem. They have been doing the horizontal mambo since last night. He seems pretty upbeat. I wonder though."

Bernadette looked up, "What do you mean?"

Howard twisted his mouth as if he was thinking about it, "Is she really interested in Raj or she just using him as a guinea pig."

"Howard when anyone is interested in Raj you always think they have some ulterior motive. If she wanted to study him she wouldn't be sleeping with him."

Howard looked down, "I know I just try to look out for him."

Bernadette smirked, "More like out do him."

Howard was silent but continued to stare at the floor.

Bernadette closed her laptop and put it on the nightstand.

"Come to bed Howie, it's going be better than last night."

Howard looked up and over at Bernadette who took off her robe to revel a red teddy and slid under the comforter.

He stood up then walked over to his side of the bed sliding in next to her.

"So far so good I made it all the way into bed this time."

Bernadette leaned over and ran her hand up his chest.

Howard grimaced, "Dammit"

Cost of Admittance

Leonard and Penny snuggled up on the couch both in their robes. Penny had her legs curled up on the couch, Leonard's white sock covered feet stretched out on the coffee table.

Leonard grimaced, "So what does it mean when she gives a guy the rose?"

Penny staring at the TV almost in tears, "It means he gets to come back next week, oh my god not Andrew she can't get rid of Andrew. What about Chad he's a total douche."

Leonard smiled now, "Well that's it then."

Penny shook her head, "Wait a minute they'll show's some previews for next week's show."

Leonard grimaced again, "Oh"

Sheldon entered the apartment still dressed as he'd been when he left though now he looked tired and more bedraggled.

Penny and Leonard both turned to look at him.

"Where ya been Sheldon you were gone a long time."

Sheldon shook his head, walked over and sat in his spot.

"It seems that to apologize properly to your girlfriend it involves dinner and spending time together. Just buying jewelry was much easier and less time consuming."

Penny nodded and pressed her lips together tightly, "It doesn't cost as much though"

"That's a matter of opinion on how you value your time. You as a waitress value your time as minimum wage plus tips. I value my time in relationship to all I could have accomplished. I could have been solving the questions plaguing all of mankind instead I was eating Chinese food and soothing Amy Farrah-Fowler. Will history be able to forgive me?"

Leonard smirked, "I'm sure you would have just been here looking up train facts and history after the train show today. Human kind will probably go on."

Sheldon stood and started walking down the hall, "Will it Leonard, will it?"

Penny was almost laughing now. She snuggled into Leonard's shoulder.

"Let's go to my place tonight sweetie, Sheldon will need his rest."

Leonard grinned, "What did you have in mind?"

Penny squeezed him tighter, "Someone has some war wounds I'm sure that will need soothing"

Leonard got a serious, "Damn friendly fire."

Episode 9 Rumination Recurrence

Midway Convergence

Penny walked into for 4A to find Sheldon bent over the fridge. He was wearing blue gloves and had the garbage can before him. He was taking things out of the refrigerator examining them then dropping most of them in the garbage can. The rest of his clothing consisted of his tan pants and a green lantern t-shirt with white long sleeve shirt underneath.

Penny moved over and sat in Sheldon's spot while he had his head in the fridge.

"Cleaning out the fridge Sheldon?"

Sheldon looked up and saw where she was, "I would think that was rather obvious, why are you in my spot."

Penny got a self-important look on her face, "Just seeing what it's like to be you Sheldon."

Leonard walked out from the hallway now seeing Penny seated in the spot. She had her brown stretch pants on with matching shoes and a yellow top. Her hair was down, curled today.

Leonard smiled at her, "You need a more condescending smirk on your face, let me hear your snort."

Penny wrinkled her brow and looked down her nose then tried imitating Sheldon's snort.

Leonard laughed and Sheldon looked over.

"No bad Penny but nobody does Sheldon better than Howard."

Sheldon looked over at Leonard, "Howard Wolowitz does me?"

Penny cracked up, followed by Leonard.

Sheldon looked suddenly puzzled, "What?"

Penny stood and met Leonard for a quick kiss by his chair. Sheldon shook his head and went back to cleaning out the fridge.

"So sweetie what's the plan today, I'm ready"

Leonard smiled at her, "And only a half hour late too"

Penny glared at him for a moment, "You would think a genius would start factoring that in"

Leonard gave a rather gloating smile, "Who say's I didn't."

Penny looked at him now as if she was going to do him physical harm.

"Okay the plan for our date today is the street art fair in Burbank. They have part of downtown blocked off and they use chalk to create drawings on the street."

Penny looked hesitant.

"They have a beer & wine garden and a carnival."

She suddenly looked happier, "Oh I haven't been to the carnival in a long time, let's get going"

Sheldon walked over with the tied up garbage bag handing it to Leonard.

Penny looked at Leonard, "Are you the trash man?"

Leonard smirked, "I once left a carton of milk in the fridge that went one day past the expiration date. Ever since then it's Sheldon's job to check the fridge and mine to take the garbage down."

Penny nodded, turned to go then stopped and looked back at Leonard.

"You don't even drink milk."

Leonard smirked as he started for the door, "I know, it might have been why I missed it."

Sheldon walked toward the couch, "Thus section 214, clauses 2 and 3 of the roommate agreement were created."

Penny walked behind Leonard, "You know you could just move in with me."

Leonard laughed as they went through the door

Sheldon sat in his spot a look of shock on his face.

Face Time

Sheldon was typing away on his laptop as the chime went off for a video call coming in. He shook his head in annoyance and then sat back from the screen.

"Hello Sheldon"

Amy was staring back at him from the screen, "Hello Amy"

"Sheldon your face has a certain miffed quality to it. Have I called at a bad time?"

Sheldon raised his eyebrows thinking, "I guess not. I'm just writing up some things Penny should consider if she has Leonard move in with her."

Amy looked shocked, "My bestie and Leonard are moving in together? When did this happen?"

Sheldon nodded his head at her, "She asked him to this morning. Leonard will of course comply he always does when Penny asks for things."

Amy nodded back, "And who wouldn't if someone with her flawless skin and a perfect smile asked?"

Sheldon made a face, "Yes, well either way I'll need to start looking for a new roommate. I do think Penny needs to know some things about living with Leonard. So I've been writing up a list that she should consider in any relationship agreement they may have. A Leonard Hoftstader white paper I'm calling it."

Amy smiled, "I'm fairly certain that Penny is not going to be requiring a relationship agreement Sheldon."

"Well nothing formal like they should do of course, but I'm sure some verbal contract will need to be established. A few ground rules created."

Amy nodded her smile slightly wider, "What time is dinner tonight?"

"Dinner is at 6:30, it's Chinese tonight then the gaming starts at 7:30."

"We are all going to Penny's for some girl's night gossip then. I'll take your white paper to Penny if you like when we go over after dinner."

"That would be good, thank you Amy"

Chicken and Rice

Leonard and Penny came through the apartment door laughing. They found the whole gang sitting on the couch and chairs eating take out Chinese out of the boxes..

Leonard dropped his keys into the bowl, "Sorry were a little late Penny had to win something large at the carnival."

Penny reached out the door and pulled in a large brown stuffed bear that was several feet tall. She held him up for all to see, "I need to give him a name still but in the end he only cost us $30"

Leonard closed the door behind her and walked into the kitchen.

Bernadette smiled over, "He's so cute and cuddly looking Penny, what game did you play to win him?"

Penny grinned, "The one where you shoot water into the clown's mouth. Some teenager almost got me a couple of times but Leonard nudged them."

Leonard put a dining room chair next to his, "Oh it wasn't on purpose someone gave me a small push into him."

Penny put the bear in Leonard's desk chair and walked toward hers, "The little dweeb, I'd worked hard building up those prizes."

Howard smirked as he took a bite, "So you sabotaged a child to win the bear?"

Penny smirked back, "He was talking trash, I just gave Leonard a little push with my hip"

Leonard laughed and sat down next to Penny in his chair. He handed her a take out box and a fork then got one for himself.

Raj looked over at Sheldon and Leonard, "What's the game for tonight?"

Both answered while chewing at the same time, "Guild Wars:

Sheldon continued, "We need to do some character building on our team if we ever want to move up the ladder."

Bernadette looked over at Howard, "Ladder?"

Bernadette was surprised when Penny answered, "In online gaming you get on a ladder. You can challenge the team above you on the ladder if you win you move up to their place. If your team is good you can get all the way to the top."

Bernadette looked shocked, "How do you know that?"

Penny blushed slightly, "Oh I played an online game for a little while, with Sheldon's help."

Sheldon snorted "Became addicted to it may have been a better term."

Leonard looked over his glasses at Sheldon, "You got her started on it."

Howard looked up and grinned, "I got her to stop."

Bernadette looked at Howard but Penny's voice cut in, "Don't go there Howard."

Howard looked down and under his breath said to Bernadette, "I'll tell you later."

Penny was still looking at him, "I'll tell her later Howard, you'll make it a seedy and disgusting."

Howard just grinned and continued to eat.

Climbing the Ladder

Leonard moved his head as if he were moving the character on his laptop with his body.

"Keep moving to the right Sheldon, watch out Raj they're coming from both sides."

Howard pulled his headset off and dropped the controller on his laptop, "Dammit dead again."

Raj sat back in his spot on the couch, "Not again Sheldon, Dude you were too slow."

Sheldon shook his head, "It was Leonard this time he lead us right into a trap."

Raj looked down at his laptop, "That's it for me. I'm meeting Selene at her place in an hour."

Sheldon looked annoyed, "We only came up 2 levels in two hours and were quitting already. What could possibly be more important than this?"

All three of the guys looked over at Sheldon.

Sheldon smirked, "Oh that, well I'm certainly not waiting on my woman like you three. Once Leonard moves in with Penny he probably won't want to play very often. We may need a new team member."

Leonard looked very puzzled, "What do you mean by that Sheldon we're not moving in together?"

Sheldon looked at Leonard, "I distinctly heard her ask you to move in this morning."

Leonard chuckled, "She was kidding Sheldon, it was in response to you bringing up the roommate agreement for the thousandth time. Penny wasn't being serious."

Sheldon looked surprised and picked his laptop up quickly,

"What are you doing now?" Leonard asked

Howard leaned over to look at Sheldon's screen, "He's deleting an ad for a new roommate from the Caltech bulletin board."

Leonard shook his head, "Sheldon you have to learn when people are joking or being serious."

Raj laughed, "Dude I can see where he would think that. You and Penny already live together. You just have 2 bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and baths."

Howard joined in a small wicked smile on his face. "Raj is right Leonard. Ever since you started spending every night together it's like you have a big house that you move around in. Maybe you should just move in with Penny."

Sheldon looked at Leonard, "I even wrote a white paper about you for Penny."

Leonard looked alarmed at Sheldon, "A white paper about me, where is it?"

Sheldon looked back at Leonard confused, "Oh Amy took it with her to the girl's night at Penny's"

Leonard sat back in his chair looking up at the ceiling, "Great Sheldon, just great. What a great discussion topic that should be."

Howard sat back and smiled, "Oh I can't wait for Bernadette to be ready to go home."

The Hen House

Penny sat on the couch next to Amy while Bernadette curled up in Penny's chair. They each had a glass of white wine in their hands. Penny's new bear sat on the kitchen counter as if he were overseeing the proceedings.

Penny looked around at them, "Let the clucking begin."

Amy looked at her, "Clucking?"

Bernadette laughed, "It's like we are a bunch of hen's Amy. The girl talk is the clucking."

Penny smiled, "Kind of an old Nebraska saying, so what's up"

Amy looked at Penny, "Well to start the clucking. When is Leonard moving in?"

Penny looked shocked, her mouth hung open. Bernadette on the other hand was giggling.

"Who said we are moving in together, oh my god Sheldon? It was a joke Amy. He was quoting that stupid roommate agreement this morning and I joked to Leonard he should move in with me. Sheldon took that seriously?"

Amy handed her a manila envelope, "He even wrote you a white paper about Leonard so you would know what to expect."

Penny accepted the envelope and looked over at Bernadette who was barely controlling her laughter, "You know Penny you and Leonard pretty much live together now. The only thing you don't share is closet space. You even share taking care of Sheldon. It's not too much of a jump to believe you were serious."

"Leonard laughed right after I said it. Oh god what are they talking about over there right now."

Amy took a sip of wine, "I'm sure the same thing we are but they don't have a white paper to read." She grinned wickedly.

Penny looked over at Amy and shook the envelope, "Have you read this already?"

Amy shook her head, "No I thought it best we read it together."

Penny shook her head and opened the envelope. There were more than twenty typed pages in her hand.

She handed some to Amy then more to Bernadette.

They each started on their page, Amy went first.

"Oh it says here that Leonard tends to clip his nails and let them fly across the room. Sheldon says limiting where this occurs would help but where you would do that with only a single bedroom may be problematic."

Bernadette giggled, "This says that Leonard may forget sometimes to wash the sink out after trimming his nose hairs and you need to be vigilant."

Penny shook her head and looked down at her papers, "I just have a very long section on Leonard's lactose issues and its results, as if I needed to know more about that."

Amy turned a page, "Oh here's a good one Leonard cries at the end of."

Penny broke in, "Star Wars, yeah I know that one."

Bernadette was next, "When he thinks no one is looking he'll use his finger to pick food out of his teeth and there's an entire paragraph about his poor flossing habits."

Penny put the paper's down in front of her now. She picked up her wine and took a sip, "And Sheldon says I state the obvious. Well what do you think girls should I immediately break up with Leonard?"

Bernadette just chuckled, "Oh I think you should be exceptionally cautious."

Amy continued reading, "It says here that Leonard keeps a secret journal on his laptop."

Penny looked over at them, "No he doesn't, he just put it on there and called it Secret Journal so he could drive Sheldon crazy. It was my idea." Penny giggled.

Bernadette sat up and got out her phone, "I better take Howard home, since he's finally got back in the groove he's pretty amorous."

Penny gave her a questioning look, Bernadette finished texting and grinned, "He was a little over excited after he first got back from space."

Penny just nodded and smiled, Amy looked clueless.


Penny curled up into Leonard's shoulder as he read from the papers in his hand.

"Oh you should watch out for when I put my dirty socks on the counter on the way to bed. I don't adequately sanitize it afterward. Oh and keep an eye on me and the thermostat. I may reset it even when it's on the agreed upon setting."

Penny grinned and burrowed into his shoulder further, "You are a rule breaker Leonard. Sweetie, the girls say we are already living together and we don't even know it. Do you think that's true?"

Leonard put the papers in his lap, "The guys said the same thing tonight, well except for Sheldon. I don't know I guess we are kind of living together. How do you feel about it?"

Penny tilted her head, "I'm not ready to say were living together but we are kind of. We won't be living together until when we wake up in the morning Sheldon isn't joining us for breakfast most days."

Leonard just smiled, "That sounds right, ready for bed?"

Penny's grin got larger she picked up the papers off Leonard's lap, "Yep, just as long as you don't, Drink directly from your mouthwash bottle."

"Okay, but how can you still love me after learning that?"

"It'll be tough Leonard but I'll try."

Episode 10 Cyclonic Caldron

Precursor Winds

Penny turned the corner around the waitress station a large tray on her hand held up and braced beside her. She placed it on the stand next to the station. Then she sat the plates one by one in front of the diners at the nearest table.

She placed there bill in a black plastic folder before them, "Enjoy your meals, my shift is ending."

Penny patted the bill, "Cheryl will take care of this for you when you're ready."

She turned to leave not noticing all the diners at the table exchanging their dishes so the right person had the right food. Penny had stopped in her tracks standing at the dining room entrance was Kurt. He was as big as ever, dressed in khaki pants and light green dress shirt. Kurt smiled at her as she walked over.

"Hey Kurt", She looked him up and down with a sideways glance, "You're all cleaned up I see"

Penny started to walk by him, "Well my shifts over and I need to get going."

"Penny wait can we talk for a few minutes it's important", his face was insistent.

Penny gave him a hard look, "Okay but just a minute, I have plans for tonight. You can buy me one drink."

Penny led him over to the bar and sat down at a small round table, Kurt took up the seat opposite her.

"So what's so important Kurt? You're not dying again are you, fool me once."

Kurt looked uncomfortable, "No I guess I should apologize for that as well, damn"

Penny's eyes narrowed now, "Apologies never helped much Kurt, even when you sent them with a card and flowers. I'm really not interested."

Penny started to get up, "Penny wait I'm not here to try to get back together. I'm here to make amends to someone I hurt."

Penny sat back down, "Why?"

Kurt swallowed and looked even more uncomfortable, "I'm doing a 12 step program and it's one of the steps."

Penny had a shocked look on her face, "So did you quit drinking or drugs?"

"I quit everything. I'm here to apologize for treating you crappy, fooling around on you and manipulating you. There it's out there. It doesn't matter if you accept as long as I mean it."

Penny shook her head, "Well that's convenient, but I'll do you a favor, I'll accept your apology. Are you going to apologize to Leonard too?"

Kurt now looked taken aback, "You're still with the nerd? Wow I never saw that coming. I guess I should apologize for writing on his forehead. Well he's down my list a bit I have three other girls to see today."

Penny's eyebrows shot up, "Wrote on his forehead?"

Kurt almost laughed then got solemn again, "Ah yeah, he came by my place trying to get me to pay the money I owed you. I wrote the IOU on his forehead. I did come by and pay you the next day though."

Penny was furious now, "Then used it to get back with me. I take it back Kurt I don't accept your apology, you creep.

Penny stood and stormed out.

Kurt sat there and pulled out a list, "Well I better move onto Tracy."

Last slices

Leonard looked over at Sheldon as he reached for more pizza in the box, "Leave two pieces for Penny Sheldon, she'll be home from work any minute."

Sheldon was in his spot with Amy beside him as usual, she was eating a slice of pizza off her plate. Howard and Bernadette were on the floor on the opposite side of the table. They were both eating breadsticks dipping them in the same sauce container.

Leonard reached over then taking the last breadstick then put it next to the remaining pizza.

He looked over at Sheldon who had been reaching for it, "I'm sure Penny would like a breadstick as well Sheldon."

Sheldon looked quite miffed now, "In Texas you had to be there for dinner or you didn't get any."

Leonard smiled, "Thank god this ain't Texas Sheldon, or we'd also have had to pray before we ate."

Sheldon smirked, "I'd be willing to pray for another slice of pizza."

Amy offered her plate to Sheldon, "Here Sheldon you can have the rest of my piece."

Sheldon looked aghast, "After you've already taken a bite and handled it, no thank you."

Amy took another bite then smiled sweetly at Sheldon, "Suit yourself Sheldon, yum this is good."

Howard started laughing, "Gee Sheldon she is your girlfriend, you act like she has cooties or something. It almost sounded like grade school."

Bernadette chuckled then dipped her breadstick into the sauce Howard was holding and took a bite.

Sheldon cringed, "Don't you two worry about cross contaminating each other with a virus or bacteria?"

Bernadette looked at Sheldon now, "Well considering I've been working with antibiotic resistant staff it would be a bad idea. But Sheldon we already kissed before we ever got here so Howie's already contaminated."

Howard leaned over and kissed Bernadette lightly on the lips, "Oops, I feel a strange sense of living dangerously."

Leonard was laughing now as the door opened and Penny came in.

"Hey guys, any pizza left?"

Leonard waved her over to the dining room chair next to his chair, "I saved you two slices and a breadstick from the pizza vacuum."

He nodded his head toward Sheldon.

Penny sat in the chair before reaching for the pizza picking it up and taking a bite.

"Yum that's the ticket, I'm starving."

Sheldon snorted, got up and headed for the kitchen.

Penny looked after him, "What's up with the super genius?"

Amy looked over at her, "Leonard wouldn't let him have the last two pieces or the last breadstick."

Penny smiled and took another bite then quite loudly, "Yum, this is really good."

Another snort was heard from the kitchen.

Penny giggled and then took a bite of the breadstick. Sheldon returned with a bowl of chips from the kitchen and sat in his spot. He started eating them and glaring at Leonard.

Penny finished the breadstick and looked over at Sheldon, "You can have the last piece sweetie."

Sheldon looked surprised and reached for the slice. Leonard beat him to it, scooped it up and took a bite, "Thanks"

Sheldon sat back, "Rats"

Penny just shook her head and looked over at Leonard.

"I had a visitor at work today. Kurt showed up as I got off."

Leonard looked interested and narrowed his eyes, "What did Kurt want?"

Penny took another bite of her remaining pizza slice, "He wanted to apologize for all the things he'd done to me and put me through. He said he was doing a 12 step program."

Howard nodded his head, "He's in the make amends step. Finding and apologizing to the people you've wronged."

Leonard nodded, "So did he apologize to you?"

Penny finished the pizza and licked her fingers, "Yep, I accepted at first then told him he was creep and to get lost. He said he wrote an IOU on your forehead once."

Leonard blushed and looked down, "Yep had to wear a watch cap for a week before that went away."

Penny looked at him, "Why didn't you tell me you went to see him?"

Leonard just kept looking down, "We weren't together, I was hoping to get your money for you. It did work out though he did give it to you the next day.

Penny frowned, "Yeah and then used it to get back together with me again."

"I didn't see that part coming."

Penny reached over and squeezed his hand, "Were you ever planning on telling me about it?"

Leonard smirked now, "Yeah, oh and by the way your gargantuan ex-boyfriend humiliated me again. No I thought I'd pass."

Penny stood now and held her hand out to Leonard, "Come on you, we need to go to my place so you can be thanked properly."

Leonard smiled and let himself be led from the room.

Sheldon looked disgusted, "Coitus again, it's not even eight o'clock yet."

Howard laughed, "Now that's cross contamination"

Dinner Plans

Raj looked across the table at Selene who slowly ate her salad. The lights in his apartment were dim, candles on the counters flickered in a ghostly glow.

Raj smiled at Selene, "The lobsters should be done in a few minutes. I have a lovely Riesling wine to go with them. I should point out you look lovely yourself this evening"

Selene smiled back brightly. She was dressed in a bright red dress that set off her black hair and dark skin perfectly. She had on matching red high heels and dark stockings.

"Why thank you Raj, you look rather dashing yourself tonight."

Raj had on tan slacks with a black blazer and pink dress shirt.

"Well a lot of men wouldn't wear a salmon shirt with this jacket but I think it has a certain flair."

Selene rolled her eyes grinning, "Really Raj if you weren't so good in bed sometimes I'd swear you were gay. You're just so sensitive and in touch with your feminine side. Most guys would be really afraid of that."

Raj smirked, "Believe me they are, but you don't need to be gay to dress well and take care of your skin."

Selene laughed, "So how often are you taking your pills?"

Raj got up and moved toward the oven.

"I have it down to about every 4 hours during the day."

Selene nodded, "You should try to get it down to twice a day, once in the morning and once before lunch. What are all your friends doing tonight?"

Raj checked the oven then turned and started to open the wine.

"It's pizza night at Sheldon and Leonard's so everyone is probably there clogging their arteries with greasy pepperoni pizza and breadsticks."

Selene laughed, "I love Pepperoni pizza."

Raj brought the wine to the table and poured some in each glass, "Me too, but every week, Sheldon is so rigid."

Selene nodded, "I've only met him at the party but I'd say he has OCD issues, probably some super ego issues as well."

Raj laughed and then turned to the yipping at his feet, "Chardonnay are you hungry baby, let me get you some yummies."

Selene picked up the small dog and held him out in front of her, "She is quite adorable, kind of like her owner.

Raj was pulling the lobsters out of the oven now, he smiled back at her.

Chardonnay suddenly growled at Selene, she put her down quickly, "I think she's jealous."

Raj had put the lobsters on a plate and sat them on the table.

"That would be a first, two women jealous over me."

Selene laughed, "I didn't say I was jealous"

Raj shook his head, "Oh no, I'm counting it"

He sat at the table and raised his wine glass, "To my jealous women."

Warm covers

Bernadette pulled the covers up and looked over at Howard who was at his desk texting on his phone.

"Still trying to get Raj to text you back Howie?"

Howard made a sideways smirk with his mouth, "Yeah, he said he had a date with Selene tonight. I just wondered how it went. But he still hasn't texted me back."

"Howard Raj is a grown man, well a grown something anyway. He can take care of himself."

Howard put the phone down and picked up a small baggy off his desk. He walked over to the bed with it and handed to Bernadette. There was single large pill inside.

"What's this Howie?"

"That's one of the pills Raj has been taking. Do you think you could get it analyzed at your work and find out what's really in it?"

"Howie, are you sure? That's like spying on your best friend?"

Howard looked puzzled, "Isn't that what friends are for?"

Late night TV

Penny slid closer to Leonard, a smile on her face, the comforter clutched against her. Leonard reached over and got his glasses off the nightstand.

"Well now I feel much better."

Leonard looked over at her as best he could, "Really why's that?"

Penny's smile got bigger, "Kurt couldn't believe I was still with you, sex tonight was kind of a in your face Kurt thing."

Leonard nodded, "Glad I could help, any other old boy friends on the horizon? I may need to start drinking more fluids."

Penny slapped his chest softly, "Don't push it Leonard, I still can't believe you went to his place to try and get him to pay me."

"Well I believe there are times I should have my IQ retested that was one of them. But you were my friend and you needed help. So I tried to help."

"Thanks Sweetie, it's really nice to be in love with my friend. I think it's really the first time it's ever happened to me. I had lots of boyfriends but never a boyfriend who was my friend too."

"I can't say I had a lot of girlfriends, but I wouldn't want it any other way."

"It's early want to go watch TV for a while?"

"Sure I wonder what's on"

"Let's find a really old romantic movie, cuddle up and watch it."

"Maybe there is some old Sci-fi on."

"Leonard, think about it, it's early, old romantic movie, cuddling on the couch?"

Leonard smiled suddenly, "Oh"

Romance Conundrum

Amy sat beside Sheldon on the couch as he flipped through the channels.

"Oh this looks good and it just started."

Amy looked confused, "What is it?"

"It's called Silent Running. A classic environmental sci-fi movie with Bruce Dern"

Amy nodded, "Let me guess Bruce Dern is a little crazy in this movie?"

Sheldon looked over at her, "Oh you've seen it"

"No but Bruce Dern is always a little crazy in his movies, who's the love interest?"

Sheldon got a questioning look on his face, "There isn't one, it's an all-male cast. He is in love with plants though."

Amy stood and walked over retrieving her purse from beside the door, "Sorry Sheldon it just doesn't measure up to a romantic evening or even very interesting."

Sheldon looked slightly distraught, "Are you leaving?"

Amy turned around to face him, "I am unless we can find a romantic couples movie to watch and we hold hands during it."

Sheldon looked perplexed then held out the remote to her.

Amy put her purse back down and sat beside him. She took the remote and started flipping through the channels. She stopped on a movie, "Here this is more like it, and it's just starting."

Amy put the remote on the table and looked at Sheldon.

"What's this movie called?"

"Dirty dancing, you'll like it"

Amy picked up the hand sanitizer from the table and squirted it rubbing her hands together. She offered her left hand to Sheldon.

Sheldon took it in his right then sat back to watch the movie.

Episode 11 Staggered Stages

Girls Afternoon Out

Amy sat before her laptop studying the screen. She typed in several changes then hit the enter key as the knock came on her door. She shook her head as she got up, went across the room and opened the door.

"Hi bestie, hi Bernadette come on in, make yourselves at home."

Penny gave Amy a questioning look, "You seem down today, what's up?"

Penny and Bernadette moved into the apartment. Penny dressed in her black jeans and pink top, while Bernadette was in a blue floral print dress. Amy was in a plaid skirt and white blouse with a light sweater.

Penny sat on the couch with Bernadette as Amy went to the kitchen counter to retrieve her purse.

"Oh I've just been doing a little analysis and my conclusions are a little disheartening?"

Bernadette looked over at Amy, "What kind of research, more primate studies, behavioral or something new?"

Amy had her purse and turned toward them, "Well all three I suppose. I've spent last evening and this morning analyzing my relationship with Sheldon. Basing my analysis on both primate mating habits and the behavioral studies of couples I've come to several conclusions."

Penny looked lost now, Bernadette however had a more intrigued look, "So what was so disheartening?"

Amy walked over to the door and looked back at them, "Based on my calculations and considering the current stage of our relationship we will not reach stage 3 until 2027."

Penny looked shocked her eyes open wide, "Fifteen more years, what the heck is stage 3 anyway? Is that when you finally have sex?"

Bernadette answered, "No sex is actually in stage 1, romantic attraction or lust. Stage 2 is defined as physical attraction or the power struggle phase. You may try to shape the other person to your ideal, infatuation has worn off but you miss them when you're not with them. Then there is Stage 3 emotional attraction, you accept the other person for who they are. You are committed to that person, partnership, emotional intimacy, and eventually thoughts of procreation."

Penny looked a little stunned, "I just thought you tried not to go too far on the first date and used protection."

Bernadette giggled, "You and Leonard are in stage 2 Penny. The power struggle and physical stage, you both have things you want to change about the other. But you physically miss the other person if they're not around."

Amy frowned now, "Well Sheldon and I are at stage .5 and at the current rate of change we might get to stage 1 in a couple of more years."

Penny and Bernadette rose and followed Amy out the door, "Are you sure we are in stage 2, who comes up with this stuff anyway."

On Stage

Penny handed a plate to Leonard from the sink. He wiped it with the towel in his hand before putting it in the cabinet. She finished the last plate and looked over at Leonard.

"Did you know we are in stage 2 of our relationship?"

Leonard tilted his head down and looked at her through his glasses, "The power struggle stage? Huh, I hadn't really thought about it too much. I think we've actually been in stage 2 for a while now."

Penny looked a little stressed, "How long do you think we've been in it?"

Leonard looked a little startled now, "I think we've been in stage 2 since we got back together. We miss each other and remember the bug list if that wasn't trying to change the other person I don't know what it would be called.

Penny stepped over and wrapped her arms around Leonard's neck, "You still make squishy noises when we kiss. We should work on that."

She kissed him with no apparent noises being produced. Penny pulled her head back, "Guess I'm on top of the power struggle."

Leonard smiled, "I've moved on to stage 3, unconditional acceptance."

Penny walked toward the couch, "Smart move sweetie, so how do you know about this stuff. Am I the only one that didn't know?"

Leonard sat beside her on the couch, "When you have my mother you get taught all of these psychological theories. It's probably way over simplified from her point of view. If we asked her I'm sure we would be in stage 2.3.5. When did this all come up?"

Penny grinned, "Amy has been doing science stuff about her relationship with Sheldon. She says they won't be in stage 3 for fifteen more years."

Leonard nodded his head, "That quick huh, I would have thought twenty. But Amy's a good scientist and it's much more her field."

"I think Amy may be getting tired of how long things are taking."

Leonard chuckled, "Oh the plight of being Sheldon Cooper's girlfriend. I'm still not sure those words should be in the same sentence."

Trace Amounts

Howard turned as he walked through the bedroom door and yelled, "I said I'd ask her ma."

Bernadette was sitting crossed legged on the bed in her pajamas, her laptop resting on the bed in front of her.

"Ask me what?"

Howard looked embarrassed, "Mom wanted to know if you could take a look at my back and make sure I don't have any pre-cancerous moles. It's something she used to do and she thinks you should do it now."

Bernadette looked slightly annoyed, "Okay take off your shirt and turn around"

Howard started to unbutton his bright orange shirt and pulled it over his head. The matching turtle neck dickey still around his neck and turned around so Bernadette could see his back.

Bernadette looked up for a moment and then back at her laptop, "When did your mom start worrying about you having skin cancer?"

Howard looked a little embarrassed, "Since my first and only sunburn at age 9."

Bernadette was still looking at her laptop screen, she yelled out, "Nope no precancerous moles"

"Thank you Bernadette" echoed back from the open door.

Howard pulled his shirt back on, "Wow that was quick, ma usually takes longer."

Bernadette in a soft voice, "That's nice Howie, have you started looking for an apartment for us yet?"

Howard turned around and sat on the bed beside her, "Oh I have some feelers out there."

Bernadette looked a little more annoyed, "Feelers Howie, here's a very nice place and it's half way between my work and Caltech. We can even have a dog or cat."

"It's kind of far away from ma, I was thinking something a little closer."

"Howard how close do you need to be back in the womb? Have you told her we're moving out yet?"

"Well I've been meaning to but I was in space and then getting back to work."

"Tomorrow, Howie, you need to talk to her tomorrow or I will"

Howard shuddered, "Okay tomorrow, no problem. Not to change the subject did you get the analysis of that pill back yet?"

"Yeah, it came back the other day."

Howard seemed excited now, "So what is she giving him?"

Bernadette pushed her glasses back up her nose. "Howie I'll tell you but you've got to promise not to tell anyone what's in the pill, especially not Raj, now promise."

Howard looked pensive, "All right I promise."

"Howie you are not 5 crossing your fingers behind your back will not let you break a promise to me."

"How did you, dammit all right I won't tell anyone."

Bernadette seemed satisfied, "The pill you brought me was just sugar, it was a placebo. Now that said they may not all be placebo. Selene may have started with something else and moved him to placebo. She's very good at what she does I've read some of her work."

Howard seemed slightly shocked, "Wow she fooled Raj into thinking he can talk to girls."

"Howie you should just be concerned with your ability to talk to your mother"

Sniped by Skype

Sheldon looked back at the face of Amy Farrah Fowler looking at him on his laptop. He got a small grin on his face.

"Hello Amy, what would you like to converse about this evening."

"Good evening Sheldon, I thought perhaps we might discuss the modern theory of stages of relationships."

Sheldon frowned slightly, "I was considering the implications of a modern rail transportation system on the west coast."

Amy got a small smile, "I'm sure talking about trains would be a very stimulating conversation but I thought I we might entertain an expert guest during our discussion."

Sheldon's look became condescending, "What expert did you have in mind?"

Amy's smile increased slightly, "Leonard's mother Beverly Hoftstader has agreed to offer her opinion."

Sheldon smiled, "Oh that would be excellent, what a top notch mind."

The screen suddenly split with Amy on the left and Beverley on the right.

Beverly got a small grin, "Hello Sheldon, I haven't heard otherwise so I assume you're well."

"Yes quite well Beverly, I wasn't aware you had met Amy."

Amy was still smiling, "Leonard gave me her number."

Sheldon nodded as Beverly started to speak, "As I understand it Sheldon you and Ms. Farrah Fowler have been unable to move past Stage 1 of your relationship."

Sheldon was flustered for a moment, "We have been physically intimate, we hold hands from time to time, there are hugs and Amy has actually kissed me."

Amy smirked, well almost smirked, "Sheldon I believe the definition of being physically intimate is much more rigorous."

"Amy is right Sheldon physical intimacy usually involves coitus, but in your two's case just touching in intimate places would be a start."

Sheldon looked very concerned now, "Are you sure that's appropriate yet it's only been two years."

Amy was shaking her head, but Beverly just grinned. "I think you two should have a weekend away together, in the same room, in the same bed. Even if a sexual encounter doesn't occur it will produce a certain physical intimacy."

Sheldon was very shocked now, Amy was nodding. Beverly pushed her glasses up her nose slightly, "Sheldon you know the stages if you wish for your relationship with Ms. Farrah Fowler to go forward you will need to take the first steps. Sometimes it helps if a moderate amount of alcohol is involved."

Amy seemed excited now, "What do you say Sheldon, next weekend, you and me on a romantic getaway?"

"That sounds very appropriate, Sheldon make sure you take Ms. Farrah Fowler somewhere romantic. I'll talk to you on the next Monday and we can go from there."

Sheldon just nodded, "Amy was all smiles, Thank you Beverly, Skype you tomorrow Sheldon."

Amy's screen went blank, and then Beverly was looking at Sheldon now on full screen, "Sheldon you might talk to that young Indian man about some ideas of where to go. Goodnight. Oh please say hello to Leonard and Penny for me."

Sheldon seemed in shock, the screen was blank in front of him, "Goodnight Beverly"

Rapping Interruption

Penny and Leonard lay on the couch. Leonard was on the bottom while Penny straddled him as she kissed him.

Penny pulled back and looked down at him, Leonard squeaked out, "I'm not exactly sure that this is what they meant by power struggle stage."

Penny chuckled, "You don't seem to be struggling much just enjoying yourself"

Leonard started laughing when the knocks came on the door, three in quick succession.

"Leonard and Penny"

Leonard grimaced and Penny just lay down on top of him her faced buried in his shoulder sighing.

Knock, Knock, Knock

"Leonard and Penny"

Penny climbed off Leonard slowly her knee pushing on his stomach, a loud ugh escaping his lips.

"Sorry sweetie"

Leonard sat up as the last knock and hail from the door was heard.

Penny reached the door and opened it smirking, "Hi Sheldon I knew you would come over we were about to have sex."

She looked up at Sheldon who looked rather shell shocked, "Oh Sweetie, what's happened are you sick?"

Penny looked over at Leonard who had a rather large grin on his face.


Leonard got up then walked toward Sheldon and Penny.

"Let's get him inside and he'll be fine he just got a large dose of my mother."


"Yeah I texted her number to Amy thought she might be able to help with the relationship issues."

Penny looked shocked, "You had Amy turn to Beverly for romantic advice."

Leonard smiled again, "It's the only person beside his own mother Sheldon will listen too. Looks like it worked, I have to say I didn't know it would feel so good."

"Leonard I think you're turning into a bully"

Leonard laughed, "Maybe a little, it's just you rubbing off on me"

Penny glared then turned her attention to Sheldon.

"Sheldon sweetie, what happened?"

Sheldon looked up at her now, still looking in a state of shock, "Amy and I are going away for a romantic weekend. We are staying in the same room and sleeping in the same bed."

"Well it's Saturday night not a lot of the weekend left."

Sheldon shook his head, "Next weekend, Beverly suggested I ask Raj about were to take her."

Penny nodded her head as if it made sense to her and then smiled at him, "I bet Amy is excited, oh I should go check my phone."

Penny went toward the kitchen where her phone was on the counter.

Leonard smiled over at Sheldon and sat beside him, "Did she suggest you two also have sex? That would put you squarely into stage 1 then."

Sheldon looked at Leonard still shocked, "What am I to do Leonard, I have not, I'm not sure about any of this."

Penny came back and sat in the chair with her phone, "I'd say you should bring condoms Sheldon, Amy's not on birth control. I don't think STD's are an issue unless you can get something from a toothbrush."

Leonard looked at her questioningly as Penny shrugged slightly, "I'll tell you later."

Sheldon looked over at her, "Is oral hygiene also involved with intimacy. Oh I could never share my toothbrush or comb. This is all very strange."

Penny could not stop laughing, Leonard chuckled and turned to Sheldon, "Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Episode 12 Hyperbolic Distortions

Critical Research

Leonard sat in his chair leaning forward looking at a book on the table. He jotted notes down in the essay book beside it. Leonard had on a red t-shirt with the periodic table across his chest. He stuck the pencil in his mouth then turned several pages in the book. Sheldon came out of the hallway into the room. The tall theoretical physicist dressed in brown slacks with his green man bot t-shirt.

Leonard looked up at his friend, "Hey Sheldon, have you got your big weekend all planned yet?"

Sheldon gave Leonard a sneer, "I've put it in Raj's capable hands. We have reservations at a seaside resort and spa in Santa Barbara."

Leonard smiled back with a rather wicked grin, "Sounds nice, when you leaving?"

Sheldon wandered into the kitchen looking at the chart on the fridge, "My bowel movement is late this evening, I wonder if I might be getting a blockage. I certainly can't be expected to travel in that condition."

Leonard looked back at his essay book, "Still trying to think of a reason not to go huh?"

Sheldon got a can of cola from the fridge then moved over sitting in his spot before opening it. Leonard had sat up to let him by, staring up at him. Sheldon had not returned his glance. He opened the cola taking a drink then looked over at Leonard.

"No not at all. I would just like to be feeling my best to spend a weekend wasting my time" Sheldon had put his cola on the table then made quotation marks with his fingers, "exploring intimacy"

Leonard tilted his head down looking through his black thick framed glasses, "You might have a really good time if you open yourself up to the experience."

Sheldon smirked at Leonard then got serious, "Time for some guy talk Leonard, can I ask you a few questions that might help?"

Leonard sat back in his chair, "Sure what do you want to know?"

Sheldon looked over at him, "Leonard I've noticed that you have a way of shutting off Penny's amorous moods. Not so much lately but you used to be able to generally make her leave you alone just by saying something. What kind of strategy do you use to come up with those things?"

Leonard rolled his eyes then shook his head, "I've never done that on purpose Sheldon. It's always just the opposite of what I had in mind. Besides I'm not giving you that kind of advice. You need to deal with your relationship. Anyway Penny would kill me."

Sheldon brightened up, "See, that kind of thing Leonard, by just saying things it helped you get out of having sex with Penny, anything else?"

"Sheldon believe me if you just be your condescending self I'm sure you'll insult Amy and not have to worry about it."

Sheldon looked offended but then smiled a wicked little smile, "Is that all it would take? I just need to insult her like you did with Penny and the psychic, or when you"

Leonard shook his head again, "Enough Sheldon, I'm sure you'll figure something out."

The Wolowitz Reversal

Bernadette sat in her blue robe at Howard's desk in his room typing. She was listening to Howard and his mother through the open bedroom door.

"Ma we need to find a place of our own. We'll get a place close so I can come over if you call."

"You don't even come when you're in your bedroom. What am I supposed to do if I get stuck in the tub again? Who will zip my dress? I knew you would abandon me. You're just like your father."

"Ma, I would never abandon you, I'll be close I promise."

"Will you come and stay the weekends?"

"We'll see ma"

Howard walked into the bedroom now. He was dressed in his red satin pajamas, bare footed. Howard walked over then flopped himself on the bed.

Bernadette looked over at him, "Not going so well I hear. I started looking for a place close by Howie."

Howard looked over at her, "She's right you know, me leaving is just like my father. He didn't come home on weekends either."

Bernadette got up then sat on the bed next to her husband. She ran her hand up and down his back, "We'll come over for the weekends for a while Howie. That will make you both feel better then we can ease her into us being gone most of the time."

Howard rolled on his back giving Bernadette a goofy grin then yelled, "Okay Ma we'll come on the weekends"

Up from a distance, "Sure you will."

Listening In

Penny in her Cheesecake Factory uniform walked up the final flight of stairs to the fourth floor landing to find her door standing open. She looked at 4A for moment then peeked around her own doorway. Leonard was standing in the kitchen at the stove with his back to the door. There were several candles lit on the kitchen counter. Beside them was a glass of red wine, in front of the couch was her foot tub filled with water. Penny walked in then closed the door behind her.

She dropped her purse on the table by the door, "What's all this, what have you done?"

Leonard turned around with a pot in his hand smiling, "I thought you'd like to come home to dinner and a glass of wine while you soaked your feet. I don't think I've done anything."

Penny grinned then kicked her shoes off settling on the couch before dipping her feet into the tub on the floor.

"Aw, that's the ticket. Oh I should have gotten the wine."

Leonard picked it up off the counter then moved to the couch handing it to her.

"Tough night on the feet I suppose. I made spaghetti, sorry it's out of the can but it smells good. I've got garlic bread too, oh shoot"

Leonard hurried to the oven in the kitchen, opened the door as gray smoke poured out. He quickly removed the bread on the tray with a hot pad.

"Dammit, well the breads a little over done"

Penny smiled over at him, "That's okay sweetie, this is one of those times that the thought really does count. Just bring me a plate of spaghetti and we'll call it good."

Leonard grimaced while waving a towel over the smoking bread. The smoke alarm went off suddenly. Leonard now started waving the towel at the ceiling of the kitchen. Penny was laughing now when the door to the apartment swung open. Sheldon came through the door in his pajamas, a large fire extinguisher in hand.

He hurried by Penny then proceeded to spray Leonard, the bread and pot of Spaghetti with the white foam of the extinguisher.

Penny was up now yelling, "What the hell Sheldon, you just destroyed our dinner, it was just a little smoke!"

Leonard had taken his glasses off wiping his face with the towel, his shirt and hair covered in the foam.

He looked at Sheldon and sneered "A little bit of an overreaction there Sheldon, using the foam extinguisher."

Sheldon looking very self-assured, "It could have been a grease fire so I brought the chemical extinguisher. You can thank me later for saving you."

Sheldon turned then walked toward the door. He passed Penny who stood before the couch with her mouth hanging open. Sheldon gave her a two finger salute, "Ma'am"

Sheldon closed the door as he left. Penny turned toward Leonard who was still wiping the foam off his head.

"I have got to remember to lock the door when I get home."

Leonard started to get his phone out of his pocket, "Wouldn't matter he'd just break the door down with his fire axe or worse hurt himself trying."

Leonard had his phone out now, "What would you like, pizza, Thai or Chinese?"

Penny sat back on the couch placing her feet in the tub again. She took another drink of her wine. Penny smiled over at Leonard who was now cleaning up the kitchen.

"Thai sounds nice, you want some help?"

Leonard shook his head, "My fault for trying to get away from him for a while."

Penny looked puzzled cocking her head slightly, "Get away?"

Leonard looked up, "Yeah he's been bugging me to tell him things I've said or done to you that made you not want to have sex with me. Something he could use on Amy this weekend. I used coming over here to make you dinner as an excuse."

Penny frowned, "So this wasn't about doing something nice for me?"

Leonard smiled back at her, "I could have went to the comic book store, coffee shop or just went for a walk. Instead I decided you might like a nice meal and to be pampered a bit when you got home."

Penny smiled now, leaning forward to sit her wine on the table, "Come over here you"

Leonard put the towel down then came in sitting down on the couch beside her.

Penny leaned over then kissed him, "You certainly didn't say or do the wrong thing tonight." She kissed him again putting her hand on the back of his neck, "Order the Thai food sweetie while I get into something more comfortable. Then you need to get in the shower and wash this stuff off, maybe I'll help."

Leonard just smiled then watched as she headed for her bedroom.

Recalculation Effect

Sheldon sat next to Amy in her car. He looked down at the clip board in his hand. Amy behind the wheel had a contented grin on her face as she drove. Sheldon looked at his watch then the GPS attached to the clipboard.

"This traffic is putting us behind schedule. We should have been to Oxnard 20 minutes ago. I'm going to need to recalculate our arrival time based on the current rate of speed and expected traffic."

Amy was still smiling then answered softly, "You do that Sheldon"

Sheldon looked up from the clipboard at Amy, "I already have we now won't arrive until 1:47. They could give our room away to someone else. We may need to put this off until another weekend. Maybe we should turn back now to save the time."

Amy continued to smile, "Sheldon, I called, we have until midnight to check in."

Sheldon seemed crest fallen then returned his attention to his clipboard.

Amy glanced over at him then back at the road, "Sheldon we don't have to have sex, though I brought along a twelve pack of condoms just in case."

Sheldon looked over shocked then looked at her seriously, "I am not a machine Amy Farrah Fowler, a twelve pack that was not a very intelligent thing to do. I would have thought you more capable than that."

Amy still smiled then glanced at him for a second, "Insulting my intelligence won't work Sheldon. Penny already let me know that you might try to insult me, make me angry, be condescending, selfish or childish."

Sheldon stared back at his clipboard, "Curse you Leonard Hoftstader"

Lingering Doubts

Penny came in through the door to the apartment 4A door dressed in her black slim fit jeans, red top and white flip flops. Her hair was pulled back in a tied ponytail that bounced behind her. No one was to be seen, so she quickly moved to then sat in Sheldon spot. She looked over at Leonard's desk his bag was on top of it.

"Hey Sweetie, where are you hiding"

Leonard walked up the hall in jeans and his white shirt with the green recycle emblem on the front. He had a moving box in his arms as he entered the room.

"Just getting the box out of my closet, are you sure you want to do this?"

Penny looked over at him smiling, "Of course I do. I want to know what you were like when you were a kid. Is that all of it?"

Leonard sat the box on the coffee table then sat beside her on the couch, "This is it. The mementos of my childhood"

Penny looked at the box then over at him, "Gee sweetie I have three boxes in Nebraska just from high school."

Leonard looked over with a wicked grin, "I'll have Wyatt ship them out."

Penny looked surprised, "Ah let's not, too many things to explain in those boxes."

Leonard continued to grin, "Too many boyfriends to explain?"

Penny look uncomfortable, "Something like that, it might not go well. Let's start with your stuff."

Penny reached over taking the top off the box. She looked inside then back over at Leonard.

"Not much in there, oh here's a photo album let's start with that."

Leonard nodded as she took out the album opening it to the first page.

"It's a picture of a. I give up what the hell is it?"

Leonard tilted his head down looking through his glasses, "That's Penicillium Chrysogenum it's the mold Penicillin is made from. It was for my 4th grade science fair. I grew twenty-two different kinds of molds."

Penny had a disgusted look on her face, "Is the whole album mold?"

Leonard smiled then turned the page in the album, "Yep, oh look at this one, this is Penicillium Regulosum it can actually damage optics and protective glass."

Penny closed the album, "Sorry Leonard but yuck, why did you keep this?"

Leonard frowned, "I won first place that year. It was the first time I ever won anything."

Penny nodded her head, "I guess it's no different than the trophy I kept from junior rodeo, just grosser."

Leonard looked at her smiling, "Well my uncle Floyd was proud of me."

Penny was looking back in the box now, "What about your mom and dad."

Leonard sat back thinking, "Let's see my father was in Africa studying the mating rituals of a tribe in Zambia. My mother I believe was busy giving a series of lectures at Harvard. She did say it was rather derivative rather than original research. My sister thought it was cool though, but she was always into biology."

Leonard sat forward looking into the box. Penny was picking things up then looking at them.

"Let's see another science fair win, Honor Society certificate from the sixth grade on. Oh here's your high school diploma. My god Leonard you graduated when you were 15?"

Leonard nodded as Penny looked over at him. He leaned forward looking through the box, "Yeah but I went another year so I could drive before I went to Princeton."

Penny just shook her head, "Well that makes sense, can't be the big man on campus without a car."

Leonard grimaced, "Yeah, something like that."

Penny leaned forward picking up a small brown teddy bear from the bottom of the box, "Who's this guy?"

Leonard looked at the bear then reached over taking it from her hands. He held the bear looking at it with a smile on his face.

"This is Teddy, my only friend when I was little. I hid him from my mother when she got rid of all the other stuffed toys I had when I was seven. He's been hiding in one box or another ever since."

Penny had sat back on the couch. She looked suddenly sad and teary.

Leonard looked at the bear for several more seconds then handed it to Penny, "Why don't you keep him for me Penny, put him with all your care bears. Maybe he's been hidden long enough. I know you'll take good care of him."

Penny wiped her eyes with her free hand then clutched the bear to her chest, "Of course sweetie I'll take good care of him."

Leonard started looking through the box again. Penny held the small brown bear to her chest and watched him.

First Moves

Sheldon was laying very straight on the right side of the king size bed in his blue pajamas. The room around him contained modern furniture a leather couch and two easy chairs. He looked nervous, clutching his phone tightly in one hand. The bathroom door on the left side of the bed opened. Amy walked out in her blue robe, her hair loose and cascading around her shoulders. She walked to the end of the bed then faced Sheldon who is now staring up at her. Amy opened her robe holding it wide with outstretched arms. Sheldon's eyebrows shot up, his eyes huge.

"So Jedi Sheldon how do like my Princess Leia costume it's from the barge scene in Empire Strikes Back?"

Sheldon muttered, "Oh my"


Penny snuggled into Leonard's shoulder still clutching the bear in one hand, her other on Leonard's thigh. The lid was back on the box on the coffee table.

"Leonard sweetie I'm not sure how you feel about going through that box. I kind of expected more pictures when you were a kid, birthday cards, papers you wrote, stuff like that."

Leonard nodded his head, "I know, I actually wrote a lot of papers but they are all in the library at Princeton. It would be pretty boring stuff for you actually, me too. I have much better memories from the last few years than I ever had growing up. But you know that already. You're responsible for my first birthday party, Christmas, even winning a prize on New Year's Eve."

Penny held the bear tighter, "This little bear means a lot to me Leonard. It's like the snowflake, original like you."

Leonard squeezed her to him then turned kissing her softly.

Penny's phone buzzed. She broke the kiss then reached for it on the table beside the box. Penny sat up then looked at the screen.

"It's from Amy, Oh my god"

Episode 13 Congruent Conversations

Leonard looked over at Penny, "What happened. Did they have sex?"

Penny was busy texting back on her phone, "Not exactly, Sheldon apparently had a rather large accident then threw up and now Amy can't get him out of the bathroom."

Leonard rolled his eyes, "He's embarrassed, maybe we should drive up there and get him?"

Penny shook her head, "Nope, Sheldon has to deal with this and so does Amy."

Leonard's phone was ringing now, "Want to guess who this is?"

"Hello Sheldon, calm down. It's okay it can happen to anyone, well no it's hasn't happened to me but it's happened to Howard lots of time."

Penny looked over at Leonard nodding her head, "and Raj, the Indian quick draw artist"

Leonard looked taken aback for a second then started talking to Sheldon again, "It just means you're normal Sheldon I'm sure Amy will understand you need to talk to her about it. She had what on, oh yeah I could see how that could over stimulate you. Yeah I know Penny and I take forever to talk about anything but you and Amy aren't us. No well, okay if it will help, I'll ask her."

Leonard offered the phone to Penny, "He wants you to sing soft kitty to him."

Penny held up a finger then quickly called Amy, "Amy it's me, hey go to the bathroom door, I'm going to sing soft kitty to Sheldon. When I'm done you start singing it to him through the door."

Penny held both phones up to her face then began to sing soft kitty, Leonard could hear Amy singing it on the phone the second time through. Penny stopped then listened to her phone as Amy continued to sing. The call on Leonard's phone ended then Penny put her phone up to her ear.

"Okay good, call me back or text me if anything else happens."

Penny ended the call then looked at Leonard, "He's coming out."

Leonard looked over at Penny, "So what's this about Raj being called the Indian quick draw artist?"

Penny looked first annoyed then embarrassed, "I guess Sheldon was right when he says we take forever to talk about things. We've never talked about the time Raj and I ended up in bed together. We never had sex that night, well I didn't anyway it was over before it ever started. It doesn't change the fact that I got way too drunk and was going to have sex with him, but we never did. But you can't say anything to him I promised not to tell anyone."

Leonard looked pained for a moment then he nodded as he reached over and held her hand, "I can't see any reason why it should come up."

Penny leaned over to him then kissed his cheek, "Thanks sweetie let's just leave it in the past."

Leonard leaned back then Penny snuggled back into his shoulder. She ran her hand up his chest, "Well that was exciting. I wonder how it'll work out?"

Leonard shook his head, "No idea, but you need to borrow Amy's Princess Leia costume one of these days."

Penny just smiled, "I thought that might be the right outfit for Sheldon, she had several in mind. I'm afraid we're different sizes so I can't borrow hers. I did get by Victoria's Secret this week though knowing we had the place to ourselves this weekend."

It was Leonard's turn to smile.

Quieter Moments

Raj rolled on his side to look at Selene who was beside him in his bed. She had the red comforter pulled up with her head lying on the pillow. Raj beside her was underneath it up to his waist. Selene smiled at Raj who was already grinning.

"I've only had one pill today and that was first thing this morning. Maybe tomorrow I'll just try to go without and see what happens."

Selene reached over running her hand across his cheek, "Raj you haven't been taking anything for about two weeks, just sugar pills."

Raj looked stricken then surprised for a moment. He looked at her then began to speak, "I'm cured, I can talk to women now."

Selene shook her head, "Well you can certainly talk to me, but you're very comfortable with me now. You need to talk to women you don't know or that have always caused you to become mute. Practice makes perfect Raj. If you relapse we'll go back on the THC."

Raj smiled at her, "Perhaps it's just the sex, now if I had a regular dose of that."

Selene moved closer to him, "I guess you need a booster shot."

No Backup Pajamas

Sheldon lay under the covers of the bed with them pulled up to his neck. Amy was beside him cuddling up to the rigidly straight Sheldon as best she could. She was halfway above the covers, a black satin nightgown showing.

"Well Sheldon what do you think now?"

Sheldon smirked slightly, "This is not my first sexual experience Amy, just my first with someone else present. Well besides my sister spying on me."

Amy grinned then tried putting her head on his shoulder. Sheldon relented by raising his arm then placing it lightly around her with her head on his shoulder.

Amy grinned, "So what's you verdict Sheldon, is it better with two?"

Sheldon got a small grin, "I do believe it is, though more research may be required."

"Oh Sheldon"

Sheldon nodded his head, "I really should have brought my backup pajamas though. How am I supposed to sleep?"

Amy smiled now, "Who needs sleep"

Lists and Items

Bernadette sat on the bed looking at her laptop as Howard sat at his desk apparently playing a game. Both were in their pajamas, Bernadette in pink, Howard in black.

"Okay Howie I have several apartments we can look at within a ten mile radius. My to do list includes installing a phone in the bathroom, setting up a laptop so she can Skype you when she needs to, one of the medical alert dealies so she can press it if she falls and can't get up, anything else?"

Howard sat back, "Dammit, this kid in Australia is good, that's the third time he's killed me. Okay let me think about it for a minute. Oh a second channel changer. She usually sits on one and it gets caught in the creases then I come down and find it for her."

Bernadette got her yuck face on then shook her head.

"Okay were ready to start the apartment hunting tomorrow, Howie isn't it time to come to bed?"

Howard was again playing his game, moving his shoulder and head as if he were ducking real weapons.

"Yeah, in a minute just got to kill this kid one time."

Bernadette got a pained look on her face, when she yelled it sound just like Howard's mother, "Howard Joe Wolowitz come to bed with your wife."

Howard stopped playing at once, "Yes maaa mmm dear"

Bernadette giggled.

Last Man Lying Down

Leonard looked up from his bed as Penny came into the bedroom in her short pink robe. He was under the covers of his bed up to his waist shirtless. Penny stood at the foot of the bed then threw her robe open holding it with her arms wide.

Leonard eyebrows shot up, his eyes became huge, "Oh my, dammit."

Sunday Morning Diatribe

Leonard typed for several seconds on his laptop then looked at the results. Penny was on the far end of the couch opposite Sheldon's spot in her pink robe. She had her legs and feet tucked up under her. Penny looked over the coffee cup in her hand at Leonard as he typed.

She took another sip of her coffee, "So what's it looking like today, coming up with anything yet?"

Leonard shook his head, "Seems like a pretty boring Sunday unless you want to go to the swap meet again."

Penny shook her head, "No it's too depressing to see people selling their used stuff that is better than anything I own."

"Not better than your shoe collection."

Penny nodded pursing her lips, "Good call I do have that."

Leonard swiveled his chair toward her, "We could call Howard and Bernadette?"

Penny shook her head, "Nope, apartment hunting today."

Leonard nodded, "How about Raj and Selene?"

"Art Museum"

Leonard shrugged, "Well Sheldon and Amy will be back from Santa Barbara late this afternoon. You have any ideas?"

Penny took a sip of her coffee and shrugged, "Go to the mall and shop?"

Leonard grimaced, "That's like me telling you we should go to the comic book store."

Penny rolled her eyes, "Okay so have we ran out of things to do, I guess we should break up now. Getting back together would give us something to do."

She smiled at him now.

Leonard smiled back, "No we've done that already, we could just skip to the makeup part."

Penny smile widened, "Oh, what did you have in mind?"

Leonard got up then came to sit beside her on the couch, "I grovel for several hours then we have sex. The world is once again in balance."

Penny leaned over to kiss him on the cheek, "Let's just skip the groveling, I could put that little outfit from last night back on if you can control yourself."

Leonard's eyebrows went up, "Little is right I hope you didn't pay by the inch for that one."

Penny got a wicked crooked grin, "Well at least it won't be a surprise today."

Leonard smirked, "For both us."

Home Drat Home

Sheldon walked into the apartment with his black rolling suitcase in tow. He was dressed in his brown cords and his orange Flash lightning t-shirt. Leonard and Penny were both sitting cuddled up on the couch still in their red and pink robes. Sheldon glanced at them looking slightly taken aback.

"You two do know it's almost five in the evening?"

Penny smiled a teasing grin, "We've pretty much been having a lazy day getting in and out of bed all day. But you know all about that now don't you Sheldon?"

Sheldon redden slightly then got a condescending look, "Oh coitus, been there, done that pretty over rated for the use of your time."

He proceeded to walk toward the hallway. Penny was snickering on the couch, "Amy said you had a date for more next Friday at her place."

Sheldon turned back, "I really must talk to Amy about privacy of the bedroom. Unlike you two I believe certain things should remain private."

Sheldon turned on his heel then started back down the hall again. Penny looked over at Leonard grinning. He had an amused look on his face.

The sound of Sheldon's voice echoed down the hallway, "My god what happened in the bathroom, did we have a leak there's water everywhere."

Penny snickered again then yelled back, "Leonard and I were taking a bath and things got a little overheated. I'm sure you understand how that can happen, we'll clean it up."

Sheldon could be heard grumbling something inaudible.

Leonard chuckled shaking his head, "You're really going to milk this aren't you?"

Penny just smiled back, "Oh you betcha, Sheldon Cooper's playing ball in my court now, he's just mooing to be milked."

Lucas Learning

Penny brought a glass of white wine to Amy on the couch. She was dressed in tight dark blue jeans and a robin eggs blue top. Amy was in a plaid skirt and flowered top with a dark blue sweater. Bernadette sat in the chair in a flowered dress and pink sweater. She had a glass of wine in her hand already. Penny went back to the kitchen retrieving another glass then settled into the couch to the left of Amy.

Penny looked over at Amy, "Okay give sister, what's Sheldon like in the sack?"

Bernadette leaned forward intensely interested now. Amy blushed slightly then took a drink of her wine.

"I can't tell you the details, I've been informed by email, text and I assume certified letter that I would be in violation of the relationship agreement. He's also working on a new section about intimate relations. He enjoined me from revealing anything until we can agree on the section."

Penny shook her head, "Sorry, girl's night overrides any agreements made with boyfriends, give it up."

Amy shook her head then got a huge grin, "Okay, not going into details on a scale of 1 to 10, 14."

Penny seemed taken aback, "Really? I'd have never thought, Sheldon Cooper a sex machine."

Bernadette seemed skeptical, "Amy what other experiences are you basing that on."

Amy took another sip of wine, "Well it was better than Rex my electric toothbrush and I've read extensively."

Both Bernadette and Penny nodded knowingly. Penny touched Amy on the arm, "So what are the plans for next Friday."

Amy nodded but was frowning, "Well, Sheldon's spending the night with me next Friday but I have certain things I have to accomplish."

Penny looked puzzled, "Like what?"

Amy looked down, "I apparently said the costume I was wearing was from the wrong Star Wars movie. So Friday we are going to watch all six of them and there will be a test."

Penny continued to stare at her, "What movie did you say it was from?"

"The Empire Strikes Back"

Penny shook her head, "Oh no it was from Return of the Jedi"

Bernadette looked over at Penny, "You know that."

Penny looked embarrassed, "Well I am Leonard Hoftstader's girlfriend so I've seen them all a dozen times. The first time he told me he loved me was when I quoted Star Wars. Of course I broke up with him right after that."

Bernadette sipped her wine, "And regretted it"

Penny smiled and tilted her head, "Yeah not one of my better moves, but its working out."

Evening Whispers

Leonard sat on Penny's couch with his feet on the coffee table. Penny flopped down beside him in her pink pajama shorts and a yellow camisole.

She reached over taking his hand, "Well we had a pretty good day after all,"

Leonard squeezed her hand, "Ready for bed?"

Penny yawned then nodded, "Yeah, Hey Amy said Sheldon was quite the lover 14 on a scale of 1 to 10"

Leonard looked over at her, "Funny Sheldon used the same number to describe Amy tonight after you girls left."

Penny laughed, "I see we've had some people getting their story straight, it'll come out over time. Did he tell you she got the Star Wars movie wrong?"

Leonard nodded, "Yep, I told him that would have never happened with you."

Penny snuggled into him, "Thanks sweetie, so what movie is this quote from? Take me to bed or lose me forever."

Leonard looked in thought for a moment, "Oh, Top Gun, what do I win?"

Penny stood then held her hand out to Leonard who took it in his, "A good night's sleep, now come on stud!"

Episode 14 Planning Predicaments

Nebraska Roses

Penny leaned forward on her couch yelling, "Yes field goal, all tied up for halftime."

She was dressed in her red Nebraska shorts and gray Nebraska booster t-shirt. Leonard sat beside her on the couch watching the game in his brown pants and green shirt with the yellow radioactivity warning shield. He looked over at Penny as she sat back down.

"You know I would have taken you to the game, they're playing in the Rose Bowl."

Penny took the remote then muted the game.

She smiled at him, "I know you would have sweetie. It wouldn't be the same going without my dad though. He did ask me if I was going the other day. Something else came up Leonard. He invited us out for Thanksgiving this year."

Penny was looking at him now for some kind of reaction. Leonard cocked his head then raised his eyebrows slightly.

"That's a pretty big step taking me home to meet your family. Though of course I've met your dad, you've never really talked about your mom much. I'll go with you of course. We can fly out on Monday if you like then spend the week."

Penny looked nervous suddenly, "Leonard it's never really came up before, but I'm not really a very good flyer. I'm also not sure if I can do a whole week with my family at home. How about we just stay Wednesday through Friday?"

Leonard looked at her puzzled now, "Okay, so what is the problem you have with flying?"

Penny looked embarrassed, "It scares me. I generally just knock back a few drinks first but it still scares me. The last time I flew I'm sure there is a little old man from Omaha that has my finger nail marks in his arm. I didn't freak out or anything, I just was terrified the entire time."

Leonard nodded his head, "I don't suppose it would help if I pointed out how safe it is and quoted statistics?"

Penny gave him an exasperated look, "What do you think Leonard?"

Leonard shook his head, "No, I kind of figured that, is there anything I could do to help?"

Penny looked up at him with a shy grin, "You could drive me?"

Penny looked over at the TV, "Crap, UCLA just kicked a field goal now they're ahead 27 to 24. Come on Huskers!"

Grading Performance

Sheldon sat back on Amy's couch looking at his iPad. Amy was nowhere to be seen in the apartment. Sheldon had on his tan cords and dark blue t-shirt with a black 73 in a white circle on the front.

He touched the iPad several times, "You did very well on the first three movies but didn't perform as well on the last three. The essay question was very well done."

Amy walked out of the bedroom now dressed in a dark blue skirt with a white blouse beneath a matching blue sweater.

"So does that mean I passed?"

Sheldon shook his head, "I suppose you've passed, though you could certainly do better."

Amy shook her head then moved to the kitchen, "Perhaps if you made a study guide for it I would improve. I really was rather tired by the last movie."

Sheldon looked at his iPad again, "You got a B+ but I'll do a study guide for you if you'd like."

Amy came in then handed Sheldon a plate with a sandwich and Pringles potato chips. She returned to the kitchen then brought her own plate in sitting beside him on the couch.

Sheldon looked at the sandwich and then at her, "Jif creamy with Smuckers strawberry preserves?"

Amy grinned then nodded, "Would you like some strawberry Nestle Quik to go with it?"

Sheldon grinned, "Oh that would be yummy."

Amy headed back to the kitchen, "Are you going to be heading home soon?"

Sheldon looked slightly sad, "I suppose so. Who knows what Leonard and Penny have done while I've been away, last week it was a fire and flood. "

Amy returned with a glass of milk for herself and a pink liquid filled glass she handed to Sheldon, "Well you're welcome to stay here another night. How would you like to describe our weekend to everyone?"

Sheldon just started eating.

Agony of Defeat

Penny slumped back on the couch dejected, "We lost? We lost to unranked UCLA 36 to 30. Oh I'm so glad I didn't go to the game now. My dad will be pissed."

Leonard patted her shoulder softly, "Sorry honey, sometime the lesser team wins."

Penny smirked over at him, "Underdog, sweetie, sometimes the underdog wins."

"I thought Underdog was a cartoon superhero dog?"

Penny just shook her head, "Don't mention this game to my dad when we go out there. Might not be a great subject. So can we drive out rather than fly?"

Leonard looked unsure, "How long does it take to drive?"

Penny shrugged, "About two days in the summer, in the fall it might take a little longer. I'll help with the driving. We take I-15 and then I-70 pretty much the whole way."

Leonard grinned, "Okay as long as the weather is good, I haven't driven on snow in years."

Penny was all smiles, "Oh thank you sweetie. It's going to be great, you and me on the road then Thanksgiving with my folks and family."

Leonard looked comfortable as Penny snuggled up into his shoulder. She had a huge grin on her face.

"So when was the last time you took a guy home to meet your parents?"

Penny sat up, "That's what this is, isn't it? You've met my dad but we weren't together. Now I'm taking you home to meet my parents. I never even thought about it. It just seemed like the natural thing to do."

Leonard smiled, "So you still haven't told me the last time to you brought a guy to meet your parents?"

Penny looked as if she were thinking about it, "Well they met most of my boyfriends but I never took one to meet them officially, or to Thanksgiving."

Leonard looked over at her, "Wouldn't it be easier to take your fiancé to meet them than your boyfriend?"

Penny sat up then scooted back from him, "Are you asking?"

Leonard looked concerned then shook his head, "Nope, but is this the right time now, I mean as in the right time in our relationship to ask not this very moment. You know with Nebraska losing and all it's not a great moment."

He smiled at her then, that wonderful grin and flash of teeth.

Penny continued to look serious, "It could be, I won't know until you ask."

Leonard nodded then held his left arm up. Penny snuggled back in smiling again, "So you're going to keep me waiting?"

Leonard chuckled, "Yeah I'm keeping you waiting, that's a good one."

Fault Detection

Bernadette sat behind the wheel of her car as Howard got in the passenger seat. She started driving, checking the rearview mirror then giving Howard a sideways glance.

"Okay what was wrong with that apartment Howie? I really liked the bedroom and bathroom, the kitchen was a little small but it's just the two of us."

Howard's face took on a smirk, "It's another second story and there's no place for my Vespa. Maybe we should be looking for a two bedroom. Somewhere we can put my desk and collectibles."

Bernadette gritted her teeth slightly, "That was a two bedroom Howie. You just never looked at the other room."

Howard seemed surprised, "Really, how'd I miss that?"

Bernadette rolled her eyes, "You were talking to your mother on the phone, again, seeing if the cell reception was good."

Howard nodded tight lipped, "Oh yeah, well we can find something better. We should be heading for Leonard's and Sheldon's place soon."

Bernadette through clenched teeth, "Yeah, I could certainly use a glass of wine at Penny's."

Howard had not looked over, "That's the spirit."

Village Vittles

Penny entered the apartment building as Leonard rounding the corner with his laundry basket.

"Hey Penny, how was the lunch shift?"

Penny walked up next to him, "Hey you, just like any other Sunday, tips were good, big bible rush after 11:00"

Leonard chuckled as they started up the stairs together, Penny in her Cheesecake Factory uniform, Leonard in dark brown cords and green recycle shirt.

"So did you let your parents know we're coming?"

Penny nodded, "No not yet, I'll call them next week once the Nebraska loss has faded a bit. You haven't changed your mind?"

Leonard grinned and shook his head, "No I'm in, haven't been to Thanksgiving in a long time. We never celebrated it at home though I did go to a friend's house during college once."

Penny looked over at him, "That sucks, what guys house did you go to?"

Leonard was quiet for a moment, "It was a girl actually, named Jennifer she was my lab partner in Organic Chemistry. Her family had a place in Long Island. It was really something, butlers, maids, and cooks. There must have been fifty people at dinner."

Penny looked over at him as they rounded the second floor landing, "So I'm not the first girl to invite you home for Thanksgiving dinner?"

Leonard got his panicked look, "No it wasn't like that at all. You couldn't stay in the dorm over Thanksgiving and no one was going to be at home so she invited me. Her boyfriend was coming up from Harvard. They were pretty nice people maybe a little snobbish."

Penny nodded as they started up the next flight, "It's okay sweetie, I just thought I was the first to invite you to Thanksgiving."

Leonard shifted the laundry basket under one arm, reaching over with his right hand and taking Penny's left.

"You're the first one that wasn't trying to get me to tutor them in chemistry and calculus."

Penny laughed as they continued up the stairs.

Chinese Night

Selene sat on the couch in dark blue pants and a yellow top, Raj was on her right on a kitchen chair in his green khaki pants and usual sweater. Amy and Sheldon were to her left on the couch, Amy in a plaid skirt and dark blue sweater, Sheldon in his tan pants and black Superman t-shirt. Leonard was in his chair with Penny next to him still in her uniform. Bernadette and Howard were sitting on the floor next to the coffee table. Howard's clothes matched a bright orange shirt, pants and dickey. Bernadette had on black stretch pants, with a pink top and sweater. The table was covered in to go boxes from Sheldon's favorite Chinese restaurant.

They were all eating their food out of the boxes with forks.

Selene looked around, "So what should we all do tonight after dinner."

Penny looked over smiling, "Normally we girls all go off to my place for a glass of wine. The boys usually stay here do something nerdy."

Bernadette and Amy both nodded, Selene looked around at them, "That seems appropriate, will we be talking about them?"

Amy looked over, "Mostly though we do go for a game of truth or dare occasionally."

Penny rolled her eyes as did Bernadette but Selene just nodded, "I haven't done that since college, might be fun."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, "We could all go to the movies together?"

Sheldon shook his head, "The probability of eight people wanting to see the same movie is extremely small."

Penny nodded, "We'd end up with the girls in one movie and the guys in another. That could work but they don't serve wine at the theater."

Selene grinned back at her, "That's the clincher then, I say Penny's place, wine and girl talk."

Both Amy and Bernadette nodded. Penny ran her hand up Leonard's arm, "Sorry sweetie"

Raj swallowed his food then looked at Leonard, "We could have a bottle of wine here and just talk tonight."

Howard almost choked then sat his food container on the table, "Yeah that sounds like an estrogen filled evening Raj. I think some gaming would be a better, Guild Wars, Star Wars, or World of Warcraft?"

Sheldon nodded, Leonard smirked, "I think that sounds about right, sorry Raj I don't think they make a lite wine anyway."

Raj seemed put off, "Well you don't see me wearing my fat pants now do you."

Howard looked over at him and scowled, "Yeah like I need to worry about that."

Selene smiled sweetly, "It seems you gentleman only play games with the word war in them."

Penny shook her head, "No, they'll play about anything, but left to themselves they prefer to kill things."

Howard smirked again, "This from the killing master of Halo."

Penny gave him a wicked grin, "Only when I'm playing against other people, I like my gaming a little more personal."

Leonard patted her knee, "Just as long as she's on my team."

Selene was laughing now, "Okay then wine for the girls, warfare for the boys."

Shoot and Move

Howard looked at the laptop screen in front of him, "So what do you suppose the women are talking about tonight? Oh watch out Sheldon two battle droids on your right."

Leonard jerked his body to the left, "I've got them. I suppose just what they said, us, relationships, definitely Sheldon and Amy as well as Raj and Selene."

Sheldon tilted his head, "There that should get us ready to level up. I would also assume both you and Howard should come up as well."

Leonard just nodded, "Okay we'll be a minute leveling up. So what are they going to be saying about us, Sheldon you first?"

Sheldon looked at his roommate, "I'm sure I have no idea."

Raj looked over at Sheldon, "Oh dude, I'd say your Friday spent at Amy's apartment will most certainly be a topic."

Sheldon smirked, "They will just find out that we had a wonderful time and enjoyed each other's company."

Howard smirked this time, "Would that be horizontal company, or the more vertical variety?"

Sheldon got a condescending look but didn't answer.

Leonard grinned, "Well Penny and I are driving back to Nebraska for Thanksgiving with her family."

Howard frowned then looked over at Raj, "Bernadette and I are struggling to find a new place. I think she's getting mad about me not liking any of them yet. How about you Raj? How goes the drug assisted relationship?"

Raj got a very smug look, "I haven't been taking anything for over two weeks. Selene as you can see is wonderful though Chardonnay doesn't like her."

Howard chuckled, "Always comes down to the woman or the dog doesn't, or in my case my mom."

Sheldon put his headset back on, "Okay team back at it, we are leveled up and heading for the planet Hoth."

Wine and Whining

Bernadette sat in Penny's chair looking at the other three. Selene and Amy were on the couch, Penny sitting on a kitchen stool beside her.

"So Howie finds something wrong with every place we look at. I just want to strangle him sometimes."

Penny leaned forward taking a drink of her wine, "That pretty much covers everybody, Raj is doing good and off his pills, Leonard and I are heading for Nebraska, Amy and Sheldon are still doing whatever they're doing. What now?"

Selene leaned forward, "Oh let's do the truth or dare game."

Amy was excited, "Yes finally a little dirt."

Penny looked over at her grinning, "Fine, you can go first this time Amy, truth or dare?

Amy sat back, "Dare"

Penny smiled sweetly, "I dare you to tell us what really happened in Santa Barbara."

Amy looked decidedly uncomfortable.

Episode 15 Visitation Vortex

Candlelight and Broomsticks

Leonard looked across the table at Penny as she took a bite of her pasta. She was in the lavender dress she'd worn on their first date after he'd asked her out again. Her hair was down, curled in loose spirals golden and shining. Penny looked up at him her green eyes sparkling then smiled. The restaurant was the same one they had been to that night. This time they were seated by the window, white curtains between them and the street view outside. The table covered in a white table cloth over a red one. There was a basket of breadsticks to the left side between them along with two glasses of red wine.

"What are you thinking about sweetie?"

Leonard sat back adjusting his grey jacket over his blue shirt and black vest. He pushed his glasses back up his nose slightly. He gave her a smile, a flash of teeth and a grin.

"I'm thinking about the day I stood in the hallway and decided to ask you out again. You're wearing the same dress. It seems like a long time ago now."

Penny giggled, "It's only been six months Leonard. I have to tell you I was pretty surprised when you asked. I was happy you did."

Leonard nodded, "I know you were. I saw the smile on your face after I asked. I really didn't think you would be happy about it when I considered it before hand."

Penny just grinned then took another bite, "I know that, your face was so serious when you asked. You really should realize that you can't predict how I'm going to react to things."

"So I've learned, maybe tonight's not a good time then."

Penny looked at him setting her fork down on the side of her plate. "Good time for what?"

Leonard reached in his pocket then slid a small black jewelry case across the table, "To ask you to make me the happiest man in the universe and marry me?"

Penny slid the box back toward him, "Nope. Not a good time. I don't like to cry in public."

Leonard looked stunned then reached for the box Penny snatched the box from beneath his hand.

"Gees Leonard you're as bad as Sheldon sometimes, I was just messing with ya. Let's see what we have here."

Penny opened the box staring at its contents. She blinked several times then tears did start to come from her eyes. Penny held the box in her left hand while reaching up with her right to brush the tears away.

"Leonard, honey it's beautiful no one's ever given me anything like this. It's lovely."

Leonard had a huge grin now as Penny slid the ring on her finger. She held her hand out looking at it then looked over at Leonard, "Do I have to say yes or does just wearing it say enough?"

Leonard was still grinning, "I think I need to hear you say it."

Penny wiped the tears off her face again, "Yes"

Leonard looked serious, "Now we just have to tell my mother when she arrives tomorrow."

Penny looked stunned.

Interior in Light

Howard looked out at the empty apartment living room from the kitchen. The walls were freshly painted a light eggshell blue, the carpet a darker blue. The kitchen he stood in was L shaped behind him with white counters. He was standing behind the breakfast bar looking out at the room. To his left a hallway led off, Bernadette stood in the hallway in a blue dress and pink sweater. Howard had on a red shirt with a matching dickey and small black alien pin.

He looked over at his wife, "I like it, two bedrooms, a small garage and even a patio."

Bernadette smiled, "Then let's sign the papers and get a move in date."

Howard nodded, "How much?"

Bernadette fidgeted for a moment, "$1800 a month, first, last plus $1400 deposit."

Howard whistled, "Wow that's $5000 up front, then $1800 a month that's really expensive."

Bernadette just stared at him, "No Howie that's what a nice place goes for. It has a pool and exercise room."

Howard snorted, "Can we get a discount if we promise not to use them?"

Bernadette frowned, "No Howie, I know this is a shock for you, you've never had to pay rent but that's how much it costs. We can afford it, Howie, really."

Howard looked around one more time, "Alright let's do it"

Bernadette let out her breath and smiled.

Long Rides

Beverly Hoftstader sat next to Sheldon in the back of the car as Leonard drove. Her dove gray business suit showing just a touch of the pink blouse she had on underneath. Sheldon had on his green rock 'em sock 'em robot's shirt with a with long sleeve white shirt on underneath. Leonard had on a blue button up dress shirt and a gray jacket.

Beverly tilted her head toward Sheldon, "Leonard is dressing well today Sheldon what was the occasion?"

Leonard looked up at the rear view mirror, "I'm right here Mother, you could just ask me. I had a meeting with the department chair and president of the university this morning."

Sheldon leaned toward Beverly, "I believe he's seeking funding for a new experimental grant from the department of energy."

Beverly nodded very solemnly, "Was he successful?"

Leonard grimaced, "Still right here Mother, yes I got the grant acceptance approved by the university this morning. Thanks for asking."

Beverly looked over toward her son, "I know you're here Leonard but you really should concentrate on the traffic. Sheldon and I are just chatting."

Sheldon had a very smug look on his face, Leonard grimaced again, "You should ask Sheldon how his relationship with Amy is going?"

Beverly raised her eyebrows in response, "Oh they came to me in a professional capacity Leonard that kind of thing needs to be discussed in private. Speaking of relationships, Sheldon how are Leonard and Penny doing?"

Leonard gave a stern look at the mirror, Sheldon seemed not to notice, "I believe they have some big news for everyone according to Amy. I'm not supposed to say anything until they announce it though."

Beverly nodded, "He hasn't impregnated her yet has he? I know that was a certain concern you had about their relationship earlier."

Leonard smirked, "Why yes we're having twins."

Sheldon looked up condescendingly, "That's not funny Leonard. Penny is far too petite to do well with a pregnancy involving twins."

Leonard shook his head, "Now you get sarcasm."

Beverly actually looked up at Leonard again, "So what's this big news Leonard?"

Leonard was exasperated, "We wanted to tell you together. We're getting married, I proposed again and she accepted."

Leonard smiled very satisfied with himself.

Beverly looked over at Sheldon, "What happened the first time he asked?"

Sheldon smiled, "Oh the first time around was during"

Leonard sneered at the mirror, "Sheldon!"

Sheldon stopped then looked back at Beverly, "I've really enjoyed your latest book. It's very insightful about the relationship of youngest siblings to their parents."

Safe Harbor

Leonard walked into Penny's apartment closing the door behind him. Penny was on the couch her feet up with a glass of white wine on the table in front of her. She looked very relaxed but still in her work clothes. The engagement ring was on her finger, she had been staring at it as he came in.

"Hey you, rough drive home from LAX?"

Leonard nodded his head as he plopped down on the couch beside her.

"Any drive with my mother and Sheldon in the car is exhausting. Mind if I hide out here while she has a session with Sheldon?"

Penny put her left arm around his shoulder then gave him a friendly hug, "Sure it's your place too. What kind of session is she having with Sheldon?"

Leonard shook his head, "It's my own fault I suppose. She's talking to him about his relationship with Amy."

Penny nodded knowingly, "Yeah still some problems there, they are sleeping together but still haven't actually done it."

Leonard looked stunned, "How long have you known this?"

Penny smiled, "Oh a couple of weeks but only us girls know. They have a schedule and some detailed plan for it now. That's what they spent the weekend in Santa Barbara figuring out. They are sleeping together but not sleeping together, I guess. It got a little fuzzy there something about fly charts or something.

Leonard nodded, "Gantt charts, it's a milestone chart for a project. Well they are both scientists it might work. Oh you don't have to worry about telling my mother about our engagement. I did on the ride home."

Penny frowned, "Really I was looking forward to seeing that."

Leonard frowned also, "Sorry but she didn't bat an eye."

Penny smiled now, "Well she will once I get her liquored up."

Leonard looked worried suddenly, "You're not?"

Penny just nodded her head, "Oh yeah, girls night out with your mother and all my homies."

Blasting of with Beverly

Penny looked over at Beverly beside her at the bar. Beverly had her hair down now, the dark henna colored shoulder length locks falling upon her white button up collared blouse. She still looked professional with the tight form fitting gray skirt she had on but relaxed at the same time. For an older woman she was still very attractive. On the other side of Beverly were Bernadette and Amy. Bernadette was dressed in a light blue dress and small black lace jacket. Amy in a more conservative gray plaid skirt and yellow blouse but with her yellow high heels on. Penny herself had on a form fitting dark blue dress and very high black heels with a blue sequined toes that matched her dress.

She waved at the bartender and the four shot glasses on the bar, "Hit us again Sam, Jose Cuervo all around."

The bartender poured four shots for the girls, Beverly and Penny slammed theirs down. Amy and Bernadette followed suit.

Beverly looked over at Penny then slurred out, "You keep calling the bartender Sam and his name tag clearly says Trevor."

Penny just grinned back clearly feeling her liquor as well, "I call all bartenders Sam like the old movie Casablanca."

Bernadette giggled, "Sam was the piano player, Sascha was the bartender."

Penny nodded, "Yeah but Sam sounds better, play it again, hit me again, I don't think Trevor minds, do you Trevor?"

Penny smiled a sexy smile at Trevor who grinned back then shook his head moving down the bar.

Amy looked over at the bartender then back at Penny, "She can charm a man out of his own name, that's my bestie."

Penny looked back at Beverly, "Well the last time we got drunk together I told you I was sleeping with your son, now I'm going to marry him. What do say to that?"

Beverly pushed her glasses back up her nose, "I take it you wish my approval or just a few comments", Beverly burped then held her hand to her mouth.

Penny giggled, "We haven't even had the Del Taco yet, Yeah, I guess I want to know how you feel about it."

Beverly nodded a little shaky, "Oh I would say I'm quite pleased, I've always seen you two as my best option for grandchildren."

Penny did a double take almost falling from the bar stool, "Let's give that a few years okay, don't you want to know if I love him?"

Beverly turned her head looking at her but swaying as she did so, "That's not a real requirement for marriage and procreation, but I knew you loved him last time I was here."

Penny looked surprised, "I didn't know I loved him then, how did you."

Beverly smiled, "You were trying your best to protect him then, you wouldn't even talk about his penis as I recall. But you needed me to know you were together. You were seeking approval even then, that's the distinguishing sign of lingering affliction, affectation, affection. Why does my tongue feel so thick?"

Penny looked as if she were thinking it over, "I guess you're right Beverly, damn it why did I break up with him then."

Beverly waved at Trevor, "One more time lover boy", she said waving at the shot glasses.

She looked back over at Penny, "You broke up with him because you felt inferior to him. How long did it take you to figure out you two complimented each other, a week, a month or just a day?"

Penny looked puzzled and in thought, "The next week. If he hadn't jumped in bed with that professor slut bag we might have made up then."

Bernadette chimed in, "We knew you loved him a long time ago when he was with Priya."

Amy nodded her agreement then gently laid her head upon the bar rather abruptly.

Penny stared at her for a few seconds before shaking her head then looking back at Beverly.

Beverly nodded, "He is a man after all, spurned by the person he loves, so he would seek comfort in the arms of another. That and he was horny I'm sure. Speaking of horny do you suppose Trevor there would like a mature romp in the sack?"

Penny leaned close to her looking over at Trevor, twisting her mouth as if in thought, "Probably not, Trevor is gay, his current boyfriend is the bouncer."

Beverly shook her head, "Damn"

Fifth Dimensional Propositions

Leonard sat back in his chair looking up at Raj, Sheldon and Howard. Before them on the table was the new five way chess board Sheldon had created. He looked back at his notes then down at the board again.

"Sheldon the wizard can teleport to any of the black hole squares, then what can the hag do again?"

Sheldon looked over smirking, "She can either be magical or a fake, it depends on a roll of the dice."

Howard looked immensely bored suddenly, "So the fifth player only exists on a higher dimensional plane that your laptop moves based on our moves? What's the algorithm you're using to decide his move?"

Sheldon shook his head, "A random number generator based on recorded white noise of the universe."

Raj looked perplexed, "It certainly seems to make moves that only benefit Sheldon."

Leonard reached over now moving a chess piece that looked like a rather large troll, "Okay troll-ogre takes on the fifth dimensions hag, now what?"

Sheldon rolled a six sided dice on the board, "It was greater than three so she was magical, you have to replace your troll with a pawn."

Leonard looked around, "I'm out of pawns. How long have we been playing this game?"

Sheldon looked at the laptop bedside him, "4 hours and 19 minutes, but in the fifth dimension it's only been 6 seconds."

The loud thump against the apartment door startled them all.

Howard looked up smiling, "The girls are back."

He got up from his kitchen chair then went to the door. He opened the door wide. Standing in the door was a really large blonde haired man. He was a least 6' 4' with large arms and chest in a blue skin tight shirt clearly a body builder. In his arms was Amy Farrah-Fowler, her head resting on his chest. He walked through the door looking around at the four much smaller men, "Hi I'm Charles, got a delivery for a Sheldon Cooper, where would you like her?"

They all stood now. Sheldon started walking toward the man.

Penny's voice could be heard from the hallway, "Just put her in Sheldon's bedroom, he'll take good care of her."

Penny and Beverly entered now reeling slightly and giggling as they moved around Charles then plopped down on the couch. Beverly sat squarely in Sheldon's spot, Penny slid to a stop on the other end of the couch. Here arms went up toward Leonard, "Hey sweetie, come kiss me and give me some loving."

Leonard moved over then sat beside her, Penny planted a huge kiss on him. Leonard actually wiped his face as she sat back.

Howard looked around in a panic, "Where's Bernadette?"

Charles looked back at him, "The little blonde is down in the car with Trevor. She fell asleep on the ride here. Trevor will help you get her in your car."

Howard started for the door, "See you guys tomorrow, Raj you're my ride."

Raj started to follow, as he passed Charles he remarked, "Dude, that's a wonderful cologne you're wearing, what is it?"

Charles smiled at Raj, "Liz Taylor's Passion"

Raj nodded, "I thought it smelt familiar, take care dude"

Charles looked over at Sheldon, "That just leaves you, why don't you show me the way."

Sheldon led the way down the hallway with Charles following behind him.

Penny's arms went back around Leonard's neck pulling him toward her, "We love you sweetie, don't we Bev?

Beverly started leaning over to hug Leonard then passed out, her head in his lap.

Leonard just grimaced as Penny snuggled into him.

"Let's get your mommy into your bed then you can take me back to my bed."

Leonard shook his head, "I'm pretty sure I'll just be holding your hair soon enough."

Penny frowned, "Spoil sport"

She leaned forward and passed out with her head on his shoulder. Charles came out of the hallway looking over at him as he walked to the door. He looked over at Leonard again, "You need some help there guy?"

Leonard leaned back on the couch and nodded.

Morning Light

Penny sat on her couch wrapped in her pink robe with a blue blanket around her legs. Leonard came from her kitchen with two cups of coffee in his red robe. He handed one to Penny then sat down beside her.

He took a sip of his coffee looking over at her. Penny's face looked like she was in anguish, eyes crusty, hair a wild mess. He patted her thigh, "So how bad is it?"

Penny tried to smile but couldn't pull it off, "About a 7 on the hangover scale, damn tequila, taste great going down and horrible on the way back up, never again."

Leonard smiled, "You said that the last time at Cheryl's birthday party."

The light knocking made them both look at the door. Penny grimaced then moved her free hand to her head. Leonard rose then went to the door. He opened it to find his mother in a dark gray robe.

Leonard smiled, a certain satisfaction in seeing her pinched obviously pained face, "Good morning mother"

Beverly shuddered, "Not quite so loud Leonard, Sheldon said you two would be having coffee over here, could I perhaps have a cup?"

Leonard backed up, "Of course, come in and take a seat. I'll get you a cup."

Beverly shuffled over sitting next to Penny on the couch. Leonard came back into the room handing her a cup then sitting in the chair next to the couch. He chuckled as he looked at them.

Penny glared back in his direction then looked at Beverly, "Sorry, I did it again, got my boyfriend's mother snockered"

Beverly reached over patting her hand, "It's okay dear, that was the most fun I've had in months. It wouldn't be a visit to see you without it."

Beverly moved her hand to her head, "We just have to pay the price the next day."

Penny nodded then took a sip of her coffee as did Beverly, "Besides you got your fiancé's mother drunk this time. I'm happy for you both."

Beverly looked over at Leonard, "She's a treasure Leonard. You could have done much worse. Take good care of her."

Leonard looked shocked. Beverly stood walking to the door then out.

Leonard looked at Penny, "I think that was a compliment."

Penny did manage a smile this time it, "It was sweetie for both of us. Now will you come with me, I need you to hold my hair so I can throw up."

Episode 16 Relocation Disturbance

Neighborhood Consequences

Penny stood at the kitchen counter in Bernadette and Howard's new apartment. She was taking plates from the box in front of her out one by one unwrapping then placing them on the counter. Penny had on her Nebraska t-shirt and a red Nebraska ball cap backward on her head. Leonard came through the apartment door to her right carry another moving box. He was dressed in his red periodic table t-shirt and jeans. Leonard walked to the kitchen with the box then set it on the counter behind Penny.

She looked over and smiled at him a twinkle in her eye, "So what do you suppose our first apartment together will look like?"

Leonard furled his brow as if in deep thought, "A lot like your place I assume", he grinned at her.

Penny returned his grin with a smirk, "I meant once were married. We're going to need a bigger place. Sheldon will never give up zero, zero, zero. Do you think we could afford a place like this with a pool and exercise room?"

Leonard again looked in thought, "Yeah, if we move to Canada maybe, and the exchange rate doesn't change much. Oh and there's one more zero there."

Penny looked at him funny, "What, oh who cares. So what can we afford?"

Leonard smiled now, "Oh I was thinking maybe a nice house somewhere between here and Burbank. Then you'll be closer to the studios and your work."

Penny smirked again, "Yeah maybe craft services will need a waitress?"

Leonard kept grinning, "See you already know the lingo."

Penny smiled, "Did I ever tell you how good the food was at the craft services table when I made the commercial. It was so yummy and you could have as much as you wanted. If we can't afford this apartment how can we afford a house?"

Leonard remained upbeat, "Oh we'll use my Nobel prize money or your first movie check."

Penny looked over at him no longer grinning, "Be serious Leonard."

Leonard reached over and took her hand, "I got some money put away. I started saving for a moving fund after I'd moved in with Sheldon the first week. I've come to think of it as the escape fund. When I finally snap and kill him I'd need it to get out of the country. It should be enough to have a small wedding and put a down payment on a house. If I snap first I hope you like Vancouver British Columbia, though we're going by Smith there rather than Hoftstader."

Penny smiled and chuckled, "Okay I believe you. When you explain it that way I believe you've been saving your money. Where is Sheldon anyway, isn't he going to help them move?"

Leonard shook his head, "That's why Sheldon never likes to owe people. He's afraid he might have to help them out someday. He actually would be more of a hindrance than help anyway. We would have a manifest and the pre-move meeting would take hours."

Penny chuckled again then looked up as Bernadette walked in. She had on jeans and a blue blouse. Her blonde hair was tied up in a bandana. The look on her face was of shear horror.

Penny started walking toward her, "What's wrong sweetie?"

Bernadette shook her head slowly, "I don't think we can live here. I just met the neighbor."

Floozy Fascination

Penny looked at Bernadette questioningly as Leonard looked on from the kitchen. His face suddenly got a very startled look as Howard came through the door. He was dressed in his NASA jumpsuit, dark blue with a matching dickey and yellow alien pin. Behind him was a tall dark haired woman in a very short low cut white dress. Her skin was tanned to bronze, her long chestnut spiral permed hair cascading in long rivulets down her shoulders. In the white stiletto heels she had on she towered over Howard by a least a foot. She was thin with large breasts and a lovely smile.

Howard had a large grin on his face, "Hey guys this is our new neighbor Eliza. She's an actress."

Bernadette reached over taking Howard's hand then started dragging him toward the hallway, "Come with me Howie we need to talk about how to layout our bedroom."

Howard was all grins as he was led away.

Penny looked as Leonard walked over and offered his hand, "Hi Eliza, nice to meet you, I'm Leonard. This is my fiancée Penny she's an actress too."

His voice had been level and even. Penny looked at him surprised. She offered her hand to the taller woman, "Hi, nice to meet you."

Eliza smiled back first at Leonard then Penny, "Is it true Howard was an astronaut? I thought maybe it was just his Halloween costume."

Leonard nodded as Penny looked Eliza up and down, "He just got back from the space station a few s ago. He and Bernadette got married right before he left."

Leonard turned then went back to the kitchen and the box he'd put on the counter. Penny continued to look at Eliza.

Leonard opened the box talking over his shoulder, "So how's the acting career going, done any commercials, Penny was in a commercial"

Eliza started to follow Leonard looking around the apartment, "No commercials, I have been in a lot of movies though."

Penny's face went to pure hatred for a moment. Leonard was still unpacking the box of pots and pans onto the counter. He didn't look up, "Oh anything we might have seen?"

Eliza laughed, "Only if you watched them on the internet, I'm a porn actress."

Penny's mouth hung open, Leonard turned to look at her now his eyes wide. Raj walked through the front door then followed by Selene both carrying boxes. Raj looked over and saw Eliza, a look of recognition on his face.

Eliza smiled at him, "Hi there"

Raj tried to speak, nothing came out. Selene just scowled in his direction, "Not a good sign."

Astronaut Dress Down

Bernadette closed the door to the empty bedroom. Howard walked into the room looking around.

He looked at one wall, "Well the bed needs to go over here between the two electrical outlets that is why they're there."

He turned back toward Bernadette her face showed fury and he blanched, "Oh this isn't about the bedroom furniture is it."

Bernadette stepped toward him, "You act like you know that woman. You're fawning over her Howie. I thought we were over this?"

Howard looked stricken, "We are over it. Sorry I was just star struck for a few minutes there. It's not every day you meet a porn star."

Bernadette mouth hung open for a few seconds, "She's a porn star?"

Howard blushed slightly, "Yeah, she is. Hey that was the old Howard. I'm not like that anymore, I have you. I gave all that up when I fell in love with you."

Bernadette nodded then hugged him, "Okay, but if she hangs out at the pool, you won't be."

Howard just hugged her wincing slightly.

Covering the spot

Sheldon sat down in his spot with a bowl of popcorn in his lap. He was in his blue pajamas watching the TV as the door opened. Penny led the way, she looked tired. Leonard came in behind her dropping his keys in the bowl then stretching his back in a large arch.

"Boy moving all those boxes around really took a toll on my back. Hey Sheldon, you missed a great day of moving."

Sheldon smirked, "Oh I'm sure lifting the barge and toting the bale was most interesting. I myself had a wonderful day re-cataloging my comic books and organizing my thoughts for next week's activities."

Penny smirked at Sheldon as she sat on the end of the couch, "No you just failed to help your friends move. It's okay we decided you wouldn't have helped much anyway."

Leonard walked to the kitchen, retrieving two cans of coke from the fridge. He walked back over then sat on the couch next to Penny as she slid to the middle cushion. He handed her one can than opened his. Penny opened her soda then they both took a drink.

Penny looked over at Leonard, "I was really surprised how you acted around Eliza today sweetie. You were the only man there whose tongue wasn't hanging out."

Leonard just smiled, "She was very attractive but way too tall for me."

Penny put her right arm around his shoulder and kissed him. Sheldon got a repulsed look on his face, "You do have your own couch to do that on next door. I'm trying to enjoy a movie here."

Penny looked over at the TV, "Oh it's a zombie flick, if you watch that this late you'll be up knocking on our door later."

Sheldon looked over at her, "I am not child. I'm not scared of zombies and it's almost over."

Penny ignored him turning back to Leonard, "I just loved how you introduced me as your fiancée today sweetie."

Leonard looked over from the TV to her, "Thanks, I thought it would be better to let Eliza know we were a couple. I saw the look on Bernadette early and didn't want any of that from you."

Penny pulled him close for another kiss, "I forget you're a genius sometimes. Very smooth move, you're learning."

She turned her head to the TV, "Oh the movies over, wow what a bloodbath, I do like it when the zombies win. Come on sweetie let's go back to my place I'm tired and we should get to bed."

Sheldon put the popcorn bowl on the coffee table a concerned look on his face now, "You two haven't stayed here in a few days."

Penny smiled and looked over at Leonard then turned and gave Sheldon a serious look, "Oh we wouldn't want to disturb you Sheldon. We're tired now but who knows about later. We'll just leave you here so you can have peace and quiet and get some sleep all by yourself."

Sheldon nodded a look of confusion on his face, "I'm not sure how well I'll sleep anyway"

Penny smiled now, "Oh, okay we'll stay here then Sheldon, then maybe you'll sleep better, but you'll owe us."

Sheldon looked down, "Do I have to help you move?"

Leonard looked alarmed, "Oh god no, but I'm sure something else will come up."

All three rose then started down the hallway, Sheldon in the lead, Penny and Leonard holding hands as they followed along. Leonard pulled away and turned toward the closet.

Penny looked after him, "What're you getting sweetie?"

Leonard opened the closet door, "Sheldon's sleeping bag for later so he can sleep beside our bed on the floor again when he has zombie dreams."

Penny just giggled and walked down the hall.

Speeches for the Speechless

Selene sat back on Raj's couch still in the black stretch pants and pink top that she had on to help move today. Raj was behind her in the kitchen opening a bottle of wine to go with the cheese tray he'd prepared. Selene was watching him intently as he poured two glasses and fed Chardonnay a piece of cheese from the tray. Raj came in with the tray and the wine glasses in his other hand. He sat the tray on his coffee table then handed Selene a glass. She accepted it then took a drink of the red wine before looking at him again.

Raj sat down next to her grinning he was about to speak when she spoke first, "So where do you know Eliza from?"

Raj blushed then stuttered, "I really don't know her. I've just seen her before."

Selene nodded slowly, "I see, so you've seen her work?"

Raj still blushing nodded then took a large drink of his wine, "The amount of work she's produced is rather prolific."

Selene took another drink of wine then glared at him slightly, "So whenever you can't talk to a woman now it's because you find her exceptionally alluring?"

Raj almost choked on his wine, "I, I'm really not sure, I mean I haven't had the ability to talk to women long enough to judge. I'm not sure I found her alluring. I guess I did, or used to I mean, something just turned on there and I couldn't speak."

Selene sat her glass on the table, "In that case I'm going to head home now. You should really think about it Raj, are you with me or are you still looking for that someone now that you can talk to women. Why don't you call me and let me know."

Selene was up now heading for the door grabbing her purse from the table on the way by. Raj stood and turned toward her. He went to speak and again nothing came out. Selene looked back at him once and nodded, "Think about it Raj."

She was through the door. When it closed Raj collapsed on the couch, he was sitting there with a dejected look on his face when Chardonnay jumped up then into his lap. He started to pet the small dog softly, "Dude, what the hell is my problem."

Early Signs

Penny rolled to the side of the bed toward the window. She pushed herself up and swung her feet off the bed. Her scream echoed in the bedroom as she pulled her feet back. She wrapped the comforter around her.

A loud "oof" was heard from the floor. Leonard sat up looking over at her in her blue camisole and pink pajama shorts. She flopped back down on the bed rolling her eyes, "Sorry Sheldon, I forgot you were there, are you alright?"

Sheldon sat up beside the bed in his blue pajamas with a green sleeping bag clutched to his chest. He was trying to catch his breath in short huffing gasps. Leonard put his glasses on then leaned over to the other side of the bed.

"I think you just knocked the wind out of him."

Penny shook her head, "My left foot came down on his stomach but my right was a quite a bit lower"

Leonard winced and continued to look over the side of the bed.

Sheldon finally was breathing normally again. He started to get up becoming entangled in the sleeping bag then falling back to the floor. The night stand beside the bed banged against the wall.

Leonard looked over again, "That may leave a nasty bump, Sheldon do you want some help up?"

Sheldon was getting up now out of the sleeping bag holding the top of his head with his hand. He started dragging the sleeping bag behind him moaning and bent over toward the door to Leonard's bedroom.

Penny sat up, "Well at least you weren't eaten by zombies."

Sheldon glared back as he left the room.

Penny shrugged as Leonard lay back down. She scooted over then snuggled into his shoulder.

"I hope he's okay, I think I had all my weight on my right foot."

Leonard just chuckled, "I'm sure he'll be fine"

Leonard's phone buzzed on the nightstand, he reached over picking it up looking at the text.

"Raj wants you to call him"

Penny looked puzzled, "Me, why would he want me to call?"

Leonard handed her the phone, "I'll make the coffee and bring you a cup you can call Raj back."

Penny took the phone, "What about the no food and drink clause?"

Leonard put on his robe then looked back over, "I don't think Sheldon will be back for a while, we're probably safe."

Sage Advice

Penny held the phone to her ear as Leonard entered with two cups of coffee. He set one on the night stand next to Penny who was sitting up talking on his phone. He stood sipping his coffee watching and listening to her.

"Raj sweetie, do this, no don't get in the shower. In fact make sure your hair is messed up no grooming. You might want to brush your teeth. Then get in the car and go to Selene's house and tell her what you told me. No Raj that's the point you need to look just like you have been up all night wrestling with things. No, don't call her first, just go. Show how much turmoil even the thought of losing her has caused you. You are not Leonard and Selene is not me. Not only that you don't have the Sheldon issue we've had. Yeah, that could happen, make up sex is great just go with it. Bye Raj."

Penny put the phone on the night stand then picked up her coffee. She took a long sip from the cup, "Raj and Selene had their first fight. Raj not being able to talk to Eliza and recognizing her set Selene off. He just needs to do some deep groveling and things should be okay."

Leonard took another sip of his own coffee, "Raj is the right guy for that. What was that about you and me?"

Penny smiled up at him, "He said groveling never worked for you. I told him our relationship was much more complicated."

Leonard smiled, "and the Sheldon issue?"

Penny sipped her coffee grinning, "Well it was always something to think about whenever we had a fight. Sheldon actually keeps us together. It seems to be you and me against him or you and me taking care of him. Our relationship has always had an effect on him."

Leonard leaned over kissing her lightly, "What ever shall we do without him?"

Penny pulled him closer, "I suppose we'll need someone smaller to take his place when the times right."

Leonard spilt his coffee onto the floor, "Dammit"

Episode 17 Dynamic Duplicity

Note Taking

Two hands with long nails and white fingernail polish open the folder on the dark wood desk. Beside it is a digital voice recorder, the picture inside is of Leonard Hoftstader. The picture is his faculty picture from Caltech. It's a head and shoulder shot of Leonard in a black jacket, blue shirt and off red tie. He is smiling in the picture, staring at the camera behind his black thick framed glasses. The hands reach for the recorder then flip the switch it to the record position.

"The first subject is Leonard Hoftstader PhD. He is in his mid-thirties of a slight build and below average height. The IQ of the subject is quite high, well into the genius realm. He is a successful experimental physicist at Caltech. His work though uninspired is meticulous and he publishes frequently. He is well regarded by his peers and superiors. Dr. Hoftstader's principle interests are in lasers and high energy physics. His personal interests revolve around pursuits into the science fiction and fantasy genres. These include comic books, super heroes, futuristic and fantasy adventures. He seems to enjoy all forms of media in this regard from fantasy role playing to computer games, movies and fandom."

The hands set the picture to the side and beneath it is a picture of Penny. It's a professionally done publicity shot, a head shot with her face turned toward the camera, her hair in long loose curls around a bright smiling face.

"Dr. Hoftstader is in a highly emotionally charged relationship with subject number 2. Penny is a young aspiring actress/waitress who is socio-economically and educationally his inferior. Leonard is quite stunted emotionally. He sometime reverts to traumatic childhood events when he is sad or depressed. His own childhood could be the source of that depression as he was identified very early on as a gifted child by rather overbearing and emotionless parents and siblings."

The hands switched back to the picture of Leonard.

"It is of interest to note that Mr. Hoftstader has several qualities that would endear him in any relationship. He is willing to sacrifice for others, quite kind and empathic to his friends, acquaintances and even the occasional strangers. He can be both pedantic and overly verbose at times but overall has a quite balanced personality. It is more difficult to understand his living arrangement."

The hands pull out a picture of Sheldon Cooper. The picture is from his award ceremony of several years back.

"Dr. Hoftstader's roommate is another physicist from Caltech and subject number 3, a Dr. Sheldon Cooper PhD. Dr. Cooper is a theoretical physicist at Caltech and is very co-dependent upon his roommate and neighbor. This co-dependency is shared by the Dr. Hoftstader's girlfriend Penny who lives just across the hall. Dr. Cooper appears to suffer from mild OCD symptoms. He is narcissistic, aloof and contemptuous of friends, co-workers and the public in general. He may be suffering from a super ego syndrome. Though extraordinarily intelligent he is in many ways still in a pre-adolescent state. He is subject to throwing fits when not obtaining his desired outcomes in social situations."

The hands return to the picture of Penny.

"Penny is much more sublime, though of limited means and education she is quite intelligent. If properly tested she may have a quite high IQ and capacity far beyond her current level of functionality. She is emotionally stable to a great degree but does have fits of anger and rage that usually are directed at Dr. Hoftstader and Dr. Cooper. But in this observers opinion may be focused on any individual that she sees as wronging her or her friends. Penny is very empathic and supportive and is the one of the three cores of the social group that is being studied. She is an attractive female in her late twenties with ambitions to be an actress.

The entire social group revolves around these three individuals and their two humble apartments off Colorado Blvd. The following is just one example of the core group interacting. After which I will discuss the other subjects of this strange micro village.

Dinner and a Movie

Penny came through the door to apartment 4A in jean shorts with a pink and purple low cut top. The scene that greeted her was quiet and studious. Raj and Selene were sitting on the couch. Selene was dressed in a short dove grey dress with black high heels. Raj was in green cargo pants, a red collared shirt underneath his sweater vest. Leonard was at his laptop as was Sheldon. Sheldon had on his melting Rubik's cube black shirt while Leonard had on his purple wisdom t-shirt. Amy stood behind Sheldon looking over his shoulder in a plaid skirt and violet blouse under a black sweater.

Penny looked around, "Hey, what are we all doing tonight?"

Leonard spoke without looking up from the laptop, "We're trying to decide on dinner and a movie. I think everyone decided Looper might be good but it's a sci-fi action movie. Anything you'd like to see?"

Penny looked over his shoulder, "I hear Oranges is pretty good."

Sheldon commented without looking up, "Chick flick, girl comes home after a five year absence and starts an affair."

Penny looked over at Amy, "It has that guy from House in it Hugh Laurie."

Amy nodded, "That sounds pretty good Sheldon, after all this is a couple's night out."

Penny nodded. Sheldon sneered over at Leonard who just shrugged, "It is a night out with our girlfriends and wife if Howard and Bernadette show up."

Sheldon stood as Amy backed up, "Why can't they make movies that please both the sexes, a sci-fi movie with a romance built into it."

Penny looked over at him, "You mean like Star Wars or Star Trek, pretty light on the romance side?"

Sheldon smiled back, "Exactly, what we need is another Star Wars Series."

Raj spoke up from the couch, "Dude, I've been looking forward to Oranges, we can go to Looper with just the guys next week."

Selene looked over at him, "I vote Looper, I like Bruce Willis."

Raj looked taken aback, "Okay I can go to either."

Sheldon seemed vindicated, "I agree with Selene, though I don't know about liking Bruce Willis, ever since Thirteen Monkeys he hasn't been high on my list."

Leonard looked up from his laptop, "Well if we don't decide soon, dinner and a movie is going to become movie and a late dinner."

Penny looked around, "Well I think its 3 to 3 we'll have to wait for Howard and Bernadette"

Sheldon looked over at Penny, "What do we do if they split their vote, then how will we decide? I know a trivia contest."

Penny shook her head, "They won't split their vote Sheldon it will be whatever Bernadette decides."

Sheldon looked suddenly overbearing, "You under estimate Howard Wolowitz."

The knock on the door made everyone look, before anyone could answer it Howard peeked around the door.

He was dressed in his royal blue pants and matching polo shirt, a red dickey for change under the shirt. Bernadette followed him into the apartment. She was in black stretch pants and had on a long floral top.

Bernadette looked around as everyone stared at her, "What, why is everyone staring at me?"

Penny walked toward her, "We are waiting on you and Howard to break the tie between going to Looper or Oranges."

Bernadette stared at Penny who mouthed Oranges. She hesitated, "I guess Oranges, though I don't know what either movie is."

Sheldon looked at Howard, "What do you say Howard?"

Howard looked around for a second then at his wife, "Whatever Bernadette said"

Penny smiled broadly, Sheldon scowled, "Drat"

Leonard looked around, "Okay, where shall we go to eat?"

Penny started to speak as Sheldon just bowed and shook his head, "Here we go again"

Smile your on

Penny led the way into the apartment, Leonard close behind. He was followed by Sheldon and Amy but had stopped to drop his keys in the bowl. Penny proceeded to the couch then took a seat at the opposite end from Sheldon's spot.

Penny patted the spot next to her. Leonard walked over then took a seat beside her his right arm naturally sliding behind her neck his hand resting on her shoulder. Penny reached up and patted his hand.

She looked over at Sheldon as he sat in his spot, Amy sitting in Leonard's chair, "Well Sheldon how did you like Oranges, pretty good huh?"

Sheldon looked over, the condescending smirk on face very broad, "Oh it was predictable, overly sentimental with barely understandable humor. If that is your definition of good then it imminently qualifies as mediocre at best."

Leonard looked over at Sheldon, "Come on Sheldon, it wasn't that bad and it was funny."

Amy nodded, "It was rather predicable but cute and humorous"

Penny just shook her head, "And Looper wouldn't have been predictable?"

Leonard smiled, "Well I liked it"

Penny frowned at him, "No they're right Leonard even I found it predictable, but it was a sweet story anyway."

Sheldon stood and walked toward the kitchen, "I told you a long time ago trying to get everyone to go to the same movie would be a failure."

Leonard lifted his chin, "Well it was worth a try anyway, we had a nice dinner then some time together as a group outside of sitting around the apartment."

Sheldon returned with a soda for himself and a juice bottle which he handed Amy. He took his seat before opening the can and taking a drink.

Sheldon shook his head, "The new Thai place we went for dinner was far from satisfactory even if Penny did know some of the kitchen staff. I like Thai Palace far better."

Penny waited, looking over at Leonard to come to her defense. He was staring intently at Sheldon's desk.

"Sheldon when did you get that new little black box beside your laptop?"

Sheldon looked up toward his desk, "Your mother put it on my computer when she was here. She said it would help with a study one of her grad students was working on. The dynamics of highly evolved individuals in a group setting I believe."

Leonard was up now. He walked to the desk then picked up the box looking underneath.

"Sheldon this is a web cam with an audio pickup. Howard was working with the prototype last year. Someone is recording everything that happens in our living room."

Penny's hand shot to her mouth, "My god was it there the other night?"

Leonard looked over at her then nodded.

Penny was blushing, her eyes large, "They recorded us on the couch when we were, um, making out."

Leonard nodded again, "Probably"

Amy looked between them, "I'm guessing that things went further than just making out"

Penny just nodded now her hand over her mouth. Leonard unhooked the box from the laptop. He looked it over carefully then switched off Sheldon's laptop.

"We need to call Howard and have him check it out. He'll figure it out. I think these only upload once every few hours. They may not know we found it. If they don't I say we give them a show."

Sheldon seemed intrigued now, "What do you have in mind Leonard?"

Leonard suddenly had a wicked look on his face, "It is close to Halloween so maybe we should give them a horror movie. That should shake them up."

Sheldon seemed happy, "Oh goody costumes and fake blood"

Leonard nodded, "We'll let Penny direct and give them some Pasadena horror."


The hands with their long white fingernail typed on the laptop for a few moments. A video screen appeared. The mouse went to the play icon and clicked it. The video started in full screen mode.

On the couch was a motionless Sheldon Cooper. A large butcher knife protruded from his chest. The white t-shirt he had on was covered in blood. Sheldon's head was lying back on the couch staring up at the ceiling. It was impossible to see his face.

A voice is heard, "Oh my god, what happened?"

Amy walked in to the picture from the right, a bloody lab coat on, a large specimen dish in one hand and battery powered bone saw in the other.

She didn't look at the camera only at Sheldon, "Now let's see what's so special about this big brain of his."

She walked behind the couch. The sound of the whirring saw coming from the laptop speaker. More blood sprayed on to Amy lab coat as she worked. The sound stopped and she set the saw down, she lifted up her hand to her face a gray and bloody brain resting in it.

"Well from a visual examination it looks no different from the hundreds of brains I've examined."

Amy plopped the brain into the dish then walked to the desk setting it very close to the camera. All that could be seen now was the brain in the dish and Amy's gloved hands. In her right hand was a scalpel. She slowly started dissecting the brain.

"Well the interior cortex seems normal. I'll just cut it into sections for a closer look."

Amy's hands proceeded chop the brain into smaller pieces.

The hands withdrew from the keyboard, a gagging and the sound of vomiting could be heard.

Then a scream from the laptop speakers, it was Penny.

"Oh my god what have you done Amy, you were just supposed to confront him."

"Hi Bestie, I'm glad you're here, now I'll have normal a brain to compare this to."

The sounds of Penny screaming is heard, the sickly squishy noise of a knife being repeatedly plunged into flesh and then silence. Then the whir of the bone saw is heard again.

On the laptop screen the gloved hands move the dish with Sheldon's now dissected brain to the side. Another brain is plopped down on the table glistening with blood and gore. Some blood spatters across the screen apparently getting on the webcam lens

The hands with white fingernails fumbles with the cell phone now. The video suddenly widens to show the couch. Amy is sitting next to Sheldon who is now sitting up smiling with the knife still extending from his chest. Amy still has on the bloody lab coat and gloves. Beside her is Penny smiling in her normal street clothes a cute yellow short top on as well. Behind the couch is Leonard in purple hoody and jacket. They are all staring into the camera.

Leonard cocks his head, "There is more than one way to see into the human brain after all. Say hi to my mother for us. Hope you enjoyed the show."

All four are laughing now, a title screen appears:

"A Leonard and Penny Production"

"Starring Dr. Sheldon Cooper PhD and Dr. Amy Farrah-Fowler PhD"

Episode 18 Probability Prognostication

Gassed up

Leonard wiggled in the seat then put his seat belt around him as Penny got settled in the passenger seat. Penny's threw her brown leather jacket in the back seat. She had on a blue top with little puffy shoulders. Her hair was up in a bun on the top of her head. Leonard had his jacket on over a purple striped white hoody. The black t-shirt he was wearing barely showing at his neck.

He looked over at Penny as he started the car, "Okay we're all set, Las Vegas in 4 hours where we can have lunch then onto Utah and Grand Junction Colorado for the night. It should take us about 12 hours of driving time, maybe 15 hours total with stops for food and gas."

Penny sighed then shook her head, "I guess it's too late to change my mind and just stay home, or fly?"

Leonard smiled over, "Come on, it won't be too bad, we could just drive to Vegas today and then Denver tomorrow? It's Monday we don't have to be there until Thursday afternoon."

Penny nodded, "I tend to get in trouble in Vegas, let's just stop for lunch and maybe a game of roulette."

Leonard looked over at her, "Roulette? That's the worst odds in the place, but a crap table might be fun you can throw the dice and I'll bet."

Penny looked back over surprised, "Leonard Hofstadter knows about gambling?"

Leonard looked up to the rearview mirror then started backing up, "It's just math and probability, I've actually done pretty well in Vegas the few times I've went."

He was now moving forward and watching the road. Penny smiled then looked out the window, "Leonard, Sheldon's not in the car you can go over the limit a bit."

Leonard shook his head, "There's a speed trap on Pine this morning, once we get by there."

Penny looked over at him, "And you know this how?"

Leonard just grinned, "Speed trap app on my phone."

Penny smirked, "I need that app. They got me on Cypress last week."

Leonard looked over, "How fast?"

Penny blushed, "45 in the 25, I was late for work."

"Maybe a radar detector might be a good investment. Hey you never get tickets. You always smile and talk your way out of them. What happened?"

Penny got a sour look and stared out the front window, "Woman cop, a straight one this time, I had no chance, sore subject."

Leonard chuckled, "I bet, but I would have loved to watch you try anyway."

Penny just glared in Leonard's direction, "Just shut up and drive sweetie, I'll put on some music"

Pilgrim Planning

Sheldon sat in his spot on the couch next to Amy. He was dressed in his bright green lantern shirt and dark brown pants, a white long sleeve under shirt showing. Amy had on a buttoned up mustard colored sweater, a light blue collared shirt lapels outside it and grey wool skirt. She watched as Sheldon clicked through the channels on the TV.

Amy looked over at him, "Sheldon how do you and Leonard normally celebrate Thanksgiving?"

Sheldon did not look over, "We don't usually its Chinese food with Raj then game night when Wolowitz would come over after dinner with his mother. Sometimes we even go into work on Friday. For some odd reason the entire university takes the week off. Horrible waste of assets but president Siebert has never responded to my complaints with anything more than saying he was thankful to be away. Oh look it's an Avatar marathon."

He looked over at Amy now. She stared at the TV for moment, "I thought Avatar was a movie, this is a cartoon. Don't you have any family traditions for Thanksgiving?"

Sheldon looked back at the TV, "No this Avatar the last Air Bender, it's a very well made serial. In answer to your query the Cooper family has quite a few Thanksgiving traditions. The chief of which is my mother saying grace so long the mashed potatoes get cold. Do you know you can have turkey, stuffing and the works anytime of the year? "

Amy reached over and took Sheldon's hand. He didn't recoil but did look down at their hands, "Okay where is this leading?"

Amy just smiled, "You could have Thanksgiving with me. My mom is going to my aunt's and Raj is spending it with Selene's family. Howard and Bernadette are having it with his mother and Bernadette's father."

Sheldon looked skeptical, "Can you cook a turkey?"

Amy shook her head, "No but we can get it at the grocery store. They have the complete dinner for takeout, it comes with all the trimmings. Just think turkey sandwiches the next day and everything? We can count it as a date night."

Sheldon's face took on a look of consideration, "Well it won't be Chinese, but I do like turkey sandwiches. Okay you've got a date."

Amy pulled herself close to his arm and shoulder, "Our first Thanksgiving together."

Sheldon was rigid for a second but then relaxed, "Yes a hippy dippy Thanksgiving"

The Hard Ways

Leonard walked with Penny up to the crap table. Five other people were around its perimeter, a croupier and pit boss standing on the other side. Leonard pulled out his wallet and placed a bill down on the table.

Penny looked over, "A hundred dollars Leonard?"

Leonard smiled, "Just getting chips, have you ever played craps?"

Penny shook her head. Leonard picked up a stack of chips then placed them in the tray of the table in front of them. He looked over at Penny, "You're next to throw, when the dice get passed to you put two dollars on the pass line and throw the dice. They have to hit the far end of the table."

The croupier moved 6 dice in front of Penny. She took two chips from the tray and put them on the table then took two dice. Penny threw the dice down the table.

The croupier announced, "6 your point is 6", he slid the two dice back in front of Penny.

She looked over at Leonard, "What does that mean?"

Leonard smiled back at her, "It means you roll until you get a 6 again or a 7. If you get a 6 again you win, a 7 and you lose. Now wait a minute."

Leonard picked up a stack of chips then looked at the table, "Okay ten dollars on the 6, I want a dollar on a box cars, snake eyes and ace deuce, each. Then ten dollars on the field, ten dollars on the big 6 8, five dollars each on a hard 4, 6, and 8, then 20 dollars on a 7"

Penny looked at him, "Leonard you just bet almost seventy dollars?"

Leonard nodded, "Yeah and the most I can lose on this roll is $15 bucks but if you roll two threes we'll clean up."

Penny looked at him with wide eyes then took the dice and threw them down the table.

The croupier looked up, "Box cars, pays 31 to 1"

Leonard reached over and picked up $31 in chips off the table then looked back at Penny.

She picked up the dice and threw again.

Leonard pumped his fist as the croupier announced, "Six the hard way, winner"

Leonard was raking chips up onto the table tray then he looked over at Penny, "Want to go again?"

Leaving Las Vegas

Penny looked down at her lap in the car seat, "Leonard we made over $1800 dollars?"

Leonard smiled and looked over at her for a second, "Well we started with a hundred so over $1700 really. You had a good run of luck. The odds can turn on you though. The key is using the bets to minimize your losses but be in a position to maximize your winnings. Sometimes you just play a long time and lose it all slowly."

Penny held up the cash fanned out in her hand, "Wow Leonard, don't take this the wrong way but if you're this good at gambling how good is Sheldon?"

Leonard tilted his head, "Craps is a little much for Sheldon, too random for his gifts to be useful. But at blackjack he is incredible with that eidetic memory. Though he doesn't believe in gambling I've seen him play for fun. Okay we got about seven hours to go until we stop for the night."

Penny put the money down then lay her head over on to his shoulder, "I forget a lot of the time you're genius Leonard"

Leonard smiled, "Good that's the idea"

Farmhouse Vittles

Leonard sat down on the swing on the porch bundling up his grey dress jacket about him staring out. In the back ground Penny could be heard.

"Mom I have to be back to work on Sunday so we can't stay. We'll try to get back out in the spring and spend some more time then, okay. Daddy talk to her please."

Penny walked out on the porch, a southwestern blanket in her hand. She had on black stretch pants, black flat shoes and her brown leather jacket. She sat down on the swing next to Leonard wrapping the blanket around them both.

Leonard smiled over at her, Penny frowned and laid her head on his shoulder, "So now that you met everyone can I keep the ring or would you like it back now?"

Leonard chuckled and moved his arm up to her shoulder, "Oh I think I'll keep you. It was actually nice to have Thanksgiving with a regular family, warts and all."

Penny grimaced, "Festering sores more like it. "

Leonard just held her close, "We're not anymore responsible for how our family acts than we are Sheldon. You just have to make allowances."

Leonard reached up picking something out of his teeth with his other hand.

Penny looked over, "My aunt's homemade cranberry sauce, I should have warned you. She never quite gets the stems and seed all out. You were a trooper today Leonard, a real trooper, thanks."

Leonard continued to smile, "Really I had a good time. I got to meet your mom, now I know where your laugh comes from. Your Aunt was nice and of course your Dad likes me. Where was your brother again?"

Penny grimaced, "Probation violation, he may get out by Christmas. It's a shame my sister couldn't make it."

Leonard nodded, "Is that the one who accidently shot her husband?"

Penny nodded, "We can start home tomorrow."

"I heard you talking to your mom, no problem. You don't really have to work on Sunday I know. Do you want to stop in Denver for a day and check it out?"

Penny snuggled into his shoulder, "That sounds great sweetie, we can leave first thing in the morning."

It was as if Penny was yelling from the house but the voice was a little deeper, "Penny come help with the dishes and have Leonard come in for some pumpkin pie with your father."

Penny rolled her eyes, "See it's just like I'm still a kid."

Leonard smiled, "I could take her out and get her drunk it worked with my mother?"

Penny started to get up smirking, "Funny Leonard, real funny, beside she's a mean drunk"

Leonard chuckled, "How about your dad then?"

Smoldering Portions

Sheldon sat back on the couch looking at his phone dressed in an orange hulk t-shirt and tan pants. Amy in a grey skirt and blue sweater was in the kitchen looking at the oven and reading over directions in her hand.

Amy looked over as Sheldon made a small laugh, "What's so funny Sheldon?"

Sheldon continued to look at his phone, "Leonard sent me some pictures from his Thanksgiving at Penny's parents' house. The look on Penny's face is, well come look, it's highly humorous."

Amy walked over as Sheldon turned the phone toward her. The picture was of Penny from the waist up showing her in a yellow top with her hair down curled and lying across her shoulders. A fork was in her hand a huge chunk of mashed potatoes on the end. The look on her face was horror, her mouth hung open as Penny looked to her right.

Amy's eyes got big, "She looks really shocked, did he send a message with it?"

Sheldon chuckled again, "He said that the mashed potatoes were fine but Penny found the conversation from her mother not so palatable."

Amy shook her head, "Poor Penny, her family must have embarrassed her, has Leonard sent any other pictures?"

Sheldon nodded, "Just boring stuff from the drive, rock formations, sunsets stuff like that."

Amy started to look through the pictures on the phone, "Oh here's Penny in front of the sunset, she looks happy. There she is in the casino in Vegas, she looks thrilled. These are all great pictures Sheldon."

Sheldon shrugged, "None are as funny as the last one though, oh family moments. What's that smell?"

Amy turned quickly to the kitchen and almost sprinted to the oven. She pulled open the door removing the heating tray with dinner. She peeled off the tin foil to reveal the dinner within wrapped in plastic that was now smoldering and stinking.

Sheldon hurried behind her now with the large red fire extinguisher in hand, "Don't you dare Sheldon, I heard about the spaghetti at Penny's. I just forgot to take off the plastic wrap let it cool off and we'll try again.

Sheldon looked rather displeased. He set the extinguisher on the floor and looked over Amy's shoulder, "Didn't you follow the directions?"

Amy looked over at him both angry and almost in tears. Sheldon held up his hand, "Hold that look and let me get my phone so I can send a picture to Leonard."

Thanks be to giving

Bernadette led the way into their new apartment dressed in blue print dress and her violet sweater. Howard closed the door behind her in matching red pants, shirt and converse tennis shoes. They all matched the bright red turkey belt buckle on his pants and the red of his turtle neck. Bernadette flopped down on the couch. Howard sat down beside her.

"Well that wasn't so bad now was it?"

Bernadette looked over at Howard, "If you say so Howie, next year let's go with Penny back to Nebraska. What was that weird soup your mother served?"

Howard smiled, "Herring and cucumber, it's kind of a family tradition along with the brisket to go with the turkey."

Bernadette shook her head, "Well the turkey was good and Daddy didn't seem to mind too much, though he said he was going by the Eagles club for something a little more traditional on the way home."

Howard tilted his head and shrugged, "Well next year we can just have everybody over here. We could invite the whole gang over, maybe Leonard and Penny will be here to come?"

Bernadette pulled her phone out of her purse, "I think she'll be here. Apparently her mother did nothing but talk about her old boyfriends at dinner. She was pretty embarrassed, let's see what the latest is. Okay her and Leonard are staying in Omaha tonight and then coming back via Denver then Arizona and the southern route. They had a great time on the way making side trips and little stops in Colorado. Her last text says, "Not doing this again until I'm married with children", so it's a safe bet they'll be here next year."

Howard put his arm around Bernadette and pulled her close to him, "It doesn't matter who else is there as long as I'm with you."

Bernadette smiled and hugged him, "Thanks Howie"

Howard just nodded, "Mom will probably bring the herring soup and brisket anyway"

Bernadette wrinkled her nose, "That's nice"


Penny stood behind the sliding glass door staring out. She was dressed in her long yellow robe with it tightly pulled around her. Leonard could be seen behind her lying on the hotel room bed in his red robe. He had the TV remote in his hand staring and flipping through the channels the volume very low. Leonard pushed the button on the remote and silenced the TV.

"Leonard it's starting to snow."

Leonard got up off the bed and walked over beside her, "The weather report said it might though nothing major. I haven't see snow since the North Pole trip, it's really beautiful to see it here."

Penny smiled and slid her hand in his, "I see a snowflake all the time, it's in my nightstand, not any snowflake but one from the North Pole."

Leonard looked over at her, "I wasn't sure you still had it, you haven't mentioned it since I gave it to you."

Penny smiled still looking out the window, "Leonard my mom talked about all my old boyfriends from here. God knows you've met some of the others. Do you know how much stuff all the boys and men have given me over the years and how much of it I still have?"

Leonard looked puzzled, "Not a clue?"

Penny turned and put her arms around his neck, "Just a single snowflake from the North Pole, Leonard, just your snowflake"

They kiss as the snow starts to fall harder outside the window.

Episode 19 Parental Predictions

Early Arrivals

Penny in blue jeans and a dark red top sat on her couch thumbing through a magazine. The single knock of the door caused her to look up, set the magazine on the coffee table then head for the apartment door. She opened it to reveal Amy and Bernadette. Amy had on a brown skirt and camel haired sweater with a yellow blouse beneath. Bernadette in a pink flowered dress with a blue sweater followed her into the apartment.

Penny smiled at them both as they came in, "You guys are early. Leonard isn't even home from work yet with Sheldon."

Amy looked pensive and Bernadette serious, the petite blonde sat on the couch, "Amy has an emergency, she wouldn't tell me what it is until we were all together."

Amy sat next to Bernadette on the couch. She was stone faced, looking straight ahead, "I think we should have a glass of wine first"

Penny nodded then headed for the kitchen. She retrieved a bottle of white wine from the refrigerator and poured three glasses. Penny brought two glasses to the girls then got her own from the kitchen. She sat in the chair opposite the couch, "Okay so what's the big emergency?"

Penny started sipping her wine as Amy spoke, "I may be pregnant"

Penny sprayed the wine from both her mouth and nose. She then proceeded to cough as Bernadette wiped the spewed wine from her glasses and face.

"Have you ever heard the expression say it don't spray it"

Penny's mouth was hanging open, she stuttered several times, "So you and Sheldon finally had sex? I'm talking coitus as Sheldon would say, the dirty deed, the horizontal mambo. When did this happen? You weren't using protection?"

Amy waited for her to finish, "Yes we had sex over the Thanksgiving day weekend. It was kind of an experiment but there was a glitch."

Bernadette looked over at Amy, "What kind of glitch?"

Penny had here hand to her mouth, her eyes big. Amy turned toward Bernadette, "A technical malfunction with the condom. Its structural integrity failed at a very inopportune moment."

Penny put her hand down, "The condom broke?"

Amy nodded, "Leaked actually, we didn't discover this until Sheldon tested it after we were finished."

Penny's eyes were huge again, "He tested it?"

Amy was nodding again, "Yes it failed a hydrostatic test at a very low pressure, so there is a possibility I may have become impregnated."

Penny continued to look puzzled, "Thanksgiving was three weeks ago and your just getting around to telling us."

Amy took a sip of her wine, "Sheldon just tested it this afternoon, he texted me the results."

Bernadette shook her head, "What are you going to do"

Amy took a pregnancy test out of her purse, "I going to find out. I just didn't want to do it alone."

Penny smiled a comforting smile, "Good idea we'll wait here why you do it."

Amy looked chagrinned, "You don't want to come along to make sure I do it right, kind of a quality control"

Bernadette patted her on the leg, "That's alright Amy just follow the directions and it will be fine. Penny and I will wait here"

Amy stood and started toward Penny's bathroom, "Suit your selves"

Penny just shook her head and took another sip of her wine. Bernadette looked over at her, "Penny could I get a towel, you covered me in wine"

Penny looked embarrassed, "Sure, sorry about that"

The Home Commute

Leonard looked out the car window while shaking his head. In the rear window a line cars could be seen behind him. His green and white recycle t-shirt could be seen under his dark green hoody and jacket. Sheldon was beside him in the passenger seat in his red flash t-shirt with the large yellow lightning bolt. Sheldon's face was drawn his teeth clenched.

Leonard leaned to his right and left looking forward, "Must be a breakdown or an accident, we should have taken Pine."

Sheldon did not respond. Leonard looked over at his roommate and friend. He stared at him for several moments furling his brow, "What's wrong Sheldon it shouldn't be too much longer. Didn't you go before we left work?"

Sheldon turned almost in a trance toward Leonard, "What? Oh yes I went before we left."

Leonard face looked puzzled, "Then what's wrong, you look agitated"

Sheldon looked straight ahead, "I'm scared Leonard. I may have made a huge error. I should have never let Amy talk me into it."

Leonard looked impatient now, "Talked you into what?"

Sheldon nodded to himself, "Coitus Leonard, we had coitus and the condom was defective."

Leonard seemed shocked, "Defective? Then you use another one, what happened?"

Sheldon looked over at him now, "I took the condom we used to Howard's lab today and tested it. It failed at a very low PSI, I may have impregnated Amy."

Leonard did a double take then looked up as the traffic started moving, "What was the PSI when it broke?"

Sheldon just shook his head, "At .997 it started to leak."

Leonard nodded as he drove, "Did you use a control of an unused condom?"

Sheldon went into a very condescending mode, "Leonard do you think I just carry them around with me like Wolowitz and Raj."

Leonard gave him a sideways glance, "Did you check the manufacturer's site for the specs?"

Sheldon rolled his eyes, "I haven't had time for that. I was too busy texting Amy and then it was time to leave."

Leonard nodded, "Well use your phone and find out"

Sheldon perked up, "I'll do that"

Waiting for stripes

Penny looked over at Amy and the pregnancy test that was face down on the table, "So how much longer?"

Amy looked up from her wine, "It said 5 minutes to be sure."

Penny nodded, "So if you are pregnant what then?"

Amy looked excited, "Then I'm going to have Dr. Sheldon Cooper's baby. I'll have a baby shower and things will have to move along on the relationship with Sheldon. He will be such a great father."

Bernadette didn't sound convinced, "I guess I can see that."

Penny looked more shocked, "I can't see Sheldon changing diapers Amy, maybe in a full biohazard suit. Of course that was how I envisioned him finally having sex so I could be wrong."

Bernadette smiled and snickered, "So how did you finally get him to have sex?"

Amy grinned, "I used my feminine charms that Penny has been teaching me."

Penny smiled, "You got him drunk?"

Amy just nodded, "Not in the conventional way, we did have several of my homemade fruit smoothies though."

Penny nodded, "Well good luck going there again after this."

Amy's phone buzzed and she looked up, "It's a text from Sheldon. Oh false alarm, Sheldon found out that condoms are only supposed to keep from leaking at a much lower pressure." Amy reached over and picked up the pregnancy test, "Nope, no baby, darn."

Penny looked happy though, "Well Amy you can always spike the eggnog at Christmas."

Bernadette got her yuck face, "Yeah there's always that."

Midnight Musings

Penny snuggled into Leonard's bare shoulder. The orange comforter was pulled up under her arms as she laid her head on his chest looking up.

"Sweetie, Amy got me thinking today about having children and being pregnant. What do you think our kids will be like?"

Leonard smiled and tilted his head to the side, "I told Sheldon when we first met you that our babies would be both smart and beautiful. He said they'd also be imaginary."

Penny grinned, "Well we'd already have a boat load if it wasn't for condoms and then birth control. I guess you won that one."

Leonard looked over toward her, "A boat load, well let's go with a passel. Anyway the point was our children will be beautiful, smart, caring and loved."

"Leonard what the hell is a passel?"

Leonard chuckled, "A large group."

Penny nodded slowly, "I think boat load was a good description then."

Leonard sighed, "Your right, just being pedantic I suppose"

Penny snuggled into him, "You know the last time you used that word I had to look it up. So yes you are being pedantic. What kind of kids do you want?"

Leonard chuckled again, "I love that question, human would be good."

Penny drove her left fist gently into his ribs, "Be serious for a minute, boy or girl?"

Leonard furled his brow for a moment, "A little girl I think. I could take my girls out for the day and show them off. "

Penny grinned, "You'd have to fight off the boys and at some point have two women having PMS at the same time."

Leonard looked serious for a moment, "Like I said a little boy, blonde haired with your green eyes."

Penny punched him again, "I was thinking one of each. A blonde haired boy and a little brown haired, brown eyed girl would be nice. I could teach them to play baseball and sports. You can help them with their math and science homework. "

Leonard pulled her close, "When would you like to start working on that project."

Penny smiled, "A couple years after we're married. We can just do a lot of practice until then."

Leonard reached over for the light, "Well they say practice does make perfect."

Penny closed her eyes, "I wonder if Amy and Sheldon are going to get any more practice?"

Leonard nodded, "I think so. Sheldon is talking about pre-testing the condoms"

Penny giggled, "Oh my god"

Rocket child or fruit loop fruition?

Howard leaned his head over laying it on Bernadette's lap. He was dressed in his black silk pajamas. She was in her baby blue pajamas with little fish on them on top of the comforter. She was holding her tablet in her hand reading

"You know Bernie, Amy and Sheldon kind of got me thinking about having kids again."

Bernadette did not look up but reached over patting Howard on the back, "That's nice honey, but I think we have to separate you from your mother first before you can become a father."

Howard smirked, "I've only spent one night there this week."

Bernadette lowered the tablet, "I know you're trying Howie, I'm just saying we need to be a couple on our own for a while before we think about having children."

Howard frowned, "Okay, I guess you're right. When we do have kids what do you want?"

Bernadette returned to looking at her tablet, "Quiet ones Howie, now shush"

Howard rolled onto his spot on the bed, "Oh come on Bernie, what will it be girl or boy."

Bernadette lowered the tablet, "If we have a little boy then you mother will spoil him. If we have a little girl your mother will also spoil her and give her a complex."

Howard looked shocked, "So we have to wait for my mom to die before we have kids?"

Bernadette smiled, "No Howie, we want our children to know their grandmother. We just need to be an independent stable couple first."

Howard seemed relieved, "Well that's better because my mom's family tends to live a really long time."

Bernadette pursed her lips, "That might have been something to let me know before we got married."

Howard smiled back, "Think of it as my own little pre-nup."

Dream a little dream

"Leonard wake up"

Leonard jerked awake, "What is it Sheldon?"

"You're not sleeping with Sheldon Leonard."

Leonard rubbed his eyes then sat up and turned on the light, "Sorry. He's usually the one who wakes me in the middle of the night."

"I had a bad dream. I dreamt that our daughter was sneaking out at night and running around with boys"

Leonard smirked, "Did they go cow tipping?"

Penny glared back at him, "I don't know, she was sneaking out the window and I caught her then I woke up."

Leonard nodded slowly, "Did your mother ever catch you?"

Penny looked shocked, "No, not that I remember. Daddy caught me coming home in the morning once but he never let on to mom."

"You're just having a dream about your own adolescent years and putting yourself in the place of your mother. You're afraid your daughter will do the same things you did."

Penny was sitting up now, "Oh my god its karma, everything I did will come back three fold to me"

Leonard laid his head back on the pillow, "Our children will do the things we did. Our parents did similar things to theirs."

Penny looked over at him, "What wild thing did you do as a teenager?"

Leonard kept his eyes closed, "There was the time I, ah I, oh forget it I got nothing. How about you what's the wildest thing you ever did?"

Penny laid her head back down on the pillow, "I told my parents I was spending the weekend at my friends then moved to California."

Leonard nodded, "Well considering we live here I think it's a pretty low probability our daughter will run off to Nebraska."

"I don't want to be my mother Leonard and I don't want my daughter doing the things I did."

Leonard pulled her close to him, "That won't happen Penny. Our children will have parents that love and nurture them. They'll never want for a hug or feel like they disappointed us because they aren't good enough, or the right sex, or have typos in their paper for Christmas. "

Penny snuggled up into Leonard's shoulder, "You're right sweetie. We aren't our parents and our kids won't be us."

Leonard turned the light back off, "And as long as our kids aren't like Sheldon things will be great."

"Thanks for that Leonard, now I won't be able to get back to sleep"

"We could always practice."

"Shut up sweetie"

Other Tests

Raj sat next to Selene on the couch in his boxers and a white wife beater t-shirt. Selene sat beside him in a long grey silk robe. In her hands was a pregnancy test. She turned it over in her hands and looked at it.

"Positive again Raj, that's three positive tests. I'm pregnant."

Raj looked at Selene and tried to speak and nothing came out. His face was shocked. Selene just nodded and shook her head.

Episode 20 Operational Miscalculation

Smoke and Mirrors

Penny turned the wheel slightly in her car checking the rearview mirror and changing lanes. She was dressed in her Cheesecake Factory uniform, the white blouse and mustard vest visible behind the wheel. Penny had her hair in a ponytail behind her. There was music playing softly on the radio. The song was Carrie Underwood's "Think Before he Cheats". Penny had just started singing the verse out loud when a large grinding squeal was heard. Penny looked panicked for second, blue and brown smoke was washing over the windshield from the hood of her car. Penny checked the mirror and eased the car over to the curb on the right. The motor was not running but more smoke and vapor continued to pour from the hood.

"Dammit, I was almost home."

She started fishing in her purse for her phone. Penny found it, pressed a button then put the phone her ear, "Leonard my car just died on Colorado Boulevard."

"I don't know what's wrong it was running just fine, it made big grinding noise and quit. Then some serious smoke came out of the hood"

Penny listened for a few moments then looked down at the dash, "The oil light? Is that the one that looks like the little can?"

"Yeah it's on. How long has it been on? I don't know maybe a month or so."

Penny smirked and looked back down at the dash, "Oh is that what it means, so I need to put oil in it?"

"What do you mean too late, okay I'll wait for you here, yeah about a mile from work."

Penny put the phone back in her purse then laid her forehead on the steering wheel, "Dammit, who knew they needed oil."

Early Departure

Leonard opened the door and stepped into Sheldon's office. He had on a red t-shirt with the periodic table under a brown jacket and dark brown pants. Sheldon looked up from behind his desk in his red and yellow robot evolution t-shirt.

"Leonard I believe a knock is in order. I think you've been spending too much time with Penny and have lost all sense of etiquette and manners."

Leonard knocked on the open door three times, "Happy now? Hey I have to leave early and go get Penny. Her car broke down on the way home from the lunch shift. You can come with me now, take a chance on Raj giving you a ride or take the bus."

Sheldon seemed stricken, "That will throw all of my afternoon plans in disorder Leonard. I have several projects to work on."

Leonard shook his head, "Suit yourself, I'll see you tonight."

Sheldon stood behind his desk, "Wait Leonard, though it is very disruptive I suppose I can get started on it tomorrow."

Sheldon was grabbing his bag and moving toward the door now.

Leonard looked over his glasses at Sheldon, "What changed your mind?"

Sheldon was beside him at the door now, "Raj insists on talking about personal things on the way home. Unlike you who is usually very quiet or talks about things I can ignore."

Leonard nodded, "Thanks I try to be as drool and boring as possible"

Sheldon smiled and nodded, "I appreciate that about you Leonard."

Leonard shook his head smirking and followed him out.

Rattles and being rattled

Howard cracked open the door to Raj's office, "Hey buddy missed you at lunch today what's going on?"

Raj sat behind his desk staring at the wall, "Hi Howard, come on in"

Howard stepped into the office dressed in his skinny bright yellow pants, a white and yellow polo shirt with a yellow dickey underneath. His belt had red and yellow flash buckle and there was a yellow alien pin in his dickey.

He sat on Raj's desk looking over at him, "So what's wrong buddy, you always come to lunch. Problems in the bedroom, Selene's cat got your tongue, ha."

Raj was stone faced then he looked stricken, "Dude, Selene is pregnant."

Howard mouth hung open, "Oh man, what are you going to do"

Raj placed his head in his hands on the desk, "I am so screwed. I haven't even let her talk to my parents yet. Yeah, I am screwed blue and tattooed."

Howard shook his head, "That's really not the right aphorism you should be using. So are you guys going to have it?"

Raj looked puzzled, "We haven't talked about anything yet. We both just cried and she went home. I haven't heard from her since."

Howard looked at his friend with concern, "It'll work out buddy you'd be a great father."

Raj looked up now, "I would wouldn't I."

Howard smirked, "Yep especially if it's a girl"

Beats Hitchhiking

Leonard led the way into his apartment followed by Penny with Sheldon bringing up the rear. He dropped his keys in the bowl then closed the door.

Penny flopped down on the couch then laid her head back on the cushion, "So you really think it's a blown engine."

Leonard shrugged, "The mechanic will let us know, at least my insurance covered the towing. Are you sure the oil light has been on that long?"

Penny just nodded, Sheldon came back from the kitchen with two cups, "Here Penny a nice hot beverage should help."

Penny accepted the offered cup, "Thanks Sheldon, yum chamomile. Leonard what am I going to do?"

Leonard sat down at his desk and opened his laptop, "Well we should go car shopping I suppose, until then you can take Sheldon and I to work then have the car the rest of the day."

Sheldon looked up, "She's not driving us."

Leonard shook his head, "I'll drive us and then Penny can have the car."

Penny shook her head, "What if my shift starts before you get off?"

Leonard smiled at her, "Just come get me when you need to get to work."

Penny just smirked, "Sweetie, I barely get to work on time myself. It will be too complicated."

Sheldon looked up, "Why don't you just rent a car until you get a new one?"

Penny looked over at Leonard and tilted her head, "Why not?"

Leonard turned to his computer, "Okay let's see what we can get."

Penny perked up, "Convertible Mustang, red."

Leonard shook his head and smiled as he typed.

Dark Eyed Child

Raj answered the door on the second knock, still dressed in his clothes from work tan khaki pants, a patterned shirt and argyle sweater. Selene stood in the doorway dressed to the nines in a lavender dress and matching heels with a wide black belt around her waist.

"Hello Raj"

Raj seemed taken aback, "I wasn't expecting you for a couple more hours."

Selene walked into the apartment and dropped her matching lavender purse on the table.

"I have a function to attend tonight, so I thought I'd stop by early seeming's you just wanted to talk."

Raj was very uncomfortable speaking was starting to elude him.

"Don't get nervous Raj it's just the office Christmas party."

Raj looked down, "Do you already have a date or would you like me to come along?"

Selene smiled now, "I guess that will depend on our talk now doesn't it. That's why I'm early."

Selene walked to the couch then sat on one end crossing her legs her skirt riding up high on her thigh. She looked at Raj and motioned to the seat beside her. Raj walked around the couch then sat close to her. Selene continued to smile, "I was wondering when you'd finally call."

Raj swallowed then spoke softly, "I was meaning too right away but I didn't know what to say. I'm still not sure but maybe together we could come up with the right words."

Selene nodded, "Raj I'm going to have a baby, your baby. Do you want to be a part of that?"

Raj nodded, "I want more than to just be a part of that. I want this to be a part of us."

Selene continued to smile but a tear slid down her cheek. Raj reached his hand for it. Selene caught his hand in hers, "Raj you should know by now I love you, you had just the right words."

Raj had tears running down his face now, "I love you too Selene and we will have a beautiful brown eyed baby."

Red Lights

Penny howled in happiness behind the wheel of the open topped red car. She was dressed in her leather jacket with a scarf around her neck. Leonard sat in the passenger seat grimacing wrapped in his blue jacket.

He looked over at Penny, "It seems to have a lot of power."

Penny was grinning widely, "Oh yeah, plenty of get up and go that's for sure. I wonder what a new one is like?"

Leonard smiled for an instant, "This one we could afford to rent until the first of the year. How do you like it?"

Penny stepped on the gas pressing them both back in the seat.

"Oh I could learn to live with it. I look good in this car."

Leonard grinned, "You look good in anything Penny."

Penny looked over at him, "Oh thank you sweetie that's so sweet."

Leonard flinched and put his hands on the dash, "Red light, red light"

The squeal of brakes is heard and Leonard and Penny are thrown forward into the seat belts.

Leonard has his inhaler to his mouth as Penny looked over, "You really shouldn't distract the driver with compliments sweetie."

Leonard took several puffs from his inhaler and gave her a sideways glance.

Penny smiled back, "What do say we find a quiet spot and put the top up. Then we can try out the back seat?"

Leonard eyes got big and a grin spread across his face.

Christmas Eve at Nerd Central

The tree was decorated in front of closet with the Sir Isaac Newton bust prominently displayed near the top beside the star. The coffee table was sat with a dish of cookies, vegetables, and small appetizers. On the table by the kitchen was a roast turkey in the pan ready to be carved. Penny in a red shirt, green Christmas vest and Santa hat stood behind the table. Bernadette was in a green sweater with a Christmas tree to her right, Amy in a red sweater with reindeer to her left. Selene stood at the end of the table in red silk dress with white fur at the neck and cuffs of the long sleeves.

Penny looked around and smiled, "Well we're all set now the guys just have to show up."

The door opened to the apartment with Sheldon leading the way two small gifts in his hand. Raj followed with an armful of presents, behind him was Howard with another armful. Leonard came in last with several smaller gifts. He kicked the door shut behind him. The guys all proceeded to the tree and put their presents under it.

Penny smiled at them then glanced at the girls, "Well let's get this party started, Eggnog is in the fridge, beer, wine and booze on the counter.

The couples started to mingle, Christmas Eve began.

Leonard walked over to Penny who leaned in and kissed him, "Merry Christmas sweetie"

Leonard looked around, "You ladies have out done yourselves everything looks wonderful"

Raj got a cup of Eggnog from the fridge then looked about, "Oh the turkey smells wonderful"

Sheldon sat in his spot and smirked, "At least it won't taste like melted polyethylene"

Amy frowned at him, "We'll know better next year Sheldon, beside Penny and Selene taught me how to cook a turkey."

Bernadette grinned, "Besides we're all coming to my house next Thanksgiving."

Howard was next to Bernadette now. He reached over and they embraced, "Yep the gang and my mom and your mom and dad, should be quite the hoot."

Everyone except Selene and Howard grimaced.

Leonard walked toward the tree, "Okay everybody take a seat I'm doing something I always wanted to do. I'm going to play Santa and pass out the gifts."

Penny tilted her head and smiled after him, a glint of a tear in her eye.

Big Red Bows

Penny sat on her couch next to Leonard the lights were low in Penny's apartment. She rested her head on his shoulder both were quiet. Penny lifted both legs and looked at the fuzzy bunny slippers on her feet.

"They're darling Leonard, how did you know?"

Leonard grinned and took a sip of his eggnog, "Oh I saw you eyeing them at the shoe store. Then you bought the purple flats instead. I knew you wanted them. Thanks for the boxed set of Battlestar Galactica in blue ray. I'll have to watch it over here though Sheldon never liked it."

Penny nodded, "I know that's why I got it. Then I get you all to myself"

Leonard nodded, "There is one other small gift though, but you need to come to the window."

Penny and Leonard got up then went to her window. Outside was the Mustang she'd been renting. It was a cherry red convertible with a black top and three years old. A huge red ribbon was wrapped around the car with a bow on top. Penny's hand went to her mouth, "Leonard, you bought it?"

Leonard was still looking out, "Well we're buying it, the payment is reasonable and I got a good deal."

"Oh Leonard, thank you"

"Like you said you looked great in it, and after what we did in the back seat we couldn't really return it."

Penny slapped his arm and wrapped him in a hug.

Episode 21 Manifest Diversity

Raising the Question

Leonard sat on the end of Penny's bed in his grey slacks, blue shirt and black vest. He was leaning back and forth waiting for Penny who was in the bathroom. Penny came out of the bathroom in a light red low cut short dress. She walked to the mirror beside her closet and turned sideways to the left and then the right.

"Leonard, be honest, should I be thinking about getting a boob job. I mean nothing too outrageous just maybe one more cup size."

Leonard looked at her in a considering way. Penny turned and tilted her head at him waiting for an answer.

"Penny you're beautiful the way you are. I look at you and see everything in perfect proportion and natural. I don't think you should mess with it. What brought this on?"

Penny thrust her chest out more prominently and turned to stare at the mirror, "I don't know. I go to auditions and a lot of the other actresses are really big chested. I just wonder if I would get more parts if I was a bit curvier. Kind of like Bernadette, she's small but has pretty big boobs."

Leonard thought about it for moment. Penny looked over at him and smiled, "Are you thinking about the side benefits?"

Leonard shook his head, "No not really, I'm thinking about pain and complications. I think you are perfect the way you are. What if I said I should get my calf bones extended so I was taller? What would you think about that?"

Penny raised her eyebrows, "They do that?"

Leonard shrugged, "I have no idea because even though I'd love to be taller I wouldn't look right. Suddenly I would be out of proportion. Penny you are perfectly proportioned and I could prove it to you with science. Have you ever heard of the golden ratio?"

Penny shook her head.

Leonard went on, "The golden ratio is A+B is to A as A is to B. To keep it simple if we measure your breast size and divide it by your waist size if it's around 1.6 you are perfect."

Penny looked confused, "So A is the breast size, I thought that would be B?"

Leonard chuckled, "It's just algebra, we'll call it B divided by W."

Leonard got up and picked up a seamstress's tape measure off Penny's dresser.

"Okay let's see what you have?"

Leonard put the tape around Penny's waist, "Okay 24 inches, now for your bosom"

"Breasts Leonard, let's go with breasts? This is science now so now messing around unless the mood hits me. You could also call them the girls."

Leonard smirked as he put the tape around Penny, "Okay the girls are 34 and a half inches."

Leonard frowned, Penny looked over at him, "So what's my ratio?"


Penny got a look of satisfaction on her face, "See my breasts are too small, how big would they need to be to have the golden ratio?"

Leonard stuttered, "38.5"

Penny looked at him for a second, "Wow, that's some large breasts. What would 36 get me?"

Leonard did the math, "1.5"

Penny nodded her head, "Close enough, see sweetie I do need a boob job"

Leonard nodded slowly, "You could always try for a smaller waist?"

Penny looked pissed now, "Are you saying I'm pudgy around the middle?"

Leonard went into defensive mode, "No, no it's just the math"

Penny seemed satisfied, "Come on let's go to the faculty mixer party thing and you can show off your girlfriend with the small boobs."

Leonard shook his head as he followed her out of the bedroom.

Gala Moments

The entire gang sat around the large round table, Penny beside Leonard who had added a grey blazer to his attire. On the right side of Leonard was Sheldon dressed in his black suit Penny had helped him pick out. Amy was next to him in a purple gown with her tiara. On the other side of Amy was Bernadette in a lovely blue gown. Howard was beside her in a light blue suit, a white turtleneck under his matching blue shirt. Raj was beside Howard in a black silk blazer and pink shirt, next to him was Selene in a black dress and white pearls around her neck.

Penny was talking to Selene as Leonard slid his hand into hers and pulled it under the table. Penny looked over as him and smiled holding his hand.

Leonard leaned over and whispered to her, "Don't change yourself Penny, I love you how you are. You are the golden ratio to me."

Penny smiled at him, "I love you too sweetie."

Sheldon looked over at Penny, "What would you want to change about yourself Penny."

Penny grimaced, "I forget about your hearing Sheldon."

Leonard smirked at Sheldon, "Penny is thinking about getting a breast enhancement."

Penny looked over at Leonard with a glare of anger in her eyes. Sheldon was looking at Leonard.

"Well that makes sense. Studies would suggest that large breasted women tend to have better self-esteem and success in the work place."

Leonard looked taken a back, Penny seemed puzzled and embarrassed, "My self-esteem is fine thank you. I just thought I would look better and do better at auditions with slightly larger breasts."

Amy added her thoughts now, "Oh Penny, you're gorgeous how you are. Breast size is a highly desirable quality in the theatrical realms though."

Howard started to speak when Bernadette cut him off, "Be quiet Howie, Penny having large breasts is not all it's cracked up to be. They get in the way all the time and it's a pain to find a bathing suit that fits."

Howard nodded, "That's true we always have to buy two, one for the bottom and one for the top."

Selene looked over at Penny smiling, "You are very lovely the way you are Penny. Why would you want to change that?"

Penny looked over at Selene, "I don't know really. Leonard and I got to talking about the golden ratio and breast size before we left tonight."

Selene nodded, "Oh yes the 1.6 ratio. It was the golden ratio for women up to the 19th century, now its closer to 1.3 to 1.4."

Penny looked suddenly very interested, Leonard was listening intently.

Selene continued, "The ratio has been dropping the last 50 years or so as the thinner more athletic body form has become more popular. Someone in really good shape is around 1.4."

Penny smiled, "That's me right on 1.4."

Selene smiled again, "I'm 1.4 myself, though not for much longer."

Penny smiled back, "We all know Selene."

Selene looked at Raj, "You told them?"

Raj blushed and looked down, "Only Howard"

Penny reached over and took Selene's hand, "Hard to keep a secret in this group. I gave up a long time ago. You two will have a beautiful baby."

Selene had a tear in her eye, "Thanks Penny, it's good to know the group is behind us."

Sheldon looked up, "Well of course we are, but we always thought Penny would be the first one to get pregnant."

Leonard never looked his way but continued to smile at Selene, "Shut up Sheldon"

Long Range Pleadings

Raj adjusted the laptop slightly on the coffee table then sat back next to Selene on the couch. They were still dressed in their clothes from the mixer. The beeping of a Skype call could be heard.

The laptop screen filled with the picture of Raj's father then it widened out to show his mother beside him as he sat back.

"Hello Rajesh, and this must be the lovely Selene you have been telling us about."

Raj's mother leaned close to her husband, quietly speaking, "Well at least it's a girl."

Raj grinned widely, "Yes mommy Selene is a girl as you can see."

Raj's mother smirked then smiled, "Hello Selene it's very nice to meet you. Is Rajesh being a perfect gentleman?"

Selene smiled brightly, "He is always a perfect gentleman and a very sensitive man."

Raj's father leaned forward slightly, "It's the sensitive part we've always been concerned with. Rajesh you emailed that you had news?"

Raj leaned forward then looked as if he was struggling for what to say. Selene's hand found his then he swallowed hard and began, "Yes, very good news. You and mommy are going to be grandparents in about eight months."

Raj's mother's hand went to her mouth then tears appeared in her eyes. His father tilted his head slightly then a slow grin spread across his face.

Raj smiled now, his father leaned forward, "Good for you son, will there also be a wedding soon?"

Selene leaned forward now, "We thought we'd wait until the baby is born then discuss it further"

Raj's mother looked shocked his father was much more relaxed smiling then nodding his head. She looked at her husband, "Don't you think they should get married right away?"

Raj's father got a serious look, "Really I think we should be happy that he's not gay and we will be getting grand children at all. The marriage will work itself out."

Raj's mother nodded slowly, Raj grimaced as Selene fought not to laugh.


Sheldon sat in his spot with his iPad in his hand. Beside him on the couch was Amy the tiara still on her head. Leonard and Penny were in the kitchen. Penny picked up two coffee cups off the table. Leonard picked up the other two. The walked back to the couch, Penny placed one mug in front of Amy and the other in front of Sheldon. She then accepted a mug from Leonard and sat on the arm of his chair as he sat down.

Penny smiled over at Amy, "There you two are. A mint girl scout cookie for Amy and hot cocoa for Sheldon."

Amy picked up her mug then took a sip, "Oh it really does taste like a thin mint cookie. What's in it?"

Penny grinned then took a sip from her mug, "Hot cocoa, peppermint schnapps and Bailey's"

Leonard was busy sipping his drink and smiling as Sheldon looked over at first Amy then Penny, "I love thin mint cookies, it was the only upside of having a twin sister the Girl Scout cookies."

Penny looked over at Sheldon, "I'll make you one Sheldon, but there's a lot of alcohol in them."

Sheldon looked stricken for moment then satisfied, "Oh what the heck tomorrow is Saturday and Amy keeps sneaking alcohol into my drinks anyway."

Amy looked surprised, "You know about the spiked eggnog and smoothies."

Sheldon looked over at her, "Of course I do. I'm a grown man I know when I've had alcohol. Now just because I'm having some tonight does not mean we are in for amorous activities."

Amy frowned as Penny got up, "I'll just have to make yours a little stronger Sheldon. I need to look after Amy's interests after all"

Amy smiled then looked at Sheldon, "Girl power"

Sheldon looked over at her, "I'm sure that's quantifiable in some other hippy dippy universe. But here it's just words. It's a man's world don't you agree Leonard."

Leonard looked startled, "I'm not getting into that conversation. I think girls, ah I mean women are some of the best things about this universe."

Penny returned with another mug which she handed Sheldon, "Right answer sweetie, once again proving your incredible intelligence."

Sheldon snorted, "Oh he just doesn't want to sabotage his chances for coitus tonight."

Leonard grinned, "For your information we already had coitus this afternoon."

Penny sat on the arm of the couch smiling then rubbing her hand across his shoulders, "I wouldn't rule out tonight as well. A few more girl scout cookies and I'll be looking for a boy scout to earn a merit badge."

Leonard grinned as Sheldon shook his head.

Be Prepared

Leonard lay back against the pillow in Penny's bed the orange comforter up to his chest. Penny snuggled into his left shoulder.

"Leonard were you ever a boy scout?"

Leonard shook his head, "My mother said it was just a male chauvinistic organization based on militaristic practices and mores."

Penny nodded a pained look on her face, Leonard went on, "Besides there was a lot camping and hiking involved."

Penny smiled, "I was girl scout until I was 14."

Leonard turned his head toward her, "What happened when you were 14?"

Penny giggled, "Boys"

Leonard nodded, "Oh yeah I suppose that would do it. So are you really considering getting a breast augmentation?"

Penny grinned, "Boob job Leonard. I don't know. I think I'll wait until after we have kids. The girls may need a little pick me by then."

Leonard's smile broadened, "Do you want to go through the scenarios again?"

Penny turned into him more, "You read my mind. So what do you think the name of our first little girl should be again?"

Leonard continued to smile, "I've been thinking Helen or Alexandria, she could be called Alex for short. I can see you standing on the back deck yelling for Alex to come in now."

Penny's smile was beaming, "I like that it works for a boy or a girl."

Leonard turned more toward her and kissed her on the lips softly. Penny's hand touched his cheek and continued to as he pulled his head back.

Leonard looked into her face, "This really is turning into one of your favorite topics of conversation."

Penny grinned and snuggled back into his shoulder, "Girl power"

Episode 22 Flossie Phantasm

News Beat

Leonard sat behind his laptop in the apartment in a tan khaki jacket with a dark grey and black stripped hoody showing. His shirt was blue underneath with a save the whales logo. He typed slowly looking back up at the screen occasionally. The door behind him opened and Penny stepped into the apartment. He turned smiling toward her. She stood very still dressed in a very smart olive colored business skirt and jacket, the pink of her blouse showing in the jackets gap. She had a huge grin on her face.

Leonard continued to smile, "Hey you, you're kind of late. How did the audition go?"

Penny continued to smile, "I have a screen test for the part tomorrow."

Leonard stood up and wrapped her in a hug, "That's great, what kind of role is it, movie, TV, or commercial?"

Leonard stepped back then walked with her to the couch. He sat on the left cushion as Penny sat in the middle turning toward him.

"It's a pilot for a sitcom and if the screen test goes well I might get the part as the star's best friend."

Leonard touched her arm, "That's awesome, what's the show about?"

Penny shook her head, "The producer wasn't really clear about the whole show but he went into my character. Get this Leonard, I'm may be cast as the nerd."

Leonard looked puzzled, "As the nerd. What kind of nerd?"

"The character is the best friend of the main female lead. My character is a computer nerd who has a PhD and is employed by some huge corporation to test security and hack into big computer systems. She sounds awesome. She can hack into almost anything, computers, phones, and stuff like that. She met the lead in college where they were roommates. The lead has just come out of a really nasty relationship and moves in with her. She's a fashion designer and needs a place to stay so she moves in with her old friend."

Leonard looked stunned but continued to smile, "So what did they like about you?"

Penny gave him a raised eyebrow, "I don't think it hurt that I could quote Star Wars and Star Trek. They also said I really looked the part with my hair up and dressed in a sweats and an old t-shirt. Leonard the really cool part is I'm the only one they asked for a screen test."

Leonard nodded again, "What do they do at the screen test?"

"I interact with the girl they are casting for the lead to see if we have chemistry together."

"I'm so proud of you Penny. You've just kept with it until something good happened. Anything I can do to help?"

Penny smiled at him, "Yes honey, not helping would be a big help."

Leonard looked confused as Penny went on, "I have to be what they consider a nerd, so no coaching or technical stuff. I'm sure the stuff they come up with may not even make sense to you guys but it's a comedy so it has to be funny. Just be supportive and help if I ask but otherwise I need to do it on my own."

Leonard nodded very slowly, "I think I can do that."

"Oh you could read through this release for me before I sign it. Make sure I'm not giving away the farm."

Penny reached into her purse then handed Leonard an envelope. She leaned toward him then kissed him on the cheek.

"I'm so excited, I'm going to take a shower and change clothes, call me when the Chinese food gets here."

Penny was up and walking to the door as Leonard sat back on the couch opening the envelope.

Winged Insect in the gelatinous substance

Sheldon walked up the hallway in his green and red hulk shirt and brown pants to find Leonard sitting on the couch reading a document in his hand.

He looked over at Leonard then proceeded to the refrigerator. Sheldon retrieved a bottle of water from the fridge then sat beside Leonard on the couch. He stared straight ahead for several seconds then looked over at Leonard.

"Okay what is it, another rejection notice for a story from DC comics?"

Leonard looked up with concern on his face, "It's a release for Penny to do a screen test. She had an audition for a sitcom today and they are going to test her. Sheldon I don't think she noticed but the sitcom is going to be made in New York."

Sheldon looked puzzled, "How is she going to make a sitcom in New York if, oh I see the problem."

Leonard looked really shocked now, "What am I going to do Sheldon. This is her first really big opportunity."

Sheldon looked in thought, "I guess you'll just have to hope she sucks."

"I can't do that Sheldon, I want her to be happy and achieve her dreams. I'm just going to have her sign the release and we'll see what happens."

Sheldon looked at Leonard for a very long moment, "I've always said you are good people Leonard, Penny is lucky to have you for her friend."

Leonard smirked, "Yeah she needs to achieve her dreams, but she's kind of my dream."

Sheldon took a long drink of his water, "Yeah but your used to having your dreams crushed."

"Thanks Sheldon, that made me feel better."

"You're welcome"


The gang sat gathered around the coffee table eating Chinese food from cartons, trays and plates. Penny in the chair beside Leonard's chair, Amy next to Sheldon on the couch. Selene was beside her with Raj on another chair beside the couch. Howard and Bernadette were on the floor on the other side sitting cross legged.

Amy put her fork in the carton she was eating from and sat it on the table, "So Penny if this character you going to be playing was the star's old roommate from college what is their past relationship?"

Penny shrugged and swallowed the food she was chewing, "I have no clue really. My character just takes her into her apartment after a breakup. She already has a male roommate but they have one more bedroom."

Howard lifted his head, "Let me guess the male roommate is gay, or he's playing like he's gay."

Penny shook her head, "No it's not Threes Company Howard. The producer told me the other roommate is quite the lady's man but my character finds him unattractive because he's an ex-jock. Though there is some sexual tension between the star and him, she is still hung up on her ex though."

Bernadette sat her plate on the table, "Sounds like one of those shows where everything takes place in the apartment. There sure are a lot of those, probably a coffee shop or some cheesy restaurant where they all meet."

Penny nodded, "Probably, but that seems to work."

Sheldon smirked now, "Why try for creativity when you can do the same old thing."

Amy looked over at Penny, "Where is the show set?"

Sheldon answered without changing expression, "New York"

Leonard grimaced as Penny's face froze with her eyebrows raised.

Pillow Chat

Penny walked to her bed from the bathroom in her long Nebraska t-shirt. She had her hair in a ponytail and her new white fluffy bunny slippers on her feet. Leonard was in bed in a white t-shirt waiting with the orange comforter pulled up to his waist. Penny grabbed a bottle of lotion off her nightstand and sat down beside Leonard on the bed. She put lotion on her hands, kicked off her slippers then started to rub it into her feet and knees.

Leonard sat staring at her, "You want some help with that?"

Penny smiled over at him, "I'd like to hear what you think of me getting a part in a sitcom in New York?"

Leonard looked at her face. The smile was gone and tears were in Penny's eyes.

"Hey it's going to be a good thing okay. If you get the part we'll figure it out."

Penny wiped her eyes, "Leonard what are we going to do?"

Leonard reached for her hand then pulled his back after grabbing hers wiping the lotion off his own,

"I can take a sabbatical and go with you. I'm from Jersey remember, we can have a great time."

Penny shook her, "How can we do that to Sheldon."

Leonard smirked, "He's a grown, something, he'll just have to rely on Amy and everyone else. It might do him some good."

Penny looked guilt ridden, "My big break comes along and it will ruin the rest of my life, that's not fair."

Leonard grabbed her hand again and didn't let go this time, "Our life is going to be just fine, we'll work it out. Just have a great screen test and we'll go from there."

"You'd really go? We could be there for months."

Leonard looked very seriously at her, "Penny you are my life now, I won't give you up."

Penny collapsed onto him burying her face in shoulder, "That even makes it harder."

Leonard held her tight, "No, if you get the part take it, you have to realize your dreams. I've realized mine."

Penny sat back, "You have?"

Leonard blushed, "Well at least one of them, I have you. I have more dreams but this one's pretty important. Besides a lot of the others involve super powers"

"Oh Sweetie"

No Mas

Leonard led the way up the stairs, Sheldon a step behind. Leonard's bag was slung over the shoulder of his khaki jacket and green hoody. Sheldon followed closely behind him in his blue windbreaker and tan pants.

"So you are saying you would take a sabbatical and move with Penny to New York for 6 to 9 months. Leonard it's true that experimental physics certainly won't miss you but what am I supposed to do while you're gone?"

Leonard tried to walk faster turning the second floor landing quickly, "You're a big boy now Sheldon, I'm sure between Amy and the guys you'll be fine."

Sheldon hurried to catch up turning up the next flight of stairs, "It's not that easy Leonard, do you realize how long it took to train you properly."


They turned up the stairs to the third floor landing, "Leonard even with a detailed roommate agreement it's been a huge effort on my part to integrate you into my routine."

Leonard looked over at him as they passed the broken elevator, "Sheldon are you saying you would miss me?"

Sheldon followed him as he started up the stairs to the fourth floor, "Of course not Leonard, I don't require human companionship you know that."

Leonard stopped, turned back then looked at him, "Sure you don't"

"Well it's nice to have someone to carry the groceries upstairs and have a rousing game of three dimensional chess with."

Sheldon's voice got lower, "I would miss you Leonard you're my best friend."

Leonard turned up the final flight to the fourth floor, "Thank you"

Leonard looked up to see Penny sitting on the stairs at the top of the landing. Her face was a mask of anger.

Burnt Bridges

Leonard looked at Penny's face and then back at Sheldon. Sheldon looked down at Penny then fear spread across his face.

"I'm not sure what Leonard has done but I was no part of it, excuse me but I have an important phone call to make."

Penny sneered at Sheldon, "Leonard didn't do anything, I did. Can I come to your guys place?"

Leonard looked concerned, "Of course, but why not go home?"

Penny got up as Leonard headed to the door. He opened it then Sheldon rushed through.

Penny followed, "Because I'm so mad I might need to break something. That would just make me madder. If it's your guys stuff, not so much"

Leonard followed her in dropping his keys in the bowl and bag on his desk. Sheldon was busy gather small breakable toys and memorabilia off his desk. He turned and started for his bedroom. He stopped short, walked to the couch grabbing the cushion from his spot then proceeded quickly down the hallway.

Penny shook her head, "Coward, ugh, why can't I control my temper?"

Leonard got Penny sat down on the couch and then sat on the coffee table looking at her, "What happened at the screen test?"

Penny sat back staring at the ceiling for a moment then looked at Leonard still clearly angry, "It was going great. I got there and went through wardrobe and makeup. They did a bunch of stills and then had me do various poses and little scenes. You know nerdy stuff, typing on the laptop on the couch really intensely while drinking a red bull. I even did one where I was supposed to be passed out on the couch clutching my laptop to my chest. The producers thought I was great, and I was. I watched the play back. Then they called for the lead actress to come in. She walks onto the set looks at me then turns to the producer and says she won't work with me. That slut bag no good"

Leonard stopped her, "Why didn't she like you?"

Penny looked at him now, "The lead actress was that whore bag who lived in 5A for a while Alicia."

Leonard looked stunned, "Oh, yeah, that might have been problem."

Penny just nodded, "Do you know what else? All the worrying we did about it being based in New York? The whole thing will be made here. We would go out for a week a couple times a year to shoot street scenes. Dammit."

Penny stood and started pacing about the room. She picked up hulk figurine off Leonard's desk. Leonard grimaced but said nothing. Penny looked as if she would throw the large green action figure when her phone rang. Penny gently placed the hulk back on Leonard's desk. She took her phone from her back pocket and answered.

"Hi I figured you'd be calling soon. As you probably figured out Alicia and I have a history."

"What, really, I'll wait to hear from my agent, thank you, thank you so much."

Leonard walked over toward Penny. She turned toward him her face was beaming and tears were starting to stream down her face.

"I got the part. They are going to recast the lead. The chemistry between Alicia and the leading man was horrible and they really loved my work. I got it. I'm going to be a star."

She wrapped Leonard in hug, "That's great Penny, you finally made it."

Sheldon's voice echoed down the hallway, "Well if anyone picks up the pilot."

Penny and Leonard's voice were like one, "Shut up Sheldon"

Episode 23 Scheduling Catalysts

Time out

Leonard sat in his chair studying the composition book in his hands. He looked up from time to time to the apartment door then shifted his view to Sheldon sitting behind his laptop. Sheldon had on his orange flash shirt with the yellow long sleeves of an undershirt showing. Leonard glanced back to the door sitting back in his tan jacket and purple hoody. He glanced at his watch then back at the door.

"Wow, Penny's really late tonight."

Sheldon looked up then back at his laptop, "That would assume I knew the normal time Penny gets home. I should be able to calculate it except she has always worked random shifts and hours. Though based on this week of her working as an actress then she would be approximately 1.24 hours late."

Sheldon paused looking off into space, "give or take 2 minutes"

Leonard grimaced and sat back in his chair, "I wasn't asking a question Sheldon, just remarking on it."

"Oh, it sounded like a question to me", he waved his hands dismissively, "Back to obsessing over Penny's punctuality habits for you then. I'm going to do some physics."

Leonard shook his head as his phone buzzed. He pulled it up and looked at it, "It's from Penny, they had the wrap party tonight for the pilot and she needs me to come get her at the studio in Burbank."

Sheldon looked up, "Too much to drink?"

Leonard shook his head as he headed for the door, "Sounds like it. I've got to go."

Sheldon looked at the door as he left, "Another reason not to get ones driver's license."

Ventura Freeway

Penny leaned over and put her head on Leonard's shoulder as he drove. She had her brown leather jacket on with a whimsical smile on her face.

"My first wrap party Leonard, I finished my first real TV acting job. It was a small party according to Chuck the producer but it was the first for almost everybody in the cast. He said we deserved it."

Leonard smiled taking his left hand off the wheel and touching her cheek on his shoulder. Penny snuggled in, "Thanks for coming to get me, I didn't drink too much but I thought I shouldn't drive anyway."

Leonard put his hand back on the wheel, "My pleasure, it would have been a pretty long drive for you anyway. It's only taken almost two hours but we're almost home."

Penny closed her eyes, "It'll be worth it, trust me."

Leonard tried to look at her sideways, "When will they know if somebody picks up the pilot."

Penny sat back up, "Chuck says they'll cut it a few different ways. Then they will add placement shots for the setting and feeling of New York. Then they will start showing it to test audiences before they give it to the networks. He said they may even do another pilot or more scenes depending on the test audiences."

"When do we get to see it?"

Penny shook her head, "We don't, though Chuck told us we'd all get a copy if it doesn't get picked up for our portfolios. He told me if the pilot doesn't get picked up he has another role in mind for me."

Leonard smiled broadly, "See you really are going to make it. Still thinking about making me sign a pre-nup?"

Penny laughed, "Oh aren't you worried about Ryan Gosling anymore."

Leonard chuckled slightly, "That's why I think I need to take you off the market soon. Are you still thinking about a date?"

Penny held her hand out. Leonard took his right hand off the wheel and took hers.

"Leonard I think we should get married at the end of summer, maybe mid-August or the first part of September."

Leonard nodded, "August it is. If the show gets picked up you'll be working anyway"

Penny smiled then looked down at her phone and her smile widened.

Peanuts and Potions

Leonard and Penny walked onto the 4th floor landing side by side. Penny then stood to the side as Leonard opened the door. It was dark inside.

Leonard stepped through the doorway, "I wonder where everybody is?"

The lights suddenly were on, "Happy Birthday Leonard"

Leonard looked shocked. Penny was standing beside him now. Her hands went around his shoulder as she leaned in and kissed him.

The apartment was full of people, all of the gang, his colleagues from work, friends from the comic book store, even Will Wheaton was back. Four or five really pretty girls were mingling with the crowd.

"Happy Birthday Leonard, I know it's not until tomorrow but the party is tonight. Look everybody's here, just like I wanted four years ago. I finally got to throw you a party you're actually at."

Leonard smiled, "Yeah and Howard didn't almost have to die to keep me busy. How did you get Sheldon to keep this a secret?"

Penny smiled, "Oh he only found out about it after you left. When everyone started showing up as you drove away."

Leonard still looked confused, "How did you know I wouldn't just tell you to take a cab?"

Penny grinned, "Oh Leonard I told you I was at a wrap party and needed a ride. No way weren't coming."

"So there was no wrap party?"

"There was actually but it was very small, just the cast and crew having a glass of champagne as the producers thanked us. The big party will be if it gets picked up. So I take it from the look on your face you were surprised. I finally got you a surprise birthday party at last."

Leonard looked puzzled, "At last?

Penny shook her head, "Think about it sweetie. The first one you missed, then you took the train trip to San Francisco during the next. Your next birthday was right after we broke up, couldn't really do it then. Then you were with Priya for the next one, thank you very much. Then last year we we're just starting over. So this was my first opportunity to make it happen for real this time."

Leonard blushed then raised and tilted his head, "Do you remember what you gave me the first time?"

Penny looked at him, "Yeah a sweater."

Leonard chuckled, "What I remember is this."

Leonard pulled her to him gently and they kissed, the sound of cat calls and woohoos filled the room.

Last Dregs

Leonard and Penny said goodbye to the last of the guests leaving the party. The last to leave was Howard and Bernadette waving as they left. Penny sat close to Leonard on the left side of the couch. Amy was in Leonard's chair looking over at Sheldon who had just sat before his laptop.

Penny kissed Leonard lightly on the cheek, "Happy birthday"

Leonard smiled brightly, "Yes it was, so who were the girls here tonight, friends of yours?"

Penny giggled, "Not exactly but to get Kripke and some of your other colleagues I had to promise some pretty girls. So I made a few calls. They were friends of friends mostly. I told them the guys at the party were nerdy producers. It was either that or strippers so I chose the out of work actresses."

Leonard considered this for a second, "Kripke did leave with one."

Penny nodded, "I think they all had a good time. Who knows one of them my find their physicist like I have."

Leonard turned and kissed her, "Have I told you today I love you?"

Penny grinned, "You're just trying to get me to say it back. I love you too, Leonard."

Sheldon suddenly looked around from his computer, "The funding came in."

Leonard smirked, "Oh wonderful, I'm still not going this time Sheldon. I don't think you can talk Raj or Howard into it either."

Penny looked surprised, "Go where"

Leonard frowned and shook his head, "Back to the North Pole. Sheldon has some new ideas about finding magnetic monopoles since the discovery of the Higgs boson."

Sheldon grinned, "I'm going to be bringing a much smaller team this time Leonard, just me and one other person."

Leonard smirked again looking over at Sheldon, "Good luck with finding that team member Sheldon."

Sheldon smiled back, "Oh but I already have. Amy is going to go with me."

Penny and Leonard's mouths suddenly fell open as they looked at Amy. She had a smile and dreamy look on her face.

"Just think of it the two of us for three months all by ourselves. He will be doing physics and I'll be studying his reactions and brain physiology."

Leonard closed his mouth then reached his hand over and gently closed Penny's by lifting her chin.


Penny snuggled into Leonard's chest her pink tank top showing above the covers. She slowly ran her hand up the chest of his white t-shirt then in a small circle.

"This isn't going to end well is it?"

Leonard looked up panicked, "Me and you?"

Penny slapped her hand on his chest, "No Amy and Sheldon going to the North Pole."

Leonard nodded, "Probably not, finding a magnetic monopole is highly unlikely. But it was a long shot the first time. Santa and the elves would be easier."

Penny shook her head, "I meant their relationship, what is a magnetic monopole anyway?"

Leonard went into scientific mode, "A magnetic monopole is predicted by string theory to be a magnet with only one pole north or south. It would be a new elemental particle. Stephen Hawking predicted they would be in black holes and other condensed matter. String theory predicts they should be found but no one has found one yet."

Penny's eyes went slightly bored, "Okay so it's half a magnet."

Leonard shook his head, "No when you cut a magnet in half you just get a new north and south pole, so two magnets. A monopole would be a net magnetic charge in one direction of force."

Penny sighed "Enough, what do you think will be the results on Amy and Sheldon's relationship?"

Leonard looked in thought, "Well Amy may come back alone and we won't ever find the frozen carcass of Sheldon. But he may not treat her like he treated us. It might really bring them together but that's not very likely."

Penny nodded, "I think you should try to talk him out of it."

Leonard shook his head, "Maybe you should talk her out of going. Sheldon has visions of a gold Nobel medal around his neck. After the last time I'm sure he'll be more difficult about it this time."

Penny just snuggled more into his shoulder, "We should both try. You and the guys on Sheldon and Bernadette and I on Amy"

Leonard smirked, "What I do for love."

Penny just smiled then closed her eyes as he reached over and turned out the lights.

Counter Factuals

Amy sat next to Sheldon on the couch. She put her hand out face up. Sheldon grimaced then took her hand in his before sitting them both down in her lap.

Amy got a small grin on her face, "So do you suppose its working?"

Sheldon got a slight grin, "Oh I would think so. I'm sure Leonard and Penny are discussing ways of talking us both out of going. In the end Leonard will see the only way for you not to go is for him to go. That will bring along Raj without a lot of trouble. I really don't need Howard along. I understand he was the one who came up with several ways of dispatching me last time. It's probably better if just the three of us go."

Amy nodded but looked unconvinced, "I don't know Sheldon. Leonard spends every night with Penny. Selene is pregnant and Raj will want to be here with her. You may have miscalculated the girlfriend effect."

Sheldon looked in thought for a moment, "I can only assume that their scientific curiosity will win out over amorous sexual desire and emotional fulfillment."

Amy continued to look unconvinced, "In my experience and reading it's usually the other way around Sheldon. Love and romance win out."

"Well you read a lot of those mushy romance novels. Leonard and Raj are scientists so I have to assume a higher calling will attract them. That and the damsel in distress scenario of you accompanying me should do the trick."

Amy settled back into the couch then leaned her head on Sheldon's shoulder. He stiffened for a moment and then relaxed reaching over and patting her hand that he held.

"I really could go with you Sheldon if this ruse of yours doesn't work."

Sheldon nodded his head, "That might present a problem. With your level of intelligence you actually might come up with a way of dispatching me with some exotic toxin or induced stroke."

Amy just smiled, "No, It would be something romantic like, a murder suicide kind of thing or a Romeo and Juliet kind of ending."

Sheldon smiled, "See my point, the wheels are already turning."

Episode 24 Expedition Excitation Season Finale

Icy Girls Night

Penny pushed the button on the blender for a few seconds and the light green slurry whirled around. She then poured the now icy green mixture into three salted glasses.

"Okay ladies, in honor of Amy's impending trip to the coldest place I can think of we have margaritas."

Penny was standing behind the kitchen counter in a light purple top. Amy approached the counter in her familiar green sweeter and grey skirt. Bernadette followed in her floral patterned pink dress and dark blue sweater on her shoulders. Amy picked up her glass and took a large sip.

Penny looked over at her, "Don't drink that too fast or you'll get a brain freeze."

Amy smiled, "I'll try to avoid sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia thank you Penny."

Penny's eyes got large, "Spheno what?"

Bernadette offered quickly, "That's the scientific term for brain freeze it means temperature induced nerve pain."

Penny nodded her head, "Oh, well you better watch for that at the North Pole."

Amy looked puzzled, "It only happens when very cold substances come in contact with your palate."

Bernadette took a sip of her margarita, "I think Penny was referring to a more literal brain freeze. Howard told me last time they were there that Sheldon was unbearable. Are you really sure about this?"

Amy smiled, "Pretty sure, though I know that I'm Sheldon's second choice. He really wants Leonard and Raj to go."

Bernadette frowned, "I'm glad he doesn't want Howie to go. He said he'd rather go back to space and he hated that."

Penny looked confused, "He hated it?"

Bernadette nodded, "He was home sick, space sick and wanted to come home the whole time. Don't tell the guys though he's pretty proud of going to space."

Penny looked over at Amy, "So Sheldon wants Leonard to go to the North Pole again. Wow, after the last time I would have thought Sheldon wouldn't even consider Leonard."

Amy looked confused. "What happened the last time?"

Penny blushed, "To keep Sheldon happy they fed him false data on his experiment, it was kind of Leonard's idea. They had a huge falling out when they got back. Sheldon actually resigned and went home to Texas. The guys went down and talked him into coming back. That was when Leonard and I got together the first time."

Amy was perplexed, "That's terrible to alter the data of an experiment. Why did they need to keep Sheldon happy?"

Penny and Bernadette both smirked at Amy. She looked at them clueless for a moment and then her eyebrows went up, "Oh I can see how that might be required."

Batman #121

All four guys stood next to boxes of comic books at the comic book store. Howard dressed in purple pants and checked matching shirt with purple turtle neck. Raj across from him was in his brown patterned sweater and khakis with a purple jacket. Leonard was beside Howard and had on his red pants and black t-shirt under his grey hoody and tan jacket. Sheldon was in his tan wind breaker the blue of his robot t-shirt underneath and brown slacks across from Leonard. They leafed through the comics without speaking.

Howard suddenly looked up, "Here's one and just the thing for you Sheldon, Batman #121, the first appearance of Mr. Freeze."

Sheldon looked up then sarcastically, "Hee Hee, I already have that one." Sheldon returned to looking through the comics in front of him.

Howard continued looking at him, "Just thought you might be interested with the trip to the North Pole coming up."

Leonard reached over and took the comic book from Howard, "I don't have it, how much is it?"

"It's the Toys R Us reprint so $15, you didn't expect it to be the 1959 edition did you?"

Leonard put the comic next to him, "Still worth having, so Sheldon are you really going to take Amy to the pole?"

Sheldon didn't look up, "What choice do I have Leonard, you and Raj aren't willing to go."

Leonard looked at Raj who kept his head down. Then at Howard who immediately smirked at him, "Remember I'm the one who wanted to tie him to the dog sled teams."

Sheldon looked over at Howard with a condescending purse of his lips, "That's why you're not even being considered this time. Your value on our first expedition was minimal at best."

Leonard looked at Sheldon, "This summer is just not a good summer for any of us Sheldon. Howard spent last summer in space. Raj and Selene are having a baby this summer."

Sheldon looked at Leonard slyly, "What about you, what are you doing this summer?

Leonard reached in his pocket and produced a piece of paper that he handed to Sheldon. Sheldon took the paper and read it out loud.

"Sheldon; This is to officially inform you that Leonard does not and will never receive my permission to go to the North Pole with you this summer or any other summer for the foreseeable future. This is my final word on the matter and I believe the best thing for both of you. Penny."

Sheldon looked up at Leonard, "It is Penny's handwriting but it doesn't sound like her."

Leonard grinned widely, "Oh I may have dictated some of it. Her original note was a little different and included a more homespun verbiage including a reference to infernal regions experiencing inclement weather."

Sheldon snorted, "So Penny has become to you what Howard's mother was to him, so who wears the pants in your relationship?"

Leonard was still grinning, "Oh we both do Sheldon. We were in total agreement that to go with you to the North Pole again would be insane. Besides Sheldon why do you think this time would be any different than the last time?"

Sheldon looked up and leaned forward, "The last time the detectors weren't calibrated properly and were too inefficient. I have a completely new design for the experiment would you like to read the paper?"

Leonard looked taken aback, "Of course, when we get home I'll be glad"

Sheldon had reached into his bag and produced a composition book, "Here's the rough draft and the equations. Let me know the parts you don't understand."


Penny sat at the table typing on her laptop. She was ready for bed in pink short pajamas and white tank top. Leonard was seated on the couch with the composition book in his hand. He was in just his Star Wars boxers and a white t-shirt. He leaned forward and set the book on the coffee table. He leaned back on the couch.


Penny looked up and over at him, "What's up sweetie, oh mom and dad say hi."

Leonard looked distracted, "Tell them I said hi. Penny this paper and experiment design by Sheldon is brilliant. If any experiment currently devised can find magnetic monopoles this would be it."

Penny looked very worried. She got up and came to sit beside Leonard on the couch. Leonard stared at the composition book on the table just shaking his head. Penny reached over and touched his face. He looked up at her surprised to see tears in her eyes.

"Leonard do you remember when you left last time you woke me up early to ask me what the snuggie and the hug meant?"

Leonard nodded, Penny did start to cry now, "It meant I didn't want you to go, but I couldn't say it to you."

Leonard pulled her close, "Don't cry Penny, I'm not going this time. I'm really not."

Penny straightened up, "You don't get it Leonard, last time I couldn't tell you how I felt. This time I feel bad about not letting you go because you know how I feel now but you won't leave me."

Leonard pulled her back to him, "Its okay Penny, I said the work was brilliant, it didn't change my mind. He's still loony tunes when he's in charge and I'm not doing that again."

Penny snuggled into him, "Okay, but what about Amy?"

Leonard shrugged and held her close.

Cafeteria Creations

Leonard, Raj and Howard sat at the table in the cafeteria with trays containing their lunch before them. Leonard looked down at the empty seat beside him.

"I wonder how Sheldon is doing and if we will hear from him soon?"

Howard looked over at the spot and took a bite of his salad, "I don't know once you're there it takes a while just to get somewhere you can come back from."

Raj shook his head slowly, "It's hard to believe that Sheldon would go back to that place."

Leonard took another bite then a sip of his water, "Well you have to do what you have to do sometimes. I'm sure he's uncomfortable there and will only stay as long as he has to."

Howard looked across the table at Leonard, "You should have gone with him Leonard. Amy won't be any real help and he could have used you there."

Leonard nodded slowly, "Maybe, Penny and I thought about both of us going along, but we just couldn't work it out."

Raj nodded, "Well Amy went along so he has her there anyway. I would have broken down if I had gone"

Leonard smirked, "We know you would have, you always do. I think we need to have your hormone levels checked."

Howard looked at Raj, "Oh yeah he would have broken down and cried just like always."

Leonard's phone buzzed and he dug it from his pocket, "That was from Penny, Sheldon and Amy are on their way home."

Raj looked up, "So Sheldon's sister is married and he and Amy survived a trip to Texas."

Howard chuckled, "I reckon so."

Leonard grimaced, "Please not the Texas accent again. I wonder how Sheldon and Amy got along on the trip. Penny and I were hoping it might convince either one or both of them not to go to the Artic."

Spot Warming

Penny wiggled into Sheldon's spot on the couch. Leonard looked over from his chair as she did so.

"You're trying to remove Sheldon butt print from the couch aren't you?"

Penny smiled mischievously, "Just trying to add my own special contours to it. Amy said the wedding went fine when she called from Texas. She said Sheldon and her were getting along great. I guess that means the North Pole trip is still on."

Leonard nodded then returned to the essay book in front of him. "I have some other brands in the fire when it comes to that. We'll see if they pan out."

Penny settled back into the couch, "Like what?"

Leonard looked up at her, "Well for starters Sheldon doesn't really want to go. He didn't want to go the last time. So I've started talking to President Siebert and our department chair about sending someone else. Sheldon could run the experiment from here once the equipment is set up and whoever they send can monitor and maintain it."

Penny nodded, "Okay is that it?"

Leonard looked up at her with a frown, "Well unfortunately President Siebert remembers the last time Sheldon was gone all summer as one of the best summers he's ever had so it's a big maybe. The second option is a little more taxing on you."

Penny sat up, "On me, how?"

Leonard sat back in his chair, "You make Amy your maid of honor and we get married in the middle of summer. Amy won't go she'll want to be here to be the maid of honor at last and have her big day."

Penny looked appalled, "I'd rather you spent the summer with Sheldon at the North Pole."

Leonard smirked back at her, "Thanks"

Penny leaned forward and touched his arm, "I'm sure a brilliant scientist like you will find a way to not let that happen."

Leonard looked in her face with a crooked grin, "Your right I've been looking at this all wrong. Why go all the way to the Arctic to murder Sheldon. I could just do it here and hide the body."

Penny laughed then gave Leonard a small leer, "Want to do it in Sheldon's spot one more time before he gets back?

Leonard grinned, "You talked me into it. But back to the prior thought do you have room in your closet for a tall thin package wrapped in plastic?"

Penny held her arms out, "Come here funny man."

Spot Shuffling

Sheldon led the way into the apartment with Amy close behind his duffle bag in his hand.

Sheldon sighed, "Oh its good to be back."

He dropped the bag and moved to his spot on the couch. He looked distraught for a second or two wiggling around and finally got comfortable.

"Leonard or Penny has been sitting in my spot, its getting better now though."

He wiggled several more times. Amy sat down in Leonard's chair, "Sheldon I'm going to go home now. It was nice meeting your mother and family."

Sheldon grinned, "Thanks for saying that, even if it is a fabrication. I'm not sure how any scientist could spend time with them. Pagan rituals, the constant praying to deities and my mother's ethnic stereotypes. You were very understanding."

Amy tilted her head with a furled brow, "I like your mom Sheldon. She made me feel very welcome. Your sister was nice and your mother's church could be a study in fringe religious psychosis. It was really rather interesting."

"It was just your first time so there was a wow factor. Try growing up in that and you'd see it differently."

"Perhaps you're right. We can have our wedding here in California and avoid that."

Sheldon looked stunned, "Wedding, we aren't going to do such an outlandish social anachronism are we."

Amy looked serenely at Sheldon, "According to both of our mothers I assume it will be required. We still have to live within societies norms Sheldon. We'll talk more about it when were in the Arctic."

Sheldon's eyes grew wide and he fidgeted for a moment in his seat.

Amy was suddenly up and walking toward the apartment's door, "I better get home. I'll Skype or text you later, goodbye Sheldon"

Sheldon watched her leave with a confused look, "Goodbye Amy"

Quantum Anxiety

Leonard and Penny turned up the last flight of stairs going to the fourth floor. Penny wrapped in her leather jacket, Leonard in his khaki jacket and green hoody. They both had on red pants though of a slightly different shade. Leonard's several shades darker.

Knock, knock, knock, "Leonard and Penny"

Leonard put out his hand to slow Penny down and they both looked around the corner of the stairs to see Sheldon. He was standing in front of Penny's door in his red flash t-shirt and brown pants.

Knock, knock, knock, "Leonard and Penny"

Leonard held very still and motioned for Penny to be quiet.

Knock, knock, knock, "Leonard and Penny"

Sheldon looked at the door, in a panicked voice, "Oh where are they, what am I going to do."

Penny shook her head she'd had enough. She stepped around the corner, "Hey Sheldon, what up?"

Sheldon jumped and almost shrieked. Leonard stepped out beside Penny scowling, "Sheldon relax, Penny just sat in your spot for a little while, it'll mold back to your butt."

Sheldon looked stunned, "She what? That's not important Leonard. You have to come with me to the North Pole if you don't something terrible will happen."

Leonard smirked, "Yeah, what will happen is Amy will probably kill you,"

Sheldon continued to look stunned, "Even worse Leonard, I'll be engaged."

Now it was Penny's turn to look stunned.

A Hot Beverage

Leonard got Sheldon to his spot on the couch. Penny took a seat in Leonard's chair. Leonard headed for the kitchen.

"I'll get you a nice cup of tea Sheldon and you can explain all this."

Sheldon looked uncomfortable and started to wiggle in his spot then glared over at Penny. Penny smiled a gloating smile at him, "So Sheldon how is it Amy will trap you into proposing to her at the North Pole."

Sheldon looked at her still glaring, "It's going to take me hours to get my spot back to being just right."

He suddenly remembered what she'd asked, "I could see it in her face. She's been working this out since I suggested it. She going to get me alone for three months and between her vast knowledge of the human brain and feminine wiles she'll get me to propose."

Leonard returned with the tea and handed the cup to Sheldon then sat on the arm of the chair next to Penny.

Penny looked over at Sheldon shaking her head, "Sheldon, Amy wouldn't do such a thing. Well I don't think she would. Okay maybe but really Sheldon you need to find somebody else to go. Leonard is staying here with me. We have our own wedding to plan and we want to spend the summer together."

Leonard looked on nodding, "Sheldon I have a plan where even you don't have to go but the experiment gets done anyway. But you'll have to make a huge compromise for the summer and the rest of the year."

Sheldon looked intrigued.

The First Week of Summer

Penny snuggled into Leonard's shoulder under the covers of her bed, "So who did they get to go to the North Pole instead of Sheldon?"

Leonard grinned, "I got Barry Kripke to go with 3 grad students. They are going to set up the experiment and Sheldon can monitor it via satellite internet over the summer."

Penny gave him a sideways glance, "Kripke doesn't even like Sheldon"

Leonard chuckled, "Well I let him pick the grad students and let him know what the emergency procedures were for when the power goes out."

Penny continued to looked puzzled, "That was it"

Leonard grinned, "Yep, that's all it took and a promise in writing from Sheldon not to communicate with President Siebert for rest of year in any way."

Polar Habitat North Pole

Barry Kripke stood behind the table in the kitchen of the polar habitat looking toward the couch in his arctic gear. On the couch were the three female grad students selected for the expedition. They were all young and lovely women dressed in arctic gear. The lights suddenly went out.

"Powur owetage wadies, wooks wike we wiwwl need to conswerve hour body wheat tonight."

This entire version in episode order rather than chapters is avaible for download on the blog.