Just a missing scene from The Beta Test Initiation. Hope you all enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"So, bug report: no setting a gun off while we're kissing; it kind of kills the moment." Penny smiled when she got Leonard to laugh, though it was a strained one due to the pain. They were each sitting in one of the uncomfortable metal chairs offered by the waiting area in the emergency room. Now that the waitress had filled out a form for Leonard, she was putting all her efforts into keeping his mind off of his foot. She wasn't sure how badly he'd hurt himself; he wasn't keeled over in pain or losing consciousness, banishing any worries she'd had that the bullet had severed one of his toes from his foot when the gun had gone off and she'd first registered why Leonard was crying out in pain. Still, he kept wincing or sucking in sharp breaths, so the bullet had to have done some significant damage.
"Do you think they'll ever let us back?" Leonard asked, grinning. Penny smirked. As the two had hurried –as best they could in the state Leonard was in – to get to the car, the shooting range staff had not been shy about pointing out the very large signs all throughout the area that instructed very clearly to not point your gun away from the targets or point the gun at yourself. Penny vaguely wondered if they'd add, "Do not engage in public displays of affection while holding your gun" to the sign.
"Well, I certainly hope so, seeing as I didn't get to shoot anything!" she said in mock anger before giving him a playful nudge with her shoulder. Penny immediately regretted this when the movement jostled Leonard's foot and he winced. "Sorry!" she said quickly. Her hands moved instinctively as one went to his nearest hand and the other gripped his shoulder.
"No, it's okay," Leonard assured her, though he now seemed much more focused on the positioning of her hands than on the pain in his foot. When he turned his attention back to her, he gave her a small grin. Penny grinned back. She was actually finding it rather difficult to keep herself from smiling. It was a rather odd predicament given that they were sitting in the emergency room waiting for Leonard's gunshot wound to be examined, but something inside her was preventing her grin from dying down.
Much to Penny's surprise, and slight annoyance given how long it had taken a doctor to see about her dislocated shoulder, Leonard was called in fairly quickly. A dark skinned nurse, whose name was Althea according to the tag on her shirt, led them through a pair of large swinging doors. As they walked down the almost-too-shiny hallway, Penny noticed that the nurse kept giving them odd looks as she swept a critical eye over the forms Leonard had had to fill out.
"So, Dr. Hofstadter, you're currently suffering from a ... gunshot wound?" Her tone of voice and the way she was surveying Leonard's right foot made it clear that she found this hard to believe. While it was true that the injury wasn't visible at the moment, giving the story somewhat less credibility, Penny thought Althea was being rather unfair. There was still clearly a whole in Leonard's shoe where the bullet had pierced and, as Penny had an arm around his back to help him hobble down the hallway, he obviously couldn't walk on his foot. Perhaps too many people feeding her ridiculous stories had made the nurse so skeptical, but it wasn't as if Leonard had ever bothered her with any bizarre or impossible to believe injuries.
"Yeah," Leonard nodded, sounding slightly out of breath.
"Uh huh," she said after staring at Leonard's foot a moment longer, sounding not at all convinced. Her boyfriend (although she wasn't sure if they were going by those titles again yet – beta test buddy? But they could figure that out later) looked as though he were about to try and explain more fully, but Penny put a hand to his chest to keep him silent. The waitress doubted Althea would find that story any less ridiculous. Although the more Penny thought about the kiss and gun incident, the harder she was finding it to keep from grinning.
They were taken to a small room where they helped Leonard onto an examination table and were then instructed to wait for the doctor who'd be with them in a moment.
"Atta boy, Hofstadter," Penny said, resting a hand on his back. "Nothing gets the ladies hotter than an evening of filling out forms and hanging out in the emergency room."
Leonard laughed, grinning up at her before turning his attention to his foot. "I guess I'd better take this off," he sighed, reluctantly beginning to untie the laces of his right shoe.
Penny bit her lip when she Leonard lifted his pant leg a little, revealing his sock. "Star Wars socks?" she asked, doing her best to keep from giggling.
"Well, you know, only the best for our date," he said wryly. Leonard slipped off his shoe and visibly paled, Penny sucking in a sharp breath. The sock was soaked with blood where it covered and surrounded Leonard's pinky toe. Looking as though it was the last thing he wanted to do, the experimental physicist gingerly removed the sock from his foot. It wasn't as bad as the blood stained garment made it look. The pinky toe was quite bloody, but the rest of Leonard's foot remained unharmed and everything appeared intact.
"Well that doesn't look too bad," Penny said comfortingly, rubbing her hand up and down his back. "At worst, you might need stitches." But as Penny knew, and the look on Leonard's face confirmed it, stitches were a very grim worst case scenario for the experimental physicist.
Before the waitress could think of anything else to say that might comfort Leonard, the doctor entered the room, a middle aged man with greying hair, glasses, and a Russian accent. Thinking quickly, Penny snatched the blood soaked Star Wars sock and stuffed it into her purse before the man could notice. She beamed at the grateful glance Leonard gave her.
"So, you shot yourself in the foot, eh?" The doctor crouched down to get a better look at Leonard's toe.
As opposed to answering, Leonard merely tipped his head back to lean against the wall. His breaths were coming in very fast now and he looked like he was starting to sweat. Penny squeezed his arm with her free hand. "How many stitches am I going to need?" he asked breathlessly.
"Mm," he said thoughtfully. "One – "
"Oh, God, one stitch?" Leonard asked, his voice unusually high, his face going even paler.
"Nope." The doctor reached into the pocket of his lab coat. "One band-aid." He produced a small band-aid and then quickly wrapped it around Leonard's toe.
"Oh," he said, his voice still quite squeaky, though the colour was returning to his cheeks.
Leonard turned his attention to the plain, white wall across from the examination table, seeming determined not to meet Penny's gaze. And Penny smiled. When he finally looked up and gave her a sheepish grin, she kept on smiling, handing him back his Star Wars socks, an action that seemed to intensify the grin. Her smile persisted as they left the hospital and drove home; by the time they'd returned home and were talking outside of 4A, it was lighting up her whole face. And then when she kissed him for the second time that day, a lingering kiss goodnight ... well there was no use fighting it after that. But then, what did she expect? She was happier than she'd been in a long time. Things were looking good.