"I just don't wanna be forced to say it," she explained when Leonard asked why she had thrown Raj out. "It's something I wanna say when I want to, not when I'm being pressured into it."

"We've been together on and off for years now. You've had plenty of times to say it without being pressured!"

"I have not, because all of that time there's been a silent pressure to be with you because you're there, and you're nice, and you want me," Penny's voice was a crescendo, getting steadily louder and more hysterical. "And of course it's you because you're the normal one, and it's nice to get the nice guy, and it's good to feel wanted, but I can't say it because I don't mean it!" She yelled the last part, tears running down her face, and everyone on the floors above and below heard it and hoped it was the end. Because even they could see that it was doomed from the start.

Silence. Then,

"You…don't love me?" Leonard's gaze was on his Green Lantern Converse.

Penny, unable to look at him either, kept her eyes closed. "No, sweetie," she whispered through her tears. "Not the way you want me to." Because that feeling is reserved for your best friend.

Penny wiped her tears, kissed Leonard on the forehead, and left 4A.

It felt like the forever kind of goodbye.


A/N: Wrote this real quick-like on Tumblr cuz I needed a Lenny breakup.