So Penny's line in last week's episode "If I pass, I pass, if I fail, I fail," made me wonder…what would have happened if he hadn't re-written her paper? How would her class have gone? It turned into a plot bunny that would not hop away even when I tempted it with carrots and other tasty bunny food.
So anyway, setting for this: Leonard reads her paper, but doesn't re-write it or tell her that he read it. Here we go.
Penny cuddled closer to Leonard and put her lips near his ear. "Good morning!" She said brightly. Her arm was already around his stomach, so she squeezed him gently as she spoke.
He craned his neck around to see her. "Hey-y," he said, smiling. He kissed her forehead. "How'd you sleep?"
"Ah, I slept great," she said. "You?"
"I slept pretty well," Leonard said. "Until a few hours ago. Then I…I woke up."
"Aw, why'd you wake up?" She asked, sitting up and running a hand through his hair.
"Well…" Leonard looked up at her. "You know how sometimes you think of something you want to do, but you know that you can't do it, but then you can't go to sleep because you can't stop thinking about it, and you know you're doing the right thing, but it's not what you want to do?"
Penny smiled down at him. "Well, if it helps, I know what you're talking about, and believe me, you did the right thing."
Leonard frowned. "You know what I'm talking about?"
"Of course," she said. "You wanted more of this college girl, but knew that you needed to let me sleep because I have class today." She bent down and kissed him. "Right?"
Leonard looked confused for a moment, and then smiled. "Yes, yes, that's exactly what it was. I," he said, shifting his weight so he was almost into a sitting position, "just couldn't stop thinking about the sexy college girl that I slept with last night. But, you know, I couldn't do anything that would possibly affect her grade…bad or, or good, so after wandering around a bit, I resisted the temptation, came back to bed, and just pretended to be asleep."
"Well," Penny said, "my class isn't until after lunch, and I'm feeling pretty rested, so…" She put her hands on his neck as he rolled over, and kissed him as he pushed her down against the mattress.
Penny handed her paper in to the professor and headed to her seat. "So," he said, facing the class. "We're going to make a list of the issues that were covered in your papers. Who has a position that they want to share?"
Penny and several others raised their hands. Professor Robertson called on a guy in the front that looked several years younger than Penny. "I talked about how the expansion of the West kept slavery front and center in the government."
"Good!" Said Robertson, writing it on the chalkboard. "Very good. Anyone else? Yes, Jennifer?"
"My main point revolved around how the invention of the cotton gin turned what was becoming a dying practice into a booming economy."
"Good," Robertson said. "I like how you guys are picking out some of the most important points that we talked about in class and turning them into your theses. Anyone else?"
Penny's arm was hurting from being held up so long, and she was glad when Robertson finally called on her. "My viewpoint on the subject is that slavery is bad," she said.
The class burst out laughing. Penny felt her cheeks get hot as she looked around. What was so funny? She looked to the professor for clarity. His eyebrows were higher than she'd ever seen anyone's – even Leonard's.
"O-kay," the professor said. "Penny, I'm sure you're just trying to be funny, but I have limited time with you guys each week, so I'd prefer if you'd share the less obvious parts of your paper with the class."
Penny was still confused. What was wrong with her viewpoint? Slavery was bad. She swallowed. Her tactic when she was confused was to just back out, so she cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, Professor. I have an odd sense of humor on Mondays."
He nodded to her and looked at the sea of students. "Anyone else? Yes, Ben?"
Penny sank down in her seat, wishing she could be invisible. She'd spent four hours writing that paper, why had people laughed at her main point? Why did Robertson think that she was joking? Was 'slavery is bad' the wrong answer? It couldn't be…he implied that it was obvious.
Penny put a hand over her eyes. Trying to figure this out involved too much thinking. She'd done enough of that on the paper…a lot of good that had done.
But maybe it wasn't as bad as she thought. Surely once Robertson read her paper he'd see what she was talking about.