THE MENDACITY REVELATION
Show Disclaimer: I don't own The Big Bang Theory or any of its fabulous characters. If I did, we would have seen a SIK (Sheldon-Initiated Kiss) this season and a classic 1955 refurbished and customized black Ford Thunderbird would be parked in my garage.
Author's Disclaimer: This story takes place after the Season 6 Finale and has nothing to do with anything else I've written as of yet. (You know the drill.) It also has nothing to do with Season 7. As usual, I'm just getting these narratives out of my head before I go insane and start mumbling to myself at the grocery store.
Hmm … Could be too late.
Chapter One: Surprise, Surprise, Surprise
"Leonard's been back for a week, and Sheldon hasn't communicated with me once outside of the twice-daily text messages mandated by the relationship agreement. It's like, the second his roommate returned, I became chopped liver. All the time we spent together for the last few months, all the progress we made, all the intimacy I thought we'd gained, it's just gone. I don't understand," Amy complained as she scrupulously sheared the gray matter hemisphere in front of her into thin pieces.
"Do we have to talk about this while you're doing … that?" Penny asked, her usual tan skin tinged a sickly green.
Amy looked from her work to her best friend, confused. "It's just a brain. It's not like there's blood all over the place."
Sickly green turned ashen. "It's still disgusting, Ames."
"No, it's heroic. This brain belonged to a man who donated his body so that science can uncover a way to cure the illness that took his life. Alzheimer's disease is detrimental not only to those who have it, but also their loved ones. By doing this, I and my colleagues will be able to learn more about the disease and how it manifests, which will one day help us to discover how to eradicate it completely."
"Yeah, but you're hacking into that brain like you're a sushi chef at the Mighty Wok. All that's missing is you waving a knife in my direction asking if I want extra wasabi."
"Sushi. Yum. Sounds good," Amy said with a grin. "You ready for lunch?"
"Not anymore." Penny gave a delicate shudder as she looked away from the specimen tray. "Next time we decide to have lunch together, remind me to meet you in the parking lot."
Amy laughed and shot a quick glance at her watch. "I can cut out now, if you like. Where would you like to eat?"
"How about we head over to Caltech to see the boys and have a surprise lunch with them? I can see Leonard, and you can see Sheldon. If you're in his face, he can hardly ignore you, right?"
"Your logic is sound. Let me change out of my lab coat and get my purse. I'll text Sheldon, and we can be on our way."
"Why are you texting him?"
That stopped Amy in her tracks. "I'm going to let him know when to expect our arrival."
Her blonde bestie rolled her eyes. "It'll hardly be a surprise lunch if they know we're coming."
"Again," Amy said with a heavy nod, "I cannot fault your logic. You're really on a roll today. Perhaps you should visit my lab more often as it seems to have heightened your usual subpar intelligence by several IQ points."
Penny frowned. "I'm pretty sure you just insulted me, but, because I'm ready to get far away from that brain you're carving into like a Sunday ham, I'm going to pretend there's a compliment in there somewhere."
"There were two, actually."
"Cool," she said, slipping on her sunglasses. "Let's go."
Once they reached Caltech, the women split up, agreeing to rendezvous in the cafeteria in twenty minutes with the boyfriends in tow. As Amy got closer to Sheldon's office, nervousness knots formed in her stomach. She was being ridiculous, of course. I'll be fine once I see him.
Knocking on his door, she waited. When a second knock went unanswered and then a third, she peeked her head inside only to find it empty. His laptop was gone as was his favorite red dry erase marker. He's got to be working elsewhere today, she surmised. As she knew his assistant Alex was off for the rest of the week due to a death in the family, she decided to go down to Leonard's office to see if he might now where his roommate was.
When she got there, she found Leonard and Penny wrapped in an amorous embrace. She was astonished to be struck with a shot of restlessness and jealousy. It wasn't as if she was enamored of Leonard or even that she had romantic feelings for her bestie—although she could certainly see the blonde beauty's appeal in that area. Yet, just watching these two kiss made her stomach cramp painfully and her mind sway towards a memory she'd replayed so much lately that she was close to considering herself pathetic.
She shoved all of that aside to focus on her core objective, which was finding her boyfriend. It took clearing her throat twice before she was able to break the lovebirds apart.
"Amy?" Leonard asked. "What are you doing here?"
Penny giggled, wiping at the lipstick currently smeared all over his face. "Sorry, sweetie. My bad. I never got to that part, did I? Amy came with me to surprise Sheldon. We're both having lunch with you guys today."
"Great!" Leonard said, tightening his grip on his girlfriend's waist.
Ever since he'd gotten back from his four-month research trip, he'd barely seemed able to let Penny out of his sight. Amy remembered the night he'd arrived. They'd thrown him a surprise, welcome-home party. Everyone had been there, but Leonard had eyes only for his lover. He and Penny hadn't been able to keep their hands off of each other. Their passion, devotion and affection as a couple was palpable. This once again brought Amy's banished memory to the surface as well as a feeling of resentment and longing.
She shook her head, trying to rid herself of all of it. "Looks like the surprise is on me. I went to Sheldon's office to get him, but he doesn't seem to be working there today. Did he go home early or something?" Just my luck if he did.
Leonard shook his head. "It's Tuesday. That means he'll be in Kripke's office."
"Kripke's office? I thought they were finishing up their joint project in Sheldon's office."
"They were, but after Sheldon refused to allow Kripke to use any of his markers, write on his whiteboard or even sit anywhere in the office, Gablehauser had to intervene. They were wasting more time fighting than they were getting any work done. Now, they have to alternate offices and share all supplies until the final proposal is written and submitted—on threat of immediate firing. It's due on Friday. Yesterday, they worked in Sheldon's office. Today is Kripke's."
Sheldon, of course, had told her how much he reviled having to work with his nemesis over the summer. He'd even mentioned that their joint proposal was due on Friday. But he hadn't said anything about alternating offices. It really has been too long since we've had a nice, long talk, she thought. Clearly, Sheldon is suffering and is in need of my guidance. She loved times like these. While others saw Sheldon's little personality quirks as frustrating, she saw them as a challenge. An adorable challenge. Plus, it was one of the few times when she actually got to act like a real girlfriend. He needed her, and she was able to fulfill that need. The longing and resentment from before vanished, replaced with an enthusiastic determination to be of service to her chosen mate.
"I can show you the way, if you like," Leonard offered.
"No. Just give me directions. I can find my way there. This will give you two a little more alone time."
Leonard smiled, obviously grateful. "Thanks, Amy. You're the best. Word of warning though, Sheldon's been in a mood the last couple of days." He frowned like something had just occurred to him. "I'd blame it on this project with Kripke, but, honestly, Sheldon's been pretty off since I got home. Well, you know, more off than usual."
"It's OK," she assured. "I can handle him."
A few minutes later, Amy was traversing unknown corridors. She idly wondered if Sheldon would be as happy to see her as Leonard was to see Penny. After all, they hadn't been in each other's physical company in over a week. This, after having spent the last few months in almost constant contact. Leonard's departure had opened up a space in Sheldon's life that Amy had been thrilled to fill. He depended on her more. He talked to her more. He asked for her advice more. He wanted her physical company more. It was paradise. There were even a few times when she had spent the night at Sheldon's place—in Leonard's room, of course. But as it was still a sleepover at her boyfriend's apartment, she counted it as a milestone on their relationship timetable.
It had felt like they were like all the other couples. Her mind wandered back to their last night together. The party. They had traded smiles and lots of long looks. She'd even managed to get him to dance with her—only once and it had to be an up-tempo number so they could cha-cha. Yet, that one moment had been bliss. Everyone's eyes were on them as she had moved about the room in his arms. Later, they'd sat on the couch together talking while those around them drank and cavorted themselves into oblivion. He'd even held her hand. Of course, that was so she could step over Raj, who had passed out in the doorway. But it still counted. Moreover, Sheldon had walked her to her car. She'd had to request it of him, but he'd still done it. He could have declined.
Finally, like chocolate sprinkles on a sundae, there was her favorite part of the evening, the lovely goodbye at the car. She sighed. Perfection.
Then, within a few days, it was all gone. She'd felt like Cinderella in rags with nothing but a bunch of mice and a smashed pumpkin to show for her night at the ball. Sheldon's communications became brief and were little more than a few obligatory sentences asking after her well-being or informing her of some trivial detail of his day. His usual wit and humor were nowhere to be found. When she'd asked if he was all right, he claimed to be fine. When she asked to see him, he had no time in his schedule to fit her in. When she offered to Skype him, he said he had to work, citing his impending deadline. Sometimes, she wondered if that time before Leonard's return had been nothing more than a dream.
I need to talk to him about this. But not today. Today is about surprises and lunch with my boyfriend. Don't push him. Keep it light, and my little Sheldon will come out of his shell. She smiled at her own wit. It made her feel better.
Even though she knew her boyfriend didn't particularly like surprises, she was hoping he might at least be happy to see her. A small smile. That was all she needed. Something to show he'd missed her presence in his life. That would be enough to sustain her and give her the patience to wait for Sheldon to make the adjustments he clearly needed to make. There was a lot of change happening in his life right now. Of course he wasn't taking it well. When had he ever dealt with change well? Yes, once he worked this out, he would talk to her and they would be good as new.
She turned the final corridor. According to Leonard, Kripke's office was the last door on the right. Amy shuddered to think she would have to be in the same room as Sheldon's archenemy. Not only was the man vile simply because he was her boyfriend's nemesis, but his bizarre, Elmer Fudd-like accent drove Amy to distraction and his inflated arrogance made her want to lock him in a cage with a bunch of cocaine-addicted monkeys looking for a fix. Most recently, she'd seen him at Leonard's party, where he wouldn't stop sending her vile winks from across the room like he was trying to remind her of some inside joke they shared. She'd ignored him, deciding to focus more on the party and her boyfriend than his obviously deviant coworker.
Now I have to see him again. The things we do for those we care for, she thought with a regretful smile.
Kripke's door was cracked open a good two inches and, from the abundance of noise coming out of that trifling space, it was apparent the occupants of the office were engaged in a verbal sparring of some kind. Amy couldn't help her excitement at this development. Nothing made her happier than seeing her man put a half-wit like Kripke in his proverbial place.
"The equation is sloppy, and this negative should be a positive. How on earth can you believe otherwise?" she heard Sheldon exclaim.
"It's suppowsed to be a negative. Owerwise, da eqwation doewn't bawance." Kripke's lisp made it hard for Amy to understand his words, but she was able to get the gist.
"It does balance if you change this to a positive and divide both sides by R squared."
"Reawy? And how did you figwure dat owut?"
"I've been figuring equations like this out since you were learning how to spell the word 'equation'."
"I'm fiwe yeawrs owder dan you!"
"Yes, and I started college when I was eleven. What's your point? You're still wrong about the equation. Oh, and you misspelled three words in the draft proposal you wrote. I threw it out and started over. You'll find a draft copy over there."
There was a loud groan. "Whatewer, Cwooper. Wook, I know aww dat time spent wiff you'wre gwirlfrwiend makes you a big man on campus, but youw're still wrong herwe. Dat's suppowsed to be a negative."
"Well, if my girlfriend were here, even she would tell you that this should be a positive, and she's a neurobiologist!"
Amy felt a little thrill at having her boyfriend mention her like this—even though she knew his words weren't necessarily complimentary towards her. It still meant something that he was talking about her to his colleagues at work. In what instances had he brought her up? After all, Sheldon was an intensely private man. He must be proud to be dating her indeed if someone like Kripke knew about her.
And what did he mean about Sheldon's reputation being a "big man on campus" because he had a girlfriend? Was it really so hard for a physicist to get a girlfriend or was it something about her? Amy, of course, knew several of the neurobiologists here at Caltech. They had worked together on projects before and, from time to time, lent specimens to each other to study. Maybe my stellar reputation at UCLA has worked its way over here. It made sense. After all, she was a distinguished researcher in the field of neurobiology. She had made the cover of Neuron twice—most recently over the summer—for her work in various studies. The fact that someone of her caliber was dating someone of Sheldon's superior intellect was guaranteed of turn a head or two.
She smiled. Penny had once called her and Sheldon "Pasadena's favorite power couple." Amy knew her friend had been joking at the time, but maybe there was some truth to that, after all. When two people like she and Sheldon were dating, people in the scientific community were bound to notice. She loved that people here were already talking about them and, because of that, Sheldon's reputation had enjoyed a significant boost.
She started forward, intent on pushing the door all the way open so the men would have no choice but to stop arguing when they noticed her. No doubt, seeing Sheldon's girlfriend in person would humble Kripke into leaving the room. Amy grinned, loving her newfound power. However, as she was reaching up to touch the door, Kripke gave a peculiar little cackle and spoke again.
"Youw're so buwsy pweasing youw're woman in da bedroom, I doubt swhe'd even know dere was an eqwation on da board, much wess how to solwe it. Am I wight?" He cackled again.
Amy's brow quirked. Did he really just say what I think he said? Where did he get that idea? But, even as she thought this, it occurred to her that she had been dating her boyfriend for nearly two years. Most couples in their position would have enjoyed coitus many times over by now. It was natural for people to assume this.
She waited, knowing Sheldon was about to correct Kripke's misconception straight away. It was embarrassing that he would have to do that, but Sheldon was honest to a fault. Besides, he'd see it as defending the honor of his girlfriend. It was hard to be angry at him when one thought of it that way.
"That's the first thing you've been right about all day," Sheldon replied. "Now, can we get back to work?"
Sheldon didn't correct him. He let him think … Oh my God. He didn't correct him!
"Cw'mon, Cwooper. Youw're da wadies man. Spwill all the nawty bedroom details. Did you gwive it to her nasty wast night?"
"I gave it to Amy in the most hygienic way possible, I assure you."
"I don't ewen know what dat means, but I wove it!"
Kripke laughed. Sheldon sighed. Amy collapsed against the wall.
It was like her brain was stuck in neutral. Did he just … ? I can't even … How is this possible? I must have misheard. What. Just. Happened?
"Youw newer told me. Does youwr giwrlfrwiend wike teddies?"
"Amy's not into stuffed animals."
"No, I mean wingerie. You know, wike cwotchless panties and see-thrwough nighties."
"Crotchless panties?" Sheldon countered. "What is the point of wearing panties without a crotch?"
Kripke guffawed like Sheldon had told the best joke ever. "Oh, I gwet it. Youw're probabwy a simple man. You just wike her naked, am I wight?"
There was a long pause before Sheldon answered. "Yes. The quicker she is without clothes, the quicker we can exchange bodily fluids, sweat all over each other, and make pleas to a deity neither of us believe in. It's great. Best thing ever. Now, can we get back to work?"
That was the end of the enough. Amy stomped into the room. The two men had their backs to her as they were staring at a large whiteboard.
"Actually," she snapped, "I prefer flannel when it comes to sleepwear."
Both of them whirled around, startled. She probably would have taken a moment to enjoy that had she not been so furious and mortified. As it was, she was too busy trying to decide which one she wanted to dispatch first. Krikpe helped make that decision for her.
"Youw're busted, duwde."
Her eyes zeroed in on the lisping physicist. "Tell me, Dr. Kripke. Is your own love life so deprived that you find the need to pester Sheldon about his?" She smirked as a fresh swell of redness flushed his cheeks. "Nevermind. I can smell your desperation from over here." She turned to glower at her boyfriend, who was having a hard time returning her gaze. "Will you excuse Sheldon and me? We have a few things we need to discuss."
"Dis is my owffice," Kripke complained.
One glare from Amy had him scrambling for the door. "You know what? It's wunchtime. See you wayter, Cwooper."
Then, the sound of the door closing behind Kripke told her she was alone with Sheldon. It was the first time in exactly ten days, and it was all Amy could do to even look at him. Most of her wanted to slap him across his too-handsome face and never see him again. However, the logical side of her, begged her to be a little more patient. There had to be an explanation.
There had to be. There better be.
"Hello, Amy," Sheldon said, matter-of-factly. "What are you doing here?" There was a touch of circumspection in his expression, but nothing else about him indicated that he was at all upset by what she'd clearly overheard.
"Penny and I thought we would surprise you and Leonard for lunch."
"I don't like surprises," he announced before turning back to the whiteboard. He erased a negative sign, and then stared at the board as though his life depended on it.
Really? That's all I'm going to get? The desire to throw a fit worthy of an Academy Award and storm out became too much, but she held off. He owed her an explanation, and she wasn't leaving until she had it.
"You have five minutes to explain, Sheldon Lee Cooper, before I leave," she said, taking a seat in the chair in front of Kripke's small, brown desk. "Make it good."
His spine straightened with a snap, but, other than that, he seemed unruffled. "There's nothing to explain. You're making more out of this than it is. It's merely Kripke being Kripke."
Before she could answer, there was timid knock at the door.
"Come," Sheldon called, finally pivoting from his beloved board. A raven-haired beauty with a bouncy pony tail, a trim waist, and large breasts came into the room carrying a tray of food.
"I got everything you requested, Dr. Cooper," she said, working quickly to lay everything out on Kripke's desk. Amy couldn't help but be impressed by the girl's attention to detail. She'd even brought a table cloth.
"The lettuce is shredded, not chopped?"
"The tomatoes were diced, not wedged?"
"The hamburger meat was fried today, not leftover from yesterday?"
"I watched them fry it, and I checked the expiration date on the sour cream myself. Your taco salad is as perfect as I can make it." She fixed everything on the desk and, once he took a seat, the girl fussed around him, even handing him a cloth napkin. "Is there anything else you need?"
"That is all," Sheldon said, coating his hands in Purell thoroughly and working it in before he focused his attention on his meal. "You may go."
The girl leaned over his shoulder, deliberately brushing her breast against his back. "Can I stay to watch you work? I can tell you're on the brink of making a legendary discovery. And to say that I, Candace Montgomery, was here the day Sheldon Cooper made his breakthrough, it would be a real honor."
"You can step away from my back. I prefer not to be touched while I eat," he retorted. The girl immediately jumped back and bowed her head in submission. Sheldon peeked up at his girlfriend—as if to see what she was making of all of this. She arched a defiant eyebrow at him and waited.
Noting this, Sheldon gulped. "As for your request, Candace, it is denied."
"But—" the girl started.
"He said no," Amy said.
Candace's head jerked up. "Who are you?"
Amy nodded to Sheldon. "For the moment, I'm his girlfriend. However, if you don't get out of here, I'm going to be your worst nightmare." She dropped her purse next to her chair and deliberately cracked her knuckles the way Penny did before she was about to throw down with some bar trash.
Candace looked at Sheldon, but he was too busy staring at Amy, fascinated. Obviously realizing she had no help here, the girl beat a hasty exit, making sure to remind Sheldon she'd put the Red Vines he'd requested on his desk back in his office.
"That was rude, Amy. I would expect better manners from you," he pointed out, folding his napkin delicately over his lap.
"You have two minutes to explain that conversation with Kripke, Sheldon. While you're at it, you should explain Candace as well."
Sheldon rested his hands on the desk and looked at her. "If you want to eat with me, I suggest you go get something from the cafeteria. If you like, I can call Candace back to bring you something."
He frowned. "Fine. I will wait for you. I caution, however, that I'll only postpone the commencement of my meal by up to eight minutes. Any more than that and this salad will be inedible."
"One minutes, forty-nine seconds. Start talking."
It was his turn to arch an eyebrow at her. Their gazes locked on each other. It was the staring contest to end all staring contests. Neither participant seemed willing to give in—until Sheldon finally did.
"Amy, this is ridiculous," he said, glancing away.
"One minute, three seconds. If I don't have my explanation, your life is about to drastically change."
His eyes locked with her again as he caught her meaning. There was no mistaking it. For the first time, she could see the fear flashing in his blue orbs. "Y-y-you don't mean that," he stammered.
Good, she thought. He should be afraid. Very, very afraid. Crossing her arms over her chest, she settled back into her chair and said, "Watch me."
A/N: Hang on to your tiaras, people. This is gonna be one bumpy, drama-infused, cliffhanger-inducing, funny (hopefully), oh-no-she-didn't, old-fashioned rollercoaster ride. More to come, and feel free to drop me a review every now and again. (Please.) They're always much appreciated. I'm here to entertain (and to feed my own eccentricities). Here's hoping I'm successful at doing both.