This is a continuation of The Pasadena/Omaha Inversion. I suggest you read that story before you read this one.
The Body Snatcher Conundrum
Chapter One: The Maternal Injection
Pasadena, 2311 N. Robles Ave,.Apartment 4B. The present.
Penny had been back from Nebraska for a couple of months. Most everything was back to normal. She was back at The Cheesecake Factory. She was going to auditions and not getting the parts. She was about to go back to school again. She was behind on her rent. She hadn't paid her cable bill. And she hadn't yet begun to pay Sheldon back for paying her rent after he mother suddenly moved out.
She also hadn't had a drink since she'd returned to Pasadena.
Her dad was still doing fine in Omaha. He also wasn't drinking and he was continuing to attend AA meetings and counseling. He was actually moving on with his life after his wife had left him for Pasadena and served him with divorce papers. Which he still hadn't signed.
And she had absolutely no idea where her mom was and didn't even know where to start looking until she got an email from her that very day.
"Hi honey. Sorry I haven't been in touch. I've been really busy. I'll call soon. BTW, I'm on a new TV show that starts tonight called "It's Chemistry." Let me know what you think.
Holy crap on a cracker! Her mother was on a TV show? Penny had been working for something like that for over 10 years getting almost nothing and her mother is on a TV show!
Penny checked the listings and walked over to Apartment 4A.
"Hi Leonard. Is Sheldon here?"
"Hi Penny. Listen, can we talk? I really miss you and I really want to fix whatever the problem is so we can get back to where we were before the summer."
Penny still hadn't had the conversation with Leonard that she'd promised herself to have, though conversations were not something they had really ever done anyway. Their "relationship" was still "on pause" where she left it after his disastrous visit to Omaha and though she had been tempted to go to bed with him to relieve some stress she was proud of herself that she hadn't done that so far. Horny, but proud.
"Not now, Leonard. Is Sheldon in his room?"
While she was in Nebraska Penny had come to the realization that Sheldon was her best and closest friend. He always challenged her but supported her at the same time. He was always there for her. They did their laundry together every Saturday night even when she was back home in Omaha. Laundry time had turned into a code for the time when Sheldon and Penny were absolutely honest with each other. All the barriers came down, even Sheldon's incredibly formidable ones. Truth be told, Penny loved Sheldon, probably as much more than a friend, but she was determined not to screw up their friendship, literally. She already had a pretty good example of what a screwed up friendship looked like in Leonard.
Better still was that Sheldon's girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, self-appointed "bestie" to Penny, just loved that her boyfriend and her "bestie" were good friends. It helped keep Penny from doing anything stupid. Not drinking any more helped too.
Penny knocked on and opened Sheldon's door at the same time.
"Nobody can be in my room. Oh, it's you, Penny."
"Hi, Moonpie! Can you do me a favor tonight?"
"Only Meemaw can call me Moonpie. And I will endeavor to do you a favor if I am able."
"I got an email from my Mom saying she's on a TV show tonight, my cable is out and I'm working late."
Penny took care to bury the lede, but Sheldon picked up on it anyway.
"Would you like me to pay your cable bill?"
"No, Sheldon. I'd like you to DVR the program if you aren't DVRing anything else tonight."
"Penny, this would not be a problem if you paid your cable bill, but as I have nothing programmed for tonight I'll be able to record your program. I do hope, however, that it's not another documentary about the Jersey Shore, house with starving models or panel discussion about shoes."
"It's none of those things, Sheldon. It's a new sitcom called "It's Chemistry." I don't really know anything else other than it's on TBS at 10pm. I'm off tomorrow so we can watch it together then if you like."
"That would be acceptable. I'll see you tomorrow, Penny."
"Thanks, Moonpie. See you tomorrow."
"Only Meemaw…oh, what's the use."
Penny was already gone and didn't even acknowledge Leonard as she walked out the front door.
"I still have absolutely no idea what I did that was so wrong." Leonard said out loud.