Sheldon knows it's on him. On his pride, his hubris, and his inability to distinguish genuine human behavior from it's identical false mockery. He's always thought Leonard was truly his friend. Now he knows how wrong he's been all this time.
The knowledge burns almost as much as the initial betrayal.
The mocking he receives at the hands of his colleagues certainly doesn't help. He's received a certain level of it since he was introduced to his first peer group, and he has long since accepted it as a fact of life. The people at the university can try, but children are much more naturally talented when it comes to cruelty. Even their scorn of his intellectual property won't live up to the steady physical torture his childhood bullies inflicted. Words, venomous or otherwise, do not leave week long bruises or dog pop stains on his clothes. So while the constant mocking bothers him, it's hardly the first time he's weathered this particular storm. He's more upset that he missed comic con and the new Star Trek movie.
Knowing that the scientific community might never take him seriously about theoretical physics again once his blunder becomes common knowledge? That hurts.
But nothing compares to the true agony of it. Of almost having his Nobel. The one concrete goal that's eluded him thus far in life, snatched from his very finger tips. That is true pain.
Sheldon has been working towards his Nobel prize since he'd finished potty training. It is his singular most beloved dream. The only widely accepted comfort for being as far removed and yet so intrinsically linked to humanity as he is.
And now that dream might be gone. Because he'd thought he'd be the person who proved the validity of String Theory and he'd been wrong.
Once the thought dawns, once he feels the crushing weight of it in his chest, it's all he can do to flee.
Penny doesn't know what the big deal is. So Leonard screwed up some experiment. He saved the important stuff, he'd assured them. They had just tricked Sheldon a little, or from the way he was reacting to it, a lot. It was a dick move, but guys were always like that with each other. The liked to mess around, pull pranks. It sucked that Sheldon was over reacting as usual, but there was no way it was that big a deal, right?
What did she know? She wasn't a scientist. She just wanted Sheldon and Leonard to make up so that she didn't feel like a heel for having sex with Leonard after he'd screwed over his best friend. One of her best friends. Quirky and down right bizarre as Sheldon was most of the time.
It's been four months. She's all but vibrating out of her skin, she's so horny.
And Leonard's usually such a sweetie. She wants to date a nice guy for once. Even if he hasn't been acting like a nice guy at all. It might actually help his case. She's always more drawn to the jerks. Guys like Kurt, or hell, even Sheldon, at first. Before she'd gotten the memo that he was a robot on top of someone with no social skills.
And now with the running away to Texas bit messing with her image of him as a Shel-bot, it's surprisingly difficult to shove the initial spark of interest back into the iron box she's learned to force it into.
She just hopes everything's fine again when they get back.
She still can't believe the pie didn't fix it. It's the best Pie she's found in all of California. And while she hadn't really had the cash for it, smoothing things over with Sheldon was worth cutting down on beer for a few weeks.
Being in his mothers house again puts things back into perspective.
For all of California's current faults, he's never been half as miserable there as he has been in Texas. He loves his mother. But he fears her nearly as much as well. The Cooper women are not people who one trifles with. And there is a reason his parent's sent him away as quickly as they could.
Galveston Texas is not the kind of place where a scientific mind is beneficial. He'd been beaten up for believing in evolution more than once. To say nothing of the time some of the older boys tried to burn him as a witch.
They had been dark times.
Compared to that, trashing his scientific integrity means nothing.
He will never trust any of them in a scientific venture again. But there is nothing to be gained from open animosity. Perhaps conducting his insect study in conjunction with his slushy machine on Leonard will make him feel better.
If nothing else, he needs to return to Pasadena to ask Penny where she had procured that pie. It had been incredibly tasty.
So this was my take on the whole artic thing. Shenny slanted because I have no self control. But people who were all 'he was overacting'can I please say;'No shit!'. It may have not been a big deal to Leonard and the others, but it was a big fucking deal to Sheldon. So Sheldon gets to decide how upset he is and what his reaction to it would be. He could have cut off all communication with all of them and it would have been perfectly understandable. Penny has no frame of reference for how big a deal it actually was, just like most of us, as we aren't in academia. She just went along with the majority, and did her best to help.
So I can use it as a plot device in any fic I write any fucking way I want. End of story.
The thing about writing fanfiction is that you're only afforded glimpses into your fandom. You might see the high lights of a few days, weeks, moths, years, and the rest of that unsaid time, those expressions and allusions that make references to things we haven't seen, like a characters thought process are all fertile ground to mess around in. And as it's fan-FICTION we totally can. It's why I love this shit.
Sorry I haven't been updating. Shit is going down IRL and the only reason I'm posting this is cuz it was mostly finished anyway. And I almost didn't since I couldn't find it. My TBBT fanfic folder is a monster of epic proportions. Thank you for taking the time to read, especially if you leave me a review. I can seriously use some positive feed back at the moment. Thanks for being awesome!