Apartment 4B Late Sunday Afternoon
Leonard felt sullen and looked it. He sat in his chair waiting for Sheldon and Amy to return from their latest foray into dating. Leonard cleaned his glasses with a soft cloth and stared at the door to apartment 4A wondering what to do about his relationship with Penny. Things had gotten back to a more even keel after his rather miss timed proposal of marriage to her. They hadn’t been back to bed but had started to spend some time together again.
Leonard put his glasses on the coffee table and slapped himself several times on the forehead. Tears ran down his face, he’d actually hurt himself with the last one. How could a supposed genius be so stupid sometimes? You would think he would have learned from the now infamous I love you after sex dammit you would think that he would have learned. He knew he just couldn’t help himself. He did love Penny what was wrong with that and he did want to marry her. Leonard put his glasses back on after wiping his eyes. Then he pushed himself up from the chair and started to pace toward the kitchen.
He heard the door open as he said, “Way to make it weird again Hoftstader you incredible dork.”
Leonard turned to see Penny standing in the door. She had on her uniform from work and had a twisted grin on her face. Leonard’s mind went to a strange place suddenly.
“Penny why is it every other Cheesecake Factory I’ve ever been to has the wait staff just wear white pants and a dress shirt and yours has this weird get up. The yellow vest and denim skirt what’s up with that?”
Penny looked taken aback, “I thought we were talking about you making things weird again? Where the hell did that come from?”
Leonard just shook his head, “Oh no, just answer the question, and how about the inside of your restaurant? Where are all the fancy columns and motifs that the one in Arcadia has? I’m just saying it’s weird.”
Leonard could tell she was getting pissed now maybe that was what was required. He relented though, “I’m sorry about making it weird again okay, it was my fault I’m not going to try an explain my way out of it anymore. I guess the only thing I can say is I feel the way I feel and I’m not good at expressing it and my timing sucks.”
Penny had a rather rueful smirk on her face now but it softened after a moment. She walked over to Leonard and placed her hand on his face. Penny kissed his lips very softly his hand moving toward her as she turned away.
Penny walked toward the door and looked over her shoulder, “I’ll let it go if you will were not weird anymore, okay?”
Leonard just nodded and closed the door behind her as she left.
Penny closed the door behind her throwing her purse on the coffee table and flopping down on the couch. She hoped that this thing with Leonard and the proposal was over. It kept hanging there between them. It was like that bad tuna sandwich in the fridge you’d forget about it until you opened the door again. Speaking of which that damn sandwich was still in her fridge she really needed to clean that out. Penny got up and grabbed the bottle of red wine from the top of the fridge, good thing it was a screw top she thought. She opened the bottle and poured a full glass in a wine glass she pulled from the cupboard.
Penny sat back down on the couch and took a large sip of wine and then looked at the hideous portrait of her and Amy on the wall. She thought about the fact that maybe she was the weird one. Leonard had asked something at a very inappropriate time but Christ I can’t even tell him I love him. I know he won’t tell me again now not after the breakup and now this marriage proposal during sex. What made it even worse was the sex was great up until then. Penny kicked off her shoes and heard her phone beep.
She leaned forward rummaging around in her purse and found the phone. It was a text from Bernadette. She’d been pretty clingy since Howard had gone into space but that’s what friends are for. The text sent a chill through her.
“Penny I just talked to Raj, Priya is back in town. Raj says she’s here to see Leonard”
Penny just looked at her phone. All the jokes she’d made about Leonard leaving her suddenly came back to her. The smirks and laughing it off now became very trite. Priya was a beautiful successful college educated woman. They’d never even talked about her. Penny had no idea how Leonard felt about her. He had been devastated when she had fooled around on him. Then there was the whole Raj and Penny in his bed incident right then also. Penny went back to how she felt the whole time Priya and Leonard were dating, missing him, regretting taking him for granted.
Penny made her mind up and stood from the couch draining the glass of wine and headed for the door.
Apartment 4A Still Late Sunday Afternoon
Leonard was back in his chair thumbing through his latest copy of Nature. He still wasn’t sure what was going on. She said it wasn’t weird anymore but it still felt like it to him. The door opened and he looked up over his glasses. Penny was standing there still in her uniform but without her shoes or purse. She looked at him and walked toward him. Leonard sat up in the chair perplexed. Penny held out her hand to him, “Okay so it’s a not the normal Cheesecake Factory uniform so come help me take it off.”
Leonard took her hand and stood as she led him down the hallway.
Penny snuggled into Leonard’s arms the blue comforter on his bed wrapped around them both. Leonard was breathing shallowly trying to catch his breath. Penny reached over to the night stand and handed him his inhaler. Leonard took two quick puffs and laid the inhaler on the bed beside him.
“Feeling better honey?”
Leonard just nodded and kissed her head. Penny’s smile covered her face she was comfortable and felt safe. The time had come, finally the time had come. Without looking at him she spoke.
“Leonard I know you love me, I need you to know I love you too. When Howard is back and things are back to normal you can ask me to marry you again. But it has to be somewhere special with a ring and on one knee and the whole bit.”
Penny waited for him to respond, but instead he rolled into her and started kissing her. In fact he hadn’t said a word during their entire love making earlier. He was certainly ready to go again now and she went with it.
Apartment 4A Late Evening
Penny walked stealthily down the hallway in one of Leonard’s blue dress shirts her uniform draped over her arm. She had waited until she heard Sheldon go to bed before making her exit. Leonard was asleep and pretty exhausted after the last time. Penny had no idea when she came over he was going to keep her up so late. She had the morning shift tomorrow and had to get up. Leonard had never said anything to her admission of love she still was wondering what to think. Did he know Priya was coming? Had she missed her chance? Penny felt suddenly very teary.
Penny entered her apartment and was surprised to see Bernadette curled up on her couch. The little blonde was awake and sipping on a glass of Penny’s red wine. The portrait on the wall with her and Amy covered with a blanket.
“Hi honey what are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you, were you with Leonard?”
Penny nodded and tried to smile, “Yeah, I finally told him I loved him tonight and everything.”
Bernadette nodded and smiled, “How’d he take it what did he say?”
Penny shook her head, “Nothing it just got hot and heavy again afterward he rolled over and went to sleep. Do you think he knows Priya is here?”
Bernadette giggled, “Priya’s not her Penny and she’s not coming as far as I know but Raj and I figured we needed to do something to move you two along. Looks like it worked.”
Penny was really shocked, why hadn’t Leonard told her he loved her too. She was about to flop down on the couch when there was a knock at the door. Penny turned and opened the door to see Leonard in his old red robe.
He reached over and pulled her into his arms. Penny felt his lips on hers and kissed him back passionately pulling him into the apartment.
Leonard pulled back and finally caught his breath, “I love you too Penny I always have.”
Penny hugged him again tightly, “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
Leonard pulled back to look at her, “I promised myself if we ever got back in bed I’d keep my mouth shut”
Apartment 4A Same time
Sheldon sat up to three people’s laughter coming from 4B, “Pagans”
Sheldon lay back down and tried to get back to sleep tomorrow Amy had said something about a green skin dancer’s costume and Sheldon was worried.
Apartment 4B A little later in the evening
Penny led Leonard into the bedroom she turned and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“You know honey after the whole uniform comment today I have to tell you. That robe looks like crap you really should get a new one”
Leonard just nodded not saying a word.