Chapter two

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"GO AWAY, SHELDON!" Penny yells from behind the door.

Sheldon pauses, adds a quieter tap-tap-tap and, under his breath...


No answer.







The door opens.

"What do you want, Sheldon?" asks Leonard.

"I wanted to talk to Penny, Leonard. You can inform her I have reconsidered her place on my mortal enemy list - if she complies with certain conditions..."

Leonard turns and calls into the apartment. "Sheldon wants you to do something for him, Penny."

"NOT INTERESTED!" Penny blasts back from inside.

"She doesn't care, Sheldon."

Sheldon gasps. "Leonard! That's not what I said, or what Penny said. What sort of intermediary are you?"

Leonard sighs. "I'm the guy holding the door open, Sheldon. You want I should close it?"

"My, my, Leonard, your grammar has truly deteriorated - has Penny been giving you lessons?"

Leonard pushes the door but Sheldon blocks it before it shuts. "Okay, okay. I apologize for that," he says and beckons Leonard closer. "Between you and I, Leonard, I have experienced a problem none of the great scientific minds within our select circle can manage to solve. There is only one person from our group who could fix it. Unfortunately, it is Penny. Can you relay that message to her?"

Before Leonard can, Penny is standing in the doorway, hands on hips, suspicious, her blonde ponytail swishes as she tilts her head.

"Ask him what the problem is, Leonard."

"What is the problem, Sheldon? And, while you're at it, as one of the 'great scientific minds' of our 'select circle', I don't remember being asked if I could help solve this curious scientific dilemma ..."

Sheldon opens his mouth to speak, but Leonard raises a sharp finger. "Don't give me another of your wisecracks, buddy, or you'll be wearing this door as a face!" He looks at Penny who nods and holds up a hand for Leonard to high-five.

 Sheldon sighs. "Very well," he says, and tells Leonard about the potential tear in his tights.

Leonard nods in agreement at the complexity of the problem. "Oh," he says, fiddling with his hands, "you're right. Haven't a clue... but I can see how toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde, would react with nylon polymers. Penny's your guy," he concludes, pointing at her and smiling.

Penny is doing that pouting thing where her tongue rolls around inside her mouth like a cobra ready to spring. Leonard's smile drops with his eyes.

"What about Amy?" Penny asks.

"Yeah," Leonard says, "doesn't she wear nail varnish?"

"Amy Farrah Fowler dissects brain tissue soaked in formaldehyde all day, Leonard. The last thing she wants is to wear it on her nails. The other two have refused to visit a beauty store to purchase nail polish for me, neither do they possess the required skills to rectify the imperfection in my tights."

"And you can't order another Flash costume in time for Stuart's party. Do you possess the required skills?" Leonard asks Penny.

"Sweetie, you're looking at the queen of panty-hose repair and I doubt even Amy would be able fix anything in Sheldon's tights," Penny says, staring at Sheldon's crotch.

Leonard giggles while Sheldon looks down, none the wiser.

"There are, of course, conditions," Penny says.

"There's conditions, Sheldon," Leonard echoes.

Sheldon looks up. "Oh, of course. I've prepared a new agreement that allows you to be removed from the list for a time period of my choosing, and-"

"No, Sheldon. The conditions will be all mine, and not subject to any negotiation. I will draw them up myself...with Leonard's help."

Leonard lifts his head up, proudly smiling. "And the document will be agreed and witnessed in the presence of the other two in case you switch it when we aren't looking."

"Drat!" Sheldon mumbles under his breath. "How do I know you have the correct shade of scarlet to match my tights?"

"Clear polish is best, colors get all cloggy."

"Ah, yes, I can see that," Sheldon ponders. "And that would dispense with any colour-matching discrepancies -  ingenious. Do you have clear polish?"

 "I'm all out. I'll call for you in an hour, and after you've signed my agreement I'll drive you to the beauty store." And with that, she shuts the door on Doctor Sheldon Cooper.

"I thought you said you didn't care about Sheldon's list?" Leonard says.

"I don't, but he thinks I do."

"I like it when you get one over on him. Kinda sexy."

"Yeah, it is. Let's go into the bedroom," Penny says with a beckoning finger.

Leonard grins but then, he pauses. "Hey, what about the agreement?"

"We've got plenty of time. This usually doesn't take long..."

He frowns, but follows her anyway.


Quiz Question:

Which one of the three characters in this chapter is NOT a physicist?

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