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every story gone untold

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Penny slings her bag over her shoulder and picks her keys up out of the bowl. She's not so sure she should have bothered to come home to change at all, but getting into Emily's clothes helps her get into Emily's head. However, she's pretty sure Emily wouldn't run late for anything. Emily would stick to a schedule, like Sheldon.

"You are aware that not all female scientists wear lab coats and oversized goggles, aren't you?" Sheldon is holding the Lost Vikings cartridge in one hand and a meticulously cared for Super Nintendo controller in the other.

"I know." Mischievously, Penny adds, "Leslie has some really cute t-shirts," just to see the expression that crosses his face.

"Really, Penny, it's bad enough that you're going to see her to discuss this role rather than talking to the physicists you know. You don't have to rub it in." He folds his arms.

Penny cocks her head. "Oh, really? Because, you know, Leslie told me that you told her women have no place in science and that's why she calls you 'Dumbass'. I think you just don't want her telling me anything else like that."

Sheldon gapes like a goldfish for a second and then puts the controller and cartridge down on the table so that he can fold his arms even tighter across his chest, like a hermit crab squeezing into a smaller shell. "I didn't really mean it." He's staring down at his feet as though his shoes are the most fascinating thing in the world.

"Yeah, well, she sure as hell thought you did."

Sheldon looks up from his shoes to meet her eyes. "Penny. Given my friendship with Amy, and my friendship, via you, with Bernadette, I think it's clear that I have no objection to female scientists. I just have an objection to Leslie Winkle."

He's got such a pouty, defensive look on his face that she has to laugh. "Okay, honey. I believe you. But I'm still going to keep meeting up with her." She jingles her keys. "I've gotta go. Raj and Stuart should be here soon for your playdate."

Sheldon bristles out of his shell at her. "It's not a playdate, it's Vintage Video Games night."

"I know. Now promise me you won't fight with Raj if he screws your food up; I'm pretty sure he meant what he said about filling the Super Nintendo with fortune cookies."

Just before she goes out the door Sheldon leans in and plants a soft nervous kiss on the exact center of her cheek. Penny smiles at him and then goes hurrying down the stairs, clutching the revised script to her chest.