Sheldon propped himself on his elbow, glaring at the screen.
“Do you believe this, Leonard?”
Leonard glanced up. He knew he’d regret asking as soon as the words left his mouth, but it was entirely reflexive when he replied, “Believe what?”
Sheldon huffed. “This film is missing the entire point of the comic upon which it was based.”
“Is that what you’ve been doing back there this whole time?” Leonard asked, shifting for a better view.
“Of course,” Sheldon waved the comic book over Leonard for emphasis. “Not only are the characterizations abysmal, which is a travesty deserving of its own dissection in and of itself, but the core message is lost in a sea of flashy sequences and mediocre quips.”
“I’m not sure that can be helped, buddy,” Leonard said patiently. “It’s Hollywood. Profit over precision.”
“Well, I’m sure this film, if we can call it that, would have obtained similar box office success had they stuck with the source material.”
Leonard sighed and reached to pause the movie mid-action sequence. “Look, Sheldon, this isn’t the first time we’ve been disappointed in a print-to-film adaption, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Can’t we just enjoy the film for what it is? I know it’s not ideal, but it’s all we’ve got.”
“For now,” Sheldon replied grudgingly. He tossed his comic onto the coffee table and plopped back down, nearly dislodging Leonard from the couch.
Still, Leonard’s mouth curled into a small grin as he slipped an arm around Sheldon’s waist, holding on tight.
“For now, huh? What, are you gonna make your own version?”
Sheldon fixed Leonard with a pointed stare. “I’d certainly do a better job of it than these bozos have.”
Leonard chuckled. “I’m sure you would, buddy.” He tapped his forehead against the top of Sheldon’s thin chest. “Can I be in it? I’ve always wanted to be a superhero.”
“You would be the sidekick, Leonard.”
“What? Really?” Leonard peered back up at Sheldon, disappointment quickly souring his mood. “Do I have to be?”
“It’s not a bad thing, you know. Even superheroes who claim to work better alone frequently benefit from the aid and support of someone by their side.”
“But no one ever talks about the sidekick. I would just be a footnote in someone else’s life, no matter how helpful or, or beneficial I am.”
Sheldon finally twisted to better mold his body between the couch and Leonard. Leonard clutched him tighter, and Sheldon sighed.
“Leonard, do you remember what Frodo told Sam after they left Osgiliath?”
Leonard didn’t answer.
“Sam postulated a future in which stories would be told about the most famous of hobbits, Frodo. And Frodo, the hero of the story, assured Sam that he was also a chief character, and that his story is the one that would interest Frodo. So whether or not future generations of hobbits told tales of Samwise the Brave, Frodo’s recognition of Sam’s importance is all that mattered.”
“I mean… I guess…” Leonard mumbled.
“The same principle applies here,” Sheldon continued with an unusual gentleness to his tone. “You’re my Sam.”
Leonard perked up. “I’m your Sam?”
Sheldon’s lips curled into a small grin. “Yes. And I’m glad you’re here with me. Here at the end of this terrible film adaption.”