BY : banana-x-phone
Category: 1 through F > The Big Bang Theory
Dragon prints: 11615
Disclaimer: I do not own The Big Bang Theory or the characters in it. I am not making any money by posting this fan fiction.

Penny had a spring in her step as she headed toward the mailboxes. She had just gotten back from an audition and for the first time in a while, she felt awesome. The part was for a new sitcom series and she thought she nailed the audition. The part was a naval ship captain who commanded a band of misfits.

During the audition, she was on her "A" game. The panel was friendly and they seemed genuinely interested. 'This is it!' she thought to herself. She smiled to herself as she grabbed the mail from the box. The lobby door opened and she overheard her nerdy neighbors arguing over Iron Man.

"Hey guys!" She interrupted.      

"Hey Penny, how are you?" Leonard chimed.

"Penny." Sheldon said in an acknowledging tone with a small smile.

"I just got back from an amazing audition in L.A." She smiled at Sheldon and Leonard. "I'm pretty sure I got the part!"

"That's great Penny, I'm sure you'll get it." Leonard said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"Thanks, Sweetie!" She replied with quick smile and bounced up the stairwell alone.

She got to her door and quickly pressed inside. She flopped on her teal couch and sifted through her mail. Bill, bill, shoe flyer, bill. She set her bills down on the coffee table and sunk into the softness of the couch cushions.

Soon she wouldn't have to worry about her power being cut off for a few days every other month, soon she would be receiving real actress pay checks and soon she would be recognized for her talent, instead of her looks. Her looks didn't hurt things though.

She had to start her shift at the Cheesecake Factory in an hour, so that meant she had time to freshen up or have a nap. 'Nap it is!' She thought as she shifted her position on the couch.

After setting the alarm on her phone for thirty minutes, she closed her eyes and focused on her breathing. She drifted off to sleep in a matter of minutes and it seemed not even seconds later, her alarm was blaring at her to get up.

"Oh my God! Naps are never long enough!" She shouted at her phone as she turned off the alarm.

She rubbed her eyes and stretched out her arms. Swinging her legs off the couch, she got up and sluggishly moved to her bedroom where she changed into her Cheesecake Factory uniform. She walked into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. It was just a matter of time before she could quit her waitressing job and start work as an actress.

She would be a real actress; no hemorrhoid commercials, no plays above bowling alleys, and no more one night showcases of Rent. She fixed her makeup, threw her hair up into a messy ponytail and walked into the living room. After fishing her keys out from between the couch cushions, she walked out her apartment door and left for work.

Her shift flew by like a tornado. A kid threw up on the floor and splashed her shoes, a table of drunken men was being crass with her, and she dropped a tray of glasses. She felt exhausted and her feet barely dragged her body to her car.

Her phone started to buzz in her pocket. She pulled it out and looked at the call display. It came up as 'Unknown Number'. She answered in a chipper tone.

"Hello, this is Penny speaking."

"Hi Penny, this is Sandra from the studio, we saw you audition this afternoon." The voice replied.

"Oh Yes! Sandra, how are you?" Penny replied cheerfully despite her exhaustion.

"Penny, I regret to inform you that you did not secure the role you auditioned for."

"Okay, I understand" Penny said in a cool, even tone. Tears stung her eyes and she quickly wiped them away.

"Thank you for your consideration." She sighed and hung up the phone.

Her purse dropped to the ground and she leaned against her beat up, rust bucket of a car and began to sob. She couldn't help it. Her dreams were shattering before her eyes. She had convinced herself that she got the part. She was counting on the money and she wanted the job so badly.

After letting out a few angry sobs, her breath hitched in her throat. She slammed her fist against the roof of her car. "God Damn It!" She screamed out into the cool night air. She angrily wiped her tears off her face and took a deep breath.

This wasn't working. For years she had tried to be an actress and failed. She got into her car and started driving home. "What the fuck do I do now?" She whispered to herself.

The tears began to sting in her eyes again. "No! You are stronger than this!" She chastised herself and pawed at her face. She deserved far more than a shitty waitressing job and constantly being rejected because she was "too this" or "not enough that".

Pulling into the parking lot of 2311 Los Robles Avenue, she parked in her spot and made her way to the lobby. The cool air felt good against her hot face as she walked briskly to the building.

She opened the lobby door and was met with Sheldon. He had a basket of folded laundry in his hands, no doubt the last load of the evening. "Good evening, Penny" Sheldon greeted her as she struggled to look like her happy, usual self. It was quite the feat because her face was red and her eyes were puffy and bloodshot.

"Hey Sheldon." She said unenthusiastically.

She tried to keep her face turned away from his as they quietly walked up the stairs. They reached their floor and Sheldon turned to Penny.

"I know that it is none of my business, but since you seem upset and it is social convention, would you like to come in for a hot beverage?" She looked at him and almost burst into tears again.

"Sheldon, I would love a hot beverage. Tea if you have it." Her eyes sparkled with the tears that she held back. He opened his door and they entered the apartment.

He set his laundry basket down in the hallway and walked into the kitchen. Penny sat down on the middle cushion and waited for her tea. She loved the boys' apartment; it was so comfortable and it was always clean, it felt like a home away from home.

She offered Sheldon a small smile as he made his way to his spot with a cup of tea for Penny in his hands. He handed her the tea and she held the warm mug in her hands. She already was beginning to feel better.

"Where's Leonard?" She quietly asked. Sheldon sat down and settled into his spot.

"He and Howard and Raj went to the movies and afterward they are going slumming around some night club attempting to achieve coitus with strange women, only to fail miserably, I might add." He replied flatly. She looked up into his face and gave a quick smile.

"Penny, you know that I am not one for banal chit chat; however, I consider you to be one of my closest friends. So, I would like to proceed by inquiring why you seem, in your vernacular, so glum, chum?" He smiled and folded his hand in his lap.

His smile was soft and sincere. It was much more sincere than the last time he tried to comfort her when she was distressed. She remembered his creepy forced smile he offered when she dislocated her shoulder.

"I didn't get the part I auditioned for, Sheldon" She confessed.

"I didn't even ask why this time. I know it was because I look too Midwestern or because I'm not ten pounds lighter or because my hair isn't blonde enough." He looked at her and looked puzzled.

"Penny, given your previous attempts at succeeding in your chosen professional endeavors, I can say that the statistical probability of you getting that part was astronomical. Are you really surprised?" Her eyes narrowed at him and she felt the urge to pour her hot tea in his lap, but she knew he meant well. She knew that despite his harsh words, he was only speaking factually.

"Sheldon, I just .. I just don't know what to do. I have wasted years trying to break through the acting scene and I've failed. I can't do it anymore. I'm sick of being what people don't want and cast off like I was yesterday's garbage. I'm sick of serving people food at the restaurant and having to pretend to be nice to horrible people. I'm sick of failing and being nobody." Her puffy eyes started to well up again and she felt sick to her stomach. Sheldon looked at his friend whose head was in her hands.

"Penny, have you ever considered improving your situation academically? Granted, you are most likely too late to obtain a doctorate, or even a master's degree, but earning a bachelor's degree could assist you in achieving an improved source of revenue and undoubtedly keep your electricity on. Also, September is approaching quickly, you could apply for the Fall semester." She looked at him and didn't say anything; she just looked into his blue eyes.

They were like deep infinity pools. When did they get that blue and why did she never notice them before? After setting her tea on the coffee table, she stood up and smiled at her Whack-a-Doodle neighbor.

"Thanks for the tea, Sheldon. I appreciate your advice. Have a good night." She said as she walked out of his apartment and into hers.

Could she do it? Could she afford to go back to school? Was this something she was going to fail at again? Her head filled with questions as she moved to her bedroom.

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