Big Bang Theory: HofstadterHoffman Cohabitation

By William Collins

Humor / Mystery

Chapter 5


Leonard's first day at Cal Tech after moving out of the apartment was expected to be awkward in case he ran into Sheldon. When he arrived and met Howard and Sheldon, they were quick to ask permission to come over after work and play the video games they were ready to bring over. That was easily predictable. At first, Leonard was reticent, but then he recalled how Jimmy had promised they could use the swimming pool when it was clean and ready to go swimming in again. Sheldon was another problem. When they all passed by his office, they heard the siren call of the lonely beached whale again.

"Listen…" Howard posed like an old seaman. "It's the call of the ancient sea mariner." He listened for Sheldon by placing his hand to his ear. "They say these nights you can hear his lonely pathetic voice droning on and on and on… It never stops!"

Raj laughed at the exaggeration, but Leonard just grinned and chuckled.

"Very amusing…" Sheldon stood at his research board of physics symbols and turned to face them. "But then, I never really needed a roommate. I do the best work when I'm not distracted by social commitments and the day-to-day trivialities and banal commentaries of small brained life forms."

"Really?" Leonard replied. "Who drove you to work?"

"Penny…" Sheldon answered. "Although, I kind of suspect that solution is not possible tomorrow since she dropped me off fifteen blocks away." He responded distractedly perturbed by the incident. "Anyhow, I'm doing very well by myself."

"How so?" Raj asked.

"Several ways."

"Name one." Howard asked.

"I can…" Sheldon tried to think. What did he do last night? Well, he had tried blowing up Jimmy's head with his brain as he had seen in a movie, but all he had succeeded in was giving himself a headache. He had played Klingon chess with himself, watched the TV series "Firefly" on DVD and made himself a snow cone. "Oh, I can watch TV and talk back to the characters."

"Do you hear them talking back?" Raj asked.

"No, drat…" Sheldon did not get the crazy reference.

"Sheldon…" Leonard was actually feeling sorry for him. "Look, just because I don't live there anymore doesn't mean we have to stop being friends. You can come see me anytime you want."

"How I am going to get there?" Sheldon stood and furled his arms over each other on his chest.

"The bus…"

"The bus?" Sheldon did not ride the bus. "Leonard…" He made a face that meant Leonard should have known better.

"That's right; you don't ride the bus. Well, maybe the guys…" He looked to Howard and Raj shaking their heads than start driving Sheldon anywhere. He looked back to Sheldon. "I'm sure your next roommate will drive you." He nodded courteously and walked a few feet. "If you can find anyone else crazy enough to sign that horrible roommate agreement."

"I heard that!" Sheldon responded a bit annoyed. "For the love of God, Leonard. The guy doesn't even have a doctorate."

"Not everyone needs a doctorate!"

"I don't have a doctorate." Howard pointed out.

"You see!" Sheldon gestured to Howard. "Howard supports me!"

"Dr. Cooper!" Professor Charles Seibert was the head administrator for the physics department and their head. He had started walking by them at the end of the hall, briefly noticed the guys out the corner of his eye and stepped back to meet his little team. "How's my favorite physicist?"

"I thought I was your favorite physicist?" Sheldon spoke up.

"You're up there." He acknowledged the group as doctors, but strongly acknowledged Howard as Mr. Wolowitz, the only one without a doctorate. "Leonard, a little bird tells me you're now staying at the Old Reinhoff House with Dr. Hoffman…"

"Dr. Hoffman?" The news caught the guys by surprise – perhaps Sheldon most of all.

"Of course…" Sheldon's ego was slightly deflated.

"Yes…" Seibert added. "Jimmy and I are friends from way back. He was an anthropologist for three years until he went on sabbatical and never left."

"He didn't tell me he had a doctorate…" Leonard was stunned. He wondered why Jimmy never talked about it. "Where did you hear I was now staying with Jimmy?"

"Hey, Coopah…" Barry Kripke wandered through the hall. "Nice job, moving up…"

"Hey, Leonard…" Leslie Winkle came from the direction Barry had vanished and passed them going the other way. "Can't wait to see the new place." She clicked her tongue at Leonard then noticed at Sheldon. "Hey, Dumb-Ass…" Sheldon started burning. Howard and Raj started chuckling and trying to hold back the laughter.

"News travels fast…" Siebert mentioned and slightly postured. "Little request… our investors meet-and-greet fund-raiser is coming up again, and I would so love to see the inside of Jimmy's house again. Think you could swing letting the department hold the fund-raiser at your new place?"

"Oh, I don't know…" Leonard hated being put on the spot. "I mean… I just now moved in there. I'd hate to start pulling favors on Jimmy."

"No pressure, no pressure…" Siebert grinned as if it was a sure thing and turned away. "By the way, the caterers are showing up this Wednesday night at six o'clock."

"Crap…" Leonard cringed and fumbled with his cell phone to call Jimmy before he got the news. Siebert continued his journey, and Howard and Raj came in tight around Leonard trying to call and warn his new roommate of the unplanned party. Sheldon was acting a bit smug. He was hoping on a bit of turmoil between Leonard and Jimmy to occur between them.

"So, Leonard…" Sheldon spoke affirmatively and assuredly as if he had predictions for this news. "How do you think Jimmy is going to like two hundred people treading through his house?"

"I don't think Dr. Jimmy's going to be happy." Raj was chuckling.

"What are you guys worried about?" Howard scoffed. "Jimmy's a good guy. He won't mind." Leonard hadn't put Jimmy's phone number into his cell phone yet. He had to go by the note he still had in his pocket. He typed out the number and pressed his phone to his ear.

"Welcome to Mars…" Jimmy answered the phone in his study. "I'll be Judy, your cruise director…." He referred to another classic TV show from his youth.

"Jimmy, it's me…"

"Hey, Leonard…" Jimmy punched the button for his speakerphone at his desk and hung up the receiver to keep his hands free. His wood desk was covered with his files on the Minoan Civilization and notes for a novel focused on Hellenic Greece before the Trojan War. "What's up?" A female mannequin dressed up as the goddess Aphrodite with a Marilyn Monroe haircut and dark sunglasses watched over him from the door to his private bathroom.

"Jimmy…" Leonard noticed the guys trying to eavesdrop on his conversation. "Uh, well, do you know Doctor Siebert here at the university?"

"Yeah…" Jimmy paused a moment. "How's Dr. Chucky?"

"Well…" Leonard blinked a bit and looked back at the guys. Howard and Raj were trying to hold back the derisive laughter. "He kind of learned we're roommates now and scheduled our yearly fund-raiser at the house."

"This house?" Jimmy asked.

"Your house…"

"Crap and a half…." Jimmy made a face, twisted his head back and forth out of frustrated reluctance and groaned briefly under his breath.

"Are you angry?"

"Leonard, look…" Jimmy paused over his complicated feelings for an old friend. "I'm not angry. I'll live with it. I'm a bit annoyed that he went through you with the request, but…." He paused again. "You got to understand. My friendship with Chuck has been strained for a few years. He treated me as his personal piggy bank and called me selfish when I cut him off. If this is how he's trying to bury the hatchet, I'll extend the proverbial olive leaf back. I'm just sorry he's using you to get close to me again."

"Okay…" Leonard understood the facts behind the situation.

"By the way…" Jimmy leaned back in his chair with a book. "The locksmith just left. He got my grandfather's study open. This is for your ears only. Don't tell Sheldon."

Leonard looked to Sheldon listening by his right side. Sheldon looked back to Leonard.

"I won't tell him a word." Leonard made a promise he knew he could keep. "By the way, why didn't you tell me you had a doctorate?"

Jimmy looked at his phone not expecting that reference.

"Doctor Blabbermouth?" He asked.

"One and the same."

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