Camp X-Ray

A Big Bang Theory

Fanfic

by Pjazz

2009

Leornard enters the apartment, places his briefcase on the coffee table and stretches out on the sofa.

"Sheldon's away. Time to myself for once. A chance to catch up on some serious reading."

He opens his briefcase and takes out a comic book: X-Men.

"Look at me - no mylar cover, no backing card, no white gloves. I'm a man living on the edge."

He begins reading.

"Oh Marvel Girl - slash- Jean Grey - slash - Phoenix - slash- Dark Phoenix, when will you be mine?"

Howard pops his head up from behind the sofa where he has been hiding and whispers, "Pssst!"

Leonard sighs. "Perhaps if I ignore him he'll go away."

"Pssst!"

"Or not. What is it, Howard?"

"Is Sheldon here?"

"He's away at a symposium. What are you doing behind the couch? Or shouldn't I ask?"

"I've got a secret."

"Good for you."

A long pause. Leonard continues reading the comic book.

"Well, don't you want to know my secret?"

"Not particularly."

"Then it seems pretty pointless my hiding behind the sofa," Howard complains. "Completely negates the suspense of the moment leading to a crescendo of anti-climax."

"I thought so."

"Come on, ask me my secret! I'm bursting to tell someone."

"What's the big secret?" Leonard sighs, putting his comic book aside.

"Remember those x-ray spectacles advertised in comics when we were kids?"

"Oh yeah. Total rip off. And a waste of ten bucks - not that I sent for any. It was like Watergate for kids with Stan Lee as Nixon."

"I've invented a pair that actually work."

"A pair of x-ray spectacles?"

"Bona fide x-ray spectacles. I'll show you."

Howard goes into another room and returns hauling a large electronic contraption, all valves, shiny metal cylinders and polished lenses.

"That's your x-ray specs? Funny, I remember them as smaller."

"This is just a prototype. Once I've solved the down-sizing they'll be ready for manufacture."

"And you invented them? You. All on your own?"

"Raj helped. Plus I called in some favours from MIT. Caltech. Stanford. Cornell. Everyone kinda chipped in but I was the driving force. This is the Holy Grail, my friend."

"The Holy Grail's the cup Christ drank from at the Last Supper. This is a device to spy on women. Not even the same ballpark."

"You worship your God, I'll worship mine."

"Does it even work?"

"Oh ye of little faith. Watch."

Howard swtches the machine on. It hums. He sits behind it and stares through two eyepieces.

"Ah ha! Blue boxers with a white horse motif - no, wait, white unicorns. Very snazzy."

"Omigod, Howard! That's my underwear. They work!"

"Oh yeah...Now all I need is to try it out on some hot chicks."

"You haven't tried it yet?"

"No. There's the obvious portability issue. Everytime I try and carry it down the stairs my back gives out. But if Wolowitz can't go to the girls then the girls will have to come to Wolowitz. Mountain. Mohammad. Mohammad. Mountain."

"Howard, what girl in their right mind is going to come within fifty yards of that thing?"

There's a knock on the door. "Hey, guys. It's me, Penny. Let me in."

"Houston, we have liftoff!"

"Just a minute, Penny!" Leonard yells. " Penny? She's our friend. You can't be serious?"

"Serious like the plague, my friend."

"Your soul is completely black, isn't it?"

"Oh please, like I don't hear that enough from my Rabbi."

Leonard opens the door and Penny enters. She's wearing trackpants and a halter top.

"Hey, guys, can I borrow some milk? I'm all out."

"Sure."

"No Sheldon?"

"He's away."

"Do I care?"

"He's at a symposium debating the quantum state of quark particles."

"Obviously not. Hey, Howard."

"Penny."

"What's that?"

"Nothing. It's nothing," Leonard insists. "Here's your milk. Bye."

"Wait. It looks interesting. What is it?"

"It's...a...molecular displacement observation...doodad." Howard improvises.

"What's a doodad?"

"It's a scientific technical term meaning...doodad."

"How does it work?"

"I'll give you a demonstration if you like. Just stand there."

"Here?"

"That's fine."

"It won't hurt, will it?"

"Oh no. In fact some people derive a great deal of pleasure from it."

Howard peers through the eyepiece at Penny. "Oh my..."

"Can you see my molecules?"

"Coming through loud and clear."

"How do they look?"

"Very...thongy."

"Thongy?"

"It's a scientific technical term meaning...thongy."

"Okay, Penny, thanks for dropping by. See ya." Leonard ushers a bewildered Penny out of the apartment and shuts the door.

"Please tell me you didn't..."

"Thong. Red. With white piping. Small tattoo on left buttock. Possibly a rose."

"Oh God."

"Do you have any tissues?"

"Howard!"

"No, no, I fogged the eyepiece up."

"So it's a success."

"Houston, the Eagle has landed!"

Leonard knocks tentatively on Penny's door. "Penny? It's me, Leonard."

Penny opens the door. "Whassup, Leonard? Oh right - the milk. Sorry. Come in."

Leonard enters Penny's apartment. She hands him the milk.

"Thanks, but I didn't really come over here for the milk. I don't think you can hang out in our apartment any more. Sorry."

"What? Why not? I didn't get three strikes again, did I? Cause I'll kick Sheldon's ass. Done it once I'll do it again."

"No, it's just...Howard's machine. It's not safe."

"That molecular thingy doodad? Seemed harmless enough. Oh God - I'm not radioactive, am I? I'm not going to suddenly develop super powers?"

"I wish. No, it's just...it wasn't what Howard said it was."

"What then?"

"Remember those x-ray spectacles you saw advertised in comic books when you were a kid?"

"I didn't read comic books. I'm a girl. And normal."

"Well, they were supposed to let you see through clothing and stuff. They didn't, of course. At least not until Howard started his experiments."

"Wait. You don't mean he saw-"

"Thong. Red. White piping. Tattoo on left buttock. Possibly a rose."

"Omigod!"

"Sorry."

"I feel so violated! Why would he do that?"

"He's Wolowitz."

"To me. Why would he do that to me!"

"Again, I've gotta go with, he's Wolowitz."

"Oooh, I am so getting back at him!"

"Penny, don't do anything rash."

"D'you want to know what I'm going to do to him?"

"I don't know - do I?"

"Remember when we were dating?"

"Vividly."

"We went to that nightclub and there was a tall girl standing at the bar. You said, what big hands she has. I said,-"

"-because she's a man! Penny, you can't. A transvestite? It'll kill Howard."

"If he wants white piping, I'll show him piping."

The apartment. Wolowitz is dressed smartly - for him - in a garish Paisley shirt and is comparing ties to wear. Leonard enters.

"Hey."

"Hey. Does this tie go with my eyes?"

"That's a blue tie, Howard. You have brown eyes."

"So that's a definite maybe?"

"You look very dapper. What's the occasion?"

"Penny's coming over. And she's bringing a friend. Of the female persuasion."

"Uh - did she happen to mention who the friend is?"

"Just someone she met in a club."

Leonard sits down and holds his head in his hands. "Oh God!"

"Why, do you know this vision of loveliness?"

"We met. Briefly."

"What's she like? Is she the full package?"

"Oh there's a package involved all right."

"Penny wants me to demonstrate my machine again," Howard preens. "Nice girl. None too bright. But academia's loss is Wolowitz's gain."

"Howard, there's something I should tell you..."

There's a knock on the door. Howard bounds across the room and flings it open. "Penny. Come in, come in. And who's this delightful creature with you?"

"Howard, this is Sydney. Sydney, this is Howard."

"Enchante, I'm sure." Howard bends and kisses Sydney's hand. Her big hands. Sydney is a transvestite. A convincing one that fools Howard, who is all oily charm.

"Sydney, is it? What a lovely name. Like Jennifer Garner's character in Alias. I have the DVD boxset. Bluray, naturally."

"Howard, why don't you show Sydney your molecular doodad," Penny suggests with an innocent smile.

"Oh God!" Leonard covers his face with his hands.

"Why certainly. This way, Sydney. Stand there. I'll just turn me on - er, I mean turn it on."

The X-ray machine hums. Howard squints through the eyepiece. "Oh dear Lord...No...No..."

"What's wrong, Howard?" Penny smirks. "A few extra molecules where you didn't expect to find them?"

Howard groans. "Houston, we have a problem."

-000-

I left Sheldon out because it's unlikely he'd have let Wolowitz keep the contraption in the apartment. Gotta be worth at least two strikes.