The Condescending Comprehending Ending
A/N: Disclaimer, crossover, spoilers, etc. are all given in chapter 1.
Buffy noticed that no one supported Sheldon in his little delusions, even if Amy said, “I think of you more as ‘handsome’ than distinguished.”
“Thank you for that insight, Amy,” Sheldon said with a simper.
Buffy had pretty much figured simpers went out with eighteenth century noblewomen in long dresses that even Angel thought were stupid. But that was definitely a simper.
Sheldon started to open the book, and Buffy put up a hand. “Be really carefully with that, Sheldon. That book’s not in the original Sumerian, but it’s still hundreds of years old, and it’s fragile. And if you tear any of the pages, Giles will be really grouchy, and that will not be of the good. You really don’t want Giles giving you the ‘we are not amused’ glare thing he does after he takes his glasses off and polishes them a couple times and then says ‘good lord’ a bunch.”
But Sheldon was already looking through the book at a pretty astonishing speed. Buffy asked, “Are you reading that fast? Because it’s Latin. With Greek and Sumerian and Akkadian inserts.”
Sheldon just kept reading. “No, I’m memorizing. I will work on the translations later, once I have committed the words to memory. In particular, I want context for the component you forced me to read aloud last night.”
Buffy said, “Well, you won’t find anything in there that you like, because it doesn’t say ‘aliens are among us’ or ‘we heart the Bavarian Illuminati’ or any of that weirdness.”
Sheldon looked up and said, “Ah-hah! And how do you know about the Bavarian Illuminati?”
Buffy just rolled her eyes. “Because they were founded in 1776 after a young female demon-slayer named Marta saved Adam Weishaupt from being eaten, and he decided it was time for people to start embracing wacky concepts like women’s education and gender equality, even if it meant opposing abuses of state power and misuses of religious power. And boy, did he bite off more than he could chew. Well, duh, because all there was back then were oppressive countries and oppressive religions.”
“So! You admit you are linked to a notorious worldwide conspiracy!” Sheldon announced, including pointing his finger.
“Nope,” Buffy said. They got blasted to smithereens like nineteen years later. They’re long gone. Some of Giles’ predecessors spent years looking for them. Zilch. They’re gone. Only loonytoons still believe in the Bavarian Illuminati as an international conspiracy. And believe me, we’ve seen it all when it comes to evil conspiracy types.”
Sheldon said, “Obviously, if you are
the conspiracy, you have to act in ways that deflect the interest of others.”
Penny said, “Exactly like you’re doing right now, Sheldon.”
Raj asked, “So Sheldon, how long have you been a part of this international conspiracy against truth, justice, and the American way? And perhaps the right to have a cheeseburger without my mother finding out?”
Sheldon snapped, “Stop it at once! You all know I’m not a member of any international conspiracy!”
Buffy asked, “And how would any of us know that?”
Sheldon said, “Because they’ve met my mother!”
Raj said, “Dude, that is a very good point.”
Penny said, “Yeah, I’ve got to give him that one. I would not
want to be in Sheldon’s shoes if he was in a secret conspiracy and his mom found out.”
Sheldon closed the book. “There is nothing useful in here! It’s all written as if demons are real and the world is driven by poppycock such as magic and prophecy, instead of science!”
Amy calmly said, “The Pergamum Codex is supposed to predate scientific theory and rationalism. It would have to be written like that.”
Sheldon insisted, “There is bound
to be a book on that bookshelf which proves my point!”
“Lotsa luck on that one,” Buffy muttered under her breath.
Sheldon closed his eyes, retraced his steps, and returned the book to the exact spot it was taken from. With his eyes still closed, he said, “And it is obvious that Buffy is the primary user of that book, because one of the bookmarks is a sales receipt for two pairs of Dolce and Gabbana heels from Rodeo Drive.”
Buffy gasped, “I’ve been looking for that receipt!”
Tia said, “This isn’t that work-related damage thing you’re still trying to get Giles to sign off on, is it?”
Buffy stepped over, grabbed the book, checked through the bookmarks, and tucked a slip of paper in her back pocket. She just gave Tia a glare.
Sheldon, his eyes still closed, ran his fingers over the books, then over books on the shelf immediately above. When he found a nice, thick book, he pulled it off the shelf. “Aha! Let’s see now! And we have… Okay, this is in a language I can’t even read.”
Buffy looked over at what he was holding. “Oh. That’s the Devandiré Sibylline Codex. It’s in Sanskrit, so it’s a real pain to translate. I borrowed that one, and it has to go back pretty soon, so I’m working on getting Lorraine’s friend to finish the translation of the pages I need.”
Sheldon carefully opened it, only to find a bookplate on the inside cover. He read: “Property of Willow Rosenberg. Return this book in a timely manner, or get turned into a salamander.” He looked up from the book and said, “How droll.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Feel free to walk off with it and see if you get the Gregor Samsa treatment. Willow’s pretty serious about her books, especially the ones that probably can’t be replaced.”
Sheldon snapped, “Willow? Are you claiming you know Willow Rosenberg? Are you claiming that you know Willow Rosenberg of the Rosenberg Postulate in quantum gravity theory?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Sheldon, that would be a ginormous ‘yes’. To both questions.”
Sheldon said, “That is ridiculously unlikely, except that Willow Rosenberg also claims to have grown up in Sunnydale.”
Buffy said, “Yeah, I went to school with her. I’ve known her since we were both sophomores in high school.”
Sheldon crowed, “Ah-hah! So you admit you have access to superior theoretical systemata!”
Leonard asked slyly, “So… you’re admitting the Rosenberg Postulate is right and you’re wrong?”
“No! Absolutely not!” Sheldon insisted.
Raj said, “But you cannot have it both ways. If Buffy is an alien in league with Willow Rosenberg, then the Rosenberg Postulate must
be correct, and it must be advanced enough for aliens to use it. If the Rosenberg Postulate is wrong, then Buffy couldn’t be an alien because she would be relying on quack science.”
Sheldon insisted, “That is not a syllogism! There are gaping holes in your argument! And it’s absurd that someone of Willow Rosenberg’s intelligence would be friends with someone like… Buffy. That would be like saying I’m friends with, say, Penny
friends with Penny,” Amy pointed out.
Buffy glared at him and growled, “Yeah, even if you are a huge
jerk. You totally do not get to diss Penny.” She angrily pulled out her cellphone and pressed a speed dial button. “Hey Willow, it’s me, can you make a house call? Yeah, I’m in the apartment. Okay, thanks.”
Sheldon persisted, “Are we really supposed to think that you have Willow Rosenberg on speed dial? And where is she that she can simply ‘pay a house call’ at this very moment?”
Buffy simply said, “Rio.”
Sheldon glared at her. “Rio? Rio de Janeiro? That’s preposterous. There is no way that anyone in Rio de Janeiro could get here in under-”
He gasped and backed up. A wavering black annulus appeared in mid-air and began to take on a three-dimensional appearance. He stepped backward again. He didn’t bump into anyone, because Leonard and Amy were backing up too, and Raj was already in the hall peeking in from the doorway.
The annulus formed into a shimmering disk. It began to become opaque, even as it grew and began glowing with an unnatural light.
Leonard nervously asked, “Sheldon, didn’t you say the Rosenberg Postulate was fundamentally flawed because you could prove that it directly implied that teleportation would be feasible, which would violate tenets of both special and general relativity?”
Sheldon opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He just stared at the gleaming object with his mouth open.
Penny muttered at Buffy, “If I have to call his mother to get him unstuck, I am giving her your phone number.”
Buffy shrugged, “Okay, so maybe I over-reacted, but he totally dissed you.”
Penny said, “It wouldn’t be the first time. But I deal. Mainly, I deal by dissing him right back. But breaking him isn’t a good thing.”
The shimmering surface of the disk suddenly bulged, and a foot came through. The foot was part of a leg, which was part of a woman in a peasant skirt. Willow Rosenberg stepped all the way through, and suddenly the disk vanished.
Willow looked around. “Hi, Buff. Hi, Penny. Miri, Tia, hey there. Boy, Cooper sure looks like you hit him with that freeze ray from the Axis of Evil. Does he always do that?”
Penny said, “Sheldon’s not exactly known for his flexibility.”
Willow glowered at Buffy, “Did you really call me to argue physics with your neighbor? Because I was really tapped out after last night, and now I’m right in the middle of stuff. Kennedy and I are watching this really great telenovela that we have to record at night and watch it the next day because you know why we can’t watch it during evenings, and now I’m missing the big scene where we’re gonna find out why Armando hates Vittorio so much.…”
She stopped and looked at the people cowering over by the doorway. “Oh hi! You must be Leonard. Penny talks about you all the time, well, emails about you, because we don’t talk on the phone that much and I’m in Rio these days for work, although it’s pretty amazing there. I read your paper on using a helium-neon laser to test theoretical predictions on Bose-Einstein condensates, and I thought it was way smarter than you got credit for, I mean, no one else figured out how to assess whether the Gross-Pitaevskii equation really holds for the wave function of the condensate.”
Leonard blinked and said, “Penny really talks about me a lot? Oh, and thanks. The theoreticians don’t think there’s enough theory in the paper, and the experimentalists don’t think there’s enough applied. It sort of falls in the cracks around here.”
Willow smiled and said, “So you must be Raj. You’re the Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali who worked out the theoretical limits on the object size distribution in the Kuiper belt, right?” He nodded mutely. “Nice paper. We should talk. I had a few thoughts on applying materials engineering concepts on object tensile strength to refine your estimates a teensy bit.” Raj opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He took another swallow from Penny’s schnapps.
Willow said, “And you must be Amy. After Penny mentioned you, I looked up some of your papers. That one using starfish as an animal model for cocaine addiction was brill.”
Amy made a small moue of what was supposed to be self-deprecation, but said, “Yes, it was a lot more ingenious than most neurobiology papers in the field.”
Willow walked over and stood in front of the still-gaping Sheldon. “Oh. And this is the neurotic guy who thinks he’s really smart.”
“I am most certainly NOT neurotic!” Sheldon snapped. “And of course I think
I’m really smart, because I am
Willow gave him a frown and said, “Well Dr. Cooper, I’m Dr. Rosenberg. I hear you have objections to the systemata I hypothesized that some beanhead named ‘the Rosenberg Postulate’. You know, I wanted to call them the Henrich Hypotheses, after my major prof, who’s really great, and not a complete creepazoid like some of her department, but nooooo, you and your friends had to go and slap your own name for stuff down, and now she doesn’t get any cred at all. I’m not happy about that.”
Raj piped up from the doorway. “And this is simply not fair! There are now five beautiful, nubile young women in the room! And Amy.”
Amy bristled at that, but Sheldon cut her off, “EXCUSE me, Dr. Rosenberg, but where I come from, those don’t constitute hypotheses, they’re a framework for postulation that might some day get repudiated, or perhaps in your little fantasy world might get validated, at which point they could be marked as hypotheses until further study repudiates them.”
Willow ruthlessly pointed out, “Perhaps you failed to notice, since you only do theoretical
physics, but I already use the theory to do applied results, like teleportation, along with a host of other techniques, even though the methodology I use is inherently grounded in what is normally called ‘magic’ by the rest of the planet.”
Leonard looked at Buffy and checked, “Magic? As in demons and spells?”
Willow nodded. “Exactly. It’s just experimental physics, really. It merely uses less-understood power sources and produces flashier results.”
Raj asked, “Like a teleportation portal which connects two points in two different hemispheres of the planet?”
Willow said, “Right. But it’s not faster-than-light. There’s a quantum tunneling component that I’m conjecturing uses classical quantum mechanics, and that limits the speed of translation. Also, it takes a little bit to instantiate the remote portal. Still, way faster than trying to catch a jet to Pasadena.”
Sheldon snapped, “But you can’t just apply a theoretical construct like that! It takes years of study!”
Willow smiled at him in the way that you’d smile at a confused child. “What do you think books like the Pergamum Codex and the Devandiré Sibylline Codex are? They’re the records of thousands of people all doing millennia of work on physics they didn’t understand. I just worked out the physics behind the already-achievable results.”
“That’s… that’s not possible!” squawked Sheldon.
Penny smiled broadly. “Well, I guess Sheldon’s no longer the smartest person in the room.”
Raj added, “But do not worry, he will still be the haughtiest person in the room and the biggest know-it-all.”
Sheldon smiled at him, “Thank you, Raj.”
Willow looked over and said, “And hey, I’m with the complaints now, because someone put bookmarks in the Pergamum Codex! That’s not of the good!”
Miri, Tia, Penny, and even Sheldon all pointed simultaneously at Buffy. Willow fussed, “Buffy!”
Penny said, “And speaking of the complaint department, that whole ‘fake naked photos of Penny’ scam was not funny.”
Willow smiled at her. “Oh, you don’t think I’d let them really take photos of you with no clothes on, do you? No way, and there’s not a chance I’d let them put ‘em up on our intranet, because that would be totally of the skanky. Even if I let Dawnie post pictures of Andrew in that dress, and I let Andrew post those pictures of Dawn and her date and her flat all covered in demon monkey poo. No, that scam was all Xander. Everyone thinks I can do anything just by wiggling my nose, so he was sure you’d believe I could turn on your webcam from Rio. Okay, I could if I really wanted to, because we’ve got the remote control software on our intranet, but I really didn’t have to, because Xander just got several people to say I did and go tell other people, so everyone thought I had, and then he got half a dozen people to tell you they’d seen the pictures on our intranet, and you totally fell for it.”
Raj must have had a lot of schnapps, because he interrupted, “Are you sure there are not any naked photos of Penny that I could enlarge and keep in my room?”
Four different women simultaneously yelled, “NO!”
He flinched and asked, “Did I say that out loud?”
Leonard said, “And this is why you keep ending up taking those ‘sexual harassment in the workplace’ courses with Sheldon.”
Raj lifted up one pointer finger and said, “That one was not my fault. That was all Sheldon, all the time.”
Leonard stepped over to Willow and said, “So you had experimental evidence already, and you built your framework to be explanatory, you just couldn’t admit where the experiments came from?”
Willow nodded eagerly. “Yeah!”
Leonard scratched the side of his head. “So you already knew how to integrate quantum mechanics and basic unified field theory, but you can’t tell anyone because they won’t believe you. So you need some testable predictions off the Rosenberg Postulate, like… Ooh, I got an idea.” He turned his head. “Penny? Do you mind if I drive Dr. Rosenberg over to my lab while we work out some equations?”
“Well, sure, but what about Sheldon?” she asked.
Leonard shrugged, “He can come too, but he doesn’t like experimental research.” He grabbed his smartphone and started writing down equations on it.
Willow leaned in and made some notes too. She didn’t look up as she said, “Buffy, you’ll have to deal with Sheldon on your own. This is really promising.”
Leonard and Willow walked down the stairs, debating the usefulness of different lasers for Leonard’s idea, and heterodyning suggestions.
Sheldon stared after them in horror. “Leonard! Get back here at once! Don’t you dare! I insist that you refrain from providing aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war!” Leonard didn’t turn around. Sheldon twitched, and then ran after them. “Leonard! Stop at once! I demand you cease this plan immediately!”
Buffy asked, “Is Leonard going to stop?”
Amy asserted, “Definitely. Sheldon is a man of action. Although not the kind of action I have been trying to talk him into.”
But at the same time, Penny was standing behind Amy and vigorously shaking her head no.
From far down the stairwell came an angry cry. “Leonard! Let me remind you that section 87g of the roommate agreement implicitly forbids you from doing Nobel Prize-winning work before I do!”
Sheldon yelled back up the stairs at the apartment, “Buffy Summers! Don’t think I didn’t recognize that you did this deliberately, to distract us from your alien plot to take over the world!” Then he rushed down the stairs to catch up with Leonard and Willow.
Buffy groaned, “Is he ever going to drop the ‘aliens with technology’ thing?”
Amy said, “It is extremely unlikely that he will change his mind without sound data from which we can make reliable inferences. Don’t forget Clarke’s Third Law. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Buffy said, “And I guess it goes the other way, too. He can’t tell magic from hi-tech.”
Amy nodded, “Quite. Unless there is something logical and verifiable that could be done to differentiate.”
Penny groaned, “Oh what the hell…” She pulled out her phone and made a quick call. “Hi, Harmony? It’s Penny. Remember? Delivering the evil letter to Buffy? I threatened to throw a vase of holy water in your face? Right! So can you drop by the apartment building? I have someone I want you to meet. No, it’s not a good-looking guy, it’s Sheldon’s girlfriend. Sunlight? Oh, sorry. I wasn’t thinking. How about drinks at Kotiko just around the corner? Nine tonight? Great.”
Buffy whispered, “Why the hell do you have Harmony Kendall’s phone number?”
Penny admitted, “She dropped a business card with her name and number and email addy on it when she gave you that letter. I figured there might be some time we needed to contact someone in W and H. Or maybe you might want to get Dawn to deface Harmony’s Facebook page.”
Buffy gasped, “Harmony has a Facebook page? Harmony?
But she’s… Never mind. Why am I even surprised?”
Then Penny turned and gave Amy a wicked smile. “I have all the proof you’ll need. She’ll meet us for drinks at nine. Don’t drive. Afterward, you’re going to need a lot of Cosmopolitans.”finis
A/N: Thanks for sticking with me this long. But my muse has decided this is as far as she is interested in going… for now, anyway.
A/N2: This is April 29, 2013, which means I have been posting on TtH for nearly a year and a half, in which time I have managed to move up to #8 in most recommendations per story, #5 in most reviewers per story, and #1 in most reviews per story. Thanks a ton! A reader wrote me an email and pointed out that this story now has more recommendations than all the other Buffy/The Big Bang Theory crossovers on TtH combined, which is pretty awesome. So I would like to encourage all my readers to rush out and go Review and Recommend the tar out of as many of my stories as they like. And that extends to other authors' fanfics out there, because there are plenty of great authors on this site. Remember: the more reviews and recommendations we authors receive, the more we’re motivated to keep writing!