The Paladin Protocol (Penny/Sheldon, PG, 92,212 words) by SpaceAnJL is not just absolutely brilliant work of fanfiction. It's absolutely gorgeous piece of writing, deep and thoughtful and engaging. This is the longest character driven piece I've ever read, and the characterization so tight, so real, so precise, that the characters come to life, become real people, not just the pale caricatures we could see on the show. This is compelling story and this is beautiful and moving, so sad at times, but so hopeful, so genuine, it simply takes your breath away.
His own code of ethics and behaviour, worked out from first principles, observation, cautious experimentation. He possesses these things. Perceives them to be of more value to him than how fast he can drive a car, the imbibing of alcohol or the random achievement of coitus. He measures himself by all the things he is not, as much as by what he is. He doesn't regard sex as some kind of sport or competition. Gets no thrill from the idea of risking his body in any extreme physical situation - has broken enough bones in childhood. Finds no humour in humiliation, no honour in denigrating others.
Aware of his breath, his thoughts, the ground beneath his feet. The final pieces of the pattern fall into place. This is the only true struggle, and his, the only judgement that matters.