Penny was cuddled up on her couch, holding her knees to her chest. She was watching Antiques Roadshow. Yes, her TV did get PBS, despite her telling Sheldon it didn’t. She wasn’t ready for Nova 24/7. She loved the stories on the antique show; stories of great finds made her acting dreams seem realistic, and family heirlooms warmed her heart. She began to wish she had an heirloom to pass down. What could she leave her grandkids? The painting Amy had done of her? “This was my Naona, painted by the famous neurobiologist, Amy Farrah Fowler, because they were BFFs.” At the rate she was going after having broken up with Leonard, she was never going to have kids to leave it to.
Well, fine she had her BFF anyway. But she couldn’t hang with Amy tonight, because Amy was with Sheldon on date night. Sheldon had left promptly after laundry night. He had even rushed his folding. Penny pouted. I bet he wouldn’t do that for me. But then she recalled the many times Sheldon had bent his rules for her, so knew that wasn’t really fair. And Amy was officially his girlfriend. It must be a great date night because Sheldon wasn’t home yet. Unless she has missed him during a loud, dramatic moment of Antiques Roadshow? She snorted.
No, she heard him on the stairs now. She relaxed as she waited to hear him enter his apartment. Instead she heard:
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
She knew the timing, so she lazed on the couch until the 3rd set of knocks, then launched herself toward the door and opened it just as he finished knocking.
Sheldon looked deranged. His eyes were darting everywhere.
“Are you being hunted? Do you need me to hide you?”
“I am not being hunted. I am, however, apprehensive of my reception.”
“Huh? Why wouldn’t I let you in? Wait, don’t answer that.”
Sheldon came in silently. He was staring at her now.
“Ok, fine, tell me why I might not let you in.”
“That is not logical.”
“I get that, Sheldon.” Penny’s voice was getting higher and louder. “Just tell me.”
“I am the bearer of what Amy assures me is bad news.”
“What, is she sick again?”
“Ha, she will not be able to fool me that way again. At least when I rescued you and when you made me soup there was actual ill health to excuse our actions.”
“Then what is it? Monkey problems?”
“No, the news is that Amy Farrah Fowler and I have terminated our relationship agreement.”
“Whoa, wow, why? What happened?” Penny was gaping at him.
“May I stay? As Amy Farrah Fowler is your BFF, I am unsure of my welcome.”
“Of course you can stay. Jeez you were my friend first.” She reached for his arm, but he had them firmly against his sides.
“Come on, sit down and I’ll make you tea. Unless you want something stronger?”
“Stronger would be good. Do you have Yoo-Hoo?”
“Sorry, no, I can offer cocoa or Bailey’s.”
“Cocoa, then. Thank you.”
She was moving toward the kitchen area to make the hot beverage. “I thought you and Amy were making real progress on the sexy side of things? What went wrong?”
“I also hypothesized that I was making progress, and I have made significant advancements in touching even bare skin. But Amy wanted a faster pace. She demanded a test tonight.”
“And you didn’t want to, so she broke up with you?”
“I did not want to, but I cannot refuse a test. I did not enjoy touching Amy. So I terminated our relationship agreement.”
“Oh Sheldon, I’m so sorry.” Penny walked back to where Sheldon was standing by the couch and attempted to pat his arm.
He flinched away from her, and said “You are supposed to be making cocoa now.”
Penny frowned. “Oh right. You just sit here on the couch and wait.”
She murmured as she returned to the kitchen “Ok with touching, not.”
“I heard that. I am fine with touching in a platonic sense.”
“You think that wasn’t platonic?”
“Penny, Penny,” he scolded her. “Do you even know what that word means?”
“Yes, I do! I study acting you know! We even watched Much Ado together and talked about it. Do you remember that? Huh, Mr. Big Brain?”
“Of course I remember. I remember everything. I do like the nickname Mr. Big Brain. You may use that one from now on. And Much Ado about Nothing was better in the original Klingon.” He had gotten that all out in one quick spate not allowing even Penny time to interrupt.
“I can’t believe you are arguing with Joss Whedon’s interpretation.”
“As I told you, if you remember when we discussed it before, I thought the casting was excellent and the articulation adequate, but I regretted the editing that was admittedly needed to make the film fit the usual movie viewing timeframe.”
“Well, I could have listened to all of them longer too. Though all the main characters being white was odd. It’s a great love story though.”
“I do not know about love. They did well to explain how two friends who were always bickering ended up married, although it did involve trickery.”
“You don’t think all that bickering was just foreplay?” Penny was interested and involved in the conversation now.
“I certainly hope it was.”
“Yeah, it would be tough beans for the marriage if it wasn’t.”
“I doubt tough beans would be good for any marriage. I understand sharing home-cooked meals is important.”
“My Nonna always said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” Penny said as she walked back to the couch. “Here’s your cocoa.”
“Your Nonna was wrong about anatomy. This is excellent cocoa Penny.”
“I hope it’s at least a little comforting.”
“It is Amy Farrah Fowler you should be consoling, since it is I who ended the agreement. The proper sentiment to convey to me is that she is a “bitch,” though I have no idea why calling her a female dog validates my action.”
“Sheldon! Amy isn’t really a female dog.”
“That is why I fail to understand the reference. But as my friend and Amy’s ‘BFF’ it was important you know immediately so you could berate and /or comfort us as appropriate.”
“I could certainly berate her for rushing you like this.”
“I did agree to the experiment.”
“Still, you need time to work up to this stuff.”
“I have made great strides. Amy did not inspire me to further efforts, however.”
“It will happen someday. Maybe you just aren’t ready for sex yet. Or maybe it just isn’t meant to be for you and Amy.”
“I am certainly not ready for sex yet only 57 minutes after terminating my relationship agreement. Amy is definitively not the woman for me. She will be calling you in 3 minutes, so I should go now.”
“Do you have to go?”
“Please, can we talk about this more tomorrow?”
“I plan to do so. Please allow me to leave now.”
“If you have to. Can I hug you first?”
“It is ‘may I hug you?’ and no you may not tonight. I must go.”
Penny waved as he let himself out and reached to answer the already ringing phone, feeling that at least it seemed like she and Sheldon were normal again.
“Hi Ames,” she chirped.
“Penny,” Amy sobs “haven’t you heard?”
That was way too enthusiastic Penny realized. She must be a better actress than she gets credit for.
“Sorry, Amy, I was trying to cheer you up.”
“It is not working,” Amy sniffed.
“Look, how about I come over there with some ice cream and booze? I’m guessing you don’t want to drive or come over here.”
“Thank you, I am sure your shining presence would help. I am willing to try the classic comforts of fat, sugar, and alcohol as well.”
“I’ll be right over.” Penny was already moving to gather the supplies, while wondering why she has so much ice cream when she doesn’t normally eat or buy it unless she is sad.
“Please drive very carefully; I could not bear if you left my life, too.”
“Amy, just hang in there. I’ll be fine, and careful. Do you want me to call Bernadette?”
“No, though I am sure she would understand my neurochemical state on an intellectual level, I believe what I need now is a chance to yell.”
“Yeah, I’m good with that. See you soon.” Penny was already struggling into a jacket with her arms full of ice cream, liqueur, and wine.
Arriving at Amy’s, Penny leaned on the doorbell, her arms full of comforts.
Amy answered the door looking terrible. She had on a granny gown, robe, and fuzzy slippers, and her face was red and puffy. “Thanks for not knocking. I don’t know if I will ever be able to hear a knock without thinking about him.”
“Um, full arms. Just let me put this stuff down.”
Amy shuffled back from the door so Penny could go around her and put the things on the counter. “Ice cream first, or should I put it in the freezer while we start with some wine?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.” Amy’s voice was moving toward a wail.
“Whoa, whoa, there’s no one right way to deal with being dumped. What do you want?” Penny knew if she hugged Amy now that the ice cream was definitely going to melt.
“I want to know what’s wrong with meee,” she wailed.
“Honey, nothing’s wrong with you. If we’re going to talk about what’s wrong with Sheldon, it will be a long night, so let’s start with ice cream. It’s never as good after the wine, anyhow. Hey! I brought Bailey’s to top it, so we’ll have alcohol too.” Penny was almost giddy by the end of this speech. She dished out some ice cream, stuck the rest in the freezer, and topped the bowls with a generous portion of Bailey’s. Setting the bowls on the coffee table she finally held out her arms to Amy.
Amy rushed to her, knocking her over with the strength of her clinging hug. They fell onto the couch, Amy atop Penny. Penny patted Amy’s back awkwardly. “Amy, can’t breathe here. Let me up.”
Amy struggled upright and Penny shook herself as she sat up. “Ok, now we eat ice cream and you cry if you want, and tell me how stupid Sheldon is, as if I didn’t know.”
“He’s not stupid. He’s a genius.”
“Hell, everybody around here is a genius except for me. Doesn’t win him any points in this case. He wasn’t able to appreciate you, and that’s all we need to know.”
“Yes, he was unappreciative. If he weren’t your friend, I’d say he’s a misogynist.”
“A Miss Who?”
“Not a who, a what a woman hater.”
“Oh, yeah, I guess he is still my friend. But I’m here for you. I just, well, I’m interested. Did you like what you guys were doing before you broke up?”
“Second base was a real achievement.”
“Second base! I thought from what Sheldon said that you went all the way.”
“No, I still have my pesky virginity.”
“You know, Sheldon might never get that far anyway. If you really regard it as pesky, we’ll find you a more experienced guy. But back to Sheldon. How was second base?”
“It was nice to have someone else touch me. I enjoyed that.”
“And you enjoyed touching Sheldon? Tell me, was he ticklish? Did he squirm? Did he faint?”
“Oh, that was fine, I guess. I wasn’t really able to concentrate on him. He was not too squirmy. I could keep my hands on him.”
“Was he rigid with fear?”
“Oh, possibly. I didn’t consider that.”
“Amy, were you at all interested in Sheldon physically?”
“Of course I was interested in getting physical with my boyfriend. That’s what set this whole problem in motion.”
“Not just your boyfriend person, but Sheldon himself. Did he ever make you go wooo?”
“Whu, I go whu.”
“Fine! Did Sheldon ever make you go whu? Like when he was in that suit for the wedding?”
“Sheldon in a suit would certainly not make me go whu.”
“Why not?” Penny was very confused.
“Like you, I am not attracted to men who wear suits well.”
“I am sure anyone who dated Leonard so long would not consider wearing a suit well to be a prerequisite.”
Penny thought of Leonard in his corduroy. “I can see how you’d think that. And maybe not a prerequisite; see I know what that is now.”
“Of course you do, bestie.”
“Anyway, a suit isn’t really the heart of Sheldon. Don’t you love his Tees over thermals look?”
“I could just rip them off him and get him into a decent sports shirt.”
“Um Amy not to say this isn’t a time to cry but did you like anything about Sheldon the way he is right now?”
“He’s very intelligent and reasonably professionally successful.”
“Reasonably successful? I still think he’s going to win the Nobel Prize.”
“He hasn’t won it yet. And he has had setbacks. He may never win it.”
“So he’s still cute and funny and even occasionally sweet.”
“He does have a fine sense of humor. He has hardly been sweet to me though.”
“He took care of you when you were sick. I bet he even sang you ‘Soft Kitty’.”
“There was no singing of kitties, soft or otherwise.”
“Oh, well, maybe he thinks it’s silly now that I’ve sung it to him.”
“Oh, Penny, he likes you better than meee,” Amy wailed.
“Don’t be silly.. He’s just known me longer ,so he’s more used to me.”
“Maybe.” She sniffed. “In any case, he is not my boyfriend anymore so it is not my problem. My problem is I will never get another boyfriend.” She broke down sobbing again.
Penny stood. “Now it’s time for wine and for me to tell you that you’ll have guys lining up to date you. Or gals. Or whatever you want.”
Once Penny had finally forced a drunken Amy to get some sleep, she returned home and zonked out for the rest of the night and much of Sunday morning.
She was surprised to wake before 11, but figured since she was up, she was going to get her shower taken before Sheldon showed up. She was sure he would be there exactly at 11 o’clock.
She was right.
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
Knock, knock, knock. “Penny.”
The Pennys were quieter than she expected.
She opened the door and let him in. “I’ve made tea.”
“Are you going to offer me any of it?”
“Sheeesh, Sheldon, of course I’m offering.”
Thank you, I would like some tea. May I have it in the green mug?” he asked as he perched on the couch.
“Sure, honey, that’s the best mug.”
“Yes, yes it is since you do not have a Flash mug.”
She came over and handed him the green mug, keeping the red one for herself, then sat beside him. Since he was not sitting back she also sat on the edge of the couch.
“What do you need, Sheldon?”
“I would like to hear that Amy Farrah Fowler is not suffering unnecessarily, but I know you may not be able to tell me that.”
“She’ll get over her pain. But, Sheldon, I don’t want it to be too painful for you. Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Would you kiss me?”
“Now, Sheldon, don’t start doubting that you’re attractive just because Amy wasn’t the one for you. I’m sure, I know, there are a lot of women who would love to kiss you.”
“I have no desire to kiss a lot of women. I misstated my question. I will ask again. May I kiss you?” He moved closer to her by 10 centimeters.
“Me? You want to kiss me?? Is this some sort of experiment?”
“Yes, I want to kiss you. No, it is not an experiment.”
“Is this your version of 36 hours of drinking and random sex?”
“No, it is not.”
“Ok, what the hell. I want to know. Kiss me.”
He did, rather awkwardly as they are still seated side by side and a bit apart.
Penny was about to slide off the couch so she broke off the kiss and said “maybe we should stand up.”
“You are too short for that to be comfortable for my neck. You should come over here.” Sheldon tugged her shoulders to face him and she straddled his lap as he moved a bit further back on the couch.
They resumed kissing. Penny was enjoying learning the shape of his full lower lip. Sheldon was struggling to focus on the pressure to apply. Their hands started moving over each other’s backs.
Sheldon said, “I want to touch you.”
“You’re doing just fine,” she said breathily.
“Frak, I misspoke again! You are making too many neurons fire. I want to touch your breasts.”
“Oh! All right you may do that. But I get to put my hands under your shirts, too,” she added mischievously.
“That is acceptable.”
Hands started to search for skin. It was a long reach for Penny and Sheldon was fumbling a bit.
“You want to see what you’re doing, don’t you?” Penny asked.
“Yes, despite being a theoretical physicist, when I do do applied work, I like to see my results.”
“Good.” Penny pulled off her camisole. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Sheldon’s eyes went wide and he was totally focused on looking at her as she went to work on his shirts. “I like to see my results too.”