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Acoustic Sweet Spot Encounter

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Sheldon muttered under his breath as he stepped out of his car. His day did not go well. First of all, his alarm failed to wake him which caused him to miss Doctor Who at 6:15 am. Then he had to endure a whining Leonard at home after having another fight with Penny that also led to a fight between them. If those weren't enough, he received an email from the University asking him to collaborate with Barry Kripke. Of all people that they could pair up with him, it had to be one of his enemies. He immediately called the head of the Physics department to persuade them to change their minds, only to be rejected and threatened to give the whole project to Kripke, much to his chagrin.

To avoid the overwhelming chain of terrible situations, he decided to get out of the apartment and spend the rest of his Saturday on his own. He stepped inside the movie theater and scanned the list of movies currently showing. He was out of his comfort zone coming here unprepared but he had no choice unless he wanted to get crazy from the chaos within his apartment.

He couldn't decide which movie was worth watching, his eyes shifting between the screens. He clenched his jaw in frustration before settling on 'Lucy', seeing that it was the only science-fiction available. The movie was about to start in 10 minutes so he hurried towards the booth and purchased himself a ticket. He shook his head to clear his thoughts as he entered the theater. He sighed in relief when he noticed that there weren't a lot of people inside even though it was a weekend. He was just about to relax as he walked up to his usual seat when he saw something that made his blood boil in irritation.

Amy shifted in her seat as she tried to get comfortable. Normally, she would've been at home, engrossed in her work but after she finished the paper she had been working on, she finally had time to unwind.

She put her drink back to the cup holder and took her glasses off. Using her sweater, she wiped the lenses and squinted to see if it was spotless again. Once she put it back on, she looked up and jumped in her seat as a man was suddenly towering over her. Thinking that he was looking for a seat down the row, she immediately moved back to let him pass and apologized, "I'm sorry."

She waited, but to no avail, the man stay rooted to his position, a scowl etched on his face. He crossed his arms on his chest and glared at her, "you're in my spot."

Amy gaped at him. Confusion was written all over her face as she tried to comprehend his words. As far as she knew, the theater had no seat reservations and even if it did, she would've still chosen the exact same seat.

She stared back at him and argued, "Excuse me? This theater is free seating and I got here early to make sure I have a good seat."

Sheldon huffed in annoyance. His day probably just got worse and he was torn to either let his annoyance grow or calm himself down to avoid a confrontation with the woman in front of him. However, the words left him before he could even stop himself, "now you listen here little lady. You see, the spot you're sitting on is the acoustic sweet spot. Which you probably didn't know."

He saw the woman open her mouth and he hurriedly continued his tirade, "the acoustic sweet spot is the location in which an individual, in this case me, will be able to hear the optimal sound in places such as movie theaters. Being the reference listening point—"

"The acoustic sweet spot is equidistant between two speakers which creates an equilateral triangle if visualized by a diagram and in the case of surround sound, this is located at a point where the sound waves will arrive simultaneously," Amy had a smug look on her face as she cut him off.

A part of her was a bit annoyed that this man underestimated her. Who did he think he was? Did he really think that he was the only one who was familiar with the term?

After she was done talking, she let her gaze wander over his appearance; his stance was defensive as if trying to show superiority. However, she could not resist giving him a once over as she took in his physique. She wouldn't classify him as muscular, but his broad shoulders and towering height was enough to make her feel things. But she pushed those down and let her annoyance remain in the foreground. Stop it!

She narrowed her eyes at him, "you were saying?"

Sheldon's jaw dropped. His eyes twitched knowing she outsmarted him. Once again, he was torn. He didn't like the fact that she cut him off, much less that she had said what was exactly on his mind. Yet, he suddenly had the urge to continue conversing with this woman.

His posture remained tense as they both glared at each other. Sheldon knew he already lost but he couldn't stop looking back at her. It seemed time moved slowly as they waited for who would cave in first.

Amy sensed his growing agitation and as much as she wanted to assert her rights, she could feel the other occupants of the theater looking at them. She gritted her teeth and sighed heavily; there was no point in arguing as it seemed that she had to be the bigger person. And she didn't plan to spend her day off arguing with a stranger over a seat. "You know what? Fine, you take this seat. I don't know what's got you all distressed but it looks like you need a respite from whatever's troubling you." She shook her head and gathered her belongings. She stood up and head further down the row.

Sheldon blinked.

He got what he wanted and he knew he should've felt relieved but as his eyes followed her retreating form, a tinge of guilt resonated through him.

For a second time that afternoon, he acted before he could think about the consequences. His hand instantly reached out to her wrist, "wait," he whispered.

Amy turned back to him, shocked and confused at the same time. She raised an eyebrow in question while he took his hand back. She continued to observe him, tilting her head as she waited patiently. She figured he must be struggling with his words; his hands were fidgeting and he swallowed as he tried to make eye contact with her. She tried to soften her features; why she even tried to consider his feelings was beyond her.

Sheldon licked his lips and cleared his throat. He looked around and saw a few stares and couldn't help but sigh, "I'm sorry I didn't mean to snap at you."

Amy raised a disbelieving eyebrow, "so why did you?" She asked.

Sheldon scrunched up his nose at the prospect of having to explain his actions. He rarely did it, but with his current situation, it's the least he could do, "it seems that today is 'not my day' as most people put it. I've had a rough morning about work and my roommate was no help at all…I needed an escape and I am very particular on where I sit so when I saw you here...I lost it."

"Okay," Amy said with a nod.

Sheldon furrowed his eyebrows at her simple answer. Most people would respond with an insult or voice out further frustrations regarding his behavior, so it shocked him that she immediately accepted his reason and didn't seem to doubt him. However, he wanted to make sure that there were no grievances between them and opened his mouth to apologize again but the movie already began. He found himself being pulled down to his seat and looked to his right where the woman was already sitting comfortably with her drink in hand.

She gave him a smile, her eyes filled with mirth as her gaze skirted behind them, "I don't think they would appreciate it if you block their view of the movie."

Sheldon managed to smile back at her and nodded his head. Their close proximity was certainly affecting him but he decided to shake it off before he would end up doing something impulsively for the third time.

The first 15 minutes of the movie was spent in relative silence until the scene with Morgan Freeman began. Sheldon couldn't help but roll his eyes. He knew it was science fiction, but still, imagine how many of its audience would blindly believe his words.

"10% may not seem like much but it's a lot if we look at all that we've done with it."

Sheldon scoffed and Amy must've heard him because she let out a chuckle. He turned his head towards her and whispered, "I don't know why you're laughing, but here's a fun fact: the myth that humans only use 10% of their brains was said to have originated from the works of American philosopher and psychologist Wi—"

"William James, specifically in his book 'Energies of Men' written in 1908." Amy stifled a grin after she rendered him speechless again. She decided to use her expertise to shock him further, "fun fact," she gave him a knowing look when she began, "if the 10% myth is true, people who suffer from a brain damage would barely notice the difference or feel any adverse effects, but in reality it is highly impossible for any section of the brain to acquire damage and not have a lasting consequence to an individual's mental and/or physical ability."

Amy couldn't resist the wink she threw his way. She was being openly playful with a stranger and was quite baffled at how ease she was around him. Maybe it was his supposed intelligence. Given that he was familiar with factoids most people would have never heard of and even the vibe he was giving off; something about him exuded brilliance and confidence.

Sheldon was not fairing any better. She beat him twice in a row now and all he could do was stare. He wondered who this woman was? What was her job for her to be familiar with scientific facts? Was she a scientist like him? The annoyance that he anticipated to consume him didn't come. The feeling that erupted from within him was even worse.

He was thrilled.

It was an uncharted territory, a feeling that screamed danger, but still he didn't run off.

He rolled his eyes at her before letting himself smile, why am I even smiling? He asked himself. "Nobody likes a know-it-all," he whispered back.

It was Amy's turn to scoff, "yeah, you might wanna keep that in mind in the future."

They didn't speak for the duration of the movie but they felt the other stealing glances from time to time. Once, Sheldon offered her a Red Vine only to see that she had her own stash. He was beginning to wonder if what was happening was real or if he finally passed out in his apartment that he was dreaming about her. They were too much alike that he's now doubting her existence.

After the movie ended, the lights went back on and people around them began to shuffle out of their seats. They stood up at the same time and an awkward silence descended upon them as they stared at each other.

Amy clutched the strap of her purse and cleared her throat, "I um—I have to…" she stuttered while pointing to the direction of the exit.

Sheldon finally realized he was blocking her way and jumped to the side as he let her pass, "right. Of course, sorry." After she got past him, he followed suit and kept a safe distance from her.

Amy could feel his gaze from behind her and a strange sensation went through her. She didn't know if it was vigilance or interest but she closed her eyes to control her breathing.

When they made it outside the building, Sheldon's gaze went to his car before he spared a glance towards her. He didn't know what to say to her. It wasn't like they had a lengthy conversation and became friends. He also couldn't classify them as acquaintances…he was at loss. He opened his mouth to say anything but it seemed she beat him to it again, a sigh of relief escaped his lips.

Amy smiled as she shrugged her shoulders, "well I have to go. I hope you resolve whatever's troubling you."

Sheldon's hands went to his pockets as he nodded in acknowledgement. He waited for her to approach her car but as she began to walk further away, a frown formed on his face. Is she walking home? He glanced around and saw that the sun had already set. A nagging feeling forced him to call out to her, "wait!"

Amy turned back and looked quizzically at him, "is something wrong?"

Sheldon shook his head, "where's your car?"

Amy blinked in surprise before responding, "I'm just about to pick it up. I had to get it fixed after my car broke down last Thursday."

"Oh," Sheldon felt sorry for her, although he also saw it as an opportunity to at least get to know her. It was too good of a chance to pass up. He quickly jogged beside her and smiled, "may I walk with you?"

Amy furrowed her eyebrows and asked, "don't you have a car?"

Despite this, the thought of being in his presence excited her. She had never met anyone as interesting as him…it was too good of a chance to pass up.

Still, she wanted to be sure, "you're not some maniac, are you? 'Cause I gotta tell you, I managed to break the nose of a TSA agent once and I won't hesitate to do the same with you if you try to get handsy."

Her tone was joking but Sheldon sensed she was also being serious. He raised his hands to tell her that he meant no harm, "I do have a car…just doin' somethin' nice for a lady, ma'am," he replied and bowed his head a little.

He gauged her reaction and saw her still eyeing him suspiciously, "it's three blocks away," she narrowed her eyes.

"We better get a move on then," Sheldon stepped aside and gestured for her to start walking.

Amy gave him one long stare before nodding her head, "very well."

Sheldon smiled and walked beside her. Silence enveloped them once again, but it was surprisingly comfortable unlike the ones they had at the theater. He cast a sideways glance at her and built up the courage to strike up a conversation.

"I don't mean to be intrusive but what is your occupation?" He finally asked. He had a gut feeling, and he hoped he was right.

A smile formed on Amy's lips and she couldn't help but chuckle, "why do you ask?" Even though she knew why, she wanted him to say it out loud.

Sheldon's eyes darted around as he felt embarrassed all of a sudden. However, his curiosity won over him, "you seemed to be well-versed about the human brain…I was wondering if…" he trailed off.

Amy laughed and gave him the answer that he wanted, "I'm a neurobiologist at UCLA."

"I knew it," he laughed. If Sheldon found her interesting then, he was impressed by her now. It seemed that they really were too much alike. "Doctorate?" He admired the proud look on her face as she nodded.

"I went to Harvard for both undergrad and grad studies," Amy turned her head towards him, "what about you?"

"Theoretical Physicist at Caltech, I spent six years to attain two doctorates," he replied with a bit of pride in his voice.

Amy also had an impressed look on her face before she grinned at him, "I can only imagine how stressful it must be for you this morning." She saw his sheepish look and giggled, "it's fine don't worry about it."

Sheldon shook his head, "I really do apologize for my inexcusable behavior. I do not normally behave like that, especially towards a lady such as yourself—"

"'such as yourself'?"

"Well, I—you are very sophisticated. I haven't met any female scientist as quick-witted as you. A woman of your caliber should never be in the receiving end of such horrible manners."

Amy rarely get compliments from anyone much less a man. And yet here was a stranger beside her, saying things about her that no other person had ever said to her. It made her feel appreciated and important. Is this what it feels like to have a friend? She thought to herself. Blush colored her cheeks and she offered him a smile, "thank you."

"I take it you're not from around here?"

Amy shook her head, "I live in Glendale. I've been so busy with work I thought a change of environment is in order."

Sheldon nodded his head. Passers-by littered the sidewalk, their chatter filling in the silence between them. It had been a long time since he took a leisure walk and at that moment he was grateful for it. He realized he needed to have a change of environment as well. He was cooped up in his apartment most of the time if not at work or at the comic book store. It was refreshing to let his mind loosen up and it also didn't hurt that this impromptu activity of his turned out to be an interesting one. To meet someone that might match his intellectual ability was intriguing. Sure, his friends were intelligent people, aside Penny of course, however it still felt different with the woman beside him.

Suddenly, he realized that she came to an abrupt stop and he halted.

Amy smiled and pointed to the establishment behind her, "this is my stop," she said politely. If it were up to her, the night would go on for a bit later. How fun would it be to talk science all night with him? She wondered to herself. Maybe she could ask him to be her friend…but why would he want to be my friend? The discouraging thought crossed her mind. She shook her head and forced herself to smile brightly at him, "thanks for accompanying me."

Sheldon tried to hide his disappointment. He thought the walk would be longer but he knew he can't do anything about it. "You're welcome..." he paused as it dawned on him that he didn't even know her name, "I'm sorry I forgot to ask your name," he remarked.

Amy's face bloomed and she responded enthusiastically, "It's Amy. Amy Farrah Fowler."

Sheldon couldn't deny it to himself, he loved her name. "Nice to formally meet you, Amy Farrah Fowler," a shiver of excitement ran down both their spines as her name rolled off his tongue. Sheldon held out his hand for her to shake, "I'm Sheldon Cooper."

Amy shook his hand and it stayed there a few more seconds than typical handshakes did, "glad to make your acquaintance, Sheldon Cooper." The way it sounded from her lips, made him want to befriend her even more.

As Sheldon stared at her eyes, he willed himself to make the first move. It can't be that hard to make new friends, can it? What harm would it bring? They're just gonna be friends and from their brief interaction today, Sheldon was convinced he had found his intellectual equal.

He cleared his throat and asked, "Amy, would you mind if…we keep in touch? I-I would really like to be your friend."

Amy's jaw dropped. He wants to be my friend! She was silent for a few seconds, making Sheldon squirm in uncertainty. But as she heard her name being called, she went back to reality and plastered another smile on her face. Instead of answering him immediately, she opened her purse and looked for her contact card. Once she was able to retrieve it, she offered it to him, "just so you know, you're gonna be my first friend, so I really want you to think about it," she joked.

Sheldon chuckled as he pulled out his wallet, taking out his own card and exchanging it with hers. "Well I feel both honored and flattered."

It must be the similarities, they thought to themselves, wondering why they felt comfortable interacting with each other.

Sheldon finally took a step back from her and put his hands inside his pockets, "have a good night then, Dr. Fowler."

Amy blushed at being referred by her title and thought it would be nice to return the gesture, "have a good night as well, Dr. Cooper."

Sheldon trekked up the stairs to his apartment with a dazed look on his face. He looked down at the card in his hands and smiled, "Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler," he whispered to himself.

Once he put it back in his wallet, he shook his head, trying to control the emotions evident on his face. If by chance that Penny and Leonard made up and were staying in his living room, he didn't need a third degree of why he was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

He reached the fourth floor landing and stood outside the door. He could hear the sound coming from the television inside and he cleared his throat and tried to school his features. Stop thinking about her now, Cooper.

He opened the door and dropped his keys into the bowl.

"Hey, Sheldon," Penny greeted him.

He went straight to his desk and shrugged out of his windbreaker, feeling the eyes of his roommate on his back.

Leonard stood from his seat beside Penny, "look Sheldon, I'm sorry for how I acted this morning. I shouldn't have taken out my anger towards you. I hope you can forgive me," he said solemnly. He waited with bated breath, hoping that Sheldon wasn't that angry. He had been gone all afternoon and he hesitated to call, afraid that it would make their situation worse. After resolving the issue with Penny, she assured him that Sheldon just needed time on his own from time to time. It eased his mind for a while, but when it went past the time he usually begin his pre-soaking schedule, his worries came back.

As he stood there waiting for Sheldon's response, he suddenly felt that the tall physicist didn't hear him at all. He looked back at Penny who just shrugged her shoulders. He sighed and took a step closer to his best friend. Cautiously, he placed a hand on his shoulder and called his attention.

Sheldon jumped and turned around, holding his phone close to his chest. His eyes darted from Leonard to Penny as he tried to wipe off the smile on his face. Damn it, he thought as he saw the warning signs of Leonard's curiosity over his behavior. He immediately pocketed his phone and said, "I'm sorry I tuned you out, what were you saying?"

Penny and Leonard shared a look before Leonard decided to apologize again, "I'm sorry for this morning. It was wrong of me to direct my anger towards you."

Despite Sheldon's irritation from this morning, he couldn't find it in himself to remain angry at his best friend. After all, he was sure his day was better than Leonard's. As he thought of that, the smile that graced his lips went back and he accepted the apology, "thank you Leonard, apology accepted."

Leonard sighed in relief, although he furrowed his eyebrows at the odd behavior of his roommate. There was something about his smile that he could not decipher. The smile he was accustomed to was quite ominous and resembled a mad man so he asked, "are you alright?"

Sheldon looked at him, confused, "of course, why wouldn't I be?"

Leonard shrugged, "nothing I—so where have you been?" He asked, deciding to let the matter go.

"I went to watch Lucy, surprisingly it was not a crowded theater…it was quite enjoyable."

"Okay…" Leonard replied before his eyes caught the time and noticed that Sheldon would nearly start his laundry, "I'll let you go do your laundry then," he smiled before walking back to the couch.

Sheldon nodded and got his phone out of his pocket, staring once again at the message he just received as soon as he crossed the threshold.

I hope I'm not being too forward with this friendship thing, but I just want to thank you again for walking me to my car. Have a good evening. -A

He turned towards his bedroom, a smile on his face as he typed his response.

Penny raised her eyebrows at that, "was he…smiling down at his phone?"

Leonard looked confused as well, "looks like it…maybe he's writing a complaint to some company and he's letting them have it."

"Eh, you're probably right."

They settled once again, snuggled against each other, unbeknownst to the fact that Sheldon Cooper was enamored by a woman.