A/N: Wow, that was... wow, sooo many reviews! I was not expecting that. So here's the second chapter, and it's short, but I think you Shenny fans will like it anyway... I hope?
(For disclaimer, see chapter 1)
It was three in the morning, which as far as Sheldon could tell was an excellent time for playing bongos. He wasn't sure if it was the rhythm he was hammering out or the fact he was sat here alone in the dark at the wrong end of the couch that made it feel so good. Perhaps there was another reason, but he declined to let his mind wander too far into that particular realm of thinking. It had to do with ways to wake up Penny and get her attention, and none of that could lead to any good.
The only person he seemed to have summoned to his impromptu bongo concert so far was Leonard, and the little guy didn't exactly look thrilled to be there anyway.
"Hello, Leonard, do you like my bongos?" asked Sheldon, beating out a rhythm to his words like some kind of hippie poet from decades before. "Bet you didn't know that I had bongos."
That was how the odd altercation began and continued, whilst across the hall Penny woke up with a banging in her head that she blamed on the copious amounts of wine, at least at first. She had started drinking just as soon as she got home, convinced she needed something to calm down her brain activity that had gone into over-drive, and all over Sheldon Cooper.
Penny always wondered if she was a little crazy, hanging out with the guys and all. Lately, spending so much time with Amy, it wouldn't be a stretch to think a little of her fruit loopyness had rubbed off either, but it was only today when Penny had really realised how nuts she might be. Thinking about sex with Sheldon, yeah, that was a new level of whack-a-doodle that she couldn't even quantify. Then she had started giggling when she realised she just used a 'sciencey' word and poured herself another glass.
It was a few minutes before she realised she was about to pass out on the couch that Penny had taken herself off to bed. She couldn't understand why she was now awake again, past three in the morning, with a pounding in her head. That didn't usually happen until much later in the day. Unless of course the banging drum was outside of her own brain. It was Leonard yelling 'Stop it!' over and over that made her realise the truth.
Getting up out of bed with a growl of frustration, she stomped over to the boys' apartment and pushed open the door without even thinking. It was a little shocking to find it unlocked at night. Sheldon was usually so crazy about predators and burglars and all, but then this was Sheldon 2.0 - the crazy chaos-embracing version.
"Why did you get bongos?" she asked the physicist with no lack of frustration, pushing her messed up hair out of her face.
There was some explanation coming out of his mouth and then out of Leonard about another scientist that played the instrument in question. Penny didn't hear the answer. Even at three in the morning, seeing Sheldon on the wrong end of the couch was shocking enough to make her start. What caught her attention next was the grin on his face. He was happy. Sheldon was as giddy as a hillbilly kid who just stumbled into Daddy's meth lab.
It occurred to Penny that Sheldon rarely looked so happy about anything. Getting him to smile genuinely at people was a tough gig, and even his favourite DVD boxsets or comic books never made him look quite so smiley and carefree. Hell, she was pretty sure this was a bigger smile than he even wore for koala bears!
There was a freedom that came with not living by the rules, this Penny knew very well herself. She had few regulations in her own life, to be truthful, and even less she hadn't gone ahead and broken anyway. For Sheldon, who had self-imposed rules on just about everything, this experience of doing whatever he liked whenever he wanted must be so freeing, so good for him. Suddenly, Penny couldn't actually mind too much that she'd been woken at some ungodly hour by bongos.
Sheldon looked oddly at Leonard as his friend tried in vain to get him to see reason. He wanted him to go to bed, consider work in the morning, adhere to the room-mate agreement. He just wasn't listening, and honestly, Penny kinda wanted to cheer for him. She didn't know for sure, but as smart as Sheldon was, all the work he had done, he must be loaded. If he wanted to quit his job, he'd survive, and probably be much happier, whether he did or did not in fact start the bongo band he spoke of.
Their ridiculous semi-argument over with, Sheldon got up from the couch and turned away from Leonard. It was only then Penny noticed she was stood in the doorway, blocking the bongo player's escape route. Even when she noticed she didn't move, she just stared up at that smile on Sheldon's face, the bright clear look in his eyes like he was seeing the world properly for the first time and loving every second. It made her smile too.
"Where are you going?" she asked, wondering when her voice got so soft, almost wanting to say that wherever it was she'd go with him.
Hell, running around Pasadena in the middle of the night with chaotic-minded Sheldon sounded like more fun than it should. Of course, the true answer to her question was that Sheldon didn't know the answer. This whole night was unplanned and unprecedented. Everything was usually laid out so carefully both in his physical world and in his mind. It was genuinely freeing to just do whatever one felt like from moment to moment, damning any consequences that might not come. For the first time in his life, Sheldon was risking the fact that Einstein had been wrong, that actions did not have reactions, that consequences did not exist, or if they did, they were not so bad as he had thought before.
In this moment, he would go wherever he wanted, do whatever he wanted, and nothing bad would happen. Only good things seemed to be happening tonight, like buying bongos. Penny still wanted to know where he was going, and there was only one response Sheldon wanted to give to that in this moment.
"Wherever the music takes me, kitten," he told her, with a lot more Southern drawl than she'd heard him use in long time.
What startled Penny more than the accent was the arm around her back that suddenly pulled her in close, and then there were lips on hers. Sheldon's lips on hers. She hadn't had time to breathe because she was never in her life expecting this to happen. A kiss with Sheldon, the idea would have made her shudder before, and yet experiencing it was not gross or even weird. Hell, it was pretty hot!
For a guy with no experience, or so he had told her, the man could kiss. Maybe he read a book about it or studied other people doing it? Penny couldn't think about that now. She could barely hear Leonard yelling at them for what they were doing. It was only then Penny realised that Sheldon wasn't just kissing her, she had been kissing back, as well as being practically bent over backwards in a dip to end all dips whilst it was happening.
"Hmm, interesting," said Sheldon when he finally let her go, barely sparing the time to put Penny back on her feet before he walked out.
All bruised lips and wobbly knees, the blonde put one hand over her mouth and stared wide eyed after the man that literally took her breath away.
"What the hell just happened?" asked Leonard, taking the words right out of Penny's mind, she was sure of it.
Honestly, she had no explanation, and doubted Sheldon had either. He was now halfway down the stairs, back to singing about the wonder of his bongos. The truth was, Dr Cooper was no less confused by his behaviour than Penny was. He didn't kiss women, unless it was his mother and that was hardly the same thing. A peck on the cheek of Momma or Meemaw, even Missy, just didn't count as kissing a girl. There was Amy, but she always initiated any kind of closeness between them and Sheldon knew for sure that kissing Penny would be vastly different, even before he tried it.
Though his legs carried Sheldon down the stairs and out of the front door of the building, he wasn't really thinking about where he was going. Beating out a feint and random rhythm on his bongos, his mind wandered to Penny and only her.
There was no explanation, not even any forethought to his kissing her. In his new state of chaos, Sheldon operated purely on instinct, desire, and dreams now, with as little actual thought as possible. The more he tried to live without the rules, the more he liked it, the more he wished to further embrace it. Of course he hadn't quite considered how much he wished to embrace Penny until it happened.
It was only now he had stopped walking, his hand still on top of the bongo skins, that Sheldon realised people were staring. These were unsavoury folks out in the dark. Probably sailors and harlots, and he was out here alone, in his nightwear. Even allowing chaos to reign did not mean Sheldon wished to be attacked, propositioned, or otherwise used. Going home seemed like a non-option with Leonard and Penny still there. On some level, even Dr Cooper knew he might have crossed some kind of line, kissing a woman who was supposed to be dating his friend. Amy would understand. Good old reliable Amy Farrah-Fowler who would forgive him almost anything and saw Penny as some kind of figure to be worshipped. She was surely understand his predicament.
"Excuse me..." said a voice Sheldon barely heard, but he definitely felt the stranger's hand on his shoulder.
With a yelp, the scientist took off at a run, with a death grip on his bongos, and a flailing step akin to Kermit the Frog having a panic attack. He wouldn't stop until he reached Amy's door.
To Be Continued...