Author's Note: I can't even begin to tell you how hard I laughed during The Relationship Diremption when Sheldon woke up shirtless in his bed, making it look like he might've slept with Amy (which would have been…just…no), only to find an open geology textbook draped over his arm. That scene was ingenious.
Of course, being the obsessive Shamy fan that I am, I thought about what could've happened between them off-screen that led to Sheldon waking up like that the next morning. This fic is the result. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: The Big Bang Theory © Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
Sheldon stumbled into his dark bedroom, which filled with light a second later thanks to Amy flipping on the light switch. He groaned at the sudden brightness and staggered over to his bed. His hands flailed out, landing firmly on top of his mattress, and as he stood there, hunched over, he felt a hand touch his shoulder and gently pull him back up.
"Okay," Amy said. "Let's get you to bed, mister."
"Mister what?" Sheldon asked, looking over his shoulder just as Amy released him.
She shook her head and walked over to his drawers. "Sit down while I get your pajamas so you can get changed."
He blinked once, twice, just standing there as steadily as he was capable of doing while the world spun around him. Finally, he sank down on his mattress and started to undo his pants. He pulled at his belt forcefully, twisting the buckle in his fingers in one failed attempt after the next to unclasp it. He felt prickling heat spread through his neck, and he yanked at both of his shirt collars.
"Amy," he said, "I need you to help me get out of my pants."
Amy nearly stumbled as she turned around to face him, holding a folded pair of his plaid pajamas in her hands.
"There's a sentence I never thought I'd hear," she said, before walking up to him. She set his pajamas down at the foot of his bed and took a step back, placing her hands on her hips as she contemplated how to proceed. "Okay, let's get you out of your shoes first."
She knelt in front of him and worked on untying his shoelaces, while he sat there, finding himself mesmerized by the top of her head. He leaned forward and breathed in the familiar tangy scent of her green apple dandruff shampoo. A lazy smirk spread across his face.
"You smell delicious, Dr. Fowler," he said, just as she tugged off his right shoe so hard that it flew over her shoulder. It landed on the floor with a heavy thud, but Amy made no move to retrieve it.
She stared up at Sheldon, her mouth open and her eyes wide, until she blinked several times, her lashes fluttering. "Thank you."
With her eyes still on him, she hesitantly reached for his other shoe, and this time Sheldon made the task easier for her by lifting his heel off the ground once she'd finish untying the laces. She took off his shoe much more carefully this time, and then she stood up, picking up the other shoe and setting them both aside.
"All right," she said with a sigh, and once again put her hands to her hips. "Now I suppose we should take off your, um…your belt."
She slowly crouched in front of him, placing herself at eye level with him as she gently grasped his belt. He swallowed, his hands tightening in his lap as Amy unlatched his belt buckle and slid the belt out of the loops until he was free of it completely.
"Can you handle the rest by yourself?" she asked.
He stared at her. Of course he could. He didn't necessarily want to, though, as he was rather enjoying this proximity between them. Still, even with the alcohol pounding through his bloodstream, impairing his proper judgement, he could tell that Amy was uncomfortable doing all of this. It was only when he finally nodded in reply that she visibly relaxed.
"Good," she said, rising to her feet again. "I'll just step out for a minute so you can have some privacy—oooohhh-kay, you're already getting naked. Sheldon!"
He'd stood up and pulled down his pants, which were now pooled around his ankles.
"What?" he asked.
Amy didn't respond this time. She just gawked, blatantly, at his crotch, a dazed look on her face. He knew he should have felt some semblance of embarrassment in that moment, but the alcohol seemed to have absorbed all of his shame. He wasn't self-conscious at all. In fact, he found himself liking that she was checking him out.
After quite a bit of time had passed, Amy's eyes snapped back up to his face. "Never mind."
"Well, all right then," Sheldon said, and resumed shedding himself of his pants. He held them up and started to fold them, albeit a little crookedly. "I don't see how you could find this inappropriate anyway, as you've already seen me in my underwear numerous times."
As he talked, Amy handed him his pajama bottoms, and he clasped his hand on top of hers as he traded her his pants.
"Thank you," he said.
He attempted to put his foot inside the first pant leg, only to discover that it was much more difficult to put on pants while intoxicated than it was to take them off. He lost his footing and slipped, but Amy grabbed him by the wrist, pulling him back to his feet.
"Okay," she said, letting go of him long enough to press her hand against his shoulder. "Sit down."
He immediately plopped back down on his bed. Amy took the pajama pants from him and started to help him into them, and he erupted into a giggle as he felt her knuckles graze his calves. Her hands traveled farther up, over his knees and thighs, until she reached his waist, where she let go and pulled on the drawstrings.
"Hold still, Sheldon," she said as his stomach shook with laughter.
"I—can't help it!" he said, gasping for breath.
Amy released an aggravated sigh and stepped back from him. "There. Done. You certainly didn't make that easy."
As Sheldon grew quiet, he took in Amy's harsh frown and wrinkled eyebrows, and his mood sank sharply. He realized he was being a bother to her, an inconvenience, and he immediately hated himself for it. He had no problem bothering other people, like Leonard or Penny or his mother, but not Amy.
He could see it plainly in that moment, how distraught and exasperated she was, all because of him, all because his career and possibly entire life existence was falling apart. She didn't need this. She had a prosperous career of her own, one that would undoubtedly lead her down the path to winning a Nobel Prize.
He didn't want to drag her down with him.
"Amy," he said, his voice serious. He swallowed, feeling a knot swell up in his throat. He needed to know. "Do you think I'm a failure?"
Amy's face dropped. It was subtle, but he caught all the changes. Her eyes grew a little wider, and her lips parted the slightest amount. Her silence caused his throat to swell again, much faster this time, as though it were preparing to close up entirely. He looked down, no longer feeling brave enough to look Amy in the eyes. Apparently the alcohol couldn't hide all of his shame after all.
"Sheldon," Amy said, and although he was still ashamed, he instinctively looked back up at her. "I want you to listen to me closely, because what I'm about to say to you won't be coming from me as your girlfriend, but rather from one scientist to another. Do you understand?"
He nodded, and there was a pause. When Amy spoke again, her voice was gentle, just as serious as his was a moment ago.
"I don't believe you wasted your time by devoting over twenty years of your life to string theory, as I've seen you reach many breakthroughs throughout your career because of your research."
"But all of those breakthroughs turned out to be complete and utter failures that made a mockery of me and my career," Sheldon said. "The electric can opener incident in the Arctic, the miscalculation that falsely led to the discovery of a new element—"
"Yes, but if you'll please allow me to finish, Dr. Cooper," Amy said, her tone so straightforward that he had no choice but to oblige. "With that being said, I also don't believe you've made the wrong decision by choosing to leave the field altogether. What I do believe is that the time and effort you've invested into studying string theory will serve as a baseline for the next stage of the fulfilling scientific career you still have ahead of you. So, no, Sheldon, you're not a failure. You've simply hit a roadblock, one that you'll overcome sooner than you think. You're not a failure at all. You're a genius. Don't ever forget that."
Sheldon absorbed everything she said, welcoming the much-needed comfort it brought him. While there was still a significant part of him that was disappointed in himself, still worried about what he was going to do next, he allowed Amy's words to rejuvenate him. She was right. She always was.
"So," he said, "in essence, you're saying that I'm still a young man at the prime of my career, and I'm bound to one day make a discovery that will completely revolutionize the scientific world the likes of which no one has ever seen?"
Amy smiled. "Exactly."
Seeing Amy smile like that was so infectious that Sheldon found himself smiling, too. "So, I could be the next Stephen Hawking?"
Sheldon got so excited then that he sprang up to his feet, and he didn't even mind the throbbing dizziness that whirled through his head as a result of it. He was just so deliriously happy all of a sudden.
"Yes," he said, full of new-found energy. "You're right, Amy. This is just the beginning for me. I'm really going to do it. I'm going to reinvent myself. And, who knows, maybe I won't even focus on theoretical physics anymore. Maybe I'll look into chemistry. Or philosophy. Or even—" He gasped as an amazing idea struck him. "Pardon me a moment, Amy."
As he tried to pass her, though, she brought a hand up, stopping him in his tracks.
"Wait, where are you going?"
He cocked a smile at her. "I'm going to go fetch the geology textbook from the living room," he said, taking another step forward.
Amy's hand pressed into his chest. "Sheldon, no. The alcohol has clearly affected your cognitive functions, leading you to think it's a good idea right now, but I assure you, you're going to wake up tomorrow morning and immediately regret your drunken mistake. Geology isn't a real science, remember?"
"Oh, I don't know. I might have been too harsh. I should really give it the benefit of the doubt," Sheldon said. "Who knows, I might actually like it. And I'm sorry, Amy, but there's nothing you can say to talk me out of it. Now, please stand aside."
Instead of moving around her, though, he simply walked forward, making her palm press deeper against his chest.
"All right, fine," she said, slipping her hand off of him. She picked up his pajama top and handed it to him. "Here, you finish getting changed, and I'll get the book for you, okay?"
Sheldon took a step backward, clutching the soft shirt in his hands. "Okay."
Amy entered the living room, catching the attention of both Leonard and Penny, who were in the kitchen, cleaning up. She crossed over to the bookcase and grabbed the geology textbook, tucking it beneath her arm as she turned around and headed back to Sheldon's room.
Upon seeing this, Leonard raised his eyebrows. "Really?"
"I know," Amy said without stopping.
She re-entered Sheldon's bedroom to find him shirtless, the pajama top nowhere to be found, while he stood at the head of his bed, repeatedly pulling at the covers in frustration. He was just about ready to collapse face first into it.
"Sheldon, what are you doing?" Amy asked.
"What does it look like? I'm trying to get into bed."
He continued groping haphazardly at his bed sheets. He'd pulled down the comforter but couldn't pry apart the linens. The struggle was maddening. A second pair of hands suddenly appeared in front of him, and he blinked in confusion and stepped away as Amy set the geology textbook down on his nightstand and pulled the covers down for him with no effort at all.
"Thank you," he said, crawling into his bed. "You really are too good to me, Amy."
She helped him pull the covers on, and once he was settled, she picked up the geology textbook. "Here you go."
"Yay," Sheldon said, happily accepting it. He stared at the cover, running his hand along the smooth, glossy surface. "I can't wait to crack this baby open."
"Well, be sure to get some sleep, too, all right?" Amy said.
Sheldon opened the textbook and began perusing the table of contents. "Ooh. Geodes."
"Glad you like it," Amy said, and there was a brief silence as Sheldon kept reading to himself. "Anyway, if you don't need anything else, I think I should be heading home now. Sleep well, Sheldon."
He looked up from the textbook to see Amy heading for his door, and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment crushed down on him in that moment.
"Amy, wait," he said, and when she stopped and turned around, it dawned on him that he had no idea what he wanted to say to her. All he knew was that he didn't want her to leave. He searched for some sort of clever excuse to get her to stay with him, but he couldn't think of anything.
She stayed by the door, staring at him expectantly, and he realized then that there was, in fact, something he needed. Something he craved. His tongue involuntarily darted over his top lip.
"Aren't you going to give me a kiss goodnight?" he asked.
"What?" Amy immediately said, though he knew she'd heard him. She seemed to lose herself in her thoughts for a moment, as she simply stared at him, a blank expression on her face, only to end up briskly shaking her head. "It's not date night, Sheldon."
"So, it's not in the Relationship Agreement."
Amy fell silent again, seemingly deep in contemplation. He didn't know what there was to think about, though. He enjoyed kissing her, and he knew she felt the same way. He waited, quickly growing impatient, and finally he closed the geology textbook and carelessly flung it to the empty side of his bed.
"I'm waiting," he said, but Amy still lingered by the door, which drove him crazy.
"No," she said.
He blinked in surprise. "Excuse me?"
"I'm sorry, Sheldon, but I'm not going to kiss you when you're this drunk. I'd be taking advantage of your inebriated state."
"But I'm asking you to do it," Sheldon said. "It wouldn't be taking advantage at all. Why are you holding out on me, woman?"
"Go back to reading your geology book," she said, opening the door.
"Wait," he said, and thankfully, she stopped. He just couldn't let her leave like this. "Can I at least get a hug?"
"Since when do you like hugs?"
"Amy," he whined.
With a grin stretching across her lips, Amy walked up to him. Sheldon sat up eagerly, the bed sheets sliding off of him, exposing his bare chest. He noticed the way Amy's footsteps grew slower the closer she got to him, and by the time she was standing right in front of him, her eyes had dropped from his face to stare at his chest. He felt a boost to his ego and found himself suppressing a satisfied smirk. Clearly, his girlfriend liked what she saw.
When her eyes finally met his again, there was a moment of hesitation from her, a nervous resistance, before she lifted her arms and loosely slid them around Sheldon's bare back.
He took a moment to simply appreciate the surprisingly soothing feeling of Amy's palms touching his bare skin, before he reached up and wrapped his own arms around her waist, grabbing a handful of her buttocks in each of his hands. He gave her a firm squeeze, and she stiffened against him.
He snapped his head up to catch the alarmed look on her face. "What?" he asked, still cupping her posterior in his hands. "Would you prefer if I fondled your breasts instead?"
As he let go of her behind to reach for her chest, Amy jumped back from him, leaving his hands hanging in the air.
"Sheldon, stop it," she said. "Geez, you're a handsy drunk."
A deep frown crossed Sheldon's face. "Are you mad at me now?"
"No, I'm not mad," Amy said. "I'm annoyed, yes, and perhaps also a little…"
"Turned on?" Sheldon asked.
A second of silence passed.
"Okay," Amy said. "It's really time for me to go now."
She didn't move right away, though, and Sheldon stared up at her, the disappointment spreading through him again. Amy rolled her eyes, a hint of a smile on her face as she bent her head towards him. When he realized what she was doing, his heart sprang up, and he closed his eyes, his pulse picking up with an exhilarating rush of blood as he anticipated Amy's lips on his own.
Only, her lips didn't meet his, but instead, pressed chastely against his cheek. When she drew back, he opened his eyes to see a seductive grin on her face.
"Goodnight, Dr. Cooper," she said softly.
"Goodnight, Dr. Fowler," he replied, giving her a sexy grin of his own.
She crossed back over to the door and opened it, giving him one last enticing glance, before she closed the door behind her.
Sheldon reached for the geology textbook, only to stop and glance down. He decided that, first, he needed to rid himself of these pesky pants.