AN: Ok, so in my mind, the Amy character stays the same as she did in earlier seasons. She remained in her world for the most part and video chatted with Sheldon. Penny never became her "bestie" because quite frankly, I just don't see it. This is my take on the summer Sheldon and Penny shared while Leonard was away. I hope you enjoy!

These summer days and nights were becoming a blur. One minute, then hour, then day melding into the next. Time was running out and in just a few short days his world would be shattered. A taunting paradox, returning him to the status quo to which he always so desperately adhered, and to which he no longer cared to return. Had he not experienced it personally, he never would have believed that time could move so quickly, that perception could be that altered, that four months could fly by so fast and appear as a mere moment in time. He clung to the notion that, no matter how this summer ends, his eidetic memory would relive these moments in his mind at will, till the end of time. No matter what the outcome, it was at least some comfort. A favorite bedtime story he would forever play over in his mind.

He just could never have imagined...

The summer had been remarkable, resplendent in fact. The best days of his life. With Leonard gone, gone too were the others. Even Amy rarely came by to sit in pointless desperation by his side on the couch. She hoped against hope that absence would make his heart grow fonder. Her premise was flawed, having been based on assumptions and on fiction. Sheldon knew that everyone thought they were perfectly fit for one other, but they were all mistaken. Just because two people share astronomical intelligence, does not mean they are meant to be romantic, nor are able to co-exist in harmony. It turned out that it was the only aspect they had in common, and although Amy provided quite stimulating conversations, she cared little for, nor appreciated Sheldon and his quirky ways. And quite frankly, he found her pushy nature off putting at times.

Penny was fast becoming an intrinsic aspect of his life. Initially, all she did was drive him to work. Then on rare occasions would swing by his office and surprise him with take out for lunch. These small friendly gestures of thoughtfulness just solidified the fact he already knew to be true about this woman. That she was his best friend. And as Leonard's video sessions with her grew less frequent, it didn't take long for her to begin spending most of her free time in his apartment. They frequently ate dinner together on the nights she didn't have to work. He wasn't sure when it turned from quick rides and nods in the stairway, to more. He wasn't cognizant if her being around so often created a false sense of comfort for him, or if she herself needed the company. But all he knew was that almost every waking moment soon was filled with Penny moments.

If they weren't shopping for groceries, comic books, or shoes, they were playing games or watching movie marathons. He taught her various strategies when playing chess, and she slowly instructed him on the latest fashions. Penny had even coerced him sometimes into walks around the block after dinner, or an occasional star gaze from the roof. She loved listening to him go on about anything and everything. Sheldon was extremely careful to keep his hands laced tightly behind his back at all times in these types of moments, lest his mind be distracted by her scent or her gaze, and his arms move unawares towards her person for an embrace.

Later and later into the evening it seemed, she remained, and more and more frequently he would offer words that would procrastinate her departure.

Until bedtime...

That was the only low part of his whole day. When they would say their casual farewells and each would retire to their respective domiciles, to lay in the warmth of their beds and dream their hopeless dreams.


Sheldon had no clue that the barriers would be so easily torn down. Of course he had been attracted to Penny for years, but his ego would not let him be put in a position to be rejected. It was one thing to be amongst his peers, his colleagues. He had to maintain a certain level of superiority. But with just Penny, his shields were down. He didn't need to prove anything to her, they both knew he was beyond brilliant. And he knew that she was an interpersonal savant. For some odd reason he could not grasp, he accepted her superiority over him in this regard. He hoped against hope that she would make the first move, provide a hint, anything at all that would indicate she returned his infatuation, but clueless as he was, he never picked up on any subtleties.

He didn't realize that spending so much time with her would turn his infatuation into a hopeless devotion for this woman who melted his heart. He had never felt such peace and warmth. Ever since that night months ago when they stayed up till dawn talking, he felt a shift in his mind, a stirring in his heart. His years of experience had taught him it could never be this way with another human being. But she had lay herself open to him and he listened...intently.

And he understood.

And he also reciprocated.

It was cathartic.

A release he never knew he held or even needed, as if gasping for air after holding his breath all his days. Sheldon could speak at great length about any topic, but he had never divulged his early childhood to anyone before. He knew how the entire universe functioned, but could never understand how others behaved towards him. It was confusing and terrifying. Not only was his father abusive, but so were other children, other adults, teachers. Sheldon never could determine what it was about himself that made others want to hurt him. He had closed himself off from the world for so long, it was amazing he hadn't built his fortress so strong that he got lost within his own mind forever.

At times he felt he could do just that.

He didn't know what he was going to do when the others would all come crashing back into his life. It was almost more than he could tolerate. He had let her see his weak side, his insecurities, his fears, and she took them into herself, and her eyes had dropped tears, and he saw in her an innate understanding and acceptance for who he was, completely, not just what he showed to the world, but the child within him, the dreamer, and the man.

He decided to go ahead and talk to her, of all the people in the world who could guide him, she would be the one. Where Sheldon was brilliant, Penny was wise. She would make everything OK, give him some other angle to ponder that he hadn't realized. That's how she worked. No matter the situation, she always made it better just by being her. And things wouldn't be weird between them, if anything, it might make them stronger.

He would do it...and soon.

Because time was running out.