Penny dragged herself around her kitchen, dressed in her sleeping outfit. Shorts and pink nightie. She wasn't feeling well, you could tell. She couldn't get any good night's sleep for couple of weeks now.

Physically she was in perfect health, but emotions were eating her inside. In a way, she was satisfied with her job, which paid well, but there were other things in her life. Her mind was wandering through each night, thinking about how her life turned out in Pasadena, the way it did. Her lousy acting career, boring marriage, her supposed friends. And him... How would her life be different, if she chose him instead of Leonard?

The weather outside wasn't great either. It was one of those rare rainy days, which dampened her mood even further. Saturday morning jogging was off the table. She wasn't looking forward to tidying up the apartment, but today it was the perfect time to do it. Her job-related stress had to be relieved somehow. Laundry comes in the evening. 8.15. There it was again.

Penny reached for a light box of cereal on the shelf. It contained barely enough corn for a decent meal.

She placed her ceramic bowl and spoon on the counter and poured everything the box contained, into the bowl. She sighed and stared into that empty box. It represented so much more in that moment.

Any good mood she possessed was taken away when she took the carton of milk out of the fridge.

Empty, just a couple of drops in it.

"Oh, come on!" She threw it across the counter in anger.

Penny sat on the stool and stared into the room and into the door. Thinking about the hallway. And the 4A door on the other side. How things could have been different with her and her neighbours. At the same time, she felt and twisted her wedding ring on her finger. Questioning her life decisions.

"It can't get any worse now, can it?" She thought to herself and went across the hall for another milk run. She slowly entered the living room and tried to be quiet. She knew how sensitive Sheldon's hearing is and how he feels about her taking his food.

What she didn't know is, Sheldon recently became a bad sleeper himself. He kept his feelings deep inside, but after so many years, it was getting to him. His stuck academic career, his supposed friends, his arranged girlfriend, which felt like a Pakistani tradition. And her… fake noises he heard through the drywall. She kept messing up his pajama bottoms, when she was spending nights with his roommate. It made him feel better, but only for a short while. Same as other things and occupations in his life. Work didn't help as much as it did. Nothing did anymore. She was all he could think about. His only true friend. Best friend. But nothing more.

Sheldon was about to get up anyway, when he heard the front door closing. He quickly checked live video feed software on his tablet. He shook his head, Penny and her morning milk raids. He sighed and marvelled her figure on the HD screen, bending into the fridge and standing on her toes, looking over the cereal boxes. He go up to greet her in person. There was a lot on his mind, which he needed to say.

He approached her, just when she was reaching for the top shelf.

"Good morning, Penny."

"Hey, can you pass me Big Bran cereals?"

"Bad day, huh? Here."

He stood right behind her and trapped her between the counter and his body.

"Sheldon, what are you..."

"I know why you are here." He spoke in a gentle, seducing voice, whispering into her ear.

"I just wanna get some..."

"You can't sleep at night… Wondering how it all went wrong with our lives." He interrupted. His hands gently slid up and down her exposed tights. His touch and warm breath on her neck made her breathe deeper. Goosebumps became visible on her arms. He gently kissed her neck and left shoulder.

"Yesss…." She moaned and closed her eyes. Even though her husband was in the other room, hopefully still asleep, she didn't do anything to stop Sheldon's fingers. She had to lean her arms onto the edge, otherwise she'd collapse onto the floor, when his right hand slid down her belly and under her panties. "Ohhh… How… How do you know?" She barely speak, completely confused.

"Because you're just like me." He placed another kiss on the side of her neck and stepped away. Penny turned around to face him. She was blushed.

"You are living the life you're not supposed to. You deserve better than this." He pressed his body against hers, leaning her onto the counter again. He did not kiss her lips, even though she could feel his arousal pressing against her belly. They touched with their foreheads and noses. They stood still, staring into each other's beautiful eyes. She wanted him so badly, but couldn't go with it. He couldn't proceed either.

"A life with you? Oh sweetie, I'm thinking about it every night." Their lips were only millimeters away, feeling the breath, but none of them went for the final touch. It would lead to things beyond their self control. Sheldon reached around for a hug and Penny did the same. She held her best friend dearly, never wanted to let him go. She closed her eyes. Tears gathered in her eyes, made their way across her cheeks.

"We cannot live like this anymore, Penny. Pretending there's nothing here."

"We're not cheaters, Sheldon." She broke the hug and stepped away from him. She threw him out in the dark and cold. "I can't do it now. It's too late for us."

"So you're just gonna accept this miserable life with Leonard? That's not who you are, Penny!"

"You had your chances, Sheldon! You didn't take them!" Penny was angry at him for not being more persuasive. And at herself for not understanding him better through all past years.

"I asked you out, you declined!" They both blamed the other for this grounded relationship.

"That was a joke, Sheldon. And even if you really meant it. What, one shot and that's it? What happened to never giving up!?" These words hurt Sheldon the most. He bowed his head and stepped away broken, like he lost the battle.

"You probably never heard about Thomas Edison, but that's exactly what he said. Giving up was my greatest weakness. This is why I lost you." He never let our a tear, but Penny knew how he felt.

"I'm sorry. It's just… I'm now married with Leonard. You're dating Amy. I guess, we just weren't meant to be..." She rubbed his back as he sat down.

"And that's it? Now you are giving up on us?" Sheldon turned the tables.

"Don't put this on me, please..."

"Hey guys, what's going on?" Their loud words woke Leonard up. He walked to Penny and pecked her on the cheek.

"You two are now free to discuss your marriage, while I take a cold shower. Excuse me." Sheldon buried his emotions again and stormed out of the kitchen. He couldn't bear the sight of Leonard kissing Penny for good morning. Her attitude changed, when Leonard showed up. She wanted to consult Sheldon, but she stayed with Leonard, pretending everything is alright.

"What's with him?" Leonard grinned. Penny clearly made Sheldon upset, which made him happy. Sheldon's misery is what he lived for.

"What are you smiling about?" She was still upset with how things went Sheldon. Only he can awake such love and hate passion in her at the same time.

"Seeing Sheldon miserable. Being here with you. Everything is perfect." He kissed her one more time.

"Oh, you can be such an ass, Leonard." She wiggled from his embrace and grabbed a pan to make herself a proper breakfast. Good food was one of the things that made her feel better. No matter how bad things turned out. It was much cheaper alternative to shoe shopping and much healthier than drinking herself to coma.

"You can say what you like, as long as I'm getting some of yours tonight." Leonard grabbed her. He couldn't do it at a more inconvenient time, she had the pan firmly in her grasp, when she felt his sleazy hand on her butt. She turned and banged his face hard in anger. It caused him to fell back against the fridge.

"AUU! What the hell was that for!?" He yelled at her, as he fixed his bent glasses back on his face.

"You're lucky it's not hot already! Why are you treating me like this!? I'm your wife, Leonard, not some cheap slut! Sheldon was right, I don't deserve this." She dropped the pan and stormed towards the bathroom.

"Where are you going!?"

"I'm taking a cold shower, Leonard! I need to think this through. Everything."

Leonard took an ice bag from the freezer and laid on the sofa. His head hurt and sudden turn of events took him by surprise. But he was positive. It had to be that time of the month for her. She'll feel better in a couple of days and they'll be happy couple again. All married couples go through this, they were no exception.


Penny knocked on the bathroom door.

"Sheldon, can I come in?" The door was unlocked, she didn't wait for his answer. She stepped in and locked the door behind her.

Sheldon peeked his head around the periodic table shower curtain.

"Penny, what are you..." He hissed in surprise at her. But he was quickly left speechless, when she pulled her nightie over her head. With each removed piece of clothing, she stepped closer to him. Sheldon observed her perfect body, she finally got him to smile. Something she missed so much about him. Her wedding ring was the final piece she drooped on the floor.

He took her hand and helped her to step over the edge of the bathtub. She could only smile at the rubber ducks beneath her feet.

His hands and body were freezing cold. This was the only therapy left, which put his mind off her. Until now.

Embraced together, they reached for the shower handles. Sheldon grabbed the one for pressure, Penny blasted the one for temperature. In mere seconds, they steamed up the entire bathroom. Literally and figuratively.

It was late in the morning, when they stepped out, reborn. The lack of hot water in the water heater ended their soapy activities. Penny noticed the weather outside. Morning rain was chased away and rays were making their way between the clouds. Rainy saturday turned into a good day afterall. From now on, every day will be a good day, she promised herself.

THE END