A/N: some random fun to start November off.
Penny was the first to notice it. She had a feeling something was off the other day, but today she was very sure of what she was seeing. It was while the group was eating Thai food, watching a tv show, she'd been glancing at him all night, and when he stood up during a commercial break, she followed.
He was throwing away his takeout container and she could not resist it, she touched his cheek, gently, just a brush of her fingers along his jaw.
Sheldon jumped from the contact, made a little yelp noise stumbled away. That drew the attention of the others still seating around the tv, chatting to themselves.
Penny felt a little embarrassed; Sheldon was looking at her oddly.
"Why did you do that?" Sheldon asked as he righted himself and tried to play off his racing heart.
Penny narrowed her eyes, "you haven't shaved in three days." Penny stated.
Sheldon sighed, absently he scratched at his very noticeable tiny bit of scruff. "very observant, is that a reason to attack my person?" he asked.
"Why?" now she was curious. She couldn't remember the last time he didn't shave.. he even woke up clean shaven.
Sheldon's eye started to twitch slightly.
"He's in a bet… at Caltech." Leonard finally said.
Sheldon shot him a glare, Penny furrowed her brow, Howard and Raj snickered. Bernie looked confused.
"A bet? What kind of bet?" Penny asked.
"It's No Shave November and some of the guys at Caltech are participating." Raj started.
"And then Party Pooper McGee over there started to argue at how stupid it was yadda yadda…" Howard added.
"And to make a long story short, Kripke bet Sheldon a month of the laser lab that he couldn't grow a beard." Leonard finished.
Penny arched an eyebrow and looked at Sheldon and then the rest of the boys. "why aren't you growing anything?" she asked.
"I threatened Howard with my own No Shave November if he tried to grow a gross beard." Bernie said with a grin, Howard grumbled.
"I'm dating this new girl and I don't want to spring my crazy facial hair on her just yet." Leonard said sheepishly.
Raj only shrugged, "I didn't want to."
"It's preposterous… and I hate it, I look unkempt." Sheldon grumbled as he ran a hand over his cheek.
Penny turned her attention back to Sheldon, "well you can grow a full beard… I don't see any patches." Penny said as she stepped closer.
"Oh I am very much capable of growing it, I just don't want to."
"Unless it means proving another man wrong." Howard chimed in.
"He took my manhood into question." Sheldon bit back.
The boys snickered at this, clearly they agreed with Kripke.
"Well he has a point, you're kinda… I don't know… you're the least "manly" of the bunch." Leonard said with a smirk.
The group took their attention off the duo and went back to other topics.
Penny reached over and ran the back of her fingers along his cheek, she leaned in closer to him, "I think it looks good on you." She whispered before she left the kitchen.
Sheldon was stuck frozen. He swallowed thickly.
It was two nights later, Penny was in her pajamas, watching late night tv. Her day had been okay. She was slowly adjusting to being single… okay it had been four months since she broke up with Leonard, for good.
Her thoughts were on being lonely and maybe going out sometime, and then she heard the all too familiar knocks on her door.
Penny quickly got up, waited, and answered when he was done.
She opened the door; she was not sure why she was feeling a little breathless at seeing him. Maybe it was because he was tall and lean and after ten years, he'd allowed his body to develop some muscle, or maybe it was because he had broad shoulders and long fingers… or maybe it was that lopsided grin he'd give her for no reason. How sweet he was to only her... Penny had to mentally slap herself because her thoughts were stupid.
Sheldon stood before her, wearing his red flannel pajamas and matching robe, his beard was now onto day five, still just a shade on his face, but there.
He looked put out.
"Penny, are the other guys correct in their assumption about me?" he asked, his voice was low, soft.
Penny's mind raced through all the crap the others assumed about him, she shook her head. "No… what about you not being "manly" or some crap?" she asked.
Sheldon nodded, "my whole life, my "manliness", sexuality and other things have come into question, and had been ridiculed because I refuse to do what society requires of men." He started to say.
Penny sighed; she realized that this was bothering him more than usual.
"Well who cares?" she asked.
Sheldon huffed, "you do," he sounded almost accusatory in it. Penny's eyes went a little wide.
"When the guys tell me that a girl like you won't like a guy like me because I'm the way I am…what am I supposed to think?" he finally said.
Penny was trying hard to catch up. "Wait… what does this have to do with me?"
Sheldon nearly rolled his eyes, "I apparently forgot that part, I find myself wanting to impress you… but I don't seem to fit-"
Penny grabbed the lapel of his robe and ragged him into her apartment, the door shut and he seemed a little startled.
"So you think you need to prove yourself in some sort of caveman way in order to impress me?" Penny asked, she still held his robe, but her eyes were a little flirty as she looked up at him.
Sheldon nodded, "yes… is that not correct?" his breath was minty and fell lightly across her face.
Penny looked him over once more and then she turned, dragging Sheldon along behind her, back to her bedroom.
Penny was sitting on the bathroom counter, Sheldon was before her, she held up a brand new, pink razor and her strawberry scented shaving cream.
Sheldon stood there with an arched eyebrow, but instead of protesting, he took the can of shaving cream from her hand, he stepped to the sink at her side, he turned on the hot water, wet his face, then he pumped enough gel into his palm, lathered it onto his growing beard. He reached to take the razor but Penny shook her head. At his bewildered look, Penny tugged him over, until he was settled between her knees.
Penny motioned for him to wait; she tried not to giggle at the fact that he looked kind crazy with half his face covered in shaving cream. She handed him the razor, and then she untied her robe, let it drop off her shoulders and then her arms, and then she pulled her tank top off and over her head, tossed it aside.
The noise Sheldon made when she was suddenly topless before him made Penny giggle a little bit. He was so cute.
She then situated herself and pulled him even closer, she took the razor back and his hands braced on the counter next to her thighs. His blue eyes kept dropping to her chest and darting back up to her eyes, as if he was not sure where he should look.
Penny turned on the faucet and then she got to work giving him a nice clean shave.
Sheldon realized he should probably breathe and then he had the urge to both run away and grab Penny up and take her to bed. It was rather peculiar. He finally relaxed and closed his eyes, letting her do as she wished. She did didn't nick his skin, her touch was gentle and when he felt her kiss the tip of his nose, he moved closer.
When she finished, she let him wash his face in the sink, use one of her fluffy towels and use some of her facial lotion.
He was smooth and he felt better, he looked like his old self.
Then Penny pulled him back to between her legs, she pressed a kiss to his lips as she ran her fingers through his hair.
Sheldon's hands were on her bare back and her waist. He pulled back only a bit, "I see your point."
"Good, now don't you ever let those idiots make you think less of yourself… I like who you are… don't change." Penny whispered before she went back to kissing him.
Sheldon lifted her from the counter, Penny's legs wrapped around him and he carried her back to her bedroom. Where he deposited her onto the bed and removed his robe and his pajama top, before crawling onto the bed and over her.
Sheldon sat down at the table at lunch with his tray. Raj, Leonard and Howard were looking at him oddly.
"You shaved?" Leonard asked.
Sheldon only nodded slightly before he went back to eating his salad.
Howard leaned over, he sniffed, "why do you smell like strawberries?"
Sheldon stopped chewing for only a moment; he looked up and found all three pairs of eyes on him, but before he could even react.
"Well well well… wooks wike someone caved." Berry said with a smirk as he stood near the table.
Sheldon rolled his eyes and set his fork down, "I didn't cave, I simply forfeited the bet." Sheldon stated.
Berry chuckled, "weally? Pubuwty didn't kick in fow you yet?" he asked. His face had an impressed five-day growth on it.
Sheldon looked at the three to defend him, but they looked like they were ready to tease Sheldon themselves.
"I just found that I have nothing to prove to any of you." He looked around, his confidence was back.
Sheldon wanted to tell them why or at least who, but he knew he should not, a gentlemen never kissed and… well more than kissed and tell…
"Sheldon, there you are." Penny's voice rang through the cafeteria and all eyes fell on the beautiful blonde as she entered.
She was wearing her best grey pencil skirt and white blouse, her hair was up, she had clearly been at work.
Sheldon stood up as she walked over in her heals, "Penny, I thought you had a meeting?" Sheldon asked.
"Not until one… you left your watch on my nightstand… I figured you needed it." Penny said as she handed him the watch.
Sheldon was suspired, he hadn't even noticed, "oh, thank you." He took it from her gently.
Penny smiled and then she placed her hands on his chest, leaned up, and pressed a kiss to his lips. "Okay, see you later" she whispered. "Bye boys!" Penny waved at them before she turned to leave.
Sheldon watched her leave, a little dazed. He sat down and put his watch on. He knew everyone was staring at him, you could hear a pin drop.
Sheldon finally looked up, "yes?"
"Coopaw… I want to opowlogize fow evewy thing I have evew said about you." And on that, Berry turned and walked away.
Sheldon smirked before he went back to his salad.
"Um Sheldon," Leonard started. "wanna catch me up?" he asked, his voice more nasally than before.
Sheldon glanced at the trio, "nope."