A/N - Hello, friends! I haven't written these dudes in way too long, and I miss them. Since they're now married to other people (the wrong people, obvs), it gets harder and harder to see their love story disappear. So here is a new story that thankfully has been completed. I'll post a new chapter every day for 5 days. The chapters stand out for themselves and are not completely connected. But this is my Shenny love song and I hope you will enjoy it, as I've been writing it for months now and I want it to resonate. As always, reviews and comments are welcomed and appreciated! Thank you for reading!
Penny is slightly annoyed that she gets stuck with the task of taking Sheldon shopping on one of her treasured days off, but whatever, what else does she have to do? Leonard is working and everyone else actually has a life, so she sucks it up and takes her tall Chewbacca friend to the mall. Sheldon complains the whole time, of course-it's too crowded, the line at Auntie Anne's is too long, everything is "too" something.
"Come on, Sheldon, keep your eye on the prize," Penny says while leading him to the men's section of Macy's. She knows what will look good on him, even if he doesn't.
"And what is the prize, exactly? A new suit that I will probably hate?"
Penny sighs. "Honey, this is for you. It's your big night, and don't you want to look good for everyone?"
"I couldn't care less how I look in front of everyone," Sheldon replies, and Penny knows that's probably true.
"Look, if you cooperate here, I'll take you to the train store after we find a suit."
Sheldon's eyes light up like it's Christmas morning.
"Wow, really? I've been trying to get Leonard to take me for weeks!"
"Yes, I'll take you, and we can stay as long as you want. But getting the right suit is important, and looking good when you accept your award is, too."
Sheldon clearly doesn't agree, but he begrudgingly follows her to the suit section without any more complaining.
When he first comes out in that awful checkered suit and says, "This is pretty sharp," Penny says, "No, you're wrong." Then he tries on that... green rodeo monstrosity and Penny shakes her head furiously. The white tails are just as bad. Penny's ready to give up and sell him to a pack of llamas when she gets the shock of her life.
Sheldon exits the dressing room in the black suit Penny picked out for him. He looks so handsome that Penny actually gasps. Sheldon is an attractive man! Who would have thought? For a second, she sees past all the video games and comic book shirts and the condescension that is his vocabulary and realizes that Sheldon is a man, not a boy, and that he is a good looking-dare she say hot-one at that.
This. Changes. Everything.
At the banquet, Penny can tell that Sheldon is nervous, so she gives him some wine. A lot of wine. Hey, it always works for her! Well, it backfires and he makes an ass of himself, but that was bound to happen anyway. Penny does not take the blame for how the evening ended.
While Sheldon deals with his humiliation-which he gets over quickly because he is a genius who will win the Nobel prize someday despite the stupid things he does occasionally-Penny is busy trying to navigate her rocky relationship. She can tell Leonard is less than a week or two away from declaring his love for her, and she's just not ready. Look, she likes the guy a lot, she's having fun with him, they have a great time together, so why make it anything more than that for now? What does he even want from her?!
Penny is right, of course, and Leonard tells her he loves her. She can't, and won't, say it back. There's another reason why, and it's hard for her to admit, but... she is kind of falling for Sheldon.
Ever since they went shopping together, Penny knows his secret-he's hot. And she's been paying extra close attention to him lately. He's funny-yes, he's obnoxious, condescending, annoying, and everything else she's always thought about him, but he's also an amazing friend. A good person. So smart and knowledgeable about everything she's not. Penny bets she can teach him a few things. Hopefully he's ready to learn.
Predictably, and with the sage advice of Wil Wheaton, Penny and Leonard break up after a disastrous night at the bowling alley. They both take their time to grieve the loss, but Penny isn't all that torn up about it. In fact, now she has a secret, too-not only is Sheldon hot, but he's hot for her.
It starts just a few weeks after Penny and Leonard's break-up. There's a set of knocks at her door, and she can't help but feel a little excited about Sheldon showing up at her apartment for no reason.
Knock knock knock PENNY
Knock Knock Knock PENNY
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK PENNY
Penny answers the door with a smile on her face.
"To what do I owe the pleasure this evening?" She asks him as he comes in and sits down.
"Um, well, Leonard is working today and I'm in between projects. I was wondering if maybe you'd like to start watching Farscape with me. I have all the DVDs and I-well, I think it's a show that you would enjoy. I've been told the main character is 'hot.' Would you like to watch it?"
"Sounds like a good plan," Penny says, mystified. Sheldon is in her apartment, and he's kind of stuttering, and he wants to watch something with her? Well, that's weird. And exciting.
Sheldon puts the DVD in and Penny makes some popcorn. She gets out her bottle of wine, and then shoves it back in the refrigerator-she's pretty sure Sheldon is not a fan of wine after his ordeal when accepting the award recently. She brings over the popcorn and some Diet Cokes and puts them on the table, and then turns off the light. Things are just more interesting when the light is off, Penny figures. And for the next couple of hours, the two of them sit mesmerized by this TV show, and Sheldon was right, Penny does like it. She likes sitting so closely to him even more.
When it's nearly midnight and the third episode ends, Sheldon presses "pause" on the DVD player and turns to Penny.
"We can continue watching tomorrow, but I must get my rest tonight. Do you like the program?"
"Yeah, I can't wait to see what happens next," Penny says. And she doesn't just mean on the show.
For the next couple of weeks, Sheldon shows up at Penny's apartment almost daily. They sit close to each other and watch Farscape, or they share a meal she brings home from the Cheesecake Factory, or they literally just talk. For hours. Something is happening, and it's fascinating to Penny. Most of the time when a man likes her and wants to pursue something, he will make a move or give her a cheesy pick-up line. Sheldon isn't like that, which Penny knows and appreciates, but some kind of indication that he has feelings for her would be nice, too. They are moving at a glacial pace.
Finally, FINALLY, when they are almost to the end of the series, Sheldon pauses the show in the middle of an episode and says, "Penny, I have a question. I don't often have questions for others since I already know the answer to most things, but I'm afraid this one is stumping me."
Penny hopes this is going where she is desperate for it to go. "Okay, lay it on me."
Sheldon looks briefly confused by her wording, but continues forward. "I was wondering if tonight could be the night we kiss for the first time. I feel that our relationship has come naturally to this point. But I do not know if you wish to engage in that activity with me."
Penny wants to laugh at how sincere he is, but she knows this is a big step for him. And apparently he thinks what they've been doing is "dating" for the past couple of weeks. She's definitely not going to correct him.
"Yes, that sounds like a good idea, let's definitely do that," Penny says.
Sheldon leans in and she meets his lips. Penny knows that he doesn't have much experience in this kind of situation, but... he figures it out. They start out slow, and Penny kind of guides him through the process, and soon, they are fully making out. It's good. It's actually really good. Penny doesn't want to stop. Like, ever.
Eventually, they do stop, because they have to breathe in air or whatever. Before they go at it again, Penny and Sheldon hold hands and have an honest conversation about what is happening.
They didn't ignore it or run away or try to put a stop to it in order to spare Leonard's feelings. They are adults and they can be rational when it comes to falling in love, which they both seem to think is occurring.
The two of them go on dates together-to restaurants, to museums, to movies. There is a steady stream of phone calls and texts and emails daily. After they've been seeing each other (and kissing whenever possible) for a month, they tell Leonard about their situation. Of course he is upset at first-he even threatens to move out-but when things calm down and he sees how in love they are, he backs off. He's actually happy for them, because he witnesses that Penny and Sheldon are truly compatible. They never stop teaching each other, and they are always learning something new. All their friends are elated for them, and after dating for nearly two years, Sheldon proposes to Penny on her birthday. She happily accepts, and they go on to live a very happy life together.
That didn't happen.
It never happened.
Penny and Leonard did break up, but it was only temporary. They get back together on and off until they finally make the questionable decision to get married. Sheldon meets Amy Farrah Fowler a short time later and they eventually get married, as well. They are all reasonably happy, probably...
But sometimes both Penny and Sheldon wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what they're missing. Penny remembers the night she first thought of Sheldon as a man, and how good he looked in that suit. And Sheldon recalls how Penny gazed at him in that suit, a look that he has rarely seen from any woman other than Amy, and how it made him feel.
But it didn't happen.
But maybe it could have.