Title: The Dinner Date
Fandom: The Big Bang Theory
Characters: Leonard/Sheldon, Penny
Rating: PG13 (for Slash, just to be on the safe side)
Warnings: Cross-dressing, SLASH!
Summary: This was written to a challenge over on LiveJournal. The prompt was: Through an outlandish chain of events (because, really, what is BBT without outlandish chains of events?), Leonard takes Sheldon on a date to impress Penny.
Notes: This is my first BBT fanfiction so I'd really appreciate comments and criticism! (Although please don't bother flaming! Again it's SLASH, so please don't waste your time reading it if you're going to have a problem with it.) I really hope you guys enjoy it as much as I have!
The Dinner Date
Leonard stared at the road in front of him, completely ignoring Sheldon's inquiry.
"Yes, Sheldon?" Leonard's voice dripped irritation; he had more important things to worry about, like how he was going to make sure he was seated at one of Penny's tables.
Of course, Sheldon was almost as oblivious to irritation as he was to sarcasm. Or perhaps it was just that he never really cared whether or not he irritated people. "If you would be so kind as to inform me, Leonard, why is it again that I'm dressed up like a girl and going to the Cheesecake Factory with you?"
Leonard sighed as though it was obvious. Maybe it should have been. It had taken him almost a week to convince Sheldon to do it. "Because, Sheldon, you're helping me show Penny what a good date I am… and possibly make her jealous." He added as an afterthought.
"And you couldn't just ask out Leslie Winkle again, because…?"
"Because, Leslie Winkle has no interest in me! And she'll continue having no interest in me until possibly new years!"
"New years?" Sheldon squinted in confusion and tipped his head a bit to the side. This, of course, made his long auburn wig shift.
"Never mind!" Leonard snapped. "And fix your wig, Penny'll never believe you're my date unless your hair stays in place."
"It's doubtful that anyone, let alone Penny, will believe that I am your date. Even with this poorly designed disguise. Unless, I suppose they're under the impression that you're into transvestites." Sheldon complied, despite his protests, pulling down the passenger mirror and giving the wig a good tug to make it as tight as he could.
"You know," he continued "I don't know how women manage long hair like this, I can barely see out of my right eye." He tried, in vain, to sweep the long bangs from where they hung, covering essentially half of his face. This, of course, was the point; although Leonard would never tell him that.
"Neither do I, Sheldon, can we just drive there in peace please?" Leonard's voice showed that he was essentially defeated.
"Well, alright. Although I would like to point out that, considering the fact that I am dressed as a woman and going on a date with you; the least you could do is humor me. You're really not being much of a gentleman at all are you?"
Leonard didn't even bother responding; he just continued to stare straight ahead, giving the road a rather dirty look.
When they arrived at the restaurant, a rather bubbly brunette with tight black ringlets and bright red lips greeted them. "Hey there! Welcome to the Cheesecake Factory! Unfortunately we're a little busy right now, so the wait's going to be about an hour or so. Is that alright?"
"An hour!" Sheldon exclaimed, "Why that's just-"
"Fine! Fine!" Leonard cut him off. "It's just fine! Thanks for letting us know." He smiled at the waitress and ignored Sheldon's indignant stare.
The waitress laughed a bit at their little dispute, and then slapped on the overly polite grin, which had become so practiced you could hardly tell it was fake. "Alright, table for two, I take it?" She asked, flashing them a rather insinuating look from through her heavily mascaraed lashes.
"That's right." Leonard grinned nervously, shifting from side to side. "And can we request to be seated at one of Penny's tables? We're friends of hers."
"Sure thing!" She scribbled the note off to the side of their names. "Although, that might add up to 30 or so minutes to your wait. That ok?"
Sheldon gave Leonard an imploring look, which went unnoticed. "Perfectly fine. Under Leonard, please." He pointed toward where she was writing.
"Alright, that'll be about an hour and a half." She reminded them, handing Leonard a black buzzer with a giant Cheesecake Factory logo on it.
The two couldn't find anywhere to sit inside, so they had to sit outside. Sheldon fidgeted angrily and gave Leonard an accusing look. "You know Leonard, an hour and a half is an awfully long time to wait for a meal which may or may not work the way you planned… although, given your past endeavors with Penny, I'd wager this will fail miserably…"
"Thanks for the vote of confidence… and don't sit like that. You're in a skirt, cross your legs." Sheldon gave Leonard a rather irritated look, and reluctantly crossed his legs.
"And why did we sit outside? It's particularly cold tonight."
"Sheldon, do you think you could at least try to go for the rest of tonight without being difficult?"
"I'm not being difficult. It's cold. And I'm in a skirt."
Leonard sighed heavily. "Try to keep your shirt from shifting like that, we don't want anyone seeing that your "chest" is really just a padded bra filled with tissue…" Leonard reached over and adjusted Sheldon's tank top.
Sheldon cleared his throat loudly. Leonard was in his personal space. When Leonard looked up at Sheldon he noticed, with a rather uncomfortable twinge in his stomach, that Sheldon actually looked pretty, in a strange, masculine kind of way. The long hair hid a lot of his face, and the makeup he wore managed to make his features look softer. No one had bothered to ask Howard how or why he knew so much about makeup and fashion, but tonight it had served Leonard well.
Leonard shook his head as he leaned back, reminding himself that this was Sheldon.
The sat in fairly uncomfortable silence for another 20 or minutes before the buzzer finally went off. Of course, Sheldon didn't act the least bit grateful that the wait had been significantly shorter than anticipated.
"Okay," Leonard reminded Sheldon as they walked toward the hostess "try not to talk too much to or around Penny. And please don't forget that you're a girl here."
Sheldon gave Leonard one last offended look before the hostess cut in. "Right this way, you two." She led them over to a table next to a window, and sat them down, smiling warmly when Leonard pulled out Sheldon's chair for him. "Penny'll be with you two in a moment. Enjoy yourselves." She handed each of them a menu, winked at Leonard, and left.
Sheldon glanced at the menu, unnecessarily; he already knew he wanted the barbeque burger. "Leonard, if I'm not supposed to talk to Penny, how is it that I'm supposed to order?"
"I guess I'll just have to order for you. What do you want?"
"The barbeque burger." Sheldon resolutely folded his menu and laid it on the table.
"Sheldon, you can't get the barbeque burger, you always get the barbeque burger."
"Well why not?" Sheldon replied, very put off. He'd had about as much as he could take, and no barbeque burger was just about the last straw.
"Because, we want to be sure that Penny's not going to figure out who you are. If you get the barbeque burger it'll be obvious."
"A gentleman's supposed to oblige his date and try to make her happy." Sheldon remarked unpleasantly as he reopened his menu and stared determinedly at it. Leonard didn't feel like mentioning how disturbing it was that Sheldon seemed so comfortable referring to himself using a female pronoun.
"Oh God! Here comes Penny! What do you want to drink?" Leonard's voice shook. What if Penny figured out it was Sheldon? How would he explain it? This was the make or break moment of the entire night. If Penny saw through Sheldon's disguise, it was the end of his little plan. Not to mention the start of one horrendously long explanation.
"Diet coke." Sheldon didn't seem to be nervous at all. Although, there was something to be said for the fact that Sheldon had no sense of what should be socially embarrassing.
"Hey Leonard!" Penny bounced up, a big grin on her face. "Who's this?"
"Hey Penny. This is Sh…irley." He gave Sheldon a pointed look as he gestured to Penny "Shirley, this is Penny, she lives across the hall from Sheldon and me."
"Oh… hello." Sheldon forcibly smiled, and went back to attempting to determine what, other than a barbeque burger, he might want.
"So, what can I get you guys to drink?" Penny turned back to Leonard a little uncomfortably.
"Um, I think we'll both have diet cokes. Thanks Penny."
"Okay, I'll be back with your drinks in a bit." Penny said, putting her hand on Leonard's shoulder before walking away.
"See, look! It's working already!" Leonard grinned at Sheldon, very pleased with himself.
Sheldon tried to hide a quick snicker by burying his face deeper into his menu.
Leonard rolled his eyes. "Any idea what you want?"
"Well I suppose I'll have to settle for the barbeque ranch chicken salad…"
"Hey Sheldon, here comes Penny. Do me a favor and go to the bathroom would you?"
"The bathroom?!" Sheldon sputtered. "And which bathroom, exactly, are you expecting me to use?"
"You're a girl tonight. Use the women's restroom."
"The women's restroom! Leonard I can't possibly-"
"Hello again you two!" Penny interrupted, placing two diet cokes in front of them. "You decided on what you want to eat?"
"Yeah, and um, Penny, Shirley wants to know where the bathrooms are."
"Oh they're all they're over there." Penny pointed toward where they'd come from. "Walk past the check in desk and keep going down the hallway next to it until you see the bathrooms, they'll be on your right."
Sheldon got up frustratedly, flattening the front of his skirt. "Thank you." He bent a bit at the waist before turning and walking the way she pointed.
"So Leonard, where'd you meet Shirley? She doesn't look like someone from work."
"Oh… um, she's a… friend of my cousin." Leonard finished lamely, biting his fingernails.
"Oh, cute. So is it a blind date?"
"Well, kind of. Um… we'd talked about dating before, but that was before I moved here, so quite a while ago. She's down here for the weekend; she's staying at a hotel nearby."
"Oh, that's nice." Penny commented pleasantly. It was hard for Leonard to tell if her pleasantries were masking jealousy or not. Oh well, he had the rest of the night to figure it out.
"Yeah." Leonard nodded and smiled. "Yeah it is…"
"She's kind of tall…" Penny remarked casually, tilting her head ever so slightly to the side as Sheldon started walking back toward them.
"Yeah, well…" Leonard shrugged.
"Anyway, what'll you guys be having?"
"Um, I'll have whatever you recommend. And Shirley'll have the barbeque ranch chicken salad."
"Okay." Penny smiled warmly at Leonard as she took the menus. "That's the Penny special, and a barbeque ranch chicken salad. Anything else for you?"
"No, I think that'll do it." Leonard practically cut her off so that Sheldon couldn't jump in with some obnoxious request as he returned.
"Alright. Sounds great." She said turning and walking off quickly.
"I'll have you know that I have never once in my life used the wrong restroom." Sheldon said accusingly as he sat.
"Well, thank you for your sacrifice."
"It was actually very clean. I wonder if there's not some way I could figure out to make a habit of it."
Leonard shook his head and rested his face in the palm of his hand; this would be a long night.
After around an hour or so of Leonard and Sheldon trying to make small talk across their food (Which Sheldon had established multiple times was not as good as the barbeque burger) and of Sheldon being strangely comfortable with managing to view himself as a woman, they were finally done.
"Here's your check you two." Penny slid the small black book onto the middle of the table.
"Thanks Penny, the meal was delicious."
"Hey, I'm sorry to impose, but I just got off. Do you think I could get a ride home with you guys? My car's broken…"
"Oh, it's no problem at all." Leonard assured her, ignoring the fact that it would mean Sheldon would have to continue pretending to be a girl.
"Alright, I'll get my coat and be back for the check." Penny bounced off.
Leonard opened the check and sputtered. Inside, on the check was written in Penny's neat loopy handwriting with a smiley face next to it was "Don't forget the goodnight kiss."
"What is it? Penny finally confess her undying love for you in a fever of uncontrollable jealousy?" Sheldon asked sarcastically.
"No." Leonard paused, trying to think of the best way to phrase himself, "I have to kiss you."
"WHAT?!" Sheldon ignored the stares he got from surrounding tables.
"Penny's expecting me to kiss you tonight…"
"Well, you're not planning to are you?"
"I can't ruin the set up. Besides, that might be exactly what I need to make her jealous!"
"Leonard, you honestly can't expect me do something so physically intimate as kiss you."
"Sheldon, if you do this one thing for me, I won't ask you for anything for the next two years!"
Sheldon looked very tempted, and Leonard knew it wouldn't be long at all until he cracked. Two years of uncontested neuroticism was more than he could hope to ask for.
"Oh, you owe me big time." He shook his head disapprovingly and folded his arms.
"I'm back!" Penny beamed, pulling on a sleeve of her jacket. "Thanks again for the ride Leonard!" She took the check from Leonard with a sly smile.
The ride to the hotel was rife with awkward silence as Sheldon fidgeted and attempted to keep silent in the passenger seat while Penny smiled seemingly oblivious in the back and tried to make small talk.
Leonard parked and walked around to the passenger door, letting Sheldon out. He took note of the way that Penny was pretending not to watch in the back seat. "Alright, this is it. I'll kiss you goodnight, you walk inside, stake yourself out in the bathroom. Afterwards, I'll drop Penny off at home, telling her I forgot to give you back your cell phone, which you'd asked me to hold for you. I'll drive back, get you, and then take you back home again. Any questions?"
"Yes, am I supposed to use the women's bathroom again?"
Leonard sighed. "Yes. Alright, now let's get this over with as quickly as possible so this night can be done."
And without further ado he reached behind Sheldon's head and pulled him down into a kiss. He felt a bit silly about the way that he had to stand on his tiptoes, but he forgot about it as he became more aware of the way that his lips tingled where they were pressed to Sheldon's. Sheldon's hands had found their way to the sides of his face where they followed the contours of his jaw, and somehow he'd managed to draw Leonard's lower lips between his teeth in a surprisingly sexy nibble.
Of course, this was when reality crashed down onto Leonard, and he reminded himself that this was Sheldon. He promptly pulled back, his heart racing and his breath hitched in his throat.
Sheldon gave a self-satisfied smirk, "Well, goodnight." And, without pausing, turned to walk into the hotel.
Leonard's breath was still slightly heavy and his head was spinning a bit as he climbed back into the drivers seat. He was startled as Penny's enthusiastic clapping from the back seat perforated his bubble of confusion. "Wow, Leonard, that was impressive."
"Thanks, Penny." Leonard smiled self consciously, scratching the back of his head and shifting the car into drive.
They drove the rest of the way back in an even more awkward silence than before. When he pulled up to the curb, Leonard turned around and wished Penny a good night.
"You're not coming up?"
"Nah… actually, I forgot to give Shirley her cell phone."
"Oh, alright. Well, give Sheldon- I mean, Shirley, my best." Penny grinned to herself as she closed the door and walked away, and Leonard turned bright red.
When Leonard got back to the hotel, Sheldon was waiting outside, his right hand gripped around his upper left forearm. Again, Leonard was frustrated that he had to consciously force the thought of how pretty Sheldon managed to look out of his head.
"So, how'd it go over with Penny? She buy it?" Sheldon asked, climbing casually into the car, as though he were completely unaffected by everything that had transpired earlier in the night.
Leonard self-consciously cleared his throat. "You know, I don't think so."
"Well, I hope this will teach you never to ask me to do anything like this again."
Leonard was very confused and disappointed at the way that his stomach dropped when Sheldon said that. What did he care if Sheldon never dressed up as a girl again, or went on a date with him again, or kissed him again? His adrenaline started pumping again at the thought of the way that Sheldon had kissed him before and before he knew it they were going 60.
"Leonard!" Sheldon screeched, gripping the dashboard. "For God's sakes slow down! You just ran a red light!"
Leonard mentally thanked whatever deity there was for preventing them from getting in an accident simply because he couldn't stop acting like an infatuated teenager.
They rode the rest of the way back in silence.
Once they entered the apartment, Sheldon went straight to the bathroom to change and wash the makeup off of his face. Leonard went to the refrigerator and poured himself a glass of milk. He sat on the couch and drank it trying to force his mind away from Penny's comment, and the earlier kiss, and the fact that Sheldon was now in the bathroom, probably half naked.
After finishing his milk, he decided there was no point staying up and agonizing over the way he couldn't seem to get his friend off of his mind. He left his cup in the sink, something he'd doubtlessly never hear the end of tomorrow, and wandered into his bedroom to change.
As he finished putting his pajamas on, Leonard heard his door open accompanied by Sheldon's tentative query "Leonard?" Leonard stiffened, suddenly too nervous to turn around and look Sheldon in the eye.
"Leonard?" Sheldon asked again, this time significantly closer. "You remember how I told you you owed me big time?"
Leonard took his glasses off, cleaning them on the hem of his shirt so that he wouldn't have to look at Sheldon as he turned and responded. "Yeah?"
Sheldon ducked himself down, capturing Leonard's lips for the second time that night. The kiss was chaste, and Leonard almost fell forward trying to reciprocate just as Sheldon pulled away.
Sheldon nodded and smiled faintly to himself. "Just making sure." And with that he backed from the room, closing the door behind him. "Have a good night Leonard."
Leonard was unable to close his mouth, which was hanging slightly agape, as he replaced his glasses.
What on earth had just happened?