Okay, this is a little, pointless really, ficlet combining my two favorite *nerdy* fandoms. It's Sheldon and Penny but not shippery.
Penny eyed Sheldon from the kitchen. He was sitting on her couch, fully engrossed in the program on the TV. She was not exactly sure what he was watching, only that he had come over in a flurry of excitement an hour before, brandishing a stack of videotapes and babbling on about how one of his friends form the internet had hooked him up. From what she could tell, as she was rummaging for two diet cokes in the fridge, was that it looked like some sort of bad B-movie set in the future on some sort of spaceship or something. She thought she had heard him say it was called Space Mutiny.
As she made her way back over to the couch, she saw a man who looked like a bodybuilder scurry across the screen and heard Sheldon crack up.
"Ah, Tom Servo." He chuckled. "My rational mind knows you are nothing but a gumball machine with a puppeteers hand thrust up your backside, but damn. You're good." He said to himself, clearly amused.
"Tom Servo?" Penny remarked as she took a seat next to him. "What's a Tom Servo?"
"I see." Penny nodded, not surprised that he would be so enamored by a robot. She sat down and handed him his drink. Onscreen was the movie, but in the corner were strange silhouettes—movie theater seats with three individuals in them. One was clearly a man but two of them were oddly shaped. "Well, that's a little annoying isn't it? They're talking over the movie."
"That's the point." Sheldon sniffed as he popped open his can. He pointed at the screen. "This happens to be Mystery Science Theater 3000. Or MST3K if you are so inclined." He paused to take a polite sip of his drink. "My friend sent me a ton of episodes on VHS. The picture and sound quality are sub par—if not archaic—of course, but I'll overlook that for now."
"What is it about?" Penny turned back to the screen, wincing as a woman that looked like she could be a grandma wiggled and gyrated on a dance floor, the aforementioned buff looking guy oogling her from afar. "Is it about science?" She asked rather dubiously.
Sheldon sighed, obviously annoyed by the interruption, and shook his head. "That there," He pointed to the silhouette in the middle, the one of the man. "That is Mike. He was a temp at the Gizmonic institute. He was shot up into space—to the Satellite of Love—where he is forced to watch bad movies with his two robot companions."
"Uh huh." Penny nodded, trying her best to follow along. "Which robot is Tom Servo?"
Sheldon pointed to the one on the left. "The one on the right is Crow T. Robot."
"What does the T stand for?"
"And why were they shot into space?"
Sheldon sighed again, his face twitching slightly at the onslaught of questions, but Penny remained undeterred. He reached for the remote and tapped the volume button a few times before answering. "Well, the two mad scientists—or mads—first sent up a janitor named Joel, who built the robots, but after he escaped they sent up Mike."
Sheldon's twitch intensified. "To riff on movies."
"Yes, you know. They make quips about plot inaccuracies, absurdities, lack of quality, sound editing, lighting, character development, etcetera, etcetera."
"Oh." Penny smiled, finally catching on to the whole idea. She turned back to the screen to watch as the buff looking guy darted down some stairs. The characters started calling out silly names like Dirk HardPeck, Crunch ButtSteak, and Thick McRunFast, and she let out a giggle at the absurdity of it all. "So this riffing, it's sort of like the time I came over and you and Leonard and Howard and Raj were all watching Star Trek, and I was like hey, what's up with the dude with the headband over his eyes?" She tapped at her temples and laughed.
Sheldon paused the tape and turned to face her. His eye twitch had exploded and his jaw was clenched. "First off, that was Star Trek the Next Generation and Geordi LaForge happens to be a Starfleet officer who wears a VISOR to see things because he was born blind. And secondly, the quips are actually clever, not simple, random observations that any drunken frat boy or kindergartener could come up with."
"Okay, okay." Penny sunk back into the couch, shaking her head. "My mistake."
"Now," Sheldon held up the remote. "If you are gonna watch like you said you would, and not barrage me with inane questions, then I'll start this again."
"Okay." Penny motioned for him so start it up again, but after a while of watching in dutiful silence, she couldn't help herself. She wouldn't admit it, but she got quite a feeling of pleasure at watching Sheldon be the one so flabbergasted for a change. "So why was Joel able to escape but Mike couldn't? Why is it called the Satellite of Love? Why make them watch bad movies, and not good movies? What did they do at this so called Gizmonic Institute?" And she couldn't contain the smirk on her face as he paused it once again, eye twitching away, to explain everything.