Response to the Sheldon & Penny livejournal community challenge: Penny. Sheldon. Cabin. No fire.

"Sheldon!" he heard her whine.

"Oh, dear Lord," he muttered, trying to make a hurried escape. He went first to the door but he knew he'd never get the latch undone in time. He ran hurriedly to the window, trying to drag his winter coat on as he went. She caught him as he tried to hoist himself over the kitchen sink and out the window.

"How did you guys convince me to come on this vacation again?" she wrapped the blanket tighter around herself. Sheldon sighed, knowing escape would be futile now. She was more agile and, presumably, quicker than he.

"I believe," he started loftily as he pulled off his coat and hung it back on its designated peg by the door, "Leonard promised you relaxing fires, ski lessons, and beautiful scenery. I believe, however, you were looking to seduce your ski instructor and become Snow Bunny of the Week."

"How was I to know she was a girl?" Penny sighed and flopped down on the couch. "And where did you guys get this cabin anyway? It doesn't even have electricity."

"The purpose of "roughing it", so to speak, is to give up the conveniences of industrialized Western culture for the simplicities of life. Think of it as a cultural experience."

"So you guys purposefully got a cabin from the Stone Age?" she scoffed.

"Good heavens, no! This was the last cabin left and we had already worked the dates out. We had no other options. I'm not even going to mention the fact that they didn't exactly live in cabins in Palaeolithic times," he added quickly. She stuck her tongue out at him and received a stern look in reply.

"Well, I'm freezing. Can't you build a fire?"

"It was Homo erectus who discovered fire nearly 790,000 years ago during the latter stages of the so-called 'Stone Age'. This new discovery and subsequent harnessing of fire lead into the metallurgic 'Bronze Age' where tools were smelted out of naturally occurring copper and tin ores."

"I heard 'no'?"

"Of course I can build a fire! Am I not more evolved that Homo erectus?" he snorted out this part.

"I wouldn't know but build me a fire and you'll be my hero for life." Sheldon snorted as he poked around the cabin looking for various implements with which to make fire. "What?"

"You can't possibly promise such a thing."

"It's just a phrase, Sheldon."

"I know. No need to condescend to me." She stuck her tongue out at him again. "I would have to say my favourite super hero is Spiderman. No, Batman. No, Wolverine. No, I forgot the Flash. Maybe-"

"Sheldon, sweetie, concentrate on my fire, huh?"

"Well, fine, I was only trying to maintain my end of the conversation." Sheldon stood and brushed his pants off. "There, fire!" Sheldon had assembled several pieces of wood and a few newspapers and shoved them into the grate.

"Uh, Sheldon, you didn't light one."

"Well, you never asked me to light it." Sheldon started searching around for the matches. "Uh, Penny, you wouldn't happen to have matches with you?"

"No," she said slowly, watching Sheldon get that slightly panic-y look on his overly pale face, "something you want to tell me?"

"No, no!" Penny swore she heard "I have a Ph.D and a Master's, I can do this."

"Sheldon, there are no matches, are there?"

"Well, of course there are matches, Penny," he said defensively, "just none here."

"Oh, Sheldon!" she growled.

"Are you going to fallaciously blame me for the lack of matches?"

"Yes. Sheldon, I can see my breath."

"Maybe Leonard will have matches," Sheldon suggested quickly.

"Yeah," Penny agreed angrily, diverting her fire to Leonard for a moment, "where are those little bastards?"

"Well, conclusively, I can only say, 'not here'."

"They left for that convenience store two hours ago."

"Again, I can only hypothesize on their whereabouts, though jail sounds like a good option."

"Well, if you aren't going to build me a fire like a man-"

"I think it incredibly sexist of you to judge my inherent masculinity based solely on a single incident of being unable to build a fire. Whatever happened to feminism?"

"It dies at 32 degrees." Penny started to rub two sticks together over the pile of wood.

"That's rather warm on the Celsius scale." Penny rubbed the furiously. "90 degrees Farenheit. You know, you'll never accumulate enough friction with those two twigs to reach 300 degrees Celsius needed for pyrolysis." Penny threw the sticks at him.

"I give up," she shouted, throwing herself back down on the couch.

"Good, it was a futile waste of your time and transference of energy."

"Well, Boy Wonder, got any bright ideas?"

"Technically, Robin was the Boy Wonder when he was a member of the Flying Grayson's circus troupe in Haley's Circus before his parents were murdered by the mafia. Besides, I would much rather be Batman." Penny just gave him the withering look of death which made Sheldon change the subject. He thought he'd lead with a joke. "I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with someone else who is already naked."

"What are you suggesting?" she said playfully, figuring she might as well scare the bejesus out of him while she could.

"Nothing!" he squawked. "It was a quote from-"

"Oh, so you find me unattractive?" she purred, standing very close against him.

"No, no. You are a suitable female choice for propagation of the species, assuming your genetic pool is clean."

"Want to take a dip in that pool, Doctor?" she said, stroking his Adam's apple with the tip of her finger.

"Gah…gah…gah, no, I…I think I'll survive…I hope…" she giggled. She loved it when a man was putty in her hands. She stepped away from him, removing the warmth she had been radiating.

"Maybe if it starts raining sleeping bags, you might get lucky," she finished the quote and made her way to bed. Just then, Leonard, Howard, and Raj burst through the door.

"Sorry, Sheldon, we would have been home sooner but Howard almost got arrested for gross sexual imposition. What's the matter with him?" Leonard said, pointing to the obviously catatonic Sheldon standing in the middle of the living room. Raj answered him.

"He's probably frozen in place. We forgot to buy matches again."

AN: Anyone recognize the quote? Bonus love points!