Warnings: Slash, smut.

Pairing: Leonard/Sheldon

Spoilers: Takes place during Season 1, episode 17 (The Tangerine Factor)

Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just like to play with them a little.

Author's note: All feedback gratefully received.


Sheldon's Cat

Chapter 1

"You know…" said Leonard, as he sat on the couch, flipping his reversible tie from front to back, back to front again, trying to remember which side Penny found the least offensive. "I've been thinking about your supposition on the Penny situation's similarity to Schrödinger's Cat, and I think your conclusion has a fatal flaw."

"How so?" asked Sheldon, indignant in his ergonomically designed office chair, though his eyes remained fixed on his laptop screen, on which he was concurrently carrying out a game of Tetris and bidding on Flash Comics #59 on Ebay.

"Well, you were implying that until Penny and I go on a date, we won't know if our potential relationship has any… well… potential. At this stage, the romantic possibilities could be thought of as both dead and alive, just like Schrödinger's cat, shut in the box with the poison."

"Leonard, does this remedial repetition actually have a point or has your IQ finally dropped to that of one of my luminous goldfish?"

"Wait, I haven't finished. The flaw is, your hypothesis could equally be applied to myself plus any other female subject. Penny, Penny's friends, Lesley Winkle, Missy, your mom, the girl who played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. So if you presuppose that romantic attraction would be possible between myself and any subject, and you conclude that the correct path of action would be to date said subject, then you're suggesting in effect that I take every woman in the world out for Thai food."

"That's ridiculous. Look how much trouble you had finding even one woman who'd go out with you."

"Ha ha Sheldon. But I'm serious. I don't think that this date is such a good idea. According to your analysis, it would make just as much sense for you and me to be dating."

Sheldon sighed. Paused his game of Tetris. Minimised his browser window. Laid down his Magic Marker and pushed away the board where he'd been absentmindedly doodling ideas on String Theory.

He swivelled round in his chair to face Leonard, and wheeled over to the couch, stopping just short of Leonard and his now-discarded tie.

"Leonard. Brushing aside the fact that your critique on my, or indeed Schrödinger's hypothesis is both facile and redundant, as well as the related fact that even someone as unversed in human semiotics as I can clearly see that the only reason you're finding fault with it is due to your nerves at finally being given a chance, however slim, to instigate intercourse with a girl whose mail you've been stealing for months in a transparently adolescent attempt to get her to notice you as anything other than the Hobbit next door..."

"Hey!"

"Brushing all that aside, exactly what do you mean it would make sense for you and I to date?"

"Oh, I was just using us as an example" said Leonard, with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"That's as may be. But I resent the implication. Schrödinger or no, I think we can safely assume that our particular cat is not only dead, but probably in the latter stages of decomposition."

"Aha! So you admit the theory is flawed!"

"No Leonard. I merely think you're flawed if you imagine for one second that there could ever be a romantic entanglement between an intellectual giant such as myself and a workaday drone such as you."

"Sheldon…" Leonard's face had darkened, his eyebrows lowered in a frown.

Sheldon recognised that look, as well as the instruction that usually followed it.

"Go away?"

"No" replied Leonard. "Come here."

He leaned forward and grabbed Sheldon by his skinny shoulders. Before the other man could object, Leonard planted a firm, angry kiss on Sheldon's shocked mouth. Sheldon raised his arms to push Leonard away, but they got as far as brushing the other scientist's shirt, hovered midair for a moment, then wilted down by his side again. He closed his eyes and let the kiss continue, more softly now, their mouths shyly opening, tasting each other for the first time. Leonard's hand reached up and stroked the back of Sheldon's head, hesitant fingers tracing through short, downy brown hair.

When they finally broke apart, Leonard backed self-consciously onto the couch. He removed his steamed-up glasses and wiped them on his shirt. Putting them back on, he looked up at a dazed and faraway Sheldon and felt panic rise in his chest. He didn't know how the other man would react to this. He was terrified that Sheldon would freak out and shut himself away in his room again, that he'd retreat into spooked-deer mode and scurry about the apartment gathering snacks in silence for ever more, avoiding eye contact with anyone present. Leonard didn't know how he could explain this to Sheldon's mother.

Then Sheldon emerged from thought. He looked up; gave one of his economical little smiles.

"Well," he said. "Dress me in a yellow cape and call me the Boy Wonder. I think I just heard a miaow."