Ha! I never thought I could write decent Sheldon POV fic but God I had fun with this. Please let me know what you think, as I admire so many authors in this fandom and their take on an awesome and difficult character to write for.
I own nothing and mean no harm.
He blamed the stranger upstairs.
Her fault, all of it, had she not chosen this city, this building, that apartment than he would never have noticed.
For the first time in almost two years of acquaintance Sheldon had noticed that Penny was female.
He had of course always known she was a female, had heard his friends blather on about it. Leonard of course had lost countless hours obsessing over the fact, but Sheldon had never held any particular interest in the subject.
Until that night, the night jealousy had driven Penny to such extreme lengths to have eyes back on her that she had inadvertently drawn his eyes her way.
All that next day the thought had lingered, why did she smell so good?
Penny had never been particularly noteworthy in any regard to his olfactory senses; while never offensive there had been no recollections of memorable scents. That night had been the exception- oranges and a hint of butter crème.
So it was the scent that had drawn him in; had led him to stand just that much closer to her the next time he saw her- lime and cinnamon.
Skin on clothes contact was inevitable in the pursuit of scent. The standing close led to the accidental brushing of arms and hands, while startling at he first, he acclimated.
Penny wore soft clothes. Every patterned top and pastel layer was softer than the last. He especially liked the powder blue tank top- strawberry cheesecake and saffron.
His discoveries of scent and softness had led to another discovery and an even more disconcerting side effect.
Penny was affectionate. His gestures, he hypothesized, had led her to own conclusions. Penny had begun to act as though a boundary had been lifted between them that allowed her to extend the same affectionate courtesies to him that she normally reserved for Leonard and on occasion Raj.
Forced to endure her findings, unless he revealed his own private studies, he had been subjected to more fingers on wrists and one armed hugs than he could recall receiving from any one person (who was a non-familial female).
Gradually the scents and the touch and the proximities did not startle him as they once had. Wariness and curiosity turned into expectation and dare he say excitement.
Though his tolerance had been building and his time spent in Penny's company more frequent; none of that had prepared him for what he had come to think of as the 'incident'.
A terrible breach of protocol had been the precursor; she had taken advantage of his distraction, his TA had texted him the latest lab allotments, and sat down on the arm of the sofa (on his side).
The reprimand died as quickly on his tongue as it had been created; he blamed the vanilla mint.
And then it happened, like some perverse game of dominos, Howard had tripped into Raj who came within a foot of Penny; sending him into a panicked set of wind milling arms. A strong left hand clipped Penny's shoulder hard enough to upset her balance and send her tumbling into his lap.
The universe had impossibly, but had had experienced it first hand, slowed down. Penny had been on his lap, a hand flung around his neck, another crushed against his chest.
A far cry from a casual flick of a hand against his arm; the full contact sent his thoughts silent and his body humming.
Penny had reacted with a soft laugh, Sheldon saw her green eyes light up and he gasped as the reality washed over him; Penny was in his lap and she liked it.
The smile had been that smile which even in his semi-panicked state (because who just expected a lap full of female) he recognized; cross referenced it with the others he had seen. Amused, patronizing, annoyed, Penny said a lot with her smiles, and found the closest reference to the once he had witnessed to be 'like', the 'like' he had seen when she had spoken of an impending date and maybe once Leonard.
He dismissed it promptly, logically that couldn't have been the smile he was seeing, since it was his face she was looking at.
An amazing thing followed. Penny was good at that, at throwing the unexpected at him, this time in the guise of the fingers of her right hand. Obstructed as they were from the rest of the room, she had not withdrawn her arm from where it landed around his neck, she took a liberty, took a moment to slip her fingers into the closely shorn hair on the crown of his skull.
A brief reflex, an up down stroke that lasted a heart beat.
Chills ran the length of his entire frame; it was like nothing he had ever felt before. The electricity of the movement; the heat generating at the point of contact between her fingers and his skin, contrasting with the cold rake of nerves along his spine; fascinating, almost as much as discovering, that he, Sheldon Cooper, liked the touch.
Leonard had broken the spell, calling on an end to the shenanigans and that they all go get the carry-out; seems the earlier tussle between Raj and Howard had stemmed over who would get dinner even though they all knew it was Penny's turn.
A week passed and then a day and there were no more accidental meetings; hardly any meetings at all. If he were the over analytical type, at least in terms of personal relations, he would have guessed he was being avoided.
Ludicrous thinking, after all he hadn't been the one to do the falling or the stroking; bad language that. A flick of fingers through hair should not be the root of so many wandering thoughts.
But they were, and he was finding it harder and harder not to think of what the touch on various other body parts would feel like.
Looked like Sheldon Cooper was forming an imaginative mind and the musings were as far from string theory as you could get. The whole situation was simply unacceptable. How could Penny commence with the scents and the soft fabrics and the touch and simply stop?
It was not right, it was not fair, and it was not going to continue much longer.
Dragging up courage, from where he had no idea, he walked confidently across the hall, not allowing the fluttering in his stomach to affect the sequence of his door knocks.
Penny took her time in responding, giving him time to fidget with the hem of his shirt, to rethink, again, what exactly he would say once he did have her attention.
Turned out he didn't need to say much at all.
The door opened and Penny leaned a shoulder against the frame; words left him, the sudden appearance, the powder blue top, the butter crème, the slight tapping of those fingers against the door and he was lost.
She found him though, saw him, her eyes raking over his length, he very nearly squirmed. But then she was smiling, having seen something he supposed, and his nerves dissipated into a new sort of anticipation creeping up in his belly; an unfamiliar one.
Sheldon found himself liking something new, liking the smile on her face, the one he was coming to decide was understanding; Penny had come to a realization and he was at a loss as to what.
When her hand reached out, that hand with those fingers, and curled in the front of the shirt, he squeaked, just a little, but there were wrinkles. Penny just rolled her eyes and he opened his mouth to protest, but all words were lost as she tugged him, hard, rodeo queen and whatnot, and he stumbled forward, into her apartment, into her.
'Took you long enough,' Penny reached up on tiptoe whispering into his ear and he got the distinct feeling that he, Sheldon Cooper had just been played, kicking the door shut behind him as she pulled him further in, he discovered he didn't mind it one bit.