"I know you're crazy sweetie, and we all get a kick out of it. But this is senseless. Literally without sense."
"On the contrary, this type of union is completely logical when thought out. It's obvious you haven't done so."
"Okay, go ahead. Inform me."
"You could let one pass, you know."
"First, you and I both know that it would make fiscal issues more feasible, at least for you."
"Secondly, it will save me having to break in some 'new' guy."
"And lastly, despite whatever fake displays you insist on daily, I know you don't dislike me."
"Of course. If you did, you would have stopped acknowledging my existence long ago."
"What about you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you mean you don't entirely dislike my presence either?"
"I never would have suggested it if I didn't enjoy your company, Penny."
"Okay. I guess I'm moving in here."
"I knew you would see reason eventually."
"Yes, I saw the light."
"You're in my spot."
Penny sat slouched down in the chair, absent-mindedly sucking on the last orange popsicle from the box. When Sheldon had seen her pull it out, he'd shot her a look that was meant to leave her feeling chagrined, but she was able to deflect such expressions from him. She knew he tried to hide them from her, hording what he wanted most was his way. She had merely raised an eyebrow defiantly and ripped the paper open. Huffing slightly at not having gotten his way, Sheldon sat down at his desk.
He still hadn't acknowledged her, five minutes later. Penny assumed he's reading up on sub-atomic particle accelerators or extolling the virtues of Kitty Pryde. After finishing her sticky treat and washing her hands in the kitchen sink, she reached up to her hair, tying it into a hap-hazardous knot on top of her head. Where the sudden heat wave had come from she didn't know, but her thick hair was growing by the minute, which Penny didn't exactly appreciate. That task accomplished, she threw herself down on the couch.
She was bored.
And still, Sheldon didn't move.
She found herself staring at the back of his neck intently.
He addressed her without turning around. "I noticed."
"We could do something." She got up and approached him quickly. Leaning over his shoulder, she noticed he was merely playing Tetris. "Oh, come on. This isn't even like a real thing you're doing."
He visibly flinched away from her before standing and putting space between them. Penny felt her smile falter on her lips.
"What did you have in mind?"
Penny bit her lip as she thought. "Mini-golf?"
His condescending smile took over his face. "This from the girl who is too hot sitting in her air-conditioned apartment."
She stuck her orange-dyed tongue out at him. "Fine. How about we watch a movie?"
"Do you have a suggestion for a movie we could both stomach watching?" He pushed his hands into his pockets.
"See, that's misleading." She pointed a finger at him. "The way you phrase that, it seems as if I can't manage to make it through your movie selections." Sheldon's face twitched slightly. "Stating things more clearly, it should be said that you can't stand anything that doesn't contain sword play or rocket packs or E-woks."
"I detest E-woks," he interjected quickly, frowning.
Sighing deeply, Penny answered, "I know you do."
"They're completely without any-"
"Okay!" She cut in. "How about we play with that Lego Death Star thing you got last week?"
He stared at her blankly for a moment. "Why would I take that out of the box?"
Penny raised her eyebrows and wrinkled her nose. "Because Legos were meant to be played with?"
"Oh, Penny." He chuckled humorlessly.
She spent the rest of the afternoon distractedly counting the moles on the back of his neck as he got to level seventeen.
"I don't understand why we can't have a Christmas tree, Sheldon."
He rolled his eyes and turned around in his desk chair to look at her. She stood before him in pajamas similar to the ones he usually wore, a soft pink flannel with a plaid pattern on it. Her lower lip stuck out in a pout.
"We have discussed this, Penny. It's a ridiculous notion. We should buy what is essentially an oversized weed, set it up in the living room, only to make the entire apartment smell for months, and then proceed to decorate it with twinkly lights?" He raised an eyebrow.
She stared at him evenly. "Yes." He raised his eyebrows even more pointedly, giving her his patented 'you really want to keep going with this?' look. All he got in return was a glare of her own.
She never had been one to give in to him.
"Don't you think, with your mother coming, that we should make everything as nice as possible?"
He wrinkled his nose. "My mother is well aware of my so-called neuroses, she will not be surprised at all by a lack of Christmas tree."
"That doesn't mean she doesn't want one," Penny shot back.
Sheldon had to concede that this was correct. While his mother tried to understand him, there was a good chance that she would strong arm him into picking one up anyway as soon as she arrived.
"Besides, where am I gonna put your presents?" She grinned at him impishly.
"Penny, we've already discussed this as well." He was becoming exasperated with her. "We do not buy gifts for each other."
"Sheldon," Penny intoned, stepping closer to him. "Sweetie, I've already told you. You don't have to buy me anything."
"Oh, please." He turned back around, continuing his Facebook update.
"No, really." She came over and stood right behind him. "I am a firm believer in the idea that if you don't know someone well enough or like them well enough that you shouldn't ever be forced to buy things for them."
He turned around and glared up at her. She simply smiled sweetly in response.
"But, if you were really worried about reciprocating, I can think of something you could get me."
Sheldon Cooper is going out to purchase an evergreen corpse.
about 2 seconds ago - Comment- Like
Penny looked from the high-gloss photo to the pan that sat on her dirty stovetop. They didn't look even slightly similar.
"What are you doing?"
Penny turned to look at her roommate. "Cooking?"
He furrowed his brow. "You don't cook, Penny."
"It's never to late to learn something," she countered, shrugging.
Sheldon stepped over next to her, peering down. "While true in theory, I think this particular skill set might not apply." He bent over, placing his face near it and sniffed. "What, may I ask, is this?"
Penny rubbed her forehead tiredly. "It's lasagna, Sheldon."
He straightened up and looked at her strangely before appraising the pan once more. He tilted his head to the side. "Are you sure?"
The blonde took a deep breath, calming herself. "Yes," she sighed. She opened the cupboard door, pulled out two plates and handed one over to the physicist. He stared at it as if it was radioactive.
"We're not eating it, are we?" He seemed terrified.
She stared at him with a deadpanned expression. "That was the plan."
He continued to look at her for several moments. "Was that sarcasm?"
Penny set her jaw. "Eat it," she answered, pointing at the offending dish.
Sheldon warily looked back at the pan of lasagna, seemingly afraid that it might jump up and bite him.
"But, it's Friday."
"Fine, don't." She sighed, starting to clean up. "Your mom told me you liked lasagna, but…." She grabbed a rag and started viciously wiping the counter off. "…whatever."
She felt his eyes on her and turned to face him. He lifted one hand and gingerly wiped a smear of tomato off her forehead with his thumb. Penny suddenly felt like she wouldn't be able to speak if she was paid a million dollars to do so. She watched with wide eyes and he washed his hands in the sink and then silently helped himself to a square of lasagna.
Conducted With Subject S.J. Cooper, PhD
A: Yes, well…I was told I had to.
A: Is this really the level of questioning I can expect for the whole of this interview?
A: Yes, in Frankfurt.
A: Well, they eat a lot of sausage.
A: You're sure you're a graduate student?
A: She thought it was God's will. I suppose, in that she didn't stop me from attempting to blow up the neighbors.
A: Yes, two of them. What does this have to do with the topic of discussion?
A: Oh. I was not aware.
A: I was…You're sure you very clearly stated to Dr. Gabelhauser what the subject of this was?
A: I was fourteen.
A: I suppose. I'm sure your parents are just as proud of you still being in school at the age of thirty.
A: I'm not surprised. Your interview style is less than palatable.
A: Well, to a lesser extent, yes.
A: No, nobody is as smart as I am.
A: Your asking me to express myself in words is discomfiting. Could I just write an equation for you?
A: I don't have time for or want of that sort of thing.
A: There's Penny.
A: Of course not. I just said- are you even listening to me?
A: She is my roommate, a thorn in my proverbial paw.
A: I do spend a significant amount of time with her, yes.
A: I can infer from the way you are leading that you expect some sort of grand here-to-for unknown realization as to my romantic intentions towards her that tend to be featured in movies starring Hugh Grant.
A: Surprisingly, I usually am not this astute when it comes to human interaction.
A: I suppose.
A: One word?
"-and I used the last of your conditioner this morning," she finished, checking her list. Sheldon rolled his eyes next to her, his fingers tight on the bar of their oversized shopping cart. Sunday had become warehouse store day for the inhabitants of 4A, and they were on their weekly excursion.
"Penny, I have told you before. If you would plan well enough ahead, you could have some concept of when you were going to run out and not steal mine every month."
"Yeah," she answered, smiling. "But then how would I annoy you?"
"I'm sure you'd find a way," Sheldon replied under his breath. "I noticed you ate all of the good chips yesterday during your online shoe shopping spree."
"Ha!" she called, pointing at him. "You thought you'd hidden them well enough that I wouldn't find them." Penny shook her head. "You always hide the stuff you want the most. That's how I know that it's what I want."
"How special for me." He reached out to his left and grabbed a package and placed it in the cart.
Penny eyed it. "So, you're sticking with the tighty-whities, huh?"
Sheldon's mouth got tight and he looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "Do you have some commentary on my choice of undergarments now too?"
Penny shrugged. "I just…have you ever tried boxers?"
"No," he responded, perusing the shelves they passed. "My mother always bought me these."
"Now, I don't really know how it works with all that extra stuff down there," she said, motioning toward his crotch. "But I would think freer would be better." She walked ahead to pull a bag of chips off the shelf and threw it into the cart.
"Can we please stop talking about my testicles?" Sheldon asked in a clipped tone. Penny suppressed a giggle as she continued on ahead of him. "So, am I to understand that you prefer boxers then?" Sheldon asked, sarcasm in his voice.
"I wouldn't know," Penny shot back without turning around. "I'm not wearing any underwear at all."
She heard a crash behind her and turned around to see Sheldon extracting his cart from a now-dented cardboard cutout.
"Good grief, Penny." He scowled at her. "Would you hurry up?"
Penny simply looked up into the dark sky. "Come on, Sheldon. It's fun."
"Hardly," he insisted, slipping his plastic-encased comic book inside his jacket. "I didn't bring my umbrella along."
She wasn't listening to him, now skipping through shallow puddles. "It never rains here, this is great!"
"Penny, we have to pick up our take-out order." He pulled on the passenger door handle in vain, trying it several times before addressing her again. "I'm getting soggy. Stop acting like a child."
"Pot, meet kettle," she smarmed, finally trotting over to her car. She pushed a wet, tangled tendril of hair out of her face as she pushed the key into the lock. "Did you ever have a childhood?"
He blinked at her several times.
"I'm sorry, but at some point in the last few years have I seemed like an outdoorsman?"
She chuckled and looked at him over the top of the car. "Not even a little bit."
Sheldon felt what he was sure was heartburn for a moment. It made little to no sense, as he hadn't even picked up his 'Souplantation' order yet.
Penny looked ominously between the two men. There was a distinct possibility this would end badly.
"…So, you sit around all day thinking about doing stuff?"
Yes, this was definitely going to end badly.
"Well yes, technically." Sheldon squared his shoulders before meeting the eye line of the older man. "It's essentially the process of using mathematics to explain certain events in nature."
Penny's father looked at the physicist, seemingly deep in thought. "So, it's like predicting the amount of rain we'll get in three years?"
Sheldon blinked at the man and moved his mouth soundlessly for a moment. "Yes," he finally answered.
Penny tried to hide a smile. He was doing very well, all things considered.
"I'm hungry, anyone else hungry?" Penny spoke up.
"I can make us something," her mother offered from her spot on the couch.
"You don't have to do that, mom."
"No, I'd love it." Her mother smiled at her. "I never get to cook for you anymore."
Penny looked over at Sheldon, who had rolled his whiteboard over to the living room and seemed about to being the process of explaining string theory to her dad.
"That's okay, I think we should go out for dinner." She smiled widely, trying to draw attention away from the crazy she lived with. "C'mon, me and Sheldon's treat."
"Sheldon's and my treat," he corrected automatically. "Hey…."
"And then afterwards, I can take you over to the set and give you a tour," Penny added.
"We are just so proud of you," her mom said.
"On your television show, you seem a little….easy," he dad continued.
"I'm just saying," he father answered. "Besides, we still haven't even taken the tour here yet."
"It's a basic apartment," Penny answered, shrugging.
"And you two have separate bedrooms?" her mother asked.
Penny felt her entire body turn red.
"Well, you're still our daughter," her mother reasoned.
"We're…." Penny couldn't find the words for exactly what she and Sheldon were. "We're not…together."
"Good lord, no," he supplied helpfully from his whiteboard.
"Hey," she snapped at him. He turned to look at her. "You don't have to be so offended by the idea."
"Neither did you," he shot back, continuing with his equations.
The awkward silence stretched out.
"Your mom and I like that Baker's Square," her dad stated. "Do you have one of those out here?"
As far as parties went, Sheldon was pretty sure this one was closer on the spectrum to 'torturous' than 'fun'.
"Who are you?" a small brunette asked, staring up at him and batting her eyes.
"Dr. Sheldon Cooper," he answered flatly. "I live here."
"With Kelly?" the girl questioned, her eyes glassy.
"Penny," Sheldon corrected. "You're at the party and you don't even know her name?"
"It's the skanky chick from that new alien hunting show, right?"
"I'm going to assume you're referring to the character and not the actress," Sheldon countered, rising to his full height.
"Whatever," the girl slurred and turned away. "Who has coke?"
Sheldon rolled his eyes and quickly scanned the room for his roommate. She was nowhere to be seen, which didn't really surprise him. He raised his glass to his lips and took a sip of his club soda, which he'd had a firm grip on since the first guest showed up, almost two hours late.
He took off across the room, making his way toward the hallway. A tall girl with the biggest hair he'd ever seen stepping in front of him.
"Hello," he answered politely, trying to side-step her.
"You live here, right?" she asked, invading his personal space and producing a smell that made Sheldon want to gag.
"Yes," he replied tersely.
"Can I see your bedroom?" she asked forwardly, pressing up against him.
Sheldon's eyes went wide. "No one can be in my bedroom."
"Not even if I was with you?"
Was this really what girls acted like? This was repulsive.
"No," he responded, extracting himself from her and hurrying toward the hall. Once outside Penny's room, he took a deep breath.
Knock, knock, knock. "Penny."
Knock, knock, knock. "Penny."
"Sheldon," Penny panted, appearing in her doorway out of breath and distinctly mussed-looking.
"This party is terrible," he stated.
"We agreed on this," Penny whined, opening to door wider and stepping toward him. Sheldon could make out a figure on her bed, half-dressed and scowling.
"Yes, but that was assuming your guests wouldn't be drug-addicted whores," he answered. He took in her swollen lips. "Your shirt is off by one button."
"Did you need something?" she asked, her voice sharp.
Sheldon tried to think of why he had felt compelled to talk to her at that moment, but couldn't think of anything but the color of her flushed cheeks.
"Six months seems excessive."
Penny looked up to find him standing in her doorway, his hands clasped behind his back.
"Sheldon, I don't know what you want me to do." She threw a shirt into her suitcase and glared at him. "Turn down this amazing, wonderful opportunity to stay here and play 'Halo' with you?"
"You already have a job," he countered.
Penny sighed loudly and threw herself down on the bed. "Yes, I do. But this is a movie, Sheldon. Don't you get it?" She tossed another shirt into her suitcase. "A real movie. This is what I've been dreaming about, what I've been working towards."
"I understand," he answered quietly. "It just means that my schedule is going to have to evolve to accommodate other people giving me rides, and changing our routine shopping excursions." He fidgeted.
Penny smiled, rising from her bed quickly. "I'm going to miss you, too."
Before he the chance to protest, Penny threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. She knew he wouldn't return it, he never did. It still made her feel better.
"Why does it have to be New Zealand?" he murmured.
Penny grinned against his neck. "Because that's where Peter Jackson wants to film, and where Jackson goes, so go I."
"He's clearly an idiot," Sheldon shot back grumpily.
"I'm so telling Leonard you said that," Penny giggled.
She started to pull away, knowing he was getting uncomfortable. But, then suddenly he was hugging her back, gripping her tighter than he ever had. His arms met behind her back, keeping her in a strong-hold. He inhaled deeply. Penny was thankful he was holding her, as her knees were moments from buckling.
He was smelling her.
"Six months," she whispered. "How many minutes is that?"
"Two-hundred seventy-seven thousand, nine-hundred and twenty," he answered promptly. "Give or take."
Penny smiled, burrowing closer still to him.
"Good morning," he said as he stepped into the kitchen.
Penny grumbled in response and took another sip from her coffee mug.
"What time did you finally get home?" he asked, pulling his bowl out of the cupboard.
"Couple hours ago," she answered, shrugging. She was staring despondedly at the newest issue of 'Variety'. Her hair was still in it's twist, her makeup still mostly on her face, and her dress was still tightly drawn across her body. She was frowning deeply. Sheldon assumed it had to do with the giant hang-over she was undoubtedly nursing.
"I would think you would be slightly more chipper," he stated slowly, his eyebrow quirked. "The show did win last night."
Penny looked at him and Sheldon felt pain in his chest. She looked so…hurt for some reason.
"Do you have to go in this morning?" he asked, feeling the need to move the conversation forward.
Penny shook her head, glancing down at her coffee mug. "I'm going to take a shower," she mumbled as she rose from the bar stool.
"Since you don't have to work this morning, could you give me a ride?" he asked, pouring milk over his cereal.
Penny opened her mouth as if she was going to say something, but she remained silent. She seemed to visibly deflate for a moment before murmuring a soft 'yeah' and exiting to the bathroom.
Sheldon stared after her, confused. She'd been in a good enough mood last night, even when he'd taken his leave from the after-party. A quick calculation told him it wasn't her time of the month, so there had to be some other explanation.
He walked around the island to take a seat in the chair she'd just vacated.
And found himself staring down at….him.
There, in the Emmy coverage of 'Variety' was a picture of he and Penny from the previous evening's red carpet. It was one he had clearly not been aware of at the time.
The photograph showed Penny, in all her glory, as she beamed at someone off-camera. But his stomach dropped when he glanced at himself. He stood, smiling happily down at her, his eyes decidedly moony-looking.
He looked like a man completely smitten.
Sheldon felt as if he might be sick.
''Unspeakable' star poses for pics with her clearly in-love hubby.'
"Doesn't it seem like Superman needs to be with someone cooler than Lois Lane?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, here he is, the awesomest thing that ever awesomed-"
"I hate when you do that."
"-I know. And she is just this plain reporter. Nothing cool about her really."
"I disagree. She is in every way his intellectual equal. That's quite important."
"I think you're wrong."
"Of course you do."
"Well, don't you think there are more important things to a relationship than both people being on the same intellectual plane?"
"Okay, in your very clearly knowledgeable estimation, who does Superman belong with?"
"Well, there does seem to be a community that also holds this belief. You see, they are perceived to be close friends who, despite not always seeing eye to eye, get along very well and have a certain connection that Clark shares with no one else."
"You mean I'm not crazy?"
"Hardly. In fact, they are considered to be a quite popular non-canon pairing in the Superman 'verse."
"So, people want them to get it on."
He was drunker than she has ever seen him, drunker than he'd ever been in his life.
He muttered something slightly off-color and then giggled, putting his hand over his mouth.
He was beaming, glowing…jovial.
He had every reason to be, Penny reasoned. He ruled the world tonight, and everyone else was just living in it.
"Sheldon, I think it's time to get you to bed," she chuckled, standing to help him up from his seat in the hotel bar. They had gotten adjoining rooms at the Sheraton in Stockholm. It was a gorgeous hotel, what little they'd actually seen of it. Funky and modern in style, which Sheldon hated and Penny loved.
"Right you are," he answered, allowing her to pull him upright. They were suddenly standing very close to each other. He looked down at her, his eyes unfocused. "I think I might be slightly ineber- inebre….drunk."
Penny chuckled, smiling up at him as she hooked one arm around his waist to guide him to the elevator. He reached a finger out to bat at the long earrings she wore and she pulled her head away from him.
The ride up to the seventh floor was silent. Sheldon laid his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. Penny watched him, moving his head slightly from one side to the other, his bowtie long since undone and hanging forgotten around his neck.
Penny licked her lips.
Sheldon started humming to himself softly, his voice low and raspy.
Penny bit the inside of her cheek.
The elevator dinged and they stumbled off together, him trying to move faster than he was really capable.
"This was a good day for me," he announced to no one in particular.
"Yes," Penny agreed.
"I can die now," he went on.
"Let me get you to your room first," she answered, struggling with him.
They paused at his door, while she reached into his coat pocket for his key card. He laid his head back
against the door jamb. "Hey, don't pass out yet. I'll never be able to pick up back up off the ground."
He opened his eyes and looked at her, as if realizing for the first time she was standing there.
He was looking at her, not through her as he had been.
He'd never looked at her like this before.
Sheldon carefully pulled the card from her hand and, after a couple failed attempts, swiped the key successfully. He opened the door, never taking his eyes from hers. His hand, steadier than she ever would have guessed, reached up and clasped hers. He took a step into the dark room, pulling her to him.
And Penny let him.
Sheldon opened the apartment door, a freshly laundered basket of clothes in his arms.
Penny was standing at the open window, screaming at someone down on the street. When she heard the door click shut, she turned around, glaring.
"Perhaps you could devise a more aggressive screening process to better circumvent this sort of thing happening so often," he suggested flatly.
"He is sleeping with Katie Heigl," she protested angrily.
"No!" he answered in mock horror.
Penny narrowed her eyes at him and Sheldon unconsciously lowered the laundry basket to protect his crotch.
"Men suck ass!".
"I'll be in my room," he told her as he passed. "Let me know when you're not stupid anymore."
"I think I'm going to go stay with Leonard and Natalie tonight."
He stared at her blankly. "You live here though."
Penny sighed. "About that…." Sheldon's eyebrows rose. "I don't think it's a good idea if we keep living together."
"But, we're roommates," Sheldon retorted.
"Yeah," Penny shot back. "That's what we are, roommates." She took a deep breath, trying to center herself. "We need to grow up, or at least I do." He frowned at her.
"You're my best friend."
"It isn't working anymore," Penny countered sadly. "You know it's not. We're fighting all the time."
"We always fight," he argued quietly.
"Sheldon…." She paused. "When I'm around you, I….I forget what I want in life."
"What does that mean?"
She didn't know how to say this to him, to make him understand.
"I want…to find someone to …love." She took a gulp of air, finding it hard to breath. "Someone who loves me and needs me and can show me, and…when I'm around you, I'm too happy." She paused. "I forget all that other stuff."
"So," he said slowly. "You need to leave because you're happy living here?"
"And you'd be happier if you were miserable somewhere else."
Penny glowered at him for what seemed like a long time. Finally, her resolve broke and, not allowing herself to think anymore, she stepped to him and kissed him quickly.
"It's just for tonight?" Sheldon asked when she'd pulled away.
Penny shrugged and walked to the door. She turned to see him watching her, still frowning.
Penny stepped out into the hallway and closed the door.
She counted to fifty.
He didn't come after her.
It had been almost two months, and nothing.
Penny was still living in the apartment, but she might as well have moved to Louisianna for as much as Sheldon saw her. She was regularly out the door before he woke up and always crept in after he'd gone to bed.
Sheldon had a consistant gnawing pain in his head and chest. For the first three weeks, he was sure he was dying.
For the next, he wished he had.
He knew the answer now, the one he'd resisted, ignored.
Sheldon missed her, needed her.
He couldn't be sure how long he'd felt this way, as he didn't really feel any differently about her than he ever had honestly.
Today was her 28th birthday. Wherever she was, she was surely having a great time and not sparing a thought for him.
The thought nauseated him.
Then, as if a light bulb had gone on over his head, Sheldon knew where she was. He tore into his bedroom and dug into his closet, pulling out a small shoebox. He raced down the stairs and out the door, breaking his rule to whistle for a cab. There was truly little to no chance she would be there, but Sheldon had to check.
The cab stopped in front of the theatre and there she sat, cross-legged on the cold pavement. He climbed out of the car, all awkward limbs and crooked angles.
"What are you doing here?" she mumbled, not looking up at him.
"We always come here on your birthday," he answered, sliding down to the ground next to her. She looked over at him morosely and pulled her knees up to her chin, rocking gently. Without preamble, Sheldon dropped the box at her feet.
"What's this?" she asked.
"Your birthday present," he answered and she finally looked at him. Her eyes were red, puffy. "I apologize for not properly wrapping it."
Tucking her hair behind her ear, Penny lifted the lid off the box and gasped.
Inside, lay several seemingly random objects, but Penny knew better.
A picture of the two of them at Disneyworld. He was even smiling in it. Kind of.
The first christmas tree ornament they'd bought.
A newspaper clipping of them at the Emmys.
A Penny blossom.
One long earring.
Penny was crying before he even realized what had happened. She wiped furiously at her eyes.
Sheldon waited for her to speak, staring down at Clint Eastwoods giant footprint.
"I thought I lost this," she finally said, holding up the earring.
He shook his head slightly, narrowing his eyes at her. "I just hide the stuff that -"
"-you want the most," she finished softly.
"I want the most," he echoed, silently begging her to understand.
She watched him for a very long time, just the two of them under the sulfurous street light. People walked past them, but Sheldon was unaware of anything but the minute changes to her face.
"We'll have to have a lot of sex," she finally stated loudly.
Sheldon raised an eyebrow. "If that's important to you."
"And occasionally, I am going to cook," she contined, moving closer to him.
"Do I have to eat it?"
She was leaning into him, right in his face. "And sometimes, I have to be right."
Sheldon narrowed his eyes, thinking. "I let you be right sometimes."
"And," she said, so close now that he could feel her breath on his face. "I get to sit wherever I want."
He pulled his face away.
"Not a chance."
She smiled and leaned in to kiss him, her arms coming around him with enough force that they both fell
over backward onto the sidewalk.
They only finally came up for air some time later, when she was recognized and asked for an autograph.
"See how nice the tree looks?"
"Yes, you were right."
"And fresh one was totally the way to go."
"Yes, you were right."
"Are you listening to me?"
"Yes, you were right. Ow!"
"Do you want to go first?"
"I think maybe you should."
"Okay, let's see. Oh."
"What do you mean?"
"That's all I have gotten for you."
"Oh. Don't feel bad, sweetie. Just because I got you, like twenty things that are all awesome, don't feel like you have to…."
"May I speak now?"
"It's smaller than a comic book, but if Meemaw is to be trusted, it's worth a little more."
"I mean, depending on issue number and series and condition and-"
"Will you marry me?"