Title: The Caffeine High Corollary
Summary: Sheldon comes off his caffeine high with unanticipated results.
Category: Romance, UST
Spoilers: A tag to "The Work Song Nanocluster"
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em.
Notes: Written for the Fiction Friday challenge sheldon_penny. Thanks to MrsVincentCrabbe for the speedy read-through.
. . . . . . . . . .
After counting up all the Penny blossoms one last time to make sure that the had definitely made 1,000, Penny shuffled across the hall to her apartment. She fished her key out of the pocket of her jeans and wrapped her hand around the doorknob as she prepared to unlock it. She was surprised when it turned before she got the key into the lock.
She must have forgotten to lock it.
Pushing the door open, Penny walked into the apartment and thew her purse in the general direction of the couch as she made her way to the bedroom. A very human sounding grunt came back at her, and Penny gasped as she saw a long, very human-like figure move against the bright turquoise fabric of her sofa. Her eyes went wide she jumped back until she felt the wood of her bookshelf against her back. and she reached behind her, fingers grasping for anything that could be used as a weapon, but her hand only found the smooth spines of book stacked upright on the shelf. Before her, right next to the couch, was a lamp. She wished she had seen it earlier.
Penny was just about to try her luck at darting back out of the front door when the figure leaned forward, she heard a soft click and suddenly the room was bathed in the soft light emanated from around the blue lampshade.
"Oh, Penny. You're home," came a groggy but familiar voice.
Penny sagged against the bookshelf in relief. "Jesus, Sheldon." She put a hand against her chest as adrenaline-chilled relief washed over her body, her nostrils flaring in anger that he had scared her so. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Well," Sheldon looked around, as if he wasn't sure why he was there himself. "Cleaning."
For the first time Penny took in the the state of her apartment. Come to think of it, she didn't have to step over or around anything when she first entered. The coffee table looked pretty clear, the magazines that had been strewn across the den were neatly stacked—probably sorted by subject matter and content—on the surface.
No clothes were hanging over the back of chairs, and she looked down to her right to see that that wicker hamper was shut with no camisole tops or bra straps hanging over the edge.
She looked back at the scientist on her couch. He was still wearing that ridiculous Flash costume. He'd taken off the mask at some point, though. Penny figured he must have come down off his caffeine high and crashed on her sofa.
"Alright, it's official. No more coffee for you," Penny declared. She walked around the back of the sofa and plopped down on the opposite end, to Sheldon's right.
Sheldon made a tut of agreement, like when he was about to go into a tirade about how wrong she had been to force the caffeinated beverage on his delicate system. Instead he just sagged against his corner of the couch and nodded. "I will have to devise some way to leave this misadventure out of my next conversation with Mother."
He turned to regard her. "Did you succeed in fulfilling your Penny Blossom order?"
"Yep. One thousand. We counted them twice. I threw in a few more just be be sure." Penny yawned and then turned to him and smiled. "Thank you for helping me optimize my manufacturing process," she said, patting is knee for emphasis. Letting Sheldon tell her what do did work out for the best sometimes. Though, she'd never tell him that. It was too fun ruffing his precious, genius feathers.
She didn't move her hand from his knee. Leaning forward, she closed the distance between them. She meant to kiss him on the cheek, partly hoping the shock of physical intimacy might scare some sense into him and he'd scurry back over to 4A. Sheldon turned at the last moment, and her lips brushed against his.
She expected him to jump back or push her away, but Sheldon remained still, and when Penny didn't pull away either, she felt the slight pressure of his mouth—his lips—tentatively moving against her own.
And then they were kissing. Sheldon was kissing her. His hand came up to cup the back of her head, his long fingers tickling against the skin at the base of her neck, and she gasped at the sensation. Sheldon opened his mouth, too, mimicking her actions, and Penny let her tongue slide into his, tasting the residual coffee flavor.
Penny leaned into him more, and Sheldon turned his body toward her, bracing his back against the back sofa to better accommodate her weight, and she pulled her legs of the floor, propping herself up on her knees as she prepared to climb into his lap. She broke the kiss, opening her eyes to get her bearings, and the bright yellow lighting bolt of his costume jolted her back to reality. She was a hair's breadth away from straddling Sheldon.
"Penny," he breathed.
"Sheldon, I—," she started. She stood now, looking down on her feet as she fought the impulse to run into her room and slam the door.
"Does...Is this a normal side effect of excessive caffeine intake?" She finally met Sheldon's eyes. They shone with a strange mix of wonder and curiosity. He was taking deep, measured breaths, and Penny took in his reddened lips and flushed face.
"Uhm..." Penny mumbled, biting her bottom lips to prevent herself from saying, Yes, that's exactly it. Blame it on the 'feine. But she couldn't lie to Sheldon about this. "Well, it affects people in different ways, I guess," she told him. A couple of cans of Red Bull and late night quests on Age of Conan had never ended in her making out with Sheldon, so she was at a loss for explanations.
"Interesting," Sheldon said.
He licked his lips, and Penny needed something to lean against. She settled on resting her butt against the arm of the sofa, because sitting back next to him was out of the question.
"Look, Sheldon, I don't want things to be weird between us."
"Why would things be weird between us?" Sheldon asked, his eyes widened in general confusion.
Penny looked at him with incredulity until it clicked. Any other guy would probably expect this to lead somewhere. But this was Sheldon. Brilliant, organized, maddening Sheldon. He'd probably already filed this moment away as some sort of social interaction anomaly, something "curious" that happened to him once, put on the back-burner for further study, right behind everything else that took his focus away from acquiring the Nobel Prize.
"Right," Penny said more to herself than to Sheldon, and she felt unexpectedly embarrassed.
"Penny," Sheldon's voice was unusually soft, yet wary. "Are you...Is something bothering you."
"No, no, Sheldon," she looked into his eyes and smiled brighter than she felt at the moment. "I'm just tired, ya know."
"Oh, good, for a moment I feared I had unintentionally upset you."
Ha. Now he gets it right. "I want to get a few hours of sleep before I have to mail this stuff, so...I'll see you tomorrow."
"Very well," Sheldon nodded. Taking the hint, he finally got up from the couch. Penny followed as he made his way to the front door. She watched as he opened it, and then stood at the threshold as walked across the hall. He turned before opening his door. "Good night, Penny," he said.
"G'night," Penny sighed before shutting her door.