Sheldon picked up the shirt Penny had left out for him. He wished it was one of his preferred type superhero t-shirts instead of one with some sports team logo he had never heard of. It was a size too big owing to the previous owners hulking build, but as his MeeMaw always said 'If wishes were horses beggars would ride'. He knew the sweatpants would be too small and the leg length too short. And, one thing was positive as he held them up for inspection and saw what was emblazoned across the backside, he was NEVER EVER going to wear them.
He whipped open the door from Penny's bedroom to the living room tightly clasping the towel around his waist, in the other hand he held forth the offending item.
"Penny, how do you expect me to put these on?"
One leg at a time? Oh, the death glare, maybe I shouldn't have, but…
"I'm sorry Moonpie, are they way too small?" she said innocently.
"Too small, too small you say? I refuse to wear anything so-so… I literally cannot find the words."
He held the sweatpants aloft in front of him.
"And JUICY definitely would not would be on of them!"
Penny started laughing hysterically. He used his best death glare stare at her, but it only produced another burst of giggles from her.
She gasped out between fits of her winding down laughter "I couldn't help it honey, old habits die hard. There's a regular pair of sweats on top of the dresser."
"Penny, I don't think I'll ever fully understand your sense of humor."
The death glare had been replaced with a look of consternation.
"I don't expect you to sweetie. So go put your pants on and go to bed."
She thought better of asking him if he wanted her to sing Soft Kitty. She certainly didn't want all of his circuit breakers tripping in one night. But if he asked her to….
"Well then Penny, goodnight again."
"Goodnight Sheldon, sweet dreams."
She curled up on the couch, her mind racing. It hadn't even been an hour since he arrived home and so much had changed for her because of a single kiss. She hoped she had regained some of their equilibrium with the verbal sparring which defined a large part of their relationship. She never thought she would fall asleep, but exhaustion finally overtook her into a still and dreamless sleep.
Penny woke up with a stiff neck and a sore back. Sleeping on the couch did not agree with her body. She stood and stretched trying to work the kink out of her back. She absentmindedly glanced at the clock in the kitchen. The digital display on the stove read 09:21. She looked over and saw that the door to her room was still closed and a big grin lit up her face.
He's still here
Penny found Sheldon was still sound asleep when she quietly opened the bedroom door and peeked in. She tiptoed her way to the bathroom so she could pee.
Ack. She caught sight of herself in the mirror as she was washing her hands. I look like a big ol' mess.
She ran a brush through her hair a few times to work out all the knots, brushed her teeth, and splashed some cold water across her face. As she was drying off her face with a hand towel, something else caught her eye in the mirror's reflection.
She couldn't resist. Penny went over and picked up his long-sleeved thermal tee and his green lantern t-shirt. She brought them up to her face and inhaled deeply. Oh God. They smelled like him. Like detergent and something else. His own body's scent imparted into the cotton after a long days travel. She breathed in the fabric again.
I'll wash his clothes for him, it's the least I can do for him and get back on his good side
She went to gather up his corduroy pants and felt something hard in the front pocket. She reached her hand in and pulled out a key. A key with a Hello Kitty ribbon tied to it.
Penny banged open the door from the bathroom, jumped on the bed and yelled at the top of her lungs.
"Dr. Sheldon Cooper!"
He sat bolt upright and blurted out 'ghu MIl'oD'*
"Huh? Penny why are you yelling?"
He rubbed his eyes with the base of his palm clearing away the last of his dream. He tried to focus on what Penny was dangling in front of his face.
"Sheldon, would you care to explain to me how the spare key to your apartment ended up in the front pocket of your pants?"
He unleashed that devilish gaze upon her. The one that said I'm ten steps ahead of you and no matter what you think of, I've already thought it before.
"I am a genius you know." He said smugly. "When you left my room, I knew you would not return, so I formalized a plan to get you to let me stay here."
Confused, Penny stammered "But-but you had the key."
"I saw it in the bowl as I exited the apartment and I grabbed it. Regardless of your giving and caring nature, there was an infinitesimal chance that you wouldn't let me in."
She had to ask, she had to know everything and he would tell her the truth as she had always done for him.
"So, no trying to wake up Leonard up to let you back in?"
"And your concern for Leonard?"
"I needed to know if you harbored romantic feelings for him. I prevaricated before. Although he still remained hopeful that things could change, Leonard had come to realize when we were gone that he also felt the two of you were better off as friends."
Leonard. A guy could still dream couldn't he? This was good, it wouldn't be too awkward between them.
"Why did you want to know if I had read your entire journal?"
"Do you realize Penny that you call me 'Sweetie' on average 73.3% more than Leonard, Raj and Howard combined? You called my 'Honey' 24% more than them as well. This is due to the fact that you tend to use that affectionate name for Raj a great deal of the time, which threw off the curve."
"What does that have to do with your journal?"
"Those numbers bothered me Penny, and I had to figure out why. To prove a theory if you will. Through the course of reading and rereading my observations of you I came to a conclusion. Not a conclusion about you, but about myself."
"And, what did you conclude…. Sweetie?" Penny said, her anger completely faded as her heart started beating wildly in her chest.
He smiled broadly at the word Sweetie.
"That those numbers were too low. I didn't like you calling anyone else besides me those names. How was I to increase my percentage when only you could-could…" he looked into her eyes letting go of his carefully crafted shield against emotion.
She grabbed a fistful of her ex-boy friend's t-shirt and hauled Sheldon closer to her.
"Dr. Cooper, may I provide you with additional data?"
She didn't pause for a moment as her lips found his. He responded with a passion she hadn't thought him capable of. They broke apart briefly after what seemed like an eternity and only moments at the same time.
"How does that compute Sheldon?"
"I believe I have a new theory, do you know what a gravity well is?" He looked at her and saw how her eyes blazed at him.
Oh well, there was a time for theories and there was a time for actions.
He ran his fingers through her hair and gently pulled her back to him.
*Klingon for baby bear. I just couldn't resist!
A/N: Thank you for all your kind reviews. As this was my first ever fanfic, I was quite nervous about posting, but you all made it easier for me.
ps. Just a random thought, I couldn't get Squeeze's 'Take Me I'm Yours' out of my mind as I was writing, you should check out the lyrics if you don't know the song, it just seemed apropos.