Disclaimer: I don't own anything, so don't sue me. Seriously, you won't get a thing.
Penny knotted her hair hastily on top of her head as she ambled down the hallway and into the kitchen. Sheldon glanced up from his spot at the counter before dropping his head back quickly to his work. Penny thought for one moment about simply turning on the spot and slinking back into Leonard's room and sitting on his bed to wait for him to get done in the shower before venturing back into the kitchen. Shaking herself, she instead moved forward, coming to rest at the end of the island.
"Hey," she said overly brightly.
"Good morning," he answered in a somewhat brittle tone. Penny felt her smile freeze on her face.
"Whatcha doing?" she asked, choosing to ignore his demeanor.
"It's Friday," he responded quietly. "Friday morning, I make omelets." Indeed, he was meticulously dicing perfect cubes of green peppers as he spoke. Penny noticed a small ruler laying next to his cutting board and had to close her eyes to keep them from rolling violently up into her head.
"Can I have one?" Penny asked as she came around the corner to stand shoulder to bicep with him.
"We don't have enough eggs," he replied flatly, keeping his eyes focused on his chopping. Penny reached out quickly and plucked a perfectly square piece of pepper. Sheldon tapped the tip of his knife against the cutting board, inches away from her fingers. She started slightly before glancing up at him in shock. He was giving her a look out of the corner of his eye, a small smirk on his face. Penny grinned widely at him for a moment. She made a big show of slowly reaching for another one, her eyes never leaving his face. He rolled his eyes away, sighing.
Penny chewed slowly, watching him carefully. He kept his head down, clearly concentrating on his dicing. "Can I ask you something?" she asked, inclining her head up toward him.
He paused in his work, staring straight ahead. "I suppose," he finally answered.
She turned her body, standing perpendicular to him. "What's with the attitude lately?"
Sheldon frowned and swiveled his head in her direction. "To what are you referring?"
"I mean," Penny sighed, crossing her arms over her chest, "that ever since you came back from the North Pole, you've been treating me and Leonard differently."
"In what way?"
"You're being a jerk." Sheldon continued his perfect chopping. She stepped toward him, so his right arm was just barely brushed against her breast. "Leonard is your best friend," she said in a low voice. Sheldon scoffed. "Don't you think you could be, like, kind of supportive of him?"
"I've been against this union from the beginning," Sheldon said by way of response.
"Yeah, why is that?" she asked cheekily.
"I've known Leonard long enough to be able to perceive his less than stellar character traits, and although I've only known you a couple years, feel I have ascertained yours as well." He gave her a sidelong glance.
Penny raised her eyebrows in anticipation. When he didn't answer, she finally prompted him. "And?"
"And the chemical response you two create in each other is in contrast with your normal impulses." Penny narrowed her eyes at him. He rolled his own eyes in response. "You bring out the worst in each other." Penny ground her teeth loudly.
"In what way?" she sighed.
His knife didn't stop its slow, even movements. "I find him stooping to subterfuge on a regular basis," Sheldon responded haltingly. "It's also well established that you need a certain blood alcohol level to engage in any sort of physical activity with Leonard."
"You think I have to be hammered to sleep with him."
Sheldon paused, "Yes."
Penny resisted the urge to wring his neck. "Okay." She cleared her throat. "Even if you think Leonard and I shouldn't be a couple….why are you acting like….." She wasn't sure how to end that sentence.
"Like what?" he asked, feigning interest.
"Like we're all of a sudden not friends."
Sheldon kept his eyes trained on his cutting board. "We're not," he finally responded.
Penny felt irritation seeping into her quickly and she scowled at him. "What's that supposed to mean? Of course we are!" She picked up another small cube of pepper just to spite him and watched his jaw grow tense.
"No," he retorted slowly, as if talking to a small child. "You are now Leonard's girlfriend."
"And I can't be both?"
Sheldon looked over at her as if her hair was on fire. "That's preposterous." She narrowed her eyes dangerously at him. He gently set his knife down and turned more fully toward her. "Shortly after our return to California, at roughly the same time as my entire professional life was falling apart, you chose to enter into an ill-advised romantic relationship with my roommate."
"Okay," Penny cut him off. "First of all, don't make it sound like I heard you were on a train to Texas and decided to jump Leonard's bones."
"Wasn't that the correct order of events?" he shot back, one eyebrow raised in challenge.
"No," she answered firmly. Sheldon stared at her until she started feeling uncomfortable. She coughed and shifted her weight.
"Either way," Sheldon continued. "It seems perfectly logical that once your entanglement with Leonard comes to its inevitable end, you will no longer have any interest in maintaining a friendship with any of us."
"That isn't logical," Penny answered weakly.
"Of course it is," Sheldon replied. "You come across the hall not as our neighbor and friend, but as Leonard's girlfriend."
He stepped past her to the fridge, pulling out a carton of eggs. She watched him, his work quick and efficient. His clear and definite movements exposed a long-standing routine of doing this very thing every Friday morning. Penny opening the fridge and pulled out the carton of milk. Feeling Sheldon's eyes on her, she strained upward, selecting the box of 'Frosted Mini Bites' from the low fiber end. She felt the over-sized 'Batman' tee she was wearing ride up the back of her thighs, but was suddenly feeling strangely defiant. Armed with her box of cereal, Penny spun around to face Sheldon, who was staring at her evenly as he whisked a small bowl of eggs.
"What? You said there wasn't enough for me." She smirked at him before grabbing a bowl.
"That's my cereal," he noted crossly, his forearm muscles visibly cording from the exertion of stirring.
"Yes, but we both know that you won't physically come over here and take it from me," Penny answered as she filled his favorite bowl with cereal. "You'll wait and complain to Leonard." She poured his milk over it liberally. "And we both know who he'll side with on this." She dug into it and stuck an obnoxiously large spoonful in her mouth. "After all, I am his girlfriend," she finished, her mouth full. Penny wasn't totally sure where this sudden urge to push him had come from, but she was actually enjoying it. Somewhere deep inside, she was sure it was wrong to do this to him. At the moment however, Penny didn't care.
Sheldon glared at her before brushing past her again to retrieve the small frying pan from above the sink. She chewed as loudly as she could, trying to get that muscle in his right cheek to twitch. He had already clearly tuned her out however, his complete concentration on his task. He kept his back stiff, standing as rigidly as possible. Penny felt his cereal stick in her throat. Sighing, she put down the bowl and crossed over to where his neat pile of vegetables sat on the small cutting board. She picked it up and carried it over to where he stood at the stove. She watched him closely for several moments, not making a sound. When he finally looked at her out of the corner of his eye, Penny felt herself relax.
"We are friends, Sheldon." She said it quietly, steadily. His adam's apple bobbed. "So, could you please just take it down a notch?" He said nothing, merely blinked.
"Hey guys," Leonard announced, his voice halting as he came into the room. Penny stepped back from Sheldon without thinking about it and picked up her bowl again. "What are you eating?"
"There aren't enough eggs for me to participate in omelet day," the blonde replied, glancing over her shoulder at the tall physicist. He was sliding his breakfast onto a plate.
"Leonard," Sheldon intoned as he salted his omelet. "As it has been pointed out to me, I have no intention of physically stopping this myself, but would you inform you girlfriend that if she insists on sleeping here and putting on a shirt in the morning, that it should be one of your shirts and not mine?" With that, he slipped between them and strode to his spot, sitting primly before cutting into his eggs.
Penny choked on a mouthful of cereal.