Disclaimer: Don't own TBBT. Don't work on TBBT. Don't have any connection to TBBT. Making no money. Probably not even getting it right. Don't hate, but more importantly, don't sue.

Note: Fifty ficlets based of 50 prompts from the fanfic50 livejournal community. I'm not a member of the community or participating in the challenge, I'm just stealing their prompts because I love that kind of thing. These will each be stand-alone stories, though some of them will probably turn into a little 3/4 chapter arc, and I might develop on this starting chapter and have it as an overreaching story theme. Dunno.

Anyway, these will essentially be entirely pairings-based, for the following ships: Howard/Raj; Sheldon/Penny; Howard/Penny. Bearing in mind that Howard and Penny are in 2 of the 3 ships each, I put them as the characters in the summary. But have no fear, the others will be in here too.

First time writing TBBT, and first time writing fanfic in AGES, so any and all concrit is vastly appreciated.

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The Sexual Physics Variety

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On Falling Together

Prompt: 016. Dawn

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They gravitate towards each other, these two, inexorably and unintentionally. It's something between them, something indescribable - strange, and fantastic, and ordinary, all at once. It's like seeing them apart, on their own, that's the weird part - Howard appearing at the door without Raj in tow, or Raj whispering comments in Penny's presence to Leonard instead, that kind of thing always feels like anomaly, a step away from routine and normality.

They've been sort of inseparable for a long time, sort of best friends and sort of just something intangible. There used to be boundaries between them, privacies and secrets and moments not shared, but they started falling away a long time ago, and there's nothing like that left now. If Raj's lips are sealed on something personal, you just turn to Howard, and he knows the whole story, and he's more than happy to share. Raj will glare, and either accuse him of betrayal, all anxiety and injured tones, or hiss into his ear until Howard bats him away. And Raj will fold his arms, and fume, and refute whatever accusation was made, and in a few hours, they'll be as thick as thieves once again. Privacy is something that stopped existing between these two way back.

Howard isn't the same when Raj isn't there - Leonard and Penny have learnt that the hard way. When he talks about him, in their rare moments of separation, what lingers behind his tone is familiarity, routine, dependence. Raj is more than just someone Howard relies on, does things with, likes to hang around with on slow afternoons. Raj is the underpinning of his reality, almost as inseparable from the perception of him as turtlenecks, belt buckles and inappropriate come-ons.

It doesn't feel strange to either of them, then, when they start staying the nights with each other. In the beginning, it's Howard on Raj's couch, or Raj on Howard's airbed, but both of them have beds big enough for two, and it's more comfortable that way. In the end, they stop parting ways altogether, only diverging for the purposes of work or when Howard's mom needs to be driven somewhere particularly shaming or awkward.

No one, least of all them, is sure of the specifics of this odd falling together. They just fit, somehow, Howard's brazen disregard for social convention bolstering Raj out of his shyness and destructively low self-esteem, and Raj, likewise, tempering Howard, by pulling back his eccentricities and forwardness, blending them with his moderation and simplicity. This thing between them, it has a life of its own, and neither of them really knows where it's going or how it's happening or what's going to come of it. It's just a day-by-day thing, really, and for the two of them, who are so used to analysing and overanalysing everything - every speck of data, every number, every flash of a smile from a girl or roll of the eyes or toss of the hair - it's a welcome relief. Everything with them feels so easy, and usual, and normal, and they've found this place where they come together, where this bond between them can't be shaken.

And that's the way it stays for the longest time, this happy status quo, this good thing. But no good thing can last forever, and for Raj and Howard it comes one day when neither of them is expecting it, neither of them is looking fro it or has any inclination that anything like it is even on the way. It comes entirely unexpectedly, when Raj wanders out of the bathroom one day, when Howard has stayed over once again, and he's naked except for a towel tucked round his waist. It's something that's happened a hundred times before - hell, they've been naked together, too, even if they've all pledged to put that night from their minds forever - and so it really shouldn't have done anything, shouldn't have meant anything.

But it does. Out of absolutely nowhere, it does. Today, fr no reason at all, Howard finds himself doing a double take, eyes sweeping over dark skin and easy contours, and realises that he's maybe not as into chicks as he thought he was.

And then the implications of what he's thinking hits him, and he elbows past the half-naked Raj and empties the contents of his stomach into the toilet.

As he flushes, Raj, utterly confused, and still standing in the doorway, just thinks it's a good thing they weren't using the Wolowitz Zero-Gravity Waste Distribution System.