The Homo Novus Renunciation

Summary: Sheldon Cooper discovers something surprising and elemental about himself when Penny, once again, is in his spot. Written in a pseudo-Victorian, romantic style and taking place after the inevitable crash and burn of Leonard and Penny's relationship.

Author's Note: Please read and review. Remember: reviews = love and affirmation!

Sheldon's mind was a swirl of colors and half-thoughts—a confusing maelstrom in which the normal, orderly patterns of logic and mathematical precision were overshadowed by sensations and feelings which he had never allowed himself to experience before. How could this be happening? How could he have let his guard down, allowing Homo Novus to descend to the animal passions of the rest of the human race?

Earlier in the evening…

Penny slid across the couch and into Sheldon's spot, just for kicks. Unfortunately, Sheldon was currently occupying the same location. Laying her head in his lap and giggling softly, she seemed unaware of the shocked reaction she engendered as she flopped down gently.

"Penny?" Sheldon stiffened in alarm, unsure what to do as the attractive blonde snuggled herself into a more comfortable position, her bare toes tapping a rhythm on the other end of the sofa. She must have had more to drink than she indicated previously, he realized, his body rigid with anxiety and the discomfort he associated with the alien sensation spreading from his cheeks, chest and pelvis in relentless waves. He fought the urge to leap up and run for his room, instead looking down at Penny's unbound hair spilling across the evidence of his increasing arousal.

Sheldon desperately tried distracting himself by silently reciting the Fibonacci sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377…It wasn't working. He switched to a reconfiguration of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation of molecular wave function-- Still no dice. Great Caesar's Ghost! How could she not feel that? Sheldon blushed and squirmed with shame, unable to control his mounting erection. Meanwhile, Penny was still giggling.

"What's so funny, Penny?" he asked somewhat defensively, not quite sure if she was laughing at him. He resisted the urge to reach out and smooth the strands of hair from her face while simultaneously fantasizing about leaping the couch in a single bound and locking himself safely in his room until Leonard, Wolowitz and Koothrappali could return from their road trip. With Penny in her present position, neither seemed like a viable option.

"I'm in your spot!" she burst out with a full, throaty laugh—a contagious, gut laugh that actually had Sheldon smiling a genuine smile in response, much to his surprise.

"Yes, you are. Do you need some assistance to get back into your own spot, Penny? I'm given to understand that coffee is a remedy for over-indulgence of alcohol—would you like some?" His East Texas drawl was most apparent when under stress, and this was the worst kind of stress to his mind—a social situation without precedent, with no established protocol and involving a member of the opposite sex. In fact, it involved the only member of the opposite sex whom he considered a friend. Even he was aware that the potential land-mines were legion.

"No, thanks, Sheldon—I like it down here!" More giggles followed and Sheldon could not restrain his hand from gently moving a lock of golden hair from her face. His fingers stroked her brow and cheek as he did so, and his genuine smile remained in response to her unaffected warmth and fondness. Penny fell silent as she searched the cornflower blue of his eyes, overcome by a sudden poignant tenderness for her strange friend, her robot man with so few human connections and relationships. Her heart quivered in her chest as she tried to breathe more slowly and evenly, compassion spilling over into desire. On impulse, she reached up a slender hand to stroke Sheldon's face. He froze in place as her fingers explored the smooth-rough texture of his 5 o'clock shadow, unable to breathe or even think.

Penny felt he was looking straight inside her, as though her very soul were naked and his glance was enough to strip away all pretense and deceit--revealing truths she had kept hidden even from herself. He saw her—the real her. The thought brought an unexpected surge of arousal to her body and her eyes popped open. As these thoughts drifted through Penny's mind, Sheldon's heightened senses detected the first appearance of a sex flush as it spread across Penny's chest and neck, blooming in her cheeks and causing a small gasp of surprise to escape her parted lips. His erection sprang up at the realization and his hips bucked instinctively. Oh, God! Startled—alarmed!--his heart raced and he couldn't seem to control the insistent, heated pressure coming from his long-denied genitalia. Yet despite his dismay, there was a definite, building excitement that would not be denied by Homo Novus or anybody. His hand reached down…

Penny's gasp became a low moan as he stroked her earlobe and the length of her golden neck with his long fingers. A surge of power erupted in his chest as he realized that his simple touch had done that. He leaned closer to her, entranced by her shaded green gaze, by the sound of her breath coming in quick gasps, by the flash of the pulse at her smooth, soft throat…

"Kiss me, Sheldon," she whispered, pulling his head down as she lifted herself up to meet him somewhere in the middle, unable to believe this was happening and yet unwilling to do anything to make it stop. She needed to touch those innocent lips with her own, needed to make a connection with the man behind that smoldering and somehow terrified blue stare.

Sheldon felt himself drawn down to her as a siren would draw a drowning man to his doom, nothing but sensual awareness flooding his ears and eyes and throat. His lips touched hers tentatively, igniting a spark felt by both. Emboldened, Penny deepened the kiss, gently reaching for Sheldon's tongue with her own as she sat up and shifted position to accommodate his long, lean frame. Without thinking, he enveloped her small body in his arms and her thighs spread to straddle him. He realized that they were both still in his spot. As her breasts pressed against his chest and she nipped and suckled at his neck and earlobe, he found he didn't mind so much…