A/N: Let me being my apologizing for how long it took me to get this story going! I got sick, school became very hectic, work even more so, and then my poor computer was attacked by a very nasty virus. However, everything is now back in good shape and, today being Anything Can Happen Thursday, I thought I'd post this little ol' sequel! Many thanks to everyone for their patience!
While Sheldon is indeed learning to dance from Penny in this story, I am going to try to focus more on their dynamic together and how they interact, which is something that I just love. There will be dancing though, for all those who get a kick out of that. Sheldon will be OOC, but still very recognizable, I hope!
Enjoy! The reader who recognizes the Pride and Prejudice quote gets a cookie!
Lesson One: The Waltz
Penny was up and about surprisingly early the next morning. She went about her usual morning routine, humming happily to herself. She threw on a sundress and a pair of low-heeled pumps before grabbing her iPod and skipping over to Sheldon's. She wasn't sure why she was dressing so nicely, but she just felt like being girly that day. Maybe it had something to do with leftover giddiness from the evening before.
She sailed right in to 4A and found Sheldon at his desk, typing away on his laptop. He looked up in surprise.
"Hello Penny. You certainly are up early today."
"I know! I figured I'd be exhausted, but I slept so well that I just jumped right out of bed today!" she said, traipsing over to him and placing a brief kiss on his forehead. "I figured I'd come by before you went in to work to see what time you wanted to start your lesson and to run a couple songs by you."
"Oh, I'm not going to work today. I decided to use a sick day, given the lateness of the hour at which we returned home last night."
"Do you have any previous commitments today Penny?" he asked, looking up at her with hopeful eyes.
He was just so damn cute sometimes.
"Nope! I'm totally free today!"
"Would you like to join me for some breakfast then?"
"That would be very nice, sweetie."
. . .
Sheldon went over and grabbed bowls, spoons, and the box of Honey Puffs. Penny got the milk out of the fridge.
At Sheldon's raised eyebrow, she laughed and quipped "Well, I am the milk thief."
Sheldon laughed lightly and poured them each a bowl of cereal.
Penny poured the milk and they sat down at the counter in companionable silence.
Sheldon had been mulling something over the entire morning. He felt a bit silly asking Penny about it, but for the sake of clarity he felt that he had to.
"Penny, based on the events of last night, would you agree that we have added a romantic component to our friendship?"
Penny dropped her spoon, spluttering slightly.
Sheldon was instantly alarmed. He patted her back and wiped the milk that had dribbled onto her chin with a napkin.
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah," she croaked. "Your question just took me by surprise."
Silence, and then:
She smiled up at him. "Honey, of course I do!" She took his hand and ran a thumb across his knuckles.
Sheldon felt a shiver travel up his spine.
"Sheldon, I wouldn't have kissed you or let you kiss me like that if I wasn't totally serious about this."
He looked down into her lovely shining eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.
"I see. So, does this mean that I can kiss you whenever the mood strikes me now?"
"Of course! Why…"
She was silenced as he leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. He felt a curious electric tingle when he did so and made plans to try this as often as possible to see if that feeling would be a constant in their interactions.
He stopped thinking when Penny trapped his bottom lip between both of hers and tugged gently.
. . .
Penny broke away and looked up at Sheldon. He looked totally dazed, but definitely happy. She winked up at him and stood, bringing their empty bowls to the sink to be washed. Sheldon came over to dry the dished when they were done.
"What do you wanna do now? Should we start your lesson?"
"I'd like that. This way we will have the rest of the day free."
"You making plans, Dr. Cooper?"
"I thought we'd spend the afternoon at the museum, if you're amenable."
"Excellent. So, Penny," he said, plugging her iPod into the stereo, "where should we start?"
"I thought we'd start with the waltz."
. . .
After Penny convinced him to put on his dress shoes—"You should practice in the shoes you're going to dance in!"—their lesson began. She placed one of his hands at the small of her back and took his other hand in hers.
"Ok honey, we're going to start with me leading and you watching my feet and then I'm gonna let you take over."
He found that his breathing was too fast and shallow to allow for speech, so Sheldon simply nodded.
Penny began to move. He watched her tiny feet move in a sort of box-step formation: one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three.
Penny placed her free hand on his shoulder, recalling his attention to her face.
"You wanna take over now sweetie?"
He nodded again and took the lead. He found that Penny fir very snugly into his arms. To his surprise and delight, she was quite the cozy armful. He twirled her easily about the room, enjoying their closeness.
. . .
Penny couldn't stop herself from grinning like a loon.
'Doesn't dance,' my ass! She thought.
Sheldon was a terrific dancer. Once he had picked up the steps, he took the lead with no problem. He was graceful and light on his feet too.
He tilted his head to the side, looking curiously at her.
"Penny, does one talk as a rule by dancing?"
"Absolutely! It's pretty awkward to be so close to someone for several minutes at a time and not say anything. Sometimes though," she added, blushing, "it's ok to stay silent if you're dancing with a date. Just quietly enjoying each other's company can be enough."
"I like talking to you Penny. I find that you keep me on my proverbial toes. May I continue this conversation?"
"Of course! You don't have to ask my permission for everything, you know." She winked at him.
He smiled gently at her.
. . .
It was then that Sheldon finally realized what they were dancing to.
"Penny, are you aware that this is 'Merry-Go-Round of Life?'"
She gave him a blank look.
"The main theme from Hayao Miyazaki's 'Howl's Moving Castle,'" he explained.
She smiled again.
"Oh! Yeah, I love that movie! I think it's the best thing he's done!"
Sheldon felt a small glow of pride at her words.
"Penny, I had no idea that you enjoy his works! Is this a result of your friendship with all of us or were you interested before?"
"Both, actually. I was in jazz band in high school, so I know the musical scores, but you guys got me into the movies."
"You play an instrument too?"
"So do I!"
"Oh, I remember that from the night I got you drunk, sweetie. You're one hell of a player you know," she cooed, chuckling at the memory.
. . .
Sheldon was glaring down at her, but it didn't have half of the effect that it used to.
"Anyway, I picked this song because it's perfect to waltz to, don't you think?"
His look softened.
"It serves the purpose well, yes."
There was a brief silence as the song in question came to an end. Then "The Embassy Waltz" from "My Fair Lady" blared out of the speakers. They grinned slyly at each other and Sheldon took her in his arms once more. Penny felt butterflies in her stomach as he engulfed her tiny hand with his much larger one. He had such lovely hands…
"By the way, Penny, did you read this morning's paper?"
She snapped out of her drool-fest and shook her head.
"Well," he continued, "there was a rather large piece in the entertainment section about an incredible performance at a local theater last night."
"Oh? Do tell, Dr. Cooper."
"According to the paper, Penny London and Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D. 'brought the house down' with a 'tour de force' Eliza and Higgins that 'simply smoldered with chemistry,'" he said, making air quotes with one hand as they continued in their path around the room.
"Those were their exact words?"
"Of course they were, Penny. I have an eidetic memory, remember?"
He laughed a little at his own pun. Penny rolled her eyes.
"They went on to say that it was quite possibly the best production of any show that Pasadena has seen in the last decade."
Penny stopped in her tracks, causing Sheldon to stumble. She reached out to steady him and then pulled him close. He tentatively returned her embrace.
"Penny?" he asked, apparently confused.
She pulled back and beamed up at him.
"It's all thanks to you, honey. You know that, right? You got me to go for voice lessons. You ran lines with me. You even came to my rescue when the show was in danger of not even happening," she was crying a little, but they were happy tears. "You really are my Henry Higgins, you know."
Sheldon reached out and brushed her tears away with the back of his hand. Penny felt an electric tingle break out across her skin. She wondered if it would always feel like that when Sheldon touched her. She hoped so.
"Penny," he said huskily. "You accomplished all of that on your own merit. I helped out when I could because you are important to me, but any resulting success is entirely your own. You're very talented, you know."
Penny couldn't speak past the lump in her throat. She threw her arms around his neck and they just stood there for awhile holding each other and gently swaying to the music.
. . .
The rest of the day only got better, if that was possible. Penny drove Sheldon to the Discovery Museum in Santa Ana, where they went to the outdoor dinosaur exhibit and Sheldon led them on a T-Rex hunt.
Commemorative t-shirts in hand, they went out for lunch and then ice cream before heading back home to Pasadena.
It was vintage video game night, so the others would be home soon with the Chinese food. Sheldon had chosen the afternoon's activity, so he decided to let Penny decide which game they would all play that evening.
"I know it's not really all that vintage, but I kinda wanna play Mario Kart."
Sheldon pondered for a moment.
"Are you suggesting, then, that we combine our formidable skills at this game and make the others wish they had never picked up a game controller?"
He pulled her close and kissed her softly.
"Penny, I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership."