A/N: DARK FICTION. Popped into my head while listening to "Mad World" from the Donnie Darko soundtrack. It's really not much, but if you like Dark!fics, you may like this one. Enjoy. I don't own TBBT.
Written by Amputation
All around me are familiar faces,
Worn out places, Worn out faces.
Bright and early for the daily races,
Going nowhere, Going nowhere.
Thunder boomed across the gray sky as it followed the flash of lightning that briefly illuminated the sky. Far below the saturated clouds was a small apartment. Within this apartment, Star Wars, DC, Marvel, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and other paraphernalia adorned the shelves and walls. It was no longer organized or clean. A ceramic Batman cookie jar was shattered on the floor of the small kitchen area, its contents long gone. The large white refrigerator was toppled over, unplugged, and lay uselessly on the floor. Desks were overturned, chairs shredded to pieces, and books thrown everywhere, open to insignificant pages and information.
A lone figure stood by the wide windows in the far corner of the apartment. His feet were bare, bleeding from abrasion on ceramics and glass, leaving trails of crimson life. His pale skin was nearly white from lack of sun and care. Dirt, blood, and other things were caked under his jagged nails, adding to the accumulated filth that hung so violently around him. His body was thin, dangerously thin, and his ribs pressed grotesquely against the paper thin skin that contained his vitals. He was skeleton-like, his eyes rimmed in black and sunken in from lack of sleep and neglect. A thin beard had begun to form from lack of hygiene, his brown hair matted and oily. He wore only an old, ratty and filthy pair of pajama pants, the remnants of his Tuesday pair. He didn't seem to care that it had been four weeks since he had put them on.
His sad, empty, dead eyes no longer shone in their original blue brilliance. He looked like he had given up. He blinked slowly as he looked out the window pane at nothing in particular, just looking out. Lightning flashed and illuminated his dangerous pallor even more, making him seem to glow in the darkness. At the rumble of the dark thunder, he turned and his dead eyes skimmed over to a parchment enclosed in a cracked and splintered frame. He growled at it, sounding feral in his own right. It was the damn thing that had put him in his state.
Sheldon's mother, Meemaw, sister, and brother had all been killed on their way to Sweden to see him receive the award. A suicide bomber had taken over the plane and crashed it into the Heathrow airport. No one survived. It had been his fault. His family was dead because they chose to come see their son, grandchild, and brother, receive the one thing he'd wanted for his whole, miserable life. And just like that, they were snuffed out off the face of the earth. It was unfair.
Their tears are filling up their glasses,
No expression, No expression.
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrows,
No tomorrow, No tomorrow.
Sheldon let out a mournful scream. He was alone. Completely alone. Leonard had left to study at a different facility, far away from California. Raj had gone with Howard to visit Jerusalem. Bernadette had gone with them. Stephanie had gone with Leonard. Beverly was diagnosed with cancer the week before and had to remain in the hospital for her chemo treatments. And Penny … she'd vanished after she received her first major movie role. He hadn't heard from her, or any of his friends, for over two years. He slid down the wall, shaking as he held his face in his hands, curled into a ball.
His misery had reduced him to nothing but a shell of his former, neurotic self. It was perhaps one of the most unsettling things he could have done, but after his family's funeral, he had fallen into the rut he'd dug for himself. He'd resigned himself to failure. Nobel or not, he had indirectly murdered his entire family; driven away all of his friends. At first he'd tried to convince himself he would be okay, but …
And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad.
These dreams in which I'm dying, Are the best I've ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take,
When people run in circles its a very, very
Penny had approached the apartment of Leonard and Sheldon, 4A, a smile stretched across her face. She'd been gone for years, and had been excited to see her boys, but when she'd returned to her former home and asked about her friends, the landlord told her that Leonard had left after she did, leaving Sheldon alone. She was upset, but the following news shook her to her core. His family had been killed. They'd died on their way to Sweden to see him receive the Nobel prize. The landlord never kicked him out; neither water nor electricity had been used since the incident. It was as though he himself had died.
Her heart thundered in her chest as she made her way to the apartment, fear and panic filling her heart. She understood. She knew how he felt. Her mother and sister had died a year ago, leaving only her father. It was incredibly painful to lose someone who meant so much to you. She understood how he must be feeling.
Racing up the final flight of stairs, she wheezed in front of the door. The "4A" that hung upon the door gave her a foreboding feeling; a dark sense of dread. What lay beyond this door? A loud crack of thunder from the storm shook the apartment, followed by the saddest cry she'd ever heard. It was Sheldon. She hesitated in front of the door, her own soaked sweater and bag dripping on the ground as water ran down her face from her drenched hair. Her mascara and makeup had smudged, she could feel it, but it didn't matter.
She needed to see Sheldon. She needed to hold him in her arms and tell him she was there for him. That she understood. That she wouldn't leave again. That she would help him. That she would do anything for the man who had wormed his annoying way into her heart and for the man she had held so dearly in her heart for nearly three years. She wanted to help him recover, to get his life back, to give him someone to fall back on. Someone to support him in his sorrow and someone to straighten his tie and tell him to buck up because Meemaw wouldn't want to see her little Moonpie cry, would she? She took in a deep breath and opened the door.
Silence met her call, and she gasped at the sight of the apartment. She saw the dried blood caked into the floor, destroyed furniture, that Batman cookie jar smashed to pieces and her heart cried in agony. This poor man had slipped into an area of trauma. Where was he? Lightning illuminated the apartment and a flash of white skin alerted her to the crumpled man by the window.
He cry went unanswered and her chest ached as she ran across the floor, her heels clicking harshly against the floor as she dodged fallen paraphernalia and books. She fell to her knees before him, ruining her dress with his blood. She didn't care. All that mattered was the burning man before her. He was so thin … Penny almost thought he was dead, had it not been for his shuddering breaths.
The hand she touched his face with was yanked roughly away, and her green eyes met his once vibrant blue eyes. Tears flooded down her face at the death he reeked of. He was empty. She tried to touch him again and was rewarded with a punch at her left eye. It hurt, but she ignored the sudden vertigo and agony, wrapping her arms around him in a gentle embrace as the tears continued to fall.
"I'm so sorry, Sheldon … I didn't know!"
She murmured, holding his shaking body close to hers. She knew he hated being touched but there was nothing else she felt she could do for him. She felt his body convulse and suddenly his spidery arms wrapped themselves around her and he cried. Penny felt her heart break all over again. The once amazing Sheldon Cooper was so broken … and she didn't think she could fix him. All she could do is hold him.
Children waiting for the day they feel good,
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday.
And they feel the way that every child should,
Sit and listen, Sit and listen.
He held onto her like a lifeline. She smelled so familiar ... hair like sunshine. She'd called his name. Who was she?
"Sheldon, are you okay now?"
He barely grasped her words, his mind a haze. He slowly nodded and the woman's green eyes stared back at him. Who ..?
"We need to clean you up, okay?"
He furrowed his brows, wrapping his mind around her suggestion, before hesitantly nodding and allowing himself to be set upright. The woman guided him slowly towards his unused bathroom, setting him down on the bathtub.
"Stay here. I'll be right back."
She exited the bathroom and left him alone. Her light absent, he felt himself shake and fall back into mindlessness. Human comfort. He needed comfort. He needed someone there with him. He shut his eyes and concentrated. Who was she? Green eyes. Blonde hair. Friendly with him. Who … Penny. His eyes snapped open, realization flooding his body. He wasn't alone anymore. Penny. Penny was here. His heart suddenly quivered and stirred in his chest. Feeling flooded his body for the first time since his family's deaths. He let out a shuddering breath and held his head in his hand.
He looked up at her, his tired eyes finding her face and focusing slowly. She looked the same, if not a bit older. Relief settled over him at her presence.
His voice was hoarse and weak, having been used only for crying and screaming. She smiled sadly at him, her green eyes shining with unshed tears. Tears for him.
"Yes, honey. I'm here. I'm going to clean your feet, okay?"
He nodded and she sat on the toilet, putting down the first aid kit. He watched her prepare the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. He didn't feel the burning as she wiped it across his deep gouges. He focused on her face, focused on her warmth and light she radiated. Why was she here?
She looked up, shocked, before hesitantly biting her lip and looking away.
"I … I came to see you guys. When I realized Leonard no longer lived here … I wondered how you were. I'm going to help you now. I'm very sorry I couldn't be here sooner."
He nodded, taking in her words slowly. She had intended to visit, but had found him instead. She was going to stay with him. She understood.
Went to school and I was very nervous,
No one knew me, No one knew me.
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson,
Look right through me, Look right through me.
After she'd cleaned out his injuries, she smiled sadly at him, saying something about the hospital. He vaguely understood and she helped him stand and maneuvered him down the stairs to her car. He faintly remembered driving to the hospital, Penny admitting him to the ED, and frantic nurses and doctors taking him away from her. He remembered fighting, screaming her name; begging her to come with him. He saw her tears, the way she shook. She had called something to him, but he couldn't remember.
The doctors and nurses hooked him up to machines, drew his blood, stabbed him with needles and finally assigned him to a room in the ICU. White walls. White ceiling. White everything. Sterile. Hospital. For once in his life, he hated tests. He hated doctors. He hated being the way he was. He sighed as he lay back into the pillow, wires itching angrily against his chest. Shutting his eyes, he found it impossible to sleep. He lay still, even as the sound of his door being opened echoed in the room. It was another nurse, more than likely. He kept his eyes closed as the click of heels stopped beside his bed. Fabric rustled and the swoosh of air escaping leather alerted him to the seated person beside him. A delicate hand with long, feminine fingers trailed through his washed hair and down his clean shaven chin.
Her voice was no more than a whisper, and he kept himself quiet. Her hands began tracing counter clockwise circles on his chest. He let out a sigh before he could help himself, the familiar gesture relaxing him so completely he felt the magical pull of deep slumber. The only sound was the rustling of fabric, the soft beeping of machinery, and the quiet drip of his IV.
"Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur …"
She'd taken voice lessons. Her voice was soft and beautiful to his ears, the wonderful lullaby his mother had invented for him soothing him to a place of comfort and familiarity. He felt warm, full of love and affection from Penny, the only one left. He smiled softly to himself, he would make a great effort to keep her close. She meant far too much to lose now.
"Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr …"
Her voice lulled him into a lucid place, half awake, half asleep. As he fell through the space between dreaming, he heard her murmur something to him, and press a kiss to his forehead, an action that pushed away all the bad dreams, all the nightmares, and to promise a night of beautiful dreams of blonde angels with green eyes.
And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad,
The dreams in which i'm dying, Are the best I've ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take,
When people run in circles it's a very, very,
"Well, Sheldon. You've made a remarkable recovery. We honestly did not expect you to pull through."
"I have something to live for again. I cannot simply give up on it now."
"Of course, sir. Now, your wife is sitting outside for you. She's going to take you home now."
Sheldon was confused, his wife? He did not have a wife. Amidst his onset of confusion, he realized Penny had called herself his wife to take him home without question. A smile spread on his face. Emerging to the waiting room, he spotted her blonde hair shining in the sun.
He breathed. She was more beautiful than he remembered. He allowed a smile to show on his face as she stood and faced him. The woman launched herself from her spot, throwing herself at him and wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Sheldon, I'm so happy you're okay!"
"As am I. Penny, I must thank you for everything you have done for me."
"I'd do anything for you. You're my best friend, and I love you."
He blinked at her, "I … I love you too."
"You're all I have left, Penny. I … I need you to stay with me."
She smiled at him, tears running down her face.
"Okay. Lets go get your stuff from your apartment."
Enlargen your World
Sheldon stared down at the woman beside him. Three years had passed. She'd saved his life, and agreed to stay with him. He'd moved in with her and she'd helped him rebuild his life as it once had been. He got in contact with his old friends by her prompting and the gang was back together again. Funny how things worked out in the end.
He ran a hand through his new wife's hair, kissing her forehead. How this woman had accepted him was something he had no knowledge of, but he knew that somehow, they worked together. He was … happy. It was, for once, a truly happy ending.