A/N: I should mention that this story is a two parter, but I will have it posted as one fic. The first half, from Penny's point of view, the second from Sheldon's, and six months on. Just a heads up. Thanks to CSI AMES for the edit for this chapter. It was GREAT feedback! I feel that this chapter is near as perfect as it could possibly get.
Thanks to the following:
PinkSlytherin: They have a moment in this chapter, and a ton more in the next. ^^ Enjoy!
..Uh: I would have no idea how to comfort him either. I am all about hugs and backrubs. ^^ Enjoy this chapter.
Sarmoti: I hope you enjoy the rest as well.
Hxcxcookie: The next chapter it will really come together.
Eligin: ^^ Thank you very much!
Hola: I didn't know that about passports, since I have never been on a plane. Noted. ^^
EtherealDemon: I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Big Bang Theory. I am just a fan, who just wishes for some Shenny, and is bored waiting for Season 4 to begin. So don't sue me!
Letters to Meemaw
Penny was very displeased that Mary Cooper didn't own a coffee machine. Even a cold shower failed to wake her up as effectively as that much needed coffee-boost. So instead she was enjoying tea. She had gotten up early, and now she was helping Sheldon's mother in the kitchen. Leonard was still sound asleep on the couch, and Sheldon was still in his room. Mary said she had checked up on him and found him still fast asleep. ' Poor guy,' Penny thought.
Mary had her making oatmeal, since it was oatmeal day. It was alsoMonday morning; the day of the wake. Missy and Penny had plans to get together around lunch and go shopping for some funeral clothing for Penny to wear to the wake that night.
Stirring the oatmeal, her mind wandered to wonder how Sheldon was doing. This was beyond strange for Sheldon. In the four years she had known him, she couldn't remember a time in which he had done that- even when he was sick . He may have gone back for a nap throughout the day, but he always got up at his usual time. As she cooked she stole glances at the clock. It wasn't passing by very fast, and Penny knew that had to be because she was worrying so much about him. She cursed herself for that, and tried to not steal anymore glances at the time, and to simply concentrate on cooking.
"That's lookin' about done there," Mary commented, peering over to Penny who was stirring the oatmeal still.
She paused her stirring and looked over to Sheldon's mother. She took one more glance down at the oatmeal and flushed. "Oh...I guess I do overcook it. Sheldon always says I do."
"That's fine darlin', I'll get the rest ready. Why don't you go wake up Shelly?" Mary suggested.
"Yeah, we don't want him to oversleep," Penny commented, noting how foreign saying that Sheldon was oversleeping sounded. She put the wooden spoon down, and passed Mrs. Cooper to head upstairs to Sheldon's room. She slowly opened his bedroom door and peeked inside. He was his vampire sleeping pose, still sound asleep. Penny noted how much he looked liked a child as he slept. More so than when he acted like a child. His face was free from any lines that any facial expression would give off, and he simply looked at peace, which Penny suddenly realized filled her with a sense of relief. It seemed that at least in his dreams he could get some peace. She sighed she didn't want to do this.
"Sheldon, sweetie, time to get up," Penny called out to him. He twitched a little in his sleep, which made her called louder. "Sheldon."
His eyes flew open and he sat up quickly, making her jump in surprise. "Danger! Danger!" In the moment it took for her to recover he was already staring at her panicked. "Penny? What are you doing in my room? No one is supposed to be in my room!"
"Your mother asked me to wake you up. You overslept, and breakfast is ready," Penny explained to the startled man-child. He looked stunned and searched around for his alarm clock to check the time. While he did this, Penny took the time to look around his room. It reminded her a great deal of his room back in Pasadena, except for this one was a lot emptier. No doubt that most of the things that had once covered the walls and shelves were now in his apartment. There were a few posters, a few pieces of paper with equations here and there. The Superman bed sheets did amuse her, though she said nothing.
"Come on, its oatmeal day," she urged him. He was still staring at his clock, seemingly amazed at the time. It was only a little after nine-O'clock, but she knew for the whack-a-doodle that was like two in the afternoon. "Come while it's hot." He broke his gaze from the Spiderman alarm clock and he climbed out of the bed and reached for his robe. He tied it around him and put on his slippers, before following her downstairs.
"There's my little Shelly," Mary welcomed her son into the dining room where the oatmeal was waiting for them. Leonard was sitting in one of the chairs, and looked to be asleep there at the table as well. No doubt he was suffering the withdrawal that Penny herself had been feeling from the lack of coffee.
"Why didn't you wake me earlier?" he asked.
"You needed your rest," she answered, pulling out his chair for him. "Take a seat Shelly."
He didn't deny the request and took a seat beside Leonard and beside his mother's spot. That left Penny to sit across from him. She took a seat, and began eating her oatmeal. Sheldon did the same, but paused after one taste. He looked up. "This doesn't taste like your oatmeal mom."
Her eyes shot up to look at him. This wasn't depressed Sheldon. It was obsessive-needs-to-be-exact-Sheldon. Her best friend, just the way he always acted.
"That's because Penny made it," Mary explained, taking her own mouthful.
Sheldon's whole body twitched, and turned to look at her. She felt a chill go up her spine. The same chill she got every time before he lectured her for something except the lecture never came. Instead, he just stared at her, dumbfounded. After several moments of staring he finally spoke. "Oh...it's not overcooked."
Penny smiled. That was a compliment from the great mind of Doctor Sheldon Cooper. A rare gift indeed, one she was going to take, and not tease him about. Leonard seemed to be too half asleep to even notice, he just held his head in his hand and ate. Penny was sure that he was eating in his sleep. 'Poor guy, probably didn't sleep well on the couch.'
"Eat up, Missy will be here to pick you up in a few minutes," Mary explained. "That means you too Shelly." His eyes shot up, questioning him. "You don't own any mournin' clothes, and nothin' your father owned fits, and your brother doesn't have anythin' decent to wear himself, let alone somethin' for you to borrow."
"I'll help him pick something nice out," Penny assured the older woman, who smiled at the news. Sheldon's eyes shot from his mother to Penny. He looked deeply offended, but Penny paid him no mind. At least he seemed more himself today, which made Penny glad; even if he was offended by being accused of not having good enough clothing for a time of mourning.
"Good mornin' y'all," Missy called as she opened the front door.
"In the dinin' room dear," Mary called. She sent Sheldon a look that told him to hurry up. He quickly began to take larger mouthfuls of the not-overcooked-oatmeal. Penny finished up hers and Mary took the dish to the kitchen for her, leaving Penny to run upstairs to get dressed for the day. She grabbed a pair of clam diggers and a nice simple t-shirt. She grabbed her purse and headed downstairs. As she was coming down the stairs, she noted Sheldon who was leaving his room for the bathroom. She sent him a smile that he neither seemed to notice or acknowledge. She paid him no mind, and was greeted by Missy at the bottom of the stairs.
"You look lovely this mornin'," she greeted.
"Thanks, you look great too," Penny returned the compliment to Sheldon's twin. She was a woman, who like Penny, enjoyed looking her best. A kindred spirit if you will. A kindred spirit who happened to share the same general code of genes as Sheldon Cooper- a thought that always greatly amused Penny to no end.
Missy looked past Penny up the stairs, glaring at the bathroom door at the top of the stairs. "Shelly hurry up or I will make this clothing trip more painful than anything I have ever done to you in the past."
There was a moment of silence in which they could no longer hear the water from the sink running and the door unlocking, then a panicked Sheldon ran out of the bathroom. Penny grinned a little bit. She just found a second of Sheldon's kypronite. His sister, Missy, who he was scared of. Knowing Missy like she did, she was sure those weren't empty threats, which may explain why he seemed to still have toothpaste in his mouth.
'Boy, does his sister have him whipped or what. Could explain why he doesn't like the idea of dating I suppose.'
"Come on sweetie, we'll make this a quick trip. Just some dress pants and a nice shirt and tie. In and out," Penny promised. 'At least, for you it will be a quick in and out trip. Us girls maybe a few hours.' She heard Missy chuckle at her comment. Great shopping friends thought a like.
Penny was actually amazed that when he didn't complain once throughout the shopping trip, especially when they were shopping for themselves. They were taking their time and had been just looking through the racks of the third store for thirty minutes now. There were plenty of black dresses around, but regrettably, nothing that would be appropriate for a funeral, club wear maybe, but not a funeral. She did steal glances at her best friend from time to time, checking up on him. He was sitting in one of the chairs by the changing rooms, staring off into space. It kind of hurt Penny to see him like this. Back home she was use to him staring off into space doing some invisible equations in his head, but this was different. She knew there were no equations in front of him, just dark thoughts. His usual old self didn't stay as long as she would have hoped.
Spotting a dress that looked decently enough for a funeral, and turned to look at the men's section. There were more important tasks at hands right now. She moved towards him, her dress draped over her arm. She smiled at him, glad that he noticed her. He looked at her expectantly. "Come on sweetie, we'll get you a suit now." He looked up, surprised by her words it seemed, but he said nothing and stood. She moved ahead to the men's section, Sheldon close behind. Her eyes scanned the area looking for something suitable for him to try on. "I'm thinking just a dress pant, shirt and tie. Nothing too fancy."
He nodded as she dug through the racks, stopping at the first pair of black pants in his size. She pulled them out and looked them over. "What do you think?" He looked at them for only a moment before he shrugged his shoulders. "I could be holding a dress out for you to try on and you would have the same reaction, wouldn't you?" His eyes went wide, and he shook his head dramatically. "Oh good, your still alive, just checking." She held onto the pants and moved along. Sheldon seemed to be stunned by her comment, but he continued on, travelling behind her as she went.
She stopped by a shelf that held the shirt and tie sets, searching through them. 'White, white, white...' she chanted in her head. She had the hugest urge to grab all the shirts for him, just thinking about how sharp all these colors would look on him. Penny had just about finished searching through the boxes when she found exactly what she wanted. White shirts and black ties. Now she just needed his size, which is what she began to search for next. Excited, she grabbed up the second box she had glanced at, throwing it his way. He caught it, but not before he fumbled with the box. She sent him a grin.
"Alright, let's see you try on the pants, and I'll try on my dress. Oh, wait! Do you have dress shoes?" He nodded his answer. "Good, let's get to those changing rooms." She turned to Missy, and waved her over from her own searching. "I think we got what we need, we're just going to try them on," she called to Missy. She nodded from across the store, indicating that she understood.
Penny handed Sheldon the pair of pants as he moved inside the dressing room. "Alright, I am just going to be in the next booth, trying on this dress, alright? Let me see the pants on you. Your mom will probably kill me if they don't look good."
"The likelihood of my mother killing you is very minimal; at best she may lecture..." Sheldon caught sight of her unimpressed expression. "Right, sarcasm." He moved into the changing room and closed the door behind him. Penny did the same in the changing room next to him. She could hear the shuffling of him moving in the stall next to her, removing his shoes and then his pants. She hurried and did the same, slipping into the black dress. Once it was on, she tried to get the zipper up, but she failed. She moaned, disappointed, she'd have to ask the whack-a-doodle to help her get it up.
Opening the change room door, she peeked out find Sheldon sporting the dress pants, though she couldn't help but chuckle as he wore it with his superman shirt. Why that made her think more of Clark Kent she wasn't sure, all she knew was it looked kind of cute. "Do they look alright?"
Penny let her eyes wander over the pants he was trying on, moving around him a little, and studying the sizing on his body. "Yeah, it's a good fit. Very nice looking," she answered. Then she took a step towards him and turned around. "Can you zip me up?"
She could sense him shift nervously behind her, but she felt his hands brush the skin of her back. His longer fingers took hold of the small zipper, and gently pulled it up. His knuckle of his index finger ran across her bare back as he went, sending a surprising shiver up her spine. The feel of his skin against hers and the subsequent goose bumps stopped as the zipper came to a halt at the base of her neck. As he pulled away, Penny looked over her shoulder to look at her best friend. He seemed unfazed by the contact they had both just had. She shook her head, man she really needed to go on a date, especially if Sheldon's hands could do that to her.
He was examining himself in the mirror and hadn't noticed her looking at him. She was thankful for that, for she had heard him once say that eyes dilated when someone was aroused. Surely he would have noticed, he noticed everything. She decided it would be best to not engage any contact with him until her nerves were calmed down. She tried to look herself over in her own mirror instead. Checking out the flattering black dress. It stopped just at her knees. It came to the base of her neck and was sleeveless. She reached back into the dressing room for the little overcoat the dress had come with. It was just meant to cover her arms a little, but as she put it on, she noticed how nice it looked with the dress. It had some lace on it, which made Penny believe the dress and over-coat could be worn again in the future.
"What a nice choice Penny," Missy stated, her voice coming from behind them. Both Penny and Sheldon turned to her, Penny greeting her with a warm smile. Sheldon took the time to look Penny's dress once over before he made eye contact with his sister.
"Thanks," Penny replied. "I just hope that it's appropriate for a funeral. I was a lot younger the last time I went to one."
"It's perfectly appropriate for a funeral," she answered. "Wouldn't you say Shelly?"
His eyes shot between his sister and his best friend. "I wouldn't know, I've never been to a funeral before."
Missy rolled her eyes. "Well trust me, it looks great. And your lookin' pretty good yourself Shelly. You actually look like a man."
"And what could you possibly mean by that?"
Penny giggled, knowing exactly what she meant by that. She snuck a glance in Sheldon's direction, his eyes were on the ground, his face the image of confusion. He probably didn't get that she meant he looked like an adult, rather than a child. His mind was probably racing in the direction of assuming that she thought he looked like a girl usually. A grin fell on her lips. That was her whack-a-doodle.
"That's my rocket scientist brother," Missy grinned, clearly thinking the exact same thing that Penny had been thinking.
"I am not a rocket scientist," Sheldon explained, his eyes wide and surprised at his sister's comment of his career. Especially after so many years of him correcting her, she still always teased him about it. Penny knew it was only playful sibling teasing, yet Sheldon never seemed to catch onto it. She noted that her own older sister did the same, teasing Penny, calling her a daddy's girl. She knew that her older sister teased her because she was jealous of the relationship she had with their father. Though, she knew that her sister was also proud of her. Penny's father was a hard man to please and Penny was able to make him proud, right up until she started to grow into a young woman. Penny had no doubt that Missy felt that way with her dear older brother. She was teasing him because she was jealous, but Penny knew his twin was also very, very proud of him.
8 8 8
Later that afternoon Penny was back at Mary's home, helping her clean the kitchen. Mary was chatting away, sharing stories about all the trouble Sheldon use to get in when he was little. Penny found herself laughing through most of the stories. It amused her, because she could picture her best friend doing exactly what Mary was telling her in every detail.
"-and after he burnt off Missy's eyebrow's he immediately went back to work, to 'perfect his mistake'," Mary explained. Penny laughed once again as she finished drying the last of the dishes.
"I can see him doing that," Penny grinned. "He's very obsessive about his work."
"That is he," she replied. "Physic's is his only true love, but it does keep him out of trouble, so I should thank God I suppose." Penny stole a glance from Mary. She seemed to be lost in her own thoughts, looking out the kitchen window. After a moment she looked up at Penny and smiled. "He has come a long way, hasn't he? From when you first met I mean."
She nodded. "He has come a long way. He's still socially awkward, and he does still try and use experiments to help him try and understand us, but he's become my best friend Mary. I can count on him more than I can count on any other friend I've ever had. I mean, I think he considers me the same. You know that last year he drove me to the hospital? I fell in the shower and dislocated my shoulder, but he drove me, after he declared that he would never drive. I don't think he would do that for just anyone."
Mary's smile became wider, "No, Shelly wouldn't have done that for just anyone. He would have only done that for his Me-"
"Sorry to interrupt, but we're ready to go any time," Missy peeked her head into the kitchen to look at the two. Mary closed her mouth and simply nodded toward her daughter, letting her know that they were on their way. She followed Missy out into the living room where Leonard, Sheldon and George Jr. were all dressed up, and waiting to leave for the wake. As Mary left out the door, Leonard and her two oldest children followed. Sheldon stood still, looking at the floor nervously. Penny looked at her friend, stepping closer to the perpetual man-child.
"What's wrong Sheldon?"
"I'm nervous," he confessed. "I-I don't think I can handle seeing Meemaw...M-Meemaw in that...," he broke off, looking away from her and sniffled. "...in that coffin. I-I c-can't."
"Yes you can. You can do it Sheldon, I know you can," she gave him the warmest smile she could muster in the circumstances. "I'll be there; I won't leave your side. You can do this. You know how all the important things in the universe work. If you can do that, you can do anything. You're like a superman. Now come on sweetie, your mom's waiting for us."
He still looked positively terrified, but he followed her anyway. "Penny?"
She looked up at him, "Yes?"
"Thank you and even though I don't believe in luck, because it's merits are well in the realm of hokum, I do think I am perhaps, lucky, to have you as my best friend," he stated as he closed the door behind him and locking it.
Penny smiled. "Yeah, I feel the same."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I'm going to try and update again in a few days.