My first TBBT fic, please be kind! Short and Shennyish, like most of my fics ... and general TBBT thoughts nowadays!

Hope you enjoy!

Inspired by Comic-Con 2010.


The Reliability Factor

She was listening for the soft, confident footsteps up the staircase and the arrogance that normally accompanied them. She smacked herself in the head - mentally, of course, and groaned. "Seriously, you're waiting on Sheldon? Hon, we need to get out more."

Just then she heard his keys being inserted into the lock of the apartment across the hall. She stood at the door, hand extended and ready to open it, but she hesitated. Something inside her made her reflexes freeze and then turn to mush. "No, don't do it, just let him be. He probably doesn't wanna see you anyway," she reasoned with herself, backing away from her door and heading to the pint of Ben and Jerry's awaiting her in the freezer.

And then - knock knock knock. "Penny?" a stern Sheldon asked from the other side. Again, knock knock knock. "Penny?"

Still frozen in her spot. Oh crap.

Knock knock kno -

"Whadya want?" she asked rhetorically after opening the door. She knew what he was looking for. She wasn't ready for the mind games, but she didn't want to give it to him. Playing with his beautiful mind meant too much to her.

"According to the text message, e-mail, and Twitter that I 'tweeted' yesterday, you were to arrive promptly at six o'clock at CalTech to bring me home."

"Yes, Sheldor, I'm aware of that."

His grimace turned into a deceptively sweet smile. "Oh good. Then you're also aware that you didn't arrive on time - in fact, you didn't arrive at all?"

"Oh, THAT'S what I forgot yesterday! Sorry, sweetie, continue."

"Penny, laugh all you want, but when the world is being governed by superhuman computers that expect timeliness, don't expect me to throw in a good word for you."

"Your point?"

"If you can't fulfill a simple favor such as this, then this will cause me to call into question all the promises and various sentiments that you have expressed." By now, his eyes had narrowed and Penny silently hoped that a "bazinga" would escape his genius lips. She even stared him down.

He stood firm. Nothing.

"Sweetie, in the real world, people are allowed to make mistakes. It's called being human."

"No, being human is striving to attain perfection despite our imperfections." Penny's blank stare always did the trick. "All right, let me try another way. In layman's terms ... You promised!"

She smirked. Sheldon's whine was hysterically cute.

"Honey, I said I was sorry! I even changed my Facebook status to 'Penny says sorry to Sheldon Lee Cooper for forgetting to pick him up yesterday'. Jeez, what more do you want from me?"

She still had her pride. True, she'd said sorry, just long enough for Sheldon to get the notification and then she deleted it. I may be blonde, she thought, but there are definitely advantages to living across the hall from two nerds. Geeks. Her geeks. Her nerd.

Sheldon still hadn't buckled.

And then -

"'Various sentiments'? What does that mean?"

Moonpie, his mother, and emotions. Penny could write the book on Sheldon's kryptonite. She tilted her head at him, silently demanding an explanation.

Yep. There's the tic. Point for Queen Penelope.

"Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about."

"Sheldon, just say it!"

"What you said the other day. When you played Halo with me?"

"'Oh look, I just blew you up? Again?'"

"No, the oth-" His eyebrows lowered. "Sarcasm. Drat!"

Penny knows what he is talking about, but enjoys these mind games too much. Besides, when you can argue with a genius, why do you need to workout? You feel exhausted but you didn't really do anything.

She sighed. The game was done. "Sheldon, just because I forgot you pick you up doesn't mean that I didn't mean what I said."

"Are you sure? Because I realize your time of the month is coming and you become very indecisive - yes, dropping that subject," Sheldon replied as he saw Penny's narrow into slits.

"Yes, sweetie, I still mean it." She deliberately leaned in close to him, and she could hear his breath hitch for just a microsecond before he regained some semblance of control.

"I wanna go to Comic-Con with you, Sheldon."

FIN