Penny lay in a half doze on the staircase, where she had fallen over an hour ago. No one had come by, so there had been no one to help her up. Then, Sheldon came up the stairs, and looked at her, perplexed.
"Penny?" he asked, tapping her shoulder, three times exactly. "Penny?" he asked again, tapping her in succession of three again. "Penny?"
"Sheldon, stop poking me!" she said irritably.
Sheldon recoiled cautiously. "Why are you on the stairs?" he asked. "Are you intoxicated?" he stage-whispered.
Penny smothered a sigh. "No, Sheldon, my stupid-ass shoes went out from under me, because some brainiac left a miniature skateboard on the steps." she said flatly, pointing.
Sheldon followed her gaze. "Oh... that was Leonard. He and Raj were having a race yesterday. I know it was Leonard, however, because he painted a Green Lantern symbol on his." he explained, and went to pick it up, putting it into his pocket. "Are you in some sort of distress?" he asked her softly, eying her warily.
Penny blinked, tears springing to her eyes. "I think I broke my butt!" she sniffled.
Sheldon sighed, with the air of a maryter, and put her arm around his shoulders, using the leverage to lift her- albiet unsteadily- to a standing position. "Hold on to this." he instructed, putting her hands on the stair-railing.
Penny nodded, and her eyes went big when she felt Sheldon's hands roaming over her body. "Uh... honey?"
"Mmmyes?" Sheldon asked distractedly, continuing about his task.
"Checking you for broken bones so we know how to situate you in the car." he explained, as though he were talking to a very slow child.
Penny's face could not have been any more surprised, her expression melty. She felt an electric spark as his hand moved around certain areas, despite the pain she was in.
"Am I feeling all hot for Sheldon?" she wondered in shock. "Kinda wish he'd move his hand back over a little, I'm starting to get all-"
But then she cried out in pain, and his hands went up as though someone had pointed a gun at him.
"What? What? Did that hurt?" Sheldon asked, taken off guard.
"Yes!" she said, breathing heavily.
Sheldon nodded. "Well, it appears your assessment was right, you may have indeed 'broken your butt', or at the very least fractured your coccyx. I don't need to move you; you're too heavy, I could cause further injury if I-"
"I'm heavy?" Penny gasped, breaking into fresh sobs. "You think I'm fat..."
Sheldon frowned. "Now, I never said 'fat'; I was merely indicating that I had little to no upper body strength..." he said in his matter-of-fact way, that was nontheless soothing.
Penny nodded. "... kay..."
"Now, I'm going to call an ambulance..."
"You'll come with me?"
Sheldon's eyes bugged. "In the ambulance?"
"Please, I'm scared..."
"But, they're so..." he fidgeted, having a million reasons not to; claustrophobia, germs...
But, then, he saw her big, wet, Disney Eyes, and took a deep sigh. "Very well, I shall go with you..."
Penny smiled weakly. "Thank you..."
When Leonard, Howard and Raj walked in the door, they were shocked to see Penny being loaded onto a gurney, and Sheldon barking orders at the EMTs.
"What's happening?" Leonard asked, rushing over.
"Well, obviously the medical field has drastically lowered it's standards and stopped teaching bedside manner altogether!" Sheldon said haughtily. "You don't jostle a patient like that with a fractured or possibly broken coccyx!"
"Easy there, bub, you can ride with your lady."
"Well, I don't know that she's my lady, a lady is not an object that belongs to anyone..."
"Sheldon..." Penny called plaintively, "come with me!"
Sheldon nodded to her, and giving a curt nod to his three shocked friends, climbed into the back...
Penny sat in her hospital bed, Sheldon on one side, the other three kind of milled around the room, looking at them like they were some kind of alien experiment gone awry. However, she was so happy from her morphine drip, she didn't care.
"This..." she said, pointing to the IV, "is awesome!"
Leonard gave her a little weak grin. "Yeah... sorry about the skateboard."
"It's 'kay..." Penny dismissed.
"No, Penny, that is not okay. You will have to remain here for three days! Who will fix my cheeseburger the way I like it tomorrow?" Sheldon said, giving a good glare to Leonard.
"Sheldon... I'm sure Bernadette can-" Howard tried, but, Sheldon shook his head vehemently.
"Your little chippie is not a suitable waitress, Howard." he bit out. "She does not anticipate my needs. Penny already knows before I get there. That is a proper waitress."
"God you're OCD..." Howard muttered.
Suddenly, Penny blurted out. "Sheldon almost gave me a happy when he checked my bones!"
Everyone, including Sheldon, turned to stare at her.
"Yup..." she continued, blissfully obvilious, "I was... one-third of the way there!"
"... pay no attention to her; she gets mouthy on pain medications..." Sheldon said uncomfortably.
"Sheldon!" she said loudly, in a childlike, pitiful voice, "Sing me 'Soft Kitty'?"
"Penny... this is a hospital..." he bristled.
Sheldon rolled his eyes, and then stood, and began shooing everyone out of the room. "All right, lady obviously needs her rest- a lot of it- everyone out." he ordered.
"Sheldon, come on!" Leonard protested, but Sheldon kept shoving, until they all three were out, and he pulled the door shut, still inside with her!
Exchanging glances, the three geeks raced to the door, fighting for a spot to put their ears against. Barely, they could make out a soft, slightly Southerner, voice, singing, "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, little ball of fur. Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty. Purr, purr, purr..."