Raj sat down. He and Sheldon were collaborating on a project that had been in the works for years. Scientist had studied REM sleep and dream patterns several times over, but what people actually dream... to get a visual... That was quite something...
When Penny heard about their project, she was fascinated, because she didn't remember a lot of her dreams, and plus, she heard Amy Farrah Fowler was interested, and she did not want her to be the test subject, and anywhere near Sheldon again. Not that she would admit that was her reasoning, but, Leonard could see it. He could never figure out their weird little relationship, but, it wasn't really up to him.
Penny lay on her couch in her Ambien'd out state, and Sheldon and Raj began putting electrodes on her.
"She'll be in REM any moment now..." Sheldon said, buzzing with anticipation as he went to the large screen and began adjusting it.
"So, you're postulating that we can see an exact image of her dream?" Howard demanded excitedly.
Sheldon nodded. "Yes."
Howard rubbed his hands together. "Come on, lesbian beach fantasy..." he said.
Leonard and Raj rolled their eyes at him. After ten or so boring minutes of nothing happening, a fuzzy image started showing up, and then it began to get a little more clear...
"Is that... Penny dressed as Daphne from 'Scooby Doo'?" Leonard asked, raising his eyebrows.
Suddenly, Leonard showed up. But, no, not as Freddie...
"I'm Velma?" he squeaked, and everyone laughed, even Sheldon with that sucking in laugh of his.
"Well, you are like a chunky little bespectacled girl? Bazinga!"
Leonard waved him off in a dismissive gesture. "Is there any sound?"
"Unfortunately no, but I do see a rather good looking Freddie approaching..." Sheldon said, eying the screen.
Everyone else looked at the screen in shock. Then at sleeping Penny. Then at Sheldon, then back to the screen.
"Where are we?" Howard demanded, offended, and then Raj came up as Shaggy.
There did not seem to be Scooby counterpart, just the cartoon himself, but, suddenly a cloaked figure came up and grabbed Penny/Daphne, racing off with her. It was like a bad silent movie in color, as they zannily raced after her, the cloaked figure carrying her under his arm like some sort of football, occasionally reaching out a hand to grab at her inappropriately.
Finally, Freddie/Sheldon swung in on a rope, knocking the two of them down. He then lifted Penny/Daphne manfully into his arms as Velma/Leonard took the mask off of...
"Howard?" they all yelled, turning to look at him.
"Hey! Why am I the creep on the cloak?" he demanded.
When everyone gave him a pointed look, he shrank back a little. "Yeah, yeah, I know why..." he muttered.
Then, the others dragged Cloaked Howard away on screen, and Freddie/Sheldon swept Penny/Daphne into a kiss, which quickly deepened, and they began sliding to the floor, never breaking contact.
"Good Lord, what is Freddie/Me doing to Penny/Daphne?" Sheldon squawked, appalled.
"Didn't Mrs. C. have that talk with you when you were a kid, Shell?" Howard asked, with a wide-eyed smirk.
Everyone kind of tilted their heads curiously at the screen, and then Sheldon suddenly threw a Cornhusker's sweatshirt over it.
"I think..." he said, breathing hard, looking a little panicked, "that we have invaded Penny's privacy enough." he said with as much dignity as he could muster, and quickly yanked the electrodes off of her.
A loud "awww" could be heard from Raj and Howard, but he ignored them. Leonard, however, was looking at him, absolutely gobsmacked.
"Close your mouth, Dr. Hoffsteader; you'll catch flies." Sheldon said curtly, and ambled past all of them, bringing the screen equipment with him.
"Holy cow..." he whispered to the other two, still in the living room. "Penny's hot for Sheldon..."
"Yes, but Sheldon... he wouldn't be interested in her..." Howard said uncertainly. "... right? Not like that?"
"No, course not..." Leonard said, though, whom he was assuring, the others or himself, none could tell.
But, then, Sheldon appeared in the doorway. "Everyone out, come on. There's work to be done. Data collecting... No reason for you to be standing over her sleeping body like that."
"Like what?" Raj asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Like weird little... vulcan mind vultures." he said hotly. "Now... come on." he said forcefully, nudging them towards the exit.
And, once in the hallway, they looked as he walked back in and lay a frayed blue afghan over Penny before walking out again, shutting and locking the door behind him. They looked at him with wide eyes.
"What? The body temperature goes down several degrees when one sleeps, unless one is sick..."
"Right..." Raj nodded, exchanging glances with the others.
"Well, let's go." he said, and walked back inside, leaving his friends still in the empty hallway.
"That was strangely... protective..." Leonard said a bit uncomfortably.
"Do you think Penny and Sheldon...?" Howard asked, looking horrified at the thought.
"Well, she did volunteer personally for the project without us asking- but not until she found out Amy Farrah Fowler was up for it." Raj blurted.
Leonard's and Howard's eyes went wide.
"Huh..." Leonard said, and they walked back into the apartment, mulling the thoughts over...