Prompt: Penny is having a bad day, and she needs a shoulder to cry on. The only shoulder in sight, however, is Sheldon's.

Penny stomped her way up the stairs, cursing and muttering every time her foot connected with a step. Today had been terrible and all Penny wanted to do right now was to down a whole bottle of wine and lay in bed, trying to erase the headache inducing moments of the day.

"Fucking auditions," she hissed, thinking about how it took her two hours just to drive to the audition and then, before she even uttered a line, she was told she looked too "mid-western" for the part. What the hell kind of crap was that?

In all her rage, she ended up missing the last step causing her to stumble. As she tripped, her purse slid down her shoulder before crashing to the floor, spilling its contents. Make-up, cell phone, pens, keys-they all ended up scattered across the hallway.

Tears welled up as she stood up and leaned against the wall next to the boy's apartment. Furiously, she swiped at the liquid that steadily began coursing down her cheeks.

"I had a plan," she hiccupped to no one in particular.

"I hope your plan doesn't include your distracting hiccups," said Sheldon who sounded very close to her.

With a glare, she looked at him; painfully conscious of what she must look like right now-make-up smudged, clothes disheveled, hair tangled and everywhere.

"No, my plan doesn't include that," she snapped at her neighbor.

"Good, because I am in the middle of an intense game of Age of Conan and I can't afford having to listen to your sobs and hiccups."

She looked at him and began to cry again. He looked alarmed at the never-ending trail of tears and looked around him as if trying to find an escape route. He eyed the woman before him with a helpless sort of air. Crying females were no specialty of his but he couldn't have her standing out here being a distraction.

"There, there," he began.

"I'm so tired of all this Sheldon," she cried as she bent down to retrieve the scattered contents of her purse.

He then proceeded to help her, wanting this moment to be over with so that he could return to the solitude of his apartment.

"I'm so tired of being told I look a certain way; I'm sick of being told no and I'm sick of having to worry about whether I'll be able to pay this months rent."

"Penny," he started.

She looked at him with red-rimmed green eyes.

He wasn't sure of what to say next. Obviously, he didn't want another repeat of her crying but something was telling him that he needed to do something. He lightly tapped at her shoulder, barely gazing her skin with his fingertips.

"Sheldon's here," he said in what he hoped to be a sympathetic voice.

When the crying didn't immediately start, he glanced back into the apartment, eyeing his laptop wistfully. Sadly, his work wasn't done.

"If you think it would make you feel better, I can be the proverbial shoulder to cry on. While I don't approve of this sort of thing, I am given to understand that woman like unburdening themselves when they are surrounded by their friends."

"You really mean that?"

"Growing up with an emotional twin, I've noticed numerous occasions where Missy would dramatically repeat the tiniest details of her social life while her friends would lend a sympathetic ear. Mind you, I don't understand how they put up with her because frankly I found her stories to be-"

"No," she said, cutting him off, "do you really mean it when you say that you'll listen to me sharing my day with you?'

He looked at her as if she had just quizzed him on who was People's magazine Sexiest Man Alive. (He still maintained that the correct answer was William Shatner.)

"Isn't that what friends do? I was under the impression that it was a non-optional social convention."

"It's just normally you don't do this kind of thing," she explained.

"Correction-I never do this kind of thing."

"Then why me?"

"Are we not friends? I'm being a friend."

"We are, it's just—never mind. Thank you Sweetie," she said as she walked towards the door of his apartment.

And when Leonard came home an hour later, he was amazed to discover Penny and Sheldon conversing with each other with nary an insult between the two. On the cofee table was an abandoned game of Age of Conan.


I don't think I used the prompt to it's fullest but it was still fun. Review please. ;)