AN: Any lyrics in this piece are owned by whoever composed them, not I, and I hope they don't mind Sheldon using them, he means no harm, and I've got nothing to sue for anyways.
"Excuse me." Penny knocked on the door of the only office she had seen with a light on in it. A middle aged man looked up at her.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm looking for Sheldon Cooper?"
"If he's not in his office he'll be in the auditorium." The man said, going back to his work.
"And where's that?" Penny asked.
"Head down the hall as far as you can go, and then take two lefts and a right and follow the noise." He smiled.
"Ok, thanks." Penny smiled back and started off down the hall.
The guys had gone off on some kind of vegas trip again, and as usual Sheldon had stayed behind. She'd said she would come pick him up, but there had been an accident on the highway and she'd been delayed. She'd sent him a text, and he said that was fine, but when she finally arrived, his office was closed and dark.
"Sheldon, what are you doing in the auditorium?" She muttered.
Two lefts and a right later, she heard it. Piano music. Not Broadway though, something softer, more romantic.
Moonlight Sonata. That was it.
She reached the auditorium doors and slipped inside, listening, watching.
The piano was in the corner of the room, it wasn't well lit. He didn't seem to need the light, because his eyes were closed, his long fingers moving over the ivory keys like nothing else existed.
She knew instinctively that he ever focused that concentration on a woman, that woman would be the luckiest one on earth, his fingers would know her body, and play it as well as he did the piano.
She licked her lips. She'd love to be that woman. The woman to finally crack the carefully masked veneer of the Physicist. She'd seen a show late one night, an interview, of a woman who like Sheldon, had an eidetic memory. The woman had said it was horrible.
Yes, she could remember what she bought at the grocery store on the 17th of september 15 years ago. But she could also remember every fight, every bad thing that had ever happened in her life, clear as a bell, the emotions she had felt at that exact moment, the thoughts she had had, the cruel words exchanged.
Penny had only been teased once or twice as a kid, but she knew what it felt like. To be able to remember it, exactly as if it had just happened, for the rest of your life?
No wonder he was so protective of his bubble.
His science couldn't hurt him. His comic books were an escape, as were the video games, the paintball. How would it feel for him, to remember what Leonard had done to him, his research in the arctic, every single time he looked at him, talked to him, heard his name mentioned.
No wonder fighting effected him so much. Every time her and Leonard had got into it, he must have been able to hear his parents, shouting the exact same words. Feeling the pain of a young child wondering what was going happen, would it ever be ok again?
She'd cried the rest of the night after watching that interview. That was the night she had decided that Sheldon was the strongest person she knew.
She looked up again to see that his eyes were now open, and he was watching her, his fingers still moving over the keys, effortlessly.
With a smile, she crossed to him. "Sorry I'm late."
"Was it bad?" He questioned.
"The accident?" Penny shook her head. "Just a fender bender, but it was a couple semi's, took up most of the lanes. The detour was brutal." She ran her hand over the top of the polished wood. She'd always liked pianos. She imagined laying on it, singing her heart out, like they did in those old flapper movies.
"You want to sit on it don't you?" He questioned with a smirk.
"Can you read me that well?" She teased.
He snorted, and started playing another song, unfamiliar to her.
"Just for that." She glared. "I will." And then she stepped up onto the bench he was sitting on and sat down on the piano, her knees delicately crossed and slung off the side, away from the keys.
He looked up at her.
She stretched, and slowly lay down on her side, facing him, watching him play. "I feel like we could be in a movie right now." She said dreamily after a few minutes. "A black and white one... The handsome man who plays the show tunes, the singer who loves him but goes out with the rich men who just want arm candy, trying desperately to get his attention, only to find out in the last scene that he's loved her all along..." She sighed.
"What would be your name?" He said quietly, still playing. She stared at his fingers dreamily. "Violet. And you would be Johnny. And every night we'd play to a full house."
"In a smoky bar, with red leather seats, surrounded by gin and tonics?" He added questioningly, changing to the opening tune of Casablanca.
"Play it again Sam." She smiled, recognising the tune.
"I thought you said my name was johnny." He said dryly.
She waved her hand at him dismissively. "Don't spoil my fantasy."
His eyebrow quirked, and his fingers switched to Piano Man. "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday, the regular crowd shuffles in... There's an old man sitting next to me.. Making love to his tonic and gin.. He said son can you play me a memory, I'm not really sure how it goes, but it's sad and sweet and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man's clothes.." He sang softly.
"La lalala la...lalala la la da da." Penny sang softly. "Sing us a song, you're the piano man, sing us a song tonight, well we're all in the mood for a melody, and you've got us feelin' alright..."
He smiled, but didn't sing the rest of the song, just played it, the tune slightly repetitive and melancholy, the dim light of the room casting his face into the shadows. She lay there, on top of the piano, listening, trying not to cry, not quite succeeding, for a single tear escaped, and ran down the side of her face, hitting the gloss of the piano with a tiny splash.
She didn't move to wipe it away, he wasn't even sure if she'd noticed it fall. "Do you ever wonder about things Sheldon?" She asked suddenly, as he switched into another song.. John Lennon's Imagine.
"I'm a physicist." He reminded her. "I wonder about everything."
"Do you ever wonder about us?"
He ducked his head. "I'm not sure what the question is."
"What if I had never met you? What if Leonard hadn't been living with you when I moved in?"
"If Leonard hadn't been living with me when you moved in, you wouldn't have met me." He replied.
"Why not?" She asked.
"Because I would never have thought you might think me anything but a freak, and you would never have noticed me."
"That's not true." She replied instantly. "I would have noticed you."
"Because you've got gorgeous blue eyes." She smiled. He was playing Let it Be, she used to dance to this song with her grandaddy. "You probably wouldn't have been able to get rid of me."
"I thought you liked weightlifters." He teased.
He gave a half laugh. "I like tall guys Sheldon." She shrugged. "Most of the time."
He nodded. "Leonard was an anomaly?"
"Leonard." Penny took a deep breath. She didn't know why she was telling him all this, he seemed to have cast a spell on her, but it felt right, talking like this. Honestly. Openly. "Leonard was... It shouldn't have happened. It never should have happened."
He kept playing. Walking in Memphis this time. "What do you mean?"
She sighed. "I kept hoping... That you would stop me." She was laying on her back, staring up at the ceiling far above them, but she could feel his eyes on her, even as his fingers continued to slide and shift with ease.
"Why should I have stopped you?"
"Because you should have liked me." She said simply. "I thought maybe you liked me. I mean, I knew Leonard liked me, but you, always so hard to read, sometimes I thought maybe you liked me, but didn't want to get in Leonard's way or something."
He played quieter, because her voice was getting softer, harder to hear.
"I thought lots of things back then." She whispered. They had come so far, yet changed so little. Her and Leonard had got together, broke up, made up, and broke up again. And Sheldon had continued to be Sheldon.
And she had fallen even more in love with him.
That was why her and Leonard would never work, aside from the fact she couldn't wear heels when they went out to dinner together, and he had that mommy complex.
Because Penny was in love with Sheldon.
She was silent, listening to him play. How long could he play till he ran out of songs? She closed her eyes and allowed herself to float through the music, some of the songs she knew, some she didn't. He didn't make a sound, but she was fairly sure he was still looking at her. Thinking. Using that beautiful mind of his. Maybe solving the great mysteries of the world, maybe the universe.
Maybe just thinking about what to have for dinner.
She heard the song once through before she realized what it was. She blinked and turned her head to look at him. He dropped his eyes to the keys instantly.
"It's late in the evening..
She's wondering what clothes to wear
she puts on her makeup
she brushes her long blonde hair
and then she asks me
do I look alright? And
I say yes, you look wonderful tonight."
He paused, waiting for the part he wanted.
"I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes
and the wonder of it all, is that you just don't realize
how much I love you..."
He stopped singing, but finished playing out the song.
Penny listened entranced, as his fingers slowed, played the last few chords, and then stopped, sliding into his lap.
"Sheldon. Why didn't you stop me?" She whispered.
He shrugged, and stood up. "Time to go."
But she'd been watching, and listening. She knew the rest of that song, he'd only sung the parts that applied. So she sat up and grabbed him by the shirts, pulling him in close, so their noses touched. She stared into his eyes, and then leaned in just a little bit more, her lips touching his.
She could feel him fighting with himself, and then the moment when he gave in. His hands moved to her hips, and he stepped closer to her, pulling her against him as he opened his mouth in the kiss and let her tongue slide into his mouth.
He kissed softly, like he was afraid she would break, and then, when her fingers wound into his hair, the kiss changed. He was mad.
His kiss showed her, he was mad that he hadn't stopped her. He was mad that she had entertained the mere thought of dating Leonard. He was mad that she had proven to be the only one there for him, and that he'd fallen for her, and that he loved her, and hated that he was so mortal as to feel it.
And her kiss told him that now that she knew, there wasn't a damn thing he could do to make her go away, so he'd better just make a Penny sized space in his future plans.
By the time her hands slid up under his shirts, he had already added her to his acceptance speech for when he won the Nobel Prize. He'd also undone her bra.
They kissed for what seemed like hours, their hands exploring each other, touching, feeling, experimenting.
When he crawled up onto the Piano beside her, he left his pants and shoes on the floor, next to the empty condom packet.
One of his hands reached up and grasped the edge of the piano, the other was on her hip, her legs were around him.
They didn't talk, at least not with words, but they said everything they needed to say, and more. She'd never made love on a piano before, she wasn't even sure if he'd ever made love before period, but it didn't matter, because they fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, and maybe he wasn't a romantic kind of guy, but his fingers made sure she didn't care.
She preferred game points to flowers anyways, and poetry was overrated. With Sheldon, she'd always know where she stood.
Not on a pedestal somewhere, but right beside him, somewhere between his comic books and Nemoy's DNA, and that was good enough for her.
When they left that night, the after carefully wiping the piano off, they were holding hands, and he didn't ask what she was doing. He could feel it, the something, it felt right.
She was never going to understand physics, But she understood him. She always had.
One day they would make beautiful babies together, and he would teach them how to tell the angle of a curve, and she would teach them football. He would make sure they went to the right schools, she would make sure they got through unscathed.
Their children would be unstoppable.
They looked at each other and smirked.
But for now, they just wanted dinner.
"Chinese?" She asked.
"Return of the Jedi?" He responded.
Her lips curled in that special way she had, just for him. "Your place or mine?"