Author's note: A little fic I wrote awhile ago and only just got around to posting. There will be more to come so stay tuned!

Sheldon Cooper awoke with a start, sitting bolt upright in his bed
with his mind racing. He had been dreaming, and now interrupted from
his slumber he struggled to grasp the remnants of the dream before
they would disappear and become lost to him forever. He felt
uncomfortable, almost afraid, yet had a vague sensation that the dream
wasn't entirely unpleasant. He hadn't been alone, in the dream. No,
someone had been there...someone he knew well. Penny, he recalled. But
what had been happening? She had been in his room, which was cause
enough for alarm in his opinion, but what else? His beautiful mind
struggled to remember, and suddenly the knowledge came crashing down
upon him with the force of a ton of bricks. It had been a sexual
dream. Involving Penny. He felt a mild panic creep up upon him as he
struggled to comprehend how, and more importantly why, his subconscious
had forced this upon him. He glanced at his clock and sighed, knowing
that sleep would evade him tonight.

He entered his office the next morning feeling distinctly less
refreshed than he would have liked, a fact that did not go unnoticed
by Raj, who paused mid 'good morning' to look closely at his colleague
and note the uncharacteristic dark eyes and slightly dishevelled hair.

"Dude what's wrong? You look like you haven't slept in weeks"

"If you must know, yes, I was unable to gain a sufficient amount of
REM sleep last night"

"Why?" Raj persisted.

Sheldon sighed. It was these kinds of pointless conversations that
stopped he and Raj from having a major breakthrough in his work.

"Because I had a bad dream" he replied huffily.

"About what?" Raj questioned again.

"I suppose it wasn't really a bad dream per say" Sheldon replied

In truth, he had stayed up all night thinking about the dream and why
his subconscious would create such a thing. When he finally gave up on
the idea of sleep in the early hours of the morning, he had turned to
his whiteboard and spent hours pondering and scrawling various ideas
but to no avail. He was the first to admit that this kind of thing was
far from his area of expertise. Perhaps discussing it with Raj to gain
some perspective wasn't the worst idea in the world, and he was
probably the one out of his three friends and one close acquaintance
who would torture him the least. He almost shuddered at the thought of
Leonard, or even worse Penny, learning of his secret. He looked at
Raj's questioning glance for a moment then at his feet.

"Penny was in it" he admitted awkwardly.

Raj shrugged.

"So? It's pretty normal to have dreams about the people in your life"
he replied, then pondered for a moment before cheerfully adding "I
have dreams about Howard all the time"

Sheldon ignored this and shuffled awkwardly, clearing his throat
before continuing.

"Yes. Except that she was..." he stopped, for once at a complete loss
as to how to explain himself. He tried again.

"We were..." he broke off, his eye twitching furiously.

After a moment of consideration of Sheldon's very obvious discomfort,
Raj cottoned on, his eyes growing wide and a huge grin spreading
across his face.

"Dude are you telling me that you had a dirty dream about Penny?"
he asked loudly and enthusiastically.

Sheldon rushed for the office door, closing it hastily before turning
back to Raj, his face growing red.

"I would kindly ask you not to tell anyone about this OR announce it
loud enough that the whole university can hear you!" he hissed,
regaining some of his usual composure and obnoxious mannerisms.

Raj at least had the decency to look guilty.

"Sorry. It's just a bit of a shock you know. I mean, you're Sheldon"
he stated, putting emphasis on his name, figuring it to be enough of
an explanation.

"I'm perfectly aware of who I am, Raj" he snapped impatiently. "My
question is: what does it mean?"

Again Raj shrugged.

"Well the most obvious answer is that you have a crush on Penny" he
answered simply, trying hard to keep a straight face.

Sheldon huffed, straightening to his full height in his indignation.

"I am a physicist with a masters degree and two PhDs who is far too busy
for something so trivial. I do not get 'crushes'" he explained tersely, making air quotes
with his long fingers on the word 'crushes'.

"Okay then answer me this" Raj replied, "did you enjoy it?"

Again Sheldon scoffed, turning away from Raj as though he found the
conversation too ridiculous to even continue. But Raj pressed him.

"In the dream...did you enjoy it?"

Sheldon just stared at his whiteboard, his mind racing, and focused on
the series of symbols and equations upon its surface that were so
comforting to him because they made sense.

Without turning away he quietly replied "it wasn't as terrible as I thought it
would the dream that is" he quickly added.

Raj just smiled. Maybe Sheldon
wasn't such a crazy wack-a-doodle after all.

Sheldon paced the hallway nervously. His conversation with Raj earlier
that day had only served to confuse him further. Raj had advised that
maybe spending more time around Penny would help him to clarify what
the dream meant and what he might be able to do about it. It seemed
like a valid hypothesis so here he was, asking Penny over for halo
night. It was a perfectly legitimate request given that Howard was
unwell and home in bed and that therefore they were short one player.
It was also true that Penny was surprisingly adept when it came to the
art of halo. So there was no reason for Sheldon to feel uncomfortable.
Except that he hadn't seen Penny since the dream had taken place and
now felt an odd fluttering sensation as he knocked at her door in his
usual manner.
Knock knock knock
Knock knock knock
Knock knock knock
And she carried out her usual routine of arriving at the door on his
second set of knocks, but allowing him to complete his ritual anyway
before opening the door.

"Sheldon" she greeted him with a smile, leaning against the door frame.

Sheldon couldn't help but notice that Penny looked very pretty today.
Her golden hair fell over her shoulders in gentle waves, the way it
sat naturally when she didn't torture it with straightening irons or
curling wands or hair spray. She wore a plain green top that was
coincidentally the same colour as the green lantern shirt that Sheldon
was wearing, and it brought out the colour of her eyes quite
effectively. It was a flattering cut that complemented her in all the
right places. Sheldon was momentarily lost for words, his mind having
flashes of the dream of the night before. Forcing them away, Sheldon
cleared his throat and licked his lips nervously.

"Penny. As you know, Wednesday is halo night and although I know that
your mathematical skills are very limited, you would also know that we
require an even number of players in order for each player to
adequately participate in the game play"

Penny stood with one hand on her hip, impatiently waiting for him to
finish his speech. But in truth, hanging out with the guys was just
what she needed right now, so she was secretly pleased that her
neighbour had come to call.

Plus there was always free dinner in it for her, something that Sheldon did
not overlook, finishing his persuasive speech with, "oh and, as per my usual Wednesday night
schedule, there will of course be pizza"

Penny smiled.

"Sounds great. I'll be over in five"

Sheldon nodded curtly and retreated to the apartment, wondering why he
still felt so off. Penny had lived opposite them for years. And yes,
he had to admit that she was very aesthetically pleasing, but there
were far more less attractive qualities about her that drove him mad.
She was messy, she had no discernable schedule or routine, she had
dated Leonard of all people...and she stood up to him, Sheldon. Though
admittedly, he wasn't entirely sure that the last point was a bad
thing- she was never mean about it like Leslie Winkle or Will Wheaton,
and he found their little battles oddly entertaining. Logically he
knew that there were many reasons why he should not be having dreams
of that nature about his friend and neighbour. But she did take care
of him when he was sick. And sing soft kitty to him. And protect him
in their halo and paintball endeavours, as well against 'real life'
enemies. And make him real I-talian spaghetti with cut up sausages.
And partake in his Saturday laundry night ritual. And bring him his
bacon cheeseburger just the way he liked it every Tuesday. And explain
to people why his spot on the couch was his was his spot on the couch.
And, if he had to be perfectly honest with himself, he rather enjoyed
the time he spent with her. He sat at his computer desk, staring at nothing in particular,
cursing himself for wasting time pondering the inner workings of his dreams rather than
something that would win him a Nobel prize.