Title: Yellow
The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon Cooper/Penny
The words are my own.
For Fiction #1 sheldon_penny. This story came from a weird place. I was pressed for something to write for the paradox-o-rama competition, nearly a year ago (dated 06.10.2010), and this was the result.

. . . . . . . . . .

She entered the dressing room and closed the door, shutting out the hum of excitement backstage after the successful show. Jesse, her co-star, had asked her out to drinks at his place ("Everybody's gonna be there, sure."), but, for some reason, Penny hesitated.

She spared only a second to wonder at the significance of it, before turning to her dressing table. A giant, obscenely large, ostentatious bouquet of roses sat in the center. She smiled as she plucked the enclosed card from the leaves: From Leonard. A smaller bouquet of yellow roses from Howard was set next to it, and a gorgeous purple orchid from Raj.

Her boys.

Penny pulled herself up the last flight of stairs and let out a breath of relief as her apartment door came into view. The after party had been great, the boys had even dropped by, minus Sheldon (conveniently, the route to the party passed their apartment building), but they had left fairly early. It wasn't their scene, and Penny understood. Leonard offered to giver her a ride home, but Penny told him she would stay a little longer.

She ended up crashing on Jesse's couch.

Rummaging through his cupboards for coffee and finding none, she had an awkward chat with the waifish redhead that tiptoed out of her host's bedroom. He was out of coffee, which gave her no reason to stay any longer.

Taking the last few steps to her door, she stopped short, feeling for her keys, finally finding them in the side pocket of her purse. Her foot kicked against something and made a scraping sound as it bumped against the metal of the door. She looked down, pushing he sunglasses back into her hair to get a better view of the clear vase holding a single, orange gerbera daisy.

The other bouquets from last night were still in the backseat of her car, and if she didn't go back down and get them before the Pasadena sun peaked, they would be wilted. Worthless.

She adjusted her purse and bent down to pick up the vase.

Upon hearing the door click behind her, she turned just as the apartment door to 4A opened. Her gaze met blue eyes that for a moment looked surprised to see her there.

"Hey Sheldon," she said.

"Good morning, Penny," the other man nodded.

"You weren't spying on me just now," she teased. She leaned her back against her door and smirked.

Sheldon looked indignant for a moment. "Of course not."

She stared at him, expecting a more longwinded defense. Instead, Sheldon's mouth hung open for a second before he cleared his throat and looked at some apparently very interesting spot somewhere near her toe.

"Got any coffee?"

"Since I do not regularly partake of such stimulants, I cannot be certain of our current supply. However, I do recall there still being one can of the substance in our cupboard. If you wish to partake, I have no objection."

"Uhm, thanks. A simple 'I think so' would have worked." Penny chuckled as she brushed past him and into her his apartment, the vase still tucked against her right side.

It turns out there is no coffee, not even an empty container to mock her, and when Penny turns around to glare at Sheldon, he's closer than she expects, having turned walked over at some point to retrieve his bagel from the toaster.

At first he just still, staring down at her, his blue eyes locked on hers, and Penny finds herself distracted, her eyes traveling over his face, noting that he looks kinda cute with his sleep-rumbled hair.

"Penny—" he starts.

"How did you know about the flower?" It comes out in a rush of breath.

His brow furrows and then clears. And it takes a second for him to follow her implied train of thought. Penny is glad because although she's not exactly hung over, she's not up for explaining herself further, doesn't know that she'd be able to if pushed

He looks past her again, that thing he does when he's not sure of something or is about to be very bad at lying. The tension is getting to her and she really needs some caffeine before she gets into one of these . . . battles with Sheldon, and just as Penny is about to step back, to back off, Sheldon's eyes dart back to her face, drawing her attention.

"It's your favorite," he states.

He knows.

"Yeah." Penny nods, tucking her bottom lip between her teeth. It's worth a try, she thinks.

She leans up to kiss him and—to her everlasting surprise—he meets her halfway.

. . . . .