The day Sheldon moved out, the building almost seemed to be in shock. The fourth floor was no longer pervasive with the smell of stinky markers, and there was not a computer generated explosion to be heard.
Three days later, Penny had had enough.
With the help of her phone, (cause there's an app for that!) Penny had located his new residence, a small house only a block away from the university. He had invited them over for Saturday night, but she couldn't wait that long. She missed him, the sound of his voice.
She parked in front of his house, and got out of the car slowly. This house was not new, it was older, quaint. It didn't seem like the sort of place Sheldon would live, except that someone had weeded the front garden with a ruthless sense of order.
A sign on the door read 'doorbell disabled'. She was about to knock when she heard a funny sound from the backyard, and went around the side of the house to investigate.
The backyard was in chaos. Half of it was immaculate, orderly, and layed out to perfection. The other half was a mess of scraggly weeds and long grass. In the middle, with his back to her, and a weedeater in his hands, stood Sheldon.
She'd never seen him with less than two shirts on. Her he was with no shirt at all. His pants were hanging faintly baggy at the hips, with all those shirts she'd never noticed before.
He moved the weed eater with ease, the muscles on his back moving under his skin in a perfectly synchronized rhythm, back and forth, back and forth.
He was making real headway with this lawn.
He would probably never have left the apartment building if his grandma hadn't died and left him money. He loathed the idea of putting it in a bank, so he had decided to invest in real estate. This little old house had fit the bill perfectly, being both in the price range and in the neighbourhood Sheldon wanted. He could walk to work from here.
The smell of the freshly cut grass and the sight of a small trickle of sweat daring to slide down Sheldon's back between his shoulder blades had her licking her lips.
She'd never seen him look so untidy.
His hair was messed, his fingers were caked with dirt. He looked like the Texas farm boy he had once been, and boy was she liking it.
Resolutely, she strode into the backyard, picking up a weeding rake on her way.
"Hi Sheldon!" She chirped.
He spun around with a frown. "What are you doing here? It's not Saturday!"
She smiled and waved the rake at him. "I'm here to help. That's what friends do."
"Oh." He shifted. "What else do friends do when one moves into a house?"
"After the yardwork is done, they share a pizza." Penny grinned wider.
"They deliver here." He replied, intrigued. "Very well. You may start over there." He pointed to a section of garden.
As Penny worked, she kept her back to the fence so she could watch him. He was attacking the lawn the same way he attacked everything else, thoroughly. She was so intent on watching him that she nearly pulled out a tulip when he paused to take a drink from the hose.
Feeling the heat all of a sudden, she pulled off her long sleeved shirt, thankful she was wearing a tank top underneath. She missed the look he gave her and the slight widening of his eyes before they turned back to the task at hand.
At last, the yard was done.
Penny collapsed onto the deck fanning herself. "It's hot."
He cleared his throat and darted in the house, coming back seconds later with two cans of pop from the fridge.
"Aw thanks!" She pressed the can to her forehead and cleavage before popping the top and taking a long drink. "Ugh, that is better." Looking around, she nodded her approval. "It's looking really good now Sheldon."
He was flushed, and his nod was short. "Yes. Thank you for your help Penny. Should I order the pizza now? I require a shower, but there should be time.."
"Sure!" She jumped up onto her feet. "You have a shower, and I'll order the pizza. I'm dying to see the inside of this place." She was flirting with him, and she knew it.
He merely nodded and held open the back door for her.
The inside was as immaculate as the outside, though things were a little dated, and there were some scuffs on the lino floor that she knew must be driving him nuts.
"Aw, how nice." She ran her hand over the kitchen counter, admiring the room they were in.
He pointed out the phone and then disappeared up the stairs. Soon she could hear the shower running. An image of soapy suds cascading down his back and arms flew into her mind and her fingers tightened on the counter.
She had actually been able to smell him as he walked by. Normally sweat didn't turn her on, but Sheldon never sweated. Ever. The slightest hint that he was a man had her shaking in her knees.
Resolutely she pushed the thought out of her mind and ordered a pizza for the two of them. Then she started exploring, careful not to touch anything with her dirty clothes and dusty hands. The main floor held the kitchen, a half bath, a living room, an office, and a laundry room.
Sheldon had his own laundry room! She lingered there for a minute, breathing in the scent of his laundry detergent, and a faint whiff of bleach. Already this house was bending itself to suit him.
She knew that it wouldn't take much for her to be bending equally easily.