Title: The Coitus Consideration
Description: Penny and Amy's girl talk turns to sex… with Sheldon, and Penny's giving Amy ideas. Leonard and Penny have a talk of their own... can they get back to where they were?
Fandom: The Big Bang Theory
Characters: Sheldon/Amy, Leonard/Penny
Word Count: 13,112
Author's Note: This is a remix of the story "The Greater Minds Experiment Possibility" by WeBuiltthePyramids. She wrote her story from a prompt from Maddy46: "Penny convinces Amy to take her and Sheldon's relationship to the next level."
Disclaimer: The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, and produced by them along with Lee Aronsohn. It is a Warner Brothers production and airs on CBS. All characters, plots and creative elements derived from the source material belong exclusively to their respective owners. I, the author of the fan fiction, do not, in any way, profit monetarily from the story.
These days, Amy was showing up more and more often at Penny's house, and Penny didn't quite know what to make of it. There was a time when she had been the only hen in the rooster house (is that even a thing?) but then the boys started pairing off: Howard with Bernadette, Sheldon with Amy, and then Leonard with Pria (barf). Penny resented it at first, and when Amy first declared that they were best friends, Penny had been this close to filing a restraining order. But one day, she looked up and, well… if she were being completely honest, she was really starting to like the company.
Especially when that company also liked rocky road ice cream.
"In short," Amy began, capping off a lecture on myths in neurobiology that Penny had started tuning out several minutes before, "even taking into account scientists' previous misunderstanding regarding the functioning of local neurons, the common belief that we use only 10 percent of our brains is—in a word—hokum."
Penny laughed at this.
"I'm not kidding, Penny," Amy insisted. "We use 100 percent of brains each and every day."
"No, I believe you," Penny said, scraping her bowl for the last bits of marshmallow. "It's just that you used the word… 'hokum'." She laughed again.
"Ah, yes, hokum," Amy said. "It means trite, nonsensical, or unreal—"
"I know what 'hokum' means," Penny interrupted. "It's funny because you sound just like Sheldon."
Amy's face registered some discontent with this statement. "That word predates Sheldon entirely. He does not hold a monopoly on its use."
"Aw c'mon," Penny said, walking to the fridge and pulling out the carton of ice cream. "Sheldon is clearly rubbing off on you."
"Really?" Amy asked quizzically.
"Oh, yeah," Penny insisted. "You and him sound more alike every day. Almost like an old married couple that keeps finishing each other sentences." She scooped out a little ice cream, then glanced at Amy's equally empty bowl. What the hell?, she thought and dumped out several more scoops. "You want some?" she asked Amy, tilting the carton towards her friend. But Amy held up her hand.
"No thank you," she said curtly. Penny's sighed.
"Don't tell me you're doing Weight Watchers. 'Cause if you are, I hate to tell you sweetie, but that first bowl alone was ten points."
"I'm on no diet," Amy replied. "Unless you consider me watching my intake of anaerobic bacteria and foodborne microbes as being 'on a diet'. In which case, call me Jenny Craig."
"What are you talking about?" Penny asked, puzzled.
"You dipped your personal spoon into the communal ice-cream container, essentially contaminating it with any germs that call your mouth home."
Penny rolled her eyes. "Amy, I'm not sick."
"Sick? No. But a host to as many as 700 species of commensal oral bacteria? Yes." She cleared her throat. "I'll pass."
Penny rolled her eyes, putting the container back in the freezer. "Dear Lord, Amy. You're never gonna get any nookie out of Sheldon talking like that."
Amy sat back, aghast. "I've never even entertained the thought of, as you put it, getting 'nookie' out of Sheldon."
Leaning against the counter, Penny took a bite from her ice-cream. "You mean to tell me that you have never, ever — not even once on some lonely, Pasadena, Saturday night — fantasized about Sheldon — with those thin, lip-balmed smackers of his," Penny closed her eyes, her imagination taking over, "leaning forward and — his eyes heavy, his breaths labored — planting a wet, lingering kiss on your lips, only to get lost in the soft skin of your neck and then taking you to his boudoir and making you scream into the night?" When she opened her eyes, Amy's face was cold as ice, if not more disturbed.
"I assure you I have not," Amy said, touching her tummy. "In fact, the thought of it makes me a bit nauseous."
"But why?" Penny said, rushing around the island and taking a seat next to Amy. "Don't you ever, you know, wish that you and Sheldon had what other couples have?"
"We aren't a couple," Amy replied, "and—"
"But you are," Penny interrupted. "I mean, you may not do all the … you know."
"You mean we do not engage in coitus."
Penny sighed. "Ok, yea. You may not… engage in… coitus, or whatever. But wouldn't you agree that you and Sheldon have something that you and I and your other friends don't have? Somethingunique?"
Amy seemed to reflect on that with agreement. "Sheldon and I do have something… unique. We have a congress of minds that I've never quite experienced before. He shows a singular understanding of my research in ways I don't find among my other acquaintances. And he and I alone share amusement in our games of historical speculation. Although, you do enjoy attending science lectures with me. It's a shame you couldn't get off of work to go to the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. The hotel this year has a Jacuzzi in every suite."
"Yeah about that," Penny said, wringing her hands. "I, kind of lied. I don't have to work. I just… don't want to go."
"But… why not?" Amy asked.
Penny withered some. "It's just… it's not my scene, you know? All the big words and confusing diagrams and then the sciency conversation at the cocktails – Amy, even you know I don't belong there."
Amy looked confused. "But, why would you lie?"
"Because you looked so excited when I said I would go. I didn't want to hurt your feelings."
Amy's confusion continued. "Well this is… disheartening news indeed."
Penny shrunk from shame. Then she perked up. "Amy, I have an idea. Think of this as an opportunity."
Amy looked up with interest. "In what way?"
"You say that you and Sheldon are not interested in… sex, right?"
"I would agree with that assessment," Amy replied.
"But I know you two well enough to know that you are interested in why humans do what they do."
"Well, I always have been. Sheldon is a recent convert to the Behavioral Sciences."
"Yeah, well," Penny continued. "You know about the birds and the bees, right?"
"Ovum, sperm, gestation. Yes," Amy answered.
"And you know why normal people 'hook-up', right?"
"I take issue with the word 'normal,' although I do concede that my relationship with you has been quite the education in the effects of loneliness, booze and trivial — though flattering — conversation on a healthy libido."
Penny sighed. "Gosh, Amy. You make it sound so, so…"
"Absurd?" Amy said.
"Anyway," Penny continued. "What you and Sheldon don't know is how people like you… well… mate. Tell me: how do two people whose attraction is more… intellectual, if you will, get around to doing the dirty?"
Amy reflected on this a moment. "It's a matter I've never given much thought to. How do two persons of the intellectual elite, with a dedicated focus on things of the natural world, and a general distaste for the pedestrian trivialities that entertain the masses, find their way into the realm of carnal reproduction?"
Penny stared blankly. "Yeah, what I said."
"I mean, Einstein had children, did he not?" Amy continued.
"He did?" Penny gasped, scandalized. "Can you imagine having that nerd for a dad?"
"Indeed," Amy swooned. "His assistance in science fair projects must have been nothing short of divine."
Penny shook her head. "Anyway, I have an idea. Have a chat with Sheldon about this — without mentioning it was my idea, of course — and then take him with you to the conference. You, him, a romantic hotel room, candles, all that science talk, and next thing you know, BOOM! You're collecting data." She elbowed Amy suggestively. "I have a hunch that Jacuzzi is going to do wonders for your experiment, if you know what I mean."
"Of course I know what you mean," Amy replied flatly. "I have an IQ of 180."
She then rose and went to the door.
"Where are you going?" Penny asked.
"To go and talk with Sheldon, as you suggested."
"Right now?" Penny said, rising. "You don't wanna at least think it over for 15 minutes?"
"No," Amy said, and left.
Leonard heard a harried knock on the door and rushed to answer. He found Amy Farrah Fowler standing outside.
"Sheldon!" he called over his shoulder. "Amy's here."
"How do you know I want Sheldon?" she asked.
"Do you want Sheldon?" he replied.
"I do," she answered. "But there was no way for you to know that."
"Well I assumed," Leonard said.
"You should never do that, Leonard. Assuming makes and ass out of you and me."
"Among other things," Leonard mumbled, as he walked off towards the kitchen.
Sheldon wandered into the living room. "Amy," he chirped. "What a pleasant surprise."
"So you weren't expecting her?" Leonard said.
"No." Sheldon answered. "Why would I? She gave no advance notice of her visit. And I would never just assume that."
"Of course you wouldn't," Leonard said, from behind the refrigerator door. He emerged to find Amy still standing in the hallway.
"I apologize for his manners," Sheldon said, walking towards her. "Do come in Amy."
Leonard rolled his eyes. "I mean, she knew she could come in. Who wouldn't just assu —" He stopped as Amy and Sheldon both leveled a disapproving glare at him. "I know; don't assume." He sighed and plopped down on the loveseat, picking at his cold, leftover Pad Thai while nursing a Diet Coke.
"Have a seat, Amy. Could I interest you in a cold beverage?" Sheldon offered.
"No. This is not a social call," she said, sitting on the correct end of the couch. "I am here to discuss us exploring coitus."
Leonard sprayed Diet Coke over the assembled crowd, nearly choking. "What was that?"
"I am here to discuss the possibility of —"
"No, I heard that part," Leonard said. "But… what in the hell?"
"I'm afraid I am confused as well, Amy," Sheldon said. "You and I do not entertain a sexual component to our relationship."
"As well I know, Sheldon," she explained. "But Pen —," she stopped. "An associate and I were discussing the aspects of my relationship with you that make it unique and, dare I say, intimate."
Meanwhile, Leonard's brain starting ticking. "Excuse me," he said and rose, hurriedly exiting through the front door.
"Where is he off too?" Amy said after he'd left.
"He is patently unpredictable," Sheldon replied. "I'd be the ass of all asses if I even ventured a guess."
Amy nodded. "It would be best you didn't. Returning to the original topic, do you remember the time we studied the rate at which gossip travels in our core social group?"
"Indeed," Sheldon beamed. "That was great fun."
"Well, I have been persuaded to consider another foray into the Behavioral Sciences that involves you and me, but this time in the field of reproduction. That is, if you'd be willing to hear it."
Sheldon paused reflectively. "Well, alright," he said. "But I seriously doubt sex would be as much fun as starting rumors."
Penny heard a knock at the door, and immediately answered, swinging the door open.
"Amy, I can't believe —" she said, then stopped. "Leonard?"
"You really shouldn't assume," he said, then stormed past her and into the living room, sitting down.
"Sure, come on in," she said sarcastically, and shut the door.
"What the hell, Penny? I mean, what the hell?" he blurted.
"You're going to have to be a little more specific," she said.
"You convinced Amy and Sheldon to have sex?" he asked.
"Oh my God!" Penny screamed. "That wench wasn't supposed to say it was my idea."
"She didn't really," Leonard explained. "She just kinda almost slipped up. Besides, the plan had you written all over it."
"Yeah, because the fact that Amy and Sheldon might actually fall in love is, of course, my fault," she argued.
"Penny! Love and sex are not the same thing!"
"Yeah, and I'm not 16, so I probably already know that," she answered.
"Do you? Sex changes relationships, Penny. It makes totally, functioning, meaningful relationships turn complicated and stop working. Is that what you want for them? Because if not, why would you make them to do something they clearly don't want?"
Penny looked totally confused.
"I'm not 'making' them do anything, Leonard, and, um, can you explain why you care, again?" she asked, hand on hip. "It's not exactly any of your business, no matter what they do." The question seemed to jolt Leonard to his senses.
"You're right," he said slowly. "Why do I care? In fact," — he stood up, realization dawning on his face — "if Sheldon and Amy have a go at it… that would we be… the best day of my life!"
"OK, back it up. Now you're creeping me out," Penny said.
"Sheldon's virginity and sexual ambivalence has been the thorn in my flesh every since we moved in together. Every relationship I have, every girl I bring home turns into a vicious renegotiation of that damn Roommate's Agreement. If Sheldon enters the world of adult love, he might finally cut me some slack."
"Every girl you've brought home?" Penny said. "How many times has that happened? Like… once, twice?"
"The point is," Leonard said, ignoring the statement, "I think if Sheldon spent one night in my shoes (or bed as the case may be) he might not get so crazy every time I try to have a little happiness in life."
The words did something to Penny, and a sadness came over her face. She sat down on the couch. Leonard noticed.
"What is it, Penny?" he asked, concerned.
"It hasn't been easy for you, has it?"
"What do you… what do you mean?" Leonard asked, taking a seat next to her.
"Relationships. They haven't been easy for you."
Leonard sighed, pausing to think a moment. "Not always. No."
Penny nodded. "And that's so unfair, because you're such a beautiful, amazing person."
Leonard shrugged, with a nervous laugh. "Yeah, well. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes."
"Yeah, I know," she said, rising from the couch. "But, I just feel like – " she stopped there, agitated.
"You… you just feel like what?" Leonard asked.
"I feel like we might have…" she turned away. "I feel like I might have made a mistake."
The words caught Leonard off guard. He stood up, too. "What does that mean, Penny?"
"It means." She took a hard breath. "It means… "
She turned around and they were face to face, millimeters between their eyes, their noses, their lips…
Penny closed her eyes, leaning forward. His eyes fell shut too, and their lips brushed, when…
Leonard backed away.
"I'm with Pria now."
Penny was confused. "But… isn't she going back to India?" she said, a little breathless.
"Yeah," Leonard whispered.
"Are you… staying together?" she asked.
"I… I don't think so," he answered.
"Then why can't we –"
"I don't know!" Leonard shot back; he was upset. "I'm not… I'm not that kind of guy that can just, turn it on and off like that, OK?" he said. He put his face his palm, before looking at the ceiling. "I gotta go Penny," he said.
"Wait, Leonard," she called after him. But he opened the door and left.
There was no one inside when Leonard crossed the hall back to his apartment.
"Sheldon," he called as he made his way in. There was no answer, so he moved towards the back. "Sheldon?"
He heard noise coming from Sheldon's room. No, moaning sounds. They were coming from…
They were coming from Sheldon.
He started to leave until he heard a voice mingled in with the moans.
"Push Sheldon, Push. Go faster."
It was Amy.
"You're so good, Sheldon. Keep going, just like that." In spite of himself, Leonard leaned towards the door. "Harder. Harder. Harder." With each command, her voice grew louder and shriller. Leonard was practically frozen with astonishment. First Penny… and now this?
"Good God!" she finally cried. "And your first time."
"I'm a quick study, if I do say so myself," Sheldon said.
"Fourteen minutes," he heard Amy say. "Not bad for a novice."
"I hope you'll show me how to improve," Sheldon purred bashfully.
Leonard was gasping at his point. He couldn't believe his ears. It was like he was listening in on the Alternate Reality Sheldon that he'd never met.
"OK, let's start peeling those EEG electrodes off," Amy instructed.
EEG?, Leonard thought. A brain scan during sex was weird, even for those two.
"There's one… there's one's stuck to my forehead," Sheldon grunted.
"Let's get some Vaseline and pry that off," Amy said, and the door flew open. Leonard was standing there, shocked and looking very suspect.
"Well, hello there Leonard," Sheldon said. "What are you doing loitering outside my bedroom door?"
"I'm not loitering," Leonard said, defensive, "Loitering? No. I'm not loitering. I'm just… bringing you your mail."
"How very kind," Amy said.
"Indeed," Sheldon agreed. "Where is it?"
Leonard made a protracted show of looking for it on his person, and then knocked on his own head. "Silly me. I've left it. Out there. Downstairs. In the mailbox."
Amy and Sheldon regarded him with looks of confusion. Just then Amy's phone sounded a beeping noise.
"Oh dear," she said. "I'm due for a shift in the lab. I have to run. Do you think I can come pick up the EEG equipment later?"
"No problem," Sheldon said. "I'll have it all ready for you when you return."
"Thank you," Amy said and left.
Sheldon went into the bathroom. Leonard followed and, feeling bold, stood in the bathroom door.
"So?" he said.
"So what?" Sheldon asked, vigorously rubbing petroleum jelly on his forehead.
"So did you …?"
"Did I, what?"
"Did you and Amy… you know?"
"Did Amy and I what?" Sheldon asked, more than a little impatient. "Honestly, Leonard, are complete sentences too much to ask for?"
"Did you and Amy have sex?"
Sheldon spun around, the picture of horror.
"Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea?"
"Well isn't' that what you and Amy were talking about when I left? And then I heard the noises… or conversation in your room."
"You, Leonard, have been victimized, yet again, by your own presumptuousness. Amy and I were doing a timed brain exercise involving lights on a computer screen that corresponded to various points on a peg board. There was also a little calculus in there, but regardless, it was a very rousing activity and I didn't do half bad… but I'm sure you already know that." He returned to the mirror and turned on the faucet. "You little snoop."
"Well what was I to think, Sheldon? Amy clearly mentioned you and her and coitus earlier."
"She was inviting me to a three-day conference in San Diego for the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. One lecture is vulgarly titled 'Sex on the Brain.' I swear, these conferences get less professional every year." He turned off the water, and dabbed his forehead.
"Well… have fun," Leonard said.
"I'm not going," Sheldon explained. "I'm a theoretical physicist – not a neurobiologist. I'd rather be seen building doodads with Wolowitz than pacing the halls of that convention."
Leonard shrugged. "Shame."
"Sorry to disappoint," Sheldon replied. "Though I fail to see how this concerns you at all."
"It doesn't," Leonard said, and shuffled off to his bedroom, collapsing onto his bed, face down. His almost kiss with Penny reawakened in him emotions he thought he had come to terms with long ago.
It had been a harrowing half hour.
It had been a harrowing life.
Sheldon suddenly appeared in Leonard's doorway, wiping his hands with a hand towel. "There is one thing she said, however, that gave me pause."
"What is that?" Leonard asked, barely listening. His mind was elsewhere, hopelessly stranded in the apartment across the hall.
"She insisted that we would share a hotel room, using Penny's cancelation as the flimsiest of excuses. While, my mother would find such a lodging arrangement scandalous on moral grounds, I just find it … odd. Unorthodox, if you will. But really, as long as there were two beds, I would have no real objection."
"Yeah, Sheldon," Leonard said off-handedly.
"She also mentioned the Jacuzzi several times, which I found to be out of character. Since when has she been a hot tub enthusiast?"
"Yeah, whatever, Sheldon," Leonard mumbled into his pillow.
"Very well then. I can see you're tired," Sheldon said finally. "I'll leave you in peace." Pulling the door behind him, he left.
He retired to his own room and began to arrange the EEG equipment. As he did so, he couldn't help but smile while reflecting on one of the liveliest afternoons he'd had in a while, and the neurobiologist who always seemed to stimulate his neurons, literally and otherwise. He sat on the edge of the bed and perused the conference brochure Amy had accidentally left behind. She'd scribbled in the margins: notes of excitement at the meatier talks and wisecracks at the "public outreach" lectures. He pictured Amy and himself, snickering in the back row as some bestselling author tried to use a play-doh metaphor to explain neuroplasticity. He also imagined them at night, pouring over the abstracts of respected researchers, combing through the denser topics and finding parallels in their own research.
For all the unknown variables of this event, one thing was certain: Amy.
He grabbed his phone and dialed her number. After five rings, there was a message and a beep.
"Amy," he said, "I've decided that I'll go with you to the conference." He almost hung up then added, "It would be my pleasure."
With that, he smiled contently as the prospect of an enjoyable weekend settled in. Only one question remained: Should he pack his briefs from the X-Men or the Justice League?
TO BE CONTINUED...
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