Penny hooking up something behind the TV
"Oh good, Sheldon, it's you!" Penny exclaimed from her open doorway, leaning against the jam as she watched him open the door to his apartment. "Can you spare a few minutes? Half an hour, tops."
"I certainly can," he affirmed.
Yeah, she'd fallen into this trap before. "Good. Will you? Please?"
He gave her an odd look. "Very well. Allow me to put away these groceries and I shall join you."
"Do you need help?" Penny asked, stepping out into the hallway.
Sheldon's expression was quelling. "Do you comprehend the strict organizational schema I have implemented in our kitchen?"
"Sure!" Penny exclaimed. "Labels facing outwards. Cans in the second cabinet to the right. Soups on the first shelf, meat on the second shelf, everything else I leave on the counter so you can either put it on the third shelf or determine where it goes. Boxes in the first cabinet. Crackers and dried good on the first shelf..."
"Dried goods?" he echoed incredulously. "Are you aware that the term dry goods references textiles and other sundries? With your self-proclaimed addiction to clothing shopping, I figured that would be something you would know. So do you mean to say you would put socks next to the saltines? That's just wrong."
"Fine, fine," she told him, waving him off. "I'll be in my apartment. I should have known better than to try to come between you and your private time with your organizational schemas." She emphasized this with a rapid pumping motion that could either be the way he put things on the shelves, but sped up, or... well, something else.
"Haaa," Sheldon responded sarcastically, making a face to emphasize how very unamused he was.
Penny grinned at him and went to put on tea. She enjoyed how sometimes Sheldon was great at doling out sarcasm, but when it came to understanding it, he was pretty pathetic. It was nice to know that his big ol' brain sometimes took a break from figuring out the known and unknown universe, even though he would deny it if she put it that way.
By the time Sheldon came to join her, she had the tea properly steeped and poured into his favourite mug, which she timed perfectly so she was able to hand it to him before he sat down.
"One of the busboys at work sold me his Xbox 360 for $75. He wanted to upgrade his system so he could run the new... whatsit? Connects? On it."
"Right. That." She chattered away, reaching around the back of her television. "I've got no use for motion sensor stuff. I just want to kick a little Halo butt and he threw in the game for free, so SCORE! I figured it was a pretty sweet deal. I can practice if I'm bored, and the next time Leonard locks you out of the apartment so he can bump nasties with Leslie, you and I will have something to do."
"We play Age of Conan," he reminded her.
"Well now we'll have options." Options that would keep her thoughts violent and bloody instead of the other base instincts he occasionally brought out of her during their late-night quests. "Anyway, I just want you here in case I do something wrong with the set-up. I'm trying to be more independent with these things and Leonard always tries to take over before I can figure it out." That, and she had been worried that he would check out her butt as she bent behind the television.
"That's commendable," he told her. "Leonard will not always be around to take care of your tech needs."
"I suppose marrying him so I'll always have someone to set up my TiVo is wrong, right?"
"You have sufficiently set up your own TiVo for years," Sheldon pointed out. "It is recording America's Next Top Model as we speak."
Penny huffed, half in amusement, half in annoyance, and pushed her hair out of her face with the back of her hand. "That was just a bad example to illustrate my point. A girl needs to make sure she doesn't miss out on the latest episode of Desperate Housewives."
"Leonard would be happy to marry you for any reason if that was your point," Sheldon pointed out in a voice that indicated that this conversation was beyond (or far below) his level of comprehension. "If you are serious, I suspect he will buy a ring tomorrow."
"That's sad, but I don't want to marry Leonard. I just meant that the only way he'll be around for the rest of my life to do stuff like set up my XBOX would be if I married him, and marrying him for that purpose would be foolish. So, here I am being self sufficient." She levelled a look at him over her shoulder to find him regarding her with a bored expression. "Well, somewhat. There, I think I'm done."
"Check the cable connections," he offered in return. "I am receiving what is commonly referred to as snow or noise. Did you know that in analog television sets snow is the result of electronic noise and radiated electromagnetic noise accidentally picked up by the antenna? There are a number of causes, though atmospheric sources of noise are the most ubiquitous certainly, and include electromagnetic signals prompted by cosmic microwave background radiation."
"Fascinating," Penny deadpanned, trying to change the yellow and white cables that were impossible to tell apart, despite the 'helpful' color coding, when you were in the dark shadowy space behind the television.
"It is fascinating," Sheldon responded enthusiastically. "I remember there was one occasion as a child when I pretended that the interruption was due to an orbiting spaceship attempting to contact me through electromagnetic pulses. I developed an algorithm to translate the bursts of data, but it turned out to be noise."
"That's cute," Penny told him. "It's almost normal. I once sat in front of my tv with a colander on my head, babbling back to the static as if someone could see me on the other side."
"You see a comparison?" Sheldon asked, disbelief evident in his tone. "Your story is pure fantasy whereas mine was based on scientifically sound whimsy."
"Right. How's the XBOX now?"
Penny switched out the yellow and white cables again and looked at him expectantly. At his brief head shake, she grabbed the XBOX, not nearly as gently as she should, and checked to see if it was a) getting power, and b) on.
Penny groaned in frustration. "I give up!" she exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air dramatically as she stood in one graceful motion. "You try. I think the XBOX is faulty." Then, quieter, she muttered, "I'm going to murder that little jerk for not telling me."
"Nonsense Penny, the issue is with your television, not the XBOX." Sheldon gave her a superior look of I-have-a-bajillion-PhD's-and-am-smarter-than-every-man-on-this-continent-I-shall-fix-your-piddly-technology-issues-without-breaking-a-sweat-and-then-crow-about-my-success.
Or at least that's what she always assumed his slightly smug, slightly arrogant confidence meant.
So they traded positions, Penny grabbing the remote and falling back on her couch and Sheldon hovering in front of her television, staring at the dustbunnies behind it in horror.
Yeah, she could kind of identify with him there, they were like 65% shed hair and skin, and 100% gross.
Penny hit the input button on the remote, more for something to do than anything else.
The opening screen for Halo turned on.
"You didn't press the input button?" Penny asked, mouth open in shock. And fine, so her tone was a bit accusatory and a lot interrogative, but what the heck? This was genius Sheldon Cooper, he always remembered to press the input button.
Sheldon stared back at her, face curiously blank. His eye twitched, the corners of his mouth turned down as though tasting something sour. "My apologies. I was distracted."
"Distracted by... Sheldon?" Penny asked, breath catching in the back of her throat at his direct gaze, all intense blue eyes and reproof for the necessity of her to even ask such questions.
"Monopoles," he answered tersely, and then was off explaining some problem he was trying to work out, words almost tripping over themselves in his haste to get out her front door.
The shame of it was, Penny couldn't say for sure that he wasn't distracted by some new idea about physics. It sure made a lot more sense than Sheldon being distracted by the way she was on her hands and knees, butt sticking up in his direction.
2 of 5 - A Hero Always Peeks scenario not nearly as awesome as the original. Here is your chance to vote - sweet ending or soft-core pr0n ending?