Title: The Inebriation Interaction
Spoilers: none really
Rating: PG? Though sexy Sheldon really makes any fic at least PG-13!
Word Count: 3025
Disclaimer: I don't own BBT, because if I did, Chuck Lorre would have a lot less control over the plot…
A/N: This was kind of a birthday present for g-girl143, aka gwendy, who's totally amazing and rocks the comm all the time with her art and fics! It's loosely inspired by an icon she made. Thank you gwendy for being so awesome and letting me beta your wonderful stories, and for making our deviantArt group overflow with lovely pictures. Much Love!
This turned out almost NOTHING like I planned but they never do. Another fic gone wild! Hopefully its decent, or at least readable. Constructive criticism is welcomed. Flames will be used to light gwendy's birthday candles
Update: I'm only posting this now, about two years later, because I literally forgot I wrote it! Anyways, enjoy!
Penny sat alone on her couch. It was Friday night and once again she was at home. Normally it wouldn't be so bad. She could always count on the company of two to four geeky guys any night she found herself bored or alone.
Except tonight. Tonight, it was the boys who had gone out. True, they were probably at some Star Trek movie marathon or something. But still the fact remained that they were out have lives (sort of), while she sat staring at a blank television set. Which one of Sheldon's crazy string universes had she fallen into?
Ok, pity party over. Penny got up and stretched, tired of watching nothing (stupid cable bills). Hmm, there were surely a few episodes of Top Model on the guys' Tivo. That should keep her entertained until bed. Her neighbors wouldn't mind her hanging out in their apartment while they were out. Well, at least Leonard wouldn't.
As it turned out there was only one episode left on the Tivo, and it was one Penny had seen. She found the place comforting though, and didn't want to leave quite yet. So she decided to peruse the massive DVD collection Sheldon and Leonard had.
"Never heard of it, never heard of it, no, no," Penny muttered aloud as she scanned through the alphabetically organized shelves. "No, never want to watch, no, no. Oh wow, actually seen that one." She was bent over looking at the S's when the sound of the door made her jump.
She waited for a moment before turning her head, and based on the lack of awkward greeting, she guessed it was Sheldon.
Indeed there stood Dr. Sheldon Cooper in all his layered-shirt glory, framed by the doorway, his hand frozen over the key bowl.
"H-Hey Sheldon." Penny didn't have to be a super smart scientist to figure out the likelihood of earning a 'strike' right now was very high. But until then she'd play it cool. Like nothing was wrong…
Except something was wrong. Sheldon still stood there, frozen, staring down at her. And was that…a tinge of red she saw on his cheeks? Sheldon was blushing?
"You ok, sweetie?" She realized quickly she was still bent over, her rear end (barely covered in her pajama shorts) presented to the room. Yeah, that might make any good man blush, apparently even Sheldon. Standing up straight, she smiled gently at him. "Sheldon?"
Penny took a step toward him, watching him recover carefully. While his eyes remained fixed on where she had been before, the wide eyes transformed into half-lidded ones. The red tinge faded and his lips curled up oh-so-slightly into a…smile?
Whoa! Was it just her or had the whack-a-doodle's voice just gone down a few octaves?
"Um…how was your night? Where are the other guys?"
"Still back at the bar." He began to move again, slowly, almost lazily. Dropping his keys into the bowl, he wandered over to his chair and relieved his shoulder of his signature messenger bag.
"Wait, the bar? You went to a bar? Like with beer and alcohol and people?"
"Yes. Leonard could attest to that, but as I said before, he is still there himself." Off came his jacket, which he carelessly placed over the back of the armchair.
Penny was, to put it lightly, very confused. Where was the tirade about unauthorized use of emergency keys? Where was the strike? Things weren't adding up here at all…
"But if they're still at the bar, how'd you get home?"
"I took a cab."
Ok, now she was completely lost…Until suddenly it clicked.
"Sheldon," Penny began, her gaze following him as he drifted toward the still-open door. "Are you drunk?"
Sheldon's hand lingered on the doorknob. "I may have had a few Diet Virgin Cuba Libres that were…not particularly chaste, metaphorically."
Penny groaned. Of course the others were still at the bar, leaving her to deal with an inebriated Sheldon. She wasn't sure why he suddenly decided to come home on his own, but a night of belted-out show tunes was not high on her to-do list right now. Yet, compared to last time, he was being rather…quiet.
Coming out of her thoughts, Penny was surprised to find Sheldon staring at her. He suddenly snapped the door shut behind him and she was taken aback but his expression.
His eyes were half-lidded, his mouth in a slight smirk. Oh, Penny had seen this look before. In fact she was far too familiar with it. But never on him…Must be the alcohol.
"Sweetie, how much exactly did you drink?"
"You're a very attractive woman, Penny."
"Maybe you should sit down, and I'll get you a glass of…what?" She stopped fussing, halfway to the kitchen. Had Sheldon just complimented her? And her looks nonetheless. She didn't think he noticed those things…
Turning back to him, she watched him take a step away from the door, towards her. "Penny, you know I don't like having to repeat myself. But I'll reiterate the fact that you are very beautiful."
Looking back, she'd realize that this had been the first time in a long time she had ever remembered being called beautiful: not hot, or sexy, just beautiful. But at the moment, she was too busy freaking out over the situation at hand. Sheldon was obviously drunk, and her blushing wasn't helping her deal with it.
Taking a deep breath, Penny approached him slowly, like she would a deer. "Sheldon, I want you to tell me exactly how many drinks you had and when you had the last one. And I think you should sit down and let your system work itself out."
When he didn't move, she carefully placed her hand on his upper arm, in an attempt to lead him over to the couch. But instead, as if in reaction to her touch, his hand came up in front of her face.
For a second, she actually thought he was going to smack her (maybe the OCD is heightened by alcohol, she feared). Instead he placed his palm against her cheek, cupping it gently and lifting her chin just slightly.
She couldn't help but stare back into his eyes. The swirling blues seemed darker, yet at the same time brighter than she had ever seen them before. All their intensity seemed aimed directly at her, and she shivered slightly under their gaze.
"Penny." He stepped even closer to her.
"Um, yeah?" She licked her lips anxiously. She had rarely ever been this close to the physicist, and certainly never so intimately so. However she could not say it hadn't crossed her mind…on occasion…often.
Sheldon's left hand came up and gently cradled the back of Penny's head, while her hand went to his side of its own accord, grasping his shirt almost desperately. My god, how much had he had to drink?
"When you find yourself heavily inebriated, do you sometimes engage in activities you would normally not engage in?"
"Yeah…yeah, I guess so." That didn't seem completely right, something about suppressed desires and loss of restraint… Maybe if she could escape his gaze for a moment, she could remember. But his eyes continued to stare and she couldn't look away for the life of her.
Penny could feel his warm breath on her cheeks as he leaned in closer. "And are you held accountable for all unusual behavior you may exhibit while in such a state?"
"Well, I guess if nobody gets hurt…you learn to forgive and forget." She was starting to feel like she was the one who had downed too many drinks. Everything around her seemed to be in sharp focus, yet her reaction time was completely gone, her evidence being that she hadn't actually moved away from Sheldon yet. She was beginning to wonder if she even wanted to…
Mere inches from her face, Sheldon blinked slowly, as if alcohol had slowed his brain processes and he was trying to taken in her short statement. "I see."
Penny still wasn't quite sure what was-
All thoughts of anything flew out of Penny's mind as Sheldon suddenly closed the gap between them and covered her lips with his. Eyes widening, she gave a startled gasp, creating an opening that Sheldon took immediate advantage of.
As the "experienced" one in this situation, perhaps Penny shouldn't have been so surprised to find she was already losing herself in the kiss. Somewhere in the past few seconds…eternities…Sheldon's hand had tangled itself in her hair, while his other arm wrapped around her waist pulling her close. Her own hands clung at his shoulders, simultaneously prepared to push off and pull closer.
So lost in the sensations, it was several seconds until she noticed something was missing. Namely, the taste of alcohol.
She had more than her share of drunken hookups and she knew what an alcohol-induced kiss tasted like. But there was nothing of the sort here. Only the spicy taste of spearmint toothpaste. How very Sheldon, he must have just brushed. Another few moments of connecting the dots and-
Penny pulled away, gasping for air. Sheldon still held her close, breathing heavily himself. She stared at his face. His eyes were bright and his lips were red and swollen like…well, like he had just been kissed (or kissed someone) senseless.
"Sheldon," she breathed. Her hands moved to a slightly less intimate position on his upper arms. "What just happened?"
His eyes looked down slightly avoid her direct gaze, though she couldn't help but continue to stare at his lips. A moment passed and he slowly released her. Even as he began to back away, she could still feel the reluctance in his fingers as they left her hair, and his arm as it slid away from her waist.
"I- I'm sorry, Penny. I don't know what-"
"You're not drunk, Sheldon." Another moment and his gaze drifted back up to meet hers. He looked like a deer caught in a headlight, eyes full of fear. He looked so vulnerable, Penny's heart ached in her chest. What had she done? What had he done?
Growing up on a farm and in junior rodeo, Penny could tell the moment he decided to make a run for it, and though his legs were long and quick, her reactions (finally back up to speed) were quicker. She caught him just before he passed the fridge on the mad dash to his room and sanctuary.
She could see and feel him shaking as she held back his arm. Another pang in her heart caused Penny to loosen her grip just slightly. But Sheldon had only just stepped away from her hold when her reactions kicked in again and she pulled him close. Then she kissed him.
Pressing her lips to his, she could still feel him shaking. A few seconds went by and he was barely responding when suddenly she heard him whimper. Her heart now wrenched, she let him go.
But he didn't run this time. Instead he stood there, still shaking slightly, and looked down at his feet.
Penny began softly, "Sheldon, what going on?"
The tall physicist sighed deeply. "I have found myself with quite the paradox recently. The focus of which has been my relationship with you. I have been…internally conflicted as to why these feelings would occur, why it is your presence in my life that has suddenly cued their appearance and more so, how to respond to them."
"Go on," she encouraged him gently, hoping this was going in a very particular direction….
"Out of respect for others and you, as well as uncertainty of the social protocol in these situations, I had decided to try and ignore this irregularity in my life, hoping it would eventually pass and I could regain my focus on my work."
"So," she began to paraphrase, "you started experiencing feelings as a result of our relationship." She didn't want to declare what those feelings might be, that was up to him. "And you decided to ignore them and hope they'd just go away?"
He nodded mutely.
Another sigh. "Tonight…" He took his time formulating a response. "Tonight, not only was I dragged to a unsanitary, uncredible public place I had no desire to go to by my so-called friends. But as said 'friends' became increasingly inebriated, I was forced to endure the discussion of my 'deal' and how, as Leonard said, I 'couldn't even lay a girl if she jumped' me. As the subject deviated, it was concluded that I was completely incapable of having emotions at all, a statement all three of them seemed to agree with as they continued to discuss me while I was sitting clearly within earshot."
"Aw, honey." There was that pang again. "They hurt your feelings, didn't they?"
But he continued. "For some reason I felt compelled to tell them that I did indeed have feelings and was fully capable of acting on any romantic ones I may or may not be experiencing at that moment. So I told them so."
"And then you came home?"
"Well," he started shuffling his feet as he talked, "they merely laughed and I left. My pride not permitting me to return to them, I found myself with no transport home. So I called the only credible cab company in the area and returned here, yes."
"So…why did you-"
"I left the bar foolishly emboldened by my own statement and planned to confront you." His words came out in a rush now, as if he was trying not to let his mind censor his thoughts. Penny found this endearing, him trying to be completely truthful with her. "However on the ride home, I began to lose my nerve, so to speak. Looking over what I knew of your trend in relationships, as well as our past interactions I considered several options of approaching you.
"However, taking into account the probability of you returning any positive feelings beyond friendship, something I had calculated a while back, I was left with only the option of taking the risk and having a safety net of sorts to fall back on. In this case, blaming any advances on inebriation. Though my desire to approach you was great, I had decided not to by the time I reached the apartment. But then you were here and…I…I just wanted to know…" Sheldon fell silent, slouching in shame.
"Did you actually drink anything tonight, sweetie?"
"No," he muttered. "Nothing alcoholic, that is."
Penny couldn't take this anymore. There stood Sheldon, formally emotionless (or so they thought) Sheldon, having just poured his heart out to her in his own way. And here she was, watching him mentally beat himself up over doing something she had enjoyed, if not wanted (deep in her thoughts) for a long time.
He still wouldn't meet her eyes, but he tensed as she took a step toward him.
"Sheldon, sweetie, look at me." He refused, though he let her place a gentle hand on his arm. "It's ok. I'm not mad at you. In fact quite the opposite." He flitted a glance up at her, but only for the briefest moment.
"What I did was appalling, and I would think any less of you if you decided to terminate our friendship."
"Sheldon! No! I'm not terminating anything! In fact, I'd like to begin something…"
He looked up now, puzzled. "Begin? Do we have to restart the friendship-building process?"
Penny smiled softly. He could be quite adorable when he was confused, she'd always noticed that. "No we don't, you whack-a-doodle. Though I do think you need to restart that probability equation you were talking about." She couldn't help but giggle as he continued to stare. "And I think what you told the other guys was completely true. It was a bit of a roundabout way but you did act on your feelings, yeah?"
He nodded, "It was in its nature direct, yet indirect."
"See? You just needed some confidence. So what was the probability of me liking you that you had calculated?"
"One to six point five two times ten to the fifty-seventh power." He rattled off. When she looked at him blankly, he added, "A very small chance."
"And the chances of you being wrong?" She touched his other arm. His body had calmed and he no longer seemed to be shaking.
"An equally small number."
"Well what are the chances of that…" Penny mused.
"I just said-"
This time it was Sheldon's thoughts that were cut off by a kiss. She started gentle and sweet, but when he began to respond, its passion soon surpassed their first lip-lock.
When they finally broke for air, Penny leaned against Sheldon's chest, his arms wrapped loosely around her.
"What are the chances that this will work out?"
"I assume you are referring to a romantic relationship between the two of us."
"In the same range as my other probability calculations, as stated before."
"Oh." Pause. "And what are the chances you're willing to try anyways?"
He rested his chin on her head and tightened his hold on her waist. Burying his nose into her hair, he breathed deep and replied, "One hundred percent."
A while (and many kisses) later, Penny found herself somewhere she never expected to be: curled up in Sheldon's lap. As he relaxed in his spot on the couch, she was nestled up against his chest, listening to his heartbeat in this oddly intimate moment.
"Mmm?" She felt his chest rumble deeply.
"One more question."
"Where the hell did you learn to kiss like that? I mean, wow…"
When there was no response, Penny sat up to look at him. Sheldon just sat there with a very smug smirk on his face and his eyes closed. Slowly he opened them and smirked at her through hooded eyes. Penny felt her face flush, caught off guard by his sudden… sexiness. "Sheldon," she breathed.
She lost all sense of composure when he replied, in a low voice, "Who's your whack-a-doodle?"