1

Knocks sounded on Penny's door. Penny went through the patterns of knocks she knew and thought she could discern Amy. But it was despondent, sadder...

Penny opened the door and did discover despondent Amy Farrah Fowler. "Hey, Amy. What's up?"

Amy adjusted the duffel bag she carried. "Hello, bes...Penny. May I can come. In. May I come in?"

Penny stepped aside. "Sure. Come in."

"I'm sorry.", Amy told her. "I haven't been able to sleep these past few nights.

"That's sort of the reason I'm here."

"What's the trouble?", Penny sat on her couch and patted the seat next to her.

Amy sat down and shifted her duffel bag. She looked at Penny and obviously lost her nerve again. "Aren't you going to make tea? When a guest is in distress a warm libation is a non-social obligation."

"You sure you don't want to talk about it?", Penny asked.

Amy turned to her again. "My throat is dry.

"And I'm losing core body temperature at, coincidentally, an equal number of joules to a warm beverage."

Penny was about to sigh but thought again and merely patted Amy's thigh. She went through the motions of bringing the neurosurgeon a cup of tea and tapped the empty glass with a bottle of red wine.

"Penny.", Amy began. "I need for you to not be mad over what I am about to ask. Say. Hmmm...Ask."

Penny nearly balked but tried to be sympathetic. Then she tugged her at her neck line.

"That's why I need you to not be mad.", Amy told her. "I am not believing I am taking...I believe I'm not taking advantage of your beauty with what I'm about to ask. But I can see why you'd think that. Please, bestie?"

Penny took the cup and poured herself a sip of wine. One swig later, "Alright. Hit me."

"I need you to sleep with me."

Penny jumped up.

"No!", Amy assured. "I mean...sleep with me. It's my night terrors. They've been getting worse. I haven't been able to achieve a full R.E.M. for at least a week. I'm losin' it, man."

She took a steadying breath. "I want you to let me stay with you in your bed. I'm hoping the added comfort and feelings of safety will help."

"Amy, we talked about this.", Penny told her. "You're...kind of a biter."

"But you're so delectable.", Amy replied. "Sorry! Sorry.

"I know it is an imposition. But I think this is the optimal solution."

Penny huffed, then pointed at the door as if to point through it. "What about Sheldon? Can't you go sleep with him?"

"Oh, that would be nice.", Amy replied wistfully. "But he just notarized our Relationship Agreement. If I confront him with this now, given his mysophobia, kainotophobia, automysophobia/"

"I get it, I get it.", Penny admitted.

Amy put her head in her hands. "Oh, I shouldn't have asked. I don't want to lose him by asking this of him before he's ready. But I don't want to lose you by making you uncomfortable either. I don't want to lose anyone. But now that I really need you all, I'm doing the one thing that'll drive you away."

Penny's expression softened.

"I apologize for coming.", Amy told her. "I try will home at...I will try again at home. Perhaps insomnia only comes in sevens."

"You don't have to go.", Penny told her. "God. Look, I'm going out on a limb here but"

"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you", Amy chanted repeatedly as she jumped up and down.

"But!", Penny pointed her finger in Amy's face. "Just sleeping. This isn't a ritual for Bernadette or whatever else you may have told yourself."

"Of course not, bestie, I swear!", Amy assured.

The woman dragged a set of pajamas out of her duffel bag. "I really mean it. I even got you these."

"Why?", Penny asked.

"The problem I'm hoping to overcome is insomnia.", Amy told her. "Do you think I would get a wink laying next to that body?"

2

Penny was on her back in her bed. Amy lie on her side, staring adoringly.

"Are the pajamas comfy?", Amy asked.

"Yes."

"Do you need a glass of water?", Amy asked.

"No."

"I brought chemical sleeping aids.", Amy stated. "Did you want me to drug you into unconsciousness? I brought the good stuff from the lab that we use on the bonobos when they get too/"

"I'm fine, Amy.", Penny told her.

"Okay.", Amy conceded.

"Look.", Penny commanded. "You said you came over to sleep."

Amy put her finger over Penny's lips. "Say no more."

Amy turned one eighty and closed her eyes. "Penny."

"Yes, Amy?"

Penny felt Amy's hand scratching at her new flannels. "Are my nails dull?"

"Why do ask?", she replied.

"Because I'm probably going to scratch you up something fierce.", Amy assured.

"Aimeee...", Penny whined.

"I brought enough first aid supplies for a pee wee baseball team.", Amy told her. "But, if it's not too much to ask, maybe it would be better if you held me?"

"Nghn", Penny mourned. "Fine."

The blonde moved to put her arms around the brunette. "Please don't touch my breasts!", Amy exclaimed.

"I wasn't going to.", Penny deadpanned.

"Well, you are doing me a tremendous favor.", Amy said. "If it's the price I pay, it's the price I pay."

"I wasn't going to cop a feel!", Penny exclaimed.

She shook her head and changed the subject. "Look, you still have your glasses on."

"I do.", Amy acknowledged.

Penny rolled her eyes. "Don't you want to take them off?"

"What are you going to take off?", she returned. "Sorry.

"Just...let me put them over here.", Amy said while placing them on Penny's nightstand.

"Can we try this again?", Amy asked timidly.

Penny nodded even though Amy couldn't see behind her back. She wrapped her arms around Amy.

"You should clutch my wrists, cross ways.", Amy instructed. "That way you'll lose the least blood."

3

Penny was still wide awake when Amy had started to thrash. It took a lot, a whole lot, of her strength to keep Amy's busy little fingernails from being the business ends of some frighteningly strong arms. She had to use all of her reflexes to keep away from Amy's gnashing teeth. She tried her best to rub her cheek against Amy's hair, but it did not seem to have any affect.

Then the rantings started. "The werewolf woman can't have Meridian. Snap out of it, Lucas.

"The gargoyles are combining their wind. Take cover.

"But, but, what am I supposed to do? She stares at me in class. I don't think she wants me to teach what I am and I don't want to teach what she wants."

Penny swore up and down but stuck through it. She knew she was going to have to do things she did not understand to be friends with these...you know, this is a lot of work so I get to use it-nerds. But they care about her. They really do. So time to pay it back.

Amy bucked and Penny's head bounced against her head board. "Ow!"

4

Light streamed through Penny's window, waking her. She cracked her eyes and the pattern of it told that it was probably early enough to get in a run and a donut. Her eyes continued to open and that is when she spotted the wine bottle and tea cup.

Her eyes snapped shut. "Oh no.", Penny lamented.

She tentatively poked behind her and found a warm body. "Oh no.", she repeated. "Please don't let it be Howard.", she prayed.

The body started to move. The waitress decided to deal with it like tearing off a band-aid. "Whoever you are, just tell me your name."

A faintly masculine voice stated, "Ad..." and then stopped. Penny heard a shuffling.

"It's me, bestie.", Amy told her.

Penny's eyes leapt open in fright. Her hand snatched the wine bottle. "It's nearly full.", Penny wondered to herself in horror.

"Oh what have I done?"

Amy furrowed her brow over her glasses. "You helped me get a few scant hours of sleep, finally."

Penny lie motionless for a brief moment. "Right. Your insomnia. Oh, thank God."

Penny sat up. "So how did you sleep?"

Amy sat up. "I don't know. Ask me a question."

"Uh...who are the brothers on the Brady Bunch?"

"Never watched it."

"What's your favorite Black Eyed Peas song?"

"Never listened to them."

"Who took you to your first dance?"

"Never went to...no, that's an automatic answer. Sheldon, Bernadette, you and a Korean cab driver did.", Amy replied.

"I think it worked, Penny.", Amy stated.

She turned elated to her best friend. Then she saw what she had done. "You're cut, Penny."

Penny glanced at her torn pajama sleeve and the small nicks on her hands and arm. She rubbed a hand across her neck and only felt bruised on the ear lobe she had pressed into Amy's head. "No, I'm all right. It's nothing like the burn from trying to hold you down. You can really give a girl a workout."

"I am so sorry.", Amy told her. "I can massage those cramps out. And then we'll shower and I'll wash your cuts and smear ointment all over your/"

"Amy!" Penny called her attention forcefully.

"Right.", Amy nodded. "I'll just shower and make my way to work. You sure you don't need anything? Breakfast, a bath, a bill paid, to be born again, something that begins with a 'b'?"

Penny rolled her eyes directly at her friend. "You know, you could tell me what that tattoo says."

Amy nodded so hard she bowed. "Right, right, I'm going."

The neuroscientist got out of the bed and immediately went for her dufflebag.

Clutching it uncomfortably in front of her, she turned to Penny. It was nearly as if she was trying to hide behind it. "Penny?"

"Yes, Amy?", Penny said.

"Thank you. You didn't have to help and you did. No one has helped me like this before. So, you know...thanks."

"You were very welcome.", Penny replied.

Amy nodded and then proceeded to the bathroom.

"Was.", Penny said mostly to herself. She laid back in the bed and landed on one of her cuts. "ow."