Author's Note: I have just started watching The Big Bang Theory and fell in love with the chemistry between Sheldon and Penny. The tv show seems so alive whenever the two interact and they shine vibrantly with each other. And while I do love the characters with their partners in recent episodes, my heart still beats for the Shenny pairing.
As for this story, it came into my head while listening to The Prize Fighter Inferno's song, 'The Going Price For Home'. The lyrics of the song manifests themselves into this story, and the title of the song becomes the title of the story. I really tried to keep Sheldon in character, his character isn't easy to write.
Disclaimer: I do not own TBBT or PFI's song 'The Going Price For Home'. The song is property of Claudio Sanchez and TBBT belong to the creators.
The Going Price For Home
1 month, 4 weeks, 28 days, 672 hours, 40,320 minutes, and 2,419, 200 seconds had passed since Penny's disappearance from the lives of Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj. They recieved no calls or texts from her and they grew concerned. Sheldon was there when Leonard and Penny broke up, a fight erupting which deeply upset her. She spent that night crying to him, something that made him uncomfortable at the sight of her pain. "Now I've lost the only thing that matters to my life. Is now the dream?" she had said through her sobs. She told him her life felt like it was falling apart. He hadn't known what to do, settling for lamely telling her "There there, Sheldon's here" from the other side of the hall.
She cried because of her failed relationship, she cried because of her dead end job, she cried about her lack of acting career and Sheldon just...stood there. He was at a loss of words, where was the girl who fought with him over everything? Where was the girl who flirted with him upon first meeting? Where was the girl who played Halo with him? Who spent laundry night with him? Who ate dinner with them? Where was she?
He remembers her words that night "I love you more than you could know, in those eyes you hide it well. I think you do" she had said softly. He figured she was speaking about Leonard and he remembers his heart dropped at that thought. It seemed that no matter what he did , she turned to Leonard. When they first met, if he was to be honest with himself, he tried to impress her with his work. But after that, he brought himself back to reality and pushed that silly infatuation to the hidden depths of his brain.
"And I've paid the price of solitude with wish to worry while you're away" he thought as Leonard turned his sights to his oddly silent friend. "Sheldon...you ok there buddy?" he asked. Sheldon just glanced at him and said nothing. "Yeah man, we haven't seen you this quiet...ever" said Howard. Raj just watched the conversation, having a feeling about the cause of his friend's silence. "Nothing is right here" said Sheldon after a moment of silence. "What do you mean?" asked Leonard. Sheldon narrowed his eyes at him. "I mean exactly what I said Leonard. My whole schedule is ruined all because you had to mess up your relationship with Penny" said Sheldon. "Why do you care? You told me from the very beginning it wouldn't work out!" exclaimed Leonard.
"While I do firmly believe in the statistics that pointed out that your relationship with Penny would never work, she is now gone" said Sheldon. Leonard rose an eyebrow at his friend's words. Raj stared at Sheldon, noting the twitchy movements of his hands, the embarassed/bashful look on his face, the slumped shoulders and the constant glance at the door as if he were waiting for someone to walk through it. "Sheldon, I know that you are against all the 'emotion' feeling stuff, but do you think that you possibly harbor some feelings for Penny?" asked Raj. Leonard narrowed his eyes at Raj for his suggestion before Howard opened his mouth. "Yeah man, it seems like you have it prett bad for her" he said. "That's preposterous guys. This is Sheldon we are talking about" said Leonard.
Sheldon said nothing and toyed with his watch. "I don't know Leonard. His body language suggests otherwise" said Raj. "Your theory is preposterous Raj. I do not harbor anything for Penny besides what I suppose are normal in the realm of the social norm of 'friendship'. Furthermore, I would appreciate it if you did not speak of me as if I were not in the room" said Sheldon as he rose to his feet. No one stopped him as he entered his bedroom. Hours passed by and still he could not sleep. A picture of Penny had implanted itself in his mind, robbing him of his chances to sleep. Something about her made him want to gently push her hair out of her face, to shower her with caring touches.
"With all grace to allow my hand to travel & worth here across your face" Sheldon thought as he recalled all the fights he had with Penny. A bittersweet smile crossed his features and he found his heart skipped a beat at the thought of her. Before she was just their obnoxious, blonde, messy, infuriating across the hall neighbor, the very same who wouldn't have any regard for his rules.
But even then he held some feelings for her. There was a soft smile reserved only for her and though he detested physical contact, he found that she was always the exception to that rule. She understood him better than Leonard and the others, though they've known him longer. She pushed his buttons, challenged him, but at the end of the day if she was upset, he was there for her. "And it hurts to hear you feel" he muttered to himself, recalling the times he saw Penny cry. He wanted to make her happy, he wanted her to fight with him, to call him 'Moonpie' though only his MeeMaw could call him that, to push his buttons, to take his seat. But most importantly he wanted her to be there with him, to finally see him as 'the guy'.
And in those moments, sheltered in his darkened room with just the light from his illuminous fish casting shadows on his walls, Sheldon Lee Cooper realized that he had fallen in love with Penny. And, judging by the irratic beating of his heart, he had been in love with her from their very first meeting. Warmth spread through his body like wildfire, but his chest hurt. His heart ached and he was confused as to the feeling. Love was supposed to be a wonderful feeling was it not? Why was it hurting him? He found he couldn't answer that question, no matter how many equations he tried to create to find that answer.
His phone buzzed beside him and in a speed that would make the Flash proud, he had the text message opened and was reading it.
"Here I go, I'm on my home now to you.-P" it read.
His heart fluttered and the ache in his heart began to diminish. Rising from his bed, he headed out into the living room and out into the hall. Sheldon wanted to be here when she returned. As the sound of footsteps moved closer to his location, he began to fidget more and more. Once Penny came into view, he gave her the soft smile reserved just for her and was pleased to see her smile back at him just as softly.
Penny wasted no time before rushing towards him and hugging him, disregarding his 'no touching' rule. And for once, Sheldon found he did not care. "I thought you would hate me" she muttered. "For what, might I ask? Is it not social convention for one friend to be here to welcome another home?" asked Sheldon with a raised eyebrow. Penny chuckled as she pulled away from his chest and smiled up at her tall nerdy friend. "Yes, it is Sheldon" she said. He glanced down at the floor bashfully and Penny tenatively reached up, putting her hand on his chin and making him stare at her.
In his eyes she saw a warmth she hadn't seen in the eyes of any of her previous boyfriends. It filled her with a fuzzy feeling that made her blush. "Penny...there is...something I need to say" he said quietly, as if he were afraid to say what was on his mind. "Alright. What is it Sheldon?" she asked just as quietly. He began to fidget and his face twitched in nervousness. Moments passed before she stood on her toes and leaned upwards to press a light feathery kiss on Sheldon's lips. His eyes widened for a moment before they drifted closed, his mind succumbing to the power of Penny's kiss and not bothering to go into the germs that could be transmitted through kissing.
The kiss was light and innocent, a small peck on the lips and as Penny pulled away she saw Sheldon's face flush red. "Thank you for being here when I came home" she said quietly. "Is it not what friends do?" asked Sheldon. "Yes...but you were Leonard's friend first" Penny said. Sheldon laughed that airy laugh of his, bringing a smile to Penny's face. Moments passed before Sheldon said good night and fled to his room. Leaning against the door frame to her apartment, Penny smiled and pulled out her phone, typed out a quick text, and then went inside.
In the sanctuary of his room, Sheldon read the text that had appeared on his phone.
"I love you more than you could know, in those eyes you hide it well. I think you do- P" .
Sheldon was shocked as he realized that the night had spoken to her, her words were for him, about him, not Leonard.
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading