Author's Note: I hope you enjoy this!
"Cause I've seen love die way too many times
When it deserved to be alive"
Something was up, he just knew it. One minute Penny and Sheldon were attached at the hip, giving each other soft looks when they thought no one was looking, playfully bantering with each other, it was powerful to witness. But Raj knew that no one saw it but him, the 'mute when around girls' nerd. Over the time he's known the two, more so with Sheldon, he hadn't seen such affection from either one.
The relationship that Penny had with Leonard was fake, it didn't bristle with the energetic chemistry that Sheldon and Penny's relationship did. So when Amy came into the picture, Raj was confused. Sheldon's blue eyes conveyed the feelings he never wanted to say out loud: He was hurting. When he found out that Sheldon had asked Penny out, and she turned him down, he felt his heart drop. Call him a hopeless romantic, but he knew that these two were meant to be together. Why else would Sheldon include her in his schedule? Why else would he have a specific knock for just her? Why else would Sheldon smile so much for the tiny things she did? He had never seen Sheldon so...full of life before.
With Amy, though she was a nice girl and Penny's 'bestie', she wasn't Penny. She may have challeneged Sheldon intellectually, but Raj could see that that right there was where it ended. She was too much like him and, as conceited Sheldon may be, he knew that there was a big heart underneath it. Penny had made sure that the group knew it everytime they wanted to abandon him. Since when did Sheldon Cooper loan money to people? Since when did he spend laundry night with people? Raj knew that his actions were because of Penny.
And his hopeless romantic side wouldn't let it go. He couldn't let it go, not when he saw Penny falling apart. He watched her fall into the rut of loosing her footing in the group, she was losing the friends she had clung to for years. Raj felt bad for her, he wanted her to be happy. Though they slept together he couldn't bring himself to fall in love with her, not when he knew her heart was elsewhere. A bittersweet smile spred on his face. He wondered if Sheldon knew that Penny had her eyes on him since day 1 in Pasadena. She turned to Leonard because everyone, including Sheldon, had told her that it was meaningless to try to get to him.
"She settled for Leonard just as Sheldon is settling for Amy" he muttered to himself as his heart dropped. He couldn't let them make mistakes they would later regret and as he rose to his feet, earning himself questioning looks from Howard, Sheldon, and Leonard, he walked out of 4A and over to 4B. Knocking on Penny's door, he waited nervously and fidgeted with the notepad and pen he kept in his pocket. When Penny's door swung open, she smiled. "Oh hey Raj, what's up?" she asked. He saw through her smile, it was fake, and in her green eyes shone hurt and regret. Taking out the notepad he wrote down what he wanted to say and handed it to her.
"Heard Sheldon asked you out. Why did you say no?"
Penny winced at the note but sighed. "Because...he only asked me out to make Amy jealous since she was going out with Stewart" said Penny as she tried to hold back the tears. Raj rolled his eyes and scribbled out another note.
"Penny...do you really believe that?"
"Of course I do Raj! Since when has Sheldon ever shown any interest in me? He's always been off limits to me and no matter what I want him to be happy with the girl he's chosen" said Penny as she felt her heart break.
"But he's not happy Penny...Amy isn't you, no matter how hard she tries, she'll never be you"
Penny faltered at this note, not knowing what to make of it. "He's...not happy?" she asked. She didn't understand how Sheldon couldn't be happy with Amy. She was smart, pretty in her own way, and could keep up with Sheldon whereas Penny wasn't as bright as him, could hardly understand what he was tyring to say, and irratated him.
"Penny, he won't touch Amy, he won't let her sing 'Soft Kitty', he won't let her do all the things he allowed you to do. He won't get close to her, their relationship holds about as much chemistry as Leonard's and yours did. Amy may be smart, but that's the only thing she has with Sheldon. From what he says she doesn't have the same interests as he does, never really wants to ask about it, and so they only have science to really go off of"
Penny wanted to cry. She couldn't let herself be in love with her best friend...her ex-boyfriend's best friend. It hurt too much and she bit her lip to keep from crying.
"He was 'the guy' wasn't he Penny?"
She nodded and the tears fell from her eyes. She wouldn't deny it any longer, she couldn't. The barrier she tried to keep up fell down as she let that realization sink in.
"He settled for Amy...because he couldn't have you. Just like you settled for Leonard because you couldn't have him"
Penny cried harder, knowing that what Raj was saying was true. The spagehtti dinners with the little cut up hot dogs, their fighting, the awkward hugs, her memories were littered with Sheldon. She spent more time with him then everyone else, he cared for her more than he wanted to let on, and when Leonard and her broke up, he wanted to be there for her.
"He loves you Penny, he always has. He wanted to be with you because he loves you"
"And I made a mistake" she said between sniffles. It hurt to know all this, at this very moment. Why didn't she know this back when he asked her out? Why? What cruel joke was this?
"There's still time"
"But..." sniffled Penny as she tried to wipe her eyes. She couldn't wrap her head around what Raj was trying to tell her. He rolled his eyes again, not knowing how much clearer he could get with this.
"Go to him"
And with that final note, she dashed over to 4A and saw Howard, Sheldon and Leonard there. Sheldon hesitantly met her gaze and his eyes softened when he saw how much pain she was in. "Sheldon..." she said breathlessly before walking towards him and leaning down, pressing her lips to his. His eyes widened, causing him to look like a deer in headlights before fluttering closed and he found that the part of his brain that screamed about germs and being touched was silent. Reaching up, he tangled his hands in her hair and pulled her onto his lap.
When they broke away, he saw her eyes watering again. "I made a mistake Sheldon...a horrible mistake" she muttered. His heart shattered and the flash of betrayal graced his features. This hurt worse than when he found out that Leonard and the others had messed up his reasearch in the Artic. "I should've accepted your date proposal...I was so sure that you only wanted to date me because...because Amy was dating someone else. I'm so sorry..." she said. Sheldon froze, trying to replay what she just said.
"That's what this is about?" he asked. Penny nodded and wiped her tears away. Sheldon gave her that soft smile, the smile reserved for her, and laughed his airy laugh that always brought a smile to her face. "But...you're with Amy" she said. Reaching onto the table before him, he held up the contract for his relationship with Amy. The pages had been flipped to a specific part and highlighted.
"Section 74: The Relationship Agreement will be considered null and void upon Penny's realization that I am 'the guy'" Sheldon read outloud with that smirk of his. Penny's eyes widened and she saw Amy's signature at the bottom. "She was aware of this Penny" said Sheldon as he saw Leonard's face drop and Howard just stare confusedly at them. Raj entered into the room and smiled at the two on the couch, in Sheldon's spot.
"Raj, I suppose it is in the social norm for me to thank you for your help, am I correct?" asked Sheldon. Raj just nodded and Sheldon gave him a smile, not the 'Kill the Batman', smile he was used to from the last time Sheldon tried to congratulate him.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed!