Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They belong to The Big Bang Theory.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy this story. A few things first. The idea is that each chapter will take place from the point of view of either Amy or Sheldon. Also, I'm going to warn you ahead of time that there won't be any Shamy Sex throughout the course of the story. So now you won't be disappointed. Enjoy!
As Amy watched Sheldon give his complicated order to the waiter at their table, she reflected a bit on her current status. Prior to meeting Sheldon she had felt no need for human contact and indeed had often felt more comfortable among the primates in her laboratory than around others of her own species. She had only signed up for that ridiculous dating website to get her mother off her back and fulfill her once yearly obligation to date. She hadn't expected anything to come of it, and she certainly hadn't expected to meet a man of Sheldon's caliber. His intelligence was unmatched by anyone else she knew, save herself of course, which was the first thing that drew her towards him as a friend.
She watched Sheldon continue to make inquiries regarding the sanitation of the cutlery, the temperature at which the meat was kept in the refrigerator and freezer, and whether the tangerine chicken was indeed made with real tangerines, and smiled to herself. Their friendship had grown, despite either of them. Amy supposed their now mutual friends were the reason for that. Penny, now Amy's bestie, had convinced Sheldon to take Amy on a date after all. Amy again smiled to herself. She must remember to thank Penny for that. Penny always knew the best way to handle situations, and pushing Sheldon to hang out with Amy in person had been one of her better handlings. Amy had Penny to thank for having a boyfriend.
Just thinking that gave her a little thrill. She continued waiting patiently for her chance to order as Sheldon had now moved on to inquiries regarding the temperature at which the restaurant was kept. She had a boyfriend. Did life get any sweeter? If she had known this was where she would end up, she wouldn't have put up such a protest when her mother insisted she socialize. At the outset of their friendship Amy hadn't thought much about Sheldon's looks and whether or not she found him attractive. It had been his mind she was attracted to most of all. But over time Amy had found herself paying closer attention to the little things Sheldon did that she found endearing; the way he laughed, the little smile he gave her when he knew he had outwitted someone. She even started noticing the more physical aspects of his appearance. She quite liked that he was tall, and she liked the way he kept his hair well groomed and put into place. And of course she loved his eyes. She sometimes wondered if he knew this; he would often look directly at her when trying to get his way. She frequently had to avoid looking at his eyes when she was angry, lest she give in and let him have his way.
Sheldon caught her staring at him and did a little double take and slight confused frown before returning to the now exasperated waitress to resume his tirade regarding their current seating arrangement a mere 2 tables away from the bathroom, rather than the ideal central location several tables over. Amy quickly looked away and began to think she might have to intervene soon or risk contaminated food. It had been at Penny and Bernadette's insistence that she had said yes to a date with Stuart. At the time she was still feeling confused about her relationship with Sheldon, as yet undefined. And Stuart had seemed a nice fellow. She enjoyed the time she spent with him but had often found herself thinking about Sheldon and what he would have said and done in the same situations. She knew her feelings at the time had bordered on what could be called romantic, but as Penny had said, if Sheldon wasn't going to define their relationship as anything other than friends, then it didn't hurt for her to look elsewhere for romantic companionship. What she hadn't realized was that Sheldon also apparently had feelings bordering on romantic. She had been very surprised when he interrupted her movie date with Stuart to ask her to officially become his girlfriend. She had managed to remain calm and aloof during the exchange, but it hadn't been easy. Her heart had been fluttering and her mind had been sent into a tailspin. But at the end of it, she found that, not only had Sheldon agreed to become (as Penny would say) "exclusive", but that he had actually uttered the words "Will you be my girlfriend?" And then on top of that he had taken the time to prepare the Relationship Agreement. When he had presented her with that, she really did give in to her emotions and uttered "That's so romantic".
And now here she was, on a date. On Valentine's Day. With her boyfriend…who she now realized was about to get them kicked out of the restaurant.
"Sheldon, this table is fine. I would like to order my food now."
"Now hang on a minute. I specifically specified in my reservation that I wanted a table ideally located in the center of the establishment and my wishes were clearly disregarded, as we are neither 'ideally located' nor anywhere near the center of the establishment."
The waitress sighed and was about to respond when Amy cut in quickly. "Sheldon, remember what Penny said about the treatment of those who serve you your food?"
Sheldon rolled his eyes. "Fine," he turned to the waitress, "but I wanted it documented that I am very unhappy with the service we have thus far received this evening."
"Sheldon." Amy turned to the waitress. "My apologies for my boyfriend." Sheldon crossed his arms looking insulted. "I will also have the tangerine chicken." She took the menus and handed them to the waitress, who was still shooting daggers at Sheldon as she walked away.
"Amy, I really wish you hadn't done that. How am I supposed to enjoy a meal when I am seated so close to the bathroom that I can smell the vanilla scented soap?"
"And how am I supposed to enjoy a meal when we've been kicked out of the restaurant?"
Sheldon paused, looking as if he was about to counter when instead he said, "Fair point."
"Let's just enjoy our meal and the fact that we are out on a date on Valentine's Day."
Sheldon sighed. "Fine." Sheldon kept eyeing the bathroom door. Amy realized it was going to be up to her to distract him, or this could be a very long and painful meal. "Shall we play Travel Counter Factuals?"
Sheldon's face lit up. "Of course!"
This date might be saved yet, thought Amy.
After dinner Sheldon announced the next item on the agenda was a visit the Natural History Museum. Amy was unconvinced that that was an appropriate place to be visiting on Valentine's Day, but decided not to say anything for now. At the moment she was just happy that Sheldon had put thought and effort into a Valentine's Day date. She had even let Penny talk her into putting on make-up for the occasion.
When they had arrived and parked, Sheldon put on a look of nonchalance and suggested they take a walk around the back of the building. Amy looked at him for a moment, curious about the expression, and then followed his lead. When they rounded the corner her mouth popped open in a silent gasp. In front of her was a beautiful and enormous rose garden, complete several gazebos and a fountain in the middle. The garden was lit by whimsical lanterns placed throughout, probably specifically for Valentine's Day, and there were multiple couples wandering through.
Amy turned to Sheldon, who was obviously trying not to look too pleased with himself. "Sheldon. This is amazing. Did you think of this all on your own?"
"Of course I did. I am nothing, if not thorough in my research. I simply entered 'science' and 'Valentine's Day' into Google and this was the first suggestion. I was a little apprehensive at first, given that we are now outside and it is after dark, but I ultimately decided that I could make an exception for this one day. And also there are guards standing by over by that building should a rabble rouser try to accost us. Shall we?" He motioned her forward.
As they walked side by side discussing everything from their latest visit to the zoo to Sheldon's current research, Amy took in her surroundings. She couldn't help but notice that the other couples wandering around or sitting at the gazebos were engaging in public displays of affection. Some were a little more affectionate than others, but all of them were very obviously taken with their current partner. Normally Amy does not approve of such displays, but as it was Valentine's Day, she found herself wondering what it would be like to engage in a display with Sheldon. Amy has, on more than one occasion, attempted to get Sheldon to engage in a physical relationship. Thus far all she had been able to manage was a drunken (on her part) kiss and a night of cuddling. She couldn't remember Sheldon's reaction to her kiss, but she did remember he wasn't particularly comfortable or happy with the cuddling. At the time she had been too morose to worry about his feelings. Now, glancing around them, she realized that no one would look at them and realize they were a couple who had been officially dating for several months and unofficially together for well over a year. She grabbed his hand.
Sheldon stopped and looked down at their hands. "Amy, what are you doing? Neither of us are falling off a ledge, we have won no Nobel Prizes, and we are not receiving flu shots. You know this isn't in the Relationship Agreement." He attempted to let go of her hand, opening his fingers, but she refused to let go.
She turned towards him, still holding his hand, and took a breath. "Sheldon, it's Valentine's Day. I realize at the outset of our relationship we, or more specifically you, specified there would be no extraneous hand holding, but look around you. Social convention dictates that Valentine's Day is the one day of the year when it is socially acceptable to engage in public displays of affection. Everyone around us is either holding hands or kissing. Now, as I know you are uncomfortable with the unsanitary exchanging of saliva, I therefore concluded that hand holding was the best way to participate in this particular social convention." She looked at him steadily and held her breath.
He blinked at her for several seconds, turned around to continue walking, and curled his fingers around her hand. "Fine. But I want it on the official minutes of this date that I protested and that this is an exception to the rule that is not to be repeated on other days throughout the year."
Amy smiled inwardly, but maintained a calm exterior. "Very well. Shall we continue?" They started walking again and Sheldon immediately took back up his explanation of his current research. Amy knew that to others this would seem like a small step, but she felt it was momentous. She also knew that she had a long battle ahead of her if she wanted to keep moving forward…
A/N: Thanks again for reading! And, for anyone wondering, there really is a rose garden behind the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. It's called the "Exposition Park Rose Garden", and it really is beautiful. For any watchers of "Bones", that's what they use for the outside shots of the "Jeffersonian".