The Wednesday Routine
A/N: I have this idea (delusion?) that if I post something awesome enough you'll all forgive me for not updating Apocalypse Week in a while. I am aware you can both hate me for not posting and love me at the same time. I accept this.
I just wanted to explain my mindset behind this story. When the preview for The Werewolf Transformation came out and I saw the "kitten" scene, I was like HOLY GOD YES! (I don't think that needs to be explained) Then, head-canon slipped in. In my mind, Sheldon has been calling Penny "Kitten" in the deepest recesses of his repressed mind since the Halloween they first met (episode: The Middle Earth Paradigm). HEAD CANON ACCEPTED, I thought. Where are the fics?
When I start wondering where the fics be at, I know it's pretty inevitable I'm going to write one myself, no matter how much I try to hold out. (with a little encouragement from my peeps on Twitter) My mind started to wonder what ways this secret petname Sheldon has for Penny could come out, because obviously it could be done better than whatever swill they're serving us on the show. I came up with the line: "Come to bed, Kitten," he demanded in a sleepy voice.
There's no resisting that.
A mass text went out to all the boys, originating from one phone, but all of them were reluctant to admit who it originated from. It simply said: Kelly Clarkson Concert, Wednesday, June 15th, Nokia Centre.
Of course, they all wanted to go for various reasons, branching from a true appreciation of her talent to an appreciation for single girls who identified with angry break up songs.
Sheldon being Sheldon wanted no part in that, and the boys being the boys were hardpressed to stand up to him. So they saw only two options available to them: one, not go to the concert of their much-loved idol, or two, drug Sheldon and slip out while he was in a state of confusion.
Penny arrived five minutes late to Halo night, which normally meant that Sheldon would consequently snipe at her for her tardiness for another five minutes so they were late starting to-the-death type matches by an entire ten minutes. So she was slightly surprised when she walked into the apartment and found it completely empty.
Her first thought was that maybe the guys had convinced Sheldon to go along with their plan of going out tonight, and they had all bundled into Leonard's car to go down to LA. But no, that couldn't be right because the television was still on, muted and playing the Halo opening screen on repeat. Plus Sheldon hated concerts, Kelly Clarkson, and Los Angeles in general (for purposes that had the word concert in it. For purposes with the word Convention in it, he loved LA).
Her second thought was that they all abandoned the apartment in a hurry, due to a gas leak or something, and she hadn't been told. That possibility seemed a little more likely, she supposed, but she didn't know why none of them had thought to text her. Yes, in an emergency it might not have been the first thought any of them had, but by now one of them would have wondered where she was and reached out, concerned for her safety.
So, the most likely scenario was they were deliberately not talking to her, and really, even if there had been some kind of emergency Sheldon would have remembered to lock the door, so that told Penny that someone was home.
Pleased with her reasoning skills, Penny walked over to the remote and shut the television off. She was about to open her mouth to call out when Sheldon jumped up from behind the couch – literally jumped, as one second she was looking at empty space and the next he was standing in it.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, swaying a bit on his feet.
"Don't you have concerts to go to? Friends to leave behind? Metaphorical stab wounds to inflict?"
"Were you on the floor just now? Oh my god are you ok?"
"I said metaphorical," he brushed off her concern, literally brushing his sleeve, rubbing at a spot with a frown as he sucked on his teeth with an audible sound. "My supper tasted chalky. Why are you here?"
He was suddenly staring at her with his intense Sheldon-gaze.
"It's Halo Night, where else would I be?"
"That's right!" he exclaimed, throwing up a finger as though enlightened by a great realization. "It's Wednesday. That explains... that explains... everything."
He looked very pleased at himself for figuring this out. That worried her more than anything. While it wasn't rare for Sheldon to be pleased with himself for figuring out something, usually it was something a whole lot more clever than the day of the week. The pieces started to fall into place in her mind. "Are you drugged?" she asked, voice higher than normal.
He was staring at his hand in fascination. "I seem to be," he agreed, slumping into his seat on the couch. "I'm so tired Penny. And my mouth tastes bitter." He emphasized this by making a smacking noise with his tongue, deliberately trying to taste his mouth.
"We need to get you to bed," she told him with a frown of concern, walking forward and taking his head between her hands. The fact that he let her touch his face was majorly disconcerting.
"Get me to bed," he agreed with a nod, almost dislodging her fingers as she tried to get a good look at the symptoms written on his face. "But first, Halo. It's Wednesday. Halo, then bed. That's how it works Penny, you know that."
"Sheldon, look at me," she said gently as his eyes continued to be evasive, his attention flicking all around the room but never resting on her long enough for her to really get a good look at his eyes.
He met her eyes, then, suddenly and almost fierce. His were a little glassy, but not a terrible amount, and his pupils were reacting normally and focusing on her after he blinked. Those symptoms could more or less be explained by exhaustion, and Penny had to trust that the boys wouldn't give him anything truly terrible. They probably wouldn't even know how to go about getting their hands on anything like that, anyway.
Penny sighed. "I think you've been dosed with a depressant. Probably Howard's mom's valium again. You'll be ok in the morning after you sleep it off."
"Fine is relative. I will not allow childish antics to disrupt my schedule," he informed her, grabbing the remote from the table and turning the television back on. He had to move forward to get it, almost causing her to fall backwards off the couch. Automatically her fingers curled into his shirt, wrinkling the material as she clung to him for a moment before catching her balance.
He didn't even seem to care.
"You really should be in bed," she answered with a worried sigh, leaning back out of his space but still keeping an eye on him.
"Bed then Halo?" he asked her with a disturbingly direct glance. On anyone else, she would say it was a come-on, but with Sheldon it was obviously not. He was probably trying to figure out why anyone would want to go to bed and then play Halo, it not fitting in with his strictly scheduled viewpoint of a Wednesday night.
"No Sheldon," she said with an eye roll. "Let's not skip Halo. That way leads to madness." She sighed and picked up a controller. "I guess it's just you and me. Are you sure you want to do this? I beat your ass on a regular basis, who knows how badly you'll go down while drugged."
When he didn't answer with his terrible (but hilarious) version of smack-talk, she glanced over at him, wondering if she'd find him staring at his hand again, but instead his eyes were closed, head curved over the back of the couch, and his mouth wide open in sleep.
I was impossible not to smile just a little seeing him so relaxed.
Of course, it wasn't so adorable once she remembered the reason he was collapsed, all limp limbed and long legs spread out in front of him in a pose that would do terrible things to his neck if he stayed in it for too long. Penny decided to let him sleep it off for a while, but in the meantime she had some angry texts to send.
Two hours later she was beginning to feel a bit impatient about the sleeping Sheldon resting on her shoulder. She had turned on a movie, thinking the noise might wake him up naturally, but she made it through all two hours of explosions and love scenes, and Sheldon was still dead to the world, his cheek warm against her, and his position so against everything Sheldon stood for while awake that it was slightly amusing at first. She had snapped about three pictures with the phone on her camera to show him later before realizing he probably didn't want picture evidence.
"Sheldon," she said softly, jarring him slightly as she moved her arm. It was tempting just to leave him there, but if he woke up on the couch with a sore back, he'd blame her and she wasn't going to be in the doghouse like the rest of them were.
"Sheldon," she repeated a little louder as his eyelashes fluttered.
"Mmmm," he mumbled, coming awake. He looked at her, not looking overly concerned at the fact he almost had his face in her cleavage. "I seem to have fallen asleep."
"Yes sweetie, you doing ok?" she asked with genuine concerned.
"I do not enjoy this feeling," Sheldon informed her, standing indignantly and with a pointed glare.
The fact that he was standing on his own without help or wobbling was a good sign.
He was mid-rant about potential addictions, barbiturates, and how he would not survive living on the streets with a diazepam dependency, when his eyes hit his bookcase and he cut off suddenly. "Where's my Nobel Prize, Penny?" he asked in a strained voice.
"My Nobel Prize. The one I won due to my groundbreaking research on string theory. Where is it?"
Ohboy. This was so much worse than Penny had thought. He was hallucinating now, or whatever, and she was pretty sure that was one of those side effects that meant she should bring him to the doctor. But he was otherwise so very coherent again, and all the rest of the signs said the drugs were wearing off now that he slept a bit.
"You sent it to be cleaned by a professional?" she told him, the question of whether it was an acceptable lie obvious in her tone.
"Why would I allow some hack without a fundamental understanding of chemical compounds touch my Nobel Prize?" he asked, that screech in his tone getting more pronounced. "I could do a better job myself."
"Paint. Someone dropped paint on it and you didn't want to mess up. Let's get you to bed, ok?"
He looked genuinely confused for a moment, but seemed to come to some sort of understanding because he allowed her to lead him into his room and help him with his pyjamas. Penny knew Sheldon had a far more rigorous night-time routine, but he would just have to shower extra well in the morning because there were a few things that didn't fall under the category of friendship and that was one of them.
He didn't argue, allowing her to help him button his shirt, not the least bit put out by the fact she was in his bedroom. She wondered what kind of weird alternate reality he was living in where he won a Nobel Prize and let girls in his room to get him out of his pants, at least in the most literal interpretation. She appreciated that he wasn't fighting her, and did her best not to ogle his legs.
For someone who rarely saw the sun or exercised, he had surprisingly good legs.
"All done," she told him, navigating him into bed and pulling the covers back so he could sleep. She was smiling fondly at him as he wriggled around to find the right spot, kneeling over him so she could tuck the covers in once he was ready.
It was silly, but she kind of liked the familiar domesticity of it all, seeing him vulnerable such a rarity that she enjoyed it every time.
Sheldon leaned in and pressed a kiss against her mouth. It was dry and familiar, as though he had done it a million times before – a peck, really, one that didn't seem to faze Sheldon but had her heartbeat suddenly pounding in her ears because he hadn't ever done it before. He'd never even given her the tiniest spark of an idea that he wanted to do it.
"Come to bed, Kitten," he demanded in a sleepy voice, jaw popping as he yawned and blinked at her. He gave her a look as though he couldn't understand why she was hesitating.
Holy Hannah. Apparently he was living in a universe where climbing into bed with him was perfectly acceptable. One where he kissed her without thought. One where he called her Kitten.
One, Penny thought, that was so different from this one that she thought she might prefer it.
It was impossible not to wonder if he even knew he was talking to her. He was so out of it, Penny rationalized, that he could be having a secret mind-affair with Catwoman.
"Penny?" Sheldon questioned, clearly fighting sleep until she did what he expected.
"One moment, sweetie," she told him, trying not to panic. This was so far outside what she expected of Sheldon that her brain didn't know what to do or how she wanted to handle this. He was so tired, she observed as his eyelashes fluttered, remaining closed for seconds at a time before he fought against sleep. It wouldn't really harm anything if she just got into bed with him, only until he fell into a deep slumber.
It probably would have worked out well for her, if the moment she slid beside him sleep suddenly became the last thing on his mind.
"Don't you believe yourself to be above this?" she asked in confusion as he rolled directly next to her, his mouth pressing against the pulse in her neck.
"It's Wednesday," he muttered against her jawline, his hot breath flushing against her collarbone, tickling across the top of her chest as it cooled.
Penny had no idea what it being a Wednesday had anything to do with things, but it seemed a perfectly acceptable answer given the way her brain was fizzling. Seriously, this shouldn't be so hot, but this was Sheldon, and he was toppling down every single perception she had of him.
His fingers stroked her through her shorts as he bit down gently on the spot on her neck he had been working on. She wasn't sure how he was even finding her pulse, because she was sure her heart had stopped the moment she felt his hand press against the soft cotton of her shorts.
"Sheldon, this is wrong," she managed to breathe out, because it was. He was half out of his mind on whatever the boys had slipped him and thought this was a fantasy of some kind, something he did every Wednesday, which god now that she understood that, it was filling her brain with all kinds of thoughts. Contrary to what her body was currently telling her, she had never considered herself particularly attracted to Sheldon, which put a whole other layer on the wrongness of this situation, because she couldn't even possibly rationalize her actions (or inactions).
Because she did want this to continue, so it had to stop.
She was wet, so incredibly aroused that she knew he could feel it through her shorts. His mouth had taken on a particularly smug quality, lips curled slightly as he nipped at her jaw or licked along her shoulder.
It took almost all the self control she had to grab his wrist to make him stop.
"You don't want this," she rationalized. "You need to stop."
"I beg to differ," he responded, wrist deftly twisting out of her grasp.
Penny couldn't bring herself to tell him that she didn't want this. Her self control wasn't that good, and he'd be able to feel the lie. Her legs were shaking with how badly she wanted him to continue touching her and she had to bite her tongue not to demand it of him. She'd never thought he would, had never entertained the idea of what it could be like, but she understood what he meant about Wednesdays. Now that he pointed it out, he'd always had some kind of effect on her, and now it was as though the accumulation inside her of every past Halo Night was begging for him to keep going.
She emitted a desperate keening sound as his fingers lazily circled her clit without the barrier of cotton.
Penny turned her face towards him, staring at him in surprise.
He leaned forward and kissed her mouth.
This wasn't this chaste press of lips he had given her earlier. She couldn't deny what this kiss meant. It changed everything from a mistaken fingering in the dark to something with genuine feelings behind it. Penny's heart was pounding, his lips soft and insistent against hers, and she couldn't help but throw herself wholeheartedly into the kiss, responding to him almost desperately. Her teeth scraped against his bottom lip, biting gently in a teasing nip that had him groaning and pressing closer against her. His hand moved down, fingers easing into her in return.
Penny gasped against his mouth as her hips moved forward on their own accord, pushing against his hand for more. She couldn't breathe, panting now as her body tingled beneath him, sensations escalating faster than she thought possible considering this was Sheldon. Sheldon Cooper.
Sheldon Fucking Cooper was fingering her. In his bed.
"Sheldon," she breathed. "Oh god. No, you have to stop. If you don't stop I'm going to come and there's no coming back from that and I should have stopped you ages ago and... tomorrow! We can finish this tomorrow."
"Tomorrow is Thursday." He was observing her, fingers doing truly wicked and incredible things to her body.
It was wrong how much sense that made.
He made this movement she couldn't even describe, spreading his fingers and rotating them at the same time, and somehow bending his knuckles so that the tips of his fingers brushed against something, some part of her that was incredibly pleasurable, and she threw her head back against his pillow, clenching her jaw against the need to call out his name.
"Do you want me to stop?" he asked in a low tone and an even lower chuckle that did nothing to help her resolve.
"You should," she breathed, legs spreading wider to give him more room. She was close, so, so, so close. She couldn't even remember why this was a bad idea, because it was so very good.
"Tonight I am disinclined to acquiesce with actions I should do," he answered, leaning back over her and kissing her again, more insistent and urgent this time, almost deliberately wiping all doubts from her mind. She was clinging to him, fingers gripping into the back of his shoulders as her body arched towards him. He rewarded her by adding another finger, speeding up his pace with less finesse and more quick and dirty thrusts designed to throw her over the edge.
She came screaming his name into his mouth, everything spiralling so far out of control, pleasure exploding behind her eyes, so bright and powerful she couldn't even breathe.
So amazingly good. Penny wanted so much more, as though instead of taking the edge off he had ignited a need in her so strong that it overwhelmed even the best common sense. This couldn't continue, she realized. She couldn't have sex with him, even if that was where this was heading, because this might be grey territory, but he was still drugged and that would be beyond grey and moving into black.
She turned towards him, her euphoria giving way to the realization that tomorrow she would be a terrible human being but tonight she was going to reciprocate and damn the consequences. Only while she had been warring her rationality and decent-human-beingness against lust, he had finally given into sleep, his fingers curled gently into a ball on her stomach, one finger tucked under the hem of her shirt.
Her heart broke a little to remove it and leave.
She wasn't sure if it was breaking for herself or for him.
She may not have thought about it beforehand, but now it was consuming her every thought. Sex and Sheldon. Sheldon and sex. Two topics that, before Wednesday, she would deny belonged together but now she couldn't distinguish in her mind. How dominant he had been. How terrible it was that she took advantage of him like that. How good it had felt. How he refused her suggestions to stop. How she should have just gotten up and left. How he had kissed her.
The problem, of course, was that on Thursday he didn't seem to remember any of it, or at least wasn't treating her any differently. She had tried, once, to broach the subject with him, but he didn't seem to understand what she was talking about:
Penny: Sheldon we need to talk about what happened last night.
Sheldon: My umbrage isn't against you. You were not the one who drugged me with no consideration for the consequences. I am betrayed by those I called friends and close acquaintance.
Penny: What does Harry Potter have to do with this?
That was only the first instance where he showed extreme betrayal against the boys but treated her as usual. Once she got over the fact that at least he didn't hate her now, she was a little put out by the detail that he wasn't treating her any differently and didn't actually remember getting her off pretty easily while half-asleep in his bed.
Penny was almost contemplating telling him. Then he might punish her by also giving her the silent treatment, but then he would know.
The boys had no good answers for why they had done it, not that she expected them to be able to rationalize away this one. They were supposed to be decent human beings, seeing themselves as the good guys first, before everything else, but at the moment she couldn't see how they could expect that label to stick. She was furious at them, for drugging Sheldon and then leaving him alone and for thinking that drugging someone against their will was a solution for anything. This was all their fault, and she burned with a kind of impotent and justified anger towards them, thinking up various scenarios where Sheldon could have been hurt.
Worse. Hurt worse.
The terrible, most infuriating part of it all was she knew that most of her anger towards them was just a way of turning her own self-loathing outward.
By Saturday, she couldn't even look at Sheldon anymore, skipping her usual laundry habits (the one where she skipped down to the laundry room with a basket full of delicates because, despite her own laundry habits she was fully aware that he did them best, and begged and cajoled him to do them for her while she ran around town in the skimpy little outfit she was wearing. Four out of five times he would refuse, and she'd end up kicking around the laundry room for half an hour as he barked directions at her about how to get coffee out of her silk top, and usually he'd end up doing it anyway, all long fingers on silk and oh jesus she was skipping that now that she knew what other things he could do with his fingers). So following him to the laundry room was out, and not just for guilt but because there was another side of her brain she just couldn't turn off when it wasn't feeling guilty. That part was telling her to do everything she could just to feel him inside her again.
By Tuesday, her heart was pounding rapidly every time she caught a glimpse of him, and she was actually going out of her way to see him even while she was still avoiding him. She spent a lot of time with her eye against the security peephole in her door at the sound of movement in the hallway. Tuesday was one of the days she couldn't avoid him, because he came to her for his supper. Her pulse was pounding so hard in her ears, she messed up both Leonard and Raj's order while bringing Sheldon the perfect burger.
Wednesday, it seemed to take great pleasure reminding her. Tomorrow is Wednesday.
Penny didn't know what to do. Part of her wanted to put on a pair of lacy lingerie beneath her robe and sneak into his room after he went to bed. Another part of her thought she should maybe let it go. She was standing in the kitchen after supper as the boys prepared for Halo night. They were all under the impression Sheldon had forgiven them, but Penny could see the edge of hostility behind his every word, his barbs sharper than normal, and she knew he just wanted to get back to his routine, because that was everything.
She was drinking a glass of water, trying not to think of the way his hands had been holding the XBOX controllers – the same way his hands always held the controllers, which was to say normally – and was losing that battle epically. He had caught her watching him, eyes intent and her face probably giving away her thoughts to anyone who knew how to tell, which counted out everyone in the room. His eyebrows had knitted together as he frowned at her, likely trying to figure out why she was giving him a crazy, wide-eyed stare that probably had her mouth open and her breathing hard.
It was a little mortifying.
She heard footsteps approach behind her, and she knew they were his based on how he walked. She was so far gone it was ridiculous.
He was standing right behind her, and after a week of avoiding him, she jumped as his sleeve brushed against the bare skin of her shoulder as he reached for something on the shelf behind her.
"Do you think I can't tell the differences between my thought processes on a typical Wednesday night and reality, Kitten?" he asked in that low tone, fingers brushing oh so casually against the jumping pulse point in her neck, definitely not by accident this time.
Penny inhaled sharply, eyes fluttering as her knuckles tightened on the sink edge. She could see him standing behind her in the reflection of the window above the sink. He was smirking, and she was gone.
"Do you think you'll ever have to rely on your imagination again?" she asked, pure seduction as she pressed her hand backwards against his thigh, deliberately dragging it upwards and over. He was already half hard beneath her fingers, and this time he closed his eyes and looked away from her, swallowing hard.
He didn't move away.
It was the first time she had actually touched him, felt him, and her fingers tingled, breath catching in anticipation.
Penny fucking loved Wednesdays.
A/N redux: That sound you hear? That would have been my ovaries exploding at the line "Do you think I can't tell the differences between my thought processes on a typical Wednesday night and reality, Kitten?" because GUUUHH. I almost left the fic at that, thinking "good enough ending, no one will notice you just trailed off because they'll be having the same reaction." But I can't rely on all of you having a brain like mine, can I?
A little bit of housekeeping: I just joined tumblr. I'm there, you may or may not already have seen me, but you can google Eternal Contradiction tumblr and find me (since profile links are no longer permitted at the time of me writing this). I'm also EternalCon on Twitter.