Sadly, I don't own The Big Bang Theory
It started a week ago when a bug was going around Pasadena, causing Sheldon to panic incisively about contracting said virus. He was even avoiding The Cheesecake Factory for fear of being sneezed or coughed on or his bacon cheeseburger. This made Penny responsible for bringing him his order when she finished her shift. Soon enough, staff, students and some professors were getting ill at Cal Tech University.
"You can't skip work because the professor next door to your office is coughing." Leonard explained as Sheldon shot him a look.
"Why not? I could contract the bacteria and succumb to it."
He sighed. "I highly doubt that. Look we're all fine, you're just being paranoid."
Sheldon stared at him as his friend walked to the front door. "The virus could easily spread through the ventilation system and find its way into my lungs."
"Fine, then don't go and we'll see what Siebert will do this time. He still hasn't forgiven you for the fundraiser last year." Leonard replied and closed the door behind him.
Sheldon still stared at the door and scoffed. "He thinks he can scare me."
After watching Dr. Who his phone vibrated and he checked the message; it was from Penny. His eyes widened and he bolted from the couch out into the hall, toward her apartment with her spare key. Sheldon proceeded to her bedroom door and saw Penny laying in her bed, her nose was red and she had puffy eyes.
"What's wrong? You texted help but I don't see how you are in distress." He spoke up as Penny nodded.
"I'm sick Sheldon."
He brought his collar up onto his face on instinct. "Good God woman, you want to infect me?"
She gave him a weary glare as his eyes focused on her.
"I understand. Just leave it to me."
Penny watched as he darted out of her room and heard her cupboard open as she smiled weakly.
"Alright, here is some canned chicken soup heated to 180°. It's a wonder I managed to find something edible and not past an expiration date." He announced as he handed it to Penny as she looked up at him. Sheldon was wearing a surgical mask and let out a small laugh after thanking him.
It caused her to cough and he backed away slowly, reaching for the can of Lysol that he placed on her dresser. He sprayed it around the room liberally as she waited for the soup to cold down a bit.
"Is that for my benefit or yours?"
He paused in mid-spray. "Obviously for both our sakes. I must take the necessary precautions to avoid illness and to also sanitize the air for your speedy recovery."
She watched him as he shook the can after it emptied and the expression on his eyes changed to disappointment. "I must retreat to my apartment for more cans. Point of inquiry, do you have possession of a thermometer?"
Penny nodded, "In the bathroom behind the mirror."
He breezed past her bed and went into it, emerging with it immediately in his hands as she looked up at him.
"I'll need to check your temperature before you consume the soup, open your mouth." He ordered and she complied as he slipped it under her tongue. Sheldon then disappeared toward her living room and she heard her front door open and shut.
After a few minutes he came back with two cans of Lysol and Penny slowly rolled her eyes, he probably had a month's supply stored somewhere. He set them down on the dresser before proceeding toward her, pulling out the thermometer and sitting down on the bed.
"102 degrees, not surprising in the least."
She nodded and picked up the spoon, ladling some before taking a sip. It tasted better than what she made the last time they were sick on valentine's day. Secretly she was glad it happened that way and she wasn't upset at all that she missed out on skiing in Switzerland. After all if only Sheldon got sick who would take care of him?
Sheldon watched her eat and she let out a cough again, causing him to lean back away from her.
"I turned my head that time."
He nodded. "I commend you however germs are still infectious."
"You have a surgical mask on." She muttered, causing him to inch away further.
"Irrelevant. My eyes are not protected against your horde of bacteria."
She grinned slightly as he stood up and picked up the spray can as he doused her room again.
Penny laid in bed as Sheldon wrung out a washcloth over a bowl on her nightstand. He reached out and moved the hair out of her face, tucking a few strands behind her ears. It surprised Penny that he was touching her voluntarily and without his gloves. Sheldon placed the cool washcloth on her forehead.
"Your temperature only managed to decrease by a degree. Rationally you shouldn't have a fever with the medication and rest that you've scavenged since noon. Your sinuses are also hindering your ability to breathe easier."
He reached out to the night table and took the small container in his hands, unsure as how to proceed. Penny stared at him as he froze.
"Seeing as how you rubbed this on me when I was sick, logic dictates I return the favor."
Her eyes widened and he held her gaze, waiting for her permission. Penny nodded and brought the covers down as he twisted the lid off. Sheldon reached over to her flannel top with his free hand and unbuttoned the first two buttons swiftly.
The action surprised her at his dexterity when he took some of the gel on his fingers. Sheldon then rubbed it on her chest, counter clock-wise of course, and she shivered at his touch as he paused.
"Are you alright?" He asked and she nodded.
"Yeah it's just that the gel is cold." Penny lied quickly as he started rubbing in circles again. They didn't hear the door open when his roommate walked in.
"Hey I'm gonna pick up-" Leonard started, poking his head into Penny's bedroom and froze at the sight before him. All his brain and eyes could comprehend was that Sheldon's hand was inside Penny's flannel shirt.
"Wh-what's going on?' He asked as they looked at him.
"Leonard, have you completely descended into anarchy? One must knock before entering someone's home." Sheldon began as his friend's eyes stayed focused on the hand glued to her chest.
"I'm just gonna get the food." He said quickly and darted out of the apartment.
"I think Leonard misunderstood the situation." Penny said in between coughs.
Sheldon raised his eyebrow. "How so? I am simply aiding a friend through sickness."
"Well you are rubbing my naked chest."
"Obviously, how else can I- oh." He talked back and looked down at his hand. "But it's not like I can see or feel your breasts."
She nodded. "From his angle it might have looked different."
Sheldon wiped off his hand with a hand towel and twisted the lid back onto the jar. "I understand. I'll explain when he arrives with the food."
"Can you bring me my order here? I don't think I should go over to your apartment in this state and infect everyone."
"At least you have common courtesy unlike others. Unfortunately, I told Leonard to skip your order for tonight."
She tried glaring at him but she was still weak. "Why? I need to eat to get my energy back."
"But not with take out. I'll prepare your dinner for tonight."
"Chicken soup?" She asked sarcastically, earning a smile from him.
"Of course, what else could a sick person consume?"
She watched him disappear out of her room and smiled slightly. "Wack-a-doodle."
"What?" Howard asked in shock, dropping his dumpling between his chopsticks.
"I'm not lying, he was groping her."
Raj waved it off. "It was probably vapo-rub. You're paranoid Leonard."
Sheldon then walked into 4A, earning stares from his three friends. "...Hello?"
"Is that all you can say? What is going on between you and Penny?" Leonard asked angrily. "First you saw her naked and now you're groping her?"
Raj and Howard gasped before looking at Sheldon. "You saw her naked? Why am I the only one who hasn't?"
"Hey I haven't either!" Raj defended as Leonard looked over his glasses.
"Really? Didn't you sleep together a year ago?"
"Of course he didn't." Sheldon answered for him. "Penny told me everything about that night for fear I might misunderstand. And by the way nothing happened."
"Why didn't she tell us?" Howard asked, slightly hurt Penny didn't explain herself to everyone.
"Anyway back to topic. Yes, I have seen Penny naked before and no I did not grope her, at least not this time. I was simply returning the favor of when she rubbed vapo-rub on my chest when I was ill." Sheldon spoke up, taking a packet of chicken bouillon from his cupboard.
"What do you mean by that?" Leonard asked surprised. "So you groped her before?"
"Relax, it was just her left breast." Sheldon answered before walking out into the hall and Raj grinned.
"See, I told you it was just vapo-rub."
"Did Leonard freak out?" Penny asked as Sheldon handed her Tylenol.
"He did, as you say, 'freak out' but I may have made the matter worse."
She swallowed it with water. "How so?"
"I accidentally mentioned that I groped your breast."
Penny let out a laugh but it was cut short by a cough as Sheldon pulled his shirt up to his face. "Aww, he must be getting a brain aneurism."
"I have a feeling he may murder me tonight in my sleep. I must make a note to install a lock on my door as soon as possible."
She patted his arm. "You are welcome to sleep on my couch tonight Moonpie."
"I appreciate the offer Penny." He said, standing up from her bed."And Penny?"
"Please refrain from calling me Moonpie."
He opened his eyes as he lay on his side. The couch was uncomfortable and he would have rather opted for the bed but he didn't want to kick Penny out. At least not when she was ill.
"You are disrupting my REM sleep." He grumbled, shutting his eyes.
"Sing me soft kitty." She called out and he groaned, lifting himself off the couch.
Sheldon walked toward her bedroom and pushed the door slightly ajar since it was already opened. Penny patted the space slowly beside her and he complied to her demand.
"Alright, but no rounds this time." He ordered and she nodded.
"Does it look like I can sing?"
"Alright point." Sheldon cleared his throat. "Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr."
Penny sighed and looked at him. "You know you are welcome to sleep with me tonight. My couch is too small for your size. It must be uncomfortable with your big Cornish head."
"I appreciate the offer but Amy had propositioned me as well weeks ago and I declined profusely."
She stifled a laugh. "I am not going to jump your bones like Amy tried to do."
He stared at her perplexed. "Why would you jump my bones? Isn't that painful?"
"She wanted to have sex with you Sheldon." Penny explained. "This is just sleep, nothing more."
"I suppose it might be alright, in the event you don't infect me with your illness. I'll have to get another mask from my apartment."
She rolled her eyes. "You'll be fine without one. You haven't caught it yet and if you do then I'll take care of you."
He pulled back the covers as Penny shifted over and stopped him. "No robes and no flannel shirt, it's hot enough already. I don't want to get another fever."
Sheldon groaned tiredly. "Fine, I'll comply to your unreasonable demands."
She watched him take off the robe and fold it, no surprise, along with his pajama top. Penny knew he had a short sleeved undershirt but until now she had never seen him wear one layer.
Sheldon climbed in beside her and stared at the ceiling before closing his eyes. "Goodnight Penny."
"I think I might have been too harsh." Leonard said into his cell phone.
"I think so too. You don't own Penny; don't be possessive." Raj's voice told him. "This is why she broke up with you again. So much for your Beta Test; Sheldon was right, it was doomed from the start."
"Hey, it was going good for a short while. Anyway I better apologize to him. He must have slept on her couch the entire night. I was uncomfortable; just imagine Sheldon with his height." He mused walking over to 4B, knocking on the door.
There was no answer and he pressed his ear against the door after seeing it was locked. Nothing but silence.
"No one's answering. That's odd since its 10 am; Sheldon's usually up by now."
Raj gasped through Leonard's phone. "Maybe he drove her mad and she murdered him in his sleep instead."
"That's ridiculous; Penny wouldn't murder him since he was taking care of her." Leonard spoke, walking back toward his apartment. "I'll get the spare key and see what's going on. Maybe he caught the cold from her."
He walked back and slipped the key into the lock before opening the door. The living room was empty which was odd as there was a blanket and pillow on the couch suggesting Sheldon should be here.
Leonard slowly opened the door to Penny's bedroom and froze at the sight before him. Sheldon was lying in the middle of the bed as she was snuggled up against him, half of her body on top of him under the covers. It looked so intimate; the closest that Leonard could describe this was that of a married couple. Even when they were dating she never held him like that.
"Oh my God." He uttered from his lips as his phone landed with a thud onto the floor.
"What's wrong?" Raj's voice cried from the phone. "Don't tell me Penny murdered him? Did you step in a pool of blood?"
Sheldon bolted upright, causing Penny to wake up immediately from her slumber and glare at him. "What the hell?"
Her eyes met his and followed to the figure staring at them in disbelief at the foot of the bed.
"Leonard, what is the cause of disrupting our REM cycle? You know that Penny needs adequate rest during her illness."
Sheldon scolded as he brought the covers down and his friend's eyes drifted to their hands. They had their fingers entwined and Sheldon stared at it in surprise but neither had tried to move their hands away.
"Interesting." Penny observed, completely forgetting about Leonard watching them.
"Indeed." Sheldon agreed before sneezing. "Great, your close proximity during the night has infected my immune system."
She stared at him. "Sorry about that."
"No need to apologize. I brought this on myself although I did sleep splendidly throughout the night."
Leonard gaped at them. "Hello, I'm still here."
They looked up at him and Sheldon finally spoke. "Obviously since there is no technology to allow transportation. Because you have disturbed us please show yourself out."
"I must still be fast asleep." Leonard mumbled, picking up his cell phone, looking back at them over his shoulder. "This has got to be a nightmare."
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