A/N: Another SHENY fic. Rated M for some graphic content in some later chapters. May contain some OOC scenarios, particularly of Sheldon. If you don't like the rating or OOC, please don't read – this isn't for you. Accept and appreciate all comments.
This is NOT Beta'd.
MeeMaw Knows Best
Sheldon burst into apartment 4A startling those seated in the living room preparing to eat their dinner. He saw Leonard, Howard, Bernadette, Raj, Penny, Priya and Amy all staring at him, though none were really surprised by his erratic behavior.
"Oh good, you're all here. I have some wonderful news." Sheldon walked over to his desk and put his jacket on the back of his chair and then moved to his spot on the couch next to Penny. They continued to stare at him – he hadn't finished his thought and told them his "wonderful news".
"What's up Moonpie?" Penny asked.
Sheldon frowned at her for calling him Moonpie but he had long ago gave up trying to argue with her about the matter.
"Well…speaking of my MeeMaw…" he shot a scathing look to Penny. "She's coming to visit!" He practically bounced in his spot and Penny smiled, knowing that Sheldon loved his MeeMaw more than another other person in the world and she was happy that he was so excited about it.
"That's excellent news, Sheldon. I am quite looking forward to meeting your grandmother," Amy said.
"She's never visited before," Sheldon stated. "And she's coming alone, without my mother or sister, so I will be able to spend all my time with just her." He was beaming, clearly excited to see his precious grandmother.
"I'm looking forward to meeting her too, sweetie," Penny said, patting him on the knee.
The others nodded at Penny's statement, but noted that Sheldon didn't flinch from Penny's touch. He'd been a lot less "touchy" lately but only with Penny. Even though Amy was his girlfriend, he still wasn't very comfortable with her touching him, nor anyone else for that matter.
They all settled into their routine over dinner, various conversations circling the room until everyone had left except Penny and Amy, who sat on the couch with Sheldon. Leonard had left to go to Raj's to spend time with Priya and Howard and Bernadette left for his house to watch Wheel of Fortune with his mother.
"When is your MeeMaw coming, Sheldon?" Penny asked.
"She'll be arriving on Saturday at 4:30pm. Will you be able to drive me to the airport to pick her up?"
"Sure, sweetie. I am off on Saturday so that won't be a problem."
Satisfied, Sheldon nodded. "Thank you, Penny."
"You know, Sheldon," Amy spoke up. "I too could have taken you to the airport. I wonder why you did not ask me to drive you."
Penny's gazed moved between them, becoming uncomfortable with the fact that she was sitting in the middle of the couple, instead of Amy sitting next to her boyfriend. She sensed the conversation was moving into a more personal area that she shouldn't be a party to so excusing herself, Penny got up and opened the door to the apartment.
"Good night, Sheldon. Ames. I'll see you guys later."
"Bestie, you don't have to leave. I merely was inquiring with my boyfriend why he didn't feel it was necessary to ask me to go with him to pick up his grandmother."
"And that is exactly why I'm leaving. Good night."
Penny closed the door behind her and went to her own apartment, also clearly wondering exactly as Amy had stated. Why did Sheldon ask her to drive him to pick up his MeeMaw instead of Amy?
Meanwhile, back in 4A, Sheldon had turned on the TV, seemingly ignoring Amy's inquiry.
"Sheldon? You didn't answer my question."
Sheldon sighed and put the TV on mute. His head turned to Amy, who had now moved to the middle cushion immediately to his right.
"I don't understand why this is a concern."
It was Amy's turn to sigh now, clearly frustrated. "Sheldon, I'm your girlfriend. I would have thought that you would have been happy to have me accompany you to the airport to pick up your grandmother so that I might meet her before the remainder of your friends, including Penny. The significance of being the girlfriend somewhat entitles me to that gesture."
"Amy, I meant no disrespect. You're well aware that I am still not well-read on the protocols of being a boyfriend. I simply asked Penny because she has always been the back-up driver when Leonard isn't available and I knew that Leonard wasn't available on Saturday. It never occurred to me to ask you. I apologize."
Amy took Sheldon's hand and he flinched but didn't pull back. "Sheldon, I accept your apology. I understand that you did not intend to hurt my feelings." Sheldon shook his head to concur. "Therefore, since you have already asked Penny and she has agreed, might in inquire if I can accompany you both to the airport to pick up your grandmother?"
Sheldon thought for a moment before replying. "I don't see that being a problem, Amy. You're welcome to join us this Saturday."
"Thank you, Sheldon." Amy stood up and wiped her hand on her skirt, which was somewhat sweaty from holding Sheldon's hand. "I need to go home. I will speak with you tomorrow."
Sheldon stood and nodded. "Good night, Amy."
Amy hesitated only briefly before reaching up and lightly kissing Sheldon on the lips. This time he not only flinched but he stepped back, breaking the kiss. "Amy…"
"Good night, Sheldon," she replied before he could lecture or scold her. She left the apartment closing the door behind her.
"Women…" Sheldon whined, wiping his mouth with his sleeve.
The rest of the week was uneventful with Sheldon running around crazier than usual as he prepared for his MeeMaw's visit. It had occurred to Penny a couple of days before her arrival that his grandmother had really no place to sleep. Leonard had offered to stay with Priya but Sheldon really didn't like the idea of either he or his MeeMaw sleeping in Leonard's bed, even with clean sheets. So Penny agreed to sleep in Leonard's bed, after all, she'd done it before, and Sheldon's MeeMaw could have her bed, along with some privacy should she need it from the rest of them. Sheldon was pleased with the arrangement and smiled at Penny's ingenious idea.
Saturday arrived and Penny couldn't tell if Sheldon had drank an entire bottle of Mountain Dew or if he was just high on the excitement of seeing his MeeMaw but he was so fidgety that he was driving her crazy as he paced around the apartment before they were to leave for the airport. When at last Amy arrived, they settled into Penny's car and headed for the airport. Sheldon continued to fidget, despite the close confines of Penny's small car and she finally had to tell him to stop.
"Sweetie, you are driving me crazy. Settle down. There's no reason to be so nervous."
Sheldon sighed. "Penny, this is my MeeMaw. Of course, I'm going to be nervous. This is her first visit and I want everything to go well for her."
"I understand, sweetie, but you're working yourself into a frenzy for no reason. Everything will be fine. Trust me." Penny reached out and patted his hand, then rested it atop his and he calmed down immediately. This did not go unnoticed by Amy who was seated in the back seat behind Penny. She wasn't concerned about Penny's actions, understanding that her bestie was the kind of woman who liked to touch others, or call them endearing names. It was one of the things that Amy loved about Penny. No, what concerned Amy was Sheldon's reaction to Penny touching him – undisturbed nor repulsed. And then Amy remembered his somewhat negative response to her simple touch several days earlier and she sighed softly to herself.
"Thank you, Penny," Sheldon responded from the front seat. He didn't pull his hand back from Penny's continued touch.
The three stood anxiously watching as the passengers stepped off the plane. Sheldon was all smiles and Penny couldn't help but notice how incredibly loving he looked at that very moment. She clutched his arm in her hands and he turned briefly to smile at her before continuing to scan the people.
It was obvious the moment he spotted his grandmother because he practically jumped up and down, calling to her, "MeeMaw! Over here!" It was so unlike Sheldon to display such boisterous actions in public and Penny couldn't' help but giggle at his animation – clearly enjoying this side of Sheldon. Amy quietly stood nearby.
Sheldon's MeeMaw saw her beloved Moonpie and a beaming smile sprang to her face. She immediately noted the beautiful young blond standing at his side, clutching his left arm despite that he waved both arms enthusiastically to gain her attention.
Penny let go of his arm just as Sheldon reached out to embrace the very tiny old woman. "MeeMaw! I'm so happy to see you!"
"Oh Moonpie…I've missed ya so much!"
Sheldon stepped back beaming when MeeMaw turned her attentions to Penny. "And who is this lovely youngin'?"
"MeeMaw, this is Penny." Just as Penny was about to shake the elderly lady's hand, Sheldon heard Amy clear her throat. "Oh…and this is Amy," Sheldon added, clearly embarrassed that he forgot to introduce Amy in all his excitement.
Both girls shook Sheldon's MeeMaw's hand before Sheldon took her arm and led her to where they would pick up her luggage. Amy and Penny followed behind silently, watching the exchange between the grandson and grandmother. They exchanged smiles at the happiness Sheldon was displaying.
Once they were all loaded into Penny's small car, Penny set off for their apartment complex – stopping first to pick up their dinner. Amy sat beside her in the front while Sheldon sat with his MeeMaw in the backseat. Penny smiled as she listed to the animated discussion between Sheldon and MeeMaw – she could see where Sheldon got his stubbornness.
"MeeMaw, Penny has been kind enough to offer you her apartment just across the hall from mine so you'll have a big bed to yourself and some privacy."
"Well now, that's very kind of you, darlin'. I hope that isn't putting you out too much."
"No problem, Mrs. Lee. Leonard will be staying with a…friend…so I will use his room."
Penny could see MeeMaw smiling at her in the rear view mirror. "Now, now…call me MeeMaw, dear."
"Okay, MeeMaw," Penny replied, already loving Sheldon's grandmother.
She noticed that Amy was particularly quiet on the ride home but didn't want to ask why in front of MeeMaw. She suspected it had to do with the fact that Sheldon has inadvertently forgotten to introduce her to his MeeMaw, though she couldn't be sure. She had also noticed that Sheldon didn't refer to Amy as his girlfriend during the introduction, which Penny found peculiar. She knew he hadn't done it intentionally – being a boyfriend to Amy (or anyone) was new to Sheldon and he was still learning the intricacies of the role. He would never realize he may have hurt Amy by his actions, especially if no one told him. She made a mental note to talk to him later.
They arrived at the apartment and as Penny and Amy carried up MeeMaw's bags and their dinner, while Sheldon helped the tiny but relatively spunky older lady up all the stairs to their floor. Penny and Amy put her bags in Penny's bedroom and joined them in the living room of the boy's apartment for their meal.
Sheldon was making tea for his MeeMaw, who was seated in the chair perpendicular to the couch so Penny took her usual seat, not even thinking about her actions until Sheldon sat in his spot and Amy asked Penny if they could change seats so she could sit next to Sheldon. Penny immediately felt embarrassed at her faux pas and got up to take the seat on the couch farthest from Sheldon as Amy sat down next to him.
Sheldon immediately noticed the change and starred with puzzlement at their actions because Penny always sat next to him. His grandmother also seemed surprised for some reason.
They settled in to enjoy their company and meal, when MeeMaw finally spoke up. "So, Moonpie…what have you been doin' with yerself lately?"
Had anyone else asked this question of Sheldon they would have received a litany of questions in response, pointing out how ambiguous the question was, however, given it was his MeeMaw, he understood that she was asking what had happened in his life of note since they last spoke. It was obvious that Sheldon's MeeMaw got away with a lot more than he allowed anyone else.
They listened as Sheldon relayed the events of the past several weeks to her, pausing to allow MeeMaw to ask questions or show excitement at some particular news about his job or research. She genuinely showed interest in everything he talked about, even if she clearly didn't understand most of it. Penny had long since tuned him out, instead watching the older woman with keen interest and admiration.
"Sheldon, perhaps you'd like to inform your grandmother about the status change to our relationship paradigm," Amy stated, touching the back of his right hand which rested on his right knee. He flinched slightly and nearly pulled back his hand completely but realized that would be wrong for a boyfriend to do.
"Relationship paradigm?" MeeMaw echoed. "You all in some sort of relationship? The three of you?"
Penny laughed, while Sheldon sputtered his tea down the front of his shirt. "MeeMaw! What are you talking about?"
MeeMaw pointed to Penny, then to Amy. "How many girlfriends you got, Moonpie? I know I'm not very well educated of the things you kids do today but seems to me that having two girlfriends is wrong."
Realization dawned on Sheldon about the time that it hit both Amy and Penny as well. Penny chuckled uncomfortably, while Amy blushed red from embarrassment but Penny also caught a glimpse of hurt on her face.
"No…no…MeeMaw…you misunderstand. Penny isn't my girlfriend. She's my…well, she's my…"
"Go ahead, Sheldon. Tell your grandmother what Penny is to you," Amy interrupted, her voice sounding a bit stinging.
"Well, she's my very good friend. Probably my best friend."
Penny smiled at the revelation but Amy fumed. "I am Sheldon's girlfriend Mrs. Lee. His only girlfriend, now or…ever."
MeeMaw looked from Sheldon to Amy to Penny and back again to Sheldon. "I'm sorry. You're right, I did misunderstand. I saw you with Penny at the airport and the way you were acting together and well…put two and two together and just assumed she was the girlfriend you had talked about before. My apologies, Amy…for my error."
Neither knew it but both Penny and Sheldon thought back to their behavior at the airport and questioned in their minds if they had really behaved in a way that Sheldon's MeeMaw would assume they were in a relationship. While it's true that Amy had stood back a ways and wasn't showing much enthusiasm to the entire event, neither believed that they had particularly acted any different than usual together.
"I understand your confusion, Mrs. Lee. I too would believe that the fetching and lovely Penny would be Sheldon's first choice for a girlfriend, but I'm it. Sheldon and I share an intellect together that neither of us has found in someone else."
Sheldon simply nodded while Penny tried to not take Amy's comment to mean that while she was beautiful, she wasn't very intelligent – at least not to the level that Amy and Sheldon were. Which Penny knew, of course, but really didn't want to be reminded of that fact.
Sheldon changed the subject and the rest of the evening went by rather quickly.
Finally Amy bid good-bye to them and left to return home, while Penny excused herself to go and change for bed. Before leaving the room, she bent down and softly kissed Sheldon's MeeMaw on the cheek. "Good-night MeeMaw. I hope you sleep well."
"Why thank you, Penny dear. Aren't you lovely?"
Sheldon walked his MeeMaw over to Penny's apartment and helped to get her settled. "Would you like some tea, MeeMaw?"
"Yes Moonpie…I would love a cup before bed."
Sheldon made the tea while his MeeMaw put her clothes in the drawers that Penny had cleared out for her to use and slipped into her PJs, robe and slippers before joining Sheldon on the couch.
"I have to say, Moonpie…your friend Penny is a lovely young woman. Why to lend me her apartment and put herself out for me is simply wonderful."
"Yes, MeeMaw, Penny is quite often a generous person. I suspect that is why I admire her so much and she is my best friend. She's never let me down."
MeeMaw smiled and patted Sheldon's knee. "So tell me then…if I may be so bold…why is it that Amy is your girlfriend instead of Penny? Seems to me that you are more attracted to Penny than Amy – or am I mistaken again?"
Sheldon faltered. "Penny is certainly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I noticed that about her the first moment we met, but as with any woman, I've never looked at Penny in a romantic way." Until that kiss under the mistletoe last Christmas, he thought to himself, swearing he could still taste her on his lips.
"Seems to me, Moonpie that Penny is better suited to you and I don't just mean because she's a beautiful young woman. I saw you together – there's something there between you, even if neither of you can see it. As lovely as Amy appears to be, it's plain as the nose on my face that she isn't the girl for my Moonpie. She isn't what you need; what your heart wants and deserves."
Sheldon was about to argue with her, spouting Amy's fine qualities but he realized quickly that his MeeMaw was perhaps correct. He certainly felt a more physical attraction to Penny than Amy but looking back over the years, he realized how well suited Penny was to him – to his personality –she never let him get away with anything yet she has never tried to change him either. Amy had displayed no such qualities since they entered into their relationship. And he wasn't physically attracted to her in any way.
Sheldon looked in startled wonder and confusion to his MeeMaw who simply smiled over her cup of tea. Did MeeMaw know best?