Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. They are the property of the creators of The Big Bang Theory.

A/N: This is the result of a combination of conversation in Fan Forum and a shock I received yesterday. Writing can be cathartic.


This was it. In less than ten seconds, Howard Wolowitz was going to have a controlled explosion propelling him in to space.

Amy's eyes were riveted on the screen in front of her. She heard the sounds of her friends making comments to one another, but it seemed distant to her ears. She was too busy staring at the screen and hoping for Howard's safety.

But then something shocking happened. Amy felt Sheldon grab her hand. She felt her breath catch and could only look over at him in shock. She briefly considered saying something, but Sheldon was staring straight at the television and Amy did not wish to draw attention in such a way as to induce him to let go. Instead she looked back at the screen just in time to see the rocket take flight, carrying Howard Wolowitz with it into space. The moment had felt almost magical…

The following morning Amy woke up to her alarm buzzing. Another Monday. She knew that many people, and one fictionalized orange cat who frequented the Sunday morning comics, hated Mondays, but as Amy quite enjoyed her work, she actually looked forward to Mondays with enthusiasm.

After shutting off her alarm, Amy grabbed her glasses, threw off the covers, and got up. She smiled when her phone buzzed, indicating that she had a text message. That would be Sheldon. They frequently started their daily communications early in the morning.

Good Morning. I hope your REM cycles were completed to your satisfaction. I have something I wish to discuss with you. Are you free to meet this evening?

Amy smiled. No doubt this was related to Sheldon's grabbing her hand. She was still very excited about that. Her experiments seemed to be working…Not that she had thought they wouldn't. It would seem that she was nearly done with phase one, as she had gotten Sheldon to initiate contact.

She quickly typed out her reply.

Good Morning. My REM cycles were indeed satisfactorily completed. I hope yours were the same. I am free this evening. Where shall we meet?

Amy grabbed the clothes she needed to take with her into the bathroom. As she set them down on the countertop, her phone buzzed again.

I believe my apartment will suffice. Leonard will be spending the evening at work. Shall we agree to meet at 7:30?

Amy typed out 7:30 will be fine.

Setting her phone down, she went about her daily ablutions.

As she showered, she happily relived Sheldon's impromptu hand hold, and began postulating the positive effect it would have on advancing their relationship.

Of course, once they had finished watching Howard's launch, Sheldon had let go of her hand and had made no mention of it the rest of the evening. She had resisted the urge to speak with him about it, given that all of their friends (sans Howard of course) were present and she had instinctively known that pointing out something as momentous as a hand hold from Sheldon would have drawn unwanted attention to him.

But she had no doubt that the hand hold had been the result of her experimentation to increase his feelings for her. While she didn't know what his intentions were for their discussion this evening, she suspected he was going to try to find a way to excuse his behavior.

Amy smiled as she rinsed the conditioner out of her hair. Well, she wasn't going to let him get away with it. She knew it was the result of his increased feelings and she wasn't going to let him say otherwise. She was a patient woman, but she would flat refuse to let Sheldon backtrack. Any successful relationship had to move forward, and, regardless of the snail's pace it may take, Amy was determined theirs would move forward, as well.

Amy was confident regarding Sheldon's feelings for her, and indeed he had made no move to deny them. Of course, they rarely discussed their feelings, as Sheldon generally regarded feelings as something to be suppressed and controlled, but she knew he had them and that it was simply a matter of putting him into enough situations so as to get him to openly admit that what he felt for her was romantic.

As Amy wrapped a towel around herself and used another towel to start drying her hair, she smiled.

I have him just where I want him.

Amy's work day went like any other. It was, over all, very productive, with a scattering of texts, tweets, and emails from Sheldon in between.

After a rushed dinner, and brush run through her hair, Amy drove over to Sheldon's, nervous, and yet excited, about the upcoming conversation. Never in her life had she met someone with such wit as Sheldon. She found all their conversations stimulating.

Amy walked up the stairs with a smile on her face. When she reached Sheldon's door, her smile turned into a toothy grin. She knocked and then waited for Sheldon to answer.

Sheldon opened the door, nodding at her once. "Hello."

"Hello," Amy said, happily. At his indication, she walked through the door, taking her purse off over her head and setting it down next to Sheldon's desk.

"Would you care for a beverage?" Sheldon asked.

"I believe bottled water would be nice," Amy replied.

"Please have a seat," Sheldon said, as he walked over to the kitchen to grab her water.

Amy walked over and sat in the middle cushion of the couch, next to Sheldon's spot. Sheldon returned with Amy's water bottle, handing it to her, and sitting down beside her in his spot.

"How was the rest of your afternoon?" he asked.

"It was uneventful. And yourself? Were you able to find the neutrino you were missing?"

Sheldon sighed. "Unfortunately, no. It still eludes me." He turned more fully towards her. "But that is not what I wish to discuss this evening."

Amy nodded. "Of course. I admit I'm rather interested in what you have to say."

Sheldon cleared his throat. "As you know, yesterday I suffered from a lapse in judgment, rashly grabbing your hand in a moment of panic, induced by the imminent departure of Howard Wolowitz from this earth."

Amy smiled toothily again.

Sheldon frowned in response. "I have been unable to stop thinking about the event ever since it occurred."

Amy's smiled broadened. "As have I."

"I don't like it," Sheldon said. "It is the result of your experiment and I would like you to stop."

Aha, thought Amy. Blame shifting. Classic Sheldon.

She sat up straighter. "Sheldon, you were aware of my experiment from the get go. I made no move to hide it from you. But all I did was attempt to increase your feelings for me. Any other physical manifestation which resulted was purely from you."

Sheldon nodded. "I quite agree."

Amy blinked, shocked. "You do?"

"Yes. Your experiment is working well. My feelings for you have indeed increased, and as a result, I felt the urge to grab your hand in my time of need."

Amy frowned. "And yet you would like me to stop?"

Sheldon nodded again. "Amy, I am a man of science. My life's pursuit has always been a Nobel Prize. The results of your experiment are resulting in a divided focus."

Amy cocked her head to the side. "How so?"

"Several times now, as I have been attempting to concentrate on my work, I find myself thinking of you instead. I simply can't live like this."

Amy blinked at him and then frowned again. "What exactly are you proposing? We can't go backwards Sheldon. You admit that your feelings for me have increased. You can't decrease them."

Sheldon raised his eyebrows. "On the contrary, I believe if you were to cease your experimentation on my emotions then I would be able to adequately use Kohlinar to suppress my emotions, which would allow me to continue focusing on my quest for a Nobel Prize."

Amy felt as if she had swallowed a large rock. Simultaneously, she felt as if someone had blown a balloon up in her lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. "But why should you wish to do that?"

Sheldon glanced away. "This relationship is very beneficial for me on many levels. You provide a companionship which has been unmatched by any other person, including Leonard. I enjoy the intellectual challenge my relationship with you provides. This is why I have striven so hard to maintain said relationship. I find now, however, that the relationship is starting to negatively affect me."

Amy blinked. "Are you…breaking up with me?"

Sheldon gasped. "On the contrary! I have no desire to sever our relationship at all. I simply would like you to desist with your experiment as it is affecting me in a way I do not find desirable."

Amy frowned. "So…what about moving forward?"

"Why should we move forward? I believe we long ago achieved a comfort level with each other which makes this a mutually beneficial relationship. I'd say that, prior to your experiment, the relationship was about as perfect as it could get. I do enjoy the many things you do for me, of course, and would dearly love for you to continue to do things for me. But please, not at the cost of increasing my emotions to a point where I do something such as engage you in physical contact. It's simply not something I wish to do. I believe to do so would further divide my attentions from my work."

"But…you have so many other things which divide your attention. Fun with Flags. Video-gaming. Comic book reading. Why should our relationship be any different?"

Sheldon shook his head. "As much as I enjoy the aforementioned recreational activities, I have consistently been able to compartmentalize those areas of my life when my work needs my full attention. The only time I have been unable to do so is when my thoughts turn towards you."

Amy stared at Sheldon for several moments, in shock at the turn of the conversation. She had not been prepared for Sheldon's admonition that she had succeeded at her experiment.

"I cannot go backwards in our relationship, Sheldon."

Sheldon held up a hand and shook his head. "That's because you haven't been able to master Kohlinar. I am more than willing to teach you so that you can then enjoy the full benefits of our relationship, without worrying about muddling it with things like physical contact. I think if you succeed you'll find your life enriched."

Amy shook her head, the rock in her stomach sinking lower and lower. "I do not wish to implement Kohlinar, Sheldon. I do not wish to suppress my feelings. I want to move forward…with you."

Sheldon blinked at her. "I don't want to move forward."

"You aren't the only person in this relationship."

"Amy, forgive me, but you knew what you were getting in to. You signed the Relationship Agreement. You know that physical contact is off the table. My momentary lapse yesterday does not make that clause null and void."

Amy frowned as a thought occurred to her. "If you were happy being simply friends, then why did you ask me to be your girlfriend in the first place?"

Sheldon looked surprised. "I should think that was obvious. I did not want you dating Stuart."

"But why should it matter to you whether or not I date Stuart, if you are uninterested in a romantic liaison with me in the first place?"

Sheldon blinked. "You were spending entirely too much time with Stuart. I found myself missing your companionship. And I was not entirely opposed to the idea that you would be connected to me as my girlfriend. It would keep you from dividing your time with other men, and I found I liked the idea. The only thing I do not enjoy is the negative effect it is now having on my work. I still care a great deal for you, Amy. I simply don't want to be ruled by those emotions."

"What about what I want?"

Sheldon shrugged. "I cannot help what you want. I can only tell you what interests me as far as our relationship goes."

Amy continued to stare at Sheldon, unsure how to respond. "So you don't care if I'm unhappy in the relationship?"

Sheldon blinked. "Of course I care. I don't want you to be unhappy. That is why I have made my offer to teach you Kohlinar."

Amy took a deep breath, considering her next words very carefully. "What if I'm not willing to go backwards with you?"

Sheldon frowned, looking confused. "We would not really be going backwards. We would simply be re-establishing the status quo in our relationship. Another relationship restore if you will."

"I…" Amy took a deep breath. "I can't do that, Sheldon. I don't want to restore our relationship. I want to move forward."

Sheldon blinked and stared at her for over a minute. "It would seem that we are at an impasse."

Amy blinked, starting to feel fear arise as a thought occurred to her. Sheldon was serious. He was not going to budge. He was completely unwilling to move forward.

If they had had this conversation a year ago, Amy might have been more willing to agree. In fact, she essentially had. But things had changed. Sheldon had awoken the woman inside her. She didn't just want a relationship of the mind anymore. She wanted to be his girlfriend, in all senses of the word. She was more than willing to go at a pace he was comfortable with, but she was not willing to go backwards…she couldn't go backwards. To go backwards would be like trying to stuff sheets back into their original package; it simply wouldn't work.

Amy swallowed and felt her eyes start to prickle as she realized what she would have to do. She didn't want to do it.

She began trying to bargain with herself in her mind. Perhaps she should give in this time and then try again later. Sheldon had mentioned his feelings for her. Perhaps all he needed was time. Perhaps things were simply moving too quickly for him.

But it had taken her two years just to get where they were. Did she really want to wait that much longer to move forward again? She sighed inwardly as she realized the unfortunate answer to that question.


She looked up to see Sheldon giving her a worried look.

She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry Sheldon, but that won't work for me. Are you entirely sure that you are unwilling to keep moving forward?"

Sheldon blinked. "Yes. I gave it a great deal of thought all last night and today."

Amy took a steadying breath, so as to try to control her tears. She did not wish to show more emotion than she had too.

"I see. In that case, I am terminating our relationship."

Sheldon tilted his head back in shock, his mouth popping open. "Terminating the relationship? You can't do that. You have to provide a three day written notice."

Amy took another deep breath. "In that case, expect my notice shortly."

Amy stood up and walked over to grab her purse. She glanced over at Sheldon, who was still staring at her with his mouth open. She garnered all her strength and nodded once to him.

"Good evening, Sheldon."

Amy walked out the door, closing it softly behind her and walked quickly to the door across the hall.

When Penny answered her knock, Amy simply said, "May I come in?"

Penny looked surprised. "Sure Ames. What's up?"

Amy sat down on Penny's couch, waiting until she had closed the door firmly behind her, and then burst into tears.

A/N: I'm not sure Angst is my strong suit, but I found myself unable to write the quirky/funny/sweet stories today. This did indeed help. No worries, I and my family are fine. I simply learned that a former classmate is capable of horrific things and found myself shaken. Thanks for reading. :)