Amy stood up on her tip toes, trying to see over the crowd of people, making Penny chuckle with her enthusiasm.
"Sweetie, his plane just landed. It's going to be awhile."
Amy looked over at Penny. "But he could be the first off the plane. I want to make sure I don't miss him." She turned back to face the exit and again stood on her tip toes.
Penny couldn't help but smile at Amy's enthusiasm. It had been nice to see her enthusiastic about, well, anything since her return from Switzerland. Penny had almost died of shock when Amy had called to tell her that she and Sheldon were back together again. Truth be told, she had been a little worried about the situation, and whether or not the two of them had entered into some sort of weird co-dependency while Amy was in Switzerland. But as soon as she had seen Amy after the first time Sheldon had Skyped her, Penny had known there was nothing to worry about. She had never seen Amy look so happy…and that included all the times she had seen Amy happy before she had broken up with Sheldon to begin with.
Penny smiled at Amy now, looking like an excited little girl, all but hopping up and down as she craned her neck in the hopes of seeing her boyfriend.
When Sheldon did finally appear, turning his head back and forth in search of his girlfriend, Amy made a strange noise between a squeal and a gasp and walked quickly over. Penny chuckled when Amy all but launched herself at Sheldon, reminding Penny of the time he had given her that tiara. Deciding to give the two a moment, Penny walked slowly over to them.
When she saw the look passing between them, Penny suddenly felt like she and every other person in this airport were intruders.
"Jeez you two," she said with a wink at Amy. "Get a room."
Sheldon looked over at her, frowning in what looked like equal parts annoyance and confusion. "That statement doesn't even make sense. Amy and I are not engaging in any form of physical contact, excepting our current hand holding, which would indicate that we would need a room in which to engage in coitus."
Penny chuckled, surprised Sheldon even got the reference. "Yeah, well, all I have to say is it's a good thing Amy's wearing eyeglasses. You know…for protection." At Sheldon's continued look of confusion, Penny simply patted his arm, smiled, and said, "Welcome home, Sweetie."
"Raj, would you just leave the crepe paper alone?" Howard said. "They're going to be back any minute. Amy texted Bernie ten minutes ago that they were five minutes away."
Bernadette put a hand on Howard's arm. "Oh just let him fuss. You know what a perfectionist he is when he plans a party."
Howard nodded but said under his breath, "You'd think a man could just let crinkled crepe paper lie…"
Bernadette heard a noise and shushed the three men in the room. "I hear something. Everyone get in place!"
She, Howard, Raj, and Leonard all went to stand in front of the door as the handle jingled. When the door opened, they shouted "Surprise!" causing Sheldon to jump.
Everyone started laughing as Sheldon merely crossed his arms and said, "Oh yes…laugh it up. Giving a man a fright induced heart attack is hysterical."
Bernadette watched as Amy put her arm through one of Sheldon's crossed ones and looked up at him. "Don't be such a party pooper. They just wanted to welcome you back." He looked down at her and smiled before uncrossing his arms and turning to the group to say, "My apologies. Thank you for the welcome home."
Howard leaned over and whispered in Bernadette's ear. "What sort of voodoo has Amy worked on him and can she teach it to me?"
Bernadette gave Howard a wry look. "Be nice."
Penny walked to join Howard and Bernadette as Sheldon and Amy jointly took his suitcase into his room.
"Boy," noted Bernadette, "Those two are certainly joined at the hip."
Penny snorted. "You have no idea. You should have seen the looks they kept giving each other."
Bernadette chuckled. "That bad?"
Penny rolled her eyes. "Geez. If eyeballs could have babies, they'd be having triplets."
Bernadette laughed and looked back at the couple as they walked back out into the living room. She was happy to see Amy so happy. She thought back to all those months of being one of two shoulders for Amy to cry on; thought of the entire Stuart debacle. Thank goodness she had intervened when she had.
Leonard wouldn't have believed the change in Sheldon if he didn't have the proof right in front of him. He actually looked like he was enjoying himself.
Leonard thought back to the last time he had seen Sheldon, as he had dropped him off at the airport. He had really wondered if Sheldon would ever be the same. And he had been right. Sheldon definitely wasn't the same. Luckily, however, Sheldon had changed for the better.
Penny came up to Leonard and whispered in his ear as Sheldon and Amy pressed their heads close together and began talking in low voices about who knew what. "Can you believe the change in Sheldon?"
Leonard shook his head. "No." He looked over at Penny. "But I'm happy he's happy." Penny nodded.
"Me too." She paused, still looking at the pair as they laughed and smiled at each other. "I didn't think it was possible for them to get back together, to be honest. I thought Sheldon was broken."
Leonard thought for a moment before he said, "He was." He looked at Penny and smiled. "But I guess getting the right girl in the end makes all the difference."
Penny smiled back and the kissed him quickly on the mouth.
Though Sheldon was somewhat grateful to have friends remaining to welcome him home after his nearly six month stint in Switzerland, he was also happy to see the last person leave. Even Leonard left, after giving Sheldon a strange look, saying that he was going to be staying with Penny for the night. This meant that as the door closed, Sheldon found himself alone with Amy.
He looked at her, feeling a strange shyness coming over him. It had been nearly three months since he had been in her presence after all.
Amy smiled at him. "I'm happy you're back."
He smiled back at her. "I'm happy to be back."
Amy looped her arm through his and laid her head against his shoulder. "Were you able to finish your research on time?"
Sheldon nodded. "Yes. Now all that's left is for the experimental physicists to prove that I'm right."
"How long with that take?"
"Knowing them? Far too long."
Amy merely nodded. They remained silent for several minutes, Amy with her head resting on his shoulder. Sheldon didn't know what to say. They had stayed in close contact via Skype and email, so they were both caught up on the daily happenings of the other's life. And he still was not entirely comfortable discussing hippy dippy feelings, even if he had been feeling a few.
"Sheldon?" Amy said, turning her head upwards to look at him.
He looked down, a funny, nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Yes."
"I missed you."
The corners of Sheldon's mouth curved upwards. "I missed you too."
Amy smiled and spoke again. "I mean…I know that we spoke nearly every day, but…it's not the same as being in your presence."
Sheldon nodded. "Agreed."
Amy bit her lip and frowned. "Do you know what day it is?"
"I have just traveled halfway around the world. My concept of days and times are entirely skewed," he responded, just then noticing how tired he was.
Amy swallowed. "It's one year since the day after Howard left for space."
Sheldon swallowed as he looked down at Amy. It was exactly a year since they had first broken up. And what a year it had been; simultaneously the worst and the best year of his life.
Amy suddenly leaned forward and kissed Sheldon, catching him off guard. It was their first kiss since his return, as they had been surrounded by people from the moment he had stepped off the plane.
When she pulled back from him, Amy gave him a serious look. "Let's never repeat it."
Sheldon nodded, also serious. "Agreed."
Sheldon suddenly yawned, his exhaustion hitting him in full force. Amy let go of him and stood up. Sheldon looked at her, confused. "Where are you going?"
"You need your sleep," she responded, picking up her purse and putting it on over her head. "You've had a long journey."
Sheldon stood up. "I don't want you to go."
Amy stopped, a hand on the doorknob, as Sheldon walked quickly over to her. When he reached her, she reached a hand up to pull his head down for another kiss.
When she pulled away, she looked him in the eyes and said, "I'll be waiting by my phone for you to call when you wake up."
Sheldon grabbed her hand and looked at her seriously. "Right when I wake up?"
"Even if I wake up at four o'clock in the morning?"
"I'm sleeping with it under my pillow." She smiled at him again, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then she walked away, slowly extracting her hand from Sheldon's. He looked out the door and watched her go down the stairs. After she disappeared from view, Sheldon went to the bathroom to prepare for bed, now nearly dizzy with exhaustion.
As he fell into bed, he couldn't help but think that it had definitely been a long, exhausting year. And it was one that he would never again repeat.
A/N: You have my undying gratitude for being the best audience a writer could hope for. Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. Can you believe this started as a one shot? As for them being separated for three months...well, I sort of wrote myself into a corner with that one, didn't I? Originally I had a different idea for the ending (and the epilogue actually), but since I let my stories grow organically, it ended up not fitting. But I'm happier with this version anyway. So once again, thank you so much and say it with me: SHAMY FOR LIFE!