DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Big Bang Theory, neither am I making any money from the writing of this story. I'm just doing it for poops and giggles.
~Introducing A New Component ~
Every Wednesday, at five o'clock in the evening, Sheldon Cooper arrived at the Comic Book Store, accompanied by Leonard Hofstadter, Rajesh Koothrappali and Howard Wolowitz. They then browsed through the available comic books for additions for their collections, which they had been accumulating for some number of years.
However, on one particular Wednesday, something was noticeably different. There was an entity present at the store that none of them could have anticipated.
All four men immediately knew that something was off when they went through the door to find that all the regulars, (e.g. Lonely Larry and Captain Sweatpants,) and the store owner, Stuart, were huddled around the countertop at one end of the premises. They were all staring at the entity that stood at the other end of the room.
"Hey, Stuart," Leonard cautiously said as he and his friends came into the store, not yet having looked away from the bizarre actions of the other comic book store goers. "What's going on?"
Without so much as a 'hello', Stuart simply raised his hand and pointed to the entity that had his attention, turning Leonard, Howard, Rajesh, and Sheldon's attention toward it. When they saw the object of interest, all four of them backed up toward the countertop to stand with the other men.
Standing over by the graphic novel section was, surprisingly, a woman. A fairly attractive woman, too. Her chocolate brown hair was long and wavy, sweeping down her back. She was neither tall nor short, standing at an average height. Neither skinny nor fat, she was slender but solidly built. From behind, the guys could see that she was wearing a black short sleeved shirt, black jeans, and black shoes with white soles and laces.
"Who is that?" Howard asked, letting his eyes wander over the more interesting areas of the female specimen.
"I dunno," Stuart replied with a shrug. "She came in twenty minutes ago."
"And you've all just been standing here staring at her?" Leonard asked, even though he too was staring.
"It's not like we can just go talk to her," Stuart huffed, glancing away from the woman and looking down at his countertop for a moment. It didn't last, and he was staring the next second.
"Why not?" Leonard crossed his arms over his chest. "Someone should go and say hi."
Nobody moved. In fact, some of the more spooked men backed up further. It wasn't every day a woman, let alone an attractive one came into the comic book store. This particular band of men didn't really have all that much interaction time with the female species.
Sheldon Cooper looked at the men beside him, all of whom were looking almost longingly over at the stranger. "Oh, for heaven's sake," he sighed a sigh of long suffering and headed towards the woman.
"Sheldon!" Howard hissed at him. Clearly he had no idea what he was getting into.
The tall physicist ignored the reprimand and came to stand beside the woman, his hands clasped behind his back. "Excuse me," he quietly interrupted her.
She turned her face to smile up at him, the top of her head just reaching his shoulder height. Her eyes were a bright blue, her face was round, her skin a healthy white. Her brown hair, though wavy at the back, had been straightened at the front, the fringe parted to the left. Her lips, even though stretched in a smile, were slightly pouting, but full and pink. The front of her black shirt had a stomach sized picture of a planet, and in white the word 'Pluto' above it, 'Never Forget' below it.
"Yes?" She drew the word out curiously, her voice mellow and low. Sheldon also noticed a strange tilt to her accent, but it was difficult to tell from the monosyllabic word.
"Hello," Sheldon attempted to smile, mostly succeeding.
The woman turned to face him completely, folding her arms around her stomach. "Hello." Again, she drew the word out, as though she was speaking to a slow child or an easily spooked animal.
"My name is Sheldon Cooper," he introduced himself, holding a hand out.
"Sheldon. That's a brilliant name." Smile broadening, the woman took his hand and shook it once before letting go. "I've never met anyone named Sheldon before. I'm boring ol' common Sarah Peters. I've always wanted a more unique name."
While Sheldon didn't appreciate all the chatter, he had initiated the contact, and so had no option but to continue to display interest, regardless of how he really felt. "Sarah is indeed a common name. However your facial structure and overall appearance tend toward the feminine and softer connotation, which the name portrays competently."
"Thanks. That's the only reason why I haven't changed it," she admitted, tilting her head to one side, her fringe splaying along her forehead as she looked at the physicist with obvious interest.
Sheldon did a small double take. "I'm sorry, you understood what I just said?"
"Of course I did. I'm not as think as you drunk I am." While Sheldon pondered on the meaning of that bizarre sentence, Sarah clasped her hands behind her back to mirror his posture. "You know, you're the first person to voluntarily speak to me since I moved here. I think Americans have difficulty understanding my accent."
"Odd. An Australian accent is by no means difficult to decipher." Sheldon had picked the accent during her first sentence. It was true that some pronunciations didn't sound quite right, but it was nothing that he couldn't handle. Besides which her voice was low and held a certain timbre that wasn't irritating, like most women's voices. Her accent only softened her words further in an almost pleasing way.
"Hey, you knew I was Australian. Ten points," Sarah awarded him with a still widening smile. By now she was grinning, revealing that her right incisor was noticeably sharper than average.
"What can I get for ten points?" Sheldon asked, curious. He had never met anyone who had their own points system. Of course he had his 'three strikes, you're out' policy, but this woman seemed to award points for certain actions.
Holding her elbows in her hands now, Sarah's smile lessened a little in shyness. "Dunno. It's probably worth about a hug."
"I don't hug people," Sheldon immediately replied with a shake of his head, before crossing his arms in front of his chest. "And how can you not know? It's your point system, a reward system seems to be implied. If you're going to be handing out points you really should put more thought into it."
"Okay," she nodded resolutely. "In that case, ten points is worth one hug. Or, you could hold onto them and save up for something else."
"I don't hug people," Sheldon repeated with another shake of his head.
By this time, all the men standing around the counter at the other end of the room had relaxed enough to resume their perusing of the store, though they all suddenly were more interested in the items closer to the counter. Sheldon's friends shuffled up behind him, the three of them noting just how pretty the woman was. Howard particularly noticed some of her more feminine assets, which were quite noticeable.
Sarah turned to the new arrivals. "Hello," she greeted, drawing out the word once more.
"Oh I'm sorry, these are my friends," Sheldon indicated the other three men with a gesture, introducing each in turn, "Leonard Hofstadter, Rajesh Koothrappali and Howard Wolowitz." He then gestured to the pretty woman beside him. "May I present Sarah Peters."
"Leonard," Sarah pointed to the man in glasses, who nodded and smiled. "Rajesh?" She pointed to the Indian man who lowered his head and waved silently. "And Howard."
The man with the bowl cut stepped forward and offered his hand with a slight bow and a, "Milady."
Sarah hesitatingly placed her hand in Howard's, smiling shyly once again when he raised her hand to his lips and kissed the knuckles. "I'm gonna need my hand back," she said when it wasn't released quick enough.
Moving in front of the other two, Howard asked, "So, you new around here?"
"Yeah, I moved here last month with my sister."
"You have a sister?" Howard leaned forward a little more, his smile taking on a somewhat disturbing tilt.
"I do," Sarah answered hesitantly, drawing her words out again.
"Excuse me, but that's enough frivolous conversation for one night. I'm going to look at comic books now," Sheldon announced as he turned and walked away.
"Nice meeting you, Sheldon," Sarah called quietly with a small wave. The man turned and smiled momentarily before continuing on his way.
"So, what do you do for a living?" Howard brought Sarah's attention back to him.
She shrugged noncommittally. "Oh, you know... What about you guys?"
"I'm an engineer, currently working on some top secret NASA equipment," Howard sniffed, hooking his thumbs in his belt and looking expectantly at Sarah.
"Hey, that's pretty impressive. What about you, Rajesh?" Sarah turned away from the mildly disturbing man and faced the silent Indian.
"Oh, uh, he can't talk to women," Leonard spoke up, while Rajesh held his hands together in front of him and slowly walked away to browse the comic books with Sheldon.
"That's too bad," Sarah smiled after the retreating man. "Can you tell me what he does? And Sheldon?"
"He's an astrophysicist, Sheldon's a theoretical physicist, and I'm an experimental physicist," Leonard answered.
"Interesting." Sarah folded her arms around her middle again, turning a wide smile to Leonard. "I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that you're all relatively clever, then."
"Yeah, we are." Howard moved closer still to Sarah, who was beginning to look uncomfortable. "You never told us what you do. I'm gonna guess that you're a super model or, I don't know, a witch."
"A witch?" she repeated, eyebrows rising in question.
"You've bewitched me with your stunning beauty." Howard grinned, happy with his impromptu pick up line.
"Right," she rolled her eyes and took a small step away from the strange little man.
"Uh, you didn't tell us what you do, Sarah," Leonard interrupted, eager to keep this pretty girl talking with them.
"No, I didn't, did I?" she deflected with a smile. When she saw the expectant looks on her new acquaintances faces, she looked over her shoulder and mumbled, "I'm sort of a... critic."
"Well hey, that sounds exciting," Leonard offered, and received a shy smile for his comment.
"I like it," she shrugged. "So anyway, you guys seem nice enough, and I need someone to show me around the city. You know, places to eat, places to shop, stuff like that. What d'you think?"
"It would be an honour, beautiful Sarah, to escort you around our fair city," Howard gushed, sweeping a slight bow with another cheesy grin.
"Uhm, Sheldon and Rajesh too?" She asked, moving closer to Leonard and further away from Howard.
"Sure. How about we meet here on Saturday, say, ten o'clock, and we can show you around?" Leonard suggested, unable to decided whether he should feel shocked, privileged, or confused at his current predicament.
Sarah smiled at him again, and he settled on privileged. "Sounds good. I'll look forward to it. Well, it was lovely meeting you, Leonard," she shook his hand shyly, then turned a hesitant smile on Howard. "Nice meeting you too, Howard."
"The pleasure was all mine, I assure you," he smiled and bowed his head again.
With an obviously forced chuckle, Sarah stepped away from him and began to head towards the door. "Oh," she paused and turned back to the staring pair. "Tell Sheldon and Rajesh that I'm looking forward to meeting them again. Bye!" And with a wave, she left the store.
"What was all that about?" Stuart asked as he practically ran toward Leonard and Howard.
The two of them were still looking towards the door, even though Sarah was out of sight. "We made a new friend," Leonard said with a smug smile.
"An incredibly hot friend I wanna take down under," Howard added, the other two looking at him oddly for his comment.
"She moved here last month and asked if we could show her around," Leonard clarified for Stuart.
"Did she say what she was doing here? I mean, here in the store?" the proprietor asked.
"No, she didn't. She did say she was a critic, maybe she critiques comic books?" Leonard offered, though clearly no one believed it, including himself.
"Oh yeah, I bet someone that looks like that would totally be into comic books," Stuart said sarcastically before turning away and getting back to work.
Leonard and Howard went over to where Sheldon and Rajesh were still browsing. None of them said anything for a while, until Rajesh finally asked, "What did the pretty girl say?"
"We're all meeting Sarah here on Saturday at ten to show her around town," Leonard absently answered with a half smile as he flipped through the comics.
"Excuse me?" Sheldon looked up from the comic books and fixed a steady stare on his roommate. "We already have plans for Saturday. You can't just make new plans and include me in them without consulting with me first."
"Oh come on, Sheldon!" Leonard's shoulders slumped and he glanced at Sheldon before turning back to the comics. "She said she was looking forward to meeting you again."
"She did?" He tilted his head on an angle, made a face, and turned back to the comics. "How odd."
"She's looking forward to seeing you too, Raj," Leonard added with a smirk.
"Really?" He looked up with an eager smile.
"Your conversational skills must have really left an impression on her."
The small band of scientist spent the next hour leafing through comic books, each finding at least one that they decided they had to purchase. During the car drive back to the apartment, they each speculated about where they should take their new acquaintance on the weekend. It was Leonard that came up with the idea of inviting Penny to come with them. She could not only help with destinations, but hopefully her company would keep the pretty Australian with them longer.