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.
Thanks to all my reviewers, especially 'Jisamar'. I have no idea what you said, but that somehow just makes it cooler.
By the way, if anyone has any particular scenes or situations they would like to see Sarah in, just leave it in a review or send a PM and I'll probably work it in. Kinda hit a roadblock at the moment...
~ Code Milky Green ~
Sheldon had rung both Leonard and Howard as soon as he had discovered that he was sick and alone in the apartment. Apparently Leonard was at work, something to do with dogs, and he'd only been able to reach Howard's mother at his home number. Howard's mobile was off when he tried it, and Raj's house phone had rang out, his mobile going straight to voice mail. He'd declined to leave a message.
That left two more options. He could call Penny, who he knew was at work today, and was the one responsible for his current illness, or he could call Sarah. As soon as the thought of Sarah taking care of him entered his head, he found that he would prefer her than even Leonard. He dialed her mobile number and waited. She always answered her phone at least.
After three rings, Sarah's voice came on the line. "Hello?" She sing-songed the greeting.
"Sarah, I'm sick," Sheldon whined pathetically.
"Oh no! Is there anything I can get you, possum? I'm at the store right now," she offered.
After a moment of processing her sentence, Sheldon repeated, "Possum?"
"It's a term of endearment. Makes me feel better when I'm ill. Do you not like it?" she asked tentatively.
"I didn't say that," Sheldon reassured quickly. As of late, any and all affection from the young woman was very well received and often looked forward to, sparse though it was. He'd yet to reach a conclusion as to why this was.
"Okay then. So, did you want something from the store? Maybe some apple juice? A specific kind of tea?" Sarah suggested with an evident smile in her voice.
"My mother used to make me split-pea soup with little frankfurter slices and homemade croutons," Sheldon not so subtly replied.
"Oh, uh, I don't know how to make split-pea soup, but I can definitely do something with frankfurters and croutons. Would that be okay, possum?"
"Yes." He nodded, even though she couldn't see it. "Please hurry," he added.
"Okay. I'll just pick up your soup things, swing by home and be right over," she assured. "I won't be more than a few minutes, okay? You climb into bed and wait for me. Oh, but you'll have to get up to get the door."
"Okay. Hurry," Sheldon reiterated, then hung up and got back into bed, mourning the loss of the comforter he'd dropped in the hall.
A little over half an hour later, there was a quiet knock at the apartment door. Sheldon got out of bed as quickly as he could to answer it, more than a little relieved when he saw Sarah standing there with the kindest smile he'd ever seen. Which was saying something after having known this particular young woman.
"Hey possum," she greeted, moving inside as soon as Sheldon stepped aside. "You go lay down, okay? You look terrible."
Sheldon didn't comment. He paused a moment to see Sarah setting some plastic bags down on the kitchen counter before gathering up his comforter and ushering him into his room. She fussed over him until he was comfortably tucked in, then told him that she was going to make his soup and would be right back.
A short while later, Sarah came quietly back into his room, a tray in her hands. On the tray was a bowl of steaming soup, a glass of water and a glass of an electrolyte drink. She set the tray down on his desk before helping him sit up and placing the tray across his lap.
"Now, I've brought my evaporator, if you think that'll help?" she asked, absently rubbing Sheldon's upper arm.
He paused to watch her hand shift his pyjama sleeve, not uncomfortable with the physical contact, ill as he was. "Evaporator?" he asked, sipping his soup. It was some sort of potato soup, but at least it had the additions he'd asked for.
"Yeah, it always helps me when I get sick. I'll set it up and if you don't like it I'll put it away. Be right back, possum." She squeezed Sheldon's bicep then shuffled out of his room.
When she came back in, she was carrying an oddly shaped, brown device that Sheldon had never seen before. Sending him a smile, she searched for a power point to plug it in, explaining what it was as she did so.
"See, you fill this up with water, and this bit with eucalyptus oil. The water boils, and steams the oil. It really helps clear your sinuses," she said. "I'll just go get some water."
She left and came back with the kettle, poured the water into the evaporator, clicked it on and left, coming back quickly again. Seating herself beside him, she resumed rubbing Sheldon's arm as he finished his soup and drank both glasses at Sarah's coaxing.
"Now," Sarah took the tray and the dishes, standing from the bed, "did you want me to come in and sit with you, or do you want to be alone?"
"I don't want to be alone," Sheldon shook his head.
"Alright, possum, be right back."
While Sarah was setting the dirty dishes in the sink to clean later, her mobile rang in her pocket. Noting that the caller ID said it was Leonard, she smiled as she answered in a subdued voice, "Hey Leonard!"
"Hey, Sarah, uhm, listen, I'm just calling to warn you that Sheldon is sick," Leonard jabbered quickly.
"Yeah, I know, I'm here taking care of him. You don't mind, do you?"
"Uh, mind? Mind what?"
"That I'm in your apartment. I'll clean any mess that I make, I promise!"
"N-No, that's fine. You're taking care of Sheldon?" Leonard asked incredulously.
"Of course. I'd take care of any of you guys if you were sick. I don't mind," she assured him. "Oh yeah, there's some soup leftover, too, if you wanted some when you get home."
"Oh. Well, thank you, I guess," he slowly replied. "I'll see you later then."
"Sure thing. Buh-bye!" Sarah hung up and slid her phone back in her pocket.
As soon as she entered Sheldon's room again, he demanded, "What took you so long?"
Smiling sheepishly, Sarah sat next to Sheldon and rubbed his arm. "Sorry, possum. Leonard rang. I think he was worried about you."
Sheldon processed the statement, then took a moment to enjoy the stroking on his arm again before reaching over to his bedside table and picking up a small blue jar. "Will you please rub this on my chest?"
"Of course I will," Sarah smiled endearingly at him, taking the jar and holding it in both her hands to warm the contents.
Unceremoniously yanking his shirt and pyjama top up to bare his chest, Sheldon hoped he wasn't infecting Sarah as her face flushed. She rubbed the jar between her hands, averting her eyes as she opened it and dipped her fingers in.
Clearing her throat uncomfortably, Sarah reached forward and began to gently rub her fingers in a circle in the middle of Sheldon's chest, in the little smattering of hairs. She'd barely started when he flinched and made a noise of discomfort.
"No, counter-clockwise or my chest hair mats," he reprimanded her.
"Sorry, possum," Sarah chuckled, changing the direction of her rub. "That better?"
He hummed happily. After a few minutes, Sheldon sighed, "Sing 'Soft Kitty'."
"I will if you teach it to me, but I can't sing very well," Sarah warned, doing her best to ignore the fact that she was rubbing a naked male chest.
Sheldon sung the song to her as well as he could with his blocked nose, only then noting that the evaporator was actually working. Sarah then sung it back to him perfectly. While her voice wasn't angelic or worthy of any other ridiculous adjective, it carried the tune well and had a pleasant quality to it that, in his current state of mind, Sheldon could only describe as 'smokey'.
He was dozing off when Sarah gently pried his clothing from his hands and covered him up, tucking his arms beneath the covers. She stroked his hair for a while, which made him hum contentedly, then quietly left the room to thoroughly wash her hands.
She was just coming out of the bathroom when Leonard slowly peeked his head through the front door. "Oh, hey, Leonard," Sarah greeted with a smile before adding in a stage-whisper, "Sheldon's asleep."
"How the hell did you manage that?" he asked, beyond flabbergasted, coming into the room and closing the door quietly behind him.
Shrugging, Sarah replied, "I made him some soup, rubbed Vaporub on his chest and sang to him. Why, does he not usually fall sleep easily?"
"Something like that... What happened to your hand?" Leonard gasped, stepping towards Sarah when he noticed something was wrong with her hand.
"Huh? Oh." She looked down at her hand, which was covered in a raised, red, splotchy rash. Shrugging, she hid the offending limb behind her back. "Nothing. I'm allergic to Vaporub is all."
"Then why did you touch it?" Leonard asked, reaching out to take her arm and inspect the rash. It covered her hand and curled around her wrist. "This looks pretty bad."
"I'll be fine. It'll go down after a while, I just have to leave it alone," Sarah persuaded, gently taking her arm back and hiding her hand again. "I already washed it."
"If you knew you were allergic, why'd you touch it?" Leonard asked again.
"Sheldon asked me to rub it on his chest. He's sick, and I knew it would help." She shrugged noncommittally.
Leonard looked thoughtfully at the young woman in front of him, who was smiling back. The more he learned of her and her completely selfless personality, compassion and intelligence, the more he thought that perhaps he should try his luck with her.
Any half formed thoughts of asking her out were interrupted, however, when a frantically wailing Sheldon cried out, "Sarah!"
"Oh!" Gasping, she spun on her heel and flew down the hall and into Sheldon's room before Leonard had time to blink. "What's wrong, possum?"
"You left me alone," Sheldon whined plaintively. When he'd woken up alone in his bedroom, he'd had the irrational fear that Sarah had left him all alone in the apartment.
"I'm sorry, honey," Sarah cooed, taking a seat at the headboard of the bed and hauling Sheldon's upper body towards her. With one arm wrapped around his shoulders and the other stroking his arm, she cradled his head against her chest. "I'm right here, it's okay."
Momentarily stunned by the sudden close proximity to another body, Sheldon didn't have time to be disgusted by the contact before he began to enjoy the closeness. Sarah's breast was soft beneath his cheek, her hands warm on his arms. An internal shiver deep in his belly kept him from speaking.
Leonard cleaned the dishes in the sink so Sarah didn't have to, and helped himself to some of the leftover soup. When he cleaned those dishes and Sarah still hadn't resurfaced, he went looking for her. What he found when he peeked into Sheldon's bedroom was something that would remain with him for a very long time.
Sarah had fallen asleep propped up against the headboard of Sheldon's bed, head lolling against her shoulder. That in itself was fine, though still strange. What really got to him was the way a sleeping Sheldon was draped around her. His arms were wrapped around her middle and his head was cushioned on her chest. Her own arms hung loosely around the man's shoulders.
After doing a double-take and taking a moment to look at Sarah's peaceful face in respite, Leonard backed away and closed the door behind him.
"Wow," he breathed with a shake of his head. That was certainly something that he had never expected to see. And would never be able to un-see.
For the next two days while Sheldon was sick, Sarah stayed in the apartment and took care of him, which caused mass confusion amongst their friends. Penny had previously been unaware of Sheldon's atrocious behaviour when he was ill, but after hearing the stories related to her through the boys and what she heard from his bedroom when she visited, she was so very glad that Sarah was there to take the brunt of it.
"Should we really keep sending her in there?" Penny asked on the second afternoon, sitting in the lounge with the other three boys while Sarah flitted around the apartment, carrying out Sheldon's will. Everything from retrieving food and drink from the kitchen to making sure his seat on the couch was untouched.
"She seems to genuinely want to look after him," Leonard replied, bemusedly, a fond smile on his face. "Besides, he's kind of latched onto her. If we take her away, he'd probably just get worse."
As soon as Sheldon was well again, Sarah moved back out of the apartment. At first, Sheldon moped around the house, like a puppy whose master was away. It took him all of one day to start coming up with reasons that Sarah had to come over, and he would constantly text her. For three days and nights, she came at his every beck and call and didn't seem to particularly mind.
On the fourth day, she didn't come. Nor did she respond to any attempts at contact.