I don't own the Big Bang Theory or it's characters. I have, however, named a stray cat after Barry. It can't really meow, it sort of says "muuuuuulp" at you. It's a cat with a lisp.
Sheldon frowned at the napkin encased in glass once more. It was too much to live up to. How was he supposed to find her a gift of even one-tenth the value? Sheldon slumped on his bed and glared at the framed photo of the two of them from the one time she joined them for paintball. They were both covered in green paint and glaring at each other. Darn her! Her birthday was in 5 days. How was he supposed to find the perfect gift in five days when he hadn't been able to find one in 5 months?
He laid back and slung an arm across his eyes. Leonard had bought her shoes. A pair of designer heels that he wanted to see her in. Sheldon frowned and suppressed a shudder. Would Leonard never see beyond his desire for her physical beauty?
Howard had purchased her a day at a spa. According to his mother, it was what every girl who spent the day on her feet wanted.
Raj had purchased the entire run of Sex and the City for her. Although, like Leonard, it was partially a selfish gift. Something he could enjoy with her.
There had to be something! Something she would love. Something she would enjoy. Something that... Sheldon sighed forlornly. Something that would tell her he cared about her.
He stood up and strode back out into the living room. He grabbed his keys from the bowl and left the apartment. He just had to find her the perfect gift.
Penny laughed and high-fived Raj as they once again destroyed Leonard and Howard. "That's it boys! Nine games and yours truly has come out of it unscathed!"
"Hey!" Howard complained. "Sheldon killed you once!"
Penny smirked and blew Sheldon a kiss. "Tis but a flesh wound!"
Leonard adjusted his glasses and smiled wryly. "You know guys, I'm not sure we should give gifts to someone who gloats that much."
Penny squealed and clapped her hands. "You got me birthday presents, too? You guys are the best! I thought the dinner out was my gift!"
Howard bowed with a flourish and presented her with an envelope. "What kind of man would I be if I didn't shower you with gifts? Or just shower you period?"
Penny rolled her eyes. Howard could be so creepy sometimes, but for the most part, he had been a sweetie tonight, so she overlooked the last remark. She ripped open the envelope and her eyes got wide.
For the first time in their acquaintance, Howard found himself being hugged by Penny. He blushed and smiled, and for once, he didn't feel like coming on to her. For once, he felt like they really were friends.
While Howard recovered, Raj thrust a brightly wrapped box in her hands. Penny shredded the paper and gasped. She hugged the dvd set to her chest with one arm and hugged Raj tight with the other. "Oh sweetie! We have sooooooo got to plan a SATC night!"
Raj nodded. "Wine, women and Mister Big!" The two of them giggled loudly and hip bumped.
Leonard moved closer shyly and held out his gift. Penny made short work of the ribbon and paper and then collapsed onto the couch. "Holy crap on a cracker! Jimmy Choo shoes," she whispered reverently. Penny stared at the soft grey heels lovingly. She looked up at Leonard and smiled. She set the shoes beside her and stood up so she could hug him. She didn't even squirm when Leonard held on a little too long.
Penny looked at her guys and smiled broadly. "Thank you guys so much! This is the best!"
Sheldon was sitting on his desk chair watching. Leonard gathered up the bits of wrapping paper and ribbon while Penny placed the dvds and certificate in the box with the shoes. Howard and Raj were gathering up the controllers from the game.
Sheldon stood and walked over to Penny. "There's one more," he said softly.
Everyone looked at Sheldon in surprise. Penny blinked a couple of times. "Sweetie, you don't like buying or getting gifts."
Sheldon cleared his throat. "I don't. But I have something for you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small square box.
Penny slowly took it from his hand and opened it up. Inside lay a silver ring. The top of the band was an infinity symbol. On one curve of the infinity symbol were two stones set side by side. One a dazzling emerald and the other a deep sapphire.
Penny looked up at Sheldon in wonder. He placed his hands behind his back nervously. "The salesman called it a promise ring. I had them replace the zirconia stones with these. This is my promise to you. I will always be your friend. Whatever happens, wherever we are, however much time passes, I will be your friend for infinity."
Sheldon was alarmed when tears began to stream down Penny's face. Had he done this wrong? Was the gift unacceptable?
Suddenly Penny threw her arms around his neck and held him tightly. He squawked for a second, until he heard her whispers.
"Thankyouthankyouthankyouthan kyou," she said in his ear. Sheldon relaxed and wrapped his arms around her loosely.
Sheldon lay in his bed, his mind firmly fixed on Penny's reaction to his gift. He disregarded the moans from Howard and Raj that he had outdone them. He ignored the jealous glare Leonard had given him for the rest of the night. Penny had loved his gift. She had put it on immediately and the look of pure, unadulterated joy she had given him had been wondrous. He looked over at his framed napkin and smiled. Not his Joker smile, or his koala smile. Not even his Meemaw smile. A soft smile that only showed up when he thought of Penny.
"Almost even," he whispered before turning off his light and closing his eyes.