Summary: Amy is terrified to discover Sheldon's at the hospital. Coda fic to The Proton Resurgence.
Word Count: 1761
Author's Note: This fic is dedicated to Pammie, who asked for such a fic this morning on Tumblr. Love you Pammie!
Disclaimer: The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, and is produced by them along with Steve Molaro. It is a Warner Brothers production and airs on CBS. All characters, plots and creative elements derived from the source material belong exclusively to their respective owners. I, the author of the fan fiction, do not, in any way, profit monetarily from the story.
Amy made the trip up four flights of stairs to go and visit her boyfriend. After a long and arduous day in Glendale—spent with the family that made her feel simultaneously like the dumbest and smartest person in the world—she was more eager than normal to spend a little downtime with the only person she knew was always glad to see her. Even though he didn't always show it.
She knocked on the door, smiled into the peephole, and waited. A second later, the door swung open.
"Hey, Amy," Leonard said, disheveled and wearing PJs. "Yeah, Sheldon's not here."
Amy almost addressed the fact that he had neither waited for her to say "hello" in return or state the reason for her visit, but her shock at Sheldon's absence was more pressing. "Where is he?" she asked.
"Oh," Leonard said, laconically rubbing the back of his neck. "At Pasadena General Hosp—"
Before he could finish his sentence, she took off down the stairs, racing around the corner.
"I was just on my way to go and pick him up," he said to no one. "But, since you're going to, cool." He shut the door.
Amy raced down the street as fast as she could at speeds she would usually never even entertain, which meant she drove at 40 miles per hour, since legally a driver could only go up to five miles over the speed limit without being pulled over by a cop. If Sheldon was ill, she certainly didn't want to add a legal issue to an already distressing night.
Soon enough, she pulled up to the hospital drop-off lane, leapt from the car, handed her keys to the valet, and ran for the door.
"Hello, Amy," someone said on the sidewalk.
"Hello, Shel—" she said as she whizzed by, and then stopped. She turned around. "Sheldon?"
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Sheldon!" she said, and ran up to him, hugging him tightly. He responded stiffly. "Are you okay?"
"I am," he said, and rather curt for her liking.
"I thought something had happened to you."
"Something did happen to me," he said, as if it were an accusation. "I had one of the best days of my life."
"Well, that's…good," Amy said, growing confused by the disconnect between the tone of his voice and the words coming from my mouth. "Then why are you at the hospital?"
"Unfortunately, Professor Proton suffered from a cardiac incident involving his pacemaker. I accompanied him here on the ambulance."
"Oh dear," Amy said. "Is he okay?"
"Is that all you care about, Amy? Professor Proton? What about me?"
"I don't understand," Amy said. "I thought you said you were fine."
"I am fine," he said, his voice returning to normal. He turned his head, scanning the parking lot. "I am here waiting for Leonard to pick me up, and then I'll be on my way."
"I don't think he's coming anymore. He's the one that sent me here."
"Fine, then," he said. "I'll have to catch the bus home."
Amy was confused. "Why would you catch the bus home when…when I'm here?"
"Because, honestly Amy, you've left me in the lurch once today and I don't want to take any chances with another desertion."
Amy looked down, her face solemn, then back up at Sheldon. "How did I leave you in the lurch?"
"Well, for starters, you were fully aware that today I would be meeting my childhood idol and best friend, the very man who was incredibly instrumental in inspiring me to pursue a life of science, and where were you? Playing tiddlywinks and scoolabaloo with your family in Glendale."
"I don't believe those are actual games and, Sheldon, you know I had to go. My mother needed help moving."
"Sure, and what was your reason last time when you were nowhere to be found the day I met Steven Hawking, another personal idol and my sole intellectual peer?"
"I had to go to that conference away, remember?"
"You know what? There's always an excuse with you Amy. I guess next time it'll be a death in the family or some mystery illness. Maybe Ebola."
"Both of those would be excellent reasons to miss something Sheldon."
"Oh, great. So I now know that if I ever get invited to have dinner with Leonard Nimoy, I should RSVP for one."
Amy placed a hand on his arm. "I honestly didn't know you even wanted me to come along, Sheldon. You never said anything." She thought a moment. "I mean, Penny wasn't there and I'm sure Leonard wasn't mad."
"Oh, my dear, how mistaken you are. Not only was Penny there, but she all but derailed the entire event. Between her tight-fitting clothing, flirtatious body language, and inane commentary, she practically made a laughingstock of the entire event. At one point, I actually had to offer to send her home."
"Oh no," Amy said.
"Oh yes," Sheldon said. "Not only that, but Professor Proton was just oh so impressed that Leonard had a girlfriend. It was the classic case of one-upmanship that Leonard is so notorious for."
"Did you tell him that you had a girlfriend?"
"Right, Amy, and come off as a pathetic, envious, second fiddle to Leonard? I'd rather drink water straight from the faucet."
That's when it dawned on Amy: between the girlfriends of their social group, she actually was the pick of the litter. Sure, the other two were blondes with fancy wardrobes and arched eyebrows, and Amy was no match for Penny's hard abs, perky bosom and above-average alcohol-tolerance. But anyone who could match wits and keep toe-to-toe with a genius like Sheldon Cooper was a woman among women. No wonder Sheldon had so dearly longed for her presence. She, unwittingly, had denied him the opportunity to show off his most cherished affiliation. Suddenly, she felt just awful.
"I am so sorry, Sheldon," she said, drawing closer and her demeanor contrite. "I really wish I had realized how much my presence meant to you. If I'd only known, I would have shown up, enthusiastically, with a fresh-baked batch of my famous ginger snap cookies."
Sheldon brightened some, but his classic haughtiness crept through. He crossed his arms and turned his head away. "You're just saying that to placate me," he said. "I know you only make those cookies on days that begin with 'S.'"
"I would have made an exception for Professor Proton," she said.
Sheldon turned back to look at her. "You would have?"
"Of course. Plus, if you ever dine with Leonard Nimoy, I'll make my cookies for him too." She upped the ante. "I'll even wear my medical officer costume."
Sheldon spun around, fully facing her and clasping his hands together in delight. "Oh, Amy!" she said. "This really is the best day of my life."
"I imagine it is," Amy said. "Not only did you get a show from Professor Proton, but you got to ride in an ambulance." She paused a moment, breathless with anticipation. "Don't tell me you got the calendar, too?"
"No calendar," Sheldon said. "But something better."
"Better than the calendar?"
"Better," he said. Jittery, he grasped the handle to his messenger bag that was hanging across his torso. "You are looking at Professor Proton… Junior."
"Professor Proton Junior?" Amy said.
"In the flesh."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, because the real Professor Proton is ailing, he enlisted me to—" He paused, catching his breath. "To replace him for a children's show for a Korean family in La Habra tomorrow."
"You're kidding me," Amy said, astonished.
Sheldon furrowed his brow. "Of course not," he said. "Why would I ever kid about something as serious as Professor Proton?"
Amy was excited, but couldn't hide her reservations. "That's wonderful, Sheldon," she said, "but, I thought you didn't like kids."
"I don't," he said, "but, I would do anything to spend one day in the shoes of that great man, even if it means passing the time trying to educate snotty-nosed, misbehaving, crumbsnatchers about the wonders of remedial science."
"Good for you," she said with a nod, and then muttered, "You might make a great father after all."
"What was that?" he asked.
"Nothing," she said.
All of a sudden, he stood completely upright, his face marked with shock.
"What is it, Sheldon?"
"But, but, but… who's going to drive me there? Who's going to help me carry the equipment to the house? Who's going to hold the potato still while I do 'Potato Clock?'?"
"Awww," Amy said, practically cooing. "Potato clocks are so charming."
"Aren't they?" Sheldon said. Then he shook his head. "But I won't be able to do it without an assistant."
Amy held her hands behind her back, took one step forward, and cleared her throat. "I know someone who would be the perfect assistant."
"Who could I possibly find anyone at this late hour? I would choose Leonard, but he is just so tedious and absolutely terrible at following directions. Trust me, he doesn't take a single suggestion I give him on how to make his bedroom function more efficiently."
"Then how about yours truly?" Amy offered with a smile.
"But you didn't even watch Professor Proton growing up."
"I watched an episode or two. Besides, I'm a female scientist, and thus would be an great example for the girls in the audience, and you and I have an excellent performing chemistry as demonstrated by Fun with Flags. I'm the perfect candidate."
Sheldon considered the proposal for a moment. "Indeed you are," he said. He held out his and. "Welcome aboard, Amy, or as Professor Proton would say, 'You can only have molecules when atoms work together as a team.'"
She took his hand, shaking it firmly. "This is going to be so much fun."
"Alright now," Sheldon said. "Don't take over, young lady. I'm the junior professor here, not you."
Amy nodded. "Understood. Now, let's go back to your place and start getting ready."
"Great idea," he said. "There's a lot you need to learn by tomorrow and I have to practice my Italian puppet voice."
Italian puppet voice?
They set off towards the car. "Guess what, Amy?" he said, giddy, as they walked along.
"What?" she said.
"Professor Proton let me call him… father. We hugged."
Amy paused, as he walked on, and shook her head. "I don't even know if our wedding day will top this," she said, and followed behind him.
END NOTE: Thanks for reading. Reviews are welcome.