Title: "The Bond Permutation"
Summary: Sheldon learns that there are more than three things that prove that you're in a relationship, including one he wasn't prepared for.
Word Count: 4961
Author's Note: Written for the Shamy Fic Exchange, with the following (LONG!) prompt: "Starting after Shamy go all the way. Not the morning after, but with Sheldon informing the guys. Sheldon trying to play it cool, maybe even believing he can keep his emotions under control, the guys disagreeing. Either a one-shot with their reaction or multichapter [sic] with Amy staying the way she was, maybe even calming down, but Sheldon… possible (not mandatory) inspirational quote: Howard to Sheldon: "Listen to me, everything has changed. You had sex. No matter what you might think, nothing will ever be the same between you two. Yes, you might achieve everything you claim The Great Sheldon Cooper is destined for; Hell, one day your disembodied brain might be floating over the earth in your cyborg shell, and you'll be ruthlessly zapping down a human rebellion in Austrailia [sic], whatever. But what you'll be really thinking is: WE HAD SEX." Max rating- anything goes, but smut not mandatory. Bonus points- keep it as much in character as possible for all those involved."
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.
At this point, my relationship with Sheldon is somewhere way beyond roommates. We've lived together for close to a decade. We work at the same place and once spent a summer together at the North Pole. We both like cosplay, Thai food and critically-acclaimed sci-fi shows that get cancelled too soon. I mean, I've seen this guy laugh. I've seen him cry. I've seen him, literally, faint from fear and from joy. I've beat him at games and, God knows, he's beat me. Hell, I've been around long enough to see him vomit, fart, do Number 1 and Number 2, only to then (against my will) experience the horror of hearing his long-winded commentary on the experience. And then, sometimes, we camp out all night to attend the special viewing of some movie premiere, only to crawl back home after 2 AM, too excited go to sleep. Those nights, we stay up talking through the walls about orcs or magic or story continuity.
Yeah. We're more than roommates; maybe even more than friends. Which makes it all the more shocking that I somehow missed one of his biggest milestones of all. Honestly, I didn't even know the guy was capable of keeping a secret of that magnitude. He's usually so weird about things—and that's putting it very, very mildly.
Although, in hindsight, there were signs.
I came home one night (well evening) to find Amy seated on the middle cushion of the couch next to Sheldon. Once upon a time, her—let's say—lively personality and fashion sense made her hard to miss when she was in the apartment. With time, however, she was over so much, I noticed her about as much as I noticed the coffee table. Usually, the indifference was mutual. This day, though, as soon as I walked through the door, she hopped up, ready to leave.
"Don't go on my account," I said as I crossed the living room. "Pretend I'm not even here."
"No need," she said, smiling, and I discerned the unbridled glee in her voice. "I was just leaving, anyway. I have a red wig to buy." She was practically skipping as she exited the door.
Dropping my messenger bag to the chair to his left, I turned to Sheldon. "What was that about?"
"Oh. That?" Sheldon said in a way that should have raised the faintest bit of suspicion in my mind, but didn't. "Amy and I are going to Wil's costume party as the Doctor and Amy Pond."
I snorted at this news, amused by how "on the nose" it all was. "You guys really thought outside of the box on that one." The comment earned me Sheldon's look of haughty derision.
"Really, Leonard?" he said. "And remind me who you and Penny are going as again?"
"Kanye West and Kim Kardashian?"
Sheldon nodded triumphantly. "My point exactly."
"Riiiigggght," I said, confused, "because I'm a Black rapper and Penny's an Armenian-American socialite."
"Um, no," Sheldon said with a tone that suggested that I was the crazy one. "I mean that, much like the persons you will be impersonating, you, Leonard, shamelessly sample other people's work and Penny has a scandalous dating history. Am I right?"
"Oh yeah," I said. "Now that you mention it, the resemblance is eerie."
"So, I rest my case," Sheldon said, collecting scattered items from the coffee table, "which leaves you no room to criticize Amy and me."
"Fine. I'll leave you alone," I said, lifting my satchel from the chair. "I'm just glad to see that you two are agreeing."
Sheldon paused, his brow furrowed. "What does that mean?" he asked. "Amy and I agree, rather effortlessly, on a variety of matters. I certainly find coming to a consensus with her considerably less fatiguing than making you come around to the correct point of view."
"And which point of view is that?" I asked.
I rolled my eyes.
"Although," he continued, "she does have a disturbing eagerness to spend our evenings in dimly lit restaurants that feature annoying chamber music and that have absolutely no hamburgers on the menu whatsoever. Frankly, I don't see the appeal."
"What I meant," I said, returning to my original point, "is that, in the past, you two haven't always seen eye to eye when it comes to couple's costumes."
"Ah," Sheldon said, clearly remembering the days of debate that preceded Who-Con, Comic-Con, Stuart-Con (it was a bad, bad idea) and Halloween. Every. Single. Year. Sheldon looked away, pensive, almost as if he wasn't talking to me anymore. "I guess she's found a new time to be persuasive."
"Yeah," I said, losing interest, and took a few steps. Then, I stopped. "Wait, what time?"
Sheldon shifted his eyes, and then stood, rushing over to his desk and opening his laptop. "Honestly, Leonard, I have work to do. Don't you?"
"Yeah. I guess I do." I shrugged and, finally, walked back to my room. Closing the door, I plopped down to the bed and grabbed the remote. I had already missed the first ten minutes of The Voice, and Penny had charged me with voting for whoever was wearing cowboy boots or sang a Pink song while she's at work. One time last season, I'd fallen asleep mid-episode. She still blames me for her favorite singer going home.
Then there was that day at lunch.
"So," Sheldon said, at the conclusion of a rambling story that included an exhaustive list of all the multivitamins, antibiotics, and antihistamines he was taking and that had, somehow, segued into how he had been recently attacked by a flying squirrel. "That explains that."
"Explains what?" Howard asked. It was the question we were all thinking.
"Dear Lord, Howard. Must everything be spelled out?" Sheldon said, and then pointed to his neck. "It explains why I have this otherwise inexplicable bruise."
We all exchanged confused looks.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I don't believe any of that," Raj said, and slurped up a heaping spoonful of vegetable beef stew. He looked up smiling. "I think the cafeteria switched to Angus beef. I really can taste the hints of flavor in a grass-fed cow."
"Well, why don't you believe me?" Sheldon asked, supremely offended. "The story is absolutely plausible and features not only a credible list of reasons for why my blood might be toxic and thus more prone to bruising, but also provides the source of my contusion—a vicious, vicious attack by an airborne rodent."
"I don't believe you," Raj explained, "because you're the worst liar ever." The statement was followed by another slurp of his soup. "Definitely grass-fed."
Sheldon alternated his gaze between his lunch mates, anxiously talking through a strained laugh. "Then, if it's not a bruise from an airborne rodent," he stammered, "then, then, then what, pray tell, is it?"
Raj paused a moment, his eyes squinting, and thinking deeply. "Maybe Amy gave you a hickey?" he said.
Silence befell the table. We all looked around, and then fell out laughing.
Believe it or not, the following incident didn't even clue me in.
I was making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when Sheldon showed up, blustering and anxious, from the back of the apartment.
"Leonard," he said. "Question. Would you recognize me if I looked like this?"
He pulled his lips, eyes, and nose tightly into the middle of his face, as if there was a black hole in his nasal cavity. He looked ridiculous, sure, but still identifiable.
"Um, yeah. I'd recognize you," I replied, and reached for a glass tumbler in the cabinet.
"How about if my face looked like this?" Sheldon asked. He opened his eyes widely, accompanied by his mouth formed into a perfect "O" shape.
"I'm pretty sure I would," I said, and got the carton of milk from the fridge.
"Rats," he said with a snap. "What about if I looked like this?" He turned around, hugging himself, and tilted his head from right to left several times.
"Sheldon, I'm your best friend and roommate. I would recognize you if you were onstage, singing show tunes and dressed in a black wig, with fishnet stockings and red feather boa."
Sheldon made a face, arguably as grotesque as the others. "Why would I ever put myself in such a compromising position? Honestly, Leonard, sometimes I question your sanity."
"Funny," I said. "I do the same thing to you."
He crossed his arms. "If that was a crack at whether I'm crazy or not—"
"My mother had me tested."
I just shook my head, pouring myself a drink. "Seriously, Sheldon. Where is this going?"
He paused a sec before answering. "Nowhere," he said, and turned to leave.
"Really?" I asked. "Because it sure sounded like it was going somewhere."
He turned around and waved his hand reassuringly with a weak smile. "I was just asking for a friend of mine."
"Who we'll call Sheldon."
"No. His name is Bertrand. Or something else equally unrelated to me."
"Or course," I said, placing my sandwich on a plate.
"Anyway, he is afraid that an unnamed party, who promised that she—" he paused, "or he—because I don't know who that person is—would keep a harmless and completely inconsequential video of private footage to him or herself. Now, however, Bertrand is worried that said person may be tempted to 'accidentally' leak said footage to the Internet."
"Why would 'said person' do that?" I asked, walking my sandwich and milk to the living room.
"Because Bertrand, and not me, may or may not have bought his girlfriend a train store gift certificate for their anniversary."
I took a huge bite from my sandwich. "Bertrand sounds like a douche," I said with a mouthful of food.
"Hey now!" Sheldon protested. "Bertrand is an enthusiast, and enthusiasts like to spread their enthusiasm with others while hoping some of that enthusiasm may come back to them in the form of new train conductor's cap. Or model train enamel paint."
"Well," I said, "if the footage is harmless, maybe you—or Bertrand—should have nothing to worry about."
Sheldon dropped his fists to his side. "You know what, Leonard, you never take my side," he said, and marched back to his room.
A moment later, I heard the sound of his bedroom door slamming shut boom through the apartment. I let out a deep sigh.
"You know what? Crunchy peanut butter really is better," I said, and took another bite from my sandwich.
A couple weeks later, Sheldon, Raj, Howard and I were exiting a meeting that announced, among other things, the new policy for reporting sick time to Human Resources. As we walked down the hall, we all agreed that the method was more cumbersome, more time-consuming and (even worse) a lot harder to defraud.
"What I don't understand," Raj said, "is how the Doctor and Clara survived in space when they were on those asteroid thingies?" All heads turned to him. "What were they breathing?"
"You're an astrophysicist," I said, "and that's the only problem you have with Doctor Who?"
"Not to mention," Howard said, squinting, "what the hell does that have to do with sick leave?"
"Nothing," Raj said. "It's just that I was watching a re-run of 'The Rings of Akhaten' on BBC America and it popped into my mind."
"Well," I said, "it's not inconceivable that an asteroid would have some kind of mini atmosphere. Maybe they were breathing that."
Howard jumped in. "Furthermore, I'm pretty sure they were planets, not asteroids. I could easily fanwank a million reasons why breathing on them was not an issue: alien environment, unknown technology, and Time Lords can survive in a vacuum."
"Yeah, but only for a finite amount of time," Raj countered. "Besides, that doesn't explain Clara." Raj turned to Sheldon, who was intently reading something on his iPod. A quizzical look crossed Raj's face. "You don't want in on this conversation, Sheldon?"
"If you're watching Doctor Who for its scientific integrity, Raj," he said without looking up, "then you're watching for the wrong reason."
"Don't give me that," Raj said. "Wasn't it you that went nuts that time the Doctor said he couldn't rescue Rory and Amy after their last interaction with the Weeping Angels because it would cause a paradox so horrible, New York would rip itself apart?"
Sheldon's head shot straight up; he was hopelessly baited. "That is a different matter entirely!" he said. "Why couldn't he just go pick them up in New Jersey, Connecticut, or Rhode Island? Hoboken, New Jersey is just over the river."
"Who cares?" I groaned. "Their contracts were up. They had to be written off the show."
"That is not a good enough reason, Leonard," Sheldon said. "Each week, we grant the writers and production team a wide berth for our suspension of disbelief. If that loyal pact is broken between content provider and content 'providee'—"
"Not a word," I muttered.
"...then it is not only an egregious betrayal of our time and investment as loyal fans," Sheldon continued, "but grounds for abandoning the show and flooding Steven Moffat with a flurry of tweets expressing our strong disapproval."
"Right," Howard said, "and he replied to your 'flurry of tweets' with—and I quote—'Sod off, you wanker.'"
Sheldon squirmed, turning up his chin. "Which sounds bad in America, but is really quite playful in England."
"Actually it's not," Raj said.
"How would you know?" Sheldon asked. "Your English is barely proficient."
"Oh please! I went to Cambridge. Compared to you, I speak the Queen's English, dude."
"Ha!" Sheldon said. "If you speak the Queen's English, then I'm William Shakespeare. My years of consuming British media have practically made me a member of the royal court."
"If your English is so great," Raj said, his volume rising, "I bet you twenty dollars that you can't send Professor Fleming an email without him replying with at least one correction."
"That guy's insane," I said.
Howard concurred. "That British bastard once bum rushed the stage during Bill Gate's commencement speech because he said 'who' instead of 'whom.'"
"Leonard is right," Sheldon said. "Professor Fleming is completely unreasonable."
Raj nodded, a smug look on his face. "I knew you couldn't do it," he said.
"Oh, I assure you I can," Sheldon said, "and I will, but only on the condition that you send him an email as well."
Raj nodded, pulling out his wallet. "It would be my pleasure." He handed Howard—their impromptu bookie—a twenty dollar bill.
"Jolly good," Sheldon said, getting out his wallet, too. "A bit of wagering for sport is good for a bloke." He opened his wallet to procure a bill, not noticing when something fell to the floor. "Here, Howard, are my twenty quid—"
He stopped when he realized all eyes were fixed elsewhere—on a square, foil package at his feet. I bent over to pick it up. Sheldon froze, his eyes wide, his breathing arrested, the twenty dollars suspended from his fingers in midair.
"What is this?" I asked, slowly rotating the item in my hand.
"That's...not...mine," he said, sweat beading on his brow.
"Then whose is it?" I asked.
"Who's Bertrand?" Raj asked.
"Sheldon," I said.
"He most certainly is not me. He's a friend of mine."
"You have a friend named Bertrand?" Howard asked.
"Yes," Sheldon said.
"No," I muttered.
"How come you've never mentioned him before?" Howard asked.
I answered. "Because Bertrand is Sheldon."
"Fine," Sheldon conceded under much duress. "The prophylactic in your hand is...mine."
"Why would you need a condom?" Raj asked.
Sheldon sighed, deflated. "The same reason any man would need one, Raj," he said and clutched the handle to his messenger bag close to his body. "Grow up!"
His plea, however, fell on deaf ears. Howard was already spilling over with giddiness. He leaned in close to Raj.
"Do you know what this means?"
"Yeah," Raj said through a snicker. "It means that Sheldon has finally diddled Amy's skittles."
Both men started laughing.
"Sheldon gave up the crown jewels," Howard said.
"He buried the bone."
"Passed the gravy."
"Churned the butter."
"Threaded the needle."
By now, they were both breathless with laughter and leaning on each other with actual tears running down their faces.
"Or, or, or as the British like to say," Raj said in between breaths, "she and Sheldon 'shagged.'"
As Howard and Raj struggled to stay on their feet, Sheldon, clearly upset, spun on his heels and marched off. Raj and Howard, however, were too overcome with loud guffaws to even notice.
"I hope you're proud of yourselves," I said and took off behind Sheldon. I managed to reach his office just in time to have the door slammed in my face; I knocked.
"Go away," he said.
"This is Leonard."
"Go away!" he yelled.
"I wasn't even laughing," I said in my own defense. "Just, let me in, Sheldon."
I got no response. I had an idea.
"If you let me in I'll...I'll buy your lunch for a week."
There was silence for several seconds.
"With a Diet Coke?"
"Of course," I said.
"And dessert?" he asked.
"Sure," I said.
"And you'll pick all the onions off my supreme pizza?"
"Um, no," I said.
"GO AWAY!" he yelled.
I sighed. "Fine. I'll pick all the onions off of your supreme pizza."
A few moments passed and then the door opened. He immediately went back to his desk and sat down. Wordlessly, we stared at each other—both of us mute and awkward. It was then that I realized...
I had no clue what to say.
"Where is it?" Sheldon finally asked.
"Where is what?" I asked.
To hear those words come out of his mouth hit the reset button on everything I'd ever known about him; I literally felt dizzy. What would this all mean? That he would give Penny and me a break on PDA? That he and I were going to start having that kind of "guy talk?" Would I have to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones?
"Where is it?" he demanded.
"Oh, right," I said and hustled over to where he was. Pulling the package from my pocket, I placed it down on the desk. After a moment of hesitation, he picked it up, pulled out his wallet and then froze, staring at the small packet in his hand without saying a word.
I still didn't know what to say, but felt like I had to say something. If I left his office on this weird note, we may never get un-weird again. Plus, I'd just bought this conversation for a week's worth of cafeteria food and wasn't about to waste my money. "Sheldon, I just want to say—"
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"I don't want to talk about it. Pretend like it never happened." He stuffed the condom into his wallet and put the wallet in his desk.
"Um, well, okay," I said, defeated, and was walking away when Howard and Raj showed up in the open doorway. Upon their arrival, Sheldon hurriedly scrambled to open his laptop and resumed working.
"Sheldon," Howard said, crouching a little and hesitant to cross the threshold. Raj was standing behind him. "Can we come in?"
Sheldon continued typing for a while. "You may if you wish."
The best friends looked at each other and gingerly walked inside. Raj spoke first.
"Sheldon, there's something we want to say to you." He bit his bottom lip. "Howard first."
"Me first?!" Howard said. "Why me first?"
"Because you started it."
"Well, you were the one who was laughing so hard you started snorting."
"That was not a snort; it was a—"
"GUYS!" I yelled. "Are you going to apologize or not?"
"Fine," Howard said, and took a step forward. "We...were out of line. We know that, for you, this coitus stuff is a big deal. We're sorry and we apologize for our actions."
Sheldon didn't even acknowledge they had spoken for several moments, and continued typing.
"Sheldon?" I said.
He looked up at Howard. "I accept your apology, but not your premise." He resumed typing.
Howard glanced at Raj quizzically, then back at Sheldon. "My premise?" Howard asked. "What premise?"
"Your assertion that coitus is a 'big deal.' It is, in fact, not a big deal. Nothing has changed. I'm exactly the same person as I was before and my relationship with Amy remains as it always has been."
Raj looked incredulous. "How can you even say that?"
"Easily," Sheldon replied. "I just did."
Howard walked up to Sheldon's desk, leaned one arm against it; his tone reflected his disbelief at Sheldon's statement. "Listen to me," he said, "everything has changed. You had sex. No matter what you might think, nothing will ever be the same."
"False," Sheldon said, his typical arrogance mixed into his words. "While your romantic entanglement may have impaired what scrap of a career you enjoy—"
"I'm an astronaut."
"...and disturbed your life in some fundamental ways, you'll find that I remain, as I've always been, a man of science, a model citizen, and a cherished friend and family member, not to mention an acclaimed physicist on track to receive science's greatest honor."
"Yeah, well, you might achieve everything you claim that the Great Sheldon Cooper is destined for. Hell, one day your disembodied brain might be floating over the Earth in your cyborg shell and you'll be ruthlessly zapping down a human rebellion in Australia. Whatever. What you'll be really thinking is: WE HAD SEX!"
"Why would I be thinking that as I received my Nobel Prize?" Sheldon asked. "Because if I accomplish what you say I will, surely a Nobel Prize would be in order."
"What he's trying to say," I said, intervening as usual as Sheldon's translator, "is that being in your first, and maybe only, sexual relationship is a major milestone. It's not anything to be ashamed of, really. It's as normal as breathing and extraordinary as the fact that light behaves as a wave and a particle." For the first time since Raj and Howard had shown up, Sheldon stopped typing. In spite of himself, he knew I was right. "Instead of denying or hiding it," I said, "you should embrace your sexuality."
The statement seemed to reopen Sheldon's fresh wound. He looked away from his work and turned his gaze towards the floor. Something somber, even sad, crossed his face. "'Embracing my sexuality' is exactly was I was trying to do," he said, "and yet all it earned me was your unbridled ridicule."
This time, I knew he was right.
"We're sorry, Sheldon," I said.
"Sorry, Sheldon," Howard said.
"Yeah. Sorry, Sheldon," Raj agreed.
Sheldon's eyes met ours for the first time—a kind of silent acceptance of our remorse—but he seemed almost as agitated as before.
"Look," Howard said, "if it makes you feel any better, we've all been where you are."
"How so?" Sheldon asked.
"Well, I know you guys see me as something of a sex god," Howard began.
"We don't," I said.
"But, trust me; dropping a condom on the floor in public is the least of my embarrassing sexual experiences."
"Yeah," Raj said, agreeing with a little too much enthusiasm. "I mean, this guy lost his virginity to his cousin."
"She was my second cousin," Howard shot back through gritted teeth. "And, really, Raj? You want to go there? Considering you haven't had a sexual partner yet that's heard your voice?"
I busted out laughing.
"Oh don't you dare!" Raj shouted. "My parents still haven't got over the time their ears were defiled with the sounds of you having Skype sex with my sister while they shuddered just feet away."
"PRIYA SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING!" I yelled.
"The point is," Howard intervened, "that Sheldon, you shouldn't feel bad."
"Why not?" he asked.
"Because," Howard said with a warm smile, "you're just like us."
Sheldon dropped his head to his desk and wept.
Sheldon sat on Amy's living room couch, ruminating on the events of the day as the sound of metal tapping against ceramic clinked in the background. "I have a confession to make, Amy," he said.
She walked in from the kitchen bearing two cups of tea. "What is it, Sheldon?" she asked.
"It's about...well...you know."
"Sheldon," she said, sighing, and put his tea on the coffee table. "I already told you. As long as it's not a rash, you don't have to tell me the details."
"No, not that," he said. "It's something else."
She took a seat next to him on the couch, and then looked at him expectantly.
"The guys found out," he said at last.
She wasn't sure what he meant. "Found out about…?"
"About you and me. That we are now engaged in a coital relationship."
Amy's shoulders sank. "Well that's unfair, Sheldon," she said, placing her tea on the table. "You swore me to total secrecy only to then go and blab to your best buds." She shook her head. "It's a violation of the Relationship Agreement, I might add."
"I know, I know," he said, duly chastened. "I said I wouldn't kiss and tell, but they pried it out of me at metaphorical gunpoint. You should have been there as they socially brutalized me. I was left with no option."
"Well," she said, bashfully lowering her head. "I have a confession to make, too."
"What's that?" Sheldon asked.
"I...kind of blabbed too."
Sheldon sat up erect, surprised. "To whom?"
He was confused. "But I was under the impression that she already believed we were in a sexual relationship."
"Oh please, Sheldon," she said and rolled her eyes. "That gig was up years ago. Upon my return home for a visit, she took one whiff of my virginal body chemistry and determined I was a liar, liar, pants on fire."
"She could smell your celibacy?" he asked.
"She can also smell when I have an iron deficiency or have been eating too much chocolate."
Sheldon shook his head slowly. "That's remarkable."
"Well considering I'm chronically anemic, always consume too much chocolate and, until recently, was a virgin, it's not as remarkable as it sounds."
"Well, I guess can't be too upset," Sheldon said and lifted his cup and saucer from the table at last, stirring his tea with a spoon. "It's only natural for a woman to seek out her mother in matters of her sexual activities."
"Actually," Amy said, "I don't think it is."
Amy shook her head, and then squinted one eye and turned her mouth to the side, scrunching her face into a ball. "That's why I also told Bernadette."
"PENNY?!" Sheldon blurted, shocked. "Amy Farrah Fowler! If you told Penny, you might as well have painted the news on a poster and run it up the flagpole at City Hall."
"But, Sheldon," Amy protested, "she didn't tell anyone."
"You don't know that."
"I'm sure she didn't. Leonard didn't know anything and, if she were going to spill the beans, she surely would have told him."
"I imagine you're right," he said, looking away. "But telling them was a flagrant and deliberate breach of our contract none the less."
"I'm sorry, Sheldon," Amy said, placing a hand next to him on the couch, "but when the girls were all recounting racy stories about their nocturnal adventures, it was entirely too tempting for me to make a contribution, now that I'm finally able to join in."
Sheldon shook his head. "I should have expected that my sexual prowess would be too much for you to keep to yourself."
"If it makes you feel any better," she said, her voice playful, "they were very impressed with your ability to…" She leaned forward and whispered into his ear, her hand cupped around her mouth.
"But Amy," Sheldon said, his face blooming into a bright crimson, "I don't even do that. Well, I do that, but not like that."
"Oh, I just exaggerated a little, but don't worry. They all lie. Trust me; I refuse to believe that a man as tiny as Howard has knockers as, ahem, fortuitously endowed as Bernadette claims. If he did, he would require a distinctly different wardrobe, if you know what I mean."
"Sadly, I do," Sheldon said. "One Christmas, I was obliged to buy him a gift and decided on a pair of gloves." He leaned forward, speaking in a clandestine manner. "I had to buy them from the women's department."
"Um, Sheldon?" Amy said.
"I wasn't talking about his hands."
"No?" he said. "Then what were you talking about?"
She shook her head. "Never mind."
He shrugged, and took a sip of his tea. A few moments passed, and a mischievous grin came across his face.
"What?" Amy asked.
"It's just that," he began, "I guess the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag."
Amy slid closer to Sheldon on the couch, purring a little. "I guess it is," she said. "And it's alive." They were nose to nose.
Without moving, he gazed down at her lips, his eyelids lowering, his breath slowing, his volume softening. "That's a mixed metaphor, Amy," he said. "The 'cat in a bag' and the cat of Schrödinger's fame are—"
She leaned forward, silencing his words with a spell of her lips pressed against his. His eyes fell shut.
"I'm sorry," she said, when she pulled back. "What were you saying?"
He didn't answer, though—just brought his lips back to hers as he reached for his wallet.
END NOTE: Thanks Lio for your encouragement and never ending enthusiasm. Also, thank you guys for reading. You guys make it worth it.