Insert usual disclaimer about not owning TBBT here.
I know I already did a somewhat similar story, but while watching Total Recall the one day, my muse began whispering in my ear. Fortunately, due to ear wax and loud speakers, I was unable to hear most of what he was saying. The few phrases I did catch were explicit enough to make me blush. I'm fairly certain a couple of those suggestions are illegal in at least 18 states. Anyway, once again, Penny isn't who she seems.
It started with a simple driving lesson. Penny took Sheldon to a local high school on a Saturday morning. They had the entire parking lot to themselves for him to practice in. It went fairly well at first. Sheldon was tentative, but starting to loosen up when a group of teens, out running around, peeled into the parking lot and startled him.
Sheldon, in his panic, hit the gas and shot across the parking lot. Penny tried to stop him, to calm him. Sheldon's eyes were wide as her voice penetrated his brain. He slammed on the brakes and Penny shot forward, her head slamming into the dash board. Just before she passed out, she heard Sheldon call out to her.
Sheldon sat by the hospital bed and gently sang Soft Kitty under his breath. The door opened and Amy and Leonard rushed in. Sheldon dropped Penny's hand quickly and looked up at them.
"How is she?" Amy whispered softly.
Sheldon cleared his throat. "The doctor says she has a concussion. But he says she should be fine. They are just waiting on her to wake up now."
"What happened?" Leonard demanded. Sheldon explained about the driving lesson and the other car. He cringed when he told them how he had panicked. Amy patted his arm and he struggled not to pull away from her. He didn't relish being touched at the best of times, and he definitely didn't want it now. However, he knew from experience that letting her see that would result in her pushing his boundaries because she was determined there be no walls between them.
They sat quietly for as long as they were allowed. Eventually the nurse told them visiting hours were over and they had to leave. The doctor assured them there was nothing wrong except the concussion and the fact that Penny still had not woken up was nothing to worry about. She was not in a coma, just asleep. Leonard tried to convince them to let him stay, but the nurse was adamant that he couldn't. The drive back to 2311 Los Robles was quiet.
She opened her eyes slowly and flinched from the florescent light overhead. She felt disoriented, and a bit nauseous. Where was she? She carefully looked around, taking in everything. Okay, hospital or clinic. She shifted every limb slowly. Nothing broken or too sore. Her biggest pain was her head.
She sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She remembered the driving lesson and Sheldon's panic. She remembered hitting the dash board. That explains the headache and rolling stomach. She pressed the call button and waited for a nurse to show up.
She signed the last form and slipped her shoes back on. The on-duty doctor didn't want to release her, but she insisted. She hated med-units. There wasn't anything wrong but a headache and she wasn't staying there any longer than necessary. She gathered her belongings from the nurse's station and called a taxi. Good thing she had her wallet.
She was halfway home before she wondered what in the hell a med-unit was.
Sheldon listened to Leonard's shower running as he dialed the hospital's number. He asked for Penny's room and was put on hold. He didn't ask himself why he waited for Leonard to get into the shower to call. He just wanted to check on Penny. He was waiting, growing impatient when the front door opened and Penny walked in. Sheldon almost dropped the phone in shock.
He quickly hung it up and gawked at her as she waved hello and stepped into the kitchen. She pulled out the milk and added a bit to her coffee. "Good morning, Sheldon."
Sheldon looked her over with concern. It wasn't even 8 am yet. Penny was not only awake, she was fully dressed in jeans and a soft blue flannel shirt, buttoned and tucked into the jeans. Sheldon wasn't sure what to think.
"Penny? Why aren't you in the hospital? Why are you awake? Are you okay?"
She looked a bit confused for a second. "I'm okay, Sheldon. A bit of a headache, but nothing bad. Why wouldn't I be awake? It's morning." She sipped her coffee and sat down at the table. "What are your plans for the day?"
Leonard chose that moment to come out of the bathroom. His eyes widened and he hurried forward. "Penny! Are you okay? I've been so worried! Why aren't you in the hospital?" He threw his arms around her and pulled her close.
Penny frowned at him and pulled out of the hug gently. "I'm fine, Leonard. I had them release me and I came home. I got in around midnight."
Sheldon watched her carefully. Something was off. He just couldn't put his finger on what it was. Something about her was wrong. He moved closer and sat down across from her at the table. Penny was listening to Leonard tell her how worried he had been and how he had sat at her bedside as long as possible. He complained about the nurse kicking him out. To hear Leonard tell it, he had been the only one concerned, and the nurses had treated him abominably.
Penny watched Leonard dispassionately. Sheldon jerked in surprise. That was it. It was her eyes. Penny was not an idiot, but she wasn't known for higher intelligence, either. Mostly she was emotional and expressive. There was no emotion in her eyes. Instead, it was as if she was analyzing Leonard.
When Leonard was through ranting, she patted him on the shoulder as one would do a child. "Well, it's all over now. I'm fine, you don't have to worry any more."
Penny looked over at Sheldon and noticed him watching her. Sheldon almost flinched at the appraising look she gave him. "So, you never did say what you guys were doing today," she remarked.
Leonard touched her arm, drawing her attention back to him. "We had originally planned on paintball, today, but I'm going to stay home and look after you," he said with a slightly put out expression. He wanted her to know how big a sacrifice he was making on her behalf.
Penny shook her head. "Nonsense. Go have fun. I'm fine. I'll probably just do some laundry or cleaning."
Sheldon frowned. He wasn't so sure, now, that Penny really was okay. He definitely didn't think she should be alone. He cleared his throat. "Penny, why don't you join us? I have an extra uniform and Leonard has a second gun. You could join Barry Kripke, Leslie Winkle, Leonard, Howard, Raj and I. We're taking on the geology department."
Penny shrugged. "I guess I could. If your sure you don't mind loaning me your stuff."
Leonard grinned widely. He hadn't wanted to miss paintball. "Of course not! I'll go get the gun!"
As soon as he was out of sight, Sheldon reached over and lightly touched her hand. "Penny, are you sure you are okay?"
Penny looked at him closely. Once again he got that feeling of being analyzed. "I'm good. I'll go put some shoes on."
Sheldon stood as she left the apartment. He walked back to his room to get the other pair of coveralls and pads from his closet. He wasn't so sure Penny should have left the hospital so quickly.