Disclaimer: I don't own The Big Bang Theory.
Summary: Sheldon, Penny, and impromtu stargazing. SheldonPenny, oneshot
Inspiration can strike at the strangest of times! I guess I just really wanted to write some more Shenny, because they're my OTP for this fandom, and this was what I came up with. It's not very long, but I thought it would be an interesting concept to write about. I do hope y'all enjoy!
Penny inhales deeply as she walks up the stairs, intent on her destination, however mundane it might be.
There isn't a thought in her mind as she opens the door and steps out onto the roof. A nighttime breeze greets her, ruffling her light hair over her shoulders and giving her a feeling of nostalgia that seems almost as if reuniting with an old friend.
The night air was chilly, though not uncomfortable. However, she would have taken this particular brand of discomfort after the day she had just endured. A particularly busy day at her job had led to this, the overwhelming desire to be outside, free from the confines of waitressing in a job she deemed temporary at the time, but now she was finding that maybe...maybe that was not so.
Shaking her head to rid her of that thought, Penny steps forward and throws out a blanket. It settles along the roof neatly, falling in place as if it belonged there. She takes a breath before removing her shoes and stepping onto the blanket. The blonde eases herself down onto the blanket, finding that it is surprisingly comfortable, all things considered, and then lies down on her back.
Her eyes find what she came up here for - or, lack thereof. The stars are there, but dimmer due to the city lights. Not like in Nebraska, where each star shined like a miniature sun.
But Penny finds herself alright with this. Though they aren't as bright, she can still make them out. Can still try to connect certain stars together to create the images she desires. Not the ones she knows are out there, typical ones like Orion and Leo and Cancer, but ones that she conjures out of her own imagination. Somehow, that makes this more fun to her.
Penny finds herself reaching upwards, tracing the stars with a finger like she used to do so long ago. She and her father would come outside and sit down underneath the stars. He'd point out certain constellations and she'd always say, with a childish lilt to her voice, "I'm gonna be a star one day, Daddy."
And he would grin at her and say, "Yes, pumpkin."
The memory brings a smile to her face, one that is soft and gentle and untainted by the outside world.
She keeps tracing shapes in the stars - one looks like a rabbit, another looks like a monster truck, and another looks like one of Spock's ears...
That last one brings her up short. She snorts a laugh, unable to help herself, placing her hand over her face in somewhat embarrassment. Another testament to the fact that her friends have certainly been rubbing off on her -
Penny cracks her eyes open, peeking through her fingers at the image of Sheldon Cooper, standing in the doorway just feet from her. He looks as if he feels the urge to knock three times, but doesn't move to do so.
"Sheldon," she greets.
He blinks at her, looking somewhat like a lizard, and steps forward. "I am aware when some people laugh to themselves, it can be a sign of impending madness, so I must inquire that - "
"I'm not going crazy, Sheldon," she chides, familiar and playful and kind. Before he can say anything else, she asks, "What are you doing up here?"
"Leonard bought everyone Thai food, Raj mentioned that he saw you walking up here, and I lost at a game of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock that was to decide which one of us would come get you."
"Thanks," Penny drawls.
"I did not expect this."
Penny doesn't move from her position on the blanket, only removes her hand from her face so she can get a better look at him. "I'm just looking at the stars."
Sheldon's neck strains as he looks upward, where Penny had just seen Spock's ear. "I did not know you were a stargazer."
"Everyone's a stargazer at some point, sweetie," she replies.
Sheldon looks back down at her, his eyes calm and somewhat soothing as they search her face for something impossible to find.
"I believe the Big Dipper is up there - that one might be easier for your eyes to pick out - "
Penny snickers. Of course Sheldon would find some way to put her down. Though, she doesn't mind. She had long stopped taking what he said as insults, taking them as just a part of Sheldon's holier-than-thou personality.
"I got you, genius," she says. A breeze picks up and ruffles her hair around her face. She raises her hands and shoves the stray strands behind her ears before staring at Sheldon once more. He has moved ever-so-slightly in her direction, his hands hanging lamely at his sides, the knuckles red from the slight chill. Penny stares at him for a moment before saying, "Wanna sit down?"
Sheldon looks down at her as if she has grown a second head. He cocks his head to the side like a curious puppy - or Michael Myers, Penny thinks.
She doesn't move from her position, lying on the floor, as Sheldon awkwardly steps forward, his feet coming into contact with the unoccupied side of the blanket before he lowers himself down. It's fascinating to watch, Penny realizes, almost like Bambi.
When he has seated himself cross-legged on the blanket, his hands placed on either knee, it looks almost as if he is poised for a yoga class to begin. Penny tries not to laugh at the image and asks him if he is truly comfortable, to which he replies, with that unnerving bluntness, "Yes, of course."
She just smiles at him as he then directs his attention to the stars, winking above them as if sharing a secret.
And then Sheldon begins talking.
Normally, this would be cause of concern for her, seeing as he often uses his mouth to prove his superiority over her or to talk about things that she has no interest in, using words that she can't even spell, let alone say in supposedly normal conversation.
But that is not the case, not this time.
He starts talking in such low tones - intimate tones, almost - that it takes her aback. After she stops focusing on the movement of his lips, she takes in the words. Stories of stars and constellations and mythology pour from his lips, and it is so enrapturing she can't bring herself to say anything. He points to several stars above them, saying a blurb about this one, a comment about that one.
It is fascinating.
Penny doesn't want to say anything, dares not even breathe too hard for fear of disrupting this moment. She watches him as he talks, his face cool and composed, yet there is animation in those eyes of his. He truly loves sharing knowledge, despite the fact that he believes most people are dumber than he.
Well, Penny reasons with herself sardonically, he's right.
Sheldon continues talking, his voice softly mingling with the nighttime breeze. She's unable to look away as he talks, watches the way his hands eventually clasp each other, watches as he points upward every now and then, watches as the faint tug of a smile pulls his lips slightly upward.
Her chest feels light, as if she had been hollowed out and left a shell that could take flight on the wind. She finds that she's smiling at him, brighter than she should be, but he doesn't take notice, as enraptured as he is with his stories.
His voice soon fades away, replaced by the silence that had enveloped her before. She feels a sense of loss and realizes that she wishes he were still talking, which is something she never would have said before.
Sheldon looks down at her. "I believe our food is cold at this point."
Penny shrugs. "Eh, that's what microwaves are for."
Before Sheldon can go into the fact that he despises having to microwave things of that sort, Penny asks, "Can you tell me more?"
Sheldon blinks, taken aback. When he doesn't speak, she adds, "About the stars."
He looks at her, curious, and then gives her a gentle look, one that suggests fondness. "Alright."
So he talks about stars and she listens, relishing the time she has left with him and dreading the moment it must end.