A/N: I couldn't stay away! I needed some more Shenny in my life.

Warning: Y'all know me—I like my Sheldon Cooper dark, and as the story progresses, his character will eventually become slightly OOC, but that's the fun of fan fiction, right? And this story will contain adult language and sexual content (starting in this chapter) so you have been warned! I hope you guys enjoy it :]

First & only disclaimer: I do not own rights to The Big Bang Theory or any of their characters or likenesses. Everything else is mine.

The subtle squeaks of his mattress springs sliced through the silence as he found his rhythm. His arms were tired as he held himself upright; he felt like he was poised to do a push-up. The crisp, clean, navy blue sheets of his bed covered the lower half of his body at a perfect angle, but the perspiration forming on his back was proving to be a distraction as they clung to his spine. He hated the feel of sweat on his body, but he could hardly pay attention to this small detail when the rest of his body was otherwise engaged in what could be deemed a far more unsanitary act. To distract himself, he gazed around his room with wandering eyes, but kept his head stationary. The last time he allowed himself to look around during coitus, he got bitched out for a week.

His eyes averted to the left, towards his window. There, he thought with a flit of hope. There's a noticeable gap between the frame of the window and the rest of my wall that is missing paint.

"My hair," a low voice said from under him, interrupting the scrutiny of his wall. He looked down and locked eyes with his girlfriend. "You're on my hair," she added.

"Oh," Sheldon mumbled. "My bad." He tentatively raised his palm, balancing his upper body weight on his other arm that was pillared on the left side of Amy's head, and his knees balanced his hips between her legs beneath the sheets. When she removed the stray strands of hair that had been caught underneath his hands and tucked them securely behind her ear, Sheldon returned his stance and immediately went back to staring at the spot on the wall. He lowered himself and spread his knees, bracing them against Amy's open thighs again before he resumed thrusting at the slow rhythm he had found earlier.

How could I have never noticed that sliver of wall without paint? What kind of half-assed operation did this building manager run when furnishing the rooms of his tenants before I moved in? This is unacceptable.

"Can you get rid of the sheet please, my legs are extremely sweaty."

Frowning, Sheldon removed his glare once again from the offending wall and gazed down at Amy, stopping mid-thrust. "Amy, you know I like to keep my lower body covered to prevent feeling a chill during our activities."

"Right," Amy said with a roll of her eyes. "But every time we do this, I sweat like a pig. It's very uncomfortable and frankly, unattractive."

Sheldon peered down at her with wide eyes, taking in her irritated features. Her forehead was filmed with a thin sheet of sweat, and the hollow of her neck below her pointy chin was also sprinkled with perspiration. He internally shrugged; the sweat on her didn't look so bad. The rest of her body that lied prone beneath him was equally as moist, and he had already gotten used to that.

"I'm almost done, Amy. Hold still, it won't be much longer."

"Sheldon, get off of me!" she suddenly shouted and fidgeted from beneath him. He immediately recoiled and drew up on his knees as she slapped his arms away from her head.

"What?" he asked as Amy squirmed off of his bed and began to gather her bra and panties from the floor. He immediately yanked the sheets up to cover his completely naked body and very quickly diminishing erection.

"I'm sorry, Sheldon," Amy said gruffly as she snapped her bra back on and pulled on her striped, button-up blouse. "This just isn't working for me."

"Amy," Sheldon said sternly. "Per our agreement, we engage in sexual activities twice a week, every week until one of us reaches completion or until the 30-minute mark has been reached, except on special occasions where I am obliged to provide my unflinching persistence in helping you come to completion such as birthdays and anniversaries. Being that it's only a date night, the primary standards of coitus stand. I was almost done, now if you'd please, get back into bed." Even as he said it, he wasn't sure it was what he wanted. But guidelines were not to be disavowed when it came to the sanctity of the Relationship Agreement.

By the time he finished talking, Amy had already fully clothed herself and reached for her glasses off of his nightstand. "Oh, fuck your agreement!" she barked.

Sheldon rocked back on his heels, wrapping the sheet securely around his body as he stared at her with a disapproving glare. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me." She stepped into her discarded shoes in the corner of the room and whirled her body around to face her boyfriend. "Sheldon, we have tried. We have been trying for months now. You can't tell me that this is pleasurable for you?" She motioned to the bed with her extended arm, her forehead creased in exasperation.

"Pleasurable?" Sheldon echoed. He returned Amy's look of exasperation, even if it were for a very different reason. He already agreed to her cockamamie demands of becoming more intimate a few months ago, starting the week after Leonard left for the North Sea, what more did she want from him? "Amy, I'm trying to do right by you in allowing this to even continue. Do you wish to suspend our sexual activities?"

"Sheldon," she started, placing her hands on her hips. "You are having sex to do right by me? What does that even mean?"

"It was your idea that you've been hammering on about for God knows how long, and now that we have finally gotten the routine down, now that I have finally become assimilated to this schedule and process, you're going to complain and make willy-nilly demands about bed sheets?"

"Sheldon, I was uncomfortable!"

"How do you think I feel, propped over you like a hovercraft for thirty minutes?"

Amy's jaw dropped, her mouth moving but no words would come out. Sheldon took the opportunity to speak again.

"Seriously, Amy, stop this nonsense and get back in bed before I employ section D-line 5 of the Agreement." A tiny part of him hoped she would make him do it. These tedious evenings were starting to weigh on his peace of mind.

"Are you threatening to withhold sex from me from now on if I don't let you 'finish'?"

"Well, you would be in direct breach of contract, so what other choice do I have? It would be the same way were I the one crawling out of bed during coitus and making a scene." Sheldon's eyebrows were high on his head as he mirrored Amy's fierce stare from across the room. They were both silent for a moment, daring the other to speak before a disturbance around his groin caught his attention. He peered down and lifted the sheet a bit to see that his erection had fully wilted, and the lower tip of the condom swung pitifully as his penis came to rest. Sighing, he looked back up to Amy. "Grab another condom, will you?"

"No," she said angrily, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Amy…" he warned. "I am in no mood. Let's hurry up and get this over with."

"We're done Sheldon. Suspend the Agreement, rip it up, or coil it nice and tight and shove it up your ass. I don't care! I'm done!" And with that, she rocketed out of the room, leaving her boyfriend with a red face and scowl. He heard his apartment door slam before he looked down and noticed Amy's purse still slung over the side of his headboard. Anticipating that she would return any moment to retrieve it once her delirious and unwarranted anger faded enough to realize that she did not have her car keys, Sheldon jumped up from the bed and carefully but quickly removed the botched condom from his member, tossing it in the trash can. Then he grabbed his robe, wrapping it around his body while he mumbled furiously to himself. He ripped her purse from the headboard and left his room, bustling down the hallway and entering the living area just in time to see his door swing open again.

"I forgot my purse," she spat, locking her eyes on her bag that Sheldon was holding.

"Amy, what on earth has gotten into you?" He thrust the purse into her hand and watched as she turned around to leave again but he stopped her, placing his large hand on her shoulder and keeping her from walking further. On impulse, he dug his fingers into her flesh.

"Sheldon!" Amy squealed, whirling around and ripping her shoulder out of his grasp. "That hurt!" She dropped her purse and her hand flew to her clavicle, gingerly rubbing the area that Sheldon's hand had gripped.

"Amy," Sheldon's voice softened and he took a tentative step towards her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. I just don't want you to leave without explaining to me what is going on with you." He hadn't meant to grab her so roughly, but lately, during and after coitus, he had noticed that he became extremely agitated, even after he ejaculated. But now that he had been robbed of the opportunity of release, agitated was putting it mildly for what he felt at the moment.

"It's okay," Amy said, her frown spanning the length of her delicate face as she looked at Sheldon with unhappy eyes. "Look, I understand that your frustration is causing the neurotransmitters in your amygdala to severely react to the interruption of our sexual activities, but Sheldon, I don't want you to have sex with me because you're obligated…"

"But I am obligated to, Amy," Sheldon argued, throwing his hands up in the air. "That's why we drew up this amendment to the Agreement, was it not?" He could practically feel the steam curling out of his ears and he dug his fingers into his own crossed arms, wishing his girlfriend would hurry up and make a valid point.

"I…" Amy's eyes instantly filled with moisture as she gaped at him. She looked as though she wanted to say much, much more, but was unable to gather the ability to. Instead, she looked down as a few tears escaped and smoothed her cardigan over her skirt. Then she gazed up one more time and met Sheldon's eyes. "I hereby release you from your obligation."

Sheldon couldn't help but feel slightly relieved, but also alarmed. "Really, Amy?" He took another step towards her. "You mean it? No more sex?" He couldn't help but realize how hopeful his tone was.

"No, Sheldon, not just sex. No more relationship. I am through trying to coax the affection out of you. Hell, not just affection, some simple compassion." She held her hand up as he began to protest and continued. "I know you're not up to speed on social convention or human emotion, but why would you ever think that I wanted to become more intimate with you because it was an obligation? Sheldon, I cared about you. Didn't you care about me, too?" She waited for a few seconds as her boyfriend scoured the ground with his eyes, avoiding hers at all costs. His hands went behind his back and he hunched forward slightly, still silent.

"I have my answer," she said, her voice breaking. "I'll email you a PDF of my signed termination notice of our Relationship Agreement. Please do not contact me in the meantime."

Sheldon's eyes remained locked on the wooden tile of his floor like a scolded child long after Amy picked up her purse, gave him one last scathing look, wiped the tears from her face and exited the apartment, slamming the door behind her. After a few minutes, he finally trusted himself to walk away from the living room and down the hall to his bedroom. When he was inside, he shut the door behind him and leaned against it. He peered at his bed, the sheets still spotty from his and Amy's perspiration. Then his eyes flitted up and he spotted the gap of paint-less wall near his window. He fixated on the abnormality for 27 blissful, uninterrupted minutes. Then he went to his nightstand near his bed, picked up his iPhone, and performed a quick Google search on the closest Home Depot to his apartment.

He was going paint shopping tomorrow.

Penny hugged Amy tightly as they sat on her couch, listening to her friend cry softly. She was red in the face with how angry she was at Sheldon. How could he be so callous to Amy? So detached? Was it acceptable that he get his rocks off no matter how miserable Amy feels? No! It was totally wrong and insensitive on so many levels. Penny had offered to go across the hall and kick him in the nuts for Amy, but her tearful friend gratefully declined.

"No, Penny, it's about time I wise up anyhow." Amy's breath rattled as she tried to calmly breathe in. She removed her glasses to dab at her eyes with some tissue. "I was enamored with Sheldon for three years, until we started having sex. Then he just became a completely different person."

"Yeah, he became an asshole," Penny supplied, filling up both of their empty wine glasses with more Merlot.

"No, not all the time," Amy protested. She wearily looked up at her blonde friend. "Just when it came to sex. But I sort of can't blame him."

"What do you mean?"

"Well," she said. "It wasn't…that good."

"I wouldn't imagine sex with a robot being good," Penny grumbled before sipping her wine. When Amy didn't continue, she stole a look at her and immediately paled at how offended she looked. "I'm sorry, that was completely bitchy of me. Please, go on."

"No, it's just…" Amy sat back and stared at her hands. "I thought it would be better, you know? He's so attractive, so intelligent. I thought the first few times were just because he was nervous, but, it just never got better."

"Well, did you try switching positions?" Penny asked with a hint of discomfort. Picturing Sheldon nude and having sex wasn't exactly unappealing, but it was definitely out of her comfort zone. She was in agreement with Amy in believing sex with him would be good. Not that Penny had ever thought about doing it with him, no. Just the whole tall guys with big feet and long fingers urban legend going to work in her mind. Penny had a very overactive imagination. She took another big gulp of her wine and shook her head, ridding herself of those thoughts.

"It's not that it didn't feel good," Amy said again, carefully and deliberately. "Penny, he's huge."

She was mid-swallow when the wine steered off course, causing Penny to choke on the liquid. She coughed into her hand, sputtering pitifully. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"He's huge!" Amy repeated miserably. "He's everything I thought he would be. And T.M.I. alert—it didn't matter what position we were in, he filled me to the brim. Every. Time."

Penny couldn't help but gawk. Well, this is an interesting development, she thought. "Well, screw him anyway, Amy. Big dick or not, you did not deserve the way he treated you." She sat quietly for a moment as Amy continued to stare at her hands. "Wait, why are you singing the praises of his size? When Leonard and I broke up, I was intent on letting the entire world know how tiny his dick was. Is." She offered Amy a smile.

"Well, Leonard deserved that," Amy insisted. "He cheated on you with Sheldon's assistant. The bastard deserves to have the tiny thing chopped off." She watched as Penny nodded enthusiastically. "But Sheldon didn't do anything to me that I didn't already have coming."

"Amy," Penny began, shaking her head in protest, but Amy quickly cut her off.

"Really, Penny. Sheldon and I…the sex wasn't good because there was no chemistry. Zero. I heard a cricket once, I swear. And even though I could tell he was just as unhappy as I was, we both insisted that we continue subjecting ourselves to the humiliation of that stupid agreement." She sighed and took a sip of her own wine as Penny's heart broke a little for her. "Which sort of leads me to believe that at some point, Sheldon really did try to make me happy. At least, he tried to make it work. Tonight he was probably just tired of pretending, as am I.

"I always thought that Sheldon was all I ever wanted. That sex with him would be perfect. But with sex came clarity. We are just not as perfectly matched as I had dreamt we would be."

"Sweetie, I'm sorry," Penny said sincerely. "It happens. It's not something any of us can anticipate. But you were right to push Sheldon into finally having sex. You had to find out sometime whether or not you were compatible. Better three years later than 10 years later, am I right?"

"You sure are, bestie," Amy agreed, finally giving Penny the smile she had been waiting for all night. "I will be alright. I'll miss him as a friend, but for now I think I need to keep my distance from him, until all of this humiliation fades away. But can I ask you a favor?"

"Of course."

"Don't give him a hard time about this. Sheldon is a very private person, as you all know. I don't hate him and I don't want him thinking I'm out for blood. It just…didn't work out between us."

Penny smiled brightly at her friend. "Amy, you are truly one of a kind. You're going to find someone who can appreciate that one day. That and so much more."

They clinked their wine glasses together in a silent toast and took small sips, Amy feeling slightly optimistic about her future and new freedom, Penny feeling slightly worried that maybe Sheldon had no deal after all and would be doomed to remain alone for the rest of his days.

Three days later, Sheldon was alone in his apartment with his thoughts.

When Amy first came to him with the direct question of whether or not they would ever be intimate, he was unsure of how to answer. Ideally, Sheldon would have shut her down right then and there, truthfully confided in her that having intimate relations with Amy was not something that appealed to him. He truly did covet their relationship of the mind, but even a socially awkward duck like Sheldon knew, as he peered into her eyes that night when they sat on his bed, that answering with this blunt honesty would surely devastate her.

So, out of fear of losing her all together, he finally agreed to a test run.

Their first time was extremely quick and dry. Literally dry, being that Amy had never fully achieved self-lubrication due to the lack of foreplay, and neither of their naked bodies had a sufficient amount of time to accumulate sweat as Sheldon pumped into her twice and was done. He had been embarrassed by his premature arrival, especially because it was his first time having sex, but Amy was beaming, chocking it up to her sex appeal. Sheldon didn't have the nerve to explain that he had not engaged in the suggested pre-coital self-abuse that the guys had told him to do in hopes of lasting longer during sex, and so he smiled tightly and nodded. Afterward, they hastily drew up the sexual activities amendment to the Relationship Agreement, and after Amy left to go home, Sheldon spent the rest of the night tossing and turning in his own bed, trying to convince himself that next time might be better.

The next time was longer, but not better. Neither was the one after that. Or that.

Every session concluded with Sheldon ejaculating mutely, Amy being the blunt tool he manipulated to achieve orgasm, shutting his eyes tight as she placed soft kisses on his shoulders or neck. One would think that completion would be the ultimate goal, but he was never satisfied afterward. Amy always persisted in attempting foreplay and dirty talk, the latter of which he never felt comfortable with engaging in. He relished his intellectual talks with Amy, and in gutturally moaning demands for her to "suck his cock" like she once suggested, Sheldon felt foolish, cheap. But since he was a perfectionist, a man that simply refused to fail, he continued on, believing that practice would truly make perfect.

He realized after the first month that his agitation was growing after sex. He couldn't understand his sour disposition and disinterest in getting closer to Amy after each session. Wasn't sex supposed to release stress? How come he was much more wound up after sex than before? Sheldon wasn't an expert on emotion by any means, but he had watched enough movies and had listened to his friends' adventures in relationships long enough to understand that sex was supposed to bring a couple closer together, not drive you further apart.

And Amy must have finally realized the same thing, Sheldon thought with a hint of melancholy as he printed out the PDF of their terminated Relationship Agreement, stamped it with his notary equipment, then filed it away in his desk drawer's file cabinets. He sighed and leaned back in his chair, gazing at the Internet Explorer browser icon on the screen of his laptop. Hesitating long enough to remember that Leonard was staying with his new girlfriend, and Sheldon's former assistant, Alex for the night, he double-clicked on the IE icon and logged onto his Facebook page.

Sheldon had long since realized that Amy just didn't, for a lack of a better term, get his motor running. He developed erections quickly enough around her, but only because he understood that his endocrine system was just in tip-top shape. He learned after the first few trial runs that with the proper position and condoms, the germ exchange was easily contained. He became used to the sex, but could never attest that his arousal was due to intensifying feelings for her. He was a man with functioning genitalia; when sex was presented to him, he became anatomically excited. So if anyone were to accuse Sheldon of being a robot, which many did, they would be sorely mistaken.

Even with this understanding, he still felt slightly ashamed for what he was about to do. He clicked a few times to find his friends list and after scrolling down some, he finally arrived at his destination. There was one particular companion that months ago, before he began having sex with Amy, he would include in his weekly masturbatory sessions. He took slight comfort in realizing he could once again incorporate this certain someone in his self-abuse without guilt, now that he was a single man again.

After two more clicks, her page appeared. Her profile picture was a self-portrait of her head only, her succulent, glossy lips pushing forward and together while her straight, blonde locks framed her heart-shaped face. She had on a pair of large aviator glasses that regrettably covered up her green eyes, Sheldon's favorite feature on her. He clicked on her default pic to pull up the entire profile picture album, and sifted through some recently added images. Scrolling down with one hand, he used the other to unzip his fly and pry it apart, and then he pushed down on his briefs. He wasn't completely hard yet, so he carefully pulled out his flesh over his underwear, using his thumb and index finger to stroke some life into his thick skin. Finally, he arrived at a new picture he had not yet seen before, being that it had been so long since he had last needed this page.

"Yes," he murmured, clicking on the thumbnail and waited for a second for the image to load. "This will certainly do." He threw one last glance at the front door, making sure the bolt was turned to the left and the chain was on its track. Satisfied that there would be no interruptions, Sheldon felt his skin tighten as his erection sprang to life, and he closed his fist around himself, slowly pumping as he studied the contours of his neighbor Penny's tanned, toned body in a tiny baby blue bikini as she floated on a hot pink raft above water. The angle of the picture was from above, as though someone had stood on the edge of the in-ground pool and snapped the photo with a cellular device.

In the picture, Penny was pouting seductively and the tip of her tongue curled up in a suggestive way, touching the top of her upper lip. She held a red Solo cup, no doubt filled with alcohol, in one hand. The other hand was, Sheldon gulped in realization, cupping her right breast roughly, so roughly in fact that he could clearly see her nails digging into her skin.

Errant thoughts of disapproval that Penny would post such very nearly pornographic picture on the internet for all to see threatened to distract him, so he fought the urge to chastise his friend for using her and Leonard's break-up as an excuse to "go wild" and instead focused on her titillating pose. As he stroked faster, running his closed fist over the head and using the pre-ejaculate he found there to lubricate his movements, his eyes became heavy and lidded as they tried to focus on her soft, pink tongue darting out of her mouth. More thoughts of slight envy surfaced as he wondered who took that picture and if they also enjoyed the suggestive pose. He shook his head, his lips slightly parting as his breath became shallow. He leaned back in his chair, focusing still on Penny's slender figure that curved perfectly at the hips and thighs as she reclined on the flotation device, staring back at Sheldon, liking the way he fisted his cock.

"Penny," he moaned, surprising himself. This had not, by far, been the first time he used one of her pictures to masturbate, but it was never personal, never by desire. It was mostly because she had the most sexually attractive attributes on a female that he had ever come across, and achieving orgasm to her image had proved most efficient, the fastest way to get him there. So he bit his lip, refusing to say her name anymore as his orgasm came around the corner.

"Mmmm…" He grimaced and bucked slightly, once, twice, and three times into his own tight grip, then he came to the imagined vision of Penny's tongue running a lap over his erection.

It rocked him harder than he had anticipated, the warm expansion that had been tumbling in his lower abdomen and spread to his testicles, causing him to cry out softly and throw his head back. He felt the hot, sticky release drip down his fingers and some of it spurted onto his t-shirt. He had rolled away from his desk at the last minute so he didn't catch any on his laptop, which unfortunately had happened before. Sighing as his heart raced in the euphoric moments after coming, he closed his eyes, immediately ready to stop looking at Penny's picture now that it had served its purpose.

Leaning over to his open desk drawer that held the Kleenex, he quickly wiped his hands and the sensitive skin of his member before tossing the tissue in the trash bin beneath his desk. He reached for the Purell and relished the smell of lemon invading his nostrils. When he was done sanitizing, he zipped his pants back up and swiped the mouse pad of the laptop to close the window, his eyes still heavy but now with fatigue instead of lust. Without realizing it, he accidentally tapped his mouse over the link beneath the picture that said 'Like' before the pointer reached the 'X' in the top right hand corner of the screen. He clicked it and the browser was gone along with the pent up stress of his break-up.

For now, anyway.

Penny hated living across the hall from her ex-boyfriend. In fact, it had been one of the main reasons she had once been too afraid to get involved with the geeky bastard six years ago. If things went wrong, and they definitely went wrong, the humiliation of bumping into him on the staircase everyday was enough to make her want to die with embarrassment and regret. But she was also angry. Why should she feel humiliated when he was the one who screwed Alex Jensen behind her back?

Their relationship now ruined because the bitch apparently showed him the proper respect and attention after he returned triumphant from his North Sea voyage. Well excuse Penny for not falling down her on her knees and receiving his penis in her mouth just because he did a bunch of experiments for four months on a boat.

She had been extremely proud of Leonard, and had missed him tremendously, so she tried to keep him focused on getting their relationship back on track as soon as he returned. But he mistook it for her not appreciating his newfound fame among the science community. Penny had even asked Sheldon to explain to her what Leonard had accomplished, but that was a lost cause. Sheldon refused to teach her anything else about physics after their first round of student-teacher experiments three years ago.

Penny was devastated after Leonard admitted to his indiscretion with Alex a few weeks after his return, but even more devastated by the fact that he did not ask for another chance or even for forgiveness. He wanted to do the right thing by Penny and end it face-to-face.

"We gave it a good run," he had told her just before turning and leaving her in her apartment to weep for days. The only visitor she allowed to come by the first day was Sheldon, who had gallantly announced that he immediately fired Alex upon learning of her imprudent behavior and awarded Leonard two strikes, which put him over so he would now have to take the class.

"Why two strikes?" Penny asked through tears. She waited for Sheldon to flee at the sight of her raw emotional turmoil, but instead, he joined her on the couch and leaned into her, making sure she had her eyes on his.

"Because he sullied my reputation by taking that whore to bed, forcing me to get rid of her and undertake the grueling task of having to find another assistant when he knows I don't like people on principle."

"Oh," Penny smiled weakly, lowering her face and placed it in her hands as she closed her eyes.

"And the other is for hurting you."

Her head snapped up as she locked eyes with Sheldon once more, reading the genuine anger across his face. They didn't say anything for awhile before he nodded curtly and rose to leave. At the door, he turned and faced Penny one more time. "I'm right across the hall if you need me." Then he was gone.

And weeks later, now that Penny had finally begun to rise out of bed every morning with shards of dignity still attached to her, finally figured out a schedule in which she could optimize times to leave her apartment and not run into Leonard, she found herself upset again. This time because she knew Sheldon was going through a break-up of his own, and although she still found his behavior towards Amy to be abhorrent, she took Amy's words to heart. The two of them just weren't a great match, and Sheldon, being clueless in social situations to begin with, made the best of a bad situation. She could understand that his exasperation with trying to be something he wasn't would drive him to treat her that way.

So, in order to show her support for Sheldon as well, just like he showed her support after his best friend dumped her, Penny decided to put on a brave face and head over to the apartment and have dinner with Raj, Howard, Sheldon and even Leonard, for old time's sake. She had sent Leonard a short text earlier, letting him know she would be there. She wasn't going to ask for his permission because it wasn't just his apartment, and she knew that she was always welcome into Sheldon's home anytime. Penny also hoped her assertive message would speak volumes to Leonard to make sure he knew that his new girlfriend wasn't invited.

After she finished brushing her hair, she grabbed her cell phone and absently checked the screen before placing it in her back pocket. She yanked it out one more time and noticed the Facebook icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen. She hardly ever got on the site anymore, only to upload hot pictures of herself having a great time with friends just in case Leonard ever felt the need to graze through her profile and get a good look at what he let go.

Tapping on the screen as she exited her apartment and closed the door behind her, she saw that it was a notification that her friend Sheldon Cooper had "liked" one of her pictures a few days ago. Curious as to which one, she clicked on the notification and seconds later, the image of her in a very small bikini that left little to the imagination appeared on her screen.

She was in front of the apartment 4A when she paused, her mouth dropping open into an O of surprise.

"What?" she asked herself aloud, hitting 'BACK' on her screen to make sure that the notification was from Sheldon Cooper. Sure enough, it was the lanky physicist himself who apparently liked her picture enough to make it known. It seemed like a bold move, and she couldn't help but feel a little flattered. But at the same time, she wondered what his angle was. Was he trying to make Amy jealous by liking one of Penny's pictures? He had a history of attempting to use Penny in order to do this very thing before, haphazardly asking her on a date once. She frowned and placed her phone back in her pocket, deciding to mull it over later and stay focused at the task at hand. She took a deep breath and raised her fist to knock on the door, but decided against it and opened it instead.

Sheldon was in the middle of rolling his eyes and arguing with Howard when the apartment door nudged open. A split-second later, Penny's blonde head peeked in, peering directly at Sheldon first. For some reason, this interrupted the point he was about to make to the engineer and he found himself abruptly burning, a blush crawling up to his cheeks. Thoughts of days ago when he willingly pulled up that Facebook picture of Penny to relieve himself flooded his brain and for the life of him he could not figure out why. He had used her picture before without this type of reaction! Whatever it was he was feeling, it proved to be a huge distraction as Howard mistook his silence for concession.

"See, Sheldon? I guess you don't know everything after all." He smiled smugly at Raj and turned in his seat from the couch to eye Penny at the door. "Hey, Penny."

"Hey, guys," she said with a bright smile, purposely meeting all four of them in the eye, even Leonard who was seated in the arm chair perpendicular to Sheldon. "Is there any pizza left?"

"Yes," Leonard said quickly, giving her an eager smile. "Sit down, I'll get you a plate."

"That's not necessary," Penny objected and walked swiftly to the kitchen before Leonard could get out of his chair.

Sheldon watched Penny open the cupboards and reach up high for a plate, her jeans extremely tight as usual, but looked away when she turned back around to join them in the living area.

"Hey Sheldon," she said, taking the open spot next to him on the couch. "How are you doing?" She gave him a pathetic pout and he huffed derisively.

"I'm fine Penny, thank you for asking," he said shortly. "As I told everyone else though, my terminated relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler is not up for discussion and any mention of such will result in me retiring to my room early." He forced himself to look at Penny and was relieved to feel his embarrassment float away as soon as he caught the roll of her eye. "I'm serious, Penny. Zip the lip."

"Fine!" she relented, turning away from him and scowling. "Just trying to be a good friend."

"Well there are plenty of ways you can do that without bringing up my personal business. For instance, you can stop breaking into my apartment early in the morning to steal milk."

"Hey, you haven't caught me doing that in like a month," she insisted, looking around at the three other guys for back up.

"Penny, just because I don't rush out of my room to catch you in the act anymore does not mean I can't hear you fiddling around in the kitchen almost every day. Especially when you slam around with those man hands." Sheldon felt himself relax further, realizing his initial shame at seeing Penny was just a fluke of judgment. This was just the same old Penny. There was no way she could know that he had used her image for pleasure.

To further drive his point home, she then took a bite of pizza and chewed for a moment before opening her mouth and crassly exposing the contents to Sheldon.

"Good Lord," he mumbled.

"Don't worry, Penny," Howard said. "Sheldon's just a little more crabby than usual on account of his…" he hesitated as Sheldon's head whipped up and glared at him. "…well, you know. Anyway, me and Raj have the perfect idea to help you out, Sheldon."

"I'm not interested in artificial women, Howard," Sheldon said dryly as he picked up his own slice of pizza and took a bite. He heard Penny chuckle and felt his own lips turn up slightly.

"No, hear me out," Howard persisted. "Three words: Anonymous. Sex. Party."

This time, Sheldon heard Penny choke a little on her food. He looked at her with alarm, checking to see if she would require CPR, but then she swallowed down a few gulps of water from a previously unopened bottle on the coffee table and turned to glare at Howard.

"You're disgusting, Wolowitz!" she cried.

"Yeah, even I have to say that's pretty creepy," Leonard chimed in quietly.

"Dude, what do you not get about those three words?" Raj asked, looking at Leonard. "They're all great on their own; put them together and they're a good time."

"Why are you looking at me?" Leonard said, suddenly sinking back into his arm chair and taking his plate of pizza with him. "I'm not interested in anonymous sex."

Sheldon gave him a thoughtful look before he turned and faced Penny. He was taken aback by how a blush across her face reached the tip of her ear. She was avoiding eye contact with all of them.

"Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you have to suck all the fun out the single life for Sheldon!" Immediately, Howard bit down on his tongue, realizing he was talking to Leonard about his relationship with Alex in front of Penny. Sheldon could have smacked him with the back of his hand.

"Howard, Raj," he said, placing his plate of food down on the coffee table. "No one here is interested in listening to you speak for the rest of the evening. I'm not an expert on relationships, obviously, but I am led to believe by common sense that a married man, such as yourself Howard, would be ill-conceived to speak of such raucous things as 'anonymous sex parties'. I'm sure Bernadette would be less than pleased to hear about this."

"Wow, so you're gonna narc on me?" Howard asked defensively. Raj remained quiet but quickly swatted Howard's arm, warning him to shut up. "I'm not saying that I go to these parties. We just heard about it and thought it'd be perfect for you. Now that Amy isn't around to put out…"

"Okay, Howard," Leonard spoke up, but it was too late. Sheldon threw his plate down and jumped up from the couch. He turned and gave everyone a meaningful glare, and then it rested on Penny for reasons he could not readily explain. She gazed up at him with an almost sorry look, but he shook his head and retreated into his bedroom, just like he had warned them he would.

He slammed his door behind him and began to pace.

Sex! Sheldon thought furiously. Is that all these people think about?

He rushed over to his dresser and clenched the sides of the oak with his palms, gripping tightly to ground himself. Sheldon turned his neck and scowled at the wall, glaring at the same spot by the window with the sliver of paint missing. The day after he and Amy broke up, he made the trip to the hardware store and had bought three different cans of paint. He tested them on small sheets of paper to compare them to the paint on the wall, but none of them were the correct shade. It was like the color was one of a kind, unique and unattainable. He was doomed to stare at that sliver of wall forever.

Just like he would forever be doomed with this insatiable craving for release.

It seemed that ever since he finally lost his virginity, an unappeasable monster had been unleashed. He tried to pretend that it was all in his head. That maybe he was just feeling stuck on a problem etched on his whiteboard, or even, grudgingly admitting that he had some residual feelings of abandonment since his relationship with Amy ended. But none of these possibilities led him to the reason of why he was feeling so suspended, so unfulfilled.

He knew he should have never let that vixen Amy convince him to start engaging in coitus. Now his brain was wired to receive it twice a week, just like he had been getting it in accordance with the Relationship Agreement. Every Thursday and Sunday night, he felt the pangs start low in his loins, the tingling anticipation that he would receive sex and the inevitably painful erection to boot. But now, as much as he was trying to rewire his psyche to understand that these activities were no longer an option, he simply could not satiate the thirst for sexual release. Which was why his masturbation rituals had become more frequent and intense, and the main focal point of his self-abuse had been that image of Penny.

Sheldon had not gone back to her page in the last few days, scared of how much he craved seeing her in her skimpy clothing and suggestive poses. If only he could figure out a way to satisfy his needs without involving anyone he knew. He couldn't ask Amy to return and be his "friend with benefits". He couldn't keep thinking of Penny this way because they were friends, and he didn't trust himself to continue envisioning her in his fantasies and still be able to interact with her on a daily basis.

What was a man in his position to do?

Frowning deeply, Sheldon walked over to his bed and collapsed, falling on his back and staring up at his ceiling. He felt his iPhone slip out of his slacks and he picked it up, tapping the screen and pulled up the mobile browser.

Quickly, before he could change his mind, Sheldon thumbed in the words 'anonymous sex party' into the search engine and waited for the results.