Gift for: ultra_fic
Rating: PG-13 (for sexy times references)
Summary: In a world without Leonard and Amy, Sheldon and Penny keep crossing paths in the laundry room. Penny has a sexy plan, and it's up to Sheldon (and the universe) whether it's successful or not. Spoilers for 7x11.
Author's notes: Okay, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I am still buzzing with what happened in the last episode. And I included one of your prompts, so I hope you like it.
In a world without Leonard Hofstadter and Amy Farrah Fowler, Penny and Sheldon live across from each other and seldom have a reason to interact. Sheldon occasionally hears a gentleman suitor come to collect Penny for a date, and sometimes Penny wants to knock on Sheldon's door when the volume for one of his nerdy sci-fi shows gets a bit too out of hand. They exchange pleasantries and sometimes Penny will tease Sheldon good-naturedly, which he doesn't really get but pretends he does. The one thing they have in common is laundry on Saturday nights. Well, when Penny doesn't have a date. Although lately she's been keeping her dates on Friday so she has the next night free. There's something about Sheldon Cooper that she finds very intriguing and almost...well, sexy. He looked so inexperienced, and Penny wanted to teach him things. So many things. However, Penny had never seen so much of a flicker of desire in Sheldon's eyes when he looked at her, and Penny knew if she wanted to get some of that tall glass of water, she'd have to be creative. Penny never could resist a challenge.
Penny comes strolling into the laundry room, where she knows Sheldon will be doing his laundry. It's Saturday night, after all. There he is in all his glory, with his green superhero (or whatever, she had no idea, really) shirt, looking so tall and...unattainable.
"Hey, Sheldon," she said in her sexiest voice.
"Hello," he said, barely turning to acknowledge her. Penny knew he wasn't being rude or anything; that was just the extent of his social skills. Maybe that turned her on more or something. She didn't question these things anymore.
"Doin' laundry?" She asked, obviously knowing the answer but needing to talk to him, needing to get into that big brain of his.
"Of course I'm doing laundry. Saturday night is laundry night. And I'm in a laundry room, so your inference is justified."
Penny giggled. "My inference is justified! Sheldon, you are sooo funny." She didn't know if flattery was the right way to get this done, but it couldn't hurt, right? Maybe to prove how funny she found him, Penny started doing her striptease. She slowly unzipped her jacket, and underneath was a rather revealing tank top that most men (and some women) thoroughly appreciated. Sheldon, however, did not look impressed.
"Anyway, I need to do my laundry, too, 'cause these clothes are sooo dirty. Almost as dirty as the girl wearing them." She moved closer to Sheldon, who, she noted, was paying closer attention now that her breasts were practically massaging his back.
Penny peeled her tank top off and presented herself to Sheldon. Maybe it was kind of desperate, maybe she should have been ashamed of herself, but she wasn't. Penny had a nice body, she was attracted to Sheldon, and she was a single woman. Who was she hurting? Sheldon was a big boy. He was capable of deciding for himself.
"What do you think?" She asked.
"A tad asymmetrical, but nothing to be concerned about," Sheldon said. Typical.
Penny decided she needed to be a bit more straightforward. "Please, Sheldon, I need you."
Sheldon looked confused. "To what?"
"To take me." That ought to do it.
"I'm not taking you anywhere until you put on a shirt," he said. Okay, maybe not.
"Come on, Sheldon, you and me, right here."
"Penny, for the thousandth time, I'm saving myself for someone special. Perhaps a cute, bespectacled neuroscientist, with hair the color of mud."
Now it was Penny's turn to be confused. What the hell was he talking about? Mud? "I think I know how to change your mind," Penny said, and leaned in to kiss him. His lips were soft, as she expected. However, he didn't budge. Didn't kiss back. Didn't pick her up and put her on the washing machine and ravage her right then and there. Well, this wasn't what she had in mind.
"Sheldon? Have you ever...kissed anyone before?"
"Well, no," he said, looking a little relieved that it was over. "Not besides my meemaw, my sister, or my mom. They don't count, do they?"
Oh, dear. He was a lot more inexperienced than she thought. He would not be ready for what she had planned for him (and them), not at all.
Penny found her clothes and put them back on as quickly as possible. "Ha, um, no, that doesn't count," she said. "Um, I'll come back and do my laundry later. Sorry for bothering you, Sheldon. It won't happen again."
"Bye," Sheldon said. Ouch. Penny picked up her basket and tried to make a quick escape. But before she could leave...
"You have a very nice body, and lovely lips. And you always smell nice. If I were looking for a girlfriend, which I am not, you would be on the top of the list. But for now, science is my only lady. I hope you understand."
Penny smiled. "You're a good guy, Sheldon. You'll make someone very happy someday."
"I know," he said, and went back to his laundry.
In another dimension where Amy and Leonard didn't exist, Penny does laundry on Saturday nights. Sheldon learned her schedule, and now he does laundry on Saturday nights, too. When he finds her in the laundry room this time, she's wearing a Wonder Woman shirt and she's studying a textbook while waiting. She was wearing her glasses on this particular night, which Sheldon was into. Her long blonde hair was piled into a bun, and she looked so...intense. He wasn’t usually attracted to quiet, nerdy girls, but there was something about Penny that he really dug. "Hi, Penny," he said, setting his own laundry basket down by an empty washer.
"Hello," she said, and gave him a heart-melting smile.
"What are you studying tonight?" She was always studying something. Penny was majoring in Mathematics at Cal Tech, with a minor in Engineering. Sheldon was so fascinated by her intelligence. After barely graduating from college, Sheldon moved to California from Texas to be an actor, but it wasn't exactly working out as well as he hoped. The comments he got most often were, "Too tall!" or "Too southern." How could someone be too southern, anyway?
"Analytic Combinatorics. It's fascinating, but really tough. Do you know anything about it? Maybe you could give me some pointers." Then she giggled. Obviously she knew Sheldon had no idea what...Analytic Combinatorics even was. It was kind of a joke between them that she was the smart one and he was the screw-up. Although they didn't have much in common, the two of them had formed an interesting friendship. Penny helped Sheldon with his more challenging scripts and loaned him money when he couldn't seem to pay the electric bill yet again that month. In return, he killed all the scary looking bugs in her bathroom and made sure she didn't get so caught up in studying that she missed another meal. They looked out for each other.
Obviously Sheldon had a huge crush on her, but who wouldn't? She was beautiful and smart and funny. However, she never showed any kind of interest in him as more than a friend, and he didn't want to make her uncomfortable. Although sometimes, just sometimes, in a certain light, it seemed like she was interested, too. Maybe he'd never know. Maybe it was easier that way.
Sheldon started his laundry and Penny's washer dinged. He watched as she put her clothes into the dryer, and tried not to stare at her little black underwear, and definitely did not picture her in them at all. He looked away when Penny glanced at him, knowing he was probably busted.
"Hey, Moonpie?" Once upon a time, Sheldon confided in Penny about his grandmother's nickname for him. He's regretted it ever since. "I have a question for you...it's kind of embarrassing, though."
"Go for it," Sheldon said.
Penny giggled. "Okay, um, I was wondering...oh, my god, no, it's so bad."
"Okay...well, let me know if you come up with something."
Penny was quiet for a moment, and then said, "Okay, see, I've been studying forever and I didn't get out much in high school and I don't really talk a lot in college and I've never really been on a date, it's not that I don't want to, but most guys just walk past me like I'm invisible, and, well, you're really nice and I sort of, well, you know..."
"Penny, spit it out," Sheldon said, anxious to know what she wanted.
"Will you be my first kiss?" She said, and her face turned bright red. "I'm so sorry for asking you, but you're the only man I trust. And I would really like to experience this before I graduate next semester. I can't be a college graduate who's never been kissed before!"
"Oh, Penny, I..."
"Sheldon, if you're going to say no, just do it. I can't take the look in your eyes right now. I just can't!"
Instead of answering her, Sheldon moved swiftly over to the dryer, put his arms around Penny, looked into her eyes, and kissed her. He'd been dreaming about kissing her for months now, but it was even better than in his dreams. Penny didn't know what to do with herself at first, but she caught on quickly, and soon enough they were in what could only be described as a full-on make-out session.
When they finally came up for air, Penny said, "Wow, that was...if I had known it was going to be like that, I would have asked a lot sooner!"
This version of Penny and Sheldon made out until their laundry was done, and the universe looked on with a smile.
Penny had big plans for Saturday night--have dinner, do some laundry, seduce her neighbor. Sheldon was going to be a hard nut to crack, but she always loved a challenge. He was just so...cute! And he had those eyes that she was tired of trying to resist. And it was funny; he was so not her type, she always went for the meatheads and jocks. But she wanted Sheldon, and she was going to try her best to get him. She even had her lucky pink bra on. That baby never let her down.
Penny walked in the laundry room, knowing Sheldon would be there, and said, "Hi, Sheldon."
"Hello," came his slurred reply. Penny was shocked to see Sheldon slumped on the floor, his laundry basket in front of him.
"Oh, my god, Sheldon, what's wrong? You look terrible!"
"I'm...find. No, fine. I'm find."
"You're not 'find,' sweetie," Penny said, and sat down next to him. "Oh, wow, that is quite a smell you have going on there. Are you drunk?"
"I don't know, am I?" Sheldon asked, looking miserable. "I've never been drunk before. I don't know what to compare it to."
"How did this even happen?"
Sheldon spoke very, very slowly. "It was my friend Howard's birthday party. Somehow he talked me into a drinking game. It was a Star Trek drinking game. It had...something to do with Wesley Crusher, but I'm not sure what. Anyway, I think I blacked out? And now I'm here. Because I always do my laundry on Saturday nights!"
Penny sighed. This was going to be a long night.
"Okay, honey, look, we got to get you upstairs and in bed. Do you think you can make it to the elevator?" The building's elevator had been broken for a few years, but after an angry uproar from most of the tenants, it was fixed now. Penny was glad; those stairs were a bitch.
"What about my laundry? I do Saturday on laundry night!"
"We'll do your laundry later. Come on, get up." Penny pulled him up. She was glad the time lifting weights at the gym was paying off now since Sheldon was not helping at all.
The two of them walked very, very slowly to the elevator. Sheldon leaned down and put his head on her shoulder, and she was kind of touched by the gesture. When they reached their floor, Penny led Sheldon out of the elevator and dug through his pocket for the keys. Sheldon moaned a bit, which was kind of funny but not really.
Penny managed to get the door open, and showed him to his bedroom and onto his bed, where he pretty much collapsed. She disappeared into the bathroom for a moment, and came back with a cup of water and some pills.
"Come on, sweetie, take these and drink the whole thing, okay?"
"I don't want to!" Sheldon declared belligerently.
"Well, you need to, or tomorrow you're going to want to crawl in a hole and die. Trust me."
"Fine!" Sheldon took the pills and drank the water and then tucked himself into the fetal position. Penny wondered if she should leave, or stay the night and keep an eye on him. While she was trying to make a decision, Sheldon muttered, "Penny?"
"Thank you for your help," he slurred.
"It's no problem. I've had a lot of nights like this myself," she said.
"Penny...I like you." Sheldon said from his fetal position.
"Well, I like you, too." And she did. Although most of the time she just thought of him as her socially awkward neighbor, Penny knew Sheldon was a good guy. He had a big heart, and he was going to win that prize he was always talking about someday.
"No! I...like you. You are the kind of woman that makes a man want to create art. Write epic novels. Sculpt. Draw. Your eyes are like...warm puddles. Your breasts are gifts to the world. And you make me laugh, and your wisdom is very valuable to me. I...like you. I want to kiss you. Can I kiss you?"
Penny was shocked. He never expressed anything like this to her before. But she also couldn't really take him seriously, could she? He wasn't exactly in his right mind.
"Oh, Sheldon, that's nice of you, really. I want to kiss you, too. But not right now, okay? You need your sleep right now."
"Okay. Okay, I'll sleep now. But I won't forget! You! Don't forget."
"I won't," Penny said, and sat next to him on the bed until he started snoring. She knew he'd wake up and not remember a single minute of this conversation. Maybe she'd never get to kiss him, but she'd always know he wanted to. At least there was that.
"I think I know how to change your mind," Penny said, and leaned in to kiss him.
Just before she got to Sheldon's lips, he stepped back and said, "Penny, I'm flattered that you are attracted to me, but I am not interested in intimacy. You can't just 'change my mind.'
"Are you sure? I want you so much, Sheldon. Aren't you the least bit curious?" This was not how Penny imagined this plan turning out.
"Of course I am. You have a very aesthetically pleasing body, and I'm guessing most heterosexual men in the world would be attracted to you physically. I'm just not one of them."
Penny nodded, and shrugged. Well, it was worth a try. Maybe someone else in her position would be ashamed, maybe they'd want to find their clothes as quickly as possible and then move somewhere else, maybe to another planet. But whatevs, so he wasn't attracted to her. There would be others. At least she gave it her best shot.
"I admire your perseverance. You actually remind me a bit of my sister. Both of you are strong, courageous women who don't take any crap. Good luck in your quest for seduction."
"Thanks, sweetie," she said. He pointed to his cheek. Penny smiled and gave him a little kiss.
Maybe in another universe they'd be a smoking hot couple. In this one? Friends.
"I think I know how to change your mind," Penny said, and leaned in to kiss him. She knew she was taking a chance; what if he didn't kiss her back? But his lips were soft and his body was warm, and Penny wanted to scoop him up and put him on a cracker. At first, he stood stiffly, not knowing what to do with his hands, or his lips, for that matter. But after a moment, Sheldon started kissing her back. Of course, he didn't exactly know what he was doing, but she was patient, and she tried to subtly show him what she liked without verbalizing it, and soon, it was everything she wanted and more. Sheldon Cooper was kissing her, and touching her skin, and it was more than her dreams, it was reality.
"Oh, Penny," he said when they came up for air. "I never knew kissing could be like that. It's like physics, only it's not, it's better than physics, but not really, because that's my life, but it's almost like physics..." He trailed off and went back for more kissing. Penny tried to be gentle with him, but when he bit her lip slightly, she knew he wanted more. So there was more kissing, and a bit of groping, and biting, and licking...and then the dryer dinged.
"Oh! My laundry's done," Sheldon said, and broke free of their embrace to take his clothes out of the dryer. She watched him with lust, wondering why the sight of him doing laundry turned her on so much.
When he was done putting everything in his basket, he turned to her, and there was more kissing.
"So...next Saturday?" He asked, and Penny nodded.
"I'll be here," she said. They kissed again, and Sheldon smiled when they pulled apart. She knew he wasn't ready to take it further than scheduled make-outs in the laundry room, and that was okay. She was a patient girl. And kissing him...was worth it.
In a world where Amy Farrah Fowler and Leonard Hofstadter didn't exist, Sheldon and Penny lived across the hall from each other formed an unlikely friendship. Maybe someday they'd become something more, or maybe not. There was a universe for all the possible outcomes, and they both had to choose which one they wanted most. Eventually they'll choose the same one. Maybe.