Rating: G (I think? I'm not used to writing G, so IDEK!)
Word Count: ~2,100
Disclaimer: Just a rental!
A/N: Two days! WOOT! Forgive this for being unbetaed, as I sat and wrote it out in the span of four hours! Enjoy!
Penny flips through the magazine for the fifth time and regrets only grabbing the one. She’s picked out all the worthwhile gossip bits already, chosen a few outfits she’ll buy when she can afford suitable knock-offs, and read about Rosario Dawson’s favorite way to blend eye shadow four times.
Just when she’s made it to the point where she’s getting a few paragraphs into stories she cares nothing about because reading is better than staring at sterile white walls and her purse is already full of the cotton balls that take nail polish off so much better than the ones you buy at the store …Sheldon cracks the door open, of course.
“Sheldon!” She sets the magazine down next to her and crosses her arms.
“Yes, I know, I’m breaching the terms of our agreement, but – ” He shifts and glances behind him where the door is still slightly ajar. He steps further inside, since she didn’t outright push him back out. She curses her decision to approach this calmly, since the click of the door shutting gives him a slight advantage.
“But, what? You said you’d wait out there. I didn’t want you to even come inside! For this exact reason!”
“We live in Southern California, Penny! I couldn’t very well wait in a car, I could asphyxiate!”
“I would’ve cracked the window, jeez. Don’t be a drama queen.” She sighs and lazily flips through the magazine, pretending he’s not there. She wishes he’d just listen for once, just once. Now that he was here, though, at least she’s entertained. No matter how awkward this was bound to get.
“Well, I can’t stay out in the waiting room. A small child coughed and then sneezed and then proceeded to walk around the room and touch everything in sight. It took tremendous self-control just to come here, rather than scold him. So you should be proud of me.”
“Oh, yes. Very proud.” She rolls her eyes and decides that a piece of gum would be a nice reprieve from having to pay attention to this crap.
He’s been subtly observing the room, still standing awkwardly against the door, and finally moves to sit on the only seat available, next to where she’s perched. It’s oddly empowering to be a good foot above his head. It’s a silly thing, but he’s so damned tall it seems more important than it probably should be.
He’s gaping at her, when she pulls a piece of spearmint from its wrapper. “Can I help you with something?”
“Are you stealing medical supplies?” His eyes are bugged out and if she were a less secure person she’s sure there’d be guilt clouding her thought process. “I know you’ve always been quite lax on self-governance and adherence to rules, but I never took you for a thief!”
“Okay, that’s it. Out!” She pushes his shoulder and the glare he returns as he resists makes her pinch the skin of his neck, just because.
“Ouch!” He rubs the reddening mark and snatches her purse before she can do anything but screech back. “Unbelievable, Penny, there’s at least twenty cotton balls in here!”
“I’m a little foggy on the rules; does that make it grand larceny, or something?” His expression turns as serious as the tone of her voice and the set of her jaw. She loves that she still scares him. “Give that back.”
“Only if you agree to give these back!” He pulls out a handful and she’s got the purse back while he’s busy trying to stuff them back where they came from. “Is this why you wanted me in the waiting room? As an unaware second-party to this … this … betrayal of trust!”
“What the hell are you even talking about? Can you just chill out for five minutes? Sit down.” He eyes her nervously and slowly sits. “I come here all the time. Kelly always offers those within two seconds of walking in the door, so I’m just cutting to the chase. If you’d taken the time to ask maybe you’d have known that. See? Total drama queen.”
He sneers for a second, but then his expression lightens. “So you’re …allowed to take those?”
“I’m allowed to take whatever. These are the only things I use. They’re great for doing pedicures.” She can feel her eyebrows pop and relishes in the feel of shutting his craziness down. Knuckling under, her ass.
“Well, then. I apologize.” He fidgets and finally opts to get back to his feet and remove the handful he’s smushed into the cotton ball jar. Delicately placing them back in her purse, he lingers before capping the lid. “Do you think we could …” He tilts his head at where the rest of the supplies are kept.
She sighs. “Fine. Take what you want.”
He grabs two handfuls of depressors, some gauze, and as many band-aids he can remove without making the jar look suspiciously empty. He fits it all in her tiny purse, somehow. Physics, maybe.
She’s back to pretending the magazine is interesting, again, and doesn’t really care.
There’s a deep silence for a few minutes. They can both hear the rattle of the air through the walls up through the ceiling and the traffic outside. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable by coming back here.”
She’s been waiting for him to get there, from the start. “I know you didn’t. You’re not going to get sick, little kids do that everywhere. You’ll -” He flinches and shudders slightly, but nods as he crosses his legs and hugs his arms snuggly around himself.
“I know.” He says calmly and stares at the cold linoleum. “Would you like me …” he breathes in deeply and starts over, “Would you like me to leave?”
“Well, yeah.” She’s honest. She’s always honest. “But, no. You can stay, until the doctor gets here at least. That may be kind of awkward.”
“Why would it be awkward?”
“Seriously? You’re asking me why I’d find that awkward? You, me, a doctor’s office? You? A doctor's office? What's not clear about this?”
“Penny, the human body – ” She knows exactly where that one’s going and growls to cut him off before he can get creepy.
“No! No. We’re not talking about that. This is my check-up, not yours.”
“Well, I think that hardly matters. If it were my check-up, I wouldn’t be upset about you being here at all.”
She sneers and decides to ignore that. “It’s a little bit different being a girl, here, Sheldon. It’s a bit more …involved.”
“You’ve clearly never gotten a prostate exam,” he answers smugly. She has to keep from choking on her gum, but it doesn’t due to let him think he’s shocked you; that just leads to him using words like ‘furthermore’ and ‘hence’ or other big ugly versions of ‘now that I’ve won.’
“Sheldon, honey, don’t. I don’t want to ever hear about that. Especially not …here.”
“Okay. I’ll leave, then.” He’s up and nearly to the door before she sighs and tells him to sit. Again. Like everything with him, routine always wins out. She both loves and hates that, at times.
“Just stop talking. I’ll let you stay if you stop talking.” She grins and hopes he’ll concede, for her sanity’s sake. He does.
Another seven minutes pass until there’s a knock at the door and the doctor slips in amiably.
“How are you doing, Penny? And I don’t think we’ve met?” She sets the manila file on the surface and smiles as Sheldon attempts to hide Penny’s overflowing purse behind where she’s seated.
“Sheldon, this is Sheldon.” Penny shakes her head at his standing up to shake her hand, gentlemanly but bizarre. “Hi, Kelly, how’s it going?”
“It’s going fine! How are you doing? Sick of the sun, yet? Ready to start mail-ordering corn-husks, in bulk?”
“Oh, that’s humorous! She grew up in Nebraska and she eats a tremendous amount of grains!”
Kelly’s eyes dart to Penny and they both smile. “Okay. Well, first order of business, why don’t you come over here and I’ll weigh you.”
Penny shimmies down from her seat and warily glances back at Sheldon. If he stays for anything beyond this, she’s going to have to keep him here for the whole appointment. No turning back. It just so happens that when she steps onto the scale and her eyes catch his, he’s got his hands folded in his lap and a small smile on his face. She realizes that he’s yet to say anything embarrassing and her heart pulls a bit at that.
She can’t force herself to kick him out. In all the years she’s known him, she’s yet to.
“Okay, one-hundred and - ” Penny coughs and cuts off the second part of Kelly’s answer. She smiles as she hears Sheldon’s peep of nonchalant incredulity. Yeah, yeah, she gets it; he probably already knows.
“I have a scale at home, thanks.” She explains and glares at him as she takes her seat, if a little jokingly.
She’s back in her seat and trying to act like Sheldon being there isn’t the weirdest thing in the world, as Kelly checks her breathing and then feels around her abdomen and stomach. Sheldon has the grace to look around the room when she has her shirt pulled up.
“You can talk, you know. I just didn’t want you rambling on for hours.” Kelly blushes a bit and moves back to get what she needs from inside a drawer.
“Alright. What would you like me to say?” Sheldon still has his head turned down as he shifts back to her direction.
“Well, this is important. It’s kind of silly that I was making you stay out there. I’m sorry, too.” She grabs for his hand and squeezes, his eyes widen just a bit before he moves the chair a bit closer to better see where both women are already staring.
Kelly laughs, warmly at Penny’s cursing at the coldness against her stomach and shifts the screen closer to all three. “Okay, so we’ve got …what looks like a hand and leg, here. Then we have two feet and a shoulder at the bottom. If you’ll hold still we can get a heartbeat from both.” Kelly shifts and moves around until they can see a new angle on the monitor.
Sheldon gapes and gapes and gapes, but Penny’s brain has already caught up. Both?! “...Both?!”
“Yes.” Kelly frowns a bit, moving back to where she started. “One, here. The other -,” she pauses and shifts the focus on the monitor to what is clearly a second set of limbs. “Here.”
“Oh, God. There’s really – that’s not – how did this not come up last time? Or the time before that?”
“Penny, I thought you knew!” Kelly hesitates but smiles, trying to keep things friendly, not expecting such a strong reaction from the feisty blonde. “I told you that you’d be eating for two!”
“I thought you meant me and the first one! You should have said eating for three! Three!”
“I’m so sorry. It was on the ultrasound printout, I thought I showed you both. I did show you both, but I think you misunderstood.”
Penny could feel herself shaking and tears pricking the edges of her vision. She was barely ready for one, but two?
She squeezes her eyes shut and braces herself for the inevitable aneurysm Sheldon’s on the edge of. She doesn’t expect him to be crying when turns to look at him. Maybe they are more alike than she’d like to think? She reaches for his hand and pulls it up to loop his arm with her own, her throat clenches as she feels him move to stand and lean against her.
“Twins,” he sobs against her collarbone. She suddenly feels way different about the situation. The edge of hysterical laughter to his voice, the way he’s kissing her where her neck meets her shoulder discreetly so that Kelly misses it completely and belongs solely to her.
“Twins.” Kelly confirms with a hint of amusement.
Penny watches as he finally calms down enough for her to tease him about his unfair genetics that were supposed to skip a generation and feels so utterly foolish about the idea of not allowing him to come in, earlier. She’s always afraid that he’ll make things so clinical and awkward that she forgets there’s a whole different level to him, just beneath the surface.
He decides he owes her lunch, for the accidental second sibling, promising an extra side of the corn and potatoes she’s been eating in busloads. Kelly leaves them to clean up and talk in private, congratulating them both once more on the surprise.
Sheldon’s face is nearly dry again, when she pokes him in the ribs and beams at his shocked amusement.
She sticks her tongue out, triumphantly and grins. “Yep, total drama queen.” He smothers her giggling mouth with his own.