Penny knows Amy kissed Sheldon; she got a drunken text message from her bestie at three in the morning that said as much after she deciphered it. She texted back to ask for details, but just got a blurry photo of the bathroom floor in response, which explained everything and nothing at the same time.
When a week’s gone by and neither Amy nor Sheldon have said anything about it, Penny decides that she’s got to find out what went on. She feels that all of her avenues have been exhausted when it comes to asking Amy, so she turns to Sheldon instead.
They’re sitting side by side on the couch waging a close war on Halo, and Sheldon blows Penny’s head off, and his tiny triumphant smirk is asking for it, really. It’s just a peck, a brush of her lips against his, and then she’s pulling back to examine the expression on his face.
“Penny – what was that?”
“Amy said she kissed you. I thought you’d implode if anyone ever did, so I thought I’d check. Was that how it was?”
Dear sweet lord, if she’d known this could reduce Sheldon to stuttering semi-silence, she would have done it years ago. “Oh? More like this?” She leans in again and lets her lips linger a second longer, eyes open and studying his face. His eyelashes dip closed for a moment.
This time he doesn’t say no, just makes a sound of negation, but not protest. If anything, he seems to be waiting for something. Penny hesitates a moment and then kisses him a third time. This time she sees his eyes close just before hers do, feels his lips under hers, warm, a little yielding, not quite pressing back against hers, but not pulling away either.
She backs off for a second and it’s that second in which her mind reminds her that while Sheldon may not be Amy’s boyfriend, he’s still Amy’s in their own strange way. But then Sheldon lets out a shaky sigh, his breath a whisper against her skin, and the temptation of his parted lips is too great for her to ignore. She licks lightly along his lower lip and can taste the spice of the Thai food they had for dinner and the flat no-taste of the water he drank with it.
In another life, another place and time, she would be miles past kissing by now. But this is... something else.
“Like this?” she whispers again, directly into his mouth, and Sheldon makes the same negatory sound again and Penny flickers her tongue a little deeper between his lips when he does it, feeling his spine go lightning-rod straight as she electrifies him. She feels dangerous and ungrounded. She’s relying on him to tell her when this crosses a line, which is stupid because how would he know? Sheldon doesn’t know squat about relationships, Sheldon—
Sheldon is lifting his hands to her head and carefully undoing the clip that is holding it up in its hasty messy ponytail. Sheldon is running his fingers through her hair in gentle strokes. And Sheldon is meeting her tongue with his, shy and tentative.
This time, Penny finds she’s the one sighing.
She takes her time about deepening the kiss, telling him wordlessly how to move his tongue against hers, over her lips, what feels nice and what’s just kind of annoying and wet. She lets him do what he wants with his hands, which is pretty much just running his fingers through her unbound hair in long, slow strokes, and except for catching on one tangle it all feels good. She cups his face in her hands, runs her thumbs over his cheeks, feeling the tiniest dots of stubble just barely daring to emerge though it’s long past five o’clock.
They part to breathe when it all gets to be too much, then meet again. Penny is not sure whether Sheldon has grounded her or whether she has lifted him up to wherever her mind got this high-flying crazy notion from in the first place. Either way they’re in the middle now, and in it together.
Eventually she’s kissed away every last bit of flavor in Sheldon’s mouth until there’s just the taste of him left. She pulls away, sees his eyes open, lids heavy with what can only be desire, and then leans in to press her lips to the side of his throat.
She’s not sure what his eyes do when she does that, but she feels him gasp, and his hands tighten in her hair. Her lips curve against his skin; she’s more used to having her hair grabbed during far more intimate acts than this. Her mind inevitably connects the two and she imagines him stretched out on his bed – no, her bed, he never lets anyone in his room – her bed, giving in to his so often denied desires. She wonders what he tastes like, how big he is, how he’d feel in her mouth, if she had the chance.
She realizes she’s sucking a little too hard at the side of his neck and lets up, pulling away. “Sorry.”
Sheldon’s eyes are unreadable. “Don’t be.” And he lowers one hand to her hip, nudging a little, and it only takes her a second to figure out that he wants her in his lap. God. This was meant to be a joke, or a game, or a – a something unserious. Not something that has her swinging one leg over his to settle astride his thighs, facing him, seeing the reddened mark she has made on the side of his neck and the half-lidded look on his face that does nothing to dissuade her from continuing. She doesn’t think he realizes at first how innately intimate this position is; he just wants her closer to keep kissing her, but she can think of nothing but how closely they are pressed together and how much closer they could be.
She buries her face against his shoulder for a moment to just let his steady heartbeat calm her down, but it’s racing too fast for that.
“Like this?” she asks in less than a whisper. A whisper’s whisper.
Sheldon twines his fingers through her hair again and pulls her mouth back to his. “No,” he says, lips brushing hers. His tongue flickers against her lips and Penny lets it slip between them, meeting it with her own. She can’t imagine Amy daring anything more than this for a first kiss.
Her own heart pounds a little faster. Is this a betrayal? Yes-maybe. Is it something she’s going to feel guilty about? Maybe-yes. Does she want to stop?
She traces the curve of Sheldon’s ear with one fingertip and, when it makes him shiver, leans in to follow her finger’s path with the tip of her tongue. Sheldon sighs and takes the opportunity to kiss the side of her throat, from her collarbone right up to her earlobe, which he flicks with his tongue. Penny makes a soft appreciative sound and Sheldon’s fingers go still in her hair, as though he’s contemplating the implications of the noise that she just made. The hand still on her hip slides to the small of her back and pulls her tight against him – yes, now he is definitely aware of the potential of this position; she can feel the evidence hot against her thigh. She makes the sound again, louder, and Sheldon’s mouth finds hers again.
Now that his tongue and lips have learned hers, he thinks he can kiss her with impunity and not have to keep learning. Penny proves him wrong, wriggling closer on his lap, her breasts pressing against his chest, lacing her arms behind his neck and holding him to the kiss. He may have some small idea of what he’s doing now, but she’s still the one who’s done more study in this particular field.
Sheldon’s hand creeps under her shirt at the back, his fingers spread out over her skin, and she shifts a little on his lap at the feel of it. He moves up against her and suddenly she’s coldly aware of just how far this has gone beyond a joke, beyond propriety.
“Sheldon, we have to stop.”
Even his genius brain, when flooded by hormones, takes a moment to process this, during which she extricates herself from his arms and moves back to the center cushion. “Penny...”
“It’s wrong. We can’t. Amy—”
“Amy and I firmly agreed that physical closeness was not something that came into the paradigm of our relationship, and that we would move on from the incident without further comment.”
Great. Now she feels like a homewrecker and an idiot. “Sheldon, you’re gonna have to translate that one for me.”
“I’ll begin by restating the basic foundation: Amy is a girl, and she’s—”
“—I know that part, move on—”
“—and when we say we’re just friends, we mean it. Amy would no more consider this a betrayal of her friendship with me than I would have considered it a betrayal had she given into her hormones with your friend Zach.”
Penny’s eyes drop to Sheldon’s lap at “hormones” and she raises an eyebrow at him. Sheldon attempts to pull his t-shirt down over the front of his pants. Neither of them need to say anything.
“So.” Penny sort of wishes that they’d stuck with the perils of betraying the sisterhood, because now that she knows she isn’t, she’s got to deal with the fact that she just made out with Sheldon and there is no way that this isn’t going to be an ongoing Thing of Awkwardness between them. “Um. Did I get anywhere close to figuring the kiss out?”
Oh yes. That’ll help.
“Oh.” Sheldon sounds amused. “It was the third one.”
Penny thinks back, but it’s all a jumble of lips and tongues and hands and heat. “Which one?”
His lips curve into that too-familiar tiny triumphant smirk. “Like this,” he says, pulling her back to him.