“Amy, I really don't know what you want me to say here, my traditional knowledge about guys can't help you.” Penny flopped onto her couch, staring at the mousy girl next to her.
Amy was not stupid. In fact, she was far from it. She knew that coming to Penny was the best solution to her problem. She didn't know how to move her relationship with Sheldon forward, but Penny would. Penny had a keen grasp of the many, many things in this world that Amy did not.
Including, curiously, Amy's boyfriend. “Alright,” Amy started, folding her hands in her lap and watching as Penny took a large gulp of wine, “let's go about this another way.”
Penny rolled her eyes and picked at her denim uniform skirt. “Sure, why not?”
“What would you make Sheldon for dinner?” Amy asked. It was the first of a short list of questions that Amy hoped would get her closer to an answer.
“Spaghetti with little cut up hot dogs,” Penny answered without any hesitation.
She continued to sip her wine, but Amy was astounded at how fast she'd come up with the answer. “Really? That's... an odd combination. Why?”
“Something about his mother used to make it for him, I think...” Penny sat up and shifted sideways, looking at Amy and then her wine glass. “But don't serve him wine, or alcohol. Unless you want him to sing you selections from Fiddler on the Roof.”
Amy shifted, her knees pressed primly together, her head tilting to the side. “I know that he doesn't enjoy alcohol, I didn't realized it induced show tunes.” She shrugged, still trying to wrap her mind around the sinking feeling in her stomach. “Water will suffice.”
Penny shakes her head and drains the golden liquid from her glass. “No, not if you're trying to really get on his good side.”
“Then what should I get?” Amy asked, scooting closer, waiting with bated breath as if Penny were about to impart the secrets of the universe.
“Strawberry Quick,” Penny said easily as if she's said it every day. In fact, she's not even looking at Amy, or deeply embroiled in this conversation. Her eyes flit over her wine glass and over the magazines on the table.
Amy realized in a heartbeat why this hurt so much: these are the things she yearns to know abut her boyfriend, but does not. Penny knows them and takes them for granted, she's spouting them off as if they hold not more power or significance than the weather forecast or tips on how to keep your manicure fresh longer. “And...”Amy started, but paused and pressed her lips together as she thought for a second. It seemed wrong, but she needed the information. “And what kind of music would you play?”
Penny looked up at her, her eyes wide and bright, “Would I play for what?”
“For Sheldon,” Amy supplied, “If you were planning a date with him, to get him to feel things for you.”
“I wouldn't do that Amy,” Penny sighed, “If you want him to like you, just be you. He likes you fine.”
Amy stood and set about getting herself a glass of wine, if only to keep her hands busy. “Well, I don't want him to like me,” her voice came out a little biting and rough, “I want him to ravish me like a sailor whose been out to sea too long. I want him to tear off my cardigan like it's a bodice and take me against the wall of my apartment while saying inappropriate, filthy things.” Amy looked up, holding her glass of wine. Penny is staring at her. “Ok, well, maybe not exactly that, but I need more than what we have.” She rounded the counter and sat on the edge of the couch. “I want someone to want to kiss me and play doctor with and have inappropriate fantasies about.”
Penny shrugged. “You can still fantasize about him.”
Amy sighed and hid behind her hair. “I have this one where I want to 'play doctor' and he comes dressed as Doctor Who, then promptly leaves when he figures out what I have planned.”
“Oh, you've got it bad, huh?” Penny sighed, patting Amy's knee. “Yeah- he'd probably think either Who or Trek when it came to Doctors, so I'd try something different.”
Amy slid down onto the couch, a boneless lump of defeat. “If I looked like you, or had your experience, or even had known Sheldon as long as you have, I'd be ok with this, but I need your help, bestie.”
Penny leaned over and hugged Amy, partly because she looked so sad, and partly because wine made her want to hug people. “Fine, I'll help.”
It worked, all of it. Sheldon's calling her more. He's more eager for their date nights. He professes he's in hell, but Amy knows that's his way of dealing with change. The spaghetti, the video game music, the female Star Trek uniform... every single little piece of advice Penny gave her has worked. On one hand, she's deliriously happy.
On the other, these are things that Penny knows about him because Sheldon trusts her, because he's somehow found a way to let her into his world enough to know and understand these things.
She, Amy, his girlfriend, has not been privy to this information yet.
Something about that little fact gives Amy pause. This isn't as straight forwards as it seems, not a case of one bestie helping another, because when Amy's not around, Sheldon still goes to Penny with his ouchies and to sing him Soft Kitty. When Amy's at work, Penny is still the one Sheldon calls to complain about Leonard or asks for rides to the comic book shop.
Amy's stood between them when they're fighting, and she's felt the tension in the air. She can't describe it, but she knows it's not all bad. It's tinged with something she's only ever felt when she read those romance novels that Bernadette gave her. Amy has never, never felt that with Sheldon.
But Penny's dating Leonard. And Sheldon makes Amy so very happy (most of the time).
The feeling in the pit of Amy's stomach is hard to pin point, but she's got to try, because right now it feels like betrayal. And she wouldn't betray either of them. But Sheldon is the closest thing she's ever had to feeling in love, and she won't let that slip through her fingers, either.