I mean, you should have seen him. Sheldon reminds me of my younger brother, Tim. They're both so smart and really so sweet when you get to know them. They just don't connect with other people. I try to imagine if Timmy had played on a Christian bowling team. Maybe he'd have become a real chemist. And what if Sheldon had started drinking and smoking pot when he was 12? Maybe he'd be mixing Meth in a bathtub. So I love my little whack-a-doodle. I took him shopping for a suit because I wanted to see him looking handsome and grown-up, not sexy. Never sexy. Bad Penny
Of course, I got over my self-chastisement fairly quickly once the inevitable arguing begins. Sheldon has to analyze everything, pick at it till it bleeds or screams for mercy. We're walking to the department store and he's lecturing me on the set up of "the American shopping mall" and why some stores are "in proximity " to others. Like I care? As long as there is a BCBG and a MAC store, I'm good.
"I bet you took apart all your toys as a kid." I tell him as we enter the men's department.
"Yes." He glows beside me in his yellow Rubik Cube shirt. "Then I moved onto the appliances."
"Your mother must have loved that."
"My father beat the back of my legs black and blue for it. I had no interest in re-assembly. I'm not Howard, you know."
I pop a piece of gum in my mouth. That's the thing about Sheldon- he does or says all these things that make you want to kill him. Until you learn someone already tried. Then, your heart breaks, you want to pull him to your chest, kiss his hair and swear no one is ever going to hurt him in anyway ever again or you'll go all Nebraska on their ass. That's what you would do if Sheldon was receptive to touch.
You take him suit shopping instead.
"I question your premise. How is a new suit going to prevent me from passing out in front of a room full of people?"
"It'll give you confidence." I tell him then go on to explain my take on retail therapy. As usual, he doesn't get it. Just stands there and points out the flaws in my reasoning, stating how I am the same person just with new clothes. I sigh. Endless, inevitable arguing.
We move past that stumbling block but, like the video games he adores, there is another instantly in our path.
"This is nice." I run my hands down the dark fabric and imagine Sheldon's slight frame filling it out. Feeling the bones of his shoulders and how his eyes would smolder from the darkness of the fabric. He'd look every inch the super-villain Leonard is always accusing him of being. My cheeks redden. Uh-oh. Bad Penny. Again.
Fortunately, Sheldon kills any continuation of this fantasy when he picks up the price tag.
"It's only one color. That's a lot of money for one color!"
Since when do you care about money? I want to snap at him but I need to get this done. We've been here forever and I love the mall.
"Fine," I throw up my hands. "Pick out what you like."
The first suit is a disaster. Seriously. If I didn't know Sheldon, I'd swear he found it in the dumpster.
"This is pretty sharp." Sheldon announces before nearly blinding me with the pattern. It's black and white plaid like a zebra got tossed into a vortex (Got my geek on!). He paired it with a blue striped shirt and a red knit tie. I didn't think they still made those!
"No, you're wrong." I say flatly. His face falls but he doesn't argue. I guess he's willing to defer to an expert even if that expert is "community college " Penny.
I didn't think it could get worse but that just goes to show that even after three years, I still underestimate him.
"I had a suit like this when I was six!" Sheldon tells me then steps out in- well, there really are no words. It's teal. TEAL! There is braiding and rhinestones all over it. For God's sake, let's just stick him in the corner, put a star on his head and sing "Deck the Halls." Where is the salesperson responsible for clearing out the racks? Christ, he even found a bolo tie! I can't speak. I just shake my head and he returns to the dressing room.
It gets a little weird with the next suit (I know, it gets weird?). Sheldon declares a winner and I walk over. Out he comes in white tie and tails!
"Where the hell did you get that!" I demand except that he does look kinda dashing like he's from one of those Fred Astaire movies. He had even walked out of the dressing room with a little swagger in his hips, so proud of his choice.
"In the prom department." He is completely baffled by my dismay. I have to move this along since I have to work in 24 hours. I grab the original suit.
"Please just try this one on."
He takes it from me, muttering how anything else is going to suffer in comparison. I half-laugh but I can feel the Sheldon-induced migraine coming on. It's the same one I got when he brought me to the emergency room and it takes days for it to go away.
So, it was a little weird before because, as ridiculous as that white suit was, I could totally imagine myself waiting for him to show up with a corsage on a warm May night. My prom date showed up in jeans with holes in the knees, on his motorcycle and reeking of beer. Sheldon didn't go to prom. He was onto his second PhD by the time he was old enough plus there's the whole "I don't dance in any universe, Penny" thing.
When he steps out this time, my heart stops. My mouth falls open and I totally ogle him. I'm struck dumb once more but for a different reason. There he stands all clean lines and angles. The black suit heightens the pallor of his skin which makes his eyes blaze like lasers. Sheldon's eyes are never muted but, oh man, they are spine-tingling in that suit. He looks so grown up. So male. So (I have to just say it) sexy. Sheldon looks down at himself. When he looks up, our eyes meet. It's a brief moment, barely a few seconds. My hand is still at my throat; my pulse is a captured bird. Sheldon's eyebrow gives a slight lift. Oh, God. Oh, God. He can tell what I'm thinking! He knows I'm keeping my hands at my throat because I want nothing more than to pull that suit off him and show him the possibilities of a dressing room. Of course, his mouth ruins it all.
"This is absurd! I look like a clown."
My brows draw together in disbelief. He really is as annoying as my brother. The comparison doesn't work this time. Bad Penny. Bad, bad Penny.
The night of the award dinner, I had just slid the curling iron out of my last curl when Sheldon's knock sounds at my door, each "Penny" more frantic than the last. He hasn't sounded this strung out since Ramona Nowitzki tried to make him her bitch.
He begins the series again as I approach the door. I wait then open it. Sheldon is standing there. His hair is mussed, his shirt miss-buttoned, tie looped around his neck. The suit jacket is still on the hanger and I think his pants are on backward.
"Honey, what's wrong?" I usher him inside and close the door.
"I can't do this, Penny." He gasps and begins pacing frantically around my apartment. "My hands are shaking so much I can barely dress myself. I fainted twice while shaving and almost slit my throat the second time." He points to the piece of toilet paper stuck near his Adam's apple. I make sure his pants are on correctly. They are.
"Okay, Sheldon. Sheldon! Calm down!" I place my hands on his shoulders and feel the dampness. Holy crap, he's sweating! He gulps in huge mouthfuls of air and his eyes blink rapidly.
"Let's get you dressed then we'll work on the nerves." He nods in agreement.
"Stop chewing on your lip." I warn as I begin undoing the buttons on his shirt. "Before you chew it off." The shirt opens to reveal his classic blue Superman shirt. I look up at him and he gives me a sheepish grin.
This is a very intimate scene we are creating here and I feel my temperature rise. Even more so than when I rubbed the Vaporub on his chest. I smooth the black shirt over him and Sheldon gives a little squeak. I can feel my cheeks flame as I slip the first button above his belt into the correct buttonhole. My fingers travel up to the next one. Sheldon's frantic twitching has ceased but his breathing is still rapid.
"You should go like this." I try for a light tone but my voice is husky. The shirt is open so the "S" blazes out from the dark material. Sheldon looks down and gives his wheezy laugh.
"That would certainly make a statement." He comments before his hands reach up to cover mine. "Perhaps another time." Together we button the black over the insignia then his hands drop to his side.
I'm actually leaning on Sheldon more than I need to. Putting his clothes on is even more erotic than I imagined taking his clothes off would be. I hadn't put on my heels yet so I have to stand on my toes to reach the last button. Sheldon is still looking at me so our noses bump when I reach up.
I close the button at his throat while peeling away the bloodied toilet paper. I don't even realize that I have leaned in to press my lips to the nick on his throat. A shuddery breath escapes him; his Adam's apple does a quick slide up and down.
Sheldon's full lower lip is moist. Cherry from his persistent gnawing on it. Calling me to take it between my own teeth.
"Yes, Sheldon?" I balance on my toes once more. Encased in black, he is lean and cat-like. More suave in his silence. His eyes are wide but not shocked. His breathing has slowed. Oh, I want him. Want him with an ache that spreads from my heart to throb between my legs. I lied. Lied all those times I told myself my affection for him was sisterly or, on the nights we did laundry together and I watch his elegant fingers fold shirts, motherly. Each suit he tried on reflected how with each year of our friendship, Sheldon became closer to the ideal I want. I lean in, tilting my head as Sheldon says, "My tie?
We are so close that his lips butterfly against mine with his words. The throb has become a pulse.
"Of course." I step onto my coffee table. Sheldon turns his back to me . I flip up the black collar and run the tie around his neck. He's moved closer and my breasts push against his shoulder blades. His hands clench. My hands twirl the silk between them.
"You always smell so nice." Sheldon comments as my wrists flick under his chin.
"Thank you. I didn't think you'd notice."
"I notice everything , Penny."
I stop for a moment. What's that supposed to mean? I grip the knot and slide it slowly upward.
"Tight enough?" I murmur by his ear.
His answer is a strangled noise from the back of his throat. I motion for him to pass me the jacket that he laid on the couch when he came in. I hold it open and he slide his arms into the sleeves. I smooth the shoulders. I could say daring made me do the next thing. My constant need to push Sheldon's boundaries, to find the man under the robot. The truth is, desire made me do it.
I run my hands over his shoulders, pressing down the lapels all the way down to the buttons of the jacket. Sheldon leans against me. The back of his head resting on my shoulder, throat flexed and exposed. My arms encircle his narrow waist. He reaches back with his right hand and rubs a circle on the back of my knee. The tiniest smile appears on his lips when he feels my legs quiver. I want to grab that hand. Bring it up for him to feel the wet heat that's only increased with each article of clothing I've put on him.
He turns slowly which breaks my hold. Every inch of his upper body makes agonizing contact with mine.
"How do I look?" His voice is rough.
"How do you feel?" I ask in reply.
"Penny, I'm a physicist not a hippie."
I laugh a little and step off the table. "Delectable." I tell him. The tip of my tongue darts out.
Sheldon gazes at me from under heavy lids. The corner of his mouth pulls up in that all-knowing smirk that always enflames me. He leans in and I turn my lips to meet his. Sheldon ducks his head to press his nose behind my right ear. I feel his gentle inhale.
"Thank you." he whispers. I am clutching his forearms because I'll fall down if I don't. His touch was that unexpected. He pulls back and I feel the lightest trace of his tongue along the underside of my earlobe. A faint spasm skips through me. I lunge at him, but he is out the door.
"Hey Buddy, feeling better?" Leonard greets Sheldon in the hall. I haven't moved. I am still standing with my back to the door, barefoot and so turned on I could scream. I know exactly what Sheldon is doing in the hall and I can hear every word.
"Much." He brushes the arms of the suit.
"Is Penny ready for your big night?" Leonard says.
I look over my shoulder at my closed door just in time to hear Sheldon say,
"I believe she is."