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World's End

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The place is a complete fucking dive; fortunately, Penny likes complete fucking dives as well as upmarket cocktail bars and middle of the road places, so she’s not totally upset, and hey, free bar.

Well, sort of free bar. What it actually says in Dr Eriksen’s will is that it’s hers as long as she can manage it and keep it turning a profit, otherwise ownership goes to his step-son, who is a grumpy young man with piggish little eyes that glint with anger and avarice, or at least they did at the reading of the will. Penny remembers his gaze like a particularly slimy touch, roving over her Cheesecake Factory uniform (the reading just had to be at the dead man’s favorite booth), silently asking why you? You’re just a waitress. All you ever did was bring him his food and listen to him talk once in a while. I’ve been kissing his ass for years. (At least, she thinks that’s what he was thinking.)

But she has the keys and lets herself into the Masque Bar, only to scream like a little girl when the first thing she sees is a horrid beaky face looming at her out of the darkness.

“Plague doctor,” Amy remarks, leaning past her to flip a handful of switches. Some of the lights even work.

“Interesting décor,” Bernadette says hesitantly, squeezing past the two of them to stand inside the doorway and look around at the mask-lined walls. Aside from the plague doctor, there are a number of other beaky masks near the front entrance, and then everything from clown faces to tiny sequined dominos around the rest of the long room.

Penny summarizes her feelings on the décor with one word: “Yuck.”

“I think you’re stuck with it.” Bernadette pulls an upended chair off a table and sits down. Dust puffs up from the seat. “Wasn’t there some clause in the will about maintaining the general atmosphere of the place?”

“Yeah, but I can make it creepy as fuck without all this crap.” Penny crosses the room, weaving between the silent tables, to go behind the bar. The bottles all have the same fine layer of dust on them but cracking the Beam open and sniffing it tells her it’s still good. She thinks the place was only closed about three weeks, tops, from what she remembers from the reading of the will.

“Somehow I don’t think ‘creepy as fuck’ was the look the old man was going for,” Amy says. “More like an air of mystery and intrigue.”

“...and mildew.” Bernadette gets up from her seat at speed. “Penny, this is going to cost a fortune to clean.”

“Nah. I have a secret weapon.”

“What secret weapon?” Amy asks.


 

 

Sheldon arrives half an hour later with a multitude of buckets and bottles and rags and mops. Penny takes one of the clean rags and starts polishing the bottles while Sheldon goes around and replaces the blown light bulbs.

“I can’t imagine how people could possibly find this to be a convivial place to sit and drink,” he says.

Penny looks for Amy to explain, but Amy’s grabbed a pair of gloves and dashed off to scrub the toilets rather than stay around Sheldon. It’s not that their breakup was acrimonious, but it was recent enough for them to still be finding their feet as just friends. She can understand; she and Leonard are in an off-again stage in their on-again, off-again relationship, and she’s starting to think it might be for good this time.

“I guess some people like it this way,” she says eventually.

“All right.”

Penny goes around checking the masks for damage and ends up with almost half of them in a trash bag to throw away and another quarter to be fixed. She sits on the end of the bar and looks around. There’s a weird little sectioned off area down one end that’s clearly meant to be a dance floor. Well, forget about that. If people want to dance they can do it wherever they want. She’s going to put in a jukebox and a couple of pinball machines. Once she figures out the Masque Bar’s finances, that is. Surely if Dr Eriksen expected her to keep it in the black it must already be there, right?


 

That evening she’s got her head down on the table amidst a small mountain of paperwork. Standing orders with various breweries and other alcohol supply companies, a list of employees and their wages (the piggy-eyed step-son is, thank God, not on the list; in fact it seems to be mostly women, and she hopes she hasn’t accidentally inherited a strip club), and bills, bills, bills.

There’s a triple knock at her door and Penny lifts her head long enough to yell, “It’s open, Sheldon!” He finishes knocking anyway before coming in, the smell of pizza entering with him.

“It’s eight-thirty and you haven’t yet come over to our apartment to steal dinner, so I thought I should come and check on you.” He’s got a plate with two big slices of pizza on it, which he sets down in front of Penny, who practically inhales them.

“Thank you, Sheldon. I owe you.”

“Don’t worry about it.” The paperwork has clearly caught his attention. “Penny, is this for your bar?”

“Yeah. It’s... not in great shape.”

Sheldon sits down across from her and flips through the pages of the main ledger, numbers whirring behind his eyes. “It looks as though you’ll need money to refurbish the place before you can reopen. Are these employees being paid while it’s closed?”

“No, thank God. It’s been closed for over a month; Dr Eriksen knew it would be running at a loss if he couldn’t oversee it himself.”

“Did he run it all the time?”

“No, but he did a lot of the number crunching. He must have known the place was in bad shape, though. There’re bills here for water damage from leaky pipes and everything.” Penny feels a wave of despair go through her. “How could he do this to me?”

“You could just let it go to the step-son,” Sheldon suggests.

“No. No way. Dr Eriksen left it to me for a reason, and I want to try it. Sheldon, I don’t want to be a waitress for the rest of my life. I just need to see if somewhere will give me a loan. I can put the bar itself up as a guarantee... it has a good history, it’s just that it went downhill when Dr Eriksen got sick.”

“I can think of a good bank that won’t charge you excessive interest.”

“Sheldon, you hate banks; how would you know of a good one?”

“This happens to be the First Bank of Sheldon Cooper, and I know the manager.” A tiny smile touches Sheldon’s lips. “I’m sure he’ll do a good deal for you.”

Penny squeals and jumps up to throw her arms around him. “Really? You’d do that for me?”

“I don’t want you to be a waitress for the rest of your life either. Just promise me two things.”

“Name them. Anything.”

“One, you have to serve cheeseburgers with the bacon, cheese, and barbecue sauce on the side.”

“Done.”

“And two, you have to rename the place and get rid of the masks. They’re creepy.”

“Only if you help me with the new theme,” Penny bargains, and they shake on it.

(Then Sheldon writes out a twenty-page financial agreement that she has to sign, but at least he started out with the right sort of free spirit.)


 

The First Bank of Sheldon Cooper extends an additional loan to cover the cost of Penny taking a business management course at Pasadena City College. A week before opening night she hands in her notice at the Cheesecake Factory – where her manager is sorry to see her go, but pleased for her, but also says her position’s available anytime she needs to come back, which she’s not sure how to react to – and starts repainting the walls of the bar.

A week before the bar is due to open is also when she meets the staff for the first time. Some of them have found other jobs and don’t come back, but she gets two waitresses and a short-order cook, plus Raj has offered to help out at night for the first week since he doesn’t have a lot going on at work at the moment. (She’s seen his Farmville posts on Facebook and knows that “not a lot” pretty much means “nothing”, and he’s probably bored as hell.)

Her second clue that the place might not just have been a bar is the cupcakes the waitresses bring in for their getting to know you gathering.

“That’s a vagina,” she says warily. Beside her, Sheldon is staring; Raj just shrugs and takes a sip of grasshopper and a bite of... she doesn’t even want to think about labia biting, because ow.

“Technically it’s a vulva, but you know, you’re in the right area.” Max grins at her and delicately licks a clitoris off the top of a cupcake.

Penny takes a deep breath, then asks the question she doesn’t want to ask. “Guys... what sort of bar was this?”

“Let’s just say my uniform usually involves less clothing,” Max says. She idly bounces one breast with her hand.

“Mine doesn’t, but it would be unhygienic,” says Olaf, who’s the cook. He picks up a cupcake and does something unnecessary to it with his tongue.

“Ew, Olaf, you’re just as bad as your cousin,” the second waitress – Catherine? Caroline? – says with disgust written plainly across her pretty face.

“Okay, well, um. There’s going to be a change of dress code.”

“Can we wear black?” Max asks.

“Yes. In fact, I’d planned on black and burgundy being the main colors to go with the new theme of the bar.”

“What is the new theme of the bar? I gotta say, those masks were giving me the creeps.”

“The end of the world,” Penny announces grandly, whipping the cloth off the new sign that’s to go out the front that reads WORLD’S END.

“Oh, like the Pirates of the Caribbean movie?” Caroline (it’s definitely Caroline, Penny’s sure of it) chirps.

“N-ooo, not like the Pirates of the Caribbean movie,” Penny says for the first of what will be dozens of times.

“Why is the rum gone?” Raj asks gleefully.

“Because you drank it. That’s coming out of your first paycheck.” Penny makes a note of it; beside her, investor Sheldon nods in silent approval.

“I for one think you’re making some excellent business decisions, Penny,” Caroline says. “I never used to pole dance myself, but it’s nice to know Max won’t have to anymore.”

“The pole’s not staying?” Olaf looks scandalized.

“There was a pole?” Raj asks.


 

The pole eventually turns up in the back room; Penny considers throwing it out but then can’t be bothered dragging it to the nearest construction site’s dumpster, so it stays. Maybe if she completely fucks this up the next owner will want to revert the place to a strip club, which she is now absolutely positive the Masque used to be.

Aside from the furniture and, of course, the bar (kind of an immovable object), the only thing that remains the same by opening night is the plague doctor mask display by the entrance. All the other masks have been taken down. The women’s bathroom is done in a Masque of the Red Death style, so there are still a few masks in there, but they’re new and not moth-eaten. The men’s room is decorated in ice-blue with Hati the wolf eating the moon on the wall over the urinals; it turns out Stuart can paint as well as draw and he’s delighted to do the decorating, especially when Penny tells him how much she can pay him.

“I might be able to eat this week,” he says not quite sarcastically enough, and Penny promptly goes out and buys him a foot-long sub sandwich, just to be safe.

The main bar has Bloody Mary coming out of the mirror, zombies on one wall, and a funeral pyre behind the newly installed jukebox. Stuart renders a pretty good Mayan Long Count calendar image on the wall opposite the zombies, even though it’ll be passé in a year or so, just because it looks cool. Everything is creepy and apocalyptic and Penny’s not sure she would have thought of it herself but she loves it now she’s seeing it. She thinks it’s only fair that Sheldon pick the theme considering how much startup money he gave her.

Raj ends up helping Stuart with the painting to get it done on time and Stuart gets bossy and Raj turns all coy and apologetic, and really. Penny’s tempted to tell them to get a room except they might and that would be weird.

She sends out invitations to opening night on paper made to look tattered and a little bloody; Sheldon makes a big deal about inviting Wil Wheaton and, although Penny’s still a little pissed at the guy for mindfucking her that one time and also for the whole Meemaw thing, she agrees. Stuart puts a sign up in the comic book store. Max and Caroline invite a few friends. Olaf is forbidden to invite anyone unless they promise to wear pants and not complain about the lack of strippers.


 

The bar is still empty at seven on opening night, despite the invite being for six. She’s starting to panic. All the staff are, a little; if this flops it’ll be the end of their livelihood. Penny’s wondering if the guys forgot it was tonight, and if she really can get her old job back. She’s taken on the hostess role, rather than being behind the bar, just for the night, wearing black like Caroline and Max; she’s worried her skirt is too short and she’ll be mistaken for a stripper, but her shirt is (mostly) decent. (Unless she undoes another button.)

But then the door opens and Sheldon walks in, wearing his suit, at the head of a whole group of people. Leonard and Amy, Howard and Bernadette, Wil, Larry, and Captain Sweatpants, and half a dozen other people who Penny vaguely recognizes as comic book store patrons and/or colleagues from Caltech. They ooh and ah over the decorating; Stuart, manning the bar with Raj, preens for a few minutes and then starts pulling beers, while Raj shows off a few flashy moves as he mixes cocktails for the girls (and Sheldon’s Cuba Libre, which Penny sees him make non-virginal).

Once the door has opened, people start flooding in. That creepy Kripke guy from Sheldon’s work complains about the lack of strippers; seems like he used to be a regular patron of the Masque. He’s distracted by the karaoke machine, which Penny starts up at eight, and before too long the place is jumping. Penny feels warm and happy all over, and not just from the two Long Island Iced Teas she downed before anyone arrived.

Wil comes over to her and slips an arm around her waist as she’s watching Leonard and Amy butcher “I Got You Babe” (Howard looks disgruntled; apparently it’s one of his and Bernadette’s special songs. Yeah, him and a few thousand other people).

“I think you’ve done an amazing job here,” he says.

“Thanks.”

“Sheldon told me what a mess it was when you first inherited it. It must’ve been a surprise.”

“I was in shock for a couple of days, I think,” Penny says, turning her head to smile at him, and he’s right there and smiling back and the last ridiculous thought that comes to mind before she closes the distance between them is that it’s been years since she last kissed a guy with a beard.

Wil is a good kisser; she imagines he’s had a fair amount of practice. His moustache tickles her upper lip but that’s easy to ignore as his tongue touches her lower lip and she opens her mouth a little, wondering if he can taste just how much she’s drunk. She doesn’t really care, though; as long as the usual bar chatter’s going on and nobody’s paying attention—

“Unhand her, Wheaton.”

Wil pulls back and sighs at Sheldon. “She started it... Moonpie.”

Sheldon narrows his eyes. “Don’t make me put you back on the list.”

“Oh no. Not the list. I’m so scared.”

Penny was sort of anticipating what she might do if a fight broke out, but she wasn’t expecting it to be between Sheldon and Wil over (she thinks) her honor. Sheldon grabs Wil’s wrist to pull him off her, and Wil fights back, and somehow the two of them end up sprawled across a table, Wil on top, Sheldon thoroughly pinned. Wil is gleefully mussing up Sheldon’s hair, as if this is some sort of schoolboy fight.

“You’re in charge,” Penny calls to Raj, who breaks off from kissing Stuart – oh really, while they’re working? She’s going to have to have words with them – and nods at her before Stuart makes a disappointed little noise audible even from ten feet away and Raj shuts him up with his tongue. Wil sees them and looks a little discombobulated, and it’s that which gives Penny the opportunity to grab him by the scruff of the t-shirt and pull him off Sheldon. She pulls Sheldon to his feet with her free hand and marches them both toward the door.

“What was that all about?” she demands before the door has even closed behind them. The evening air seems to have cooled their blood, because neither of them answer her. “Sheldon, come on, you started it.”

“I just don’t want him hurting you,” Sheldon mutters mutinously.

Penny leads them both down the alley that runs alongside the bar for relative privacy. “He wasn’t doing anything to hurt me. We were just kissing.”

“But it might have gone further, and I don’t want him breaking your heart.”

“I wasn’t going to break her heart!” Wil protests. “If anything, she might break mine.”

Sheldon looks flummoxed. “Well, I don’t want that either. You two are both my friends; it’s only logical that you should be friends with each other as well.”

“So do you want us to kiss and make up?” Penny asks, rolling her eyes.

“It wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Sheldon says. “If you’re sure you’re not going to hurt each other’s feelings.”

Wil has one arm around her before Sheldon finishes talking, the other hand cupping her chin to tilt her face up to his. He kisses her long and slowly and thoroughly, and it’s enough to make Penny forget about Sheldon for a few minutes, until Wil’s hand drifts down to undo that extra button and she hears Sheldon gasp.

When she looks at him his face is flushed pink but not out of embarrassment; she can tell it’s arousal by simply dropping her gaze a little lower and seeing the jut of his erection spoiling the line of the front of his pants. Sheldon’s a voyeur. Who knew?

“It’s okay, Sheldon,” she says, and Wil looks at him as well and makes a surprised sort of squeak, then takes Sheldon’s hand and pulls it up to trace the V of skin left bare at Penny’s neckline. Sheldon closes his eyes and she feels a tremor run through him.

The natural progression, since his eyes are already shut, seems to be to kiss him next.

It’s quite different to kissing Wil; Sheldon has no idea what he’s doing and jerks back in surprise when her lips touch his, eyes opening wide. Wil’s hand slides up his arm and to the back of his neck, holding him still so Penny can kiss him again, and this time he doesn’t go anywhere. He clumsily kisses her back, in fact, a little wetly thanks to the Cuba Libres, and Wil mouths at the side of her neck while they’re kissing, which doesn’t help but feels amazing.

They all draw back at the same time, exchanging a what now look, and then Wil turns Sheldon’s face to his, and Penny’s breath catches in her throat.

It’s one of the hottest things she’s ever seen. Wil’s tongue parts Sheldon’s lips with ease and Sheldon’s eyes fall closed again (he keeps opening them every time something surprises him, which is kind of a lot). The kiss seems to go on for hours. Wil’s hand drops from the back of Sheldon’s neck down to his lower back, pulling him close; Penny objects to being left out and licks the side of Wil’s neck, but mostly she just watches.

Her favorite part is that Sheldon is acting like this is completely normal and not running for the hills.

Wil reels her in by the front of her shirt, hooking one finger between her two top buttons and pulling without looking, and transfers his mouth from Sheldon’s to hers with barely a break. Sheldon makes a disappointed noise that sounds a lot like Stuart, and Penny can’t help but smile into the kiss.

“What?” Wil asks.

“He sounds like Stuart when Raj stopped kissing him.”

“Ah.”

“This is officially unexpected couples’ night.”

“I don’t think you’d classify this as a ‘couple’,” Wil says, his arm around Sheldon’s waist sufficient to indicate what he means.

Sheldon just makes another frustrated noise and threads his fingers through Penny’s hair, pulling her close. He’s a fast learner; his tongue darts between her lips and she realizes he’s kissing her the same way as Wil. Again, totally hot; if he only ever learns one thing from Wil (because he’ll never learn to identify when Wil’s messing with his head) then this can be it.


 

She has to run back inside after ten minutes to say something to Raj, coming up with the idea that the guys are being too snarky and she has to drive them home (her drinks were long enough ago that she should be fine), and not only is he still getting cozy with Stuart, she notices Amy and Leonard engaged in a meeting of the mouths over in one of the booths. The fact that there’s a zombie right over their heads seems to be doing nothing to distract them. Well, good for them.

Technically the part where she’s driving the guys home is true, so she doesn’t feel bad about lying to Raj, who agrees to close the bar up and jingles the spare keys before dropping them into his pocket.

“So, you two, huh?” Penny asks.

“I know,” Raj says without a trace of embarrassment. “I can’t help it. He looks too good when he’s painting.”

“I thought you were more into the sciencey type.” Penny inclines her head toward Howard, who’s on stage singing “Rocket Man”.

“I’ve decided to explore the arts.”

“Don’t worry, Penny, I promise he’ll work when he has to. I’m not going to let him risk your bar for the sake of making out,” Stuart says (he does look embarrassed, but not much).

“Thanks, Stuart. Tell Amy and Leonard... just tell them I said goodbye. If they ever come up for air.”


 

And then she’s back outside, where Wil has Sheldon backed up against the wall and is rubbing against him while he kisses him. Penny just stands at the mouth of the alley and watches for a little while before catching one of Wil’s belt loops and pulling him backward. Sheldon’s hips sway forward as Wil moves away and Penny wants to be in the middle.

It’s already poor form to be leaving her own bar early on opening night. Getting caught in the alley doing – well, anything – would be worse. So she marches them both to her car, puts Sheldon in the back so he can’t complain about the check engine light, and puts Wil beside her so he can’t spend the entire trip distracting her by mauling Sheldon in the back seat.

Her apartment is a mess but she doesn’t care, flipping the lights on long enough to direct Wil to the bedroom; he takes Sheldon with him and she double-checks the lock on the door, adds the chain, and takes the phone off the hook before going to join them.

Wil is already unbuttoning Sheldon’s shirt, one button at a time, kissing the newly exposed skin after each button. Sheldon’s tie is on the floor with their shoes and socks, and Penny kicks her own shoes off before joining them. She mouths at the side of Sheldon’s neck and he outright whines, caught between her mouth and Wil’s mouth, which is drawing close to his waistband; even as she realizes that, Wil drops to his knees to open the last two buttons, tugging Sheldon’s shirt out of his pants and licking just below his navel. Penny gets behind him and slides her arms around his waist, partly to hold him up and partly to slip his belt free of the buckle and unbutton and unzip his pants.

“Tighty-whities, Sheldon?” Wil asks.

“Shut up, Wheaton,” Sheldon whispers, eyes closed.

Wil shuts himself up in the most effective way possible; he pulls the offending garment down and applies his mouth to Sheldon’s cock. Penny’s list of sexual stuff she finds unbearably arousing is growing exponentially, and she has to move one hand off Sheldon’s waist and push her skirt up, a little amazed by how wet she finds herself to be. Wil’s mouth falters on Sheldon and Penny knows he’s aware of what she’s doing.

“I think...” Sheldon can’t finish his sentence. Penny stops touching herself long enough to help him sit down on the edge of the bed; she pulls his pants and underwear all the way off before Wil insistently pushes his head in between Sheldon’s thighs. Penny’s not really sure where she fits in this situation, so she just sits on the bed beside Sheldon and watches, absently rolling her stockings down and off.

He is all taut lines; his neck is strained back, the tendons stand out on his arms as he clings to the edge of the mattress, and his legs are straight out in a V at the apex of which Wil kneels. She can only assume that the line of his cock is just as hard, and suddenly she really wants to know. She reaches down and slips her hand in under Wil’s mouth and finds Sheldon’s hot shaft slick with Wil’s saliva and Sheldon’s own pre-come. Sheldon makes a gratifyingly shocked sound as Penny starts moving her hand in time with Wil’s mouth.

Between the two of them they make Sheldon come in about thirty seconds flat.

Penny expects Wil to take a break but instead he reaches up to drag her g-string off and push her skirt right up to her waist and, apparently, yeah, he’s decided to take care of her while he’s down there, because his mouth is no less enthusiastic on her than it was on Sheldon. His tongue is hot and fast and his hands settle on her thighs to pin her down as she tries to move up against his mouth. Sheldon makes things worse by leaning in to kiss her, his breathing still uneven and rapid. Wil is insanely good with his lips and tongue and it’s all she can do to keep from reaching down and grabbing the back of his head to hold him in place.

He teases her right to the edge and then backs off more than once. Finally, when she can bear it no longer and is ready to shove his head away and just finish herself by hand, he pushes two fingers into her and twists them and Penny climaxes with an inarticulate cry.


 

She ends up lying on the bed with Sheldon beside her and Wil atop her, all three of them mostly naked after a certain degree of tussling playfully over clothing. The only exceptions are Sheldon’s shirt and her own shirt, and she’s done the old trick of whipping her bra off through her sleeve, purely so she can keep her work shirt on.

It is, after all, opening night.

Sheldon kisses them both while Wil moves in her, like a bee sampling two different flowers. Apparently he likes them both because he might linger at one, but he keeps returning to the other.

Wil takes her slowly but mercilessly, his steady pace only ever faltering a little when Sheldon transfers his attention to him. No matter how much she claws into his back and pleads, he won’t move any harder or faster – not until, that is, Sheldon lets out a frustrated noise and says, “Wil, she wants more. Even I can tell that.”

“I know,” Wil says, and then it turns out everything up to this point was just playtime as he pushes one of her knees right up and hooks his arm underneath it and just purely fucks her, giving her the depth and the speed she’s been craving. Sheldon draws back and watches them both with clinical interest for a moment before reaching to play with Penny’s breasts, moving his palm over them, curving his hand to match their shape, running his thumb over the hard peaks of her nipples. His shirt-tails are trailing in his lap but they don’t hide the fact that he’s getting hard again.

Penny loses her focus on what’s going on, caught between Sheldon’s hand and Wil’s entire body, coming with hard little jerks of her hips that force Wil even deeper into her to the point where it almost hurts. Then he’s coming as well as Sheldon moves his hand from Penny’s breasts to pinch and roll Wil’s nearest nipple between his thumb and forefinger. Penny hears both her and Sheldon’s names on his lips and doesn’t mind at all.

She reaches out with Wil still in her and starts stroking Sheldon’s cock, feeling it go all the way hard in her hand. She expects it to take him a while to come, considering he’s already done so once, but he gets close faster than she expected. Then he’s pushing her hand away and looking intently at her.

“Wil, move, you’re in my spot,” he says with a little imperiousness in his tone. That’s about as forceful as he gets, though, because Penny has to do the rest: roll the condom on, push him onto his back, and sink down onto him, the motion sending new waves of pleasure along somewhat frazzled nerves. She’s not sure how long she can hold out for – her thighs are really tired – but she wants this more than she wants to give in to the lassitude and curl up with them both.

That can wait.

Sheldon’s eyes are wide with wonder as he looks up at her. Wil straddles his thighs behind her, rests his head on her shoulder, and plays with her breasts, listening carefully to her breathing so he knows when he can be rough and when he needs to back off.

“Penny, Penny, oh, Penny...”

“Give me your hand,” Wil says to Sheldon, and the next thing Penny knows Wil is showing Sheldon how to find her clit, his fingertip sliding almost too slickly over her, and she huffs in annoyance and covers both their hands with hers for a moment when they miss the target the first two times, pressing along and up and in to help them find the hard little nub. Then she’s really glad Wil’s there to lean against, because Sheldon’s a willing pupil and a quick study.

She feels like she’s going to have to ask him to stop and finish him by hand, she’s so overwhelmed by feeling, but his movements become erratic, he pulls his hand back and fists up twin handfuls of her quilt, and she knows she wants him to come in her.

When she leans down and whispers as much in his ear, that’s when he does.


 

The three of them lie in a tangled sweaty mess for almost four whole minutes before Sheldon insists on getting up to use the shower. Penny and Wil let him go, using the time to exchange a few lazy kisses.

“We should do this again,” Wil says.

“Yeah, well, next time I insist on being bought dinner first.”

“That’s okay. I hear there’s a great new bar that just opened.” His fingertip traces the logo on her shirt; it’s a silhouette of a girl with horns, wings, and a halo, holding a pitchfork. A devilish angel or an angelic devil. “I hear the owner’s pretty hot, too.”

“Owners,” Sheldon yells from the bathroom on a puff of steam.

“Owner and financial adviser,” Wil amends, and Penny’s already laughing hard.

She needs a shower herself when Sheldon’s done and Wil comes in with her to help wash her hair, or at least that’s his excuse. She sort of expects Sheldon to have bolted for his own apartment by the time they come out, but he’s just stretched out in the middle of the bed, not tucked in as tightly as at home, making it clear there’s room for two more. How generous of him, considering it’s her bed, but she gets in anyway and Wil slides in on his other side.

“My Friday pajamas are at home,” Sheldon complains.

“It’s okay, Sheldon. I’m wearing my invisible just-had-a-threesome pajamas,” Wil says, kissing him and making Penny laugh again.

They drift off to sleep one by one, Sheldon first, Penny last, listening to the other two breathe. Wil’s right; they should do this again. Ideally in the morning. She’s willing to accept breakfast in bed as a substitute for a dinner date, and she’s got her eye on Sheldon as the first course.

So thinking, and smiling to herself, Penny falls asleep.