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Against The Grain

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'We were young and very much in love,' mock emotionally she turns to him.
'But we could only communicate through a time-traveling mailbox at my lake house.' Penny finishes noting the realisation in his expression with an evil smirk.

'It's not enough that you made me watch that film, now you mock me with it?' he asks glaring. Penny stifles the urge to laugh as her head is aching but grins serenely. Pissing Sheldon off is sincerely one of her greatest hobbies, but damn if her head wasn't trying to end her.

'Sheldon, sweetie. If they want to be together, you're not going to change it. At least, not for the better.' His eye twitches. She knows he wants to be better than her in every field, but relationships are not, his field. There not really her field either, at least not in a long term sense. But she would like to think she knows a heck lot more than him.

'I resent that you assume my meddling, will only draw negative ends to any relationship they may be experiencing,' he says closing the laptop. The truth is Penny's not sure what his meddling might conclude in, but it wouldn't be a success.

Sheldon glances at her coffee table, he's processing the possibility she's been robbed, shoulders tensing up.
'Penny, might I suggest tidy-'
She rolls her eyes at what he wants to say and then regrets it. 'No,' she says trying to rub the pain away, but making it worse.

Walking over to Penny and edging back and forth to find somewhere to place his laptop Sheldon settles on a pile of shirts on the kitchen top.

'Penny, are you feeling alright?' he asks having noted her amplified impatience.

Her eyes are sleepy and her face is flushed as she nods but winces, 'Migraine.'


Penny can see the cogs turn in Sheldon's head as he looks at her with concern. 'Might I suggest a deep massage, ice wrap or other homeopathic remedy. Although if you happen to possess a drink rich in vitamin C, this is theorised to help…' Penny raises her hand to halt the onslaught.

'Sheldon, stop talking.' He purses his lips but leans back and forth as though he wanted to say more.
'Sorry,' he mouths inducing the need to roll her eyes again, except that it would hurt too much. He looks at the freezer and then to the sofa, his eyes darting back again. Figuring resignation is the escape Penny resists the urge to nod but lies down. He's some kind of genius to be sure, but how does he do as doctor?

Before she can reach for the blanket he lifts it and covers her. Fairly speechless Penny sinks into the sofa and lets him tuck it under her feet. Probable factors are that he thinks her incapable of laying it down straight.
Not wanting to think much further because of the nerves it was killing, she lets her head rest in the cushions. 'Thank you, Sheldon.'

Sheldon nods standing, he's glad she at least possesses a soft blanket. The fabric seems adequate to keep her warm. Turning back towards the freezer he opens the drawers, systematically searching for ice. Finding small ice umbrellas, (rather negating the cube aspect of the name,) he pours them onto a clean towel.

Thinking of the symptoms of migraines Sheldon realises the lights are too high, and goes to dim them. How typical of Penny to become sick, no doubt drinking too much and not sleeping enough. Though perhaps her hours have been a little excessive at the cheesecake factory recently. Finding a satisfactory level for the lights, he realises Penny has fallen asleep.

Standing awkwardly in her apartment holding the towel of ice he considers what the protocol is. Sheldon had never reached the social occasion of a woman falling asleep with him in her apartment.

Feeling tensely out of place he puts the ice pack on the table. Finding a scrap of paper he scribbles down his apologies for leaving her while she is feeling sick. And as an afterthought adds his work number for any further assistance.

Slipping his laptop off the counter Sheldon edges around the piles of debris and opens her door. Coming face to face with Leonard he steels his expression from any eye rolling, a gesture he is sure he has acquired from observing Penny's behaviour.

'Sheldon?' Leonard says looking from his tall roommate, to Penny's darkened apartment and then to the ceiling as though trying to solve complicated math. Rubbing his head he steps back to let Sheldon close the door.
'Leonard?' he says in the same tone, walking past him towards their apartment.

'What, why, Penny?' Leonard squeaks.
Sheldon looks back at his word challenged friend and takes minute pity on him. 'Penny is sleeping. She has a migraine.'

Leonard nods his head and looks as though he may go to comfort her. Sheldon holds back comments on his pathetic nature and walks past Howard and Raj. Going into his room he clenches his fists at the thought of Leonard annoying Penny whilst she's ill, why does he always feel the need to interfere? Straightening various paraphernalia Sheldon pushes the thoughts to the back of his mind and concentrates on inanimate things.

Although he reasons (as this doesn't rid her from his mind,) worrying over a dear friend is not uncommon. If anything it is one of the symptoms of friendship Penny mentioned, to care if the other is being harassed. Sheldon isn't as socially adept as his friends, but he notices things they thought he wouldn't. Leonard's behaviour is one of those things.

Waking up a few hours later in the darkness Penny can hear ripping wind outside the window. She fumbles for the lamp switch. Sheldon must have turned the lights off. Squinting at the table she notes a dripping towel. Her head is scorching hot. Padding to the window she pulls it open and flops back onto the sofa. Hoping the scrap of paper explains the pooling damp she holds it into the light over head.

In Sheldon's own way he'd managed to offer his help, apologise and evaporate all in one note. Letting it float back onto the table she lay her head back down.
Hearing the shuffle of feet in the hall she hopes it's not Leonard's daily visit. She wishes he didn't feel the need to ingratiate himself daily, even after they had broken up.

But then there is a soft tap tap tap 'Penny,' whispered through the door. She wonders when he'd decided to become so considerate? She recalls him dressed as the flash trying to positively break her door down and give her a heart attack.