The Aphrodisiac Ramification Quandary

The Aphrodisiac Ramification Quandary

This is a follow on from my one-shot ‘The Synthetic Desire Experiment’. You should probably read that first so you know why Penny and Sheldon wake up next to each other in bed. As always this fic is rated M in case things get sweary, violent or sexy.

~v~

Sheldon had always been amused by those moments where he’s between sleeping and waking and his incredible brain slowly sifts through the information bombarding it. Sorting the reality from the subconscious musings, determining which images are memories and which are dreams. The first sensation he becomes aware of is that he feels … sticky and … raw. Images of Penny, very naked and writhing beneath him in pleasure, explain the stickiness – nocturnal emissions from an erotic dream. But … then he realizes that those images aren’t from a dream, they’re a memory. And then he wakes fully with the precise knowledge of everything that transpired the evening before.

“Danger! Danger!”

Penny screams and the next thing he knows he’s on the floor with the sting from Penny’s foot on his right thigh. Sheldon decides he’ll ponder her reaction later, after a shower and a pre-emptive dose of antibiotics. He makes his way to her bathroom, ignoring everything Penny is saying to him – there’s no way on Earth he’s waiting around long enough to return to the scene of Leonard and Amy’s crime. Lord knows what microbial organisms could spread over his body in the time it took to go over to his own apartment and decontaminate his own bathroom. No, Penny’s bathroom will be a more expedient option.

“Sheldon, can’t you wait until I …”

He closes the door and turns on the taps, effectively drowning out whatever objections she may have. Whatever she wanted him to wait for, it wasn’t as important as his personal hygiene. Penny closes her eyes and tries not to think about her full bladder. As ‘freaking out’ goes, she considers Sheldon’s reaction to waking up naked in bed with her to be fairly mild. Almost as mild as her own, internal, freak out.

I had sex with Sheldon Cooper. Very, very incredible sex. Shit.

It hadn’t been so long ago that she’d told the biggest lie of her life. Penny had told Sheldon he wasn’t the guy. But he is; she had just come to the conclusion that Sheldon is the one thing she shouldn’t have. No matter how much she wants him. Penny’s bladder makes itself known again and she quietly makes her way into the bathroom. Sheldon hisses as the water runs down his back, reckoning he’ll need to give Penny a stern lecture on the merits of non-biological soap powder and a quality fabric softener, and realizes that he isn’t alone in the bathroom.

“Penny, you can’t …”

“Can it, Sheldon. I asked if you would mind waiting until I’d had a pee. You didn’t – now you need to suffer the sounds of my morning tinkle. Stay facing the wall and if you say anything it’s junior rodeo time.”

Sheldon jams his fingers in his ears and closes his eyes tightly. His hearing is somewhat better than the average human – what else would you expect from Homo Novus? Once he makes out the sound of the toilet flushing, he removes his fingers and carries on with his shower. Penny hears him hiss again and moves the shower curtain slightly, immediately noticing the red scratches and welts all over his back and buttocks.

“Oh my God! Sheldon, your back is totally shredded! I’ll put some Neosporin over the scratches when you’re done … remind me to cut my nails before I drink Mountain Dew again.”

He glares at Penny as she pulls the shower curtain back further; his first reaction is to be modest but Penny seems to be comfortable standing before him naked. Then he remembers all of the things Penny had done to him with her hands, mouth and … oh, dear Lord! All those things he had done to her and said to her, no – this was not the time for modesty. Penny’s offer to treat the wounds she’d inflicted is put to the back of his mind as she stands there in all her exposed Nebraskan glory. Sheldon is not a robot, as many seem to think, and he usually tries to control myself much more but this morning he’s struggling. His eyes settle on the purple spots on Penny’s hips and he frowns.

“You should put some arnica on those. How on earth did you get bruises like those in such a random place?”

Penny sighs and steps in the shower, making Sheldon back up and press against the wall. Staying as far from the spray as possible, she points to the bruises on one side and says ‘one’ before turning around and counting out four similar bruises on the side of her buttock. He yelps as she grabs his hand and counts out the same number of fingers on Sheldon’s hand.

“I’m not the only one who needs to watch their digits, Sweetie. But no arnica – I wanna keep them around for a while.”

She steps back out of the shower, intending to leave the room, and waits. If Sheldon was a cat, curiosity would have taken most of his lives by now. He pulls the curtain out of the way to catch her before she walks out of the door.

“Why?”

“Because not all of us have an eidetic memory and I wanna remember as much as I can about last night.”

Sheldon blinks rapidly and watches the sway of her hips as she leaves the room.

Oh dear Lord!

Penny can’t help but smile at the thought those bruises as she grabs a robe and wraps it tightly around her before shuffling through to make coffee. She ached in all the right places.

Dr Sheldon Cooper BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD … OMG is right. That Whack-a-doodle rocked my world, my universe … heck my whole dimension has been shaken.

She wondered what the chances were that he’d run back home to Texas as soon as he was done with his shower and suddenly realized the gravity of their situation …  they had completely unprotected sex. That was something Penny could handle … sort of. She knows she’s clean and has always used condoms ever since the scare she had with Todd Devlin when she was 17. But Penny knows Sheldon will want to make appointments for every test available and tries to prepare herself for that. Sheldon being Sheldon, Penny knows there will be insults and aspersions hurled, she’ll more than likely be blamed for the whole (incredibly satisfying) event and MeeMaw’s Moonpie will quite possibly spend the rest of his life inside one of those plastic bubbles.

Penny sighs and turns on her coffee maker and, even though she knows it’s the worst thing she can possibly do, she starts to fantasize. Any moment now, Sheldon will walk out of her bedroom with a towel wrapped around his slim hips and ask if she wants to go another round. The pounding at her apartment door shakes her out of it and she puts down the cup she’s holding to see who it is.

Oh … shit. “Good Morning, Leonard.” Penny tries to smile, but even Leonard can see it’s strained.

“Ah … hi, Penny, have you seen Sheldon? It’s time to leave for work and he’s not answering his cell.”

“I’m calling in sick today.” Sheldon appears behind Penny, wearing one bath sheet around his body, another over his shoulders and rubbing his head with a hand towel.

“You spent the night here?” Sheldon nods “You don’t look sick.”

It takes everything Penny has not to punch Leonard in the throat, could he really be so dense as to not realize why Sheldon hadn’t spent the night in his own apartment?

“Being emotionally unhinged because your roommate and girlfriend engaged in very loud coitus is a kind of sick.”

Leonard’s heart sinks into his stomach. He had been hoping that Sheldon was blissfully unaware of who he’d been having sex with. No matter how hard he tries to stop it, his knees shake a little as Penny levels a stare at him that would have the most hardened man quaking.

“Leonard, Sheldon came home from work yesterday afternoon and heard you. I came over to your apartment with him and found you and Amy … well, let’s not get explicit.”

“Sheldon, I have no idea how it happened. One minute I was fine … I’m so sorry.”

Penny realizes that there are actual tears glistening in Leonard’s eyes. For a change, he really is sorry. Sheldon stands his ground, no matter how tempting it is to run and hide, and nods at his roommate.

“Its fine, Leonard, I’d like to have a meeting with you and Amy this evening, Penny will also be in attendance.”

All three of them are completely aware that things are not fine. A meeting is definitely called for. Leonard turns away, feeling immensely guilty for what he did to Sheldon and feeling a great deal of pity for Penny – Sheldon must be driving her crazy. The door to 4B closes but before Leonard starts walking down the stairs, he distinctly hears Sheldon’s voice.

“Penny, I believe it’s social protocol to discuss the events of last night in the cold light of day.”

Leonard shakes his head and fingers the note in his pocket. Amy’s own brand of ‘discussing events in the cold light of day’ was found on his pillow when he woke that morning.

Leonard

I hope you are well upon waking. I need to go home to take care of my personal hygiene and attempt to recoup some of my lost resting time. Please note that I’ve left you my phone number at the bottom of this note if you need to speak to me about our sexual encounter.

Sincerely

Dr Amy Farrah Fowler

The truth is he has no idea what to say to Amy. Does he send her a text thanking her? Does he call her to ask how on earth they ended up having wild monkey sex on the bathroom floor before screwing their way through the hallway to his bedroom? Does he apologize for being unable to control himself? And, on that note, why couldn’t he control himself? He was so busy thinking about everything that he completely missed the fact he’d went downstairs and driven himself to work. As far as Leonard could tell, the best course of action would be to warn Amy that Sheldon and Penny knew that they’d cheated on them.

Amy its Leonard, S & P know we were together last night. S spent the night at P’s. He wants to have a meeting tonight, be prepared.

Leonard sighs and makes his way into the building at CalTech. He knows there’s very little scope for him being able to concentrate on his work today. The Beta test with Penny had been going so well, he wouldn’t have proposed to her otherwise. Now he’d gone and ruined it. Sure, Penny wasn’t the best girlfriend. But she was the prettiest. What intelligent man wouldn’t want a pretty girl on his arm?

Yes, we fight and break-up but Penny knows that I treat her better than the muscle bound morons she usually dates.

This time though, Leonard is sure there won’t be a way back through this. In his opinion, Penny isn’t very bright but she won’t forgive infidelity. And she certainly won’t forgive him if he admits that Amy’s bedroom skills made it look like Penny was simply going through the motions. Leonard’s cell buzzes with a text from Raj.

Dude, Sheldon called in sick. I bet you’re glad you’re at that meeting and don’t have to look after him!

Leonard thought very carefully about how to reply to him. He didn’t want to lie and pretend he was still at the meeting and oblivious to Sheldon’s ‘illness’ but he didn’t want to Raj to ask him exactly what was wrong with his roommate, thus requiring another lie – until everything was hashed out anyway. He rubbed at his temples, still trying to work out exactly what happened.

Penny is taking care of him. I got back from the meeting early – I’ll see you at lunch.

Yes, Penny is taking care of him, but to what extent?

Leonard snorted lightly at his own ridiculousness. As if Penny would be interested in a guy she refers to as Whack-a-doodle. Not only that … Sheldon? Despite the fact he maintains his genitals are functional and aesthetically pleasing, he’s never gotten round to using them (as far as Leonard is aware) and he certainly wouldn’t with someone as dim and … well travelled as Penny.

He shuddered, thinking about how much Penny and Sheldon seemed to enjoy arguing with each other and pushing each other’s buttons. Blinking at the equipment he was using, he briefly wondered if there were more strange happenings at 2311 Los Robles than in apartment 4A.

~v~

Amy had been unable to sleep when she got home in the early hours of this morning and even now she was still a roiling bundle of nerves. Even the primates in her lab seem to sense that Amy is not herself. Her stomach flips and flops like a wet fish out of water every time she thinks of the ways her experiment went wrong … and all of the ways that it went so incredibly right. Amy is also experiencing guilt – an emotion that she’s very unfamiliar with. But the one thing she does not feel is regret and this makes her feelings of guilt worsen.

What Leonard and I had participated in was wonderful, incredible and exceeded my expectations of what a sexual encounter should entail.

As she inspects the brain cells through her microscope, she wonders if Sheldon would have provided her with the same level of pleasure. With his inexperience and phobias, would her boyfriend have taken her to the same dizzying heights as his roommate? Perhaps not, and that thought makes her stomach churn with more guilt. When she received the text from Leonard her nausea made her excuse herself to her colleagues for ten minutes – Sheldon and Penny know that they had sexual intercourse.

Guilty, guilty, guilty – I should not have enjoyed partaking in infidelity so much.

Despite the chemically enhanced soft drink making the previous evening’s events happen, Amy knew she should not be fantasizing about it happening again. She should not be planning an encore; she should not be squirming in her stool while imagining Leonard driving into her depths again.

I should be thinking about how to explain myself to my boyfriend – Sheldon was the intended guinea pig for my formula. I should be planning a way to gain his forgiveness.

Amy wonders if Penny will help her, her ‘Bestie’ is well versed in relationships and sexual encounters – if anyone would know what to do it would be Penny. But then she realizes that Penny may not be her best friend anymore. Penny was a friend to Sheldon before she came along, and Amy knew that this would more than likely translate to her supporting Sheldon rather than her.

The fact that Sheldon spent the night at Penny’s apartment due to their vigorous activities made that hypothesis even more likely. Amy was aware that Penny had probably comforted him, what that would entail she had no idea. She doubted he would acquiesce to being held. She raises her head at the sound of an incoming email on her laptop. Seeing Sheldon’s name as the sender makes her hesitate before opening it. Amy isn’t sure she can handle any more guilt, but she knows that whatever this email will make her feel – she knows deserves it.

Dr Amy Farrah Fowler

I formally request your presence at apartment 4A, 2311 Los Robles Avenue to discuss the events of yesterday. Namely: Your loud copulation with my roommate, Leonard, and the doctored Mountain Dew that was consumed accidently by Leonard and Penny.

Please be present at the above address at 7pm prompt. Upon receipt of this email, please consider our relationship agreement null and void due to your infidelity.

Regards

Dr Sheldon Lee Cooper BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD

The first thought that occurs to Amy is that Sheldon knows about the aphrodisiac. And that Leonard drank it by mistake – from that she determines that Sheldon knew it should have been him drinking it.

Consumed accidently by Leonard … and Penny? Oh dear.

Amy was shocked that Sheldon spent the night at Penny’s, even though she was more than likely consumed by her desires and sexual needs. She wondered why Sheldon would spend the night with Penny when she was unable to control her urges. Surely he would have left to go somewhere else, but then she realized maybe he didn’t have anywhere else to go. Guilt lurched through her once again. Not only had she inflicted heartache on Sheldon by cheating on him, but she’d also, inadvertently, exposed him to a highly uncomfortable scenario with Penny. She had put herself in a position where she had not only lost her boyfriend but her best friend. Her guilt is now accompanied by the painful prospect of loneliness.

~v~

Penny took her time getting cleaned up. She wanted to look good for her ‘talk’ with Sheldon and was relieved when he agreed to postpone any discussion until after she had eaten and showered. While Penny took care of her usual morning routine, Sheldon had went back to 4A but no matter how vigorously he scrubbed, everything still felt dirty. He put it down to her parting words to him.

“Oh you’ll probably want to call Planned Parenthood for an STD test. I’m clean but I know how you like to be double sure about everything.”

After a brief back and forth about emergency contraception, Penny had locked herself in her bathroom and he quickly found a number and called Planned Parenthood for an appointment. Luckily they would be able to see him today for the required tests. Penny would, more than likely, be driving them and while he waited for her to come over – he cleaned. Sheldon cleaned and disinfected the entire apartment (with the exception of Leonard’s room) before showering again. Physically, he cannot be cleaner. His mind is a different tale of woe.

When I close my eyes I see her, hear her and feel her. My eidetic memory has catalogued every single detail of last night and plagues me constantly now.

Sheldon started to wonder if the chemical that Amy has used to spike the Mountain Dew has longer lasting effects than momentary lust. Surely one isolated incident wouldn’t spin his world on its axis like this? In an attempt to distract himself, he decides to play a video game. It doesn’t take long for him to realize it isn’t having the desired effect. As he looks at his fingers on the controller, memories of those same fingers doing other things flash in his mind. As Sheldon tosses the controller away in frustration Penny strolls into his apartment … without knocking, as usual.

“I didn’t realize you would take quite so long getting cleaned up, Penny.”

She smiles at him and he really looks at her. Penny is wearing peasant blouse and knee length skirt, her hair is straight and glossy and she has very little make up on. Sheldon briefly wonders if she made an extra effort with her appearance for him but soon quashes that thought.

Silly comments made in the heat of the moment. She might have proclaimed me to ‘be the only one’ last night but I doubt she meant it.

“Sorry Sweetie, I wanted to look pretty for our little trip. You don’t want to walk into Planned Parenthood with a grungy skank, right?” She holds up the cardboard container with the four remaining bottles of Mountain Dew. “I brought these over, I wasn’t sure if you would want to pour them down the sink or send them away for testing.”

Sheldon had intended to destroy the drugged soft drinks after he’d presented them as evidence at the meeting with Leonard and Amy but if Dr Farrah Fowler wasn’t forthcoming with exactly what she’d dosed everyone with then testing the samples would be required.

“I was planning on having them here when we meet with Leonard and Amy later tonight but …”

“Sheldon, Sweetie, I already told you – I have the dinner shift. I’ll be at work.”

He briefly looks at his feet; Sheldon doesn’t want Penny to go to work tonight. He needs her here with him to support him. Sheldon trusts her. It was becoming apparent to him that out of all the social interactions he had with people – Penny was the only person who hadn’t back-stabbed or let him down in some way.

“I’ll cover your loss of earnings for the evening. Penny … I need your help with this.”

She sighs, a little annoyed with him, before answering. “I know you struggle with this sort of thing, Sweetie, but I can’t fight your battles for you. And if you want me there so you can rub what we did together in Leonard and Amy’s faces then you’ve got another thing coming!”

“I want you here so you can corroborate the effects of the Mountain Dew. I need you here because I need someone I can trust for support. You’re the only one I trust, Penny. I don’t want to rub anything in anyone’s face. I just want a friend there with me.”

Penny knew that this was big. Sheldon not only just admitted that he needed her help, but he also admitted that he trusts her. His eyes are wide open, in this moment he looks so innocent and … human. How can she possibly say ‘no’ to supporting her friend when he needs her?

 I can’t say no. And I know he would do the same for me, because that’s what real friends do.

“Okay, I’ll call in sick when we get back from Planned Parenthood … speaking of which.” Penny checks her watch and blinks. “We’d better get going; I hadn’t realized so much time passed.”

She knows that even if Sheldon hadn’t offered to give her the money to cover the lost shift, she would have called in anyway. Penny puts the Mountain Dew on the kitchen counter and waits in the hallway for Sheldon to put his jacket on and lock up his apartment. It doesn’t escape her notice that he’s very quiet. Usually Sheldon rambles on about the most inane things; sometimes Penny thinks he’s in love with the sound of his own voice. Despite them having the ‘STD and contraception’ chat, they hadn’t actually talked about what happened between them. What makes Penny realize that things are out of whack even more is that Sheldon doesn’t even mention the ‘Check Engine’ light. He always points out that the ‘Check Engine’ light is on.

What is going on in that big brain of his? Is he planning on running again? No, he would have done that as soon as he left my apartment this morning.

The fact that Sheldon seems so calm about everything makes Penny as jittery as hell. At least if he’s ranting she has an idea about what’s going through his mind. She decides it’s time for answers, clears her throat and take a calming breath before speaking.

“Do you … regret drinking the Mountain Dew?”

Sheldon looks at Penny for the first time since they left his apartment. “Until I leave the state of limbo where I’m unsure as to whether I’ve contracted some kind of cornhusker disease to knowing that I do or don’t, I’m in no position to make a decision on that.”

Penny blinks and stares at the road. Sheldon has once again raised more questions rather than give her a straight answer. To Penny, it sounded like he was telling her that he’d only regret it if she’d infected him with something. But she couldn’t be sure.

“Hypothetically – you’re free from my Nebraskan germs and perfectly healthy. Do you have regrets?”

There’s a hint of a smile but it passes quickly over Sheldon’s boyish face. “Then, hypothetically, my memories are of a pleasurable nature, if slightly distracting. There’s no regret. Do you regret me drinking it? I made a conscious decision to surrender to chemically enhanced lust – you did not.”

“The only thing I regret is being so horny and desperate that we ignored my nightstand full of condoms, Sweetie. To be honest, it hurts a little that we’ll never have that again. I mean, you wouldn’t put your germ-phobic self through that a second time, right?”

He’s quiet for far too long. Penny’s heart beats a little faster as she realizes that he’s actually thinking about it. The fact he didn’t shout ‘no’ right away makes her begin to perspire with anticipation.

“Until it’s been confirmed that I am, indeed, free of sexually transmitted diseases – I’ll be refraining from dwelling on or repeating the … pleasurable aspects of our evening together.”

Yeah, I knew it. Sheldon had just as much fun as I did last night

Penny tries not to smile and fails miserably.

~v~

Leonard had lost count of the number of people who have waved their hands in front of his face to get his attention today. He’d lost count of the number of times He’d blinked and wondered what he was in the middle of before he blinked. Leonard’s head just isn’t in the game. He’s actually pretty glad Sheldon isn’t here; no doubt he’d make some comment about Leonard’s intellect being less than his.

Okay, I know he’s smarter than me but having it pointed out all the time is pretty annoying.

For some reason, thinking about that makes Penny pop into his thoughts. A sharp pain in his shoulder alerts Leonard to the fact that Leslie Winkle has been talking to him.

“Sorry, Leslie, did you need something?”

She just sighs, shakes her head and walks away from him with a disgusted expression on her face. Nothing new there, it’s something Leonard has grown accustomed to. He glances at his watch and realizes its lunch time. Hungry but not looking forward to the CalTech canteen, Leonard knows Howard and Raj will want to know exactly when he got back and why he didn’t make arrangements to see them last night. It was ‘Anything Can Happen Thursday’ last night. Leonard snorts bitterly in the line to pay for his Panini (no cheese) before making his way to their usual table.

“Hey Leonard! Nice that you could join one of our rare ‘Sheldon-free’ lunch dates!” Howard is practically bouncing in his chair. “So, what’s wrong with him this time? Did he sit too close to the radiator and convince himself he has a fever?”

“Uh … I’m not really sure what’s physically wrong with him. He just told me he was calling in sick as I was leaving for the day. Can we enjoy our ‘Sheldon-free’ lunch by not talking about Sheldon?”

“Good idea, dude. So, what went wrong with the meeting about the new equipment?” Leonard likes Raj a lot; he’s the voice of reason in their group. Reasoning is badly needed at times.

“Fire alarm got set off and the building got evacuated. The meeting got cancelled and they’ll need to call round everyone to reschedule again.”

“Why didn’t you let us know?” Howard genuinely looks offended. “We could have gone out, stayed in – it was ‘Anything Can Happen Thursday’!”

“I was … tired after all the travelling. Just wanted a quiet night, y’know?”

Raj winks at Leonard. “A quiet night getting an answer to your proposal from Penny, perhaps?”

He can feel the frown carving deep lines in his forehead. “No. Um … excuse me. I need to go.”

The rest of his afternoon is spent avoiding texts from Raj and Howard asking if Penny has dumped him – again – and dreading the meeting Sheldon has arranged. He received a message from Amy confirming that Sheldon asked her to be at their apartment at 7pm.

The bottom line is that I’m neck-deep in doo-doo. Not only did I indulge in ‘coitus’ in an unapproved area of the apartment and didn’t give notice that it would be happening – I did it with Sheldon’s girlfriend.

If Leonard is lucky, he reckons he’ll get two strikes and have to take the class. If he gets what he thinks he deserves, he’ll be looking for a new apartment. He spends far too long wishing he knew what came over him last night – apart from Amy. She isn’t pretty in a conventional way, not like Penny, but when she was ravaging Leonard like a wildling princess – she was beautiful. He slapped his forehead to try and stem all the visions of her. The last thing he needed was to be having lusty thoughts in this meeting. To ensure the rest of his afternoon is productive, he starts vocalizing what he’s doing. Talking about his experiment helps him focus on it.

At the end of the day, Leonard found himself climbing the stairs of the apartment block slower than usual. He also stood for a few moments before letting himself into the apartment, wondering how much longer he would be able to refer to it as ‘ours’. Leonard enters the apartment and immediately notices Sheldon and Penny in the kitchen. While Penny turns to look at him with shock in her eyes, Sheldon merely gives him a cursory glance before handing a glass of water to Penny.

“You take the first Levonorgestrel pill now and the next one twelve hours later.”

“Sweetie, I read the leaflet. I know what to do.”

Instead of putting his keys in the bowl at the door, they fall out of Leonard’s hand – making Sheldon and Penny turn around to stare at him. “Is that … the morning after pill?”

~v~

Amy’s early dinner is interrupted by another text from Leonard. She sighs as she retrieves her cell from her purse, wondering what he wants now.

Isn’t it enough that I’ve been unable to think of anything other than his robust hands caressing my tender flesh all day? Isn’t it enough that I’ll have to sit in the same room as him and Sheldon for goodness knows how long this evening?

I need to know if you’ve taken Plan B and if I need to go for an STD test. My last test was clean and Penny and I always used condoms.

Apparently, for Amy, it isn’t enough. If it were at all possible to kick her own rear-end, she would. For all their intelligence, neither Amy nor Leonard had considered the prospect of disease or pregnancy until twenty-four hours after their initial coupling. Amy isn’t quite sure about how a woman such as herself would obtain ‘Plan B’. After a quick Google search she decides to stop in at a pharmacy on the way to the meeting and take care of that particular issue.

I will purchase emergency contraception ASAP. You have no need for an STD test as I was not sexually active until last night.

The rest of her meal tastes bitter and is cold. Amy is consumed by guilt, carelessness and loneliness. She stops at a branch of CVS where it’s unlikely she’ll meet anyone she knows and buys the Morning after Pill and a bottle of water.

I’ll set an alarm on my phone to remind to take the next pill at the correct time. I’ll probably remember on my own, but in the eventuality that I’m too emotionally overwhelmed, a reminder is never a bad idea.

While Amy was procuring emergency birth control, Leonard was attempting to remain calm. His thoughts raced through his head at the speed of light, or that’s what it felt like at least. He took a deep breath and concentrated on what he knew. The first thing he knew was that Sheldon had stayed the night in Penny’s apartment. He also knew, now, that Penny required taking the morning after pill. Combined, these facts could only lead to the conclusion that Sheldon and Penny had unprotected sex last night.

“Um … you wanna catch me up here? I know that what Amy and I did was wrong on a multitude of levels but from what I’ve just seen, there was some wrong-doing in 4B too.”

“Leonard …” Penny closed her eyes and tried to prevent the flood of tears that threatened. Not because she felt guilty about having sex with Sheldon, her guilt was purely based on the fact that it was the most incredible sexual experience she’d had since moving across the hall from them.

“I apologize, Leonard, you aren’t in possession of all the details from the last 24 hours. Rest assured that when Amy arrives everything will be explained fully.”

“You apologize?” Leonard’s brow furrowed in confusion before his anger took over. “I screwed your girlfriend six ways to Sunday last night. You obviously got a little busy yourself seeing as Penny is popping Plan B. Your body has been covered in God knows how many germs, your girlfriend has been defiled – why aren’t you angry?”

Sheldon swallowed, took a deep breath and composed himself. “Leonard, what happened between you and Amy last night was not your fault. I bear you no ill will.”

“And you and Penny?”

Amy’s heart is in her mouth as she reaches out with her curled fist and raps, lightly, at the door of 4A 2311 Los Robles. Leonard opens the door, a serious expression on his face, and gestures for Amy to enter. Her eyes are drawn to Sheldon as he rises from his spot and regards her coolly.

“All rise, everyone is now present for the trial to commence.”

Confused and still reeling from recent events, Leonard and Penny stood and watched as Amy made her way to the armchair that Sheldon had placed opposite the sofa. Amy cleared her throat and perched, primly, on the seat.

“I believe we can waive the reading of the charges, Sheldon.” Her cheeks colored in shame as she clasped her hands in her lap.

“Unfortunately, Amy, Leonard is still unaware of many of the events of the previous evening. In the interests of fairness to all parties involved, it’s necessary.”

Amy sighed and nodded, her dull gaze settling on Leonard and conveying all of the sadness and guilt she was drowning in. Uncharacteristically, Sheldon cleared his throat, closed his eyes and paused before speaking.

“Amy Farrah-Fowler, while being of sound mind on Thursday April 11th, did enter the apartment of Dr Sheldon Cooper BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD and Dr Leonard Hofstadter PhD without their permission or knowledge. You also planned to seduce Dr Sheldon Cooper BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD and take part in coital activities despite his assertion that he did not wish to partake in such actions. Do you accept the charges?”

Amy nodded. “Yes.”

“I present exhibit A” Sheldon gestured to the wine carrier on the coffee table which contained the remaining bottles of Mountain dew. Leonard blinked, wondering what some sodas had to do with the proceedings. “Can you confirm, Ms Fowler, that the drinks of exhibit A have been tampered with and contain a highly effective stimulus which has the purpose of increasing feelings of sexual desire in the imbiber?”

“Are you saying I was drugged?” Leonard jumped out of his seat, his voice reaching an octave that a grown man should feel uncomfortable with.

Sheldon leaned under the coffee table and produced a block and gavel, lightly tapping it and looking at Leonard mildly. “Order, please.”

Leonard ran his hands through his hair, it explained so much. He had been drugged, that’s why he found Amy irresistible. He tried to find it in himself to feel dirty and used, to give him some semblance of a person with morals but, deep down, he felt anything but dirty and used.

“Answer the question please, Amy.”

“Yes, I can confirm that exhibit A contains a powerful formula which stimulates the striatum and increases blood flow.”

“Do you know the identity of the person who added this stimulant to the drinks?”

“Yes” Amy nodded “I am the person who added the stimulant to the Mountain Dew.”

“Was it your intention that I, Dr Sheldon Cooper BS, MS, MA, PhD, ScD, partake in the tampered drink and be consumed with sexual desire to fulfill your selfish need for physical contact of a coital nature?”

“Yes. I wanted my boyfriend to touch me in a sexual manner!” Amy stood, her anger bubbling to the surface. “Excuse me for having feelings and desires; excuse me for being an ordinary woman who wants to be touched!”

“Order, please.” Sheldon tapped the gavel again. “Your reasoning for your actions is irrelevant. You attempted to trick me into performing coitus; my avoidance of sexual contact has never been hidden from you. You knew when we shifted the paradigms of our relationship from friendship to romantic, that the chances of sexual satisfaction at my … hands were effectively nil. Yet you persist in trying to change me.”

Leonard, tired of not gleaning any of the answers he really wanted, let his temper get the better of him. “Really, Sheldon? And what happened that Penny’s chances skyrocketed? What happened that made you leap into bed with our neighbor?”

Amy gasped and turned her eyes to Penny, the accusation evident in her expression. “I know that you accidently drank some of the soda, Penny, but couldn’t you have had enough self control not to rape my boyfriend?”

Gritting her teeth, Penny hissed her retort. “I could say the same for you.”

Sheldon thumped the gavel on the coffee table. “Order, order, ORDER! No one was raped last night. Can we, please, just finish this part before we start tearing each other to shreds like savage dogs?”

The quiet of the room was interrupted by four sets of lungs breathing heavily at the suffocating air inside the apartment.

“Amy Farrah-Fowler, you have admitted your transgressions and your sentence will be as such: You are no longer allowed within a three foot radius of my person and you are no longer allowed to bring any foods or beverages into apartment 4A, 2311 Los Robles Avenue.”

Leonard scrunched up his face in confusion. “Wait … that’s it? She can’t come too close to you and can’t fully attend a pot luck dinner?”

Sheldon cleared his throat and nodded. “I have already dissolved the relationship agreement and I understand that Amy’s actions were a result of desperation. I have a new perspective on many things today.”

Penny smiled and patted Sheldon’s knee. “That’s very big of you, sweetie, I’m glad you’re willing to keep Amy as part of our group.”

“I don’t understand” Amy shook her head from side to side “should I not be cast out into the cold with nothing but my sweet memories of times gone by to warm me? I planned to drug you into sexual congress and succeeded in accidently drugging the two people closest to you with disastrous, for our relationships, consequences.”

“Leonard and Penny accidently consumed your … potion; the same cannot be said of you or me. I purposefully consumed the aphrodisiac with the intention of proving my status as a functioning male with Penny. I am as much at fault as you, Amy. Although, without the tampered drinks none of this would have happened – I still made an informed decision. It may have been a decision spurred by a mild psychotic break, but I knew what I was doing.”

Penny cleared her throat and rubbed her sweaty palms on her skirt. “I … I think we all need to talk about where we go from here. To be honest, I have no idea how to act around you guys anymore.”

She sighed; glad to have gotten it out of her system. Amy adjusted her glasses and nodded.

“I agree, Penny, and although I’m happily surprised that Sheldon is allowing me to remain as part of your social dynamic – I’m unsure of how we proceed. Honesty is the best policy and as I’m, metaphorically, at the bottom of the hole I’ve dug for myself, I will go first.” She smoothed down her cardigan and puffed out a breath before starting. “Leonard, I enjoyed myself immensely last night and can’t stop thinking about our sexual escapades. Although I feel guilty about our activities, I feel no regret whatsoever for the experience we shared. The only regret I have is hurting Sheldon and risking our friendships; I will not be foolish enough to make the same error twice. As our romantic relationships with Sheldon and Penny are now at an end, I would jump at the opportunity to enter into a romantic dynamic with you but understand if this prospect is wholly distasteful and you don’t share my feelings.”

Leonard gaped slightly at Amy’s candid speech before realizing that everyone in the room was looking at him for a reply. Penny smiled at him with no malice or sarcasm in her gaze or tone.

“Honesty is the best policy, Leonard.”

Leonard raised his chin a little and Penny noticed that determined gleam in his eyes. “Alright, I’ll be completely honest. Last night was the best sex of my life and it made me realize that Penny and I have simply been going through the motions. I would also jump at the chance to continue to explore the … spark that ignited between me and Amy but feel that it could be construed as disrespectful to both Sheldon and Penny.”

Penny was still smiling when Leonard finished talking. She shook her head from side to side, a low chuckle escaping from her lips. “Isn’t it crazy? I’ve been feeling the same way for a while; I guess it just takes a relationship catastrophe to get the truth out there, huh? For the record, after a lot of thinking through today, I can really see you guys together, y’know? If you two wanna start something then I won’t stand in your way.”

Amy smiled, relief flooding through her. “You’re the best bestie ever! Please, continue.”

“I’m sorry, what?” Penny sucked her bottom lip between her teeth, waiting for someone to expand on Amy’s request.

“Honesty is the best policy, we’ve both discussed how last night’s events have changed our feelings and opinions on our respective relationships. Honestly, how do you feel about Sheldon now that you’ve experienced the carnal delights his body can supply you with?” Penny noticed the look in Amy’s eyes as she supplied and explanation, it was a look that said ‘dish the dirt, bestie’.

“Umm … I …” Penny sighed and rubbed her face with both hands. “I feel a little guilty, like I’ve taken something pristine and innocent and stained it beyond belief … but last night I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.”She turned slightly in her spot on the couch so her knees were pointing to Sheldon. “You rocked my world, Sheldon and I hope I rocked yours too but I know how you feel about sex stuff, so … I doubt that I’ll get a repeat performance, no matter how pleasurable you found last night. No matter how much I want it to happen every night from here to eternity.”

“Penny, the chances of creating the same circumstances so as to repeat our fluid exchange every night would depend on Amy supplying us with her concoction for the rest of our lives.” Sheldon frowned.

“You need to take everything so literal, don’t you?” She smiled.

“I believe Penny is expressing the desire to enter into a sexual relationship with you, Sheldon, I don’t think she is insisting on recreating last night’s experience exactly on a regular basis.” Amy supplied. “And in the spirit of, and following on from, Penny’s comment about not standing between Leonard and me engaging in a sexual relationship – the two of you rub against each other like flint and steel. When you collide, sparks fly.”

Leonard’s face went slack as he thought about Amy’s words. All the arguments, the prank wars, the taking care of each other when they’re sick … there’s a passion between Sheldon and Penny that, while not strictly sexual in nature, exceeded or even dwarfed any passion between penny and himself. The room was silent as Penny, Leonard and Amy waited … and waited. Five whole minutes passed before Penny nudged Sheldon.

“It’s your turn.”

Sheldon nodded. “I know. It’s not often I find myself having difficulty in articulating, especially when it concerns honesty. But you are all aware of how I lax I am at expressing … feelings, so I will simply tell the truth in respect of the myriad of feelings I experienced last night. I felt anger at discovering Leonard engaging in coitus in our shared bathroom. I felt confusion at the discovery that Amy was also present in the same bathroom. I felt fear at discovering the effect the drink had on Penny. I felt thankful that she removed herself from my vicinity when she realized the effects. I felt … vengeful at the fact that I had been spurned for a male of lesser intelligence. I felt decisive as I drank the Mountain dew. I felt … I felt …”

“Go on, sweetie, it’s okay.” Penny spoke softly, remembering Mary Cooper’s comparison to a fawn.

“I felt like a King. I felt like a God, bending the universe of Penny to my will, hearing her moan and scream my name. I … I  …”

Sheldon stood up and stalked from the room as the other watched him retreat. He stopped at the entrance to the hallway and spoke without turning around.

“I felt loved, truly, completely and I felt like I was the most powerful man in the world.”

The next noise to break the tension was the sound of his bedroom door slamming closed.

“Bestie, I believe you have ignited an inferno, albeit a slightly unwelcome one, in Sheldon’s loins.”

~*~

Penny closed the door on 4B after a little awkwardness at the boy’s home. She wondered if Sheldon would ever be the same again, she knew for sure she wouldn’t be. Sighing, she flopped onto her couch, exhausted and confused. She wondered how Sheldon could go from being so calm through the day to being so flustered and almost angry when they were talking as a group.

He was fine when we spoke alone about how much we enjoyed our sexy times. Why did he blow a gasket when we were talking about how we felt with Amy and Leonard there?

She went over the conversation in her mind, recalling his facial expressions and how it seemed difficult for him to speak about his feelings. The only facial expression she didn’t see was when he spoke his last words to them.

He felt loved but when we were together I did too. Why would that bother him to the point he had to leave the room? Doesn’t everyone want to feel loved?

~*~

Sheldon sat on his bed, his back against the headboard and his knees drawn up to his chest with his long arms wrapped around them. In all his years, he’d never felt so stupid, so gullible. He’d managed to ignore the feeling for the most part of the day, his time alone with Penny had been … nice. In fact, his confidence had been bolstered by the fact she wasn’t acting awkward around him – that meant that his efforts the previous evening hadn’t been completely hopeless. Penny wasn’t embarrassed; she still wanted to spend time with him.

The tender trap. I was fooled well and truly.

It was when he focused on how he felt, how his feelings toward Penny had shifted after their coital adventure that he realized he was being taken for a mug. Penny had cast her net, in his opinion, and he’d been caught.

She is a remarkable actress, even in the throes of ecstasy, to sound so convincing while telling me I really was the guy. She’s my friend, true, and to join with her in the pursuit of pleasure again would be … something I can’t stop thinking about! He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. But to come to the conclusion that I’m in love with her after one night of sexual intercourse is ridiculous!

A soft knock sounded at his door. “Sheldon, you can come out now, the girls have gone.”

“I believe I’ll stay here, Leonard.”

“Do you wanna talk about it?”

“No, I don’t.”

Outside Sheldon’s room Leonard nodded, unsure of how to proceed. He licked his lips and flattened his hand against the door. “You know, Amy is right about you and Penny. Since she moved next door, you two have always had … something between you. Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for your Mysophobia there’s a high probability you would have fell into bed with each other years ago.”

He stepped back as the door opened slightly and Sheldon’s sullen face appeared in the three inch space. “But to believe she loves me, Leonard? While I have no doubt there’s affection on her side due to our friendship, love is something completely different.”

Leonard frowned. “I dunno, buddy, sometimes just one little thing changes to make us realize that that affection is bigger and more important than we could ever have dreamed.”

~*~

The pot of water was boiling, ready for her to drop the ramen noodles in, when her phone chirruped on the coffee table. She continued readying her food, not sure whether to read the text in her precarious emotional state, but she had to wait a few minutes for the noodles to soften and that left her with the choice of twiddling her thumbs or biting the bullet and finding out who was contacting her.

You need to tell S how you feel about him. Not how you feel about having sex with him but how you feel about him specifically.

For Penny, that was the biggest hurdle of all. In the small, dark recesses of her psyche she would admit things to herself in her moments of worthlessness. She had always quashed any fleeting surges of hope by rationalizing that Sheldon could never feel anything for her romantically. He was the guy, he always had been, but Penny thought he was too good for her. He was too pure and already involved with his mutually beneficial relationship with physics. There was no symbol for a wannabe actress and actual waitress in his formulas for life. So she swallowed her dissatisfaction and made do with what he was willing to give.

She coughed as the smoke from the pot on the stove caught her lungs. Her meal ruined, there was only one thing to do. Feeling constricted in the outfit she’d worn all day, she quickly changed into yoga pants and a vest, pulling her hair into a ponytail as she walked across the hallway to 4A.

~*~

Sleep was not coming easily for Sheldon. He had tossed and turned, then removed himself from the confines of his bed to straighten the sheets before slipping between them to start the process all over again. He theorized that it was because he was attempting to achieve a REM cycle much earlier than usual and that neither his body nor mind were ready to rest. His ears pricked up at the sound of feet lightly padding along the hallway. They were not Leonard’s usual shuffling steps but he recognized them – he’d been hearing those same steps since she moved across the hall. His door cracked open and he feigned sleep.

“I don’t know if you’re asleep or just faking. But I want you to know that everything I said was true.”

Penny stood at the bottom of Sheldon’s bed, knowing that if he had genuinely been asleep he would certainly be awake now.

“People can’t be in my room, Penny, but I believe you were being completely honest and truthful when you expressed the desire to continue engaging in sexual congress with me.”

“I’m not talking about tonight, Sheldon.” She winced at the volume of her voice and that she was letting her frustration and anxiety show. Taking a deep breath, she spoke, her voice soft and quivering. “You’re the guy, it was always you. But I know I don’t deserve you and you deserve someone smarter, someone more ambitious. I … I just wanted you to know.”

She turned, biting her lip and squeezing her eyes closed tightly. I just need to make it out of the front door, then I can break down.

As she reached the door, she felt her wrist being encircled by an iron grip. Sheldon’s voice was firm but warm.

“Shouldn’t I be the judge of whom or what I do or do not deserve?” Penny slowly turned to face him. “It’s always been like this hasn’t it? Frustration and annoyance, each of us taking a turn at confusing and baiting the other then walking back to our respective apartments to stew. Not. This. Time.”

Penny gasped as Sheldon slanted his mouth over hers. The cycle broken, she didn’t know what to do. Luckily, after his crash course in intimacy, Sheldon did.

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