Rating: PG (for language)
Word Count: 632
Summary: The boys are gone and Penny's pining, but her mind and body are at odds.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm a Sheldon/Penny fan. Doesn't that make such a disclaimer unnecessary at this point in time?
Spoilers: General knowledge of both seasons 1-2, as well as specific for 2.22: The Classified Materials Turbulence, and 2.23: The Monopolar Expedition; AU for season 3.
Notes: alsaurusrex, thelymachy, damalur and southern_heaven for their help in figuring this one out. It only took a few months for me to do so.
Previous chapters: Part 1
May 16, 2009 – 11:37 am
All thoughts of Sheldon and butterflies had been resolutely put from her mind, and she was tunelessly humming the latest pop hit while grocery-shopping. Suddenly, she looked up from the oranges, and right before her was Stuart. Comic-book, two dates that ended disastrously both times because of Sheldon, Stuart. Of course. There was a moment (or two ... or ten) of awkwardness, but they both gamely smiled and exchanged pleasantries. "So I guess Leonard was pretty mad," Stuart said after they'd both agreed, that yes, the weather had been particularly nice the last few days.
Cocking her head to the side in confusion, Penny shook her head before replying. "What do you mean? Why would Leonard be mad? He's with ..." she paused and then, not able to even say Sheldon's name because saying Sheldon's name meant that she had to think about those damn butterflies and his relation to them and she was simply not going there. "He's with the guys."
"Yeah, I know I heard about that," Stuart laughed dryly. "Sheldon stopped by and pre-ordered a bunch of comics." It was the Mexican she'd eaten earlier, Penny was convinced, as she began rubbing her stomach at the mention of his name. "I was thinking that Leonard wasn't too happy with me after what I told him."
Penny shook her head, the butterflies -- Mexican food! -- momentarily forgotten. "What did you tell him that would make him mad? This is Leonard; it takes a lot to upset him."
"He didn't tell you? Oh, well, that's surprising." Rolling his eyes, he sighed. "In for a penny," he grinned. "In for a pound, I suppose. After our last date," he raised an eyebrow and gave a sardonic smile. "Raj and Howard dropped by the comic store and let it slip that Leonard had a crush on you and had been feeding me very, very bad tips on how to proceed with you."
"Uh, yeah. That was rather my reaction. So when he stopped by to apologize," Stuart used air quotes, rolling his eyes again, "I decided to burst his bubble a bit. I was going to tell him about your little crush on Sheldon, but --"
" -- I do not have a crush on Sheldon!" Penny bit out between clenched teeth, her voice rising just a tad. Taking a breath, she offered a brief smile at the shoppers looking in their direction. Taking another calming breath, she continued more quietly. "It was an aberration. I looked it up; that's all it was. An a-ber-ration." She relaxed her shoulders, and unclenched her teeth again before continuing. "I told you that." In the absence of Sheldon, Penny was once more whole-heartedly clinging to that belief. Anything else was just crazy.
"Fine," Stuart laughed. "The point is I was going to tell Leonard about the, uh, aberration, but realized that he wouldn't believe me and what fun would that be? So I told him you said his name instead. I figured he would have gone rushing to sweep you in his arms, and make a fool of himself." Stuart's voice turned bitter, "like he did with me." Seeing Penny's expression, he took a step back. "Yeah, definitely should have kept quiet. Look, Penny, I'm sorry, but I was upset with Leonard ... and with you." He spread his hands out. "Leonard obviously didn't say anything and if he doesn't know about your Sheldon ‘aberration,' then Sheldon doesn't either, so it's all good. Right?"
Sighing, Penny glared at him for a moment and then relented because it was pretty shitty of her to call out another guy's name -- even if it meant absolutely nothing! -- while making out with him. She nodded. "Yeah, it's all good."