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07 February 2011 @ 08:24 pm
Love (And Other Derivations Of The Gravity Constant)  
Title: Love (And Other Derivations Of The Gravity Constant)
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Pairing: Sheldon/Penny
POV: Third person (Sheldon and Penny centric)
Prompt (from drowninginlethe ): "Neither knows what the other wants, needs, desires. Unbeknown to him, she is desperately seeking his approval, her confidence faltering with each mention of her "mediocre job," her apparent priorities in life. She's searching for one compliment from the man, and is slowly losing hope of the possibility. Likewise, she has no idea what he is willing to do for her. He would give up his spot if it wouldn't be for the ridicule of his "friends." He longs for her companionship so much that he accidentally slipped a quick "Iloveyou" in between three knocks and "Penny." She acts like she believes he's a pompous ass. He is pretty sure he annoys the living hell out of her. Both are just about ready to let their guards down..."
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This is fiction, nothing less, nothing more.
Author's Note: Beta'd by worldonstringer . This is absolutely nothing at all like what my prompter originally asked for, but sometimes the mind works in mysterious ways. I hope you love it anyways, and Merry (late) Christmas, drowninginlethe .



The first time she meets him, when her awkward new neighbor brings him over to introduce them, she thinks, Jesus H Christ, they write characters like you for television shows. He's impossibly straight and tall, spine like steel, face carved from a science magazine, skin perfect, eyes hair clothes quirky but perfectperfect, and when he talks, it's with a simple flatness that screams knowledge to her.

The word geek comes to her mind, but it stays in the recesses of her brain, bitter and not right notright for him standing in front of her.

He looks like a man that could teach her something.

The first time he meets her, it's with disdain and an inability to believe that Leonard is dragging him away from his work for this. He holds strong out their door, across the floor, to her apartment, and then she pulls open the door and in an instant, he forgets the gravity constant, because that pull no longer belongs to the earth.

She's an actress, almost, nearly, and this sense of incomplete must come through in her voice when she tells him, because he looks at her with doubt and disappointment in his eyes, and it stings to see, to know he's thinking, "What a completely ridiculous endeavor."

He's a scientist, of course.

(Ofcourse.)

He doesn't know how to react when Leonard asks him later what he thinks of Penny, because how on Earth is he supposed to answer that? He would rather just not think of Penny at all, just get her out of his head his head his head. She's an anomaly, a freak, a broken gene in his now crazily fragmented mind. What is she doing to him?

Sheldon smashes a test tube later, in the lab, and the chemical rainbow on the floor is an interesting reminder of how wrecked and abnormal (fucked) he suddenly feels.

He will never, ever, neverever look at her like that, Penny knows this. She knows it, okay, but it’s heart wrenching at the same time, the realization that she, the beautiful, the head-turner, the big ol’ five, can never distract knowledge. Knowledge is exact and calculating and consuming, and she is wild and orderless and shallowshallowshallow as a teaspoon.

Sheldon is knowledge and science, and she is -

Just she.

He hasn’t been able to sleep fully, his complete REM cycle, in over a week. He’s hot and flushed lying alone in bed, between sheets where he normally dreams of equations on boards, experiments with outcomes, questions with answers.

This has no answer.

She’s sleepless, hot, and flushed too.

She knows the answer, but she allows it to slip back into the slick bottle of whatever's around on her lips.

Sheldon has never been like this before in his life. He finds himself aimlessly distracted, thinking soft, dreamy thoughts of -

(He can’t admit it to himself.)

Of something, at any rate, and it has now directly affected his work. This is unacceptable, unforgivable, ridiculous. He needs to snap himself out of this insane state of no mind and get back to what he does best.

She understands it better (infinitely better), but she cannot (will not oh god should not) admit it to herself (either).

He sees Penny in the hall, on his way to the laundry room, and for an split moment, he thinks, What is it that I’m best at again?

Time passes, sure as the physics constants (honestly, goddamn, she can’t even make a reference without involving him). Sheldon becomes an everyday part of Penny’s routine; she sees him in the hallway, his apartment, (on rare occasions) her apartment. It’s a slow, painful dance, becoming used to something so platonic from a man so magnetically appealing to her, but she lives and lives, content - well, accepting - of the fact that this is what they (he&her, she&him, themthemthem) are always going to be. It’s not what she wanted, but neither is living alone in a shitty apartment, a failed actress with more pregnancy scares than successful jobs on her resume.

He has not given up. He is a scientist; he never gives up. But he comforts himself with the notion that even the best of the best had to take breaks in order to keep their minds sharp and fresh. Sheldon strategically avoids Penny, is cordial and cold in his interactions with her, while his body literally craves her presence. Genes craving genes, natural succession craving a worthwhile endeavor (or so he keeps telling himself).

He’s not a chemist, but his genius is more than able to tell him that the feeling lodged right under his ribs, stuck still against his skin and flesh and muscle and blood and bones, is one reaction away from an explosion.

She can’t take it anymore.

The night after he catches her sleeping with Leonard (how could she how could she how could she howcould(s)he?) he allows the reaction bubbling beneath his surface to meet its full potential. He throws his books off the desk, slams his laptop shut, ignoring the looks and startled exclaims of his roommate, and walks out the door. He ignores their stupid goddamn convention, designed by him not out of obsession and/or compulsion but out of a desire for them to have something to call just theirs and rips the door open without knocking.

She’s sitting on the couch, drinking. She’s been waiting for him. Not just tonight, today, this moment, but for weeks, months, endless seconds and terrible instants of the one thing in the world Penny is more terrible at than anything else. Waiting.

“I’ve been here for you, you know.”

“I know.”

“Why did you...”

“Let you?”

“Yeah.”

“Something is better than nothing.”

Science. He is a spark under her skin, flint pressing slowly against steel as he walks over. She stands up (scraping, now), throws aside the bottle in her hand, ignoring the liquid crash. It’s just another excuse for the fire to start, already, honestly.

She has never been more complete and less absolute than when she is with him.

He has never hated the idea of genius more than when he is with her.

The flint flares. Science. She can just think of him as complex chemical compounds pressing on her complex chemical compounds, if she wants to.

She won’t.

He kisses like art. She kisses like gravity. Feeling the spark bubble up into a flame, present, hereherehere, hot and heavy and bright on her lips(againsthis).

He kisses her and oh, my god.

They were made for this.
 
 
 
The Danasaurdrowninginlethe on February 8th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I'm totally speechless.

I need to come back later and really express my gratitude and love love LOVE for this and you.

After I read it another gajillion times.

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgiloveyouomgomgomgogmgomgomgogmgomg
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 11th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
<3 I am so glad you love it, dear. And I am sorry yet again for the fact that it is nothing like what you asked for!
The Danasaurdrowninginlethe on February 14th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
BS. This is what my prompt asked for. They both want each other but know the other one doesn't reciprocate the feeling when they do! It's BEAUTIFUL.

ILOVEYOU!!!!!
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 14th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you like it, ugh. I was quite worried. And I love you too <3
The Danasaurdrowninginlethe on May 9th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
I'm coming back to read this and just uh. Here I go to read this again.

Still flailing. Your writing is fucking beautiful and I miss it oh so much.

So many lines from this are going onto the "Beautiful Lines Written By Holly" list. Yupyup. <3
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: Penny/Sheldon - Sketchjandjsalmon on February 12th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
in an instant, he forgets the gravity constant, because that pull no longer belongs to the earth.

This is a beautiful line. It all was simply beautiful.
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 13th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much. That's my favorite line in the piece <3
only love .:. only sky: BBT: Hurt/comfort.notalwaysweak on February 12th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Mwaaaah.

I was sure I had a brain, but I seem to have misplaced it. This is beautiful writing.
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 13th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
That is so, so sweet of you to say! Thank you :D
Hibiscus: TBBT - Sheldon/Penny heart panty pinata__hibiscus on February 12th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
That was tense and beautiful writing. ♥ I really like this line: Science. He is a spark under her skin, flint pressing slowly against steel
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 13th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading! I love that line too.
Jen: tbbt looking good in the clown suitjazzfic on February 12th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
That's gorgeous, really beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on February 13th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! And thank you for reading :)
kuvam_supukuvam_supu on February 20th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
..
oooh, this is to beautiful! :) :) :) :) i like your writing style! i like the repeated words, i like the confusion in your writing. everything is moving, flowing, swirling around in your story :) :)
this line:
He kisses like art. She kisses like gravity.
i love the contrast. :D
and i love the use of gravity for a comparison or story or whatever. i think art & science can do some real great work.
the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on March 2nd, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: ..
Thank you so, so much! I'm glad you liked it :)
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the youngyoung gunnighttimerains on April 7th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so, so much. Your comment is wonderful, and it means a lot to me <3
jen4850 on June 14th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Great chemistry.