Chapter 2 – Research Assistant

Galveston Texas 1998

Penny had known Sheldon for as long as she’d known Missy, which was most of their lives up to this point. That boy was always doing something or another with his experiments and his science theories, and over the years she had become something of an assistant to him. It had started when they were nine and she offered to help him lift something in his garage that he had been struggling with. From that day on every time he saw her it was with a request on his lips to hold this or answer that. According to him she was now his baseline to judge others by. She wasn’t sure what he was judging since he never seemed to get around to explaining that part, or if he did she didn’t understand it, she just hoped she came out the winner. 

When Sheldon was eleven all the adults decided he was too smart to go to regular school so he tested out and went right on to college. She was pretty proud of him, almost as proud as Missy was when he graduated college at only fourteen and then went on to get his doctorate. He spent a few years in Germany learning and lecturing and meeting other people just as smart as he was but his mother made sure he came home every major holiday because she said she didn’t want him forgetting where he came from. 

This year was going to be the last year she could do that, he was turning eighteen this coming February so she was going all out this Christmas to make it special. A sort of last hurrah. Because of the special nature of the day she had thought she would just leave it as a family affair, but Sheldon it would seem had other ideas. He called her up just after four on Christmas Eve and asked her to come over. He said he was in the middle of a new project and while all the mental “legwork” was done he needed her help to put all he had learned into action. 

His mama and daddy were out doing the last minute shopping that always seemed to be needed no matter how organized you were leading up to the day. Missy was out with her latest boyfriend up on the bluffs. George was who knew where and wouldn’t show up to the house until the next day when his presence was mandatory. She wasn’t sure if he really needed her help or if he was just lonely or creeped out with no one else around and wanted her to come over and keep him company, but she would know soon enough. The Cooper house was just ahead on the corner.

If she was being honest she didn’t really mind helping Sheldon with all of his weird little projects. While she didn’t always learn something interesting while helping him out she did always learn something. Plus it made her feel less icky about mostly spending time with his twin while he usually sat by himself with his head buried in his books. 

Knocking three times, just like Sheldon always lectured for people to do, she waited for him to answer the door and maybe finally give her a clue about what he needed her help with. 

He ushered her through the front door like the hounds of hell might be on her heels just waiting to come in with her, before all but pushing her upstairs to his bedroom. He and Missy used to share before George moved out and Sheldon started running around everywhere learning this and that, now Missy was free to have her own space and so was Sheldon.

“What is this about?” Subtle never worked on him, if you wanted a straight answer out of Sheldon you had to ask him straight out. Then wait through the first, second, and sometimes third try at an explanation before he finally said something close enough to English that other people could understand it too.

“It has been brought to my attention that I lack in certain social skills and experiences that might be more widespread among my peers. It has been suggested to me that if I want to fit in more with others my age I need to familiarise myself with these antiquated customs and though I have no wish to fit in, it has been pointed out to me that this is a non-optional rite of passage that I must transgress regardless of my own feelings upon the matter.”

“Huh?” Anti-what now?

“I have been informed that my current knowledge base in the area of fornication and all it’s ensuing areas is an undesirable one and will in time cause me to become a looked down upon member of my gender perhaps even impacting my ability to impart my findings to a suitable audience. If those who judge me academically also judge me socially I may be found wanting and that is unacceptable, so I have come to you to help me rectify this matter in as painless a process as possible for both parties.” As he continued to speak he began to fidget, something she had never seen him do unless he was lying or looking at something he found unhygienic. But she knew he wasn’t lying because these weren’t those tics, these were brand new in the lexicon of Sheldon.

“Huh?” She knew he thought he was explaining but all he was doing was making her head hurt, though she did pick out a few bits and pieces in there that she could understand and if she was getting the right gist of this she was going to be pissed.

“Oh good grief woman, are you incapable of rational thought? Fine I will put this as plainly as I can so that even your under educated feeble brain might understand my meaning clearly. I need to be divested of my current state of virginity, so I have come to you my only non-related female companion who is also sexually active at this stage in life.”

Oh hell no! He didn’t call her over to help him with something he called her over to proposition her.

“Sheldon Lee Cooper how dare you! I know your mama taught you better manners than this even if you did refuse to listen to most of it and back talked your way through the rest.” She could feel the hurt starting to well up inside, she had known Sheldon nearly all her life and she thought he had been a good kind of guy. While most of the meatheads that tried to paw at her were expected, this had snuck up on her and she hated that. Feeling the tears start to fill her eyes she turned away from him and blindly started to stumble towards the door.

“Penny please. There is nothing indecent about this proposal. This is a scientific inquiry, there is a gap in my education and you always help me with my experiments.” His words were in earnest and stopped her in her tracks. He sounded so confused by her reaction, like he did every time something went over his head. Like the time he used Missy’s barbie collection to help him with an experiment and then didn’t understand why she was so upset with him.

“Sheldon, sweetie, I want you to stop for a second and think. Sex is an intimate act and not something you should do without some kind of an emotional connection.” What that emotion was was up for debate most of the time. Love, hate, lust, boredom, all kinds of emotions could lead to sex for someone who wasn’t Sheldon.

“I feel a great many emotions for you.”

“Not those kinds of emotions. You need love for sex.” She decided to leave out the lust lecture. There was no need to alarm him with facts he wouldn’t be able to place anymore than he could place his need for sex.

“But I do love you.”

“I know you do sweetie, and I love you too, but it needs to be a different kind of love. You love me like you love Missy, and it needs to be a more romantic love for sex to come into it.”

“I do not feel for you the things I feel for Missy. You are Penny, you are not Missy.”

“I know sweetie.” She could tell she wasn’t getting through to him. He didn’t seem to understand that he would not want to do this. Not here. Not now. Not with her. For someone like Sheldon a first time should be special and magical and something just for him. Not in his room while he family was out for a few hours. She needed to go a different way if she wanted to help him understand.

“Sheldon, you do know how you have sex don’t you?”

“Of course I do. I did my research before moving on to the experimentation stage.” He sounded like he was talking down to her again, which wasn’t anything new.

“So you know there’s a lot of touching involved, so why don’t we try that on a small scale first. How about a kiss?” She was sure he would run for the hills at the idea of their lips touching and their spit mingling. There was no way that Sheldon Lee Coo-.

“I find that acceptable, it is always best to take an experiment one step at a time. Thank you Penny for being so thorough.” Huh?

She could see the nerves behind his fidgeting and knew there was no way he would last beyond the actual point of contact. So a kiss and they would be done, she could do that, it was just a kiss.

Adjusting her top by rote she moved towards him never breaking eye contact. This was it do or die time. Putting her hands on his shoulder she drew him in closer and closer until they were chest to chest, their lips barely parted. Feeling the sudden urge to lick her lips she gave into it letting her tongue swipe across his bottom lip and secretly enjoying the small yelp he made at the unexpected contact.

That’s right moonpie, sex isn’t something you can schedule and act out, there was spontaneity to it. There was risk. There was passion. As the space between them finally closed she kept her eyes on him until they were finally touching and the sensations of the bone rattling kiss forced her lids to drift closed.

Oh! My! For a first timer that boy was one hell of a kisser. Her body began to move on instinct and almost automatically, there was no thought only movement. When a boy was kissing her hard enough to make her toes curl her hand would usually drift down to his fly to give him a good stroking. 

The sound of the zipper coming down startled them both for a moment,forcing them apart from their kisses, both of them looking down at his now exposed and erect penis.

“So big.” She wasn’t sure why she said that, though it was the truth it wasn’t really something that needed to be pointed out. Of course that was usually because if you were pointing out a guy’s measurements it was because he didn’t measure up and no one wanted to hear that.

“The average genitalia size of a human male of my approximate height is twelve point nine centimeters, I have noticed over recent years that I exceed that statistic by a generous margin.”

“You sure have.” She was dumbfounded by what she was seeing, little Shelly certainly wasn’t so little anymore. Suddenly this little experiment seemed to be going more in her favor. “Did you want to keep going?” She wouldn’t hold it against him if he said no but she knew that if he did she would be spending the remainder of her evening behind a locked door with her battery operated boyfriend on high.

“Yes, I believe I do.”

“Me too sweetie. Me too.”

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