An AU where Sheldon is more social and outgoing, and also here, is blind. Prompted by Wildfire377.
Penny was a little ashamed to admit that it took her this long to notice what had been right in front of her face since the beginning. Sheldon never really looked at her, always looking around her or seemed to look through her to the wall behind like she wasn’t even there. He never allowed anyone to sit in his spot making sure it was always vacant for when he wanted it. No one was ever allowed to touch his food the way it was when the restaurant handed it over, had better be exactly how it was when it reached his own hands. He alway had Leonard or her drive him everywhere he needed to be. All the clues were there but she had still missed the fact that the tall loveable goofball, Dr. Whack-a-doodle himself was blind.
In her defense she was used to seeing blindness the same way most people were, the way that popular media presented it to the masses. When someone said the word blind she pictured dark sunglasses worn inside, a long white cane tapping against every obstacle, or a big but loveable dog in a harness leading the way. What she didn’t picture was a genius with perfect memory counting out the steps to and from everywhere he enjoyed being and mapping out where all the walls and obstacles were before adhering to a strict schedule that took all the guesswork out of navigation. Sheldon was so sure-footed and confident in his stride that it took a near neon sign of a hint to get her to sit up and take notice of what was right there the whole time.
Boy was that neon sign flashing now.
She sat down on the floor of the landing between their two apartments and waited for Sheldon to calm down a bit more before she tried to really talk to him. She made sure to murmur a bit and jangle her keys as she sat, not wanting to startle him. Leonard was away for the night out in the desert with the other boys, and now Penny knew why Sheldon refused to tag along, nightmares of getting lost among the sand and rocks would be vivid for someone who couldn’t easily retrace their steps and find their way back. Sheldon had been upbeat and happy as he climbed the stairs with his sack of forbidden meal items and a night to himself on the horizon and then he found out he was locked out of his apartment. The realisation that he didn’t have his key and that Penny didn’t have her emergency key either had sent the poor guy into a real honest to go panic attack and it was his clunky rattled thump to the floor his hand guiding him slowly down the wall to the floor that made her finally click to the truth about her neighbor and friend.
He must be so scared, locked out of the one place in the world that was truly safe for him. His apartment held no surprises in the dark, his roommate agreement made sure of that and now he was barred from it for the next twelve hours at least. She wanted to hold him and tell him it would all be okay but she didn’t want to invade his space without permission so instead she just sat with him humming soothingly. When he eventually got his equilibrium back she would broach the subject of him staying over in her apartment for the night, she would even give up her bed and take the couch in hopes that the bedroom would help him feel a bit safer in the unfamiliar space for the night.
Until then it was fine, she could wait. He was worth it.
Well I got the blind part right at least. I looked at this prompt and went Oooh Blind!Sheldon that could be fun. Instead this happened.