The Homecoming Reunification
Amy paced the floor of her apartment, fruitlessly casting glances at the clock. Ten minutes had passed since her and Sheldon's scheduled phone time. Sheldon had been away from Pasadena for three weeks now, but had faithfully contacted Amy every single day. He had decided on a set time, and every night, no matter where he was or what he was doing, he had found a way to contact her. It was the only bright spot Amy had during these rather dark days. She'd been missing him terribly, and there had been moments when she talked to him where she could almost swear he sounded as if he wished he was there with her. But she figured she was probably imagining it. She had a tendency of making more out of whatever miniscule new step she and Sheldon achieved together. Amy had come to learn that whenever there was a step forward with Sheldon, there was a step backward waiting in the wings.
She could call his cell, of course, but she'd been leaving the actual calling to him, giving him a small piece of structure and order in his currently chaotic universe. But now, that order wasn't there, and Amy found herself growing increasingly worried. He wouldn't just forget to call. Did something bad happen?
"Relax, Amy," she told herself. "He could be trying to call but be stuck in a dead zone. Maybe he accidentally fell asleep. There could be all sorts of reasons why he hasn't called yet." Yet the gnawing in the pit of her stomach wouldn't go away.
A knock at the door caused her to practically bolt off her couch, further fraying her already jangled nerves. It was probably Penny, she thought. Penny had announced that she was coming over tonight to cheer Amy up…and also to look at wedding dress ideas online, but mostly to cheer her up. But she was an hour early!
This is crazy. Sheldon is late and Penny is early. Am I in a parallel universe?
Amy shuffled to the door, prepared to welcome her blonde friend, but gave a startled gasp when she saw who was standing on the other side. There was Sheldon, suitcases behind him, looking better than she had ever remembered. She couldn't take her eyes off him, trying to process the fact that he was here. He's really here!
His eyes were wide as he stared back at her, his face growing into a smile. "I was hoping to arrive at our precise phone time, but the taxi got delayed."
She finally found her voice. "Sheldon?"
He rushed to her and wrapped his arms around her, in the most natural hug he had ever given anyone. After being alone for the past three weeks, he found himself relishing the human contact. He felt the softness of her hair against his cheek, and sighed contentedly that he could finally see her again.
After releasing her, he looked intently at her. "Amy. I…I missed you."
Amy's heart fluttered at hearing the words she had desperately wished for. Then, remembering when he returned from Texas last Christmas, she replied, "I know."
He saw the twinkle in her eye as he, too, remembered last Christmas. He had wanted to tell her then how much he had missed her, but he'd been so afraid, not that he'd ever admit it. But the last few months had brought him and Amy so much closer. He'd known that this time, he had to say the truth.
"You just quoted Star Wars to me."
"I did," she said proudly. She may not like the movies, but that didn't mean she couldn't give him a taste of his own medicine.
Sheldon gave her one of his "Amy" smiles. "I'm so happy I'm home now."
Amy headed to the couch, and motioned for Sheldon to join her. "As I recall, it was home and all the trouble here that drove you away in the first place. So, what changed? Last I talked to you, you were still undecided on things, and still perfectly content to keep traveling around."
Sheldon looked away as he sat down next to her. He knew he needed to be truthful with her, and he wanted to be, but how to get the words out? He took a deep breath.
"Amy, I thought if I could get away from here, that I would get a fresh perspective, that I could solve everything that's been bothering me. Yes, it was change that drove me away, but I made an even bigger change by abandoning everything that I was familiar with. And to tell you the truth, constantly riding trains around isn't the glamorous adventure I thought it would be. The seats get uncomfortable, it's difficult to keep a proper bathroom schedule, and I couldn't find one train station that was near a train store. Can you believe that? I don't know what Eric was thinking, riding trains all the time."
Amy wanted to reach out and grab his hand in support, but still wasn't sure where their relationship was now. However, he had just willingly hugged her. She didn't know what to expect now.
"I'm sorry it wasn't enjoyable for you, Sheldon."
"My problems followed me, and I couldn't get away. I realized I was making it worse by trying to run, and I found myself missing everything here. I missed my friends. I missed my spot. I missed my routine. I missed working. But more than anything else, I missed you."
"I missed you, too. And I'm sorry for what I said the day you left. It was only a last-resort suggestion that I live with you."
"I know that now. I remembered you had actually been very supportive of me living alone. And I know I apologized on the phone for the things I said to you, but I want to apologize again. I'm sorry."
Amy smiled at his sincerity, and shook her head in bewilderment. "Who are you, and what have you done with my boyfriend?"
"Would you rather I question why you haven't offered me a beverage yet? Because I'm trying to do better here."
Amy put her hands up to stop him. "Hey, hey, I'm not complaining. I'm just wondering what's gotten into you exactly?"
"Well, you get a lot of time to think on trains. I kept going over everything that's happened recently, and thought a lot about Professor Proton. I never told you this, but he appeared in my dream on the day of his funeral. He told me I needed to appreciate the people in my life. I started to realize that some of my behavior toward you had been…well…."
"Rude? Robotic? Unfeeling? Cowardly?" Amy offered.
He shot an indignant look at her, but he knew she was right. "I suppose your adjectives would be…acceptable to use. Leonard's adjectives were far more vulgar when I asked him about it a few days ago. I want to treat you better, Amy. After all, you're my favorite person on this planet besides myself."
Amy could feel the tears forming in her eyes, but she tried to keep it together for Sheldon's sake. "I am?"
"Of course. I would've thought that was obvious." It wasn't the "L" word, but he wasn't quite ready for that yet. He knew that would come in time, but for now, this declaration would have to be enough, because it was taking everything he had to give right now.
"Thank you, Sheldon. So, are you feeling better about everything?"
"Not necessarily. But I would imagine I could arrive at my solutions quicker if I'm at home, rather than gallivanting across the country. I'm still not sure what to do about my job, but Leonard and I have talked and for now, we will continue to be roommates. But one of us will have to move in the future. It's just something I need to start preparing for."
"Well, I promise not to mention us living together anymore."
Sheldon was startled. Did that mean never, ever again? Because he was secretly warming up to the idea of one day he and Amy creating a comfortable little life together under the same roof. Because he was always comfortable with her, even when she absolutely terrified him, which had been happening more and more. He knew he could never leave her again like he did these last weeks, that he wanted her to always be in his life. He knew it with every fiber of his being.
He leaned in closer to her. This kissing business was still new, and scary, but at this moment, it was all he could think of. He was finally with her again, and he now finally understood how special that really was.
"I didn't say you could never mention it," he said in a low voice, as he pulled her closer and met her lips with his.
Amy was shocked, but delighted. Unlike their other kisses, with this one she gave in to the kiss more, knowing she wouldn't scare him off this time. She wrapped her arms around him, and pulled him close. Maybe there wouldn't be step backwards this time. Maybe they could both finally, truly move forward together.
After a little bit, they broke apart, both looking flushed, content, and happy.
A coy expression crossed Sheldon's face, and he nonchalantly added, "You never did get me that beverage."
Amy rolled her eyes, but she couldn't help but smile. "I can make some Strawberry Quik. And I promise to use the powder this time."
Sheldon watched her as she started pulling out the ingredients. "You know, you could make it with syrup. It's really not so bad after all. In fact, I think I love it that way."