Title : Boyfriend
Author : Callmejude (LiveJournal)
Genre : Romance / Friendship
Rating : T
Pairing : Sheldon / Leonard
Words count : 3 520
Summary : Written for the prompt "Sheldon/author's choice : an asexual relationship. Not a "I'll cure you of your asexuality with mah boobs" or learning to overcome it, but a relationship with no sex (or limited to mutual masturbation as it's canon that Sheldon beats off) and being perfectly fine with this." Wherein Sheldon proves he's human, and Leonard is thankful.
Disclaimer : I dont owe the characters AND the story is from Callmejude on LiveJournal. I posted it, because I really liked this story and didn't see it on FF. I just wanted to share it with you.
|| Boyfriend ||
Penny's move was a shock to everyone. And while the apartment had been one thing, they were all—Sheldon, especially—completely baffled to find she had quit her job at the Cheesecake Factory. She had told no one where she was going, and therefore left no hope of finding her again.
Leonard, who had escaped the wreckage of the breakup relatively unscathed when it had first happened three weeks prior, crashed into a sudden and somewhat unexpected depression when Penny disappeared. While he still managed to drag himself to work during the week (if only because of Sheldon's insistence that he needed a ride and didn't "see the point in bothering Raj if you should be going to work, too, Leonard."), the evenings and weekends were spent holed up in his room, lounging like a slob in his pajamas without showering or eating much at all.
He got away with this for almost a month before Sheldon came to his door with that incessant knock of his.
Knock knock knock "Leonard?" knock knock knock "Leonard?" Knock knock knock "Leonard?"
Sheldon balked slightly when Leonard opened the door. He figured he probably looked like hell, but he appeared as though he hadn't bothered to look in a mirror for weeks.
"What is it, Sheldon?"
"I believe two months is a sufficient time to recover from heartbreak, Leonard," Sheldon told him flatly. "I considered giving you more time after Penny moved away, but frankly, if you don't get your act together, you're probably going to get fired. For your own good, I'm requiring that you get over this Penny business."
Leonard stared at him for a moment. "What?" he asked finally.
"It's been two months since your breakup with Penny, Leonard. That's long enough. It's time to disengage from your forlorn state and return to normal."
Leonard blinked at him. "You're kidding me."
"No, Leonard, I'm quite serious."
"You can't possibly tell me you know anything about heartbreak," Leonard snapped. Sheldon looked as if he were about to argue for a moment, but Leonard knew he would only prove his own point. "Don't even tell me you've looked it up online, Sheldon! You don't know a damn thing about relationships! When it's time for me to move on, I will be the first to know, not y—"
By the time Leonard realized that Sheldon was kissing him, Sheldon had already pulled back.
It took several minutes for Leonard to wrap his mind around the implications that a kiss from Sheldon Cooper might have, and it took twice as long for him to finally form a sentence.
"What…what was that?"
"A kiss, Leonard," Sheldon explained, "I've come to learn that such actions tend to progress relationships."
Leonard wasn't sure what to make of that. "You want to…progress our relationship? Our relationship?" He wanted to ask "Progress, how," but he decided against anything more than yes or no answers for the time being. His mind was still reeling far too much to deal with anything else.
Sheldon tilted his head slightly to the left, taking in Leonard's reaction. "I've thought about it, and the idea of it was quite logical. I've done the math, and believe it or not, advancing our current relationship is about as close to ideal as one could get, given the chances."
"Ideal for whom?" Leonard asked, bewildered.
"Well, me," Sheldon admitted bluntly. "Though, I am aware of the importance of reciprocity in courtship. If you don't consider the situation desirable—"
"Sheldon, wait," Leonard interrupted, waving dismissively at Sheldon's words. "You—what exactly are you offering, here? I mean…" he trailed off, not quite knowing what to say. "How would that work?" he asked instead.
Sheldon looked slightly confused and answered hesitantly, "I'd be your boyfriend, I suppose."
The word made Leonard forget himself, and for a moment, he just stared at Sheldon blankly. "And that would entail…?" Leonard tried to get him to elaborate.
"Oh!" For a split second, Leonard thought Sheldon might be blushing, but it was probably just the lighting. "I would assume the changes to our present relationship would be relatively minimal," he admitted slowly, "At least in number." He paused and thought about it. "You would be allowed in my room, obviously—and I suppose kissing and excess touching would be unavoidable additions to our current paradigm…"
Leonard gaped, positively mystified. It was unbelievable. After all this time of reproductive theories and the assumption that Sheldon had no interest in personal company other than that which directly benefitted him, there was a human in there after all. "You'd kiss me?"
Sheldon looked a little perplexed by the question. "I suppose if you'd ask for such affection."
"I didn't ask for it just now," Leonard pointed out.
"Yes, well, I was going to wait for you to stop talking and simply continue the conversation in a rational fashion, but my nerves got the best of me when your voice began rising in volume," Sheldon confessed. He seemed genuinely flustered.
Leonard felt somewhat sheepish, but didn't know whether or not to apologize. Sheldon didn't ask for him to, so he stayed quiet.
"Do you have an answer for my proposal, or would you prefer to further discuss more details?" Sheldon asked curiously.
It took Leonard a moment to realize that he was thinking it over. They stood silently in Leonard's doorway for several minutes. He convinced himself that it was curiosity alone that caused him to finally agree to such a thing.
Shifting their paradigm forward was surprisingly effortless. Leonard was surprised to realize that living with Sheldon as his boyfriend was actually less stressful than living with him as a roommate. While some rules stayed in place—Sheldon's food was still untouchable, his spot was still only his spot, and whistling remained forbidden—others were voided entirely. Leonard now slept with Sheldon in his room, and due to Leonard's room being used to store much of their comic books, action figures and other paraphernalia, it logically became 'their' room with 'their' bed.
Little things were simpler, like when Sheldon would get agitated by something Leonard did. Where it used to take hours of tiptoeing and apologetic knuckling under, it now took two seconds: a kiss on the head, and an "I'm sorry, Sheldon," for Sheldon to understand Leonard meant it.
Affection had been an odd thing for both of them, at first. Kissing was awkward for the first few weeks, if only because neither man was used to it due to his own personal inexperience (whether it be kissing in general, or simply kissing Sheldon), but it eventually became a second nature.
However, even after everything evened out and became more or less natural, Sheldon's favourite display of affection was still apparently hand-holding. Never in public, but whenever he knew they were alone, he would always reach out and take Leonard's hand. On the off chance that Leonard was holding something in the hand nearest Sheldon, Sheldon would move to his other side. Leonard once tested how far he'd go by holding onto a glass of water in his left hand while sitting next to Sheldon on the couch, but Sheldon simply swiped the glass out of his hand and set it on a coaster.
Howard and Raj were the first to find out, of course. The differences in Leonard and Sheldon's public interactions with each other, though small, were things Sheldon felt necessary to announce to their friends. Aside from that, if either Raj or Howard tried to sit next to Sheldon or Leonard in a restaurant or called Shotgun when Leonard was driving, they would be subjected to a highly discomforting glare until they chose to move.
Aside from Raj and Howard, however, not many others seemed to notice. Sheldon had never been typically physically affectionate, and therefore didn't often require any forms of public displays of affection, least of all in his area of work, and so their workplace was left relatively untarnished. The only odd thing was how the select few who eventually found out that they were dating all asked Leonard the same gauche question:
"Do you have sex?"
And though everyone felt the need to ask the question, each person always seemed surprised when he would answer no. Leonard couldn't for the life of him understand why. The idea of Sheldon having sex with anyone was too unfathomable for Leonard to even wrap his mind around. They'd always ask him the inevitable follow-up question, too: "Then how do you get off?"
It wasn't really anyone's business, which is what Leonard usually gave as an answer. Most of the curious party would take it as such, but neither Howard nor Leslie had let it go until he admitted vaguely, "He takes care of me." Leslie had seemed intrigued and surprised by his answer and had attempted unsuccessfully to nitpick for more details, while Howard, much to Leonard's devilish pleasure, had looked as if he wished he hadn't asked.
In truth, the sex thing had bothered Leonard at first. While he'd never been used to a steady regimen of sex before his brief time with Penny, he was positive that he held the act of love-making higher on the scale of necessity than Sheldon ever would. When they had discussed it, however, Sheldon acted as if an agreement had been made without saying. "Well, I find no real need for such things, myself," he assured Leonard, "but I'd be more than willing to help you achieve orgasm whenever you so desire."
"Wh—wow, really? Whenever?"
"Of course, Leonard," Sheldon chided exasperatedly. "I'm sure I can't help you every time you would like, but as your boyfriend, social convention requires a particular amount of sacrifice be made in order to keep you happy. "With your sexual appetite exponentially higher than my own, it only makes sense to allow a certain quantity of sexual behaviors—within reason, at least. However, I refuse to orally stimulate your genitals, Leonard; that is a highly unhygienic practice, and is, in turn one of those sacrifices you must make to our relationship."
Despite Sheldon's clinical approach to the idea, Leonard had been pleasantly surprised the first time he asked for any form of sexual satisfaction. It had been awkward, asking, and Leonard had thought about how to approach the subject for several nights before it was suddenly blurted out without any provocation while they were watching television on the couch.
Leonard had expected Sheldon to sit him down in the bathroom and impassively jerk his penis until he came. Instead, Sheldon wordlessly locked their front door. He disappeared into his room, but before Leonard could follow, Sheldon reemerged with a wide, pale blue towel Leonard had never seen before and sat down in Leonard's chair, spreading it over his lap.
They stared at each other a moment, and then Sheldon offered, "I think it's a universal custom that you remove your pants, Leonard."
Startled, Leonard got to his feet and did as he was told without argument, but remained standing dumbly with his pants pooled around his ankles until Sheldon wrapped a hand around his wrist and pulled Leonard into his lap. Leonard yelped, his arms flailing defensively before Sheldon wrapped his arms around him to hold him still.
Leonard flinched, preparing for something unexpected and unwanted, but Sheldon didn't notice. One arm pinned Leonard to Sheldon's chest while the other hand wrapped around his shaft. Leonard gasped and suppressed the automatic reaction to pull back. Sheldon began to move his hand slowly and deliberately, almost affectionately. "Sheldon—"
Sheldon sounded so damn calm that it would have been infuriating if Leonard weren't otherwise distracted. He couldn't think of anything to say, and so he remained silent. The silence stretched for a moment longer.
"Am I not performing satisfactorily, Leonard?" Sheldon asked in the exact moment that he rolled his fingers in a way that caused Leonard's spine to rock inside his body. Sheldon was watching his face almost as an anthropologist would, his own expression infuriatingly impassive.
"Fine—you're fine," Leonard assured brokenly, his glasses sliding down his nose. He felt Sheldon pull them off his face, but didn't bother to open his eyes to see what Sheldon had done with them. "Good—actually. Really, really good." Leonard could feel Sheldon relax under him, and he was flattered to realize that Sheldon hadn't felt so apathetic, after all.
A moment later, Leonard felt Sheldon rest his chin on his shoulder, leaving a soft, fluttery feeling at the base of Leonard's stomach, though he couldn't quite place why.
Sheldon seemed capable of sensing when Leonard was close, pulling the towel out slightly when it was timed almost perfectly with Leonard's climax. He wiped Leonard off gently, his other arm still braced against his chest. There was stillness for a moment, and Leonard marveled at how long it went on before Sheldon said anything.
"I need to wash my hands now, Leonard."
Leonard rolled his eyes, nodding. "All right," he said congenially. As he was getting to his feet, Sheldon's arm briefly tightened over him like a locking seatbelt, and a kiss was placed lightly against Leonard's temple.
Leonard grinned, leaning back onto Sheldon's chest to give him a quick peck in return before jumping to his feet.
Months passed, and the more natural their relationship became, the easier the two of them became with others learning of it. They'd been together for almost three months when Sheldon reached over and took Leonard's hand during lunch, despite the lunchroom being packed with all their colleagues. When Leonard questioned the behavior, Sheldon asked, "My apologies, Leonard—is our relationship intended to be a secret?"
"No, Sheldon. I was just curious—you'd never done it before. I thought you were shy about it or something."
"Oh, on the contrary, Leonard, I merely didn't want to move too fast for you." Before Leonard could laugh, he explained, "I've looked up situations such as ours online, and it's customary to 'ease' one into a relationship with someone who is not of the gender they are accustomed to, especially when it comes to public situations."
In response, Leonard pulled Sheldon into his personal space and gave him a quick, chaste kiss on the lips before turning back to his food. Howard teased them by pretending to gag; making Raj laugh, but the other two ignored him, smiling to themselves.
That evening, Leonard received an email from Facebook, asking him to "confirm his relationship with Sheldon Cooper." Rolling his eyes with an exasperated smirk, he hit the confirm button, reaching over with his free hand and ruffling Sheldon's hair affectionately.
They had been together for almost two years when something happened that they never thought would. It was Friday night, which meant they were doing their grocery shopping for the week. Leonard was leaning patiently against their buggy while Sheldon considered the integrity of the two competing brands of frozen green beans.
"Just pick one, Sheldon, we still need to get ice cream," Leonard finally urged after several minutes.
Sheldon scrunched his face. "This one mentions being hand-picked…I'm curious as to how that's relevant," he muttered to himself, ignoring Leonard completely.
"All right, I have got to learn to stop bringing you with me to the market," Leonard teased, taking the nearest bag of green beans out of Sheldon's hand and dropping it into the cart. As Sheldon begrudgingly put the remaining bag back in the freezer, he automatically reached for Leonard's hand. Leonard smirked, "If you want to go ahead and get started on picking the ice cream, I just remembered we need egg—"
Leonard and Sheldon both turned at the familiar voice. At the sight of Penny, Sheldon dropped Leonard's hand as if he had been burned and stepped away from him. Leonard threw him a curious glance before fully taking in Penny's presence.
"Penny…wow, hi," Leonard attempted awkwardly, "It's been…a while. How've you been? Where have you been?" Sheldon twitched slightly, detecting a hint of bitterness in his last question, but remained silent.
Penny smiled uncomfortably tucking her hair, considerably shorter than the last time either of them had seen her, behind her ear. "I've been okay," she said vaguely. "I work at the Glendale Galleria now—in Nordstrom. It's still not the movies, but what are you gonna do?"
"Right," Leonard grumbled.
"Leonard, look, I'm sorry about leaving the way I did, okay? It was just weird, trying to get past you and still seeing you every day. I needed time away, and I wasn't going to get that living right across the hall from you."
"Without a word to any of us, though? And what about quitting your job at the Cheesecake Factory?"
At that, Penny was quiet for a moment. "I didn't want you coming up there to try and change my mind."
Leonard frowned. He wanted to say he wouldn't have, but it would be a lie if he did. Next to him, Sheldon swallowed audibly.
"I'll just go get the ice cream," Sheldon muttered quickly, turning on his heel and attempting to run away.
"Sheldon—," Leonard reached out and grabbed Sheldon's hand on reflex. He didn't want the thought of them fighting to scare him. "We're just gonna be a minute, so don't go off anywhere else, okay? Just to the ice cream freezer."
Sheldon tensed and turned to stare at their joined hands, falling silent again.
Sheldon wasn't the only one who noticed. When Leonard didn't let go until after Sheldon nodded and started to leave at a slower pace, Penny acknowledged awkwardly, "Oh, you're…"
Leonard blushed slightly as he realized what he'd done. Once Sheldon was out of earshot, he admitted, "Yeah."
Penny gave him a smile that wavered for only a moment. "I thought he didn't have a deal," she said knowingly.
"He doesn't," Leonard insisted, wheeling over to the refrigerated section to pick up some eggs, expecting the unavoidable question when Penny followed him.
"You've always been his deal, Leonard," Penny said instead. "Anyone who's dated you will tell you that. You were always kind of like a set."
A memory of back when he was dating Dr. Stephanie Barnett flitted briefly through Leonard's mind. "You are not in this relationship." He smirked, realizing Penny was right, and nodded.
"Yeah, I suppose so."
Penny still didn't ask the question everyone else had. "I'm happy for you," she said after a moment, picking up a carton of half-dozen eggs for her own buggy, "Him, too."
Leonard felt his remaining resentment dwindle to nothing. "What about you," Leonard asked her, "Seeing anyone?"
It was perhaps the wrong question to ask, because Penny made a very uncomfortable face. "I…was seeing this guy who worked in the food court, but we broke up last week."
"I'm sorry," Leonard told her quickly.
"Don't be," Penny smiled, rolling her eyes, "My idea this time."
Leonard opened his mouth to say something, but he realized they'd walked all the way to the ice cream freezers. He looked up to see Sheldon a few doors down, crouched on the tile with six gallons of ice cream lined up on the floor in front of him.
"Someone's going to call for him to get kicked out in a few seconds," Leonard said fondly.
Penny's smile widened, and she chuckled. "You're really happy, aren't you?"
Leonard considered it a moment, realizing for the first time just how much he was. "Yeah," he said, nodding. "Yeah, I am."
Penny grinned. "Good, I'm glad."
They both watched Sheldon as he, unaware of them, slid one of the six ice cream gallons back into the freezer and returned his attention to the remaining five. Leonard cringed, thinking just how many he'd had out in the beginning.
"I'll let you get back to him, then," Penny said, patting his shoulder and backing her cart away. "It was good seeing you, Leonard."
"Yeah, you, too," Leonard responded truthfully, waving as she turned her basket around.
At the last minute, Penny turned around and pulled Leonard into a hug. "I really am sorry," she said as she pulled back. "Tell the other guys I said 'hey'." Leonard nodded and watched her go.
By the time he pulled up to Sheldon, he only had two gallons left in front of him.
"I like strawberry," Leonard offered in an attempt to rush his final choice.
"You're lactose intolerant. Your preference is irrelevant," Sheldon grumbled, but he replaced the chocolate to its spot in the freezer, regardless. "Was your encounter with Penny one of minimal discomfort and awkwardness?" he asked lightly, placing the strawberry ice cream gently into the buggy.
"Yeah," Leonard answered quickly before pulling Sheldon down and giving him a kiss.
When Sheldon pulled away, he looked as if he wanted to say something, but wasn't sure what. To help him along, Leonard smirked, "I love you, you know."
The corner of Sheldon's mouth quirked upwards. "I hold you in the highest regard as well, Leonard," he admitted, taking Leonard's hand in his own.