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64 Days of Shenny Prompts

Chapter Text

Sheldon and Penny have kept their meeting a secret from everyone, because really, its no one's business but their own.

And honestly, who wants to hear anyone's negative thoughts?

So Penny and Sheldon meet every Saturday for laundry and discuss their next meeting that Saturday. Penny likes to call them encounters, or sometimes crudely, a booty call. Sheldon does not see it this way, sure they engage in coitus from time to time, but their 2 A.M meeting on Saturday don't always consist of sex. They are just content with each others company.

Some Saturdays Penny would need him to just comfort her with some cuddles and talking. Some Saturdays Sheldon would vent about his colleagues or his roommate. Some Saturdays they said nothing, because there was no need for words when they could be showing each other how they felt. Some Saturdays, they said nothing, but this wasn't because they could show it, its because they were content listening to each others even breathing and their heartbeats that fell into sync.

This Saturday, at 2 A.M was a mixture of many things, and Penny was on edge for some reason though she didn't know why. She could tell Sheldon felt the same. So she had kissed him, and he kissed her back frantically.

His notebooks and her book long forgotten as their hands roamed each others bodies and their mouths explored each other. A low moan escaped Penny's lips, and Sheldon mumbled into her skin.

"I love you." They both pulled away and looked at each other. They sat in silence for a moment, knowing this was the moment they had both anticipated.

Sheldon didn't have to say it and neither did she because they both knew.

But as they sat there in this moment with their eyes locked on each other, her heart swelling with love she never knew she could experience, she knew they had to say it at one point, because keeping all that love inside...well someone was bound to explode. So after a minute, which felt like an eternity to them, she smiled softly.

"I love you too. I think I always have."

He smiled at the blonde, and responded, "I think I have too."

So every Saturday from then on, between the touching, and bickering, and movie wars, they discussed how to present their relationship to the boys. Every 2 A.M they said they loved one another. Every 2 A.M they were a step closer to being more than just a 2 A.M. They were closer to being an all the time thing. Every 2 A.M for six months, they had slowly moved closer to this. They had slowly moved closer to being a relationship.

They pretended to not notice when it first happened, but they both knew, and now their 2 A.M meetings happen more often. Not just Saturdays. They happen on Sundays, sometimes Thursdays. Sometimes Penny says screw 2 A.M and sneaks into Sheldon's room after Leonard falls asleep.

But on this certain 2 A.M, on their seventh month (exactly, Sheldon would remind her) they got careless, because well who cares if anyone sees them making out in Sheldon's spot? They're basically an item anyways.

Leonard woke up, and came into the kitchen to get some water. Penny and Sheldon too wrapped up in each other to notice, so when the short physicists turned around and saw them, he squeaked and dropped his glass.

Penny and Sheldon were startled and looked towards the source of the noise. Leonard's mouth moved but nothing came out.

Penny and Sheldon laughed, and then finally Leonard shook himself out of his state. "I'm just going to say I'm dreaming and walk away." But Leonard knew this wasn't true, because no matter how discreet Sheldon and Penny thought they were, everyone noticed.

The way they just acted around each other. (Oh, and the camera's Howard installed in the hallway gave away a lot.)

Chapter Text

Penny needed to swipe some milk from the boys, so she went over there under the guise that she simply was bored. When she walked in the boys were doing something science-y and she glanced at the...bubbling colorful reaction.

"Look at this, Penny." Leonard said excitedly.

It looked neat. Like the galaxy. She decided to tell them her thought, "That looks like a galaxy!" She said with a smile then walked to the fridge, when a realization dawned on her. "That was a metaphor!" She took some milk, proud of herself. Maybe she wasn't a complete idiot.

Sheldon looked at the blonde and smiled a smug smile her way. He then tsked her, "That was a simile, but I understand your community college confusion."

She grew angry, why did he always have to belittle her, and be a jerk about it. She couldn't even be proud of herself for a second. "You know what Sheldon you're an insufferable ass. Excuse me for not being as damn smart as you!"

"Well no one can be as-" He was cut off by the apartment door slamming. Leonard glanced at the door then to Sheldon. Sheldon looked offended. "I was just trying to help her out. I mean she didn't have to storm out like that." He sounded like he felt bad.

"Maybe I'll go over and talk to her." Leonard said. Something in Sheldon stirred and he felt protective over Penny.

"No." He said almost a little too suddenly. "I should. I should apologize to her."

He left before Leonard could protest. Honestly though, Leonard stood there shocked. You usually couldn't make Sheldon apologize. Him doing it on his own? There was some kind of change in the universe.

Sheldon did his signature knock and Penny didn't open the door. Why should she? Sheldon would probably just make her feel dumb again. She just waited for him to leave.

But to her surprise he didn't, he began speaking through the door. "Penny, I know I don't always know when to be quiet. I just came over to apologize. I do feel rather stupid talking to a door." He said and Penny couldn't help but laugh. She opened the door and he came inside.

"So you were saying?" She prompted when he stood there.

"I am sorry Penny. I know I was just trying to help you out, but I must have embarrassed you, and for that I apologize." He said formally, never once breaking eye contact.

Penny smiled at the tall man. "I accept your apology. I guess I could brush up on some basic English stuff. I mean who doesn't know the difference between a metaphor and simile?" She joked, and he smiled.

Penny returned it. "You know for someone who is basically a robot, you're turning into a great guy. I'm glad I've met you." She said sincerely.

Sheldon was shocked. "You know for someone who is constantly mooching off of me, I'm glad I've met you as well, Penelope." They smiled at each other.

"Well this moocher is buying you dinner. Lets go."

Sheldon didn't argue with her. He just let the blonde lead him away. He felt different, and it felt good.

Chapter Text

Penny often snuck up to the roof of the apartment when she couldn't sleep. It was just peaceful staring at the sky with nothing but a blanket and a pillow to accompany her. This time she planned it. She took some snacks and cuddled up in a hoodie. She just was stressed, her life never went the way she wanted to, and she still kept a positive outlook. (on the surface mostly). Her relationship with Leonard took a nose dive after she rejected his latest proposal. A huge blown out fight, especially about how she was supposed to be the one proposing to him, and how he couldn't wait forever. Oh and he wants a family.

Penny isn't ready to have children. She hasn't even got her own life settled, how would she take care of anothers? She didn't expect Sheldon to show up, at midnight in his pj's and his own blanket. She smiled at the man though and offered him a seat next to her. He took it.

They sat in silence for a while, just staring at the sky. Penny realized she enjoyed this, this comfortable silence between her and one of her best friends. If she was honest she had always treated Sheldon as more of a friend, when she could. He didn't have a deal really. I mean his relationship with Amy barely got past hand holding. She finally left him.

"I miss you." He said it quietly and Penny was sure she imagined it, but she had to say it back in case he did.

"I miss you too. You know you can come over to my place." She whispered. She didn't know why.

He seemed to ponder this. "I know but...your presence next to me on the couch is very much desired. The way you handle my food. The way you make fun of the things I watch when you know what they are. The only time I ever really spend time with you is on laundry night. I would like it to change." The way he said it made Penny's heart beat faster and she had to swallow a couple times before she replied.

"I...miss those things too. Sheldon I miss your gorgeous blue eyes challenging me on anything, and all your nerd-y speak. I even slightly miss when you correct me." She laughed lightly and smiled at her.

She turned her head back to the sky.

"You're beautiful." He blurted. She glanced at him and his face was slightly red.

"I-well-" Penny was speechless. "Thank you sweetie. That's really sweet." She leaned over to his cheek and kissed him.

"Penny...I think...I mean I am no expert...but I think I'm falling in love with you." He was very red.

Penny thinks this is the best idea she ever had. The roof, the sky, Sheldon. She would never forget this moment. This place. She would tell their children about it. And with that she blushed. God, how could someone get so ahead of their self when a guy declares love for them? "I love you." She replied quietly, staring into his eyes that now reminded her of the sky. Of everything that has been serene chaos in her world. The guy drove her crazy, but he helped her with her emotional baggage. She knew in her heart she loved him and she probably always will, even if he didn't have a deal.

But for now, they don't kiss. Their hands meet and they stare at the sky. This is what it's supposed to feel like, Penny thinks. This is what she has missed out on with every guy. Sheldon was the one, the whole deal. God he was a whack-a-doodle but he was her whack-a-doodle.

And she did tell their children about the night on the roof. The time he proposed in the same spot. (They left out the time the made love there though.) They told them they got married there, just like Howard and Bernadette, but it was different. It was their spot. It was their shared 0,0,0,0. Penny didn't regret any decision in her life, because they all led her to Sheldon.

And damn, was she a lucky woman to have that crazy man in her life.

Chapter Text

Penny woke up at 11 and hopped in the shower. Sheldon was a little insufferable at times, but she promised him put-put golf, and she was determined to have a good time.

She got dressed comfortable then headed over to Sheldon's. He was sitting in his spot watching some geek show.

"Ready?" She asked casually.

"I've been ready since 7!" He replied and she shot her familiar glare his way.

"We didn't need to be there all day." She said heading out the door.

He followed quickly and said nothing to her. He was actually excited to spend time with the blonde. She couldn't understand him a lot, but he liked her reactions to him. Except when she got angry. That wasn't always fun. He liked being challenged. No one else did that. They mostly agreed so he would shut up.

And if he was honest, who doesn't like to be in the presence of a beautiful woman like Penny? She babbled almost the whole way there about her friends and how much her job sucks.

When they arrived at the put-put golf place he got out of her car full of excitement. He hasn't been here in so long. They began playing and chatting about techniques. Penny's was awful, but she didn't ask for help, and he wasn't going to offer help because he didn't want to offend her.

He was noticing things though...her shorts were tiny. He top was small too. Good Lord, does this woman own any clothes that fit her properly?

"God dammit!" Penny shouted and he swallowed. Maybe he should offer his help.

"Penny, do you want me to help you?" He said it as kindly as he could and she sighed.

"No...I'm good. I'm just gonna go grab a drink. Do you want anything?" He shook his head and she walked off.

He waited for her and when she returned she was smiling. They began playing again and she slowly got frustrated.

"Sheldon how are you so good at this?!" She said and he explained his technique to her. "Huh?" She simply responded and huffed a little.

"Just...let me show you." He said and got behind her. He adjusted her hands and her waist. "Okay you have to realize there's a slight breeze..." He was saying more but Penny got a little distracted. He was so close. He didn't even like touching people and here he was.

Holding her. She blushed. She realized she tried to flirt with him the first time they met, and she thought he liked her to. She was quick to realize he didn't really care, but now she feels a little differently.

Maybe he does and doesn't know how to react.

"Penny." He said in her ear and she jolted out of her thoughts. "Are you listening?"

"I, um, yeah. Just tell me again." He pulled away slightly.

"I knew you didn't listen. At least your stance is accurate. You have to determine the distance and how hard to hit the ball." He grabbed her wrists lightly and helped her hit the ball perfectly.

It went in and she squealed. Before she knew what she was doing she turned and kissed him full on the lips. She pulled away quickly and looked into eyes, scared that she ruined this moment.

"Why did you do that?" He whispered, but she noticed he didn't pull away.

"I...don't know. It felt right." He leaned down and lightly kissed her back. Experimenting.

"It does." He agreed when he pulled back. They pulled away from each other and said nothing.

"Well, this is new for you. I can't believe I kissed Sheldon freaking Cooper." She smiled and he said nothing.

"I believe we have to change our friendship status." She laughed at him but nodded.

"I think we do."

After putt-putt they went home and Sheldon grabbed her hand experimentally. He didn't hate it, but he didn't love it. He wasn't used to touching people like this so it was a little off-putting for him.

But he didn't really mind touching Penny. When they walked into Sheldon's apartment Leonard stood dumbfounded staring at their hands.

Chapter Text

So maybe Penny should have checked out the engine when her car told her to. It wasn't her fault she thought the stupid light was broken.

Okay, maybe it was, but that wouldn't stop her from blaming it on Sheldon Cooper. He totally jinxed her and now she's hoping she'll catch the bus in time. She was fast jogging to the bus stop, eager to get home and get in a warm bath. Her uniform isn't exactly keeping her warm on this cold November night. The breeze blows right through her sweater. She can barely feel her cheeks. She made it just in time for the bus. She gets on and didn't expect much. It was kind of late, and usually no one too shady gets on the bus.

Luckily she made it home safely, but no more warmer. She headed up the stairs, her legs freezing. She tried the door to her apartment, but in her haste got her freaking car key stuck in the door. How many times until she learns? She headed across the hall and opened the door with no hesitation. Sheldon looked up from his computer, a sarcastic retort on his tongue, but it fell away when he saw Penny.

"Oh my. Penny are you okay?" The tip of her nose, and her cheeks were red. Her lips were losing color as well.

"I'm freezing my ass off! I had to ride the bus home, because my car broke down, and then my stupid self tried to use my damn car key to open the door to my apartment. I was just so cold and in such a hurry. I just wanted--"

Sheldon quickly got up and left Penny hanging in the middle of her sentence. He came back from his room with a blanket. He gestured for her to sit and she obeyed. The blanket looked so freaking warm. He helped her bundle up then went to the kitchen to make her some tea. He returned and sat next to her.

She held the tea for a few moments and let the heat seep into her hands. "Thanks Sheldon." She felt herself getting emotional and willed it to go away. "I was going to go home take a hot bath then curl up in my bed. Today was freezing all around. It wasn't as bad in the Cheesecake factory, especially when I went in the kitchen, but the heat wasn't working right all day." She sighed and curled her feet under her and finally took a sip of the tea.

"Its no problem Penny." It wasn't. He was used to Penny's presence even more now that Leonard had moved in with Stephanie. It wasn't particularly hard for him to pay the bills alone, but sometimes he just wasn't up for it. He liked having extra money.

She set the tea down and snuggled deeper into the blanket. "If you would like I have some pajamas that may be big on you, but would help you warm up." He thought for a moment then added, "Only if you wash them properly and return them to me on laundry night."

"That would be great Shelly but I smell like cheesecake and cheeseburgers." She made a frown at him and he sighed.

"Very well. You may bathe here, but I insist you must wash the towel you use too."

She smiled widely at him and resisted the urge to kiss him on the cheek. Sheldon had gotten a lot nicer after Leonard left and he sometimes would even touch her arm or something. She liked it and didn't want to risk scaring him away. He walked to his bedroom and she followed. He handed her the pjs and a towel. "Thanks so freaking much Sheldon. Seriously, I owe you one."

She took a quick shower and didn't want to leave the warmth. She opened the bathroom door and the semi-cold air had assaulted her warm skin. She rushed back to the couch and curled up in the blanket.

"Are you still cold?" Sheldon asked.

"Yeah, I guess my body had got warm to the showers temperature. Its just a little colder out here. I'll be fine." She smiled at him then looked at the television. Nothing was on because Sheldon was on his computer. "Can I turn on the TV?"

He simply nodded and handed her the remote. She turned on Project Runway then snuggled into the blanket to where her eyes barely poked out. Sheldon saw her out of the corner of his eye and smiled. He decided to put his computer up.

"Penny, if I may offer another solution to getting warm?" She nodded and kept her eyes trained on the TV. If anyone else said that to her, well, it meant sexually, but this was Sheldon and she was glad her face was buried in the blanket because she was sure she was red. "Body warmth is an easy way to get warm quickly. I could, cuddle you, if you'd like."

And like that Penny's eyes were ripped from the TV and glued on Sheldon's face. HE wanted to cuddle HER? Surely she slipped into an alternate universe.

"No Bazinga?" She mumbled and he shook his head.

"This is not one of my famous practical jokes." He sat next to her and wrapped the blanket around the both of them. Penny hesitantly put her head in the crook of his shoulder. He placed his hand on her hip and his other hand on top of hers.

He didn't pay too much attention since he was freaking out internally over their close proximity. It wasn't a bad freak out, exactly, because he had been training himself to get closer to Penny, but it was a mild freak out about the fact that she had let him do this. That it was happening. He enjoyed it. He enjoyed that she smelled like his soap and his shampoo. He loved her own scent but there was something comforting about his surrounding her.

"Sheldon, you are literally the greatest." She said and he smiled at Penny. Her eyes were drooping and she was slurring. "So great. I love you." He couldn't tell if she meant it romantically or as a friend, but he loved her too. Both ways. So it didn't matter.

And he responded. "I love you too. You're my best friend." She smiled a sleepy smile. He watched her fall asleep and helped her lay down on the couch. "Good night." He whispered and retreated to his room.

Chapter Text

Penny has a long weekend. So instead of sleeping in, she's going to get up early, go jogging, then grocery shopping, then she's gonna make breakfast for the boys.

Yes, Penny is going to feel productive on her day off, and she just may want to show off to Sheldon. So she wakes up, changes into her jogging clothes and crosses the hall. Sheldon is still in his pajama's and Penny smirks. "Still lounging around?"

"Penny, it's 7 a.m. What are you doing up so early?" She smiled at him.

"I'm going to be productive. I'm going to go jogging then I want to make you guys breakfast." He frowned at her and she instantly felt stupid.

"What do you want?" She laughed at him. "Also, that's not a very productive day."

"I didn't tell you my full plan. I just wanted to treat you guys. If you don't want me to cook, we can go out."

Sheldon hesitated, he loved Penny's cooking, he wouldn't admit it, but he does. "No you may cook. It's french toast day." He said and she smiled.

"Alright see you later, Shelly." She jogged down the steps before Sheldon could tell her not to call him that.

She jogged until she was exhausted. She walked back to her apartment, showered, changed, and then headed to the grocery store. She wasn't planning on telling anyone why she was so cheerful or felt like being productive but she didn't think she could hold it in much longer. She just got published. Okay so writing wasn't what she originally wanted to do, but she wrote an article for a fashion magazine here and there. Soon she started sending out short stories to certain magazines and they kept getting published. Their were flops here and there but nothing she didn't bounce back from. Well, a publisher contacted her about her stories. She had a novel hidden away. She sent it in and they loved it.

She just felt as if she turned over a new leaf. She was going to get a fresh start. She purchased the ingredients and headed to Sheldon's apartment. Leonard wasn't there he was with his new girlfriend.

Oh well, less cooking for her. She got started and quickly had two plates of french toast with a side of bacon ready. She filled up two glasses with orange juice and handed Sheldon his.

Sheldon scarfed down his food leaving Penny stunned. "That was quite exceptional." He said after the last bite. She laughed a little.

"I can tell. I'm glad you liked it." She said finishing up her food as well. "I'd offer to was the dishes, but I know how picky you are." She set the dishes in the sink and rinsed them off. "Okay I can't take it anymore." She turned and smiled brightly at Sheldon. "I'm getting published!"

He looked perplexed. "I didn't know you were a writer."

She shook her head, "neither did I. It was just a hobby. You're always saying I don't have a proper grasp on the English language or whatever, but I still liked doing it, and I got noticed."

"Wow." Sheldon smiled at his friend. "I'm glad for you." He contemplated what to do in his head. He got up and hugged her. It was somehow more natural than the other times.

Not so awkward and Penny noticed.

"Cancel your productive day. I'm going to take you out." Sheldon said, and it was so not Sheldon it startled Penny a bit. "You'll have to drive though, but I will pay, and we'll do what you want." What are you getting yourself into? He asked himself, but the offer was out and he couldn't retract it.

"Oh I couldn't accept that sweetie. Besides I need to clean and rearrange the house. I need to go through my clothes and get rid of the things I don't want--"

"I insist." He cut her off and she couldn't help it. She had to challenge him. The words flew from her mouth before her brain could catch up.

"Only if its a date." Her eyes widened a bit at her own request. Sheldon's did too, but his softened much sooner. She was too shell shocked at what she said. Yeah she had a ridiculous crush on the whack-a-doodle, but it never escalated this far. She didn't want to ruin their friendship. She valued him too much.

"I would be honored." He said after what seemed like ten years of deafening silence, but in reality was only a minute.

Penny then snapped back to reality. He was fucking with her. There was no way he would want her to be his date to...well, anything. She shook her head. "Are you messing with me, Cooper?"

He laughed and she couldn't help the smile that formed from hearing that sound. "No I am not. It doesn't have to be a date, but it would be nice."

"Well today was my whole turn your life around kinda thing." Penny mumbled. "Doctor Cooper, I wouldn't want this to damage our relationship." She said it as formally as possible.

"Come on, Penny. I can't believe I'm saying this but your life needs a little whimsy right now. Seize the day." She smiled at the tall dork in the lighting bolt shirt, that definitely represented one of his favorite superheroes...oh it would come to her later.

"Alright lets do it." She smiled widely. "But if its a proper date I expect a kiss at my door at the end of the night. I'll expect no less.

"And no more." He added on firmly and she couldn't help her giggle.

"THE FLASH!" She said suddenly, then turned red. "Uh, ah, your shirt. It's The Flash."

"Yes it is. I'm surprised you remembered."

"I remember a lot." She said and he shook his head.

They decided on the basic first date, but after the movie turned out to be boring Penny drove them to the beach. Sheldon put up a fight, telling her all about the germ infested place. She didn't relent, and they got in the water, which took a lot more convincing, but ultimately she went with his 'seize the day' speech.

They messed around in the water for a while, Sheldon having more fun than he could imagine, but still saying he will need a long, hot, thorough washing after this. Penny replying inappropriately with a, 'need help with that.' and giggling at Sheldon's blush. They dried off on the hood of her car.

Sheldon opened up a little bit more, and so did Penny. After they were dry enough they headed to the sushi bar that Howard convinced them to go to the first time they met. Penny knew he would remember but didn't think he would catch the significance.

They sat and ordered and Sheldon smiled at the blonde. "What?" She said suddenly feeling self-conscious.

"I remember the first time we met we came here. You hugged me that day after my pants got stolen. You kept trying to flirt with me." Penny's face turned red.

"Oh my God, Sheldon no, I didn't...I wouldn't--"

He cut her off with a smug smile. "I couldn't tell the signs then, but now I do. I'm glad, and this will sound petty I suppose, but I'm glad it was me and not Leonard." Penny's eyes widened. Her whack-a-doodle neighbor has come so far.

He used to hate touching, couldn't understand sarcasm, and didn't even know what a females affections could look like. Now he was telling her something she had been lying about to herself. She swallowed. "I'm glad you finally decided to let me know." She managed to say.

"You weren't ready. We both weren't ready. We have grown and now we can explore these feelings. I'm also glad you didn't move on."

Penny felt as if her face would never not be red again. "Sheldon, you have grown most of all. Its quite surprising actually." They ate and he managed to attempt flirting and she flirted back.

They arrived at her apartment and as much as she wanted to invite her neighbor in, she was going to wait. She's been waiting this long, and so has he.

"I had a wonderful time." Penny said quietly. Scared she would ruin the moment, scared the old Sheldon would come back.

"As did I. I would love to run to my shower, but I believe there's something else I need to do." With some hesitation Sheldon leaned down to Penny's mouth. He kissed her softly, and tenderly.

The feeling that was lingering for so long blossomed. When he pulled away Penny was sure she saw stars. "Goodnight." He said and she smiled.

"Goodnight." She said and quickly slipped inside.

Yeap, she turned over a new leaf. She started her life again, and this time it was going to be wonderful.

Chapter Text

They're like hot and cold.

Wrong and right.

Teacher and student.

Okay, maybe the last wasn't super opposite, but it was still an opposite. They have always been that. The free spirit and the uptight person. The germ-a-phobe and the person who couldn't care less. Who would have guessed?

Their friends didn't. Their exes didn't.

He saw it though. At the last possible minute, he noticed. They didn't. Always challenging each other, and pretending they didn't see the way they look at each other. Pretending they didn't hear the way they spoke to each other. They didn't know, or they pretended they didn't. It was fairly obvious to him. They were into each other, weird enough as it was, it was true.

One day he was there with Amy just watching T.V. when they burst into the apartment.

"Oh, okay Mr. Spock, there is no way Amy could be with Jake! Are you kidding me? They are so attracted to each other! Amy is just not ready to admit it." Penny yelled at Sheldon. It was obviously about a t.v show but he had no way of telling what it was.

"Please, that's like saying Boyle and Rosa will be together." Sheldon replied, his mouth barely more than a flat line.

Penny scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Okay I wouldn't care if they were but they do not even have a fraction of the same sexual-slash-romantic tension Santiago and Peralta do." He then understood the show they were talking about, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a show Penny and Sheldon started watching together recently.

Sheldon smirked and shook his head, "No wonder none of your relationships work." He said simply. Penny's mouth dropped. She tried to glare defiantly but anyone with slight human emotions (which Sheldon had) noticed her eyes watered.

"Ugh! You're impossible!" She shouted. Her voice surprisingly steady as she turned and left the apartment.

Sheldon didn't look like he won an argument he looked like he was hurting. Leonard sighed. Of course Sheldon went overboard. He's used to winning, so is Penny. That is one of the things they're alike in. Otherwise, they're like a child and an overbearing parent.

But they were so into each other it kind of stung Leonard at times. Yeah, he wasn't the one for Penny, but Sheldon? He would shake it off. Somehow they just clicked. It was weird, but it worked, like he said. "Buddy, maybe you went...overboard?" Leonard suggested, still the tentative guy he always was.

Sheldon sighed. "I don't know why it matters. Its just a dumb show." He muttered sitting in his spot.

Leonard sucked in a deep breath and tried to be strong. For his friends. For Penny. For Sheldon. "It mattered to her. So it matters to you." He said simply. He knew he should say more on the last thing Sheldon said, but he started from the top.

"What? We are just friends. Our opinions are just that. Opinions." Sheldon replied, but he looked uncomfortable.

"Yeah I guess you're right...but what about the last thing you said? That was a little unfair." Leonard said and after Amy lightly slapped his thigh he cleared his throat, "It was more than a little unfair. It was really unfair, and quite rude."

Sheldon sighed and slumped in his spot, a thing Leonard never knew was possible. He looked at the t.v with glazed eyes. When he finally spoke it kind of spooked Leonard. His voice was flat and distant. "How do you do anything right? How do you love a person but know they don't feel the same? I wish I was a different Sheldon in a different universe because..." his voice had perked up a bit at the end, "because that'd be the universe he could be with her."

He seemed far away and Leonard was a little scared of breaking his stupor, but Amy urged him on silently. So he licked his lips, glanced back at his girlfriend, and back to his friend who seemed like he was possessed by an alien. He sighed. "Sheldon." He said firmly, but his friend never looked his way. Fuck, he said to himself then tried again, a bit louder. "Sheldon!" Sheldon turned a little but didn't acknowledge his friend.

Leonard steadied himself, "SHELDON!" He shouted, but he hoped not too loud.

Sheldon finally glared at him, "What?" He seemed as if he was still far away in the back of his mind but he was irritated with Leonard for bringing him out of it.

"Tell her how you feel." Leonard said quietly. He was unsure of his words. Yes, he knew they liked each other, but how do you make people see that?

Sheldon remained quiet for a long while. He looked like he was in deep thought. Leonard glanced at Amy and she pressed a finger to his lips, as if their words could break the spell. As if Sheldon would ever do something he didn't want to do. He liked Penny. Hell, he probably even loved her, but no one could force him to say those things.

To act the way he does.

And no one could do that to her either.

So yes, they were opposites in some ways, but in some other ways they were so similar.

"I don't believe she may feel the same." It was almost a whisper, but the silence in the apartment was almost ear-splitting anyway.

Amy laughed at this. Leonard sent her a look but she ignored him, her laugh still falling from her lips. Sheldon sent her a peculiar look as well. She finally managed to stop laughing, but still had a huge smile, as if the laughter may come back any moment. "Sheldon that's preposterous. Anyone can see you two are absolutely crazy about each other. It may take some people a while, like Leonard and I, but we seen it before you and Penny. As for our friends...well they've made it clear you guys have had chemistry since the beginning." Amy said it as calmly as she could.

Sheldon seemed to contemplate this. He sat quietly and sometimes mumbled numbers or sentences to himself. Leonard was sure after this he would definitely need to be admitted to a crazy place.

"I don't see any kind of equation that would lead us here...that would lead Penny and I together, but I will listen to you guys." He sighed, quite loudly, and stood. "I cannot believe I'm taking advice from you two." He said and headed out.

Leonard was offended, of course, but let it go. It was Sheldon. So as soon as Sheldon shut the front door he headed to the door with his empty cup and listened. Amy was next to him, trying to hear as well.

He did his ritualistic knocking. He heard Penny's door open (and could only imagine her angry face) "What?" She asked with irritation.

"I...Penny, it's just a t.v show. We just...have different views. It doesn't matter. May I come in?" He sounded more nervous than Leonard had ever heard him.

Penny was quiet for a moment, and Leonard felt like he missed something but he finally heard her quiet reply. "Come in then."

He couldn't hear anything after that so he and Amy sat on the couch and settled on a t.v show. They were cuddled up (a bit in Sheldon's spot if they were honest) and into the show when Sheldon came in with a smile. They glanced at the man but he walked into the kitchen, completely ignoring the two. He grabbed a bottled water and drank out of it. Leonard was practically bursting. He had to know what happened. He had to know if they solved it. Well something obviously went way right or horribly wrong judging by Sheldon's face.

"Sheldon! What happened?" Amy stood as the words burst from her lips. She was also having trouble holding back.

"I guess that old saying 'opposite's attract' isn't as false as I originally thought." He smirked at the couple on the couch and walked to his room.

It wasn't a straight answer, but it was answer enough for Leonard. They did it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 years later Leonard's idea was more than proven. Sheldon and Penny were getting married. He was the best man. Sheldon had freaked out before the ceremony asking him over and over how he managed to go through with it with Amy. How Howard could do it, how Raj could do it. How anyone could. He had a mini panic attack before Leonard talked him down.

"I went through with it because I knew. Yeah, I freaked out before. We all do. I'm sure Penny is too." Those words made Sheldon look more squeamish. "But she will go through with it, because she knows you are it. You know she is it...and I think deep down, you've always known. Maybe Penny didn't, maybe she was too oblivious, too caught up in her own superficial things, but you knew. You knew from day one. This is it. This is your day one. This is her day one. Think about it man. This is the two of you starting your lives together, and this isn't supposed to be a sad occasion, ever, this is the happiest day of your life, and you need to focus on that beautiful woman waiting for you and the future you two will have together." 

Sheldon listened, thinking Leonard may say something absolutely ridiculous, but he came through. This isn't just her day one or his day one. It's theirs and it clicked for him. Leonard actually talked sense into the genius' head.

He waited for Penny in all her glorious beauty, who looked more radiant coming down that aisle than she had ever looked in the whole time he knew her. He knew he was biased but he couldn't help it. The future Mrs. Cooper was the most gorgeous thing he had ever seen.

They had decided to write their own vows and Sheldon was very nervous.

"You are something I never seen happening. You are the anomaly to my life. I always thought change was bad. You came into my life and changed it all around. My schedules were messed up, my friends were compromised, and my milk was stolen." Penny giggled at this. "No matter how much I felt it was a great distress, I never felt more intrigued. I never felt more...alive. You are the Watson to my Sherlock. You'll balance me out, but still drive me to my wits end. You will help me when I need help, as you always have. You are everything I never knew I wanted, besides the romantic comedies, and I am so grateful you moved into that apartment. I am so thankful I will have you in my life everyday, making me frustrated, happy, confused, and elated all at the same and different times. You are one remarkable woman and I am so grateful, and so lucky you are mine to have each day." She felt her eyes water. Her voice was unsteady but she still said her vows as only Penny could.

"We were never seeing eye to eye. We never felt the same way about almost anything. I had blackmailed you, you had threatened me. It was all ridiculous." She choked up after that, although Sheldon thought that should have been left out. They were young, no matter if they were acting on weird attractions and hormones. "If I chose night you would choose day. If I said black you would say white. We couldn't agree on one thing..." She was quiet for a moment but inhaled deeply. "But we still did laundry at the same time on Saturday. I still made you spaghetti with little hot dogs. We still teamed up on things, even if I thought you thought I was useless. We still kicked ass on Halo. We were complete opposites, but it wouldn't have worked any other way." She looked right into his eyes then. "We challenge each other, and I will never be tired of that. We support each other. We call each other out when we're wrong and I will always love that. I will always love this relationship. I am so glad I found you and I will never let you go." Penny ended with tears and Sheldon kissed her cheek. He couldn't help himself.

The rest of the day went in a blur for the couple. They were completely wrapped up in their happiness, and Leonard couldn't help himself, but man...he called it.

Chapter Text

Its been several years since Penny left Leonard, her friends, and her home in Pasadena. She's now an actress living securely in Beverly Hills (and New York, and Miami, and London). She's wrapping up a movie. The last scene was to be filmed in Pasadena. She felt oddly nostalgic.

She kept in touch with Amy and Bernadette and even Raj. Sheldon got too busy to keep in touch. He emailed her every now and again. Leonard was busy raising a family with Alex, but still tried to see how she was. She would try to send them gifts for their birthdays and Saturnalia. She also sent their kids things. Penny never settled down, and neither had Sheldon. They were married to their careers. 

Penny didn't regret her decision. She loved her job. Sometimes it was stressful but it was fun. Of course she dated, but it never lasted. Being a celebrity was just too much for a relationship sometimes and she damn well didn't want to date someone famous (teenage-Penny would kill her). She decided to visit the Cheesecake Factory and the rebuilt comic book store. Penny helped pay to rebuild for it, but made it an anonymous donation. She didn't know what else she would do there, maybe go back to where she actually started living on her own.

Penny headed to Cheesecake Factory and signed some stuff. It was nice to see her boss was still just a manage there. She felt like rubbing it in, but they gave her a free meal, and she couldn't bring herself to be a jerk. She left a huge tip and headed to the comic book store.

Stuart was there with Raj. She didn't really expect to see anyone there. They were busy talking so Penny browsed. She picked up a few comics (something she recently picked up, she always read them in her spare time) and headed to the counter.

"Penny!" Raj shouted and smiled widely.

"Hey guys." She hugged them both and set the comics down.

"You read comic books now?" Stuart asked and Penny blushed.

"Here and there, ya' know. Its actually really intriguing."

"Wow." He said and rung her up. "I shouldn't make you pay for these." He said and Penny shook her head.

"I insist." She paid him and he asked for a picture and her autograph. She wanted to laugh, because she knew these people for so long. Why did they want her dumb signature? But she obliged.

"Stuart, its not really that big of a deal."

"We don't always have a famous actress in here. This isn't Comic Book Men." Penny looked a little confused. "Its a TV show about Kevin Smith's comic book store in New Jersey."

Kevin Smith, why did that name sound familiar to her?

"Oh! He's the dude that did Clerks. Yeah, I'm dying to work with him. He seems like a fun guy to work with." She said. Stuart and Raj exchanged a look she couldn't quite place.

But she decided to not say anything.

"Hey, Sheldon's in town too." Raj said after a moment of silence. For some reason Penny's heart stuttered.

She missed the whack-a-doodle, sure, but this felt...different.

"Wow, um, where's he staying?" She mumbled.

Raj and Stuart shared another look, but this one she got. "So, you've finally realized your feelings." Raj said with a smug look and Penny's face went white.

Feelings? For that crazy man? No way. "Raj, no. Its not like that. I just...miss him." Her heart stuttered again.

Shut up, stupid heart. This is none of your business. "Well, we are all meeting up later. Leonard, Amy, the old gang." Raj said and she nodded, but said nothing.

"Why didn't you guys call?" She felt a little hurt, but she was busy.

"Amy said she would text you, but she must have forgotten. Also, you're a famous actress now. We thought you'd be busy." Raj said and she nodded yet again. It made sense.

"Well, text me the address you guys are meeting at. I'm going to go freshen up." Raj nodded and pulled out his phone.

She hugged the boys once more then set off to her hotel. She wanted to swing by the apartment, but isn't that weird? Going back to where she first started on her own didn't sound weird but the person living there might think differently.

Especially if they've never seen one of her movies. So she went back, changed, and curled her hair. They were going to meet at somewhere neutral she noticed. A quiet hotel restaurant/bar. So she didn't overdress. A simple black dress and low heels. She got there a little late, not wanting to be early, or earlier than the rest of the gang.

They were there, laughing and talking. She thought about not going in, but Sheldon seen her. His face got very serious. She walked over and his face didn't change. "I see you still don't mind being late." And then he smiled and Penny couldn't help but smile back because it was gorgeous and natural. It wasn't his koala bear smile and it was so surprising but natural to see it on his face.

"I didn't want to appear over eager." She said and he made room for her. They sat dangerously close. Her arm brushing against his and their knees bumping every once in a while.

They all shared stories, and asked about Penny's glamorous job, and Sheldon's career that also sky-rocketed. They weren't doing bad either, but they seemed more fascinated with Sheldon and Penny's life.

Then the question Penny dreaded hearing from her married friends, "Are you married?" Came from Amy, and Bernadette nodded.

"I haven't seen anything about it online, but you might have kept it under wraps." Bernadette added.

Penny smiled and shook her head. "No. I haven't found anyone. I'm happy being married to my job." She said and the girls shared a sympathetic look that Penny hated.

They asked Sheldon as well, mostly because they were curious to see if he's found his 'deal'. "Sadly, I have not found a lady friend yet, but it doesn't bug me. I'm married to my career as well. Although, I think mine is more rewarding." Penny was ready to tell him off when he sent a playful smile her way.

Playful. Sheldon freaking Cooper.

"I get to hang out with hot guys all day. I don't think so." She smirked.

Raj leaned over to Stuart but he was fairly intoxicated, and the rest of the group getting there. "I told you she realized it." And Penny blushed.

She glared at the man and he covered his mouth, but he couldn't help it and started giggling. "Alright, I think Raj and I should head out. It was nice to see everyone." Stuart said and they all said their goodbyes.

Alex and Leonard were next to go. They had to get home to their kids. Bernadette and Howard used the same excuse, but it wasn't really an excuse, Penny mused. She was drunk at this point and not really minding seeing them go. Amy left shortly after, she had a date, and didn't want to be too drunk.

"I hope to see you soon." She said to Penny with a hug. She shook Sheldon's hand and left.

That left Sheldon and Penny. He asked about her upcoming movie.

"Oh it some horror movie. I was so type-cast, but like, horror movies are good exposure." She was slurring and decided it was time to quit drinking and ordered a water.

"Would you ever play in a comic book movie adaption?" He asked a little drunk as well.

"Sure. I don't think I'm really going to be cast in one, but, hey they made Ryan Reynolds the Green Lantern so I guess anything can happen." She said with a shrug.

"I think you should be the Black Canary. That would be pretty attractive." She looked at him and he looked back at her. "Oh, did I say that out loud?" He covered his mouth to stifle a laugh. "I apologize."

"No its fine. I've always thought you were handsome...you know, for being a nerd." She shoulder bumped him. "Hey I wanna' swing by the apartment building. Want to go with me?"

"Sure." They got a cab and headed to the roof. She didn't want to bug any of the tenants, so the roof was the only option she thought would be acceptable. The elevator worked now so they didn't have to walk up the stairs and possibly hurt their drunk selves.

"We should have got a blanket." Sheldon said as they sat on the rooftop.

"Probably should have." Penny agreed. They stayed there for a while looking at the stars.

Suddenly Penny was leaning into Sheldon and he was too. They began kissing, then making out and Penny's back was on the ground, Sheldon's elbow uncomfortably crushing into the ground. "My...hotel." Penny breathed out between kisses.

He helped her up and they made it to the elevator, somehow, also managing to hail a cab and make their way to Penny's room, all the while sharing kisses.

"I have to admit to you," Sheldon began while stripping off his clothes, "I haven't married because I haven't found anyone as enchanting as you." Penny pulled away and smiled at the man.

"Really?" She asked feeling as if the alcohol might be making him say something he didn't mean.

"I swear on my life Penelope." They kissed their way to the bed and didn't have to say anything anymore.


Sheldon woke up with a slight pounding in his head and his arms around the most wonderful woman he had ever met. He couldn't help but smile. Penny shifted and grumbled a little when her phone went off.

She answered it and Sheldon couldn't help but watching her.

"Yeah?" She asked, managing to clear the sleep out of her voice before saying anything.

"Oh shit okay." She hung up and turned to him. "Sorry Sheldon but I gotta get ready and get to the set." She got up and headed to the bathroom, but paused before going in. "I don't know exactly what last night meant to you, but I'd like it to be more than a-one time thing." She bit her lip and looked a little embarrassed, and pleasantly disheveled.

"I would like that too." He responded. She smiled and headed to the bathroom to get ready.

They shared a cab to the location she was shooting and kissed then said bye.

He decided he loved Pasadena.

 

Chapter Text

Penny didn't believe in the whole soul-mate thing. Of course there was no denying it, but she didn't want to be apart of it. She even used face make up to cover her mark when she went out.

She knew it made no difference if she actually met the person, but she sure as shit didn't have to be happy about it. She asked her mom and dad about it. They said they fell in love instantly, and had stayed that way. Her sister, while not the happiest person in the world didn't have any qualms with her soul-mate. Her brother, well...she couldn't really ask him about it since mom basically disowned him because the drug abuse. She tried to stay in contact but he constantly had burner phones, so it was hard.

Her gram said she fought tooth and nail, didn't want anything to do with pop-pop, but in the end he was a challenge and gram liked challenges. He infuriated her but also made her smile.

"Your pop-pop wasn't always a gentleman, but he gave me the greatest challenge. At first it seemed he made my life hell, but I quite enjoyed him around, and when he went out with another girl, oh boy I got jealous. I knew that was it. I knew that he was mine, and I was his." Her gram smiled and Penny asked one more question.

"Has anyone ever fought against it? Has anyone ever ended up with someone who wasn't their soul-mate?" A wide eyed ten year old Penny asked.

"Not that has ever been recorded." Her gram responded.

When Penny was 19 she moved away to California with Kurt. He made her happy, even if he wasn't her soul-mate (secretly that made her happier) and she was ready to start her life.

She was crushed when Kurt cheated on her with his soul-mate. She loved him and she put everything into the relationship. She finally moved out on her own. It felt good, even though her heart hurt when she thought about Kurt, and she knew it probably always would. First love and all.

She was unpacking when her two neighbors greeted her. At first she thought they were a couple, but a quick glance at their hands showed her. The short one with the glasses had a mark like a giraffe and the tall one had one shaped like Texas. Like...hers.

She didn't make eye contact with the tall one. They said a weird round of 'hi's and when she finally met his eye he turned abruptly and left. Her heart was hammering, but she refused to think about it.

"Sorry about him. He's not used to communicating." Penny smiled and nodded.

"Its fine." She said and noticed him look at her hand a couple times. He frowned then said a bye. Penny went back to unpacking.

He took two steps and turned around, "Hey, would you like to come over for lunch. We just got Thai food." She smiled brightly at the short man.

"Oh man that would be great I'm starving." She said totally forgetting about the tall guy. "Oh by the way I'm Penny."

"That's a pretty name. I'm Leonard." They shook hands then went into the apartment.

Sheldon began speaking without looking up.

"I don't know why you insisted on talking to that woman. You know she's not your soul-mate, I swear between you and Wolowitz--" He looked up and saw the blonde neighbor staring at him with a slight smile.

"Um, yeah, this is Penny." Leonard said.

"Oh." Sheldon said quietly, unable to tear his eyes away from her. She was beautiful, that was undeniable, but he doubted this girl had the same ideas as him. He doubted this girl was even as smart as him.

"That's Sheldon." Leonard supplied for him.

"Sheldon." She tried the name out. "Whoa, what's this?" She said noticing a white board.

Sheldon walked over and told her it was his. For a second she could have sworn they were flirting. "So you're like, one of those beautiful mind, genius guys?" She said with a hint of awe.

"Yeah." He said and she smiled.

Fuck, am I flirting with my soul-mate? Hello, that's against everything you stand for! She shouted in her mind.

"I have a board, here's my board." Leonard said, desperate for the pretty girls attention.

Did...did I flirt with her? Sheldon thought and shook his head. No. I have no need for a soul-mate. I know this. 

Penny sat down and Sheldon went into a rant. "Sweetie, you can just sit next to me."

"No I cannot--" She didn't let the dork finish she just scooched over and ate some food.

Leonard asked about her and she sighed. "Well, I want to be an actress but right now I'm working at The Cheesecake factory. Um, I'm a vegetarian except I like to eat fish, and chicken, oh and steak. I LOVE steak. Um, I'm a Sagittarius which probably tells you more than you need to know."

Then the whack-a-doodle soul-mate of hers went into another rant about how astrology is completely inaccurate. I wonder what sign he is. Penny thought, ignoring his ranting.

We are so not compatible. Somehow Kurt got brought up and she was crying and talking about her broken shower. The little one offered their shower. She was grateful.


 

That was how it started for her.

She didn't want Sheldon's attention or at least that's what she tried to tell herself. She tried to not challenge him. She tried everything, even dating Leonard! She didn't dislike Leonard, completely. He was interesting enough. A little (okay a lot) needy, and he sort of tried to control her.

At least he didn't cheat. He thought she was a prize, and sometimes it hurt her, but sometimes it boosted her self esteem. She was complicated like that. When Sheldon and Amy started dating she got so jealous, but she managed to hide it.

She wondered if Leonard ever looked at Sheldon's mark, because he looked at her's when she didn't put makeup on it and he never said anything. Maybe he didn't see the resemblance. Although, it was hard to miss a mark that's shaped just like Texas on someone's hand.

One day he left her. They were engaged and everything. He had met Alex a long time ago, but when they bumped into each other at work. He saw her mark. Maybe it was a delayed effect or something but he instantly lost interest in Penny. It hurt, sure, but she knew all along she wouldn't end up with him, and she got to keep the engagement ring.

Amy had left Sheldon. She felt it was a lie to stay with someone who wasn't her soul-mate.

Sheldon and Penny were alone one night in his apartment. Leonard moved out three months ago and everyone else was busy with their married lives. Their soul-mates, or finding them. "Fuck my life is going down the drain. I can't even pay my rent right now." Penny said taking a sip straight out of the bottle of wine she had.

"It's not so bad Penny. We have each other." Sheldon said. "Maybe some soul-mates were just meant to be friends."

She looked at the gorgeous man sitting next to her. She loved him, she could deny it all day and night, but she did. She smiled at her friend. "Best friends." She said and he put his arm around her for an awkward side ways hug.

When they pulled apart it was like she was empty. She needed to tell him, didn't she? God, she couldn't fight it anymore. She fought him for six years. That's longer than gram and pop-pop.

"Hey, did I ever tell you about my gram and pop-pop?" Penny said and took another drink.

"No, you have not." Sheldon said not looking away from the TV.

She inhaled. "My gram did not want to be with her soul-mate. She fought to not be with my pop-pop. He was a man...similar to you, but more...carefree? Anyway, they challenged each other, but they still knew how to make each other happy. When she wouldn't give in he went out with another girl to make her jealous, and it worked. She knew that she had to be with him after that. They loved each other so much." She paused to take another drink. "You and me..." Penny stopped then sucked in a deep breath. "I was jealous of Amy." She admitted.

Sheldon finally looked at his soul-mate. Someone he had fought to stay away from, someone who broke his heart the instant she got with with Leonard, and yet he still loved her immensely.

"I was heart broken when you decided to date Leonard." He admitted.

Penny looked into his eyes, her's watering. "I hate this soul-mate thing, but...maybe its not so bad. If you're my soul-mate." She practically whispered.

"I-I've always felt that I wouldn't meet my soul-mate and when we met I was completely swept up in your beauty, but I never wanted to be with anyone. After you and Leonard...I knew I loved you more than ever. I liked Amy, but I mostly just wanted to stop thinking about, this." He pointed to her mark.

"Are we ready for this?" Penny asked. Sheldon nodded.

"I don't think we can wait any longer." He breathed. They were slowly moving closer.

When their lips met it was like fireworks, and all the other cliche stuff. Penny hated herself for waiting for so long. "I love you." She breathed.

"I love you too." He said back.

She smiled widely at him. She waited way too long. 

Chapter Text

She thought the house would be chaotic prior to their families arriving, but it was surprisingly calm. Their cleaning routine was normal. Their shopping list was longer, but it was easy if Sheldon was there so Penny wouldn't run off.

They decided a traditional ham and turkey with all the sides. Sheldon would make most of the sides, since he was 'better at it'. She didn't care to argue it was a lot of work to make all that food. She was happy just to do the turkey and the ham.

They didn't have a lot of room in their house for the whole family but they said they'd make it work. "Are you sure your mom and sister are cool with the living room? My sister said she needs a hotel for the kids. So they won't be staying here."

"We have an inflatable mattress somewhere and Missy can sleep on the couch." He said. Penny smiled at her fiancee.

"Okay. So your MeeMaw gets the bed in the guest room and my parents get the spare room?" Penny asked confirming what she knew.

"Yes. I'm glad you've been paying attention." She bumped him with her shoulder but said nothing.

They made up the beds in the rooms, made sure they had enough plates (which they both knew they did since they hosted plenty of dinners with the gang), and then snuggled on the couch. They watched some movies and practiced how they were going to announce their engagement. Sheldon was still speaking when he heard Penny's light snoring. He smiled at the blonde then carried her to their room.

He couldn't wait to marry Penny, but he definitely was not looking forward to telling their parents. They woke up fairly early and began preparing. Sheldon's mom called and said they were going to be a little late. Penny was setting the table when her parents and her sister arrived.

"Oh my this house is quite lovely." Her mother said after releasing her daughter from a hug. "Your father is bringing in the bags."

She walked around looking at all the photos and paintings. "Is this...some kind of superhero thing?" She asked pointing to a framed Avengers poster that was signed by Stan Lee.

"Yeah mom, that was from The Avengers." She said and her mother looked at her questioningly but said nothing more. She showed her father to their room and greeted her sister.

"Now where is this Sheldon?" Her sister asked after hugging Penny and shooing her kids into the house.

"He's in the kitchen finishing up everything. I'll get him." Penny turned away from them and headed to the kitchen. Sheldon was just looking at their beverages. Staring really. "Sheldon, sweetie?"

"Penny do you think we have enough drinks?" He said looking lost. Penny knew him better than that. She grabbed his hand and made him look at her.

"Relax. They're just family. We have this." She hugged her soon-to-be husband and led him to the living room.

"This is Sheldon everyone." Penny announced and her father came up to shake his hand, her mother kissed his cheek (Sheldon almost flinched away), and her sister hugged him like he was family.

Someone knocked. "Um, Sheldon do you want to--"

"Nonsense. We need to speak with him, you go get the door." Her mother shooed her with her hand and Penny mouthed 'sorry' to Sheldon before heading to the door. It was Mary, Missy, and MeeMaw. Penny hugged each one of them and introduced herself to Sheldon's MeeMaw.

She showed MeeMaw where her room was and helped carry her bag. "Sorry there's not more space." She said to Mary but Mary waved a hand.

"It's no problem, sweetheart. We dealt with this before. Now where's my boy?" Penny motioned to her family crowding him.

"That's my mom, dad, and sister bugging him." Penny said and Mary walked right over and introduced herself to Penny's family. Missy helped MeeMaw over to Sheldon and introduced herself as well.

Penny was glad she didn't invite the gang over. This was going to be hassle enough.

After everyone was introduced and finished trying to compete for the better mother/sister/raised child Penny managed to get them to sit. Her dad insisted on cutting the turkey. Sheldon didn't argue it, and neither did Penny but Mary wasn't having it.

"This is Shelly's house, making him the man of the house, he should cut the turkey." She said and Penny sighed.

"Mother its fine." Sheldon said and Mary glared at him.

"The last time I checked this was my daughters house as well and neither of them mind me cutting it." Wyatt argued back.

Missy glanced at Penny and raised her eyebrows to which Penny's sister took wrong. She said nothing but sent the brunette a glare.

"God dammit." Penny mumbled and got up. "I'll cut the damn turkey." She did it quickly and dished out meat.

Everyone sat quietly except Mary who had her last word. "Please don't use the Lord's name in vain again, Penny." Penny kept her mouth shut and ate.

"So are you gonna watch the game with me, slugger?" Penny didn't get mad at her dads old nickname for her. She was over it.

"Yeah. I got some beers in the fridge waiting for us." She responded.

Mary looked at her son. "Now Shelly I hope you haven't been drinking." Sheldon blushed, he had partook in a couple drinks, but still didn't want to admit that to his mother. Everyone was looking at Sheldon.

"Now Sheldon, you're telling me you ain't never had a beer?" Her father asked.

"I, uh, I never said that." He said and Penny grabbed his hand under the table.

"Sheldon." His mother said in a demanding tone.

"I'll just, um...do you want some wine mom?" Penny asked standing up.

"Oh yes dear. That would be...lovely." She said glancing at Mary quickly. Her sister and Missy agreed.

"Missy." This time Mary's glare was pointed at her daughter.

"Mama, its one glass of wine. You've done it before." Missy argued.

"You're making it seem like its okay to do. Not that he doesn't see it all the time with his girlfriend." Mary shook her head.

"Listen to me, Mary, if you keep acting like your son is too good for my daughter I will not be able to sit here quietly. Penny and Sheldon have a lovely relationship. They complement each other in ways that I haven't seen very many relationships do. Also, Sheldon is a grown ass man, he can drink a damn beer if he wants." Penny heard her mom from the opening of the dining room, but walked into the room as if she heard nothing. She slipped her ring on and poured wine for everyone, excluding Mary and her dad.

"Were getting married!" Sheldon blurted when Penny poured his glass.

"Not exactly how we planned this, sweetie." Penny said patting his shoulder.

"I can't take the fighting and bickering. I thought our families would get along. They're similar but my goodness, they're a bunch of children." Sheldon left the table then, but took his glass of wine, and just before he got to the kitchen he turned and looked at his mom. "And yes I do drink mama. I don't drink very often but I do." And he walked away.

Penny drank her wine in one gulp and looked at Mary to assess her face. "I'm happy for you two." She mumbled and retreated as well.

Penny began eating. She wasn't going to let family drama ruin her appetite.

Somehow, MeeMaw had stayed quiet through the whole thing. Missy looked at her. "I think I'll book me and mama a hotel."

"That's nonsense, girl. If we ran away every time my Mary started a fight we'd be across the pond by now." She looked at Penny now. "Mary may be a little crazy, and uptight, but you know how it is with my Moon Pie. I'm glad you're the one who got him to settle." She smiled at Penny and Penny returned it.

After she ate, cleared everyone's plates, and put away the leftovers she helped Sheldon get out the air mattress and pump it up. She grabbed blankets for Mary and Missy and left them on the couch. She wasn't exactly mad at Mary. She knew how she was with Sheldon, but it was a little upsetting when your fiancee's mom doesn't exactly like you.

"Daddy, there's cable in your room so you can watch the game in there. I'm exhausted I'm going to go to sleep." Penny said. She wasn't tired really, she just was done with the family. She wanted to lay down in Sheldon's arms and watch some Lost Girl. "Good night everyone." Penny said and headed to her room. Sheldon was already in there getting ready for bed.

She joined him. "That was quite the catastrophe." He said and she nodded. "They'll be over it tomorrow." He added sensing his soon-to-be wife was upset.

"Yeah I know but it was just a little irritating. It was supposed to be a nice family holiday. It just...didn't go the way I planned." She sighed and snuggled up to Sheldon.

"I'm sorry." He said and she smiled at him.

"It's fine. I still get to marry you." They kissed lightly then turned on the TV trying to forget the events of the day.

And to think the week leading up to it was so calm, she should have seen this coming.

Chapter Text

Penny knew she wanted kids since she was a kid. Of course she knew when the right time would be and never wanted to rush it. After Sheldon had proposed and they suffered that horrid Thanksgiving, she decided Christmas would be just for them and the gang. She invited them all over and they shared presents, food, and stories about their families.

Penny had consumed quite a lot of eggnog and decided to approach the topic of children with Sheldon. They talked about it vaguely, and she knew he wanted his progeny or whatever, but she often wondered if he actually wanted kids with her. She wasn't nearly as smart as him.

"Hey Shelly, do you ever think about...having kids?"

Sheldon looked at her confused but nodded, "Of course."

"With me?" She blurted and Sheldon looked confused but still amused at the same time. "Penny, I wouldn't think about having them with anyone else."

"So you want to have kids?!" She said a bit excitedly.

"I mean..if you feel you can handle the responsibility." She glared at her soon-to-be husband.

What is that supposed to mean? She thought and then walked away. She decided not to pick a fight but the anger was brimming inside her. They've been together for years and he still thinks shes an irresponsible idiot?

When she climbed into bed later, still not having said anything to her fiancee he gained some courage to speak to her. 

"Penny, I am not sure why you're upset with me, but I am sorry." Penny sighed and turned to face her fiancee.

"We've been together for a long time now, and you still think I'm not responsible enough to have a child? I don't even want a kid right now, but the fact that you think I can't even handle this hurts me."

Sheldon looked shocked. "Penny, you misunderstood. I just meant are you sure you want to have a child right now? I'm glad we have cleared that misunderstanding up. I believe we should invest in a small animal, like a kitten or a puppy before we think about having a child though. It would be a healthy exercise." He replied and Penny nodded.

It would be a healthy exercise, but she wondered if Sheldon was doubting her again. Well, they would have to decide what kind of animal and a name. Oh God, Sheldon and his horrendous names. Okay maybe it would be a good idea.

"Okay, we'll go tomorrow." She said and Sheldon kissed the top of her head. They fell asleep comfortably.


Penny woke up a little earlier than normal. She got ready, made breakfast, and decided to bring up the animal over breakfast.

"So what kind of baby animal were you thinking about getting?" She asked before biting into her toast.

Sheldon pondered for a moment. He had liked cats before, though he's never had a dog. "I'm not sure."

"Well, we had several dogs back on the farm. I was never allowed to have a cat." Sheldon nodded. He didn't mind. He liked cats.

"Okay we'll get a kitten." She smiled at him and finished her breakfast.

They got in the car and drove to the pet store. They looked at a number of kittens before Penny talked him into getting a small black one. They got some toys, a litter box, and all the cat necessities. Penny was quite happy with their cat. They set up a place for the kitty then sat down to talk names.

"Look, I know you'll want some science-y name, but I'm not sure I'm into that." Penny said and Sheldon sighed.

"What about Cecil?" He said and penny lifted an eyebrow. It wasn't a bad name, but she couldn't understand why he chose it.

"I like it...but what made you chose that?"

"Welcome To Night Vale. It's a podcast." Penny shook her head. He's such a dork and she loves him.

They trained the kitten and loved it. Penny wasn't sure it was going to help her deal with the responsibility of having an actual baby, but she loved the cat. Sheldon seemed to love it too.

Bernadette, Amy, and Alex kept asking Penny when she and Sheldon were going to have kids. They already had some and couldn't wait for a new addition to their family. Penny wasn't sure. She and Sheldon had only had their cat for a year. It was fine how it was. She didn't want kids just yet. She was happy.

But she was going to get a surprise.

 

Chapter Text

Penny is feeling sick, having head ache's, and random nose bleeds. Sheldon finally convinces her to go to the doctor. She makes an appointment and dreads it. She hates doctor's and her insurance is kind of shit. She cannot wait until her and Sheldon are married, then she'll be on his awesome insurance. The day of the appointment she can barely keep her blueberry muffin down as she's waiting for them to call her back.

They take her urine, weigh her (she's gained 3 pounds!), take some tests, and ask her some questions. They leave her in her room for a while until the doctor comes in. "Okay, Penelope--"

"Call me Penny, please." She cut the doctor off.

"Oh, okay, Penny it looks like you have a clean bill of health and...oh. Well, congratulations are in order."

Penny's forehead scrunched up. "What?"

"It seems you are expecting. I'll send you over to the hospital to get an ultrasound so they can tell you your due date." Penny couldn't think. She and Sheldon had been safe. I mean she didn't do the doubled up birth control for like three months, but condoms are 98 percent effective.

The doctor called the hospital and she drove over in a numb sort of state. She didn't get her period...last month? How does someone not recognize that? She was busy at her shop but...still. She waited for them to call her back. She thought about texting Sheldon but decided she'd tell him in person. They finally called her back thirty minutes later. She stripped down and felt pretty invaded when they took the ultrasound. The gel was cold and it wasn't very nice.

"Okay, Penelope, it looks like you're about a month and a half. You're due date should be September 13th. You'll need to make an appointment with your ob/gyn." She took a picture of the barely there fetus. Penny got dressed and headed home. She waited for Sheldon on the couch. Cecil joined her and curiously glanced at the ultrasound in Penny's hand.

Penny turned on the tv and mindlessly stroked Cecil's head. They set their wedding date and everything. A summer wedding. Now that's ruined. She'll be as big as a house. Good thing they didn't get the invites made up, but did they even have enough time to move up their wedding? She didn't want to be showing at her own wedding and dammit she wasn't going to be a big pregnant lady wearing a white dress. Maybe they could do it in Feburary. Alex and Leonard have a huge back yard, maybe they wouldn't mind hosting it.

And she needed to get on Sheldon's insurance as soon as possible. God, what are they gonna do. At least they have enough rooms. What are they going to do? She's happy sure, but she's more in shock. She wondered how Sheldon would take it. Oh man, what if he calls his mom? She's already blamed Penny for enough things. She didn't need this added on to it too. She wanted to call Bernadette and tell her but she knew she had to tell Sheldon first.

"Cecil, me and dad are going to have a baby. Can you believe that?" Cecil glanced at her and lazily 'meow'-ed. "You don't sound very happy." Penny commented. Cecil got up and sauntered over to her. He rubbed on her and purred. "Okay, okay. I believe you." Penny picked up her cat a nuzzled it. "I love you." She said to the cat before setting it down.

Finally Sheldon came home. He walked straight to the couch and sat next to his lovely fiance. "How did the doctors go?" He asked and placed a kiss on her cheek.

"Uh..." She didn't get to finish as Sheldon plucked the ultrasound from Penny's fingers. "Uh, yeah I'm--"

"Penny! How come you didn't know? You have the missed period! Did you know before today?!"

"No. Sheldon relax! I didn't know. My due date is September 13th." Sheldon was staring at the picture. That's his baby. He hugged Penny.

"I'm happy about these unexpected events." She smiled and kissed him.

"Okay but we need to talk about the wedding. We have to move it up and I have to get on your insurance and do not tell your mom that I'm pregnant until after the wedding."

"Okay. Let's discuss this over dinner. I am starving." He said and Penny nodded.


One month later they were a week away from their wedding and Penny was starting to show. She was worried about it. She rarely got ultrasounds, but today she was due for one.

And she got a hell of a surprise. "Oh. Oh my." The doctor said.

"What? Is the baby okay?" She asked, frightened.

"Um, babies. It looks like you're expecting twins." Penny felt as if she has had enough shock for one year. First the pregnancy and now twins?! How would she tell Sheldon?

She decided to do it the same way, with the ultrasound. She made dinner and left it by his plate. She fell asleep before he got home. Pregnancy was exhausting. "What is this?" Sheldon woke up his soon-to-be-wife.

"Twins." She mumbled sleepily.

"WHAT? Are you dreaming or telling me something?" Sheldon went into panic mode and it woke Penny all the way up.

"We're having twins." She said and Sheldon fainted.

She gets it. It's a lot to take in. He woke up and looked at Penny's belly. "How?"

"Dork, you're a twin. It must run in your family." She laughed and Sheldon nodded. His genius momentarily lapsed.

"We need to get married as soon as possible." He said calmly and Penny giggled.


Penny was dolled up and feeling absolutely gross. Her nausea was full blown and she forgot her anti-nausea pills at home. They were getting married in Leonard and Alex's backyard because it was bigger than theirs, and their families managed to make it out.

It was a short ceremony because as luck would have it, it began to rain. Penny ran inside, not wanting to ruin her dress and her bridesmaids were right behind. They laughed it off inside the house and finished up their wedding all cramped inside. They headed over to a restaurant ballroom thing they managed to rent out for the reception.

They danced and laughed and had a good time. Their friends did toasts that made Penny laugh and cry and occasionally squeeze her husbands hand. She was glad to be Mrs. Cooper and she could tell Sheldon was too.

After a while her friends approached her. "You're glowing." Bernadette said.

"And you've seemed to have gained weight." Amy added.

"Also, you haven't had a bite to eat. That's highly unusual." Alex tacked on.

"Shut up, you guys." Penny hissed. "I don't want Mary to know right now."

"Oh my. We'll talk later then. Is Mary staying at your house?" Bernadette asked.

Penny closed her eyes in irritation. "Yes. She keeps sniping at my parents and they keep sniping back. I swear our families were meant to clash."

"Just like you and Sheldon." Amy said and Penny smiled.

"Yeah. Sometimes."


A month later they broke the news to their parents. Penny's parents were a little uneasy with it. Her mother convinced her body will be destroyed after the twins. Mary was ecstatic though. She was gonna be a grandmom. Penny was exhausted and her body hurt. She knew why twins were going to be a hassle.

Unfortunately she had read up on the downsides of twins. She was terrified she might lose one or both. It was terrifying to think of it. Sometimes she would wake up crying from a nightmare about them and Sheldon would comfort her. It got to the point where she didn't want to sleep. Sheldon got up in the middle of the night and found Penny on the couch watching tv with Cecil curled up on her belly.

"You need to sleep its good for you and the babies."

"I can't I have nightmares." She whispered.

"Penny, you're the strongest person I know. You can do this and since they have your genes they can do it too. They're fighters." He kissed her and she felt better.

She was able to sleep after that and if she did have nightmares she would grab onto Sheldon's hand and remember what he said. They went shopping as often as they could to get their room ready. It was hard to determine the sex of the babies, but she knew one was a girl. They bought several baby name books and would highlight the names they liked. Penny used green and Sheldon used blue. If they liked the name they would overlap it with their color and if they didn't like it they would cross it out with a Sharpie. Finally they settled on River. She liked how it sounded and it appealed to the nerdy side of Sheldon (which, lets face it, is all of his sides) with Firefly and Doctor Who. She also like some names from Doctor Who that he shot down (Rose, Amy, Melody).

They bought some pink things but mostly stuck to gender neutral colors. Penny bought a whole bunch of hair bows though, she couldn't help herself. She was gonna doll her baby up.

As she got bigger and the date got closer she found it harder to move around. Sheldon had to help her around and worried about her a lot. After having some contractions and pains the doctor put her on bed rest. Sheldon took care of her as much as possible, but he still had to work, so her friends would help too. One night she was getting up to pee and after she laid down it happened.

"SHELDON!" But he was already awake.

"Is that your water? Did it just break?" He asked and she glared at her husband.

"What do you think? Grab the bag and call the doctor!" They got in the car and Sheldon called the doctor while heading to the hospital.

They rushed her back and checked her. "You're only dilated three sweetie." Penny felt some contractions for a while, then suddenly they were hitting her hard.

"OH MY FUCK!" She yelled and Sheldon looked around to make sure no one was there.

"Penny!" He said quietly and she glared at him.

"God dammit, Sheldon shut up. I'll kill you."

The nurse came back in shortly after. "Oh. Oh goodness, you are dilating fast. You're at a five. We need to get you in the delivery room." 

They wheeled her over to a delivery room and Penny was just about crying. They didn't have time for an epidural and soon the doctor was rushed in and she was pushing. It was hell. Her labor lasted two hours...TWO HOURS!

She heard parents complain about six hour labors and stuff like that she can't even imagine that. Her babies were born small, but healthy enough. They had to be in the nicu for two days just for monitoring. Penny got to feed them and spend time with them and she got to rest. Her friends visited and their parents promised to visit soon enough.

They had a boy and a girl.

"I suggest we name him Simon." Sheldon said and Penny lifted an eyebrow. "It's only fitting. His sister's name is River."

"No. I don't like Simon but if we're going with the Firefly theme I'm good with Malcom." She said and Sheldon sighed.

"But Malcom is their Captain." She glared at her husband.

"Then we'll call our son Captain Mal. Or just Cap. That's cute. I like it." In the end Sheldon agreed with his wife.

They bought some more clothes for their babies that were gender specific. It was exhausting but Penny was very happy and so was Sheldon. They weren't expecting this but it improved their life and Cecil seemed to enjoy the new addition to his family too.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Penny usually listened to lots of infuriating music but Sheldon had to admit, he did not mind Modest Mouse, and Penny's voice wasn't too bad either. He preferred her shower version over the real one. He decided on not telling her. Penny could get cocky or maybe not. He wasn't sure but he didn't want to risk it. He had to research the song to put on his iPod, and it was not so surprisingly named Float On.

Sometimes he would sing it at work and then get self-conscious about it. Sheldon wasn't the best singer in the world, but that didn't stop a lot of people from singing, for example Wolowitz. One night when Penny said she had to work late, he plugged his iPod into the stereo that Penny begged him to buy, and turned on the song while he worked.

I drove my car into a cop car the other day. Sheldon began singing along and was fully engrossed in his board, he didn't even hear the door.

Penny didn't say anything she stood there sort of shocked and sort of amused. Suddenly Sheldon stopped writing, but continued singing. He was kind of shimmying his hips and Penny cracked a smile, trying to hold in her laughter. He turned around and mid-dance he saw Penny. She burst into laughter.

"Please...don't...stop on...my account." She breathed the words through her gut-hurting laughter. Sheldon was blushing and started to glare.

"Honestly Penny, I was just..." Okay, so he didn't have a comeback and stood there with thoughts swirling in his head. He couldn't think of anything to say. Couldn't say anything about what he was doing. "I just enjoy the song."

"I can tell sweetie. How come you never listen to it in the car? You obviously knew the words...have you been listening to music behind my back?" Penny was honestly baffled. Why would he do that? Is he embarrassed?

"Behind your back? That's ridiculous. We share our iPod's all the time, you could have just looked in albums." He sniffed at her and Penny lifted her eyebrow.

"Okay. You know I go through songs and not albums. I like a mix of music. I don't like to listen to one full album at once...usually." There were some albums she liked in particular like Arctic Monkeys new album and had listened to it all the way through, but it wasn't her thing really.

"I kept it from you because I don't want you to think I like all your music." He replied and Penny laughed.

"Sweetie, I know that. You've made that clear, but if you like things like Modest Mouse there's other music I listen to you may like. Just give things a chance."

Sheldon knew she was right, but he hated admitting that. He loved her but he still had his quirks. If you can call not-wanting-to-be-wrong a quirk.

In the end they went through her music library and Sheldon was mostly disgusted with what he heard, and had no problem voicing his opinion. He liked Modest Mouse, some Arctic Monkeys, a little Black Keys. Penny wasn't smug about it, she was just happy Sheldon can finally admit to himself that there's other music in the world that he can enjoy that isn't what he deems appropriate.

Chapter Text

Their interests weren't always compatible. They knew that, but they always tried to get into the others interests.

Penny read comics here and there. He watched her shows. They got to choose date venues every now and again. It was a relationship filled with compromises and it worked for both of them. It was nice.

Until he played 3D chess, or laser chess, or regular chess. She felt inferior and the way Sheldon rubbed how good he was in his opponents face really got under her skin. He was playing regular chess with Leonard one day as Penny made some lunch for them. Somehow it didn't bug her. Maybe being a waitress, especially Sheldon's, made her comfortable with preparing her and the couple who visited them every once in a while lunch.

Besides Alex wasn't picky, and really neither was Leonard. It was Sheldon who was the picky one and she had him covered.

She served their lunch and listened to Sheldon complain about Leonard's mediocre chess skills. She didn't want to cause a scene in front of their friends so she waited for Sheldon to kick Leonard's ass at chess and the couple depart before she chewed him out.

"You don't need to be such a poor sport when it comes to chess." She said calmer than she intended.

"If I had anyone worthwhile to play with,  I wouldn't be." He said simply and she groaned in frustration.

She didn't respond and headed to their room. Penny began attempting to learn chess when Sheldon wasn't around. She wasn't too good. The damn game had too many pieces and too many rules and it drove her crazy.

But someone had to show Sheldon up. She learned the rules first, then how the pieces moved, and then she began playing with people who weren't nearly as good as the gang. Online, whenever she can.

Then she went through the gang, starting with Chess' weakest link, next to her, and proceeded up the ladder until she beat Leonard. It proved she was better than Leonard but she didn't know if she was good enough to beat Sheldon. Or even hold up against him in a match, but she persisted. If anyone could put Sheldon in her place she knew it was her. It always has been

So she began playing against herself, she knew it wasn't the best way to figure out if she was even close to ready. Sheldon complained about Leonard's playing, so she can't possibly be much better. She had to try. So she challenged him one night while they were watching television.

"Hey, Shelly-" He began to protest the name but she quickly spoke, "How about we play some chess?" He looked baffled. Penny never wanted to play chess with him. He tried to engage her many times. He even told her he would teach her, but she never wanted to learn. she always said it looked too hard.

"Penny, I do not think it would be wise for us to play chess together."

"Come on, I've brushed up on my skills." She said and he sighed. He might as well beat her and get it over with. He would have to refrain from talking about how poor her skills were so she wouldn't get upset.

"Fine." He said and she did a happy noise and went to get their chess board. He felt this would end horribly.

She set it up, chose white and told him to go first. "Penny, white is supposed to go first." He said and she blushed. She knew that, how come she told him to go first?

"I know, I know." She said trying to hide her obvious embarrassment. She moved first. They played for a long while. Her back was aching and their stomachs growling. In the end she lost, but Sheldon was impressed. She sighed and began putting everything away. She was sure she had him. Sure she could put him in his place.

He began helping her clean up. "That was actually very good. It was better than anyone else I have played with." He said to her and she was shocked.

"Are you just saying that because we're dating?" He rolled his eyes at her.

"I will not lie to make you feel better about yourself." She smiled and kissed his cheek.

"Thanks babe. I'll get you next time." He didn't think so but he had a smile on his face that he couldn't seem to remove.

A while later they would break it out and Penny would manage to win. It would go both ways for a long while. Sheldon genuinely enjoyed playing with her, and she started to enjoy it too. Not as much as him, it wasn't really her thing. She quickly forgot about putting him in his place. She just liked spending the time with him. It was a fun thing to do.

They did it for the rest of their lives. Had a neverending battle of who is better at chess. Penny lost count of the wins and losses but Sheldon didn't. He wouldn't ever tell his lovely wife, but she was winning, but only by one game. 

Chapter Text

Duty is the kind of word Penny would associate with the Army or something like that. She never thought she had a duty to anything or anyone. So, when she got drunk one night before her wedding and kissed Sheldon, she didn't think anything of it.

Well, mainly because she didn't want to think of how those feelings just seemed to be building and building until she let them out. Mainly because she didn't want to think about how she fell for her boyfriends best friend. Mainly because Penny didn't want to think about hurting anyone. So she didn't think anything of the (wonderful, intriguing, clumsy, amazing) kiss she shared with her boyfriends former roommate and best friend. Maybe she should be calling him fiance because she was about to get married to him in a couple hours.

Sheldon didn't talk to her about it so she assumed they were cool. She was laying in bed thinking over and over this is my wedding day and to be honest she felt a little excited. Mostly nauseous but that might be because of all the drinking she did the night before. "I'm going to be Mrs. Hofstader." She internally groaned. Of all the names in the world she chose his. Leonard was nice and sweet and considerate at times. It was good. He was the nicest guy she ever dated and she loved him, she did.

That's why she won't think of the kiss. She won't think of everything that led her to that moment. She'll think of her future. Her husband. Her friends. Everyone waiting for her.

She got up and headed to the shower. She loved Leonard really. She wasn't trying to convince herself. She just was saying, she did. They had been together five years. Not counting the on and off stuff. She owed it to him to be there.

Hell, she owed it to herself.

She got out of the shower and threw on some leggings and a shirt. She had to hurry up and get to the salon. She was grabbing her purse and keys when a signature knock came at her door. What is he doing here? Now? Shouldn't he be getting ready? She sighed and opened the door.

"Penny, I believe we should talk."

"About?" She said letting him in and shutting the door.

"Two nights ago you--"

"No, don't even say anything. Look, you're with Amy. I'm with Leonard. It was a drunken kiss, a mistake, it meant nothing."

Sheldon's face changed but only for a moment. So fast Penny thought she imagined it. "I...see. Well, then I will be going. Good luck today." He seemed to hesitate at her door, but he didn't look back and it was quickly shut behind him.

Duty is something that everyone has. She supposes, now. She married Leonard. It was a beautiful ceremony, everyone was happy. She was happy, but there was always apart of herself that remained in a constant state of sadness, a question lingering that she would never bring to the forefront of her mind. A question that wasn't ever, and could never, be answered. So two years into marriage she recieved a wedding invitation in the mail, and the word entered her head again. Duty. She supposes he felt the duty to her. They had been intimate. They had been together for a long time. Honestly, she didn't know why she was surprised.

Amy and Sheldon cordially invite you to the Cooper-Farrah-Fowler union.

The words clawed at that sadness, the question in her brain, but she refused to let it come to mind. She rubbed a hand over her stomach, it was still flat, but there was life in it now.

Duty.

It was a word she never thought would describe her life. A word she never thought she would feel, and word she never thought would go hand in hand with guilt.  She put the invitation on the fridge. Leonard would see it there and she wouldn't have to tell him about it.

The question seemed to be nagging at her brain more than usual now. Amy called her and asked her to be her Maid of Honor, Penny said yes. She had no reason to say no to her and couldn't think of an excuse that would work. She did her job thoroughly though, she wouldn't let her brain nagging her get in the way of Amy's happiness.

Duty. 

She saw Sheldon a few times before the wedding, he would barely talk to her. Barely look at her. She didn't know why, but it was fine with her. She didn't need to talk to him. It wouldn't help anything.

Two nights before his wedding night he called her. Leonard was at work, which wasn't surprising he was there a lot, and she was alone watching tv. She was alone, thinking about the life inside her, thinking about the two nights before her wedding night, thinking about her duty to this baby, to the marriage. She was alone and on the verge of tears.

"Hello." She said, her voice barely coming out. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Hello?"

"Did it really mean nothing?" He said and she wanted to pretend she didn't know what he was referring to. She wanted to pretend she was happy. She wanted to pretend she totally forgot about that night. That kiss. Those feelings.

But she couldn't. "No." It meant everything, but she didn't say it.

"It meant something to me too." He said sort of quietly.

She was quiet. He was quiet. She didn't know what to say. That stupid word buzzing around her head, a warning, a stupid, stupid reminder.

"I'm married." She whispered.

He heard her. "I will be soon. I just...need to see you."

She needed to see him too. "Okay."

They agreed on a place to meet. She drove there. Her mind was blank. She wouldn't do anything. Neither would Sheldon, but they had to see each other. Maybe the word plagued him too, maybe it was a bigger word, but it meant the same thing. Maybe they both had their duty.

And they had to stick with it. They weren't going to abandon their lives, but one last moment to see each other. To think of the moments that could have been...that wouldn't affect anything right?

So they met each other and they sat in silence for a long time, briefly sharing looks. The words were on the tip of her tongue, she was terrified to say them. Sheldon kept rubbing his hands down his pant legs. She had her fists balled up in her lap. Say it, say them. Her brain urged. She shook her head.

This was stupid, she was brave. She could do this.

She turned to him and sighed. "I'm pregnant." Those weren't the words she intended on saying.

He looked shocked and a little sad, but he laughed. "So's Amy." He muttered and she laughed. That was...a sick sort of funny.

She felt better. She felt like life dished it out enough. So she just said it. "I love you so much Sheldon." She glanced at him.

He grabbed her hand, "I love you too Penny."

And they shared their last kiss and parted ways. She would see him in two days. She would be standing next to his future wife, beaming, her nagging shoved down deep in her brain.

She would see him in the hospital, Amy delivering her baby just a week before Penny. She would see him at the kids birthdays. The gang's hangouts. At dinner parties. She would see him all the time. They would share a look, they would be cordial, but that word kept her in her place.

She loved him and he loved her, and she guessed it would have to be enough.

Chapter Text

Sheldon had felt torn up about a lot of things in his life. Movies, T.V shows, pop culture mostly. That time his friends messed with his findings and could have ruined his career. Of course family things too, but Sheldon didn't want to think about those things. Didn't talk about them either. So he had a few moments where Sheldon was torn up in life. Things weren't so bad, now. He was content with Amy, happy with his friendships, his mom hadn't bothered him too much, and his MeeMaw was doing well.

So he was baffled at the similar feeling he got when Penny drunkenly told him she was going to marry Leonard. He loved Penny and Leonard, they were his best friends. He shouldn't feel anything but happy for them. He always thought they would leave each other (of course he thinks this marriage will probably end in divorce) but its not an uneasy feeling. It feels like his heart is being ripped apart. He's not happy.

It's confusing for him and he lashes out at Penny, not meaning to. "Penny, really, of all the stupid decisions you have made this has to be one of the dumbest. Leonard is barely faithful to you now. He has to convince himself that he has the most beautiful girl in the world. He shouldn't have to do that. How hard is to recognize the fact that you deserve someone better, after all you've been through with men? After all that complaining? You're going to settle for Leonard, because he is the best you've had, but he treats you like you're his property, not his partner. So, make any imbecilic decision you want." She listened to his whole rant, didn't say anything, and let him leave when he was done.

She didn't want to yell, because mainly she just wanted to cry. He was mean about it, but he was right, and it hurt her heart. She was settling for Leonard, because why not? He treated her better than anyone she had dated, was smart, and he thought she was a goddess. Well, he used to. She didn't know Leonard had difficulties staying faithful, but every guy usually did. Well, every guy she had dated. At least he was faithful.

She went to her room and sobbed into her pillow. It didn't seem right for her to feel that way. For her to hang on to the 'at least'. Also, why did he explode like that? That wasn't like him. Her friends weren't even that brutally honest, but god some of them weren't exactly in the healthiest relationships either.

She cried herself out and was looking at the ceiling. Just thinking about everything. Her and Leonard haven't set a date. They barely talked about it, but it had begun, and now she was hating herself. Hating him. Hating Sheldon.

The next day she went to his apartment, ignoring Leonard's attempt at greeting her with a kiss. "What is exactly your problem?!" She shouted. "You know, its something coming from you. You barely even have emotions you goddamn robot! Maybe I do deserve better, but no one has ever treated me as well as Leonard has! Sure, its sad, but what are you going to do about it? Yell at me? Seriously? Call me stupid? An imbecile? God, you are such a douche! You think I deserve better then fucking show me!" She said and stormed out.

Leonard looked at Sheldon. "What is she talking about?"

"I may have told her that her decision to marry you was a stupid one." He said not caring about the temper-tantrum Leonard would have. He felt as if his heart was ripped apart again, just thinking about them getting married, starting a family. It shocked him to his core.

"That's none of your business! I love Penny--"

"You may love the idea of her, of owning her, but you don't love her for herself. You want to change her. You constantly tell her, her dreams don't matter. She deserves better and I hate that I'm saying this, but so do you." He walked off to his room and locked the door ignoring Leonard for the rest of the day.

He analyzed what Penny said to him in his head. 'You think I deserve better then (expletive) show me' . Was that a challenge for him? Or a challenge for him to find her someone better?

Why did he do this to himself?

Penny was in her apartment going through her things and sorting out Leonard's when a knock came on her door. She ignored it and heard the door open. She continued doing what she was doing not bothering to see who it was. It was obviously Leonard. She felt unsure about what to do. She loved Leonard, right? But she can't ignore all the signs that they were not good for each other. They constantly abused each other emotionally. It was horrible.

"Penny, what are you doing?" Leonard said suddenly, stirring her out of her thoughts.

"I think we need some time apart." She said suddenly, just following her brain's lead.

"What? Is this because of what stupid Sheldon said? He doesn't know anything about us! About relationships!" He was shouting and Penny was getting irritated.

She took a deep breath, "Okay Leonard I'll be honest this has everything to do with what he said because its true. You should be able to see that. We're stuck in this endless loop of back and forth. Fighting and having mediocre sex."

"Mediocre?" Of course that's what he heard. Jeez.

"Leonard focus! We need time apart. We don't need to be with each other, we are bad for each other."

"But I love you." He said with his whiny voice.

She sighed. "I love you too Leonard, but I've seen plenty of abusive relationships, or toxic ones that stayed together because they loved each other. Love doesn't always mean good." Penny was deciding that she would leave, but she wouldn't tell him. Not yet anyway. Besides, she had to call her mom and arrange that. She wouldn't stay there long. Just long enough to get a job and get on her feet.

"Penny, I think you're being unreasonable. You let Sheldon get in your head...I swear I'm going to strangle him."

"It's not just about Sheldon! Stop bringing him up! This is about how I feel! This is about how we are together, about our happiness." She stopped going through her things.

"Fine. Fine, but you'll see you're wrong. Trust me." She handed what she had managed to gather of his things to him and he rolled his eyes.

He left and she sighed. She would leave to Nebraska but that meant she was leaving her friends. She was leaving Sheldon. Her heart hurt. She felt as if she was being torn in two, but she couldn't let her decision waver. What was the point? Things weren't good here. They might be better if she could start fresh.

A while later she heard his knock. She waited for him to finish and let him in. "What do you want?" She asked. It came out more harsh than she intended. He lifted an eyebrow but didn't say anything about her tone.

"Leonard accused me of poisoning your brain." She managed a humorless laugh.

"That's just Leonard." She said and sat on the couch.

"You broke up with him?" Sheldon asked and sat on the arm chair.

Penny sighed. "Yeah. You were right. I don't know why it took a mean person yelling at me for it to get through my head. I want to start fresh Sheldon." She smiled sadly at him and Sheldon looked at her with an inquisitive expression.

"What do you mean?" He said and she glanced away from him.

She couldn't look in his eyes. She couldn't look at his face and tell him. It hurt. "I'm thinking about going back to Nebraska. I know there isn't much there, but its too hard for me to stay here. Bills are hard enough and I'm not getting anywhere with acting."

"I don't want you to leave." Sheldon said, a panicky look spreading across his face. 

"I don't want to go either but I have to do something." She said her heart hurt more and more with each word. What was this feeling? This devastating ripping feeling in her chest.

His heart was hurting just as much as hers. She didn't know it, and he didn't know it, but they were both in pain. "I'm tired, sweetie. We'll talk more later." He said nothing and went to his apartment. 

Penny will be leaving soon, and there's probably nothing he can say to change her mind. He was hurting and didn't know why. Why does it seem like every time Penny is involved there's some sort of pain? First with the engagement, and now with her leaving? It's odd, but there has to be some sort of connection.

So Sheldon stayed up all night and tried to find the connection, what he figured out didn't make any sense to him. He didn't know why, but he decided to keep it to himself to bury it deep down, because it wasn't right, or that's what he tried to tell himself.

A month later Penny confirmed she was moving. She told Sheldon first, and he was devastated. They finished eating dinner and were just talking and he did something he never thought he would do.

He kissed her.

She was shocked and didn't kiss him back, he pulled away and looked embarrassed. "I'm sorry." He said and began to leave, she grabbed him, and kissed him this time. He kissed her back, and shortly after they pulled away as if they burnt each other.

"What was that?" She asked and he shook his head.

They didn't speak about it again. When she left they shared a look, but said nothing besides a simple goodbye.

She felt like her heart was getting ripped apart.

He felt the same, but they said nothing.

Chapter Text

It's normal to lose time when you drink. It's normal for your friends to text you and say omg, you were so drunk. Do you remember.... and then proceed to tell you one of the embarrassing (or not so embarrassing) things you did. More often than not, they were embarrassing. Drinking caused you to be bold, caused you to do things you wouldn't normally do. They say drunk words are sober thoughts.

Who says that? Idiots. That's not always the case. Lots of things happen when you're drunk and it happens because your judgment is impaired. A lot of the time it is because of something that you think when you're sober. Maybe its stupid, maybe you only felt it briefly, maybe you just did it because it felt right at the time. Alcohol makes you stupid that's a given. It makes you feel loose. It makes you emotional.

Alcohol helps sometimes too, it helps you forget. It helps you feel better, if only for a while. Sometimes if you wake up with a feeling of gross guilt, you did something you didn't want to exactly, but on some level did. Regardless it left you feeling this weird sense of something in your chest and you dreaded the moment someone would bring it up. It also was a major relief if no one did, but if you couldn't remember it also nagged you. It was a lose-lose situation if you were blackout drunk.

Penny was used to this feeling. She would wake up and her drunken endeavor would be gone usually, and if not she would wake him up and make him leave, vaguely remembering their encounter. Usually feeling pretty gross, sometimes feeling satisfied. This time she woke up and had that feeling.

That weird guilty feeling. She had been single for months now and had felt that feeling only three times (the guys she brought back weren't exactly up to par) and this time she glanced to the side of her bed, but no one was there. Also, she was clothed. So she did something else dumb, but she couldn't remember what. Also, she was alone. She was in her apartment and she wanted to drink some vodka. She didn't have money for cranberry juice, or really any other juice, so she took straight shots.

She remembered someone coming over for a minute, but they left, and she was fine.

Fuck it. She got up and took some Advil and pounded a water bottle. She hopped in the shower and got ready for the day. She decided one cup of coffee then she would hydrate the rest of the day, but being the poor joke that she is of course she didn't have milk. How she always manages to find money for coffee and not milk is beyond her, but she shrugs it off as she takes her cup of coffee across the hall.

She ignores the guys on the couch and heads to the fridge for the milk. The guys are surprisingly quiet and she glances at them as she pours the milk in her cup. They're focused on the TV. She shrugs it off and puts the milk back. Strange, Sheldon hasn't said anything about her stealing milk.

"I'll reimburse the milk as soon as I can." She said with a small shrug, trying to get his attention. That feeling intensified a little, that weird drunk gross-guilty feeling, and she didn't know why.

"It's...don't worry about it." Sheldon stumbled over his words and everyone looked at him.

"What?" Leonard said.

"Did you just tell her not to worry about stealing milk?" Howard added. "Where is our friend and who is this...impostor?"

Penny was just as confused as them, but she didn't say anything just looked at Sheldon. He wouldn't meet her eyes. "I...thanks, Sheldon."

She walked back to her apartment, confused. What changed? The guilty feeling swelled. What did she fucking do? Sheldon is acting weird as hell, and she feels like it has something to do with her drunken night. She couldn't know what she did without asking and judging by Sheldon's actions he probably didn't want to talk about it. She ignored the feeling and went about her business.

After about two days it went away. After a week she forgot about it. After a month Sheldon was pretty much normal.

She had a tough day at work and figured she'd treat herself with a night out. She made sure had water in her fridge and some juice then left for the night. She had some long island iced teas then a few shots. She took a cab home and stumbled up the stairs, heels in her hand. Her purse was threatening to spill as she tripped on a step.

"Oof." She grabbed it and saved it all from spilling out. She managed to make it into her apartment. She threw her stuff on the couch and headed to the top of the fridge. Just a little drink before bed. One or two more shots, she said to herself.

She took four more. She blacked out after that.

Penny woke up and did her normal routine. Advil, water bottle, shower, coffee (black, this time something in her mind didn't want her to get milk), and more hydration. When she got ready for work she locked up and bumped into Sheldon on his way up from getting their mail. The feeling washed over her. Fuck, her mind yelled at her. What did she do? What did she do? And why was it only Sheldon?

"Penny." Sheldon nodded, and didn't make eye contact. She couldn't do this again. She had to know what happened. It was two separate black outs, a month apart, and they both ended with some weird thing that involved Sheldon. Sheldon of all people. He doesn't even have a deal.

She grabbed his arm and he flinched. "Sorry, sweetie. I know you don't--" but he grabbed her hand and that shut her up. She forgot what she was going to say. She forgot everything. Sheldon willingly touched her.

A flash of memory came to her, it felt like a dream, but it wasn't. It was a memory from the night before and she was...with Sheldon.

"Sweetie," She said not being able to look away from his hand, "what happened last night? After I got home?"

Sheldon sighed and pulled his hand away. "I see you're on your way to work. I suggest we talk tonight, after you get home. I would hope you won't be inebriated."

"I'll be sober, promise."

As Penny got home and got dressed (or un-dressed, shorts and a tank top) she eyed the bottle on top of her fridge. She wanted to be sober for this talk between her and Sheldon, but a part of her wanted that liquid courage too. Just as she got up to grab the bottle (a shot won't hurt) Sheldon's ritualistic knocking happened. She turned away from the fridge and headed towards the door. She let him in and sat down.

"Um, I should have ordered some food or made something." Penny said sitting down on the couch.

"It's alright. I figured you would be unprepared so I took the liberty of ordering food." She knew how picky he was and she wondered why he would order food. Maybe pizza.

Although, it wasn't pizza night. "Okay...well, I have some water and juice. Want something?" She asked and he nodded.

"I'll take a water." He said and she got up to grab two bottles. She handed him one, feeling awkward. This wasn't normal. She didn't like feeling like this with Sheldon but she knew somehow it was her fault.

"So...I suppose I'll ask again. Um, what happened last night?" Penny asked before taking a drink of water.

"If you want to know I'll tell you. I want to also let you know this isn't the first occurrence...." he blushed then added, "and I hope it won't be the last."

"Oh...what...did I do?" She asked and Sheldon cleared his throat barely looking at Penny.

"Well, a couple years ago you got drunk and kissed me. At the time I was terrified of germs and I didn't know how to respond. I am still worried about germs, but I am not so bad, as you may have noticed. I suppose it's wrong of me to enjoy these encounters with you, that you don't even remember. It isn't always kissing. Sometimes we hold hands and you talk about everything. Its hard to understand at times, because of your state, but you tell me things you wouldn't tell anyone. I tell you things I don't tell anyone. Last month though, you tried to further our relationship, whatever it is, and attempted to have coitus with me. I could not in my right mind do that to you while you were in that state. I already feel as if I'm wrong in everything we do while you're in that state. As if I'm taking advantage a little."

Penny sat in silence while he said all this. Penny's drunken self had a relationship with Sheldon? Like a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship? But sometimes she would bring home guys! Wouldn't that affect them? Him?

She was stunned. She felt horrible for doing this to Sheldon.  "I am so sorry sweetie. I didn't...I'm sorry if you felt I was using you in anyway. I care about you, deeply--"

"Love me." He said and she scoffed.

"You...you don't know how I feel."

He looked hurt, "I know many nights we shared time together you said it. Very clearly. Very bluntly."

So she had feelings for him for a long time, she didn't know she was having any drunken meetings with him. A part of her did maybe, vague memories, but nothing like this.

She felt awful. Now she understood the feeling. She was sort of using Sheldon, as a boyfriend, as a crutch, and she wouldn't do it as a sober person. The guilt went both ways though. He felt as if he was taking advantage of her.

"So, how do you feel about me?" She asked after a moment of silence.

"I think I love you too. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I didn't want the nights to end."

"Okay, Sheldon...this is a lot. I think we shouldn't meet anymore." He looked disappointed. "Maybe, if this was meant to work, we could have some day time dates."

They scheduled a date for next weekend, and promised no more alcohol. 

Chapter Text

Penny loved going to the beach. She didn't have a beach in Nebraska and it was always an exciting adventure with her girl friends. They would have parties, or just hang out, or play volleyball. It was one of her favorite things to do after moving to California. She didn't have a lot of time for it anymore between her relationship with Sheldon, her career finally taking off, and hanging out with their friends it was hard for her to just have some Penny time.

One of the worst parts about her going to the beach on a whim, Sheldon absolutely refused. He loved his girlfriend, even if she was a bit crazy from time to time, and he had done many things for her as she had for him, but he would not go to that germ infested site. Who knows what could happen? He urged Penny not to go either but she loved the darn place. He had absolutely no sway over this decision. So if she ever went he would insist she rinse off before she got home, and thoroughly shower as soon as she arrived home.

Penny got a break from work and scheduled a beach date with the gang behind Sheldon's back. She knew he wouldn't want to go anyway, he would want to stay home and do something else, but she hoped they could at least help her argument. Sheldon had to experience the beach at least once without the fear of germs. It's such a fun place, its such a shame he won't give it a chance.

So the day approached quickly and she packed food, and extra clothes. She began starting her argument with Sheldon. He needs a break, they can spend time together, their friends will be there, she packed his favorite food, etc.

"Penny, I thought we were spending time with our friends this evening?" Sheldon said as he Penny pulled a cover over her bathing suit.

"Well, we are."

"Are we going to a swimming pool? Public swimming pools are full of germs." He said and she sighed.

"Actually we're going to the beach. I've packed lunch, and our friends agreed that it will be fun for us all to get out of the house for once. Come on, we barely leave our house, and when we do its to visit our friends at their houses." Sheldon just glared at her. "Sheldon, can you just let go for a second? I packed sun screen, bug spray, a mini-first aid kit, and tons of hand sanitizer."

"Penny I don't think any amount of hand sanitizer will help the germ ridden place that is the beach. I would have to shower multiple times just to feel remotely clean."

Penny sighed. She had to get him to let go and enjoy this. It was like other things, it took a slight push. "Sheldon remember the first time we made out?" He blushed and nodded.

"I have eidetic memory, something you obviously do not possess." She rolled her eyes and ignored his comment.

"You ended up enjoying that, didn't you?" He nodded but had a stubborn look on his face.

"The first time we took a shower together?" She prompted.

"That was a very hygienic situation!" He protested.

"Not the way I remember it." It seemed now his face would be permanently stained red. "Remember when we moved in together? How much your room had to change because it became our room?" He sighed.

"You will do this all day won't you?" She nodded in answer. "Very well, I will go to the beach with you and our friends, but I won't enjoy it." She groaned in frustration.

"No! That's the opposite of what I want! I want you to have a good time. I want you to let go of this fear for a second and try and enjoy the beach with me. Try to see what I see." He grumbled but nodded.

They loaded up the car and headed to the beach. When they met up with the group most of them looked surprised that Penny had Sheldon in tow. They found a decent spot and Sheldon took out chair and umbrella. He had Penny spray sun block all over him and bug spray. He sat on the chair and opened a book.

"Sheldon..." Penny warned.

"I see many people reading." He answered, not looking up from his book.

"Okay fine. I'll come back in a while." Penny took off her cover and ran to the shore with Bernadette.

They all frolicked in the water and it did look like fun. Sheldon admitted it to himself, glancing up from his book, but the germs. His eyes returned to his book. Penny ran up to him about an hour later and asked him how it was going.

"Very good." He answered barely glancing at her.

"Come join us whenever you want." She said and grabbed a boogey board before running back.

He shook his head. He would not indulge in this behavior. It was unhygienic, he could barely believe he was on this beach. A while later he caught himself watching them again. All having fun. He was being a child. He could surely get clean enough, if he deemed Penny clean enough after her trips here, couldn't he? He set his book down then walked down the shore and saw Penny.

"Hey lover." She said with a smug grin. He glared at her and she ran up and wrapped her cold, wet arms around him.

"Penny!" He shrieked and she giggled.

"Catch me if you can." She ran into the water and he hesitated, but ran after her.

They spent the day at the beach, playing in the water, eating, hanging out on the beach, he spent a small amount of time watching Penny sun bathe as well. Night time came and Penny changed and they sat on the beach looking at the water.

"It's really beautiful." Penny said and Sheldon managed a small nod in agreement.

He still wasn't too fond of the beach, but he can admit he had fun. He would remember the day with Penny, and his friends fondly. He would etch the beach into his mind (he did have eidetic memory, of course) the sand, the heat, the sun, the way people looked at them, the way Penny looked at him, the way the water felt, and the food he ate. He would remember everything Penny said to him. He put his arm around Penny, and watched the waves.

It was actually a bit calming.

It was actually quite beautiful.

He pulled Penny closer, and she nuzzled into him.

Chapter Text

Penny didn't usually babysit. She liked kids just fine but they weren't exactly her thing at the moment. She liked drinking and sex and being lazy. She agreed anyway. Her cowoker was barely able to get out since the deadbeat dad left her. So she patted herself on the back for being a good person.

The kid was pretty good too. Didn't bug too much and the mom packed food for her and snacks. It was going fine, until she noticed the kid scratching...everywhere.

"Hey are you okay?" She asked looking at the kid scraping her nails across her leg.

"I'm itchy!" She whined and Penny freaked out  a little. What was wrong with her? Did she get bed bugs or something?

"Why?!" She cried at the child.

"I don't know!" The kid yelled back, now scratching her back.

Penny decided to call Sheldon over before bugging her mom. She deserves this break. Also she didn't want to tell her she broke her kid. Sheldon came over quickly and knocked his signature knock.

"I invited you over, you didn't have to knock." Penny said as she opened the door.

"I must." He insisted and came in. He gave the child a short look of disgust and Penny's eyebrow shot up.

"Don't like kids?"

"I don't like germs." He said with his nose turned up. Penny rolled her eyes. "What seems to be the problem?" He asked her and she made the kid stand up.

"She's itchy. Everywhere." Sheldon took several steps back. "I don't think its contagious." But she really didn't know.

He examined her from a distance and gasped. "Penny! It looks like chicken pox!"

Penny shrieked and leaped away from the child. "Fuck." She covered her mouth quickly. "Oh my god I'm so sorry honey." She said to the child. "I just never had chicken pox before."

"Me either!" Sheldon glared at her.

Fuck, she said it mentally this time. She grabbed her phone and called the kids mom who rushed over. She apologized a million times and handed Penny and extra ten on top of the forty she insisted on paying. Penny stashed the money in her wallet and cast a glance at Sheldon.

"What do we do?" She asked.

"Contain it to your apartment. No need to infect everyone else."

"They've probably had it. Its pretty common to get it when you're a child." She said and he glared at her.

"You don't know if they got it for a fact. It would be very inconsiderate just to go over and ask."

"Fine." She shrugged. "I don't feel itchy." She said.

And she regretted it. Two hours later she was scratching and felt miserable. Sheldon sat still as he could, an occasional twitch happening.

"Stop scratching." He warned.

"I can't!" She yelled. She couldn't help herself. Sheldon's hand was twitching. She wondered how he had such amazing restraint. Some one knocked. "Who is it?!" She yelled angrily.

"Leonard. Uh, Sheldon came over here a while ago and I'm just a bit...concerned. Um, can I come in?"

"NO!" Sheldon and Penny shouted in unison.

"We have the chicken pox." Penny explained. 

They heard Leonard laughing. "What is so funny?" Sheldon asked his had twitched a bit and he curled it into a fist. 

"It's kind of funny that you two have chicken pox. I've had it already can I come in now?"

Penny and Sheldon shared a look and he nodded. "Sure." She answered.

Penny scratched her arm and Leonard held in a giggle.

"Let me get some cream and maybe some oven mitts for you." He said and headed back to his apartment.

"Penny..." Sheldon whined out and she looked at him. His resolve was crumbling.

"Sheldon, be strong for both of us." She said and he twitched again.

"I can't!!" He finally shouted and began scratching. "Oh there's this spot..." He scooted sideways a bit to show her the spot on his back he couldn't reach and she obliged. "Ooooh." He all but moaned the word out.

"Okay do me now." Penny turned her back towards him and he couldn't resist. He had to itch something. And she did moan.

Sheldon blushed and pulled his hands away. "We should not be scratching."

Leonard came back and handed them the cream and taped oven mitts to Penny's hands unaware of Sheldons scratching.

She pouted. You guys should hole up here for a while until it clears up. I'll bring you some food later. 

Sheldon and Penny spent two days in her apartment resisting itching until they ended up scratching each other. Luckily they avoided scarring.

"Besides all the itching that wasn't so bad, Moon Pie." Penny said as he went home.

"I actually agree...and don't call me Moon Pie." She smiled at him as he left.

Chapter Text

Penny hardly ever gets alone time. She didn't know what to watch so she went through Leonard's Blu-Ray collection. She's sure he wouldn't mind and if anything she'll find something that she could talk about with Sheldon. She decided against tons of movies, Lord of the Rings-too long-Star Wars-how many times do I have to watch it to understand it-Avengers-Yum, Chris Hemsworth-Fight Club-Yum, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton isn't too bad either, wait didn't he play the Hulk...-Star Trek-Just, no.

There were tons of TV show box sets she had to skim over.

"Maybe I should just re-watch Supernatural." She pondered aloud when a red cover captured her eye. "What's this?" She read the back and decided if anything it would be entertaining to talk shit about it.

She went back to her apartment and popped it in the Blu-Ray player Sheldon bought for her. She smiles a bit everytime she uses it because she swore up and down to him the thing would get no use. He was so smug to find out he was right, and to be honest its nice to have when her cable goes out. Although, the boys do get irritated when she borrows a lot of their movies and shows and fail to return them for a while.

She ordered some food and grabbed a glass of wine. The movie was...weird, but cute. It was like a visual comic book. It would be cute if they did all comic book movies like this. She tried to imagine a Batman movie with these vivid colors, and the voice overs. She laughed a little at the reaction her nerd friends would have.

After a while she found herself totally immersed in the movie. It had something for everyone, romance, action, comedy, good music. Its not her usual stuff but The Clash at Demonhead she could definitely find herself listening to in the car.

She finished the movie and was kind of sad it was over, but it was such a good movie. She needed to talk to Sheldon about it. He had to like it. It was right up his alley. She texted him.

When ru gonna be home ??

She know he hates how she texts but when you're set in your ways its hard to change.

I will be there shortly, why?

Surprisingly he didn't say anything about her horrible spelling.

watched this cool ass movie. Want to talk to u bout it.

She finished her food and another glass of wine.

I will come to your apartment immediately.

So she waited for him and while she was she watched the extra features. She knew Lucas Lee looked familiar she just couldn't place him. Its Captain America. The movie was based off a graphic novel. She never read one of those. Well she read a few comics of Sheldon's and that time her and the girls got in The Big Superhero Debate. They never talk about that.

Sheldon knocked his classic knock and she yelled, "Come in!" when he was done. He came in and shut the door behind him saying a brief goodbye to Leonard. "Sweetie, how many times do I have to tell you to just walk in. You don't need to knock."

"And how many times do I have to tell you, you need to keep your door locked for safety reasons?"

She shook her head.

"So what movie did you watch that you believed I would be interested in discussing. Please don't be another Nicholas Sparks adaption." She rolled her eyes.

"You talk about your nerdy movies to me all the time."

"Which is why I listen to you prattle on about the greatest love story of all time. You know, sometimes I like hearing about your idea of love."

She smiled at him. "It's Scott Pilgrim! I swiped it from Leonard's collection. Its so good! It has fighting, and romance, and I was dying laughing."

He sat down and she noticed he wasn't as excited as her. "What?" She said and he smiled a little at her.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it, but it was not my favorite."

"What?!" She loved this movie. How could he not like it? It could easily be in her top ten favorite movies and that list is hard to get on!

"I mean the characters are almost exactly the same as they are in the graphic novel. As far as adaptions go, I suppose this was a fairly good one. Its the Ramona character that bothers me. She is so much more....mean in the movie. Her character surprisingly complemented Scott's character in the novel, and she was kind of awkward as well."

"As awkward as Scott?" She asked.

"Oh, goodness, no! She was just more likable and I felt they didn't do her character justice. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a great actress but if she read the novels then the reason the character fell short is on her.

"Wow." She said. She was curious about the graphic novels now, but she felt that she didn't have time to read them.

"Actually, I could lend you them as long as your promise not to eat or drink while reading them." He said and she pondered this.

"I...don't know Shelly. I have trouble sitting down and reading a full book."

"I let you borrow one volume at a time. I promise you they're quite short then we'd be able to have full conversations about it."

"I'm in." She said without hesitation.

"Great. I'll bring it over after I eat."

"Cool."


 

It took her a month to read all of the volumes, which was way too long according to Sheldon but she couldn't help it.

They have many discussions about it, her favorite character is Envy and he favorite evil ex is Lucas Lee.

"That's one thing they improved in the movie." She said and Sheldon looked up from his computer.

"What's that?"

"Lucas Lee. I mean the story line was pretty much the same, but it felt better in the movie. Chris Evans really brought the character to life."

"That's true although I feel all the characters could have been a little more fleshed out Lucas Lee's story line probably was the most fleshed out."

She was glad they finally connected on something. She couldn't get into Star Wars or Star Trek. It was hard for her to follow Game of Thrones all the time, especially since they kill so many people off then add new characters. It was nice to have their own thing.

"How many coins do you think would appear if I exploded?" She asked and he shook his head.

"I'm sure an infinite amount." She smiled at his reply.

"Yeah I'm sure of that too." He smiled back at her.

Chapter Text

 Penny hated morning shifts. She hated them more than anything but she had to get paid. She woke up at 5am and shuffled her way to her coffee machine. She began searching for her coffee, knowing she had at least a cup left.

She found the can and her heart sank as she felt how light it was. She opened it and saw nothing in it but a note.

Stop stealing our milk. I don't even drink coffee but you had no milk for me to take. This is payment for the milk you took yesterday. The last of it, now I cannot have my cereal.

-Sheldon

 

She was going to kill him. She was so tired. She didn't know how she'd kill him but she would. She walked over to their apartment and banged on the door. Sheldon answered it with a smirk. 

She pushed past him into the apartment. 

"What are you doing up so early?" He asked and she glared.

"I have to be at work in an hour and I need coffee." She growled.

Leonard made his way to the living room rubbing his eyes under his glasses.

He saw Penny and looked confused. "Penny it's really early."

"Coffee." She said to Sheldon ignoring Leonard. 

"Will you stop taking our milk?" He asked and she rolled her eyes. 

"Yes, whatever." She had coffee in their apartment.

She used their milk when Sheldon excused himself and she borrowed a cup.

She promised herself she'd stop after this last bit. Since she did tell Sheldon she would.

--------------------------

She was so glad she had the next day off. She was exhausted and wanted to sleep in. As soon as she got home she took a relaxing bath, drank some wine, watched some TV, and fell asleep around ten. 

She wanted to sleep until at least eleven. This was not the case.

She woke up to a crashing noise. She headed to her kitchen to see Sheldon Cooper. He had dropped the mug of milk she stolen.

"Well, that was an accident but rise and shine." He said with a small smile.

"I will kill you." She said seriously.

"Penny you agreed to not take anymore milk. I was coming here to retrieve what is rightfully mine."

"So you break the cup and wake me up from my glorious sleep?" She all but snarled at the physicist. 

"I told you that was an accident."

"Sheldon!! I'm tired. I've had six am shifts all week and I took a bit of milk so I could have a quick breakfast before work. It was the last time."

Sheldon sighed and for some reason felt bad for her. He didn't know why. "I'll clean up this mess and get out of your hair." He said and Penny almost went back to bed but decided to help him. 

They cleaned in silence and when they finished she offered Sheldon an apology.

"Its...quite alright. Since it was your last time." She just nodded and he left to his apartment.

Unsure of why he asked Penny for her schedule. She was confused as to why he wanted it but sent it to him anyway.

------------

Penny's two days off felt like nothing when she woke up at five am and headed to her coffee maker. Just as she was about to search for her coffee she heard Whack-a-Doodle's signature knock.

It's too early for this, she thought to herself but opened the door.

He had a tray in his hands that had a cup of coffee and some French Toast. He seemed like he was a slight shade of red too but with the the terrible lighting in the hall.

"I made this for you so your day wouldn't be too bad." He handed the try to her and hurried back to his apartment.

Penny was confused but sat down and began eating. She washed the dishes and got ready quickly. She sent Sheldon a quick text.

Thx for bfast sweetie, it was gr8. I washed the dishes they are in the drying rack in my apt. 

Leonard asked who was texting him that early but Sheldon simply told him not to worry about it as he hid a smile from him.

 

Chapter Text

There was so much going on in Sheldon and Penny's life. They rarely had breaks and rarely had time for the things they loved.

Except each other - they always made time for each other. When they discovered some free time, and especially free time to do things they loved it was taken seriously.

Penny was more so the one that would take it seriously. She'd rip someone's arm off if she wasn't able to have her glass of wine before bed, or her secret brownies after dinner.

Those little vices helped her get through her day. She was slowly working her way up in the world of television (she was behind the scenes and often verbally abused even if whatever was wromg wasn't her fault) and needed those little things. 

Sheldon never bothers her things because he usually doesn't feel the need to indulge in chocolate or alcohol.

He didn't know how good these things were. Until one day...one particularly bad day, for the both of them, he decided to indulge. 

She came home late and skipped dinner. She went straight for her wine glass and a small plate. She searched in the fridge for her wine. It wasn't there. She searched for her 2 brownies that were left - nothing. 

She was ready to scream. This wasn't something that'd be fixed by going to the liquor store. She had a long day and she needed this to unwind.

Then a thought hit her, who would do this? Her and Sheldon live alone and Sheldon doesn't like this stuff. Did one of their stupid friends come over and eat her stuff? That made her even more mad.

She stopped downstairs to the game room and found Sheldon alone. The wine bottle half empty, the brownie nothing but crumbs.

"Sheldon?!" Penny asked surprised to see him drunk and with her stuff. 

"Oh hello Penelope, I tried to save you some brownie but it was so delicious... There's only crumbles left." He looked confused. 

She sighed, "crumbs you mean?" He giggled and nodded. 

He motioned for her to come closer and she sat right next to him.

"You're super pretty." He whispered in her ear she laughed and rolled her eyes.

"Hand me that." She pointed at the bottle. When she had it in hand she drank directly out of it. "Thanks Shelly. This has been a long day."

She loved the man, but did not want to help him get through a hangover. 

Chapter Text

"Its anything can happen Thursday. What should we do?" Leonard asked.

And they all went through their normal suggestions, which turns anything can happen Thursday into who gets their way this time.

Howard wants to troll for chicks, Sheldon wants to stay in and watch some show, Leonard is on board with Howard and Penny doesn't want to do any of that crap.

"All right nerds listen up!" She yelled over the boys bickering.

"Wow that was rude." Howard said and she just rolled her eyes at him. 

"I have an idea that most of you, if not all, will disagree with but I won't take no for answer."

"I'm still going to say no." Sheldon said and she glared at him.

"Doesn't matter we're doing it." She responded. 

"Doing what exactly?" Leonard spoke up.

"I'm taking you guys to a shooting range." She smiled widely while all the guys mumbled some sort of an excuse not to go. "Come on guys. I'm pretty sure none of you have shot a gun and it's fun."

In the end Penny got her way and they were in her car heading to the only shooting range she knew of close by.

"This seems like a terrible idea." Leonard said when they got there. 

"Trust me, it's fun. You get to release all of this pent up anger and just be bad ass. It's cool." He nodded and swallowed the lump in his throat. 

Sheldon was surprisingly quiet. They all got into the range and the dude there explained how the guns work, how to shoot, etc. Raj, Howard, and Leonard were practically shaking. Penny laughed quietly. 

"It's okay guys just watch me do it" she said and when they nodded she aimed at the target. Before she even got a shot off she heard some next to her and looked over.

Sheldon had started shooting. Her jaw dropped. When they looked at his target all the shots except for one were dead on.

"Sheldon...." She didn't know what to say.

"I'm from Texas. You guys all seem to forget that." He said calmly, reloading.

She had to admit, it was pretty hot.

"I never would have guessed YOU could shoot a gun." Leonard said.

"Well of course. My father tried bonding with me by forcing me to do things I did not care for."

Penny then unloaded her gun and the guys were stunned into silence.

"My father also wanted to bond with me. It just so happens I actually liked shooting guns." She smirked at Sheldon. 

The other three tried, but failed to keep up with Penny and Sheldon. They were just too good.

And they had a 'friendly' competition going. The other three eventually called a cab and left. Penny and Sheldon didn't even notice 

When they were finally done with their competition they added up points, that they made up, and in the end Penny won, just barely.

"Oh sweetie, if you were any other guy I'd tell you to buy me a drink and take me home." She sighed, a slight smile on her face. 

"Yes, well I'm not any other guy but as a show of good sportsmanship I'll buy you a drink." Sheldon couldn't even believe what he was saying. He didn't do good sportsmanship and he could tell by the shock on Penny's face she wasn't expecting him to either. 

"You don't even drink sweetie."

"I can drink a coke." She smiled and nodded at him.

They drove to the bar telling each other stories of their dads. She was surprised how much her and Sheldon had in common.

I guess that's country living for you.

They got to the bar and ordered their drinks.

They actually enjoyed each other's company. Hardly any bickering.

"We should do this more often." The words just slipped out of Sheldon's mouth.

"I think we should too." Penny smiled brightly at her neighbor. 

Chapter Text

Penny had a long day. She was tired, drained, and pissed. Pissed because she should have serviced her car. Pissed because she had a shitty work day. Pissed because she was over everything that was happening in her life. She stood at the bus stop sending a quick text to the guys explaining that she would be late. She stood in the dark alone. Thought nothing of it, as she had done it many times. She thought of all the things she needed to do and also how she was missing out on dinner with the guys.

She was so wrapped up in her own thing she didn't notice a man approach her. With a knife.

"Hand over your purse and you'll be okay." He jarred her out of her thoughts.

Penny was at a loss. She knew she should just hand over her purse. But there was a small battle in her. All the time with her family. Her dad. Drilling in her she should never be weak just because she's a woman. But also to never be dumb. She was frozen. 

"Did you hear me?! Hand over the purse lady!!!"

How long until the bus got here? And in that moment she knew. Even if she fought this guy off she might not make it somewhere safe. 

She removed her purse from her shoulder ready to hand it to him. A part of her wanted to slam the bag into his head but she handed it to him and he booked it.

She still had her phone. Surprisingly. He was so focused on her bag he didn't notice her phone in her hand. She called Bernadette to come pick her up, unsure of why she didn't just call Leonard who lives in the same building as her. For some reason she didn't want them to know just yet what happened. She felt so weak and vulnerable. Something she hadn't felt before. She could have fought him off. Every thing in her body was screaming at her to hit him. Or to run away. But some logic remained in her brain as she realized both of those could lead to her being seriously hurt.

Bernadette tried to stay with her through the night but Penny insisted she was fine. She just had to call the cops and cancel what cards she still had. She didn't have that much cash in her wallet thank god. She did this robotically. She knew nothing was going to happen with the police. He barely got away with anything. She was getting ready for bed when Sheldon's signature knock came. She was surprised it was pretty late. The door swung open to reveal a worried Sheldon.

"Whats wrong sweetie?" Penny said immediately shoving her problems from her head.

"Bernadette told Howard who told Leonard who told me that you were mugged tonight. With a knife! I was worried about you." He said honestly. Penny was surprised at his blunt display of emotion for her.

"I'm okay. I just feel stupid, I guess." She turned away and sat on the couch. Sheldon followed her in sitting next to her in what isn't his designated spot in Penny's house.

"Why? What could you have done?"

"Maybe fight him off? Get the knife off him. My dad taught me so many ways of defending myself. You know I can. I just saw a knife and froze up. Gave him my purse and he ran."

"That's a smart choice though. He could have hurt you." Sheldon was obviously really worried about her and it made her feel better.

"I should have came by after...but I was feeling embarrassed I guess."

Sheldon through sheer force of will put his arm around her shoulders. "There, there. I understand." 

She didn't know why but she started crying. Sheldon put both his arms around her and let her cry into his shirt for a while. She finally pulled away and apologized. Sheldon insisted on sleeping at her apartment. She argued but in the end relented. She knew Sheldon wouldn't be very helpful in an attack, but she felt better having someone close by. She wanted him to stay for a couple more days and he agreed but he couldn't sleep on her couch. They made an agreement he could sleep in her bed with her but they had to have no contact. Of course Sheldon drafted this up on his computer and had her sign it.

Honestly, they probably couldn't tell you how it progressed. Suddenly Penny was taking self defense classes. Sheldon insisted on going with her. Then he began taking them as well, he wanted to be of help if she ever needed it. Of course a couple days at her house turned into a couple weeks. His laundry basket was next to hers. A dresser was cleared out for him. They didn't even realize what was happening. Penny just knew she felt safer with her friend there and Sheldon just wanted her to feel comfortable. It was all very platonic for a while.

Leonard was absolutely shocked, as was the rest of the gang. Sheldon and Penny were...living together? Taking self defense classes together? They were walking over to Sheldon & Leonard's apartment together cracking jokes. No one said anything about the new situation, surprisingly. But after a couple weeks turned into three months. Leonard was bursting with curiosity. While Sheldon was actually at home for once he took advantage of the situation and pounced.

"So are you guys...dating?"

Sheldon was confused, "who?"

"You and Penny?"

"What? No. We just spend a lot of time together. We go out together, go grocery shopping together...." He lost his train of thought. They spent an overwhelming amount of time together yet he still managed to stick to his schedule.

"Yeah but she has a one bedroom...are you guys sleeping together?"

"Yes. Key word sleep. We have an agreement..." but he drifted off again. They had broken the agreement a few times. If he was honest, but he never really seemed to mind. He woke up and her head was on his chest, an arm thrown around him as well as a leg. He has also found himself cuddling her at times. "We're friends." He finished.

"Okay Sheldon...its just...you're never home, besides the times we all hang out. This is more like a storage space than anything."

"Its nothing to worry about Leonard."

But it had him thinking about where he and Penny stood.

He understood the feeling of needing to run at that point. He was scared of how much their relationship progressed. Scared he may have...romantic feelings for her. What if she didn't reciprocate?

When Penny got home Sheldon's stuff was gone. For a moment she started freaking out. What did she do wrong? Why did he leave? But she had to remind herself that they weren't together. This situation wasn't ever supposed to be permanent. So...why did she feel like she just got dumped? She threw her bag down and went across the hall, not bothering to knock. "Hey Sheldon whats up?" She asked calmly, motioning to her apartment. He looked at Leonard then took Penny into the hall.

When he made sure the door was shut he faced Penny but found he could barely look her in the eyes. "The agreement had been broken on many occasions." He knew he should say more but had no idea what to say. For once.

"I'm sorry about that? It wasn't intentional. If you wanted to leave you could have at any time...I just wish you would have said something to me." She really, really felt like this was a breakup and she didn't like it.

"I am also sorry. I wasn't sure where to draw the line with us. So I just left."

Draw the line? Like how? "What do you mean?"

"I mean...we're friends but were quickly moving into romantic territory and we haven't even discussed it, let alone bothered to think about how it will affect us." He wasn't sure he wanted to talk about this right now, but it was spilling out of him.

Penny was quiet. She knew her and Sheldon we're kind of like roommates, and kind of more considering the bed situation and the...everything else situation. She liked having him around and she could see him in a romantic way but she was surer he wouldn't see her that way. She liked him as a friend.

"Well, do you want it to be romantic?" She suddenly blurted.

Now it was his turn to remain quiet. He knew he had romantic feeling, but how would thing change if they actually were romantic?

"I might..." He said quietly.

That was the first step for them and instead of moving his stuff back in immediately they took a step back and began dating. It baffled her how much her life had changed over the course of a few months. Also glad that she was so much better at self defense.

Chapter Text

Penny had heartburn the last two weeks. Over everything. She could drink a glass of water and get heartburn. She started carrying tums around in her purse but even they didn't work sometimes. It was driving her crazy. She wanted to eat spicy food and drink wine without having to eat the chalky tablets (and once again that's if they would even work. It was a hit and miss with those things). She popped two tums and began snacking.

She finally opened up google and typed reasons for heartburn. She ignored a lot of things and skipped right to causes. Foods, drinks, and meds. She bit her lip. She had never had heartburn before despite using all the things on the list, but it couldn't hurt to cut it out. At least for a while to figure out what is causing it. She started with alcohol. She could not get through the day without caffeine. For a week it didn't help. So she moved onto something else. Carbonated beverages, which she rarely drank, so at the same time she cut out certain over the counter meds.

three weeks later and the heartburn was making her sick. She couldn't take the tums anymore because the chalky flavor made her sick. She had cut out everything. Her diet was healthier than ever (besides the very few snacks she would sneak, because it seemed like it barely made a difference) she was moving onto other things in the heartburn causes list.

Its not obesity, its not from smoking...she had three other options, which were all shit to her.

A hiatal hernia, pregnancy, and diseases of the esophagus.

She had the urge to go to a doctor, despite being poor. Besides, she couldn't be pregnant she hadn't had sex in...

Oh. OH.

"Crap on a cracker." She mumbled. She was doing the math in her head, but couldn't remember when was her last period? She quickly grabbed her bag and ran out the door bumping into Sheldon and Leonard on the way out.

"Oh hey, Penny. Where-" Leonard began but she wasn't listening.

"Yeah hi guys, I gotta go." She pushed past them and Sheldon gave her a dirty look. She didn't notice.

"That was rather rude!" He yelled after her.

Forgetting they had been avoiding each other.

She turned back briefly and their eyes locked. Only for a second before Sheldon looked away.

"You. Where are you going?" She pointed at Sheldon.

"Comic book store." He still wouldn't meet her eyes.

"No. Nuh-uh. You're coming with me. We'll see you later Leonard." And before he could speak she grabbed Sheldon's hand and yanked him down the stairs.

He was protesting the whole way to her car but didn't pull away. She opened her car door and he refused to get in.

"Penny, I don't know what this is, but I refuse to get into your car."

"Do it now. I might explain on the way. If I'm not too angry to." He saw she was serious and got in.

They hadn't spoken since...well. He tried not to think of it...too much. Its not that it was bad it was just a lot, and unexpected. He hadn't approached her, but she hadn't approached him either. They were polite, not their usual banter. He remained quiet in the car. She looked angry, but also worried.

"May I ask what this is about?" Sheldon said after they drove for a while. They ended up at a drug store.

"I may be pregnant."

"What?!"

"I'm not 100% but I'm going to buy a test and...I saw you on the stairs and thought you could be there with me. I mean not right in the room, I know how you are. Just be there for me. It could be nothing, but I'm nervous."

He realized she was angry because she was scared. "Okay." They went in and bought a 2 pack of the more pricey tests. Sheldon thought to offer to pay, but didn't know if she would take it the wrong way. He remained quiet. 

They both were quiet on the way back to her place. She suddenly spoke on the way up to her apartment. "Um, how come you don't really come by anymore?" They had hung out a lot before everything.

"How come you don't come around?" Sheldon asked.

"I do..." but she knew what he meant, "I just didn't know how you felt about me being there. So I come around less." They were at her apartment now. "You can wait in here. I'll be out in a minute." She went in...and Sheldon hovered in her bedroom doorway. She came out and announced the 3 minute wait and sat on her bed.

"I...I want you around." Sheldon said quietly, still in the doorway.

"I want you around too." Silence fell again and Penny eyed the test on her nightstand. She wasn't sure what to say about that. She didn't know what he would say either. It was all scary. "How are you feeling?" She finally asked. Sheldon had never been through this. She has. A couple times.

"I'm not sure." He said. She nodded.

"I didn't...I don't know how this happened." She almost whispered.

"We were reckless. I assumed you were on birth control."

"I am." She said quickly. Pulling out her birth control, which she had taken the way she was supposed to. She didn't skip days, she didn't accidentally miss a day. She took them on time.

"Well there's always a chance." His throat was dry. Time was up and they both hadn't looked at the test.

"Sheldon...no matter what the test says or what we plan to do I want you to know I always want you in my life. No matter what that means." He nodded, but said nothing. She grabbed the test. It was positive, but part of her knew. They sickness, the random cravings, the heartburn. God the heartburn.

"What does it say?" He asked quietly.

"Positive." She held the test out to him but couldn't meet his eyes.

They hooked up. They admitted they had feelings. They admitted they wanted to try something new with each other. She should have insisted on a condom, but she has always been fine on the pill.

"Well, we should discuss our options and...our relationship. Perhaps you should set up a doctors appointment." Sheldon said still looking at the test.

She was crying at this point. She had feelings for him and he did for her too, but they weren't together. Now she's pregnant? And after the first time they had sex? They couldn't even talk to each other after that and now a baby?!

"Why-why are you crying?" He took a step closer to her.

"This isn't an ideal situation."

"No, but its with you. No matter what we choose, I'm glad its with my best friend." Sheldon said.

She cried harder. That night, for the first time Sheldon stayed in her bed with her. 

In the end, they had decided they weren't ready. They weren't together. They weren't even sure if they wanted to stay together if they were. They gave the baby up for adoption.

Five years later her and Sheldon lived in their own house. They had a cat, and this time Penny wasn't on birth control when she got pregnant. They were ready this time.