The Gratitude Formulation

A/N: Greetings, fellow humans! This was my first attempt to write a fanfiction, I'm not even sure if this is how you write a fanfiction. I apologize for any grammatical errors, discrepancies and if this may seem to be OOC. I've had this idea for a while now and these are just a collection of my frustrations and the things I wish our beloved characters would say. Sorry if this may seem to be fluff and cheesy.

Disclaimer: This story is written for entertainment purposes only. I own nothing of The Big Bang Theory.

Mary Cooper visits Pasadena a few weeks before Sheldon and Amy's wedding. She told Sheldon that she's going to a Church Convention but the truth is she wanted to know if her son is getting cold feet about the wedding.

Sheldon picked up Mary from the airport, Amy is still stuck in her laboratory, catching up on her work. With all the planning, and now that the wedding is fast approaching, Amy has been a little behind at work. The couple just agreed to meet back at their apartment for dinner.

At the car ride from the airport, Sheldon is driving. He made a quick glance to his mother and asked "So how was your flight?"

Since her arrival, Mary had not kept her eyes off of her son. She watched him with love and admiration. Sheldon seems very happy, calm and worry-free. "It was fine. Still not a fan of flying but I'm very happy see you, Shelly." Mary replied.

Sheldon looked and his mother and smiled "Well, it's always good to see you, Mother. Tell me about this convention, and where are your friends?"

Mary looked at her son with amusement, the old Sheldon would've just complained on how she's wasting time going on an out of town conventions.

"Oh, you know, it's like the usual convention where we have different Pastors across the country to give a talk. My friends decided not to attend this year." She answered quickly, avoiding details.

"I see." Sheldon nods his head, not losing his smile.

Mary looked at her son, she smiled and said

"Look at you! It seems just like yesterday, I'm driving you to your first day of school. Now, you're driving for me and you're getting married soon!" she said with her voice almost breaking.

Sheldon looked at her and said "Good Lord, Mother! What are you? Going through menopause again? I thought this is what you've been praying for?"

Mary was holding back her tears, it's true though - this is what she has been praying for. Ever since she realized that Sheldon is different, she worries that people may find it hard to see through all his quirks. While her son is sweet, innocent, smart and thoughtful, she's aware that he could be difficult sometimes. She showered him with love and affection, most especially when Sheldon expressed no interest in romantic relationships; she feared her son will grow old alone. 8 years ago, when Leonard called her to inform her that her son is losing his mind over someone, she did not believe it. But seeing them together, the way they look and interact with each other, she knew Amy was the one for her son.

"It is. I'm just so happy. Look how far you've come. It seems just like yesterday, you were my little boy playing with trains and reading comic books. Now you're a man who's about to get married!"

Listening to his mother's sentiments, Sheldon suddenly remembered something "Drat! I have to drop by at the comic book store!"

Mary chuckled and said, "Well, a grown man who's still fond of comic books!"

Sheldon looked at her with a bit of annoyance and said "No, Mother. I have to give this save the date card to Stuart. It's been here a while and Amy keeps forgetting to bring it to him. My goodness, my bride's brain is deteriorating with all this wedding planning nonsense."

Mary shook her head, smiling and whispered "Oh, my Shelly is getting married."

Back at Los Robles apartment

Amy brought home some work, she thought she could use the extra time before dinner to finish what she started in the morning. She heard Sheldon and Mary's voice approaching so she stood up to greet them.

Sheldon opened the door and said, "We're here!"

"Oh, good! Hello Mrs. Cooper" Amy said. She stood there, awkwardly, not knowing if she should give Mary a hug or a handshake. In all the years that she and Sheldon have been together, even though Mary showed her nothing but love and kindness, Amy still gets nervous whenever Mary is around. They've been talking a lot over the phone over the years now and Sheldon and Amy have spent some time in Texas with her but it feels different this time. She's about to become the next Mrs. Cooper and she's terrified to mess things up.

"Oh, Amy darling, it's always good to see you! Come here!" She pulled her future daughter-in-law and engulfed her in a big hug.

Amy giggled and said "You too, Mrs. Cooper! How was your flight? I'm pretty sure you're tired. Are you hungry?"

Releasing her, Mary smiled at Amy and said "Oh don't worry about me, darling."

Sheldon watched his mother and fiancée exchanged greetings for a couple of seconds and said, "Let's go say hi to everyone across the hall. I'm sure dinner is ready." He opened the door and led the two of the most important women in his life across the hall.

At the 4A apartment

"Hello everyone" Sheldon said smiling while opening the door for his ladies.

"Mary! It's so good to see you! Come on in!" Penny welcomed her with a hug.

Leonard joined in and said "Hi Mary! You must be hungry, come here and sit. Dinner will be ready in a minute."

Mary was touched by the hospitality of the couple. She knew how much these people looked after her son, long before Amy was in his life. She's also well aware that Leonard and Penny are always there for Sheldon and Amy as they navigate through their relationship.

"You two are very sweet! Thank you!"

"Howard, Bernadette, and Raj are on their way up," Penny added.

"Oh, that's very nice. You know I love seeing you all together." Mary said smiling.

The gang had a nice dinner together and as always, they exchanged banters which Mary was very happy to see. It fascinates her to see how much his son has grown around his social group. Afterwards, Amy volunteered to drive Mary to her hotel which made Sheldon very happy. He loves the idea of his mother and bride getting along plus, he hates driving.

In the car ride to the hotel

Being around her future mother-in-law once again and this time, alone, Amy is antsy. She kept stealing glances to Mary, thinking about a topic for conversation.

"So, do you know if Missy and Georgie will make it to the wedding?" Amy asked, finally breaking the ice.

Mary smiled and said "Don't worry about that, darling. I'll make sure they will."

Amy nodded; she bit her lip before asking again. "How about Mee...umm...your mother?"

Mary noticed Amy's uneasiness; like she's stepping on eggshells around her. She put her hand on Amy's arm and said

"Oh, Amy darling! Believe me; she would not miss it for the world. She has been very careful with her health lately because she really wanted to be in shape and fit enough to travel. She had longed-for the day where her favourite grandson ties the knot, and the fact that he's marrying you makes everything perfect."

Amy was taken aback by Mary's last statement; she didn't know what to say. She smiled shyly and said "Thank you, Mrs. Cooper."

Mary kept stealing glances at Amy, quietly observing her future daughter-in-law. She pretty much knows everything about her already but there's also something that fascinates her. She recalls the first time she met her and the other times they spent time together whenever the couple pays her a visit.

Amy noticed that her future mother-in-law is staring at her and she got a little uncomfortable. She recalls everything in her head. Did I do or say something wrong? She couldn't think of any, she started to get anxious again.

"Is..is everything okay? Did I do something wrong?

Did I say something...?"

Mary held her hand and a squeezed it before she even finished her sentence.

"It's nothing. I'm sorry if I was staring, I'm just excited to officially welcome you to our family."

Amy smiled and blushed a little. "Thank you, Mrs. Cooper. That means a lot."

They arrived at the hotel and Amy helped Mary with her stuff. Before Amy leaves, she gave her future mother-in-law a hug. Mary then said, "Do you think you could meet here tomorrow for lunch?"

Amy was a bit confused but she smiled "Don't you have a convention or something?"

"That's alright; I can get out for lunch"

"Oh, okay. I'll ask Sheldon."

Mary immediately said, "No, I want it to be just the two of us."

Amy got a little nervous and confused but she agreed. They set the details before she left the hotel.

Back at the apartment

While Sheldon was waiting for his fiancée, he sent a text to everyone

"Hi! Please meet me at lunch tomorrow at the new Thai place 2 blocks from our apartment.

PS: Amy can't know."

He wanted to gather his friends and talk to them without Amy being there so he was thinking of a way to get rid of Amy for lunch the next day.

After a few minutes, the door opened and his beautiful fiancée came in.

"Hi!"

Sheldon smiled "Hello! How was drive to the hotel?"

Amy sat next to him, gave him a peck on his lips and said "It was nice to have that alone time with your mother. Also, she asked me to have lunch with her tomorrow, just the two of us."

Sheldon's brows furrowed "Just the two of you?"

Amy nodded. " Yeah, is that okay?"

"That's perfect!" He exclaimed! He thought it would be a perfect opportunity for her mother and her bride to bond and he already spent a huge amount of time figuring out how to get rid of Amy the next day so things are going smoothly.

Amy was both surprised and relieved that Sheldon is happy about her lunch with his mother.

The next day at the Thai restaurant

Penny and Leonard arrived. Bernadette and Howard were already seated.

"Hey, where's Raj?" Penny asked

"He said he's running late but I'm sure he'll be here in a minute." Howard replied.

Penny and Leonard sat across the other couple.

Penny whispered to Bernadette "Why do you think he wants to talk without Amy? Do you think he's having cold feet?"

Bernadette held her hand in her mouth in shock and said "Do you think it's what this is? Poor Amy!"

Howard immediately shut down the speculations of the two "Okay. Let's not jump to conclusions first"

Leonard looked around and said "Where's Sheldon? He said he's already here!"

Bernadette pointed out a tall man talking to the waiter and manager "There he is, giving those poor gentlemen a hard time"

Leonard shook his head "I don't think I want to eat whatever it is that waiter is bringing us."

Sheldon walked towards his friends and noticed that Raj is not there

"Where is Raj?"

Before everyone could answer, Raj came running "I'm here, I'm here! I made it!"

Sheldon frowned and said, "You're late!"

Raj still catching his breath said, "But I made it!"

Penny shushed Raj to end the argument.

She turned to Sheldon and ask "Okay, sweetie! What is really going on? Why do you want to talk to us without Amy? Are you having cold feet?"

Sheldon frowned and said, "Is that what you think this is?"

"Well it wouldn't be surprising but Sheldon, buddy, you guys have come a long way! You can get through this; just think of how much you love Amy!" Leonard added.

Howard, Bernadette, and Raj nodded.

Sheldon, still frowning said "For your information, I am not getting cold feet. I cannot wait to marry Amy Farrah Fowler. If it were up to me, I'd marry her now."

He said in a very stern voice with full of certainty. Everyone sighed with relief.

"I gathered you today because I wanted to say something and spend time with you all, just like the old times. And Amy is having lunch with my mother." Sheldon continued.

"Aww. Sweetie, that's so sweet!" Penny exclaimed, finally relaxing in her seat.

"Although if we're talking about something surprising, it's the fact that Penny has been sitting here for a while but have not yet opened that bottle of champagne!" Sheldon added, killing the mood. Everyone just smiled and shook their head.

The food that Sheldon ordered arrived.

Before touching the food, Howard asked, "Is this safe to eat?"

"What do you mean?" Sheldon asked with confusion.

Leonard jumped in and said "Well we saw you talking to the waiter and the manager so...Did you give them a hard time? Were you complaining again?"

"Excuse me! I was talking to them because this is a new place! I wanted to know the perfect food to order for my friends!" Sheldon said with a bit of annoyance.

The food kept on coming and Sheldon was extra nice to the Waiters.

Raj mumbled, "Do you think he's dying or something?"

"Raj!" Leonard glared at Raj and dismissed the thought.

"Okay, what is really happening here?" Leonard asked.

"Okay, calm down." Penny put her hand on her husband's arm before turning to Sheldon. "Sweetie, you said you wanted to say something? Can you please say it first before we start eating?" Penny asked sweetly.

Sheldon sighed and said "Very well, I asked you all to come here because I wanted to thank you."

Raj whispered, "He's really dying!"

"Shut up!" Everyone dismissed him.

Sheldon continued "Raj and Howard, if it was not for the both you, I wouldn't have met Amy. If you had not dragged me into that date many years ago, I'd still probably be alone. I also know you looked after her when Burt from Geology was showing interest on her while I was on leave.

Leonard, you have been there for me since the very beginning. You looked after me, you chauffeured me around, and you were not only a roommate. You're my very best friend and my brother."

Leonard is tearing up "Okay are you sick? What's going on?" He exclaimed!

Sheldon frowned, shook his head and dismissed him.

"Bernadette, I'd like to thank you for being a good friend to my Amy. I saw how you took care of her when we broke up. Also, for discouraging her to sleep with that creepy giant Dave he dated while we were broken up." Bernadette nodded, stifling a sob.

"Penny, you have been like a sister to me and I cannot thank you enough for everything that you have done for me and Amy. You convinced me to go on an actual date with her; you helped me win her back from Stuart. You're always there, ready to talk and to listen."

Sheldon was trying so hard to hold back his tears, just thinking of marrying Amy makes him very emotional. 8 years ago, the idea of marriage, coitus or even a romantic relationship made him cringe. He was so certain that he's too evolved for all of it and that his main purpose is for science and science alone. That until his vixen, his little lump of wool, walked into his life.

"I guess I'm just thankful that of all the people that I could be friends with, I ended up having you guys. When I was a kid, my mother used to say that when I grow up I will be surrounded by lots of smart and wonderful friends. I never believed her, and yet here you all are. I know I have been difficult, I offended you constantly but you all stayed by my side and for that, I will always be grateful." Sheldon continued.

All of them are just entranced by Sheldon's heartfelt speech, after hearing those words of praises, appreciation, and gratitude come out of Sheldon's mouth, no one was able to move.

"Wow! I really should've opened that bottle of champagne first!" Penny said, breaking the mood.

"What's happening? Did I say something wrong?" Sheldon asked confused.

"No, sweetie. It's the most beautiful thing you've ever said to all of us." Penny said wiping her tears.

Sheldon looked around and found that there were no dry eyes in the table.

They started eating lunch quietly; they were still processing everything Sheldon had said. After a few minutes, the mood continued to change. Sheldon made fun of Penny and Leonard; he insulted Howard's work and started an argument with Raj. He called the waiter an asked for the manager because he has some complaints about his food.

Leonard sighed in relief. "He's back! That's my best friend!"

At the hotel with Mary and Amy

"The food here is really good. Do you want to give this a try?" Mary asked Amy, breaking the ice.

"I would love to," Amy replied.

Mary can sense that Amy is nervous. They have not done this before, just the two of them hanging out.

"So Amy, tell me. How's the wedding planning going? Stressful?"

Amy nodded before speaking "It is, especially at the beginning but we were able to work things out and compromise. Our friends have been a huge help."

Mary laughed and said "Was he convincing you to have a space themed wedding?"

Amy giggled nervously, "He was."

Sensing the nervousness from Amy's voice, Mary reached for her future daughter-in-law's hand and said "Okay, honey. There's no reason to be nervous. It's just me. You can tell me anything. I just want you and me to have a quality time together."

Amy smiled shyly unable to say anything.

Mary squeezed Amy's hand and continued "Darling, I already like you. I sincerely think that you are the right one for my son. You don't have to impress me, if that's what you're worried about."

Amy smiled at her relief and said "Thank you, Mrs. Cooper. That means a lot coming from you. And you're not just you. You are the mother of the one I'm marrying. Of course, I want to impress you. Even at the beginning of our relationship, I've always wanted yours and your mother's approval."

Mary squeezed Amy's hand and said "Let's start with that, from now on don't call me Mrs. Cooper. Call me Mom or Mary or whatever you want but I'd prefer if you'd call me Mom."

Amy was almost speechless. "R-really? You don't mind me calling you Mom?" Amy asked in disbelief.

Mary, still holding Amy's hand said "Amy, ever since Sheldon was a little boy, he never showed interest in other people. When he was a teenager and all of the boys his age are dating, he was finishing his doctorate. I prayed for him constantly, but I came so close to the point of accepting the fact that he's going to be alone for the rest of his life. Then you came, you made my little boy experience the best kind of feeling - to fall in love. I understand that it's not easy and it hasn't been easy. Your patience, your strength, all the sacrifices and compromises you made for my son, I see all of that. I admire you for that. I will always be grateful. And I know my mother may have been harsh on you at the beginning but she loves you, Amy. After her trip here, there wasn't a single day where she didn't ask me if Sheldon has proposed yet."

Amy's tears come rolling down her cheeks.

"Thank you, Mrs. Cooper."

Mary's brows furrowed

"I mean, Mom. Thank you, Mom! You have no idea how much this means to me."

Mary smiled at her future daughter-in-law. For someone who's as beautiful and smart as she is, she could tell she has a tendency to be insecure. She remembered Sheldon telling her that he likes how Amy is unaware of how beautiful she is. Maybe that's one of the reasons why her son adores this woman.

"Honestly, I do not have a church convention here in Pasadena. I came to see how the two of you are doing, now that the wedding is just a few weeks away." Mary confessed.

"Really? W-why? Did Sheldon say something? Is he having cold feet?" Amy panicked.

"No, it's not like that. Well, I thought that it'll be like that so..."

"Oh no! I knew it. Maybe it was all because of the pressure of the planning. I knew it. How could I be so careless?" Amy exclaimed

"No, Amy. Calm down. Listen to me first."

Amy looked at her mother-in-law and started to calm down.

"My son loves you. I didn't know it was possible for him but he does love you. He may not say it all the time but I see it, I feel it and I know you do too. It fascinates me how the two of you grew together in this relationship. Because of you, my little boy is now a man. Now, I may have come here with a fear of him having cold feet, but from what I saw yesterday, that man can't wait to make you his wife." Mary said smiling.

Amy smiled so big. She cannot believe she's hearing it from Mary. The two spent the better part of the afternoon together before Mary's flight home. She told Amy that she will call her son to explain why she had left after only 24 hours of arriving in Pasadena.

Sheldon's lunch with the gang and Amy's lunch with Mary both went very well putting the two of them in a very good mood.

Back at home.

Amy opened the door to find her handsome fiancé sitting in the couch, reading on his iPad. "Hey!"

Sheldon puts down his iPad to greet his fiancée. "Welcome home! How was lunch with my mom?"

"You mean my lunch with Mom? It was fantastic!" She said grinning.

"We're talking about my mother, right? Mary?" Sheldon asked in confusion.

"Yeah, she asked me to call her Mom. Is it okay with you?" She was excited but a bit worried about how he will react.

"Well, we are getting married soon so I think that's reasonable. Besides, I like the sound of it coming from you" He said smiling. "She called me a few moments ago; apparently she just came here to have lunch with you?"

Amy didn't know what to say "Umm...I...I'm sure she wanted to see the both of us. You know, with all the planning. I'm sure..." Sheldon squeezed her hand and said "It's alright, she told me. To be completely honest I was very happy that you two spent some time together."

Amy smiled and leaned to give her fiancé a kiss.

"So what did you do today?" Amy asked sitting closely next to her fiancé.

"Well, I had lunch with our friends at the new Thai place."

"W-what? Without me?" She frowned.

"Well, you were at lunch with my mother. The food there is great, we should try that sometime" Sheldon replied

"Yeah, but what did you guys talk about? Who set it up?"

With all the wedding planning and her work, Amy has been missing group dinners lately and she longed to do it again with her friends.

"I did!" Sheldon replied casually. He didn't notice his fiancée is getting upset.

"I'm going to go change and rest for a bit and then I'll start making dinner." She said while she walks away.

After a few hours

Amy came out of the room to find out that Sheldon isn't there. Where did he go? Is he out with our friends for dinner this time and forgot to ask me? Again?

She tried to call Penny.

Penny: Hey Ames! How was lunch with Mary?

Amy: It was great. Hey, listen! Were you there at the lunch that Sheldon organized earlier?

Penny: Yeah, why?

Amy: What was that lunch all about? I'm getting kind of worried. Do you think he's having cold feet?

Penny: Oh sweetie, you're worried about nothing. It was never like that. Maybe it's best if you ask him but I promise you, you have nothing to worry about. Stop over thinking!

Amy: I guess you're right. Okay, I will talk to him. Thanks, bestie!

Penny: Always!

Amy was at the sink washing some fruits when she heard the door opened. Sheldon came in with some Chinese food which his fiancée did not see because she really opted not to look at him.

"What do you want for dinner?" She asked, not turning to him.

Sheldon didn't respond. He stood close to her and hugged her from the back.

"Hmmm. Someone smells so good in this fine evening." He whispered sweetly taking in her scent.

She didn't say anything and just continued washing the fruits. Sheldon turned off the faucet, held her in her shoulders and turned so they're now facing each other.

"Is something wrong?" Sheldon asked.

Amy brows furrowed, she looked directly to her fiancé's blue eyes, still not saying anything.

"Are you upset because of the lunch with our friends?"

Amy nodded. "It's not that, but actually yeah it's because of that. But not...arrgghh!" Amy walked to sit on the couch.

"Boy brides are crazy!" Sheldon whispered. He followed her to the couch.

"Amy, talk to me. What's happening? Why are you so upset?"

"Sheldon, earlier today I had a great time with your mother. She was so sweet and she said so many nice things about me. Then, I came home to find out that you planned a lunch with our friends the same time I'm having lunch with your mom. I mean, do you really want to get rid of me that bad? I don't even know what's going through your mind right now! Just please talk to me. Should I worry?" She's so upset that tears are building up around her eyes.

Sheldon held Amy's hand and just before he started speaking, tears come rolling down on Amy's face.

"Amy, I'm sorry if that made you upset," he said softly while wiping her tears.

"I don't want you to be upset; I don't want you to worry. That's the last thing I want to do. Amy, I gathered our friends today to thank them."

Amy looked at him confused

"I thanked Raj and Howard for setting us up, Leonard for always looking after me, Bernadette for always looking after you and Penny for always being there for the both of us. You know I struggle with relationships, intimacy and a lot of things. I sincerely think I would not have survived without their help and your patience. I feel like now that we're starting a life together, I should not rely on other people and start working on my weak spots. I want to be a better man for you and our future family."

Amy's heart melted, she threw her hands to hug her fiancé tight. "But why do it without me?" she said burying her face to his chest.

Sheldon pulled from their hug and said "Well, I really didn't want to do it with you in there. I barely made my speech without crying, if you had been there I might bawl like a baby. Let's save the crying on our wedding day. And when you told me that you're having lunch with my mother, I got so excited by the idea of the two most important women in my life spending time together."

"Sheldon, that's so beautiful. Thank you for always trying."

Sheldon hugged her again, stroking her hair.

"Are you hungry?" Sheldon asked.

"Oh, wait! I haven't made dinner yet!" Amy got up quickly but Sheldon pulled her back.

"Relax, I brought Chinese. I had a feeling you're upset before you take that nap so I decided to just pick up dinner."

Amy went back to sit on the couch grinning and said "Best husband-to-be everrrr!"

"Damn right I am!" Sheldon exclaimed.

The two started eating dinner while telling each other more about their day.

Later that night at the bedroom

"Goodnight, Love you!"

"I love you, Goodnight!"

They kissed; it was longer than their usual goodnight kiss. They missed each other today. Sheldon break the kiss and said

"And to answer your question, No."

"What question?"

"If I'm having cold feet? I'm not."

Amy smiled.

"Are you? Because you already said Yes! No backsies!" Sheldon exclaimed.

"No! Sheldon, I have been waiting for this for so long." Amy confessed.

Sheldon looked down and said, "I'm sorry for making you wait this long."

Amy held his chin up, looked at his eyes, smiled and said

"You are worth the wait."

Sheldon smiled before placing a tender kiss on her lips. "I cannot wait to marry you."

Amy raised an eyebrow and asked playfully "Really now? Hey! Where's my sweet babboo and what have you done to him?" She asked smacking his chest.

Sheldon chuckled pulling his beautiful fiancée closely, "Well, he's still here." He whispered kissing her hands. "I realised how much of a fool I am for taking you for granted all those years, I'm sorry that I had to lose you first, I'm sorry another person had to kiss me first before I realize that you're the one I want to spend my whole life with. I promise you Amy, I will spend my entire lifetime making it up to you." He continued kissing her hand while tears come rolling down his face.

Amy was so touched and surprised with Sheldon's emotional speech

"You make me so happy, Sheldon Lee Cooper. And yes to a lifetime. Yes to a lifetime with you." She said softly.

The two spend some time cuddling and talking before finally dozing off.

END.