Her shoulders hunch because they feel heavy, and her feet drag because are they made out of cement? She's walking up the aisle towards the rest of her life, her future, and she feels a lump in her throat.
"Oh, this is just wedding jitters, honey."
She doesn't believe Beverly Hofstadter, she's a manipulative woman. Though, maybe her future-husband-to-be was right, maybe this was the best she could do? Maybe she wouldn't get the opportunity to marry again. At least not to a quality man like himself. Her parents were excited too, traveled all the way down from Nebraska just to be here, so why would she disappoint everyone? She dragged her feet until she stood in front of the smiling man. There was a glint in his brown eyes that she hadn't seen before, and she didn't know why but it scared her.
The priest was speaking but she could barely register what was being said, the sound of her heartbeat was so deafening. She could process the movement of lips, and the slight sound the door made when it was opened and who the frack walked out during the ceremony? She wanted to turn, to look to see who the culprit was but she couldn't. Her eyes were glued to the rings in front of her. They were gold and there was a weird shaped diamond on hers. She didn't like it, but apparently it was his grandmothers and it would just mean so much to me if you accepted it. She was just compromising everything now a days, wasn't she?
She did love him. He was different, but he did hold a place in her heart. He was her first real relationship since coming to Pasadena, come to think of it all her other relationships weren't that serious either. So possibly, since birth. He was nice and he did things for her, and he had great qualities. Though, for every good quality came two bad ones and at first, she was capable of looking the other way but as she listened to him recite his vows, she was unsure if she could deal with him leaving the cap off the toothpaste every morning.
He didn't support her career either. Which sucked, because she was really getting somewhere with her acting. She didn't tell him, but she got a call back for a show that was being filmed in Hollywood. It wasn't a starring role, but it was recurring and that was an amazing start. Though, supposedly his mother and entire family for that matter, didn't think he should be with a woman who didn't have a career. Cue pharmaceutical sales rep.
Her stomach started tightening when he took her hand in his, and his narrowed chocolate eyes gazed upon her. His smile wide and she couldn't help but wonder if he was happy, they were going to be getting married or because she was going to be his officially and his rep would be permanently boosted. I got the woman losers, and she's hot. I'm officially Alpha!
She always accepted that one day she'd be someone's trophy, especially when dating Kurt. But after a particularly ugly argument she and Leonard had, they both decided it was best that they break up. Things weren't going the way they both foresaw, and it was better to end now than in the future after so many things have changed. He started dating a lot quicker than she thought was respectable, and she figured it was because he was already seeing this woman before they broke up. She felt like she didn't have the right to bring it up, because maybe she did something to make him do this.
So, she enjoyed her singledom. Though, it got tiresome seeing him swap spit with his newest conquest and shortly stopped coming around the apartment. She didn't think anyone would notice but she was wrong. His roommate, her best friend, noticed. He wasn't happy about it either. No, not because of change or his schedules but because he simply didn't want her not in his life. She was touched, and she admitted she liked having him in her life too and it hurt her not seeing him as often as she would like to. So, they started sneaking around and hanging around each other without the rest of the group. Leonard had this weird bro code thing where Raj, Howard, and Sheldon weren't allowed to be friends with her until he was over their breakup.
It wasn't much longer that she found herself pinned between her mattress and Sheldon's surprisingly toned body. It was a great feeling, and the only regret she had was not finding out how she felt towards him a lot sooner. Their relationship was new, and exciting. It was filled with passion and lust, and warmth and love. Every time they touched her body sprang to life, her skin craved his touch and she hated not being around him.
He had consumed her.
It was when she found him pacing the floor of his bedroom one sleepless night, she realized maybe she had consumed him too. She barely made it through his door when he had grabbed her, and firmly pressed her against his chest in a tight embrace. She melted at the touch as he brought his lips to her ears and whispered over and over that she was his and he didn't want to go one night without her. They made love that night.
So where did it go all wrong?
They decided to make their relationship public. Tired of sneaking around, and not being able to touch each other whenever they pleased. The group was divided. Leonard and Howard were furious, while Raj and Bernadette were pleased. They were at an impasse, and they refused to break up for the sake of Leonard's ego. It was at that moment a switch flipped. Leonard became intolerable and dedicated every waking moment to destroying whatever his roommate and ex-girlfriend built.
To the point he called Mary Cooper, hoping her knowing Sheldon was having sex before marriage would make her tear them apart.
He was furious, his mother approved of Penny, and it baffled him. So, he turned to Howard to make a dating app and set Sheldon up with a woman that was practically the female version of himself. He knew Penny's insecurities, and one of them was that she feared she wasn't smart enough. She feared that he himself would find a woman a lot more intelligent than herself and would leave her for that woman. So, imagine how heightened her fears were when it came to his roommate, the same man who had an astounding IQ.
In walks Amy Farrah Fowler. Orthopedic shoes, wool skirt and turtle neck, thick glasses, and dandruff shampoo. She looked as dull as the stringy hair falling from her scalp.
The taller scientist was confused when he saw him open their door and the strange woman walked in, she smiled at him and he smiled back out of politeness. Sheldon was alarmed when she sat next to him, so much so that Sheldon didn't see him send off a quick text from his own cellphone, posing as Dr. Whackadoodle himself. The events that followed were so quick he could barely remember it.
His ex opened the door, eager to see her new boyfriend. Only to find him in what looked like a passionate lip-lock with a woman she had never seen before. She was in shock and felt her heart breaking. He walked in from his bedroom, feigning a shocked expression. Sheldon had stuttered over himself so much he couldn't explain, so Amy did. She told Penny that they met over a dating app and had coffee together. It was true, they did have coffee together. Only because there were no more available seats in the café and she had sat across from Sheldon, who hadn't looked up at her once. It wasn't a date.
She introduced herself as Sheldon Cooper's girlfriend, and he knew it made her heart curl.
She shouted at Sheldon; they were over. Then ran away, she didn't object when he followed offering her a shoulder to cry on. Sheldon left gifts for her every morning before leaving to work, and he always discarded them before she could see them. So, to her, Sheldon hadn't fought for her since their break up. And to Sheldon, Penny had been rejecting him consistently. It was perfect.
Eventually, he wore her down and she accepted his proposal. After all the ideas he planted in her head about how she was getting older and certain doors were going to close soon. He knew it probably wasn't wise to start a relationship based on lies and deceit but damn it, he wanted to win so badly. He deserved to win for once in his life, to look down at everyone who had doubted him, and just show them that he did it.
She was brought from her thoughts when she heard Leonard say, 'I do', and the Ordain started to speak to her, "Penelope, will you have this man to be thy wedded husband? To live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony. Will you love him, comfort him, honor him, and keep him in sickness and in health? Forsaking all others, so long as you both shall live?"
It hit her all at once, and she suddenly felt like she couldn't breathe.
Could she do all of that? Yes. But with Leonard? She wasn't sure. All she had to do was say 'I do' or 'I will' or anything along those lines and it would be official. She would officially become Mrs. Leonard Hofstadter and she wasn't sure if that was what she wanted after all. The thought of being alone all her life started to sound a lot more pleasing than being stuck in an unloving marriage to a man who guilted her into being with him in the first place.
She looked to her side and saw Bernadette giving her a look, and she knew that her taking a while to respond was making people suspicious, but she had to think for herself. Could she subject herself to a life-long commitment to Leonard? Only for the sake of his ego, and her finally living up to her parents' standards? She'd be miserable. "I—" she stuttered. She heard Beverly interrupt, "Go on Reverend, continue."
It was a surprise at first that Beverly wanted Penny to marry her son, all this time she thought Beverly didn't even approve of her. Though, the more she thought about it she realized she just wanted somebody, anybody to marry Leonard. She felt like Leonard was a loss cause, and the minute he had a fiancée she'd push him to marry her because Lord knew no one else would.
"I can't until she responds," she briefly heard the Ordain state. "Well she means, yes," Beverly argued.
"Well she's got to say yes."
Rolling her eyes, Mrs. Hofstadter put on her best Nebraskan accent and tried to subtly mimic Penny, "I do."
Penny grew furious, why were so many people pushing her to marry this man? Did any of them not see how unhappy she was? Did they not care? She opened her mouth to speak but then another voice interrupted her, a voice she didn't think she'd ever hear again.
Everyone turned towards the doors of the church and saw a tall man with the most beautiful blue eyes standing there. His all black suit on, making him look handsome and confident. She gasped lowly, "Sheldon…"
He started walking up the long aisle, and immediately Howard stepped forward with Kripke to attempt to hold him back and stop him from reaching Penny. "Penny, I love you and I want you to be my wife."
"What the hell, Sheldon! What do you think you're doing?" Leonard shouted in anger, as he tried to block Penny from his view. Howard and Kripke got forceful as they started to drag Sheldon away, but the taller man put up a fight against them and almost broke free.
Raj, feeling the need to help, jumped up and tried to fend Howard and Kripke off his friend. He knew Howard and Leonard would be pissed with him, but he also knew Penny wasn't happy, and he wouldn't be happy with himself if he didn't stop this wedding when he had the chance. Sheldon belonged with her, not Leonard.
"I'm sorry, Leonard, I love her!" Sheldon shouted at Leonard, but didn't take his eyes off Penny, who stood there shocked in her wedding dress. Her eyes watering as she watched the man, she loved fight off everyone trying to keep them apart.
"Die! Just die!" Beverly shouted in agony as she watched the chance of marrying her son off, slip away from her grasp.
Sheldon was nearly back at the doors, due to Howard and Kripke and one of Leonard's cousin's trying to carry him out, when he felt the tears in his eyes as he shouted towards Penny, over the shocked murmurs of the church, "Will you have me, Sheldon, as your lawfully wedded husband from this day forth to have and to hold, in richer for poorer? Baby please, please!"
Before Penny knew what was going on, she felt her hand slipping out of Leonard's hand as she took a few steps towards Sheldon, as if her heart and feet were doing all the talking, she smiled at him, no one else mattered, "I do!"
Leonard's side of the church all made disgruntled noises in shock, as Howard, Kripke, and Leonard's cousin let Sheldon go in shock and he roughly pushed through them, making his way towards his future, shock written all over his face.
"Wait, you all heard it! She said I do!" That was Beverly.
"But to whom?!" That was the Ordain.
Penny looked back at Leonard, who stood there fuming and confused, she stuttered for a moment now understanding what had just happened. She loved Sheldon, and that was the end of.
"I…I'm sorry, Leonard."
"No, Penny!" Leonard shouted as he watched Penny run towards his former roommate.
Sheldon wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off her feet, kissing her so passionately her veil fell from her head. Leonard and his party filed out of the church unceremoniously, pissed at what was going on. While Penny's side sat and stood, confused about the events. Bernadette and Raj smiled at the couple and went back to take their places. Bernadette as Penny's maid of honor, and Raj as Sheldon's best man.
"Is anyone getting married here today?!" The ordain shouted.
Penny and Sheldon ran to the alter hand in hand, and confirmed they were to be married. The ordain sighed deeply, "By the power invested in me," he paused as Sheldon grabbed Penny and dipped her so far back her up-do came undone and her hair cascaded down. He pressed his lips against hers in a heat-searing kiss, "I now pronounce you man and wife," he threw his cue cards over his shoulder and gestured towards the already kissing couple, "Do your thing, brother."
Everyone around them clapped excitedly as they broke apart for air.
Penny didn't realize she was waiting to be rescued until it happened, and she was glad it was Sheldon who had done it.