Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek OR the Big Bang Theory. They are the property of Paramount and CBS. This is non-profit fanfiction.
The Pon Farr Paradigm
"Ok, guys, it's show time," Howard grinned, flopping down in a chair.
Sheldon frowned. "I thought we were watching HBO."
"Figure of speech, Sheldon," Leonard groaned.
"The new season of True Blood has started!" Raj exclaimed. "With new intrigues, new plotlines—"
"New chances to see Anna Paquin mostly naked," Howard added with a smirk.
"Anna Paquin… she played Rogue in the X-Men films, did she not?" Sheldon asked.
"Yep," Leonard answered.
"O-H," Sheldon said brightly. "I suppose she is attractive…"
Three heads swiveled like computer chairs to face him. "Sheldon… did you just say you suppose Anna Paquin is attractive?" Leonard gasped.
Sheldon frowned. "Yes. Do we need to turn the volume down? You seem to be having difficulty hearing me, and that, of course, is unacceptable."
Howard's face was more frightened than if he was confronting an angry George Lucas fan. "Sheldon… you have never in your LIFE called any woman attractive in any way, shape or form."
Sheldon cocked his head. "You're right. I haven't." He shrugged. "It must be the alcohol."
"Sheldon, you're drinking lactose free milk," Raj pointed out.
Sheldon looked down and frowned again. "Why, yes, I am."
"So what made you say it?" Howard asked.
"I don't know," Sheldon said. "But I think I should go lie down. Perhaps I'm getting sick." He rose and went to his room, leaving three amazed, worried and confused friends watching him go.
The next day, the three were discussing it at work while Sheldon got his food.
"Could he finally be developing a sex drive?" Howard asked.
"It seems a bit late for that at his age," Raj mused. "But he's been almost moody the past few days, too. Very emotional… for him, at least."
"Come on, guys, everyone has a sex drive. Maybe Sheldon's just been suppressing his," Leonard said.
Howard and Raj stared at him.
"Ok, maybe not," Leonard admitted.
Sheldon walked over and sat down. A woman from the astrophysics department smiled at them as she passed. Sheldon smiled back.
"Sheldon!" Leonard hissed.
"What?" Sheldon asked.
"You just SMILED," Howard whispered. "At a WOMAN."
Sheldon paled. "Oh, dear Heaven, I did, didn't I?" He pushed his food away. "What is wrong with me!" he exclaimed.
"Calm down, Sheldon, it's probably a phase," Leonard said.
"A phase?" Sheldon cried. "A caterpillar spinning a cocoon and waiting to transform into a butterfly goes through a PHASE, Leonard. THIS is a disaster!"
"Why?" Raj asked. "What's wrong with you finally being attracted to women?"
"This from the man who is rendered speechless while in proximity to the opposite sex," Sheldon retorted.
"But that's not by choice!" Raj protested.
"And neither is this!" Sheldon said in alarm. "I don't want to be attracted to women!"
"Um…" Howard began.
"Or men either, Wallowitz," Sheldon snapped. "I don't want to be attracted to anyone! I want to go back to my former intellectually superior self, unclouded by base emotions!" He clutched at his head. "Why, why me?" he moaned.
Leonard placed a hand on his friend's arm. "Look, Sheldon. I'm sure it's just some freak biology thing that will work itself out."
Sheldon raised up, narrowing his eyes. "Biology… of course. Why didn't I see it before?"
"See what?" Leonard asked.
Sheldon sighed. "Don't you understand? It's obvious that I'm undergoing pon farr!"
Three stunned sets of eyes met his.
"Sheldon, pon farr isn't real…" Howard began.
Sheldon waved a dismissive hand. "The scientific principle is sound. With my vast intellect, so pristine and logical, evolution was bound to step in at some point to ensure that my exceptional genes aren't lost in the mundane shuffle. Just like with Vulcans."
Leonard sighed. "Ok, even if you were right, which you're NOT, but even if you were, what could you do about it? There are no documented studies of this in Humans!"
"Of course not," Sheldon answered patiently. "That's because 99% of all Humans don't have the correct mental makeup for it. They're all going to keg parties and having mindless sex."
"Where can I sign up for that?" Howard asked eagerly.
Sheldon's eyes widened. "How long do I have? How far will this progress? What if I lose all emotional control and find myself propositioning some strange woman on the street? What if I succumb to an overwhelming urge to go to—" he shuddered—"a BAR?"
"Sheldon, I really think you're overreacting," Leonard said.
"Easy for you, an average human, to say," Sheldon sniffed. He tapped his fingers lightly on the table. "Now, using Vulcan pon farr as a model, I estimate that I have seven to ten days, during which time my condition will deteriorate exponentially. However, I should be able to maintain adequate control long enough to accomplish the task. Perhaps, by beginning early, I can circumvent the worst of it!"
"Beginning WHAT early?" Howard asked. "What are you gonna do, Sheldon: build a time machine, go back to 1968 and keep "Amok Time" from ever being written so there is no pon farr?"
Sheldon contemplated, then shook his head. "I doubt that even my exceptional intellect can manage to build a time machine in seven days. No, there's only one thing for me to do." He stood up.
"What?" Raj asked.
Sheldon lifted his tray. "Take a mate." He walked away.
They stared after him. "How in the world does he think he's gonna do that?" Raj asked.
"I know a good website for blow-up dolls," Howard offered.
Leonard sighed. "Look, I'm sure he'll think about this and realize he's being ridiculous, that he's just finally becoming a mature adult who is ready to explore the concepts of romance, relationships, sex and love."
Howard and Raj stared.
Leonard grabbed his phone to send Sheldon a text. "Yeah, what's the website address for the blow-up dolls?"
Sheldon hurried home, a bundle from the market on the corner clutched in his hand. It wasn't the best decision: all right, it wasn't the second best, either. But it would have to do.
He accessed his memories of various TV shows and films, trying to determine the best approach to the situation. He considered all the scenarios, estimated the probabilities of success with different theories, and formulated his strategy.
"Thank goodness I had to climb three flights of stairs," he said aloud. "A man needs some time to think."
He entered the apartment, went to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, and used a touch of Leonard's cologne, nose twitching violently from the scents his body was unused to having on himself. Well, it would soon pass. It was vital that he present a clean, pleasant image. After all, who would want to mate with someone who looked or smelled offensive?
He sneezed, but thankfully only once. "The things I must do for survival of the fittest," he sighed.
He grabbed the bundle and his keys and left.
Penny was about to paint her toenails, contemplating whether to use pink chiffon or satin rose, when she heard the familiar pattern of Sheldon's knock. "Penny. Penny. Penny."
She opened the door to see Sheldon standing there, clutching a bouquet of flowers in one hand, looking… nervous.
"Hi," she greeted, staring at the flowers. "Um…"
"These are for you," he said, thrusting them at her. "I believe you once mentioned that carnations are one of your favorites?"
"Um… yeah, they are…. thank you," Penny said in confusion, staring at him. She could tell something was wrong. "Do you want to come in?"
He nodded, and she moved into the apartment as he closed the door. She rummaged around and found a vase to put the flowers in. "Sheldon, that's sweet of you, but why did you bring me flowers? Did you do something really bad I don't know about?"
She walked over to him, looking at the way he was holding his hands behind his back, the apprehensive look in his eyes. "No. Penny, I will be direct with you—"
"Have you ever been anything else?" she asked.
"I have a… small favor to ask," he continued.
He stared at her. "I need to mate with you."
Penny's mouth dropped open and she looked at him in shock. "EXCUSE ME?" She wanted to say more, but was too stunned.
"I need to mate with you," he repeated. "I am undergoing a biological imperative to mate. You are the logical choice. Not the BEST choice, mind, but under the circumstances…"
She shook her head and found her voice. "Wait a minute. Didn't we just see this last week on an episode of Star Trek?"
"Oh, good, you remember," Sheldon said in relief. "I won't have to spend time trying to explain it all to you. We can just proceed. Now, shall I help you change the sheets on your bed?"
Penny backed away a step. "Wait just a minute. That's a TV show, and that was Spock. You're not a Vulcan and it isn't real."
"You are correct on all counts. However, I am undergoing a Human equivalent. Now: I am assuming you are on birth control and have consistently been checked for venereal diseases, rendering condoms unnecessary, as I have never engaged in any sexual acts—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sheldon…" she clutched her hair. "Ok, first things first. I can't believe I'm gonna ask you this, but… even if you ARE going through some weird mating urge, why am I the logical choice?"
He tilted his head. "Well, you're female, and I seem to be gravitating towards females."
She glared. "That's it?"
"No," he said. "We know each other: therefore I don't have to waste further time or resources in attempts of seducing or courting you. It will also save me money and potential health risks: I won't have to procure a prostitute." He frowned for a second. "Or a blow-up doll."
"Waste time…are you saying that I'm EASY?" Penny raised her voice.
"Empirical evidence would support that statement," Sheldon said calmly. "But in this case, I was referring to the fact that I can be honest with you and don't need to manufacture a pretense to get you into bed."
"I see," Penny snapped.
"Furthermore, as we do not actually need to produce offspring, there is no concern for genetic matching."
"Oh, baby," Penny growled. "You sure know how to flatter a girl!" She turned away from him. "Sheldon, you need to go before I do something to render this a moot point for you!"
"And I trust you," he added softly.
Penny turned, all her anger and feelings of being insulted somehow disappearing. "What?"
"I trust you," he repeated quietly, looking earnestly into her eyes. "I know that you would never be cruel, that you wouldn't make fun of me. And that, with you, it would be the most pleasant experience possible."
Penny sighed. "Oh, sweetie… thank you. That's one of the nicest things a guy has ever said to me."
He nodded, looked at her almost shyly.
"But I'm not gonna mate with you," she told him.
He gasped. "Why? Penny, you saw Amok Time. You know what will happen to me if I don't mate!"
"I'll die, Penny! And all THIS"—he gestured to his head—"will be gone! Don't you realize what a TERRIBLE blow to humanity that would be?"
"Sweetie, listen to me," Penny coaxed. "Let's look at this… logically."
He stared at her. "I'm not entirely sure you're capable of that, but I'm willing to listen."
Penny resisted a renewed urge to slap him, steering him to sit down in "his" chair in her apartment. "Ok," she said, sitting opposite him. "What exactly makes you think you're having a mating urge?"
"Well, I've had sexual thoughts," he said. "I smiled at a woman at work, and I said Anna Paquin is somewhat attractive."
"And you've never done stuff like this before, I'm guessing."
"No," he said morosely. "Therefore, I must be having a biological meltdown."
"But in that Star Trek episode, they ran all kinds of tests on Spock. There were changes in his hormones, right? Have you had any tests on yourself?"
He frowned. "I haven't."
"Well, before you go crazy—I mean, amok—don't you think you should get checked out? You know: blood work, vital signs, brain scan?" Penny asked.
Sheldon's eyes widened. "That hadn't occurred to me! An exam might be able to offer some insight, and the time factor is negligible."
"Yeah! See? It could be something else entirely!"
"Like what?" he asked, puzzled.
"Like… maybe you're waking up sexually?" she offered.
"I don't want to!" he cried. "That opens up a realm of complications and issues and… and… germs!"
"But it also has good things," Penny said.
"Not from what I've observed," he sighed.
"Don't look at a few bad examples and think the whole thing is like that, Sheldon," Penny told him. "I mean, even some bacteria are GOOD bacteria, right?"
He studied her in confusion and what seemed like appreciation. "I believe there's more to you than meets the eye, Penny."
She smiled. "Thanks."
"Would you go to the hospital with me?" Sheldon asked.
"THAT, I can do," she laughed. They stood up.
"Thank you," he said softly. "Thank you for being my friend." He hugged her.
She hugged him back carefully. "You're welcome."
"Even if you are going to let me die if it is pon farr."
She squeezed so hard he yelped. "Come on, Spock. Let's go to sickbay."
Several hours later…
"I can't believe it!" Sheldon exclaimed. "Who would've thought the supplements my mother sent me would significantly increase my testosterone level!"
Penny glanced at him as they walked up the steps. "You didn't check the ingredients?"
He stared at her. "My mommy sent them,' he said, as though that explained everything.
And maybe for him, it did. "Of course," she said soothingly. "I'm sure your mother would have no reason to want you to become a normal, girl liking guy."
"I should hope not," he muttered.
They had reached Penny's apartment. "Well, I'm glad you're going to be all right now,' she said as she unlocked the door.
"Yes, I am too. The prospect of mating with you was unpleasant."
"Thanks," she muttered.
"I don't understand how anyone could want to have sex," he continued. "I mean, just imagining seeing you naked—"
"That's enough, Sheldon!" Penny ordered.
He looked at her as she stood in her doorway. "I don't understand your attitude, Penny. Honestly, as much as you're viewed as a sex object by men, I'd think you'd be glad to know one who had no sexual interest in you."
"If you WERE in a Vulcan mating cycle, and I was your intended wife? I would SO be challenging!"
She slammed the door on his puzzled expression.
Sheldon shook his head and went to his and Leonard's apartment.
All the guys were there, and looked at him anxiously as he walked in. "Sheldon, where have you been? We're been worried about you! Are you ok?" Leonard asked.
"Perfectly fine," Sheldon answered. "I was resolving my pon farr paradigm, and after some experimentation, I've learned that I'm going to be all right."
"Who were you experimenting with?" Raj asked.
Sheldon raised an eyebrow. "Penny, of course."