Title: The Mistletoe Conundrum

Rating: Teen/ PG

Warnings:(Penny and Sheldon, sittin' in a tree) k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Author: SonicPencil/ CatrinaSusanne

Description: Penny throws a Christmas party and Christmas antics ensue. Written for the fellow S/P shippers at Paradox- http:// community. livejournal. com/ sheldon_ penny

Enjoy the Christmas themed shenanigans. :)

The Mistletoe Conundrum

co·nun·drum: n. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma.

"You know how I feel about Christmas, Leonard. I don't see how it's necessary for me to go, I don't even celebrate Christmas," Sheldon complained.

"Neither do I," Howard added.

"Yeah, me neither, dude. Why do we all have to go?" Raj said, standing in defiance with Howard and Sheldon while Leonard stood by the apartment door.

"Because Penny invited us and it will be fun," Leonard said in an exhausted voice as if he'd been fighting with Sheldon about it all day.

The trio of anti-Christmas spirit didn't budge except for a mumbled "Bah humbug" from Howard.

Leonard sighed and said: "Hot women and an excess of Christmas Ale."

Those were the magic words of Father Christmas.

"Joyeux Noel!" cried Howard as he quickly exited the apartment with Raj close on his heels singing "Frosty the Snowman" at the top of his lungs.

Sheldon remained with his arms crossed over his chest and his mouth set stubbornly.

"Sheldon, let's go," Leonard said and grabbed the keys from the bowl by the door.

"I have a thesis I'd like to complete," he said passively and sat at the computer.

"It's Friday night and you don't have work until Monday, Sheldon. You'll have plenty of time to finish it later," Leonard tried.

"But tomorrow we will be waiting for our grocery delivery between nine and eleven am, having lunch at twelve sharp, going to the movies from approximately one to two forty-five, meeting Raj and Howard at the comic book store at three, having dinner at five, and we have a Battle Star Galactica marathon afterward. So, no time there. Then, Sunday-" Sheldon began.

"OKAY! Okay, I get it. You don't have time this weekend. When is it due anyways?" Leonard asked, peering at the screen over Sheldon's shoulder.

"Whenever I finish it, Leonard. This isn't school," Sheldon said, annoyed.

"Then come to the party. You'll have fun, I promise."

"Now how can you say that without first knowing who will be there, what will be served food-wise, what beverages will be available besides alcohol-"

"SHELDON! Let's just go for a little while and see what happens. If you're not happy, you can leave, but we have to at least show up. It's a social necessity when it's your neighbor, " Leonard reasoned.

"I'm not making any promises, Leonard," Sheldon said as if he were sacrificing his latest Batman comic and stood up. "But do I have to wear a Christmas sweater?"

"Do you have one?"


"Then why'd you ask?"

"To see if it would get me out of going."

"It doesn't. Let's go before you come up with something else," Leonard said and waited for Sheldon to leave the apartment before he left, fearing that Sheldon would slam the door shut and lock himself in behind Leonard.

Leonard shut and locked the door behind him as Sheldon knocked on Penny's door.

Knock knock knock "Penny." Knock-

"Sheldon's here!" Penny slurred excitedly when she opened the door and saw a disgruntled Sheldon. She looked up and burst into giggles.

"May I come in, Penny? Or am I not invited to this Christmas party?" Sheldon tried in vain at another attempt at staying home.

Penny giggled again and almost spilled an open bottle of Christmas Ale on her and Sheldon as she grabbed his hand to pull him into the apartment as Leonard appeared at the doorway.

She pulled Sheldon in one step and then stopped him with her other hand which was holding the bottle of spiced beer. The bottle, which was pressed against his chest, tipped some and spilled a few drops on his dinosaur t-shirt. He frowned but didn't have enough time to say anything. Penny let out another set of giggles before going up on her tip-toes and planting a smooch on Sheldon's lips.

Leonard, Howard, and Raj gasped and jumped to remove Penny from the frozen Sheldon. But she stepped back now cracking up before they reached her. There was no sign of life in Sheldon besides the blood rising to his ears, turning them crimson.

"I. . . kissed. . . SHELDON. . . under the. . . mistletoe!" Penny laughed hysterically, tears running down her face.

Howard silently took the bottle from her hand and set in down on the table. The rest of Penny's guests either chuckled with her or were not concerned with Penny kissing a Christmas Party Guest under the mistletoe. But Sheldon still wasn't moving (no one was sure about breathing), and Leonard, Raj, and Howard were staring wide-eyed and terrified at Sheldon and Penny.

Sheldon snapped out of his state of shock and terror, to turn to Leonard and say: "I'm not having any fun. May I have the key?"

Leonard silently handed him the key and let him flee from 4B as if a Dalek on speed was chasing after him.

"Did she kiss you, too?" Leonard asked Raj and Howard.

"Unfortunately, no," Howard said. "She had a male friend answer the door. Should we, I don't know, go talk to him?"

"My Sheldon instincts are telling me to stay far, far away," Leonard replied.

The three of them picked up their phones after a text message came a while later: "Christmas Ale has, on average 7.50% alcohol content while your average Budweiser has about 4.2%."

"He's rationalizing," Leonard said. "He'll be fine."

Sheldon paced his dark bedroom with a frown and a stitch in his brow for what seemed like hours. This just wasn't right. It wasn't normal. It wasn't Anything Can Happen Thursday so he couldn't shrug it off as a Thursday antic. It was Friday. But there was the possibility that Penny had the date wrong; it wouldn't be the first time. She once brought Thai food over on Chinese Food Friday.

Leonard knocked on Sheldon's door at 1:13 am and Sheldon ignored it. He was just about to figure out what had happened. Penny had kissed him while inebriated. But the question was why him and not Leonard? He was obsessing, but it wasn't often Sheldon didn't know something.

Then, at about two thirty when Sheldon had stopped pacing and sat at the edge of his bed, someone else came to his door.

Knock knock knock "Sheldon," knock knock knock "Sheldon," knock knock knock "Sheldon, sweetie, open up."

The door flung open, letting in a strip of light that made Penny's hair glow golden. "Are you here to apologize for sexually assaulting me at your party in front of my friends and all of your guests?" Sheldon asked coldly.

"I didn't-" she sighed. "I didn't sexually assault you, Sheldon, I kissed you."

"I don't understand how that was not sexual assault seeing as I was an unwilling participant," Sheldon said blankly.

"Sweetie, it was all in good fun," she said and pushed passed him into his room and sat at the edge of his bed. She seemed to have sobered up some.

"Who's fun?" he questioned, still standing awkwardly at the door with his hand still on the doorknob.

"My drunk self's fun? I don't know, Sheldon, I guess I just thought it would be funny at the time," she said with a shrug. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings."

"My feelings are not hurt," he informed.

"Good. Then why didn't you stay at the party longer?" Penny asked, tracing a line on his comforter with the tip of her index finger.

"I was confused," Sheldon said.

"About what?"

"About the- the kiss. I didn't know what to do," he said nervously, his hand tensing on the doorknob.

"Sweetie, have you never kissed anyone before?" Penny asked cautiously.

"Once," Sheldon said.

Penny gestured for him to sit next to her. He obliged, shut the door, and tensely sat next to her on his bed. It was dark again; his goldfish nightlight was the only source of light in the room. The dim light was shining off her face, illuminating her features just enough for him to see her expressions.

"Wanna tell me about it?" Penny asked kindly, honestly intrigued by any possibility that Sheldon was romantically involved with another human being.

"Why do you want to know? It's not like the information is pertinent for you to know," Sheldon pointed out.

"Because that's what friends do. They tell stories about their past so that they can better understand each other," Penny explained.

Sheldon was silent while he thought it over. He did, indeed, want to understand Penny better because she was mind-boggling and foreign to him.

"As long as you tell me something, too," Sheldon proposed.

"Sure thing, sweetie," Penny agreed.

"When I was twelve, there was a girl named Candace who lived down the street from me. I had never taken notice to her because I had once heard that she had earned a seventy percent on a science test. Then suddenly she started to hang around all the time and sent cookies to my house once. They were rocket ship shaped sugar cookies with blue sprinkles that she'd made herself. We would walk home from the bus stop together and she'd ask about my experiments. I never understood why she was so interested in what I was doing besides the fact that she knew I was destined to discover something groundbreaking in the science world someday.

"One Tuesday, at the morning bus stop, she kissed me to say hello. I was shocked but I was inexplicably happy. Then her big brother found out and punched me in the face until my nose and mouth hemorrhaged. He was not pleased that his younger sister had kissed the 'freaky nerd down the street' and demanded that I stay away from her. From then on she never spoke to me again. So, yes, Penny, I have been kissed before. But the connotations are far from positive," Sheldon told Penny.

"Sheldon, swee-"

"You don't need to call me 'sweetie,'" Sheldon interrupted.

"Sheldon, I'm sorry that happened to you. But I promise my big brother isn't going to come beat you up until you have hemorrhoids." Sheldon gave her a look like he couldn't believe the words that just came from her mouth. "So, you don't have to get upset about it," she assured him.

Sheldon was quiet again until he said: "Your turn."

"What do you want to know?" she asked.

"Something personal that I don't know already," Sheldon responded. "It's only fair."

The bed shifted a little as Penny turned to face Sheldon. He looked at her twice in a quick double take before his eyes settled on his hands on his lap. One of her hands covered his and he was forced to look at her again. She had an expression on her face and in her eyes that Sheldon didn't recognize. He studied her features: slightly pouted lips, face turned upwards towards his, a look in her eyes that was kind but yet not kind, her torso angled towards his, and she blinked more than usual. None of these factors registered in his brain as a sign of an expression ever expressed towards him before. But it looked strangely familiar, like he'd seen it before somewhere else.

"I'm not sure if it's how much I drank- God, I hope it is. Or if it's because of lack of sleep, but I. . . I- want to kiss you again," she said the last part in a rush.

"What?!" Sheldon gasped, schooching away from her on the bed. "Why?"

"I just said I didn't know why," she responded, slightly offended.

"I- I - I don't think that's a good idea. Thank you for sharing something personal, you may leave, I'd like to go to bed now," Sheldon said and stood up and opened the door. They both blinked; their eyes adjusting to the light that streamed in.

Penny looked down for a moment and neither of them moved. Sheldon had his eyes fixed on the glowing goldfish swimming in its bowl and his hand holding the open door. He heard the springs in his bed squeak quietly as Penny stood up. He expected her to leave but she shut the door too quickly for him to tighten his grip to stop it and it gave him a splinter in his thumb. He gasped at the sudden, unexpected behavior and the sharp poke in his hand and looked at her.

She was standing directly in front of him, looking up at him determinedly. He was about to object to her behavior when she pushed him against the wall. His head hit the door frame, which annoyed him more than it hurt him, as she pressed her body against his and went up on tip-toes again. Her brown eyes were locked on his blue as she put her hands on either side of his face. He was frozen again as he realized what was happening.

And for the second time that night, and the first time sans mistletoe, her soft, Christmas Ale flavored lips were on his.