The Bazinga Experiment
'I do think this may be one of the best comic con's ever in its forty two year history,' Sheldon announced staring at the schedule for Saturday on his computer as the other boys tried to peek around him.
'Oh look, Lucy Lawless will be at a panel this year. It might be time I made the warrior princess the future Mrs. Wolowitz,' Howard noted poking his finger at the screen of Sheldon's laptop.
'Xena, would kill you if you tried to lay a finger on her,' Raj smiled, 'but me on the other hand…'
Sheldon gave Howard a dirty look, ' Speaking of fingers, I wish you would keep your germ infested hands to yourself, there is no telling where they have been.'
'Noted,' Howard whispered moving his hands from Sheldon's screen and placing them in his jeans pockets.
'What's that from Joss Whedon?' Leonard asked Sheldon, pointing towards a paragraph about Whedon's new movie.
'From creator, Joss Whedon, comes the movie remake of Wonder Woman,' Sheldon read the screen out loud,' starring Elisa Dunshku as Dianna Prince/Wonder Woman and introducing Penny Moonves as Donna Milton/Circe.'
'Penny Moonves?' Leonard asked, 'our Penny, in something by Joss Whedon?'
'That's amazing, we know someone working with a Hollywood legend,' Raj nodded.
Howard rubbed his chin, and wondered out loud,' I wonder if she could get us a meeting with Eliza Dunshku?'
'Those acting lessons, she started a few years ago, must have paid off,' Sheldon noted ignoring the others and continuing to scroll down Saturday's schedule, 'oh look, the third X-files movie.
'I wonder if she'll be excited to see us all again?' Leonard asked ignoring Sheldon, 'she'll know we'll be going to Comic Con and will probably run into her.'
'Maybe Penny can get us backstage to meet Joss,' Raj jumped for joy.
'Elisa, would be better,' Howard noted, 'or Sarah would do as well.'
Sheldon shook his head and looked at the boys behind him, 'what makes you think Penny cares about seeing any of us again?'
'She's our friend, Sheldon. It's what friends do, catch up when they come back to town,' Leonard tried to explain to the taller man in front of him.
'But why, Leonard? We have nothing in common. Clearly Penny is only in town to promote her new comic book venture with Joss Whedon and if she was so excited to see us don't you think she would have tried to contact us by now to let us know she was coming? Comic Con is only in 2 weeks, hardly enough time to plan a proper visit.'
'Dude, why do you always have to be such a let down?' Raj asked not expecting a response.
'I am only stating what any sane person can see right in front of me. Penny does not have plans to see us on her trip to San Diego and I just do not want any of you to get too excited about her visit, Leonard especially, as I am still not fond of cats.'
'What is that suppose to mean?' Leonard asked sticking his chin up in that annoying smug way Sheldon hated.
'You know full well what I am referring to, you will have another failed attempt at courting Penny and I will once again face the risk of your need for feline companionship after the relationship comes to an end.'
'Sheldon, you're wrong. Penny and I will both have grown as people since we last saw each other. Maybe our relationship will be more successful this time.'
'Far from likely,' Sheldon pointed out, 'as Penny is far more successful now than she was working as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory that means she is now even more out of your league than when she was living across the hall.'
'Penny was never of out my league!' Leonard shot back.
Howard made a coughing sound but Raj was the first to speak, 'you're kidding right dude? You and Penny are not even the same species.'
Leonard rolled his eyes, 'Thanks Raj. I get it, Penny may not be in my league but that doesn't mean we can't make a relationship work.'
Sheldon shook his head, his eyes not leaving his computer screen, 'because that worked so well for you last time.'
Leonard jutted out his chin and stalked from the living room towards his bedroom.
Sheldon turned around to smile at Leonard's outburst, 'I rest my case.'
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Sheldon watched the other guys yawn as he leant back in his seat in Ballroom 20. It had been decided that Leonard, Raj and Howard would spend Friday night in line for the first panels of the day and for Sheldon to enjoy his sleep in the hotel room and they would save him a seat for the next day. Sheldon had been pleased to roll out of his hotel room bed at 8am, throw on his flash t-shirt, grab a tea and still be only five rows from the stage because of the boy's selfless act.
Leonard eyed the Starbuck's cup in Sheldon hand, 'Sheldon, the least you could have done was bring us all coffee this morning, since we spent all night fighting off Twilight girls so you could have this amazing spot.'
Leonard, Leonard, you are far too old to be confusing the word least with most,' Sheldon said shaking his head before taking another sip of his tea.
Leonard narrowed his eyes at Sheldon, before feeling Howard put his arm in front of Leonard's chest to stop him for murdering the jerk, 'I'll go get us some coffee and something to eat,' Howard told them exiting their row and heading for the door.
Raj leaned over to Leonard and whispered in his ear, 'I can't wait to see Penny.'
Leonard nodded, 'Not as much me, Raj. When they start doing questions, I am going to be the first one to that mic.'
Sheldon starred at his lap, 'I hope you do not have plans to embarrass yourself and Penny by admitting to a room of five thousand people, you are still in love with her after two years of being broken up.'
'Sheldon, it's none of your business but I will not be embarrassing anyone. I just wanted to say hi and let her know we are here for her big break. Don't even try to ruin this for her?'
Sheldon looked at Leonard confused, 'I would never do anything to hurt, Penny.'
'Then I would suggest you keep your mouth shut when I ask my question.'
Sheldon looked away from Leonard at his shoes, remembering a trivial conversation Penny had with Bernadette, Howard's ex girlfriend regarding shoes years ago, the right side of Sheldon's mouth gave a small smirk as he thought of his former neighbor, Penny.
Howard arrived back from the snack cart, carrying three coffees and three hot pretzels. He stepped over Sheldon and handed everyone but him a coffee and pretzel, 'Where is my pretzel?' Sheldon asked.
'Oh, the snack cart is just outside,' Howard nodded his head towards the exit before taking his seat between Raj and Leonard.
Sheldon sat back and with a deadpan tone said, 'I assume that was for not bring you coffee this morning.'
The boys nodded.
'Well Bazinga, jokes on you,' he told the others reaching into his bag and pulling out a pretzel, 'I already have acquired one.'
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The boys had finished this breakfast by the time the panel had started; first out had been Joss, than Elisa. When she had entered Howard had screamed her name over the crowd to try to get her attention, it hadn't worked.
Then the moment they had been waiting for arrived, 'introducing Penny Moonves,' the host called as Penny stepped out from behind the curtain, wearing a form fitting black t-shirt and dark tight jeans and her hair pulled up into a messy ponytail. Her blonde locks contained pale lavender highlights, probably left over from her movie role as Circe. Leonard, Raj and Howard all stood hooting and hollering at Penny's sudden appearance but Sheldon sat back in his seat unable to take his eyes off of the woman before him. She was still mostly the Penny he had remembered, the one that had taken care of him when he had been sick and sang soft kitty when he had needed it but there was something more than Sheldon had seen before. She was beautiful not only by society's standards but by Sheldon's own as well, he felt his stomach tighten as the butterflies danced in it. The lavender highlights in her hair made her appear more dangerous, Sheldon wasn't sure if that excited him or scared him. He had not given his Penny a second thought over the years but watching her sit up on the stage grinning to be at Comic Con Sheldon wanted nothing more than to be by her side celebrating her success.
It had taken twenty minutes before the host of the panel had opened it up to audience questions and as promised Leonard had jumped over Sheldon's long legs and ran towards the microphone three rows behind them. He was second in line behind a man asking the panel what their favorite scene to shoot had been. Penny had said the fight scene near the end of the movie between her and Elisa had been her favorite, while Elisa had mentioned the day she had first put on the Wonder Woman costume as her favorite.
When the man nodded his satisfaction with their answers, Leonard stepped forward for his turn. Sheldon looked back at the tiny man from his chair hoping he would not embarrass himself too much. Leonard cleared his throat before he started to speak, 'I just wanted to say welcome to Comic Con to the cast and say a special hello to Miss Penny Moonves from her friends from Pasadena, we were starting to wonder when we might see you again.
Penny sat behind the table on the stage squinting into the crowd at the person standing at the microphone, 'Leonard?'
Leonard nodded, 'Yeah, Penny it's me. We all came out to see you, Howard, Raj and even Sheldon.
'Oh my god, guys stand up, so I can see you,' Penny demanded from her seat on stage.
Howard and Raj stood up at her words but they had to pull Sheldon up by his flash t-shirt, 'okay, okay,' he told them.
'I see you,' Penny said leaving her seat and running off the stage toward the guys and Leonard. Penny put her arms out getting ready to hug the guys. Leonard followed suit and put his arms out waiting for a hug and maybe a kiss from Penny but his effort was for nothing when Penny stopped short when she saw Sheldon in front of her and wrapped her arms around the confused man.
Sheldon looked down at the smaller woman with her arms wrapped around his chest, 'Penny, what are you doing? You are embarrassing me,' Sheldon hissed through her grip on his chest.
'Just hug me back, Moonpie,' she told him.
'You know only my Meemaw calls me Moonpie,' Sheldon squeaked out but still followed Penny's instructions wrapping his arms loosely around her back.
'Whatever Sheldon, you're ruining the moment,' Penny said holding him even tighter.
Howard pointed at Penny and Sheldon hugging, 'I knew I should have sat on the end seat.'
Raj just nodded as he watched the confusing scene.
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Two hours later the gang was sat around a table for five at the Cheesecake Factory in San Diego, 'I can't believe I am missing the third X-files movie panel to sit in the Cheesecake Factory when it isn't even a Tuesday,' Sheldon announced starring at the burger the waitress named Judy had bought him.'
Leonard gave Sheldon an anger look, 'Sheldon we have already discussed this. Eating lunch with Penny is non optional social convention.
'It is so weird being in a Cheesecake Factory again after all these years,' Penny told the others sticking her fork into her four cheese pasta.
'Yes, I suppose it does make a change being able to sit at a table and eat the food rather than being the one that brings the food,' Sheldon said in the nicest way possible as he took his first bite of his B.B.Q. Bacon Cheeseburger.
'Nope, don't miss being a waitress at all,' Penny announced, 'worse time in my life.'
Leonard looked at her concerned before she quickly changed her mind, 'worse job in my life.'
Sheldon threw down his burger, 'this cheeseburger is sub par. You say you disliked being a waitress Penny but you were such an excellent one, it seems a shame someone like you to have moved on from it.'
'Thanks, I guess,' Penny shrugged, 'I never really thought I was good at anything before I got this role.'
'Penny, you do so many things well, being a waitress was always one of them. You always bought me the correct food the way I asked for it. The other waitress's at the Cheesecake Factory seemed to find this a difficult task that is why I had to change my Tuesday hamburger back to the Big Boy.'
Howard shook his head, 'poor Bernadette tried when you left but…'
'The woman tried to bring me a Classic Burger instead of a B.B.Q. Bacon Cheeseburger,' Sheldon interrupted him.
Leonard shook his head looking down at his plate, 'that was the last straw for the Cheesecake Factory.'
'I'm very sorry Sheldon,' Penny apologized rubbing his shoulder before adding, 'I missed you too.'
Sheldon felt a shiver run down his shine as Penny's fingers brushed against his clothed shoulder. Part of Sheldon wanted to shrug Penny's fingers off of his body but a larger part of him was enjoying the feeling of her warm skin.
Penny stopped moving her hand but let it rested on Sheldon's shoulder as she asked the group, 'so guys what are the plans for later?'
Howard leaned forward, 'well the expo hall is filled with beautiful and nerdy woman looking to hook up with some stud.'
'Plus Zachary Quinto is signing autographs at six,' Leonard blurted out.
'Yeah, getting Spock's autograph is a must,' Howard and Raj nodded.
Sheldon giggled to himself, 'Zachary Quinto is hardly Spock. There is only one Spock, Leonard Nimoy and thanks to Penny I already possess not only his signature but also his DNA. I have no need for the autograph of a Spock imposter.
Penny raised her eyebrows as she glanced at Sheldon, 'I thought you enjoyed the last Star Trek movie?'
'Yes, I did as you say enjoy most of the movie but Quinto's performance was appalling. Everyone knows that Vulcans replace their emotions with logic.'
'But Zachary Quinto is so hot when he kisses Uhura,' Penny told him continuing to once again rub his shoulder.
'That is the reason I find his performance as Spock appalling, a true Vulcan would not be having bazinga with the communications officer!' he told her pulling his shoulder from her grip.
'Fine, we get it Sheldon. You don't have to come with us,' Leonard told him glancing from him to Penny, 'but Penny you're invited to tag along if you want.'
Penny turned away from Leonard and towards Sheldon, 'what's your plan for tonight?'
Sheldon was taken aback by Penny's curiosity in his life. Surely she would rather get the autograph of the 'hot' Zachary Quinto than spend the night with him watching his new DVDs.
'Since I have already missed seeing Chris Carter, I got some new DVDs at the hall yesterday; I was planning to watch a few episodes before bed,' Sheldon informed her glancing at his watch.
'Oh, what DVDs did you get?' Penny asked him.
'Batman the animated series,' Sheldon said deadpan, 'it does not always follow the comics well but it was where the character of Harley Quinn was first introduced so it has it merits.
Penny nearly jumped out of her seat, 'Me and my brother used to watch that Batman cartoon all the time. I was a huge Harley Quinn and Cat Woman fan, mind if I join you tonight to watch a few?'
Sheldon froze, Penny was choosing himself over Zachary Quinto someone she had said herself was hot. Sheldon stomach flipped and he felt the need to move his hand over it to stop its gymnastics, 'as long as you never refer to it as that Batman cartoon again, you may join me.'
Penny leaned forward close to Sheldon's face watching his fiery blue eyes dance, 'fine, may I watch Batman the animated series with you?'
'That would be acceptable.'
Leonard reached across the table and forced his hand between Penny and Sheldon's faces, 'Penny, are you serious you wouldn't rather hit the expo hall with us and meet Zachary Quinto?'
'Nope, I've met him; he's not much to write home about. I prefer Leonard Nimoy too,' Penny shrugged reaching into her bag and pulling out the money for the bill before turning to Sheldon, 'you ready, Moonpie?'
Sheldon gave her a look that signaled a strike was in her future before mouthing, 'Penny…'
Penny shrugged once more taking Sheldon clammy hand to lead him out the restaurant, 'I know; only your Meemaw calls you Moonpie. Someday we're gonna change that.'
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Sheldon opened the door to his hotel room and gestured Penny inside. Noticing only one double bed in the center of the room Penny asked, 'are you not sharing a room with the other guys?'
'Leonard, Howard and Raj are sharing the room next to mine, I don't sleep well with other people in my room,' Sheldon told her watching as Penny crossed the room and took a seat on the double bed, 'the first year we shared a hotel room, the others didn't get much sleep because I was spooked each time one of them tried to get in bed with me.'
'The whole danger danger thing,' Penny laughed out loud untying her hair from its pony tail and letting it fall down her back, 'I forgot about that.'
Sheldon's head glanced at the blonde on his bed before placing his lap top onto the bed in front of Penny and loading a disc inside, 'I haven't had time to hook the laptop DVD player up to the room's TV so we'll have to watch it on this.'
'That's fine,' Penny told him dropping her purse onto the floor and laying across the bed on her stomach exposing a suggestion of skin between her t-shirt and jeans, 'I'm comfortable.'
Sheldon rubbed his hands against the side of his pants, his palms were sweating and he wasn't sure where to sit. He couldn't possible sit on the bed with Penny being so 'comfortable'…didn't the woman know what she was doing to him? Sheldon pulled the desk chair next to the bed and sat down in it crossing his legs as he watched the DVD titles play, he couldn't see Penny at all from this angle and could just focus on the show before him.
Penny leaned on one of her elbows and turned to Sheldon, 'what are you doing all the way over there?' Sheldon glanced over at her, he had heard her words but he had been too captivated by the exposed skin running from Penny's flat stomach to her left hip bone protruding from the top of her low rider jeans to reply.
'Hey Sheldon!' Penny shrieked before Sheldon was able to blink again, 'you alright?'
'Of course, I just prefer the viewing angle from this spot to the angle from the bed.'
'Sheldon, come on, we're friends, sit next to me,' Penny patted the side of the bed next to her.
'Very well, if I must,' Sheldon pushed the chair back into its proper place before sitting down on the edge of the bed next to Penny.
'See much better,' Penny told him, 'leaning her head against his hip.
Sheldon's eyes shot open and his heart started to beat in a faster time, as he looked down at the blonde and lavender head lying just under his hip. There was only one explanation for what this woman was doing; she was trying to kill him. He wanted to touch her new hair, he would always prefer her natural blonde hair but something about the lavender highlights running throughout her natural color reminded him of anime characters, always so bubbly and happy like his Penny. Sheldon tried to remember what Circe's costume had been like in the comics and part of him hoped the movie producers had decided it needed to show more skin. Sheldon normally hated people who narrated during films or television but staring at her hair he felt the words leave his lips, 'Penny, I miss your natural blonde hair.'
She looked up at him so her head was now lying on top of his thigh, 'you don't like the lavender, huh, sweetie?'
Sheldon tried to think of a way to phrase a response that wouldn't hurt Penny, 'I find it interesting but you were much more beautiful with your natural color.'
Wide-eyed, Penny looked at Sheldon confused, 'did you just call me beautiful?'
Sheldon swallowed hard again, 'Penny… you know full well you are beautiful… by society's standards, no one could argue that you were not…'
Penny's cheeks grew rosy as she blurted out, 'am I beautiful by your standards, Sheldon?'
Sheldon looked down at the perfect beauty below him before pulling his leg away and jumping off the bed, 'Penny, I think you should go.' His true feelings went unspoken.
Penny head hit the bed hard and she rubbed it as she sat up looking at Sheldon with a dazed expression on her face, 'why? What did I do?'
Sheldon crossed his arms over his chest, 'your lack of intelligence confounds me. I don't have time nor the sock puppets to explain it to you.'
Penny climbed off the bed her cheeks no longer rosy but now red with anger as she stalked towards Sheldon, 'you're nuts!'
Sheldon threw his arms down to his sides, 'how many times must I tell you people, my mother had me tested.'
Penny rolled her eyes and poked Sheldon in the chest, 'what is your deal? You look at me all doe eyed, tell me I'm beautiful and then try to throw me out of your room. I know you missed me Sheldon Cooper, even if you won't admit it.'
'There is nothing to admit, I did not tell you I found you beautiful…' Sheldon looked down at the small woman poking his chest.'
'Fine,' Penny said heading for the door, 'maybe you'll miss me when we don't see each other for another two years.'
Sheldon followed her ready to continue to argue when the door slammed in his face. She had really left, walked out of his life again like she had when Leonard had ruined their relationship.
Sheldon stared at the floor for a moment, had he really missed her? When he felt his stomach flip once again he knew it was time to stop lying to him self.
Sheldon grabbed the door handle and screamed Penny's name as he opened it.
'What?' a voice came from the other side. Penny was sat against the wall on the other side of the hall, tears running down her face.
Sheldon bit his lip as he stared at His Penny, the one he had tried to get rid of so he wouldn't have to face the truth, he did love her. 'I'm sorry, Penny,' he told her looking at the floor.
Penny wiped the tears from her face as she stood up, 'no, it's my fault. I know how you are, I just pushed you too far with all the touching and Moonpies.' Sheldon smirked at the word Moonpie, 'can we be friends again?' she asked wrapping her arms around him for a hug,
Sheldon looked down at the woman wrapped around his chest, 'Penny, I don't think I can be friends with you.'
Penny looked up at him with an annoyed expression but before she could finish saying 'why the hell not?' Sheldon had already touched his lips to her moist ones. Sheldon wrapped his arms tightly around her torso murmuring Penny's name under his breath.
When Sheldon pulled away, Penny evaluated the situation before her, 'I don't want to be friends, either,' she told him pushing him against the wall of the hallway and attacking his lips again.
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'Penny, will you'd come back to Pasadena with us?' Sheldon asked her running his fingers through her hair as she sat between his legs only wearing his favorite Flash t-shirt.
'Sheldon, I don't have an apartment in Pasadena anymore,' Penny looked up at him from the space between his legs.
Sheldon stroked her hair, 'you are always welcome at our apartment. I'm sure Leonard would not mind.'
'Leonard would mind and your couch isn't that comfortable,' Penny laughed shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders, 'plus I have a home of my own in New York.'
'Who cares about Leonard?' Sheldon kissed the top of her head holding it against his bare chest, 'I would never propose that my girlfriend slept on the couch in the living room, and there is more than enough room in my bed for both of us.
'So, I'm your girlfriend now? As long as you don't yell danger everytime I get in bed with you I guess we could make that work,' Penny snuggled against him running her fingers over his forearms.
Sheldon examined a strain of Penny hair like she was a new species he was cataloguing, 'I don't find you dangerous…at least not in a way I don't like.'
'Plus, we have been missing a communications officer from our away team for quite a while now.'
'Am I right in thinking that part of the communications officer's role is to have bazinga with the science officer?' Penny blushed reaching upwards to take Sheldon's face in her hands and bringing his lips to her own in a soft kiss.
'Sounds like a plan to me, Officer Moonves' Sheldon told her wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her down onto the bed for a second round.