Title: The Unceremoniously Adulate Repercussion.
Pairing: Implications of Howard/OMC, Howard/Raj, minor Leonard/Penny.
Rating: T to be safe.
Warnings: Slash, mpreg.
Disclaimer: I do not in any way own The Big Bang Theory, because if so, there would more than likely be myself as part of the guys' circle, and perhaps as a potential love interest of one of them (though I shall not reveal which).
Author's Note: This is my first regarding The Big Bang Theory, so calm yourself from flaming me too badly. No secret that it's slash, though, considering that's my favourite type of fanfiction.
The Unceremoniously Adulate Repercussion
It couldn't possibly be true. There was no possible way.
Of course, they had explained to him the possibility, and how it could be true, and presented the evidence that it was, but he was not willing to believe it. Of all things, why did this have to happen to him? It was one of those, "one in a billion," type of experiences, and certainly one he didn't want to have. Time seemed to have slowed down extensively since he had received the phone call with his test results from the doctor, the only person besides his mother who he had spoken to for weeks. To be fair, he had brief phone calls with his closest friends, but it wasn't the same. The man had been ill, and spent two weeks thus far in his bedroom, dressed in his housecoat.
His facial expression hadn't changed for minutes, nor had any part of his body moved, besides his heart.
One terrible mistake on one depressing night had turned into much more than he had anticipated. There were few women who were actually willing to go home with him, or take him home, and thus he had been forced to find release with a member of the opposite sex of women. A member of his own sex. Not that it had been a huge mistake in that category, he discovered that he very much enjoyed sexual release with another man, and wished sometime to attempt it with a particular close friend of his. Of course, it was the man himself he had found which had been the mistake, and the outcome. After thinking on it blankly for only minutes since the call, he made a decision.
Howard Wolowitz would not tell anyone about his predicament.
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"Where have you been? You haven't been here or work in weeks now."
The awkwardness he felt inside was lost among his friends, as somehow, Howard was able to mask his face as he looked up from his Chinese food to face Leonard Hofstadter's question. Of course, his friends had known that he was ill, but he hadn't gone into any details, whether true or false, with any of them. He noticed that there were three sets of eyes on him, and it pressured him greatly, though he was able to hold that inside for the time being. The only set of eyes that legitimately meant anything greatly to him was right beside him, but even the thought of that could not encourage him to reveal his secret to his friends. At least not until it would become noticeable.
"I was..." he began, "Really sick."
"Well, obviously. But you never even asked any of us to help you."
"I've decided to become more...independent."
Leonard raised an eyebrow, "You realize that would work better if you moved out of your mother's house?"
He did have to agree, arguing that he was claiming his independence would work a lot better if he moved out of his mother's place. Though if he didn't want his mother to find out about his current situation, he would eventually have to move out within the next couple months, but where to was a mystery. So desperately he wanted to ask his closest friend, Raj Koothrappali, to let him move in, but he didn't have the courage to do so, nor did he want to reveal his secret to any of his friends. Pasting a sort of smile upon his face, Howard just shrugged and made an unreadable action with his hands, which basically signaled that there was nothing more to say.
"You know how it is. She cooks for me."
"Yeah, and you do just about everything for her," Raj added to that.
Looking down at his food again, he replied, "I'm her son. If I ever have children, I'd appreciate that from them."
"You with kids," Leonard laughed, "That's a good one."
"It could happen someday, you know. I'm not dead yet. None of us are."
The group seemed fairly shocked at Howard's new line of conversation, since when had he ever considered having children? That had come across as more confusing to everyone than his weeks of sickness, when he had basically ignored his friends all besides one or two phone calls. None of them had ever breached the subject of children before, mainly because the four of them never assumed they would ever marry or procreate - Sheldon Cooper hadn't given it much thought whatsoever, though the other three had basically kept the subject something of a taboo. Howard glanced at them a moment, noticing all eyes silently watching him.
His expression became quizzical, "Why are you all staring at me?"
"Howard, do you realize what you're saying?"
"I do, Raj," he began to explain, "But I mean, there's no exact impossibility of any of us having children someday."
Before anyone had the time to formulate any sort of response, Howard placed his food back down on the table, and dashed out as quickly as he possibly could. There was no way he could remain there with everyone's eyes on him, judging him, wondering about him, trying to see through him. He could not properly speak to his friends without thinking about his current predicament, and just thinking about it sprouted conversations he was not willing to have. Holding his hand over his chest to feel his heart speeding due to his arrhythmia, he patiently waited to bound down the stairs until he had calmed down enough to move steadily without causing himself any accident.
Obviously, keeping this secret was going to be harder than he had initially assumed.
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"HOWARD! YOUR FRIEND PATSY IS HERE!"
Just as his mother had before, she had made the mistake in calling Penny - who happened to be the only female Howard could actually call a friend, regardless if she may deny it - by the wrong name, though this time, he hadn't heard a correction from her. He gave no reply, hoping that his mother would be under the impression that he was still asleep, which wouldn't be completely unrealistic at this point, considering he was sleeping a lot more than usual. When he heard the footsteps upon the stairs though, followed by the soft knock on his door, he knew that Penny had not relented. The attractive blonde entered his room slowly without waiting for a reply, looking both concerned and surprised that Howard was sitting in bed, looking depressed, as he did the only other time she'd been there.
"Hey Howard," she began nervously while closing the door, "Leonard said that you're sick."
"Why would you care about that?"
"Look, most of the time you're just...creepy, but you really seem under the weather right now, and I want to help."
He could only stare, unsure of what to say or do, and obviously Penny was feeling awkward just sitting there. So desperately did he wish she would just leave, let him be miserable all by himself, but she clearly seemed relentless about staying. Moving closer to the bed, she sat at the end of it, looking toward Howard, who was still staring at her as if there was something he didn't understand. His stare was making her even more nervous than she actually was, but it was the understanding that it wasn't one of his usual creepy stares that kept her grounded - he was legitimately confused, and his apparent illness made the situation even more depressing.
"Could you at least begin by telling me why you're so sick?"
He thought a moment before throwing out a quiet, "No, not really."
"Obviously this isn't something like a cold, Howard. You have to know what's causing this!"
"Then tell me!" she exclaimed. "Please, I won't tell anyone if that's what you want."
Her eyes were pleading, as if she was genuinely concerned, and it tugged at Howard's heart to see her so worried about him. This situation often never arose, Penny would more than likely be thrilled at the idea of Howard being ill, just so he would stay home and away from her, which made him think a moment about it. Could he trust Penny to keep his secret? She wasn't like Sheldon who was incapable of properly lying, without creating a detailed alibi behind it, but could he believe that she would keep her lips sealed? It would be fortuitous for someone to understand his predicament, so that he'd at least have someone to talk to about it.
"Okay," he began, "It's like this..."
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"Hey Penny, what's going on here?"
The multitude of boxes being carried into the blonde's apartment did not escape Leonard's sight, nor the fact that the blonde herself was the one repeatedly walking up and down the stairs to transport said boxes. Obviously she wasn't moving out, otherwise her apartment would slowly be emptying rather than filling up more, but there was no one else around, so she couldn't possibly be getting a new roommate. After all, wouldn't it be respectful that a new roommate moves their own stuff in by themselves? Though it would be absurd to believe that Penny would have purchased so much stuff to warrant so many boxes, she didn't make enough money to buy that much.
"Howard's moving in with me."
The spectacled man stopped a moment, "I think I heard you wrong, you said that Wolowitz is moving in with you?"
"That's what I said," she said nonchalantly.
Just thinking about it was preposterous, perhaps Penny was playing some sort of joke on him? She had always been incredibly disgusted by Howard, attempting to spend as little time around him alone as possible. Everything seemed to be getting weirder than usual lately, and it all involved Howard - his sudden illness, disinterest in women, depressive state, and moving in with Penny. Leonard approached his former girlfriend's apartment and peeked inside one box, one that appeared to be clothing, and that basically proved instantly that the boxes were indeed filled with Howard's stuff. Penny didn't seem to care that Leonard was standing there, though she didn't send him away.
"He's going through a hard time right now, and I want to help him," was her only reply.
"Okay, yeah, but...it's Wolowitz."
"He's wanted to move out for a while now anyway, though with his situation, he's afraid to ask Raj."
That was what everyone expected, that if Howard were to ever leave his mother's house, he would be moving in with Raj, since the two were best friends. They were more or less inseparable, or they had been up until several weeks earlier, when Howard's illness suddenly appeared. This only raised more questions, though - since when had Howard's illness become a 'situation'? Everything seemed to be growing more complicated, and Leonard wasn't sure what to think of it all. There was definitely something going on with one of his friends, something more than he was letting on, and Leonard wasn't sure whether he ought to be worried about Howard or not.
"But..." he thought a moment, "We all know how Raj feels about him."
"He doesn't know that, though."
"Then we should make him tell Raj how he feels first."
She shook her head, "No, that much pressure at the moment could be dangerous for him."
"Penny...what's really wrong with him?"
It didn't escape Leonard whatsoever that the blonde actually looked concerned, and worried, for their friend. What could possibly ail Howard so badly that he would miss work, avoid his friends, and actually move in with Penny, without false pretenses of possibly sleeping with her? No doubt she wouldn't have agreed to it had he harboured those false pretenses. She placed down the two boxes in her arms, and turned to face Leonard, her expression being a serious one that he wasn't sure he'd ever seen on her before. It was difficult to think of what to tell him, she trusted Leonard but she also didn't want to break her trust with Howard, that she would keep this a secret.
"I'm sorry, Leonard, you're gonna have to ask him about it."
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"Did anyone hear what happened? Howard quit his job at the university."
As Leonard had stormed into his apartment saying that, both Sheldon and Raj's eyes turned toward him, full of surprise and confusion. This expression was more prominent on Raj, of course, since Sheldon was likely already forming his own hypothesis for the news. The entire thing was unexpected, Howard loved working at the university, and the group generally expected that he would have to pay rent while living with Penny, so he needed the money. The three of them didn't even see Howard much anymore anyway, despite the fact that he now lived just across the hall, and could easily show up at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment at any time.
"Well," Raj started, "It's not like he's shown up for a while."
"Raj makes an excellent point. What would be the point in Howard keeping his job if he isn't going to show up?"
He had to hand it to Sheldon, the tall man had a thing for pointing out the blatantly obvious. The thought had occurred to him, though, but nobody had thought to speak it until then. It had been two and a half months already since this had all begun to occur, and of those two and a half months, Howard had only shown up at the university for a few days every couple weeks, as if he was an avid guest but not an employee. As if right on cue, when everyone was wondering how to get answers about their friend, Penny walked into the apartment, looking like she was in a hurry, but also taking her time in doing so, as a contradiction to her own actions.
Leonard sat in his usual spot, "Where's Howard? We haven't seen him around in a while."
"That's why I'm here, he's getting sick again and I need to borrow something to clean my toilet with."
"He's still sick?" Raj asked, looking incredibly worried.
"Yeah, not as often now but it still happens frequently enough. So, disinfectant or something, anyone?"
"I'll get you something," Leonard muttered as he got up.
Penny watched as her former boyfriend headed toward his bathroom, in search of something to aid her, while she just stood by the door and waited. Sheldon just continued on with what he was reading, though she didn't necessarily wish to ask him what he was reading, in fear of having to listen to an uninteresting rambled story. Raj, on the other hand, returned his gaze to the television, but not without an obvious worry in his expression. So badly did Penny wish she could tell Raj what was happening, considering he was the closest person in the world to Howard, but she remembered her promise and made sure to keep her mouth closed.
"Here you are," Leonard spoke as he returned, "Happy cleaning."
"Thank you, I assure you it will be...pleasant."
"Somehow, I don't think that cleaning up Howard's mess will be pleasant."
Smiling in the way that assured him she had been kidding, Penny accepted the bottle and left the apartment. As she walked back into her own apartment across the hall, she heard the sound of vomiting still, and made her way through her bedroom to the bathroom. There Howard sat on the floor beside the toilet, looking absolutely miserable and completely exhausted, as if getting sick had worn him out. He was dressed fairly similar to the way he had been in his own bedroom, and Penny's heart went out to him at the sight, as it usually did over the short time he'd been living there. She moved closer to him slowly, and knelt down beside him, watching as he turned to face her.
"Oh, Howard. You must be feeling awful."
The comment needed no reply, as it was was rhetorical, but it was the fact that she was conversing with him that mattered. At the amount of weeks he had been in this predicament, even without initially knowing it, perhaps the sickness ought to have passed, though he was unaware of what side-effects or symptoms affected males in this specific situation. The bile seemed to be lessening on his throat, though he was afraid that perhaps standing would change that, so Howard remained on the floor, and leaned back against the wall. Penny looked down at the bottle in her hand, unsure of what to say, before glancing back up at the ill-feeling man.
"Do you want to go lay down?"
He nodded, "Please."
"Alright. Just so you know, the guys are worried about you...especially Raj."
"You didn't tell them, did you?"
As she helped him up off the bathroom floor, she shook her head, signaling that she had kept her word. It was moments like this, when she saw how miserable Howard was, that she was glad this had never happened to her. Slowly, she led him out of the bathroom, through her bedroom, and to the living room, where her couch had been replaced with a futon so that Howard could actually lay down on a semi-proper bed rather than just a couch. Penny helped him onto the futon, and pulled the blanket from the floor, which had gotten there when the bile first rose in his throat and he dashed toward the bathroom in a hurry to empty his stomach.
Sighing, Penny knew that the worst of this entire illness had not yet been reached.
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"I'll be back in a while, and if you really need me, I'll be reachable on my phone."
Howard only nodded in response, watching as Penny approached the door, dressed up for what happened to be another date with Leonard. Over the past month, after the incident where Penny had to borrow cleaning liquids from Leonard and Sheldon, she and the former had begun dating again, though neither had said anything about being in a relationship. Though he wanted to ask, Howard knew he wouldn't be one to ask, considering the predicament he was in. Besides to visit the doctor, he hadn't even left Penny's apartment in over a month, though he had spoken through a crack in the door to Leonard and Sheldon a couple times, as living so nearby made it hard to avoid them.
"You'll be alright, won't you?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine," he told her, "Don't keep Leonard waiting."
"Okay, I'm going. I was just making sure."
As the blonde walked out her door and closed it, Howard leaned back against his pillows and wondered that if someone had told him that this would be him someday, whether he would believe that person. He hadn't noticed his weight gain too much during the first few months, though over the past month, he definitely began to notice a change. Penny thought it was cute, supposedly, but Howard felt it was awkward. Of course, though he would never say it aloud, the reality of what was happening actually did excite him to a degree. Pulling back the blanket from his lap, he glanced down at his stomach, finally ready to admit aloud what was happening to him.
"I'm not sure why you chose me, kid, but I'll be here for you."
Smiling for one of the few times since he received the news, he placed his hand on the rounding that was his stomach. Though the experience of the conception was one which he wished to forget, involving a man he would never see again, the outcome was something quite amazing. He only wished that this had happened with someone else, specifically with Raj, though there was nothing that could be done about it. His thoughts were interrupted when there was a knock on the door. Making sure that his housecoat was tied loosely around his stomach, he moved off the futon and reached for the door handle, opening it only a crack.
"Howard?" spoke a familiar accent, "Is that you?"
"Raj! What are you doing here?"
"I know that Penny is out, and I wanted to talk to you. Can I come in?"
Slightly hesitantly, Howard replied, "Yeah...sure."
It was fairly awkward letting Raj into the apartment, constantly checking to make sure his stomach was covered up. This was still a secret he was not willing to reveal, even to his closest friend. Raj pretended to be interested in the apartment, his hands in his pockets while he looked around at the walls and the furniture, before turning to face Howard completely. He looked expectantly at the nervous looking Jewish man, waiting for either of them to say something, though neither knew what to say. Howard was just about willing to assume that this entire meeting had been set up by Leonard and Penny, and their date being a means to have Penny out of the apartment.
"So...how have you been?"
"Alright...and you? I've heard you've been very sick...for a long time," Raj mentioned.
Howard felt it was becoming even more difficult to keep from telling his secret to Raj, which wouldn't be entirely unwarranted considering it was his own secret and nobody else's, but it nonetheless made him nervous. Worried about stumbling about and harming himself in his nerve-wracking state, Howard took a seat on the pulled out futon, shoving one of his pillows aside slightly. His Indian friend had followed moments later, the closeness concerning Howard, though he said nothing about it, since he secretly reveled in it. Suddenly, Raj's arms ended up around his waist, before he could say anything and therefore creating an anxiety within him.
"I've missed you," was muttered into Howard's hair.
"I've missed you, too. I wanted to see you, to see everyone...it's just been so rough."
"What exactly is it you're dealing with? You can tell me."
"I'm not sure," Howard told him, "But I would tell you if I was, you can be sure of that."
"Please tell me...I can't stand the worry."
Before Howard could decide whether or not to tell Raj, the other man's lips seemed to be on his own, initially causing Howard's eyes to bug out in shock, but soon enough he began to respond. After all, this was the moment he had dreamed of for years now, though he never expected that it would ever happen. His hands went to the back of Raj's head to keep him from moving, though he stilled completely when the darker man's hands grazed over his stomach. Obviously he noticed the rounding and weight gain, and pulling away, his eyes expression confusion toward Howard, who knew it was clearly the time for the truth, regardless if he wanted to say anything.
"Uhh, yeah Raj, that's what I meant to tell you," he began, "I'm pregnant."
*.* *.* *.* *.* *.*
"Raj, what the Hell did you do to Howard?"
Two weeks had passed since Howard had admitted the news to his closest friend, the only person to truly hold his heart, and it had been two weeks since he had seen him either. Initially, Penny had thought that perhaps the man's depression was just an extension of his already existing depression, until she overheard him talking to himself one night in the bathroom, asking himself why he had to speak to Raj. The next day, she had decided on storming into Leonard and Sheldon's apartment when she knew Raj would be there, and that's what found Raj sitting on the couch, looking almost frightened at an angry Penny in the doorway.
"He has been moping around for two weeks," she explained, "And apparently, it's all your fault!"
Leonard turned to him, "Raj, you saw Howard?"
Given that Penny was standing in the room, Raj couldn't very well give a reply, though her angry expression was almost enough to make him spew something out. Understanding that he would obviously not say anything until she left, the blonde stormed back out of the apartment, leaving Leonard's eyes on Raj. Sheldon's eyes would quite possibly have joined him, if he wasn't too engrossed in whatever it was he was doing online. The Indian man seemed nervous, of course, but also incredibly guilty, which made Leonard wonder what had actually happened between them. He didn't have to wait very long, though, before Raj decided to speak up.
"Yes, I saw Howard. He told me what's going on, and I sort of...freaked out."
"Why? What's wrong with him?"
"I don't think it would be my right to tell you," was all he could say.
"Do you regret it? Because if you do, tell him that! Go make up before it's too late."
Deciding not to take any chances with waiting, Raj decided instantly to take Leonard's advice, and jumped up off the couch, and out the door. Crossing the hall to Penny's room, he knocked anxiously, and when the angry blonde opened the door and noticed it was him, she let him in silently and retreated to her bedroom. Howard happened to be asleep on the futon, looking exhausted and just plain adorable to Raj. Sitting down beside the sleeping form of his friend, he was unsure of what to do next, and just decided in the end to lay beside him, taking him into his arms. The touch instantly brought Howard out of his sleep, and he looked fairly surprised to see Raj there.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Apologizing, Howard. I'm sorry, I was a jerk for the way I treated you."
"I'm a freak of nature, it's alright."
"You are not," Raj admonished, "And it's not alright. I want you to be happy...with me."
"You really mean that?"
Nodding, the darker man initiated what would be their third kiss, though second intentional kiss, as the one in front of Howard's former girlfriend Bernadette was not necessarily one that either of them counted. Howard couldn't believe his luck, he was laying on his bed beside the only person he'd love to share a bed with, their lips connected and their hearts basically mashed together. This was what he wanted, and part of him was afraid that this could've been a dream. Raj's hands roamed downwards, just feeling, and it was at that moment that he realized Howard was actually wearing his usual pyjamas from home, considering he could feel silk and then bare leg.
"I love you, Howard Joel Wolowitz," he muttered as he pulled back gently.
"I love you too, Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali," Howard returned, "And I want you to be my child's father."
"Anything for you, Howard. Anything."
From a crack in her doorway, Penny watched the exchange with a smile on her face, thrilled that she had eavesdropped on them and witnessed that beautiful moment. Deciding to give them some privacy, she shut her door completely, and sat on her bed, where her laptop was sitting. An IM screen to Leonard was already opened, in which she informed him of the good news. Somehow, she was not surprised the next day when Howard nervously yet happily told her that he was going to move in with Raj, and she couldn't hold back from hugging him that moment, despite her disgust of him many months prior to this entire experience.
A few months later, the two became proud parents to a baby girl, Nina Avigail Wolowitz Koothrapalli.