A/N I have never been to Comic*Con, so please overlook any errors regarding the convention. And there's a lot of "Set-Up" in this part.
As always, none of these lovely characters belong to me. Oh, if only I could have my very own Sheldon. Sigh.
Penny would like to pretend that attending Comic*Con with her nerdy buddies was all their idea, but the truth was, she had become curious. Year after year the guys were all excited for weeks, hell, months beforehand, and she wanted to see what the big deal was. Bernadette was also going, so at least she wouldn't be the lone defender of all things female.
After the symposium debacle (debacle, really? She was spending way too much time with Sheldon!) Penny decided that she would rather drive her car, than be subjected to Sheldon the Travel Supervisor. This plan was trumped by Sheldon's announcement that he would be riding with Penny. She looked at him askance. "Sheldon, Honey, you know I'm not playing any of your weird car games, right?"
"I am aware that your lack of familiarity with the Periodic Table would render any desire to play car games moot."
"That's a yes, right?" She asked Leonard quietly.
"Yes." He mumbled back.
"Okay, Sweetie, but our normal interaction rules apply, got it?"
"Excuse me, but what normal interaction rules?" Leonard demanded. He was a little surprised and, okay, put out that Sheldon was choosing to ride when Penny rather than himself, and really surprised that Penny was willing to let him.
Penny gestured at Sheldon to answer. He had that pleased smile he got when he was able to share his knowledge as he recited the "rules". "I'm not allowed to be insulting, condescending or patronizing. And Penny won't be sarcastic or kick me out."
"Very good, Sweetie." Penny approved, with a warm smile.
Sheldon preened. Leonard, Howard and Raj all just looked shocked. Howard asked, "How did you get him to agree to that?"
Penny looked surprised. "I asked him?"
The others exchanged a look: it could possibly be that easy, could it? Penny and Sheldon exchanged a look of their own: Those guys are a little dim and what the heck business is it of theirs anyway?
"Do you have a costume to wear?"
"Uh, no, not really."
"You really should wear one."
"Yeah," Howard interjected. "I have one that you could wear." He leered at her.
"Won't Bernadette being wearing it?" Penny asked sweetly.
Howard's face fell, as he realized that Bernadette's presence would cramp his style.
"There is time for you to make one, Penny," Sheldon offered.
"Yeah, no, that's not gonna' happen, Sheldon."
"Would you like me to make one for you?" The guys all stared at him. Howard and Raj with hope that he would make something revealing, and Leonard in shock.
"Original Starfleet uniform?"
She pursed her lips in thought. "Okay, tell me what kind of material to get."
"It would be better if I purchase the material to ensure that it is the correct material. You may pay me back later"
She shrugged. "Okay, Honey."
Sheldon was pleased that Penny was going to Comic*Con, and that she would be wearing a costume. He hadn't been certain that she would allow him to ride with her, but had "thrown it out there" on the off chance that she was feeling benevolent towards him. She had been lately.
Ever since the day that he had gone to her for assistance in engaging his Superior Colliculus, something in their dynamic had shifted. While they had non-verbally agreed to pretend that he hadn't almost kissed her (and that she had acquiesced), Sheldon felt certain that the change was at least partially related to that. The rest of was probably just that they had enjoyed spending that day, and subsequent "Anything-can-happen" Thursdays together.
He had decided, finally, to embrace the concept of "Anything-can-happen" Thursday, so Penny and he often did things that he for one wouldn't normally do. It really was quite a lot of fun. Penny often came up with something silly, but not too far beneath his dignity for them to do. And once, they even went to a movie in a non-Sheldon approved theater. It had been surprisingly pleasant. The theater didn't have Red Vines, but everything else had been perfect. Even the movie had been enjoyable.
It never occurred to him to wonder that Penny suddenly had those Thursdays off; he was used to the world accommodating his schedule. If he had considered the matter at all, he would simply have been glad that it worked out so conveniently. Ever since they had reached what Penny teasingly called their "normal interaction rules," they had gotten along much better. It was more pleasant to spend time with someone who wasn't being sarcastic at him. And if he were being honest, he was certain that it was more pleasant for Penny to spend time with someone who wasn't being condescending, patronizing or insulting to her. It did seem that her mood had improved. At least towards him. He had noticed a certain coolness towards Leonard.
Penny took Sheldon to buy the material for her costume, surprised that he hadn't suggested it when they were talking about buying the material in the first place. She wandered around waiting on Sheldon to make his choice, puzzling over the status of her friendship with Sheldon. As much as she'd tried to forget it, she remembered the look on his face when he'd stalked towards her, prepared to take a kiss from her. It had been predatory and hot as hell. Her knees had gone weak, and she had submitted. And then inspiration had struck him, and he'd left her standing there, bereft and wanting, actually wanting his kiss.
She had almost succeeded in pushing it all to a back burner in her brain, when he had glided his eyes over her body appraisingly, mentally measuring her for the costume he planned to make her.
As if that hadn't been bad enough, he had actually measured her. He'd been a perfect gentleman about it, never hinting at any impropriety, but his cheeks had been flushed as the measuring tape had slid from around her breasts, indicating his awareness of this *something* now present between them. Sheldon aware of something intangible; would wonders never cease?
As she saw Sheldon approaching her with a bunch of material in his basket, she once more ruthlessly pushed it all from her mind. Aware or not, Sheldon had no interest in such things. She smiled brightly at him. "Find what you were looking for, Sheldon?"
"I believe that I have everything."
With a nod, Penny took the basket from him, and got in line to pay. On the car ride home they discussed the boots for the costume. Sheldon asked if she'd found any, and she told him that she had. They were an exact match.
The next several weeks flew by as Sheldon made her costume. Penny worked extra shifts so that she would have spending money at the convention. Finally, after several fittings, Sheldon declared the costume complete, and she tried it on one last time, with the boots so that he could be sure she was in canon. "It will have to do," he pronounced.
She narrowed her eyes at him.
"Bazinga." He said with a tiny grin.
"One of these days, Sheldon, one of these days." But there was more affection in her voice than threat. Even Sheldon recognized that.
He told her to go and change and bring the costume back to him for proper storage until the convention. He placed in the garment bag with his, and hung them carefully in his closet. They were ready for Comic*Con. Or so they thought.
End Chap 1
A/N told you it was wordy…sorry, had a lot to set up.