Sadly, I don't own The Big Bang Theory and possible spoilers from Seasons 1-4 and up to the most current episode The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition.

"So what are your plans for Christmas Howard?" Leonard asked as he took a bite of his pizza. "Well this year I'm taking Bernadette to Florida; the whole family's eager to meet her. We have to book a hall in order for everyone to fit in one location."

Raj looked over at him. "Really? You have a huge family." "Not in that sense, a few of them might have trouble just fitting through the front door so we're being cautious. We don't want a repeat of the Christmas disaster of '03."

They started at Howard as he shuddered. "I don't want to talk about it. Raj, are you going to be coming along this year?"

He shook his head. "Unfortunately no, my parents insist on having me come back home this year."

Sheldon's head darted in Raj's direction. "Really? What about Halo night? Who will be our fourth member? We can't play teams with just Penny, Leonard and I."

"Actually I'm leaving as well Sheldon. Since my mother came over for Christmas two years ago she wants me to go home to New Jersey this time." Leonard explained earning a gasp from Sheldon.

"Unacceptable. You can't go home." Leonard looked over his glasses. "You can't tell me if I can go or not."

Sheldon glared at him. "You know my word is law." "Well in this case, my mother's word is law and I'm going. I'm not happy about it either, Sheldon."

"Aren't you going home as well?" Raj asked taking another slice of pizza. "Why would I go home for Christmas Raj? I haven't gone home for the holidays for years."

They looked at him as if he murdered someone. "Alright, here's my question why?" Howard asked earning a look from Sheldon.

"I'll tell you why. Saturnalia at my mother's house with rednecks was never pleasant. To start: drunken Christmas caroling, swirlies, wedgies and alcoholic frivolity that always results in someone or part of the house getting damaged. Last time I was there, my Uncle Dave was so intoxicated he walked through the glass door to get to the backyard."

"Last time when we went to get you from Texas, your mother clearly told Howard that there is no alcohol allowed in the house. Wait, you got swirlies?" Leonard asked with a confused look on his face.

"Correct. However there are no 'rules' to alcohol when it comes to the holidays." Sheldon replied and gestured with air quotes. "And yes, I received swirlies in my own toilet at the hands of my cousins."

Raj snickered earning a look from Sheldon. "Second, my mother takes me to church for 12 hours and gathers her prayer group in a circle to pray for my soul while I stand in the middle. Not to mention that healer that causes fanatics to spasm on the floor uncontrollably after being 'touched' by the will of God."

Leonard blinked at him. "I doubt that you'll still get swirlies and wedgies, you're a grown man Sheldon."

"Leonard, don't underestimate my cousins. Sadly, I did eight years ago."

"Alright Sheldon, I'm off to the airport." Leonard said as he rolled his suitcase toward the door. "Leonard, must you leave?" Sheldon asked sternly.

"Yes Sheldon, I'm leaving now." "Fine, I won't stop you. Have a safe flight Leonard." Sheldon said as Leonard picked up his keys from the bowl. "Thank you and could you tell Penny 'Merry Christmas' for me when you see her? She hasn't been around in a week. I wonder why she's so busy?"

"It's unfortunate; the lack of her presence has disrupted my schedule. But I will pass your message along for Penny." Sheldon answered, looking toward the door. "Thank you again and Merry Christmas Sheldon."

"Yes, have a Happy Saturnalia."

Penny trudged up the stairs and walked into her apartment. All those extras hours at the restaurant have been tiring her out but she needed money. It seemed like a better option than asking Sheldon for money; she didn't want to do that again.

After her shower she walked across the hall and opened the door to 4A to find Sheldon sitting on the couch. "Hey Sheldon where's everyone?"

"They've deserted me Penny." He answered solemnly. "They've left for the holidays. Leonard asked that I pass a message to you: 'Merry Christmas'". She nodded and sat down beside Sheldon as he watched Star Trek re-runs. "Wow, I work extra shifts all week and look at what I missed."

"Indeed." Sheldon replied. "Speaking of work Penny, why are you working extra shifts? If you're in need of money again I can lend you some."

"Thanks sweetie, but I wanted to earn the money myself. I have to go home for the holidays too that's why I was working so much." Sheldon quickly sat up straight, scaring Penny. "What? You can't leave me alone. I had an entire holiday schedule planned for the two of us."

"My brother finally got out of jail and my parents want everyone down for the holidays to congratulate him and spend Christmas together." Penny explained as Sheldon's eyes darted back to the television. "I'm sorry Sheldon."

He placed the remote down on the coffee table. "If you're truly sorry, how do you suggest I spend my time alone?" "What about Amy?" Penny asked as he frowned. "Amy has also gone home for the holidays to visit her mother."

"Oh, okay." Penny said as Sheldon looked at her. "You know, I believe I have a solution to diminish my odds of solitude."

"So, you're not going home to Texas?" She asked earning a look from Sheldon.

"To suffer through that hell? I don't think so. Instead I ask that you allow me to accompany you for the holidays."

"Now, we'll take the train to..." Sheldon continued as Penny blocked out his voice. 'I'm regretting this already.' She thought as he motioned to his whiteboard.

"Penny are you listening?" He asked, frustrated that Penny started looking at her nails. "Yes Sheldon, loud and clear."

He stared at her until she looked up. "Penny, if we were to get lost on the train-" She cut him off and rolled her eyes. "Honey, who would get lost on a train? It will never happen."

"No one thinks it will happen until it does." Sheldon replied confidently. "They serve alcohol on trains and given that it's the 'high-holidays' passengers could pass out on the floor drunk and get trampled." She opened her mouth and started at him in disbelief.

"Also, I wouldn't be surprised if a drunkard opened the exit and accidentally stepped out into his doom as his friends followed him out one by one."

"You have your ticket?"




"Jackets, sweaters and boots?"



"Check. What?" Penny asked in horror. "Why are you asking that?"

Sheldon gestured toward his calendar. "I've noticed that your time of the month is approaching in a few days. As your friend I was concerned."

Penny rolled her eyes and replied sarcastically. "Gee thanks, Sheldon." "You're welcome."

"Alright, can we just leave?" She whined as Sheldon kept going through his list. "Patience Penny. As the travel God, I need to make sure we don't leave anything behind."

She watched as his eyes scanned the page. "Drat. I'm out of Polysporin. We need to stop by Walgreen's on the way to the station."

"Isn't this exciting?" Sheldon asked as he boarded the train. "The scenery will be magnificent on our way to Nebraska."

"I'm so excited I can hardly contain it." Penny droned as she showed her ticket to the conductor. "Why couldn't we take a plane? It's so much faster."

He ignored her and approached the sleeper car. Sheldon looked at the number on the door and back down to his ticket. "Oh Good Lord." Penny looked at hers and then ripped his ticket out of his hands. "I thought you booked two rooms."

Sheldon looked at Penny. "Of course I did. I booked 2A and 2B." She glared at him. "2A and 2B are bunks Sheldon. I thought the brilliant mind of Dr. Cooper doesn't make mistakes."

His face began to twitch. "Irrelevant. I need to file a complaint with Amtrak."

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