Sadly, I don't own The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon shook his head at the check engine light for the tenth time since he got into Penny's car. It alarmed him to no end of her blatant disregard of something a simpleton would have no difficulty understanding.

"Penny, the check engine light has been lit for years now." Sheldon began, earning a glance from her as she stopped at a red light.

"I told you its fine and until I get some money I won't fix it." She droned, tired of his comments about it.

"What if the engine explodes and we perish in a fiery catastrophe?"

Penny hit the gas, rolling her eyes. "That's not going to happen. Why don't you read over your speech to make sure you have it memorized?"

"I have an eidetic memory. I have no need to do so again." Sheldon replied, averting his eyes from the dashboard, a task which is proving to be difficult.

She sighed; Leonard had faked a sickness so that he wouldn't have to take Sheldon to the Seminar in Long Beach this weekend. Raj was nowhere to be found and Howard and Bernadette were busy with wedding preparations with Amy.

At least she could go swimming and relax, plus it was all paid for. How could she turn it down? Penny looked over at Sheldon as he rambled about weather and traffic as she kept repeating the same phrase in her head: 'think of it as a vacation'.

Sheldon's eyes widened as he turned his head to look at Penny. "What was that?"

"You've heard that sound before when you drove me to the hospital and lots of other times. Sometimes the engine just pops; it's no big deal."

"No big deal? It might as well tick and explode like a time bomb." He ranted as he squinted through the passenger window. It was already evening and the lack of lights made it hard to make out anything.

Penny rolled her eyes. "We'll make there, this car has a fighting spirit Sheldon. It should have died years ago."

"Is that supposed to make me feel better because it isn't considering we're in the middle of nowhere." He replied as he took out his phone.

"You're being paranoid. Just relax; we're an hour away from the hotel."

The car then spluttered and came to a slow halt, earning a groan from Penny.

"I believe you spoke too soon." Sheldon said pulling out his cell as she glared at him. "We also appear to be out of range to phone for assistance. Check if you have service on yours."

He reached to the backseat and handed Penny her purse. She pulled it out and checked hers as well. "I don't either."

"Good Lord, we're going to die because of your incompetence."

She held her phone up over her head as she circled around the area; it reminded her of that scene from The Lion King as Rafiki held up Simba. If the situation wasn't serious she would have laughed at herself.

"Damn it, I've got nothing! Do you?" Penny called out, her eyes scanning to find a light from his cell phone when there was no answer.

"Hello?" She called out again and fear washed over her. Penny bolted toward the direction of the car, the gravel on the side of the road grinding under her shoes.

She darted to the passenger side, pressing her palms against the window and felt her stomach drop; he wasn't there.

"Oh God..." Penny breathed, looking farther down the road and observed the forest on her right side.

"Sheldon!" She called out and made her way down toward the area and pushed away the branches blindly. Penny kept going straight when she crashed into something hard and felt hands on her shoulders steadying her. She was about to scream when she felt one of the hands cover her mouth.

"Refrain from screaming Penny." Sheldon whispered as he felt her relax before withdrawing his hand.

"If you hadn't said something I would have kneed you in the groin. Consider yourself lucky."

He cringed, the memory of Todd Zarnecki's pain and anguish appearing in his thoughts. "Noted. Now did you come across anything suspicious?"

"Other than you, no, and why are we whispering?

"I heard something and I thought that-" Sheldon replied and froze as a growling sound made him go silent.

Their eyes locked and immediately they bolted in unison, running toward the car as they heard rustling behind them. Spotting the car on the shoulder they ran faster as Penny rummaged through her purse.

"Damn it, I can't see where my keys are!" She cried as Sheldon yanked the bag from her hands.

"Why do women insist on carrying around these large purses?" He asked as he dug through the contents quickly, feeling every article thoroughly.

"Quickly Sheldon!"

"They aren't there Penny."

Her eyes immediately fell to the ground, scanning for any metallic object in sight. Penny turned around as Sheldon's eyes moved to her back pocket, her keys dangling out. He reached over into the left pocket and pulled out the keys, quickly opening the driver's door.

Sheldon slipped inside as Penny leapt onto his lap, locking the door immediately.

"Due to your incompetence we could've been mauled by a bear." He said, catching his breath. "How could you not feel the keys jabbing into your left buttock?"

"I don't know. I think it was the fear that got to me."

"Nevertheless I blame you."

"Hey, if you hadn't wandered that far from the car and answered when I called your name this wouldn't have happened." Penny defended, staring at him.

"I was searching for a signal on my phone and it unfortunately died." Sheldon retorted as her face inched closer to his.

"And what did you think I was doing?"

Sheldon went silent as he realized their proximity to one another. His hand rested on her thigh and her arm was wrapped around his neck as she still sat on his lap.

"Penny, please remove yourself from my person."

She nodded as she slid off him and sat in the passenger seat. "What do you think we should do now?"

Sheldon readjusted the seat all the way back as far as it could go. "I suggest we sleep and wait until morning to find assistance. If we leave this car who knows what might happen to us."

"Alright that sounds good." She replied, adjusting her seat as well.

He watched her lay on her back and shook his head. "No, that position is unacceptable."

She turned her head to look at him, raising an eyebrow. "Why not? You're lying on your back."

"Obviously because unlike you, I don't snore. I do not wish to be awoken by this even once during the night."

She sighed and shifted onto her side. "Happy?"

"I'm not unhappy."

Penny rolled her eyes. "You're never satisfied."

"On the contrary, I am satisfied that you didn't misplace the keys to your Volkswagen causing us to spend the night awake in fear of our inevitable death by a rabid wild animal or some murderer."

She rolled her eyes before turning her back to him. "Goodnight Sheldon."

"Goodnight Penny."

She began to stir and opened her eyes slowly, Sheldon's face coming into view. He was still asleep and on his side, facing her. Penny then looked down and saw that his arm was outstretched to her with his hand resting on her breast.

"Sheldon wake up." She said, tapping his arm and causing him to open his eyes.

Penny then pointed to his hand. "Care to explain this?"

His eyes widened and fell onto his hand, quickly retracting it. "I can explain. During the night you rolled and I pushed your back to cease the snoring. Apparently you must have rolled in the other direction as well."

She stared at him and he cleared his throat. "I apologize."

"Apology accepted."

"This is highly dangerous." Sheldon told her as she shot him a look.

"We have to hitchhike because we don't have a choice."

He glanced at his watch. "We have been passed by several cars in the last hour. Clearly the drivers deem you as a psychopath."

Penny glared. "They would stop if I was alone."

"So I'm the reason?"

"Pretty much." She answered, leaning her thumb out closer to the road. "Alright how about you hide behind the car and we'll see if someone will stop, okay?"

"Very well but I highly doubt it." Sheldon answered, crouching behind the car.

She smiled widely and waited patiently for a short while as a red Honda started slowing down and parked near her.

"Could you give me a ride or let me use your cell phone?" Penny asked the two young men inside, battling her eyelashes as she braced herself against their open window.

Sheldon watched as a guy handed her a cell phone and he got out from behind the car. The guy's expression changed to terror and yelled at his friend to drive as Penny' s eyes widened.

"Wait!" She called out after them and turned around see Sheldon looking at her.

"By using your promiscuity you've managed to get us a phone, kudos."

"Yup and it has a signal." She answered. "I told you that no one stopped because of you."

"Alright, I believe I was uninformed of this social situation."

"You were wrong." Penny corrected as she held the phone up to her ear.

He twitched and looked away. "I never said that."

The tow truck took them to the Symposium as Penny thanked the driver. Sheldon ranted about the lack of seat belts and that he was driving ten miles above the posted speed limit as she pushed him toward the building.

Together they walked up the front desk and Sheldon spoke up."Good afternoon, I have two reservations under Dr. Cooper."

The red headed receptionist nodded and typed on his computer before looking back at them. "Ah yes, unfortunately because you didn't check in last night as arranged we were forced to give away one of the two rooms you originally booked."

"Fine. Then may I book another room?" He asked as the man searched his computer again.

"Unfortunately no. All the rooms have already been booked."

"This is unacceptable. I require a separate room so call-"

"We'll take it." She told the man, cutting off Sheldon as the bellboy took their suitcases.

"Now wait just a minute Penny."

"I don't need you to go bat crap crazy on me now. Just realize that things like this happen and it's out of your control. The world isn't perfect."

He scoffed as they headed to the elevator. "My world is."

Sheldon held his phone up to his ear as he conversed with Leonard."You're feeling better I hear."

"Yeah, the minute you left the fever miraculously died down."

He frowned. "How unfortunate. I wouldn't have to drive in Penny's deathtrap then."

Penny then came out of the bathroom clad only in a towel as she walked over to her suitcase, pulling out a bikini.

"Must you walk around like that? Although I have seen you naked before this is highly inappropriate."

Leonard stammered on the phone. "W-what?"

"Leonard focus. Now I-"

"Why is she naked in front of you again and in your hotel room?" He yelled as Sheldon pulled the phone away from his ear to avoid damage to his hearing.

"I would explain but your outburst is uncalled for as Penny dumped you twice in the past three years. I'll call you again when you've composed yourself." He said calmly before hanging up his phone.

Penny walked out of the bathroom in her bikini and had a towel in her hand. "I'm off to the pool since it's not as sunny as I hoped it would be for the beach. See ya later."

"You're not coming to the seminar?" He asked with disappointment, causing her to sigh.

"Sheldon, I promised you I would go to yours but that's it. I want to relax and enjoy my stay here."

"Is swimming really much more interesting than listening to some of the brilliant minds of our time? Not as brilliant as mine but that's another story."

Penny tapped her chin, feigning that she was considering his words. "Hmm, let me think about that. Yes."

"Swimming is not a leisurely activity, but a necessity when the polar ice caps melt to ensure survival."

"I take it you can't swim?" She asked, taking a bottle of water out of the fridge.

"I learned on the internet so I have confidence in my ability."

"Did you practice the skills at the community pool?"

Sheldon shook his head. "If course not, the amount of bacteria in a public pool is nauseating. I learned on the floor."

Penny smirked at him. "You're so gonna drown."

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