The Bellagio Peregrination Chapter 11
Disclaimer: I don't own this show. Chuck Lorre owns this show.
Notes: Last chapter! I'm considering a sequel but I can't promise anything. Also, I know nothing about string theory. I googled just to come up with semi-convincing Sheldon-speak but I don't know what I'm talking about. Ahead: Ball pit/bongos Sheldon cranked up to 11. Thanks for the lovely reviews! I'm considering a sequel, partly because this end up as M-rated as I'd originally intended.
It was late. Sheldon's itinerary had once again been shot to hell, but neither seemed to want to end the night. Sheldon, though accustomed to his routines, was also accustomed to pulling all-nighters if gaming or string theory or that magnificent person from across the hall who by some paradox of all known reason preferred his company to anyone else's demanded it, and he had no aversion to awaiting the sunrise with Penny. Following an extended period of soft kisses and a lot of wide-eyed gazing, Sheldon had spilled juice on his pajamas when Penny surprised him with a kiss on the back of his neck and changed clothes yet again into another Green Lantern t-shirt. And because he felt silly wearing his Green Lantern t-shirt with his pajama pants, he went ahead and put on his emergency back-up pants.
So they were on the couch again, half watching anime on mute which was Sheldon's call, while the Billie Holiday station played on Pandora, which was Penny's call. Sheldon continued madly scribbling equations in between bouts of glorious embracing.
But he was obviously only pretending to work when he said, "Does this mean we're going to engage in-"
"Don't say it."
"Mm, amorous activities?"
Penny chuckled into a fresh cup of coffee. "If you mean are we going to have sex, then I certainly hope so. At some point. But...I'd like to do it differently."
He looked up in alarm. "I'm aware there are a multitude of sexual positions but as I'm hardly versed in the most ordinary-"
"No, no, no." She grabbed his hand and tried not to laugh at him. "I don't mean I want to do it differently. I mean I want to take my time. Our time. With this. I never take my time with guys. But you're..." She bit her lip. "I feel like a girl with you, Sheldon. Everything feels new."
"Am I to understand you'd like to be..." He sighed and rolled his eyes. "Courted?"
She gasped. "Awww, that's adorable! You gallant Texas gentleman you!"
"Oh, now who's condescending?"
"No, I'm sorry! It is adorable though. I'd love to be courted." She kissed the back of his hand. "I've been picked up and played and just plain nagged into bed. Never really courted."
They let the unspoken remain unspoken; that Leonard was included in that number.
"So shall we say we've officially altered the paradigm of our relationship?" He tapped his pen with the hand not holding Penny's.
"You and your paradigms."
"It's just a word, Penny." He smirked at her. "Don't be frightened."
"Hey!" She dropped his hand and mussed up his hair, but her lips twitched in his amusement. "'Kay, let's get one thing straight, laser brain. I am not Amy."
"I'm aware of this."
"What I mean is, and I'm only going to say this once... If I hear the words "relationship agreement", I will stick your Stan Lee signed Hulk hands where the sun does not shine."
Sheldon grunted. He opened and closed his mouth a couple times and grimaced and pursed his lips.
"Sheldon, I will call your mother. And she likes me." She rose her eyebrows in challenge.
He glared at her and finally said, "Noted."
She pecked him on the nose. "Thank you, sweetie pie."
"Oh dear Lord, what have I done?"
There remained a giant pile of money on the floor.
They sat apart on the couch, their laptops on their knees.
"Are you certain about this?" Sheldon said. "I have been told on more than one occasion that fraternal alliances hierarchically precede the needs of ethically compromised women. Perhaps a discussion should be had first."
"Bros before hos," Penny muttered. "I can't believe I just understood that. Anyway, yes. Leonard's cool. He told me if I want to end up flossing three feet from the bathroom mirror in twenty years, that was up to me. I had kind of already told him that, ya know… I like you and stuff." Sheldon was smug and cackling lightly to himself. She nudged him. "What're you smirking at?"
"I knew I was the guy."
She grinned and blushed as her finger hovered over the track pad on her laptop. "So are we really doing this?"
"We've changed the paradigm of our relationship," Sheldon said. "This is the sociological record of note."
"Right," Penny agreed. "I'm just kinda surprised you're so…ready. So soon."
"I don't see why. Of the two of us you're much more likely to exhibit so-called 'commitment issues' and renege on the alteration of a relationship status."
"Oooh, that's right.'" Penny said wryly. "I forgot what a love guru you are. It's not like you've ever run screaming from even the suggestion of dating. And I did mean that literally. I have actually seen you run screaming."
"Thirty-one." Sheldon mumbled.
"That number was never proven!" Penny shrieked. "Look, you're so ready, then do it."
"I was just about to," he insisted.
"Well, go ahead."
His fingers rested on his keyboard. "Fine. Then I will."
"I'm waaaiting," she sang.
"If this is so significant to you" he said, "then why don't you go first?"
She rose an eyebrow. "You brought it up!"
"We'll do it simultaneously," he said, jaw twitching.
"Fine. Count of three," she said.
Click click click click.
They both exhaled.
"Now it's official," she said softly. "It's on Facebook."
He nodded. "So. That's done."
Their heads both turned in the direction of their cellphones as if waiting for them to explode.
It was two o'clock in the morning.
Sheldon was guzzling grape soda and taping pages from his notebook onto the hotel walls.
He grunted in frustration. "It's no good! I need a whiteboard! I can't see it."
Penny looked up from her laptop. She was looking at fabric prices online. It was ridiculous. They had absolutely no reason to be awake at three o'clock in the morning. On the other hand, Penny had seen Sheldon's itinerary for the next day and it mostly consisted of peer reviewed journals and the vintage arcade down the strip. Her own plans were mostly mojito and/or pool related.
The money was now stacked neatly back in its duffle bag.
"Oh no," Penny said. "Are you stuck?"
"Only in the same way that all particle physicists have been stuck since Philip Warren Anderson proposed spontaneous symmetry breaking in 1962." Penny blinked at him and he shrugged. "The Higgs Boson. I'm so close to figuring out a better mass range."
"Ah, the Higgs," Penny said nodding. "The big daddy particle."
Sheldon shrugged, ripping pages out of his notebook. "Assuming common traits of a 'big daddy' include a non-zero vacuum expectation value and the ability to be constrained by precision measurements of the Fermi constant, than yes, it is an unadulterated kahuna."
"Yep, that's what I meant by big daddy." Penny stood and stretched. "Hey, didn't you say you thought our kissing stimulated your frontal cortex?"
"My neocortex," he mumbled. He turned around and fixed her with his epiphany-look. "Unless it was just a coincidence."
Penny pursed her lips and ambled over to her beloved physicist. "You'll never know unless you test your hypothesis..."
"Well, I suppose," he said with an impish smile. "For science."
"For science," she agreed, eyes shining.
They hadn't kissed in nearly an hour and that was entirely too long so Penny cupped his cheeks between her hands and yanked him downwards as he sounded a surprised yelp. His hands found her waist and her shirt kept riding up, his fingers occasionally brushing the small of her back. They collapsed on the couch and she ran her lips along his neck, which she already knew made his voice magically husky.
"I fibbed yesterday," he said.
"I do think about the small of your back," he drawled.
She giggled into his neck. "Really?"
He leaned back and fixed her with a devastating gaze. "Penny, the Higgs Boson would've been found two years ago if it wasn't for the small of your back." He kissed her under her ear and palmed the curve of her hip and around, his fingers just barely slipping under the waistband of her shorts. "This particular curve has been holding back the future of physics."
"Why there?" She was surprised she could speak coherently.
"I know everything. And I have no idea."
"All this time..." She ran her hands up his chest. "Everybody thought you didn't even have a sex drive."
"I've never said so," he pointed out. He kissed her neck and she all but purred. "Only that I contained and ignored it. For the most part."
A moment later she pulled away.
"Do you..." She swallowed. She had a question and she thought she had the answer already. But confirmation would be nice. "Do you like me because I'm...pretty?"
She couldn't quite control the lost little girl look on her face. She'd never asked a man that before. She'd never wanted to hear their answer.
"I wouldn't classify you as merely pretty," Sheldon said, as if he were talking about some condensate (whatever a condensate was, she still didn't know). "You're quite beautiful."
That was flattering, but not the right answer.
"Having said that, I don't understand the question." He frowned and twined his fingers in hair. "You were beautiful when I met you and I didn't like you."
She perked up. "Really?"
"Well, that's not entirely true," he said softly. "You seemed nice at first-"
"You were so shy," she whispered. "I remember you staring at the floor, playing with the strap on your bag..."
"You expressed interest in my work... But then you sat in my spot and started talking about horoscopes. I dismissed you for a time after that."
He looked befuddled. "We became friends," he said. "Your aesthetic qualities have nothing to do with my affinity for you, Penny. I've met other beautiful women who have expressed an attraction to me. I've never experienced this sort of connection with any of them. If I was only interested in the conquest of a beautiful woman, there are thousands to choose from in Pasadena alone... But none of them are you."
Penny stared at him, mystified. "You know what's crazy?" She kissed his chin and his cheek and that spot near his ear.
"Many things," he murmured. "Vincent Van Gogh...wave-particle duality...the degree to which I enjoy..." She nibbled lightly on his earlobe and he gasped, "That."
She kissed her way back to his lips and said, "What's crazy is that you're the most romantic man I've ever met."
"I'm not trying to be romantic," he argued.
"That's exactly what makes it all so lovely, sweetie pie." She captured his lips and shifted, straddling him, wrapping her arms around him.
Things became heated as they kissed.
"I didn't..." Sheldon breathed.
"Huh?" Penny panted.
"I'm not finished."
"I didn't...sanitize my hands...for almost four hours...today..."
Tongue. Lips. Tongue. Teeth. Sheldon's tongue was nearly as brilliant as his mind, she decided.
"They wouldn't have...smelled like...mmmm...sunscreen anymore..."
She felt dizzy. She bit his lip gently. "I'll tell you a secret..."
She breathed into his mouth. Looked him straight in the eye. "When you were rubbing lotion on the small of my back...? I...came."
He blinked at her. "Came to...?"
She held him tightly. She could feel him under her and her mouth dropped as she sighed in pleasure. "Sheldon. I...climaxed. I came."
Understanding dawned on him and his eyes went wide so she just kissed him again.
"Penny..." He clenched and said, "Ah!" He gripped her hips hard for a moment and then he relaxed and exhaled, resting his forehead against hers. "Jeepers."
She pecked him on the nose. "S'okay, sweetie."
"Not really," he murmured. "I've changed my clothes four times. I'm dangerously near to running out of pants." Suddenly he leaned back with a start and clutched her shoulders, eyes wide again. "Penny!" He looked as if he'd just remembered something.
"The mass range!" He said. "The mass range shifts!"
"Oh," she said. "Good?"
"Yes! Very good! I have to change my pants! I have to write it down!"
Sheldon ran off to change his pants and clean himself up and when he came back he glared at his notebook. "I need whiteboards!"
"Did you solve it?" Penny said.
"No, no, no. But I'm closer. And you did stimulate my neocortex."
"I stimulated somethin'," she muttered.
"I need more…"
Penny scowled at him. "Sheldon, I love you but if you're implying some kind of quid pro quo sex for physics exchange then-"
"No!" He said quickly. "Latin. Well done."
"I need more varied forms of stimulation." He ran to his messenger bag and pulled out a big black marker, dashing back to the suite wall where he'd been taping up pages of his notebook. He tore down the pages. "Music! I need music. Beethoven! The fifth symphony! Then the ninth symphony! And Oysters! And dark chocolate!"
"Aphrodisiacs! I've read that they can stimulate neurogenesis." He tore the last page off the wall and uncapped his marker. "Penny, what're you waiting for? Beethoven! Chop chop!"
Penny stepped between him and wall and cleared her throat. "Um, chop chop?"
He blinked at her. "Yes." She pursed her lips at him and he flushed. "By which I meant, please?"
"Yeah, alright." She trotted back to the couch to fetch her lap top, intending to hook it up to the suite's stereo speakers and play it on Spotify. Soon enough the thunderous and infamous four notes of Beethoven's fifth boomed through the suite.
"Louder!" Sheldon said. She turned around and clapped a hand to her mouth and shrieked.
"Sheldon, what the hell are you doing?"
He was scribbling equations directly onto the pale gold and very expensive looking wallpaper of the Bellagio suite.
"Trying to write a theorem for the mass range shift!" He shouted over the string section. "What does it look like?"
"On the wall?"
"I can't work on paper! I have to stand up… I need white boards!"
"Right now? I don't know if you can get white boards at three o'clock in the morning. You want me to go look?"
"No! You can't leave, I need you here!" He shouted over Beethoven and tossed her his phone. "Call Nate!"
"From a science show called Through the Wormhole. He'll do it, trust me. Tell him I need ten, no, twelve white boards! Markers! And about twenty giant rubber balls!"
"I need to visualize the leptons, don't I?" Sheldon went back to scribbling on the wall, going so far as to shove a table out of the way as he worked his way down to the floor.
Penny covered her eyes. "They're going to kill you!"
"Highly improbable." He groaned and clutched his head. "Too many ideas! Half of this is still the gamma ray detector!" He whipped around to look at her with wide eyes. "Do you think I should experiment with hallucinogenic drugs like Bishop on Fringe?"
"NO! I'll tell your mother!"
"You're right, of course," he mumbled, scrawling along the bottom of the crown molding. "Maybe I'll experiment with Pixie Stix."
Sheldon was eating oysters while scribbling and drinking root beer because he hated oysters. He'd asked the room service servers to "pretend to be gluons" for which he'd paid them fifty dollars each and they stood in the middle of the room uncertainly nibbling on a dark chocolate truffle platter and attempting to look gluon-like. Beethoven was booming, which had at first attracted complaints from neighbors until the neighbors turned out to be attendees of the conference who had already read the Higgs paper and were now camped out on the couch with snacks, watching Cooper deface hotel property as his girlfriend in the Hello Kitty pajamas barked orders into a phone.
It had occurred to Penny, once people started just appearing in the suite, that there was a half million in cash in a duffel bag. So, while directing Nate to buy bottles of bubbles ("Yes! Like the kind for little kids... I don't know, something about dark matter!"), she shoved the duffel under her bed and shut the door.
By the time Nate showed up with the white boards as well as Brian Greene and three other famous physicists in tow all carrying bags of what appeared to be supplies for a kindergarten playground, Sheldon had written over a large portion of the wall and was grabbing for her hand while debating three Japanese grad students on supersymmetry.
People were tweeting, live blogging, and just plain ogling.
Sheldon had begged someone to try to get Hawking on over Skype.
Thankfully the mini-bar had plenty of tequila.
Although Sheldon was scandalized when she did body shots with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and licked salt off his wrist.
But then she kissed her moonpie on the neck and he had another breakthrough before asking Brian Green to grab a rubber ball and act like a proton.
Minutes later he had taken off his shoes and was standing on the coffee table (thankfully, a big monstrosity of solid oak construction) with three white boards and overseeing what he called "quantum choreography" and Penny called a "physics rave."
He asked the grad students to hold the white boards up for him so he could hold Penny's hand as he wrote ("It's working, Penny!") which rather limited her movement, but it was worth it when Ben from G4 showed up with Siebert and some guys from PBS, took one look at her, and screamed like a girl, running in the other direction.
Siebert was briefly horrified, once he fought his way through the bouncing leptons and quarks (in the form of some interns, a couple of best-selling authors, and a drunk nobel laureate) before Penny turned on the charm and offered him champagne.
"What the hell is he doing?" Siebert shouted over "Symphony No.9", handing her a half-full bottle of Korbel after taking a swig.
Penny shrugged. "Either finding the Higgs Boson or turning string theory into a giant party. Bottoms up!"
It was all kind of insanely entertaining and some of these guys were pretty fun to talk to when they were toasted and Penny found herself holding court as Sheldon worked.
And eventually the sun was rising and then-
"I GOT IT!" He squeezed her hand so hard it almost hurt. And a bunch of people were examining the white boards, both cheering and arguing as Sheldon insisted, "I've got it! Call CERN! The time to applaud would be-"
Confetti was flying around the room (because apparently it resembled "jets of hadrons" to Sheldon) and he twirled her into his arms.
"Penny, we did it!" His eyes were wide and bright. "We did it!"
Penny just gaped at him. "We?"
Sheldon Cooper did not share credit. Particularly with waitresses who knew nothing about physics.
"We!" He insisted. "You and me! Metaphorically speaking, we're waves and particles. At the same time. Which is not supposed to be possible! We're a complementary phenomena but observable simultaneously!"
Penny laughed as the London Philharmonic boomed the "Ode to Joy" through the suite. "I don't understand!"
"But you will!" He looked so sure.
"Sheldon, you're crazy!"
She expected the line and he didn't say it this time.
Instead he said, "I know."
"But I love you anyway!"
"The salient point is this," he shouted. "You were what was missing, Penny. You're my Higgs Boson! You're my Theory of Everything!"
He dipped her backwards into a passionate kiss. Because that's what the hero does.
And that was when Leonard, Howard, and Raj showed up at the door; dehydrated, chapped of lip, in their underwear, and jaws on the floor to see the best minds of the science world dancing (Or...was that dancing? What were they doing?) with bubbles and confetti and big rubber balls and in the middle of it all, on top of a table with a bunch of scrawled over whiteboards fanned out behind them, was Crazy Sheldon in his Green Lantern shirt kissing Miss Penny Hello Kitty Shorts of 4B, bent backwards with her leg up in the air like the two of them were returned warriors from some grand campaign as a choir howled in German about stars and joy.
Leonard said, "I don't know about you guys, but this is pretty much what I expected!"