Still playing with different kinds of storylines. Believe it or not, this does not interfere with canon storyline. Although you could call this AU from the gods' POV. Don't worry. Even the gods have to stay in character. Happens during season 5 between The Isolation Permutation and The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition, before or after The Ornithophobia Diffusion.

Sheld'iliad -or- The Judgment of Sheldon

Party Time

Hera looked down from her throne with detached interest at the scene before her. The wedding feast was progressing nicely. It wasn't the first marriage she'd officiated at and it wouldn't be the last. Zeus was flirting with a Maenad serving the wine but he wouldn't try anything while she was still in the room.

She let her attention wander to a prayer resonating through the crystal on her ring. That was a rarity these days from anywhere outside of Sedona, Arizona. She was just getting interested when Athena came over with her toga in a bunch.

"I'm sorry to bother you but if you don't do something soon those two are going to have sex right on top of the salad plates." She pointed toward the end of the main table. Aphrodite and Ares were leering at each other and making some rather crude gestures, despite the fact that Hephaestus was sitting right beside his wife, looking uncomfortable and pretending not to notice. Hera did not think Athena was exaggerating.

"This should distract her until the speeches are over." She showed her the ring and gestured over towards the fountain near the courtyard wall. "Tell her to come over and look at this. After the party's over they can get a room and my ugly little boy can keep pretending he doesn't know what's going on." She walked over to the fountain while Athena fetched Aphrodite. She knew better than to say no and sauntered over, making sure to position herself so Ares had a good view of her derrière.

"Having fun?" Hera asked. Aphrodite shrugged and looked over her shoulder.

"Not nearly enough."

"Eyes over here, woman. I want you to look at this." Hera touched her ring to the water and the miniature scene expanded to fill the water before them.

XXX

The night of the bachelorette party had arrived all too soon. Well, part one at least. Part two could still be nice. Bernadette was worried more time would allow Amy to get even more 'creative' and Penny just wanted to get it over with. In private with Penny and Howard, Bernadette referred to this as Penance Night. (The result of their disastrous attempt to exclude Amy from dress shopping). At least she'd talked Amy into having keeping her anthropological treats exclusively between The Three Menstruateers. The more current (and infinitely more awesome) tradition of bar hopping and male strip clubs could wait for Bernadette's less important friends when they arrived for the wedding in May. Amy had readily agreed. She had come to enjoy going out to drink with the girls but Chip 'n Dales was still a little outside her comfort zone.

This, for some reason unfathomable to Penny, was not.

The three girls were at Howard's house that night for the use of his mother's Jacuzzi tub. None of their apartments had bathrooms big enough to be comfortable and Bernadette didn't want to give her own mother a heart attack. Mrs. Wolowitz was visiting her sister in Ventura and Howard was spending the night at Raj's. Since Howard had so graciously and quickly volunteered his home, Penny was busy searching the bathroom for hidden cameras while Amy unpacked her 'party favors'. Bernadette walked in to find her standing on the toilet looking at a suspicious spider.

"Penny, what are you doing?" Before she could think Penny answered.

"Just checking for cam… um…."

"Come on, Penny. You can't seriously think my Howie would do a thing like that." Penny swallowed the reflexive "Hell, yes!" It was too late to start telling Bernadette stories about Howard's past now.

"Of course not. It was… Raj." That was good. Actually, it wasn't even a lie. "He was way too interested when you brought it up before and he's over here all the time." She smashed the spider and teetered as the lid shifted under her. "Help me down, will ya'?"

Penny had hoped to get Amy drunk enough to pass out before the end of the night, but that was an epic fail. Amy had actually brought a laminated Gantt chart and a water proof watch to track her alcohol consumption, saying she had a responsibility as the maid of honor to oversee proceedings and couldn't afford to overindulge this time. When Penny realized it was a lost cause she decided to do Amy's drinking for her. Bernadette followed her lead.

The start of the evening passed smoothly enough. Nothing scary. They sang songs and wove flowers into pretty crowns. Penny discovered she and Amy knew a lot of the same campfire songs; Penny'd learned hers from her dad and Amy from her time infiltrating the Boy Scouts. It was actually a lot of fun. The liquor flowed, and when Amy said it was time to get naked, no one really cared anymore. Bernadette did ask for all camera phones to be confined to a shoe box in the closet. She did not want end up on line. Again.

Amy complimented both girls (but especially Penny) on their beautiful skin as she added some quaint symbols (similar to what you would find in a bathroom stall) to the elegant Greek letters she had finished applying while Bernadette tried to keep still on a towel over the toilet. Only her face was left completely free of marks. Penny joined in, adding little hearts and flowers to any bare patches on her back. When Amy was done she waved a fan she'd brought over Bernadette to prevent smearing while Penny started the bubble bath. The movement in the air brought in a whiff of something horrible from the rest of the house. Penny held her hand in front of her nose. It smelled like rancid soup and burnt popcorn.

"What is that stink?" She stood up and yelled out the door. "Mrs. Wolowitz, are you home?" Amy handed her the fan and shook her head.

"No, don't worry. That's just a little hide and fat burning on the stove." Penny stared at her.

"Do I want to know why?" Bernadette asked.

"Just keeping it authentic. In the absence of proof that there are no gods it doesn't hurt to do things right. Don't worry; I've got the ceiling fan on and the windows open. You won't be able to smell it in a minute anyway." She lit some incense and picked up a red candle. Bernadette squirmed. She was starting to feel itchy.

"Can I wash this off now?"

"In a minute, Bernie." Amy lit the candle and handed it to her. Then she took Penny's hand and continued in a serious voice, "We beseech the gods to bless your forthcoming marital union with health, happiness, and fertility."

"You know, I wouldn't mind skipping the fertility part," Bernadette suggested. Amy frowned.

"I thought that was the point of marriage." Penny did not want to get into this kind of discussion while she was drunk.

"How 'bout some help dealing with your mother-in-law? You know you'll never get rid of her."

"Ugh. You're right." Bernadette nodded. "I could use some help with that." Amy shrugged.

"Fine, now blow out…"

"Hey," Penny interrupted. "I had to strip down for this too, don't I get a wish?"

"Oh, well the ritual is for the bride but…" Amy grinned "How can I say no to that face? Go ahead. Give her the candle, Bernadette." Penny took the candle and Amy and Bernadette held hands.

"Same as always, gods of the bathtub. Give me an Oscar." She stopped and thought about it a little more. "I guess a movie first would help." She handed the candle to Amy.

"OK, Ames. Now you." Amy hesitated.

"As I said this isn't really meant…"

"Oh, come on, Amy," Bernadette teased, glad to see her looking uncomfortable for once. "Just say it. What do you want?" Amy turned bright red. The other girls couldn't help it. They started laughing.

"Fine! I want Sheldon Cooper." The laughter stopped. Sure, they'd both figured that out by now but they weren't really expecting that much honesty from a sober Amy Farrah Fowler.

"Oh, Amy," Bernadette sighed.

"I can't stop thinking about what Leonard said- that Sheldon actually hit him when he spoke about his good time with me and his sore groin."

"That was romantic but…"

"You mean disturbing," Penny interrupted. Bernadette seemed to think it was sexy any time a man badly because of a woman. "Are sure you don't want me to bring Zach out with us some night?"

"Yes, I'm sure. He's undeniably delicious but the man barely has enough intelligence to speak. He certainly didn't understand a word I said to him." Penny looked a little sheepish after that.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I couldn't take it for long, either."

"That's fine, Amy. But Sheldon?" Bernadette shook her head. "I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. And there are other guys out there besides Zach and Sheldon. Cute and smart, even if not to those extremes."

"I know, I know. It's just a thought." She blew out the candle and put it down. "All right. In the tub. Time to get wet."