Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. They belong to the creators of The Big Bang Theory.
A/N: So...yet another plot bunny that was hopping around so vigorously, I was worried my brain would become addled. This, I believe, was actually the result of a request from a reader. I had no intention of writing a baby fic, but yet, the thought took root. Thanks for that. :P I'm entirely uncertain how long it will be between updating, as I'm still in the middle of my other multi-chapter fic. Also, the required reading for this fic is The Relationship Evolution. And also, I suppose not entirely necessary, but highly recommended, would be the Nuptial Endeavor. This fic starts 3 years after the Nuptial Endeavor, but still takes place in between the end of The Relationship Evolution and it's epilogue. But enough jibber jabber from me. Let's get to reading, shall we? :)
Amy looked over at Sheldon, who was looking as anxious as she was. She grabbed his hand, looking to not only give reassurance, but receive it. He looked over at her, squeezing her hand in response. They were both standing in the bathroom, alternately staring at the ten sticks lined up on the sink, and at each other.
It had been approximately five weeks ago when Sheldon had suddenly turned to Amy and said, "Amy, I have a matter I wish to discuss with you."
They had been watching a particularly riveting documentary on model train collectors, so naturally, Amy had been shocked that Sheldon had chosen that particular moment to speak with her.
She had frowned at him in confusion. "Now?"
He had nodded. "Yes."
"But…what about the documentary?"
Sheldon had looked at the television for a moment, before taking a deep breath, looking upwards, and then looking back at Amy. "While I do not wish to miss any part of this particular documentary," he had started, "I find that I am unable to concentrate, and that my time would be better spent discussing the matter with you, rather than feigning enjoyment for a documentary that, quite frankly, I stopped really watching about twenty minutes ago."
Amy had stared at Sheldon for several seconds, suddenly worried what subject could induce her husband to ignore a documentary having anything to do with model trains. In the three years they had been married, the only thing that Amy had seen Sheldon truly distracted by had been his work.
"Ok…" she had replied.
Rather than begin speaking, Sheldon had grabbed her hand and had begun absentmindedly rubbing his thumb across her knuckles. The action had only caused Amy further alarm, since Sheldon rarely, if ever, was at a loss for words when there was a subject he wished to speak with her about.
She had put her hand on top of his, had cocked her head to the side, and had asked, "Is everything alright? You're not dying are you?"
Sheldon had looked up at her, a smile playing at the corner of his lips. It had been a look that so few people had the pleasure of seeing; a look which he usually kept only for her. She had started to feel better even before Sheldon had replied with, "No. There is nothing terrible happening."
She had frowned in confusion. "Then what is it you wish to speak to me about."
Sheldon had looked at her in the eye, before taking a deep breath, and saying, "I would like to discuss the possibility of us…procreating."
Amy had been taken aback at first, but after a few moments of fast thinking, she had realized that Sheldon's request wasn't so out of the blue. They had recently had several encounters with multiple peers and their small progenies.
For example, Sheldon had come home one day to state that Barry Kripke had brought his three month old daughter to work, in order to show her off; a thing about which Amy had expected Sheldon to rage. Instead, he had merely commented on the genetic lottery which Kripke's young daughter seemed to have won, stating that she resembled her father very little.
Then there had been, of course, Leonard and Penny's eighteen month old daughter, whom Sheldon and Amy had frequent contact with, as Leonard and Penny enjoyed coming over to their apartment. Penny had once stated that no matter where she and Leonard had moved, 2311 Los Robles always felt more like home.
And then, of course, most recently, there had been the visit from Sheldon's elder brother, George, with his wife and two children. Amy had been a little startled to witness just how much Sheldon had enjoyed playing with the children. Leonard had once told her about a trip to the bookstore, in which Sheldon had become fast friends with a little girl, but Amy had largely forgotten about that…that is, until she had seen Sheldon eagerly agree to read Stu the Cockatoo Is New At The Zoo to their niece after she pulled it off the shelf.
After remembering all of those instances, in the few moments in which she had paused, Amy had turned to Sheldon and said, "Really?"
He had nodded. "Yes."
"Does this have to do with your sudden attachment to our niece?"
Sheldon had blinked at her for several moments before responding with. "While Rebekah's engaging nature certainly brought the issue to the forefront of my mind, I must confess to pondering the issue for quite some time."
Amy had been taken aback. Usually she could tell when Sheldon was mulling a thought over, be it in relation to his profession, or their personal life. She had found it very unusual that he should have been thinking about an issue for so long without her realizing it. Perhaps she had not understood her husband's inner workings so well as she had assumed.
"How long have you been pondering this?"
"If I'm to be honest, a couple of years."
"A couple of years?" Amy had been completely flabbergasted. "What made you begin your pondering? Why did you take so long to ponder? And…" truth be told, she had been a little hurt, "why did you wait so long to discuss it with me?"
Amy had looked down at her lap as she asked the last question, and had pulled her hands away from Sheldon's, suddenly feeling strangely vulnerable.
Sheldon had cleared his throat, and started with, "In answer to your first question, my pondering started after a comment from Leonard. He had been narcissistically rambling about all the difficulties he had been going through during the period of time in which Penny was pregnant. To be frank, it sounded like a nightmare. He had gone on and on about mood swings, strange food cravings, driving to 7-11 in the middle of the night for a cherry slushie. It was enough to make me wish never to have to go through such a thing. But at the end of it all, he had made the strangest comment."
Sheldon paused, causing Amy to look up, a little startled to find that when she did so, he was looking right at her. He looked away, and continued. "He had said that all of the hassle had only made him love Penny more. When I asked him about the dichotomy of his statement, he had responded by saying that no matter what the hassle, he and Penny had created a human being, with great potential to be both attractive and intelligent, and that the prospect had caused him to feel happier than he ever remembered being."
Sheldon had looked back at Amy, who had been, at that point, riveted. "Of course, at the time, his statement made very little sense to me, and I attempted to forget about it. But I found, as time passed, that I would recall the conversation at the oddest times, and would end up contemplating parenthood. For example, one time, I was pondering the concept that the scattering of two particles determines the scattering of three or more particles, when suddenly I found myself imagining the original two particles as the parents of the three or more particles, with the genetic materials of the parental particles genetically determining where the progeny particles were scattered."
Amy had stifled a smile. She loved her husband's mind. Even in the midst of feeling hurt by his apparent resistance to include her in his pondering, she had been in awe of his imagination.
"As for why I spent so long pondering," Sheldon continued, "there were simply so many things to consider. It took me a little over three months to finally realize that I might not be opposed to the idea. I know that you and I had discussed the issue of procreation within the first few months of meeting, but obviously many things had changed since that time, and I had found myself not wishing to deal with the unsanitary mess that a child is, among other things."
Amy had frowned, suddenly curious. "What other things?"
"Well, for one thing, a child would mean less time for recreational activities."
Any had nodded, thoughtfully. "That is very true. What else?"
"I also considered the effect that children have on a schedule."
"Hmm," Amy had said. "Yes, I can see how that would cause you some concern. And were there any other reasons?"
Sheldon had cleared his throat. "As a matter of fact, yes. I was also reluctant to give up my time with you."
Amy had blinked at him, suddenly touched, and had grabbed his hand again, smiling at him, before frowning once again in confusion. "And it took you nearly two years to ponder all of those things?"
Sheldon had looked at Amy a moment, before responding with, "Not entirely."
"Then what took you so long?"
"I…was reluctant to bring up the subject with you."
Amy had frowned, feeling hurt again. "Why?"
"I was unsure how you would respond."
Amy had blinked at him, not fully understanding. "What sort of a response did you anticipate?"
Sheldon had cocked his head to the side. "I…was worried that you would feel obligated to say yes."
"I'm not sure I follow."
Sheldon had taken a deep breath. "This brings me to the answer to your third question...I realize that it is considered natural for the female of a species to entertain a desire for children; in fact I believe it is a prudent evolutionary driver which would ensure the continuation of a species." Sheldon had paused, and Amy had simply looked at him, waiting for him to continue.
He had cleared his throat before saying, "But I also realize that we are now living in an era where intelligence is not considered limited to the male of the species, and that, in fact, a great deal of the potential for scientific discovery lies in the experiments currently being conducted by female scientists…including one Dr. Amy Cooper."
He had looked at Amy then, who had been smiling at the rare Sheldon Cooper compliment she had just received.
"To speak frankly, and without the intent of sounding blatantly sexist, I grew up with a mother who did not work, but who chose the life of a mother caring for her children. It is not my wish to rely on others, who, quite frankly, would be ill equipped to deal with the many educational and emotional needs of small Homo Novi, to care for any children which we may produce. But, as I believe we can both agree, you are currently residing at the near top of your field of study, and have recently enjoyed being highly sought after as a senior researcher for a variety of lucrative studies, all as a direct result of years of hard work and dedication to your field."
He had paused, looking at Amy directly. "I did not wish to ask you to put your career on hold for an indefinite amount of time, when you have are on the cusp of becoming one of the most highly regarded neurobiologists in the country, and quite possibly, the world."
Amy had been, to speak figuratively, quite blown away by Sheldon's admission. Of course she had known that he supported her, but he had never had any qualms about what voicing his opinion of the field of biology. She had never presumed to believe that he would put off asking her to consider children because he did not wish to interrupt her career.
When she had sufficiently recovered from her shock, she had cocked her head to the side and asked, "So what has changed your mind? Why are you asking now?"
Sheldon had again cleared his throat. "If you are amenable to discussing the possibility of childbearing, I believe I may have a compromise which would allow us to raise our child, or children, with the proper amount of emotional and educational care, while also ensuring that neither of us forego our careers."
"I'm quite intrigued. What do you propose?"
"If we look at a work week, there are five days in which work should be completed. However, there are seven days which comprise an entire week. Also, my work is theoretical, and can be completed, theoretically, at any point during the day. I propose that we ask our respective employers for an altered work week. As your job requires you to be present to conduct the experiments, I propose you request three days during the week to work, for example Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I will request going in to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a couple of hours of additional work completed in the evenings after you have returned home, as well as the occasional weekend, should the work necessitate it. It is also possible, should your employers wish for you to spend more time at work, for you to work ten or twelve hours on those days which you do go in…although I would prefer that you maintain a typical eight hour day, and might request that you not bring it up unless, or until, your employer discusses the hazards of your having a shortened work week."
Amy had thought for a moment about the proposal, and found herself impressed. She had quickly leaned forward and kissed Sheldon, before sitting back, smiling, and replying with, "You really do think of everything. I'm very touched that you feel so strongly about preserving my career that you would be willing to limit the amount of time you spend on your own. This is especially touching, when I consider how strong your desire for a Nobel Prize is…are you sure you're willing to make the sacrifice?"
"It's really not such a sacrifice. I am willing to believe that, should I keep a white board at home, I will be occasionally able to stare at it, perhaps during nap times, and thus complete work even on my off days. I do not anticipate a shortened work week impacting my likelihood of receiving a Nobel Prize in my future."
Amy had thought for a moment, before frowning and saying, "I still find myself wishing you had not waited so long to discuss the issue with me. As your wife, and aforementioned scientist, I should think I have earned enough of your respect to warrant being included in the search for a solution to such a quandary."
Sheldon had blinked at her for several moments before finally clearing his throat and saying, "I apologize."
"Now, if I may ask, what are your thoughts on the subject of procreation."
Amy's thoughts had turned to the subject, and she had taken her time pondering it. In truth, she had wondered at the possibility of children with Sheldon on multiple occasions, but such thoughts had usually been fleeting. She had thought back to the time when Mary had insisted on showing Amy childhood pictures of Sheldon. He had been quite an adorable child, as far as Amy was concerned. As she had continued pondering, an image of a small blonde child with startling blue eyes following his father around, dressed in a red Flash t-shirt, had popped into her head, and she had found herself smiling.
"I believe I would enjoy bearing your children."
Sheldon had raised his eyebrows. "Are you quite sure? Please think it through carefully. There is a great deal of stress, pain, and selflessness involved. Regardless of the fact that we will ensure the continuation of your career, you will still have to carry the child…unless of course you'd be more amenable to finding a surrogate."
Amy had pondered the possibility of a surrogate, but found that she, surprisingly, would prefer to carry their progeny herself. "I'm quite sure."
Sheldon's countenance had immediately changed. His face had been lit up by a smile, and he had grabbed her in a hug, something which, even after five years of marriage, he rarely ever did.
"Then we are agreed?" Sheldon had asked.
Amy had smiled and nodded. "We're agreed. We are going to procreate."
She looked up at Sheldon, her heart racing. She wasn't entirely sure why she was so nervous about the results of her multiple pregnancy tests, as it was their first attempt. She realized that it usually took multiple attempts, and sometimes up to a year, for a woman to become pregnant, but she couldn't seem to dispel the hope that they had succeeded.
"The allotted three minutes has passed."
Amy didn't respond, other than to widen her eyes. They both looked over at the sink again, and then Amy looked back up at Sheldon.
"Shall we both look at the same time?"
Sheldon looked down at her, swallowed, and nodded.
Still gripping hands, they had taken several steps forward towards the sink, both looking at the other through the mirror. When they reached the sink, Amy squeezed Sheldon's hand, and they both looked down.
Amy blinked for several moments, unable to process the information in front of her. She looked over at Sheldon, who also appeared to be having a difficult time processing, and then back down again.
It simply did not seem possible that she should be staring at ten little plus signs.
A/N: Thanks for reading. I'm going to take this moment to proclaim that physics has always been beyond my understanding...I googled "Current Physics Research" to get that little bit about the particles, sooo, if you're a physicist...feel free to laugh. :) Reviews are greatly appreciated and really motivate me to write. So, for those that bless me with a review...thanks. :)