Epilogue: In Which Loose Ends are Tied Up
There are those who may wonder what was in store for Sheldon and Penny next. This story is not nearly as remarkable as their shared dream experience and subsequent entrance into a romantic relationship, so it will be recounted in briefer prose.
The pair woke up the next morning from a dreamless sleep. Sheldon would remind us that this would be a biological impossibility, so allow me to specify that the sleep contained dreams that they did not remember the next morning. They were both somewhat disappointed by this, and after a few weeks were forced to discard the experiment, since it seemed unlikely that they could ever continue it. Sheldon filed it away in his desk and in his memory.
The rest of the trip gave them ample time to discuss how to break the news to their friends. Penny favored a secretive approach, but she knew that Sheldon would find this difficult, so they resolved to tell everybody on their return.
When they did so, Leonard and Howard were shocked. Raj merely laughed and flashed them a double thumbs-up. Apparently, he'd suspected something going on all along. They never told their friends about the shared dreams, and were intentionally vague whenever questioned about their early relationship.
Six months after their relationship changed, Sheldon flew to Europe for a conference. They shared a dream that night. While they both realized that separation could allow them to continue their experiment, they also realized it wasn't worth it. Upon his return, Sheldon declared that he was unable to imagine his life without her presence and proposed marriage. To everybody's surprise (except for his own, of course), she accepted.
They married after fourteen months of courtship, although some would say they had been courting ever since they met, in their peculiar way. The circumstances of their shared dreams remained forever a mystery, although they did continue their research whenever one of them was separated from the other. This was not often. While either one would proudly exclaim that the other "drove them up the wall", they couldn't bear to be without each other, something both sickening and endearing for those around them.
Two years into their marriage, Sheldon won the Nobel prize. His wife then took him on a second honeymoon. Soon afterward, she announced her pregnancy with their first child. A daughter, who proved to be smart, beautiful, and entirely real.
I would like to thank everybody who read, reviewed, followed, and/or favorited this story. Your support inspired me to continue, and made this whole project that much more worthwhile.
Special thanks goes to those Sheldon/Penny authors whose works encouraged me to write my own, such as Eternal Contradiction, Rashaka, and SpaceAnJL; to my best friend, for sharing my love for this pairing and putting up with my ramblings; and most of all to my mother, for shipping with me, listening to me go on endlessly, and introducing me to the possibilities of these two amazing individuals.
Oh, and to the creators of the Big Bang Theory. They might have been just a little bit helpful.