Disclaimer: I don't own The Big Bang Theory. If I did, believe me, there'd be a certain difference in certain ships…
A/N: This is my first dive into the BBT universe. Please be kind. This idea has been swirling in my mind for a long time and it just wouldn't give up. I haven't posted on this site in over a year, so I might be a bit rusty. :P I hope you all like it. Shenny Forever! Please enjoy...
Tagline: There are some constants throughout the universe...
Summary: Thanks to Sheldon's new toy, Sheldon and Penny find themselves in a parallel universe where Penny never moved in across the hall. How can they hope to get back? And what changes might occur between them along the way? Shenny.
Timeframe: Takes place in and around S6, but since I started writing this before S6 aired, it takes its own direction. Consider it AU.
The Parallel Universe Venture
Prologue: Just a Normal Trip to the Comic Book Store…
"It's New Comic Book night, Penny," Sheldon stated as he got in the passenger seat of Penny's Volkswagen.
"Uh-huh," Penny replied on auto-pilot, taking a sip of her coffee, and got into the driver's seat.
"Thank you for picking me up, Penny," Sheldon said as he put his seatbelt on.
"Uh-huh," Penny said again, starting the engine. After a moment of silence when they got on the road, Penny started talking again, "Remind me again why Leonard couldn't take you home?"
"Not home," Sheldon corrected, "Not yet, at least. Comic Book store first, then home."
"Right," Penny widened her eyes in annoyance and corrected herself, "So, remind me again why Leonard couldn't do this and I had to give up my night off to pick you up?"
"He said he had to work late tonight. It was the only time he could use the electron laser. And for some unknown reason, Howard and Raj said they had to help him," Sheldon turned his head, "Honestly, Penny, you need to work on your listening skills."
Penny rolled her eyes and shook her head as she took another sip of her coffee. She knew that lately Leonard, Raj, and Howard have been using that as an excuse to escape Sheldon every so often.
"What about Bernadette?" Penny turned to him.
"Also working late tonight," Sheldon replied.
"Amy?" Penny tried once more.
"Ever since we mutually decided to end our relationship agreement and returned to girl slash friend slash boy slash friend status, she believed it best that she not have to pick me up from work if the situation so called for it," Sheldon explained.
"Oh yeah. Sorry," Penny momentarily forgot about "the Shamy" breaking up.
Her own break-up with Leonard (again) was at the forefront of her mind. "Lenny" as Howard came to call them called it quits only a day before "Shamy." When she and Leonard announced to their friends that they were broken up, nobody was really surprised. In fact, Sheldon called it. Thankfully though, she and Leonard agreed to stay friends and after two tries, they both thought it to be for the best. Leonard maturely said that they weren't meant to be and Penny followed saying they'd always be friends. She was forever grateful that her stupidity wouldn't cost her a wonderful friend.
She could've said no in picking her Dr. Whack-A-Doodle up from work, but she could never say no to him. Who was she kidding? And since when did she start referring to him as 'hers'?
"Your check engine light is on again," Sheldon pointed, bringing Penny out of her inner thoughts.
"Yup," Penny said. They were getting closer to the comic book store.
"When are you going to take this vehicle to a service station and get that straightened out?" Sheldon asked, "I've never felt comfortable in an unmanaged car."
"As soon as I can afford it," Penny said and just as Sheldon opened his mouth to offer her a loan, she cut him off, "No thanks, Moon Pie, I can manage on my own."
"Clearly not," Sheldon muttered and folded his arms, "And only MeeMaw calls me 'Moon Pie'."
Penny couldn't help but let the small smirk crawl onto her face. She loved riling him up. Just as they reached a comfortable silence in the car and Penny shifted into park in the back of the comic book store, the Volkswagen made an unsettling noise and conked out.
"What was that?" Sheldon looked worried.
"I'm sure it's nothing," Penny waved it off, "It does that all the time."
"Try turning the car back on to make sure," Sheldon ordered.
Penny did just that, but the car wouldn't start back up, "Perfect."
"The engine died," Sheldon stated the obvious.
"Looks like it," Penny sank in her seat.
"How are we going to make it home in time for Halo Night and pizza?" Sheldon's voice shook with worry.
"We will," Penny patted his knee, "Come on. Let's get your new comics. I'll take care of my car tomorrow night. We can order the pizza from in the store and take a cab home, all in time to play Halo."
"Tonight's Halo 3," Sheldon corrected her.
"Whatever," Penny got out of the car.
"And I'm not taking a cab," Sheldon objected as they both walked into the store.
"Hey, Penny," Stuart greeted her.
"Hi, Stuart," Penny waved.
"I'm not taking a cab," Sheldon objected once again, completely oblivious to Stuart's interruption.
"You did when Bernadette, Amy, and me took you dancing," Penny countered.
"I," Sheldon couldn't help but correct her.
"What?" Penny arched her brow.
"It's 'Bernadette, Amy, and I'… not 'me'," Sheldon elaborated.
"Whatever," Penny shook her head, "You're taking a cab. Or would you rather we skip Halo 3 and pizza tonight while we wait for someone to tow my car?"
"Cab it is," Sheldon declared and went straight for his precious new comic books.
"How long since those two started going out?" Captain Underpants whispered to Stuart, pausing from thumbing through a Captain America comic book.
"They haven't," Stuart shook his head, "At least I don't think so."
Penny closed her phone from ordering the pizza and walked over to Sheldon. He just ran over to some new toy with an exclamation like he was a kid in a candy store. Well, technically, he sort of was except the candy was comic books.
"Oooo! This is definitely new," Sheldon picked up a new toy.
"What is it?," Penny came up to his side. She wasn't too interested, but it was better to keep up conversation with Sheldon than have Stuart shamelessly trying to pick her up… again.
"This is the transport device Superman and the scientist Professor Emil Hamilton found hidden in a compartment of the rocket that brought Superman to Earth in Superman: The Animated Series," Sheldon started explaining, "This device was used to transport beings to and from the Phantom Zone and you could view into it."
"Fascinating," Penny showed mock enthusiasm.
"I have to buy this," Sheldon ran his hand over the toy with a delicate, loving hand.
"So get it," Penny said, "I just ordered your sausage, mushroom, and light olive pizza. It should be delivered by the time we get home."
"Good," Sheldon looked up for a second before diverting his attention back to his prized new toy.
Within a few minutes, Sheldon purchased a couple of new comic books and the replica toy from Superman: The Animated Series and they were outside of the store, hailing a cab. Penny was doing the hailing. Sheldon was busy looking at his new toy.
"There's a 'try me' button," Sheldon exclaimed with glee.
"Awesome," Penny replied dryly. She wasn't really paying attention. One cab completely ignored her, driving past. Penny sighed in resignation and went to see what Sheldon was talking about before trying to hail another cab.
"Let's see what it does," Sheldon pressed the button. It made a couple of bleeping noises and flashed a bright light in their eyes before dying down again, "That was anti-climactic."
"Can't have everything, honey," Penny patted him on the arm and turned her attention back to getting a cab. Finally, one stopped for the duo.
Just as they started to move to get into the cab, a biker zoomed by directly in front of Sheldon, startling him, and made him drop the toy on the ground in one big crunch.
"My transporter!" Sheldon exclaimed in grief.
"Sheldon, come on, we have to go home," Penny leaned out the door of the cab.
"I have to get an exchange," Sheldon picked up his broken toy.
"Can't," Penny gestured to the comic book store's door, "Looks like Stuart closed early tonight."
"Noooo," Sheldon whined.
"Sheldon, get in the car," Penny ordered, "I'll stop by the comic store first thing in the morning before work and exchange it for you."
"Promise?" Sheldon didn't believe her.
"I promise," Penny smiled, "Now get in the cab. It's already 7:30."
At that, Sheldon jumped into the cab causing Penny to scoot over. She turned to the cab driver and said their address, "2311 Los Robles, please."
"Hurry up, Sheldon," Penny said hurriedly, bouncing up and down on her heels, "I have to go to the bathroom."
"Then use your own," Sheldon argued.
"I'm already hanging out over here, playing Halo 3 with you," Penny said defiantly, "Just open the damn door."
Sheldon opened the door and Penny ran inside, heading straight for the bathroom. He called out to her, "That's what you get for drinking coffee while driving!"
He set all of his things down from work in their proper place and went into his room to put away his new comic books and destroyed toy.
Just as Sheldon disappeared into his room, Leonard, Raj, and Howard entered the apartment.
"T-minus ten seconds until our official Sheldon-free time," Leonard was looking at his watch as he walked in the apartment. Howard and Raj followed him with pizza in tow.
"Five… four… three… two… one," Howard, Raj, and Leonard chanted and let out a whoop.
"Officially five days free of Dr. Nut job," Howard stated and put the pizza box down on the table.
"I've been looking forward to this for two weeks," Raj sighed, sitting next to Howard.
"You've been looking forward to it?" Leonard scoffed, "I've had this day marked down in my calendar for a month. I'll finally get some peace from…"
"Sheldon?" Howard furrowed his brows at said physicist entering the room.
"I see you three finished early," Sheldon said smugly, "I knew you couldn't resist Halo 3."
"What the hell are you doing here?" Raj asked annoyed.
"I live here," Sheldon said and bent down to get their TV ready for the game.
"You're supposed to be on a train for a science conference," Leonard said.
"Not that I recall and I recall everything," Sheldon continued to set up the game.
"Is it possible we confused the dates in anticipation?" Howard tried.
"Not likely, I've had this in my calendar," Leonard repeated.
"You're mistaken, Leonard… a common occurrence," Sheldon said and started to hand out the game controllers, "It's getting closer to eight o'clock, get ready for some Halo 3."
"There's always next conference," Raj tried.
"No," Leonard wasn't letting this go. He set down his game controller, "You called us an hour ago saying you were getting on the train for the conference. I reiterate, what are you doing here, Sheldon?"
Before Sheldon could go on one of his rants, Penny entered the living room, "Great! The pizza's here."
Howard, Raj, and Leonard stared at her blankly, mouths agape. Penny grabbed a slice, took a bite, and moaned out in pleasure, "So good."
Penny promptly sat down in Sheldon's spot. Sheldon walked over, looked down at her, and raised his eyebrows. Letting out a sigh, she scooted over causing Howard to numbly scoot over, effectively moving Raj to the floor. Still the three men stared at Penny in awe. Sheldon took his own slice of pizza, oblivious to their reactions.
"So I take it we're taking the pizza break before we start the game?" Penny asked, catching a mushroom falling from her mouth.
"Penny, don't speak with your mouth full of pizza," Sheldon lectured. Penny rolled her eyes and opened her mouth wide playfully with her chewed-up pizza in Sheldon's face. She laughed as Sheldon rolled his eyes.
He simply ignored her and continued, "But, yes it appears we're eating first."
"Uh-Uh, I'm sorry, but, um," Leonard stammered, finding his voice.
"Hmm," Penny looked up expectantly at him.
"W-Who are you?" Leonard managed.
Sheldon and Penny cocked their heads and furrowed their brows in sync in confusion.
"She's a gorgeous shiksah goddess is who she is!" Howard blurted.
"It's Penny," Sheldon stated the obvious.
"Why are you pretending you don't know me?" Penny was offended.
Leonard just shook his head, "Believe me, I'd remember if I knew you."
Raj turned and whispered in Howard's ear. Howard nodded, "Yeah, how did you, a gorgeous creature such as yourself, cross paths with Sheldon?"
"Crossed paths?" Penny shook her head. She was beyond confused and into concerned fear.
"Stop playing games, Leonard, I don't appreciate them," Sheldon said, "And this one is most certainly not humorous in any way."
"Howard Wolowitz," Howard stuck his hand out for Penny to shake, "I'm the small package good things come in."
"Any particular reason you're introducing yourself to someone who has known all of us for five years?" Sheldon questioned, "And who of which is a treasured friend?"
"Okay," Penny stood up. She couldn't take this weirdness anymore, "Whatever weird game you three are playing isn't funny. It's me. Penny. Your neighbor over in 4B…"
"4B?" Leonard cut her off, gesturing out the door with his thumb, "You mean the current tenant whom of which is a two-hundred pound transvestite cop with a skin condition named Louie slash Louise?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Leonard," Sheldon got up and stood next to Penny, "That was the previous tenant before Penny moved in."
"He's still living there," Leonard stated. Howard and Raj watched their back and forth like a tennis match.
Just when Leonard was about to say something further, his phone went off with the Joker from Batman's laugh. He took it out and looked at the caller ID, furrowing his brows.
"Who is it?" Howard wondered.
"Sheldon," Leonard looked up at his roommate. For the first time ever, Dr. Sheldon Cooper was just as confused as every other occupant in the apartment.
So... what do you all think? Yay or boo? I hope I captured your interest. The good news is I already have the whole story written. I'm not sure how frequently I'll get to update. I'll have to update in-between my schedule at work and such. Perhaps a week an update, give or take. There's this prologue, 6 chapters, and an epilogue. I also made a sad attempt at a poster for the story on Paint. You can find that in my profile soon. I hope I have everyone in-character and continue to do so. Please leave a review and tell me what you think! :)