Too many bad decisions, too many wrong choices, too many times when he gave in to other's demands regardless of what he wanted. When did he become such a coward? How could he have lost his way so badly? It had all led to this. He looked across at Penny who stood on the other side of the altar. She was so lovely it made his throat convulsively swallow. Her beautiful hazel eyes were fixed on his and for once in his life, he had no trouble reading her expression. It was the same despair that flowed through him. The music began and every eye turned to watch Amy walk up the aisle on her mother's arm. She was smiling widely, her tiara perched high on her head. For Sheldon time began to jump forward in small increments.

"Do you, Sheldon Lee Cooper…"

"… Amy Farrah Fowler, take this man…"

"If any person has cause…."

"You may kiss you bride."

He dutifully pressed his lips to Amy's but his eyes were locked on Penny's.

She left the reception as soon as the photographer was finished. Raj came to tell them she wasn't feeling well, and he was going to take her home. No goodbye, no well wishes, she just left. For a moment Amy was irritated, but she was determined to be the star of her big day and in truth she was secretly glad she had one less woman to compete with, even if it was her 'bestie'. Sheldon knew why Penny had left. He wondered if things would ever be normal between them again.

7 Weeks Earlier

It began at the Cal-Tech autumn fund raiser. The entire group went together. Sheldon hadn't been thrilled about going, but Amy offered to count it as date night, and he thought he could kill two birds with one awkward stone. The evening had started out fairly normally. Leonard had shown Penny off to his colleagues. Raj had found a quiet corner to hide in and Howard and Bernadette had been quickly swallowed up by some fellow engineers. Amy had tried to drag him onto the dance floor at first, but he was resolute in his refusal to dance.

After about an hour he noticed that Penny was no longer by Leonard's side. In fact, she seemed to have been cornered by Kripke and Lewiston from the geology department. He felt the surprising urge to 'rescue' her. Before he could work out why he felt that unexpected urge, Raj appeared by Penny's side and maneuvered her onto the dance floor.

Sheldon could not stop keeping tabs on Penny after that. He felt compelled to watch over her since Leonard had apparently abandoned her. Unfortunately he was distracted about 40 minutes later by an argument with Amy over what constitutes a 'fun' date. He never even noticed Penny leaving the reception hall in search of Leonard. None of the others knew exactly what Penny had found, but they could guess. She stormed past him and Amy a few minutes later and asked Raj to drive her home, her grip on her composure tenuous at best.

Sheldon had wanted to leave with them, because he knew Penny needed a shoulder to cry on. Like a coward he had stayed because he didn't want to listen to Amy complain about being dragged from a party. Amy joined Bernadette on the dance floor at one point and he made his way over to the buffet and became engaged in a discussion about particle wave speeds. He didn't realize the punch at the party was alcoholic until he was too drunk to care. When he lurched onto the dance floor and spun Amy in a circle, he was thoroughly inebriated. So, when Amy pulled him into a taxi an hour and six more drinks later, he made no objection.

The next morning he woke up to find he was naked. Even more shocking was the fact that Amy was also naked and sprawled across his body. Her hand was wrapped around his semi-erect penis and she was trying to coax him into a repeat of the nights activities. Horror and disgust filled him. He berated Amy for taking advantage of his inebriation, and she defended herself by saying it was long past time he started acting like a real boyfriend. And besides, he had seemed to enjoy sex well enough when they were actually doing it. Needless to say, he had ended their relationship and hurried home to scour his body clean.

Life at 2311 Los Robles was becoming more and more uncomfortable. Penny was avoiding Leonard, which meant she was inadvertently avoiding him, also. Amy continually called or came by to try and convince him to renew their relationship. Howard was on Leonard's side, with his 'bros before hos' mentality. Raj was firmly in Camp Penny. Bernadette was more ambiguous. After all, she had forgiven Howard for cyber cheating. She felt that if Penny would just talk to Leonard, they could work it out. Sheldon refused to tell any of them why he and Amy had broken up. All Amy told Bernadette and Penny was that it was just a misunderstanding. He knew Penny suspected something huge had happened. He had heard them talking in the hallway.

Amy was trying to convince Penny to talk him into forgiving her. Penny had refused. She said their relationship was none of her business and if Amy couldn't convince him, then he must feel pretty strongly about it. She said she had experienced for herself how badly it could go when she let friends tell her to stay in a relationship she didn't want, and she wasn't going to do that to him. Amy had gotten angry and said Penny of being a horrible friend. She had accused her of wanting everyone else to break up just because she couldn't hold onto a relationship. Sheldon was actually reaching for the door knob to stop them when Penny spoke again.

"Amy, I don't know what is going on between you and Sheldon. It's none of my business. I won't be responsible for your relationship. I'm having a difficult enough time taking care of just me."

"Then what am I supposed to do?" Amy yelled.

"I don't know," Penny said softly. Then she went into her apartment and shut the door. Amy left a moment later.

He had almost went across the hall and told her what happened, but shame kept him quiet. He just wanted life to go back to the way it was before they all succumbed to the pressures of emotions. It was exactly 5 weeks after the party that Amy cornered him at work. She walked into his office without knocking and dropped a bombshell on him with just two words.

"I'm pregnant."

From that point on, life had taken on a hurricane-like quality.

All he had ever dreamed of was winning a Nobel Prize. Then she came along and suddenly he had two goals. Win his Nobel Prize and overcome how she made him feel. He almost submitted in a moment of weakness. Luckily Penny had mistaken his reasons for asking her out and he was safe. He immediately plunged into a relationship with Penny's exact opposite.

Amy had posed no threat to his emotions and provided a buffer between him and Penny. He could focus once again on achieving his first goal, secure in the knowledge that Amy was the perfect, albeit unwitting, accomplice in achieving the second. He had thought it was all so easy. He had thought that with his intelligence he had known exactly what he was doing. What he hadn't counted on was Amy's growing obsession with physicality or that she would lock her sights on him. The last year, especially, had become filled with more and more demands from his girlfriend for him to behave, not as he felt, but as she wished. He liked Amy. He respected Amy, and he enjoyed their time together, for the most part. But her increasing demands were beginning to create stress in him. He had no sexual desires for Amy.

He was certain he never would, either. In fact, the one time he had seen her womanly parts, after she flashed him in the back of her car, he had known with absolute certainty that a physical relationship between them was not something he desired. He couldn't help comparing Amy's exposed flesh to the tantalizing peek he had gotten of Penny's golden skin the day he helped her out of the shower.

And now his girlfriend was pregnant with his child.

His mom had been stunned and disappointed to find out he had impregnated Amy out of wedlock. She was determined to rectify that as quickly as possible. To that end she had arrived three days later. Within a week she had a church and pastor lined up, a reception hall booked and she went dress shopping with her daughter-in-law to be.

Leonard was to be best man. Amy asked Penny to be maid of honor, but she declined and quickly suggested Bernadette or Missy, saying since she had been Bernadette's and Missy was to be her sister-in-law, they had a greater claim on the position. Everyone assumed she just didn't want to walk with Leonard. She couldn't be in 4A without looking ill.

Sheldon paid scant attention to details. He didn't care what they decided. He was too busy feeling lost and overwhelmed. He was going to be a father and a husband. He felt trapped in a nightmare he couldn't wake up from. His life was spiraling out of his control and he hated it.

The night before the wedding he snuck off and went up to the roof. He just needed to be alone for a few minutes. Away from the endless prattle about bouquets, seating and reception music. Away from the discussions about morning sickness, hormones and trimesters. He just wanted a bit of space to be alone for a few minutes. He was feeling cornered and crowded.

He was surprised to find Penny there, tears on her cheeks. Normally he would have retreated, always uncomfortable with emotional women. Especially Penny, who always made him feel things he was unprepared to feel. Tonight he felt compelled to approach her.


She spun toward him and he was stunned by the stark grief in her eyes. She moved quickly, almost running, to the stairwell. He grabbed her arm to stop her from escaping.

"Please, let go," she sobbed brokenly.

He shook his head firmly. He had spent the last week with absolutely no control over his life. He would not obey yet another order now, especially when she obviously needed someone. "No. Talk to me, Penny. I am your friend and I am worried about you."

She sobbed harshly and tried to pull free. In desperation he wrapped his long arms around her tight. Her breasts were pressed tight to his chest and their pelvises were aligned thanks to the heels she wore. They both froze. Desire flared up inside him and he looked down into her hazel eyes to see she felt it too.

It was inevitable at that point. He dipped his head and she rose up to meet him. Passion exploded between them as the walls they had both built over the years came crashing down. There on that roof, under the autumn night sky, he found his true 0,0,0,0. It wasn't a space on a couch. It was with her, their arms holding each other close, his hands bracing her thighs, as he pressed her against the door and willingly entered her body.

Afterwards they silently restored their clothing. There was no need for words now. Their bodies had already said everything of worth for them. They walked back down the stairs hand in hand. Without a word, glance or pause they headed to their respective apartments, hands clenched until distance forced them to separate. The next morning they all gathered at the little brownstone church on Union Avenue to witness the marriage of Sheldon Lee Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler.