I do it all for ishie!
I have to start by nattering on about how this story came to be. So, I defaulted on Yuletide. I know, I'm lame, but I was really intimidated by my giftee and her request. But I defaulted nice and early and the giftee ended up getting a great story.
So, it was the morning of Christmas Eve and I suddenly had the desire to write some BBT fic. I got a truly twisted idea stuck in my head. What if, in the Driving Lessons universe, Penny got knocked up at Comic-Con? While she and Sheldon were cosplaying?
Right then and there, still in my pajamas, this story was born. I decided I wanted to gift it to and ishie as last-minute Yuletide stories because when I first joined the BBT fandom, they were exceedingly welcoming and supportive.
I wrote the whole thing in two caffeine-fueled hours. Yikes. I still think that if I'd spent more time on it, instead of writing it in one manic morning, it would be a better story, but I had a lot of fun writing it and Meg and Ishie seemed to like it, so hey…
Things start getting weird around April that year.
Oh, wait. I forgot to blather about the title. As a rule, I don't give my fic titles that resemble series titles. You know what I mean: The Big Pink Elephant Paradigm. I have nothing against titles like that in the slightest. It's just not my style.
However, this time around, I was taking a break by having a smoke on my balcony, when I thought, "What would be the cheesiest title EVER for this?" Something alliterative, I decided. And that's how the Comic-Con Costume Conception Caper came to be. Probably the worst title in the history of titles, although I do like the play on words with "conception." Readers, at first, might think that conception refers to coming up with the costume, but it's actually about Penny getting pregnant at Comic-Con, while she and Sheldon are in costume.
She's never seen Sheldon quite so obsessed, which for Sheldon is quite a feat. Every night after work he comes home and goes straight to his sewing machine.
"How did I not know you own a sewing machine?" she asks when he hauls it out of the crawl space.
"Of course I own a sewing machine, Penny. How can one engage in sucessful cosplay without a method for sewing one's own costumes?" He plugs it in.
I have a group of male friends who are huge science fiction geeks that love cosplay. They all have super-deluxe sewing machines and none of their female partners know how to use them, which I find a delightful role-reversal from the past.
"Couldn't you just, like, rent a costume?"
The look on his face is scathing. "That's a form of cheating. The point of cosplay is to create an accurate costume oneself. Otherwise there's no glory in the adulation."
Wow, she had no idea there were ethics in cosplay. You learn something new every day. She leaves Sheldon to his yards of fabric and piles of printouts from web sites. There's an upside to this—she can catch up on Days of Our Lives without Sheldon making outraged sounds and muttering about "the opiate of the masses."
I totally think that Penny would be a Days fan.
She does worry about him, though. He hardly touches his dinner at night and crawls into bed long after she's fallen asleep. Plus, there are health hazards to consider.
"You do realize that Comic-Con is held in the heat of summer," she says, waving a piece of pizza in front of his face as he hunches over the sewing machine.
When I was at Dragon*Con last September, I couldn't believe the incredibly hot costumes some people were wearing in late summer Atlanta. I don't know how they do it.
"I am very aware of the season in which Comic-Con is held." He pushes her hand away. "Don't do that. You could stain the fabric."
"You don't worry about heat stroke?"
"I'll only wear the costume for a short while and I will ensure I'm adequately hydrated."
One night, as she curls up in bed with the latest copy of Vogue she realizes they haven't had sex in weeks.
Is Comic-Con an acceptable excuse to cheat on your partner?
I keep debating about whether or not to change partner to husband. When I wrote this, I hadn't decided if Penny and Sheldon were married or not, according to the series timeline. In the story that follows this one, it's established that they're married at this time. But I kind of like using partner here. It's more inclusive. IDK.
Also, yeah, I do think that Sheldon would be the type to not just forget to have sex with Penny, but probably forget, at least temporarily, that he's ever had sex. If that makes sense.
No, she decides, throwing the magazine aside. It's totally not. Thank God the con is less than a month away. In the meantime, she has a vibrator and knows how to use it. As Leonard's mother once said (yikes!), she's responsible for her own orgasms.
I had to give a shout-out to Beverly's awesome advice. Which is so true, by the way.
"You need a haircut," she says one Monday morning as Sheldon stirs the oatmeal. "You're getting all shaggy."
As I think we all established with the last episode of BBT, Shaggy Sheldon is pretty damn hot.
He looks at her like she's lost her mind.
"Not that I mind. I like it a little longer, but it's sort of losing its unique Sheldon spirit," she says.
I have no idea why, but I really liked "its unique Sheldon spirit." Because his hair is unique. And kind of awesome.
"Penny, I need bangs. And to obtain bangs, my hair must grow longer."
She sighs and pours more coffee. Comic-Con can't come soon enough.
He finishes the costume two days before the big event, but he won't let her see it. "I want to surprise you," he says.
Penny rolls her eyes. "I know what it is. How would I be surprised?"
"I believe the majestic quality of the costume will be quite awe-inspiring."
She kisses him on the cheek. "Okay, awe me in San Diego, then."
"Now I need your assistance in coloring my hair."
"You're going to dye your hair? As in, permanently?"
"I don't do half-measures, Penny."
No, you don't, she thinks as she takes the box of Miss Clairol from his hands. Which is one of the reasons why she loves him so much, really.
I really do believe that's one of the reasons why Penny would love Sheldon. Because if he decided he loved her and wanted to be in a relationship with her, he would never half-ass it. He'd be there, all the way.
She hardly sees Sheldon in San Diego. If she weren't having such a good time anyhow, going to the Twilight panel and getting her picture taken with Michael Trucco and Jamie Bamber (their arms!),
Yeah, I had to mention Trucco and Bamber's beautiful arms. While I'm not the biggest Lee and Sammy fangirl, I believe that Penny would be. And yes, she'd definitely love Twilight.
she'd wonder why the hell she came along this year. Sheldon is off with Leonard, Raj and Howard most of the time, getting his geek on in the dealers' room and going to panels on obscure comics she's never heard of. With Sheldon safely occupied in the company of his friends, she even has time to get a pedicure and a massage in the hotel spa.
Finally, it's the night of the Star Trek costume contest. The tension in their hotel room is high. Penny changes into the original series Starfleet officer's uniform that Sheldon made for her months ago. Looking at herself in the mirror, she has to admit that it's really cute. The miniskirt makes her look like a stewardess from the 1960's or something, especially with the fetching black knee boots. She's not entering the contest but Sheldon insisted she wear a costume in solidarity.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Penny's look in this story is definitely inspired by renisanz 's amazing fanart of Penny and Sheldon in Trek costumes.
The boys show up while Sheldon is still fussing in the bathroom. Howard is a fearsome Klingon, Raj is a Ferengi, and Leonard is wearing something all furry and shapeless.
"What are you?" she asks him.
"I'm a mass of tribbles!"
I have no idea why, but the idea of Leonard dressed up as a tribble really cracked me up. I don't like the exclamation point here, though, and I should probably take it out. I'm not a big fan of the exclamation point in fic.
Even she finds that pretty funny. And a little afraid that she knows exactly what a tribble is. Penny opens a beer and takes a long swig.
Penny needed a lot of beer to get through Comic-Con, I believe.
Finally, the bathroom door opens. "Are you ready?" Sheldon says.
"We've been ready for what feels like hours," Howard bitches. "The contest is starting in a half hour."
Sheldon walks out and everyone gasps. Sure, they've seen him in his regular Spock costume millions of times, but this is different. He's not just Spock, he's Spock Prime from the movie, regal in his long, fur-lined coat-cloak thingie, pointy ears and all.
"My God," Penny says. Sheldon's not only colored his hair black, in the bathroom he painstakingly combed gray streaks into his hair, which is now perfectly arranged in a Vulcan 'do.
I probably should have been more realistic and had Penny cut Sheldon's hair in a Vulcan cut because I'm pretty sure you couldn't just comb hair to look like that.
And...and...what the HELL.
"Did you shave off your eyebrows?" she exclaims. She likes his eyebrows. They're one of Sheldon's nicest features.
"Of course I did," he says, touching one of the Spock brows spirit-gummed to his face. "Authenticity in all things, Penny."
For something as big as Comic-Con cosplay? Yeah, he'd do it. And I don't blame Penny for being horrified. Sheldon has lovely brows. And when I picture my husband shaving off his brows? I shudder at the thought. It was bad enough when an ex of mine shaved his legs to be Hilary Clinton for Halloween.
You are so never getting laid again, she thinks, opening another beer.
The boys lose their geeky little minds, examining every detail of Sheldon's costume, all the way down to his apparently accurate Vulcan diplomatic corps boots.
That's what I sincerely love about serious geeks. They do get excited about stuff like accuracy in one's costume boots. I really like enthusiasm like that.
She has to admit that they seem to be having a great time and Sheldon looks so happy to have blown their minds. But the eyebrows. Good Lord.
The contest finalists stand on the stage at one end of the hotel ballroom—a shapely and very green Galia, a Captain Picard who resembles Patrick Stewart so much it's almost scary, a Klingon guy who must be seven feet tall, a rather humdrum Counselor Troi ("She's got to be sleeping with one of the judges," Howard whispers in her ear. "Because, otherwise, how can you explain her making the finals?") and Sheldon.
The room is crowded and hot. Penny wonders how Sheldon hasn't keeled over yet, wearing that costume. But he looks the happiest, and the most proud she's ever seen him, up on that stage, a finalist in the contest.
I really don't want to sound conceited, but I wish we could see this scene on the show. The look on Sheldon's face—I want to see this. And the opportunity for him to have a win, for a change.
The emcee walks out onto the stage. "All righty," he shouts into the microphone. "We're ready to announce the winners! And we have a veeeery special guest to announce the Grand Prize winner. Please welcome our guest of honor, Mr. Leonard Nimoy!"
The crowd goes absolutely nuts and Penny is sure that she going to lose a good chunk of her hearing. Up on stage, Sheldon looks like he's going either throw up or pass out. From joy.
Nimoy flashes the Vulcan salute and if she thought the crowd was loud before, she was totally, totally wrong.
"The Grand Prize winner, and winner of an all-expenses paid, luxury trip for two to next year's Comic-Con is..."
Penny holds her breath.
"Sheldon Cooper as Spock Prime!"
Now she's screaming, at the top of her lungs. She watches as Sheldon seems to swoon for a second, then gather himself and walk to the front of the stage with appropriate Vulcan dignity.
Leonard Nimoy hands Sheldon a large, shiny trophy and then... He throws his arms around Sheldon and hugs him.
Holy fucking shit. Sheldon must be absolutely dying she thinks, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet. Leonard Nimoy is hugging Sheldon. He'll be insufferable for the rest of his life. And deservedly so.
Yeah, think about it. If Sheldon went that nuts when Penny gave him the signed napkin with Nimoy DNA, just think about what an actual hug would do to him. It would be epic.
It takes Sheldon forever to make his way over to them since everyone wants to congratulate him or get their picture taken with him. She watches with narrowed eyes as more than one pretty young thing fawns over him and his costume.
I'm not a big fan of jealous!Penny, because I think it can be a cheap vehicle for drama in fanfic, but I could see her getting a bit jealous-ish somewhere like Comic-Con, where there's a billion scantily-clad fangirls running around.
Finally, he finds them. Penny stands back and lets the boys have their moment of glory. They've been doing this cosplay thing for years but this is their first major triumph. She wants to let them enjoy it.
"We should get going," Leonard says, adjusting his tribble costume. "The Trek Ball is starting."
Sheldon grabs her arm. His face is pink and shiny and once of his fake Spock eyebrows appears to be trying to make a break for it. "He told me my costume was accurate in every detail," he says dreamily. "That it was the most authentic Spock costume he'd ever seen."
He'd be high on this for a month.
She stands on tiptoe and kisses his cheek.
"Let's get out of here," he says to her.
"To the ball, my Vulcan?"
"No, somewhere else." He steers her out of the ballroom.
Hand-in-hand they walk down the hotel corridor. "Where are we going?" she asks.
Sheldon doesn't say anything, just keeps striding down the hall, tall and proud like a Vulcan ambassador.
I just like the idea of Sheldon not only looking like a Vulcan, but acting like one thanks to his cosplay success.
They come to the door of a small conference room. Sheldon tries the knob and the door opens. They both step inside. The room is cool and blessedly quiet.
"What are we doing –" she asks but before she can finish the sentence, Sheldon presses her against a table and kisses her.
"Mister Spock," she admonishes as he licks her just below her ear. "Is it appropriate to do this with a lowly Starfleet ensign?"
"Ambassador Spock," he growls. He throws off the coat-cloak thingie and tosses it on the table. He gives her a little push and she lands on the table, her legs flung out in front of her.
"As an ambassador, I believe I'm above reproach, Ensign," he says, his hand slipping under her miniskirt. "You're not wearing any underpants," he says, sounding like Sheldon, not Spock. The eyebrow that's still on his face is practically touching his hairline.
Mmm…Trek roleplay. I didn't want to take this too far, because sometimes roleplay in fic can get really old fast.
"Didn't want panty lines," she says, suppressing a groan as his fingers find her clit and begin their familiar, and most welcome, rhythm.
Of course she didn't.
She doesn't know if it's sick or awesome that meeting Leonard Nimoy seems to have turned Sheldon on something awful.
And of course it would. Personally, I'm of the "it's awesome" school. How about you?
His fingers plunge inside her and she latches her lips on his neck, sucking hard. "Harder," she mutters. "Yeah, like that."
They could be caught at any second by a hotel employee or a con-goer and ohmyfuckinggod it's hot.
Penny likes the risky places. And, apparently, so does Sheldon. At least, if he's in costume.
Sheldon fumbles at his pants and then she feels his hard cock against her leg. She's never wanted him so much in her life. Penny grabs at his hips and pulls her closer to her. She wraps her legs around his waist and oh yes, that's it. That's it.
Briefly, it runs through her head that they're not using a condom like usual. But it's not really the right time of the month. She thinks. She hopes. Whatever, who cares?
In my head, Sheldon would be incredibly conscientious about birth control/safer sex. So would Penny, although not to the OCD extent that Sheldon would be. But I kind of liked the idea that 1) they're both so turned on and just plain high from the costume contest that they forget and/or don't care; and 2) in this universe, they've been together for a long time, they both have good jobs, and while they're not consciously trying to get Penny knocked up, it's not going to be a bad thing if it happens, either.
It feels so good, perched on the edge of the table as Sheldon, dressed like Spock, thrusts into her hard. Holy shit he's good at this. He drives into her again and again and she arches her back, meeting him halfway each time.
When she comes she presses her face against his shoulder, smothering her cries with his Vulcan costume. And when Sheldon follows her lead a minute or so later, it's with a most un-Vulcan-like moan.
"Huh," Leonard says to her later at the ball. "I wasn't aware that Spock Prime went around with hickeys on his neck."
She suppresses a giggle. "Spock and Kirk had to keep themselves warm on the ice planet somehow," she says.
I've always enjoyed it when Penny and Sheldon are busted by one of the other guys in fic. Does that qualify as a kink?
Also, Penny is definitely pretty far down the geek path herself at this point. She goes to Comic-Con, she's a BSG fan, she Trek cosplays and she can make Trek references of her own
Sheldon's eyebrows are just beginning to look normal again.
This would, understandably, be important to Penny.
Penny's lying in their bed, her hand on her belly. There's not much to feel yet, just the very beginning of a bump on her usually fairly flat stomach.
"Definitely Comic-Con," she says, smiling at the memory of the night Sheldon was Spock.
"We should have known better. At least I should have known better," Sheldon says, but he looks happy, too. "A rare lapse of judgment."
Again, Sheldon would be a little miffed at himself for forgetting but this pregnancy is, essentially, welcome. In my head, Sheldon and Penny had already discussed becoming parents and maybe wanted it to happen a year or so in the future, but it's fine with them that it happened now.
"I hope our kid never asks where it was conceived. How would we explain it was in a hotel conference room, with you dressed up as Spock?"
"I would hope you wouldn't answer such a question, as it wouldn't be any of our child's business," he says.
Good point. Unless you have a mother who is the Queen of TMI and loves to tell you about when you were conceived. *coughs*
"If you were a Vulcan that night, it means the baby's half-Vulcan."
"A quarter Vulcan," he corrects her, his hand coming to rest on top of hers.
"That's plenty of Vulcan for me." She turns her head and kisses him.
"Exactly the right amount," Sheldon says.
I don't know what it says about me that I loveloveloved writing pregnancy/childbirth fic for this pairing. I've always been pretty against babyfic in my previous fandoms, X-Files and BSG, unless the writing was extraordinary. I never had the desire to write it myself, except in one post-colonization story where I gave Scully a daughter.
Maybe it's because in BBT-world, it's not out of the realm of insanity for Penny and Sheldon to have a kid. They're both young (23-ish and 29, if we're to believe canon) and healthy and would be a really hilarious parenting team. Either way, even though I've enjoyed writing it, because of past stigma, I also felt a little bit dirty writing it.