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07 October 2009 @ 11:07 pm
The Las Vegas Complication [TBBT; Sheldon/Penny]  
TITLE: The Las Vegas Complication
CHAPTER 1: Waking Up In Vegas
FANDOM: The Big Bang Theory
PAIRING: Sheldon/Penny
SPOILERS: Season three
RATING: PG-13 (for innuendo)
SUMMARY: That's what you get for waking up in Vegas.


*****

You've gotta help me out,
It's all a blur last night


*****

The first sensation to hit Penny that morning is pain. A sort of dull, but mind-numbing, throb that stretches from one temple, across her forehead and sinuses, to the other temple. Then comes the pounding. Straight on her head as if someone were taking a ball pein hammer to the top of her skull. The sunlight, though shielded by the deep maroon linen curtains, is still far too bright, and she squints as she shifts in bed. Propping herself up on her elbows, she frowns down at herself, lower lip jutting out as she ponders what has become of her clothes.

Screwing her eyes shut tight from part pain and part fear, Penny slowly inches a hand under the covers and feels blindly for her clothes. When her hand touches cotton, she smiles and pulls on the pair of shorts she'd found stuffed underneath the sheets. She contemplates opening one eye and peeking at who's next to her; but then, she groans. She already has a pretty good idea.

Please say it's not Leonard, please say it's not Leonard... is what she chants, over and over again. Their failed attempt at a relationship, and subsequent breakup, is still just a little too fresh, and this impromptu Vegas trip suggested by Howard isn't exactly helping. It's definitely not helping if it is in fact Leonard she's fallen back into bed with. Or worse... Howard.

Quickly, Penny opens her eyes and peeks at the figure next to her: long, lean, and for once, not tightly wrapped in the sheets and blanket. She breathes out. Thank God, it's just Sheldon. And then panic seizes her; she leaps from the bed, taking the comforter with her. "Sheldon?!"

He wakes up yelling 'danger' and tumbles out of the bed, grabbing pillows to cover himself. When he stands, his eyes are wide and his mouth is agape. "Penny?!"

Just as she's about to ask him what the hell happened the night before, she sees him frown and glance down at the pillows he's using to shield both his front and his back. "Penny, I'm not wearing pajama bottoms. Where are my pajama bottoms?"

"Ummm..." She looks around the room, the sight of it suddenly so strange to her now despite it looking nearly identical to her own room. Finally, she spots the pajama bottoms balled up on the chair near the door. "Here! Here..." Keeping the comforter tucked under her arms and trying not to step on it, she shuffles over and grabs them, tossing them to Sheldon. Out of respect, she keeps her back turned until he tells her she can face him again, but not before he comments, "You're wearing my boxers."

"Sorry. I found them under the covers, and... needed something to wear." And suddenly she feels even more awkward, knowing that she's standing around wearing Sheldon Cooper's boxer shorts and nothing else. "Do you, um... do you have a shirt?"

"Oh!" He tosses her a plain white tee shirt and bashfully covers his eyes, which Penny can't help but smile at. After quickly pulling the shirt on, she takes his hand away from his face.

That's when he notices it. "Penny... you're wearing a ring."

She looks down and feels the world tilting down with her. The throbbing has returned and she feels like she could throw up at any moment. She swallows the urge (quite literally), and breathes out as nonchalantly as she can, "Huh! Well, will ya look at that. I got me some bling."

"What happened lastnight?" He briefly throws an accusatory look her way. "I told you I don't drink! Or, when I do, I certainly don't hold my liquor well."

"Well I assumed that you, Mr. Beautiful Mind, would know when to stop yourself! I was out to have a good time! I didn't need to babysit you."

"Apparently you did! It seems as though I make bad decisions when I've been drinking."

The comment stings, but she doesn't spend a moment wondering why; instead, her gaze and attention is drawn to the night table on the side of the bed where he'd slept. She continues his line of thought. "And apparently you made a lot of bad decisions lastnight."

He follows her gaze. "Lord."

There, piled atop the night stand and his watch, are several empty condom wrappers. "I didn't think I even knew how to have sex."

Penny raises her eyebrows. "If you didn't, we sure got a lot of practice in."

He picks up the wrappers with a rather disgusted look and tosses them in the wastebin, shaking his head at them. "This is just mathematically impossible."

Penny allows some mirth to show in her tone as she teases him, "Sheldon Cooper, sex machine. I never knew you had it in you."

"And again, I feel I must ask: what happened last night?"

"Well...." Penny glances around the room, taking stock of everything she sees: her rumpled white sundress from the night before, his haphazardly-strewn pajamas, the condom wrappers in the wastebin and half-empty bottle of champagne sitting on the bathroom counter. "I think Occam's Razor would suggest that we got drunk and slept together. Many times."

"Yes, that would be the obvious explanation Penny, but -- wait a minute." He frowns. "Where did you learn about 'Occam's Razor'?"

She shrugs, gesturing to him with her left hand before letting it fall to her thigh once more. "You."

"Well... suppose that what you're saying is true. How does that explain the ring?"

And then Penny claps her hand over her mouth. "Oh God. Oh, Sheldon, no. We got married!"

"What? I highly doubt that, Penny."

"No, we did! We did!"

"Do you remember the two of us getting married?"

She makes a face. "Well... no. But... I don't remember anything after we hit that bar at the Bellagio! Three-dollar drinks? Come on. We absolutely took advantage of that, but after that, everything's... kind of a blur." She pauses, trying to think back in the vain hope of remembering anything: a scent, a feeling, a vague flashing image. But there's nothing. Nothing at all. As if every single memory between the Bellagio and waking up this morning had been skillfully wiped out.

She groans, dropping down onto the bed and letting her chin fall to her chest. "Damn Wolowitz. This is what you get for going to Vegas!"

"Now let's not panic." As always, Sheldon is the modicum of rational thinking while he tidies up the place, despite her insistence that the maids will do that for them later. "If we were, in fact, married lastnight, then there will be evidence of that."

"Rings, Sheldon!"

"Well, then where is mine?"

He holds up his hand as if to prove it to her, and Penny frowns. "Oh. Maybe we forgot to get you one? I dunno," she looks down at her own, "Mine looks kind of expensive. Maybe we didn't have enough to get one for you."

"Alright, so that mystery is solved, then. But there would still be documentation of this wedding. Or maybe Wolowitz, or Koothrappali, or even Leonard would remember these ill-fated nuptials."

"Well," she plants her hands on her hips, "Leonard probably would've been crying alone in his hotel room if he knew we were getting married. He might still be crying, come to think of it. And Wolowitz and Kooth--"

The door to their hotel room bursts open and Leonard bounces in excitedly. "Guys! Penny, there you are! I was looking for you!"

Penny turns away, arms folded across her chest as she throws him a tentative, "Hey," and hopes he can't see the wastebin full of condom wrappers from where he's standing.

"Did you come in here to wake Sheldon up?"

Sheldon glimpses at her, then takes her almost-imperceptible nod as a cue, responding to his roommate, "Yes. Yes. She had just come to, uh... b-borrow a tee shirt and tell me about the breakfast buffet."

"Well I'm buying, because guess what?" Without waiting for a response, Leonard beams and holds up his hand. "I THINK I GOT MARRIED LAST NIGHT!"

And Penny and Sheldon are just left gaping at each other as Leonard rushes downstairs, until Penny suddenly has to rush into the bathroom.


*****

Why are these lights so bright?
Oh, did we get hitched last night?


*****

"Penny... Penny... Penny..."

"Come in, Sheldon! God," she seethes, her back against the cool tile wall of the bathroom.

The bathroom door creaks open just barely a foot and Sheldon slips inside, peering into the open toilet before taking a seat on the edge of the bathtub. "Has your vomiting ceased?"

She closes her eyes and leans her head back, nodding. "For now, yeah." She finishes wiping her nose and mouth with the tissue that had been balled in her hand, and tosses it into the toilet, staring disbelievingly at the scientist across from her. "Did I actually marry Leonard last night?"

Sheldon shrugs. "If we're following Occam's Razor again, then I'd say yes."

"Then... how did we end up in bed together?"

"I'm not sure."

"Really." She scoffs, rubbing her temples before swiping the cold sweat from her brow. "You haven't done the math yet?"

"This is one equation, Penny, that is impossible to solve while hungover." After a pause, he tells her quietly, "They're expecting us down at brunch right now."

She shakes her head. "I can't eat anything right now."

"Is that because the thought of you being legally tied to Leonard is nauseating, or because you had too much to drink lastnight?"

She chuckles. "Both, maybe."

"Or is it perhaps the third option, that the mere thought of a night of sexual intercourse with me is making you queasy?"

He stands, holding out his hand to help her to her feet, and she glances at the long lean fingers and his toned forearm for a second before taking the proffered hand. Her stomach tumbles as she rises, though she's not entirely certain it's the kind that will make her sick again. "No, honey," she hears herself telling him before she's had proper thinking time. "That's not it."

"Because I would understand it if you were to find my lovemaking style subpar and nauseating. You've had far more practice than I, after all."

She sighs, resolving that even when he was being sweet, he could still lace a jab into the subtext. "No. That's not it. Let's just drop this, okay? In fact, maybe we shouldn't tell Leonard that I'm the girl he married." Her knees having been weakened by her weak stomach, they wobble as she carefully sits on his hotel bed. "I mean, he obviously didn't know it was me when he came in to tell us."

"Penny, you know that I'm not very good at keeping secrets."

Ignoring him, she adds, "And we can't tell anybody that we slept together."

"Penny, you know that it will be virtually impossible for me to keep two secrets. You have to choose."

She raises an eyebrow. "I have to choose which one I'd rather have you keep a secret?"

He nods in earnest. "Yes. While keeping in mind, of course, that one secret, once revealed, will greatly upset Leonard and make him generally insufferable -- or moreso than usual, I should say -- while the other will make him happy."

"But it'll make me miserable," she counters.

Sheldon says nothing, though his eyes say everything for him. So Penny sighs resolutely and covers the left side of her face, scrubbing her hand over her skin and making a face when the cool metal of her wedding band rasps against it. "This is really going to suck."

"Yes," he agrees, guiding her to the door, "This will be extremely unpleasant."

"But we'll still have the other secret," she feels the need to tell him again, just to make sure he is made aware of its importance.

"Yes. For you, I will keep the second secret."

"Thank you, Sheldon," she sighs, the tumbling in her stomach now completely unpleasant as she thinks of her future as a sudden Hofstadter.

"You're welcome, Penny."


*****

Don't call your mother,
'Cause now we're partners in crime


*****

Leonard, predictably, is thrilled with the news that Penny married him, albeit drunkenly. He not only buys their buffet breakfast that morning, but he offers to buy the next three dinners, claiming that "married life" has made him feel generous. And Penny, for her part, plays the happy - though hungover - wife. She hangs on to Leonard's arm and allows the ring on her finger to sparkle in the hotel lighting, then in the sunlight when they're all feeling more energetic and want to wander the Strip.

Sheldon follows half-heartedly, not understanding the logic behind tourism, though at the same time taking in the sights while allowing himself time to think. To ponder these latest events and the meaning behind them, as well as why he's completely unable to retrieve any memories from the night before. He knows he feels something latent whenever he sees Penny lay her hand on Leonard's arm, though a part of him recognizes that that feeling may have always been there. But now that he's looking for something to stand out, everything seems significant.

At the Luxor, Leonard calls his mother on speakerphone to tell her the good news, and she congratulates Penny by promising her that they'll "shake hands warmly" the next time she's in town. Sheldon almost wishes he were able to call his mother; he's never been in this situation before and could use some guidance as to how to proceed, though he knows Mary Cooper will only chastise him for engaging in sins of the flesh and consumption of liquid hell-fire. Knowing his mother, her solution would be five Hail-Marys.

Wolowitz and Koothrappali want to go to the top of the Luxor, so the five of them get onto the elevator with several other people. Sheldon's arm accidentally brushes Penny's, and the two of them exchange a look as a brief flash comes at him: her arms sliding past his, up around his shoulders as she raises on tiptoe to smile into his eyes. He smiles back and suddenly the flash is gone; he's jolted back to the present to find Penny staring at him quizzically. He looks away.

After suffering through what feels like hours of horrible elevator muzak, they arrive at the top floor and leave the elevator. He gestures Penny to go in front of him as he always does, and when his arm comes back down, their fingers bump. Another flash hits; the warmth of her fingers as they tangle with his, falling back against the pillows while two bodies crash onto the bed. A moan floats through his stream of consciousness and he's again pulled harshly back to reality to see her fingers, those very same fingers that had tangled with his, holding the elevator door open for him.

Penny raises her eyebrows. "Are you gonna stay on the elevator, or are you coming with?" Her eyes question him but he says nothing, mutely following her to join the rest of the guys.

Penny joins up with Leonard, grabbing onto his hand with one of her own and onto his arm with the other, looking briefly over her shoulder at Sheldon. His stare on her is intense; a little too intense, she can't help but think, and she shivers as she gets a sudden flash of those eyes locked on her in very much the same way, at a time that feels like a far-off and hazy dream. She's bound and determined to figure out what the hell happened last night before they get back to Pasadena.

Maybe. Hopefully.

Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes, now;
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas




TBC


Loosely inspired by Waking Up In Vegas by Katy Perry. [links now disabled due to people downloading and not bothering to review the fic. Sorry!]


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{x-posted to sheldon_penny}
 
 
 
Maura!: + bb: l'chaim!fujiidom on October 8th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Oh, hell yes.
a.: sheldon; happy faceregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
Haha! More will be posted soon :)
akitronakitron on October 8th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I am excited for this to continue. QUICK! Forget you probably have prior engagements and write it out! :P
(sriously this was so good)
a.: house/cuddy; strangeloveregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! I'll have the next chapter posted soon :)

(LOVE your icon, btw, hahaha. Oh, House/Cuddy)
akitron: house sunglassesakitron on October 8th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
awesome! (ahhh, i love yours tooooooo! Huddy for all of the win haha)
a.: house/cuddy; love in an elevatorregalish on October 9th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks! Huddy for the win indeed :D
laura34000laura34000 on October 8th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
More, please!!!
a.: jim/kaley; super heroesregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! More soon :)
untherapy: BBT: kiss manipuntherapy on October 8th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
VEGAS!! This is amazing :) Sheldon Cooper the sex machine, indeed!

please, for my sanity's sake, continue this :D
a.: sheldon/penny; puttin' on the ritzregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thank you, glad you enjoyed this first chapter! I'll have the second part posted soon.
S.: bbtheory; it all started with a big bangartic_fox on October 8th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
Oh totally yes to all this. I can't wait until you update!
a.: sheldon/penny; so closeregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked this! More will be ready soon :)
chelsea_thomson on October 8th, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)
wow. thats a twist alright.
(cant say I like it, but meh. I'm sure you'll put some more Shenelope in there for us! ;)

Its great, and ok, i lied - the twist just makes it interesting.
More soon?
a.: sheldon/penny; subtextregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
There will definitely be more soon; thanks for reading!
oliveiramendes on October 8th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
I just love Vegas drunk sex fics,please update soon.
a.: sheldon/penny; walk this wayregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks much! More will be posted very soon :)
ruby_casparruby_caspar on October 8th, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
Okay, you had me right up until Penny started playing along as the happy wife... I don't really get why she's doing that. It was all really in-character and hilarious when Sheldon and Penny woke up together, and when Leonard came running in saying he'd got married I cracked up laughing - brilliant plot twist! But I really don't get why Penny is going along with it - she clearly isn't into Leonard anymore, and it seems kind of mean of her to get Leonard's hopes up like that.
a.: penny; sweetheartregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
I don't really get why she's doing that. All I can say without spoiling the plot for future chapters is, 1) If you've ever woken up after a night of extreme drunkenness, there is a lot of confusion - about events, feelings, etc.; 2) How is this any different from the other times Penny has gotten Leonard's hopes up?

And beyond that, I guess if you truly don't like the fic, I definitely don't expect you to keep reading it. You're welcome to stop here if you don't like it.
ruby_casparruby_caspar on October 8th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Wow. Ok. Sorry if I upset you, it was just a piece of constructive criticism. And the way that it's different is that this time they're married, which is a pretty binding commitment, she's accepting his Mom's congratulations about it which further binds her into it and raises Leonard's hopes, and most importantly is that she knows how she feels about Leonard now and she can see how excited he is about being married to her. It just seemed particularly callous and OOC to me, and yes, perhaps it is to do with confusion and the after-effects of the night before, but that wasn't made clear in this chapter - perhaps it will be in the next. Which I will be reading by the way - as I said in my original post I loved all of it until Penny started playing the happy wife.
a.regalish on October 8th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
You didn't upset me at all, don't worry. I welcome constructive criticism, and perhaps I didn't make it clear enough in my initial post at sheldon_penny, but not everything will be clear in the first chapter, or even the second. But everything gets tied up by the end, I can promise you that.
A lurking goblin marionette: tbbt: comic-con lovedanceinacircle on October 8th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
More please. You don't need to eat, or go to work/school, or anything like that, right? :D
a.: jim/kaley; kiss you on the cheekregalish on October 8th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks! Glad you liked it. And no, I definitely don't need to eat or sleep or work full time or anything :P
(Anonymous) on October 8th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
YES. this is made of WIN!!!
a.: anne; giggleregalish on October 9th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you!! :)
thebullethebulle on October 8th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Wow this is amazing! Though L/P is upsetting me right now...lol Why does Penny play the 'wife'? Poor Shelly. Can't wait to read the rest to find out! Great fic! Bravo! :)
a.: sheldon; knock three timesregalish on October 9th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Thanks much! Glad you're enjoying! More will be revealed in future chapters :)
Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: bbt - vulcan hearingfirthgal on October 8th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, this is wonderful! Such a great concept, awesome characterizations, love that hint of jealousy that Sheldon feels and the way he's so detached from it. Basically, I am really loving this story and look forward to reading more.

Edited at 2009-10-08 09:55 pm (UTC)
a.: sheldon/penny; everyday i write the bookregalish on October 9th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Why thank you! This is definitely what I would consider an experimental piece for me; I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone, so the positivity really helps me to move forward with it :)

More will be posted soon! (And by soon I mean, probably later tonight. I have no willpower, lol)

Edited at 2009-10-09 01:26 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
a.: sheldon/penny; so closeregalish on October 9th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this.

Part two will be coming very soon indeed, yes :)
Ex Astris, Scientia: Raj approves!mrsvc on October 13th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
:dies:
Excuse me, I HAVE to go read the next chapter before I go into withdrawal from this AWESOME.
a.regalish on October 14th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
CrazyLaubrolove on October 19th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
I read the 5 parts but I forgot to tell you how much I love this story!! keep going, that's great.I'm officially a fan of you^^
Yvaughn01evelynvaughn01 on March 19th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I was reading here when you started posting this, so I'm hopping back and starting from the beginning. Fascinating beginning! My reaction to the Leonard/Penny possible marriage is No, No, Demand an Annulment, Find the Paperwork! But I must say, my reaction to the Sheldon/Penny night-of-many-orgasms is HELL yes!

I'm glad to know there's more....
jen4850 on June 6th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Fascinating!