The Nuptial Negation
"There's as much chance of that happening as Koothrappali giving the keynote speaker at a NOW convention." Howard said to Leonard. Raj looked up from the Penny Blossoms he was packaging and frowned at being drawn into Leonard and Howard's argument.
"That could happen." Leonard pointed out. "All he needs is one Grasshopper and we'll be good to go."
"Fine." Howard fumed. "But you're not even talking improbabilities. You've gone straight to impossibilities."
"Howard, we're physicists. Our entire line of work consists of improbable and impossible." Leonard taped up a box of flower barrettes for shipping.
"A valid point, Leonard but some things just can't happen." Howard dashed clump-free glitter onto a row of yellow daisies.
"I disagree." Leonard said. Howard looked around the apartment for something to use as evidence when his eyes fell on the pair on the couch.
Sheldon and Penny were in full assembly line mode. They worked in perfect harmony, blond head juxtaposed with dark. There was no fighting, no snide remarks. Sheldon's hand reached instinctively for the flowers Penny completed. So engrossed were they in their production of red zinnias with five hot-glued rhinestones that his entire argument with Leonard had gone unnoticed.
And really? Where was the fun in that?
"So, you're maintaining the position that anything is possible. No exceptions?" Howard clarified. Leonard could only nod- he was tearing packing tape with his teeth.
"You are so wrong my friend and I will now prove it."
"Sheldon and Penny get married."
Production stopped. Raj let out an "eep!" Sheldon actually hot glued a rhinestone to his thumbnail.
"Yipe!" He shrieked when the scalding adhesive bonded to his nail.
"That's a ridiculous statement and not relevant to the topic." Leonard scoffed. Penny was trying to de-jewel Sheldon which was proving to be problematic as he wouldn't let her touch him.
"According to you, anything is possible but let me illustrate why a physicist/tress wedding is not."
"Give me your hand, dammit." Penny snarled. Sheldon grumbled something about communicable diseases and streptococcus viruses.
Howard walked over to a whiteboard. He began to write.
"Point 1- They would never be able to set the time for their wedding since Penny doesn't function before 11 AM and Sheldon goes to bed at 9PM."
Raj drew his brows together and shook his head but Howard continued speaking.
"Second, there attire…"
"There! It's off." Penny cried from the couch. Sheldon flexed his hand and held it up for scrutiny. "Howard, what are you talking about?" Penny demanded.
"Why it is theoretically impossible for you and Sheldon to marry, my Cheesecake scented Goddess." Howard told her. Sheldon pointed out a microscopic dot of glue to Penny and tsked, tsked her slovenly work.
"That's even up for debate?" Penny wondered and shoved Sheldon's hand away.
"As I was saying," Howard cleared his throat. "Attire. Penny would want traditional garb- Vera Wang gown with a full skirt, beaded bodice, modest train. Sheldon would wear geek-chic- his black Superman shirt and plaid pants."
"Black is formal." Sheldon commented, gluing rhinestones once more.
"Let's move on to the reception, shall we? A first dance is traditional between husband and wife. Penny loves to dance but Sheldon has mathematically proven that in any universe , he is not dancing." Howard wrote point 3 with a flourish.
"Can't argue with numbers." Penny said and handed Sheldon another flower.
"Amen to that." The physicist concurred.
"Howard, this is a ridiculous set of scenarios." Leonard fussed.
"Don't be bitter." Howard advised. Raj ran over and whispered in Howard's ear. "You're right. How could I forget that." If that's not a deal-breaker, than I don't know what is."
"What? What's a deal breaker?" Penny stopped making flowers until Sheldon's snapping fingers got her moving again.
"The cake." Howard breathed.
"Sheldon loves cake! I could probably get a deal from work." Penny exclaimed then blushed when they all stared at her. "Sorry. I got caught up in the moment."
"It is traditional for the bride and groom to feed each other as a symbol of their willingness to care for each other throughout the marriage. Now, we all know what happened the last time Penny touched Sheldon's food." Howard looked around the living room. Leonard and Raj snickered; Sheldon wheeze-snorted.
"Two more points and I am done." Howard rubbed his hands together. "Penny would want a romantic honeymoon someplace warm and tropical. Like Hawaii. Sheldon doesn't believe in the outdoors and he'd compromise on warm and tropical by taking her to see a demo of the Hadron Collider." Laughter bubbled out of Howard. Sheldon and Penny cast looks of disdain his way.
"Last but certainly not least, " Howard dropped his voice. "The wedding night." He thrust his hips forward suggestively.
"I think I just threw up a little in my mouth." Penny moaned.
"Here we have a big ol' five." Howard pointed at Penny. "and here," He gestured to Sheldon, 'We have negative five hundred."
Sheldon kept right on wielding the glue gun, only stopping long enough to tell Howard he was in his light.
"It'll be the only wedding night where the groom locks himself in the bathroom, crying for his mother instead of the bride." Howard chuckled. Penny wasn't sure but she thought she saw a muscle in Sheldon's cheek jump.
"Get it while you can , Penny." Howard waggled his eyebrows.
"You're disgusting." She told him.
"True but I've also just trounced Leonard's assertion that anything is possible."
"Excuse me but you've done nothing other than clarify to the rest of us why you've obtained nothing higher than a Masters degree." Sheldon drawled. "Your logic is inherently flawed."
"I beg your pardon." Howard said.
"You heard me." Sheldon put down his glue gun. "Your argument has more flaws than the theory of wormholes in the Star Trek Novels."
"Ooh." Leonard and Raj hooted.
Sheldon rose from his spot, pushed his sleeves up to his elbows and erased the whiteboard.
"I will now dismantle your argument point by point." He glared down at Howard. "First, as to the dilemma of when to hold our fictional nuptial ceremony," Sheldon drew a 1 on the board. "The logical solution is a sunset ceremony held in the gardens of the Chancellor's mansion at Caltech as the gardens face west. The flowers and blazing sunset would provide the décor and Penny is very fond of sunsets and flowers."
Penny brought her hand to her throat and thought of the time she and Sheldon had hung out on the rooftop watching a late August sun coat the sky in crimson.
"A wedding at 4:30PM after Daylight Savings Time ends would allow ample time for a ceremony and celebration before my scheduled bedtime."
Penny gazed at Sheldon with wondering eyes but he had already moved on to his next point.
"Wedding attire. It is abundantly clear, Howard, that you have never been shopping with Penny as I have. She harbors significant disdain for the "ball gown wedding dress" with full skirt and assorted frippery. Her tastes lean more toward the clean lines of the slip dress which mirrors her oft-worn camisoles." Penny looked down at her rose-pink spaghetti strap tank top and blushed the same color.
"Such a gown would be perfectly appropriate on the aforementioned locale. I would, keeping with the semi-formal tone, wear the suit Penny chose for the Chancellor's award." Their eyes met and Sheldon's mouth hooked up on one side- not quite a smirk but definitely more than a smile. " I recall that suit eliciting a rather favorable response." Penny broke the stare and turned her gaze to the floor but she was smiling.
"Okay, " Howard cut in. "What about the dance and the cake? Dancing and the handling of your food are both verboten."
Sheldon wrote the numbers 3 and 4 on the board. He placed the words "dance" and "cake" next to them. He then bracketed the two words and wrote the letters NOSC beside the bracket.
"He's got you there, Howard." Leonard laughed.
"What the hell is NOSC?" Howard demanded.
"DUH! Even I know that." Penny snorted from the couch. "Non-optional social convention." Sheldon beamed, tapped his nose twice with his index finger before pointing it at her. Penny wiggled with delight in her spot.
"For the record, I never said I won't dance. I simply choose not to engage in such an activity."
Raj whispered in Leonard's ear. "Raj wants to know about the honeymoon."
"Calm down! I'm gittin there." Texas flavored Sheldon's words; Howard grinned in triumph. Sheldon's accent showing was a dead give-away that he wasn't entirely sure of his footing.
The honeymoon will be in Hawaii.' The physicist announced.
"Aww." Penny cooed. "I always wanted to go there; it's so romantic."
"You do realize this is all conjecture?" Leonard raised his eyebrows.
"If I may?" Sheldon frowned. "Hawaii will allow Penny to go to the beach, ride horseback, surf and learn the hula."
"What about you, Ichabod?" Howard sneered.
"I will get to see the Keck -the largest optical telescope in the world. With a light-gathering mirror that measures 400 inches in diameter, it essentially doubles the observation range of any existing telescope, bringing into view objects more than 10 billion light years away."
Sheldon turned to Penny, " One light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles, Penny. Also, the Keck Telescope represents the first major departure in fundamental optical telescope design since the days of Sir Isaac Newton. All in all, a fair trade-off. Don't you agree?" She shook her head vigorously, too stunned to speak.
"Aww." Now it was Raj's turn to be smitten; Howard shot him a dirty look.
"Now, for the wedding night…" Sheldon drew a 6 on the board.
"Yeah, Sheldon, are you going to yield your maidenhead to your comely yet completely out of your league bride? And, none of that "social convention" crap. It takes two to tango." Howard raised an eyebrow.
Sheldon glanced once more at Penny. She was biting her bottom lip and her eyes sparked with curiosity. Apparently, she was as eager as Wolowitz to hear his response. He cleared his throat twice. His left eye jerked then he began speaking.
"Ignoring the assumption that I am without first-hand knowledge, I would follow through with my conjugal duties with the gusto, much like I do when faced with any venture into unforeseen territory.
"That's not an answer, Sheldon." Leonard reminded him.
"Oh, alright." Sheldon hissed. "You are well aware that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, particularly when I have a vested interest in proving my extraordinary abilities. I would conduct all the necessary research beforehand in order to give Penny the wedding night to end all wedding nights." His eyes were dark and burning when they fell on her once more. "In short, she may have 31 notches on her belt but number 32 is going to, as they say, rock her world."
"Oh, my." Penny whispered.
"Hang on a sec." Leonard pointed at the board. "You are the most rigid, fixated, unyielding person on the planet. Why would you do all this? Hypothetically, of course."
Sheldon still hadn't stopped looking at Penny, "Because there is nothing I wouldn't do for the woman I love." Sheldon walked over to place the last Penny Blossom in her hands before he sauntered to his room, humming the minstrel song he once sang to Leonard.
Two years later, it all happened exactly as Sheldon had said it would.
Except for the cake.
Social convention or universal law, no one was touching his food.