Leonard, Howard, and Raj could hardly believe their eyes as they stared at the contents of the formerly-locked antique box before them. A box that Leonard had found in Sheldon’s room, despite it clearly not being Sheldon’s style in any way, shape, or form. And just there, sitting on top of other small trinkets, was an incredibly expensive-looking ring; one that was very obviously a wedding band.
The three of them had been sitting there for almost five minutes before Leonard finally found the words to break the silence.
“I...I can't believe it,” Leonard stuttered out, prompting Howard to shake his head.
“It's not possible. There is no way Sheldon is….is married, ” Howard added, scoffing lightly as he turned to look at the two men beside him. “Especially not before any of us.”
“Maybe it’s just an heirloom?” Raj suggested hopefully, sighing when both Leonard and Howard just shook their heads. “You’re right. It’s too--”
Whatever Raj had been about to say was cut off suddenly by the seemingly loud snick of the front door closing, immediately followed by Sheldon’s annoyed yet surprised words.
“Why did you take that box from my room? And why has it been opened ?” He demanded incredulously, setting his bag down as he stepped further into the apartment’s living room area.
Leonard, being the one to live with Sheldon and not particularly wanting to deal with what he called “The Sheldon Pout” for the next week, quickly tried to come up with some explanation to save face, but was cut off almost as quick by Howard.
“Sheldon, are you married? Please tell us this is not your wedding ring and that you aren’t,” Howard said, pointing at the aforementioned ring in the trinket box.
“How does my being married have anything to do with why you stole something from my room and then broke into it?” Sheldon questioned, striding over to pick up the box. He glanced down at the items almost fondly before closing the lid and holding it close to his body as he looked back up to glare at the three men sitting at the sofa. “Not only is that rude, but an incredible invasion of privacy.”
There was a few seconds of shocked silence, and then:
“ What ?”
“It’s true ?”
“How long have you been married?”
“Why haven’t we met your wife?”
“How did you even convince a woman to marry you ?”
The questions came in rapid succession, making Sheldon purse his lips slightly before releasing a quiet sigh as he realized this subject was not going to be dropped for quite some time.
“Yes, I am married, and have been so for nearly fifteen years. None of you have met my spouse because they work for the British government in the United Kingdom. And as for the occurrence of our marriage, the concept was originally proposed to me by my spouse, who, of course, had been my romantic partner at the time.”
There was about ten seconds of quiet as Howard, Raj, and Leonard all gave each other looks before Leonard crossed his arms with a defiant look on his face. “I don’t believe you.”
“I beg your pardon?” Sheldon eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. “Why would you not believe a fact?”
“Because the only proof we have is your word and a ring that might not even be yours,” Leonard countered, with Raj and Howard nodding in agreement.
Sheldon rolled his eyes with a huff and opened the antique box in his arms to pull out an old polaroid photo. In the photo was a much younger Sheldon looking slightly uncomfortable yet simultaneously pleased as he received a surprise kiss on the cheek from a lightly tanned, gentle-faced young adult with chin-length black hair and circle-lens eyeglasses. It was difficult to tell the gender of the other person, but even with their eyes closed it was easy to tell that they were beautiful.
“I suppose if you need proof, here’s a photo of us four months before we married,” Sheldon informed the three as he handed over the picture to Raj, who inspected the image closely before passing it along. Instead of being satisfied, Leonard merely shook his head, though it was Howard who spoke next.
“I still don’t believe it. I refuse to believe that you could actually be married unless we see your wife in person.”
“Exactly. How do we know you didn’t just pay some prostitute to be your girlfriend?” Raj added on.
“Well, you’re all just going to have to believe me with the evidence I’ve already given,” Sheldon said petulantly. “It’s not as if my spouse can just leave their work and fly to a different country just so--”
Sheldon’s frustrated explanation was stopped short by a buzz in his pocket, following by the ringing of his cell phone. Fishing the phone from his pocket, Sheldon barely glanced at the caller ID before answering.
“This is Doctor Sheldon Cooper. May I inquire as to the purpose of this call?”
“While you are correct in assuming that more than a two day’s notice would have been preferred, I understand you were attempting to surprise me. The sentiment is appreciated,” Sheldon said calmly in response to whatever had just been said to him, though there was an unreadable expression in his eyes. “I’ll be at the airport at three in the afternoon on Friday, then.”
Sheldon smiled briefly at the farewell on the other end of the line before hanging up the phone and returning it to his pocket.
“Leonard, as per the Roommate Agreement, this is your minimum twelve-hour notice regarding guests in the apartment, as well as the minimum twenty four-hour notice regarding guests in the apartment staying more than one night,” Sheldon informed his roommate. He paused a moment to pick up his messenger bag before turning back to the three men.
“Your demands for further proof are no longer required, as my spouse had decided to surprise me with a week-long visit for our fifteenth anniversary.” With that said, Sheldon began making his way to go room, but he barely made it to the hall before Leonard called after him.
“Sheldon, hold on,” Leonard began, stepping around the coffee table. “You can't just tell us you're married and that your wife is gonna visit without telling us more about them.”
“Well, why not? You're going to be meeting them in two days anyway, why should I waste the energy when you can ask my marital partner yourselves,” Sheldon countered. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few things in my room to rearrange in preparation for our house guest. I'll be out in time for Halo at eight.”