The Big Bang Theory - I'd like to say there was some kind of logic in my headfirst dive into pairing but let's face it, I have a pattern; I will choose the least socially adept character on any show and if they are a scientist, I'm there. But honestly, mostly, Penny just kills me, half spectator and half Stockholm Syndrome'd into geekdom with the a rather charming sense of whee, shiny. She also hasn't killed any of them with fire, and I mean, come on, no court in the world would convict her if she did. And yet. I mean, I'll just say it, Amy is like my avatar on the show. I am with you, Amy. One of my deepest hopes is to stumble across Sheldon/Penny/Amy fic, because it just makes sense.
The Paladin Protocol by SpaceAnJL - Sheldon/Penny - it's long, it's plotty, it combines fix-it, Hero's journey (two of them!), LARP, orcs, contact weaponry, improvisational clothing changes, sexual tension, duels, personal growth, Birthday cake, and epic battles between the Army and the Horde and between what you are and the potential of what you could become if you want it badly enough. To put it another way, if you aren't googling for like, a good LARP in your area after reading, despite the fact you have never LARPed, well, I don't know what to do with you.
Warning: it is not kind to Leonard, but whatever, the show is plenty kind. Did I mention the epic battles? Yeah.
Also, because I only caught the full implications of this the second reading, watch for the chess game as not just foreshadowing, but very likely, the switch between passive acceptance and active agency. No, really. Read the chess game bit.
This is a long story that felt way too short and I wanted like, five hundred thousand more words, it's that readable. A lot of authors get lost in a single facet of what they're writing; the fixit, the romance, the journey, the personal growth, the plot, and often they aren't as organically combined as this one manages mostly because, I think, she wa trying to write something she wanted to read and it was pretty accidental she also pulled off one of the best ship manifestos I've ever seen.
Unlike a lot of ship fic, the author adores both halves of her ship and devotes equal time to their awesomeness . I love Penny here, stripped of a lot of the show's objectification of her by bringing it into the open and discarding it because of all the reasons Sheldon might be attracted to her, her looks would be well down the list and the physical attraction kicking hard is shown to be well after it's fairly obvious he'd find her equally hot if she resembled an orc. It's hard to pull that off with a canonically drop dead gorgeous character, but it's done here very well.
For my taste, the best introspection comes written into the action sequences, but there is a ton of a capella pages of it; if you are not a fan of that, you may get a little irritable. I'm a fan, so it flowed very naturally for me.
This is one of the (very, very few) stories that avoids the pitfalls of cheating while not at all lowering the tension; it's supposed to be important that they didn't, and it's supposed to show why it's hard not to, and all the (very good) reasons they shouldn't. I'm not a fan of cheating fic (it falls smack dab into the squick-kink zone, to be honest, and I don't even know why sometimes it works for me and sometimes I hate it); this is one of the few that if it had gone that way, the author built it up that I wouldn't have run and hide.
Using LARP, the geekiest of geekiness, and Penny was kind of brilliant because yeah, this feels very much like something Penny on the show, once she got into it, would love; I like the reasons she first got involved, and I love even more that it's something that's hers and then hers and Sheldon's, because yeah, Penny before them might not have appreciated it, but Penny after them liked it because she liked it and whatever.
Starship Olisbos by montygrowley - Penny does a book report and Sheldon's long game in real life metaphorical chess worries me about the freedom of the world should physics go bust and he needs a new hobby. There is also a.) relationships in flux, b.) root beer in hair, c.) auditions by accident, d.) waffles, and e.) space opera as a metaphor for a relationship (and page five hundred and nineteen of Starship Olisbos. You'll know it when you see it). And milk. There is also milk.
Like This by Lauren - it's all fun and games until you realize you like it far too much. Also, this is the best question and answers section ever.
The Road Ahead Is Clear Again by Lauren - technically speaking this is more pre-relationship gen than actual ship, but it involves a.) a garage, b.) moving, c.) learning, d.) moving forward. This is probably one of the best written stories period I've read, but I could seriously use a very long, novel-length sequel. Or two.
Apocalypse Week by relenfanel - I resent the universe that no one in my life ever created a week of running around playing survival of the fittest in a test to see if I will survive teh end of the world. What the fuck, I have geeky friends, and none of you thought of doing this? There are a.) zombies, b.) weapons, c.) near-arrest, d.) Sheldon in a tree sniper-style. Also, Penny is kinda more awesome than anyone, in case that wasn't pretty goddamn obvious.
The Hokum Hierarchy Determinator by slybrunette - adaptation is the mother of everything suddenly being way too familiar except when did this happen? There is a.) coffee revelations, b.) obvious jealousy that is not about lasers, c.) Maslow's Hierarchy, and d.) take-out food.
Thunder by Misbegotten - this is the first fandom in a long time where it took me a while to suck it up and leap toward the explicit side, because for Sheldon, and I say this with love, if he is not drunk or high, the first few times at sex may not be a disaster, but only because Penny's really, really good at it and likely will introduce bondage to avert physical injury. So usually I need it eased into. This, however, picks up much later, with a guy not just comfortable with his body, but with those of other people.
You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son by slybrunette - if there is one thing that TBBT has, it's at least one character who is known to utilize a long game approach to getting something he wants.
It's Times Like These by d_sieya - in which sex is scheduled, Sheldon is very relaxed, and everyone is very, very worried about this. Hilarity.
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