Disclaimer: No one gave me The Big Bang Theory for Christmas so I still don't own it.

A/N: Any spelling,grammar, typos etc. All belong to me. I will freely admit to rushing this so you could have it tonight. I hope you enjoy it in the spirit it's given.

Blame It On Santa Claus

For the rest of his life Sheldon Cooper will never be able to explain how he ended up in a stuck elevator at Cal Tech with Santa Claus. All he can say is it happened.

He remembers very clearly the white gloved hand stopping the doors from closing. Sheldon remembers not being able to stop his eye roll at the jolly old man in red, holding an empty toy bag, as he entered the small space.

His blue eyes sparkled as he looked at Sheldon then at the control panel.

"Ahh Sheldon, I see your going down too." He says as the doors close and the elevator starts to move down from it's spot on the 10th floor.

Sheldon stood a little straighter, clasping his hands behind his back. He scans his eidetic memory for anyone he knows at Cal Tech who has a white beard. He can come up with no one. Like a high powered computer his brain scans through thousands of flashes of faces. Trying to figure out where he must know the man from. After all if Sheldon didn't know him how would he possibly know his name.

While Sheldon will gladly admit his face has appeared in numerous publications and on awful YouTube videos, he just can't quite believe some old man in a red suit would know who he is.

"I'm Santa Claus, Sheldon. Kris Kringle if you prefer. Stop overloading that massive brain of yours. You wont find me there."

"Sir I have no idea how you know my name. There are any number of ways you could, without us actually having met. Christmas, Santa Claus etc. is all pure hokum. The whole thing is propagated by huge corporations to make even more money to line their already overflowing pockets with." Before Sheldon could say more the elevator came to an ear splitting screeching halt between the sixth and fifth floor.

The jolly old man stayed steady on his feet, dropping the toy bag so he could catch Sheldon as he stumbled forward.

Breathing in deeply Sheldon realized the old man smelled distinctly like sugar cookies and peppermint. A moment later, and Sheldon discovered the man in the red suit still had a hand on each of his shoulders.

The thing Sheldon couldn't figure out for the life of him was why, he felt no need to pull away from the man's grip. If he would ever admit to it, he needed to use all his determination not to step more fully into the jolly man's embrace.

As if reading Sheldon's thoughts Santa, gently patted his shoulders and took one step back from him.

"Hello! Hello! This is Mike from maintenance. We've had an unexpected short circuit to this elevator. We'll try to get you out of there as quickly as we can." The voice said from speaker in the control panel.

"I don't suppose you'd like to tell me what you want for Christmas?"Santa Claus asked his blue eyes twinkling at Sheldon.

Puffing his chest out Sheldon huffed..."Of course not! It's pure hokum!"

Santa Claus chuckled at Sheldon..."I'm not surprised. You and Albert Einstein were the only 3 year olds I've ever met who wanted a set of encyclopedias for Christmas."

Sheldon's eyes got as big as saucers. How could this man possibly know he'd asked for encyclopedias for his third Christmas.

"Well don't you think you should have given them to me? After all you are insisting you're . That is what I requested." Sheldon rocked back on his heels thinking he finally had caught the man in red in something he couldn't explain.

Shaking his head Santa sighed and said..."Sheldon it will be a hot day at the North Pole when I give a 3 year old, encyclopedias no matter if he can read and understand them or not."

Smirking Sheldon said..."Just as I thought. There is no such man as Santa Claus."

Peering at Sheldon over his round rimmed glasses Santa replied..."Are you telling me that even though I gave you, your first train set. The one that gave you a life long love for trains no less. You would still have preferred the encyclopedias?"

This time Sheldon couldn't hold back the gasp that escaped his lips.

His brain quickly flashed up the memory of finding the train set under the tree. The quiet conversation his mother and father had about which one of them had gotten the train set. He remembers quite clearly how it almost became a shouting match with neither parent relenting and admitting they had bought the train set. Sheldon would swear to this day, if asked his mother would insist his father had bought it.

Without even realizing he whispered it, Santa whose hearing was as good or better then Sheldon's heard him say..."I love trains."

"I know you do. Since you don't want to ask me for anything. How would you feel about being someone's Secret Santa this year?" Santa smiled softly at Sheldon.

"I doubt I would be any good at it. I can't ever keep a secret." Sheldon said quietly.

"Well you see, this person has worked very hard to change their life this year. For the last seven years they've asked me for the same thing."

"Why don't you give it to them then. From what you've said this year they've earned it." Sheldon challenged him.

"Well Sheldon, this isn't a gift I can give her. There is only one person who can give this gift." Looking down at the floor Santa nods at the toy bag..."Could you hand me the toy bag please."

Sheldon squatted down and grabbed up the empty bag. He deliberately felt the whole bag. Making certain it was empty. Sheldon stood back and held the bag out to the jolly old man.

Taking the bag Santa winked at Sheldon. Then he reached down into the bag and pulled out a handful, of red, white, and green envelopes and a small red gift wrapped box, with an intricate gold bow wrapped around it.

Sheldon gaps at him..."Thhhat bag was empty. I felt it all over, it was empty!"

"The bag is always empty for everyone but me. After all Sheldon I'm the one and only Santa Claus." He let out a short "Ho! Ho! Ho!" as Sheldon solemnly nodded his head in agreement.

Santa passed the envelopes and gift into a shell shocked Sheldon's hands.

"You go home. Read those cards. Then you give her a Christmas she's going to still be talking about fifty years from now." Sheldon just nodded his head at the jolly old man.

It would take a few moments before Sheldon realized the elevator had started moving down again. Just as the doors started to open, Santa handed Sheldon the small gift..."This is for you. Don't open it until the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve." As he reached out a white gloved hand, Sheldon found his eyes closing at Santa's gentle pat on his cheek..."Merry Christmas my boy."

"Doctor Cooper, I'm so sorry you got stuck in there. I have no idea why that elevator stopped. Truthfully I got no idea why it started up again."

Sheldon's eyes popped open and instead of Santa Claus he found Mike the maintenance man. Sheldon whipped his head right and left.

"Did you see which way he went?" Sheldon asked a perplexed Mike.

"I don't know who you mean Dr. Cooper. You're the only person that came out of the elevator." Mike replied turning his own head right and left but seeing no one else in the lobby with them.

Sheldon nodded his head as he walked away he said to a stunned Mike..."Merry Christmas Mike."

Sheldon was so imbued with the spirit of Christmas he took a cab home. Not only did he over tip the cabbie,but he wished him a Merry Christmas too.

Sheldon practically jogged up to 4A. He entered his apartment and looked around the silent apartment. Leonard had moved out months ago.

While there were moments he missed him. Sheldon couldn't deny that he was happy the train wreck that was his and Penny's relationship was over.

Penny had seemed to bounce back quickly. While he knew he'd never be good at reading people's emotions, he felt that Penny was covering up her real feelings. As he thought about it, she hadn't once said a word to him about Christmas. He couldn't remember a time in the last 7years when she hadn't embodied the spirit of the holiday.

Then and again, there had been a plethora of changes in their group, aside from the dissolution of her and Leonard's relationship.

He wondered if she missed Amy. Sheldon himself had been secretly relieved when her fiance Faisal had told her to come marry him, or her funding would disappear completely.

He had felt not a twinge of guilt, when he told her had no intention of fighting Faisal for her. After all he reasoned she had promised herself to him years before she'd even met Sheldon. In all that time she'd never
ended the engagement, nor had she ever not taken the funding Faisal provided.

Howard and Bernadette had taken his mother to Florida this year. Mrs. Wolowitz had been ill and Howard wanted to indulge her in a trip she'd talked about for years.

Raj had gone home to India for the holidays for the first time since Sheldon had known him.

Until that moment he hadn't realized he and Penny were alone this year.

"What to do?" Sheldon wondered as he tapped the envelopes Santa had given him, in the palm of his hand.

"Oh My!" Sheldon exclaimed. He'd completely forgotten about the envelopes. He tossed his messenger bag on one end of the leather couch and went and sat in his spot.

He set the package down on the coffee table and for the first time turned the envelopes right side up.

The first had the postal stamp of December 3, 2007. Sheldon's eyes flickered over to the return address. Penny 4B 2311 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA.

Sheldon quickly scans the postal stamps on the other six envelopes Dec.5,2008,Dec. 2, 2009,Dec.6, 2010, Dec. 5,2011, Dec.13, 2012, and the last one Dec. 3, 2013.

All simply addressed: Santa Claus, North Pole

Taking a deep breath and with shaking fingers Sheldon slid the card from 2007 out of it's red envelope.

A glittering Christmas tree covered the front of the card. Inside it simply said Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

On the left side was her hand written note to Santa Claus.

Dear Santa Claus,

I've moved! Check return address to find me this year. I should have moved into my own place 4 years ago Santa. Please give Kurt a whole case of coal for Christmas. You know he's on the naughty list.

I have two amazing new neighbors. They're the sweetest guys. I doubt they write you though. Can you give someone the gift of taking away their lactose intolerance? That would be Leonard if you can manage it.

Then there is Howard Wolowitz. I know he's Jewish. I guess that keeps him off your naughty list. You really should think about maybe hooking him up with a filter for his mouth. It's no wonder he can't get...well a date with a girl lets say.

Raj maybe you can find him a good therapist to help learn to talk to women. I can't imagine what the women in his family did to cause that. But he's the sweetest guy Santa, even if he can't say a word to me.

Now here comes the toughie. Sheldon Cooper. Dr. Sheldon Cooper with a bunch of degrees after his name. He has the biggest most intense blue eyes I've ever seen on a guy. He's tall and slender. Totally not the kind of guy I go for at all. Smart like no ones business. Sometimes I think he's too smart for his own good. I mean who the heck doesn't believe in you? You know when he first told me about Saturnalia I didn't believe him. I went and googled it for myself, just to make sure he wasn't really making fun of me. Saturnalia?

I found him close to the perfect gift. He's going to love the autograph I got him of that Spock guy from Star Trek. Well at least I hope he loves it. Maybe you could see your way clear to helping him with his String thingy.

Now for me. I know it would never ever happen. No matter how many universes there are. But I'd love to have a kiss under the mistletoe from Sheldon.

Merry Christmas Santa,

Love Penny 4B

Sheldon read through all 7 cards. They didn't vary too much. First Christmas wishes for her friends and eventually Amy was added. She still wished for a filter for Howard's mouth when Bernadette came along and then she wished for them to have the wedding of their dreams. She always wished for Raj to speak with the addition of no alcohol involved. Leonard's tended to change. Sometimes she wished he'd have a growth spurt. Sometimes she wished he'd solve his problems with his mother. This year she wished him to find a woman who truly would make him happy and maybe was lactose intolerant herself. Sheldon couldn't help but chuckle at that one.

Her wish for himself was always the answer to his String Theory.

Her wish for herself was always that kiss under the mistletoe from Sheldon. Even when he was involved with Amy and she with Leonard. Penny always wished for the kiss. With the reverent hope it didn't put her on the naughty list.

Now Sheldon understood, why Santa had said only Sheldon could fulfill this Christmas wish.

He had a lot to do. First he sent Penny a text. Would she spend Christmas Eve with him. She replied she'd love too but she was working a double so one of the waitresses could be home with her kids.

Sheldon's text back to her was that was no problem at all. They'd have a late dinner. She was to bring over whatever she needed for her nightly ablutions. He wanted her to spend the night. He hoped she wouldn't mind sleeping in what he now called his office. He assured her there were no signs of Leonard there and he'd even repainted the room.

Penny quickly answered no worries about the sleeping space and a sweet ..."Thank you Moon-pie. I really didn't want to be alone."

Sheldon had a lot to do in the next 24 hours. Scrolling through his phone he called the car service he used, when the bus wasn't convenient.

When Leonard moved, Sheldon had insisted he take all the Christmas decorations as he certainly had no use for them.

Well this would be his and Penny's first Christmas. New ornaments no memories of anyone but them was the way to go.

Now for the menus. Christmas day was easy. Baked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, and salad. He could stop at the local bakery and purchase a nice red velvet cake. Sheldon wondered if they had any with an image of Santa Claus on them.

For Christmas Eve he decided on Spaghetti with little cut up hot dogs, salad and garlic roll knots. Oh for dessert he'd bake some nice Christmas cookies. Maybe he could even find an undecorated ginger bread house at the bakery. He was sure that would be something Penny would enjoy doing.

Looking at his watch Sheldon decided he'd order a pizza for one to be delivered. While he waited he'd start whipping up those Christmas cookies.

Christmas Eve morning and Sheldon was up and out of the apartment by 8:00AM.

First he had his driver take him to the grocery store. It was early enough Sheldon felt comfortable that the food hadn't been handled by dozens of people. Then it was a stop at the bakery. Yes they even had one ginger bread house left that just needed to be put together and decorated.

Mike his driver helped him carry everything up to 4A. Because it wasn't quite 10:00AM yet Sheldon had no worries about Penny accidentally finding out what he was up to.

All the while Sheldon, was making cookies the previous evening, he thought about Penny's career as an actress. The more his big brain thought about it the more he became sure one of the biggest things standing in her way was her agent.

Penny had used the same agent since she'd arrived in CA. The best the agent had done for her was a hemorrhoid commercial. So he pulled some strings, called in a couple of favors. When he was done Penny had an appointment with one of the best agents in Hollywood.

He wished he could do more. Sheldon knew only Penny could prove to the agent she was worth the risk. If she failed Sheldon had a plan to get her back on track with her Penny Blossom's business.

He decided she'd need a new business suit to wear. While he thought she'd be beautiful in a nice plaid, he took the sales lady suggestion and went for black jacket, white blouse, black skirt, black dress pants and just because he knew it would make her happy a nice pair of black Manolo Blanco shoes. To save himself time and frankly aggravation he had all the gifts wrapped at the store.

Sheldon was surprised, at how once he accepted the spirit of Christmas, well he just seemed to be full steam ahead with it. He'd even stopped at a floral shop and had Christmas bouquets sent to his mother,Mee-maw, and even to his sister Missy.

He had two more stops to make. First was a Christmas store. He didn't even dilly dallie around. He knew exactly what he wanted.

Red,Green,Gold, and Silver round glass he bought 2 extra large round glass ornaments. One in pink and he had Penny's name glittered on it and the year and he bought another in blue and had his name and the year glittered on it. He added new LED lights and for the top he found a white Moravian Star tree topper.

His final stop was a Christmas tree lot. He bought the best Fraser Fir they had left.

By 2:00 PM he was back at Los Robles and Mike the driver was helping get the big fir up the flights of stairs to 4A.

At 5:45PM Penny sent him a text. She was on her way home. She'd get cleaned up and be over in 4A by 6:30PM. Was that acceptable?

He quickly let her know that would be fine.

6:28PM Sheldon is nervously looking around the room. He has the lights on the tree, but the boxes of ornaments and garland are sitting on the floor waiting to be added. The radio was tuned to the 24 hours of Christmas Music station. Appropriately enough Santa Claus is Coming to Town was playing.

He had the bar set with red placemats, green cloth napkins, white dinner plates and two goblets for the lemonade he'd made. The silverware was glimmering under the florescent lights from the polishing he'd given them.

The spaghetti was simmering on the stove ready for him to dish up. The garlic knots were on warm in the oven and the salads were in dishes in the fridge.

Until that moment Sheldon hadn't quite realized how much he wanted this Christmas Eve to go perfectly. He and Penny needed this. Whether they were ready to admit it or not, they needed each other. They always had. The two of them had just been too worried about other people. Too insecure about their own feelings.

Until Santa Claus had given him Penny's cards, Sheldon hadn't realized how far down he'd pushed his feelings for her.

"Knock, Knock, Knock, Sheldon"

"Knock, Knock, Knock, Sheldon"

Sheldon took one finally look at himself. He'd fluffed his hair, he hadn't shaved. He found he liked the scruffy look it seemed to mature him. He'd pulled out a pair of stone washed jeans, Missy had sent him two years ago for his birthday. He wore only a green thermal shirt, no t-shirt over it. A pair of new white Reeboks on his feet.

"Knock, Knock, Knock, Sheldon" He opened the door when she finished her final round.

Sheldon found himself staring at her in stunned silence. If he'd been thinking clearly at all he would have noticed she was staring at him the same way.

Penny was dressed in a pair of tan khaki pants. A t-shirt with a smiling Santa Claus was worn over a green thermal shirt. On her feet she had a pair of green furry slippers with that bore a striking resemblance to The Grinch. Her hair was pulled up in a high pony tail. Secured with a red poinsettia band. In her hand she held a small tote that he assumed held her night clothes.

"What are you wearing?" They both asked at the same time.

"I uh well I wanted you to be comfortable. I know how much you dislike the holiday.' Well I just...well it seemed like a good idea at the time. What about you?" Penny asked.

"I found myself wanting to please you." Sheldon admitted with a shrug of his shoulders.

Penny didn't even try to hold back the gasp at his words. Her eyes quickly watered..."You please me anyway you dress Sheldon. Well except for the plaid."

"You look beautiful Penny. No matter what you wear." For just a momen they stared intently into each others eyes.

Sheldon looked away first. He stepped out from in front of her and for the first time Penny looked around the apartment.

"Sheldon you got a tree? It has lights on it!" Penny exclaimed stepping closer to the big fir. Turning she looked back at him..."You got a tree for Saturnalia?"

"No. I got a Fraser Fir for Christmas." He tried not smirk as he watched her eyes widen at his correction..."Go put your bag in my spare room. We should eat first. Then we'll finish with the decorating."

Penny watched him walk towards the kitchen. She shook her head once, it felt like she was clearing out a fog, that had laid a long time in her head and was now starting to lift. Then she decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and quickly hurried to the bedroom Sheldon now used as an office.

Half an hour later Penny was still setting at the bar. Her chin resting on her clasped hands as she watched Sheldon quickly and efficiently wash up the dinner dishes. He'd refused her offer of help. Insisting she'd only be in his way.

She couldn't say she minded the view. Those jeans fit him perfectly. Without the t-shirt on the thermal he wore showed that working out with the Wii really did work. While he was still what you would slender. He had form now. Penny found herself biting her lip and locking her ankles on the rungs of the stool she was sitting on. All to keep her seated. She had an incredible urge to walk up behind him, wrapping her arms around him.

Sheldon started to turn around after placing the last dish in the drainer to dry. Penny quickly wiped at her mouth just in case she'd drooled.

Sheldon had all he could do not to turn around and ask her why she was staring so intently at him. He knew if he did, she'd stop. He found he liked the feeling it gave him.

"How about we decorate the tree now. We can have dessert when we're done?" He asked Penny smiling softly at her.

"Sure." Penny said as she was about to get up Sheldon surprised her by walking around the bar and taking her hand. He didn't just clasp her hand he linked their fingers together.

All Penny could do was follow him. She was starting to realize she'd follow where ever Sheldon led her.

He brought her over to the tree and dropped her hand. Squatting down he looked at up at her and asked.."Which color do you want to start with?"

For the next couple of hours they decorated the tree. Finally they stood back to admire it. Penny let out a soft sigh of contentment when Sheldon slipped his arm around her waist, pulling her into his side.

"It's beautiful Moon-Pie. I just love that star. It was the perfect finishing touch." Penny said tilting her head up to look at him.

Sheldon found himself having an incredible urge to just lean down and place his lips against hers.

Suddenly he pulled back from her..."Oh that isn't the finishing touch."

He went over to the small pile of presents and picked up a bright blue
one.

"Here." He said holding it out to her..."Open it."

Penny took the box and pulled the lid off, handing it to Sheldon. She lifted the green tissue paper and said..."Oh, Sheldon. Their perfect. Thank you." Then she went up on her tip toes and placed a soft kiss on his cheek.

Smiling Penny handed him the pink ornament with her name on it. Then she took out the blue one with his name.

"You'll find the perfect spot for mine just like I'll find the perfect spot for yours." She said as she stepped up to the tree.

So their first Christmas tradition began. Every year for the rest of their lives they would finish the tree by hanging up each others ornament.

Sheldon left her for a just a moment. When he returned he had a handmade quilt that he spread out on the floor in front of the tree.

"Sit with me." Sheldon said pulling her down onto the quilt.

They just sat quietly arms linked watching the twinkling of the lights on the tree. Christmas music playing softly in the background.

Neither Penny nor Sheldon had ever had such a feeling of contentment before.

Suddenly the soft beep of Sheldon's watch brought them out of their reverie. He pulled his arm from hers and looked at his watch. For a moment he'd forgotten exactly why he'd set it.

"Oh my it's almost midnight." He leaned forward and pulled the small red and gold package, Santa had given him, out from under the tree.

He looked at it quizzically for a moment. He was sure there had been no card attached to the package when Santa had given it to him.

In gold glitter it had Penny and Sheldon written on the envelope. He shrugged. Who was he to question Santa Claus magic.

"Here you open the card and read it." He said passing it to her.

"Penny and Sheldon. My Christmas wish for you, is for the spirit of Christmas to follow you all the days of your lives.

Sheldon, you can open the box up now.

Merry Christmas,

Santa Claus"

"Who gave you this Sheldon?" Penny asked.

Letting out a chuckle Sheldon said..."Santa Claus. Let's see whats in here. Shall we?"

Sheldon pulled off the gold ribbon and Penny lifted the red lid off.

Inside nestled in a fluffy bed white glitter that looked like snow. Sat the most perfect piece of Mistletoe Penny had ever seen.

She couldn't help the blush that came to her cheeks as she remembered all the years she'd made her special Christmas wish.

Sheldon gently pulled out the Mistletoe. He set the box down and gave her the sexist smirk she'd ever seen.

Holding the Mistletoe over their heads he said..."Merry Christmas Penny. May all your wishes come true."

Then before Penny could even take a breath Sheldon was kissing her.

For the next fifty years on every Christmas Eve, she would tell her children and grandchildren the story of her first Mistletoe kiss with Sheldon.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!