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Playing With Shadows

Chapter Text

The first time, it was an accident.

Penny clung to that, she gripped that thought with every sliver of strength in her soul and refused to let go. The first time Penny had killed her boyfriend, it was an accident. She hadn't planned to murder anyone. Penny wasn't some psychopath who just didn't care. A creep who was fascinated by death, or some pervert who got off to the thought of corpses and blood.

She wasn't.

The first time, Brad, a guy who had almost gotten her pregnant. A guy who she had given her backdoor virginity to. The guy Penny trusted, and loved, had cheated on her.

Penny had confronted him in Old Bakers Barn. It was a pretty creepy place. Old Sean Baker hadn't plowed his land or used the barn in a good decade, he was too old, and his children and their children didn't care for the farming lifestyle, or Old Sean. The bar shed was a bit cramped, with tools all over the wall, and the smell of musty ancient hay and rust. But it was their place, so Penny had managed to find it romantic anyway.

Brad and Penny had discovered the place by accident. One rainy day when driving around wasn't the best thing to do, and there was far too much junk in the back seat to make out comfortably . It was where they'd first gone all the way. It was where Brad had told her he loved her, and Penny had decided she trusted that. Trusted him.

He'd shattered that trust.

He had broken her heart. He had crushed her soul. He deserve it when Penny, in her rage, grabbed a shovel, and swung at his head.

She had been utterly unprepared for the way the edge of the shovel buried itself in his skull. She hadn't realized she still knew to swing with all she had. And Penny had apparently kept enough of her old tomboy self inside her to stare at the blood leaking from his head like paint from a punctured can in fascination instead of disgust.

She hadn't known what to do.

Penny had panicked. Buried him with the same shovel she'd killed him with. Then she had hidden the shovel in a stack of hay and searched until she found some lighter fluid. She had poured in all over the barn shed, extra over the hay, then reached for the lighter Penny used when she managed to sneak a smoke.

She set the whole thing on fire.

Then Penny ran, and she never looked back. She'd rushed into her house sobbing, headed straight for the bathroom and got into her shower fully clothed. All her sister managed to get out of her was that Brad had cheated on her.

That night, while Penny tossed and turned while trying to sleep, trying not to think, until she gave it up. It clearly wasn't happening. She had gotten up, creeping slowly through the house until she hit the liquor cabinet. Grabbing the first bottle she saw before downing a good half of it, and then crawling back into bed.

It was the first time Penny had to drink herself to sleep.

It wasn't the last.

The barn burning down made the morning news. They'd chalked it up to some old equipment malfunction, or something equally stupid. Whatever it was, Bakers insurance covered it, apparently, and he'd made quite a lot of cash. It had his grandchildren remembering he existed, so it had to be quite a bit.

Brad was declared missing a full three days later. It had taken his mom a while to realize he was gone. Some people said he skipped town. Others that he had gotten kidnapped. No one ever connected his disappearance with a burnt down barn. Penny was the only one who knew exactly what had happened to Brad.

No one else ever would.

At least, not until a good ten years later, when she needed help hiding another body.

xXx

Sheldon's heroics had never landed him in front of a murder scene before.

But then, Sheldon wasn't exactly in the habit of bursting into Penny's apartment in the middle of the day. So perhaps Penny had beaten other men to death with her metal baseball bat. And he'd just never known about it.

He'd rushed right in when he'd heard Penny's distinctive scream, followed by a crash and the hostile voice of a male. It didn't take someone with his intellect to make all the connections.

Penny had barely noticed him. Far too busy bashing the larger man in the head with her bat.

"I believe he's quite dead." Sheldon informed her, helpfully. She was getting unnecessary blood all over the floor.

Penny gasped, dropping her bat and staring at the corpse before her in horror.

"He tried to rape me" Penny stated, her eyes never leaving the body on her floor."We spent a few night together, but he was an asshole, I just didn't want him anymore."

Her eyes were still wide, face flushed from exertion, but her voice was commendably steady.

"I thought so" Sheldon nodded, his hypothesis confirmed,"That's why I rushed in, I usually knock, but most rapist will stop if discovered. I see you had things well in hand however, I'll be going now."

"Wait!" Penny hissed urgently."You can't go! Sheldon, you have to help me get rid of him!"

Sheldon arched an eyebrow incredulously,"I have to do no such thing. I'm not comfortable being an accessory to murder."

"It's not murder!" Penny snarled at him"It was self defense okay. I Just got a little carried away. I didn't realize how hard I was hitting him, Sheldon! It was an accident."

"Be that as it may, Penny, I was hoping you wouldn't even mention me in the police report. I have no wish to attend court. Even if it is to get you a sentence of involuntary manslaughter."

"In-Invol" Penny's eyes widened, horrified, and falling silent, stuttering to a halt. She looked back down at the body, her fists clenching.

"Involuntary manslaughter" Sheldon supplied. But that would only stick if she got a good defense lawyer. Penny wasn't exactly financially sound.

"I don't care!" Penny burst out, unexpectedly."You're a genius aren't you? No one figured out you blew up that elevator! Can't you do me a favor? Just this once! Think of it like a challenge. I've gotten rid of a body before! And I'm not as smart as you!"

So this wasn't the first time Penny had killed someone. Sheldon wondered if that should worry him. They did have a tendency to butt heads every once in awhile. He doesn't particularly like the idea of Penny offing him with her bat over some imagined offence.

But Penny is his friend. And she needs his help, his whole purpose upon entering the apartment was to assist her.

Besides, surely if Penny could do it, so could he.

"Very well, on one condition." He said.

Penny's face broke into a relieved smile,"Name it."

"You sign a contract agreeing not to kill me" Sheldon stated. He'd take other precautions of course. But it would help his chances at survival if Penny believed he was off limits for as many reasons as possible.

"Done!" Penny chirped, her sorrow at the death of her former lover clearly completely forgotten. Just how practiced at this was she? Sheldon wondered. But then, she said she needed help disposing of the body. So she couldn't have that much experience.

"Go get three large heavy duty black garbage bags and your shower curtain. I'll get my gloves and the peroxide, I'll be right back." He stated. He'd also need to look up the search patterns done along the desert.

They worked surprisingly well together. All of the team work they'd fostered from making Penny Blossoms had held over the years. The mess was soon cleaned, the body was wrapped up and stowed in Penny's trunk within twenty minutes.

Sheldon even managed to get the entire story of Penny's first, and previously only, murder on their way towards the Californian desert. Having made the necessary stop to purchase a shovel. With the way Penny drove they were back in time for Halo night.

No one else suspected a thing.

Sheldon never even saw a missing persons poster, or a police cruiser circling the building. He almost couldn't believe it had truly been that simple. It was the fourth time he'd felt cheated by the CSI people on TV.

xXx

The third time, it's Kurt.

Frankly, that's Penny's excuse.

It's Kurt.

The guy had taken, and wasted, a good four years of Penny's life. And yet he somehow always managed to sway her. He could always talk his way back into her good graces, back into her pants.

With his"I really miss you Pen," and " We're really good together,"the oh so popular,"I'm sorry baby". Penny always fell for it, even when she knew better. And then he was just such a dick, such a raging asshole, and Penny just couldn't take it. He made her so angry, so very mad.

She had just been opening up another bottle of wine, minding her business after having broken up with Kurt for the fifth time in her life. And he'd walked right in, because Penny just couldn't seem to learn to lock her door.

He'd closed the door behind him, that irritating"c'mon Penny,"smile on his face. "I'm sorry baby," half way out of his mouth.

Penny didn't even think about it. She didn't make a conscious decision.

Or at least, not much of one. It was just a thought. A small niggling that whispered about how much nicer the world would be if Kurt wasn't all alive in it. And just how easily she could help that reality along.

One moment the wine bottle was in her hands, and next thing she knew. It had made a journey across the room and straight into Kurt's face.

Then there was some screaming, he clutched at his face ,and fell down. Blood spilling from his head and staining her carpet.

He didn't get back up again.

Penny watched, fascinated as he squirmed, groaning and bleeding all over her floor. And then he went still.

Finally, once the twitching had stopped, and Penny just knew she would have to either burn her carpet, or bury Kurt in it. It was so soaked with his blood. She called Sheldon. Kurt was a very big guy, and even if she wanted to, she couldn't get rid of him on her own.

Penny didn't even bother with pleasantries,"Sheldon, I need you to help me again."

There was a small awkward pause before,"And does the task with which you require my assistance involve a shower curtain?"

Penny smiled, she had no idea why Sheldon seemed to be so okay with her killing people, but man was she grateful, "It's like that, but a rug this time, it got really dirty, and I was thinking about replacing it anyway."

"Very well" Came Sheldon's voice, sounding oddly resigned,"You'll have to come pick me up."

"Thank a lot Sheldon, this really means a lot to me."

"You're welcome. Oh, and Penny?"

"Yes?"

"Remember to lock the door."

It takes a good half an hour this time. And that's just readying the supplies. Kurt is much, much bigger than anyone Penny has gotten rid of before. Sheldon had assured her that he wouldn't fit in her truck, so it was a good thing she'd been ready to sacrifice the rug.

The rope comes up with them, but the shovel stays hidden in the trunk.

They've just finished pushing the couch off the rug when Kurt jerks. Sheldon jumps like a scalded cat but he doesn't make a sound. Penny's not so lucky, letting out a muted shriek. Kurt moans, and Penny almost can't believe he's alive.

She also almost can't believe how very upset she is by that, shouldn't she be relieved? It would mean she finally didn't accidentally off someone for once. She really should be happy about that. But it doesn't really change the fact that she isn't.

Then she watches in shock as Sheldon puts his foot over Kurt's throat and stomps down. He holds it there for a good five minutes. Long after Kurt goes completely still. Penny knows because he'd been counting it down with his watch. An annoyed look on his face the whole time.

She isn't prepared to have him glare at her,"The next time you ask my assistance in disposing of a body, please make sure it's actually dead."

Penny just stares at him incredulously. Then she shakes her head, really, only Sheldon.

"I'll keep that in mind."

xXx

It was only a matter of time.

Sheldon always had a short temper, and no matter how much he would prefer to be, he wasn't a vulcan. And anger was everything but logical.

Sheldon stared down at the blood on his hands. Barry Kripke's blood. Blood he'd drawn with a conveniently placed staple gun. Two simple clicks against his coronary artery, and Kripke's own heart pumped the blood out of his body.

It gushed like a fountain.

Sheldon stared at it. Utterly detached. He'd been waiting for this moment since he was six years old. The first time he'd decided that life really would be much simpler if the boys that bullied him were to die.

It hadn't taken much to make a small bomb. Not even enough for property damage really, just enough force to tear another six year old limb from limb. Sheldon figured that he'd only need to make an example out of one for the rest of them to get the point.

He was perfectly willing to kill them all if they didn't though. Sheldon wasn't a quitter.

If George hadn't left one of his comic books lying around that day, it would have never even occurred to Sheldon that killing another human being might of been wrong. But George, slob that he was, had. And so various little boys who liked to torment the resident genius got to live.

Not that any of them ever realized that they had come so close to such an awful end. And Sheldon had known better than to tell anyone.

It hadn't changed certain things though, like Sheldon's willingness to kill people for any offence. Or even his ability to do so. He knew this was technically his second time killing some one. He had finished off Kurt after all. But Sheldon didn't really count that. Penny had started him and left the job half way done. So he considered that her kill.

Even so... Sheldon just didn't see what was so awful about killing someone.

He'd just had enough moral fiber to refrain before. But now, knowing that he could get away with it. Knowing just how easily he could dispose of the body, even if it did make him a villain, instead of the hero, Sheldon found it hard to care.

He'd always hated Kripke.

Sheldon was glad he was dead.

And honestly, he was rather glad he'd been the one to kill him.

He thought rather wistfully of subjecting Winkle to a similar fate. Then shook the daydream away. If people he was public enemies with started disappearing, it would become rather obvious that he was involved with aforementioned disappearances. It was best not to. At least for now...

First he locked the door. Never let it be said he didn't learn from other peoples mistakes. Her carelessness was how he'd discovered Penny. He would never let the same thing happen to him.

He then reached into his messenger bag for his bottle of hydrogen peroxide and rubber gloves. Despite the fact that Kripke's murder, and Sheldon saw no point in kidding himself, it was murder, hadn't been premeditated, Sheldon was still quite prepared to take care of it.

Such was the beauty of being prepared for every eventuality.

If only Penny subscribed to a similar philosophy. Then she wouldn't require his genius every time she got a little too forceful with her bat, or a wine bottle.

Penny could call what she did accidents all she wanted. And they probably were all crimes of passion anyway. She was very volatile, but that didn't change the fact that she chose to hide the bodies of her paramours instead of turning herself in. Nor did it change the fact that Sheldon had helped, and that he'd made that decision consciously.

Penny had always been a good friend. And friends helped each other.

Which was why Sheldon called her after he'd placed a band-aid on Kripke's neck and cleaned up the blood. Surveying the room for anything he'd missed as it begun to ring. It truly paid to have an eidetic memory. He restored the room back exactly the way he found it.

Penny picked up on the sixth ring.

"Sheldon?"

"Hello, Penny."

"Um, hi? Is something wrong? You don't usually call me... For anything really."

"This is a special occasion. I require transportation. And possibly, a shower curtain. But preferably three large heavy duty garbage bags."

There was a pause as Penny digested that.

"Where are you?" That was a pretty stupid question. But...

"The university." Obviously. Where else would he be at three o'clock on a Thursday afternoon?

"I'll be right there."

"I thought so."

If nothing else, Penny was certainly reliable.

Chapter Text

"Turn left here," Sheldon said, eyes trained on his phone. Map-quest was open on it, they had needed to find a new hardware store. All the one's they had known about they had already bought shovels in. Apparently buying more than one shovel at a hardware store screamed murder.

 

Penny pushed her sun glasses further up her nose. They were her favorite part of her disguise.

 

"Are you sure we have to go all they way over here? Why can't we just say our first shovel broke or something. This is the bad part of town." Penny complained. This was costing her gas damn it! Fortunately Sheldon would be the one cleaning her trunk. He owned his own UV light and he didn't trust her to get everything.

 

"Your inclination to make ameture mistakes like that due to laziness is why you require my brilliant mind to help you dispose of corpses. At least your attempts to mask your identity, as pitiful as they may be, show some improvement on your preparation skills. But if the long drive bothers you so much then I will reimburse you for gas." The Texan in her front seat didn't even bother to look at her.

 

"And what makes you such an expert?"

 

"I'm a physicist Penny, I have working knowledge of everything truly important in this universe."

 

His eyes stayed exactly where they were.

 

Penny sighed, Sheldon was a very focused individual. And that focus got very narrowed when they were in the middle of burying yet another body. Intellectually Penny knew it was a good thing. It was also kind of reassuring. But it was really annoying to get ignored like that.

 

He hadn't even bothered with a hello when she'd shown up. Supplies hidden discretely in a beach bag. Penny had gone out of her way to avoid people anyway, and just in case, she'd purchased a large light pink sun hat with dark pink highlights and a matching summer dress, huge white sun glasses completed the disguise. Penny was rather sad she liked them, as she was never planning to wear again.

 

They would be disposed of soon after the body.

 

"Here we are." Sheldon said, and Penny pulled to a stop in front of the out of the way hardware store. At least there was a parking spot conveniently across it. Of course it was at the mouth of a rather shabby alley way. But then, the whole place was shabby, all mismatched bricks and peeling paint. Like she said, the bad part of town.

 

"Let me guess," Penny said, pulling her keys from the ignition,"I get to go in."

 

"You're the one disguised," Sheldon replied, handing her a twenty dollar bill. Of course she'd been the one to go in last time because it was her dead body they were getting rid of.

 

It was probably for the best though, someone might actually ask why they needed the shovel, and Sheldon couldn't lie to save his life. She could only be grateful that Leonard had never asked him if he had been helping her dispose of a corpse. At least lie's of omission Sheldon could do. Mostly because he saw no reason to ever speak of the subject. For once, it was working in Penny's favor.

 

Apparently it helped Sheldon's ability to keep quiet about things when she signed a nondisclosure agreement.

 

No doubt there would be one for this too. Probably an even longer contract if the fact that it was Sheldon's dead body for once had to do with anything. And didn't that thought open up a can of worms? It had been bugging Penny since Sheldon had called her. Just how many people had Sheldon killed before?

 

The whole Kurt thing had shown he didn't have a problem taking a life himself. But it hadn't even occurred to Penny that it could be because he'd done it before. It put a whole new spin on his whole agreeing to help her thing. Did Sheldon think of it as practice or something?

 

And she just couldn't think of a way to ask. She wasn't like Sheldon, She just couldn't turn towards someone in a car and ask when they had killed someone before. It just wasn't done. At least, not if you weren't some crazy smart guy.

 

Penny took the money, biting back another sigh, she needed to restock on garbage bags anyway, the ones she'd bought had barely been enough. Fortunately Kripke was a small. They'd even managed to stick him in the bottom of a projector cart and roll him into the parking lot. Their hadn't even been anyone who could see them in the far away corner Penny had parked in.

 

All in all, a good getaway.

 

And the shovel would only be like ten bucks, so the bags were gonna be on Sheldon.

 

So hey, free garbage bags, score. It definitely put more pep in her step as she walked into the store. A casual glance revealed the shovels, and a lovely two for one deal. Knowing a good bargain when she saw one Penny picked two up. The garbage bags were further down the same isle.

 

Finally she reached the old guy behind the counter, putting all her things on the counter.

 

"Planning some yard work?" The old man asked, eyeing Penny dubiously. Stupid Sheldon. Why did geniuses have to be right all the time anyway?

 

The farm girl in Penny bristled, fortunately for the old guy, the killer in her had a sense of humor, "Just some digging for today."

 

"Not often you see a lady dressed for the beach buying two shovels." The old man commented.

 

"Well it's not often a girls husband decides they want to make a pool instead of going to the beach as planned." Penny fired back. Unlike Sheldon, Penny could lie. She could lie like a dog. All those acting classes were good for something.

 

"That'll be fourteen dollars me'am" The cashier said, finally smiling. Suspicion long gone.

 

Penny smiled back. The sad thing was the old guy had been right to be suspicious of her. Penny was on her way to bury a body.

 

But she didn't let the smile leave her face until after she'd left the store.

 

"Two shovels Penny?" Sheldon asked, frowning as Penny opened the back seat and stuffed the shovels in. Then she got into the back seat herself. It was easier to make sure everything was hidden on the car floor that way. She really didn't want to get stopped by the cops. She had a body in the trunk.

 

"I'm trying not to make a habit of buying shovels all over town" Penny pointed out. It was her neck on the line after all. Paying cash only offered so much protection.

 

"Very well" Sheldon nodded. Accepting her logic and not bitching for once.

 

Penny got out on Sheldon's side. She turned to close the door. It would be easier to enter the drivers seat from the left, a lifetime of watching out for wayward farm equipment had taught Penny that it was best to stick to the safe part of the road. Namely, in this case the sidewalk. Lest some hot shot in a sports car ran her over.

 

Of course, her Nebraska upbringing had failed to take in hood-looms with guns bursting out of shady dark alleys and pointing guns to her head.

 

xXx

 

The assailant was easily taken care of.

 

Sheldon had never realized how truly convenient having such a long arm span truly was until he barely had to reach in order to get to the assailants neck with his staple gun. Simultaneously reaching for the arm that held the gun and pushing it so that it was no longer aimed at Penny. This time, he clicked three times just to be sure.

 

He didn't even have to get out of the car. But the man dropped dead all the same. And Penny was completely unhurt. Despite her frozen status. But then, genius obliged. It had all been so very simple...

 

"He tried to kill me" Penny whispered. Staring transfixed at the body.

 

Sheldon wondered what it was with her and stating the obvious. Perhaps it had just been the attempt on her life. She had certainly taken Kripke's corpse in stride.

 

"Were going to need more heavy duty garbage bags." Sheldon stated practically.

 

"I bought some,"Penny mumbled, almost absently.

 

Sheldon blinked.

 

"Well done Penny. I retract my previous statement on your preparation. Your ability has improved by leaps and bounds."

 

"Gee Sheldon thanks." Penny hissed.

 

"Sarcasm?" He inquired.

 

"What do you think?" She shot back.

 

"I find it very rude of you to be sarcastic to someone who not only just saved your life, but also permanently took some one who was intent on doing you harm out of the picture."

 

"Perman- argh! Sheldon!" Penny snarled, voice tight and low,"What if someone saw? There's already a body in my trunk!"

 

Sheldon snorted,"In this neighborhood?"

 

Unlike his sibling, he remember what it was like to live in a trailer before his father had gotten a better job. Sheldon had actually watched a woman miscarriage before her own home. Everyone had simply ignored it. In the slums, pain, misery, and death were simply par for the course. And they were in what passed for the slums of Pasadena. No one ever saw anything.

 

"Also, your attacker must have been recently certain no one was watching to attack us in broad daylight, so to speak. Now help me drag him into the alley and bag him before someone really does come and see."

 

It certainly would be very unfortunate to be discovered over a dead body whilst having one occupying the trunk.

 

"Fine!" Penny snapped.

 

It took them ten minutes to bag him and push him into the back seat. They were getting very good at that. The ease with which they went through the motions actually surprised it shouldn't have, the man wasn't terribly larger than Kripke. And they'd already practiced on him.

 

Sheldon made sure to appropriate the gun the man would have shot Penny with. No sense in leaving it lying around to shoot anyone else.

 

"And here I thought the shovels would have looked suspicious." Penny muttered darkly.

 

"I would obey the traffic laws with impunity if I were you." Sheldon stated. Most sane individuals did so anyway. It kept them from tickets, and car accidents. Of course most people weren't Penny. She seemed to treat them as suggestions she could ignore whenever she pleased.

 

"Just shut up okay! I'll drive." And she did just that. Knuckles going white with the strength with which she gripped the wheel. Sheldon let her be until they began to hit the desert. Penny was familiar enough with the route.

 

"Penny, you seem rather agitated." He finally ventured. He had never seen her this stressed before. And he had walked in on her committing murder.

 

"There are two dead bodies in my car Sheldon. And you put one of them there with a fucking staple gun! Why do you even have..." Penny trailed off, puffing her cheeks as she let out a deep breath.

 

"I put them both there with this very same staple gun. You didn't actually think I'd leave my murder weapon behind, did you?" That would be completely foolish. Why did Penny think he'd made her bury her bat along with her former paramour?

 

"Who kills people with staple guns?" Penny demanded.

 

There was a pregnant pause.

 

"I do, obviously." He huffed, almost offended. Why would she take exception to his method? There was certainly no questioning its effectiveness. There were two corpses present proving it worked perfectly fine. So it wasn't as traditional as a bat. So what? Penny had used a wine bottle before, ineffectively at best, but she had made the attempt.

 

Finally, Penny laughed. Sheldon stared at her incredulously. Penny was mercurial at best most of the time, but this was getting ridiculous, she had been upset mere seconds ago.

 

Penny continued laughing.

 

Deep belly laughs, that left her eyes closed.

 

Sheldon frowned further,"Penny, weren't you just worried about getting pulled over."

 

She paid him absolutely no mind.

 

"Penny, watch the-" The rest of his sentence was cut off by the front of Penny's car impacting on something. If the shape Sheldon caught in his peripheral vision was anything to go by then Penny could add another body to her count. Predictably, Penny stopped the car.

 

"Road" Sheldon finished, under his breath. If Penny hadn't already procured two shovels, he would have worried about how long burying them all would take. But since they would have been digging together, instead of alternating like they had the last time, it would go much faster.

 

Penny rushed out of the drivers seat. Easily ignoring Penny's mumbled," Please be alive.", Sheldon opened the door. It would complicate their situation far too much if the person was still living. So if they were, it wouldn't be for long. Sheldon vacated the passenger seat after her. Trusty staple gun in hand.

 

" So what's the verdict" Sheldon asked cautiously from behind Penny. She was kneeling against the persons side. He was male, sandy blonde, and if not dead then definitely metaphorically at deaths door.

 

"He's not breathing" Penny said bleakly.

 

Sheldon sighed in quiet relief. He wasn't sure where Penny's mental state stood at the moment. But something told him she wouldn't have taken it terribly well if he had to use his staple gun in front of her again.

 

"I'll get the bags." Fortunately they'd fit in the glove compartment. Even amidst all of Penny's junk.

 

xXx

 

It took them two hours to bury all the bodies.

 

It was a mass grave. An unmarked one Penny had contributed a body she hadn't even known to. Even two hours later, she just couldn't figure out why that was the one that bothered her.

 

"I'm a monster" Penny said in a moment of revelation as they drove back.

 

Sheldon gave her a sideways look. Finally relaxed now that the bulk of the evidence had been disposed of. Of course their was still the cleaning to do, but Sheldon never had a problem with that.

 

"Don't be preposterous, Penny. If you're a monster, then so am I."

 

Penny wondered why Sheldon thought that would actually help his case. If anything, he was helping her prove a point.

 

"Were monsters." Penny stated defiantly. Daring him to contradict her. Even if she never took her eyes off the road. She was sick and tired of having 'accidents'. The next time Penny killed someone, she wanted it to be on purpose! Not that she was planning on killing anyone else...

 

"Penny" Sheldon began, his I-am-a-freaking-encyclopedia voice coming out to play, "Human beings have been killing each other since before we had fully evolved as homo-sapiens. And I assure you, they were absolutely fine. There is no reason for you to be this upset."

 

"That's the problem!" Penny burst out. Didn't he understand? Couldn't that big beautiful mind of his see?"I'm not upset! I should be hysterical, crying, freaking out, something! But look at us. Three dead bodies in one day and we just dealt with them! Look at you, calm as you please, killing killers with staple guns. And look at me! I run someone over, kill them, and all I do is stick them in a bag, I'm on my way to bury some bodies anyway! Sheldon, that's not normal."

 

"Excuse me, but, are you saying you're upset because you're not upset? Penny, do you listen to yourself?" Sheldon just stared at her questioningly, clearly baffled.

 

"Yes" Penny snarled, barely remembering to keep her attention on the road,"And you should be too!"

 

Sheldon sighed,"Penny, studies show that one in twenty five people can commit any act without having their conscience bother them. we simply fall in that percentile. It's not as if we don't realize that murder is immoral. We're simply uncaring of our own performance of it. I certainly didn't want the guy that assaulted you to kill you. Just like I would have rather not have had to kill him. But he presented himself and left me no choice in the matter."

 

Penny strained to keep her attention on the cars before her. That had making her feel better potential"Wait, rewind, one in twenty five what?"

 

Sheldon shook his head at her, but repeated dutifully;"Studies show that one in twenty five people can commit any act without having their conscience bother them. we simply fall in that percentile."

 

Penny brighten at that."So we're just one in twenty five?"

 

"Exactly" Sheldon affirmed,"It's rather fascinating actually, when viewed in conjunction with the homosexual inclination study, which shows one in ten people to have it, we actually have a higher chance of being gay."

 

Penny giggled at that."Sure Sheldon, that's really fascinating. How much higher exactly?"

 

The mild sarcasm went right over his head, and he was off, explaining all about percentages, and other fascinating studies. But whatever. Penny was just glad they weren't the only ones out there who could kill people without flipping out. That was good enough for her.

 

xXx

 

Sheldon had finally finished cleaning Penny's trunk.

 

"We're rather fortunate today is anything can happen Thursday" Sheldon commented as Penny stepped out of her room, fresh from her shower. She was as scantily clad as ever, and Sheldon almost missed the pink sundress. But that had been disposed of. Stashed in someone's garbage pile that had been waiting to get picked up. Along with the shovels.

 

"Well, this one sure as hell lived up to it's name." Penny said, shooting him a smile.

 

He reflexively smiled back. The thought of never seeing or hearing Kripke at CalTech bringing him much happiness.

 

"So" Penny ventured, and something in Sheldon recognized to be wary of the too innocent tone,"You killed someone for me today."

 

"I did," Sheldon agreed cautiously, focusing all of his attention on Penny. Just what was she up to?

 

"I think I owe you."

 

"You do." Sheldon agreed. He could not figure out why her seemingly innocuous statements were stirring up anxiety in him. But they did, and the anxiety mixed with anticipation and some long forgotten instinct warned Sheldon of danger approaching.

 

Of course a completely different long dormant instinct held him utterly still as Penny wrapped her arms around his neck, leaned forward and kissed him.

Chapter Text

Kissing Sheldon was kind of awesome.

He had great lips, all soft and surprisingly sweet. What Penny likes best though, is how close she feels to him. The warmth... It's much better than any hug. Why hadn't she done this before? It's fantastic.

In fact, Penny is sure it could only get better if Sheldon would kiss her back. So she keeps kissing him, insistently. Sheldon remains frozen, still as a statute.Until finally, frustrated, Penny pulls back, looking into his eyes questioningly.

She's completely unprepared for him to sprint away from her, backing up until he hits her door and all but melding into it as he gropes blindly for the knob. Then again, it's Sheldon, she shouldn't be.

Penny crosses her arms with a huff,"Kissing isn't that bad you know. If you stopped being such a whack-a-doodle for a second you might find you even enjoy it."

Sheldon splutters, "Penny! You, You kissed me!"

Penny nods, he's such a kid sometimes. Jason Afeild had a similar reaction when she'd landed a wet one on him in seventh grade.

"Um, what's the word I'm looking for?" She pauses for a bit, then snaps her fingers."That's right; A-duh!"

Sheldon scowls at her,"Penny, you only kiss your boy friends, or prospective paramours."

Penny arches an eyebrow, just where is he going with this? Wasn't what she wanted clear?"That's right mister obvious."

Sheldon arches his own, crossing his own arms for emphasis as they square off."That would be Dr. Obvious to you. And let me put that statement into context for you, as you seem completely incapable of doing so for yourself. Penny, you kissed me, that implies romantic desires, desires which would land me as either a boyfriend, or prospective paramour. Both of which you have killed. In fact, those seem to be your target kills, aside from that unfortunate hitchhiker, that's all you have killed... Hmm, it's just occurred to me, should I be worried about Leonard's safety?"

It's Penny's turn to splutter,"I-I so don't kill my boyfriends!"

Sheldon glares at her,"Yes, Penny, you do. Which is why I have no desire to be yours. Excluding a general desire not to be anyone's in particular."

"Are you kidding me?" Penny demands. He can't be serious! So, yeah, she's killed some scummy guys who've done her wrong. It's not like Sheldon would ever be one of them." Kurt wasn't even my boyfriend! We'd just broken up!"

Sheldon huffs,"So the count is still one boyfriend, one paramour, and one ex-boyfriend. It still all of your general love interests. Penny, I don't want to be your romantic anything. I'm perfectly content to be friends. I'm certainly liable to live longer that way."

With that, Sheldon turns to leave. Penny gapes at him for a moment. Then begins to chase him, this so isn't over,"Sheldon! Get back here."

The answer to that is the door to Four B slamming shut, and the decisive click of the lock. As if she doesn't have a key. Penny whirls around to get it, and bumps straight into Alicia. Literally.

They tumble to the ground. Two Pasadena actresses in an ungraceful heap.

"Walk much?" Alicia snaps. And Penny has a flashback to high-school, and actually speaking like that. Who would have thought? She's murdered more people since then, but there's no denying she's a better person now. She wondered if Alicia could say the same.

They disentangle and Alicia shoots her a faux pitying look,"Well that explains the lack of Career options. If you can't even get a geek to have sex with you."

That, Penny decides, is a resounding no, she really can't."Well at least I get my parts on talent, not my cock sucking skills."

"Cock sucking is a talent" Alicia sniffs, unashamed,"One you clearly don't have, and what parts?"

Penny bites back a growl, it would just invite bitch jokes. She knows how Alicia works. Penny used to be just like her. A party girl, the kind that thrived on attention and putting down her enemies. Now a days Penny knew better . There were much more... efficient ways to deal with enemies.

And she had to prove to Sheldon that she wasn't someone who just offed her boyfriends. Penny was sure killing Alicia, a female, would prove that. And if it meant she never had to see Alicia again, well, Penny was perfectly willing to make that sacrifice.

Man, she really loved being one in twenty five.

xXx

Sheldon eyes the door to his room wearily.

Part of him expects Penny to bust through at any moment. The other expects the lock to work and for her to bang on it angrily.

Minutes pass and Penny does neither.

Sheldon doesn't move. This is Penny, for all that she enjoys wasting away in front of a television screen showing programs that teach her nothing, she hasn't actually atrophied all her brain cells. She can be quite cunning when she wants to be. No doubt she's only attempting to lull him into a false state of security. It is not going to work. Sheldon is wise to her game. He's not going to venture out into his apartment to be ambushed by an angry former farm girl. He's well aware their kind can be mean.

He's sure their mean little spirits are encouraged by the animal cruelty farms practice. It's something to think about. It's certainly a better option than recalling the feel of Penny's lips. How soft and warm they had felt against his own. The way some part of him he had long thought to be done with had awoken and demanded he kiss her back.

If Penny hadn't pulled back on her own, he's not sure what exactly would have happened. But he's horrified at the side of him that's disappointed that she had. Terrified of finishing the very thought of what could have been.

He doesn't want to think about it. He's already tried watching star trek, as is his habit, but it's been letting him down for once. No matter how hard he tries to focus, he keeps thinking about kissing Penny.

It's unspeakably foolish.

Penny has a tendency to kill her lovers. He's helped her get rid of enough of them to know. And even if he hadn't, Penny isn't someone he wants to be in a relationship with. He had observed her with Leonard, after all. Penny loves attention, she liked coitus, and she liked a myriad of pointless activities for dates. None of which he was willing to provide.

Never mind that he was no longer as revolted at the thought of touching Penny sexually.

He knew how it went. A female would allow a male mating privileges, and then he would all but become her slave in order to keep his mating rights. He'd seen it happen often enough. It was not a fate he will allow to befall him. Sheldon knows better.

His work is far too important for that, he's far too important for that. As one of the great minds of the twenty first century he has a sacred duty to dedicate himself to science.

That meant he could not allow any woman, no matter how devastatingly attractive, to distract him from his goals. And that meant not even considering becoming Penny's boyfriend.

So Sheldon glared at the door and tried to focus on the impending confrontation. Penny would have to be dissuaded of thinking of him in such a manner. Even if he did understand why she would be so insistent on having him as a mate. While he was quite the catch, she needed to understand that the very idea of them becoming more than friends was more improbable than his mother giving up her love of Jesus. It was never going to happen.

He nodded gravely to himself. Eyes locked firmly on the door.

He never removed them. Not when he heard Leonard return fruitlessly from his bar hopping. Not when dawn came. His eyes stayed on that door, never shifting aside from the occasional blink. And then his alarm went off. Sheldon stood mechanically. He went through his morning oblations in a similar state.

Penny hadn't come... That did not compute. She was Penny, stubborn was metaphorically her middle name. Wild dogs should not have been able to keep him from her. Let alone something as lackluster as a locked door. She had the key to his apartment.

He was still in disbelief when he reached the university. And maybe just the tiniest bit indignant.

The rest of the guys were amazed by how quiet he was. And they stayed that way as he was silent all day. The first thing he does when he gets home is knock on her door. It's only prudent. If Penny isn't acting, that can only mean she's planning. And that does not bode well for him.

He'd rather be kept abreast of the situation if given the choice. It's not like he's worried or anything...Just curious.

xXx

When Sheldon begins his obsessive way of knocking at the door, Penny almost cried in relief. Finally! Help has arrived. She had been halfway to taking her new bat to his door and forcing him to help her. This wasn't supposed to be this hard. She would have never thought it could be so difficult.

It's not like she's an amateur. She's killed a whopping total of three people. Three and a half if you counted Kurt. Planning Alicia's murder was not suppose to bring her to tears. Or to tear her hair out in frustration.

Penny doesn't wait for him to finish his stupid knock, opening the door and yanking him inside. He's too startled to resist. Penny locks her door once Sheldon is inside. Who says she doesn't learn from her mistakes? No one is about to walk in on her plotting to kill someone. She slides the deadbolt just to be sure. Leonard has the key for the knob.

Sheldon is giving her a very strange look. Penny would enjoy the apprehension in his expression on a regular day. Probably tease him and try to make it worse. But not today. Today, Penny has a goal in mind. And she needs Sheldon to be a genius. Not a skittish colt.

"Penny" Sheldon ventures, hesitantly.

"I need your help." She states without preamble. He blinks at her and Penny sighs. A heavy frustrated sound and she can feel her eyes water for the umpteenth time that day.

"I can't do it!" Penny nearly shrieks, plopping back down into her seat, grabbing a couch cushion to punch violently. She's near hysterical.

Sheldon blinks some more, his lips falling into a confused frown."What?"

"I just can't do it, Sheldon! I just can't. I keep thinking about taking a bat to her head, I've done that before, but then what? Blood would splatter everywhere, and I'd have to get into her apartment first. And it's not like she'll just invite me in if I'm carrying a bat. So then I'd have to hide it right? but how do you hide something like a bat? And I'd still need an excuse for her to invite me in. It's not like I can just brain her in the hallway! How was it so easy before? I- "

"Breathe Penny" Sheldon interjects, sitting beside her, grabbing her shoulders forcefully. It's kind of hot.

"If I could just think of a way-" Penny half mumbles, barely aware of how hard she's breathing. She should probably stop that.

"Breathe." Sheldon commands again. And this time, Penny does. Taking deep breaths and letting her lungs settle."Now tell me, concisely, why do you require my assistance?"

That, Penny could do,"I want to kill Alicia."

"I see." Sheldon nodded,"Why?"

"Um..Lot's of reasons?" She doesn't mean for it to sound like a question."Look, she's an utter bitch, she's punched me, she can't pass me in the hallway without saying something to bring me down. She used you guys, and she's robbing real actresses of roles by sleeping with people to get them. She just needs to die, okay? The world's better off without her!"

"So long as you have your reasons..." Sheldon shrugs."I had similar sentiments towards Kripke. I'm hardly one to point fingers Penny. The real question is, do you want her to suffer?"

"Suffer?" Penny questions, and she's just curious . So there's just the slightest smidgen of interest in her voice, so what?

"Well, there are many types of untraceable poisons that she would find quite unpleasant, before her death of course, one does not feel things postmortem. Likewise, you could use chloroform in order to knock her unconscious and beat her to death at her own grave sight. I believe you might find that more viscerally satisfying. Oh my, there are so many options, I can see why you would have trouble deciding what to do." Sheldon's eyes glazed, and Penny could swear she heard the whirring of a computer someone had just turned on."I wish I'd taken the time to plan Kripke's murder. I would have liked him to suffer for all the times he's mocked me."

Penny shook her head at him, biting back a smile,"Who knew Kripke was a lucky guy?"

Sheldon shrugged again, then he smiled."I suppose I mustn't complain, not when I never have to deal with him or his stupid speech impediment again."

Penny really liked the Idea of never having to deal with Alicia again. And as nice as all of Sheldon's ideas sounded, they also sounded like a lot of work. Time and effort Penny didn't want to waste on a soon to be dead hooker."And hey, shouldn't we be careful? I mean we live in the same building as her. They might ask us questions and stuff. You know you can't lie to save your life."

Sheldon frowned at that."I don't wish to test that. Very well, nothing elaborate then. But it still leaves us with quite a few options.

xXx

In the end, Penny picks the simplest solution.

It shouldn't disappoint him as much as it does. But there were just so many options...What Penny had picked was almost boring when compared to the rest. On the other hand, it was the safest. For him especially. He should really find a way around his lying handicap.

The plan was thus; Penny would push Alicia down the stairs. Short and sweet, Penny had called it. As she would still have the satisfaction of being the one to end Alicia's life. Much like he had with Kripke. Sheldon had schooled her on the best place to shove and the adequate amount of force. There was a surefire way to make sure Alicia would snap her neck upon landing. A formula, if you will.

For once, Penny had no trouble grasping it. She was a natural killer.

In the end, it was a great plan, he had thought of it after all. And he had what amounted to intellectual gold. The plan would provide them both with alibis. Sheldon would be at work, and Penny would be in his apartment. Penny would claim she had simply sneaked into her neighbor's apartment for some milk. No doubt she would have been planning to do so anyway, so her props were set.

Then she would wait until she saw Alicia coming down the stairs. Wolowitz had never removed the camera he and Koothropali had used to spy on the end of Leonard's and Penny's dates. Sheldon would be monitoring the feed as well. He'd made sure it wasn't recording, lest Penny have any evidence against her, but the live feed would still play, and Sheldon wanted to watch. It was his formula at work.

All Penny had to do was wait until Alicia was at the precipice of the stairway, burst out, and shove her. Then she could turn on her Ipod and claim she had never heard the thump.

His favorite part of this plan was the lack of shovels.

For once, they wouldn't have to get rid of the body. And as an added bonus he could finally get that petition for new carpets passed. No one would want to risk their own accidental death. They might even manage to get the elevator working once again. There were all sorts of benefits to planning a murder. Sheldon wondered why he hadn't done so before.

It was eleven when Alicia appeared on the screen. Sheldon sent Penny a blank text, getting a question mark in return. It was the confirmation signal.

Sheldon watched, eyes glued to the screen as Alicia reached the second landing and Penny appeared. Then, just as he had show her, Penny jabbed her hand forward, striking Alicia's right shoulder and causing her to tumble forward.

Things were silent for a moment. Penny turned towards the camera with a smile, she flashed him a peace sign and winked.

Sheldon felt an answering smile spread across his face. The message was rather clear; mission accomplished.

Chapter Text

The new manager at the cheesecake factory was a total creep.

Penny realizes this within two minutes of meeting the guy. But it's not until closing that he proves it beyond all doubt.

And to think, she'd been in a good mood all day. Alicia was dead, Sheldon was passing around two petitions. One for a new elevator and one for new carpeting. Penny was pretty sure they could get both. The cops hadn't even questioned them. To them it was a clear cut incident. The woman tripped and broke her neck. It had been too good to last.

Penny had been having a great streak of luck. Naturally, it had to die. It did so the moment Penny showed up at work. Calvin Greenwood had gotten himself transferred without telling anybody. It left the Cheesecake Factory with new management.

Roger Manning was a big guy, the way fat Albert is a big guy. But he was nowhere near as socially acceptable. He had these beady green eyes and what Penny was fairly certain was a puce complexion. Coupled with his oily red hair, and creepy smile, it was a wonder he'd made it to management.

He'd been alternating his creepy leering between her tits and her ass all day. You'd think she was the only attractive waitress on shift. Oh wait. She was. Still, Penny had gotten tired of it long before her shift was over. But he'd bribed her to stay behind with over time. Over time Penny desperately needed. But that was hardly news. Extra money was something Penny always desperately needed.

Something Roger had clearly noticed. And then proceeded to try to abuse. He'd cornered her inside the kitchen. Penny was busy swabbing the floor down, she hadn't noticed when Jose, the cook and the only other employee to stay, had left. But she noticed when Roger walked in.

The creaking tiles weren't exactly subtle.

"You doing good work darlin' girl." Was his opening salvo.

Penny took one look at the lust on his face and began to back away, towards the knives. Not that Roger noticed. He was far too busy looking at her legs.

"Thanks." Penny offered cautiously, gripping the mop and attempting to make the movement look natural. It was harder to keep the disgust of her face, but Penny managed. Thank you acting classes.

"You're one of those starving artist types aren't you? Becky said you're trying ta' be an actress, right honey?" Penny was totally going to kill Becky. Stupid blabber mouth.

"I guess." She answered. It was trickier to keep the anger out of her tone. It had been clear from the start how this was going to go. But that didn't mean Penny liked it.

"Always struggling to pay the rent, eh? You don't have to worry so much now that I'm here. Good old Roger here's gonna take care of you. A fine little thing like yourself shouldn't have to work so hard." Roger had begun to walk closer with his little speech. He was beginning to breach her personal space.

That was fine. He'd been too busy staring at her chest to notice when Penny grabbed a large butcher knife from behind her. Eight inches, more than enough. She just had to wait for Roger to get a little closer.

"Really?" Penny asked. She didn't quite manage inviting, but come on? Roger was just so gross. That was the kind of acting that required practice! Lots and lots of practice.

"Of course" Roger rasped at her. Clearly aiming for sexy and missing the entire continent.
But he leaned forward.

Just enough so that it seemed natural for Penny to rest her hand on his ribs. Wait for him to exhale so she could actually feel them.

And that was all Penny had been waiting for. With speed not unlike a cobra; Penny struck.

Left side, between the second and third rib. Make sure to thrust at an incline and twist the knife around. She could tell she'd done it just right if she felt the heart stutter and stop.

The agonized look on Rogers face warmed Penny's heart. He'd been such a creep. He'd probably been pulling that trick for years. But not anymore. He'd tried it on the wrong actress. She hadn't even give him any time to scream.

Penny had killed him. Just like Sheldon had taught her. She'd really liked the thought of stabbing Alicia to death. But that had been before she realized the convenience of having her fall down the stairs. Still, that had been utterly and completely satisfying. And so easy, too!

Sheldon was so right, Penny was really good at this. A completely natural killer. Now wasn't the time to celebrate though.

Sadly, she'd made a really big mess this time. And it was late to boot. But that might be a good thing. Leonard was probably sleeping by now. Sheldon certainly was. Penny smirked as she dialed his.

It took him twelve rings to pick up.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but do you perhaps require my presence armed with some Garbage bags and a shower curtain?" He asked. Good old Sheldon, he knew her so well. Then again, it wasn't like Penny called him for anything that didn't involve a murder scene.

"We're going to need a really big carpet again." Just like with Kurt. But...Well, Kurt had mostly just been very tall. He'd had shoulders like a linebacker, but his waist tapered in. Rogers fanned way, way out.

Sheldon sighed, a crackle of sound from her speaker."You are very fortunate that I have been thinking of a way around that. Where are you? Is your position easily kept private or is time of the essence?"

Penny smiled in relief." That's great! I'm at the Cheesecake Factory. I have the keys so I'll lock everything and wait for you okay? Just call me when you get here. I've still got a bunch of garbage bags in my car."

"Noted."

With that Sheldon hung up.

Penny looked down at Rogers corpse. She was so glad she didn't have to think of a way to get him out the place. But that's what geniuses were for, they did all the really complicated thinking for you.

So Penny didn't really stress having added a number six to her body count. Six counting Kurt, which Penny usually didn't, but why not? He was dead pretty much because of her. And Sheldon counted him as one of the reasons not to date her.

It was just like Kurt to manage to keep a nice guy away from her even from the afterlife. Typical.

Penny sighed, surveying the kitchen. She reached down to pull the knife out of Roger. All this trouble and she probably wouldn't even get over time. Balls!

xXx

Penny really needed to learn to dispose of a body on her own. Sheldon would begin her tutelage as soon as he devised a curriculum. Sheldon would inform her this would become imperative unless she stopped killing soon.

Most serial killers went years between their killings. Or at least left their preying grounds in search of new ones periodically. They had killed more people in the last week than most hard boiled career cops ever did. It needed to stop. Or someone would begin to connect the dots.
That would be very bad. Especially since California Law did not look kindly upon murderers. They were nicer than Texas, but the idea of spending the rest of his life incarcerated, forced away from his beloved science and comic books made the death penalty seem a mercy.

But Sheldon couldn't die. He was one of the great minds of the twenty first century. The world needed him.

So Penny had to either take a sabbatical from murder, or branch off on her own. Sheldon had the appropriate paperwork to remind her that she could in no way incriminate him. It was all encoded of course, but he'd risk the hard plain copies in order to ensure he didn't spend any time in jail.

Sheldon had watched a documentary of what happened to men in prison. He did not want to be one of them.

He could not afford to be affiliated with her killings.

Something he was potentially doing at the moment. He'd had to stop to buy a shovel. Sheldon would have preferred to make Penny buy her own shovel as he waited in the car with the body. But someone who shared Kurt's proportions would be difficult to dispose of. He would need to be hacked to pieces first. For that, they would need the shovel earlier than usual.

Sheldon looked around him cautiously. It was deserted, as the commercial restaurant district should be at two o'clock in the morning. He still kept the shovel in his coat however. Better safe than sorry.

He called Penny when he made it to the door.

"Took you long enough! This guy is bleeding everywhere." She hissed at him quietly as she let him in.

Sheldon sighed, he was beginning to tire of this.

"You made quite a mess" He commented as he observed the body. There was a bloody knife on the counter. And some of the blood had been haphazardly mopped.
The series of events was clear. Penny had slid a steak knife through his ribs and into his heart. And after only one lesson. It was impressive." You shouldn't have taken the blade out. Despite the blood, its a very clean kill. It only took you one try?"

Penny beamed at him."Yup! Straight to the heart."

Sheldon felt his own lips quirk into a smile. He was so proud of her. He'd taught her to do that. Penny took to killing so easily. He couldn't help but wonder what else he could teach her. Would she have reached the heart just as easily from the back? Sheldon just knew she would.

It was such a pity she had chosen to push Alicia down the stairs. Sure it was getting their petition for a new elevator around fast, but it might have just been better to see Penny in her element. Penny usually called him after she made a corpse. Not before.

They should definitely change that. Especially if she chose to keep on killing with him as a partner. Maybe they could go out of state? Take a train? It was certainly a thought.

"Good job, Penny." Sheldon complemented."Sadly he's rather large, we're going to have to hack him up."

Penny arched her eyebrows at him."Hack him up?"

"He won't fit into your car otherwise. It's why I brought the shovel." Sheldon said, pulling it out of his coat as he spoke.

Penny clapped her hands."Sweet! I don't have to buy it for once. Let's get to work."

With that they did. Sheldon poured Clorox all over the floor. They needed it to disintegrate the blood. It was over too large an area. He would have to come back and comb it over again just to make sure. He ordered Penny to keep the keys. As an employee it wouldn't raise any alarms for her to have them.

It would be something of a bother to cut the man up. But Penny explained her reasons for killing him as they did so. It made the experience oddly satisfying. Such a disgusting human being certainly deserved no better.

They loaded him up in the car.

"The cops might actually show up this time." Penny murmured as they drove to their dump site. Sheldon had prepared three in advance. He would have to find another now that they were down to two. Just in case. One never knew.

"Yes. If the cook left you both there, he will certainly report it. How do you wish to play it? I recommend you tell them he made a pass at you and you dramatically stormed off. You will still have been the last to see him, and that's suspicious. But there's no way around that."
Penny hugged herself, nodding."I was afraid you'd say that. But hey, what if someone saw you? With me I mean. Driving back or something they might ask."

Sheldon frowned, his mind working over the possibilities."Perhaps you could say you called me. That you did not feel comfortable with him and desired my presence. I'm fairly tall, some find it imposing."

Penny snorted, then shot him a sly look."Sheldon, you couldn't intimidate yourself out of a paper bag. No cops gonna believe that, no way. Nope, there's definitely only one reasonable explanation for you to be seen with me. You were picking me up for a drive, real late night date. We drove, then made out in the car."

Sheldon glared at her, so that was her game."Penny, we have already established that I am not willing to become romantically involved with you. I thought you saw reason and sensibly gave up."

Penny grinned at him, unrepentant."Sheldon, this is me were talking about here. I never give up when it's something I really want. And guess what, whack a doodle? I want you."

Sheldon scowled,"Desire what you will Penny, I have already explained to you, a romantic relationship with you would be counterproductive of my goal to live a long life. The numbers don't lie."

Impossibly, Penny's grin widened, she shook her index finger at him mockingly."Ah-ah. I'm three for three now, with this Roger guy. I wouldn't have slept with him if it turned me into a bigger star than Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt combined! I'm not into girls, which Alicia was, and then there was that hitch hiking guy."

"Speaking of the last man you ran over, Penny, watch the road. That's still a fifty percent chance of death." Sheldon informed her,"I'm not comfortable with that."

It was finally Penny's turn to scowl."That's not true and you know it, I've dated plenty of guys, and I only killed three I slept with. Only one of them I was in a real relationship with at the time. I don't kill my boyfriends. Brad was an anomaly."

"I still refuse to agree to such a dramatic shift to our relationship paradigm. Also, keep your eyes on the road Penny, it's dark." Sheldon declared, standing his ground.
"Well who says I'm giving you a choice? That's what I'm telling the cops whether you like it or no-"

Penny was cut off by her car impacting with a body. Sheldon could perfectly recall the sound. He looked up only to confirm the incident with her eyes. It seemed Penny could add yet another body to her ever growing list.

Penny glared at her steering wheel"Please tell me that did not just happen."

"I fail to see the point in attempting to lie to you when the proof is literally before your eyes." Sheldon informed her.

Penny moaned miserably, or at least Sheldon assumed it was miserably. Perhaps Penny was a necrophiliac who was aroused by the dead? No that wasn't right. Penny had never shown any sexual interest in the corpses they disposed of. And none of the bodies she'd called him in on had been molested. And she'd had plenty of time. Misery it was." I can't believe it happened again. What the hell man!"

Sheldon could agree with the sentiment."These people do theoretically hitch rides from place to place, they really ought to know better than to stand on the road."

"I can't believe this" Penny exclaimed,"You know what? Just pass me a bag if he's alive I'll choke him for being too stupid to live."

Sheldon opened the glove box and passed her a bag. What could he say? He agreed. The gene pool would be better off. Or at least it would be if the interloper hadn't already reproduced. He followed Penny out. She would need help to haul him into the back.
Fortunately for the hitch hiker, he was dead. Suffocation was not a pleasant way to go.

Penny was truly deadly with her vehicle it seemed. It was truly a talent.

They were silent the rest of the way to the grave site. They alternated in order to finish quickly. Penny's frustration was clear in the way she attacked the ground. The sun began to rise by the time they'd finished.

"Hey look at that" Penny said, gesturing with a smile. She seemed to have worked off her rage.

"Nature can at times be beautiful." Sheldon agreed rubbing at his eyes. He was tired.

"Hey Sheldon?"

"Hm." His circadian rhythms had been disturbed. He would need to schedule a nap in an attempt to right them.

He didn't expect it when Penny grabbed his arm and tugged him towards her.

She smiled at him. It was an oddly soft expression. One Sheldon had never seen on her face before. It distracted him. He didn't realize she was leaning forward until her lips were almost brushing his own.

"I'm four for three now." She murmured almost against his mouth.

Then she was kissing him, yet again.

Chapter Text

Penny is totally on cloud nine.

Making out with Sheldon against her car makes Penny tingle in unexpected ways. She's always liked making out in public, but something about knowing that they're putting on a show for whoever watches the cameras adds an extra dimension to the entire experience. An experience which is totally going in her top five make out sessions of her life. The occasional cop car lights only serve to heighten her adrenaline, since Sheldon had insisted that they do this by the security camera near the precinct.

Sheldon's lips taste like sweet surrender. He'd given in to Penny's argument about needing an alibi. She was going to be the last person who saw Roger Manning. Sheldon would need an alibi too, he'd walked to the cheese cake factory at night. People had driven by, and he had a pretty distinct wardrobe. For once logic is on her side and she gets to pin Sheldon against her car door and kiss him all she wants. Penny wants a lot. Especially once Sheldon starts kissing back. All in all, it's a great end to a shitty day. She wonders how long she'll have to wait until she can kill Becky.

Probably a while. Sheldon made her a power point about serial killers and how important it was not to kill en mass in ones area. He'd made some good points about her newest 'bad habit'. She doesn't know what she expects to happen in the days that follow. She just knows that it's not what she gets. Some per-functionary questioning a few days later about Rogers whereabouts. There's no investigation. No warrants to search the place, or cops all in her business. Sheldon informs her it's because of the lack of a corpse. For all anyone knows Roger Manning just took off one day and left her to lock up the cheesecake factory. They have no reason to suspect foul play. And even if they did, Sheldon's anal nature means she doesn't have to worry about them finding any evidence.

Penny's glad. It means she can focus on her campaign to get with Sheldon for real.

She's gotten him to go on a few more driving 'dates' for their alibis sake. But she's worried that Sheldon will decide enough is enough pretty soon. Penny's made her piece with liking the weirdo. He's her partner. Someone she can count on. Sure it's a little morbid that it was burying corpses together that led to that particular epiphany, but whatever. It's not like either of them got off on killing. They just didn't react as dramatically as most people to becoming murderers, big whoop. Penny felt powerful when she killed. Like it didn't matter that she was some nine to five waitress with dreams of an acting career. she was someone with the ability to delete people from her life. Make them disappear permanently. It was the most amazing rush she'd ever felt. And Sheldon helped her do it. Taught her to be better at it. To be careful so she could kill again and again.

It's not much of a stretch to consider it romantic. Sheldon cares about whether not she ends up in jail, and doesn't seem to mind getting rid of corpses. Now that Penny's okay with being a killer, it makes Sheldon perfect boyfriend material. And since she pretty much has her foot in the door thanks to their alibi scheme, she thinks she's got a pretty good chance of steamrolling him into it. It helps that Leonard's dating Priya now, so they won't have to worry about creating any awkward tension with her ex. She's sure that telling their friends about their 'relationship' is a good way to make Sheldon make them 'official'.

Which is how she ends up in the guys apartment early on french toast morning. She'd checked, Sheldon actually liked her french toast too. She'd hate for her cooking to go to waste. She hums happily to herself, dancing in place, as the pan heats up and begins to melt the butter. She's totally on a groove when someone clearing their throat in back of her messes with her rhythm.

"Morning Leonard!"She exclaims with a smile, as he squints at her in his bathrobe.

"Penny? What are you doing here?"

"Making me and Sheldon breakfast."Penny replies easily."Are you and Priya gonna want some too? Geez, I totally should have thought of that! I'll make you guys some too, no worries."

Leonard clears his throat again."Making Sheldon breakfast? Come on Penny, we both know what's really going on here."

Penny blinks, confused. All she's doing is making french toast, and it really is for Sheldon so she doesn't get whatever it is that Leonard's implying."What do you mean?"

Leonard tuts at her."It's really flattering that you want me back Penny, but I would never cheat on Priya. So you need to stop."

Penny snorts at that, because where would Leonard even get the idea that she wants him back. Sure there was the automatic possessiveness at having another woman in what was previously her territory. But that had a lot more to do with Priya being a hottie than with Leonard being someone to be possessive about."Sweetie, I know were through. I really am making Sheldon breakfast, it's french toast day. We're good. So do you want some?"

She's kind enough not to mention that she was the one to dump Leonard, so they were definitely through.

Leonard sighs,"Penny. You're wearing nothing but a camisole and boy-shorts, making my favorite breakfast. It's kind of obvious."

"They're called PJ's Leonard."Penny says, frowning now, because she hadn't actually remembered french toast was Leonard's favorite, and he seemed to seriously think that she was trying to seduce him while his girlfriend was in the other room. Penny wasn't trashy-or messed up, like that. She also wasn't a cheater, or dressing especially sexy. California was hot in the summer, of course she slept in as little as possible.

Leonard tutted again, hands fiddling with his bathrobe."If you still have feelings for me I think we should stop being friends. You should stop coming over, I think you should give me back the key, Penny."

The anger hits her like a two by four. Sudden and consuming."Are you kidding me?"

"I'm really sorry Penny,"Leonard simpered,"Maybe we can go back to being friends someday. But not while you're in love with me."

"I was never in love with you."Penny hissed."If I'm in love with anyone in this apartment, it's Sheldon, not you."

Leonard laughed, seriously laughed. Like he's mocking her."Why are you still lying about that? You hate Sheldon, everybody hates Sheldon. I can barely stand the guy and I live with him. Besides, he's a robot, let's not act like you don't know he'll never like anyone. Not even when you're walking around nearly naked."

Penny gaped at him. She couldn't believe the-she could barely wrap her mind around the words. Was this really Leonard? Her nice guy neighbor. The guy she'd dated because he wasn't supposed to be an asshole like every other guy she'd given a chance. Was this really the guy she'd thought had been genuinely Kind? Of course it was. Looking at Leonard, at the smug grin he was clearly trying to hide behind a sympathetic gaze, she realized that he was just another douche-bag she'd been wrong about. Just another shitty ex.

Nice? Sure, 'nice' like all those pigs back in high school. Bending over backwards for the pretty cheerleader. So eager to offer her everything and anything, to do her homework, or buy her lunch. Happy to do her as many favors as possible, hopping that they could log in enough to be 'friends'. Because then she'd sleep with them right? Everyone knew, if a a guy was 'nice' enough to a girl she owed them a tumble. A make out session, some groping-something. Her sister had warned her about them. And she'd been right. She hadn't thought Leonard was like that. Had genuinely believed he'd wanted her for more than her body, a pretty face to show off to his friends.

Of course it turned out Leonard was a 'Nice Guy'.

Acrid smoke hit her nose and Penny looked down to find her french toast burning. It seemed perfectly logical to flip the ruined toast out of the pan, take the skillet off the stove, clasp it in both hands like a baseball bat, and bring it into contact with Leonard's face. Again, and again until she was satisfied. Sheldon might be mad, but Leonard fucking deserved it.

Nice guy Penny's ass.

x

Sheldon doesn't know what to do about Penny.

It's not the regular confusion about their friendship dynamic, or the general confusion he feels towards any other member of the human species. It is a confusion specific to Penny. Or rather, his body's new found reaction to Penny. He does not argue about their 'mid-night' dates as much as he should, despite the immediate danger of discovery having passed. He's begun to forward to them in fact. Something that should both alarm and disturb him. Especially considering Penny's track record with her romantic partners. And yet, it doesn't.

Sheldon feels comfortable with Penny. Assured of her acceptance regardless of any behavioral factors. He has killed in front of her, after all. One of what's considered to be the most heinous acts a person can commit, and she has never treated him differently for it. Although it might just be her returning a courtesy he had already extended to her. He considers that she now wishes for him to be her boyfriend and decides that that is not the case.

A loud smack emanates from the general direction his living room, followed by similar thumps, and Sheldon dreads what he will find. His hunch, like countless hunches before it, proves itself true upon his arrival in the kitchen. Penny has beaten Leonard to death with their iron skillet. Sheldon is not shocked in the least, he was right to worry for Leonard's safety it seemed. It also means Penny was correct in the sense that she was more likely to kill an ex than her current boyfriend. Perhaps it would actually help his chances of survival if he were to acquaintance to her demands to date her officially.

He watches the blood flow from what was once recognizably Leonard's face. The blood stains have mainly landed on the tile, but a few drops now stain Penny's outfit. They will have to burn it as well. Of course the difficulty of hiding Penny's murder was compounded by Priya's presence in Leonard's bedroom. Perhaps they should simply kill her too. She was fairly petite, and now that the elevator was working he was sure they could get rid of the corpses fairly quickly. Perhaps fabricate an email from Leonard's computer stating that they'd eloped.

Sheldon walks over to his desk, finding the latex gloves he stores there and snapping them on."Did you really have to kill Leonard today?"

Penny smiled with an expression she had once indicated to him to mean sheepish."He had it coming."

That's when Priya ruined his simple plans of disguising Penny's murder by appearing at the mouth of the hallway and shrieking at Leonard's corpse. He watched Penny's hands tighten of the skillet she had yet to let go of, eyeing Priya with clear intent.

"No."Sheldon said firmly,"You are not killing Priya with that skillet Penny."

Penny's face snapped to his, betrayal flashing through her features before her eyes hardened, flinty determined green,"Watch me."

"Penny, no!"Sheldon repeated, as Priya lunged towards him, believing he offered protection. Sheldon side stepped her, griping her jaw from behind and stabbing her through the carotid artery. He lodged the weapon in hard so that the blood wouldn't drip and get on her robe.

He was startled when Penny laughed. Meeting her eyes and finding relief.

"You scared me for a moment there,"she admitted.

Sheldon scoffed,"If I did not chose to turn on you despite killing Leonard, arguably my best friend. I would certainly not do so for Priya of all people."

Penny smiled,"I forgot how much she annoyed you."

He looked back down at the letter opener, in the clever guise of a samurai sword, he'd snagged from his desk, now protruding from Priya's neck. He'd brought it at comic con. He would have to be very careful about how he cleaned it. It was his favorite, and Priya had annoyed him enough in life without having to dispose of one of his favorite possessions due to her death. Not that Priya would ever manage to annoy him again. She was dead.

"Fetch my clorox wipes wipes from under the cabinet."He instructed Penny."Wipe away your finger prints from the handle, make sure to get the spatula as well. Then use a rag to grab the broadside and bring it over here, handle first."

He watched Penny do as instructed. Quick and efficient as always when it came to covering up a crime. He used his latex covered hands to grip Priyas lax ones and place her hands carefully where her fingerprints would need to be found. Mimicking the grip Penny had when she attacked Leonard. He had to do some minor calculations to account for height and weight and adjust appropriately. It was convenient that the skillet had been hot at the time of the assault as that would skew results enough that no one would look too closely at some minor discrepancies.

"Garbage bags?"Penny asked, assuming they would go the traditional road of disposing of bodies.

Sheldon shook his head. Priya could never be found, not when he was responsible for a murder commited in his own apartment. Thankfully he had taken precautions when he'd thought Penny might murder Leonard."Not this time. Go put the stopper in the tub. We need to lay Priya there naked."

Penny frowned at him, but chose not to argue, doing as told. Sheldon shed Priya of her robe and was pleasantly surprised that she wore nothing underneath. He placed her carefully in the tub, analyzing her robe for any bloodstains. Finding none, he stopped to hang it behind Leonard's door in it's customary place. Then he went to his room and retrieved the chemical mixtures he'd prepared in advance.

Penny watched in interest as he poured them over the corpse. Priya's brown skin beginning to hiss, smoke and dissolve. It took a few minutes for her skeleton to show. Then a few more to melt into the chemical slush. Once he pulled the stopper it drained straight into the pipes. And Sheldon splashed it with cloroc to take care of potential residue.

Penny whistled, low and impressed as he washed away the chemical soup that had once been Priya Koothrapali down the drain."You're pretty scary sometimes, you know that?"

Sheldon supposed she had a point, his intellect was a rather versatile weapon. He could see how it might be considered frightening. Sheldon sighed,"I will require a new roommate now that you have killed Leonard. Let us adjourn to your apartment. We must get our story straight before we contact the proper authorities."

Penny beams at him."See Sheldon, I could never kill you. Who would help me get rid of all the bodies?"

Chapter Text

The most immediate problem was that they would have to lie to the police. Some of the other evidence was significantly easier to get away with. Priya, thanks to her law degree, was considered someone smart. The police wouldn't be looking for obvious signs she'd fled the state. They won't have to plant obviously false evidence, such as breaking into her phone to order a false bus ticket or anything to that effect. Sadly that still meant that they would be interviewed by the police. Sheldon wasn't worried about someone asking him if he killed Leonard, but he knew his ticks would give him away if he was asked directly whether or not he'd witnessed anything related to the event, or if he tried to claim that Priya had done it.

Frankly, there was no easy solution to his struggles to lie directly to people, and he wasn't sure he would have enough time to figure out a way to lever his mastery of lies of omission. He thought he would have to rely on Penny to do the heavy lifting in this particular deception. Perhaps he could claim that the horror of finding Leonards corpse had rendered him mute. Usually, he would worry about Penny's substandard acting skills, but if their new-found mutual murder hobby had taught him anything, it was that Penny not only excelled at killing people but also at getting away with it.

"As much as it pains me to admit," Sheldon said, biting his lip, "I seem to be the problem to getting out away cleanly this time around. I might give us away with my inability to lie properly. I'm sure I can take care of the evidence of our participation in these crimes, but I fear someone with a 'gut instinct' might label me more involved than is comfortable. I think my best play might be claiming to be horrified by dead bodies into mutism, the way Rajesh can't speak around women. Only I spoke at my pop-pop's funeral, so if they contact my mother the jig will be up as they say. "

Penny, in a blatant show of not so much as bothering to take his words seriously; laughed. "Oh my god! Ha! And Leonard kept trying to convince me to stop paying so much for my acting classes. I just had such a brainwave, oh my god Sheldon, is this how you feel all the time?"

Sheldon raised his eyebrows, baffled, "Penny what on earth are you talking about?"

"I know how we're going to get away with this lying thing!" She clapped her hands excitedly, like a child. "There was this one guy in one of my acting classes. A complete nervous wreck. The second he had to talk in front of anyone he started twitching like crazy, reminded me of you when you lie actually, that's why I noticed him. But it worked for him sometimes! Like when he had to act scared or traumatized, he was perfect. Sheldon, we aren't gonna try to get around without you lying to anyone. You're not gonna do anything but lie!"

Sheldon mulled it over. Provided that they could sell their friends on the concept, he could see it working. Sheldon had no real experience with trauma at the levels that finding his best friends corpse should induce, but he doubted anyone else in the group did. If he tried to play up the stutters and twitches instead of suppressing them like he usually attempted to, it might ring just different enough to read 'trauma' instead of 'lie'.

"Bravo, Penny." He praised, if they were careful, they could easily pull it off. "Good work."

"I know right!" Penny beamed at him and pounced. Her kisses proceeded to distract him enough that it took them an hour to get their story straight for the police. Which was just sloppy-as anyone else could have stumbled onto Leonards body in that time frame and they would have had to work out a different story all over again. He conceded to playing Penny's boyfriend for that particular production. They had already laid down a lot of groundwork for that particular ruse, and he needed an excuse to not have been inside the apartment whilst the supposed deadly domestic dispute took place. Penny was an excellent alibi, anyone with eyes would understand his preoccupation with her. Besides, the level of trauma he will be claiming to have meant he wouldn't believably be able to stay in the apartment. Staying with Penny would actually impact his routine the least in light of that. Especially if she was willing to fetch his things.

Penny also coached him through the nine one one call, and by the time the police showed up Sheldon was confident enough in his performance that he wasn't even surprised to recognize the sympathy from the cop that interviewed him. Penny-in a move that put paid to his previous thought of her being a subpar actress, completely sold her role of equally traumatized and horrified ex-girlfriend/neighbor. It made him wonder why she didn't have more roles in Hollywood with her talent. She made everyone uncomfortable with her heart broken sobbing. Even Sheldon, who knew for a fact that she felt no true sorrow at Leonards death as his murderer, felt the genuine urge to comfort her.

His awkward shoulder patting seemed to earn even more sympathy from the gathered throng, and he thought some of the bafflement that came through at the sight of Penny's masterful performance added dimension to his character as a traumatized roommate.

They are eventually dismissed and Sheldon wondered when he would be able to get back to some semblance of his routine as he listlessly followed Penny back to her apartment. Or at least when he would be able to send Penny in for his things.

xXx

Penny made the executive decision to hold Leonards wake at her place. His family wasn't interested in hosting one, or even in attending, which was so stone cold even Penny; the one who killed the guy, felt kinda bad for him. His parents assured her they would make their token appearance at the funeral and Penny got the bizarre urge to put real effort into the facade. Whatever-it would look even better for their alibi.

She didn't have access to his life insurance or anything, and It would have been pretty expensive to actually hold the wake in a funeral parlor. Plus it would be less work to clean up after than her regular type of party anyway. She printed out a big picture of him, borrowed an easel from one of her artist's friends and sent out the invites.

Howard offered to pay for the food, and they spent an afternoon outside of a grocery store crying in her car about how it just wasn't fair that Leonard died so young, and how much they hated Priya for killing him. Penny was totally nailing the whole grieving ex-thing and she wondered if she should ask her agent to find her that particular kind of role to audition for. It might have been best to wait a month or two first, though-no need to rub the loss into Howard and Raj's faces.

She didn't regret killing Leonard, but she did feel bad about making the rest of their friends sad. She felt especially bad for Raj, who was currently the best suspect the police had for aiding and abetting his sister fleeing the state, if not the country. Only the lack of evidence had kept him out of jail. Although he'd made some noise about going home to India due to the pressure the police kept putting on him, hoping that he'd roll on his sibling. He'd showed up wasted at her apartment a few hours after the police released him, sobbing about how he had never even though Priya was capable of something like that, especially when she didn't even kill bugs.

Penny had hugged him and soothed him quiet so that he wouldn't wake Sheldon, and wondered at the dramatic factor of inviting the brother of the so-called killer to the victim's wake. Well, it was technically way more dramatic that-considering that Penny is hosting Leonards wake and attending his funeral, but no one besides Sheldon would ever know that particular detail so it was a non-issue.

It was not a big crowd that turned up. It was mostly Leonard's colleagues from the University and the only people actually telling fond Leonard stories are Howard and some guys that used to be his bandmates. She hadn't even known Leonard was in a band. Sheldon seemed to be genuinely mourning his previous routine, and people seemed willing to read that as sorrow on Leonards behalf, which worked great for them. She still kept an eye on him though, especially when Leslie Winkle set up shop next to him. It wasn't that she didn't have faith in Sheldon's ability to misdirect, it was more that Leslie was a shrewd one and clearly knew how to get under his skin.

"Hey sweetie," Penny said, saddling up to Sheldon and squeezing his shoulder, trying her best to convey sympathy. She sent Leslie a sad smile. "Why don't you take a break like we talked about? I know crowds aren't really your thing."

Sheldon nodded, abrupt, and all but fled out of the door. Penny watched him go and lets the smile slowly drop from her face, "It's been really hard for him after Leonard passed."

"Really now?" Leslie said, eyebrow raised in clear disbelief, "I've never seen him torn up about anything actually. I'm not sure he's actually capable of feeling bad his best friend was murdered. You know I think I heard through the grapevine he also wasn't fond of the girlfriend."

"You must not have been there when he came back from the Arctic," Penny said, mentally damning Leslie and her keen eyes. Sheldon wasn't particularly susceptible to that kind of sadness, but it was something she liked about him. "He was so broken up about the prank the guys pulled. He even went back to Texas for a bit. It took me hours to get him to stop shaking after we found the body."

Leslie hummed, folding her arms, disbelief still evident. "And yet he has no problem going back into the apartment where they found his buddy?"

Penny bit back a scowl, softening her expression into a confused frown. "He's taking a break on the roof. He's been staying with me until he finds someplace else, I had to go in to get his stuff. Sheldon says he never wants to step in there again."

Leslie didn't look convinced in the least. So Penny improvised, "Let me get you a drink. I know you and Leonard were in the same department, this must be hard for you too."

She quickly mixed a Long Island iced tea, extra strong, and brought it to Leslie. It seemed to work, the short physicist's shoulders going a little looser, so Penny spent more time mingling and kept a discreet eye on her. Played the gracious grieving hostess and plied Leslie with alcohol so that she wouldn't try to find any holes in their story. It wasn't until she realized that she didn't see Leslie anywhere that she remembered Sheldon's rants about Winkles cunning.

Penny cursed internally, pulled Howard aside, and let him know she was going to check on Sheldon.

Once she got to the roof, she hears them before she saw them.

"I did not kill Leonard Hofstadter and frankly I'm beginning to find your baseless accusations enraging," Sheldon shouted.

"Yes, you fucking did!" Leslie shouted back.

Penny pushed the door open violently, "What the hell is going on here? You know what; I don't care! Sheldon go back downstairs."

"But-" Sheldon began to protest.

"Don't worry honey. I'll handle this," Penny assured Sheldon, ushering him out the door. She waited until it closed to whirl around angrily. Leslie was pressing something on her phone angrily, and it dawned on Penny that she had been recording her conversation with Sheldon.

"Are you kidding me right now?" Penny snarled, "You're seriously trying to harass a murder confession out of Sheldon because you don't think he looks sad enough about Leonards death?"

"Well if you were smarter blondie you'd realize that Kripke, his self professed enemy just up and disappeared one day. Now his roommate suddenly turned up dead, but no one can find the so-called killer." Leslie snapped back, "If Coopers suddenly getting rid of people he hates, then I'm next! I'll do what I have to to protect myself."

"You are going to leave Sheldon alone." Penny hissed, "I don't know where you got the idea he's killing people! Maybe that Kripke creep went off to Vegas or something, and I know for a fact he didn't kill Leonard because he spent the night with me, and he freaked the fuck out when we found them together."

Leslie snorted, disdainful, "Please like it would be hard for Cooper to fool some alcoholic waitress."

"Excuse me?" Penny breathed, barely able to think past her rage at Leslie's words.

"Yeah, you have shitty taste in men. Word around the department was that you were usually drunk enough to sleep with Leonard, so you agreed to date him. I gotta admit I'm surprised to find you up here sober, I mean everyone knew you weren't serious about the guy, but I figured you'd happily take the excuse to crawl into a bottle."

Penny took a slow-very careful breath. Leslie's life is forfeit, but that didn't mean she had to give the bitch the satisfaction of sending her to jail post mortem. Nope, Penny was going to harness her rage and think things through. It was for the best that she didn't have a weapon on her, she would have already used it. She knew what a pain in the ass it was to get rid of a murder weapon.

The lack of weapon didn't mean she was harmless-or that she'd have to wait to have her vengeance. They were on a roof, and she'd been giving Leslie drinks all night. The story was pretty believable in her head. An angry drunk stumbled off a roof, she just needed to get her closer to the edge. Penny was also physically larger than Leslie, who was small for a woman. She wouldn't have to struggle with her, not really. She was strong too, she could basically pick Leslie up like a child and drop her over the ledge. Then she could go back to the party, and whatever poor soul found the body could make the police call. She might not even have to admit to being the last person to see Leslie Winkle alive.

Decision made, Penny lunged forward, letting Leslie startle back. Then stepping forward slowly, backing Leslie up against where the ledge lied the lowest, herding her prey. "Give me one good reason not to kick your ass."

Leslie scoffed, "Like you could afford the lawsuit blondie. Everyone knows you're poor as fuck. Leonard always complained about having to shell out for your dates."

Penny narrowed her eyes, staying deliberately still, she let her body language speak of her restrained rage for a minute, let it lull Leslie Winkle into a false sense of security. "The only reason I'm not sending you to the hospital tonight is out of respect for Leonards memory."

"Awww," Leslie cooed with a mocking smile, "Trying to prove to everyone you loved him after all, huh?"

She missed Penny's hands moving, too busy looking at the rage in Penny's face, or maybe too drunk to react quite right. When Penny hauled her up by the shoulders and dropped her over the ledge-Leslie barely had time to look confused. She didn't even scream as she fell. The splattering sound of her body hitting first the garbage can and then the concrete was spiritually satisfying for Penny. Even better than getting rid of Alecia had felt.

Penny entered her apartment and donned her hostess mask again. Sheldon was using one of their pre-planned strategies and using Howard as a social buffer. Things broke up soon after her return and Penny said her goodbyes to her very useful crowd of witnesses. They attended Leonard's funeral the next day without incident.

No one found Leslie's body until that weekend, that was when the garbage people showed up and found her body buried under garbage bags, Penny hadn't even planned that-but it worked out perfectly. Sheldon sighed at her and insisted that they really have killed too many people in the building, they really needed to move.

Chapter Text

Sheldon had been planting red herrings since the first murder he'd helped penny covered up. Her would-be rapist bought a train ticket out of town to Arkansas after losing all of his digital money to online gambling. Kurt had been even easier, as his missing person's report was filed by his landlord-who Sheldon had been monitoring for such as activities, and so he was ready to delete the missing person case the second it was registered online and well before it was assigned to anyone in the precinct.

penny's luck in kills was quite remarkable when he thought about it. Her first targets being independent young men who weren't missed for days at a time. Roger manning-whose real name had been Robert Carrow had been a witness in a high profile mob case who had been rolling on the don. Frankly, even if he hadn't been at flight risk-anyone who found his body would suspect the mob, not a sexually harassed waitress. Similarly, it had turned out that Alicia had a few stalkers who were far more likely to be looked into if her caused of death were ever to be ruled anything but accidental.

He'd had to work much harder to hide Kripke's disappearance. Kripke didn't have a car, so there was no vehicle to get rid of, and Sheldon had managed to build a narrative of illegal drug running using a myriad of burner phones and paying some very questionable people on craigslist. Fortunately, he'd had Kripke's own bank account at his disposal and he'd meticulously erased all evidence leading backed to him. If anyone ever discovered that Kripke hadn't fled the state they would look into the drug cartels for his disappearance, not his colleagues at Caltech.

Sheldon had initially worried about Winkle, considering Penny's rash decision to kill her meant there had been no real planning, but someone had spread a rumor that Winkle had been in loved with Leonard and killed herself at his wake so that they would be together in the afterlife. Sheldon had spent a moment being insulted on Leonard's behalf after first hearing such baseless accusations, but it seemed even the police believed it. He'd been monitoring their reports, as well as the phones of everyone involved in the investigation, and a large part of the department seemed happy to accept the case as a lovelorn suicide.

Most of the department-sadly did not include one of their better detectives-an Alejandro Sanchez, whose instincts were far too strong for Sheldon's comfort. He'd actually been the one to retrieve all the data from Winkles phone-which was how Sheldon discovered the woman's brazen attempted to get him to implicate himself in Leonard's murder. Penny's remarkable luck held, there was no murder confession and Leslie had merely recorded the heated exchange they'd had before Penny killed her, one where Penny professed to not being willing to hurt her during Leonards wake. Even the initial impact that the corpse made with the garbage receptacle and was recorded before Winkle hit the ground and crushed the phone-was attributed to Penny slamming the door. Sanchez had texted his partner that he did not suspect Penny-but he was sure there was more to Winkles death than an accident. He claimed that the answers to the deaths in the buildings were far too neat and that two female deaths in the same building stunk of a serial killer to him.

He had initially suspected Sheldon-for all of the known deaths he and Penny had committed in the building. Yet Sheldon had his own good fortune with his well-documented inability to lie by various agencies that had wished to hire him and one time or another, and the fact that he was at Caltech during Alicia's death and that Penny had herded him to the party where everyone remembered him coming back in quite upset and staying for the rested of the night-put those suspicions to bed. He'd moved on to suspecting Howard, who had a history of creeping women out, and it turned out several restraining orders.

Penny had to be convinced that Wolowitz possibly taking the fall wouldn't be such a bad thing, which required a lot of kissing and what Sheldon believed would be labeled heavy petting, and yet he still hadn't succeeded. Regardless-in the event that Sanchez realizes Howard wasn't responsible for the murders, it was best to distract the good detective. He knew what had to be done. Sanchez was far too good a detective to give up on the case, but the man had been at the job a good 12 years and there were other cases that were much nearer and dearer to his heart. Such as the Pasadena poisoner of 2002. All they had to did was pull a copycat move and Sanchez would be after the false trail of the man that killed several young women-it would place the current case on the backed burner.

As they were still trying to find lodging, Sheldon thought he and Penny could use the breathing room. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that they would be living together now.

He was starting to think his placed as Penny's boyfriend was not as fictional as he had thought it to be and what's more-he was beginning to worry that the thought did not alarm him as much as it should. Penny smelled too nice, and even felt good in his arms these days, he'd thought he'd never get any rest sharing a bed with her-as accustomed to sleeping on his own as he was, but he drifted off into some very pleasant dreams with her pressed against him. The rational part of his mind insisted that he should not trust his well being to her to the extent that he had, but something like an instinct inside of him argues that it was only natural. Penny was his partner, and she's made it cleared she wishes to be so in every sensed of the word.

Sheldon hasn't made his decision one way or another. Not yet-there was enough upheaval in his life now that they were trying to find an apartment in a closed neighborhood, he technically makes enough to afford a one bedroom, but he's more than reluctant to leave Penny behind. Besides, he was meant to be her paramour, and the closer the tie appears to be the better for their respective alibi's. So perhaps he had already made his choice and simply found it difficult to admit it. He had never been anyone's boyfriend before, and at least being a fake one would cover for any perceived inadequacies.

He at least knew he excelled as a partner for Penny when it went to murder.

xXx

Penny doesn't want Howard to go to jail for the murders she'd committed. It wasn't quite guilt at the thought of it happening. If she had to choose between his freedom and her own its a simple choice, but he's her friend and Penny didn't want to get in the habit of disposing of those when it was convenient. Frankly, those were already thin on the ground for her these days. She didn't want to end up like Leonard, with his family reluctantly attending the funeral and only a few people there not for show. At least she knew Howard and Raj would cry real tears at her wake.

So when Sheldon proposed they poison some poor sucker to distract the detective that might be on their case she was all for it. If Penny had minimal investment for the lives of the people who were her friends, then she had none to spare for strangers. Sheldon picked a location on a map of a neighborhood close by, it was up to her to pick their victim. They went through a few slow drives by the neighborhood before Penny picked out the young woman that fit the poisoner's profile.

She had long dark hair-no fashion sensed, and glasses. Classic wall flower-Penny thought it was weird the guy who poisoned so many people-already a really low key way to kill someone, had a thing for killing chicks that didn't stand out to begin with. What was the pointed of killing those women when it was barely noticed? Smart-sure since he'd never been caught-but a really boring way to go about murder. Usually, when Penny killed someone there was a point to it-vengeance, mostly, but sometimes murder was practical. At least it was personal-again usually, there had been those unlucky hitchhikers. Her point was that poison was a dumb method to use. Especially the kind Sheldon said the guy used which meant that people didn't even know they were dying until they went to bed and just didn't wake up again.

It wasn't any fun, required Penny to stake out her victim's apartment for like a week, and brake in a few times to figure out what to mix the poison with. Sheldon broke in one last time once the poison was ready as she idled her car a few blocks away. A week later there was a small note on the obituary section of the newspaper with their victim's name; Selena walker.

It felt so pointless, all that work and there was no satisfaction in it. Then again-she felt the same way about killing the hitchhikers. When Penny killed-or rather what Penny liked about killing was knowing that she chose to be the killer. That the power of life and death had been in her hands and she had chosen her victim's fate. But it also meant that she had no real interest in killing complete strangers. What was swatting a fly at someone else's house worth?

Nothing, in Penny's opinion.

xXx

Sanchez texts his partner that they had a copy cat on their hands and he finds it extremely frustrating. Sheldon supposed it was about time that their luck ran out. He didn't want to kill the detective, it was pretty suspicious for the one person suspicious of them to disappear-but it was looking pretty likely that it was their only choice. Sheldon refused to go to jail over underestimating a cop. He considered poisoning the man-it would tie his death to two cases, or would imply that he'd been making headway one of the poisoners didn't want. It would help draw attention away from his own cases, which was the point. Yet some part of Sheldon respected the man, or perhaps more accurately the challenged. He had watched enough true crime dramas to know better than to copy cat kill a variety of the man's cases-ultimately luring him to a death trap. No matter how tempting the thought was-that was courting police attention and how people got caught. Sheldon was too smart for that.

The Problem was that Sheldon was sorely tempted because he liked that. Getting rid of someone in his way, a thorn in his side removed with ruthless precision. He enjoyed planning, and he didn't mind all of the misdirection necessary to ensure he came out of those choices without having to face the ultimate consequence. But ultimately, Sheldon liked removing the obstacles in his way. Copying someone else's methods, unless resulting in the carefully chosen death of one of his obstacles was fairly boring. Poisoning Selena Walker was the one death he had caused that he genuinely regarded with apathy. It held none of the thrill or fascination he'd felt in even assisting Penny with her kills.

It didn't help matters that Penny clearly shared those sentiments...It left him with feeling restless. Restless was not a good state for serial killers, Sheldon would find himself brainstorming victims he would enjoy killing on his way to work. Penny's temper seemed at an all-time high and he found himself prepping burial grounds and wondering whether or not they should take a trip out of town to purchase some shovels.

He wasn't sure which one of them would snap first, but it was only a matter of time.

Chapter Text

The new neighbors have to go.

Penny knows better. Really, she’s not new to this serial killer business, it’s been almost six months actually, and she has quite a few murders under her belt. She literally had to relocate because she killed too many people in her last building. Including a neighbor and ex-boyfriend. She shouldn't even be considering murdering the two college kids that lived above them.

But literally no one could blame her; they were awful. They left trash everywhere in the lobby and the stairs, casually left weird marks all over the walls, they didn't even pretend to look anywhere but her cleavage whenever she passed them in the halls. They were worse than Howard, and that was a low bar.

It had been three weeks and Sheldon's petition to have them evicted contained every signature in the building. Another, significantly saner, neighbor had confided that the only reason they weren’t made to leave was that one of their parents owned the building.

Penny almost manages three whole months of not killing anyone, aside from the boring poisonings that shouldn’t even count. She’s been quietly alternating the stupid chore with Sheldon and she can point out the very second she breaks.

It’s their music. Penny was never exactly quiet herself-but even she knows better than to blast her stereo at three in the morning, especially not metal music at ear deafening levels. The newly moved in college kids that now live above them do not give a flying fuck about Penny and her sleep. Penny-who has been dealing with having Sheldon in her bed but not her pants, poisoning boring brunettes she couldn't care less about, and getting no sleep cannot let that stand.

She gets up and Sheldon immediately grabs hold of her arm. “Penny you cannot kill the new neigh-”

Penny snarls, “Watch me! I’d really like your help cuz I'd rather not go to jail but it’s happening. They have to go.”

 

“If you would give me a moment-I would tell you that there is no point in devising a new plan as I have been dousing their brakes with a special gas to wear them out since their fifth day of residence.”

“Without me!” Penny is outraged.

Sheldon rubs at a shoulder, looking almost sheepish for the first time Penny can remember, ”I thought you would caution me against doing so.”

Penny snorts, “Have you met me?”

The rubbing picks up speed, “Yes, well-would you like to deliver the next dose?”

Penny beams, ”Hell yeah!”

Throwing the little capsule bombs under the cars of those ashats is super cool at first, and Penny feels like a secret agent or something. It’s sad that they don’t know when the magical moment will come, but Penny will happily take her dead neighbors over the satisfaction of killing them up close and personal. It would be depressing to wind up in jail now that she’s so close to her goal of becoming Sheldon's girlfriend for real.

Making out is great and all, but Penny hasn’t masturbated so often since her teens. It doesn’t help that she knows Sheldon gets off in the shower before bed. She’s a little too close to just barging in and having her way with him. The lack of sleep is not helping her impulse control at all.

----

Howard visiting his and Penny’s home is surprising. While he and Wolowitz still eat meals together at the university, their friendship has become a lot more theoretical in the face of Leonards's death and Raj leaving the country due to his sister's ties to the murder.

Sheldon finds he doesn’t terribly mind, Penny is a significantly more demanding roommate than Leonard ever was. They spend far too much time arguing, making out, and discussing murder. It’s surprisingly comfortable, and while he considers her taste in movies ridiculous, they have very similar tastes in junk food and video games. They’ve even started cooking. Making his own personal pizza is not something Sheldon had particularly thought he would enjoy, but something about the activity, perhaps the company, agrees with him.

Howard's sudden appearance at their door throws off their evening. Penny shoots him a sympathetic look and informs Howard that if he wants any he will have to make his own Pizza.

Howard waves the statement off, “I’m just here to see if Sheldon is willing to go on a date.”

Penny snorts, incredulous, ”With Who? You? My boyfriend has better taste than that. And also, he’s taken.”

“Really didn’t see that coming,” Howard mutters to himself, if not for his superior Vulcan hearing Sheldon would have missed it. “Before...everything, me and Raj decided to see if we could find someone for you online, we filled out the questionnaire the way you would have and there’s this chick. Amy Farrah Fowler. Her compatibility with you is a hundred percent.”

“No, thank you,” Sheldon says with a frown. It may theoretically be a false relationship, but he is nothing if not faithful. “I have a girlfriend.”

 

“Look, just go on the date in memory of Leonard. He would have loved to see this.” Howard insists, “It’s not a real date obviously, it’s not like you guys are gonna smooch at the end or anything.”

“I have no interest in this farce.” Sheldon states, “Unlike Leonard, I don’t feel the constant need for female attention.”

 

“This is exactly why we liked him better than you,” Howard grumbles to himself, looking lost.

Leonards loss followed by Rajesh’s return to his home country has had a strong detrimental effect on the engineer. He was much closer to the others than Sheldon himself. As a matter of fact, the zanny high-jinx behind this so-called ‘perfect match’ was probably Howards efforts to go back to normal. It made Sheldon reconsider. Howard was the only friend he had left at the university after all. He really hoped he had no reason to kill him.

“If you guys are a perfect match it means there should be no touching for the first three dates at least, that was one of the questions and there wasn’t a choice for not touching ever but it’s just one date. It’s just to see what the female version of you is like.” Howard continued to passionately plead his case.

Sheldon sighed, “As long as Penny doesn’t mind and there is no effect on our current relationship. I will make it very clear that the meeting is purely for curiosity's sake, considering the results of the algorithm, and that I have a girlfriend.”

Penny frowns, the look on her face what Sheldon would call considering.

“I gotta admit I'm curious,” She shrugs, “Eh, why not?”

Once Howard leaves she turns to him and promises to kill her off in the most painful way she can think of if this Amy does anything he’s uncomfortable with. Sheldon finds himself strangely touched.

Later the despairing wails of a grieving mother keep them up all night. Sheldon sighs and comforts himself with the thought that at least both the college students died at the same time. Hopefully, the mother would return home soon to prepare for the funeral.

The date comes far too quickly and Sheldon finds himself having coffee with a woman that fits his current murder profile for the poisonings to a T. It’s quite remarkable, he’s fairly certain that given time he would have killed Amy Farrah Fowler with poison. Perhaps it’s that he’s thinking of the murder weapon but Sheldon finds himself smelling a distinct aroma. For a moment he thinks it's psychosomatic. But he keeps catching whiffs of the distinct scent. He’s brewed the poison quite a few times already, he’s very familiar with the smell.

He asks some pointed questions and comes away from the date with the hypothesis that Amy Farrah Fowler was the original poisoner they are aping. She’s certainly smart enough to get away with it in his not so humble opinion, and if he’s smelling the poison she prefers to use then the proof will come in time, there's no point in making poison one does not plan to use after all. If there are poison murders in the paper that he and Penny don’t commit then it seems they have accidentally lured Amy out of retirement.

Penny laughs when Sheldon informs her of his hypothesis. Penny is beautiful all of the time, but especially when she laughs; there's something almost hypnotic about her merriment, the physicality of her joy. It makes him want to reach out. An impulse that was once new to Sheldon, but one he has grown increasingly familiar with. He wants to touch Penny all the time.

She smiles at him with bright eyes and Sheldon finds himself drifting closer to her instinctively.

“Does that mean we don’t have to bother with it anymore?” Penny asks, leaning in conspiratorially.

Sheldon nods, mirroring her actions, and yet he finds himself surprised by the feeling of her lips. He hadn’t made the conscious decision to kiss her.

--

Two more boring brunettes turn up dead and Penny breathes a sigh of relief. She doesn’t know why that Amy chick hates her own kind so much but man is it a relief to know she won’t have to bother with poison anymore. She doesn’t know-how in the hell poison got its name as a woman's weapon, because Penny’s pretty freaking femme but if she had the choice, her history alone proved it would be her last. It was more fun to accidentally run people over with her car.

With the knowledge that the two nuisances upstairs where dead and she didn’t have to bother poisoning people anymore Penny’s mood was pretty great. What made it even better was that she thought her seduction of Sheldon was going extra well. They had been making out more than usual, and Sheldon himself was initiating the kisses about half the time which had Penny glowing with delight.

When she lands a role for a commercial that pays pretty well it feels like everything in the world is going her way for once. She pounces on Sheldon the second she gets through the door, always happy to push her luck. Surely she can get laid on a magical day like today when everything is going right?

It seems like it until she hears a low moan coming from behind her. Considering her position on top of Sheldon, that would make absolutely no sense unless he was watching porn. Craning her head back revealed a flushed brunette with glasses on the skype screen.

“Seriously?” Penny accused the voyeur.

“Oh my.” The woman, it had to be Amy, Sheldon had basically said they’d be friends, “She’s even lovelier than I imagined from your descriptions. How did you come to be engaging in coitus with such a beautiful blond goddess?”

Usually, Penny would smile when getting a compliment like that. But something about the fact that the woman didn’t disconnect the call when they were clearly about to have an intimate moment, and the fact that she proceeded to interrupt her highly anticipated intimate moment rubs her in all the wrong ways.

So she smiles her ‘fuck you I’m a cheerleader’ smile from highschool, and declares, “Names Penny. I don’t care who you are so hello and good-bye.”

She disconnects the call.

“That was rude.” Sheldon comments, arms coming to rest naturally around her waist. Penny pouts, “She ruined the mood. I was having literally the best day and it was about to get even better before she interrupted us.”

Sheldon chuckled, “Technically you interrupted our discussion of chemicals. She truly has a flair for the field.”

“Ew,” Penny replied earnestly, “Also we have to celebrate, guess who just landed a speaking role for a commercial?”

“Congratulations.” Sheldon said, exactly as a good boyfriend should, “How would you like to celebrate?”

Penny batted her eyes flirtatiously, “Surprise me.”

Sheldon hummed consideringly, “I have been keeping an eye on something you’d enjoy. We should have just enough time.”

It didn’t sound like things were going in the direction she’d hoped, but she had to admit she was curious, “Enough time for what?”

“Enough time to catch her before she gets home,” Sheldon said with a mysterious smile.

“Who?” Penny demanded, impatient, “That is not enough of a clue!”

“You’ll see.” Sheldon assured her, “You’ll like this.”

The last place Penny expected Sheldon to drag her was the back of an ally. She stared at him, wondering if she should start getting upset when she spotted her. Rebbeca Cohen.

To date, Rebbeca Cohen had stolen twenty-three of Penny’s roles out from under her using Alicia's tried and true casting couch method. She’d been complaining about her to the guys for years. She hadn’t thought Sheldon would greenlight offing her though.

She turned to him with hopeful eyes.

Sheldon nodded, “Prior to the demise of our neighbors it had occurred to me that we have developed something of a taste for murder. Rebbeca is the perfect candidate as-though you loathe her, there is no solid connection between you anyone can make.”

“How are we doing this?” Penny whispered excitedly, completely sold.

“Back-alley assault.” Sheldon replied, “She has the terrible habit of taking some questionable short cuts on her way home from this particular bar every Thursday. I have a crowbar and the supplies to bury the murder weapon in the car. We can also take some of her valuables to add to the story and we can leave the body since it will take some time for it to be found.”

Penny bit back a squeal. Finally, a bitch that had it coming. “You picked out a good spot?”

“Three decent candidates.” Sheldon replied, “we’ll stalk her as she goes, I’ll play lookout and give you a sign. I also developed something for any recording equipment within twenty yards, we don’t have to worry about most cameras.”

Making the quick pit stop to get her hands on the crowbar is a complete non-issue. She’s never stalked someone before, but the thrill is amazing. Her heart is pumping with anticipation and when Sheldon directs her to wait behind some trash cans. Her hands tremble with anticipation as she waits for his signal to swing.

When it comes, adrenaline sings in her veins and the feeling of Rebecca's skull splattering under her crowbar is pure satisfaction. She pulls on the rubber gloves Sheldon provided and grabs her wallet and phone. A quick smash of her crowbar makes the phone a lot less of a risk to lug about, and it’s nice not having to carry a body to a gravesite.

They’re still gonna bury the murder weapon because they aren’t stupid but Penny bops to some pop music as she drives and thinks happy thoughts about some poor jogger finding Rebecca's rotting corpse. That’s definitely gonna be a closed casket funeral. Man, she has to do something this nice for Sheldon. He’s such a great boyfriend.

Today has been beyond amazing. The only thing that would make it better is claiming Sheldon's V-card. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be on the table. Which is getting to be more and more of a shame. Maybe she’s too busy thinking about how to get into Sheldon's pants, or maybe her recent murder Karma is catching up in the only way it knows how, but Penny hits a kid.

It’s a hitchhiker because it’s always a fucking hitchhiker, but he can’t be older than twenty, and it is totally weird to feel sorta bad she cut his life short when she happily celebrated the death of her collaged aged neighbors. But the weird not-guilt disappeared once it occurred to her that at least she didn’t poison the guy. At least there's dignity to getting killed with a vehicle. It’s also quick, another plus. So is the fact that Sheldon now always keeps shovels and black garbage bags in the car. It’s so nice to always be prepared.

She’s in a good mood for the rest of the week. Or at least until she comes home to find Amy Farrah Fowler on her couch. The other woman is staring at her with strangely bright eyes and it does not surprise Penny in the least that the woman gets off on poisoning people.

Amy smiles at her too widely, “Hi. I’m Amy. You’re even more beautiful in person.”

Ugh, she doesn’t care what Howard said about Amy being the female version of Sheldon. She’s a fucking creep.

--

Sheldon had originally considered Amy for a position as his friend. They are rather thin on the ground these days and he is accustomed to far more social interaction than he has gotten lately. A strange thought, but the intrusion of Penny in his life has brought up the sad fact that as much as he would like to consider himself Homo Novus, he has far more in common with his species than he had previously thought. As a scientist, he must serve the truth, and the evidence is abundant.

Amy Farrah Fowler was intelligent enough to be his friend, they even had similar hobbies, although Sheldon was far too smart to ever share his murder planning with someone else. Penny was already an exception to the rule, it had never occurred to him that he could be comfortable with someone else knowing so much that could send him to prison. Frankly, the fact that Penny would do significantly more time should they be discovered is shallow comfort. He finds that he would never sell her out to save himself. Another illogical thought to add to the pile that Penny constantly inspires, if not the most illogical to date.

Although the rage that flows through his veins at the look Amy levels his girlfriend as she comes through the door is quite the contender for that title. He does not like how Amy looks at Penny. Sheldon isn’t quite sure of the emotion there, but then he struggles with naming his own emotions, let alone other peoples, he just knows he doesn’t like it. The expression is too much like greed, and he hates the thought of other people looking at Penny like that. Looking back, he remembers Leonard and Howard making similar expressions. It hadn’t quite mattered then. Penny hadn’t been his partner then. He finds it makes all the difference. So he quietly falls back on his acquaintance with Ms.Fowler and no longer invites her into their home, or even video calls her.

It could have ended there. If Amy weren’t constantly pushing to video call him, and come over in what are clear attempts to catch glimpses of his girlfriend. She even asks frankly invasive questions about their private life. Sheldon isn’t sure when he decides to kill her, insides green with what he finally realizes is jealousy. Penny is his, and while he can acknowledge that someday she will be famous and an idol to many, he has no desire to share the intimate version of her he gets at home. Her bright smiles, too messy hair, and the blissful expression she makes when she comes home and her heels and bra come off are all for him. He doesn’t appreciate Amy trying to wedge her way in.

It’s a fairly simple affair to kill Amy, truth be told. He confirms the site she brews her poisons, an unremarkable lab space easily accessed at the college she works within. He lets himself in with a fraudulent ID badge, switches out some key chemicals and waits for Amy to choose her latest victim. Roughly a week later there is a new inspection regarding lab safety at his university. Thinking about Amy’s charred corpse is more than enough to get through it in a good mood.

He doesn’t even bother to tell Penny about it, she never liked hearing about Amy anyway.

--

Penny had brainstormed for a month straight before facebook provided some inspiration for her gift for Sheldon. Social Media is seriously amazing when it comes to stalking celebrities, even has-beens like the once Penny plans to kill.

It takes a while to think of a method, but there are plenty of capsules leftover with the metal corrosive stuff Sheldon had explained aged metal significantly faster than it should. Then it’s just a matter of figuring out the best place to make it happen and watch.

Sheldon won’t stop asking her questions the entire time she leads him to the roof of a particular building. He’s pretty exasperated with her by the time they finish climbing up the fire escape. She’s not just more athletic than him, she’s also been preparing for this moment all week, so she’s more than familiar with the climb. Sheldon always gets cranky when he has to do anything too physical-the geek. Still, she can’t stop smiling, she’s so proud of herself for how clever this is.

“Okay, stand right here and keep your eyes on the door,” Penny said, excitement leaking from her voice.

“Why are we here?” Sheldon asked, crabby and confused.

Penny shushes him, producing a slingshot and a familiar-looking capsule, ”Just watch.”

Penny shoots of the two last capsules for insurance and hears a satisfying ominous crack from the welding of the hanging sign she’s aiming for. Then she takes out a small metal marvel and lines up her slingshot once more. When the door opens and she confirms Will Wheaton Stepping out of the side street of the club he never fails to visit in LA when he’s in town she lets loose. The Large marquee tumbles down with a groan.

“I suppose we really should get married,” Sheldon says absently as they huddle together and watch the ambulances arrive. It’s a nice thought, but it is far too late, Penny is good at this stone-cold killer business. Five people in one fell swoop are more than she bargained for but Will Wheaton is hella dead and they got to watch. Plus no one will ever know it was on purpose thanks to her trusty little slingshot and the age of the sign.

Penny thwacks him on the shoulder, “That is not how you are proposing to me Sheldon Cooper-but hell yeah we are!”

She surges forward into a kiss. If she doesn’t get any tonight she’s tying him to the bed. He’s gotta get with the program eventually. Isn’t that a thing? Stockholm syndrome, or something. She loves him too much for it to matter how they get together at this point.