1. Sheldon/Penny – They can be platonic, romantic, smutty, Super Heroes/Villains, etc.
2. Leonard/Amy's death MAY occur anytime from the Pilot thru Season 9
3. The death must be completed in a single chapter, although you are welcome to contribute as many different forms of death as you like as long as they are a chapter each.
4. The story must be no more than 1,500 words long.
5. Deadline is October 31, 2015.
100 Ways To Kill a Doctor: Ooops?
The guys had been gone for forever! Okay, not forever, that was just what Sheldon called her histrionic hyperbole talking. But it seemed like forever. She never thought she'd miss Sheldon, Howard and Raj as much as she missed Leonard. But she did. She missed her guys.
But today they were coming home. In a little while they'd be here, actually here in the building, here. Penny chuckled to herself. Sheldon would tell her to control her impulses but she'd dusted and cleaned their apartment within an inch of its life, gotten them fresh milk for the fridge and now she was waiting for them in the hallway.
The sound of their voices coming up the stairs was almost a relief. Sheldon's voice was almost chipper. His experiment must have gone well. In contrast the rest of the guys seemed subdued. Penny frowned. She wasn't a genius by any stretch of the imagination but she was good at reading people and the whole thing read wrong to her.
Sheldon's arrival on the fourth floor was greeted with an enthusiastic smile. His response was typically Sheldon, asking if she'd done all she'd agreed to, opening the door with his keys and bidding her a good day. Penny couldn't help grinning. For a Sheldon who'd had to fly on a plane and then take public transportation he was practically giddy.
In contrast Leonard, Howard and Raj were down right shifty. Raj's expression worried, Howard's resigned and Leonard's…Leonard was looking evasive. That meant he was up to something no good. Most likely to do with Sheldon.
Seeing her gangly neighbor at his laptop without even changing his clothes Penny frowned. Raj looked almost panicked at the sight. "Hey honey? I can't believe you're not even going to shower after sitting in a plane and then a cab. Aren't they supposed to use recycled air in a plane? Aren't you worried you're gonna get sick?"
She felt bad, scaring him like that, but Raj's expression of relief made it worth it as Sheldon high-tailed it to the washroom. Then she turned and looked at Leonard, still in the hall with the other two. "What did you do?" She kept her voice down with an effort, but it had the effect of making her sound like she was hissing.
"It wasn't our fault, he was driving us crazy," Leonard immediately whined and she knew it was something bad.
Howard, braver than Leonard, answered her. "Leonard had the idea to fake some positive results for Sheldon's experiment. The can opener had the right frequency…and it…"
"It got him off our backs. He was getting worse and worse," Leonard's voice grumped. He glared at Howard. "You two wanted to kill him."
"But we didn't actually do anything about it." Howard shook his head. "But now we've gotta tell him…before he proclaims that he proved string theory."
"Penny, please, I missed you so much," Leonard was still whining, giving her the kicked puppy look she'd once thought was so sweet and now was just…repugnant.
"Yeah, well I missed the nice guy I thought you were," She replied coldly. "I can't believe you would deliberately mess up something he's been working towards his entire life!"
"Like you know so much about it? You don't even understand what monopoles are!" As usual Leonard was trying to divert the blame and direction of the argument.
"Yeah, I'm just the dumb blonde next door," Penny snarled, getting right in his face and forcing him to back up. "Well I might not have a genius IQ but I do know what a rat fink turncoat bastard looks like. See they've got your picture in the dictionary. Right next to the word traitor." She poked him in the chest. "And you can turn off the whining and the puppy eyes. You're never gonna get with me. Ever. Not after what you did."
His nervous step backwards was one step too far. Leonards arms flailed wildly, grabbing onto her as gravity began its inexorable pull downward. With a shout of fear and a shriek of panic, they both tumbled down the stairs to the landing, Penny coming to a halt on top of Leonard with a sickening crunch.
Penny saw stars and then everything was very very dim.
The beeping noise was irritating. But someone was patting her hand. She could hear voices, Howard's and Sheldon's, and apparently Raj.
"Dude, we're sorry. After that first time by accident, we wanted to tell you, but Leonard saw how happy it made you and he just kept running the damn thing." Raj, it had to be Raj, sounded miserable.
"I'm still trying to figure out how an electric can-opener got on the list of provisions." Howard sounded a bit grim. "Electricity was supposed to be used sparingly due to the nature of the experiment. Right?"
"Indeed." Sheldon sounded grim and then he sighed. "I suppose the one bright side to Penny's accident is that I never got to send any emails touting our success. So apart from a failed experiment my reputation is intact."
"We could probably convince Leonard, if he ever wakes up, to confess what he did." Howard didn't sound very hopeful.
"Howard, even you must know what the presence of Leonard's parents portends." Her whackadoodle's voice was impatient.
"Shit, you mean they're gonna pull the plug?" Howard sounded shocked. "So soon?"
"It's been three days with no brain activity," Sheldon sighed. "Beverly Hofstadter is not a sentimental woman."
"Did they say when Penny might wake up?" Raj sounded sad and hopeful at the same time.
"They took her out of the artificial coma last night and she's having normal REM sleep now. Hopefully soon," Sheldon informed him. "We'll have to help her. Sometimes people who've had concussions as bad as hers can suffer some difficulties."
"Well of course we will," Raj sounded indignant that there was any question.
"Yeah, if we're at work, my mom already said that she'd help out." Howard was sounding very firm on this.
"And I've got her hospital bills covered," Raj added. "It would not do for her to be overly stressed by financial woes."
Sheldon's voice held a smile and Penny just had to see it. Opening her eyes was hard, the light seemed too bright and hard. "Light is too loud." She mumbled closing her eyes again. "Turn it down."
"Raj, dim the lights for her." Sheldon commanded.
"Okay, they're almost out."
Penny tried again to open her eyes and blinked hazily at the three worried faces greeting her gaze. "Hi guys… Was I gone too much?" She frowned at their looks of confusion.
"Penny, could you repeat what you wanted to say?" Sheldon's voice was soft.
"Was I gone too much?" Penny frowned. Really? How hard a question was it to answer? How long had she been out?
"Howard, go get the doctor. I think Penny might be suffering from a form of dysphasia." Sheldon took her hand. "Penny it's all right. You've been unconscious for nearly three days. You have a concussion."
"Bear theory still safe?" Penny wanted to growl at the confused look on Raj's face until Sheldon's nimble brain translated her words.
"I have not told anyone about the Arctic experiment results yet," He shook his head. "You took precedence."
The doctor coming in to deal with her brain to mouth malfunction interrupted whatever she might have said in response to that astonishing declaration.
Sheldon looked over at Penny, painstakingly working with her notecards while Raj helped her practice. Howard refurbished an old laptop and loaded it with software to help her while Raj helped with her finances. Sadly Penny had lost her job as a waitress.
She had however gained a position at the university as a file clerk and administrative assistant. The regular hours helped her gain some stability and the position enabled her to take any class she liked for free. Her dysphasia had improved to the point of near normal speech.
Time and therapy had helped and she'd made it clear to all of them how much she valued their friendship. Howard had mellowed some, no longer hitting on anything female, to the point where Penny had felt safe introducing him to a girl from her workplace. Sheldon didn't care for Bernadette's squeaky voice but she was good for Howard.
Raj had managed to talk with Penny, if no other unrelated female, due to her own problems speaking. The two of them were attending therapy sessions together.
Sheldon moved from his computer to sit next to Penny on the couch and kissed her apple scented head. Nearly losing Penny had rekindled that spark he'd felt when they first met. And she, happily, reciprocated. He anticipated in another year she might accept the ring he'd chosen to save for. Her smile up at him was perfect. "Love you sweetie."
"I love you too Penny." Sheldon smiled in contentment and turned on Star Trek.
Author's Note: So with Sheldon dating Penny, Howard and Raj have no reason to even make him a dating profile and thus we avoid Amy altogether. With the little 'Ooops Leonard and Penny fell down the stairs' Sheldon is sufficiently distracted and can't make his grand (if erroneous) announcement of proving string theory, thus saving his reputation. And Leonard is brain dead which means his parents will pull the plug or he's in a hospital on life support for the rest of his life.
BTW Dysphasia can happen due to brain injury and if the fall (mostly) killed Leonard then it seemed reasonable that Penny would suffer a few complications.