RULES:

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.


Penny titled her head quizzically. "I still don't get it. I thought air made fire burn. So, why are they pumping more air into the room?"

Howard sipped the last of his Slurpee with a noisy smacking sound before tossing it away. "That's not air," he clarified. "They're pumping in carbon dioxide. Oxygen makes fires burn, but carbon dioxide will smother it."

Penny took one of the caramels Raj held out and nodded in understanding. "How much longer do you think that thing will burn?"

"Oh, hours at least," Raj said with a grin. "The magnesium under the floor hasn't even caught fire yet."

"How do you know?" she asked.

"Because when magnesium burns, it gives off a brilliant white light," Howard told her.

Penny spotted someone heading their way and elbowed each man quickly. Immediately they used small push pins to prick themselves, producing grimaces and tear-filled eyes. Son they were separated by three detectives and questioned.

They had no trouble convincing the police they had no idea what had happened. After all they had been rehearsing this for months. Their stories were almost similar, but had just enough variation that they seemed authentic.

Penny claimed to have been ill recently. Late nights watching infomercials and staying out of the tanning beds for two weeks gave the appearance of someone recovering from the flu. She convinced the officer that, other than Leonard nursing her back to health, she had not seen or spoken to her friends in almost a week, and had no idea what they had been doing or why they were all meeting in the clean room of Cal-Tech.

Howard gave a tearful story of an estrangement from his wife. They had argued over finances and he had moved out. Having his beloved mother die only a month ago gave credence to his claim that he had been so busy handling her estate that he hadn't spent much time with his friends. He had no idea why Bernadette would even be at Cal-Tech.

Raj's story was the clincher. He told the detective that Sheldon and Leonard had been very secretive lately. When questioned they claimed they were working on the plans for Leonard's upcoming marriage to Penny. Raj admitted he hadn't believed them, which made him start avoiding his friends.

The officer wanted to know why that was, so he explained that he had always felt as if he did not really belong within the group, being the butt of their jokes many times. He had been certain they were lying, which meant that whatever was going on, he was likely in for a prank. He had been hoping to avoid a potentially humiliating experience.

Having already heard of the foreigner's strange inability to talk to women, and the weird hostility that seemed to permeate this group's friendships, the officer had no reason to doubt the shy, charming young scientist.

Penny, Howard and Raj were just leaving the university grounds when there was a blinding white light and the heat from the flames drove back the firefighters. They got into Penny's car and drove to a nearby coffee shop in silence. They went inside, ordered and found a booth in a corner to sit at.

Penny thought about the ring on her finger and how Leonard had lied to her over and over throughout the years. Had he ever been honest with her? Somehow, she doubted it.

Howard thought about the mistake his marriage had been. He had been so desperate not to be alone anymore that he had ignored the signs indicating his girlfriend wasn't the sweet, supportive person he had thought. She had been a shorter, younger, Catholic version of his mother. A shudder shook his thin shoulders.

Raj sipped his cappuccino and thought about his role in all this. He had been the one to see how beaten down and wounded Penny and Howard were getting. It had hurt him to see them becoming mere shadows of their former lively selves. So, he had come up with a plan.

It had taken him six months to work up the nerve to approach Penny and Howard with it. His timing had been perfect, though. Penny was just waking up to Leonard's true character. Howard was disillusioned with Bernadette. Then they had found out Amy had been experimenting on them all. She had used them a test subjects, sneaking them all the same drugs she had once forced on her monkeys.

They went to Sheldon and explained what was going to happen, thinking he would help. Instead he had been shocked. He refused to believe them about the others, even threatening to turn them in. He had tried to run out of the building, but his feet got tangled and he fell down the last two flights of stairs, breaking his neck. Penny had been devastated.

After that, they had to move quickly. They tasered Amy and Bernadette, transported their bodies, along with Sheldon's, to Cal-Tech and set up the incendiary. Penny had lured Leonard there with the promise of workplace sex. When he arrived, they knocked him out easily enough. As an engineer, Howard knew everything there was about bomb making. He even knew how to make it look like someone else had built it incorrectly, causing it to detonate immediately and set fire to the entire wing.

"Now what?" asked Penny calmly.

Howard sighed and sipped his hot chocolate. "We have to bury what's left. Grieve for a few weeks."

Raj stared at Howard for a moment before giving in to his feelings. He reached out, cupped Howard's nape and leaned in to kiss him. Howard froze for all of three seconds before sinking into the kiss. Penny sighed softly and stirred more sweetener into her regular coffee. It was nice to see Howard and Raj finally admit their feelings.

She sighed and pulled out her phone, bringing up a picture of Sheldon. She already missed him so much.


A/N: I know this one isn't a Shenny, in the strictest sense, but Penny does love him, and will genuinely miss him. However, in this one, Sheldon would not have been able to keep a secret of lie convincingly. I had to off him so the others don't end up in jail.