For the Super Scary (or not) Halloween Challenge:

1. Must be a non-canon pairing: Sheldon/Penny, Leonard/Amy, Howard/Raj, Amy/Raj, Bernadette/Penny, Sheldon/Leonard, etc. (Please remember to list the pairing in the description)

2. Must be Supernatural (vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, demons, etc.), OR a Murder Mystery (think Christie, Doyle, Clue/Cluedo, Scooby Gang, etc.) OR you can take a scene/chapter from your favorite (scary) Play/Book/Movie and rewrite it for your non-canon pairing

3. Can be a one-shot, or multi-chapter (but no more than 5,000 words)

4. Must be posted (to or Ao3) by/on October 31st, 2016

There is no restriction on rating or type (Angst, Friendship, Romance, Smut, etc.


"Sign here, and initial here, here and here," Sheldon instructed, proffering the thick sheaf of papers.

Suppressing a roll of his eyes (because even Sheldon knew what that expression meant), Leonard scrawled his John Hancock on the pages. He used to read the stupid things, all of Sheldon's crazy contracts and agreements. Then he realized it was just his roommate's way of trying to make sense of the world. Plus, it's not like Sheldon's self-notarized contracts would ever hold up in court, if it came to that, and Leonard was pretty sure it never would.

"What's this again?" he asked tiredly.

"Updates and amendments to our apartment emergency preparedness plan. Really, Leonard, don't you pay any attention to what I tell you?"

"I try not to," he muttered under his breath.

Sheldon sniffed contemptuously and stamped the pages with his notary seal. "I will deliver your official copy to you by tomorrow."

"Sure, whatever." There was a whole stack of stuff like this on the floor of his closet somewhere. Leonard wished he had the guts to just throw them all away, or at least recycle them.

A knock sounded on their door. Sheldon looked up with a frown. "If that is Howard and Raj, they're early." He sighed dramatically. "I suppose if one cannot be punctual, arriving early is preferable to being late."

"Or we could just leave them standing in the hallway until seven PM on the dot," Leonard drawled sarcastically. He couldn't help himself. Living with Sheldon, sometimes sarcasm was the only thing that kept him sane.

"Do as you like. I need to peruse my comic book collection before we go to Stuart's shop," Sheldon announced.

Leonard didn't bother asking why his roommate felt the need to double check his collection when he had an eidetic memory. It was all just part of the craziness, no matter how much Sheldon argued that his mother had him tested. He let his friends in, wondering why they even bothered to knock. It wasn't like he and Sheldon ever had any other company, except for Penny. And as far as he was concerned, she was welcome anytime… unless he had a date.

"Hey, guys, come on in. We're almost ready. Sheldon'll be out in a few minutes," Leonard greeted them.

"I love new comic book night," Raj said happily.

"Just remember, if Stuart has only one copy left of the latest Mystic Warlords of Ka'a expansion pack, I called dibs," Howard warned.

Raj scoffed. "How old are you, five? Whoever gets it first, gets it." He picked up the thick document that Sheldon had left on the coffee table. "Hey, what's this?"

"Just the latest edition of crazy," Leonard said. "It's Sheldon's updated emergency plan."

Raj started flipping through it curiously. "Hey, look, there's a whole section on the zombie apocalypse!"

"Oh yeah, it's a barrel of monkeys," Leonard quipped.

Raj looked up with a frown. "Why would you say that? Monkeys are nasty little buggers. In India, they'll tear your face off if they think you have food."

"It's just an expression, you dork," Howard said, coming to look over Raj's shoulder. "It means lots of fun. So what else is in there?"

"Worldwide flood, attack by kraken… mime invasion?"

"Wait, wait, go back. Did I just see… yeah, look at this. Repopulation of the earth vis a vis catastrophic loss of life, as defined by a casualty rate of more than 75 percent of earth's total population, or fifty percent of the population with an IQ over 140." Raj snickered at that last part.

"Really, it says that?" Leonard asked, curious for the first time.

"Don't you read these things before you sign them?" Raj teased.

Howard's jaw dropped as he read down the page. "Wait a minute. Did you see this?"

"I just told you I didn't," Leonard said tiredly.

"Well, maybe you should. You just gave up dibs on Penny," Howard said with a mocking grin.

"What are you talking about?" With alarm bleeding into his annoyance, Leonard snatched the document out of Howard's hands and began perusing the page. "In the event of catastrophic devastation as described in subsection 19… loss of more than 75 percent of human population… repopulation efforts shall be ascribed to the most fitting individuals, i.e. Sheldon Cooper, PhD, and Penelope Larsen. If Larsen waives said privilege, Cooper shall abdicate his reproductive prerogative to Leonard Hofstadter and whatever willing female he may encounter."

The hand holding the thick document fell limply to Leonard's side. "I don't know whether I should feel insulted or just blown away."

"Oh, definitely insulted," Raj chimed in gleefully. "He deliberately left off the 'PhD' after your name."

"Not to mention basically calling you a man-whore," Howard added with a suggestive waggle of his eyebrows.

Leonard glared at him, but he had bigger issues to wrestle with. He peered near-sightedly at the words once more, willing them to make sense. Was Sheldon really saying that he would have sex with Penny, and only her? After years of Sheldon being oblivious to any woman's interest in him, had he finally developed some kind of attraction, however small and subtle, for their next door neighbor?

"Gentlemen, we need to leave within the next forty-eight seconds, or else we'll be late," Sheldon announced, coming up behind them. He showed no sign of discomfort at seeing them looking over his emergency preparedness protocol.

"So you and Penny, huh?" Raj grinned suggestively.

"Penny and I what? You must to learn to be more specific, Raj," Sheldon replied haughtily.

"You just said you'd do Penny if it was the end of the world," Howard leered, brandishing the contract.

"Ah, yes, under catastrophic circumstances threatening the existence of the human race, I believe she would be the best choice as a mate," Sheldon said airily.

Leonard spluttered wordlessly. "I called dibs!" he finally managed.

"Yeah, 'cause she's just like the latest expansion of a card game," Raj drawled sarcastically.

"Or calling shotgun," Howard chimed in.

"Oh, come on, guys, it's not at all the same," Leonard whined.

"Isn't it?" Sheldon asked innocently. "Then why would you use the same phrase if you didn't intend to imply an equivalent situation?"

Leonard squeezed his eyes shut. "I… don't know," he said helplessly. "Can we leave now?"

"Of course. You've already wasted enough valuable time," Sheldon snipped as he headed out the door.


Howard couldn't keep his mouth shut. In fact, Leonard was pretty sure he hadn't even tried. The next time Penny came over for pizza and Halo, Leonard called dibs on the red controller, which was his favorite.

A huge grin spread across Howard's face. "You sure you don't want to sign that away to Sheldon too?"

Leonard spluttered a protest, which attracted Penny's attention. "Did you lose another bet?" she asked sympathetically. She knew all about the guys' habit of wagering their superhero memorabilia to each other.

"Oh, it's much more titillating than that," Howard answered, with a sleazy leer which caused Penny to launch a coaster at his head. He ducked the projectile and continued with a smirk, 'Leonard's agreed to give you up to Sheldon if the world ever comes to an end."

"I… what?" Penny's gaze traveled from Leonard to Sheldon and back to Leonard again, who looked away, clearly uncomfortable.

"He can't give up something he doesn't have in the first place," she said angrily.

"Nevertheless, what Howard says is essentially correct. Leonard has yielded whatever rights he claimed by calling dibs in the event of a catastrophic loss of life," Sheldon said.

"It's under 'zombie apocalypse' in their emergency plan," Howard added.

Penny crossed her arms and glared at both Leonard and Sheldon. "I think I need to see this plan for myself."

Although he remained mute in Penny's presence, Raj let his actions speak for him. He jumped up, strode over to Leonard's desk, and grabbed the roommate agreement. He found the page so quickly that Leonard suspected he had either made note of the page number or dog-eared the corner.

Penny read it over, her lips moving as she worked through Sheldon's legalese. It seemed to take her a long time, although perhaps that was from incredulity rather than poor reading comprehension skills. Eventually, she looked up, straight at Sheldon. "Zombie apocalypse? End of the world, huh?" she smirked. "I guess we finally figured out you have some kind of deal."

"Deal? I'm not familiar with the context of that term," he said calmly.

"It's what gets your motor running," Howard piped up. "What turns you on, what gets your-"

"I will hogtie and castrate you if you finish that sentence," Penny snapped, pointing a finger at Howard, who grinned unrepentantly.

She looked back to Sheldon.

"My genitals are fully functional, despite the constant insinuations to the contrary," he said, glaring at his three friends. "As for having a deal, within weeks of meeting you, I complimented both your hand-eye coordination as well as your aesthetic appeal. I have also come to value your input regarding social protocol. There is no other woman I admire more, except my Meemaw."

Penny blinked, apparently just as taken aback as the guys were to hear Sheldon say that on some level, he was interested in her. She gaped at him as a blush slowly crept over her face. She glanced over at Leonard and then back at Sheldon, and this time, her expression was speculative. "So… end of the world. Good to know," she said, picking up her slice of pizza. After a pause, Leonard quickly started a discussion about which version of Halo they would be playing later, and the matter was dropped.

Over the next several weeks, little had changed between the five friends, although there were a few gradual changes. At times, Leonard wondered if it was just his imagination that Penny never seemed to miss laundry night, or that she and Sheldon seemed to lean closer to each other whenever they talked. Was there something more to the gleam in Penny's eyes as she high-fived Sheldon when they won at Halo? Or a specific reason that she could quote from memory the exact reasons why Sheldon loved his 0,0,0,0 spot so much? He often wished Raj and Howard had never touched that stupid roommate agreement.

With Sheldon, it was difficult to tell if he was acting stranger than usual, because he was unusually excited. A few months back, he had an idea about using monopoles to prove the validity of string theory. He had written a grant proposal to the National Science Academy, asking for funds to carry out research for three months at the magnetic North Pole. He had recently learned he had gotten the grant. Like many of Sheldon's ideas, Leonard couldn't tell if it was truly brilliant or just plain crazy. But since NSA grants were only slightly less rare than unicorns, apparently Sheldon's theory really did have merit. He should have been flattered when Sheldon asked him to go along to the North Pole. Even if he didn't share credit, there would be plenty of reflected glory to go around if he actually did prove string theory. On the other hand, there was Penny. Leonard still had a crush on her, even if he'd dated other women whenever the opportunity presented itself. If he turned down this trip, that would give him three whole, Sheldon-free months to hang out exclusively with her. The way she had been looking at Sheldon lately was making him feel more and more unsettled.

In the end, the lure of prestige was stronger than his feelings for Penny. Or more truthfully, he couldn't shake the fear that he might stay back from the trip to the Arctic only to find out that something was already going on between the girl of his dreams and his best friend. He comforted himself with the knowledge that Sheldon couldn't make a move on Penny from almost four thousand miles away.

Penny had also seemed distracted lately, but maybe that was because she'd just gotten her own version of a unicorn: the lucky break she'd been waiting for. She was cast in a small role on an upcoming television sci-fi series. Her character was originally slated to be killed off by the end of the episode, but the director liked Penny's interpretation of the character so much that now she was considering making it a recurring role. At this point, Penny wasn't even allowed to tell them which show she was going to be on, but Leonard had a sinking feeling that Sheldon already knew from certain comments he'd made, answered by knowing smirks from Penny.

So he decided to go away for those three months. Maybe if he was lucky, Penny would miss him while he was gone. When she came to say goodbye, his hopes were temporarily lifted as she gave him a snuggie, hugged him and told him she would miss him. Then his hopes were dashed as she turned to Sheldon and produced a hand-knitted scarf which she draped around his neck. Her handiwork was full of lumps and holes, but its colorful bands were unmistakably a reproduction of the signature scarf of Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor on Doctor Who and Sheldon's favorite. Nor could he mistake the fact that Sheldon smiled-a very small quirk of his lips, but a smile nonetheless-as he thanked her for her gift. She hugged him too, and he didn't look awkward at all as he wrapped his arms around her.

I've lost, Leonard thought mournfully, watching them. Penny had stepped back, but even without touching, the way she and Sheldon were looking at each other made him feel like an interloper.

Why couldn't it have been me? Leonard thought. A dark seed of anger bloomed in his mind. It's not fair. It should have been me.

Every time Leonard looked at Sheldon and the scarf which he rarely removed, he felt more bitter and angry. I'm the guy who's tried so hard to act normal around Penny. Why would she fall for someone who has Star Wars bedsheets and organizes his cereal by fiber content? As the weeks passed, there was no sign of the monopoles they were looking for. The four of them were trapped together in a tent, unless they wanted to bundle up and go for a walk in subzero temperatures along a treacherous ice field. Tempers frayed, and tensions mounted. Sheldon developed the habit of stroking his scarf like a pet whenever he was nervous or upset. Every time he did so, Leonard wanted to pull the ends tight until it strangled him. But direct confrontation was never Leonard's style. Instead, he got creative. Howard gave him the idea, muttering about making a crossbow out of tent poles to shoot their moody team leader. Leonard upped the ante. With Howard's help, he modified an electric can opener to give off an electromagnetic signature that caused the monitoring equipment to give off false positives. Sheldon, of course, was ecstatic, sure he was finally going to realize his dream of winning the Nobel Prize. Whenever Leonard saw how happy Sheldon was, he felt a gloating, evil satisfaction. I can't wait to see his face when he finds out it's all a hoax, he thought.

On the way home, Sheldon sent out a mass email to virtually everyone he knew at Caltech, proclaiming his triumph. Leonard let it sink in for a few more minutes before he broke the news. We had to sabotage your experiment because you're too crazy… too impossible to live with, he explained. It was a double-edged sword, aimed at not only crushing Sheldon's dreams but also an attempt to make him doubt whether Penny could ever be interested in him.

Leonard didn't count on Sheldon's immediately turning to Penny. A year ago, Sheldon would have just curled up into a ball on his bed and bemoaned his fate. While Leonard had been so obsessed with getting revenge on Sheldon, Penny had been only an afterthought for him. He had bought her a laser-cut snowflake pendant in the airport gift shop in Anchorage. He planned to give it to her and say he made it himself: not like she'd ever know the difference. Discounting her influence turned out to be his biggest mistake.

As they trudged wearily up the steps of 2311 North Robles and let themselves into their apartment, Penny came out. She must have been waiting for them. She headed straight for Leonard, and he felt another surge of dark satisfaction… right until she hauled back and punched him in the nose. Clutching his face in both hands, he sank to the floor in agony. Howard and Raj stopped a few steps short of the landing in dismay. Much as they wanted to put down their heavy packs, they had no intention of risking her wrath.

She scowled fiercely at them, her fists still balled at her sides. "How could you?" she hissed. "You're his friends. He trusted you!" She looked around for Sheldon, but he had already disappeared inside the apartment, too depressed and disillusioned to even care what happened to Leonard. With a final glare at them, she went after Sheldon.

By the time Leonard picked himself up off the floor, there was an awkward silence, except for a nervous shuffling of feet from Raj.

"Well, I'm… I'm gonna go. Ma said she was making a brisket," Howard said, re-shouldering his pack.

"Think she'd mind if I tagged along?" Raj asked hopefully.

Howard shrugged. "Not as long as you leave at least half for her."

They glanced at Leonard, who was still cradling his face in his hands.

"So, uh… see you at work tomorrow," Raj called as they hurried back down the stairs.

Leonard opened the door to his apartment slowly and peered cautiously around the door. No sign of Penny. Good, he thought, relieved. He dumped his backpack in the middle of the living room and got some ice for his nose, hoping it wasn't broken. Penny had a mean right hook. After a few moments, it dawned on him that Penny and Sheldon had been holed up in Sheldon's room for a while. He tiptoed to the door and pressed his ear against it. He heard the low murmurs of two voices but couldn't make out what they were saying.

Instead, he took a long, hot shower. When he was finally clean for what felt like the first time in three months, he crept back to Sheldon's door again and listened. He couldn't hear anything, and he wondered if Penny had left. He hoped so. She was rather scary when she was angry, but she always felt sorry for him when he gave her that sad, kicked-puppy-dog look. He would apologize later and give her the necklace... after he cleaned up. He pulled a pair of seldom-used scissors out of his grooming kit and started carefully trimming off the thick beard he had grown. Sheldon had been the only one who had bothered to shave while they were up in the Arctic, but now Leonard wanted to be smooth-faced when he went to see Penny… just in case things went really well. Just in case she wanted to demonstrate how much she missed him.

He got rid of the last of his beard, going over the angles of his jaw carefully with the electric razor, not wanting to miss a spot. When he was finally satisfied, he set the razor down and reached for his aftershave. That was when he heard it: a faint noise. His heart started pounding even before his conscious mind identified the sound. Jerking open the bathroom door, he didn't need to listen at his roommate's door to hear the unmistakable cries of two people in the throes of passion. He stood rooted to the spot, numb with horror, until a particularly loud exclamation from Sheldon sent him scurrying to his room, where he clapped a pillow over his head. He muttered every foul word he knew in a litany of self-recrimination. He thought he was getting back at Sheldon, but all he had done was drive him straight into Penny's waiting and willing embrace. With a twinge of fear, he realized that if he didn't apologize to Sheldon soon, Penny very well might urge him to evict his faithless roommate. Or worse, to tell Gablehauser and Seibert exactly how his friends had betrayed him. The can opener stunt wasn't illegal, but it was definitely unethical, and it had sabotaged a very prestigious opportunity for the university. His supervisors would not be pleased. They might even fire him - yet another consequence he had overlooked in his all-consuming jealousy.

So the next morning, he humbled himself and apologized. His confession was delivered to both Sheldon, wearing a robe but no pajamas underneath, and Penny, dressed in one of Sheldon's red Flash t-shirts which barely covered her hips. After hearing his apology, Sheldon looked over at Penny, drew her close and then kissed her. Leonard watched, stunned and sickened, as she melted against his skinny, previously asexual roommate.

"Considering what became of your actions, I can't hold a grudge," Sheldon replied. He smiled at Penny and kissed her again, then allowed her to pull him back into the bedroom.

"You're going to be late for work," Leonard called sourly after them as the bedroom door was yanked shut. Apparently, Sheldon didn't care.


Two months later:

"This is so unfair," Leonard griped. He had his head propped dejectedly in his hands as he watched Penny wrap her arms flirtatiously around Sheldon's neck. They were at ComiCon, but he was having a hard time enjoying himself.

"You've been saying that even since you got back from the Arctic. When are you gonna learn to just suck it up and move on?" Howard asked.

"Oh, sure, go ahead and gloat. Just because Penny introduced you to Bernadette…"

"Hey, she introduced you to Trish at the same time. It's not anyone's fault but your own that the poor girl was ready to claw her eyes out with boredom by the end of your one and only date," Raj interrupted gleefully.

"Penny kissed me first, long before him," Leonard scowled. "And I called dibs. It should have been me."

Howard rolled his eyes to hear the hackneyed refrain from Leonard once again. "Told you not to mess with his experiment," he retorted.

"Hey, you were the one who wanted to make a crossbow to shoot him with!" Leonard scowled. "Anyway, how was I to know that Sheldon would actually take her up on her offer when she told him she knew something that would make him feel better?"

"Just think, you were the spark that ignited the blazing inferno that is their love," Raj sighed.

He looked over to where Penny and Sheldon were locked in a passionate embrace behind the a wall of banners for the popular new sci-fi show, The Walking Dead. A ponytailed crew member holding a clipboard came and tapped Penny on the shoulder. With noticeable reluctance, she disengaged herself from Sheldon and allowed the woman to fix her makeup and adjust her costume.

"Becoming a recurring guest star on The Walking Dead is not the same as a zombie apocalypse," Leonard whined, watching as Penny strode confidently back into the meet-and-greet area. She smiled at the next eager fan who was waiting in line to take a photo with her, while several extras in elaborate zombie makeup shambled around nearby for ambiance.

"Yeah, and Sheldon getting screwed over by his so-called best friend wasn't really the end of the world," Howard drawled sarcastically. "It just worked for them."


A/N: Not sure how supernatural this turned out to be, but it did have zombies in it! Happy Halloween!