For those of you who do not watch both of these shows: The Big Bang Theory titles always begin with "the" and are written like a scientific principle. The Mentalist always has "red" or a word meaning "red" in the title. So I combined the two traditions in my title.

Shows Involved: The Big Bang Theory, CBS, and The Mentalist, CBS

Pairings: Leonard and Penny: The Big Bang Theory. Howard and Bernadette: The Big Bang Theory. The Mentalist: Flirtation between Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon that can be interpreted as platonic or romantic, whichever the individual prefers.

This fic will have no deaths of any main character in either show.

This will probably be easier to understand if you watch The Big Bang Theory. It may be harder to get if you only watch The Mentalist, but I'll try to explain stuff within the story if I can. If you don't get something (from either show), PM me and I will catch you up.

DISCLAIMER: I own absolutely NADA!

"I really hate little cars," Leonard said, leaning forward and gripping the steering wheel tightly.

"I don't see what the big deal is," Sheldon said from the passenger seat. "Considering the size of yourself. This is the perfect homunculus car, and it gets excellent gas mileage."

"Sheldon, shut up. I'm trying to focus." Leonard's brow was sweaty, but he didn't dare take a hand of the wheel to wipe his brow. The highway was packed with quick-moving semi-trucks, and in the event of a crash his little car wouldn't stand a chance. It was night time, and Leonard had a horrible fear that, even with his lights, they wouldn't be able to see him even if there was no accident.

Sheldon cocked his head and looked at his best friend hunched over the wheel. "What are you doing?"

"Trying to get us home safe."

There was a pause. "Trying to get us…"

"Okay fine, Sheldon. Home safely, are you happy now? Now be quiet so I can do that. Remember it's not my fault you decided to run off to Texas again."

"As I explained to you, I did not run off to Texas." Sheldon opened his mouth to speak again, then closed it. "Leonard, your phone is ringing."

"Yeah, I hear it," he said through gritted teeth.

Sheldon was silent for a moment. "Aren't you going to answer it?"

"I'm driving, Sheldon. If it's important, they'll leave a voicemail."

"You don't check your voicemail."

"I will when we get home, okay?"

Sheldon's face twitched. "Answer the phone, Leonard!"

"Don't start this again!"

Leonard sighed. It was late and he was irritable and tired and sick of driving.

When they got home, Leonard dumped Sheldon's stuff on the floor in the living room and went straight to bed. Penny wasn't sleeping at his place, but she hadn't expected him to be back that night. He didn't bother going next door-he'd see her in the morning and right now he didn't want to talk or fornicate, just sleep. He slung off his jacket and jeans and fell into his bed. His eyes were so tired that it was easy to fall asleep.

The next morning he awoke way too early and with an awful headache-and only to be pestered by Sheldon to drive him to the comic book store. "The comic book store is not open yet, Sheldon."

"Yes it is, Leonard. I just got a text from Stuart. 'The new Flash is in-it will blow your mind.' Now that my mind is pre-blown, I need to get there as soon as possible to find out what made it blown."

"Dammit, fine." Leonard begrudgingly, pulling on his I-don't-give-a-rat's-behind clothes and grabbing the keys. He was not happy about this. More driving.

He left Sheldon there and went home, eager to relax. He was sitting in the living room drinking coffee when there was a knock at the door. Getting up, he opened it. Standing outside were two women he'd never seen before, one with dark hair and the other a redhead, dressed in professional clothing. The dark-haired woman held up a badge. "Agent Lisbon, California Bureau of Investigation. This is Agent Van Pelt. Are you Leonard Hofstadter?"

Leonard frowned. "Um…yes. Yes, I am."

"We'd like to ask you a few questions about your neighbor, Penny. May we come in?"

Leonard blinked. "Penny? Where is she? What happened?" He stood aside and let the women in. "What's going on?"

"You don't know?" Asked Van Pelt, sitting next to Lisbon on the couch.

Leonard was more than a little concerned now. He sank into the white chair. "No…I don't know anything. What happened? Is she okay?"

"She was…-"

"Hold on." Lisbon silenced Van Pelt. "Where's Jane?"

"Sorry, here I am." A tall man with curly blonde hair entered the room. "I was checking out the elevator. Terrible. Horrible. It must be fixed."

"Sit down," Lisbon said sternly.

"Sorry." He sat on the couch next to Lisbon. "Patrick Jane, consultant."

"Yeah, yeah, nice to meet you. What's wrong with Penny?"

"She was found this morning on the side of the road about twenty minutes from here, badly beaten. Unconcious." Jane said matter-of-factly. "Just horrible. She's at the hospital now. Where were you last night?"

"You think I did this?" Leonard was numb, incredulous. Last night, while he'd been sleeping, Penny'd been beaten? "I didn't do this!" He stood up. "How dare you accuse me!"

"What is the matter with you?" Lisbon asked Jane angrily.

"Oh, I was just testing him." He looked up at Leonard and smiled. "You did very well." Looking back at Lisbon he said, "He didn't do it."

"We don't know that. Do you have an alibi for last night?" Lisbon asked Leonard.

"We do know that, actually," Jane said. "Did you see his face? His eyes? He's genuinely concerned for her. He cares about her, and he'd never harm her, not for money or for revenge. I'd say he's not the type to harm anyone, but she has a special importance to him."

Lisbon glared at Jane. "If he has an alibi, then that will give us something solid for him. Do you have one?" She looked back at Leonard.

"Yes." He nodded. "I was driving my roommate, Sheldon Cooper, home from Texas. We got home late."

"You two involved?"

"Penny and I? Yes, we are."

"What about you and Mr. Cooper?"

"What? No!" Leonard tried to explain. "We work at the university. We live together, but in heterosexual bedrooms. Actually, Sheldon has no 'deal'. Not girls, not guys, not sock puppets…" He trailed off. "He can vouch for me. His mother can vouch for me…heck, any of about thirty scary men in semi-trucks can vouch for me. How bad is Penny? Is she awake?"

"She's bruised up, black eye, but that's about it. She's in good spirits."

"Can I see her?"

"If you come with us, we can arrange that for you."

"Thank you." He bit his lip. "Can I change?" He was still wearing his I-don't-give-a-rat's-behind clothes and his hair was sticking up in all directions.

"We can wait," said Van Pelt, smiling as she and the other two stood. "We'll just be outside."

"Okay," he said. "One question, real quick. Don't you guys do homicide investigations?"

"Yes. The car and man she described matched the description of a man that has murdered two people already."

Well, that made him feel good. Leonard suddenly felt even more anxious to see Penny. Rushing toward his room, he remembered his manners, turning again. "Thank you."

Agent Lisbon nodded to him.

"I swear to God, Jane, what was that about?"

"What was what about?" He cocked his head, trying to look innocent.

"Tell him that she's unconcious, and all beaten up so badly! Why the exaggeration? I warned you about this before we came here..." Lisbon's eyes bore into him. Ooh, she was angry again, Jane thought with delight.

"It was the perfect way to get a reaction out of him. If he knew anything about the incident he would have registered a different kind of surprise then if he was just learning of it, or he would have said something that would prove that he knew I was lying."

"You know I hate it when you-"

"Eliminate a suspect for you right off the bat? Don't lie, you love it when I do that."

"I do not."

" do."

"I should just shoot you," she said, shaking her head.

"Well, you could, but I know that...oh, look at this, a Green Lantern statue, now this is facinating." He strolled over and picked it up. The bottom fell off, along with two pieces of paper. "They keep one hundred dollars in the rear end of a Sci-Fi character..."

"He's baffled. Look at that," Van Pelt said.

Lisbon just rolled her eyes.

That's the beginning. We have the crime, we have the characters...I promise Howard, Raj, Rigsby, Cho, and others will appear in future chapters, as will the whole motive'll be a bit complicated, but I have it outlined, so I'll update as soon as I can!