Disclaimer: I do not own The Big Bang Theory, World of Warcraft, or any of the characters (sigh).

Teldrassil Nights

There are goblins running rampage.

Sheldon tuts and shakes his head sadly as his comrades fall. His own fingers fly across the keyboard and he takes out a whole group of goblins at once. Now, his character stands alone amongst the corpses of the goblin fiends and his allies. He takes his hands from the keyboard for a moment to sip his Dr Pepper.

Sheldon is playing his only Horde character, a Tauren warrior who is only level 66 as of yet. The nearest graveyard is far away. It will take a long time for his fallen companions to join him again. He is readying himself to revive them when a figure appears out of the mist.

It is a cat, a leopard, pacing steadily towards him. As he watches, it changes, becoming a female Night Elf with huge ears and glowing eyes. Her hair is long and blue, her skin is purple, and she carries a staff across her back. So she is a druid, and she is alliance.

Sheldon puts down his Dr Pepper, ready for a fight. She, too, is at level 66. Her character name is Nodlehs.

The elf throws a spell at him, catching him before he is ready and knocking a significant amount of health out of his health bar. He slashes at her with his own weapon, but she is ready with her staff. She is an admirable and quick fighter, better than him, and with nothing else to do, he turns tail and leads her back to a more open space. She hits him with another spell, turns back to cat form just as he falls.

Sheldon, finding himself as a spirit in the graveyard, curses under his breath.

XXX

The next time he meets Nodlehs, he is playing alliance with his highest-level character – a rogue night elf. He is in Teldrassil for no other reason than he has nothing better to do. Leonard, Raj and Howard have abandoned him to go to the movies, and no one in his guild is online.

She is selflessly helping new players. When he sees her, she is defending a level one priest from a level five owl. Well, that is something Sheldon never understood. Surely a magic wielder would easily be able to defeat an owl, even if it is a higher level? After all, it's an owl.

Nodlehs finishes the owl off pretty quick, and Sheldon begins to tap a quick message to her, but she gets there first.

You're the Tauren I slew yesterday.

Sheldon is a little surprised.

How did you know that?

Call it intuition.

Sheldon is truly confused now. She sends him another message.

Come on then, Tauren. Let's see what you've got.

She challenges him to a duel. He doesn't bother to point out that technically he's an elf now. This time, he's got the upper hand. He's got the higher level. He accepts.

But. The level difference isn't big enough, and she is skilful. He is beaten, again. By the time he has returned to his corpse and been restored to life, she is gone.

XXX

He tries to find her again, but in the end, it is she who finds him. He is still playing night elf, but she still calls him Tauren.

Quest with me.

It's not a question, it's a command. Sheldon does not take orders from anyone, particularly not a lower-level. But so few have been able to best him in a duel…

Alright.

XXX

"What's he doing?" Howard asks one night when he, Leonard and Raj are watching Battlestar reruns. Sheldon is sitting, hunched over at his laptop, his eyes bloodshot.

"He's playing warcraft," Leonard shrugs, "he's made a new friend."

"What?"

"Yeah, some girl he met. He says she's the best player he's ever seen."

XXX

Sheldon starts to suspect foul play a few weeks later, when he tells Nodlehs that he wants to meet. Her response?

We have already met.

For once, Sheldon Cooper, Homo Novus, the beautiful mind, is confused.

XXX

They have been questing together for a few months when he finds out.

He is playing his Tauren again, and she defeats him. Again. He slumps back into his chair, annoyed. He doesn't understand Nodlehs. Sometimes she's a friend – they quest together, level up together – and other times she duels with him, or, if he is playing horde, simply attacks. It's…confusing.

At that moment, there is a knock at the door and Penny appears, clutching her pink Dell.

"Sheldon, sweetie, can you help me with my laptop?"

Sheldon looks at his own screen, sighs, and sets his laptop aside. Penny smiles and brings her laptop over to him. On the screen, Sheldon is astounded to see Nodlehs standing over his own corpse.

"You…?" He trails off, stunned.

"I was surprised you didn't work it out sooner," Penny laughs, "I left you a clue."

"What clue? You left me no clue."

Penny grabs a marker, and before he can stop her she is writing on an empty corner of his board. N-O-D-L-E-H-S.

"Now, read it backwards," she commands.

A/N: I guess that could have been S/P if you squint, but it was intended as a friendship fic. And I got the idea after I read the shining – REDRUM. Anyway I hope you liked :D