Okay, so this is a fic with two storylines. One is about Leonard and Penny desperately trying to get some time alone and Howard attempting to take advantage of his mother's absence when she goes on vacation. Hopefully, you all enjoy it.

"Magnesium. And there are no more elements that start with M because I believe that-

"Meitnerium should still be called Eka-iridium," Leonard finished for the theoretical physicist.

Sheldon nodded smugly. "Yes. So, I win."

"Congratulations," Leonard said sarcastically, making a left turn.

"Thank you. You know, I've been thinking we should organize a tournament for all of these driving games. A Driving Games Olympics of sorts..." Sheldon continued to ramble on about his new idea, while Leonard concentrated on the road.

On any other day, Leonard probably would have gotten slightly irritated with his roommate; however, today he was feeling pretty good. For the first times in weeks, he was driving home at five o'clock instead of barely making it back to the apartment by midnight-he'd be given one of the worst times slots to use the electron laser. Finally being able to get home at a decent hour was definitely brightening his spirits, and the fact that he now had much more time to spend with his girlfriend was also a large contributor to his good mood.

"So, you see," said Sheldon, coming to the conclusion of his speech. "By raising the stakes, we create an even more entertaining environment, causing the time to go by even faster!" He smiled proudly and nodded.

"I look forward to participating, Sheldon," said Leonard, pulling into the nearest parking space.

"As do I. See? I've got Goosebumps!" Sheldon showed Leonard his arm excitedly.

The experimental physicist couldn't help but grin.

Leonard knocked on Penny's door and a smile overtook his face when she answered.

"Hey," she said, grinning at him.

"Hey." He took her face in his hands and placed his lips on hers. Penny let out a moan of surprise and then moved her hands up to his chest as Leonard deepened the kiss.

They stayed like that for a few moments until Penny pulled back. "Looks like somebody missed me," she chuckled, touching his bottom lip with her index finger.

Leonard shrugged and grinned. "Just a little bit."

Penny grabbed Leonard's hand and pulled him into the apartment, shutting the door behind them. They collapsed onto the couch and Leonard wrapped his arms around her waist, while Penny slid her arms around his neck, grinning and making those eyes at him. That look always made Leonard's heart pound in his chest and his mouth go dry; no one had ever given him that look except Penny.

"I missed you, too," she said before putting her lips back on his. Unfortunately, the kissing didn't last long.

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Leonard sighed as Penny pulled away and got off the couch.

"I didn't miss that," she grumbled before opening the door.

Sheldon quickly strode into the apartment the moment the door opened, not even bothering to extend any greetings.

"Leonard, you have to drive me to the comic book store," he said urgently.

"Why?" Leonard asked, dreading the answer.

"While browsing a chat room dedicated to comic book fandom, I learned that Stuart has been writing falsities about Batman."

Leonard stared at his roommate incredulously. "So?"

"So, I intend to go down to the comic book store and confront him."

"Can't you just confront him over the Internet?" Leonard asked, willing Sheldon to agree to that.

The theoretical physicist shook his head. "Written words will never be enough."

Leonard let out a frustrated sigh. Why was it that every time he and Penny were alone, Sheldon always discovered a new problem that required his roommate's assistance?

"Look, Sheldon, Penny and I are kind of busy right now," he explained.

"Doing what?"

Leonard rolled his eyes. "Sheldon, can't you just get to the comic book store some other way?"

Sheldon shook his head. "No, there's no other solution. You have to drive me."

Penny raised her hand. "I have a solution."

Sheldon turned and frowned at her. "Well, that seems unlikely."

Penny rolled her eyes and then motioned for the whackadoodle to follow her to the doorway. Leonard watched, intrigued.

"Okay, step out into the hallway," she instructed.

Sheldon obeyed, giving her a puzzled look.

Penny scrutinized him for a moment and then smiled. "Perfect." She then proceeded to shut and lock the door.

Leonard chuckled as he got to his feet and then wrapped his arms around Penny.

"I love you," he sighed, still smiling.

"Yeah, you do," she agreed, moving in to kiss him again.

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Knock, knock, knock "Leonard and Penny?"

Leonard groaned, wishing he had a pair of noise cancelling headphones.

"He's going to keep doing that until you drive him, isn't he?" Penny sighed.

"What do you think?"

While Leonard desperately wanted to spend his newfound free time with his girlfriend, having Sheldon's knock as background music wasn't something that would make their time together more enjoyable. Besides, once he'd taken Sheldon to the comic book store and he and Stuart had argued for a while, then he could come back here and he and Penny could have their time alone without any interruptions. He hoped, anyways. There was no telling with his roommate.

I'll start addressing Howard's storyline in the next chapter.