"So what did you do?" Howard asked, entranced with the tale.

"What anybody would do in a situation like that." Sheldon scoffed. "I shot the gun out of his hand and then tied him up with Penny's scarves, and then I lit a pipe."

"A pipe?" Penny blinked. "You don't smoke!"

"It wasn't for smoking." Sheldon sighed irritably. "I've found flaming embers useful in the past, usually the mere threat of contact with certain regions is enough to provoke confessions." He stood up and paced over to his blackboard, and began writing on it, a physics equation.

"What are you doing?" Leonard asked.

"Getting back to work." Sheldon replied, "I've lost too much time on this case already. You'll find the expense bill for my services on your writing box Penny, it's perfectly safe to return home now."

There was a stunned silence, filled only by the rhythmic scratching of the chalk on the board, digits appearing across the surface fluidly.

"Explain." Leonard demanded. The others leaned forward in anticipation.

Sheldon sighed again and placed his chalk down on the ledge and then turned back to them, his hands folded behind his back, in his lecturing pose.

"The man I tied up, turned out to be the Director-ex, who was, I assure you, quite startled to find a six foot two inch male with a gun in hand instead of a quivering actress in the bed, how you managed to convince him you are delicate I will never know Penny but he was QUITE deluded by you. In exchange for the location of the red shoes, jewelery etc, I agreed to handle the black shoes business, and once I had recovered said belongings from a bus locker downtown I returned and let him go with the advisement to leave town. Of course," He paused and smirked, "I had already informed the police, I suspect they caught him at the train station. The black shoes I located after an hours search, at the back door to the household, apparently the last time they were worn it was raining. I walked right past them because they looked more brown than black. An undercover cop then picked them up, delivered them to the large man, and he was subsequently arrested along with his whole gang. Quite a coup actually. Not bad for a night's work." He gazed at them expectantly.

"My shoes?" Penny whined.

"At least you've got the red ones back." he countered.

She nodded and shrugged. "Well, I guess this is goodbye then."

"Don't be silly." Leonard smiled at her. "We're still neighbours." His expression was hopeful as he watched her stand and collect her case from beside the sofa.

"Hmm." Sheldon muttered distractedly as she walked past him to the door. "Actually Penny, the man really was impressively deceived by you, I may have a few small jobs for you once in a while, on a consulting basis."

Penny paused, with her hand on the door, and looked back over her shoulder at him, already writing on his board again. "I might enjoy that." She agreed. "When do you need me?"

"Ten thirty tomorrow at the office I think, there's this little case.." His voice was vague, his mind lost to the realm of string theory.

She nodded and left, with a smile on her face.

A few minutes later, Raj and Howard left as well, discussing the case and how they always missed out on all the fun stuff, and Leonard tidied up and said goodnight, his mind already focused on what to wear tomorrow, with Penny at the office, and whether Miss Winkle, the girl he'd been seeing casually would be jealous, leaving Sheldon alone, writing furiously, his mind working at top speed. It was some hours later that he finally crossed to his room and settled into bed, closing his eyes as he pulled the blankets over him, catching a faint whiff of lavender and sunshine. To tired to do anything about it, he wiggled around trying to get comfortable, his mattress now moulded to a shape not his own. His last thought before sleep overcame him was simple and pure.

"Damn her, she's slept in my bed!"