Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Big Bang Theory nor do I own the Star Wars, Star Trek, or Harry Potter quotes in this chapter.
"Now, does everyone remember the plan?"
"Yes!" Sheldon frowned at the harshness with which his team members responded. He was simply trying to ensure that everyone was prepared for the battle that lay ahead – and, given that two of their team members didn't even have PhDs, reaffirming that everyone was clear on the plan seemed liked a smart and necessary precaution.
"You've gone over it four times now, Sheldon," Leonard pointed out as he unloaded the paintball equipment from the trunk of his car. "Shouldn't you have a little more faith in us?" The theoretical physicist opened his mouth to reply, but his roommate cut him off. "Never mind, don't answer that." It was team members like Leonard, who couldn't seem to make up their minds even regarding the most trivial things like whether or not one should answer a question, that caused Sheldon to worry so much about his little band.
"Hey, look who's here!"
Sheldon's head shot up at the sound of that voice. His voice. The voice of all-time enemy number six, Wil Wheaton.
The aforementioned mortal enemy and his paintball team strode toward the five, looking far too cheery for Sheldon's liking. Probably some sort of tactic to lull them into a false sense of security, only to strike them down when they least expected it. Foolish Wil Wheaton. Such juvenile strategy was so far below the theoretical physicist that it took quite an effort not to give the actor a look of haughty derision. Although, when he thought about it, how harmful could a simple look of condescension be?
Wheaton raised an eyebrow at the look Sheldon gave him and then shrugged, moving to stand in front of the five. "Just thought we'd come to wish you good luck before the game started," he said, grinning.
Sheldon rolled his eyes. Wil Wheaton simply knew no bounds. "Please, Wheaton, don't insult my team with your mocking pity masked in a friendly gesture."
Wil frowned, glancing over at Stuart who shrugged. "It was just a friendly gesture..."
Sheldon widened his eyes at Leonard, shaking his head. "Really? Now you choose to further attack our dignity by trying to cover up your fake wishes of good luck. Sad, Wheaton. So sad."
The actor stared at the theoretical physicist for a moment and then shook his head. "Yeah, okay, see you on the field, then."
Sheldon watched as the enemy team walked away, eyes narrowed. "That's right, Wheaton. You and your Rebel Alliance run. Just know that no amount of distance you put between us can save you from our Death Star!"
Raj frowned, leaning over to whisper in Howard's ear. "Really?" the engineer asked. "It surprises you that he identifies with the Empire?"
Penny sat on one of the hay bales in the paintball shed, chin resting on her clasped hands. Booooored. Sheldon had promised he'd only do one more quick summary of their plan, but was failing miserably as he crouched on the ground, attempting to replicate the complex diagrams he'd drawn on his board the day before.
"Now, as I mentioned, Raj, Howard, you two will go-"
"Into the trees," Howard interrupted, his voice a groan. "And you, Leonard, and Penny are going behind the rocks. Can we start now?"
"Yes, alright," Sheldon agreed, getting to his feet. He brushed the dirt off of his clothes. "The thing to remember, though, is that the way we play our game, Wheaton's team doesn't stand a chance. We're stronger, quicker, and smarter – well most of us."
Penny was about to shoot a glare her neighbour's way, when she realized the whackadoodle had been addressing Howard with that last part.
The engineer held his arms up incredulously. "What are you looking at me for? I have a master's degree, Penny doesn't!"
Sheldon held a hand up. "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, Howard." He nodded to Penny. "I've got your back."
Penny gave him a small smile in return. "It would've been a bit more flattering if you hadn't used a quote that describes the Millenium Falcon, but I guess I'll take it."
Sheldon frowned. "The fact that it describes the Millenium Falcon is supposed to be the flattering part."
Penny waved a hand dismissively. "Sure, sure, whatever. Can we start now?"
At the theoretical physicist's nod, the four stood and headed for the door. It was then that Penny noticed a long stick in Leonard's hand. "What's that for?" she asked, frowning.
"Measuring stick," he grumbled. He held it out horizontally, and touched one end of the stick to his hip. He moved away from the waitress until the other end of the stick touched her side. "There. Five feet."
She raised an eyebrow. "Seriously?"
"This is Sheldon we're talking about."
"Alright. Minor setback."
"Yeah," Howard grumbled sarcastically. "Trapped behind the paintball shed. Real minor."
Leonard sighed as Sheldon began trying to defend himself. Upon exiting their paintball shed, they'd found Wheaton and his team practically right outside the door. It was a wonder they'd all been able to get behind the paintball shed unscathed, though it was probably only a matter of time before Wheaton's team chanced coming around the side of the shed to shoot them all – and as a good a shot as Penny was, she wouldn't be able to shoot all five team members; he and the guys trying to help her would probably do more harm than good.
"Maybe we should just surrender," Leonard suggested. "You can get your revenge on Wheaton some other way." Preferably one that didn't involve the four of them helping the theoretical physicist.
"Evacuate in our moment of triumph?" Sheldon asked incredulously. "I think you overestimate their chances."
Leonard rolled his eyes. "I think you're overestimating our chances, as well."
The theoretical physicist held up a hand. "Don't worry. There's a simple solution here." He turned to look at Wolowitz and Koothrapali. "Raj, Howard, run out and distract them so the rest of us can get to the boulders."
The engineer and astrophysicist glanced at each other, eyes widening. Raj leaned over to whisper in his friend's ear. "Yeah, what if we're shot?" Howard demanded, frowning.
"Then you'll be respected martyrs," Sheldon replied dismissively. He waved a hand at them. "Now go."
The two glanced at each other once more and then Howard shrugged. "What the hell."
The engineer and astrophysicist darted out from behind the paintball shed and started running towards the woods, shouting for dramatic effect.
The three remaining members of the team edged around the other side of the shed – Penny in the lead –, checking to see if the coast was clear.
"Alright, it's safe," Sheldon said. "Leonard, you and I'll head to the boulders on the left."
"What about Penny?"
"She seems to be on top of things."
The experimental physicist frowned and looked around his roommate to see that his girlfriend had already made a break for the mound of rocks on the far right of the field.
Shaking his head, Leonard hurried after his roommate as the two ran for cover behind the rocks. They collapsed behind the boulders, struggling to catch their breath – they really did need to get more fresh air.
"Now what?" Leonard gasped, glancing around for Wheaton and his team.
"Now," said Sheldon, climbing on top of one of the rocks. "We wait for Wheaton to return."
"Wouldn't it be better to wait for him down here where he can't see us?"
Sheldon shook his head. "Of course not. That'd be far too easy. No, I'm going to call Wheaton out and then we'll finish this together."
Leonard sighed. He knew he'd regret asking this, but... "How exactly do you plan to call him out?"
"I'm going to kill you, Wil Wheaton," Sheldon said darkly. "I'm going to destroy you. After today, no one will ever again question my power." Of course. More quoting. "After today, if they speak of you, they'll only speak of how you begged for death," he continued, his voice growing in volume. "And how I, being a merciful Lord, obliged."
"Sheldon, you do realize that, by standing up there shouting, it's more than likely that Wheaton will find you and shoot you before you even have a chance at your revenge?" Leonard pointed out in frustration. He knew his roommate took paintball wars very seriously, but a paintball war against Wheaton was taking things to a whole new level for the theoretical physicist. At least in a regular game, the whackadoodle had enough sense not to deliberately court danger – in fact, he was usually the one getting everyone else to face the danger while he hid in wait for victory. Leonard couldn't decide which of Sheldon's approaches he hated more.
"I hope he finds me!" Sheldon replied, keeping with his overly dark tone. He began scanning the field, holding his paintball gun at the ready. "Because when he does, I'm going to be ready. When he does, I'm going to kill him!"
Yes, Leonard definitely hated this approach much more.
The experimental physicist hunkered down lower behind the boulders, not wanting to be shot as a result of Sheldon's outbursts. He concentrated on searching the field for Wheaton's team. His designated target was Stuart, but he was fully prepared to shoot whoever he spotted in order to finish this game. So long as he left Wil for Sheldon to kill, then he didn't think the theoretical physicist would really care.
When raking his eyes over the expanse of trees off to the left, Leonard noticed a flicker of movement. Peering closer in between the branches and leaves he could just make out Stuart and Wheaton, eyes and guns trained on Sheldon.
"Sheldon!" Leonard hissed, sinking even further below the top of the boulder. "Sheldon, you have to get down!"
"Leonard, please, I know what I'm doing," Sheldon said dismissively. "The moment Wheaton shows up, he's not going to know what hit him."
Leonard angrily shook his head, glancing back at the trees. Stuart and Wheaton were advancing and he knew they'd shoot any second now. They obviously hadn't followed Howard and Raj and had been waiting just for the theoretical physicist. He was walking right into their trap. "Sheldon!" he repeated almost desperately.
"Leonard, you've already made your opinion of my standing up here perfectly clear, but –"
"Sheldon, for God's sake, get out of the way!"
Two shots were fired as Leonard shoved his roommate aside, one splattering onto the experimental physicist's goggles and the other hitting his breastplate, knocking him to the ground.
Leonard lay on his back, winded. Thankfully, he'd only landed on grass, avoiding all possible serious injuries by not falling on any of the rocks nearby. He wasn't sure what had happened to Sheldon – the thick smear of green paint across his goggles preventing him from seeing anything – but he was fairly certain that his roommate would be right back to pursuing Wheaton, shouting quotes all the while, even though they were part of the reason he'd almost been shot.
"From hell's heart, I stab at thee!" Called it Leonard thought darkly as the sound of his roommate's voice grew fainter as he got farther away.
Penny had seen Wil and Stuart shoot Leonard down. She was about a yard away from him, crouched behind a boulder, waiting to see if he was okay. Normally, she wouldn't have been concerned, but he still hadn't gotten up yet and there were quite a few boulders and rocks around that area that could've proved hazardous to her boyfriend.
When a few moments had gone by and Leonard still hadn't risen to his feet, she decided she ought to check on him. She raised her head above the boulder, checking to make sure the area was all clear, and then bolted across the field, holding her gun out to the side to use as a makeshift shield to protect against any paintball pellets that came her way. Luckily, her shield proved unnecessary and she made it to Leonard without any problems.
Penny dropped down to her knees next to him, pulling her goggles off in order to get a better look at him. As far as she could tell there were no rocks or other dangers that had injured Leonard, but, just to make sure, she slid an arm behind his shoulders and pulled him up, moving him to lean back against a nearby boulder. There'd been no rocks underneath him either, so she figured the fall must have just winded him.
"I can't see," Leonard mumbled, sitting up a little straighter. Penny was confused for a moment, then understood when she noticed the layer of green paint covering his goggles. Leonard moved his head from side to side, as if that could help him see through the opaque substance in front of him. "Who are you?"
Penny opened her mouth to respond, but then stopped, a mischievous grin taking over her face. Maybe this quoting thing could be fun after all.
"Someone who loves you," she replied before pulling his goggles off and putting her mouth on his. She grinned into his lips when she felt his arms slide around her a split second later, pulling her against him.
She was just moving her arms up to wrap around his neck when the sound of paintball guns interrupted her. Penny pulled away from Leonard to inspect the field and caught sight of Sheldon pelting across the grass, Wil Wheaton and Stuart hard on his tail.
"Five feet rule! Five feet rule!" he shouted as he ran past them. "And back to home base!"
Leonard and Penny watched the theoretical physicist for a moment and then turned to smirk at each other. Leonard started to get up, but was stopped by Penny placing a hand on his chest, pushing him back against the rock. They grinned at each other and then Penny leaned back down for another kiss. Screw orders and the five feet rule; she wasn't done here yet.