1, From the Ashes of War

Prompt: Waterballoons

So it's come to this: The only thing standing between failure and victory in the battle to end all battles, is Sheldon remembering that one should never sleep with the enemy...

Crouched behind the kitchen island, Sheldon acknowledged to himself that she had put up a valiant fight. From his position behind the arm chair, Sheldon risked a subtle look around the arm. Immediately, a flash of blue, quick and deft, launched into the air on a direct path to his face. Sheldon ducked behind the seat again just in time; in that moment the bomb passed through the space he had occupied not a second before and instead of connecting with his face, it struck the wall. It exploded instantly on impact, and its contents partially brushed against his face and body.

He wiped his face on his sleeve and turned to his companion. "On my signal," he whispered, and Howard acknowledged with a nod.

They were down to their last supply and stranded in a stalemate; they had no choice but to go down fighting, and if they had to go out, they were taking the enemy down with them.

He just had to pick his moment.

Sheldon felt confident he had successfully uncovered the opposition's strategy and had identified its weakness, its fatal flaw, the small window of opportunity he had in which to strike.

Raj was the first to fall. He had taken position under the dining table in enemy territory, but a surprise attack took him out. She was among the ambush party. He couldn't even cry out for help. Leonard was the next to go. His was a regrettable loss, but the traitor had taken up arms against them, and it was a mistake Leonard had paid for.

But this was no time to dwell on loss. It was vital at this junction that his focus was concentrated solely on the impending attack.

Sheldon signalled for Howard to deploy decoy fire as she carried out her predictable operation:

Three bombs. Then two as she scrabbled for another three, which were delivered in one blow. Then a single shot, and the pause as she scrabbled for more ammunition...

And in that pause was the window of opportunity he had been waiting for.


Sheldon dropped his arm and both he and Howard leapt from behind the chair in battlecry and hurled a barrage of water balloon fire over the top of the kitchen island. Penny screamed with surprise and laughter as the onslaught of balloons exploded over her. She ducked behind the counter with her arms over her head, but her feeble protection was no match for their two-against-one attack.

When their arms were empty Howard cried out triumphantly and danced around the room, however Sheldon's victorious smile melted when he saw what he'd created.

Penny heaved herself from the new pond around her oven; her shorts and top were utterly drenched and seeping water down her body and her legs. She seemed to rise in slow motion; drops of water forming winding, intricate pathways down her legs and arms, water trickled from her wet hair down her face and parted around her laughing mouth.

She drew up to full height, her top sliding up over her skin as she stretched. Penny's laughter exhausted itself and she was left standing in her kitchen panting with lingering adrenaline.

The thought that Penny might catch pneumonia if she stood there much longer wasn't the foremost thought in his mind.

"Penny," Sheldon half-whispered. "You're... all wet."

Penny pushed her wet curling hair out of her face, and with her hands on her hips, surveyed the damage around her. "So I am," she said looking back up at him, her moistened skin glistening. "I should probably go take them off."

She turned and glided in her water-logged sandals into her bedroom, and as Penny closed the door to change Sheldon discovered a disquieting urge to follow her in there.