A/n: This came to me last night and I figured I would give it a shot.

Chapter One

Sheldon sat in his spot watching Doctor Who and eating a bowl of cereal. It was his Saturday morning routine. Dr. Sheldon Cooper did NOT like changes to his routine. Structure, in his mind, was the best way to live ones life. He didn't see how people, like Penny, could go about life in such chaos.

A very soft tap on the door caught his attention. Actually, had it not been for his over sensitive hearing, he most likely wouldn't have heard the tap at the door. He waited a moment to ensure he had been hearing things, but then that soft taps came again. He cautiously walked to the door and then opened it slowly. He looked out into the empty hall. What in the world? He could have sworn he had heard a knock on the door.

"Hello." Came a soft, childish voice from about his knees.

Sheldon stumbled back in shock at the small child looking up at him. Dark red ringlets of hair fell to her shoulders as she stared up at him with big blue eyes. She couldn't be over two years old. Why was she standing in the hall all by herself?

"Are you Dr. Sheldon Cooper?" She spoke with sentence structures well past her age, but the childish slur and accent assured him of her young age.

He nodded slowly watching the child warily. She extended her hand out to him, which held a letter. Begrudgingly, he took the letter. Children were rife with germs; he'd mostly like have to have a round of shots after this incident. He unfolded the hand written letter.

Dear Sheldon,

I know you'll remember me because you have an eidetic memory, but I don't know if you'll care. I'm Sara Merchant, the girl who grew up down the street from you and your sister. This is my daughter, Marissa Clark.

I remember, when we were children, how brilliantly intelligent you were. I always wished I could be as smart as you were. In truth, you were always my idol. It was why I was always hanging around your house.

I've heard all the amazing things you've done so far. I also heard that you were a physicist at CalTech Universtiy. It was actually how I tracked you down.

I know you're probably wondering what's going on. Well, it seems that maybe there's something in the Galveston water. My Marissa is just like you. She's only two years old and yet she talks like a grown up. She's already learning math and science. She's leaps and bounds ahead of the children in the kindergarten class she's been attending.

Her father was a science teacher, but he was not a genius like you. Shortly, after Marissa was born, he was killed in a car accident. And now I've been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. I don't even think that I will make it through the week.

I've brought her here because I believe that you would be the best guardian for her. As I stated before, she's vastly intelligent and I believe she would benefit most from having a guardian that would be able to teach her at a level she needs.

My parents, as well as her father's parents, are dead. There are no family members to take her and honestly, I do not trust my friends to cater to her special needs.

If you decide that you cannot take her in, you can take her to the address below. They have assured me that they will try their best to find a family that can handle her situation. If you decide that you would like to raise her, all you must do is fill out the adoption papers that are in her bag and return them to that address.

Sheldon Cooper, you are an amazing human being who should share your knowledge with the world. I hope that my daughter can have the privilege of experiencing your intelligence first hand.

Forever your friend,

Sara Merchant

Sheldon looked up from the letter in shock and then down to the little girl, Marissa. He remembered her mother, Sara. She'd really been his only friend in school, but he had assumed that it was because she was a friend of his sister's. He had never known that she had admired him. And now she wanted him to raise her daughter! Suddenly, his mouth felt dry. He had to talk to someone. He didn't know what to do.

Marissa watched him silently. He didn't know much about children but he could tell that she was in very least more mature than children her age. She hadn't said anything and waited patiently as he read the letter. He noticed her little suitcase standing beside her. He grabbed it and put it right inside the apartment. He then closed the door to 4A.

"Marissa, we're going to go to my friend's apartment. She lives right here." He pointed to 4B. "Now, she's not a morning person. So, she might yell because I'm knocking on her door so early. But she's not a mean person."

She nodded and followed him over to the door. He jumped slightly when he felt to small arms wrap around his leg. He looked down to see her looking up at him. He raised an eyebrow in question. "I'll hide, in case, she's scary." She told him, her eyes widening slightly at the thought. He pondered her reasoning for moment and then nodded. He didn't know how Penny felt about children. She mentioned nieces and nephews but also blanched at the idea of settling down and having children.

Taking a deep breath, Sheldon raised his hand and knocked on the door.

Knock, knock, knock.

"Penny."

Knock, knock, knock.

"Penny."

Knock, knock, knock.

"Penny."

He could hear her shuffling around inside. He heard her fumbling with the locks before she yanked her door open. He could tell she had just climbed out of bed as she glared at him. "What, Sheldon?" She asked through gritted teeth.

"Now, Penny, before you get violent, I should tell you that I came here for your advice."

"And it couldn't wait until later?"

Sheldon felt Marissa's grip tighten around his knee and he tried to look down discreetly but Penny followed his line of vision. He looked back up to find her staring down at the child in shock, her mouth hanging open slightly. "As, you can see, it cannot wait."

She nodded and motioned for him to enter the apartment. Marissa was still attached to his leg. He shook it slightly and she let go but she stayed behind him as they walked into the apartment.

Penny looked from Marissa to Sheldon. She then knelt down to Marissa's level. "Hi, there. What's your name?"

Marissa stepped out from behind Sheldon. "My name is Marissa Luanne Clark." She stepped a little closer to Penny. "What's your name?"

"Penelope Renee Parker, but you can call me Penny."

Sheldon sighed as the two made their introductions. "Penny, you need to read this and tell me what I should do." He held the letter out to her.

She glared at him and then held her hand out to Marissa. "Would you like to come sit on the couch and watch cartoons? I think Sesame Street is on this time of the morning."

Marissa placed her hand in Penny's. "I don't watch Sesame Street. All they teach is the alphabet and counting. I already know the alphabet and counting."

Penny stared the child in shock. "Marissa, how old are you?"

"I'm two years old, I'll be three in November." She informed.

"Oh ok, well what would you like to watch?" Penny asked as she helped Marissa on to the couch.

"I like the Discovery Channel."

Penny worked the remote control quickly and settled on Discovery Channel for kids. A TV show called "The Future is Wild" was playing. Marissa's attention was captured immediately. Apparently, she knew the show. Penny then sat down the remote and approached Sheldon. She then swatted his arm. "What the hell, Sheldon?!" She hissed.

"Penny! Why are you hitting me?" Sheldon exclaimed as he stepped away from her.

"What did you do? Did you donate sperm to some science project or something?"

"What?" He asked before suddenly comprehending what was going on inside Penny's brain. "Penny, Marissa is not my daughter." He handed the letter to her.

As Penny read the letter, Sheldon turned his attention back to the child sitting on the couch. She was watching the television show with rapt attention. He had to admit, the child intrigued him. He would like to take the time to study her and to see just how intelligent she was. But at the same time, he did not think he was up for the challenge of a child added to his schedule.

A childhood friend had trusted him with her child. He knew that for most women, their children were the most important things in their lives. He knew that this decision was not one he should take lightly. If Marissa were as intelligent and different as he was when he was a child, it would be hard to find a family that wouldn't feel overpowered by her.

Penny set the letter down and looked over to Sheldon. "Sweetie, what are you going to do?"

Sheldon sighed. "I do not know, Penny. Taking in a child would greatly disrupt everything, however, Sara trusted me with her child, the most important thing in her life. If Marissa is as intelligent as her mother says, then who better to raise her than myself?"

"I don't know, Sheldon, but children, no matter how smart, are a huge responsibility."

"Of course, I know this, Penny." He stated in a tone of derision. Penny only rolled her eyes. She was used to his condescension. "But I would hate for another great mind to have grow up in a home where no one understands and they all just think you're crazy."

Penny nodded. "Well, whatever you decide do, I'll be here to help out."

Sheldon couldn't fight the smile that graced his face. "Thank you, Penny, it is greatly appreciated."

She returned his smile. "You're welcome. Sweetie."

Their attention was brought back to Marissa when they noticed the television had shut off. She was climbing off the couch and walking over to them. "My mommy told me that I would live with you now. Is that true?" She asked Sheldon.

Sheldon's eyes widened at the question. He hadn't had time to think things over yet. What did he tell her? He looked to Penny, who only gave a sympathetic shrug. He then turned back to the large blue eyes that looked up at him expectantly. What was he going to do?

A/N: So, this was my little idea! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please review and let me know what you think. Please only constructive criticism.