I don't own the Big Bang Theory. Or the characters. In fact, I own very little. A couple of bookshelves full of weird dvds, every Bloodhound Gang cd ever made, 8 different bottles of warm vanilla sugar lotion that have never been opened, two large jars of Nutella that are both open, and my dignity. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Everything else in my home belongs to my two boys, apparently. At least, that's what they say, and who am I to doubt them? Oh, and this one is for Halfred Askold who wanted Leonard and Amy shot. ;)

Penny looked around the group with exasperation. The last three weeks had taken it's toll on all of them. Stuart's mom had been in an accident, so he had decided to close the comic shop for a couple of weeks so he could go to Seattle and care for her. Sheldon had found that idea unacceptable and a snarly remark from Howard had cause a chain of events that threatened to tear the group asunder.

"Get a grip Sheldon! Stuart has to close up. It's not like there's anyone else who can run the shop for him!"

Well, Sheldon had taken that as a challenge, apparently. He had somehow convinced Stuart to let them run the store in his absence. Everyone had a greater appreciation for not just Stuart's responsibilities but for Raj's patience by the end of the first week. Sheldon was a complete dictator. That Raj had managed to work with Sheldon for so long was nothing short of amazing.

He set a schedule for them all. Bernadette, Amy and Raj worked Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. Leonard, and Howard worked Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. She worked days Monday through Thursday, and all day Sunday. Sheldon worked Friday and Saturday mornings and on Sundays he would handle payroll, ordering and accounting. Sheldon insisted couples could not work together because they would get distracted. Personally, she thought it was Sheldon's way of putting some distance between him and Amy who was beginning to make more demands for intimacy. Sheldon questioned everything anyone did. He double checked, then triple checked their work. He even gave a lecture to Leonard and Amy about proper shelf stocking.

Penny worked mainly by herself (the morning shifts weren't quite as busy, and she was fully capable of controlling whatever nerds, geeks or fan boys that showed up). Because of this, she was less affected by the stress of working for Sheldon than the rest of them were. But the others? They were on the verge of anarchy.

Penny opened the door to 4A at 8 am on Sunday. Sheldon looked up from his spot with surprise. Leonard was pouring a cup of coffee in the kitchen. Penny stepped back and waved everyone else in. Tired and grouchy, Amy, Bernadette, Raj and Howard shuffled through the door. Penny scooted a large plastic tote into the apartment.

Penny closed the door and leaned against it. "Okay, here's the deal. Everyone is frustrated and irritable. So, today we are taking the day off to play and have fun."

Sheldon stood and glared at Penny. "Excuse me, but I am not frustrated or irritable. We have one more week before Stuart comes back and there is work to be done."

Penny reached behind her back and pulled out a water pistol. Without a word she took a step forward and squirted Sheldon in the face with the icy water. Everyone froze in astonishment and waited for the imminent explosion from the tall physicist.

Penny swiftly bent down and whipped the lid off the tote. She grabbed a large Nerf Hail-fire blaster and a super soaker blaster. "On each floor is a tub filled with either nerf guns, water guns or water balloons. I cleared it with the other residents, who are also armed by the way, before setting this up." Penny looked at everyone with a ferocious grin that rivaled Sheldon's Joker smile. "Lock and load people. Because even if you don't shoot me," she opened the door slightly, "I'll definitely shoot you." She fired off two quick darts, hitting Howard and Amy both in their foreheads and disappeared out the door with a maniacal laugh.

Everyone stared in shock at the door and then each other for several seconds. Suddenly Bernadette dashed over and grabbed a couple of random guns. She squealed with delight as she shot water at Leonard's chest before hurrying out the door. The others suddenly erupted into frantic scrambling as they tried to grab their own weapons. Howard and Amy wrestled for control of a double barrel super soaker, and proceeded to drench each other. Sheldon went straight out the door, determined to find another cache on a different floor.

"Never surrender!" he yelled as he scrambled down the stairwell.

Sheldon peered around the corner of the second floor cautiously. So far they had been at it for two hours. Everyone was soaked to the skin, and they had been stunned to discover that half the water balloons were filled with watered down whipped cream, so all of them were sticky as well. Even Mrs. Vartebedian had gotten into the act by flinging open her door and attacking Raj and Howard with an inflatable cannon that shot foam balls at them. She had laughed merrily as Howard scrambled back down the stairs, even taunting them by calling out "I love the smell of whipped cream in the morning!"

Sheldon motioned to Bernadette silently and the group eased up the landing. They had finally banded together when they realized that none of them had managed to get Penny. They stepped cautiously to the next flight of stairs. The door to 2B cracked open and a bright blue barrel appeared.

"Fire in the hole!" Amy screamed. Leonard was too slow and caught the blast of water full in the face. Elderly Mr. Hinklestone cackled loudly and slammed the door shut.

Everyone turned when they heard something bounce down the stairs. They watched with a mix of curiosity and trepidation as a red and yellow plastic ball with slits on the sides rolled down the stairs. It came to rest at Raj's feet. He slowly bent to pick it up. They all leaned a bit closer as they heard a strange ticking. Sheldon gasped. "Grenade!"

They scrambled in all directions just as the timer went off and a small pin popped the large water balloon encased in the ball. Sheldon stood with grim determination. They could hear Penny's gleeful laughter above them and the flurry of footsteps taking her further away. Everyone looked to Sheldon for instruction and he grinned. No more stealth. Time to take her down! "CHARGE!"

Penny leaned against the door of her hideout. No way would they find her here. She could catch her breath and reload. When she had first conceived of her idea, it was just a way to get everyone to release some stress. Now it had turned into her against them. And she was loving it. Matching wits against the majority of them was fun, but add Sheldon "Never Give Up" Cooper to the mix and she was having the time of her life!

She head footsteps pounding overhead and checked her weapons one last time. Two full cartridges of darts and one water pistol. She wished she could have seen their expression when the time bomb went off. She opened the door to Sheldon's bedroom and eased out into the hall. She tiptoed across the living room and opened the door quietly. She never even heard the soft steps back down the stairs.

The second they saw her green eyes, they unloaded everything they had. Darts, water, and cream filled balloons bombarded Penny. She squealed and laughed loudly as her feet slipped out from underneath her. She reached out and grabbed Amy's sweater to steady herself, but ended up just pulling her down too. Howard tried to do a victory dance, but Bernadette smugly gave him a little shove, sending him sprawling onto the messy floor.

Penny clutched her sides as she laughed herself silly. She reached out and jerked Sheldon's right leg from underneath him, and he landed hard on top of her and Howard. Amy took Penny's example and pulled Leonard and Raj's arms, dropping them into the pile too. Bernadette scrambled back out of reach, but Sheldon was having none of that. His legs snaked out and tripped her up, dumping her into Leonard's lap.

Sheldon looked over at Penny with a grin of victory and felt his pulse stutter. Her hair was plastered to her head with water and cream. Her left cheek was smeared with a large glop of the cream as well. Fascinating, he thought to himself.

After a few more minutes everyone calmed down and slowly rose to their feet. They were all relaxed and smiling, despite the horrendous mess the apartment building was in. One by one, they began to gather the various weapons. They dried off and walked to the first floor where Penny had already placed a large supply of cleaning products and two wet vacs. Wordlessly they began the task of restoring the apartment to it's previous state. Sheldon didn't even object when he heard Leonard and Howard softly whistling nearby.

It took longer to clean up than it had to play, but no one objected. Once they were all done, the guys took turns using the shower in 4A while the girls did the same in 4B. They all gathered back in Sheldon's apartment and settled in for pizza and a movie.

Stuart was pleased to see how well they had run the shop in his absence. He thanked them all several times and gave everyone a bundle of free comics on top of the salary they had made. No one mentioned their little war game again. Until one year later when the guys came home to play Halo and found a large plastic tote sitting on the coffee table with a note propped up beside it.

Lock and load, boys. Girls against guys this time. And we've been practicing. ;)

Sheldon took the lid off and picked up a Hydrosplash Water Blaster. "Penny,Penny, Penny," he said with a grin, "will you never learn?" The others whooped out a war cry and grabbed their own weapons. Sheldon looked at them with approval. "No mercy!"