What Could Have Been

Characters/Pairings: suffer through the brief Hammer/Penny to get to a good ending

Warnings: none

Summary: Why Penny and Captain Hammer would never have worked out, aka, What Could Have Been (if Hammer's fangroupies weren't a bunch of raging kleptos)
But I love them anyway.

Comments: It killed me to write the Hammer/Penny. I wanted to hose down my keyboard. Please bear with it!

Penny was nervous.

Captain Hammer had been sweet over the weekend, but this afternoon, he was...different. Sharper. And then there was Billy; she just didn't know what to make of his reaction.


"Hm? Oh, sorry, I was just-"

"I know, there's a lot to take in," Captain Hammer grinned down at her. "Why don't we head inside. Riding the Hammer-Cycle can wait."

"O-okay, sure." Penny squirmed slightly beneath the unforgivingly hard weight of Hammer's arm across her shoulders as they walked down the street from Hammer's garage.

"Heheh, frisky, aren't we?"

When Hammer moved his arm from around her shoulders to work between her skin and the band of her skirt, her shoulders were so grateful for the reprieve that she mirrored his actions.

Well, not quite so boldly. But, she'd always been fond of his pockets. Penny frowned slightly as her hand brushed up against a crinkled slip of paper.

"Hey, now, no need to be shy, baby." Captain Hammer looked down at Penny, puzzled, as she drew to a complete stop. "Penny?"

She stood frighteningly still, directly in the middle of the sidewalk, staring at the scrap of paper in her hands.

"Penny, what in-"

Penny brought up her hand to stop him from speaking, and for once, it actually worked.

"I-I can't do this. I'm sorry. You're a really sweet guy, and I'm so glad for all that you've done for me, and for the shelter, but...I just...


Penny pressed the paper into Captain Hammer's outstretched hand, and turned and walked quickly off the Hammerplex into the early evening glow.

Instinctively, Hammer looked at the piece of paper. "I don't get it. Chick like that doesn't look like she'd have a problem with some sweater vests."

A few weeks down the road

"I'm tellin' you guys, I'm the hero! That little twerp is Dr. Horrible! You can't arrest me!"

Captain Hammer thought about hitting the officers who were attempting to do just that. Probably not a good idea. His Hero Guild application was coming up for renewal, and being arrested was going to be bad enough. And that wasn't even counting the growing influence that wimp Horrible was gaining over his city.

"Look, I know you do good, but the girl has a restraining order on you, not on him," The cop's voice derailed his train of thought.

"Come on, he's a super-villain..."

Fade to black

A/N: This happened because I thought the dichotomy between Billy & Penny as laundry people against Hammer as a drycleaning person was interesting. My mind works in ways that are terrible to behold. This was crack, but then ended up as something serious...