Notes: doing a LiveJournal prompt thing. Chapters will focus on different characters, and will be both in universe and out of universe. They will not connect with each other. Characters belong to Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. Not me. Story line does though.

Chapter 1 notes: Billy, Moist, rating K, Friendship/General.

1: Lively

There was a bounce in Billy's step as he entered their apartment, laundry basket on his hip and his ear-buds in his ears. Moist looked up from his magazine, watching the young man hop around as he stored the basket and clothes away before doing a few chores around the house as the music blasted his ears. It was always so loud. At this rate Billy was going to be deaf by thirty. Moist ought to know, he was older than his boss. Wasn't he? In all actuality, he had no idea how old Billy was. They had never celebrated his birthday. They had done things for Moist's but never for Billy's. God, why did his train of thought always have to change from one to the other so quickly?! Sighing, Moist knew he wouldn't be able to stop thinking until he got some kind of answer. So he tossed his booklet aside and stood, reaching out to pluck the ear-buds away from his friend.

Confused and slightly startled, Billy pulled the other out of his right ear and blinked at his friend. They stood, sizing each other up for a moment, trying to figure out what the other one was about. Billy finally pressed the button of his self-made music player, turning it off. It looked suspiciously like a chap-stick.

"Question for you."

"Answer for you." Billy always had smart comebacks, they kind of annoyed Moist. But he had the kid's attention he might as well use it.

"How old are you?"

"What?"

"How old are you?"

"Um, twenty two next month."

"WHAT?!"

"What's up Moist?"

"We've lived in the same apartment for three years, and you're only twenty one?! That means, that means you've been fighting Hammer since you were eighteen!"

"Seventeen."

"What?"

"I was seventeen when he hit me."

"…"

"…WHAT?!"

"Okay, you and I need to talk." The henchman dragged his boss to the couch, crashing on it and pulling him down. Billy was so confused, where had this come from?

"Okay." Moist started up again, eyelevel with Billy. Billy had never seen his friend so serious before. "Spill."

"Spill what?"

"Everything."

"Where should I start?"

"Anywhere."

Moist learned more about Billy that day than he had the day he cut his friend's hair. Billy had started college at age sixteen, going to community college for his generals. He graduated high school at seventeen. He had his first Ph.D. at eighteen.

He had started taking on Hammer the week he got out of school. He was wearing Dr. Horrible since he was fourteen. Fourteen. In high school, a sophomore, dressing up in boots smock and goggles, taking on Catmask and Jeckers and who knew how many other heroes. He'd leave school after sixth period, after being there since six in the morning for zero period, and he'd go and rob banks and science stores so he could build his ray guns. Then he'd go to night-classes and online classes and weekend classes… in high school.

And drinking at the White Flag, in high school. That surprised Moist more than the fighting the source of "good" in junior year. No, Moist was surprised that Billy had made a fake I.D. and had been drinking at seventeen. At the White Flag, the hero/villain bar, the one place that heroes and villains could sit and talk and drink together, strict non-fighting policy… Billy, able to drink and get away with it. Guess it was a teen thing.

After going from scotch and soda to straight rum one night (the strong spirits surprised Moist as well) and waking up in Hammer's place with a massive hang-over, the teen had sworn off the drink. He never touched alcohol again. And here he was, finally of legal age, only twenty two (next month) and he was more established than any other villain in L.A. (minus the ELE, after all, they were the best of the best in the world.).

Moist watched as Billy walked away. The bounce was still in his walk, the music was back on, the apartment being cleaned. Shaking his head, Moist wished for a better life than the one Billy ended up with; he would have been the life of the party with chicks hanging all over him in school if he wasn't such a nerd.