Disclaimer: I do not own Dr. Horrible or Xiaolin Showdown. I am not making money off of this, nor much else for that matter, so it would be highly irrational to sue me.

A goggled eye stared in marvel at the shimmer. He couldn't see much yet, but what he could see was definitely something. He just hoped it was what he was trying for. He turned up the power. The shimmer became slightly clearer. A flash of red hair. A familiar meek smile.


Fine lines had formed around her eyes and signs of aging had set in, but it was definitely her. Suddenly, her head turned, eyes widening at the sight of…Dr. Horrible pulled his hand back, realizing he'd reached out to touch her. She probably didn't see his fingers, but the disturbance in the temporal field probably created a distortion effect in her dimension which she would be able to see. She opened her mouth and called something, though he couldn't figure out what she'd said. And then…a boy ran up to her. He had her pale skin and red hair. He had her face. Her son. He had to be, but the image was blurring and he couldn't make much more out than that. Soon all he could see was a shimmer before the machine shorted out completely.

"Damn it!"

That was the reason why he didn't just try to cross over. It only lasted a few seconds before it was gone. He needed to be able to get back, and he didn't know if he'd be able to gain access to the needed materials to create a new dimensional portal, nor if it would be the same. It had taken him years to create this one in desperate hopes that he could have Penny again; being evil just wasn't good enough knowing he'd taken her out of the world, and after a bit of thought and a whole lot of angst, he decided to set things right. He was going to bring her back into the world.

He couldn't just bring her back to life, though. Well, he could, but then she'd be a zombie and all rotting and stuff, and that would just be gross. In order to get the real Penny back, he had to get her from some place she hadn't gone from yet, and in order to do that well, he needed to do monitor duty. Billy didn't want to pull her through only to have her turn out to be completely different than the Penny he knew.

Billy's mind wandered back to the boy. Whose son was he, anyway? His? Captain Hammer's? Or someone else entirely?


"I don't know, Mom!" Jack whined.

"You're sure it wasn't one of your experiments?" Her arms were crossed in the way they did when she was trying to be firm. "Now you know I don't like you doing them where your father might see, and you know he just came back from his safari, so I would like it if you tried to be a little careful."

"I was trying!" Jack never really understood why she got like this about his dad seeing his inventions. He never really got mad at them, he just gave them a baffled look, like he wasn't understanding what he was seeing. For a world traveler, he sure seemed like an idiot some times. The thing was, this time he had been good. There hadn't been any experiments he'd been doing, and certainly none that would cause five little points in the air to warp, as if though they were being seen through clear glass marbles.

What was going on?

"If you're good for the whole time your dad is home, I'll bake you peanut butter cookies with sprinkles on top, how's that?"

Jack's face lit up. His mom made the best cookies, and since his dad was only going to be around for a week, it shouldn't be too hard to keep anything weird from showing up until he was gone. That was, if whatever was happening with what his mom saw before didn't happen again. Then he heard a beeping from his wrist and glanced down. A shen gong wu detected. "Hey, Mom, I'm going to hang out with some friends, see you later!"

She gave her son a warm smile. "Have fun!"

And with that, he ran down to his lab to prepare. Grabbing his monkey staff, he began to climb into his latest invention: a jet that could move at twice the speed of the silver manta ray. If he couldn't beat them at the showdowns, he could beat them getting there in the first place. After a moment, however, he thought better of it. His mom had already seen suspicious activity (which so wasn't fair, since he hadn't even been doing anything) and he didn't want to make things worse. Not with cookies on the line.

He could test his new jet next week. Getting out of the jet, he left his house on foot, waiting until he was a few blocks away before activating his heli-pack.


Thunk. Thud. Sputter. Vrrrrrm!

With a bit of tinkering and a few kicks to the generating powering his trans-dimensional transport and viewing device, for which he'd have to find a name that turned into a cooler acronym than TDTAVD, which could never hoped to be pronounced, it came back to life and the image resumed. He saw Penny, but the child was nowhere in sight. She seemed to be laughing and talking to someone in the room, looking in Horrible's direction, but through him, as if though there was someone on the other side.

"I remember what it's like to hope and feel and love and dream.

I remember what it's like to have a reason to fight on.

What's the purpose of winning if all I want to do is scream?

What's the purpose of victory if you had to go and die?

What's the purpose, what's the purpose if you had to go and die?

I can't go on without you for another day,

So it's fortunate that I have found the way!

What's that smile on your features, who's it for, who do you love?

What's that smile on your features, who's the father of your child?

Is it me? Is it Hammer? Or is it none of the above?

Is it me? Or somebody that I have never even known?

Is it me? Is it me? Or anyone I have ever known?

I can't go on without you for another day,

So it's fortunate that I have found the way!"

Wait, what was that? Now he saw the man she was speaking to, walking into the frame, embracing her. It wasn't Dr. Horrible, that much was clear. The shoulders were too wide and…then he turned.

"Of all the people in all the worlds, did she have to love him?"

Then a thought occurred to him, and a slow smile spread across his face.

"Of all the people in all the worlds, yes it had to be him!

Who else would I feel no guilt when I turned their bright future dim?

Who else would I feel no guilt for when I stole their family?

I can't go on without you for another day,

So it's fortunate that I have found the way!"

Now he just needed to adapt his dimensional transport device so he could take it across with him. He needed to make it in a ray form.