Characters: Dr. Horrible, Billy, Moist
Genre: Angst, dark
Spoilers: follows after the movie
Disclaimer: Joss is the lord of this universe. I don't own an inch of it.
Summary: Moist once thought Captain Hammer was Billy's worst enemy. Now he's almost certain that title belongs to Dr. Horrible...
The end comes sooner than he thinks.
Billy's always had to fight his battles uphill. It makes him a modern day Sisyphus, almost, assigned the task of pushing the same boulder up a mountain side until the end of time. Always a failure. Sharp edges, interminable exposure to nature's forces, eternal seclusion from anyone or anything that could ever understand his turmoil—
Moist once thought Captain Hammer was Billy's worst enemy.
Now he's almost certain that title belongs to Dr. Horrible.
Once upon a time, Billy could spend a week in his civilian clothes without touching his uniform, running errands or catching up with old friends. Now he barely has the time to breathe. He spends most of his waking hours locked up in his lab or meeting with the other members of the E.L.E.
The League sees more of him than Moist does.
He catches the occasional glimpse of his friend when he drops by to see whether or not Billy bothered to buy groceries or check his mail. A month after Penny's death, he finds him half asleep on the living room couch, eyes red and distant. The web cam is on but it's not recording.
Billy hasn't used it in a while. He sits by it sometimes, like he's trying to figure out what to say... "I'm sorry" maybe. It's written all over his face. It's in every hour of sleep he sacrifices to work, every meal his skips when he's lost in his thoughts...
But it's vanquished in the sharp, cold look he adopts when his alter ego rises to the surface, a darker presence than the idea that was born from Billy's hope for the world.
Moist never realized the symbolism behind Billy's white attire until the man exchanged it for his red and black uniform. Billy was an idealist. A dreamer. He had an impression of the future.
The Dr. Horrible that rises from Penny's ashes isn't a dream Moist's familiar with.
He knows Billy surrenders to this persona in order to escape the grief. He doesn't blame him. It only becomes a problem when Dr. Horrible takes charge of his life, when everything that ever mattered to Billy falls to the wayside.
The night Dr. Horrible plans on destroying City Hall, Moist fears for the worst. Billy trudges into his lab like a man on death row, sad and tired. He emerges someone different. Again. The red coat stands out against the pale tone of his skin, his face hollow and thin under the feeble light of his television.
For the world of him Moist can't find his voice.
Dr. Horrible doesn't say a word. Merely lowers his goggles. Cuts Billy's vision off from the world.
Cuts everything off from the world.
When they return to the apartment early the next morning, Moist expects there to be a moment of reprieve, the usual minute or two Billy spends contemplating all the damage he's done. It's about the only thing that keeps his friend grounded. Prevents his sanity from slipping.
But Dr. Horrible doesn't stop. He opens the door to his lab and disappears inside, the lamp above his workbench flickering to life before he returns to work...
Nights bleed into days.
Moist doesn't want to see him.
He comes anyway. Watches him waste away. Dr. Horrible's work consumes him and Billy disappears, vanishing somewhere in the backdrop of his schemes.
When months roll by without a brief view of Billy, Moist can't ignore the sunken feeling in his chest.
On the anniversary of Penny's death, Moist doesn't find flowers on her grave.
Not even a note.
It's then that he realizes Billy wasn't only trying to apologize for killing her.
He was apologizing for leaving.
Moist wishes he would've told him sooner—that maybe his self immolation could've been avoided. Then again, Billy had always been like that...Every battle might've been fought uphill, but Billy preferred to struggle on his own, even if it meant tumbling to the bottom of the mountain side.
Pride comes before the fall.
Now he watches the shell of his friend wander the world without meaning. Dr. Horrible stands undefeated; every bit the villain the League wanted him to be.
On the sidelines, Moist thinks about the man he once knew.
In the back of his mind he writes him a eulogy.