Dealing with What's-Her-Name's Death

Disclaimer: I do not own Dr. Horrible.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Greyfield, attempted to eye his patient impassively but a little bit of his excitement shone through. "Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan, sir," he couldn't resist saying.

Captain Hammer continued staring at his knees dejectedly from the sofa across the room. "Why? I failed. Epically."

Greyfield checked his notes. "You mean when Dr. Horrible tragically killed what's-her-name?"

"Her name was Penny and it was traumatizing!" Hammer wailed.

Greyfield glanced at his notes again. "My information lists her as 'what's-her-name, sorry," he said apologetically. "And one lost life out of over three thousand Heroic rescues really isn't a bad track record for a superHero. Quite the opposite, in fact."

Hammer didn't look reassured. "But I loved her!"

"So I take it that's why you're here?" Greyfield asked, semi-rhetorically. Still, it only paid to be polite, especially when dealing with such a high-profile patient.

Hammer nodded reluctantly.

"Alright, why don't you tell me what happened?" Greyfield invited.

Hammer took a deep breath. "I was just doing my civic duty beating up nerds, hitting on girls, and saving everyone else when all of a sudden I noticed an armored car that had some sort of blinking device on it." He paused theatrically. "In short, a bomb."

Greyfield started. "A bomb? What happened?"

Hammer shrugged. "The usual. I smashed it and it stopped blinking."

Greyfield scratched his chin, slightly puzzled. "I didn't think bombs were defused that way. Then again, I've never defused a bomb so…"

"Oh, sure, TV shows and movies always show all the wires you need to cut," Hammer agreed readily, "but why take the risk of cutting the wrong wire when you can just smash it? That would just re irresponsible."

"Why indeed?" Greyfield asked mildly.

"Of course, I wouldn't recommend just anyone trying it," Hammer cautioned. "I am a professional Hero, after all."

"And a damned fine one, from what I've heard," Greyfield concurred.

"The best," Hammer said proudly. His face fell. "Except for…Penny…"

Hoping to head off the oncoming depression so as to get the story behind the girl, Greyfield quickly brought him back on track. "So, did you find out who set the bomb?"

Sure enough, Hammer snorted. "Who else? Dr. Horrible is always involved in anything that ever goes wrong in this city. Ever. It's like he never sleeps, I swear."

"Everything huh?" Greyfield mused, raising an eyebrow. "Busy guy."

"Sometimes the connection is indirect or even eludes me entirely," Hammer admitted, "but I know it's there."

"And how does this involve what's-her…Penny?" Greyfield prompted.

"That's…when I first met her," Hammer replied, a bit dreamily. "After I smashed the bomb, the van started careening out of control and so I knocked her out of the way and stopped the van."

"With your bear hands?" Greyfield was impressed. "Wow."

"I know, I amazing," Hammer beamed. "Penny thought so too and asked me to go to her homeless food place with her."

"Oh, you two went to a soup kitchen?" Greyfield asked, not sure if there were any other places that could qualify as 'homeless food places' but not wanting to misinterpret the situation.

Hammer nodded. "Yeah. It was very…" he trailed off. "I met lots of people I probably wouldn't have otherwise. The date went great and we decided to keep seeing each other, which was a little surprising."

"That doesn't happen often?" Greyfield guessed.

Hammer shook his head and grinned ruefully. "Normally my work takes me all over the country so little things like plans to meet girls places sometimes slip my mind. Crime never rests, you know."

"So how was Penny different?" Greyfield pressed.

"I agreed to help her with her homeless problem," Hammer explained. "She was having some problems making it work but once I told the mayor that some people in the city didn't have homes, he immediately agreed to build the shelter."

"So your relationship with Penny was going well, then," Greyfield deduced.

"Oh, absolutely!" Hammer said, nodding vigorously. "Then one day I met up with her and found her talking to Dr. Horrible – disguised as a civilian!"

"Wait, wait, wait…" Greyfield said, holding up a hand. "Are you saying you know Dr. Horrible's secret identity?"

Hammer looked surprised. "Of course I do. What kind of Hero would I be if I didn't?"

"Why haven't you told anyone?" Greyfield demanded. "The police could arrest him when he least expects it!"

Hammer laughed. "Don't get me wrong; I have the utmost respect in our wonderful police force. But Dr. Horrible is a Super Villain. He's a little out of their league."

"Well, what about the media?" Greyfield tried again. "Surely if they knew-"

"I can't," Hammer said, a little sheepishly. "He knows my secret identity, too. It's a nemesis thing."

"I see," Greyfield sounded disappointed. "So what happened when Dr. Horrible ran into Penny? Did he hurt her?"

Hammer shook his head. "I didn't give him a chance to. It didn't matter, though. He fancied himself in love with her and you know what that means."

Dr. Greyfield did not, in fact, know what that meant. "Can you refresh my memory?"

"When a Super Hero and a Super Villain fall in love with the same woman, one of three things can happen: the Villain brainwashes her and turns her evil, the Villain kills her, or the Villain clones her," Hammer lectured.

"That happens every time?" Greyfield asked dubiously.

"Sometimes it's a combination of them," Hammer confirmed.

Greyfield shook his head sadly. "Those poor women…"

"Huh? Oh, right. It would really suck to be them," Hammer said dismissively. "I know that if a Super Villainess were to fall in love with me, I would be very put-out. I mean, I might still sleep with her depending on how hot she was, but I would feel mildly irritated while doing so."

"That's very noble of you," Greyfield said diplomatically.

Hammer flashed a trademark smile. "I'm a Hero, it comes with the territory."

"So how did the incident occur?" Greyfield prompted.

Hammer sighed. "Penny asked me to say a few words at the opening ceremony. I agreed because she was very understanding and I was getting a lot of good PR and was honestly considering sleeping with her twice. That's a huge commitment on my part, you know."

"A relationship is more of a commitment than a one-night-stand, true," Greyfield conceded.

"Not to mention monogamy…" Hammer shuddered. "She was really great, though, so I didn't even go after anyone else while we were together! But then…" Hammer looked distant.

"Then?" Greyfield repeated.

"At the end of my speech – well, song, really, but it was great because everyone was signing along and I could tell I was really getting through to these people – Dr. Horrible came in and started waving some sort of Death Ray at me. He even killed Penny!" Hammer cried.

"Why would he kill her if he loved her?" Greyfield just didn't get it.

"Because he's evil!" Hammer exclaimed. "And Penny loved me instead of him. Evil people never take that very well. He may have even cloned her and brainwashed the clone, the fiend!"

Greyfield eyed his notes. "I heard you were injured as well?"

Hammer nodded eagerly. "OH yes. It was Horrible! Well, of course it was, it was him but…I had never felt pain before. It was fitting though…because I lost Penny. Penny!" The angsting Hero curled up into a fetal position.

"Um? Captain Hammer?" Greyfield called out. There was no response. "Well, I suppose I should put this down as some kind of breakthrough."

"I will have vengeance!" Hammer suddenly shouted.

Greyfield's eyes widened in horror. "Oh God, this had better not be the obligatory Hero-turns-Villain over dead love interest because I just know I'm going to get blamed for this…"

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