Disclaimer: I do not own Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long-Blog or any of its characters. All rights go to Joss Whedon and his gifted cast and crew.
Author's Note: Sorry for the wait. But on a personal note, I graduated college. It's still weirding me out.
It was true. He'd ruin the child.
There were too many tragic ways her life would fall apart that it literally exhausted Billy to try and think of them all. So he didn't even bother. Instead, he hung onto the small hope that maybe adopting the girl who drove him to the edge of his sanity was actually not what Hourglass had intended at all.
It was a miniscule hope, but to Billy, it was enough.
One time of destroying someone's life had been enough.
"Can I help you, sir?" a polite voice echoed from outside of his thoughts. Billy barely took notice as he looked around in the world he had nearly forgotten. The small lobby of the orphanage was cleaner and more decorated than he remembered it being before he stole the deed.
"I would like to speak to the manager," he said.
Ignoring his nervous blink, the receptionist asked with a small smile of surprise, "Oh. I'm afraid Mr. Snow is out at the moment—"
Billy shook his head, "No, not him."
The woman flicked her hair and continued as if he hadn't said a word, "But our supervisor is in, if you would like to see her instead."
"Is she available right now?" he asked, despite the fact that he had every intention of just walking right into Hourglass's office even if she was busy. Luckily the young woman impassively pointed to a set of doors down the short hallway behind her, and Billy wouldn't have to make a scene.
"Yeah, she is. Just go through those doors. Her office is the first one on the left."
With an "Okay, thanks," he followed the directions down the straightforward hall of the orphanage. He fiddled with the miniaturized ray gun in his front hoodie pocket. He had no hope or desire of ever using it on Hourglass, but he had grown used to carrying it around ever since his encounter with Hammer—it calmed him, made him feel secure. At the worse of times, it made him feel guilty as well.
He tried to distract himself from uncomfortable thoughts.
Maybe, he thought, he should think about renovating the place, make it bigger. Everyone liked more room. Did the occupants have their own rooms, anyway? Should they or would it be better if they bunked together? Would they feel alone in their own rooms? What did he know of the welfare of children? How was he supposed to take care of one?
He wanted nothing more than to bash his head against the door he reached. It always came back to her. The desire to pound his head until he bleed was overwhelming, the concussion sounded welcome, and for a brief moment of madness, Billy was surprised that it wasn't yet a psychological treatment.
The door opened before he could inflict any head trauma.
"Dr. Horrible," a strong yet rather sensual voice ricocheted from a growing smirk, "What a surprise."
Billy frowned up at the woman who towered over him. The knowing shimmer in her nearly-black eyes left little doubt that she knew he would come.
He took a moment, blinked, and shuffled his feet as he worked words in his mouth. "Um, Billy," he corrected her since he wasn't sure what else to say. He looked at the Amazon with dark skin and even darker long hair, and remembered who she was, even if she tried to hide her power with jeans and an oversized t-shirt. One couldn't simply clothe a tiger and expect it to behave.
So he knew that even if now Hourglass was compliant, he shouldn't expect her to behave always.
"Alright then, Billy," she said, her smile still on her lips, "Walk with me?"
"That depends," he replied, distrust in the taut lines of his body, sinking down into his bones. "Is she here?"
Hourglass's smile didn't falter, but rather it grew. "Yes."
His distrust vanished and all the justified strength that his distrust gave him melted away, leaving him with bones barely able to hold him up. Hourglass didn't play in subtleties as he did, nor did she play with blunt and stupid honesty as Captain Hammer had. Hourglass played in paradoxes of choices and fate. She didn't need to lie or cheat or deal in the underhand; all her words, honest but labyrinthine, were games beyond men.
And Billy was caught. His orphan was here, and if he followed Hourglass, would she take him to her? Did it matter? Was his resolution so firm that his decision to fight Hourglass and the adoption would last even if he saw the girl? Was this a test?
Was this where his choice began? Or was there a choice at all?
"Hourglass, I—" he began weakly, feeling lost and uncertain.
"Cassandra," she corrected, eyes shining with the reflection of the florescent light of the hallway.
He closed his eyes and nodded, echoing her name. He heard her step out and close the door behind her, but when he heard her light laughter as she started walking down the hallway, Billy wondered if he made a mistake in coming.
He hesitated but only briefly.
Billy turned and followed behind her.