A/N: Written for the 10_titles challenge on LiveJournal.


There's a flash of fire, and Captain Hammer's dead. From the edge of the room, Penny's watching him, her face clouded by disgust and fear. "Why, Billy?" she gasps, then she's gone, vanishing into the shadows…

No, that's no good. Billy blinks sweat out of his eyes as he solders two wires together with the precision of a master surgeon. His latest invention is almost finished, and he's barely been aware of making it. Dr. Horrible is working, but Billy's far away, trapped in that night so many months ago…

As Hammer finishes his nauseating speech, he pulls off the cloth and lets loose his perfected Evil Laugh. It echoes in the suddenly silent hall, and he relishes the shock on the faces below him. There's one face he's looking for though, and he doesn't know if he wants her to be there or not…

If he'd only seen her, if he hadn't gloated for quite so long, if he'd worked out the kinks in the Freeze Ray before the dedication…

He's kneeling beside her, but this time he's not frozen. He leaps up onto the plinth, aims the Freeze Ray at her, tries to ignore the blood pooling on the linoleum around her. He's going to save her. This time it'll work—

"Doc?"

He ignores Moist, pretends to focus on the bits of circuitry and wire around him. After a while, he hears footsteps squelching away, and the door closes.

Her eyes open, and when she focuses on him, Penny smiles.

"Billy?"

He just holds her. This is right. This is the way it should have been…

For a second, he thinks he sees her, a flash of red hair, an overexposed after-image that fades the instant he tries to focus on it. It's just him. Alone.

The Laundromat is bright, filled with the golden-pink light of early morning. He's alone, sitting on the counter with a laundry hamper that's barely even half-full, and two frozen yoghurts. The bell over the door tinkles, and he turns around…