A/N: Sorry that this chapter is so short. I'm just getting the feel for this story still. Testing the waters a bit :)

As always, I make no money from this, blah, blah, blah... Enjoy!

He couldn't quite believe it. After the paramedics rolled Penny away on a stretcher, Billy shook off his momentary shock and slipped as quietly as he could out of the building. After changing in a deserted alley he scurried to join the crowd of people and ambulances in front of the new homeless shelter.

"'Scuse me, pardon me." He muttered insincerely while pushing through the tightly packed bodies, making his way to the emergency workers. Spotting one that didn't look too busy, he tilted his head and added a pained wince to his face before tapping the woman on the shoulder. "Excuse me miss? I… I think I may have a concussion."

The paramedic turned to him and peered at him carefully, "Let's see then." She said, looking over his face and head.

Billy was even more careful to wince sharply whenever a flash from the ambulance lights hit his face and put effort into swaying slightly on his feet and roaming his eyes a little dazedly. He had enough concussions in the past to remember what they felt like.

She seemed to buy it well enough since she ushered him carefully into one of the ambulances, which was full of people in shock blankets with equally dazed expressions. Billy had a hard time retaining his farce for the seven-minute ride to the hospital. It felt like hours. His head churned with thoughts of Penny. The look on her face when she stopped breathing flashed persistently before his eyes. His heart clenched painfully in his chest and he forced his mind to focus on his next mission: find out if she still lives.

About an hour later, after being cleared with a diagnosis of a slight concussion, he went snooping. The emergency ward of the hospital was a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually he gave up on looking and returned to the desk, pulling his hood up.

"Can I help you?" The man at the desk asked.

"Y-yes, maybe," he put a stammer in his voice for sincerity, "Do you know where Penny is? She's the one who… who got hurt. Real bad. Sh-she's my friend." He didn't have to pretend to look around anxiously, as if he might catch a glimpse of her in the halls.

"Right, the young woman with the puncture wounds…" he tapped at his computer for an agonizing few seconds. "She was placed in emergency surgery. Second hallway to your right, eight doors down." He smiled, "Sorry you'll have to wait outside the door. I'll tell them you're here though."

Billy rushed a quick thanks before trying not to run down the hallway. When he found the right door he glanced at the plastic chairs in the hall before restlessly pacing back and forth. Several minutes later a doctor emerged from the door, evading all of Billy's attempts to look past him into the room.

"Hello sir." The doctor checked his clipboard, a glance so brief it must have been habit more than anything, "You are the young lady's friend, I assume?"

Billy nodded, "Yes, how is she doing? Is she ok? Is she still alive?"

The doctor raised a hand to halt the barrage of questions, "She has stabilized, but is currently being operated on to remove the pieces of…" he more seriously looked at the clipboard, "… some kind of death ray, and close the wounds. I'm sorry, but you probably won't be able to see her until at least tomorrow afternoon. You should go home and get some rest."

"Rest!? How can I rest when…" Billy looked at the doctor's raised eyebrow and quieted down, slumping into one of the chairs. They were indeed as uncomfortable as they looked. "Ok, just… give me a couple of minutes. I need to call another friend."

As soon as the doctor returned inside of the room, Billy called the most frequently called number in his contacts list. He pressed the phone to his ear, heedless of the smear of skin oils being left on the screen, listening to the ring.

"What happened?" A nasally voice came through the speaker after the fourth ring.

Before the other man could voice the inevitable question of if he needed to be picked up, Billy launched into a quiet but hurried explanation. "Moist. Listen. We have to act fast if this is going to work! Penny is safe. She got hurt but is at the hospital. I can still get into the League if we can pull this off. I need you to call in a favor from the Purple Pimp, we don't need money, just influence. And yes, I do need you to come pick me up. I'm at the hospital."


"I'll explain everything later! Just hurry!" He tapped the end call button. On his way past the desk he completely ignored the nice man sitting behind it who asked if he had found his friend. It hurt a little, because the man was honestly being nice to him, but right then avoiding all eye contact and social interaction would be vital to uphold the stunt he was about to attempt.

"We are going to what!?" Moist exclaimed in disbelief, "I don't know if that's going to work, man. I mean, you don't even have a room to put her in even if we could get her to your apartment."

The two friends sat in the old beat up car Moist had gotten from his parents. The man with the unfortunate super power wore gloves to keep his hands from slipping all over the wheel.

"I know it sounds a little crazy, but I really think we can pull it off. What did the Purple Pimp say? Will he help us?"

"Well, he said he could do it, for a price. You'll owe him big time for this, faking a civilian's death is a hard thing to do, and with a public hospital there are a lot of people who have to be bought out. Pimp's demanding an up-front payment of a hundred thousand, and he wants a contract for you to develop some sort of product for him, didn't say what exactly."

Billy sympathized with Moist's worried look. The Purple Pimp never did anything for cheap and Dr. Horrible wasn't exactly rolling in cash either. "We can get the money." He said, "It won't be elegant or creative, but we can rob a bank. Tonight. There's a little wrist laser I made years ago that should work just fine with Captain Hammer out of the way."

"That old thing? Really? And how do you know Hammer is out of the way? You said he survived the explosion." Moist looked confused.

"Yes, I'm sure the good Captain will not bother us tonight. You should have seen the way he wailed as he practically crawled out of the room." He smirked, "Anyway, just because that laser is basically completely harmless and can't do anything more than give someone a tiny sunburn does not mean it won't work. The thing looks like it works, which should be enough for people so used to a hero coming to save the day."

Moist rolled his eyes, "Whatever you say boss."

The heist went off without a hitch. Dr. Horrible played the confidant villain flawlessly, if he was a little preoccupied it wasn't noticed by the panicking public. Moist was astounded that no one figured out the villain was bluffing. It was if the sight of a thief in a loud costume was enough to make the police too wary to approach, waiting for another costumed hero to show up. It would have been laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

With the money in tow, they met the Purple Pimp back outside the hospital. Billy had changed back into street clothes, but wore sunglasses. The last thing he needed was a bunch of other villains knowing his secret identity. Purple Pimp smiled at their approach.

"Ah, gents. Good evening. I presume you have the agreed-upon trade for our little deal?"

Billy and Moist stood a few steps away from the suited man and his bodyguard, a woman in a tight dress who smiled while her body language screamed 'try anything and you die'. Moist wrung his hands nervously.

"Yeah, I got it." Billy gestured to the duffel bag by his side, "So, how does this work? Do I just get to go in and get her, or…?"

As Purple Pimp motioned for his guard to retrieve the bag, he spoke in a deceptively smooth voice, slight irritation just barely visible beneath the surface, "I have arranged for her to be taken out here, and have already signaled my people to do so. They say she is stable but still being kept asleep by medication to allow her wounds to more fully heal before she wakes. A more detailed paper report will arrive with her. Saline drip, the last of the anesthesia, and strong pain pills are included. Standard procedure for these things. Now I have already spoken with your sidekick, but there is something I still need you to do for me in return for my services."

"O-of course. You mentioned me making something?" Billy swallowed nervously.

"I need you to design and produce a prototype for a knockout spray that is fast and effective, with minimal side effects, and of a size that can easily be hidden in something small, like a lighter. I trust this won't be too difficult for you, Doctor?" Purple Pimp flashed a predatory smile before turning away to his own car, "Talk with you soon. Bye now."

Billy looked over to see two people wheeling an unconscious Penny towards him. He and Moist hurried to help them lift her gently into the back of Moist's car, hooking the saline drip to a small hanger above the door and carefully placing the bag containing her medications and belongings in the trunk.

As they finished up, one of the hospital employees, an older woman with long graying brown hair and matching eyes, spoke up. "Is she very important to you?" she asked. "You don't have to say if you don't want, I'm not supposed to ask questions."

Billy looked at the sleeping form in the back seat, "It's ok. And yeah, she does."

With that they went their separate ways.