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The world came back in a swirl of dust and sparking machinery.

Dr. Horrible had gone completely blind. He panicked, briefly, until he realised that his goggles were completely askew on his face. He managed to get a hand up, and push them up into his hair. Though it turned out the dust, and the smoking machinery was the only thing going on in the room.

He was laying in a pool of water, and his red suit was soaking, and his plasma gun was still sputtering weakly against the wall. He suspected something had exploded. He was fairly certain that was Captain Hammer's fault. Something else that was Captain Hammer's fault.

He dragged one of his gloves off, and very carefully felt round the edge of one of his back teeth, which shifted painfully, horribly, in his gum. What sort of a person got a kick out of hitting people. If you took away his stupid t-shirt, and his smug insistence on being in the way of impending crime - and one of these days he really needed to work out how he did that - Captain Hammer should have been showering in the big house by now.

Dr. Horrible poked his tooth again and winced. He dragged himself out of the debris, retrieved his plasma gun (note to self: not water resistant) and tried to work out which part of the power station he'd actually come in. It was much harder to tell now the place had exploded.

On the way out he nearly tripped over Captain Hammer. Who had, apparently, been closer to the explosion than was safe. He was sprawled half in the debris, stupid hair covered in dust and bits of brick. He was a sitting duck...he was a lying duck...he was some sort of duck.

"Hammer." Dr. Horrible prodded him with a boot. "Hammer!" A slightly harder prod made his shoulder thunk against the mound of debris he was currently embedded in. Possibly a dead duck?

Dr. Horrible stared at him for a long time, then used his bare hand to check for a pulse. He found one, and honestly didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. He settled for apathetic, he'd become quite good at apathetic.


Dr. Horrible did something he'd wanted to do for a long time.

He slapped Captain Hammer.


"Flmrgh," Hammer said.

Which seemed incoherent enough that it could be taken as 'I'm not quite conscious, please hit me again.' Which he did. He didn't get his hand back. Captain Hammer seemed surprised to be the proud owner of his hand though. He frowned at it, blinked.

"You have very small hands," Captain Hammer told him.

Dr. Horrible tried to pull his fingers out of his grip, without much success.

"I was checking to see if you were dead. I was going to laugh. I was going to gloat over your demise." Dr. Horrible tried to give the impression that being robbed of this was a tragic, tragic thing. When in reality he had a headache and his teeth hurt and everything tasted like dust, and he really just wanted to go home.

"I don't die," Captain Hammer said. "I'm a superhero, dying is for other people. Dying is what villains do...when I kill them."

"Uh huh." Dr. Horrible pulled at his hand again.

"Really very small hands. How do you make all your villainous machines with such tiny hands?"

"My villainous machines require skill and perseverance, and a certain amount of innate intelligence. They don't require giant hands - and my hands are not small."

"Tiny hands really -"

"You have an abnormally large head, but you don't see me throwing insults."

Captain Hammer shifted in the rubble, then pulled a face.

"Ow," he decided, like it was a personal insult.

"Are you going to cry?" Dr. Horrible asked, because really sometimes he just didn't know.

"No," Captain Hammer said fiercely. "No, I am not going to cry."

He stayed still, frowning, in a way that suggested he was unhappy in his pain for a moment longer. Then he stalled for time by moving some of the rubble off of himself.

"I can't lie here and give you the opportunity to strike me while I'm defenceless."

Dr. Horrible waved his useless plasma gun.

"I thought of that, my plasma gun isn't working."

"I destroyed your technology?"

"No, it got wet and shorted out," Dr. Horrible said quietly, he proffered the gun for inspection, not that Captain Hammer would have the faintest idea whether it was broken, or working, or a collection of empty cans with 'plasma gun' spray painted on the side.

"So you say."

"I could have bashed your head in with a rock."

"Why didn't you?"

Dr. Horrible shrugged.

"I have a headache, I couldn't face it."

Captain Hammer moved again in a shower of rubble, then sat there very quietly.

"I think I hit my head." Captain Hammer managed to make this sound like some sort of terrible calamity.

Considering he was already indestructible, and an idiot, Dr. Horrible didn't know what he was worried about exactly. Though if he lost any more brain cells it was doubtful he'd remember how to tie his own shoes.

The moment dragged on until he was forced into a sigh.

"Do you -" Dr. Horrible waved the gun. "Need a hand?"

"I don't accept help from the criminal underworld." Captain Hammer sat there for a moment longer. Dust fell around him. Dr. Horrible sighed and put the gun back into its not unimpressive holster. Before bending over and find something to grab onto.

"Watch the t-shirt!"

Captain Hammer was not an easy thing to haul upright, and really Dr. Horrible shouldn't have been doing half the work considering he wasn't the one with super strength, and invulnerability for god's sake. Even when eventually upright Hammer made no attempt to stand on his own, and was actually leaning, very close actually...stupidly close, and did his face really have to be right there.

"Are you smelling me?"

"No," Captain Hammer said instantly. "I was flexing, I was flexing my incredible biceps, and I just happened to turn and look at one of them."

"And noticed that I smelled kind of nice."

"Yes - No! Stop trying to trick me."

Dr. Horrible glared at him from under his goggles, and they both stumbled out of the rubble.

He was making most of the effort. Though why he had no idea. He had no idea why he didn't just drop Hammer on his face in a puddle somewhere and let him find his own way out of the place. Still solid ground was something - Dr. Horrible shrugged but Captain Hammer was still effectively hugging him.

"You can let go now," he said pointedly.

Captain Hammer made no attempt to move his arm.

"You're evil," Captain Hammer mumbled somewhere around his hair, or his goggles, he seemed to be having trouble with his neck.

"Last time I checked," Dr. Horrible told him, and if he clocked him on the head with one of the eye pieces of his goggles then that was really his own fault. Captain Hammer really was impossible to shake off. It was like static electricity and nylon.

"I'll bet you do the weird stuff all the time."

Which was a complete non-sequiter, and he had just enough time to turn his head round and try for quizzical?

Before Captain Hammer passed out.

It turned out he really was a lot heavier than he looked.