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Another Horrible Sequel

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This story is No. 4 in the series "A Horrible String of Stories". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: With all the donations flowing in, how could the shelter be in financial ruin? A ficlet about the origin of Bad Penny.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Dr. Horrible's Sing-along BlogShyBobFR71950051,26823 Oct 0823 Oct 08Yes
Story Notes: I know; too much telling, not enough showing.

Disclaimer: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen and Zack Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, United Paramount Network, and Fox Television. This work is not for profit, and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material implied, nor any infringement intended.

Muse: Inspired by the Bad Horse Chorus' sniping of FD...see embedded link.


After the horrors Bad Penny had witnessed the bright light was actually soothing. She felt herself drifting. The warmth calmed her, and she was finally at peace. Penny smiled under closed eyes and let the sounds of the Australian surf wash over her.


The job at the Caring Hands Homeless Shelter had simply been the latest in a string of bad jobs. Penny had been fired from three positions in the last year, and suspected she was up for the axe next time there was a budget crunch at the shelter. She wasn’t incompetent or bad, she was simply too nice. Penny did extra work, other people reaped the benefits; she came up with a new idea, her boss took credit.

It had started as an idle fancy: apply to the Evil League of Evil.

Penny was so sick and tired of the run-down shelter, the dirty people, the lack of appreciation. Day in, day out, wealth flowed into the Caring Hands Shelter in the form of cash donations, worn-once designer clothes, unopened tins of caviar from corporate gigs...really nice stuff. Why shouldn’t she get some of it? It wasn’t like it would make a real difference anyway. Penny had been there long enough to know the shelter was like a roach motel: people checked in, but they never checked out. They just kept showing up—rain or shine—looking for a handout.

So, after a particularly bad week (and two or three too many double margaritas), Penny submitted an application to the Evil League of Evil. In it, she detailed the petty wrongs she had done to people at the shelter: cutting way back on the amount of detergent when doing the laundry, taking the best of the honey-baked ham home for herself during the holidays, and buying the very cheapest coffee for the breakfasts when just a little more money would get coffee that was actually drinkable.

When Penny sobered up the next day she had a moment of panic, but then managed to suppress it. There was no way that Bad Horse would seriously consider some fed-up little do-gooder like her for the E.L.o.E.

Then, at the Los Angeles Conference on Kindness, they had appeared. The Cowboy Chorus, Bad Horse’s melodious messengers, had delivered a singing telegram in full view of dozens of attendees. The bystanders thought it was a humorous gag, but Penny knew better.

On the drive home she had pondered her options. Murder was out, of course, but a heinous crime? That was all it took?

Back at the Caring Hands Shelter the next Monday things began to go missing. First the donated bottles of decent shampoo disappeared. The next week, monetary donations mysteriously dropped to almost zilch. And by the end of the month the three new plasma screen televisions were missing. Alone in her apartment, Penny grinned maliciously, for what could be more heinous than stealing from the homeless?

Finally the tipping point came. It was the holiday season and there was an acute shortage of beds at the shelter. First the new mismatched mattresses from a local bed store never arrived, and then a closetful of military-surplus cots somehow disappeared. EBay acted as her on-line fence, and she earned a pretty penny from the ill-gotten gains.

Penny’s admission to the Evil League of Evil actually turned out to be anticlimactic, coming as it did right after the front-page spread in the L.A. Times, “Local Shelter Turns Away Needy: Caring Hands Shelter fails to live up to reputation.” The standing members of the E.L.o.E. had had a chuckle over that at her initiation. Fake T.J. had even had a copy framed for her.

As a show of trust, Bad Horse had tasked her with a special mission: nurture along a promising young scientist who was having some trouble getting fully on-board with evil. It had all been going so well. Billy had gone whole-hog for evil after she’d faked her death at the Captain Hammer/Dr. Horrible extravaganza at the mayor’s press conference. Dr. Horrible had become a villain, and she had been the tipping point.

But then...

Bad Horse was dead, the E.L.o.E. was in disarray, and the Slayers—led by her sister, of all people—had kicked the holiday stuffing out of Bad Penny and her fellow evildoer slash boyfriend, Dr. Horrible. He had saved her life, and carted her off to Australia.

Penny actually felt a bit sorry for her lover. Every once in a while she saw some glimmer of her carefree laundry buddy, but it was buried deep. Billy had been teetering on the edge, and she had pushed him over into full-blown evil.


Penny rolled onto her side. Billy looked at her from sunglasses atop his zinc-oxided nose. He smiled. “Hmm?”

The red-head let her hand trail down Billy’s chest. “Penny for your thoughts?”

Billy grinned broadly. “Yes, that would be nice.”


Billy cleared his throat. “I thought about making a Coriolis reversal field so all the toilets in Australia would swirl clockwise when they flushed...”

Penny spoke, interrupting him before she lost her nerve. “Do we have to do it?”

Billy looked at her, and realized she didn’t just mean the toilet-reverse flushing scheme. “Would you miss it if we stopped,” he asked Penny.

She frowned prettily. “Do we have to decide this now?”

“Nope,” said Billy.

“Good.” Penny lay back in the sun to try and tan without freckling.


The End

You have reached the end of "Another Horrible Sequel". This story is complete.

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