"Red... Oh, Red..." the blonde harlequin wept before the small white flower that served as the grave marking of her fallen friend.
Pamela Isley - Poison Ivy to the world, but 'Pammy' or 'Red' to Harley Quinn - had sacrificed her life to reduce the effects of the fear toxins Scarecrow had attempted to spread across Gotham the previous night. Harley had been busy with her attempts to protect those that carried the Joker's blood from Batman. She had been held in confinement, sobbing over her failure, while her best friend in the whole world was dying because of what the Bat had wrought.
First he had taken Mistah J, then he had taken her hope for getting him back, and now he had taken her best friend. Was there even anything left for him to take? Her life, probably; not that it would matter. He could show up right now and beat her, choke her, shoot her, she didn't care. Her heart had been torn in two, and just when it had looked like it might be able to heal, the Bat had torn it back into two and burned it to ash. She felt so... empty inside, like there was nothing there at all anymore.
Maybe she should just lay down and die.
The was a sound behind her. It was faint, but it was definitely the sound of a person landing on the roof behind her. Clearly, this person was good, probably fairly light too. That meant either Batwoman or...
"Harley," said the unmistakable voice of Harley's former second best friend.
"Cat," she spat with the same venom she usually reserved for saying 'Bat'. Harley remained in her sitting position, not even sparing a glance over her shoulder at the newcomer.
"I'm not here to start a fight, Harley," Selina explain cautiously. "I'm just here to pay my respects to our friend."
"'Friend'? Yeah, that's a laugh," Harley scoffed sadly. "Considerin' it was your boy toy who put Pammy six feet under ta begin with..."
Selina was concerned that Harley was still making jokes, not as a coping mechanism, but because the Joker's conditioning of her mind was so absolute that she genuinely couldn't stop herself. Harley seemed to feel the same and only felt worse for it.
"Hey, now," Selina protested, but didn't raise her voice or allow her frustration at the accusation to creep into her tone. "Batman and I may have... something... but that has never gotten in between-"
"Then why weren't ya here ta save her from the Bat?" Harley asked, sounding more than a little unhinged as her head lolled to finally look back at Selina in a manner the latter was sure was intended to make her feel uncomfortable enough to leave.
"Harley, I... I was busy with-"
"Playin' the big hero? Tryin' ta be somethin' you ain't isn't a good sign fer ya mental health, y'know? Used ta be ya didn't try ta hide from who ya really are. Used ta be ya didn't know that Bat.
"I've never let my feelings for Batman come between us, Harley!" Selina's agitation was growing by the second as Harley rattled off insinuations and accusations of being compromised, until she could no longer bear to sit back and take this abuse. "Ever since we first met, it's been you, Ivy-"
"An' no one else!" Harley was on her feet now, facing Selina directly, her steely glare refusing to break from Selina's own. "You always were a third wheel, Cat! My an' Pammy, we was a regular Thelma and Louise! You just pretended ta be our friend-"
"That's not true!" Selina screamed. "After everything we've been through together, how could you ever think that? Do you not remember when we first met that night at the museum?"
It was about six months after you first met the Joker at Blackgate. You helped him escape from Arkham after you took on the name Harley Quinn and he was establishing his base of operations during that gang war with Bane's guys. Joker had sent you to steal something expensive to help fund his operations and you gladly skipped away to do so.
Ivy had heard about a new exhibit at the museum, featuring an endangered plant species. Naturally, she wanted to liberate it to keep it out of the hands of destructive humans.
I was there after hearing about an ancient Egyptian artefact in the shape of a cat with large emeralds for eyes. Call me predictable, but I can't resist a pretty kitty.
I snuck in through the skylight into a small room devoid of security. For a while, I was anticipating a trap because, again, pretty kitty. Avoiding the rent-a-cop security forces was easy, given the average goon I.Q. in this city. Crawling along the ceiling made reaching my destination utterly trivial.
So, there I was, standing beside my prize's glass prison with three hapless security guards lying unconscious at my feet. In the brief struggle, I had noticed the massive tree outside one of the broken windows and shrugged it off as being the result of the wind and rain outside. You remember how fierce the weather was at the time, right? Well, needless to say, that tree wasn't normally so close to the window.
Anyway, I carefully cut a hole in the glass container and took the statue in my hands. Its eyes were positively mesmerising in the moonlight emanating from the broken window. As I stood transfixed, taking in every inch of my prize, I noticed the sound of approaching footsteps. These weren't the heavy, brutish footfalls of the lumbering guards but rather, a second light-weight intruder on her own little excursion, and in footwear no harder than ballet pumps from the sound of it.
I stashed the cat in my bag (yes, the cat's out of the bag, ha ha) and moved to hide, but she was quicker than I'd expected and I was soon, for the first time, face-to-face with Poison Ivy. We both froze as our eyes met. Evidently, she was as surprised to see me as I was her. She wasn't green back then and she wore more clothes, but her green eyes were no less powerful as she looked right through me.
We gasped each other's aliases in surprise. I had been seen, but it wasn't like Ivy was going to tell the cops, not when she was holding what looked like a very rare potted plant in her hands. Plus, even Batman didn't know who I was back then, so as long as Ivy was too guilty to rat on me, I'd be fine.
Figuring we had an unspoken mutual agreement, I tried to leave. What I didn't plan on, however, was for the entire museum to be rocked by an explosion from nearby. Ivy looked as panicked and confused as I was as we both slowly edged out of the room from opposite doors on the inner wall to the area overlooking the large smoking hole that was your entry onto the scene.
I never liked how you killed people. Sure, these guys were hardly my friends, but they were honest enough workers, just trying to make a living. And I suppose that was always a point of contention for you two as well: my morals. I'm hardly squeamish, but seeing you gleefully gun down any opposition was the first time I had really experienced how dark and unforgiving living in this city could be. It made me feel sick.
But here we were, the three of us, together for the first time. And thankfully not the last. I still remember feeling strangely curious as I watched you continue on, oblivious to Ivy using a vine to smack away a guard that was trying to attack you from behind. At the time, I assumed you and she were friends, but I guess she was as curious as I was about the rumoured girlfriend of the Joker.
I mean, everyone in the city must have thought, 'How crazy must one be to become so close to that psycho?' Little did I know, I was going to reach an intimate level of understanding, as would Ivy. I guess I must have had lady luck on my side for curiosity to not kill this cat.
It was only then that I realised every alarm in the building was blaring, as were the approaching sirens and helicopters. By the time I realised it, it was too late to simply flee. Thanks to your lack of subtlety, half the GCPD was on its way.
I didn't want to get involved (fighting law enforcement officials doesn't exactly warm up either the force or the Batman to you) but Ivy wanted to enthral a few bodyguards for protection to make up for her lack of stealth skills. I would have been happy sneaking out the way I came in, but Ivy brought up that huge plant from the ground near me, destroying the balcony beneath my feet and leaving me tumbling down to the floor below.
That was when you noticed me and the first thing you ever said to me was-
"I guess cats really do always land on their feet."
...That's right. The first thing you said to me was a joke - one of the oldest in the book and one that would get you kicked out of a comedy club, but you looked so pleased with yourself as you said it, I couldn't help but be amused by it. I guess that's where it started.
The guards saw me and called it in, so I had no choice but to fight. I'd run into Batman a number of times before then, including the previous night, so I was eager to get out of there before he arrived, even if I did enjoy our little chases. At the same time, the idea of strength in numbers occurred to me. I figured that, since he'd no doubt learn I'd been there now, it would be safer for me to stick with you two. And so, I did.
We fought our way out, you'll recall. You with your jack-in-the-boxes and your mallet and your laughing gas; me with my bolas, caltrops and whip; and Ivy with her hypnotic kisses and pheromones that even the female officers couldn't resist. Before long, every officer was unconscious, tied up or under Ivy's control.
You were the first of us to speak as we caught our breath. "Hi, I'm Harley!" you declared, extending a hand to me. You still hadn't quite mastered the art of misdirection so it was plain to see the joybuzzer. To this day, I still don't know if it was just a harmless prank or an attempt to silence the witnesses.
"Catwoman," I replied, knocking your hand aside with my own. "And you're Poison Ivy," I said to our red haired compatriot, clutching the plant tightly like a library nerd with her books.
"That's right, dear," she said in that deep, sultry tone of hers that, though I hate to admit, sent shivers down my spine the first time I heard it.
Yeah. Me too.
I knew that. You said it out loud. I believe your exact words were "Ooh, your voice tingles my funny bone. Do it again."
I'll never forget the bemused expression on Ivy's face as you said that. I only ever saw it that one time, but it was just so... purrrfect.
Ivy and I then exchanged glances. I shrugged, having no more idea how to respond to you than she did. It was your cry of "Oh, sirens" that made us listen and realise how close the cops were to our position by now.
"We have to get out of here," I urged.
But, "Not just yet!" you cried, rushing off like a Looney Toons character to collect your own prize. Ivy and I groaned intentionally when you returned with a plaque with information on hyenas. Not a rare jewel or a priceless fossil - you blew up a museum and killed a bunch of people for a plaque.
Poor Bud and Lou...
I know, Harl. I'm sorry to remind you what Cobblepot did to them. But this was when you first had the idea of having hyenas as pets. The expression you carried as you showed us your prize was the most adorable thing I've ever seen. And I have several kittens at home. Whatever life with the Joker was like, I could tell right then and there that it made you feel truly happy, as cat-themed treasures do for me and new breeds of plants did for Ivy.
Speaking of plants, that was how Ivy got us out of there, remember? A massive plant grew out of the ground and we ascended atop one of its car-sized leaves. The cops lost the scent easily once we were back at Ivy's greenhouse. It was there that I commented, "We really kicked the hornet's nest, huh?"
Ivy responded, "Those sirens can probably be heard all across Gotham City," while she got her new plant set up.
And then you grinned, wider than even the Joker whenever he had Batman in a trap. You took my hand and Ivy's, almost making her drop the damn plant as you yanked us together, forcing us into forming a handpile and you said-
That's us, gals. We're tha "Gotham City Sirens".
"And the name even gained some traction on the streets," Selina concluded. "Even if it was never anything official. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers it so vividly."
"That's yer game, is it?" Harley asked, evidently feeling no better about either her life or Selina in spite of their reminiscence. "Tryin' ta tug at my heartstrings with a nostalgic tale a' tha good ol' days? Ya can't manipulate me that easy, Kitty. I was a psychologist, ya know. I know all a tha tricks."
"That wasn't my intention, Harley," Selina replied, unsure herself whether or not that was true.
"Oh, yeah? Then tell me, Cat, what was the point a' that little trip down memory lane?"
It hurt Selina that Harley refused to call her either by name, or by her old nickname of 'Kitty'. This one simple change served to illustrate how much their relationship had changed over the last couple of years. Selina wondered if this was a tactical decision from Harley to achieve this exact effect - she had by a psychologist, after all.
Selina sighed. "I'm trying to make you see how important you and Ivy are to me."
"Ha! Ya think reminiscin' over our first meetin'll make me ferget that you left us fer yer Bat Buddy?"
"That's rich coming from you, Harl," Selina snapped back, making Harley recoil slightly at the sudden change in her demeanour. "I still remember the night of Joker's takeover of the Asylum..."
I was locked in a prison block you passed through on the way to letting Ivy out. I remember the look of disbelief I saw reflected on my face as you approached the glass in that stupid nurse getup.
"Heya, Kitty," you called obliviously as you unlocked my cell.
"Of all the things I expected to see tonight, you weren't one of them, Harl," I said, hugging you. "What's going on?" I asked.
"Mistah J told me ta bust everyone outta their cells," you explained with exaggerated arm motions to indicated the vastness of this plan. "I'm on my way ta free Pammy. But Mistah J didn't ask me to let her out specifically, so shhh! Ya want in?"
Naturally, I agreed, even without any of my gear on-hand. All I had was what amounted to a black tank top and matching yoga pants, not even any shoes - I don't know how Ivy did it. I guess the guards had a wicked sense of humour to dress me in a style reminiscent of my alter-ego. Still, it didn't phase me at all; I figured you'd do the heavy-hitting and I'd do the unlocking. But we both know that's not how it went, don't we, Harl?
We approached the door leading to Ivy's cell before a resistance force of Arkham Security personnel ambushed us; no guns, luckily. We stood back-to-back, surrounded on all sides by a dozen guards. But then, we're no ordinary ladies.
Fighting them off was easy, if tiring. I was out of practice (and shape, a little, as well...) thanks to my incarceration, so I was relying on you and your weapons to see us through. Our well-practiced team attacks were invaluable in taking them all down as well. But then the second group of twelve showed up. Do you remember what you said when you saw them? Do you!?
"I bet Pammy's feelin' all cooped up in her little cell in there. I'd betta go bust her out real quick. You can deal with alla' these guys yerself, right, Kitty?"
The utter goddamn temerity on display was astounding. I didn't even have a chance to protest or suggest we both just go inside and barricade the door before you locked the damn thing shut behind you, leaving me outside with the guards.
I had to fight a dozen guards, tired and unarmed, while even more of them showed up. I'd have been lucky to make it out without a crippling injury if Ivy hadn't shown up and summoned vines to trap those that remained. She walked in casually and the only acknowledgement she gave me was saying my name. That was all. After that, she enthralled the guards she'd captured and headed straight for the botanical gardens. Then you came back through the door and I know you remember what you said to me.
"Geez, Kitty, I thought fer sure you'd'a taken 'em all down by now." Then you shrugged and skipped off to do whatever Mistah J told you to like a good little puppet. So, I tracked down my stuff in the Arkham Mansion and got the hell off the island.
"That's why I 'left', Harley: because the two of you had become increasingly cold towards me just because I have standards and lines I won't cross."
"Yer still a thief, Cat," Harley spat, clearly agitated by Selina's puppet comment. "Ya can talk all ya want about havin' standards, but at least me and Ivy were honest about who we were. All you ever did was pretend you were some kinda hero to impress your dark knight in shinin' armour."
Selina had had enough. "Am I in love with Batman? Yes, I am. Do I help him protect Gotham's innocent from scumbags like Zsasz, Sionis or the Joker? Of course I do. Am I glad they're all dead? You're goddamn right I am! But ever since that night at the museum, I've considered you and Ivy my best friends, the two people who most understood me in the world! Whether or not you choose to believe me, I still do, no matter how sad and pathetic I realise that makes me now!"
Both women were silent for a while. Selina couldn't quite get a feel for what Harley was thinking. Was she mulling it over? Was she thinking of the best retort to display her refusal to believe her. She was shaking, but it was a fairly warm night for the start of November.
"Why weren't ya there for me when I lost Mistah J?" Harley's eyes were wet and her mascara was starting to run. "Pammy was there. She was always there for me."
Selina felt strangely guilty for how she had spoken to Harley. She didn't regret doing so, because it was the only way to get through to her, but Harley had been through a lot over the last year. The Joker, sadistic psycho though he was, meant the world to Harley.
Selina knew how she would feel if someone she cared for died - Maggie, Holly, Bruce - but what Harley felt for the Joker was... God, it was wrong on every possible level. But it was so deeply entrenched into who Harley was, into who the Joker had turned her into, that losing him had been like losing a piece of her very soul.
"I know, Harl, I know," Selina sighed, more at how she was feeling than anything else. "I should have been there for you. I'm so sorry that I wasn't. I'm glad Ivy was there for you, at least. She was always there, even if we had started to grow apart."
Selina thought back on her interactions with Ivy since the night at the Asylum. The two hadn't cross paths again until the night Joker died, inside Arkham City. Ivy had tied Selina up for a few hours, fortunately not leaving her upside-down the entire time. But Selina had managed to get out of that situation by convincing Ivy to let her go and retrieve a rare plant from Hugo Strange's vault as recompense for accidentally killing its counterpart. She hadn't seen Harley at all that night, though she knew exactly what had happened to her.
"After... that night, I didn't see either of you again until the incident with the Mad Hatter," Selina pressed on.
"Our last hurrah," Harley whispered as she sank to her knees.
Selina wanted so badly to just step forward and take her blonde best friend up in a tight, comforting hug. But Harley was volatile when she was in control of her emotions. When she wasn't... It was best to give her space until Harley herself invited her closer.
"Did Ivy ever tell you how we wound up in that situation?" Harley shook her head silently. "I thought as much. She was probably trying to protect my reputation, as well as her own. It started when I got a tip off about a rather large diamond that had made its way into Arkham City..."
It was in the apartment under the old strip club in Park Row. I got in with no problem, which should have rung a few alarm bells, either in the building or my head. I suppose that would have occurred to me had I not laid eyes on the jewel. It was a gemstone as big as my fist, totally clear of colour. It was in a glass case in the centre of a mostly empty room. I know, obvious trap, right? But that gem hooked my attention and refused to let go. Describing it as 'hypnotic' might be more appropriate than I'd like to admit, given what I know now.
I recall smelling something funny in the air, so whether I was gassed or just hypnotised right there in the room with the light shining through the gem, I don't remember; and I feel like I'd rather it stay that way.
Either way, that's how I wound up: hypnotised by the Mad Hatter and totally at his mercy. I don't recall much of my time there, but I know I wasn't there for a tea party, not at first. Tetch had his sights set on something bigger and I was just one of the pieces on the board.
He implanted all sorts of suggestions in my mind, you'll recall. The most sinister was an alternate personality based on the Cheshire Cat. His pet Cheshire Cat. In that persona, I did everything he told me, grinning like an idiot the whole time. God, my cheeks hurt for weeks afterwards.
There was a phrase he gave me. One that would make me alternate between my real self and my Cheshire self. He could change me back and forth as easily as flicking a switch. Click, Selina. Click, Cheshire Cat. Click, Selina again. It was horrifying to know he had that level of power over me - but only when I was me; as his Cheshire Cat, I still knew I was a puppet on Tetch's strings, but I didn't much care.
Ironically, it was when I had control of my mind that my control of my situation was most reduced thanks to his suggestions preventing me from moving without his say-so. As the Cheshire Cat, I was free to move however I liked because he knew I wouldn't resist or try to escape.
Once he was satisfied with what he'd done to me, he sent me on my merry way to 'invite a friend for tea'. I'm sure you can see where this is going.
I entered Ivy's hideout for the first time in... I don't even know how long it had been since that night. I was stealthy as ever in spite of my alternate persona. I avoided all of her thralls, who were thugs from various gangs, TYGER soldiers and even a couple of those weird female ninjas that showed up around that time. I know that in hindsight, but in my inebriated perception, they were the Red Queen's guards. In the scenario Tetch had me playing out, his sinister metaphors were literal: the Cheshire Cat was sneaking past the Red Queen's guards to personally deliver an invitation to tea from the Mad Hatter.
I'm sure 'the Queen' knew I was there, but I wasn't in my Cheshire Cat costume yet. In my mind's eye, I was, and my measurements had been taken while I was with Tetch. But at this moment, in Ivy's eyes, I was just Selina, slinking back in for the first time since dropping off her plant. She probably thought I was going to ask for help with a burglary or to ask how you were.
I crawled along the ceiling until I was directly above her. I dropped down quickly and silently. I stayed crouched in a perfectly cat-like stance, listening for her 'soldiers' mobilising to stop me. She was staring right at me from her seat, but nobody else moved. I know I wasn't in control of my actions, but I still feel terrible for what I did to my unsuspecting friend.
"Hello and good evening, O Great Queen of Red," I said theatrically as per my programming. "I come from the Hatter's, you must know what he said." I held out the 'letter', which didn't seem to register to Ivy as a threat or I'd have been upside-down and pheromone kissed into pacification before I could say 'tea time'.
"A letter, you say?" she asked. "How incredibly droll. And what does he want from me; The common-born troll?" I doubt she actually said it that way, for the record.
I recall this strange sense of... hatred building as she offended Tetch. I imagine you feel that way when someone insults the Joker. But I pressed on. I had my roll to play, after all, and clawing the Red Queen's eyes out wasn't part of it, thank God.
"An invite, he sends; As right here, you'll see. The Hatter would like; To see you for tea. The guests are all there; All ready to drink. A shame to miss out on it; Surely, you think?"
"You're having a Lark," the 'Queen' replied, "that Hatter is Mad! The existence he leads; Oh, how truly sad!"
"I'm afraid you've no choice; I really must insist; The Hatter wants you there; If I must drag you by the wrist." That was when I attacked. The 'invitation' I'd been tasked with delivering was actually one of Tetch's Rabbit masks. You know, the ones with the microchips in that disrupt the brain's regular electrical impulses or whatever. God, Tetch is such a creep.
I slapped the mask onto Ivy's face and forced the strap around the back of her head to fix it in place. She struggled, of course, but the device was already working its black magic on her. Coupled with her surprise, that gave me the advantage. I even gloated about it to her.
"You shouldn't be rude; It's not a good habit. Just sit back, relax; And follow the White Rabbit." I felt so good taunting her like that. I don't know if it was because of my programming or because the real me was satisfied getting one over on Ivy after all her condescension.
Before long, she was out like a light. I continued as I was instructed, making Ivy send her thralls away. Seeing them all leave the building was Tetch's cue to come inside and put Ivy through the same process he'd put me through.
Yer cryin', Selina.
"What?" Selina brought a finger up to the stream of water rolling down her cold cheeks. "Oh. Yeah, I guess I am. W-Well, like I said, even if I had no choice in the matter and even if it was the... Cheshire Cat side of me that... did it." She was starting to choke up now, just thinking about it. She slowly lowered herself to the ground and sat down. She couldn't bear to stand any longer.
Even Harley, broken down mess that she was with mascara streaming down to her chin, looked on Selina with a look of pity. Great. Now, Selina felt worse. She was supposed to be comforting Harley, but Harley looked ready to try and make her feel better. She really was pathetic.
"He used Ivy to get Jenna," Selina said, changing the subject. Jenna Duffy, the Carpenter, formerly of the Hatter's Wonderland Gang. She had tried to leave Gotham at Batman's behest, only to be ambushed by TYGER goons when she tried to boards a bus. They had thrown her into Arkham City, where she had reopened her business until the Hatter came knocking.
Harley's eyes went wide at this revelation. "Her too?"
"I'm glad you didn't see her, Harl. Ivy was sent to retrieve her, came about about an hour later with Jenna in tow. She was spaced out, a lipstick imprint on her cheek. I guess I'm just glad he never sent either of us after you."
"He prob'ly figgered my grief made me resistant to that sorta stuff," Harley replied, her former profession surfacing again.
"Probably, yeah. Creepy and despicable as he is, he's a smart little weasel. Of course, Batman didn't notice until Hatter got to Vicki Vale and a cop. He had us all sat around a table, fully aware of what we were doing, but unable to move of our own volition."
"God, that sounds-"
"I know. And it was. And I put Ivy in that position."
"And then Batman showed up," Selina pressed on, not even hearing Harley's protestation. "Tetch switched Ivy, Jenna and me back to our Wonderland personas and made us attack him. He kicked our butts and snapped us out of it, of course. I can't deny that having my dark knight in black and grey armour swooping in to save me was more than a little romantic, but he didn't seem all that concerned about me. I know Bruce Wayne had a thing with Vicki Vale. She was his princess this time, so I left."
Selina remained silent. She felt bitter over Bruce Wayne. All of Gotham knew he had been Batman now, but no one knew if he was still alive after the explosion at Wayne Manor. She had tried contacting his adopted son over in Blüdhaven, but that had proven fruitless as even he didn't know. Sure, he could have been lying to cover for Bruce - he was more than likely one of the Robins, after all - but she could tell he was just as confused and torn as she was.
So, she let it go. Or she tried to. She felt like, had she not known the two were one and the same, and one of them had seemingly died, she could have coped with it. She'd feel bad for using the other as a rebound option, but she could convince herself it was divine intervention leading her to the right man of the two. The problem was that she had fallen for both men. Now, knowing that both were gone, probably forever, she felt hollow. This was probably how Harley felt about the Joker's death too.
Bruce had known who she was for years, so she couldn't help but wonder if he had been playing her the whole time. He had kissed her last night. When did Batman ever kiss anyone? She had felt kinda special for that. But he was gone, most likely alive and underground, but she had a foreboding suspicion that that kiss was the last she'd ever see of him.
"Goddammit, Bruce," she muttered, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, hoping Harley might assumed she was licking her hand instead. "And then-"
"And then, you two came to me fer help trackin' Tetch down, right?" Harley finished for her.
Selina was surprised by the sudden interruption, but she welcomed it. She was sure that if she continued to talk right now, she wouldn't be able to hold it in any longer. She nodded instead, signalling Harley to recount this event for her.
You an' Pammy showed up at the mill ta ask fer my help. I wuz still in mournin' over Mistah J, and I wuz angry at you fer bein' B-Man's top girl, but I felt so alone without my puddin' that I couldn't turn you away. I thought, maybe spendin' time with you girls might take my mind offa things, y'know? So, I said yeah, an' we tracked ol' Hatter down in a run-down warehouse by the docks.
Prob'ly shoulda raised a red flag at his move to a bigger location than his old joint, but I was too grief-stricken ta notice, an' you two were focused on gettin' payback.
We headed inside, you scoutin' tha place out first an' me an' Pammy bringin' up tha rear. Hatter wuz alone in there since his goons had all been beaten by the Bat. We went inside and Pammy wuz quick ta confront him.
"You're a dead man, Tetch," she said, angrier'n I ever saw 'er before. You two walked right at 'im all intimidatin' like, but he didn't cower at all. Which surprised me, since I knew he wuz a total coward who used mind control an' stuff ta get what he wanted.
But then, he didn't even bother with his rhymin' schtick when he said, "It's time for tea, Alice," and triggered you guys's brainwashin'. Suddenly, I was gettin' ready ta fight my two best friends as ya both turned around in yer other personas, starin' at me like I was the worst piece a' trash on Earth. I could tell ya both wanted me deader'n I wanted the Bat dead. It was hard not ta tremble as I got my baseball bat ready.
Ivy stayed back in her big plant bulb, sprayin' 'er toxins around. You were more of a handful with yer quick claws and feet. It was tough, but I managed ta stun ya long enough ta get ta Ivy an' beat her up too.
By the time I snapped ya both outta yer trances, all three of us were all beaten and sweaty, but you were you again. We approached Hatter and he wuz cowerin' in the corner, sayin' "Alice, Oh, Alice" over an' over. I think I mighta' broke 'im when I woke you guys up an' he realised what was comin' to 'im.
You both beat the crap outta the guy and left him battered and bloodied on the floor of the warehouse before we left. We headed back to Ivy's so I could put my degree to use and remove all of Hatter's suggestions and that was that. We split up after that and I didn't see Ivy again until I busted her out of Blüdhaven Police Station a few days ago. After I dropped her off back in Gotham...
It's a shame our last adventure together had ta be such a miserable disaster, huh?
"I never saw Ivy again after that," Selina recalled, eyes overflowing. "I didn't even apologise to her for what I was made to do. I wanted, so badly, to say I was sorry, but I was a coward. I was scared to face her after that, so I never did. And now, I'll never get another chance."
A pair of arms wrapped themselves around Selina, pulling her in tight to rest in Harley's bosom.
"We both got regrets, huh, Kitty?" Harley whispered, tears streaming down her own cheeks. "You ain't the one who got Pammy for Tetch. You ain't the one who killed Mistah J either. Life's too short to stay mad at your friends. All we got left is each other. I don't wanna lose you too."
Selina reciprocated the hug as tightly and firmly as she could. "Never again, Harl," she whispered. "You and me are gonna stick together. Forever."
"Yeah, Selina and Harley, the Sirens forever."
At the base of Ivy's giant tree, the little white flower brushed off its creator's red cardigan and opened its petals in bloom.