Title: Cactus Flowers (1/1)

Author: Allaine

Email: eac2ndyahoo.com

Disclaimers: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are the property of DC Comics, the creators of "Batman: The Animated Series", and God knows who else. Mezcal, Ida Red, Pulque, Rollalong, and all other characters are the property of DC Comics, Paul Dini, and the other creators of "Mutant, Texas". If you have a problem with women who love each other, then this story is not for you.

Feedback: As always, greatly desired and usually responded to.

Rating: R

Spoilers: Helps if you're familiar with both titles, but not required.

Distribution: If you want it, just ask.

Summary: Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn run afoul of the law in a little Texas town where the residents are even stranger than them. A Batman/Mutant, Texas crossover.

"Um, Red? I think I might need to go back on my meds."

"You're not hallucinating, Harley. I see them too."

"Oh. Good. I think. Although it would help if you were, you know, sane," Harley suggested.

Ivy rolled her eyes.


Harley and Ivy turned around and saw the gas-station attendant waiting for them. He rubbed his nose with an oily handkerchief before going on. "Your car had an overheating problem. Not exactly a surprise here in this corner of Texas. It does get a little hot this time of year."

"A little?" Harley squeaked. Ivy, on the other hand, was used to being inside sweltering greenhouses and tropical locales. The heat didn't bother her so much as the dryness.

"How long will it take to fix?" Ivy asked, sighing. It wouldn't be a cross-country trip if there wasn't a mechanic along the way who insisted on a thousand dollars up front to fix the inevitable breakdown.

"Few hours," the mechanic guessed. "You ladies might want to partake in a little Mutant, Texas hospitality."

"A little what hospitality?" Ivy said.

"Mutant, Texas. That's the town name, Mutant, miss. Guess you didn't see the sign at the city limits."

Ivy shrugged. "No, we didn't."

"Where can someone get a cold drink around here?" Harley asked, wiping her forehead.

"Try Mezcal's cantina," he suggested. "Two blocks down."

"Thanks," Ivy said, taking Harley by the elbow and leading her away.

"I don't like this, Ivy," Harley whispered as the two tanned women made their way in the direction the auto mechanic had said. "This is how every episode of the Twilight Zone starts - car breaks down in little town, driver meets strange people, driver dies horrible death."

"Harley, please. We're from Gotham. What weirdness haven't we seen? Or caused?"

"How about a family of prairie dogs walking on their hind legs and wearing clothes?" Harley hissed. "And saying 'Hola' as they walk by?!"

Ivy reluctantly nodded. That had been a first. "I suppose Mutant isn't just a clever name," she said, "like Truth or Consequences, New Mexico."

"I don't like that game," Harley muttered. Then she brightened. "I like Truth or Dare better," she added, letting her arm slip around Ivy's waist and squeeze her tightly. "Remember when we played that game in New Orleans?"

A slow flush crept up Ivy's neck. "I remember," she said. "Although we didn't play for long. You came up with that silly dare . . ."

"Sex for three hours straight?"

The redness quickly spread to Ivy's face as she blushed. "Yes, that," she said.

Harley only grinned naughtily. Then she frowned. "Um, Red?"

"Yes?" Ivy asked, half paying attention. Remembering that night in the Big Easy had summoned a host of extremely pleasant memories that just wouldn't go away quietly.

"The horse that just passed us?"

"I didn't notice, what?"

"It was talking to its rider."

Ivy blinked. "Perhaps there's something in the water?"

"I thought that was in Mexico."

"Texas, Mexico - different language, same place."

They made their way to the cantina, and Harley pressed nervously against Ivy as they entered, spotting the talking horse waiting out front. If it really had talked - it was silent when they walked past. Perhaps he was waiting for someone to strike up a conversation.

The bar was dark but clean, and cooler than the hot street outside. Harley exhaled quietly as they made their way over to the bar. They were the only two there, except for a tall man in a serape and hat standing at the other end.

"There's plenty of stools," Harley muttered as they sat down. "Why's he standing?"

"Have you ever ridden a horse for long? He's probably more comfortable standing."

Harley squinted down the bar. "Yeah, well, he's got a real five-o'clock shadow," she said.

He spied them looking at him, and he came over, doffing his wide-brimmed hat. "Afternoon, ladies," he greeted them. His voice was low and raspy. And he had short, stubby needles sticking out of his face.

Harley and Ivy didn't respond at first. "Hello," Harley finally said.

"I'm guessing you're just passing through?" he asked.

"Our car's in the shop," Ivy said.

"Um, when did you shave last?" Harley asked.

He stared for a minute before he chuckled. "Hasn't been a razor invented that'll tame these whiskers," he told her. He plucked one of the little thorns from his chin and tossed it casually onto the bar.

"Clint Saguaro! I better not have seen you getting your prickers on my nice, unscratched bar!"

Ivy and Harley peered around "Clint" and spotted a woman standing in the doorway behind the bar. Ivy felt the oddest twinge as she looked at the new arrival.

"Don't fret now, Mezcal," Clint said calmly. "It's just the one."

"As long as you don't sit yourself on any of my stools," Mezcal warned him as she came over. "Dios, turistas!" she said, suddenly spotting Harley and Ivy.

Clint brushed the spine off the bar with his hat before Mezcal could pick it up. He waved it in Mezcal's direction before leaving her with the traveling Gothamites.

"Bienvenidos," Mezcal told them. "Me llamo Donna Margarita Agavita Inebriata Mezcal, but you can just call me Mezcal. This is my cantina. Staying in Mutant long?"

"Just waiting for our car to leave the shop," Ivy said neutrally while she examined the bar owner. Her hair had been fashioned into long flat plaits that resembled leaves, and then dyed a pale green. She wore only a light two-piece outfit that appeared to be made of hair, and was undoubtedly quite cool in this heat. But Ivy felt something was amiss . . .

"I've never seen that kind of look before," Harley said cheerfully. "Where'd you get it done?"

"Well, you see - " She placed her hands on the bar.

"It's not a look," Ivy realized, surprised she hadn't realized it sooner. "She's a plant." Those were real leaves crowning her head. And those weren't gloves she had on. Her fingertips were more like roots.

Both Mezcal's and Harley's eyes widened.

"An agave plant, right?" Ivy asked.

Mezcal nodded. "Muy bien," she said. "Tiene razon - I mean, you're right. I'm not human like either of you. You don't seem startled."

Ivy gestured toward the cantina doors. "After the things we saw outside, it's not exactly a shock. What kind of town is this?" She found herself instinctively warming to Mezcal, for obvious reasons. Other than Harley, Ivy always preferred the company of plants.

"We're - unique," Mezcal finally said. "Let's just say we had a little incident many years ago with the nuclear power plant. Before that I was just your basic agave plant. Now . . . " She spread her arms.

"So the radiation mutated your DNA," Ivy replied. "How very interesting. I'm Ivy, and this is Harley. We're driving across the country."

"Hiya!" Harley said.

"So what can I get you?" Mezcal asked.

"Beer," Ivy told her.

"What's the house special?" Harley asked, as she always did on their trip.

"Una cerveza," Mezcal said, setting a cold brown bottle down in front of Ivy before answering Harley's question. "Well, what I offer is notorious all over town," she went on, grinning at Harley. "It's strong stuff, but you'll have something to tell the gringos back home."

Harley smiled impishly. "I'll take it," she said.

Mezcal shrugged, still smiling as Ivy took a pull from her beer. "All right, you asked for it."

She leaned over the bar, put a hand on the shoulder of a surprised Harley, and kissed her on the lips - and not a quick one, either.

Fortunately Ivy didn't drop her beer, but the base of the bottle hit the bar with a loud noise as her arm slammed down.

Mezcal pulled away a second later, and Ivy stared at Harley. Her entire face had gone bright red.

"I'll - I'll - "

Anything else that Harley might have tried to say came out in a slurred mishmash before she passed out. She fell face first onto the bar.

"If you want a picture," Mezcal said to Ivy as she turned to look at her, "I've got a - "

Mezcal found herself looking down the barrel of a nine-millimeter handgun.


"All right now," Ivy said. She held the weapon very steadily, and the warmth had vanished from her eyes. "What did you do to her? And why were you kissing my girlfriend?"

Mezcal swallowed. "Your girlfriend?" she asked.

A door slammed in the back of the cantina, and Ivy cast a glance behind her. The cowboy Saguaro had disappeared, and Ivy swore under her breath.

The cantina owner looked from the barrel of the gun to Ivy's eyes, and they were the same. Both scared her. "She's going to be all right," Mezcal said hurriedly. "It's just tequila, one hundred-twenty proof. She's probably going to be out of it for an hour or two, but - "

"Most bars I go to," Ivy interrupted coldly, "they serve their tequila in a glass."

"It runs in my veins," Mezcal explained, trembling. "If I kiss someone on the mouth, it's just like pouring them a drink, only the effect is faster and stronger."

Ivy scowled and looked at her carefully. Harley had certainly looked and sounded drunk, and she didn't want to hurt a plant, especially a rare one like the female before her. It was just that Ivy had a serious jealous streak, and she didn't like seeing anyone - animal, vegetable, or mineral - trying something like that.

She was about to put the gun down when she was distracted by a strange yapping sound. She looked to her right.

A worm was on the bar, and it appeared to be barking at her.

"I have officially seen everything," Ivy said.

"Callate, Pulque!" Mezcal hissed at her pet.

"There a problem, ladies?"

"Deputy," Mezcal said, sounding a bit relieved.

Damn it, why did the law have to get mixed up in this?

"Because you pulled a gun on someone?" a voice said in the back of her mind.

Ivy looked in the other direction toward the front doors, but she didn't see anyone. Her brow furrowed in confusion.

"Why don't you put the piece away, miss, before I have to use my peacemaker?"

She looked down.

An armadillo, no more than two feet tall even on his hind legs, was studying her coolly as he aimed a revolver at her. "This isn't a Western, ma'am," he added. "We don't take kindly to people bringing a gun to a fight here in Mutant, Texas."

Ivy just stared at him. "An armadillo," she said. "I'm being held at gunpoint by an armadillo."

"Well, I don't like the phrase 'at gunpoint'. It makes it sound like I'm robbing you. I'm Rollalong Diller, and I'm the deputy in these here parts. I'm sure the sheriff will want to be seeing you." He cocked the hammer on his pistol. "Again, how about putting that down?"

Harley had been right. Driver breaks down in small town. Townsfolk are strange. Driver dies horribly?

Sighing, she put the gun down. "I hope your sheriff is a big guy," Ivy said, "because I don't think any of us are going to be able to carry Harley here."

"Oh, I think Sheriff Ida can handle it."


"Okay, Mezcal, just settle down," Ida Red told her as she sat across from the cantina owner. She took off her hat and tossed her head, letting her red hair drop below her shoulders. She reached out a gloved hand and squeezed Mezcal's shoulder comfortingly. "Rolly just locked this pistol-packing city girl in the holding cell, and the other one's sleeping it off. Nothing to be afraid of. What went down today? Attempted robbery?"

"No," Mezcal said, realizing she was still shaking. "Just a serious miscommunication."

"I've only been Sheriff a couple years," Ida said, "but in my experience, people communicate very well with a gun."

Mezcal sighed. "The girl, the other one, she asked for the house special."

"You kissed her?"

"Ida, tu sabes I'm impartial to gender. Hombre quiere un beso, mujer wants a kiss, I give it to them," Mezcal said.

"Did she know you were going to kiss her?"

"No, they're new, and I thought I'd surprise them. If I had suspected they were a couple, I would have told them in advance, but dos mujeres, Ida!"

"Whoa, wait, hold on a minute," Ida said. "You're saying those two are lovers?"

"The one with red hair like yours, she asked me why I was kissing her girlfriend." Mezcal shivered. "She had a real possessive streak."

Ida nodded slowly. "Well, we certainly don't have any of those types around here, but a town like Mutant sure as hell won't judge others for behavior like that. Still, I'd say she overreacted just a bit."

"The blonde girl, she couldn't hold her liquor, and she passed right out. The other one might not have been able to tell she was drunk. Ivy, she said her name was . . ."

"Ivy?" Ida asked sharply.

"Si. And the other was named Harley."

"Hm," Ida said. "Rolly checked this Ivy's ID, and her name was 'Pamela Isley'. Maybe she had a fake driver's license to go along with that gun."

"It wouldn't surprise me," Mezcal muttered.


Mezcal tapped her fingers nervously. "That one's a real serpiente, Ida. A rattler. What I saw in her eyes - it was scarier than what I saw in her hand. If she had thought I hurt her chica, she would have killed me, I know it."

Ida sighed. "Why does this town always seem to attract rattlesnakes? I guess I'll have a talk with this Ivy. Might be she's wanted on something. What about her friend? Harley?"

"She didn't do anything wrong," Mezcal said. "She was just looking for some fun."

"Well, hopefully she'll be out until this mess is cleared up," Ida replied. "You can go back to the cantina if you want."

"If you don't mind, Ida, I'd like to stay until this is settled," Mezcal said. "Mi corazon, it's still racing."

The sheriff nodded. "Don't worry, Mezcal. You know I won't let anything happen to you, or anyone else in this town."

"I know," Mezcal said, smiling.

"You up for a talk?" Ida Red asked Ivy when they were alone in the holding area.

Ivy looked at her. "You're the sheriff?"

"I'm Ida Red, and I'm sheriff of this town, yes."

"Ellie Mae Clampett was the best they could do?"

Ida scowled at her. "I don't think that was called for."

"Gee, guess I just plumb lose my manners around cops."

"I'm guessing you've had a few run-ins with the law?"

"I think you could rustle up a few Wanted posters with my face on them," Ivy said, smirking. "But nothing outstanding, though you're welcome to check."

"So's you know, I'm also the district attorney and the judge in this town, so if I decide to leave you in that cell for a month, I do believe I can arrange the court order," Ida warned her.

It was Ivy's turn to give her a dirty look. "What do you want?" she asked sullenly.

"You gave Mezcal one hell of a scare," Ida told her.

"Well, I guess she's got a story to tell all her friends too."

"I realize us Texans have a reputation, but around here I don't like it when people try dispute resolution with a gun."

"And I don't like it when people start sucking face with my girlfriend without asking!" Ivy retorted. "We've driven through nine Southern states, and that's not any kind of 'Southern hospitality' we've ever encountered."

"I'm sure Mezcal explained what happened," Ida said. "You had no cause to be waving a gun in her face."

"I wasn't going to shoot her."

"She thought you were. You scared the hell out of her."

Ivy folded her arms and looked down. "Where's Harley?"

"She's sleeping it off. I take it when you call her your girlfriend, you mean - "

"Yes, we're sleeping together," Ivy said, and Ida blushed a little. "And you'd better not have any ideas about keeping us locked up because we're 'immoral'."

"I'll decide whether you stay in that cell or not," Ida said. "The issue is your actions, not your private lives."

"So what am I supposed to do?"

"Well," Ida said thoughtfully, "your friend hasn't done anything wrong - yet. So she's free to go, once she can stand. As for you, I'll go see what Mezcal wants. Maybe the two of you can work out some kind of compensation."

"I don't have much money on me," Ivy said. Then she smiled. "Let me speak to her, Sheriff. Alone. You give me five minutes with her, and I can work something out."

Ida narrowed her eyes. "I don't think so."

"I'm not going to hurt her," Ivy grumbled. "I'm in here, remember?"

The sheriff stood up and thought it over. "I'll ask her," she finally said. "But I wouldn't suggest trying to escape."

"Oh? And why not - hypothetically speaking?"

Ida waved a hand at Ivy.

Ivy's heart lurched as a small bolt of energy splashed off the wall just twelve inches to the left of her head. She looked up at Ida.

The sheriff blew on her finger and grinned before leaving.

Mezcal leaned against the wall, keeping several feet between her and the bars of Ivy's cell. There was no way the human woman could get at her. "You said you wanted to talk. All right, chica, digame. What is it?"

Ivy smiled lazily at her. "I'm a botanist by education," she said. "That's how I knew you used to be an agave plant. I know more about plants than almost anybody else on the planet. I see plants as family, you see? We have a connection."

"Uh-huh," Mezcal said dubiously.

"I have this effect on plants," Ivy said. "So if I wanted you to tell Sheriff Pippi Longstockings that this whole thing is one big misunderstanding and that you won't press charges . . ."

The atmosphere felt different suddenly, and Mezcal was seized with a powerful urge to go out to the sheriff's office and tell her exactly that.

"Or if I wanted you to go over to the wall where those keys are hanging and unlock my cell . . ."

Mezcal was unable to stop herself from walking over to where the jail cell keys hung from a peg, taking the keys, and then going to Ivy's cell. Her hand trembled as she inserted the correct key into the lock and turning it. Ivy just had to push the door and walk out.

She wanted to cry out, but Mezcal realized that both body and mind wanted nothing more than to help this woman.

The uncontrollable feeling vanished as swiftly as it arrived, and Mezcal gasped as she frantically locked Ivy's cell again. She backed away. Madre Dios, she had even loved this woman for a second, like she was Mezcal's mother. And Mezcal didn't even have a mother! This scared the plant-woman most of all.

"But I'm not going to do that," Ivy said. "Like I said, plants are my family. And I wouldn't do that to you."

"How - how did you do that?" Mezcal whispered.

"What did you say earlier? 'It runs in my veins.' I can do other things too."

"Like what?" Mezcal asked, unable to resist.

Ivy leaned forward. "I'm sure you're happy with your looks overall," she murmured as if they were conspirators in some scheme. "But any woman, if she's being honest, will tell you she's dissatisfied with her body. How about you, Donna Margarita Agavita Inebriata Mezcal? Is your body perfect?"

Mezcal's surprise grew. "You remember my whole name?" she asked.

"Yes, yes," Ivy said impatiently. "I always pay attention to the names of new plants. That's not what I asked you, though."

Mezcal sighed. Undoubtedly this "wise woman", her powers reminiscent of Tia Oso, could compel her to answer truthfully anyway. "I am a very pretty woman," she said defiantly. "But . . . when the radiation affected my body, it didn't see fit to give me much in the way of - cleavage."

Ivy shook her head. "That is what always does seem to draw men like flies to honey, isn't it?" she asked. "They'd let you kiss them no matter what you've got in your veins, so long as you've got a D cup. I take it you're frustrated."

Mezcal nodded. "I am still single. I thought maybe my chest was the reason."

"Normally," Ivy said, "I wouldn't help a woman alter her body just to catch the eye of some man. But, considering I've run afoul of the sheriff, I'm willing to make an exception. You give me something sharp and another five minutes, then go home. If you're satisfied with the result, call the sheriff and tell her you're not pressing charges. Comprende?"

"Si, yo comprendo," Mezcal said. "Pero - por que? It's obvious you don't need to help me. You can just make me."

"For one thing, I don't want the daughter of Sheriff Buford trying to catch us before we reach the county line. And I told you, I wouldn't do that to a plant," Ivy reminded her. "A human, yes. Plants, no. Besides - maybe I did overreact before," she acknowledged.

"Okay then," Mezcal agreed.

"Something sharp then."

Mezcal looked through the drawers of the desk nearby and came up with scissors.

"That will do," Ivy said. "Give them to me."

Anxiously Mezcal handed the makeshift weapon over.

"Good." Ivy took the sharp edge and sliced it across her palm, drawing blood. "Don't scream now. After all, you did take liberties with Harley. I think I've earned the right to take liberties with you."

Mezcal did not scream, but she gasped in shock as she felt Ivy's palm against her left breast.

"You see," Ivy explained, "I'm very good at making things grow."

Ida looked up from her nails when she heard footsteps. "Mezcal?"

The cantina owner looked distracted. "Ida, hi. Listen, I need to go home. Don't do anything with this woman yet, okay? I'll call you in an hour or so."

"All right," Ida said cautiously. "You two work something out?"

"I hope so," Mezcal told her before darting out.

"Oh. Ooh."

Harley staggered into the sheriff's office a minute later before Ida could check on Ivy. She clutched her head.

"Looks like you're up," Ida said.

Harley squinted at the woman who had spoken to her. "Where's Red?" she whispered, barely noticing that the woman was wearing a sheriff's star on cutoffs and a blouse tied in front.

"I guess you mean Ivy? She's in one of our holding cells."

"Holding cells?! Oh, ouch, don't speak." Harley reeled and plopped down in a chair.

"What do you remember, miss?" Ida asked.

"I remember - ordering a special drink."

"Yeah, well, you got one. Only your friend didn't appreciate the effect it had, and she pulled a gun on the bar owner."

"Oh, Ivy," Harley sighed, unwilling to raise her voice. "Why do you have to get mad so quickly?"

"I take it your girlfriend's got a temper problem?"

"My baby doesn't see it as a problem," Harley said. "It's just the people she blows her stack at. Of course, that's a lot of people," she acknowledged.

Ida chuckled. "Well, if you want to wait an hour, I think things might work themselves out."

"Good," Harley whimpered. "I'm just going to lie down and not move, okay?"

"You do that." Ida paused. "Your friend really put a scare into Mezcal, and you said yourself she's got a short fuse. How'd you get involved with someone like that?"

Harley had laid down on a bench near the door, but she opened one eye. "She told you we're together?" she asked.

Ida nodded.

"Ivy never scares me. I've had lovers who did that. And she usually gets mad when she's protecting me," Harley told her. "She's the first one who ever did that. Protected me, I mean."

She closed her eye and stopped speaking. Ida got up once to check on Ivy. The prisoner only gave her an unfriendly stare and looked away.

Half an hour later, the phone rang. Ida picked up. "Sheriff's office, Ida Red here."

"Ida? It's Mezcal. You can let her go."

Ida thought she sounded unusually excited. "You sure? She's not forcing you - "

"Ay, no, estas loco? She can go. It's just - caramba!"

And then she hung up.

Ida looked at the phone receiver. "Guess she got over her scare," she muttered.

"I'd take better care of your car if you don't want to overhear every hundred miles," Ida warned Ivy as she sat behind the wheel. "I'd hate to see the tow truck come in pulling your car back here."

"I can imagine," Ivy said dryly.

Harley just shifted a little as she lay in the backseat, sunglasses covering her eyes. "Red, we there yet?" she mumbled.

"Soon, Harl," Ivy told her. She turned and caressed Harley's shoulder gently as a loving smile. Ida noticed it and better understood what Harley had meant earlier.

"Be sure to tell everyone what a nice time you had in our town," Ida added sarcastically.

"I'll try not to run over any rodents on the drive out," Ivy retorted. "You never know if one of them can talk."

She started the car and put the shift into drive. Then she looked once more at Ida, smiling.

"Hope you enjoy the new Mezcal," she said.

Then she pulled out.

Ida watched her leave. A trickle of doubt welled up in her heart. Maybe Mezcal needed looking into after all. She quickly flew back to her office, where Rollalong was waiting for her. "Rolly, how about you and me go over to Mezcal's house and see how she's doing?"

"Sounds good to me," the armadillo said.

A minute later they found themselves outside what looked to be a plant pot the size of a house. Ida knocked on the door twice, trying not to seem worried.

Mezcal opened the door a moment later. "Hola Ida, Rolly," she said. "Are they gone?"

"They're gone," Ida said. "You sure you're all right?" The other woman wore a robe, and usually she didn't wear human clothes.

"Oh, I'm better than all right," Mezcal said, smiling. "In fact, I'm espectacular!"

She spread her robe open.

Ida's jaw fell open. Rolly's eyes almost popped out of his head.

They walked back to the sheriff's office in silence, having left Mezcal to plan a special cantina menu for the following day. "Well," Rollalong said, "those were some nice cactus pears of hers."

The tension broke and Ida laughed.

The End.