Title: Let's Spend the Night Together (1/1)
Author: Allaine

Disclaimers: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are the property of DC Comics, the creators of "Batman: The Animated Series", Arleen Sorkin, Diane Pershing, and God knows who else. I got the title from a classic Rolling Stones hit.
Feedback: As always, greatly desired and usually responded to.
Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None.
Distribution: If you want it, just ask.
Summary: Harley discovers that this New Year's, Ivy firmly believes in "out with the old and in with the new.

While Harley loved her costume and wore it frequently, tonight may not have been a good time. The outfit was known for many things; warmth during the winter months was not one of them. Even in her bright red winter coat with the fuzzy parka hood, as Harley skipped through the Gotham slush she could have sworn her tassels were frozen!

Still, it also served as a warning to thugs in the area - don't mess with Mistah J's girl. He's got a jealous streak, he loves her so.

Warmed by the thought of her Puddin's undying devotion, Harley ran a little faster until she got to her destination. Her Puddin' had been so sweet to let her attend the private New Year's party. She knew he'd wanted to kiss her at midnight as much as she did, but he was so busy with designing a brilliant new scheme that would make everyone laugh - until they died, anyway.

And all right, so maybe she hadn't exactly asked if she could go. It had been more like him shoving her out the door before she could pop the question and telling her to leave him alone until tomorrow morning. He'd probably anticipated her question! Puddin' was so thoughtful, and smart too, always knowing what she was going to say before she said it.

Naturally, when you couldn't party with your true love, then you sought out your bestest pals, and for Harley there was only the one. Pammy had already invited her, luring her with the promise of an actual Christmas tree. They'd had one in the hideout, but Bud and Lou kept peeing on it and, well, pee-ewww! Worse than fish!

Harley had been a little surprised by the invitation, though. The last time she'd been with Ivy, Red had gotten a bit steamed at her. Red just didn't understand her puddin'. She never had. Mistah J was the only person she could ever love.

Those times Pammy had kissed her, that had just been her being friendly. Comforting her when Puddin' got a little too excited or when she'd been (deservedly, of course) thrown out.

And those other times when they'd gone a bit farther than just kissing - experimenting! What girl didn't experiment with her best friend once in their life? That was all! She loved Puddin'. It was just that Red always knew what she wanted, and Harley always tried to give it to her. Because that's what friends (and sidekicks) do, of course.

But maybe Red didn't know what she wanted this time, because lately she'd suggested she wanted Harley to stay with her permanently. And that she wanted to "experiment" a whole lot more. Sure, Ivy was a great friend and really beautiful, but she'd tried to explain that she was meant to be with the Joker. That had led to a familiar diatribe about how horrible he was for her. Harley tuned her out, naturally.

Last time, Red said she didn't think she wanted to see Harley again if she was never going to leave Puddin'. Of course, sometimes Red got mad and said they were through, but she always took it back. She'd take that one back too.

Except she hadn't been mad the last time. She'd been closer to sad.

Harley shrugged. Red was throwing a party, so obviously they were all hunky-dory and they could go back to the old ways.

Speaking of which, she was there, and she pounded on the door. "H-hey, R-r-r-red," she said, her teeth chattering as the door opened and light spilled out. Then her jaw clamped shut.

Ivy was standing there, incredibly underdressed for this weather. She was only wearing part of her leafy costume. Her arms and legs were bare, and there was a light sheen of sweat, as if she'd been working out. In fact, dressed like that, she looked like she was ready to sunbathe. "Hey, Harl," she said, leaning against the door frame. "You look a little chilled."

"And y-you l-look hot," Harley said.

Ivy grinned wickedly.

"I didn't mean that!" Harley yelped. "Just, you know, me cold, you hot. See? It's a parallel." Funny, her teeth weren't chattering anymore. Although she seemed to be babbling instead.

"Oh, so I don't look good?" Ivy asked in mock disappointment. She arched her back and stretched her arms over her head.

Harley tugged at the collar of her coat. She was standing in a snowdrift, but didn't it seem hot out here! "You look really pretty, Red," she said nervously, bouncing from one foot to the other.

"Thanks," Ivy purred as she grabbed her by one arm and pulled her inside.

"Woooh!" Harley squealed. Then she groaned. "Oh, Red, it's so HOT in here."

"My orchids need the right temperature, Harley," Ivy replied as she began unbuttoning Harley's coat. Harley eeped as Ivy's fingers brushed against her chest as they worked on the winter gear. "And I have plenty of other plants in here that need plenty of - heat."

"Uh, yeah," Harley said as Ivy helped her out of her coat. She shook her tassels, surprised they weren't icicles. It was one big room except for a small door leading out in the other direction. The building was lush with greenery, of course, and powerful lamps beamed light in every direction.

To one side was a large Christmas tree, bathed in multicolored light from lamps at its base. Harley hadn't entirely believed Ivy when she promised a tree, knowing how the plant goddess felt about Christmas trees. But closer inspection revealed the tree was literally growing out of the floor. She'd removed the flooring and, an impossible task for anything but the brilliant Poison Ivy, made something grow in Gotham's fetid soil.

"Let me hang that up for you," Ivy said as she took the coat. "Why don't you put on some music and have a drink?" She walked away and made a beckoning finger. A vine slowly unfurled from above and lowered to accept the garment.

Harley went over to a table meanwhile and found the radio and some soda bottles. She turned it on, and found it tuned to an AM station. The radio looked awfully complicated, and she focused on pouring a Sprite instead.

" . . . and repeating our top story, Gotham City police apprehended the Joker approximately thirty minutes ago after receiving an anonymous tip concerning his whereabouts. Joker sidekick Harley Quinn remains at large . . ."

"Oh, Red!" Harley gasped, dismayed. "Did you hear that?!"

"I did," Ivy said, shaking her head. "Such a shame. Good thing you weren't there, wasn't it?"

"But where am I going to stay?"

"With me, silly," Ivy replied. "We'll just have to spend the night together. But then, that's what New Year's is for, right? Spending the night with someone?"

"Mm-hmm," Harley said distantly, wondering at the intense look in Ivy's eyes.

"You must have been freezing, Harl," Ivy went on casually. "Your coat was almost covered in ice."

"Sure was," Harley agreed.

"Although a little ice can be nice," Ivy added thoughtfully. She plucked an ice cube from the cooler in which the soda sat and dragged it down her neck until it almost slipped between her breasts. "Ooooh!"

Harley needed a drink. Her mouth was suddenly dry. She pulled off her mask and tassels and rubbed her forehead. "Hoo, it really is hot in here," she mumbled before taking a big drink from her soda.

"It certainly is," Red answered. With one hand she took another ice cube and ran it across her collarbone. With the other she took Harley by the arm and led her over to the tree. A good thing too, because Harley felt oddly weak. "Want to open your present?"

"Present?!" Red always got her a present. It was usually a potted plant. Harley always tried real hard to keep them healthy, but her lifestyle wasn't too conducive to plant care. They got smashed during fights, left behind in hideouts, eaten by hyenas - those that lasted a couple weeks were inevitable returned so Ivy could nurse them back to health. But she tried, she did.

But there was a gaily-wrapped package at the foot of the tree. Plants weren't usually put inside boxes. Curious, Harley ripped it open. Her mouth fell open. "I don't believe it," she said.

"You left it behind once," Ivy said. "I had it fixed for you. I know how attached you are to your - unique style of weaponry. I also had someone upgrade the . . . ammunition. It's heavier and packs a bigger wallop, but the gun itself is made of a lighter metal, so overall it's less of a chore carrying around."

Harley picked up the boxing-glove gun. "Neato! Thanks, Red!"

"Is it better than what Puddin' got you?" Ivy asked, clearly anticipating that it was.

"Well - he's so busy bringing the gift of smiles to lotsa people," Harley said quietly, "he can't remember me every year."

Ivy nodded. "Of course," she sighed. She scooted closer to Harley.

"Uh, Red?"

She pointed above them.

Harley looked up and saw the mistletoe.

"Sometimes known as the vampire plant," Ivy continued, her voice sultry. Harley realized with a start that Red was mere inches from her face. "It's a parasite. It can be fatal to the trees it grows on. Here I've engineered a breed that assumes a more - symbiotic relationship with the tree. They make each other stronger, you see. They belong together."

"Red . . ." Harley whispered.

"Don't you know what people do under the mistletoe?" Ivy murmured. She knew, of course. She knew EVERYTHING there was to know about plants, even the wives' tales. "Besides, by my clock, it's midnight."

Harley turned her head, escaping from green eyes that mesmerized her. The clock on the wall said twelve o'clock. The second hand was on the 12. Goodness, had she been there so long already?

"Happy New Year," Ivy cooed.

Ivy cooing?

Harley looked back. "Happy mmmph!"

Ivy's lips found hers before she could finish.

She almost pushed Red back, but it wasn't like the first time Ivy had kissed her, and she yielded. And she could admit it felt really nice. She only loved Mistah J, after all. Admitting she enjoyed a kiss from Red was nothing compared to that.

Ivy pulled back finally, and Harley inhaled deeply. The scents in the hideout were intoxicating. She wondered how many were emanating from Ivy alone.

"Out with the old, in with the new, I say," Ivy murmured. "Gee, look at the time."

Harley was astonished to see that the hands on the clock hadn't moved at all. "It's broken!" she realized.

"Imagine that. I guess it's going to be midnight all night in here," Ivy said with a smile.

The clown girl shivered. Of course Red had planned this. Because Red ALWAYS knew what she wanted.

"In with the new," Poison Ivy repeated. "How about you stay tomorrow night too?"

Harley felt a tear in one eye. "Red, please," she begged. "Don't make me choose. I can't - "

"I won't," Ivy interrupted, and Harley saw she meant it. "I want to. Gaia, I want to! But not until I'm sure you'll say yes. But let me ask you this, okay?"

Harley nodded cautiously.

Red leaned back, resting her hands on the ground. She looked like she was posing for a swimsuit photo, and Harley flushed to see Ivy's "assets" displayed so boldly. "If I suggested we make like it's midnight all night, and maybe ring in the new year with something more than just a kiss, would you want to? I don't mean, would you say yes? I mean, would you WANT to?" She looked meaningfully at the small door, and Harley instinctively knew it was where Ivy slept.

They'd never done what Red was suggesting. And they could never go back. Harley opened her mouth to say "no".

Ivy was almost naked in what she had on, but that was nothing compared to the look of naked, vulnerable desire on her face.

It wouldn't mean anything, just like all the other times they'd gone halfway. Just between friends. An experiment. She'd still love Puddin' in the morning.

And Red was SO special to her. She was such a good friend. She was very beautiful. And kissing her felt so good.

This could be her Christmas gift to Ivy - no, a gift to herself.

"I . . . want to," Harley whispered.

Ivy let go of the breath she'd been holding. "Then how about we do it?" she asked. Harley only imagined the note of pleading. Ivy never pleaded for anything.

"Okay," Harley said, nodding.

Harley tingled as Red took her hand. They could love each other tonight, and that was okay, because she'd still love Mistah J in the morning.

Wouldn't she?

"Happy holidays," Ivy murmured before she kissed Harley again.

Happy indeed.

The End.

(Author's Note - This was directly inspired by Ivy's brief appearance in Gotham Knights #59. I can never go TOO long without writing some Harley/Ivy goodness. I conceived the story last night, and wrote it today. This is a one-shot story, and is not connected to any other Harley/Ivy story I've written in the past, nor any story in any other fandom.)