Title: Rappacini's Last Laugh (Prologue)
Author: Allaine

Disclaimers: Complete disclaimers will be given with the next chapter.
Feedback: As always, greatly desired and usually responded to.
Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None.
Distribution: If you want it, just ask.
Summary: Poison Ivy is mad in love, and Harley Quinn is sorely vexed by it. A DC Elseworlds fic.


I was already on my way to Admittances when they paged me. Like I really needed to be told. I could see the Batmobile pull up through the windows at Arkham Asylum. The Batmobile meant Batman, which usually meant the really big names in Gotham's criminal community. And since most of those were already in Arkham, there was more than a slim chance that I knew who this was.

"Need you in Admittance, doc," I was told over the phone when I finally slowed down enough to answer the page. "We try to have at least one woman doctor near when these two are brought in."

I bit of a snappy reply. There'd be time enough for those next year. Besides, I had proof. Two, he'd said. Who else could it be but the Batman's arch nemesis - the one whose madness had almost gotten a LOT of people killed more than once - and his female sidekick?

I hadn't seen either in person before. My interest lay in more than just witnessing good theater, of course. These two, from what I'd read, were as screwed up as they came.

I hung up the phone, just in time for the elevator doors to open. I crunched the last of my lollipop between my teeth and spat the stick out. Blue raspberry - there aren't too many blue lollipops out there, you know. And even then, I knew my candy. It came with the territory.

As I was saying though - God, I can be such a scatterbrain! As I was saying (or thinking, at least, since I'm talking to myself here), I liked the blue lollipops because of the color, not the flavor. This particular brand left my tongue a peculiar shade of blue. It threw my patients off when they met me for the first time. Sometimes you have to throw these lunatics off if you want to get into their heads. If you wanted to heal them, that is.

Or if you wanted something else.

The elevator doors pinged open again, and I walked out into anarchy. Par for the course at Arkham.

This wasn't my first time seeing Batman. He'd been here before. Usually I paid careful attention to him, because you never knew when it might come in handy. At the very least you could get used to the sight of him. He was still an imposing specimen, though, and scary as all get-out.

Tonight, however, I only had eyes for his prisoners. They were yelling, of course. I suppose they're subdued when Batman first takes them into custody, but by the time they get here, they've got an audience, and a reputation to uphold. So he was making a grand show of how futile this was, and how he'd kill them all upon his inevitable escape.

Arkham inmates spouted lies like they were carbon dioxide, but he wasn't lying about the escape part. They always escaped. The number of times a dangerous criminal had escaped from Arkham in the past year alone was dwarfed by the ingenuity of their schemes. In Arkham, it seemed, there were a thousand ways to slip through the cracks - including slipping through the cracks in the literal sense, as Clayface had been known to do.

The fact that Arkham leaked inmates like a runny nose was one of the things I loved about it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Stories, like jokes, lost their punch when you told them out of order.

And I know all about jokes.

Boy, even when I know I'm getting ahead of myself, I can't seem to stop myself! Like I said, that comes later.

Anyway, he was trying to strike a fine figure for myself and the other lucky employees who would be monitoring him. He was handsome enough, tall and thin with a long face. His most prominent feature, however, was his mouth. I wondered if giving him a lollipop would shut him up.

Probably not. Unless it was the size of a rubber chicken.

What did shut him up, or at least refocus his attention on the pain he was in, was an orderly twisting an arm behind his back with more force than before. He cried out, and of course that was when she got violent.

She was merely his trusted henchwench, but she was still more famous than most crimelords. Part of that was the spotlight trained on her infamous employer and lover, and part of that was undoubtedly the outfit. It left nothing to the imagination. In fact, it looked like its design had been based on the premise that imagination didn't exist in the first place. And it wasn't wasted on her, what with her supermodel looks. And in fact, after our first therapy session, I thought the supermodel comparison was a good one. She was a prima donna to rival the divas in Milan.

I doubted supermodels were as vicious, however. Even Hollywood actresses didn't pursue photographers with the same passion with which she tackled the "cretin" who'd hurt her "rosebud". The female orderly who'd been holding onto her never stood a chance, and she was flat on her back. Batman was quick, though, and he pulled her off.

She turned and wrenched herself from his grip, but her momentum was too much for her balance, and she stumbled forward. Far enough to run into me, in fact. I quickly found myself one of several women who were no longer on her feet. "Oof!" I cried out, my pager spinning away across the floor.

The woman on top of me looked down, and seemed to notice for the first time that I was a woman, and that I was having difficulty breathing with her bosom pressed against my face. "Sorry," she said, lifting herself up slightly.

That was how I met Poison Ivy. I was assaulted by her breasts.

When I could use my lips again, I stuck my tongue out at her. As I mentioned, it was blue, and this appeared to confuse her. This created more than enough of an opening for someone to pull her off of me. She screeched, but I sensed something in the air that said the worst was over.

"You all right, Doctor Quinzell?" another doctor asked me as he helped me to my feet.

"I'm fine," I lied. Actually, embarrassment aside, I was better than fine. I was excited. The Floronic Man and Poison Ivy were official patients. And I was one of their doctors. I planned to learn a lot about them, and from them too.

Sometimes the joke is on me. Good thing I have a sense of humor.

To be continued . . .