Author: Jen Kollic
Disclaimers: All characters are trademarks of DC Comics. I make no money from this. Wah.
Feedback: Absolutely, but if you're just going to go "OMFG! HARLEY/JOKER OTP!11one1" then don't bother. I'll just make fun of you.
Notes: I totally hated the end of Batman Adventures #16.
Spoilers: Vague references to events in the animated series, Gotham Adventures, Batman Adventures and Harley and Ivy. Will most likely not make sense if you've not read Batman Adventures #16.
Harley had thought things through several times now. (she'd had ample time for reflection in the month she'd been back at Blackgate) Maybe swearing to hunt down and kill Ivy had been a bit over the top (and busting through the wall on a GIANT VINE in the MIDDLE OF HER WEDDING wasn't?) because really, at least she'd had good intentions. (and maybe Harley should have explained the plan to her first, but she'd been sure Ivy would have objected to it anyway, and she'd have gotten all jealous and 'you don't need him' and then they wouldn't have spoken all night and Ivy would have been all cold and 'stupid meat sack' and stuff)
Then again, Mistah J had sworn to kill her back when she'd been writing her book and she'd known he didn't really mean it or if he did then it was only a little. (and hey, he'd tried to kill her. Multiple times!) So it wasn't like swearing to hunt Ivy down and kill her was anything. She'd get over it, but then again she didn't KNOW that Harley had sworn to do that so it was all okay really.
Except that she was still mad with her. Her big plan had been going off without a hitch, (though it would have been nice if it had been in a church and everything hadn't been so rushed and hadn't the old guy been saying something about it not being legally binding anyway?) and that was something in itself, the last time that had happened was when she'd caught Batman. But then of course Mistah J had turned up and wrecked it and nearly killed her. (See? Not such a big thing at all) Anyway. It had been working. And that never usually happened except (when she worked with Ivy) sometimes.
But it had been romantic, hadn't it? Ivy had busted through that wall right at the perfect moment just like it would have happened in a movie. (except there probably wouldn't have been giant vines and killer trees and all… actually that was a damn good idea for a movie) Of course, if it had been a movie Harley would have jumped up behind her on the… uh… vine, and they'd have rode off into the sunset. Except, well, she hadn't, had she? Because it had been her plan, and it was going to work, and she'd actually have tricked Mistah J, and then he'd have tried to kill her again but hey, she'd have gotten over it and just gone (to Ivy) elsewhere until he cooled off. (unless of course she was in hospital again, in which case it was a moot point)
Ivy would still have been jealous of course. She always was. (it wasn't like Harley ever complained about when she was with Harvey, no matter how much she hated that mental image she still wasn't jealous at all, no sir) Yeah, Ivy'd just blame it on how Mistah J abused her and all but she didn't understand. Stones and glass houses. Did Harley complain about her fixation with those damn plants? (yeah, that was much better than thinking of her and Harvey, much better) Okay, did she complain a LOT about her fixation with those damn plants? No! Harley knew they were to Ivy what Mistah J was to her (only not really since he was kinda more alive or at least more talkative) and that it didn't make any difference to Harley's feelings except when she spent HOURS talking to that stupid flytrap when they could have been…
Ivy had ruined her plan. That was what she was thinking about. Nothing else. It would have worked if it hadn't been for Ivy, and after all didn't Ivy get all pissy and huffy when Harley screwed up her plans? Like when she'd thrown that zombie plant at Batman, Ivy had been really sulky after that! So she had every right to be mad. But, well, Batman had shown up too so it was kinda likely that he'd have ruined things anyway. Especially since he'd been oh-so-clever and told Mistah J how she'd faked those letters and HEY! That was worse! At least Ivy had completely fallen for the story about Harley being an heiress. (well, okay, maybe she really wasn't that interested, 'human stuff', blah blah blah, 'save the rainforest', was it just Harley or had she been getting a lot worse lately?)
And! AND! If she hadn't told Ivy about the plan then hey, did Ivy tell her about how she wasn't human any more? Had she? No! Ivy had no right to be mad at all, now it was Harley's turn to be all cold and distant and 'wah, you ruined my plan, I'm so not speaking to you!' and not letting her sleep with her. That would teach her a lesson. (unless of course they'd taken what she said about hunting Ivy down and killing her seriously, then they might not let them share a cell any more and that thought was worse than a ruined plan no matter how good it was)
Except Ivy wasn't back.
She must just have gone off to the Amazon again, she'd done that before, she did it plenty of times. (really, she could disappear for months, it wasn't like she always let Harley know where she was, that was just normal and who was Harley to complain about 'normal'?) But Batman had found her then. And she'd heard him saying that Ivy had to be caught because she was too powerful to be loose now. (he-llo, had he missed her getting back up after those freaky assassins had stuck a sword through her chest?) Maybe he was just busy and hadn't gotten round to that yet. Yeah.
It was funny that she'd been thinking about Batman, because right then she heard the corridor door open and saw the familiar shadow cast along the floor. And as she looked down the hall something inside her jumped as she caught a glimpse of red hair… but it was only Roxy he was bringing in. (Roxy Rocket. And people said Harley had a silly name.) Roxy was raving about some stunt or another and how it didn't matter if she was going to prison because hey, she'd had a thrill. (okay, so maybe they had a little in common) Harley had heard it before, (and would no doubt have to listen to it again and again in the rec room) and wasn't really paying attention.
Batman didn't even glance in her direction as she headed out, and she'd been sure he'd have wanted to question her about Ivy's whereabouts, or at least maybe told her if he was close to finding her. But she'd sworn to track Ivy down and kill her in front of him, hadn't she? Maybe that hadn't been such a great idea. She'd better ask him.
"Hey, Bats!" she called, jumping to her feet and catching hold of the cell bars. "When's Ivy coming back?"
For a second Harley thought he'd just ignore her, but he stopped. Stopped and turned to face her. She gave him her best cheerful grin, as usual it wasn't returned.
"Didn't you want to kill her?" he replied, his voice cold as always.
"Oh yeah. I got over it. How come you haven't found her yet? Losing your edge?" she couldn't resist adding with a mischievous smirk.
"I did find her."
There was a long pause. They stared at each other, the grin slowly slipping from Harley's face while Batman retained his trademark emotionless expression. (he hadn't taken her to the Slab, had he? Sure, she was more dangerous and all, but THAT dangerous?)
"Soooooooo… why's she not here then?" Harley couldn't keep the small note of fear from her voice. The look he was giving her was freakier than usual. Almost… sympathetic? That made no sense, even to her.
"She's not coming back." Even Batman's voice was slightly softer; all in all this was really starting to get creepy.
"Why the hell not? Where is she?" Harley could feel worry gnawing at the pit of her stomach; they hadn't REALLY thought she was serious about killing Ivy, had they? Was this her fault?
There was another long pause. Longer. Harley still held Batman's gaze, but she could feel herself shaking slightly, this was even worse than when she'd had him tied up over the piranha tank and he'd started laughing.
"She can't come back." Batman said eventually, his voice still oddly gentle. "I tracked her to Louisiana. She went there to see if she could become human again. It was too late. The plant DNA took over."
It took several moments for that to sink in, even though Harley understood the bit about DNA, and was (well) aware that Ivy had been getting less and less human. When she managed to force words out, she couldn't believe how small and scared they sounded, as if it wasn't her voice at all.
"Is she dead?"
"Not exactly. She's alive, but not in the human sense."
Harley couldn't help a slight, hysterical giggle. "You mean… she's a plant?" (no, it wasn't funny, it wasn't funny at all, Mistah J would find it hilarious but fuck him)
"Basically, yes. She went too far with her experiments, and she paid the price. I'm sorry."
He turned and left, but Harley never saw him, staring vacantly ahead, her eyes glazed, not even registering that Batman had never looked away first before. She let go of the bars, and her legs gave way beneath her, but she still barely noticed hitting the ground.
It wasn't until the first tear hit the stone floor that she realised she was crying.