Title: Erase/Rewind
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 actually completed a story. This may never happen again.

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.


Chapter 9

It was the bright mid-morning sunlight that eventually woke Harley up; the light cotton curtains barely even masked it. With a vague, annoyed grumble she turned her face away from the window, her head still resting on Ivy's chest, Ivy's arm curled round her shoulders. She didn't need to look at the other woman to know she was awake; Ivy always woke up at dawn, just like a flower. Sometimes she shoved Harley away and got up, other times she'd just lie there and let Harley sleep. Like now.

Ivy didn't say anything as Harley stirred, but stroked the blonde's upper arm gently, thoughtfully, her eyes still gazing up at the ceiling without seeing it. There was no going back now. Though when she thought about it, perhaps she had gone back in a way that was nothing to do with Alec.

With a soft noise of contentment as Ivy's hand slowly ran up and down her arm and shoulder, Harley nuzzled her head deeper between Ivy's breasts. The real Ivy was much warmer than the clone had been. And Harley had missed that warmth. Missed feeling the rise and fall of Ivy's chest against her cheek and the sound of her heartbeat. Missed being held.

Because that kind of thing really wasn't Mistah J's thing, Harley normally got kicked out of the bed straight after… well, after. He didn't like getting all touchy-feely and crap (except when he'd made her wear a replica Batsuit, but she really didn't want to think about that) but that was fine since it wasn't his style and she knew that. (and she could always get it from Ivy) She'd known that from the start. Really.

And she didn't want to think about Mistah J anyway, not when she was here with Ivy because it confused her and she hated that, and all she wanted to think about right now was how wonderful Ivy's naked body felt under hers and the way Ivy's touch left burning trails across her bare flesh that would have been slightly worrying if Harley hadn't had her shots and the scent of Ivy's skin which always made Harley think of cut grass and flowers and summer. Sometimes Harley even wished they could just stay here like this…

…then she remembered. Alec Holland. That was going to be a problem. (unless she could make it look like an accident)

"Red?"

"Hmm?" Ivy snapped out of her reverie at the sound of Harley's voice. "What?"

"…what happens now Red?" Harley asked, propping herself up on one elbow to look the other woman in the eye. "I mean… with Holland and all… and you staying here… and us…"

"…I don't know…" Ivy admitted after a few moments. "Batman thinks I'm a plant now, so he won't come after me here, and I'm happy here. And Alec… doesn't deserve this."

"Do you love him?"

Ivy looked away, partly out of shame, partly because she knew Harley would eventually manage to extract the truth. "Yes…" she began, hating the hesitancy she couldn't keep out of her voice.

"But?"

Ivy didn't respond, even though she could see through her own motives with a dreadful clarity. No matter what way she looked at it, this whole thing was as big a sham as Carlyle had been. Worse maybe, because at least Carlyle had been largely insensible to what was going on. Whereas Alec… oh lord, he really didn't deserve this. But surely the fact she felt so bad about it meant that she did have feelings for him, right? It wasn't like she'd only come here with him as a convenient means to forget about Harley, right?

"But?" Harley pressed, knowing that Ivy was hiding something from the way she wouldn't look at her.

"Look Harl…" Ivy began with a sigh. "I'm happy here, it's much better than that concrete scab we call Gotham. Batman thinks I'm gone. And I… care about Alec. I'm happy here." she repeated stubbornly. "You think I'd give it all up and go back to that shithole just for you?" She turned back to face Harley as she finished, her face set and determined.

Harley just stared mutely back at Ivy for a few long seconds, her blue eyes wide and tearful. "But I love you Red…" she murmured sadly, pleadingly.

And as she gazed back at the blonde, Ivy realised that her question had really been rhetorical all along. And it did hurt, but the thought of the alternative hurt far more.

"Well. I guess that changes everything."

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From the moment he stepped out of the car, Alec knew she was gone. The house had that subtle feel of vacancy to it. He supposed that it was possible that Pamela had just gone into town, but he knew it was unlikely.

And as he went into the kitchen, his suspicions were further confirmed by the letter waiting for him on the kitchen table. With a feeling of apprehension that was severely dulled by his expectations, he unfolded the paper.

He'd been right. The note was apologetic, even remorseful, but it didn't change the fact that Pamela had left him. It just repeated what he'd already known, the issue of Pamela's criminal past, the lack of trust between them, the fact she wasn't fully human… Everything, in fact, that he'd discussed with Abby at the seminar.

And as he folded the note back up with a sigh, he reflected that this would really have been much worse if he hadn't been expecting it.

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"You wanna know something Red?" Harley asked as she kicked back in the passenger seat of the stolen (pink) convertible.

"What?" Ivy replied absently, keeping an eye out for road signs marked 'Gotham'. (she wasn't about to accept the indignity of a map)

"I liked you with green skin. It suited you."

"Alec didn't think so." Ivy muttered, casting a sceptical glance at the blonde. To her surprise, Harley's expression was entirely truthful.

"Well, I don't think he's going to notice now, do you?" Harley continued with a wicked grin.

Ivy grinned back as her skin slowly paled, revealing an underlying green tint which quickly grew stronger. "You know Harl; I think you're right…"