It was two in the morning when the call came, and it quickly made Hazel Birch decide that the ring of a mobile phone was the most horrible sound in existence. She swung her arm out without lifting her head off the pillow; she knocked her alarm clock off her nightstand, cursed, sat up, and grabbed her phone.
"Yes?" she asked groggily.
"Dr. Birch," the weary voice of a night shift attendant replied, "We need you at the Asylum immediately. Pamela Isley is having a breakdown. She demands to see you, she won't speak with anyone else."
Birch sat up straighter, blinking the sleep out of her eyes. She had been meeting with Pamela Lillian Isley, A.K.A. Poison Ivy, for a little over 7 months no breakthroughs or incite; this sort of emotional upheaval was a strange occurrence for Isley. Birch assured the person on the other end of the line that she was on her way, told him to relay that message to Pamela, and said she would be there in half an hour.
Birch was the only psychiatrist Pamela Isley had seen for more than a week without attempting to kill the person. This was all anticipated by the doctor, after all, she had written her master's thesis on the psychology of Poison Ivy. That thesis was what got her the job at Arkham Asylum. It was a dangerous position to be in, but in the world of criminal psychiatry there was no where more glamorous to be, and certainly no where with a better salary; it was a high-risk, high-reward, facility with excellent pay and astounding health benefits in the event of any... unpleasantness.
From Poison Ivy's point of view, Hazel was as close to acceptable as a human being could be. Hazel was a woman, both her first and last names came from plants, she was extremely eco-conscious, and she had a strict diet; never eating anything from a plant that hadn't fallen off naturally as part of their life cycle. However, Hazel had recently begun to rethink her thesis, now believing it was totally off base when she theorized that Pamela's hatred of humans stemmed from something another person had done to her in her younger years.
After the time she'd spent with Isley in the past few months Dr. Birch had become fairly certain that Isley's slow transformation from human to plant-being was the deciding factor; tonight, however, could change all of that. Isley was escorted to the therapy chamber 15 minutes after Dr. Birch arrived. The chamber was a room with a soft grass green coloration and a grated window that looked out over the asylum's front lawn. There was a couch, an arm chair and a plastic coffee table with rounded edges in the room. All the furniture was bolted to the floor to ensure no make shift weapons could be made.
Of course, with Poison Ivy such a thing was unlikely. Physical combat wasn't something she opted for unless under extreme duress. She preferred subtlety and manipulation whenever possible. Doctor Birch understood all this. In fact, she was now fairly certain she understood the criminal more than Pam understood herself. When Pamela stepped in Hazel greeted her with a soothing smile.
"Pam, the orderlies told me you were asking to see me?" Birch asked calmly, using the sort of gentle tone a teacher would use to calm an upset child.
Pamela's eyes were red as strawberries and her nose was crinkled up like a flower bud in a constant effort to stop sniffling. She looked as if she'd been crying for hours. When Hazel spoke to her she slumped like a wilting lily. She managed to take two steps toward Dr. Birch then she tumbled to her knees and dragged her hands out, clutching at Hazel's feet and sobbing.
"I-I- Oh goddess.. I've made mistakes! Horrible mistakes, Hazel!" Pamela stammered, her voice cracking erratically as she stifled back sobs. "All those innocent people, all because of what happened to me!" She gasped, choking back the sobs once more as she hid her face in the crook of her own arms.
Hazel dropped to a kneel next to the crying asylum inmate, gently touching her shoulder. "Pamela, calm down." She soothed, her voice still calm and controlled. "It's all right. It's all going to be all right. Look at me, Pamela; that's it, look at me."
The psychiatrist gently pulled Pamela to her feet, smiling kindly as she led the red head to the chair opposite her own and ushered her into it. "Now, take a deep breath and tell me what's happening."
Pam nodded slowly, like a child recovering from some horrible shock. "I ... I've remembered... I remembered it."
"Remembered what, Pamela?"
"What caused it! All of it.. Why I hate everything.. humans, men, dogs... I remember. I was..." Once more Pamela Isley broke down, burying her face in her hands as she wailed in humiliation. "I was nine years old!!! Nine years old and that sick bastard, he, he..!"
Hazel's jaw dropped. She was grateful Pamela wasn't looking as she struggled to regain herself. This was an incredible break through, just the sort she'd been hoping for. She rose from her own chair and once more set a hand on Pamela's shoulder. "Pamela, look at me. It's all okay, you're safe, that person isn't here now... Calm down, let's try and get you more comfortable, all right?"
Dr. Birch pulled out her employee badge and held it up to a small scanner on the right handcuff bracelet, this was the only method of unlocking cuffs for Arkham patients, a security measure installed after one to many quick-fingered criminals had stolen the keys, now only certain doctors and guards designated to specific patients were able to unlock that particular patients handcuffs. Under normal circumstances she would never remove her patients cuffs while they were alone, but given the circumstances restraining Pamela hardly seemed necessary. Even once the cuffs were removed Isley didn't seem to notice. She wiped at her nose, sniffled, and murmured almost incoherently to herself.
"I was staying at my father's house... It was just after the separation. He had a friend over... Hugh, he said his name was. Hugh Manning." Pamela went on, staring up at Hazel with tear filled eyes.
Dr. Birch gasped. "Hugh Manning." She spoke in a near whisper while Pamela nodded in agreement. "It explains a fair bit. Hugh Manning-"
"Humans." Pamela surmised, then sniffled and wiped at her nose again. "And... And we were..." she trailed off again, choking on her own tears before she could continue. "We were in the garden that my mother and I started together. My father went out to pick up some ice, the icebox was broken and he... He left me with that... That beast!"
Hazel marveled at the realizations. A man with a name ripe for psychological suggestion, a location where they were surrounded by passive plant life, which likely got damaged in the struggle. So many different strikes at once, damaging the garden that she'd built with her mother, her father's apparent failure to protect her from an attacker, a strange man assaulting her, and all just after the divorce. The psychiatrist reached out and gently stroked Pamela's back, giving a soothing shush as her patient broke down in tears once more. Pamela was bending double, clutching at her knees as if she were trying to bury her face into her own abdomen like a turtle withdrawing into it's shell; her sobs were so hard that sounded like that must have physically hurt her, often making her break into rasping coughs as she struggled to contain herself.
"It's not... It's not okay! It'll never be okay! None of it! What he did, what I've done! Oh goddess, all those people, they di- they didn't deserve it!" Pamela sobbed, shaking her head in denial and digging her fingers into her scalp beneath her deep crimson hair. "After it happened he... he threatened me, threatened to kill my father if I told him, he said he'd killed before, said he would do it again.... He said it was fun, it was easy... I was so scared. I couldn't... I couldn't take it... I was so scared. I must have repressed it all... But it came back... Came back and I... I woke up. Goddess, I vomited, I couldn't even take it. The images, the memories... His sick, fat hands... "
As Pamela explained the nature of her recollection Hazel watched her sadly, listening to the beautiful woman as she confessed the nature of her anguish between sobs, sniffles and the occasional dry-heave. Dr. Birch had tried so hard to try and find out what truly led to the creation of Poison Ivy, she had wanted to know where Isley's rage truly stemmed from, she knew it had to have been deep-seated long before the experiment that turned her into Poison Ivy had ever happened. Now that she knew the truth, however, Hazel found herself unable to feel successful or triumphant, or even excited. All she felt at the moment was pity and compassion for the poor tortured woman in front of her. It went against protocol but she knelt in front of Pamela and wrapped her arms around the crying woman, stroking her back and giving gentle coos to try and calm her down the way a mother would comfort a child.
"Shhh, I've got you Pam. You're safe, you're safe here. We care about you here, we'll protect you, we won't let anything else bad happen to you." Dr. Birch soothed, pulling back as Pamela lifted her head.
For a few moments Pamela simply sat there, sniffling and staring up at the psychiatrist. Finally the red-head offered a grateful smile of thanks, Hazel smiled back at her and for a moment the two women's eyes met. In that moment Hazel felt the spark of realization.
The doctor was suddenly, acutely aware that she was kneeling before a world renowned criminal mastermind who specialized in mental manipulation. A woman whose cunning and guile had deceived the heroes of the Justice League, and even Gotham's own Dark Knight. She suddenly realized the vulnerability she had placed herself in. It was one of those brief moments of understanding before the consequence occurs but after the mistake has already been made.
Sometimes it happens fast enough to correct the mistake, but sometimes it just seems to occur in slow motion, other times it happens faster than one can blink. Doctor Birch realized her mistake, but by the time she did it was too late to react. The villainess's green lips were locked with hers!
It was more passionate than she expected. She thought in order to poison her all that Pamela would need to do was lock lips, this was more than that, heat, passion, vigor she didn't expect. It was warm and gentle, incredibly soothing and far more pleasure inducing than any kiss she'd ever shared with her long-term boyfriend of 4 years, Eric. Before this moment Hazel had never had a lesbian experience. In college she was too busy studying to do any "experimenting" and after college the idea never even cross her mind though.
This was remarkable both from a stimulating perspective and just from the very nature of it. This was a super villain, a woman who's kiss could be poisonous, but it wasn't right now. There was no pain, no tingle, no burning sensation; it was... delicate. Hazel marveled at the experience. Isley truly was plant-like, and the realization was slightly startling. Pamela's lips felt like newly blossomed rose petals, very soft and tender. Briefly Hazel acknowledged that lips like these were the kind you wanted to nibble at and suck upon, the sort of lips that you never wish to pull your own away from; they were so soft and soothing that Hazel never wished to stop feeling them.
Only when kiss changed was this obsessive train of thought broken. She now felt Pamela's tongue deftly slipping past her lips and into her mouth. It twirled around her own tongue like a slithering snake, then began to deftly wiggle through Hazel's mouth, exploring it in intimate detail as if Pamela wished to memorize every bit of it. Once more Hazel found herself enraptured by the feel of it. Pamela's saliva was like no normal humans, it tasted of honey and nectar and sweet fruity flavors that teased the doctor's tongue in ways that made a happy smile tug at the corners of her lips while she kissed her patient.
Pamela smell of sandal wood and citrus, her fingertips framing Hazel's face were like the brush of young leaves stroking her flesh during a hike through the woods. When Ivy's hands ran through her hair and pulled her in closer she felt an exhilaration like she didn't know existed! Finally the green skinned woman broke the kiss and Hazel actually pouted, she leaned forward and tried to reclaim it but Pamela smiled and pushed her back gently with a little laugh.
"No, Hazel... No. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that, it's the enzymes and pheromones your feeling right now, not any true appeal for me. I apologize." Pamela whispered as she pulled away, still smiling. She took Hazel's hands and held them in her own as she went on, her voice kept low, her tone exceedingly gracious and grateful. "Thank you... Thank you, doctor, for everything you've done for me. For all the work, all the long sessions, for not giving up on me... thank you!"
Once more Hazel found herself stunned. First she'd thought she was about to die, poisoned by her own patient then she'd felt euphoric, aroused, excited, like a love smitten girl at school. Now that the initial rush of pheromones she'd experienced from touching Ivy's lips was fading, she was left only with the awkwardness of being kissed by someone of the same sex, and someone she most definitely was not meant to be kissing. She wasn't sure what to do. She was straight, she had never looked at Pamela as anything but a very interesting patient and yet now, to spurn her when she was in such a fragile state... She slowly stood up as Pamela settled back into her chair, calmer and no longer sniffling.
"I know. You're not 'that way'. I'm sorry, it's just how I've become used to showing my gratitude." Pamela interrupted, giving a apologetic little half-smile.
Hazel couldn't help a sigh of relief. "It's all right. For a moment I thought- And then when you kissed me I thought..." She trailed off, shaking her head, fighting off a sudden impulse to laugh at how strange the situation was.
"You thought I was trying to poison you, didn't you?" Pamela deduced, looking forlorn.
Dr. Birch looked at her apologetically but nodded earnestly. "I did. I'm sorry I did, you've changed so much tonight, you seem like a brand new person, but it's still hard to believe. When I realized how close I was to you, and how easy it would be... there was a brief moment where I got scared."
"Yes... I understand." Pamela replied, nodding gently. "I'm sure many of the people in my past felt the same way... The things I did... Goddess, they were just so..." Again she stopped and buried her face in her hands as her shoulders began to tremble and shake.
Once more Dr. Birch drew close. She rubbed Pamela's back in small circles and cooed soothingly once more to try and stem the tide of sobs she suspected might soon over take Pamela once more as the red head fought to control her emotions. Hazel knew Pamela had done horrible things in the past, but, it was clear now that she regretted what she had done and even seemed to be experiencing massive amounts of guilt over the experience.
"Pamela, I understand. It's going to be hard accepting your past now that you've come to realize your own activities and misdeeds. I want you to get some sleep all right? I think what you need rest right now more than anything else. I'll arrange so that we can have therapy session tomorrow morning at 10:30, how does that sound?" Dr. Birch inquired, gently stroking her fingers across Pamela's back in that same soothing caress.
Pamela finally stopped shaking and lifted her hands away from her face, turning her gaze upward and nodding at Hazel gratefully. "I would appreciate that, Doctor..."
Dr. Birch moved to the door's intercom and requested the return of Isley's guards to take the patient back to her room. After a few minutes conversation for clearance and authority checks, ensuring that the doctor was in no way under the thrall of the villainess, the guards prepared to return Ivy to her cell. By this time she had already made the decision to stay at Arkham over night, there was no avoiding it. She needed to be on hand in case her patient woke up again and she now had a lot of paper work to fill out.
"Now, Pamela, I'm going to be here all night so I don't want you to worry. If you wake up and you need me all you'll need to do is call for a guard and ask for me." Dr. Birch explained as they waited for the guards. "I wish I could give you a sedative to help you sleep but-"
"Yes, Doctor, I'm aware of how my own body works." Pamela replied with a slim smile, nodding her understanding. "No such medication will work on me."
Hazel nodded in agreement and once more she marveled at her patient. Isley was an astounding creature, no poison on the planet could affect her, no medication, no toxin, no chemical of any sort. Hazel had read that Pamela had even taken a full force blast of laughing powder from the Joker only to respond by kick him in his privates. The image in her mind made Hazel have to smother a tiny laugh. When she'd regained herself she noticed Pamela looking longingly out the window. The psychiatrist slowly made her way over and touched Pamela's shoulder.
"Would you like me to see about arranging for an out door privilege? It may take awhile, and you'd need to be on good behavior for a few weeks to prove you've earned it..."
"No doctor, no... Hazel, you've done enough for me already, please, just... Thank you." the botanist looked up at Dr. Birch with another grateful smile, taking her one of the doctor's hands gently in her own. "Thank you for not giving up on me. For believing that somewhere under all this green I was still... Human." She lifted Hazel's hand and kissed it softly, then let it go.
A few moments later two maximum security guards trained particularly to handle Poison Ivy entered the room. They secured Ivy in her handcuffs and leg cuffs, then escorted her back to her chamber while Dr. Birch made her way to her office to write up her findings and theories based on what she'd just learned from her patient.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls,
psychopaths and sociopaths, criminals and detectives!
I do hope you have enjoyed the first step in our journey into the darkness of the green.
My love for Ms. Isley runs quite deep, and I hope I will be able to inspire a few new fans for the lovely goddess of green by writing this story.
If you've enjoyed it, please do leave a review, and do stay tuned; but reader beware, this story is not for the faint of heart or mind. It will grow progressively darker, more shocking, and more intense as it continues. I won't consider it a success unless I manage to give at least one reader a bad dream about their own garden, or perhaps get an outraged response from someone disapproving of Ivy's male-hatred and/or goddess worship.