Ivy sat in her greenhouse, working under fluorescent bulbs to make up for the lack of sunlight. She had found herself keeping strange hours in her sanctuary, sleep eluding the green skinned beauty. The disappearance of one Harley Quinn had everything to do with it. Frankly, she was worried. Terrified, and rightfully so. Numerous times the harlequin had appeared on her door step, bloodied and beaten, and abandoned by a man that would never come to love her. And every instance, Ivy would nurture and care for both the body and spirit of the only person she could honestly call her friend.
Ivy sighed and put the plant down on the small table off to one corner of the massive greenhouse. She ran her hands through the bed head she had managed to procure while she uselessly tried to get any ounce of shut eye. Something was wrong, very wrong in Gotham when the Joker could be seen on the streets and Harley was not at his side.
Suddenly alerted by the sound of tires screeching outside her hide out, Ivy quickly ran to the side of her glass house and out the hidden door. Running to the street, she only saw the fading sight of tail lights down the road. Distinctly, though, before the squeal of rubber on asphalt, she had heard the sound of broken glass. When the woman walked through the dense vegetation that surrounded her hide out, Ivy came upon the broken window in the front. Entering the door, she glanced down to her right to the object thrown through her window. She picked up the object and, turning it over in her hands, inspected it. A playing card with a malicious joker on it looked up at her from the front of the small package. With a look of disgust, she ripped the card off the package and threw it to one of her ever ready plants. She opened the package facing away from her, wary of laughing gas, as is a trademark of the clown prince of crime. When the paper opened, more glass fell out onto the floor. Curious, Ivy turned it over and paled. Her hands went slack and the object fell to the floor with a wooden clack. Staring up at her horrified green eyes was a photo of Harley Quinn.
The pink convertible Harley had managed to steal back from police custody roared down the street, the driver a tense and horrified Poison Ivy. Her red hair blew haphazardly against the wind surrounding her car. Her engine roared as the vehicle broke every speed limit in Gotham to get to her destination. It was unknown when the picture was taken, or if even the harlequin was still there, but Ivy knew that time was not on her side. Taking a corner on two wheels, Ivy sped faster, her destination close.
Rounding her final turn, Ivy slammed on the brakes and the car slid to a screaming stop outside an alley. A neon marquee lit the street to an eerie green and blue as Ivy hopped out of the car, keys in the ignition, motor idling. Her legs pumped as she ran, her heart thrumming against her rib cage.
Please, Harley. Please, still be there.
The woman weaved around fallen trashcans and debris in the narrow alley, her feet knowing which turns to take. With a bound, Ivy grabbed a cyclone fence and hopped it, her stride never once breaking. Faster she ran, her destination nearing. The panic she felt at knowing Harley could no longer be there only motivated her to move even faster. Almost a blur, Ivy maneuvered one last trash can, and made one last turn before stopping dead in her tracks. Sure enough, just like the picture revealed, Harley was the same. The broken form of the clown stared solemnly up at Ivy. Her green eyes watered as she took a shaky step forward.
The form did not stir at the mention of it's name. Another step forward, and Ivy felt all the energy in her body drain. Tears clung to the corners of emerald eyes as Ivy took yet another step forward.
Only two more steps and Ivy was standing above her, looking over the prone form. Her costume was torn in numerous places and it was stained in blood. The pale face showed bruising and her lips were covered in dried blood. The blonde hair was matted and dirty. There was a pool of blood slowly forming around the battered woman. Slowly, Ivy sunk to her knees, her breath caught in her throat. With shaky fingers, she reached out and hoped to find a pulse. Harley was cool to the touch, but sure enough, faintly, she felt the beat against her fingertips. Ivy let out a strangled gasp of relief as she realized she was still alive. For now.
Thinking quickly, Ivy scooped up Harley in her arms and, holding her closely, made the fastest dash for her car that she dared. Her car was just as she left it, door ajar and the engine running, and she said a silent thanks that the car hadn't been seen or stolen. Loading the precious cargo into the back seat, Ivy sat shakily behind the wheel. Now wasn't the time for her to come to pieces, and quickly she reviewed her options. Her eyes tracked backward to look at the woman. Under the marquee, Harley looked even more worse for wear. Ivy, biting back her contempt and anger at the man responsible, she turned her car in the only direction she knew.
Ivy kicked open the door to her hideout, Harley tucked safely in her arms. She shut the door behind her with a slam and made a quick dash for the kitchen table. Quickly depositing the woman down on the flat surface, Ivy ran to get the medical supplies she had too often used for this particular patient. Her plants quivered in response to Ivy's fear and adrenaline, though she barely noticed. Returning to Harley's side, she surveyed the best way to take care of the wounds. Already blood was collecting under Harley, so Ivy worked to begin removing the tattered remains of the black and red costume.
Parts of the suit stuck to drying wounds, and Ivy tried her best to carefully remove the cloth. If Harley felt any pain, her face did not show it. She had not stirred once in the time Ivy had moved her from the alley, to the car, and from the car into the house and onto the table.
With the last of the costume removed, Ivy got a total picture of the kind of damage done to her friend. Not an inch of skin wasn't bruised. Scratches and slices littered her body in innumerable amounts. There were deep gashes on her hips and thighs, and teeth marks on her breasts. There was even worse bruising on her ribs, and with careful prodding, Ivy realized many were broken. Her left hand had a gash through it, as if a knife had found refuge within the harlequin's hand.
Carefully, and with great care, Ivy began to slowly wash the form of her friend. Dirt and grime were washed away from the many wounds, showing the true, angry nature of many of them. Ivy moved down her body, noticing many injuries, and discovered the tell tale sign of blood on her thighs. Momentarily overcome with emotion, Ivy's hands ceased and her green eyes roamed the face of her friend. Again, her eyes watered.
Ivy closed her eys and breathed for a moment before her hands resumed her task at cleaning the wounds and flesh of her friend. Having finished the front, Ivy slowly rolled the woman over onto her side. Rounding the table, she came upon Harley's back. The bowl fell from her hands and splashed the grimy water across the floor. Ivy's eyes stared transfixed to the word staring back at her. 'Joker' was written in scratchy, deep letters across Harley's back, and bled freely. The backs of her thighs were bruised and scratched and welts covered her backside.
Tears streaming unchecked down her face, Ivy cleaned the rest of friend and proceeded with the bandaging process.
What seemed like hours later, Ivy had finished with her care of the rogue. She had washed her hair as best she could, and during so, felt a large bump at the back of her skull. When Ivy checked the baby blues, they were hardly responsive to the light. Ivy, at her wits end and far too emotional, realized she was not fit to take care of the extent of Harley's injuries.
She went over the options in her head. Let her friend surely die, or ask for help. And at this point, Ivy would have done anything to save Harley. Taking one last survey of the bandages covering most of the woman, she wrapped her up in her favorite green and red blanket and loaded her back in the car.
"I'll get you the help you need, Harl. I promise."
Driving without stopping at any red lights or obeying the speed limits, she pulled up on a darkened block in Gotham. Perturbed, she glanced at the back seat at the pale form wrapped in a blanket.
"I'll be right back, Harley. 5 minutes, tops."
She exited the car and closed the door, again she left it running. She looked at the woman and placed a small kiss on her head.
"Soon, baby. Count on it." she murmured against the damp hair.
Ivy used seeds she had with her to grow a tall, thin stalk she could easily climb. Arriving at the top of the building, she saw her goal.
I can't believe I'm about to do this.
Approaching what she never thought she would, she found the switch and flicked in on. She watched the sky illuminate with the bat symbol and her body caught a chill.
Anything for you, Harley.
Quickly leaving the rooftop, she gathered the now seedling stalk and made a dash back to the car. Harley was just as Ivy left her, propped against the side of the car in her blanket. Ivy checked the pulse and sighed as she found the ever faint beat against her finger tips. Within moments, she heard the familiar rustle of fabric and turned to look at the shadow behind her.
The dark knight stood glancing at her and Ivy had to bite back the insanity of the moment. She had a goal, and she would not be off put by the foreboding figure.
"I need your help."
If she could have seen his eyebrows, she was sure one of them would have instantly spiked. Instead, her gaze never wavered and her voice was as steady as ever. She looked him head on as he stood in silence.
"My help? With what?"
His countenance was just as always, monotone and systematic. He surveyed the scene and noticed Harley in the back seat of the convertible.
He stepped forward a moment and glanced at the unmoving form.
"What happened to Quinn, Ivy?"
Allowing herself to feel the anger she'd been biting down, her green eyes darkened.
"Joker." The word felt like acid on her tongue.
He glanced back at her and noticed the change in her demeanor.
"How bad are her injuries?" his voice almost echoed in the empty street. Ivy suppressed a shudder.
"Bad. And I don't mean to be impatient with this, Bats, considering I basically called you. But I don't want Harley to die. She doesn't have much time as it is, and every second we waste chit chatting, she gets closer to death." Her green eyes glowed with her pent up emotions and she unknowingly had placed a hand on Harley's shoulder.
She watched as he hit a button on his belt and in seconds, she heard the familiar roar of the batmobile in the distance. She watched as he touched a gloved hand to his ear piece and held a quiet conversation with whoever was on the other end. The batmobile stopped aside them and the cover opened with a hiss. He walked past Ivy and carefully picked up Harley. As he went for her, Ivy put herself in the passenger seat of the batmobile. He turned and regarded her. As if reading his mind, her voice filled the space between them.
"I only care about Harley. The car be damned."
He lowered the form against Ivy, and she put a protective arm around her. He sat behind the wheel, and the cover closed above them. In an instant, they were on their way. Ivy's hard eyes looked out to the street as it blurred by. Her arms tightened around Harley and she closed her eyes.
Let her live.
The car came to a stop outside a white facility what seemed like only moments later. Normally it would be dark this time of night, but there was a light emanating from within. The cover opened again and Batman exited the vehicle. In a swift motion, he had Harley in his arms and he approached the doors of the building. Ivy scrambled out of the cab and it hissed closed as she left the interior. A doctor opened the door for Batman and his patient and watched with curious eyes as they walked past her. She then glanced at the tired, blood splattered form of Ivy as she approached. Her eyebrows creased. Ivy merely glanced at her and moved to catch up with the pair.
The room was a bustle of activity. A stretcher sat ready and waiting for the cargo the be unloaded. Batman carefully placed the woman onto the bed and stepped back. Nurses then whisked the form away down the hall, to be treated. The doctor that held the door for them stepped up beside him.
"It's not like you to help the rogues, Batman."
Ivy, who stood looking solemnly at the doors that swung, turned an eye on the doctor.
"It was a severe case, Martha."
The doctor nodded and regarded Ivy. "Did you bandage her?"
Martha nodded. "You can wait in the lounge, we'll take care of her."
Ivy's icy green eyes regarded her. "You had better." And she turned on her heel and walked to the room with the word 'lounge' above it.
Martha looked to Batman. "How'd you get mixed up in this?"
He turned to her with an almost imperceptible grin. "She used the bat signal."
Hours dragged on and echoed around Ivy. The lounge was silent, save for the buzzing of a light down the hall. She had paced a rut in the floor by this point and was anxiously awaiting any news on Harley's condition. A while ago, Ivy had noticed Batman was no longer in the building.
Probably off saving Gotham from another group of idiots.
Suddenly the door creaked as it was opened, and Martha came walking in. Her young face was tired, yet held a pleased looked. She was removing her cap and mask as she walked into the room. Her brown eyes looked over Ivy. The woman was shaken and drawn, her eyes full of so many emotions. The doctor could feel the uneasiness of the situation radiating from in front of her, as she offered a small smile.
"Harley will be fine, with time."
Unaware that Batman had somehow entered the room, she was startled to hear his voice from behind her.
"What was the damage?"
The doctor sighed and ran a hand through her messy bangs. "A concussion, 7 broken ribs, a fractured elbow, a great amount of lacerations, severe blood loss, a few bruised internal organs, a dislocated shoulder, and there's signs of r--"
"I know." Ivy's voice begged no continuation. The room around her began to dim.
Martha's brows furrowed and she frowned. "We patched her up, gave her shots to help with infection, morphine for the pain. There was brain swelling, but with time it should go down. She'll heal."
Ivy felt the tension leave her body and her knees almost give way. She felt light headed and dizzy but she knew one thing. Harley was going to live. She again heard Batman speak, and turned to glance at him.
"Good, doctor. Thank you. I'd like her kept here until she heals. The press shouldn't catch wind of this." His eyes regarded Ivy. "See that Ivy gets visitation as well."
Martha nodded. "Of course, Batman. She's in good hands."
Ivy looked again at Martha and then to Batman. Her pride had already been bruised, but she still looked at Batman for a moment, hoping to convey the gratitude she felt.
"No need to thank me."
Martha smiled and Ivy simply turned her head. "Can I see Harley now?"
The doctor smiled. "Of course." Her eyes tracked behind Ivy. "He's certainly a slippery one."
Ivy only nodded and followed her out of the room.
It was sunrise by the time Ivy stepped foot into Harley's room. The blonde was hooked up to numerous machines that beeped in their own abstract rhythm. Her face was pale, which made the bruised eye and swollen lip stand out even more. From under the hospital gown, Ivy could see the beginnings of a set of bandages that probably covered most of Harley's torso. She watched as Harley's chest rose slightly with her breath. Nearing the bed, Ivy pulled up a chair and gently clasped hands with Harley.
"I'm so glad you're alive, Harl. So glad."
Her green eyes tracked the entire length of her body as the gravity of the situation caught up with her. Grasping Harley's hand, she placed a shaking kiss on her knuckles and sobbed out the pent up worry. Shortly thereafter, the red haired woman fell asleep, her head against Harley's hand.
It was a few hours later when the nurse came in the check on her patient. Harley was on the very top floor so that she wouldn't be bothered by much of anyone, except the staff that knew of her presence. Gently shaking the redhead, the nurse smiled inwardly.
"Miss Ivy, darlin', wake up."
Ivy grumbled but begrudgingly opened her eyes. "What?"
The nurse smiled a sweet smile. "There's a bathroom in the locker rooms if you'd like to freshen up. I could give ya a pair of scrubs to wear if ya didn't feel like going back to wherever it is you stay to get clothes."
The southern accent this woman spoke with grated Ivy's nerves, but she had to play nice with the people here. After all, they WERE looking after her Harley.
With a satisfied nod, she turned and walked out of the room.
Ivy turned to the unconscious Harley. "Great, Harl. Your nurse is as crazy as you are."
Her only response was the beeping of the machines, but that was all she could hope for. It meant Harley was still alive. A few minutes later, the nurse came back with a fresh set of white scrubs and other things Ivy would need to freshen up. Ivy accepted the things with a nod and wandered off to get cleaned up.
After standing under the shower for a good long time, Ivy washed and exited. She dried off and put on the scrubs. They were comfortable and most importantly, clean and not covered in blood. Ivy walked back into Harley's room and noticed nothing had changed. She hung her wet towel on the back of her chair and clasped Harley's hand again. Her thumb brushed the knuckles on Harley's hand as she sighed. For awhile now, Ivy had tried to get the picture of an almost dead Harley out of her mind. Even as she stared at the hospitalized Harley, the image still haunted her. She closed her eyes and pressed her lips to the hand within hers again and thanked the woman in front of her for clinging to life.
It was a week that passed as Ivy lay asleep again, her head on the bed beside their clasped hands. She felt a small movement in her hand that gently stirred her awake. Tired green eyes looked at the hand in hers and her eyebrows furrowed. She looked at Harley's face for a moment and was pleasantly surprised when she saw Harley's eyebrow twitch.
"Harley? Honey, can you hear me? It's Ivy."
Ivy scooted her chair closer and looked expectantly at Harley. She placed her other hand over her friends and waited a moment. The hand within hers squeezed gently. Ivy's face broke into a small grin.
"Harley, can you open yours eyes?"
For a long moment nothing happened, but Ivy diligently watched Harley's face. Her eyebrows drew and she grunted. Ivy almost sobbed in happiness at the small noise Harley made.
"Come on, baby. I'm right here, Ivy's right here." Her voice cracked with her emotion as Harley struggled to open her eyes.
In an instant, beautiful blue eyes were looking back at her and she let out a tearful gasp when their eyes locked.
Harley blinked and her eyes tracked to their clasped hands. Her blue eyes made their way back to Ivy's and a small smile spread across her dry lips.
Ivy, who was barely containing her tears at seeing her friend open her eyes, smiled. She grabbed at the water beside the bed and helped the woman take a big gulp of it. Harley's head set back against the pillow and her eyes kept steadily looking at Ivy.
"R--" she coughed. "Red."
Ivy nodded quickly and placed the back of Harley's hand against her cheek. She smiled.
"I'm so glad to see you, Harl."
Harley's face changed for a moment and took on a dark countenance. Her blue eyes filled with tears and she silently began to cry. Ivy, noticing the drastic change, felt her heart break.
Mindful of the wires and tubes and the machines, Ivy crawled lightly into bed and gently pulled Harley to her. She felt the tears, but didn't hear anything of Harley, nor did she feel her body shake. Shortly after getting into bed, Harley had fallen back to sleep. Ivy tried to get out of bed, but quickly noticed Harley's hand held to the hem of her shirt. Ivy smiled sadly.
"I won't leave you, Harley. I'm right here."