Title: It's Just Allergies (9/9)
Author: Allaine
Email: eac2nd@yahoo.com
Distribution: Probably at fanfiction.net and the factsofslash group. Anyone interested should just ask, and can expect a positive answer.
Spoilers: Takes place after the New Batman/Superman Adventures, with one alteration - in my story, Ivy's skin never turned white like the Joker's. So she still looks like you and me.
Feedback: Well, this fanfic is uncharted territory for me, so reader opinions may very well determine whether I finish it or not. So I would encourage it even more than usual.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimers: All characters belong to . . . let's see, DC Comics, Kids WB and the Cartoon Network, the producers of the two Batman serials, the talented artists and voice actors, etc. I have borrowed them entirely without permission, for which I humbly beg forgiveness, but I seek no form of profit from this undertaking.
Summary: When Poison Ivy finds her well-being threatened by the unlikeliest of sources, Harley Quinn proves that Ivy doesn't have to be alone anymore, ever again. My first Batman fanfiction.

Chapter 9

Ivy thought it looked familiar, but as she rubbed the leaves of the potted plant against her cheek, she remembered. "This is the shooting star vine I gave you, isn't it?" she asked Harley.

Harley nodded. "It was still in my cell. I didn't think it was safe to try to bring it with me when I escaped. I wanted to, though."

She put the plant aside. She was happy, of course; working with plants gave her purpose. But somehow, it just wasn't the big moment it would have been a few days ago. Then she gingerly felt her head through her hair. "I'm not going to get a bald spot, am I?"

"The chip was implanted just beneath the skin," Batman explained as he washed his hands before putting his gloves back on. "So it was no different from the most minor corrective surgery. No one will ever notice."

He took the glass vial in which he'd placed the chip and inverted it. When the chip hit the floor, he ground it to dust under the heel of his boot.

Dr. Park, a very reluctant participant in the surgery, gnashed his teeth as he sat in a corner of the room, watching Batman destroy the last of his "dream".

"What happens to him?" Ivy asked, glaring at the doctor.

"He won't last another twenty-four hours as head of Arkham," the Bat replied. "And he'll probably have his license to practice revoked. Meanwhile, I'm going to have Lockup transferred to another, more solitary wing before he turns the Mad Hatter into an even bigger basket case."

Ivy sighed. "Go ahead. People like the Hatter and I, we tend to screw each other sooner or later. And Lockup is a friend to no one." She started pulling her boots back on.

"What about Ivy? What happens to her?" Harley asked.

Batman considered them both carefully. "I'll answer that in a minute. First, I want to take care of him," he answered, jerking a thumb at Dr. Park. "Don't go anywhere," he warned them before taking the psychiatrist by the arm and leading him out.

"You don't suppose they'd let us share a cell, do you?" Ivy wondered.

"Nope. 'Security risk'," Harley said, bending her fingers like quotation marks.

Ivy reached over and took Harley by the hand. "I guess we won't have a whole lot of 'alone time' while we're in here."

Harley shrugged. "Doesn't matter. We can just bust out like we always do."

"True," Ivy admitted.

The Bat returned, this time without the doctor. He looked at them some more. "So, what to do with you?" he pondered out loud.

Unconsciously, both women scooted a little closer together.

"Harley, since you escaped, you're considered a fugitive," he began. "But technically, Ivy is still free. Her release papers are valid."

"But everyone will know _why_ I was released," Ivy pointed out, "and they'll want to put me back in now that the chip is gone." She most certainly did not want Harley to be alone with the Joker in Arkham. It wasn't that she didn't trust her; it was _him_ she didn't trust.

"Probably," he agreed, "but as of right now, you're a free woman. You can return to your halfway house, if you like. Or you could voluntarily commit yourself back into Arkham, if you like."

Ivy hadn't thought of that, and she and Harley looked at each other. "Check myself in?" Ivy said.

"That'd be a first," Harley responded.

"Of course," Batman went on, "it might not do you any good. After all, the doctor did suggest that you're a hopeless case, incapable of the slightest hint of humanity."

She gave him a decidedly hostile look. "Well, Park was talking out of his ass before."

Harley started giggling, but she managed to contain herself.

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"Harley told me about my hypnotic session," Ivy answered. "She told me what I said to you – about my feelings."

He paused. "That was . . . surprising."

"If I was the sociopathic, soulless monster that my own psychiatrist made me out to be, could I really love Harley?" she shot back.

"Harley says she loves the Joker," Batman retorted, "and everyone thinks that makes her crazy."

"Harley is obsessed with him. She doesn't love him. She just can't tell the two apart," Ivy responded before recalling that Harley was sitting right next to her. "No offense, Harl."

Harley thought about what Ivy said and made no reply.

"My love for her," Ivy continued forcefully, "is not a symptom of mental illness. It comes from within here," she said, putting her hand over her breast. "It comes from her being special to me. It's one of the healthiest feelings I've ever had."

"Prove it," he challenged her.

"Excuse me? What, am I supposed to make out with her for your pleasure?"

"Prove it," he repeated. "Prove that you're right, and the doctor is wrong. Prove that you and Harley can share something normal."

Ivy looked at him, unsure.

"Take a week," Batman decided. "Go back to your apartment, and take Harley with you. Or go someplace else. The police may keep looking for Harley, but I'll hold back. Use that week to explore your feelings for each other. No elaborate crimes, no lawbreaking. Just do the normal things that couples do together – eat out, see a movie, talk. Prove this isn't insanity."

"Wait a minute," Ivy interrupted. "You're saying the two of us can walk out of here tonight? Together?"

"What happens if we do something bad?" Harley asked.

"Then I come down on you like a ton of bricks and toss you both back in here," he said sternly. "And I'll see that you're kept away from each other."

Ivy thought about it. They could do anything, as long as it wasn't illegal. She could keep Harley away from her abusive boyfriend. Maybe after a whole week alone together, Harley would be a little less attached to the Joker, and a little more attached to her. She turned to Harley. "What do you think?"

"Well," she said, "the whole 'no crime' thing sounds kind of boring." She looked down at her fingers. "But the rest of it sounds pretty nice," she admitted, blushing.

The redhead looked back at Batman. "What happens at the end of the week?"

He considered it. "We'll see. See if you're more than just someone addicted to crime."

Ivy loved a challenge, especially when it came from _him_. "I'll do it," she decided.

"We'll do it," Harley corrected her.

Ivy blinked, and then smiled at her. "We," she agreed, turning red as well.

"We can't stay here, you know," Harley said as they lay in bed together. "If they find me here, they'll call the police."

They'd shared one more tight fit inside the Batmobile (as oddly pleasurable as ever) while the Bat drove them back to where Ivy was staying. He hadn't said a word the whole time; he'd just given Ivy a look that said once again, "Prove it". And then he was gone.

Harley and Ivy had been exhausted by that time, so they'd just stripped down to their undergarments and slipped into bed together. But they hadn't slept. They just lay there in each other's arms.

Ivy nodded. "We'll just have to move to a hideout. As long as the Bat isn't trying to find us, we'll be safe from the cops."

"We could use the place I got my things from," Harley suggested.

"Not a chance," Ivy immediately said. "I don't want to be anywhere your puddin' used to be."

"Oh, sorry," Harley replied.

"No need to be sorry," Ivy reassured her, caressing her cheek. "I have a place twenty minutes from here. Besides, if I don't go back soon, it'll be overrun by the plants there."

"I guess you're happy that you can actually go near them again."

Ivy smiled. "Very. But not as happy as you can make me."

Harley's cheeks grew bright. "Oh, Red . . ." she whispered.

This time it was Ivy who initiated the kiss, but it was still one they enjoyed equally.

"When do you want to leave?" Harley asked.

"How about tomorrow morning?" Ivy suggested. "That way they won't care that I'm gone until the following night."

"Okay," Harley said happily. "Only, I need to go back to my hideout first. I have to get something."

"I have money stashed at my place," Ivy told her. "We can just buy whatever . . ."

"It's the babies," Harley replied. "I want to take the babies."

Ivy closed her eyes and scowled. "Oh, Harley, not those hyenas again. They'll just pee on my plants."

Harley removed her arms from Ivy's waist and folded them. "I refuse to leave them there all alone. They have to be fed and cared for, just like your plants. If you want to have a relationship with me, then the babies are non-negotiable." And she brought her chin up a little, just to show she was serious.

Ivy chuckled. Then she grew serious as well. "If you want to have a relationship with me, then you can bring along whatever you like."

"Take that, Batman," she then thought to herself. "I can be as selfless as the next girl."

Grinning, Harley returned her arms to their original position, which was right where Ivy wanted them. "Thanks, Red. I won't be gone long."

Ivy blinked. "What, you're leaving _now_?"

"Well, you were just _so_ understanding a minute ago, so I'll just get them now, and then we'll have the rest of the night together." She smiled slyly, reading the look on Ivy's face. "You'll just have to wait a little, won't you?"

The other woman groaned and put her head in her pillow. Nice girls really did finish last.

The End.

(To be continued in "Life Don't Have to be No Bed of Roses")