Author's Note - This scene is taken directly from the second chapter of my current Gargoyles story "Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth". I thought that, for all you loyal readers of Allergies and Bed of Roses who decided not to continue, you'd like to see what our ladies are doing with themselves now that they're in New York. It's short, but hey, it's fun :) I'll probably do this again in the future. Take care, Allaine.

(See previous chapters for disclaimers.)


"Are you sure we can afford this?" Harley asked doubtfully as she looked around the hotel room. "We need our money for an apartment."

"You just got out of the hospital," Ivy replied as she pulled their suitcases through the door by the attached leashes. "I'm not letting you sleep on a lumpy mattress in a fleabag motel."

"But I'm fine," Harley said brightly, raising her arms. "Otherwise I would still be _in_ the hospital."

Ivy grunted as she put Harley's suitcase up on the rack they provided for luggage. "So if I started tickling your tummy, you'd laugh for, what, five seconds before the pain got too bad?"

Harley sat down on the bed with a thump, her smile fading. "I'm sorry," she answered. "I've been slowing you down."

"No," Ivy corrected her, "you've been picking me up." She opened the suitcase and got out a big plastic bag. "It feels good to see you on your feet and out of the hospital. Speaking of which, it's time for your medicine."

"Red," Harley pouted, "I hate your medicine. Can't we use the pills the hospital gave me?"

"Pills," Ivy sneered. "Years of effort and millions of dollars, all geared toward reproducing the healing powers of the very nature that surrounds us. With nastier side effects, of course." She took a thermos out and started shaking it vigorously. "This will speed your body's ability to heal itself, instead of just masking the pain like those little white pills do."

"But pills don't taste terrible," Harley pointed out.

"If they did, people wouldn't get addicted to them so much, and the pharmaceutical companies would lose profits," Ivy replied blandly. "Come on, Harley. You're healing more slowly than most people because of all the abuse you've suffered over the years. This will help."

Harley sighed as Ivy poured something into a glass. Something green, of course. "All right," she muttered. Taking the glass, she took a sip and made a face.

"That's my girl," Ivy said only, but inside she continued to seethe at what she'd been subjected to over the years. One too many kicks in the stomach, one too many punches in the back, one too many attempts on her life - it was a wonder her entire body hadn't collapsed yet. Gently she rubbed her hand up and down Harley's spine.

"Dontcha think you shouldn't be making fun of drug companies when you have an interview with one tomorrow?" Harley suggested as she finally finished drinking and, with a shudder and a grimace, put the glass on the nighttable.

Ivy shrugged. "While I'm working honestly, I'd like to be paid well. And since I'll end up cheating whomever I work for when you've healed enough, it doesn't really matter what I think about drug companies. Although, granted, I could never work for a lumber mill."

While Harley had been in the hospital in Gotham, Ivy had found a job opportunity in New York. Nightstone Unlimited, a new conglomerate, had just opened a branch office in Gotham, and Ivy had interviewed with them for a job with its drug subsidiary, Berkshire Pharmaceuticals. She'd done well enough that they invited her to a second round of interviews when she arrived in New York. Fortunately the woman had moved to Gotham from New York, so she didn't recognize Ivy from newspaper photos the way a lot of Gothamites would have.

Ivy certainly hadn't made it easier for her, turning in a fake resume. She'd paid someone to give her a new identity, and that was all it took to become Patricia Exley, law-abiding botanist and chemist.

As Ivy got up to put the plant-based medication away, Harley noticed a flash of color in her suitcase, which Ivy had packed for her. "What's that?" she asked.

"Something for when you're all better," Ivy said with a smile. She took something out of the suitcase and allowed it to unfold.

Harley gasped. "My outfit? But it got all torn up!"

"And I had a new one made for you, silly," Ivy told her. "I'm pretty sure I got the size right." She shook the red-and-black costume a little.

"Looks all right," Harley agreed, but she still looked surprised. More surprised than Ivy had expected, actually.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing's - wrong. It's just I didn't think you'd want me to be Harley Quinn any more," Harley admitted.

It was Ivy's turn to be startled. "Not want . . . what on earth are you talking about?"

"Because," Harley said plaintively, "you know? Harley Quinn? Joker? It's kind of a matched pair, the whole playing cards thing. Joker came up with the idea, and, well . . ."

Ivy slung the costume over her arm and sat down next to her once more. "I don't want you to be someone else, Harley. Shouldn't that have been your first clue, the fact that I still call you _Harley_? Otherwise I'd have started referring to you as Harleen."

"Well, yeah," Harley said.

"And Harley Quinn is who you are, not what the Joker said you were," Ivy went on. "Go on being Harley without the Joker, and show everybody that you're your own person. Besides, I always liked you in your tight little outfit, anyway," she added slyly.

Harley blushed. "I'm not my own person, though. Not really."

"Harley," Ivy reminded her. There were still some lingering vestiges of her attachment to the Joker.

"I'm yours."

Ivy stopped and stared. Then she smiled, embarrassed. "How about you're ours? Like I am?"

"Okies," Harley answered, slowly taking the outfit from Ivy's arms and testing it. "Ooh, it feels nice."

"You want to try it on?"

"I don't know," Harley said. "It's hard to remove quickly, you know." The look in her eyes was unmistakable.

Ivy held her breath. "Only if you're ready," she replied. She and Harley had never really discussed their sex lives when they were just friends; Ivy didn't want to hear about the Joker's sexual escapades, and frankly, Ivy had no lovers to speak of. Only recently had she learned that Harley was a very _physical_ young woman in bed, and so her recovery from her injuries and her low energy had made lovemaking very difficult. They had only gone so far.

"I'm not a patient any more," Harley said. "We have a hotel room to ourselves. And we're free. I'd like to feel free, Red."

"Then I'll just have to leave it until tomorrow to unpack my case," Ivy replied, grinning even as butterflies erupted in her stomach.

But then Harley touched her cheek, and their lips met, and she wasn't nervous anymore.