Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland

Disclaimers: The characters are not mine, they belong to DC Comics. Otherwise there would currently be an x-rated Harley/Ivy title on the shelves.

Notes: I actually wrote this in 2005 for my LJ and forgot to upload it here. And it's actually complete! Inspired by my experiences of last-minute Xmas shopping. The moral of the story is don't put it off until Christmas Eve.

Big thanks to Rinney and Anna for betaing

Spoilers: Brief references to the 'Holiday Knights' episode.

Ivy wasn't entirely sure whether this latest half-baked plan of Harley's was purely meant to torture her, or whether it was an experiment to see how long she'd last before going completely insane. Currently, the only thing keeping Ivy from snapping was trying to figure out which factor was the most infuriating; being stuck in the claustrophobia-inducing morass of sweaty mammals oozing their way through the mall, the sight of the fine specimen of Abies magnifica that the mall owners had butchered and trussed up in tawdry garbage as a sacrificial offering to unrestrained consumerism, or the inescapable, brain-killing, soul-destroying 'music'.

As she watched Harley skipping obliviously through the crowds ahead of her, despite the shopping bags she was burdened with, (it had been hard enough for Harley to persuade Ivy into going to the mall, she'd known better than to ask Ivy to carry anything once they were there) Ivy decided that it was the blonde's inexplicable gaiety that was grating on her nerves the most. It was Christmas Eve. All the other shoppers looked either hurried and harassed, or almost as aggravated as Ivy. Only the children seemed to be sharing Harley's enthusiasm, and even they weren't singing along to the godawful muzak like she was…

"In the alley we can build a snowman, and pretend he'd got that Batman frown! He'll say 'Got your papers?' we'll say 'No sir, but just you go and try to take us down'... Auh!" Harley's improvised lyrics were abruptly silenced as Ivy caught hold of her scarf and tugged her back sharply.

"Harley! Are you trying to get us caught?" Her voice hissing through gritted teeth, Ivy quickly glanced around to see if they'd caught anyone's attention. No, thankfully everyone else seemed focused on their shopping. For now.

"Red, relax!" Harley grinned, not showing the slightest concern. "Nobody's gonna notice unless we're holding up the line at Santa's Grotto. And it's not like we've got our own pet boy billionaire to do the shopping for us like we did last year, so Batsy ain't gonna show unless we get another one…" There was a pause as Harley thought that over. "Hey, you wanna…"

"No Harley! We agreed, remember? This year we're not spending Christmas in Arkham." Ivy replied firmly, not without a twinge at the thought of being able to do their shopping on unlimited credit cards belonging to other people again.

"Yeah, that's what Mistah J said…" Harley snorted.

"We're not going to try and sabotage Toys for Tots either Harley."

"Good, 'cause that was just stupid and mean. Of course, if I hadn't said it was stupid and mean he'd never have kicked me out, and if he'd never kicked me out then I'd have been there when Batman and Birdboy showed up, and if I'd been there when they showed up I'd have been hauled off back to Arkham too." With a pout, Harley began to skip across the mall's tiled floor, carefully landing in the exact centre of each tile. "Serves him right, it's Christmas."

"Don't you mean Hanukkah?" Ivy asked as she followed her with a long-suffering sigh.

"Yeah, that too." Slowing down as they entered the main plaza, Harley gazed adoringly up at the huge Christmas tree, taking a deep breath of the unmistakeable scent. "Mmmm, you can really smell the pine sap…" she remarked cheerfully. But her grin vanished almost instantly as she saw the look on Ivy's face. "Uhhh… that is…" Her voice trailed off under Ivy's baleful glare.

"Firstly it's not a pine, it's a fir. Secondly, if you'd had both your legs cut off, you'd be bleeding too," Ivy grated, her fists clenching as her gaze turned to the poor tree. "Sure, it looks pretty now, but that's only because it's dying slowly. The minute it starts losing its needles it'll be thrown out in the trash like millions of others all over the whole damn…"

"Yeah yeah, I know Red, it's cruel and inhumane and utterly pointless." Shifting her bags to one hand with some difficulty, Harley grabbed Ivy by the elbow and started forcibly pulling her away. Although she was sure that nothing short of a full-scale robbery in costume would get them caught during the last-minute shopping rush, one of Ivy's anti-Christmas tree rants might just do it too. "Let's go, I think there's a Victoria's Secret over in the north aisle."

"Underwear for Christmas Harley? That's not very creative…" Ivy muttered as she grudgingly followed the blonde, an even more grudging smile slowly creeping across her face as Harley's grasp slid from her elbow to Ivy's hand. Out of the spirit of the season, Ivy decided not to resist as Harley's fingers intertwined with her own.

"I was more thinking we could model it for each other later on." Harley replied with a mischievous giggle. "You know, while we conspire as we dream by the fire?"

"I'll face unafraid those plans that you've made…" Ivy couldn't hold back the chuckle in her voice, and decided not to fight it. It was Christmas after all.

"Walkin' in a winter wonderland." Harley finished for her as Ivy's arm slid around her waist.