Pairing: Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn

Rating: T for coarse language, but some chapters might go up to M for sexytimes. Appropriate warnings will be given at the time.

Disclaimer: I don't own [insert relevant fandom name here] This is a FEMSLASH.

A/N: There REALLY should be more Ivy/Harley femslash, but there's not nearly enough so I decided to help remedy that. I realize that there are many different incarnations of them from cartoons, comic strips, movies, video games, and etc. So as a result they tend to vary in personality and appearance from one medium to the next. In appearance and personality, my characters are somewhere between Gotham City Sirens (the 2009 comic) and Arkham City (the game).

What Love Is

By Semerket

Chapter 1: Battered Leaves

Late Autumn

Poison Ivy cranked up the thermostat in her greenhouse. The temperature dropped significantly as night approached and it was cold enough to snow by now. She could hear the eerie murmur of the wind as it whipped past the balding trees, batting down more leaves with each consecutive pass. Ivy was in the process of switching the lights on in her hideout when she heard a faint rapping on the door. Believing that it was nothing more than the wind, she almost chose to ignore it, but then it became louder and more urgent.

Ivy wasn't exactly popular (in a good way) so it was pretty easy to narrow down the list of who would have the gall to pay her a visit: Catwoman knew better, and Batman would never knock, so that meant it had to be... The redhead sighed as she heard Harley Quinn's nasally voice through the door.

"Hellooooooow! Anybody hoooome?"

"Great." Ivy grumbled as she undid the locks and hesitantly cracked the door open. It had been a while since they had spoken and they had not parted ways on good terms.

"Hiya Red!" The blond chirped chummily.

Ivy took a good look at her. She was wearing a black and red leather vest that left her arms exposed and a pair of torn black jeans. It was a miracle she had even managed shoes. It was obvious Harley had left in a hurry. Ivy could also see some fresh bruising on Harley's neck. She was like another battered leaf that had been blown against Ivy's doorstep. "Yes?"

Harley's cheer melted and her smile was replaced with a pout. "I know you told me you nevah wanna see me again..." Ivy hadn't slammed the door in her face so she took that as a cue to continue, "But I-"

That was right. She had told Harley to stop dragging herself back to her hideout every time she fell out with her psychotic boyfriend. Ivy had planned on telling her to get lost, but she had this look on her face. It was an expression unique to Harley; it was a combination of pouting and sad puppy dog eyes. Ivy wanted to scream at her, to slam the door in her face as she had every right too, but she was always powerless in the face of... Oh Gaia, she was starting to cry now.

"Come inside, Harley." Ivy held the door open and the blond bounded inside and wrapped the plant hybrid up in a crushing embrace.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you, Red! You're my best-est friend in the whole world."

Ivy grumbled under her breath, "Yes, I am." Ivy could feel the other woman shivering. "No coat?"

Harley had only the clothes on her back and a small tote bag. She just shook her head and smiled as she moved further into the warmth of Ivy's home. She chirped happily, "I thought I'd come by to visit my best-est girlfriend, ya know because 'tis the season' and all that stuff."

Ivy scoffed, as if she had ever celebrated the holidays. And what the hell should Ivy be thankful for? Deforestation? The senseless murder and desecration of millions of innocent young pines? Batman's constant interference in her noble crusade? A bubblehead that didn't return her feelings? Go to hell, Harley.

She could barely keep the condescension out of her voice, "You don't have to lie, dear. Where did he hurt you this time?"

Harley became defensive, "Hey! I've been meanin' to come see you, ya know. I don't just forget about you."

Ivy rolled her eyes. "Liar." The only thing her obsessive brain could ever consider with any consistency was the Joker.

"It's the truth, Red!"

Ivy said impatiently, "Where are you hurt?"

Harley waved it off, "It's no big deal. Just a few bruises. Nothin' major."

Ivy raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. Harley rarely came over when she wasn't in dire need of something. "Are you hungry? When did you last eat?"

Harley's grin spread from ear to ear. Red was so great. "I am feelin' a bit peckish."

"You can help yourself, Harley. There's fruit in that bowl. I can make you something."

Noticing the bowl on the kitchen counter, Harley grabbed an apple and bit into it greedily. She ate it like a machine. Ivy realized that Joker had probably locked her up and starved her. His torture techniques varied from time to time.

"Yea, Puddin got tired of me eatin' so much so he put all these funny locks on the cabinets. But then the silly bear wouldn't let me leave my room! A girl's gotta eat sometime, right Red?"

"It never ceases to amaze me how nonchalant you are about being abused." Ivy grumbled as she moved about the kitchen.

The blond rolled her eyes, "I'm not bein' abused, Red. Puddin' just has a unique sensahumah. He don't mean nuthin' by it!" Ivy cringed at the denial.

The redhead didn't have a lot of food in her kitchen as her plant-like inclinations had her living on a sort of raw vegan diet by default. She always had fresh fruits and vegetables readily available for herself. It was too risky to let herself be seen in a grocery store when her face was plastered all over the news; not that she minded, she hated shopping anyway. So most of the food she had on hand was either canned or had a long expiration date. She really just kept it around for Harley if she should come by to visit. She heated up a bowl of stew and gave it to the eager blond along with a few slices of bread. "Here. Try this."

"Thanks, Red. This is great!"

Harley was such a sweet person. Hurting her was like hurting a puppy. How anyone could treat her that way was beyond the redhead. Then Ivy remembered something: the Joker was evil.

It was quiet for several minutes as Harley annihilated the stew she'd been given. Realizing that she'd probably still be hungry, Ivy threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to supplement it. Harley inhaled that too, along with an orange and a banana. After the blond finished, she excused herself to take a hot shower.

Ivy was listening to the news from the TV as she busied herself with several nearby plants. When Harley came out of the bathroom she was wearing a snug red sleep shirt with a monkey on the front; the blond had probably found it in the junior's section, Harley was slender enough. She had also managed to find a pair of black shorts, though Ivy wasn't sure if those were hers or the blond's. Her hair was out of its usual pigtails as she dried her wet hair with a towel on her way to the living room. Ivy watched her from the corner of her eye.

"Whatcha watchin?" She flopped down on the couch unceremoniously.

Your marvelous bare legs. Ivy pushed the thought away and willed herself to look at Harley's... uppermost regions. "I was waiting to hear the weather. I think it might snow soon."

Harley was relieved that Ivy kept her home so incredibly warm. She supposed it had something to do with Ivy's plant DNA; she preferred a more tropical climate and she maintained it pretty well. It was hell in the summer though, as the redhead was completely oblivious to the oppressive heat.

"Boooooring!" Harley whined. Ivy was wearing her usual leafy 'bikini' and nothing else. The blond could never understand how she got a bunch of leaves to fit her special places so perfectly.

"I'm sorry I'm not more entertaining for you."

"It's okay, Red. I love you anyway." Unbeknownst to the blond, Ivy's heartbeat quickened at her words, even if she hadn't meant them in that way. "So whatcha been up too lately?"

Ivy shrugged as she joined Harley on the couch. "Keeping to myself mostly. I'd rather not be dragged back to Arkham."

"How do they stay on?"

Ivy blinked at the abrupt change in topic, "Excuse me?"

"The leaves!" She gestured animatedly at her 'clothing'.

Ivy chuckled. Harley always asked and Ivy always gave her the same answer, "Magic." The redhead's attention refocused on the TV as she made a mental note of the forecasts. She needed to prep her babies for wintertime.

Harley was fascinated by the green tendrils on Ivy's arm. The fluid twists and curls were reminiscent of a green, full body henna tattoo. A few small leaves could be seen sprouting here and there. Ivy was such an exotic creature. She brazenly grabbed her arm and began exploring it.

"My arm is interesting now?"

She rolled her eyes and said in mock exasperation, "Yea. You might be kinda interesting, Red." She ignored Harley as she fondled her arm. The blond was always touchy-feely and exploratory. It wasn't long before Harley's curiosity was sated and she leaned back on the couch.

Ivy said seductively, "Any other parts you'd like to feel up?"

Harley guffawed and swatted Ivy's arm. "That was a good one, Red! You're getting better at this."

Ivy chuckled. "I might have a good teacher."

"Might, huh?"

The redhead grinned. "Yea, I might."

"Ever been acquainted with the concept of pants?"

Ivy winked. "You know you like it, Harl."

"Ha ha!" the blond laughed. She did like it though. Putting clothes on Ivy would be like putting clothes on a peacock. "You're just an exhibitionist." Harley noticed a vine creeping towards her after that comment. "Hey, what's goin' on here?" She gestured at the vine suspiciously. "What's he doin?" She let out a squeal as she was flanked by several vines that narrowed in and began tickling her mercilessly. "Okay, I'm s- s- s- sorry I t- t- t- take it back!" The vines stopped and receded.

Ivy chuckled at her. Harley was laughing, but she stopped suddenly and grimaced.

Ivy sat up straight. Her demeanor darkened immediately, "Where are you hurt?"

"I told you-"

The plant hybrid was worried, "You lied. What happened?" Ivy's hands where on Harley's shirt and she quickly hiked it up revealing a massive bruise covering a large percentage of her left side. Ivy began shaking with outrage at the sight of it. "God damn it, Harley!"

"Red!" She snatched her shirt down in annoyance.

"Bruises?" The green woman scoffed, "I know a busted rib when I see one."

"They're not broken. Just bruised." She reassured her now angry friend. She grabbed Ivy's hand and let her press on the base of her rib cage. "See! Not broken, Red."

The redhead was fuming- as if bruised versus broken made a difference! Ivy snatched her hand away in irritation and popped out of her seat. "That bastard!"

Harley stood up too, "Don't even start about Puddin'! It was an accident this time."

Ivy laughed, but it was devoid of humor, "An accident? This time? Do you know what you sound like?"

Red, you're being sucha… sucha... bitch! Of course, Harley didn't say that aloud. Despite what some might infer about her being with the Joker, pain was not something she enjoyed. And if the fury in the elemental's eyes was any indication, then Ivy was in the process of upgrading her status from irate to homicidal.

"Why? Why? Why do you go back to him?!" She paced back and forth, "He's just going to end up killing you one day!" Ivy screamed at the top of her lungs as if a higher decibel would penetrate Harley's brain more easily. "Is that what you want, Harley? Do you want him to kill you?!"

Harley tuned her out. Red just didn't understand because she had never been in love before. She'd never be able to grasp what she felt for Mistah J. "Nah! Nah! Nah! I'm not listening!"

"I know you can hear me!"

The blond made faces at Ivy, "Whatwassat? I can't hear you! I'm not listening!" Harley covered her ears and shook her head in denial. It just made Ivy raise her voice even louder.

"You are such a child!"

That struck a nerve. Harley brought her hands down and yelled back, "And you're a snob who thinks she's better than everybody else! It's either Ivy's way or the highway! You're always right and everyone else is wrong. You think I don't notice the way you talk down to me like I'm a goddamn retard?"

Ivy replied hotly, "Well maybe if you'd stop acting like one, people wouldn't make those kinds of assumptions about your intellectual capacity!"



"Crazy 'ole plant lady!"


The blond was at the last straw. She was tired of Ivy's judgmental bipolar ranting. It was getting to a point where Ivy did this every time she visited. "Damn it! What's your problem, Red? Are you jealous or somethin'? Sheesh!"

"My problem is that he beats you, he tries to kill you, and god knows what else! He doesn't respect you. He doesn't even want you! And yet you keep crawling back to him! He's going to do this over and over. You take 'battered wife syndrome' to a whole other level. You make women look bad. It's disgusting!"

Harley snarled, "No, your problem is that you don't understand. You don't understand because you don't know what it's like to be in love. You're just a man-hater who hangs out with a bunch of stupid plants all day because she's too anti-social to make real friends- you don't even know what real love is! You aren't even capable!"

"I don't know what-" Ivy was appalled at the audacity of her accusation. She laughed angrily, "No, Harley. You're the one that doesn't understand what love is." She hissed, "Love is when I sit up at night worrying about you. Love is when I nurse you back to health! Love is when I help you to the bathroom after Puddin' has broken your leg! Love is when I cook for you. Love is when I feed you because you can barely sit up. Love is when I do little things to make you feel good. Love is when I try to get it through your impossibly thick skull that he is the embodiment of evil..."

The rage was now being augmented by a stream of tears, "And you know what makes me so sick? I mean, it makes me physically ill, Harley. The very idea, that after everything I've done for you- everything I continue to do- I actually have to compete with that son of a bitch for your affection! I spend all this time and energy on someone that wouldn't know the definition of a healthy relationship if her life depended on it, which judging from your injuries- it does depend on it. Honestly, I don't know why I bother with you anymore! You'll never want me the way I want you!"

She turned as though she were about to leave, but then she spun back around to face the blond, "But how dare you come into my house and tell me that I don't know what love is!"

Then she shrieked, "FUCK YOU, HARLEY QUINN! FUCK YOU!"

Harley's eyes were wide and blinking at Ivy's admission. Ivy didn't give her any time to respond as she quickly turned on her heel and retreated into her lab. Harley could hear the door slamming. Even the plants in the room seemed to recoil at the commotion.