Trigger Warning: Abuse, Violence and subtle ED hints
Ivy should have been used to it. She should have been. But every time she got that knock on the door- those four light taps, the same every time her heart would jump into her throat and she would have to swallow down something bitter. Those few seconds before she opened the door were always filled with a dreadthat things would be worse than usual, and a hope that things would be better. That a perfectly happy, healthy Harley would appear in front of her.
Would it be fractured ribs? A black eye? A broken arm? Ivy never knew quite what the Joker would do, but from fixing Harley up, she knew it was almost if not just point blank, always worse than at first glance.
And she would always go back. Maybe it was her own fault, maybe it wasn't, but Harley would always go back.
Upon hearing the knock, Ivy sighed heavily. She would never get sick of Harley- perhaps because she was never there for more than two weeks, but she knew that she had to be ready for a long night of cleaning and tending to the injuries inflicted by Him. Harley healed quicker than a normal human, but even that couldn't help her sometimes.
But when she opened the door, Harley was... fine. She was crying but that was to be expected. It would be weirder if she wasn't. There were no broken bones, no blood, no leaning in a funny way and whilst she certainly had bruising, it didn't seem to require urgent medical attention.
(Switch to Ivy first person)
"Hey Red, sorry to intrude, but Puddin' needed a break and it came to me that I hadn't seen you in a little while. Can I stay the night?"
'A little while' was six months with not a call, visit or letter. Harley had totally blanked me, and not for the first time. It wasn't like one of us had been in Arkham either. I was laying low and Harley was almost always mentioned in whatever scheme the Joker was pulling, even if she wasn't actually on camera. Those news reports were the only reason I knew she was still alive. She had just forgotten about me whilst she was with Him.
"Come in Harls," I sighed, "Do you need anything to eat?"
At the idea of my food, Harley wrinkled her nose. If she was really hungry she would eat it I reasoned. She had before and it wasn't like my food was flavourless. Most because she chose to be an omnivore with carnivorous leanings, didn't mean I had to stock food especially for her.
You have in the past a voice reasoned and I sighed again. "We can go grocery shopping tomorrow. I assume you're staying that long." With her you could never tell, but even she didn't leave after one night normally. No, she would stay and let my heart get even m attatched before breaking it yet again. I should have known better by now.
But I didn't. And there was a sick part of me that loved the pain. It reminded me of being human. Yet, there was another part of me that never wanted to see Harley ever again. And then I felt stupid because I imagined those were the sort of thoughts that kept her with Him.
"If you'll have me!" Her too high voice broke me out of my thoughts and I smiled at her and she smiled back, her trademark Harley Quinn Grin.
But, I noticed distantly, it didn't quite reach her eyes.
"Can we watch a movie or something instead Pammy? Please!"
Five minutes into watching a nature documentary and Harley was already bored. I didn't want to bend to her every whim, but I hadn't seen her in so long, and I could shake the feeling that something was wrong, so instead of complaining, I put a movie in, and put my arm around her.
I didn't initiate physical contact much, and normally she would lean right on me and hug back until her hair, normally smelling of bubblegum or some kind of synthetic fruit would tickle my nose. But instead she shifted back and my arm dropped. I clenched my hands into fists. Something was wrong. More wrong than usual, but I knew Harley would never say anything.
I had to do something
But there was nothing I could do.
I hated feeling useless. I was Poison Ivy, protecter of the plants, and I couldn't protect my own best friend. But there was nothing I could do whilst I didn't know what was happening. Harley's head was a cesspool I never wanted to get into. A black hole of crazy. Asking her wouldn't do anything. She was pretending everything was completely fine and she was doing it so well.
Sometimes I forgot that Harley wasn't the ditz she pretended to be. She wore her heart on her sleeve but sometimes, like now, she pulled it in and put on a mask. It was disturbing to see. She was normally animated to almost cartoon proportions and the blank canvas before me was a jarring difference.
I continued studying her as she watched the movie, making sure to be discrete, but she seemed in such a world of her own I could have probably gawked at her and she wouldn't notice.
The movie progressed, and slowly she drifted off. Harley was young and when we was asleep she could have passed for a teenager. She used to lament her youthful face to me, but it made her all the more dangerous. Even those who knew her reputation couldn't phantom the idea of being beaten to a pulp by a baby faced, pigtailed blonde standing at 5"2 at the most for all she tried to bullshit 5"5.
She looked as youthful as ever, but there was something subtly different about her face. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was there. Harley always lat as still and as stiff as a board when she was sleeping, unless she was in the throes of a nightmare, but tonight, she seemed tenser. I couldn't explain it, but I was content to drape a blanket I had laying over the couch over her sleeping body.
The blanket is only there for her anyway. The thought jolted me slightly, but it was true. Due to my plant DNA, blankets did very little for me, and if I got too cold I would have to stand under my heat lamp, but that didn't happen often due to how warm I kept the place. Harley on the other hand would snuggle into a blanket in a 100 degree heatwave if she could.
The movie ended but Harley was still fast asleep. I gave her a light poke but she didn't react in any way. I didn't like picking her up because I disliked the idea that there could be a power imbalance similar to hers and the clown between us, but it was clear she wasn't waking up any time soon, so I attempted to pick her up in the most dignified wat possible, even if she wouldn't care.
Harley had a small frame, stunted from gymnastics and a bad diet She wasn't just short, she was tiny all over and relativ light and easy to pick up.
I put her in the spare bed, and went to go to my own room, when I hesitated. She was still wearing her bodysuit and latex was absolute hell to sleep in. Like usual, she didn't carry any 'normal' clothes with her, so I sighed and went to grab a t shirt that would fit.
I didn't often wear clothes, preferring my leaves and vines, but if I ever needed anything that I couldn't get at night, I would will my skin to a slightly more normal shade and dress in jeans and a t shirt. I couldn't do it much as the transformation from Poison Ivy to- not Pamela, I would never be Pamela again, but just Plain Ivy, took a lot out of me.
I found a t shirt that fit me quite tightly, but when I put it on Harley, not looking as to preserve her privacy, it absolutely dwarfed her.
I had just finished dressing her when her eyes fluttered open and I resisted the urge to scream, "Whassup," she said drowsily.
"Nothing," I replied, "go back to sleep. Night."
I half expected her to ask me to sleep with her, to which I would maybe make one word of protest before obliging, but she just rolled over and following my advice; went back to sleep.
I awoke to the sunlight streaming on my face made me smile. It was early, but being summer it got light in the day very quickly. I stretched my limbs out contentedly and checked the time. Seven o clock. Harley probably wouldn't be awake for another few hours.
Harley was in the kitchen, her hair carefully done into two pigtails and her makeup already immaculate, did was sipping on a glass of water and I made a mental note to get some milkshake mix or coke for her to drink. When I don't have company, I mostly stick to water and herbal teas, but Harley doesn't like tea much.
"How long have you been up?" I ask, and she screws her face up to think.
"I woke up about four an' I couldn't get back ta sleep so I hadda shower. I'm gonna go into your gym an' do some practice."
Calling what I had a gym was very generous. I had a treadmill which I occasionally used, a set of weights that mostly belonged to Harley and a worn punching bag, almost ripped in places. I knew Harley preferred it empty though, so there was more space for her to practice all her flips and tricks.
"I'll be in my greenhouse then. When I've finished tending to my plants we need to shop for groceries."
"Coolio! See ya then."
I went into my greenhouse and started measuring our the exact amount of water I needed. Some of my plants would get angry if I didn't give them enough or gave them too much. People don't realise how much of a diva certain plants can be. The only way you could understand is if you could hear them, and even then I bet most wouldn't even try to listen to what they have to say.
Almost the entire human population don't care about plants. They forget that every breath we can take is due to the natural world around us. They dont care if their selfish inventions destroy everything. And when I, the protector, try to make them care, I'm seen as the bad guy.
Killing is only wrong when it's them being killed. Never mind the fact that the lives of many outweigh the life of one.
I slowly breathed out and relaxed my body, not realising that lost in my thoughts, I'd locked my jaw and clenched my fists hard enough to leave little crescent markings. I went back to watering my plants, all the while stopping the anger from bubbling over.
I was trying to lay low for a while, perhaps to retire, or perhaps to lure the Bat into a false sense of security. The plan would come later, but for me I had no desire to be trapped in Arkham, or worse: turned into some sort of pawn for someone.
I finished taking care of all of the plants and after making sure to shut the door tightly, I left the room. I went into the kitchen, and began to write a grocery list. "Harley?" I yelled, and a few seconds later I heard her footsteps.
"Hey Red!" she looked slightly sweaty, and she was smiling but she didn't look much happier than yesterday.
"I'm going to the grocery store. Get changed if you want to join me. No pigtails."
Harley was mostly pretty inconspicuous from a regular college student when she took her hair down and unless you knew her, or followed the Gotham rouges really closely- I knew for as many people that were terrified of us there were almost as many who admired us in some weird way, you wouldn't be able to tell she was Harley Quinn.
Harley had some clothes stashed away somewhere in the spare room, clothes I almost kicked myself for not remembering last night. She came down wearing slightly baggy black jeans and a red t shirt. Looking at my green clothes I realised, not for the first time, that neither of us had much subtlety when it came to colour schemes.
It didn't matter. The vast majority of Gotham were idiots anyway.
Yeah... I'm not sure about this either. I started on this befire Christmas but gave up amd I know that the likelyhood of more being written is slim to none. Still, I hope you guys enjoy this even a little bit. I'll see you next time I post some self indulgent, out of character, Harlivy bullshit.