Work Header


Work Text:

Batman dropped to one knee in order to better inspect the tangle of vines that had taken over the abandoned cannery. He frowned.

The sound of footsteps getting closer. Heels on cement. Could probably guess who that was. He glanced upward when they stopped. Poison Ivy, in a dress that resembled a Mandragora officinarum flower. She had her hands on her hips.

He stood, and headed in the other direction.

"Hey!" He stopped. "Don't just walk away from me!"

He sighed. "I know this wasn't you."

"Bullshit," she said, stomping one foot.

"Are you trying to take credit for this."

"No! I came up with a whole thing to prove to you that this wasn't my fault, you don't just get to arbitrarily decide that it wasn't."

"This obviously wasn't you."

"How is it obvious!"

He turned, but only halfway, still not entirely facing her. "This is kudzu. You would have chosen something native, like woodbine."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Have you been studying me?"


She crossed her arms over her chest. "How do you know how to identify kudzu?"

"It's fairly common gardening knowledge."

"Why would you have any gardening knowledge?"

"I have a life outside of bats," Batman said. "Not everything has to be about you."

"If you're going to be rude, then I'm not going to help you anymore," Ivy warned.

"Were you helping."

"I was going to help," she said, "until you started being rude."

"Hm." They regarded one another in silence. "You were going to help me. A man. Try to get rid of a plant."

"It's kudzu," she reminded him. "And I am allowed to help people, sometimes, if I want to."

"Help... the people that you want to kill. So that plants can inherit the Earth."

Her hands went back to her hips, her posture defensive. "I," she said, "can grow, and learn, and change just like anyone else. It's not hypocritical to change my mind."


"Don't give me that look."

"This is just what my mask looks like."

They were silent again.

"Harley?" Batman asked.

"We didn't have a fight," Ivy snapped, before realizing that he hadn't suggested that they had. "There was a minor difference of opinion," she said, "about what constitutes first-world environmentalism, and when it's appropriate to use the word genocide, and, quite frankly I'm not even technically human so I don't think it's fair to say that I—"

"You should quit while you're ahead."

She crossed her arms again. "Whatever. Whatever. It doesn't even matter, because that was a long time ago, and people change." She held out one of her arms, twisted her wrist and clenched her fist, and kudzu vines began to shrivel up and die. "See?"

"Hm." Batman turned, and headed in the other direction again. "No."

"What do you mean, no?" she demanded, following after him.

"I don't want your help."

"There's an invasive plant-themed villain on the loose! Of course you want my help!"

"I'm not letting you use me to win an argument with your girlfriend."

"I'm helping because I'm a helpful person who only seems hostile because I'm trying to survive in a world that's hostile to my existence."

"Go home and admit you were wrong."

"No." Leaves withered in her wake. "I won't be held to unfairly high standards."

"The unfairly high standard... that genocide is bad."

"I never said it wasn't!" Kudzu wrapped around his legs, grew short vines that dried out into thorn-like protrusions as they stiffened and died. "Don't put words in my mouth!"

"On multiple occasions you said you wanted to end all human life."

"All humans. Eventually. It didn't have to be right away, I didn't mean any specific humans."

"I don't know why you think that's better."

"Look. I am trying to be helpful. I am trying to turn over a new leaf. Pun intended. Stop being difficult and just let me help you."

She had, as she spoke, been wrapping Batman in even more vines to prevent him from walking away. By the time she was done, he was wrapped in kudzu to his shoulders. He said nothing.

"... I can see how this would seem unhelpful, but I am really trying and I think that should count for something."

He continued to say nothing.

"And I don't think it's fair how you always take her side. It wouldn't kill you to help me out once in a while."



"Get this off of me."

"I'm not wrong, though."

"You are."

"I wasn't completely wrong."

"You were."

"She can't always be right."

"She isn't."

"I have a PhD."

"So does she."

"I was murdered."

"So was she."

"Think about how I feel."

"I have. It feels like being wrong."

"You know what? No. I'm not letting you out of there. You can wait here, and I'll take care of this myself, because I am more than capable of doing the right thing on my own, without other people's opinions."


Batman sighed as Poison Ivy stormed away in a growing wave of kudzu. A twitch of his eyebrows opened the communications menu in his mask, taking longer than he would have liked to navigate the heads-up display without his hands.

It rang.



On the other end of the line, she gasped so dramatically it sounded as if she'd inhaled her phone. "Batsy! Is this—"


"—a booty call?"



"Your girlfriend is about to cover the tri-state area in kudzu."

"What? But she hates kudzu. Are you sure it's not hemp?"

"She's trying to prove that she's a good person, with good opinions."

"... is she still mad that I said killing everyone would be genocide?"


"Shoot. Where is she?"

"Off Portage, near the interstate."

"Is that over by where the old water tower with the cupcake used to be?"

"No. The old library."

"The one that's a taco place now?"

"The one that's a coffee shop."

"I know exactly where that is, I'll be there in ten—should I wear pants?"

"I would prefer that you did."

"Fifteen minutes."