Harley loved shopping.
She didn’t really enjoy paying all the time but shopping was one of her favorite past times. It was still taking a bit of time to get Cass to enjoy it as much as she did but as they ran away from a popular brand named clothing store that shall not be named, the younger girl smiled wide and laughed loudly as they rounded the corner. She sounded so maniacal when she laughed.
Harley absolutely loved it.
Harley loved a lot of things. The rush of getting away with petty crime. The wind in her hair as she rolled down a neighborhood in her rollerblades. The best fucking egg sandwich in the world. The way Bruce rolled over when she pet him. Her new friends’ quirks.
Like how Helena laughed at her puns (as long as she kept them pretty simple) or how Dinah was able to hold great banter or how Renée drank like a 300-pound sumo wrestler.
But one thing Harley didn’t like was to get caught. Especially by the Bats.
Harley and Cass came to a screeching halt as a dark figure stood in the dark alley in front of them. His cape was flowing in the one and only breeze that hissed in the alley and Harley could have sworn she heard a deep brass trumpet riff in the distance.
“Holy shit,” Harley placed her hand over her heart, recognizing the vigilante quickly. She laughed, “You scared the shit out of me.”
He stepped out of the dark and yep it was the Batman, trying his hardest to look tougher than he really was.
Harley swore she once saw him shed a tear when she smacked him particularly hard with a hammer a couple of years back. He’s a softy.
“Harley Quinn.” He let out like a smokers cough.
Harley reflexively moved Cass behind her, not so much afraid of the Bats but ready to protect the kid from getting involved with him. She remembered what happened to Deadshot when he was walking his kid, the Bats had no cool about these things.
Plus with the whole punching her in the face and throwing her into Belle Reve without a second thought thing; it kind of left a sour spot between her and the ol’ Batjerk, “Yeah?”
“You’re already getting into trouble?” He motioned to the bags in her hand.
“Maybe.” Harley gave a crooked smile. There was no way she was going back to that prison over a pair of shorts, “What’s it to yah? Aren’t there bigger fish to fry than little ol’ me?”
He nodded, “Yes. That’s why I’m here.”
He reached behind his cape and pulled out a large plant, the head of one of those fly trap things but larger than Harley had ever seen.
He lifted it higher for her, “Where is she?”
“Who?” Harley titled her head as she stared at the plant.
Then it hit her. Her smile disappeared, “She’s in Gotham?”
“Who?” Cass echoed from behind her.
Batguy looked between them both before sighing and tossing the plant to the side. The way it slapped against the concrete made Harley cringe.
“If you see her-“
“What? Send you a text?” Harley rolled her eyes.
“Something like that.”
“Even if I knew where she was, I wouldn’t tell you hot shit.” Harley snarled.
He smirked, well maybe he smirked it was fairly dark tonight, “You might change your mind.”
“Try to stay out of trouble,” And then he turned back into the shadows and literally disappeared in front of their eyes.
“Whatever,” Harley grumbled to herself as she kicked a box near her before she stomped out of the alleyway, “Stupid, nosey, bat asshole.”
She made it pretty far down the block before realizing someone was following her and asking her questions.
“What the fuck just happened? Who the hell was he talking about?” Cass asked as she tried to keep up with Harley’s pace.
“Nothin.’” Harley sighed, “The older you get and the longer you stay in this city, the more you’ll be seeing him. You can be minding your own business and boom! The Bats is here to ruin your day or even your next couple of years cause I guess you’re heading to prison now. The balls on that guy thinking I would help him with anything! Ha!”
“But help him with what though?” Cass turned slightly as to not bump into a passerby and was almost in a light jog as she tried to keep up.
“Nothing! No one! A friend. Ex-friend. I don’t want to talk about it.” Harley pouted as she turned them in a familiar direction towards her apartment.
“You don’t?” Cass asked incredulously.
Harley kept her mouth shut as they made it the rest of the way, a solum feeling trying to sink into her bloodstream as she tried to avoid thoughts popping into her head.
They finally made it to the apartment and Cass’s questions didn’t stop until Harley closed her bedroom door in an effort to separate herself from the inquisitive teen.
Hopefully, there was enough food in the apartment to distract the younger girl for a few hours until Harley could get her mind past this.
Harley waited until she heard the murmurs from the television before she dove under her bed and pulled a small metal box from under it. She grabbed at the lock, sighing loudly. She had lost the key ages ago after a few too many surprise apartment moves and now she felt useless against the metal device.
She pulled at it.
She yanked at it.
Then chuckled at herself before grabbing the digital clock that came with the apartment and bashing the lock until it popped open.
She smiled at her success and chucked the clock behind her as she opened the box and dug around. She pulled out the keys to the place she had once shared for a small amount of time and the postcard collected from a road trip. She squeezed a miniature plushie that was given to her for her birthday.
Her fingers found it before her eyes, a Polaroid of her and her old best friend.
In the picture, they were in the middle of laughing at something that Harley couldn’t remember but it was enough for her to grab a camera and have them take a selfie while it happened. It was sunny out.
Harley danced a finger against the picture, remembering how her old friend would smile when she was genuinely happy and the smell of her deep red hair after a shower and the softness of her cheek.
Harley remembered the last time she saw Pamela.
It was raining and they were at an airport, Harley was about to get onto a plane. They were both wearing fedoras and tan peacoats. Even though the sky was black and grey, the color of Pamela’s hair looked amazing tonight.
A henchman grabbed for Harley’s things and that’s when she noticed that Pamela’s suitcase was missing.
Dramatic violin music swelled as she looked over to Pamela, stepping close to her with her eyebrows knitted together.
Pamela could always read her easily and responded with a nod, “You’re getting on that plane.”
“I don’t understand,” Harley gasped out, “What about you?”
“I’m staying until the plane gets safely away.”
“No, Red, no! What happened? Last night-“
“Last night we said a great many things,” it was true. The night before they had been the most honest with one another and promised a lot of things that the outside world probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to hear, “You said I was to do the thinking for both of us and well... I’ve done a lot of it since then and it all adds up to one thing.”
Pam placed a finger under Harley’s chin and tilted her head. Their eyes connected as Harley waited for her to continue.
Pam’s eyes began to water but they also hardened as she said, “I can’t do this anymore, Harley.”
Harley froze, the music that was swelling behind them screeched to an abrupt stop.
“If you go back to him,” Pam whispered, “I’m done.”
“I can’t be around for that anymore. I can’t watch you hurt yourself anymore.”
“You’re not,” Harley stumbled over her words, “You’re not supposed to say that. Say that we still have Paris or something. Say your line, Red.”
“I can’t watch you hurt yourself anymore,” Pam repeated.
Harley shook her head hard, shaking that from her vision. That’s not what she wanted to remember. She had practiced this a million times and even had a point of reference for where to go with their lines. Why couldn't their last goodbye be romantic or heartfelt? Why did it have to feel so definite? Why couldn’t she just remember something different?
She looked back down at the picture, her fingers were crumbling the sides of it.
Was Ivy really in Gotham? Did she really dump Harley so completely from her life that she wouldn’t even tell her when she came back?
Maybe it’s what she deserved.
Harley snapped her eyes up and everyone was looking at her. She took a second to assess her surroundings.
She was now in a diner with the girls and by the way the plates on the table were empty, they had been there for a while.
“Harley?” It was Dinah calling her from across the booth. She looked concerned.
“Hmm?” Harley answered just as a waitress came to the booth. The woman set down a few bowls of ice cream for the table and Harley smiled as she scooted one of the desserts to herself, “Oo, ice cream!”
Harley picked up a spoon and dug right in.
“Well, whenever Harley comes back to us we’ll get into that part of the plan.” Dinah sighed before scooting one of the desserts towards Cass and the other towards Helena.
“We’ll figure the rest out later when I have my files on hand.” Renee finished the conversation before all eyes went straight back to Harley.
She took a few moments to scuff down most of the ice cream before she couldn’t take more of the silence, “I got something on my face or what?”
“First off, yes,” Dinah answered as she rested an arm on the back of the booth behind Helena, who gave a small smile once it happened, “Second, what's going on?”
Harley snorted, “Going on with what?”
“With you, smartass.” Renee rolled her eyes and moved a beer bottle to her lips, “The kid told us you got visited by Batman last week.”
“Last week?” Harley questioned. She was sure that that happened today. Or at least yesterday.
“Yeah, last week, which is why I’m guessing you’ve been doom and gloom all week long. That shit is usually Helena’s thing but I guess you’re trying it out for size.”
“I’ve got no clue what you’re talking about,” Harley said as she scooped a spoon full of her ice cream.
“Got no clue, huh?” Renee placed the bottle back on the table and leaned forward, “So who’s this woman he was asking you about?”
Harley tried to give a reassuring smile that she could only feel forming on one side of her mouth, “Got no clue.”
“Harley.” Helena sighed disapprovingly.
Harley sighed back, “Oh my God, what's with you guys? Nothing’s going on!”
“The lady has something to do with giant plants.” Cass spilled.
“You know what we say about snitches.” Harley hissed at the younger girl.
“Oh shit, does he think Poison Ivy's back in town?” Renee commented with a smirk and her stupid, super-smart cop brain that could guess almost anything right.
“Holy crap!” Dinah perked up and looked over to the older woman, “What would that mean if she’s back in town?”
“Well, she’s all about saving the environment and crap. Doesn’t seem like we’ll be going face-to-face with her anytime soon. Especially with the goons we’ve been seeing recently.”
“What if we could get her to join? Or to help out like with how Harley does? With her abilities...” Dinah let out a low whistle.
“She probably wouldn’t be up to it if Batman’s riding her tail,” Renee then turned back to Harley, “Unless you can talk to her. You were friends, right?”
“Nope. Still ain’t got one fucking clue what you broads are talking about and you know what else?” Harley stood up from the booth, “I’m not having any fun so I’m gonna go.”
She turned to walk away and heard Cass ask if she could come along. Instead of answering Harley walked out of the diner.
Three hours later and Harley started to really not have any fun.
Drinking by yourself isn’t fun. Especially when everyone knows who you are in the bar and keep trying to bother or fight you. Harley had gotten a total of six free shots and had hit four people before she was thrown out of her second bar.
She stumbled into the only park in Gotham, tripping over an overly large rock before giving up and laying in a small patch of grass. She watched the clouds round the sky as she dug her pale fingers into the dirt below her.
The dirt was quite solid until she dug her fingers deeper and suddenly she reached the warmth. Pamela taught her about soil once upon a time, told her that it’s the main foundation for any plant to grow. And that there was a big difference between soil and dirt.
“Fuck this.” Harley pushed herself up.
If Ivy wasn’t gonna come to Harley then Harley was gonna come to her.
But first, she had to find her.