|Pamela is made of (hemlockandhoney) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-09-16 21:31:00
|Entry tags:||harley quinn, poison ivy|
Who:Ivy, Harley, and baby Belladonna.
What: Harley wants to show off her new daughter, Ivy disapproves. Drugging, betrayal, travel, and hotel kicking commence.
Where: Ivy's Greenhouse.
Warnings: None really?
There was no possible way this could go wrong in Harley’s mind. Belladonna was a beautiful little baby girl and she was flourishing under her care. They’d had the baby for a few weeks now and even with the nanny’s help, Harley had gotten the hang of it pretty quickly. The hyenas, whisked away from Ivy’s greenhouse, had caused a bit of a kerfuffle but Mister J came to the rescue, quickly reminding the nanny that her son’s life was at stake here. The woman didn’t say another word about it and the hyenas took to the latest familial addition better than even Harley would’ve expected. One would sleep in the nursery, right in front of the crib, and the other in the hallway, right by the baby’s door. No one was going to hurt her little girl, and Harley could sleep peacefully, curled up in the Joker’s arms. Thugs guarded the apartment around the clock but as the days passed, Joker started to trust her not to run off. Five sets of eyes slipped down to three and from there, it was easy.
She was going out, she said, with the baby. That meant that two thugs would come with her, but she fully intended to lose them before she even turned in the direction of the greenhouse. With Belladonna secure in the baby bjorn, Harley stepped out into Gotham’s busy afternoon dressed like a mom, not a criminal. The one advantage to no one knowing her here was that no one could spot her without her Harlequinn costume on. Unfortunately, it took half an hour to slip Thing One and Thing Two, far longer than she had anticipated, and thus making her late when she strolled into the greenhouse, avoiding the familiar traps Ivy had set up. Already, she could tell things were much better by the greenness of the plants and bright, colorful blossoms. Ivy was back and hopefully this time, she’d stay. “Yoo hoo! Anybody home? I wanna show you my little Belladonna! She’s excited to meet Auntie Ivy, aren’t you sweetie? Yes you are, yes you are!” Harley’s sing song voice devolved into baby talk just like that as she started talking to Bella, cooing over the little girl in her arms.
Upon returning to Gotham, Ivy had her work cut out for her with reviving the greenhouse. It was really her own fault for entrusting such a massive landscape to the care of one such as Harley. Ivy promised herself that the next time she anticipated an extended stay away, she'd sink her poison thorns into some local botanist first. Of course, some casualties were to be expected. Nobody quite had the touch like she did. Even though her return trips to Gotham were short lived, with a few hours in the afternoon here and there, the improvements to the greenhouse were vast. What once was dead and brown was now pruned and budding. The flowers were tended and the vines were lush. She was currently working on the development of a permanent irrigation system when the missing blond returned to the greenhouse.
Standing, Ivy wiped the dirt from her hands on the dark front of an oversized tee shirt, which seemed to be the majority of what her wardrobe consisted of. Harley's echoing words were strange, as Ivy knew for a fact that plants did not appreciate baby talk. Although she supposed there was very little chance of her changing the woman's mind in that regard. The scientist advanced from the back of the greenhouse, but froze at the sight of the bjorn. She did not have her glasses on, surely her eyes were deceiving her. "What is that?"
Harley spun on her heel as soon as she heard Ivy’s voice, the happiness still written all over her glowing face. It was fairly obvious that motherhood agreed with her, from the smile to the spring in her step and obvious happiness in her voice. The bundle in her arms had only been hours old when Joker had whisked her away from the hospital and into Harley’s life, but it might as well have been months instead of weeks with her. She still wasn’t sleeping with any regularity but after the first week, Harley learned to sleep when Bella did. Things had improved immensely after that and it was surprisingly easy for her to curl up next to Joker and sleep as soundly as her little girl did. Sometimes, if Bella was particularly fussy, they’d lay her between them (the hyenas at their door and the foot of their bed) and that was surprisingly perfect in every single way. Harley hadn’t done more than kiss the man, but how long would that last for?
“Belladonna! Isn’t she just the sweetest thing?” Harley asked, all but bouncing her way over to her redheaded friend. She shifted things a little so the baby was free from the bjorn and then again so that Ivy could see perfect the wide blue eyes, curls of blonde hair, and picture perfect face. She was dressed in a dark green onesie and little jean pants, with a light green pacifier in her mouth. As soon as the little one caught sight of Ivy, she smiled and started to giggle, reaching for the woman as her pacy started to slip. Harley pulled it away deftly and grinned at how eager Bella was. “Look! She knows you’re her Auntie! I named her after you. Kinda. Belladonna’s the poisonous one right? Just like ivy?” There was no way Ivy wasn’t happy about this. She was sure of it.
This didn't seem to be Ivy's happy face. The dryad was stoic, unmoving like the scraps of forest that stood around her. All of them giving the same judgement onto the grinning woman with the bouncing baby. "Where did you get that?" Because while Ivy had been missing in action, there was no way she'd been gone long enough for Harley to conceive a child. Besides, who would she have consorted with? Although by the grim expression that befell such fine countenance, it was obvious that Ivy already knew. Or just suspected the worst. Her mouth was a tight, silent line. Her eyes neglected the child in favor of making wordless demands on Harley.
The happiness that filled every fiber of her being was drained just by that one look. Her heart fell and she dropped her gaze to Bella, pulling her close to her chest as she shifted, nearly turning her back on Ivy before thinking better of it. “She was a present,” Harley whispered, her gaze still focused on her little girl, starting to rock gently back and forth on her feet. “She’s mine. My good deed. I’m going to raise her right, love her and everything. Her mom, some dumbass kid. Not even sixteen yet! She was going to give Bella up for adoption but the system sucks. She would’ve been lost, shuffled from place to place. She’s safe with me. She’s happy.” Harley worried her lower lip and dared to look up at Ivy. The look hadn’t abated and she felt her eyes start to water. Why was she so mad? “I wasn’t supposed to see you. I don’t care if he’s mad. I was never going to keep her a secret from you. I named her Belladonna for you, cause I care about you. But you left. And you could have stayed.” There was anger in the last sentence, combined with a bit of an accusation, as she held Bella close.
The entirety of the greenhouse seemed to be frozen, waiting to breath again while the Queen mother stewed. In this moment, there was nothing human about her. Her skin seemed greener, and dark veins(churning toxic chlorophyll rather than blood) climbed her legs like spindled constellations. There was no wind, yet her hair was not lifeless. The bloodsmear halo was chaotic, waves tangled up with briar patch bits and lost leaves, fallen flower blossoms and flecks of dirt. "A present," she repeated. The words came after a long stretch of silence, and just the sound of her voice was enough to stir the plants around them into being once more. Grasses swayed on a make-believe breeze, tree branches stretched for the sun, as lazy and hungry as lions. "From the Joker," Ivy concluded. Ignoring the subject of the baby for a moment - perhaps because she could sense the difficulty in approaching what seemed to be the only obvious and viable option - she instead decided to focus on the painted man behind the curtain. "He told you that you were not to see me?" If she sensed the emotional heat in Harley's final words, she gave no impression of it. She did not blush or sorrow or fall into the trap of argument.
The wait was a nightmare, every bad scenario passing behind her eyes, but as soon as Ivy spoke again, Harley relaxed. She smiled again, because she wasn’t insisting that she give up the baby like she thought she would. “Yea,” Harley nodded, proud of herself for not obeying the clown. Her arms relaxed around little Belladonna and she began to rock her. “He’s got me holed up with thugs and a nanny he threatened in an apartment. He comes home every night too, and he’s real good with Bella. He doesn’t know I’m here. Or. He didn’t, when I left. I had to slip the tails though. He’s really paranoid about keeping us safe but the good thing about no one knowing me here is just that!” She smiled wide, happy that she could at least do something right. “He didn’t know I came to get my things either. I told him I was going back to Vegas for a while, but I haven’t let blondie out since I got Belladonna. I didn’t want to leave her alone with him. He said no one was going to ruin our family, not even you when you came back. I didn’t tell anyone you were gone though. Riddler was asking, and I told him you were too busy for his stupid gift.”
Ivy listened, and her attention befell the squirming baby in Harley's arms as all was told. She made a soft sound when Harley said that the Joker was good to the child, it sounded like sour amusement. "That man would kill a hundred children if it meant getting what he wanted. You're a fool to believe otherwise, Harley." Although so many people seemed to be from different timelines in Gotham these days, the Joker could be counted on as a constant thorn. He never softened, and whatever he was up to with this adopted baby, happy family nonsense.. Ivy had no intention of watching it come to fruition. "If you care anything about that child, you will return it to the hospital." Ivy crossed her arms, dirty fingers smearing traces of dirt onto the cotton of her tee shirt. If Harley wouldn't see to reason, there were other ways. Ivy intended to give her the benefit of the doubt for now.
Ivy just didn’t know and Harley was a little afraid to admit that she’d gotten used to sharing a bed - physically, not sexually (yet) - with the Clown. “Why?” she pouted, looking every bit like a child herself instead of a responsible mother. “I’m not a fool, Ivy. I know what he’s capable of, but he’s not like that all the time. Just like you’ve got a softer side to you,” Harley tried to explain, but then Ivy told her to give the baby back and crossed her arms like that was the end of the discussion. That couldn’t be the end of the discussion! Her grip tightened around the little girl and she stepped away from the red haired beauty. “I do care about her, but I’m not giving her back. She’s mine, Ivy. My little girl. I don’t want to give her up. I can’t. I promised her I’d do right by her, that I’d raise her right. Handing her over isn’t going to do any good. We both know that,” she tried to reason. Harley was completely taken with Belladonna and she thought she was doing so well being a mommy. Why did Ivy have to make her feel like she wasn’t? Why’d she have to say no?
"He's not like that all the time," Ivy repeated. The words were thoughtful, but gave way to none of the emotion that might have once been capable of blooming forward. A man like that was only capable of being himself.. and that man was not what a goodhearted person like Harley deserved, or what an innocent child deserved. Ivy knew what this baby amounted to in Harley's eyes, a chance to redeem herself.. to prove she was capable and warm and responsible. To the Joker, Ivy knew that the baby was just another piece of bait that he could use to drag the gentle down. Ivy may not have been human, but there was an undeniable part of herself that was soft when it came to the innocent. To children, to those unable to help themselves. A baby had no place being the bargaining tool for psychopaths. The fact that Harley didn't see that was selfish, but that had always been Harley to an extent. After so much silence, Ivy exhaled.. as if she was seeing to Harley's reason. "You love her.." It was a warm thought, but love was not enough in Gotham. A helpless infant had no place in a land of explosions and bloodshed.. best intentions or not. "She's probably hungry," Ivy noted as the baby in Harley's arms began to squirm with impatience. "Do you have any formula? We can heat it upstairs..."
Harley thought for sure Ivy would argue again and she was ready to refute anything else her friend had to say. She was keeping the baby, end of story. She wanted Ivy in her life, but she wasn’t giving up the baby. It just wasn’t happening, and Harley was naive when it came to Ivy so she didn’t think the other woman would use any nefarious means to take the child by force. So when Ivy exhaled, Harley’s grin was wide and she was already bouncing on the balls of her feet. “Of course I do! And I love you too, you know. I missed you lots,” the blonde replied, warm and excited, emotions turning on a dime as easy as could be. Belladonna was squirming though, and Ivy was right. Her little girl was probably hungry. “I have formula! I brought some in her diaper bag!” She was so proud that she remembered that, that she was being a good mom. “You’re going to love her, really. She’s so well behaved and I think she’ll like you lots. Will you hold her while I heat up the formula?” Harley was entirely too trusting now that Ivy was on her side. She was already holding out the little girl to her best friend, all smiles and eagerness. They were bonding! She couldn’t have been happier.
Emotion was not an attribute of plant life, and although Ivy recognized Harley's glee and exuberance for what it was.. it felt like a veiled, foreign movie that she could barely understand anymore. It was something she'd comprehended once, something she'd felt and lived. Considering the differences that transpired - both through chemicals, genetics, and experience - it wasn't something that she missed. That is what was immediately believed and held as fact, anyway. So why Ivy nearly said I love you as well was a mystery. The elegant stem script of her brows knit thoughtfully before she refused to muddy her mind with such a puzzle. Stepping forward, this smile was real. Emotionless harpy or not, Ivy'd always had a soft spot for children. She took the baby, mindful of the head before turning and starting for the stairs that led to the upper level of the greenhouse. Ivy's room was more laboratory than living area. The baby cooed, pulling curiously at the rosered ends of Ivy's hair. When the little one tried to stuff a scarlet lock into her mouth, Ivy drew the child back and laid her upon the bed in the corner. While minimal contact with Ivy was safe enough -- nothing for too long an extended period of time -- even the slightest ingestion of cells could be poisonous, or at the very least, problematic. While experiments in such matters could be worthwhile on others, an infant was not free game. Children were innocent, unable to control their fates. They were thrust blind and needy into the circumstances of those that chose to care for them. In Belladonna's case, this was apparently Harley.
In another life, Ivy would not have questioned Harley's capabilities in raising a child. But with the Joker involved, there was nothing but death and crime on the horizon. Bombings, bloodshed, desecration. A sociopath was not a caregiver, and if Harley could not see that.. there was no reasoning with her.
Glancing over her shoulder, Ivy gestured toward one of any steel tables that lined the walls of the bedroom. "Heat some water on the bunsen burner for the bottle." The steel countertops housed a variety of projects, vials of flower buds, petri dishes of dirt beneath microscopes, a centrifuge holding a dozen tubes of what seemed to be dark as blood. The baby kicked her legs impatiently, chewing on her fist which began to barely muffle her whines of impatience.
Harley bounded ahead of Ivy, going to get the diaper bag she’d mentioned so that she could get the baby formula ready. She was really looking forward to having a baby of her own so that she could breastfeed properly and really have that connection with her baby. Belladonna hadn’t liked the bottle at first and Harley’d had to prop the bottle against her chest to trick the little girl into thinking she was breastfeeding. It had been a trying moment, but they’d gotten through it without any bloodshed or a great many tears so that was a victory. At least to her. While she’d never been to Ivy’s room, careful to respect the other woman’s living space, Harley knew where it was, how to get there, and she wasn’t surprised by what it looked like. With ease, she went over to the bunsen burner as directed, ignoring everything else in favor of taking care of little Belladonna. “She always gets hungry really fast. I’m not sure why, but she does. Hopefully this wont take long. I’ve got a pacifier in her bag too if she starts to really fuss,” Harley offered as she filled one of the larger beakers with water and placed it on the burner. She stuck her finger in it after a moment but it wasn’t hot enough. She tapped her foot and waited, ears so focused on Belladonna to the point where she didn’t hear much else.
After a moment, the baby did fuss, but Ivy gave a soft hum of wordless lullaby that seemed to sate the infant's impatience rather than its hunger. Belladonna returned to chewing on her chubby fingers, momentarily content in the middle of the bed while Harley prepared the water and Ivy prepared a syringe. The fluid within was a cloudy lavender, derived from a mutated hybrid of valerian root and its purple blossoms. While standard valerian would do little more than assist with coasting the nerves and insomnia of those prone to sleeplessness, Ivy's highly potent strain would have much more immediate, and certainly more severe properties. With the sedative concealed in her hand, Ivy approached where Harley was testing the water's temperature. "Is it ready?" And then, before her friend could respond, Ivy sank the needle into Harley's neck, forcing the plunger down and emptying its tincture into the little clowness' bloodstream.
It took a few minutes for the water to get hot enough so while Harley waited, she measured out the powdered formula into the empty plastic bottle she’d fished out of the bag. Harley was completely unaware of whatever was happening behind her, knowing that Belladonna was safe with Ivy looking after her. Plus, she wasn’t making any noise, so that was always a good sign. After checking the water one last time, she realized it was ready just as Ivy asked. She turned just slightly, to tell her, but Ivy was right behind her? Her eyes widened in surprise as not a second later, she felt a pinch in her neck and recognized it as a needle, but whatever it was that had been in there worked quickly and her eyes were heavy. “Bell...” but she was out like a light before she could even finish saying her little girl’s name.
As Harley went limp, Ivy caught her with one arm. Hot water and formula surged across the table in chalky bubbles, and the heat built patterns of steam on the metal. With one hand free, Ivy deposited the hypodermic syringe amongst the puddle of lost formula. Lying the unconscious blond down on the floor, Ivy turned off the bunsen burner with a fulfilled(and yet somehow regretful sigh). Alien eyes stared down at the unmoving friend at her feet, and the greenhouse took on an eerie silence until the baby began to cry. Not just cry, wail. "I'm.. sorry."
Although it doesn't make the Gotham news, much later that evening, a well-fed, sleeping female infant was found on the doorstep of a fire station in Metropolis. Harley Quinn is not heard for the rest of the day, although her unconscious body is later pushed through the portal back to Las Vegas, alone..