A Gotham Homecoming

February 05, 2018:

Poison Ivy comes home to Gotham. Harley Quinn has been bad at waiting. …It could have gone better.

Gotham Arms

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Boomerang, Taskmaster

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

When days are long, it gives certain people far too much time to think. What had once been good sport drinking local boys under the table and sweeping them out of cash in bets and cards has dried up, all of the good targets know Quinn when she's coming.

That's how often she's been out at night.

And then there was the weirdness with Mercer. So she doesn't really want to bother him too much. She could go out with Taskmaster, perhaps, but something strangely akin to guilt keeps her from going that direction, either.

So she's here. And plotting. With a box of crayons, another with colored pencils, and a pad full of colored construction paper, the infamous Harley Quinn is hard at work at the splintering round kitchen table in her apartment's kitchenette. There are diagrams, along with numerous printouts scattered over the surface of the table. A pen is tucked behind one ear, and her bare feet are kicked up on the table's edge despite the danger of it.

"Hiiiii~" she coos into phone tucked against her other ear, the clown's voice as sweet as sugar. If high pitched and a little warbling. And a little muffled by the IKEA brand ginger snaps she's presently crunching on. "I was gonna be comin' into town. And I wanted t'know if y'ad gotten any new animals lately. Last year or so. Been through once, but was kinda hopin' for something new."

Days are normally not long in winter, that's when nights are long. And a certain woman with a green everything is prone to cases of S.A.D or Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder. That's a big part of why she just vanished, to try and get away from it. She left no word, no messages, not even Harl could find Ivy in the usual backchannels. Just, gone!

So seeing a well tanned as a rich dark green may be surprising as normally Ivy is quiet pale this time. She would be smiling and glowing, but she left a wonderful place and is Gotham. And being away for so long weakened her resistance to the miasma of Gotham's polution. There's tension in her green eyes as she walks in and is looking a bit less then 'Level Headed' at the moment. Her plants should be fine, and that's where Ivy starts to head. Straight through the Arms for the green house to see if it is as it should be. At first she doesn't even notice Harl, it's when the redheaded woman steps on a discarded colored pencil and pokes her foot that she stops to look down. Then over at the source.

Harley, unaware that she is no longer alone, continues to crunch loudly on her ginger snaps with her mouth open. It probably makes listening to her on the other side of the phone a real treat. "Well, I'm not really a birds kinda' gal. I was kinda hopin' you had something kinda mammalian…" There's a hopeful sort of pause, and then Quinn's be pigtailed head drops forward with a sudden disappointment. "Alright," she mutters. "Thanks. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You, too." The phone is hung up, and then a printout picked up off the table.

The paper crumples, and then is sent hurtling across the room towards the kitchen's garbage can. It misses, however, and lands among several other balls of white paper on the floor beside the receptacle. A new printout is pulled towards her, and Harley takes a deep breath and starts concentrating on the new dial.

Poison Ivy stands there, and watches Harley. She follows the crumpled paper as it flies across the room and ends up on the floor. She sighs softly and normally would just softly chide Harl and be gentle. But she's not feeling normal or as kind. She saw what the planet COULD be like so instead she picks up the paper as it balls into her fist and the rage starts to build inside of her. There's a gentle shaking of the walls as thing are moving underground and in the greenhouse. "Haaaaaarl," comes Ivy's voice with a growl of that unrestrained emotion. "Just WHAT do you think you are DOING?!"

And the reaction is, perhaps, what one would expect. Quinn shrivels immediately up on herself in her sweatpants and tank top as her head ducks low, her bare shoulders hunch, and her knees pull up.

She knows that voice, and thus knows precisely what the problem is. And even if she didn't know the voice, there is the rumble of the earth to remind her.

The blonde quietly hangs up the cheap burner phone with a 'beep'.

And then she nervously looks to her newly returned Poison Ivy in all of her terrifying potential, a nervous laugh escaping her nervously smiling mouth as she drops her cookie thin on the floor where it shatters into a hundred crumby pieces. "Heh heh heh. Uh… Hi, Red?"

Ivy holds up the paper and notes the others around her. "Don't you 'Hi Red' me Harl. Besides helping kill lots of my friends and NOT recycling just WHAT do you think you are doing?!" She storms up the table and slamps the crumpled paper under a hand onto the table with a solid thud. "Maybe it's time for a little reminder class hmm?" For for Ivy usually means showing what pain humans do to plants by returning it on humans. "I don't need to come home to THIS, Harl." The shrink can tell Ivy's a bit on edge, more so then she's been in some time.

The slam on the table elicits another wince from Harley's form that reflexively sees her slender arms come up over her head, pale eyes squeezing shut as her whole face screws up with it. "I… I-I'm sorry, Ivy," she stammers, immediately getting out of the chair afterwards, scurrying across the kitchen, and starting to pull all of the paper out of the trashcan that made it in. Fortunately, there's not much else in there and there aren't many pages. …She's a gymnast. Not a basketball star.

Each crumpled sheet is respectfully flattened back out on the counter, fingertips twitching anxiously. "I printed the stuff out at the library because it was gonna take me forever there, otherwise. I… I'm sorry. I'll take it all to the recycling center after I'm done, I promise." She looks over her shoulder as she works, trying another terrified smile on for size. "When did you get back? I-I missed you."

Poison Ivy is visibly shaking and stressed. But she watches Harl rushing to get the paper sorted. The irate redhead crosses her arms under her breasts as she watches and taps her toes. Eyes flick to all the other stuff on the floor. "I just got back off Diana's plane not long ago. Fortunately I was in a good mood so there wasn't a scene at the embassy or with the other women when I left." As if that explains where and who she was with. Her brows arch at the comment about being missed. "What are you up to anyway, Harleen? Why does this place stink so badly? Where are the other meat sacks?" Giving plenty of indication to those sharp-minded to how Ivy may have 'regressed' some in her return to Gotham.

"Our friends are out, I think," Harley says of their cohorts, although her defense of them is weak and sniveling, and she tilts her head to one side as she stares at the papers under her fingertips and she ventures a little more. "I kinda… I mean…"

"I actually thought the place didn't smell so bad? I… I mean, the Babies ain' been around for months…"

Her hands extend towards the redhead, stretching out as though offering an explanation up on their upturned palms. "But it's Gotham, yanno? It always kinda has its own Eau de Bad News. I…" She closes her eyes to fight back tears as her brain races.

"Look, why doncha go up to the greenhouse and relax, Red? I'll clean up in here, try to get the windows open, and when you come back, I can try again? Y'look like a million bucks, and I tried watering everything jes' like you'd want. I don't think anythin' died."

Although, the thought fills her with a sudden terror. What… What if something did die?! "Or… Or you stay here. Put yer feet up. Whatever ya' want. What I was doin' weren't important."

But what was Harley Quinn up to? Zoo listings. It's dozens and dozen of zoo listings on the table. Private zoos. Public zoos. Every crumpled sheet of paper a zoo. And on a few of those sheets there are childish sketches of somethings vaguely animal-like. Hairy. Prick ears. Big teeth. Freckles and party hats.

Poison Ivy is acting a lot like if she's been in the jungle too long. Losing a bit of that connection to humanity or just less tolerance then normal. She snatches the papers out and looks over them but seems more interested to the kind of crayon used on them then what they say. She looks over at Harl slowly and is silent, she normally likes letting the energetic blonde ramble on.

Ivy asks, "What don't you want me to see? What's wrong with my babies?" Looking toward the Greenhouse, but she doesn't feel anything TOO off besides the shit storm that is Gotham in general. "What are you doing, Harl?" She plans to go with Harl toward the roof garden and not just wait here.

Harley's off to go and check the plants… TO HIDE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HAVE DIED. But then, oh god, no, Ivy's following her. "Nothin'! Nothin's wrong, Red! All good. It's all good, Red." Although now her voice is hitting a fever pitch, sing song but cracking with the strain of worry.

This isn't how she saw Poison Ivy's homecoming at all when she played in her brain, nearly tripping over herself and the stairs in the rush to get to the greenhouse before the Queen of Green.

"I… I was just makin' some phone calls. Thinkin' of a road trip." And then she's changing the subject. "So, where'd you go? I was wonderin' when you were comin' home. Been forever, yanno? Or it's felt like forever. It's been real lonely since ya' been gone. But I kept busy, yanno? A little of this, little of that." As she clambers onto the roof, her arms wrap around herself against the cold as she cowers in the first corner she can find. "But I took real good care of yer garden."

And then, her eyes open wide as she watches Poison Ivy anxiously, waiting for the redhead's verdict that it is indeed alright. That she did a good job. That everything survived in their Earth Mother's absence. They might not have all flourished, but saints above and devils below, please let them all have survived.

If Ivy wasn't suspicious already she is now thanks to the tone of Harley's voice. Ivy is walking though so it's possible for Harl to beat Ivy there to the greenhouse. It's a bit more wild looking then normal but it's lush and alive so Harl dodged that bullet. "I actually was off," and Ivy pauses. Can she trust Harl to keep a secret? Ivy reaches out to her pants but then holds out her hand with the pinky out waiting for Harl to pinky promise, "Where I was stays with us. If you want to know, you got to do your Harley Pinky swear."

With a theatrical rush, a pent up breath escapes Harley's puffed up cheeks as she doesn't die upon her dear friend's perusal of her floral domain. It takes her a moment for the warmth of relief to pass, and she closes her eyes until it does.

As the mark of trust is offered up, the blonde tilts her head comedically at a sharp angle to one side. Then, uncurling one rapidly cooling hand from its place around her bare arm, Quinn tentatively wraps her thin pinky around Ivy's own. "Ya know I'd carry any secret of yer's to the grave, Ivy." And she means it.

Ivy hooks fingers with Harley and says in a whisper. "I was in the Amazon nation. Not the forest but as in Wonder Woman. I actually got to go and vacation a bit Harl." Sharing her secret before letting her hand drop. "But that stays between you me and the Green okay?" The redheaded villain seems to be a bit calmer now that she's in her plants and hidden from the city more.

"Awww, I'm glad fer ya!" And then? Then, there's a half-formed laugh as those lips—coated in the thick wax of Harley's grape-flavored chapstick—tug unevenly upwards as she pulls her hand back and shrugs. "Yeah, I… I don't blame ya', not wantin' ta' come back."

Bare feet crunch against the rooftop as the clown pivots her one foot pensively, her head dropping. "Hey, look. Why don't ya' stay up here a while? Get a little light, talk to yer leaves. I'll straighten up downstairs and try ta' clean up a bit. I'm… I'm sorry about the paper." And her brow creases with the notes of sincerity, even as she shrugs. "Just… come down whenever you're ready, okay?"

Harley doesn't really wait for an answer, either. Instead, she turns to start back downstairs to give the other woman some needed space to reacclimate.

Ivy is calming down a bit and seemingly able to focus her thoughts a bit more. "Just… do better, Harleen. I like you better then most meat sacks," but the silently 'but' is clear that right now Ivy is low on patience and tolerance. Ivy is looking at the plants and does say, "You can stay." But it's possible that Harley is already gone to do so.

And she is gone. Quinn usually knows better than most the art of crawling away on one's belly after an infraction. She proves it now as she slinks through the still open rooftop door and down the stairs to the apartment. To hide her things and her plans. To choke down her pride, and do everything to see that her best gal is settled back into life in Gotham.

…or as settled as women like them ever really are.

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