Story: The Joke\'s on You (chapter 4)

Authors: Blood_Covered_Pheonix

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Chapter 4

Title: A kiss to end it all

Pamela lifted her head from her desk, wiping away the drool that had accumulated at the corner of her mouth. She scanned for the disturbance that had woken- interrupted her. Her eyes drew upward to the monitor rigged to the motion activated camera above her front door. She expected Harleen Quinzel, either battered or homeless, but found Selena Kyle standing there. She hit the button to unlock the door and quipped a quick greeting into the microphone.

She left her lab, striding through the greenhouse to the vault door, then out into the foyer. The blonde was already leaning against the steel frame. “You look like you just broke out of Arkham then took a trip to Blackgate.” She whistled.

“You don’t just drop by Selena. What do you want?” She clutched her head as her vision swam, migraine. How long had she been in the lab? Catwoman quirked her eyebrows but said nothing for a moment.

“It’s been a month since Harley left my place and she hasn’t been back. I figured the two of you would patch things up but Batman says that she’s just been sticking things out with the Joker. She’s pretty banged up, he won’t admit it but he’s worried about Harley. He’s going to raid the hideout and throw them both in Arkham again. Without someone to there when they rip her apart, I don’t think she’s going to go back together right.”

Ivy got her drift, Harley was too fragile to be in Arkham. She had to get her friend out before Batman did. The plant woman let go of her aching head to look up at her volatile friend. “Thanks Selena. I’ll look into it.” She swayed, lost her footing and stumbled into Catwoman. The other woman caught her easily.

“First, let’s get you to bed, sun’s almost up. You’ll absorb the light as you sleep. I’ll leave water.” She began carrying Pamela toward the stairs. Poison Ivy fought for a second before grinning in and moving herself forward to the best of her ability. After the arduous journey up the stairs, she sunk into the pillowy softness of her bed.

Selena Kyle slipped out of Poison Ivy’s hideout, glancing around the lightening business district. Batman melted from the shadowy nook of a façade. “I told her, she needs rest though.”

“What’s she working on?”

“She’s pretty tight lipped, but Harley says that it’s an ant venom for her lips. Whatever it is, it’s sure important to her. She looks like a living train wreck.”

“Harley’s important to her.”

“Harley’s important to everyone that she meets.” Selena sauntered off into the hazy dawn.


Pamela woke with a start, and then immediately regretted the sudden action. Despite the bright mid-afternoon sunlight bathing her room she felt drained. Her head hurt, eyes burned and her muscles ached. She mentally chided herself for spending so much time away from the sun. Judging by her current state, she’d been cooped up in the lab for the better part of three days. Her vaccine was taking longer than she’d hoped.

After the rats, she thought her path had been clear but most of equations were guesswork so she’d required a few human test subjects to dial in her numbers. That meant carefully acquiring one of Gotham’s homeless and then carefully disposing of her failures, which took time. Not to mention the time it took to go over her results and formulate a new vaccine. She was certain that she’d finally perfected the vaccine with her latest strain. She’d managed to load it into a syringe before passing out. She just needed to get a test subject, her last one had died of a rather large cardiac event after twenty days of poison immunity and rapidly improving strength. She’d fixed the marker that had caused the adrenal spike, so she would be ready to inject Harley within two months. That was plenty of time to apologize for her earlier action, but that was all pretty far down the road. She had to get Harley out of the Joker’s hideout today!


Harley landed at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, the collection of bruises that decorated her body came to life at once, spreading the ache of the fall into her very being. She winced with each resounding foot fall as Mr. J made his way back to the study. She pouted as she slowly pulled herself to a sitting position. There was nothing to do! She’d fed the hyenas and the goons, cleaned the whole hideout, done the laundry, and even walked the hyenas! When her thoughts turned to her super villain friends, she saw only hostility and unavailability. There wasn’t anything for her to do at all. The goons were quietly playing one of their games around the kitchen table, so they were a dead end. “Sure wish I had something to do!” She exclaimed as she flopped down on the couch. Her backside flared with pain at the action but she ignored it. She was going crazy just stuck in the hideout.

A faint but insistent knock sounded on the door, Harley perked up. She’d already been through the list of preoccupied villains and B-man or any of the other heroes wouldn’t have knocked. “Hello?” She called out. There was no reply, just a continued knocking. It was getting louder. If it continued like this Mista J would-

“HARLEY! Answer the door, you sniveling buffoon! Can’t you understand that I need peace to work? Humor doesn’t just happen you know!” He paused for breath, giving Harley a few seconds to quip.

“Yes Mista J!” She crept toward the door, her mind trying to place the knock. The person behind the door just kept on knocking, just trying to provoke her puddin’. Finally she reached the door and tore it open. With an indignant shriek she slammed it and turned her back.

“HARLEY! What did I say? Quiet, peace, not hard to simply not do anything is it? I’m running myself ragged and you don’t have the presence of mind to keep your mouth shut for five minutes!” Joker raved, his screaming tapering off as he marched angrily across the warehouse toward her. “Why are you giving me that look? Who’s at the blasted door?” He demanded with a scowl.

“It’s Red.” Harley admitted, her frown twisting her face.

Joker smiled, let the expression carry into a grin and then chuckled at her. “Well why don’t we invite her in?” He spun toward the door with a malicious gleam in his eyes.

“Please Mista J, I don’t want to see her. She’s so mean, she lied to me, just send her away!” Harley begged.

Joker paid her no attention and snatched the door open. He leaned on the frame, grin splitting his smug face. “Why Pammy how nice of you to drop by! Harley dear doesn’t want to see you right now but I can take a message.”

Ivy scowled and made a move to shoulder past him. He stepped aside, allowing her to stumble through the threshold off balance. “Well alright, but she won’t be happy.”

Poison Ivy took a few seconds to locate Harley. The blonde stood in her costume, arms crossed over her chest and face turned away. She was the very picture of dismissive. Ivy hadn’t expected a warmer reception, but it still stung. “Harley, I know you’re angry. I know I deserve it, but I have to tell you something, privately.” She beseeched.

Harley turned her back completely. “I don’t want to talk to you!” She snubbed.

Pamela frowned, this was the very reason she’d stopped getting involved with humans. She always got hurt trying to do the right thing. They were too unpredictable, manipulation of them was never sure or exact and right now she needed both of those things. She needed to get Harley out of here before nightfall, or she wouldn’t have a human to manipulate. The other option was pulling off a heist to distract Batman but that would only get her a night, and she’d be in Arkham, sharing a cell with Harley, who would be broken and angry at her. The situation was impossible. It made her angry, she could feel her rational mind slipping.

She stalked up to Harley, grabbed her should and spun her around. She met her best friend with a poisonous kiss half way through the turn. Harley slumped into her arms, mouth forming confused words. Ivy hoisted the blonde and turned. The Joker was for once dumbstruck, his mouth dropping open.

Poison Ivy walked out of Joker’s warehouse hideout holding her dying friend accosted. She was long gone before Joker had gathered himself enough to address his goons. “Go figure out where Vine’s hideout is hideout is and when you do, get Harley’s body.” He gestured flatly, utterly deflated. “Make sure you come back to feed the hyenas before tomorrow. I’ll be in my study, working on the next bat-trap.”


What hell had she been thinking? She’d gone to that hideout to reason with Harley, to talk her out. Instead she’d kissed her, practically murdering her in a fit of passion. She was curing, a speeding along with Harley hacking blood into her lap. “I’m sorry Harls. I’ve finished the vaccine, it should take care of the kiss. Keep fighting, we’ll be there in less than five minutes.”

Harley’s face was bloating as she reacted to the poison. She was whimpering between the hacking coughs and choking. Her wet gurgles were often the muted beginnings of words that died off after the first syllable. “Shush, don’t speak. We can talk all you want after I give you the vaccine.” Ivy soothed, her fingers running through sweat soaked hair. The blonde coughed more, spurting blood and bile into Pamela’s lap.

Ivy pulled up to her hideout and sprung out of the convertible with ease. She threw open the door, crossed the foyer, punched her code-fuck- screwed it up, tried again. The vault door slid open. She raced through the greenhouse into the lab and grabbed the syringe out of the cold storage vault. The chances that this vaccine would work were fairly high, besides she had already kissed Harley so what if her kidneys failed or her liver dissolved in a few days, weeks or months at least she would live out the hour.

Pamela sprinted back through her hideout and arrived at her car. She carefully laid Harley out on the seat. The blonde turned her face toward her and moaned at her. Her abdomen was beginning to distend. Ivy debated the injection point for a few seconds while she ran through the human circulatory system in her head to determine which would get the vaccine to the liver fastest. She stabbed the needle into Harley’s arms after a few seconds.

Harley let out an actual sob and tears rolled down her swollen face. She was surprised that Harley could still manage tears at this point, her tear glands should have swollen shut. She pulled the syringe from Harley’s arms and let it drop into the back seat.

Based on her current state Harley would live for approximately forty six minutes. Her vaccine, if it was the right one could work as an antidote to her toxins. The major factor here was time. She’d never calculated metabolic assimilation under any circumstance, so she had nothing but faint hope that she hadn’t just killed her only friend. Harley sputtered so she slipped under the blonde’s limp form and turned her over. Blackish gore poured out of her mouth onto the seats. She sat with Harley for the next twenty minutes, talking to her and rubbing her back.

It was clear that it wasn’t working. She was going to watch Harley die here. In her damn car in front of the fucking dockside fish packing plant she’d turned into a supervillain’s lair. As time wore on her lap filled with liquid Harley as her friend coughed and vomited her insides up. Toward the end there was less to puke up so Harley was pulling in deep wheezy gasps of air. “I’m so sorry Harley. I didn’t mean this, damn it! I didn’t want to kill you, I didn’t even plan to touch you. I just acted. It’s pitiful that I’ve killed you and all I can is make excuses about it.” She dropped her head onto Harley’s back with a sob. She felt Harley’s wheezing breaths growing shallower and it took her a moment to realize that the girl was attempting words. She put her ear next to Harley’s mouth.

“Lo-Love yo-ou, Red. D-d-ou-nn-t cry!” The blond rasped out. She summoned her strength and twisted herself to face Ivy. Her breath escaped in a sharp gasp. She regained it a few terrifying seconds later. “Gimmie a last kiss.” She requested.

“Oh Harley don’t say that!” Ivy pleaded. “We still have a few minutes, it seems to have slowed down some.”

“Little late.” Harley replied. “Please, kiss.” She slumped down and drew in a raspy series of breathes. The blonde gagged a little but managed not to heave more bile onto Ivy. She pushed herself up as much as possible. Pamela leaned down and enveloped her dying friend in her arms. It wasn’t a glamorous kiss. Harley stank of death and she was covered in her own liquefied organs. She met the blonde’s lips gently, ignoring the cold vomit on her skin, the acrid scent of her and the acidic taste of the vomit in her mouth. Ivy kissed Harley like she’d always wanted to, lips heavy, tongue probing deep and demanding into her mouth. Harley responded with weak flutters of her tongue and soft spasms of her lips. They broke for Harley’s wheezes every few seconds.

Each time their lips met, Harley responded more. She felt strength returning to the blonde’s limbs. Her breaths were becoming less wheezy and the reflexive gag she was suppressing became less noticeable. At first she thought that it was simply Harley’s last grasp on life, but then Harley physically sat up without breaking a kiss. Ivy pulled back from Harley with confusion on her face. Harley gave her a tired smile.

“I don’t understand it, but I’m getting better. I don’t hurt as much and I feel like some stuff is regrowing.”

Pamela hopped out of the convertible and opened the door. She scooped Harley into her arms and headed into her hideout. “I’ll clean you up and set you up with some IV fluids.” She said as she bounded up the stairs. “I’ll steal some more medical supplies. If I’m right, the first kiss was poison and the subsequent kisses were anti venoms. They must have interacted with the partially metabolized vaccine to create some kind of one off healing ability. I can’t explain that, but I assume its accelerated cell regeneration.” Ivy rambled as she moved. By this point she’d begun a warm shower and ripped Harley’s soiled costume off. She eased the girl into the tub before taking off for her lab.

She collected all the drip racks and I.V. bags she could get her hands on. She carried them to her bed and set up the equipment in an organized fashion before retrieving Harley from the shower.

It took a few minutes to insert all of the needles into Harley due to the girl’s hatred of sharp pointy things, and then a few more to say goodbye. She left her own hideout covered in human waste to go rip off a few hospitals. She vaguely considered the possibility of spending time in Arkham for the crime, but decided that Batman would be tied up with the Joker heist he was planning. In the end she shrugged it off, deciding that it would be worth it to save Harley.


Letting go was hard. She’d had Harley all to herself for nearly a month while she was healing up and Ivy was monitoring her organ functions. Finally Harley had declared that she needed to The Joker.

They’d fought over that. Harley hadn’t spoken to her for the rest of that day. She’d relented and apologized for being so controlling. It hurt to watch Harley walk out her door with plans to go spring the Joker from his cell at Arkham. Harley was giggly as she talked about it. “Won’t he be so surprised that I’m alive?” She squealed. “Puddin’ll love it.”

“Yeah, great Harls.”

“Hey Red.” She turned to Harley who met her with a lingering kiss. “He may be my man, but you’ll always be my gal.” She’d left then and Ivy hadn’t seen her for a few weeks, except for headlines of her and Joker running rampant all over Gotham.


[End notes: There it is! The happiest ending this fic could have, you've squeezed it out of me.]

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