My pudding's taking me on a surprise caper, so I'm going to have to take a rain check on our little shopping trip. I can't say too much about it (you know how Mr. J gets when somebody blows the punchline), but it's westward ho and Viva Las Vegas!
I'll send you a postcard,
As soon as she finished the note, Poison Ivy knew she'd kill the Joker if he married Harley.
Not that a Vegas wedding was really likely--Harley still believed that there was a good man somewhere inside that clown, and she still had some sad dream of being Mrs. Joker and raising a family. Harley really believed the Joker was capable of loving anyone, and he probably let her keep thinking it because that was the joke.
Poison Ivy knew what it was like to want a family, but she'd gotten over that momentary lapse. That was for humans, after all, and really quite limiting. Her beautiful plants could cover the entire world--what could human children do?
And she also knew that you couldn't change people. Harvey hadn't learned a thing from their brief relationship, but that was all right--really, she'd been trying to kill him, not teach him a lesson.
You could breed better plants and coax them into growing the way you wanted them to, but you couldn't do a thing with people--at least not without some strong persuasion (which, unfortunately, the clown seemed to be completely immune to)
Harley's a big girl Poison Ivy told herself. She can take care of herself...when she remembers she can.
Although she did deserve a vacation. Especially after her last encounter with the Catwoman.
Poison Ivy had never liked her--Ivy didn't have much use for mammals anyway, and everyone knew the Cat was in league with the Bat. Sort of. Well, everyone knew there was something going on there.
Most of Gotham's costumed set tended to keep to themselves, but every so often there'd be alliances and a few people who could get along with each other until the conflicts of interest came up. Sure, Cobblepot had always been a snotty little prick, but you could buy him or threaten him (although it was usually better to stick to the first one unless you were feeling extremely confident)
You could buy Catwoman, but you usually didn't get what you paid for.
Poison Ivy didn't trust Catwoman farther than she could throw her, but their interests had overlapped, and they both hated Daggett more than they hated each other.
Catwoman had some very useful skills, and together they'd been able to take care of the current Roland Daggett problem much faster, but their styles simply were not compatible. Ivy's philosophy was that Robin could obviously be replaced, so what was one Robin more or less? Catwoman disagreed like a cougar protecting her cubs (and of course everyone had their theories on where the new Robin had come from).
Poison Ivy hated bleeding--it was an unpleasant reminder that she was still somewhat human.
It wasn't that she would've minded seeing Catwoman again--oh, she had a few things she'd like to do to her, starting with declawing--but was it really worth her time? True, there was more than one way to skin a cat, but the Bat was rumored to be out of town so that ruled out the more interesting ways.
Besides, Harley was going to need her, and Ivy was patient.
Ivy was patient, and it'd be suicide to go into Las Vegas when the Joker was planning something there. And even that maniac wouldn't go all the way across the country unless it was something big.
Poison Ivy kept her radio on and her cell phone close as she wandered the forests of Colorado. When she heard there'd been a break in at an undisclosed location in Arizona, she moved west, out of Rio Grande National Forest and into Dixie (not the name she or the trees would've chosen, but that was mankind for you).
Three hours from Vegas, but the whisper of leaves and needles told her not to head down 15 yet.
And they were right. It wasn't just the bombs--it was the Justice League when Poison Ivy was still technically a fugitive (although the guards had been very happy to let her stroll right out in exchange for one last kiss).
But it wasn't quite the clown's style. Of course that sick bastard thought explosions were hilarious, but he hadn't bought any radio time for his little reality show. The Joker just wanted attention (pathetic, really), and even if he wanted you to watch him on every channel, he'd still force himself on radio listeners just for shits and giggles.
She didn't know why, but she didn't like it and she didn't trust it.
The radio stations picked it up eventually--shame that she couldn't see Batman getting a beating from one of those kids, but hearing it was almost as good.
Unfortunately it didn't last, and hearing the Batman getting the beating he so richly deserved was not worth being able to hear the Joker slap Harley.
She'd just have to kill him. She'd kill him, she'd gut him, she'd tear him into tiny little pieces and use him for fertilizer (although that might be too cruel. What garden deserved that kind of treatment?)
It was time to go south.
Getting into Vegas wasn't the problem--most of the people had wanted to get out as soon as the Joker had appeared--it was that Harley was already gone.
Poison Ivy reminded herself that Harley could handle skipping town, even when people like Superman were involved, and that Ivy didn't worry about anyone or anything--she was like the lilies of the field or a patient oak. It was just that she'd needed a change of scenery and Harley might not have an escape plan (the damned clown was overconfident), and Ivy happened to have a car, and, well, if they happened to run into each other...
The desert plants didn't talk to her like East Coast plants, but she could hear their rough, ragged whispers. They told her about bodies hidden by the side of the road (because Harley wasn't just some dumb little blonde, and why couldn't she remember that she could push back when he pushed her around?). The nettles hissed and the tumbleweeds sighed, and they told her which exit to take.
Some tacky diner with even tackier lights--and of course, that was where Harley was.
"Need a lift?" Poison Ivy asked.
Harley smiled--a real smile, not that horrible grin she'd sometimes put on when she worked with the Joker. "You goin' my way?"
"Gotham or bust," said Ivy.
"Hooray, Red!" Harley bounded into the car, not even bothering to open the door first. She leaned against Poison Ivy, as close as she could get, and raised a fist. "Full speed ahead!"
"You're in a hurry to get back?"
Harley looked up at her. "Nah, I guess not," she said. "Nobody waiting for me there anyway. And if you got something to show me, Red..."
Poison Ivy put an arm around her. "Then I think we can take our time."