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That Slow Healing Touch

Title: That Slow Healing Touch
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Batman
Character/Pairing: Harley/Ivy, talk of Joker/Harley but not showing that couple in a good light
Rating: PG-13/T
Challenge/Prompt: femslash100100: Narcotic
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1,684
Date Written: 9 May 2017
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.




There's a part of her mind that remains, hidden underneath every giggle and bat of her eyelashes above her big, blue eyes. There's a part of the genius that remains of the woman she once was before the Joker started breaking her spirit and mind, the very essence of who she once was. There's a part of her that remains that even Harley forgets is there. She'll hear fragments running through her head, spoken by sounds like an entirely different woman, and in a way, she is.

Or she was. It's all too confusing for Harley when she remembers flashes of her past life and hears words like the things she would have once said, diagnoses she would have once made, quotes by greater minds than hers that was once both familiar to and prized by her. The beliefs that woman took for granted are things Harley can't even understand now. She never thought she'd change. She'd never thought she'd become this, but he has done this to her.

He has crippled her spirit, raped her mind, broken her body multiple times, and yet still, she follows him. She does things every day of her life that the woman she once was never would have thought she'd do, especially not for a mere man. She had worked hard to make her way through a man's world. She knew what monsters men could be, and yet she'd fallen for one of those very monsters, one of the worst ever, indeed, to walk the streets of Gotham.

Sometimes, in her dreams, she remembers what she was like before she met him. She remembers, too, how he made her feel. She had been so full of doubts and heavy thoughts back then and had had so very few reasons to smile. She had lost everybody she'd loved, -- and then she'd met him and despite all her barricades, despite all her carefully constructed walls, she had learned to love again. She had fallen in love with a monster. Hers was a true Beauty and the Beast tale but not with the happy ending that so many fairy tales possess.

Her story was a lot more like the original tales the Grimm Brothers told. Her Beast was not good, but he was charming. He was not a Prince in disguise but a devil, a devil who reached inside her, reached pass all her carefully protections, and broke them all down one by one. He broke them all down and reached his claws deep inside of her, withdrawing what he wanted and leaving behind the reasoning, intelligent, brave woman she had once been. She had thought she could cure him, but instead, he all but destroyed her.

Sometimes she remembers, especially in her dreams. Sometimes the woman she was whispers reminders to her consciousness now. She knows when he's going to attack her again. She knows when he's going to take his anger out on her again. She knows when he's looking to break yet another piece of her spirit, of her soul, and of her heart. Sometimes, she doesn't run. Sometimes, she just lets him take her, but other times . . .

Other times, she runs. Other times, she flees into the one place where she still feels safe, to the one person besides the Joker for whom she's actually come to care very deeply. Sometimes, she suspects Pamela knows what he does to her. Sometimes, she thinks the other woman wants to take her away, steal her away from the Joker and flee the country, but she knows what will happen if they ever do that again. He suspected too greatly the last time, but she convinced him, playing the part he had made for her in this cruel and dark world, that she only had eyes for him.

She convinced him she could feel for nobody else. She turned Pam into the fuzz and ran away with him again. But what Ivy doesn't understand is that she was infinitely safer in Arkham than she was with them at the time. Harley can't stand the thought of seeing the Joker break another woman, let alone one as strong, beautiful, passionate, and caring as her Red. If he finds them again, she'll have to do the same thing: She'll lock her away where he can't reach her, lock her away where she'll be safe. Ivy will be furious with her again, but she'll forgive her again with time.

She always forgives her, even when Harley doesn't dare ask for her forgiveness. It's almost as though she can see inside of Harley, as though she understands the troubles she faces when they're not together, as though she knows what that monster does to her when she's with him, and sometimes not even when she's alone with him. He's beaten her in front of his little mob groups. He's even let them grope her, let their nasty, filthy hands go all over her body as though they were going to get to claim the boss' piece, and then shot them dead while they still touching her.

Harley closes her eyes, remembering the nightmares and shivering even though it's a bright, hot Summer day. She feels Pamela's lips brush softly across her pale, scarred forehead, but she doesn't open her eyes until she whispers encouragement for her to do so. "Open your eyes, baby. Open your eyes and look at me. Look into mine."

As she does so, Harley feels her breath and heartbeat still in the single second their eyes lock. Something deep inside of her flutters, and again, she remembers a piece of her prior life. There had been something about the Joker that had stopped all other thoughts, all warnings, all common sense, all the rules she'd made for herself to carefully survive a man's world. There had been something about his eyes that, when locked with hers, had made her shiver with excitement in a way that nothing else ever had.

Pamela's eyes don't make her shiver. They fill her with a warmth instead, a soothing, gentle warmth that seeps into Harley's every pore and spreads throughout her whole body and into her very soul. She feels like the sun, and like her plants, Harley always finds herself careening toward her, wanting more of her warmth, more of her own, private sun.

Fear always traces through her when Joker touches her. Wherever his hands touch, Harley knows too well might be the next spot where he strikes her. She never expects a caress without fearing a blow from him. But where his hands are cruel and powerful, Ivy's hands are gentle, carefully, soothingly spreading over her skin until she's successfully stopped her very last shiver of fear.

"I'll never hurt you, Harls," Ivy whispers, stroking her neck with long, gentle fingers and lifting her head to keep eye contact with her. "Never," she vows.

"I know," Harley whispers in response, and she does. For all the cruelty she's endured with the Joker over the years, Ivy always gives her nothing but love. There are times when she's frustrated with her, times when she makes her angry, but Ivy would rather strike one of her precious babies than ever blow apart on her. Unlike the Joker, who does so little but hurt her, Ivy will never hurt her.

"Kiss me again, Red," Harley whispers for there is power as well as warmth in her secret lover's kiss. There is power and warmth and a tingling every time their lips meet that Harley thinks might be healing. She's watched Ivy heal her plants before, fuse vines together where they have been broken, raise buds from where they have been smashed and breathe new life into them. Harley suspects she's trying to do the same thing with her.

There's a part of Harley even that, if she's honest with herself, knows that's exactly what Ivy wants to do. She's healing her slowly but surely, and these days, Harley's remembering more and more of the woman she used to be, the woman she'd like to be again, the woman she'd like to introduce Red to, the woman who might just be worthy of loving Pamela back. And her memories aren't always relegated to her dreams now.

As Ivy's lips touch hers again and again, always so gentle and yet with growing passion, Harley remembers how she used to forget everything when Joker kissed her, all her worries, all her fears. She'd wanted more of the freedom he'd promised her so badly that she had done the unthinkable, not only breaking him free but eventually killing for him. But the freedom he'd promised her had turned into a prison.

Now, with Ivy's arms around her, her hands softly massaging her skin, her lips breathing new life into her, Harley's beginning to feel free again. She's beginning to feel so free a part of her could sing but not giggle. The laughter is dying away, but her heart is soaring. She used to equate the Joker's kisses to narcotics. He'd made her forget everything, but he'd been the bad kind of drugs, the kind that stripped a woman of every good thought and aspect she had, that took away everything and gave nothing in return.

But if Joker's kisses was the bad kind of narcotics, Pammy's love is the good kind of drug, the kind that, after all this time, she needs so desperately, the kind that really is healing her. Her kiss is a drug, one more powerful even than the Joker's meant to rebuild what he tore apart, but like any good narcotic, soon, Harley's mind is slipping away again. Her memories fade once more. Her thoughts cease, and all that remains is how wonderful Ivy makes her feel. Her brain stops thinking at all as Ivy makes love to her. Only one thought remains: how desperately and completely she would love to stay right here with Ivy in her garden forever more. Maybe, she thinks before she gives herself up entirely, maybe one day, when she's whole, she can.

The End

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