Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Batman/Justice League/DC Comics
Character/Pairing: Ivy/Harley, Batman/Catwoman, Superman/Lex, Wonder Woman
Challenge/Prompt: gameofcards: Inspiration Challenge: Space and Time: “The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.” — Arthur C. Clarke (If you join, be sure to tell them Kat Lee of Team Clubs sent YOU!)
Warning(s): Character Death, Future Fic, AU
Word Count: 1,891
Date Written: 25 April 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
She always knew this time would come, but she never thought it would come so soon. Part of her dreaded its arrival. A little part still believed that it would never happen in her lifetime although she's fought to delay it and try to reverse what man was causing every day of her new life, a life given to her by Mother Earth. Tears sting Ivy's green eyes as vines wrap tighter around her body. She tried. She tried with everything in her, and yet man still succeeded in destroying the Earth.
Her body trembles with every bomb that explodes across her mother's face. She hears the screams that no one else can hear, the screams of dying plants and trees. She feels them tumble to the ground, and as tears stream down her face, she hates man more and more -- but the people facing her now are not the same ones who caused this devastation. They tried to help. Each in their own way, they did try to help, but they tried too late.
"You should come with us."
The soft, gravelly voice comes from a man she once hated, but in the end, they fought side by side. In the end, he had her back. He saved her life, and Harley's, but for what good did saving her own do? She will die with her mother, but at least Harley will live.
"I'm not leaving you, Red," Harley declares, her arms wrapped as tightly around Ivy as her mother's veins, "not now, not ever!"
"Yes," Ivy speaks with a strange accent now for she can feel the sorrow of a thousand tongues in her mouth. The trees are crying. The flowers are burning. The last, great visages of her mother are decaying even now as they speak, and there's not a damn thing she can do to stop it. There is no water left to put out the fires -- the greedy humans made certain of that. They made certain that everything in their path was killed, everything but a select few.
"We must leave soon," speaks another man of whom she always thought of as an enemy until these last few weeks. He holds another man's hand in the harsh light of the darkening sun. Neither dared to touch the other until the end of time was upon them. Now they're trying to make up for all they've missed and will not be separated. "Whoever's coming needs to come."
"Lex," softly speaks the strongest man on Earth -- the strongest man and yet still too weak to stand up to human kind. She could blame them. She could blame every one of them who fought so hard to protect the human race, but they each had their own beliefs and their own loved ones. Even she, before the end, came had fallen in love with a human woman, something she'd thought she would never do.
Humans, after all, were the cause of all this mess. They were the cause of her mother dying and the destruction of her children. They were the cause of the screams Ivy feels exploding within her heart even now. They brought this to them.
But Harley hadn't. She had stood beside her until this very moment, and even now she refuses to let her go. She's one of the few innocent ones left among the humans, and yet for the longest time, she, too, was branded as a criminal. But the heartaches she caused, the terror she inflicted was always upon humans, and when Ivy came into her life, she let her teach her.
She taught her better ways. She taught her to care. She taught her how to create live instead of simply, always destroying it. She showed her the true innocence in this dying world, and Harley helped her where she could. She remembers the first flower they raised together, how gently Harley cupped its bud in her pale, white hands, how carefully tended its weeds, how she cried when humans trampled over it, and how those wretched humans paid their price.
Many of the bastards paid for their crimes, but not enough, nowhere near enough. The world is burning, and yet people are still escaping it. Far too many of those who have caused her mother's destruction have escaped to visit their heartless terror upon another world, and another, Ivy fears after it, and another still . . . Humankind will always last, and it will always destroy all it touches.
But not all humans are like that, she remembers through her tears and her dying mother and crying lover clutching to her. Not all are mean, cruel, heartless bastards. These few people looking imploringly at her now had tried to fight to save the planet. She saw how the crumpling of a single city had ripped out Batman's heart, and she's seen Lex hold Clark as he's wept over many a fallen life, not just human but plant and animal alike.
Even Wonder Woman has fought beside her against the humans who were destroying their planet. The Gods are angry with humanity, she heard her declare, but how little good it did! Millions of people have fallen, but millions yet remain. And she's tired. She's too tired to fight for another world that is not her own and too tired to keep fighting for this one when this war is finally, ultimately, tragically lost.
She could go with the team. She could visit vengeance for her mother upon the humans who remain, but it won't bring her mother back. The tragedies have gone too far and lasted too long. Nothing can repair her mother now. Nothing can fix what has been destroyed. Nothing can heal all that has been shattered.
And the Batman knows. He knows she won't come with them. He knows she's done, dying now even as her mother dies. He knows he has no desire to continue, just as he once, after losing Gotham City, had no desire of his own left to prevail. If it had not been for Selina and the mewling kitties she'd saved from the fallen city, and possibly for Alfred and the Robins too, he would not be standing before her now today, waiting for her answer, his gauntleted hand held stretched out toward her.
His fingers flex but still don't drop. "Ivy?" he asks softly. "Come with us," he urges, "for Harley."
"No." Her voice emits as the merest breath of a whisper, one of the last pieces of air on this dying planet. Her mother is dying. She will go with her, but not Harley. She must save Harley. She places a chaste kiss upon the crying blonde's lips, her own lips no longer a threat, then pushes her toward Batman.
Harley fights to hold on to her, but Ivy's vines peel her gripping fingers from her skin. "No!" she wails. "NO! I WON'T LEAVE YOU!"
"Yes," Ivy declares, and even the sound of her voice aches in the stillness of the oxygen-deprived air. It sounds as brittle as the bark of the ancient trees snapping even now in the fires ravaging her mother. "You must. You will."
She forces her trembling lips to pull into one last, sad smile for the woman who reached into her heart where she thought no human could ever reach her. "Teach some one else in the new world you will make together what I have taught you. Teach them. Show them. And one day, you'll love again, too, just like you taught me to love."
"No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!" Harley just keeps repeating the single word, the simple denial, as she shakes her blonde head. Ivy will miss the bounce of her pigtails. She'll miss her radiant smile and the way Harley used to stop at nothing to make her smile when all she wanted to do was destroy humankind. She'll miss everything about her, Ivy realizes, even the way she used to annoy her with incessant talk, never-ceasing giggles, and popping of her gum when Ivy was scheming.
But all her schemes failed, and although she will miss Harley, she won't have long to miss her. Once she's gone, the world will finish crumpling, and Ivy will go with it as has always been intended. She couldn't save her mother, and that was the reason why the Green Mother gave her her second life. She couldn't save her, so she will die with her. That is her fate, but Harley must live.
Suddenly, Ivy's vines stop pulling at Harley. "See, Red? Just come with us. Everything'll be all right, you'll see -- "
"No," Ivy whispers, but this time, the sound isn't even audible. Her last vine taps the back of Harley's skull, knocking her beloved out cold. Ivy moves to try to reach to catch her but falls instead.
Batman catches Harley, though, even as the Amazon remarks, "We should force her to come with us."
"No," Batman disagrees at the same time Ivy cries the word.
She looks at him, looks directly into his eyes for the first time in a very, very long time. "It is your right," he speaks softly, "your decision, but we do wish you would change your mind."
"She won't." Catwoman places a gentle hand on her lover's bicep. Her green eyes meet Ivy's as big cats prowl around her. "She will die with her mother just as I would have died with my babies if you had not saved us. But you will be missed," she says to Ivy.
Superman looks away for for all his strength, he can not bear to see a strong woman so diminished. Ivy's skin is flushing a pale green now, her breathing becoming shallower as the bombs grow closer. "If you don't leave now, you won't be able to leave," she warns them. "Take care of her for me."
Batman nods and leads the way onto LuthorCorp's final spaceship. Wonder Woman is the last lingering. "You were a brave warrioress."
Ivy smirks, then winces in pain. "You're the only one to ever make that mistake, Amazon."
"It is no mistake. You were a brave warrioress, and you have chosen a noble death."
"Thank you . . . for not forcing me."
Wonder Woman nods, although Ivy can tell she's still debating it. The fact remains, though, that she can not be saved even if she could. The war on her mother has taken its toll, and even now her eyes are slipping closed.
"What do you want us to tell her when she wakes?"
"Tell her . . . " Ivy struggles to speak, to even just breath in her final moments. Her vines are moving again, wrapping around her and pulling her closer into the tender, crying ground. "Tell her I love her," she says.
Wonder Woman nods, tears in her blue eyes, and walks away. She's the last to board the ship. Ivy hears it take off, then hears no more. Her last thoughts are of Harley, of her smiling face and the radiant love she made her feel, a love and warmth no one else ever had. She holds to the mental image of her lover's smiling face as she and her mother scream in unison, and the world explodes right after the Justice League's departure.