Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Ivy/Harley, Joker/Harley
Challenge/Prompt: fffc September 2017 Special: Smile! Because it is easier than to explain what is killing you inside. -- Joker, Batman
Word Count: 469
Date Written: 5 September 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
Ivy stops mid-screech and glares at Harley. “Why are you always smiling?!” she demands, gloved hands on her hips.
“I’m not always smiling,” Harley begins to protest.
“Yes, you are. Here I am yelling at you because your stupid hyena just tried to strangle one of my plants, and you’re smiling the whole time I’m fussing at you!”
Harley drops down from the sweeping boughs of one of Ivy’s biggest trees and gently removes the plant from her hyena’s mouth. “Bad doggie,” she says, still grinning. Her grin only falters for a second as one Ivy’s vines snaps the hyena in his furry rear end and sends the animal off howling.
Ivy stalks over to her and gently runs her fingers over Harley’s smiling lips. “See? Always smiling. What’s wrong with you?”
“Maybe I just don’t like to not smile,” Harley replies with a shrug. “Maybe I don’t like thinking about the bad stuff.” Like thinking about when I’m going to have to leave you again or when Mister J finds us out or when -- Her boyfriend’s crazy, but he’s right about one thing: It’s easier to smile than to consider, or explain, all the reasons not to smile, like all the thoughts that have been running through her own head as she’s been watching Ivy.
She wants to run away with her, she realizes, looking at her. She wants to just take her hand and run, never turning back, never being caught, never having to see what the Joker will do to her when he discovers her alliances have truly shifted . . . She doesn’t want to consider what will happen to make her lose the woman whose gentle loving makes her feel more alive inside every time she’s with her than she ever does with the Joker.
The Joker killed a part of her a long time ago. She thought she didn’t miss it. She barely remembers that woman, but Ivy’s awakened her. Like Spring coming over a frozen wasteland, she’s awakened her to so many possibilities and so many harsh realities. She’s been watching her for a while now, just trying to figure out how they can run, but she knows they can’t.
“Harls?” Ivy whispers her name, seeing the tears beginning to brim in her lover’s big, blue eyes.
“It’s easier,” Harley whispers back, her voice breaking, “to smile and act like everything’s all right, Red -- “
“Then smile,” Ivy tells her, her own voice breaking too, as she takes her into her arms. “Smile for me, sweetheart, and never stop smiling.”
Harley beams. She pretends her heart isn’t breaking like her voice. She pretends not to notice the tears that drip down from her eyes. Most of all, she pretends to believe, as Ivy kisses her, that they have all the time in the world.