Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Say What Friday: "A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child."
Word Count: 1,594
Date Written: 20 February 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
Having wolfed through her vegetarian dinner, Ivy sprang to her feet, ready to work, amidst the wailing complaint of her girlfriend. “Aw, come on, Red! I didn’t wait twenty minutes for them to cook it fresh just for you to eat like one of the hyenas and go back to work!”
“I have planning to do, Harls,” Ivy told her as gently as she could. “Now that we know who’s destroying that forest, I have got to figure out how we’re getting out of there.”
“Oh, come on! You know we’ll make it!”
“I don’t like waiting until we’re in the fire to figure out how to put it out!”
“That’s part of the fun!”
“This isn’t meant to be fun, Harley! That bastard is killing plants and animals alike! He’s already destroyed three species of plants without batting an eye, and he’s going to kill more! I’m the only one who will stop him!”
“Wrong,” Harley muttered, her face falling into a deep pout. “We will stop him. I’ll be there with you every step of the way, Red. You know that.” Saving all the world’s plants wasn’t Harley’s thing. Making her girlfriend happy, and having fun while doing it, were her only goals in life, but she knew Red would never be happy as long as a single bush was in danger. “We’re in this together,” she muttered.
Ivy’s heart ached as she looked down at Harley’s sorrowful face. Her bright, blue eyes were downcast, and her bottom lip was literally sticking out. She hated seeing her like this, especially knowing she was the cause, but the simple fact that Harley would be there was what made planning their escape after taking down the operation so important. “I know that, sweetheart,” she said as gently as she could, leaning forward and stroking Harley’s face. “Don’t you realize that’s why it’s so important to me that we get out of this caper alive?”
“We will get out alive, Red. You don’t have to plan every damn detail of it just to make sure of that. We can defeat any weapons they have -- “
“Yeah. Maybe. If we’re lucky. Guns do a lot of damage, Harley. So do bombs, and they’re probably going to have plenty of both from the way they’ve been exploding the underbrush.”
“Okay, okay,” Harley muttered, sounding defeated. She loved Ivy, but sometimes she missed the Joker’s lack of planning and even his lack of intellect. Whenever Mister J had wanted something, he’d gone and gotten it, regardless of whatever stood in his way. Of course, that had meant innocents had often been killed, including children and animals, and the Batman had constantly been throwing them behind bars. Harley had grown tired of that lifestyle long ago, way back when she had been with Mister J, and whenever she’d tried to talk any sense into him, his fists had always, always found her face. She flinched with the memory.
Ivy was the complete opposite of the Joker. She didn’t just care about Harley; she genuinely loved her. That was why planning every step of a heist had become so important to her. She didn’t want either of them to land back in Arkham, and she didn’t want Harley to be hurt or worse. She even cared that Harley’s hyenas made it out alive whereas the Joker had once shot one of Harley’s babies simply because he’d had a bigger, better, and louder laugh than his.
“Harls?” Ivy asked in concern, stroking her cheek.
“I’m okay,” she muttered. “I guess . . . “ She looked around. “I guess I can play Solitaire or hopscotch or -- or something . . . “
“I lifted you two new computer games today, you know,” Ivy reminded her.
She was constantly doing things like that, constantly swiping little items and leaving them in odd places for Harley to find. It was sweet. She was sweet, and Harley was lucky to have her, especially after all the losers she’d been through before realizing that their friendship had come to mean more to her than any other friendship she’d ever had. “Yeah,” Harley murmured. She just didn’t feel like sitting at a computer. She wanted to do something physical, something genuinely fun, something unusual. She’d find something; she always found something whenever Ivy was too busy to play with her.
Her roaming eyes fell suddenly upon the two fortune cookies sitting on the checkered blanket Harley had thrown out when she’d arrived home onto their living room floor. Ivy had already kissed her forehead and was moving away from her and back to her lab, where she’d plan out every single detail of their heist long before they ever made a single physical move in that direction. “But, hey, before you go,” Harley suddenly called out to her girlfriend, “at least get your fortune cookie.”
She lifted one of the fortune cookies and tossed it to Ivy who caught it deftly upon turning back around in a flash of green and red. Ivy shrugged a slender, bare shoulder. She didn’t care anything about reading manmade fortunes. She made her own fortune, and careful planning preserved her Harley’s fortune as well. It couldn’t hurt anything, though, so she ripped into the tiny, plastic package, broke the cookie open, and read the paper. She glanced up at Harley, back at the fortune, and read it a second time.
“What’s it say, huh?” Harley inquired, scrunching up her nose.
“A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child,” Ivy read aloud. She’d read that same phrase somewhere before, but she couldn’t remember where. She wondered if it was a proverb, a quote, or just another man sticking his nose in another area where it didn’t belong as humans were so apt to do. It didn’t matter, though, because it had already spoken to her.
She looked again from the tiny script of paper and its meaningful words to her girlfriend as Harley asked her, her nose scrunching again in confusion, “What’s that mean?” She was so lucky to have Harley in her life, and her girlfriend was a truly great person who possessed the biggest heart Ivy had ever known. She didn’t just care about plants as Ivy did, or about one species, as both their good friend, Catwoman, and their greatest foe, Batman, did. She didn’t even only care about her own happiness as most of the criminals with whom either of them had ever interacted did. She cared about all the innocents of the world -- hyenas, plants, animals, even human children --, and she herself, despite all the mess she’d been through and the pains she’d endured, was as innocent as almost any one of them. She did trod on the grass, and she had cut roses in the past, but those were things for which Ivy could forgive her, even if only her.
She had the mentality of a child. She never understood when she was doing wrong. Ivy could explain something ten times, and nine times out of those ten, Harley still wouldn’t understand whatever she was trying to tell her -- like now. She said she understood why planning was so important to Ivy. She said she knew she was doing it for her, and maybe she did understand that at least. Yet, deep down, she knew Harley still didn’t understand why it seemed like she didn’t want to take time with her lately. She had been holed up far too much in her laboratory, planning had to stop this latest murderer.
“You know what?” she asked suddenly, handing the plastic bag and cookie to one of her reaching vines who she knew would carry it away and properly dispose of both items. “It has been a long day, and I have been in that lab for hours.” She stretched and yawned, pretending as though she was tired.
“Yeah?” Harley asked eagerly, rocking forward on her bare feet and forgetting all about the fortune and trying to figure out its meaning.
“Yeah. So . . . Why don’t we play a game? I could use a break.” And she could always resume planning tomorrow. Saving those lives could wait for a few hours, if those few hours could be spent making the only other love of her life genuinely happy. “What did you have in mind?”
“Oh, I don’t know . . . “ Harley’s voice trailed off as she thought. Suddenly her eyes lit up with excitement, and she grinned from ear to ear with giddy joy and triumph. “Hey! What about Strip Twister? It’s been a while -- “
“It has been a while,” Ivy said, laughing. “Why don’t you get the mat?” she suggested, smiling and coming forward. She clapped her gloved hands for her plants to come clean up behind them as Harley scrambled to her feet and ran to get the game. Tonight was going to be a fun night after all, and she wouldn’t even use her plants to help her win this time as she did the last. She knew that meant Harley would win as she was such a natural gymnast and had a beautiful, limber body for which any sixteen year-old girl would kill. That was okay, because Ivy was already a winner. She would always be a winner as long as she had Harley’s love, and she wasn’t about to take her, or it, for granted. Beaming, she turned and waited for her love to spring back up to her and spend the rest of the night being close to her and making her happy.