Harley Quinn's Christmachanukah Hullaballoo I
Roleplaying Log: Harley Quinn's Christmachanukah Hullaballoo I
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy celebrate Christmas… with acts of theft, hostage-taking, and vandalism.

Other Characters Referenced: Batman, Amanda Waller (Not by Name)
IC Date: December 26, 2019
IC Location: Fashion District - Old Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Dec 2019 07:45
Rating & Warnings: PG (Mild Language)
Scene Soundtrack: Sleigh Ride by Amy Grant
NPC & GM Credits: Killer Trees by Poison Ivy, Hostages by Harley Quinn
Associated Plots

IN AN UPSCALE BOUTIQUE

"Oh, it's beautiful," says the redhaired woman.

"Ma'am," the clerk coughs, worrying inwardly— is this going to go well, what is this bougie woman going to do, my life is awful, i'm still hung over, oh god i just want to go home, this belt is pinching me— "Uh, your card, it's declined."

Poison Ivy looks over. "Can I pay with a kiss?"

The clerk laughs, with brittleness.

He presses a button because he feels unsafe. He is right, though not for the reasons he expects.

OUTSIDE THE BOUTIQUE SEVERAL MINUTES LATER

Poison Ivy emerges onto the streets of Gotham in the early evening. The cold wind whips at her, but she does not pay it much heed. She is wearing a new and immaculate mink fur coat, of a sort that is only rarely seen and which, in an earlier part of her life, she might have condemned. Right now, though, she knows only that she needed SOMETHING to keep the touch of December away from MUCH of her body, and that she looks fabulous in it, which is what counts.

She zips up the purse - white, leather, and now containing the entire contents of the cash till (damnably sparse in this day and age) and the entire contents of a small tasteful display of diamond earrings and bracelets (still useful) from within the boutique.

After this Ivy looks across the road towards a vacant lot immediately across from the open-plan tasteful mall-like space where she had just been. It is, of course, not deeply habitated, it being the day after Christmas and

"most of them are gone with their families who they loath, tormenting themselves so that they can get off on the juicy misery of their own interior chemicals, the static anguish of a proteinaceous life digging into them," Ivy murmurs, breath fogging. She then turns her head to look over towards the Peet's Coffee where she has left someone…

And then back across the yard. "Well," she states, hand going to her hip, "let's get started."

Her eyes flutter shut.

There is a strange and subtle bell-like chorus, a wide cavalcade of BANGS that ripple out from where Poison Ivy stands. A block radius. Two. Three. Four. That doesn't sound like much, does it? Especially when we're talking about a geometrically increasing number of dumpsters, all falling over. Pushed over, in a spill of assorted other forms of garbage decorated by festival wrapping.

But to her eyes, to her ears, to her green heart, those are shallow graves.

And the dead now walk.

They must crawl in many cases, dragging themselves by agonizing peristaltic action, sacrificing a third of their limbs or more in the hopes of a better tomorrow. The lucky ones, the living ones, have their roots; they can move, steady and hale, in slow motion, all of them converging at a stately place towards where Poison Ivy stands.

The huge and decorative tree anointing this open air mall seems to rustle against the wind… but Poison Ivy speaks to it aloud: "No; you can stay where you are. But I hope you're looking for company." Her tongue rolls over her lower lip. "You're going to get it."

"You're ALL going to get it," she calls into the wind.

"Merry Christmas," calls someone on the far end of the mall who is ambling towards their car. They are in for a surprise, but for right now they're waving.

Poison Ivy waves back. "Don't die horribly!" she calls gaily.

——

Crunch. Slurp. Munch. Another Slurp.

These sounds belong to the apple eating Red Hood. He's got his boots kicked up as he's laying across a fire escape in one of the nearby alleys. His helmet is lifted up to the top of his head and the apple consumption is in full effect. He's just a munching and a chewing and a

… why the hell is the dumpster moving? What?

Red Hood sits up quickly enough to raise an eyebrow as he tosses what's left of his apple over his shoulder. Discarding it to the wind and the ground below! He cares not for such fruity goodness anymore. There's weird stuff happening. And he hasn't done much punching or investigating or killing of guilty parties in a long time.

Maybe he'll get to tonight!

"Let's see if I can beat the Bats to the punch tonight." A sinister grin is covered up by the pulling down of his signature red helmet, which locks and seals into place before Red Hood drops off the fire escape and down onto his motorcycle. Time to follow the weird! Hopefully, towards something he can beat up. A lot.


She HAD been left at the Peet's Coffee. Unfortunately, when one is dealing with one Harley Quinn…

Well, things are bound to get more interesting.

In this instance, the clown princess has harnessed seven men to a mall Santa's wheeled sleigh that hadn't been hauled away yet, and she's thrown the giant fake reindeer into the back of the sleigh. She is very happily driving in a ridiculously adorable costume that is a quartered stretch-velvet leotard in quartered red and black with a beautiful two-tailed hood trimmed in white fur, a pair of white sparkly tights and knee-high boots (one red, one black with diamonds painted on), and jingle bells dangling from everywhere.

Of course, men don't typically want to pull crazy ladies in fake sleds with fake reindeer, so they need proper motivation. Like the grenades that she's got wrapped on their harnesses with pins all tethered up with white twine and attached to a ring on her one hand.

"ONWARDS!" calls she, once she spies Ivy, cracking her long whip in the air. "AND DON'T SPILL THE HOT COCOA!" she adds, after a beat.

Because what says 'hilarious way to spend the night' like a sleigh ride through a rampaging zombie forest?

As the sleigh lurches forward, Quinn cackles madly and sings! "JUST HEAR THOSE SLEIGH BELLS JINGLING, RING-TING-TINGLING, WHEEEE… Come on, it's lovely whether for a sleigh ride together with meeeeeee~"


Across town, an envoy from Metropolis is idly considering what horribly unhealthy thing she's going to do this evening. Will she consume an entire pizza by herself? Will she make a chinese takeout place's evening by ordering, indeed, /the menu/?

Or, instead, will she get a hotdog worthy of an elderly lawyer and then have to abandon the endeavor as soon as she hears the thunderous- to her- noise of something happening on the actual opposite side of Gotham. Mildly, she ponders the treat. "Batman will get it. It's okay." she states to herself, and gets mere centimeters from that first bite before the shrill noise of everyone's favorite pseudo-juggalo pierces her ears like any number of daggers.

She sets the hot dog down. For a moment, there is almost a tear. "I will come back for you." she promises.

Then, the blonde incongruous to the streets of Gotham, not even in her guise as Karen Starr, is simply gone. There is a noise similar to thunder, and the rush of wind that follows is enough to ruffle the hair, blow around the requisite Gotham Trash and in totality differentiate this particular grimy road from the umpteen others.

Appearing in the sky and floating down as if some sort of returning deity, the flying blonde form of Power Girl arrives, arms folded, in as intimidating a fashion as she can. Drifting towards the front of the sleigh that carries the Clown Princess of Crime. Her intent, of course, to interpose herself into its path. If the hostages don't stop, they'll run right into her.

"Okay. Fun's over. I haven't had dinner yet, so I'd appreciate if we just wrapped this up really quickly, so I could get on with my night."


Several six-footer trees crawl away from Jason Todd, the Red Hood. These mutilated victims of modern capitalism still have tinsel and questionable light strings attached to them, and they are almost certainly guilty of something. This is the lesson Jason might have learned from his parents - alone - in Crime Alley -

Wrong one.

When Jason peels out and gets on the street, he can see there are Christmas trees emerging from essentially every alleyway. It is very clear where there are apartments or luxury urban living optional spaces, because those areas have slightly more, and smaller, trees, as opposed to more genuinely retail-oriented locations, which do not. Even so, he can see a good two dozen trees.

There is also a red light.

He could run the red light. Nobody's coming, and the slithering boughs are occluding the walkways. (A truck is honking at them.)

But would running the red light… compromise his morals? (Jason is also three blocks west of the convergence point, and given that these are moving Christmas trees, it's pretty easy to see where they're all going. They just aren't moving that fast. So they aren't there yet… but if he looks in his rear view mirror…)

-=-=-=-

"Harley! Where did you get those?!" Ivy cries out in delight as she sees her round about the corner with her minions in train. "Hello, boys!"

Then there is a sudden descent of a blonde woman.

Poison Ivy finds herself with Power Girl between herself and Harley Quinn.

She sucks in a deep breath and gnashes her teeth. It's a literal gnashing. Her jaws tighten. If her teeth were probably not exactly the standard ivories now she might have broken off a crown. But she stills herself because she's *behind* Power Girl. She raises one hand to signal to Harley, winks, and puts finger to her lips, before she turns to face that great tree nearby. She gesticulates as if acting for the cheap seats.

A sprig of holly erupts into overgrown bloom. It elongates in the air and then twists on itself, compacting downwards. It falls and Poison Ivy catches it carefully, raising it up to smear a fractally-distilling paste of the berries on her lips.

After this she begins approaching Power Girl. She's still smiling.

(She does not see Jason.)

——

"I already hate Christmas. This is not helping."

The Red Hood decides that some of these damn trees need to go. And if they're going to go they might as well go while he's trying to get to where they are headed. He knows Gotham probably better than Batman himself so he's already pinpointed the possible location of convergence in his brain. So he just turns his cycle at the sign of the red light and makes some serious revving noises towards the nearest trees in his path.

Yup. Time to run over as many Christmas Trees as humanly possible. While also putting some space between himself and whatever shenanigans that be showing up in his mirrors.

… Wonder how many points he scores for each tree death?


Harley Quinn doesn't show any signs of slowing as her stuffed reindeer mannequins bob in the back. It's her hostages, however, that jingle in their hastily modified harnesses. She would, perhaps, answer Ivy except there's a distraction.

When Power Girl descends, Quinn glances over her shoulder, and then back. She grins harder.

"I don't know who ya are, but I definitely know ya ain't the boss of me…. so how about…" Her teeth are bared, feral and sharp and menacing. "/No./"

Her whip cracks again in the air. "KEEP IT GOIN' BOYS!"

——

Unbeknownst to Ivy, Power Girl is paying plenty of attention to what's going on behind her. However, at best, Ivy presents a threat that Karen imagines is only the most minimal of minimal. It's not a lack of awareness- but instead, confidence. Karen doesn't know how Ivy will come at her, nor is she aware of what sort of weapon she'll be using. She just doesn't consider her enough of a threat to investigate further. Such are the mindsets you can cultivate in Metropolis. If the fight didn't start with someone throwing a car at you, everything else just lacks that sort of gravitas.

"Yeah. Okay. Sure. Hard way it is."

The darkness of Gotham is rather suddenly alight with a shade of red that is definitely not supposed to be there, as the blonde's eyes erupt. Narrow beams, focused down to the point of pins, burst forth, and rake their way towards the only target of proper value, the reins coming from Harley's hand. It's not the most direct way to stop the woman- and it doesn't do anything but the threat she's so brazenly disregarding behind her- but it is one of the safest. It at least means the hostages are in /less/ danger.

——

The Red Hood snaps into action. He is able to run down the Christmas trees despite their -

-

We're going to be honest with you, dear reader, that while their slow sussurous motion across the pavement has a very ominous character, the trees themselves are not a direct threat unless you are a really slow moving individual or have a lethal allergy to pine needles. The motorcycle drives over one with a sharp stark CRACK! Then another! One of the upright ones is run down by this act of vehicular crimeocide!

The trees he runs over seem to stop moving. He could probably assemble a barricade of sorts if he keeps at it. But perhaps there is a greater problem at play…

POISON IVY steps forwards. When she sees the scintillant red force coming out of Power Girl's eyes she grimaces for a moment, because her exciting plan is rather ruined, unless she'd like to vaporize her head, of course.

This impairs her mood.

That makes her angry. But she's right behind the blonde bombshell. She can't just speak aloud to her. She can't just DECLARE her feelings, and that makes her angry to the Nth degree!

Ivy spits in her hand, squeezes the shed and refined macro toxin compound - the seven times seven distillate of force-grown holly berries - and steps forwards three more steps to slip her hand forwards. The scheme: To smear this "kill several large whales" density phytotoxin across the mouth of Power Girl.

LESS HELPFULLY AND FURTHER COMPLICATING MATTERS: The inflow of discarded Christmas trees that are NOT being systematically broken by Jason Todd - i.e. the ones coming from the other direction - are starting to form a veritable tide, straightening up in a horrid mockery of a pop-up forest or an animate nursery. Tree supports tree, bough supports bough, and they seem to be swirling forwards to find their place in this world.

The tide has not yet reached the mall shops but it's enough of a near thing that there are several timely screams and at least one stolen order of coffee at the Peet's. WHO IS THE REAL CRIMINAL HERE? (probably Ivy, she stole that fur coat and emptied the register)

——

Red Hood finally makes his arrival more apparent since he's finished mowing down useless trees that nobody wanted in the first place. Why does Gotham even allow trees? There's too much grimey city blocks to be worried about… ugh… nature.

However, pulling into the area on his cool modded out red motorcycle of Bat Mockery is probably less impressive than Power Girl's arrival of doom. But he can see what's going on and it looks a lot like a giant Tree-dal Wave and Power Girl's eye lasers and Harley Quinn on a sleigh… what in the Belfry?

"I shoulda' stopped for popcorn." Red Hood parks his cycle and swings his feet up to get more comfortable. "This is either gonna' be really hilarious or a clusterf—"

RANDOM CAR HORN! What? It's Gotham.

——

One minute, Harley is happily driving down the road in her sleigh with her grenade-laden team of hostages.

The next minute, there's suddenly red eye beams shooting down at her, and destroying her reins. And the tether for the harness binding men to her desires.

"HEY!" bellows Harley angrily as said hostages start to scatter in multiple directions and take with them roughly two dozen of her explosives. In her fury, Quinn is soon hurling her now-impotent ring at Power Girl. "WHO ASKED YA TO COME ANYWAY, YA KNOCK OFF SUPERMAN?" A styrofoam reindeer goes flying at Power Girl next, paper mache horns first. "GETCHER ASS OUTTA GOTHAM! NO ONE WANTS YA HERE!"

She crosses her arms smugly at that. "And there, children. Now ya know, reindeer really know how to fly."

And of course, all of this fuss is in no way an attempt to keep the attention on herself so her BFF can get the drop on the super-powered dufus.


Fortunately for Power Girl, her Kryptonian physiology renders her immune to most terrestrial diseases and poisons. It's pretty wonderful, really, to be able to more or less just /do/ whatever you want. This allows her to stand there, much akin to a building, as the hostages flee and Harley pelts her with various objects, many of which are the most comical, perhaps, she's ever had thrown at her.

If she had sleeves, she might even roll them up. Now it's time to get to real -work.-

Unfortunately for Karen, however, this is not the first time that someone has unimpeachably compared her to several large whales. The sneak attack- or, rather, "Sneak Indirect Kiss"- is highly successful in multiple ways. Hanging off of the six-foot-three blonde, Ivy might almost look rather hilarious, as Karen refuses to budge, and the green woman smears something across her face. Veins, in fact, begin to push against her skin, turning jet black beneath her features as the poison gets to work- and work it does.

This is good! For Ivy. What's bad for Ivy is that in order to get there she has to essentially climb to the super woman's shoulders, and that even on humans, the poison isn't necessarily instantaneous. Her hands shoot up in an instant, and go for the green arms of her assailant. They'll be like vices, and if they find their mark, the effortless full-body -throw- that Power Girl performs is technically impressive, as she'd reunite her with Harley by no small amount of force.

This is the -most- she'll do, though. The exertion of it is enough that Power Girl can't regain her balance quite as quickly, and she stumbles, falling to one knee and, surprisingly, breathing rather heavily. No more lasers, not for now, but she didn't just die instantly. So there's that.


The Red Hood draws closer - closer yet! The motorcycle pulls up onto a small rise that is meant to encourage people to not just drive their motorcycles into the open air pedestrian mall, which seems to fulfill its purpose.

Ivy, of course, doesn't notice the Red Hood right away. (Behind him, the tree-wave begins to scrunch up, more like a train derailment in slow and pine-scented motion. Good work, chum!) He is, of course, in good sight of things and may be able to step in at a critical time.

Which may be important because Power Girl has been POISONED! Poison Ivy would crow and exult in triumph as the condensed dosage of Earth's alkaloids take their toll on her yellow-sun-powered blonde ambitions, but there is a greater problem. Poison Ivy is, perhaps, fifteen percent stronger and tougher than a reasonably athletic vegetarian woman from Seattle should be…

… which is not a great percentage when she is abruptly flipped in the direction of Harley, the tails of her stolen mink coat fluttering as she does. She tucks in her legs a moment before she ends up deflecting partway off Harley, smashing into the skeletal bones of her peers. The wood cracks beneath Poison Ivy's non-trivial weight and velocity.

Fortunately, she can't hear it scream. It's too long dead.

"I'd wondered a little if that would work," Poison Ivy says, voice slightly cracked with pain. "But it seems like it's doing well enough." She pulls herself upright, tossing her hair back, letting the mink fall down round to her bicep as she curls her lip again, enjoying, maybe, the slight and transient height advantage of the sleight vis-a-vis Power Girl's agonizing death. "Maybe you'd like an antidote. Maybe you can learn to say PLEASE. But you're probably listening, so here's the story."

"Trees don't celebrate Christmas," she tells Power Girl. "They don't celebrate Hannukah. Or Eid, or Diwali or anything." Ivy reaches over then, offering an arm to Harley if she needs it, or wants it, but she doesn't look away. Maybe this is courage, or guilt.

(Meanwhile the trees actually do start to press against shop windows and doors. Others are spreading out, though. It's a close-knit forest community… and there's a subtle crackling of concrete.)

"Imagine it," she says. "You grow in your silence and your beauty for year after year, in communion with your siblings, just soaking up the steadily intensifying rays of the sun, drinking the water. Maybe some part of you misses the forest you should be in, the complex community, but this isn't so bad, is it? You're not sick, you're not being eaten by a deer. It's great. It's wonderful and peaceful until one day -"

Poison Ivy snaps her fingers. "Down you go."

"You're cut off. Imagine it, like you're poisoned right now, right? You're slowly strangling. Strangling even as you're put on life support, if you're lucky. Strangling as you move around, travelling an impossible distance in what is, to you, a blink of an eye. A moment later and you're somewhere else, an artificial middle spring where you're covered in things as you're DYING and they're all AROUND you and you have to WATCH and you FEEL it and then maybe you have the hopeful thought to send out a few little shoots,"

Ivy is now shouting. "AND THEN THEY THROW YOU AWAY, POWER GIRL!"

"Just like they'll throw YOU away," she concludes, "when there's no more use for YOU."

She tosses her hair again.

The jewelry in her extremely stolen purse jingles.

Ivy seems to sense this, perhaps through her sense of hearing, and says, "And if I help myself to the fruits of this rotten system along the way, is it any more than what these innocent trees deserve? They can't run away - not without my help - and I can't be everywhere at once. Do you have anything else to say for yourself?"

(She murmurs to Harley as she leans nearer to her, "If I cure her, she owes me, right?" Her eyes don't leave the Kryptonian as she says this. Hopefully nobody strikes her.)


Ivy only glances against Harley, and really does particularly little in the way of actual damage. The issue is more that she weighs quite a bit more than a creature who has been a gymnast by trade - well, supervillain / gymnast, FINE, don't be so judgy!!! - and the glance catching her off-guard is enough to send a tantruming Harley backwards over the back of the mall sleigh's bench and leave her feet pointing in the air comedically.

Fortunately, Ivy is there to help her back up, and the clown takes the hand offered to her gratefully. "Ohmigawd," Quinn grouses as she tugs her fur-trimmed hood back into place. "I hate out-of-towners! But it's fine."

Harley doesn't seem to mind being in the back of the sleigh, and she rustles around for a moment before hauling up a grenade launcher onto her shoulder and squinting as she takes aim. Towards Power Girl, of course. "Because I'm gonna send her back out of town. NO ONE TREATS MY FRIENDS LIKE THAT. So jes' smile pretty fer the crosshairs, ya dingbat!"


In the distance, atop the mall across from the empty lot, there is a here-and-there glint. Light, flashing off something atop the roof.

It's small, easily missed in between the greater amount of pyrotechnics flying back and forth between the various aggressors in the lot. That's because it's no more than light reflecting off the scope of a sniper rifle.

Hunkered down quietly on the rooftop, the Winter Soldier has been watching this engagement through his scope for the last ten minutes, at least.

He doesn't appear to have seen anything that he judges to really require his intervention, though he might be recording notes on the altercation for the friendly spyfolks back home (tm). In fact, by all rights he should have left already after five minutes. But there's one person here of a little more interest to him…

His scope tracks across Harley Quinn, and focuses in on her leveling a grenade launcher at a Kryptonian.

"Looks to me like you're doing the same as ever, Quinn," he murmurs to himself, in a tone that lands somewhere between sardonic amusement and avuncular head-shaking.


Squandering opportunities happens to be an incredible talent of the effortlessly villainous. Ivy, of course, is not necessarily -effortlessly- villainous, so this is not as fortuitous for Power Girl as it would normally be. Luckily for the duo, it's also not in the grotesquely, perpetually sunny Metropolis.

Wheezing somewhat pathetically on one knee, Karen's blonde hair frames her features inelegantly, drooping and hiding most of her face as her body wrestles with enough toxin to kill most local wildlife, at once. Even so, she is not -dead-, something that probably ought not to inspire confidence. Especially as, the longer Ivy's speech goes on, the less horribly belabored her breathing is.

Still, one of the two is not willing to give her time to recover. Harley, ever ready to bring explosives to a fistfight, fishes out the grenade launcher from the sleigh and in that moment Power Girl speaks. It's low, and difficult- as, after all, she is still very much poisoned.

"Yeah, sure. Everyone else gets the hammer. I get high-explosive armor-piercing."

Much of that is more thought than word, but regardless of her current difficulties, Power Girl has that annoying kryptonian genetic tendency to just. Never. Stay. DOWN. With effort, her leg presses towards the ground, and forces herself into a shaky upright stand. She can't do much else, but she can stand. Unlike Clark, where she's going to get shot is a whole lot less heroic, but at least, for the moment, she looks it.

——

The grenade launcher swings wide.

That's all it takes, really.

The grenade launcher swings just a few degrees away from Power Girl as Quinn gets it into place, and the scope catches a glint where it shouldn't be on the mall's rooftop. She tries to focus it on Power Girl - and does, for a moment - but then compulsion sends her racing the scope back to where she saw it. And she catches sight of one Winter Soldier and immediately her entire demeanor changes.r
He's here. She knows. He's here. She knows. Satan knows. Satan knows. He's here…

The treacherous twists and turns of Quinn's brain - a little conditioning here, a little rebellion there, a smattering of trauma that paints itself across it all - are unpredictable on her best days. And today, Winter Soldier will see as Harley Quinn actually falters as the world suddenly seems to go silent and still around her. The grenade launcher is dropped and miraculously fails to fire as it thuds against the ground. She drops to her knees in the back of the sleigh, hands racing up inside her hood and fingers knitting against the back of her head as she squeezes her eyes tightly shut with a faint and altogether uncharacteristic whimper.

For this is how worlds end. Not with a bang, but a…

——

Poison Ivy doesn't see the man on the roof. One day this is going to get her killed.

She's focused of course on Power Girl, who to be fair is probably more of a threat to her in many senses than a guy with a gun. That guy could shoot her, but she might be able to survive that - Power Girl could throw her to the moon or something. (She thinks?)

"You can't say we didn't think of you," she says to Power Girl, when—

— something goes wrong. Ivy *does* pay attention to Harley. The joy is draining out of her. She touches Harley's arm, wordlessly, even as her eyes turn back to Power Girl and she sucks in a deep breath. "But I think we've said enough. BAH HUMBUG, Gotham! One day -"

The ground rumbles a little.

"It's going to be your turn."

There is an extremely small earthquake beneath the sleigh - it's not an earthquake at all, it's a sudden vibration in a permeated root structure that this road was abso-god-damn-lutely not meant to handle. Dust rises from layers of startled accumulated urbanity, a momentary shroud of technosols that come along with a slight and terrifying slump in the adjacent Peet's that makes for a thin scream of trapped baristas. While a coffee jockey's life may not be worth living, it remains a life -

And the sleigh, now unbound, falls into the void. Roots hold it - almost passing it down before they break, like ghostly mesh - down past ancient pipes long abandoned, through rotting brickwork…

("Come on. Bring the bag. Light up the sleigh—")

The cheap wooden construct, in its festivity and its ignition, is fragrant with balsam and cedar, despite neither plant being involved in its construction. One last gift, perhaps, from the mistress of plants.

And as for the Christmas trees, most of them lay mute, especially the ones that the Red Hood intercepted. It could have been far worst, because the root - forgive the expression - of Poison Ivy's scheme is apparent: one tree, one with an intact root ball, has grown its way firmly into the side of a LexBank outlet.

The web of roots that buoyed this apparent escape, though, came from that single staid sentinel - the one Ivy spoke to aloud, not so long ago.

Whose side is that tree on?


The Soldier registers Harley's reaction. It doesn't particularly surprise him, though it does create a small note in his mind for later, that is filed neatly away.

A conversation for later — perhaps. She dropped the weapon and hid too quickly for him to even shake his head in her direction.

For now, a judicious change of location. The dossiers included several important relationship details, which make leaving his position — and probably the entire vicinity! — an extremely wise course of action right about now. Quickly, efficiently, he takes down his weapon, packing it away; a moment later, he's loping back across the rooftop, to fade invisibly back into the night.

Though — not before making a pit stop down in the beleaguered mall, to get some of the terrorized people out along the way.


Power Girl is entirely uninvolved in anything that just happened. However, she is not without her knowledge of what transpired- She might not be throwing Ivy to the /sun/- an experience that would definitely be pleasant for the woman for a few moments before it was very, very over- at the moment, but that doesn't mean she can't move. Anything that takes Harley's attention like that is worth her own, for a moment. Hiding is nigh impossible- from this distance she could see the cells in the Soldier's skin without much trouble.

Her attention then snaps back to Harley, who she is certain at this point ought to be unloading a grenade launcher into her chest- an act that she's certain someone would pay money to see, for a number of reasons- and finds the woman cowering in the sleigh. Power Girl takes her first few experimental steps forward, and finds that her legs are supporting her enough to walk, just as the two start to retreat. If she were the boy in blue, she might even let them escape in favor of doing damage control and cleanup- but this particular blonde has been a little bit more than angry at anyone even tangentially related to the Joker. She won't be flying just yet, but she can fall pretty well, and if the fall is long enough, it'll be graceful at the end, but tailing the two of them is going to be an endeavor, especially because Gotham is old enough to just have led in places, many of which make little sense and are likely to vex Power Girl… Though unlikely to stop her.

Foiling Ivy's scheme all the way isn't necessarily her top priority. That's probably because it was a Lexbank.


Down through the earth, roots carried the sleigh at Ivy’s call. It was a surreal experience, truth be told, or would have been if Harley had been in any shape to marvel at it. She squeaked as it started to move, and then crouched down lower to balance herself better.

She should be proud of Ivy’s masterful feat in eluding Power Girl somewhere in the race through terra firma, and say something to that effect.

Instead, she silently cowers in the back of the stolen mall prop with her face set flat against her thighs. Her trembling hands, still slipped up into her hood to weave into her hair hold the back of her head tightly.


It is quiet now. For the moment at least. Quiet enough to talk, and to touch.

“Hey,” Ivy says with a quiet and fundamental intensity.

She reaches out to touch Harley, on the back of the shoulder. A contact that turns into a slight rubbing press.

“Hey,” she says again. Her voice is as soft as a meadow.

(In the back of her heart or what passes for it she curses the world and the prison system and the Joker and a half-dozen poorly formed things.)

“We have to go. I’ll help you,” Ivy says, “but we have to go. Once we ditch her, we can get a car.”

Please, Ivy thinks, unbend, Harleen; just a little.

I hate the holidays, she concludes.


The world inside is so much louder than the one outside as intrusive thoughts crowd out everything else for Harley. She should be dead. She is going to die. She is perhaps dead already. Is this what death is like? To forever remember that last moment and the rush of hellish thoughts that come in it? Choices and people and regrets?

It’s hard to breathe.

But then there’s a tender, reassuring hand upon her shoulder that is louder.

Hesitantly, Quinn lets her hands unknit and release the deathgrip on her scalp so that she can lift her head to peer at Ivy through still-squinted lids. She has all the look of a dog afraid that it’s about to get kicked. It’s a look Ivy will know all too well.

To look at the world around them, changed. There is confusion and surprise that paints her features. Surprise that could easily read as the realization that she’s not where she was when she closed them so tight. Surprise that is really the more acute realization that she is not, in fact, splattered all over the sleigh.

We have to go, Ivy urges, in the voice of angels. Harley’s feet are made of lead in her fear.

I’ll help you, but we have to go.

One shaking hand reaches out for Ivy’s, for that first drop of help to get back to her feet. “O-okay, Red.”

If she doesn’t get up, Ivy’s in trouble. Because Ivy isn’t leaving her. She should, but she isn’t.


There are only so many things Ivy can do. She knows procedures, she knows details. But the best she can do in this exact moment is to breathe out a subtle fragrance, heavy with lavender and undertones of chamomile. This would probably be banned if it were sold in pill form, yet for her money, it's miniscule.

But the best she can do, right now.

She takes that hand and she smiles as best she can, leaning forwards. She brings her other hand round to clasp Harley's; she rises, and if she needs to she pulls, just a little: just enough to get to her feet.

"I'm going to be with you," she says. "Even if we have to split up, I'll find you, alright? I'll lead her off. I have to be vague in case she can hear. Here. Come on. First few steps. We have to get out of the -"

Ivy looks at the sleigh then, and then back to Harley. She makes a play for normalcy. "Wanna light it up first?"


Harley should have taken the shot with the rocket launcher when she had it. But alas, if wishes were plastic Christmas reindeer, then harlequins and their eco-warrior BFFs would fly.

When Ivy pulls her stunt, pulls her up, Harley heaves in a deep, steadying breath. Aromatherapy is kind, and she closes her eyes just long enough to center.

Because she's not dead. For whatever reason, she's not. And Poison Ivy is right, that it leaves the matter of the Kryptonian on their heels. No small problem.

"Yeah," Quinzel says after a last bracing moment against her partner in crime. "I think I do."

Leaning down, she picks up her satchel and tosses it over her shoulder, and then picks up the grenade launcher she'd abandoned upon spying Waller's hound. She hefts it up demonstratively, and then starts to climb down, smiling tightly. "I mean, smithereens is okay, right?"


Those reindeers should be carved from dropped limbs or driftwood, dang it.

Ivy stays close, almost but not quite hand-holding. She lets out a suitable little laugh, and then she says, "Absolutely. If you hit it hard enough, it'll burn, won't it? I always get surprised at just what happens with an explosion. I had to set one up… but I'll tell you that story later." Normality, in its way, airiness, lightness. Ivy strives to project it, aromatically and with tone and poise…

Because, she thinks grimly, what the hell else can I do? Damn you, woman, we couldn't have expected Power Woman or whatever her name is, but -

Ivy bites the corner of her cheek hard enough to taste blood. Something like blood. "Oh," she says, "did you bring a clip? Shoot 'em all, cover our tracks." Her eyes turn upwards. "I didn't know if the holly would work at all. Maybe she'll die."


"Did I bring a clip? 'course not."

Harley smiles with a downright maniacal gleam as she hefts up a long strand of grenades out of her bag. "'Cause this beauty is belt-fed."

Slender shoulders shrug, and then the clown's long two-tailed hood slips back a little as she works. She steps one dainty foot onto the sleigh, using it to prop up her knee so she can rest her weapon and get it loaded up properly. "Ya did good, Red. Go on and get runnin'. I'll be right behind ya. I mean, who knows, dead is good and maybe she's already there. I'm okay blowin' up a spoilsport's corpse. Or near-corpse. Or whatever it is, if she's comin'."


"I," Ivy says.

Her voice falters for a moment.

Horrible guilt stabs into her like a frost. She hates the cruel thoughts she just had. She hates that look of weakness in Harley's eyes from a moment ago. She hates that she hates it.

She coughs into her hand. "Gah! I think she bit me - mm, mmmhmhmhm," she says, and she is able to push herself so that when she looks back up her eyes have that vaguely Crawfordian narrow confidence and her lips have that tight, sly grin to them. "You'll know where to find me," she says, and she turns and she goes towards the left, kicking off her heels as she goes to make less noise. Of course there's going to be a much larger noise in just a moment.

When she hears the explosions Ivy thinks to herself: I should've stayed.

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