Originally published 04/13/01.
It's Saturday morning, and dawn glows through the leafy vines climbing the trellis outside the window. Stained green, the light falls across Harley's face. Mumbling, she turns her head into the pillow. It's too early, and it always wakes her up like this. But Ivy needs the natural light, and they don't need curtains out here, really. Harley and Ivy are the only two people on this tiny, terrible island, far out in Gotham Sound.
With a sigh, Harley peers through half-closed eyelids at her bedmate. Ivy wakes more slowly than Harley; she's hardly begun to stir. Her back is turned to Harley, one raw, faintly green shoulder hunched in and over, shielding the face hidden by a fall of red hair like the petals of an unopened rose.
Harley runs her finger over her mouth thoughtfully. Ivy always makes a big breakfast on Saturdays, and she lets Harley eat in the living room, sitting on the floor in front of the TV. Saturday morning used to be the best, but Harley doesn't look forward to the cartoons like she used to. Not any more.
On Saturdays, Harley has to get her shots, and Pamela-- Ivy-- makes breakfast because she's sorry. She lets Harley watch stupid cartoons all day because she's sorry. She goes out to the greenhouse, locks the door from the inside, and turns the overhead misters on. She weeds all day, viciously, working without gloves, and comes back in with scratches on her fingers and mud under her split, ragged nails. It doesn't have anything to do with Harley. Weeding is something that has to be done.
When Ivy comes in, glittering and wet, she smells so good. Fresh, green and lovely, like the island after it rains. She won't let Harley touch her.
Harley wishes she didn't have to get the shots. They're icky and they hurt. But she has to. For Ivy. Last Saturday she almost forgot what day it was. Laughed too hard at Freakazoid and knocked an entire glass of beet juice onto the rug. Clank. Splash. The whole house seemed to go silent, except for the cartoon voices chattering crazily. It was one of those moments when Harley realizes exactly where she is: in an abandoned Coast Guard station house in the middle of the jungle in the middle of the ocean no one around for miles-- but Ivy just went to the fridge and poured her another glass, then grabbed a dishtowel and started mopping up. When Harley moved to help, Ivy shot her a hard look. "Watch your show."
Carefully, Harley relaxed back onto the couch. Freakazoid was singing.
Ten chubby angels
With big fat wings
Too heavy to fly
They crash into things.
Harley watched, and laughed. And laughed. And drank her juice, and ate the homemade blueberry muffin. Every bite.
You wouldn't think Ivy was the muffin-making type. But she's a great cook. She's so smart. She invented the serum that keeps Harley safe around her, lets Harley live on the toxic, contaminated island that Ivy's slowly turning back into a paradise. Ivy can't be poisoned by anything, so it's just Harley who needs the serum. It makes her a little dizzy sometimes, and she gets headaches, but she can live on the island and she can touch Ivy-- Pam-- and even the side effects aren't so bad as long as she gets the injection on a full stomach.
Harley doesn't know why it's that way. All that science stuff is Ivy's deal. It doesn't matter anyway. It's Saturday, and there's a routine. Pancakes. TV. Rolling up her sleeve, squirming around, wincing while Ivy gives her the shot.
Every Saturday Harley tells herself to be brave for Pammie. She's Harley Quinn, mistress of mischief. She's faced scarier stuff than one itty bitty shot. But she just can't help it. She squirms and whines as Ivy gets the needle ready, and squeals like a baby when it goes in her arm. And Pam's face goes all cold, and she goes outside and weeds.
Sundays are quiet, but not as bad as Saturdays are. Mondays are mostly okay. On Mondays Ivy starts smiling again. Little, secret smiles, when she thinks Harley's not looking. By Tuesday she's usually back to wearing flowers in her hair, and that's when Harley knows everything's going to be fine.
But the good times only last so long. Because the shots wear off. And Ivy gets cold. So, as dawn breaks further across the bed and Ivy begins to stir, Harley moves, sliding gracefully over to Ivy's side of the bed. Tipping her head, she slips her tongue past Ivy's lips. Licks her own fingers. Reaches down and slicks them into that red jungle of curls.
A tingle burns across Harley's fingers, stronger down there but the same everywhere skin touches skin. It's only like this when the serum is close to wearing off. The tingle is poison, her precious poison Pammie's lovely body trying, unconsciously, wordlessly, to kill her. Harley's touch is foriegn, she's an invader. Ivy has unnatural defenses against that kind of thing. Poisons, toxins, acids, paralytics. And Pamela has her own defenses, too, which is why on Saturday mornings, Harley has to start the fun while her thorny, horny baby's still half asleep. Ivy's head tosses once on her pillow, and Harley smiles. Touches and strokes and snuggles her sleeping sweetie till Ivy, waking, aching, has no choice but to open that poison-bright mouth, spread those long-stemmed legs and let Harley burn.
"Rosebud," Harley whispers from between Ivy's thighs, and laughs quietly, and kisses her, kisses her, kisses her there. Who cares if her mouth is going to feel raw for the rest of the day? Ivy will never hear her complain. Pammie makes Harley queasy, dizzy, achy in a way that's got nothing to do with poison. Pain and pity. A long-stemmed rose. Beginnings are like that. That's how Harley knows what this is. She's not as smart as Ivy, maybe, but she's not stupid either. She knows this feeling. It's love.
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