Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gotham Rain: Chapter 4

     Harley slumped against the balcony of the penitentiary, all the fight having gone out of her. It had been so long since she'd been separated from Joker that she'd forgotten how to act on her own initiative. As she listened to the motor of the GCPD boat pulling away from the asylum docks, her head sank between her knees and she sobbed softly to herself. At that moment, nothing made sense. Nothing mattered to her. Her heart was gone, torn from her chest and strapped to a stretcher on its way to a maximum security hospital somewhere. Nothing mattered. Nothing at all, except... Harley opened her eyes and tilted her head slightly, catching a bit of green shifting. Ivy was stirring.

     Harley uncurled herself from the balcony wall and cradled Ivy for a moment, sensing something shift in her. All the chaos was falling away, and a moment of clarity struck her: she couldn't leave Ivy here alone. The Titan formula had poisoned her connection to the plant life, and Ivy would wither and grow weak, maybe even die... if she was even capable of dying. Harley wasn't sure anymore. Ivy hadn't exactly been classifiable as human for a while now.

     "C'mon, Pammy, up you go," Harley grunted as she threw Ivy's arm over her shoulder and lifted. "We're bustin outta here. Or what's left'a here, anyway. Mistah J didn't really leave much of it standing, did he? He was always thorough like that."

     The two stumbled down the stairs towards the water. All of the GCPD officers were off the pier, so it was a clear path from the penitentiary to the water's edge. The women stepped over the bodies of inmates and patients along the way, carefully picking their way through bits of building that had been blown clear from the structure. They stopped at the water's edge, Harley unsure of what to do and Ivy still groggy.

    "Nutso. No boats. No helicopters. Not even a moped with floaties superglued to it," Harley muttered.

     "Stand... back, Harley. Stand back," Ivy managed. Her eyes rolled back into her head as she summoned the last of her strength. Vines started creeping towards them from the water, off of the nearby fountain, from around the pillars holding up the docks. They began to interlace, carrying bits of branch and wood with them. A shape began to take form, a little pod of plant matter, with the harder materials fusing together and the softer vines near the back of it. "It won't be dry, but it will take our weight," Ivy said, her voice growing weak. As the pod took its final shape, she collapsed, Harley barely managing her catch her.

     "Alright, Pammy! Now that's what I call traveling in style!" Harley sounded almost happy for a moment, her sense of loss momentarily forgotten in her care for her friend. She hauled Ivy's unconscious form onto the pod as its petal-like structure closed over them. Then the vines at the end began to twitch, and the pod slowly moved away from the shore. The momentum of the waves pushed its along the shoreline North towards Miagami Island and Gotham City's southern coast.

Harley peered through a crack in the canopy, back at the Asylum, and sighed sadly. She looked at Ivy, barely breathing and completely motionless. She'd never seen Ivy so weak. Considering how far behind she'd left being human, she wasn't even sure what kind of condition Ivy was in.

     Now that they'd made it off the island, her mind started running at full speed. There were only so many maximum security hospitals, and they'd never take Joker to anything less. She'd hit a safe house, then she'd hit the hospital and get him back. They'd be safe, they'd be together, and he'd forgive her for letting him down.

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