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let nothing you dismay
Thanks to Te for encouragement. A present for Livia, Christmas 2003.

It's not that she blames Mr. J for not having an escape plan. Course not. That's just the way puddin' is, and it's her job to think of these things when he doesn't, but they both just got so excited about Vegas that they forgot. Can't blame a girl, can you, for overlooking the little details when she's going to get to drive the whole world crazy?

But it's cold, it's really cold, and she doesn't even have a jacket.

Hitchhiking isn't the nicest way to travel, either. A lot of the guys who pick her up seem to have the nuttiest ideas, and she's just not that kind of girl.

Sex is about love, she knows this. It's why she and Mr. J don't always...because he's a man, and he has a hard time admitting his feelings, even if that hurts her feelings a tiny bit.

Anyway, if she hadn't been planning on killing the drivers before, after a few of them tried the rough stuff...Three dead guys in three states, and it's not even any fun, not a caper, just heavy bodies to dump in ditches. This is what life is like on your own, and Harley hates it. Not as much as she hates Arkham, though--nasty place where they don't appreciate Mr. J or her, you'd think they'd admit that she was the best person to know if she was crazy or not--so she hunches her shoulders in her shirt and continues to stroll back and forth across the truck stop parking lot.

At least the Christmas lights the diner put up are cheery, flashing red green blue orange red green blue orange over and over again. If she ever gets home, she's going to have every color lights, maybe even invent some colors to make them in. Everything will have to be nice for when puddin' comes back. And he will come back. That stuff about him being catatonic, that's just lies. They've never understood him, never. Mr. J could never lose to a little girl.

But first she has to get home, and she believes in keeping your chin up, but she doesn't know where home is. Gotham is still half a country away, and who'll play with her when she gets there?

She shoves her hands in her pockets and starts to sing. No particular words, just something to show that she's not scared, she's not tired, and the world will hear from them again, you betcha. It helps, too. She starts to swing her arms and skip as she croons, and she's so into it that she almost doesn't notice it as the lights from the diner grow muffled and dim, their reflections on the pavement quenched.

She turns her head, and there's leaves growing and twining and twisting around the lights, bringing her part of the lot into darkness. Her heart jumps as she stops and turns back towards the road. Things always work out if you don't let them get to you.

A convertible pulls up to the curb. "Need a lift?" asks the driver, all husky and honey-soft, and flicks a cigarette lighter on. In the wavering shadows she can see pretty pretty Ivy, elegant like an old movie with her gorgeous red hair all wrapped up in a kerchief.

"If you're going my way, mister," she giggles.

"Gotham or bust," Ivy declares, and Harley cheers and leaps into the car. Once in, she snuggles up to Ivy as best she can with the gearshift in the way. Ivy's the way she always is, warm and smelling like the most expensive flowers. She puts her arm around Harley's shoulders like old times and squeezes before they pull off into the darkness. Ivy always understands.

Harley will be Ivy's kind of girl any day.


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