Disclaimer: Batman: The Animated Series and all the characters used herein are not mine. They are copyrighted to DC Comics and Time-Warner. I am using them without permission and making no profit off of them. I figure since no one else is using them, I might as well. As for the profit thing, well, that's life.

Bad Girls Have Birthdays, Too
By Smitty

“Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!” Harley Quinn sang as she skipped about the room, randomly tacking streamers to the wall. Finished with her roll of crepe paper, she began rubbing balloons on the carpet to create static electricity and sticking them to anywhere they would stay. “Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeEEEEEE!” She held a hand to her mouth and her eyes widened comically as a glass broke. “Happy Birthday to me,” she finished contritely.

“Careful, Harley,” Poison Ivy smiled from across the room, where she was creating an ivy banner that read Happy Birthday Harley! “Or we won't have anything to drink out of when the party starts.”

“Sorry, Red,” Harley said, blushing sweetly. “I'm just so gee-darn excited! My first birthday with my puddin'…” She sighed happily, leaning her cheek against her clasped hands.

Poison Ivy just shook her head. “You just watch out for that…clown,” she warned. “Men can be awfully…well, two-faced, sometimes.”

“That's 'cause you dated all the bad pennies,” Harley declared. “They weren't like my puddin'!”

Poison Ivy smiled sadly. “No,” she agreed. “They definitely weren't like your puddin'.”

Suddenly the doors blew open, slamming against the walls of the little warehouse, ruffling the decorations and causing some of the balloons to go flying. Another glass broke. The Joker and his henchmen ran into the building and started scrambling for backup weapons.

“Puddin'!” Harley cried, clapping her hands. “You're early!”

“It's Batman and Robin,” the Joker snarled as he stuffed gas grenades in his pants pocket and started clipping more poison flower to his lapel. “They're not going to win this one!”

Poison Ivy eyed her banner, which was shriveling and dying amongst the commotion going on around them.

“Batman and Robin?” Harley asked, one hand to her open mouth.

“When I'm through with them, even my special piranha's won't want them!” the Joker shouted, charging out the door again, followed by his cronies.

Harley looked sadly at her drooping party favors. “They'll be back,” she assured Ivy. “As soon as they take care of that mean ol' Batman and Robin.”

“I'm sure,” Ivy replied cynically, crossing her arms.

Batman and Robin touched down on the street as the Joker and his men reappeared.

“C'mon boys!” the insane clown cackled. “Let's turn the Flying Rat and his Boy Blunder into confetti!”

Batman and Robin split, each diving to a different side of the street. Once under cover, Robin swung his bolas and threw, snaring two of the Joker's henchmen. He threw a Batarang at a place over the Joker's head and swung into the fray.

Batman punched a thug into unconsciousness and threw another one over his head. “Turn yourself in, Joker,” he demanded.

“Never!” the Clown Prince of Crime screeched, throwing a gas bomb at the Dark Knight.

Batman immediately lifted his arm, using his Kevlar-lined cape to block the gas and threw a sparking detonator toward the Joker. The gas suddenly ignited, burning up the deadly chemicals and blowing out the windows of the warehouse. The Joker made a run for the door, but Robin snared him in the line of a perfect Batarang throw.

“C'mon, Harley,” Poison Ivy hissed, grabbing Harley's arm. “We have to get out of here.”

“But…” Harley waffled, looking over her shoulder at her ruined party. “…my party! And Mr. J!”

“You can't do them any good from inside Arkham,” Ivy hissed, dragging Harley out a fire door. “C'mon.”

Once out of the building, Harley turned around and ran after Poison Ivy until they were several blocks away, safely hidden in Robinson Park.

Ivy spun around, reaching out to all the plant life residing in the park.

Harley kicked a discarded soda can. “It's my party and I'll cry if I want to,” she sang sadly, then burst into tears.

“Harley!” Poison Ivy turned her attention from her plants to the sobbing girl before her.

“I…I just…hic…” Harley sat down on a stump, her knees knocking together. “I was just really looking forward to my first birthday with my puddin'…”

Ivy turned her head just enough that Harley did not see her roll her eyes.

“Harley,” she said, softly, sitting down on the tree stump next to her friend. “I really don't think the Joker is all that good for you. I mean—“

“You don't know nuttin'!” Harley protested, scrubbing at her eyes.

“I do know,” Ivy insisted. “And besides, that's a double negative.” She sighed and patted Harley's shoulder. “Why don't you get some sleep? The plants will protect you. I've got some things to do, but I'll be back in a few hours, all right?”

“O…ok…” Harley nodded tearily.

“Good girl.” Ivy secreted a little bit of opium…just enough to make Harley sleepy and quietly left the park.

“Pam.”

“Harvey.”

“You got business here?”

“Yeah. I do.”

“What do you want?”

“A favor.”

“From me?”

“It's not for me.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Rise and shine.”

Every shade in Selina Kyle's penthouse apartment flew to the top of the window, letting the early morning sunlight pour though the plexiglass.

“Augggghhhh!” Selina clawed for another pillow, hiding her face when she found one. “What are you doing, Ivy?”

“I need your help.” Poison Ivy stood in the bath of sunlight, her features shadowed by the brightness behind her.

“What's in it for me?”

“Batman will probably show up.”

“And that's a good thing?”

The two women shared a knowing glance.

“Give me an hour to get a shower and get dressed. Then we'll talk.”

At dusk that evening, Batman and Robin landed on the roof of the Gotham City Police Department and were met with a very grumpy Police Commissioner.

“There was a breakout at Arkham today,” Gordon reported.

“In broad daylight?” Robin asked, surprised.

“Yes,” Gordon replied. “The guards and staff all 'fell asleep' and the locks were picked. Everyone escaped.”

“Everyone?” Batman growled.

“Well, that's the funny thing,” Gordon admitted. “Everyone except the Joker. He was still in his cell.”

“Everyone except the Joker?” Robin exclaimed. “That sounds fishy.”

“They were all asleep?” Batman clarified.

“Yep.” Gordon sounded disgusted. “All woke up feeling 'quite refreshed'. We did a blood test and came up with nothing.”

“We're on it,” Robin assured him.

“They'll be back before dawn,” Batman promised.

“It's just a little further, Harley,” Ivy urged her, pushing the younger woman's shoulders in the right direction.

“But I'm tired Red,” Harley's wispy voice complained. “And I can't see where I'm going.”

“That's why I tied the handkerchief around your eyes,” Ivy explained, rolling her own eyes. “So you couldn't see…because it's a surprise…”

“Oh…I love surprises.”

“I know.

Ivy opened the door and grabbed Harley's elbow before she slammed into the doorframe. She shoved the girl into the room and sighed in relief. “Ok, take off the mask,” she said, pleased with the way the place looked.

Harley slowly tugged the flowered handkerchief over her head.

“SURPRISE!!!”

Harley's hands flew to her face. Surrounding her were all her old friends…Dr. Crane, and Ozzie Cobblepot, and Two-Face and the Ventriloquist and Scarface and Selina Kyle and Clayface and Killer Croc and even that sweet Mr. Nygma. The room was filled with balloons and streamers and yummy looking food and even a game of pin-the-bullet-on-Batman.

“You love me…” Harley trembled. “You really, really love me!”

“Of course we do, silly,” Ivy told her, squeezing her shoulder. “See? You can have a great birthday without that leech.”

“Yeah…” Harley realized slowly. “I can.” She did a series of pirouettes across the floor and then a series of back handsprings. “Wow!” she exclaimed, landing in front of the food table. “Look at all this stuff. Even a cake! What flavor is it?” She looked in askance at the assembled villains.

“Chocolate,” Two-Face told her. “And vanilla.”

“My favorite!” Harley squealed. “Gosh…” She looked around at her assembled friends. “You guys are the best friends a girl could have.”

“That's the place, Batman,” Robin reported. “Every escaped villain, plus Two-Face, Catwoman, and Harley and Ivy are in there.”

In response, Batman stood and fired off a jumpline.

“Wait up!” Robin protested scrambling to his feet and tucking the Batnoculars away.

Without a word of acknowledgement, Batman dove from the stone gargoyle on which he had crouched and swung toward the building in question.

“And once again, the Boy Wonder is behind the power curve,” Robin sighed, firing off his own jumpline and following Batman down into the park. He landed beside his mentor in a tree branch above the greenhouse, where they could look down on the villains who were undoubtedly…having a party? “Are they doing what I think they're doing?' he asked Batman.

Batman studied the proceedings beneath him and nodded, slowly. Indeed, it did appear that the villains were gathered for a social occasion rather than to make mischief.

“We can't break up a party!” Robin protested.

Batman leapt from the tree and crashed through the glass roof of the greenhouse.

“I take that back,” Robin muttered, following him. “I guess we are crashing this party.”

CRASH!

The party attendees turned toward the noise, several of them pulling out guns. Catwoman unfurled her whip. The two costumed superheroes landed lightly on the balls of their feet, at the ready.

“STOP.” Poison Ivy made her way to the front of the crowd. “Let me handle this.”

“But Pammy,” someone whined from the back. “This is our big chance t'perf'rate the Dark Knight and his sidekick!”

“Get over it,” she snapped over her shoulder and turned back to the pair of rather confused crimefighters. “Please,” she started, somewhat hesitantly. “It's Harley's birthday…we just wanted to throw her a party. We don't mean any harm and I promise, we'll disband as soon as the party is over.”

“Please?” Harley pleaded, rushing up to them. “Bad girls have birthdays, too! You want some cake?” She thrust a plate with a square of cake under Robin's nose. He raised an eyebrow. That cake smelled pretty good.

“Well, I—“ he started.

“No.” Batman's glove was suddenly in front of his face.

“I can't possibly,” Robin groused, shooting a sideways glare at Batman.

Harley stuck out her bottom lip and glared at both of them.

“You'll be responsible?” Batman asked Ivy.

“Yes,” she affirmed.

“I'll hold you responsible if anything happens while they're out,” he warned her, “and you'll make sure everyone who was in Arkham this morning is back in Arkham by midnight tonight.”

Ivy faltered and glanced back over her shoulder at her friends.

“We'll go back,” the Ventriloquist said meekly.

“What?” A few of the other villains turned on him and started grumbling.

“No, he's right,” Jonathan Crane spoke up. “Dear Ms. Eisley let us out for sweet Harley's sake. It's not right to get her in trouble for our misbehavior.”

“That's why we're the bad guys,” Clayface snarled.

“Not today,” Catwoman reminded them. “You can always break out tomorrow. Just give the kid a break for tonight.”

By grumbled agreement, everyone promised to return to Arkham at midnight.

Robin scratched his head in confusion, but wasn't about to argue.

“Thank you,” Poison Ivy told the other villains. “And thank you,” she said, turning to Batman and Robin. “I appreciate this.”

“By midnight,” Batman reminded her. “Not a second later.”

“You have my word,” she promised.

“Oh, you two are the GREATEST!” Harley declared, throwing her arms around Batman's neck and planting a huge kiss on his cheek.

Batman calmly detached her from his neck and set her away. Then he was gone, Robin following.

“Boy Wonder!”

Robin turned to see Harley running after him.

“Here,” she offered, with a smile. “I wanted you to have some cake.”

Robin smiled as he accepted the gift. “Thanks.”

“Anytime, cutie!”

“Was that weird or what?” Robin asked as he sat in the Batmobile, watching the party and eating his cake.

“There is an honor among thieves,” Batman commented. “And I suppose, a certain brotherhood.”

“And what was up with you? I've never seen you cave so easily.”

A half smile quirked at the corner of Batman's mouth. “Bad guys have birthdays, too.”

The End

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