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Some things are fated

Chapter Text

As a pearl gem, she was considering being replaced. She was failing to please her diamond. Falling to inspire the pink gem to happiness. Instead, she was now standing uselessly by her side watching as the monarch was laying on the floor. Her face on the floor. Small pebbles ever so often climbing onto her hair and back before getting bored and sliding off as their Pink was being boring. They were not the only one complaining.

Pink diamond herself was complaining about being bored, about not finding any reason worth trying for.  Pearl tried, yet all the reason she provided to her diamond, were concluded not being worth to move for... It worried Pearl.

 

"I could sing for you?" she offered.

"No." Her diamond responded, as she already heard all the songs Pearl sung.

 

"I could dance for you?" she offered.

"No." Her diamond responded, as she already saw all the dances Pearl danced.

 

"I could draw for you?" she offered.

"No."  Her diamond responded, as she already had all the art of things Pearl draw.

 

"I could play a game with you?" she offered.

"No." Her diamond responded, as they already played all the games Pearl knew.

 

"I could watch you juggle?" she offered.

"No." Her diamond responded, as she already juggled with everything in the room for Pearl to see.

 

Failing.

 

"I could read the newest report from Yellow diamond for you? "she offered.

Her diamond didn't respond with anything but a grunt, as it was not a 'no', Pearl counted it as a yes. 

 

She started to read it aloud. Her diamond shifted on the floor to look up at her. Now only half a face on the floor.

 

An unknown reason has caused a malfunction in the injectors, causing a serious postponing of the beta kindergarten. On the happy side, the gems in the prime kindergarten are set to emerge in a few cycles.  

 

"Ugh!" Pink sat up. Suddenly, and without warning, bursting with movement. Pear stopped reading.

"Can you imagine something interesting or mysterious actually happening here?" Pink said sounding interested for once. Pearl grasped onto it.

 

"I could imagine it for you!" She offered hopefully.

A disappointed sigh left her diamond.

 

It wasn't exactly a no, though the disappointed may have been worse. She displeased her.

Pearl's eyes roamed the room, trying to imagine something to fix the disappointment she caused. Something anything...

Mysterious…

Interesting…

Like something unknown...

Except...

She didn't know anything mysterious.

How was she to know anything unknown?

A  few seconds passed, a shift of fabric as Pink diamond went to lay back on the floor, looking so...empty. Rolling now to blankly stare at the ceiling. Resembling more a pearl waiting for their master than a master.

 

Imagine, something anything. She had to. There had to be something she could do. It was unacceptable to look at her and see her like that. Pearl's eyes settled on the mirrors in the room. The mirrors they used to adjust Pink clothes to perfection... She saw herself in it.

"A pearl..."

A hum of her diamond and Pearl jumped slightly.

"I could tell you about a mysterious pearl?" She offered.

"Like a report?" Her diamond responded.

 

"... An imagined report?" She offered.

Her diamond perked up, giving her a chance from the floor where she kept on laying.

 

Pink was trying not to be falling to boredom. Pearl had to help her with this task. That what pearls are for, a diamonds pearl especially. She read countless reports, she could just try to ...to mix a few with problems and somehow shove a mysterious pearl in it... Closing her eyes she tried to focus.

 

There was a malfunction on a starship. Unknown cause. It will delay the delivery of... the batch of injector replacement... mysterious pearl seen...

to the nearly completed colony.

 

There she did it. She made a new report taking parts from existing and throw a mysterious pearl in it... She opened her eyes, to see Pink eyes all but be a few inches away from her face.

"Erm.." Pearl offered, thinking she was no longer just failing but probably getting shattered.

 

"Why did the mysterious pearl cause the malfunction on the starship?"

Pearl blinked. She had no idea, why ... but Pink diamond looked so happy... and the way she put the reports together... it could be ... interpreted as that… the mysterious pearl causing it...

 

But that didn't help her with the why portion. Should she try to say something from a report..but would it make sense? Should it make sense?

"Mystery?" She said aloud, nearly starting to dislike the word, not that it mattered what she disliked, as long as it pleased Pink diamond. It did please her.

That was not yet the end.

"How does the mysterious pearl look like?"

"Its a mystery?"

"Give me at least two or three hints!!" Well look at that, her diamond just gave her an order after several cycles.

Finally! 

But she didn't know!

She couldn't disappoint. Not when this was the first order in a while. She had to fulfil it somehow.

Her eyes briefly wandered to the mirror and her own reflection.

"Well... the pearl has her gem on the forehead, two bright eyes...and... no one knows  how she looks?"

Three things, she felt proud she did the order exactly as asked.

"Why does no one know?"

 

"Ugh..." This was proving to be a challenge. She had to come up with something. She didn't know how to. Her diamond provided the answer for her.

"Is it because she hides her face."

 

Huh? That was not a question and the words Yes, my diamond slipped from her lips before she even caught up with their meaning. Hiding their face... that wasn't all that bad actually... She could see it,  it was logical. She could see her own reflection hiding her appearance, all but her gem…

 

"Ooh! I wonder how the face is hidden." Pink diamond wondered aloud.

 

"And body." She offered.

"Yes?" Her diamond responded with eyes intrigued because Pearl made a projection of the mysterious Pearl, dressed in black, only her white pearl and two white eyes visible in the black silhouette. That the silhouette had exactly her haircut was luckily overlooked. Mercifully ignored.

 

"That is amazing Pearl! Tell me more about her! What does she do?"

A wide smile.

Finally...

She managed to make her happy. 

 

"My diamond, you asked me to remind you about extraction chamber as the last few appointments have been cancelled." She offered.

Her diamond took a moment to think and finally she did not cancel the extraction session.

“But afterwards you are to tell me more about the mysterious pearl and what she does!” The diamond jumped up, her movements still a bit sluggish.

It still was better than having the pink gem just waste herself away on the floor.

 

The extraction time was important to Pearl as well.

 

It provided the time she needed to combine countless reports from the archive into new reports she could say the mysterious pearl was involved with.

 

Chapter Text

For a while everything was perfect. Pink would enjoy her imaginary reports, every so often asking about some detail that caught her attention. So Pearl made sure of including those details and adding more details similar to those in each new report.

 

However, there were limits she was bound to hit.

 

She was just a Pearl after all.

 

A capable pearl.

 

Still only a pearl.



“So she had to fight those ruby guards?” Pink Diamond asked, sitting on a big pillow, smiling wide towards Pearl. Fingers drawing shapes, inspired by the report she was just told. 

 

“A Pearl is not built to fight, my Diamond.” she inquired. 

 

“But… Didn't you say she dissipated the guards and escaped in a roaming eye?” Her Diamond responded, a delightful smile on her face. Her finger stopped drawing the roaming eye. 



Pearl felt proud that she had managed to capture her Diamond's attention so well that she would cling onto every word she uttered.

 

It absolutely terrified her that her Diamond's attention was completely on her and every word she uttered.

 

She had never seen a gem fight… at least none had come to her mind. In reports, the battles were never described in detail. They just said who won and who lost.



“I did say that, my Diamond.”



“So how could she have done that without a fight?” Pink Diamond swiped the screen and the drawing disappeared. Her hand now idly resting on her lap. Pearl had no clue. She had no clue how the fighting would work, either.



“I never said she didn't fight, my Diamond. Just that pearls are not built for it.” She went. 



“I wonder how this mysterious pearl fights, what type of weapon would a pearl gem use…” Pink Diamond tilted her head, her gaze already far away in the distance.

 

Pearl closed her eyes, she knew she had a few moments before her Diamond would focus on her again and ask her the whys, and whats, and hows…Her Diamond's favourite was the whys, though.

 

There was no time to waste. The mysterious Pearl had her body type, so maybe if she assumed herself in that role… she could...fight? Ideate a fight? Imagine a fight? How to move with a weapon? ...Hold a weapon? Own a weapon? Summon a weapon?



Which weapon?



She doesn't have any weapon…



But maybe she could obtain one. What kind of weapon then? She had only ever seen the ones the Topazes carried… And she couldn't even phantom holding such a …. herself… Something smaller perhaps…? Lighter?

 

She knew swords existed… She could look up some swords in the archive…



Or she could go to the Guard's armoury.

 

Unthinkable. She should just look at the pictures of weapons.



However, she knew Pink would, at some point, ask why she picked that weapon.

 

Well, she would just be honest and say it looked nice. 



But wouldn't it be better if she could tell… that she picked that weapon, because of how it felt on her hand? That she liked it, because of how practical it was?

 

What she liked or not, did not matter… that was, for Pink Diamond's pearl. It does matter for mysterious Pearl, though.

 

Pearl felt her fingers twitch as if the idea alone was making her… making her… giddy?

 

“Pearl.”

 

Pearl gasped. Pink had asked her a question and she had missed it! Missed it because she had been so caught up in ...in such inappropriate thinking! Pearls shouldn't be hauling around weapons! Why was that… so…? But mysterious Pearl needed a weapon to dissipate the guards.



“Forgive me, my-” Pearl bowed profusely, willing to accept any punishment her Diamond had for her. But before Pink had any time to act, the Diamond chime rang. Blue's chord.

 

Saved by the chime.

 

“Come in!” Pink Diamond's attention shifted as she came closer to the opening door. Pearl slowly glanced up, her eyes locking onto the mirror. She could see herself all in the blackest black, with a Topaz's weapon in hands. Heavy, too big. Her fingers curled around the non-existing handle. She blinked.

 

The image was gone.



Blue pearl spoke up softly like always.

 

A gem from Blue's court had harmed one of Pink's gems. Pink huffed.

 

“I want them punished!”

 

Blue pearl made a deep bow. Meanwhile, Pearl's eyes travelled to her own hand. How heavy was a weapon? Would her hand hurt after moving it around?

 

“My Diamond requests your attendance at the trial as part of the court, Pink Diamond.”

 

Pearl slowly and intentionally blinked, forcing the idea ...to not matter to her. She would have to take notes at the trial. She couldn't be distracted by... imaginary reports. Especially not weapons.

Chapter Text

She is being insane.

Definitely insane.

So if she was insane, she should be a good obedient Pearl and report it so she could be shattered, while a new Pearl replace her to serve Pink. Then again... there was a pearl before her. She was replacing that one... Were they insane too?  They definitely did not do this.

Not doing this…

So… why was she doing this?

Because it will make Pink happy, not because it made her feel like her whole light projection was twitching in anticipation.

 

It felt…

 

Horrible.

Insane.

Nervous.

Anxious.

Failure.

 

And…

And…

So good!

 

Nearly as good as being praised for her service by her diamond… no it felt maybe on pair with it.

Pearl stopped at the wrap pad. Righting her posture, and forcing her grin into a polite smile down and looking at one of the gem walls.

“How do I look?” She asked the closest wall. Who looked a bit surprised. Then again they were both things. On occasion it was fine to talk with each other. Especially when no other gem was around. The pink wall gave her a critical look.

 

“You look like a Pearl with an important task to do.” The wall responded in a whisper. Pearl nodded, as it was what she aimed for Pearl stepped on the pad. The wrap light activated and in a flash she was exactly where she planned to go. 

Walking down the path took her to the barracks. Countless Amethyst, Jaspers and Rubies were hurrying around. Pearl felt like her light projection would just poof at any second as she with easy and light steps went on ward, going towards the rubies section. She spend the last few cycles reading all the reports and collecting all the available data on this. She knew where she had to go. 

 

It was a blessing Pink was too busy with the trial and afterwards with her court to want reports on the mysterious pearl.

She didnt believe she could tell any.

It was horrible.

 

She couldnt function properly. She found herself doodling the mysterious pearl during the trial! 

Blue Pearl found the doodle cute.

Blue Pearl didnt tell on her, for being distracted. Yellow Pearl wouldnt tell on her either, but she would have been smug about it, grinning at her mistake. 

 

The ruby commander greeted her, caught off guard that a diamonds pearl was within their humble walls.

“That what I said."Perl repeated herself. " I am here to inspect the status of your armory. To take a few representative weapons out of your armory. That can attestify of your armory state. You are to show me weapons used by gems whose natural weapon capability are not adequate enough for most combat situation.”

The ruby commander blinked at her rapidly. As if trying to prove to her eyes she would not vanish. Pearl did not move. The second in command ruby leaned closer.

 

“I think she means to look at our swords, in storage.”

 

“Right, right. Must be because of that incident. I understand completely.” The commander nodded. “Would want to make sure her court is protected with the best we have, even by our less skilled squad members! Pink diamond is truly impeccable and so radiant!”

 

The ruby started to lead her.  It took all her control not to try to dance her way after the ruby.

The door opened and she was shown a messy room.

 

Clean it all.

Sort it all.

Collect it all.

Keep it all.

 

She didnt do any of it.

Her fingers twitched and she looked down at her feet. The ruby noticing her avoiding to look at the mess cleared her thought and awkwardly spoke. “Um… sorry about the mess we didnt await you… and the inspection...”

She nodded. There was an awkward pause where the ruby stared at her and she stares politely at her feet. Slowly she looked to the side to meet the ruby eyes.

“....Maybe, you could show me some presentable items, in here?” Pearl offered. 

The ruby jumped onto the task.

 

She left the barracks with two axes, one sword, two knives, one spear and one whip stored in her gem. She walked with purpose as she kept on attempting to sense the weapons inside her pearl.

She needed to summon them,she felt like at any moment she would be called by someone and demanded to explain herself. No, like they would just shatter her on the spot, things do not get trials. She had to hold them in, she felt dizzy. Slowly blinking she focused, to empty her head of any thoughts.

 

Familiar empty.

 

Broken by the unfamiliar weight and shapes.

 

Just familiar enough.

 

She returned to her diamond side. It was all good.

Not even a tenth of the cycle passed and her diamond was going to visit white diamond.

That was great. 

Visits to white diamond would always take so long. One time she and Yellow pearl were waiting outside white diamonds room for so long that they started talking about nonsensical and unimportant things, that how long it lasted. It was an odd conversation filled with words that did not matter.

This time it would be just her.

 

The big white door was just in front of them.

"My diamond." Pearl called bowing deeply. Her diamond stopped, turning to look at her, as she was about to tell her Pearl to wait here. Pearl hurriedly continued. Waiting she couldnt do. The weapons were so heavy inside her gem. 

"May I prepare the report about mysterious pearl while you are with White diamond, my diamond?" She offered. A no would... would ... would be bad.

"Sure! Thats a great idea! Do that!" Pink hummed and the white door opened causing Pink to jump up and float through the door.

 

Pearl waited till the door slammed shut before she righted herself up.

Her fingers  twitched. Not a no, but a do that. So dizzying.

 

If her diamond actually knew she was about to use the weapons she hid in her gem, would she still say to do that?  Would she be saying it if she knew that Pearl tricked Rubies to give her weapons claiming she was doing an inspection for her diamond.

She didnt exactly claim what her diamond ordered an inspection.

She is doing this for her diamond... And even if it wasnt an order till now…It was more like she just did it a bit ahead of time. She simply allowed them to assume the most logical reason, allowed them to concluded from her belonging to Pink diamond that she did it at her diamonds explicit order. Because what else was there in a Pearl case? Things d not think for themself, or act on their own. But things can do things for their diamond ahead of time, right? Right. There is nothing else for a Pearl then obey and be honest.

And apparently omitting facts.

Pearl slowly blinked her eyes closed, feeling the weapons inside her pearl.

Calling them nearly out before she pushed them back.

Just as slowly she opened her eyes and turned around. She picked a spot already. She had to go there now.

 

She walked with determination. A spot where no walls could see her, no gems patrolled during their routines.

No one asked her where she was going as she warped out White diamonds complex. No one stopped her as she walked out onto the street. Several gems were hurrying here and there, while several pearls looked at her as she passed them. Some with their masters some alone on fetching tasks.

Pearl knew each of the pearls would consider this cycle to be a good one, a lucky one now that they saw a diamonds pearl up and close. Like a good omen. 

She never meet their glances, as it would be inappropriate to do so.

 

And storing weapons in your gem without your diamond explicit approval, is not?

That did not count, Pink diamond said I could prepare the report.

And not telling her that preparing it means you going to hide in a old kindergarten swinging weapons is not inappropriate?

 

She turned left and she was alone. Blinking slowly she looked around. Still no one.

Maybe it was inappropriate... but it made her diamond happy. That was more important.That was her reason she was given to PInk. To make her happy. 

And sure it doenst have to do anything with that you want to know how it feels...

 

She blinked deliberately.

Her mind becoming blank as she found the tunnel opening. It was smaller than recorded, as half of the opening was covered with rocks. She carefully climbed in. Pulling her wide dress closer to her body to not get caught on the edged corners of the rocks. SHe was faced with darkness.

Her gem lighting up to show her the way in the dark. 

 

It was making her feel odd, she never realized how it never truly was silent. There were always the walls, the pebbles and countless gems moving, if not talking always pouring through the windows and doors. Now there was only her own steps.

 

She stopped moving.

Now there were not even her steps.

 

Silence.

 

This was silence.

 

She took it in.

 

Why?

If Pink diamond asked why would the mysterious Pearl take in the silence ....what would she say?

 

Her gem glowed, a projection of the mysterious Pearl standing in front of her. Silent just like what was surrounding her. The black was tinted by blue light because of her projection. 

 

The mysterious pearl took a step towards her.

It scared her.

She dropped the projection.

 

Why?

In silence one's doubts are so much easier to hear.

 

With an answer to at least one why, she made it deeper into the tunnels, stopping at one hallways that ended with an exit hole. Left and right solid walls with other exit holes of smaller gems. It would do.

She summoned the weapons and placed them on the ground in an orderly fashion.

She took them in. Eyes roaming the shapes, the colors.

 

She felt watched. She could imagine the other pearl watching her, arms crossed over her chest waiting for her to pick a weapon already. Pearl felt her lips tug into a smile at that.

 

Slower than she had to, she went down on one knee in front of the various weapons and carefully picked up the sword one.

The other pearl nodded.

Pearl nodded herself.

 

Standing up she moved the sword aimlessly around, it did have a weight to it. And when she moved it faster it would cut the air and make a sound. Such an odd sound.

 

"What ya doing there?"

 

Pearl jumped letting go of the sword, seeing it starting to fall and reaching to catch it somehow ending up hugging the weapon in both her hands.

Eyes big and wide she looked up. There was a thin jasper staring at her. Just several feet away from her.

 

She didnt know what to do.

Panic.

Pearl eyes saw what wasnt there, the other pearl launching herself at the jasper and slamming her sword down on her. Poofing her.

Pearl legs moved, springing after the other pearl, trying to do it, swinging the sword down onto the Jasper.

 

There was never a poof.

 

The jasper held the sword in her hand, blocking her attempt.

 

Pearl was staring.

 

Did she really tried to...

 

Why did it felt so...

 

Why is she feeling happy she tried!?

 

She failed! And as the thin Jasper eyes went to her chest studying her dress, there was no mistaking she realized whose pearl she was. If she just belonged to a lower gem, if she just was one of many....

 

Or actually hid her cloths and face, like other pearl does.

 

Another why answered. 

 

For next time she had make a black outfit.

 

As if there will be a next time.

Chapter Text

"You are supposed to hit with the thin sharp edge not the flat and wide side." The thin Jasper spoke, still holding onto the sword Pearl  was not letting go of, clenched as if her gem depended on it. 

No. 

As if her diamond gem depended on it.

 Her fingers twitching her hold on the handle of the sword becoming tighter. She could feel the handle shape against her palm, not laying perfectly in her grip. It didnt matter. 

She attempted to push the sword down even if the thin Jasper was holding onto it. It didnt work, she had no strength. She was a Pearl.

A pretty Pearl.

Still only a Pearl.

The Jasper hummed at her try. The soldier must have felt her trying to push against her grip.

"Your stance is all wrong. "The thin Jasper commented, her eyes wandering over Pearl, lingering on her legs and arms." And your hands are not holding the sword at all correctly."

 

"Why do you care! " Pearl yelled, her own voice echoing till it was unrecognizable in the caves of the kindergarten. Breaking up the all present silence. 

 

The thin Jasper blinked lowering the hand with which she caught the sword, forcing Pearl to follow the movement. Neither letting go of the sword.

"Easy there Renegade. " The thin Jasper turned  slightly around, to show Pearl her shoulder blade. RIght there was the thin Jasper gem. In the darkness the color looked dim... yet it wasnt what caught her attention. The gem was cracked. Pearl was watching the Jasper heavily cracked gem. 

 

"You are supposed to be shattered with such a damage present. Or re-proposed at the very least." Pearl commented calmly, causing the Jasper to roll her eyes.  

"And I am sure a diamond pearl is supposed to look pretty and be by their diamond side." The Jasper glitched and Pearl fall back on her back as her sword was finally let go off. Her face feeling hot.

 

"So... why ya doing this?" The jasper asked and Pearl found herself standing up, dusting her dress off. Her body moving nearly on its own. Like being commanded to move in a specific way. Yet there was no order present.

 

Why?

 

Indeed why?

 

It is all for her happiness, right?

 

... Just her happiness.

 

"I am doing it for her." The words slipped from her lips, honest and true. The thin Jasper stayed silent, it was not needed to explain who the she was. The moment felt oddly still, more so as something private. Pearl wondered if it wouldnt be polite to take a neutral stance and look down on the floor. Like any Pearl would if she found herself present in a private moment of their master...  Pink wasnt here. Pearls eyes stayed on the thin Jasper. Watching her as her face started to change from the neutral to something else... Something that felt dangerous.

"Hm... How about a deal?" The jasper was now grinning, no rather smirked in near predatory fashion. Suddenly Pearl became aware the thin cracked jasper was blocking her way out the corner she was. The wall behind her only had a gem exit hole in it. 

 

Trapped.

 

So this is how being trapped felt.

 

"...what type of deal?"

 

Pearl voice was dropping in loudness, but it felt more.... daring.  

"Pearls are intended to store stuff and information. Like with perfect memory, right?"

 

Pearl nodded.

Jasper approached her.

 

Pearl watched as her own hands raised the sword up, turning it so the thin sharp edge was directed towards the Jasper. A warning. 

The grin became even more dangerous, sending shivers down her light body. Pearl awaited the Jasper to ask her if she wanted to see in how many shards Pearls break in. 

Another glitching.

Pearl braced herself, ready to swing down the sword once more. She didnt back away from the approaching Jasper. Standing her ground.

The other Pearl wouldnt back away either. 

"I show you how to use the thing in your hands and in return you are  to store my memory, and all I tell you about my life. In case I fail and finally break apart. You are to remember me and what I tell you forever!  "

 

Pearl lowered the sword, slowly blinking. "All of them."

"Yes I will tell you all my memories."

"Not what I meant."

 

Pearl blinked slowly, it was truly not what she meant. Moving the sword in just one hand she step aside to show all the weapons she got from the rubies.All neatly laying on the ground. Moving the hand with the sword she used the sword itself to point at the weapons. "All of them for all of you."

 

The thin cracked Jasper whistled. "Quite greedy there Renegade."

 

Maybe she was.

"So do we have this deal?" Pearl questioned, while the Jasper closed her eyes to give a positive nod.

Then it happened, the jasper hands were on her body. Surprising her completely that someone was touching her that was not her diamond. It was such a shock that she allowed the jasper  to re position her body in a proper fighting stance. The jasper hands were so much smaller than her diamonds. So much colder. 

"Now, as you move even when you move back you have to keep your eyes on me." Pearl looked at her, clinging to the feeling of the sword hilt in her grip. It felt like a better fit when the Jasper shifted the weapon in her hand.

And they moved a few step forward, a few steps back.

 

"Keep your balance, you fail she shatters." Step forward, step back, the sword clang with the ax jasper picked up. 

 

Why? 

She was slammed against the wall as the jasper surprised her with a slash of the ax, too fast compared to the previous movements. A slash out of nowhere.

 

Why?

She hurt.

 

Why?

She stood up, knees feeling weak she tried to go back in the stance she was shown.

 

Why?

"Keep your body lower, you are exposed." The thin  Jasper said once more. Again they moved slow, practicing before the slow training movements suddenly were followed by a fast attack, an attack with too much strength. With the intent to break the inexperience trainee. Pearl stood up.

 

Why?

Again.

 

Why?

Again she was hit, thrown against the wall this time.

 

Why?

Again slow, hit, stand up.

 

Why?

Again she stood up, her own body becoming unstable. She pushed past the feeling concentrating on the Jasper. 

 

Why?

Again taking the stance.

 

Why?

"Good. You have it in you. You are putting your whole body into it." The Jasper hummed and launched herself onto Pearl, ax aiming into her chest.

Her sword moved in front of herself  blocking the attack. Her hands moved the sword to stop the others weapon...

"Thats the key, Renegade. Your first block!"

 

"Why? Why are you calling me that?" She asked as Jasper started to step slowly up and away, allowing Pearl to follow the steps. Hit left, hit right. 

 

Again.

 

"Thats what you are. A Renegade pearl, one that betrays her propose of cleaning and looking pretty to become someone worthy to fight for who ever you chose." The thin Jasper grinned aiming the next attack low at her legs.

 

Why?

A swipe at her legs she wasnt ready for, she was on the floor again. Standing up.

 

Why?

Another hit, landing into the side of her neck. Gasping from the force. Standing up.

 

Why?

Again she started to stand up, her hands and legs shock.

 

"Why are you down here, Jasper?"

Rumors, a belief held by run away off colors that somewhere in the kindergarten exists a way to heal even the most broken gem.

 

It doesnt.

 

"Why do you search for it if you say you know it doesnt exists?" Pearl wondered, keeping her eyes on the thin Jasper. Hit, left, hit right and block.

A swipe up tearing the sword out her grasp. Another swing towards her, she ducked hands touching the floor, fingers curled around the spear.

 

"I choose to believe what I want in the time left for me!"

Pearl attacked. 

Something... was not right.

 

She hurt so much but she never felt this stable. This light, her feet dancing. Pearl was sure the amount of hits should have poofed her by this point…

The thin Jasper keep giving her breaks from the harsh hits, with slow steps…

Breaks in which she healed up just enough to stay stable... 

"Why are you cracked!?" She stabbed at the Jasper. Jasper thin form easily shifting to the side causing Pearl spear to miss and leave her open to the ax being slammed into her back. 

 

Why?

Again standing up. 

 

"My unit partner, was a defected gem, she hid it well. " The voice in which the thin Jasper spoke felt heavy. She knew that type of voice. A voice holding back the sadness and loneliness. Her Pink had that voice at times. When the tears were not allowed to fall.  "....for countless battles, she saved my thin ass  from getting shattered on the field just as many times... I wanted her to live when she was discovered... I unlocked her cell... She never escaped, but I did. "

 

Left foot, right foot, moving even faster, she slipped the spear just under the ax head, tugging on it, the weapon slipped out Jasper gasp. She was so overjoyed she never saw the knee being slammed into her face. 

 

She fall over, Pearl light form glitching, as she didnt let herself be poofed.

 

Why?

"...Am I defective?"

 

The assault stopped, how long were they at it? So much time must have passed... but she just couldnt pinpoint it how much... Pearl started to stand up, she heard the Jasper glitching.

"Nope, ya arent."

Pearl gave her a disbelieving look.

"You are doing it for her. You were build to serve, you just decide to serve her differently, Renegade." Pearl smiled. Those words felt nice.

 

Make her happy.

 

The thin Jasper told her the cuts, her and hers partner cuts, helping Pearl stand up. 

"... I... like it when she is happy... when I make her so happy  her eyes are shining like stars." Pearl spoke, looking at her bruised hands.

The thin Jasper asked her when she planned to return to her.

Pearl told her.

 

"You should go then, get cleaned."

Why?

Jasper told her how much time passed. Pearl jumped.  Eyes growing big, did they really been that long at it?

"Hey, Renegade, dont panic I will watch over your stuff, just come back when you can. So you can do it for her." The thin Jasper reached out grabbing the spear Pearl was using to lean onto. Gently taking it away from her. It felt... Pearl found herself already missing the weight of the object in her hand. She watched the Jasper place the spear and ax beside the other weapons sitting on the floor in front of them.

"What ya waiting for, go. Can let a diamond wait for you." The thin Jasper grinned, smirked in the same dangerous way, and Pearl nodded.

 

"Thank you! I will be back!" Pearl waved and run out the tunnel. On her way to return to her.

Chapter Text

The thin Jasper lied. They spent only a fifth of the time training, of what the Jasper has told her. She said till the end of the cycle she would be fine.  Yet the thin Jasper insisted that it was already close to the end of the cycle when it was not. Not at all. Pearl eyes wandered to look at the sky, the light pouring in the room. Just as she returned she realised that the cycle was not even close to it send. She made herself presentable first, to then  to spend the rest of the cycle sitting in pinks room with the pebbles tugging at her fingers.

She was so tired.

In such a good way.

She could still feel every hit on her light body even when they fully vanished from view.
It was, nice just taking her time.

Wasting time.

It was still nice, just feeling.

As the time ticked  Pearl moved to sit on the floor with her back leaning against the wall. The support was nice. Her own mind stilled. Her body not moving, eyes blankly looking ahead. Pearl was just being. Waiting. Just feeling her tiredness.
Just listening to the movement of the pebbles in the walls, to the whispers of the walls down the hall. The movements and steps from countless gems outside, their noise simply pouring into the room from the open balcony. It was... comforting. How much she paid attention to those sounds now... after the silence that left her alone with her ... report preparation.
The door to the room opening, the steps.

Pink Diamond.

That how Pink diamonds steps sounded like.

She stood, bowing her head. Hands saluting. "My diamond."

She looked up, her diamond was frowning, eyes bearing suppressed tears. Pearl had to make her happy.
Pearl hesitated.

Has to...

She observed Pink walking to the center of the room and dropping on the floor a chair being built around her by the pebbles. The diamonds eyes glaring out her balcony and directly at the view of white diamonds ship. She leaned into the back of the chair that got made. She looked lost in thought.

It would be proper to stay silent until spoken to.

Her fingers twitched, still holding the diamonds salute. Time ticked by and Pearl stayed silent.

 

Why?
The sun has set, the darkness spread. The light from countless sources keeping the world luminous. Yet, the sounds stayed all the same, small constant ever present.

 

Why?
The whispering of worried pebbles, peeking out from the walls.

 

Why?
The night was passing. Pearl did not move. A different stillness... one not filled with...good.

 

Why?
Pink diamond stood up fast and to the point, she started to walk up and down the room. Angry and frustrated.

 

Why?
"She cant just say that to me!" Her diamond yelled towards the balcony.

 

Why?
Pearl felt her body twitch as Pink stomped, turning and kicking onto the chair easily breaking it to tiny pieces.

 

Why?
The pink pieces of the chair spread across the room. One jagged piece rolling up to Pearl feet.

 

Why?
Pearl kept completely still. An object does not move on its own.

 

Why?
If her diamond decide to break objects around her, she could break her as well. Break her in just as many shards.

 

So much about the renegade pearl.

 

Pearl stance dropped, arms no longer saluting. "My diamond!" She called out, stepping towards the angry diamond. Something no gem would ever dare, unless ordered to. Pink head snapping towards her, the beginning of tears in her eyes. The furry burning high and sharp in the same diamond shaped pupils. 
"What?!" Just as a harsh word thrown to her. Pearl body twitched, she looked down to the floor. Silent. She should have not approached. The world was not silent around them. It was not as loud either.

The pebbles all watching not saying a word themself. The sound of the whispering walls feeling so far away. The countless gems outside didnt sound that close anymore. 


Her lips moved nearly on her own... no, Pearls are honest, the lips moved because...she was terrified the renegade pearl would be lost... if she didnt. So she had to. Stepping a single step closer, she smiled politely. A Pearl smile. The smile it self feeling like a sword in her hand. It made her feel the feeling of again.
"Do you wish to hear the report? " Pearl offered, another step closer. Now standing directly in front of her diamond. 
"Not now." Pink Diamond responded turning away looking towards the mirrors, fist clenching.

Why?
"Its about the pearl, Renegade pearl." Pearl spoke once more out of turn, unable to silent her words. Unable to let her be lost. Her own eyes traveling to their reflections in the mirror. Pink frowning brows and her own face. Pearl... seeing her own expression... Was the eyes looking back at her from the mirror, her eyes? Were those eyes the eyes of the feeling again?

Again.
Why?
It looked like, how she felt when she again stood up in the kindergartens. She knew, those eyes, that look, she would give the thin Jasper that as she would stand up again.
"About who?" Pink Diamond asked turning once more to face her, looking sharply down at Pearl. The diamond look snapping her from looking at her own reflection. She meet Pinks eyes. She kept her gaze.

Why?
Who?

Pearl is a object.
Why?
About what? Was the correct thing ...

Why?
Who?

Why?
So not proper.

She lowered her eyes quickly to the floor, taking the diamond salute for familiarity. Familiar was good. She could still ... the renegade reaction to this. The renegade pearl would hum, and be interested in Pink choice of words. That other Pearl would be wondering how the diamond sees her. It didnt matter what pearl was wondering.
It mattered to renegade Pearl.

"Its the mysterious pearl name, my diamond." She offered.

A short moment passed before she added. "I prepared it for you, as you ordered me to go and prepare it, my diamond."

A soft oh from her diamond, before she added "Right..." Pearl glanced carefully up, seeing a hue of extra pink on her diamond cheeks. It looked... good. Shyly she averted her eyes back to her own feet. "I did tell you that... I suppose... fine go on, tell me the report."
Pearl smiled, happy. She felt so happy as she looked up, her hands clasped together, opening her mount to read the report as she was about to summon the screen where the report was written...... The report she never wrote. Because Pearls do not write reports.


Pearls at best record trials.

She did all the preparation and never wrote a report.... She didnt have a report to read her diamond. She had no report to share all of those things she did for her. How was she to give them to her, if she had none to read from!

A second too long passed.
"Are you going to start?" Pink questioned.
Pearl fingers twitched, her eyes looking past her diamond to the mirror. She... needed help. No one could help her failures.

The other pearl eyes rolled, even completely white she could feel the eyes roll.

Just use words that fit.

 

"In the old kindergartens it is silent." Pearl started, that was not how reports usually started. She continued, if she stopped... everything may stop. She didnt want it to ever stop.
“Its so different from the world we know. Its dark, lonely and silent. If one stops walking there wouldnt even be the sound of your own steps. Nothing at all. Nothing but your own being... and in this silence it is... so much easier to hear one doubts. Your fears, are so much louder than they ever could be here. Looking at them may even terrify you. And right there is where the mysterious pearl got her name."

Pearl stopped, so she could look at Pink who was so still... like never before did she saw Pink be so... still, not even when she was laying on the floor, not moving on the floor… then she felt empty but not still and concentrated. Pearl was staring at her own diamond. "Please, keep going."

"Oh right!" Pearl stammered, eyes darting to her reflection. Her own cheeks had a bluish hue on them. So thats what the hot feeling in her face meant. "It was in her early days, before she started doing all the other staff. In those hallways, she wandered with stolen weapons from a ruby armory. Yet, to truly learn to use any of them. It didnt scare her to use the weapons. The idea that she would hold them made her excited. She kept wondering how they will fit in her hand. Fingers twitching for them. Once she did hold them she was fascinated that they would make sound when swung fast... Like woosh."

Pearl kept putting words that fit. She let out the thin jasper, it didnt...she didnt want to share her until they had an complete deal. Still she kept talking.
Pearl stopped only once the renegade was done with her training, leaving the kindergarten. Never telling where the renegade went off. The renegade was doing it for her, but Pearl omitted to ever tell who the her was.

"You are amazing!"

"My diamond?"

"I never heard a report like that! I loved it! The renegade is amazing! Can you always tell me reports of her like that?! Please!"


Of her, not of it.
"...I could...."
If
"Great!" Her diamond clasped her hands together.
If
“I cannot wait for your next!” Her diamond stood up.
If
"If I get enough time to go to prepare them." Pear spoke up.

"Sure! This are so much better than the previous ones!" Pink beamed at her. Radiant and shining like no other diamond. Pearl wanted Pink to be like that always.

Chapter Text

Half a cycle. Half a cycle before Pink picked her up. ”How about now?”
Pearl blinked while being held in her diamonds arms. She didnt know where she was allowed to put her own hands, in such a situation. Keeping her arms therefore relaxed, looking in front of her, directly into diamond shaped pupils. Pink diamond was holding her on eye level. Pearl questioned carefully.
“Now?”
“Yes!”


Pearl blinked again. She had an inkling what the diamond wanted.

“I could start preparing it, my diamond.” Pearl offered for her diamond.

It made Pearl smile a bit just thinking about it. It only took half a cycle, in which her diamond repeated some of the things Pearl said. Immensely enjoying the report she gave. Ever so often Pink would be stopping, eyes shifting from excitement to looking as if in doubt. Brief moment of something that bothered her. The moments passed and Pink would bounce back to talking about the report, going back to being a bundle of movement.

Pearl wasnt sure what exactly was on Pink mind, it had to do with White diamond. It had to do with the reason she was given to her to begin with. With a single command. Make her happy. So much she knew… and the ...report… she had to find a better word for that, it helped her diamond, it distracted her in a good way.

“Great, start preparing it!” He diamond ordered and Pearl nodded, waiting for her diamond to put her down. The sensation of the order cursing through her gemstone, the eagerness to please her. Her very hands moved on their own, about to try to pray Pearl out of pink diamonds grip. Yet, Pearl could not touch her diamond. It was so not allowed... not in that way. The push of following the order weakening as it was contradicted with Pinks actions.

She waited for Pink diamond to put her down on her own as moment after moment ticked by.

Pink didnt.

The sensation of the spoken order vanishing.

“You need to let me go, my diamond… so I could...” Pink let a small of course as she put Pearl down and with that Pearl turned to leave the room.

“Where are you going?” Her diamond questioned just as the pink door opened for Pearl.

“To prepare the report about the renegade pearl, my diamond… ” Pearl calmly answered, turning to look at the pink gem.

Her diamond made the motion as if to stand up, but stopped herself. About to say something, but the words never leaving her. Pearl watched as the PInk gem looked out the balcony and towards white diamond ship. She looked far away to Pearl... even if they both were in the same room.

“Right...how long will it take?” Her words sounded off, empty yet not empty... FIlled with something...heavy.

 

One fourth of a cycle should be just enough.

 

Four cycles.” Pearl blinked, the words just slipped from her lips… She didnt mean to say that, that was so much more time… She could make a report from another training in much less time...

The thin Jasper words echoed in her memory.

Greedy.

“Ok.” Pink diamond nodded, her eyes locked at the ship of White diamond as if awaiting something to happen... “Not like I have anything to do in the next four cycles, right. ” She chuckled. It didnt sound like a good happy sound... and Pearl felt something in her light projection off. Like something was pushing right where her chest was. Making it feel too small, restricted… like something clamped on it.

She took the moment to remember the feeling for the future. It was not a good one either.

“...My diamond...” Pearl stepped deeper into the room, unsure what she wanted to do… but Pink waved her hand stopping her.

“Dont.” The gem authority took a deep breath, looking slower as she finally looked back at Pearl.

“I want it to be good… If it means… a few cycles. It is worthy. ” A clap followed her words. Dismissing Pearl. 

 

So Pearl was once more about to do things she didnt exactly tell her diamond she would be doing…

Half a cycle she was on a mission to find black material. It was actual harder to find a completely black cloth than she ever imagined… Then again… when did she imagine things before the renegade reports?... None came to mind.


Either way she finally obtained them In the shipyard, after collecting a bunch of cloth that were all too bright. She still stored them in her gem.
A newer gem cut Nephrite helped her. She found it high honor to do Pink diamonds wishes, carried out by her Pearl. Well, PInk didnt explicit asked for a black material... but she did ask for renegade reports and this was needed for it.

 

It was like a direct order from PInk Diamond... Close enough it would be assumed by the other gems without her having to explain anything. The black material stored in her gem together with a white visor, to serve as the white eyes, Pearl found herself returning to pink palace…

She stopped in the hallway leading to Pinks room. Her feet took her back. Pearl had no place where she could make the outfit… she couldnt return to pink before she was done…


Thinking of trying to just make the outfit in the hallway caused Pearl to realise a second problem….
She never made an outfit before. The pebbles would make such things... even her dress she had on at the very moment was made by the pebbles... Her diamond wanted her to have some more colors to her...


Several long moments of just standing in the hallways pearl sighed. In the end she was just a Pearl.

A capable Pearl.

Still just a Pearl... She could still try. With a bit of help, it could work.

 

She knocked on the wall right beside her diamond room.

She waited.

 

Again.

She knocked on the wall right beside her diamond room.

She waited.

 

Again.

She knocked on the wall right beside her diamond room.

She waited.

 

Again.

She knocked on the wall right beside her diamond room.

She didnt wait long this time as a pebble shyly cut a hole in the wall to peek at her.

 

“... Do you want to help me play a game that will make pink happy?”

 

Another half of cycle later, Pearl looked around the small room the pebbles made for her. A place for a Pearl. It was absurd and insane. Raising her hand over the head she could touch the ceiling. It was big enough for her to make three steps or comfortably lay down and stretch… A small place, reminded her nearly of a box. 

It had a table, where the pebbles showed her how they sewed. They were happy to show her how the game of sewing is played.
Beside the table was a hatch of the crawlspace way that lead out of the palace. Stopping just under a massive pipeline carrying the water needed for the extrations. On the other side was the wall that separate the box room for a Pearl, from her diamond personal room. The door towards the hallway was well hidden.

The pebbles wanted to make the outfit for her, to play the sewing game for her.

The renegade wouldnt have pebbles to make her the outfit.

 

Under the instructing and watchful eyes of the pebbles Pearl made the outfit with her own two hands. It was oddly satisfying. No wonder Bismuths and Peridots would always try to show off what they made…Pearl felt pride how well the outfit looked, how well she made it look. Like when she would feel pride when she danced especially well for the diamonds. Putting it on was even more satisfying.

Pulling the hood over her head and face, Pearl felt the white visor parts slip over her eyes and her gem in position. Hiding her own. All was hidden. The Visor made her pearl look even whiter, but it didnt obstruct any summoning she tried. She was not limited in any way.

 

Crawling through the freshly made tunel was… mind numbing exciting. Leaving it and being in the shadow of the massive water pipe, was amazing. Looking at the world from a position she never did before. Looking at the world but not being part of its rules.

 

Pearl was quickly learning to stay in the shadows, where no gems will notice her. To stay high where she can look down on the gems doing their tasks. To walk the streets that cargo was transported because no gem was around those.

 

Slipping into the kindergarten was already something she could tell pink.

 

She chuckled, her voice echoing against the long maze like corridors. She stopped, just listening to the dying echo and the silence that followed. Nothingness. Did the void between the stars like this?

Looking at her own hands she noticed how… well they appear to melt into the darkness.
Would it make it harder to fight her, when she was hard to spot? She was excited to try it with the thin Jasper.

 

 

Pearl found the thin Jasper…

 

 

She found her shards in front of the hole in which her weapons were stored.

 

She blinked.

 

Beside the shards in the dust gem speak was written.

 

Pearl felt her knees hit the floor as her eyes read over the words written by some hand that was not used to write.

 

“Sorry about the lie. I felt I was left with only several moments. Didnt want you to see me shatter. Didnt want you think a hit from you shattered me. Either. So I send ya away and write this. Sorry for breaking the deal. I Know you will figure it out Renegade Pearl. Jas ”

Pearl read the words aloud to no one. Her voice precise and clamly speaking the words out as she was reading them.

 

Wet.

 

Her cheeks were wet, because of her eyes… She… was crying…

Did Pearls cry?

Every gem hit by Blue diamond would cry.

 

There was no Blue diamond around.

 

This crying belonged only to her.

It hurt, in a odd way. Nothing like being punched in the face or hit by an axe. Pearl knew… no, no… Pearl was someone other. Renegade knew she was sad for the loss… a loss she never considered.  All gems could be replaced. A new gem would simply fill in their post… but here… no replacement existed. No gem will simply fill the thin Jasper position in the old kindergarten.

 

Every gem was not replaceable

 

Every gem...mattered.

 

Never before did she thought that anyone beside the diamonds was precious. She should have come earlier. She should have thought about the crack more. The Jasper was cracking… and she never even once considered that the training may …. Make her fall apart faster...

Make the little time she had shorter.

 

Why?

Why did it never crossed her mind?

 

Scream.

A scream ripped through the maze like hallways of the old kindergarten.

 

For the first time Pearl breathed in the air, tasting the cold and stale...

 

Her fingers slowly gently picked one of the shards.

She didnt even return to the palace when this shard fall on the ground.

 

Alone.

 

Renegade picked all the shards and watched them.

She stood up. Looking around she stored the weapons in her gem as well. Turning away from the message she went deeper into the corridors of the kindergarten.

 

Renegade was looking for something, at that moment she wasnt quite sure herself for what. Something was driving her. A...a need. Pearls dont have needs beside the need to serve...

 

Was she trying to serve the shards?

 

She was going deeper and deeper. Till she saw it.

A wide open room, a bigger opening, with a sole pillar in the middle. Right there, in the bottom of the pillar a hole with the right height and nearly the right wideness.
She knew it wasnt the thin Jasper hole but… It fitted her. Moving carefully, she crawled into it, all the way to the back wall.

 

She shifted all the shards into one hand and started to use the other to dig a small hole.

Renegade pearl was feeling the dirt and dust rubbing against her black glove. She removed the glove and felt the dirt now getting stuck under her fingers. That felt better. Fitted more.

She placed the shards carefully in it, trying to arrange them back into the shape of the thin Jasper gem. With the last shard placed into it rightful spot, Renegade gently covered it with the dirt. It felt right. Right here she could be close to her…

 

Ax was the weapon Pearl trained with next. Again and again trying to be better.

 

Swinging the axe, and imagining all the times showing a opening would have get her kicked to the floor. She jumped, dodged, throwing herself left and right as she tried to swing the weapon as hard as possible.

Again and again.

Pushing herself.

Not stopping.

Unable to stop, fighting a fight with things that were not there. Slashing them, again.

 

Tired. 

 

She knew what she had to do,  all records for gems made were kept. Storing it into the gem archive. The thin Jasper told her her gem cut… and her partners gem cut. The deal could still be completed in some way. 

Pearl knew if she request information in Pinks name she would get them… but… the Renegade could not just say Pink diamond wishes for... and get it. She would have to break in the archive and obtain them on her own. With her own two hands. This was something she had to do. On her own.

 

With a goal in mind she only had two cycles left to complete it.
“Thank you. I will be back.” She said aloud, giving a wave to the hole she buried the thin Jasper shards in. 

She will figure it out.

She will.

 

Chapter Text

Night.

Darkness was better.

During the day it was harder to stay out of view, there were a few gems who saw her briefly during the light time. So the night it was. With a few try and error, she realized that most rooftops were without light options during night time.

That's how she was on a rooftop across her goal, looking down on the gems coming in and out of the archive. None of them looked up… There was no need to look up unless you were looking up at someone…

Renegade blinked, she looked up.

There was only the sky. She stared at it… she could see some of the stars… if she overlaps it with maps she could know which of those are colonies. There were so many more stars than colonies... She didn't do that, maybe another night. For now, Renegade had a goal.

She simply stared at the gems and the archive building.

A slow blink behind her mask, eyes shifting back to finding a way in.

She could not get on the rooftop of the archive, she did spot that the left side was having fewer gems around, as well there were windows. She could… climb into one and use another to leave. 

That didn't sound half as bad… it reminded her of another report she read to Pink. Pearl read to pink. Or she read to pink… 

Why?

The renegade shifted on her spot, moving her thoughts from that to the task on hand.  Doing felt so much easier, one had to think so much less. She can figure out what she is after.  Seeing no point in waiting anymore she jumped off.

She landed on a pipe structure, it shocks her legs. A gasp escaping her lips. Her knee giving out for a brief moment. Her knees connecting to the cool gem structure. Her body shivering in response under the black clothing. For a brief moment, it felt heavy. For a brief moment, it felt restricting. The fear wrapping around her. 

The sound of voices made the formless fear take face. The fear of being caught, of ...of getting poof. She stood up, eyes searching lower finding the source. The voices belonging to two Peridots wrapped up in a debate. They didn't notice her. Or didn't care once they saw her gem was a pearl. She walked along the pipe carefully, silently. She didn't want any more gem attention. The feeling was changing, shifting the heaviness was easing up. With each step, it was lighter. She spotted the window she wanted to use. So close now. Slowly, blinking, she lowered herself, fingers touching the pipe. She jumped, pushing herself off the pipe, fingers reaching out.

 

It...

 

Felt like dancing.

 

Fingers gripped onto the edge of the window and using the movement she pushed herself easily of the wall and swinging into the window. The Renegade landed on the tips of her feet inside the archive. A bubble like feeling was inside her, she chuckled, the sound so much like when she made Pink diamond happy. She stopped.

Focus on the goal.

Silent as the shadows.  It was dark, the light turned off. That will help her. The statues were not moving. She started going down the hallway staying close to the walls. Simple walls, not the talking ones. That was good. Step after step, left foot, right foot.

 

She was there, the heart of the archive, countless walls watching out, their eyes trailing across the many banks of data. By each bank a gem operating it, even more, gems bringing the data from every cycle to be stored. Pearl was standing behind a statue, the lighting was low in here. Allowing countless words to shine even brighter.

There was no data bank without an operator gem.  No data bank that was not watched by the walls, walls which can sound alarm the moment someone not allowed touched it... Hm...

She really took the just do it, don't think about it,  a bit too excplicit... Now she had to think something up. How long would it take to get the information she wanted?

She needed...

What was needed?

 

First, she needed the walls not to sound the alarm.

She needed the operator off the data bank.

She needed the time to get the info.

She needed to get out. Preferably without ever being spotted.

 

Sound doable.

 

It terrified Pearl, that she truly thought that. It shouldn't make her think that it is doable.

It shouldn't feel simple as her feet turned away from the archive heart,  Going with the intention to reach the office of the Charoite in charge of the archive. She stopped when she spotted a pearl standing in front of a door. The stance she was upholding was on ready, she was waiting to be called into the office. Her colouration and dress clearly telling on her status. She belonged to Charoite.

 

Doable.

 

Pearl summoned one of the small knives she took with her for this. The light of the summoning made the purple pearl shift. Renegade heard the shying step towards her direction. Renegade stayed silent., hoping the black cloths made her melt in the shadow of the wall. Uncertainty. 

 

On whose part?

 

Renegade stayed put, ready to lash out from around the corner the moment the pearl was in arms reach. The steps stopped coming closer. Renegade shined her pearl once more.

" Who is there?" Purple Pearl asked. 

Renegade's fingers twitched around the knife in her hand. If Purple Pearl screams ... if the purple pearl scream it will fail.

 

"Sorry" Renegade offered to the purple Pearl. "I don't want you to get in trouble, because of me," Renegade spoke still not moving out the shadow, still behind the corner. Waiting., The knife in her hand giving a sensation of security. Comfort.

 

"Its fine, have you gotten separated from your master?" Purple pearl offered, stepping closer. All Pearls had similar voices. It was easy to assume she was just another Pearl. APealr with her master.

"No," Renegade responded, listening for another step. Purple Pearl was there. Renegade moved out the corner, one hand reaching to the pearl mount, ramming her over and against the wall. Muffling the cry Purple Pearl made, her purple hands grabbing onto her black-gloved one. The pearl gem was on the back of her right hand. Chest is safe. "But you will." The knife stabbed into the chest, swiftly. The pearl eyes grew big, was it the first time she felt pain? Fear, terrified eyes staring at her.

 

Poof.

 

Black fingers swiftly caught and curled around the falling purple pearl gem.

 

She poof someone.

 

Someone who didn't fought back...

 

It was needed.

 

She committed a crime.  

 

She stole from the ruby armoury.

 

They gave her the weapons for an inspection... It wasn't per say a crime... just...omitting some facts.

Like there never being an inspection?

 

Raising the pearl up she stored it in her own Pearl. That way she was sure the gem will not reform.

 

Summoning some of the leftover clothing, she had from the start of this... whatever this was... just do... she placed them in front of the door. Red and dark yellow pieces of material. Summoning the second knife she started to hit them together.

 

Clank.

 

No spark.

 

Stronger.

 

Clank.

 

Spark.

 

Again.

 

Clank.

 

Several sparks and the material started to smoke.

 

The smoke started to build up.

 

She took a slow blink, she didn't awaits the material to create that much smoke. It was good. It was great. She will have to get better prepared in the future. Moving the knives into her gem. She was ready.

 

She yelped.

"Pearl?" Charoite voice.

"FIRE!" Renegade yelled, moving into the thickest smoke. The door opened and Charoite gasped at the smoke. "Evacuation order!" She yelled, a purple screen appearing in her hands as the order was sent out to all gems in the archive. Pearl was already rushing back into the archive heart. Watching as all operators were leaving their stations in an orderly fashion, followed by all the other gems. The walls were closing their eyes to avoid getting smoke and fire in their eyes. There was no smoke here. There will be no smoke. Renegade rushed to an operator station, shying for just a second before she pushed her hand into the system.

 

Eyes shined with information flashing through her mind.

 

The cut numbers.

She demanded from the data bank.

 

The data was so not protected, so not important to waste security on it. She took it all. It would be strange if that was all she took.

 

The thin Jasper voice echoed in her memories. Greedy.

 

The system recognized her as diamonds pearl. No information was held back.

Engineering information, Colony information. Starship plans. Diamond timetables. Planed kindergartens. Injector schematics. Dictionary.

 

She forced the system to forget her, forget who just took the information.

 

The system obeyed and forgot.

No traces.

 

It forgot her.

 

She pulled away, it was time to move on.

 

She rushed up the stairs, out the heart of the archive and into the hallways. Left and right and there a window. Even faster.

 

"What's going on!" Charoite voice stopped her as she was already having one foot on the window. Looking over her shoulder she saw the gem was holding onto the burnt rags. "Who do you belong to! There will be consequences for this!"

To who she belonged? Under the mask, an odd grin spread. There was a perfect answer to that question. Renegade spun as she raised herself to be standing on the window as she made a deep bow, without the diamond salute. The renegade was not a gem of the diamonds.

"The Renegade Pearl to your service. I don't belong to anyone, so any complaints may be directed to my..." Her pearl shined as she was moving out her bow, the sword falling securely in her hand. "Sword. " She pointed the sword directly into the face of the shocked Charoite.

"What.."

"Oh how silly of me, I nearly forgot this." Renegade summoned the purple pearl gem.

"Such an awfully loyal pearl. Had to poof her."

"My pearl!"

 

"She didn't want to betray you, neither to give any information up. How stupid of her to try and alert you of my presence. Don't you agree. " Renegade throw the pearl into the Charoite who caught her on reflex. That had to protect Purple Pearl from punishment. Maybe as pink diamonds pearls, she can check up on her. She had to. "Don't need her anymore."

 

"Drop that weapon this instant! I will alert the guards to shatter you."

 

"Really? You want to explain a PEARL overcome your security and stole precious information from you? It's so tempting to stay and watch you attempt to report that to the diamonds, I bet Yellow diamond will shatter you for the incompetence." Renegade tilted her head looking nonchalant. The Renegade loved doing this. The effect was fascinating, causing the gem to look scared, her fear so different than the pearl fear. Yet... so alike.

The loyal gems greatest weakness.

To disappoint.

"Time flies, so Ta-ta!" With a wave Renegade jumped out the window, rolling as she fell this time. Look at that rolling did help out, Renegade mused to herself.

She looked up at the dark sky and started to run.

She ran, like never before. Never stopping as she was sliding between the building, jumping up and around obstacles in her way. Running where no paths were.  Where no trails were meant to ever be. Jumping onto pipes and power lines.

The Renegade Pearl started to see the potential of the Homeworld architecture to her needs. The potential of being where no gem was intended to be. A burst of laughter echoing after her, coming from deep within her very being. The joy was true, and the most powerful motivation the Renegade ever could have had. 

Wind rushing in her face, she could feel the information about the two gems she took. Their lives, from the moment out of the kindergarten into their first invasion mission. The battles listed out. Up to the last report recorded about the defect shattering, and their accomplice slipping away after being badly damaged. The deal completed, now it was up to Renegade to become the best with all weapons.

Pearl couldn't hold back the laughter, echoing in the night.

 

Chapter Text

Pearl left the small pebble made room. Inside the hidden room, the black outfit was laying, all weapons but the sword were hidden in the kindergarten. The sword she threatened that gem with was now just on the other side of the wall. She came a bit earlier. Not full four cycles have passed. She made herself presentable. She felt tired.

 

She committed a crime.

 

She committed a few crimes.

Yet what made her mind circle back to was an oddity.

 

She thought of the pearl as a who... as she poofed her she thought of her as poofing someone instead of something. Pearl wondered if she ever did that before? Or was it just the first time she noticed... The door to Pink diamonds room opened, she stepped in and...

 

There was no Pink diamond.

 

Should she wait? Should she look for her?

"Pebbles." She knocked on the wall, without wasting any time. The floor opened up uncovering the pebbles.

"Do you know where Pink went?"

 

They didn't know where she went, they did know Pink heard about some delivery and Blue.

 

Blue was a great hint. Already leaving the room and going towards the wrap pads she summoned her screen. The pink screen feeling odd in her fingers. Pearl noticed the edges of the screen were sharp... She was paying attention to how it felt to hold it.  Briefly, her thumb brushed over it, testing the sharpness. The dictionary she took all but bombarding her with words she never before used.

It was such a fabulous feeling. She forced herself to slowly blink. Empty head.

 

Empty.

Unload.

Unpack.

Unburden.

Disburden.

Clear.

Make vacant.

Vacate.

Evacuate.

Unlade.

Void.

 

Pearl opened her eyes, focusing to hear the sounds around herself instead of the buzzing of schematics in her head. She definitely needs to sort the information, come up with some system, or she will….

 

Alphabetically - simply, in alphabetical order

 

Chronologically - by time; for instance by when the information was created or what cycle the report concerns

 

Location - by geographic, spacial or star map position; for instance by what colony the kindergarten statistics for perfect gem production concern, or by what court the gem-item and material is to be used in

 

Magnitude - some kind of ranking; for example from the lowest to the highest, from the simplest gem function to the most complexes, from the shortest to the longest

 

Category - by type or quality; for instance everything related to pink in one place and everything related to Renegade in another, or contracts in one folder and protocols in another


Order, I say!

Pearl yelled inside her own head.

Pearl wished she had her own someone, own pearl to help her with the mess in her gem... A pearl grabbing all the schematics and placing it orderly around her gem. The Renegade would be angrily huffing and slipping lower, to a place more suitable for hiding.  

 

Her gem was nearly vibrating attempting to organise itself. Blinking rapidly Pearl finally snapped out the moment. Realizing she stood still in a place for a while. Quite a while. Something was happening…

Shifting in the spot, she pushed herself to chime Blue Pearl like she originally tried before her mind started to pull upon all the information she stole…

  Purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off...

Stopped.

The chime sounded, Blue pearl answered instantaneously.

  

Pearl felt like she needed rest. “Was busy with a task resolution, aware where my diamond whereabouts… is?”  Her gem still felt like something was moving. Straining. Happening...

 

Blue pearl softly nodded and turned the screen a bit to the side to show Pink with Blue diamonds by some starship.

“Hurry already up Pink. You are wasting everyone's time.” Blue sighed, looking at PInk who was kneeling beside something… Pearl couldn't exactly make out what it was.

 

“Which dock?”

 

“17 AC second left.” Blue pearl whispered and ended the video call. Ended the pearl chime. She should be more careful whit using new words...

 

Working on it!

 

Pearl shook her head. Words echoed inside her own gem. She willfully ignored it as she fast walked to the wrap pads and wrapped to the directions given. She will not Why herself right now. Not until she made it by Pink side, or was safe and alone. She had to get to her diamond.

 

The door to the docks was open and Pearl stopped, looking ahead of herself. Into the massive room whit countless ships and gem around. Ship of all sizes but the very biggest were docked. Their pilot's loo- standing by their ship watching the scene.

 

Pink.

 

Pink was there.

 

Something unwinds inside her… Fear. The feeling was akin to fear. She observed as Pink was waving towards a ship that was slowly raiseing, about to leave. The only ship that was moving in the massive dock. 

“Did you really had to take each one of those things and hug them?”

 

“I was making sure they were not hurt.” Pink was looking down at her feet as she answered.

 

“To think those horrible things were running around for so long that they started to reproduce! Ugh, awful.” Blue diamond shook her head. Pink flinched. Pearl blinked, trying to catch her diamond eyes. Yet Pink had them firmly closed.

 

“But now they were all caught and send back to their home planet. Could have gone faster if we just exterminate them. ”  Blue sighed tired and relieved.

 

“...I hope they will be happy on their moon.” Pinks voice was still… empty like when she was laying. Blue diamond noticed and her eyes and posture fall apart. She looked softer now.

“Pink..” Blues voice was cautious, uncertain and Pearl could hear the warning in the single word, as Pink looked up with a wide smile on her lips. Eyes still firmly closed.

 

“No worries, it's a good thing the little critters didn't destroy anything important while being free.” Pinks voice boomed whit joy that wasn't there in her body stance. Blue nodded, returning to smiling herself. Approval.

“Right, it's a good thing.”

A soft hum besides Pearl. Looking over Pearl saw Blue pearl who stood at ready beside her, arms politely in front of her, head lowered.

“Your arms.” She whispered, causing Pearl to glance at her arms, her posture was all wrong. Hands crossing over her chest and eyes freely looking at the diamonds. Immediately she corrected it being a mirror image of blue pearl posture.   

A proper posture.

 

A pearl posture.

 

Not the Renegade posture.

 

And it was just in time as the diamonds started walking towards the door beside which the two pearls stood at ready.

“You will join me in my extraction room, in two cycles.” Blue diamond said and Pearl could already imagine the nice relaxing time it would mean for both her and blue pearl.

“Sorry, as you see my pearl just came for me, so I can do the extraction now. Cannot run late on it. Wouldn't want to set a bad example.” Blue diamonds polite smile flattered. Her Pearl head tilting for the barest bit up. Meanwhile, Pearl knew the extraction for Pink was planned in two cycle time.

“You done preparing it?” Pink diamond spoke to Pearl, who slowly looked up. Her diamond awaited something from her. Pearl could finally get a look at Pinks eyes, the black diamond shape surrounded by ... a dull pink, instead of vibrant ... and the red white... Her eyes have cried.

She was supposed, to be honest.

Yet, telling the extraction was not planned for now…. Pink didn't exactly ask her about the extraction. She just said it. It could be the report… Was that what would make her happy?  It was awaited from Pearl to obey her Diamond, and not tell lies.

...But avoiding facts.

 

To make her happy...

 

“Yes, my diamond. I completed the preparation. It's ready...now.”  It was so easy to say the words. It may have worried Pearl if she wasn't actively trying to ignore most of the mess in her gem... Not done yet! Soon... and all things related to it. Instead focusing onto Pink. There was a shine in her diamond eyes, now. It made Pearl light form feel like something flattered inside her. Flattered, such a pretty sounding word. For a pretty sensation.

 

“See. I have to be on time Blue, cannot be late. ”

 

“Of course not. Maybe another time than.” Blue said as she nodded, looking down at the two pearls she added. “Well, Pearl come with me.”

“Yes, my diamond.” Blue Pearl followed after her diamond.

 

“Come with me too.” Pink diamond made her way in the opposite direction than Blue diamond, with Pearl on her heel.

 

The two walked back to the pink hallways. The pink walls looking after them. Pearl stayed silent. She could feel the walls eyes opening as they passed to look after them. She was keeping her eyes on Pink diamonds feet in front of her. They turned and Pearl opened the door to Pinks room. The two of them stepped in. She closed the door.

Her diamond pulled the curtains over the balcony.

 

As the curtains connected Pink just stood there.

 

"My diamond..." Pearl started, Pink didn't move. "I did not prepare the extraction chamber..."

 

"I know." Her diamond said.

 

"I prepared the story." Pearl offered.

 

"What? Story?" Pink turned her head towards Pearl, it allowed Pearl to look at Pink hands gripping onto the curtains with a ton of force. Still, they were shaking.

 

"Ah... the reports I meant... um...about the Renegade...they are more...like stories...you see." Pearl felt herself slightly panic as she was using the new words that fit so much better. Her diamond must be angry at her...

 

"Story... I like that. " Except she wasn't... "Thank you pearl. I was sure I would crack if I had to listen to another lecture from Blue. I really didn't want to cry anymore in the next few cycles…My eyes already hurt.”

 

"There is nothing to thank me for my diamond."

 

"But there is! You lied for me!" Pink let go of the curtains to fully turn to Pearl.

 

"Pearls cannot lie my diamond." Pearl saluted, but a smile on her lisp danced, one so much wider than it was polite. One much smugger. "But I can omit a few facts." She blinked and her diamond moved from the curtains to kneeling in front of Pearl... 

"That's amazing. You are amazing."

 

Pearl felt her face becoming hot. Blushing. Her gem started to feel so light, like it was not weighting anything at all. The renegade would worry about being caught in a lie. Pearl felt her posture righting herself up.

"I should get the extraction prepared as soon as possible. So the walls can see us go and do it now. As well in  the case, Blue changes her plans so she would be able to share the execration time with you."

 

"Do you think she would do that?" 

 

"...I  could maybe add appointments so you wouldn't...."

 

"No... I... if she tried, I would let her join me. I know she only has a court fitting today...That things is insignificant and unimportant... if she really change things for me. Even if it meant moving such a lesser court activity for later... I would like that... It would mean something! She must be caring for me! Not just talking at me! Not just tolerating me because I am a diamond and she has to deal with me." 

Pearl looked at her diamond as if it was the first time she saw her. Maybe it was. Maybe for the first time, she saw her and not her status. Finally, she understood how to be a Pearl for Pink diamond. For the first time, she felt like she knew exactly what she was to do. It had to be her, as it was she who wanted to.

As it was her who wanted to see her smile.

She wanted to do it. Pearl reached out placing her hand on top the pink glove. Extremely inappropriate to initialize contact. Pink meet her eyes. Something silent passed between them. Pearl wasn't sure what it was, even with dictionary freshly added in her gem she felt like she was lacking the words. Her head empty. She was just doing. Doing what fit. Pink meet Pearls eyes, the diamond seeing their Pearl. Pearl questioning how much those eyes saw.

 

All sorted!

 

The moment passed and pearl started to move her hand away from her diamonds, yet it was the pink glove that reached out grabbing her pale hand, holding it in hers. Fingers intertwined in need for more contact. A bigger pink and a smaller white. It was a comforting gesture. One Pearl didn't want to ever lose. Pearl chuckled softly as she realized her own fingers were twitching as if to figure out how to hold the weapon in the best way. How to hold her Pink hand the best way.

 

"Thank you, pearl."

 

Pearl nodded, their hands parting, she felt the loss just like she felt the loss for having to put the sword down.

Chapter Text

Pearl prepared the extraction in record time. Her diamond was now in the pink extraction chamber while Pearl waited outside. It was usually a boring affair. It started to be easier to get new words and knew they were new. Her gem felt a lot lighter, but Pearl was not giving it any attention. There were things to do.  She couldn't waste her attention on her own gem when her diamond needed her. The door of the extraction room opened once more. Pink Diamond head popping out.

"No Blue diamond in sight, my diamond." Pear responded before Pink could ask the same question for the seventh time. Pink let a small oh out and returned back to the chamber, the door once more sliding shut behind Pearl. 

Summoning her screen, Pearl sends a small ping to Blue Pearl.

 

Where are your diamond and you?

 

She got a drawing of a sapphire gem. Pearl nodded to herself understanding what Blue Pearl meant. They were at the court fitting.

The door to the extraction chamber opened for the eighth time. "No Blue diamond in sight, my diamond. " Pear responded before Pink could ask the question. Pearl awaited an oh from her diamond, but didn't get it.  "They started the court fitting," Pearl added looking back at Pink, to see that changed. Her diamond wasn't looking at her, her pink eyes were focusing down the corridors if awaiting someone... as awaiting Blue diamond to appear.

"... Maybe she will come after it?" Pink diamond offered.

"They tend to last my diamond." Pearl carefully responded, not wanting to see her diamond be even sadder.

"...Maybe she will cut it short?" Her diamond said hopefully.

"... I could ask blue Pearl to offer the suggestion to Blue diamond?" Pearl offered, summoning the screen back, already ready to ping Blue Pearl. Yet, her finger hesitated over the screen. Unsure. She wasn't told to do that, she wasn't told not to do it either...

It was odd.

All of the now was so odd.

New.

Definitely, nothing established.

The renegade loved it.

Pearl was terrified about all the punishable crimes she was accumulating.

 

"Let's give it a bit of time... Maybe she will come to the idea her self..." Pink sounded doubtful, Pearl nodded, returning the screen back. Opting to stay silent for a bit. The door closed once more. Pearl stared at the pink door for a few long moments. It was an intricate design... With lots of flowing lines.  Pearl turned away, wondering if her diamond got to decide on the patterns on the door or not... 

Pearl summoned her screen once more, it still held the drawing from Blue Pearl. She swiped the image away. She waited with the empty screen in hand, just looking at the pink wall in front of her self. That wall had no eyes. It had no decoration either. So nothing could drag away the attention from the door behind Pearl. The door opened again. "No Blue diamond in sight, my diamond," Pearl responded before Pink could ask the question. Instead of hearing the oh, she felt a gentle touch on her back causing her to turn sharply around.

"Actually...come in?" Pink spoke pointing to the extraction room she was peeking out from. It was extremely inappropriate. Her light form shivered in anticipation. She stepped in, the door sliding closed behind her. She knew how the room looked empty. She was the one preparing it, by checking if all was in working order and ensuring everything inside was where it should always be. The pool-like structure in the floor, it was deep enough for even White Diamond to sit in it comfortably. Several fountains would pour water on special stones. Creating an enjoyable sound as well as providing the water needed for dulling the extract for later processing. There was a shallow end of the pool where Pink could simply sit in the water and be covered the same amount in the water like her fellow diamonds. All to be equals.

 

Now the room was filled with bubbles.

 

Pink bubbles pouring out the pool, bubbling upon each other all the way up to the fountains. Their water not pouring.

 

"Well, usually I just pop them my self..." Pink said as she picked the closest bubble poping it in her hand. A few drops falling from her diamonds hand down, onto the bubbles that were inside the pool. Pearl could see briefly the pink drops sliding along the outside of the bubbles to reach the water underneath. 

"I am a bit of... you know... I keep thinking and...I ended making way too many..."

"Nervous." Pearl offered, causing Pink to stop once more to look at her. A new word. 

"Nervous." Pink diamond repeated and Pearl blushed looking away. She awaited her diamond to ask where did she get that word. Her diamond didnt ask. "Yes, I may be a bit nervous... It doesnt make any sense, right. Wanting Blue to come in saying I was more important than an unimportant court fitting and ... and... "

"Dreading her to come, and catch you with way too many bubbles?" Pearl offered again. Awaiting her diamond to get angry at her for finishing her sentence. That was a grave misstep. Assuming what her diamond was thinking and daring to speak in their name... Pink didn't get angry.

 

"Exactly!"

 Pearl wondered if her diamond was even noticing all the rulebreaking she was doing...

So new...

"I could... help you..." Pearl offered, dropping head first into unknown and feeling herself becoming horrible nervous. Fearing her diamond would say yes.

PInk didn't. 

"No... I will pop them... but... you prepared the report, can you tell it so I dont think about this?"

 

"Gladly my diamond. "Truly gladly, that she could do. "Today's story of Renegade pearl is about her first-time poofing another gem and why she had to do it. To understand that we have to go a bit back to the time in the kindergarten as the Renegade Pearl wandered the halls, she was realizing something as her eyes travelled over all the exit holes..." Pear started with the training she did in the kindergarten. How Renegade Pearl looking at all the exit hole realized how every gem was irreplaceable and mattered. How her thinking up that point was not right. She left the thin Jasper out, wanting to make her and her friend's memory into a story of their own. One that was worthy enough. She wasnt there yet.

  

Pearl ended up sitting by the edge of the pool legs crossed as she told the story about the archive raid. Able to answer all the whys her Diamond had. Giving her a plethora of details about all the sensations, describing each movement and emotion. The pink gem was sitting in the shallow end leaning on the edge of the pool and looking up at Pearl. Hear eyes shining bright, a hand popping the bubbles. Near all bubbles have been popped by then. The water was a soft pink shade by this point from all the bubbles popped. Pearl was about to explain how the Renegade escaped when a soft blue chime interrupted her.

It was Blue Pearl drawing of the blue court leaving out a room. "The court fitting is done!"

Pink diamond eyes shined like real stars. While Pearl sends a quick question of what Blue diamond planned to do now. Adding to the words that Pink was still in her extraction chamber. Unable to resist adding that maybe Blue Pearl could offer the suggestion to Blue diamond to visit Pink now?

Both gems waited with bated breath at the response from the other diamond pearl.

 

The moment passed, as both were still.

Moments passed as Pearl realized that Blue diamond never shortened the court fitting duration.

 

Instead of a drawing, a short voice recording was sent as a response. Pearl pressed it to play.

"I cannot deal with Pink today anymore, she is too much… too much… ugh. Too much like herself. Even if she did make some progress to behave like a diamond since she got that new Pearl... She can be too much...Just prepare my ship I will visit my colonies. Postpone my extraction." Blue diamonds voice echoed in the chamber and Pink diamond was looking away.

 Pearl panicked.

"I am so sorry! Blue Pearl must have believed me to be outside the extraction chamber like it is proper!" Pearl was about to stand up and do something. Even when she didnt know what that something is.

Two pink arms wrapped around Pearl's waist and pulled. She shrieked as her feet crossed the edge and she was pulled into the pool, with her diamond hugging her.  She was inside the pink water of the pool. The effect was instantaneous. The feeling of tiredness was vanishing, a sensation of relief was seeping into her. The hurt from the training, the sensation of hits against her light body were taken away with each second she was inside the pool. Her white fingers curled into the fabric of her diamond. She couldnt help the sound slipping off her lips.

 

"Are you hurt?" Her diamond asked looking down on Pearl surprised and worried.  The Pearl in question looked up at her diamond with half lidded eyes. She found herself too relieved to make correct sounds for words, so she shook her head. Pink diamond pearl wasnt hurt, the Renegade was the gem that got hurt and tired and pushed herself to see what her limits are.

 

"Not hurt gems don't moan in relief when they get in contact with my extract," Pink said in a tone Pearl wasn't capable of putting a finger on...

 

Oh, the sound she made was a moan. Noted.

 

Sorted Note!

 

"Who hurt you?" The voice held all the authority of a diamond. The demand to receive an answer was undeniable. It made Pearl shrink onto herself. The Pink arms pulled her closer to Pink chest. Holding her thigh to a point where she could oh so easily go poof.

 

" ... I..." Pearl answered or started to answer. She wasn't so sure herself, her voice carrying all the fear she experiences. The grip around loosened and Pearl's chin was raised, when did she bow her head?

"I didnt mean to scare you... Please dont be scared..." Pink misunderstood her answer...All the crimes she did, how was she not to be scared. She was doing something forbidden right now! And not even as Renegade... Pearl stared at her fingers clinging into Pinks soft gem clothing.

  

"It doesn't matter my diamond. It doesn't matter as I am just a Pearl." Pearl offered. Her own words sounding somehow empty... It was the truth, yet it didn't feel like it. Odd.

 That was another new thing...

 

Pink was about to say something, but it appeared she changed her mind. A soft sigh left her. Pulling Pearl closer and turning her so Pearls back was flash against her diamonds chest. Pearl could feel the pink hands wrapping around her waist. Pearl didn't dare to look down and confirm it. Weight settling on top of her head as her diamond leaned her head on top of hers.  In a soft whisper so akin Blue pearls but so unlike her Pink diamond asked.

"Answer me just this, should I be worried about you being hurt?"

 

Pearl shifted her head so that her diamond could see her expression. Their eyes meet. New. Old. Odd.  The smug smile settling on her lips. "No, my diamond. Everything is fine." Pearl answered honestly. It was the truth. The new. The odd. They were fine. Pearl watched on, and she could feel as the diamond body wrapped around her shifted, relaxing. Seeing the small smile and a determined expression settle on her diamond face. Pearl returned to look ahead, allowing her diamond to rest her head on hers.

 

Pearl slowly blinked realizing how safe she felt. 

Oddly protected in the hands who could just shatter her, pop her like one of the bubbles before. 

Pearl simply knew her diamond will not do that... like many other things she simply didn't do...

They didn't finish the story that cycle.

Chapter Text

The following cycle pearl decided to focus on her gem. It had finally slowed down so she could spare the time. Pearl's eyes shifted up to her diamond, who was busy typing something. Pearl observed how the pink gem was pouting in concentration. It was a good time, she wasn't needed.

It still meant she had a lot of work to do... Most of which was at the moment connected to the previous cycle, to yesterday.

After the ... bath .... her body felt so good, and energetic. After the bath most her Diamond and Pearl did was exchange looks and smile at each other. It felt like neither wanted to make or do something that would make something else happen. It wasn't unusual for master and pearl not to speak with each other for a few cycles or more... pearls were there when needed... when not they were put aside...

Yet... that would assume Pink Diamond was a usual master...Definitely was not.

Which left Pearl with no real idea...

The feeling of... confusion was not helped with the questions Pearl had now. After the bath Pearl had a bunch of question about and to her Diamond. She didn't ask them. She had so many things she wanted to ask and to know. Did she heal gems before to know how a hurt gem healing sounded? Did she do this with the previous Pearl?... It was so not allowed for any gem to get in the direct contact with a diamond extract. It was supposed to be really bad for the already formed gem, the lower the gem the worse the effect… Pearls were quite low, being just an object and on occasion, storing or entertainment tool... Only special gem tools, made on diamond request would be safe from the bad effects... Even so, nothing bad happened to her, everything was better! So many things not asked.

Yet.

Yet, she agreed. The questions became sorted in her mind, her focus easily sliding to the top problem. First was to understand the mess in her gem from the archive raid. Pearl's eyes shifted back to her Diamond, who was still diligently pouting at the screen and now deleting half a screen of the previously typed work.

Pearl closed her eyes and focused on the mess in her gem. Except it didn't feel like a mess anymore. Could the.... bath ... have healed that too? Yet, it started to feel better sometime before the bath... didn't it? Or did she imagine that? Why would it feel better on its own? She had to understand. Pearl needed to do this, or how else was she to help Pink if she was not fully focused on her. After one last check on her Diamond, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to feel into her gem. Like when she was looking through what was stored in her. Reaching out for the information. Awaiting to feel the buzz of data and the energy of about to be formed holograms. She opened her eyes. She was...

White place.

A perfectly white and clean and smooth place.

It was spacious and well lit.

It was completely empty.

"Why?"

Her own voice came as a surprise. She had a voice when ... which didn't make any sense. There was no need for a voice in her own gem. To what would she use it even?

Light steps, a sound that reached Pearl's ears. The sound that wasn't bound to any memory stored in her. A sound made inside her Pearl. Why? Who would hear it? Pearl looked down at herself, she was having an appearance. She had a body in this white place. Why?

Why would she ever need an appearance in her gem? Who was gonna see her in here?

The owner of those steps?

The thought felt like a vibration. As if the words were whispered with a smirk at her ear. The light steps stopped. Pearl raised her head.

The steps belonging to herself, but she was not over there. She was over here. The Pearl in front of her nodded. " Request to describe this situation, accepted. " The Pearl in front of Pearl spoke, and with perfect Pearl-like elegance turned away, her movement fluid and light. Effortlessly. Like everything was in perfect control. The other herself hands made a movement and suddenly there was a wall of text in front of them. The pearl who was openly staring realized that the wall of text was the dictionary, each word sorted with an attached definition. The pearl who summoned the wall of text swiped left and right until she picked a word in her hand and stored it in her own gem.

She performed the act of storing in her gem with a flourish and concluded it with a deep bow.

"Disjointed." Pearl who starred spoke the word that pops into her head.

" Yes. " The Pearl in front of the dictionary text said to Pearl. Softly she turned around, facing directly Pearl and taking a pearl ready stance.

"What... who are you?"

" Me obliviously ."

"I am confused."

" The mess needed to be sorted. So a pearl was the best pick to sort the mess. So here I am ."

"I ... imagined you? I wasn't asked to imagine a pearl sorting a mess out." The wall of text changed behind the other pearl, behind the other Pearl? Once more she was looking through the words.

" ....hm... Not sure how I came to be, but I am Pearl for... Inside your Pearl. " Words were flashing at the wall at high speeds.

" A pearl for a Pearl. " Another voice said with a chuckle. A familiar sounding amusement. That voice belonged to yet another Pearl. That Pearl was wearing black.

A black outfit.

The black outfit.

That Pearl was the Renegade.

" I am to be surface, you make messes so you go down. Hush, Hush. Before I sort you under P for 'plague'. " The sorting, surface Pearl said waving her hand towards the Renegade Pearl.

" Oh no, I am going to get sorted, I am shaking. Please save me from this horror! " The Renegade danced around and towards them, her movements had a sharpness to them. One that made Pearl think of something ready to snap, or lash out. The Renegade stopped in front of them. Being just out of their arms reach, yet in her sword reach. The Renegade Pearls hands moving to cross across her chest. No stance appropriate for a Pearl. Her posture challenging anyone to try and correct it. Stance perfect for the Renegade.

Pearl blinked. The words behind Surface Pearl changed again, in a fast flash, as she was picking the word Pearl needed. Yet, before the Surface Pearl could send or give the word away, the Renegade forcefully took it away from her. " You are not insane. Defective, out your mind or anything else the Surface can dig out of that dictionary. "

" She is in her mind, obliviously... Not out her mind. " The Surface Pearl helpfully provided. A smugness for correcting Renegade settling on her face.

The Main Pearl, she can't believe she had to name herself, "I am staring at two other me. How does it look to you?"

The two other me shared a look as if they knew the feeling. Understood the reasoning. Reneage returned the word back to the flashing wall of the dictionary. Her moments becoming slower and then stopped.

" ... I... was just an idea " The renegade said, not moving from staring at the flashing wall. " An idea given voice, that was still you, still your voice...I think... It was like with each word I was more me but then... the bath happened and I became stronger faster. "

“But how?!”

The Renegade finally turned if only to give Main Pearl a raised eyebrow. She had no visible eyebrows as she was all but a shadow with eyes and gem… The outfit really did hide things well, but it felt like she did exactly that. The lul of the moment passed Renegade speaking up again. Challenge in her voice, an dare to disagree.

You spent a third of a cycle inside the diamond extract, having Pink diamond wrapped around you. “ Pearl felt her cheeks get hotter, the bluish hue covering them. She did spend something that felt like an eternity in her Diamonds arms. The Renegade simply continued, approaching. ” Pink diamond, who made sure to pour the pink water over your head and with that over my gem a few times.“ That she remembered clearly. It felt so good when her Diamond did that. Every time Main Pearl made that noise… The feeling was like everything was going to be well, and Pink had such a lovely carrying smile right then… "And a few times... her tears discreetly fall on top of our head..." Main Pearl looked away, those teary times did not last long... so maybe her presence helped PInk?...

Exactly five times she poured the water.” Provided the Surface Pearl, dragging Main Pearl attention to the recorded memory that started to play between them. A hologram projection yet with just colourful detail as if it was happening for real. Pearl waved at it and the memory vanished, returning back to its designated place. It amused the Renegade as her voice had a playful edge to it now.

The same stuff that is used to create gems. Pearls usually are made with just a drop…and you were soaking in it.

I can show you the precise measurements! ” Helpfully offered the Surface Pearl.

The Renegade pointed at Surface Pearl. " She was a wish, a... " The words behind the Surface Pearl shifted, new words appearing. She picked one and throw it at the Renegade who caught it like catching a stick.

" Subconscious need for order, that was still you. After the bath, I am positive she became more annoying. "

" That's it, you are getting sorted! " Surface scolded, approaching Renegade. The Main Pearl raised her hands. "Please no infighting... I have no idea how you two fighting will affect me, and I have to be there for Pink Diamond."

"Yeah for Pink diamond."

"Agree for pink Diamond"

The other two Pearls shared a look, Main Pearl oddly at seeing how things between them clicked. As if all was shiting in a well-organised order... Main blicked. Surface Pearl made a diamond salute. " Yes, my Pearl. " Main Pearl blinked. She wondered what word she needed now, the Renegade hummed, pointing to Surface's picture-perfect pearl stance. " Lets not go into what that means for who we are, agreed? " She didn't need any words, for it... not yet.

Main Pearl reluctantly nodded, watching as Renegade simply walked into the white and vanished. The Surface Pearl looked at Main. " She just went a layer deeper, that's her place.

Main Pearl nodded, she knew the place would look like the old kindergartens... even if she had no idea how. Main closed her eyes. Pearl opening them slowly as she was back in the pink room. Her Diamond didn't notice her absence of attention.

She used another moment to think, there were many things she had to think about. She wanted to pick, focusing Pearl felt Surface organising it according to the most urgent topics to think about. Pearl started to think about the Pearl she poof, she had yet to go and check on her.

That was useful, helpful. It made her more free to actually think about it, instead to try to order it herself. The voices were easier to reach, knowing they were there. Knowing without a doubt they were all a 'me'.

But first.

“My Diamond.” Pearl started talking as she did the diamond salute and bowing her head deeply. Picture perfect pearl stance.

“Mmm?”

“We never finished the story my Diamond.” Pearl offered. Her Diamond hands stopped typing. She turned slightly towards Pearl. Pearl let her hands connect, sliding effortlessly out the salute into a different pearl position. Ready to entertain.

"I could listen to it now..." Her Diamond fingers touched the screen, not typing but just touching it.

Pearl, felt her cheeks heat up. A gently push in the back of her mind and the words all but poured out her lips.

"...going to the archive my diamond."

Her diamond turned, blinking openly at her. Just do.

Right, it was needed. It all servers her diamonds happiness. Just hers... "As the story occurs... happens at the archive, I imagined you may want to visit it before I conclude it...end it... to... enchant the experience." Pearl closed her eyes, she shouldn't use so many new words, Pearls speak simply to the point. Even if her Diamond didn't appear to mind it, it was still...

"Sounds like a good idea, but White would be on my case if I just visit the place without a real reason." Oh, Pearl blinked. That was a problem... but she could imagine it away. Her Pearl shined as she imagined her Diamond walking into the archive.

"She cannot complain if you go to submit to the archive what you have been writing, my diamond?" The projection giving over the writings to an operating gem.

Her diamond looked at it. "I can't." The projection dropped and Pearl looked at her openly in question.

"Why?" She asked, using why again, using that word so much on the course of the last several cycles that now it felt... So natural, even when she realized she just questioned her Diamond decisions. Gems have been shattered for less... Her diamond didn't even appear to notice the transgression towards her as she looked at her writings and back to Pearl.

"Right I didn't show it to you...." there was a reluctance to it as she moved the writings to be on the eye level with Pearl. She read them, hands reaching out to touch the screen. She understood them. Schematics from the kindergarten pooping up in her mind, the needed materials for injectors flashing behind her eyes. The words and numbers all made sense.

"You are trying to make a new type of gem?" Pearl spoke, finger swiping to look into more details. There were mistakes. Some smaller ones, but some bigger would cause the gems to not even form, or when formed they would be heavily malformed...

"Yes," Her Diamond said. Her hands wandering as if they didn't know where to go, as she continues. "I kind of failing to make them." Pearl could help her with that. Pearl's hands moved in a more confident manner as she spread the information across several screens in front of her to have a better overlook. Rereading the lines and calculation over now with an added focus to help her Diamond.

"If you add a purpose it would stabilize them. As well, adding a simple form, on which to base their own forming would furthermore assist in their stability. Limiting the possible amount of physical defects. There are several miscalculations regarding the use of injectors. Mainly for not considering they have to be adapted according to the type of soil the kindergarten is being planned to be built in. I can correct the smaller mistakes with the calculations for you, but the bigger pieces would need a defined input."

Pearl stopped to shift the screens around wondering if she could offer more suggestions to her Diamond. Her diamond voice stopped that idea.

"I thought I was given a Pearl," Pink responded using the moment of silence to cut in, causing Pearl to look up her diamond. "Not a Peridot." Pearl felt her light body become cold. Did she make her angry? She messed up. She couldn't help herself, she saw it as a messy problem and she knew she could try to make it less messy. That was the end of the Renegades tale.

Her diamond was grinning wide, her eyes shining.

Pearl wanted to speak up, her own words to be in a tone of challenge. The last deifying moment of her existence. Except it wasn't her last moment and her diamond turned the screens still have the grin on her face.

not angry... but happy.

"That's kind of a problem, you know. I don't know what purpose to give them and I don't want to force them into a single base shape. I want them to surprise me like with the shapes they decide to take on... Like you."

Nonsensical claim.

"...I have a Pearl shape like all the other pearls, my diamond." Pearl offered unsurely.

"I meant how you keep surprising me, like with all the things you do and say! I want that with their form! So they would be like you, in a sense!" Pink was excited.

Pearl wanted to offer that she could stop, but... her diamond just said she wanted to be kept on surprised. She could understand that as an order... She didn't have to understand it as an order. There was so much ... Pink wanted to make a gem line like her. She was giving her Diamond what she wanted. It felt heavy, dizzy as if the world was losing its light. Only Pearl was closing her eyes.

Just do.

Her gem lighting up. A projection of Pink Diamond entering the archive.

"How about, my diamond you go to the archive to read up on all the ways the other diamonds have made gem lines. " The projection showing Pink reading white screens of text as it then shifted to show White Diamond. "She has to praise you my diamond, for reading up on the gem lines she herself created." The white Diamond moving down so she could praise PInk and to follow it up with hugging Pink Diamond, for being such a great Diamond. All having happy smiles.

The real Pink reached out gently touching the projection, it sent a shiver thought Pearl.

Chapter Text

Warping into the front hall of the archive was followed with a lot of surprised gems saying their compliments to their radiant diamond presence. All gems briefly stopping what they were doing to look at a diamond so close to them. Pearl stepped in front of her diamond and striking a pose she called out to the lobby full of gems.

"Greet the shining, radiant, vibrant, dazzling, spirited, dashing Pink diamond. " Her voice was strong and loud so even the gems in the back could hear and be aware a diamond was present. The saluting and praising went over without a hitch. Pink and she managed to finally step off the warp pad and then there she was, Charoite stepped forward. Pearl moved to the side. Her diamond stepping in front of her like it was supposed to be. Never to spare a glance at her pearl. Exactly as it should be... Pearl took the proper pose, head tilted down. Still, Pearls eyes were unable to stay downcast, instead, they peeked up and searched the crowd in an attempt to spot her.

Was it enough time to for the Purple Pearl to reform?

She knew that soldiers vary in their recharging time. Some were faster than others. Yet, she didn't know about pearls... maybe... Pearl felt the begging of an idea forming in her head. Her diamond didn't ask her to get ideas... Yet.

Yes, yet.

Order.

Yes, there has to be an order of completing her tasks. First, she followed behind her diamond and Charoite, who was beaming at the prospect of having a diamond in her archive. She was way too distracted with the presence of Pink, to actually get to the point they were here for. Pearl stepped closer, a step in front of Pink, bowing deeply as she spoke. Her voice was carrying a sweet melodic tone to it. Pleasing to be heard.

"My diamond wished to personally look over the gem line creation submitted by the other diamonds. My diamonds schedule is quite full." The proud gem gave her a glance, there was a brief sense of something, a twitch or was it curiosity...or terror. Pearl wasn't sure, but she was sure that she had to get to the ground of it, for Renegade's sake.

Pink spoke up after hearing Pearl claim. "Right. Always so busy, always something to do. Not a moment of bored here. Nope. Not a single moment of boredom." The diamond waved her hands, letting out a mocking laugh out.

"Forgive me for wasting your precious time!" Charoite made a bow that was even deeper than that of Pearl. It was... oddly satisfactory to Pearl to see it. As satisfactory as completing a task of cleaning a room to perfection. Finally, they were lead to where they wanted to go.

Pear followed after Pink when they were lead to the data bank where an operator was already summoning the data on the screens. Her diamond took the screen in her hand. Eyes wandering over the words.

"Thank you very much." She hummed, the operator gem eyes growing big and her fingers becoming momentarily shaky.

"Thank you, your radiant shining Pink diamond." Responded the operator gem barely stopping her shaking from nervousness. Pink eyes stayed on the screen, Pearl wondered if Pink Diamond did that because she didn't notice it or because she tried to help the poor gem to not be as nervous. The Charoite bowed once more, and Pink clapped, the purple gem going on her way back to the office.

Now.

Yes.

Now.

"My diamond, may I do some smaller preparations?" Pink looked at her with unsure eyes. Pearl blinked.

"It will only last several moments," Pearl added, and the shadow in Pink DIamonds eyes vanished. No longer unsure. Her diamond smiled giving a stern nod. "Do not let me wait for long Pearl." Her voice a warning, the operator gem fingers becoming shaky again, this time for a different reason. Fear.

Fear of failing. Fear of shattering.

Pearl didn't felt any of those fears. "Yes, my diamond."

She was a capable pearl.

She will not disappoint, not any more now that she knew what she had to do.

She had to do this, to ensure the future of the ...story? Somehow it felt bigger than a story... Later. She can wonder about that later. The real danger didn't come from her diamond, but the others. Pearl knew in every photon of her light body that Renegade had to stay undiscovered by the other diamonds. She chimed on the office door of the Charoite. The door sliding open. Pearl could see the purple pearl inside, moving away from the door to return to stand beside her master.

"Pink di-" Charoite began to realise it was just her a pearl.

"Pink diamond send me in her name." Pearl cut the greeting short. The Charoite dropped her salute.

"Its more time efficient this way," Pearl added watching as Charoite, nodded, sitting back down. Something she would have never done if the diamond herself was here. Pearl eyes briefly wandered to the Purple Pearl. Her gem on the outside of her hand gently reflecting the light of the room. Undamaged.

"My diamond wants to ask you a few things and depending on your answers make a very special request." Charoite nodded once more, patiently waiting to be asked.

"Go on. I am listening." She was cool, confident, a gem radiating wisdom. Pearl waited for another second. She made a plan. Pearl still felt an odd doubt raise in her that what she is doing was doomed to fail. If the gem sees through her act ... all will end.

"Are you loyal?" Pearl said simply jumping into it all. Hesitation will not bring anything. Her smile never wavering. Never showcasing the small storm building up in her. The absolute horror on the Charoite face was fascinating. Questioning a gem loyalty was unheard of. The purple gem jumped up from her chair, back to standing, words flying out her lips in a bombardment of confirmation. Yes, she was very loyal.

Pearl instead of paying attention to it any more, moved her head to look directly at the still standing Purple Pearl.

"And you? Are you loyal?" Pearl watched as the Purple Pearl looked complete at the lost. She was unable to outer a word. Her eyes searching the room, briefly wandering off to the side. Yet she didn't look at her master, neither did the master look at her own pearl. The Pearl beside the archive leader was thinking of the answer. That made Pearl feel so much joy. The Purple Pearl settled on a slow nod. Cautious. Open for interpretation. Her master stopping her word blabbering. Observing Pearl who asked them. Pearl could feel the higher rank gem look her over. Her posture was a perfect Pearl posture. Nothing of the Renegade was shown.

Still...

That was the danger.

"You are both to report directly to Pink diamond and only her in the matters of her interests. " They both nodded. "All information and reports are to be forwarded to her personal pearl, me. So I can bring it to her attention at the appropriate moment. The information of the reports is to be restricted for only PInk diamond eyes and her personal pearl, meaning me. This is a matter of the well being of gem kind." Well.... the well being of one gem... maybe two, if she gets really greedy. Both gems stared at her, while Pearl kept her polite smile. There was something Pearl recognised as pride and self-importance flashing in Charoite eyes. Pearl was sure she made it tempting enough for the archive leader gem to be simply unable to say no.

"This order " Pearl continued feeling her doubt changing in excitement." is to affect any report or information regarding" Now it comes. " the Renegade pearl. " The Charoite took in a loud breath, her pearl slowly blinked, her hands moving to her lips. Hiding her mount. Pearl continued. Pride at how nicely she worded this.

"In the future Pink Diamond may add more subjects of interest that may be treated in the same way. " The Purple Pearl eyes wandered from her to her master and back to her. Pearl continued all the same. " Pink Diamond as well demands the information on this topic to not be stored in the Archive, until she says otherwise. "

There done.

Renegade will be protected.

"This order is not transferable to any other gem. Any question?"

The Purple pearl will not be in danger of being replaced.

Pearl was happy with herself. She can return to Pink now.

Except.

The archive leader moved around her desk to stand in front of her. The awe and shine in her eyes have ebbed away. Was the order too good to be true?

"How does the Diamond know about it?" It. The Renegade Pearl was the 'it'. Charoite hand was about to touch Pear shoulder, the closeness of the gem hand was odd. Charoite didn't touch, but looking at the purple eyes, Pearl felt like the archive leader was trying to get into her very mind.

"Oh... " Pearl was not counting on being questioned. She counted that coming with direct diamonds order would yield complete obedience, without question. Charoite is a stone known for great insight. Respond. Only a second has passed as Pearl was talking again. "She... she is a diamond do you question her wisdom?" Pearl responded with confidence and warning, as she stepped back away from the purple gem. The doubt was now back, and stronger than ever. Has she given herself away by trying to make something for the future?

"No of course not, it just... how could she have known about it?" The Charoite spoke her voice getting an edge of fear to it. Right questioning a diamond is a shattering offence.

"About what?" Pearl contrasted, searching familiarity and strength in the proper Pearl pose she took. An unshaken pose. Her fingers twitched, longing for a sword.

Charoite raised her hand to cover her lips. Again searching Pearl stance for something. Pearl broke the silent moment.

"Well. Know about what? Do you have a report to give for a Pink Diamond to her personal pear now?" Pearl asked again keeping her tone as polite as she could, facing the purple gem eyes briefly before lowering them like a servant knowing its not their place to demand.

"My Pearl, I order you to tell to it," Charoite spoke without turning to her Purple Pearl. Pearl raised her head turning to face the side where Purple Pearl was standing. Only to be faced with the Renegade... a projection of Renegade tinted purple. She looked a lot sharper, a lot more fearsome.

"This... gem. Had poofed me. A few cycles ago." She spoke with great care. Careful.

"This defective Pearl went into the data banks and has stolen information... The data banks did not record who accessed them. We don't know how she managed to erase her presence, but we do know what she accessed. We were in the mids of investigating all that was taken when the radiant Pink Diamond arrived."

Pearl resisted correcting the gem that she was not defective. It was fine. She knew Renegade was not defective, that was enough. Pearl nodded.

"In such a situation, I am supposed to talk to your Pearl, alone."

Without a word, the higher ranked gem simply walked out of the room. Pearl briefly awaited her to say something or give her a look or anything really. Nothing. She had to have her reasons. Her doubt started to ebb away again. Maybe it did work to hide Renegade away. Now she stood with the Purple Pearl alone in the archive leader room.

"How ... are you doing?" Pearl spoke softly.

"..." The Purple pearl didn't move, neither responded, till Pearl tilted her head to look at her downcast eyes.

"Its what my diamond wish to know," Pearl said shifting her position slightly to a more relaxed pose. One that was fine when only things were in a room.

"My function as a pearl was not compromised. I can still serve my Charoite."Pearl watched as Purple Pearl took a breath in, after complimenting for a moment she as well added. "I can still serve Pink Diamond." Purple Pearl looked up, meeting Pearls eyes.

Pearl blinked slowly. "...Were you.... in pain?"

Why is she asking this?

Because she had to know. She did it. She had to know, to know what she did.

"..."

The Purple Pearl stayed silent. That didn't help Pearl. She clarified.

"When she poof you?" Why is she insisting to hear it? She stabbed a knife in her. It must have hurt. Like getting an axe in her back. Probably worse as the knife poofed the gem while the axe did not poof her.

"It was fast, the pain didn't even register from how surprised I was." Too fast. Too fast to suffer from the pain.

Fast helped, to avoid the pain… So if she always aims to poof gems fast will it….

Why?

She was a Pearl, why was she planning how to poof gems to let them suffer the least…

"Surprised she hurt you?"Pearl asked trying to use the question to help herself focus just as much as to learn more.

"No...."

Pearl looked at the Purple Pearl, she no longer held the right posture. Her hands covering her chest, with her gem hand hidden under her other hand.

"..."

Once more she was staying silent.

"What was too surprising?" Pearl questioned.

"A pearl using a weapon." Purple fingers twitched, nothing else moved. She was perfectly still. Pearl breather in and out slowly. What does that mean? It didn't sound like Purple Pearl was not hating the Renegade. As if the Purple Pearl didn't mind getting hurt, but what made her be off was that Renegade used weapons?

Pearl longed for the silence of the kindergarten.

She wished to think.

"Pink Diamond thanks you." She had to return to Pink. Maybe then she will get to think about whys. Pearl turned away, she made one step before the Purple pearl whispered something Pearl didn't hear clearly.

"What did you say?" Pearl asked never wavering in her polite tone.

"What will... happen to... it?"

Now it was Pearl turn to not move. Purple Pearl took another audible breath before she asked once more.

"What will happen to the Renegade Pearl once it is caught?" Fear.

Fear for the renegade?

What?

Pearl blinked slowly.

"...It will be Pinks Diamond decision." Pearl couldn't stop the polite smile changing to an honest one. This other Pearl cared for Renegade…It didn't make any sensible sense to Pearl... Yet... Pearl felt a bit of warmth inside her own chest. Of course, Purple Pearl will not do anything to help Renegade but… she asked for her fate her voice not holding anger for being hurt by that gem... The soft steps approached her. Purple Pearl could see her honest smile. The one she couldn't guard away.

Pearl cared for the Renegade Pearl too.

If she ever gets caught it will be Pink decision as she would be the only other gem who knows Renegade as well as Pearl herself knows her.

"...I see." The Purple Pearl said and Pearl swiftly turned to fully face her. Maybe too swiftly as the Purple Pearls hands went back to cover her chest the very spot she stabbed her. Pearl forced herself to look at it. This will be what she will be doing for Pink. For her happiness. For that smile. This had to be something she can exist with.

Live with.

What lines will not be crossed?

Clarity.

She could.

She felt clarity settle in her mind. She will hurt gems, poof them. Renegade will be hated... Renegade will be loved in the shadows. Yet this Purple pearl the victim of Renegade was more fascinated with the idea of a Pearl fighting, than the pain itself.

But what lines…?

"The Diamonds judgment is just." Purple Pearl said breathlessly.

"Was it the first time you were poof?" Pearl shot back, not answering the Surface Pearl inquire. Not, yet at least. The other pearl shook her head.No it was not the first time.

"...But it was a lot faster than a blunt object was." Purple Pearl explained, finally relaxing.

"Pink Diamond would want you to include it in the reports you pass to me if you get poof by another gem again, even if not by Renegade Pearl," Pearl spoke without sparing a single thought on what she just said. It felt so right to say it. An apology from Pearl, without saying sorry.

"...Pink Diamond is so radiant and wonderfully merciful." Purple Pearl saluted deeply.

Include in the report if your master or any gem is not living up to be worthy of that mercy.

"Include in the report if your master or any gem is not living up to be worthy of that mercy." An apology from the Renegade, without ever saying sorry.

Amazement. Gratitude. The Purple Pearl bowed in front of her again. Whispering that she was not worth such attention. Thanking her Diamond for how beautiful she was.

"Don't tell, don't disappoint." Pearl left without another word, passing Charoite who was leaning on the wall opposite her office door. Pearl saluted and moved on. Her step fast and precise. A blur later, she found herself standing by Pink side. She felt exhausted.

Chapter Text

"Done with your preparation?" Her diamond whispered as Pearl stood by her side.

"Yes, my diamond," Pearl responded without thinking. She felt exposed, tired and really just wanting to feel good once more. Even so, there was a nice feeling about succeeding with her goal. Keep Renegade appearances away from as many eyes as possible. Especially the other three diamonds. Pearl gave a smile to her diamond.  Pink giggled at seeing it, causing the operator gem to blush at the privilege to hear such a wonderful sound. To be simply in the presence of it. Hands shaking briefly before she steadied herself.

Pink Diamond returned back to reading the screens the operator gem was providing.

The break of simply watching Pink read was cut short as gasping was heard from ahead. Pearl's eyes shifted towards the direction where the warp pad was. The only warning they got.

 

"Pink, what are you doing here?"  A white ball speedily rushed and abruptly stopped in front of them. The white ball melted to showcase White Pearl. A perfect pose. Unseeing eyes that saw all. Pearl looked at the other pearl. Pearl felt too much, a ton of things looking at the other Pearl. It felt dizzying. None of those felt like anything either. Just dizzying noise.

Helping.

 

The feeling vanished in a flash, focusing on the facts. On the now. The present she was in. 

And right now Pearl was beside Pink diamond.

Pink was about to answer the question when White Pearl cut her off. "White Diamond send me, her Pearl to escort you back. So you dont waste time playing around." Pink huffed at hearing those words. Righting her self up to stand as tall as she could without moving on her tiptoes or floating up.

"I am not playing! I was studying. Doing diamond work!" Pink announced, pride and something sad mixed in her voice. Pearl looked at her. Comfort.

How?

A flash of inspiration. Very l oudly Pearl took the proper pearl pose. Making sure her feet made a noticeable sound as they touched the floor whit more force than strictly needed while taking the position. In the silence that grabbed the archive, with all gems having their eyes transfixed on the situation, the sound even echoed. Her diamond turned her head to her. Her stance relaxing a bit. Returning to look at White pearl.

"Pearl escorted me here." Pink pointed at Pearl. 

White pearl looked at Pearl  as Pink said that. "She can escort me back once I am done."

"I will inform White Diamond about this." White Pearl said, Pearl bowed her head down. White Pearl was floating up and in front of Pearl. From her bowed head position, she could see the gem on the other pearls belly, exact position where Pink diamonds gem is. Not like her own that is on the head...

Empty. Waiting. Like a thing.

A buzz that filled everything up till nothing was there. 

"White diamond wants Pink Diamond to be escorted back, to not waste time playing around. Her presence has distracted already too many gems from performing at peak efficiency." White Pearl spoke, Pearl felt an odd weight in her gem. A something in the nothing. Only to feel the weight change to a sensation of standing up again. Her diamonds suddenly raised voice broke the brief moment it all lasted. 

"I was not!" Pearl raised herself to stand with her head high. She  spoke looking at white diamonds pearl, seeing her cracked eye. "Yes. My diamond..." Lost footing.

Recover.

She was falling, when her light body was not moving an inch.

Stand up again.

"I will escort Pink diamond, according to White Diamonds wishes," Pearl spoke already shifting to face Pink diamond.

Who was glaring at her.

Definitely not liking it.

“I was not playing a game.” Pinks voice rung out coldly daring with a diamond authority anyone to disagree with her statement.

The warning in PInk voice did cause all the nearby gems able to hear it lower their heads. Pearl could see the shivering hands from the operator gem who was serving Pink diamonds requests just a few moments ago. Not shivering from joy or nervousness but fear. This time the hands didnt stop shaking.

 

Why was she not fearful? Pearl wondered about herself.

 

Looking at white Pearl as she started to lead her diamond out, Pearl realised that the only gem not bowing their head deep in the wide archive for the diamond were herself and white pearl. Even the walls had their eyes closed. Pink did break walls before, and windows and mirrors….did she ever break gem walls?

 

Not important now.

 

Right.

Pearl turned her head back to focus on her huffing diamond. She had to get her back, Pearl didnt want to anger White, she didnt want to appear incompetent in White diamonds eyes. It would mean failing and then … Pearl took an audible breath to not imagine horrible fates that could await a gem failing White Diamond. The few moments it took Pearl to think over only made Pink glare harder. They were nearly at the warp pad. PInk stopped walking. Fingers clenching in a fist.

“My DIamond, we should return, there is an upcoming court activity for which preparations are needed.” The words flowing fast of her tongue. Only once Pearl said  what she had, she did avert her eyes to look at her feet. She could see Pinks hand opening, no longer about to break in a tantrum. That was good. Pearl spoke again, ignoring the increasing number of the curious and daring gems stealing glances at Pink.

“ We should return. So we can make IT true, that what I showed you before we came here.” Pearl hold her stance stiff. She felt the need to have her fingers move, have them intertwined with her diamonds. Impossible with so many eyes on them. 

 

“It…,” Pink repeated the only word Pearl said with a different intonation. She started to walk. Pearl looked up, watching her going in the direction of the wrap pad. White Pearl smile never flattering. As if it didnt matter to her in the end. Maybe it didn't. 

Pearl hurried up and moved to walk in front of her diamond, slightly improper. Excusable as to open the doors without Pink having to wait. Having her diamond ever stop or slow down.

The warp hall was just as still, with gems waiting for PInk diamond to leave, trying to get another glimpse of her. Pearl looked around until she spotted the purple Pearl and her master. They were bowing as well but their both eyes were following the diamond. Pearl blinked. Another flash of inspiration. She could get her diamond what she wanted and without failing whites orders. 

Pearl let a happy hum, it did catch her diamonds attention. Following Pearls eyes, Pink saw the archive leader and her Purple Pearl. Pink gave them a wave. “Thanks for your time. All of you were beautiful and great. I am so proud of all of you. Keep the good work up!” A big smile on the diamonds face.

They stepped on the warp pad, Pink kept waving till the light took them both away. Back to their pink palace, where no gems will have their productivity lowered... because there was barely anything to do to be productive... It didn't matter.

The quick travel ended and the light placed them both on the pink warp pad.

Chapter Text

The Pink walls of the pink palace greeted them as they wrapped in the pink palace. Pearl was already summoning her screen to write. She needed to make a request. It couldn't do that her diamond was cut short for information. Her Diamond had already stopped smiling and waving. There were no gems around them. No need to keep it up.

"I was not playing games!" The Diamond huffed, her foot stomping on the warp pad.

"I know, my Diamond," Pearl responded automatically. She knew that she could help fix that. Its why the request was for.

"I was actually doing a diamond thing! So why did I have to leave? " Pink stomped again and Pearl started to walk towards the pebble room. She heard Pink huff, and then her steps following after her.

"I only decide to leave with you because it was your idea to go to the archive in the first place." Pearl nodded to that still typing away on the screen. She had to properly phrase the request to get it all. It will make Pink happy.

"I actually enjoyed talking with the operator gem you know."

 

Pearl hummed. Could she add to the request that as well? She didn't think of getting an operator gem involved in her preparations... maybe that wasn't such a bad idea... An informant.  The surface pearl provided her with the word. Sorting that task in the queen of to do things.

"So why did you lie about the court thingy?" Pinks voice was slightly off. Harsher, more edges, it made Pearl look up from the request she was shaping. Her Diamond was... so close to crying. Her pupils shining with her emotion, none were good.

"I didn't lie... You do have it coming up... in ten cycles." Pink closed her eyes, fist clenching. Pearl could feel the walls eyes shifting. The fear was building up.

"Let us return to the room." Pearl offered, pressing the send on the request. Hoping it would be well enough worded to get what was needed.

"Because White said so?" The bitterness and anger were raising. A sensation of helplessness radiating from the frustrated diamond. Pearl could all but see that Pink would punch something into pieces. ”Are you MY pearl or not?” Pink voice cracked, in the hallways were only the walls and her a pearl. The walls looked terrified. All there was were just things...  Pearl still felt no fear for her own shattering, no fear of being caught in an angry tantrum by Pink. Or have her full anger on herself.

 

"White diamond will have to recognize your attempt to improve upon your perfection, my diamond. " Pearl saluted as she continues with her reasoning. "If we don't give her anything to be angry about, she will have to see it, and then she will for sure like it. It what White diamond would want..." Pearl didn't get to finish her explanation, as her words were intended to claim her diamond. To ease up the fear yet, the anger that caused the walls to be scared, shifted to near panic as Pink grabbed her shoulders. 

 

"Never assume what White likes, or want."

"My diamond?" Pearl blinked, not understanding. Having Pink so close now feel her fingers gripping onto her shoulders in a crushing way. It hurt. 

"Please, I can't lose you. " Pink sounded so desperate. Pearl didn't show the discomfort she felt. Calmly she spoke.

"I am not going anywhere..." Pearl's words caused it... She failed Pink.

"You don't know that!" The diamond yelled into her face. Pearl barely suppressed the jumpy reaction from showing. The fingers were digging even harder into her shoulders as if scared she would simply vanish like a light without its source. Pearl blinked. A moment passed.

Pearl leaned closer to her diamond, Pink accepted the motion into a hug. A desperate clingy hug. If she were an organic in need of breathing she would have been suffocated by it. At least the grip on her shoulder stopped as the pink-gloved hands shifted to hold her. "I am just getting to know you..." Pink whispered into her hair. Pearl's hands shifted to gently touch her diamond chest. Pearl had no idea what to say to make her feel better. Instead of comfort, a question came to her mind and out her lips.

"...Did the pearl I am replacing assume what White wanted?"

 

Pearl was surprised by the amount of honesty in her question. She wanted to know... It felt like she knew the answer to that... but ... none came to mind.  Something was escaping her, she needed Pink to hold her. To not be falling, again. Pink moved away, her pink hand sliding off her back and along her arm till it held Pearl's hand, Pink started going back to the pebble room. "You are right, I should better go to the room."

 

Pearl didn't even register they walked till the curtains were pulled closed on the balcony. She looked at her hand, Pink was still holding onto it.  Her diamond smiled at her. "Feeling better?"

Pearl blinked, she did feel better somehow...

She felt grounded.

Pearl blinked and simply nodded, not yet trusting her voice. A big pillow appeared as the pebbles build it and in a smooth motion, Pink dropped on it pulling Pearl to sit beside her. "Now to not do anything at all again..."

 

Pearl felt the chime as the response arrived. "It arrived, my diamond."

Pink looked at Pearl, as Pearl opened the screen with the message and data. 

"What arrived?" Pink asked.

Pearl opened the attached package to the message, intending to store the information in her gem, where it would be at safest. 

The data transfer started.

"Oooh-hoo!" Pearl gasped instead of answering her diamond. The information flowing directly into her gem. She shivered in delight as the information flowed so nicely into her, being instantaneously sorted to its place. Not creating a mess like the first time around. Surface was keeping her gem in perfect order. It felt so good. Another shiver rolled off her body and she grinned wide. The process completing. She definitely liked to know stuff, especially now that it didnt cause chaos in her gem.

"Pearl are you okay? I never heard a gem making such a sound. Do you need me to heal you?" Pink was hovering over her, eyes filled with worry. The eyes that still looked so blurry instead of shiny.

"Its fine my diamond."

"...sure?"

Pearl pulled the block of information Pink was interrupted reading when White Pearl arrived. She offered it to Pink on a pink screen. The light screen was taken from her and Pink hesitantly looked away from her to looked it over, while Pearl was returning to smile polite. A more proper Pearl smile. Pearl watched Pink as she started to rub her eyes and reread the information. Pink blinked several times.

Pearl kept her perfect pearl smile.

"Pearl?"

"Yes, my diamond!"

 

"This is information from the archive." Pink put the screen down.

"Yes, my diamond!" Pearl felt pride, Pink can continue working on the gem line and not get in trouble with White diamond for distracting gems.

 

"Information from the archive is forbidden to be taken out the archive. You can only view it, while you are inside the archive.”  Her diamond slowly explained eyes torn between big shining stars and worry.

"Yes, my diamond!"   Pearl responded. She knew that, she already committed that crime. Renegade already committed that crime. She already stole for the archive... this time she was at least given the information, instead of having to sink her hands into the machine herself. 

 

"We are outside the archive..." Pink clarified really slowly. 

"Yes, my diamond!" Pearl felt confidence raise in her, against all odds.  

 

"How did you get it?"

A question, not a fact, so Pearl answered it.

"I send a request, I had to make sure to phrase it right. That was why I was slightly distracted just when we arrived back. I deeply apologize for that, my diamond." Pearl will make sure to never do that again. The face of an angry about to cry Pink was sad... The fear of other gems when looking at her was ..... something Pearl didnt want to see...As it just made her diamond even more frustrated. She will pay the needed attention to her diamond. She will just get better at doing more tasks at once. The hurt and tears in Pinks eyes she will try her hardest to never again be the cause of.

 

"And they just gave it to you?" Pink asked carefully picking the screen up and looking it over.

"Yes, my Diamond!" Pearl beamed, well she made it sound like that this information was vital... which it was... just not to what she made it sound like.  Vital for her Pink happiness... which all reasons did return to. One cannot blame her for gems misunderstanding or assuming all on their own.

Pink bit her lip, once more putting the pink screen away. Her hand going to rub the bridge of her nose. 

"...I can tell  that I ordered you to do it, when the archive leader reports this to White..." 

"No, my Diamond." That felt the opposite of familiar.

 

"What did you just...?" Pink was staring at her shocked hand frozen in the air, in a half-completed movement.

"They will not report to White diamond, that is if you dont tell them to." Correcting a Diamond, unheard of. But correcting her made her worry less so...its acceptable. A stray thought wondered if other pearls ever had to readjust the proper pearl behavior this much ... to follow the rules... or bend the rules to go against them. All for their master?

 

"Why?" Now finally the diamond was only shining in bright curiosity. The worry losing out to the excitement. Pink was looking at Pearl in pure wonderment. Pearl never felt this proud of her self before.

"My preparation, my Diamond." Pearl allowed the smugness to be heard in her voice now. She could not resist the urge and decided to sit more upright to show her pride for what she managed to do.

 

"Are you sure you are a Pearl?" Pink diamond asked, looking back at the screen she put down. A genuine smile appearing on her lips.

"Yes, my Diamond!"  Pearl beamed one more time. This felt familiar, she was being more of a Pearl than ever before. Serving her Diamond with exactly what she needs to be happy. Pink took the screen and read it. Her diamond was slightly less surprised when Pearl summoned the next portion of the information on the next pink screen.

 

"... How much did you request?" Pink asked taking the second screen and returning the first one.

"Everything you asked the operator gem to look up." 

 

"All of it?"

"Yes, my Diamond!"

 

"You are amazing."

"Yes, my Diamond. I know.~" Pearl hummed, her diamond laughing. Truly laughing. Pearl will poof all of Homeworld, break every rule, become the most fearsome gem there ever was,  if it meant getting to hear that laugh more often. She wanted to make her happy.

 

Make her happy.

 

Her choice was to make her happy. Even if she didn't belong to her she would choose to make her happy.

 

You sure?

 

 

 

Chapter Text

White Pearl entered the room without a chime, simply floating through the door. How inappropriate, Pearl found. It was only a bit more than a single cycle since Pink Diamond and Pearl saw the white gem in the archive. A single cycle where everything felt right. Just her and her diamond. A cycle where Pearl pleased her diamond as a proper Pearl should.

 

White Pearl interrupted that.

White Pearl announced.

 

"White Diamond has a message for Pink Diamond."

 

Pink stood up from the pillow they spent the cycle on. Pearl followed suit, standing beside her diamond.  It was a nice cycle. Pearl liked this cycle a lot. It was so … relaxing. Recovering. It started with Pearl giving her diamond the gem line data, but soon enough it turned into Pearl telling and retelling the Renegade story, till it was simply them talking about Renegade and so much more. Simply filling their time with their voices. Unburden and light.

 

Now...

Now Pink was saying that she was ready to hear the message from White Diamond to White Pearl.

 

White Pearl opened her lips, but the voice that left her was of White Diamond. Strong, powerful, unwavering, the symbol of perfection. It made Pearl think of fear. Shivers running down her light body. The diamond that shines like a light. The diamond that was like the light itself unchanging perfection. Eternal.

 

"What were you thinking Pink? Of course, you didn't think. You never do before you act. "

 

The diamonds voice was having the intonation of caring but...it didn't feel like caring to Pearl. Pearl saw Pink body twitch at the words of her fellow diamond delivered through her Pearl. Yet Pink keeping herself still. Pink diamond was trying so hard not lash out. Instead, she said in a small voice.

 

"I was not playing a game..." Pink tried to say more but White kept on talking cutting the words short. White Pearl was not moving an inch. Her lips didn't even move as the voice was leaving her. It was eerie. 

 

White was in a dangerous mood.

Pearl simply knew. Pearl kept the saluting pose keep on looking from the corner of her eye. 

"Well, at the very least you did try to learn about a diamond responsibility, even if you tried to do it all wrong and so late. "The voice kept on talking, never stopping feeling cold to Pearl. "Pink you should have done this several centuries ago. Ah, yes you couldn't because you only wanted to play games back then." 

Pink flinched like she was hit, Pearl bit her own lip to not wince in sympathy. 

“You liked my games...back then...” Pink diamond was not looking good, mumbling her response, they were so happy when it was just them on the pillow. But now White was here and all warmth was slipping away. What should she do? There was nothing she could do now... If she said anything does anything she would be destroyed, PInk would be left alone and .... sad...

Definitely couldn't do anything now...but she could do after... Pink just had to hold out a bit longer...

Pearl hoped to luck, Pink could hold out a bit longer.

"Starlight, I love you. Never doubt that." Pink nodded eyes closed. Her hands moving to wrap them around herself. She was hugging herself.

" I only want what is perfect for you. That's why I will be teaching you." White words didn't change in tone, but Pink reacted to them as if they did. The hands dropped out the hug, hanging in the air in disbelieve. Eyes opening, making a step closer to White Pearl.

 

"Really?!"  Pink was shining with happiness. Pearl shyly looked at White Pearl, more directly.

"Are you questioning me starlight?" White Pearl didn't move. So perfectly still. Pearl's fingers twitched as if to prove they could.

"Sorry White, it just I am really ha..." Pink was starting to swing on her feet, holding herself still but barely avoiding to burst into motion. Jittery.

 

"Yes, yes. "Pearl could easily see in her mind white waving her hand as she kept on speaking cutting Pink words of excitement short. "Every cycle my pearl will bring you a lesson. I await you to study it with great care. Every tenth cycle I will await you in my headship. I will test you on how well you understood the lessons. So I can adjust your next lessons to how well you progress."

 

Pink eyes shined, pure joy was all but rolling off the diamond in the room. Pearl could see the pebbles peeking out, even in herself she felt like she could dance for her diamond. Seeing her so happy... Eyes once more focused on White Pearl... No reaction. Her lips were still parted. White had more to say.

 

"Good, now what do we say?"

 

"Thank you, White Diamond! You are as perfect as always! I love you! " Pink jumped closer about to hug White Pearl, yet stopping herself with arms wide open. Something passed her diamonds expression... Reluctance and sadness. The voice continued on and PInks hands dropped by her side.

 

"Good, good. I am sure you will not disappoint  or waste my time. " With that White diamond message ended, white pearl closed her parted lips and left the first white screen with the lesson. The Pearl floated to the door and oddly waited for the door to open before floating out appropriately. Pink eagerly started reading it. Pearl waited for white Pearl to float out the door before she started to move. Watching for the door to close after her. With just them, Pearl looked at Pink who was absorbed in the lesson.

 

She looked so happy…Pearl didn’t want to intrude. She left the room and organised the duties ahead of time. Another cycle came and went. The sun raised and set.

 

Pearl didn't spoke a single word with Pink in the next cycle, either. She watched silently as White Pearl hovered in giving another screen and leaving. Once more not chiming, but at least waiting for the door to open.

 

The third cycle came and went. White Pearl came and went. No chime either, simply entering a diamonds room. Like it was nothing.

Pearl, didn't speak with Pink that cycle either. Her diamond was so focused on reading and studying. She couldn't just interrupt her…. She tried to be a good object and just stand in one place by the door…

Except it was so hard... 

As the fourth cycle started the morning sun flowing in the room, Pearl approached her diamond. She couldn't resist.

"My Diamond... I ... I adjusted the court activity to be held after your test with White Diamond, after that the extraction can be done, allowing you more time to study White diamonds lessons."

 

Pink didnt look at her as she nodded, she was so determined. Pearl… felt the need to be in the darkness. Away from this lonely yet not alone. It didn't help that she had trouble simply standing around like an object. An object she was. Pink was happy, that all that mattered…  So why not stand in a corner like a pretty ornament, Pink didn't need her… so why couldn't she just be content with waiting.

So why not turn herself off… blankly staring ahead. Empty… Why the need for motion, her fingers twitching wanting to hold the sword again… why did she keep imaging herself in the kindergarten swinging her weapons around in training... Swinging the sword filled with her ... worry. Absurd. Yet she was worried.

Why was it now so hard. It never was before… what was making Pearl so worried...

 

Worry…

 

White Diamond.

 

That was it, wasnt it…

 

Pearl felt it was too easy… She felt that something dangerous was happening right in front of her eyes… but she didn't know what… What was the perfect white diamond doing to the precious Pink diamond.

 

Will, it hurt Pink diamond?

 

Nothing bad was occuring, though. Maybe  it truly was just White giving lessons to Pink to help her be a better diamond… Pearl wished Yellow or Blue diamond were around. Pearl had to leave, just long enough to sort it out in her own gem. Maybe she was simply...

Its already sorted.

Stir-crazy. 

She was probably just over reacting… Probably had to look at something else than this four walls.  White said she loved Pink. So that is the truth.

White loved Pink.

It was just the odd think of being just an unneeded object that was causing her trouble. SHe got simply too used to Renegade. To going out and do something.  Being Renegade would give her something to do, a purpose… Clam her down, calm down the spinning storm inside her.

 

Pearls fingers twitched longing for a sword. So she asked, completely aware it was inappropriate... or that she was running away in a sense.

 

"... May I go prepare the story my Diamond? Or would you wish me to stay in case... you want to access the archive information in my gem?" Pearl offered. Her Diamond looked at her, really seeing it her for the first time in a few cycles.

"You can go, I don’t need to read everything from the archive." Pink beamed happily. So happy. So shining, so warm... " White is sure to have a system, you know. Pick what is important  and teaching me in the best order and all that."

 

Pearl smiled back at her beaming diamond, watching as Pink was placing to the side the white screen she read over and over again. "She is actually trying! Doing something she doesn't have to! For me! "

Worry.

Nothing to worry.

Everyone adores Pink, even White.

" So I mean something to her! "Pink was standing up. "They will treat me as a real diamond in no time, maybe I will even get a colony! " PInk giggled and Pearl felt at easy. Relaxing.

"Imagine us two building a colony! On our own planet." 

"I can imagine it my diamond if you want me," Pearl responded, her diamond rolling her eyes.

"I bet she has just a bit of trouble seeing past failure with me, because of my past record. All the bad mistakes I have made..." Her diamond moved closer to her Pearl, her smile turning sad... Pearl reached out with her hand. Wordlessly Pink hand found its way to hers. "But I have a chance to prove my self!  " PInk continued to talk. "And it wouldn't have happened without you!"

 

"I didn't do anything my diamond."

 

Pink shook her head and pulled Pearl easily closer to herself hugging her. Pearly blinked in surprise, but she didn't mind. It was nice and warm. Pearl breathed deeply in, taking in the smell of her diamond for the first time. This was good, this was what she craved. Pinks free hand caressed her hair. 

"So do whatever you want. You earned it!" Pink diamond was in such a high spirit pulling away from pearl and Pearl smiled at her. Missing the touch already. It wouldn't do to distract her. Her chest felt so warm now. Fluttering feelings spreading in every bit of her projection. She felt like she could float if she just jumped hard enough. Tha will have to be enough for her. Enough to hold her over.

"I am so happy for your joy my diamond." Pearl beamed back, telling her she will prepare the renegade story. 

So she left.

 

The Renegade Pearl soon emerging from under the big water pipe. Sun high in the sky.

Chapter Text

Pearl crawled into her small hidden room.

She dropped on the floor, her knees giving out. She was aware she should close the hatch, she forced her foot to move. The sound of the hatch falling closed briefly echoed in her head. Pearl winced. Her head hurt too. Today was the day of the test, Pearl mumbled to herself. Trying to find the strength to change out her black suit. It was a failure.

It took her over a whole cycle to sneak and crawl her way back under the water pipe.

Everything was a failure.

 

As if to affirm her, surface replayed all instances of failure she had as Renegade. She tried to steal a roaming eye. She got to the eye, but she didn't foresee there being five amesite soldiers.
What were they doing there?

As far as she glimpsed they were playing with a bottle, some warrior game for sure. She didnt care. She was too... Cocky. She tried to fight them. She was nowhere close to the skill to poof them all. She was hit so many times… she found it a wonder she didn't poof. Which would be a catastrophe if she did. There would be no way to explain why she donned the Renegade outfit and why she decided to fight them...

She barely managed to escape them.

 

That escape was only possible because she was thin and fast enough to slide into the garbage disposal for spaceship fuel residue without them seeing her do that.

 

Good thing her outfit was black just like the residue, so she wasn't spotted.

 

Not so good, Pearl took a breath and gaged. The residue had a horrible stench. She was quite happy she didn't need to breathe.

Her gem was troubled.

 

A few of the hits landed on her gem, it was protected by the visor, a little bit. Luckily the visor didn't break. 

 

It still hurt.

 

It hurt badly.

 

She stood up again. Even if she wanted to stay motionless to avoid any further pain, it simply wouldn't do. Her diamond is awaiting her. 

Her hands were shaking as she removed the hood. She could do this. She just needed to be presentable and be able to hold her self together and still. Pearl smiled, wasn't all pearls made to do exactly that. Hold themselves together and be standing still.

 

“Can I get a small mirror?”

 

The pebbles who were peeking at her made one mirror with easy and she inspected her face and gem. The gem wasn't damaged.  No visible damage at least.  That was good. It would be hard to hide cracks. Her hair, on the other hand, was a mess, and her face looked scratched up. Her left eye looked darker. She could even recognise the place where the lance bored itself into her neck. Pearl breathed in frustration and gagged once more. She stunk, how could she have that slip her mind.

 

She couldn't come in front of her Diamond stinky.

Or beaten up.

 

It wasn't the Amethysts fault she failed to take the roaming eye without anyone noticing. They were just doing their duty of attacking an intruder...And wasting time with some game with a bottle. It wasn't like guard duty was something eventful. Of course, renegade would make it eventful.

 

She made her arms pull the black outfit off and focused to shapeshift the damage hidden. It was a small enough adjustment that she could keep it up till the extraction… Maybe she could ask Pink to let her in the pool again?

 

First, to clean herself... shower. Apparently, her stinky self didn't make just her gag. As she found a pebble tugging on her hand. The small pebble was pointing to a new hatch appearing on the ground. A hatch leading to a makeshift shower. The pebbles rerouted a smaller water pipe. One of the pebbles was even dragging Pinks personal soap item. She definitely shouldn't use them… but…

She could not go in front of pink like this…

 

She used the diamonds cleaning items.

 

She discovered she really liked the water.

 

She really really liked the flowing water. It made all so clean. The sound of falling water really relaxing and different. The smell of soap was so nice too. 

 

Pearl left her hidden room, stepping into the hallway just a moment before her Diamond left her room.

“Pearl! You took a long time!”

 

“My diamond, I completed the preparations. ” She made the salute and bit into her lip to the sound of wincing. Diamond salute and hands that hurt were not a good combo. She really shouldn't have tried to block that hammer with her forearms.

 

But if she didn't it would have hit her gem... She had to figure out to block with her sword better. To...parry. Yes, learn to parry.

 

“May I ask how your studying went, my diamond?”

 

“I am sure I will pass this test perfectly! ” Pink giggled bouncing ahead to the warp pad. Pearl kept a slower pace. Pretending to be doing a proper speed. And not that she had no energy to rush around anymore.



Only once the two entered the headship, did Pink stopped bouncing.  They walked up towards the main portion of the ship. The hallways felt even more massive being completely white. 

"Nervous?" Pearl whispered as she noticed her diamond slowing more and more down to the point where pearl was walking ahead of her.

"A bit.. what if I mix something up? I mean ... I made so many mistakes before in everything I did... What if I do it again?" Pink came to a halt. Pearl observed her diamond, she truly didn't want to disappoint her fellow diamond. Pearl knew exactly what she had to do to raise her diamond confidence. 

"...My diamond. Have you been studying the same the first three days as the rest?" Pearl asked, sure what PInks answer would be.

"Yes! I didn't do anything else but studying."

"Then you will know it perfectly," Pearl concluded with confidence, watching as her diamond smile returned to her face. 

"Right. I will." Pearl was matching her diamond smile of confidence. She was sure to impress.  They walked right in front of the control room door. They waited for the door to slide open.

"Good luck " Pearl whispered.

"Silly Pearl perfection does not need luck." Pink grinned. They waited in front of the door some more. Moments passed. The door stayed closed. 

 

"You chimed them?"Pink asked Pearl shifting on her feet. 

"I did as we entered the ship, my diamond." Pearl summoned a screen, the action making her feel sore. It was doable. The chime was indeed sent and received. Pearl showed the screen to pink and asked. "Should I..." She could chime white diamond again...

"No, twice would ...look bad, right?" Pearl nodded, it would look, impatient. Impatience was not perfection.

"Maybe she is busy..." Pearl offered.

"Or forgot it..."Pink commented, and wouldn't that be something. Forgetting your fellow diamond... 

They waited for a bit longer, in which time Pink was getting sadder. Pearl looked at her, maybe... 

"Maybe I could give you the report about it. " Pearl offered and Pink posture relaxed, she smiled a small bit. Pearl returned it with a grin. Her diamond understood what it reports she meant. This was good. Before Pearl could even open her lips to say one word about the renegade daring adventure into the stinky fuel residue, white Pearl melted out the wall. Pearl moved in the correct posture.

 

"White Diamond will receive you now. "Pink stepped up and Pearl tried to follow. Pearl was stopped as White Pearl floated directly in front of Pearl. Blocking her. "Only Pink Diamond is needed."

Pink took a deep breath. "Pearl stays here till I get this done," Pearl responded automatically, obeying a direct order, watching as her diamond passed through the door that opened for her. With the door closing it was just her and White Pearl left, in the white hallways of the white ship. No imperfection existed.  Everything had to be perfectly fit in the role they were made for.

 

White Diamond palace was not silent like the kindergarten, but the noise from working gems felt far away. Or muffed by a veil, making the noise of homeworld appear insignificant. Unreachable. 

 

Pearl looked at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Empty. The sounds feeling further away. No longer reaching Pearl.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Pearl's head was empty. Like a proper thing.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Stillness.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Pearl mind jerked, half-formed thoughts were tripping over each other, falling over.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Black. Shadow. Dark. Staleness. Pearl blinked. Pulling her mind back up. Again.

 

Pearl kept looked at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Pearls mind stilled. Empty.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Empty.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Pearl mind jerked,half-formed thoughts were tripping over each other, falling over. Again. Pearl blinked.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Empty.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Her body hurt, she pulled the pain to the front of her mind. Holding onto it as she would onto a weapon.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

Emp-. Again, the pain in her legs screaming, the phantom sensation of the whip, yet not flinching. Pearl blinked with stubborn confidence.

 

Pearl kept looking at White Pearl.

White Pearl didn't move, her eyes locked onto Pearl.

E-. Again...

 

The door opened, Pink diamond leaving the room. Her steps slow and slouched. Pearl performed the diamond salute, her hands felt like they got hit again. Pearl didn't move. White pearl didn't move.

They waited in a silent moment of stillness.

The moment passed.

Pearl turned away going after her diamond, her steps long and unwavering. She caught up to Pink and looked over her shoulder awaiting to see White Pearl return to the command room. Instead, the white Pearl was looking at them. White Pearl blinked the smile on her lips shifting.

Pearl blinked in response, White Pearl didn't move. Pearl realized she wouldn't blink either...

Did I imagine that?

It nearly looked like her smile was just a bit wider too...

It did.

Or was it a play of shadows... no light moved in the white hallways. They were eternal and unchanging. Shadows don't move on ones face...

White Pearl just then... Was White Pearl testing her as well? On what? Did she pass? She wasn't being taken away from Pink... she will assume she passed.

More like given an approval.  

 

Oddly to pearl puzzlement. That thought felt right like it really was that. 

 

They left the ship with Pearl trying to refocus back to her diamond. As she did that she noticed her diamond shoulder shaking. Holding back tears. Her diamond needed her now. White Pearl was all but forgotten and then Pearl touched her diamond hand in the briefest of gestures. It draws her attention to her. Her Pink face was furiously looking down at Pearl. "...Not perfect?" Pearl dared to ask.

"Oh, it was perfect." 

Pearl didn't like the sound of Pink voice. It was all edges about to brittle away."The perfect failure! I only got one question right!"

Pearl was about to speak up, that one question is better than no question answered right. Pearl didn't get a word in, as pink just continued her voice rising up in the open. "No, wait it wasn't even that, as I didn't manage to fail all answers! I can mess up even failing. That truly something PInk Diamond can manage to do! "

Pearl didn't understand, her diamond was so bright, what was White asking her to have her fail... A pink so frustrated will not have the nerve for court meeting, not without some poor gem getting hurt. Which would make Pink feel bad. Pearl summoned a screen. Pink didn't need more things to make her feel bad. 

She sent the update and moved in front of her diamond. 

"This way, my diamond." Pearl lead the gem, who was fuming and trying hard not to cry out anymore, or any louder.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Pearl lead Pink to the extraction room. The Diamond didn't pay much attention where they were headed as she was still talking about the failure she had with the test.

Pearl briefly send a note to the gems in pink court that the fitting will be postponed after their radiant diamond extraction. She kept it short, as she didn't want to fail to pay attention to Pink. She wasn't doing so well... Pearl was worrying for her diamond, how is she to help her? Pearl used small touches to make sure they kept on track, and only ones the door to the extraction chamber opened did her diamond blinked. Finally realizing where Pearl has lead her.

"This is not my courtroom..." Pinks voice dropped to a flat tone.

"The court meeting was moved for after the extraction, my diamond," Pearl explained, eyeing the back of her diamond. SHe felt lost, was she not to do this? This time alone was what PInk needed, or had Pearl misread her diamond? 

Her diamond stepped in the room. Pearl let a breath out. Maybe she did right. Pearl only hesitated a moment before stepping after her the door sliding behind them. There was a moment of silence that crashed as Pinks' voice started to climb in volume and accusation.

"You mean you moved it!" Anger. Pink couldn't stand in place as her steps started to take her around the edge of the pool, fast and angry.

"My..." Pearl only got a word out before she watched as Pink turned around to finally face her. 

"Don't My diamond me! I am not your diamond! You are not my Pearl! " Pearl flinched for the first time. That hurt... It shouldn't have hurt. Was it the truth? Diamonds are never wrong... But White said Pink was wrong with her answers... Pink Diamond didn't stop, the diamond grunted and took one frustrated breath before she continued shouting even louder. "You think it too, admit it! I am incapable to do anything right! "

 

Pearl was frozen in place. Pink hands waved punctuating every word she was saying. "Your poor little thing! Have to be stuck with a walking mistake like myself! So you be the perfect little Pearl and moved the court fitting! " Her diamond was screaming on top of her lungs, letting her arms wave to express the tumour of her emotions. Harsh, wide and desperate movements. The pink eyes looked so red with tears held back from falling.

"What do you think I will end up messing up next!" Pink scream never reached the highest point as it was interrupted by a crash. Broken pieces spreading everywhere... A crescent shard piece slid up to Pearls foot.

 

The statue by the edge of the pool was now broken, Pearl never saw when her diamond touched it, Pearl was assuming the statue get caught in her movements. Her Diamond fell completely silent, becoming perfectly still, staring at the statue broken pieces. If they were at the courtroom, it could have been a gem...

 

It clicked.

 

The answer why her Diamond knew how a hurt gem sounded like. Knew how they sounded when she healed them. Pearl slowly bend picking up the crescent piece. The light pink piece shined in her white hand. Pearl moved closer to Pink,  picking up the smaller broken statue pieces as she was approaching her. Pearl slowly knee down in front of the biggest heap of broken pieces. Her knees were not happy about having to come in contact with the hard floor. She could push through the pain.  Picking one piece of the statue after another she placed them in her arms, preparing to put it in her gem.

"I didn't mean to... I..." Pink snapped out her stillness and silence,  kneeling down herself. Fingers hovering in doubt. Pearl didn't want to see them like that.

"Create your bubbles, my..." Not your diamond... "your radiance." Pearl was about to pick another piece when a bubble formed around it.

"Good idea, those have sharp edges, wouldn't ... to hurt you." A second bubble appeared trapping all the pieces in her arms.

 

"It's your good idea," Pearl spoke not looking up from the bubbled pieces. "I meant the bubbles for extraction, your radiance."

Radiance didn't fit.

 

"Oh..." Pink stopped once more.

"It IS a better idea than mine, your clarity," Pearl spoke and moved the smaller bubble up to her gem. She stored it in her gem, it felt ... sore. The surface Pearl provided. Pearl could feel the Surface pearl holding the bubble made by ...Pink. Fascination. It was the first time she had something made with Pink own hands in her gem. The Surface pearl started re-organizing everything to give the bubbles a special place in her gem. It didn't bother the main pearl. Pearl smiled at Pink diamond and stored every bubble dutifully in her gem.

It didn't matter that using her gem felt sore.

A sensation of dizziness overcoming her, and instead of standing up Pearl stayed on her knees even after she stored the last bubble with the broken pieces in her gem. She didn't want to scare her di... Pink Diamond.

 

"Your brilliance, may I ask... what were the questions you got... " Pearl tilted her head, not wanting to say the word 'wrong'.

Incorrect, mistaken, in error, erroneous, inaccurate, not accurate, inexact, not exact, imprecise, invalid, untrue, false, fallacious, wide of the mark, off-target, misleading, illogical, unsound, unfounded, without foundation, faulty, flawed; off beam, bogus, phoney, out, way out, full of holes, dicey, iffy; dodgy; abroad.

Not a single one of the words worked. Pearl changed the sound of the question.

"...got asked by White diamond?"

Pink took a deep breath, standing up and turning away from Pearl and towards the pool. Pearl watched as her d...Pink diamond started creating a lot of bubbles. All of the water surface was covered in the Pink bubbles in a short bit and Pearl had to focus not to simply jump in. Especially not when the water thanks to the bubbles took the pink tint. Her body was so tired and she was pushing herself so much... She needed this... but Pink needed her support now. She could wait some more. She is a capable Pearl.

Just to push a bit more, she didn't yet hit the limit of her own gem.

Pink sat on the edge of the pool her legs sliding between the bubbles without popping a single one.

"I don't see a point in answering that..." finally she spoke, Pearl bit her lip. Taking a deep breath herself. The smell filled her mind. It was so Pink, so purely Pink. So perfectly her...

 

"...Please." Pearl breathed the word out, shifting closer in her knees till she could touch Pink diamonds back. The diamond stiffened for a moment before relaxing, not moving away from her Pearls touch. Not-her-Pearl touch.

"The first question was 'List all the components that the injectors have'," Pink spoke and Pearl leaned closer leaning her gem against the back of her diamond, no, her thoughts slipped, Pink diamond. Pink felt so cool, and it felt so nice against her own gem.

Pearl hummed, surface Pearl pulling forth the schematics she stole from the archive. She knew the answer to that question. They could check to make sure, that White was not...

 

"What was your answer, my... your luminescence."

 

Pink listed the components, it was the wrong answer... Pearl's hands shifted wrapping themselves in a hug around Pink. Her di- Pink diamond placed her hand on top of Pearls.

 

"I don't wa-"

"Just-" Pearl interrupted Pink,  a crime. Yet, Pearl couldn't bring herself to care. She was committing a crime by hugging her diamond without asking. Committing a crime by touching her diamond without being ordered to. Committing a crime by being in the extraction chamber without being pulled in by her diamond. Pink diamond, not her diamond...Committing a crime by thinking her diamond, when she was told not to look at Pink diamond as her diamond. 

She was collecting gem shattering sentences nearly like Renegade wanted to collect weapons. And that without the things Renegade did. Committing a crime by interrupting appeared minuscule in comprehensions. She asked hurriedly on. "You mentioned that one question was answered correctly. What question did you get right, my.. your...my diamond?"

 

She was too tired to try to keep following that... If her diamond wanted it then she shall say 'I order you...' She could feel Pink hands shiver on top of her own. They stilled, and then Pink removed them. Pearl missed the touch but waited on an answer.

"It was about what Yellows first gem line was, and in which kindergarten she made them."

Pearl recognized that information. It was from the archive data she was given. "You read it on the pillow, I gave you the screen with that information, my diamond."

"Yeah, you did..."

Maybe... Pearl suspicion shifted.

"What was... Did you remember what was written on the screen white diamond has sent you relating to that question? "

"No," Pink answered shortly and Pearl stopped hugging her diamond.  Which made Pink look over her shoulder at her, sadness was slipping away, as curiosity was coming forth.

"Why?" Pearl asked already forcing her legs to carry her as she stood up. Forcing herself not to show weakness, she felt in her light.

 

Not yet at her limit. Just a bit further. Just a bit longer.

 

"I didn't read that screen she gave me pass the title, I thought I already know it, so I reread the other screens some more."

 

"Where are the screens given to you from White Diamond?" The urgency was slipping in Pearl's voice. It was a tone she never before used. The idea she had, the formless blob not given words, hoping it was just a puff of smoke. A heresy not worth to be even thinking about just took a clear biting shape. Surface pearl held back the words…

 

Still...

 

White diamond could have...

 

The proof is what she needed to deliver to her diamond...

 

The proof will help her.

 

“In the balcony room... White said she would send her Pearl to fetch them back though..." Pink said blinking repeatedly.

"Be right back my diamond." Pearl was sure she made the sloppiest diamond salute in the history of gem kind at that moment as she ran out the extraction chamber, even before PInk could have sent her off. Add another two crimes to the list.

Added.

And added.

Surface Pearl sounded playful about it. Pearl was close to the balcony room. She could maybe get a look at the screens if she hurries. Maybe... White pearl was always floating, she could have already collected them if she went exactly after they left the headship. But the crystal clear memory replayed in Pearl's head.

 

Pearl blinked in response, White Pearl didn't move. She wouldn't have blinked either...

Did I imagine that?

It nearly looked like her smile was just a bit wider too...

 

The pain was throbbing in her gem and light body, Pearl pushed. She couldn't stop. Not yet. She had to see it with her eyes. She needed the proof now. The pink door couldn't have slid open fast enough to Pearl, she was already pushing into the room the moment her body could slide in. She was seeing them. The door was closing as Pearl was picking up the white screens. She throws the one she didn't need to the side. She needed just two. She picked the next one, she picked then another.

 

A glance was all that was needed for the information to be photographically saved in her gem.

 

White diamond pearl chime filled the room.

 

 

Renegade took over.

 

 

Chapter Text

White Pearl waited for the door to fully open before she floated in the room. The room was empty. Pink diamonds timetable showed that she was occupied in the court fitting. White Pearls eyes didn't move as she spotted the white screens were scattered all over the room... Thrown around carelessly. White pearl collected every single one.

 

All ten screens were present, White pearl turned back towards the door and slowly floated up to it. The door opened and White Pearl floated out the room, the door closing after her.

 

 

 

The pink room was empty.

 

 

 

 

A gust of wind made its way through the balcony into the room, causing the pink long curtains to swing. A sound of a small pained grunt following into the room. The voice belonging to Pearl, who was tearing up. She was at her limit. Yet, she knew she couldn't let go... literally. As she was hanging on the outside of the balcony. Fingers clinging to the decorative edge. Her feet starting to slowly slip along the straight, flat and polished wall. It worked as a hiding place from White Pearl... the white Pearl who never used the chime to announce her presence.

Yet, she did behave like a proper pearl and properly chimed for once. Giving Pearl just a split moment to hide.

 

 

Why?

Did she hide?

 

That was irrelevant to think about as she was trying her hardest not to lose her grip and fall. She could see her gem collide with the ground the height being too great and her gem splintering in so many shards...

Pink diamond never finding her.

Pearl felt her tears falling freely as she tried to pull herself up. She couldn't. She couldn't pull her weight up. Her arms shook and her footing slipping more. She gasped. Surface pearl searched for anything to help but there were no weapons they had on them. The closest weapon was the sword left inside the small hidden room of hers. She couldn't summon her own weapon...

She didn't have a weapon to summon, no pearl does... She could really use a  whip or rope right now or a pair of water wings.

 

Another inch of slipping, another inch closer to getting herself shattered. Pink will be devastated.

"pink pearl?" A small voice coming from up. Pearl's eyes moved to see. A pebble was standing on the railing and looking down at her.

"... help?" Pearl asked, knowing the pebbles were too weak, they could never hoist her up, maybe they could fetch a guard? No, they are things to not be seen, they cannot fetch any gem. Her left foot gave out, move weight suddenly being put on her fingers. Pearl let out a yelp. Her arms shivering, giving out. A moment more and she is ... 

 

The pink curtain flattered over her head. Letting go, Pearl push with the right foot off the wall, reaching out. A single moment in time Pearl was free falling.

 

It...

 

Felt like dancing.

 

Hands wrapped around the pink material. Pearl felt under her fingers the material straining and swinging back towards the wall. Pearl felt more than saw as she hit the wall face first. Pearl was clinging to the material, her ears ringing after the collision.

She could not poof, poofing was not allowed yet. Her gem would fall down. 

 

Feeling her tears sliding down her cheeks, she bit her lip and climb up the curtain and over the balcony rallying. She flopped on the floor.  She took a breath, she was alive. A buzz passed over her light body and she moved, just a bit more. 

 

Pass the limit.

 

A gentle touch on her shoulder. She shifted her head. Several pebbles looked at her, she blinked at them. Seeing her blink they started to go into hiding.

"Wait...thank you..." Pearl coughed. That sensation was most unpleasant... She felt like laughing her head off... she didn't laugh. Another cough.

"breath." One pebble offered to her and she did. It helped the sensation in her neck.

"pink's waiting." Yet another pebble offered and Pearl nodded. For Pink. She stood up from the Pink floor, in Pink room.

She walked with confidence, her body felt like it was constantly shivering. A buzz in her ears and her eyes only looking ahead herself. Only seeing directly in front of herself.  Like she was in an odd tunnel where the walls were made out of a haze. Everything was so pink. All the things were pink. Pink. But not like Pinks gem pink. That pink was prettier.

 

She knew she passed two quartz soldiers who noticed her, even turned after her. She didn't care to bow her head. She kept on walking towards her goal. The extraction chamber door closed behind her. When did she walk up to it? She was missing time, but she was sure she didn't poof yet. As well it didn't matter as she was now in the Pink extraction chamber, it had Pink walls, and pink floor and pink ceiling and Pink was there. In a fortress of bubbles. Pink bubbles. Pinks pink bubbles on top of pink water.

 

Pearl chuckled. “Pink, I got it just before not pink took them away!” Her voice catching the attention of her Pink.

Pink hair raised from pinks pink bubbles, Pinks head with pink hair turned towards her, pink eyes looked at her. Pearl waved.

Pinks pink eyes grew. Pearl only blinked but Pink was now on top of her. Hoovering above her not pink self. Her pinks gloves were on Pearls not pink shoulders… Pearl should be more pink. Yes, pinker, more pink. Pink like her pink screens.

 

“You are cracked!” Pink yelled. It really was not that troublesome. Pink was there and, pink water in the pink pool, with pinks pink bubbles, was just there. Pinks Pearl will be fine she even was in pinks pink arms! All was so pink.

 

“Let me show you, my pink Pink diamond.” Pearl summoned the archive screen about Yellow gem line.

“Is your mind off colour! Don't use your gem, you will worsen your crack!”

Pearl petted her pinks diamond pink pretty pink hair. Another ringing in her ears, the world skipping ahead in time for a bit. As she found herself on her own knees.

 

“Nah, does not matter. Look, this is Pinks pink archive data on a pink screen.”  Pearl was about to summon the not Pinks not the pink screen of not archive. Pinks pink hand stopped her own, not pink hand.

 

“Don't do that, you glitched! You were not cracked when you left the chamber a short bit ago! “

Oh, is the skipping and buzzing and ringing how glitching feels?

The thin, not pink Jasper trained not pink me feeling like this? Not Pink Jasper was great, even if not pink.

“How did this even happen!?” Pink spoke, her voice sounded pink. A worried pink. Not the best pink shade of Pinks pink voice. Still, Pearl could answer that. 

“My not pink face hit the pink wall!” She grinned. She was aware she just dropped nine out of ten pink facts from the full for Pinks pink answer. It was still technically true. Pink true. Not pink pinks true. Pink...pink...pink...

 

“It's not wide but it's a deep crack...” Pink mumbled and nodded to herself. Her pink fingers were caressing Pearl, not Pinks pink pearl. “I can heal it.” Pink concluded sounding so sure, lovely pink shade of pink Pinks voice and Pearl was now in Pinks pinks arms, held securely by Pinks pink hands. Pearls eyes wandered over Pinks pink chest to Pinks pink eyes. She could…

 

“Don't even think about it.” Warned Pink, with a stern glare at Pearl.

 

“But Pink…!” Pearl whined. “I want to show it! The not pink right is not right!” Pearl could tell she wasn't sounding the clearest, but couldn't help her not pink self. It felt like a lot of words were slipping away from her not pink mind. 

Pink didn't react, maybe she didn't understand anything said? Pink was slowly lowering pearl, in her Pinks pink arms, into Pinks pink water, Pearl poked at Pinks pink bubbles. Giggling in an odd high tone to her own not pink ears as the bubble popped.

 

The Pearl was in the pink water and she gasped. Pain.

The world exploded as everything spread into more than just one colour and not that colour. Her thinking shifted and became more than just a colour. Pearl reached on into herself trying to feel Surface Pearl. She couldn't reach her. Words were returning to her, she was...panicking.

She started to feel a lot of pain all at once. Her arms were on fire from the hurt. She… stopped feeling pain because of her crack. Now everything hurt as if proving she was still a gem and not a bunch of unfeeling, not living shards. It was proof she was alive. Pearl was sure she heard Renegade at one moment in the pink haze.

Yes, Surface is here too. Just being a mess right now.

Pearl relaxed, the panic ebbing away.

“Shh… It's fine. I am here.” Her diamonds voice cut in. Pearl was raised out the water and she felt her head being adjusted between her diamonds hands. Opening her eyes she saw Pink diamond lean down. Her pink diamond shaped eyes studying her gem.

Pearl took a sharp breath as she felt Pinks lips on her gem a moment later. She could feel her gem mending. All was happening so fast. So dizzyingly. The pain was shrinking away. She had to show Pink diamond the records.

 

Gently tears were falling from her diamonds eyes on top of Pearl. Distracting her from how good and nice they felt to her gem...

“My diamond… I… ”

“How are you this depleted?” Pink wondered as she slightly moved from Pearl gem to look at her eyes instead. “ You shouldn't even be able to have a form being this depleted. You should recharge. Once I am done with healing you, you should poof.” Pinks fingers caressed over Pearls gem, spreading the pink tears evenly around.

Shivers run down pearls body, a moan of relief slipping out. She couldn't stop.

“I disagree. ” 

 

Pink blinked, her eyes shifted to the side, looking away from pearl. “And why?”

 

“I don't know how long I need to reform. What if takes too long.” What if you suffer once more because you don't know and I took too long. 

 

“We aren't in any hurry anyway. Take as long as you need.” They were in a hurry! Or…right... White Pearl… Pearl had to believe that the gem with no will of their own somehow did something to give them a chance...Give Pearl a chance to collect the evidence, by simply chiming as appropriate. She will not waste it. She will prove worth the approval. Even if it was only imagined.

 

Pearl felt her eyes close, she summoned four screens. It hurt and Pearl felt herself whimpering from the effort.

 

“Hey! I told you not to do that!” Look at that another crime for the list. Disobedience. For a Pearl that would make her off colour. Luckily she is not off, she just chose to serve her Pink better.

 

“Than shatter me. ” Pearl shot back, her own eyes hard. “You have to know this now. These two screens are what White diamond send to you by White Pearl and these two are information I got from the archive. Compare them.” Her job complete. Her mission complete. She could rest now.

Pearl sunk deeper into the water, resting her head against her diamonds belly. Realizing she sunk low enough to be on eye level with Pink diamonds diamond. The water line just touching the perfect gem.

“Will you stop being so difficult if I do that? ”

Her diamond asked over her, Pearl didn't have the will to answer the question. A moment passed and she could tell Pink was reading them. Comparing them, seeing it was so important to Pearl her eyes slid up and up and up to see her Pink face. Her diamond trying to make sense out of it.

 

Not making sense out of it. Rereading them again.

Pearl's eyes travelled back to the diamond gem. It wasn't anything like on the murals… It was so much more pretty. Pearl studied the way it shined so close to the water line. How the light broke and reflected from the clearness within. It was… her diamond… Pearl smiled. Pearl's fingers reached out gently following the gem outline.

 

Will she ever stop?

 

She was asked, she should answer.

“No,” Pearl said aloud.

 

“What?!” Pink was unsettled by this point Half way standing up in shock, raising out the water pulling Pearl with her. Pink voice was so unsteady, like the waving of the water they were in. Maybe Pearl answered a question her diamond was thinking to herself. She did take time to answer it. Shifting her head just a bit Pearl found herself looking directly up. Her own gem a hair away from Pink pink diamonds gem.

 

She should clarify.

 

“No, I will not stop, because I care for you.” Pearl didn't give a moment to Pink to protest. ” I don't care you don't look at me as your Pearl. I am sorry I am not enough. ” Because she was not enough... Just a Pearl....but she could try. Like she tried with Renegade. If Renegade could be what she wanted then any gem could… Because renegade is just a Pearl too, and yet...so much...more. More, because it is never enough.

 

“That was not...” There was guilt on her diamonds face.

 

“It was exactly what you meant… It doesn't matter to me.” It truly didn't, it hurt but she could live with that hurt. She could choose to live with it.

”Even if I am ordered to not care about you, I will care about you. I want to choose to make you happy. You will be my diamond.” Pearls are honest. This was the most honesty Pearl could ever show. It left her feeling… spend. She didn't have it in herself to move anymore. Her eyes just managing to slowly blink. She felt herself sliding down her diamond. A hand settled on her back and caught her. Supporting her.

 

Pearl opened her eyes.

“Pearl...” Pink looked so soft. The realisation of what Pearl just honestly admitted washing over her.

   

“Ah!... I… didn't …  all those...words to just… I … think I still need… to heal...” Pearl paled yet her cheeks heated up, blushing, a pathetic attempt was made to waving her hands, she must still be damaged to just say those words. Pink shifted her eyes to the screens in her other hand and Pearl watched as Pinks eyes became harder, an ugly frown settling on her lips.

 

“... Maybe it was by chance, a gem wrongly writing the data down....” Pink looked back at Pearl searching for a yes diamond. Except Pearl didn't give it.

 

“Or she did it on purpose. So you would not learn anything.” Pearl offered instead. Her own blush vanishing as she felt the edge and hardness flow over her. Ragged edges. Sharp cut.

Accusation.

Pink placed the screens down, still supporting Pearl, Pink leaning her head on her freed hand.  Pink shifted to sitting on the edge of the pool, Pearl's head ending up resting against Pinks' leg. The soft fabric making for a great pillow. Pearl listened to her diamonds confusion. “But I don't understand… why would she...lie to me. It must have been an honest mistake...She is never wrong. I am the one who is always…”

 

“I don't think that my diamond,” Pearl stated, feeling the edges in her own words, the harshness of the unsaid implications.

 

“Why?” Yet her diamond didn't want to believe. So Pearl will serve her the way she needs, she will offer her own belief, one Pink diamond needed to hear, so she wouldn't get hurt again in the same way.

 

“Because… I believe White Pearl wanted me to get a look at them before she took them away and back to White Diamond.”

 

“White Pearl is perfect, she has no will of her own, no wants, no needs. She couldn't have wanted anything.” Pink words responded, sounding more as if she was repeating something she was told one too many times. 

 

“I know.” Pearl tiredly responded. Taking a moment of rest to nuzzle into the soft fabric.

 

“You...?” Fear in her diamonds voice shortened the moment and Pearl refocused fully on her Pink.

 

“All Pearls know that, my diamond...” Pearl answered carefully.

 

“Oh, right.” A change in expression, uneasiness… Why would it make Pink uneasy? None came to mind. Moving on, Pearl took a breath she didn't need.

 

“I can't explain it properly… it's a feeling I got and seeing how she behaved…. It was like she approved of me getting this to you, without White diamond noticing... I am sure of it.” Pearl knew how it sounded… its till was odd how sure she was about this. How sure she was that white diamond did not know…

White diamond could have made her pearl behave oddly to …  waste time on a pearl? Waste time on what a pearl will think?

Could white diamond predict she would be sharing it with Pink…

No.

She could not.

 

“...My Pearl...” Pinks eyes teared up, Pearl found herself in Pinks' arms again. Heavy tears dropping onto her gem. She couldn't help the small noises of relief that was coursing through her. Some strength returning in her arms.

“Thank you...my Pearl.” Pink smiled petting Pearl along with her hair. “I know what I am going to do… But I will need your help.”

 

“Nothing would bring me greater joy my diamond.” Pearl saluted.

 

“We will give White diamond exactly what she wants. Me failing. “ A smile so akin Renegade smirk spread over Pinks' face. It thrilled Pearl, a shiver passing over her light body, one that had nothing to do with the healing. ”We will repeat this ten cycles. I will fail nine questions from ten. Every single time. And you will stay with me for the first four cycles, during which you will help me learn the correct information from the archive. So I can answer one question right, every single time.” Pink grinned wide at her.

 

“And the other six days my diamond?” Pearl leaned closer to her diamond. So much so fast… it was so hard to decide what to think about first.

Don't think just do.

Pearl wrapped her hands around her diamond hugging her back. Tiredness was slipping back into her. The pain was mostly gone by this point.

“You were doing the preparations, so keep doing them during those six cycles. ” Pink answered nuzzling into Pearl's hair.

 

Pearl nodded, as her diamond kept explaining her voice sounding determined.

“White wants a failing diamond, she shall get it while I improve and get better. I will learn and will find a way to prove myself. For now, we will play her game and bind our time. I am really good at playing games. “

 

Pearl grinned, there will be a lot of things to do. She can be the ally her diamond needs. Ally… yes, that was another pretty word.

 

“My Pearl, I am counting on you. Do you think you can do it?”

 

“Is your gem pink?” Pearl smirked, matching the thrilling smirk of her Pink. Her diamond wanted to grow in the shadow until she becomes an even better diamond. Pearl was excited.  She could help her. Truly help her.

 

“But first, poof. You are depleted to a point where you should not be able to project a body. Yet here you are pushing on stubbornly.” That... Pearl didn't want to poof.

 

“But my diamond!”

 

“It's fine, I can help you recharge faster. I promise you, you will reform by the third cycle. ” She promised.

 

Pearl hesitated.

 

“Pearl. My pearl… trust me, as I will be trusting you.” 

 

Pearl closed her eyes, shifting until she was sitting in her diamonds lap. So many things happened so fast. She was really tired. Pink repeated the words.

“My pearl...” a gentle pet along her hair and Pearl felt the blush return… She nodded, giving a small mile to PInk before she closed her eyes, surrendering to the tiredness.

 

Pearl light shifted. Shrinking as it was pulled into her gem.

 

A pearl resting in a pink-gloved hand.

Chapter Text

T he pink light was tinting everything in the once white room. Making everything appear pink. Pearl didn't mind the pink colour. It was soon time, Main Pearl could feel the pull, the energy totals reaching levels where she could easily manifest hard light in the desired form. She was about to move doing just that when it was Surface who touched her hand briefly. Catching Main Pearl's attention.

Main Pearl was still worried about Surface as she clearly remembered in what state of a mess her gem was. So many things were all over her gem, surface Pearl was surrounded by chaos. While Renegade was sitting on a pink bubble whispering to herself. Looking as if she wasn't even seeing in front of herself.

 

Main Pearl smiled at Surface. "Yes, do you have something for me?"

" Yes, before you go... I have been thinking. "

Main Pearl tilted her head, listening. She could see Surface looking slightly unease. 

" We can not have this mess, it made me nearly non-functional. "

"I will try to be more careful." Main Pearl, nodded she planned to try and improve her muscles, to train to hold onto longer, to try how to fall appropriately. To all around improve. To always keep at least one weapon on herself.

"You may try but ... that not the point I am trying to make."

Main Pearl tilted her head once more, watching as Surface fumbled with her words. It felt disjointed to Main as Surface had the easiest access to the dictionary, to be the one in lack of proper words... Surface took another breath and spoke much more determined.

" Any physical and possible emotional trauma Main suffer will firstly affect Surface, ergo affect me the strongest. Surface is the first line ."

Surface smiled, easily reading what Main wanted to protest to and already shaking her head. Main wanted to try saying that it shouldn't be like that...  She didn't want to... Surface was already saying no, knowing what words Main Pearl wanted to reach for.

"I want to be the first line, that what a Surface is, it's on the surface!... But As Surface, I know you need me to do my services to work properly . Seeing the world in shades of one colour is not efficient."

Main Pearl sighed, the other me was right. She was failing to communicate correctly to her diamond.

"... You want to suggest something?" Why else would Surface even mention it if she didn't have an idea for its solution?

" Yes. I want to be replaceable. Like a proper Pearl is supposed to be. "

Main Pearl felt ill. She started to shake her head, ready to yell at Surface for thinking like that. Main wanted to scream at her to stop even considering that. Then Main Pearl realized someone was already yelling at Surface for daring to say that. The Renegade appeared all but out of nowhere. The Black Pearl was yelling at the Surface. Both yelling over each other. Main Pearl placed her hands on her head, trying to muffle the screams in her head.

Everything felt airy and loud.

 

"All are precious! You are not an object to decide you are throwable!"

"I need this! What if  I get damaged in a fight in our preparation time!"

"I will figure it out! "

"What if it gets me captured!"

"You cannot know that it would!"

"You cannot count on that it wouldn't! "

"You have no right to claim you being damaged is enough to shatter me!"

"I am not planning on getting shattered! That's why I want to be replaceable!"

 

Renegade stopped, silence covering all of the three me. Main Pearl sighed in relief, with the yelling stopping, the pain in her head vanished as well. That was a good thing to be aware of. The Surface took a proper Pearl pose and reported to both Main and Renegade. The Renegade that stepped away from Surface looking every bit ill like Main felt. 

Not just ill... but like she was betraying herself.

" I will take the trauma, I will hold onto it. If it ever reaches a level where I cannot any longer provide you with my service I will sink a level deeper. A new Surface can take my place and with it, Main Pearl can function without the burden and pain caused by the trauma. "

Main Pearl stayed silent, what was she to tell to this... she didn't want it... she didn't need it...she could...

"Please, let me do this for me."

For you... Main Pearl wrapped her arms around herself, her eyes wandering to Renegade. In the pink tinted light, she looked fuzzy, not sharp, not in the real focus... Renegade looked at her. A moment where nothing moved passed and Renegade reached out to Main placing her hand on Main's shoulder. There were no words said, yet Main felt Renegade respected the choice Surface made but would stand by whatever decision Main made. Main appreciated it.

Looking back at Surface Main stepped away from the Renegades touch to face Surface. 

"...What happens to you if you hold onto the trauma while you sink deeper?" Main Pearl spoke, tilting her head to focus on Surface. Her voice barely hiding the sadness of thinking what one cycle...one day may come.

"I don't know...I... can assume that it would change me ... to need a new name for myself."

 

". .. You came to that idea because I exist... " The renegade whispered, both pearls looked over at Renegade. Standing still, the two Pearl approached her, having Surface Pearl place a hand of comfort on the renegade Pearl shoulder.

" I am a layer deeper, so different than you and Main. "

"Yes, because of Renegade we know its possible." Surface said, pulling the black Pearl into a hug. A hug the black pearl surrender into.  "And with that, I can help!"

"But... are we sure another Surface Pearl will just so appear?"

" I did, didn't I? " Surface smiled, and somehow it made it final. It was her choice, Pearl choice, for Pearl. For all that made Pearl Pearl. So Pearl could do it for the one she chooses. 

"Promise me, to only do it if it is too much. Unbearable much and we have no time to deal with it any other way."

 

"I promise. I will be strong."

 

Main Pearl watched as Renegade sunk back to the layer deeper and Surface returned to stand in the middle of the pink tinted room. It was time, her diamond was needing her.  

Pearl felt the Pink warmth and she followed it out.

A form was being taken. Light changing just a bit from her previous form, there were things to adjust to her new tasks and role. A few pockets, shoes that don't slip as easily. She summoned the colourful dress hiding the small adjustments perfectly.

 

Pearl stood fully formed.

 

The pebbles waved at her.

 

”See I kept my word.” Her diamond voice washed over her. Pearl felt great, energized and ready to take on all of the gem kind for her diamond. Pearl elegantly turned to face her diamond, smiling as she wondered if that was what they were doing? Taking on all of the gem kind together! Starting with White Diamond.

 

Her diamond sunk into a bunch of pillows. She didn't look as vibrant as always.

“My diamond?!” Pearl was by her diamond side in an instant.

 

“Don't worry, a lot of energy gets lost when recharging another gem. I will take a rest during the six cycles. So let's start, no time to waste. "

Pearl bit her lip, holding back the worry. If her diamond didn't want to draw attention to it... she will not either. She just looked a bit tired.

"These are the screens white had sent me. We need the real information about these. " Pearl picked up the white screens looking them over. The topics referred to gem history and expansion. Once she read them, her diamond grinned wide.   "So, my pearl get me what I need.” Her PInk diamond ordered her.

“Yes, my diamond.” Pearl saluted obeying with glee.

 

So it began, it was a routine. It was a good routine, they were doing fine, Pearl watched as her diamond was smiling more and more often. They didn't have as much time for Renegade stories as before, but that was fine as Pink was determined to learn everything Pearl provided. While Pearl was more than happy to provide her with the information she requested from the archive.

 

Then there were the six cycles of preparation time. That was fine as well.  She started training. She started to notice that she was able to improve her speed and strength. That she could improve her reaction time. It was so strange to realize and even stranger to accept it as a fact. She was changing.

Reinventing.

And then came the downtime, where Renegade simply sat doing what she felt like. Like she enjoyed re-reading the reports the Amethysts who beat her up, have sent to the archive. Unknowing to them the report was never stored in the archive but send to her just like the Charoite and her Purple pearl were told to do. It became Renegade favourite thing to read. Mostly because the Amethysts described Renegade as a gem made out of the darkness and slipping away from them by melting back into the shadow.

One even claimed they saw her millennia ago on some colony shattering whole armies. Just because the gem of darkness could. Absurd. She adored it.

Several more reports poured to her, depending on if and what the Renegade did that cycle. Sometimes she would just train for the whole preparation time, trying to get faster, better and stronger, sometimes she would simply sneak and eavesdrop, avoiding combat. Testing how good she can be at not being noticed. Those times were thrilling. Her whole form would vibrate under the black suit.

A few times she would pick out lone gems and fight them sparing and testing her own skills. Testing her skills against guards and soldiers, working from the lower ones up.

 

All was perfect.

 

Therefore it perfection couldn't last.

The rhythm Reneage has established for herself was broken by Purple Pearl sending yet another message. Renegade awaited it to be a report to Pink Diamond about a sighting of a gem that fit the renegade description close to the research centre. 

It was not that.

This time it changed everything...It was the shortest message till now. Having only two words and one gem cut. 

 

The words:

 

‘Not deserving’  and an Agate gem cut.

 

A fire Agate in service of Yellow, to be more precise...

Chapter Text

 

Renegade was walking up and down in the big chamber of the kindergarten, a trail left in her wake.

"What was I thinking!"

Her voice echoed against the walls. It didn't work like this, it couldn't work out like this. She didn't even know how to or what was she to work out. The last half of a cycle, after she received that short message she had spent panicky walking up and down the kindergarten, her gem the only light source to give her company. The only light filling the underground chambers of countless tunnels and pathways leading who knows where. On any other time, Renegade would enjoy the intricate chaotic yet obliviously build according to a strict plan...

But right now.

 

Pearl was blind to it, on her mind only one thing.

An Agate!

It was terrifying!

Pearl was walking in circles literal and figuratively...

She had to stop.

Renegade stopped walking directly in front of the exit hole... the exit hole she spent the most time around. Her black-gloved fingers rubbing on her own gem.The shadows dancing in front of her. She needed someone to talk to... She was alone that was a fact... She needed someone willing to respond...

She couldn't talk to Pink as she kind of.... used Pinks name to get herself in this mess...If she never told the archive leader and her pearl it was Pink diamond command she wouldn't have to be terrified about an agate... But then Pink wouldn't have had any valid information either... No, she couldn't doubt her own choice. She picked right for PInk, by using Pink name like that.

Which lead back to Pearl not being able to tell her, not when Pink was doing so well having focus and determination. Finally getting better, moving away from the emptiness.

Renegade leaned against the wall of the exit hole. Her light shining into the small space. Eyes focusing on the spot where the earth had settled a while ago. A passing glance wouldn't ever spot that the spot was once dug. 

Does lying to Pink means she was no better than what White diamond did? It wasn't like she outright told a lie, she just omitted to even mention what she did to Pink, for Pink. Worst of all that wasn't even the top problem.

Renegade screamed. She could feel the surface ordering the problems for her. Agate was the top priority. Pearl stood up again, returning to the trail of her pacing in cycles. She needed the motion, she felt like her light was prickling all over, from head to the toes. 

She briefly wondered if she should send a message to Purple Pearl and ask WHY did that particular Fire Agate not deserve Pinks mercy? But if she does that she wouldn't be able to do anything as Renegade. It would be too suspicious. Purple Pearl could connect the dots and figure that what Pink Pearl asked about and received an answer for, the Renegade acted upon... She wasn't even able to do anything as Pink Pearl, either. She couldn't just walk up to that Agate and ask her why and what she was doing. Pink did not give that order, would she be able to nudge Pink into giving it?

Of course not!

There was nothing she could do as Pinks, and Renegade has to do all alone. She desperately needed someone to talk to. She couldn't talk to Pink as she kind of.... used Pinks name to get herself in this mess...If she never told the archive leader and her pearl ...

She was starting to do it again, walking in circles.

"No, calm down..." In frustration and with unruly thoughts she made a projection of Renegade, a projection with way more energy than it was needed. The second source of light lighting up the chamber. The shadows losing some of their sharpness appearing as if they were splitting and melting into fuzziness. So there! Someone to talk to.

Even if it was just herself.
"Why did I tell the Purple Pearl she could do this?"

Pearl pulled the mask off her face, facing the Renegade projection.
"I told her because of my guilt." The projection spoke, as Pearl faced her.

Guilt...

So simple yet...

Pearl stepped back, her body hitting the cold stone wall behind her. The exit hole right there, looking softer in the moving light,
It was true. She did it because she felt guilty for poofing her.
"I told her because of my anger, too." The projection spoke without using Pearl own lips or voice to provide the sound. The odd behaviour was noticed, but put on the back of the queue, by the Surface. So many other important things were demanding Renegades full attention.
"...Yes... I was angry to think there were gems who poofed her, who beat her with a blunt weapon till she poofed... It was not appropriate. She shouldn't have to know how it feels to be puffed. NOt by me, or by any other gem."Pearl admitted to the projection pearl.


"I told her because I wanted to punish those gems, too." The projection said and Pearl nodded fingers going through her hair. She was right. She couldn't...she couldn't leave them to it. the Fire Agate did something that was worth punishing... Something that was not worth Pinks mercy... 

 

So... what?

 

 

She didn't know what.

 

"I have to find out what she did, that way I can make sure Fire Agate earned her punishment," Pearl concluded pushing herself away from the wall. That felt like a goal. The first step, determine WHY then act. Pearl felt happier, even so, she felt like her whole existence was vibrating with her nervousness. Pearl stepped up to the projection and tried to wave her hand through it to dissipate it.

Her fingers never passed through the projection instead they hit firmness. 

Pearl was staring, as Surface reorganised the queue in her mind to move the question of the odd projection to the front. Pearl pressed her hand against the projection chest. It was firm, it didn't give in to her pressure. How much energy did she use to make it, again? Pearl took in a deep breath, countless ideas coming to her for how she could use ... If this was...

Pearl hesitated a moment before she started to just do and touch and inspect it. She could tell it nearly felt like the extra stability of the light screens, except it was so much more complex than a screen. And she made it without even thinking about it!

 

Testing her theory Pearl focused on the not projection, and tried to undo it like a screen, she felt resistance, persistence, she pushed harder and then the not projection vanished.
By the end of the cycle Pearl has named the projection pearl Holo Pearl, for the first time since she put on the Renegade outfit did she have someone to spar with. Well, more like having someone to hold a sword up while she practised clashing their weapons together. "It will take a lot more of tweaking to get you to be a challenge...Maybe I could add levels of difficulty..." It was the thrill of creation that gave Pearl the confidence she needed.

The confidence to tackle the big problem.

 

The following cycle, she looked up the open information about the specific Fire Agate. She learned that that Fire Agate was the head of the gem harvesting faculty. Transferred after proving herself on the battlefield, her weapon documented to be a fearsome fire shield. Being great for offence and defence. Pearl looked back at the Holo Pearl repeatedly practising to stab forward. Again and again. She made that. Looking back at the information she realized she will need to infiltrate the gem harvesting faculty. Without showing herself as Renegade OR Pinks Pearl.

 

Pearl smile started to spread wide, becoming a daring grin.

"Sounds doable." 

 

Two cycles Renegade was observing what gems were entering and leaving the harvesting complex. Sneaking around the neighbouring structures to get a better look, while mapping possibilities for entering out. Trying out routes which would be best in the case of a fat escape. During the third cycles night of her observation, she spotted someone odd entering the place. A white Zircon, her white pearl a step behind her. Pearl blinked, staying still. Not soon after another Zircon came in, this time a green one, this one looked nearly desperate in the way she rushed in the complex. Shortly after a Hessonite walked in with a squad of rubies who were oddly serious... by the end of the night there were at least 30 gems with various entourages in the gem harvesting facility.

It was nothing odd for the occasional higher cut gem to bring in a lower broken or defect one in personally....but so many in the same night?

Pearl shifted into a shadowy spot as the sun rose and she kept on waiting.

The day passed by, the sun setting when finally the first of the gems left the facility. The white Zircon with two Pearls now, the one he walked in and one with a blue colouration. Soon after her, Hessonite left with only one ruby by her side. A whole cycle passed till the last gem left as well.

Renegades time was running out.

The renegade returned to the kindergarten, Pearl returned to her diamond just in time.

Pearl assisted her diamond, but in the time she waited she explored the unrestricted information about the guest she observed entering the harvesting facility.
Another six cycles of just waiting and observing and no one of the odd gems returned to the harvesting. Maybe it was just an oddity.


The next four cycles she made up a simple task so she could visit the Hessonite gem. She was overseeing the wandering eyes and educating the rubies on how to use them. It didn't yield any useful information, at least not for what Pearl was looking for. That was fine as she on purpose forgot a small gem communicator in the Hessonite office. A small turned on gem communicator just on the underside of her most used desk.
That yield much better result.

Spying.

 

Several cycles passed and Pearl heard from her small communicator that an invitation from the Fire Agate arrived to Hessonite. Inviting the gem to a strategy and efficient meeting, delivered by one of the rubies. It was oblivious not the main point of the meeting, as Hessonite started to sing and hum to herself sounding excited about it. The melody was unknown to pearl, though it was hard to tell as hessonite had no feeling for rhythm.

 

Pearl had obtained the date and time of the next meeting. She as well found out that some card is needed to get to the exact room where the meeting is happening. 

 

Renegade broke in the green Zircon preparation room, she was pleased to find the same new invitation hidden under a bunch of fact-filled screens. Pearl had a plan, a possible stupid plan. But she had to find out what those meetings for strategy and efficient are. Renegade left the room without taking anything, ensuring the Zircon would not suspect anyone entering her room.

 

One shape-adjusting later, and half a cycle before the date Renegade returned to the room when the Green Zircon was inside. Pearls hair was now akin Blue Pearl style, with long bangs hiding her gem and eyes, the colour staying the same. While she adjusted her shape to now have a pearl gem to the back of her white hand. On the other hand than Purple pearls gem. Most important was that she changed her clothing. Now she was wearing a lean dress. Hugging her frail figure and stopping just under the knees.

 

Pearl took a deep breath, smelling stale air, and hearing the buzz of power in the walls. In front of this door was the last chance she could change her mind, change her plan... but she had no other plan... Neither had she the time to waste.

"Just do pearl. I have to scout what those meetings are and see why the Agate doesn't deserve Pinks mercy. Easy." Pearl chimed the door.

Now there was no stopping.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Who sends you? I am really busy recently, I cannot take on any more trials. Go find another Zircon. " Green Zircon told her and was about to shut the door in Pearl's face. Pearl could not have that, she is not getting stopped by a closing door. 

Her foot shot out, blocking the door from closing. The action irritated the green gem who was about to shout at Pearl. She saluted and hurriedly spoke.

"Radiant gem, I have been sent to accompany you to a strategy and efficiency meeting." Pearl smoothly said catching the green gems attention. Trying to make sure her own pitch and way of speaking do not resemble Pinks diamond pearl. Zircon stared at her in shock.

"Who sends you?" This time she was paying attention to Pearl.

"I am not allowed to say that, radiant gem." Pearl dropped the salute, still standing at the door. She could see the Zircon thinking it over.

 

"Well, then I..." The door started to close. 

"I am allowed to say that I am a gift for the duration of the meeting and that I belong to a gem whose name starts with an R." Pearl kept her head down, waiting. She couldn't risk Green Zircon being too suspicious and leave her behind. Yet, saying she belonged to R as in Renegade was fascinating. She was Renegade and Renegade belonged to herself. No lie there. It sends a trill thought Pearl. What Pearl didn't expect was to hear the Zircon crying.

"Rosasite... it has to be her..." The door opened fully allowing Perl to go inside the room. Hearing the door slide closed behind her. 

Pearl made a note to look into that gem line after all this was over. She was listening to Green sobbing words.

"She said it was done, and... I disgusted her but... you... I can ...a chance... " The green gem was now in full out crying mode, unable to get out any more words out. Pearl sighed, she picked this gem and now she had to handle the fall out of her choice. Approaching the green gem, she offered her a hug, allowing the Zircon to cry on her shoulder. Pearl chose her, thinking a desperate gem would be easier to talk her into it, but instead of talking her into she had to be in service of comfort.

 

If it means green takes her to that meeting of Fire Agate, being a pillow for tears for a while was more than doable. Feeling the logical gem all but cling to her, shaking as if she was hit by Blue diamond sadness itself. Pearl started to hum one of the pearl melodies intended for comfort. It worked. The green Zircon claimed down after a while and Pearl assisted her to be presentable again.

"I must ensure to give her my thanks." Zircon told her, while Pearl stayed silent. The green gem looked so much more hopeful. It was nice... yet it worried Pearl. Why would it give her this much hope to receive a pearl for this meeting. Something inside Pearl curled into a heavy ball. A ball of bad feeling. Something was going on and that something was organised by the Fire Agate that deserved no mercy from Pink... according to Purple Pearl.

What was going on?

And...

Why?

 

The time of the meeting came. Pearl obediently followed Zircon to the gem harvest facility. Entering it, Pearl allowed herself to raise her head and to look around. Not too much, so she would not mess up the bangs over her real gem. Her fingers shifted to touch the fake gem on the back of her hand. Everything looked perfectly sterile. Exactly as it should in a gem harvesting building. Green approached a door and Pearl started to move to open it. She was stopped by Zircon hand. Instead, she pulled the invitation out and placed it against the panel. The door opened to reveal a lift. They entered without a word exchanging.

The card was used to operate the lift as well.

Pearl closed her eyes, focusing on the sensation of movement. They were going down.

Too much down. The door finally opened, according to the panel off to the side, they were still at ground level. Which was not the case at all.

This hallway was anything but sterile, there were dust and dirt everywhere even the walls were made out of dirt and stone. The hallway was lightened up with just torches, from all things. The light thrown by the flames were eerie, shadows kept moving as if they had a life of their own. Green started to walk down the hallway, Pearl at her hills. They walked for a little while before they approached a fork in the hallway, the way ahead was leading down to a set of stairs. Pearl could hear voices and laughter coming from that direction. Instead of going there Green turned towards left, her steps becoming hastier. The green gem kept looking over her shoulder as if she was fearing being caught doing something forbidden. Which was funny as it was Pearl who was breaking the rules right now. Pearl wasn't fearing being caught breaking rulers. No something else was making her worry, a feeling in her very light was all but wanting to run away from these tunnels.

Get away. As if the danger was in the air itself. Pearl pushed the feeling in the back of her mind. 

 

She needed the answer to WHY.

 

Suddenly around a corner sat a Jasper, her body big and strong, behind her several ...cells. The light of the holding cells at odds with the dancing light of the torch fire. Pearl stayed really still. The gem harvest had no need for cells! 

"You got something?" The big Jasper grunted out. The dancing light shining off the gem on top of her shoulder.

"Yes, its from yellow newest colony. Exactly what you like. Landscapes in full colour." Zircon summoned five screens with a lot of green and blue and yellow. Pearl didn't waste her attention to look at those, instead watched as the Jasper took the screens, eyes all but shining as she was looking at the landscapes, an odd low moan leaving her lips, followed with a single number "6."

 

"I gave you 5! That should be 10, not 6!" Zircon protested, only to have Jasper look over the screen and growl. "Take it or leave it! Time already ticking."

Green gulped and rushed pass Jasper to one of the cells. Kneeling beside it without hesitation into the dirt floor. Pearl followed her with a measured appropriate step. Making sure to glance at the gems inside the cells. A lot of low-level gems, some stones. Few pearls were sitting curled in on themselves. A few higher gems as well like two sapphires standing still as if awaiting a vision. Just across the cell the Zircon was kneeling by Pearl recognized four rubies shivering in fear. The rubies that came in with the Hessonite and did not leave with her.

Down the hallway, Pearl could see even more cells and then some more empty ones.

Pearl stopped behind Zircon and paid attention to her conversation with the gem in the cell.

"Please, don't."

"I told you I am getting you out." Zircon told the gem in the cell. It was a Nephrite, with a wild black mane, her gem on her chest.  

"You don't have anything to bet with. Please, I don't want to see you end up in here."

"I know, I know. But, there is hope. I got a Pearl. If I bet it high, I may win enough to get you as my prize!"

 

It.

 

The Zircon teared up again, moving her hand to hover over the cell light. Nephrite mirrored the pose. Without the energy field of the cell, their hands would have touched.

"My beautiful Zircon."

"My dashing Nephrite."

Both of them chuckled, Pearl couldn't hold it back anymore.

"Why are you in here Nephrite?"

Green turned around looking up at Pearl who kept looking down, in a perfect Pearl posture. "I didn't allow you to ask questions." Green hissed her posture a warning.

"...Zircon... it has a right to know if you will be betting it... If you lose, it will end up here..."

Green sighed, the warning melting away to a more uncertain pose. The green gem looked back at the cell. "I am sorry, this is stressful..."

"I am defective," Nephrite answered shortly, looking directly at pearl.

 

Defective.

 

"You don't look defective," Pearl said without moving.

 

"I have a behaviour defect."

 

"That type of defect can be kept a secret," Pearl said without hesitation, again. It was Zircon who stood up and grabbed Pearl by her shoulder. "I am ready to do anything to get her out, do you understand. She was not reported, so no one knows she is defective, instead she was threatened, held hostage with it, forced to participate. To be used as a bet, they lost her and she is now in here. " Green Zicron eyes were determined and unyielding. Pearl listened, paying as much attention as possible.

 

"Times up!" The Jasper called out.

 

Green closed her eyes. "I don't care if I have to present your shards to get her out. Do you understand." Green hand on Pearl's shoulder was shaking. The determination was shifting to despair again. Pearl gripped the hand on her shoulder and forced it off. Zircon showed a flash of surprise, eyes snapping open. Pearls were not strong. Yet, here Pearl was easily overpowering the green gem. Yes, she kept training, kept improving. Keep on getting stronger. The Zircon tried to tug her hand out of Pearl's grasp but failed. Pearl grip not yet yielding, showcasing who was stronger between them.

 

"I told you," Pearl allowed a smirk to spread, a smirk too wide for a pearl while tilting her head up enough for Zircon to see her eyes. Her gems barely hidden but hidden nonetheless. Pearl's eyes were filled with a want to destroy, to shatter the Fire Agate with her own hands. The look of Renegade out for shards, Pearl could imagine it strike nightmares in gems very cores. " I am your gift for this meeting. " 

 

"Look times up." The Jasper called again, it was time to see with her own eyes what was fire agate doing with the imprisoned gems. Gems she had no right to hold captive. Pearl lowered her head, letting go of the green hand, the bangs falling over her eyes. It was a good choice, picking this green gem. Zircon had stepped away from Pearl her form shaking.

"Dearest?" Nephrite softly whispered... It snapped Green out, claiming her down and she turned to look at her again. "See you soon, dearest gem. I need to go. Be careful don't give them a reason to crack you."

"I am careful, but please don't end up in here. Please think."

Pearls fingers itched for an axe. A big heavy axe. Green started to walk away from the cell and passed the jasper. Pearl stayed only for a second longer looking around. The hallway with the cells continued on for a while. How many gems were held here exactly? Pearl followed after Zircon back to the stone and dirt tunnel with nothing around. Zircon looked over her shoulder at Pearl.

"Are you defective too?"

"I am not."

"Fire Agate has an off colour sapphire that can tell gems impurities, defects have a lot of impurities. It cannot be hidden from her. So better admit it to me, so I know your worth is less." Zircon explained stopping in place just before they reached the fork again turning around to face Pearl. There was still fear in her posture, stiffness and readiness to start running away. Pearl stayed still keeping the perfect pearl posture, thinking that today she will find out if she is defective or not... in the end. Pinks voice echoed in her head. ...you be the perfect little Pearl ... Words meant to cut her down. Perfection used as an insult. The perfect White diamond hurting the precious Pink diamond. Perfect and Defective.

 

Which one was she?

Learning to fight must be defective behaviour...

Jasper's voice echoing in her head.

Nope, ya arent.

Pinks voice...

....perfect little Pearl 

Is she Perfect? Is she Defective? Which one was she?

"I am not" Pearl responded, picking words that felt right, even if she didn't know which question she was even answering.

"That's hard to believe." Green Zircon responded Pearl looked at her. This gem she didn't know anything about, but one fact. Green had a gem she wanted to do everything for. 

That's enough for me.

It was enough for her too.

Helping her it is, just what a pearl is for.

"I simply understand what it means to be a Pearl. Just a pearl." Pearl offered a softer smile to the green gem. After a moment of confusion,  Green nodded giving up on understanding what pearl meant and kept on walking back to the fork and this time going down the stairs.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

The room was covered in shine and radiance. The floor was reflective, the walls were polished. It was like someone moved a diamond palace room in the depths of dirt. Pearl observed more carefully, staying at the heels of Green. Taking a closer look Pearl realised what was shining in the floor. Dust shards. Countless fine broken shards, ground down till the once gem shards were just specks of shiny glittering dust. Shiny dust worked into the floor and covered with a clear substance. Glass perhaps?

That wasn't the proper use of gem shards...

Pearl breathed in, noticing the room was filled with smells as well. The table had an arrangement of organic materials, fruits, and roasted critters.

 

Pearl watched in passing one gem pick up the organic thing and bite into it, the clear fluid of the thing pouring down her chin. Pearl felt ill, just hearing the mushing sound of that gem chewing.

 

Food.

 

The gems here were eating, consuming food, like some organics...

 

...And drinking they were as well. White Zircon was there with two white pearls by her side. Drinking while one of the pearls kept on pouring into her glass keeping it full. Pearl could tell which one was the bluish one before, it was the one holding the bottle. Her eyes were just slightly twitching each time her master looked at her. She was just getting used to a new master... Pearl looked away from the scene to look at a pit on the other side of the room. A deep pit with broken pebbles covering its ground.

 

A weapons rack was on the other side of the pit right by the wall. 

The Renegade had a theory what was going on here. Pearl couldn't believe it and ignored the idea. It couldn't be. Refocusing back on the gem she was following she saw Zircon was nervously walking around as if waiting.

 

Pearl waited, as well.

 

They waited.

 

Suddenly the sounds of chatting and eating gems were drowned out.

Music. Music started to play and spread in the room, grabbing everyone attention. By this point, the room was quite full.

“You are my favourite subjects! ” A fierce voice echoed in the rhythm of the music. A fast beat, free of any restraint. Free of any harmony carefully build during balls.

 The music was nothing like ball music.

Pink would like this melody.

“Ta-ra-ta-da~ I am here my Beloved friends! Enjoyers of the finer things!” The Fire Agate stepped in from a door that was hidden in the wall just a moment ago. 

“I am your host!” She beamed her red hat with a big edge, casting a shadow over her eyes. A long red coat swinging around her dancing feet. She wore heels, which were clacking in the rhythm of the beat as she moved across the shining floor. Gems parting allowing the red gem to move freely between the crowd, effortlessly even. All eyes on her.

Floor shining with dust of gems shrads. Her red heels carelessly dancing on top of them like they were nothing.

“Forever ~“

A tap of the red heel.

”...and ever~ “

The tip of the foot once more tapping.

”And ever and ever~ “

She spun around her own axe. Beaming with unbidden joy.

”You are all back! Like before!”

 

Her fingers snapped and all the torches boomed in intensity. The flames dancing fiercely as the red gem spread her hands out singing to the crowd that hung onto every word voiced.

“I fought the fight and won the war,

for your love and for your praise! ~,

let's get entertained!”~

Fire Agate yelled, the flames returning to a normal intensity as the gems around them clapped and whistled. 

 

“Thank you, thank you all!~Thank you, my precious enjoyers, ~” Agate bowed winking to a few gems. Pearl could have sworn she heard the gems swoon in response. Pearl realised that Hessonite was trying to hum to this melody and was failing… The rubies that were with here before... Now the gems in the cells... Pearl was taking slow breaths. Trying to keep her grip, to not be noticed, less it meant to die…

Pink needed her alive. 

Speaking out of turn was an option. Instead, Pearl stayed by Green Zicron side who exchanged a few small hellos and how are you with passing gems. She herself keeping Fire Agate in her eye, seeing she spent some time chit chatting with various gems.

 

Fire Agate ate too.

 

Fire Agate drunk too.

 

No one questioned her behaviour.

 

Two Jaspers gems walked in the room, Pearl had to shift to the side to see what was going on as all gems started moving towards those Jaspers. “Guests, guest! Please, I know this is exciting, but let keep it civil... till the start of the cracked games of course!! ”

A happy laugh, so akin true joy, yet hearing this, hearing the words made Pearl's spine feel like it was filled with metal and lead and not made out of light. Green pushed her forward and suddenly she was in the front, looking down at a Sapphire… a purple sapphire with short hairs and no bangs. Showing where her eye was supposed to be was just smooth skin, with a strong vivid pink discolouration. The pink discolouration was cutting the face in two halves, the Pink colour going all the way down her neck and dress till the gem in her belly. Even portion of the gem had the same impurity.

 

Pearl only noticed her lips the moment they parted, before a thin line barely noticeable.

This was an off-colour.

A blind off-colour.

It was Pearls first time seeing an off colour gem. She couldn't stop staring at the pink streak in the purple face.

“Knee, let it touch you.” Green Zircon ordered her. Pearl obeyed, the familiarity of the act calming her down. She was doing this for a goal. Surface reorganised her focus. A proper pearl would not question why simply do as told.

 

The bi-coloured Sapphire reached out and touched her chest. There was a brief sensation of warmth that spread through Pearl up to her real gem in her head, not the fake one on her hand. Sapphire hastily pulled her hand away from pearls chest.

“Don't dilly dally.” The Fire Agate spoke to the sapphire, she was right there. If Pearl pulled the spear from her gem she could hit the gem. She could shatter her. She didn't see where the agate gem was yet on the agates body…

 

The Two Jasper would cut her down the moment she made a move… She couldnt...she had to wait.

“What it's quality?” Fire Agate inquired the sapphire, whose hands were nervously playing with each other. Fingers twisting around each other.

 

It.

 

The purple pink sapphire spoke her voice weak. “Its… the highest quality Pearl I ever touched. ” Suddenly the gems around her whistled. Voices talking over each other as the sapphire nervous fingers started to move faster.

“Please, please. My dearest gems. It appears our friend prone to losing dragged in something precious.” Fire Agate hummed happily, turning away from the sapphire and towards the observing crowd.

“ My exited friends! Let's hear till the end. Tell us little thing, what impurities does this pearl have?”

 

Thing.

 

An object.

 

Pearl didn't move, impurities would mean imperfections, right?

 

Sapphire spoke in the same small tone. “None.” The room became as still as Pearl was.

“No detectable amount of impurities. There may be trace amounts that I cannot detect.” The nervous fingers were now repeating the way they twisted around each other.

 

Several moments where only the torchlight and shadows dances.

 

The explosion was sudden and loud. Every voice had to say something, claiming they wanted her.  Yelling and expressing their excitement over obtaining her. Yet, Pearl was still simply looking at the sapphire in front of her. Mostly at her fingers, because those fingers were making a diamond shape, and holding It for a few moments before playing again. 

 

She knew pearl belonged to a diamond, made for a diamond. A pearl… no detectable impurities… Yet, maybe in such a small traces… Did she want impurities…So she could have something to blame for her oddity... but if they were no impurities all her oddity.... all of it... was just her?... Surface reorganised her priorities again. The Fire Agate was trying to calm down her guests. Pearl stood up and moved back to stand beside Green Zircon who was staring at her like it was her who had no eyes.


Pearl whispered softly, for only Green to hear. “Gift.” The green gem closed her eyes. Once she opened them again they were much more determined and focused. They looked brave.

 

“Let's continue!” Fire Agate ushered the off colour sapphire to the next gem that had to be looked over for its quality to be determined. One of the Jasper offered a piece of … paper to Green who took it and stared at it. It had a number written on it... It wasn't hard to assume what it was. “Enough?” Pearl asked leaning to look at the number. The number of her worth.

“It would cover half.”

“Why?”

The green gem shifted in place. Embarrassed.

Guilty.

“ I am in debt. They tricked me, by letting me bet when I had nothing to bet with... I have to win enough to cover my debt before I can get her out.”

 

Green whispered to Pearl, oddly enough answering her questions. Must be because the gem in the cell told her Pearl had a right to know. Pearl nodded, returning to be in the pearl waiting posture. She could tell there were eyes noticing her. Especially the white Zircon eyes were unsettling. She looked at Pearl nearly as if she wanted to devour her.

 

It didn't take too long before the White Zircon approached Green. "Hello, friend."

Green posture had become even stiffer. "What do you want?"

"So aggressive." White Zircon chuckled reaching out to touch Pearl's shoulder. "How about I save you some embarrassment." White fingers trailed up her neck. Pearl stayed still. Not reacting. An object does not move on its own... Maybe a knife stab into the white hand?

"How about you just give it to me. You will lose it anyway." White spoke her fingers trailed up to pearls chin, the thumb trailing just under her lip. Could she shapeshift her teeth into something sharp and bite down?

Amusing, but cannot, too much is at risk.

True. Pearl stayed still. Taking it.

"It light is really nice to the touch. Such smooth skin."

"Look, I didn't yet lose it. So can you stop touching my stuff." The hand finally moved away from Pearl. "There is a first time for everything. And tonight I am winning." Green shifted to stand between Pearl and the white gem.

"Indeed, just as it can be the first time you lose five times in a row." White Zircon hummed, eyes wandering over Pearl form. "Then again, don't forget I was the one who put a good word for you to be invited to our little fun in the first place. We are all friends here."

Pearl fingers twitched, understanding. Needing her sword and needing to cut her down. Green voice hurriedly spoke.

"Yes, and I am sure you all had great fun laughing at me." 

"No need to be scared!" White laughed, yet pearl knew Green was noticing the shift in her posture and was now panicking. White kept on talking. "Indeed we do enjoy the laughter! So keep it up, friend! "

A deep breath, filling her senses with the sweet heady aroma of the organic foods and drinks. Sickeningly sweet. Letting the breath out her shoulders relaxing, shifting back to simply stay at ready as a Pearl. "Sweet pearl, I cannot wait for you to have you call me shining beloved Master" White Zircon winked moving back to her two Pearls. Each hand reaching out to trace along the Pearls spines. Green sighed and turned, she reached out her hand briefly hesitated before touching Pearl hand, the one with the fake gem.

"You...fine?"

Pearl nodded, it didn't matter if she was not okay. It wasn't like she could leave now... if she did the green zircon may end up in a cell herself.  There was no time left as Fire Agate called out grabbing everyone attention once more. Behind the Fire Agate, two gems were lead into the pit. One Rutile and one Peridot. Both had their gems on the chest, both had their gems visible cracked. Both were not looking good. Fire Agate was telling everyone how these gems were survivors and managed to win the previous three fights they were in. Evenly matched. Asking for who would like to bet.

 

The odds close to each other. Green let out a low frustrated disappointment out. "It's not worth the risk to bet you now." Pearl felt her gem shifting. Something inside moving. Surface was doing something. Suddenly and easily Pearl felt the ... not felt.

Suppressed all emotions, on Renegades suspicion.

I know what I will see, by the end of this...

I will deal with the emotions after.

Exactly.

Yes.

We cannot act rash now. Or fall apart. Or forget why we are here.

 

Recon. 

 

Pearl considered closing her eyes.

 

No.

 

Not again.

 

She will not again be unaware of a cracked gem. She will look at them, she will remember them. Its the least she can offer them from her position right now. Pushing Green gently at the back of her shoulder, she wanted to move to the front to be able to see it all. Green on the other side was not appearing to want to move. Trying to stay in the back. Pearl urged her again.

"Stop it," Green warned her. Pearl stopped. Fire Agate was calling onto the guest to place their bets one final time. Pearl looked back at Green.

"Move to the front." She ordered much to complete Zircons shock, Pearl's hand resting on the green shoulder, squeezing. Pearl's voice dropped.

"Now. "

The previous courage shifted to fear in green Zicron eyes. Green looked torn before sighing and moving to the very front and the very edge of the pit. Pearl let her hand drop. Green didn't want to watch this. Pearl didn't want to either. She couldn't save them, so the least she could do is remember them.

 

Then it began.

 

Both had been given one weapon from the weapon rack. It didn't help them much as neither were combat gems. They had no idea how to use them... Yet they tried their hardest. She noticed the voices around her starting to pick up in volume. Yelling and cheering. The first one to glitch was Peridot. Rutile used that moment to get closer to Peridot and slam the bat on Peridots chest. In the last moment the Technical gem bend catching the hit with her head and not with her chest. The two gems kept on it. Blow after blow was exchanged. Their forms losing stability. Glitching on occasion and starting to fail to keep a proper form up.

For pearl, the match lasted forever. Rutile fall over and the Peridot was on top of her in a flash. The green gem has lost her weapon a while ago and now was using her deformed fist to slam onto the other broken gem.

 

Crack.

 

Crack.

 

Scream.

 

It was the first time Pearl saw a gem shatter. She felt nothing. She knew this was a lot to deal with. A lot that will come after she was somewhere safe.

Peridot was the winner. Fire Agate jumped in the pit. "How do we say?" She asked Peridot, who tried to speak but only a static screech left her lips. Fire Agate turned towards the guests on the edge of the pit, raising her hands to show a small flask of something pink...

Pearl eyes grew big under the bangs. 

 

The amount of surprise could not be handled by Surface.

 

That fluid ....it was something Pearl knew way too imitate. How did Fire Agate had it?! Harvesting facility had no need for it. Only certified kindergarteners were allowed to handle it.

"So my darlings how was the fight?! How much enjoyment did it give you? Enough for one drop? Two drops? Or unbelievable three drops?" Fire Agate beamed walking around the Peridot who glitched and let out a high pitched yelp of pain. Her form was being torn shifting into even less recognizable shape. Her gem was quite a bit cracked and the crack was spreading.

"Yell! How much shall I give the winner of this match? How much of this precious Pink diamond extract?! The extract that can heal the winner to see another fight!" Fire agate laughed as if she just told a great joke.

 

"Never saw it before?" Green asked Pearl, clearly misunderstanding Pearls surprised posture and shaking hands. "Anymore than 3 drops would be really bad for the already formed gem. Make the gem form go horribly wrong forever. Lose their minds, but a drop or two would heal them, just enough to last till next fight. It's sad how it cannot fully heal a gem."

 

Pearl blinked. That was a bunch of lies... She knew out her own experience. Of being pretty much submerged in the staff. But how did such a precious fluid get in the hands of the Fire Agate? The gems around her yelled and finally, Fire agate kicked Peridot over dropping one drop on her gem. It sealed the crack half complete. It was way too little to fully heal her. Fire Agate knew how potent of a heal it was, still she purposely...

Peridot moan was so akin Pearls own, deep and relieved. Her form shifting to a normal form. She stood up and started to praise the agate. Praising her power. This had become personal.

 

Unworthy of Pinks mercy.

Chapter Text

Pearl slowly blinked under her bangs. She had to stay still. She had to. Renegade awaited gems fighting till they shatter, so surface acted accordingly. Renegade was right. What neither awaited was some gem having the audacity to steal from the diamonds, or more precise steal from diamond their extract and miss use it so horribly. Not because of healing it, but using it to heal to prolong suffering. The one thing Pearl was sure Pink didn't want in any situation to cause another gem. 

Using her extract, the very essence of Pink in this.... like it was saying Pink would approve of it... No, Pearl didn't even imagine to see that. Didn't await to witness it. Surface had no chance to pull even those emotion deep down.

The anger felt hot and sharp.  Purple Pearl did well to report the Fire Agate abusing her position and the power she had over cracked gem, all for some twisted game and some wrapped laughter. The laughter that was echoing all around Pearl.

 

A new round was staring.

Just recon and along the way help the green one.

Right.

 

The next fight was between two quartz's soldiers.  One was Smoky quartz, not often cut, but had their uses. The other gem was an Amethyst her odds a bit higher but not high enough for Green to bet her yet, she was too scared of losing if she bet more often. So another fight Pearl will have to watch. Another gem which will be ended and another time Pearl will watch the fire agate use the extract of her diamond again.

 

A shift.

 

A sensation of nothingness.
Detachment.
Clam.

She can do it. She had to do it.

 

Pearl observed the crowd. Gems continued on eating, drinking and betting. Her eyes wandered till they spotted the red gem. Fire agate was eating some yellow plant, showcasing how to peel it to an eager-looking Hessonite. Fire agate was enjoying herself laughing happily when the hessonite mashed the yellow plant instead of properly peeling it. 

Pear watched on. Observing how the gem went from one gem to another making sure they had fun. The betting was coming to a close and the red gem jumped back to the edge of the ring. Green didn't really mix with other gems. Pearl noticed several such gems. All staying more in the back. Some of them were alone.  Were they in similar situations as Green to behave more similar to her? Pearl had no time to watch.

The second fight of the Showtime has started. Pearl looked down back at the two soldiers. Between two warriors the fight was a lot more scream inspiring than the previous. The two gems who were fighting were using moves Pearl never even imagined on her own. The way they moved... the way their world only included the two of them. Pearl questioned if those gems even heard the cheering from the sidelines.

Did different fights serve different goals? She observed the way the gem would crack more, the way and type of cracks she could see from her position. Comparing it to the thin Jasper crack and remembering what pink said about her own crack...

 

Briefly averting her eyes from the fight to look at Fire Agate. She was calm and simply smiled. 

A loud scream dragged Pearl attention back. SHe saw the Smoky gem swing her weapon behind her the sharp edge hitting the Amethyst. The force made the purple gem go poof.

Smoky quartz won.

No.

Not until the other gem was in shards.

 

Pearl watched the gem stand up, her face was in pain. Tears leaking as she raised her arms up. Smashing her weapon in the defenceless gem. Shards exploded in all directions. Pearl took a breath in, the sweet roasted smell nearly making something inside her bubble out.  Pearl bit her own lip.

 

Staying still till the none feeling was fully back. 

 

Smoky quartz was crying for shattering the other gem. Her gem receiving several surface cracks as her emotions were making her even less stable. Pearl doubted she even noticed Fire agate standing beside her, or heard the yelling of the crowd. Two drops and the surface cracks vanished, yet the deep one did not.  Pearl closed her eyes. She could hear Fire Agate saying there will be a bit longer break, before the next match as it is the highest winning match of this time show.

Green would bet her then. Pearl needed to predict the winner. Green was known to keep losing... So she must have been doing something wrong. Green was tricked, at least that was what she said... Tricked... Pearl opened her eyes. Could it be...Pearl noticed that green was patiently waiting in the spot.

Pearl looked at white Zicron who was drinking and approaching Fire agate with a wide grinning face. Was that the difference? The break was spent observing the way Fire Agate was talking to her guests. Which guest she talked to, how long. Did she laugh around them or just slime, or grin? What was the Fire Agate goal in doing all of this?

Was it to feel powerful? It wouldn't be too far fetched, she had power over the cracked gems, over the guest who bet, the room was so shiny and polished... And the matter of having diamond extract at her hand.

What lie she would tell to make the biggest impact, to cause the biggest proof of her power? ...

Sorting each conversation Fire Agate had within the break, Surface compiled a list from the longest lasting to the shortest. White Zircon ranked at the 5th place. That was interesting.

 

The third match betting was starting. 

A long time winning Bismuth against a newcomer Sapphire.  

Bet right and you win a lot. The more worth the gem bet, the higher the return win.  Green nodded to herself, ready for action. That was a horrible mistake, she was about to raise her hand to bet Pearl, mumbling to herself. "The Bismuth, definitely the Bismuth. I saw her fighting. She will win again for sure. I am saving you, just a bit longer..."

 

Pearl grabbed the green gems hand, stopping it from fully rasing. She looked around a lot of gems were thinking the same way... But not all. A lot of gems were not betting yet. White Zircon was not betting. She actually looked disinterest from the betting...Pearl searched the room for the other top spots from her list. No gem of the top seven spots from Pearls list was joining in the betting this round.

 

Why?

Pearl felt a tug against her grip. Green Zircon was glaring at her with anger. Trying to free herself.

Pearl had to think faster than ever in her existence. If they bet on the winner they would win a lot, like all the other gems. Like most of the crowd. If Bismuth did not win a lot would be lost. Fire AGate would for sure obtain a lot more gems to use for prize and fight...

Was that the purpose of this match?

To increase the wealth of Fire agate to wield even more power. If bismuth lost... it would mean sapphire would win... no one was betting on her. Not a single gem bet on her. Still, there were so many possibilities. Pearl knew she could be completely wrong with her guess. It was nothing but going with the first thing that pops in her head. Just putting the intentions that fit together. 

She looked up at the gems to be fighting in the pit. Hoping that observing them will give her more hints to ... to predict the winner correctly? Fire agate could simply want a show. This match could be simply one mercy given by her to be loved by her subject even more... even if it cost her a lot of gems in winnings...

The doubts in her head were so loud. 

The blue gem on top of sapphires head had a lot of cracks... a lot of surface cracks. Bismuth had only one crack... but Pearl couldn't see how big it was as it was going into her gem. The Bismuth was yelling back at the gems betting on her, calling the words Pearl only thanks the dictionary knew were slurs and insult developed by low cut gems at the colonies. Sapphire, on the other hand, had a calm appearance. Typical of her gem type. Though... Pearl noticed as she watched the blue gem, her face turned to a smile. Why smile if your own vision shows you shatter?

If sapphire were to win, and somehow Fire Agate knew she would win.... telling her favourites to bet on her would be suspicious, for all the other gems that were so sure this was a massacre about to happen.

 

Not betting was the only way Fire Agate could keep her friends safe from losing or being accused of cheating. While at the same time her subjects would lose their power to her without a reason to stand up against her...All was fair according to their twisted rule set.

 

Green has given up freeing her hand after a few moments, the few moments that felt like ages to Pearl, and opted to simply raise her other hand. "I am betting my pearl! On-"  Pearl grabbed that arm as well pulling it down, stepping on the green gems foot for emphasis. A yelp left Green, stopping from saying on who she was betting. Pearl let her go, but green misunderstood Pearl action and pointed a finger in pearl face. The moment her hands were free.

"You know this is what I will do. This is my chance. This is a gifted opportunity for me. I am betting you and you are not stopping me."

"Bet me on the sapphire," Pearl said in a whisper just loud enough for Zircon to hear her. The green gem anger grew and he moved all but into Pearls face. 

"What? Are you off colour? Or do you want me to lose, if this all was a setup... " Green whispered harshly, steaming with anger.  

Pearl shook her head, she will have to explain her action so green doesn't get them both in trouble. Keeping her whispering tone Pearl spoke.

 

"You said you will do anything. Then here is what you do. You obey a pearl's command." Pearl tilted her head letting one eye be visible through the bangs. Hoping it will show the gem she was serious. The following words slipped off her lips filled with emotions on the edge of bursting. BItting and sharps. " Or is that the line you will not cross. Not even for you dashing gems freedom ."

The green Zircon stared at her, it lasted the briefest of moments but at that moment everything about her changed. Pearl lowered her head to cover her exposed eye up again. Zicron held hope, respect and ... submissions. She meant anything. Now she was trusting her if it meant the other gems freedom. Greens lips moved, saying words without uttering any sound. Pearl read it from green lips with ease.

 

What do you command, my gift?

 

"Bet me on the sapphire," Pearl repeated to green taking a proper pearl pose.

 

"Last call anyone else wants to bet!" Fire Agate beamed and Green raised her hand again. "I want to!"

"Put another one for Bis-"

"I bet on the sapphire!" Green interrupted Fire Agate, causing a screeching halt of all the laughter and loud chatter. Pearl observed the gems, paying attention to the three gems especially. 

Fire Agate lips dropped in a frown for the briefest moment. Pearl caught it as she was fully focused  Sapphire was grinning much wider now, while Bismuth was mumbling something that resembled more insults. Pearl knew that exact moment she was right. This was the trick. A lie to make it believable only to make everyone be wrong. "I think we misheard you. What did you say?" Fire Agate asked again, gently smile on her lips. 

Just a lie.

 

"I am betting my pearl on sapphire to win this match," Green repeated for every gem to hear. 

Everyone was laughing now, louder than ever before. Pointing their fingers on Green. Approving of her bet. Wanting to see her lose, already loudly planning to obtain her pearl after this. Green was just as much a part of the entertainment as the gems in the pit. Fire Agate demanded Green repeat her choice two more times, warning that she cannot change it once the fight starts.

 

Green did repeat it without a fail. Staying to the choice Pearl picked for her.

 

Green was the only one who bet on sapphire.  

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The fight started and in the first few moments, Pearl knew she picked correctly.

Watching the blue gem's stance change, seeing the usually stoic and detach gem suddenly spring forward with the energy of a solider was surprising. Left, right the Sapphire knew how to move. She moved like Pearl herself did. No... not quite like Pearl, but definitely not as any sapphire Pearl ever saw.

Bismuth smashed down the hammers she turned her arms into, the small blue gem rolled to the side and turned to keep her eye on the bigger builder gem. 

 

Even when you move back keep your eyes on the enemy.

It was so strange seeing a sapphire moving her eye and head to follow any gem moving around them. Their eye would only follow the diamonds or the future which was set in its path. Yet, here she was seeing the gem observe the things in the now, reacting to them. Pearl saw how the blue gems held onto the knife, it reminded her of her own hand.

Twitching around the handle of the weapon she didn't have now.

A Renegade Sapphire...

The sapphire held onto one small knife, trying to make herself even smaller and slide around the builder gem-like Pearl saw rubies would when training alone. She was trying to outlast the bigger gem. Pearl started to imagine where she would be dodging in the other place. Trying to see Sapphire's movement before she did them.

The Bismuth glitched, she stopped moving and closed her eyes. Now she was just waiting. Sapphire looked torn between trying to use the moment or keep to the edge of the pit, close to its wall. She made a choice and rushed towards the builder gem. Whatever she intended failed as Bismuth at the moment Sapphire was about to touch her, Bismuth slammed her off to the side. Sapphire hit the wall of the pit hard. Pearl's eyes grew bigger, the world around her suddenly pouring to her senses. She could hear all the gems cheering and yelling. She could feel Green hugging herself, feel the Zircon eyes looking at Pearl as her only thread of hope. The smells of the sweet organic things and the dust dancing around the burning torches, all but making her dizzy.


Maybe she could...

Sapphire looked up suddenly and sharply, her head turning away from where Bismuth was standing, eyes wandering over the gems cheering for Bismuth. Her blue eye looking sharp settled in a moment onto Pearl. The bright eye meeting Pearls eyes. They shared a look, views intervening.

Pearl felt exposed.

Her fingers trailing over the fake gem on her hand.

She was still shapeshifted.

Did she see what Pearl didn't yet think to do? Sapphire shook her head. What was set to happen?

"Don't."

 

Sapphire voice barely a whisper, Pearl would have missed it over the noise of the cheering and howling gems, if she wasn't already focused on her. Pearl stood still. 

Bismuth walked up to the smaller gem, confident she would win....she will win. Such a strong gem, with two hammers she slammed onto Sapphire head. Directly on her blue head gem. Green winced beside her. Pearl didn't avert her eyes.

 

Sapphire fall to the ground, her head hitting the ground.

 

Bismuth didn't stop. She slammed again on the sapphire, even if she was already laying on the groud.

 

A second time.

 

Third.

 

Forth.

 

Fifth.

 

"Will you already break! Or poof!" The builder gem yelled in frustration. 

 

"My friend you losing the pearl." 

"How much in debt are you again?"

"I wouldn't mind seeing you in the pit, never saw a Zircon fight. " 

"A massacre like it was oblivious. "

 

Voices all around them. So loud, so sure of the way they will walk. None of those mattered, even so loud none really reached Pearl mind. The soft chuckle muffed by the broken pebbles on the ground of the pit was the only sound that filled Pearl's mind. Sapphire was chuckling. While she was enduring hit after hit. Again and again. Such a taunting chuckle. One full of ...

 

Try again. I am not stopping.

 

Pearl gulped. She didn't move, she didn't even look at Fire Agate to see what her reaction to the situation was. She knew that would be wise to do now... but she couldn't... Bismuth growled as she was bowing over to grab sapphire head in her own hand. Holding her up by her long blue hair. Her other hand with big fingers spreading over the cracked blue head gem and started to squeeze. Trying to shatter her in her own hand. 

 

It happened so fast.

 

The shine of the knife Sapphire never let go off. 

 

An arm moving up, lashing out in a flicker of the torch flames.

 

Steel logging into the rainbow crack.

 

A rainbow gem falling apart in two halves.

 

A silence wrapping around the loud voices.

 

Pearl understood, Sapphire taunted Bismuth to get her gem in her short arms reach. Once she was close enough, the knife was rammed into the crack of the gem, forcing it to split in half. Sapphire calmly picked the knife from the ground, cleaning it off her dress. She turned towards the speechless spectators.

In a clam voice befitting a seer, she announced.

 

"I won."

 

Fire Agate jumped down in the pit,  her red heels landing on top of one of the rainbow halves. Breaking it further down. The cracking of the gem echoed in the silenced room.

"We have a winner!" Fire agate danced around the sapphire. "Our newcomer showed us why cleaver gems should be feared! A fantastic display of trickery and endurance, so let me hear how many drops shall we give her!" Fire Agate shouted, breaking the spell of disbelief that was so strongly gripping the gems who have lost their bets.

 

"None!"

"Zero!"

"Let her slowly shatter."

"This does not count!"

 All the voices that didn't matter. 

One voice that mattered.

"She is free! This will be enough!" Green stated, joy flowing of the gem. She was shaking herself. A split second later Pearl was hugged, Pearl kept watching the Renegade Sapphire... There was something off... Her grin was too wide, too... hungry and determined. Like the healing does not matter to her... 

She is still holding onto the knife.

 

"The fight ended," Sapphire shouted. "I am the winner and nothing that happens now will change that!" Her eye meeting pearls again. The blue gem blinked. Fire Agate was edging the gems on to tell more of what they want with the sapphire to happen. Again. It happened so fast.

It happened so fast.

 

The blue sire gem lashing out at Fire Agate lower back. 

 

Flames erupting from Fire agate lower back. 

 

A shied with a burning flame in it very core appearing on Fire Agate back.

 

Her gem weapon.

 

From her gem.

 

From her gem that sapphire attacked.

 

From her gem on the lower back.

 

The shield that in the next moment was on Fire Agate's forearm.

 

Sapphire once more was thrown across the pit, rolling on the pebbles and trying to stand up again.

 

" Your sight must be completely broken to make you think you will live after attacking me!" Fire Agate hummed the words in glee as if she was correcting the position of a stone. Pearl observed the shield. It covered two-thirds of Fire agate body when she held it on her forearm. It was diamond-shaped, with a smaller parallel diamond in its middle from which a flame was dancing. From the middle, the flames would occasionally spread out towards the four edges. That was an intricate and powerful weapon. 

"I won." Sapphire grinned standing proudly up. The gems all around her were calling for her end, forgetting that they still lost.

 

Green was still clinging to Pearl.  Pearl narrowed her eyes, did the seer do this to ... no... or?

 

"You think that will protect you?" Fire agate grinned, pulling her shield back.

"Yellow diamond precious gem is safe now!" Sapphire yelled raising her knife to meet the brunt of the edge of the shield. 

 

The knife melted as the flames burst out from the shield as it was ramming into Sapphire head. The torches began to dance wildly causing the shadows to move wildly. The flames from the shield were wrapping around her blue gem, cracking, shattering. Spreading down as if to wrap the sapphire whole light form in nothing but flames. The shield edge barely visible from the hot fire pushed further into the gem, breaking it apart. Her light gone, vanishing. To Pearl, it nearly looked like the flames ate the light form up.

The red flames pulled down and the red Fire Agate was now the only gem in the pit standing surrounded by a soft blue twinkling dust cloud.  

 

Pulverized.

 

Fire Agate pulverized the blue gem.  

 

"What an ending! What a rush!" Fire Agate raised her shield, the torches all around them bursting into the air like columns. "Was this show to your liking! I always deliver the entertainment you desire! But right now we will take a break! "

All torches shrunk down to their previous sizes, the shield on Fire agate arms dispelled. "Before the next two fights! So eat, drinks and laugh to your gem content! So we can all bet on! I will be right here to meet you all my darling friends! You may still turn those ugly losses into profits! Just bet on!"

 

Green had finally let go of Pearl.  What path did the seer saw? Why did she say that? 

Deal with it later. Risk of overloading. I have my hands full. We need to go...I can't... hold it back... much more.

Pearl shut her why-ing for now. She had a perfect memory, she can review the memories at a later date. Somewhere where she wasn't shape-shifting and having to endure those gems disgusting behaviours. 

This was a recon.

Only to obtain information... nothing she could do for other gems, only helping one, because it meant her own safety as well... Green Zircon was talking with Fire Agate just a few steps away from Pearl. Pearl didn't move. Keeping her head down so the bangs would hide her eyes. Just in case. She paid attention to the conversation.

"...But we are having so much fun."

"yes, but I would like to claim with my winnings cell 25, the nephrite."

"But two pearls would be such a better deal for your winnings. They could give the company to yours?"

"I made my mind up."

"Fine, fine. When you want to suck all the fun out, then leave. Next time I hope you will be in a better mood to stay until the end." Fire agate reached out patting Green shoulder." I know that you will be back!~ They always do~ Everyone returns to me."

 

Green didn't say anything, just giving a nod. Making her way out and grabbing Pearls hand, dragging her out with her. 

"Not even the diamonds can order me to return here," Green grumbled, as she was moving faster and faster till they were in front of the jasper guard. The guard glanced at the Zircon and sighed. "Will miss your landscapes. They were the good stuff."

"Can we skip this." Zircon answered, her mood swaying between about to cry, about to yell, and about to dance. 

 

As Nephrite was let out the cell it settled on crying.

 

Pearl was no longer paying attention, just following the two gems out the harvesting complex, back into the sunlight.

The white shining sun. The light was so much harsher than the dancing torch lights. So much brighter. Pearl looked directly into it, her eyes didn't even hurt from the strength of the sunlight.

Comforting.

The brighter the better.

Familiar.

As a shine of a diamond.

 

Pearl snapped out the floaty non-existence of her mind, the moment they entered indoors.  The drop of the luminescence, drawing her back to the now.

They were inside the trial building Pearl realised, Green Zircon was going to the room that she used for organising her data and mind before trials. Her office. 

Good.

They arrived and three gems entered it. 

It... ended.

Pearl wasn't anymore in the pit room...

Right now a gem may be shattered in that pit...

“... What am I to do?” Nephrite asked as the door closed behind them. Pearl Focused onto the gems in front of her. Her stomach twisting as if the light in her body was trying to escape itself.

“I can see if I can get you assigned somewhere, maybe look up some colony where you can be safe… ” Green spoke, never moving away from the other gem. Holding her hands in hers. The pair of green eyes only seeing each other at the moment.

“I don't think that will work darling. Unless I somehow can pretend to be another gem cut… there is no way I can excuse my long absence...”

“...There must be something I can do… I...”

“What about it? Can we give that to some gem in position to take me in? Bribe them?” Nephrite offered as she looked at Pearl. Pearl observed the black mane, she saw where her gem was. It was undamaged. Surprisingly it was Zircon who stepped in front of Pearl, still facing her darling. 

“No.” It confused the piloting gem, but she stayed silent and waiting for Green darling to find some more words. Which she was failing at. Pearl blinked, she would have to go. She needed to return … She has to stop wasting time... She had to do something. She had to.

 

“I was to accompany you to the meeting. That I did. Now I leave.” Pearl made a salute and bowed. About to dismiss herself.

 

“Wait!... I...” Green Zircon shouted hurridly, approached Pearl. Pearlwaited. As the gem was in front of Pearl she falls on her knees, saluting her. As tears were falling down her face. Pearl stared at the display of extreme gratitude, usually reserved to diamonds and the highest gems in their courts.

“Thank you.”  Green bowed even deeper on her knees, nearly touching pearls feet with her head. 

“Please give my thanks to Rosasite!” 

Pearl blinked, her stance dropping. Her fingers moving to trail over the fake pearl on her hand. Nephrite looked shocked at her darling action but had yet to act herself. She trusted green. Pearl could see that she trusted the law gem absolutely. 

 

“Rosasite did not send me,” Pearl spoke, her head tilting as she lowered herself a bit down to catch Green Zircon chin in her own hand. Raising her head, to look her in the eyes. Holding her head in place. 

“But if you want to show thanks. Don't refer to any gem obviously able to think, regardless of how low cut they are, as an it. ” She let go of Zircon, and Nephrite was by her darling side in an instant. 

“That a really bad quality pearl, for it to speak like that.”

 

Pearl watched as Green eyes shot wide at the words from her beloved. The words were so in contrast with the words of the off-colour sapphire. “Nephrite! Apologize to it… her. Apologize to her!” Zircon stood up now. 

“I don't understand...” 

 

“Without her, I would be in the cell beside you. My debt would have exceeded the limit if I bet wrong.”

 

“We are both free...Then... you didn't bet wrong,” she spoke unsure and worriedly. Turning around as if awaiting someone to drag them back into a cell. Looking back at Pearl as if she would shout surprise and drag them back.

 

“Because for you, I obeyed a pearl! And I would do it million more times if it means saving you. It's the least we can do for…her” Zicron took a half a second to think before she referred to pearl. It made pearl smile. She was trying. “Yes, for her. Doing this little thing for her. ”

 

Nephrite looked at Green standing by her, looking back at Pearl and back at her darling. She took Zicron hand in her own. Then she bowed. “I am sorry for… disrespecting you. I was not aware...of the role, you truly played.”

Pearl cut it short. She had to leave. This was not the pit... It was not the pit. Not the underground tunnels... Not.

“I was simply a gift.” Pearl turned away and left the office at once. She took note of the office number. There will be a need for it. But right now...

 

It was done. 

 

She walked back into the kindergarten, where she dropped the shapeshifted form. Pearl felt tired. Even if the changes were small it was so exhausting to keep them up for such a long time. The black outfit revealing itself. Pearl stared at her black glove covered hands. She still had preparation time left… 

 

 

Chapter Text

Removing the black suit of her did never before feel this… good. Like taking off a weight she was barely holding onto… Pearl stored the material in the hidden room. Stepping hurriedly out, leaving the hidden room and seeing the pink walls made Pearl's eyes water… hidden elevator level … How many gems ended up breaking just for her to… Shivers crawled up Pearl form. She didn't want to finish that thought.  

 

Pearl took a deep breath…  Nothing smelled like burned organic or sickening sweet… Just the smell of the palace. Good smell. A few notes of dust combined with the light smell that remind Pearl so much of Pink.

 

She couldn't stay in the hallway… She had to move... away from the flickering torches... Pearl blinked. The pink palace had no torches. Surface was letting go. No longer trying to hold back the emotion keep the head as clear as possible. Raising her hands and ignoring the way they were shaking Pearl whipped her tears. Just a few more steps… Just a little bit more. Pearl kept steadily breathing to make sure she doesn't get lost in her perfect memory of the most recent events. 

 

Step after step and she was in front of the big pink door.

The door to Pinks most used room opened. Pearl stepped in, her eyes looking around and noticing cracks. 

 

Crack.

 

Crack.

 

Scream.

 

It was the first time Pearl saw a gem while they were shattering. She felt horrified by the scream... Countless little cracks on the renegade sapphire gem. Smoky quartz hands swinging down to an explosion of shards. Flowing together to a single deep crack of the Bismuth gem. 

Cleanly falling apart in two pieces.

 

A pit covered in broken pebbles. The pebbles that were moving…Rushing around to fix the cracks on the floor...

“You came back way too early! Why?” Her diamonds voice.

 

Her diamond asked a question. 

Pearl blinked. Pearl could feel herself shaking. The floor was cracked, damaged… from a too strong stomp, it looked like. The main crack in the floor was spread into several thinner cracks. The Pebble gems working on closing and fixing the damaged floor.

 

Pearl wretched her eyes from the floor cracks to her diamond. She must have stood at the balcony enjoying the sun. As she was now moving away from the balcony towards her. 

“Pearl?” 

 

Pearl acted. In half a steps she was across the room and pearls arms wrapped themselves around her diamond. Clinging to her, feeling the material of her gem clothing. The memory of the first bathing pulled behinds Pearls eye. Pulling onto the sensation of safety. Pearl breathed in the smell of her diamond. A soft smell. Pearl heard the curtains being pulled together. Sensed as Pink shifted and tried to pry Pearl off her for a bit. 

 

Pearl whined. Not letting go. She was terrified that she will be in the pit. Imagination showing herself with cracked gem fighting for another drop of her diamonds extract. Her opponents an unshaped gem, screaming as she was shattering them. Seeing the shards fly off under her fingers.

 That she would shatter scared her even more.

That did not happen.

 

With Pink Diamond. I am with Pink diamond.

 

I am with Pink… “Hey, hey. Please, you need to tell me what's wrong...”

 

What was wrong?

 

Fire agate was wrong. The pit was wrong. The cells were wrong. The organic food and drinks were wrong. The happy joyful laughter is WRONG!  How could this happen wasn't the diamonds supposed to stop this? Wasn't White diamond who is nearly never leaving Homeworld responsible to ensure that never happens, wasting perfectly working gems on…. Wasn't she perfect and all-knowing! Why was she letting this happen! Unless she didn't know all!

 

Anger.

 

Anger at White Diamond.

The anger ebbed away just as fast as it came to Pearl. The heresy she dared to even question a diamond … especially a perfect diamond-like White was… Diamonds always have a reason, they are the strong, always just in their ruling… White hurting Pink… Pink softness… Blue failing to see Pink emotions. Yellow… she wasn't even around… so distant. 

Nothing of that looks perfect to me.

Finally, Pearl was looking up, seeing her diamonds teary eyes. The first tear sliding down Pinks cheek.

“How do you feel?” Pink asked her, seeing Pearl attention finally was at her.

“I… don't want to be part of the world…” The words went out on their own. They felt so true.

 

An understanding smile formed on her diamond lips. She was pulling Pearl down in her lap as Pink was sitting down on the floor. Pearl didn't want to look anywhere but Pink, even when she heard movement behind her. She didn't want to risk looking at the floor cracks.

A flash of memory, the sensation of white Zircon hand on her. Pearl shacked, wanting to crawl even closer to Pink. Away from it. Away from the images in her head.

 

“When I feel like that, I do this silly thing,” Pink spoke as her hand started to pet pearl along her head and down her spine. Trying to soothe the tremours in her form. Pearl got pulled away from her own emotions and flashes of memories, as she all but heard an alarm ring in her mind. 

Her diamond feeling like this?!

Pearl just watched gems cracking each other to feel like this?! What had made her diamond feel like this?!

There was a moment Pearl considered just pushing all her the emotions a layer down… 

 

 

 " I will take the trauma, I will hold onto it and sink a level deeper. A new Surface...”

“ ...Unbearable much and we have no time to deal with it."

 

It wasn't yet unbearable… they had time… No need. Focus.

 

“... But I suppose you cannot do that...so I can do it for you. Do you want…?” Her diamond asked, helping Pearl to focus on her. Slowly Pearl nodded, unsure to what she was even saying yes to… Well to a silly thing… that didn't exactly make the selection any smaller.

 

The world outside turned pink, curving around them… Pearl blinked looking around for the first time since she all but attached herself to her diamond. Pearl wondered if her diamond flooded her with her light to a point she wouldn't be thinking for herself… It wasn't that silly. Pearl blinked. 

“We are inside a bubble,” Pearl spoke. Her words were weak… 

 

“I said it was silly...” Pink uncomfortably laughed. 

 

“You made the bubble?” Pearl asked her voice a bit claimer sounding this time around. Trying to convey she didn't mind the pink bubble. 

 

“It's not like the bubbles in the extraction, this one cannot be popped. Its unbreakable and you cannot even hear the outside, and the outside cannot hear you either. So nothing from outside can hurt me while inside here!” 

 

Pearl nodded as her diamond explained and leaned her head onto her diamond, simply enjoying the silence. This silence felt different…Moments passed in stillness and a different silence. Pearl must have moved as Pink stopped her petting and spoke up.

 

“It's your first time being in silence. You imagined it well, with how great you described the silence the Renegade has in the kindergarten.”

It wasn't… but it didn't appear as her diamond wanted an actual answer of yes or no.

 

“It's different...”

 

Her Diamond hummed curiously. The darkness of the kindergarten... shadows dancing with the torch flames. Wrapping around the shadows climbing up the stone walls looking hungry grinning ... The Renegade looks like a shadow with eyes and gem shining white... The shadow of the Renegade and the thick darkness of the kindergarten swallowing the vivid shadows on the walls. When Pearl opened her eyes the sun has started to set finally. 

Time flew by... and she wasn't even sure what she did... closing her own eyes for a moment yet .... so much time just passed by... She should answer her diamond... better later than never... 

 

"The Renegade is alone in the silence of the kindergarten. I am not. " She spoke in a whisper. Not moving from where she was laying in Pinks' arms. The long shadows of the setting sun looked pink thought the bubble. Not black. Nothing could get in. "This is better. Way better." 

 

As the darkness came, Pearl cried, tears rolling down her cheeks and leaving a wet mark on the pink gem clothing of Pink... She cried for the Sapphire in the pit, for the off-colour with no eye to ever see the world, for the halves of Bismuth, for the Peridot somewhere in a cell with a cracked gem. For the  Rutile shards lost somewhere in the pit. For the countless pebbles that were broken... For the pearls in the cells, for the rubies for... so many... At one Point pearl simply didn't know for who she was crying her eyes simply hurt. Hurt to a point Pearl had no tears to cry left. 

 

Just empty. Laying exhausted and not wanting to move at all, time passed in silence. It was nearly the end of the night when the darkness was the thickest.

"I could sing for you?" Pink offered, out of nowhere. Pearl slowly blinked, feeling like she was lagging behind something...

 

"No, my diamond." She responded as she didn't want to stop the moment of just being. Her Diamonds hand shifted as they stopped their petting alongside pearls hair.  

 

"I could dance for you?" Pink offered, poking Pearl in the shoulder out of nowhere. Pearl frowned.

 

"No, my diamond." She said feeling at odds with the situation. Something was here...

 

Another annoying poke, distracting Pearl further.  "I could draw for you?" she offered. Then it clicked, her diamond was behaving not like a Diamond. When does she? 

Less than usual. With a heaviness in her limbs, Pearl forced herself from the position she spent laying like a rock in. "Why are you asking me those questions, my diamond?" 

Her diamond meet Pearl eyes, there was a smile on Pinks' lips. The pink finger poked Pearl now in the cheek. "I could play a game with you?" Pink said now poking Pearl cheek again and again. 

 

Irritation.

 

Anger.

 

A sharp edge. 

 

Maybe biting down on the white finger touching her. Pearl's hand lashed out, slapping with no real force at the pink finger. "Will you stop that! What are you even doing?" 

Pearl anger dispelled and she stayed still, she yelled. She yelled at Pink!  She yelled at a diamond, she hit a diamond!

Pearl back hit against the wall of the bubble. It felt so much more solid.  No space to dodge. No space to run away. Pearl breathed in as her diamond hand moved to cup her chin and stop her from moving away. Pulling her back closer. "What am I doing? Getting my revenge. Does it sound familiar? " Pink lips held mirth to them. 

Pearl blinked.

 

"Oh...."

 

"Yes, oh. "

 

"I suppose... I could be.... quite... annoying. Pestering and insensitive... "

 

"Yes, you can be all that. But you missed one."

 

Irritating, infuriating, exasperating, maddening, trying, tiresome, troublesome, bothersome, irksome, vexing, vexatious, galling, provoking, displeasing; awkward, difficult, inconvenient; aggravating, pesky, cussed, confounded, infernal, pestiferous, plaguy, pestilent, punchable. 

"Actually, I missed 26 things."

 

Pink slowly blinked at her, a moment passed where the only movement was the small movement of the pink thumb along her white chin. "I think besides those 26  things you think I meant, you still missed the one I meant. " Pearl wasn't given a moment as Pink pulled even closer. In her vision were now only Pink eyes with diamond-shaped pupils. "You forgot Helpful." The eyes looked so honest, so vulnerable and trusting to Pearl. 

"How can annoying you be helpful?"

"Because you never gave up on me."

"Wasnt I made for that?"

 

Silence.

The third type of silence. Heavy, filled and feeling loud...

 

"..." The pink hand moved away from Pearl's chin. She said something wrong, saying aloud the wrong thing having Pink head drip down. Purpose. Her own reason for existing. She was made to be her pearl... She wouldn't exist otherwise. Yet... yet it didn't feel enough. Why wouldn't it feel enough?

Why? Why, was such a scary word.

 

"I suppose you were..."  Pinks voice trailed off. 

 

"You .... suppose, shouldn't you know?" Pink shrugged ad Pearl confusion.

"I didn't make you...You were given to me."

 

Make her happy

"Make her happy..." pearl repeated the words aloud, a moment of stillness followed suit. The silence feeling even fuller, the sunshine slowly filling the room. Sighing she leaned back closer to Pink. "Well, obliviously I am failing my purpose." Right now, there is something more needed. More for what Pink needs. More was needed of her because of the Fire Agate as well... More was the only way she could see herself taking. 

"No, you..."

"Pink, you asked me if I was even a Pearl." Her diamond blushed about to speak but Pearl couldn't have that. Not right now. Her hand reached out gripping gently Pinks chin, placing a finger on her diamond lips shocking her into speechlessness. Shocking her for the intimacy she had shown. Pearl smiled, happy her diamond was willing to let her do this. "Look at me Pink. I spend the night crying, being comforted by you. Shouldn't it be the other way around?" Pink face obtained a pink hue... blushing. "You..."

"I said the wrong thing and you became sad." Pearl continued on she had to say it. It felt right to speak now.

 

"Tell me is this typical for a Pearl or not? Did the previous pearl did this or not?" Desperation sneaked into her voice. The feeling of uncertainty if she was a perfect little pearl or a defect gem... And how can she be both… or just herself… whatever that is…. It felt like a storm in her head. What she knew was correct, simply didn't fit with everything around her. The off-colour sapphire, even the thin jasper words. Shards glistering in the flickering light, Pearl shivered. Pink answered, moving Pearls finger from her lips. Gently holding onto the white smaller hand.

 

"...My pearl didn't like the silence to begin with, unlike you." Her voice a blessing dragging her away from the memories. Away from the inside. Even if Pink didn't notice she called the other pearl my pearl. Pearl noticed. Pearl let Pink chin go, setting her arms around herself in a hug. They should soon leave the bubble, right? It was nice but time still moved...

 

"You like the silence."

 

It was not a question yet pink paused as if waiting for Pearl to answer. Yes, my diamond came to mind...but Pearl's eyes searched out Pinks, they were looking so vulnerable. 

"... It's... fascinating. Gems never hear it."

Pink smiled hearing that response, something just changed Pearl noticed. A barrier broke inside their bubble.  Or something... Pearl blinked as Pink was taking a deep breath.

 

Did her diamond breath?

Did she ever saw her do that before?

 

"She never felt like me... but she understood that I needed this... so every time I bubbled myself in she would divert everyone away...She would breathe on the bubble to write on its surface. She could show me a screen with a typed message but she claimed that this way no proof was left. " Pink chuckled, hand going into her hair. Gripping onto the pink curls. 

"You cared for her a lot."

"Pearl, she was my best friend... she was my only friend..." Tears started falling down Pinks cheeks. 

"You miss her."

"..." Pink tears intensified. "I love the Renegade, the story you tell about her... The Renegade pearl understands how precious and irreplaceable every gem is. She would understand how much she meant to me… How it left me feeling... losing her… if the renegade was anything but a made-up gem in a story, right? She would understand me? " Pink hiccuped, Pearl summoned a piece of fabric offering it to Pink. It was a dark blue fabric, oddly fitting. She ignored it, so Pearl shifted up and tapped the wet cheeks picking up the tears. "What do you miss most?" Pearl asked.

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"You know the small things, like someone's way of speaking, or the way she holds herself." Or the way she slammed the axe against your back, to teach you. 

"Her laughter," Pink responded her tears slowing down, but still steadily falling. "She laughed a lot more than you... I am not sure if I ever heard you laugh, for real not while you think its whats awaited. Did you ever laugh?" 

Pearl was about to say she laughed when she was running on top of the rooftops at full speed that her body could do. She stopped herself. Her silence was meet with a chuckle and broken up sob.

"No answer is an answer too."

 

"I... am sorry...it just...hard..."

 

"I know, it's hard to be happy..."

 

"...I don't like it."

 

"Hm?"

 

"Sorry, my diamond. I meant to say I hate all that causes this sort of unhappiness." The Fire Agate dancing and singing, her happy laughter. The way gems were breaking and the fine dust of the once a gem floating everywhere. The gem that maybe could understand Renegade. 

"I want to remove such causes out this world. Then it wouldn't be so hard to be happy."Pearl stated. It was simple logic. 

 

It was met with an amused chuckle. "You cannot just remove White Diamond, Pearl. We cannot change anything...Noting will ever change. That's the rule of the universe."

 

"...Pink... inside this bubble things changed. "

 

"...What changed?"

 

"...You stopped pretending the previous Pearl didn't exist... we talked about her... "

Her diamond blinked as if she was caught in some horrible crime. pink looked down at her self, eyes wandering.

 "Does it feel better?" Pearl asked carefully trying to catch the eyes. She met them. Pink eyes staring at her.

"...It still hurt... but... you are right it's not as heavy to think about her..."

 

"See it changed. I am right."

 The weakest of smiles graced PInks lips, Pearl smiled back at her. 

"... Even if we can change inside this bubble it still only possible inside the bubble."

 

"Then the solution is simple." 

Pink looked over at Pearl her tears died down by this point. The sun was starting to be high up. The curtains were casting short shadows. Pearl met Pinks eyes with all her determination. Answering Pinks curious look.

"We just need a bubble big enough for the world to fit in. To fit in all of Gem empire."

 

Pink broke out in laughter, strong and sudden enough that she had to hug her stomach.  "Oh my Pearl, that is the silliest thing you ever said!"

My Pearl. Pearl noticed it.

 

 

Chapter Text

Pearl smiled to herself, she had reasons to hope. Her steps light on the polished hallways. Passing a few gems who were moving a statue to make sure the mural of the diamonds would not be covered. The diamonds image is to never be hidden or obstructed. They didn't notice a pearl walk by. That was fine by Pearl. She knew something changed in her as well. Even when recalling the memories of just two cycles ago were still terrifying, Pearl didn't feel unable to do anything about it. She knew she could do more, but now she felt like she could do it too.

That made all the difference.

She will have to prepare a lot of things, the only thing that made her nervous now was that she knew she had to involve someone helpless, to get the right power on her side to strike it all down.

One step at a time. Look ahead at what is right in front of you. 

 

In front of Pearl was a door. 

 

She pressed the panel beside the door to announce a visitor. Then she made the door open without waiting for the gem on the other side to open it. A diamond Pearl with diamonds court business was quite high ranked. Well more like the court business was high ranked, she was nothing. 

On the other side, a panicked green Zircon stood about to try and hide unsuccessfully a Nephrite behind her back. Pearl stepped in the room. Her smile a polite and pleasant pearl smile.

"Pink Diamond sends me." 

Well not, she told her to not be around her room so white Pearl does not see her. So all could appear the same as every ten cycles. Pink didn't say where she should go. 

Both gems in front of her were nearly tripping over themselves when pearl said the word diamond, they still managed to do proper saluting. 

"What can we do for her radiance?" Green Zircon spoke nervous aura all but dripping off her. Pearl put her best helpful Pearl smile. Summoning a pink screen she read the Zircon cut to confirm it was her. Of course, it was. 

"It appears over 200 cycles you have not been involved in any cases. Such a long period affects your productivity negatively."  

 

"Zircon was busy! She was extremely productive!" Nephrite all but was now standing in front of Green. The gem looked ready to fight her for Zircons well being. Good. 

 

"It will please Pink Diamond to hear that. As Zircon is to be transferred to be part of Pinks court. And is to from now on work productively for the matters of Pink diamond and matters involving her court." 

 

Green Zircon jaw dropped open. She stared at Pearl. Pearl could see briefly the green eyes wander to her hand where the fake gem was. There was no longer a fake gem, the eyes return to her head gem. 

"Her radiance isn't going to punish her for low productivity?" Nephrite asked her stance slipping to a more relaxed one.

"No, unless you lied about her productivity." Pearl smile grew sharper. 

"No. No. I, of course, I didn't!" Nephrite shook her head fast before she turned to Green. She was halfway in a hug before she stopped.

"I...I am honoured to... " Zircon finally found her voice. It was a great honour to work directly for a diamond and be part of her court. Pinks court was really small compared to the other diamonds. Every new gem will be easily spotted during court fitting. Every gem wishing to directly serve a diamond and greedy for acknowledgement would consider it a win to be part of Pinks court.

Less competition for diamonds praise. Still, Pearl could see the hesitation in Green movements. Fast-paced whispers of you should and buts and can't leave you behind transpired between the two gems in front of her. They must have forgotten she could hear, or simply they fall back to the habit that Pearls are just objects. That was easily fixable. She looked at the Nephrite, who slightly jumped in place as Pearl made a noise to be noticed.

 

"Pink Diamond as well is in search of a Nephrite." She opened her screen and read the Nephrite gem cut, asking naively if she knew where the gem was.

 

"That is my gem cut...  She is looking for me?!..." Of course it was her, still, Pearl faked a surprise, even clapping her hands together in joy. All to make it more believable. She hoped she was doing a good job.

"Excellent. You are to be transferred to be part of Pink diamonds court as the fifth Nephrite in her court. " Now it was the Nephrite turn to stare in disbelief.  Pearl gave each of them a screen with the location and time and one contact Amethyst of Pinks court. Instructing them that Pinks wishes were for them to stay around the guards till the fitting. 

The guards will keep them both safe. Pearl had to make sure her witnesses do not get in trouble or get shattered before its time for them to play their part. Hopefully keeping them with guards would ensure they stay well.

"Pink Diamond will await you on the next court fitting. Don't be late first Zircon of her court and fifth Nephrite of her court." Pearl saluted and was about to turn away when Nephrite stopped her. 

"Erm.. sorry... I..." She looked at Zircon who nodded and took charge, saluting to pearl, with Nephrite saluting with her.

 

"We want to send our deepest thanks to our radiant shining diamond for bestowing us with such great honour, as well." Zircon said before Nephrite interrupted her.

"As well to thank you for delivering this message to us."

"Yes. Thank You." Zircon concluded.

 

Pearl didn't move. They... were trying to change... not even in Pinks bubble yet willing to change. Maybe they were in their bubble of carrying for each other... Pearl gave a nod of acknowledgement. "You two will fit in," Pearl said more to herself than to them, still she saluted back once more and left. 

 

This was the easiest part. She knew she should send the information about their transfer to the diamond they were made form. Yellow Diamond. It would be just as acceptable to send it to a high ranking gem… Pearl was not exactly trusting right now. Especially she was not trusting of high ranking gems.

She will inform Yellow Pearl about the desired transfers… Wording it just right and given a bit of time for an answer should leave no room to question why. This transfer was requested.

With a plan in mind, it was time to obtain some materials and specific information for the next steps of her plan. She passed the gems moving the statue once more. They were just getting done stepping around the place to make sure the mural of the diamonds likeness was indeed at no point covered or obstructed by the statue. 

They didn't notice her, which was perfectly fine with Pearl.

Pearl blinked, smile confident.

 

Chapter Text

Time passed and Pearl was pleased with her work. She was a busy gem, as she returned at the right time to escort Pink to White diamond, most pieces were set. The only thing left was a big one. The piece that will set it all in motion.  Without it, she wouldn't have the power to take down Fire Agate. She did the calculations after she collected the needed information about the gems officially assigned to the harvesting facility.  The numbers of solider and guard gems were not low. 

Best case scenario Fire Agate only has a handful of guard gems involved in her .... show.

Worst case every gem in the facility is involved and part of guarding including potential escape tunnels. Which wasn't too far fetched in Pearl's mind to exists. Fire Agate reputation was that she could be at times jumpy, nothing weird as a veteran gem. She appeared to be really helpful to all gems around here always looking out for someone to give a helping hand. Higher cut gems found it charming and kind, the lower the cut the more they saw the act as a trap.

Which each information obtained, the worst-case looked to Pearl as the more likely situation. Pink simply didn't have the gem numbers in her court needed for this to work out. For Fire Agate to not slip out their hands. 

 

Pinks court was simply too… small. 

 

They arrived in front of White diamonds door. Pink gave her an order to wait for her and a pacing touch. Making sure Pearl will be fine. Pearl smiled trying to convey she was indeed fine, that her diamond doesn't have to worry about her. The white door closed after Pink entered the room. White Pearl waited in front of White diamonds door, Pearl was standing with White Pearl eyes locked onto her. 

Like every time.

White Pearl never blinked again after that one time.

Pearl could feel the emptiness edging around her.

She didn't fall into it. There were so many things to think about. Pearl took a deep breath, smelling perfectly clean room. 

White Pearl didn't move.

 

Pearl's eyes kept staring at White Pearl. 

Wondering …

The emptiness was binding on the border of her mind, the mind that was slowly trailing off. 

This pearl… she was not as perfect as everyone thought. The smallest imperfection that caused a change was which allowed all to be set on this path. Was it her kindness, did she care about Pink? It was oddPearl realised that she ever thought of white Pearl as perfect... she had odd cracks over one of her eyes. Pearls were shattered, replaced and harvested for smaller physical imperfections. Yet this one was not.  

 

Empty.

So close and everywhere at once. Pearl felt like she was too loud. Like her simply standing perfectly still was the same as screaming till the walls shook. 

The walls that felt non-existent how perfectly white everything was.  

 

A heavyweight on her very light form, her thinking pouring out and slipping away from Pearls fingers. 

Empty and thoughts thinning. 

She had to think about the plan, she had to make sure the gem she is getting involved stays safe. She will have to be that gems guard. She could do it if she plays it right. Guarding someone felt exciting, even if inappropriate in this situation. 

 

It would be so nice to just be an empty shell of existence with no worry and no weight of responsibility and choices. Just existing with no worries...

Would it?

I would despise such an existence.

True, it was nerve-wracking...but she couldn't imagine herself not doing it. Pearl slowly blinked. White Pearls eyes were still on her. White Pearl didn't move.

 

Pearl could swear she heard her own blink echo loudly in the emptiness of the surrounding white.

 

White Pearl, the perfect imperfect object just like the cracks over her one eye. Were there cracks there because she had a will of her own? Or because it dared to learn to care for Pink? Or maybe she cared about fairness, she heard that word whispered between gems she watched from the shadows.

Pearl standing still, was not feeling like she was standing still enough. 

 

She must care for Pink, Pearl decided on a whim. Even if it was a lie, she wanted to belive it true. Maybe there will be a way to properly thank her? Not this cycle, no.... but a future one. Pearl blinked once more. Smiling just a bit wider. White Pearl kept staring at Pearl.

 

The door opened and Pink stomped out. Pearl followed Pink out the white Diamonds palace. It was a routine by this point. Neither needing to say anything as they knew where they were going. They walked over the bridge outside. Pearl looked up at the sky. She saw the sun shining and the clear sky... All too soon they entered the pink palace, Pink was pouting while her eyes were shining with glee. Pearl took a breath. Summoning a screen she made a hum to get her diamonds attention. Once she saw Pink head turn to her Pearl inquired. "Was it as perfect my diamond?"

 

"... Not quite... White looked a lot happier for some reason than the last time... It was somewhat unsettling. But I was really glad to see her finally in a better mood. Everyone deserves to be happy." Pink whispered the second part, briefly turning around to look at the white palace and the white ship head through the nearby window. Pearl resisted the sudden urge she felt to disagree with her diamond. She knew it must be because not all happiness was equal. 

Pearl hummed, unsure what to make with that bit of information. Surface Pearl stored them for later helping her to focus.

"What do you think made her happy?" Pink asked her. 

 

Pearl blinked. "I don't want to presume what White Diamond wants or like, to cause her to be happy."

Pink steps slowed down just a bit, causing Pearl to walk ahead. Pearl stopped two steps ahead of Pink, turning to look back at Pink. "Not the right..." Pearl started, ready to apologize, Pink Diamond cut her off.

"No, you don't have to apologize. That was the right answer. That is the answer that will keep you safe. Sorry I nearly got you in trouble."

Pearl felt the grin spread across her face, nearly uncontrolled at the word trouble. "You Pink Diamond getting me in trouble, never."  Pearl winked at Pink before her expression went back to a proper Pearl one. Pink covered her face with her hand, a soft giggle escaping her even so. They were still in the hallways of the palace, where gems may see them in pacing or the walls may overhear. Pink was once more walking just a step ahead of Pearl. Like its proper.

 

Now.

"It appears its time to do an add-in for this cycles court fitting."

 

It wasn't time to add another gem, but Pearl hoped her diamond was not paying attention to the exact time, that what Pearls were for.

"Really? It feels a bit soon." Pink responded keeping her pace.

"Time flies by when there are things to do," Pearl responded instantly, with an answer she prepared ahead of time. It appeared to work. 

"Maybe a Jasper or Amethyst would be a nice fit... "

"My diamond, if you allow, considered the recent event. Maybe having a Zircon would be better?" Pearl suggested, summoning a screen and letting her finger scroll over the screen with purpose. Keeping the pace with her diamond.

"Because of that one gem  of Blue hurting one of my courts?" Pink asked and  Pearl nodded. PInk stopped walked rubbing her chin in thought, her other hand taping on top of her gem. 

 

"Maybe, but Yellow really likes her Zircons. And they are all so busy... if I got one the poor gem would have nothing to do..." Pink spoke, but Pearl already foresaw that reasoning. Pearl offered.

"Actually there appears to be one Zircon that already had nothing to do for a while. Maybe that one?" Pearl spoke. Her eyes focusing on the Zicron she just scrolled onto her screen, not offering yet the screen to her diamond to show. Pink could see it easily over Pearl's shoulder the gem cut in question. 

"Why?" Pink asked, briefly Pearl wasn't quite sure at what the why was referring to. Pink voice nearly sounded... odd there. Pearl assumed it was towards the Zircon not doing work. She decided to answer that 'why'.

"It appears other Zircons kept taking cases from her. So she had no case for a while."

Pink thought for a moment longer. 

"There is something else I... noticed." Pearl offered.

"You noticed?" Pearl nodded to the question, continuing a bit surer. It had to be done. She already did it, but it had to be done officially as well.

"Your four nephrite could use a fifth member."

"Why? I am not exactly travelling around that much."

Pearl bit her lip, her voice dropped to a whisper causing Pink to approach Pearl even closer, and actually lean to her. The walls were idly observing. Their eyes were barely open.

"They could use a new friend." That sentence made Pink blink, her doubt tipping to a decision. 

"Yes. Maybe I could take one from Blue."

 

"Actually, by a lucky chance. This Zircon has a Nephrite friend." Pearl continued the low tone, continuing forward. Just a bit further and they would move away from the watching walls.

 

"Really? They are friends?" Pink whispered back following Pearl along. 

 

"Yes, my diamond. Maybe adding them both would be good." Pearl knew it would be good for many reasons. Yet, none were possible to list right now. What she didn't await was her Diamond to tap her chin and question her with a curious smile. They just passed the last alive wall.

 

"Hm... are they your friends Pearl?" Pink asked in an even lower tone just so Pearl could hear it.

 

Pearl stopped mid-step. Looking at Pink soft curious smile. Were they her friends?... She was... Were the two renegades friends?... She... She cared for their safety. She wanted them out harm's way. She wanted them protected. Did she look at them as friends... It didn't feel like it... But... if she just let the other gem assume that's the reason?... She didn't have to say no or yes... "They will fit right in," Pearl responded with a confident formality. Maybe they will become friends and then this would be true?

Does she want any friends? What do you do with friends? Maybe the same stuff as with Pink? We are friends with her, or? That is undefined and complicated, considering her status and our purpose... But I would like it.

Yes.

 

"Okay," Pink said and Pearl pressed the send on her screen knowing she only had now a split-second left before Pinks tells her to whom to send the request... 

 "Inform one of Yellows Agate about the transfer and..."

"Oh..." Pearl allowed her self to shown the guilt she felt. 

Pink noticed it narrowing her eyes. "What oh?"

"I... just send the request."

"Good. That's what I said you should do."

 

"But... I send it before you specified to send it to an agate..." She defiantly couldn't send it to agates. Her plan depended on having Yellow Pearl contact them. The request already arrived at the other pearl. 

"Pearl." A warning tone. Her Diamond crossing her arms. Alarm. No fear, just her guilt for having to do it this way. "To who did you send the request for two gems?"

She couldn't see another route.

"Um... To Yellow diamond directly, my diamond." Pearl saluted and bowed deeply, her fingers twitching aiding to the sorry she was saying. "I apologies  I-I made a mistake in my eagerness. Right." Maybe if her diamond punishes her she would feel better about all the things she does behind her back...

Pink was frowning, her eyes focusing on Pearl quite intensely.

"A mistake. Right. " Pink said closing her eyes. "I don't think Yellow will respond..." She started walking toward the extraction chamber.  "She is busy. We will just inform one of her agates after the court fitting."

Pearl kept her head downcast. She really felt horrible for it.  She wished she could just tell her all... But renegade... she couldn't risk losing that, selfish as she was. Greedy. Yet, even if Pink knew all, would the other diamonds actually listen to her? Would they act on Pink request or dismiss it... That risk she couldn't go in either.

Not done yet.

She will have to make up to Pink with something great. Looking from the corner of her eye she could see her diamond being in thought. 

"There is another.... thing."

"You did something?" Pink said there was a hard edge to it, yet her diamonds eyes were betraying a look of curiosity. Pearl licked her lips, arming herself with a deep breath. Hands releasing the shaky salute to hug herself. 

"I would like to have help with my next preparation. I think another pearl to help me with one preparation would be great." Pearl said allowing her hands to shift till they intertwine with each other. 

 

"Why?"

 

"... Because there is only so much Renegade can do on her own, in the story." Pearl added the last three words after a moment passed, nearly as an afterthought.

The door of the extraction chamber opened. Pearl waited to feel her diamond hand on her back before she entered. The Pink hand took a few moments longer than usual before it settled on Pearls back and gently pushed her in, urging her to enter the room. Pink followed suit the door closing behind them. 

"Remind me about that later," Pink said and Pearl smiled nodding with vigour. It was perfect for Pink to say that. Pearl could take that in so many ways. It nearly made everything just a tad easier. Pearl watched as Pink started covering the water in her bubbles. Watching it slowly fill up. By this point, Pearl stepped to the edge of the pool. Gently reaching out to touch the water that was tinting pink. It felt nice. A single pink drop, falling onto a crack. Pearl's hand snapped out the water as if it hurt her. The pink water dripping off her fingers. Pearl shut her eyes hard, feeling Surface fetching the memories and pulling them back down, far away.

 

Pink chuckled at her. "I told you it's fine to touch it. You are allowed to." Pearl opened her eyes seeing Pink sitting beside her on the edge and sliding her legs into the bubble-filled water. They sat like that for a while and Pearl slowly pushed her hand back into the pink water, poking the bubbles around. She was breathing again, taking slow breaths to smell the nice Pink smell. 

"I am not angry at you for it," Pink spoke again out of nowhere and Pearl narrowed her eyes not sure what answer that was. It left her confused how out of nowhere it came...

".. the mistake." Pink clarified and pearl relaxed. Just the sending Pink meant.

"...I am really sorry about it." Pearl responded, meaning more than just the wrong send on purpose.

"I can see. I do have eyes." Pink smirked reaching out to ruffle pearls hair. "I just wanted to make sure you know. I am not angry at you for what you did." Pearl smiled back, feeling once again better.

 

A chime from a message arriving to Pearl interrupted them. 

Chapter Text

Pearl summoned the chiming screen. 

"Yellow Diamonds line is calling my diamond..." That was it. It worked, it had to be Yellow pearl calling, Yellow diamond was always so busy. Having Yellow Pearl respond with the trivial request made the most sense. Pearl was about to pick it up ready to see just yellow Pearl smug smile. Pearl didn't get to answer it as Pink diamond hand grabbed her own, stopping her. "Extraction chamber," Pink said in warning, manoeuvring them away from the edge and turning them to be with their backs against a pink wall. 

"Now you can answer, Yellow should not be able to tell where we are  if she only sees a blank pink wall behind me."

"Thank you," Pearl said a blush on her face, she couldn't believe herself. She nearly got herself shattered...Even if it was just Yellow pearl on the other side of the diamond line it would be unacceptable for her to be in the extraction chamber. Yellow pearl would surely raise the issue to her diamond... Pearl would be shattered regardless of what Pink says...Pink saved her. Saved her...

Pearl didn't drag out a moment longer and answered the chime. 

 

She picked up and Yellow diamond was filling up the screen. Not Yellow Pearl. The light a bit low on her side, casting odd shadows over the diamonds face. Pearl adopted a blank ready to serve pearl face.

"Yellow! " Pink sounded slightly surprised, did her diamond awaits the diamonds pearl to be the one to call, too?

"You sound surprised." The diamond on the other side of the line said slowly.

"I.. didn't await you to actually respond or respond personally..." So she did await the pearl as well. 

Yellow waved her hand cutting Pink words short. "My pearl had to warp back to me, that why it took me this long."

"Long?" Pink blinked completely bewildered. "This was the fastest you ever..."

Once more Yellow interrupted Pink.

"Yes, you can have them," Yellow said and Pink whimpered.

"I know you would say that. Please Yellow! I promise I will take good care of them if you give them to me! They will not go to waste! And I want them...! "

Yellows voice rose in volume. "Pink."

Pink stopped talking, cut down by the raised voice.

"I already said yes..." The yellow diamond spoke as she shifted her arms to rest them in her lap. " You don't have to... beg. It's unbecoming for a diamond. You need to be more firm." 

Pink blinked. Pearl stayed completely still, noticing finally Yellow Pearl in the edge of the transmission, standing in a perfect pearl posture. 

"You said yes, just like that." Pinks voice sounded disbelieving. Testing as if awaiting someone to say joking and take it away. Pearl suppressed the sudden urge to hug her.

"Do you want me to say no?"

"No, no its...thank you yellow! Really? Thank you!"

"Good. " Yellow diamond nodded, finally shifting closer to the screen and out the shadows a smile was forming on her face. Like that she nearly looked soft too, not like the fear striking diamond. "Do you need anything else?" It sounded friendly.

 

"A colony," Pink said in a joking manner, even playfully showing her tongue. Pearl observed Yellow diamond twitch, Leaning back against her chair, her face back in the odd casting shadows. Her hands digging into the thorn she was sitting on. Pearl noticed Yellow pearl shifting closer to her diamond, eyeing the yellow gem. 

As the laughter was missing pinks eyes looked down. "I made a joke Yellow."

"Right."

Pearl felt the silence starting to form. One that looked like pain. Her lips parted, her body moving in a bow.

"My diamond," Pearl spoke up, causing everyone eyes to snap to her bowing stance. Providing a distraction to the heaviness that nearly settled in. "You asked me to remind you later about lending out a pearl for the preparations I do in cycles before the court fitting." 

 

Pink Diamond stared at Pearl. "I said to remind me. But I was thinking of asking Blue first... if she answers me." Another shift on the screen in front of them.

"What do you mean to answer you?" Yellow asked back to her normal composed self, closer to the screen, the shadows barely covering her face at the moment. " Just go to her room and hug her till she has to answer you... You did it to me enough times."

Pink chuckled. "True, but she isn't around for that strategy."

"What do you mean, not around?" The face was now fully out the shadows, allowing Pearl to observe it in greater detail. Brow furrowed, confusion and alertness all flickered across the diamond expression.

"She went to one of her colonies, I think," Pink answered tilting her head in question. Pearl looked at her diamond. 

"She left you alone?!"  Yellow was angry sounding. Thunder like lighting sparked form her form. The transmission flickered from the interference. The static calmed down and Pink explained. 

"I am not alone White is here and she is even teaching me!" Pink said sounding proud, not in the slightest fearful from the anger Yellow was showcasing.

 

"White is doing what?!" Now Yellow was yelling. The transmission cutting off for a few moments. Pearl couldn't help the fear that gripped her from yellows fury, making her want to hide behind Pink. Before the static vanished she shifted tobe slightly hidden behind her Pink. 

"Yes...But I fear I am quite a failure." Pink spoke up the moment the communications were stable again.

"Blue was supposed to be with you...Urgh..." Yellow spoke more to herself than to Pink sitting back into her thorn. Once more into the shadows. Pearl watched as Yellow Pearl jumped into the open palm of her diamond. The eyes from the pearl and her diamond meet. Yellow Diamond used her other hand to summon some plans eyes travelling over them. "I am lending you my Pearl. I can't come right now. But in a few cycles, I could return to Homeworld."

"Really? You are coming over? Aren't you busy? I mean I didn't exactly read your colony status reports recently."

 

"..."

The shadows couldn't hide how Yellow mood dropped. "... It's... going as planned"

"That makes me happy." Pink declared causing Yellow to twitch again. It was odd to Pearl. "So you fixed the problems and build the beta kindergarten?" Pink continued keeping her steady happy tone. To Pearl, it didn't sound as happy anymore. A really good imitation of her happy tone.

"No. I did not build it yet. Nearly all amethysts have emerged, I am waiting for the last few to emerge before I can start the next kindergarten." Yellow said changing the topic summoning the screens and presenting a live view of amethyst moving rocks around. It distracted Pink. "They are so pretty and looking so lively!"

"I was thinking of sending a few to you but was not aware when you planned to expand your court."

"Really! but if you need them you shouldn't send them to me. It's not like they can be productive in my court."

"Pink. Take them or I will shatter them."

Pink raised her hands. "I am taking a few, I am taking them. Please don't shatter them!"

"Good. My pearl will arrive at your palace in the next cycle. Goodbye."

"Bye Yellow."

"Pearl call Blue and don't stop till she finally picks up! This has gone long eno-... " Yellow yelled just before the line cut off. With the line ended, Pink turned to face Pearl. They shared a look. Both pair of eyes filled with questions.

"What just happened?" Pink asked sounding bewildered. 

"....Do you want me to replay the conversation?" Pearl offered already summoning her projections to showcase the communication that just played out. 

"No...I... Yellow was never that agreeable." Pearl stopped projecting. There was something odd... Even if she could easily recount all her interactions with the other diamonds... it still felt odd.

"... I was... if you allow me to say..." Pearl started, wondering if she was about to cross a really bad line with her next words. Pink nodded. Pulling her courage she said freely what was on her mind. " I was a bit more intrigued by her reaction at hearing White is teaching you. Why the anger towards Blue? If Blue was here would White not teach you? If so why? It is kind of... odd? I would even dare to say we are missing a big part of whats going on between the other diamonds...I mean it just something that...comes to my mind... I..."

Pink reached out gently touching Pearls shoulder, her smile was supporting. Validating Pearls thinking. "They never told me everything that was going on..." Pink softly said, as if that would explain it. It didn't in Pearl's opinion. Her diamond continued.

"I am worried about her...Do you think something bad is happening to her colony and she is not telling us?"

Pearl opened her mount and closed it. She had nothing to say. Didn't have anything to offer. Maybe...



The two gems sat there both caught in their world.

Now?

Time was ticking on, doing it now may even help her Pink. "How about a game?"

"Now?" Pink snapped out her thoughts.

"It may help the information to settle... So it makes sense."

"We are not in the balcony room so we can't play a game."

"I actually made up a game exclusively for the extraction chamber," Pearl spoke and Pinks eyes turned into amazement, most of the serious and worries shrank away to only be a distant shadow in her eyes.

"You made up a game?!" Pinks face was only an inch from her own and Pearl felt the blush warm her whole face up. 

With all the blue in your face can you pass as a blue pearl?

Shut up.

Her blue is too light for a blue Pearl. It may be more like an aqua blue pearl.

Both shut up. 

"I did. Its simple nothing too amazing." Pearl spoke on ignoring the voices in her mind trying to lighten her own mood up. They did succeed.

"You made up a game, of course, its amazing!" Pink arms wrapped around her and Pearls face was pressed against the pink chest. Pearl breathed deeply in. Enjoying the smell, committing it to memory.

"To play the game you do have to stop hugging me..." Pearl spoke.

"Such a hard and impossible choice I have to face as a diamond." Pink playfully complained as the pink arms did release her. 

"Truly a hard choice..." Pearl touched her own face it was still feeling hot. 

"Tell me the rules."

 

"Well... First, you close your eyes, then I go into the pool and hide under the bubbles. Then you have to find me without looking underwater yourself. " It sounded like a simple enough thing to be a game...It would serve its purpose.

"And what happens when I find you..."

"...You have found me..."

"Hm...there is missing something."

"What would you like?" Pearl asked unsurely, what did she need else?

"How about... hm... I bubble you when I find you! That way I cannot cheat, either I bubble you at first try or have failed!"

"Great my diamond! That sound nice." Pearl approved, it didn't change anything on her side. 

"And what happens when I don't find you?..." Pink asked and Pearl blinked.

"Not find me?" Pearl was quite sure pink could find her under a bunch of bubbles the moment she opens her eyes to start the game. Pink ignored her confusion. 

"Oh, I know if I don't manage to bubble you at first try I should do something for you or you do something to me, whatever you would like!"

 

Pearl felt dizzy. She was feeling like she was burning up. Whatever she would like to Pink? With Pink? Like... Such words didn't cross her mind, not even the wildest parts of her mind never had such a thought cross it. 

Pearl was feeling like she was free-falling... The sensation was so akin to losing oneself in the rhythm of the beat. What she wanted poped so crystal clear in her mind. From which part of her it came, no Pearl could tell. The idea was there like it had a life of its own. 

"Dance."  

"Dance?"

"I would like to see you dance, to dance with you."

"That's great...just...um..." Pink sudden hesitation felt like she was hit in the face. Snapping her away from the odd one-track mind she suddenly had. 

"I am so sorry... I shouldn't say something like that... I mean how stupid of me to even suggest to-!"

Two pink hands settled on her moving lips. Muffling all sounds. Stopping her regret from taking off.

Pink was blushing. "...I don't know how to...Diamonds aren't supposed to dance... you know."

Pearl nodded. She knew that. Pearl moved her hands atop the pinks ones and gently tugged. They freed her.

"...I like to sing and dance. So if you don't find me. I am to teach you to dance."

Pink closed her eyes and Pearl stepped into the water and savouring the shiver that passed along her spine, she dived under. Once underwater Pearl summoned two bottles from her gem and waited for them to fill up watching as the air bubbles fast escaped. The pink extract that can heal gems. Will heal gems. Having it on her may save the cracked gems. Pearl would not allow Fire Agate to control such a precious liquid. She stored them back in her gem and swum to the middle of the pool. Giving the signal for Pink to start the game. Pearl was waiting to be found. 

 


 

 

Pearl had a suspicion that her diamond didn't find her on purpose. That she made Pearl win on purpose so Pearl would show her dance steps. Not that Pearl minded such trickery. Pearl found this cheat to be endearing. A sweet lie, but is it a lie when both parties knew the truth? It was a lie to have been telling lies? Pearl didn't care.

"Left foot and right foot," Pearl instructed her diamond. Pearl was singing one soft tune with simple rhymes, offering her diamond a form of music. Her diamond was now doing a few steps of a Pearl way of dancing. Yet not quite, Pearl couldn't resist adding in the dance a few steps of the renegade and her own dance with the weapons.  Just a few, just a few that fit. Pink looked ... radiant. Like a shining star, you wish upon.

"Am I doing well?" Pink asked as she shifted fast to the side and turned around, if she was fighting and holding a sword she would have parried an attack from the back. Pearl shivered in a delight. Her motion again following the proper Pearl steps.
"Nearly its missing something." Pearl declared. 

"What do I miss?"


Pearl approached her Diamond. What does another transgression mean in the web of crimes she walks upon. Like a thin threaded net, silvery and sharp, if she stops moving she would fall off. Like silver shining half-truths and play pretend upon which Pearl was by now dancing. Did she drag Pink into this web too? Surface provided the knowledge that Pearl only had several moments before they should end and go to the court fitting. But this last few moments of the extraction time Pearl will claim her win. Excitement as she took Pinks hands in her own. In this few last moments, she would be just here just now, with the shadowy screams stuck somewhere deep down. Where the future heavy plans she was making were simply too far to affect anything.

 

"You are missing me," Pearl concluded, having her diamond chuckle.

Pearl once more sang a tune, moving with the motion she showed Pink... Left and Right. Moving with her. Somewhere between proper steps and improper fighting stances. It was pure joy seeing Pinks careful steps as if scared she would step on Pearls feet. Pearl grinned. Faster. Fighting is faster. She guided her faster.

No longer were they respecting the pearl dance steps. Holding hands for no other reason than that they liked it.

In one never-ending moment to another, Pearl lost the lead to Pink. Feeling how the other gem was slipping into the rhythm of falling, the motion of unstoppable impulse. Moving to her own rhythm, one deep inside the very core of what pink diamond made the Pink Diamond Pearl knew. It would never be enough for Pearl. Never enough of the free Pink. They spun faster losing even the last of the proper steps but Pearl had no trouble following this new dance that Pink was unbecoming to her diamond staus and even herself, was teaching Pearl. Pearl felt like a leaf in a pink typhoon.

Pearl laughed.

Pink shined so brightly.

Slip.

Falling.

It never stopped feeling like dancing.

Pearl holding her grip on Pink as she splashed in the water, dragging her down with her in the moment and into the water. Both gems were laughing as they emerged out the pink water.


"Thank you," Pink told Pearl still holding their hands together.
"For what?" Pearl asked.
"For showing me how you sound laughing." Pearl felt the blush and a smirk forming. 


"Thank you," Pearl said causing Pink to smile.
"For what?" Pink asked her, Pearl grinned happily that she asked. That she picked on what Pearl wanted. 
"For being you."


Pearl adored the beautiful pink blush on her cheeks. Still, their time was up. Truthfully, they were starting to run late. "We should dry off and go to court fitting."
"Do we have to? I want to stay here longer."
"We should go. We can play this game next time during extraction." Pearl said, pushing herself away from her. She will not fail her. She will not fail them either. Determination burned in Pearl. With Yellow Pearl coming over Pearl will not fail. She had all the pieces now.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

They arrived just a bit late, the small court was surrounding the two newcomers, most of the court got to meet them just then for the first time and were quite filled with curiosity. To Pearl, it was quite clear the two newcomers were not fond of the attention. Pearl could understand that, after what occurred... Looking at Pink briefly to confirm that she was ready, Pearl stepped in front of her announcing her precious diamond. The court reacted swiftly moved to their appropriate places and saluted to her diamond. Watching as Pink passed them to sit on her pink throne. Pearl followed behind and settled standing at the foot of the chair. 

Then it began.

Pair per pair of gems approached Pink praising her and returning to their spot. 

Pearl observed as the first Nephrite looked at their newcomer and changed the order they went, so the new gem didn't have to praise Pink on her own, because of their now uneven number. Following the first nephrite that was fitted in the court, the fifth one bowed deeply.

"Thank you, my diamond. Your brightness and radiance are greater than the shiniest star on our sky." The first nephrite spoke, the fifth nephrite nodded, repeating after the first nephrite"...greater than any star."

 

"Welcome to my court. " Pink greeted her with a bright smile causing the fifth nephrite to look lost at receiving the attention of a diamonds. Pink watched as the two moved back their spot, raising her hand to stop the next pair from approaching as she leaned to Pearl. Next pair waited to be granted approach.

"Pearl." Pinks voice whispered, and Pearl slightly tilted her head towards her diamond.

"How are the two newly transferred gems here?" Pink asked a curious smile on her lips.

"I informed them of the time of the meeting," Pearl responded.

Her diamond hummed. "When?"

Pearl tilted her head, her diamond didn't give her time to make up an answer as she whispered again.

"When did you inform them? I didn't see you use any screen after Yellow spoke to us." Pearl blinked. Spoke to 'us' . Not spoke to ' me'... Pearl light body shivered from the affirmation that Pink did saw her as more... As someone to use the 'us' when talking to another diamond. Placing her on the same level as herself. Pink continued speaking. " When could you have informed them to come?" There was something else in Pinks curious smile. Pearl didn't drop her pearl stance. She took a moment to study her Pink. Nothing felt like she was angry or sad. There was something to the curious smile that pearl wasn't quite sure how to describe. 

"When I knew they would be part of your court and you didn't look at me," Pearl answered truthfully and vaguely. Pink eyes narrowed.

"Fine." The diamond spoke moving back to sit comfortably in her throne and indicating for the court fitting to continue. Pearl shifted in her spot. She really didn't like that.... she lied to her. It wasn't a lie per se... but ... Later. Pearl focus returned to the gems in front of them. 

It didn't take much longer till they came to the last gem. The higher the gem type the later they came to praise their diamond. Which meant the green Zircon was to be the last gem stepping in front of Pink diamond, just after the few Peridots concluded.

 

She stepped in front her eyes looking at Pink before looking at Pearl herself. Suddenly Pearl realized that the green gem could expose her not-lie. Pink would have confirmation that she not quite lied and made a mistake on purpose to her face. Suddenly Pearl's fingers twitched. Of course, that was highly unlikely. They will say a few praising words and then stay silent listening to their diamond, like all the other gems.

"The most luminescent and jubilant Pink Diamond its an honour to serve you." Green bowed once more looking directly at Pearl. Pearl shifted in the spot. She hoped... she hoped her luck will not run out. Why would the gem look at her, a pearl? She told them, to not call her 'it' but in the court? Why pay her any attention? 

"Welcome to my court." Pink smiled at the green gem. 

"It's an unimaginable honour to actually be here."

Pink slightly leaned forward, a silent order that the gem couldn't return to their place just yet. "My Pearl told me good things about you." Pearl took in a deep breath. She lost...She must have lost now...The fire agate will... Always can run away into the kindergartens and live there.

If the guards catch Pearl there will be no trial just shattering. 

If they catch me. 

Things do not get trials.

Green Zircon turned to face Pearl fully and bowed her head in front of her. Interrupting the panic that was building in her. No, not quite panic... desperation that she made a horrible mistake.  "Thank you, glimmering Pink's Pearl," Green spoke directly to Pearl, who could see Green hands shaking, in the corner of her eyes she saw the fifth Nephrite stepping one step out of line as if ready to throw herself in front of her darling. 

Pink hummed and waited.

 

The court started to feel nervous.  Pink had not sent away Zircon, who was once more looking at Pink. No one knew for what Pink was waiting for.  So Zircon added a few more praises to Pink. Then she started to talk. More like nervously emitting words across her lips. "... I couldn't believe I was to be part of your court, it was the most radiant moment of my existence when your Pearl came to in-" Pink hand raised sharply up, instantaneously silencing Green. Pink turned her head to look at Pearl. Pearl who knew that that was it. If Green finished that sentence, saying inform them both of the transfers or invite them... it would be proof for what she had done... Stopping Green from saying that in front of Pinks court, saved her...except Pink was the one who stopped her. The only way she could stop her talking to get pearl in trouble was if she knew that it would get her in trouble...

Even if Pink doesn't get angry at finding out that Pearl used her authority without her explicit order, the court would have to demand her shattering. Such a transgression could not be tolerated. A tool that doesn't function correctly could endanger the order of the court itself. There would be no way Pink wouldn't be angry at Pearl. She has to be vivid for what Pearl did. 

Pearl raised her head to meet her diamonds eyes, feeling her light body getting ready to run away...

 

She.... must have known... and exposing her in front of the court would be a lesson taught to all the other members. 

 

So why was she smiling at pearl? 

Why was she looking happy?...

 

Why did she save her lie, from being exposed in front of herself and the court? 

Maybe it was just pure chance she stopped Green at just the right time...

 

It didn't make any sense?!

 

If she already knew Pearl lied about the order of requests and invitations, why protecting the lie. Why was this making Pearl feel angry? Her feelings were making just as little sense as Pink.

 Her diamond hummed, looking back to Zircon, whose knees were shaking right now. Awaiting something bad to happen. 

 

"Thank you Zircon, any gem capable of appreciating my Pearl will fit perfectly in my court." She waved her hand allowing the green gem to return to the spot where she was meant to be standing. Nephrite stepped back to be in the line with the others of her gem type. Pearl not moving, beside her twitching fingers.

"Well, this time around I am happy to inform you that something is to happen! " Pink announced.

 

"Yellow Pearl will in the next cycle arrive. I want everything to be well-taken care for. As well my rubies and quartzes I want you to take on guarding my palace appropriately seriously. "  A united yes my diamond chimed from those gems.

"Yellow diamond will as well arrive in several cycles so be ready to assist her court in any requests that may come up."

 

One of the rubies called out full of joy. "Will we have a ball?" 

 

Pink tilted her head. "I don't think so, Blue is off to one of her colonies. If she returns...hm... we will throw it then." Quite a few gems happily praised pink on her wisdom. 

"Do everyone knows what to do?" Nearly all gems responded with a yes to her diamond. Pink noticed that Green Zircon didn't respond with a yes.

"Right, you are my first Zircon. What do you usually do?"

"... Most Zircons in yellow diamonds service spend their time evaluating gem productivity and putting on trial the low productivity gems to explain why are they not giving satisfactory results... And on some rare occasions to put gems on trial that break the rules or shows disrespect to their diamond." Green responded, looking down at her feet. Pearl could all but see the doubt the green gem felt. Pink nodded.

 

"I know what you will do," Pink announced. "Not evaluating gem productivity in my court. Instead, I want you to..." Pink hummed looking over at the nephrite who all stood on attention. "To assist the nephrites in their tasks, if they need an extra pair of hands. " Zircon stared and the fifth nephrite jumped in place saluting and thanking. "Thank you, my radiant diamond! Thank you!"

"... Like you mean me to spend time with ... and that's an order?..." Green was stammering, openly looking confused.

"Do you not want to?"

"Its perfect my diamond. I was... just... so much good happening so fast... I... thank you, my diamond. I am not worthy such honour and... and... brilliance....and... and such a gift..." 

Pink jumped off her thorn, green was still looking awestruck at Pink. Pearl herself could sympathize with the feeling. She was still confusion struck.

"Now we all know what to do. And let's do our best!"

Every gem in the room responded with a choir of yes my diamond. 

The court was dismissed.  All the gems were leaving. Pearl watched as the fifth nephrite rushed across the room. Stopping once she was about to pass Pink and Pearl. She saluted and spoke fast. "Thank you, a glimmering pink's pearl. Thank you radiant Pink diamond." She didn't wait for a response as she rushed on to reach green Zircon. Gently touch Zircon shoulder and guide the still awestruck gem out joining up with the rest of the Nephrite of Pinks court. 

Once even the last rubies left, pearl and Pink were alone in the court meeting room.

"Glimmering Pearl?" Her diamond spoke. Pearl couldn't...She had to… she must tell it all to pink.

"What Zircon was about to say-" 

"-was how you came to inspect her worth to be in my court before you suggested them to me. Isn't that right Pearl?" Pink interrupted Pearl with a raised hand to silence her. Saying an oblivious lie. A lie they both must know was a lie.

"Why?" Pearl responded.

"Pearl, I told you. I am not angry at you for it."

 

It... Pearl started to drag breath after breath in her light form. Her diamond.... her Pink. She knew and she still ... and lied for her. Trusted her lies. Pink had to know. But what did she knew? How much did she know? 

"Why are you crying pearl?" Pinks voice suddenly broke Pearl out the rhythmic motion of breathing. She touched her cheeks, confirming her tears. 

"I feel too much," Pearl responded honestly. Her tears were falling steadily but her voice was not shaky. Pink reached out her pink hand settling into slow petting motion over Pearl's hair. "It's fine. All is fine." Pearl shook her head. No, it was not all fine. 

"You right. But in our bubble all was fine."

Pearl nodded.

"Come on, I feel like learning something from the archive, I don't want to use it while Yellow pearl is here so we have to do the lesson before white pearl left now. As well I feel like learning, even more, maybe we can pick our own four lessons to learn before she arrives. Think you can do that for me, Pearl?"

 

Pearl nodded.

"Yes, Pink. I can do that."

"Then let's go." Pink lead the way and pearl whipped her still dropping tears, running after Pink. Summoning a screen to form a request for data her diamond would want. A familiar task to focus on.

 

 

Chapter Text

Pearl stood by the wall, eyes cast down and hands in a proper position. Yellow pearl was at her right side in an identical waiting position. Just like Pearls are supposed to be. Waiting. Yellow Pearl was waiting for an order.

Pearl was waiting for something to make sense.

Her diamond was inspecting a group of rubies from her court. Pearl realized with a jolt that what she got used to by this point was completely insane. It was hard not to realize it when it was staring you in the face, or more precise standing to your right the real normal. Both Pink and herself were insane in indulging each other in the so not proper behaviour. Pearl felt the irony of saying a perfect gem like a diamond was insane... Now that they went back to behaving proper for Yellow Pearl eyes, it was so oblivious. When Yellow Pearl behaved proper, it couldn't be unnoticed how improper their new norm was.

Proper was bad, bad was proper.

Pearl knew she was bending proper behaviour... but... not this maddening much? But she did, and she .... would do it again...

It terrified her that she knew she would do it again.

Insane was a word Pearl used countless time in this last cycle. The cycle when Yellow Pearl arrived and all had to be just like it was proper, Pearl was faced with how crazy her thinking has become. Unable to stop comparing herself to the other pearl. Her mind kept running in circles in those countless moments where she just stood and looked like a pretty ornament for holding things... How could anyone be this still?

White pearl didn't count. She wasn't acting on her mind like Yellows Pearl did or Blue Pearl or Pearl herself did.

So how could Yellow Pearl not move... how could she herself not move before she had Renegade.

There was no way she could just stop either. She could never return to how she was before Renegade. She didn't want to. She cared about what she wanted! Yet here she was, feeling like up was down and down was up. All that she believed right was wrong all she knew was wrong was right. The world has gone insane and she becoming mad.

With her standing still.

Pearls fingers twitched.

She has become so used to breaking rules that now it all appeared like a.... pearl opened her eyes. Raising her head. Yellow Pearl noticed it from the corner of her eyes. She observed Pearl, a scoff mixing to the polite smile on her face. Pearl lowered her head back. Pink diamond must have noticed as she put down the screen with the ruby inspection data. The screen with data Pearl was sure, she only pretended to read.

"I am in the mood for some entertainment," Pink announced, placing the screen away.

"Yes, my diamond."

"Yes, Pink Diamond."

Two identical salutes.

Yellow looked at Pearl, her diamond asked for it, so she had to lead the entertainment. Pearl knew what her diamond enjoyed... Yet, there was a hesitation. "Do you wish me to read the reports about ..." Pearl awkwardly voiced, feeling the critic of Yellow Pearl for having to clarify what her diamond wanted. Why did she want Yellow Pearl around again?

The sunrays pouring into the room caught pearls attention. Dust particles danced in the shine.

The fine blue dust of a gem completely destroyed sparkling. The blue dust flattering in a cloud around a red coat and red flames. Laugh and joy twisted into ugly echoing screams, light-freezing sounds crawling over her back.

Not there.

Pink said no just now, she would like to watch a dance.

"Yes, My diamond," Pearl responded, turning towards Yellow and doing a bow to her. A pearl dance was familiar. Yellow Pearl bowed and took the correct stance.

They started to perform.

The dance every pearl knew.

Rhythmical motions to their singing voices.

Easily adapted to any number of pearls.

Dance steps light and flowing…

Pearl's eyes would ever so often linger on Pink. Her soft smile and apologetic eyes felt nice. Comforting. For moments Pearl forgot there was someone else in the room.

Renegade never forgot.

Maybe Pearl could mix the dance with the fighting for Pink. Would she like a different dance to watch?

Probably.

Definitely.

Absolutely do not.

Their dance lasted till the sun was low in the sky. Pink stopped them and dismissed them. Yellow Pearl turned away to leave. Pearl followed her out. Looking back would be… would have been bad. She was already dismissed. The door closed behind them. Pearl licked her lips. She knew this was a good moment to start it.

She couldn't waste it.

She couldn't do it with the patroling quartzes. Too many eyes and ears to watch out for. Yet another oddity she became so used to. Pink didn't have guards patrol her palace nearly as much as a diamond should have. Now that they did it was so, unusual. Pearl knew that they should move to a less watched place, somehow she had to suggest it and make it sound as proper behaviour.

Yet adding to the insanity of the world, it was Yellow Pearl who initiated improper behaviour. “ We could go outside on the roof of the palace, while we are not needed.”

Pearl was only staring.

Yellow Pearl annoyedly huffed and started walking away. Pearl followed. Curiosity spiking in her, could the always proper behaving Yellow Pearl … be… more like her? No. Just thinking that was absurd. Even so, Pearl followed the Yellow pearl steps along the stairs.

They arrived on the rooftop of the building.

Pearl observed as Yellow Pearl was watching the sunset. She didn't say anything, the place was better for what she wanted to say to Yellow Pearl, but...she couldn't break the silence, she was just too curious what the proper behaving Pearl would do next. The edge of the rooftop was just two steps away. The high was fascinating.

“I do this for Blue Pearl. I could do it for you too.” Yellow Pearl suddenly spoke concrete and to the point… except Pearl had no idea what she meant. She approached Yellow until she was standing right beside her. Their shoulders just about to touch. Pearl watched the last of the sunset.

How insane it must be for two pearls on the roof without purpose and reason to be there…

It was kind of funny. Her amusement must have shown.

“It is not amusing when you get shattered for such lousy performance.” Yellow Pearl commented to Pearl's small chuckle.

“Forgive me, but I am not aware my performance is anything but satisfactory to my diamonds happiness,” Pearl responded coldly turning away from the last sun rays that were vanishing behind the towers and space docks. Peral watching Yellow Pearl waiting for her to face her. Only once the last ray was gone did Yellow Pearl turn to face Pearl.

“You had a moment where you were not in now and here. Blue Pearl has those too, mostly it happens after Blue diamond had punished a gem a bit too strongly with her powers. Having them spill over to every gem around her.”

Pearl opened her mouth about to say something… but what to say… Yellow noticed? Blue Pearl has those moments too? Does Blue diamond know the feeling? Pearl felt the implication of this ti-bit were enormous. She stored them for later.

“Even if it was so. I recovered.”

“This time. There can be episodes that last. Ones you do not recover from fast enough.” Yellow Pearl explained.

“And you care?” Pearl couldn't stop her arms from crossing over her chest. Why would the other Pearl care about it?

“Please a new pearl will take a lot of time to adapt to serve a diamond. It's much easier and more efficient to keep the current pearls functional. Like said I have the experience, which allows me to offer even more efficiency. Which is something you desperately need. I mean really? Asking your diamond for clarification on her wants, Blue Diamond would have thrown you away for that.”

Yellow explained sounding like she couldn't believe herself she had to explain something so simple and obvious. Except Pearl found the reasoning familiar. Yellow was trying to… make a reason to approve her improper behaviour. Improper caring for other pearls, she should only care for her master.

“... And what do you do… for Blue Pearl?” Maybe Pearl was being distracted, but her curiosity was without bounds. She had to know, especially now.

Yellow Pearl rolled her eyes. “I can serve your diamond for a cycle. Blue Pearl uses this time to fix the emotional instabilities.”

“And Blue diamond was fine with it?”

A huff. “A good Pearl is not noticed in her work. We are the diamonds pearls we are the best. The Perfect cuts of all of the pearl kind made only to serve our diamonds~ ”Yellow pearl posed with pride. Pearl bit her lip, blinking. She felt like she was jumping down even when she was not moving at all.

“... My diamond will notice me gone. She will ask you why am I gone?” Pearl pointed out.

“All Pearls are interchangeable.” Yellow sighed as if she was saying the sun is in the sky. It didn't make sense to Pearl, the world no longer made any sense. She had to point it out.

“How? If we are the best then there must be some pearls who are worse than the best or else all Pearls would be the best. So how can worse Pearls be interchangeable with the best?” Pearl wasn't sure what kind of answer she awaited. She got the most normal answer there was.

“That is irrelevant.”

Pearl sighed. Something was comforting in that answer. There was still something normal

“If you need the cycle. Just say so.” Yellow spoke again sounding absolutely annoyed. The lights from the gem structures lighting up and casting long shadows.

“...Thank you… I may need a cycle… ” Going to the kindergarten and fetching her weapons ahead of time would be wise. A cycle off would be exactly what she needs… maybe it would be better to keep it quick. Having Yellow alone with PInk may not be the wisest move.

“Yet, it would be highly important I share what preparation is to be done. And why your help was needed.” Pearl added, finally moving to the reason she needed Yellow Diamonds own Pearl.

“Absolutely.” Yellow nodded. Pearl took a deep breath, a moment where a light breeze passed over them. It was nice. The sensation of the two bottles of PInks extracts stored in her gem laying heavily. Soon. Just hold onto it a bit more. She was sure she was doing what Pink would want.

“I am to visit a Zircon. She needs one Pearl to watch her room and another to accompany her to a specific place. The accompanying Pearl is to record all she sees and hears and be ready to send all to her diamond. So proper actions can be taken care of.” Pearl explained, summoning a projection of white Zircon.

Pearl made the projection face her. She could feel the white finger trailing along her chin. The eyes looking at her as something soon theirs.

Snap.

Two yellow fingers snapped directly in front of her nose. Pearl was rapidly blinking. “You were about to leave.” Yellow annoyedly spoke. Maybe it was the light from her projection but Pearl thought she saw the worry in the other Pearls eyes. Pearl's eyes cast down to her feet. Was she really that easy to read? That affected? Or was that … a thing Yellow Pearl was simply good at noticing. Experience with Blue pearl…

She definitely had to talk to Blue Pearl. She raised her head determinedly staring at the white Zircon, at the Zircon eyes. Now she was not slipping away. She will focus and be ready. Yellows Pearls safety depended on her focus.

“That Zicron is scheduled to get her first pearl in 156 sun cycles. Her work is quite impressive.” Yellow Pearl informed her, cross-referencing the gem cut with her data.

Pearl huffed herself. Her first pearl, how funny, the white zircon already had gambled to have two pearls.

“I will accompany her. You stay in her room.” Yellow Pearl declared with a clear air of superiority over Pearl, and Pearl smiled in gratitude. This was so easy. She feared she would have to somehow the reason why it would be better for Yellow Pearl to accompany the white Zircon.

Everything is settling in the right spots.

Still… she was curious! Unable to hold it back she stopped projecting and asked.

“... Why did we go to the roof?”

That question seemed to raise the hair even higher on Yellow Pearl head.

“Ah…um.. my diamond has recently observed the sun movements on her last colony. Recording the sun movement on Homeworld will offer her comparison data.”

Pearl nodded to Yellows reasoning. She couldn't believe there was anything that would make that Pearlstutter. So Yellow Diamond enjoyed watching sunsets. Therefore Yellow Pearl wanted to cheer her up by showing her a sunset from Homeworld... Maybe … saying that Yellow Diamond liked sunsets to PInk would be nice?...

The talk ended there.

Pearl lingered watching the stars. Yellow Pearl didn't move an inch, perfect pose and perfectly still like a statue... Maybe she was waiting for sunrise?

Pearl turned away and left the yellow Pearl alone. There were things she had to fetch.

It had to be done.

She was about to gamble Yellow Pearl safety and existence. She had to be prepared. She couldn't make a careless mistake. Not like she nearly did in the extraction room and the court fitting. It wasn't just her own life… it was so many gems lives on the line. No mistakes allowed. Madness and insanity regardless. The world being on its head and nothing making sense. Those were now…

Pearl smirked to herself as she went down the stairs.

Irrelevant.

How very proper and normal of her.

Chapter Text

Pearl entered the room to Pinks room in the late morning. She was ready, she even did a quick practice round and was quite confident in her abilities.  She will manage to hold it. When her hands touched the pad to open her diamonds door she paused as she saw yellow pearl holding an odd pose while her diamond was with focus drawing her. Yellow Pearl had a yellowish tint on her face... Huh, her blush was yellowish, not bluish...

Her diamond noticed her enter the room and waved at her. "Look, Pearl! Yellow pearl was so nice to pose for me so I can practice drawing. She looks cute when posing." Pearl blinked, suppressing the amusement that bubbled in her chest. She responded properly.

"Yes, my diamond. "

Pearl walked over to her diamond and watched her draw Yellow. It was ... it wasn't the most precise drawing or most efficient looking.... it was the most joyful in Pearl's opinion. Especially how wide the smile on the drawing of Yellow pearl was. One Pearl was sure her Pink added on her own. 

"Maybe my diamond. If you allow me to suggest something?" Pearl offered, making a small bow as she spoke.

 

"Sure, you are allowed to."

 

"Why not gift those to yellow diamond. She may enjoy them too? Seeing the progress on your drawing skills diamond." Pearl suggested and Yellow pearl dropped her pose eyes big and caught off guard. Shifting fast to a glare of disapproval towards Paarl. "Pink diamond there is no need to..." The Yellow Pearl started, but Pink was already fixed on the idea. Already talking how she will send a collection of drawings all featuring Yellow pearl. Pearl stayed passive after that letting the time pass. Watching how her diamond put her all to make the best picture of the other pearl. How the other Pearl was torn between saying something improper as no and keep on posing for just one more drawing, only because those were Pink diamond wishes.

Pearl mussed to herself how there was something Yellow Pearl liked...

Smiling Pearl leaned against the wall simply observing and letting Yellow pearl make pose after pose to please her diamond. 

  

It was nice.

 

The time ticked away and it hour of action has arrived. 

 

"My Diamond." Pearl interrupted, doing a proper salute for her diamond. Pink looked at her and suddenly her energetic self slowed down.

"Its already time for the preparation..." Her diamond spoke and Pearl nodded.

"Yes, my diamond. Like every time."

Her diamond nodded, swiping the drawing she was making of yellow pearl away. She looked at them and waved. "Okay go do the preparations." Pearl waited keeping her diamond salute. She needed ... to make sure. A safety precaution. Yellow pearl dropped her posing and saluted Pink as well.

"Is this your order my diamond?" Pearl whispered, more than saying it. 

Pink nodded, waving her hand once more. "Yes, I order you both to do it. Now you free to go." Two Pearls once more chimed Yes and started to leave. Pearl was walking a few steps behind Yellow pearl. The last stolen moment she could allow herself. Pearl closed the door the moment the other pearl passed it. Finally having a moment alone with her diamond.

"You want to say something?" Pink asked her standing up and approaching her. Pearl turned and faced her. She wanted to say so much. 

... Just a lot of whys.

Yet those words were not said aloud. Instead, Pearl looked up to face her diamond who was standing in front of her. 

"... Cannot let Yellow Pearl wait for too long..." Pearl explained, shifting her hand out from the proper Pearl pose to reach towards Pink. The diamond chuckled, her hand already meeting hers.

".... Pearl... " Pink started, it was such a soft sound, like an escaped breath. As if more words were to follow but never were said. Her pink eyes looking at her own pale blue one. There was more words that were not said. Maybe it was better that way. She will make everything be fine. Pearl smiled, this will not be the last time she sees her pink. Pearl tugged the hand closer

 

... What are you doing?

... What feels right.

... Always.

 

...and placed a kiss on the pink glove. A promise to not fail. One greedy and selfish act. Pink took in a sharp breath, Pearl raised her eyes from the pink glove. Seeing her pink blush and suprise on her face. Unspoken promises of her returns filled Pearl with resolve to go through with this. There was not a single photon of doubt left in her form. Few moments were stolen from the never stopping time.

Unwillingly Pearl broke the contact of their hands first.

 

Pearl left the room. Yellow was waiting in front of the door. 

 

They didn't talk on the way to their destination. If Yellow Pearl found it odd that they were taking the walking route instead of the warp pad she didn't mention it. They arrived.

 

 

 

The door opened and White Zircon was staring at them. Both Pearls exchanged appropriate responses and entered the room. The room was predominately white with yellow accents. Pearl observed orderly stacked data screens along one wall. What Pearl noticed that there was another smaller white door across them. That was less typical. Yet, it matched up with her scouting data. that gem liked having a second room for more private talks with her clients. Pearl wondered as well where the two Pearls were right now? Hopefully, they were fine.

"I feel honoured for this opportunity. " White Zircon spoke reaching out to touch Yellow Pearls shoulder. Fingers about to touch the yellow fabric.  Pearl pushed her own legs into moving. She shifted in front of the touch. The white fingers ended up touching her chest. Directly over her diamond symbol. 

 

"In the report, stood that firstly there should be some information exchange. I was instructed to perform it with you alone. Is there adequate space for this?" Pearl said her tone calm and collected. Obeying. A small smile on her lips. 

White Zircon grinned wide, exited at the word alone. "Of course, of course. I am prepared for just this ~" Her hand went to slide from Pearl's chest around her shoulder and down her spine. Leading her towards the second door. "I sectioned my room into two. This backroom, how I call it, offers more privacy for more sensitive cases I take. We can easily spend some productive time there." White Zircon opened the other door. Nearly pushing Pearl in. 

"Wait right there Pearl of Yellow Diamond~ " White Zircon all but sung the sentence.

 

The back room was small, most of it took up a  chair and table, along one wall was a shelf, filled with various trinkets. A few of them were covered by a piece of clothing. Effectively hiding them. Two hands settled on her shoulder from behind. "You are so pretty. So flawless looking."

"Thank you." Pearl tilted her head back, she had to manoeuvre the Zicron into position. She already planned on how to do that. It had to work.

"If you close your eyes I can offer you something even nicer." Pearl light form shivered. She really wanted to hurt someone for having to say this.... she had only herself to blame. She was putting herself in this situation on purpose.  She had a goal and as long as she kept it in focus she will be fine. Mad and insane but fine. 

"Please~~" Pearl sung deeply and carrying, turning around and standing on her tiptoes to gently caress the Zircons chest, just under the white gem of her. The size of the gem was just like any other of its cut, the gem itself casting just a bit of a shadow as it was peking out her form just a tiny bit.

"So eager. I suppose we can play your game for a bit." White Zircon grinned eyes closing. Pearl only waited for a brief second before she let her pearl gem shine. Both hands moving to grab the other gem shoulder shifting her just a step to the side to make sure she would be in position for her plan. Pretending it was just a dance. Setting that up made pearl finally fell safe. 

 Not sure how much time she will have she throw herself into studying each curve and shape of the white zircon. Paying attention to how her colouration changed just a bit, perfectly memorizing the size, shape and position of her gem as well as any other small details. Pearl hands were travelling over Zircons hair when the gems opened her eyes. Both Pearls hands were grabbed by the white hands. In a smooth motion, she was pressed back against the wall. She kept her eyes on the eyes of the other gem. Pearl choose her because of those eyes. The light blue eyes were so similar to her own. The eye colour was the determining factor in this. 

 

"How precise and with purpose your hands move. It's fascinating to me.~ It's about time I show you the same courtezy~ A Diamonds precious pearl~"

 

Pearl blinked. That was the signal, moulding her face in a silent shriek was all the Zircon got before a sword was stabbed directly in her back, emerging thought her front. Seeing the White gem speared with the sword was really satisfactory to Pearl as she used her free hand to cover her mount, mostly to hide the smile that she couldn't suppress. Staring at the attacker behind the Zircon, who tried to look behind herself, but never got to it as the sword tugged and White Zircon was gone in a poof.  The white gem clattering on the floor. 

 

"Challenger defeated."

 

"Ah shh there."  Pearl told the holo-Renegade Pearl. "You only trusted a sword forward."

 

"Do you wish to engage in combat?" The holo Pearl responded causing Pearl to roll her eyes and take the sword out the holograms hand. With an easy swing pearl cut the hologram in half watching it falling apart. Picking the Zircon gem from the floor she stored it in her own gem, ensuring that way that it would not reform before she was done.

"Step three completed." Pearl mumbled to herself summoning next the renegade outfit and putting it on, while she stored the sword back in her gem.

With her identity hidden she shapeshifted. 

 

White Zircon was standing in the back room now. The white hand went up to her hair and adjusted it to make sure the pearl gem would be hidden at all times. The only part she couldn't figure out how to shapeshift were her bluish eyes. That didn't matter in this case where the gem she was about to impersonate already had the bluish eyes.  She moved to the shelf and removed the cloth, uncovering two pearl gems and a card. How nice of White to safe her the search or having to ask someone to take her down. She picked the gems and stored them in her own. Picking the key card pearl left the room. The door shutting behind her quickly.

 

Yellow pearl was standing in the waiting position exactly where she was told to. 

"I can go now. I have instructed it, how to behave while I am away." Her voice a little bit off, she hoped it would be enough. It was as yellow Pearl simply nodded, no questions asked.

 

"I do have to ask you to adjust your form." Pearl had to stop herself from giving reasons. Yellow saluted. "What form would be pleasing to you, brilliant White Zircon." 

Well... good thing white didn't hear that Pearl wasn't sure she could have distracted the gem away from Yellow if she behaved so perfect pearl-like.  Stepping closer Pearl started to mess up Yellow hair moving it into a different shape. "Something like this, and your clothing, I want you in a short dress, without the shoulder frills." Short dress was good in case they have to run. Less frill fewer chances she gets caught on anything. Yellow obeyed, adjusting her pearl form accordingly. Pearl was satisfied with how the other pearl looked, that way even with her yellow pearl on the chest she shouldn't be recognized at first glance as belonging to a diamond, but maybe of a diamonds court.

"You know what you are to do?" Pearl asked.

"Yes, your brilliance."

"Say it to me."

"I am to record all that I see and hear and have it all ready to send to my diamond at moment notice."

With that set Pearl left the room, while yellow started following her. It was quite odd being noticed and having gems who previously never spared a glance to a pearl even a diamond pearl have suddenly bow their heads in passing. Pearl kept her tempo steady, hands-on her back like she saw so many Zircons prefer to walk.

 

Once more they did not take the warp pad. This walk was longer. It was already dark when they arrived at the harvesting faculty. Only when they were in front of the building did the Yellow Pearl stop. Pearl turned around. Unsure of how to respond. She observed the other gem noticing her stiffness. She was uneasy around the harvesting facility? 

"We cannot linger outside." Pearl stiffened as she noticed she used 'we' instead of I.  White Zircon would never acknowledge pearls to be anything more than things. Did Yellow pearl catch her misspoke? It didn't appear so.

"I have things to do, get your self to moving." Pearl reached out and placed her hand on Yellow shoulder. That made the pearl behave properly again. Pearl really disliking that she had to play the part. Sliding her hand to Yellows pearl back and pushed her. She walked on with no hesitation now.

 

They entered the wide lobby, Pearl guiding them to the elevator. Using the card she took to summon the lift. Once inside Pearl looked at Yellow pearl.

"I am not here to leave you for harvesting." Are you uncomfortable? Pearl wondered, knowing it wouldn't change anything even if it was yes, she was going to make Yellow Pearl cycle so much more uncomfortable. 

“I am sorry, shining Zircon. It will not happen again.” Yellow Pearl bowed, and Pearl waved her hand to stop her from doing that.

Could I just order her to tell me?

Pearl sighed. “It better not, or I will demand an explain what was bothering you.” 

 

Yellow Pearl nodded. The elevator ride continued, and Pearl watched as yellow started realizing the ride was going down for a long time. Too long to make any sense. She was proper and didn't question it. Pearl was sure Yellow pearl already started recording to show her diamond. 

 

Step four success.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

.

..

...

....

.....

 

The lift continued onward. Pearl watched from the corner of her eye how Yellow was getting more and more unsettled. She didn't move, yet she didn't have to move for Pearl to see how she was realizing something was off about the lift ride. Finally, the door opened and they were facing now the stone tunnel lit with torches. 


"If there is a question that Yellow diamond would want an answer to, you are to ask it. You should ask. " Pearl carefully worded her request. Balancing what she wanted to be done with how white Zircon would sound. The yellow Pearl gave a nod and instantly asked, while Pearl's face, well white Zircon face stayed grim. 

"What is this?" 


"Its a tunnel under the harvested facility. Quite deep down, in my research and observation, I have found out that this dept causes problems in communications towards the outside while w-I am down here. The report will only be able to be sent to the glorious Yellow diamond once you are on the ground floor again. "

"Who made this?"

"I am not aware, maybe the leader of the facility, the Fire Agate, build this or she appropriate already existing tunnels. "


Pearl explained placing her hand on Yellows back and starting to lead her. "These tunnels are regularly used by Fire agate and the guests she invites here. The gems that meet here... "
Pearl hesitated. Should she mention the gems who come here? She could say what type they were and for some, even the exact gem cut.

 

No.

 

She didn't know what made those gems came here. She couldn't be sure what drove them to be part of the bets... Green Zircon was poof of it. Pearl started explaining, leaving any specific gem guests out. At least for now.

"They come for entertainment."

They arrived at the forking and she stopped, looking down the stairs it was dark. No torches were lit. She could make Yellow lit the place up ...but... it would be odd if she as a Zircon didn't use her gem as well to light it up. Fake gems do not shine. She resisted the urge to touch her fake gem as if to make sure it is still there and instead she moved to the wall and picked one of the torches.


"The room we are about to enter is the room where the guest watch this so-called entertainment. It is usually lit up with torches." She explained as she walked in front of Yellow, Pearl stepped into the room and lit up one. Yellow didn't show much of a reaction as she watched her lit the torch.


The room now lit with a single flame looked odd, the dancing flame on the wall not sitting well with Pearl. the torch in her hand feeling heavy. That had to be enough light. She was not going to lit up the whole room. She couldn't bring herself to it. 

Empty and half-lit it felt smaller... More unreal. 

Carrying still the torch she looked at Yellow Pearl, who opted to ask her. 

"So this entertainment that you mention happens here?"


"Yes, yes they are several activities that occur in this room.... but first what do you think of the floor?''

 Yellow looked down paying it attention. Pearl lowered the torch to give the pearl some more light and stop her from shining her gem for that act. Yellow Pearl started to frown, no longer keeping her perfect pearl face with an adequate smile, the frown started to grow as she leaned over even more to get a closer look at the glittering floor.

 

"What..."

 

"Its made out of gem shards and gem dust. " Pearl answered her. "This I am positive is not the correct use of gem shards and gem dust."

Yellow moved away from the floor, shifting to stand on one foot, looking back to the stairs. The amount of improper must be causing her to ...feel shocked? Panic? Desire to run away? Pearl wasn't sure. Yet, the reaction existing told her that her plan was going well. The other Pearl will report to her diamond as soon as possible.  She was starting to understand how bad the situation was. Pearl herself felt Surface pushing the guilt down. She couldn't run the risk of getting distracted.

 


"I am sorry Yellow...Pearl. We are not yet done with this room. There is more."


Pearl approached placing her hand on Yellow shoulder, trying to offer some support. She could chuck the odd behavior as being under stress. Pearl pushed and watched Yellow making awkward steps over the polished floor. They stopped at the edge of the pit. "Fire Agate also ensures here guests have organic food and drinks to consume. Which they do, a lot. "


"...How does she get organic food?"

"I do not know. "

Pearl pointed towards the pit moving the flickering flame over the edge casting its light down. Illuminating it bottom and the broken pebbles.


"This pit is the main attraction. The main entertainment.  In this pit, two cracked gem fight till one gets shattered."

"What?!...but that not what is supposed to happen to them...there has never been a president for such entertainment. " Outrage. Pearl kept her grim expression nodding in agreement.

"The guest gems bet on who they think will win. But betting would not be interesting if they didn't have something to bet with. Something to win, something to lose. " 

Yellow was trying to regain her footing, forcing her voice to return to the pleasant level a Pearl is supposed to use, yet having some trouble. Pearl reminded herself if this came from Pink diamond the other diamonds would ignore it. It had to come from another diamonds Pearl. As far as pearl knew the diamonds, only Yellow would lash out in fury and exterminate Fire Agate with enough force and fast enough to make the escape of the gem impossible. That all meant..... Yellow Pearl had to hold out. 

"...What do they use?"

Pearl hummed snapped out her worries. 

"For the betting, what do they use? " 

"They use other gems. I have seen Rubies, Pearls and various other gems used as a bet. "


Pearl looked once more around the room pointing out a spot on the wall. "Right beside that table there, is a door hidden that leads to where the cracked gems are kept. I don't know how one can open it... But I know how to get to where the other gems are held captive. The ones lost on betting or are available to be won from betting."


Pearl learned to look at the bottom of the pit. She could still see... the bismuth gem shards stuck between the broken pebbles. "Last time... one of the fights were between a sapphire and a Bismuth... The Sapphire won. Fire Agate shattered... her anyway..." Pearl closed her eyes, she could see it the sapphire in her mind. The way she moved like a lonely ruby. The way she attacked Fire Agates back, her gem. Pearl clenched her fist around the torch handle and moved away from the pit. Suddenly startling as she felt Yellow pearl in a rush pass her moving to be just an inch away from her. Pearl reached out and settled her hand over Yellows shoulder. Feeling how stiff she was. 

Pearl wanted to inspect the walls with better care, in hopes to find the hidden door.

"Let's leave this room for now. There is still the other room I want you to see. "


Yellow nodded, still before she left the room she gave it one focused look over... Pearl knew it was for her diamond. To be able to show her diamond every detail.... even if those details were shards. As they climbed the stairs Pearl took a deep breath. "Stop, just in case. I need something to prepare."

"What do you wish my radiance?"

"Do you have any recorded landscapes from the newest colony?"


Yellows pearl looked caught, so unlike herself as Pearl watched her face slightly darkened. She pretended she didn't notice anything and continued speaking. "Show them to me, so I can make a selection."

"Why is that needed?"

"In case The jasper guard needs a bribe,"... Yellow pearl blinked at her. Ah, right there is a chance she never came across that word.
"Persuade (someone) to act in one's favor by a gift or other inducement.  So she let us see the captive held gems.''

"It is inappropriate sounding, this giving bribes." Yellow Pearl responded and it took Pearl a lot of mental effort to not roll her eyes at this. 


"Well .... in this tunnels giving bribe is the smallest inappropriate thing. So the landscapes." Pearl hesitated for a moment before she added. " That's an order yellow Pearl.''

 

 

A few short moments passed and Pearl was staring at the colour pink. A lot of pink coloured landscapes. From the reports about the planet, she had the feeling that the main two colours of it were greens and blue because of the ocean. Yet, she was looking thought a bunch of pink blooming trees, pink flower fields, pink organic feather covered animals, pink coral reefs and a lot of pink coloured sunset skies in all sort of places, from beaches to snowy mountainsides. Pearl blinked after she finally came across the first landscape recording that had no traces of pink. It was a crystal blue lake with a waterfall.

"Sort by most prevailing colour."

Pearl watched as Yellow sorted them with the efficiency of a pearl. It was really..... weird of her to have so many pink-themed recordings... were the sunsets the reason yellow pearl had recorded the sun movement on Homeworld ... Did her diamond wanted all those...  Irrelevant.

Seeing more than half of the recording were of pink things while a third was of blue ocean, blue skies, there was not a small bit of white either, mostly snow or cloud covered skies, and most of the rest was various other colours. Oddly there was only a handful where the prevailing colour was yellow. All the yellow ones depicting deserts. She took a lot of the others and only a few of the pink and blue. Not allowing her self to question since when were organic animals counted in landscapes. Yellow Pearl looked relieved that she didn't question her, standing proudly as she had the screen with the data prepared to pull out her gem. 

With the preparation complete they went down the other tunnel.

 

 

Chapter Text

They continued down the tunnel, it didn't take long before they could see the guarding Jasper. The row of cells starting behind her, she noticed them approach. She didn't look amused seeing them, her eyes were glaring, lips frowning. "Whitey? What do you want?" Pearl blinked, she didn't await white Zircon to know the Jasper. She didn't saw any indication they did know each other... This was bad...  Why would she know her? What does she come here for? The Jasper shifted from her relaxed pose to a more alert one. Pearl didn't slow down in her speed, she moved with propose, only stopping in front of Jasper, placing her hand on Yellow pearl shoulder keeping the smirk she knew the Zircon had. 

"Ah, today it's special."

How special, Pearl moved Yellow pearl to be closer by her side, shifting her hand around to her other shoulder. If they get attacked she could pull Yellow out the danger faster, this way. Yellow had no idea how to fight, she will not be able to protect herself. It was up to pearl to keep her safe. Jasper rolled her eyes tiredly and annoyingly. 

"Look, just leave. You can't be here when Fire Agate is not here. " No, she was not doing it right. Pearl felt it, the other gem was doubting her with the look she has been given. 

 

"Ah, but I have to show this pearl what happens to gems that displease their owner. Maybe you can even tell her yourself?" The words rolled off her tongue, wondering if she sounded anything like White Zircon. 

 

"Can't do Whitey."

 

"Well... " How to word it. How would she word it? Think... Imagine it! What would she do...

Pearl chuckled letting go of Yellow and stepping casually to Jasper left side. Jasper followed her movement. Turning to keep her in view, not minding yellow pearl at all. Good, she wanted the Jasper to focus all on her. Light steps continued until she was in front of the first cell. Pearl stopped, she didn't look at jasper. Eyes looking idly into the cell, she could see gems sitting against the furthest wall. Curled uppon themself being really still. Scared.

 

So this is how betting feels like... Risking so much it's so easy to lose...

 

Pearl's hands moved to rest behind her back as she spoke. As White Zircon spoke. Her eyes shifted to observe the shadow the jasper solider was casting against the wall beside her. Watching her movement with out looking at her.  "How about I offer you a... deal. One that will makes us both happy. You know me I always do good to the ones who please me." Another high laugh leaving Pearl lips. The shadow shifted closer. She turned her head towards Jasper, imitating the hungry look, she saw gems do around here. Saw White Zircon do. Her lips pulled into a smirk as she turned a bit more around, showing she was confident with the power she held... 

The Jasper tensed up and Pearl could see the shine of the gems on her shoulder as she was summoning the weapon. Yellow pearl yelped in fear. A yellow glove with spikes on its chuckles slammed into the wall beside White Zircons head. Pearl didn't react, she saw the punch would miss her. 

Intimidation?

Moving her white hand she dusted a few small pieces of stone of her suit.  

"You didn't even flinch Whitey."

"You wouldn't hurt me. I am friends with Fire Agate." 

Jasper huffed moving her hand out the wall with a tug. "You don't have anything to offer me. Whitey just leave. Next hit will be in your head and poof you will go. Will give your gem to our friend." The fake gem was not on the head. But the real gem was hidden under the white grey hair. She didn't want to get punched in her gem. 

"How poor do you think of me," Pearl said snapping her fingers and Yellow pearl was by her side in an instant summoning the screen they prepared. Jasper inspected the first few landscapes that were stored on that screen, before she looked up at her. Pearl kept her smirk wide.

"Are they to your liking?" Pearl asked placing once more her hand on Yellows pearl shoulder, just in case. 

 

"...How many are on this thing?"

 

"Two thousand eighty-five." It was Yellow pearl who chimed the answer, as she bow her head deeply in service.

 

"Two..."

 

"There is even more if you do a few small favours to my liking."

 

"What do you want..." want. Jasper's eyes shone with want. She won the bet.  

 

"Answer this pearl's questions truthfully. Explain what gems get here, what happens to them and all that. How they get in, etc. Don't skip details and roles. "

 

"That's all? You said favours, not favour."

 

"Yes, I will have a look around before I tell you the other favours I need you to do. They are all small ones."

 

Jasper grunted and looked at Yellow pearl who stood head high and chest pushed out... Now it was her part. Did she understand what happened here? What this chance was? Pearl blinked, she will trust her fellow Pearl to have enough of a mind to know what her diamond would want. Pearl started to walk down the hallway looking and counting the gems in cells. She needed to know how many gems were here, so she could know how many get out. To tell Yellow pearl how many gems need to be protected by the invading soldiers and not caught up in the possible cross fire of the fight. She shouldn't waste time. She hoped that they could get to the cracked gems next and to leave this place after... 

 

Walking between the cells she spotted the mechanism for opening. It appeared there were two. For individual cells and for all cells at once. That was a valuable information. 

 

“Hey!” A Peridot called out towards her, the green eyes big and puffy… she had cried recently.

“I swear I was not being unproductive… your evidence was false! Get me out! Please I was never behind!”

A chill run down Pearl's spine. White Zircon that who the Peridot was seeing. The green gems call draw the attention of the other cells, several cells were calling to her now… all claiming their trials were not done right, that they were… White Zircon falsified proof to get gems in here… Pearl slowly continued to walk on. Around a fifth of the cells were calling out to her. She had to move, she couldn't stop pretending to be that gem. She had to get that white gem in trouble. Maybe even for low productivity… as it appears most of the gems calling out to her were on a trial for that reason. A trail they lost because of false evidence.

 

It made sense, why Fire Agate would be friendly with White Zircon… There were so many ways to abuse such a power to one benefit.

 

Pearl didn't respond to the calls, she did made sure to  remember for later. She was passing a cell with two Sapphires, they called out to her but what they called out was different. “She told us her vision.” A collected sapphire voice spoke causing Pearl to stop. She looked down the way she walked, she could still see Yellow pearl in the distance. Pearl looked back at the two sapphires in the cell. 

“Our three eyes have always saw three different viewpoints, following what three gems paths on the same inevitable future. Three paths that cross each other so a greater picture can be understood. To allow for the most precise predictions.” The second sapphires voice was angry, full of bitterness.

Pearl blinked, she never saw an emotional sapphire before.

“I don't know what you talking about,” Pearl spoke.

“Yet, you were the one who falsely proved our visions to have been faulty.” The angry sapphire spit the words out, her hands shaking for a moment before they were again perfectly content looking. 

“We knew we were destined to be here and now. The fate cannot be changed.” The clam sapphire spoke her voice sounding so far away like all sapphires do.

How many gems did end up here because of this Zircon?! 

 

“Our third eye was closed because of a disgusting Zircon, you. Shall the diamonds smite gems like you. Her view followed your path.” The emotional sapphire said, looking up to show her one eye full of angry biting tears. Pearl gulped.

“She left us with a message for white Zircon, for when she passes us...” The Collected one spoke without moving.

“She did. Only reason we agree on delivering it because we trusted her third view. We knew this would be the future.” The emotional one looked down on the floor once more her form was briefly shaking.

“The message is as follows: Fire agate will be on her way shortly. She noticed the usage of the lift.” The collected one started.

“Darkness will be your ally, act with your head first and hastily second.” The emotional one continued closing her eye with the last word spoken. Sounding just a seer was suppose to.

“Move fast, you have been shown how to prevent the tragedy.” The collected one spoke, her voice wavering.

 

"That are the words of our third eye that we should have shared in this moment with you." The emotional spoke, her anger melting into sad acceptance. The collected one continued her eye snapping open showcasing  even more emotion than the angry sapphire. “Now. Get out of our eyesight!” Never before had Pearl seen  a sapphire shout. She stepped back surprised by the ice forming around the two gems in the cell.  

Pearl knew, the renegade sapphire. The one who moved like a ruby. She had to be the third eye they just talk about. She wanted to scream she was not White Zircon, not that gem. She couldn't, it would be stupid to drop her shapeshift now. If Fire agate was on her way she will have little time. Pearl turned around and started to run, she didn't care if this was looking odd, she had to be by her side. She had to be the protector for her fellow diamond Pearl. Yellow Pearl must reach her diamond.

Pearl run nearly blindly towards Jasper and Yellow pearl, only on her mind how she will have to get her out. 

 

Except as she reached Jasper there was no longer Yellow Pearl around. “Where is the yellow Pearl?” 

“I answered your pretty Pearls question, even let her talk to those Pearls in the cell.”

 

“Where is she?!” Pearl tone was demanding, maybe slightly panicking, caring less and less to uphold the front. 

“Whats wrong, you acting like the diamonds are onto you.”  Jasper jokingly said, shifted from her relaxed position, to a more fight ready. It was still a sloppy stance, underestimating her greatly. Zircons do not fight.

 

Neither do Pearls. 

But I do it.

 

In a blink of eye Pearl was already moving towards Jasper. Striking first, relaying on the surprise moment. A single Jasper should be easy. She had already slipped under Jasper hand and was turning around behind her. Jasper was just starting to summon her weapon. About to turn around. Pearl kicked into  the back of her knee. Jasper lost balance. 

 

Yet, the warrior gem was ready to recover. Pearl counted on the jasper recovering, awaiting a retaliation she can turn against the warrior gem. Using this moment to summon the two knifes from her gem. Having them in her grip on the ready

The Jasper punched using the arm Pearl awaited. Pearl used one knife to guide the fist to her side. Gaining a opening. Using Jasper movement against her as Pearl shoot out with the other knife. Stabbing with great precision in the shoulder where the gem was, just under the gem. The blade scrapping the gems edge as she sunk the knife in.

 

Jasper eyes grew in surprise realization. Fear. 

 

Pearl pulled herself around, easily coming back to the Jasper back and this time pushing her to the floor. Never letting go of the knife in the warrior shoulder. Pearl ended up sitting on top of her. Keeping the knife just stabbed under her gem as a warning. 

 

“Now you answer me where is the Pearl?”

 

“You are not whitey, are you... maybe an amethyst...”

Where  did she go?” Pearl made a small twist with the knife and Jasper whimpered. 

 

“She said that she had more than enough for her master and marched back out. She looked really set on leaving.”

 

Pearl took a half breath. Idiot.  She so hoped Yellow went to the entertainment room. But no, she was an idiot. No time to waste.

 

“If you don't want me to cut your gem in half you will do as I tell you. First you will release all the gems in here.”

 

Pearl heard muffled whispers from the two cells closest to them. The gems saw her pin the jasper under her. She had to go after Yellow fast. She lowered her head and summoned one bottle of pink extract. The bottle from her light gently thudded on the floor. 

 

“Then you will go to where the cracked gems are and give each a sip from this bottle as well as releasing them all from their cells as well.”

 

“And why shouldn't I just punch you the moment you let me go.” The Jasper grunted, but didn't move. The knife was still stuck under her gem.

 

“Because my offer still stands please me and I will do good for you.”

She needed something bigger. “Imagine how nice would it be to actually walk those landscapes you stare at. Wouldn't you find that grand.” There was a moment Jasper was thinking. Pearl had no time so she shifted the knife, she felt the moment the blade hit the underside of the yellow gem. Jasper winced.

 

”Please, I will do it! I swear!”

 

You better, or else... ” Pearl said pulling the knife out and moving in a flash of the Jasper and out. She was rushing towards the lift. The bottle of pinks extract was left by Jasper side. She hoped Yellow pearl had not yet encountered the Fire Agate.  She had to still be safe. Why did she ever leave her side...

Chapter Text

Pearl was coming closer to the lift. She could see the door to the elevator at the end of the tunnel. The fire of the torches dancing more vividly. Violently. She could see ten feet in front of the elevator, that Yellow pearl was there. 

The flames casting fast-changing shadows over her.

She was no longer shapeshifted.

With the disguise gone she was easily identified as Yellow diamonds Pearl.

She was not alone.
With her was Fire Agate.
The Fire Agate who was pressing the pearl against the wall. One red gloved hand holding her by the face.  Muffing most of the Pearls sounds. The other hand, her red fingers were holding onto her yellowish pearl gem. Squizing it. Pearl was summoning the spear as she knew what the fire agate was trying to do. To crash the Yellow Pearls gem. Left foot.


Yellow pearl winced, trying to pry the fingers off her.
Right foot.


Fire agate didn't notice pearl rushing in yet.
Even faster.

The spear was aimed directly on the spot where the agates gem was.
The same spot she saw sapphire aim for. 

Connect.


Fire.

Flames erupted from the gem as the tip of the spear touched the gem. That split-second Pearl didn't know how to react when the fire was everywhere in her view. She only saw flames.

A brighter shine.

The edge of the shield connected with her chest, sending her falling backwards. The flames returned to the shield. The spear was damaged. Full of cracks and charged from the fire. Pearl raised her eyes to see Fire agate holding her flaming shield. facing Pearl, not facing Yellow Pearl any longer.

Yellow pearl was sitting on the ground shaking, with both hands she was covering her gem.

"Zircon, what do you think you are doing?" Fire Agate questioned and Pearl disguised as Zircon started to slowly stand up again. Fire Agate let White Zircon stand.

"I could ask you the same," Pearl asked with the most confident voice she could. Imitating once more Zircon stance, but finding it impossible to match it again because she wasn't planning on letting go of the spear.

"Isn't it obvious? I was about to shatter Yellow diamonds pearl. We can't have it report me. "

 

 

"Yellow diamond precious gem is safe now!" Sapphire yelled raising her knife.

"What Yellow diamond doesn't know cannot make her angry. Don't you agree, my friend." Agate spoke confident, easy and superior. Her shield lowered. "I know how you get when pearls comes in question, but you do realize the severity of it all."


It all fit, the precious gem was not yellow diamond own gem, but Yellow pearl. Yellow pearl was precious to Yellow Diamond. She had to get Yellow Pearl out.


Pearl was standing now, one hand moved to the pocket where the elevator card was. 
"Speechless? Fine. Seeing you already got a taste for weapons, hm… you didn't strike me like a spear gem. Never mind, I will send you to the pit instead of shattering you for daring to attack me. I will be so gracious as to let you out if you win one fight. Aren't I the best friend? Now. Be a good obeying gem and stand down while..." pearl rushed. Fire Agate raised her shield.
Pearl aim was not Fire agate.

She ducked as she rushed past the high ranked gem.

The spear hit the ground beside Yellow pearl causing her to snap out the shaking state of shock. "Run." She ordered her hand pulling the card out the pocket and pressing it in a moment into Yellows hand. 

Yellow pearls fingers gripped around the card.


"Like I will let her!" Fire Agate shouted and pearl felt the heat of Agates shield, she spun and used the spear to block. The spear shattered into countless little pieces. The shield continued going down meeting Pearls fake gem and ramming into it with a force that made her light form bend in. Yellow pearl was already running without looking back. As Pearl was falling she noticed she was fast. That was good. Pearl hit the ground heavily. She couldn't let Fire Agate come after Yellow. Pearl white hand shoot out holding onto the red boot of the Agate. Much to her announce as she tried to go after Yellow but was stopped because of Pearl's hand. Slightly tripping, yet easily recovering. 

Fire AGate growled.

"You really want to decorate my floor!"

The door of the lift was opening. The other red boot hit her fake gem again. Easily sending her flying and colliding against the wall. A torch falling off the wall it flames dying down on the ground besides Pearl.

The elevator door was closing, just a moment more and it would be closed completely. "Shards, have to melt the lift." Fire Agate mumbled turning her back to Pearl. Making only two steps towards it before Pearl shapeshifting dropped, a knife sent flying towards Agates gem. Causing her to jump to the side to avoid it.

It closed.


"You petty little gem, attacking my back... What the?"

Fire agate was staring, Pearl was glad she put on the renegade outfit before shapeshifting. Because her black outfit and white eyes with her head gem shocked Fire Agate. She rushed Agate once more, using the moment. The shock didn't last, as Agate responded using her shield to block and then push out, pearl barely avoided losing balance, instead of hitting the wall it knocking two torches out.

"You are a pearl." 

Pearl didn't say anything. She summoned the axe, the knife she shot out was laying too far away.

"My, my, you look like you actually know how to hold that thing. A defective pearl tricking a diamonds pearl into doing what? Report me for what? Revenge I suppose. It always comes back to that… Did I shatter your love or something?"

Pearl attacked again dodging the shield once more, knocking two torches this time. Fire Agate followed her after pearl parried the shield with the axe. The flames erupting at the contact. She could feel the flames lick along with her black mask.

"I see you will not let me go after her till you have a form. So its time to not hold back! " Fire Agate laughed as she started to go on the offensive. Pearl was dodging as good as she could, red gem was knocking into more and more torches, as pearl was trying to gain any distance. Baiting Fire agate away from the lift. Pearl mind shifted to a state of focus she never before felt. Empty yet full. Time losing meaning as it was measured with each swing, each retreating step. Each collision. Only what mattered was the red gem she kept her eyes on. Watching waiting. Half the torches were knocked down around them in the fast-paced... dance they had.

Fire Agate changed her movement, the way she stepped on the ground, just slightly off. Pearl noticed it, not averting her eyes as much as possible. She was holding a more stable stance. Renegade was not caught off guard as flames erupted out the shield shooting out towards her. Renegade was rushing backwards, down the corridor. The flames didn't reach her. They... felt less hot. Weaker. Shorted reach...

"What...oh..." Fire Agate looked around herself and started laughing. "Who would have thought you would figure it out. I am quite impressed. "
Figured it out... darkness is your friend.
Yes, the Sapphires said that. A message to her. The third eye, the eye that was no more, her view of the future must have followed her. Pearl was aware she had no chance to poof the red gem. She couldn't get close enough for any of her weapons. Her defence was astonishing. To know now that her offensive depended on the nearby fire made her grin under the mask.

Pearl felt her light form pulsing in her chest. Maybe from pain or from the trill of having a plan. She didn't know, she didn't care.

She will live this

to tell the story.

"Still silent? You know the last time I got this worked up was back on the cursed colony. Following Yellow Diamonds order of 'survive'. Ah, her beautiful voice. Survive till the reinforces come. She said. Ah, the perfection she is... They took years and years to arrive. Decades rushed past in the enemy territory out for my destruction. In the end, I was the only gem from the first wave that survived. I earned my right to have some fun with throw away gems." Pearl was slowly inching back, allowing Fire Agate to monologue to her gem content. "The lift will soon arrive. Enough of this." A second diamond-shaped shield was summoned. The Agates eyes shone red as she moved faster than Renegade. The first hit was merciless, cutting clean thought the axe. Renegade barely avoided the second shield. The third hits that followed she couldn't avoid. The best she could do was ensure her gem was not the one getting hit. 

The edge of the flame shield rammed itself into her shoulder. Sending her down to the floor.
Her Renegade outfit was becoming torn at places as she rolled on the floor. Trying to get back on her feet before the next hit came. She couldn't get up in time, Fire agate connecting a hit. Renegade kicked out and up managing to connect with Fire Agate's nose. It brought her two seconds. Two seconds she used to flip around and start running.

It was still not good enough as Fire Agate was faster than her and caught up with her, landing a hit on the back of Pearls head. She felt the fabric starting to smoke on her from the flames. Renegade avoided falling this time, recovering with half a spin. They were getting closer to the fork that leads to the pit and jail section.


There were voices. Voices down the hallway.

The freed gems. The jasper did as told. Good. Fire Agate noticed the voices as well, distracted for the briefest moment. The whip was summoned and she lashed out with it, knocking the shield out of Fire Agates hand. Renegade was already summoning a sword as she aimed to slash the red gem across the eyes. Hoping to blind her. Her slash landed, the shield not raised high enough in time. Yet she only got one eye. Agate retailed. Flames erupted from the shield throwing Renegade across the hallway.

Renegade broke her fall and was raising the sword, one shield was blocked, yet the second shield slammed hard into the side of her head. She falls over head-spinning her fingers unable to hold onto the grip of the whip. The weapon rolled away from her. The fingers around the sword twitched. Gem weapon. Fire agate could simply summon as many shields as she wanted. Pearl, on the other hand, was running low on weapons. Her head was still ringing as she felt her body being moved.
Red fingers picked her up and pressed her against the wall.

Renegade opened her eyes and could see the pure joy in Fire Agate's expression. Her shield shimmering in the torchlight, the flames on the edge shield dancing together with the light.


"How about you beg? I may let you live if you do well enough."

Pearl stayed silent. The voices were coming closer and she could hear the echoes of footsteps.

"Still staying silent? Fine by me, die in a boring manner."

She still held onto the sword.

"W-wait." Pearls voice stuttered.

Let them get a bit closer, please distract her. Please make her eyes look away from her, just for a moment.

Fire agate grin grew wider.
"Yes?"

"Don't... you want to...hear my name?" Renegade offered, making her voice as small as a pearl could.


"Oh, you have a name, so you are one of those types of defects. Who think they are special and different from the rest. Individuals with dreams, hope, ambitions. Do you call yourself something absurd like... Lan, Mercy or even Kata?"

Renegade wanted to say more, wanted to engage Fire agate into a conversation as she could see the red gem loved the sound of her voice. She did not await the shield slamming into her gem. The white visor part of her mask broke into pieces, taking the blunt of the force. It may have been the only reason her gem didn't split completely in half.

"I don't care!" Fire agate voice ringed. Pearl could feel the tip of weapon wedged into her gem. Her world became two halves. The fire was burning. A purple blur was in one half.

The red hand slipping off her as the purple blur moved from one half to another. Renegade slid on the ground. The weapon unceremoniously ripped out her gem, creating more cracks in one half. A purple gem was slamming on reds agates shield. Furious angry and wailing in grief. The world shock under them. Other gems were rushing past Fire agate trying to get towards the lift. The ground shook once more.

Renegade stood up. In one half she could see the group of shaking Pearls, she was passing by. The pearls stepped back from her and back towards the jail. Fear. In one half of the world, she saw the purple gem being poofed. Renegade was all but flying down the stairs. She didn't feel any more pain, which was worrisome. She heard. "All of You cursed defects, I will shatter you for this!" Screams.

Surface whimpered in her own ears.

The pink bottle.

Summoning things cast light.

Pearl was pushing herself faster than ever to the single torch in the room. It long shadows moving reaching out to grab onto her. Not Pink shadows. The blackness of the now open door on the other side was looking like a gaping jaw wanting to consume.
Renegade raised her sword summoning in the same motion the bottle. The cracked ones must be there...The sharp edge of the sword cut the torch flames, the light vanishing as the weight of the bottle fall into her hand.

Pain.

Darkness.
Splintering pain from summoning anything from her cracked gem and dizziness forced her on her knees.

The shield rammed itself just where her head was before. Fire Agate was just above her.

The two shields had barely a glow to it now.

 

 

 

 

Renegade blinked.

 

 

 

 

She was by the edge of the pit shaking. She was glitching, she missed time. Not remembering when she moved. The ground shook once more. "You did not win. Come here and just accept it! All the gems you let go will not be worth anything. Even if they get out. Put me on a trial and you have no valid witness. I will simply claim them all to be defective. Which they are! "

Renegade moved her hand with the sword to the bottle. Opening it. It made a soft pop sound and not pink agate started walking towards the sound.

"You think Yellow pearl report will have any worth after the real Zircon confirms she was shown around by a fake."
Renegade barely stood, light steps she started to move towards the dark door.
"You don't have a single gem who can confirm I did anything wrong, not a single one that I cannot claim to be a defect. "

Renegade stepped carefully down the first stair. The tugging on her light form distracted her and she stayed still, fighting off the sensation of spreading cracks. She felt pain on and off. COming and going. She was several more steps down, more missing not pink time... in the not pink lack of light.

Why was the not pink agate talking so much? Was she really thinking pear would answer her and show her position? She was not an idiot.
"Or you think some of my guests would betray me? Even if they are in the court there is no way they would admit it in fear of their diamonds punishment, in fear forever engaging. " The voice sounded further away.

Pearl was carefully stepping down the stairs, holding back the whimpers. Feeling her light form shaking. Her gem hurt so much. Yet when she felt no pain she felt more panic. The sound of something flowing will attract the not pink gem...
Her voice was becoming more muted. With each descending step.
"You are alone! I have friends that will watch my back! You are a pathetic gem. Whoever you try to avenge for is probably disappointed in you!"
The voice was becoming an echo in the staircase down.

Renegade collapsed on her knees. Shoulder leaning against the wall. She couldn't hold together anymore. Even if the not pink hears her. She couldn't stand anymore … 

 

 

Chapter Text

Drop.

...

...

..

...

The pink drops were falling onto her gem.

Blink.

....

Drop.

....

...

..

Pearl took a sharp breath, the bottle was in her hand which was now lowered and resting in her lap.

She missed time again.  Raising the bottle she saw that she poured a third of the extract over her gem. A shiver run down her spine as she felt a pink drop fall from her chin onto her hand holding the bottle. Where was her other hand... Her senses shifted into self awareness.

Pearl noticed that she was biting into her sword grip to muffle the moan that wanted to escape while she was healing. Her eyes blinked. She felt relieved and tired. She strained her ears staying completely still and silent. There were some sounds, clashes and yells but at this point they felt far away. Rest of the bottle was stored in her gem. 

 

It was time to move on. She had to return.

 

Pearl took a deep breath. She continued onward. The way down started to be lit with a low lighting. No torches were in sight. Odd. Not that it mattered to Pearl why the agate would not have torches down around the off colors and cracked gems... The tunnel started to turn into exit holes of tall gems, along their edges were turned off prison shields. She was in the parts of the maze that were the old kindergartens. Fire agate must have turned parts of it into holding cells for the cracked gems. Every cell was left open. It must have been the Jasper, who did as told. Pearl hoped the occasional shards she saw in passing cell and corridor were not from a gem that just shattered. The way started branching out as she kept on walking.  A few wider parts were turned into storage. Pearl took a whole five seconds to debate if she should or shouldn't. 

 

She should.

 

Pearl started opening the boxes and crates to store the weapons, fabrics, tools and minerals. She didn't touch any of the organic things she stumbled over. Not caring about plants and eggs. Just one more crate to peek in. Just one more box of knives to collect. 

She knew she shouldn't waste too much time, but the point how little time she had left really catch up to her as she heard voices, topaz voices being ordered to check all tunnels in pairs. 

A em dressed in black in this tunnels would not be questioned, instead it would be captured or shattered at the spot. Neither was a option Pearl wanted to engage in. 

Pearl rushed onward slipping between the ever more expanding tunnels, the darkness all around her, her only aim to get back.

 


 

Pearl entered the Pink diamond palace. She saw Yellow diamonds ship docked on her way to the palace, the diamond has arrived in correct time. She was known for being punctual. Pearl didn't react to it sight, a pearl is to mind only her orders and master and simply continued on to pinks room. It was strange to return from renegade time by the front door. Her diamond dress was undamaged, her renegade outfit on the other hand was beyond repair. Only a heap off tattered material. She will need to make a new one.

 

There was a lot of doubt that she managed to cause a change... what if agate was right and nothing will change... but... the jasper did as told and freed the gems... Did she healed the cracked gems as told, too? 

 

Then came the other things, the sensation of having her gem cracked by the point of that diamond shaped shield. The countless hits...She didn't do that bad... the feeling of danger the real sensation of her opponents wanting her in shards. She remembered the eyes full of fire and intent to end her. Facing that...  

Pearl breathed. She had to have some trust, the agate was wrong there were gems who cannot be declared defective... they didn't know yet, that they will be called witness... she will look out for a good opportunity. 

Pearl was tired. She wanted to poof.

Maybe she could rest with her diamond a bit.... No. Not quite yet. 

She was debating it, dissipating her form, she was physically and emotionally drained enough, when she sneaked back into white zircons office. The white gem was currently under the cloth . Slowing the zircons recharge time. The two pearl gem placed in the front room with the door left open. If they recharge and form before anyone finds them they are free to run away. That felt right to do. So she did it. Even if it meant having risks... it was tempting to be found as a gem in the office as well. A third pearl gem... but no. She couldn't, she had to know what exactly was going on.

 

Rhythmical breathing is quite nice.

 

In.

Hold.

Out.

Again.

 

Pearl didn't feel it to be the right action... even if the white gems explains she was attacked. Pearl closed her eyes calling the memory that was recorded, like most things Pearls see. Calling upon a memory was easy. Showing it perfectly. Pearl smirked, she imagined a what if. Imagined the Zicron telling her to stay in the office for a set amount of time and then to return by foot to her diamond if she doesn't return by the end of time. It was kind of exciting knowing she could project what she imagines as memories. They were memories... just of what she was thinking. Memories of what she imagined. 

Not like anyone would even question her. Pearls aren't supposed to imagine or think for themself. 

When did she start being fine with this?

 

Pearl shook her head. She was still affected from the fight. Her thinking was all over the place. So distracting and hard to keep focus.

Sorry.

It was fine, all will be fine. 

"Glimmering Pearl!" Pearl stopped in her tracks. Snapped out of her thoughts she turned to the source of the call. Two of Pinks rubies ran up to her. "Pink diamond was worried!" The called out in unison. 

 

"Everyone in the court was ordered to find you!" Said the ruby with the gem on her left hip.

 

"Yes, to find the glimmering pinks pearl." Pearl blinked again, at what the ruby with the gem on her right hip informed her.

 

"Glimmering?..."  Pearl felt confused. She was called Pink pearl and Pinks Pearl often enough, but the glimmering was absolutely knew. No one complements a pearl... especially not rubies. They only imitate how higher gems in court do.... 

 

"Yes! Yes! " Both called out.

 

"Who ever finds you is to take you to where she is!" Now they were talking to each other.

"Which room again?"

"Yellows personal room!" 

"Yes, yes. Yellow room not pinks!"

"But we found her in front of Pink Diamonds room"

"So to Pinks diamond room we go?"

"No we are here."

"No, Pink said to bring her to Yellows room. Bring..."

"Yup, glimmering pink pearl to bring there!"

 

"lets go, lets go!" The two rubies have cleared their orders up and each grabbed one of her hands and all but pulled and dragged her along to the warp pad. Pearl didn't resist as she was pulled around. 

 

Yellow palace was much busier than Pinks. The gems from Yellow court or in service of the court were rushing up and down the hallways.  A lot more gems waiting to present their work to their diamond, or to their superiors or bring information from recon. The Rubies kept holding her hands as they navigated the hallways at one point slowing down. Pearl narrowed her eyes.

"Its the left corridor." Pearl offered, noticing the rubies obtaining a bit of a lost expression, unsure how to get to Yellows diamond private room.

"The other left." She added as they nodded and stepped both into the right corridor. They both fake coughed of course and went to drag her down the correct corridor.

 

The door to Yellow Diamonds most used room was guarded with two topazes.

 

"Pink diamond ordered us to get her Pearl here."  One of the rubies spoke up puffing their chest out, showing off the pink diamond on their chest. Both Topazes looked at Pearl who lowered her head and finding out she simply couldn't give the salute. With her both hands being held. It was... interesting to pearl. A simple distraction. The topazes simply nodded and stepped to the side the door sliding open and Pearl being dragged again into the room.

 

"We are here!" One of the rubies declared and finally Pearls hands were let go. Three salutes were performed. 

 

The room was filled with screens. The big throne in the middle, with Pink diamond and Yellow pearl sitting on it. Another gem but a diamond sitting on the throne? Absolutely unheard off... her Pink had a tendency to cause unheard things. Pearl smiled, it was good seeing Yellow Pearl being well. Seeing Pinks hand on Yellow Pearl shoulder was more than clear indication she made the Pearl sit down right there. 

 

"My diamond I have returned." Pearl responded. Pink eyes shone bright as she jumped off the throne. 

In the next moment she had pinks hands on her head, her face so close to hers. The diamonds eyes were not on her, but higher on her gem. Her diamond could move so fast when she wanted... 

 

"It doesn't look damaged." Pink mumbled and pearls doubt slightly melted. She made the right choice by giving away only one bottle. She needed the second to herself. If one was not enough for all the makeshift cells....it was still more than drops. 

"Good, I was so worried when I saw Yellow pearl with hair thin cracks."

Pink turned around and they both notices Yellow pearl standing at ready by the foot of the throne. Of course she would get off.

 

"Did I allow you to stand up?" Pink huffed, marching back towards Yellow pearl and picking her up before she could apologize or do anything else really. "I told you, you must rest."

 

"I can rest standing, shining Pink diamond." Yellow Pearl offered. Pearl knew that will not work, as Pink simply seated Yellow Pearl back on the throne. Easily sitting beside her again. "Rest here sitting, the seat is big enough." 

 

"My diamond, shall I inform your court to stop searching for me?" Pearl asked the two rubies still were standing right behind her. Unsure what next so just waiting.

 

"Yes, that's a good idea. You two.” Pink pointed to the waiting rubies”. You did great my rubies. I am proud of your performance. You are dismissed. " Pink waved and added. "Close the door after you leave!" Pearl could have sworn that the rubies nearly floated out from being praises like that.

 

Pearl composed a simple alert for all pink courts gem and sent it. The door fully closed. 

The ground shock, a loud noise echoing in the air. It sounded like thunder. 

 

"Yellow is really angry. " Pink commented, before looking at Pearl. Pearl had an idea what her diamond wanted. She stepped up to the throne and stood at it foot.

"What are you doing there?" Pink asked as her eyes followed Pearl movements.

"What would you wish me to do my diamond?"

"I want you to join us."

"Shall I jump up my diamond or do you wish to pick me up?"

Two pink hands were already gripping on pearl and she was raised and positioned to sit on Pinks other side.  Yellow stared at her with an impressive look. Pearl didn't mind. She was way past getting overly stressed for small improper behaviors like this ones. Thought it was the first time pearl was sitting on a diamond chair...It was really comfortable, the most comfortable chair she ever sat in, except maybe ….did Pinks big pillow count as a chair? Did Pinks lap counted as a chair... then it would be the third most comfortable chair...

The monitors showed the harvesting facility with a ton of warrior type of gems all over the place. In front of the facility pearl could spot some of the prisoner gems huddling together waiting for what will happen to them.   Guarded by a battalion of Amethyst gems. Another portion of the screen showed Yellow diamond using her attack to rip the ground up and expose some of the underground tunnels. Allowing her warrior gems to gain access.

 

Just seeing the Yellow diamond so angry made pearl shift closer to pinks side. Another screen showed how overcast Homeworld was getting. She was scary. Yet as she glanced at yellow pearl, she could see the gem having a found look in her eyes. 

 

"So where were you?" Pink asked and Pearl looked back at her own diamond. 

"In the back room of white zircon office, my diamond. " She projected the imagined order, partly as a test, to her diamond. Her diamond protected her lies once, can she see it again, that its a lie. Another lie in need of protecting? Or was it good enough on its own. Pearl licked her lips, fingers twitching and connecting as she waited for her diamonds verdict. She felt surface ordering the swords by the type and size. A lot of swords, while the types were ordered alphabetical. 

 

"I sent my amethysts there first, but you must have already started walking back when they reported the room and back room to be empty. They did use the warp." Her diamond said and Pearl nodded. Was that a confirmation, her lie was good? Or could she not tell she was telling lies. Pearl sighed. She wasn't sure what she would it rather be.

 

"You got me worried there."

 

"I am sorry my diamond."

 

"Do you know what's going on?" She knew, but she couldn't know, so she simply shook her head in a clear no.

And at that moment Yellow Pearl spoke up. "As you were left waiting I was shown all the transgression the leader of the harvesting faculty has done. I was leaving to report her, when I ran into her. Her attempt on shatter diamond property, me, to keep the truth hidden from my diamond, is unacceptable."

 

"Damaging Yellow diamonds precious gem, is indeed a vile crime." Pearl said nodding nonchalantly in agreement and suddenly Yellow demeanor fall, a blush on her face. Nervous twitch in her shoulder.

"I would be vivid in her place too." Pink nodded, looking from one pearl to another. Yellow pearl composed herself back and was once more having the proper pearl face on.

 

"My diamond will catch the gem and she will be put on trial for what occurred."

 

Pearl nodded and looked on the screens once more. There will be a lot of work for gems to fix the damage. Pearl blinked, she stopped rhythmical breathing at some point since she was sitting by Pink.... she caused this didn't she? Her actions lead to this?... She.... it was strange as they sat on yellow diamond throne watching the raid of her gems on the harvesting facility and the tunnels beneath. The bright diamond overseeing the situation on the field. The gems that were freed... Her action ... made a difference... or if not a difference they left a scar. A visible trail. 

Someone all of Homeworld was seeing.

It took a cycle till it finally happened. 

 

Pearl watched as Yellow Diamond bubbled a gem, and once she stood up they could see it. The fire agates gem, in a yellow bubble. Pink turned the screen off and sighed. "I guess the next few cycles Yellow will be busy with the trial..."

Pearl looked at Pink, she she was looking back at yellow pearl. Yellow Pearl was still staring at the turned off screens. Pearl nudged her diamond who give her full attention to Pearl. Silently Pearl pointed towards Yellow pearl. Her diamond looked at the pearl and pulled her into her lap, much to the complete surprise of yellow Pearl.

 

Pearl didn't mean exactly that... but it was working.

 

Yellow pearl was stiff and trying  to touch pink diamond as little as possible, which was a failing endeavor when Pink hugged you and had you in her lap. 

"My diamond must have noticed you .... thinking of something." Pearl offered.

"I am a pearl in service of a diamond I do not think of somethings!" Yellow pearl huffed in high irritation and with a glare of disapproving towards Pearl.

 

"But If I ordered you to think what would you be thinking?" Pink hummed,"It would be just a game, not a real thing." It was pleasing to pearl to see the high and mighty 'I am a better Pearl' stutter.

"Don't let a diamond wait for an answer. Or?" Pink smiled wide... and it surprised pearl to notice slight edge to Pinks smile. She was a diamond, Pearl knew she was a diamond. Why was it so strange to see her be a diamond? Seeing her use her commanding power?

 Pearl blinked.

Hands moved to pick on the edge of her dress. Eyes never leaving the diamond.

"..In that case, glorious Pink diamond." Yellow managed to salute in Pinks arms. "I would be wondering where white Zircon is. She was the one who showed me the transgression of the agate. She gave me the card to the lift..." pearl noticed how the other gem didn't say that white zircon used a spear. Or how she used a spear stabbing so close to Yellow Pearl to shock her into moving. " It would be a waste is she was shattered by the agate...."

 

Pearl hand raised covering her lips. That was a lot... It was misplaced worry, that gem didn't earn such care from a pearl. That gem manipulated trials to send gems to that place....but .... it couldn't be helped... Yellow only knew a version of her own making. Should she offer something to make Yellow pearl worry less? No. There was no reason she could know the white gem was safe under a blanket, with the two pearls in her front room.  Or that the gem that saved her was completely fine right in front of her.

"Maybe she escaped? There appears to be a lot of tunnels." Pearl offered. 

"...Maybe... " 

 

Pearl looked away from yellow. Pearl noticed that her diamond was watching her. She meet her diamond eyes. She had so many things to hide. It wasn't so good anymore. Pearl breathed in, fingers clenching into the fabric of her dress. So many things that she wanted to talk about but didn't know how... So many WHys she wanted answered... How to say it?

One of the sapphires  must saw me in her visions, must have known who Renegade was to show me how to protect Yellow. And that sapphire must have been the one who moved like a lone ruby. The whose fate was to be dusted. I still think I see her dust flying around. For an example. 

 

Oh and she knew she would be dusted, so she left the messages to the other two sapphires, so I wouldn't be too late. Showing me where to aim my spear.

For an example.

 

"And what are you thinking?" Pink poked Pearl in the shoulder. Pearls hand twitched letting go of her dress, nearly lashing out. Feeling the the motion being one to parry her diamond touch.

Pearl blinked, her hand twitched in place. Not lashed out. But hovering a inch over her dress. 

Stopped it.

 

" The trial Yellow Diamond will hold. " Surface spoke and pearl blinked once more breathing slowly and deeply. Right. 

"What about the trail?"

 

"How it may be a valuable and important experience if you, my diamond would oversee it as well. Now that you, my diamond have a Zircon of your own. " pearl bowed her head deep. Hands saluting. She felt her diamond hand on top of her head. This time her head did jerk away from the touch. She saw the flaming shield, felt the sensation of the flaming edge against the back of her head. Red fingers gripping the back of her head pulling onto her hair and ripped outfit. 

 

"It would be really important?" Her diamond said, not saying anything about pearl sudden movement away and pearl felt small... she felt like a pearl. 

Her diamond didn't say for who it would be important... it felt like back then when Pearl said it was prepared in front of Blue Diamond.

 

"Yes, my diamond… it would. "

 

“I would really like that, my pearl. Good idea.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Yellow Diamond returned deep into the night. The sound of the door opening set Yellow Pearl into a stiff stance. Pearl frowned the other pearl had finally given in and started to lean against Pink diamond. The moment the door opened the other pearl was stiff again and holding a pearl pose and salute. Or at least close to it as she was still trapped in Pinks's arms. Pearl stood up, still staying on the chair as she was taking the correct pose, making sure she was staying close to her diamond. Yellow diamond was imposing. They saw what her raw attacking power was when she was all but ripping structures apart with her bare hands.  That power is something to fear.

"Yellow!" Pink spoke towards her fellow diamond. 

"Pink." Yellow acknowledged moving in front of her throne. Looking at them critically, hands crossing over her chest as she observed Pink and the two pearls on her chair. "Do I dare ask you what are you doing there?"

"I healed your pearl and making sure she gets some rests. She is as bad as you when it comes to relaxing! I am telling you both if you never take a break your gems can get damaged! " Pink explained.

Yellow lowered her hand in front of Pink. The pink hands released Yellows Pearl who in a flash stepped on her diamond hand, puffing her chest out.  Yellow raised her hand to her eyes. There was silence as Yellow inspected her pearl.

"The pearl is in perfect condition, good. An imperfect pearl would not be able to serve me. " Yellow diamond placed the Pearl down, her eyes moving back onto Pink. Pearl tried to stay as invisible as possible. 

"You saved me the trouble of getting another pearl. Still in the future do not do that again, Pink."

Pink huffed, hands shifting to cross over her gem.

"Yellow, you told me to take care of your Pearl in your room. In case she was damaged by the rouge agate! What else was I suppose to do, but fix her hair thin cracks! "

Pearl gulped, she ... Yellow Pearl got hurt because she wasn't good enough of her guard... but it could have been so much worse... Pearl closed her eyes, flashes of all the gems she saw in the cells flashed behind her eyelids. The empty cells in the lower level, joined in the flashes as Pearl opted to snap her eyes open. Hearing and seeing Yellow barely looked at Pinkas she spoke now.

 

"I meant to watch over her... for every two gems you spend to heal, we could have made three more with the same amount."

 

“You didn't say to watch her!” Pink yelled, fingers clenching into her outfit. Pearl could see Yellow diamond was no looking at them. Risk.

 

"Its a waste of resources." Yellow was lowering her hand so Yellow Pearl could jump off it safely. 

 

"But..." Pearl placed her hand on Pinks's shoulder. Cutting her Diamond protests off. Her diamond eyes looked at Pearl, whatever she saw suddenly made her sound apologetic.

"Sorry, didn't mean to be childish again." Pearl moved back to her pearl pose just in time as Yellow looked at Pink in a bit of surprise.

"... Right..." Yellow Diamond looked at Pink for a moment more, as Yellow pearl was standing by her diamond foot. "For the future do not waste resources again Pink."

"I will try not to."

" Good. Now stand up so I can sit down and work."

 

Pink was pouting, as she slid off the chair, Pearl following her instep. There was a hint of angry eyes as Pink looked up at Yellow. Yet it quickly shifted to a more sad note. Pearl didn't know what it meant... she didn't know that healing gems was wasteful either?... Pink barely made steps forward, she didn't want to leave yet. Yellow Diamond sat down her eyes on the screens that were flickered on one by one. Pearl risked and rushed by her diamond side, touching her diamond hand. The eyes meet. Pearl bowed her head deeply. Her Diamond hand reached out but, her hand changed motion mid-air and settled on Pearl's shoulder. Pearl could feel the small shakes in the fingers. 

 

Worry.

 

 

"Yes, my diamond," Pearl spoke loudly and clear. "By now White Diamond lesson is awaiting you in your room, if you wish to study it you should go back to your room. " It had the wished effect, as Yellow Diamond spoke up, only her eyes moving to where Pink was standing.

 

"...Pink."

 

“Thank you, my Pearl. Let's go!” Her diamond answered, yet she didn't make a single step as Yellow diamond called out.

 

"I didn't tell you to leave, yet."

 

"So I should just stand here not doing anything? While you just keep on working. At least White is giving me something to do."

 

"My Pearl did Blue answer yet?" Yellow asked, and Yellow Pearl winced as she summoned the screen. Returning to her proper pearl stance and voice, a moment later.

"No, my diamond."

 

Yellow stood up,  "...but her Pearl answered me, my diamond." Yellow  Pearl added quickly. "She reports that because of violent weather patterns on Blues colony, her diamond is not in the mood to talk to anyone. Unless it's an absolute emergency."

 

"She read my message?"

 

"Blue pearl have read it to her, blue diamond, my diamond."

 

"Is something wrong with Blue?" Pink asked.

 

"No, not really. She tends to do this sometimes...Just hoped it wouldn't happen now... She always had the worst timings..." Tiredness. Suddenly the luminous yellow diamond looked tired. Even less yellow and dimmer... With a wave of her hand a new structure emerged. Sofa. Yellow shifted to sit down on it and rubbed her forehead. Pink hand, still pearl shoulder, calmed down. No longer having the small shake. Giving her a look silently indicating to follow as she let go and floated up to sit on the other end of the sofa. 

 

"And is something wrong with you?" Pink asked as she got comfortable Pearl was standing by the foot of seating. Pearl remembered all the pink landscapes, skies and organics life that yellow pearl had stored. She remembered a lot of blue colour themed landscapes as well. Yellow pearl was surrounded with screens when pearl looked at her. Organizing and answering request after request that where directed towards her diamond. In her diamond name, not once actually asking her diamond how to answer them...then again maybe she had instructions from before how to handle them...

 

Yes, Yellow pearl was probably told how to answer them and now she was doing as told... Yellow Pearl was the proper one, no need to hope she would break the rules as blatantly as her self. Pearl took a single breath.

 

"My pearl what do I have on my agenda next?" Yellow Diamond asked. 

 

"Yellow I want an answer!" PInk now yelled her hand smashing on the sofa. A single crack spread on it, small movements from inside the furniture quickly fixed. Of course, the pebbles... 

 

"Pink, I need to focus."

 

"The trial can be set to be held in two cycles. Before that your court fitting, and after that extraction time. During this time, regular check-up of your arm ship has started so it will be ready in three cycles. Return to the colony is in the time slot after that. It would be advised to visit all your previous colonies for staus updated. During the court fitting, 78% of gems requests can be ignored for time and efficiency. I am sorting through the list now, my shining diamond."

 

"Good. How long does your leg ship need Pink?" 

 

"Need for what?" Pink blinked confused and caught off guard with the question.

 

"To use it, Pink, what else."

 

"Where would I be going with it Yellow?"

 

"You coming with me to my colony."

 

"Really?!" 

 

"Yes. That what I said. Do I have to repeat myself?"

 

"My shining diamond." Yellow Pearl spoke up, for a moment she looked at Pearl before making a small salute. "Pink diamond has expressed a wish to observe the trial."

 

Yellows head raised looking at her yellow Pearl and finally turning her full attention to Pink. "You want to observe the trial?"

 

Pink hesitated for a second before she nodded. "Yes, I got a Zircon I would like to see how you work with them. So I can use my Zircon more efficiently. "

 

"...Good. That is really good. But you need to stay in one spot and not complaining about anything, Pink. Trials can last awhile. I can't have you causing antics during it." Yellow diamonds harsh and warning voice didn't make Pink any less determined. 

 

"I promise! I just have to inform White I will probably not go to her headship to take the test this time."

 

"You meet her?"

 

"...Yes."

"In person?"

"Yes, she tests me in person. Not that I am any good with it. I keep failing the tests."

 

"Where?"

 

"In her headship.  I don't think she had left it recently. She wasn't leaving it even before Blue left. "

 

"It was locked today." Yellow all but groaned it was odd to see the diamond so frustrated. At least frustrated towards any other diamond but Pink, that is. Pearl shifted in her position. Was it because the other two diamonds were not in the mood to talk to Yellow? Or be with her?

“I don't know, why it would be locked...I never found it locked.”

"I actually had to bang on her headship door and still nothing. No response. Like I don't matte-! "

Pink shifted closer to Yellow and hugged her. Stopping Yellow from finishing the sentence.

"She is supposed to take care of Homeworld affairs. But instead, she didn't do anything. Even if I try to say anything in the video link, she doesn't let me get a word in. I can't believe she was unaware of gems gladiator fights. It is impossible. She is the all-seeing all illuminating. " Yellow huffed, she didn't yet push pink of her. "And then I hear she teaches you. What does she teach you? It's Blue and my responsibility to teach you. That was agreed upon. Why is she suddenly teaching you in person..." 

 

Pink looked off to the side as she made her hug stronger, sharing another glance with Pearl. Indeed what was white teaching Pink? Wrong facts so she could keep on failing. ... 

"... Just little things, you know. About the creation of gems and such." Pink explained looking up at Yellow who huffed. 

 

"You will watch me create gems on the new colony. That how you will learn the fastest." Yellow declared, trying to urge Pink to let her go. 

 

"Wasn't I  forbidden from visiting colonies for two millennia after that drop ship incident?"

 

"... Who suggested two millennia?"

 

"You."

 

"And how much passed?"

 

"A bit over eight hundredths from two thousands."

 

"Did you learn not to hijack drop-ship controls and cause them to crash?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Then enough time has passed. Start getting your legs in gear and your court ready for travel. It's small enough to follow you in full. My pearl will send the events relating to the trial to your pearl, Pink. I need to review the gems who my soldiers have captured, now..." Pink stopped hugging the Yellow gem, whose lips twitched in a brief smile before looking over to her work.

 

Yellow stood up again. Pink tilted her head. "Have easy and short reviewing. So you get some free time afterwards!"

A moment of stillness. Laugh. Yellow burst out laughing. "Free time, priceless. That joke was a good one." Yellow chuckled wiping a tear from her face. Yellows laugh was nothing like the Agates. It wasn't like Pinks either. It was sharper and more surprising. Like the idea was ridiculous, to begin with.

Pink chuckled herself, even though pearl knew that was not a joke she made. Yellowface had a smile on. "You can go if you want Pink."

 

"I will be back, I just have to tell my court we will travel and such."

 

Pink slid off the sofa which decomposed itself back to dust on the floor by the hard-working pebbles out the view.

"Come my pearl there is lots I have to get done!"

 

"Yes, my diamond." Pearl followed her diamond out. There was a lot of things coming their way. No rest for the diamonds. 

 

 

Chapter Text

Pearl followed Pink Diamond, back to the most used room in the PInk palace. The walk back was spent in silence, but not silent... that is looks could talk. Pink would ever so often check on Pearl, her eyes seizing her up, and Pearl felt as if her diamond was observing her, ready to jump towards her at the slightest hint of... Pearl had a guess, that if she would limp, or twitch from suppressed pain her diamond would react.

There was no need for that, as Pearl only felt spent and tired in need for rest. The bottle she used healed her gem cracks up.

To try and transfer that she was indeed fine Pearl would smile and put a little bounce in her step, her diamond was so fond of doing and was quite a bit inappropriate. PInk would look away and Pearl would return to walking her adequate way.

The arrived and the door was already closing after them as Pearl noticed that the curtains were pulled over the balcony. Giving the room a darker shade.

"So..." PInk started and pearl attention shifted back to her. 

"Yes, my diamond." 

 

Pink crossed her arms. "Be nice and remind me why did I send you to that white Zircon, again?" 

Pearl blinked, she felt doubtful...maybe she shouldn't have hidden the plan... It was affecting her diamond too. So many things could have gone wrong. No, that she thought of it. She could have failed, she failed in protecting Yellow pearl, she got hurt... Pear could have not returned to her diamond and Pink would be alone... It was.. getting out of control. She wasn't thinking it over enough. A sensation was bubbling in her, unsure what the feelings were Surface Pearl pulled them back.

So she could think.

Yet.

She was not thinking enough. 

No, just doing it.

Seeing the patient expression on Pink face as she waited for an answer, Pearl couldn't help it. The bubbling guilt crashed over her like a ... a... undeniable order. Surface couldn't pull all that back. It felt ... like she was unworthy herself of Pinks mercy. According to that, she should get punished by renegade blade. It has been enough ...she will tell it.

Don't.

She will no longer hurt Pink with lies she danced on. Pearls fingers twitched and her light form shivered in a wave of nervous energy that was cursing  thought her.

"I... am sorry...I must admit I..." 

"Stop." Pink voice cut thought Pearl, Pearls voices cut off. An order was given, undeniable and stopping her from speaking any further. Her diamond approached her. Kneeling down to be at her eye level. "I didn't ask you to admit anything or apologize, my pearl." Pinks hand moved out and settled on Pearl's shoulder. "I asked you to remind me why I send you there? So speak again now freely."

The order removed.

Fair enough.

 

Pink wanted an answer that didn't exist. She must know she was asking for a lie.

Just do.

But…

It is fine.

Even...

"You send me there as part of the court fitting preparations."

 

"Mhm, right, that's why I send you there. "Herdiamond nodded pleased with the answer. As if she was really just reminded about it. " And what exactly were the preparations I wanted you to complete there, again? I am so forgetful. "

 

Pearl opened her lips to answer... but she really didn't know what to say. She never thought about what type of preparations she was doing... Pearl reached with her hand up and settled it on top of Pinks still on her shoulder.

 

"Oh, right I remember now. " Pink declared suddenly after several moments of silence has passed between them.

"You do, my diamond?"

"Mhm, your preparation order was to find out what exactly are the best working conditions for a zircon, so I can ensure my new Zircon can serve me to her top efficiency.  " Pink clearly made it up, Pearl knew that Pink knew it... Still, Pearl nodded, as if that was exactly how it happened. "Yes, my diamond that was exactly the reason I went there. Thought once there the Zircon in question, she send an extra request to be completed before she would follow up with the preparations." 

Will it work? Does Pink await someone to question pearl in greater detail? Maybe she shouldn't have left the white gem back in her room. But what was she supposed to do with that gem? 

Or with the two pearls?

By now the two pearls may have reformed and escaped.

Pink hummed pulling easily Pearl's attention out her increasingly worrying mind.

"So sadly you didn't get to complete the preparations for court fitting."

Technically, she didn't.

"No my diamond. I did not." 

 

"In that case, as you displeased me I have to punish you."

 

Pearl tilted her head, unsure what was going to happen. It made sense to be punished for not completing a task. Even if it was a lie, Surface had a list of all crimes pearl done and an even longer list of crimes done as Renegade. She was quite sure Pink wasn't doing all of this just to shatter her. It didn't make sense...

Lull you in a false sense of security?

 

Pearl took a deep breath moving her hands in a diamond salute and awaiting what her diamond decided on.

"Don't you want to ask what your punishment is?"

"I am sure it will be just my diamond."

Pink stood up taking on a serious expression.

"Your punishment is that you are not allowed to get out my eyesight until I change my mind."

"Oh, I would like that." Pearl said before she could stop herself. Suddenly everything felt changed.

Pink ruffled Pearls head quite harshly completely messing up her peach hair. "You aren't supposed to like it silly!"

"Well... I cannot help it!" Pearl daringly grinned at her diamond. Her smile slowly dropped, and Pinks' hand shifted under her chin, gently raising Pearls face making her see the questioning look. Pearl answered her silently question. "... I suppose I earned that... I scared you?"

 

"You have a tendency of getting damaged."

 

"I am sorry, Pink. " Pearl attempted to fix her mess of hair, asher diamond stepped away from her. Now they were simply honest, both of them… It was odd how easily it was to say it all. It felt like things settled. Pearl decided to focus. She could wonder how much her diamond really knew, later. She could run in circles about the reasons her Pink encouraged and protected her lies. She could doubt her actions until she was paralyzed with indecision... 

 

In the end, her Renegade self was right. Less panic more doing.  Staying in her diamonds eyesight will mean no going out as renegade for a while... then again her suit was in a horrible state. She has to make a new one. One with better protection over her gem. Pearl summoned a list and started to organise priorities. "We should inform the court about going to yellows colony. Your leg ship must be checked over. "

 

"Yes. I am taking my whole court on the ship! There is more than enough room for everyone. " Pink beamed, and pearl was typing the alert. 

"It would be our first time off this planet in a while since... It's your first-time off-planet isn't it?"

She never got around to stealing that roaming eye so pearl really didn't yet leave the planet.

"Yes, my diamond."

Her diamond hummed, and Pearl sent the alert about visiting.

 

"Pearl."

 Pearl looked up at her diamond as she looked determined. "I ... with my Pearl, previous Pearl. I planned to make a spacesuit for her, but we always got distracted and never got around to doing it. "

 

"You don't have to do it for me."

 

"I know I don't have to. But I want to. I want to get you a space suit made. I can't promise you, it will ever actually be used. But just in case it is needed you will have one on the head!"

 

"Wouldnt it be more practical if I store it in my gem instead of keeping it on my head?"

 

"I know, I was making a play on keeping things on hand.... your gem is on your head. So ... that was a pun. On head instead of on hand..."

 

"Oh. That's funny."

 

"Its funnier when I don't have to explain puns."

Pink diamond rolled her eyes, yet Pearl could tell by her smile on her face that she didn't mind it all that much. Or she was already thinking about the spacesuit...

Or a fond memory of times long past?

"Either way I want one made for you." Her diamond concluded, and Pearl nodded.

Pearl nodded and placed it on to the list. The next few cycles will be busy. Properly filled with many tasks to do. Seeing the list of things to do for Pink made Pearl feel... oddly satisfied. Pearl chuckled when she with a start realized that she was finally having a more appropriate diamonds pearl workload. Pink looked at her and pearl simply grinned. It was worth it. All of it. 

She started to read all the must-do tasks needed to be done. Yellow pearl already send her a rich and detailed time table of Yellow diamonds activity to sync up with. it was really beautiful to watch the neatly accounted moments of a cycle. Each second of the day perfectly organised.

Not a single moment of rest planed.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Pink Diamond and Pearl were walking towards the building where most of the gems relating to clothing were stationed. The buzz her diamond request has generated was visible in the rushing movements of gems down in the shadowed streets. Seeing the gems from the high up walkway was interesting, it reminded her of her renegade time and watching from the roofs. Pearl used this time to familiarize Pink with the time table presented to them.  She came to the point of extraction time when her diamond interrupted her. "Wait the extraction is planned in Blues chamber, even if Blue isn't around? "

"Yes, my diamond. Yellow is awaiting you to share the time with her. Blues chamber is bigger than Yellows as it does have a bath."

 

"And my chamber is big enough for all of the diamonds, so why Blues?" Pink huffed, crossing her hands.

 

"I do not know, my diamond. Do you wish me to suggest using your chamber?"

 

"No... don't. It just... "

 

"What, Pink?"

 

"...we can't play that game...if I share that time with Yellow."

Pearl blinked. She wanted to say that her diamond could play the game with yellow, but the serious and worried face her diamond was giving her somehow stopped her. Instead, she lowered her head just a tad so her diamond had a perfect view of her gem. It was not that hard to guess what made Pink worried. 

Her diamond wasn't worrying about the game as much as she wanted to ensure Pearl is healed properly.  

"I am not damaged... I will be fine my diamond, to skip the game."  Pearl reassured Pink.

 

“...I mean, sure you don't look hurt… but… I could have missed something.”

 

“You didn't. ” Pearl could see Pink was still not convinced so she stepped up close till she could whisper. It felt right to make sure Pink doesn't feel worried about it. Pearl was no longer doubting her choice taking the extract with her. She will do it again, to always carry a bottle of it with her. Just in case.

“I promise you if I see or even notice the smallest hint of glitching I will not waste a single moment to inform you.” 

 

“Huh, a promise,” Pink whispered back, and Pearl nodded. That was the right thing to say, Pink smiled, but there was a hint of doubt in the way pinks fingers clenched into her self hug.

 

“I will keep my promise just like you did, my diamond. So trust me.”

Pearl smiled realizing she just used similar words to her diamond. It felt like so long ago, but it was not, even a decade passed since that moment. Not even a portion of a decade had passed... pearl musing trailed off as she was captured by her diamond finally relaxing a soft pink hue on her face. It was all good.

Her pink hands dropped to the side and they continued on walking and pearl continued reading the plan out. 


Temptation.

 

This was the word that fitted what Pearl was feeling. Pearl was standing still surrounded with lots of rolls of textiles, as several gems were taking her exact measurements. Which was a real waste considering her body was exactly like any other pearl. Her diamond insisted. No one says no to diamonds when they go insist on anything.

Right now the gems were showing and explaining to Pink diamond the different materials for space suits, which are used for pilots, which are used if exposed to vacuum, and radiation, which are better suited in high gravity environments that could affect their light bodies, and which is meant for highly acidic planets that could corrode their gems, etc.

The materials were just off to the side, she could probably sneak away a few and make a better renegade suit. Yet, she already stole lots of material from the agates storages… she still didn't make a suit out of them…No time when you had to be in your diamonds' view all the time. She was paying a lot of attention to the explanations given to her diamond. Learning about all of them herself. It was inspiring her to try out combining layers for her suit. Loving it when her diamond asked the hows, causing the gems to explain how they sew and make the suits. So much useful information. 

They were interrupted by Yellows Pearl chime. The door opened showing five amethysts each carrying a crate. Pearl blinked, she recognized the crates, it was the same types as the ones in the storage room under the harvesting facility.  "Shining Pink diamond, grandiose Yellow Diamond is sending the promised amethyst from her newest colony." The five gems in questions placed the crates down and saluted. 

 

"Tell Yellow I am thankful for the donation to my court," Pink responded properly with a smile and eyes all but glued to the crates. Yellow pearl nodded and added.

"Yes, Pink Diamond, my diamond as well has confiscated organic materials which she is sending to you to properly handle them... " The five new gems moved to stand beside the door. Pink moved closer to the crates.

"Ooh, what kind of organics?"

 

Yellow Pearl nodded towards the amethyst who stepped back forward and opening their lids. Pearl stretched her neck to get a look and she confirmed what she awaited. It was the eggs surrounded in some plant matter and heating pads. Pink was already touching those things, completely unaffected that some of those eggs looked slimy and most likely had a smell. Pearl didn't dare to breathe in case they do smell. Her hearing sharpened, the world turning to a single pinpoint as she heard the step behind her back.

She spun around, hand shooting out to punch. Her fist stopped half risen as she noticed the gem with the materials was the cause of movement. The cause of the sound behind her back. The gem was holding a light blue cloth up.

 

"Why did you turn around? I need to see how the colour fits on your back and with your hair."

 

"Yes, I am sorry... was surprised," Pearl mumbled turning back around. Pearl took a breath, the eggs did have a smell. Her light form clenched. She felt the soft textile be put over her back. She forced herself in a relaxed stance. There was no reason to fight right now, no harm can come to her. She was simply surprised as she briefly lost track of where the gem was. Distracted with the crates. There were two gems four steps off to her left. One was cutting the material left of the door seven steps away from Pearl. The amethyst was now standing off to the right of the door, Pink was in between Pearl and them. Pink was right there absorbed in inspecting the eggs. Yellow pearl saluting two steps away from Pinks left side.



“Brilliant Pink diamond there is more information that may interest you, Zircon White has been found... " Pearl looked over to Yellow, so the gem reformed quite quickly. Agate's words were on the edge of Pearl mind. Did White Zircon already tell she didn't show Yellow Pearl around? 

 

"Great, I will send to bring her here to thank her myself for protecting you." Pink diamond said as she moved the eggs a bit around in the crates. Placing the lid back on. Pearl gulped, that was a disaster coming up...she had a plan but maybe... she could ask Pink... not to...

"That will not be possible." Yellow Pearl spoke never dropping her perfect pose.

"Huh? Why so?" Pink asked, while Pearl stepped away from the spot walking up to Pink diamond side. Much to the huffing annoyance of the gem trying to plan the spacesuit for her. 

"She has been shattered by a pearl." Yellow pearl informed and Pink head whiplashes to the side to look at Pearl. Pearl blinked, feeling her diamonds gaze. Pearl shook her head fast in silence. Her diamond eyes big and in disbelief. Pearl could all but hear her diamond thinking. She shook her head even harder. No, she was not the one who shattered the white gem. 

"It is quite disbelieving. The pearl admitted to the crime and is now held in a holding cell awaiting detailed questioning before she will be shattered." Her diamond let out a soft breath at hearing that. 

 

"Why would she do that?" Pearl asked. She asked a question aloud, in the presence of so many gems. She was in shock... How, Why?

Why would...?

"Exactly what I wanted to know," Pink spoke, and Yellow pearl nodded answering to the best of her knowledge. 

 

"The pearl master has been sent to harvesting unfoundedly according to it, after which she was brought as a betting prize in the disgusting gladiator ring games. She reformed and spotted Zircons gem poofed, the pearl used the chance to shatter the gem. She then waited patiently in a diamond salute for the guards to come."

 

Pearl blinked, wondering what happened to the second pearl. 

 

"That is horrible." Pink had covered her lips with her hand. Eyes big and about to cry. Pearl wasn't sure which part was more upsetting to her. That she waited in a diamond salute, or that nothing about the second pearl was said. Or even the fact Renegade left the gem defenceless. Should she have taken the pearls somewhere else to reform? 

"There...." Yellow Pearl voice shivered for a moment before she continued unaffected. "... is evidence that the Zicron was involved in trials, a lot of them, that have not been fair, that she presented false evidence to move the judging in her favour, my diamond will go to the bottom of this. Do you shining Pink Diamond wish to receive the reports about this as well."

 

"Yes, please," Pink said without a moment of hesitation. As Yellow pearl put down that request in her screen Pink ordered all gems to leave her alone. Pink's hand was placed on Pearl's shoulder, keeping her in place. She was still not to leave her diamonds eyes. All gems left her and her diamond alone. Pearl stayed by Pink side. They were alone with several crates of eggs and a lot discarded textiles that were left behind to obey the diamond order as fast as possible. Pearl picked one up and stored it in her gem as if simply cleaning the room from its mess. If she was asked what she was doing she would say cleaning. She wasn't asked.

 

"You looked shocked hearing about this." Pink stated.

 

"It is horrible, my diamond..." Pearl carefully said, finding calming the movements of picking and storing.

 

"Yes...it is...did you know that Pearl?" Pink picked one of the dark blue anti-radiation textiles and offered it to Pearl to store it as she asked. Pearl raised her head and meet Pinks eyes taking the material out her fingers. Clenching the material in her white fingers. 

 

"No my diamond." The last piece of a dark blue radiation-proof material was stored in Pearls gem. Pearl eyes dropping down to the ground searching for more to store and clean.

 

"Did you know the Zircon had a pearl."

 

Pearl looked at her diamond, it didn't feel like she was asked a question. It felt like a statement. Pearls fingers connected. Pearl watched as her thumbs keep replacing each other on which was on top. "Of course not my diamond. I couldn't know about them as they were obtained with illegal means. " That was what was she suppose to say, right? 

"Them? Not her? As in more than one?"

"As in at least two, I wouldn't know about," Pearl answered, feeling slightly lost on what she was saying. Her diamond nodded as if everything was clear to her now. Reaching out and pulling Pearl in a firm hug for several long moments. Pearl wished she had some of that clarity on this. Was the shattered gem shards on her hands too now? It was her who let the pearls deiced the Zircons fate. What did she expect would happen?

Them escaping. Not... didn't know they hated so much to...

She was the one who put the blanket over the Zircons gem ensuring she would not regenerate before the pearls.

 

Her diamond thought it was her who...

Pearl felt sick.

Maybe she was responsible in the end...

Have to live with this.

Pearl gripped harder into her diamond hug, breathing in her smell. She was thinking that Renegade would...

Pearl took another breath the smell from the plant matter and eggs filling her mind. Even if it was not her weapon that did it... She decided to leave the gem defenceless with her two bet won Pearls... The sapphires in the cell came to her mind. Not just them... so many other gems were calling out to White Zircon... because of her crimes. Because of how she treated all gems. Yellow Pearl just mentioned how many trials she may have manipulated…. Why should she get upset a horrible abusive gem got judged by the very gems who she used. Maybe it would have been better if her fate was decided by Yellow Diamond, but...

Pink slowly unwrapped her arms from Pearl. 

"Sorry, my Pearl," Pink whispered softly.

Pearl felt that she didn't regret her choice. It sure shocked her that the result was something so permanent but... She could live with that? How could she ... be fine with that... Not fine, but... The gem was not good, she got what she seeded. 

And what about the pearl who did it?

Indeed what about her... 

She will get shattered for harming another gem. She could have run if she wanted to live. Just like Pearl ran away from the guards as the renegade. Like the second pearl must have done. She didn't run, she waited for the guards... She had to know what it meant to wait... No one would know she even existed if she just ran away. She could have lived on the run.

 

Pearl knew she couldn't save the gem but.... she could remember her. Just like she remembered that Jasper, she didn't save. Couldn't have saved in her ignorance and unawareness. But remembering...

That was in her power.

 

Power. 

Her power?... 

 

A pearl with power, what an odd and novel idea. Yet, she had power, she used her power to take Fire Agate down... Pearl blinked rapidly, seeing Pink observe her. Pearl gave a nod. She is fine. 

And with White Zircon gone, no one is left to say a fake showed Yellow Pearl around. It will be Fire Agate's word against our faked recording. That pearl did us a favour.

Yes, she owed it to that Pearl to thank her for helping her in her own way. Owed even to remember her.

 

She was able to live on with this. Yes, she wanted to keep on living. 

"I will be fine, my Pink. We have more tasks to complete."

"...Ok, I will believe you, my Pearl."Pink Diamond stood up and looked at the mirror ensuring she is looking proper and doesn't have her clothes wrinkled.

"Don't forget what you promised." 

"Never." Pearl did the same cleaning the tear tracks from her face. Unsure when she even cried now.

 

Chapter Text

Pink Diamond and her Pearl continued with their scheduled responsibilities.

Cycle after cycle passed by, neither mentioning anything relating the event of the past few cycles. The event that occurred during the space suit fitting. There was no time to even think about it. No time to waste on questioning, not a moment of rest was planned.

 

Check the ship.

Make a list of items to bring aboard. 

Vetting said items. 

Prepare the court for the journey, which meant having a brisk court fitting to hear out any needs that the court may have during the absence away from Homeworld. Any gems in need to find a replacement for their shifts and guard duties could report it.

Request replacements for those that are to leave Homeworld. With all of Pink's court leaving, they had to request Yellow Diamond's gems to be the replacements and take over the patrolling of Pink's palace.

Move the eggs to a moist room. 

Condition a room in the leg ship to be moist for the eggs.

 

Pearl accepted the claim that planned work was offering her. S pending the time glued to her Pink's side. The business that came with work felt good to her.

 

As the trial approached, Pearl felt like time itself was slowing down. Each moment feeling like it didn't want to pass. Pink's throne was set up at the side, in a gallery overviewing the tribunal, with enough room there for the whole court - including the new five Amethysts - to witness the trial. 

Inspect the seat.

Inform the court of where exactly they must stand at the balcony.

 

 

 

It was finally time.

 

 

 

Pearl sighed, seeing Fire Agate step up on the podium, smiling and in such a good mood, was proving to be harder than she had anticipated. Pink sat on her throne and Pearl remained by her side. Pink's court followed suit, everyone took their positions.

 

Pearl felt Surface repressing down her feelings, giving out a perfect empty pearl stare. She glanced across Pink's court. Her eyes focused onto two gems: Green Zircon was looking over her shoulder at the Nephrite. Pearl watched them exchange a smile, both gems looking no longer as troubled. Green, returning looking forward, noticed Pearls unfocused look. The green gem stiffened at the possibility of having been caught, the hue on her cheeks quickly vanishing as she gulped. Pearl returned the look to the podium. There was no reason to make them more nervous. 

 

The lights turned on and a Yellow Zircon started to read the accusations.

 

There were a lot more points than Pearl had even been aware of. They were read in order of severity. Between the smuggling and the shattering of perfectly fine gems was the misuse of positions of power. Followed by the damaging and endangering of Diamond's property. Until it finally concluded with the heaviest crime of all.

 

Hiding information from the diamond, by omission. 

 

An awkward bubbly laugh nearly broke out of Pearl’s lips. If that was the most serious of all the crimes, then her alone was as guilty as Fire Agate. It was such a ridiculous idea. Was that Homeworld’s law? The heaviest crime being, not attacking a Diamond's personal Pearl, but…. Lying by omission… Pearl blinked.

 

Pink Diamond was encouraging her lies. She was all but telling her to keep omitting facts.

 

Pink's hand settled on top of her head. Pearl's mind came to a halt after the sudden touch... "Pearl," whispered Pink. Relaxing, Pearl closed her eyes before looking to the scene below. Pink slowly removed her hand.  

 

"My Diamond, the only crime I admit to is finding use in broken gems and defects. No single gem in my care was ever anything but already cracked, damaged, off-colour, flawed or simply not efficient enough." Fire Agate's voice rang across the room.

 

"White Zircon appeared to alter the data and forge evidence to prove the gems in question were never efficient enough." The prosecutor Zircon spoke. Pearl summoned a screen and looked her up. The Yellow Zircon was not only at Yellow Diamond's service but also in her court. The 27th Zircon of Yellow Diamond's inner court. A high position for the massive court of Yellow Diamond.

 

"If that is true, I was not aware of any horrible misdeeds done by that Zircon."

 

Pearl could feel the anger from the two gems all but radiating behind her back. Fire Agate was lying. The Diamonds were able to tell when a gem lied...Except that belief was… absurd. Maybe that was what was said to every gem so they wouldn’t even try? Just like how much of a Diamond extract could be hazardous for gems… What else was just told to them that was absurd lies?...

 

"I see." Yellow Diamond nodded slowly. 

 

Her Zircon cleared her voice and continued. "Then explain why you gave that pearl to White Zircon. The pearl claims you were quite aware of all what White Zircon did and even put asked her to take down gems, as she said, ‘Fire Agate had put hits on gems that she disliked, or were in her way’."

 

"And you believe it?" 

 

"Pearls cannot lie."

 

"Ha!" roared Fire Agate, without losing that sharp sound, odious sound, the grin never falling from her face. She explained. "It is a defect! A defect I tell you! It is capable of not only telling outright lies but able to change its recorded memories. It's an unreliable source! I reiterate statements coming from defects cannot be trusted."

 

"But... " Yellow Zircon started to say, yet she was interrupted as Fire Agate talked over her.

 

"Do you have any proof that does not rely on words from gems from my facility? A single claim that doesn't rely on broken and defective gems?"

 

Yellow Zircon didn't react to Fire Agate's loud complaints, instead, she continued as if she hadn't been interrupted.

 

"...You didn’t answer the question. Why did you grant the defective gem to White Zircon?" The yellow gem inquired, trying to deal with Fire Agate's tactics. 

 

"I admit, I was trying to find a use for gems who are useless. White Zircon took that pearl of my hands because she needed a pearl for cleaning. She didn’t need the pearl for its memory or to run tasks that involved talking to anyone. In such a case its defect was not affecting its other still working function."

 

And so it kept going. Every time the Yellow Zircon brought up any witness, Fire Agate would shoot the gem's testimony down by saying it was coming from a defect. Or that she was not aware of any wrongdoing, such as the smuggled organics, which she claimed came as gifts from gems on nearby colonies; twisting every misdeed she'd done into the story of a benevolent gem that had been trying to save resources. Pink had been shifting in her seat for a while. Pearl bit her lip, hoping for her Diamond to hold out just a little bit longer. 

 

Finally, Yellow Pearl was brought up.

 

"You have attacked Yellow Diamond's Pearl. How do you plead?"

 

"I did, but! Hear me out and you will understand my misjudgment: I was informed that a rough off-colour pearl had broken into my facility. A pearl able to impersonate other gems!" Fire Agate stopped as if in disbelief herself. Gems around gasped, unable to give credence to what they were hearing. Pearl glanced at Pink who was sitting still, no longer shifting, her attention now completely on the Fire Agate.

 

"So when I saw such an unbelievable sight like Yellow Diamond's pearl! I assumed it must have been it. Impersonating a Diamond's pearl no less! Understandably, I felt obliged to shatter this quite dangerous gem. I admit with heavy guilt that I misjudged. This pretender gem was not disguising as Yellow Diamond's pearl but the very same Zircon that brought Yellow Diamond's personal pearl down there! I found out about it when I fought it afterwards. Sadly the guards apprehended me before I could turn the defect into shards."

 

Fire Agate moaned in distress as she added. "That gem is capable of taking other gem's form and it's running free and doing who knows what… What sort of crimes it could-"

 

The Zircon interrupted Fire Agate's monologue.

 

"Yellow Diamond's pearl and Pink Diamond's pearl went together to meet the Zircon in her office. This has been verified by both our glorious Yellow Diamond and the shining Pink Diamond."

 

"I bet Zircon was already replaced at that point in time."

 

"Such a claim does not have any substantial proof behind." 

 

"Just think about it, White Zircon had been already dissipated when she was shattered by her reformed pearl. Who took her form?  I bet it was this defect, so it could assume Whites  Zircons identity. It most likely dissipated the pearl too, so it couldn't tell on it. I wouldn't be surprised to hear they worked together. "

 

Pearl blinked, Fire Agate was not so far off from the truth. Pearl took a breath. She always assumed it would come down to this. The whispers that came after what Fire Agate said were all around Pearl. Gems speculating, wondering, fearing. Nearly like t he gems around the pit, howling for their winning bet. She was not there, this was different. 
Whispers, instead of howls and yells.

 

Pearl opened her eyes.

 

"All I was doing, I did it for the wellbeing of Gemkind."

 

"Explain how making gems fight each other was for the wellbeing of Gemkind. Or are you denying the existence of those fights?" Yellow's Zircon asked, and that question made Yellow Diamond move for the first time during this trial. She crossed her legs and raised her eyebrow, waiting to hear the answer from the Agate. 

 

"Gems who get to laugh, gems who receive entertainment prove to be more efficient in their activities. To perform their duties better. And it has been such a long time since the last Diamond ball. The motivation is failing them. I simply used a few broken things to raise the spirits of all who needed it." Fire Agate bowed as she said this, Pearl felt Surface pushing her bubbling feeling harder down to ensure they wouldn't bubble out and spill out. 

 

Silence.

 

The prosecutor Zircon had nothing left to offer. Now, it was Pearl's turn. 

 

"If that is all then-" Yellow Diamond spoke, uncrossing her legs.

 

"You have two witnesses, Pink." Pearl rushed hastily and just loud enough to grab her Diamond's attention.

 

"I have two witnesses?" Her Diamond responded just as softly, leaning closer to pearl.

 

Pearl stepped forward. "Yes, my Diamond. I will call forth your two witnesses!" Her voice was strong and loud and announcing. Grabbing the attention from the podium under them. 

 

Yellow Diamond turned her eyes up to where Pink was, was perplexed and unsure on what to do.

 

"I warned you about disrupting." Yellow Diamond frowned her tonne a warning.

 

"Pearl." Pink said, and Pearl nodded as if it was something she had been ordered to do. "Zircon, the first of Pink Diamond's court, and Nephrite, the fifth of Pink Diamond's court."

 

The two gems did walk forward till they were next to Pink and Pearl, but both looked like they were about to come apart. Pearl felt Fire Agates stare towards them. It was raising the hair on her neck. Luckily Surface was already holding her emotions under control or else Pearl was sure she would have spun around pulling any weapon from her gem. The same stare desiring ones end directed in their general direction.

 

The two witnessed were staying close to each other. There was a tense focus on them and Pearl felt sorry for that. She was about to speak up so she could urge them to share what they saw Fire Agate do. What she didn’t expect was the same Fire Agate interjecting.

 

"That Nephrite, I recognize, she is a defect, too. So anything she says will be false and should be discarded..." 

 

Pink stood up. "They are part of my court! They cannot defects!"

 

Her voice echoed strong and authoritative, brimming with energy. Pink continued, slamming her hands on the thorns armrests.

 

"I hand-picked them after evaluating both of them!" 

 

She didn’t, Pearl noted for herself but… the way these two gems looked at Pink, Pearl knew they would do anything for Pink after saying that. After protecting them in this manner… Pearl looked down at the beaming Fire Agate, who still had something more to say.

 

"Pink Diamond, I must say with great regret, they have tricked you. You are wrong."

 

"Silence." Yellow Diamond's voice echoed in the room. No one dared to even blink in the room anymore. 

 

"Fire Agate. Are you insulting a Diamond, by implying we made a mistake?" Yellow Diamond didn't raise her voice, yet a lot of gems flinched as if they were yelled on.

 

"Oh my, of course not, those defective gems can be quite crafty and they simply tricked... "

 

"Diamonds do not ever make mistakes." Yellow's voice still didn't raise in volume but the gems started to shake in fear as if she had just tried to smash them into dust.

 

"A defect can never become part of a Diamond court. If that was not true, then I would have to consider you one. Tell me now, do you still doubt our perfect judgment?"

 

For the first time in the trial, Pearl could see Fire Agate smile dropping off her face. That was satisfying to see. 

No one dared to make a single sound. The single moment felt like thousands of cycles. 

Pink spoke up breaking the silence that heavily rested on everyone. "As said, I present two gems from my court as witnesses. I order you two to speak truly of Fire Agate's acts and intentions. Be honest about what you saw her do."

 

"My shining Diamond… I don’t have anything prepared. I don’t even know where to start..." Green Zircon whimpered in a low voice.

 

Pink leaned over a bit to touch the two gems in question. 

"Don’t be nervous, you are my gems. I want to keep you, you both fit so perfectly with my other gems. I am sure you two will do marvellously. Just give your best shot. I believe in you." Pink gave them a wide smile. Pearl observed as the Zircon's stance changed, growing prouder, more confident. A complete opposite of the mess that was crying down in the tunnels back before.

 

Both green gems walked down the stairs and into the spotlight in front of Yellow Diamond. 

 

It was kind of amazing, watching Green Zircon question her darling. Seeing Yellow Zircon easily adapting the questions she had for both of them. How the Zircons cut down every argument Fire Agate offered, by giving counterarguments or formulating questions that showed the truth in the actions of the Agate. Some of those questions Pearl didn't think she would have ever thought off. 

 

"They look like they are thriving, wouldn't you say so Pearl?" Her Diamond whispered.

 

"Yes, my Diamond. Yes, I do. " It was their revenge.  

 

"I have heard enough." Yellow Diamond concluded, dismissing Pink's gems, who made their way back to their positions. 

 

"I have come to a decision."

 

All of the gems present fell silent, waiting for Diamond's final sentence.

 

"You will not be shattered, instead-" 

 

"Thank you, my Diamond. I knew you would understand." Fire Agate rushed to praise and to show thank.

Yellow was glaring as she continued. "Instead. The research facility has been requesting for a while a gem capable of withstanding high heats. Your gem will be repurposed as a power source at service of their study."

 

"You can’t do that to me..."

 

"Anything else to say?" Yellow Diamond asked. Fire Agate was starting to shout. Her perfect smiling and polite facade finally cracking as she continued. 

"I obeyed you like no other. You ordered me to survive on that cursed planet. And I did everything in my power to do exactly that, all for you! I earned this! I earned the right to be happy! You cannot just take it away because a lesser gem is scared of fulfilling a greater purpose! I did not shy away from what had to be done, from fulfilling your order to survive! My squad shattered!  But I was the sole survivor! I am more worthy than any of those cracked misfits and off-minded gems!" 

 

"I don’t have time for this." Yellow’s lightning shot out from her fingers and Fire Agate was poofed. A single red gem clattered to the floor of the podium. The sound of Fire Agates gem falling to the ground echoed. Her form dissipated, to never reform again.

 

"It's… done..." Nephrite whispered staring at where the red gem was laying.

 

"Yes… she is really gone." Green Zircon stood proud and with purpose. Both were in their proper spots in Pink diamonds court.

Pink diamond who sat back in her seat. Looking at the reg gem, being collected by a Peridot. 

"...She only wanted to be happy…" Her Diamond whispered. Pearl looked up at her and seeing tears falling. It was odd to Pearl.  

"...Her happiness came to the cost of a lot of other gem lives..." Pearl explained in the same hushed voice.

 

"I know, Pearl… It’s not fair. If she had only tried to be happy in a different way..."

 

"...We cannot change their choices…. But I… I like to remember them. It's the least I, as a pearl, can do." Pearl returned the whisper, unsure of whether she was telling that to Pink or if she was telling that to herself. 

 

Definitely both.

Chapter Text

Yellow Diamond was walking with Pink… Pearl walking along where her Diamond could easily see her. Yellow pearl was walking on the side of her own Diamond just a step behind her. 

 

The Diamonds were talking, or more correctly, Yellow was talking down to Pink, not sounding all too pleased.

 

The taller Diamond was explaining how Pink shouldn't have allowed any gem to question her authority, how it was a mistake she was not the one demanding the gem getting shattered. How she was setting a bad example to the gems of her court. 

 

That she needed to enforce more respect. Not go and encourage them to do their work. They should do their work on their own. Without needing a Diamond to praise them into everything they do. How did she plan to keep it up if her court grew? Did she plan on wasting time praising gems into guarding, into piloting, into writing reports? There was no way she could ever keep up with it. And once she stopped praising them, they would stop working and the whole carefully crafted system would fall apart. Nothing would get done.

 

Was that what she wanted?

 

How in her right mind would she ever get a colony if she kept on these antics? How she should demand respect and follow the established way of submitting evidence next time. Not just to call it out like some kind of unruly gem.

 

And it better not be all done for nothing.

 

"Should at least been informed..." Pink mumbled. Pearl wondered if that comment was meant for her. She didn't inform her or hinted on it as she didn’t want to give a chance for that Agate to think of a way to dismiss them... A part of Pearl felt it was safer for the court gems this way. 

The door to the extraction room was up ahead. Pearl took a breath. 

 

"My Diamond." Pink all but jumped at the chance to stray from the subject.

"Did something important arrive or happen that I must attend to at this very moment?"

 

Pearl was about to inform her about her absence during the extraction... yet her Diamond was clearly demanding of her that she ask something else. 

 

"Yes, my Diamond." Think of something believable. "The eggs. The status of the eggs has changed and they need your personal attention."

 

  "Eggs?" A confused Yellow spoke up, stopping dead on her tracks. A moment passed as if she had realized something and then picked Pink Diamond up by the back. "I gave you those organic things so you would deal with them."

 

"That’s what I am doing. I am trying to make the organics come out of them!" Pink proudly announced. Pearl suppressed a sigh: it wouldn't be proper to show annoyance at the upcoming lesson from Yellow. It wasn't even directed at Pearl and yet she herself was tired of it.

 

"Pink.” Yellow Diamond rubbed the bridge of her nose.”Where do you think you will keep those things if they do leave their eggs?"

"Um..." Pink wasn't given a moment of time to answer as Yellow continued talking.

"What do they eat?"

 

"Oh, I can try a few things." Pink clapped her hands as she added fast, trying to draw Yellow’s attention away from the potential upcoming monologue.

 

"Those creatures are a waste of energy and space. Inefficient."

 

"So you know what’ll come out of the eggs?"

 

"Yes, some organic."

 

"Will it have scales or feathers?"

 

"Why does that matter?"

 

"How many eyes will it have? Will it be able to see in the dark? How big will they become?"

 

"I don't know. It doesn't matter. What I do know is that it’s a waste."

 

"But what if it is not a waste?"

 

"But what if it is?"

 

"What if it's some really efficient organic able to smell out large mineral deposits?"

 

"...I doubt that’s the case, Pink."

 

"But you don't know for sure."

 

Suddenly, Pearl observed Yellow Diamond blink, a twinkle of curiosity crossing her face before disappearing. Pink started to sing in a teasing manner, still held by the bigger Diamond by the shoulder pad of her upper garment.

"You don't know~" Pink all but grinned, releasing herself from Yellow's grasp and floating up to her shoulder. Pearl realised that Pink had won the argument. Yellow Diamond would let her keep the eggs. 

 

"Please~ If they are useless like you say, I will deal with them later. But let me find out if they are useful first!" 

Yellow Diamond sighed, pressing the bridge of her nose. 

"Pink's Pearl."

Pearl jumped slightly, caught off guard by another Diamond addressing her.

 

 "Yes, shining Yellow Diamond." She bowed and saluted deeply.

 

"While we have our extraction, check on those things, and make sure they are fine. I doubt they actually need you to check on it, Pink. Your pearl can do that for you." Yellow Diamond ordered her, eyes on Pink, explaining her action to her before she could start scheming.

 

"Yes, brilliant Yellow Diamond." Pearl saluted one last time.

 

"I wanted to check on them myself!" Pink complained anyway, standing now on Yellow Diamond's shoulder.

 

"No, that would be a waste of time. Diamonds are above that. You need to learn to delegate lower tasks to the proper tools at your disposition. You cannot do everything yourself."

 

"You mean like you do?"

 

"Even I delegate lower tasks to the correct gems!" Yellow yelled in her own defence. The taller Diamond looked away, frowning.

 

Pearl felt sorry that she got away but not her Pink... The two Diamonds walked up to the door of the extraction room, Yellow’s Pearl opened it for them. "My Diamond!" Pearl called, yet her call attracted both Diamond's attention. Yellow Diamond's frown deepened into a displeasing one. Pearl felt the shiver of fear and unworthiness run up her back at the prospect of disappointing a Diamond .

 

"What are you still doing here?"

 

Pearl gave a deep bow, keeping her voice steady with Surface's help. "I have a specific order from my Diamond, which is in contradiction to the request of your brilliance Yellow Diamond. I am to stay in my Diamond's view, yet to fulfil the request I should..."

Pink looked at Yellow and then at Pearl. "Pearl, go and do the required things that need to be done before the travel. I hope you are done before the extraction is complete." 

 

"See, was that so hard, Pink? You can give orders." Yellow Diamond spoke to Pink who was still on her shoulder as she entered the room. Pearl looked at Yellow Pearl. "Could you chime me before they finish?"

Yellow Pearl nodded, the door to Blue's extraction room closed.



Chapter Text

Pearl walked fast and determined. In all the talking Yellow did, she did say a few things Pearl had found useful. She had told Pink that she would not have any gem shattered until she got around to appoint a new Agate to the harvesting facility. She said that she will have to allocate the guards to two separate levels.

She had to ensure the holding cells were properly watched over for the one gem in it, as well as having all the guarded gems reevaluated to see if they are indeed defects or not. 

 

One warping and Pearl was in front of the holding area, purposely marching towards the Topaz guards, who, of course, crossed their blades in front of her face. 

"I am to check on the prisoner gem."

 

"Didn't get a message about that." One of the Topazes spoke. Pearl looked over to the left side.

Pearl blinked, her smile spreading. "I am Pink Diamond's pearl on an errand."

"No message, not getting in."

The Topaz stubbornly repeated, the other Topaz stayed silent.

Pearl frowned.

Do have something that may work.

"Forgive me, I didn't explain myself properly. I am on both Pink Diamond and Yellow Diamond's request."

"No message, not getting in." 

 

Pearl closed her eyes and focused, she felt the Renegade and Surface yelling at each other briefly before the memory started to replay. The memory of just a bit ago, showcasing in front of the Topazes. 

 

“While we have our extraction, check on… and make sure they are fine. I doubt they actually need you to check on it, Pink. Your pearl can do that for you.” Yellow diamond ordered, Pink Diamond on her shoulder.

 

Pearl smiled and, realising that only two words had been skipped over, she continued. "There was no time to send a message. This way, it's more efficient."

 

The Topaz on the right removed her weapon allowing Pearl to get through. The left one grunted and ended up giving up too.

"No message… you should not be getting in..."   She complained but the door opened and Pearl entered.

Pearl hurried, there were just two guards at the door, which left the hallways empty. The door closed behind her. Pearl touched the panel on the wall and a brief moment later, she got access to the cell she wanted. After one more moment, she took a detailed map of all the holding facility. There was no other way in or out of the place but the door she had used.

 

She hurried. 

 

She arrived, noticing the white wall cell and its inhabitant. With another touch on the correct panel, the wall changed and became see-through, allowing both gems to see and hear each other.

Two pearls were looking at each other. 

Pearl spoke first. 

"...Did it make you happy to do it?"

 

The question all but spilt out from her. The other pearl blinked at her. Pearl wasn't sure what caused the blink: was it the question, the lack of manners she had just displayed or that she was Pink Diamond's Pearl? 

 

"Tell your Diamond I don't understand what she's asking me."

So it was the Pink Diamond's Pearl fact that made the other pearl confused the most. Pearl stepped closer towards the energy field, closer towards the other Pearl, who finally stood up and saluted - taking them at ready stance. Pearl inhaled, noticing the smell of the holding area. It felt electrifying and stale.

 

"I am not here on my Diamond's request. I am asking you if it made you happy to shatter the gem? Did you enjoy shattering the White Zircon?"

The other pearl stared at her. The moments passed and Pearl felt her time slipping. She couldn't waste the time, she had no idea how long the Diamond's would take in the extraction chamber.

"Answer it," Pearl ordered.

 

"What kind of question is that?"

 

"Did you enjoy shattering her?"

 

"No." The other pearl finally answered her. Hearing it made Pearl relax. This pearl was not like the Fire Agate, relishing in the destruction of other gems, even if she did shatter someone. 

 

"Do you have anything you want to be remembered?" Pearl offered the one thing she could do for the other pearl. It appeared, though, the other pearl could not follow her offer at all, confusion once more settled on her face.

 

"Look, just go before you get in trouble. I did what I had to do. If it troubles you, just don't call up the memory of whatever that gem did to you two Diamond's Pearls." The other Pearl actually clapped her hands to dismiss her. Pearl smiled a polite smile. She had no time to waste. She stepped even closer, now feeling the energy field buzzing against her light. A warning that she couldn't get any closer without hurting herself or having her form disrupted and dissipated. 

 

And explaining why her gem would be formless in front of this cell was impossible.

"I feel responsible." Pearl offered in a way of explaining her offer.

"You don't..." The other Pearl started, but Pearl interrupted her by raising her hand to silence her.

"Who do you think dissipated her and placed her gem under that cloth on the table, so you two could reform before her?"

The other Pearl's lips parted in a silent shock at what Pearl had whispered in her face, barely above the sizzling of the energy.

"So please, if you have anything you want to have remembered, tell me. I will remember it for you. It's the only thing I can offer you." Was it an offer of apology, or gratitude, Pearl had no idea. She hoped the other Pearl would not ask her.

 

"Why would you tell me that? I could report your actions. Maybe they will let me out for that information."

 

"You could. But you are to be shattered as you admitted to harming another gem, therefore you are damaged or defective. Everything you say will be considered untrue. There is nothing else I can do for you."

 

"You could open this cell and let me run away." The other Pearl sounded checky as she said that, both pearls knew that was not an option, yet the other Pearl felt like she had to try.

 

"If I choose that, I would get in trouble. The guards saw me enter here. I checked the maps, there is only one way in and out. I am sorry, but you made your choice of not running away as the second pearl did. You chose to stay and shatter her. I am sorry." Pearl avoided looking at the other Pearl. Yellow's Pearl hadn't chimed yet, so maybe there was still a bit of time? Distracting herself, she wondered: Would she let her escape if she found a way? She didn't know, she was terrified of her own answer to that question. Both the yes and no terrified her. What was right to do? Could she dare to decide?  



"You know about the second pearl… Please, she didn't do anything wrong."

 

"I don't plan to report her. So I am asking you again, as I cannot let you escape, what do you wish to be remembered."

 

The other Pearl sat down on the floor. "She is not like me, she has an owner she tries to return to... my master, however, is no more..." Pearl looked back at the Pearl on the other side of the fizzling energy shield. What would she do if she had no one to serve?

 

"I am sorry."

I can think of a lot.

No one is asking you.

 

"Don't be, we were both defective, my master and me, I mean... I danced with her. I suppose you as a Diamond's Pearl wouldn't know how that feels."

 

Pearl stayed silent waiting to see if there was more. There was.

 

"As we spun around each other, following no proper steps, I only wanted to get lost in her purple eyes, and she wanted to get lost in my own. There was no longer me and her but... only ‘I’. It doesn't make sense, does it?"

 

A question.

 

"...Not fully... but I do know how it feels to dance with your own master.“ Why was she answering it? It felt nice to talk to someone other than herself. Pearl may never have another opportunity to talk and share this. 

 

The other Pearl stared in disbelief. "You... are Pink Diamond's..."

 

"Yes. Pink Diamond does not feel happy with how the world is… As we danced... It felt amazing but we only danced once and I felt like I was swept away by her care and energy..."

 

"You two didn't get lost in each other?"

 

"...I don't understand..."

 

"It's okay... you know, there is actually something I want you to remember for me. It's a gem's name."

Pearl nodded. 

"It's Supernova Hessonite." 

 

"That's not a real gem, was your master a Hessonite?"

 

"No, my master wasn't a Hessonite. But you are right, she isn't real, she will never be real again after my owner's shattering, and once I am gone, all of her will be lost forever. All but her name that you will remember."

 

"...Is that some kind of puzzle?" 

The other pearl shook her head. Pearl sighed, it didn't have to make any sense. She simply had to remember. The name was committed to memory.

"Is that all?"

 

"Yes."

 

Pearl stood up. "I am sorry, that I cannot do anything more for you."

 

"Don't be, you did well... You are a good pearl. Thank you."

The praise felt oddly satisfying, even if it was coming from someone else but her Diamond. Pearl hurried back, feeling lighter on her feet and clearer in her mind.

Pearl had yet one more thing to check on. The status of the eggs, just so that she had something to report back...

 

 

Chapter Text

It was time.

The weather was perfect like always, the sun was shining down on homeworld. A lot of gems were coming out and taking their position. It was time to wish the diamonds a good journey. Pearl was standing by her diamond already inside the leg ship, watching as the gems colour-coordinated the four diamonds symbol. 

The leg ship was ready, the last few things just being carried in and secured in the storage portion of the legs. Even the eggs have been taken care off, no activity has been observed. In the cockpit was quite the buzz of activities, Pearls eyes were looking over the room. Everything has been cleaned and polished to the point one could any surface as a mirror. Who stared back at Pearl in the pink polished surfaces was a pearl dressed in a space-suit ...

It felt... good.

 

 

She really enjoyed how form fitting it was, it reminded her of her renegade outfit. The only thing off was the lack of mask. Pearl enjoyed looking at her reflection, and she was not the only one. Pink was looking at her a lot. Her Pink diamond was eagerly jumping in place, constantly asking the first Peridot of her court and the first Nephrite when they will be already ready for take-off.

 

The two first gems looked panicky, which was really odd to Pearl. All five Nephrites were in their positions seated in front of the instruments and having belts across them fixing them into their chairs and all but the newest looked worried and ... a bit pale in Pearl's opinion. 

"I am sorry, my Diamond, but the new amethysts given by Yellow Diamond are taking a bit longer. It appears your first Amethyst forgot to inform them of the court's travel procedures."

The first Peridot explained going back to tell someone to double-check on the rubies knots... Pearl raised her eyebrow unsure about what knots were meant. Looking over she saw Zircon stand relaxed and clam. The green gem noticed her glance and made a small bow. "Glimmering Pearl, is it your first time travelling?" 

She was spoken to, it filled Pearl with a mix of not being used to it, a bit of pride and mostly confusion.

"Glimmering...?" Pearl narrowed her eyes, her diamond shifted and answered.

"Yes, it is her first time! I cannot wait to show her how Homeworld looks from space! Have you travelled before my first Zircon?"

 

"Yes, my brilliant diamond. I travelled a few times on drop ships and even twice on Yellow diamonds hand ship. I am quite familiar with the process." 

Green Zircon bowed deeply in respect. 

 

"No, you are not!" The first Peridot rushed directly up to green Zircon face. 

"You are just as clueless as shining Pinks Diamond glimmering pearl. Why aren't you holding onto the safety rail? And why have you not yet put on the safety belt?" 

Pearl blinked again, now the first Peridot called her glimmering... her suspicion focused on green Zircon. Did she start doing that? Looking at Pink grinning face, Pearl blushed, her fingers twitched under Pinks intense stare. Somehow it felt even more intense than up till now. "You finally noticed it?" Pink chuckled with glee, speaking in a low volume. "I am so proud of it, my whole court started doing it after you know which court fitting, the one where I got two new gems."

Pearl took in a deep breath, yes she knew which court meeting. The one that left her, in Surface words, reeling

"I see.... it is unprecedented for a Pearl to...therefore it would be... not proper..." Pearl whispered in return unsure how to say that compliments for tools are ...  and Pink poked her side, effectively distracting her from finding the right word for the situation. 

"Do you dislike it?"

"My diamond, Pearls have no likes or dislikes," Pearl responded automatically, other gems could still overhear their lowered voices, even by chance.  It felt.... thrilling being so close to being discovered. Pearl licked her lip shifting in her spot. Hands feeling so empty. She wanted to jump and climb and move. Instead, she tried to stay properly still. Pink didn't relent, poking her again.

"Was that a yes my diamond, or a no my diamond?"

"No, my diamond, it's not unpleasant," Pearl answered, as she didn't really dislike it... it felt nice hearing it. It made her feel appreciated.

 

The frustrated groan of the First Peridot caught her attention back.
"It would be disrespectful to be holding onto a rope and be seated when my diamond is standing." Zircon answered.

"Fine then stand and hold onto it, but do not come back to me complaining!" The Peridot shouted and turned towards Pearl with a determined fury in her eyes. 

"My shining Diamond, your glimmering Pearl...you told her about previous takeoffs....?" The fury didn't leak into the tone of the first Peridots voice. The tone was exactly acceptable when talking to a Diamond.

"I will be careful." PInk huffed finally refocusing to look at someone else than Pearl. 

"I know my Diamond, but your glimmering Pearl is not holding onto anything..." The first Peridot pointed to Pearl who tilted her head. Why was there such a bustle about take off?

"Hold onto?" Pearl asked and as if that was a signal the first Peridot waited on, she rushed up to Pearl and a smaller control pillar raised out the ground in front of her. First Peridot than unceremonially grabbed her hands and positioning them on two hand-holders perfectly fitted for pearls hands on the side of the pink pillar and adjusting her legs into two foot-straps on the ground. The sudden restriction definitely not something Pearl liked. 

Pearl stayed still in the position. 

"Are we ready to take off yet?" Pink asked not batting an eye on the first Peridot action. First Peridot looked happy with her work and rushed to the wall of the cockpit and sat on the floor a belt strapped over her chest and waist. It was such odd behaviour. Disrespectful even. The diamond ships were the safest ships there were. Able to take massive punishment and not have the cockpit damaged. Pearl wondered why going overboard with all those safety talks. "Yes, my Diamond the final Amethyst has just reported that they have been seated and secured. " It was the First Nephrite who spoke. 

 

A cry of joy and Pink jumped on the platform. The pink glow wrapping itself around her legs. 

 

And then...

 

...the world tilted. 

 

Every shift and bounce was made the world shift and jerk and Pearl's hands gripped hard on the hand-holders felling herself all but being shaken. Yelps and gasp echoed even from the older gems. Yet no Nephrite has been sent flying out their seat thanks to the heavy belts keeping them in place. Her Diamond was jumping and running. Focusing onto the screen that showcased the star map and a big pink point of where the ship should stop after the takeoff. With an unexpected jarring shift, her Diamond pushed off the ground into the sky. 

 

The blue sky changed in moments to blackness and the tossing around stopped.  The world tilted back into normality as the words autopilot started flashing on the screen in front fo them. 

 

Everything was still.

 

Pearl blinked, she somehow ended on her knees only one foot still in the strap, but her hand's grip simply didn't relax... that was...

 

"Told you so." The First Peridot said undoing the belt with a smirk. Pearl's eyes shifted to where the Zircon was... or had been. As she was on the floor gripping onto the rope, tears in her eyes. She must have been flung around. She kept laying on the floor.

The First Nephrite spoke, sounding finally clam. "Status reports are pouring in. One ruby was poofed, the knot on her safety rope was not fastened enough. All other gems report light bumps but no real problems... well..." The Pilot gem turned her chair to face her diamond and not the console a smile on her lips as she observed the state of them. "Your First Zircon has not yet sent a status report on her well being, neither did your Pearl." She pointed out and Pearl blinked.

"I am fine," Pearl spoke surprised how her voice sounded steady.  

Pink hummed. "I said I will be gentle. Are you well my First Zircon?"

 

A soft mumble came from the gem on the floor. The First Peridot marched up to the green Zicron and kneed on one knee, offering her a hand to stand up. "Only landing and takes offs are like that, most of the in-space-travel is safe unless there is gravitation pull that calls for evasion manoeuvres. Now get up so we can make sure you are in peak condition for our Diamond."

 

Green Zircon nodded, accepting the hand and allowing the tech gem to help her onto her feet. She looked a bit odd at the other First gem, looking over at PInk as if to determine that being helped by the First Peridot... was allowed or not. A few quick scans later the Peridot confirmed, yes, FIrst Zircon was well. 

Pearl started to loosen her grip on the hand-holders and took a look to the screen which was showcasing a small Homeworld surrounded with countless glimmering lights of the far off stars. Pearl smiled at her own choice of words. To think that their world looked so small... big enough to fit in one of Pinks bubbles... Watching it growing smaller, Pearl eyes averted from the planet and into the stars. Watching as so much blackness all around them, so much nothing between the far spots of light. She knew all of those things. Somehow seeing it with her own eyes was something else. Seeing it without the blinking caused by the atmosphere, seeing how many more light never reached them because of homeworld own lights... A small glimmer lost in the never-ending void of black...

Even so, it kept on shining to its fullest. 

Making a mark on their own star maps even if not seen from home.

 

"Beautiful." 

 

"It quite is." The Third Nephrite spoke to Pearl, making Pearl realize she walked up to the front. Pearl stepped to the side looking away. She really needs to get a grip on her behaviour. Even if it was only around Pink own court. She couldn't allow herself to show such not proper behaviour for a thing. Looking at Pink, Pearl could see the diamond thinking away. Pearl blinked and stayed in the spot she was. With nothing to do she observed the nephrites work. Watching how they were inputting navigations and calculating routes for Pink to take. 

 

Moments later the Yellow hand came into the view.

 

Yellow hand ship was sending coordinates about their course as it was taking off. The yellow hand growing bigger and bigger on the widescreen as it was approaching.  The travel will be long, as the route dictated, that Yellow wanted to check on various colonies on the way to her newest one. Their journey would last several cycles. Several cycles with Pink in a ship, Pearl started planning activities. She could dance or sing for her Diamond... but... Pink really enjoys the story of Renegade, and telling that entertains her greatly. Pearl actually didn't get to tell anything Renegade related for a while now. She had more than enough material because of the unplanned break. Even if she completely drops the...

...mission of fire agate... adventure... event....takedown...

Even without mentioning anything relating to that, there were stories she could tell... On the other side... Pearl wanted to share what she saw about the other gems, about the gems in the pit... She wanted to tell Pink all about that strange off colour, about the Bismuth... even about the Pearl who shattered white Zircon. She wanted to share it with her so they would be remembered by her Diamond... Yes, she could find a way to talk about them...

 

Talking, Pearl head raised towards the sound. The Fifth Nephrite and First Zircon exchanged a few words... There was no way she could talk about the Renegade or the gems from the pit without them realizing she was the Pearl who got them out... Pearl didn't know how to share their story without actually stating it was about them... Or have them realise it is about them... It will be a challenge. One she will be up to.

Or she could just talk about all that at a later date. When it is safer to do so.

In the end, it didn't matter, as her Diamond had other plans in mind.

"Pearl, follow me."