She fell to the floor before she realized she was herself again. And then it took her a moment or two to realize that she just realized something.
She could think.
It had been so long.
She relished the feeling. Were she in control, she might have even-
A soft hum passed through her.
Her eyes shot open. She sat up slowly, carefully, as though moving too quickly would cause her to wake from the dream. Clearly this was a dream. This couldn't be real. She had been taken from her Diamond; this was just a last-ditch attempt at peace within herself before she was poofed and bubbled forever, or shattered, or-
"Wh . . . What happened?" She looked down at her hands. "Where am I?"
Someone had come up beside her. They smiled kindly. It was almost like her Diamond's smile. They put their hand on her shoulder and spoke gently. "Welcome back," they said. They looked to be nearly on the verge of tears.
"Oh! I'm sorry, don't cry, I didn't-"
"No no, it's okay." They wiped a few tears from the corner of their eye. "I'm Steven. You knew my mom, Pink Diamond."
She blinked. "Oh, yes! Is she here? Did something happen to her? Is she alright? I've been so worried about her; she was so upset when White Diamond took me away. I-" She came to an abrupt stop, the pink of her cheeks darkening slightly. She laughed. "My apologies."
"It's fine!" They assured her. "Though, you're probably not gonna like what I have to tell you."
It had been jarring to learn that her Diamond was gone. She didn't want to believe it at first, but the other pearls — White Diamond's among them — had assured her of the truth. She'd shouted and wailed and stomped her feet (very unbecoming of a pearl such as herself), but when the dust settled, White's pearl just held her close.
"I know," She'd said, "I know. I miss her too."
She'd let her hair down. It was as long as that of most quartz soldiers' and filled with curls. It billowed behind her in the wind as she sat on one of the hands of the statue making up the temple.
She glanced behind her. "What's up Steven?"
The boy shrugged and sat with her, dangling his legs off of Obsidian's palm. "I was about to ask you the same thing."
She smiled. "Nothing really," she told him, turning back to the sun setting over the horizon. "I've just been thinking."
"Everything. I spent so long with White Diamond controlling my body — my every thought." She sighed. "I wasn't even me, you know?"
"Yeah. That sounds rough."
She chuckled. "It wasn't really. It's just weird to come back from." Another sigh, but this time it was happier. She'd found that she liked having lungs, as much of a hassle as they were to form. "But now I can think for myself again. I can do anything I want; see anything, listen to anything-"
"Yeah, that's fun." She lay down and stared as stars began to freckle the darkening sky. "I can see why you- . . . why Rose loved this planet so much."
"What about you?"
"I think it's wonderful. She always had good taste for beautiful things." She chuckled. "That's why we made fun of Yellow Diamond's shoulder pads so often. And those ruffles she gave her pearl- ugh!" She stuck out her tongue with a grin. "Awful. I can't believe she decided to keep them."
Steven laughed with her and lay down in the cascade of her pink hair. "At least Blue Pearl's outfit wasn't that bad to begin with. And she's really good at helping gems who don't know what to do with their looks."
Pink Pearl hummed in agreement. "She's always been the most genuinely willing to help out of all of us."
"And she's really sweet about it, too. Just advice, y'know? Not too pushy, so everyone can still express who they are."
The two of them lay there in silence for a few minutes. Pink Pearl watched as the last streaks of red and orange daylight through the clouds gave way to dark blue and eventually black.
"I want to see everything," she murmured. "I want to see every flower, every part of every ocean, every sunset and sunrise . . ." She closed her eye. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to want again, Steven."
"No problem," he replied with a yawn.
She turned to him, propping herself up on her elbow. "I want to see you happy. Not just because My Dia- because Rose became you, but because you're a very sweet boy."
Steven smiled and snuggled into her. "I am happy."
She wrapped one arm around him and kissed his forehead. "I'm very glad," she whispered. "Know that I will always be there when you have need of me, Pink Diamond."
"Same to you, Pink Pearl."