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The Garden

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Chapter 1 – The Game
“Now, here’s how the game works.” Pink smiled at Spinel. “You stay here, and stand perfectly still. Perfectly, completely still, understand?”
Spinel nodded. “Of course, my diamond! Anything for you!” Spinel was ecstatic. An entirely new game, and from her diamond, of all people! This was going to be so much fun!
Pink smiled at Spinel, and turned away. Something was off to Spinel, though. It didn’t seem like a happy smile. It was a sad smile, a…
It wasn’t important. Things like that were none of Spinel’s business. She was a happy gem, a playful gem. Her job was to entertain, to make her diamond laugh. To be a friend. Her diamond was probably just worried about something else, she had oh so many responsibilities. And Spinel would help her! One last game before she went to her colony, to help her Diamond out.
Pink Diamond walked up to the warp pad, and turned back to face Spinel. Spinel smiled at her diamond, but she didn’t move an inch. She couldn’t break the rules, after all! And them… she left. Her diamond left.
Spinel stayed put. Oh my, what was going to happen next? She didn’t know anything about this game, so she didn’t know what her diamond was going to do for her! She could do was wait.
And so she did.
She waited.
And waited.
And waited.
It had been how long now, a few minutes? Nothing had happened yet. Spinel kept on smiling. In truth, she was starting to get a little bored. Spinel’s weren’t meant to stand in place for long, they were made for running and bouncing and singing. But she stood still, for her diamond. Because she knew it would be worth it in the end.
She looked at the stars. They were beautiful, weren’t they? Sparkling, so far away. Distance worlds, full of new experiences, and potential. Potential to add to the gems’ world, to make so many new friends to play with! Spinel was excited by the possibility, at the infinite expanse of the world they lived in. So much potential.
Spinel looked at the flowers. At the plants, at the garden and the life that inhabited it. Pink Diamond had talked about the beauty of other types of life, and had gone and taken some of it back with her. The other diamonds didn’t approve; how could any life, outside of gem life, be worth saving? They were inferior beings, and were meant to be conquered. Pink, obviously, disagreed. She said they were beautiful.
Spinel thought they were too. The flowers, they were so pretty. They were fragile, too. She had stepped on them once while they were playing. The flower had bent under her foot, crushed. Lifeless. Spinel had been saddened. She hadn’t meant to hurt the small creatures, she just hadn’t been paying attention. Pink told her not to worry to much. The flower’s life was temporary, but the whole would live on. They were all part of a larger whole, like the gems, themselves.
Spinel thought that was reassuring. Spinel wasn’t anything by herself, after all. She was just a friend, and what was a friend without someone else? She was one part of the empire, and all she had to do was her part.
So, she was going to be the best friend she could be. She would be Pink Diamond’s best friend. They would be inseparable. She would put her entire being into being Pink Diamond’s best friend. That was who she was.

It had been a while now, hadn’t it?
Spinel shifted her weight, just a little. Her feet were starting to hurt. She didn’t mind.
A thought crossed her mind. A fleeting, terrible thought. She felt guilty for even thinking it.
What if she doesn’t come back?

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Chapter 2 – Bored

Spinel stood in the garden.

Alone.

How long had it been now? There was nothing for her to base the passage of time off of. The garden looked the exact same as it always had. If Spinel had to guess, she would say it had been maybe 20 hours, at most.
Spinel was bored. She didn’t want to be bored. She wanted to enjoy the game that her Diamond had made for her! It felt horrible, to think such terrible things about her diamond. There was no way her diamond had made a mistake, she was perfect, after all.
Spinel looked at the starts. They were pretty, weren’t they? Spinel thought so. They were, static, though. They were the exact same as they had been an hour ago. Spinel wasn’t great with samey things. She like motions, and movement. She was an excitable gem, like all spinels were.

She couldn’t complain about the stars, though. They were fine, really. She was just not right for them. It was her fault, really, that the stars weren’t good enough for her. The stars were beautiful.

Pink always thought so.

The flowers, they were beautiful, too. That’s what pink said. Spinel knew that she was right, but she was bored of the flowers already, too. She was bored of this game. She was bored of this game and this garden and the flowers and the stars and everything.

Her feet hurt. Her back hurt, too. She wanted to sit down and take a break. She wanted to rub and use her limbs the way she was supposed to. She wanted to stretch out and move.

She didn’t like this game anymore. But she would play it, for her diamond.

A thought whispered itself into her mind, and she nearly screamed. A treacherous thought that she needed to push out, knew was impossible, knew couldn’t be true.


What if she doesn’t come back?

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Chapter 3 – Doubt


It had been weeks, now.

Spinel stood still, now. As she always had. As should would, until her Diamond came back.

Spinel thought something was wrong. Wrong with her, wrong with the world, with something.

This was too long. Too long for this game. Too long for her diamond to be gone.

Because now, something had changed. The flowers, they had grown. Spinel didn’t know when it had happened, in fact she couldn’t. It was how they grew, she guessed. To slowly to notice in time. You only knew afterward, when you looked back on it, after all that time, how it had changed. Became something it wasn’t before.

But the flowers had grown. They had grown into the cracks of the concrete, between the stones and up the walls. The flowers were larger than they had ever been before.
And that was what had caught her attention. Why had they never grown like this before? Why were they always the same, day after day, week after week, when she had came here with Pink Diamond?

There was only one answer. Someone had to be tending to them. Maybe it was Pink herself. Maybe it was her Pearl. Or maybe a gem Spinel had never met had been given the duty of tending to the plants, trimming them and feeding them.

But they weren’t doing it any more. Which meant that something had changed, which meant that the garden had been abandoned, which meant…

Which meant she had been abandoned.

Her stomach lurched. Her eyes watered and her gem, it screamed.

It couldn’t be true. Her diamond, her lovely diamond, couldn’t have left her here. She had to be coming back, she must have! It was a part of the game, it had to be…
She was coming back. Her diamond would be coming back, her diamond was perfect, and, and…

But, it just didn’t make sense. Why, why, why was this happening?

Was, it her fault?

Did, she do something wrong? Is that why?

It would make sense, right? Her diamond left her, because she wasn’t good enough. She wasn’t a good enough friend.

Spinel lurched again. That couldn’t be the case, she had tried so hard, so hard, to be a good friend. She loved her diamond, with every last bit of her being, and, and..

He cheeks hurt. She had bit through them. She almost reached up to touch her cheek, but stopped. That was against he rules of the game.

Did…

Did that matter?

Spinel didn’t know. She didn’t know anymore. She would never even think of disobeying her diamond before now but…

Had she been abandoned? Was she alone?

Was she not good enough?

No.

Pink Diamond was coming back. She had to be. Spinel was just too stupid too understand the game. She just didn’t get it, but it would all make sense, if she just stayed put, stayed here, and happily waited, happily watched the stars and the flowers and waited for her lovely diamond to come back, it would all be alright. Everything was fine.

It was fine.

It had to be.

Needed to be.

Pink would come back.

Her diamond would come back for her.

 

Unless...

 

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Chapter 4 – Empty

Spinel waited.

She was waiting for her diamond to come back for her.

The stars were in the same place they always were.

Spinel was waiting.

The flowers were dying.

Spinel’s feet hurt.

Her back hurt. Her legs hurt, her brain hurt.

Her diamond was coming back, someday.

The stars stared down on her, laughing at her. They never changed.

They were fine with it. She wasn’t.

The flowers were dead. She envied them.

They got to leave.

She was trapped here. Until her diamond, her precious diamond, came back and saved her.

Her feet were stuck to the ground. The vines, the unyielding vines her claimed her, as they claimed the rest of the garden.

Her diamond. Where was she?

Did she still love her?

Spinel still loved her diamond. Spinel would never stop loving her diamond.

Spinel was spinning. Not really, but in her head. She was lost. Entirely lost. Her reality, her entire reality, was spinning on its head.

Was this world real? Was she real? How long had it been?

Spinel didn’t know. Spinel didn’t know anything. Her world was nothing, just a void, just the garden. Just these stars, the weeds, the garden.

She just wanted it to end. She wanted the world to end, to crumble around her, she wanted to go away and stop existing. She was just so tired, so desperate, so completely overwhelmed, she wanted anything, anything, to happen.

Spinel wanted to stop existing. She wanted to scream, she wanted to kill, she wanted pain. It was the only thing she could turn to. All she could turn to is pain, violence. Hate. All she had was hate. It was all these years had left her with.

They had worn down, scraped everything that made her who she was away. Her joy was gone. Her love was gone. All she wanted was her diamond, her precious diamond, to come back and save her, and heal her. Her diamond was coming back, and she would fix everything.

All the hate, all the violence, would be gone. This terrible void in her soul, this longing emptiness, would be filled by her diamonds companionship.

Spinel was tired.

Spinel stood still. Spinel was waiting.

Suddenly, something happened.

A broadcast began.

Chapter Text

“Dear citizens of homeworld; Tragedy has struck the great Gem empire this day. Our beloved Pink Diamond, youngest of their illustriousness, has been shattered. Words, cannot describe the pain we are all going through.”

The gem kept talking. Spinel ignored her.

Pink Diamond was gone. She wasn’t coming back.

She didn’t come back.

Spinel collapsed, tears were running down her face. Her hands went up to her face, covering herself. She screamed. She cried. She swore.

Why? Why did this happen? How?

Her diamond was gone. She wasn’t coming back.

No, this couldn’t be true. Spinel wished with everything she was that it wasn’t true.

She cried and screamed for hours, but no longer how hard she cried, how loud she screamed, how terribly long she waited, nothing changed.

Pink Diamond was still gone.

Hours later, Spinel stopped crying. She hadn’t recovered, but she couldn’t handle the emotion anymore. Her mind couldn’t exert the energy to grieve any longer, and suddenly, with terrifying force, the wear and tear of hundreds of years crashed down on her. Spinel lied down on the floor, staring up at the stars.

Those same, perfectly still stars. Hundreds of years later, and there they still were. Shining on, dim sparkles, glittering like thousands of shattered dreams. The stars never felt. They never changed. They stood there, resolute, unaffected by the clock of eons clinking and clanking forever on, without them.

She envied them. She wished she was like them. She wished that all this time hadn’t cut through her like a rejuvenator through a Gem’s form, or a drill through the crust of a planet. She wished she could stand the test of time, too. That she was only a statue, unfeeling, unflinching, unaware.

She looked at the plants. All the flowers were dead. Dead and gone.

She envied them.

That’s all that was left then, wasn’t it? What did she have left to live for now, without her diamond? Her diamond who she lived for, who she was made for.

Her diamond who had left her there. Her diamond who had abandoned her.

Because she wasn’t good enough.

Why bother staying around anyway? Why stay here, in this world that had nothing left for her? She felt like doing something irresponsible, any who.

Spinel slowly peeled herself off of the ground. She walked over to the fountain, and looked around the garden. How?

How, would she go about this? She had no weapons, no high places, no, anything. The only thing left was…

The warp.

Spinel stared at the warp pad. The pad lied there, unmoving, unflinching, uncaring.

Could she really leave? Was that, a possibility?

Her diamond had told her to stay.

Her diamond had abandoned her.

Her diamond loved her! She would never do that!

Where was she? Why hadn’t she ever come back? Why hadn’t anyone ever come back for her?

What would she do out there? Where would she go? How would people react to her?

Did anyone remember her?

Did anyone care about her?

Was it just Pink who had abandoned her?

Spinel froze, stomach turning. Her head was spinning, she couldn’t handle this, she didn’t know what was happening…

She was stuck. She was trapped, there was no where left for her, and she couldn’t run away.

This was her prison. This garden was her cell, eternity her sentence.

What had she done to deserve this?

Spinel collapsed again, tears appearing once more.

Calm down, calm down, calm down…

Spinel couldn’t stop crying. She was alone, forever alone, no one lover her, no one cared about her, she was a waste, she was…

Calm down, calm down, calm down…

Spinel’s hand grasped her gem, pulling on it. She felt a jolt of pain shoot through her form. This wouldn’t stop anything, she would come back, but…

It was the only thing she had. It was the only new thing she had felt in hundreds, thousands of years. It felt right. It fit everything, all the pain she had felt for so long, and…

And she had nothing else left to do.

Calm down, calm down, calm down…

Spinel pulled on her gem more, pain erupting through her form, every atom of her being screaming for her to stop.

But it was all she had left.

Spinel yanked her gem, and her form dissipated.

Pain shot through her very being, torturous, unyielding pain.

But she had finally gotten what she had wanted, what she had needed for hundreds of years.

Rest.

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Spinel took her time reforming. She didn’t want to come back, she didn’t want to go back to her cell. She wanted to stay here, in this dream world, where reality was gone away and she didn’t have to think about the reality around her.

But, it couldn’t stay that way forever. She didn’t know why, it wasn’t her purpose to know why, but all gems reformed eventually. No matter how hard they tried to stay poofed, they would come back to the waking world at some point.

And so, Spinel eventually woke. She, as always, had no measure for how long she had stayed out. She was on her back, staring up at the stars. They stared down back at her.

The stars were the same as always.

How she hated them. They were out there, free, but they stayed trapped, in place, motionless. They refused to change, to move on, to do anything.

Kinda reminded her of someone.

Spinel laughed bitterly. She could leave. She could try an move on, but…

What was the point? Why? Who was she without her diamond? He purpose was to be Pink Diamonds friend, and she had failed.

Spinel turned onto her side. The flowers were still dead. She envied them, still. God, she wanted to leave…

Spinel bit the sides of her cheeks, stifling the thought. She had no way to leave. She had no way out. She could leave the garden but…

Her head hurt. She wouldn’t think about that. She didn’t know why, but leaving here, showing herself to the world, revealing what she was now…

It was too painful. She couldn’t do it. She wasn’t good enough, as usual.

Spinel huffed. What would she do now? She decided to leave her spot, and stood up. She walked around the garden, observing how it had changed. She hadn’t noticed the vines climbing the pillars, or pulling apart the concrete, or anything like that. Time had moved along without her.

She was saddened by the state of the garden. She missed the days when it was beautiful, back when everything was perfect. Back when her diamond and her would play in the garden together, happily. Back when the garden was beautiful.

When she was beautiful.

Spinel turned to the glass surrounding the garden. She hadn’t paid any attention to her form when she was reforming, she had just reformed the same way she always did.

She wondered, how did she look?

She approached the glass, and…

She looked the same, but… Her color was gone. The pink of her form had drained away, leaving only a pale, weak, pathetic husk of a person.

That’s all she was now.

An empty shell.

Spinel was tired. She didn’t want to be here anymore, to look like this anymore. She missed her diamond, she missed her friend, she missed her life.

She wanted to rest again.

_____________

Time passed, and Spinel woke again.

She missed her rest immediately. She hated these waking moments, after she had reformed, and she saw the world again.

The stars were shining. The vines were growing. She was still in the garden, and noting had changed, as always.

Tears stung at her eyes. Why her? Why did this happen to her? What did she do wrong?

And then, a thought sprung into her mind.

What if, she didn’t do anything wrong?

Spinel dismissed this thought immediately. That didn’t make sense, that wasn’t how the world worked. Pink Diamond would never had abandoned her for no reason. There had to be something wrong with her, something she did to deserve this.

It was the only thing that made sense.

Spinel felt something rising within her, something that she had buried down deep inside.

Something like hate.

Spinel swallowed that feeling down, and decided to rest again.

Chapter Text

Spinel awoke for her latest bout of rest, and instantly hated everything again. Her life was boring, and pointless, and stupid. She had been living this way for who knows how long, dissipating herself, reforming, walking around, feeling horrible about her situation, thinking of leaving, nearly vomiting from the thought, and dissipating her form again. Rinse and repeat, for years.

She wanted something, anything, to happen. She was so tired of this, even with her newfound outlet for her pain, it still wasn’t enough. Her rests were only a temporary, fleeting escape, and the sensation of her form dissipating may have felt satisfying, but it didn’t change anything. She was still stuck here.

Spinel was angry. She was angry that this had happened to her, and that her Diamond had abandoned her.

She knew she shouldn’t be thinking these things, but…

She hated her. She hated Pink for doing this to her. She knew it was her fault, but she still couldn’t get over it. This is just too much. The silence, the deafening silence of the garden, year after year after year. She hated Pink Diamond, she hated her for doing this to her. She hated her for being shattered, for destroying any hope of her getting her release for the thousands of years of anger and hatred she had felt.

She wanted blood. She wanted to throttle whoever was responsible for doing this to her. She didn’t care if she deserved it anymore; she just wanted someone, anyone, to know how she felt, know the pain that had been destroying her, for year after year after year. She just wanted to release all of this, this feeling that had been inside for so long.

She wiped her tears away. When had she started crying? She didn’t remember.

She got up. It was time to pace, for a few days, and dissipate again. It was what she had done for who knows how long now, she didn’t see any reason to stop now.

She started walking, but suddenly, a sound rang through the garden.

It was the projector. It was a message. The Diamonds had sent another message to all of homeworld. There had been just a few of these, but none of them were especially interesting. Announcements of new conquests and what not, nothing she cared about. The message started.

White Diamond spoke. “Once upon a time, the Gem Homeworld was ruled by Diamonds -- White, Yellow, Blue, and the littlest Diamond, Pink. While the other Diamonds conquered many worlds across the galaxy, Pink had only one -- the planet Earth. One day, Pink fled the comforts of Homeworld. On Earth, she made a new home, new friends, and finally, new life, giving up her form to bequeath her gem to her half-human son. Without Pink, Gemkind entered an era of despair. But, when Steven Universe learned of his heritage, he reunited with his fellow Diamonds and championed a new era of peace and freedom across the furthest reaches of space. And now, dear Gems everywhere, I'm pleased to announce that Steven is finally ready to take his rightful place on Pink Diamond's throne!”

A boy, Steven, started speaking. “How's it going, everybody? I know you all might be thinking of me as the new Pink Diamond, but you don't have to put me on a throne. I already have a rightful place, and it's on Earth.”

The other Diamonds reacted with shock.

Steven continued. “It's a beach house, where I live with my friends, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. As much as I've loved dismantling the empire and saving all your planets, I can't wait to get home and spend some quality time with my friends.”

White Diamond snarled. “Cut the feed.”

Spinel was shocked. Pink Diamond was alive. She, she had given her gem to her “son”, which was like creating a new gem, she guessed. This, Steven, had taken Pink’s gem, and was… waiting on Earth.

Pink Diamond hadn’t been shattered. But, she had survived. She ran away. She had abandoned all of homeworld, just like she had abandoned her. She had thrown away all her responsibilities, to go be happy on an insignificant speck of a planet in the middle of nowhere.

Pink. Pink, Pink, Pink, she…

She had betrayed her. Pink betrayed her. She waited here, for who knows how long, and Pink had stabbed her in the back and ran away from everything.

Spinel screamed.

Somebody had to pay. After all this, after all the pain Pink had caused everyone, she just ran away, and made somebody else to take her place, to replace her on the throne?!

Spinel was frothing at the mouth. Somebody had to pay.

Somebody was GOING to pay.

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Hey so I finally wrote the second work in this series. I realized that this wasn't in a series yet, so here's a quick update to make sure anyone still subbed to this work doesn't miss it.