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Too Little, Too Late

Chapter Text

It was all over.

After everything, after all that hurt and destruction, Spinel just… Couldn’t. She couldn’t keep fighting after all this. After Steven had tried so hard.

So… now what? She had no idea what to do with herself. She had stayed in the garden for centuries after she had found out Pink Diamond had been killed.

Or, had supposedly been killed.

Spinel growled. Pink Diamond.

Just thinking about her put Spinel in a bad mood. She felt hurt and betrayed and… confused. Too many things, all at once. She decided to ignore it.

 

She turned back to Steven and his family. They were all hugging each other, gushing about how happy they were that it was all over. A pit of guilt formed in her stomach. This was all her fault.She felt nauseous.

She turned away. She couldn’t look at them right now. She couldn’t…

What could she do?

Spinel was still lost. She still hadn’t been found. She didn’t think she ever would be.

A sudden rumble shook throughout the Earth, and Spinel turned to see the Diamonds’ ship landing. She panicked. She ran behind the nearest cover she could. They couldn’t let them see her like this, she was…

Steven called out to her, cutting through her thoughts. “Spinel? Are you ok?”

Spinel jumped, falling onto the floor. She flipped around to face Steven. “I, um, I’m ok, I just… don’t want them to see me like this.” Spinel squeaked.

Steven looked at Spinel. Spinel knew that look. It was his understanding look, what he did when he was trying to feel what someone else did. To help them.

“It’s okay. I’m sure it’ll be okay. They’ve messed up before too, you know.” Steven held his hand out to Spinel.

Spinel accepted it.

She stood up with Steven. Steven released her hand after she was back on her feet.

Of course, he did. It’s not like he wanted her around, anyway.

The Diamonds’ ship opened up, and they stepped out.

“Why hello Steven! It’s great to seeOOOOOOH MY LORD!” White Diamond exclaimed. White Diamond recoiled at the damage that had been done to Beach City. “Um, has your planet always been this… Destroyed?”

“No, that’s uh, my fault.” Spinel answered. She gave a half-hearted chuckle.

“Oh, really?” Yellow Diamond scowled, but changed to a look of confusion, and she suddenly gasped. “Aren’t you… Pink’s old Spinel?”

The other two Diamonds gasped. “Oh my… it really is you, isn’t it?” Blue cooed.

Spinel smiled in the form of a grimace. “Yeah, that’s me. Pink’s old spinel.”

“Oh, my word! Spinel, its been ages! Where have you been? I’ve been so worried about you. We all have!” White Diamond purred.

Spinel thought she saw Steven rolling his eyes in her peripheral vision. She chuckled. He wasn’t quite as naïve as he seemed, she guessed.

“So, what are you guys doing here, anyway? Do you need something?” Steven asked. It seemed her wanted to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

“Oh, we were just so worried about you, Steven. We couldn’t help but come and see you again.” Blue answered.

Steven grimaced this time. “Wow, I uh, really appreciate it. But as you can see, we’re all fine here, so you can just go on back to Homeworld now…”

Jeez, he was really pushing them out the door, huh?

“Oh but Steven, Homeworld is drab without you, and we’ve only just now reunited with our lost friend here, our dear Spinel. Surely we could stay here a little longer.”

Steven started sweating a little. “No, really, it’s fine. Besides, I think Spinel here might want to go to Homeworld with you!”

Spinel nearly fell over. No no no no no no no nO NO NO! “What? What do you mean? I couldn’t stay around them. They’re the Diamonds, I, I…” Spinel stammered.

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that, dearie. On Homeworld, certain gems are no longer held above others. We are all equal in the eyes of the universe!” White Diamond exclaimed.

Steven put his hand on Spinel’s shoulder. “Look, remember what you said about not feeling like you had a place to belong here on Earth? Homeworld is changing. It’s nothing like it used to be, just like you. You’ll be free to start over there.” Steven gave Spinel a smile. “I won’t force you to go anywhere or do anything. I just think this will be good for you.”

Spinel looked at Steven. His smile was reassuring. She hoped he was right about this.

“I think, I’ll go back with you guys.” Spinel turned back to the Diamonds, an uneasy smile on her face.

“That’s great Spinel. We can’t wait to show you around the New Homeworld!” White Diamond cheered. Yellow extended her hand out towards Spinel. Spinel stepped onto her palm cautiously. Yellow slowly lifted her up onto the spaceship.

Spinel looked back at Beach City, and at the residents she had spent the last day with. She wondered if she would see them again. In that moment, she decided that she wanted to go back, and that she’d be different when she did.

She turned to the Diamonds, who were all smiling back at her. She smiled up at them. This would definitely work out. She could feel it.

“This isn’t going to be good.” Garnet said. She watched the Diamonds’ ship fly away, back on there way to Homeworld.

“What?” Steven turned around to look back at Garnet. “They seem like a really good fit for each other, and a change of scenery should be good for Spinel, right?”

Garnet nodded. “Well, you’re not wrong. But I’ve looked into the future, and…” Garnet trailed off. “Things can go a lot of different ways from here.”

“What do you mean by that?” Steven said.

Garnet thought to herself for a bit. “Spinel’s in a… sensitive place right now. She’s a bit tumultuous, and I can’t predict how she’ll react to everything. She needs to feel accepted but can’t let anyone get to close. She rejects any act of kindness towards her but refuses to be left alone. The Diamonds will give her attention. I just hope it’s the attention she needs right now.”

Steven looked down at the palms of his hands, lost in thought. “The Diamonds are getting a lot better, but…” Steven trailed off.

What did Spinel need right now?

Could they even give it to her?

Was it too late?

Chapter Text

The Diamonds all crowded around Spinel in the ship, smiles on each of their faces. Truth be told, it made Spinel nervous. They were so important and, well, big. Their physical composure certainly made them more intimidating.

“So, Spinel, where have you been this entire time?” Blue Diamond askes. “It has ben oh so long since we heard anything about you!”

Spinel twitched a little. She really didn’t want to talk about that. Maybe they’d let her dodge it? “Oh well, you know. Here and there, out and about. Its not all that important.” Spinel grinned up at the Diamonds.

Yellow narrowed her stare. It seemed she was suspicious but wasn’t going to pry further. “Alright, then. What happened to Beach City? You said it was your fault, after all.”

Spinel pulled at her non-existent collar. “We got into a fight. Its, a long story.”

White smiled. “Well, we have a long time. I’m sure it’s something that we’d love all about it!” White exclaimed.

Spinel gulped. “I, uh, kinda don’t want to talk about this.” Spinel closed her eyes. She didn’t want to be seen.

“That’s alright, dear. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to.” Blue lowered herself down to Spinel’s height, trying to make eye contact. “We just want to make sure you feel comfortable.”

Spinel smiled. A genuine smile. She was starting to feel safe again. “Thanks. I appreciate that, a lot.”

All the diamonds smiled down at her.

“So, can you tell us about her?” White Diamond asked, her face filled with anticipation.

Spinel cocked her head to the side. “Who’s her?”

White Diamond chuckled softly. “Why, Pink Diamond, of course!”

Spinel couldn’t help a grimace from forming on her face. “You don’t want to hear anything I have to say about her.” Spinel spat the word her out like it was rotten food.

The Diamonds recoiled at her words. Spinel started to feel a little queasy. She might have messed up.

“What. Is that. Supposed to mean.” Yellow said, closing in on Spinel’s tiny form.

However, before she could move to close, Blue jutted her hand out in between to two of them. “Wait, Yellow. We can’t judge her to harshly. We may have loved her sister, but she did hurt a lot of people. We all did. We need to accept that. I’m sure Spinel here has a fine reason to feel the way she does about Pink.”

Yellow stopped in place, and then backed away. “Alright then.” She turned back to Spinel. “I’m sorry, Spinel. I shouldn’t have treated you that way.” She bowed down onto one knee, kneeling her head. “Please forgive me.”

Spinel chuckled. “Um, sure. I forgive you, Yellow.” That still didn’t feel right. Forgiving the Diamonds for offending her, it was… weird. Unnatural, almost. Spinel decided to just forget about it.

“Well, now that that’s settled, I have to ask you Spinel, what can you tell us about yourself? You seem to be quite secretive with details about your life.”

Spinel chuckled a cruel chuckle, mostly to take up space. “I’m, uh, not really in a great space to share any of that kind of stuff. I just want to, you know, reinvent myself, I guess.” She grinned up at the Diamonds.

The Diamonds frowned. Apparently, they didn’t like that.

“Oh. We understand.” Blue said. The frown on her face said something different.

“I’m sorry to be a bother, I just…” Spinel trailed off, trying to find something to say, but Yellow cut her off.

“No, it’s fine. I thine we were all just hoping to find a way to get closer to our lost sister, after all this time.” The other diamonds nodded.

Spinel’s stomach lurched. Of course, of course that’s what they wanted. No one loved her. No one cared about her, she, she, she…

“Spinel? Are you okay? You seem, distressed.” White Diamond asked.

Spinel didn’t even realize she was crying. She tried breathing. It didn’t work. She could feel their stares baring down on her. Judging her. She was being suffocated, she couldn’t, she couldn’t…

“No, no I’m not okay.” Spinel let the words spill out of her mouth. “I’m so sick of this, I’m sick of people using me like this. I, this was a mistake.”

Spinel felt her knees starting to give out. Her sense of balance seemed off. She felt like she was floating in space.

“Is… there anything we can do to help?” Blue asked.

“I’d hate to leave you like this, after you’ve been gone all this time.” White followed up.

“I just, I need to be alone.” Spinel murmured.

“We have a room you can use. That way.” Yellow snapped immediately, pointing down a hallway. “We’ll leave you in there as long as you need. We’ll send a message when we arrive in Homeworld but won’t interfere until you ask.”

Spinel nodded and dashed down the hallway. She needed to get away from them as quickly as possible. She frantically threw her feet in front of each other, feral in her desperation to escape from their gaze.

She arrived in the room and slammed the door shut behind her. She fell onto her knees, hands raising up to her face to cover her tears. She sat there and cried for, how long exactly? She wasn’t sure. After what was probably five minutes, she started to get onto her feet, and turned to face the room-

Pink.

It was Pink Diamonds’ room. It was just the way she left it, all those years ago.

Every detail, every bit and piece, exactly where she left her things in her own quarters in White’s ship.

And more than that, it was spotless. Someone had been cleaning the room, carefully, with care and love.

Love.

Spinel felt something in her when she saw that. The love for Pink Diamond, the love the person who… who…

She stormed out of the room as quickly as she could. She didn’t know where she would go, but she wasn’t staying in there. She wasn’t sad anymore. She was angry. Angry in a way she hadn’t been since,

Since earlier today actually.

She paused a little at that. She couldn’t make the same mistakes again, right? She couldn’t just lash out at someone because she was angry.

Spinel wandered around the ship aimlessly for a while. Despite trying her best to forget about the whole Pink Diamond thing, she just couldn't. Her mind kept snapping back to it at every available opportunity. Everything she saw reminded her of Pink. The Diamonds, the Diamonds, the Diamonds, oh they loved Pink oh so much.

It made her sick. She was so angry, of course, of course, they didn't really like her. She was just a trophy, a memorial to their lovely Pink Diamond. Spinel needed some time, she needed to calm down...

“Spinel? Are you feeling better?” It was Blue.

Spinel pressed her fingertips into her palms with all the force she could muster, trying desperately to contain her rage. “No, I’m not.”

“Oh.” Blue murmured. “Why, are you out of the room?”

Spinel let out a shaky breath. “It was Pink’s room. She had a room on this ship. You all did, that was her room.”

Blue nodded. “Yes. I assume Yellow sent you there because it is unoccupied.”

“Well that was stupid.” Spinel spat. Blues eyes widened.

“Spinel, what’s going on?” Blue asked. “Why… Do you have something against Pink?”

Spinel couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Yes! She’s terrible! She took everything from me! She betrayed me! She betrayed everyone! How can the three of you stand around gawking in awe over such a petty, stupid, selfish, brat of a diamond?! You know what, I’m glad she’s gone! The only thing I regret is that I didn’t shatter her myself!”

Spinel was breathing heavily, greedily sucking air in and out of her nonexistent lungs. Tears were streaming down her face. She couldn’t see, she could hardly feel anymore, she…

She heard someone sobbing.

“B-blue?” Spinel hesitantly spoke.

“You should go.” A voice boomed out from behind her. It was Yellow. “Now.”

Spinel started walking, and then running.

So much for not making the same mistakes again.

Chapter Text

Spinel sat in silence in the small space pod. It was supposed to be for emergencies. She wondered if this qualified as an emergency.

Spinel sniffled. She had been crying for quite a while now. After all this time, she still hadn’t been found.

Where was she supposed to go? She couldn’t go back to Homeworld, with her angering the Diamonds like that. She didn’t want to go back to Earth, after just having left.

So that basically ruled out everything, then.

So, she was sitting there in space, floating about aimlessly.

It reminded her of there.

The realization terrified her. After all this time, she had ended up in the exact same place. She was still unloved, abandoned, lost. Her mind was racing with sinister voices, telling her how terrible she was over and over.

Useless. Unlovable. It’s your fault. It’s your fault. It’s your fault.

Spinel couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down her face. She spent the next several hours after leaving the Diamonds in the pod, motionless, suffering in her own personal hell.

Eventually, her emotions became less tumultuous. She was still unsettled, but she was no longer in a panicked state. She started to reconsider her options.

She really didn’t want to go back to Earth. She felt like a failure. But she didn’t anywhere else to go. And as terrible as going back felt, staying here all alone was infinitely more terrifying. She needed to be around somebody, anybody, to stay sane.

Spinel set a course for Earth. It would only be a few hours until she was out of this damn pod, now. She was grateful for that.

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Peridot was working on some schematics for New Homeworld in the barn, as usual. She worked in the barn to clear out her head, it was easier to think when she was alone. Lapis, Bismuth and she would head out to the countryside occasionally, so Peridot could work better. It was her job, after all. And she was good at it, too. Of course, she was, she was the great and powerful Peridot! She was built for this, after all. Though, that really didn’t mean much, now did it?

Peridot decided to ignore that. She needed to focus. She wasn’t going to forget about it, of course, she was just, going to save it for later. She couldn’t try and handle to many things at once, no one could. Or at least, she assumed so. She didn’t know what was going on in everyone else’s head.

Peridot was nearing completion on her project. Oh, this was going to be great! Peridot could barely contain her excitement. Lapis and Bismuth were going to love this, not to mention everyone else…

It was done. The schematics were finished. Peridot leaped out of her chair and hurtled herself outside of the room, shouting Lapis and Bismuth’s names at the top of her lungs.

“Lapis! Bismuth! I finished! I completed the new schematics! I-…” Peridot stopped in her tracks.

She wasn’t expecting to find her here.

“Spinel?”

Spinel whipped her head around, startled.

“Oh, I-uh, didn’t think…anyone, would be out here…in the wilderness.” Spinel stammered.

Peridot tilted her head to the side and held her hand up to her chin, inquisitively.

“Why are you back already? You’ve only been gone a day, or so.” Peridot questioned.

Spinel flinched. “Yeah, I guess, it hasn’t been very long, has it?” Spinel laughed. It wasn’t a happy laugh; it was a scared laugh. Peridot was growing more and more worried for the other gem.

“Are you, okay?” Peridot asked. She didn’t know what else to do. She just wanted to help the other gem.

Spinel didn’t say anything. She just stood there, staring at anything except for Peridot. “Do you, want to come inside?” Peridot pried further. She had to do something.

Spinel nodded. Peridot walked back into the barn, with Spinel following her. Peridot didn’t know what was happening. She just hoped the other gem was ok.