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Cliff

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The howls in the distance didn’t stop for another ten minutes. In the distance, though, you could make out a decent sized sand explosion all the way from Greg’s car wash.

Greg watched with bated eyes as he and Cliff continued to talk, stopping every once and a while when there was a particular loud howl.

Once the sand settled, Greg’s nerves calmed down, no more howls could be heard, so Greg could only think that hopefully the crystal gems had taken care of the monster and that everything was okay.

After another twenty minutes of Cliff and Greg hanging out and idly chatting, they had heard Steven as he jumped high in the air, and made a slow descendant back to earth ground, using his floating powers.

Cliff watched in amazement while Greg watched with a proud smile.

Steven landed on the pavement in front of them both, a large smile on his face, although he did look slightly exhausted, most likely from the fighting that had just taken place not that long ago on the beach.

“Hey dad, hey Cliff, hey Bingo” Steven said with a wave to them all.

“How was fighting today?” Greg asked Steven.

“Tiring” Steven said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

Greg noticed a bad scrape on Steven’s arm and he gasped.

“Son, your arm!” Greg yelped, grabbing Steven’s wrist and pulling him closer to look at the damage.

“It’s all fine, I’ll heal it,” Steven said as he licked his hand and placed it on the injury.

Cliff could not believe his eyes that within seconds of applying his spit to his wound, it healed itself, like he was never hurt in first place, leaving sparkles to dust down from where he had just healed himself.

“Incredible” Cliff said as he watched on.

“Oh thanks, sorry about all the noise by the way. That monster was a tough one” Steven said with a nervous giggle.

“It’s fine schtu-ball, I’m just glad you’re all better now,” Greg said as he placed a hand on Steven's mop of curly dark hair.

Greg ruffled Steven’s hair, making Steven laugh, leaning into his father.

Cliff watched the two bond and wished he had a kid of his own.

“Greg!” a voice called out interrupting them all.

Cliff, Greg, and Steven all looked up to see Pearl strolling in the parking lot with her hand raised to get his attention.

“Oh hey Pearl,” Greg greeted.

“Oh you have a human friend over,” Pearl said, taking notice of Cliff sitting beside Greg.

“Oh yeah, uh Pearl meet Cliff. Cliff meet Pearl” Greg said.

Cliff smiled brightly at Pearl.

“Hello Pearl,” Cliff greeted.

“Hello, Cliff, was it?” Pearl said back.

“Haha yes,” Cliff said.

“Anyways. I came by to ask for some money. I’m heading to the store to pick up some groceries for Steven,” Pearl said.

“He’s running pretty low, and I asked him a couple of days ago to ask you for the money, but he never did,” Pearl went on.

Greg cast a look at Steven who shrugged with a nervous chuckle.

“Whoops, I guess I forgot,” Steven said.

“So may I have some for the groceries?” Pearl asked Greg, crossing her arms.

Cliff stared up at Pearl’s gem, it was on her forehead, and then he looked over at Steven but didn’t see his gem visible.

“Yeah sure,” Greg said, getting up from his chair and walking over to the van with Pearl on his heels.

Steven sat down on the tar and petted Bingo who greedily sucked up all the attention he was receiving from Steven.

Cliff watched from the corner of his eyes, Greg handed Pearl some money and she held it up in the air, her gem glowing brightly, then the money moved from her hand and went inside her gem.

“Thank you Greg, this is much appreciated,” Pearl thanked Greg before she got in position and then with a mighty jump she was gone from view.

“Woah,” Cliff said, watching in awe.

Then Cliff remembered about Steven’s gem.

“Say, Steven. Where is your gem?” Cliff asked curiously.

“Right here” Steven said as he tugged the hem of his shirt up slightly, revealing a big round rose quartz gem on his stomach, right where his belly button should have been.

“That’s a beautiful gem,” Cliff commented, making Steven blush, swatting at the air, and letting his shirt fall back down to cover his gem.

“Aww shucks, thanks Cliff.”

Greg walked back to them and sat back down in his chair with his guitar in his hands.

“Oh working on a new song, dad?” Steven asked, his eyes wide and his pupils took shapes of big stars.

“Yupp, wanna hear what I’ve got so far?” Greg asked.

“Yes please!” Steven yelped as he sat right in front of Greg.

Cliff smiled and turned towards Greg.

Greg chuckled as both of his audience members watched with big eyes.

“Okay, this is what I’ve got so far” Greg said before he started strumming a lovely tune.