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Steven Universe: Crystal Gem Spinel AU

Chapter Text

StevenIf you're evil and you're on the rise, you can count on the five of us taking you down!

'Cause we're good and evil never beats us, we'll win the fight and then go out for pizzas!

We... Are the Crystal Gems, we'll always save the day!

And if you think we can't, we'll always find a way!

That's why the people of this world... believe in... Garnet, Amethyst, Spinel, and Pearl. And Steven!

 

PearlIf you could only know... what we really are,

When we arrived on Earth, from out beyond your star...

 

SpinelWe were amazed to find... your beauty and your worth,

And we will protect your kind...

 

PearlAnd we will protect your Earth...

 

SpinelAnd we will protect your Earth...

 

Pearl & SpinelAnd we will protect you!

 

GarnetI will fight for the place where I'm free, to live together and exist as me!

PearlI will fight in the name of Rose Quartz and everything she believed in!

Amethyst: I will fight for the world I was made in, the Earth is everything I've ever known!

StevenI will fight for everything...

SpinelAnd I will fight for you till you're all grown!

 

Crystal GemsThe odds are against us, this won't be easy but we're not going to do it alone!

 

GarnetWe-

Amethyst, Pearl, & SpinelAre the Crystal-

StevenGems!

Amethyst, Garnet, Pearl, & SpinelWe'll always save the day!

StevenAnd if you think we can't, we'll-

Crystal GemsAlways find a way!

 

GarnetThat's why the people-

Crystal GemsOf this world...

GregBelieve in...

GarnetGarnet,

AmethystAmethyst,

SpinelSpinel,

Pearl: And Pearl...

StevenAnd Steven!

Chapter Text

I really hope you guys don't mind, but I'm just gonna skip the scene of Steven complained to Lars and Sadie about the Cookie Cats since that scene remains exactly the same.


Steven hummed the Cookie Cat theme song as he carried the mini-fridge on his back, the electrical cord wrapped around his shoulder. He ran up the slope to his home, a tiny beach house attached to the lower half of what appeared to be a statue of a woman.

Steven opened the door, "Hey guys, you wouldn't believe this-"

Suddenly, a large centipede-like monster pounced on him, growling at him and staring at him with the eyeball in its jaws. Steven screamed in fear, until a pink gloved hand grabbed the neck of the creature and pulled it towards its owner with surprisingly elasticity.

As she pulled the thing away from Steven, the pink gem lifted her chin, revealing her kind, loving eyes, "You alright, Steven?"

With Steven's nod, Spinel tossed the monster aside, Pearl fighting several of the same creatures with her spear, with Garnet and Amethyst fighting in the kitchen. In the living room, Pearl was tugging one of the creatures from under the table and Spinel continuing to fling them away.

Steven stared at the creature with awe, "Awesome! What are these things?"

Pearl grunted a bit as she lifted the creature up, "Sorry Steven! We'll get these Centipeetles out of your room."

Spinel slammed a Centipeetle on the floor, making it poof, "We think these things got in the temple!"

Steven walked up to Pearl and Spinel, "Aw, you don't have to get rid of them. They're really cool!" However, the Centipeetle in Pearl's arms spat acid on the floor, creating a hole. Steven, Spinel, and Pearl grimaced.

In the area of the warp pad, Amethyst threw a Centipeetle against the wall with her whip, causing it to poof, but the purple gem noticed something as she picked her nose, "Um, you guys? These things don't have gems!"

"That means there must be a mother nearby", Garnet suspected. A Centipeetle crawled behind her, but Garnet punched it away.

"We should probably find it before anyone gets hurt," Pearl advised.

Steven then became excited, "Oh! Oh! Can I come?! Can I?! Can I?!"

Spinel chuckled and placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, "Aw Stevie, I wish you could, but you're still too young and inexperienced."

Pearl nodded in agreement, "So until you learn to control the powers in your gem, we'll take care of protecting humanity, okay?" She casually snapped the neck of the centipeetle-like creature and it poofed.

"Aw man…" sighed Steven, until he saw a Centipeetle rummaging through the fridge, "Hey! Get out of there!"

The Centipeetle managed to get away with a can in its jaws, but Garnet was quick enough to poof it before it could escape.

Steven went over to inspect the fridge, "Aw! They got into everything! Not cool!" He pouted before he looked up and noticed the freezer was filled with Cookie Cats.

"No way…" Steven gaped, stars forming in his eyes and grabbing one of the treats just as Pearl closed the fridge door, "Wha-Where did you get these?! I thought they stopped making them!"

Pearl smiled warmly, "Yeah, we heard that too, and since they're your favorite-"

"We went out and stole a bunch!" laughed Amethyst, sitting on the counter.

Pearl huffed at her, "I went back and paid for them."

Spinel stared at them, "And you guys didn't tell me about this? I would've loved to surprise him myself!"

Amethyst shrugged, "My bad."

Garnet summoned her gauntlets away, "Sorry Spinel, the whole thing was my idea."

"It was everyone's idea," added Amethyst.

"Not really."

"All that matters is that Steven is happy," said Pearl.

Spinel nodded, "Indeed!"

Now feeling nothing but joy, Steven began to sing the Cookie Cat's jingle.

StevenOhh, he's a frozen treat with an all new taste!

'Cause he came to this planet from outer space!

A refugee of an interstellar war,

But now he's at your local grocery store!

Cookie Cat, he's a pet for your tummy!

Cookie Cat, he's super duper yummy!

Cookie Cat, he left his family behind!

Cookie Caaaat!

Now available at Gurgens off Route 109!

When he finished the song, the Gems laughed to each-other and clapped.

"I can't believe you did this! I'm gonna save these forever!" vowed Steven, "... Right after I eat this one!" He pulled the cold treat out of the wrapping, "Hello, old friend…"

He bit into the ear of the cookie, "Oh, so good!" He sighed. Suddenly, the gem on his belly began to glow bright pink. The other gems gasped in surprise, though Steven didn't seem to notice, "I like to eat the ears first."

"Uh… Steven," gaped Amethyst.

"Y-Your gem!" proclaimed Spinel.

"Wha-?" Steven opened his eyes in alarm and pulled up his shirt, his eyes widening more, "My gem!"

"Quick! Try and summon your weapon!" Amethyst exclaimed.

But Steven looked like he didn't know what to do and began to panic, "I don't know! Ah! It's fading! How do I make it come back?!"

Spinel laid her hands on Steven's shoulders, "S-Steven, Steven! It's okay, calm down. Breathe, don't put too much pressure on yourself."

"Yeah, and try not to tire yourself about it," said Amethyst.

"Don't." Garnet added.

As the glow faded from Steven's gem, everyone sighed in relief. But Steven still looked unhappy as he plopped down to the floor, "Aw, I was really close that time!" He put the cold treat back into the packaging, "Can one of you just explain how to summon a weapon?"

"Oh! I'll go first!" said Pearl in a sing-song tone.


Pearl, Spinel, and Steven were now at a hill with a large tree layered with pink petals, which began to fall around them. Pearl stood near the trunk of the tree, with Spinel and Steven sitting cross-legged in front of her.

"Is this even necessary?" Spinel asked, sounding doubtful.

"Pay attention to these petals," Pearl told Steven, outright ignoring Spinel's complaint, "The petal's dance seems improvised, but it is being calculated in real time based on the physical properties of this planet. With hard work and dedication, you can master the magical properties of your gem and perform your own dance!"

The gem on Pearl's head began to glow, a spear being wielded out and she grabbed it, swinging it and planting it on the ground, several petals flying up from the impact.

Pearl calmly held a petal in her palm, "Like so."

Spinel raised an eyebrow, scowling slightly. A worried Steven cupped an armful of petals.


At the side of Big Donut, Steven flung the petals into the air.

Amethyst looked over to Spinel, holding a donut, "Did Pearl tell him the 'petal thing'?" Spinel nodded in response, frowning.

Steven sighed, "Yeah, I need to practice really hard so I can dance like a tree… I think."

"That's… not what she meant," Spinel pointed out.

"Listen Steven," said Amethyst, "all that practice stuff is no fun." She munched on the donut, "Whenever I need to summon my weapon, it just happens!"

Through her glowing gem, Amethyst grabbed her whip and whipped it behind her, breaking a garbage container in two.

"See? Didn't try at all!"

Spinel didn't seem like she approve while Steven scratched his head. Lars ran outside, gasping in alarm, seeing the smashed garbage, "Again?!"


At the top of the Temple, Steven and Spinel were with Garnet.

"So I'm supposed to work really hard and not try at all at the same time?" Steven asked.

"... … Yes." Garnet replied, "... Or… you could link your mind with the energy of all existing matter. Channeling the collective power of the universe through your gem, which results in…" She summoned her gauntlets, "At least that's my way of doing it."

Now in a world of confusion, Steven turned to Spinel, "Wait! Spinel, what about you- Oh… I forgot you… don't… have… a weapon…" His face deflated when remembered what she had told him hours ago.

Spinel smiled gently, "My body's more than enough to protect humanity, and most importantly…" She comically stretched her arm into a loop-de-loop and her finger booped his nose, "You."

Steven seemed hopeless.


Once the Crystal Gems were back in the kitchen, Steven had his hand under his chin in thought, "I think my best bet is to recreate what happened the last time my gem glowed. So…Garnet and Amethyst were here. Pearl and Spinel were next to the fridge..."

He directed the Gems to their place when the moment happened; Amethyst sitting on the counter, Garnet standing next to her, with Pearl and Spinel standing next to each-other to the right side of the fridge.

But Steven squinted his eyes, "Hmmm, Amethyst, I think your arms were crossed?"

Amethyst did as she was told, "Okay, your majesty."

Steven walked over to Spinel, "And Spinel, your hands were like this!" He guided her hands downwards and made her fingers interlock. She got the idea and silently remained in her position, a patient smile on her face.

"And Pearl," Steven said as he tilted Pearl's foot a little, "Your foot was like this."

Pearl frowned, "I don't think it works this way, Steven-"

Spinel shushed her, remaining in the same position, "Let the boy do his thing."

"And Garnet, uh…" He squished her face and moved it upwards, "Uh… Yeah."

The boy then grabbed the half-eaten Cookie Cat from the freezer, "Then I took a bite of this Cookie Cat. Oh wait! I sang the song first. Uh… he's a frozen treat, all new taste, interstellar war, now available at Ghurven's-..."

When nothing happened, Steven slumped a bit, "Awww, it was funnier last time." He pulled up his shirt and looked at his gem, and sighed, "Maybe I'm not a Crystal Gem…"

"Oh Stevie," Spinel cooed, wrapping an arm around her shoulder, "That's not true, you are a Crystal Gem."

"And you're fun to have around, even if your gem is useless." When Amethyst said that, she received a harsh punch to the shoulder and she flinched at Spinel's frighteningly furious glare, her pink eyes now spirals. She cleared her throat, "I-I mean, you are one of us, Steven. We're not the Crystal Gems without you!"

Garnet and Pearl nodded in agreement.

Steven smiled, comforted by his guardians, "Yeah, even if I don't have powers, I've still got… Cookie Cat!" He took another bite of the treat, "Mmm, so good…"

This time, Steven's gem glowed again and a shield, appearing similar to a rose, materialized in front of him. The other Gems gasped in awe.

Pearl looked just as amazed as her companion, "Steven... it's a shield!"

Steven's eyes widened and became stars, "Whoa, what?! I get a shield?! Oooooh YEAH!"

He proclaimed, accidentally launching the shield. The shield bounced off a wall before ricocheting around the room. When it aimed towards the TV, a pink hand snatched the shield at lightning speed before it could hit. Spinel sighed in relief, Amethyst burst out laughing, and Pearl groaned in annoyance.

"Huh?" Steven blinked and stared at the treat in his hand, until he raised it up and exclaimed happily, "Cookie Cat! I summon my weapon by eating ice cream!"

Pearl picked up the wrapping, "What's in these things?"

Suddenly, the house started to shake, catching the Crystal Gems' attention. Outside a window, the silhouettes of the Centipeetles and a surprisingly large one were crawling up the house.

As Spinel retracted her arm and the shield disappeared, Steven asked aloud, "What was that?"

Garnet ran out the door with Pearl and Amethyst following behind. The magenta gem looked up to see a humongous Centipeetle, except this one had a milk-white mane around it's neck. The creature didn't seem to hear the Gems.

"It's the Mother!" Garnet shouted. She then leapt up the Temple below the beast as Pearl and Amethyst stood on the porch.

Pearl looked to Spinel, who was standing by Steven, "Spinel! Get Steven inside!"

"No way! I'm coming-" Steven began, before the pink gem's arms coiled around him tightly.

"Oh no, you're not!" Spinel ordered sternly and took Steven inside with her, shutting the door.

Steven struggled in her grasp, "No! I wanna fight!"

Spinel shook her head, "Not now! You've just activated your shield! There's no other thing we can do!"

Steven frowned... but then got an idea, "Wait! Spinel! I got an idea! And I need your help!"

Back outside, Garnet kicked the Mother in the face. Snarling, the Mother chases Garnet down the Temple's statue and landed on the beach. Amethyst and Pearl joined her side. The giant Centipeetle towered over them and screeched loudly, emitting its green acid spit from its jaws. The Gems dodged away just in time before the spit came to contact and they hid behind one of the hand statue.

That didn't stop the Centipeetle Mother from continuing to spray acid, slowly melting the hand.

"We could really use Steven's shield right about now!" Amethyst yelled before ducking as some acid spilled above her.

Unbeknownst to the Centipeetle, Spinel and Steven left the house, with the boy puffing his chest out.

Spinel stared at the boy hesitantly, holding the Cookie Cat freezer, "Are you sure about this, sweetie?"

Steven looked up at her, giving her an adorable look, "Don't you trust me?"

The pink gem's eyes gleamed with emotion until she nodded and whistled to the beast, "Hey! You!"

The large centipede-like monster turned its head towards them, making gurgling-like noises as the acid dripped from its gaping mouth, blinking at the two.

Steven made himself look confident, "Leave them alone!"

The monster wasn't fazed by the boy's shout and roared before lunging its head forward towards them. Forgetting their plan, Spinel abandoned the freezer and grabbed Steven, leaping out of the way as the Centipeetle slammed its head onto the ground, drops of acid spilling around it. Landing near the water, Spinel clutched the child before looking up. Garnet was now fending off the pincers on the monster's tail.

Steven also looked up, gasping in horror as the small freezer was nearly melted from the acid, electricity sparking around. Breaking out from Spinel's arms, he wailed and ran over to the freezer. Spinel stayed by his side, figuring out what to do, even poking the freezer which zapped her a bit.

"Steven! Spinel!" Garnet shouted, still holding off the Centipeetle's pincers.

As if a lightbulb appeared in her brain, Spinel whispered an idea to Steven, who nodded sadly in response. The Centipeetle continued to flail, trying to fight back against Garnet.

"Hey again!"

The monster turned its eyeball, staring at the duo, but now, Spinel had stretched her legs to appear taller, her arms coiled around Steven, who was clutching the freezer by the cord.

"TAKE THIS!" They both screamed and unison as Steven tossed the freezer, with Spinel's strength giving the throw extra oomph. The freezer landed into the creature's mane, shocking it and causing the Centipeetle to shriek in pain. Spinel shortened her legs and landed on the ground, still hugging Steven close.

"Aw yeah!" Amethyst cheered.

"Gems! Weapons!" Garnet ordered.

As the hand exploded from their energy from summoning their weapons, they took the opportunity while the Centipeetle Mother was damaged from the electricity and attacked the beast, causing it to explode in a cloud of green mist. A sphere-shaped green gem fell from the sky and landed on the sand, Garnet approaching it and bubbling the gem and sending it away.

"WHOO!" Amethyst proclaimed as she ran up to Spinel and Steven, who were slightly exhausted, "You guys were awesome!"

Spinel looked up and smiled, "Thanks, but give Steven all the credit."

Steven looked up, "Me?"

"You were the one who was brave enough to save the other Gems, even if we couldn't properly activate your powers," replied Spinel, "Although, there was no way I was going to let you eat all those Cats."

"I still doubt your powers come from ice cream, but I guess we'll find out how, won't we?" commented Pearl.

Garnet nodded, "Yes, we shall. In his own Steven-y way."

Spinel smiled lovingly and handed the boy a Cookie Cat. Beaming with delight, he opened the wrapping and munched on the ear. She then kissed Steven's forehead before whispering, "You're so brave, I'm proud of you."

Chapter Text

At the Car Wash...

"Almost done!" said Greg, spraying the car from a water hose, "Steven, get the hubcaps!"

"Hubbing it up!" replied Steven, scrubbing the tire's hubcap vigorously.

"Hub it good! This is a high-profile job!" Greg stated proudly.

Steven stood up, pointing to the van, which had the head of the mayor along with tags written on the side of it, "You mean 'cause it's the mayor's election-mobile?"

Greg smiled, "If we do this right, we might get political favors!"

Steven didn't understand what he meant, "I'm not sure what that is, but I like it!" He grabbed a hose and sprayed it on the car, but the water went over the van and splashed against his half-sunburned father. But Greg didn't seem angry, instead laughing and sprayed Steven back with water. They then began a water-hose fight, right until a man, known as Mayor Dewey walked up to them, looking annoyed.

"Hey hey hey!" The mayor called out, "I'm not paying for father-son bonding here!" He was then assaulted with water. Dewey groaned, trying to wipe the water off of himself "Universe! Control that kid."

"Steven!" Greg shouted, running over to his son and chuckling nervously, "I'm sorry, Mayor Dewey. Heh heh heh, this one's on the house."

The mayor examined his washed van, "On the house, eh? I like the way you do business, Universe." After shooting them a finger gun, he got into his van and drove away, the sirens blaring out 'Mayor Dewey!'

Greg watched him leave, before Steven appeared beside him, wiggling his fingers, "Political favors?"

"Ahh! You rascal!" Greg laughed and gave Steven a noogie, "Enough with the hose fights!"

"Aw okay-"

Water mysteriously sprayed itself onto them.

"What the?"

A small light purple-furred cat sat proudly, holding a hose in it's mouth. It began to chase the father and son around, and they ran away as they were being sprayed.

Greg looked behind him, "What is with this cat?!"

"Amethyst! Cut that out!"

Greg and Steven stopped and turned their heads to see Spinel walking up to the cat, sounding and appearing like a strict mother.

Spinel placed her fists on her hips, "You know how Greg feels about shape-shifting!"

The cat rolled her eyes, her form turning white and shifting back into her original self, still on all fours and removing the hose from her mouth, "Chill out Stretch, I was just having a lil' fun."

"Spinel! Amethyst!" Steven exclaimed dramatically.

Greg smiled uncomfortably, "Uh, pretty cool, Amethyst."

"Really cool!" Steven ran up to the two gems, "I wish I could shape-shift like you!"

Amethyst tied the hose she was holding into a knot, "You could probably learn."

"Are you sure?" Spinel seemed skeptical, lifting up Steven's shirt a bit, "I mean, he's got a gem, but he hasn't harnessed his powers yet-"

"Whup!" Greg held his hands up, "Magic stuff! Should I get out of here? Is there going to be an explosion?"

Spinel laughed a bit, "Of course not, Mr. Universe."

"Yeah, it's…" Amethyst then shape-shifted into Steven, "Fiiiiiiinnnnneee."

Greg shuddered, "Gah!"


"Hey Pearl!"

Back in the Beach House, Pearl refused to turn her head as Amethyst shifted into a seal and Spinel shifted into a penguin, both of them letting out cries of the animals they became.

Steven laughed and clapped, "Do more!"

Spinel and Amethyst grinned to each-other, "Check it out!"

Amethyst shifted into a wolf, then into her Purple Puma form, and then into a jay, landing on Steven's head. Spinel shifted into a dog, then into a kangaroo, and then a raccoon, leaping onto Steven's shoulder.

"Amethyst, Spinel, you're overdoing it." Pearl lectured, walking over to them.

"Uh, chill-it duude," The purple jay and pink raccoon replied in unison.

Pearl frowned, 'Just because you can shape-shift, doesn't mean you should."

Steven looked up as Spinel shifted her form back to normal, "Can you shape-shift?"

Pearl smiled, "Well, of course-"

Then Amethyst, in the form of Pearl, interrupted her, "Well of course I can! I'm perfect!" She turned around and slapped her bum, "WOMP WOMP!"

Pearl grumbled, shoving the laughing Amethyst away before continuing, "All gems have shape-shifting powers, Steven." A hologram projected itself from her gem as she explained, "We can turn into objects, we can change parts of our bodies..."

Spinel proudly expanded one of her hands, proving Pearl's point before changing it back to normal.

"Or..." Pearl looked over her shoulder, "We could do that."

"WOMP WOMP!" Amethyst slapped her rear again.

Steven almost jumped excitedly, "I wanna try it all!"

"Don't bite off more than you can chew, Steven," Pearl advised before walking over to the front door and left, scoffing when Amethyst repeated to slap her butt. Grinning, the purple gem shifted back as Steven and Spinel ran up to her.

"Alright! Show me how to change into a huge lion!" Steven exclaimed.

"Actually, Pearl's right, Stevie," Spinel told him, placing a hand on his shoulder, "I know you wanna try, but I don't think we should go to a lion yet."

Amethyst nodded, "Yeah, let's try something... easy."

"Like that cat you turned into?" suggested Steven.

Spinel smiled in satisfaction, "Sounds good! Now, follow our lead."

After a minute, Amethyst and Spinel stood next to each-other, the former explaining, "First, think what you wanna be, and then, just shake it out!"

As they lightly shook their bodies, they glowed white and reformed into cats. Of course, Spinel was a dark pink cat with a lighter pink face with her tear-streaks.

"See?" Amethyst laughed, "Now your turn!"

"Okay…" said Steven before standing in place, taking a breath and straining himself, sweating profusely, "Caaaat…"

"Nah, you're too tense," Amethyst said while opening a bag of chips, "Just relax and feel it. Biorhythms, yo." She ate a chip.

Spinel sat up as to cheer him on, "You can do it, Stevie!"

Steven pressed his fingers to his temples, "Feeeeel iiiit…"

The pink cat stood up and padded over to him, "Uh... sweetheart, we can always try later."

"No wait!" Steven protested, "I can do it!"

As Steven continued to try to shift, Amethyst and Spinel shifted back to their normal forms and stood up. "Yeah... yeah... Huh!" Steven waved his arms and made a pose.

... But nothing happened.

Amethyst shrugged, "Well, that was a good try."

Before Spinel could add anything... a meow cut her off. Their eyes now wide, Steven opened his hand and saw that a tiny white cat head had replaced his finger. It meowed again, and the three gems looked at each-other in awe, although Spinel looked more alarmed.

"This is so cool!" gaped Steven.

Spinel stared at the cat-finger, "I've never..."

Amethyst grinned, "You should go show your dad, he's gonna freak out!"

When the cat-finger meowed happily, Steven's eyes brightened like stars as he ran outside, not even acknowledging Spinel's distress, "Wait Steven-!"


At the Car Wash, Greg was calmly sitting on his sun chair, sun-tanning and drinking from a water bottle when Steven ran up to him, hiding his right hand, "Dad! I'm back!"

"Hey schtu-ball," Greg replied.

"Check it out!" Steven then stuck his index finger out, the cat-finger meowing in introduction. Greg jumped back in shock, accidentally throwing his water bottle at Steven, which caused some water to spill out and drench his finger. The cat-finger mewled, not liking the water one bit.

Steven calmly explained, drying off the cat-finger, "I shape-shifted my finger into a cat."

"Whoa!" Greg chuckled nervously, "Is- Is that a thing you can do now? That's pretty... cool."

"I know, right?" said Steven, "I'm gonna take this show on the road!" He laughed, spinning away with his cat-finger meowing.


"That'll be a dollar 'o five, Steven," said Sadie.

Steven smiled, placing a nickel on the counter, "Mm, okay. There's a nickel... and a buck!" He lifted his other hand, the cat-finger holding the dollar bill in its mouth.

"WHAAAAAT?!" Lars and Sadie yelled in surprise. The cat-finger dropped the dollar and meowed.

Somehow, Sadie seemed to like it, "Oh Steven, that's adorable!" She pet the cat-finger with her finger, making it purr contently. She looked at him, "Are... you making it purr?"

Steven scratched its head, "It kinda does what it wants."

"Really?" Lars deadpanned, poking the cat-finger, causing it to bite his finger, "Yow!"

"See what I mean?" said Steven before frowning at his finger, "Bad cat finger!"

"Oh, I'm sure it just wants to play." suggested Sadie.

Steven gasped, "You're right! And he doesn't have any friends!"

Lars feigned surprise, "Oh my gosh! It's just like you, Steven!"

Ignoring Lars's insult, Steven took a deep breath, waved his arms. And with that, the rest of the fingers on his right hands became cat-fingers. Steven cheered while holding his hand up, but Lars and Sadie looked rather... creeped out.


Later, Steven ran over to the Beach City Fries, and hid his hand behind his back as Peedee greeted him, "Hey Peedee! Whoa, you work at the deep-fryer now?"

Not needing his reply, Steven slammed the counter, "Make me some fry bits!"

Peedee frowned, slightly stern, "Steven, I take my job seriously. Please use the actual menu."

"Give me the bits! The bits!" Steven insisted.

Mr. Fryman placed a hand on his son's shoulder, "Alright listen, it'll be over soon if you just give him what he wants." Peedee sighed and walked away.

"Whoa, hey, hey! It's not for me, it's fo' these guuuys!" Steven revealed his hand, the cat-fingers meowing.

"What the?" The man stared at them.

"Uh, here's your..." Peedee saw the cat-fingers, now thunderstruck as his dad, "... bits..."

Steven accepted the little tray of fry-bits and fed them to the cat-fingers.

Mr. Fryman continued to stare, "I can't... look away."

"Steven, that is freakish." Peedee anxiously added.

"No it's not, it's natural!" said Steven, holding out his other hand, "Shake... it... out!" More of his fingers changed into cats, and he too fed them the bits.

"Whoa!" The two shouted before Mr. Fryman thought of something, "You know who would love this? Your older brother. Yo Ronaldo!"

Ronaldo walked inside the kitchen, holding up a box, "What's up daa..." Then he saw Steven and dropped the box, nearly yelling and rushing over to look closer, "I've gotta take a pic for 'Keep Beach City Weird'!" He pulled out his phone and took a picture of Steven and his cat-fingers.

"What's that?" Steven asked.

"It's my blog!" Ronaldo stated dramatically, "Keep! Beach! City! Weird!"

Peedee groaned in annoyance.

Steven perked up, "Can I see the picture?" But as he took the phone, the cats began to whine from the pressure and he quickly let go of the device, "Yikes! Sorry guys, I guess cat-fingers don't function well as... fingers..."


Back home, Steven was struggling to open the fridge to retrieve a sandwich, but the cats continued to yowl angrily, "I'm just getting a sandwich!"

"Steven!" Amethyst poked through the open window, "Need some help?"

Steven held the plate between his elbows, smiling slightly, "Nah, i-it's cool!"

The purple gem sighed in relief, "Oh goooood! Then I can tell Spinel she doesn't need to stay. See ya later then."

"Huh?"

"We're taking the Gem Sloop out to sea to fight a living island," Amethyst explained as she left.

"What?!" Steven panicked, dropping the sandwich, "Uh, Amethyst! Wait!"

As Amethyst was already below the porch, Steven rushed outside, "I wanna go on the Gem Sloop! I wanna see a living island! Wait, wait, wait!" He ran down the porch steps, just as the Gems were already sailing from the shore, he jumped into the water.

"Steven!" Pearl shouted, catching Spinel's attention.

Amethyst laughed, "C'mon, you can make it!"

Steven dunk his hands into the water to try to swim, but the cats yowled in protest.

Spinel straightened up, her pink eyes wide with panic, "Steven, what is that?!"

"Wah! I-It's nothing!" Steven tried to hide him, but decided to show them anyway, "I-I just turned my fingers into cats!"

"... That's it." Spinel hopped out of the boat, with Amethyst calling after her, "Hey Stret-"

But Garnet held her back, "Let her take care of this."

"Garnet, we have to-" Pearl tried to add, only for Garnet to cut her off, "We'll deal with them when we get back. This is a tectonic emergency."

Pearl sighed and shot a glare at Amethyst, "Amethyst, I blame you for this!"

The purple gem shrugged, not even mentioning her other friend, "Eh, that's fair."

Spinel walked over to Steven as Pearl called out to them, "Steven! Spinel! Just try to stay calm!"


"So you just decided to grow more of 'em?!" exasperated Spinel, the cats on his fingers continuing to meow loudly.

Steven cringed from her tone, "I-I didn't think it'd get this bad! I'm sorry!"

Spinel pinched the bridge of her nose, sighing, "Have you even tried to summon them away?"

The boy looked down, holding a hand to the side of his forehead, "No..."

They heard a pop and a meow, and to their horror, a lump with a cat face grew from where he placed his hand. Spinel gasped, cupping her hands over her mouth as Steven collapsed on the floor, his right arm becoming a cat face. He whimpered and screamed, either from pain or fear as more cats appeared around his body.

"SPINEL!" Steven cried, the cats meowing obviously, "HELP MEEE!"

"U-Uh..." Spinel was becoming more frantic and she sped towards the front door, "Here! I-I'll try to fetch the other Gems-"

"NO!"

Before Spinel could leave, his remaining arm wrapped around her leg, and Steven looked up at her at the brink of tears, "Don't leave me Mo- AH!" Another cat head popped out of his shoulder. Spinel's eyes glistened with anguish, and she tried to think of someone who could help.

And it came.

"Greg."


Greg was calmly spraying the ground around the car wash, listening and singing along to his headphones. But then he heard a voice, and lifted one of the headphones from one of his ears to hear it properly, "Hello? Who's there? We're closed, come back tom-"

He was shocked to see Spinel dragging something behind her, tears in her eyes as she screamed, "Greg!"

And to his horror, he saw what she was dragging; what appeared to be an... amalgam of orange, white, and black cat-heads meowing and contorting, meowing loudly. A cat-head bit Spinel's hand, causing her to fall over. Thankfully, Greg caught her as the amalgam stumbled around, a voice crying a word out, but he couldn't hear.

"Spinel?! What's going on?! What is that?!" Greg shouted at her, unknowingly pointing the still-spraying hose at the cat amalgam, the cats contorted until Steven was shown underneath.

Greg's eyes widened, "Huh... S-Steven?!"

"DAD!" Steven cried, cringing as a few cat-heads popped out, "Help! The cats are taking over my body!"

The man shoved Spinel away and rushed to his son, "Hold on! I'll get you out of there!" He tried to reach to Steven, but a cat bit down on his arm and tossed him aside.

"Greg!" Spinel shouted in concern. nearly dodging Steven as she ran over to help Greg up.

"No! Bad! Bad cat fingers!" Steven shouted, but then he stepped on a puddle, the cats hissing and forcing him to jump onto the roof of the car wash.

Spinel could only watch hopelessly, tears freely falling down her cheeks as Greg called out, "Can't you make them go away?!"

"I tried!" Steven cried back as more cats grew around him, "but it made it worse! Ooh, my life is over! I can't go on magic adventures! I can't even hug Spinel or open the fridge! And I'll never get to have another water fight with you, Dad, because these things hate..." Steven opened his eyes, "Water! They hate water! Dad, spray me again!"

Greg directed the water at Steven, causing him to fall off the roof and the cats jerked and hissed, lengthening out to try to attack Greg and Spinel. They yelped in fear, before they saw that Steven was holding onto the entrance of the wash, "It's not enough water!" He noticed where he was and gasped, "Turn on the super-wash!"

But Greg shook his head, "No! I won't do it! It's too dangerous!"

By now, Steven was being swallowed by the cats, "You've got to! I'm a monster! I'm an adorable cat monster!"

Spinel gripped his shoulders desperately, "We don't have a choice, Greg! I can't bear to watch Stevie suffer any longer! Please!"

Greg began to tear up, "I can't do it! He's no monster! He's my son!"

"I know!" Spinel screamed back, crying harder. Steven wailed as the cats overlapped his face.

Greg stared back at the sobbing gem before removing his headphones and looked determined. He flipped the switches and pressed a button, activating the super wash. Steven staggered his way through the wash, with Greg and Spinel watching from the windows. The jets sprayed the cats down, causing them to yowl and hiss, but were unable to escape the soaking water as they went through the waxers and another set of jets.

Now standing on the other side of the wash, Greg and Spinel waited for Steven to appear. After the cloud faded away, Steven was lying on the ground, his clothes torn up, but back to normal.

"Steven!" Spinel happily shouted, running to Steven's side and hugging him, not too tightly. Greg approached them, letting out a sigh of relief.

"Spinel... Dad..." The boy mumbled as he got to his feet, Spinel letting him go, "We did it-"

A cat-finger meowed.

The three of them screamed, Greg spraying the finger down with water until it disappeared. They all panted with relief.


At the dock, Spinel and Steven were patiently waiting as the Gem Sloop drifted to them, with the other Gems in tow.

"Steven!" was the first thing Pearl said as she jumped off the boat and ran to them, "Spinel, what happened, did they-"

"Yeah." Spinel nodded.

Pearl stared at the boy, "Y-You got them to go away?" Steven grinned widely. She sighed, "It just comes to show, always listen to me or Spinel, and never listen to Amethyst."

"That's fair," Amethyst shrugged.

"It goes to show, you should have a little more faith in Steven," said Garnet. Pearl blushed a bit and Spinel winked.

Steven smiled, "Yeah, that would've been a total cat-astrophe!" Pearl and Amethyst forced their laughter, but Spinel actually began to giggle as Steven continued, "But I'm feeling much better meow!"

Spinel giggled even more, yet the others were't finding it funny anymore. Steven blinked, "Eh? What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

"Okay, that's enough," Garnet stated before walking away with Pearl and Amethyst, leaving Spinel to slap her knee as she kept laughing. Steven smiled that at least he still had someone to tell jokes to, "I've been coming up with these jokes all morning! I'm feline fine! Everything's purr-fect! Come on guys, I'm just kitten around!"

Spinel howled with laughter, hugging Steven tightly to her stomach, and they both laughed together.

Chapter Text

During a sunny day in Beach City, Steven was wearing his helmet and pushing his chair down the porch-steps, Suddenly, a roar was heard and Steven yelped as the ground shook. He accidentally let go of the bike, sending it tumbling down the steps. "Oh! Whoa!" Steven ran after his bike.

On the beach, the four Gems were discussing something. "I don't think they are earthquakes, they're too frequent!" exclaimed Pearl.

Just then, Steven's bike lands in front of them and Steven quickly caught up to it.

"Hey look!" said Amethyst, "Steven's got a bike!"

Spinel tilted her head, "Where are ya going, Stevie?"

"Just out for a ride," replied Steven,

"In the sand?" Pearl asked.

"Yup!" Steven chirped as he ran with his bike down the beach. When he got on his bike, he began to struggle paddling it in the sand.

"Steven! That bike isn't made for sand!" Spinel called after him.

Steven ignored her yell as he saw a girl sitting against the stonewall of the Temple, reading a book. He drove his bike a little past her and parked it, turning his back.

"Some smooth ride..." He stated to himself before turning his head, expecting the girl to look up from her book. No result.

"Five speeds... Hand brakes... Electric blue finish with a tiger bell!" Steven rung the little bell, trying to get the girl's attention, but with no luck as she flipped the page.

Steven tried something else, "I bet there are a lot of kids who'd love to ride this bi-" When he tried to get on his bike, he yelped as he fell over. The girl finally looked up, mainly from the sound of him falling.

Now sitting on his bike and blushing in embarrassment, Steven stuttered to say something, but ended up running away, yelling and removing his helmet. The girl watched his run, slightly concerned.

Steven closed the door behind him, panting a bit from running. Beside him, the four Gems stared at him, who must've been watching him.

Spinel approached him, placing a hand on his shoulder and crouching down to eye level, "Are you alright? I saw you fell off your-"

Steven pulled away, "Yeah yeah! I'm fine!"

"Who were you talking to?" asked Pearl.

"Huh?"

"That girl," Garnet added.

Steven's blush darkened, "U-Uh! She's just a girl I know, except she doesn't know me. We never talked."

Spinel raised an eyebrow of suspicion as Amethyst appeared and cupped his cheeks, smushing them, "You like her!"

"Uh... I like everyone," Steven pushed Amethyst's hands away.

"Like?" Spinel looked outside again, then back at Steven, narrowing her eyes, "It looked like you really wanted to impress her..."

Pearl, hearing the tensity in Spinel's tone, tried to lighten up the mood, "Let's set up a play-date! I'll write up an invitation and work out a schedule. Ohh! We'll have to find out her favorite kind of tea..."

"No," interrupted Garnet, "Just talk to her."

Steven pouted a bit, "Okay. But you guys can't watch! It'll mess up my funky flow!"

Pearl, Amethyst, and Spinel stared at him, "Funky... flow?

Garnet adjusted her visors, "We won't watch."

"Alright!" Steven ran over to the fridge, opening the freezer and grabbed a glowstick bent into a bracelet.

"What's that?" asked Amethyst.

"Nothing!" Steven hastily replied as he left. Spinel watched him leave, worry written across her face.

Back outside, Steven marched his way over to the girl, mumbling his speech, "Hi! My name is Steven! … Hi, my name is Ste-ven. … Hi, my name is… Stevan?"

Another roar and rumble stopped him in his tracks, startling him and the girl. Looking up, Steven saw a piece of the Crystal Temple breaking apart and fell down towards the girl.

Steven gasped and sprinted towards the girl, "Hi! My name is Steven!" Just as he pounced on her, his gem glowed and a pink bubble surrounded them, a formation of a rose blooming and disappearing as the rubble shattered from the impact, leaving the two kids unharmed.

"Steven!"

Steven's body froze up and he turned around to see Spinel running towards them, and she stopped when she saw the bubble, "A-Are you two... Oh."

"Whoa!" Steven gaped, "Did I do that?"

Spinel pressed her hands against the bubble, "Are you two okay?"

Steven scratched the back of his head, "Yeah..." But then he realized something, "Wait! You were watching?!"

"I-I couldn't help it!" Spinel exasperated before turning her attention to the girl, who stared back at them with awe. She got up to her feet and felt around the bubble, "How... What just happened?"

"I'm magic!" Steven explained, pulling up his shirt to show his gem, "Well, half magic. From my mom's side."

The girl looked at Spinel, "You mean her?"

Spinel blushed and Steven waved his arms frantically, "N-No! No! She's just one of my guardians, so are the other Crystal Gems. We like to fight monsters and protect humanity and stuff."

The girl seemed impressed, "Oh! That's kinda like my dad, he's a cop. Well... more like a private security guard."

Steven held a hand out, "S-So, uh, what's your name? She's Spinel and I'm Steven!"

"Connie," she replied, shaking his hand before looking around, "So... how long does it usually last?"

"Oh! Right," Steven strained himself, trying to make the bubble disappear and even hit his gem. When that didn't work, Spinel tried to slam her fists on the dome, to no avail

"What's wrong?" asked Connie.

"It uh..." Steven struggled to figure out what was wrong, "doesn't seem like it wants to go away."

"This is his first time summoning a bubble," Spinel told Connie.

Steven looked at her, "Spineeeeel!"

They sighed, not knowing what to do. Though Steven decided he should break the ice a bit more, "So Connie... Don't see you around often."

Connie shrugged slightly, "My dad works for a bunch of different beaches, so we're never in the same place long."

"Really?" Spinel asked sympathetically, "Sorry to hear that."

"It's fine."

Spinel got an idea and moved to the other side of the bubble, pushing it and making the kids walk as the bubble moved.

Steven continued, "I go on adventures with the Gems sometimes. They usually say it's too dangerous for me though."

"Um, Mrs. Spinel?" Connie looked over her shoulder, "Where are we going?"

"To the other Gems," said Spinel, still struggling to push the bubble, "They might know what to do."

As Spinel tried to pull the bubble up the steep hill, she found it too difficult. She tried to lift it, but it was apparently too heavy. "That's right…" She panted, "The Gems left to another place when you said not to watch you, but I don't know where they are."

"We could just wait here," suggested Connie.

"No, no, no!" Steven protested, "It's okay! I've got other friends that can help!"

Spinel opened her eyes, "You don't mean…"


At the Big Donut, Sadie was hammering at the bubble, Spinel slamming her fist again, though Lars wasn't helping. At all.

"Way to go Steven! Is this your magic love bubble or something?" Lars mocked, ignoring Spinel's growl, "Did you make it because you're in loooove?" He pressed his face against the dome.

Steven didn't seem bothered, "That's Lars. We're basically BFFs."

"He makes weird faces," Connie commented, as Lars began to make weird faces… until Spinel's fist punched him away. Lars shouted in pain and landed on the ground.

"Lars, quit being a dumb jerk and help!" barked Sadie.

"What?" Lars got up, "I am, on his date!"

Spinel snarled to herself and got close to him, harshly poking a finger to his chest, her eyes now spiral-like, "Now listen here, mister. Just because you're older but single doesn't mean you can take those issues out on my kid."

Frightened, Lars ran inside the Big Donut, Sadie continuing to hammer at the dome before giving up, "I'm gonna go try something else!" and ran back inside. Spinel sighed.

"They run the Big Donut, and really crazy for each-other" Again, Steven wasn't even fazed. Connie was slightly concerned and Steven randomly commented, "Anyways, this place has the best donuts! I come here, like, everyday!"

"Not every day, sweetheart," joked Spinel, leaning against the bubble.

Connie looked down, "My parents don't let me eat donuts. They have trans fat."

Steven gaped, "WHAAAAAAATTT?!" Behind him, Lars had come back out to make more weird kissy faces, but shrieked in fright when Spinel's head thrust itself towards him, her eyes spiral-like and she chased him back.

Sadie ran out, pushing Lars aside and yelled as she smashed a stool on the bubble. No good.

Steven nervously chuckled, "I have a better idea."


At the Beach City Pier...

"Whoa! A trawler, and a little skip-jack!" Connie pointed out.

"You know a lot about boats," Steven commented.

Spinel looked around as Connie continued, "That's what happens when you hang out at the beach and don't swim and don't have any friends... Y-You look at boats." The two kids stared awkwardly at each-other.

"Steven?" Spinel broke the silence, "Who is that?"

Steven noticed a small boy holding a bag of popcorn running down the dock. Steven instantly recognized him, "Hey Onion!"

The boy, strangely named Onion, took notice of the group and waved.

Spinel sighed in relief and crouched down, looking and speaking as friendly as she could, "Hey little guy, we need some help. We need to break this bubble with-"

"A harpoon!" exclaimed Steven.

"WHAT?!" Both Connie and Spinel yelled before Spinel added, "NO! I AM NOT ENDANGERING THE BOTH OF YOU! WE'RE GOING HOME!"

Steven panicked, "No no no! Spinel, trust me! We'll even duck!" He then gave the pink gem a puppy-dog look.

Spinel's lip trembled before sighing, "Alright. But do know that you can't keep using those eyes on me." She looked at Onion, who had watched the scene unfold, "Steven says he needs the harpoon gun."

Nodding, Onion went to a boat. The three of them stared at each-other until boat horn blew, startling them. Onion stood on the helm of the boat, directing the harpoon gun at them.

"Duck!" Spinel shouted, and the kids did as they were told.

Onion fired, but the harpoon bounced off the bubble and hits a nearby boat.

"The trawler..." sighed Connie.


"Steven, why are we at Funland?" Spinel asked, rolling the bubble to the amusement park.

"You see, tons of accidents happen here everyday," Steven replied, "There's gotta be something to break this bubble."

Spinel's eyebrows furrowed, "Steven."

"Yeah?"

"We're going home."

Steven's eyes widened, "Wha-What?!"

Spinel tried to keep calm as her voice trembled, "I'm not risking your life even if you and your new friend are stuck in a bubble." She closed her eyes, "I promised no harm would come to you. The Gems will help you figure this out. So Steven Quartz Universe, we're going-"

She paused, realizing they were gone. "STEVEN?! CONNIE?!" She shrieked, her pigtails pointing straight up and bristling.

Steven and Connie were now standing on the platform of the kiddie roller-coaster, the girl looking more afraid than the jovial boy.

"And after the bubble pops?"

"We'll be free!"

As soon as they heard a roar, Steven rolled the bubble down the tracks. When they were hit and dragged by the roller-coaster, they past by Mr. Smiley, who gasped and pulled the emergency break to stop the ride. Steven and Connie were sent flying and fell into the ocean. Spinel had heard the splash and quickly ran over to the beach.

Underwater, the kids dropped to the bottom, still in the bubble.

Connie looked around, "Where are we?"

Steven handed her her glasses, "The bottom of the ocean."

Connie gasped in horror.

"It's okay! Spinel will come find us!" Steven reassured.

"Are we even close to shore?"

Steven darted his eyes away, "Yeah, sure!"

Connie stood up, "Let's start rolling." They began to stroll forwards.

"It's a good thing this bubble is airtight," commented Steven awkwardly, "otherwise, we'd be drowning right now." He laughed nervously, but Connie looked agitated. "Don't worry Connie, Spinel's gonna find us and-"

Out of the blue, a large, long worm-like creature floated over them, scaring the girl.

"A huge worm..." Steven said in awe, "It's okay, look!"

As Steven spoke, the worm-creature munched on the light pink seaweed, "It only wants to eat that bright stuff! See? Not scary at all."

The large worm lifted its head, snarling and wiggling the five finger-like things on its face. It then burrowed into the sand, creating a large crevice that sent the kids falling and hitting the ground.

Steven groaned, and realized his foot was on Connie's face, "Oh sorry! Are you alright?" Connie didn't answer, standing up and the light reflected her glasses.

"It's not so bad..." Steven looked up, "Uhh... it's okay, I uh..."

"It's NOT okay!" snapped Connie.

Steven whimpered slightly.

"You keep saying that but you don't know what you're doing! Now we're going to suffocate or starve at the bottom of the ocean and only my parents will notice because no one else cares about me!"

Steven blinked, "Huh?"

Connie's eyes filled with tears, "I'm gonna disappear without ever making a single friend..." She started to cry, covering her eyes under her glasses. After a moment, Steven held up the glowstick bracelet to her.

"We can be friends."

Connie stared at him.

"I saw you on the Boardwalk Parade last year," said Steven, "You dropped your bracelet. I picked it up, but then I couldn't find you. I saved it in the freezer so it would last longer, in case I saw you again."

From above, a dark pink dolphin swam by, its head turning left and right, the upside-down gem on its chest gleaming. The dolphin looked down the crevice, hearing Steven's familiar voice.

Connie blinked, "Oh! You were the kid on the car wash float. You had soap bubbles in your hair."

Steven blushed and laughed at the memory, "I was supposed to be a scrub brush. I'm sorry Connie." He put the bracelet around Connie's wrist. "If I had returned your bracelet, then you wouldn't be in this bubble with me now."

"No, it's okay," Connie's cheek darkened, "I'm having fun-"

"Steven! Connie!"

The two kids saw the dolphin staring at them through the bubble. Steven recognized who it was, but before anyone could speak another word, the bubble finally popped. Realizing what could happen, Steven and Connie grabbed onto Spinel and she swam up to the surface. They gasped for air and Spinel reformed to her normal form, and she wrapped her arms around them.

"Oh my stars, you're both okay!" She panted, "Steven, don't ever scare me like that again!"

Steven nodded nervously, until the Worm-Monster thrust its head out of the water, creating a wave that sent the three to shore. Before she knew it, Spinel was slammed towards a giant rock by the the creature's tail.

"Spinel!" Steven cried.

"Come on! Come on!" Connie shouted, running away with Steven. "Hide in the rocks!"

Connie climbed onto a rock, but Steven hid under the pier. The Worm-Monster snapped its jaws at Connie and targeted her.

"Why it is chasing us?!" Steven screamed before he noticed Connie's glowstick, "The bracelet! It eats bright stuff, Connie!"

Spinel managed to get up, pushing some of the rocks away from her as she looked up, "Steven!?"

Connie kept running from the monster. "Give me the bracelet!" Steven shouted.

"What?!"

Steven nudged Connie forwards as they ran, "It's okay! Now go! Go! Run that way!* He pushed her in a different direction. "I'm sorry!"

Spinel and Connie watched with horrified anticipation as the Worm-Monster pursued Steven. He ran this way and that, causing the monster to get tangled with the wooden pillars. When Steven escaped its jaws, the Worm-Monster couldn't reach him anymore. It tried to pull itself forwards, but that caused the pier to crash down upon it, poofing it. Spinel kept her arms around the children.

"Steven! Spinel! What's going on?! What did you do?!" They saw Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet sprinting towards them.

Connie smiled, "He was incredible!"

Steven looked at her, "Really? You mean it?" Behind them, Garnet picks up the discarded gem, bubbled it and sent it away. Steven shyly handed Connie her bracelet, "Here's your bracelet... again."

Spinel smiled, releasing the kids from her arms, "Y'know, Connie?" She ruffled the girl's hair, "You're not bad after all."

Connie laughed, "Thanks!"

Amethyst appeared beside Steven, "So, are you gonna introduce us too?"

Pearl walked up to them, "Steven was so excited to meet you, right Steven?" Steven laughed nervously.

"Hey," Garnet picked Pearl and Amethyst up, "Don't mess with his funky flow." And she carried them away.

Connie looked confused, "Funky... flow?"

Spinel's grin stretched wide, "That's what he has!"

"Spineeeel! Stop! You're embarrassing me!" Steven protested, blushing and trying to push the pink gem away, but Spinel stayed in place and kept laughing.

Chapter Text

Somewhere in a desert, columns and stairs made of sand stood, one of the columns collapsing into a pile. The Crystal walked over, looking around, with Spinel at the rear, Steven sitting on her shoulders and his hands planted to her forehead.

Steven panted, sweat beading all over his body, "W-Water... Water... So thirsty... for water..."

"We'll only be here for a little bit, Stevie," Spinel reassured, wiping some sweat off his forehead.

Garnet stared straight ahead, "All we need to find what ever's turned this desert aimless."

"It's building columns without roofs, stairs that lead to nowhere!" exclaimed Pearl, "This is out of control!"

Amethyst walked behind Spinel and Steven, "Then I guess we better," She leap-froged over the two, sliding down the sand-pile, "roll on over there. Heheh."

Pearl frowned, "That was a bit unnecessary."

"Really unnecessary," Spinel added.

Amethyst didn't look or sound too bothered, "Nuh-nuh nuh nuh nuh, nuh nuh nuh nuh."

"Excuse me?!" Pearl snapped, Spinel rolling her eyes. Suddenly, a roar was heard in the distance.

Spinel clenched Steven's knees closer out of fear as Steven was just as scared as she was, "What was that?!"

"Let's go!" yelled Amethyst.

"Keep an eye on Steven," Garnet told Spinel, "We'll take care of this."

"What if something eats me?!" cried Steven.

Spinel booped his nose, "I won't let nothin' eat ya, Stevie."

"Don't worry, wet one," Garnet wiped the sweat off of Steven's face and flicked it back, "There's nothing that can harm you. See you soon."

"Okay..." said Steven. The three Gems headed off to investigate. Steven hopped down from Spinel's shoulders and ran over to a column to find some shade.

"It's. So. Desert," He mumbled, pulling his shirt over his face. Spinel stood beside him, looking around for any danger. A groan was heard, alerting the both of them.

"There is it again." stated Spinel.

"Nothing can harm me!" declared Steven, "I am the Wet One..."

As they looked around, a large shadowy figure appeared behind one of the columns. Steven yelped, Spinel lifting him in her arms and ducking behind the column. The figure got closer.

"Good thing this column was here," Steven quickly commented right before said-column collapsed. They turned around, meeting a pink lion's gaze.

Spinel backed away, holding Steven closer, but bumped into a growing sand-wall. She brought up a fist at the lion, "Leave us alone!"

... But the lion stood there. It yawned and licked its lips before flopping onto the ground, sleeping.

Spinel and Steven blinked in surprise, glancing at each-other. Spinel took a cautious step towards the lion, backing away when it flicked an ear. When she and Steven got closer, the lion lifted its head.

Spinel gently laid a hand on its muzzle and pulled away, "Don't-!" But the lion didn't snap its jaws or even growl. Slightly calmer, Spinel pet the lion's muzzle, and it relaxed under her touch.

"Aww!" Steven escaped from the pink gem's arm and began to pet the lion, much to Spinel's surprise and relief, "You just wanted attention! Didn't you, didn't you?" He stroked the mammal's mane, "Your mane, it's soo soft..."

Spinel continued to pet its muzzle, "Heeey buddy, how'd you get here? I'm so glad you're not attacking us right now. Though it's strange, I've never seen a pink lion before."

"I like it!" proclaimed Steven as he laid on the lion's head, "He's like the cotton candy of the jungle."

The lion flopped to its side and Steven fell over, but he climbed up its side, "I've always wanted an animal friend. But I thought-" He fell over again and sat up, "It would be like a goldfish, or a dinosaur!"

Spinel laughed, laying in the lion's mane, "Dinosaurs have been extinct for over 65 million years, sweetie. Guess fate had other plans for Steven Universe!"

The lion laid a paw over Steven and stars lit up in the boy's eyes, "And his new best friend Lion..."

They laid there for a second before an explosion of sand covered them. The Gem's voices were heard as Steven, Spinel, and Lion sat up and shook the sand off, the Gems walking towards them.

"Amethyst, bubble it away," Pearl ordered.

Amethyst flung a red pillow with a green gem embedded in it up and caught it, "No, quit being jealous Pearl. My kill, my keep."

Pearl huffed, "I'm not jealous. Just be careful, if you drop it on the sand, it'll rebuild everything!"

Steven gasped, "They're coming! Quick, put my head in your mouth!" He opened Lion's maw and tried to stick his head in.

"STEVEN! DON'T YOU DARE!" Spinel frantically pulled Steven away, and froze when Pearl called out, "Spinel! What's going on?! What are you doing?!"

Spinel panicked but placed Steven down and raised her hands reassuringly, "I-It's fine, Pearl! Steven's unharmed and the lion's tame!

"That's impossible," said Pearl, not believing her.

"No it isn't!" Steven retorted, "I-I taught him to say 'I love you'!" He opened Lion's maw again and moved his lips, "I love you!"

Spinel couldn't fight back a laugh before looking away. Amethyst grinned, "That's so sweet! I-I-I love you too."

Pearl groaned and dispelled her spear, "Get your hands out of that thing's mouth."

"It's a lion," corrected Spinel.

The pale gem ignored her, "We have to get the Desert Glass out of the desert." She tried to snatch the pillow from Amethyst.

"I got it," insisted Amethyst.

"Let's go, you two." Garnet said as she and the other Gems tread off to find the Warp Pad.

"Come on, little one," Spinel grasped Steven's hand

Steven looked sad, "Okay, give me a sec." He turned to Lion. "Hey Lion, we gotta go. I had a lot of fun and I feel like you really get me."

Lion stared blankly at them. Spinel patted his head, "Yeah, maybe we'll see you some other time. Come on, Steven. The others are waiting."

Steven nodded, "Right... Bye bye, Lion. Don't make it harder for us..."

Spinel got Steven back onto her shoulders again and followed the other gems as Pearl continued to bicker, "Amethyst, that pillow needs to be contained!"

"Yeah, you'd better listen to Pearl," agreed Spinel.

"Yeah yeah," Amethyst casually brushed her off, "I know what to do with it."

Lion sat there and stared after them.


With the Desert Glass sitting atop a pillow fort, Spinel, Steven, and Amethyst slept under it. A scratching noise on the door woke Spinel up, "W-Wha... Huh?"

As she got up, Steven woke up at the feeling of her arms uncoiling, "Spinel? What's that?"

Amethyst grumbled, somehow still asleep, "Shut your mouth, Spin... or Steven..."

Spinel looked crossly at the purple gem and Steven sat up, curious, "I thought Gems didn't need sleep."

"We don't," Amethyst sighed, "feels good though..."

"She's right about that-" The scratching continued. Spinel groaned and walked towards the door, "Alright alright, I'm coming. But whoever you are-" She accidentally opened the door and jumped back in surprise to see Lion.

"Lion!" Steven yelled excitedly, running to Spinel's side, "Oh my gosh, you're back! Spinel! He came all this way to see us!"

Spinel tried to match his excitement, "Uh y-yeah, that's truly..." She paused as Lion tried to enter the house, but she pushed him back and closed the door behind her and Steven, "Whoa whoa whoa, no Lion. You're staying outside."

"But he's a cat!" Steven retorted.

"I know, but there's a big difference between the cute domestic cat," Spinel made a cute face before changing into a vicious expression with sharp teeth, "And a predator who could swallow you whole."

"He didn't eat me!" Steven pointed out. Lion continued to stare at them. "Besides, he came back for us! I bet he wants to play!"

Spinel tilted her head, "Like what?"

Steven stared at the white ribbon around her waist and pulled it, surprising her as he somehow got it untied and waved the ribbon at Lion like a tail. Lion didn't react.

Spinel deadpanned, "Steven. Can I have that back?"

Steven handed the ribbon back, "Alright, we'll think of something else."


"Steven! Please don't do this!"

"Trust me! Alright Lion! Get into position!" Steven shouted, standing atop the cliff while Spinel and Lion were at the bottom. Lion stared at Spinel, and back to the boy.

"I'm gonna jump! Catch me!"

Lion didn't move. Spinel looked ready to catch him.

"Come on Lion! I'm falling! Help me!"

Lion blinked.

Steven sighed in defeat, "Okay, obviously, you're not into this-" He tripped and fell over the edge. Spinel stretched her arms and caught him midair. Lion had walked to the side, uninterested.

"... Game." Steven finished.


Steven held up a tennis ball and waved it to Lion and Spinel, "Okay, gonna throw the ball! Here it comes!"

He tossed the ball upwards... only to fall beside Lion.

"WHAAAAT?!" exclaimed Steven, "That throw was so good!" He ran over to Lion and picked up the ball, "Lion! All you gotta do is catch it with your mouth, see?"

Spinel tensed up, "Don't put that in your mouth."

Steven stopped before it could do that and sighed. Lion began to pad away, leaving Spinel and Steven standing.

"Well, we've tried," said Spinel, "Cats aren't really the playful types."

"Wait!" Steven got an idea, "We can get him some pizza!"

"Pizza? But-"

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssseeeee?" Steven begged, clutching the rim of her dress, giving her another sad look.


"Cats love fish, everybody loves pizza, so you're gonna love this!" Steven gestured to Lion as he and Spinel walked towards the restaurant. The boy pressed himself against the glass, "Whoa! This place is jumpin'! Wait here, we're gonna blow some minds!"

"And hope they don't scream their heads off," Spinel added reluctantly, guiding Steven. Lion remained in his spot. Inside the pizzeria, Kiki was at the counter, Ronaldo typing on his computer, and Onion eating his pizza.

"Oh, heya Spinel," Kiki politely greeted, "What're you and Steven having?"

"Hey Kiki," Spinel said as she rested her hands on the counter, "We're just getting a large one today."

"With extra fish!" Steven quickly added.

Kiki blinked in surprise, "You two must be hungry."

"We're ordering for three-" Spinel began before Ronaldo spat out his drink.

"Spinel's pregnant?!" He exclaimed.

Spinel stood there in disbelief of the comment, blushing a cherry red, so Steven answered for her, "No, she's not! We have a giant pet lion outside!"

Kiki looked suspicious, "You're not lion, are you?"

Steven laughed, "That's funny, but I'm not. Right, Spinel?"

Spinel snapped back to reality, "U-Uh, yeah. There's a lion outside."

"I believe it!" yelled Ronaldo, "Lots of weird stuff happens in Beach City. You'd know if you read my blog 'Keep Beach City Weird'! I also have buttons!" He opened up his coat to reveal buttons over his white shirt.

Spinel scrunched her nose, "No thanks..."

"Just come outside and see for yourselves," said Steven and the three exited the restaurant. At first, Steven seemed confident, but Spinel looked outside as Ronaldo shouted, "It's invisible!"

Steven opened his eyes, "Huh? What?!" He and Spinel ran outside, and only saw Kiki, Ronaldo, and Onion, but no Lion.

"What? Where did Lion go?" Spinel turned her head around.

"But he's not invisible!" Steven retorted at Ronaldo, "He's pink!"

Ronaldo was feeling the air aimlessly, "How can he be invisible and pink?"

Spinel chuckled nervously at Kiki, "Kiki, listen, what's Steven's-"

"There's nothing out here," said Kiki, "Geez Spinel, I know you're supportive of your boy and all, but encouraging his imagination? That's really stretching it ... Sorry." She walked back inside, not giving the gem the time to reply.

Ronaldo shoved his way past Spinel, "Bet you're not even pregnant either."

"That's not how Gems-!" She shouted, but paused, sighing in defeat and face-palmed. Steven hung his head in shame.


Spinel and Steven walked back to the beach house, with the pink gem grasping his wrist and a cross look on her face. Steven was still ashamed of himself, knowing what he could get when they got home.

But they stopped when they saw the large, pink cat clawing at the door.

"Hey hey! No!" Spinel yelled, letting go of Steven and tugging Lion's mane, "You're not going in there! And why'd you run off like that?! You made us look like fools!"

Unfazed by her scolding, Lion broke down the door and entered the house. Spinel and Steven stepped in as Lion stood in front of Amethyst's fort.

Amethyst yawned, not seeing the lion, "Keep it down, guys..." and feel back asleep.

"Get out!" Spinel angrily scolded the animal, but Steven noticed what Lion was staring at, ran up to his bed and grabbed the Desert Glass.

"A-Are you after this? This pillow?" Steven questioned, his eyes tearing up, "We've been trying to play with you, feed you, cause I thought we were best friends! Did all of that mean nothing to you?"

Spinel blinked in surprise. Lion didn't reply and hopped up onto the upper floor, the boy ran down the stairs and outside on the porch, "Fine! I don't care!"

"No! Steven, don't!" Spinel followed and caught Steven's hand that was holding the pillow, "Don't throw this! It could-!"

Steven struggled against her grasp, "W-Why shouldn't I?! It's just a stupid pillow!" With his other hand, he tossed the pillow a good distance away. The ground rumbled and tall sand structures rose from the sand. Steven and Spinel looked on in fear, running down the hill.

"Steven! Spinel!" Pearl called from the porch, "The Desert Glass, it's rebuilding its castle!" She turned to Amethyst, "Why didn't you bubble it?!"

Amethyst shrugged, "Welcome to shrug city, P."

"Don't move!" Pearl shouted over the wind to them, "Spinel, get Steven somewhere safe!"

"Got-" Spinel was about to reply, but a gust of sand enveloped the both of them.

Within the eye of the sandstorm, Steven ended up alone and he cried, "Spinel! Help! Where did you go?!" His attention was turned to the Desert Glass that sat atop a tall sand-pillar.

Steven realized what he had to do, "There it is! The pillow! I have to get it off the sand." The boy ran up a flight of sand-stairs before it crumbled and he hopped onto a rising pillar.

Outside, Garnet smashed her gauntlets on a sand wall, to no avail. "This wall's not moving!"

Pearl held a hand over her eyes, "We gotta get through before things get-"

Amethyst was launched into the air from a pillar and yelled aloud as she spun around, the sand whipping around Pearl and Garnet.

Spinel, on the other hand, covered her eyes with her hand, head whipping back and forth frantically and walked through the blowing sand, "Steven?! Steven!"

A large familiar shape zoomed under her, revealing it to be Lion. She could only gasp in surprise as Lion leapt through the storm and landed outside of it, knocking her off and jumping into the sand vortex again. Spinel sat up, worried.

With Steven, he continued to hop from crumbling column to column and almost reached the Desert Glass. But before he could reach it, the structure came crumbling down, and he screamed when he saw there were spikes at the bottom. He shut his eyes, not seeing the large figure catching him.

Opening his eyes, Steven saw that he was on Lion's back, "Lion!" He cheered as they landed away from the spikes, "You didn't come here to steal the pillow! You came here to protect us from it!"

Lion growled in agreement, the Desert Glass continuing to create more erecting sand-structures.

"It's there!" Steven pointed at the pillow, "It's putting up defenses! How are we gonna get up there?!

Lion let out a roar, creating pink soundwaves and decimating enough spikes to make a clearer path.

"Yep, sounds good!" nodded Steven, "Let's go!"

Steven held onto Lion's mane as Lion leapt towards the tower, blocked by three more pillars. Another powerful roar knocked them over and Lion made a sprint to the top of the column.

"Now Lion!" Steven yelled and Lion roared loudly, breaking into the wall and emerging out, with Steven holding the pillow. He outstretched his arms, almost as if he was flying. The sandstorm finally disappeared and the structures fell. Lion landed roughly onto the sand, and Steven tumbled off, holding the pillow close.

Garnet, Amethyst, Spinel, and Pearl popped their heads out of the sand. Steven chuckled nervously at them.

A bit later, Pearl bubbled the pillow and sent it away, "We should've done this in the first place."

Amethyst rolled her eyes, "In my defense, I forgot."

"Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!" Spinel cried happily, hugging Lion and squeezing him a bit, "Thank you for saving my baby!" Lion growled a bit.

However, Steven looked sad, "So... I guess this is goodbye, Lion. We had good times, but I'm sure you have other magical stuff to smash with other magical boys and gems."

Spinel frowned a bit, but got an idea and hid behind Lion, her fingers moving Lion's lips and speaking in a silly deep voice, "Aww, but Steven, I want to stay with you forever!"

Steven gasped happily, "Really?! Guys, you hear that?"

Pearl raised an eyebrow, "Are we really going to keep that?"

"We kept Amethyst," stated Garnet.

Pearl paused, and began to laugh hysterically, "'Kept Amethyst'! Oh Garnet, that's priceless!" Spinel laughed along with her, Amethyst not really caring.

"Yaaay, Lion!" Steven said as he moved Lion's eyelids to make him wink, "Wink!"

Chapter Text

At the beach, Amethyst and Pearl were sitting and playing checkers, drenched. On a lifeguard chair, Steven was perched, holding a water balloon over Amethyst, and Spinel was holding one over Pearl.

Amethyst made a move and swiftly captured one of Pearl's pieces, "Ha! Take that!"

Pearl was surprised, but smiled, "Wow, Amethyst! I'm impressed." A water balloon landed on her and she glowered at a giggling gem.

"It's your move," teased Spinel.

Pearl sighed, "Steven, is this even necessary?"

Steven nodded, "Yeah, this way the moves really matter."

"But it's checkers!" Pearl exclaimed, "Every single move matters!"

Amethyst twirled a strand of her wet hair around her finger, "It sounds like someone's a sore loser."

"Here here," Spinel agreed.

Pearl grumbled angrily, "I'm not a sore loser..." Then she caught all of Amethyst's pieces in one fell swoop and grinned, "Because I just won the game!"

"WHAAAA?!" Amethyst yelled in shock before bracing herself, "Here it comes!" Steven dunked Amethyst with all of his water balloons.

"And Amethyst loses!" Spinel announced.

"And boy, does it feel good," smiled Amethyst.

Pearl stood up, now annoyed, "Ahem. I certainly hope that's not the attitude you have during battle."

Amethyst got up, "Um, you think I have it bad?" She gestured to up to Spinel, "'Miss Pacifist' here barely fights and you don't get mad at her."

Spinel frowned, "Are we seriously arguing about this again? Man, all your drama is why you never form Opal- " She stopped and slapped her hand over her mouth when she realized what she said.

But Steven heard her, "Opal? Who's Opal?"

Spinel melodramatically placed her hand over her head, "Oh dear, I've said too much."

Pearl sighed, "Well, he'd have to learn someday. And next time, you, Spinel, will keep her mouth shut."

"Who's Opal?" Steven asked again, now more intrigued and jumping down from the tall chair.

"Oh, it's just two of us mashed together," Amethyst clasped her hands together, Spinel joining her side.

Pearl scoffed, "Is water just oxygen and hydrogen 'mashed' together?"

Steven, Amethyst, and Spinel glanced at each-other, clueless.

"... Analogy wasted. Look here, Steven," Pearl began to manipulate the sand into little figures of herself and Amethyst and made them dance gracefully, "When we synchronize our forms, we can combine into a powerful fusion gem named Opal."

Amethyst stomped on the Opal figurine, "Except I don't dance like that!"

"Amethyst..." Pearl tried to keep her cool.

Steven was delighted, "Wow! That's so cool! But tell me more about Opal!"

"Well Steven, she's an ultra powerful, stone-cold Betty- That part's me," Amethyst explained, "And she's like, kinda tall- that part's Pearl."

Spinel wasn't impressed with her explanation, "That's a crude way of putting it."

"What Amethyst is trying to say is," Pearl spoke up, "Opal is an amalgam of our combined magical and physical attributes, fused into a single entity."

Spinel snapped her fingers, "Exactly!"

"Wow!" Steven said ecstatically, "Can you do it right now?" He grabbed Pearl's hand, "Come on! Form Opal!"

Amethyst scoffed.

"We only form Opal when it's absolutely necessary." Pearl told him.

"Spinel! Spinel!" Steven begged, tugging on her dress, "Please tell them to form Opal!"

But she shook her head, "No Steven. They'll do it on their own."

Their attention was turned to the Beach House as a beam of light emitted from inside. Steven gasped, "Garnet's back!"


Steven burst in the door as soon as Garnet stepped out. "Oh! Oh! Did you bring me anything?" Garnet handed him a rock and he grinned, "Whoa! A rock! Thanks Garnet!"

"So, was your mission a success?" asked Pearl.

"I've located the Geode Beetles of Heaven and Earth," Garnet responded, "We should split up to retrieve them."

"Well I'm going with not Pearl."

Pearl frowned from Amethyst's rude comment, "Well, that's perfect because I don't want to go with grammatically incorrect people anyway."

"Look! If it makes you feel better, I'll come with you." Spinel offered to Pearl, her hand pulling the rock out of Steven's mouth.

"You four go together. I go alone."

Amethyst, Spinel, and Pearl's eyes widened in shock, "What?! Why?!"

"The Earth Beetle's at the bottom of the boiling lava lake, and only I can swim in lava," Garnet explained, summoning a pair of goggles, "You'll find the Heaven Beetle at the top of the Sky Spire. It's safer."

Amethyst crossed her arms, "You mean boring-er."

"You mean more boring," Pearl corrected.

"So you agree with me."

"Ugh! Come on, you three. Let's go." grumbled Pearl, walking towards the warp pad, Amethyst and Steven following her before Spinel joined them.

"Spinel, you know what to do," Garnet told her.

Spinel nodded as she stood beside the other Gems and warped away, "Of course, Garnet. I'll keep the-!"


"-Peace!" Spinel finished, just as they arrived at their destination. Steven landed with an oomph, and gaped in awe from the beautiful sight of the Sky Spire.

"Whoa..." Steven stood up, "Is this where the Heaven Beetle lives?"

"Apparently," replied Pearl.

"All the way at the top," Amethyst pointed to a far-away point of the Spire.

Spinel looked around cautiously, "We gotta be careful. We're standing on a floating island surrounded by more floating islands. Make the wrong move…and you could fall into nowhere."

"So maybe Opal can help!" Steven suggested.

Amethyst groaned and Spinel sighed.

"Also, does one of you control the right arm and the other control the left arm?"

Pearl began walking to the stairs, "Come on, Steven." The two other Gems followed her.

"Wait! These are extremely important questions!" Steven called out and ran behind them, seeing the long staircase, "Phew, these are a lot of stairs. How about you form Opal and give me a piggyback ride?"

"No." Pearl and Amethyst responded in union.

Spinel was slightly hurt, "What's wrong with my piggyback rides?"

Steven panicked, "N-Nothing! You love your rides too! But I wanna try with Opal!"

Everyone paused as they reached the top of the stairs, hearing a rustling bush. Pearl and Amethyst pulled out their weapons and Spinel had her fists up. However, a simple mountain goat hopped out of the bush, eating a few leaves.

Steven backed away, "Look out! It's a magical goat guardian! Quick, you have to form Opal! It's the only way to defeat it! Hurry before it kills us all!" He hid behind Spinel and under her dress, pretending to be cowering in fear.

"It's... only a mountain goat, my love," Spinel said, trying to keep her patience.

"And we only fuse for deadly situations!" added Pearl, standing near the goat, "Does this look like a deadly situation?" The goat bit down on her hand and she recoiled, "Ow! Hey, bad mountain goat!"

The goat bleated at her. Amethyst fell over, laughing hysterically. Spinel was keeping in her laughter, holding a hand to her mouth, but couldn't help but smile in amusement.

Steven was still disappointed, "Darn it. Aww... I'm never going to see Opal."

 

StevenAll I wanna do is see you turn into, a giant woman, a giant woman!

All I wanna be is someone who gets to see a giant woman.

All I wanna do is help you turn into a giant woman, a giant woman!

All I wanna be is someone who gets to see a giant woman.

Oh, I know it'll be great and I just can't wait to see the person you are together.

If you give it a chance, you can do a huge dance because you are a giant woman.

You might even like being together, and if you don't, it won't be forever.

But if it were me, I'd really wanna be a giant woman, a giant woman!

All I wanna do is see you turn into a giant woman...

 

The goat bleated loudly, getting Steven off its back and hopping across the path of small floating platforms, and bleated after them on the other side.

"Wait! Steven Jr!" Steven yelled, preparing to jump across.

Spinel stopped him, "Wait, Steven! I don't think this is safe."

Pearl nodded in agreement, "I'm not sure if you could make those jumps alone."

Steven's eyes lit up, "Oh, you should fuse into Opal, and then lay across the rocks like a bridge!"

The Gems grew annoyed again and Pearl shook her head, "We don't need Opal to get across."

"Can you do it anyway? Pleeeease?" Steven begged, "It would be easier, wouldn't it?"

"Not as easy as this!" Amethyst said, grabbing Steven and throwing him to a floating platform and she leapt next to him.

Spinel panicked, "AMETHYST! What the f-"

Pearl slapped her hand over the pink gem's mouth, "Spinel, Steven's here."

Steven smiled, "Oh wow Amethyst! That was a really good idea!"

"I know, I'm full of 'em," Amethyst grinned to the other Gems.

"Don't you dare move!" Spinel barked angrily, Pearl looking on with worry.

Amethyst wasn't fazed, "Aw chill, Spinny. He's safe with me."

"Yeah! Look!" Steven began to wobble the platform, Amethyst joining in. However, gravity sent Steven falling, the Gems shouting in worry. Pearl leapt down from the platform and grabbed Steven into a hug, Amethyst's whip wrapped around her waist.

But Amethyst slipped off the platform and fell, screaming before a long set of arms coiled around Amethyst and dragged her up, placing them on the platform.

"That was so great how you worked together. Why don't you do that all the time?" Steven panted, sweating a bit.

Amethyst and Pearl glanced at each-other, but turned their heads away. Spinel, stuck in the middle, awkwardly darted her eyes left to right.


The team had walked up the spiral staircase and reached the top of the Spire.

Steven was panting heavily, his hands on his knees, "I can't feel my legs anymore... Hey look at that!"

Steven Jr was already standing beside a tiny temple as Steven ran over to see it, "It's a tiny temple!"

"We found it!" proclaimed Spinel.

"It's just where Garnet said it would be," Pearl walked over with Spinel, "The Heaven Beetle should be inside."

Steven peered inside, seeing a tiny bedroom and he giggled, "Check it out. It's even got a little beetle bedroom, and little beetle bongos, and a little beetle baby book!"

Pearl peered in as well, "But where's the Beetle? It's supposed to be here, the Heaven Beetle wouldn't leave, would it?"

Spinel was about to comment, but Pearl grabbed her shoulders and yelled into her face, "Oh! It could be anywhere!"

Amethyst chuckled, "Maybe she should freak out some more, that's really gonna help us find it."

Spinel glared at the purple gem, "Amethyst, enough-"

Cutting her off, Pearl stormed up to Amethyst, infuriated, "I can't believe your attitude, Amethyst. And now you're just slouching over here doing nothing!"

"Guys! Stop fighting!" Spinel pleaded, but to no avail.

"Hey! It's not my fault the beetle isn't there! Why do you have to make things worse by squawking at me?!" Amethyst snapped.

Steven Jr began to bleat loudly in distress, scaring Steven and Spinel.

"I don't squawk!"

"Yeah, you're squawking at me and commenting on my posture!"

"This is squawking! SQUAWK, SQUAWK!"

"Can the both of you shut up?!" screamed Spinel, shoving the two apart, "You're not making anything better!"

Just then, a giant eyeless bird emerged from the lake around them, and eating the goat whole. Steven yelped in fear, Spinel's arms wrapping around him and pulling him to her chest.

"My son!" Steven cried.

Pearl summoned her spear and hurled it towards the bird. The bird simply gulped it down. The Gems realized they stood no chance against it.

"In here, guys!" Amethyst shouted, pulling Spinel and Steven into the passageway. Pearl rushed in and they backed away from the exit, the bird sticking its beak inside, trying to reach them.

"It swallowed my spear!" Pearl whined.

Spinel frowned despite the panic, "Oh please, you've got an infinity amount of 'em in your gem!"

"Guys! Guys!" Steven yelled excitedly, "Now's the perfect time for you two to form Opal!"

Spinel's face dropped into a scowl and she released Steven, "Steven, that is enough."

"W-Wh-... Wha?" Steven mumbled, his excitement replaced with guilt.

Spinel stood in front of him, ignoring the bird behind her, "I get it. You wanna see Opal. Fusion's cool and stuff. But your constant demands is what's driving them further away. Aren't you even considering their feelings right now? Perhaps if we were in more danger, they'd consider trying to fuse, but since we're safe and sound, we are-"

The bird's head crashed through the roof above them and snapped its beak onto Spinel, poofing into its mouth and it coughed and swallowed.

"NOOOOOOO!" Steven wailed in horror, and turned to the remaining Gems, "Pearl! Amethyst! We have to save her!"

"Are you kidding?!" exclaimed Amethyst, "We barely stand a chance against that thing!"

"Come on! We gotta do it for M-" Steven wasn't given a chance to finish as the bird caught him in its beak and swallowed him whole.

"STEVEN!" Pearl and Amethyst screamed.

Inside the bird, Steven fell through the throat, landing in a pile of junk and goat skeletons. He panicked at first, but saw the heart-shaped gem laying nearby.

He scrambled to pick it up and hugged it, "Spinel! Spinel, I'm sorry for everything! I didn't mean to be annoying!"

Steven then heard a bleat and there was Steven Jr, casually chewing on a white beetle.

"Steven Jr! How could you eat at a time like this?" He climbed up the junk and he blinked when he saw the beetle, "Hey, is that the Heaven Beetle? Let me see it."

He tried to pull the beetle out of the goat's mouth, but Steven Jr refused to let it go. Steven frowned, struggling to pull the beetle out while holding Spinel's gem close at the same time.

"Hey!" Steven scolded the goat, "Be a good goat and give me the magic bug!"

The bird started to shake, the pile of junk collapsing and Steven and the goat fell off. But now, Steven was holding the Heaven Beetle, "I got it!"

But the goat bleated in protested, Steven shoved it away, "No! B-Bad goat! You're no son of mine!"

A pale blue arm burst from the skin of the bird, feeling around. Steven and Steven Jr screamed and fear and tried to flee, but another arm blocked their path, two others behind them.

Steven clutched the gem close, "What's going on?!"

The arm snatched the goat away, and Steven cried out, "Steven Jr!" Another arm grabbed him, pulling him out of the bird by a mysterious woman with four arms, the bird disintegrated into gem shards and the woman landed on the lake, Steven in her arms and letting go of the goat.

Steven stared at her, "... Opal?"

Opal looked on as the gem shards turned into smaller bird monsters that dove towards them. Opal backflipped away from the birds' attack and slid down the staircase. At the bottom, she leapt across the path onto a small floating island and put Steven down.

"Stay low." She told him.

Opal stood at the edge, summoning Pearl and Amethyst's weapons, combining them into a bow. She drew the bow back, creating a blue energy arrow and fires it towards the bird monsters. They were hit, turned them back into gem shards and they all were bubbled.

Opal turned to face Steven, who was in awe, the heart-shaped gem laid beside him. Opal offered him a hand to stand up and he got to his feet. They shared eye contact, though Spinel's gem began to glow and Spinel reappeared and landed on her feet.

"Jeez..." Se sighed, "I gotta be more careful or-" She looked up, gasping when she saw the fusion.

"Hello." Opal greeted her.

Spinel's eyes gleamed, "Opal... it's really you..."

"It's good to see you too." She replied.

"Spinel?"

Spinel turned her head, "Hm?"

Steven wrapped his arms around her. Spinel smiled softly and she hugged him back, silently forgiving him.


Garnet was finishing drying her hair, when she heard and saw Steven, Spinel, and Opal warping back.

"We're back!" Steven announced.

Garnet looked at Opal, "The Heaven Beetle."

Opal's eyes widened, "I don't have it..." She began to deform and unfused into Pearl and Amethyst.

"Amethyst! You got distracted!" Pearl shouted.

"Hey!" Amethyst retaliated, "You were the one getting carried away with all those fancy backflips!"

Steven quickly dug into his pocket, "Wait a sec! I got the beetle!" He held up the Heaven Beetle.

Spinel gasped and hugged him, "Ooooh! I'm so proud!"

"Good job, Steven," Garnet stated as she placed the Heaven Beetle into a terrarium with the Earth Beetle, shutting it, and bubbled it, "I also see you helped your teammates fuse."

Pearl and Amethyst stared at each-other in shock.

"And all I had to do was get eaten by a bird." said Steven, proudly standing.

Spinel scratched the back of her head and laughed nervously, "Me too. It was my fault."

"Nice work. You'll be great at fusing one day," said Garnet as she walked away.

"Yeah..." Steven replied... before he gasped, "Wait! I can do that too?!"

Chapter Text

Outside, the rain was pouring down from the sky. Lion laid under the porch of the house, trying to avoid the rain. He yawned and laid his head down for a nap.

Within the Beach House, Steven and the Gems laid at the edge of his bed, watching a movie on the little TV, eating popcorn as the two characters onscreen were confronting each-other in a fight.

"It was you!" Lonely Blade shouted, "You were the one who killed my brother, cursing me to fight forever!"

Spinel looked sympathetic, "Aww, poor Lonely Blade..."

Steven laid his head in between her pigtails, "Yeah..."

"You think you can defeat me? The President of the Shadow Samurai Government?!" The exposed villain pulled out his sword from his mop.

"What?!" Steven clutched Spinel's pigtails, which did hurt Spinel, but she barely minded, "The janitor is the evil samurai president?! That's bananas!"

Pearl rolled her eyes, "Oh come on, it was so obvious. He's been mopping in the background of every fight scene." She pulled up the cover of the movie, "Look, here he is on the cover of the box."

Spinel shot her a quick glare, "Shh, he's enjoying the movie." And she turned away.

"For my honor and my brother! I will strike you down!" Lonely Blade cried, unsheathing and conjoining two of his swords, "Boomerang Blade!" He threw his swords towards the villain.

Samurai President leapt up to avoid the attack and thrusted down, "Piercing Shadow of a Thousand... Screams!"

"Go Lonely, go!" Steven cheered, letting go of one of Spinel's pigtails, "Do the Boomerang Blade again!"

"Oh come on, this is ridiculous!" Pearl complained, "Just look at their form, this is nothing like real sword-fighting!" Garnet, Amethyst, and Spinel shushed her.

Steven laughed, "It's just a movie, Pearl." He ate a handful of popcorn.

Spinel grinned as she got an idea, "Unless you'd like to show him some real sword-fighting..."

Something sparked in Pearl's blue eyes, "Well why didn't you say so? I'd be happy to show you, Steven." Steven beamed with delight, surprising Pearl. "Now?"


At a cloud area, known a Pearl's Area, Garnet, Spinel, and Steven sat on the stone stairs. Amethyst was laying belly-deep on a small cloud.

Pearl held up two swords, "Alright, in order to give a proper demonstration, I'm going to need a sparring partner."

Steven raised his hand, but Spinel immediately lowered it.

"Luckily, I have the perfect candidate right here," said Pearl, her gem glowing and she performed a brief ballet move before standing on her tippy-toe and a hologram resembling her appeared out of her gem.

"Cooool! Hologram Pearl!" Steven's eyes lit up.

Spinel nodded, "Yeah, isn't she cool?"

"Aw jeez," Amethyst groaned dismissively.

The Holo-Pearl opened it eyes, "Do you wish to engage in combat?"

Pearl tossed the sword over to it, "Let this be the perfect battle."

Holo-Pearl caught the sword and prepared itself, "You've already made a mistake by challenging me!"

Pearl laughed, "We shall let our swords decide." She took a foot back, readying herself.

"Nerd!" shouted Amethyst, Spinel delivering a harsh punch on the shoulder with Garnet and Steven shushing her.

Holo-Pearl's eyes reddened, "Commencing duel," and it lunges towards Pearl. Pearl blocked the attack, and they parried each-other's attacks, amazing Steven and creating wind from how hard their blows were.

When Pearl shielded herself from the oncoming attack, Holo-Pearl noted, "Defence rank S. Zero openings detected."

"Go Pearl!" Both Steven and Spinel cheered in unison.

"Go Holo-Pearl!" Amethyst mocked.

Pearl frowned at that, causing her to have her sword disarmed thanks to Holo-Pearl. It stood back, preparing to swing, "Opening detected." and moved in with a sweep attack. Pearl ducked in time and slid towards her sword, grabbing it and swerving around.

Holo-Pearl leapt up into the air and tried to land a blow, but Pearl successfully parried it, leaving the hologram vulnerable. With a thrust of her sword, Holo-Pearl was knocked back, defeated and glitching a bit.

"Match set. Challenger wins!"

"Woohoo!" Steven cheered and he ran to Pearl, "Yay, Pearl!" Spinel smiled and followed suit.

Holo-Pearl sat up, "Do you wish to battle again?"

Steven kept cheering, running around Pearl, "Pearl! That was amazing! You were so cool!"

Spinel giggled a bit, "Yeah, you're better at sword-fighting than I am."

Pearl blushed and chuckled, "Well, one does try their best."

"Will you teach me how to sword fight like you?" Steven asked excitedly and beamed at Spinel, "Can you let me fight her? Please, please, please, please, pleeeeeeeeaaaase?"

Spinel laughed nervously, "Only if you and Pearl fight lightly."

Pearl nodded, "So, we'll start with the basics." She cleared her throat to the hologram, "Initiate training mode."

Holo-Pearl stood up, "Training mode initiated. Level 1 begin!"

"I want you to stand back, you two, and Steven, watch me carefully." Pearl told them. Spinel nodded and brought herself and Steven backwards, her hands on his shoulders.

Holo-Pearl and Pearl began to spar, the hologram chanting the words, "Thrust! Parry! Parry!"

"Do you see what I'm doing with my feet, Steven?" Pearl asked through the light sparring, "Notice where I keep my center of gravity."

Steven lost his interest, "Aww, can you show me something cool? Like the Boomerang Blade!"

"Sweetheart," Spinel pulled him back, "That was from a movie. What Pearl's doing is way cooler than those ninjas."

"Thank you, Spinel," Pearl smiled, continuing to fight.

"But Spinel! I wanna see her do something awesome, like the Boomerang Blade!' Steven whined.

Pearl sighed and turned her attention to the boy, "Steven, these are real sword techniques. Not those silly things from your movies. It's about waiting carefully for the moment to str-"

"Thrust!"

Pearl's eyes widened in shock, the sword piercing through her chest.

Steven gasped in horror and he backed into the pink gem. Spinel's eyes were wide with horror, clutching Steven's shoulders.

"Whoa..." Amethyst looked up.

"Oh no..." gasped Garnet.

Pearl dropped her sword and looked at her wound before laughing nervously, "W-Woopsie daisy! Steven, it's okay. I'm gonna be just-" She poofed into a cloud of white mist, her gem falling to the ground.

"Oh stars..." Spinel breathed, releasing the boy.

"NOOOOOO!" Steven wailed, rushing over to her gem, "No! Pearl! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

"Challenger defeated. Level 1-" The hologram was punched away by Spinel, "Ow."

"It's alright, Steven," Spinel reassured, stroking his back, "She's gonna be fine."

"I know!" He cried, tears falling down his cheeks, "But it's all my fault! I distracted her!"

"It's fine, Steven," Garnet walked over, "She just needs time to regenerate."

"Yeah!" Amethyst floated over on her cloud, "These stuff happens something. Just look at Spinel."

Spinel gave her an amused look, "Look at you."

"Hey, I'm scrappy, whaddya want?" Amethyst laughed.

Steven laughed, "T-That's awesome to hear. So, how long will she take? 5 minutes? 10 minutes?"


Two weeks later…

Steven pushed the lamp over the basket holding Pearl's gem, checking if it's warm. He sighed, "What's taking her so long?"

At the Warp pad, Garnet, Amethyst (still on her cloud), and Spinel appeared. The purple gem waved, "Whadup?"

"Heeey..." Steven groaned, laying his chin on the counter.

Amethyst floated over, "She's still not done? Man, she's taking her time with this one."

Spinel joined her side, silently inspecting her friend's gem. There was deep concern in her dark pink eyes.

"Gotta tell you though, love what you've done with the place." Around them, the living room with littered with trash, old clothes, and dishes piled up in the kitchen.

Spinel yelped in shock, grabbing her spiky pigtails and pulling them down, "Oh my stars! What the heck did you do while we were gone?!"

"Pearl usually helps me tidy up," Steven quickly explained.

Spinel sighed, letting go of her pigtails, "Then I'll do it myself."

Amethyst shrugged, "Oh come on, Stretch. I'd say leave it."

"Or!" Steven perked up, "We could use the next best thing!"

Steven pulled the sheet away, revealing Holo-Pearl, "Do you wish to engage in combat?"

"Oh no," Spinel shook her head, "No no no no no no no. I'm cleaning up this place, not that."

"She can help!" Steven retorted, "It's like Pearl!"

"But more boring," Amethyst finished.

Spinel prepared to put the sheet back over the hologram, but Steven stopped her, "Hey! We can train her to help us!"

Spinel raised a suspicious eyebrow, and as Steven ran upstairs with the hologram, her eyes darted over to Pearl's gem.

"... She's never been gone for this long... not even since... "


Steven showed Holo-Pearl his figurines, which were scattered around his room, "Here, we have a mess. Organizing messes is one of Pearl's favorite hobbies. Here." He placed the figurines on his window sill, "Pearl likes to organize them by type. Animal, humanoid, miscellaneous. Now you try."

Holo-Pearl stared at his figurine and it's eyes reddened, "You've drawn your sword in vain!" But before it could thrust its sword at him, a pink hand grabbed the hologram's arm, struggling to hold it back.

"Steven!" Spinel barked from downstairs, carrying a trash bin, "I'm taking that thing outside. A weapon should not be used in the house!"

"Okaaay..." Steven sighed.


Outside...

Amethyst held the tiny cloud, "I'm gonna do it."

"Go on then," said Garnet.

Amethyst stuffed the cloud in her mouth and swallowed it, causing her to inflate. She began floating upwards, Garnet holding onto her foot to keep her from flying away. Spinel stormed outside, carrying the hologram over her head and she placed it on the ground.

"And you're going to stay out here and away from-" Spinel stopped, looking at Amethyst and Garnet. "... What."

Holo-Pearl held up her sword, Spinel ducking away, "I won't go easy on you this time!"

"No!" Spinel forced her arms down and glared at the two other Gems, "What are you two up to?"

"Just playing around, Spinny!" Amethyst laughed, burping out a piece of cloud.

"Oh no!" Spinel clasped her head in fright, "Pearl's absence is driving you both crazy! It's driving me crazy!"

"Don't go crazy," Garnet remained blank, letting go of Amethyst's foot, "She's come back to us in time. Have patience."

Spinel stared at her, stretching her hand and grabbing Amethyst, dragging her back down and handing her to Garnet, "Thanks."

Spinel sighed, "Well, that was nice and all, but I'm just going to find this creepy thing a place where it won't-"

The hologram was gone.

"... OH MY-"


At the blossom tree, Steven held his walrus toy and Holo-Pearl was holding a balloon sword and wearing a balloon crown.

"You had fun at the boardwalk, right?" asked Steven.

"Parry!"

Steven sighed in desperation, "Oh come on, you gotta work with me here! This is Pearl's favorite tree. Don't you recognize it? What's on your mind? Come on, don't hold back."

Holo-Pearl's eyes reddened, "Challenge accepted!"

Steven grew scared, "What?!"

Holo-Pearl swung her balloon sword, Steven ducking in time as the tree was somehow sliced in half, landing with a thud.

"Oh no!" Steven yelled, "The tree!"

"Challenger defeated!" said Holo-Pearl, going back to a normal stance.

Steven was furious, "Real Pearl would never do that! Grr, you're hopeless! Get away from me!" He ran away from the place.


Rain poured down and lightning boomed outside. Steven was sitting on his bed, looking outside, and Pearl's gem nestled in the blanket with him.

"It's too bad you're still not back, Pearl." Steven vented, "Spinel's worried sick about you... and me. At least I got the 5th Lonely Blade movie!" He held the movie cover to her gem, but sighed sadly, "How long are you gonna make us wait, Pearl?"

A beeping noise sounded from the kitchen.

Steven perked up, "Oh, popcorn's done. Stay right here." He ran down to the kitchen and took out a bag of popcorn. Turning around, he yelped when Holo-Pearl appeared behind him.

"Do you wish to test your skills against me in a duel?"

Steven scowled, "No! No sword fighting!"

He ran upstairs to his room, lighting flashing when Holo-Pearl appeared behind him again, "Draw your sword and fulfill your destiny!"

"No!" Steven protested, "Leave real Pearl and me alone!" He tossed the sheet over the hologram, "Go back under your sheet."

Later, Steven was watching the 5th movie of Lonely Blade with Pearl's gem.

"Brother, is that you?" Lonely Blade asked weakly.

His brother, now a zombie, hoarsely replied, "Yes, it's me. Your... brother... Your technique is..."

"Whoa, this dub is really good," Steven commented, "What do you think, Pearl?"

"STEVEN UNIVERSE!"

Spinel's yell startled him. Steven cowered as the pink gem stood in front of the television, eyes narrowed, "Where did you take it?"

"... What?"

"Where. Did. You. Take. It."

Steven realized what she meant, "I-It's just over there!" He pointed to the sheet, and as if on cue, Holo-Pearl sliced through the blanket, "Parry!"

Spinel whipped her head around to face him again, "Where was it?!"

"At Pearl's tree!" Steven explained, trying not to cry, "I left it there, I swear!"


"It's about waiting carefully for the chance to str-"


Steven recalled the flashback of Pearl being impaled, tears form in his shut eyes. Spinel instantly calmed down.

"Thrust!"

Spinel jumped away as Holo-Pearl destroyed the television, "The television! Ugh! I should just get rid of you!"

Steven looked up in fear, the hologram staring back at him, sword gleaming.

"Stay away from him..." Spinel snarled, spiral-like eyes glaring at the hologram and blocking Steven from it.

"Challenger detected. Wish to start?" It stated.

Spinel's face contorted into rage, "You wanna fight, do ya?! Then I'll accept it!"

"No!" Steven shouted, clutching Pearl's gem.

"Challenge accepted!"

Before the hologram could make its move, Spinel pushed it down into the living room and began to fight. Steven watched in horror.

"Parry! Parry! Thrust!"

Spinel smoothly dodged, shifting her body and landed a punch on the hologram's face.

"Parry! Parry! Thrust!"

Spinel dodged the sword again, ducking and stretching her arm to grab a broom, "Bring it on!"

"Parry! Parry! Thrust!"

Spinel held the broom up, barely holding the sword back. Fortunately, it got stuck and Holo-Pearl tried to move, but couldn't.

"Weakness spotted!" Spinel grinned and kicked the hologram away.

It landed, and got up, it's eyes turning blood red, "Basic attack mode defeated. Now initiating advanced mode!"

"What?!" Spinel was slammed back to the floor, the hologram pinning her down with its sword still stuck in the broom's wood.

"No... you... won't... win!"

Steven realized what could happen and went to grab his walrus toy and threw it at the hologram. No effect. Spinel was struggling even more, grunting a bit as the broom was shoved against her gem.

"Spinel!" He cried, looking for more stuff to throw, "Come on, come on!" He grabbed a boomerang and lit up, "Take this!"

The boomerang bonked Holo-Pearl's head, it staring up at Steven, "Another opponent detected."

Spinel gasped and grit her teeth, trying to push the hologram off of her. As Holo-Pearl focused on Spinel, Steven retreated to the kitchen, where the boomerang had landed. Holo-Pearl took notice.

Steven grabbed a mop and tossed it at the hologram. It did nothing, but now Spinel was barely strong enough to hold it back, "Steven! Run!" She screamed.

"No! I won't!" Steven began crying, "I'm so sorry, Spinel! I'm sorry for everything that happened today! I should've just kept waiting for Pearl! I should've waited for... " He paused, realizing that Holo-Pearl was distracted and vulnerable.

"The perfect moment! Boomerang Blade!" He launched the boomerang on Holo-Pearl's torso, causing it to fall over. Spinel swiftly got up and prepared to attack.

"Any... last... words?" She panted.

"... Challenger wins. Do you wish to duel again?"

"NO!" Spinel shrieked and slammed her enlarged fists onto the hologram multiple times, finally destroying it. After it stopped moving, Spinel fell to her knees, sighing in relief. Steven ran up to her, crying. The pink gem smiled, and hugged him.

"Steven, Spinel, we heard fighting." Garnet interrupted their moment, holding the still inflated Amethyst.

"It's alright, we were just cleaning up" Spinel assured, the hologram beginning to regenerate, but Steven whacked it with the mop, "Die!"

Spinel hugged him, "But he was just excellent at mopping." She winked at him and he smiled.

"You know, I still miss Pearl a whole lot, but I guess we gotta accept things the way they are before you-"

Up in Steven's room, Pearl's gem began to glow and hovered, the form of Pearl appeared and the white light faded, revealing Pearl in a different outfit.

"Nevermind! Pearl's back!"

"Pearl!" Spinel squealed with joy, wrapping her arms around the pale gem and pulled her in for a hug, Steven joining it.

Pearl pulled away, "Whoa whoa whoa! What the heck happened?!"

Spinel was still beaming, "You just missed Steven being awesome!"

Steven remembered something, "Wait! Hold on! I had this whole thing planned out when you came back!" And he ran off.

Pearl attempted to lift herself up, Spinel's long arms still locked around her. "Uh, Steven? What happened to your room?" She looked at Amethyst, "I don't even want to know what happened to you."

"I got hit by an airplane!" replied Amethyst.

Steven came back, his shirt tied around his head, using a pot and a wooden spoon like a drum, chanting, "Pearl's back! Pearl's back! Pearl's back!"

"Steven, what are you-" Pearl began before Spinel hugged her even tighter, Amethyst coughing up more clouds, Garnet remaining motionless, and Steven still chanting. "I can't... leave you... guys alone... for a… second..." she wheezed.

Chapter Text

In a bright, clear blue area with a large structure made up of pillars, the Crystal Gems and Steven arrived through the warp pad.

Steven looked up in awe, "Whoa! What magical place of mystery is this?"

"Well-"

Pearl butted into Amethyst to answer him, "Oh, I'm so glad you asked! This was once a communication hub for Gemkind," she explained as they walked towards it, "But lately, it's begun transmitting bursts of electromagnetic interference!"

Steven stared at Spinel, "What's that mean?"

"It's hurting television," she replied gently.

"Noooo!" Steven cried, "I'll save you television! Ha-yah!" He tried to kick and knock over a pillar. Nothing happened.

Amethyst lifted Steven up, "Sorry, but we need a Steven at least..." She shifted into a buffer-looking Steven, "This strong for the job!"

Steven gasped, "It's all the me I could me!"

Spinel frowned, not liking the image of the muscled Steven, "Not really..."

Amethyst noticed her discomfort and rolled her eyes, "Alright alright." She shifted back to her normal self.

"I can handle this though," said Spinel as she grabbed her wrist, enlarged her fist, arm screwing like a spring and prepared to swing it.

"NO!" shouted Pearl, holding her back, "We don't need to do that. It'd take too long to take these out individually or destructively."

Spinel frowned, but deflated her hand, "Fine. You're right."

"And I hate it when she is!" Amethyst agreed, "She gets that look on her face…" She glanced at a smiling Pearl, "... Yeah that's the one."

Pearl created a hologram from her gem, "What we need is a well thought-out plan-"

"No." Garnet cut in, "What we need is Sugilite. Amethyst, fuse with me."

"WHAT?!" Amethyst, Spinel, and Pearl yelled in unison, with the purple gem more delighted than the other two. As she jumped away, Spinel and Pearl looked at each-other, scrunching their faces in disgust and chagrin.

"Yeah! Let's mesh it up!" squealed Amethyst, dancing around Garnet and making some weird faces, "Bigger! Badder! Better!" She laughed.

Steven stepped up, "Hold your horses! Are… you guys going to become a gem fusion?!"

Amethyst screamed excitedly while shaking. After a quick pause, Steven and Amethyst began screaming together.

"Wait!"

Amethyst and Steven looked over to Spinel, who looked like she was trying to keep her cool, "Garnet, are you sure about this? I mean, all we have to do is take down the pillars. We don't need to go all out!"

"Spinel's actually right," Pearl intercepted, "You two can be a little… eh... unstable when your personalities combine. We need to be careful! Fuse with me instead!"

Garnet laid her hand on the pale gem's shoulder, "We don't need to be careful. We just need to be huge."

"Oh yeah! Let's wreck this joint!" Amethyst jumped in excitement as Spinel and Steven joined beside Pearl, the pink gem sharing a tentative look to her companion, who angrily turned away.

"Synchronize…" Garnet started before the gems on her hands began to glow red and the gem moved her hips rather… suggestively.

Steven watched with interest… before Spinel covered her hands over his eyes, expressing uneasiness as Steven tried pulling her fingers away, "Wha-? Hey Spinel! Come on, I wanna see!"

Garnet continued to make several poses. Amethyst moved her shoulders to the beat, her gem glowing and her smile changing into a grin. After performing some more moves, Amethyst ran towards Garnet, the two of them enveloping in a white light. From the ball of light with their gems shifting, a dragon-like beam shot up and roared, revealing the giant fusion of Garnet and Amethyst.

The fusion laughed aloud, stretching out her arms, "I forgot how great it feels to be me!"

"That's Sugilite?!" Steven gasped.

"You got it, baby." Sugilite smirked and crouched down, "Hey Steven, you wanna see something cool?"

"Yeah!"

Complying to the boy's wishes, Sugilite summoned Garnet's gauntlets, which floated upwards and they fused together as Amethyst's whip wrapped around the handle, creating a flail and it crashed onto the ground. Steven was astonished.

"You like that, little man?"

"Are you gonna smash stuff with your wrecking-ball-thingy?"

"That's the plan! Where should I start?"

"Do that one!" Steven pointed at the pillars.

Grinning, Sugilite swung her flail into the communication hub, causing large chunks of the pillars to fall around them.

Pearl was already feeling unsafe, "Spinel, Steven, I think we should go."

"No way! This is awesome!" Steven protested, a concerned Spinel still watching the destruction.

As Sugilite continued to swing her flail around, more debris fell around the trio. Pearl quickly kicked a piece of pillar away, "Watch it!"

A sizeable chunk of the pillar hit Steven's face and knocked him back, causing Spinel to scream, "STEVEN!", wrapping her arms around the boy.

"Ugh!" Pearl yelled, now even more angry, "You're just too much!"

Sugilite didn't lose her grin, "Maybe you're just too little!"

"You're right Pearl," Spinel stood up, holding Steven and looked to her companion, "We need to leave."

"What?! I'm fine!" Steven retorted as they walked over to the warp pad, "What about Sugilite?"

Pearl didn't look at him, "She can find her own way home."

As Pearl, Spinel, and Steven (who groaned in disappointment) warped away, a large chunk of debris crushed the warp pad, destroying it and rendered it useless.


Steven walked into the Big Donut, gauze wrapped tightly around his forehead and wearing sunglasses, "Sup?"

Sadie ran up to Lars' table, "Whoa! Steven, what happened to you?"

Steven leaned against the table, taking off his sunglasses, "Oh, just a little battle damage from our last mission."

"Really?" asked Sadie.

Lars was very doubtful, "Like what?"

Steven grinned and lifted his gauze up, albeit with some difficulty, "I… got hit by a rock!" A tiny scar was marked on his forehead. The two employees stared at it and started to laugh hysterically.

"It must not have been a big rock," Sadie joked.

Steven covered the cut back up, "Well... there's... internal... bleeding. My hurt is on the inside!"

"Man!" Lars laughed, "I would've loved to have seen the look on Spinel's face! Awwww, did Stevie get a wittle cut?" He continued to laugh, "Toughen up, Steven!"

Steven sighed and took off the gauze, "You're right. I'm soft."

Lars picked up a can of sardines and tried to open it as he spoke, "If I weren't so modest, I'd whip out my sweet 6-pack and... show you what... a real man... looks like!" He grunted, failing to get it open.

Sadie quickly offered to open it for him. Begrudgingly, he gave the can to her. Sadie opened it with ease and handed it back to him.

Lars scowled to himself, "Nah... I'm not gonna say thanks."

Frowning, Sadie harshly punched him in the leg. He wasn't too fazed and was almost laughing.

Steven got an idea and his eyes became stars, "That's it! We all need a workout! Let's do it! Let's workout together! You can beat up Lars, and you don't have to starve to death if Sadie divorces you!"

"We're not married!" Lars panicked with a mouthful of sardine sandwich.

Steven nodded, "And I know juuust the guy to help us out."


Greg was fast asleep, laying his head on the workbench after building a makeshift gym for the three of them. Lars and Sadie stood by Steven in their workout clothes.

"Wow, this looks great!" proclaimed Steven.

Greg awoke, a piece of wood stuck and fell off his head and drool in his beard, "Huh- Wha…"

"Hey Dad!" Steven ran up to his father, the two others following behind.

"Hey Steven. You like it?" asked Greg, "It's the best I can do on such short notice."

Lars picked up a stick attached to two cans, one of them falling, "No kidding."

"Well I might join you kids and show you how it's done," Greg proudly stated, "I've been slacking off on my workout routine for a few weeks... months... years..." He coughed awkwardly, "Decades."

Steven smiled, "Sure! The more, the meatier! Oh! We'll need sweatbands!"

As Steven ran up to the beach house, Pearl and Spinel passed by the three, Greg looking up and lifting a dumbbell, "Hey Pearl, hey Spinel. Come to check out some buff studs?"

Pearl and Spinel stared at him, the former replying, "No." And they walked up to the porch.

Spinel was the first to approach Steven, "Sweetheart, what exactly is going on?"

"We're starting a gym!" Steven proclaimed.

Spinel stared at him in surprise, but then smiled in delight, her hands on her cheeks, "Aww, that's wonderful!" Pearl stood beside her, still confused.

"Yeah!" Steven nodded, "Imma get supa strong! Like Sugilite!"

Spinel's face fell to a weak smile, her pigtails lowering, Pearl having the same thought as her companion, "You know, maybe this isn't a good idea."

Steven blinked, "What? I wanna be strong so I can be useful to the team!"

"Oh Stevie," Spinel cooed, crouching down and placed a hand on his shoulder, "You've proven yourself to me many times, and I think you're just perfect."

"But I wanna get strong! In the real way!" Steven protested, "Come on! Let's get beefy!"

Spinel would've replied, but Pearl muttered, "I'd rather not." and she went inside the house.

Pearl closed the door behind her, and sighed, leaning against it. She noticed Steven's clothes laid on the floor. "Steven…" She grumbled but relaxed herself.

PearlWhy do you have to look up to her, aside from a literal sense?

Don't you know a power that big comes with a bigger expense?

And can't you see that she's out of control and overzealous?

I'm telling you for your own good, and not because I'm…

I can show you how to be strong… in the real way.

And I know we can be strong… in the real way.

And I want to talk to you, I want to be your rock

And when I talk, it lights a fire in you…

At the gym, Steven and Spinel returned to the gym with the others. Spinel turned her head to face Pearl, but the pale gem turned away and went back inside.

SpinelI can show you how to be strong… in the real way

StevenAnd I know we can be strong… in the real way

Pearl, Spinel, & StevenAnd I want to inspire you, I want to be your rock.

And when I talk, it lights a fire in you.

I want to inspire you, I want to be your rock.

And when I talk, it lights a fire in you...

Everyone was now visibly tired. Sadie panted, "Hey Steven. Maybe um… you can work out a bit too?"

Steven was confused, "Uh-huh? I have been."

"We've been working out," Lars shot at him, "You and your mommy have just been singing some dumb song."

Spinel glared at Lars, frightening him a bit.

"But you're doing a great job pumping us up!" Greg backed them up.

"Thanks! But I need to get strong too!" Steven held before handing Spinel the megaphone, "Spinel, give me something to do!"

Spinel stood there blankly, then nodded, speaking into the megaphone, "Alright! Drop down and give me some pushups!"

And Steven did as he was told.


At sunrise, Lars, Sadie, and Greg were all already waiting for Steven outside.

"Steven, come on!" Sadie called out, "We're ready to get started! We can't work out without Spinel's mad coaching skills!"

Inside the house and in his room, Steven struggled to get up from his bed and slowly dragged himself down the stairs, "Be there in a sec! So sore from being so ripped…"

"You'd think they'd defuse by now." Spinel said to Pearl, worry in her tone.

"I know," grumbled Pearl, "And I've tried to warp back and check, but I can only assume the warp pad is broken!"

Suddenly, the ground began to shake, the voices sounding panicked outside, and some pieces of the house fell.

Steven, Spinel, and Pearl all looked at each-other in fear and ran outside, though Steven stumbled. In the far distance, Sugilite was stomping through the ocean.

"What the hey is that?!" Greg yelled, with Lars falling off the monkeybars.

Sugilite stepped onto the beach, clearly enraged, "I'M BORED!"

"Sugilite…" Spinel whimpered, holding Steven close, who was still happy to see the fusion.

Pearl ran up to Sugilite, "Y-You're back!"

Sugilite directed a finger at her, "You all left me behind!"

"We just thought you didn't need any help!" Pearl tried to calm the giant down, "Now why don't you separate and we all can sit down and relax?"

"NO!" Sugilite roared, kicking Pearl away.

"Pearl!" Spinel and Steven shouted together.

Pearl got up as Sugilite towered over her, "Listen to me! You've been fused for too long! You're losing yourselves!"

"am myself! And I'm sick of being split up! So you better get used to it, baby!"

Spinel facepalmed, "I knew this would happen..."

"And get this junk off my beach!" Sugilite then stomped on the makeshift gym.

Spinel hugged Steven close as they stood beside Pearl, "Hey! Greg made that!"

Steven was now scared, "Why is she attacking us? Why is she attacking you?!"

"Spinel…" Pearl drew a hand back, "Get Steven out of here!"

Spinel did just that and Pearl summoned her spear.

"What?" Sugilite growled, "You wanna fight?!"

"You'll thank me... later!" Pearl leapt towards the fusion, but was swatted away. Spinel turned around as she brought Steven to Greg, "Stay here." Spinel stretched her arms and caught Pearl midfall and launched to stand beside her, joining the fight.

"Come on, kid!" Greg helped Steven to his feet.

"Dad no!" Steven cried, "Spinel! Pearl!"

Pearl and Spinel both leapt at Sugilite, only managing to knock her visors off. Steven and Greg gasped.

"YOU THINK YOU'RE SOMETHING?! YOU!" Sugilite first slammed Pearl and Spinel down, her main focus on the former.

"AIN'T!" She tossed Pearl into the sky.

"NOTHING!" She leapt and smacked Pearl downwards onto the ground. Her flail caused some damage to the house.

"My muscles..." Steven struggled to move himself when he saw the megaphone. Spinel was lying away from him, covered in wounds.

"Steven! Ughh..." She kneeled over in pain and began to cry, "I'm sorry... Steven, Garnet, Amethyst... Spinel... I wasn't strong enough to protect you…. I'm not strong enough to do anything…"

"... Pearl..." Spinel's whisper was filled with sympathy.

"Come on Pearl, don't give up!" Steven shouted into the megaphone, "Spinel and I know you can take her down!"

"I can't..." Pearl sobbed, shutting her eyes.

"Yes you can! Come on! You're strong, Pearl! We know you are!"

"No... I'm not!"

"Pearl."

Pearl's head shot up, looking up at Spinel, "Wha... What?"

Spinel gave her a comforting smile, "If it helps you feel better… we could…"

She trailed off, but Pearl immediately knew what she meant. Her blue eyes glistened in the light as she stood up, "But Spinel…"

"I mean it. Let's do it. I'm okay with it." Spinel insisted.

Surprised, Pearl laughed a bit, taking Spinel's hand in hers… and brought her in for a hug and the light shone around them. Steven had to cover his eyes to shield himself from the light, though Sugilite just stood there, shocked.

The light dissipated, revealing the fusion of Pearl and Spinel. She stood proudly, the pale pink mist fading around her.

"Sugilite," She spoke, her sunset orange hair blowing in the wind, "I will not allow you to harm any of these humans. Unfuse at once."

"Huh?!" Sugilite roared, "Who are you supposed to be?!"

The fusion smiled, "... I am Peach Moonstone."

Sugilite stood there, and then snarled, "We're still bigger and stronger than you! We can still crush you!"

Peach Moonstone wasn't fazed and narrowed her lilac eyes, "Hope you're fast enough." Almost at the speed of light, Peach Moonstone dashed around Sugilite in circles. Not even Steven or anyone else watching could catch up with her.

Sugilite whipped her head left and right and finally screamed in fury and waved her flail about, trying to land a hit.

As fast as lightning, Peach Moonstone dashed a good distance away from the giant fusion. The upside-down heart gem glowed and her one of her lower stretchy arms grabbed it. A spear with a crescent moon-shaped hook at the end was summoned.

Maintaining her shock, Sugilite swung her flail down on them. Peach Moonstone stood there, everyone who was watching anticipated, Steven's eyes widening in horror. However, Peach Moonstone leapt forwards, ducking her head under and sliced the flail's rope with her spear. The end of the flail ending behind the peach-colored fusion.

Sugilite growled in fury, "STOP FOOLING AROUND AND ACTUALLY FIGHT IF YOU'RE THAT BRAINDEAD!"

Peach Moonstone didn't reply, leaping upwards into the air, summoning another spear through the gem on her forehead. Sugilite and Peach Moonstone shared a moment of eye contact before the peach-colored fusion began to spin, her spears glowing white and forming rings.

"Double... Moon-Cutter!" Peach Moonstone cried as she lunged towards the larger fusion.

In a blink of an eye, Peach Moonstone had sliced Sugilite into three halves. Sugilite's face stilled into shock, then poofing and Garnet and Amethyst laid on the ground. Peach Moonstone's eyes widened, and through a smoother separation, Pearl and Spinel ran up to the two exhausted gems.

"Amethyst! Garnet!" Pearl shouted in concern, "Are you okay?!"

Garnet lifted her head, "Yeah... Sugilite just overworked our bodies. It's... a little painful."

"I have a monster headache..." moaned Amethyst.

Pearl and Spinel pulled them both for a tight and tearful hug, the latter wrapping her long arms around them. They heard the two Gems groaning and let them go.

"Whoops, sorry," Spinel apologized.

"You two..." Steven ran up to them, "Were so AWESOME! Peach Moonstone was amazing!"

Spinel scratched the back of her head, "Yeah, I guess we were. What about you, Pearl?"

Pearl smiled, hugging her, "Yes, thank you, Spinel."

"You two were right..." Garnet added, "We should've listened..."

Pearl pulled away, still holding Spinel's shoulders, "Yeah, we were right!"

"Go Pearl! Go Spinel!" cheered Steven, with everybody else walking behind them.

"Hey Spinel! I feel great! Wanna go on a mission?!" Pearl asked, fizzing with excitement.

Spinel shared her excitement, "Boy, do I?!"

The two joy-filled Gems continued to hug and shout at each-other in joy.

"How long are they gonna keep this up?" Amethyst sighed.

"We deserve it." stated Garnet, "Take it like a Gem."

"Uh..." Lars spoke up, "What the heck just happened?!"

"Drop and give me 20!" Steven shouted through the megaphone.

Chapter Text

Somewhere in the snowy mountains, a section of a small mountain collapsed. A large blue Corrupted Gem is slammed back to the icy wall, the Crystal Gems - with the exception of Spinel - surrounded it. Small pieces of icicles fell from above.

"Alright everyone!" Garnet directed.

"One more attack should do it," said Pearl.

The Corrupted Gem stood up, an icicle piercing through it's right arm and breaking it off its body.

Steven cringed, holding his arm, "Yikes! Your arm..."

Garnet made a leap towards the monster and punched it, causing it to shatter and break apart, poofing and its gem floating in midair.

Pearl quickly caught the gem, bubbled it and sent it away, "Now there's nothing standing between us and the Shooting Star."

The cavern began to crumble, more icicles fell from the top wall.

"This is really dangerous!" exclaimed Amethyst, dodging the icy rocks falling around her, "Whoa! Jeez! Who-Whoa! Mama!" And more boulders fell all over her.

Steven rushed over, "Amethyst! Uh- Don't worry! I'll dig you out!" Whatever Amethyst was trying to say, came out incomprehensible to Steven. Larger icicles fell around them.

"We've got to get Steven out of here!" yelled Pearl.

Garnet looked over to Steven, "I'm sending you back to the Temple."

"But Garnet, how are you gonna-" Steven was interuppted as Garnet created a bubble around him, "You can bubble me?!"

"Garnet no!" Pearl shrieked, running over to them.

But Garnet already tapped the bubble and sent it away. "Watch your head." She stated as more ice boulders crashed upon them.


In the Burning Room...

"It's alright..." Spinel whispered, holding the bubble containing the Centipeetle's gem closer, "I'm sorry we had to do this..." A pop and Steven's yell broke Spinel out of her tranquility as she accidentally dropped the bubble and turned around, "Steven?!"

"Uh- Hey Spinel!" Steven laughed awkwardly, spinning around in the bubble, "I'm back!"

Spinel still wasn't relaxed, "Why are you bubbled?! Did Garnet send you?! What happened?!"

Steven wasn't given anytime to answer as his bubble popped and he landed on the floor. Spinel ran up to him, worry written on her face until she heard another pop and turned around, seeing Centipeetle's bubble had popped as well.

"Oh shoot!" Spinel wrapped her arms around Steven and backed away as the gem formed a humanoid figure, before fur grew out and the figure contorted into the Centipeetle.

"Wha-What's happening?!" Steven asked Spinel in fear who didn't reply. The Centipeetle formation stared at them, and they hugged each-other tightly.

However, the formation shrunk and reformed into a smaller version of the Centipeetle. Acid dripped from its jaws as it turned around, snapping a bit with fear. Spinel and Steven opened their eyes.

"... Nephrite?" Spinel mumbled gently. The small corrupted gem, apparently known as Nephrite, gargled more and shivered, still looking scared.

Letting go of the pink gem, Steven took a few steps forward, "It looks so scared..."

"Steven!" Spinel whisper-shouted.

Steven ignored her and laid on the ground, crawling closer to Nephrite, "Uhh, hi. Aw, it's okay. Look, please don't be scared of me... or Spinel."

Spinel blinked in surprise from how well he was treating the corrupted gem, still not moving.

The boy smiled kindly, "See? I'm not going to hurt you. Neither is she. Yeah, just relax..." Nephrite actually listened and smoothed her mane down. "Yeah, that's it. Doesn't relaxing feel nice?"

Spinel got down and crawled beside Steven, "Hey Nephrite... good to see you're... okay..."

Nephrite stared at her, but showed no hostility.

"You wanna come over here and relax with us?" asked Steven, Nephrite appearing interested, "Yeah, we can totally just hang out and relax, right here on the floor."

The little centipede-like gem slowly stepped over to them and Spinel smiled, "Yeah, that's it. Just the three of us. We're all your friends here."

Steven held out a hand to the gem, "My name's Ste-"

"STEVEN! Spinel! Get away from that thing!"

Pearl's shout scared the three of them. The other Gems stood at the entrance of the burning room, Garnet leaping upwards and Amethyst adding, "Whoa, dude!"

"Wait! Garnet!" Spinel tried to stop the magenta gem, but she ignored her and landed in front of Nephrite.

Pearl pulled Spinel and Steven away, "This was a terrible idea! And he's even managed to pop a bubble and let out that awful... thing!"

"NO!" screamed Spinel, shoving Pearl away and blocking the small monster, "She's no 'awful thing'! She's just a gem like us! And don't get mad at Steven, I was the one who popped her bubble!"

"What?!" Pearl held Steven tighter.

"On accident!" She added.

Steven escaped the pale gem's grasp and stood in front of Spinel, "Please don't hurt it, Garnet! Nephrite didn't even try to hurt us! She's only scared and confused. Please give her a chance!"

Garnet stared at them for a moment, "... ... I can't say no to that face."

"Excuse me?!" Pearl objected, "You can't be serious!"

Spinel relaxed, laying her hands on the boy's shoulders, "Thank you, Garnet."

"I think you and Steven should try to tame it-"

"No." Spinel cut Garnet off, "Steven should. He's better at handling this than I am."

Garnet paused, but nodded. Steven ran up and hugged her leg.

Amethyst laughed, "Shut down by the G-Squad!"

Pearl sighed, "Well, let's at least take some precautions."


Outside, the Crystal Gems and Lion stood in front of a rock, Nephrite chained up to it.

"Alright Steven," said Garnet, "Let's see if you can get it to calm down."

Steven looked unsure, watching Nephrite snapping her jaws at them, "Um, she's still seems a little scared."

As if on cue, one of the chains broke off from the acid, and the Gems and Lion braced themselves to fight. But Spinel held a elongated arm to block their path, "Um... I don't think threatening her is helping."

Steven turned around, "Yeah, maybe watching from the house does?"

Pearl shook her head, "Absolutely not!"

"Steven can handle it." Garnet dispelled her gauntlets.

"Garnet!"

"Pearl."

As Garnet walked away, Amethyst laughed, "Oh! Hmm, hmm! You just got... Garneted! Aha!" She, Pearl, and Lion followed.

Spinel rolled her eyes at the purple gem's tomfoolery, but looked at Steven and crouched down, "Do your thing, sweetheart." She kissed his forehead and ran after the other Gems.

Steven smiled, and turned to Nephrite, "Okay friend. It's just us now."

Nephrite broke free of the chains, gargling at him.

"Calmy calm, calm..." Steven laid down on the sand, "Just like before. Yeah, just relax and let your hair down."

Nephrite listened and smoothed her mane again.

"You wanna come over here? Huh?" Steven held out a hand to her, and she shifted side to side, "Don't worry, it won't be like before... How about we try something else." He sat down and reached into his jacket, "Hmm... what's this?"

He pulled out a bag of Chaaaaps, "Chiiips! You like chiips? You wanna chiip? Yeah? Yeah?" He cooed, opening the bag and picking out a chip, "Aw, look at this chip! Yum yum yum!" He ate the chip, "Mmm, tasty! Tasty! Try it!"

As Steven held up another chip, Nephrite crawled towards him and inspected the food.

"That's it," He encouraged, "Smells good, right?"

The corrupted gem then snatched the chip in its jaws and ate it, acid drooling around its toothy mouth.

Steven laughed a bit, "Don't know how you eat with an eyeball in your mouth, but I'm glad you like it." He stood up and backed away, holding another chip and Nephrite followed him. He held the chip up, but a gust of wind blew it out of his fingers and Nephrite caught it and ate it.

Steven laughed aloud and tossed the chips around him, "Hey, come on!" Nephrite came over and ate the chips falling around her.

"You love chips, and I love chips!" Steven sang, laughing and holding a handful of chips up, "Yeah!"

Just then, a seagull bit his hand, forcing him to yelp and drop the bag of chips. The seagull began to eat some of the chips. Steven tried to shoo it away, "Shoo! Get! Those aren't for you!"

The seagull angrily squawked and flapped its wings at him, a spray of acid splashing in-between them. Steven turned around, seeing Nephrite growling and drooling acid.

"Wha-What are you doing?!"

The seagull squawked back, Nephrite answering with snarling and another spray of acid. The bird flew away and avoided the acid. Steven stared at the corrupted gem, eyes liked stars.

"You... saved me."


"But we have to go back for the Shooting Star!" Pearl retorted, but was stopped as they heard Steven enter with Nephrite.

"Spinel, Garnet, Pearl, Amethyst!" He greeted.

"Oh Steven! Did you tame her?" Spinel happily inquired, much to Pearl's disbelief.

"Even better! I trained her up!" Steven then made a squawking noise, causing Nephrite to spray acid at a beam of the house. Steven squawked again, another spray of acid narrowly missing Garnet and Spinel and hitting the crystal wall.

"Steven!" Pearl walked beside the fridge, "You can't just-" She ducked before more acid could splash on her and a picture-frame of herself was melted slightly, giving her a grumpy expression.

Spinel fought back from smiling as Amethyst laughed, "That was awesome-!"

Steven squawked again and Nephrite shot another spout of acid on Amethyst's sandwich, "Noooo! Mi tortaaaaa!" She grieved over her melting sandwich.

"Steven! This is unacceptable!" Pearl scolded.

"Oh come on, Pearl!" Steven complained as he fed a chip to Nephrite and petted her mane, "She can help us on like missions and stuff."

"Ooh no!" Pearl shook her head, "Out of the question!"

"Aww..." Steven sighed in disappointment.

Spinel shot a glare at her teammate, "I don't see anything wrong with that. Steven will be able to keep her cool while we return into the Ice Cavern."

Amethyst sat up, "Well, I dunno how we're getting through all those ice boulders without causing a cave-in anyway."

"Hmmm..." Spinel looked at the acid covering the beam and wall and turned to Nephrite again, "She's how."

Steven blinked and Nephrite continued to drool acid on the floor.


"I just don't know if this will work..." said Pearl.

Steven made a squawking sound, Nephrite spitting acid and forming a hole in the cavern wall.

"Alright, Nephrite!" Steven rhymed as he gave a few chips to her. Spinel grinned knowingly at Pearl, who grumbled and stepped over the melting rocks.

"Shooting Star, here we come!" Spinel whisper-cheered, lifting Steven and Nephrite over the acid, followed by Garnet and Amethyst.

The Crystal Gems and the corrupted Gem ventured through the cavern, stopping at a few possible dead-ends, only for Nephrite's acid to create holes enough to fit through them. They momentarily stopped when they saw a skeleton, but the corrupted gem dashed right through in and into a hole big enough for all the gems to walk in.

Garnet pushed her way out of the crack as the other Gems gazed in awe of the room. Crystalline spikes jetted out of the ground and ceiling in multiple colors. In the center was a small pool, containing a crystal with small spikes.

"There it is! The Shooting Star!" Pearl rushed over to the pool with the others behind her and the pale gem's eyes gleamed, "An ancient elemental. So hot and so volatile, it can only be contained in ice! Bare skin cannot endure it's intensity..."

Spinel grimaced at her friend, "I cannot endure your face."

"What do you do with the Shooting Star?" asked Steven.

Amethyst shrugged, "Uh, you shoot it." Spinel sighed in annoyance.

Pearl stepped aside, "Garnet, you'll have to use your gauntlets as to not hurt your hands."

Garnet crouched down, summoned her gauntlets, and dipped her hands into the pool. However, she stopped when Nephrite spazzed out at the sight of it, her mane bristling.

Steven rushed to her, "No no no no! Not now!"

"W-What's wrong?" Spinel asked him, joining his side.

"Something's wrong." Garnet stood and faced towards them.

Nephrite only became more scared and shot more acid upwards, spinning her jaws. A brief pause happened before the stalactites started to crumble and fall. Spinel hugged both Steven and Nephrite close, hovering her body over them to protect them. The other Gems ducked as well, the pool erupting into steam, scaring Nephrite out of the pink gem's arms.

"Steven!" yelled Pearl, hopping over the pool and summoning her spear, "I knew this would be happen!"

"Pearl! No!" Spinel protested, pushing Steven close to the wall and lunging herself onto Pearl, who whacked her with her spear and Spinel was slammed into a wall, leaving a crack on the wall. A large stalactite gained a crack from the impact.

"Spinel! Pearl! Stop!" Steven ran over to them, but the pink gem pushed him away just in time before a particularly large ice crystal fell. Steven fell backwards onto Nephrite, and she gargled loudly in fear and scurried off.

"N-No! Nephrite! I'm sorry!" Steven called after her.

But the little corrupted Gem didn't listen, charging towards Garnet and Amethyst. Pearl blocked her way, only for Spinel to lunge at her again, pleading, "Don't do it!" And sent them crashing into the wall again. The crack in the large stalactite worsened. Nephrite snarled and glared at the four wounded Gems, three of them shielding themselves and one of them staring back at her in worry.

"Stop!" Steven ran in-between her and the Gems, "You don't need to fight!"

Nephrite growled in response.

Steven began to cry, "This isn't you! You're not a monster anymore! Spinel knew your name; Nephrite!" He walked towards her, causing her to back away, "We have so many memories now. Remember the chip times? And how you saved me from that vicious seagull? And how we became best friends?"

Nephrite stopped and Steven hugged her, "You have to remember! This all happened today!"

The corrupted gem continued to gargle and drool acid over his jacket. Spinel watched with concern. Slowly, Nephrite calmed down and relaxed in Steven's hug. However, the large stalactite gave way, falling towards them. Nephrite quickly pushes Steven away, him landing in Spinel's outstretched arms.

"Nooooo!" Steven cried.

The stalactite landed upon the corrupted Gem, crushing her.

"Nephrite!" Spinel screamed and Steven began to wail.

Then she poofed, her gem landing and rolling to their feet. Spinel feel to her knees, Steven's eyes welling with tears, "... You saved me."

"Oh Steven," Spinel cooed, hugging Steven and holding Nephrite's gem, "You did everything you could for her. You made friends with her. Rose would've been so proud, even she couldn't properly heal her."

Steven looked up, "Really?"

Spinel nodded, with Garnet adding, "Rose Quartz had tried to use her powers to save these monsters too, but she was never able to heal them."

"Never?" Steven took the gem in his arms, "But if she couldn't do it..."

"Who knows," stated Pearl, "Maybe when you have better control of your powers, you might help them in ways even your mother couldn't."

"Even this one," Spinel pointed to the gem.

Steven nodded, holding them gem, "I'll keep it safe." And bubbled it, surprising the other Gems.

"Steven! You can bubble gems!" proclaimed Pearl.

Spinel smiled, "She'll be safe in the burning room."

"Right." Steven stared at the bubble gem, "Wait for me, Nephrite. I promise I'll heal you up someday." He sent the bubble away... before he reached into his jacket, "Oh! Oh- Wait!"

At the burning room, the bubble containing Nephrite's gem appeared. Along with a bag of Chaaaaps appeared as well.

Chapter Text

To anyone who's reading my CG Spinel AU, 

How exactly do you feel about my story so far?

I know I haven't been changing the story much, other than that part with Peach Moonstone. 

But it feels like I'm not doing anything special. Maybe because this is the first season so things won't be as different. I really want to consider your constructive criticism to heart, though it kinda does hurt. But I never want to delete those comments, that would be immature. 

So if you guys could share your opinions on my AU so far, that'd be wonderful. 

 

 

sorry if it is boring.  

Chapter Text

"Whaaaaat?" Steven complained on the phone while sliding off the couch upside-down, "Why not?"

"Steven, I told you. I can't hang out today. I have tennis practice," Connie replied, wearing her tennis clothes, "And then Mom wants to go out for a family dinner. But she said I could hang out all day tomorrow and I can come over all the time now that it's summer vacation."

Steven didn't seem to understand, "What's summer vacation?"

"You know, when school gets out for the summer?"

"I've never been to this… How do you say it..." He squinted his eyes, "...'school'? How does it work?"

"It's a place where you go to learn," Connie explained, Steven slowly nodded as she listed the things at school, "It's full of desks, chalkboards, books, maps..."

"I see..." He murmured.


Spinel just stared as Pearl placed the desk on the pile of school stuff. Steven examined the pile and nodded, "Yep! It's all coming together!"

"What exactly is going on?" Spinel asked, gripped the strap on her purple shoulder bag that was decorated with several flower pins.

"We're making a school!" Steven proclaimed, stars in his eyes.

Spinel didn't understand what he meant, but smiled, "That's... great, honey!" She straightened up and headed to the warp pad.

Pearl glanced at her, "Where are going?"

Spinel turned around, slightly biting her lower lip, "Just... doing a short mission for Garnet. She said it was private."

Pearl narrowed her eyes.

Steven looked confused, "Why a 'private' mission?"

Spinel simply shrugged, "I dunno. Now, I'm going to be gone for a long while. Have fun with your school." She blew a kiss to the boy, "Love ya, sweetheart!"

"Good luck!" Steven smiled, waving back as Spinel warped away.

Pearl sighed, "I just don't know what that gem does." Switching her mood to positive, she turned to Steven, "So, how do we begin our 'school'?"

Steven stared at the pile, not knowing how to answer, "Uh... I... I don't know! This is everything Connie told me! Why do I never ask follow-up questions?!" He clung into one of the monitors in the pile, "Who will teach Stevie without Spinel?!"

Pearl instantly lit up like a lightbulb, "Teach you? Steven! If only I had known that's what you really wanted!" She stood up and performed a dance from some time ago at the mossy area. "Twooooh! Hah!"

From her gem, a small mirror with a blue, cracked raindrop-shaped gemstone attached on the back appeared, twirling in midair as Pearl explained, "We found this Gem-powered mirror at the Galaxy Warp. It can capture and display any event it's witness in all of Gem history."

The mirror placed itself into Steven's hands, Pearl leaning over behind him and continuing, "It'll offer you everything you've ever wanted to know about your fellow Gems and our culture."

Steven stared at his reflection, his eyes lighting up, "I must be incredibly important to Gem culture…"

Pearl scoffed, "It's just you in there. It hasn't even been activated." She cleared her throat, "Show us the Galaxy Warp."

But the mirror did nothing.

The pale gem started to get frustrated, "Show. Us. The Galaxy Warp."

Nothing.

"Oh come on!" Pearl shouted, snatching the mirror (with Steven still holding onto it) and examining it, "I know you've seen it!"

Once again, the mirror didn't comply with her wishes. Pearl sighed, "It is in pretty rough shape. It must finally be broken. What a shame."

Steven looked at himself in the mirror when Pearl let go, "Doesn't seem broken to me!"

"Oh well," Pearl shrugged, "I guess that's the end of our school."

Steven got excited, "Whoa. Wha... So could you say... School's out for summer?"

Pearl nodded, "Yes. Good, Steven. There are many ways to say the same thing."

"YAY!" Steven cheered and prepared to head out the door.

"But Steven," Pearl stopped him, crouching down to meet his gaze, becoming serious, "Promise me something."

Steven nodded.

Pearl closed her eyes for a moment and opened them, "Please don't show Spinel you have the mirror."

Steven grew concerned, and prepared to ask why, but decided to go against. "I promise." Then he ran out, exclaiming, "School's out!"


Hours later…

Spinel panted as she pulled the remaining weeds out of the ground. Stretching her arm and grabbing the shears from her bag, she sliced them off at the root. She grabbed a large plastic bag and shoved the weeds into it.

"Dang weeds," She grumbled to herself, patting her dress away of all the dirt, "So hard to get rid of."

She sighed and looked around. Several more of the same situation around her made her grimace, "This is gonna take forever…"

Reaching into her bag again, she pulled out a pocket-watch and opened it. Her eyes nearly bulged, "Golly! I've been gone for that long? Guess I should head back and take a break."

She placed all her stuff in the bag and headed to the warp and she teleported all away from the area and into the Beach House.

"You didn't tell me it was a person." Was the first thing Spinel heard.

Perplexed, she dropped her bag and called out, "Hey! I'm-"

In the living room, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven all turned to face her. Spinel saw the mortified look of Pearl and Amethyst while a frown from Garnet.

Then her eyes laid on Steven… and the mirror.

Spinel's shock warped into a crazed and furious expression as she gazed upon the mirror. Her fists tightened and trembled. The Gems knew what was going to happen.

"STEVEN!" Garnet shouted, "GET OUT! NOW!"

Steven yelped, clutching the mirror, as Spinel lunged towards him, but was stopped by Pearl and Amethyst.

"Calm yourself! Please!" Pearl struggled to say as Spinel glared at her.

"YOU HAD THE MIRROR THE WHOLE TIME?!" Spinel screeched.

While she was distracted, Steven ran out the door and down the porch. Spinel continued to struggle against the two Gems until she broke free and in her rage, punched the front door into pieces and ran outside.

Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all grimaced at each-other in fear and followed after them.

Steven ran down the beach as if his life depended on it. He could hear Spinel's repeated screaming demands that he give her the mirror. Thinking fast, he dove behind a large boulder and heaved for breath.

"W-What do I do?!" Steven whispered through his gasping and sweating, "Why is Spinel so mad?! Did something happen?!"

The mirror started to warp, showing the blurry images of a familiar pink gem reaching down and picking it up before the other blurry shapes of white, magenta, and purple splotched in and faded.

"D-Did Spinel find you?" Steven asked.

Suddenly, a pink gloved hand snatched the mirror from him, but he held onto the handle. Spinel pulled and tugged with Steven, making it look like a tug-of-war between the two, though thanks to her strength, Spinel was slowly winning.

"GIVE... ME... THE... MIRROR!" screamed Spinel.

"NO! IT'S MY BEACH SUMMER FUN BUDDY!" Steven protested, before he saw the mirror's reflection faced him. The image showed the figure of himself taking the gemstone out of the back.

Realizing this, Steven somehow gained enough strength and tugged the mirror hard enough to knock Spinel to her knees, nearly knocking the wind out of her.

Trying to push aside his guilt, Steven started to pull on the gemstone, grunting slightly. Spinel looked up, the sea water washing ashore started to form the pattern of the mirror around where he stood.

Spinel's pink eyes shimmered from the light, though not clear if from joy or shock.

Steven continued to tug and pull, until the gemstone broke free, the glass on the mirror shattering. The gemstone glowed and floated near the shore. From the cracked gem, a humanoid figure formed and faded, the gem collapsing onto the sand.

"Oh…" Spinel breathed out, "Oh my stars!" She ran past Steven and over to the blue gem, helping her up.

"... Henngh..." The gem groaned, her eyes opening to reveal reflective, pupiless eyes.

"Are you alright?" Spinel asked in concern, Steven walking up to the two gems.

"Y-Yeah… T-Thank you." The gem murmured, "I'm Lapis. Lapis Lazuli."

Spinel sighed in relief, "Oh, that's wonderful…"

Lapis gazed at the boy, "You… you saved me. Are you a Crystal Gem?"

"Yeah, we are," replied Steven, directing to the pink gem.

"But… you wanted to help me. And you did." Lapis asked, puzzled.

Spinel halfheartedly laughed, "Of course, why-"

"SPINEL!"

Spinel yelped at the sound of her name being called and saw the other Crystal Gems running towards them, summoning their weapons.

Steven held his hands up, "Wait!"

Lapis then shoved Spinel into Steven, growling out, "You…" She summoned a huge water-arm out of the ocean, "You three knew I was in there, and you didn't do anything! Did you even wonder who I used to be?!"

The blue gem prepared to slam the water-fist down, but Spinel's enlarged fist caught it before it could hit.

"Guys! Run! I'll deal with Lapis!" Spinel shouted to the other gems, hugging Steven to her chest.

Steven kept looking at the blue gem, "Why are you attacking us?!"

"I am Lapis Lazuli!" Lapis declared angrily as water droplets danced around her, "And you can't keep me trapped here anymore!"

Spinel and Steven stared at her, "Huh?"

"Come with me," Lapis beckoned them, creating a clear path through the ocean.

Spinel was shocked, "W-What? Where?"

"Home."

"I..." The pink gem reached out a hand only slightly. Steven was shocked to see Spinel even considering the request, but thankfully, Spinel shook her head, "I can't. I'm a Crystal Gem."

Lapis was disappointed, "But..."

"Just stay with us!" Spinel then begged, holding Steven close, "We're sorry for not freeing you sooner, but you're free now!"

This time, Lapis looked as if she was internally reaching out, but she scowled and dispelled the path, "No."

Since Spinel was distracted, the water-arm nearly slammed them, But Garnet punched it away, and stood between them.

Lapis gave them one last look, "Goodbye." And she walked into the ocean, creating a huge wave that knocked Spinel, Steven, and Garnet back towards the others.

"Steven!" Pearl cried. "Are you okay?!"

Steven coughed out some water, "Yeah, I'm fine..."

He wheezed as Spinel squeezed him into a hug, "Oh stars, Steven. I'm so sorry... I didn't mean to..." And she released him.

Steven looked up at them, "Was... was that another gem?"

Spinel and Pearl nodded. They gazed out over the ocean for a moment before Garnet spoke, "Spinel. We have serious business to talk about."

Chapter Text

"Garnet, I didn't mean to-"

"Spinel." Garnet cut her off, "You must control your temper. Lunging yourself at Steven, nearly scaring him, potentially harming him, and worse? You let Lapis out of the mirror."

"What were you thinking?!" Pearl joined in. Spinel cowered under Pearl's voice, appearing more hurt than with Garnet.

"N-NO!" Steven protested, standing in front of Spinel to defend her, "I was the one who let her out! Be mad at me too!"

The Gems gasped in shock.

"S-Steven!" Spinel tried to reassure him, but did know he was right.

"You're grounded," Garnet stated strictly.

"Time to bury the both of you to make you learn your lesson!" Amethyst shouted, picking up a shovel, only for Spinel to punch it away.

"Okay, look! I'm sorry!" Spinel angrily yelled, "I know we've done something wrong, but no one's burying anyone!"

They stopped when they saw Greg burst in through the front door, panting.

"Dad?" Steven asked.

Greg looked up, "Uh, you guys better come look at this."

Outside, a crowd of the Beach City residents all gathered up at the beach, Mayor Dewey standing in front of them. The people murmured to themselves in fear and worry. Ronaldo took a picture, which revealed that the ocean was nowhere in sight.

Spinel covered her mouth, "Oh no..."

"The ocean!" Steven cried.

"Hey, it's those magical ladies!" Mayor Dewey shouted through his megaphone, running to them and blasting his voice to Garnet, "What's going on here?!"

"The ocean's gone," replied Garnet, "Obviously."

"That's right, now it's just a desert," Mayor Dewey fell to his knees in despair, "No one wants to take a vacation to… 'Desert' City! Aww, we're gonna lose all our summer business!"

"And all the beach babes!" Lars wailed, Sadie shooting him a glare.

"Who's gonna buy my fries?"

"And my pizza!"

"Who's gonna have fun at Funland?"

"H-Hey, don't worry, Mayor," Spinel reassured the man, patting his back, "We'll have this ocean back as soon as we can."

"Yeah!" Steven also tried to lighten up the mood, "The Crystal Gems will be there to save the day!"

Mayor Dewey looked up at her, "Oh alright... So, who was responsible for this mess?"

"Lapis Lazuli." Garnet answered.

Spinel and Steven shared a concerned glance as Garnet projected a hologram of Lapis and her gem. The crowd was in confused or fearful awe.

"How did she do that?" A citizen asked.

"She's a gem, like us," Steven replied.

Pearl sighed solemnly, "There's a lot you don't know about Gems, Steven."


"How could I have known the Gem contained in that mirror would be so powerful?"

Spinel narrowed her eyes, "Well, what do you expect when a Gem is all bottled up in a tiny space with built-up power and sadness?"

Surprisingly, Pearl didn't try to argue. Steven finished packing up his stuff in his cheeseburger backpack and walked to the front door.

"Steven?" asked Connie, "Where are ya going?"

Steven turned around, looking guilty, "I'm leaving to fix what I did to our home. I was the one who set Lapis free from the mirror. I know Spinel's the one who lost her temper who tried to do what was right, but it's my fault the ocean's gone. I'm gonna bring the ocean back or get really thirsty for trying."

He turned to leave, but a gloved hand stretched and placed itself on his shoulder. Steven looked back, seeing a sympathetic Spinel.

"Oh Stevie," She cooed lovingly, "I'm really proud of you, taking on responsibilities like an adult. But I won't let you go alone. I'm coming with you."

"And us too," Garnet added, Pearl and Amethyst nodding in agreement.

"Me three!" Connie joined in.

"Don't forget me!" Greg also declared.

Lion growled his agreement, placing his paw on Steven's head. Spinel laughed lightly as Amethyst cheered, "Road trip!"


Connie leaned against Spinel, nearly lulling to sleep. Spinel, who was sitting behind them, smiled comfortingly and allowed her to rest. Steven sat at the front, with Spinel's hands gently grasping Lion's mane, keeping the two from falling off.

By the time they reached towards what we can only assume is the middle of the ocean, the group all gasped in shock and awe. A tall pillar of water stood, reaching past the surrounding dark clouds.

"Oh Lapis..." Spinel spoke softly.

Connie woke up and stared at the water-tower, fascinated, "That's some... magical destiny stuff right there."

"Guys," Greg whispered to Pearl and Amethyst, "I just had the best idea for an album cover."

The group stopped near the tower. Garnet hopped off the van, "This is it. Lapis Lazuli is here."

"I don't understand," said Pearl in worried confusion, "What does she want with the ocean?"

As Spinel tried to think of an answer, Connie gazed at the schools of fish and various other species swimming inside, "Look at all of this! It-It's like a giant aquarium!"

"YOU SHOULDN'T BE HERE!"

Lapis's voice roared, startling the group and they backed away from the tower.

"She sensed us," warned Garnet.

Spinel stood with Steven, "Lapis! It's alright! We're here to talk!"

A part of the water tower shifted and formed into Lapis's face and it glowered at them, the blue gem speaking through it, "Go away! Before I make you!"

"But we're beach summer fun buddies!" Steven cried.

The face in the water formed into Steven's, wailing his "Noooo!" The Gems gasped, the face forming into Lapis's again.

"Lapis, I understand that you're scared! I don't blame you!" screamed Spinel, holding her hand to her gem, "But we're never going to trap you anymore! It's going to be okay!"

Lapis contorted into surprise, but the face shook, "NO! You're one of them! You're a Crystal Gem..."

Pearl and Amethyst growled, but Garnet held them back, "Easy."

"But that doesn't matter!" Steven reasoned, "We're all still Gems! Just let us help you!"

Lapis recoiled into the water, "You both don't understand… leave me alone…"

"We're not leaving, Lapis! Not until you understand that we're trying to help you!" Steven slammed his hands on the water tower's wall, before an arm forms from the water and grabs Steven by his shirt. Spinel gasped, preparing herself to fight if Lapis was going to harm him.

"I don't need... " Lapis snarled as a clone of himself emerged, "YOUR HELP!"

Water-Steven knocked him back with an extended arm. Spinel caught Steven, falling on her backside, and after inspecting him, glared up. However, her anger turned to shock as a water clone of herself stepped out, even placing a hand on Water-Steven's shoulder. Then three more clones appeared, shaped like the other Gems, all of them glaring at their opponents.

"Lapis!" Spinel began to plead, Steven clinging to her, "We don't need to fight! You don't need to be angry!"

But Lapis didn't respond.

"Spinel! Get Greg and the kids behind us!" Pearl ordered.

"Good plan!" Greg agreed, Connie joining him behind a rock. Spinel held Steven, kissing his forehead and stretched her arms to place him with his father and friend. The three Gems summoned their weapons and Spinel enlarged her fist.

"But M-!" Steven shouted, but paused when Water-Pearl, Water-Garnet, and Water-Amethyst 'summoned' their weapons. Water-Spinel expanded its fist and Water-Steven readied itself.

"Uh oh-" said Amethyst.

"Stand together. Don't let them separate us." Garnet warned before getting punched back by Water-Garnet.

"Garnet!" Steven cried.

The impact sent Garnet back into the ground a distance away, but she got up and cracked her neck. She and her clone began to fight.

With Amethyst, she kept slinging the large rocks around her at her clone, but Water-Amethyst kept bending to avoid the hits. Amethyst yelped as Spinel was punched by Water-Spinel, nearly dodging her. Groaning, Amethyst shifted into her Purple Puma form and leapt into the air.

Spinel was slammed into a boulder, but she grit her teeth and tried to move the fist off of her. Water-Spinel approached her and just glared. Frustrated, Spinel enlarged both of her fists, held them together and slammed them down on her clone.

She grinned when she was released, but saw the water particles twitch and Water-Spinel reformed. Spinel was only given a second to blink in shock before Water-Spinel lunged at her.

Pearl sliced through Water-Pearl in half, thinking she had won, but the Water-Pearl reformed into two. The pale gem summoned another spear while groaning, "I hate fighting me."

Lion roared at Water-Steven, but the clone slithered under each soundwave. Steven and Connie cheered their support for Lion, until Water-Steven knocked Lion back into the van, creating a huge dent on the side.

"Oh no, not the van!" Greg shouted in despair.

"Revenge!" Both Steven and Connie yelled, running towards the clone with Connie throwing a pebble, but Water-Steven grabbed them both by the hands and encased them in water. Steven saw that Connie was slowly drowning, when suddenly, Greg's van rammed into the clone. Steven and Connie dropped onto the ground, coughing.

Greg peeked his head out, "Is this a normal magical mission to you?! Cause I'm not so sure if I feel-"

"Greg!" Spinel screamed as she forced her water clone down and reached her other arm to grab the man and pull him out before Water-Steven blasted the van upwards, crashing it down on the ground. Spinel was then forced to drop Greg as Water-Spinel slammed her down to the ground, pinning her.

"Steven!" Spinel shouted, her water counterpart holding her down, "You have to talk to her!"

"I can't!" Steven cried, his eyes glistening with small tears, "What if she doesn't listen to me?!"

Spinel grunted as Water-Spinel applied more pressure and she struggled to speak, "I... couldn't free her... that time! I wasn't given... the chance! But... you! You freed her!" She turned her neck to face him, "Please Steven! I beg-!"

Water-Spinel grabbed her by the throat and slammed her down onto a rock, wounding her. Steven was in horror, but then he glared up at the tower of water, "Lapis! Please stop! I don't want to fight!"

Water-Steven created a waterball and hurled it towards him.

"I said..." Steven stood up, "I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT!"

Miraculously, Steven summoned his shield and it reflected the waterball away. Almost like a soundwave, the water clones of the gems dispelled in the reverberation. The Gems all gasped in awe, especially Spinel, who was still injured.

Steven dispelled his shield and walked towards the tower of water.

"Steven?" Connie gently called out.

The boy didn't respond to her and approached the water, "Lapis, I'm coming up to see you… So please don't drown me."

"Wait! Steven!" Connie cried out.

But Steven already held his breath and jumped into the water, a water-hand ascending him upwards. Spinel followed him with her eyes and laid her head down again.


At the top of the water tower, above the outer atmosphere of Earth, Steven was encased in a water bubble, him gasping for breath as his head popped out of the bubble. He met the gaze of the pupiless gem.

"Lapis."

"What are you doing here, Steven?" growled Lapis.

Steven was bewildered, "What? I- No! What are you doing here?! This thing, the ocean, this is crazy! Can't we work things out? We gems should be friends, Spinel always went by that-"

"Enough about Spinel!" Lapis retorted, pulling Steven closer to her, "She's wrong. Your friends, they... they don't care about other gems."

"But Spinel does." Steven pointed out.

Lapis gritted her teeth, but shook her head, "If she cares so much, why is she with those Crystal Gems?"

"Because she too wants to protect the Earth," Steven told her, "But she's very caring and thoughtful about other gems, like you. That's why she was so mad when none of the other Gems didn't try to free you."

Lapis blinked in surprise before turning crestfallen, releasing Steven from the bubble. Steven landed and saw Lapis walk over to the edge and laid on her knees.

Steven joined beside her, "I understand if you don't wanna stay here, but what did you mean by 'home'?"

The blue gem pointed towards a particularly bright, large star, "There. But my gem's cracked, I can only control the ocean. If only I could just stretch it far enough... No. I can’t."

"I... I know this place doesn't feel like home, but the ocean's a part of my home," Steven tried to find the right words to say, "That's why I'm here. I want to help you get home."

"But how?" Lapis asked, lowering her head.

Steven's eyes shifted over to the cracked gem on her back, and he gasped, "Your gem! I fix it! I have healing powers!"

Lapis slightly perked up, "You... you have healing powers?"

"Yeah, I know, right?" Steven smiled to lighten the mood.

Lapis turned her back to him, showing him her gem, "Oh, what should I..."

"Oh, uh, sorry," Steven awkwardly apologized when he remembered how his healing powers worked, "This might be a little weird."

"What?"

Steven licked his palm, layering it with his sparkling saliva and he patted Lapis's gem, causing her to shudder. But then, her gem began to glow, the cracks fading and a pair of water wings grew out, flapping once.

The blue gem turned around, her navy blue eyes shining, "Thank you, Steven!"

The boy wiped the spit off on his shirt, "No prob, Bob."

"... It's Lapis."

"... Yeah."

"Well, uh... Bye, " Lapis turned before adding, "And... tell Spinel that too."

She then flew off into the starry abyss, water droplets trailing in her wake. Steven watched her leave, but then yelped loudly as the water-tower began to shake and fall apart. Below the tower, the water collapsed and fell all around them, the group looking around for Steven.

"That whole tower's coming down!" shouted Garnet.

"What about Steven?!" Greg asked frantically, with Pearl standing near Spinel, who was still wounded.

Lion and Connie glanced at each-other and nodded, the girl climbing onto the animal's back and they disappeared into a pink portal from Lion's roar.

Spinel slowly started to wake up, hardly acknowledging the water falling, "Wha..."

"Spinel! You're awake!" Pearl cried, "We gotta get outta here!"

The pink gem sat up, now aware and awake, "B-But what about Steven?! Or Lapis?!"

The last thing Spinel could see before everyone went dark again was Lion appearing with Steven and Connie, unharmed and the water crashed down around them.


Mayor Dewey sobbed as he continued to spray onto the sand until he heard something, "Huh?"

The ocean began to flood back to Beach City, the citizens rushing out and cheering with joy. Lars cheered about his babes, but Sadie thankfully shoved him into the flowing water. The van, now damaged, rose from the water while shielded by Steven's bubble and popped.

"That's how you do it!" hollered Amethyst... right before the van fell apart even more.

Pearl nervously laughed, holding the broken wheel as Greg stared in distress, "Well, what's that thing you always say about the pork chops and the hot dogs?"

"Are you sure you're okay?" asked Steven, holding the pink gem's hand.

Spinel gave a reassuring look, "Of course Stevie- Whoa!"

The crowd of the Beach City residents surrounded them, congratulating them and Mayor Dewey embraced them both. Connie laughed with joy and hugged Lion. The other Gems discussed among themselves about Lapis's departure. Greg continued to mourn for his broken van while Yellowtail comforted him.

While laughing, Steven then remembered something, "Oh uh, Lapis told me to tell you that she said bye."

Spinel's eyes widened for a moment, "You mean... she left?"

Steven nodded and sighed, "I kinda wished she stayed.”

Spinel smiled softly, "I think all that matters... is that she's free."

"Yeah," Steven agreed, hugging Spinel close with his head over her shoulder, seeing the brightly lit star, whispering quietly, "See you Lapis. Wherever you are."

Chapter Text

With all her strength, Spinel pulled the last of the weeds out of the ground, dumping it into her brown plastic bag. As she looked around, the ground now clear of any weeds, satisfaction glittered in her eyes.

"At last!" She proclaimed, "Finally, I'll be able to grow my flowers! Now I just have to decide what kind…" She placed a finger on her cheek in thought.

Putting her gardening supplies away, she checked her pocket watch, "And it's not even past 5 o'clock. Time to get home before dinner!"

Spinel giggly walked over to the pad and warped back to the beach house.


Steven sighed miserably, "I know. I guess this is it. I'll never get to see Connie again." His eyes watered with tears. "Oh Connie, I'll never know a star that shines as brightly as you..."

Everyone in the house remained silent… until the warp pad activated and Spinel appeared, wiping the dust off her dress, chuckling nervously, "Sorry I took so long, guys. I was just so focused on finding another monster that I guess I got carried away. So, uh, how's everything… go...ing?"

She paused when Steven, Greg, and the Gems staring at her, almost surprised by her arrival.

Spinel really felt awkward, "Uh... is there... something wrong?"

"No…" Steven whispered, eyes beaming, "You're... perfect."

Spinel was taken aback, blushing slightly from the unexpected compliment, "Wha-What?"

Steven slowly walked towards her, "You're, like the perfect candidate. You're approachable, can eat food, and you're not gross!" He then hugged her and snuggled against her stomach, humming lovingly.

Spinel, still perplexed, stared at the boy and then to his father.

Greg nervously laughed, "Heh heh, I-I'll explain everything."


At the restaurant…

"We've been waiting for 20 minutes." Mrs. Maheswaran impatiently tapped her fingers on the table, her husband groaning from boredom. Almost as if on cue, the door of the restaurant opened, with Greg, Steven, and Spinel stepped out.

Steven caught sight of them and waved, "Hey Connie! Hi Mr. and Mrs. Maheswaran!"

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Greg said as he and Spinel went to shake their hands, "I'm Greg Universe."

Spinel smiled sweetly, holding out a hand, "And I'm Spinel Universe. I'm so happy to be here with you tonight!"

Connie's parents (much to Steven and Connie's overwhelming relief) were pleasantly surprised as they shook their hands. They sat down across from them and ordered their food.

Spinel broke a part of a breadstick, dipping in a small bowl of olive oil before Mrs. Maheswaran spoke up, "So, Mrs. Universe, how did you and Greg meet?"

Steven silently freaked out, but Spinel calmly replied, "Well, he and I met up at a concert. His concert."

Greg quickly followed along, "Yeah, I was playing some of my fancy tunes when no one showed up... but her." She shared a smile with Spinel, "And that fact that she was the only one who liked my music, made my heart whole."

"Oh sweetheart," Spinel fanned her hand at him, blushing, "You know how to flatter me."

"You used to play in a band?" Mr Maheswaran asked, showing some interest.

"Yeah, I did." Greg answered and nervously chuckled, "Though I'm kinda been worn out of concerts. Age hits ya hard."

Spinel shrugged playfully, "Age didn't stop you from playing music." That made Connie's parents laugh a bit.

As the adults kept talking, Connie leaned over to Steven and whispered, "Wow, Spinel's great at this."

"I know," Steven grinned happily, "Maybe your parents would wanna hang out with my family more!"

Connie laughed softly, "Well, they've never been the talking type, but it's like Spinel's caught their interest."

Steven nodded, "Yeah, she's, like, the friendliest Gem I've ever known!"

"Oh, so you're interested in horticulture?" Mrs. Maheswaran asked.

Spinel nodded, swallowing her piece of shrimp, "Yeah, I've just been fascinated with growing flora, so I've decided to create my own garden…"

"Oh oh!" Steven raised his arm and waved it excitedly, "Can we see it?!"

Connie stood up, "Yeah, I'd like to see that too!"

Mrs. Maheswaran ushered her to sit with a glance, "Hey, no standing at the dinner table," and her daughter sat back down.

"When it's finished, love," Spinel replied, "I've still got a lot to learn about flora, and I need to finish cleaning the area up."

"You mean, it's like in the middle of nowhere?" Greg looked at her.

Spinel's eyes shifted down and back up, "... You could say that. I just kinda want to bring it back to life. I know it's gonna take a few years or so, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end-."

"Years?!" Steven nearly slammed the table out of shock, "But that'll take forever!"

"Patience, little guy," Spinel calmly lectured, "Plants need time to grow."

Mr Maheswaran then asked, "But what motivated you do attempt such a thing?"

Spinel paused for a bit, placing down her fork, "Well... I dunno. I guess I just wanted to try something, such as building a whole garden all by myself. And the area I found had to be some kind of... miracle... "

"I'm sure it'll be beautiful, honeybuns," Greg reassured, placing a hand on her shoulder.

Spinel smiled, "Thanks, dear. I'll try not to stay there for too long, or else, I'd have roots glued to my feet!"

The adults laughed at her joke. Steven and Connie were pretty much beaming at this point, knowing how amazing this conversation was going.

Mrs. Maheswaran finished laughing, "You know Mrs. Universe, I've never met anyone who's so dedicated to her work and such a good parent to your child."

Spinel blushed slightly, though hidden by her pink skin, "O-Oh thank you, Mrs. Maheswaran. "

"Does this mean I can still hang out with Steven?" Connie looked at her parents, and she grinned when they nodded.

"Hey!" Steven said to Spinel, "Since I'm done with my food, can Connie and I go play?"

Spinel smiled lovingly, "Of course, you're excused."

The kids practically cheered and ran out to the beach, laughing and chasing each-other. Connie's parents watched on with pride, then looked over to Greg and Spinel, who were hugging each-other and were nearly on the verge of tears.

"Are you two alright?" Mr. Maheswaran asked.

"Better than alright," Greg answered, sniffling a bit.

"We're just happy our little Steven made a new friend," Spinel finished, rubbing a tear from her eye, and continued to watch her boy and his friend chase each-other on the beach.

Chapter Text

That night, Steven continued to stare at the ceiling, lying in bed. He nearly closed his eyes and drifted to sleep, but quickly snapped himself awake. He looked over to the Warp Pad, when he heard Spinel and Amethyst talking.

"Amethyst, you know Steven's saving that."

"He won't mind. Besides, you always get him more."

The crunching noises didn't block out Spinel's annoyed groan, "I wouldn't have to if you weren't such a hog."

"A proud hog."

"Ugh, whatever. Just go."

Amethyst, shifting into a pig, snorted and laughed as she ran to her room. Spinel groaned again and walked up the stairs, "Sorry, Steven. Amethyst ate up your macaroni and cheese."

"It's fine." He said, not looking at her.

Spinel became concerned, walked over to his bed, and sat at the edge, "Hey buddy, is something bothering ya?"

Steven didn't respond.

Her hand rested on his arm, "Hey, you know, you can always talk to me. I'll listen."

Steven's eyes shifted to look at her, "It's... It's the thing I saw outside the warp." He expected Spinel to brush it off, but when she didn't, he continued, "I don't know why I'm getting this... weird vibe when I saw it. I know Pearl said only you guys can use the warps, but..."

Spinel gently stroked Steven's arm, "Are you sure it wasn't something else?"

"I'm sure!" Steven protested, holding her hand and giving her the puppy-dog eyes, "Don't you believe me?"

Spinel opened her mouth to speak, and shut it when she didn't know what to say. Steven groaned and laid back on his bed. Spinel flinched a bit, believing she did something wrong.

"H-Hey, Stevie," She finally spoke, "How I about we talk to the Gems in the morning and we can check the warps. How does that sound?"

Steven lifted his head, "You'd... You'd do that?"

Spinel nodded.

A small smile appeared on the boy's face, "Y-Yeah, we can do that."

"Alright. Now, I want you to get some sleep," Spinel kissed his forehead and tucked him in, "Goodnight. Love you."

"Love you too..." Steven mumbled as Spinel jumped down from his room and headed to her room. She turned her head around to gaze at Steven for a moment, before her door opened and she entered her room.

... However, Steven sat up in his bed, got his water gun, and stood against the front door. He stared at the warp pad, clutching the water gun, "Looks like I'm not sleeping tonight..."


"Steven?"

Steven jolted awake and yelped, spraying water onto the blurry figure in front of him. Getting drenched, Spinel stumbled back and her spiky pigtails drooped.

"Steven!" He heard Pearl scold, "That's no way to treat-"

"N-No Pearl, it's fine!" Spinel assured, spitting some water out, "It's just water."

Garnet held a tray of cookies out from behind her, "Guess you're not getting cookies."

"GIMME!" Amethyst reached out for them, but Spinel held her back and got into a wrestling battle with her. Garnet didn't react or try to help either one of them.

Pearl sighed and crouched down to pat Steven's shoulder, "Steven, Spinel told us about what you told her last night, and she suggested that we'd go look for whatever's troubling you."

Steven yawned and perked up, "Really? She told you?"

Spinel finally shoved Amethyst to the ground, "Of course I did. If you're concerned about something, then I should be concerned too."

"Oh Spinel," Pearl waved a hand at her dismissively, "I know you love being supportive of Steven and stuff like that, but you have to remember. Humans like him have such imagination and only we can use the warp pads."

Spinel saw the hurt look in Steven's eyes and glared at Pearl, "It still doesn't hurt to check, y'know."

"If it'll make you feel better," stated Garnet, behind her was Amethyst jumping and trying to reach the tray of cookies laying on Garnet's head.

Steven smiled and nodded.


Sadly, after checking the other places through the warp pad, they found nothing until they arrived at the Galaxy Warp.

And it was at this point that Pearl was getting annoyed, "These are the warps that once connected us to other planets. If something tried to come from space, it would be through here." She pointed to the main warp, "But wait! This warp pad is broken, marked inactive by the very depressed cartoon breakfast sticker you placed here yourself!"

"Yeah. Sure," Spinel scoffed, "But they could also come directly from space without the warp pad!"

Pearl inhaled a breath to keep her patience, "Spinel, I'm afraid your argument is too weak. There hasn't been any sightings of anything falling from space."

Spinel tried to find something else to counter, but nothing came up and she face-palmed.

Amethyst leaned against Steven, "Looks like Pearl's done it again, correct as usual."

"But I did see something!" Steven retorted, pulling away from the purple gem, "I'm not lying!"

Garnet laid a comforting hand on his head, "Steven. Enough. It's safe, we're going home."

Pearl wrapped a somewhat friendly arm around Spinel, "See Spinel? Steven's feeling much safer now, just like you want him to be. No need to worry."

Spinel muttered something.

Pearl turned her head, "Spinel, could you please speak up? I can't stand mumbling-"

"I said... THAT'S WHEN I WORRY THE MOST!" screeched Spinel, catching Pearl, Garnet, Amethyst and especially Steven off-guard.

Pearl backed away from the pink gem, "Spinel..." She then put her hands on her hips and glared at the other gem, "This is getting ridiculous. There's nothing left to prove that anything's coming. Like I've told you and Steven multiple times, no one but us can use the warp pads and this one is broken. Everything's okay. Steven's okay."

Spinel shook her head, "No. I'm sick of you three dismissing Steven's troubles. He's not okay, I can tell from the look in his eyes, unlike you three!"

"G-Guys! Guys!" Steven tried to intervene, "Stop fighting! Please!"

Pearl scoffed angrily, "Oh, I should've known. Even after what we've been through and what's happened, you still have that stupid, naive little child in you that's playing this little game with Steven! I'm not even surprised."

Spinel's pigtails bristled and her eyes blazed with pink fury as she snarled, "Well Pearl, maybe if you'd opened your mind as much as you opened your mouth, then you'd wouldn't be so STUPID!"

Everyone froze.

Pearl's expression changed from shock to fury, "... Fine. If you wanna play along with this... game, go ahead. But you're on your own."

Spinel scowled, "I'll do that."

"NO!" Steven cried, running up to hug and nuzzle Spinel's leg, "Please don't. Don't be mad at Pearl, I started all this. I didn't mean to make you mad…"

Spinel sighed, "No.. no. I'm glad you told me."

"Let's go." Garnet calmly stated, with Pearl letting out a 'hmph' and storming away from Spinel. The pink gem stood at the Warp Pad, not facing the gems.

"What about Spinel?" Steven asked.

Garnet didn't move, "Don't worry about her. Let's go."

Steven gave Spinel a worried glance before running to the warp pad. But before they all left, Amethyst gave one last glance to Spinel, "You really need to lighten up, girl."

Spinel kept her back turned to them, remaining silent.


On his bed, Steven hugged his legs closer to his chest, his phone laid beside him as the other Gems argued downstairs. He cringed when Pearl made a loud, exasperated groan.

"Pearl, just let it go. Spinel was overreacting, that's all."

"I know, but the fact that she was willing to believe him just... baffling! What do you think, Amethyst?"

"I dunno, but she needs to like, chill."

Steven wiped a tear from his reddened eyes, trying to fight back his sleep. Picking up his phone, he walked down the stairs, sneaking behind Pearl and approached the warp pad, sitting down in front of it.

Amethyst looked up, "Still worried about Spinel?"

"Yeah…" Steven mumbled, loud enough to let them hear, "I didn't mean to make her mad. I just thought I saw something... Maybe you guys were right..."

Pearl glanced over to Garnet and Amethyst before gaining a calm smile, "It's alright, Steven. She'll just figure out on her own that everything's fine and there's nothing to-"

Then a green orb crashed through the ceiling of the beach house and into the floor. Everyone was stunned for a few seconds, but began to scream as the orb grew unattached legs.


Spinel sat cross-legged at the warp pad, still not giving up. Usually, she was very patient about everything, especially Steven, but after what Pearl said and what she said, her frustration was eating away at her patience.

She was mentally knocked out of her thoughts as tiny footsteps were heard. Gasping and standing up, Spinel saw small green orbs swarming around her before stepping onto the Homeworld warp and began to spray it down with a weird, pale green substance.

"W-Wha- What is this?!" She exclaimed to no one until she heard a warp activate, revealing it to be Garnet (holding another orb), Amethyst, Pearl, and Amethyst. They all shared the same fearful expression.

"Spinel!" Steven ran up to the pink gem, "I was right! That was what I saw in the warp!"

Spinel blinked surprise and looked up at the magenta gem,

"We apologize sincerely, Spinel," said Garnet as she let go of the orb, "We should've taken Steven and your words seriously."

"Yeah!" Amethyst joined her side, "You had every right to be mad at us!"

Spinel couldn't reply, and neither could Pearl when they turned and saw that the orbs kept oozing the substance out. Somehow, the cracks began to heal.

"They fixed it?!" yelled Amethyst.

Instantly, Pearl and Spinel glanced at each-other, fear spread across the faces, almost as if they knew something.

"Everyone! Get down!" Garnet ordered, wrapped one of her arms around the four of them, summoned one of her gauntlets and hopped behind on of the rocks and hid, watching the Homeworld Warp activate and a figure appeared.

Standing on the pad and giving it a few light stomps, the strange green newcomer hummed a bit.

"Who's that?" Pearl whispered.

"No idea," Garnet replied quietly.

The green gem, with her floating fingers, created a screen and spoke calmly, "Log date, 3 1 2. This is Peridot, performing Earth hub maintenance check." One of the orbs got on her shoulder.

"Peridot?" Spinel mumbled to herself, prompting the others to shush her.

"Warp repair a success. All 79 Flask Robonoids deployed and accounted for. Preparing to locate and manually reactivate Kinder-" Peridot spoke before one of the damaged robonoid tapped at her foot and rolled over.

Steven peeked slightly, "Aww, the little ones are like her babies..." Spinel took a peek as well.

However, the annoyed Peridot carelessly squashed the robonoid under her foot, causing him to cringe. Spinel, on the other hand, was squinting her eyes at the newcomer.

"Now to access the domestic warp," said Peridot, walking down the steps of the warp. But she also noticed the crying waffle sticker on the pad and peeled it off.

Peridot became nervous, "This site may have been compromised." She stood on the Homeworld Warp, leaving a green stone before warping away. The stone detonated, deactivating the robonoids.

After a few seconds, the Crystal Gems came out of hiding.

"They're coming back! I can't do this! Not again!" Pearl began to hyperventilate, hugging the closest thing to her; Spinel.

Spinel was just as scared as her companion was, hugging her back, "Pearl! Hold yourself together!"

"We are dead!" Amethyst declared, "We are so dead!"

"Was that another Gem? Where did she come from? What was she trying to do?" Steven asked the Gems, but stopped when Garnet walked up to the warp.

"It doesn't matter." Garnet summoned her gauntlets, enlarging them and smashing the Homeworld Warp into pieces. Steven and the Gems watched in horror and shock as Garnet turned around.

"She's not coming back."

Chapter Text

Steven tilted his head, "But how exactly do you fuse?"

Amethyst rolled her eyes playfully, "Ah, it's really simple. You just gotta do some fancy dancing and stuff and boom!" She slammed her hands together, "You're fused!"

"That's... slightly true." Spinel told them, her gem began to glow, "The 'fancy dancing' part is preparing yourself mentally to become one with your partner. Many gems have their own styles of dancing, such as Pearl's ballet, Amethyst's... 'break-dancing', and my simple waltz."

Pearl nodded in agreement, "And we can demonstrate it right now."

Steven squealed happily while Amethyst blew a raspberry and muttered, "Show-offs..."

In the living room, Pearl performed her graceful style of dancing and Spinel, holding her dress up, strutted towards her. They made contact and Pearl dipped Spinel, enveloping them in light. Peach Moonstone reappeared, smiling gently to Steven and Amethyst.

"What's going on?" asked Garnet as she walked in.

"Giving our Steven a little lesson about fusion." replied Peach Moonstone.

Garnet seemed to brighten up, "Why don't we all teach him?"


For the next hour, Garnet and Peach Moonstone attempted to show Steven how to fuse. They performed more dancing, even making Amethyst and Steven dance.

When she saw Amethyst gyrating her hips, Peach Moonstone face-palmed in disappointment with her upper and lower hands. Garnet remained blank.

Unfusing back to Pearl and Spinel, the two gems did a few of their own dance moves to show the boy, their gems not glowing this time.

Finally, all the gems made another attempt to unify themselves with Steven. Snapping their fingers, putting their foot down, and running to the right of the stage, they leapt and floated mid-air. Steven tried to join in, but simply fell down on the floor.

"Man… you guys are so much better than me," Steven grumbled, wrapping a towel around his neck.

Spinel stroked his back, "It's your first time, sweetheart. We've been doing these for, like, centuries! No one's gonna get it first try. Even Pearl and I struggled the first time we formed Peach Moonstone."

"But Spinel," Pearl spoke, sounding worried, "Steven's half human. How do we know if he's even capable of fusing? The four of us are made out of light, and he's organic."

"Organic?" Steven asked. 

Spinel rolled her eyes, "So what? If he's got a gem, he can do anything a gem can do."

"Perhaps so," murmured Garnet.

"Yeah! It's Steven! Who knows what's gonna happen!" Amethyst popped in. Sighing, Steven removed the towel and walked out of the house. The Gems watched him leave, Spinel having a gentle smile on her face.

"Don't worry, guys," smiled Spinel, "Steven will find out in the best way possible."

Pearl stared at her, "What way?"

"His way."


Spinel continued to wash the rest of the dishes. Steven had been gone for a long while, but she knew he needed time to himself.

"Hey Spinel!"

A weird yet familiar voice made her pause and she turned around. A human, looking similar to both her boy and his friend stood at the door, making a proud pose and giving her a big smile, "So, what'd ya think? We fused!"

... Spinel dropped the teacup.


"You... fused?" Pearl asked, aghast while Spinel cleaned up the remaining pieces of the broken teacup, still recovering from the shock. Amethyst chuckled and Garnet kept clapping eagerly.

"This is unprecedented," Pearl began to inspect the new being, "A Gem fusing with a human being? It's impossible! ... Or at the very least inappropriate."

Spinel dumped the glass into the trash, "Well, I think whoever this fusion is is amazing just the way they are." She crossed her arms as she stood beside Pearl and shot her a glare.

"That's right!" Amethyst joined in, "We gotta think of a name for ya! Steven... Connie... Stevonnie?"

The newly-named Stevonnie seemed to approve, "Yeah, that works- ERK!"

Spinel hugged the fusion tightly and let out a light scream of glee, "You've finally fused, my loves!"

However, Pearl wasn't as ecstatic as everyone else, "W-Well, I'm glad you are enjoying yourselves, but I think it's time you should unfuse-"

"Oh come on, Pearl!" Spinel angrily retorted, uncoiling her arms and directed her body to the other gem, "How come you always have to spoil Steven's fun? He's learning something from this! You should be proud!"

Pearl was taken aback, but Garnet stepped up, gently, pushing Amethyst and Spinel away, "Stevonnie."

Garnet rested her hand on the humanoid fusion's cheek as the other gems backed away, "Listen to me. You are not two people. And you are not one person. You... are an experience! Make sure you're a good experience. Now... Go! Have! Fun!"

"And uh, Connie!" Spinel quickly added, "Make sure you get Steven back home before 9!"


Hours later...

Spinel looked up at the clock. 8:50 o'clock. Now she was getting worried. Finishing up the chores around the house, Spinel was about to head outside and wait on the porch for Stevonnie's return, but she was stopped as Steven rushed in.

"SPINEL!" He wailed, running up to hug her waist and start sobbing.

Spinel immediately became concerned and hugged him back, "S-Steven? What's wrong, buddy?"

The child looked up at her with tear-filled eyes that could break someone's heart, "W-We went to a party, and Connie and I were dancing and we were having a ton of fun!" He hiccuped and Spinel wiped his tears, "T-Then this guy named Kevin tried to dance with us, but he was acting really weird and I didn't like it!"

As he continued to cry, Spinel froze in place, her expression unreadable. "... What did he do?" She asked quietly.

Steven sniffled and rubbed his cheek, "H-He was standing so close to us... and he called us 'baby' and he-"

The boy stopped as Spinel's grip on him tightened. Spinel just stood there, glaring straight-ahead, most likely picturing this "Kevin" seducing and touching her precious baby boy and his friend who probably felt the same way he was feeling.

"... Steven."

"W-What?"

"Can you do me a little favor?"

"L-Like what?"

"If this... 'Kevin' ever contacts you again, you'll be sure to let me know. And I'll teach him something he'll never forget..."

Chapter Text

Out on the beach, most of the Beach City citizens had all gathered up for the fireworks. Garnet put on her 'Cool Dad' jacket, Pearl put on the sweater, and Spinel wrapped the white shawl on her shoulders.

"Like this?" Pearl asked Steven.

"Yeah! You guys are killin' it!" Steven replied happily and handed them some pots and pans to them, "And there are some pots and pans. We've got to make lots of noise. Dad and I do this every year."

"Well, in that case..." Spinel prepared to slam her wooden spoon against her pot, but Steven stopped her.

"Not yet! We do it during the fireworks!"

"Ooooh," Spinel nodded in understanding.

Steven looked around, "I brought some for Amethyst too. They should be here any second."

"Yeah... they sure are taking a long time..." Spinel spoke quietly to herself, sounding suspicious until her eyes widened and groaned, "Oh no, they couldn't be watching Lil Butler again!"

Pearl and Garnet stared at her but then they too groaned in annoyance.

Steven turned to face her, "What? What are you talking about?"

Spinel stood up, "It's... It's just some stupid show Greg and Amethyst used to watch. They'd disappear for days! And they're doing it again..." She growled quietly to herself.

"Again?" Steven was confused, "You mean... this isn't the first time?"

Garnet scoffed and Pearl shrugged, "They've done this about a year ago, but then they... stopped."

The fireworks went off and the citizens around them cheered and applauded. Pearl began to lightly tap her pan with a wooden spoon, "Happy New Years, Steven!"

Steven looked down, feeling timid and hurt. Spinel noticed this and whispered, "Hey sweetie, you go ahead and stay with Pearl and Garnet. I'll go find Greg for you."

Steven turned his head around, "W-What are you gonna do?"

"I'm just gonna..." She paused and gave Steven a smile that seemed fake, "Chat with him." She kissed his forehead and walked away, muttering something under her breath.

"How's my volume?" Pearl looked up at Garnet.

Garnet stood up with her pans, "It's low." Then she clanged them together loudly, prompting everyone else around them to cover their ears.


Spinel ignored the sounds of cheering and fireworks and continued her way towards the garage. Her eyes narrowed as she snarled, "What kind of father would abandon his son at a time like this?"

The pink gem could hear the voices of her kid's father and her teammate inside, but couldn't make out what they were saying. They didn't sound happy though.

Fists clenched, Spinel made her way through the piled up garbage and headed towards the light source, which had to be the television. Two shapes appeared, but they were hard to make out.

"Don't do this, Amethyst..."

"I bet you'd stay for her..."

"You wouldn't..."

"What? Do this?"

Spinel stopped in her path as her foot got stuck, blocking out the sound of Amethyst shape-shifting and talking to Greg mockingly. She even ignored Greg's pleading as she struggled to remove her foot out of the garbage.

And with enough strength, Spinel pulled her foot out and landed on the couch. She then shot her head up and glared at them, "Greg! Amethyst! Do you two have-"

She stopped, eyes widened with horror as she met Rose's surprised gaze. Everything in Spinel seemed to shatter at the very sight of her, tears beginning to spill.

Amethyst shifted back, panicking, "N-No- Spinel- It's not what you think-!"

But Spinel stepped backwards, cupping her hand over her mouth and whimpered in horror. The thick tears continued to run down her face, staring at the both of them. And with a loud, heart-breaking sob, Spinel dashed out of the garage and towards the Beach House.


Garnet, Pearl, and Steven arrived back at the Beach House, with the boy appearing more worried. When they stepped inside, they were shocked to see Greg sitting on the couch, and Amethyst was banging on the door of the Gem's room.

"SPINEL! I'M SORRY!" She cried, slamming her fists on the door, "I DIDN'T MEAN TO! I WAS JUST MESSING AROUND!"

Pearl walked up to her, "H-Hey! What's going on?"

"What happened?" Garnet questioned.

Greg continued to sulk on the couch, unable to answer the magenta gem. Steven stood there, eyes shining with concern and confusion.


"Amethyst! How could you be so callous?!" Garnet angrily scolded, Amethyst cowering away from her. Steven kept crying into Greg's side, his father rubbing his back in an attempt to console him.

"You know how we all feel about Rose being dead!" Pearl shared Garnet's fury, nearly crying, "And now, you've not only made Greg upset, but Spinel's upset as well!"

Amethyst refused to answer them, summoning her room and running inside.

Greg sighed, "No, it's all my fault-"

"No." Pearl snapped her head to the man, "Amethyst should've known better than to... shape-shift into Rose."

Steven looked up, eyes still filled with tears, "W-What's going to happen now?"

Garnet readjusted her visors, her tone heavy with sorrow, "We must give both Spinel and Amethyst some space. It will take them a long time for them to speak to each-other again."


A few days later…

At the Big Donut, Lars and Sadie were chatting about the mysterious person they had met last night, but stopped as Spinel walked in. Sadie prepared to greet her, until she and Lars saw the dull look in her eyes.

Spinel approached the counter, not looking at them, "One of the usual, please."

Sadie and Lars shared a glance before Lars reached for the donuts to find the one she liked. The girl gave the gem a concerned look, "Hey, you look bummed. Did something happen?"

Spinel didn't move, "Nothing. Nothing happened."

"Welp," Lars shrugged, handing her the paper bag, "Guess we don't need to worry then."

Sadie angrily shoved Lars' side before trying to smile comfortingly, "Ignore him. We promise that whatever's troubling you, it's not gonna last forever."

Still silent, Spinel took the bag, placed the money on the counter and left, leaving the two employees to stare at each-other in confusion and even slight concern from Lars.

Sitting out on the bench, Spinel took her donut out of the bag and stared at it. After a moment, she took a bite and sighed through her nose. She reveled in the flavor of the icing.

"Spinel!"

Spinel's eyes shifted up, meeting the boy's gaze. Steven was making the biggest smile he could muster, though it was clear it wasn't exactly an honest smile.

Swallowing her donut, Spinel blinked at him, "What is it?"

The boy handed her something in his hands; a card. "Someone who's really sorry wanted to give you this!"

Spinel took the card and opening it, seeing a crudely drawn picture of herself and Amethyst surrounded by flowers. Steven expected her to cheer up and possibly forgive Amethyst, but his smile faded into a horrified frown as Spinel shredded the card into two halves and dropped the pieces.

"How nice of her." Spinel deadpanned, "If only she had enough maturity to say sorry to my face."

Steven stared at her in disbelief and he hung his head, "Spinel, it's been a while. Amethyst really does feel bad for what she did. She knows what she did was wrong. And if my dad can forgive her, you can forgive her too."

Spinel didn't reply. Exhaling his breath, Steven walked away, leaving her alone.


"Are you sure these'll work?" Amethyst raised a suspicious eyebrow, holding a bundle of white tulips.

Steven nodded, "Yeah! Spinel really loves flowers! I kinda don't know why, but I don't judge!"

Amethyst's body seemed to droop, "I... I don't think I can do it. Spinel's known Rose longer than I have. She, Pearl, and Garnet go way back. She should've..." She choked on her forming tears.

Steven's lip trembling, and he sighed, "But Amethyst, you should apologize. You're the one who..." His words trailed off, knowing he didn't need to say more or he'll make things worse.

Just then, they saw Spinel walk in through the front door and stopped when she saw their gazes.

Both Steven and Amethyst tried to give her a kind smile, but they were met with Spinel's icy cold glare, mainly at the purple gem. She continued her way to the warp pad and she teleported away.

Amethyst groaned miserably, "Great, now she'll be gone for hours..."

Steven patted her shoulder in consolation, "Well hey, that'll give you the time to find your words."

"Right..."


That night, Spinel was sitting on the beach, her spiky pigtails dancing with the wind. Her eyes were closed, taking in slow deep breaths.

"Hey."

Spinel was jolted out of her peace and turned her head to see the purple gem. Scowling, she turned away. However, she didn't move when Amethyst sat beside her, still holding one of the white tulips. From far away on the balcony, Steven, Pearl, and Garnet watched them, looking hopeful.

After a few seconds, Amethyst spoke up, "Spinel... I just... wanted to say that I'm sorry."

No response.

But Amethyst wasn't going to give up quickly, "I mean it. I was just mad at Greg for a stupid reason. I didn't want him to leave so..."

"Forming into his dead wife isn't going to make him stay. You're only scaring him."

Amethyst shuddered under Spinel's harsh whisper, and continued, "I... I know. And... I'm sorry." Then she handed Spinel the white tulip.

Steven held his breath, Pearl continued to stare, and Garnet remained blank. Spinel stared at the flower, and actually took it and inhaled it.

"Amethyst."

The purple gem perked up slightly, "Y-Yeah?"

Spinel's eyes shifted to her, "Promise me you'll never shape-shift into Rose ever again. For Greg's sake and mine."

"Oh..." Amethyst breathed and nodded, looking at her straight in the eye, "I promise!"

Steven, Pearl, and Garnet all nodded to each-other and went back inside, leaving the two along for the night.

"Ya know, the stars are way prettier from far away," Amethyst commented.

Spinel's lips formed a small smile, "Definitely."

Chapter Text

Spinel laid out splayed on the couch, lifting herself up when the Gems warped back, holding a few weapons, much to her silent surprise.

"Hey Spinel!" Steven ran up to the pink Gem as Garnet and Amethyst tried to get the giant axe through the door.

Spinel got up and hugged Steven, "Hey sweetie. How was the..." She trailed off for a moment, "...Battlefield?"

"It was amazing! Your history is amazing! Lion even found Rose's scabbard!" Steven proclaimed.

Spinel's eyes went wide, "He did?" She turned to face Pearl, who was still holding the scabbard close. She ran over to her and inspected the pink scabbard, running her fingers on it, "Wow... it's been so long..."

Pearl unexpectedly softly smiled, "It has..."

Confused by both Pearl and Spinel's behavior, Steven walked over to them, "Pearl? Spinel? ... What was Mom like?"

Pearl and Spinel looked at each-other and shared a smile, with Pearl starting first, "Oh Steven, she was courageous and brilliant... and beautiful."

"She fought for the whole planet and its life, and we could never thank her enough," said Spinel, gazing at the painting of Rose. Both of the Gems sighed blissfully, remembering the good times with Rose Quartz.

Pearl chuckled, "You almost sometimes look like her." For a split second, Spinel shot her a weird stare before she looked away.

"Really...?" Steven mumbled, before the three of them heard the commotion behind them. Spinel rolled her eyes as Pearl handed Steven the scabbard, "Hey Steven, maybe you should keep this."

Steven held the sword-holder in his hands in awe, "Whoa... Thanks Pearl! And guess what, Spinel? You don't have to worry about me! I'll just bop anything that tries to eat me!" He swung the scabbard around.

"Actually, Stevie," Spinel gently grabbed the scabbard, "This is what held the sword."

Steven tiled his head cutely, "Then where's the sword?"

Spinel became quiet, eyes wide and shifting to the pale Gem, giving her a look of not knowing what to do. Pearl thought for a second and seemed to think of something, just as Garnet and Amethyst finally got the axe inside and they left, leaving the three alone.

"Can you keep a secret?" Pearl asked.

Steven nodded excitedly.

Pearl and Spinel gave a silent nod to each-other, and Spinel spoke, "This secret is so secretive, we haven't told Garnet or Amethyst. We know a place where Rose keeps her weapons-"

"But you have her gem now!" Pearl rudely cut her off, "That place is yours now and we can show it to you... if Spinel's willing to come." Spinel nodded, sightly annoyed.

"Uh, okay!" Steven complied.


Warping to a canyon, Pearl, Spinel, and Steven looked around.

"Now," Pearl began, "It's just a 3 hour hike that way, followed by a vertical climb at 90 degrees."

Spinel lightly shrugged, "Doesn't sound too bad. What do ya say, honey?"

Steven faltered. Spinel noticed this and looked up at Pearl, grinning cheek-to-cheek. Pearl caught on what she was thinking.


"Spinel keeps telling me she used to be an entertainer for my Mom, but what did Pearl do?" Steven asked, a bendy arm coiled around him while climbing.

Peach Moonstone replied, Pearl's voice being heard over her, "I was her sole confidant. For the words she couldn't share with anyone else, I was there to listen."

"Hey! She told me things too!" Now Spinel's voice was heard.

"Why did she keep so many secrets?"

"Because she's a great leader," Spinel's side replied, "She had to keep some things hidden because she cared and wanted to protect the Gems she loved."

"Except me!"

"And me!"

Steven sighed as they bickered. It got to the point where they unfused and released Steven, but a panicked Spinel quickly caught him before he could meet his demise.


Arriving at a flooded cave, the trio walked over to the place Lion had taken Steven and Connie to weeks ago.

"Welcome to Rose's Secret Armory!" Pearl and Spinel both announced, gaining wide grins when they saw Steven's amazement.

"Whoa... I've been here before!" Steven ran up to the platform, the Gems' smiles turning into confused looks.

"Wha..." Pearl started, trying to brush it off, "You must be thinking of someplace else, she and I are the only Crystal Gems that's witnessed the Armory's magnificence before now."

"Well.." Even Spinel was starting to get suspicious, "If you've been here, who took you?"

"Lion did."

Pearl nearly shoved Spinel away, "The lion?!"

Steven nodded, walking over to the center of the platform, the floor glowing pale pink and a hand-shaped pedestal erected up, "Yeah, there's all kinds of great stuff hidden in here."

"Like what?" Spinel inquired, standing beside Steven with Pearl behind her, who reached over, "Here, I can show you how to access the artillery-"

"That's okay! I can do it without you!" Steven placed his hand on the pedestal. Nothing happened for a moment, but Steven remembered something, "Oh, right!" He poked his cheek, a set of axes appeared from the ground, "We got some... axes."

"The Axes of Ages?" Pearl questioned, Spinel looking shocked.

"Oh! We got spiky chain lady and her metal dealies!"

"The Heretic's Anguish?"

"We got a... O-Oh! Three pack of lazer light cannons!"

"The Quartizine Trio!" Pearl was getting visibly irritated.

"Boop! And... a whole lot of these armor guys."

"The Armor of the Fallen!"

"Now now," Spinel tried to keep her friend calm and turned to Steven, "All that we were looking for is Rose's sword."

"What's-it look like?" asked Steven.

Pearl frustratingly made a hologram, showing the sword, "It's a straight bladed saber that's pink with a red handle. There are vines etched in the guard that connect to a rose-shaped pommel."

Steven recognized the sword, "Oh, I know where that is!"

With the holographic sword turning into a exclamation mark, Pearl and Spinel faced Steven, dumbfounded, "Huh?"


Steven sung a little song as he pulled the sword out of Lion's mane, "Here it is!"

Spinel gasped, and Pearl stared, "Rose's sword. How did it get in there?"

"I dunno," Steven replied while handing the sword to Pearl, placing it into the scabbard, "I keep stuff in there too-"

Spinel stood closely to him, "What did you find in there?!"

Steven cowered slightly, "I-I just found Rose's stuff..."

"How? Did you get in?" Spinel tried to stick her hand in Lion's mane, only for the giant cat to growl at her.

Pearl had her hand to her chin, "Does Lion have something to do with Rose?"

"Ooooooh, of course! That's why he's pink!" Amethyst joked.

Garnet remained stagnant, "It's pretty obvious."

"But..." Pearl mumbled, "Rose didn't have a lion..."

Spinel looked at her, "But Steven just said he found Rose's stuff in there-"

"No! Rose didn't have a lion!" Pearl flouted, her face blue with frustration, "Because if Rose had a lion, I would've known about it!" Spinel's pigtails faltered.

"Rose kept many things secret, even from us," said Garnet.

"But not from me!" Pearl shouted, tears filling her eyes, "I was the one she told everything!" Pearl suddenly gasped deeply and glowered at Spinel, "YOU!" She grabbed her by the shoulders, "Did you know about Lion?!"

"N-NO!" Spinel retorted fearfully, "I-I mean, I was a little suspicious about a pink lion, but Rose didn't tell me about him either!"

Amethyst began to get irritated as well, "Leave her alone! You know she misses Rose too!"

"You can't understand how I feel!" Pearl directed at Amethyst.

"I UNDERSTAND!" Spinel screamed, grabbing Pearl by the collar, "WE GO WAY BACK, PEARL! LONGER THAN GARNET AND AMETHYST! I KNOW HOW YOU FELT ABOUT ROSE! I SAW HOW HAPPY YOU WERE WITH HER! I SAW HOW MAD YOU WERE WHEN ROSE MET GREG! I SAW IT ALL!"

Steven, now terrified, hid behind Lion.

Pearl, who stared at the pink Gem with wide eyes, remained quiet as tears started to fall. Spinel realized what she said just as Pearl began to bawl, holding Spinel in a tight hug.

Everyone else in the living room stood there, not knowing what to do.

Spinel separated herself from the pale Gem, "... You wanna talk?" Pearl nodded desperately, still sobbing and leaned against Spinel as they headed to the warp pad.

"Fine! Go on! Go cry about it!" Amethyst shouted after them, only to be silenced by Spinel's cold glare.

"Won't be for too long." She said as they warped away.

Amethyst groaned and muttered, "I hate it when they get like this..." And walked away.

"...Garnet?" Steven cautiously stepped out to see the magenta gem. Garnet didn't reply.

"Should I-"

"No."

Steven blinked, "What?"

"Let Spinel handle this," said Garnet, "She knows Pearl better than anyone."


At The Battlefield...

"I just... I thought I knew everything..." Pearl vented, with Spinel sitting inches away from her.

Spinel hugged her legs to her chest, "Me too. But... I guess I wasn't too personal with her. You were. You even loved her."

Pearl's blue eyes shimmered with tears, "And she left me for... Greg..."

Spinel sighed, "Love affects you. It can make you happy, jealous, lonely... it's a nice feeling, but it's also a weird feeling."

"Didn't you... love Rose?"

"No..." She shrugged, "I only loved her as a friend, and I never was jealous of her choosing Greg."

"But... you knew I was jealous, didn't you?"

Spinel gripped her legs tighter, "Yeah. Even back when I was cuter and less of an emotional wreck, I saw the look in your eyes. I wasn't happy with you, of course, but I said nothing."

Pearl lifted her head, "W-Why?"

Spinel's eyes glistened, "... Because I respected you, I thought that maybe if I didn't call out on you, that everything would be okay..." Her own tears began to spill, "Guess I was wrong..."

Pearl gasped and wrapped her arms around the pink Gem, the two of them crying and watching the full moon hung above them, the pale mauve sky scattered with stars.

"... Pearl," Spinel whispered so quietly, the whole world except Pearl couldn't even hear it, "... Remember the times... back on Homeworld? ... The days you and I talked while... Pink was away?"

"...Yes," Pearl responded, her voice as quiet at Spinel's.

Spinel nuzzled her head closer, a tiny smile lifting up on her face, "Remember that Citrine Quartz being lectured by that Fire Agate? She sure told her..." The two Gems giggled at the memory.

"Oh, and that one time you caught Yellow Pearl posing in the mirror, and you even got Blue Pearl to sketch her? You didn't even get caught!" They both laughed, imagining the look on Yellow Pearl's face if she did catch them.

Spinel snuggled closer to Pearl, "... I'm also glad we're here. It's sad to think that maybe if we hadn't..." She trailed off.

The pale gem knew what she was about to say, "Yeah, but I don't regret leaving that place... It's all worth it."

"Agreed."

"... Spinel?"

"Yeah?"

Pearl gazed at her with glistening eyes, "I'm sorry for yelling at you."

Spinel smiled softly, "I'm sorry too."

Chapter Text

Spinel took a few minutes to stare at her work; after pulling out the old, aged dirt out of the old patches, she had replaced it with new, fresher dirt. All that she needs is to finish the other side of the garden, then add fertilizer-

Her phone rang. Sighing, Spinel picked it up.

"Hello-"

"SPINEL!" The shrill panic in Pearl's voice scared her, but she caught her phone before she dropped it.

"W-What?! What?!" She asked.

"It's an emergency!"


Spinel stared at the giant green hand in the sky. Even though it was miles and miles away, she already felt dread crawling up her back.

"No..." She whispered, "This can't be happening..."

"Well, it is." said Garnet.

Pearl walked over to them, "The light cannons are ready."

"Guys!" Steven called out, he and Greg ran over to them. Steven saw the horror in the pink Gem's eyes and pulled on her dress, "Spinel? What is that thing?"

"It's a ship," Pearl answered, knowing Spinel was too frightened to speak, "We can only assume it's Peridot."

"Lapis told us she'll be coming," Garnet explained, "With advanced weapons and reinforcements."

Spinel clasped her head, ignoring the Gems' conversation. In her head, the images of her fellow rebels fighting against the Homeworld Gems played, seeing large, black and white Gem hold down a purple blur. Instantly, an orange and beige shape appeared in front of her, blurred and spoke in a series of grunts, its tone furious and mocking, a helmet summoned and ready to attack...

"Spinel!" Amethyst shook Spinel out of her thoughts, "We're gonna try to take down the ship. And... you doing okay?"

Seeing the purple Gem's concerned expression, Spinel caught her breath, "I-I'm fine. Let's do it."


"Ready the light cannons!" ordered Garnet.

Pearl pulled a remote lever, the Quartzine cannons lining up under the deck of the beach house, along with Amethyst pushing one onto the porch. Spinel stood by Pearl and Greg, trembling.

Garnet looked to the boy, "Steven, light 'em up!"

Nodding his head, Steven talked through a walkie-talkie, "If every porkchop were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs."

The cannons activated and fired four beams of light at the hand. Unfortunately, the hand formed a palm and the beams had no effect on it. Then the hand descended to pointing its index finger.

Garnet looked through the telescope, "No effect."

"WHAT?!" screeched Spinel, grabbing her pigtails in distress, "HOW DID THAT NOT WORK?! This is it! This is it- We're gonna die. We are going to die!" She kept repeating the words over and over again, falling to her knees and hyperventilating.

"S-Spinel! Spinel!" Steven yelled, rushing over to her side and embracing her. She didn't even respond.

Pearl's worry grew, "Oh Spinel... Garnet, what are we going to do?"

"We must take them head-on. But we can't allow any citizen of Beach City to be in the middle of it. They have to evacuate."

As Steven and Amethyst kept trying to calm Spinel down, Greg got his phone out and called the mayor.


Hours later, as Mayor Dewey was telling everyone they needed to leave Beach City, Steven kept his phone out as the Gems were stuffing the van with luggage. Spinel was still not over what was happening.

"Why... Why is everything going wrong?" She whispered to herself, "Everything was so perfect before that... gremlin showed up..."

"Spinel?"

Spinel looked up, meeting the boy's gaze, "I... I have to go with Greg... Garnet says I can't stay."

The pink Gem held her breath, "Then I'm coming with you. I can't stand to-"

"No." Garnet made her stop, "You need to stay and help us hold back that hand. We need all the strength you can give us."

"But Garnet I-"

"Spinel. I know you're scared. But we need you. You've done everything you can for Steven, and sacrificing for him will be worth it."

Spinel stared at Garnet in horror, but slowly complied. Turning to Steven, she crouched down, kissed his forehead, and held his cheeks up to gaze at him.

"Please be okay..." Steven whispered, the light dancing in his eyes.

"I will," Spinel mumbled back, nuzzling his head, "I love you so much..."

"Love you too…" Steven replied softly, slowly letting go and walked backwards to the van. Spinel stood up and stared after him with a heavy heart. After the other Gems said their goodbyes to the boy, Steven got into the van with his father. She could see that Steven was leaning against the window as they drove off, and his face nearly made her break into tears.

Spinel placed her hand on her upside-down gem as Pearl wrapped her arms around her from behind. Garnet and Amethyst shared their grief of Steven leaving. Spinel held the pale Gem's arms.

I never got the chance to say how he was like my own son...

"Alright." Garnet started, "Let's pull it together."

The Crystal Gems turned their attention back to the giant hand and knew what they had to do. Pearl and Spinel both fused in their embrace while Garnet and Amethyst grabbed each-other's hands and fused.

When both Sugilite and Peach Moonstone formed, they glanced at each-other and nodded wordlessly, preparing their weapons.


Peach Moonstone threw her four spears towards the warship, leaving no effects. Sugilite swung her flail at it, only to have the same results.

"Are you serious?!" Sugilite exclaimed in frustration.

"And that was actually a really good throw too!" Peach Moonstone shouted in agreement.

The warship picked up speed, heading towards them with its finger pointed. All the two fusions could do was stand and watch.

"... At least Steven's safe…" Spinel's voice was heard over Peach Moonstone's.

"Hey guys!"

The fusions froze and saw Steven running towards them. Out of shock, they both unfused and Spinel ran up to Steven.

"Steven!" She screamed, unsure out of joy or fear, "You shouldn't be here!"

"You came back!" Amethyst shouted.

Pearl stood up after recovering from the separation, "Get out of here!"

"It's too late!" Garnet screamed, seeing the hand approaching closer. Spinel clutched Steven as if her life depended on it.

The giant hand landing on the sand forced the Gems to stance and back away. The clouds of dust and sand forced Steven to shield his eyes. From the palm of the hand, a bubble appeared and floated over to the index finger, causing it to lower and the bubble faded, revealing three gems.

Atop the finger, Peridot appeared, "That's them, all right. They're the ones who keep breaking my machines."

A larger gem also appeared, staring at the Crystal Gems, "This is it?" Her voice was deep and gruff. Spinel instantly recognized her and hugged Steven tighter.

"Jasper!" Peridot complained, "They keep interfering with my work!"

Jasper sighed and stepped forward, "Looks like another waste of my time… Hey, get over here!" She then turned around and dragged another Gem out. The gem broke out of the larger gem's grasp and gasped when she saw the group.

"Lapis!" Steven and Spinel whispered.

"This is their base?" Jasper inquired.

Lapis looked away in guilt, "Yes…"

"You need to leave immediately!" Garnet yelled.

"Yeah!" Amethyst joined in, "Step off!"

Spinel shielded Steven in her arms, "You two don't belong here!"

"This is not a Gem-controlled planet!" Pearl cried.

Ignoring their demands, the newcomers and Lapis leapt down from the finger and onto the beach.

Jasper glared and crossed her arms at Peridot, "And neither of you saw Rose Quartz? Oh, what a shame. I hoped to meet her. I was looking forward to beating her to the ground!"

Spinel tensed and Steven snuggled closer to her.

"But this is all that's left of her army? Some lost defective Pearl, a puny overcooked runt, this shameless display, and a little pink coward? Hm..." Jasper stared hard at Steven, "What is that?"

"He's something I won't let you hurt!" Spinel angrily responded.

Peridot scowled, "It calls itself 'the Steven'."

"He's just a human!" Lapis defended, "He isn't a threat at all! He-He's not one of them!"

"I know what a human is," grunted Jasper, "You don't need me for this. Just blast them with the ship."

As she slowly walked back to the ship, Peridot complied and pulled up a screen, "Ugh, fine."

The giant, mechanical hand floated upwards and the finger pointed right at them, the tip of it beginning to glow and create energy, ready to fire.

"Steven!" Garnet shouted, "Get out of here!"

"NO!" Steven retorted, trying to move out of Spinel's arms, his gemstone shining, "You're all my family!"

Spinel kept hugging him tighter, "I won't let you die!"

"Firing." Peridot calmly spoke as the beam shot towards them.

Steven broke out of Spinel's grasp and ran out in front of the gems, "I'M A CRYSTAL GEM TOO!"

For a moment, it looked like the laser blasted at them, but much to Jasper's shock, sees that Steven had summoned Rose's shield, protecting them from the blast.

"That shield! That symbol!" Jasper yelled.

Steven groaned a bit, dispelling the shield and fell, Spinel quickly catching him. The pink Gem cradled Steven close and the other Gems were still surprised.

Jasper immediately recognized who the shield belonged to, "You! You have the power of Rose Quartz!"

"Now do you believe I needed an escort?" Peridot sarcastically asked.

"Fire a barrage!" Jasper ordered, "Widespread!"

Peridot did as she was told, firing the laser blasted a line through the beach, the explosion separating Spinel and Steven from Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. As the smoke cleared, Spinel lifted her head and growled, clutching Steven tighter as Jasper approached.

"Rose." Jasper snarled, "Why do you look like that?"

"He's not Rose!" Spinel screamed furiously, "He's Steven! Get that through your thick head!"

Lapis ran up to Jasper, "Don't hurt them!"

"You knew about this!"

"It wasn't relevant to the mission!"

"Forget the mission!"

Peridot looked up, shocked, "What?!"

Jasper turned her attention on the Crystal Gems, "Yellow Diamond needs to see-"

"THE-GEM-ABOUT-TO-GET-PUNCHED-IN-THE-FACE-SAYS-WHAT!"

Jasper blinked, perplexed, "What?"

She was met with a gloved fist striking her in the face, knocking her backwards and shocking Peridot and Lapis. Spinel got up to her feet and approached them, her expression warped into a frightening scowl, "If you want him, you'll have to get through ME first!"

Jasper got up, recovering from the attack and glared at the pink Gem, "Oh please! You're a Spinel! You don't have the-"

The large gem was cut off as Spinel's enlarged hands grabbed her and pulled her close to their owner. Spinel gave her the most threatening glower she could muster, catching Jasper off-guard before she began to spin.

Steven, the Crystal Gems, Peridot, and Lapis watched with wide eyes and mouths agape as Spinel tossed Jasper at the hand, the impact of the larger Gem hitting it created a dent on the finger tip and she fell to the sand. Jasper coughed and attempted to stand up.

Peridot panicked, trying to fire the laser once more, but the energy crackled and sparked, revealing it to be unavailable to work.

"Want some more?!" Spinel mocked, "Cause I'm just full of surprises!"

Growling, Jasper summoned her helmet and charged towards the pink Gem, "OUTTA MY WAY!" She roared.

Spinel held her fists up, blocking her face as Jasper collided into her. The pink Gem kept on her feet, only slightly moved back until she was close to Steven.

"Steven, run! Now!" Spinel turned her head around and yelled, panting. Steven didn't move, only breathing heavily.

Suddenly, Jasper grabbed Spinel by the throat and held her up, "You're good."

"Spinel!" Pearl wailed, before she, Garnet, and Amethyst all ran over to try to help. Spinel struggled in her grasp, eyes wide with terror.

"But not good enough." Jasper whispered and slammed her helmet down onto Spinel's head, causing her to poof and her gem landed on the sand.

"NOOO!" Steven wailed, reaching out for her gem, "Mo-"

Jasper grabbed him by the shirt and lifted him up, grinning victoriously, "The least I can say is that she has improved since our first encounter. I was there with her. At the first war on this garbage planet! And you know what? I fought against your armies! I respected your tactics. But this? This is sick!"

As the three Crystal Gems ran over with their weapons, Peridot was able to hold them off with the lasers in her limb-enhancers.

"I don't know what you're planning, Rose," Jasper continued, pulling out a Gem Destabilizer, "But look! Your base is taken! Your armies are ruined! YOU HAVE FAILED!"

Before Steven could do anything else, Jasper dispelled her helmet and head-butted the boy, knocking him into silent darkness...

Chapter Text

Steven was abruptly woken up by the sound of someone sobbing echoing down the hall. He could also hear someone else singing as well, but it sounded farther away.

Slowly getting to his feet, Steven hardly noticed his black eye and struggled to call out, "Spinel? Amethyst? Pearl? Garnet?"

A very familiar voice responded, "S-Steven? Steven! Are you okay?!"

"Spinel!" Steven yelled back, accidentally pressed his hands against the yellow force field. But what surprised him was that he was barely affected by the field, creating little yellow currents in his skin.

"Ew… Cool!" Steven said as he pushed himself through the force field.

Turning to the right (where he had heard Spinel's voice), he ran down the hall and saw another cell with a force field, the pink gem held back behind it, unable to touch the field.

"My baby!" Spinel cried out in joy, eyes wet with tears, "You're still alive! Thank the stars!" But then she looked concerned, "H-How did you get out?"

Steven stuck a hand out and made a hole through the field, "Like thi-i-i-is!" His voice stuttered from the field. Spinel wanted to panic, but calmed when she saw that it didn't affect him. She slid through the hole and brought Steven in for a hug, which he happily reciprocated.

"Oh, my sweet baby…" She whispered, "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you…"

Steven nuzzled into her shoulder, "I-It's okay."

Then Spinel pulled away, seeing Steven's black-eye and gasped, gently running her hand on his face. Steven was confused until Spinel hugged him tightly again.

"Oh Jasper…" Her whisper oozed with hatred, "If I could shatter you a thousand times, I would…" Steven became slightly concerned about her behavior, right before they heard an angry shout sounded behind them.

Both Spinel and Steven let go of each-other and walked over to the cell containing a smaller red gem.

Spinel gasped, "Ruby?!"

"AH!" Ruby jumped back against the wall, nearly scared out of her wits, "Oh, it's just you."

"Did…" Spinel mumbled, "Did Jasper separate you?"

Steven stared up at her, "What do you mean?"

Spinel couldn't find the words, and neither could Ruby as she angrily banged her fist on the wall, "This is just perfect!"

"Hey hey hey!" Spinel tried to calm her down, "We'll find Sapphire if you let us help you."

"I don't need your-!" Ruby yelled before she saw the genuine worry in the pink gem's eyes. She stood up, "A-Alright alright."

"Awesome!" Steven proclaimed and he stood in between the force field. Ruby panicked, and calmed when Steven wasn't affected and walked out of the hole.

"Cool," said Spinel, "Now, we all have to stick together."

Ruby nodded, "Right."

Down the winding hall, Steven, Spinel, and Ruby looked around, trying to find the source of Sapphire's singing.

Steven nervously glanced up at Spinel again, "Um… Spinel? What did you mean by Jasper separating Ruby and Sapphire?"

Spinel bit her lip, "Well, you see, Garnet is a-" Then they heard the singing stop.

"She stopped singing…" Ruby was getting even more worried, "SAPPHIRE!"

"Keep it down!" Spinel shushed her, "Jasper or Peridot could be anywhere!"

Steven looked out the window, staring at the sight of the planet Earth from space, revealing they were in the Gem Warship. The trio kept running until they found another cell holding a blue gem inside and Spinel recognized who it was.

"Lapis!" She called out.

Lapis lifted her head, her eyes flaring with hope as she got up, "Spinel! Steven! But how did you two get out?"

Steven stood at the force-field, "Like this!" He stuck his hand through, making a hole large enough to let her through.

"Come on!" Spinel gestured, "We're gonna get you out!"

Lapis hesitated, "But… haven't I caused enough trouble? I even told them you all were here."

"That doesn't matter anymore. We still want to help you. You're our friend," Spinel reassured, Steven still creating a hole through the field. Lapis quickly got out of the cell and Steven backed away.

"T-Thank you…" She mumbled.

Spinel smiled, "Of course. Now, let's go find Sapphire."

"Finally!" breathed Ruby, having stopped pacing and the group ran down a hallway, making sure they won't get caught. The singing began once more, and they arrived at a doorway.

"We can't leave yet!"

Spinel, Steven, Lapis, and Ruby all stopped and hid behind the corner as soon as they heard a door opening and Peridot complaining, walking beside Jasper until they stopped at a cell containing a singing Sapphire. Ruby was about to shout her name, but Spinel covered her mouth.

Peridot tapped her foot impatiently, "The whole point of coming here was to check on the Cluster!"

Jasper punched the wall near the cell, "STOP SINGING! Rose Quartz takes priority..."

As Jasper ordered Peridot to set a course to Homeworld, Spinel whispered to them, "Alright. I have a plan. The three of you save Sapphire, find Pearl and Amethyst, and stop Peridot. I'll handle Jasper."

"What?" Lapis whisper-yelled as Peridot passed them, grumbling.

Steven wrapped his arms around the pink gem, "But you can't! She poofed you! She'll do it again!"

"Not without love by my side," Spinel winked.

Steven stared at her with glistening eyes and slowly nodded. Spinel kissed his forehead, nodding to Lapis and Ruby, and ran down the hall, leaving the three Gems to handle Sapphire. Jasper was still walking down the hall, deep in thought until she stepped into a room and paused when she saw the pink gem.

"Hey Jasper!" said Spinel, "We have some unfinished business!"

Jasper was astonished, "How?! How did you escape?!"

Spinel grinned, "Like I said before, I'm full of surprises!"

Brushing off her initial shock, Jasper took a step forward, preparing to fight, "Fine, if you're really wishing to embarrass yourself again, then so be it! But the least you can do is give me your all."

Much to her confusion, Spinel chuckled darkly and her pink eyes spiraled, "Oh… what you saw before wasn't all I had. I CAN DO SO MUCH MORE!"

Spinning her body like a twister (except for her head), she charged towards Jasper, who held her arms up to defend herself. Even from the force of Spinel colliding into her made her take a few steps back, grunting and trying to stand in place.

"Don't like that, huh?!" Spinel mocked, "How about this?!"

Continuing to rotate her body rapidly, Spinel spun away and ran towards her foe, delivering punches. Jasper was shocked by Spinel's strength and was having a more difficult time picking up with Spinel's speed. To her, this Spinel was far different than the Spinel she knew during the war.

"Boy!" Spinel chirped with malicious joy, "I just looooooved that part! When you and Peridot came back to threaten our home!"

She delivered another swing at Jasper, right on her face and Jasper stumbled backwards.


Garnet, Steven, and Lapis continued to run down a hall, finding Pearl and Amethyst. After a quick rescue, they barged into the control room. Peridot was immediately taken down by Amethyst and Lapis, leaving Pearl to try to turn the ship around while Garnet and Steven watched the fight go down through the cameras.


"AND when you destabilized Garnet into Ruby and Sapphire!" Spinel as she took Jasper by the arm and flung her towards the wall, causing another dent.

Jasper wordlessly grit her teeth, becoming increasingly frustrated. She summoned her helmet and charged towards the other Gem. Spinel blinked and smiled knowingly, as she dodged sideways and the orange Gem ended up crashing into the wall. Groaning, Jasper stood up.

"BUT." Spinel pounced onto the other Gem, putting pressure to force Jasper down with her boot, and Spinel leaned her head close to whisper venomously, "Do you know what the best part was?"

Jasper grunted and tried to remove the Gem off of her, but was stopped as Spinel held her enlarging fists together and threw them back, the mad grin warping into a scowl, her pink eyes spiraling with fury.

"WAS WHEN YOU HURT MY PRECIOUS LITTLE BABY!" She screamed, her voice high-pitched with hatred as she slammed her fists down upon her enemy. The impact sent Jasper breaking through the floor of the ship and fell down into the engine room. She gasped for breath, shakily standing up as Spinel hopped down from above her, still enraged and ready to continue.

"You..." Jasper breathed, "How did you... But you were a coward! All those centuries ago, you didn't try to fight me!"

"I was defending myself," Spinel replied, "That doesn't make me a coward! I'm not the Spinel you knew from long ago! I am a Crystal Gem, friend of anyone I trust, and protector of Earth and Steven! And I'll fight anyone who dares hurt the ones I love! LIKE YOU!"

Jasper stood up, preparing herself as Spinel lunged at her, appearing almost primal when they landed on the floor, wrestling with their hands clasped together. Pink eyes and amber eyes glared each-other down with resentment, until Spinel heard a spark, twisting her head around to see the ship's power source. This became a mistake as Jasper turned and pinned her down, even holding a Gem Destabilizer.

Jasper's toothy grin stretched wide, "You really think you're something? I admit, you put more effort, but what you just did here? How immature. Face it, even if Rose filled that little gem of yours with all that, you're still a stupid, lonely little Spinel in the galaxy..."

However, Spinel wasn't fazed, in fact, she began... to laugh? "Immature, huh? There's something to shock ya!"

With a surge of strength, Spinel lifted and kicked Jasper off of her, throwing her at the power source, the orange Gem getting electrocuted and causing the engine to explode. Realizing what this could lead to, Spinel made her legs into a spring and hopped out of the engine, needing to find the others.

Back at the control ship, the Gems felt the ship shake and explode, Peridot escaping from Amethyst and Lapis's grasp and left in a pod before they could hold her down again, just as Spinel ran into the control room.

"Spinel!" Steven cheered, rushing over to her to give her a hug. Pearl joined the embrace.

Spinel appreciated their hugs, but looked over to the others, "Where's Peridot?!"

"She got away!" Amethyst shouted over the shaking.

Lapis held onto her for dear life, "We're gonna crash!"

"HOLD ON, EVERYONE!" Garnet ordered as the ship began to descend back towards the Earth.


Moments after the ship exploded over the beach, Lion ran over, trying to find the Gems in the rubble and debris. When he heard something, Lion roared on a spot, revealing the Crystal Gems, Steven, and Lapis protected under Steven's bubble, which unraveled around them.

"Nice one," Garnet commented.

Lapis moved out of Spinel's grasp and her eyes beamed, "You all... saved me. Thank you..."

"No problem," Spinel replied happily.

"Sorry about that, Steven," said Garnet, "We were saving our surprise for your birthday."

Pearl's eyes widened, "You don't mean..."

"Steven met Ruby and Sapphire?!" exclaimed Amethyst.

"Yeah..." Steven nervously scratched the back of his head and Spinel laughed.

Suddenly, from a distance away, a hand emerged from the rubble, Jasper bursting out of it, panting and covered in injuries. The Gems backed away as Jasper limped forward and glared at them.

"Don't think you've won..." She snarled, "You're still no match for me..."

Spinel slowly stood up, "That's what-" She then fell to her knee, her heel wounded. Steven noticed and inspected her wound, concerned. Lapis stared in revelation, lifting her head to face Jasper... and her face changed into anger.

"Don't you dare hurt them!" She screamed, the ocean water rising to form chains and they trapped Jasper in a tight hold.

Jasper shook, trying to escape, "W-What?! What are you doing!?"

Lapis walked over to her, "Making sure you don't hurt any of my friends." The water began to slowly drag the orange Gem into the water, still trying to break free of the chains.

"Lapis!" Spinel called out, "What are you doing?! Can't you come with us?!"

The blue Gem turned to face Spinel, her blue hair dancing in the wind, "I need to stay with her so I can focus on my powers properly. I'll be fine. After all, you saved me. So let me save you."

"B-But!" Spinel tried to protest, but Lapis was already dragging to soldier Gem into the ocean, their eyes meeting before Jasper disappeared, and Lapis dove into the water like a gannet. The Gems stood there in shock and said nothing...

... Until Steven's phone rang, which he answered, "Uh... hello?"

"Steven, I got your message," Connie said through the line, "Are you okay? What's going on?"

"I... I'm okay..."

Chapter Text

"You're... fine? But I thought you said..."

Steven laughed nervously, "Yeah, funny story..."

As he tried to explain to Connie over the phone, Spinel fell to her knees, her arms lengthening like noodles and her pigtails faltered, "I... I didn't do a thing... Now I've lost yet another could've-been-friend..."

Pearl placed her hand on the pink Gem's back, "I'm sure we'll find Lapis soon. As soon as we fix that scrap on your leg."

Spinel was still miserable, unable to help a Gem who she could've befriended. She remained silent as Amethyst kept celebrating and Steven telling Greg what happened.


Steven felt horrible, holding onto his phone and at the same time avoiding Connie's calls. He had no idea what to say to her. He had just sung himself that he didn't want Connie to worry about him or be a part of whatever situation he's in. He knew why; she'd want to help him and endanger herself for him.

Then his phone rang again.

Steven picked it up in dismay, glancing out to the destroyed hand and back to the phone. With his eyes glistening, he raised a finger to ignore her call.

Just then, he remembered something years ago...


Spinel was crying into the kitchen table, Steven unable to do anything except watch with concern. Pearl and Amethyst walked by her without even a glance, except Garnet stopped beside her as the others left.

"Spinel," Garnet spoke softly, "What's the matter? You've been quiet all day. I know you have something to tell me."

Steven nearly whimpered at the sight of the pink Gem's guilt-written face, "I... Garnet, I know I failed the mission. You all relied on me to finish off that monster... but I let it go instead. I-I just can't help it, I don't want to hurt anyone! ... Everyone's right about me, Garnet... I'm not a Crystal Gem... I'm too... nice."

The three beings present in the room remained silent.

"Spinel," Garnet sat beside her, "Don't say stuff like that. You are a Crystal Gem. All of us do have different ways to use our skills, and yours is more... pacifist than us. And there's no shame in that. Pearl and Amethyst do need to learn that your way of fighting is not like theirs, and I know that very well. You're just as good as we are, and I don't want you to ever forget that."

Spinel's face lifted with comfort, and Steven wiped a worried tear from his eye, knowing Spinel definitely felt better...


Tears welled up in his eyes. During that day, Spinel kept her feelings away from the Gems since she didn't do what she was 'supposed' to do. But when Garnet stepped up and confronted her, Spinel told her exactly what she was feeling and it was as if some pressure had released itself off of her shoulders.

And Steven could feel it, the weight on his shoulders. It kept pressing down each time he refused to answer Connie's call. Building up his courage, he answered the phone.

"Connie," He said before she could begin, "Let's talk at my house."


While the other Gems were talking about cleaning up the debris and building a fence and a moat, Steven sat in Spinel's lap, waiting for Connie.

"I was so scared about her throwing herself into danger," mumbled Steven, "But... I guess not saying anything's not gonna help either..."

Spinel nuzzled into his hair and wrapped her arms around him, "You're doing the right thing, love. She'll understand once we tell her."

They instantly heard footsteps and saw Connie running up the porch. Steven hopped out of her lap, opening the door and greeted the girl with a hug, sobbing. The three Gems stared in confusion, but Spinel directed them away.

"I-I'M SORRY!" Steven cried, "I JUST DIDN'T WANT YOU TO GET HURT FOR ME!"

"Steven! Steven!" Connie didn't mind the hug, but was taken aback as she pulled away, "I-It's alright!"

Steven lowered his chin, and Connie noticed the bandages wrapped around his eye, "What happened?"

"I'll... tell you everything," Steven replied. Behind him, Spinel had a loving smile of approval and left the two alone.

Later...

"So... this Gem named Lapis dragged Jasper away and are somewhere at the bottom of the ocean?"

"Yeah. And Peridot escaped, so she could be anywhere by now."

Connie sighed and lifted her legs to hug them, "That's... a lot to take in."

"I know. And again, I'm sorry for almost leaving you hanging." Steven lowered his head in guilt, "I just didn't want you to get involved."

Connie looked at him, "But I want to be. I wanna be a part of your universe..." She blushed. The children stared a each-other, blushing slightly until Greg walked in.

"Kiddo! There you are," Greg greeted, "Oh hey Connie, do you need a ride home?"

Steven sat up, "Oh, Dad. Are you doing okay?"

Referring to his breakdown hours ago, Greg nodded, "I got it out of my system. I'm back to being your cool dad! Now, let's get Connie home before the Maheswarans start to worry."

They drive around Beach City, watching the citizens returning and restoring the areas where pieces of the ship were strewn about, and soon, they were driving out of town.

Chapter Text

Spinel lifted one of the larger chucks of the ship and placed it with the pile of debris. Satisfied, her eyes shifted over to her boy, and saw three teens talking to him. She instantly recognized them as Sour Cream, Jenny, and Buck.

"Hey! You three!" She yelled, running over to them, "What's uh... What's up?"

"All is chill," Buck replied, "We're just taking Steven out to have some chill time."

Steven looked at up, "Should I, Spinel? I know we have a lot of stuff to clean up and I wanna-"

"The four of us have got it all handled," Spinel answered lovingly, "Go out and have some fun with them." She looked up at the Cool Kids, "But you three better get him home before 9."

"No sweat, ma'am," Sour Cream shrugged nonchalant, "He won't even have a scratch."

Spinel nodded and hugged Steven, giving him a kiss on the forehead, with Steven struggling to get out and protesting, "Hey! Stop!"

"Love ya too, Stevie."


It was late. Way too late. Spinel was getting increasingly worried. But really frustrated too.

"Ugh, I shouldn't have let him go with those stupid kids," Spinel grumbled, throwing the front door open, "No wonder their parents are always bugging them. They just don't listen to 'em."

Shape-shifting into a eagle, she flew up to scan around the city with her good eyesight. At first, it all seemed quiet, especially when she got near the fields. Right until she saw... Peridot's escape pod! It kept firing off multiple beams and even fired a signal. She knew who it was; Peridot.

Returning to her original form, Spinel landed on the ground, glaring at the orb, "Peridot! I knew you were still here!"

She ignored the panicked yells from the Cool Kids, knowing exactly what she was going to tell them and their parents.

"If you're trying to reach Homeworld to come here and destroy Earth, how about you think again!" She yelled as she swung her fist at the orb, knocking it to the ground and denting it.

Spinel threw herself onto it, "I won't ever let you harm Earth, or my friends, or the Gems, or especially not MY BABY!" She delivered another punch, almost breaking it.

"YO!" Buck shouted, "Stop!"

Spinel ignored him and held the escape pod up, her other arm winding into a spring and enlarging her fist, "Now, you're gonna go to space and stay there... FOR GOOD!" She prepared to punch it away-

"WAIT!" Jenny screamed, "STEVEN'S IN THERE!"

Spinel froze. Confused by what the girl meant. Looking back at the orb and squinting her eyes... she saw Steven floating in some kind of liquid, wounds all over his body. Almost as if her heart shattered from her realization, Spinel gasped in horror and tears pooled in her eyes.

She frantically broke the pod open, wrapping her arms around the boy and squeezed him into her chest, beginning to sob loudly. The Cool Kids could only watch this with concern and shock as the other Gems arrived.

"Spinel! We saw the signal! What's-" Pearl paused as she saw Spinel bawling her eyes out while hugging an injured, passed-out Steven, along with the Cool Kids standing.

Amethyst dispelled her whip, "What's... going on?"

"We..." Sour Cream began to explain, "We were just taking Steven out to have a fun day and we find this... thing."

"I-I wanted Steven to go inside it for a picture," Jenny confessed, "But I guess it was still working. We had fun with it for a while, but then he did something and then, the thing went crazy..."

"And uh... she came by and..." Buck trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

Garnet stared at the pink Gem, "Spinel, was Peridot here?"

But she didn't answer, and kept sobbing loudly, Steven remaining unconscious.


In the morning, Steven woke up, groaning from the slight pain. When he sat up, he saw Spinel sitting at the kitchen table, laying her head on the table and hidden under her arms.

When Steven recalled everything that happened last night, his eyes glistened and he walked downstairs. "Spinel?"

Spinel slowly lifted her head up, not saying a word.

Steven walked closer to her and hugged her from behind, "... I'm sorry... and... I forgive you."

The pink Gem's eyes went wide and more tears fell, "... O-Oh Steven... My baby..." She turned her body and returned the boy's hug, letting out a sigh.

Chapter Text

"You need me to catch the Slinker?" Spinel asked, staring at Garnet.

Amethyst groaned, "Ugh, you're still calling it that? It's lame."

"Well, it's already stuck," said Garnet, "But Spinel, we may find your powers useful to find this Gem."

"Alright, I'll come," Spinel nodded. Amethyst continued to grip with Garnet.

Steven sighed, "Alright, I'll go find someone else to take the quiz with."

Spinel patted his head, "You can do that with me when I come back." She grinned and pounded her fist into her palm, "That Slinker won't even know I was there..."


Amethyst, Garnet, and Spinel walked through the trashed-up room, keeping an ear and eye out for the corrupted Gem. Wanting to amuse Spinel while they looked into a hole, Amethyst pulled up a gas mask and laughed, "Spinel! Look! I'm a pachyderm!"

But Spinel didn't laugh, even jumping back in horror when Amethyst pulled out a skull, "Ooh, there's a prize inside! Loook!" She shoved the skull near Spinel, giggling at the pink Gem's whimpering and begging her to stop.

Garnet angrily shushed them, "Keep it down. And Amethyst, enough scaring her."

Spinel nodded and Amethyst complied begrudgingly.

Garnet placed a pile of junk down as they kept looking around. Spinel noticed a cat toy and giggled slightly at the way it moved its paw, "You know, Amethyst, Steven says I'm a lot like Sad Apple; Lovable, but overemotional at the same time."

"Ugh," Amethyst rolled her eyes, "Why are you even watching that show with him? You know it's stupid!"

"Steven likes it," Spinel responded, slightly offended, "And I'll watch it with him if he asks me."

Amethyst turned her body around, "Is Steven the only thing on your mind? Cause you and I used to be so tight before you became a wreck!"

"The only wreck is this room of yours!" Spinel shot back, "At least Pearl keeps hers clean!"

Amethyst was about to retort, but a hissing sound was heard.

"There!" Garnet fired her gauntlets towards a pile of junk where the hissing came from and exploded upon impact. The fusion ran up to the junk, smiling, before frowning when she realized the creature wasn't there.

"Whoa Mama!" yelled Amethyst as she and Spinel ran over, "Did ya get it?!"

Garnet held up her handless arms, "No." And her gauntlets appeared again.

Amethyst was disappointed, hopping onto the junk and looking around, "Aw man! I think my favorite round thing was in there!"

Garnet sighed and walked away, "I'll get you a new round thing."

As Amethyst continued to complain about she'll wreck her own stuff, Spinel noticed a black tentacle move under the pile. Gasping, she reached out to grab it, but it swiftly slithered away and she looked up, "Amethyst! Look out!"

"Oh shut it!" Amethyst kicked her junk, "I don't need someone like-" The tentacle burst out, curled around the purple Gem and squeezed her until she poofed. Spinel quickly grabbed the gemstone.

Both Garnet and Spinel looked around, hearing the Slinker hiss and shift around out of their vision.

Spinel sighed, "Man, I hate it when we start fighting. It's like... she hates the fact that I just wanted to grow up."

"I know," said Garnet, "And there's nothing wrong with that. Amethyst will need to learn that on her own."

The pink Gem nodded, "Yeah. But I guess it's just you and me, Amethyst will need to-"

Then the gemstone floated up, much to their confusion. Amethyst reformed and landed on her feet, brushing her hair away to reveal... that her hands had become her feet.

Amethyst stared at herself, then grinned over to Spinel, "Hey Stretch, guess I... grew a few feet!" But Spinel wasn't laughing or smiling.

"That was fast. Even for you," Garnet commented.

"... Eh, it's cool," Amethyst shrugged it off before standing upside down, poking Spinel's chest with her foot. She instantly recoiled and glowered, "You're gross!"

Again, Amethyst brushed off their discomfort, "Okay, okay. We got a Slinker to slink!" She cartwheeled away. Garnet and Spinel shared a glance before the latter face-palmed.

A bit later, after some more searching, Amethyst put her foot to her chin, "Hmm, where would I go if I was a monster..?" She walked over to a large hole in one of the walls, "Hey! Over her!" She gestured to the other Gems and they ventured in.

Spinel walked beside the shorter Gem, "So uh... interesting form, Amethyst."

"Thanks Spinel."

"Never... seen anything like it."

"Thanks. Spinel."

"Wanna... reform into your proper form?"

"NO THANKS SPINEL." Amethyst sped up, walking on all fours.

Spinel stopped in her path, "Gee, how did Amethyst end up with four legs?"

"She rushed her regeneration," replied Garnet, "She should've taken her time."

"Oh yeah, she should. At least Pearl put more time into her reformation. That's what I like about her; her perfect personality."

"Agreed-"

"Oh, will you two shut up about Pearl?!" Amethyst complained, lifting her hair up to reveal a giant ear, "You know I can hear you! I'm sorry if I'm not like Pearl. Seriously, out of all the gems to fall for-" A black shape fell from above and crashed into Amethyst and under the ground, poofing her again.

"Amethyst!" Spinel shouted worriedly, hopping down the new tunnel, joined by Garnet when they found her gemstone. "Want me to uh... take her back to the Temple?" She awkwardly offered.

Garnet shook her head, "No. We've already gone far into her room. Hopefully, she'll take her time to create a proper form."

But her gemstone lifted upwards again, and reformed into Amethyst... except her form looked more like Pearl's.

Amethyst turned her head, revealing her pointed hair, "What'cha think, Spinel?"

Spinel deadpanned. "... No."


The trio of Gems came out through the other side of the hole, Spinel speed-walking away from Amethyst, clenching her fists.

Amethyst bumped her side to get the Gem's attention, "Heeeey~ Can't bare to look upon something you just can't resist?"

"It's not funny," Spinel muttered, "Especially not when you're making fun of her."

"Awh, what's that matter, Spinny?" Amethyst teased, "Don't you love me now that I'm more like Pearl? Come on, I thought you loooooooved her?~"

"I just-!" Spinel retorted, then blushed and looked away, "Love her as a... friend..."

Garnet frowned, "We need to focus on listening for the creature."

"Oh, but I can't focus!" Amethyst mocked Pearl's voice, "All these rocks are different sizes. We'll have to organize them by shape and color. Didn't anyone tell nature how I want it to look?!"

At this point, Spinel was seething with anger, gritting her teeth, her fists tightening, and her pigtails bristling. "Amethyst... Change back to your original form... RIGHT NOW."

Amethyst twirled over to her, "Oh come on Spinel~ Aren't cha into those kind of Gems who are graceful, organized, and snooty?"

Spinel recoiled angrily, "I'm not into making fun of our teammates! You are nothing like Pearl! You're acting stupid!"

"STUPID?!" Amethyst screamed.

Garnet shushed them, "Keep it down-"

Amethyst was visibly shaking, "You wanted me to be like Pearl, and now I am! You should be happy!"

"I never ASKED for you to act like Pearl!" Spinel retorted, "All I want you to do is choose your form the way YOU want it to be! I know I'm not like Pearl, Garnet knows she's not like Pearl, and you should know that too! You're Amethyst! Just be the way you wanna be! Don't listen to me, Pearl, or Garnet! LISTEN TO YOU!"

"You two, shut your-"

"But-!" Amethyst began to protest, but heard Spinel's words. Right until the tentacle grabbed her and pulled her behind a crystalline rock, poofing her again. Spinel grabbed her gemstone and sighed.

"... I'm sorry for the yelling." Spinel spoke quietly.

Garnet stood straight, "Hm... You said the right words. But first, we need to listen for the Slinker."

"Right," nodded Spinel.

They both paused when they heard more hissing. Standing back-to-back, Garnet and Spinel looked around, until Spinel caught a dark being shift around at the corner of her eye. Stretching her arm out, Spinel dug it into the pile of junk, feeling for the creature. However, the tentacle squeezed around her arm, making her back away and the creature burst out of the junk, gargling.

Garnet whipped her head around, "Keep it down! I'll handle this!"

Keeping still, Spinel watched Garnet fire her gauntlets at the Slinker, this time hitting the target. However, the Slinker growled and its larger tentacle wrapped around Garnet, squeezing her so tightly, the fusion poofed and the gemstones feel to the ground.

"GARNET!" Spinel shouted in dismay, breaking free and punching the Slinker away from the gemstones. Knowing how long they might take to regenerate, she bubbled them for the time being.

"It's just you and me, Slinker..." She growled, placing down Amethyst's gemstone on the floor. She readied herself as the Slinker gargled and thrust its tentacles towards her. She caught them just in time and slammed the Slinker against a large crystalline stone. Smaller tentacles curled around her arms, but she didn't care.

"You're a tough one... aren't cha?" Spinel breathed through her struggle with the beast. Behind her, Amethyst's gem floated up, reforming into herself, with her outfit slightly altered.

Amethyst opened her eyes, "Hey what's- WHOA!"

"Amethyst!" shrilled Spinel, "Garnet's down!"

"WHAT?!" exclaimed Amethyst as the Slinker tried to crush them under its tentacle, but Spinel held it away, "W-What do we do?!"

Spinel turned her head to her, a smaller tentacle curling around her throat, "We need Charoite!"

Amethyst's eyes went wide as moons, "A-Are you sure?!"

"YES I'm sure! We just need to take the Slinker down!" Spinel replied hurriedly.

Amethyst hesitated for a moment, but quickly ran up to her, her gem glowing. As they made contact, Spinel's gem began to glow as well, light surrounding them. The Slinker gurgled and backed away from the light. The light faded away, revealing the fusion of Amethyst and Spinel.

"Hey there!" The fusion declared upon her formation, "Charoite in the hou-oooouuse! Yo Slinker! COME AT ME!"

The Slinker gargled and growled, charging into her. Smirking, Charoite summoned Amethyst's improved whip and whacked the monster away, Before the Slinker could get up, the whip tied itself around the head.

"Guess you're all tied up, huh?" Charoite laughed, releasing her left hands and coiling her arm like a spring, ready to punch.

The Slinker tried to escape, but it was to no avail as Charoite pulled it towards her and she struck the beast so hard that her hands actually went through the beast's head and pulled the gem out, poofing the Slinker.

"WOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Charoite cheered, Spinel's bubble forming around the Slinker's gem, "Charoite one, Slinker zero!" She continued to cheer and holler out her victory, her whip hitting the garbage and rocks around them.


Pearl continued to glare at the two Gems, standing in a destroyed version of Amethyst's room. "You two...are just..." Pearl grumbled, before letting out an exasperated groan.

Spinel laughed timidly, "G-Guess we got carried away..."

"AND," Pearl angrily added, "You're both going to clean all of this up."

Amethyst shrugged, "I dunno. I kinda like it."

"And I'll give them this," Garnet placed her hands on both Amethyst and Spinel's shoulders, "If we ignore their destruction, they do make a fine team without me."

Spinel and Amethyst stared at each-other, the former sharing a smile, and the latter gave one back to her.

"Next time Charoite appears, it won't be in the house," Spinel whispered.

"Hope it'll be soon." Amethyst winked and the two gems laughed.

Chapter Text

Peach Moonstone has a tall, slim body like Opal, but is slightly shorter than her. Her skin is pale peach. Her hair is sunset orange and is shaped like a crescent moon, but her side bangs curl at the ends. Her nose isn't as pointy as Pearl's, and her eyes are lilac-colored with pupils. Plus, her eyelashes are upside down and long, but not like Spinel's tear-stains.

She also has four arms, the upper arms appearing more like Pearl's and the lower arms (on her sides) appears more like Spinel's. Both have white gloves.

Her outfit consists of a pale teal color with a blue and white striped ribbon around her waist and a white star on the front. Only her upper arms have the pale pink shoulder pads. The lower part of her dress is translucent, layered with several pale stars. She has long white leggings and bright orange slippers with pointed tips.

Her weapon is Pearl's spear, but the tip of it has a hook that heavily resembles a crescent moon.

(Bassically, her color scheme is blue, orange, white, and a bit of pink)

Fun Fact: Pearl controls the upper arms, and Spinel controls the lower arms.


Charoite is short, but bulky for a Gem. Her hair is short, spiky and pale magenta, with two tufts that make it look like rabbit ears. Her skin is pale lavender, her lips are less plump, and one of her eyes is purple, and the other is dark pink. Similar to Peach Moonstone, her eyelashes are upside down.

She has two bulky arms, but one stretchy arm on her left hip and its without a glove.

Her outfit is a deep pink tank top connected to a short skirt that is slightly ripped into star-shapes. Her leggings are black and her shoes are dark pink.

Her weapon is Amethyst's whip, but her whip is covered in tiny heart-shaped spikes and can actually stretch with no limit.

(Bassically, her color scheme is mauve, magenta, deep pink, and black)

Fun Fact: Both of her left arms can connect and wind up to make a powerful punch.

Chapter Text

With the Gems on his back, Lion lunged out of the portal and landed on his feet before collapsing. Steven gasped for air as he poked his head out of his mane and stroked Lion's head, "Lion, are you okay?"

Lion growled weakly as Spinel also exited the mane and Garnet walked towards the hub, "It's as I feared."

Looking up, they saw that the Communication Hub Sugilite had previously destroyed had been crudely put back together, emitting a wavering pillar of light into the sky.

Pearl examined the hub, "It looks like Peridot somehow repaired the Communication Hub. Well, at least some of it."

"Oh stars, please don't tell me we're going to use Sugilite again!" Spinel exasperated, but then Amethyst wrapped an arm around her side tightly.

"Aw, come on, Stretch!" said Amethyst smugly, "If you really wanted to fuse with me, you can just ask!"

Spinel shook her head, "N-No, I don't think Charoite would have enough strength."

Steven gasped, "Yeah, you totally should! I wanna see what she looks like!"

"U-Uh, maybe some other time, sweet-"

Amethyst brightened up, "Come on, Spinel! Let's give our kid some good ol' Charoite!"

"No." Amethyst, Spinel, and Steven all stared at Garnet.

"What? Why?" Amethyst raised a brow.

"I'm afraid Charoite won't be any better than Sugilite. Sure, she's smaller than her, but you two can get seriously out of hand. We only need her when things get serious and I'm not around. So, for the time being, Sugilite is benched and Charoite is out of the question," explained Garnet, the light reflecting on her visors.

Spinel nodded in agreement, "She's right, Amethyst. It's fun being Charoite with you... but I really don't wanna go through what you guys went through."

Amethyst shot her a scowl, but didn't retort.

Steven scratched his head, "Then who's gonna destroy the hub? And not to insult Peach Moonstone and Opal, but I don't think they could do much..."

"No insult taken," said Spinel. Amethyst shrugged.

"Pearl and I will do it." said Garnet, earning Pearl's attention. Turning to face her, Garnet smiled, "It's you and me. Let's fuse."

Pearl's eyes welled up with tears.

"Don't cry, Pearl."

Pearl grinned happily, sniffling disgustingly and trembling, "I'm right behind you." She followed Garnet to another area for some space.

Steven jumped excitedly, "Fusion! Fusion! Fusion!" He, Spinel, and Amethyst stood beside Lion.

"Ready." Garnet stood prepared, the gems on her palms glowing.

Pearl continued to stretch, "Hang on, it's been such a long time." She then stood in place, her gem glowing.

Spinel playfully elbowed Steven, "You're really gonna like this one." She whispered.

Pearl and Garnet began to dance, more gracefully as their gemstones glowed brightly. After Garnet dipped Pearl and tossed her upwards, Pearl dove back down to Garnet and when they made contact, they began to glow white and a pillar glowed. The fusion of Garnet and Pearl appeared behind the curtains, and when the curtains parted, white dragonflies flew around.

"Goooooood evening, everybody!" The four-armed fusion cheerfully greeted, strutting over to the others, "This is the lovely Sardonyx, coming to you live from the soon-to-be-former Communication Hub! How are y'all doing tonight?"

"Great..." muttered Amethyst.

Steven's eyes became stars, "Giant woman!"

Sardonyx picked the boy up with two of her hands, "Oh my stars! If it isn't Steven Universe! We finally meet! So, what do you think?" She spun her torso 360 degrees, "Was I worth the wait? What am I saying? Of course I was!" She laughed.

"Heeeeey Sardonyx!" Spinel waved her hand up to catch the fusion's attention, which she succeeded.

"Oh! And if it isn't the darling Spinel!" Sardonyx lowered one her hands to lift Spinel up and brought her close, "I just love what you did, especially your dress!"

Spinel grinned happily, bowing in a lady-like fashion , "Aw gee, thank you!"

"It's been so long since we've last met! I can't seem to recall how many years!"

"Maybe I could, but if I had to count on my fingers, I'd run outta room!"

The boy, the pink Gem and fusion laughed altogether. Sardonyx stopped, wiping a tear from her eye, "Sorry, I'm just so excited to be here! You see, I haven't exactly been myself lately!" Once again, the three of them burst out laughing at the joke.

"Fusion joke!" proclaimed Steven while Spinel gave the fusion a big thumbs up.

Amethyst just groaned and plopped her head on her crossed arms as Sardonyx placed Steven and Spinel down, "And jokes aren't the only thing I've got."

Sardonyx summoned Pearl's spear, one of her hands tapping her one the shoulder and she pretended to be distracted as she tossed the spear up. Summoning Garnet's gauntlets, she bumps them against the spear and created a giant mallet, hoisting it over her shoulder.

"What do you say, Donnie?" Spinel asked while smiling, "Are you gonna… "smash" with your mallet?"

"Yeah yeah!" Steven somehow leapt onto her shoulders.

Sardonyx pondered, "Smash… Well, that would be the word to describe what... Someone else might do."

Amethyst frowned.

The fusion then leapt up, knocking down the pillars as she narrated, "The proper words to describe yours truly are… Specific! Intelligent! Accurate! Faultless! Elegant. Controlled! Surgical! Graceful! Aaaand…. Powerfuuuuul!"

She paused on the last pillar, "... But yes, occasionally, I am known… to smash."

She lightly tapped the pillar with her mallet and it fell, deactivating the hub. Sardonyx landed on the ground, her mallet spinning and dissipating into dragonflies. Lion tried to catch one in his mouth and Spinel contently held one of them.

"Now, just remember everybody," spoke Sardonyx, "If you ever have any need of the lovely Sardonyx, let Pearl and Garnet know. I'll be there in a flash. Literally!"

She poofed away, revealing Garnet and Pearl in their dance position. They opened their eyes, releasing each-other until Pearl squealed and spun with Garnet while laughing.

"Wooo!" Steven whooped, running after the two, Spinel following behind, "You two were amazing!"

Spinel nodded to the pale gem, "Yeah, it's almost like whoever you fuse with, they come out just amazing!"

Pearl flushed, her face becoming bright blue as they stared at each-other for a second before Garnet pulled them and Steven in for a hug. The four of them continued to laugh and cheer for their victory, but Amethyst sat down, sulking away from them.


"How could she have done this?!" Sad Apple screamed angrily, stomping on the broken parts of the shattered plate, "Why why WHY?!"

Steven frowned sympathetically, "Aww, Apple should calm down. Pear didn't mean to."

Garnet shrugged, just in time as Spinel warped back, "Hey guys. What did I miss?" Behind her, Amethyst appeared from her room, moving out of Spinel's way and headed over to the fridge.

"Hey Spinel! Amethyst!" Steven waved to them, "You're missing Crying Breakfast Friends!"

Amethyst shrugged and opened the fridge, "That's okay, I'm fine."

"What's happening up there?" asked Spinel.

Steven turned to the screen, "Don't worry, Spinel, I'm recording it for-"

Suddenly, static interrupted the TV and it jumped.

"It's the signal again!"

"What?!" Spinel hopped up to Steven's room and saw the static.

"Peridot!" barked Garnet, turning to the front door where Pearl entered, "Pearl! The signal's back!"

"Again?" Pearl asked.

"We need to get back out there!"

Pearl firmly nodded, "Right. Steven, where's Lion? Amethyst, get your head out of the fridge!"

Amethyst ignored her, but a pink arm circled around her and then tightened, squeezing the purple Gem and pulling her away.


Garnet beckoned the other Gem, "I hope you're ready."

"You know I am," replied Pearl.

Steven and Spinel smiled and Amethyst rubbed her arm sadly as Sardonyx was formed again. "What's this? An encore performance? Just couldn't get enough of me, could you?" She laughed, "What are we waiting for? Let the show begin!"

She leapt up, and Amethyst walked away, catching Steven's attention. However, Spinel continued to watch Sardonyx disable the hub.

As Steven walked over to follow Amethyst, Spinel became... somewhat suspicious. Somehow, she remembered what the hub looked like when it was rebuilt, and the position of the pillars were. And looking at it again, Spinel saw that they were exactly in the same places as before.

Plus, she didn't even see Peridot's message on the television when the static came up. Her suspicion only grew as Pearl and Garnet unfused, seeing the pale Gem's grin. Determined, Spinel pounded her fist on her palm, thinking of a plan.


When Spinel was sure Steven were asleep, she snuck outside the Beach House. Much to her relief, the sun hadn't touched the horizon, but she knew she couldn't waste time. Jumping on Lion's back and whispering where her destination was, Lion ran down the beach and jumping into a pink portal.

Arriving to their destination, Spinel hopped off the animal and saw that the hub wasn't activated, the pillars that Sardonyx had knocked off still plunged into the ground.

"Looks like we're gonna be waiting for a while, bud," Spinel commented and patted Lion's mane.

For what felt like hours, Spinel kept on the look-out for the green Gem to appear, with Lion napping beside her.

When a strange sound came close and over her, Spinel looked up, covering her mouth so she couldn't gasp in shock. It was the escape pod Peridot had used, and with its tractor beam, began to place the pillars on the hub.

"Did Peridot steal it from the temple?" She whispered to herself, pressing her back against the rock, "Without alerting us? No... It has to be someone we know... But... Who is...?"

Trying to play it safe, Spinel stretched her right eye out and stared up at the top of the tower as soon as the orb landed on the top, the figure stepping out of it. She had to squint, though oddly enough, the figure looked strangely looked like...

"Pearl?"

Spinel retracted her eye, her initial shock was to scream her teammate's name out, but she stopped herself. The communication hub began to glow once again, emitting a beam of light into the sky. Pearl nodded to herself, now satisfied, climbed back into the pod and flew away.

Lion peeked an eye open, and flinched as he saw that Spinel was shaking, her fists trembling, teeth gritted, and angry tears spilling down her face.

"How... How could she do this...?" She snarled to herself, slowly approaching the hub. Her eyes formed into spirals, her pigtails bristling, and her fists held up.

"Does she really think this is some sort of game? Is this her version of 'fun'? Well... if that's so..." Spinel grabbed her wrist and enlarged her clenched hand like a balloon. "Then her fun is OVER!"

With all of her strength, Spinel knocked down the tower with one blow. This still didn't satisfy her, so she kept punching, smashing, and crushing the pillars into bits and pieces while screaming in unbridled rage. Lion watched her, his eyes wide with fear and ducked behind the rock once more.

When there was nothing left of the hub except the broken pieces of the pillars, Spinel fell to her knees, panting heavily and shrinking her hands back to normal.

There. It was destroyed. Gone. Demolished. Finito.

Spinel stood up and silently walked over to Lion, petting his mane, "... Let's go home."


"Lion!" Steven called out, "Spinel!"

He and the other Crystal Gems ran down Beach City, looking not only for their animal friend, but also the pink Gem.

"Ugh, where is that beast when you need him?" Pearl grumbled. Garnet didn't reply.

They all stopped when they saw Spinel sitting on a bench at the Big Donut, eating. A bag sat her side, and Lion was napping by the bench.

"Spinel!" Pearl called out, rushing over to her, "The signal's back! We need to head to the hub right away!"

Spinel stared at her and sighed before the others would suspect anything, "Alright."


"WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!" screamed Pearl, staring at the demolished chucks of the pillars.

Spinel blinked, remaining dull, "Wow. False alarm."

Amethyst picked up a piece of the pillar, "B-But how? The whole thing's wrecked!"

Garnet readjusted her visors, "Well, all that matters is that it's destroyed. It won't do anymore harm. Let's go back."

Lion panted out of exhaustion, Steven petting his mane reassuringly, "Sorry buddy."

"I-I don't understand!" Pearl gripped her hair in distress, "The signal went off! How could this have happened? Who could have done this!?"

"Come on Pearl, it doesn't matter anymore." Garnet stated. Pearl turned around and solemnly followed Garnet and the rest onto Lion's back.

During their journey back home and the moment they got home, Spinel watched Pearl slowly follow the Gems back inside the house, her pink eyes still boiling in silent rage.


"Y-You'll do that for me?" Crying Pear asked.

"Of course!" Sad Apple replied, hugging the pear, "I still care about you-ho-ho-ho!" She sobbed.

Steven and Amethyst continued to watch their show until Spinel (with her gardening items) walked through the front door, not even glancing at them as she stormed over to the warp pad and warped away.

Pearl also stopped by, looking up at them with distress and worry, "Hey, did Spinel say anything to you?"

Steven and Amethyst, weirded out by Spinel's silence, shook their heads.

Pearl let out disappointed sigh, "Oh stars... I don't know why, but something's made Spinel... upset. She won't even talk to me or Garnet either. And I'm... I'm worried about her..." She nearly sobbed, yet contained herself.

Garnet stepped beside her, "I'm sure she'll be alright. She'll be back soon and everything will go back to normal."

"Hope so," said Amethyst.

"Yeah..." Steven mumbled, shutting off the TV.

Chapter Text

Pearl warped back, nearly jumping when Steven desperately ran towards her.

"HAVE YOU SEEN HER YET?!" He pleaded.

Pearl shook her head, "I'm sorry Steven, but I have no idea where she could be..."

Steven's hope dropped and he sniffled, "But she's never been gone for days!"

"I know..." said Pearl sympathetically, "I'm sure she'll be back soon, we just... have to wait a bit longer."

"But who's gonna hug me and kiss me goodnight?!" Steven whined, "Doesn't she know I miss her?!"

Garnet walked in through the front door, Amethyst trailing behind her, "Still no sign of her?"

"No..." Pearl replied sadly.

"Awww man!" Amethyst rolled her eyes, "She's still not over that… something that she's been bothered about?"

Steven sniffled, eyes welling up with thick tears, "I... I don't understand she'd leave us like that... I-I don't know what we did..." He covered his face and wept.

The four of them stood in the living room, Steven still crying quietly... ... ...

"... Who wants to go on a road trip?!" Greg barged in through the door, stopping when he saw his melancholy son and the Crystal Gems.

Greg stepped back, "... Is this a bad time?"

"No. I just haven't found Spinel yet," Pearl confessed, rubbing her arm.

The man's eyes stretched wide, "In two whole days? You'd think she'd be back by now."

"Yeah..." Steven mumbled, wiping a tear from his eye.

Greg picked him up in his arms, "Well hey, schtu-ball. She'll come back soon. She always have, right?"

Steven slowly nodded.

"And what about this 'road trip' part?" Garnet asked.

"Oh yeah," Greg turned to face her, "I gotta drive over to the state Keystone. I met up with some guy on an internet message board who's selling these car wash brushes for real cheap! I just gotta meet him in Keystone to pick 'em up."

Steven cringed, "I don't like those brushes, they feel weird on your fur."

"Well, do like motels?"

"What's a motel?."

"A motel's sorta like a hotel, but it'll have a pool and free ice. Not to mention, this one is next to the Best Diner In The World!"

"You two have fun with that." said Garnet, "Pearl, Amethyst, and I will keep looking for Spinel. We'd have a better chance of finding her."

"Three heads are better than one." Amethyst agreed.

Pearl nodded, straining a smile "Yeah, that probably sounds best. So uh... see you two later!"

"Please find Spinel!" Steven pleaded, "I can't stand her being gone!"

Greg tried to smile, "Y-Yeah, good luck."


Steven remained curled up in the bed. Even though he was tired from the few-hour-long trip to the motel, he still could not get Spinel out of his mind.

"Hey Steven!" Greg walked into the room, holding a pizza box, "We got pizza!"

The boy meekly looked up, and his father knew something was wrong. He placed the box on the other bed and sat down next to Steven, rubbing his shoulder, "Hey... something on your mind?"

"It's just... Spinel left without telling me. She's... never done this before. She's never left without telling us or be silent for no reason. Did I do something? Did the Gems do something? I just... don't know why she was so mad... I miss her."

"Oh schtu-ball..." Greg looked for the words to say, "Sometimes people need alone time. Heck, I had moments where I just leave the house when I was angry with my parents. Trust me, Steven. Spinel will come back, and everything will be fine."

Steven lifted his head, eyes gleaming from the light, and slowly nodded, "Alright."

Greg grabbed the pizza box and opened it to reveal the food.

"Square pizza, weird, huh?" Greg chuckled.

Steven took a slice, taking a bite, "Yeah, sure is."


The next morning...

Amethyst laid strewn on the couch, eating on a bag of chips. Apparently she had given up on trying to look for her missing teammate.

Suddenly, she heard the warp activate, expecting Pearl, Garnet, or both to appear... only for a familiar pink, pigtailed Gem to be standing in place. Spinel let out a sigh, as if she finally had let something go and opened her eyes, seeing her teammate on the couch.

Amethyst dropped her bag.

Spinel's pigtails drooped behind her, "... A-Amethyst, I'm sorr-"

"SPINNY!" The purple Gem screamed excitedly as she leapt towards the pink Gem, landing on the ground with an 'oomph'. Amethyst began to cry about how much she missed Spinel while the pink Gem was trying to escape her grip, trying to apologize through the other Gem's tears and shouting.

Sometime later...

"So... you just found someplace private because you were just frustrated about what was happening?"

"... Yes."

Amethsyt took another chip and ate it, "Man, two days and a half. That's long, even for you."

"I know," Spinel sipped her chamomile tea.

They heard a loud gasp.

Amethyst and Spinel turned to see the door... and there Steven stood, eyes wide with shock and arms shaking, staring directly on the pink Gem. Greg came from behind, him also letting out a gasp.

"Spin-"

"SPINEEEEEEEEL!" Steven wailed out as he ran over to her.

Instantly, Spinel fell to her knees and embraced the crying boy tightly, Steven nuzzling into her shoulder. "Oh sweetheart... I'm so sorry for leaving..."

"Geez Louise, where have you been?" Greg asked, awkwardly scratching the back of his head.

Spinel didn't respond, only continuing to hug the poor kid. Amethyst also heard the warp activate, and this time, it was Pearl and Garnet. They looked forlorn until they saw Spinel hugging Steven.

"Spinel!" Pearl shouted, rushing over the pink Gem, her voice almost shaking from her shock, "Where have you been?! We've been looking everywhere for you!"

Spinel's face dropped to deadpan, "... Nowhere special."

Chapter Text

Spinel and Steven were dozing on the couch, with the boy nuzzling closer to the Gem. Unfortunately, they were woken up as the three other Gems warped back.

"I knew it! I told you we should've brought Spinel with us!" Pearl shouted at Garnet, "She would've gotten a hold of Peridot!"

Garnet didn't turn her head, "Steven's the one to keep her here."

Amethyst shrugged, "Can ya blame him?"

Pearl exhaled a tired breath, "Well, I'll go look where Peridot's located this time." She walked over to the pod they fixed and stuck her hand into the screen, her eyes becoming static.

Spinel stood up from the couch, with the boy keeping his arms wrapped around her shoulders and legs around her sides.

"Hm..." Pearl removed her hand and made a hologram of the green Gem's location, "She's using the warps to get... here! We have our target."

Garnet nodded, "And this time, Spinel will come with us."

"NO!" Steven protested, snuggling into Spinel's chest, "I don't ever want her to leave again! Never never never!"

Spinel sighed, "Alright alright, we'll both go. Just stay close-"

"I will!"


As they warped to a abandoned ship, Steven asked, "Whoa, what's that?"

Pearl pulled up another hologram, showing the ships, "Excellent question! What we see before us is an ancient interplanetary Gem vessel. Homeworld Gems used these ships to travel across the cosmos and land here on Earth before the warp pads were built. But these ships landed here so long ago that there's no way they can be functional. Peridot's out of options! Isn't that right, Spinel?" Pearl wrapped a friendly arm around her partner's shoulder.

However, Spinel didn't look at her, "Yeah."

Slightly surprised by the Gem's low response, Pearl brushed it off, "Alright! Let's go get Peridot!" She and the others began to head towards the ship.

Steven curiously looked up at her, "Are you okay?"

Spinel was quietly for a few seconds, before smiling at him, "I'm fine."

Inside the ship, plants has begun to overgrow under the floor and on the walls. They Crystal Gems walked over to a control panel, commenting how it looked more like a jungle until a screen with Peridot's face was shown.

"Nyeh heh heh heh! You Gems really are dull as dirt!" Peridot mocked.

Pearl sneered, "If you think you can get away from us, you're the dull one!"

Peridot squinted her eyes, "... Can you speak louder? Some of these communicators are gunked up."

Groaning, Spinel grabbed the mic and yelled, "She said that you're not getting away, you little gremlin!"

Peridot and even everyone else was taken aback by the harshness in her voice, but Peridot pushed it aside, "Get away? Ha! I'm not using this to 'get away', I'm using this to trap you!" Immediately, the door behind them closed off their exit. "Isn't this nice... No more Crystal Gems running around, messing with my plans, destroying my things... Looks like I've got you just where I want you. How does it feel to be so easily outsmarted, you clods?!"

Amethyst took the microphone, "Hey uh, this is Amethyst. I don't appreciate being called a clod, you clo-"

"Enough talk!" Peridot cut her off, "Prepare yourselves for annihilation!" She pressed a button.

The Gems readied themselves and looked around, only for nothing. Peridot grumbled and pressed another button, activating the ship's defense systems and fired off lasers that bounced off everywhere. The Gems avoided the beams as the green Gem repeated the word "Die!"

"Hey guys! Over there!" Steven had pulled up his shield and the other Gems ducked under it, protected from the lasers.

Garnet noticed another open door, "This way!"

The other Gems nodded and ran to the doorway, under Steven's shield. When they made it to safety, Steven's shield dissipated and Spinel caught him when he collapsed.

"Steven!" Spinel spoke in concern, "Are you alright?"

Steven nodded, just a spike emerged from in front of them. Spinel backed away with Steven in her arms before another one poked out. The Gems yelled in panic and ran down the hall, avoiding the spikes, hearing Peridot mocking them until they saw her down the hall.

"We've got you surrounded, Peridot!" yelled Pearl.

Spinel narrowed her eyes, "... Wait, Pearl, that's a hologram! I don't see a shadow!"

Peridot grinned, "Looks like one of you has a good eye, but none of you have good footing!" The ground beneath the Crystal Gems became a funnel and they all screamed as they fell, with Spinel accidentally letting go of her boy.

Thankfully, Amethyst and Garnet grabbed onto the wall and Amethyst wrapped her whip around Steven, narrowly missing Spinel as she and Pearl fell into a chamber.

"Pearl! Spinel! Are you two alright?!" Garnet shouted from above.

"We are! I just gotta-" Spinel responded, and stretched her arms, but the floor closed itself over the two Gems. Gasping, Garnet, Amethyst, and Steven landed into another floor above the chamber. They saw three gears above a screen as it showed Pearl and Spinel frantically attacking the walls.

"NO! SPINEL!" Steven ran up to the screen, banging his fists on it.

"We've got to get them out," Garnet ordered, pausing when they all heard the conversation, noticing the two have stopped.

Pearl began, "Spinel, what's going on with you? You've been distant, left us for two days and a half straight without telling us or Steven... what happened?"

"You happened!" Spinel shot back, whipping her head to her with enraged eyes, "I saw you fixing the hub! Just so you can fuse with Garnet..."

Garnet, Amethyst, and Steven gasped.

Pearl's eyes widened, "You... knew? B-But why- Ah!" The walls began to close in, the gears outside rotating.

"I-If you knew, why didn't you tell Garnet?!" Pearl screamed, her back against the wall.

Spinel did the same thing, "I-I would've! I just... didn't want us to break apart! I know how everyone's stressed out about how Homeworld's coming back to try to harm Earth! You think I would want to start up drama now?!"

The walls slowed to a halt until Pearl and Spinel were inches away from each-other, blue eyes gazing into pink eyes.

"Pearl... Believe me, I wasn't happy with you. I wanted to tell everyone what you did. But what would us splitting up solve? I... I know I'm doing the wrong thing, but I care about you, Pearl. You're... my very best friend."

"You... mean that?"

"I do."

"Spinel..."

The walls began to close in again. The Gems accepted their fate and gave each-other one last hug... But then the walls drifted away, and the floor above them opened.

"YOU TWO! OUT! NOW!"

Garnet's booming voice made them cower, but nonetheless hopped out. Pearl and Spinel shivered as Garnet glared at them through her visors, while Steven and Amethyst clung to each-other in fear.


Watching the argument go down from the cameras, Peridot snickered to herself, "Time to make my escape..." She then flew out of the ship with her rapidly rotating fingers, escaping from the Gems once again.

Chapter Text

Pearl and Amethyst warped back, with Ruby impatiently tapping her foot in front of the warp pad, as if she was already waiting for them.

"So...?" The red Gem asked, her attention directly on Amethyst.

"No luck... Peridot's nowhere..." Amethyst responded.

Hearing this, Ruby let out a frustrated sigh and stormed out of the house, leaving burnt footprints on the icy floor and slamming the door. Pearl and Amethyst sighed and went into their rooms in defeat.

It had only been a day since the lie was revealed and Garnet had unfused into Ruby and Sapphire, refusing to talk to Pearl or Spinel, only slightly interacting with Steven and Amethyst. Sapphire remained on the couch, her ice powers overtaking the house, and Ruby's fire powers created multiple burnt spots around the floors and ground when she roamed around.

Steven kept himself curled in his blanket on his bed, trying and failing to keep warm, shivering feverishly and sneezing a bit.

Suddenly, he heard the door open, and the familiar pink Gem walked in. "S-Spinel!" Steven ran towards the pink Gem, leaping into her arms. Spinel caught him and he nuzzled deeply into her gem and chest, "I-It's freezing in here! S-She won't listen to me!"

Spinel blinked in shock, and glowered at the other Gem, "Hey Sapph, mind toning down the ice in here? Steven's freezing up," she asked rather harshly. Alas, she got no response from the blue prophet.

Steven continued to shiver in her arms, sniffling up some snot. Spinel sighed, "Alright then, let's get warm in my room."


They got inside Spinel's room, appearing it to be a much more domestic type of a bedroom than the other Gems' rooms and it gave a calming kind of place to be in. With walls painted pink, ranging from dark and pale and striped. There was a desk at the corner, multiple books about horticulture and plants stacked with papers with lists of flowers and their meanings laid on it.

Steven loved the soft cushion of Spinel's rocking chair as she laid him down and summoned his coat through her upside-down gem. She picked him up again, and let him put on his coat. After sitting down, Spinel ushered him to her lap, which he happily obliged and he snuggled into her. She coiled her arms around him gently, laying her chin onto his head and they contently rocked.

"Thanks Spinel," Steven mumbled, nuzzling into his warm coat.

"No problem, love," She replied, kissing his head.

After a few more moments of silence, Steven looked up at her innocently, "Spinel... I've been thinking how we can fix this."

Spinel faltered slightly. She intended to just fall asleep and keep her baby warm, but oh well, "What is it, sweetheart?"

"I think... we should have a... intervention."

"An intervention?"

"Y-Yeah, where we gather to talk about our problems and figure out how to solve it."

Spinel's eye widened a bit before her face calmed and she stroked Steven's face, "Oh Stevie, that's a wonderful idea... But... I don't think Ruby nor Sapphire would want to do it right now."

"But Spinel!" Steven lowered her hand, "Peridot's on the lose! You said it'd be better if we all worked together to catch her! How are we going to catch Peridot without Garnet's guidance? I know I haven't been there to help you all with your problems, but this time, I wanna help you, Pearl, Ruby, and Sapphire reconnect. Please Spinel, I don't think I can take watching them stay angry at you and Pearl anymore..."

Light danced in the pink Gem's eyes from hearing her boy's word, smiling and nuzzling his head, "Alright love, I'll go find Pearl and talk to her. Where should we set this up?"

"In the living room at 6 o'clock," Steven replied, nuzzling his head against hers, "And... I'll talk to Ruby and Sapphire."

"Good luck."


Sapphire continued to sit at the couch, presumably still in a black mood. Steven, wrapped up in a coat and gloves, carefully approached her and sat down next to her. Still, it was so cold, Steven shivered from it and his breath was seen.

"Sapp-"

"Yes."

Steven blinked, "... W-What?"

Sapphire didn't need to turn her head, "We'll do the intervention. That is all."

Feeling awkward, Steven nodded slowly, "... Cool... I'll... go talk to Ruby then..."

Sapphire didn't respond as Steven went outside, following the slowly fading burnt footprints. The blue Gem sat... and let out an annoyed noise.


Ruby paced around the beach, numerous footprints following her every step. She grit her teeth, grumbling and growling to herself about Pearl and Spinel's lies.

Taking off his coat, Steven walked over to her, "Hey Ruby?"

The red Gem glowered at him, "How dare they lie to us!? Lying just so we could fuse, lying so we wouldn't have to worry about that! It's FUSION! They know how much it means to us!"

Steven cowered a bit, but sighed, "I-I know. Also, I was hoping maybe... you can come to the intervention with Sapphire and you can tell Pearl and Spinel about-"

"Intervention? You mean...?" Surprisingly, Ruby stopped pacing and looked at him.

"Yeah, and you can tell them exactly how you feel at 6 o'clock!" Steven explained, "How does that sound?"

Ruby glanced down, thinking thoughtfully about the suggestion.


Steven hit the table with a toy hammer, "We come here to talk about the drama that has happened in the past 24 hours! On our left, is Ruby and Sapphire!"

On the couch, Ruby had her arms crossed and tapping her foot impatiently. Sapphire was in the same spot, not moving a muscle.

"And to our right, is Pearl and Spinel!"

Sitting at the kitchen seats at the counter, sat the guilty Gems. Amethyst stood beside them, apparently on their side.

"Now." Steven spoke calmly, having the table stand perfectly in between the living room and the kitchen, "We will let Ruby or Sapphire state their opinions and feelings first. You two have the honor-"

"TRAITORS!" Ruby shouted as she began, "Do you two have any idea how we feel about fusing and lying?! We take fusion VERY seriously! To take advantage of us like that is so f... REALLY MESSED UP! And lying? LYING TO YOUR OWN TEAMMATES YOU'VE KNOWN FOR CENTURIES?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE BOTH OF YOU?!"

Everyone else remained silent, with the pale and pink Gem becoming even more miserable. Ruby panted, having finally let out her anger, and she laid back on the nonfrozen couch.

"... And... you, Sapphire?" Steven mumbled, lifting his head over the table.

Sapphire sat up, "I do agree with Ruby, but I will be less vulgar. Pearl. Spinel. What you both have done is inexcusable. Pearl, you fixing the hub, just to find an excuse to fuse with us, we will not stand for that kind of trick. And Spinel, I applaud you for destroying the communication hub, but you should've told us earlier instead of leaving us. I know you care about Pearl, but you also need to consider your teammates feelings as well. Both of you need to. Do you understand?"

Instantly but calmly, Pearl and Spinel nodded.

Satisfied with their 'testimonies', Steven turned his attention to the 'guilty', "And now, we'll hear their answers. Pearl's first."

Pearl rubbed her arms, "If Garnet can hear me, I... want her to hear me out. I know how much fusion meant to you both, that's why... I wanted to be a part of that."

Spinel stared at her wide-eyed.

"When we're Sardonyx, I feel complete. I-In fact, when I fuse with anybody, I feel better, like I can do anything. Spinel, even if it doesn't seem like it, I love being Peach Moonstone with you. And I love being Opal with you too, Amethyst."

Amethyst blinked in surprise, but remained quiet as Spinel continued to stare at her long-time friend.

"I never wanted to take advantage of you, Sapphire, Ruby. I just... wanted to be a part of your relationship. It's perfect, you're the perfect personification of a healthy, loving relationship. I... I'm so sorry."

Spinel placed a hand on the pale Gem's back, "... Pearl..."

Steven was touched by Pearl's short speech, and looked over to the other Gem, "And Spinel?"

Spinel sighed, "I'm sure you already know, but I'll just say... I hate when we break apart. I hate when we don't work together when there's something dangerous happening. I wanted to tell Garnet, I swear. I didn't want to forgive Pearl, not at first, but I also wanted us to keep together. Homeworld is trying to come back to Earth, and... I didn't want us to start arguing over each-other. I'm sorry Sapphire, I'm sorry Ruby... and I'm sorry Garnet."

Steven gripped his hammer, nearly crying from their voices. Spinel kept her hand wrapped around Pearl's side as Ruby and Sapphire continued to think. Silence filled the air as everyone thought to themselves after hearing each-other's speeches.

"So... what do we all say?" Steven gently asked.

The four Gems looked at one another, before standing up, walking over to each-other, and hugged altogether. Amethyst walked over to Steven's side, "Wow. You did good."

They didn't hear the whispering from the four Gems, but they see them nodding. And as Pearl and Spinel pulled away, Ruby and Sapphire held hands and glowed.

The moment Garnet reformed, she stared at Pearl and Spinel, "... So. Do we promise to act as team from now on?"

Pearl and Spinel nodded calmly. Steven and Amethyst smiled softly. Hopefully, the Crystal Gems would learn from this and be more honest from now on.

Chapter Text

Warping to the Galaxy Warp, Peridot wobbled a bit, trying to keep the struggling and protesting Steven in her grip before she let go and trapped him in her tractor beam.

"Enough of this!" Peridot grumbled, hovering Steven over to the broken main pad.

Steven remained frozen, "What do you want from me?"

"I want to get off this lousy gem-forsaken planet!" Peridot exclaimed, releasing the boy from the beam, then pointed at the warp pad, "You have to fix this!"

Steven sat up, "Wait, what?"

Peridot became more paranoid, "You're my last chance! I've got no Flask Robonoids! I've got no Quartz soldier! I've got no response from Yellow Diamond!" She breathed in and out to calm herself down, "I know you fixed Lazuli's gem. Whatever you did, you've got to do it to the Homeworld Warp! OR ELSE!" Peridot prepared an energy blaster.

However, a warp pad from far behind them activated and a certain, furious pink Gem appeared.

"YOU!" Spinel screamed, wasting no time swinging her fist at the green Gem, knocking her backwards.

Peridot got up and scowled, "You Crystal Clods just don't know when to quit!"

She fired her energy beam towards the Gem, but she swiftly dodged sideways, landing her feet on a pillar, locking her legs into a spring and sprang herself into Peridot and pinned her to the ground.

"Spinel! Wait!" Steven called out, but the pink Gem ignored him and continued to glower at her opponent.

"H-Hold on!" Peridot desperately tried to speak, "You-You need me!"

"Good excuse!" Spinel growled as she grabbed hold of the gem on her forehead.

Peridot began to struggle, begging, "N-NO! WAIT! I'm the only one who knows about the C-"

But she was cut short as Spinel ripped her gemstone out, poofing her instantly. Spinel glared at the gem before encasing it in a pale pink bubble. Much to their brief surprise, Peridot's limb-enhancers laid out on the ground.

She turned to Steven and rushed to him, "A-Are you alright, sweetie? Did Peridot hurt you?"

Steven pulled away, "Yeah, I am. She was just…" They heard the other Gems arriving.

"Spinel! Did you get Steven?!" Pearl yelled before she saw her answer.

Spinel nodded, lifting the bubbled gem, "Yeah, it was Peridot."

Amethyst looked disgusted at the disembodied limbs, "Ughh, you left the bits of her all over."

"She uh..." Steven mumbled, "She wanted me to fix the Galaxy Warp."

The Gems gasped.

"I knew it." deadpanned Spinel as she sent the gem to the temple.

"Well, glad that this is finally over," sighed Pearl, "Let's get back home." Nodding, the Gems walked over to the warp pad.

As Steven held her hand, he looked up to Spinel, "Spinel? Was she… trying to say something?"

"I'm sure it was nothing important." murmured Spinel, "Just some made-up lies to get me to let down my guard. All that matters is that she's bubbled and she can't harm anyone anymore."


Later in the night, Spinel passed by the kitchen, ignoring the Gems' conversation. She had tucked Steven into bed a while ago, and she'd figured she would visit the Burning Room again.

She was stopped when a smaller, cackling green shape shoved her away followed by Steven, who was telling her to stop.

"Freedom is mine!" Peridot declared... ... before turning her head to meet the gazes of the stunned Gems.

Steven quickly ran up to defend her, "Wait!"

"Look! Over there! Another planet to betray!" Peridot stuttered, pointing into an upward direction and trembling.

The Gems immediately got up and prepared their weapons, prompting Peridot to squeak out, "Retreat!" And tried to run out the front door.

But Pearl and Garnet blocked her path, "Oh no, you don't!"

Peridot made an "Eeep!" and ran up the stairs on all fours, only to be met with Amethyst who simply grinned at her. Jumping down from Steven's room, Spinel's arms coiled tightly around the green Gem, and after a short spin, Spinel tossed her at the wall near the door of the Gems' rooms.

She sped up and pinned the smaller Gem into the wall, "This is the last time you're running away from us! Now GIVE UP!" Spinel yelled into her face.

"U-Um..." Peridot saw something on the pink Gem's chest, "Hey, what's that on your shirt?"

"Wha-" Spinel looked down, met with Peridot flicking her nose. Giggling, she escaped the Gem's grasp and ran into a room, locking the door behind her.

"THAT LITTLE SH-!" Spinel shouted, holding her nose and furious that she fell for a simple trick.

Peridot's voice was heard behind the door, "You may have won the war, but the battle isn't over, Crystal Clods!"

As the Gems walked over to the door and dispelled her weapons, Pearl commented, "Should we tell her that's the bathroom?" They heard Peridot talking inside, though they couldn't exactly make out what she was saying.

Amethyst tried to open the door, "It's locked."

"Peridot! Open the door!" Garnet barked, banging on the door once, when they heard the toilet flush.

"Uh, if you're trying to flush yourself down the toilet, it won't worry," said Amethyst leaning against the door, "Trust me, I've tried."

Spinel scrunched her nose at her, "You're gross."

"How did she get out?" Pearl questioned, "We bubbled her!"

Amethyst shrugged, "Maybe we needed a bigger bubble."

"Excuse me, we don't need a 'bigger bubble'. Plus, my bubbles are just fine!" Spinel retaliated.

Steven bit his lip nervously, "... I did it."

"STEVEN!" The four Gems shouted in shock, with Pearl adding, 'Why would you do such a thing?!"

"Because she knows something!" Steven anxiously explained, "Something that's made her scared!"

Amethyst pounded her fist to her palm, "Duh. Homegirl knows we're gonna beat her into a green pancake."

Steven shook his head, "No, not 'cause of us! 'Cause of something called the 'Cluster'."

"Cluster? That's new," Garnet crossed her arms.

Spinel became worried, "What else did she tell you?"

Steven lowered his chin, "That's all I got."

"That's right, you dirtbombs!" Peridot shouted in the bathroom, "You don't even what's coming!"

Garnet sighed, "I'm tired of playing these games. If we can't fight her, then fine. We'll talk. Peridot!" She heard Peridot yelp and slip on something, "Alright, no more fighting. Let's just have a civil conversation."

"As if I'd negotiate with you, filthy war machine!"

Garnet stepped back, summoning her gauntlets, "Okay. Let's kick her butt."

"Wait!" Steven protested.

"Yeah! Destroy me again! And have fun trying to talk to me when I'm in a bubble!"

Spinel glanced up to Pearl nervously, "She's not seriously making us do this, is she?"

Pearl had her hand to her chin, "She leaves us no choice, Spinel. If she has information, she's more valuable to us as… this."

"This is gonna be tricky," said Garnet.

Then they heard water running, Peridot panicking, "H-H-Hot hot hot!"

"You have to turn the knob the other way for cold!" Steven told her.


In the morning, Steven was heading to the bathroom, when he saw Spinel already there, sitting cross-legged on the floor.

"Spinel?" He tipped his head to the side, "What are you doing here?"

"Just... talking to Peridot." She simply replied, "She's only been saying a few things to me, but she won't tell me about the Cluster."

Steven awkwardly frowned, "Well, you did scare her and poof her."

"I know. I did say sorry."

"Simply saying sorry isn't enough, you... PEBBLE!"

Spinel rolled her eyes, "You know you're just insulting me to get me mad. It's not working! ... Do you uh... you need to go, Steven?"

Steven nodded, "Peridot? Can I come in?"

"NO!"

Both Spinel and Steven groaned at bit from Peridot's stubbornness… until after a second of silence, the door opened just a crack.

Spinel gently nudged Steven, "You go on and talk to her. She probably trusts you more than me."

Nodding, Steven walked in, "Hey Peri..."

Peridot sat back against the fallen curtain, "Is the... 'Ferocious Clod' gone?"

"You mean Spinel?" Steven asked before smiling, "Oh, ha ha! She's only like that when I'm in danger. Other than that, Spinel's the sweetest, gentlest, down-to-earth Gem you could ever know!"

Peridot raised a brow, but didn't respond.

Steven glanced at a toothbrush on the ground, "Can you pass me that?"

The green Gem snatched it up, "Is this a weapon?!"

"Only against cavities."

Peridot stared at it before tossing it to him.

"Thanks," Steven replied as he began to brush his teeth.

"... Is that a weapon?" She asked again, standing close to him, staring at a comb.

"No, that's a comb I never use."

Peridot sat down on the toilet, her eyes narrowed, "... Is that a weapon?"

Steven knew she meant the towel he was cleaning his face with, "Oh, well, I guess if you get it wet and roll it up." When he did exactly that, Peridot flinched and he put it down, "Look, I know you're scared, but I'm not gonna hurt you. Neither will Spinel, or the others. And whatever's going on, whatever the 'Cluster' is, I wanna help."

Lowering her arm from her face, Peridot looked at him with glistening eyes, "I doubt you can help me, but I… appreciate the offer."

Steven smiled kindly, "Now do you mind moving? I need to use that."

"... For what?"

Chapter Text

Peridot cleared her throat, "As it seems I have no other options, I have conceded to reveal some important information to you Crystal Gems."

The four Gems stood by the counter, watching Peridot's presentation. Spinel was glad that Steven was able to get Peridot to trust them enough, though the shorter Gem still seems to be wary around her.

When Peridot snapped her fingers, Steven (with a box over his body) shuffled in, a crude drawing of Earth seen on the front.

"This," Peridot pointed to the illustration with a flyswatter, "Is the Earth. At the very center of the planet's core lies… the Cluster! Rotate."

Steven rotate the box to a drawing of a representation of the Cluster in the Earth as Peridot continued, "This is the Cluster. A massive, artificial fusion composed of millions of Gem shards. It has laid dormant for thousands of years within this planet's crust. When this Gem activates and takes its form, the result will be catastrophic. Now!" She hit the box with the flyswatter again.

For dramatic effect, Steven made escalating music and bobbed up and down, the Gems awaiting the 'result'. Then Steven stuck a green snake puppet out and made a roar sound.

"What is that?!" Peridot asked.

"It's the Cluster." Steven replied.

Peridot grumbled, "It does not look like that. But it is real, and it can activate at any moment!"

"What a cluster," Amethyst sarcastically commented.

Garnet frowned, "That abomination must be stopped."

"No…" Spinel whispered, stepping backwards, "That can't be… We've been protecting Earth for thousands of years… W-Were they all for nothing?"

"Not unless we can do something about it!" Pearl proclaimed, wrapping an arm around the horrified Gem, "We need to build some sort of machine to take us to the center of the Earth, it'll have to-"

Then Peridot swatted her, cutting her off, "Hey! I wasn't finished speaking! What we need is to build some sort of machine to take us to the center of the Earth."

Pearl shot an annoyed glare at the green Gem and when Peridot continued her plan, Amethyst grinned, but Pearl glared at her as well.

"It'll need to withstand up to 360 gigapascals of pressure and temperatures of 9800 degrees."

"WELL!" Spinel shot up, snapping out of her stunned state, "What are we waiting for?! We gotta start right now!"

Peridot was startled, but calmed, "Yes, you are correct. We'll start by dimattling all devices inside this dwelling." She ran into the kitchen and grabbed the microwave, "This primitive radiation concentrator should come in handy!" She tore it off the cupboard and threw it on the floor.

She then ran to grab a telephone, "This primitive vibration transmitter could possibly serve a function!" And she broke it in half.

Crawling up to Steven's room, Peridot held up the television, "There's a remote chance something useful could be inside this primitive image cube!"

"HOLD IT!" Spinel's large fist caught the television and held it up with Peridot hanging on, sweating and shaking in a panic, "H-How about we use all that junk we keep in a barn we have? How does that sound, huh?"

Peridot began to sweat as well, "... Yyyes. And uh, do you mind letting me go?"

"Only if you let go first."


At the Barn

"Alright," Pearl nodded as Peridot inspecting the stuff inside, "What we have here in the barn should be adequate enough for us to get started. First, I recommend we organize the component types and assemble a rough blueprint based off what we have available."

"Does it look good?" Steven asked, waving a piece of chalk and sitting in a swivel chair.

Spinel, standing beside the chair, stared at the illustration on the chalkboard in thought, "Hm… Maybe we need to add more safety precautions, like uh... Pillows! Pillows are good."

Pearl took a look, but shook her head, "Uh… sorry Steven, it's a lovely drawing but it won't look like this."

Peridot took the chalk from the board, examined it and seemed to be satisfied, handing the chalk to Pearl, "Good, yes, this is adequate. Thank you. You can go now."

The pale Gem exchanged glances to Steven and Spinel, "... ... Uh, what?"

"Hm?" Peridot was confused, "Umm... that will be all?" She clapped her hands as a command, but Pearl remained in the same spot, looking incredulous.

Spinel realized what the green Gem was doing and her expression changed to slight anger, "What gives you the right to tell Pearl what to do?"

"Yeah!" Steven joined in, "She's gonna help us build the drill, right?"

Peridot chortled a laugh, "No, no. You're both confused. A Pearl can't build a thing like this."

Spinel's frown deepened, "Oh yeah? Care to explain, hm?"

"Because Pearl's aren't made for this!" Peridot told her, bewildered, "They're for standing around, and looking nice, and holding your stuff for you…. Right?"

"That's enough!" Pearl snapped, "If we're going to work together, you're going to have to listen to me!"

"Listen to you?" Peridot began to laugh, "Did you teach her to talk like this?" Pearl and Spinel continued to glower at the shorter Gem.

Steven tilted his head, "What are you talking about?"

Peridot stared at him, "She's a Pearl. She's a made-to-order servant just like the hundreds of other Pearls being flaunted around back on Homeworld."

"This ISN'T Homeworld!" Spinel lashed out, her pigtails bristling even more.

Peridot cowered a bit, "But it's true, isn't it?"

Spinel bit her lip, but brushed it off as she stood over the other Gem, "It is, but our Pearl here is different than any other Pearl back on Homeworld! She's sweet, strong, and the smartest too! So, how about you use that teeny tiny little head of yours and SHOW SOME RESPECT?!"

Peridot, Pearl, and Steven all stared at her with shock.

"... Gee, thanks," Pearl whispered.

Spinel gave her a wink, and Peridot's head turned left and right in befuddlement.

"Stars, this place is really messed up," Peridot fumed, "AARGH! I refuse to listen to a Pearl or a Spinel- whatever THAT is!"

"Oh, so what?!" Pearl shouted, "Are we going to build this thing or not?!"

"We?! HA! Don't be silly!" Peridot shot back, "What good is a Pearl without an owner?!"

But before the three Gems could continue their argument, Steven stood in the middle, hands raised up, "Whoa whoa whoa! Hang on! Let's not fight! How about we all agree Pearl and Peridot are good at building stuff and should try listening to each-other?"

"NO!" The three Gems screamed angrily.

"I'm as good at building things as you! Better, even!"

"Yeah!"

"Ha! Name one thing you can engineer better! Go on!"

"Robots."

Pearl, Peridot, and Spinel stared at the boy, "Hm?"

"You should build robots," Steven suggested with stars in his eyes, "Giant robots! I see a race. A giant robo-race! With prizes, giant robo-prizes!"

"You mean like a competition?" asked Pearl.

"Yeah!" replied Steven, "To see who's better at building stuff!"

Spinel nodded, "That doesn't sound bad at all, love. I like it."

"What are these 'robots' you speak of?" Peridot inquired.

"They're like those funky marble guys you were sending," Steven explained, "Only bigger, and you can ride them!"

"I'll let Pearl handle this," Spinel humphed, "She has the honors."

Pearl blushed a bit, "Thank you, Spinel." And glared at the green Gem "You're going down, Peri-dot."

Peridot grinned, "We'll just see about that."

They both ran into the barn and began to construct their own robots. Spinel and Steven watched in a bit of awe as Garnet and Amethyst came over.

"Yo, Steven, Spinel," said Amethyst, "How are the wonder nerds doing- Whoa! Wh-What's going on? Are they building the drill?"

Spinel shook her head, "No. They're just building robots since we came up with a competition, thanks to Stevie, of course-"

Suddenly, they covered their ears from the loud construction noises coming from inside. They were unable to hear each-other until Pearl rode out of the barn with her robot, striking a pose and showing off the mobility.

"Giant robot!" squealed Steven as Spinel stared up with stars in her eyes, and even slightly blushing.

"Hah! Pathetic! Now behold, my vision of ultimate power!" Peridot declared, her robot marching out, its claws snapping… until Peridot saw the height difference between her robot and Pearl's, "Hey!"

Pearl smirked, "Mine's taller. I win."


"Ladies and gentle-Gems, welcome to the first annual Robolympics!" Steven announced, sitting on Spinel's shoulders.

Garnet clapped, "Woo!"

Amethyst ate some popcorn, "Popcorn!"

"This competition will test our robo-engineers' skills of robo-construction and robo-piloting! Whoever wins will get to be in charge of building the Cluster-drill-machine. Let the games begin!"

The competition started innocently enough; balance, crushing, jumping, speed, and oddly, ballet, art, rock-paper-scissors, jumping-jacks, tug-of-war, and projectile strength. Spinel was able to write the tallies for the scores, appearing happy when Pearl succeeded or in concern when Pearl failed. Lastly, two trucks were laid for Pearl and Peridot, the sky now evening.

Steven smiled, "Alright guys! This is the final event!"

"You got this, P!" yelled Amethyst.

"Get it, girl!" Garnet joined.

"You go, Pearl!" Spinel cheered, "Show her you're the best Pearl in the universe!"

Garnet, Amethyst, and even Steven all stared at the pink Gem with surprise, mostly from how supportive she was with Pearl today. Seeing their expressions, Spinel nervously scratched the back of her neck, blushing dark pink.

Pearl blushed from the encouraging words, but Peridot frowned.

"Ready… Set… CHUCK!"

Both robots chucked their trucks far out towards the hills, both of them disappearing over the horizon.

Spinel had her eye stretched out of the socket, trying to see which one went further, but sighed in disappointment and retracted her eye, "I think… they both get a point."

After that, they gathered in front of the chalkboard to decide the winner.

"Hmm… hmm…" Steven turned around, "Looks like our final score is… a tie! Welp, that settles it! You both get to lead the project together!"

But Peridot wasn't having any of it, "NO! This isn't over! I demand we have a tiebreaker!"

"Ugh, just give it a rest!" Pearl groaned, "That's it, we're tied, we're the same. Move on." She started to pilot away, but Peridot's robot grabbed onto her robot's arm.

"No!" Peridot shouted angrily, "You're a Pearl! You are beneath me! I'll always be better than you and nothing I've seen today will ever change that!"

Pearl closed her eyes as she spoke, "Well, have you ever seen a Pearl do this?!" Her robot kicked Peridot's backwards.

Garnet, Amethyst, Spinel, and Steven all collectively gasped.

Peridot made her robot stand up, "So, you want to fight? Good. We should've done this from the beginning!" She charged into Pearl, the robots locking hands and wrestling.

"Guys! Stop!" Spinel tried to pull the two robots away, but Peridot snapped her claws at her arms, and Spinel instantly retracted them back.

"Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" cheered Amethyst.

Peridot cackled as her robot lifted Pearl's bot and tossed her towards the other Gems. They quickly jump away when Pearl's robot crash-landed on the ground.

Steven lifted his head, "Pearl!"

"Are you okay?!" Spinel asked worriedly.

Pearl's bot stood up, "It's alright, guys. I've got this."

"Be careful!"

"Kick her in the butt!"

Peridot's bot landed behind her, ready to attack, but Pearl swurved her bot around, blocking it and the bots locked claws again.

"This is pointless!" yelled Peridot, her face close to the pale Gem's, "There's no way you're gonna beat me! You're an accessory! Somebody's shiny toy! Where do you get off acting like your own Gem?!" One of Pearl's bot's arms was torn off, "You're just a PEARL!"

For a moment, Pearl grimaced, but became determined, "That's right! I am a PEARL!" She proclaimed before punching Peridot right on the cheek, prompting the others to gasp and a smile lit up Spinel's face, Amethyst cheering.

"What you're saying may be true," said Pearl, her robot leaping into the air, "But it doesn't matter! I'm still gonna kick your butt!"

Her bot was about to deliver a harsh kick, but Peridot's claw grabbed it and Peridot snickered.

Pearl gulped, "Uh oh."

Peridot then began to slam Pearl's bot on the ground repeatedly, until Spinel dove under Pearl's bot and caught it before it could hit the ground.

Pearl laid limp in her seat, lifting her head up weakly, "S-Spinel?"

"It's alright," Spinel mumbled before glaring at Peridot, "Enough is enough, Peridot."

Peridot grit her teeth, "No way. I'm not letting a Pearl of all Gems beat me!"

"You've already won, Peridot." She said, "But please, no more of this nonsense."

Peridot blinked, "... I... I won?" Her robot let go of the other, jumping out of her robot, "I won! Victory is mine! Now I'm the one in charge! Praise me, praise me!"

... But instead, she saw Spinel help Pearl to her feet, "You alright?"

"I'm fine," Pearl laughed a bit, "But thank you."

Amethyst ran over and squeezed the Gems into a hug, "YEAH, P! Aww, that was awesome! You were hardcore!" She even gave Pearl's shoulder a friendly punch.

Pearl rubbed her arm, "Oh... really?"

Garnet patted her head, "Oh yeah."

"Hey!" barked Peridot, "Why aren't you listening to me?! I won! I'm the natural leader here! She's just a common Pearl!"

Frowning, Spinel hoised Pearl up and held her bridal style, "You're wrong. Pearl's not like any other Pearl. That's what makes her the best."

Pearl giggled and waved her hand at her, "Oooh, stop it, you."

"Yeah!" Steven added, "If she was like any other Pearl, she wouldn't have trained to fight! She wouldn't learn how to build things! But she did! She works hard every day to become ever greater than she already is! That's not common, that's amazing!"

With the Crystal Gems smiling and Peridot looking stunned, they remained silent for a moment before Garnet spoke, "Come on, let's clean up this mess."

Amethyst laughed, "Pearl, hah, you should come wrestling with me."

"Uh, I dunno," replied Pearl uncertainty.

"You can do anything you put your mind to," said Spinel, Steven following her.

Peridot just stood there, shocked, "B-B-But I won! What about the rules?!"

"... Welcome to Earth," Garnet stated and walked away.

Incredulous, Peridot glanced at her swollen cheek.


Later in the evening, everyone else was gathering up the debris of the robots. However, both Spinel and Steven turned to see Peridot approaching the pale Gem, holding a power drill the wrong way.

Peridot cleared her throat, "I have to admit, it's ... remarkable that a Pearl such as yourself could become such a... knowledgeable technician. Mmm... Why don't we get started?"

Pearl gently took the power drill and handed it back to her, "You're holding it upside down."

The green Gem blushed, "Y-Yes. Of course. Y'know, those round appendages on your machine could be useful for something."

"They're called wheels," Pearl corrected.

Now smiling, Spinel scratched her cheek, "Peridot's learning."

"Yeah," Steven nodded, "We're well on our way on stopping the Cluster."

Chapter Text

Log Date 7-11-2," Peridot spoke to the tape recorder, "It's the third rotation of the Earth since commencements of a..." She inhaled deeply, "collaborative approach to stopping the Cluster."

"I've finished drawing the blueprints for the drill head!" Pearl called out to her, "Peridot, if you could come take a look at this."

Peridot begrudgingly ended her recording and stepped outside, "Remind me why I should listen to you? Oh, right." She played a recording;

"...The Pearl here has exhibited an aptitude for engineering that I begrudgingly respect, though that doesn't explain the spontaneous singing, crying, singing while crying."

Amethyst snickered as Spinel asked, "What's with the recorder?"

"Well, she doesn't have her stuff anymore," replied Steven, "I thought it might make her feel a little better."

As the green Gem played her recordings of her saying 'clod', Spinel placed a hand on her chin, as if thinking of something... and Garnet walked over to them, "Alright, I chased away those cows, let's get to work."

Peridot cleared her throat, "Before we begin, would you mind un-fusing? It's making me incredibly uncomfortable."

The Crystal Gems stood silent.


Garnet finished tying the leash onto the fence and walked away, with Peridot protesting.

"Do we really have to do that?" Steven asked, while Pearl and Amethyst were setting up parts and pieces.

"Her having free reign of the place made me incredibly uncomfortable." responded Garnet.

Spinel, seeing Peridot struggling to reach a microwave, walked over to her, laid on her knees, and pushed the item over to her. The green Gem scowled at her, "I was just about the reach that."

"You're welcome," Spinel kindly replied. Peridot was puzzled by Spinel's patience with her, but tried to ignore it as she tried to get the microwave open.

"... Need help with that?"

"NO! I just need some sort of... leverage optimizer..."

"Leverage optimizer? You mean..." Spinel looked around, "A screwdriver?"

Peridot blinked at her, "If that's what you call it, yes." Before she could reach for it, Spinel handed her the screwdriver just as Steven and Amethyst walked over.

"Ey, Stretch," Amethyst greeted, grinning, "How's Peridot holding up?"

Spinel shrugged, "All is good, I just handed her the... 'leverage optimizer'."

Steven and Amethyst were confused until they saw the screwdriver in Peridot's hand and they began to snicker, much to Spinel's confusion.

"He-Hey, Peridot!" Amethyst pointed at her nose, "What do you call this?"

"A scent sponge."

Steven curiously poked his nose as the purple Gem began to laugh, though Spinel wasn't agreeing with what she was doing.

"Okay, what's this?"

"Vision sphere."

"They're called 'eye-balls' Peri-"

Amethyst cut Spinel off, wiggling her fingers, "Peridot, these?"

"Touch stumps."

"This?!"

"Gravity connectors."

"THIS?!"

"THAT'S YOUR BUTT!"

Amethyst and Steven laughed hysterically, but Spinel stood up, "ALRIGHT, that's enough, you two! We are not making fun of how others see the world!"

"Aw chill out, Spinny!" Amethyst leaned against her, "We're just having fun! No harm done!"

Steven chuckled, "That rhymed!"

"Making fun of others isn't funny!"

"... Funny?" Peridot raised a brow, confused, "What's that?"

Ignoring the others and moving to make Amethyst fall to her side, Spinel tried to explain, but Steven spoke up, "It's what you are!"

Pearl then came over, "Peridot, if you can get the magnetron out of that microwave, we'll have everything we need... except for the drill head."

Spinel seemed to agree, "Yeah, where the heck do we find a giant drill head?"

"Why don't I just get an Injector drill head from the Kindergarten?" Peridot suggested.

"... Oh, well," Pearl considered the idea, "I guess that's something you can try."

"She's not going to the Kindergarten without a chaperone!" They heard Garnet shout.

"What?!" Peridot sat up, "You've got to be joking!"

Garnet placed the tires down, "You'll know when I'm joking."

Peridot sighed in annoyance.

"Me and Steven can go with her!" Amethyst offered happily.

"Yeah!" Steven agreed, "We'll keep an eye on her!"

Garnet nodded, "Approved. Keep her in line."

"Uh..." Peridot glanced at Spinel, "Can... she come along as well?"

Spinel blinked, but smiled, "Of course."


At the Prime Kindergarten

"Log Date 7-11-2," Peridot said, holding her recorder and leaning against the injector, "The Amethyst, the Spinel, and the Steven have volunteered to help me dismantle this Era 1 drill. How stylistically displeasing. The newer ones have a nicer finish."

"You making more nerd notes?" Amethyst teased.

Spinel groaned, "Oh my stars- Amethyst, don't start."

"What?" Peridot stopped her recording, confused, "What does she mean by 'nerd'?"

The pink Gem sighed, hopping off the injector, "Nerd is a way to describe someone who's knowledgeable at technology, which is nothing to be ashamed about." She narrowed her eyes at Amethyst, who simply snickered.

"Yo Stretch, chill. There's no shame in a little fun."

Steven hopped down as well, "Yeah, cut it out!"

Peridot scrunched her nose, whispering to her recorder, "As you can see, this planet is annoying and everything is annoying. Amongst its… transgressions is the need for the Amethyst or the Spinel to ask permission from the permafusion."

"Perma-fusion?" Amethyst glance over to the short Gem, "Is that what you call Garnet?"

Peridot scoffed, putting away her recorder, "I could call her lots of things! I could call her two things! Two clods! Walking like she's… one clod!" She snickered.

"Alright, that's-"

"Hey Peridot! Do Spinel next! What's weird about her?"

"Hmm," Peridot pondered, examining the pink Gem, walking around her, pulling on her dress, inspecting the white bow around her waist, and even staring at her spiky pigtails, "Well, that depends on her purpose. What was your purpose before you joined these guys?"

Spinel bit her lip to prevent herself from screaming, "... I was made to entertain…"

"... Pffft! Entertain? With that appearance?!" Peridot began to laugh, even Amethyst joined in, "You must be joking! You don't even look the part!"

Spinel's fists clenched.

"I mean, look at you, you're a total mess! Not in a defective way, of course, but you certainly could scare any other Gem back on Homeworld! Dull colors, dark pink dress with black, spiky hair, and those black lines on your face! They look like tear-stains! What kind of 'entertainer' would have that?"

"Peridot, please stop…" Steven's worry grew, but Amethyst, still grinning, blocked him from walking over.

"Even your own gem! I do say, it's got great facets and edges, it's perfectly cut. Whoever made you must've been setting you up to be the best! In fact, it's in the shape of a heart. Has it always looked like this?"

"... No..."

"Ha ha ha ha! Then why is it upside-down?!" She guffawed, "Seriously, what were you supposed to look like?!"

Spinel glowered, "You really wanna know?"

Peridot nodded, unaware of Spinel's boiling anger, "Of course, just for a minute or two."

Sighing, and with all her strength, Spinel glowed white, her gem turning right-side up, and her whole appearance changed. When the glow faded, a new Spinel appeared, this time having; heart-shaped buns, brighter colors, no tear-stains, white top with rounder sleeves, no dress, and round squeaky shoes, through her eyes did remain the same.

While Amethyst and Steven stood dumbstruck, Peridot was in awe, eyes forming stars, "Wow… you look even better!"

Spinel was about to protest, but Peridot began to examine her form again, "Yes, now you definitely suit the entertaining job. Heck, why did you even change your look at all? You look better this way!"

"No thanks, I'll just…" She glowed white and changed back into her current form, "Stay this way."

Then Peridot took a few steps away, a hand on her chin, "Well, I have made my conclusion. Spinel, you're the only one of the Crystal Gems who's actually a Gem!"

Spinel froze, so did Steven and Amethyst, her smile fading into a frown.

"W-What do you mean?" She asked.

"Come on! Isn't it obvious?" Peridot jokingly exasperated, "You've got everything a Spinel needs from what I've seen, and if we ignore your design, you aren't even defective! Steven's just a hybrid abomination, needing to be fed and expel it, Pearl doesn't have an owner, Garnet's a fusion, and Amethyst… she's got what a Quartz needs, but just… stayed in the Earth too long, no wonder why she's so short."

Amethyst tensed up, "Short?"

"Well, yeah!" Peridot grinned, "Now for you, you're supposed to be a Quartz soldier, but they're usually big, strong-muscled, and very loyal. And from what I can see, your hole's way smaller than the rest! I presume it's been... 500 years since you emerged? Ha! No wonder you're-"

"OKAY." Spinel angrily interrupted, "We're officially done talking about this. Amethyst, what do you say we get the drill and leave?"

"Sounds great," deadpanned Amethyst as she severed the drill head. The pink Gem grabbed it and the two began walking away.

Peridot nodded, crossing her arms in approval, "Heh, at least they're both strong, right, Steven?"

However, Steven glared at her, eyes glistening and he followed behind the Gems. Peridot stared after him, bewildered, wondering if she had said something wrong.


"Oh, it's lovely!" Pearl said as she checked the drill head, "To think we'd be using the same technology that started all this to fix it! This drill is pure irony!"

"Sure is..." Spinel murmured, making sure her back was turned on Peridot.

"Actually, it's mostly carbonite," Peridot pointed out. Steven remained silent as Amethyst passed by them, "Oh oh oh oh! Amethyst!"

Amethyst stopped and turned her head, still peeved.

"Check out this…" Peridot picked up a hammer, "Hm… Rhythmic pulverizer?!" She fell backwards and laughed at her own joke.

The purple Gem didn't laugh, "Whatever." And walked away.

Peridot sat up, confused, "Wha ...?" She turned her attention to Spinel, "Hey hey! Spinel!" The pink Gem didn't turn and she left as well.

"... That was the incorrect response." said Peridot, "Why aren't they laughing at my joke? Why isn't Spinel looking at me?"

Steven glanced at her, "You hurt their feelings."

Peridot stared at him, "Hurt their feelings?"

"Yeah, what you said back there was… awful."

"Awful? I wasn't awful! I was being cool!"

"No, you weren't. Look at their faces, they're clearly not happy."

Peridot squinted her eyes, noticing the look in Amethyst and Spinel's eyes as they talked with Pearl and Garnet. Almost as if her spirit faltered in her, Peridot mumbled, "... Why do I feel… smaller?"

"Cause you feel bad!" Steven replied, sharing their anger, "You made them feel awful! Spinel likes the way she is and Amethyst is self-conscious about herself, and you just told them that they were… wrong."

The green Gem was stunned, slightly horrified. She tried to defend herself and maybe insult them, but the words felt stuck in her throat. As Steven left, Peridot glanced over to Spinel, who was now glaring directly at her, and she cowered from their eye contact.

Feeling ashamed, Peridot rubbed her arm.


As some time passed, Peridot was working on the drill, all alone with the leash still tied to her. Apparently, being unable to encounter Spinel and Amethyst to apologize, her guilt had manifested into frustration as she tried to work on the controls.

"This little thing…" She grunted, fumbling around.

Peridot then noticed Amethyst and Spinel walking past her, not giving her a glance. Grumbling, she turned back to her work, hearing another pair of footsteps.

"How's everything going up there?" Steven called up to her.

"Fine!..." She snapped, "There's nothing wrong! Everything's fine!" However, she accidentally pushed a button, turning on the drill, and she began to panic, "Ah! No no no no no NO! STOP!"

Steven became worried, "Peridot?"

When the drill began to spin rapidly, the short Gem fell off, landing near Steven and coughed, "The panel!"

Thinking fast and ignoring Peridot's protest, Steven hopped onto the drill, continuing to spin out of control. Peridot tried to chase after him, but her leash caught onto a piece of rock, making her fall to the ground.

"What's going on-" Spinel ran out, seeing the boy stuck in the uncontrollable drill, "STEVEN!" She screeched, running over to save him. However, the drill headed towards her, even as Amethyst stood beside her.

Remembering something about Spinel reacting to Steven in danger, Peridot tugged on the leash, ripping it from the cord and she quickly got onto the drill. Amethyst yelped and pushed Spinel away from the drill, avoiding being hit.

Steven continued to scream as he hung on, but Peridot climbing towards the controls, pressing a button and stopping the drill as it leaned over. Steven was about to collapse and fall from his dizziness, but a pair of gloved hands caught him.

"Steven!" Spinel cried out, pulling Steven in for a hug, "Thank the stars you're okay!"

Snapping out of his dizziness, Steven nuzzled her back and pulled away, "Don't thank the stars, thank Peridot!"

Blinking in surprise, Spinel and even Amethyst looked up, seeing Peridot hanging off the edge of the drill, weakly giving them a thumbs-up.


"We leave for one second and everything goes off the rails!" Pearl yelled, horrified.

"I blame the cows," said Garnet.

Pearl sighed to calm herself, "No it's fine. It's fine. We'll rebuild it! Stronger, better! We'll add seat belts!"

"Don't forget pillows!" Spinel shouted.

"Got that!"

While the other two Gems chatted, Amethyst, Steven, and Spinel were cleaning up the remnants of the drill, Amethyst finding a unicycle.

"Craaazy day, huh?" Steven joked. Spinel gave him a simple shrug and Amethyst tossed the unicycle aside, rolling her eyes.

Hearing footsteps, they all turned to see Peridot approaching them, holding behind her back and clearing her throat with her free hand, "Hey… I just wanted to…"

"Spit it out," Amethyst muttered, Spinel keeping her unhappy stare.

Peridot groaned and face-palmed, "Why are you earthlings so difficult?!" She pushed a button and her recorder played:

"Log Date 7-11 2. This entire planet is backwards, there hasn't been one instance of correct behavior exhibited by one of these 'Crystal Gems'. I've concluded that they are all defective… but I am no better. I failed my mission and now I'm working with the enemy. And I can't even get that right.

I have apparently 'hurt' Amethyst and Spinel's 'feelings'. That I've made them feel 'wrong', which was not my intent. If I've damaged my standing with the best Gems here, then I've made a serious mistake. I should have never make them feel bad, especially Spinel's choice. I'm still learning. I hope you understand. I want to understand. I'm sorry … Peridot, Facet 5. End log."

Peridot stopped it, "As you can see-"

"Oh, Peridot!" Steven was touched by her apology. Peridot looked away, grumbling.

Amethyst glanced up, "Peridot… … Thanks."

"Thank you for the apology," Spinel added, her glower had melted into a smile.

Peridot gave them an awkward smile.

"... But you're still a nerd," Amethyst grinned and left.

The green Gem was slightly annoyed, "I'll be sure to add that to my list."

"How do you feel?" asked Steven.

"... Big."

Chapter Text

"Tell me why you've brought me out here again?"

Spinel gave her a friendly shrug, "Just wanted to talk with you. And show you a beautiful sight."

Peridot humphed, "I've already seen the stars back on Homeworld. This isn't any different."

"Not the night sky," Spinel laughed, "It's something more grand than that."

When they finally found a cliffside, Spinel sat down cross-legged and patted a spot next to her, gesturing to the green Gem. Peridot sat beside her, still wary if what Spinel was trying to show her.

Spinel scratched her cheek, "It's... gonna take a while. We came here earlier than expected."

"Then what is it?! I can barely see a thing!"

"Just wait. You'll see."

Some time had passed, but at the moment Peridot was about stand up and leave, until something glowed over the horizon. In awe, the Gems watched as the sun rose slowly but steadily. In the sky, clouds layered with pink and orange seemed to stand still, the dark sky turning blue.

Peridot's eyes gleamed with light swirling in them, admiring the scenery of the morning dawn.

"Wow..." The shorter Gem whispered.

Spinel smiled, "I agree. Earth has its ways of showing beauty."

"Homeworld doesn't compare to this…"

"What? Have sunrises? Heh, yeah, all that's back there is hard crystal floor, walls... I admit, it was beautiful when I arrived, but..."

Peridot turned her head, "But?"

Spinel bit her cheek, "I guess even that sight after years got a little... old. Don't cha think?"

The green Gem wasn't sure how to properly reply, "Um… I guess so. But you've spent thousands of years here, how come you're not tired of it?"

"Because it changes."

"What?"

"The Earth changes a lot of things each year. Sorta like a rhythm. It's summer now, but then it'll turn autumn soon, where the leaves turn red, orange, and yellow, they start to die and-"

"DIE?!" Peridot shouted in panic.

Spinel laughed, "Not that kind of dying! I mean the plants will have to rest after months of being alive and when the Earth turns a certain way, it becomes winter."

"Winter?"

"Yep, in winter, frozen rain droplets with individual shapes fall from the sky, covering our side of the Earth with what we call 'snow'. It only lasts for two or three months, and it doesn't kill life, it puts it to rest."

Peridot's eyes were wide.

"But, then the weather cools down and the sun melts the ice, ready to start spring, which the plants become alive again. And that's the cycle of our seasons."

"Wow…" Peridot glanced down, "You know more than I do…"

Spinel placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, "That's why we're working together, so we can learn more about Earth and its resources. Steven and the other Gems are also here to help you learn, so don't worry."

Peridot fumbled with her fingers, "I know that I have agreed to construct this machine to destroy the Cluster, but… I'm not sure how you and I be able to… keep our correlation stable."

Spinel tilted her head, "What do you mean?"

"Don't you see?!" Peridot sat up, "When we first met, you hated me. And then you wanted to get to know me, then you hated me when I challenged Pearl! Then you liked me when I apologized! But you went back to hating me when I hurt you and Amethyst, and now you like me again! How on Earth are we going to work together if we can't decide how you feel?! Uuuuuugh…" She slumped to the ground.

Spinel, feeling bad, tried to think of something… and something did.

SpinelYou've been acting awful tough lately,

Refusing any kind of help lately,

But inside, you're just a little baby!

Peridot: … What?

SpinelIt's okay to say you've got a weak spot,

You don't always have to be on top.

Better to be hated,

Than loved, loved, loved for what you're not!

You're vulnerable, vulnerable

You are not a robot!

You're lovable, so loveable

But you're just troubled

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

You've been hanging with the unloved Gems,

Who you never really liked and you never trusted.

But you are so magnetic, you pick up all the pins.

Never committing to anything, you don't pick up the phone when it ring, ring, rings

Don't be so pathetic, just open up and sing!

Peridot: … I'm vulnerable, vulnerable

I am not a robot!

SpinelYou're lovable, so lovable,

But you're just troubled

Peridot & SpinelGuess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Peridot: … Could you teach me how to feel… real?

SpinelSure, I'll show you how to… feel.

Don't let your energy drop-

Peridot & SpinelGuess what! I am not a robot!

Guess what! I am not a robot!

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Guess what~ I'm not a robot, a robot

Finishing their song, Spinel and Peridot laughed.

"Gee, thanks for that... Spinel."

"No problem, Peri. I'm gonna go head back to the Beach House. Do you wanna head back or...?"

"NO!" Peridot plopped back down, "Not yet. I... want to stay here a bit longer."

The pink Gem nodded, "Understood. You know where to find me if you need anything."

"With Steven?"

Spinel froze from the guess, then laughed, "Y-Yeah, with Steven. Most of the time. Bye for now."

"Wait!" Peridot quickly turned her body around, her hands planted on the ground.

"Hm? What?"

Peridot appeared anxious for a moment until she made eye contact with her, "... Are we... what you call... friends?"

Spinel, at first, was shocked to hear Peridot's revelation, but a warm smile spread across her face, "Of course."

Chapter Text

When it comes to Steven's birthday, Spinel is always happy to celebrate the fact that he's become one year older than the previous year. At first, today on Steven's 14th year of being alive, everything seemed to be going just fine.

That was until the moment when they surprise Steven with a cake, they (mostly she and Connie) were shocked to see that Steven grew a bit in height. Of course she asked Steven what he was doing, but he simply told her he just grew. Spinel didn't like how this birthday was turning out.

Especially the moment came when Steven and Connie danced, she got this… incredibly awkward feeling in her gem when she saw Connie lean into her boy, commenting to Pearl that she wanted to 'slightly move them apart'. But she really didn't want to ruin Steven's special day, so she followed Amethyst and Greg to the back of the barn.


"And why should hold the pinata?" Spinel questioned.

"Just imagine!" Amethyst laughed, holding her hands up, "Steven's gonna rage when you keep moving it away from him!"

Spinel sighed, 'It's fine to challenge Steven, but I'm not going to be the one to prank him, he's my-"

She stopped, along with Amethyst and Greg as they saw Steven shrink himself to his normal size, only noticing them a moment after.

Spinel dropped the pinata, "Steven? What is this?"

Steven quickly shape-shifted himself back to being tall again, "N-Nothing! All is fine!"

"No, it's not," Spinel approached him, "Have you been doing this all day?"

Amethyst jumped in, "Dude! You can't keep doing that forever! Not even Spinel does that!"

"Why can't I?!"

"Your body can't withstand to be shape-shifted for a long period of time. Not even taking a minute break is gonna help."

Steven backed away from the pink Gem when she got close, trying to look away from the concern in her eyes, "But Spinel! Connie likes me this way! And how would you know? I'm half-human, maybe I work differently than you!"

Spinel couldn't speak.

Greg spoke up, "Son… this really isn't like you." Steven didn't reply, and tried to walk away.

"Steven, no," Spinel gently grabbed his arm, "I won't let you do this to yourself. I'm going to tell Connie-"

"NO!" Steven moved his arm away, "It'll be fine! I can do this!"

The boy ran off, prompting Spinel to call his name, to no avail. She could only sigh solemnly.


Spinel was walking back towards the barn, only for her to hear a familiar noise, her pigtails perking up.

When she ran closer, she found the Greg, Connie, and the Crystal Gems all huddled around the back of the van.

"Hey, what's-" Spinel was about to ask, until she saw Garnet holding… a tiny version of Steven, crying in his oversized shirt.

Just from the sight alone, Spinel's maternal instincts kicked into overdrive and swiftly stretched her limbs over to curl them around the baby, snatching it away from Garnet and pulled the baby to her chest, taking a few steps back from the shocked group.

"W-Whoa!" Connie gasped.

Spinel ignored her, giving all her attention to the baby, "Stevie? What happened?"

Steven continued to cry until he stared at Spinel. Smiling lovingly, Spinel cradled him in her arm, gently and playfully poking his chest. Steven began to giggle and grabbed her finger, trying to suckle on it.

"Wow, Spinel, you made him stop-"

Connie stepped closer to look closer, but Spinel noticed and protectively held Steven away.

"Um… Did I say something wrong?" Connie turned to Greg.

Greg chuckled, "Don't worry, Spinel's always been protective of Steven, especially when he was a baby. But hey, she got him to stop crying."


"Wow," Connie continued to stare at the baby held in Spinel's arms, "You really helped Greg take care of Steven?"

Spinel nodded, "Of course, I would even often skip missions just so I can see his adorable little face." She wiggling her finger to his face, making him laugh and coo.

Connie nodded, "No wonder he's so attached to you."

With everyone else was taking care of the rest of the party, Spinel and Connie were in the barn, the former laying on a make-shift nest with hay while the latter was laying her chin on her crossed arms.

"... When do you think he'll change back?"

"I don't know. … Do you want to go home? I'm sure Greg won't mind driving you back."

Connie shook her head, "No thanks, Miss Spinel. I wanna stay."

"Hm, if that's what you want," replied Spinel, Steven pulling himself upwards and babbled at the girl.

Connie held out finger out to him, "Don't worry, Steven. I still wanna hang out with you, no matter what age you are. Your dad's got his car wash, the Gems have to do Gem stuff, but hey, you've got Spinel, and you've got me too. I can come see you when I'm done training with Pearl, doesn't that sound fun?"

Steven giggled and grabbed her finger. Spinel appeared satisfied, even wrapping an arm around Connie and pulling her in for a side hug.

"Welcome to the Gem family, Connie."

Chapter Text

Ever since the first day of working with Peridot, the Gems couldn't imagine how delighted Spinel was while bonding with Peridot, even Steven decided to join in. And on one beautiful evening...

"Hey," Peridot murmured, sitting beside Spinel, with Steven (back to his 14 self) resting against her side, "Why aren't we working on the drill?"

Spinel kept her relaxed expression, opening one eye, "It's always good to sit back."

"But..." Peridot shifted anxiously, "This is gonna be obliterated when the Cluster emerges. We won't have the sun rising or setting over anything anymore if we don't-"

Spinel wrapped an arm around the green Gem, her whisper calming, "We know that, but if we have a clearer mindset, we'd work more proficiently." Peridot blushed forest green, feeling calmer for some reason.

Steven lifted his head, "Hey Spinel? I'm gonna grab something." He got up, left for a few seconds, and came back with a ukulele.

Spinel lit up at the sight of it, "Oh?"

Steven strummed a few notes, "Yeah, I've been thinking of something for a while."

"Can't we just sit here?" Peridot asked, unexpectedly more relaxed, "Stars, you guys really like... what do you call it?"

Spinel and Steven glanced at each-other, smiling as they both replied, "Music."

Peridot moved away, confused, "Wha...?"

Steven laughed a bit, "Here, I'll start." He began to strum his ukulele...

StevenLife and love and death and birth, with peace and war on the planet Earth.

Is there anything worth more than peace and love on the planet Earth?

Oh-whooa, come on and sing it with me,

Peridot: Sing?

StevenThe words relate with the key

Peridot: Key?

SpinelIt's like a pattern, it's like a pattern...

StevenAnd just repeat after me!

Spinel & StevenLife and love and death and birth...

PeridotLife and love and death and birth.

StevenNow you sing mi-fa-mi-mi-fa-mi-ta-la!

Peridot, Spinel, & StevenAnd peace and war on the planet Earth!

Spinel giggled, "That's a wonderful song, sweetheart!"

"I... I guess I agree," mumbled Peridot, blushing slightly.

"Thanks!" Steven bowed, still playing his ukulele, "It's fun to write songs! You should try!"

"W-Why?"

"Cause it's fun!" Spinel got up, holding Peridot and spinning on one foot before placing her down, "It can be about anything!"

"Anything?"

"Anything!" Steven passed by her, strumming.

PeridotI guess we're already here, I guess we already know.

We've all got something to fear, we've all got nowhere to go.

I think you're all insane! But I guess I am too.

Anybody would be if they were stuck on Earth with you.

Steven: Yes! Life and death and love and birth and...

AmethystLife and death and love and birth and...

PearlLife and death and love and birth and peace and war on the planet Earth...

GarnetIs there anything that's worth more?

SpinelIs there anything that's worth more?

PeridotIs there anything that's worth more than peace and love the planet Earth...


Later that night...

"Nice work," Garnet said while patting Peridot's back, scaring her. The other Gems laughed. Finally, after a few days of hard work and cooperation, they finished building the drill.

Peridot laughed nervously, "We really did it, huh?"

"Of course!" Spinel picked her up and hugged her, Steven joining in.

But the green Gem realized something, "Oh wait, I need to check something!" He got out of Spinel's arms and ran into the drill.

"She's come so far," said Steven, "It was almost like yesterday she was trying to kill us."

Spinel nodded, "So glad to have a new best-"

Peridot poked her head out of the drill, "Coordinates! We still need the Cluster's exact coordinates in order to drill!"

Pearl thought for a moment, "There's a Diamond Base that may hold that information, but getting there is going to be difficult."

Steven could see Spinel tense up, her lip curling into a nervous frown. "How come?"

"Because it's not accessible by warp pad. And it's on..." She pointed the moon.

The white orb reflected in Steven's eyes as he gasped, "The mooooooon!"

"Yes Steven, the moon."

As Steven went to Lion to tell him they need to go to the moon, Spinel looked at Pearl, "P-Pearl, do we have to?"

Pearl nodded, a glint of sadness in her eyes, "Yes. It's the only way to save Earth."

Spinel stood there, then slouched slightly, feeling downhearted.


At the Moon Base

Lion, with Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl on his back, while Steven, Peridot, and Spinel in his mane, landed roughly on the floor, sliding and bumping into the wall. Both Peridot and Spinel got out of the giant cat's mane and Steven inspected him.

Spinel looked around her, staring at the murals of the Diamonds. Then finding a Pink Diamond mural. She completely ignored what was happening behind her, but then Steven landed on her, which snapped her out of her thoughts.

"Isn't it awesome?!" Steven asked excitedly, "We're on the moon!"

Spinel tried to give him a smile, "Yeah... cool."

Steven blinked, "Hey, are you okay?"

"..."

"Ah," Peridot's voice made her jump, "It seems you've found Pink Diamond."

Spinel didn't reply.

"Then if she's here, then..." Peridot ran over to another mural, showing a tall yellow figure, "There she is! Yellow Diamond!"

Steven walked over to her, asking her who that was.

But Spinel, once again, ignored their conversation or what was happening when she heard voices...

"Oh Pink, we have a gift for you..."

"What is it, Blue?"

"Here..."

"Hi!"

"Oh!"

"I'm so excited to meet you!"

"Wow! What is she?"

"Her name is Spinel. She'll be your playmate from now on."

"Oooh! I love her so much! Thank you, Blue!"

Pearl patted her shoulder, "Spinel?"

Spinel yelped, seeing reality come back to her and everyone else, even Peridot, was staring at her with confusion and concern. She let out a breathless laugh, "S-Sorry about that, I just blanked out. I'm fine!"

"If... you're sure," Pearl spoke, Spinel knowing all too well that she didn't buy it.


They reached the top floor, and Steven saw the that ceiling about them was a glass dome, the planet Earth seen from thousands of miles away, "We really are on the moon."

"Oh my goodness!" Peridot ran over to the console, "This looks like it could be brand new! I mean, it's a relic by today's standards, but golly! It's so elegant, so simple, so perfect!"

As Peridot worked on the panel and Steven allowed her to sit on the throne, Pearl walked over to Spinel, wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulder, whispering.

"I should've stayed."

"We're already here."

"I want to leave right now."

"It'll only take a minute. And don't worry Spinel, I'm right here."

Spinel clasped the pale Gem's hand, and Peridot finally got the system working, "There we go. This is a really old system." She searched through the files, and found it, "Aha! There's the insertion point. Looks like the Beta Kindergarten in Facet Nine. It's the smaller of the two, not nearly as impressive as yours, Amethyst."

"Uh... thanks?" Amethyst awkwardly took the 'compliment'.

"But where is the Cluster now?" asked Pearl.

"Hang on..." Peridot looked through the file closer and showed a picture, "There it is! It's embedded deep into the mantle, relative to the barn, its roughly two thousand five hundred units down. All we need to do is feed this data to the drill and we should be all set."

"S-So... are we done?" Spinel murmured, hopeful.

"Yep!" Pearl replied, hoping to lighten her up, "Mission accomplished!"

Steven pumped a fist up, "Yeah team!"

"Great," grumbled Amethyst as she and the others began to walk away, "Let's get the heck out of here."

Spinel let out a breath of relief, but she and everyone else stopped when Peridot said, "It was used for planning a colony. Here, look." Walking back, Spinel and the other Gems saw a map of Earth with several red coordinates.

"So here is a map of all structures that were originally built on Earth. All told, this probably only accounts for maybe, five percent of what was originally planned."

Steven tilted his head, "What was original plan?"

"Well," Peridot typed on the panel, "Let's take a look."

Much to Spinel's (and the other's) horror, the Earth hologram hollowed out with holes, white rings forming and several spires appeared around it. Pink's original plan before...

"Ta-da!" Peridot announced, "A finished Earth colony! Wow, look at this! Eighty-nine kindergartens, sixty-seven spires, a Galaxy Warp in each facet, efficient use of all available materials. What were you thinking, shutting this operation down? It could've been great!"

"No! You're wrong!" yelled Garnet.

Peridot became confused, "What do you mean? It's perfect, look at it."

"We are looking at it," Pearl growled.

Amethyst crossed her arms, "Yeah, this plan stinks!"

"Completing this colony would have meant the extinction of all life on Earth!" Garnet angrily continued.

Steven cowered away as Peridot tried to stand her ground, "But think of the good it would have done. The Gems that would have been made, our Empire expanded!"

Spinel glared at the shorter Gem, eyes spiraling and pigtails bristling, "'The good'? Are you even listening to yourself? The sights I've shown you wouldn't have existed if Earth was destroyed!"

Pearl stepped beside her, "Rose Quartz believed all life was precious, and worth protecting."

Peridot scoffed, "Well, if she wanted to protect it, she did a lousy job! There'd be no Cluster if the Earth had stayed a colony. Now there's no colony, and there's gonna be no Earth, so thank you, Rose Quartz! You doomed the planet!"

At once, Spinel, Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst all glowered at her.

Steven nervously laughed, feeling the tension rise, "Is there anything worth more than-"

But already frustrated with everything that was happening, Spinel made the first move before Garnet could, grabbing Peridot by the tunic and hurling her to the ground a few feet away. Despite their newfound anger, the Crystal Gems gasped in shock, especially when Spinel clenched her fists, expanding them a bit and raised them up.

Steven knew what she was going to do, "Spinel!"

"Spinel, do you mind entertaining me?"

"Of course not, my Diamond!"

Laughter ran in her head, making her pause and a flash flew in front of her eyes.

"Oh my! Look at her go, Pearl!"

"Ah ha ha, all those on one finger?"

"And that ain't all I can do! Like me to add more balls?"

"Please do!"

Spinel continued to hear more laughter, and with a shrill scream, she pounded her fists onto the console, smashing it into half. Everyone else, even Peridot, watched in horror.

When she finished, her shoulders trembled, moving up and down in sync with her panting. But she straightened up, and headed towards the stairs, stopping near Peridot. "To think you'd changed your mind." She spoke darkly before walking downstairs.

A few seconds after that, Pearl ran to follow the pink Gem, followed by Amethyst, and then Garnet, stopping and staring at the scared Gem.

"Don't ever talk about things you don't understand," The fusion snarled before walking downstairs.

Peridot got up, wobbling slightly. She touched her punched cheek, and her eyes shimmered with small tears.

"... I... I was just stating a fact," She said to no one, "The Cluster wouldn't have been there if the Rebellion didn't happen."

Steven decided to answer for her, "They didn't know about it. And... that's not the way they see it. They've spent thousand of years trying to protect the Earth. I thought maybe, you finally understood why."

Steven began to walk down the stairs as well, but noticed Peridot skittering back to the throne, picking up a prism and running past him and downstairs.

However, the boy noticed it, and he frowned.