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Steven Universe Christmas Calendar

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Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 1: What is Christmas?

Beach City…

”Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way”

Steven was humming to himself while pottering about outside his home. It was in the afternoon, on a slightly grey and sullen day, but the young man was in high spirits anyways. He was currently putting up some light strands in a spruce on the deck just outside the door of his house. He was standing on a stool to reach the top of the spruce and put the finishing touch on the decorations.

”Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open slei-”

”STEVEN!”

”-ghah!” A very sudden and very loud noise startled him, and Steven fell off the stool, landing bottom first on the cold, hard floor. ”Ow,” he muttered, more annoyed than anything as he looked up at the source of the noise; three very tall ladies looking back down at him.

”Hi Steven!” said White Diamond. ”It’s us, the Diamonds!”

”Yeah, I can see that,” Steven mumbled as he got back up. ”What are you doing here?” he asked. He considered asking them how they had managed to sneak up so quietly, but decided against it.

”Oh, we were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by on our way back to Homeworld,” Blue said.

”Right…” Steven said. For some reason, he had difficulty believing that the Diamonds just so happened to ’be in the neighborhood.’ But whatever, he had more important things to do. He jumped into the air, floating momentarily by the top of the spruce. He quickly corrected the light strand and placed a bright yellow star on top of the tree.

He landed back on the floor (a lot more gracefully this time). Finally, the time had come! He had spent yesterday, and a good deal of today setting this up, and now it was time…

The Diamonds watched with great fascination as Steven sauntered over to an electric outlet and plugged a power strip into it. Suddenly, several light strands lit up all at once. In the spruce and on the deck, and decorating the house itself. The inviting yellow lights created a bubble of warmth around the cozy little house.

The Diamonds stood just outside that bubble.

”Whoa…” Yellow whispered in awe at the pretty colors.

”That’s so pretty, Steven!” Blue exclaimed. ”Did you make this yourself?”

”Yep,” Steven said, trying to play it cool, but at the same time craving that sweet, sweet praise and validation. ”Took me some time, but really, it wasn’t that hard… just had to set up some lights, connect everything with proper wires and connect everything with timers… pretty easy, actually.”

”Oh Steven, you’re so talented!” Blue said, clapping her hands enthusiastically.

”Ah, no, it’s nothing, really,” Steven laughed. Aaaaaaand maybe he had asked Peridot to modify a few things here and there to avoid causing a fire, but the Diamonds didn’t need to know that.

”But…” White suddenly spoke up. She had stayed quiet for a few minutes, watching Steven with a curious frown. ”What is this for?” She was pointing at a sign Steven had put on the Beach.

’Landing Zone’ it said, with a silhouette of a man in a sled pulled by a group of reindeers.

”Oh, that’s for Santa!” Steven said.

”…and who is this ’Santa’” Yellow asked, the trio of space queens getting more and more confused by the second.

”Hmm…. Santa Claus is a man who delivers presents every Christmas to everyone who has been nice,” Steven explained.

”Kriss-muss?”

”Santa Claws?”

”Presents?”

xxXXxx

A While Later…

The Diamonds were hanging out around the big hill, thinking about this ’Christmas’ and ’Santa Claus’ that Steven had told them about.

”Only on Earth,” Blue mused. ”Only on Earth would you find a holiday devoted to giving gifts to others, just because they have been kind.”

”It does sound nice,” Yellow admitted. ”But the story of Santa sounds a bit… strange to me.”

White hadn’t said anything, only listening and gazing out into nothing. Her thoughts were indecipherable.

”It does raise a lot of questions…” Blue admitted.

”Hey!” A tinier voice shouted at the three. It was the Crystal Gems’ Pearl, standing n top of the hill, looking at the three Diamonds hanging around. ”Steven wonders if you’re going to stay over for dinner?”

Yellow opened her mouth to answer, but she was interrupted by White.

”Pearl…” she said. She peered around the hill to make sure Steven wasn’t in hearing distance. She then extended her hand towards Pearl.

Pearl rolled her eyes, but stepped onto White’s hand and let the enormous empress bring her closer.

”We were wondering…” White said. Pink light on her face revealed a bit of embarrassment that she even had to ask. ”We were wondering about… Santa Claus?”

”Hm?” Now it was Pearl’s turn to be confused. ”What is it you’re wondering about Santa?”

”Well… Yellow said. ”How does one man deliver presents to everyone on Earth who has been nice? There must be many millions, if not several billions of individuals that fit that description. Furthermore, where does he get all the presents from? And how can he know if someone has been good or bad? Does he monitor everyone on the planet, all at once, all year? It seems impossible!”

”Oh, he doesn’t,” Pearl said. ”Santa’s not real.”

”WHAT!?”

xxXXxx

On the way back to Homeworld…

Yellow and Blue paced back and forth inside the Diamond Authority’s flagship heading back for Homeworld. White was leaning against a wall, her head lowered and deep in thought.

Pearl had told them everything she knew about Christmas and Santa Claus. About the legends, the history, and the reality; that it was actually Steven’s dad who dressed up in red every year to deliver presents to the boy.

”Poor Steven,” Blue said. ”He seemed so excited when he told us about Christmas and Santa…” She sobbed loudly. ”…but it’s all based on a lie!” She started crying, large tears rolling down her cheeks.

If you asked her, Yellow would most likely claim that her crying was ONLY caused by Blue’s aura… though if that’s the truth will remain a mystery. Regardless, Yellow too started crying.

”Yes… it’s tragic,” she said in between her sobs.

White shed a single tear, but the blue glowing on her face showed that the sadness went deep.

”What if he finds out? WHEN he finds out?” Blue said. ”He told us Christmas was his favorite holiday, didn’t he?”

”Yes he did,” Yellow agreed. ”He’s going to be devastated when he finds out…”

”NO!” The sudden shouting startled Yellow and Blue and they stopped in their tracks. White now stood straight, the sad blue on her face replaced with a warm, determined orange.

”Steven is NOT going to find out that Santa isn’t real,” White said. ”Because WE are going to make Santa real!”

 

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 2: Somewhere on Homeworld…

Once the Diamonds made it back to their Homeworld, they wasted no time. Immediately, they sent out a message to the entirety of the gem empire, save Earth, of course.

Enormous screens lit up every dark corner, chasing away the cold shadows.

The three gem matriarchs told their subjects of this most wonderful holiday they had heard of. They told them of all the joys the people of Earth got to experience every year. They told them of all the cheerful songs and celebrations, the games and fun. And most important of all, they told them about Santa Claus, this symbol of generosity and kindness that inspired everyone to be the best and kindest person they could be.

Throughout the galaxy, gems were in awe. To think… truly, only on Earth could they ever have something like this! Many gems had never before even considered the idea of giving something away… and yet, Earth had an entire holiday dedicated to giving gifts to your friends and family and even complete strangers.

The Diamonds told them of their grand plan. To make Santa Claus real!

The idea was met with joyous cheers, applause and many gems excitedly exclaiming ”Merry Christmas!”

”Merry Christmas!”

”Merry Christmas!”

”Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year too!”

But everyone was not so happy.

There was someone on Homeworld who was crying. Who saw Christmas from another perspective. Who was alone as the shadows once banished by the bright screens returned and darkened her mind and soul, her very life.

Somewhere on Homeworld, tears turned to ice.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 3: Dropship Drop

Like a well maintained and finely tuned machine, the Diamonds’ grand plan was set in motion. Billions upon billions of gems had volunteered to assist in making Santa real.

Factories that had once manufactured weapons were now producing toys and trinkets. Spaceships once used to conquer were repurposed to haul enormous quantities of gifts. Soldiers that had once invaded were taught to deliver presents.

They only had a few weeks to prepare, but the gem empire was vast and with a lot of unoccupied workforce since their expansionist ways were halted.

One of the countless examples could be found on Yvansiehs, formerly known as Colony N1-W25. The colony had several dropships, formerly used to carry troops and resources. Now, they were being refurbished and remade for a much nobler purpose.

”You are doing a great job,” Yellow Diamond praised the team of Bismuths working on painting the haul of the ship.

”Thanks a bunch!” The team leader was beaming with pride over herself and her team. ”Just you wait, my Diamond, we’ll have these babies up and flying in no ti-”

「KA-BOOM!!」

The Bismuth was rudely interrupted by an enormous explosion.

Yellow spun around and was met by the dropship behind her in flames. What the… an accident? A malfunction in the-

「KA-BOOM!!」

A second explosion went off, destroying a large part of the ship's landing gear. The giant saucer began tipping… right onto a crowd of gems standing under it, too terrified to move.

Yellow rushed forward and caught the ship in one of her hands, saving the gems under it from being crushed.

Out of the corner of her eye, Yellow noticed something.

A ship. Moving away.

"Oh no you don’t!” she yelled and sent a bolt of lightning towards the ship before it had time to warp away. The charge wasn’t enough to destroy the ship, but it was enough to fry all of its systems and make it drop from the sky.

Yellow quickly turned to the group of Bismuths she had been talking to a moment earlier.

”Apprehend whoever was on that ship,” she said. ”Use any force necessary, barring lethal. Is that understood?”

”Yes, My Diamond!” the Bismuth team leader said, reflexively saluting, before moving towards the ship with her team.

Yellow turned her attention back to the ship that had exploded. She grabbed ahold of it both hands, and lifted it off of its landing pad, putting it down on an empty one.

”Is everyone alright?” she asked the group of gems that had very nearly been crushed.

"Y-yes, thanks to you,” a Peridot said. She looked over at the burning wreck that had once been a proud gem spaceship. "What even happened? Could one of the generators have malfunctioned?”

”Last time I checked, most dropships don’t put their generators anywhere close to the landing gear,” Yellow said grimly. ”And they don’t explode twice. No, this was an attack.”

She walked over to the wreckage of the ship he had blasted out of the sky. A large crowd had gathered around it, with gems looking confused and afraid.

Yellow scanned the crowd and found the Bismuth team leader.

”Well?” she said. ”What did you find?”

”Um… nothing,” the Bismuth said. ”The ship was empty.”

Yellow raised her eyebrow. ”Was the hatch open?”

”No, it was closed shut," the Bismuth said. ”We had to force it open.” She gestured towards the ship. Looking closely, Yellow could see that the hatch had been cut open.

”I see…” Yellow muttered to herself. ”The perpetrator must have set the ship on autopilot as a distraction in order to get away undetected…”

”And, uh… we found this,” the Bismuth team leader said, and held up a piece of metal. ”This was scribbled on the panel inside the ship.”

Yellow took the piece of metal in her fingers and looked at it closely. Something was written on it in shaking, squiggly lines.

i am thE wintER ShaDOw
I wiLl dEstry KhRistmaS

Her fist was shaking with rage and she barely contained the urge to crush the metal plate in her hand.

”Increase security immediately!” Yellow barked. ”I want it doubled, nay, tripled! Guards, sweep the area! I want the one responsible for this found!”

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 4: Who is the Winter Shadow?

”… but they were unable to find any suspicious gems,” Yellow finished recounting the happenings on Yvansiehs to Blue and White, both of whom were frowning deeply.

” I assume you increased the security?” Blue asked.

”Of course, Yellow replied. ”The Amethyst and Topaz guard force was doubled, and has received the aid of several Agate’s and Ruby squads, and I have similarly increased security on any other of my old colonies that might be a potential target.”

”I shall do the same on my old colonies as well,” Blue said. She tapped her chin, deep in thought. ”There were no traces of the attacker at all?”

”Only this,” Yellow said, and held up the piece of metal with the message inscribed on it.

Blue squinted and looked at it closely. White remained silent but glanced at the message as well.

”’ I am the Winter Shadow. I will destroy Christmas…’” she read from it.” So whoever’s behind this really is targeting Christmas…”

”So it seems,” Yellow said.

”The writing seems burned into the metal,” Blue noted.

”Yes. One of the Peridots said it looked like marks left from a welder, or possible a plasma weapon of some kind,” Yellow said.

”That would explain the shaky writing,” White mumbled. ”It would be a bit difficult to write properly with a welder.”

”It would be…” Blue said and thought for a bit. ”Yellow, did you check the ship’s computer? It should have a record of which gem last accessed its controls.”

”I already tried that,” Yellow said. ”But I unfortunately fried all the circuits when I blasted it out of the sky. All data was lost. Even the black box was beyond saving.”

”We might be able to draw some conclusions from it still, ” White said. ”The perpetrator was able to operate a scouting ship and has access to welders, or possibly some plasma weapon or tool. Furthermore, they must have some knowledge of explosives and the interior of dropships, considering how effective those bombs were.”

”Hm… could it be…?” Blue said thoughtfully. ”Maybe… a Peridot?”

”Perhaps… However, let’s not jump to conclusions,” White said. ”There’s still a lot of information missing, and there might be other gems that possess the same knowledge and skills. For all we know, it could be a disgruntled upper crust. Remember, there were some that were… less than happy about some of the changes we’ve made these last two years.”

”We also must not dismiss the possibility that this ’Winter Shadow’ might not be alone,” Yellow said. ”It could be a group of insubordinate gems conspiring together.”

The three Diamonds fell silent, their minds each occupied with the mystery at hand.

While thinking, Blue gazed out the window. The sun was still high in the sky, and yet… it seemed darker than before. As if a shadow had draped Homeworld in its dark cape.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 5: This Means (Snowball) War! Act 1

Back on Earth…

「BEEP BEEP BEEP」

The ugly cry of the alarm clock pulled Steven out of his peaceful slumber, and into the cold world of the waking. He rubbed sand out of his eyes while stumbling out of his bed.

”…cold,” he mumbled to himself while yawning. He walked over to the window. ”I wonder if this means…” He interrupted himself as he opened the curtains, letting in the pale light of the winter sun.

His lips widened into a smile at the sight of what was outside.

”Snow!”

xxXXxx

Approximately one hour and six minutes later, Steven had gathered the core Crystal Gems, alongside Connie and the B-Team outside on a snow-covered field. He had divided the group into two, lined up and facing each other.

On one side, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, the other Connie, Bismuth, Peridot, and Lapis. Steven was walking between the two lines, looking very serious.

”As you can all see…” he said. ”…snow has fallen. I trust you all understand what this means?”

”It’s a natural phenomenon that occurs sometimes when it gets cold?” Peridot asked hesitantly.

”No!” Steven exclaimed. ”This. Means. Snowball War!” he punctuated for emphasis.

”Snowball… war?” Peridot said, looking puzzled. Bismuth and Lapis seemed to share her confusion. How and why exactly does one wage war against snow?

”Yeah! It’s like a game where you throw snowballs at each other,” Steven explained.

”But why though?” Peridot asked.

Steven shrugged. ”Cause it’s fun.”

Peridot raised her eyebrow. She experimentally took some snow off of the ground and shaped it into a ball.

She chucked it at Garnet’s leg.

”Hah! You’re right, it IS fun!” she exclaimed.

”Pelting people with ice does sound entertaining…” Lapis agreed.

”I think I can get behind it,” Bismuth said.

”Great,” Steven said. ”Cause we are gonna have a fight.” Suddenly, a far more sinister smirk crept across his face. He fell in line with his core Crystal Gems group. ”Us versus you. We’ll play a round of ’capture the flag.’” He threw a small orange flag to Connie.

”The rules are simple. We’ll construct two snow fortresses at each end of this field, twenty-four meters apart. We get twenty minutes to do this. We’ll place our flags inside the fortresses. The objective is to capture the other group’s flag and take it back to your own base. Whoever does this first wins. If someone from the opposing team hits you with a snowball, you have to walk at normal walking pace to that tree over there…” he pointed at a tree, standing about fifteen meters away, ”…touch it and count to twelve, before you can join back in the fight.”

He looked everyone in the opposing team in the eyes, one by one.

”You are allowed to block snowballs with your hands, but if they hit your body anywhere else, it counts. No tackling or other direct physical attacks are permitted. Only one person may stay in the snow fortress at once. If someone carrying the flag gets hit, they drop it to the ground where they stand. The other team may return it to their own fortress if they can.”

He made a dramatic pause.

”Do you understand and accept these rules?” he asked.

”Yessir!” the B-Team said in unison.

”Good,” Steven said. ”Then let the Crystal Gems’ first official Snowball War… Begin!”

Thusly began the twenty minutes of preparation. The B-Team quickly hurried off to their end of the field, while the Core Team stayed and began construction of their fortress. It would be a rather simple design, with a front wall and side walls created by piling up snow and pressing it to make it harder.

It was decided that Pearl would stay and act as a guardian while the rest of the team formed the advance force.

”Hey, Steven, are you sure this is fair?” Pearl asked. They had just finished the fortress and were stacking up on snowballs. ”I mean, we have played with you before, and so has Connie, but Lapis, Peridot, and Bismuth have never played this game before.”

”Oh, I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Steven said. ”I mean, they’re Crystal Gems too, remember.” He paused and thought for a moment. ”B’sides, we don’t have to go all out on them.”

The egg timer they had set twenty minutes ago rang, announcing the end of the beginning of this war.

”Alright, time's up!" Steven yelled. ”Ready or not, let's begi-”

He fell silent the moment he turned the corner. He had been so busy with his own, that he paid any attention to what the B-Team had been doing.

On the other side of the field stood a gigantic fortress. Not just a glorified wall of snow, but an actual fortress, with steep walls of ice and a high and mighty tower. It even had a friggin moat! Bismuth and Connie were standing in the tower, the later smirking smugly.

Lapis and Peridot hovered over the fortress, the later standing on a large cannon.

”Hey Steven,” Amethyst said nervously. ”Do you think Lapis can control sno-”

With but a gesture, Lapis levitated about three dozen or so snowballs into the air next to her.

”Aw shoot," Steven cursed.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 6: This Means (Snowball) War! Act 2

”Yeah, we’re just about done over here, how about you? Are you ready, or do you need a minute?” Bismuth yelled from across the field, a wide grin plastered on her face.

”Why you cheeky little…” Pearl muttered through clenched teeth while shaking her fist.

”We’re ready as can be!” Steven shouted back. ”Alright, this might be tougher than we first thought, but the plan stays the same, ” he whispered to his teammates. ”Pearl, you stay and guard the flag. Amethyst, Garnet, you keep the enemy busy on the field while I go for the flag. Everyone got it?”

”Yessir!”

Steven nodded solemnly.

”Very well then. Let’s begin.”

With a mighty battle cry, the Crystal Gems charged into battle once again, as they had done many times before. They had seen many difficult challenges and fights before, but this one might prove to be the toughest yet.

At the sight of the enemy team charging forward, Bismuth laughed madly and jumped from the tower. She landed, and like a meteorite, stirred up a large cloud of snow. Then, like a wild rhino, she rushed forward, straight towards her enemy.

However! This straight forward approach left her vulnerable!

Bismuth transformed her hands into giant ice cream scoops. She scooped up some snow and chucked them at Garnet and Amethyst, both of whom swiftly dodged.

「POFF」

Before she had time to reload, Steven planted a snowball on her chest.

”Aw, shucks,” Bismuth cursed and hung her head in shame. ”Well, I did my best,” she said and started walking off the battlefield.

Steven shot a look back to the fortress. Pearl met his gaze and nodded in understanding.

Steven turned his attention back to the field in front of him… barely in time to jump out of the way of the massive volley of snowballs raining down on him from the sky.

”Nyahahahaha! Behold!” a certain green space dorito laughed. Peridot was balancing on her large cannon, hovering over the field. ”The latest achievement of my genius! The Snowcaster M1 1000!” The giant cannon fired another volley of snowballs. ”It’s called that because it’s the first model, and it can launch up to one thousand snowballs per minute.”

While Steven was sure that the technical specs of the snow cannon were very impressive, at that moment, he wasn't particularly interested in listening to Peridot’s technobabble. He was more concerned with staying out of the way.

 

He jumped to the left, took a step backward, weaved to the right… slipped and fell.

”Nyehehehe… Now, perish!” Peridot said. She then giggled and looked very pleased with herself. ”Get it? Perish? Peri-ish? Cause my name is Peri-dot?” The cannon fired again, sending a hundred snowballs towards the defenseless Steven…

At the lasts second, he was pushed out of the way by a familiar purple shorty.

”Yeah, we get it, it just wasn’t that funny,” Amethyst said. She threw a snowball at Peridot.

”Ha! Your futile attempts at attacking me are, uh… futile! Behold, my invincible magnetic shield!” Peridot yelled. With an overly dramatic gesture, she brought a bunch of metal plates into the air. Amethyst’s snowball hit the shield with a pathetic ’poff.’ ”And that pun WAS funny!”

”Steven, go!” Amethyst said. ”Get to the fortress. I can handle her.”

”A-are you sure?” Steven asked, eyeing the large snow cannon.

”Yeah, I got this,” Amethyst said confidently, while very narrowly dodging another volley from the Snowcaster M1 1000.

”If you say so,” Steven muttered and started running again.

”Hey, get back here!” Peridot yelled from above. ”I’m not gonna let you get away that easily!” She took aim with the Snowcaster…

”Oi! I’m the one who’s going to be your opponent!” Amethyst shouted, and chucked a snowball at her.

Peridot casually raised her shields to block the snowball.

”Hmph, as you wish then,” Peridot sneered. ”I’ll have you know that I once admired you, Amethyst, for your natural skills and talent for battle. However, I have since then surpassed you! My intellect and magnetic power make your abilities look paltry in comparison.” She turned the Snowcaster towards Amethyst, who was standing defiant on the ground, even as Peridot loomed over her. ”Now, if you wish to be eliminated by the great Peridot, then so be it! Prepare to be buried in sno-”

”Prepare this!” Amethyst interrupted her and threw another snowball as hard as she could… only for it to sail right past Peridot.

”Wow,” she said, a bemused look on her face. ”That wasn’t even close. Were you even trying with that one?”

”Try this!” Amethyst yelled, and spin dashed around in a circle.

”Ha! I see!” Peridot exclaimed. ”You’re using your spin dash to throw all the balls produced by my Snowcaster back at me!”

Indeed, Amethyst was rolling through the many piles of snowballs on the ground, sending them flying right back to the source.

”I’ll admit, that’s a clever tactic, though thoroughly futile against me!” Peridot said with a confident smirk on her face. ”My shields will protect me from any and all attacks you throw against me. Behold!” She exerted her magnetic powers on the shields around her to pull them closer.

「POFF」

 

”W-WHAT!?” Peridot yelled in surprise. Something hit her, right in the shoulder. The force nearly pushed her off the cannon. ”I-impossible!” she stuttered and craned her neck to see what had hit her. It was… a snowball. No, wait… there was something inside it!

The snow fell off revealing that inside of the snowball was a metal bolt.

The penny dropped inside Peridot’s head.

”The snowball you threw earlier!” she said while teetering on top of her cannon. ”You had placed a bolt inside of it so that it would be attracted to me when I used my magnetic power on my shields.” She waved her arms, desperately trying to keep her balance, but to no avail. ”Nyaaaaaargh!” She fell.

”Yeah, that’s about it,” Amethyst said while watching Peridot fall. ”Your intellect and powers truly are great. You have every right to be confident. However, be careful. While you can never have too much confidence, if that confidence instead turns into arrogance, then your downfall is all but assured.”

Peridot landed face first in a snowbank.

”Bah!” Peridot stood back up, covered in snow from head to toe. ”You clod!” she cursed. ”That doesn’t count! It wasn’t you that hit me! I hit myself.”

”Eh, fair enough,” Amethyst shrugged.

”Ha! That’s right, I’m not out of the game ye-”

「POFF」

A snowball to the face promptly shut her up.

”Hot dang, I’m awesome,” Amethyst verbally patted herself on the back. ”Now let’s see if I can’t help to get-”

「POFF POFF POFF POFF POFF POFF POFF POFF」

”W-what?” The breath was knocked out of Amethyst as at least half a dozen snowballs suddenly hit her, all at once. Her vision was blurred, but she didn’t need to see to know what it was that had hit her.

”Lapis!” Amethyst cried as she crashed into a snowbank.

The blue water witch chuckled.

”Hehehe… Hot dang, I’m awesome,” she said.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents

Chapter 7: This Means (Snowball) War! Act 3

”Amethyst, no!” Steven cried out as he watched his friend go flying.

”Hehehe… Too easy,” Lapis chuckled evilly. She turned towards Steven with a mad grin. ”And now… it’s your turn. Snowball Splash!”

She blasted a bunch of snowballs towards Steven.

”S-such terrifying speed!” Steven said. ”I-I won’t be able to dodge!”

”ORA!” Garnet roared. She jumped in front of Lapis barrage of snowballs. ”ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!” She blocked them with a series of rapid punches.

”Steven, run!” she yelled. ”Get the flag. I’ll handle her.”

”But Garnet…”

”GO!”

And so, Steven Universe was forced to abandon his friend for the second time during that war. Two times too many.

’Amethyst… your sacrifice will not be in vain,’ Steven thought as he ran towards the fortress. ’We WILL win this war! Garnet, please hold out!’

”Tsk, tsk… you intend to face me alone?” Lapis asked Garnet. The water witch hovered above the fusion, literally (as well as figuratively) looking down upon her. ”Although I suppose you are never alone, eh?”

”Hmph,” Garnet snorted. She adjusted her visor. ”Yare yare, what a pain. This game was meant to be fun.”

”Oh, but this is fun!” Lapis said. ”I haven’t had this much fun in ages!” She summoned forth a dozen snowballs. ”Snowball Splash!” A volley of frozen projectiles shot towards Garnet.

”ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!” Once again, she blocked them all with swift punches.

”Hm… I see,” Lapis nodded. ”Your future vision allows you to predict the trajectory of the balls I throw, and you’re using that to block them.” A dark aura seemingly surrounded Lapis. She gestured with her hands, and several large snowballs rose into the air. ”Which is why I will be ending this within the next thirty seconds.”

”Then I will be ending this within the next thirty-two seconds,” Garnet said.

”Ahahaha! Big words coming from you, you powerless little insignificant thing. Fighting against me is useless. Useless, useless, useless!” Lapis sent the large snowballs against Garnet, with enough force to kill most mortal men.

” ORA! ORA! ORA! OR-Argh!” Garnet blocked them all, but the force was enough to send her flying backward. She grunted as she slid through the snow, digging down into the dirt below.

”Muahahahaha!” Lapis laughed maniacally while rocketing towards Garnet. ”And now, without pause, my final attack! This shall be the last snowball I throw at you, Garnet! I will end this within the last nine seconds I have given myself to defeat you”

Lapis touched down on the ground briefly, before jumping back into the air.

”Nine seconds left.”

”Eight seconds left.”

”Seven seconds left.”

For some reason, Lapis had disappeared out of Garnet’s field of view where she laid in a pile of snow.

”Six seconds left.”

However, Garnet had abandoned all thought. No matter what Lapis’ plan was, or what attack she might unleash, all Garnet had to do was block it and then finish her off.

”Five seconds left.”

’The one thing that I know, Lapis,” Garnet thought. ’Is that the next time I see you, I probably going to bust a vein!’

”Four seconds left.”

’Bring it on, Lapis Lazuli!”

Three seconds left.”

A giant shadow suddenly loomed over Garnet, and she gasped in shock at what she saw.

”It’s a giant snowball!” Lapis screamed as she crashed down on the ground with a giant snowball.

Garnet grunted in pain as she tried to block it, her strength barely enough to withstand the impact.

”ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA !”

 

”It’s too late! You cannot escape!” Lapis howled. Her ´wings reshaped into giant fists and she began pounding the snowball with all her might. ”Its’ useless! Useless Useless Useless Useless Useless Useless Useless!”

”ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!”

”Useless Useless Useless Useless Useless Useless! Two seconds left! I will hit you!”

”ORA!” With one last mighty cry, Garnet tried to keep the snowball off her, but it was too much for her.

「KA-POFF!!」

The snowball hit the ground, crushing Garnet beneath it.

”One second left,” Lapis said, out of breath. She stood atop the giant snowball, victory finally hers. ”I did it. It’s over.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She then let it out, as maniacal laughter. ”Muahahaha! This proves that none can surpass Lapis Lazuli,” Lapis suddenly started talking about herself in the third person. ”Puny Crystal Gems! They shall bow before my power and might! Muahahahaha! Now, I should probably go and tag Steven and then take their flag.”

Lapis readied herself to fly away when…

”W-what?” Her wings refused to work. ”I… why can’t I… my wings, they are…”

”They are frozen,” a familiar voice said behind her. ”Because I froze them.”

Lapis craned her neck to see behind her. And indeed, there stood Garnet, looking as fine as ever. And Lapis wings… they were frozen on her back.

”C-cheater!” Lapis cried. ”I know for a fact that I hit you, you are out! You are not allowed to play anymore until you’ve touched the tree and counted to twelve!”

”I know the rules,” Garnet said. ”And you didn’t hit me. Right before the snowball crushed me, I unfused. Ruby used her heat to melt a hole in the snowball right before it could touch us.” Garnet adjusted her visor again. ”Then, during your monologue, Sapphire dug a hole up here and froze your wings.”

Lapis felt a strong hand on her shoulder.

”And now… it won’t even take a second to finish you of.”

Garnet gave Lapis a light push, and the mighty water witch fell very clumsily and undignified to the ground.

”Pah! This isn’t over yet!” Lapis yelled while trying to stand back up. ” I will defe-”

「POFF」

”Gosh darn it to the heck,” Lapis cursed.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 8: This Means (Snowball) War! Act 4

 

Steven had finally made it. He had arrived at the enemy’s fortress. It was time to end this.

He jumped into the air. His floating powers made the steep walls of Bismuth’s fortress useless. He would just float past them!

He flew upwards, towards the high tower.

Connie was ready for him however and threw a snowball towards him…

But Steven was quicker on the draw! He had made a snowball before jumping and threw it towards Connie’s. Steven’s ball, however, was encased in a bubble shield. Connie’s snowball was turned to powder, while Steven’s continued forward.

”Hmph.” Connie grabbed the flag next to her.

The shield bubble popped only a second before it should have hit her. That one second was all she needed though. Connie used the stick of the flag as a makeshift sword to slice the incoming snowball in half.

”We underestimated you,” Steven said as he landed on the edge of the tower.

”You sure did,” Connie said. ”Like you always do.” She quickly scooped up some snow from the floor with her free hand and squeezed it into a ball. Steven did the same.

For a second or two, they stood there, at an impasse. They eyed each other closely, waiting for a twitch or a subtle movement from the other…

”Hiyah!” Connie threw her snowball, and Steven threw his. The balls screamed death as they flew past each other and towards their intended targets.

Steven dodged Connie’s ball, while Connie sliced up Steven’s.

”Still underestimating me, I see,” Connie remarked. ”You’re hardly using your full power. You’re a lot stronger and faster than me, and you know it.”

Steven shrugged. ”Maybe. But you’re limiting yourself too, you know.” Steven pointed towards the flag Connie held tight in her hand. ”You’re holding that flag with your dominant right hand. Which you need to in order to block my snowballs. However…” Steven quickly scooped up some more snow, Connie mirroring his motions. ”…that means you’re using your ’weaker’ hand to throw with. So you’re going to be less accurate than you would otherwise.”

He threw his ball, and Connie threw hers. The same thing as before, Steven dodged Connie’s ball, and Connie sliced his.

”Still accurate enough,” Connie said. ”Besides… I don’t actually need to beat you, just keep you busy long enough.” A wide grin spread across her face. ”As long as your flag gets brought here, we will win.”

”Your next line is ’and our victory is already guaranteed,’” Stevens said.

”And our victory is already guaranteed!" Connie said. Then the realization hit her. ”W-what!?" she yelled.

”Tsk tsk… really, Connie, you didn’t think we would notice,” Steven said. ”Bismuth went down just a bit too easy, almost like she was planning on getting tagged first. Then we have Peridot and Lapis. Either of them would have kept my team busy, while the other flew to our fortress and took our flag. But they both seemed content on simply fighting us… almost as if to act as a distraction.”

xxXXxx

Meanwhile, over at the Core Team’s fortress… or rather under it…

”…and that makes fifteen meters,” Bismuth whispered to herself. According to Peridot’s calculations, she was right under the spot where the Core Team kept their flag.

Such a clever plan that Connie had come up with! Bismuth would make sure she got tagged first, and then, while everyone else was busy on the battlefield, she would dig a tunnel from the timeout tree to the Core Team’s fortress. All she had to do now was burst out from underground, snatch the flag and high tail it back to the B-Team’s fortress. And with all the commotion Peridot and Lapis were sure to cause, Pearl would be way too distracted to be able to stop her.

”Huargh!” Bismuth burst up from the ground, like a violent spring flower. She lobbed a ball of snow towards Pearl… only for there to be no Pearl to hit. The flag was gone too. ”What the-”

「POFF」

”Darn it,” Bismuth muttered.

”Nice try,” Pearl chirped. She had thrown a snowball at Bismuth from behind. ”Better luck next time.”

xxXXxx

Concurrently, at the B-Team’s fortress…

”Y-you saw through my plan?” Connie asked, shocked at the development.

”Of course,” Steven said. ”It WAS rather simple.” He shook his head. ”Joseph would be disappointed.”

Connie gritted her teeth. ”Oh shut up!” She threw another snowball at him, but Steven dodged it, and countered with his own.

”Useless!” Connie roared and sliced at it… only for her improvised sword to break. ”W-what!?”

Just underneath a thin layer of snow, was a bubble shield, which pooped right before it hit Connie.

”Y-you created a bubble just underneath the top layer of the snowbal-”

「POFF」

”Fuck!” Connie cursed.

”Thank you~,” Steven said and snatched the flag from Connie’s hand.

”Screw you, Steven Universe!” Connie yelled as Steven jumped down back to the battlefield. ”I will get you! Next year, I will finally beat you in a snowball fight!”

Steven chuckled to himself and started running back towards his own fortress, his steps a lot lighter as the winds of victory were finally on his side!

Steven was joined by Garnet.

”She is really angry,” she said.

”I know.”

Garnet smiled. ”I foresee a future with very few kisses for you, Mr. Universe"

Steven didn’t answer, he just elbowed Garnet in the side.

”Peridot! Lapis! Plan B!” Connie hollered from the tower. ”Do not let them win!”

”Yessir!” Lapis and Peridot shouted as they both sprung back into action.

Peridot used her magnetic abilities to move her cannon and aiming it at Garnet and Steven. She fired a large volley of snowballs at them.

”Watch out!” Amethyst yelled and dove in to help. She managed to push Steven out of the way, but Garnet was too slow. She tried to block the cannon’s shots, but it was too much for her.

「POFF POFF POFF POFF」

Garnet was pelted with snowballs.

”D-dang it,” she cursed under her breath as she went flying. ”Steven! Run!” she managed to yell before she crashed into a snowbank and was buried in it.

Meanwhile, Lapis wasted no time. She flew into the air and dove towards the Core Team’s fortress. Pearl tried to defend the flag, but Lapis easily deflected any snowball Pearl tried to throw. She nabbed the flag and began heading back to the B-Team fortress at maximum speed…

”Oh no, you don’t!”

「POFF」

…only to be hit in the back with a snowball thrown by Amethyst.

However, the game wasn’t over just yet! Lapis did as the rules demanded, and dropped the flag… right at Peridot’s feet.

”Peridot, it’s up to you now,” Lapis said. ”Fly, you fool.”

Peridot grabbed the flag, and one of her magnetic shields. Using her ferrokinetic powers, she lifted the shield into the air and started riding it towards the B-Team’s fortress… and although she was further away from her fortress than Steven was from his, she was a lot faster.

Steven pushed forward. He ran, faster than he ever had before. He only had seconds.

”Come on Steven!” Amethyst yelled. ”You can do it!”

”Hurry, Peridot!” Connie shouted. ”Show them the power of the B-Team!”

Then, very suddenly, a shadow loomed over them, covering the entire field. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks as they looked towards the impending doom from the sky.

”Aw shoot,” Steven cursed.

「POFF!!!!」

A veritable meteor of snow crashed down on the battlefield. It buried everyone and everything, save Connie, who was still in the B-Team fortress’ tower.

A pair of enormous hands snatched up the two flags.

”Did we win?” Blue Diamond asked hesitantly.

”I don’t know,” White said. ”We should probably ask Steven.” She started digging through the pile of snow until she found him. She hoisted him into the air by his leg. ”Hey Steven, did we win this competition?”

”…sure,” Steven muttered.

”Yay!” Blue squeed.

”I like this game,” Yellow laughed. ”It was so much fun, we should play it again!”

”…Maybe some other day,” Steven said. ”I think we’ve had enough snowball fighting for today.”

”Aww…” the Diamonds sighed.

And so ends the first Crystal Gem Snowball War… however, this story is still

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

 

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 9: More n’ More n’ More

”Jeez, you guys had a lot of fun in the snow today, eh?” Greg laughed.

The Crystal Gems had reconvened in the beach house after they had managed to dig their way out of the snow. They were now drying off in front of the fireplace. The Diamonds were hanging out outside the house, peering inside through a window.

”Ah-Choo!” Steven responded. ”Yeh, shore,” he sniffled. ”’Ee ad lot o un.”

”Ah, reminds me of that time…” Greg mused. He took his guitar and struck a few chords.

 

It was last year’s winter

At the start of March

I was going to visit Arjeplog

 

When I had gotten to I can’t remember where

The gas ran out and my van just died

It was evening, yeah, almost night

Let me tell you;

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

But the heating is excellent in my old van

So when I left I wore only

Pants of cotton, a shirt of nylon

Trunks, a blazer and suede shoes

But when I sat there for a while

Yes, I froze just like a dog!

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

When I had sat there for forty-five minutes or so

I started thinking like this;

’Well, sitting here and waiting doesn’t lead nowhere

I might as well start walking’

And I plodded and a strode

As it fell, more snow

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

I tottered forward as if I were drunk

And the snow was at least half a meter thick

I staggered, I tripped

I fell over

I decided to lie there and die

I was almost unconscious

Holy shit, it was cold!

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

I heard something coming from behind

I couldn’t even turn around

It got closer and closer, the sound grew to a roar

That’s when I realized it was the plow car

And I flew through the air

In an arc wide and high

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

Eventually, I landed far out on a mire

And it was white as far as I could see

I was freezing, I was tired, pummeled and dizzy

And I remember thinking where I lied;

’This won’t end well

This is where I die’

 

I couldn’t see a thing for all the snow that fell

And it just kept coming more n’ more n’ more

Yeah, it just kept on coming more

 

It’s said that as long as there is life, there’s hope

But now, the fire of death was dying out

And I couldn’t feel a thing in my frozen body

And I thought to myself;

*This… this is the end…’

It was on my way to Arjeplog

I froze to death and died!

 

”Argh!” Peridot rudely interrupted the song. ”Steven! Your dad is a ghost.”

”N-no, I’m still alive,” Greg said. ”It’s just a song. It’s based on this really freaky nightmare I had once…”

”Oh…” Still looking skeptical, Peridot prodded at Greg with a stick. The stick didnät pass through him.

”Hmm… I see…” Peridot mumbled.

”Yeah, what did I te-”

”…Steven must have used his healing powers to resurrect the Greg!” Peridot exclaimed.



”Sure, let’s go with that.”

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 10: Her Blue Soul, Act 1

Back on Homeworld…

The following days of preparations for Operation Christmas had gone surprisingly smooth. Gems all over the galaxy had participated and contributed towards making the grand vision a reality, and the results were truly astonishing. A fleet of almost one million ships stood at the ready, waiting for Christmas Eve to come.

There was an energy and tension in the air. It was almost like the one you might feel before a thunderstorm but instead of the dread felt before an oncoming storm, this energy was happiness and excitement.

However, there were still a few who felt a shadow hanging over them…

Over Orapa Field, the largest spaceship launching ground on Homeworld hovered the Human Zoo. It had been decided that the Present Delivery Routine would be tested on the Zoomans on the ship before live delivery was to be attempted. White, Yellow and Blue Diamond were all onboard, overseeing the experiments.

That was on the top floors however., where the environmental chambers and Diamond rooms were. Aside from the three Diamonds and the Zoomans, there were also a few battalions worth of quartz soldiers (including the, as they call themselves, ”Famethyst”), several teams of Peridot researchers and a few commanding gems, like Agates and Aquamarines. There was a lot going on up there, a large organized mess.

It was a lot quieter on the lower floors. The only things that could be heard were the buzzing from the engines, the faint murmuring of the environmental systems and low, low humming from the gravity generators. That and two gems talking.

”Let’s see now… minor malfunction in AC sub-system fourteen…” the Era 2 Peridot Ö29 ÅÄ99 said while looking at her finger screens. In honor of the holiday, she had decorated her limb enhancers with small blue stars. ”Hm… what do you think it is?” she asked her companion.

”It could be any number of things,” said the Era 1 Peridot A1 AC3. ”These systems all appear to have been neglected somewhat for a few thousand years. Of course, I designed them to last, but even the best machines will eventually wear down. After Operation Christmas has been completed, we should make sure this place gets an upgrade.” In honor of the season, she carried two small jingle bells on a belt around her hips and a small red hat balanced on top of her hair.

”M-hm…” Ö29 said, looking over the schematics to the old Zoo. ”The least we could do is get new light sources installed down here.” The duo turned a corner, continuing down a corridor. Here, the light was even dimmer, dark even. ”What in the…?”

「KR-SH」

Suddenly, Ö29 stepped in something. She looked down at her feet. The weak light from her screens reflected in the crushed crystal shards on the floor. The two Peridots shot each other a look.

They kept on walking down the dark hallway.

「KR-SH KR-SH KR-SH KR-SH KR-SH」

Pieces from the broken lights crunched underneath their feet as they journey deeper into the darkness. Ö29 lit up her gems, casting a pale green light down it. A tall figure recoiled at the sight of the light.

”Winter Shadow, by the authority bestowed upon me from White Diamond herself, you are hereby under arrest,” A1 said. ”You can choose to come peacefully, or I will be forced to use physical means to restrain you.”

”Leave!” the figure snarled. She was draped in a black piece of cloth, covering her from head to toe. ”Or else…” A whip flew through the air, spitting electric sparks.

Ö29 looked at A1 and rolled her eyes, while the latter took one of the bells from her belt.

”Physical means it is then.”

xxXXxx

Three minutes and thirty-nine seconds later…

The doors to the large Rose Room (previously the bubble room) slammed open and the figure in black came flying in through the doors, landing on the floor in a very undignified manner.

”Sorry it took so long,” A1 said as she entered the room. She summoned the small bell that had carried the black-clad figure back to her hand using her magnetic powers. ”However, I felt it necessary to make sure that all the explosives were neutralized before we deliver the culprit.”

”Ah, perfect!” White Diamond exclaimed. ”I knew I could trust you.”

The figure in black managed to sit up and look around through the crude holes cut in the cloth she wore. Aside from White, and the two Peridots, there were also Yellow and Blue Diamond, Spinel and approximately a hundred or so quartz soldiers gathered inside.

White laughed gleefully.

”Ahahaha! You fell right into our trap!” she said.

”It was a bit suspicious how the attacks stopped as suddenly as they had started,” Blue said. ”One attack, and then nothing for almost three weeks? That’s a bit odd.”

”Of course, we had increased our security, making any attempts at further attacks useless,” Yellow said. ”However, considering you had already shown yourself to be both willing and capable of causing harm, we could not let you go free.”

”So we set up this trap,” White continued. ”We purposefully set this up so that security would look lax. Of course, since the Winter Shadow hadn’t attacked for some time, why wouldn’t we relax?”

”And if the Human Zoo crashed down on our biggest gathering of Gift Delivery Ships, while the Diamonds were onboard? That would make for a catastrophic blow to every gem’s morale,” Yellow said.

”It was an irresistible opportunity,” Blue said. ”And a perfect trap.”

”And you walked right into it!” White stated redundantly. ”And now…” She reached out towards the tiny figure on the floor, grabbing the black cloth with the tip of her fingernails. ”…The time has finally come to see who you really are!”

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 11: Her Blue Soul, Act 2

With a dramatic gesture, White tore the black cloth off the figure to reveal…

”You!” Yellow exclaimed. ”I recognize you!”

”Me too!” Blue said.

”We too!” the Famethyst shouted in shock.

”I… I don’t,” White said, confused. ”Who is she?”

The figure sitting on the floor was none other than Holly Blue Agate, the former manager of the Zoo!

”Hmph, ironic, isn’t it?” Yellow mused. ”Caught in the very station you once commanded.”

”B-but why?” one of the Famethysts, 8XG cried out. The entire group was in shock to see their old boss turn out to be the feared Winter Shadow.

Holly Blue didn’t say anything, she just stared down at the floor.

”That is a good question,” Blue said. She placed her finger under Holly’s chin and forced her to look up. ”Why were you trying to destroy Christmas?”

”I-I,” Holly stuttered, her gaze dodging around the room. She muttered something intelligible.

”Speak up!”

Holly Blue flinched. Blue Diamond could be properly terrifying when she wanted to.

 

Holly Blue flinched. Her face suddenly scrunched up and large tears started rolling down her cheeks.

”I-I’m sorry, I didn’t…”

”I wasn’t asking for an apology,” Blue said, her voice cold as ice. ”I was asking ’why.’ Tell me, what drove you to endanger so many of your fellow gems? What evil possessed you to make try and destroy something so wonderful?”

”B-because… It was to get back at the Crystal Gems,” Holly Blue sobbed.

”Great, another one…” Yellow muttered. ”What did they do to you?”

”A-after the Crystal Gems visited this station, the Amethyst guards have been so mean to me!” Holly Blue cried. ”T-they started bossing me around and made me do all the hard work. They called me names and since Era 3 began, they’ve been telling me I’m worth nothing anymore… that I’m useless and that no one wants me!”

”So let me get this straight,” Yellow said. ”You were willing to endanger thousands of gems… because a few people were mean to you?”

Holly Blue stared down at the floor, very embarrassed and ashamed.

”When you put it like that…” she mumbled.

White fixed her eyes on the Famethyst, who were all looking very pale. ”Is this true?” she asked. ”Have you been teasing her and calling her names?”

”Uh…” one of them hesitated.

”We… we were only doing what she was doing to us for all those years!” 8XJ said. ”She was a terrible person! An absolutely horrible boss!”

”That does not give you the right to be mean back,” White scolded the gems like they were children. She picked Holly Blue up and put her in front of the large Famethyst group. ”Now I want you both to apologize to each other.”

”I’m sorry for how bad I treated you!” Holly Blue sobbed.

8XJ looked around at her sisters. No one said anything or seemed very keen on actually looking Holly Blue in the eyes, but all nodded.

”We, uh… we forgive you,” 8XJ said. ”And I hope you can forgive us too. We really should have been the better gems about the whole thing, but, um… we weren’t. And that was wrong. It was wrong of us.” She extended her hand towards Holly Blue.

Holly Blue actually smiled, a real, genuine smile, for the first time in… ever.

”I forgive you,” she said, wiping the last of her tears from her face. She took 8XJ’s hand, who promptly pulled her into a very awkward hug.

”Did I do good?” White whispered to Yellow and Blue, who both nodded.

”Steven would be proud,” Blue said, prompting White to blush pink.

”Well, I guess all is well that ends well,” 8XL said cheerfully.

Yellow laughed a little. ”Ahahah, I suppose so.” She suddenly grabbed Holly Blue from the Famethyst group. ”However, Holly Blue Gate, you’re still under arrest for destroying a dropship and endangering several gems. You’ll be placed in jail awaiting your trial. You may ha…”

”Wait!” Holly Blue shouted. ”I didn’t destroy that ship!”

”Of course you did,” Yellow said. ”You even left a message, Holly Blue ’Winter Shadow’ Agate.”

”Nonono, that wasn’t me!” Holly Blue cried. ”I’m not the Winter Shadow!”

”What?”

”That explosive on the dropship on Yvansiehs wasn’t placed by me! Check your records, I wasn’t anywhere near that planet.”

Yellow looked skeptical, but she glanced at the two peridots in the room, both of whom were looking through various records.

”She is telling the truth,” A1 said. ”There were no Holly Blue Agates assigned to Yvansiehs at all when the attack occurred, nor was there any stationed there beforehand.”

”And according to her personal records, she had taken some time off her duties aboard the Zoo to spend on Homeworld,” Ö29 said. ”And she hadn’t left the planet when the dropship blew.”

It almost seemed like the temperature dropped several degrees onboard the station.

”But if you’re not the Winter Shadow… who is?” Blue finally asked Holly Blue.

”I don’t know,” Holly Blue said. ”She approached me while I was, uh…” she blushed a little ”c-crying in a park after you aired your message. She was wearing a black suit, so I never got to see what kind of gem she was… and she never spoke. She would only communicate with written notes. I don’t know who it is.”

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 12: The Winter Shadow Strikes Back

”I can’t believe this!! Yellow exclaimed. She was pacing back and forth in the former Bubble Room of the Zoo. All the other gems had been sent away so the three Diamonds could discuss the new turn of events. ”The Winter Shadow has made fools of us all!”

”Calm down, Yellow,” Blue said. ”We mustn’t let fear and paranoia control us. Think for a moment; the Winter Shadow hasn’t actually caused any real significant damage. There hasn’t been a single attack since we increased security. The Shadow sending Holly Blue was probably a last-ditch effort to cause some harm. And see how that failed.”

”Hm… you’re right,” Yellow admitted. ”But I’m still worried that she might try something. We must not lower our guard!”

”We also must not cause a panic,” White said. ”Just the gems in this room finding out was bad enough, but if the rest of Homeworld found out that the Winter Shadow tricked us as she did… the fear might play right into her hands.”

”True, true,” Blue said. ”So we’ll have to make sure everyone stays happy and feeling safe, while also keeping the security up. After Operation Christmas has been completed we can worry about finding the Winter Shadow.”

”That sounds like a plan,” Yellow said.

xxXXxx

Said and done… a few dozen minutes later, a message was sent out to the entire galaxy, save Earth, of course.

”Dear gems everywhere!” White announced. ”First and foremost, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! We are only one day away from Operation Christmas becoming reality, and I must say, I am so proud of all you! Now, as you all surely remember, there was an attack orchestrated by a rouge gem calling themselves the ’Winter Shadow.’ And I’m happy to announce that another attack was averted on the Human Zoo. While the perpetrator is still on free foot, she is sure to be alone and without resources, so her capture is just a matter of time. I urge every gem to keep an eye open for any suspicious activities. Thank you so much for your continued service.”

xxXXxx

Yet a few more dozen minutes later, the trio found themselves back on Orapa Field, amongst a veritable sea of gems. The time had come to load all the gifts onto the delivery ships, which was done with a great deal of enthusiasm from everyone involved. As well as a lot of singing.

It should be a well-known fact by now, that gems love to sing. And there was no shortage of gems singing whatever Christmas songs they had picked up from Earth. The result was a symphony of chaos, various oddly matched voices belting out cheery tunes, clashing against the next group trying to outdo the other with another happy musical.

It was chaos incarnate. And in the midst of it stood the three Diamonds, watching over the beautiful mess. Occasionally, a gem would walk up to them, and shout ”Merry Christmas!” or thanking them for introducing this wonderful holiday to the rest of gemkind.

”It’s wonderful, isn't it?” Blue said, just barely holding back tears of joy.

”It is,” Yellow agreed. ”I must admit, this whole plan seemed far-fetched to me at first, but now… it really seems like anything is possible, as long as we all stand united.” She tapped White on the shoulder. ”Wouldn’t you agree?”

”Hm? What did you say?” she asked. She seemed a bit… unfocused.

”I said, doesn’t it seem like anything is possible as long as we all work together?” Yellow said.

”Oh! Of course,” White said, and forced a smile.

She suddenly flinched and looked down at her feet. A small Ruby had tapped at her toes, trying to get her attention.

”HELLO!” the Ruby yelled as loud as she could. Even then, it was hard to hear over the constant buzzing and droning from the crowd.

”H-hi,” White said. ”W-what is it?”

”I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT BEFORE, I USED TO BE SUPER AFRAID OF YOU, BUT NOW I THINK YOU ARE REALLY GREAT!” the Ruby yelled. ”AND ALSO, I MADE YOU THIS! She held up a small object made of glass.

”Oh, how nice,” White mumbled. She reached down to try and grab the small glass object with the tips of her fingernails…

「CRACK」

…only for it to break and shatter into a dozen pieces.

”Oh!” the Ruby exclaimed.

”S-sorry,” White stuttered.

”No, it’s fine!” the Ruby said, still cheery as ever. ”I should have made it bigger and tougher, like you!”

”S-sorry,” White said again. Her gaze was dodging all around. There was a shade of green on her face. ”I… I have some… I need to go and… look at something.” She quickly began stumbling away from the field, towards her old Headship.

”What in the world…” Yellow muttered. ”What’s wrong with White?”

Blue put a comforting hand on her shoulder. ”White is still not used to large crowds. I think she needs some time alone. We can go check on her once the crowd clears up here.”

xxXXxx

Meanwhile on Earth…

It was nighttime and Steven Universe was fast asleep, lying peacefully in his bed. His slumber was deep, so deep that the soft creak of the front door opening wasn’t enough to wake him.

A figure, dark as the night itself walked softly through the house. It whispered, poisonous words dripping of its lips.

”With any luck… they’ll kill each other.”

The Winter Shadow approached Steven.

Steven Universe, the one she hated above all others. There he laid, so vulnerable. Oh, how easy it would be to extinguish his life then and there. But no. He was going to suffer. They were all going to suffer.

The Winter Shadow started whispering venomous words into Steven’s ear.

<—To be continued…

Chapter Text

Lamp Entertainment presents…

Chapter 13: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Act 1

On Homeworld…

A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December. White was alone, gazing from her window to the streets below, on a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow.

All along her watchtower, White kept the view, while groups of gems passed by, singing and cheering still.

White paced back and forth inside her tower.

She felt… agitated.

She wasn’t sure why, and that bothered her. Going over the situation in her head, she found no legitimate reason as to why the incident with the Ruby’s gift would make her so upset. The Ruby herself hadn’t been bothered in the slightest, why did it leave White feeling so… bad? Why had she suddenly been gripped by this overwhelming urge to run away and hide?

White looked out her window again. She wasn’t looking at anything in particular. Every time she tried to focus on anything, her gaze would just slip off it.

She wasn’t sure how long she had been looking out the window. It could have been a minute, it could have been an hour. It could have been a moment, it could have been an eternity. Time itself seemed to melt and drift away as she vacantly stared towards the horizon.

”Teehee…”

In a moment, White’s attention was yanked the outside and brought right back inside. She swirled around, staggered by the impossible sound she had heard. Her eyes widened with shock when she saw what, or rather, who had caused the sound.

She was standing with her back turned towards White, but there was no mistaking who it was.

”Pink!”

But that was impossible! She was gone, forever.

”Oh, Pink, I’m… you… but how…?” White could barely think, much less form a complete sentence, she was so overwhelmed with emotions. She kneeled down and reached for her… only for Pink to slip away right before White could touch her. She didn’t move; it was as if an invisible force had pushed her away.

”Oh, White,” Pink sighed. ”You’re still pushing me away. Just like you always have.”

”W-what?”

”Silly White. You’re so brilliant, yet so blind. You can’t see the truth, even when it is right in front of you.”

”What are you saying? What truth?”

Pink turned around and White flinched at the sight she was met with.

She looked just as she had the last time White saw her, almost six thousand years ago. Except…

”P-Pink, your eyes…”

Her beautiful eyes, always so full of life were gone, replaced with empty dead whites.

”These are the eyes of the dead,” Pink said. Her voice was cold in a way White had never heard before. ”Do you know who killed me?”

”You… you weren’t killed, you gave up your form to bequeath your gem to Steven…”

Pink shook her head. ”No, White. That’s how I died, but it’s not what killed me. You did.”

”M-me?”

”Yes you!” Pink shouted. Her pretty face was distorted and twisted with wrath. ”You killed me, White! You killed me! All I ever wanted was for you to love me and accept me, but you never did. When I begged for you to spare the Earth, you refused. You didn’t even listen, You drove me away with your arrogance and refusal to listen to even a word I had to say.”

White didn’t say anything. She couldn’t. Large Silent tears rolled down her cheeks.

”The reason I gave up my life? It was because I couldn’t stand living in the same universe as you!” Pink spat.

”Pink…” White tried to reach out for her, but again, Pink was pushed away, further away from her. ”P-please, I-I…”

”Oh, so now you care,” Pink said. ”I’m afraid it’s a bit too late.” Large cracks started spreading from her gem and throughout her body.

”N-no!” White yelled, lunging towards Pink. ”Please, forgive me! I didn’t mean to…”

”Too late!” Pink screamed. The cracks grew on her body grew larger, her voice cracking too and turning into a high-pitched shriek. ”You’re too late! I will never forgive you for what you did! You killed me! You killed me!”

White tried so desperately to reach her beloved Pink. But no matter how hard she tried, the distance between her and Pink only increased. She could only watch as the cracks covered Pink’s entire body.

”It’s… too… late,” Pink whispered. ”You… killed… me,” she said one last time as she finally crumbled into dust, leaving White alone once again.

<—To be continued…