Crystal Gems Online
Chapter 19: Home
The game has been cleared
Ruby let out an unbelieving breath, bewilderedly looking up at the sky that was quickly pulling them up to the top where a bright light resided. "…it's finally over," She grinned sheepishly at the blue gem who seemed just as shocked as she was. "I guess this is it, huh?" She nervously scratched the back of her neck, teasing her thick curls.
"Will I ever see you again?" Ruby whispered, growing serious as she realized the reality of it all.
They were finally going home, she should feel happy. But she didn't, she felt so confused. They've spent months trying to escape this game and now that they finally were, she just wanted to spend a few more hours with Sapphire and Connie, and Steven and all the others who she had connected with in the game.
"I almost don't want to leave," Sapphire confessed, admitting what Ruby couldn't at the moment. "What—what if—what if you don't like what you see on the other side?"
Ruby made a face, moving to cup Sapphire's cheek in her gem embedded hand. "I bet you're even more beautiful in real life," She placed a fleeting kiss on her girlfriends soft lips before pulling away, time was fleeting. "When I wake up, I'll find you and then we can be together again, I promise,"
Sapphire bit her lower lip, smiling. "I'll be waiting,"
A bright yellow light consumed each of them as they reached the highest peak of the sky; a force stronger than gravity pulling them apart, separating them both back into their respectable worlds.
Four months later
"Do you have everything?"
The long haired girl, with slight trouble, picked up her heavy purse before hooking it on her left shoulder; smiling softly. "I've got it Ru—Jasmine," She quickly caught herself.
"Just making sure," The younger girl made a face, trying the foreign name on her tongue. "Amy~" She shook her head, curls bouncing at the movement. "I'm sorry, it's too weird, can I just call you Sapphire and you call me Ruby again?" She begged.
Sapphire sighed, almost in relief. "I thought you'd never ask," The school bell rung loudly over the empty courtyard where they were eating their lunch, Sapphire hummed as she searched for her cane. "We should start heading to class, can you…?"
"O-oh, of course, sorry," Ruby jumped up, bringing the older girl to her feet before gently handing her the wooden cane.
"I bet you're blushing," Sapphire muttered, sighing out in slight irritation. "I really miss seeing that on a daily basis, that cute blush and the adorable stutter you do,"
Ruby, like her girlfriend imagined, flushed darkly as she led them to the school's main entrance. "W-well, school is almost over. I can walk you home after so we can each log back on, then we can see Connie and Steven again,"
Sapphire perked up. "Yeah,"
Four slow months have passed since the ending of CGO and all of the surviving gamers have safely returned back home. Sadly, the ones who had already previously died were already gone. That included Rose and Jasper, they weren't coming back.
The first thing Ruby saw when she awoke were her parents, towering over her with bloodshot eyes and heavy bags under their eyes. Over the last few months of her being trapped in the game, they had realized how wrong they were for trying to force her to change her sexuality and promised her that things would be different. Ruby wasn't too sure she believed them, but she complied anyway and took a leap on faith.
If Peridot and Lapis could change, why couldn't her parents?
But being released from the game didn't mean she could immediately jump out of bed to find Sapphire. It took weeks of rehabilitation for her to even learn how to walk again before she could search the girl up online. Turns out, they've been going to the same school for years. But with Sapphire as a senior and Ruby as a junior, their paths never crossed.
When all of the players were returned home, Yellow Diamond (or Sarah Watkins) was traced down and arrested on the spot. She was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of thousands of players; during the trial the voting was unanimous.
Ruby caught up with Ashley (Amethyst) and Debbie (Pearl) during her gym class a little after they were released from the hospital and mentioned how she heard about someone making a CGO hack. The hack was exactly like the old game, except this time they could log out whenever they wanted to. It took a little convincing but after she brought up how lonely Steven and Connie had to be, they agreed.
She emailed Greg or Earl Universe about her idea but he refused, and she completely understood. He had a great job with cartoon animation at CAM studios and Steven was too young to leave unattended.
"Does Greg ever visit Steven?" Sapphire spoke, pausing. "…program Steven I mean, doesn't he miss him at all?"
Ruby frowned, looking down at her black school shoes that matched her uniform. The girls had two choices; a buttoned polo shirt with long pants and black shoes or a polo shirt with a fitted skirt and long socks with black shoes. Sapphire of course picked the skirt, but with those legs Ruby couldn't even tease her, and Ruby chose the more masculine outfit.
"I mean I guess he does," Ruby said as she traced Sapphire's hand with her calloused thumb. "But Steven is still so young and can't be left alone yet and after losing his wife—I don't think I'd want to go back either, he has so many bad memories," She glanced at the brown haired girl, using her free hand to push her bangs away to reveal lifeless green eyes that were dull to the world.
But not to Ruby, to Ruby they were the liveliest things on earth. "Yellow Diamond was insane, but she was right about one thing; if we never had logged on, then we never would have probably met. So even if we weren't freed and would have died in the game, it would be okay because at least I got to meet someone amazing like you,"
Sapphire blindly leaned in and Ruby immediately met her halfway, pressing their lips together in a soft kiss.
"I love how sappy you get," Sapphire spoke softly onto thin lips. "It's adorable,"
Ruby was to enraptured to blush, taking in the green orbs that continued to amaze her. "I love how much you love how sappy I am,"
"Get a room you two," A chubby girl shouted over to them as she rode on her skateboard in their direction. "You're going to be late for class,"
Sapphire rolled her eyes, quickly placing her protective brown bangs back in place. "Mind your own business Amethyst!"
"Whoa, violent," The chubby girl smirked, quickly skating passed them; causing a breeze to blow over the couple. "Save it for the game tonight! See you lovers later,"
Ruby watched her bestfriend skate up to the entrance before she looked at the slightly taller girl. "She hasn't changed much, huh?"
"Of course not," Sapphire snickered. "But you have, your grades are improving right? And you've stopped hanging out at Sour Cream's warehouse during the school week, right?"
Ruby nodded. "Yeah, I only go on the weekends to speak to Buck and Jenny. And I have all A's and B's mother," She teased.
"Just checking," Sapphire smiled. "But we should really get to class, come on. The day will go by fast and then tonight we can see everyone again,"
Ruby grinned. "I can't wait,"
Sapphire leaned on the supporting shoulder that helped her up the stairs and into her bedroom where her game was waiting, she smiled. "Thank you Kyle,"
Her younger brother nodded, making sure that she was seated safely in her game chair before he stood up; he pushed his messy brown hair out of his eyes. "You're sure you don't need anything? Some snacks or—"
"I'm fine Kyle," She said softly as she blindly reached for her helmet on the table across from her. "Don't worry about me, go have fun with Evan,"
Her younger brother scratched the back of his neck. "You know, his mother told me that Evan was actually one of the players who made it out alive from the game. He was the youngest kid there, I heard, who knows; maybe you met him and you don't even know," He shook his head, blue eyes looking back to his older sister.
"Anyway, I'm heading out. I'll be spending the night with him so I won't see you until tomorrow morning," He explained, reaching for the door knob before he paused. "…I'm sorry, for abandoning you for all those years when you first became blind. We were really close and I didn't know how to approach you, so I didn't,"
"I should have been there for you—"
Sapphire smiled softly. "Kyle, all of that is in the past and we still have time to do everything over again,"
"…tell her I said thank you," Kyle mumbled, a soft blush on his face. "Jasmine, I mean, tell her that I want to thank her for looking out for my sister when I wasn't."
"And," Kyle paused one more time, joking. "Come back this time, yeah?"
"Yeah," Sapphire smiled, placing the helmet back on. "I will,"
If her brother said something else, Sapphire didn't hear him as the game began turning on. Welcome back Sapphire, the game said loudly in her ear.
She smiled, it was great to be back.
"Sapphire," The blue haired girl looked up to see Ruby jogging over to her, she smiled.
"Ruby," Sapphire met her girlfriend halfway, grabbing a hand. "Sorry I'm late, my brother kept me," She said sheepishly. "And he said thank you, for looking out for me in the game,"
Ruby blushed, much to Sapphire's pleasure. "H-he's silly, it wasn't just me. It was a team effort," She brushed off, scrolling through her menu bar as she began to teleport them to the temple. "Come on, the others are waiting for us,"
Sapphire barely had time to nod before a bright light engulfed them and landed them on the warp pad in the temple. Lars and Sadie kindly greeted them from the couch before Amethyst and Pearl stepped out from the kitchen, smiling.
"Took you losers long enough to get here," Amethyst crossed her arms, grinning. "This is great, I can talk to you however I want now that you two aren't in charge anymore." She kicked the rug weakly. "I kind of miss it,"
Pearl nodded, glancing at the portrait that hung over their door. "So do I, I kind of feel lost now."
"I know how you feel," Ruby confessed, scratching the back of her neck. "But we shouldn't be moping around, we won!"
Sapphire nodded, a soft smile on her face. "Where were you two headed before we came in?"
"We're going to check up on Devin," Amethyst pointed her thumb outside where the dragon was walking about. "I'm taking Pearl for a ride and then we're going to catch up with Lars and Sadie at the cloud kingdom for a party."
"You should join us," Pearl suggested, leaning on the shorter purple gem. "The whole gang is going to be there, Peridot and Lapis even agreed to show up,"
Sapphire hummed, playing with her girlfriends hand. "Maybe,"
"Yeah, maybe," Ruby confirmed before pulling Sapphire towards the universal door. "We'll see you guys later,"
Amethyst and Pearl waved softly before jogging outside to stop Devin from terrorizing random players who were walking by. Ruby continued to pull Sapphire into the temple door; using their gems to open Garnet's room.
They barely made it through the door before a loud "Mommy, Mama!" greeted them and Connie jumped into their awaiting arms.
Sapphire kissed the younger girl on her forehead before pulling away to look at her. "Sorry we took so long,"
"It's fine," Connie exclaimed, dragging them deeper into the room. "Steven and I were practicing our fusion dance, it's really getting easier! By the way, Steven and I have been teaching all the other gems in this game about fusion, we've seen some good ones too!"
"Don't worry," Steven spoke up from the training hall as he approached them slowly. "None of them are cooler than Garnet,"
"Hey kid," Ruby waved at the child. "Connie's been telling us about how much you two have mastered fusion,"
Connie flushed, glancing from her mother to the startled quartz gem who blushed. "I-I didn't say all of that! Mama, take it back!"
Sapphire looked away from the amusing bickering to glance at Steven. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah," Steven nodded, placing his hand on the gem beneath his shirt. "It's great having you all here to visit us after school and on the weekends; I even saw Peridot and Lapis. But they always log on earlier than you guys,"
Sapphire nodded. "They don't live in the same state as us in the real world. They both live further east than the rest of us but they both go to the same school,"
Steven nodded. "…is it, selfish to want my mother and father here?"
"It's not selfish," Sapphire said. "It's human, which is a very good thing to be. Never feel bad about that,"
Steven nodded, looking up with a sheepish expression. "I haven't seen Garnet in a while~"
"Yeah," Connie said from where she sat atop Ruby's broad shoulders, grinning. "Stevonnie wanted to ask Garnet if she'd join her, you know, to teach the other gems about fusion. We're trying to complete the fusion book,"
Ruby frowned, letting her daughter off her shoulders. "What's a fusion book? How long have we been gone?" She glanced at her equally confused lover.
"A fusion book is just the listing of every possible fusion in the game," Steven explained. "Everyone is trying to finish it and find the strongest fusion there is, they even have battles in the battle dome. You should bring Garnet, let them know who's boss,"
Ruby and Sapphire glanced at each other before shaking their heads, smiling.
"Nah, our fighting days are over kids," Ruby waved them off. "We're too old,"
Sapphire snickered. "We're not old, but we just need some time to relax; we've been in the spotlight for a while but now it's your turn. Make a name for Stevonnie, let everyone know what a strong fusion she is,"
"But watch out," Ruby said with a grin. "You never know when Garnet will come to challenge you in the ring,"
Steven grabbed Connie's hand, waving at the older gems. "We will, see you guys later!"
"By mama, mommy," Their daughter quickly said before being transported out of the temple.
When the bright light from the teleportation was gone, Ruby turned to her lover. She silently held out her hand, bowing playfully.
"May I have this dance?"
Sapphire giggled, taking her hand. "It would be my honor."
They danced a simple waltz that they had mastered for months. A few twists here and some elegant turns there, and a reckless motion of Ruby swirling Sapphire in the air, finishing their dance. A bright white light produced the fusion who was wearing her casual outfit; a black long sleeved shirt, black pants, dark brown combat boots and a long cape covering her shapely form. Her blue sword and red shield strapped to her back.
Garnet opened her red and blue eyes, taking in her surroundings before fazing on her shades.
She said nothing as she walked out of the temple and through the now empty living room to the old wooden door that led to the beach where Ruby and Sapphire shared their first dance. Memories played over and over again through her head, many of which that didn't even belong to her.
Memories, that's all they were now. All the players of the game were free and the case had been solved and closed, she had to move on. There was nothing else left to punch, no team to lead and all the missions were complete.
Ruby and Sapphire's job was done. Soon no one would remember Ruby the gem smasher or even bat and eye at Sapphire the future teller. They had completed their mission and it was time for them to retire, but Garnet.
She glanced in the direction of the battle dome where thousands of fusions were battling for their own name, so they too could be remembered. So they could be feared in the game and respected by all the players.
Garnet lifted her lips into a small grin that was neither a resemblance of Ruby nor Sapphire, but all her own, as she quickly ran in the direction of the fighting.
Her legacy was just beginning.
I promised I wouldn't cry when I finally finished this story, but I can't help it! This was my very first Ruby/Sapphire story and it's finally finished, I'm so happy. I really hope you enjoyed this just as much as I have and if you have any questions leave some reviews and I'll answer them on my Ao3 account.
The player Kyle was talking about was Centipedal if you guys didn't catch that.
Thank you so much for sticking with me throughout all of this, you are all amazing, and I'll continue writing my other stories so this won't be the last of me.