Gift Fic for my Bro! First time writing for Steven Universe, and kinda first step into the fandom. He made me watch the entire show, but I never really looked up Fanfic for it & most of the fanart I've seen was just stuff that crossed my Tumblr Dash. He bought me a new Ever After High Doll, though, so this is sort of a thank you. He suggested the plot, and I thought it was pretty fun.
Anyway, lots of inspiration from "The Answer" and this should be fairly light-hearted, save for a tiny bit of drama later. Not sure how long it'll be though, but it should be at least two parts, if not longer. (This one ends on a cliffhanger, so there WILL be another chapter at the very least. XD)
Garnet stepped up the stairs of the Galaxy Warp and looked over the sea of broken warp pads. The air felt heavy around her, as if it had been disturbed by something other worldly. The Warp Pads remained deactivated and broken, and did nothing to explain the huge release of energy that the sensors had picked up in the area while they'd been working on the drill.
She glanced around the area, her guard up as she patrolled the area looking for anything that was out of place. With the drill a top priority, Garnet was forced to work this mission alone.
Well, as alone as she ever could be.
Garnet smiled to herself at her own joke, and skipped down the stairs of the platform on the other side. To the right, she caught sight of a small stack of smoke rising behind the trees. Activating her gauntlets, she headed toward the rising smoke with caution, ready to attack or flee depending on the severity of the situation.
The smoke came from an indent in the ground; a landing site.
Garnet reached the depression and pressed her lips together in a frown at the small, oblong space ship. Not an escape vessel, it looked to be a single-person transport. Severely damaged, smoke came from the back of the engine in a small stream. There was no mistaking where this ship had come from, however. She'd seen enough of modern Gem Technology to recognize it at this point.
A snap and an explosion on the back sent an entire new wave of the thick smog into the air. Garnet waved her hand in front of her face to clear the air, and took note of the fire that had started on the back. And that the door had yet to open.
"Should probably see who's in there," Garnet muttered to herself, sliding down the steep hill of dirt.
With ease, she yanked off the door from its hinges and was met with the form of a small, shivering Pearl.
Garnet's three eyes widened behind her visor and she threw herself away from opening. She backed up, and felt herself begin to fracture. She shook her head and held it together, having no idea if this was a threat or not and there was no way she'd leave Ruby and Sapphire alone if there was danger, but the feeling of familiarity was so strong on Sapphire's half that it was disturbing.
The Pearl turned her head up, noticing that the door was gone and crawled out. Her hair was long, falling in waves down her back and bangs covered her upper face in a hair style that both Garnet and Ruby knew on sight. Her color was an equally familiar blue, and her dress was thick with petticoats; her sleeves puffed at the top. The large, oval pearl was easily visible on the back of her hand.
The Pearl looked at Garnet, and spoke with a shaking voice. "Y-you! Rebel Gem! Have you seen Mistress Sapphire?"
"Pearl!" Garnet exclaimed, before she felt the divide and fell into darkness.
"You know her?" Ruby exclaimed, standing up immediately from her fall into the dirt. Sapphire held her cheeks and kept staring at the Homeworld Pearl that had landed in the tiny spaceship. "What's going on?"
"She—She's," Sapphire said, in an unusual display of shock. Ruby gripped her fists, looking up at the much taller Pearl, who had tears tripping down her cheeks. Sapphire pointed up slowly. "That's Pearl."
"Yes, I know it's a Pearl! I'm asking who she is!" Ruby stressed, tugging at her hair.
"Oh, Mistress Sapphire!" The Pearl interrupted, falling to her knees. Her dress puffed up around her and she reached out and grabbed Sapphire's hands with her own. The Pearl knelt and put her forehead to the back of Sapphire's small, gloved hands and sobbed. "I knew you were still alive. I knew, I knew it!"
"How," Sapphire said, breathing hard. She shook her head and took in a deep breath. Continuing in the much calmer, serene voice Ruby had come to know her best for, Sapphire said, "How did you get here?"
"I had to steal a ship," The Pearl said. She squeezed Sapphire's hands and shook her hair, her bangs swishing back and forth. "It took me over five thousand years of breaking rules and pretending to serve other masters, but I finally got a ship to Earth. Oh, I'm so happy to see you."
"What is going on!" Ruby exclaimed, tired of being out of the loop. Fire burned at her feet as her temper got the best of her. "Who is she? What is she doing here! Do you know her?"
"I'm Mistress Sapphire's Pearl, of course!" The Pearl answered. She stood and held her hands at her waist, her pointed nose and thin shoulders so much like the Pearl that had become their family. Ruby had almost forgotten what it was like to be around other gems this way. The Pearl nodded. "I was her faithful Pearl for eons before she disappeared on her mission to Earth."
The Pearl sucked in a breath and turned back to Sapphire. She clutched hard at Sapphire's hands and her voice hitched in sobbing breaths. "Oh, Ma'am. Please don't send me away. I've done so much wrong, and brought so much shame to your name, but please let me keep serving you!"
"Calm down," Sapphire said, squeezing the sobbing Pearl's hands back. She soothed, her voice low and calm. "It's alright. You haven't brought shame to anyone."
"Is that true?" Ruby gaped, staring at Sapphire and the tall Pearl bowing at the knee. "You had a Pearl?"
Sapphire pulled her hands away from the Pearl and clasped her hands together. She turned her head to the side, and her voice was full of something odd. Ruby didn't like it. She didn't like it one bit. "i was in Blue Diamond's personal court, Ruby. I was a dignitary. You knew that!"
"Yeah, but you didn't like, have a Pearl with you when I met you," Ruby said. She ran her hands up the side of her face and just stared. Blue Diamond had her Pearl with her. wouldn't that mean all the ones who had Pearls would have done the same? "I didn't think you had one."
"Why would I have brought her to Earth? I was supposed to be attacked there, remember?" Sapphire stressed. She put a hand to her chest and shook her head. "Why would I make her watch that?"
"You never said anything about it before!" Ruby said, throwing her arms toward the Pearl that was just standing there. Quiet. Attentive. It was a little creepy.
"I had other things on my mind," Sapphire said, frowning.
"Oh right!" Ruby smacked her fist into her palm, and felt the grin stretch on her face. She winked at Sapphire. "You were busy thinking about me."
Sapphire smacked Ruby on the side of the arm.
It was worth it.
Two hours later, and neither Ruby nor Sapphire had any idea what to do with their Homeworld Guest. The new Pearl absolutely refused to leave Sapphire's side. She had made it quite clear that she'd rather risk disobeying Sapphire's command than to leave, and the way she'd said it made it sound like the Pearl would kill herself before she abandoned Sapphire again. Ruby thought it was disturbing. Sapphire just felt bad for her. And that meant forming Garnet was out of the question. They both felt incomplete and alone without her, but they'd have to manage.
Sapphire sat her hands in her lap and kept her breath even. Future vision was no use to her right now. There were so many scenarios where this all went wrong, that frankly, she'd gotten tired of looking for the one good scenario that would bring everyone some sort of peace. But Ruby was here, so she felt more comfortable just winging it and letting things happen as they were meant to happen. Ruby had that sort of affect on fate, it seemed.
Though that still didn't calm anyone down.
Or help Sapphire figure out what to do with her Pearl now. The poor thing had come a long way, and if her story was accurate, done things inconceivable for a Homeworld Pearl to do it. Her loyalty and dedication to Sapphire was on the verge of making the Crystal Gem's Pearl look like Amethyst when it came to Responsibility.
And that was terrifying.
Sapphire pressed her lips together hard and frowned. This was going to be like dealing with Peridot all over again, but worse. Because Sapphire's Pearl and the team's Pearl meeting was going to be a disaster.
She didn't need future vision to see that coming.
"So, what are we going to do with her?" Ruby said, crossing her arms. "You both shot down my idea of just sending her home, so I don't know what you want."
"We can't leave her to fend for herself, Ruby," Sapphire said. And that too was true. She looked over at the Pearl and felt her heart ache. In her love for Ruby, and her new life with the Crystal Gems, Sapphire had abandoned Homeworld and everything it stood for. And somehow in learning that all Gems were of equal value and could be themselves, she had somehow forgotten about the Gems that were her responsibility at home. Sapphire couldn't remember the last time she'd felt this guilty. "She worked so hard to get here."
"Yeah, but she can't really keep doing the servant thing now that she's here," Ruby said, throwing her hands up. "We got rid of all that! And plus, it'll be horrible for Pearl to have to be around that. She's already had all those old issues dredged up thanks to Peridot."
Sapphire's Pearl fidgeted, the slightest movement of her fingers. Sapphire frowned, and tried to remember her behavior before. For a Homeworld Pearl, that was practically the equivalent of throwing her arms up and screaming for attention.
"You may speak without my permission. You're on Earth now, and we have different rules here," Sapphire said, channeling every inch of her diplomatic skills. "What is it?"
"I was wondering why things would be bad for me, and why your Ruby thinks that I've met a Peridot?" Sapphire's Pearl said, clasping her hands together. "I don't understand, ma'am."
"She's talking about another Pearl," Sapphire said, unsure if she should correct the "Your Ruby" that had come out of The Pearl's mouth. On the one hand, it was true. On the other, she doubted Pearl had meant it in the same way Sapphire did when she referred to Ruby as her own. "There's another Pearl living with us."
"You got a new Pearl!" She exclaimed, holding her hand to her cheek. She quickly corrected herself and shook her head. "Forgive me. Of course you did. You've always deserved more than one."
Ruby made an odd squeak to the side, and Sapphire but her face in her hands. This was going to be a long afternoon.
"So what are we going to call her?" Ruby asked, walking back to the Warp Pad with Sapphire in tow yet another hour later. She was still upset that they were bringing the new Pearl back to base, but she couldn't argue with Sapphire when she was being this stubborn. It just didn't happen. Ruby glanced at the Pearl and frowned. "We can't call them both 'Pearl.' It'll get confusing for Steven."
"I agree," Sapphire said. She turned to her companion and asked. "Do you have a preference for a nickname?"
"I'll go by any name you select for me, Ma'am," The Pearl answered, smiling beneath her bangs. The Pearl held her hands up, clasped and walked a step quicker to be closer to Sapphire. "It would be my pleasure to be given a new name by you."
Sapphire sighed, and her shoulders dropped. "I'll think of something."
Ruby watched as the Pearl kept exactly two steps behind Sapphire the entire time, her eyes locked on her former master. Or current master. Ruby scrunched her forehead together trying to really think about what that was like. Sure, she had an idea thanks to their Pearl, but Rubies had always just…served whoever they were told to. It wasn't even until she met Sapphire that she had someone special. Pearls devoted their entire beings to someone. Was it similar to how she felt for Sapphire? How Pearl felt for Rose?
She clenched her hands together and huffed before jealousy could flare up. Sapphire shouldn't have to deal with an insecure Ruby, should she? Ruby waved her hand up toward the clouds. "We can call her Sky, 'cause that's what color she is."
"I suppose that will work for now," Sapphire said, tilting her head with a tiny, teasing smile. "Though perhaps a little unoriginal."
"Yeah, will you have a better idea, I'd love to hear it," Ruby muttered, feeling the blush on her cheeks. It wasn't like they could call her 'Blue' without bringing up bad memories of Blue Diamond. And anything to do with the water would bring Lapis back up. Ruby sighed as she hopped up onto the platform and crossed her arms. "What are we going to tell everyone else?"
"I have no idea," Sapphire said.
That gave Ruby no comfort as the Warp activated and they were whisked back to the temple.
"Woah, did you two have a fight?" Amethyst said, staring at the Warp Pad as she dug behind the counter for a snack. Pearl had sent her to go check on what was taking Garnet so long, but she had hardly expected this! Ruby and Sapphire stood side by side, and that usually meant nothing good. She turned and gaped at the third figure on the stand. "Pearl? I thought you were still helping Peri! Did you get a makeover?"
"Amethyst," Sapphire said, holding her hand out. "This is Sky Pearl, a Homeworld Gem. We found her crashed ship at the Galaxy Warp."
"What is it with Homeworld Gems all showing up now?" Amethyst said, crossing her arms. Part of her thought it was sort of fun getting to meet more Gems, but the other half remembered some of the things Peri said and decided she didn't want to put up with that over and over again. Even if Peri did turn out to be kinda cool. "Oh well, the more the merrier I guess?"
Amethyst looked back at the three gems on the stand and pointed between Sapphire and Ruby. "So what's up with you two?"
"We have a disagreement about Sky over here, and it's uh, not been resolved yet," Ruby said, frowning at the ground.
Sapphire folded her arms on her dress, answering in the same monotonous tone that made Amethyst's skin crawl. "Ruby felt we shouldn't have brought her back with us, but I felt leaving her alone would be cruel. We remain at an impasse."
"I see you won though since she's here," Amethyst said. She hummed and walked up to the warp pad to walk around the new Gem. She was quiet, and her Pearl was cream against the light blue skin. Her hair covered her face in the same style as Sapphire's and Amethyst was curious. "Never met another Pearl before."
Sky remained quiet, and didn't say a word.
"Is she cracked or something?" Amethyst said waving a hand in front of her face. She hopped up and down as she did it to reach. What was it with Pearls and being so dang tall!? "Hello!"
"She's from Homeworld, Ameythst," Sapphire said, something strained in her voice that caused Amethyst to drop still. "Sky is behaving as she believes she should, despite trying to tell her otherwise."
"So she's like Peri?"
"Yup," Ruby said. "And remember what Peri said about Pearls that pissed off our Pearl?"
"That they were rich people's possessions and meant to stand around and look pretty?" Amethest said, looking at Sky again. Her eyes widened and she gaped. "I thought Peri was just being mean! That wasn't true, was it?"
Neither Ruby nor Sapphire answered, and Amethyst felt cold inside. The more she heard about Homeworld the happier she was from Earth. Even being 'defective' as Peridot had put it was better than being from that planet. Amethyst looked at her again. "So what's she going to do here?"
"Adapt, hopefully," Sapphire said, leaning her hand into her cheek. She shrugged and dropped her shoulders. "If Ruby and I could, and if Peridot can, than I see no reason that Sky here can't."
"You speak far too well of me, Ma'am," Sky spoke, She covered her mouth and gaped, sending all the frills on her dress to waving. Amethyst took a step back as Sky dropped to her knees and grabbed Sapphire's hand, bowing her head. "Forgive me for speaking out of turn! I'm just so happy to be here and serve you again that I've lost control of myself."
"I told you, it's okay," Sapphire stressed. She looked nervous and Ruby was jumping from foot to foot, unsure of what to do or handle the situation. "There aren't any rules on Earth about this! You're okay!"
Amethyst wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh at the excessive devotion that reminded her of their Pearl's love of Rose, or run from the room at the total submissiveness that just felt wrong on someone who looked like the defiant and proud Pearl Amethyst admired.
A spear stabbed through Sky's waist, saving them all the trouble.
Sky's form vanished with a pop as Pearl caught Sky's Gem. She poofed the gem to The Burning Room. Pearl brushed her hands off and smacked the end of her spear into the ground as everyone else stared at her.
"Honestly, a Homeworld Gem breaks into the Temple and all of you stand here and do nothing," Pearl said, something off about the way she stood. She was too tense; she stood too straight. And Amethyst thought the smile on her face after just taking out a Gem without a second thought was disturbing. "I was wondering what was taking you all so long to get back to the barn and now I know. But it's all been handled, so let's get back to work on that drill."
Pearl left the room with that same smile so fake it gave Amethyst the shivers, letting her staff disappear in the air.
"Well, that was one way to handle it," Ruby said, smiling nervously at Sapphire.
Amethyst made her escape from the room the second Sapphire turned her head toward Ruby. She heard the start of an argument and dashed outside to follow Pearl back to the barn.
Things were definitely about to get interesting around here.
"Don't you dare tell Steven," Pearl said as if reading Amethyst's mind, her fake smile still threatening and plastic.
"Darn it!" Amethyst huffed, kicking a rock.