This is not a sequel to Crystal Gems Online (But you should probably read that, or skim it, in order to understand what is going on here.
It's kind of like a side story to a few adventures that Steven and Connie experience once all of the fighting is over. I didn't give these two a lot of screen time with the action so I wanted to change that a little.
I had this idea in my head for a while and finally decided to put it together. This story won't be too long, maybe three or four chapter or so.
Hope you liked this first peek into what is coming; please let me know what you think and I'll see you soon.
A Wrinkle in Time
Chapter One: The Portal
Welcome back, Sapphire.
The familiar words from the automatic welcoming system announced as the long haired gem stood up from the grass, where she had gracefully landed on her knees.
Sapphire let out a heavy sigh, smiling softly as she looked down at her reflection in the clean stream. Her long blue hair fell loosely down her back, stopping just above her belt that sat on her waist. The eighteen year old gem wore a long sleeved blue silk shirt, that was hidden by the grey cape tied around her neck, and blue pants that were tucked into her brown fighting boots. Her bright red crystal sword was strapped to her back, never leaving her side.
She pulled the hood that was built into her cape up, letting it rest at the very edge of her head.
"To the temple," Sapphire spoke clearly, voice bouncing as she edified it towards the yellow crystal in her hand just as she broke it with ease between her gloved left hand.
A bright yellow light consumed the blue gem before a silent 'whoosh' sounded as she disappeared.
The bright light resonating from the central warp pad caused the temple residents to look over curiously. When the powerful light rays evaporated, Sapphire's figure became known.
The blue gem waved her gem hand, smiling. "Hey guys, sorry I'm late,"
"Don't worry about it, ice queen," Amethyst said nonchalantly on the living room couch where she sat beside Pearl, an arm wrapped around the skinny girl. "We're still waiting for Ruby to get here,"
Pearl frowned. "Why aren't you two here together? As Garnet," She whispered the last part softly to herself.
Despite the fighting being over, everyone still saw Garnet as a symbol of strength. They knew that if she was together, then there was nothing to worry about. But when Ruby and Sapphire were separated, they knew something wasn't right.
"Yeah, you two are usually inseparable," Lapis, who was sitting beside Peridot on the stools near the kitchen table, asked curiously. "Did something happen?" The worry was clear in her voice.
Lapis and Sapphire had become good friends throughout the few months of their return to the game. With all of the villains taken care of and with Lapis's new love interest being focused on Peridot, Sapphire had no reason to be watchful towards her.
"There was a situation that needed to be taken care of earlier, in the cloud kingdom," Sapphire began, moving down the short stairs and away from the warp pad. "She texted me, in the real world, that Connie had send her a signal through her phone about there being some sort of portal—"
Lapis held her hand up. "Whoa, since when could Connie contact Ruby from the game to the real world?"
"A lot of virtual reality games have applications in real life that can connect to your phone and let you know what's going on while you're away from the controller," Peridot alerted her girlfriend, placing a comforting hand on her knee as she smiled reassuringly. "I found a way to install an application just for Crystal Gems Online, that way if someone needs to contact us about the game they can send us a private message that will go straight to their phone,"
The water gem sat amazed. "When did you have the time to work on that?"
Peridot shrugged, flushing under all the wanted attention. "When you went on vacation with your family for a week, I missed you and I was bored so I decided to find something useful to do. I was going to tell you but this portal appearing kind of halted it,"
Sapphire hummed. "I suggest everyone download that app once this is all blown over, alert everyone else as well; maybe during the fusion battles tomorrow?"
Amethyst cheered, pointing at her former leader with a grin. "Garnet is going down! Opal has been practicing all week for this,"
"Well, Garnet is the strongest fusion and will be battling last," Sapphire smirked, a ray of confidence shinning. "So technically, Opal has to defeat a few other fusions before she can get to Garnet. And believe me; Garnet has a few new tricks up her sleeve,"
Amethyst whistled. "So does Opal,"
"We'll see," Sapphire said calmly, fixing her bangs lazily.
Pearl huffed. "Enough about the fusion games, can we please talk about this portal that just mysteriously appeared last night?"
"Right," Sapphire nodded, apologizing for getting off topic with Amethyst. "The portal appeared in the cloud kingdom, its strong force has been sucking anything it can into it. We don't know who created it but Ruby is over there with Steven and Connie, they're warning everyone to stay away so the portal can disappear on its own."
She continued. "When it does, then we will have a search party to see who summoned it,"
The warp pad's bright light caught their attention. Three figures landed on the large crystal sphere; one being Connie who was wearing her causal fighting uniform, Steven who was still dressed in his star shirt and jeans, and Ruby.
The fire elemental was wearing a long sleeved dark red cotton shirt, black baggy pants with dark brown fighting boots. Her blue bracelet, that held her crystal shield, rested on her left wrist. There was also a night black sword strapped to her back, just in case the shield wasn't enough.
But it always was.
"You're back," Pearl said, jumping up from the coach.
Ruby nodded, brushing back her thick black curls; the red headband doing nearly nothing. "I am," She said, a charming full toothed grin on her face as she pulled the blue gem into a hug, her girlfriend meeting her halfway. "Hello~" She placed a soft kiss on the girl's nose.
"Hey Rue," Sapphire said, with just as much joy in her voice. "…did you uhm, did you guys get any further with the portal?" She asked, trying to stay professional but not removing herself from their embrace.
But the mention of the portal snapped the younger girl out of her smitten trance. "Oh yeah, stay away from that thing. Connie and Steven identified it as an immortal object,"
Lapis looked around at the uneasy grimaces everyone made, she frowned. "What does that mean?"
"When Sapph and I first found Connie, she was identified as in immortal object," Ruby began, arms crossed over her chest. "That means their part of the game's system, just like Steven too. We just thought we had all the systems in this game, the thought of there being more is a little uneasy,"
Lapis frowned. "Why, what's the problem with a few more little kids running around?"
"We are systems made by Yellow Diamond, Steven and I had a mind of our own when we left to be with you all. But a system still loyal to her, or someone else, has access to all the games controls. Someone had to set this thing off; it couldn't have done it on its own," Connie mumbled.
Steven nodded. "The best thing to do now is get everyone to log off until this thing burns itself out. We wouldn't want anyone to get sucked into that portal; we don't even know where it leads to. Connie and I will be fine, we'll message you as soon as this thing is gone,"
Amethyst sighed. "I guess that's the best thing we can do, wouldn't want to get stuck in here again by this system or whatever,"
"I'll send a message to all CGO players and tell them to evacuate until further notice due to system repairs and glitches that can cause them to get trapped," Peridot said, getting to work right away on the message. "If that doesn't keep them away then I don't know what will,"
Sapphire nodded in approval, turning towards the systems who sat on the warp pad. "You two stay here and away from that portal; I know what you're thinking. But don't be heroes, not today,"
"Yeah," Ruby grinned, patting them on the head. "We'd like to give Stevonnie a real beating at the fusion games tomorrow and her getting caught in a portal won't keep us from finding her and dragging her to the battle field,"
Connie chuckled softly, brushing her hair back into place. "We won't ma,"
"Alright, we'll see you two whenever this thing is taken care of," Ruby said, grabbing her girlfriends hand as they logged out of the game.
Within minutes Steven and Connie were alone in the temple.
"But my parents told us to stay away from the portal," Connie said nervously as she and Steven stood still, allowing the warp pad to transfer them to the cloud kingdom. "I just feel bad about going behind their back like this," She fiddled with her fingers.
Steven smiled reassuringly. "Come on, we're just going to check this thing out so we can take care of it fast and then have fusion battles the next day. Think about how thankful they'll be,"
"…I guess—" Connie shut her mouth, eyes widening as a bright white light bounced up from the portal in the ground; appearing as a big flash as it pointed in the sky. "Whoa, it's getting stronger,"
"That's the idea," A deep voice startled them from behind.
Connie gaped, standing in front of Steven. "B-blue Diamond? How are you—"
"Alive?" The blue gem smirked, folding his arms as he took a few steps forward causing the children to step back and closer to the portal. "You stupid gems didn't kill me, you only got rid of Yellow Diamond and once she was gone everyone was too caught up in their freedom that they forgot all about me and White Diamond. We escaped like everyone else that day,"
Steven, confused, asked the tall gem a question. "Where is White Diamond, and why haven't we seen you two around until now?"
"We were hiding out, trying to find a way to fix what you Crystal Gems destroyed," He snarled, clenching his fist.
Connie frowned. "We didn't destroy anything, Yellow Diamond was a bad guy and we saved everyone! Including you, she was going to let you die with the rest of us!"
"Yellow Diamond is now and forever my liege, if me giving my life makes her job easier then I would have been happy to comply," He said, looking past them and towards the portal that was whipping wildly around the clouds. "But it doesn't matter, I'm going to make things right,"
Steven gave him a worried glance, following his gaze. "Wh-what are you planning?"
"And where is White Diamond?" Connie added.
Blue Diamond shrugged, his short spiky blue hair whipping madly in the wind supplied by the portal. "He was a valuable sacrifice,"
"What does that mean?" Steven growled, his thick curls blowing in the wind. "What did you do?" His voice lowered.
Connie swallowed. "Yellow Diamond needed to make sure that she had someone who would be completely loyal to her, so she created Blue and White Diamond to follow out all of her instructions. She knew that I would fail her," She took a careful step back, sick to her stomach. "He's an immortal object and he used White Diamond to create this void,"
"They hid their true status during our fights so we wouldn't catch on," Connie said, looking at the blue gem that had the words 'immortal object' hovering above his head. "We were too focused on Yellow Diamond to see it,"
Steven frowned. "So this void is really White Diamond?"
"Just his power," Connie said. "White Diamond has the power to look into the past, Blue Diamond got him to retreat into his system form and used him to create this portal. A portal to travel through time,"
Steven's dark brown eyes went wide, his jaw dropped. "You can't be serious,"
"I am," The other system smirked, a shiver running down their spines as it reminded them so much of Yellow Diamond's. "White Diamond will be fine, I just have to go back in time to make sure that Yellow Diamond gets the message. Then I'll find a way back and marvel in the changes I made to the future,"
Connie huffed. "You're insane! Time travel is dangerous; if you warn her then we probably won't be alive! The gamers won't be free!"
"Acceptable loses," He shrugged, drawing his sword. "Now get out of my way before this thing closes,"
Steven summoned his pink shield just as Connie pulled out her pink sword. "You'll have to get past us,"
Connie grabbed Steven's hand and spun him around and into her. The blue gem covered his eyes as the bright light hit him in the face and when it passed a gem, now measuring him in size, stood with a shield in hand along with a mighty sword.
"Or should I say, me," Stevonnie grinned, not giving him a chance to speak as they attacked.
The blue gem dodged the sword and struck back with a punch, only to collide with the quartz shield.
Stevonnie smirked. "Is that all you've got? You do know I'm ranked as the second strongest fusion in this game, right?"
"Garnet is stronger," Blue Diamond sneered, digging his foot into the ground and using all his strength to shove the fusion backwards so it was teetering on the edge of the void.
The long hair gem waved their arms wildly, weapons still in hand, as Stevonnie tried to keep steady. "W-whoa!"
"Top fusion or not, you're only as weak as the ones you fuse with," He stepped closer. "Two weak gems can't expect to form a strong fusion," He grabbed the fusion by its shirt collar and pushed it to the cloud ground below them. "Now if you'd excuse me,"
Blue Diamond prepared to jump into the void but just as he leapt into the air an overstretched arm caught his leg, he frowned. "L-let me go!"
"No way," Stevonnie roped him in, using its shape shifting ability to toss him away. "You're not going anywhere near this thing,"
He growled from where he was tossed to the ground like garbage. "Unless someone goes through it then it will just keep sucking things up until the whole CGO landscape is gone, so I suggest you give up. Unless you plan on going?" He edged, calling the fusions bluff.
Stevonnie bit its lower lip, glancing at the void. "…"
Connie shook her head. "We can't go through that thing, who knows what time period we're going to end up at,"
"But if we don't either Blue Diamond will go to change everything or it will destroy the game," Steven swallowed. "We have no choice,"
Connie glanced at him in the darkness where she glowed a bright pink. "…how will we get back?"
"We can figure that out later," Steven said. "For now lets' just stop him,"
Without another thought, Stevonnie jumped into the void without looking back at Blue Diamond. The powerful portal immediately closed after the fusion jumped inside.
"No!" Blue Diamond growled, sliding over the area where the portal had disappeared. "…idiots!"
"…fighting it out for seventh place!"
Stevonnie landed on the hard concrete floor just in the furthest spot in the battle dome, the fusion gaped. "N-no way," The fusions body began shaking, not being able to keep itself together with all that was going on, and split apart.
Steven held a hand to his heart, trying to catch his breath. "…C-connie, are you okay? Where are we?" He stood up on shaky legs and ran over to where she was now standing behind a large crowd, who luckily hadn't seen them come undone.
Connie grinned, pointing to the battlefield. "It's ma!"
"Ruby?" Steven gaped, eyes shining with stars in them as he watched the red gem take on Centipedal.
The fight appeared to be nearly over by now. Ruby had grabbed Centipedal by his tail and spun him around rapidly before releasing the beast in the air. The shorter girl summoned her iron fist and punched the beast in his gem when he came falling down. Steven, along with the rest of the crowd flinched, as the gem pieces fell into smithereens.
"Wow, Ruby used to be really cruel back then" Steven frowned. "Or should I say…now? Hmm, back now?" He tried it on his tongue.
Connie sighed, recalling when she was in charge of keeping the players happy. "She didn't do it on purpose, trust me." Her light brown eyes looked down towards the arena, she grinned. "Look, there's mom!"
Steven followed her gaze. True to her words, Lars had offered Sapphire a hand and they were then seen walking out of the battle dome.
"Wait, why is Sapphire with Lars? I thought she and Ruby we happy together a Garnet," He frowned, turning to Connie for an explanation.
She smiled softly. "They haven't met each other, well not directly yet. Lars had a huge crush on Sapphire before her and Ruby got together; and they haven't invented fusion yet so we should stir clear from forming Stevonnie,"
"Right," Steven scratched the back of his neck. "…but we need to find a way out of here, who else deals in time travel?"
Connie bit her lower lip. "…there is this one thing. An hourglass that resides in the Sea Shrine, it can take you forward or backwards in time; I'm the only one who knows about it because of my previous connections as Yellow Diamonds helper,"
"Where is this Sea Shrine located?" He asked.
Connie shrugged, like it was no big deal. "At the bottom of the ocean, we'll have to travel to the beach to find it."
"Then lets' go," Steven prompted.
"Wait, you have to know something before we do," Connie grabbed his hand, causing him to frown in confusion. "You can't touch anything once we get there; it's filled with fake hourglass traps. If you pick the wrong one then the building will flood and it won't be back until next week, so we have to be careful and make the right choice,"
Steven nodded. "Alright, should I teleport us to the beach now?"
"Wait," Connie stalled again. "Just in case we run into someone familiar, we have to disguise ourselves,"
The boy nodded, digging into his pocket to reveal two purple gem shards. "Here, these will make us look different to everyone one around us but to you and I we'll look the same,"
"Good thinking," Connie grabbed a shard and quickly crushed it in her hand, feeling the shards surround her like a mini tornado before the feeling was gone. "Okay, lets' get to the beach," She held her hand out.
Steven nodded and took it with a grin. "Right,"
Ruby shook her head and cleared her thoughts as she approached the board walk on the beach, her house wasn't very far away and once she was home she could finally log off and forget about the blue haired girl. That was the plan.
Her plan did not include getting trampled on by two amateur kids who didn't know how teleporting worked.
"Watch where the h—just watch where you're going!" Ruby growled, correcting herself when she noticed they were only children.
Weird looking children, she noted. The sharp shape of their noses and the roundness of their eyes caused her to shake her head, curls bouncing wildly at the action.
It had been a long day.
Steven swallowed, not used to having the red gems fierce glare set on him. "S-sorry Ruby, we didn't mean to land on you," He quickly stood up, helping Connie as well before he began dusting himself off.
"Yeah, sorry Ma—er, Ruby," Connie corrected herself, glancing to her side where someone had quickly ran past them; nearly missing as they almost bumped into the angry red gem.
Ruby growled, crossing her arms angrily. "What is wrong with everyone today, bumping into me like this," She glanced down at the kids who were starring at her with shocked eyes, she frowned. "…what's wrong with you two?"
Steven gulped, whispering to himself. "…you're just really different…"
"N-nothing, we just," Connie smiled softly, speaking over the younger boy. "I—"
"The log off button is gone!" Lars shouted from behind them, causing the trio to turn around to see the long eared boy screaming in Sapphire's face; Ruby huffed. "I-I can't find it!"
Ruby then called for her menu bar, her mouth went dry as she whispered. "He's right…we can't log off,"
"On no, it's happening," Connie mumbled, recalling the events that had happened a year ago. "Not again,"
Steven placed a hand on her shoulder, smiling. "Don't worry, things work out for us in the future. Remember?"
Connie nodded, turning to the red gem who looked ready to teleport; she frowned. "Where are you going?" She latched onto her mother's right arm, looking for some kind of comfort.
"To talk to Rose, she was a beta tester before the game was released," Ruby mumbled without looking at the strange kids and blindly shoving Connie away from her, but not too rough. "She should know what's going on, you two just stay out of my way,"
Connie flinched; Ruby really was a jerk back then wasn't she?
A bright light surrounded the red gem and in only seconds she was zapped away, leaving the kids alone on the beach board walk.
"What about Sapphire?" Steven asked, watching the blue gem try to console a crying Lars.
Connie frowned, breaking out of the shock from her mother's rude personality. "What about her?" She mumbled; kind of distracted with her thoughts.
"…Connie," The boy looked at her worriedly, snapping her out of it. "Did your parents ever tell you how they met?"
She nodded casually. "Yeah, Sapphire had trouble teleporting and bumped into Ruby on her way—to her beach house and…oh no," Connie looked at Sapphire who was still busy with Lars, before she whimpered. "W-we got in the way…Ruby and Sapphire we supposed to meet here and then Sapphire was supposed to follow her to the temple!"
"It's okay," Steven tried to calm her down.
Connie shook her head, freaking out. "No, it's not! If they don't meet then they don't fall in love and form Garnet, or save the people in the game, or find me, and Ruby doesn't save your gem from Jasper! Lapis and Peridot will stay evil! Sapphire and Lars could fall in love!" She turned green at the thought.
"I am not calling him my dad!" Connie refused, face red.
"Relax, we can still fix things, Ruby and Sapphire have seen each other and are already attracted to one another we just need to bring them together," Steven tried to reassure her. "Now, we already know where Ruby is which is good; we just need to bring Sapphire there and let fate do the rest."
"Okay," Connie motioned for him to follow as she slowly walked over to Sapphire, thankfully Lars had finished crying; some things still hadn't changed at least. "…uhm, Mo—I mean, stranger!" She blurted out nervously.
Sapphire turned around, dropping her comforting hand off of Lars' shoulder to look down at the kids. "Hello, how can I help you?"
Steven smiled, glad that her personality was much more mellow than Ruby's had been. "Actually, it's how we can help can help you," He pointed to the temple that was sitting atop the hill on the board walk. "Rose Quartz, best gem battler, probably knows what's going on with the game and we can lead you there."
Sapphire smiled softly. "Thank you, that would mean so much to us, come on Lars,"
He sniffed. "Yeah, okay,"
Connie nodded softly, observing her slightly younger looking and naive mother. "Don't worry; we'll get everything back on track,"
Sapphire, put off by the use of words, nodded with a soft frown. "…okay,"
The blue gem didn't know if she could trust these kids but it wasn't like she had any other choices. Besides, that red gem smasher appeared to be pretty high up in the rankings along with this Rose woman; so maybe they knew each other?
If these kids were going to help lead her to the mysterious red gem, Sapphire was happy to follow.