"Oh my! What strong arms you have, Pierre!" Percy cried, gaping in admiration at his partner. "To be able to swing that sword around! Such finesse!"
"You can swing it around too, Percy!" exclaimed Pierre, while proudly flexing his arms. "We are the best when we're together after all."
"Yesyesyesyesyes! Yesssss! In your face, Paulette! Nye-he-he-he!" Peridot cheered, throwing confetti all over the place. Then she froze, gawking as her favorite characters sidled intimately close to each other.
"You're so sweet. Come here and let me hug you," Percy said, wrapping an arm around Pierre's waist.
"This feels nice." Pierre held Percy's other hand, and pressed it to his own cheek. "I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend with you, Percy."
"I feel the same, Pierre."
Pierre leaned forward until his nose almost touched Percy's nose. Both of their eyes fluttered shut as their lips closed the small, almost imperceptible distance...
And then Peridot got yanked away.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" she screamed. "MY ONE TRUE PIERRCY!"
She tried to run, crawl, anything to get back to them, but something kept pulling her away. And with one last powerful tug around her waist, her body flew into the air—
—and landed right in someone's strong, firmly-toned arms.
"Garnet!" yelped Peridot, scrambling to regain composure— or at least attempting to, considering she was tangled in both a harness and Garnet's strong grip. She was about to demand to be returned to witnessing Pierre and Percy's first kiss— and maybe scream an ample number of scathing remarks for being yanked away in the first place— when the haze in her mind cleared up and she became keenly aware of where she was and what she was supposed to be doing.
Aghast, she cried out, "That room is evil, I tell you! EVIL!"
Garnet chuckled. "That's not what you were saying a minute ago."
"I would... greatly appreciate if we never speak of that again," Peridot muttered, suddenly sheepish. "And, uh, you can put me down now."
"Sure." Garnet did as asked and helpfully rearranged the harness and ropes still tied around the smaller Gem. "I can go instead, you know."
"NO!" Peridot yelled, her voice cracking. Upon realizing who she was yelling at, she awkwardly cleared her throat and tried again. "I-I meant, 'No, I want to do it.' I want to fix this myself."
"Okay." Garnet's smile was gone now, her mouth a firm line. "I'll be here if you need me."
Bracing herself, Peridot went back inside Rose's Room.
At first, it was was all soft pinks, but soon it filled with warm, yellow light, filtering in through the green canopy of a forest. The air became filled with the smell of pine and the song of birds. The ground beneath Peridot's feet transformed into springy grass.
It was all very realistic. Peridot grasped the harness tied around her chest, and told herself, "Not real."
She made it barely five feet before stumbling across Pierre, standing on a patch of grass outside Purple Cabin, waving around a pink sword. His muscles bulged.
"Enjoying the view?" Pierre smirked past her, towards Percy, who had appeared out of nowhere. "Why don't you assist me in sparring, so we can improve our compatibility even further."
"Give me that!" Peridot snatched Connie's sword from 'Pierre's' hand, tucked it under her arm, and huffily marched to the room's control panel in the corner.
"Oh no. What's wrong, Peridot?" said Pierre, worriedly chasing after her. "Are you not happy here?"
She grunted her dissent but didn't say anything. She was too busy fiddling with the control panel, one arm deeply entrenched in wires and circuits, the other still stubbornly, protectively wrapped around the sword.
"But I am here, and so is Pierre," said Percy, pointing at himself and his partner. "You could watch us be together, forever. Isn't this what you wanted?"
With a soft 'poof', something materialized in front of her. Peridot yelped and jumped backwards. It appeared to be an aquatic animal of some sort. A whale, perhaps, although she did not know they came in pink.
The whale said, "Ah, but she doesn't want to let her friends down either."
Another poof. Pierre was gone. Pearl was in his place. "She wants a lot of things."
Amethyst replaced Percy. "But what do you want the most, Peri?"
Peridot forced her eyes back on the control panel.
Garnet's voice said, "You can tell us."
"We're all friends here, aren't we?" said Steven.
A cut wire, a rerouted electrical current, the removal of the additional battery core she'd added… Peridot was almost done.
A flash of blue out of the corner of Peridot's eyes. Lapis was standing right behind her. "Whatever it is, I can give it to you."
Not real , Peridot told herself again, twisting a screwdriver in. Not real, not real, not real.
In unison, every single voice said: "Just tell me what you want!"
"What I want..." Peridot pulled her hands out of the control panel. "What I want is for this room to reboot!"
The copies of her friends stared at her, expressionless. The room started to darken. As one, they spoke.
"I see. Well then…"
-I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY-
It was Monday, September 25th. The sunlight was bright and cheery as the sea breeze blew at the wind chimes on the deck, making them tinkle.
"Good morning!" Steven greeted, waving happily as he practically skipped up to the open door.
Connie was waiting for him there, waving back just as happily. "Hey, Steven! Ready to go?"
"As ready as I can be!" Steven laughed, a little out of nervousness, but mostly out of excitement. His heart pounded in his chest as he held out a hand for her. It pounded even more strongly, if possible, when she took his offered hand into her own.
Side by side, hand in hand, they marched out of the beach house and headed into town. They had some vague plans of what they were going to do— maybe watch a movie, or go on a few rides in Funland, or play a few rounds at the new laser tag place— before grabbing a big lunch in a place that was decidedly not a coffee shop. It seemed like their usual hanging out stuff, but there was an air of uncertainty and excitement and nervousness about the pair on this particular day.
Probably because things were going to be different now.
This was their first real date, after all.
Authors' Note: Thank you all for joining us. We hope you enjoyed it. Now, why don't you enjoy a nice, warm drink in your local cafe?