CHAPTER I: A PAINFUL TRUTH
"Mom was Pink Diamond…"
Steven finally understood. His mother couldn't have killed Pink Diamond. He always wanted to believe that, From the moment Eyeball revealed the truth about how Rose Quartz managed to win the gem war, to this very day. Then there was Pearl. He never told her, scared of how she would react, but he always thought of her as a mother. He remembered how that slim silhouette he saw in his dream, slowly crept behind Pink Diamond, pulling out his mother's sword, ready to strike. He never wanted to believe that either. But the truth, the one that his mother managed to conceal, to her friends, to her love, even to the Diamonds themselves and… to her very own son, it was something he wasn't prepared for. Garnet was shaking, Amethyst's eyes became wide as dinner plates as she kept asking questions, and Pearl, poor Pearl, had both her hands clamped on her mouth. She couldn't answer, she just kept shaking her head, while tears streamed down her cheeks. Steven didn't hear any of them. He remained on his knees, eyes fixated on the ground, his mind lost in a myriad of emotions, doubts and questions. He wasn't angry, he was… disappointed, confused and sad. He remained silent, almost unmoving, until a bright light caught his attention. He turned around to see Garnet coming undone, Ruby and Sapphire falling ungracefully on the ground.
"What… how could you… ngah!" Ruby yelled angrily getting up and stomping her foot down.
"I-it wasn't her fault!" Steven tried to intervene, but became silent, as the air around the small group suddenly became cold, almost freezing.
"You made us live a lie, for thousands of years." Sapphire murmured.
"Sapphi…" Ruby whispered, stepping close to her, trying to reach her, but Sapphire turned around and ran away before she could, reaching the warp pad and disappearing into the beam of light.
"Ruby… I'm-" Pearl tried to speak but was cut off by the fuming red gem.
"I don't wanna hear it! Sapphire!" Ruby cried, stepping on the warp pad and disappearing shortly after.
Pearl was going to follow but Steven stopped her, taking her hand and gently pulling her back.
"Don't worry, I'll go make sure they're okay." Steven said, trying his best to give her a reassuring smile.
"I'm sorry, I didn't want… I didn't want to hurt them." Pearl said wiping her cheeks.
"I know. Don't worry, everything will be alright." Steven hugged her, he didn't know if everything would have turned out fine, but he hoped it would, and in that moment, he needed Pearl to believe that. The pale gem hugged him back, a little tighter than usual, before letting go.
Steven ran up to the warp pad, trying to imagine where Ruby and Sapphire could have gone. He thought for a moment, then extended his arms a concentrated. In a matter of seconds, he was engulfed in a bright light and when it faded, he knew he had guessed right. The strawberry battlefield. Sapphire was sitting on the ground, shaking, frozen tears falling from her face. Ruby was behind her. She slowly approached Sapphire and kneeled behind her, hesitating for a moment before embracing her.
"She lied to us… she lied to us for so long… Rose and Pearl both did…" Sapphire hissed the two names in a tone of voice Steven hoped never to hear again.
"I-it wasn't Pearl's fault." Steven said, approaching the two small gems.
"What?! Of course it is! She's our friend! Or at least, I though she was…" Ruby whispered between gritted teeth.
"But she couldn't tell you! She couldn't tell anybody! Mom… mom ordered her not to…" Steven said, the image of his mother giving Pearl her last order still fresh in his mind.
"She could have… she could have… ugh I don't know!" Ruby screamed.
"Steven is right…" Sapphire muttered, turning around and closing her hands around Ruby's.
"B-but-" Ruby tried to speak, but Sapphire interrupted her.
"It was wrong of me to accuse her… she was given an order by her diamond. As terrible as it is to say this, a pearl can't disobey her diamond's commands." Sapphire said, exhaling a trembling breath.
"I… I guess you're right, b-but still, it hurts. She was our leader, she was our friend! We fought alongside her in a war! Her war! We gave her everything and she still… she still didn't trust us enough to tell us." Ruby felt her own tears start to fall.
"I know…" Sapphire couldn't say much else, she felt exactly the same way.
"Are… are you two mad at me?" Steven chimed in, his voice small and frightened.
"What?! No no no! Steven, you didn't do anything wrong! I mean, you should be angry too!" Ruby said, waving her arms in the air.
"I… I feel kinda sad and… disappointed but-" Steven began to talk but suddenly, he became quiet, eyes roaming the battlefield.
"What is it?" Ruby asked, looking around.
"Don't you feel it?" Steven asked in a hushed voice.
Then Ruby felt it, and so did Sapphire. The ground was shaking, and each passing second, it shook more violently, until all of them saw something approaching. Something big.
"Amethyst… please talk to me." Pearl said, sitting on the couch beside the purple gem.
"What do you want me to say Pearl…" Amethyst muttered without looking at her.
"Anything, please anything. This situation is already stressful enough-" Pearl tried to speak but was abruptly cut off.
"Stressful?! Oh oh, you say it's stressful Pearl?! I just discovered that the gem that took me out of that dirt hole where I was made was actually the one who created that place!" Amethyst yelled in anger.
"She loved you Amethyst, she loved all of us. She meant it when she said you're perfect the way you are, this doesn't change anything." Pearl said, but Amethyst wasn't having any of that.
"She was a dirty liar! She came here and started a war that ruined this planet and turned all of her friends into monsters!" Amethyst regretted saying those words the same moment they came out of her mouth. Her expressions softened seeing Pearl cover her mouth and start crying again.
"I'm sorry." Pearl kept saying over and over.
"Geez P, I'm… I'm sorry too… I'm just angry, come here." Amethyst said reaching out for the pale gem, hugging her and keeping her close until she stopped crying. "I know she loved us and… I know she meant all the things she said to me. But it hurts to know she never trusted me or Garnet enough to tell us."
"I wish I could tell you all about her." Pearl sniffed loudly before letting her go and wiping her cheeks.
"I know P. We should go after them, don't you think?" Amethyst asked, smiling at her.
That was enough to cheer her up, at least a bit. Pearl smiled back and nodded.
Steven, Ruby and Sapphire remained petrified as they saw what caused the ground to shake. A corrupted gem, similar to the one Jasper fused with months before, with light green skin and darker green stripes. The monster slowed down as it reached the group and let out a powerful roar.
"Sapphi, we have to fuse now!" Ruby exclaimed, taking Sapphire's hands and pulling her up.
But nothing happened.
"Come on, come on!" Ruby yelled, closing her eyes and concentrating as hard as she could.
There was a bright light, but as soon as it began to glow, it faded away, leaving the two small gems on the ground.
"Why doesn't it work?!" Ruby cried, pulling her hair in frustration.
"I… I'm sorry, I don't…" Sapphire stammered.
The beast crept closer, emitting a deep growl. Ruby stood in front of Sapphire, summoning her gauntlet and assuming a fighting stance. The corrupted gem let out another powerful roar before charging towards the small red gem.
"Oh boy, that's gonna hurt…" Ruby whispered as she braced herself.
But suddenly, the monster stopped its charge.
"Steven!" Both Ruby and Sapphire cried as they saw the young boy standing right in front of the monster.
The corrupted gem raised itself on its hind legs before stomping the ground and shaking its mane. Maybe it was trying to scare Steven away, but the boy didn't move a muscle. The monster growled again, but this time it didn't sound like a menacing sound. It moved closer before sniffing at him. Then it sneezed, making Steven snicker. The monster titled its head in confusion.
"H-hey, I don't want to hurt you." Steven said quietly as he moved his hand towards the very large corrupted gem.
"Steven! Don't touch it!" Ruby whispered through gritted teeth.
But Steven didn't listen to her, and slowly, very, very slowly, he reached for the monster mane and scratched it. The beast seemed to appreciate the gesture and let out a sound that could be interpreted as a purr. That wasn't a monster. Not really. That was a gem. A very big, scary gem, but still a gem. She was only scared, confused, much like all of them in that moment.
"I'm sorry this happened to you…" Steven whispered as he kept caressing the warm, soft, white fur.
And indeed, Steven was sorry. He was sorry this gem couldn't understand him. He was sorry that so many others had to suffer the same fate, that so many others had to suffer for the Earth to be saved. He was sorry he couldn't do anything for her, to make her feel better. He was sorry the Diamonds did this to her. The Diamonds…
"Damage from the Diamonds…" Steven whispered to himself.
He suddenly remembered what Centipeetle had shown to him through her drawings. She showed him her ship, her crew, her commander. She showed him the war, the defeat of Homeworld… and the revenge of the Diamonds. 'You heard something, from the sky, a sound, a… a song?'.
And then Steven realized. What if there was something he could do to help this gem? The Diamonds used their powers to wipe out the remains of the rebellion, tearing the fabric of their minds, mutating them into mindless beasts. It was a power like no other. Because the terrible song came from the Diamonds, no other gem in the entire universe could do something to repair the damage it caused, because no other gem was as powerful as them. But if a Diamond had a power like that, to distort the form of a gem, then, maybe a Diamond also had the power to restore it. Steven closed his eyes, leaning towards the monster until their foreheads slightly touched.
"I hope this will help you…" Steven whispered.
And then he sang.
Alright guys, this is the first chapter of what might become a multi-chapter story! I really hope you liked it this far. I only have one thing to ask, please let me know in the comments if I should continue this story. I adored the new episodes, especially "A single pale rose". I really wanted to write a fan fiction that would continue from that point, and if you like it and want me to write other chapters, I have some ideas that maybe you could find interesting. If I continue, I think this is going to become a fanfiction about how I think the show is going to end, so expect the Diamonds to appear, alongside many, many other beloved characters from the past, but I don't want to say too much. Alright, so thanks for reading and tell me if I should continue, bye bye!