He couldn't trust them.
Even as Greg sat there calmly chatting with the Gem, Steven cuddled firmly against his chest, his mind was a storm of chaos over what he had glimpsed in the back windows of his van. Even now it felt like something cold had a grip on his heart and was squeezing it everytime he thought about. Each time he so much as blinked he saw it and the urge to puke got stronger with each sight.
The sight of Pearl ghosting her fingers against Steven's gem before lightly grasping it as if she was going to pull it out.
Of Garnet and Amethyst sitting there frozen, partly shocked by what Pearl was attempting and partly longing to see their beloved friend and leader.
He thought he could trust them. Rose had promised he could trust them.
But after what he had seen them attempt to do to Steven, a baby that had nothing to do with whatever conflict Greg himself had with the Gems, he couldn't bring himself to even let one of them hold Steven.
It's strange though, Greg must admit, that despite not trusting them with Steven himself, he still trusted them in defending the Earth and humankind in general against other Gems.
It was like trusting someone to protect the frame of the painting but never the painting itself.
Rose had wished for Steven to be free to do as he chose without the burden of everyone's expectations on his young shoulders. And Greg will make sure it will happen.
As Greg smiled at whatever plan they had for Steven's future living arrangements, his mind was already coming up with several different half-baked plans that were immediately torn down and replaced with better and more solid ideas.
His arms tightened a little bit around his son.
He will make sure Steven will be as happy as he can be.
Even if it was possible he wasn't the one going to raise him.
Greg scrubbed at his face tiredly, groaning when his back cracked due to him straightening out of his hunched position over Videlia's table. Despite this, he couldn't help the triumphant smile that made its way across his face when he finally took in the result of of a full weeks worth of writing, sleepless nights included ( when wasn't taking care of Steven, of course).
It was a leather bound journal, salmon pink in coloring and engraved with his name on the front and on the spine. He splurged a little when he had a galaxy engraved on the cover in silvers and golds but he had wanted his son to understand what kind of person he was. He wasn't sure how many pages he would need so he had gotten one with enough pages to make a novel out of. He had hoped it would be enough, even if the journal might not be necessary if things turn out well.
Inside the journal was Dudley Dursley and Greg Universe, from the beginning until the very end. Every little thought he could remember having, every little action and regret, it was in this journal.
His childhood with his cousin.
His teen years up until College.
Every dream he had, every song he had came up with.
His time with Rose and the Crystal Gems.
Initially it was apart of his Plan C; his Plan C including the very real possibility Greg wont be able to stay with Steven. He had written it for when Steven would become older, to be given to his future guardian for safe-keeping until Steven was ready. He had even included advice for just about everything he could think of and the few precious pictures he had Rose and himself.
But now he planned for it to be something he wanted to be given to his son regardless if it's by himself or by his future guardian.
With the journal done, he could now focus his attention on getting his affairs in order and spending time with his boy.
He could sell the things in his storage unit, make a bit of extra money for the future. Or he could give them up to Vidalia, she's always up to gaining new elements for her art. Heck, if Amethyst was still talking to him he could have given up his hoard to her. They always had an odd bond over their hoards, no matter if it was mostly junk.
His van though...his van is coming with him.
He had that van since he started college. He had scraped and scrounged for months for just the body, and later on several extra months for it's parts. He poured his heart and soul into his van and it had served him well over the years.
It was the first thing he actually worked hard for, everything else being handed to him by his parents without so much as a complaint.
And when the time came, he wanted his son to have it.
it didn't take the Gems long to figure out Greg, and more importantly Steven, had left Beach City.
Needless to say, they could have handled it better.
Or, as Amethyst would say, Pearl could have handled it better.
The half-mad panic that quickly worked its way through Pearl until she was in hysterics had Amethyst keeping her distance and Garnet on constant watch, lest she decides to tear Beach City into pieces in the same way she tore apart Vidalia's house when she found Steven was gone.
Personally, she couldn't blame Greg for leaving, resentful feelings aside. There was points where she wanted to leave herself, and a few times she actually did.
But in those few rare times, Rose had always found her and they would spend days together exploring Earth, seeing things Rose had surely seen a million time before. After each day Rose would go home and return the following morning, until finally Amethyst would follow after.
But now she was gone and now no one will ever miss her when she left, or wonder where she is, or even come find her like Rose did.
No one will ever be like Rose.
Garnet had closed off from everyone, and Amethyst hadn't seen Pearl since she almost completely demolished Vidalia's house.
She was honestly tired of it.
She knew things will never be the same again, but did they have to act like they were the only ones grieving? Like they were the only ones that lost someone precious to them.
When Rose had… vanished? Died? Amethyst had ran, shapeshifting constantly but never returning to base form. Pretending to be something else, anything else with no problems and no real worries had helped her cope. The things she changed into didn't know Rose, they didn't know the Crystal Gems. They didn't know the world was now so dark and bleak and lonely.
All they had to worry bout was surviving.
Maybe it was about time she became something else again.
Something that didn't know who Rose Quartz was.
Maybe an owl?