Consider this my headcanon on why Padparadscha struck Rutile and their former comrades down without missing a beat. Other gems are mentions and refrences only
"Are you alright?"
"But… But your covered from head to two in that mercury acid. What if they can't put you back together"
"The prince will fix me again"
Yellow by all accounts looked a few strangled breaths away from a panic attack. All the uncertainty of what would happen next, the fear of facing their friends again after what they did. The possibilty of things gioing back to the way the used to sounded silly more than anything else now… And that was probably what stung most.
Padparadsha was still drenched in the acidic mercury, their body stiff and unmoving, their gaze passive and thoughtful. Those eyes lacked any real distress closer to a cold void from where Yellow say. That wasn't like them at all.
Raising their head they gave Yellow a rare genuine smile. "If you don't want to fight our siblings. Then you can stay behind with Dia and Alex. I'll look after Phos".
Yellow grit her teeth and looked away from them, theiry eyes glaring across moons they went again, why was Pad so loyal to Phos suddenly? What about master and the others? Would Pad have struck Yellow down too if they had opposed Phos?
"Pad. Why are you so content with all this?"
After that… That massacre on the field it was a bit hard looking them in the eye. Still they summoned the courage to do so.
"Hmm?" they glanced back at Yellow, flicking some mercury out of her face before it could drip into their eye.
"Rutile spent centuries trying to save you and you just struck them down without a second thought. That's not at all like you… You've changed"
They blinked but otherwise had no real reaction to the accusation. A silent moment passed between them as Pad reached out to the sand with their good hand, raising a handful of gem minerals in their palm and sighing. "You might be right… I'm probably worse than scum for betraying them like I did. I took out more of us than even Phos did"
Puffing out some icey air from their lips they glanced up at Carnnigorm and Alchemea at the overhead platform some feet away. Yellow hesitantly also drew their gaze there but the image of those two was so bizarre they could only gaze at them for a few seconds before looking back at Pad who by the looks of it had come to a similar conclusion by the slightly disconcerted look in their eyes.
Surpsisingly the Ruby gem carried on with their monologue."Rutile's well being matters to me more than anything. "
Those words weren't matching their earlier actions and they both knew it
"Then why didn't you turn on Phos and Lunarians, why were you going out of your way to protect them instead of talking to Rutile?"
Suddenly Pad was sitting a lot closerabout within arms reach, staring them down, their gaze unreadable but projecting something Yellow wanted to think was a cross between anguish and resolution.
"Sometimes… you have to be cruel to be kind"
"The one variable that's always caused that gem pain and sadness is and always will be me… I want them to forget me, if Rutile can do that then I know for sure they'll find happiness with the other gems and I can fulfill my debt to Phos"
"But why Phos? Sure it was their idea to bring you, but it was the moon people that saved you in the end"
Why even question Pad at this point? Was Yellow just try to pass on blame to Pad for ruining their relationship with their siblings or was the old diamond just looking for validation to keep them from acknowledging just how low they'd sunk. It was hard to tell. "Are you just trying to make excuses for yourself?"
"… I feel sorry for them"… "Phos… When I gaze at that three-and-a-half, I see a self hating gem desperately trying to find some form of stability in their life. Rutile already has that with sensei and the others, they just need to let me go. But Phos is just going to keep braking himself until they find the truth even if that truth just ends up ruining them further, he just can't help himself. When Alchemea said it was that gem that brought me here. It was hard to believe that pebble that always hid behind master had come so far… I just thought the least I could do was be someone that they could always find normalcy in… Warped thinking I know" Pad admitted.
Warped, not so much. In a way it made sense, though only in the darkest possible sense. Following this path Pad would be able to protect Phos and in a way that was just as cruel as it was kind, Rutile as well. As a gem that lived so much of their life in coma, it was sad how much Pad choose to live for more for the sake of other gems and not their own.
…Yet perhaps this was in its own way the single most independent thing Pad had ever done since it was entirely on their own terms.
Yellow felt a painful twinge in their gut as realisation hit them. "You don't want to go back home, do you?"
Their silence only confirmed the platnum gems feelings. They weren't partners but the two of them had been together from the vary beginning, it hurt seeing evereryone go through this… Yet it had to happen. Well maybe it was time to stop being indecisive too… Reaching out they placed their hand over Pad's acid covered arm, it burned slightly but Yellow wasn't concerned. Pad did however and gasped slightly, reeeling back to avoid injuring the Diamond and looking up at Yellow when they felt their arm get held in place, having a higher hardness Yellow no risk of damage from Pad even if they weren't as skilled with a blade.
Yellow tried to smile, though it only came out forced. Didn't make their feelings any less sincere "Padparadscha. I won't stop you, I probably can't… But If you insist on this then I want you to do this for yourself, not just for Phos or Rutile's sake. Atleast promise me that"
The Ruby gem looked at them with genuine surprise which then melted into a smile before further regressing into grief. With a slight motion their arms entertwined and with the mildest pressure Pad gave their hand a slight squeeze in return , a silent thank you. But also an apology and just maybe a plea.
"I promise" they said with possibly more conviction than Yellow had ever heard.
They smiled lightly back at each other.
"Alright then. I'll help you"
"Thank you". They said as they briefly leaned onto Yellows shoulder, a simple familiar gesture and as close as Pad would let them get to a hug, before pulling back a few seconds later to minimise the acid spreading
I don't doubt this fic is going to be renderend non canon in the next chapter but it was fun getting it out of my system. Consider an AU of sorts.
Thanks for reading. After finally catching up with manga after caving in last Friday I felt the strongest urge to write a quick oneshot