(Spoilers? Maybe? Nothing plot heavy.)
Okay- I can make things somewhat provocative at points and NO ONE CAN STOP ME! Lmao, it's mostly for a quick laugh and the fact that Steven is a teenage boy and in the end there will be more deliberately 18 stuff later on, that much is a given. Enjoy the innocent relationship while you can kiddos.
Edit: okay, I'm just not going to delete that cause I had hinted at some provocative things in the comments of the last chapter but I've decided against that cause like...well reset Spinel is really baby and too child-like for me to be comfortable putting in that kind of position, even if I had Steven see his Spinel, that's still reset Spinel in the situation and I literally can't do that, she acts like she's a little kid and it made me super uncomfortable even trying to do it.
The hybrid sat there for a while, holding her hand as he cried. Everything was coming to the surface now: the stress of fixing homeworld, all the issues with his mother, the people he inadvertently hurt, the knowledge that he would never actually know peace, that he would never actually have that happy ending...and of course what he still felt responsible for: Spinel's current state.
Eventually he stopped, Garnet coming in not too much later after that, gently taking a seat next to his bed. "Hey Steven,...you look upset, would you like to talk?" She asked quietly, looking straight ahead as she sat next to him, the hybrid unable to help wondering if the timing wasn't a coincidence.
He didn't want to open up, he knew it was probably be a bad idea and all he would get from it was another 'it's not your fault' talk like he had with Pearl, but at the same time he wanted to get it all out there now more than ever. "Spinel has been reset...I'm at fault for it too."
"...I see." Garnet nodded. "And did you mean for this to happen?" She questioned, surprising him that it wasn't straight to him not being at fault.
"N-no...of course not. But I told her I would be right there and make sure nothing happened to her and yet I was the one that started the process that got her reset...she trusted me and now she's like this because of me..." He explained, keeping quiet as well.
"Yes, maybe what you're saying is true, maybe you weren't able to protect her like you promised and a choice you made ended up indirectly causing her to be reset, but even if it was only an indirect consequence to that choice, you still didn't mean to." Garnet reminded him. "Do you really think that Spinel would be upset with you because you accidentally got her reset?"
"No...you're right but-" He was cut off by the fusion. "There is no buts, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and fix this, now how do you plan to do so?" Garnet spoke firmly as she removed her visor, showing she was serious. "I know I can't make you feel like this isn't your fault, so I'm going to make you redeemed, even in your own eyes; now how are we bringing her back?"
Steven was surprised to say the least, not even he knew this was exactly what he needed but he stopped feeling upset and was now feeling determined. "Spinel has memories buried deep within her, I just have to keep bringing back memories and I just know that she will remember."
"How do you know she has these memories at all?" Garnet questioned, slightly skeptical as she had never seen a gem brought back from this.
"There's been flashbacks and she still won't leave my side, she looked like she was going to get violent with Pearl for just suggesting she wait outside." Steven explained, glancing down to the sleeping gem who now had her arms wrapped tightly around his one arm, the little gem wearing a smile.
Garnet looked down to her as well, hardly believing someone like her was even capable of violence. "It seems simple to me then...put her in one spot and make her wait. I'm not saying drop her off in the garden again but this seems like the quickest way."
"No, no way, I refuse to bring her back by making her remember hate, abandonment and betrayal. I will not be the one to make her feel like that." Steven shot back defensively with a growl, his pink glow flaring up on his face slightly before diminishing, surprising even himself. "I-I'm sorry...but no, I'm not doing that. I'm taking her out tomorrow, maybe stopping by homeworld at some point."
"Very well then, I'm glad I was able to help you with your problem...you should come to us more often, we understand some human issues and emotions you know." She spoke with a small smile as she resummoned her visor and made her way downstairs, leaving steven and his slumbering friend to sleep in peace.
The hybrid teenager gave a sigh as he laid down and closed his eyes. "I'll fix this...I'll make things right." He thought to himself as he began to slowly drift off with his reset companion by his side.
That night Steven had dreamt about the previous day, he tried his hardest to break Spinel free this time but once again to no avail. This time though, Spinel wasn't in her gem and there was a window into the shell, allowing him to watch clearly as his friend screamed and begged for him to help her, his name repeatedly being called out, the sound of her voice getting louder and louder.
"STEVEN! STEVEN! STEVEN!" He was shaken awake by a distressed Spinel,...the reset version of her that is... "Steven, are you okay?!" She asked, seemingly panicked, confusing the boy even further.
"Wha- what are you going on about?" He asked as he pulled his arm over his eyes to block out the sun. "And was it really necessary for you to wake me up like that?"
"Y-you were repeating my name and thrashing around, your face was turning pink again...it scared me..." She spoke softly, seemingly bashful about waking him up like this. He gave a huff as he went to move but realized he was once again under her, the smaller gem sitting on his lap with her arms on his shoulders, assumably from when she was trying to wake him up.
"Right...sorry about that, I was just having a nightmare." He said with a sigh as he sat up, Spinel not moving but he didn't really care at this point, he had a headache.
"A nightmare?" She asked, her interest in this apparently unknown concept bringing him relief as he assumed it meant she didn't have one. "What's that?"
"It's nothing, really." He moved her off of himself before getting up and making his way to his dresser and grabbing some clothes for himself. "Anyway, I gotta get ready for the day so you can either come downstairs with me or do whatever up here."
"Coming!" She announced, her joyous self making her way over to the tired teen's side. "So what are we doin' now?" She questioned with a smile as she made it a point to hold onto his arm, feeling some instinctual need to make sure he never left her side.
"Well first I'll get cleaned up and dressed, you can watch some cartoons while I do that and then we can eat." He informed her, the two of them making their way downstairs, this time Pearl being in her room, though Steven didn't really mind, he was turning 16 soon after all, he couldn't count on her to make his breakfast every day.
"Wait, can't I get the 'cleaned up and dressed too'?" She asked, obviously having no idea what he was talking about but nevertheless wanting to participate in whatever action her best friend was doing or obtain whatever item he was as well.
"No, that is something I'm supposed to do alone, you just sit here on the couch and look for something to watch." He said, turning on the tv and handing her the remote. "You use these two buttons to look through different things to watch till something catches your eye."
"W-Wait, where are you going?" She asked anxiously, her chest feeling heavy despite the fact that she didn't even breath. "Why can't I go with you?" Her hold on his arm tightened as her eyes began to burn.
Steven came to realize that this was even worse than before, beginning to panic as well, not wanting her to have to remember this way as he wasn't even sure if this would bring back all her memories or if they would be the only ones to return.
"Hey, it's ok." He reassured her, leading her over to the bathroom door and opening it. "I'll be right in this room, the only way in or out is right here so you don't have to worry about anything, I promise." He said giving her a warm smile as she looked around the windowless room.
"You promise you'll come back? There's really no other way to sneak out?" She asked her voice quiet as she looked down to the floor feeling slightly silly for all this but also unable to stop herself from feeling scared about her new friend leaving.
"I promise, you just go watch some tv and only bother me if it's an emergency, okay?" He instructed carefully as she made herself let go of him hesitantly. "I'll be out soon, so just keep yourself busy or entertained."
"Alright...ok, I'm sorry." She nodded, her head hanging low, this new attitude tugging on Steven's heart. "Don't worry about it, I'm not." He said, giving her a smile as he ruffled her hair playfully, bringing a smile back to her face.
Steven gave her one last nod and wave before closing the door and locking it, giving a sigh as soon as it separated them. "How did she go from bad to worse about her anxiety after loosing the memory of what hurt her?" He asked himself quietly as he got undressed, tossing his clothes into a basket before starting the shower.
The young Diamond let out another sigh, this time a breath of relaxation. Showers let him think about things or clear his head if need be, this time being the former. "So much is happening right now...I have to go and check on homeworld today but luckily that coincides with me trying to make Spinel remember things. Ugh, and I still haven't gotten the chance to think about my feelings for her...why does life always have to be so hard for me? I feel pitiful complaining about all of it, I'm sure there are many out there who go through worse on a daily basis but I really just want a break from all this..."
He decided to ignore his thoughts now and just opted to clearing his head as he let the water run down himself. "Um- Steven?" He heard a small voice call to him from the other side of the curtains.
He was quick to wrap said shower curtain around himself as he peeked out to see Spinel standing there and twiddling her thumbs. "I know you said only interrupt you if it was an emergency, but your Pearl told me to tell you to hurry up in here as she is getting the stuff for 'eating' ready." She said almost robotically, though Steven ignored it for now.
"Spinel, you could've told me from the other side of the door or at leased knocked." Steven said with a huff. "I'll be done soon, just go back out there and watch tv while you wait." He instructed impatiently, refusing to take his eyes off of her but not being too rude as he knew she meant nothing by invading his privacy.
She looked around the bathroom for a bit before giving a shrug. "Alrighty then." She said as she turned around and walked to the door. "Wait, now that I think about it, didn't I lock the doo-" He was interrupted mid thought. "Amethyst, I did it!" Spinel called out earning a scowl from Steven once he put two and two together.
"Oh come on man- you ratted me out!" He could hear the purple sisterly gem respond, seemingly disappointed that she wouldn't get away with her antics without blame, earning a 'whoops' from Spinel as the door closed once again.
He chose against taking his time in favor of just getting out and seeing how things were going out there as to prevent her from telling Spinel to do something more than just stand outside the curtain. After washing up real quick, he turned the water off and got out, drying off as he walked over to the sink. He wrapped the towel around his waist and brushed his teeth before getting dressed and walking out, immediately looking down to Amethyst who was on the couch, Spinel sitting a few feet away.
"Heh, sup?" The Quartz nodded with her arms behind her head, seemingly trying to act like she had no involvement with the earlier little incident. "Heard you got walked in on, huh?"
"Amethyst, What did you tell her to do?" He questioned as he folded his arms over his chest staring down at her down to her with a mildly annoyed look. "I know it was you, what were you hoping for?"
"Eh- y'all have been stalling this thing long enough, just thought I'd give the two of you a situation or three that only couples would be in." She says nonchalantly with a shrug, looking back to the cooking show that was on. "But whatever, guess that's ruined now."
Steven did something she didn't expect in the slightest and gave a slight chuckle. "Huh? Isn't that the kind of thing that usually ticks you off?" She asked with a raised brow, watching him closely.
He just dropped down onto the couch, seemingly not even bothered by the accusation this time around. "Yeah, I'm sorry but you have it so twisted." He said with another slight chuckle.
"What? Is this just you being extra trying to tell me that you're just friends again?" Amethyst asked, seemingly becoming somewhat annoyed by her assumption. "I get it man, you're 'just friends' and bla bla bla, you can stop with whatever this is."
"No, unfortunately enough for you, you can't make that joke anymore." He sighed as Spinel moved places and sat down next to him. "It's complicated, just ask Pearl about Spinel next time you see her." He instructed, still not wanting any unforeseen consequences for telling Spinel that he's trying to get rid of her current person in turn for the Spinel he had come to know.
"I assume it has something to do with this change of her's?" Amethyst asked, looking back to the now confused little gem. "I thought she just put on a cute act and outfit for you, can't wait to hear this story." She chuckled as she stood up, making her way to the temple, assumably to talk to Pearl.
Steven gave a sigh as he stood up as well. "Alright Spinel, time to find some food to eat and then we can get going." He announced to his friend, the aforementioned gem deciding to get up as well and follow him into the kitchen.
"Doesn't the Pearl get the 'food' for us to do eating?" Spinel questioned opening the cabinets while his back was turned, his head in the fridge as he looked for food. She found her way under the sink, her face lighting up in wonder at the many colorful chemicals that they had to clean the many messes you would expect a family of space rocks to make...Amethyst...
"Sometimes, yeah." He said, closing the fridge, not finding anything good for them to eat, passing by Spinel on his way to the pantry, grabbing the open bottle of drain cleaner right as it was about to pour into her open mouth. "Don't mess with the stuff in there." He Said absentmindedly, making his way to the other side of the kitchen. "Anyway- today she seems to be taking a break or busy." He continued as he twisted the lid back on, looking through the cabinets for food but once again to not avail.
He gave a sigh as he put the cleaner back under the sink where Spinel was looking for more interesting colors to taste. "So we might as well have breakfast on homeworld, I was taking you there today anyway." The hybrid informed her, looking away for just a second to make sure the fridge was closed only to turn back around and see Spinel with bubbles coming from her mouth and tears in her eyes.
"Spinel, what did I just say?" He said with a raised brow, the pink gem doing her best to respond. "Ish sho nashy!" She cried out, some of the blue dish soap leaking out with the bubbles. "Buh Ih wahen in here!"
Steven understood her trying to explain how disgusting it tasted and how she didn't find it in the same place as the other cleaning items. The hybrid just gave another sigh as he turned the water on, pulling her over gently. "Wash it out with the water and be thankful that gems can't get poisoned by things they put in their bodies."
The slinky-like gem was quick to get all the soap out of her mouth, creating many bubbles for her afterwards. "Now tell me, why in the world you did you think that that was a good idea?" He asked once she was done.
"I-it was colorful..." She sheepishly said. "How would I know it would taste so bad?...Are you mad?..."
His gaze softened as he placed his hand on her head once again, knowing that he would almost immediately earn a smile for doing so, which he did. "Of course I'm not mad at you, I'm just a little stressed out today is all."
"Oh, would you like to play? Maybe that'll help you relieve some stress?" The pink gem offered, her eyes lighting up.
"I'd love to have some fun and all but we have to go to homeworld now." He dismissed as he took his hand back, walking past her and towards the stairs that lead to his room. "Blue will be happy to se us, I'm sure she would be glad to make us breakfast. Either way, I really need to check up on them in person, I was supposed to be going back tomorrow."
"Blue? Like Blue Diamond? A Diamond do a task that a Pearl would do? Well that doesn't sound right." The shorter gem laughed the claim off as she followed behind him.
"Right- you don't remember...homeworld is different now, the Diamonds are no longer ruthless dictators, everyone is learning to be equals, there are no more unrightfully shattered gems and most of the gems seem to be happy with the changes." He informed her, the two of them finding their way into his room where he grabbed his travel bag and began stuffing it with clothes.
"That sounds really nice and all, but only most of the gems? Why would any gem not enjoy a happier homeworld?" She questioned with a quizzical look.
"Well some gems liked the way things were because they had a lot of authority or because they enjoyed their job." Steven shrugged, zipping the bag shut and slinging it over his shoulder.
"Well why can't they have their jobs back? Wouldn't that make everyone happy?" She continued to ask questions, not that Steven had a problem with it.
"The gems who lost their jobs were all doing things that hurt others in one way or another: assassins, Agates, kindergarteners, gems who made world destroying weapons and soldiers who enjoyed always having a enemy to fight." He listed off a few of the occupations and gems that came to mind. "Of course we still have soldiers on stand by, but quite a few of them were unhappy that we didn't have anything to fight anymore."
"Maybe they should try playing games!" Spinel suggested excitedly. "It's better than fighting and more fun too!"
"Heheh, I'm sure there are many gems out there that would love to learn from you when it comes to how to have fun, but these gems don't really care about that." The young Diamond informed her, leading her outside of his room, making his way up to his tower.
"Aw, that's no good." She continued as she crossed her arms. "I guess not all gems were meant to play...oh well, all the more of a reason for me to be happy I have you as my best friend!" The playful gem grinned as she wrapped her stretchy arms around the hybrid, enveloping him in like five hugs, receiving a light chuckle from him as well.
After she let him go he lead her to the warp pad in the tower. "Next stop: homeworld...let's see how things are going without me." He spoke under his breath, hoping that the Diamonds actually listened to what he had said. A flash of light filled the room and they were gone.
-=Homeworld/The Diamond's House=-
The duo stood on the warp in the house of the Diamonds, Steven being quick to hear the voices of the occupants of said house. "Alright Spinel, let's go say hi to the Diamonds then." He gave her a nod before leading her out into the kitchen area where they saw the three temporarily normal sized ex-monarchs sitting at the table, seemingly still on schedule despite the fact that he was gone.
"Hey guys." He spoke up with a wave, gaining the attention of all of them who seemed pleased to see them. "How are things going around here without me?"
Without warning he was immediately lifted and brought face to face with White. "Oh Star Shine, it's been terrible! These gems are getting on my last nerve, it's so difficult not to do something 'bad'!" She complained, holding him close to her seemingly just as stressed as he was. "You're here to deal with all that, right? I don't know how much longer I can deal with this rebellion without shattering one of them or something! You're the one who deals with the more peaceful punishments, your patience knows no bounds!"
He just gave a slight chuckle as he placed a kiss on his Diamond aunt's gem. "Yeah, I can set some things straight while I'm here, but I'm really here to get Spinel to remember some things. Oh yeah, I kind of destroyed a Pearl modification place; it was being...difficult..."
"I wouldn't worry about it, we have many of them anyway. Though I must ask: what happened with your Spinel? Didn't she decide against that look already?" Yellow Diamond asked from her spot in the dining room, confusing the aforementioned gem even further.
"No, like I said: the modification place was being difficult." Steven reminded her, his voice becoming firm, hoping that she would catch on. Thankfully enough she did to some degree and didn't press the issue.
"...Steven." Spinel tried to get his attention, the teen responding with "One second Spinel. Hey Blue, there isn't really anything to eat back at the house. Sorry to ask, but you think you could make us something to eat real quick before we head into the capital?"
"Star Shine, I don't think that's a good idea..." White hummed, though she knew she wouldn't be able to make him change his mind anyway.
"Don't worry, I'll grab a disguise for us like always- everything will be fine." He said brushing off the warning, not thinking twice about it just as White predicted he would, deciding he'll learn by failure if nothing else.
Blue didn't like the idea either but she didn't really speak up because not even White pressed the issue. "Well about the food, don't worry about it, I was about to make Yellow something to eat anyway." His Blue aunt responded with a smile as his pink friend tugged oh his shirt, whispering his name again, "Steven..."
"Alright then, thank you." He said with his own smile. "I'll just be over here then." The young Diamond announced, taking Spinel around the corner to talk in private. "Yes Spinel?"
"...There's something you're not telling me, isn't there?" She asked gently, the question not coming off as accusatory as he would've expected, but then again her was dealing with this Spinel, the overly kind, happy and polite one. Not to say that his Spinel wasn't any of those things, just not to the extreme that this Spinel was.
"Alright, there might be some things I was leaving out, but it's not like I was completely lying to you." He said with a forced nervous chuckle and a slight shrug. "But I assume you just want to know everything now, don't you?"
She seemed to take a moment to think but her smile returned in the end as she gave a shrug of her own. "Nah, that's okay." She finally said, needless to say, this came as a surprise to Steven.
"Wait, what? You know you're forgetting things and you're fine with not knowing?" He asked in disbelief, shocked that she would just be fine with the situation she's in right now.
"Well, I thought I would like to know eventually...but I trust you. I may only have a day or so of memories, but I'm happy with the way things are. I have my best friend by my side and he seemingly cares for me, even as much as to introduce me to new things such as video games and eating. You asked if I remembered anything yesterday and I said no, and that we would make new memories later on...well I'm already making such amazing memories with you, so even if I never get those old memories back, I think I'm ok with that because...well I don't need them to be happy, I think I'll be fine just having you here instead." Her response hit even harder than the last one, he could hardly process the fact that she just said she didn't need her memories and how mature she was being as well.
Instead of saying anything, he just put his hands on her shoulders. "Stev-ah!" He took her by surprise as he pulled her in for a hug but she continued to smile and giggle nevertheless as she returned the gesture. Steven on the other hand was going through a completely different set of emotions as he set his head on top of hers, holding back tears.
"Will I ever get her back?... What if she doesn't want to remember? She went through such a horrible thing that it completely changed her, so is it really just me? Am I being selfish by trying to bring all that back despite her happiness that she has now?..." Yet another thing to think about dropped on him like a sack of bricks. They stood like this for a while, Spinel not minding in the least and Steven just needing it before they were eventually called in by Blue Diamond.
The hybrid realized they had been standing there for a good ten minutes as he let her go and cleaned up his face. "Come on Spinel, lets go eat." He spoke with his usual warm smile as he put a hand on her shoulder and lead her into the kitchen.
-=End of Chapter=-
Okay, there you have it, another chapter I just kinda spewed out lol. Took me a day or so to write this so thankfully I can go and work on my evil Steven ATs for a bit, so that's nice.
Or that's what I wanted to say. Nah, I physically can't stop myself from releasing the chapter immediately after finishing it unfortunately enough for me hahaha- but I will be working on my AT for a day or so as I said.
The AT can be found on my Wattpad but I'm not transferring it over till I get a good amount of chapters done cause that's just more to worry about.
Anyway, I just realized that we hit nearly 30k reads, and I can't say this enough: thank you all for reading and bringing this story into light. I know I don't really care about numbers in general other than comments but this story would have none of that (or probably not even exist) if all of you hadn't read this and helped it grow so much, so I just want to say thank you all for reading- if you were here since the beginning or you are new or anywhere in between I thank you for being here.
Anyway, as always-
Good morning, goodnight or good afternoon, I'll see you all again soon!