Steven would be the first to admit that a lot of things confused him, but he knew that there's one thing he'd always be sure of: how much he loved his family. There's his dad, Greg Universe who owns the local car wash and his mom Rose Quartz. He'd never met her but he'd heard all the stories and she was just amazing. Then there was also Garnet: super cool and mysterious, and Opal. She had four arms. Enough said.
He knew that to some it wasn't the most regular of families, but it was his and he knew that he wanted to protect them with everything he had.
If only he could get his shield to work.
This is a rewrite of my first attempt, and hopefully much better. I'm much happier with it.
It was nearing late afternoon, and Steven was sat in the back of his dad's van, a cookie cat in his hand and his legs swinging. "The sky is so blue today," he said looking up at the cloudless sky, "And it's a really nice day. Can we have a picnic for dinner?"
"That does sound like a great idea, but it might just have to be sandwiches and maybe a donut for dessert," Greg said, ruffling Steven's curly hair and trying to mentally make an inventory of the food in his van. He didn't have very much at the moment, his cupboards were practically bare except for that old can of tomato soup he'd been saving for dinner. He'd been meaning to go to the grocery store today, but when Steven asked if they could hang out he couldn't say no to his son.
"What about fry bits from the fry shack?"
Greg put his hand on his chin, pretending to have to think deeply about it "I think we can swing that."
"And…" Steven grinned, looking excited, "We should invite the Gems!"
Greg's smile faded slightly. "I dunno, Steven, they might be too busy to come to our humble little picnic."
"They'd love to come, I'm sure," Steven insisted, "I'll run and ask them. Stay right here!" He jumped down and ran off to the house leaving Greg bemused.
He opened the door, and was about to call out to the gems, but Garnet was already standing there as if she was expecting him. Garnet was tall and strong looking, with mysterious looking glasses and bouncy looking hair. She reminded Steven of one of his action figures sometimes and she was just as cool as one.
"Do you guys wanna come to a picnic me and dad are having?" Steven asked, "It's gonna be on the beach!"
"I will, but Opal won't."
"Opal won't, what?" asked the second gem, appearing suddenly from the temple and looking uncertain. "Did I forget something?" Opal was even taller than Garnet and a pale purple colour. Her hair was also bouncy, but it was pulled back in a ponytail that swayed when she moved. She stood on the tips of her toes, even when she was relaxed and she had four arms.
"No Opal you're fine, don't worry." Steven reassured her, "Garnet just said you wouldn't want to come for a picnic with me, her and Dad."
"I can speak for myself." said Opal. She tried to say it lightly but there was a slight bite to her words that Steven tried not to notice. "But, yes. I don't want to." She patted Steven on the head. Her hand was bigger than his entire face. "Sorry."
"It's all right." Steven felt slightly disappointed, but sadly not too surprised. "I'll go tell dad that you're coming Garnet! He's gonna be thrilled!"
He ran back to the van to tell Greg the good news. "Garnet is coming but Opal isn't, on the grounds of the fact that she doesn't want to."
Greg smiled awkwardly. "That sounds like Opal," he said, and then scratched his head, "I mean, I think it does. We haven't really talked much lately," he scratched his head again. "Or ever, really I guess." He fell silent, not really knowing what to say.
Steven jumped into the van, and began to look for the picnic blanket, eventually finding it packed under Greg's extensive CD collection. He began to shake the blanket free of any sand, oblivious to Greg's cries of 'Not in the van!' He gave his dad a sheepish look but Greg, after rubbing his temples just smiled. "Don't worry Schtu-ball,the van was looking a little too clean anyway."
Steven looked apologetic anyway and jumped out the van to finish the job. "Oops sorry.. Can we go get the bits now?" Greg had already made sandwiches for the two (maybe three, you never knew with Garnet,) to share so he carried those whilst Steven carried the picnic blanket, looking comically large in his small arms.
By the time they got to the boardwalk, the sun was already starting to set, although the air was still warm. They managed to get to the Fry shack before it shut, and Steven ordered his bits from a despairing looking Mr Fryman (Steven has lost count of the times Mr Fryman had begged him to 'please for the love of all is holy order fries!') Greg got himself a portion of fries and felt almost bad at the relief in Mr Fryman's eyes. He considered getting some for Garnet too, but he didn't even know if she liked fries, so in the end he didn't.
After that, they stopped off at The Big Donut, and this time they did get something for Garnet. Steven picked the raspberry and blueberry one for her. For himself, he picked the strawberry and vanilla combination that tasted a bit like cookie cats. Greg picked plain strawberry for himself, and he paid Sadie, one of the workers.
Steven waved goodbye to both her and the other teen, Lars but whilst Sadie waved back, Lars just crossed his arms and half-heartedly glared. Greg was almost reminded of someone, although HER glares were never half-hearted.
The three of them sat on the blanket and just watched the waves in silence. Greg had been a little nervous but he needn't have worried. Garnet was almost always pleasant to be around. Steven had finished his fry bits and sandwich, placing the bits inside the bread: claiming it tasted better that way, and he just had his donut to go. He lay his head in Garnet's lap and she stroked his hair softly.
He picked his donut up and took a bite, closing his eyes in pure happiness. It felt like a perfect moment. He had almost all his family with him, and he was eating a delicious donut. What could be better?
"Greg! Go and get Opal." He was jolted out of his relaxed state by Garnet's loud command. He looked around the beach in confusion before finally looking down and seeing the pink gem in his belly glowing.
"What do I do?"
"Stay calm Steven. Greg's gone to get Opal so she'll be here too in a moment. Don't force anything. It's going to be fine. You're going to be fine." Garnet kept her voice calm and comforting. If Steven freaked out then even she couldn't say when this would happen again.
Meanwhile, Greg was tearing up the beach, breathing heavily and cursing how unfit he was. He got to the house and quickly prayed that Opal was in the main home area, and not somewhere in the temple. He opened the door and luckily Opal was sitting on the couch, staring at the blank screen of the television like she was watching something engrossing.
"Opal!" He panted, hoping that she couldn't tell how out of breath he was, but knowing that she could. "Come down to the beach, there's a situation with Steven's gem."
Quicker than he could perceive, Opal was on her feet. She picked him up easily in one hand and hoisted him over her shoulder like you would a small child. Greg spluttered in discontent but she was already sprinting down to where he, Garnet and Steven had been sat.
Once they were there, she dropped Greg on the ground and grabbed a now non-glowing Steven tenderly, who started babbling to her excitedly.
"My gem lit up and started glowing, and then Garnet told dad to get you and we waited to see if anything would happen, but then it stopped glowing! What does it all mean?"
Although two of her arms still cradled Steven, another two went up to her mouth, in shock, though her eyes were excited and gleaming. Next to her, Garnet stood also looking proud. Greg began to feel slightly uncomfortable, like an imposter, but he stayed anyway. Steven needed to know his human half just as much as his gem half he reasoned. He had every right to be there.
"Do you think next time it glows, I'll be able to summon a weapon?" Steven continued excitedly, clearly oblivious to the mixed feelings Greg had.
"Well," said Garnet, regaining calmness, "It's late tonight, but tomorrow, Opal and I will show you how we summon our weapons and see if you can find out how you'll personally do it."
"Okay," said Steven, trying to calm down. He wanted to do something now, or ask more questions, but he also wanted to spend time with his family. "Opal, do you want to stay and join the picnic?"
Opal looked at Greg, clear annoyance in her eyes, but then she looked at Steven and they softened and she sat down with Steven still on her lap.
For a moment it looked like it would go back to the calm of before but then Opal stood up suddenly, looking panicked. "I've left the stove on!" She said flustered, running half way up the beach before turning back. "False alarm!" She corrected a little too brightly, her cheeks turning dark purple, "That was five years ago."
Steven wriggled excitedly. Opal had volunteered to show him her method first and true to their words, she had taken him up to her tree first thing. Steven had been so excited last night, he could barely sleep and he tried to subtly yawn before refocusing his full attention back on Opal.
"When a petal falls," she began, standing in front of the tree and looking at it. "It goes with the flow, and the wind. You can't force it to fall, but you can't stop it either. Imagine you are the tree and your gem is the peta- wait that doesn't sound right..." She looked at Steven confused, but he just shrugged at her.
"Well," she began again, "maybe you are the petal and you have to create your own dance." she stopped again, thought about it and smiled. "Yes that sounds right."
Two of her hands reached for her gems and she fluidly pulled out a whip and a spear before effortly combining them. In a flash, she had her bow, at least 2.5 Steven's tall and majestic, beautiful patterns on the back of it, and a strong but flexible string.
She shot an arrow and she and Steven watched as it sailed through the air. She winced as it hit metal in the distance, but as there was no screaming afterwards, she assumed it didn't hit anything important.
Steven picked up a bunch of petals and threw them in the air and tried to imagine he was one as he begged his gem to activate. Nothing happened. He tried not to look as dejected as he felt, but from Opal's sympathetic smile he was clearly not too convincing.
They made their way back home, to see Garnet waiting for him. "My turn now." she said and Steven smiled. Maybe this lesson from Garnet would be the key to mastering the use of his weapon!
It was not the key. Garnet did not help at all, and instead his confusion only grew.
"Our answers," said Garnet once they were back home and he was sitting on the couch, squished between Garnet and Opal. "Are not your answers. A gem's weapon is personal to each and every gem, and so it makes sense that the methods used are also personal."
"And," Opal added, trying to be cheery, "Even if you can't find your weapon and your gem is useless we'll love you anyway." She quickly realised that this wasn't the right thing to say and shut herself up.
Steven stood up so he could flop back onto the couch. It felt like a flopping moment.
"Opal is right," said Garnet. "Not about your gem being useless, because it's not, and you are not useless. But about the fact we'll always love you."
Steven smiled and relaxed for a minute before his stomach let out a growl. For a second his heart leapt, thinking it was his gem, but he was just hungry. Really hungry.
"I'm going to The Big Donut to grab breakfast," he announced, "Do you guys want anything?"
"I'll take another one of those blueberry and raspberry ones I had last night. It was good." said Garnet. He turned to Opal but she just shook her head.
Outside The Big Donut was a dumpster. with a suspiciously familiar arrow sticking out of it. Steven gulped but luckily no one but he had noticed yet, so he quickly yanked it out, and at a loss of what to do, threw it in the edge. The dumpster now had a hole in it, but that couldn't be fixed so Steven just walked inside. No one would notice.. right?
As per usual, Lars and Sadie were standing at the counter and Steven said good morning to them before studying the selection intensely, trying to decide what his best breakfast option would be.
"I will take one of your best strawberry and vanilla combos," he decided, "Oh! And also a blueberry and raspberry one please."
He handed Sadie the money and waved goodbye. Lars didn't wave back, but he didn't look too annoyed this time, so Steven knew Lars loved him really.
He skipped back home with the bags in his hands and found Opal and Garnet talking in the kitchen. He walked up to them, and they instantly stopped. Steven would have been suspicious, but he felt too hungry. He crammed almost half of his donut in his mouth but paused for a second to take in the donuty bliss.
He felt his stomach warming up and he looked in shock to see his gem glowing yet again, Opal started clapping her hands together excitedly and this time he tried even harder to bring his weapon out.
Suddenly there was a feeling he could only describe as a release and out of nowhere he was holding a large pink shield. He looked at it, shocked and awed, and when he turned to the gems for reassurance, he saw his own emotions plastered across his face.
"It's Rose's shield," said Opal in a hushed tone. She tried to be discrete but he watched as a tear fell out of her eye and rolled down her cheek. Overwhelmed, Steven let go of his shield and the gems all watched as it bounced around the room, hitting into things and knocking them over, before finally smashing into the tv and imbedding itself in the cracked screen before disappearing in a flash of light.
"Oops, my bad, sorry!"
So I've split the first episode into two parts, because it was getting a little long. Updates should be every 4 days, but it may be changed to every 3 or 5 depending on how long it takes me to write Season Two (I want to be about one season ahead if possible)
It currently comes to about 23 chapters, but I may add up ending more. I have a tumblr blog at onetwothreeopalau where I'll be posting art, over analysing certain scenes and answering any questions if you have them. My main tumblr is Nonbinarypearl and there I post (mainly SU) memes and complain about insignificant things in my life.
My main challenge writing this was trying to keep it having somewhat of a SU feel whilst making it clear that it is my own thing and it's the longest thing I've ever written by far, so I hope y'all enjoy.