Amethyst was the last. She didn't crawl out of her hole until the others were long gone, dead or scattered or fled. She'd been sleeping in her rock in that half-state before true consciousness, brow furrowed against the booms and cracks and shouting outside. Amethyst wasn't in any hurry to be born, and she snuggled deeper into the rock, dreaming.
The sun was bright and she squinted at it. The rocks around her were scarred and empty.
"Hello!" Amethyst shouted. She didn't know what her name was yet, but she had the idea that there should be other people here. She rested her palm on her gem, and it pulsed comfortingly.
The sun felt good on her skin, so she climbed onto a flat rock and curled up to sleep.
When she woke, it was dark, and no one had come to find her. She scuffed her feet in the dirt and threw pebbles into some of the other holes, but no one came out. The place was all hers, then, and she rooted around in the dirt for treasures. There were gem shards everywhere, sharp and warm and colorful. She collected them carefully and put them in her hole. And then she explored.
She couldn't fit perfectly into all the other holes, but some of them she could. There wasn't anything in them, though, beyond a few shards that had really traveled far. Amethyst talked to herself a lot, telling herself stories about the people who had been here, and what they would all do when they got back. They would play and fight and climb to the top of every rock, and she would have a bunch of friends.
She figured out shapeshifting by accident when she slipped and fell hard, her arms broadening into wings that didn't quite prevent her from hurting. Then she had something new to practice. It was even easier to climb with claws, but when she got to the top, she couldn't see anything -- just rocks and trees, as far as she could see.
She could leave, but she liked her hole. It kept her dry, mostly, when it rained, and she still slept there every night. If there wasn't anyone else out there to meet, why leave? This was her place!
When Garnet arrived, Amethyst was breaking rocks with her whip. Finding the whip had considerably cut down on her boredom. It took a lot of practice to make it work properly. She was so shocked by the appearance of another living person that she dropped her weapon and it disappeared back into her gem.
"Amethyst," Garnet said, and that was when Amethyst learned what her name was.
"Hi!" Amethyst said, her voice cracking with disuse. She danced around Garnet, taking her in. Garnet was tall and silent and curved in different places. Amethyst couldn't see her eyes.
"Come with me," Garnet said, and her hand was rough on Amethyst's wrist. Amethyst squirmed, but Garnet dragged her to the portal anyway, and then there were a lot of Gems to meet.
Rose Quartz was the nice one. They put Amethyst in a room and talked about her, and most people weren't nice. They said all kinds of mean things about Amethyst and the other Gems that came out of her kindergarten. Amethyst hadn't done any of the stuff that they said, but they weren't listening. Pearl looked at her like she was that slimy spot in the kindergarten that Amethyst didn't like to touch because it made her itch.
Rose listened to her. After everyone had finished talking and ignoring her, Rose came into her room alone and talked to her. She didn't accuse Amethyst of doing anything, and she combed Amethyst's hair. It was shiny and clean now, although it wasn't as pretty as Rose's was.
After they were done talking, Rose let her out, and when anyone said anything about Amethyst being a bad person, Rose made them stop.
Rose taught Amethyst what being a Crystal Gem was about. She told Amethyst about their history, and the Homeworld, and why they were fighting for Earth. Amethyst would have died for her, if she would have asked. She damaged her gem again and again, and Rose kept her whole. The others learned to accept her eventually, when they saw her fight.
She was nothing like the other Amethysts. And she wasn't a monster, no matter what some Gems had muttered at first. She was herself. Where she came from didn't matter.
And if sometimes she curled up in a nice cool hole in her own room in the temple, well, that was her business. Anyone who said it was her baser nature was going to get punched.