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Never Twice

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They’ve been dating for a few weeks now, and Pearl has never felt anything quite like the happiness Sinag gives her.

But it has been weeks already, so Pearl can’t help wondering…

“Are you opposed to physical affection?” she asks. The most they’ve done is hold hands, as they are doing at the moment.

“No, definitely not opposed.” Sinag smiles, but she stops walking and lets go of Pearl’s hand.

Pearl walks up to her, standing on tiptoes until they are nose to nose. “Kiss me, then.”

Sinag’s smile turns into a stupidly wide grin. “I thought you’d never ask.”

 

 

 

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They have finally reached the point she dreads the most.

True, no one can predict the future with one hundred percent surety, not even Garnet; but from deep within her core, Pearl can feel that it’s time

--her time.

“We had a good run, didn’t we?”

“Y-ye...” Pearl's voice cracks. “Yes, we did.”

“You won’t forget me?”

“Never.” Pearl squeezes her hand. Gently. “I’ve always been dedicated in remembering everything.”

“I’m glad...”

The tears won’t stop.

“H-Hey... Hey, I’m with you, okay? Always.” She touches the star on Pearl’s chest, as if to say ‘right here.’

“I love you.”

(Goodbye.)

 

 

 

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Garnet never asks questions.

That doesn’t mean she never feels the need to question some things, however. At the moment, part of her wants to cry out “YOU DID WHAT?!” but instead she levels a quizzical look over her shades and lets a single word roll off her lips.

“Pearl...”

“It was NOT my idea, I swear!”

“But you brought Steven to your date.”

“She... wanted to meet him.” Pearl looks away, blushing furiously. “How was I supposed to know this would happen?”

Standing awkwardly between them is the spitting image of Rose Quartz, sporting Steven’s grin and Sinag’s piercings.

 

 

 

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At some point, Peridot discovers the call function on her tablet.

At some point, Steven has to ask Greg for another phone for another gem, because Peridot wouldn’t stop calling his phone, even in the wee hours.

At some point, Peridot discovers video calls.

“--sure, it’s primitive in comparison to what I’m used to back in Homeworld, but-- What? What’s funny?”

“Nothin’.”

“But you’re laughing.”

“I swear I’m not laughing at you.”

“Then stop.”

“...Why don’t you come over here and make me?”

“...Maybe I will!”

“Awesome. I’ll leave my door open.”

“I, uh, what?”

“See ya in a bit!”

 

 

 

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Garnet found her on top of the lighthouse.

“You’re not usually this interested in Pearl’s affairs.”

“Still not interested.”

“Hmm...”

They watch Pearl and her ‘mysterious’ ladyfriend strolling along the far end of the beach.

Then Amethyst sighs. “Just spit it out, G.”

“Nothing to say.”

“But you’re thinking it!”

“No need to get so defensive, Amethyst.”

“I am NOT jealous, okay?! Pearl’s happy now! She deserves to be happy, and I’m happ--” she falters.

“...you’re not.”

“Well, I should be.” She crosses her arms and sulks.

Tenderly, Garnet ruffles Amethyst’s hair.

They continue to watch over Pearl in silence.

 

 

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Sometimes, it’s easy to spy on the dates of your best-friend-sister-sometimes-lover.

Other times, well...

 

“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” Amethyst grumbles from under the steering wheel.

“You’re the only one who can work these things besides Pearl.”

“Uh, not really?” The engine starts rumbling. “Can’t we just ask Greg to drive?”

“That would be a bad idea.”

“Naaaahhhh, I’m sure he won’t--” Amethyst remembers Rose “--No. Right, that’ll be a disaster.”

 

Other times...

Pearl and her girlfriend go on a joyride.

Garnet steals a car. Amethyst drives.

The next morning, Greg wonders what happened to his Dondai.

 

 

 

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“I thought I lost you forever...”

She hears it as soon as her body regenerates. In record time, even. The only change is that her sash no longer trails behind her; instead it’s neatly tied in the same knot married women do on their kimono.

“Sorry for making you worry.”

“Pearl... You died.”

“Oh, darling...” Poofing is different, she wants to say. But more importantly, she wants to kiss those tears away. “I’m right here.”

They touch and they hug and they kiss, clinging to each other in desperation, for affirmation, for relief.

“I almost lost you...”

“...I’m still here.”

 

 

 

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“You did all of this… for me?

Rose ducks her head, large pink curls falling over her face to hide the furious blush blooming all over— from the expanse of the uncovered areas of her chest, to up her neck and face, reaching until the roots of her hair. She doesn’t notice the way Pearl is openly gaping at her, the way Pearl lets out a little gasp and covers her mouth with both hands, the way happy tears unceasingly pour from her eyes.

Before them stand several fountains overflowing with water—a place Pearl can truly call Her Own.

 

 

 

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Pearl’s so amazing, Sinag still can’t wrap her head around it.

Broke your toaster? Your motorbike? Your spaceship? Your leg?

“I can fix that. Well that last one is mostly Steven, but still.”

She’s lived for thousands of years. Just what has she not experienced in her long lifetime?

“I have never– ah, how do you say it?– celebrated Halloween before.”

“Really?”

“I was there when the whole thing started, but it was quite different from how it is now.”

Huh. Interesting.

“I can fix that,” Sinag says with a smile. “If you want to. You can celebrate with me.”

 

 

 

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“Soooo…”

“S-So…?”

“Any idea why they’d do this?” Peedee asks.

“N-nope! D-definitely no idea!” Jeff nervously laughs. Then he breaks. “Okay, I, uh, might’ve told Steven something… But I definitely didn’t ask Stevonnie to carry us in here like sacks!”

“I did. Well, kinda.”

“What?!”

“Hey, I told Connie I was only joking!”

Their eyes meet briefly. Then they both look away, blushing furiously. It’s cramped inside the closet, and Peedee’s long legs and Jeff’s stuffed backpack aren’t helping.

“Soooo… What do we do now?”

“Talk?”

“About what?”

“Wouldyoubecoolwithgoingouttothemovieswithmebecausethatwouldbereallycool?”

Peedee blinks. “Did you just beat me to asking you out?”

 

 

 

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When Peridot found her, Lapis was face-down on the barn floor.

“Lapis, are you okay?”

“No.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Dunno.”

“Okay... Uhh... Wanna do something today?”

“Lying down here is fine.”

“Okay. Can I join you?”

In reply, Lapis turned to her side, one arm raised in invitation. Peridot lied down beside her, back to Lapis’s chest.

Lapis gave great hugs, but didn’t like receiving them. Made her feel trapped, she’d said

“My gem feels cracked today,” Lapis mumbled.

“It’s not. I saw it just now. You’re okay.”

“Okay.” Her breathing slowed. “Peridot?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks.”

“For what?”

“You know. Just... thanks.”

 

 

 

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Pearl lost herself in a hidden garden, still flourishing despite the lack of nurturing. Her fingers caressed a blossom growing out of the hedge, relishing the petal’s silkiness.

She’d always been fond of flowers, having spent many moons watching Rose Quartz tend to her gardens. One particular species reminded Pearl of her. Perhaps that was why even the humans called them “roses”.

-- Beauty. Devotion. Purity. Trust.

-- Jealousy.

-- Love.

Her favorite flower, however, was from a different species. Carnations, humans called them.

-- Flower of the gods. Coronation. Carnal.

She plucked one with a rich, blood-like color.

-- My heart aches for you.

 

 

 

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Peridot finds her keeping vigil over an inert blue gemstone.

“Hi. Um... Nice to meet you, I guess?”

Ruby says nothing, her eyes never leaving Sapphire.

Peridot hesitantly sits beside her. “Can I ask you something?”

Ruby nods.

“What’s it like being fused all the time?”

Ruby gazes into Peridot’s eyes, a wistful smile on her lips.

“Unlike anything.”

Peridot looks away to stare at her feet.

“D’you think I’ll be able to fuse someday?”

“You’ll get there when you’re ready.”

“...and if I am gemetically incapable?”

A small, warm hand grasps Peridot’s own.

“We won’t love you any less.”

 

 

 

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Steven’s gone into space.

Connie can’t help worrying.

She’s read Whispers from a Faraway Planet-- she knows her space travel stories. What if he texts her but she only receives it a month later? A year? A decade?!

 

She wears his clothes and sleeps in his bed, wondering and worrying and missing him.

Will she even see him again?

She doesn’t know, but there are other more pressing matters to worry about-- like Peridot and Lapis and Mr. Universe’s car wash...

 

A few days later, the Ruby Ship lands on the beach.

And Connie sprints to give Steven a hug.

 

 

 

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Lars loves fries. Or at least he used to.

Ever since that day, he can no longer stomach its greasy starchy flavor. Just the smell of it makes him want to hurl.

Lars loved fries—it was his favorite thing!—but he just… can’t

 


Sometime after the crazy lighthouse night, Lars decides to have some fries, just on a whim.

“Why are you here?” asks Ronaldo.

“I just want some fries okay!” Lars yelps.

“…But I thought you hate fries.”

“I don’t—” Lars almost barks. But then his tone softens. “I have problems with it, but I don’t hate it.”

 

 

 

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“I’m sorry,” mumbled Ronaldo. “I shouldn’t have snuck it in with the cake flour.”

“You really shouldn’t have,” deadpanned Dr Maheswaran. She ran some more tests on Lars.

“I just really wanted to do it tonight, y’know?” Suddenly, Ronaldo kneeled down in front of Lars. “So… Lars Barriga, would you marry me?”

“Ronnie! We’re at the hospital!”

“I don’t care! I just want to spend the rest of my life with you, okay!”

Dr Maheswaran cleared her throat. “Next time, please make sure your engagement ring is not a choking hazard.”

“There won’t be a next time. There’s only Lars.”

 

 

 

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It isn’t right to call it ‘freedom’ per se. After all, Pearl’s been in her gem longer than usual, which is slightly worrying.

But then, Pearl likes to take her time, and it isn’t often that Garnet and Amethyst can have fun without her fretting over the littlest things.

So, they both decide to just take things in stride and chill.

“Wanna watch me eat this, see what happens?” Amethyst pats the cloud she’s brought home from the arena. She’s been sit-floating on it for three days now.

Garnet grins. Almost every future she sees has an amusing outcome.

“Sure.”

 

 

 

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There are secrets about Garnet that only Amethyst knows.

Like how she breaks into uncontrollable giggles if you touch a certain spot on her left knee. Or how the back of her neck is extremely sensitive (which is one of the many reasons she likes her hair that way).

But of all the secrets Amethyst knows, her favorite is how Garnet lets out small breathless gasps whenever they part from a kiss.

Gems don’t need to breathe. But sometimes the touches they share can get so intense, Garnet can’t help pulling away for a breather.

And Amethyst loves knowing that.

 

 

 

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Rhodonite was expecting to see her two friends again when they unfused, but instead they became two very different someones. One resembled Padparadscha. The other...

She had the same build as Rhodonite. Thick thighs, wide hips, a thin pair of arms, a bulky pair of arms. She only had two eyes though, and her coloration was a muted pink much lighter than Rhodonite’s own deep red. But despite all the differences, one thing was clear--

“You’re a Rhodonite too,” said Rhodonite, staring in awe.

“Oh my stars!” Padparadscha gushed beside her. “Sardonyx will unfuse into a Sapphire and a Rhodonite!”