Even after they returned to the Watchpoint after completing their mission, Fire Opal remained fused. He didn’t speak much apart from relaying the mission report to the other agents on the base, and a short “howdy“ followed by a tip of his hat at the surprised face of Citrine, when she arrived to check the mission team for any injuries. To her credit, she did not make any further comment other that ask for a name and to do a quick scan of Fire Opal to keep her record of known Gemwatch agents and potential fusions updated.
As the mission team reported their findings to the other agents, Fire Opal did note several surprised and somewhat shocked expressions, as well as having witnessed the exchange between Rhodochrosite and Chrysoprase once she could tell him of his lost bet. Sphene had already unfused, and Fire Opal could almost feel Serpentine snickering to the side of him.
The rest of the meeting passed in a blur, and he left as soon as it was done. He was vaguely aware of Serpentine telling the other agents not to follow him and to leave him alone, and Fire Opal was grateful for that. He needed some time to think.
Fire Opal found himself near the edge of a cliff on the outskirts of the Watchpoint. It was a secluded area, where he was less sure anyone would disturb them. He was still not completely sure of his own existence, for he had only existed for a few hours. However, he knew why he felt the way he did, why he felt completely stable and alive, and he knew what they thought of it.
No, not they, he thought. We.
He knew that both Sandstone and Blue Opal had felt this way for a long time now, never really sure how to bring it up to the other. Now there can be no doubt of it left , Fire Opal pondered , for I am the result of our feelings, and with that thought he unfused.
He felt himself unraveling, his form dissolving, dividing into two separate beings, and when Fire Opal ceased to be, Sandstone and Blue Opal simply leaned on one another for a while, for there was nothing that needed to be said between them. In reality, of course there was everything that needed to be said, but that could wait for a while longer. For now they only basked in the closeness of the other, content with what had happened, who had happened.
“‘S weird only having two arms now,” Sandstone said, breaking the silence between them.
“Indeed,” Blue Opal nodded in agreement. He took a moment to think. “I do not think I am prepared to return to the team quite yet.”
“I know what you mean. This was quite the experience. But,” he said, hesitating slightly, ”I feel like I have to ask ya. Why have you been so against fusion before? The Blue Opal I knew a year ago would never have done it, woulda searched for any other option than to fuse.”
“It is true I have not considered fusion an option until recently,” he said, shifting uncomfortably on Sandstone's shoulder. “Back on Homeworld, me and my brother, we were forced to fuse very frequently. Tanzanite was useful to them, and we were strong. We were powerful. We were good . With time, the repeated use of Tanzanite and the strain it put us both under, well, I think you already know what that lead to.”
“Mhm,” Sandstone hummed. He knew of what happened. He was not as old as Serpentine and had yet to be found when the other gem was saved by Gemwatch, but Sandstone had heard enough to get the broader picture of what had happened between the two brothers.
“I have still been hesitant about fusion, but you are different. It did not feel forced, to fuse with you. It felt like something different, something entirely new,” Blue Opal said, turning to face Sandstone.
“I still don’t understand why you’d wanna fuse with someone like me,” Sandstone almost whispered, scratching the back of his head. “You’re an opal, and I’m just a Sandstone.”
“Oh, Sandstone,” Blue Opal exclaimed, taking the others hands in his. “We are an opal.”
Sandstone smiled, as Blue Opal reached a hand to cup the other’s cheek.
“There are worlds in an opal, my dear, and as there is in us, there is in you.”