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A Prediction Gone Right

Chapter Text

The Earth - 5,750 years ago

"My Diamond, I have arrived." Sapphire entered Blue Diamond's palanquin, standing before her as she clasped her hands together.

"Sapphire. Tell me what will happen here," Blue Diamond requested, raising a hand in a gesture for Sapphire to speak.

Sapphire nodded, closing her eye, hidden by her bangs, for a moment. When she opened it, she spoke, hands raising. "I foresee the rebels attacking the Cloud Arena. Before they are cornered, they will destroy the physical forms of seven gems, including two of my Ruby guards and myself. Immediately after my form is destroyed, the rebels will be captured." She tilted her head up to look directly at her Diamond. "The rebellion ends here."

"Thank you, Sapphire," Blue Diamond said, clearly relieved. Her posture relaxed a smidgen, and she raised a hand in a gesture for Sapphire to leave. "That is all I needed to know."

"I look forward to speaking to you again once I have reformed back on Homeworld," Sapphire responded. Before leaving, she curtsied to her Diamond.

She noticed one of her Ruby guards looking bored and pretending to sleep, and another spotting her exiting and nudging the other. All three straightened as she walked past them, not commenting on what happened. She found it a little amusing, if she were to be honest. Even knowing her whole life, and accepting all of it, she had always found that there are small details that can't be predicted, and sometimes those small details can be amusing.

She nearly stayed silent, but noticed one of her guards - the one closest to her -seemed rather tense. In an attempt to make them more comfortable around her, she spoke up. "What a beautiful place to build a colony. I wish I could have seen more of this planet."

Almost nervously, the Ruby offered, "Uh, there's still time?" 

"That is a nice thought, but... No," Sapphire replied. She almost felt sadness over it. 

Ruby almost looked like she was going to suggest something else, but before she could, a voice rang out over the assembled gems. 

"Blue Diamond! Leave this planet!"

The rebels. Just as she saw. Everything would fall into place, and she would have her part in it.

The Ruby guard farthest from her gasped, "It's the rebels!"

That wasn't exactly hard to figure out, but Sapphire wasn't about to say so. Instead, she simply turned to watch what she had already seen in her vision. The gems around her started to talk urgently, wondering what was happening.

"Who are you? Show yourselves!" a Ruby - perhaps the same one - yelled.

Up on a column, a Pearl landed on a knee, a sword in each hand. Her head was bowed, eyes closed. She seemed rather at ease, eager for a fight. As she straightened, a Rose Quartz in a dress not befitting her station floated down behind her, arms out likely for balance. "We," she called out, the Pearl's voice joining her own, "are the Crystal Gems!"

The attack was right on schedule. Sapphire watched calmly as the Pearl attacked, destroying the forms of two gems Sapphire was too far away to see. She kept going even as two soldiers charged her, destroying their forms as well. Sapphire's Ruby guards took action, running forward and fusing together, aiming a punch at the other gem - Rose Quartz. The victim simply smirked, jumping up and, with two quick slashes, dismantling the fusion. The three Rubies fell to the ground, and two of them were also poofed. The third was knocked too far away to help as the Pearl landed in front of Sapphire, swords out.

"Thank you, Ruby," Sapphire called. "You did your best."

The Ruby watched in horror as one of the swords that the Pearl held slashed through the form of the Sapphire she was supposed to protect, her blue gem dropping to the ground.

She sat there in shock for several moments, even as the Pearl was apprehended as well as the Rose Quartz she was working with. Both struggled, but neither were able to escape.

The rebellion was over.

But the story had only just begun.

Chapter Text

Rose struggled as she was taken to a detainment cell, unable to escape no matter how hard she tried. Panic bubbled in her. She knew that she would be brought before Yellow and Blue as a traitor, then poofed. They'd never shatter her, though. Not once they found out who she was. And that's why she was panicking. 

She never wanted to go back to being Pink Diamond. 

Pearl was tossed into a cell across hers, though she immediately got up to check on Rose. "Are you alright?" she asked, concerned.

"Physically? Yes." She didn't need to say anything else. Pearl already would know the answer to any other 'is she alright' question.

Silence fell for a time. 

"I doubt they're going to give us a trial. I'll be lucky to get out of this with any semblance of freedom," Rose said, gaze on the floor. 

"I'm sure they'll be fair," Pearl said, trying to lift her spirits.

"No. They'll find some way to punish me. They'll see this as me acting like a child. They're not going to forgive me as easily as you might hope."

"I know," Pearl sighed quietly. 

---

As she predicted, Rose and Pearl were both poofed after their quick trial. Only Yellow and Blue Diamond and their Pearls saw for themselves who Rose Quartz really was.

Pink's gem was put in the tower, leaving her to reform there alone aside from her Pearl who was left with her, mostly because the Diamonds didn't want to deal with her when she reformed. 

Pink reformed first, not bothering to form as Rose. Her disguise was blown; they'd simply demand she form properly. She did retain some things, however, like her dress, though it was distinctly different. For one, it wasn't layered like she had it when she was Rose. Instead, it was essentially formless, straight from her shoulders to the hem of the skirt. The top had a hood, slightly reminiscent of Blue. There was a hole for her gem, and she retained her gloves from her original form.

She sat for what seemed like forever, staring up at the ceiling. She never wanted this to happen, and the Earth would be in jeopardy from that time. That's one thing she was trying to avoid. If only that attack had gone differently -!

She noticed light near her and turned, watching as Pearl reformed. She noted with a hint of despair that Pearl, too, looked more like her Homeworld self. 

Silence reigned.

"I never should have gone to Earth," Pink finally said after what felt like ages.

"It was my suggestion," Pearl responded.

"But only because I wanted to. If I hadn't gotten so attached..." 

"I shouldn't have suggested you change your form. My Diamond, I..."

"Pearl, you know you don't have to call me that," Pink said, frowning. "You're the only person who sees me as I am, not what you want me to be."

Pearl didn't answer, gaze on the ground. 

They didn't talk much for a long time, though occasionally, when Pink could no longer stand the silence, she brought up different things to try and lift both their spirits: humans and how strange they were, the life on planet Earth, the look on the gems' faces when they landed in the Cloud Arena. Sometimes she talked about possible punishments and things that the other Diamonds might do to her, to them. 

After a time, the door finally opened. Unsurprisingly, it was Blue. Pink stood.

"Pink. I cannot believe you! You - you started a rebellion? Against us? You left us to frolic around some organic planet and fight against us?" she demanded. 

Pink was silent. She knew nothing she said could temper Blue's anger.

"I knew we shouldn't have given you a colony. I knew, and yet I persuaded Yellow to do it anyway." Blue walked over to the window, a hand moving to rest on the wall, supporting her. "Never again. We've given you too much freedom."

"I know you're going to punish me, but please, please, Blue," Pink pleaded. "Please at least allow me to fill the zoo more. Allow me to gather more humans before the planet is destroyed."

"Why should I?" Blue demanded, turning to her. "You've proven I cannot trust you!"

"It was my only colony! Please, give me this as a reminder of it."

"You failed your duty, Pink!" Blue glared at her, but she could never stand the sight of the pleading face Pink gave her. She sighed. "I will talk it over with Yellow and White. Until we come to a decision, you will not so much as think about leaving Homeworld again. Understood?"

Pink nodded, looking at the floor. "I understand."

"Good. Go to your room. I will send a Topaz to ensure you do not leave it."

"What about Pearl?"

"You don't deserve her. But I suppose, until we find a better use for her, she can stay with you."

Relief swamped Pink. Pearl wouldn't be shattered, then. She would be safe, if only for that moment.

Blue opened the door, making sure the two exited before her. She watched as they turned and walked in the direction of Pink's main room.

---

"You pushed it a little with her, didn't you?" Pearl comments once they're in Pink's main room.

"I can't just sit by and let the Earth and the humans be destroyed, Pearl. They're unique. They're not like any of the other creatures I've seen on other organic planets," Pink responded.

"I know that, but... Well... It's the Diamonds! They can punish you just as easily as any of us. And it has to be harder for you because you're one of them." Pearl hugged herself. "I'll be lucky to be shattered."

"Don't say that..." Pink knelt, taking Pearl's hands. "Please. You're my only real friend."

Pearl sighed, looking at their hands. "I know. I'm just... afraid."

"So am I." Pink hugged Pearl. "I'll do what I can to make things as easy as they can get.

---

"You can't!" Pink cried.

Pearl stood by the door, or where a door would be if White had need of them in her ship, watching in fear and anxiety as the Diamonds discussed Pink's punishment, and what they should do with Pearl.

"Oh dear," Blue sighed. She knelt to hold Pink, who looked as if she was about to attack Yellow in fear of her hurting Pearl, back.

"Pink! Will you just-" Yellow starts.

"Why does Pearl have to be punished?" Pink said, cutting her off.

"Oh honestly," Yellow grumbles, covering her eyes in exasperation.

"She was just following orders," Pink insisted. "So it's my fault!"

"Pink, settle down," Blue said, frowning down at her.

"Yellow, please!" Pink cried, tears forming. "I'll do anything, but don't let her be-"

She was cut off as a calm voice interrupted the three quarreling Diamonds. "Now, now, Starlight," White said, looking as unperturbed as ever. "What's all this fuss about? We can make you another Pearl, after all." 

Pearl didn't dare look at the matriarch of the Diamonds, though she could clearly feel said Diamond's eyes on her. "Though," White added, "perhaps one that's a bit more... Basic?"

"No!" Pink broke free from Blue and ran toward Pearl, hugging her.

"Pink, get back here!" Yellow demanded at the same time Blue sighed, "Pink, please!"

Tears ran down the youngest of the Diamond's face as she hugged Pearl, the shorter gem hugging back. She didn't want to see Pearl shattered. She could never stand that. Not her only friend.

"Oh, Starlight," White sighed. "I do hate to see you cry."

She reached toward them as Yellow walked over, unbeknownst to Pink, as she was simply clinging to Pearl as if for her life.

"Very well. Your Pearl won't be shattered."

Pink's head jerked up, and she looked at White, eyes wide with tears still glimmering. White's smile turned what was the start of relief, however, into dread. She knew that smile. That wasn't the smile of someone who felt sympathy. 

It was the smile of rage.

"But... She will be punished."

She pulled Pearl from Pink, Yellow holding Pink back. "Wait-!" Pink begged, reaching fruitlessly toward Pearl, as if she could stop what was about to happen. Pearl herself reached toward Pink, terrified of what her punishment could be. Tears fell from her own eyes as White calmly said, "For not speaking up about your little game, she will lose that privilege."

"PEARL!"

Pearl couldn't take her eyes off a terrified-looking Pink, seeing the horror and despair and anger in her expression as one of White Diamond's long nails traced along Pearl's throat, then pierced it.

The last thing Pearl ever said was a strangled, "Rose..."

Chapter Text

Homeworld - 5,700 years ago. 

The door to Pink's room opened, revealing Yellow with crossed arms. "We've come to a decision," she said, not looking like she particularly liked the idea. 

Pink stood quickly, brushing herself off. "You have?" she asked. 

"Yes. We've decided, against my better judgment, that you may take as many humans as you can get from Earth to put in the zoo. After that, you will be in charge of making sure it is run. You will not, however," she added with a scowl, seeing Pink looking relieved, "run it yourself. Your court will run it and report to you, if they must, but you will not step foot in that zoo. Is that clear?"

Pink nodded, trying not to aggravate Yellow. "Okay, Yellow. Thank you." 

Yellow turned and left.

Pink exhaled, turning to Pearl. They hadn't talked since the events on White's ship. "We have a small window of time, at least. That's more than I could have hoped for."

Pearl didn't respond. Pink understood why, but it still hurt. Every time she looked at Pearl, it hurt. 

Still. "Contact Blue." 

"Yes, My Diamond." The words came from her gem, and though it sounded a bit like her, it wasn't Pearl's voice. It was much more robotic.

Pearl walked to a small control panel on a wall, touching a few buttons to send a signal to Blue that Pink requested to speak with her. Then, she stood to the side, saluting Pink.

Seeing the action hurt Pink. It hurt deeply. Pearl wouldn't be like she was if she hadn't acted out. She wouldn't be broken. 

But there was nothing she could do from there. So she fell silent, waiting for either Blue or her Pearl to come tell her that she was allowed to talk to her.

---

It took a day or two for anyone to come to her. She wasn't exactly surprised to find that it was Blue's Pearl, and not Blue herself. 

"Blue Diamond has accepted your request to speak with her," the Pearl said, voice quiet as always. 

Pink stood, gesturing for her own Pearl to follow her as she walked toward the blue Pearl.

They were led through several hallways toward Blue's chambers. Pink's thoughts wandered to what she would need for her expedition to Earth. She would need to assemble a small team of gems to help her. Some Amethysts, she thought, and a few real Rose Quartzes. Perhaps an Agate, and a Sapphire would probably be a good gem to bring in case something could happen 

They reached the end of their walk, evidently, as Blue's Pearl opened a door, saluting Pink as she entered. Pearl stayed back with Blue's.

Blue was sitting in her main room with a screen in front of her, reading through likely a report of some kind.

"Thank you for meeting with me, Blue," Pink said, dipping into a very, very slight curtsy. She had been trying to act more mature around the other Diamonds, hoping to soothe their anger against her to some degree. It seemed to work on Blue to an extent, at least. None of the others understood that that place felt more like a prison than a home, and that they were a large part of it.

But she was there. She had to make the best of what she had to work with. 

Blue looked up. She didn't smile at Pink, but her expression did soften a bit. "Pink. What do you need to talk to me about?" 

"I simply wanted to let you know that I'm going to earth to collect humans," the smaller Diamond replied. 

"That's all?" Blue blinked, wondering why Pink was bothering her with something so trivial.

"Yes. I thought you'd want to know so you wouldn't think I was just running off."

"Oh." Blue actually smiled a bit. "Alright. Have a nice trip, then." 

"Thank you. I'll likely be back and forth for a time. I hope I'll see you after it's over " 

"We'll see." Blue still smiled, though. Pink supposed that was a good sign.

She turned and started for the exit, then paused, turning back. "Actually, there is one thing." 

Blue looked back at her, smile gone and replaced by wariness. 

"I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a Sapphire for me to take?" Pink said. "I don't think anything bad would happen, but just in case." 

"You have your own," Blue frowned. "Why not pick one of them?"

"I was just wondering if you had any suggestions, is all."

"Hmm." Blue touched her chin, thinking. "I know of one who predicts quite well. I don't know if I want to send her with you, though." 

She rubbed her chin. "How about this. You go through your own Sapphires, and if none of them seem right for the job, meet me in my extraction chamber. Then, and only then, will I lend you my Sapphire." 

"That sounds fair. Thank you, Blue." 

Blue smiled at her. "I'm glad to see you're trying to be more mature. Maybe you will get some privileges back someday."

Pink smiled a little back, then turned and exited. Her Pearl followed her. 

"Pearl?" 

"Yes, My Diamond?" the robotic voice answered. 

"I need you to gather some Amethysts, Rose Quartzes, and the friendliest Agate in my court." 

"Of course, My Diamond." 

"Take them to my ship when you're finished. I'm going to find a Sapphire." Pink walked off as Pearl walked in a different direction. 

Chapter Text

Pink exhaled, pacing her room. It's not that she had anything against her own Sapphires; none of them just felt right. Not for something as important as that. It was her last effort to save Earth; she had to make it good. She had to make it count.

Thus, she turned to Pearl. "I'm going to Blue's extraction chamber. Stay here with the other gems until I return." 

Pearl nodded, falling into line behind Pink as far as a hallway that led to her Diamond's ship, then turned down it to follow her orders.

---

Sapphire was a little nervous that she was being called by Blue Diamond. Usually she wouldn't see any issue with it, but with the time being so soon after she'd fused for that one instant with Ruby, things hadn't seemed right. The future had this subtle shift that she couldn't pick up on. She was immensely grateful that the Agate who came around the corner - her voice had startled them enough to unfuse - didn't ask any questions about the two looking confused. Looking into the future brought her visions of Earth, Pink and Blue Diamond together in a room, and being with Pink Diamond for some time. She could see no sign of trouble.

But it didn't soothe the fear that had crept into her, worrying that somehow Blue Diamond had heard of the event. 

She had to tell herself that everything would be fine to stay calm and not give away anything. Ruby walked along behind her, silent. They both knew their place, and Ruby's was to be serious and silent around Sapphire, provided Sapphire herself didn't start a conversation. 

They reached the section dedicated to Blue Diamond, where her Pearl was waiting for them. "Blue Diamond has been expecting you," she told them.

"I'm happy to serve," Sapphire replied.

Blue Diamond's Pearl turned and started walking down the hall, Sapphire and Ruby following. 

They were led to a spacious area with a door befitting the size of a Diamond sitting at the top of a flight of stairs. Two Topazes guarded the entrance, and the Pearl leading them walked up the stairs. She opened the door with a touch of her hand and led them inside, standing off to the side as Sapphire entered. 

"My Diamond. You requested my presence?"

As she saw in her vision, both Pink and Blue Diamond stood in the room. Blue Diamond looked over and down at her. "Sapphire. I have another assignment for you, assuming," she added, looking at Pink with minor irritation, "she seems to fit your standard?"

She would be sent with Pink Diamond, then. Interesting.

Pink Diamond looked down at the Sapphire, studying her. There seemed to be something different about this one, though she couldn't quite place it. It took her a moment to register the Ruby near her, and her gaze turned to the red gem. "What are you doing here?" It was more curious than anything, but she noticed the Ruby immediately straighten and salute.

"My Diamond, I-"

"I've requested her as my personal Ruby guard," Sapphire cut her off, looking up. "She was one assigned to me for a mission to Blue Diamond." She curtsied to said Diamond. "She did her job well, and I wanted to keep her around for missions where I could be in danger."

Pink Diamond nodded a bit, interested. That's not usual for a gem in the upper class. Usually, they'd request a more elite gem, such as an Amethyst or a Jasper. This Sapphire might be the one she was looking for after all.

She looked at Blue Diamond. "She would be perfect. Thank you, Blue." She smiled.

Blue Diamond nodded. "Alright." She looked at Pink, then at Ruby. "I expect to hear Sapphire is safe. She's one of my best."

"I'll make sure of it," Pink assured her.

"Good luck on your mission, Pink." Blue Diamond allowed a small smile at last toward the younger Diamond.

"Thank you, Blue." Pink turned and, gesturing to Sapphire to follow her, exited the chamber.

"My Diamond, if I may ask?" Sapphire said, saluting her.

"Go ahead."

"What is this mission about?"

"Well, the Earth is my colony," Pink said. To Homeworld, it was true. She was still a Diamond and still retained her status. She simply didn't have any of her actual power. Not that the gems knew, of course. Heaven forbid. "I've taken an interest in the organics who live there and have started a zoo. I want to gather as many as I can before they disappear."

"What do you need me for?" There was a hint of curiosity in her voice.

"Precautionary measures. I don't expect to run into trouble, but I'd like to have a Sapphire around in case something does happen."

"I see." She didn't, not quite - why not choose one of her own? - but didn't say so.

Pink Diamond led them to her ship, where several other gems were already standing, a Pearl - likely Pink Diamond's own - nearby. The Diamond nodded to her Pearl, who opened the door into the ship. Pink Diamond followed after her, and the other gems - mostly Amethysts and Pink Diamond's own Quartzes: Rose - entered after her. An Agate, pink like her Diamond, tilted her head curiously at Sapphire and Ruby, but said nothing, which Sapphire had to admit she was grateful for. She wasn't sure she could answer any questions at that moment.

Pink Diamond waited until all the gems were in the ship, then started it up. Readying herself, she took a running start, then jumped, launching her ship into space.

Sapphire glanced at Ruby, resisting the urge to reach over and take her hand. She wasn't entirely sure what the future held, and she was a little afraid. Ruby was the one familiar among all these gems, and with the unknown before her, Sapphire wanted to take comfort in that.

But this wouldn't be the time or the place. So she restrained herself, comforting herself with the thought that Pink Diamond's ship was big, and once on Earth, they could talk a little there. It would be unlikely that she have need to leave the ship, after all. She was simply brought to make a prediction, if the need arose. Just as she was always meant to do.

She could only hope that the future would show itself to her when she needed it.

Chapter Text

Over the next five thousand years, Pink worked hard on the zoo. She had the Agate she stationed there, the one she brought with her to Earth to gather the humans, report to her on a daily basis, letting her know how the humans were doing under the gems - Amethysts from Earth, mostly, as well as the Rose Quartzes for their own safety. She knew that many gems on Homeworld didn't appreciate the soldiers in her court, as they were suspicious that they would turn against Homeworld as well. She knew as well that the soldiers harbored some minor resentment toward her bubbling them, and hoped she could appease that as soon as she could - who watched over them. 

The zoo grew to be quite expansive, harboring sectors for each of the different groups of humans: the mothers with young children, children who were old enough to be away from their mothers, teenagers, young adults, and adults, as well as a section for the elderly. It amazed Pink how there were so many different stages in their lives. It was never something gems knew, as they simply formed as they were. She found it fascinating, if she were to be honest. 

She lamented in that she could only gather as many humans as she could find in just one hundred years. She wished she could have had more time, but that was one thing the older Diamonds refused to give her. She was lucky to have that long. But she saved who she could, and she hoped that would be enough.

At one point, Yellow Diamond became suspicious. She heard tell of Pink often wandering her rooms, sometimes disappearing into one and not coming out for hours or even days. The next opportunity she got, she told Pink that she wanted to station an Agate of her own in the zoo, telling her it was a gift for behaving. The wording angered Pink, but she managed to control herself, thanking Yellow. She had no doubt there was an ulterior motive, but didn't dare say so. 

Evidently, the idea spread, as she was given two other Agates from White and Blue. She never complained, not seeing much point to it. They'd simply see it as her being childish.

Even with the three Agates not from her court, though, Pink couldn't help sneaking to the zoo and spending time with the humans she'd saved, learning all about them and their ways. She learned how they wove cloth, and baskets, and how they did many other things that helped them survive on Earth. Things were different in the zoo, of course, but she made it as well as she could. 

The humans eventually learned that Pink wasn't one to be feared, nor were the other gems who would come in on the occasion someone got hurt - which, at first, was quite often. They didn't take kindly to being shoved into some foreign place. They heard many stories from the Diamond about other gems who weren't as trustworthy as she was. She told them why she brought them there, and why she spent so much time around them. She enjoyed being around them, hearing about their homes and planet. She learned as much as she could about them, and taught them how to read the gem language. She taught future generations what the original ones had taught her, keeping alive their languages and traditions when they couldn't do so themselves. It gave her something to do when the other Diamonds didn't have something for her to do for 'herself'. 

Pearl never really approved of Pink spending so much time in the zoo, but she never voiced it. She didn't dare. Having her voice taken away shook her to her gem, and she didn't want something worse to happen to her, or to Pink. She couldn't stand the thought. So she did what she could to protect Pink Diamond, even if she was just a Pearl. She had to do something

The gems under Pink's court, her few Agates, the Amethysts, and her Rose Quartzes, grew used to the sight of their Diamond visiting the zoo, whether as herself or disguised. Pink was surprised to find they didn't much care; they simply wanted her to be happy. They actually came up with something for her to use so just they would know it was her, without news being spread to the three Agates who weren't her own. She found from one of the Rose Quartzes that, as she suspected, the three weren't simply presents. They would disappear for a time on a regular basis, and said Rose Quartz followed one, only to find she reported to the Diamond she was sent from. Pink thanked her greatly for the information and promised to bring her on her next mission, should she ever have one. She had admitted she had doubts that she would, but Rose Quartz didn't seem to mind. Serving the Diamond was good enough.

There were times where Pink wouldn't show up for a few weeks, and the gems all knew it was because she had her own duties to attend to. Or, at least, that's what they believed. In reality, Pink needed to lay low. She couldn't arouse the suspicions of her fellow Diamonds, and to do that, she needed to show that she was willing to do what they wanted her to do. During those times, she spent what always felt like ages in her rooms, talking at - and, very occasionally, to - Pearl and sometimes requesting she dance. She sometimes would dance as well, just for the fun of it.

When she didn't feel right talking to Pearl, Pink would talk to the Pebbles. There were many of them, and they didn't fear giving their opinions, unlike Pearl, most of the time. She'd entertain them with jokes, and sometimes she'd sing. She'd never really sing happy songs; she was rarely happy. Oh, she'd act like it, but she wasn't ever really happy. Even her court in the zoo knew it, though they tried to cheer her up.

And when she didn't do any of those, she planned balls, much like she used to before she had a colony. She figured she might as well, since all her other authority was stripped from her. That was one thing the other Diamonds never seemed to mind. White even attended a rare few herself. For the few she didn't, she sent her Pearl. It felt, in some of those times, like White was reminding Pink to behave. Behave, because she knew the consequences. She knew what would happen if she acted up again.

She couldn't let what happened to her old Pearl happen to another gem.

---

On one visit to the zoo, Pink didn't feel much like talking to the humans, instead choosing to walk through the enclosure that she'd tried so hard to get to mimic their planet. She felt she did a good job at that, at least. On this occasion, she walked along the beach, lost in thought, Pearl trailing behind her as usual. She was thinking about the future, and about what she could ever do, and if she could ever have even the slightest chance of freedom again. Things looked very bleak for her, and on that day, she felt swamped with despair and hopelessness.

"...stars is all I've ever known; stars and stardust and infinite space is my only home."

She paused, pulled from her thoughts at the sound of someone singing. She had heard humans singing before, of course, but this one wasn't with anyone else. Not that that was unusual, simply uncommon. "Pearl, do you hear that?" she asked, turning to look at the gem.

Pearl nodded, looking a little confused as to why her Diamond stopped just for a song.

"But the moment that I hit the stage, thousands of voices are calling my name, and I know in my heart it's been worth it all of the while," she heard. The melody was bright, happy. That was mostly what caught her attention. She hadn't heard happy tunes in a while, though that was partly her own fault.

"I wonder who it is..." Attracted by the sound, the Diamond started walking toward the sound and the source of the song. Pearl didn't have much choice but to follow.

"...spirit who's tearing its way through the cold atmosphere; I fly like a comet, soar like a comet, crash like a comet. I'm just a comet."

She finally caught sight of the human singing as he finished the song he was singing. She didn't believe she recognized him upon studying him, but then, there were quite a few humans in the zoo at that point.

The man had his eyes closed, leaning back on his hands with his head tilted toward the sky. Pink stood in front of him, curious and taking in the details of this human. He had brown hair - a common color, she'd noticed - and, as far as what she'd been told a long time ago, looked like he was trying to grow a beard. Most humans didn't seem fond of them, but some did. Apparently this man was one, or at least testing the waters. She was fairly certain she hadn't met him before, though she could have been wrong.

He opened his eyes and yelped, scrambling back a bit.

Pink couldn't help a chuckle. "I didn't mean to frighten you," she said, raising her hands in a sign of peace. 

"Sheesh..." The man rubbed the back of his head, looking at her. "Do you usually do that to humans?"

"No, not usually. But I usually don't walk alone, either. I guess today is just a day for different things."

"Yeah." He studied her. "You're Pink Diamond?"

She nodded. "Yep." She wasn't exactly surprised he recognized her; she's not like a human, after all, and the humans all know she visits regularly. "You have that advantage over me, though. I don't think I've ever met you before."

"My name's Greg. Greg Universe."

She smiled a bit at the irony of the last name. "Greg. That's a nice name." 

She sat, but Pearl tugged on her hood that she didn't have on. "My Diamond..."

Pink shrugged, gesturing to the sand beside her. "We don't have anything yet, Pearl. We can sit for a while."

Pearl didn't seem comfortable with it, but sat by her anyway.

Pink turned her attention back to Greg. "So how come you're all the way out here today?"

He shrugged a bit. "I've been working on a few songs and wanted to come out here to practice on my own. Guess that didn't end up, huh?" He smiled wryly at the Diamond.

"Sorry." She couldn't help a return smile, though. "Suppose neither of us really got what we came out here for, huh?"

"Guess not."

Silence fell for a moment before Greg broke it again. "So what did bring you out here, your, uh, radiance?"

Pink couldn't help the laugh that bubbled from her. "Please, just call me Pink."

"Alright, what brought you out here, Pink?"

"This is one of the only places I can truly be alone. Well, more or less." She glanced at Pearl, feeling bad at the sight of her old friend looking down at the sand. 

"I understand that. People can be really bothersome sometimes."

"You have no idea." Pink's smile was slightly bitter, and she shook her head a bit.

He shrugged. "Maybe not how you think, but it's hard to be alone here."

"What do you mean? This place is at least as big as the Earth."

"Maybe. But we're always with other humans, right from the day we're born."

"Hmm." She blinked. "I hadn't thought of that," she admitted.  

"Hey, even you can't think of everything," Greg commented.

Pink smiled a bit. "I suppose you're right."

"My Diamond..." Pearl seemed very uncomfortable.

Pink sighed, standing. "Alright, Pearl." She looked at Greg. "I have to go, but I hope I'll see you again."

"Based on your record, you probably will," he chuckled.

She laughed a little herself. "You've got me there. Goodbye, Greg."

"See you later, Pink."

The Diamond started walking toward where she knew an exit was, Pearl following close behind. Maybe she didn't get done what she wanted to on that walk, but she felt better after talking to Greg. It was... nice. She hadn't felt like that since...

Well, since she was Rose.

She smiled a little, hoping she could see Greg again sometime.

Chapter Text

Pink returned to the zoo more often since that day. She enjoyed being with the humans, but especially Greg. He was different, somehow. Not that the other humans weren't - they're all unique in their own ways. Completely different from gems, who often look alike and have to identify themselves by cut. Humans all had different names to identify them, names and personalities that they were allowed to show, little traits that made them unique. Pink admired them for it, admired the differences they had. She admired the different reactions to her teaching, too. Some humans took to it immediately, while others seemed reluctant and unwilling to learn. It was so strange, to be treated almost like one of them. 

She loved it.

Pearl was never comfortable with all her visits to the zoo, even after several millennia. Pink couldn't say she blamed her, either. They had both suffered under Homeworld's rules that not even she was free from. She knew that Pearl wanted to keep her safe, to stop her from getting into more trouble than she already had. But Pink also knew she'd never tell on her for the same reason.

Their relationship had suffered over five thousand years. They didn't talk much - not that Pearl would - and whenever things seemed like they could almost go back to how they were, they both remembered, and they couldn't. Pink dearly missed her old friend, but she knew that they would likely never be able to go back to their old relationship. Not on Homeworld, and possibly, not ever.

At least things had gotten a bit better for Pink. Blue and Yellow would let her watch them with their colonies, and she wasn't being watched all the time. The Agates remained in the zoo, but she couldn't say she was surprised about that. She'd been very careful around everyone, making sure that her visits to the zoo were always secret and that word would never get to the other Diamonds. As always, the gems of her court helped. They always adored her, did their best to cheer her up by telling her the latest developments with the baby humans and helping her with some of the children ones. The rambunctious little things always had something to talk about and some game to play, and Pink enjoyed playing with them. She brought up the younger groups to Greg once, commenting on how much they seemed to radiate joy. 

"I wouldn't know," the man commented. "I've never had one."

"You haven't?" Pink asked, a bit surprised.

"No. I just haven't found anyone that I fell in love with, you know?" he replied.

"A little."

He glanced at her. "Have you ever been in love?" he asked, genuinely curious.

She had to think about it. "A few times," she finally replied. "Mostly with you humans. You're so fascinating." She smiled. "You're never the same."

"Well, I dunno about that," he said, scratching the back of his head. "A lot of us are a lot alike."

"Maybe, but you're not exactly the same. You trying to grow that - what's it called again?" She mimicked his facial hair with her hands.

He chuckled. "A beard, Pink."

She laughed. "Yes, a beard! And you enjoy music, and puns, and jokes of all kinds. And... you don't see me as a Diamond."

"Is that a bad thing?" Greg asked, glancing at her.

"No. Not at all." She stopped and turned to him. "I love coming here, because you humans never see me as someone to obey no matter what. You disagree with me, and point out things I say wrong, and it's amazing. You have no idea how much I wish I could get that from gemkind."

"I didn't think about it that way." He looked up at her. "Is being a Diamond hard?"

"For me, it's the hardest thing in the world." She looked away, quiet for a moment. "But it does have some good things about it. I can't complain, I suppose."

"Sure you can. You just did," he chuckled.

Pink blinked at him, then laughed as well. "You have a point."

He grinned at her, and Pink grinned back. They stood like that for some time, just smiling at each other.

"My Diamond?" 

Pink turned to Pearl. She felt a pang of guilt hit her; she'd nearly forgotten she was there. "Um, yes, Pearl?"

A projection of a clock appears over Pearl's head.

Pink sighed. "Right. Time." She turned back to Greg. "I have to go. I almost forgot that Blue wants me to come with her to check on her latest colony. Hopefully I'll be back soon."

"Hopefully," he agreed. "See you later, Pink."

She turned and walked off, Pearl trailing her.

---

Pearl was worried.

Her Diamond had always been very invested in the zoo, and she understood why from the start, but this... This was something entirely different. This Greg human - something was different about him, and Pearl couldn't imagine it would end well. Her Diamond had fallen in love before, but this was different. And Pearl didn't know what to do. Pink could easily get herself in trouble for any number of things, and for all she knew, Pearl wouldn't be able to do anything about it. She's a Pearl, after all. She meant absolutely nothing to the Diamonds, other than Pink, but even then, she didn't know. They didn't speak much, didn't laugh much, didn't interact much beyond what was expected. And Pearl missed Pink. She missed how she'd crack a joke, or sing with her, or dance with her. She missed how she would turn into Rose, and Pearl didn't have to pretend to be hers. Pearl just had to be herself. 

But she couldn't do that. Not then, and likely not ever.

So she worried, because Pink was putting herself in danger. Pink was putting herself in danger, and she didn't even seem to care. Pearl didn't know what she would do if Pink got found out. She didn't know what the other Diamonds would do if they found out. Hopefully nothing bad, but she could never know.

Pearl stuck close to Pink whenever she could, though she often stayed silent, only speaking through her gem when she had to. She knew that Pink would rather have alone time, but she couldn't give that to her. She wanted to, she really did, but she was afraid. She only left if ordered to, and Pink rarely did that, even when she was more or less alone with that human. Pearl was always silent, always there if needed.

But one day, Pink told her that she needed her to go check on the reports from her Rubies for her. Pearl didn't question it - she never did after their return to Homeworld - and carried out her task, waiting for Pink in her room.

She waited hours for Pink to return, and she did, but something seemed different about her. She seemed... Uncertain. Happier. Confused. Hopeful.

"Pearl?"

"Yes, My Diamond?" came the robotic voice.

"Can... Can we talk?"

"Of course, My Diamond."

Pink sat, and, after a moment, Pearl did too, a bit concerned.

Silence fell for a time, then Pink spoke up. "Greg and I talked a lot today. Well, I mean, we did more than that, but we talked a lot. We talked about humans and the differences between them and us - how they have tiny lifespans, but they grow in so many ways, and gems can live indefinitely, formed how they will be forever. We talked about so much..."

Pearl nodded, silent. She thought that was all, but Pink didn't move to get up, instead fidgeting, mostly with her hands. Pearl said nothing, simply sat there, concern returning. 

It took a few minutes for Pink to finally say, "I think... I think I'm going to have a baby."

Pearl stared blankly, not understanding. "My Diamond?" her voice responded.

Pink looked at her, serious. "You remember how humans reproduce? With other humans, and the female has a child?"

It took several minutes for Pearl to understand what she meant, and were she standing, she would have staggered. "My Diamond!"

"Please don't be mad," Pink pleaded. "We've been talking about it for some time now, and I really want to do this. I want to give instead of taking. I want to make life instead of draining it. This could be the only way I'll ever be able to."

Pearl didn't know how to respond.

"I know - I know that this may seem rash to you, but I've thought about it. I've thought about it a lot. And I feel like I'm supposed to do it. I feel like... Like this is right." Pink clasped her hands, looking at them, then at her gem. "I don't know what will happen to me when I give birth. I don't see why I wouldn't stay me, but I don't know."

She looked at Pearl. "Promise me something?"

Pearl looked at her for a long time, then sighed. "Of course, My Diamond."

Pink reached out, taking Pearl's hands and crossing them. "No matter what happens, take care of the child I birth. Hopefully I'll be there to help, but if I'm not, I need someone I can trust to watch over them."

Pearl nodded, but she couldn't help the tears that slipped down her face. She couldn't face the idea of Homeworld without Pink. She couldn't imagine facing any gem without Pink. She couldn't imagine explaining to her court - to Jasper, to her Agates, to her Sapphires - what happened to her and why she looked like a human.

But she'd have to find a way. Somehow, she'd find a way.

Somehow.

Chapter Text

The day Pink Diamond finally disappeared was a blur for Pearl. Her Diamond had been spending more time in the zoo as days passed, and finally the day came where she... became? Gave birth to? a human had arrived, and there was a baby there instead of Pink Diamond. The few humans who help with births seemed mystified at the disappearance. No one entirely knew what happened to Pink Diamond, but for the humans, it didn't matter. There was a baby to be taken care of, and that's what they did. They swaddled the screaming child, soothing it and lulling it to sleep. 

One finally gave the baby over to Pearl. "It's a boy," she was told. "What's his name?"

Pearl looked down at the baby in her arms. She didn't know how to feel about him. She didn't know what her Diamond had intended to name him. Greg might.

The gem never ended up giving a response other than a shrug. She then turned, intending to go find the human responsible for this baby. She needed to know what to call him. She knew it wasn't her Diamond; Pink had made it clear that he wouldn't be. And she promised to take care of him if Pink disappeared, which she had. So Pearl was in charge of taking care of him and making sure he was safe.

She slipped past some of the Amethysts, nervous that they would stop her if they spotted her and ask where Pink was and why she was carrying a baby. She didn't want to answer any questions. She didn't want to speak to anyone except Greg, which, considering she never really liked him and that he's responsible for whatever mess she would end up getting into, said worlds about her state.

Pearl reached the section of the zoo that Greg lived in and entered, searching out the man. She finally found him on the beach where Pink first saw him, talked with him. At first, she didn't approach, but when she did, it was slow. Greg easily saw her coming and looked a bit confused. "Uh, hey, Pearl," he said, blinking. "Where's Pink?"

She didn't reply, just stopped before him. She looked down at the sleeping baby she carried, and Greg followed suit. His eyes widened, full of wonder. "A baby?"

He looked at Pearl, confusion tempered by curiosity now. "Why do you have a baby?"

Pearl looked back at him steadily. After a moment, she adjusted the blankets around the tiny human to reveal a gem. 

Pink Diamond's gem.

Greg looked down, staring. "Oh." His voice was weaker. "So, you mean... This is... This is my child?"

Pearl nodded.

"What gender are they?"

"I heard boy," her toneless, flat voice replied from her gem.

"A boy." Greg seemed fascinated by his child. "I have a son." He couldn't seem to help the smile that spread across his face. "Can I...?" He reached out a bit toward Pearl, for the tiny human she carried.

Pearl handed the small one over.

Greg handled the baby as if it were made of glass, and he seemed unable to stop smiling. "Wow..."

Pearl was silent for a while. "Name?" finally came from her.

"Steven," he replied softly. "We decided that if it's a boy, he'd be Steven."

She nodded once. Steven it would be.

She hoped she could get used to this tiny human instead of Pink. She didn't know if she was coming back, but by the way Pink had talked, she hadn't sounded like she would be. Time would only tell if it were true or not. 

Pearl watched Greg cradle the human, smiling a little at him. "I can't believe this is my son. He's so... Tiny." He looked up. "Where's Pink? Is she okay?"

He didn't know...? He didn't know she was gone?

A hand moved to Pearl's mouth, fingers curled. She looked away, finding herself abruptly trying not to cry as a wave of emotion crashed through the numbness she had felt up to that point. 

This is his fault. It's his fault her Diamond is gone. It's his fault this... This - baby is here, and not Pink. Pink still had so much she could have done, so much she was needed for. And this human took that away from her.

Greg's voice broke her thoughts. "Oh."

Pearl didn't look at him. 

Silence fell for a time. "Man, I... I didn't know that's what would happen." 

Neither did I. 

"So... The gem, the one that's in Steven..  That's her?"

Pearl didn't answer  She didn't know.

Silence. 

Greg finally handed Steven back to Pearl. "So... What do we do now?" 

Pearl's gaze snapped to him, incredulous. There was no "we", there was just Pearl. Greg didn't know what she'd have to go through for this human, Greg didn't know how the Diamonds would react, Greg didn't know what Pearl was feeling, what she wanted to do. Pink was gone, and it was all his fault. 

...but maybe it wasn't. 

Pink had always been wanting to prove she could do what the other Diamonds could, and when she finally wanted something for herself, they had refused to give it to her. She had reacted in the only way she knew how, and they punished her for it. Before... Before Steven, Pink had told her that she wanted to make a change for Homeworld, but they both knew she couldn't do it as herself. 

Maybe she knew what she was getting into with Greg after all. 

The thought diffused some of her anger, and Pearl shook her head. "I don't know." 

She couldn't stay there, though. And neither could Pi- Steven. Steven couldn't stay there. The Diamond's order for Pink to avoid the zoo was still in effect, and likely would be for another few years, if they were lucky. It could be decades or eons for that to change, really. If they found out that Pink was spending a lot of time at the zoo, there would be consequences.

And Pearl might not be able to protect her from them.

"You should probably go. I know the other Diamonds don't want Pink here, and if they think Steven is her..." 

So he was at least a little bit smart. 

Pearl nodded, and Greg stood. He looked again at his son, unable to help a smile, then Pearl turned and walked away, out of the zoo.

This was going to be a long, long century. 

Chapter Text

There's a lot Pearl has to do in the first few months or more in regards to Pink's new fo - No; Steven, she has to correct herself. That's something she'll have to get used to, and one that will be hard. He's a baby, for star's sake! He's a human baby who has Pink's gem, and she's supposed to act as if he's Pink to the rest of Homeworld, and there will undoubtedly be questions about he- him and where Pink is, and the other Diamonds will be expecting to see Pink, and all they're going to have is this human baby, and they're not going to be happy, and somewhere in there is likely bad consequences for Pearl because, of course, she's a Pearl and should have been able to stop Pink from doing something stupid like become a baby and yet she didn't and now Pink is gone and she doesn't know what to do because she has to take care of a human baby which she has no idea how to do and he cries so often and she can't calm him down and for the love of the universe why is she stuck with this fa-

"Pearl?"

The too-familiar voice jolts her from her thoughts, and she looks up to see the one and only Jasper standing before her. The warrior assigned to Pink Diamond is frowning at her. "Where's Pink Diamond? And why are you holding a human baby?"

Right. She has to somehow explain this to Jasper, too. God, this is going to be an awful century...

She looks down at Steven for a moment, then back at Jasper. She projects an obvious 'follow me' gesture, then turns and starts walking toward the human zoo. Maybe while they're there, she can figure out why this baby is crying so much. He's not now, thank goodness - somehow, he fell asleep - but she was starting to wonder if enough sound could poof a gem.

She glances over her shoulder to see if Jasper is following. She is, though frowning. Pearl can't blame her; this doesn't make sense to her either, and she was there. 

Once they reach the zoo, Pearl hesitates. Should she go see the humans who know how to take care of the babies, or the human responsible for this?

"Do you know where you're going?" Jasper asks, half-irritated.

Pearl gives her a sharp look, turning down a corridor that will lead to the area where the human babies are kept. Best to take care of him first, then she can try and explain to Jasper what's going on.

Hopefully.

They walk in silence. Once they get to the right door, Pearl stands in front of the panel that will open the door, but she has to shift the baby to a free arm to do so, and unfortunately for her, that wakes him up. He starts crying again.

Jasper scowls. "Can't you make it shut up?"

Pearl gives her an exasperated look. "If I could, I would," answers her voice. She's grown more used to simply projecting what she wants to say, but there are some times where it's simply easier to answer with what voice she has. 

"Let me then." The soldier reaches for the baby, but gets a big "don't" symbol from Pearl. She doesn't take that too well. "You're just a Pearl; give me the baby," she demands, reaching for him again, but Pearl dances out of her way as he keeps crying. "Give me the baby, Pearl!"

She get the same symbol, which angers her. Growling, she lunges at Pearl, but the nimble gem simply runs from her. Jasper gives chase, but Pearl knows the halls better than she does, thanks to Pink's constant visits, and the quartz consequently gets lost.

As for the gem carrying the wailing baby, she makes her way back to the right room and properly opens the door. Some of the humans glance at her, but only one approaches her, frowning. "How come you have this baby?" she asks, taking Steven as Pearl practically shoves him into her arms.

In answer, Pearl projects a pink diamond. It takes a moment, but understanding floods the human's face. "Ah, this is Pink Diamond's son." She starts rocking Steven, soothing him. "How is he doing?"

Pearl shrugs. How is she supposed to know? She's not a human. And he's a human. He's not...

But he is, unfortunately. She wishes it weren't so, but he has her gem. She can deny it all she wants; she can act like Pink is still there and this is just a random baby she was given, but it's not true, no matter how much she tells herself so.

The human frowns, continuing to rock a calming Steven. "Have you been feeding him? Changing him?"

She gets a blank stare.

"You... really don't know much about taking care of a baby, do you?"

Pearl shakes her head. 

"Perhaps he should stay here with us, then..."

"No." Pearl's answer is immediate. She projects a rough image of the baby, then a pink diamond, then the Diamond insignia.

"I don't follow."

Pearl sighs. "Homeworld needs Pink Diamond."

"That may be, but Pink Diamond isn't here." Steven is asleep now, but she's still rocking him a bit. "He may have her gem, but he's also human. I can't say I know much about gems, but I know you don't grow up. The very fact that he's a baby says that he needs care like a human, not just a gem."

She gets another blank look. She exhales, exasperated. "That means he needs to sleep. He needs to eat. He needs the same things us humans do."

Diamond insignia, angry face. That much is clear, at least.

She taps a foot. "Alright, let's make a schedule then."

Pearl perks up a little. She's good at schedules and exceptional at executing them. If they can get this done before Jasper find the room again, it'll be perfect.

"Pearl!"

Well. It was worth hoping.

She turns to see an angry Jasper standing in the still-open doorway; she hadn't really thought to close it and evidently neither did anyone else. 

"What are you doing here?" 

Pearl points to the baby in the human's arms. Jasper blinks. "Oh."

"We were about to make a schedule for him," the woman tells her.

"'We'?" Jasper looks between the two, incredulous that Pearl would be talking with a human.

This is going to be hard to explain...

The woman raises an eyebrow at the orange gem. "Is there something wrong with that?"

"No!" Pearl's voice comes quickly.

"Yes; you're a human. You're lucky to be here. If it weren't for the mercy of Pink Diamond, your entire race would be gone."

"Hmm." She seems unimpressed. "Frankly, I heard differently."

"What?" Jasper is outraged and stomps closer to the human. "You dare talk about a Diamond like that?"

"Yes, I dare. She wasn't exactly different from us, now was she?" the woman says, despite Pearl's desperate attempts to get her to stay quiet. 

"What do you mean, 'was'? My Diamond is still ruling."

The woman glances between the two gems before looking right at Pearl. "She doesn't know?"

Pearl doesn't answer, hands covering her mouth. She's trembling a little. Now that Jasper knows, the entirety of Homeworld will know, and that can only mean bad things.

"What don't I know?" Jasper asks suspiciously.

"Pink Diamond is gone."

"No, she's not."

"Yes she is." The woman adjusts the blankets around baby Steven to reveal Pink Diamond's gem. "This is her son, Steven."

Jasper stares for a moment, then snorts in disbelief. "No. That's not possible. That's a human baby; that can't possibly be a gem. You're just - just trying to fool me."

"Jasper."

The soldier turns on Pearl. "What?" she demands, but stops when she sees that Pearl is clearly close to having a breakdown. It's new for her to see; Pearl always seemed to never show anything. She's a Pearl, after all, and completely devoted to her Diamond. 

"Steven." She points to the baby, then, clearly unwilling to say it, projects a pink diamond.

"That's not possible. It's not."

Pearl just nods.

Jasper glares at both the human and Pearl. "How?" she demands.

"No one is entirely sure," the woman admits. "But the fact is that Pink Diamond gave birth to little Steven here. I was there; I saw it."

The soldier stares at the baby, stepping back until she's hit a wall - the now closed door, actually - at which point she leans against it. "So... That human is Pink Diamond?"

"Yes. This gem and I were about to make a schedule for him, since I guess he needs to be out there as if Pink were, but he also needs human care."

Jasper looks at Pearl, then at Steven, then back at Pearl. She realizes something in a split second: Pearl is worried about Homeworld knowing that Pink Diamond is gone and this human is in her stead. She's worried about the punishments that could be associated with such a failing.

Punishments that could easily apply to Jasper as well, thus sparking the realization.

Slowly, she says, "I... suppose Homeworld doesn't really need to know that our Diamond is gone, since she's still here...?"

"No, she's not," the woman says.

"That baby has her gem," she points out. "So, technically, she's not gone."

Pearl seems to get what she's saying, hope sparking in her.

"So long as everyone thinks that he's Pink Diamond, nothing is wrong, right?"

The woman just shakes her head. She doesn't know how to explain to the gems that Steven isn't his mother.

Pearl smiles a little at Jasper. "Thank you," comes her voice.

Jasper shrugs, gesturing to the woman. "Make that schedule or whatever."

She nods, and she and the woman start talking.