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my heart is cold, the sky is dark, i'm curled up in the ashes

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You found Pearl in her room, in a new form, a week before Rose gave birth--a week before she died. She was sobbing, bawling her eyes out, and mumbling something you could barely make out.

“Uh...Pearl?”

She didn’t respond. You cautiously stepped closer, and this time, you could hear what she was saying.

“It missed. It missed. I shouldn’t be here.”

“Pearl. It’s me. It’s Amethyst. What the hell is going on?”

“Go away,” she muttered.

“No, P. No. I am not fucking going away. You’re obviously not okay right now.”

“Of course I’m not. Leave me alone.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” It felt strange, being the voice of reason for once, but…

You weren’t in love with Rose. You weren’t as strongly, deeply attached to her, not in the way Pearl was.

(Were you happy with Rose’s decision? Of course not. Not even a little. You’d been lashing out, having what bordered on the childlike tantrums you used to throw…

But fuck, you can barely imagine what Pearl is going through here.)

“Look,” you continued. “Tell me what happened, okay? Just tell me.”

She didn’t look up at you. She simply sat there, all curled up, and spoke through tears.

“My sword missed.”

It wasn’t hard to put the pieces together. “Pearl, did you…”

“I don’t want to be here. Not without her.”

You didn’t really know what to do, how to talk her out of this, so you simply grabbed Pearl by the arm, forcibly pulling her to her feet, and dragged her from her room, despite her strong protests--”Let me go, just--just let me shatter, please, Amethyst…”

And lo and behold, there stood Garnet and Rose.

Pearl managed to wrench herself from your grip, and ran towards Rose, hugging her tightly. “Rose, I...I’m so sorry…”

You walked away, into your room, unable to bear seeing either of them like this.

---

Three days after Rose’s death, Pearl approaches you, shaking like a leaf, and pulls you close.

“Amethyst, I need someone right now,” she whispers, low and nearly sensual--and trembling , uncertain, at the same time. Her eyes are bloodshot, all puffy and rimmed with teal.

You don’t want to know how long she’s been crying.

“...P, what ?”

“I’m lonely . And I’m scared. Please. I need someone.”

You’d be lying if you said you’d never thought of Pearl like that . In fact, you very often did. She was beautiful, and smart, and…

You think some part of you might have always been a little bit in love with her.

“...Okay,” you finally say, and before you can react further, she’s kissing you. You kiss back, and she’s so sloppy and undone , so unlike the graceful, composed Pearl you knew, and you don’t want to make things worse…

“Are you sure about all this?” you murmur as you pull away.

The ghost of a smile crosses her face. “Completely.”

(The first time you fuck Pearl, that very same night, it’s in her room, atop the highest fountain there. And oh, the way she writhes beneath you, reacts to you…

You should feel guilty, you think, but when you’re like this, it’s hard to feel much of anything beyond bliss .

She comes hard, shaking, gripping your shoulders like a lifeline--you’ll have a few bruises to phase away, you’re pretty sure--and she nearly sobs as she comes to her senses. “Amethyst, I--I needed that so badly . Thank you so much, thank you --”

“Not a problem,” you reply, smiling in spite of the sinking feeling in your gut.

You ignore it, simply letting Pearl bring you to your own orgasm, her long slender fingers working absolute magic .

This is nice. This is nice , and you refuse to let your anxiety ruin it.)

---

It’s been a month since she first asked you to shift into Rose. A month since she made you feel so inadequate, so worthless , and yet…you’re still here with her.

To be fair, it’s not like you didn’t deserve it. It’s not like you’re a good person. ( You’re not Rose.) But she’s told you many times since how highly she thinks of you-- you --and she’s apologized so often, and you can’t help but pity her.

Don’t get attached. Don’t. Fucking. Get. Attached.

You give as good as you get. The more you fuck, the rougher things get--the rougher she wants it, the rougher you want it. And you can’t help but wonder if all this is hurting her, or if it’s hurting you, or what , but…

You might genuinely love her, you think, and you really, really wish you didn’t.

---

You break up with her for the first time six months in.

She’s... changed , since Rose died. She’s so sad, she’s always so fucking sad, and maybe you’ve changed too, realistically, but you can’t fucking take it anymore.

One day, when you’re on a mission to the battlefield--a battlefield you have no memories of, not in the way she and Garnet do--she breaks down at the sight of...you’re not sure what set her off. Something that must be familiar to her. She’s shaking and sobbing at the thought of Rose, begging her to come back, to just come back .

And you go off on her like a bomb.

“You need to fucking suck it up , Pearl!” you scream, as she sits curled on the ground, her back resting against a massive sword. “She’s fucking dead, she’s never coming back, and you still can’t get over her?”

Her eyes widen. She looks right at you, and she shakes her head.

“You never cared about me at all, did you? You were always just--just using me, weren’t you? You can’t get over yourself, you can’t just love me --”

“Amethyst, I--”

“No! Fuck you! Never talk to me again, you fucking bitch !”

Garnet comes between the two of you, and though her shades are on as always, you can feel her glaring at you.

You run off towards the warp pad, leaving the other two behind, and for two weeks, you don’t speak to Pearl at all.

Two weeks. That’s all you can manage, before you come back to her, sobbing apologies.

Stars, Amethyst, what is your problem ? She’s never going to love you, you should know that--

“I’m sorry too,” Pearl replies, numbly.

(That night, you take her back to your room, to the little area you cleaned up just for her , and it’s like nothing bad ever happened. It’s like maybe, just maybe, she does love you.)

---

It becomes a pattern, a vicious, painful pattern, and after four years of it, Pearl sits you down.

“Amethyst, I’m so sorry, but...I can’t keep doing this. We’re just hurting each other.”

You don’t blame her, and you don’t even disagree that things between you are fucked up, but your heart shatters into a million pieces regardless.

This time, you don’t blow up. You just break down , sobbing like a child. “Pearl, stay, please , I need you, I fucking--”

She shakes her head. “I don’t think you do.”

There’s no joy in her voice. She’s crying a little herself as she walks away.

You curl up on the couch, in the half-finished house that Steven’s going to be moving into soon, so soon, and you bawl.

---

It’s been almost eleven years since that evening.

You still keep the spot you shared with Pearl clean. It feels wrong not to, for reasons you can’t quite explain--like it’s a memorial of some sort, the headstone marking the death of your relationship, something you can’t just leave behind .

“Amethyst?”

You spin around at the sound of Pearl’s voice, wide-eyed and startled. Things have...well, they’ve improved a lot . She’s one of your best friends, and even that bitterness towards her for leaving you has dissipated, at least for the most part.

(Despite everything, you might still love her.)

“Sup, P?”

She looks away from you, fingers nervously intertwined. “I was wondering...I know it’s been a while, but...wait. You’ve still been keeping our space clean?”

You turn back around for a moment. You’d been dusting off the bed’s headboard. “Yeah.”

She grins at you, actually grins . “Room for one more?”

You grin back, completely genuine, and sit down on the bed.

“Always,” you say, and you mean it.