"Aw! What's the matter, Steven? Miss your friends already? Well, don't worry... You're right behind them!"
Steven felt an explosion of pain as the gem's gleaming scythe sliced through his shield and body like butter. Eyes widening in horror as a burning warmth began emiting from his gem but before he could think more of this, the strange gem was talking again.
"Hm. You're a resilient one aren't cha? I guess you won't mind if I tried that again!"
He watched, strangely numb and disconnected as she sliced through him a few more times. Agony bubbled in his gem and head. His stomach was on fire and Steven choked back a cry of pain as her scythe punctured his gem.
A loud crack startled them both and Steven watched the other gem hastily step back as sparks of different shadings of pink burst out from his gem. Entranced, they both watched as the ribbons of pink lights danced through the air, humming a steady haunting tune.
For a moment, his gem was like a ball of light, swelling with pure, unadultered power.
And then he was burning.
Spinel watched in silent horror as Pink- no, as Steven's body began to glow. It started out small, like a flickering of a small flame before exploding like roaring molten lava. A bolt of terror and dread shot through her as Steven was slowly being engulfed in a white light. Oh no. Oh, no, no, no! This wasn't suppose to happen! This wasn't the game she wanted!
She tore her eyes away when his energy seeped into the air and ground, suffocating her. Spinel turned and ran behind some rubble putting her Rejuvenator back in her gem as the earth seem to shift and break around her. No, around Him. Eventually his light became too bright to look at, and she closed her already stinging eyes. It was like looking at a star. Her head was pounding but that didn't stop her from hearing the horrible whistling sound coming from Steven. A feeling of regret and grief swelled in her. This was all her fault. Everything was her fault.
As the wailing static became louder and louder, she felt her misery rise as well and a sob tore through her throat. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! She should've never used that weapon on him! She should've known better than assume that Steven would remain unaffected due to his organic side. He was an anomaly! Of course, an alien weapon would have different results!
Her eyes burn as one tear streaked down her left cheek. She should be happy. She should feel ecstatic! She had ended Pink Diamond's legacy! Wasn't that why she came to Earth in the first place? To destroy everything Pink had ever loved? To ruin Steven's happily ever after? That's what she wanted, right? Then why was she feeling so... Bad? She did everything right, so why did it feel so wrong?
The tension and power in the air thickened before collapsing inward like some kind of massive blackhole. For a few blissful seconds all was deadly silent as the energy pulled everything closer and closer. Then suddenly an overwhelming seismic burst pushed it all outward.
Spinel was sent flying, rock and debris crashing all around her. Panicking, she rolled herself into a tight ball, hoping, praying, that nothing would crush her.
Even though she deserved it.
She stayed still, not even daring to breathe, lest something goes wrong. After a few minutes though, nothing happened and she slowly opened her eyes, vision becoming less hazy the more she focused. The air was hot and dry but she easily ignored it in favor of studying her surroundings.
Everything was destroyed. Dust, smoke, and debris littered the ground. It was like a battle was fought here, which wasn't at all far from the truth. She looked for her Injector and was shocked to find it in shambles. The pointed legs were puddles of melted metals, hissing and dripping rather disgustingly all over the place. There were some pink puddles of poison over the ground but it didn't seem to do nothing else except melt the shriveled grass a little. The glass containing the poison were cracked, barely holding itself together, much like the machine itself.
"Spinel! Spinel, is that you?!"
Said gem yelped, whipping around to find a pair of painfully familiar pink eyes that made her gem clench.
It was definitely Steven, that much was obvious, but the person standing before her was much more different than the one she first met.
A crown of soft curly pink hair, a different shade than her own, beautifully framing the sides of his face. His soft kind smile and the expressive shape of his eyes were so much like hers that Spinel felt her breath hitch. He even had the diamond shaped pupils, though they were white instead of the dark black the other Diamonds bore.
His skin was smooth, pale, and pink, a bit lighter than Pink Diamond's, but still lovely nonetheless. It went well with his outfit, which was a pure white color, reminding Spinel of something White Diamond would wear-
She gasped when she saw his gem. The precious gem on his belly was still as gleaming and perfect as any Diamond's, but....
It was rotated the wrong way.
Spinel swallowed hard, trying to form words in her mouth but not able to say them out loud. Seeing this familiar gem, though rotated differently, sent a sharp pang of regret deep in her psyche. It was easy to hurt Steven when his gem was at a circular angle. It was so much easier to hurt him when his gem barely looked like Hers... But now...
It was rotated in the exact same upright position as White Diamond's, but at the same time it gleamed so much more differently (more brightly) than hers. It was....
She felt a few fat tears drop.
It was her Pink!
'What am I doing?' She thought to herself distractedly. 'Pink was my friend- she, no HE is my friend!'
She stared at her trembling hands in horror. To see what these hands were almost capable of doing to her Diamond, made her want to rip them off. She was ashamed of herself, disgusted really. She was SUPPOSE to be Pink's frien-
"Spinel?" Steven saw the confusion and lost expression on the other gem's face and frowned lightly. He studied the gem on her chest for a second before meeting her eyes again. "Oh! I mistook you for someone else. So sorry!" He gave her a polite smile and promptly turned around, walking away.
Something in Spinel shattered. A terror even worse than she had ever experienced before rattled through her form. It was a different fear than before, when her original Diamond had left. When Pink had left, Spinel wasn't afraid because her naivety, her stupidity kept her oblivious. Now though... Now she knew better. Steven leaving her now, was so much more horrible, so much more real.
As her new Diamond walked away, getting more farther with each step, she felt paralyzed. It was cruel. It was ironic. 6000 years ago, when Spinel had watched Pink Diamond walk away from her life forever, she had always dreamed of following after her. Fantasizing of how different her life would have been if she had just ignored the rules and followed Pink.
But now... Now she has a chance... And HE'S getting farther and farther away...!
Seeing his back turned to her, walking away from her made something in her twist and break.
She cries out his name before even realizing what she was doing. Thankfully that seemed to snap her body into action and she found herself running desperately after him, praying that he wouldn't leave her behind like SHE did-
But HE wasn't anything like HER, Spinel realized when he hears her cries and instead of ignoring her he patiently waits for her. A warm feeling blossoms in her gem. He didn't leave her, he actually WAITED for her!
She hurries to stand by his side and as soon as she's in reachable distance she latches onto his arm desperately. She knows she should be more wary, more cautious about touching Steven (they were strangers after all) but she finds herself not caring at all. Instead she leans heavily onto his side, desperate to have any physical contact with the reincarnation of her Diamond.
Thankfully, her Diamond, her Steven doesn't seem to mind; that or he doesn't care, something she's entirely grateful for.
"Hello again." He giggled (so lovingly, so perfectly, that Spinel tightens her hold on him). "What do you want?" He looks at her expectantly.
Spinel stares wordlessly at him for a few seconds, deciding on what to say. Finally she finds the right words. "Don't cha recognize your old pal, my Diamond?" She gives him a desperate smile. "It's YOUR bestest friend, Spinel!"
Steven stares at her blankly for a moment and then starts laughing. Before she has any time to process his reaction as good or bad, his next words shakes her to the core. "Hahahaha! Y-you CAN'T be MY Spinel! You look nothing like HER!" He delicately wipes the tears from his eyes and clears his throat.
He points at her gem, not seeing the destroyed expression on her face. "MY little Spinel has a cute heart shaped gem! Yours is upside down!" He states casually.
Spinel looks at down at her gem, terror turning to disbelief. Oh. She had honestly forgotten about that.
In a flash of white light she rotates her gem to its original position. It's a little hard reforming her old costume and design but nothing she couldn't get over. If THIS was all she had to do to get to stay by Steven's side, she'll change her form for him any way he wants! At this point she'd do just about ANYTHING to stand by him.
Steven had closed his eyes at the sudden brightness but when he opens them he immediately seems to recognize her old form, despite never seeing it. "Spinel! It really is you!" He gasps and to her shock pulls her into a hug. "My Spinel! My little Spinel! How I've missed you!"
Spinel is frozen when arms, much more warmer than hers, reach around her torso and picks her up in a hug, laughing merrily all the while. She freezes for a split second before returning the hug with a gusto. His reaction immediately sets her mind at ease.
It takes a second for Spinel to realize that she's holding on too tight. She tenses, waiting for a reprimand or an order to let him go but he doesn't say anything. Perhaps he hasn't realized it? Was she even hurting him? Surely, he would say something if she was causing him discomfort?
Lightly squeezing him Spinel realizes that he isn't as squishy as before. Humans were delicate, weren't they? His form is too solid, it feels more stronger, more durable, more firm, just like Pin-
Her thoughts are interrupted when a glow grabs her attention. They both part when, behind some rubble, a light glows brightly. Spinel tightens her hold on Steven, resting a hand on his shoulder, ready to spring him away if there was any danger. Her concern swiftly turns to irritation when she realizes that it was just Pink's dumb Pearl.
'Oh, goody, Pink's toy is reforming...'
The gem was nestled cozily inside a light blue seashell. "Please identity yourself." A robotic voice called out to them as soon as they made their way closer.
Steven didn't even hesitate. "Pink Diamond: Steven Universe!" He stated cheerfully.
"Greetings, Pink Diamond: Steven Universe. Please state preferred customization options."
"Default settings, please." Steven replies.
"Default settings selected. Please stand by."
The both watched as the clam spun around for a few seconds before opening up. Spinel huffs in aggravation when Pearl walks in front of Steven and starts singing some stupid song as an introduction. She resists the urge to snarl when the Pearl took Steven's hand in her own and declared her eternal service to him. Oh, how she wishes to tear her skinny hands off!
Spinel looks over Pearl's form, taking in the details such as her hair and clothes, not even paying attention to what she was yammering about. What a tasteless and boring toy. Her outfit wasn't even entirely pink! How were gems gonna know who she belonged to?
Standing by Steven's side she watches as the two talk, watching as Steven asks her questions after question, getting more excited by the second. Seeing this, Spinel feel everything in her burning in displeasure. Just looking at Steven smiling and talking to Pink's Pearl like some type of.... Friend made an ugly feeling settle down her gem. She wanted to ignore the sensation, but...
Steven giggles at something the Pearl says and Spinel barely holds herself back from ripping off the Pearl's stupid gem and shattering it beneath her foot.
The only thing stopping her was Steven so she rests her head against his shoulder to calm herself down. She has no idea how he'll react to violence and she shouldn't act out of character. Besides, her Diamond should have a Pearl. Who else was supposed to do all the dirty and boring work while they played?
Glancing in a random direction to tune out the Pearl's dull voice, Spinel notices another similar bright glow in the distance. Obviously another reformation, but who's? She tugs on Steven's arm, getting his attention. "My Steven, look!"
Steven follows her gaze and gasps, delighted. "Oh! Another gem! Let's go meet her!"
He takes off like a rocket with Spinel easily keeping pace, not breaking her hold on him for a second. She grins deviously when she hears the Pearl let out a startled squeak. She looks over her shoulder letting out short cruel laugh as she sees the lanky servant desperately rushing after them, tripping over her own feet.
'Not so perfect and graceful now, are ya?'
The gem is floating gently, appearance taking shape of the familiar square form of all rubies. Steven squeals and pats Spinel's hand. "Oh, look Spinel! A ruby! She's so tiny!"
Spinel can't help but smile back at him holding his hand snugly against hers. His joy was contagious. He makes everything so much more special and unique! Why, he treats something as mundane as a ruby reforming, like a special occasion!
They all watch as the ruby reforms, hands in a diamond salute. The ruby opens her eyes and lightly gasps at the sight of them. "Ah! Who are you? You're not my assignment." She dismisses them, to Spinel's slight surprise. The little red idiot then starts looking around, as if her 'assignment' was going to pop out at any moment.
The pearl frowns in disapproval at Ruby, which catches Spinel off guard. "Hold your tongue, soldier! You're in the presence of the radiant Pink Diamond: Steven Universe!" She makes a grand gesture towards Steven before glaring at the Ruby. "Show proper manners, or I'll report such blatant disrespect to your Commanding Officer!
The ruby blinks in bewilderment at the pearl, definitely not expecting the hostile reaction. She turns all her attention to Steven, then to his form, then lastly to his Diamond gem. Spinel could practically see the gears clicking in place as a look of sudden, horrible realization crosses the ruby's red face.
"O-oh! My D-Diamond! Please forgive me, I... I did not recognize y-your new form! I meant no offense!" The Ruby hastily salutes again while bowing low. Sweat rolls down her forehead as her face is tilted firmly to the ground. A usual sign of complete submission in Gem culture.
Steven blinks down at Ruby before smiling patiently. "That's ok, it was just a simple mistake." His voice is light but there's a hint of something... Dark beneath those words. Spinel, Pearl, and Ruby tense at the subtle warning in his voice. It was crystal clear to all three gems that Steven was a dangerous being to displease.
Thankfully a chime cuts through the strained atmosphere and all four gems look up automatically. About a mile away two glowing gems are floating in opposite directions of each other, catching them off guard.
"Pearl, will you and Ruby go and bring me the gem on the right, please? Spinel and I will get the one on the left." He forms it like a question but the other three gems could clearly hear the authority in his voice. He clearly expects them to obey. Spinel watches as Ruby and Pearl scramble to meet his demands. They've been given their orders so they go their separate ways.
The sapphire is already formed by the time they get there, dusting off the dirt from her dress to make herself presentable. She bows in greeting and gives Steven a Diamond salute. "My Steven." She states respectfully.
"Look, Spinel! A Sapphire! Isn't her dress pretty!" Steven gushes while rushing forward, picking at the blue gem's dress. Spinel voices her agreement but doesn't touch. She's more interested in leaning against Steven's side than feeling some fancy dress. The sapphire doesn't flinch away, no doubt seeing this in her future vision.
"You honor me with your compliments, my Steven."
Steven claps his hands daintily and turns to her. "Isn't this wonderful, Spinel?"
It feels delightful to be acknowledged and Spinel does not hesitate to voice her approval. "It sure is, my Steven!"
"I have you, a Pearl, a Ruby, and a Sapphire in my Court!" His eyes glow pink for a second before fading away. "I don't think anything can get better than this!"
"If I may, my Steven, tell you a vision?" The sapphire quietly adds.
"Oh? Please do tell." His response was soft, yet persistent.
"You will also have an Amethyst as well." Sapphire spoke, head bowed.
Steven is positively beaming. He faces Spinel, who grins back. "Did you hear that, Spinel? An Amethyst! I wonder what kind of weapon she'll have!"
Spinel laughs (she doesn't remember the last time she laughed this happily) and then suggests they make a game of guessing what type of weapon the Amethyst will have. Of course, she already knows what it is but she's having fun for the first time in 6000 years so she doesn't care. She finds that she loves the patient and soft tone of his voice, its very calm and warming.
As they continue their little game and make their way to the rest of the group something in Spinel pleasantly settles. She feels something inside her burn. A good kind of burn. The kind that she only ever felt when Pink Diamond was still around....
Seeing her Steven laugh, Spinel can only look on in complete adoration at the child, at the legacy Pink left behind. She feels like all the pieces are coming together. The gaping hole ONLY Pink Diamond was suppose to fill was slowly mending, being replaced by somone else. Everything was clicking into place and she knew that there was only ONE thing she had to do from now on.
And that was to NEVER leave Steven's side.
All the hate, resentment, and bitterness she's been holding onto for 6000 years has now been channeled onto a new, single mission. A new single purpose. A new single person.
She may not have been good enough for Pink Diamond, but her child, her son seemed to be her perfect match.
Finally, things were going her way.
If she played her cards right, if she treaded carefully, she may finally, FINALLY, have her happily ever after.
She can finally live the life that she deserved. A life with the ONE person she was made and meant for.
Her best friend.
Life had decided that she had suffered enough and she was finally being rewarded for her unwavering loyalty.
She was given the one thing most gems could only ever dream of having.
She was given a second chance.
And Spinel had absolutely NO intention of letting it go to waste.