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Two Steps Forward

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Garnet gets to know Steven long before he is actually born.

It was a natural reaction, of course. She's worried. They all are. Even Rose, though she does her best to hide it. She wants to be the confidant and sure leader she's always been, even about this. It's hard to judge how concerned she truly is. So, Garnet wanted to know, to be certain, that this really would turn out okay, after all.

And... there was a kind of selfishness there to, Garnet has to acknowledge. A hope that when she peered into the future, whatever she will saw would not be good. That way she could go to Rose, and tell her that going through with the pregnancy is, objectively, a terrible choice. And then her friend would finally relent- she would be no alternative- and not sacrifice her life. Then things could return to the way it used to be.

When Garnet looks, she does see terrible things. That's true. She lives through potential futures where the baby dies in child birth, and they're all left with nothing but an inert gem, lying on an empty bed. Or perhaps, weeks down the line, the baby dies some other way- he chokes, or gets dropped, or becomes sick, all sadly common human deaths. Or occasionally, there are futures where the grief becomes too much, and either Amethyst or Pearl crumble completely without Rose to hold them up.

Garnet tells Rose Quartz what she sees. That is her duty, as it has been since the days of the War. And it is Rose's right, to know what she is truly getting in to. But when Garnet makes her reports, she does not consul her leader to reconsider, or to call off the pregnancy and the plan. Despite all she now knows, and all the things she's seen, she does not beg and plead with Rose, not like she and the others did when they first found out. Not like she was planning to. 

Because while it is true that Garnet has seen futures that end in tragedy, in tears and disaster- those futures are few and far between. And she now knows what causes them. She can act to prevent them, as she always does. She will keep Steven safe, and she will be the leader they all need.

And most importantly, she has seen Steven.

She has seen that little boy. A tiny little red face, swaddled in a blanket, with a single black curly lock of hair on his head, and the biggest, widest eyes. She has cradled him in her arms. She has let him grip one of her fingers, and felt herself be amazed at the strength of that grip, even though objectively, it is so, so much weaker than her own. She has seen the way that Pearl's eyes, which have grown so hard and fearful in these last months, soften when she looks at him. She has seen how even Amethyst grows sweet and still when she cares for him. She has heard his fearful cries and angry wailing, and done all she can to silence them. She has seen Steven smile; it is like the sun finally coming out on a cloudy day.

Is it strange, Garnet wonders, how much she already loves this child who does not even exist yet? A child which may never exist at all?

When she comes out of her latest vision, Garnet warps to Rose's fountain, and finds her friend there. The Gem is on her knees, busy at work as she tends to the garden that surround the place. When she comes closer, she sees that Rose is planting seeds in the soil. They won't start sending up shoots for months; their first blooms will only flower long after the one who planted them is gone. But Rose Quartz gives none of this any mind, and plants them nonetheless.

And Garnet understands that her love for the yet-unborn Steven isn't strange at all.

The risk with Future Vision, always, is getting too caught up on the 'whats'. The “what could happen”s. The “what if”s. And perhaps most dangerously, the “what will”s.

It's rather like walking up a mountain. If you keep staring upwards towards the peak, you become too focused on your final destination, and then you forget about all the stones which form that peak's base. And you're thinking so much about where you're going, and what will happen when you arrive, that you forget where your feet currently are. And that's when you stumble, and fall.

But you can't just ignore the peak completely; because then, what motivation do you have to keep walking at all?

Garnet takes a step forward. Rose notices her- or, no, she would have noticed when Garnet first arrived, because Rose always notices such things, but this is the first acknowledgement. Rose turns towards her friend, brushing her pink curls out of her face, a welcoming smile on her lips.

For a second, Garnet is seized with the urge to rush forward, bend down, and to place a kiss on Rose's forehead.

But no. As tempting a prospect as that is, that wouldn't help. Future Vision allows a Gem to see the future out of their own eyes; Rose Quartz wouldn't be able to look any further than her remaining few months. 

So Garnet presses that urge down. Rose seems to sense her hesitation. “What's wrong, Garnet?”

“Nothing,” Garnet says.

“Hmm,” Rose hums. “Just come to admire the flowers, then?”

“They look nice,” Garnet says, and she supposes they do, though she rarely pays them much mind. She thinks, then comes to the decision. “Actually, I was wondering... Could I have a dance?”

Rose stares at her. Blinks once. Then she smiles, even brighter, and stands.

Garnet comes forward, hips swaying. Rose Quartz meets the fusion half-way, white dress swishing. They take each others' hand. Rose is the taller one; she lays her other hand on Garnet's hip, while Garnet reaches up behind her partner's back. Rose's pregnant belly is large by now, and so Garnet takes pains not to press against it too much. Gentleness is always key, with Steven. They have no music to guide them, but after all this time, they scarcely need any. They begin moving in a slow, graceful circle, Rose taking the lead. Garnet is happy to let her. Her own waltz is clumsy, and besides- this dance is for Rose, and for the child she would never otherwise see.

Their pace quickens. They twirl, round in round, circle after circle. They raise their clasped hands, stretch them, then let them fall. One last twirl, their gems glowing. Finally, Rose dips her backwards. Garnet lets her visor vanish; stares directly up into Rose's face with all three eyes, even as it dissolves into light. At the same time, she dissolves too, and just like that, they are one.

In the garden, surrounded by newly planted seeds, the mighty fusion raises her head up high, and looks towards the future.  

And she smiles for the person Steven will be.