Dinner was always a major affair in the Universe household. Everyone was home just in time for the last meal of the day. Even Ruby, who often took long shifts at the police station, came home for dinner, even if she had to go back out again afterwards. There were always many stories to share, like the one time Steven recounted the one time he and Greg went to the amusement park and accidentally scared a little girl (to be fair, for all of Greg’s politeness he was a hulking man with long hair).
As Pearl cleaned the dishes after dinner she thought about the circumstances of what lead to where she was now.
She supposed it started before Rose got sick. Ruby and Sapphire had wanted to have a kid. Greg, being the only male they knew, volunteered to be the sperm donor. Afterall, he was Rose’s husband, and he wanted to be apart of his child’s life, even if he didn’t think he and Rose could have a kid.
It didn’t matter which of the two women carried their child, and it still didn’t. Pearl reasoned that the reason she cared at all was because if Ruby had carried Steven, the young boy would likely have not been born. Not that Ruby wasn’t able to carry children, but about a month into Sapphire’s pregnancy Ruby got shot straight through her lower abdomen, piercing her uterus. Pearl never could think about that without wincing in sympathy.
Around that time, Pearl had lost her job, and was sick of going through babysitter after babysitter because no one carefully watched her two year old troublemaker. Since she couldn’t really afford to care for her daughter by herself, she’d asked Rose for a place to stay. Unfortunately, her dislike for Greg got her moved into Ruby and Sapphire’s house. Pearl supposed that was only unfortunate for her, seeing as how she’d always loved Rose.
Then Rose got sick. Really sick. Pearl didn’t like to talk about it, but Rose died due to some complications during surgery. It was tragic, and it almost destroyed everyone. Greg stopped seeing the three women he’d been so close to before. Amethyst became confused as to why Aunty Rose wasn’t around anymore and why Daddy Greg never played with her anymore. Ruby took so many hours at the police station, she sometimes wouldn’t come home for a few days. Sapphire dealt with it the best she knew how, baking for everyone and crying to Soap Operas.
Things got better after Steven was born. Greg started coming around again, still insisting he wanted to be a part of his son’s life. Ruby stopped spending the majority of the time at the station. Sapphire spent the majority of her time caring for Steven and sleeping when he slept instead of crying and distress baking. Amethyst was happier, if grumpier from waking up due to Steven crying at night.
Pearl couldn’t help but to think she had it good. She had her volunteer hours, she had a warm place to stay, and even though she and Amethyst were working on their growing pains, they lived happily together.
Ruby laughed as Sapphire recounted her day at the ice cream shop. Tourist season was the best time for the store. She tried to forget the massive amount of Paperwork she’d have to return to after dinner, but her partner didn’t mind doing half of it while Ruby had dinner with her family. The dark skinned woman suspected her partner had gotten into a fight with their significant other and was brainstorming ways to make up with their SO.
It was later that night, when Ruby was back at the station filing the report, she stopped to think about where her life had gone in the past fourteen or so years.
Realistically, the changes had started fifteen years ago, when Steven had been an desire rather than an actual person. Sapphire had always wanted kids, and while Ruby hadn’t ever thought about children, she thought she could handle one. So began the search for a sperm donor. It was to everyone’s great shock when Greg asked if he could be the father. Ruby still doesn’t know why, but Sapphire let Greg be the Sperm donor.
Ruby hadn’t ever wanted to be pregnant. Her job was just too dangerous for that. The prime example being when Sapphire was a month pregnant. Ruby had gone to deal with a heist at the pizza shop and gotten shot in the uterus. Ruby couldn’t remember much of what happened after that, but apparently her partner called an ambulance for her, and she’d been patched up at the neighboring town’s hospital (since Beach City only had a first aid center, which was odd because they were a beach city, and surfing related accidents were sure to be high), and spent a month there. Sapphire, who hadn’t been working anywhere yet, spent the month by Ruby’s side as dark eyed woman healed.
After Ruby had gotten better, she essentially got the rest of Sapphire’s pregnancy off on paid leave to just get better. Except, it had been strange, being home all the time. At first it had been great, being around her pregnant wife all the time. The kissing, the cuddling, the everything, completely unrushed because Ruby didn’t really have to get up the next morning. After a while though, Sapphire started snapping at Ruby for being around too much. Ruby got mad at Sapphire because it wasn’t like she could just hang out at pizza shop or the Big Doughnut all day. The beach itself wasn’t an option, since Ruby had an extreme phobia of getting into any pool of water deeper than a bathtube. So, with nothing else to do, Ruby had convinced her boss to let her do paperwork, and only paperwork. She briefly became the secretary the police station had desperately needed.
In that time Pearl had managed to lose her job and her home. She’d moved in with Greg and Rose, but got into a fight with Greg and got kicked out to Ruby and Sapphire’s house. Greg still came by though, to see how Sapphire was doing and to play with Amethyst. It had been nice. Rose came by too sometimes, to offer Sapphire some advice,
Then about eight months in, Rose had died. Well to be more precise, since the thought of Rose just dieing deeply upset her, Rose had gotten sick. Really sick. She’d been having almost asymptomatic multiple myeloma. The only symptoms she had were fatigue (which could be easily be explained away as being tried from stress over a) suddenly having a two year old in her life and b) working in the pediatric ward instead of the geriatric she’d been enjoying), and frequent urination which hadn’t been that odd because Rose had a small bladder and drank gallons of water regularly. By the time it had been diagnosed, she was already at stage four. Rose, the frustratingly stubborn woman she was, had refused treatment, deciding that she wouldn’t have that much longer to live with the disease anyway. She died a month before Steven was born.
It hit everyone hard.Sapphire spent the last month of her pregnancy sad. Really sad. She’d pretend her crying was due to the Soaps she’d started watching when she’d been too big to really go anywhere by herself, Ruby knew the truth though. Ruby always knew the truth when it came to Sapphire. Ruby herself had taken more hours at the station, not wanting to be home and reminded of the loss. Apparently Greg stopped showing up for dinner. That more than anything made Ruby avoid home. It would be awkward to eat dinner with Pearl and not hear her snark at Greg from across the table.
And then Steven was born. Greg came back, and Ruby stopped taking extra hours. Sapphire had something to be happy about. Amethyst perked up, too. Pearl was just Pearl. Ruby knew that Rose’s death had hit Pearl harder than everyone else, and so when Pearl finally did come back from wherever she’d been, she was happier it seemed.
Now, Ruby was just packing up to go back to the station. She imagined if she took any longer her partner would be infuriated with her. She kissed Sapphire goodbye at the door and promised to be back home soon.
Sapphire loved dinner time. Pearl was an excellent chef, and everyone stopped what they were doing to eat together as a family. Ruby always took a couple hours for a break at the station to come home to eat dinner. Greg, who’d been living out of his van since anyone cared to think about, stopped fooling around on his guitar and sat within spitting distance of Pearl, something he’d normally avoid at all costs. Steven and Amethyst always stopped doing homework for a dinner break too.
Sapphire allowed her mind to drift while Amethyst and Pearl debated the best use for a
(And this is when I realized that I wasn’t happy with how everything was turning out. I’ve decided that I’m posting this bit as extras, but I’m not using it in story proper.)