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By Her Side

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From Pink to Rose was an easy change for her. The only thing that was different was her appearance (beautiful swaths of rosy curls, soft to the touch, she imagined). But from Pink's Pearl to a renegade fighting for Earth's very freedom... That was a different story.

It wasn't always easy in the beginning, though few things are. The transition was simple enough. Skirt to shorts, flats to boots, obedient to defiant - that was the easy change. Even when in a Diamond's presence, she was unrecognized. She figured that was only because of the old adage that all Pearls looked similar.

It was harder to transition from being a blindly faithful servant to a comrade in arms, though. Even if she made her own decision, she still felt sworn to her Di-

Rose. It was Rose now.

It was easier for her to pretend, however. Pretend that Rose had been a Rose Quartz all along. Not for her own sake, but for everyone's. If she let slip the wrong thing (wrong title, wrong behavior, wrong form), then they were back where they started. Maybe even in a worse place than before.

Still, she couldn't help but imagine. Rose was always saying she was a vivid storyteller with a bright imagination. Even if that were so, all she could think of was their "first" meeting, a generic Quartz freeing a caged Pearl, shattering her glass ceiling and teaching her how to be individual.

(She also thought of more personal, more private indiscretions, but saved them for herself.)

With a war in full swing, she took the fall for Rose as much as she could. It made it all worth it in the end.

Rose saying, "We've done it," clutching Pearl to her chest upon Homeworld's retreat.

Rose holding her and Garnet close, protected from an otherworldly light under the barrier of her shield.

Rose and the other discovering their fellow soldiers, mentally altered into screaming, frightened things and having to pick them off one by one.

Rose and Pearl finding a newly formed Amethyst gem, the late bloomer from so long ago.

Rose introducing a human to them.

Rose becoming pregnant with that human's child.

Rose clinging in her memory, a permanent ink that can't be smeared.

Everything.