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However Many Words a Day: E350tb's Hiatus (and a bit after it ends)

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“So you’ve got a gem power too now, Ronaldo?” Lars demanded. He felt envy rise, and he didn’t bother to fight it.

“Indeed! My powers are awesome in their scope!” the conspiracy theorist hammed, bringing up his hands dramatically. “For I wield… PRESENT VISION!”

“...You can see what someone’s birthday presents are?” Lars knew that probably wasn’t it, but he couldn’t help himself.

“NAY! I can see the present! That which is happening!” Ronaldo nearly roared.

Lars stuck a hand behind his back. “So how many fingers am I holding up?”

Ronaldo looked shocked. “I cannot tell! My Present Vision is not yet specific!”

Lars didn’t bother to hide his sarcasm. “Right…”

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It always started as a question when he was younger - a fairly innocent one.

“So, what’s your mom?”

His answer (when he was honest) was always the same - Martha Barriga. The next question was always about what her mother was.

The questions were never malevolent, never rude or mean. The people who were allowed to live around the Beach Palace weren’t the sort who would ask many questions or raise much of a fuss - and that was how the residents of the Beach Palace liked it. As did their monarch, when she visited.

None of them judged Lars for what he was.

But Lars couldn’t help but hate it anyways when it was brought up.

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Nobody was really sure who Onion’s gem parent was.

If Vidalia and Yellowtail did know, they weren’t prone to discussing it - and whenever Sour Cream was asked, he usually would just shrug and say that he’d never thought about it.

All he knew was that, a few years ago, he and his parents had been forcibly moved to Beach City, apparently by the orders of a gem “upper crust”, leaving all his friends behind. He didn’t even know which, and nobody asked, as far as he knew.

His mother and dad started shivering in a seemingly-traumatic flashback whenever it was brought up.

He could still contact his friends, at least, but he’d needed several years to get used to this place.

But he had his brother now. That was more than enough, for him at least.

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Sadie had to admit, this was really cool, watching the fires burn around them, through the isolated glass tubes.

Air conditioning, cooling, and transferral probably took up most of the Fire Palace’s energy budget. Even gem technology didn’t like being exposed to too much heat.

“Isn’t this amazing?!” Connie gasped in awe from besides her, eyes gleaming as she looked out on Earth’s oldest coal fire, started before even the gems arrived.

Sadie grinned a little as she looked out at the flames, wishing that she could join her father on the outside, watching her dancing with the other guards in the smoke and heat.

“It really is.”

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“Gah! Who forgot the igniter?!”

Looking around furiously at every kid/non-adult that was currently attending the beach party that had been set up, Jenny Pizza’s annoyance only increased when they all started looking away guiltily and refusing to make eye contact.

“None of you remembered the igniter for the barbecue?!” Jenny snapped.

“It was Sadie’s turn to get it!” Lars blurted out.

“Gah! Sadie, go get your igniter so we can turn this thing on.”  Jenny scowled, gesturing to the charcoal grill that she’d dragged over from her house, and the platter of burgers on the side of it.

“Perfect timing! And there’s no need!” Sadie was already approaching the grill - all four feet nothing of her. There wasn’t any igniter in her hands, though.

“What do you mean there’s no need?” Jenny frowned, before yelping as Sadie stuck her hands in the charcoal.

A second later, the dried-out wood caught fire all at once. 

Then, Sadie yelped, and withdrew her slightly reddened hand. It was at worst, a first-degree burn even though the charcoal was now burning heartily. “Okay, I guess it’s not totally perfect timing.”

Jenny was shocked for a moment, then grinned and raised her glass of soda. “Three cheers for Sadie! Three cheers for our new Ruby girl!”

A round of applause broke through the night instantly, with whistles interspersed nicely in between.

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“Ah. Madams Bixbite and Pearl. Have you come to watch?”

Bixbite smiled, and let the light that made up her form flow. The typically complex garments that she used as part of the top levels of Pink Diamond’s court vanished. Behind her, she noticed that Pearl hadn’t really changed her appearance to match hers - she’d never been too much of a devotee.

“I do.” She replied politely, the shawl she was wearing now matching the middle-aged woman’s. “I’ve always enjoyed the sand mandala ceremonies.”

The woman looked pleased. “Thank you, then. Please enjoy your time with us.”

“May we all enjoy our time with each other.” Bixbite went to sit down as Pearl walked outside.

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The news spread throughout the entirety of Homeworld space within a week after it was made public knowledge.

A new Diamond. A hybrid Diamond.

Nobody was certain at first how to react.

How should she - he - be treated? Hybrids were below gems… but the Diamonds were further above the gems than hybrids were below them.

The original Pink Diamond had stated that “he” was he was to be treated as her equal… but he was newer than her, and Pink Diamond was the only one of the Diamonds so far who had addressed her - no, his existence at all.

Blue Diamond seemed to be in awe - even now, rumors abounded of the ball being planned, one that would spread throughout all of Homeworld, and gems were already trying to act their best to have a chance to secure invitations. Yellow Diamond’s reaction was… less clear. Some said she was planning to follow in her sister’s footsteps, though.

White Diamond… nobody knew what she thought.

And even though nobody knew for certain what the Diamonds believed, every gem loyal to them looked at the reports, and texts that were being released by the Empire-directed propaganda machines and memorized every word being spewed out so that they could repeat it.

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"Kid? Hey, kid, are you okay?”

Sniffling, Steven looked up towards his wizarding mentor. “T-Topaz… she, they…”

Harry Dresden didn’t bother hiding his wince. “I know, kid. I’ve been there. And I know it hurts a ton, trust me. And I… won’t say that it always heals, it just gets less raw.” He sighed. “And I know you wish they’re here, and I do too, but they’re not.”

“I… I just want it to stop hurting…” Steven sobbed.

Dresden looked far older than he should have as he watched and remembered.

“I’m sorry, kid. It… never does. This pain’ll hurt less someday, that’s all I can tell you.”

But he’d learned something that the kid hadn’t yet he wasn’t going to tell him yet.

As long as there was life, there’d be pain. And if there was a solution, nobody had found it yet.

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“Tony? We’ll be okay. You can rest now.”

Pepper looked down at her husband and tried, with everything she had, to pretend that her heart didn’t feel like it had shattered in her chest.

“Guys! GUYS!”

Behind her, there came the sound of people being shoved aside, and a voice she recognized - androgynous and hard to determine the gender of.

Eyes widening in realization, she practically sprinted out of Stevonnie’s way, while somehow staying on her knees in the RESCUE suit.

And as the avatar of two lovers felt tears drip down their cheeks, their tears fell onto Iron Man’s face. 

And as his body turned pink, gasping for breath, Tony Stark drew air into his lungs again.

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“Trust me Connie, this happens. You’ll be fine.”

Connie smiled as the (sort of handsome) older immaterial figure floated in front of her. Already, she could feel the anger over the recent diplomatic breakdown between the Foggy Swamp State and the nearby Earth Kingdom due to an idiot’s actions fading away as she talked.

For the last ten years of her life, ever since she’d learned after turning sixteen that she was the Avatar, she’d been nothing but grateful that her predecessor had been so willing to be her friend.

And that he’d gotten training as a therapist while he was alive.

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Looking on in slight awe as the massive crowd roared along with Greg, Stan Pines grinned and returned to counting his cash.

“So, Grunkle Stan, are we going to be doing this again?” Mabel Pines eagerly smiled as the singing came down from the stage.

“Kid, if I knew Greg’s Karaoke Night would be this popular, I would have started doing it before he even started working here and hired him just to do it.” Stan was in, to say the least, a good mood as he looked over the eighty-plus or so tickets that he had sold for 12 dollars apiece.

“Isn’t dad the best?” Steven Universe asked with stars in his eyes as he stared.

Up in the attic, Dipper Pines and Connie Maheswaran winced as the cheers from the crowd came through the window.

Well, they had been planning to study Journal 3 all night anyways, so it wasn’t like they were going to get any sleep.

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Stevonnie turned around, curious at her mother/mentor’s confusion. “What’s the matter, Pearl?”

“The circumstances that have arisen here. Eezo is an extremely valuable and difficult to obtain compound in gem space, the last that I knew.” Pearl frowned as she observed the reports she’d been given on the alien technology and massive stockpiles of eezo that had been found on Mars. “The quantities here are enormous… even if they didn’t want to stay on Earth, why wouldn’t they take the eezo from here with them?”


Somewhere outside of the Milky Way galaxy, a Reaper did the rough equivalent of a sneeze (as much as a two-kilometer long living spaceship possibly could sneeze).

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“Destructo… Disk!” Connie yelled, as she threw the circle of energy at the rock she’d been practicing on since a week ago, watching, hoping, as -

The energy strike went just under a meter into the rock, slicing through a few of the other marks that she’d left there, then broke itself up. Her heart sank.

“Better!” Came an unwanted voice.

“I GOT IN TWO FEET INSTEAD OF ONE! NO IT’S NOT!” Connie snapped. “It’s USELESS! Steven could just blow up the rock without trying, the Gems are strong enough they can all break it in half with one punch! WHY AM I TRYING TO DO THIS WHEN NOTHING I DO CAN OUTDO THEM?!”

Krillin was quiet for a few seconds. Then, he laid his hand on his apprentice’s shoulder and started talking.

“Kid? Trust me, I get you. I… I’ve been there, a lot longer than I care to admit.” Visions flashed in his head - the battle with Freeza on Namek.

His own death - and said death being what it took for Goku to finally go Super Saiyan and defeat Freeza. How everything save his Disk had pretty much done nothing to their enemy (and he’d mostly missed the single shot he’d gotten off), like how it had seemed for so long that everything he’d done had never, would never, pay off.

But it had.

“And I won’t deny it, they’re stronger than we are.” He smiled. “But all that means is that we’ve got to be smarter with what we can do, than they are with what they can do. And we are WAY better at that than them, huh?”

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Even if the technological levels here were fairly low-tier, Pearl had to admit, “Cartoon City”, as Garnet called it, was still far more pleasing to the eye than Homeworld ever had been, despite the clutter in many areas.

Though really, she may have had personal bias in those feelings.

And there were so many people here! So many types of humans, and people that were non-sapient animals on the Earth she knew, and robots, and things that she had never even heard of before -

“Pearl, what’s that place supposed to be?”

Snapping out of her thoughts, Pearl looked forwards to see whatever it was that Steven had focused on, only to blink when she saw the line. It was a considerably long one.

“I’m not sure, but it’s clearly popular…” she admitted, before looking at the sign over the door, and frowning.

“Steven, what’s a therapist?”

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Blue Diamond regenerated to an empty room - one without even a door. Frowning, her thoughts were cut off before much time had passed.

“Hello, my Diamond .”

Then, a familiar voice cut in. A Pearl’s voice, specifically.

Most gems didn’t spend long enough with a Pearl on average for them to talk, and didn’t know their voices automatically.

Blue Diamond had spent the last few thirty or so millenia by her Pearl’s side, and knew a Pearl’s voice when she heard one.

She had never heard a Pearl use that tone before, and she opened her mouth to tell her to mind her place - and to tell her to release her.

But when she opened her mouth, nothing came out.

Her voice was gone. But the Pearl’s voice continued, in some sick twist of the Authority.

“I have to ask, out of curiosity… how does it feel to undergo what I did ?” 

The speaker went off.

Blue Diamond would not hear it turn back on again for quite some time.

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White Diamond rarely, if ever, got truly angry in a visible manner. Anger was below one such as her, for the most part. The rules of Homeworld were established, regardless - defying her was punishable by death. There was no need to be angry.


“White, I don’t know what you’re talking about! It wasn’t me!” Yellow Diamond protested, racking her mind to try and figure out what had gone wrong - why White had gotten so angry.

The message she’d sent had been simple, a confirmation to White Diamond that the Earth rebellion would be handled shortly. After she had finished dealing with her paperwork, she would go to Earth herself with her forces to assist Pink Diamond in ensuring they wouldn’t spread further.

Then, just as she’d been finishing, White Diamond had stormed in.

“Oh, Sunlight, do you really think so little of me?” The ruler of gemkind cooed in a mocking tone, even as she held the lesser Diamond in her left hand up against the wall. “I know what your signature is, dear, and the way you word your messages. Do you really think that your polite tone could hide the fact that you dared to insult ME?”

The last thing Yellow Diamond ever saw before she poofed was her Pearl at the door, standing in the same pose as ever.

And a smile that was in no way friendly, directed right at her.

By the time she was released from her bubble, the war had been lost.

Blue had been thrown in prison, and Rose Quartz that led the Rebellion made it clear that her life rested on how much Yellow Diamond was willing to work with her.

White was just dead.

And her Pearl was long gone.

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There were many theories as to why White Diamond never left her ship. Some gems said that it was from there she made all her decisions, and some that she needed to be ready to leave Homeworld at a moment’s notice.

None of them were right.

They came from all over Homeworld, and only she could see them. Respond to them (and after so long, they were really the only beings who dared question her, for there was nothing she could do to them).

Rubies, Tourmalines, Beryls, and gems of every caste - and those below the caste system. Fusions, and others.

All came to her tower, her place of isolation. 

And even though they couldn’t touch her, she couldn’t touch them - the one thing on Homeworld she couldn’t change or affect. No gem had ever gotten rid of the strange, drifting, things, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.

She’d had an entire caste shattered for failing to get rid of them.

They’d joined the ranks of those who haunted her, and whispered to her.

Murderer. Murderer. Murderer...

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She’d been sitting there long enough that dust was starting to gather on her. Well, not “starting” - more “collecting constantly”.

For each of them, words had played over in their heads - words placed there long ago, telling them they would be freed when they finally understood why those words had been said.

“You say you're "Every color of the light?" White is just a lack of light - reflecting everything away, just like you throw out everything and everyone to make more of yourself! Nobody on Earth or Homeworld who has a clear head and knows what you're like would ever want to be like you! You're a selfish, self-deluded, walking waste of time, of life, of magic, and carbon. And everyone that you're influencing is just the same way - a waste of everything that they could have done with themselves.”

Blue and Yellow had left already, some time ago. The tower had been built around, first by a park developed by Blue Diamond.

The park had been turned into a vast forest long ago, dedicated to the memory of the superheroines and superheroes that had liberated Homeworld.

And within the tower, White Diamond remained, still cursed by the last act of the Ghost Rider.

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Her dreams weren’t peaceful.

Pink was at the forefront of the crowd, the crowd of those she had wronged. Gems were hardly the only ones there - many more were watching her. Glaring at her.

There was… only one thing she could say. One thing that she meant - something that had been eating her from the inside for a very long time, that she should have said sooner.

“I’m sorry…”

She felt them look at her even more fiercely, as she spoke in the dream - a thousand, thousand, more eyes, all judging, all unforgiving.

As they should be, really. And they all spoke in a voice without compassion or love - like hers, for so long.

“You really think that one SORRY is going to be anything NEAR enough?”

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How much could change in forty thousand years?

Before she’d started calling up her forces, she’d figured that this would be simple - invade Earth, and wipe out the native life that had gotten Pink Diamond killed… then, convert the blasted planet into a Kindergarten at last, strip mine everything of use as swiftly as possible, figure out why the Cluster had never emerged (and fix that) and wipe it off the star charts.

Her forces, with her at the helm, had barely made it into the solar system before they were swarmed.

Dozens of her ships had been jumped by thousands of enemy vessels - and while their initial barrage had done little damage, their grace period had ended when weapons were brought out that opened warp zones on their hulls. She had hastily ordered all of her forces to get some distance from the enemy - humans, perhaps?

Ridiculous. It had only been forty thousand years since she had last had Earth checked.

After less than an hour, despite her attempts to cut a path, her enemies had refused to move aside, slowly cutting down her forces even though they lost five ships for every one she did.

Then, the ships had started reporting enemy boarders. Enemies bigger than any Quartz, with weapons that were so crude - and yet so effective, judging from the fatality reports.

She’d lost more and more of her ships - while the civilians reported none of them had been hurt worse than getting discorporated, her soldiers were shattered to the last.

And now, she (her! A DIAMOND!) had been thrown into a cell, without even her Pearl - she had been led away after her surrender, realizing that she could only prolong the inevitable this way, after the warp drives had all been targeted and disabled by the boarders.

Now, the door was opening. And inside, a human - a rather strange one - walked. Humans weren’t supposed to be bigger than a Topaz, after all.

“And who might you be, organic?” She spat, making sure to infuse disgust into her tone as the heavily-armored figure gave her an unimpressed look.

“I am Primarch Stevonnie. And I will be discussing the terms of your survival with you.”

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The light burned. It burned like life, like actions. Like every act she had ever done, nearly every decision that she had ever made, had done directly or indirectly to someone else.

“Do you still not see?” Demanded the voice. The voice of a being that she had declared long ago didn’t exist, the guardian of free will - something she had denied others for so very long. “Do you still not see what you have DONE?”

White Diamond thought for a second over what the light had shown her - her life. Through a different perspective, a perspective that another version of her might have had. A life that had been spent working with other people, both gems and organics, instead of over them. 

A lifetime spent with her children, loving and being loved equally for all her flaws, a life where she was shining daily with every color of the rainbow.

And she laughed.

“I do, angel.” She gave the being that humans called a “he” a mocking smile like she had given the other Diamonds so many times. “And I would do it all the same if I was given another chance.”

Uriel looked at her. Anger and sadness warred in the archangel’s gaze. 

And the being sighed. “If that is your choice and your will… so be it .”

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Power could be drawn from many places, Pearl reflected.

From the broadsword called “Excalibur” that she was carrying for instance - the blade that had been carried by several dozen people before her, and had caused the humans of this island to declare her their Queen.

And she knew of the price it took - a life spent questing, searching for evil to fight from both mortal and supernatural threats.

It was a price that she was happy to pay.

Very different from the coin that had helped drive her for fifty years, that she’d taken up without knowing the price it wanted.

Different from all that she’d done while it whispered in her ear.

And perhaps something like that was why the Diamonds and so many of their highest subordinates (“buttkissers” as humans would say later) had fallen so far.

There was almost nothing that corrupted more rapidly than power without restriction.

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Sometimes, Rose Quartz wondered what the Diamonds would think of her if they saw her now and knew who she’d once been.

White would likely try to have her return - the idea of the Winter Court cutting her down seemed a little too appealing, though. They must have been rubbing off on her.

Yellow would likely be appalled and pleased in a twisted way - “Diamonds aren’t supposed to go out and fight themselves”, she’d say. But her powers… well, they were fit for this place like they were nowhere else.

Blue would likely try to drag her away from everyone there, just like White.

But she was doing good here, she reflected as she observed the battered remains of the dozens of fae laid out in front of her.

Tightening her grip on the black staff in her hand, she reached out with her life, her magic, into their empty forms. She searched for the connections within their bodies to that which did not require a body.

And when she found it, she started to tug.

And less than a few minutes later, a squadron of apparrations stood in front of her, not quite as many as there were bodies.

One of them, a Sidhe with a dignified look on her face, moved forwards and gave her a sharp nod, almost of thanks. 

“Death is nothing before duty.” She spoke, before moving off with her forces.

The ghost of Rose Quartz, all but buzzing with necromantic power both within herself and that had animated them, nodded.

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Breathing in and out again, ignoring the wound on her arm, Killara reached forwards, drawing on the form in front of her that was clashing with the four (five?) gems. Remembering what had been taught to her, how the Ngangkari healed others.

It wasn’t quite time magic, which was unwise to use even for Ngangkari - but it was similar. It was healing magic, in a sense, as much as it was memory magic. Drawing on the memory of a time long ago - a time when they hadn’t been twisted, had remained untouched by mental and physical pollution. A time that now existed only in memory and the Dreamtime, beyond the world that was.

Slowly, she brought that image to the forefront of her mind, and sent it to the corrupted gem in front of her.

And as Rose Quartz brought a single tear and touched it to the physical form of her fellow gem as Killara murmured, more of the monstrous form fell away to expose the person that laid beneath.

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She’d always been weird, people thought.

In her defense, being unwillingly created by some idiotic Homeworld loyalists who’d thought that using something named “deathstone” as a base for growing a new Diamond was just asking for so much trouble.

It was also why they’d been sent/gone into the Nevernever. Things here were less friendly, than they were on Earth.

Not that any of it could hurt her. Nothing could survive being around her.

Whether she wanted it or not.

And even if she got hurt, well… they could only hurt one of her. She idly reflected, as she looked down at the nailhead-sized gemstones that were on her left arm, one of hundreds that covered her body.

Not that she’d die easy.

The countless Mordites that gave her life were called “The Black Diamonds” for a good reason.

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Peace at last.

She’d wanted it for such a long time. 

Almost the second she’d emerged from the ground - and been blinded by what she’d Seen.

The world was amazing.

There were things of such beauty, such peace… and things that she could not go back and See even now without feeling a shudder pass through her body.

Things that had left her weeping on the ground.

Voices from the Crystal Gems - the unconscious judgement in their voices towards her and their treatment of her.

Friendly or not, even though she’d been nothing but loyal, on some level she was still a Diamond to them. They wanted and did view her as a friend… but they couldn’t entirely let go of that.

And neither could everyone else.

So she’d left. For her birthplace, in the far reaches of Asia. A location where so many people would simply leave her alone.

Sighing, Purple Diamond let her Sight, her Hearing, all extend as her head ceased to shapeshift, letting her eyes and ears take form again.

Peace at last.

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“I can offer you aid, chalcedony. You know that you need it.”

“I do not need the aid of anything in this world to take revenge for my Diamond, human.” Jasper scowled, but didn’t attack the human in front of her.

“Well, they are hardly of this world, no? They come from long before.” 

Jasper snorted; but she didn’t reply.

“You could kill Rose Quartz alone, it is true. But Rose Quartz is not alone, is she?”

Jasper was silent.

“She is surrounded, every day. By fusions, by her Crystal Gems, by all those who helped her refuse your Diamond’s will and escaped her justice. You could defeat her but not them, not alone.”

It took several seconds before Jasper spoke, looking downwards.

“And this… will help me defeat all of them, you claim.”

“The power to accomplish your goals lies within, Quartz. All you have to do… is take it."

Jasper reached down as he finished - having decided that if he was telling the truth, she would listen further.

Still, she doubted that an old silver disk that humans called a “Denarius” would be of any use.

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She was rather strange, Gray Diamond reflected.

The oldest Diamond to be made on Earth wasn’t exactly like the other two. Of course, none of the Diamonds on Earth were like the “Homeworld Diamonds”, as people called them. So it was hardly fair to make that comparison.

Black didn’t exactly count as a Diamond traditionally, being a fusion of every small gem of the same type. She was powerful enough to be one, though, nobody ever disputed that.

Purple’s powers, well… the ability to see, hear, and feel the true self and meaning of everything wasn’t nearly as pleasant as it sounded, at times. There were multiple instances of someone Seeing the wrong thing and being driven insane for life, without four additional senses.

Small wonder she’d gone into exile.

And her, well… she had an organic body. Every one of her past lives had, from the day the original Venatori had tied the most complex magical system ever created to the gemstone lying over her heart.

The gemstone that had earned her the other title of “The Archive.”

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Blue Diamond looked baffled, as she looked at the gem in front of her. An eight-foot tall woman, who looked like a pink-haired human in skin color.

But who in truth, was so much more than a mere Quartz. To her, at least.

“Please… Pink, what happened to you?”

The question sent Rose into a flashback.

Into the memories of times gone by, before she’d won.

To worlds plundered and abandoned, by the tyrants who masqueraded so unconvincingly as benevolent gods (the only reason their people believed them was they’d never known anything else).

The moment she’d been discovered by her allies - and accepted.

The moment she’d been poofed by an enemy Jasper who wasn’t willing to turn against the order that had elevated her above her Kindergartenmates.

And the moment she’d finally shed that dead name and emerged as herself, for the first time.


“Pink died years ago, Blue Diamond.” Rose Quartz felt a smile spread. “And when she died, she was buried and had a flower planted over her grave. And after Pink Diamond died… a pretty Rose emerged.”

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Pearl had to admit, had never really given it much thought.

But being on the other side of a rebellion - fighting defensively, with the locations of the enemy’s bases unknown, and focusing heavily on hit and run tactics… well, she was really starting to understand why Homeworld had gotten so infuriated with them in the original war.


“Hm? Why?” Looking up, Pearl’s eyes widened as her former apprentice tore through the camp below the main levels of Homeworld as fast as her legs could take her.

Then, she noticed something.

Specifically, the fifty-plus group of fused Quartzes and Agates charging, covered in gray dust and a Diamond symbol without a pink diamond.

“WHY DID I ASK, SPECIFICALLY?!” She shrieked as she started running.

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She’d always been, and always would be, loyal.

Really, though, it wasn’t really that surprising. Citrine and Connie had known - and in a way, felt - their partners the second they came into the world, with all their minds and souls. So had Rose Quartz and Steven Universe.

They’d always been together, from the start. First as master and bodyguard, then as equals and friends.

Even before they knew Pearl, they knew each other. Loved each other.

They always had and they always would have their love.

And it didn’t matter in the slightest to them what form that love took.

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It was a quiet day at the beach house, something that had happened partly because all but one of the gems who lived in the temple had left, finding various excuses to leave.

The reasons they had decided to go were running up the front steps right that second.

“Aunt Rose!” 

“Aunt Rose!”

As the two high, piping voices filled the front of the house, Rose Quartz couldn’t stop the smile that came.

“Oh, hello there!” Scooping Steven and Connie into her arms, she hugged them both carefully for a second - their powers hadn’t awoken yet, and she’d never forgive herself if she bruised them by hugging them too hard.

Neither would Yellow or Blue, she reflected as she looked at the gemstones covering their chests.

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The gem race had always thought that they were immortal - and frankly, a lot of humans saw it the same way. White Diamond and the oldest members of her Court were well over a hundred thousand years old - and her fellow Diamonds, except for Pink Diamond and Steven Universe, were not much younger.


White Diamond, one day, frowned. She wasn’t exactly the most active gem… but she was certain that her form had been able to move faster than this before.

She didn’t think much of it for several thousand additional years.

Not till one day, her body started… glitching.

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Aimei had just been walking into her cubby, her pink-orange gemstone glowing softly, when suddenly...


“Ack!” When about thirty people shot up out of nowhere!

“Guys! My birthday’s not till next week!” Aimei sputtered, a smile spreading across her face all the same. As a… certain someone came to the front of the crowd.

Specifically, her many-times great-grandparent.

“I know.” Stevonnie gave her family member a hug. “But I couldn’t resist a chance to party!”

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The Grand Line was not a friendly place to anyone who wasn’t used to it (and even those who were).

Pirates practically ruled a large part of the Line, particularly the New World - and in the less-dangerous first half, anyone who wasn’t one or under the protection of a country or the Navy (who might or might not be as bad as the pirates at times) would probably be pillaged mercilessly (and even that was no guarantee).

So it was usually expected, when you were on a ship, that every member of the crew would participate in knowing how to fight. Unless you were ten years old or less, if you couldn’t defend yourself you probably wouldn’t last.

There were exceptions, though.


Steven watched patiently from inside his bubble as the sword-fired wave of slightly-pink air cut the bounty hunter that had been trying to get through it to get to him.

“Thanks, Connie!”

Roronoa Zoro’s apprentice gave her friend a thumbs up.

“No problem, cabin boy!”

Chapter Text

Connie didn’t tell Steven at first, even after she learned about the Crystal Gems - and the many mutants that made Beach City their home.

It wasn’t that she didn’t trust them, but she’d kept her secret for almost a third of her life, and she wasn’t going to tell him until she was sure he wouldn’t tell himself.

Then, they became Stevonnie. They were amazing. 

And while Steven was mostly too focused on how cool it felt to try and focus on getting anything from Connie, Stevonnie couldn’t help but notice how every time they touched the ground, the dirt would stick to their feet.

Steven wasn’t sure that it was related to his mother, but he didn’t ask further.

Connie was the one who told him, one day after she’d been training with Pearl. When his shirt had gotten ripped on a mission.

She’d asked him if she could take it for a second, and within a minute, it was good as new.

Chapter Text

Amethyst and the other Crystal Gems never really thought that much about her shapeshifting prowess.

It was odd that she could maintain her altered forms for so long, yes. Usually, they just attributed it to the “energy” that would normally go to making her bigger instead going to letting her do that instead.

Not even Pearl ever bothered to run calculations of any kind and realize that the amount of energy Amethyst’s gem provided was nowhere near enough to let her strength and durability grow with her size and shape.

Even after humanity started approaching them with powers like theirs, none of them ever quite thought about it.

Though it wasn’t like any of them would have cared in the first place what Amethyst was.

Chapter Text

The Crystal Gems, for quite some time, hadn’t really paid much attention to humanity. This wasn’t so much out of malice, like it was with Homeworld, as it was that they’d seen too many humans they could call friends pass away from time to want to get too closely connected.

Well, until the group of humans led by “Dewey the Dunce” arrived and changed everything.

When the refugees had seen them, one of them had walked right up to them, greeted them as “fellow mutants…” and promptly turned his skin light blue.

They’d started bonding with them rapidly after that, these human outcasts and off colors. Over the years, a few of them even started naming their children after them and other gems (Amethyst had never let Garnet hear the end of how she had sobbed like a baby when two women who had fallen in love had a child, which they named after her). Over the years, more and more of them quietly started arriving at Beach City, a place they knew they’d be safe and unjudged.

It felt, to all of them, like the Crystal Gems had been renewed. So over time, when a few of the mutants developed powers that allowed them to hold their own against, and sometimes even overpower the gems, they started taking them on missions.

So when Greg arrived, and when Steven was born, well… 

Things changed all over again.

Chapter Text

For the carriers of the X-Gene, most of them didn’t have any sort of powers that might be considered useful. Powers weren’t always too impressive.

Greg’s had been minor at best - something that he’d always been grateful for.

His parents had always told him to stay away from anything to do with them. To make sure that nobody would suspect any of them as being anything besides a normal human family.

He’d taken that advice of theirs to heart. But on the other hand, it wasn’t too hard. Unless Electro started a rampage, being immune to electrical currents was not as useful or apparent as people might think.

Chapter Text

It was a new paradigm for the X-men, almost. They’d come to Beach City with three of their members - Bobby Drake, Jean Grey, and Cyclops, the three who stood out the most when they used their powers. Normally this would have gotten a reaction when they fought some sort of monster that had attacked out of nowhere.

Nobody had even pretended to care. Well, except for the weird blonde kid.


And even his reaction was honestly refreshing.

But considering that at nearly all of the locals (human or not) they’d seen had powers that meant they would fit right in at the Institute, it wasn’t too surprising.

Chapter Text

“So I… have a clone now.” Sadie slowly tried to make sure that she was understanding the situation right.

“Er, yeah.” Lars looked extremely embarrassed.

“You thought I was dead for five years - not that I blame you, after that cosmic bird thing thought it was me - and you married her after you met when she punched you in the penis when you were drinking at a bar and wouldn’t leave at closing time.”

He just nodded.

“And now, the poor woman is having a mental breakdown and is currently in Steven’s house with the Crystal Gems trying to calm her down.”

“I thought that seeing either of us at the moment probably wouldn’t help that situation.” Lars weakly replied.

“Yeah, probably.” She was quiet for a few seconds. “So, when do you think I should I go say hi to her?”

Chapter Text


Moaning as he woke up from his nighttime rest, Steven started to get up from his and Connie’s bed to yell at whoever had interrupted him sleeping. Connie mumbled from beside him, the sound of someone who was trying to fall asleep again.

Then, he saw the body that Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake were carrying in through the Warp Pad and all his annoyance died. 

Cassandra Cain was in the worst shape he’d ever seen her in. She wasn’t breathing, for starters.

“Got it!” He scrambled out of bed, and hurried over to his friend, who the two other humans were now lying out on the floor.

Steven didn’t need to try to cry for even a second.

As the wetness spread from his eyes, and fell down, Cassandra took a shuddering gasp as her previously pale skin flashed pink.


“I know you were sleeping, but thanks.” Tim Drake said, sipping from his coffee. “I don’t know what we’d all do without you.”

Connie snorted as she poured herself a mug. Sleep was going to elude them for a while, now. “Well, a lot of you’d probably be dead, for starters.”

Chapter Text

She was… pretty much everywhere, people said. All the time, which was weird considering that she never really exercised that much. Or had any need to exercise.

Space was… sort of odd, too. She looked short and small, like a Ruby, and even had the same square haircut, albeit one that was more cubical than a Ruby’s (when asked why she’d formed that way, she said that they and the Tesseract had influenced her).

The blue skin, deeper than any Lapis Lazuli’s, also helped her blend into darkened corridors and people’s shadows. 

This really helped when one of her favorite hobbies was teleporting behind people and yelling “BOO!”

Chapter Text

Time would have appeared to be fairly human, if it wasn’t for his green skin and white hair.

And if he didn’t look so different every time you took a look.

One second he was a fairly cute child, giving you a smile like he knew something that you didn’t (which was very possible).

The next, he was an old man, bent over at the waist and looking like he needed a walker or a cane to get around.

Or he was middle aged, with somewhat grayish hair instead and standing tall.

But no matter what he looked like, it was always clearly the same person, everyone agreed.

Chapter Text

Soul was generally agreed to be probably the least bizarre of the Infinity Stones, out of the six.

In appearance, the same general idea was easy to grasp. Soul was a gem, standing just around six feet tall, with slightly orange-tanned skin and blackish-brown hair that you could find almost anywhere on Earth. Some people theorized that a hybrid Jasper might have the same tone. A pair of loose brown pants, and a long coat and gloves, which ensured that Soul could easily go totally unobserved by simply pulling up the hood.

And going unobserved was something that Soul could do even more easily thanks to how uncertain their appearance was besides that.

Nobody could agree on the fine details of what Soul looked like, otherwise.

Some said she claimed she was a male. Some said he told them he was a female. Some said that xe was neither, or that they’d said they were something else entirely. This was only made more complicated when a video was taken of Soul, and it was discovered that everyone watching it somehow heard and saw something slightly or totally different.

Soul was everyone. Soul was nobody. Soul was both easy to understand and yet somebody impossible to find.

All anyone could say for sure was that Soul was always willing to listen to you.

Chapter Text

Reality was… interesting.

She always had a certain gender and appearance at least, unlike Soul. And while Soul was exceptionally uninteresting, Reality stood out regardless of his appearance.

They could be tall. Or short. Or fat, or thin. She’d once altered her body so that her legs were as thick as her head while his arms were literally as thin as toothpicks.

And his blood-red skin didn’t really make her any less conspicuous, either.

They’d do all sorts of things too, usually to whatever she saw as “boring.”

Once, Steve Rogers had needed to go to Wakanda to get his shield reworked after she turned it into a frisbee set.

Chapter Text

Power, unlike the others, didn’t really have anything that would make her stand out in a crowd, besides her purple skin.

This was probably why she blended in so well at the Zoo the times that she went there (and the time she punched Holly Blue Agate into an asteroid).

She was tall, and fairly well-built. She did wear gloves and shoes regardless of what the weather was, though.

To be fair, the last time she’d shaken Amethyst’s hand without coverings… well, the scars had yet to fade.

She didn’t mind being seen as the most “ordinary” of the group, though. Besides occasionally throwing out an energy burst to power a planetary power grid or two, nobody bothered her.

Chapter Text

Mind never seemed to use actual words. At least, not the words that most people used, the movement of their mouths and air through their throats to create noise.

He always seemed to view it as beneath him. Perhaps ironically, when he did communicate, it would always be in two separate ways, almost - the movement of his body, through an-almost unconscious language that everybody understood to some degree.

And the mental phrases and words that went with it. And all of the ways that you reacted to those words mentally, things that you didn’t say out loud.

Things that you tended to think were safe inside your own head.

Chapter Text

The six “Infinite” gems were not usually found together.

Space could be anywhere in the universe, watching suns explode or setting speed records for fun, or all sorts of other things she thought were cool.

Time could be nowhere for weeks at a “time”, or be in several places at once. He was usually near historical landmarks, though.

Reality was probably the easiest to locate. You just looked for a place where the ground was bleeding and there were trees and plants made of rock that were still growing naturally (though perhaps faster than usual).

Soul was a headache at best to track down, but could usually be found in the places where the greatest unfortunates were. Whispering a few words to a few people, giving donations, and moving on to somewhere else.

Mind was often at major universities, mocking the professors of every non-psychological field he could find (and also offering “hints” to the ones he liked).

Power was… all over the place. Perhaps just watching television, swordfighting, or swimming, she seemed to have no real clear interest (but she seemed to like casual sporting events).

They’d all come together every once in a while, though. Usually it was at a seemingly predetermined time and space, with Mind sending the exact location and date to each of them in advance.

And once or twice, they all danced together.

It was hard to tell the order that they’d fuse in - one second, there would be three separate figures, one violet-red, another sea-green, and the last one light orange. The next, there were two figures - one blinding white, and the other a deep brown, the color of rich soil that would support life.

The second after that, they would be three again, only this time they were all different sizes.

They’d only all been one once.

The time that the Avengers and the Crystal Gems had given them bodies, to finally live in the universe they’d witnessed the creation of. To undo the damage Thanos had done.

Nobody had been sure what they should call them afterwards.

They’d been very small, and looked strangely humanoid, compared to any other fusion with that many component gems. Perhaps it was because they’d known each other for so long and so well (even if they almost never agreed, they knew each other inside and out) and had such a stable relationship. Or perhaps they’d gone so far around the wheel of fusions with more gems and more power becoming less and less human that they had arrived back at the beginning.

Maybe they had just decided it would be that way.

But the sight was not something anyone who saw them ever forgot.

Their skin had been a deep rainbow of colors, shifting through every color in the visible spectrum (and a few of the watchers claimed afterwards that they might have seen ultraviolet and infrared light for the first time, even though that should have been impossible for humans to view).

Nobody had gotten any recording, and even if they had, the cameras would likely have broken, or perhaps shown something that the mind was not meant to encompass.

But their two arms had lifted to the sky, and seen all that had happened from the Snap of Thanos.

They’d secured their two feet to the ground, and seemingly braced themselves, as if they were going to move the world before they were moved (and they could have done that, easily).

And they’d touched their forehead, and the place on their chest where a human’s heart would be, where two yellow and orange gemstones gleamed.

And they’d spoken words nobody heard.

And once again, the universe changed.

Chapter Text

“Goldfish Poop Gang? That’s… a really lame name.” Amethyst looked rather baffled by the name of the “trope” she had just read.

“Well, that’s the idea. They’re a lame group of villains, so they get a lame name.” Connie explained. “I sort of wish we had a Goldfish Poop Gang, honestly… I feel like i’m useless in fights, half the time.”

“...Would the Rubies count?” Steven normally wouldn’t have “dissed” somebody like that, but if Connie was feeling that bad, he’d try to cheer her up.

“Not with what you told me about Eyeball and Navy.” She shook her head. “Maybe the rest of them, but we don’t know them well enough.”


As Ronaldo tried to jump into the room with a recording device, Amethyst chucked him back outside onto the porch without missing a beat. “Well, I ain’t got nothing and nobody else that might qualify. Sorry, Connie.”

Chapter Text

“Hello, Pearl.”

“Oh, hello… Doug?” Pearl replied, turning around curiously. Yes, this was Connie’s father, and Doug was his name. Unless he’d changed it since the last time she’d seen him (unlikely, but you never knew).

“I just wanted to see you. For teaching Connie.”

“Oh, um…” Pearl’s internal alarms were going off now. She had… not handled the training of her apprentice well. At all. In any way.

“I wanted to give you these. Have a good day!” Without waiting for a reply, Doug shoved a box into Pearl’s hands and left.

Awkwardly, Pearl took notice of the letter on the outside.

It was addressed “Dear Jac****.”

She opened the box.

There was a medal inside.

It was situated next to a picture of Connie, and it had words on it. 

Specifically, “She needs to see a therapist. BECAUSE OF YOU, ASS****!!”

Chapter Text

“Avatar?” Lapis asked, curious as Connie handed her the CD set that went with the TV she and Steven had gotten for the new barn.

“Yeah! I know you’ll like it. It’s probably one of the best cartoons ever made!” Connie eagerly said, smiling at it. “I kind of wish that they had a culture involved in it that was directly related to India, but I still loved it. I think you’ll relate to Katara, too.”

Still confused, Lapis just nodded.


“As if! I’M Toph.” Amethyst looked fairly smug as she made the statement, seemingly putting more weight on her feet. “I’m way more badass and tough than you are, wimp , that means I have to be Toph!”

“So, who are you again?” Steven (who Connie had declared to be Aang with a more played-up guilt complex) asked Garnet. 

She smiled. “I’m Pakku and Iroh. Together.”

In the corner, Connie and Pearl debated over which of them was more suited to being Mai, Ty Lee, Piandao, Sokka, or Suki respectively.

Lapis was secure in her place as Katara, and sipping some water from a cup made of ice.

Bismuth was Jet. She wasn’t sure what to think about that.

The agreement was universal that Yellow Diamond was clearly Azula.