The ethereal sound of a warp pad coming to life filled the room, catching Steven’s attention away from the blueprints on his counter.
“Steven!” Peridot’s voice cracked the air then, followed by her energetic almost purring giggles as she raced off the warp pad and sprinted inside. “Nyehehe, look at this!”
“Heya Peridot!” Steven smiled as she skidded past him, slamming a thing in her arms onto the counter. It looked like a faded piece of white glass, with a layer of grime all over it. “Oooh, this looks cool.”
“I agree!” Peridot began walking in circles, her mind racing. “This is such an exciting development for Gem history and possibly Gem culture!”
“Yeah!” Steven agreed, putting his hand on it. Turning to Peridot, he smiled. “So, what is it?”
Pausing in place, Peridot couldn’t help but snort to herself.
“Right, I should’ve probably led with that.” Peridot walked to Steven’s side, picking up the glass tablet and pressing her finger against the bottom. All at once, the dusty glass came alive, clear lines of light appearing inside of it. They fizzled for a moment before shooting across the screen, coming to the shape of the old Diamond Authority symbol.
“This is so cool!”
“This, my humble Steven, is an ancient Gemcyclopedia,” Peridot began, lifting the device up and walking with it. “A tome of knowledge that was used to educate newly made Gems hundreds of thousands of years ago! Most of this was hidden away when the Diamonds tightened their hold on Gemkind, but now that you’ve convinced them to reform, they’re releasing it!”
Peridot hopped around the room with an excited glee, eliciting a laugh from Steven as she crashed onto his couch. Patting the spot next to her, she motioned him over.
“Come! I want you to be the second to see all the amazing knowledge stored in this! After me, of course.” Her arms were literally shaking as she held the device. “Nyehehe.”
“Alright, I’m coming, I’m coming,” Steven said with a smile. Taking the seat, he leaned against her shoulder as she fiddled with the device. “So that’s got all of the old Gem knowledge on it?”
“Pffft, no, not all of it! Don’t humans have Gemcyclopedias?” Peridot asked, rolling her eyes.
“Considering it’s called a Gemcyclopedia, I wouldn’t think so,” Steven answered.
“All the information is split up by topics, and then sorted into different editions alphabetically.” Fiddling with the device, Peridot smiled as she moved past the login screen into the main database. “This is only one letter of the whole set.”
“Which letter?” Steven asked, his eyes dancing across the screen as Peridot scrolled through pages and pages of indecipherable icons.
“Ᵹ!” Peridot came to a stop at a page, as she left Steven with a look of confusion. “Now, let’s start.”
Tapping the icon, Peridot began to shake with excitement as the tablet loaded up. Then, all at once, the text came in. Rows and rows of symbols stood before them, creating a very pretty pattern, but not much more.
“So, uh, what does it say?” Steven asked, Gem script being one of the many things outside of his skill set.
“I have no idea!” Peridot said with a grin, standing up suddenly and causing Steven to fall over.
“Wait, what?” Rubbing his head, Steven got up and followed Peridot as she began to pace around the living room. “You can’t read it?”
“Nope, this is an edition of Gem script from very early Era 1 production. It was discontinued for the current release,” Peridot explained, raising the tablet up as if getting the daylight through it would help translate it. “Gah, we’d need a Gem much older than I am who knows this version of Gem script!”
Peridot huffed, turning and handing the tablet to Steven, who took it.
“Wait, are you saying, we just need someone who’s really old to read this?” he asked, looking over the tablet and then up to Peridot.
“Pearrrrrrrrl!” Steven and Peridot called in unison, knocking on the gate of the temple. Sure, going in would be simpler, but this was much faster.
All at once, the stone door came alive, turning to light and parting ways as Pearl stormed out.
“I’m here, I’m here!” She narrowly dodged a swift pummeling from Steven and Peridot’s knocking before dipping past them into the house. “I swear you two have the patience of pebbles. What’s wrong?”
“Can you translate this, Pearl?” Steven asked as Peridot jumped forward, presenting the tablet. Blinking for a moment, Pearl took a breath before taking the device. Steven cheered. “You can!”
“5000 years and I’m still being asked to translate Gem script,” Pearl grumbled, stepping deeper into the house with it as she began to look over the page Peridot brought up. “It makes me self conscious, you know? I was never great at it.”
“Well, you’re better than us. That’s gotta count for something,” Peridot suggested, as she and Steven followed Pearl into the living room. Pearl paused then.
“Hm! True!” Pearl’s disposition changed, as a self-satisfied smile grew on her face. “Ah! Now, this is a very interesting find!”
Sitting down on the couch, she was quickly hounded by Peridot and Steven at her sides.
“What’s it say, what’s it say!” They called in unison, frazzling Pearl. Taking a moment to straighten her short jacket, she waited out the two to calm down before continuing.
“This section describes ancient Gem rituals that used to take place when Homeworld was a more pluralistic society,” Pearl explained, smiling as she skimmed the page.
“I understood some of those words,” Steven replied.
“It means when Homeworld was a bit more like Earth,” Peridot broke down. “Though I’m surprised things were ever that lax.”
“Oh, it was a very very long time ago,” Pearl continued, her mind drifting to a nostalgic past. “Long before even my time with Rose.”
“That’s really cool!” Steven leaned over Pearl’s shoulder to look at the tablet. “So what kinda stuff did old Gems used to do?”
“Well, this one describes a binding ritual of sorts, used to tie two Gems of a close connection together.” Pausing, Pearl read through the passage with a bit more of a thorough examination. “Though, the exact translation of the ritual’s name is escaping me…”
“How do you do it?” Peridot asked then, ever the investigatory one. Standing up, Pearl left Peridot and Steven to fall into the space she left on the couch. She smiled before sitting on the coffee table across from them.
“Well, I’ll demonstrate. First, you must tap the two Gems on their Gemstones, like this.” Pearl laid the tablet on her lap before reaching forward to the two. Neither protested as she pressed her thumbs against their Gems causing them to shiver slightly. “Then, you bring their hands together, like this.”
Pearl travelled down to their hands, pulling them together and pressing them into one another, interlocking their fingers which they readily followed. Steven got really excited to see where this was going whilst Peridot pursed her lips and looked away.
Pausing to read the tablet one last time, Pearl nodded to herself.
“And finally, you ask the two if they’d stand by each other, through everything, as long as the other remained faithful.” Giving the two a smile, Pearl looked between them. “So? Do you?”
“Stand by Peridot? Always!” Steven said, not needing to give it a second thought. He and Peridot have been through so much, had seen each other through so much, and they would see through a heck of a lot more. Of course, he’d stand by her!
So then, the two of them, Pearl and Steven, turned to Peridot for her answer. They expected a moment of pause, some hesitation to the question from the usually more wary Gem. But they got none.
“If there’s any Gem I’d stand by, any at all, it’d be Steven.” She said it with a conviction, with a certainty that was plain on her face. It told them something, clear as day: There was no decision she was more sure of.
“Aww, Peridot.” Steven’s other hand went up to his heart. His cheeks grew a bright shade of pink, matching Peridot’s.
And with that, Pearl’s job was done. She stood up, catching the two’s attention.
“And that’s it. You two are officially bonded,” she explained, handing the tablet back to Peridot, who still hadn’t disconnected from Steven’s hand. “Congratulations on that, by the way. You two make very good partners.”
At that, Steven finally broke out of his stupor.
“Yeah! It’s a shame we don’t know what the name of it is,” he said, looking over to the device in Peridot’s hands. Patting herself on the back, Pearl stepped past Peridot and began her way back to the temple.
Then, however, she paused.
“Oh, you know what? The name’s just come back to me!” she said, turning to the two.
“So what does it mean?” Peridot asked, her face still quite warm.
“It means marriage.”