Visiting the Diamonds was always an odd thing, but it was doubly odd when Connie was there. She preferred to only see them as Stevonnie, and he could feel the simmering anger from her half of the fusion every time they shared a room, so Steven could respect that choice. Of course, that came with its own problems. Misgendering everyone with feminine pronouns was standard practice for the titanic rulers, but it was extra problematic for the young fusion.
"We really like they as our pronouns," Stevonnie explained patiently. "I know that some of Steven's fusions like using she or he, but we really only want they. It makes us very, very uncomfortable if you use anything else."
Blue frowned. "But why? Is it really that bothersome Stev... Onnie?"
"Yes," they insisted. "It's really is. Because Steven's a boy and Connie's a girl, so we-oh." They gasped and doubled over, white light splintering across their body for a moment. It flickered and flashed, skittering over their skin like the yellow disruptor had done to Steven years ago. Garnet was there to catch them before they fell apart.
"You're alright," Garnet soothed. "Just breathe through it. Talk it out."
Yellow arched an eyebrow. "They're unstable."
"Not usually!" Stevonnie groaned, and some of Connie’s anger flicked over to Steven, vibrating back and forth between the two of them. They righted themself, breathing softly as they muttered too low for the Diamonds to hear: "Okay. So, what was that? | I don't know. | Me neither! We were just saying who we are!"
"Try it again," Garnet advised.
Steven’s a boy and Connie’s a girl, so we’re they. Say it. Just say it out loud. They hesitated for a moment, then closed their eyes as even the thought of it brought on confusion and discomfort. "I don't want to. It doesn't feel good. I... I can't stay together like this. Just... Hold on."
They managed to make it through the warp, to the greenhouse dome, before they tumbled apart. Steven put his hands in his pockets and fell back into Lion's fluffy bed with a sigh. "Okay, so I definitely feel like a boy today."
Connie chewed her lip, standing in the center of the greenhouse as she mused on that. "Does it bother you to call yourself a boy on a boy day?"
"I don't know. Not really? It usually feels good. That's how I know it's not a girl day." He swept a hand through his curls and leaned forward, arms on his knees. "But it feels kind of weird to have Stevonnie say Steven's a boy and not genderfluid, you know? Now that I know that's what I am, it feels so weird for Stevonnie to lie about it. But I don't think it's break a fusion weird."
"You still haven't told the gems?" she asked.
He shook his head. "I know they'll be nice. I just don't want to have that talk. I don't want it to turn into a bunch more talking, you know?"
" That's why you haven't posted any pics of girl day shapeshifting," she said with a sigh. Connie crossed her arms and shook her head. "I'm sorry. I thought you would've told already."
"Not ready yet. Girl Steven's just for you and me." He smiled, a little strained from the weight of the secret, but managing for now. "What about you?"
"What about me?" she asked, just a little too quickly. Steven raised an eyebrow and she groaned. "You felt that?"
"Kinda hard not to when half your brain starts getting jumbled up." He laughed. "We said Connie's a girl and it was like someone threw a hard math problem at us. What's going on with you?"
"I don't know." She bounced her heel, the rubber thumping softly on the floor of the dome. "You've been talking about gender a lot, what it feels like on boy days and girl days and inbetween days. I've been thinking a lot."
"And?" he pressed.
She rubbed her arm, heel coming to a sudden stop. "I don't know what I am. But girl's been feeling weird ever since you started talking to me about gender stuff."
Steven pushed up and held out his hand. "Come on. No matter what, we're still just us, right? Dance with me. We'll talk."
"And maybe we'll fuse and we can get back to Homeworld." Connie took it. After a moment, his hands went to her shoulders and hers went to his hips. She forced a smile and asked, "So, what does being a girl feel like?"
"It's different for everyone, I think. But, for me, I guess it's that I want people to know I'm a girl. I want them to treat me like a girl. And wearing dresses and heels and that stuff gets kind of close to that. And I like it when you call me a she." He blushed a little and gave her shoulders a squeeze at a particularly nice memory. "I really liked it when you said I was your girlfriend right away when I told you. But I wouldn't like that now . Just little happy moments. Do you get stuff like that?"
"I don't think so," she said, smiling for real as he shifted his hands and gave her a twirl. "But it makes me really happy that I made you happy."
He hummed and dipped her. "Ever get dysphoria?"
"What's it feel like?" She raised an eyebrow from her place dipped back, and he tugged her back up. "The stuff I read online makes it look pretty extreme, and I never feel extreme about any of this stuff. Then I'd get it."
"It doesn't have to be big.” Their hands shifted again, and this time she twirled him a few times as he spoke. “You don't have to get it at all. For me it's just kind of annoying? I'm not really extreme in different gender feelings. It's all really smooth. But when someone treats me as a boy on a girl day, when I've tried to look like a girl, it's... Oh! Your mom sending you to space camp. You know they love you, and they're trying, but it's like-'
"They don't know you," she finished. She looked a little worried at the idea. "Then yes. Sometimes. Not for pronouns, but there's some weird stuff. Girl. Daughter. Lady."
Steven was gentle, like always. "Why don't you like it?"
"Feels like a box. None of this gender stuff ever made sense to me." She shook her head with a little moan. "You're Steven! If some days you dress like a girl and feel like a girl, that's okay. If some days you're in the middle, I get it. I'm half of Stevonnie. Seems like a hassle to not just do whatever you want."
He thought about that with a little hum, musing as they stepped to a soundless beat that they both always found so easily. "Do you know what you want?"
"I want... Nothing," she said with a grin. "I want to wear a dress or wear a tux and it doesn't mean anything. I want to be Connie. Just Connie."
"And Connie isn't a girl or a lady, right?" Steven asked. "Never?"
"I don't think so," she said uncertainly. "I mean, I wanna wear dresses sometimes. Maybe even makeup? And I want to dress like a boy sometimes too, but I don’t want that to mean something about me. It's not like you. I don't want to be a boy or a girl. I want nothing. Is that a thing? To want nothing?"
"Probably. Everything's a thing," he said with a giggle. "There was a word for 'usually a boy but really wants to be a girl every full moon', so..."
"Weregirl," she whispered, eyes wide.
Steven howled, but shifted his vocal cords thin so it came out feminine and high, their dance stopped as they giggled for a bit, enjoying being themselves with no one else around to put on the pressure.
And then, a bit later, they were enjoying being themself in front of the Diamonds, taking it again with a huge smile. Stevonnie waved. "I'm Stevonnie. I'm a fusion of Steven and Connie. I like they, and nothing else, and that's all you need to know about that."