It flowed continuously from the platforms center; plummeting a great distance once it reached the edge. The water made not a noise as it dropped. Through that quiet shimmer could be seen the underside of the platform and that of every other waterfall which sprouted in the air for that matter. Half a dozen or so, who wanted to count anyway, on such a lazy day. Well, any day could be made a lazy day. For her it was easily expendable by napping, eating, or both. More enjoyable when done at the same time; adds a fun flavor to her dreams.
A strangled battle cry from close by, the voice firm. A quick swish as air met something with resistance.
Drifting along, her body cradled by the buoyancy of the water, a cool moistness on her back and butt. Arms splayed outward, setting herself adrift. Closer to the sounds of heaving breaths and footsteps.
The elegant curve of the blade on her staff tapered to its connection. It was paler than her flesh though held none of the light blue tint that her cheeks did as they puffed for breath. Hands gripped the length of the staff, none too hard, but none to light. Tensing at the right moment. At a time when it was most opportune to strike. Wasn't that always the key in battle? With a quick slash the opponent was felled, shattering into slivers of light; looking identical to the tall figure standing proudly, wiping sweat from her brow the back of her forearm ran along the bottom of a gem jutting out of her forehead. Bright and reflective, the jewel had an oblong shape. Imperfect, in the owner's eyes.
Shapes weren't so important to the other gem, floating close to relatively longer legs than her own, imitating a shark on the prowl like she'd seen in a movie. An arm outstretched with thick fingers wiggling as they tried to grab hold.
Those slim legs stepped right over her in a dance as the spear spun in dexterous hands. They manipulated the weapon like an extension of herself. Delivering a sharp downward blow as another shimmery and eerily similar opponent to her likeness stabbed at her chest. Down the middle her blade parted the hollow shell. It exploded like the other. Leaving only a few specks of sparkling light behind.
"Wooohooo, way to go, Pearl. Take those losers dooown!" A shout ruffled the gems shoulders. Her hold on her spear tightened. "Though...you shouldn't be so hard on yourself." The gem explodes with laughter.
Eyes shut, as Pearl felt a growing pressure in her gem. Stepping over the other as she drifted back between her legs again, "You know, you could help yourself by training with me." Leaning on her spear for support as she crossed her legs to prop herself on one foot, not a ripple made from the movement.
Short legs kicked outward and sent the standing gem into a stumble. The water rippled wildly. A wet clatter resounding inside the wide open room as staff clinks on the ground. The tall gem grunts as she glares at the drifting body short plum colored body with round cheeks. Long flowing white hair full of tangles and hidden pieces of uneaten food was splayed around her. A large amethyst stone just underneath her clavicle, perfect cuts that accentuated the shape of the gem. No flaws unless one were to count the ones in her personality.
"Are you going to lie there the whole time?" Pearl asked as numerous ripples emanated from the center of her angrily tapping foot, an unpleasant accompaniment to the headache in her gem. As she steps over Amethyst, the ends of her turquoise sash trail behind, the gem reaches for them as they flicker above her. Moved just out of reach as the slim body twists and strikes a dominate pose. "Stop that!"
"Stop what?" Amusement and ignorance struggled for dominance over her puffy lips. Amethyst shrugged and reached out again when the gem doubled back. "Hold still will ya."
With a stiff turn Pearl stopped and looked down. Those swelling cheeks and that tenacious smile were an unwelcome sight. She found her mouth squeezing tight, as her nose turned itself upward, pointing off somewhere in the distance of her room. Staff held between her crossed arms, Pearl used it as a means to put something between the two of them.
Amethysts touch found the butt of the staff. Working her fingers between the three crowned end, smooth, polished, like the gem herself, with a squeek-squeek-squeek sound as Amethyst's dry flaking skin rubbed the end of it roughly.
"You can always train with me." Like a broken record Pearl put her best wide smile on. Dimples touching her eyes which had grown in the self aroused excitement. She leaned over using the staff to support her feathery weight. It did not slip below the water's surface.
"Eeeehh, I'm good."
"What! But why? You don't want to let your skills diminish." Pearl said as the others face settled into a glower. Amethyst crossed her arms across her chest and kicked her feet a little to propel herself away. Pearl followed, "and there is always room for improvement." Her steps were careful, dainty, as they tapped the water. Pearl pressed the three crowned butt of her staff into Amethysts side, pinning her.
The gem squirmed under the pressure, "Let me go." Amethyst growled out lowly as her hands gripped the staff. A stabbing pain in her side sent her slowly coasting away, the tall gem turned about with a loud harrumph that echoed like a wave crashing on the shore, drawn out and exalted through that long nose.
Pearl held her staff and began anew. Her gem glowed before projecting three identical opponents each a dark hue of blue. The eyes were the worst part of these drones. Glassy, empty holes that soon brimmed a fiery red. They drew their swords in an eerily identical manner to Pearls own movements. Swift, yet with poise holding the weapon aloft from their heads. Attacking as one, the moves were predictable at first, to draw the opponent into a repetition. Then it slowly changed. One would slash down instead of striking from above. Another would try to work its way further behind Pearls back each time the gem blocked its sword. Their movements became faster. Deadlier. Instead of merely striking for the point of her weapon they went for the body. Arms, legs, the chest, they especially tried to run her through. A constant clanging noise as steel met. Sharp in the ears.
Amethysts fingers curled when something steps over her. The leg touching her side is cold, unwelcoming. Its eyes were open blue holes, curiously studying her. It turned its head a little. The sword held upright and rigid in its hand.
"Do you wish to engage in combat?" It asked with an artificial inflection of cheeriness.
There was a light blow as knuckles connected with its shin, "Buzz off; it's Pearl you want to fight, not me." Amethyst grumbled to the sturdy drone.
This was not taken in kindness. Whether it had been the words, or the rude way that it had been treated. The drones' eyes narrowed, and bleed. "Challenger accepted!"
Amethyst held up her hands in defense, helpless on her back, "Wooh, hey. No. I didn't agree to anything!"
The drones arm arched as it prepared to swing, aiming to gut her in one clean cut. Amethysts short legs kicked the liquid ground to push herself away. They hit to hard and so the water only gave way instead. She shouted at the drone to stop. That it wasn't her she wanted. While reaching for the gem in her chest, which began to glow a bright vibrant color similar to her body, her arm was pegged by the drones' foot. Leaving her helpless and unable to draw her weapon.
"This is why you shouldn't stick around when I'm training."
It failed to turn in time before something ran the drone through the chest. The imitation disappeared in a flash and the real Pearl stood over top. Only a few hairs out of place which were quickly swept back with a slick, sweaty hand.
"I had it covered."
"Yes, so you say. You're welcome by the way." Pearl offered a hand to only have it pushed away.
"You're all sweaty. I don't want none of that on me."
"Really?" Pearl joked, as a slim brow rose, "don't want any of my germs?" A bold upturned edge of a thin lip as Pearl allowed her weapon to dissolve away. I think that is enough for today, Pearl thought as she assumed the stance that her drone had before. Standing over Amethyst and folding her hands over the tiny star imprinted over her heart on her tunic. The tight yellow-gold shorts stretched when she squatted awkwardly. Meer inches from fully straddling the gem. Pearls face scrunched, while Amethyst closed her eyes and put her hands behind her head. Squirming to get comfortable as she rubbed her bottom against the floor, the rear of her pants already soaked.
When she exhaled the roundness of her stomach expanded enough to touch a warm bottom. Her squat nose struggled to exhale, coming out in heavy and noisy snorts as she tangles her fingers in her hair. Catching and twirling a few strands in an effort to tangle them more so. Why? Just to make a mess. Because Pearl always fussed over how her hair looked. Full of splits or tangles or maybe even something that had no business being in there apparently, such as dirt, or sand. Maybe if Pearl would brush me more often then things wouldn't get caught up in there. Amethyst felt something warm on her cheek, both of them. Pushing the flesh down to expel the air trapped within. Which came out slobbery and thick and made the gem straddling her recoil in disgust.
"De-deplorable." The words grew lower as Pearl leaned over, her weight now fully resting on Amethysts stomach. The little barrier between shirt and shorts was all that separated their physical bodies. Lips brushed ever so hesitantly, dry and worn from worry. Nose grazing that plum colored cheek, sawed it affectionately with the motions. A gentle rhythm built. Pecks and brushing lips, nothing deep, even though the heat inside them was mounting.
A wet pop as they parted. Pearl held Amethysts shoulders working her palms into the bare flesh. More meat on the bone was a pleasure and felt great to touch. So soft, yet a little hard with muscle. Sometimes, when thinking of the past, of...Rose, it gave Pearl pause. It still does whenever the emotions were-to there, to prominent. It gave Pearl pause enough at the right time.
"Peeeeaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrllll...Amethiiiisssst." A drawn out call before a heavy roar accompanies.
Pearl jumped to her feet and hurried to the edge. Peering over she saw a pink blur working its way up to them with no struggle at all. Powerful paws break the waters delicate surface. Splashes the pink fur. Pearl takes a step back as a large beast leaps onto their platform. Its thick limbs pad around her. A flowing lighter pink mane so well maintained it put even Pearls kempt hair to shame. Steven does baby him. Those slick eyes noted her presence before the lion circled about, then sat on his rump between the two present gems.
Its mane parted revealing a laughing child clinging to his back. Steven patted lions forehead, "Good work Lion." He said, to which the large animal exhaled through the nose.
"Yo, Stev-en, what's up, little man." Amethyst greeted sitting up. She abhorrently scratched her back end. Pearl rolled her eyes, while Stevens lit like a firecracker had gone off inside them.
"Oh-Hey, Amethyst. I-ah-um-hehe. I didn't mean to intrude." Oh how his cheeks seemed to color so full and pink in embarrassment. For each shade, Pearls matched it double. Palm on her cheek as she looked away from the boy and his lion. Her legs drew closer and her arms tucked in as she tried to make herself thinner than a lamp post.
Steven coughs into his hand, and unfortunately looks Pearls way. "Pearl..."
"Yes...Steven." With face so bruised it was bound to spread all the way to the tip of her nose, Pearl forced herself to look despite the feeling in her stomach.
"I was wondering-whoa. Hey-Lion!" Steven shouts as the pink animal gets up and walks away. Lion pads his way over to Amethyst who pats his wet nose. "Lion!" Pulling on that thick mane to get his attention Steven kicks his short legs into Lions thick muscular side. Lion is unfazed, as his long papery tongue extends and drags itself across the top of Amethysts head, enough to roll it off hers shoulders.
"Aww, he thinks I'm like-his kid or something." Amethyst gushed allowing the animal to continue. Feels her hair flattening as its lathered in his thin spit. Her grin spread from ear to ear, a few pieces of food stuck between her teeth from who knows how many meals ago as the tongue continues its mistreat of her hair, turning it into a slobbered on mess.
To which of course Pearl had to add, "Don't let him do that to you Amethyst, he's ruining your hair."
"He wants to do this." Those eyes close blissfully with a single drawn out sigh as shoulders droop. The stone in her chest seemed to gleam a little more from the affectionate treatment. As it always did when Pearl showed the gem attention.
As Lions tongue descends lower something falls out of her hair. Steven dismounts his pet and picks it up. "How long has it been since you've brushed your hair Amethyst?" The boy cringes when he flips over the wrapper and sees a dark colored cat with mismatched eyes of yellow and pink. There were still pieces of chocolate stuck to the inside of the cookie cat wrapper. Half tempted to eat those scraps; Steven instead crumpled the wrapper and stuffed it in his pocket, intending to save the memento.
While Amethyst basked in her bath, Steven went to Pearl. His sandals split through the water, wetting his toes, which made them curl when they felt the warm water wash between them.
"Steven, you'll ruin your shoes." Pearl said with some alarm.
He lifted them out and set them down the tension held his feet above the water. "Sorry." Steven muttered humiliated with his head sunken low.
A low moan, a deep rumble from within a heavy chest resounded as Lion placed his paw on Amethysts back, holding the gem down. Her white boots wiggled as her hands slapped the water.
"Get off of me. I'm done getting cleaned now." She shouts as she finds a way out from under the paw. Only Lion grabs her shirt with his claws and pulls her back, "Steven can ya help me out here, get him off me?" Amethysts settles down when she feels the sharp claw poke a hole through her shirt, it scratches her back leaving a darkening purple welt. A shiver at the strength that held her followed a deep gulp when a growl rumbled in the animal's thick chest.
"Uh-Yeah hold on a sec." Steven said as he plodded over. Drawing to his full height, Steven sucked in a throat full of air and put on his most serious face while pointing to his pet. "Lion, you can let Amethyst go now!" He commanded.
Small pink ears perked from atop a pink mane. Lion looked his way, blinked, then turned back and stretched his tongue out of his maw and ran against the grain. Sticking the hair up in fright. He sat on her legs, when the gem struggled on her stomach under his meaty paws the ends of his claws peeked out just a bit to let her know that she wasn't going anywhere.
"STEVEN, help me! Get this stupid cat off me."
"Lion is not stupid; I'll have you know he's one of the most intelligent cats in all of Beach city."
Her flats where silent, as Pearl strode next to the small boy. "That's because there are no other Lions in Beach City, Steven. And they aren't the most intelligent of the big cats..."
"I. Don't. Care. Just get him off me before I go bald." Amethyst cringes as the licks get deeper. The one side of her head looked like a straightener had been used for the first time.
Stevens small hands pushed on the cats big head, tugs his ears, gently, because he could never hurt his Lion, but unable to hold the cat back as he continued to groom. That big dry tongue was ripping hairs now. So Amethyst began to struggle again, she managed to free one hand which she used to push the invading snout away.
Although it was humorous, Pearl found that she couldn't watch their struggle for long. With a flash of light from her gem, out came a small plastic box. When she depressed the small button it gave a sharp click. "That's enough." Click-click. "Let her go." Pearl bellowed in a deep voice that pushed her command and drew the animal to action, although hesitantly, Lion did as he was told and lifted his paws off of Amethysts legs.
"Lion. Come." Pearl commanded with another series of clicks.
The large animal grunted as it got onto all four paws. Knocking Amethyst over as he padded over to the slim gem. Circled behind her, then, when commanded, sat to her left. As Lion slowly blinked at Steven and Amethyst, Pearl laid a hand on his mane. Her hand entangled a little, and enjoyed the feelings it allowed her to remember. It was the closest she was ever going to get to her again.
"Good boy." Chest swelling with pride as she weaved her hand through the pink fur. Her favorite color, so soft and tingly, filled with warmth. Lion gave a snort, flaring his nostrils.
"How did you do that?" Steven gapped with his mouth on the floor. His hand laid itself across his temple, pulling on his springy hair. It curled between his fingers.
"Eh," Amethyst started as she got up. Trying to ring the water from her shirt to which she could only get out a few drops. Yet there was still a sizable wet splotch on her stomach. "P's been training him while you go out with Greg or Connie."
"Wait, why didn't you tell me you were doing this? Pearl, I want to help train Lion too."
With a sigh so heavy it seemed like the weight of the water around them was upon her, Pearl closed her eyes as she brushed a hand over her hair. "Steven, I've been telling you for months to train him. And you haven't. So I took it upon myself to do so. He's made quite the progress as you can see."
Baring his sharp teeth to them as he yawned Lion settled down and closed his eyes.
"No-no-No! I did not say you could lie down did I." Pearl clicked the box. "Up, up you...I said get up, now!" Pearl exclaimed, bending at the waist to click in Lions ear. The pink ear flattened against his head.
Hand slapping a thick thigh as Amethyst doubled over. "Well, I guess he's got you trained to squawk on command? Huhuhuhu." Knees bowed under the strain, gut near bursting. Amethyst fell into Steven and ended with a soft splash as she fell to the ground. Steven chuckled a little too.
With dismay Pearl rubbed her elbow, "Steven, how could think that's funny?" Face elongating Pearl looked away from him "after all the work I put into training him."
"Oh gosh Pearl, I didn't mean it."
"Yeah, Steven. Way to be mean to her." Amethyst walked over and put a hand over top of Pearls, felt how it trembled.
"Amethyst!" Steven ejaculated, throwing his arms at her while trying to make the gem realize that this had been her doing. Amethyst scoffed, and held tighter, a low hiss slipping between the cracks in her teeth as she tried to silence him. Wishing he would take the blame this time.
Maybe he was going too, except when Steven seemed to wash his face and put on his best winning smile. Skipping over to the two of them thriving with energy, "I made us dinner!" The boy shouted as loud as his little lungs could help him. Boosted by the cavernous room they were in.
"But-i usually make dinner."
"You make waaay too much of that healthy stuff. I mean come oooon, he doesn't need to eat veggies so much. You're going to turn him into a tree."
Those thin and short shoulders bristled, as Pearl took her hand away and put a foot between the two of them. "He needs to have a balanced meal or else he could get sick from eating too much junk food."
"I don't know, I eat a lot of junk food and I'm usually good."
"Amethyst, you eat engine oil. That's not safe for probably anybody." Steven reasoned.
"Na, I don't take it straight. It's more of a topping. I'm not insane!" A shrill shriek left her mouth.
"Well, I don't think eating at all is good for a gem." Pearl added her own two cents of unwanted wisdom to the conversation.
Amethyst crossed her arms and turned away. Making sure that she showed more of her wet side to Pearl than either of them, "What did you even make anyway? Probably something lame." She huffed.
Steven threw a hand and batted the insult away, "You never seem to complain about it when you're trying to snatch it off my plate." If Pearl was childish, or had lesser regard for niceties, she might have added a whoop to the end of the insult.
None the less, Amethyst crossed her arms and had not another word to say. However, she was willing to follow when Steven mounted Lion and headed down to the entrance of Pearls room, Pearl was leaping by his side while Amethyst brought up the rear.
The rocky walls gave way to timber as they all went round the crystalline platform in front of the door to the inner sanctums of the temple. A high ceiling from which was suspended a fan which twirled quite slowly. The stairs to the open loft that was designated as Stevens's room were littered with clothes, actions figures, and a few books. Connie had done more to increase Stevens's appetite for reading than Pearl ever could. Then again, having a child read War and Peace as light reading wasn't copacetic.
A ruffling of limbs followed a piercing cry; Pearl was leaning over the counter, "What did you do to the kitchen? It's a mess."
Steven had vanished, but just below the counters edge, a mass of black hair was busy pulling something from the oven, and although she didn't need to wear them the large oven mitts were on. Her frame was a stiff and a bulging hourglass. Hair composed of sharp square edges. The pan was set on top of the stove; meal still sizzling.
The tall gem pulled her hands from the oven mitts with care, and set them on the counter. Flexed her fingers and rubbed her palms together. The soft scrap as hard stones brushed one another. One perfect and round gem in each of her hands, they glowed a little when they touched as if their short time unable to touch one another freely had been a journey apart. When they touched, the gem herself could feel the electricity tingle her entire body, her mind became a mess of happiness; some of it was from her, and some from them. The three parts mixed until it was impossible to tell where they began and Garnet ended.
Those full lips pulled back into a friendly if passive smile. Arms falling to her sides they brushed her well rounded hips. The feeling sent a shiver through her. Behind the striking orange sunglasses all three of her eyes closed dreamily.
As a cupboard was opened and plates began to stack on the counter, Garnet said, "Don't worry Perl, me and Steven will clean it up later. For now, just enjoy the evening." So haughty and smooth her voice held a peaceful demure as she began to scrape things off the pan and place them on the plates. A pot on the stove was opened releasing fresh steam powdering her face with moisture and sticking to her thick hair. Out came a big yellow ear of corn which dripped across the stove and counter. Cellophane was taken off a bowl of mashed potatoes which Garnet scooped out a healthy amount and slapped it down on the plate.
With energy abound, Stevens's hair bounced with his feet as the boy bounded back into the room from the bathroom where he had affixed a black bow tie around his neck. When Garnet turns to hand him a full plate Pearl saw that the gem too had one around her neck.
"What did you guys get all fancy for?" Amethyst asked as she hops onto one of the stools at the counter, elbows rubbing the wood.
As Steven carefully ran with both hands on the plate, Garnet grinned watching him go, "Steven thought that it would be fun to have a s'rt of dinner party." The gem turned away to prepare another plate. The food was dropped carelessly and arranged without much thought. Garnets platting skills were...not up to restaurant quality. Food touched where they shouldn't have as corn rolled into the potatoes which obscured the chicken, zesty with spices that Pearl always put on Stevens food, but this chicken looked saturated.
A healthy amount to enhance the flavor, not drown it out. Oh Steven, why couldn't you of let me help instead of Garnet. She gets...overzealous when she tries to cook. Pearl felt her hands gripping the counter's edge, hard. They pressed dimples into the wood. Throat bobbing as she swallowed when Steven took another plate away, a skip in his step resulted in some mashed potatoes falling to the ground with a plop, and a whoops tumbled out as Steven hoped over it; and spilled again.
If she had been a bird her feathers would have puffed as Pearl gritted her teeth and jumped to clean the mess by taking a napkin from the teeth of a dog shaped dispenser. "You should let me help you set the plates." Pearl reasoned with a strained smile that sagged blissfully when the mess disappeared.
"You can't." Garnet said.
"Why not?" Pearl questioned.
Steven had entered the kitchen for another plate. "Because, you need to relax and you can't do that if you're helping us." The boy took the plate and turned to see Pearl holding her hands over her heart.
"Steven," She said lovingly, "That's very sweet of you-But!" A jump in her voice as Steven side stepped around her causing the corn nearly rolled off the plate. Her fingers found the feel of the wet bumpy thing to be...unpleasant. When she looked at her thumb there was a dash of mashed potatoes. Pearl spit her tongue out as she hurriedly grabbed a napkin.
"But nothin'."Garnet said, and from which an inappropriate comment came about the use of butts in a sentence. Amethyst slapped her meaty mitts on the counter top as she cackled.
The L-shaped couch was tucked next to the stairs leading the Stevens loft. Shelves filled with such classics as Checkers, Parcheesi, and The Game. All with the original pieces, as Pearl wouldn't allow Steven to lose a single part of his games.
A short table nestled within the L had been transformed, that word used as loosely as possible, with a table cloth the slightest shade of pink because it had been thrown in with Steven's shirts. The mustard stains were faded but still there. One of the edges running along the cloth was ripped in a couple of places from the beach party they had with the pizza's; its one time only use. Atop the table, set in the middle, was a single red candle. Wax slid down its stalk as the wick burned, slow, and easy going, having nowhere to rush off too.
Steven turned off the lights so only the flickering candle lit them. Yellow light made the second hand forks and knifes gleam dully. Washed, and hopefully clean, standing over the table Pearl picked one fork up and eyes it under the candlelight to make sure. It was taken away by Amethyst who had chosen that spot to sit, nice and comfy with her back against the couch. Pearl was going to take the side closest to the temple door but Steven jumped at the chance to choose her seat for her.
"Why can't I sit there?" Pearl questioned, as Steven sat her down opposite Amethyst. The two looked at each other over the candles flame for the briefest of seconds. Pearl then reached out to adjust Stevens's bow tie. Laying it flat against his neck. Steven giggled when her hand touched his skin. Pearl smiled.
Garnet sat down on the other side that had the L end of the couch wrapped around the table. "Don't cause a fuss, Perl."
She let go of the bow tie, "Garnet, I'm not fussing..."
"Alright, everyone, " Steven made sure to be heard as he threw his hands in the air, "I-oh geez, I'm not very good at this." His voice began to shake as he shuffled his feet, looking down at the table in embarrassment as he tried to find the right words.
"Let's go, Steven; I want to eat this centurayyy." Amethyst griped as she held onto her utensils, a sharp thump of her hands hitting the table jiggled the water in their glasses.
"I-ah," Steven pulled on his tie, the garment felt tight around his neck as he looked at the three out of five people who mattered most in his life. Amethyst stared hungrily at her plate with a tongue trying to wiggle out of her mouth towards her food. All of Pearls attention was on him, sitting on her knees with hands crossed delicately over her lap. Garnet was even more focused, and that was what helped Steven to find his courage. Set on the edge of the table next to her knife and fork were a glinting pair of sunglasses bathed in the candles touch. All three of her eyes, ruby-red, sapphire-blue, and a mixture in between were on him; an encouraging smile so full of love and kindness.
Steven picked up his glass and raised it high, "This dinner is for us. T-to you guys." Eyes lingering between Amethyst and Pearl before they grew shy and found Garnet's again. The burst of encouragement he saw there kept him going. Kept the fear away. "I love you guys."
Not a dry eye at the table, even if Amethyst was trying to hide herself in her hair. Steven tried to stretch his arm, glass in hand, putting his free hand on the table to support himself; it hovered over the candle, the water dancing with the life of the flame. Amethyst and Garnet did so too.
Pearl only took the hint that she was to do the same when Amethyst cleared her throat, the word rude muttered.
"Oh...Sorry." As she joins her glass with the rest, a beautiful mix of yellow to the blue hue in her face. The others take a quick sip, but Pearl sets her glass back down. Hands finding her lap once again and her fingers interlock with one another tightly.
Soon the room is filled with the noise of silverware scratching on plates, and the furious gnashing of teeth as Amethyst eats her meal. The gems lips smack and her tongue works like a rudder to steer the food down her throat as quickly as possible. A most horrid sight to see as Pearl looks away. Only to see a fuzzy pink bottom, his tail stock still as he hunches over a small bowl holding a juicy steak comically to many sizes too big for it. The animal rips off a piece and chews hurriedly. Glancing about, afraid that someone may try to steal his meal.
"Steven, He's making a mess."
With his own messy mouth, a lump of mash potatoes nestled in a dimple, Steven says. "Don't worry I'll clean it up." As small chunks of steak fall around the bowl Pearl feels a nagging in her head. Light blue eyes dart to the napkin hastily folded on the table. Hands unlinking, one strayed to the edge of the table, crawling towards the napkin.
"Hey! P, answer me when I'm talking to you," Amethyst spewed food onto her plate, and on the table. Pearl shook herself and asked the gem to repeat the question. Annoyed the short gem shook her plum colored cheeks back and forth slowly, "I said, give me your food. It's not like you're going to eat that." She ended the sentence with a snort causing something she had been chewing to exit her nose. Then reached over the table and took the full plate. The cheap dishware clanked as she set it on top of her empty plate and dug in.
Amethyst snuck peeks to either side of her. Steven was all smiles, while Garnet had crossed her arms, her food only loosely picked. Now a napkin covered it like a shawl. "What? It's not like she was going to eat it." Looking to Pearl, "It's not like you were going to eat it." She spears a piece of chicken and uses it to scoop up some mashed potatoes. Holds it over the table, her thick forearm brushes the candle and causes the flame to wobble.
Pearl looks at the sickening mess presented to her. So organic and disgusting, the thought of something such as this even entering her mouth made her stomach churn; gems didn't barf. The offering is fervidly waved away from her face. "You can have it-have it all. I'm perfectly alright." Glad when the food leaves her space, and disappears into Amethysts eager mouth which turned out to be good for more than just talking, apparently it could make things Pearl didn't like disappear; for that, she was sort of grateful.
A wink is shot Pearls way making the gem blush a bit, though covered up by the scorch of the candle light. As the food was constantly making its way to her mouth like a revolving door, one hand on her fork, the other reached out as far as it could go, not even making it to the center piece. Amethyst wiggles her fingers like a spider having fallen on its back. The candle flickers in each of their eyes as they stare across the table. A smile breaks, big and full, across Amethysts large lips. It curls into something cheeky when Pearl leans over and places her hand over top hers. They awkwardly try to squeeze one another and it looks more like a business hand shake. Pearl is gentle as she runs two of her fingers along the plum colored wrist. Feeling a thrum of energy connected to Amethysts gem. Their life, their essence, their gems were everything of them. It was a struggle to keep Pearls from lightning up, for where it to happen in such company would be quite mortifying.
As playful laughter fills the space, Pearl pulls her hand free with some rather tough resistance. She touches her enflamed cheek as she watches Stevens face beam, her eyelashes were all a flutter. How eager he was after finishing his meal. Fists clenched. Shirt riding to show the underside of his gem, even such a small sliver burned passionately with what little light there was. Pearl picked up her own napkin and reached over to wipe the bits of food away, causing the boys face to fall with embarrassment.
"Hey...Hey!" Amethyst began to bang her fork on the table to catch Pearls attention. "You just going to ignore me here?" She said, with her dowdy appearance of fresh stains on her shirt. Pearl saw that her hand was back on the table and the short gem nonchalantly tried to lean closer. Her arm pinned an unused napkin. Pink and as squirrely as her personality Amethysts tongue licked her lips and removed some food that had been there.
The deep chuckle drew a glare from Amethyst. Garnets chest bounced, her eyes closed. Thick thighs uncrossed as the gem got up. Taking her plate she made a gesture at Steven to do the same. "Let's clean up." So quiet and soft, Garnet slid her glasses back on and walked to the kitchen as Steven did as he was told.
"Oh Garnet, no. Let me take care of the dishes." An insistent please was escorted to the end.
A no so to the point and punctuated at the end with a big old period that Pearl clamped her mouth shut quickly as the water was turned on in the kitchen's sink. Steven came back and got the rest of the plates. With her belly full, Amethyst rested her back on the couch, arms sunk below the table and rubbing circles on her stomach. She felt the gas building and let it go in a quick and loud burp. The scented mixture of all the foods she had eaten wafted across the table and under Pearls nose.
A thick crease formed on the bridge of that nose as Pearl fanned the air. "Horrendous." Pearl whispered. Amethyst grinned with dreamy eyes. Full, happy, she sidled her body lower. Barely able to peek over the table at Pearl, who felt a sharp nudge to her knee cap. When she looked down she found a white boot. It poked her again from the shadows. The eyes that watched Pearl suggested that there was likely a smirk hiding below.
Amethyst whistles, followed by another nudge. "Pss, hey."
"Yes Amethyst." The mirth underlies the name.
"Yo, want to get out of here?"
"What would you suggest?"
"I don't know...want to go for a walk on the beach?"
Pearl hums as she considers the option, only to receive another nudge from under the table. "Well," The gem looks over her shoulder, "sure." With not a word more they leave, only the creak of the front door as it opened, and then closed behind them.
Water gushed from the faucet. The outer rim of the sink was soaked and sudsy. Garnet scrubbed the plate, rinsed, and then handed it off to a pair of tiny hands. Steven dried the plate with a towel and set it down on the stack, which dripped onto the counter.
"That was a very nice thing you did for us Steven." Garnet said as she rinsed down another plate while splashing water around the faucet.
The young boy blushed and shrugged and said an aw shucks to the tall gem as she handed him another plate to dry. "It was nothing. You guys always do things for me. I just wanted to do something for you's too."
"And for them."
Stevens face was flush with color. Mouth curved in a subtle smile.
Forks and knives were quick work, as a modest amount of suds were squeezed onto them and then rinsed off. Steven tried to wipe off any remains of food before the soggy silverware was put back in the drawer. A cabinet out of Stevens reach was where Garnet stowed away the plates. She used the towel Steven handed her to dry her hands before hanging it on the oven's handle to dry.
When she turned Steven had his hands together, his face looking up at her. "Wanna play some video games?"A timid question posed to the tall intimidating gem.
Garnet chuckles, it is very low in her throat and barely reaches down to Stevens's ears. "I'll watch. You play." She said as she put a hand on his shoulder and they took the steps up to his loft.
Dark and dreamless, the night sky was dotted with stars. The surf gently licked the shore. A breeze ruffled Pearls sash and sea salt crawled into her nose. It was a pleasant smell that made the gem's chest vibrate. She felt the hand on her lower back. Felt thick fingers working the thin layer of muscle. Before it trailed up her spine, a vertebra at a time, the sensation was tingling. Gem alighting in a most magical, thrilling, way. When she climbed as far as she could Amethyst grabbed hold of Pearls tunic and tugged roughly. Pulling the gem to the sand with a loud oomph.
Agitated Pearl rolled away, or tried to but Amethyst had rolled atop her. Knees sinking into the sand, their bellies pressed together. In the dark, teeth gleamed, so did her eyes.
"Amethyst, what are you doing?"
Her short hefty arms pushed her up. Amethyst cocked her head like a curious animal. "I'm just getting a good look at cha'." Wondering digits climbed atop her shoulder, making their way to Pearls long neck where they began to rub gently. Or Amethyst thought, till Pearl hissed at the friction. Amethyst adjusted her touch and the motion was better received.
Pearl sifted the sand trying to grab hold of the loose particles. All the sensations she felt with her body were magnificent. Yet when Amethyst touched her gem it was as if the other gem were in direct contact with her soul.
Time was stretching further into the night. A mutated color palate blinked from inside his room. The tiny television asked if they wished to continue. A controller dangled in his hand as he sat sideways in a large lap. His head resting under her breast. Garnet cradled him in one hand as she slid her sunglasses off and set them on the bed she leaned against. Large frame scrunching up as she took hold of one of Stevens's hands, still tiny despite how much he had grown. Garnet tried to rub any possible ache caused by playing his video games. Humming something very old, and very sweet. All three of her eyes smiling down upon his sweet innocent face as he slumbered.