The war was over.
That was the first thing Snowflake Obsidian realised when she woke up in a pool of rose’s tears. The war was over. After all, there were the Diamonds, sitting in the fountain, smiling down at the gems swimming about.
She sank to the bottom of the pool, relaxing in relief. The war was over. Whatever had happened while she was gone, they’d won. She only wondered how much she’d missed.
Swimming back to the surface, she looked around for Rose, but didn’t see her. Nearly everyone else was there, along with a few faces she didn’t recognise. Bismuth was there- hadn’t she been captured? Garnet and Pearl both had new reformations, too.
Eventually she caught sight of Rose, but she wasn’t what she expected. That was her gem alright, but she was so small… she looked like an organic.
That wasn’t rose. Snowflake knew this. The way they moved, their form, everything… that may be rose’s gem, but it wasn’t her.
Snowflake swam to the side of the fountain, got out, and went over to Pearl.
“Oh, Snowflake!” Pearl embraced her upon sight. “It’s good to see you again.”
“Good to see you too, P,” Snowflake said. “You mind filling me in on all this?”
Pearl sighed. “It’s a long story. I think Steven’s planning to explain the whole thing later.”
“I get that,” Snowflake said. “But um, what happened to Rose?”
“That’s also complicated. But the important thing to know is… she’s gone,” Pearl said.
“I thought so,” Snowflake murmured. “So who’s that?”
“Her son, Steven.”
“He’s half human, half gem. The first of his kind,” Pearl said. “He really saved us all in the end.”
Snowflake groaned. “What the hell happened!”
“I think we’re all wondering, Snowflake,” a voice said from behind her. Snowflake turned around to see Bismuth smiling at her.
“Bismuth! I thought you were shattered!” Snowflake said, giving Bismuth a hug.
“Yeah, that’s a long story,” Bismuth laughed. “But it can wait. I’m just as eager as you to find out what the hell happened while I was gone. I still only got bits and pieces of it.”
“Sorry about that,” Pearl said. “I need to go find someone, but I’ll leave you to it.”
“Bye,” Snowflake said automatically as Pearl walked away.
Pearl walked around the edge of the fountain, scanning the crowd. Eventually she located Amethyst, who was having a splash battle with Steven.
With a sigh, Pearl dove into the fountain, and surfaced just behind Amethyst.
“Amethyst,” Pearl said, and was greeted with a large splash of water to the face.
“Oh, sorry P,” Amethyst said, not sorry in the slightest.
“It’s quite alright,” Pearl managed, though she was torn between scolding Amethyst and bursting out into laughter. “Can you come with me? We need to discuss something.”
“Yes, right now.”
Pearl dove back underwater, glancing back only briefly to make sure Amethyst was following. She surfaced again next to a purple bubble containing a certain yellow Quartz.
“Oh,” Amethyst said. “Yeah, she did try to kill us a bunch.”
“I know we need to heal her, but I wanted to ask you what should happen to her afterwards,” Pearl said.
“Well, I mean like, she was kinda mean, but we’re in a new era now, right? She gets a clean slate, too,” Amethyst said. With that, she reached out, and popped the bubble.
Jasper’s gem dropped into the water as she reformed, healing her of corruption. She burst through the surface of the water as if she were about to leap into battle, but paused when she saw the Diamonds sitting at the other end of the pool.
“Hey, sis,” Amethyst said with a smile. “Long time no see.”
“You have ten seconds to explain what on earth is going on here,” Jasper said.
“Rose was Pink Diamond,” Pearl blurted out.
Silence hung between them for a moment.
“...what?” Jasper said, her voice carefully controlled.
“She wanted to protect life on earth, so she took on an alternate identity and faked her shattering,” Pearl said, backing away slightly.
“Where is she now?”
“She’s gone,” Amethyst said. “She died fourteen years ago.”
“Then who was I fighting?” Jasper growled.
“Well, me, for one,” Amethyst said. “Pearl and Garnet too, and Steven.”
“You know what I’m asking,” Jasper said.
“And I answered. Rose, Pink, whatever you want to call her, is gone. Her gem might not be shattered, but she is gone. The person you’re thinking of is Steven Universe. He may have her gem and her powers, but he will never, ever be her,” Amethyst said.
Pearl quietly slipped underwater and swam away.
“So it was all for nothing?” Jasper said.
“If you want to put it that way, sure,” Amethyst said. “But think of it like this- after everything, at least we made it here.”
Jasper let out a long sigh.
“Where are we?” She asked.
“Why are the Diamonds here?”
“Cause Steven convinced them all to come heal the corrupted gems.”
Amethyst chuckled. “Even I don’t know that. I was poofed or mind controlled for most of it. You’ll have to ask Steven.”
“I guess I’ll never know, then,” Jasper said quietly. She looked up at the three Diamonds, happily chatting and occasionally splashing the gems swimming in the pool. Yellow Diamond briefly looked at Jasper out of the corner of her eye, and Jasper looked away.
“You okay?” Amethyst asked.
“I don’t know,” Jasper said. “I think I’ll just… take some time to process this.”
Jasper sank beneath the water and screamed where no one could hear.
Amethyst climbed out of the pool, shook the water out of her hair, and went to sit with Pearl and Garnet, who were letting all the newly healed Crystal Gems come to them.
“Hey G, hey P,” Amethyst said, sitting down between them. “How ya doing?”
“Good,” Garnet replied simply with a smile.
“How’d it go with Jasper?” Pearl asked cautiously.
“Fine,” Amethyst shrugged. “I don’t think she’s gonna be a problem, if that’s what you’re asking. She just seemed kinda confused.”
“Well that’s good I suppose,” Pearl said.
Gems began coming up to talk to them one by one. Each of them Garnet and Pearl knew, but Amethyst was a total stranger to. She introduced herself again, and again, and again. It got a little tiring after a while.
Until Streak showed up.
“Hey, I haven’t seen your face before!”
Amethyst looked up to find another Amethyst smiling down at her. She had her gem in her cheek, and the gem had several white stripes across it.
“Always nice to see another Amethyst around her,” she said. “Nice to meet you, I’m Streak.”
“Hi!” Amethyst said, getting to her feet. “I’m just Amethyst.”
“Hi, Just Amethyst,” Streak said. “Pearl, Garnet, where’d you find her?”
“In the Kindergarten,” Garnet said.
“I’m a post-war gem,” Amethyst said. “Nice to know I’m not the only Amethyst around anymore.”
“Hell yeah!” Streak said. “Gotta show them other quartzes who’s boss, right?”
Amethyst laughed. “Oh don’t worry, I already beat Jasper’s ass into the dirt. Well, it was Smoky who did it, but that still counts.”
“Wait, Jasper? As in the Jasper?” Streak said. “I thought she’d be sitting around on Homeworld!”
“Nah, the Diamonds sent here back here for something,” Amethyst shrugged. “She really didn’t get what she came for.”
“I hear that, sister,” Streak said. “Look at that! I’m talking to the amethyst who bested the Jasper!”
“I didn’t do it on my own,” Amethyst said, laughing.
“Oh yeah, you said something about a Smoky… smoky quartz?” Streak asked. “That a fusion?”
“Yeah, me and Steven,” Amethyst said. “Oh, just wait ’till you meet him, you’re gonna flip.”
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”
“Well, for a start, he’s rose’s son.”
“Wait what?” Streak’s mind ground to a halt. “What?”
“Amethyst, I told you to wait and let Steven explain later,” Pearl said.
“Sorry P,” Amethyst shrugged. “I kinda wanna watch her mind break before we try to explain it, and break it even more.”
“Amethyst,” Garnet said.
“Oh fine, fine. Pearl, you explain,” Amethyst said. “I’m not good at explaining things, and you know it.”
“No,” Pearl said, “We’re going to let Steven explain.”
“Where is Steven, anyway?” Amethyst asked.
“Right about… there,” Garnet said, pointing to Steven just climbing out of the pool. “He’ll start talking in about thirty seconds.”
“Streak, you might want to sit down,” Pearl advised. Streak nodded blankly and sat against the wall.
“Oh, wait, that wasn’t quite right,” Garnet said as Steven jumped into the air. “He’s going to talk for a minute, then start singing.”
“Oh boy,” Amethyst said. “Are we gonna get dragged into it?” “Almost certainly.”
“What did you expect?” Pearl asked.
“I dunno,” Amethyst said. “I really don’t know.”
“Hey everybody!” Steven shouted, instantly silencing everyone in and around the fountain. “As some of you already know, I’m Steven Universe. A lot has happened in the time you’ve been gone, so I’m here to bring you up to speed.”
He took a deep breath, tapped out four beats on the stone, and started singing.