A Bonding Experience

Steven was in his room playing the newest addition in the golf quest series. The gems had been out for a while so he took the opportunity to catch up on his video game time. He had been playing for a few hours now, getting engrossed in the story and battle system, even humming to every new piece of music that played. He was about to go into fight the next boss, but was interrupted by the warp panel releasing it's signature light. Steven paused the game to look down at the panel, revealing the three gems. Pearl and Amethyst were arguing with each other and Garnet was doing her best to keep the situation under control.

"How is it that you find new ways to enrage me and endanger us!?" Pearl shouted.

"You know you're being a lot more annoying than usual." Amethyst commented.

"You could have gotten us killed!" Pearl continued.

"I had a plan!" Amethyst yelled back.

"And you neglected to tell us because?" Pearl asked.

"It was a two step plan. First I jump on the monster's back, and then you guys go off of that." Amethyst explained.

Pearl pinched the bridge of her nose, "Ugh, you're an idiot.".

"Don't you call me stupid!" Amethyst shouted.

"Only an idiot would endanger herself for a plan that would have easily backfired!" Pearl shouted.

"Well it worked didn't it?!" Amethyst argued.

"Only because Garnet pulled you off of it and you happened to have your whip wrapped around it's neck." Pearl justified.

"Oh so it was an accident that I managed to do something good huh?" Amethyst said, "You just can't give me a break can you!?".

"Because you don't deserve one!" Pearl shouted.

"Enough!" Garnet snapped.

The two reeled back as their leader stared down at them. Garnet scowled as she looked at the two.

"I have had it with both of you. This arguing ends here. Now go to your rooms and simmer down." Garnet ordered.

"But-" Amethyst started.

"Now!" Garnet shouted.

Amethyst was silent and then walked towards the door to the temple. A purple seam spread the door apart and Amethyst went through, the door closing behind her. Pearl turned to Garnet with a mild smile.

"You really handled that well!" Pearl exclaimed.

Garnet glared at her and Pearl's smile faded.

"And I am going to my room as well." She stated.

Pearl walked away and into her own room. As the door closed behind her, Garnet sighed and moved over to the couch. Steven jumped down and landed next to her.

"Why are Pearl and Amethyst fighting?" Steven asked.

"Amethyst pulled a risky move during the mission and put us in a bit of danger. To be fair it was reckless to do, but Pearl's overreacting." Garnet explained.

"Why do they have to fight like that?" Steven asked.

"It's just the way they think. They approach problems differently and clash every so often." Garnet said.

"But they can do good stuff if they work well together." Steven argued.

"I know Steven, it's just hard to get them to cooperate. Which is why I'm glad to have you around, you help keep the peace." Garnet said as she ruffled Steven's hair.

"Yeah but they shouldn't need me around for them to be nice to each other. They should do it on their own." Steven said.

"Yes, yes they should." Garnet agreed, "Wish I knew what to do with those two.".

Steven scratched his head and then beamed with excitement as he came to a revelation.

"I know what you can do with them!" Steven suggested.

Garnet turned to the smiling boy as Steven began explaining his plan.

Pearl was relaxing in her room, standing on top of one of the many overflowing cups of water, her sword collection floating around the rim. Wielding a thin foil, she danced with her sword, gracefully moving across the water's surface. She bent and swerved as she moved the sharp needle through the air and gently dragging the tip across the surface, making light ripples as the foil glided across. At last she began to spin with the foil, pirouetting faster and faster and finally stopping herself and thrusting the large needle forward. The needle stopped centimeters in front of Garnet's shades, her staring directly at Pearl with her default stern expression. Garnet raised a hand to the foil, lightly pressing her finger against the tip and moved it out of her face. Pearl's focused look was now a horrified expression when she realized she nearly stabbed her leader.

"Garnet!" Pearl exclaimed.

Pearl reeled back and all the floating swords fell into the water. Pearl looked at her foil and then dropped it into the water. She put her hands behind her back and nervously stared at Garnet.

"I see you're not angry anymore." Garnet pointed out.

"Yes, I realized I shouldn't get angry at Amethyst's tomfoolery anymore. She isn't worth it and it isn't professional." Pearl said confidently.

"You're only half right with that. It isn't professional but it she is worth your time. Because she's your teammate." Garnet said sternly.

"I...you know I only mean her outbursts." Pearl stammered.

"Obviously you and Amethyst have become a little two need to spend sometime together, reconnect like you used to do in the old days." Garnet suggested.

"What? Forgive me but that's preposterous! It's been years since we did something like that! There's no way she would want to-"

"And have you ever asked her?" Garnet asked.

Pearl was silent.

"Well you're going to ask her now." Garnet ordered.

"Why do I have to ask her?!" Pearl complained.

"You instigated the argument, you make it up to her." Garnet explained, "I'm taking Steven out to the pier, you are to take care of this today. If not, both of you are going to be punished. Now go.".

Garnet leapt off the water and to the door across the room. Garnet exited and Pearl looked around her room and then down to where Amethyst's room was. Pearl bit her nails at the thought of her predicament she was in.

Amethyst was sleeping in her pile of junk. Her mouth was hung open and she was snoring loudly. She slowly slid to the side of the pile, falling down with the rest of the junk. She wasn't awoken by her fall, only re-positioning herself so she could feel more comfortable. Pearl fell down into Amethyst's room, moving throughout the piles of junk, treasure and various mementos.

"I will never understand how she can live in such disharmony! There's got to be plenty of useful things in here but they're probably buried under worthless trash." She thought to herself.

Eventually she managed to find Amethyst in the center of the dump that was her room. Pearl walked up to Amethyst and nudged her shoulder.

"Amethyst." Pearl said gently.

Amethyst snored in response.

"Amethyyysst." Pearl repeated.

Amethyst kept snoozing.

"Amethy- oh forget this, wake up!" Pearl shouted.

Amethyst jolted from the shout and spun onto her back, slapping Pearl with a limp arm in the process. Pearl stumbled backwards as Amethyst sat and stared at Pearl with a surprised look.

"Why did you yell at me!?" Amethyst yelled.

"Why did you slap me in the face!?" Pearl responded.

"Because you yelled at me!" Amethyst answered.

"Because you wouldn't wake up!"

"And that's because I'm trying to ignore you!"

"Why you-"

Pearl caught her words in her throat, let out a frustrated grunt, and finally let in a deep breath and exhaled. She got up and calmly looked at Amethyst.

"It's fine, I guess I should've found another way to wake you up. I'll do something different in the future." Pearl calmly said.

"Whatever, what do you want?" Amethyst asked.

"I've realized that lately I've been a little...unreasonably upset with your actions." Pearl started.

"Understatement of the millennium." Amethyst joked.

"Hush please I'm not done. Clearly we have become detached a bit and it's come to my attention that we can rekindle the old days so that we aren't at each other's throats every mission. So...I'd like to invite you on a night on the town." Pearl offered.

Amethyst's jaw slightly hung slack and her eyes bulged a little at what Pearl said to her. She shook her head a bit and smiled slightly.

"Good one Pearl. Didn't know you were one to play pranks. Where's Steven and Garnet? They got cameras?" Amethyst asked.

"You disrespect- Garnet and Steven are out with Connie and her parents, you're stuck with me." Pearl seethed.

Amethyst stood up and walked over to Pearl, looking up at the skinny gem.

"You seriously want to do something with me?" Amethyst asked.

"Yes." Pearl answered.

"And you're not being forced to do it?" Amethyst added.

"...No." Pearl responded.

"Pearl, you're a bad liar." Amethyst sneered.

"Okay, Garnet coaxed me into this. She suggested that I do this lest I suffer some consequences." Pearl admitted.

Amethyst got a devilish grin on her face as she backed away from Pearl. Pearl's worried expression turned to one of pure terror as she realized what is about to happen.

"Oh ho ho Pearl you should've stuck with that lie because now you're totally done for!" Amethyst exclaimed with a devilish laugh.

Pearl got on her knees and grabbed Amethyst's shoulders.

"Please Amethyst! I don't know what Garnet will do to me if this doesn't happen, so please please pleaassee do this for me!" Pearl begged.

"I don't know Pearl...seeing you having someone on your back all the time seems strangely ironic and awesome. I dunno if I wanna pass up this opportunity." Amethyst said slyly.

"And besides...I kind of want to do this too. Just a bit." Pearl admitted.

Pearl and Amethyst stared into each other's eyes for a few seconds, and then Amethyst relented.

"We can do whatever I want?" Amethyst asked.

"I was gonna suggest that anyway." Pearl said.

"Well...okay, but any scolding and I'm leaving you to Garnet." Amethyst threatened.

"Deal!" Pearl exclaimed.

Pearl stood up and Amethyst followed her as she walked towards the exit of Amethyst's room.

"So...what did you have in mind?" Pearl asked.

Pearl and Amethyst sat inside the big donut, staring each other down. Amethyst had a sly grin on her face as Pearl nervously glanced at her. Amethyst's request was a strange one; just a small bit of lunch at the big donut. Pearl would've questioned why, but considering her situation, she gladly accepted her simple request. After a quick walk over to the store, Amethyst sat down and Pearl sat in front of her. It has been like that for two minutes. Two minutes of awkward silence and Amethyst scheming of something.

"Can you get me a donut and a bag of chips Pearl?" Amethyst asked.

"Alright, any kind that you want in particular?" Pearl asked.

"Guess my favorite of both. If you get it wrong, you know what happens." Amethyst says as she slid her finger across her throat.

Pearl groaned and then got up to the rack of assorted bagged snacks. She looked over them carefully, thinking about what chips Amethyst would like the most. She reached towards the safest choice of classic, but pulled it back when she realized it was the obvious answer. Too plain. She glanced over them and finally decided on salt and vinegar. She remembers her saying she liked sour stuff a while back, and these were her best bet.

"Alright, one mystery somewhat solved. Now for the next." Pearl thought to herself.

"Today Pearl!" Amethyst groaned.

Pearl grit her teeth and walked over to the counter. Sadie looked up to the tall gem with a warm grin.

"Hey Pearl, what're you getting today?" She asked.

"I will take this bag of chips and...one cream filled donut." Pearl requested.

She remembered that familiar cream always smeared on Amethyst's face or stained on her shirts. Pearl grinned as she conquered Amethyst's challenge. Sadie walked back with donut and Pearl gave her the money, then taking the foods back to Amethyst. Pearl placed the foods in front of Amethyst and Amethyst inspected her new treats. She then turned to Pearl with a mild grin.

"Not bad Pearl. Got my favorites for both!" Amethyst complimented.

"I have a knack for remembering things like this." Pearl said smugly.

Amethyst chomped into the donut, spraying cream over her face as she began to chew the delicious pastry. Pearl gave Amethyst a disgusted glare as she continued to eat. Amethyst stopped chomping into the donut and glared back at Pearl.

"What?" Amethyst spat as chewed donut spilled out of her mouth.

"Would it kill you to have a little bit of table manners?" Pearl suggested.

Amethyst took her arm and used it to wipe her face off.

"Thank you. It's not much but it's a start." Pearl said.

Amethyst chomped the rest of the donut in one bite, chewing and then swallowing the treat. She then turned to the bag of chips, opening the crackling bag, releasing the bitter smell. She reached into the bag and started going at the chips. Pearl looked at Amethyst with a small grin and leaned back in her chair.

"So you're satisfied?" Pearl asked.

"Nah, you gotta do one more thing for me." Amethyst asked.

"You said you only wanted to do this." Pearl stated.

"Yeah yeah but this request relates to the main thing." Amethyst said, "I could have asked for much worse so thank me for my generous disposition.".

"Fine. What do you want me to do?" Pearl asked.

Amethyst took a big chip out of her bag and placed it on the table. She flicked the chip over the table, sliding it in front of Pearl.

"Eat that." Amethyst asked.

Pearl tensed up at the request. She looked at Amethyst, horrified at what she heard.

"You can't be serious." Pearl stammered.

"I am." Amethyst stated.

"I can't."

"You gotta."

Pearl picked up the chip and brought it up to her mouth. Her hand started to shake and she looked back to Amethyst. She silently begged her to call it off, but Amethyst held the same determined grin. Pearl opened her mouth and started to put the chip in her mouth. She placed it in her mouth and then closed it. The chip crunched in her mouth and Pearl tensed up. Her eyes shot open and she started to shiver. The mashed up chips got caught between her teeth and mushed against her tongue. Pearl choked slightly, but continued to eat the chip, to Amethyst's delight. She finally swallowed the chip, gasping for air as the bitter taste filled her mouth. Amethyst laughed at Pearl's misfortune.

"How was it?" Amethyst asked.

"Very….str-str-strong." Pearl gasped.

Amethyst's smile faded into a concerned look. She put her chips on the table and got up from her chair. She grabbed Pearl's hand and helped her out of her chair.

"Come on Pearl, let's go home." Amethyst asked.

"Don't y-you want to finishh your chi-chips?" Pearl stammered.

"I'm not hungry anymore." Amethyst said.

Amethyst walked Pearl in to the house and sat her down on the couch. Pearl was twitching and squirming as she felt ever bit of food gunk still in her mouth.

"Wait here. I'll be right back." Amethyst demanded.

Amethyst ran away and Pearl stewed in her anger.

"Unbelievable! How could she even...now I know why I don't spend time with her. She's cruel, vulgar, disgusting, vile-" Pearl thought.

Amethyst came back with a toothbrush and a bottle of mouthwash.

"Here. Use this to get rid of the food stuff.

"So caring and my savior!"

Pearl greedily grabbed the tools and ran to the kitchen sink. She violently brushed the gunk out of her teeth and pouring the mouthwash into her mouth. She vigorously brushed, swished, and spat for five minutes until she was left leaning over the sink, gasping. She looked over to Amethyst, who was standing next to Pearl.

"Don't ever make me do that again!" Pearl shouted.

"I'm sorry! I didn't think you'd be that grossed out by it." Amethyst said.

"You know that I am disgusted by the very act of eating!" Pearl shouted.

"I knew that! I just didn't know how disgusted." Amethyst said.

"This was a bad idea. We can never get along." Pearl said.

"...We did once." Amethyst uttered lightly.

Pearl's angry expression turned to a softer expression.

"What happened to us Pearl?" Amethyst asked.

"Steven came along." Pearl answered.

"You're blaming Steven on this!?" Amethyst gasped.

"No! It's just that Steven is a handful as it is! I can't afford to watch over the both of you at once, I have limits! You're the older and more experienced one here so I expect you to act at least a bit professional." Pearl elaborated, "I had Rose and Garnet to help, now I just have Garnet.".

Amethyst rubbed her arm and walked up to Pearl.

"You know I can't just change how I act." Amethyst stated.

"I know I'm asking something a bit impossible, but at least try." Pearl requested as she put a hand on top of Amethyst's head, "Because I don't like yelling at you.".

Amethyst hugged Pearl's legs.

"I don't either." Amethyst admitted.

Amethyst then let go of Pearl and the two looked into each other's eyes.

"You think we could do stuff like this every now and then? You get to choose next time though." Amethyst asked.

Pearl smiled.

"Sure." Pearl answered.

Amethyst smiled and then she walked over to the temple door.

"So...I guess I'll see you around." Amethyst said.

"We could do some more stuff if you want." Pearl asked.

"I'm good. I got some thinking to do now." Amethyst stated.

"Oh. Well, bye." Pearl said.

"See ya."

The door closed and Pearl heaved a sigh. She looked up at the picture of Rose and put a hand on her gem, slightly shaking her head.

"Oh Rose. If you were here, you'd know what to do. You'd know how I could explain these feelings, these urges. All it's been doing is frustrate me and cause me to lash out at her. I need some guidance or some way to let her know I care a lot about her." Pearl said.

"You just did." Amethyst said.

Pearl shrieked as she flipped around to see Amethyst standing in the doorway.

"You said you were gonna go do some thinking!" Pearl shouted.

"I thought that I wanted to do something else with you, but now I got some more thinking I gotta do." Amethyst joked.

"I...you-"

"Later Pearl." Amethyst repeated, "Oh and one more thing.".

Pearl looked at Amethyst.

"I care a lot about you too." Amethyst said.

The door closed and Pearl was left blushing in the living room. She put her hands in her face and moaned loudly. The date was a success she guessed, but now it brought up a whole slew of other things to think about.

Meanwhile, Amethyst blushed as she thought of what Pearl said to her. She threw herself onto a mattress and thrashed about. She was just as frustrated as Pearl, but now all of their feelings were out in the open now. Now all that was left was to wait for the next move or make it herself.

"Dumb nerd." Amethyst thought to herself.