Experimenting, Planning, and Training Part two

"Alright everyone, listen up," Luna called. Her firm gaze peered through each of the young teens and adults who completed their training. Each one was breathing heavily, and she could see most of them had more muscle. Ronaldo had a flatter stomach and was gaining some muscles, even Lars had some muscle, starting off skin and bone. "Today, you will be training with weapons today, since you gained some muscle you should be able to handle them easily. Yet, if some are still too heavy please let Jasper or I know so we can ask Bismuth to make some alterations," she said clearly.

"Uh Ms. Luna when can we go on missions?" asked Ronaldo.

"Since you gained some muscle and your body can handle some strain, next step is to master a weapon. Once you are skilled, you will be paired into teams to see how well you can handle yourself, and work as a team, then only then will you be able to go on missions," answered Luna. Ronaldo looked disappointed yet a smile graced his face.

"I already have a weapon, and I know how to use it. Can I skip this step and go on missions?" he asked. He showed Luna from her perspective a cheap looking sword, more like a toy a kid would play with. Jasper exchanged a look at her knowing this weapon wasn't even acceptable for battle, it would take less than a minute to break in a real battle.

"Um Ronaldo, that is a nice sword but well it is not durable, believe me Bismuth makes the best swords in the universe, trust me you will love them. Now please line up with the rest and receive a weapon," Luna instructed. He frowned and she could tell by his clenched fist that he wanted to argue, yet he only nodded and got in line. Each person was handed a sword, spear, bow and arrow, or a hammer of some kind.

"Alright folks, I will be teaching you how to use your weapon and Jasper will be teaching hand to hand combat. We will switch every two hours, so you have a diverse set of fighting skills. Remember you will fail at first but that is normal, so don't get frustrated just keep practicing. Okay, Kiki, Sadie, Ronaldo, Buck, Sour Cream, Barb, Mr. Smiley and Jamie please come over to my side," Luna instructed.

"The rest of you come over to my side," Jasper called to the rest.

"Man, why do I have to train with the Amazon lady first," Lars moaned.

"Don't worry Lars, it will be fine," Alex assured walking over to Jasper.

"Okay, Alex step forward since you have gem powers let's see how well you handled them," Jasper replied. Alex nodded and stepped forward, all emotion leaving her face. Jasper formed her helmet and motioned for Alex to attack. A bright red glow came from Alex's chest, as two spiked blood whips appeared out of her gem as they wrapped around her hands. She struck first aiming the whips at Jasper wrapping them around her. The spiked ends biting into her flesh.

"Hey easy, Alex," Connie called to her.

"It's fine," Jasper said with a competitive grin. She broke free of the sharp whips and charged at Alex full speed. Alex dodged and lunged at Jasper punching her smack dab in the jaw. "Luna taught you well," Jasper replied forming another fist and managing to punch Alex in the jaw as well. Both were pushed a few feet back, as they continued to throw punches, and Alex using her spiked whips to fight. The on goers wondered if their training session would be this intense.

Luna saw the intensity with Alex and knew she had to talk to her soon. Anger can motivate you, but it can cloud your judgement. "Okay, Kiki step forward," she called. Kiki holding a sword approached her.

"Ready Ms. Luna," she said.

"Okay, hold your sword like this, loosen your grip, yeah good okay, place your feet like this, good, okay now let's see what you got," Luna said taking out her sword. Kiki lunged as she swung her sword, too slow," Luna called and deflected it. "Again," she called. Kiki nodded and moved quicker this time, yet she was leaving herself wide open. "Remember defense, you are leaving yourself wide open," Luna told her, easily taking the sword out of her hands. Kiki frowned but her face went serious and she grabbed her sword again taking her stance. The swords clashed as her moves became quicker and her defense was getting better, less openings this time, yet Luna once again took her sword. "You did good Kiki, we need to work on your defense and remember more fluid moments, okay Buck you are up," Luna called.

After training the kids and adults all went home remembering the tips and advice both Jasper and Luna gave them. Alex was still working on her whips, as Luna approached her. "Hey, you hungry?" she asked gently.

"I'm fine," Alex replied.

"Your training was intense, anything you want to talk about?" Luna asked.

"Nope," Alex said avoiding eye contact.

"Alex, remember what I told you before all your emotions can help fuel you in battle but letting one cloud the others will only harm you," she said gently placing a hand on Alex's shoulder.

"I'm well aware," Alex replied stiffening up.

"Alexandra, please," Luna said firmly.

"I'll forgive her when I see fit too. Is that okay with you?" Alex snapped. Her eyes were hard, as tears threatened to fall.

"Everyone makes mistakes, Alex," Luna reminded.

"Her mistake got you killed," Alex reminded her. Luna just sighed unable to say anything. "I promised to be nice to her and I have, so don't worry about it," Alex said walking away.

"Alex," Luna called yet stopped unable to follow her. For once she didn't know what to say or do. At that moment Pearl approached her a small frown on her face.

"Is everything okay?" Pearl asked.

"No, Alex is still furious at Bismuth and I am afraid her anger will only get worse, resulting in her getting hurt. I tried to talk to her, but I fear it is no use," Luna said frowning. Pearl glanced at Luna and then back at Alex, finally a determined look appeared on her face.

"Let me talk to her maybe I can help," Pearl suggested.

"Go ahead," Luna told her. Pearl nodded and walked over to Alex who was again facing some haystacks, her whips drawn as she began to slash them.

"Nicely done," Pearl told her.

"Thanks," Alex replied, as she made her whips disappear. "Did Luna send you?" she asked folding her arms.

"No, I just came to see if you were okay?" Pearl asked.

"Fine," Alex told her, and Pearl saw the slashed-up pieces of hay.

"Clearly," Pearl stated.

"Did you need something?" Alex asked crossing her arms again looking annoyed.

"You remember when I tricked Garnet into fusing with me?" Pearl asked.

"Yeah I was there, remember," Alex stated.

"I remember how angry you were when Luna was unconscious destroying the hub and how angry Garnet was for being tricked," Pearl told her. "Yet somehow you forgive me and so did Garnet," she added.

"You didn't mean to hurt Luna and yeah tricking Garnet wasn't cool, but everyone makes mistakes," Alex told her.

"Even Bismuth?" Pearl asked. Alex glared her eyes now hard as stone.

"Clever," Alex stated.

"Look Alex, I am not going to pretend I know how you feel. The only thing I will say is I too at one time allowed my anger and ignorance to control me for 14 years even longer before that," Pearl told her. Alex remained silent allowing her to continue realizing Pearl was making a point. "I was a slave to Homeworld, you know my first master treated me horribly, yet Rose gave me freedom allowed me to be my own gem. When I lost her and Pink took her place, at first, I had trouble playing along. Acting like everything was normal, yet I did grow attached to Pink. She was confident and strong making me feel important. Still my anger, sadness, jealousy, forced Luna to leave. Instead of trying to be a better teammate all I wanted was Pink's attention for in some ways she reminded me of Rose and not just because she looked like her," Pearl said sadly.

"Pearl did you love both Rose and Pink?" Alex asked curiously.

"I believe I did, Rose was the first gem to make me my own gem. Yet Pink helped me fight for it, losing them both it hurt beyond anything I ever felt. So, when Steven was in the picture, I did my best to love him. Sadly, I didn't do a good enough job comparing him to his mother, thinking he should have mastered all his powers by now, never realizing the stress I was putting on him. Even my treatment of Greg got a bit better but not much, when Steven left all I did was worry about him. Was he hurt, was he eating, did he get enough sleep, would I ever see him again?" she told Alex. "So, Alex I know how your emotions can cloud your judgement, even now I struggle with that," Pearl said walking up to her. Their eyes stared at each other as Pearl hugged her. "Please Alex, don't make my mistakes, I am not saying you and Bismuth have to be best friends but try and forgive her or one day you will get hurt. I already lost so many people, please don't be on that list as well," Pearl said a small tear on her face.

"Oh Pearl, you are such a sap," Alex said hugging her. "Okay I see the point, I will try, you're not alone Pearl, you will always have friends and people who love you. Maybe in order to get closure try and make up with Greg as well as Luna and Steven. As for me, I'll do my best to get along with Bismuth," Alex told her, wiping her tears away. The light made Pearl seem to glow as Alex blushed a bit. She sure is pretty, Alex thought. They headed back inside as the day had ended.

A few weeks of sword fighting, and training continued, one day some friction had built up. "Luna, we need some aid on the next mission," Steven called.

"How many do you need?" Luna asked. Ronaldo's eyes grew big, Steven needs helps on a mission, finally my moment of glory has come, he thought excitedly.

"At least two more people," Steven told her.

"Connie and Alex go and assist Steven!" Luna called to them.

"Alright," Connie said as she picked up her sword and walked over to Steven. Alex already there waiting to head out.

"No fair why do they get to go?" Ronaldo demanded. His eyes clearly angry as his face went red.

"Alex has fighting experience at hand to hand, and Connie is great with her sword fighting, both have been on missions before so I know they can handle themselves," Luna told him.

"Oh please, the only reason they get to go, is Connie is Steven's girlfriend and Alex is your sister!" Ronaldo yelled. A hush fell over the crowd as Buck only shook his head.

"Not cool dude," he said quietly. Luna glared at Ronaldo and the once angry young man now went pale. She breathed deeply and approached him.

"Alright Ronaldo, since you clearly can handle yourself, pick your opponent if you beat one of them, then you may take their place on the mission. Who would you like to pick Connie or Alex?" Luna asked sharply. Ronaldo didn't know what to say yet he wanted to go on a mission.

He eyed both girls and knew Connie would be the easier choice, "I choose Connie," he said.

"Alright Connie you accept this match?" Luna asked.

"You bet," Connie added stepping forward.

"Alright get your weapon Ronaldo, three points is the winner," Luna said. Ronaldo, was foolish and grabbed his original sword, proving to Luna that his sword was superior. Connie stood before Ronaldo; her sword ready as Ronaldo got his weapon out. Luna and Jasper exchanged looks, knowing how this was going to end. "Begin," Luna said, and the two kids began their fight.

Ronaldo charged with full force, yet Connie dodged at every attack with ease. She swung her sword and it barely made contact when she heard a cracking noise. "My sword!" Ronaldo yelled as his prized weapon slowly shattered before his eyes.

"Oh, I'm sorry Ronaldo," Connie said frowning.

"You did that on purpose!" he accused.

"Enough Ronaldo, I told you that sword was not made for battle. Instead you used it anyways, accept the consequences of your actions and shake Connie's hand. You lost next time use a proper weapon," Luna barked at him. Ronaldo reluctantly shook Connie's hand as the two girls joined Steven on the mission. Sadly, his ego would continue to blind him.

Finally, the residents who were training were finally able to go on a mission. Luna instructed them that a small gem monster was found nearby and they her and some other Crystal Gems would handle the bigger monster. Kiki, Lars, Jenny, Sadie, Buck, Sour Cream and Ronaldo left for their mission. All the determined to succeed. The teens came to a small clearing see Luna, Pearl, Amethyst and Steven fighting a giant worm like creature, while a smaller worm creature was nearby.

Buck and Sour Cream rushed at the beast with their swords. "Remember what they said, go for the gem," Buck told him. Sour Cream nodded as Jenny and Kiki stood behind using their arrows as ranged attacks. Sadie helped with her spear, Lars tried to help but was nervous, Ronaldo however wasn't happy. "This is baby stuff, how can I prove how great I am, if I am stuck with monsters like this. I need to fight monsters like that big one," he decided and left the group to join the Crystal gems fight.

The teens didn't notice Ronaldo leave Kik and Jenny's arrows hit directly the creature shrieked out in agony. In an instant the ground shook as two more bigger worm creatures appeared one surrounding the girls, and the other joining the smaller one. "Oh shoot," Buck said.

"Come on, we can do this," Sadie said confidently. She threw her spear at the small one, hitting the gem as it poofed. Yet the bigger one rushed at her, having a circular row of teeth, as the creature tried to bite her. "Oh geez," she cried trying to avoid the teeth.

"Hold on Sadie!" Sour Cream told her as he raised his sword trying to cut the head off.

"Help!" shouted Jenny as her and Kiki were being attacked by the other worm creature. Jenny was almost out of arrows and Kiki was out using rocks to throw at the creature.

"Go away, shoo!" she shouted.

"ROOAARR!" growled the creature. Acid spit drooled out of its mouth as it spat at the girls. They dodged out of the way yet were running out of places to run.

"Lars, go help the girls!" Buck yelled as he was helping Sour Cream slice at the bigger creature.

"Uh right," Lars said as he raced up to the girls yet, the creature saw him.

"SCREEECG!" it called and shot its acid spit at him.

"AWWW!" Lars screamed dropping his weapon and running away.

"LARS WAIT!" Jenny yelled but he was cowering in a corner. Sadie however rushed at the beast avoiding the spit and with her spear, saw the gem and launched her weapon. Just like with the smaller one, the creature poofed, the girls were saved.

"Thanks Sadie," Kiki said as Sadie helped them down. Sour Cream and Buck defeated the other creature. Yet, Buck was red he grabbed Lars by his shirt and punched him hard in the face.

"You abandoned your teammate, that is it, I am going to kick your ass!" Buck growled. The once chill and calm guy now livid.

"Easy man, Lars was scared, he didn't mean it," Sadie said.

"How can you defend him? He treats you like crap, makes you do all the work at the Big Donut, and now he left the girls defenseless, they could have been killed," Sour Cream told her.

"I, I," Sadie said trying to defend Lars but couldn't. Lars eyes widened seeing the kids he idolized say all this stuff about him. Everything was right, he did treat Sadie who was only nice to him like a doormat, never worked hard for anything in his life, always putting the blame on someone else, now because he got scared the girls could have been killed. Tears streaked down his face, as he fell to his knees.

"I'm sorry Kiki, I am sorry Jenny, I shouldn't have run away. You guys are right I am a selfish jerk, I don't know why, my parents have good jobs, they love each other, they love me, I have no excuse for my behavior. I just wanted you all to like me, but I just can't seem to do it," he cried.

"Well, stop being such a jerk," Sour Cream told him.

"Try being nice and helpful to people," Jenny added.

"We're not asking you to be perfect, but if you want to have friends you need to be a friend," Sadie said kneeling to him. Lars looks up and wiped his tears away. Then stood up and walked up to Buck, eyes now firm.

"This won't happen again, I promise," Lars told him.

"It better not or I will kick your ass," Buck growled. Lars only nodded vowing to be a better friend. Ronaldo wasn't so lucky.

Luna blasted the creature with her moonbeams make the creature shriek in pain. Suddenly Ronaldo ran past her sword in hand. "Ronaldo, what is he doing over here?" she asked. He swung his sword at the beast, getting its full attention. It was a giant worm with an orange yellow color, growling at him.

"Prepare to die!" Ronaldo shouted confidently as he swung his sword. He made some dents, yet the creature launched the acid hitting his sword, having it dissolve a bit. "Ow, ow!" he yelled as some acid touched his fingers burning his flesh.

"SCREEECG!" it growled its teeth opened as it lunged at Ronaldo.

"OH NO!" he cried.

"Ronaldo get out of there!" yelled Luna racing to get to the stupid kid. Suddenly a giant yo-yo appeared attacking the beast. Luna looked up as did Ronaldo.

The new being was the same height as Sardonyx yet looked very different. His hair was purple with dark black streaks, a round face like Stevens, four arms, and four eyes. The person had skin like Steven's yet a round body like Amethyst, some muscle with a round belly. The clothes were a dark jacket with a red shirt with a star, dark pants, purple boots and an Indiana Jones hat.

"You messed with the wrong people," his voiced said, deep and soft. He moved like lightning as his yo-yos appeared wrapped around the worm. They wrapped around tightly lifting it up smashing it into a wall. It yelled but soon it poofed as the creature was bubbled. Ronaldo and Luna stared at the being as he tipped his hat to them both. "Smokey Quartz at your service, call if you need any help," he said with a wink. Then he disappeared in a flash leaving Amethyst and Steven in his place.

"Alright we rule!" Amethyst yelled hugging Steven.

"We won!" Steven cheered until he noticed Ronaldo's burned flesh. His eyes widened as he gently kissed Ronaldo's hand. Tiny sparkles appeared healing the damaged skin.

"Thanks, Steven," Ronaldo said feeling utterly embarrassed.

"Ronaldo, what are you doing over here? You could have been killed!" Luna snapped her patience now gone. Before Roanldo could speak the other teens came up with three more corrupted gems, when last Luna saw they only had to fight one. She breathed deeply and looked at the teens, finally in as calm as a voice as she could muster said, "Someone might want to fill me in on what happened?"

After learning what happened, Luna banned Ronaldo from going on any missions till he could be a team player. He humbly accepted the punishment his encounter with the monster knocked all illusion of grander out of his head. Lars, Luna decided needed more training but could go on missions but asked one of the more experienced gems to accompany the teens in case they got in over their heads.

Soon, the big day came Peridot, Pearl, and Bismuth finished the machine that could retrieve gems from the cluster. Yet, they were ready to try their healing idea, a full moon greeted them as a small pond filled with Pink's healing tears and Steven's healing spit. "Okay, Luna hit it," Peridot told her. Luna nodded and raised her hand to the sky the moonlight glowed down onto her hand as her eyes glowed a deep white. She used her other hand to direct it to the pond, causing the pink liquid of spit and tears to mix with Luna's regeneration ability, the liquid first a deep pink now glowed a pink silver color.

"Okay, who should we heal first?" Peridot asked unsure which creature or shards should be selected. Lion eyed the liquid and looked at Steven with pleading eyes.

"Go ahead Lion," he told the big cat.

Lion jumped in the liquid and everyone held their breath. Soon the liquid wrapped around Lion creating a pink silver bubble around him. His form became pure light as a gem reappeared in his chest, his fur disappeared, his tail long gone, his face getting rounder, his body shrinking. Steven's eyes were pure star shaped as Connie and Pearl placed a hand on his shoulder. No one knew what would happen, as the process continued. Soon, Lion was no more instead a new figure stood in the pond.

Her hair a hot pink, wrapped around like a lion mane. Eyes, black with a round face, a lighter pink skin, an oval Pearl gem in the center of her belly. She wore a pink shirt with ruffles at the end of her sleeves, with a skirt with slits revealing her skinny legs, and tiny slippers. Steven reached out to the gem; eyes fearful as he found his voice. "Lion?" he asked looking into the gem known as Pink Pearl stood before him hoping she recognized them.

She stared blankly at first then smiled as she wrapped her arms around him. "Steven, thank you, oh thank you everyone!" Pink Pearl cried tears down her face. Steven helped her out of the pond smiling and hugging each other.

"Yes, it worked I mean of course it would work," Peridot said proudly puffing out her chest. Lapis smiled ruffling her hair. Lion now staring at them a look of determination on her face. Her gem glowed as she reached inside now pulling out a familiar treasure chest Steven had seen a million times before.

"Help me," she said gently to Steven holding his hand.

"Tell me what to do," Steven told her. She nodded and placed his hand over hers as their hands glowed both their eyes glowing a bright pink. Everyone looked in shock and wonder, waiting to see what would happen. The chest opened and inside was a pink bubble inside was shards, Rose quartz shards. Steven looked surprised as he stared at Lion.

"Even in my corrupted form I understood somethings, your mother asked if one day she couldn't find a cure, but if you succeeded where she failed to bring Rose Quartz back. After everything Pink owed her that much," Lion told him. Steven looked at everyone and they nodded Pearl was almost in tears as Alex held her hand. Steven carefully picked up the bubble and headed to the pond and popped it. The shards fell into the water and like before they began to glow, as everyone waited to see what would happen.

To be continued….

Author's Note: sorry for taking so long to update. I have been busy job hunting, starting a new job, and dealing with writer's block. Hope you all enjoyed this chapter and please review. Special thanks to Nickzilla for all the help.