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One minute it's just a normal day and the next minute, absolute insanity.
This is the story of how the impossible became possible. How I bridged two universes and jumped the shark while doing so. Not to mention the other GIANT kick in the pants...
Anyway. It all started out on a normal day. And by 'normal' I mean an absolute downpour at the beginning of summer in Florida. Plenty of rain, wind, thunder, lighting... The whole nine. It would've stranded me at the bus stop had it not been for a tiny lapse of intensity that allowed me to just say 'screw it' and pedal through to my destination.
After all. The gym WAS only a mile or two away. And despite it being a Wal-Mart Wonder with mountain tires and MY 280-pound butt straddling the seat, I could still get my bike up to a nice twelve miles-per-hour or so. Suffice to say, that could get me to the gym in about five or ten minutes from where I started.
UN-fortunately, I didn't have that long, because by the time I got to the first light it was pouring again. Luckily, though, the light stayed green and I cruised right through the crosswalk onto the next sidewalk and kept going. And, thankfully, it didn't look like I'd have to stop at the second crosswalk, either.
But, as fate would have it... I never made it to that second crosswalk.
A flash, then pain -or was it pain and then a flash?- surrounded and filled my entire being before blackness took over just a split second into what could only be described as an explosion in my ears and head.
Was I... ? No. I couldn't be dead... Right? Wasn't there supposed to be something afterward?
A horrible screeching and a terrible blue tendril of fire seemed to answer my question as it reached out from beyond my comprehension in the void and grabbed me before pulling me towards an unknown destination.
I fought and kicked and writhed, thinking this was the end for me and that I was being brought to some kind of 'hell' for whatever I did in my meager nineteen years of existence until something passed me. A consciousness. A presence. It was distinct from myself, the void, and the tendril. Especially in the fact that it didn't seem 'active' or 'attentive' at the moment but had a sort of familiar aura about it that I couldn't quite pin down.
Then again, I guess that made sense since I died. If I DID remember things, it'd sure as heck at least be FOGGY for a while as my 'soul' or whatever reboots, right? Either way, it passed by just as quickly as I had gone from riding my bike to here. Only my own perception had slowed enough for me to sense it in the first place.
In any case, I could see something in the distance rapidly approaching as the tendril stream dragged me along. Some kind of shape or thing inside of a pink circle. Wait a minute. I've seen that circle before, that's a bubble!
Blackness. The first thing I registered was blackness. Darkness and numbness were all I could sense. It was like my body was shut off. I couldn't even remember what the last thing I remembered was.
Was there a last thing? Should there have been?
Was I new...? Or have I been before...?
Either way, something quickly started to change. Sensations faded in. First, the feeling of having a body. A corporeal mind allowed me to organize some of my thoughts, and once I did that, I DID indeed know that I wasn't anything 'new'.
The last thing that happened... The last thing I remembered... GAAH, that was hard.
A distant, distorted sound pierced my concentration as more sensations and senses flooded in.
My eyes blinked open slowly several times, vision blurry. I was seeing doubles. Or, hextuples? Yeah, that made sense. Six blurry, oddly shaped figures, shifting and moving about in front of me with a yellowish-orangish-red background.
"Steven!" The voice yelled, distant and muffled, but clearer this time. This was the two thin figures in the center.
"Wh-who's S-Steven? W-where am I...?" I said drunkenly, unsure if the thought would actually come out in my voice.
"Pearl... Something's wrong." The two figures on the left said, looking quite strange wearing that box on their heads.
"Of COURSE something's wrong, GARNET! Steven almost DIED. IN SPACE!" The two stocky ones on the right retorted. At least these two looked a little more normal. Almost more than the first two, even...
"That's not what I mean! ... Gah, I can't SEE!" The left two replied, my tumbling vision starting to clear up as the middle two -err, one now?- started examining me and shaking me again.
"Steven!" Her concerned voice said once more, my mind snapping into place now as things started to ACTUALLY clear up, yet not quite connect all the dots, either.
"Wh-what? Who's Steven...? Where...Where am I?" I questioned, knowing for sure that the words came out this time, despite my own voice being foreign.
I now had the attention of all three of them, though I couldn't be certain with the one on the left given how her head was slightly turned and her eyes were covered with some kind of shades. She could've been looking at the other two for all I know. Her mouth formed a slight 'O' of surprise, though...
The middle one looked heavily concerned, now. A hand going to partially cover her mouth and her eyes getting wet and sad like she'd just seen something tragic and slightly disturbing.
The one on the right? Her mouth was openly agape and she seemed completely shocked.
"See!? I TOLD you there was something wrong!" The right one stated in defiance.
"Amethyst, hush." The left one cut her off.
Mrs. Middle just kept giving me that same look. But my mind was slowly starting to come together once more. Like the focusing all over again. Only these were memories rather than consciousness.
"Wait... Pearl... Garnet... Amethyst... And Steven..?" I mumbled, looking and slightly pointing at each of them -aside from the last, obviously- as I tried to muddle through the familiar names.
I now had all of their attention again. Garnet was straight faced, her mouth no longer 'o'd, Amethyst looked quite expectant, but also stoic, and Pearl just looked pretty much like she had a moment ago, only curious and no longer distraught.
Then it hit me. The realization snapped on like a light switch. Or, dare I say it, a bolt of cosmic lightning. I bet my eyes comically shrank at the pupils while widening in general. Like Steven in that one episode where Lars dissed his mom.
Only I wasn't mad...
Garnet suddenly gasped, Amethyst looked over at her, and Pearl changed only minutely as she noticed the change in ME and became expectant herself.
"Oh my god, I'm inside Steven Fucking Universe..." I muttered to myself, utterly stunned into pulling blanks on how I should be responding to this emotionally.
"STEVEN!" Pearl squawked, scandalized that such a word could come out of Steven's mouth.
Only, it wasn't Steven's mouth... Not technically, at least. I mean, with me inside his body it would technically be mine until he came back, but, as far as they were currently concerned; I was Steven. I had to actually check and be sure, too. Patting myself down, feeling my face, hair, body, clothes, and just LOOKING at the perspective around me. Yeah. There wasn't any doubt that I'd somehow landed in Steven's body here and I didn't know how to feel about that.
One the one hand, I knew I should secretly be excited. This kind of thing was generally considered impossible, and it happened to ME, of all people.
But on the other hand, I'd displaced an inhabit of one of my favorite universes and immediately caused distress among his family with my reaction to it.
Nevermind how I might be dead back in MY universe.
And, to top it off, I seemed to have wound up at the tail end of the 'bubbled' episode... A very raw and emotional moment for Steven and the Gems. Man, was I feeling low. Any 'high' I'd built up in the last couple seconds was suppressed by the weight of reality.
My vision and hearing came back into focus to see Amethyst between trying not to laugh at Pearl and trying to seem stern towards me with Pearl apparently giving 'Steven' a lecture on cursing and wondering where 'he' even picked up such a word. I sighed when Birdmom finished her speech and averted my eyes for a second, debating on what to do for a short time as I nervously tapped my steven-fingers together.
"I picked it up in my own universe, Pearl. Sometime around when I was two or three, probably." I explained factually, my expression staying neutral but slightly apologetic for what was to come as I looked back up at them.
Pearl herself remained unchanged until she blinked once and her face seemed to reflect a total 'What in the actual hell?' expression like that lame Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee meme. Garnet's mouth popped open slightly and Amethyst just looked entirely too confused.
"I don't understand." Garnet stated simply.
"Wait, what?" Amethyst replied.
"Whoo?" Pearl brain-farted.
I sighed again, much more heavily this time before standing up and looking between all three of them. "I'm not Steven. I'm just some guy from another universe that somehow landed in his body. I didn't mean to... It just kinda happened, I guess..." I explained, both a little solemn and apologetic. Mostly due to the circumstance and what it could mean for Steven, himself.
"I still don't understand. That's impossible!" Garnet, again. This time with a bit more emotion.
"Wait, so you're NOT Steven?" Amethyst asked for semi-oblivious confirmation.
"What do you mean you're not Steven! What do you mean 'Just some guy that landed in his body'!? And how do you 'not mean to' do that? Nothing like that can just HAPPEN!" Pearl rapid-fired, affirmatively going off the rails from the get-go.
This time, I outright groaned instead of sighing. I facepalmed, too, if that helps you visualize.
"Well, apparently a bolt of lighting that was charged, affected, or SENT by something in THIS damn universe caused it to happen. So don't even START to try blaming me for something that is and WAS out of my control." I retorted immediately, quite simply unwilling to go through this when I thought -and hoped and dreamed- I'd MAYBE get to enjoy things for a split fucking second.
Or at least relax and not feel as bad...
"But what about STEVEN!? We don't where he is, or if he's okay, or how to get him back, or-"
"IT'S NOT MY FAULT!" I shouted, literally putting my foot down and stopping her rant cold as well as shocking the other two. Pearl looked like she had a flashback to when Steven himself said the exact same line in regards to Rose.
Okay, maybe I subconsciously used that on purpose a little, but it really WASN'T my fault. Even if you counted wishing for the impossible into the equation.
"Look, if I had the answers, I'd give them to you, but the fact of the matter is I don't... And I'm sorry, I really am... I actually thought something like this would be fun, and instead, it's hard.." I submitted, calming down and slipping into a downtrodden state in an instant as I sank cross-legged to the floor.
They all seemed to become thoughtful at that, apparently accepting what I'd just told them as the truth as well. After all, I wasn't lying to them. If I DID have control over it, I would've come in my own body and possibly tried to make friends with them naturally before coming clean about my origins.
Hell, I don't know. It's not like a nineteen-year-old human would exactly fit in around Steven, Connie, Greg, OR the gems...
"I don't get it." Amethyst started, seemingly out of nowhere. "If you're from another universe, how do you know about us. Our names, who and what we are, what's going on..." She trailed off, leaving it up to me to answer. I had to give it to her, she was more observant and smarter than people thought sometimes. Especially when it was something really important like this.
"I want to know how you switched places with Steven in the first place." Garnet added, causing me to sigh for the third or fourth time at both questions, but mostly at Amethyst's since Garnet's was at least easily answered.
"Didn't Steven tell you about his psychic stuff?" I questioned. The three gems in front of me all nodded. He at least told them about the Lapis dreams, I know that much. "Well, if he HASN'T told you; There's more to it than just the Lapis-Jasper-Malachite dreams." I started. "He entered Kiki's mind-slash-dreamworld and helped her take care of some issues she had, and then even beyond THAT, Steven pretty much completely entered Lars' body and became him for a day." I explained. "Except, in THAT case, Lars' consciousness seemed to just be dormant since Lars never woke up inside STEVEN and controlled his body, and also had no memories of the day Steven spent as him." I finished, expertly dodging Amethyst's question with the sheer amount of information to give in regards to Garnet's question.
"Hmm. It would seem that Steven's power amplified and malfunctioned, then." Garnet tentatively deduced.
I shook my head wearily, regretful that she was wrong and reluctant to correct her. "No, I'm one-hundred percent certain Steven didn't play a part in this. I was being pulled by an external force that acted on both of us. And I could feel his consciousness in some kind of void as we reached the middle and passed each other. He seemed dormant, but radiated fear, worry, sadness... loneliness... Behind that, his normal personality showed through, and it felt familiar to me. It was only after I just woke up and realized what happened that I connected the dots." I said.
"And what about this 'external force'?" Garnet questioned.
"The external force... It was scary. Powerful, chaotic and disturbed. Only semi-sentient. I have no idea what it was or where it came from, only that I could tell it was from THIS side of the transaction; from THIS universe..." I added, trepidly. "It actually reminded me of..." I paused, not wanting to say it out loud for Garnet, Ruby, and Sapphire's sake.
"Well, spit it out!" Amethyst pressured, Pearl agreeing with a "Yes. Please."
"It makes me think of something along the lines of corruptions being forced into fusion like the experimental shards at the Kindergarten..." I solemnly explained.
And just as I feared, all of them looked aghast. Both shock and fear appeared on their faces, but Garnet looked so much worse... And I couldn't even see her eyes. I immediately regretted it and almost jumped forward to HUG Garnet... I couldn't stand to see her crumble like she almost did in 'Keeping It Together', I just couldn't...
Her sudden tears were the final straw for me. I barely hesitated before standing again, murmuring Garnet's name as I approached her and gingerly took her hands in mine. "It's okay... It's not your fault..." I intoned, looking Garnet right in the visor to reassure her with the softest and most heartfelt expression I could muster. I could feel the emotions in my heart -and strangely, my gut- when I spoke to them. Even I was almost on the verge of crying.
"I... I need to.." Garnet hesitated, sniffling and wiping both sides of her face free of tears, bumping her visor aside in the process. "Pearl, please fly us home." The leader stated softly, readjusting the shades on her face and standing before walking off to find some kind of private area on the ship. The rest of us watched her in concern as she did so before Pearl slowly obliged Garnet and eventually made her way to the captain's chair.
"Amethyst, can you help me co-pilot?" Pearl requested, a little withdrawn with the delivery.
"Oh, y-yeah... Okay..." Amethyst replied, getting up from her kneeling position and making her way over to another chair before Pearl turned back to me.
"And Stev- Err, you... Could you please pull that lever over there?" Pearl asked.
"Yeah... My name's David, by the way..." I trailed off, Pearl looking at me for another three seconds before turning back to the controls and sighing as her face drooped into a depressed and resigned expression. It was just barely noticeable, but I caught it...
Either way, I exhaled through my nose in a heavy moment of release, trying to let go of all the feelings and process everything before whatever happened next came to be. I also made my way over to the lever that Pearl pointed out and gave it a good tug until it did what she wanted. The ship clunked, seemed to 'float' a little less stably, and then began to move with the input of both of its pilots.
After that, I simply turned and made my way to the furthest chair away from any of them. Including the place Garnet went to. If it was MY presence affecting them, I sure as heck didn't wanna make it worse. In any case, I hopped my little Steven body up onto my self-designated seat to settle in for the ride. It sure felt like it was gonna be a long trip.
Or, at least, an awkward one...