You Could Shatter Me Right Here
She was quiet, never voiced her thoughts unless asked to, never complained about the life she was supposed to live. She was a Pearl, she wasn't allowed to make her own decisions. And that was okay, because from the very first moment of her existence, she had known her purpose was to serve those who had created her.
Others like her envied her, who had been chosen to serve one of the Diamonds herself and she was proud of it. She carried this honour on her shoulders, no matter how heavy it became, no matter how worthless it seemed, she knew it wasn't. It couldn't be, after all this was her destiny, her purpose. She was a Pearl!
As the years went by, she began to collect certain thoughts. The ones she found interesting, the ones she was proud of and the ones she knew she shouldn't even have. Sometimes she was worried, maybe there was something wrong with her? Maybe she was defective? Should she tell her Diamond about it? But no, she knew it would be her end, someone else would do as a replacement and she would be shattered. No one would think about solving the problem when there was no reason to keep it. And it was true, wasn't it? There was no reason for her to exist, to be alive, other than serving her Diamond. Of course she would be useless if she failed to do even that!
So she kept quiet. Until that day.
She was told to leave her Diamonds side and speak with a stranger, one of Pink Diamond's soldiers - something she had never been asked to do before. Only two options opened up before her mind, either this was the end, or the beginning. The beginning of what, she didn't know, but it scared her more than the thought of being broken. But it didn't matter which of the two was to come. She would obey, she would fulfill her purpose to the best of her ability until the end of her existence. Keeping her face straight, gaze downcast and pride on her shoulders, she followed the beautiful soldier in pink.
After a quiet, peaceful walk through one of Earth's vast green forests, they arrived at a small clearing. Beautiful flowers blossomed all around them, not failing to amaze either of them. The brilliant colours and shapes, the way each small flower bowed its head in the light breeze, was a show of life on this planet. She had never understood why a Diamond would choose a planet such as this, but the sheer beauty resonating from only this small a piece of it set free another set of thoughts in her mind that left her wondering if she was seeing what was there.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
She dared lift her gaze to glance at the gem before her. A Rose Quartz, so majestic and wonderful she thought her own existence had to be far too unimportant to matter. Never had she felt quite like this in front of her Diamond. Rose Quartz' gaze seemed to look right through her, but instead of making her uncomfortable, she felt understood.
"I discovered this place years ago," the Quarz explained, unfazed by her stunned reaction. "I felt it was time to share it with someone else."
The soldier smiled warmly and she suddenly realized. That someone she was talking about was supposed to be her. It didn't make any sense, but that's what she meant, right? She wanted to ask why, wanted to know what made her decide to bring her of all gems, but she kept quiet. Yet, she couldn't move her eyes far from the pink haired soldier in front of her. After a moment of silence, said gem's expression morphed into a sad frown and she had the feeling the Quartz had been waiting for something. Should she have done something for her? Or maybe said something? Had she forgotten to deliver important information? No, that couldn't be. Her task had been to follow Rose Quartz and nothing more.
"Tell me, Pearl, what do you think of it?" she asked, sounding honestly curious about her opinion, something she had never witnessed before.
She blinked up at her, unconsciously biting her lip as she tried to figure out what she was supposed to say. She didn't know, no one had told her what to do in this situation!
"Come on," Rose Quartz urged gently. "I would love to hear your opinion."
"But-" She clamped her mouth shut, eyes wide. There was one thing every Pearl knew not to say and that word was "but". Maybe this was some sort of test? She had to prove she could follow new orders, no matter how irrelevant they seemed. Schooling her expression, she took a deep breath. "Of course," she said, falling into a life-long rutine. "As you wish."
She was about to try out an answer to one of the easiest, yet somehow hardest tasks she had ever been given, when Rose Quartz interrupted her with a light chuckle.
"Please," She smiled almost sadly. "There is no need to talk like that, not to me."
She frowned. Had she talked any different than usual? She hadn't noticed anything, but given the circumstances she might not have realized. To be honest, she was fairly nervous in front of the beautiful soldier.
"I did n- I am sorry," She didn't know what she was supposed to say. What was she supposed to say?! "Please forgive me. I am used to my Diamond's presence and requests. I am sure she will provide you with a Pearl better fit to fullfill your needs."
She bowed her head, hoping to come across as more confident than she felt. Confidence was important for her job, though it was dangerous showing too much of it.
"Oh no," the other gem took an unconscious step towards her, looking equal parts amused and frustrated. "I did not mean it like that. The reason I asked you to come here with me was not only to show you this place."
"I am afraid I do not understand," she replied, hoping it sounded less stupid than it had in her head.
Rose Quartz simply sent her a patient smile and nodded nearly unnoticably.
"I know," she said. "I will help you understand."
She was curious, so she would listen. Besides, didn't this count as an order of sorts? If White Diamond asked, it would surely suffice.
"Come here," Rose Quartz led her to the edge of the clearing and sat down in the soft grass, pulling her down with her. "Just look. What do you see?"
She slowly tore her gaze away from the taller gem and let it wander over the green grass, blue, yellow and pink flowers and the earth they came from. It reminded her of her own origin, in a way. On one of the flowers she noticed a small, red, moving dot. She'd never seen anything like it before.
"I see flowers," she answered, sure it had to be the correct answer.
Rose Quartz' smile did not falter, nor did she give any other sign that her answer had been wrong.
"Yes. What else?"
"I... also see... grass it is called, am I correct?"
The other gem nodded and gestured for her to continue.
"Well," Her eyes caught onto the small dot again, which had by now moved onto another flower. "There's a... red dot?"
Rose Quartz laughed, but it wasn't an intimadating laugh, nor was it an evil laugh. It was merely pleasant and honestly happy. She held one of her fingers out next to the red being and patiently waited for it to climb on top. As soon as it was sitting on it, Rose Quartz lifted it up for her to see.
"It's a ladybug," she said. "They're one of the many lifeforms that inhabit this planet. Isn't it fascinating?"
She didn't quite see what was so fascinating about a dot, but suddenly the newly named ladybug did something unexpected. It opened up its wings and flew. She gasped softly and watched it defy earth's gravity with practised ease.
"It can fly?"
"There's many species that are capable of flying on this planet. Birds, insects, like the ladybug, even certain mice or squirrels!"
She had never heard of any of them, but simply the way Roze Quartz' eyes shone at the mention of them told her it had to be true. And the way she said it made her want to see it, too.
"What is a... bird? Or a mice? And a squirrel?"
Rose Quartz looked delighted to hear her questions. She took her hand and stood up, smiling excitedly.
"I can show you! I'll show you everything," she assured.
She wanted that, she really did. She pulled her hand away.
"No, I-I can't."
Rose Quartz smile faltered, but she could see her trying to keep it.
"Why not?" she asked, one hand still hanging in the place she had held both of their hands before.
She frowned, hesitating to answer. One wrong thing to say could be dangerous for a simple Pearl.
"I- My Diamond needs me. I should probably get back by now..."
She bowed and turned away from the Quartz, glancing in the direction they had come from, and realized she had no idea how to get back.
"Alright," Rose Quartz agreed. "Please, let me walk the way back beside you."
She looked up at her in shock.
The taller gem smiled knowingly.
"Yes. I see no reason for you not to be allowed to do such a thing. We're all so different, yet somehow the same, aren't we?"
She hesitantly started walking next to the soldier, feeling out of place. Why was this gem, who was far above her own rank, treating her like an equal?
"I would like to ask you to keep the content of our meeting to yourself," Rose Quartz suddenly told her, not looking at her. "You can't tell anyone, not even White Diamond."
This time the taller gem did look at her and she could make out that pleading expression on her face. It seemed honest and for some reason that made her want to do what she asked more than any threat her Diamond had used on her before. For the first time she was the one to decide without being under the pressure of possible punishment. It felt... strange, but good. For only a moment she was her own being, not just someone else's Pearl, and she wanted to use that moment to be good.
"Alright," she agreed. "I will keep it to myself."
Rose Quartz send her a grateful smile before morphing her expression into a serious one.
"Thank you. Now, give me one chance and I will convince you to do something big. I promise you won't regret it."
"I- Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Trust me, it is."
"Of course," she hurried. "A Rose Quartz must surely know better than a mere Pearl."
For a second Rose Quartz' expression was pained and she feared she had said something wrong. What had she said?
"Pearl," she said, her soothing voice filled with warmth. "I want you to understand something. The Diamonds may think other gems are worth more than you, but they're wrong."
"Of course they're right, I'm just a-"
"Pearl? How does that make you worth less?"
Why was she saying this? Everyone knew Pearls were less important than other gems. They were replacable servants. Easy.
"Because- That's the way it is, isn't it? I don't matter, you could shatter me right here and no one would care!" she replied, a tad of anger showing through her voice, which she immediately regretted.
Two pairs of wide eyes stared into each other before she took a step backwards and averted her eyes. She had just shouted at a Rose Quartz, but why? She had never shouted in her entire existence. Why would she? Everything was right the way it was. Wasn't it?
"Forgive me, Rose Quartz. I don't know what came over me," she apologized, too ashamed of herself to lift her gaze from the ground.
"Please, call me Rose," she said. "And you have nothing to apologize for. It is your right to be angry." Rose turned towards her and carefully lifted a hand to rest it on top of her shoulder. "Look at what our race has come to. Our leaders have build a hierarchy that has long since tainted our existence in more than one way. I have seen life on Earth. There are things on this planet so much more worth protecting than what we have on Homeworld."
"But... Homeworld is where I belong, it's where all gems belong," she argued, feeling the need to defend it.
"Is it really?" Rose asked sadly. "What has Homeworld ever done for you?"
She didn't have an answer to that. She could say "nothing", but she didn't need to.
"You can be free," the Quartz said, taking her hand into hers again. "Stay with me, White Diamond will find someone else for her requests. I however want you to help me on my mission."
"Pearls aren't supposed to be free, we weren't made to be," she protested weakly, already adjusting to the thought of it.
All kinds of ideas materialized in her head, all those things she had dreamt to do but shoved to the back of her mind because it was wrong to even think of them.
"That's what the Diamonds think. There's not enough gems brave enough to even try and defy our laws and traditions. But we can. It will be our mission."
"Our mission," she repeated, finally understanding what Rose had been trying to tell her this whole time.
Pink Diamond's soldier squeezed her hand and smiled confidently.
"Can I count on you?"
She looked into those beautiful eyes and saw something in them she had never seen before.
She thought of all the things that could go wrong, all the different reasons and ways she could be broken if she agreed. Not one of them offered an end as insignificant as the one she would have would she decline.
"Where do we start?
Disclaimer: I do not own Steven Universe or any of its characters.
Sorry if this was ooc, it just got into my head and then I made it up as I wrote. First SU work I published, so YaY! I plan to leave this as a one-shot.
Reviews are greatly appreciated! Please also tell me if I should make this a one-shot collection! You can leave promts and ideas in the reviews or pm me if you want. I would love to write more for SU.
Also, anyone out there who would read a DP x SU crossover?
Thank you for reading!