Sing: Make new friends, but keep the ooohld. One is Silver and the other Gold.
Gold escorted their Saphire to an ornate reflective room where Saphires recount visions to high class intellectual gems. Gold was told to wait outside and stopped to face the doors and the Silvers guarding them. There they focussed entirely on not fidgeting with shapeshifting, an extremely private hobby of theirs. Usually standing behind their solitary Saphire, they're used to being able to shape-shift near constantly.
Ever since the begining of Era 2, Saphires' visions have been checked and rechecked, though as always, they are never wrong. It must just be trepidation from Her loss. So, the Gold and their Saphire came to the room frequently.
After a few visits, Gold couldn't hold back much longer so they began hiding their fingers in their hands behind their back. They couldn't see the shapes they shifted their fingers into, but the action felt nice. Knowing they were embodying some of the exquisite sights their Saphire had graciously allowed them to observe on some of her trips, filled them with pride.
One visit, they were creating their most complex image yet the interior of a quaint building lined with the attentive congregation of a long since colonized bipedal species. They were in the zone diversifying the characteristics of the natives, and happy to wait the usual time for their Saphire.
"Gold." Shocked hands unclasped, when a soft voice came from the wrong direction. They quickly snapped back to their intended form, and slid into a diamond shaped salute. "My Saphire." Gold smiled, still nervous, but always glad to see their Saphire. Their Saphire's smile is rarer than Saphires themselves, though that's probably because of Her, but she returned the smile today, and Gold beamed. They all stood at attention as the Saphire's frown returned. "Sorry, Gold. I knew you would be startled, but I needed to leave through the back, and come around front today. Let's go." Gold, thought since nothing happened, no one had seen her blasphemy. They'll be more careful next time.
On the next visit, Gold shifted under their coat tails instead of between their palms. It was harder, but they liked a challenge. They kept their hands in salute, while shifting tails they'd seen on organics, until startled again when the Silver on the left leaned to the side to whisper, "Hey, let's talk."
"Wha-what? I mean, sure! A little conversation would really liven up these long visits." The Silver on the right side-eyed stoically, but the Silver on the left lost all sense of stoism in Gold's earnest eyes and optimistic grin. Likewise Gold lost her nerves under Silver's calm smile and intelligent gaze.
They returned to position, and Gold asked "What did you want to talk about?" On the rare occasion Gold gets a chance to chat with another gem, they always hope the conversation turns towards beautiful things found in travels, not just the ones recently made by gems of their court. What would a Silver stationed in the middle of Homeworld know about travel, though?
"Hmm, nothing in particular." Silver had to be careful not to alert her fellow gaurd. "I found this after your last visit. I was wondering if it belonged to your Saphire." Silver's palm held an organic from Saphire's visit to one of Yellow Diamond's colonies, a gold-ish ball with silvery spikes and a purple flower with a green pollen receptical. The Silver on the left took a peek, made a face of disgust, then returned to position so thoroughly, it was clear she had resolved to stop being so nosy. Still, Silver had to be sure she came across as a reasonable gem. "Not to suggest a Saphire would have use for such a thing. Perhaps I should dispose of it?" Gold wanted it for themself. "No, I will take it, and present it to my radiant Saphire, just in case. I'll also be sure to tell her, you found it."
"Thank you. Also, do you know if it came from the planet with the similar orb I found and disposed of some time ago. It was oblong with fewer, but larger spikes, and the flower was on the bottom and seemed to move like legs." As she spoke, her other palm bubbled up like an Aquamarine's wings and gently twisted into the image she described. Gold touched the Silver's hand in awe, then dragged her eyes from the wonders in her hand to the wonder of her blushing face. "I think that's from an older colony, but I can't be sure. Many planets have spikey ball organics. Some have more than one ball shape. Like this one from the same planet as yours that had one circle and two ovals on either side, and the spikes are so small they look soft, but their not. Oh stars, they are not." As they spoke, they showed off their own recreational shifting skills.
They had secret show and tell every visit after, Gold doing most of the showing and the telling, while Silver asked questions. Though Gold did most of the asking too, but semi-rhetorically, because Silver only ever answered questions asked the previous visit. She had no experience, but she could always come up with hypothesis. She thought the spikes maybe were all different, because while some where for protection others were for latching on to move place to place, since not all cacti had flower legs. Always managing to stop as the Saphire approached due to her unkown company's clanking as she left, like a staff hitting the ground with each step.
Then at the start of one visit, the clanking came early, but it didn't become progressively louder on approach. Instead the volume, distance, and echo all seemed dangerously random. Almost as soon as the banging started, the Silver on the right was through the door.
A shock shot through Gold's form as they witnessed their Saphire poof at the tip of a flying spear. They pulled out their alloy hard parisol and a destabilizer, gifted to them by their Saphire. The Silver from the left pulled out a halberd. And their Silver from the right pulled out a quarter staff.
But who or what were they fighting? There were no elite intellectual gems, no powerful enemies, just a haggard looking green Pearl, frowning at a bubbled Sunstone.
The Pearl lunged for the spear, and the Silver on the left rolled her eyes and spoke in a cool voice "Pearl, stand aside. We'll protect the Saphire and find the culp-" The spear launched through the Silver's head, dissipating her form. A green slippered foot rested itself on the silver gem. The Pearl plucked up the spear again and posed triumphantly. he rolled her victim's gem onto the tip of her toe, kicked it into the air, snatched it, then let it roll to the tips of her fingers before bubbling it.
Silver and Gold were shocked, but not as shocked as that Pearl's form was going to be for attacking Gold's Saphire. The persisol meant to protect their Saphire from alien suns was going to protect her from this green defective. Gold charged, sheild out, at the Pearl, with Silver matching pace behind, then Gold used the perisol's edges to stop midcharge and pivot, so the sheild was between the Pearl and their Saphire's poofed gem, while Silver continued the charge. She aimed her quarter staff at the gem, but she blocked with her spear and immediately twisted it under, uppercutting the Silver with the blunt end, and shooting it past her chin to behind herself. She kicked off the quarter staff, causing it to nearly hit Silver's gem, and launching her into an elegant dive backwards to her lost spear.
"Silver!" Gold clasped the stabilizer.
"Protect the Saphire." Silver couldn't take the time to look at her Gold as she spoke, not when the Pearl had Silver on backing footwork for ten paces.
Gold had an idea, but they had never shifted so far before. They put the Saphire's gem in their lap, hunkered under the perisol, and began stretching out their arm, holding the destabilizer out to their Silver.
Silver was finally making paces forwards again, using a shifted tail to whip at the Pearl and making it harder for Gold to reach her. "Shapeshifting. Really? Against a Pearl? How ineligant and unsporting." The Silver had seen a Sunstone punished for shifting during a practice battle. It's not uncommon, but it was a rehearsal for the Diamonds after all.
The Pearl had her on the ropes again, but she had made so many paces forward, Gold's eyes blurred under the strain. In the fog, their arm looked like slithering creature from another planet. They pictured it, and their arm shot forward faster again, but this time the the destabilizer wasn't in her hand. It was in a mouth. Soon the snake's head wiggled next to a small moving silver pilar. The pilar bent towards it. Gold's arm had made it, but Gold's heart sank, as a green pilar made two cracking sounds. She broke the destabilizer, and used Silver's bent position to crack against her shoulder and poof her.
"Forgive me, my Saphire." Gold bubbled their Saphire, stumbled upright, closed their parisol into a point, and charged forward, arm reeling back into place beside them. They shot past Silver's gem towards the Pearl, popped out the perisol again, formed a tail hand to grab Silver into their lap, then used the three hands to spin the perisol around so rapidly, the Pearl had to wait for an opening to strike. "Silver, I need you. Please reform. I've been a peaceful escort. My Saphire forbade me from gladiatorial events. I've barely even had practice." Gold was rambling, trying to focus on their hands. "The destabilizer was a gift, because I wanted to be more useful. Please, I love my protective Saphire and I love you. I can't bare for either of you to be cracked. But I know we can do this together." As the spear pierced through the golden blur of the perisol, Gold bent into Silver's gem fearfully, but a flash of light beat the spear back as two became one.
In the parts of the room still unscathed enough to be reflective, they surveyed their new form with careful curiosity. Their new form was whiteish with silver and gold spots in various shapes. They're uniform was basically the same as Gold's was before, but longer and with asymmetrical coloring. They had a tail?! No, two extra arms that clasped into a tail. They had both their hair styles and neither. It was confusing, yet they had never seen anything so beautiful. They had never been anything so beautiful. They blushed green. What were they? A missmatched fusion, obviously. Okay, Who were they? They looked like their kindergarten, both their kindergartens. Calaverite, they looked like the Calaverite they'd emerged from.
They picked up their weapons and combined them instinctively. The small, hard perisol, and silver quarterstaff, became a telescopic umbrella big enough to house a Diamond's palequin. Well, maybe if there was a small Diamond. They winced at the thought. Anyway, it was big enough to be a dome, yet they had no trouble balancing it.
Now, what to do with it? They turned their attention outward, only now remembering the danger. There was their Saphire's bubbled gem, Silver's bubbled gem, an absolutely decimated meeting room, and the Pearl, looking even stranger than when a Pearl of all things fought. They chuckled to themselves, seeing her leaning against her spear, chin on hilt. "The Pearl's been waiting patiently for us. Isn't that polite?" The Pearl charged. It was their turn to wait patiently. As soon as the Pearl was in range, they used a tail hand to throw the shattered destabilizer in her face. Distracted.
With a flick, the top of the umbrella flattened and moved center to become a giant wheel. They lept on top and ran as it rolled towards their Saphire. Just as it was about to crush her, they lept off again, grabbing its handles with stretched out tail arms and stopping the wheel with their own face. With another flick it was an umbrella again, and in a few clicks it snapped shut around them and their Saphire.
Maybe it wasn't as big as it seemed, or they were bigger than they thought. It was a bit cramped really, especially after the banging started. It became unbearable after the first dent. A dent?! They shrank down a little and popped out, with their tail simultaneously shoving the dome protecting their Saphire away from the battle to come, and launch towards the Pearl's spear.
We can do this. We can do this. They thought.
She brought the spear down on their backs, but they twisted to the side, caught it with their tail, and tackled the Pearl. They quickly jumped and slid away from her. Standing, they passed the spear to their front hands and snapped it over their knee.
The Pearl also stood, and pulled out another spear. Calaverite was shocked she had more. No, the air was shocked. It was crackling around them, through them. They'd seen gems do this before. They pointed their hands at the Pearl and a zap electricity shot out. It did nothing. It was too small. They dodged the spear.
Where had the energy even come from? It didn't feel like it came from them. How could they try again? Get more? The control panel!
They sped towards the door and a few Spears landed inches behind their coattails. They jammed their right upper arm through the door's control panel and energy shot through their mind and body, out the left arm, and towards the Pearl.
They collapsed, facing the reflective floor, held up by two knees and four palms. Their hair was poofier than before. Still heaving, they looked up.
The Pearl must've poofed, because they couldn't see her form and behind where she'd been was a sizzling hole to the outside world. Strange that such an important room, wasn't at the center. That must be how that Pearl got in, from some unseen window. But where'd she come from?
The fusion calmly staggered towards where their enemy had stood. The discorperated gem wasn't visibly damaged. They bubbled it and slid it into the gold dome with their Saphire, then leaned against their weapon. They had questions and hypothesis running through their mind, but were happy to be safe.
A disgusted voice shrilled in front of them. "Oh my, Stars, a fusion. One of you degenerates must be who that freakish Pearl belongs to. Give up the Saphire and maybe the diamonds will be merciful.". One of the Pearl's Spears must've freed their fallen comrade.
Calaverite's form began to glow and separate, slowly, and readhere indecisively. The Silver lessened her fighting stance to stare in horror.
We... fused? It's unatural. The other Silver's been alerted to our differences. My Saphire's going to be so upset. She wouldn't let them shatter me though. Would she? We aren't safe with Silver here. What if they blame her for not predicting this? We have to save her!
They snapped back into themself, and in a squat, started running backwards, pushing the dome and themself out the window they had made. The Silver chased after, screaming. As soon as she jumped out, she regretted it, and used the broad axhead of her halberd to catch the edge and pull herself back up. This report was going to be difficult.
Meanwhile, Calaverite had caught the bubbled gems, now unbubbled again, and was using the umbrella to slide down the crystalline tunnels of home world to the uninhabited kindergartens below.
There they rebubbled Pearl, hid, unfused, and waited for their Saphire to return. When she did, Silver was standing gaurd and Gold was in their humblest salute. "As radiant as ever my Saphire. Please, allow me to explain our meager surroundings."
"No, Gold. Let me explain." She unbubbled the Pearl and caught her tenderly in her hands. "This is my Pearl."
Silver turned to them at the sound, but quickly turned back to her gaurd and listened to the conversation behind her.
"Whaaaaaaht? I didn't know you had a Pearl. Wait, a Pearl attacked her own owner?"
"Hush, Gold. I am not her owner, not anymore. Nor yours for that matter." Gold's heart broke a little, but they was sure their Saphire had a good reason and wasn't just throwing them away. After all, their Saphire had requested to keep them on as her own personal escort, rather than let them escort all the aristocracy as Gold's usually do.
"She is to me what Silver is becoming to you. I was her Saphire before you emerged. She was gifted to me, by my Diamonds, when I was still new to existence myself. I was grateful of course. I even picked out her coloring myself. But I thought it inconsequential. I forsaw receiving her, and I forsaw a future of an expanding empire with little setback. Even after Pink Diamond's unforseable future, I did not know Pearl's significance.
After all, what change could a Pearl bring? She did what every Pearl did. She sang. She walked behind me. She opened doors. She looked pretty. I couldn't foresee what would happen when she danced for me.
To me, the way she moved was more beautiful than all the wonders on all the world's you and I have seen together, Gold. I saw many dances in Era 1, most more practiced than hers, but none a drop as joyous, not even from organics. I didn't even know gems could enjoy dancing or anything really.
You know how on some of those world's natives danced together and embraced eachother? During a dance where she was so entranced, she did not hear me say she could stop, I surprised myself and her by asking to join the dance. When we did, we fused, like you and Silver.
My future vision became so unclear. I could still see what would happen to the empire. But for the two of us, I saw only two possibilities that weren't muddled and unbelievable. We were to be separated or shattered.
I gifted her to a Sunstone. She... didn't want to go." Was their Sapphire crying? "I told her one day she'd have the opportunity to fight for me, for us. If that's what she wanted, she should be prepared. As you saw, she was. Somehow, despite all that I no longer know, I knew exactly how your battle would end. And I know what we need to do next."
"First, your grace," Silver finally spoke up. "Why did we have to fight? Why didn't you two just make your escape.
Saphire thought "For you and my sweet Gold to be together of course. If I had simply, taken them away, they'd be alone and attached to me without any will of their own. You two were simply meant to be." But, she couldn't explain that yet. It could damage their bond. Instead, she said "Of the futures I foresaw, this choice was the only one that led to a safe and happy conclusion for all of us including the Silver we left behind. She has some difficult time ahead. As do we. But we will meet again far from here."
With that adieu, the Saphire lead them through the ruined core of Homeworld to a crashed ship at the center face of their half of the broken sphere. She said it was so old, it would register as space debris. They just had to leave when no gem was monitoring, and she'd be able to predict the moment.
On the first moon they landed on, the terrifying Pearl reformed, and immediately began to cry. Saphire embraced her. "We are safe. I am sorry. I will explain everything. You'll feel better soon."
The Pearl dried her eyes "My Saphire! You're okay? Oh, I feel better already." But with her vision no longer obscured, she saw the Silver and Gold behind her Saphire and leapt at them like a gangly, vengeful frog. "Please, stop, dear. They are our friends. Gold is the old friend I was telling you about, and Silver is their new friend." Saphire would have to explain again, and wait for forgiveness. It comes eventually.
Epilogue: After years of traveling and getting to know each other and themselves, Calaverite became more balanced in character and astheti. Later they incorporated a little more green into their appearance like the organics that seem to be the bulk lifeform of most uncolonized planets and like their friend, Pearl. Then, they got a transmission. Era 3 has begun and it offers freedom for all gems, even off colors. A half organic half diamond from Pink Diamond's not destroyed colony changed the Diamonds minds. Saphire hadn't predicted that, but she does predict Calaverite will love Earth even more than any planet they've visited thus far.