Flexibility, Love, and Trust by Virginia Burns

(This story is based off of the show “Steven Universe” on Cartoon Network. Related characters, images, and ideas belong to them.)

“What do you need, Steven? Just tell us something, please. We want to help you.” 

“I don’t know what I need,” he replied, an ironic chuckle making its way through his tears, because wow, how the tables had turned. He plopped down onto the couch, running a hand through his hair.

Amethyst sat down next to him criss-crossed, her hands sat awkwardly between her legs. She looked up.

“It’s okay to need help. You help us, like, all the time.”

“Yes,” Pearl started, going over to the two and leaning on the arm of the furniture. “I know you’ve.. expressed.. that you would rather be left alone, but you don’t have to be. We’re here for you.”

“Think about it,” Garnet told him. “And let us know what you come up with. You’re not alone, Steven.”

And the four latched onto one another, bringing in a warm and teary group hug, letting him know that no matter what happens, he will always have them. So finally, after this time, he started to believe it.

Over the course of the next four days, if he was counting correctly, Pearl alone had mentioned their conversation seven times. He appreciated the concern, honestly, but she wasn’t helping. In the back of his mind, he knew what he wanted to do, but not how to bring it up. With the warp pads the trip wouldn’t be difficult, but what could ensue would be a different story. He wanted to find a way that caused the least distress for everyone else, while still allowing him to get his full thoughts off his chest. He felt a little pink just thinking about it.

On day five, he decided to mention it to Garnet, because she was normally the most grounded, or at the very least stoic enough that her reactions wouldn’t make him want to close up again. 

“I think I want to go to Homeworld.. to visit Spinel. I think she might understand how I’ve been feeling. We haven’t been to see her in awhile, anyway, and you guys could catch up or something.”

“Sure Steven,” she nodded. “We can see Spinel.”

“I just think that she knows how I feel, you know? Like, last time she was here and we got to talk, it seemed similar.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Do you think I could maybe.. go alone? It’s not that I have something against you guys, which I don’t, I just think that it’d be easier. To talk to her alone, I mean.”

Garnet gave a small but knowing smile. “Yeah, Steven, that’s fine too. I can tell the others, if you’d like.”

He let out a breath of relief. “Yes, thank you.” A few fresh tears came to the corners of his eyes, and he went in to hug her. “Thank you for everything.”

The warp pad surrounded him with a light as he waved goodbye to the others. He closed his eyes, a gentle calm falling over him as the short journey to Homeworld commenced. Space was relaxing to him, away from his responsibilities and duties at home. He began to hum a familiar tune, but one he hadn’t heard in a while.

Take a moment to think of just flexibility, love, and trust.

Take a moment to think of just flexibility, love, and trust.

And after a few moments he landed on the other end, the bustling sound and energy of Homeworld filling him. Before he even stepped off, he could feel the busy atmosphere

Here comes a thought that might alarm you–

What someone says and how it harms you.

The route to the Diamonds was familiar to him now, and last time he checked, that was where she resided. She seemed to fit well with them, he thought, and they needed someone new to watch over.

Something you did that failed to be charming,

Things that you said are suddenly swarming.

He could remember it all like it was yesterday. How she showed up, abandoned and broken, to enact revenge in the only way she could figure. He shook the thought away– she was in a better place now. She was doing much better, he’d just have to ask her how she did it. 

And oh, you’re losing sight, you’re losing touch.

All these little things seem to matter so much,

That they confuse you, that I might lose you.

He could hear the diamonds chatting as soon as he entered. White’s voice elegant, Yellow’s commanding, and Blue’s soft. Somewhere in the mix, though, he could pick out Spinel’s.

Steven’s humming had ceased, but the melody continued on in his head as he approached the others.

Take a moment remind yourself to take a moment and find yourself. 

Take a moment and ask yourself if this is how we fall apart?

“Hey, guys?”

“Steven! Oh, we’ve missed you! Do come in, please. How have you been? Do you need anything?” White and Yellow spoke in almost unison. Blue sat behind quietly with a kind wave, letting the other two do the smothering for now.

“Ha, yeah. I’ve been okay, I’d like to talk to Spinel though, if that’s okay? We can totally catch up later, though!”

“Of course,” Blue spoke up. “She’s in the other room, I believe. You can go ahead.”

“Thank you, I’ll be back later.”

But it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. You’ve got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear.

I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.

“Steven?” The pink gem turned around as she heard his footsteps. She shook her head, almost in disbelief that he was there.

“Steven!” She greeted him with a hug.

“Hey, Spinel,” he chucked. “How’s it been, living with the Diamonds?”

“It’s been great,” she said, honestly. “I feel like I belong.”

“That’s awesome! I’m happy for you.”

“I’m glad you’re visiting, believe me, but can I ask– why now?”

And it was just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought.

“I wanted to talk,” he said, feeling anxious suddenly. “About how you felt after everything happened, with here and Earth? I think that I might be feeling similar about some things.”

It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.

“Yeah, for sure. I felt abandoned, I guess? And I was angry and betrayed and confused, and I wanted the hurt to go away, so I wanted to hurt you. But I don’t, anymore. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t even my fault.”

We can watch, we can watch, we can watch, we can watch them go by from here, from here, from here.

“Is that how you’ve been feeling? ..Abandoned?”

“I think so. I mean, everything’s been changing and everyone’s leaving and there’s a place for every gem, or person, except for me. I don’t know where I’m supposed to go or what I’m supposed to do or where I fit into place.”

Take a moment to think of just flexibility, love, and trust.

He started again. “What changed for you?”

“Honestly? You did. You showed me that regardless of what I’d done, I deserved to have someone, somewhere. That I could love again. You helped me find that peace. Of course, I still have bad days. I think we all still have bad days. But I’m getting better, and it’s because of you. Maybe instead of helping others all the time, you should start helping yourself. You matter, too.”

Take a moment to think of just flexibility, love, and trust.

“Yeah, I think you’re right. I need to start helping myself.”

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