TearsThey’d won. They’d beaten Jasper again, they’d gotten Peridot’s weapon activated, and they’d even gotten Lapis to stay in Beach City for a while. So why did Emerald look so sad?
She was sitting on a rock with Topaz’s gem in her hands, staring at it sadly. He’d been poofed during the battle the night before and still hadn’t regenerated, and it was noon already. Steven knew how close they were, he’d seen how stable Jade was, and they’d only known each other since the first time Jasper attacked. He guessed that they were kind of like Ruby and Sapphire, in a way, except the time they’d spent together was way shorter. He liked the orange Gem, he did, with his spike gun thingy and his helmet that was a lot like Peri’s visor thing. But in all honestly, he didn’t miss him too much. It wasn’t like he hated them, they just weren’t really close.
Steven walked over to her and touched her skin-colored shoulder lightly. She jumped and looked at him, kind of scared, then relaxed. “Oh, it’s only you…”
“Are you okay Em? You seem really sad today,” he said.
Emerald looked back at the topaz and frowned. “I’m...alright, I suppose...I just wish he would come back soon…”
“Yeah, I know how it feels.”
She turned to him in surprise. “You...do?”
He smiled. “Sure I do. A while ago Pearl got poofed. It was the first time I saw it happen so I was really scared she wouldn’t come back. It took two weeks and I had to fight a Holo-Pearl off and right after that she popped out and she looked different, like her clothes were.”
The green Gem teared up. “How can you promise that..? You barely know him...I barely know him…”
“Don’t cry Em! I can just kinda tell these kinds of things. I think it has something to do with my mom being able to tell when something’s wrong, and her healing tears, or something. But I can kind of feel him changing. Something’s building up in there,” he started. “And it’ll be out here soon.”
“Hmph.” Emerald faced her hands, holding Topaz in the lap of her sleeveless mint green dress. “I just...this has never happened to him before...and I’ve never seen a Gem regenerate before...and I have no way to know when he’ll come back for sure…” She started choking up as she talked, and Topaz had tears drip onto him.
Steven hugged her from behind, like he’d hugged Pearl when she took Rose’s sword and ran to that place in the sky. “I know it’s hard...but you have to trust that it’ll be okay...that’s what I do every day…”
She took a deep breath and sat up straight, wiping her eyes with one hand. “Yes. Just trust.” Then she stood up and kissed the topaz, and held it out to the boy. “You take him. I have to train and I don’t want to be distracted.” When he took it, she smiled softly and walked to a place where there were trees, and pulled her double-ended scythe from the teardrop-shaped stone at the base of her neck, and started marking the trees gracefully.
An hour later, she returned to Topaz sitting on the couch, playing a video game, and she hugged him and kissed his face all over.