Second ficlet for Pearlrose Week, for the day 4 theme stars/space. To say this one got away from me would be an understatement.
Summary: Pearl has a very active imagination. It’s the one unassailable sanctuary afforded her. Or: a pearl, nearing the end of her considerable tether. ~4500 words, warnings for standard Homeworld grossness. More Pearl-centric than outright shippy.
Raised In Deep Water
The handle of the parasol rests easily and familiarly in her hand, at first - the way she’s held it on hundreds of occasions, ensuring that bright sunlight reflects off Spinel’s gem in the most appealing of ways at all times. Then she stops, takes a deep breath and an infusion of courage welling up from some place she doesn’t know, and shifts her hold to resemble the way she’s seen Gems grasp a sword handle - and everything changes.
What is valued and celebrated everywhere she turns is strength and size, and Pearl has neither. Her spindly build, while providing a certain decorative elegance to her movements, would make her completely unsuited to most tactics used by Homeworld shock troops. She’s heard the speeches, of course - she does belong to a very important Gem, after all - and she’s seen the drills and marches, the hulking Amethysts shaking the ground as they went past, the quartz regiments demanding respect and-
why not her?
It’s a ridiculous notion. Nobody could ever, ever know, of course, or she’d be bound for some scrap heap or other, so the entire enterprise was an exercise in absurdity - absurdity that could get her rather messily decommissioned, even - but-
She listens to the small voice that pipes up in her head every so often, the one all pearls are highly efficiently and mercilessly trained to suppress and silence: Is it really so bad to want things?
The parasol may not be very aerodynamically shaped, but it makes an extremely satisfying whoosh as it cuts through the air.