Back when that song was a song I could sing along without thinkin ‘bout you every time it came on. Every beat, every line, every word, every time. When a road was a road I could roll on through without wishin’ that empty seat was you. Money was gas, dreams were dust. Love was fast and we were us.
You came downstairs like any morning spent at the Avengers Mansion. However, you were not expecting who you saw.
“Hank?!” you blurted out.
Hank turned to look at you, a smile crossing his lips. “Good morning, Y/N,” he greeted.
You practically ran over to Hank, giving him a hug. He chuckled as he hugged back, patting your back.
“You’re back!” you exclaimed. “And you’re… you.” You pulled out of the hug. “How?”
“Friendly aliens were able to un-fuse us,” Hank replied.
“We have a lot of catching up to do,” you stated. “Want to go for-”
“Breakfast?” Tony Stark interrupted, walking into the room. “Sorry to interrupt the adorable reunion, but Jarvis cooked up a nice ‘welcome back’ breakfast feast for Hank, and he won’t let me have any until you get what you want.”
Hank gave Tony a small smile. “Thank you, Tony,” he said, putting his arm around your shoulders. The two of you walked into the kitchen to dish up.
After both of you got more than enough breakfast, you found a spot you could eat and talk with minimal threat of interruption from the other Avengers.
“I don’t even know what to say about what you missed here,” you stated.
“Well, how many of Tony’s experiments have blown up?” Hank asked, humor in his voice.
You laughed a little. “I think only one that wasn’t supposed to blow up,” you replied.
“No!” Ruby’s voice was firm, but there was a definite excitement under her words. “It’s a surprise.”
Sapphire sighed, carefully adjusting Ruby’s headband, which was serving as a blindfold. “I’ll still like it even if you tell me.”
“No. And don’t use your future vision, okay?”
The advisor laughed, her voice gentle and beautiful. “I won’t.”
Ruby smiled and released Sapphire’s gloved hand. “Wait just a second, okay?”
Sapphire obediently stopped, listening curiously to the sound of something large and rough scraping against the ground. After a moment, she felt a strong, warm hand on her wrist, and she was gently pulled forward. She frowned as the air surrounding her became cool, and even through the blindfold, she knew she was somewhere dark.
Ruby released her, and the scraping sounds filled the air once again, this time echoing slightly. “Okay,” Ruby said, gently untying the length of fabric. “You can look.”
Sapphire’s single eye opened, and she gasped. They were in a large cave. There were various gemstones embedded in the walls and jutting out of the ground, mostly blue topaz. At the far end of the cave, a small pool of water had formed. Fragments of pearl clung to the ceiling, casting a soft fluorescent glow against the walls. The scraping noise had been Ruby dragging a large rock in front of the cave’s mouth.
“Oh my,” Sapphire breathed, clasping her hands together. “Oh, this… this is beautiful…”
Ruby grinned with excitement. “I knew you’d like it!!” she exclaimed. “I found it when I was on a practice mission. I don’t think anybody else knows about it.”
Sapphire smiled and gently took Ruby’s hand. Immediately, the scout blushed, her face turning a deeper red. “It’s incredible,” Sapphire said, giving Ruby a gentle kiss on the cheek.
Ruby’s grin widened, and she pulled Sapphire deeper into the cave, lifting her onto a flat piece of topaz. “Okay, since I showed you something incredible, you need to return the favor!”
Sapphire was confused for a moment, then laughed, blushing slightly. “Oh, stop being silly. I… I’m not supposed to, you know that…”
Ruby smiled and motioned around the cave. “C'mon Sapphy, nobody’s gonna hear it.” She widened her eyes and held her hands together. “Pleeease?”
The blue Gem smiled; she couldn’t say no to that face. Folding her hands, Sapphire began to sing. Her voice was gentle, quiet, but it became louder as she lost herself in her own music. Ruby shut her eyes, loving the beautiful melody, loving her beautiful voice, loving Sapphire…
Sapphire knelt down, continuing the sing as she stared at Ruby. She became so excited by so many silly things, and the look on her face each time their eyes met… like she believes I can do anything. Sapphire smiled and gently took Ruby’s hand, pulling the red Gem onto the topaz. As her voice echoed around the cave, Sapphire led Ruby in a simple dance, smiling at her partner’s intense concentration. Ruby caught sight of Sapphire’s smile, and she laughed, playfully twirling her around–
… Something was different.
Ruby shook her head in surprise, then turned. Sapphire was beside her, looking just as confused. Her small, elegant hand was firmly grasping Ruby’s, but it didn’t feel like they were holding hands; more like, they were sharing hands…
“Oh my gosh,” Ruby whispered, but the voice that filled the air was not her own.
Sapphire lifted her right hand and stared at her gem. It was… red
“We… we’re a…” The blue Gem didn’t seem able to say the word. Again, the voice in her ears was very different from her own voice.
The pair sat in silence for a moment, then carefully got to their feet. Looking around, Ruby realized with mild horror that they were no longer touching the ground; they seemed to be hovering in midair.
Cautiously, the red Gem stepped towards the pool of water, pulling Sapphire along. Though they could tell they were moving, it didn’t feel like they had gone anywhere. When they finally reached the water, they were shocked by the single face that stared back at them.
She had red skin, and black hair. Her mouth was Sapphire’s, but her nose was Ruby’s. She had three eyes that were wide with amazement.
“We’re a fusion,” Sapphire finally murmured, the mouth of the reflection moving in time with her words. Looking again at her gem, she added, “We're… Garnet.”
There was silence for a moment, then both Gems began to laugh with delight, Garnet’s voice the only one reaching the air.
“Look at us!” Ruby cried.
This time, the voice came without either of them speaking. “Look at me. I… I am Garnet… This is amazing!”
Garnet laughed again, prancing happily around the cave. She touched her hair, giggling at its firmness. She studied her clothes: a tight pair of dark red pants that covered her feet, a short black skirt that rustled gently as she moved, a sleeveless red top with a jagged black line across it, and a pair of long, black, fingerless gloves. She flicked a hand across her face, and a pair of glasses lowered over her eyes. She summoned her weapon, a set of gauntlets, and grinned with delight.
“This is amazing!” she repeated, retracting the gauntlets and hugging herself. “I love this! This–”
Ruby gasped as she felt Sapphire pull her hand away, and then the red Gem felt herself crash into a wall. She blinked in surprise. Just a moment ago, she’d felt encased in warmth and safety, and now the singularity of her form made her feel exposed. Looking up, she saw Sapphire was also on the ground, her face in her hands. Ruby hurried over to her and wrapped her arms around the blue Gem. “Hey, don’t cry Sapphy, it’s okay.”
“No it isn’t,” Sapphire whispered. “This… this is dangerous…”
Ruby shook her head, not fully understanding what was upsetting her partner. “No, it’s not, Sapphy, you’re safe, I’m right here.”
“That’s the problem!” Sapphire exclaimed, her tears turning Ruby’s uniform damp. “I… I see so many futures… If we were to fuse again, we could be found, and they’d separate us forever, they might even destroy you!”
Ruby gasped softly, hugging Sapphire tighter as though a soldier was about to snatch her away right then. The blue Gem sniffled, pressing her forehead to the scout’s chest. “It… it was amazing,” she whispered, “and I want to be like that… with you… forever. But… Ruby, I can’t risk losing you!”
For a long moment, there was silence in the cave. When Ruby finally spoke, her voice was firm, determined. “I can still go with her…”
Sapphire’s head jerked up. “Are you insane?!” she demanded, fury and fear mixing in her voice. “I’ve already told you, there’s virtually no chance of this rebellion being successful!”
“But it might be successful!” Ruby countered. “You already said, there is a future where they win. I want to take that chance, Sapphire! On that planet, we can do anything we want to, we can be whoever we want. Nobody would make you look at futures that no Gem should have to witness. You could sing as much as you wanted without the music critics complaining.”
Ruby made her voice especially snobbish, and despite herself, Sapphire giggled. Ruby smiled and gently took the advisor’s hand, touching her gem. “Sapphire, we… we deserve a place where we can be happy. And we can’t be the only Gems on Homeworld who feel like this. They deserve it too.”
Sapphire stared at Ruby’s hand, tenderly wrapped around her own. She saw a future where Ruby was destroyed in a battle. Where Ruby was captured by Homeworld and tortured for information. Where the rebellion failed, and every Gem was placed in stasis.
Where the rebellion was successful, and they became Garnet. Where they stayed Garnet.
Sapphire sighed softly. “No matter what I say at this point, there is no chance of you changing your mind,” she murmured. “But… I’m going to come with you.”
Ruby’s eyes widened. “Are… are you sure? I mean, you’re fighting skills–”
“I can learn,” Sapphire said firmly. “And I can use my visions to assist with battle strategies.”
Sapphire touched her own gem to Ruby’s, and the scout blushed. “Homeworld has obstructed our paths so many times,” she said quietly. “I… I don’t want to let them control me anymore. When it’s over, we’ll either be victorious or shattered, but…”
Ruby smiled and softly completed the sentence “But we’ll still end it together.”