Connie’s sitting on the beach, minding her own business. Her battered copy of Unfamiliar Familiar lays open on her lap (she’s re-reading it for the fifty-second time). She watches the waves as they bump gently into the shore and then retreat. A light breeze drifts through the air, carrying with it the smell of salt… and wet dog?
Connie’s just absorbed this puzzling piece of information when the canine barrels into her.
The force of the impact knocks the dog back several feet, where it lands on its side. Connie leaps to her feet and backs away, staring at it warily. For several moments, the dog doesn’t move. Then, its tail starts wagging eagerly, and it almost seems to grin at Connie.
The dog is a sheepdog, a bit fluffier than average. Though its eyes are covered by fur, its nose, an odd orange color, is very prominent. It’s wearing an orange bandanna tied around its neck and a blue vest (the leash is still attached).
For several seconds, the two simply stare at each other, the sheepdog’s tail still wagging. Then, it gets to its feet and approaches Connie, more calmly this time. Hesitantly, Connie extends a hand to the creature, and it melts into her touch. Its whole rear is wiggling now, the tail is moving so fiercely.
Their interaction is interrupted by a voice calling from nearby. “Jasper! Come back!”
The dog’s ears perk up, and it turns towards the voice. It gives Connie’s hand one final lick before slowly padding off in the voice’s direction.
A few moments later, a young boy dashes into Connie’s sight. He’s short and a bit chubby, and he’s wearing a pink t-shirt with a star on it (and, Connie’s brain notes without her consent, he’s quite cute. Connie’s next thought is SHUT UP, BRAIN. It obliges).
As soon as he spots the sheepdog, he rushes to it, grabbing its leash firmly. “Bad girl, Jasper!” he scolds, but he clearly doesn’t mean it. His expression is more one of relief than anything. Jasper seems to deflate nonetheless, the wagging of her tail pausing.
For a moment, the boy and his dog simply stare at each other in silence. Then he smiles and murmurs, “Aww, I just can’t stay mad at you.” He pats Jasper’s head, and her tail-wagging begins anew.
The boy glances upwards and finally notices Connie. “Sorry if she disturbed you!” he called. “She’s normally much better behav-” Jasper starts dragging her owner in Connie’s direction. “WHOA! Jasper, quit it!”
The boy’s resistance is futile, and Jasper sits down next to Connie with a smug doggy smile.
“Umm… hi,” the boy says.
“Hi,” Connie mutters.
The tension in the air is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
“…I’m Steven,” he says, extending a hand.
“Connie.” She takes his hand and shakes it.
“I, uh… really am sorry about Jasper. She’s not usually like… this.”
Jasper lets out a tiny woof, as if offended.
“It’s fine,” Connie says. “She was actually pretty well behaved.” Connie extends a hand for Jasper to sniff, and the giant cotton ball of a canine licks it instead. The dog then forces her head underneath Connie’s hand. It’s at that moment that Connie notices the “SERVICE DOG - DO NOT PET” on Jasper’s vest.
Steven follows her eyes. “You can pet her a little if you want,” he says. “She’s not actively doing anything right now.”
“Thanks,” Connie says, and she leans down and scratches Jasper’s head. Jasper’s tail has reached a speed that it could function as an effective weapon.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” says Connie, “what kind of things does she do?”
Jasper begins to lean to the right, panting happily, and eventually falls over on her side. Connie sits down on the sand to reach the sheepdog easier, and Steven sits down too.
“I don’t mind,” he says, scratching behind Jasper’s ears affectionately. “I’ve got PTSD, so she’ll wake me up when I’m having nightmares, ground me if I have an episode, stuff like that.”
“Oh,” Connie says, unsure of how to respond. She eventually settles on “Pretty neat that a dog could learn all that stuff.”
“Yeah, Jasper’s super smart!” Steven chirps. He pats his dog’s head in a proud sort of fashion.
For a moment, the two sit in silence, petting the dog.
“Want to be friends?” Steven says.
Connie doesn’t hesitate for a moment before she responds. “Sure.”
Jasper the matchmaker looks out at the reader and winks (though no one can tell due to her fluff obscuring her eyes). The fourth wall shatters into pieces.
For @jam-bomb ’s Jam-Bomb 2! Sheepdog Jasper’s been bouncing around in my head for almost a year now and I’m excited to finally show her off.
I’m thinking I might do a little more with this AU at some point. I’m not sure yet. I certainly am attached to it though.
used this as an excuse to draw art for an au where jasper is a gentle giant type and was a secret member of the cgs that only rose knew about and ended up being sent back to homeworld during the retreat in which she managed to get assigned to ‘keeping an eye on the pebbles’, which basically meant that she just hung around them and kept them company. nobody knows why a jasper would want to ‘waste her skills’ on soemthing like that, but she insists they’ll get out of hand if someone doesn’t do it.
basically, she was a bodyguard for pink but ened up beign a mole, relaying information that pink couldn’t be around for back to her. when she was sent to earth with peridot and lapis, it was along with another jasper, who takes up this jaspers role in the canon story.
after the crystal gems escape from the ship she and lapis escape as well and wander around on earth together, not quite sure of what to do next. they become pretty good friends and are eventually found and taken in by the crystal gems!
tell me what y'all think of this au bc who knows, if it gets enough positive feedback i may even write something for it!