Steve walks into the lab,grinning over at Tony, a medium-sized box tucked under his arm. “So, funny story… I was at the store and they were giving these out free with every purchase of shoelaces.” He’s FULL OF IT (also, there are no shoelaces in sight). The entire morning has been at the local pet shelter, signing paperwork and wandering through the kennels, trying to pick out the perfect partner-in-crime for his husband. The Labrador puppy he’s chosen, a fluffy golden bundle of energy – guaranteed to cause trouble and melt hearts – had refused to take a toy from anyone’s hand, insisting on waiting to grab it ONLY after it was on the floor. Although the worker at the shelter had insisted that was normal for animals, Steve had decided it was meant to be. Decision made.
The box is set down on the table,next to Tony, and Steve offers the man an arched brow and a grin. It takes less than a second for a fluffy head to pop up from the depths of the box. Immediately, something is knocked off the table. “Surprise?”
It was Amethyst’s favorite description of Opal and it wasn’t wrong. Opal had her flaws - the tendency to forget what she was doing if she didn’t have something immediate to focus on being one of them - but everything else in the package made up for that in spades. And, honestly, that was just a side effect of one of her better qualities, the peace and confidence she exuded. And when she had a clear, immediate goal, she was a force to be reckoned with.
In this case, the clear, immediate goal was a corrupted Gem. That seemed to be the case a lot these days, but this one had wings and thus was particularly challenging. Under the circumstances, it had been clear they needed Opal’s bow and when the situation was dire, the fusion came naturally. She’d been easier to form and maintain lately, anyhow, as Amethyst and Pearl had begun working out the kinks in their relationship.
This gem monster was not stopping anytime soon. Opal was annoyed, but it was a feeling her components seemed to agree upon, so it didn’t compromise her stability. She glanced up, only to see the creature prepping another attack. She spun and dodged it easily, but it was fast with the second round and the rock-like missile was aimed directly at her face with alarming force.
The logical move would have been to turn her head, duck, and try to deflect it as much as possible. But something in her fought that instinct, wrestling control. She brought her bow up swiftly, catching the projectile with it and bringing it down with all the strength one arm could manage. A second arm flew up to protect her face and the other two braced for impact.
It hadn’t been the plan to bring the force of the blow down on her chest, but that was what physics declared would happen. A part of her was strangely at peace with it for a moment before the explosion of pain and the panic set in. The creature, seeing her incapacitated, took advantage of the opportunity to fly away, and Opal growled a curse. She wanted to go after it, but…
A hand instinctively reached up to clutch her damaged gem and Opal’s vision blurred suddenly as the pain and cacophony of emotions caused her to unfuse.
Amethyst rolled over as she hit the sand, her fingers clawing ineffectually at the ground as she tried to find the strength to push herself into a sitting position. “Pearlll…don’t…” She wanted to tell Pearl not to let the monster get away - but not to get herself hurt, either - but everything else came out a slurred mess.