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by drillmaster
#30964 Seriously, how has nobody ever created a crossover with this show? I've mentioned a few times that Steven Universe is basically the American Tenchi Muyo without the incest and the romance.

Chapter One: Ronaldo's Big Discovery

"Oh no! My white board! Peedee, have you seen the white board containing those latest facts about the sentient rocks I found on Rockipedia?" Ronaldo Fryman called out to his younger brother.

"It's being used as a bench over there," his younger brother sighed, pointing to the corner of the room.

The Fryman Brothers are but two of the very special individuals who live in a small community known simply as Beach City. However, Ronaldo took it upon himself to look after the small community as its lone hero. It's knight.

You can read about it on his blog at "Keepbeachcityweird dot com!"

Of course, Ronaldo and Peedee are but two cogs in the great machine that is Beach City. Take Onion, the small mute kid who tends to appear out of nowhere to do things that amuse only him. Ronaldo had a few theories about him, but he was not ready to release them to the public. There are people like Lars, who works at the Big Donut and was a former acquaintance of Ronaldo. Emphasis on "former."

Yes, it was Ronaldo's duty to inform his neighbors of everything that he knew. He knew that it was due to him and him alone that the people of Beach City sleep well at night.

Well...him and the Crystal Gems...

Who are the Crystal Gems? Well...Ronaldo can't really say. They are three women (and a boy) who help Ronaldo keep Beach City as weird as it can be. Without them, there would be no blog. Without his blog, Ronaldo would have to go back to a life solely full of cooking fries.

One Crystal Gem of note, Steven Universe, was possibly Ronaldo's biggest fan and champion. Ronaldo prided himself on mentoring the youth and taking him under his wing.

That's what he tells himself and he will not change his story.

As Ronaldo got lost in his own thoughts, he almost didn't hear his brother let him know about the most important piece of news he had heard up until that point.

“You got a new comment on the blog Ronaldo,” Peedee mentioned in passing as he left the room.

“I’ve got to get back to the store and realize the futility of a wasted childhood.”

“Okay, tell Dad that…DID YOU SAY I HAVE A COMMENT ON MY BLOG?!” Ronaldo yelled. He rushed over to his computer and typed faster than he ever typed before. At once, his blog appeared on the screen. He scoured the page for the comment his brother mentioned and discovered a lone comment from a “Gee Gee Loo Loo.”

“’Your work is interesting. I am curious…can you apply your expert knowledge to places BEYOND Beach City?’” Ronaldo read aloud. He blinked and stared at it again. “This means only one thing…I HAVE FANS OUTSIDE OF BEACH CITY! MY WORDS ARE REACHING THE MASSES!” He started laughing loudly and shaking his fists in the air.

“But wait!” Ronaldo paused. “Do I ruin my journalistic integrity to report solely about Beach City to help this mystery person or do I keep myself grounded here?”

The choices of life are often hard, and poor Ronaldo agonized over responding to the comment for over three agonizing hours. Finally, he made the call:

“All right Mister or Miss LooLoo, Ronaldo Fryman will play your game! I shall accept your challenge for the good of my blog!” Ronaldo continued to type as he verbally praised himself. Suddenly, a voice called out to him.

“Hey son, can you come work at the shop today? I can use the extra hands!”

Ronaldo shook his head. When would his father learn that he had more important things to do with his life than work at a fry shop?

“I must pretend like I am not here!” Ronaldo whispered and hid himself in the corner.

“…son, you know you were yelling a minute ago, right? I know you are there,” the voice called out once more.

“But Daaaaad!” Ronaldo cried out. “I’m doing very important things! I’m expanding my enterprise past the borders of Beach City! This is very sensitive work!”

Ronaldo heard a sigh and muttering as the door closed. Ronaldo immediately got up and went back to his typing.

This was going to be a serious task.

*SM*

“Hey Ronaldo, it’s almost time for the…what the heck have you been doing?” Peedee asked his brother, simultaneously intrigued and mortified.

Throughout Ronaldo’s room, the pictures and files about the sentient rocks have been cast aside and replaced with new pictures of a place that was decidedly not Beach City. “Is this Japan?”

“Peedee! I knew you’d come eventually! This is amazing! There is an entirely different level of weird going on over there! I’ve gotten so much information that it isn’t even funny! People cannot ignore the truth: Japan has aliens!”

“…aliens?”

“Aliens!”

“…okay, you got me. What makes you think there are aliens in Japan and why does that matter here?” the younger Fryman asked, taking a seat close to the new white board. He knew the drill by now.

“About a year ago, there was a great beam of light that launched into the sky! Not even a week later, the Great Seto Bridge collapsed and was destroyed under strange circumstances! Do you see?!” Ronaldo pointed to a blurry picture of a beam of light and then to a newspaper clipping detailing the crash.

“So it was a laser?”

“NO! That’s what they WANT you to think! I think it was a beacon! This leads me to my next piece of evidence: a faint image the Hubble took two months later!”

He pointed to a picture of a grey blob in the sky. It looked like a large metal mass, but Peedee couldn’t see. It was too distorted, which is odd for a sophisticated piece of technology like the Hubble.

“Let me guess, that is the alien spaceship?”

“You are catching on Little Bro! One minute it is there, the next it is gone. However, wreckage was found floating in the sky soon after. You know what crashed down near Sweden from the sky?”

“Metal?”

“WRONG! It was a tree!”

Peedee blinked and rubbed his eyes. “That…that doesn’t sound right. A tree? Wouldn’t it burn up if it came from space?” He paused. “And why would a spaceship have a tree?”

“That is the great mystery! Gee Gee Loo Loo has compiled so much information and documentation about this. It is amazing how detailed she is!”

The boy’s eyebrow rose. “’She?’ You know Gee Gee is a girl?”

“It’s what she told me! It’s amazing! She is just like me, but without my technological skills and star power to back me up. She wants me to come to Japan to investigate it all with her!”

“Back up…repeat that last part.”

“You mean the part where Gee Gee is a girl?”

“No, I mean the part where you are entertaining going to Japan of all places!” Peedee yelled at Ronaldo “How the heck would you even GET to Japan?! You don’t work enough with Dad to get enough to have a one way flight, let alone a round trip!”

“Lies! I know exactly how to get there without paying for it!” Ronaldo cheered. He pointed to a lone picture at the corner of the white board. It was of a young boy and three women. Peedee stared and shook his head.

“…you’re serious about this? Going to an unfamiliar country and dragging a boy younger than you to meet a person you have never met to investigate something you don’t know is there?”

He considered it for a second. Ronaldo moved to the window and stared out it, longing and waiting.

“I am surer about this than anything I have ever knew in my life.”

“You said the same thing about the lizard people…”

“STOP IT! I TOLD YOU NEVER TO SPEAK OF THAT AGAIN!”

The youngest one in the room shrugged. “Still, you are not taking one thing into account: they would NEVER let him go with you.”

“If you think I’m going to take no for an answer, you don’t know Ronaldo Fryman!” he laughed triumphantly.

*SM*

"Hey Ronaldo, what's up?" Steven Universe asked innocently.

Ronaldo had journeyed down to the beach where the Gem Temple resided to find the young Steven Universe playing with his friend Connie Maheswaren (OR WERE THEY MORE THAN FRIENDS?!). Upon arrival, Steven had offered him a glass of lemonade and the three sat down inside to talk business.

"Steven, I have the most important news in the world!" Ronaldo drew up his documents and handed them to the two small children. "I know that it sounds crazy, but there are aliens! Real aliens! In Japan!"

Steven stared at the images in awe. "That. Is. Amazing!"

"Do you think it can be other Gems?" Connie asked while examining the "Sweden Tree."

"...Gems?" Ronaldo picked up on her wording. "Steven, have you neglected to tell me that the Crystal Gems are actually distantly related from aliens?!"

"...I did what now?" the youth scratched his head.

"Regardless, Steven I need your help. I need to get to Japan to help with this problem before it affects Beach City! Are you brave enough to help me with this task?"

Ronaldo took Steven's hands and stared deeply into his eyes. He needed him to know how serious this was to not only him, but the city.

"But Ronaldo, I don't even know how to get to Japan!"

"Can't you, I don't know, do Instant Transmission or teleport or something? You Gems do that all the time!" he pleaded.

Connie, who continued to look over the pictures and chat logs, put down the findings and shook her head. "This doesn't seem like a good idea. You don't know anything about this Loo Loo person. My mom always warns me about strange things in the Internet."

"But that's why I have to go!" Ronaldo enthusiastically defended himself. "If the whole things wasn't weird, it wouldn't be worth checking out! Steven, you are my only hope!"

"What's this now?" A concerned female voice rang out.

The three youths turned to see three women enter the house. The tallest wore sunglasses and had her hair styled like a square afro. The shortest had purple skin and a gem on her chest. The final woman had blonde hair and a gem protruding from her forehead. They were Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl.

The Crystal Gems.

"What's all this I hear about Steven being someone's last hope? Are you playing a game based on that space movie again?" Pearl asked in an interested tone.

Steven's attitude brightened up even more, which seemed odd as he was perfectly happy before. "Oh, hi guys! Ronaldo here just wanted to know if we could warp to Japan! I'm his last hope!"

"JAPAN?!" Pear choked the word out. "Why would you want Steven to go to a place like Japan?!"

"I think the bigger question is why you would want to go to Japan in the first place," Garnet noted solemnly.

Steven laughed. "Oh, he's been talking to some girl in Japan and they think there are aliens there!"

"Sounds about right," Amethyst shrugged. "Wait, Frybo is talking to a girl? Good for you big guy!"

"Aliens? That's preposterous!" Pearl said pompously.

Connie raised an eyebrow. "Aren't YOU an alien?"

"What?!" Ronaldo said flabbergasted.

"She's right you know," Amethyst laughed, ignoring Ronaldo completely. She stopped, though, when she saw the glare of death that Pearl was giving her.

"Ronaldo, may I look at these?" Garnet asked in a flat voice, motioning to the pictures. He complied as she combed the images for details.

As she did that, Pearl shook her head. "I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but there isn't even a Warp Pad in Japan. Even if we would consider such a ludicrous idea, it would simply be impossible."

"Peal, you need to see this," Garnet spoke suddenly.

Pearl's face dropped as she looked at the faint picture of the space ship. "Is that...?"

"The Ruins Buster," Garnet nodded. "But how did he find us?"

"What's 'The Ruins Buster?'" Steven asked.

"'Who' Steven. She said it was a 'he,'" Connie corrected.

"The Ruins Buster is an intergalactic criminal who has terrorized the universe for centuries, roughly around the time we came to Earth," Pearl started to speak.

"So you admit you come from another planet!" Ronaldo interjected.

A pained silence filled the air for a moment before Pearl resumed her explanation. "As you know Steven, we've been on this planet almost 5,000 years, but right as our own war with Homeworld ended, we were caught in a serious issue. Several high ranking Gems that were going to provide us key aid were captured and presumed...well they were never heard from again. Because we lost those Mystery Zone Gems, we couldn't truly win our war in the way we wanted."

"Mystery Zone?" Steven asked.

"It's on the planet Beta, a Gem controlled world," Pearl shrugged it off. "What matters is that we learned it was the work of a criminal known as The Ruins Buster who helmed a ship just like that one."

"So you're saying this dangerous criminal made his way to Earth all these years later?" Connie asked. "Why?"

"'Made.' Past tense," Garnet corrected, acknowledging the picture of the debris. "That image was taken last year; right before Jasper and Peridot returned to take us back home. We would have noticed if he invaded."

"But didn't you only just see this now?" Connie tried to figure out all of the loose ends. "What happened a year ago?"

The Gems all looked at each other, with Pearl and Garnet sharing worried glances. Amethyst and Steven, on the other hand, looked lost and confused.

"We...don't know. I thought we were better prepared for this. What if it were Homeworld?! We could have been invaded and not even known it!" Pearl frantically ran her hands through her hair.

"See?!" Ronaldo said, again trying to remind the magical space women that he was there. "This is exactly what I mean! The polymorphic sentient rocks might have already struck back at us! It's all part of the Diamond Conspiracy. You can read about it at my..."

"Frybo, please," Pearl begged him. "We appreciate you bringing us this information but now isn't the time for childish games. If there is an invasion, we do need to look into it!"

"But..."

"No buts," Garnet said sternly. "Pearl and I will warp near Japan and head there on foot. This isn't a place for humans. You too Steven."

"Wait, what about me?! You're leaving me behind?!" Amethyst wailed.

"Yes," Garnet said curtly. "Watch over Steven and Connie."

The purple Gem rolled her eyes but did not challenge her leader. With that, the two other women returned to their temple to warp to the Land of the Rising Sun.

"Aw man, I hate when they leave without me," Amethyst pouted. "No offense Steven."

She looked to the lad, expecting him to reply with a "None taken." But he was too busy trying to console Ronaldo, who had broken down.

"This is terrible! The biggest story of my life and I'm missing it!" Ronaldo wailed. "Do they even blog? Will they ever tell the world?"

Steven went over and patted his back. "It's okay Ronaldo. It will all work out."

"Why don't you just tell what's her face that you can't go?" Connie asked.

He sniffed and stared at her. Finally, he hung his head in shame. "Then she'll know I'm a failure."

"There will be none of that talk here Mister!" Steven wagged his finger. "Now log into my computer and message her from your blog!"

"Girls like honesty!" Connie hastily added.

"You guys are weird," Amethyst shook her head in confusion. "Why don't you just ask Greg or something? Maybe he can fly you there on one of those plane things."

The kids looked at each other, and then to Ronaldo, who was definitely not wiping away manly tears. Steven shrugged and said "Dad? Why not? But only if you tell that girl Ronaldo!"

*SM*

"You want me to buy Ronaldo a ticket to Japan? Ronaldo, as in not my son? Why the heck would I do that?" Greg Universe asked in bewilderment.

The man was balding with an impressive amount of facial hair. The children, Ronaldo, and Amethyst had went to his van to pester him about the idea.

"Dad, Ronaldo needs to go to Japan to help stop aliens from invading or something and you are his last hope!" Steven begged.

"Why doesn't he ask his own Dad?" Greg asked again.

Ronaldo grabbed the man and shook him. "Mister Universe, he doesn't get me like you do!"
"...this may be the only time the two of us have ever spoke Ronaldo..."

"REGARDLESS!" Ronaldo waived it off. "I am a great judge of character and I know you can help me! So, what do you say?"

"Look kid, even if I wanted to help you, I live in a van. What makes you think I have enough money to fly you out to another country?" Greg appealed to reason.

With that, Ronaldo slunk to the floor. "It's useless! I'll never impress my fans and expand my blog's horizons!"

"Well," Connie started to say. "Didn't you say that Lee Lee or Lola told you that she would work on it?"

"Well yeah!" Ronaldo sniffed. "But I can't ask for charity like that!"

"Isn't that what you're doing now bro?" Amethyst pointed out.

It was at that moment when a blonde haired older woman came over to the motley crew. In her hand was a bag containing a plethora of letters. "Hey Greg, I got something interesting for you today!"

"You do Barb?" Greg asked, slightly bemused while grateful to have a distraction from Ronaldo's odd request. "Nobody writes to me anymore."

"It's the strangest thing. One second I thought I had all the mail, the next a new letter was found!" Barbara the mail woman laughed. "Crazy, ain't it?"

"I suppose it is," he shrugged, waving her off as Steven offered his own greetings. He stared at the letter and opened it. At once his jaw dropped and he shook his head in disbelief. "Uh guys?"

"By Sadie's mom!" Steven waved encouragingly. "Did you say something Dad?"

Shaking slightly, he showed his son the letter. He held onto five thick pieces of paper, darting his eyes from them to the letter in Steven's hand.

"'Dear Mr. Universe,'" Steven read. "'You have won the Cabbit Monthly raffle contest! Enclosed are five tickets for a round trip...to Okayama, Japan..."

The boy gasped out loud and pointed to the tickets. "Japan! It’s tickets to Japan! It's amazing!"

"It's mind boggling!" Connie narrowed her eyes, clearly suspicious of the events transporting.

"It's out of my element," Greg confessed as he ran his hands through his hair.

"It's worth looking into!" Amethyst cracked her knuckles, clearly anticipating a fun adventure.

"It's a miracle!" Ronaldo cried to the heavens, happy that on a quest to prove that things are weird beyond Beach City, he himself had just witnessed such a weird event.

All was right in his world.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#30986 Chapter Two: A Plane Ride For Five

"I still think this is a terrible idea," Greg Universe pointed out as he took his seat on the airplane.

"Where's your sense of adventure Greg?" Amethyst taunted. She then picked up her seatbelt and stared at it. "So I just put the little thing into the slot? I've never been in one of these plane things before."

After some coaxing by Amethyst, Steven, and Ronaldo (well, more begging in the case of Ronaldo), Greg had convinced Connie's parents and Ronaldo's father that it would be a great experience to take an impromptu trip to Japan and learn about its culture. The Maheswarens were obviously suspicious, but realized that Connie would benefit from such a trip. After two hours of intense arguments, they finally agreed to let Connie go for a week to Japan... as long as she wrote a research paper about her trip.

"Yeah Dad, this will be great! Have you ever been to Japan?" The younger Universe asked the elder.

He scratched his head in bemusement. "I always meant to, but I never seemed to find the time. I always told your Mom I'd take her to another continent. I guess I am now!" Greg smiled at his son. This was a weird situation, but he was not going to waste a perfectly serviceable vacation with Steven.

Connie looked up from her book to the sight of Amethyst tying herself to the chair. She helped her click her seatbelt into place. "So what exactly is our plan? This is clearly some kind of trap. There is no way that could just happen out of the blue."

"Weirder things have happened," Ronaldo spoke over the sleeping gentleman he was seated next to. He produced a small card and placed it in the man's hat. "What? I'm trying to get a broader audience!"

"Look, Steven, Connie, and I can handle this if things look bad. Besides, this could be fun!" Amethyst laughed.

"I don't know," Connie said with a distant tone in her voice. "This doesn't seem right. Not at all."

"It's okay Connie!" Steven smiled. "You and I are going to have a great time here! What could possibly happen?"

"STEVEN! YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! ANYTIME THAT IS SAID, SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS!" Ronaldo yelled, waking the old man up and causing the other passengers to look at him in confusion. "Sorry...my bad."

"Well maybe this time it will be different!" Steven shined with his eternal optimism.

*SM*

"Now arriving in Okayama, Japan. Please fasten all seat belts and stay seated as we finish our approach," the voice of the pilot rang through the plane.

“Hey gang, we made it!” Steven cheered from his window seat.

“Finally!” Amethyst said, disregarding the previous announcement and ripping off the seat belt. “Warping is much faster than this!”

“As you probably complained all trip,” Greg groaned, coming out of a deep sleep. “You doing okay, son of mine?”

“I’m great!” Steven started to bounce up and down in his seat, clearly excited to be able to land. “Connie and I played a couple dozen games of Hangman and there was a great movie playing!”

“Oh?” Greg wiped the cold out of his eye. “What’d you kids watch?”

“I think it was called Jack and Jill,” Connie shrugged. “Steven liked it more than me.”

Greg looked to his son in horror. “My god. I might have failed as a parent. Son, I promise I will do better.” He grabbed his shoulders firmly. “When we get back, we will marathon good comedies so you can learn what good humor really is.”

“You mean the ice cream brand?” Steven cocked his head.

“Hey, I’m going to get Ronaldo,” Connie pointed to the back of the plane. “He’s been in the bathroom for the past half hour.”

“Some people just can’t handle flying,” Greg chuckled.

*SM*

After getting their luggage off of the plane, Greg directed the group out through the crowds to the exit. Steven carried his trusty Cheeseburger Backpack, Connie a large luggage set provided by her parents (plus a special compartment added by Amethyst to hide her trusty sword), Ronaldo with a suitcase full of papers and a backpack containing a few shirts, and Amethyst carried nothing.

“So, what now Ronaldo?” Connie asked. “Did ‘Goo Goo’ let you know where she was meeting us?”

“She knows our flight,” Ronaldo said assuredly. “She has to be around here somewhere.”

“…you don’t even know what she looks like, do you?” Amethyst guessed.

As Ronaldo’s face got read, she laughed. “You don’t! Aw man, what are we going to do now?”

“See the Tokyo Tower?” Steven suggested.

“But we aren’t in Tokyo Steven,” Connie sighed. “But if we are here, we really should though! That’s a major Japanese landmark!”

“That it is! I’d be happy to arrange a visit to Tokyo while you are all here!” a wily feminine voice spoke from behind them.

Steven’s eyes glowed with excitement. “Really?! That’s great!” After a moment, he blinked and turned around. “Gah!”

The group finaly acknowledged the presence of a young looking chid, only a little taller than Steven and Connie. She had spiky pink hair and, apparently, spoke English very well. She bowed to them when they saw her and, after a nudge from Connie, they returned it.

“ARE YOU GEE GEE LOO LOO?!” Ronaldo blurted out.

The girl laughed. “Like the name? I saw it in the credits of one of those American dubbed Animes and it stuck with me."

“BUT YOU ARE A LITTLE GIRL!”

“Perceptive one, aintcha?” She said, poking his side. “How do you all do? My name is Washu, and thank you for coming to visit little old me!”

She looked to each member of the group. It was as if she was ever so slightly disappointed, but when her eyes landed on Amethyst, her eyes grew wide. “And you must be one of the Crystal Gems Ronaldo here included in that wonderful documentary of his.”

“Uh…yeah,” she replied lazily.

“So, how DID you manage to get us these tickets and why only five of them?” Connie drilled, starting to whip out ever question and concern she had been listing in her head for the incredibly long flight.

“You ask questions. I like you,” Washu beamed. “Let’s talk and walk. We’ve got a bus to catch.”

“A bus?!” Steven asked. “A real bus?!”

“That’s right!”

Greg looked around uncertainly. “So where’s your parents anyway? Are they getting us a bus? Are we meeting them somewhere?”

She laughed again. “All your questions will be answered in time! Just come with me!”

“And we’ll be in a world of pure imagination!” Steven started to sing. “Let us go cross the Japanese nation!”

The singing continued as Washu led them to a bus stop, seemingly taking in the strange American guests she had invited.

‘This isn’t what I was hoping for…not at all…’ she thought to herself. ‘Still, I wouldn’t be a scientist if I couldn’t savage an experiment…’

"Say, is there somewhere we can eat?" Greg asked after hearing his stomach growl. "We haven't had anything but airplane food for hours."

"Does Japan have pizzas?" Steven asked inquisitively.

Washu thought about it for a second. "Trust me. You don't want any of this second rate food. Where we are going, the food is to die for!"

"And then can we go over the theories about the diamond cluster in the center of the Earth?" Ronaldo asked hopefully. "And how the Great Seto Bridge incident was the catalyst for it all?!"

"Trust me Ronaldo," she smirked. "When you hear what I have to tell you, it will make your theories feel like childhood fantasies."

"This is amazing!"

"Amethyst," Connie whispered to the purple Gem. "Doesn't this seem strange to you?"

"Not really, but don't worry. I think I can take her," Amethyst said unfazed. "She's only like, what, ten? Besides, I brought the Warp Whistle with me just in case we need back up."

She reached in her shirt and pulled out the small object that nobody knew was even there. She shook it around and put it back, going back to checking the area out.

"Leave me behind...goes to show who got things done..." she muttered, still groggy from the plane ride.

Connie didn't say anything, but it would be clear to anyone looking at her that she was not truly ready to believe that a girl who could make plane tickets appear out of nowhere was only ten and, if she was, not a normal ten year old.

She adopted a quick smile when she saw Steven turn toward her. She didn't want to ruin the trip for everyone yet, but she knew that she had to be on her guard for his sake.

*SM*

After a quiet and long bus ride, Washu announced they still had more walking to do, to the annoyance of everyone. Still, the sight of the Japanese landscape captivated the tourists, including Ronaldo who never took the time to appreciate the beauty of the world around him.

"You live all the way out here?" he asked. "Without anyone else around?"

"Well..." she started. "I wouldn't say there isn't anyone else around per say, but outside of my family there isn't anyone else for miles."

"Are we going to meet Leatherface out here?" Greg half joked. "This is giving me some weird Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibes..."

Steven continued to take in the beautiful scenery. "You are so lucky to live here. We don't have a lot of trees in Beach City."

"You should see Jurai if you like trees," Washu told him.

"That'd be great!" he nodded. "Where is it?"

"Uh..." she stammered. "Well, that's not important. Once we reach that large staircase, we will finally be at the house."

She pointed toward a long staircase miles ahead. It seemed to ascend almost as high as the Crystal Temple itself. The faces of the Americans fell again, realizing they weren't eating anytime soon.

"Lame! I wish I could just turn into an owl and fly there," Amethyst grumbled.

"...'turn into an owl?'" Washu pried. "Are you being literal?"

"...maybe..."
After some time walking up the never ending staircase, Connie realized she could not take it anymore. It was time to confront this mystery girl.

"That's it!" Connie said suddenly. "I'm not about to enter a house in the middle of nowhere without some answers!"

"Connie!" Steven gasped. "What are you doing!"

"Steven, we know literally nothing about this girl! We don't know how she got us those tickets or why she even wanted Ronaldo here! Please, just tell us!" Connie pleaded earnestly.

The pink haired girl stopped and put her hands on her hip. "You literally couldn't wait until lunch? I can respect that, but am a smidge hurt at the lack of trust."

"To be fair, you haven't done anything necessarily trustworthy so far," Amethyst pointed out.

"I gave you the information about Ryu-Oh and Ryo-Ohki's crash into the Bridge didn't i?"

"...wait," Ronaldo finally spoke. "You KNOW what crashed into the Bridge...my god. It all makes sense. This was a set up."

Washu smiled. "Bingo!"

The mood in the woods tensed considerably. The group backed up and kept their eyes on the girl. She seemed to take a small enjoyment out of the situation, apparently curious as to how it would play out.

"I knew it! I'm on to something big! You've been sent to silence me!" Ronaldo finally cried.

"Wha...?" Washu looked dumbfounded. "No, you idiot! I wanted her!"

She pointed to Amethyst, who looked flattered for a moment before she adopted a fighting stance. Her Gem glowed bright and suddenly a magical whip appeared to materialize.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't fight you right now!" Amethyst growled.

"Woah!" Steven interjected suddenly. "No fighting on vacation! Let's hear her out Amethyst! We don't know if she's bad!"

"But she just said that this was a trap to get Amethyst!" Connie retorted, now drawing her own sword.

"I never said this was a 'trap!'" Washu defended herself. "I wanted the help of the Crystal Gems!"

"...what?!"

"...I've been used..." Ronaldo whispered to himself.

"So that's why there were five tickets! One for the Gems, Steven, and Ronaldo!" Connie pieced it together.

"Again, I like you. I really only needed the three Gems, but I figured since they live with you, Steven, they would want to take you too. Sorry to say but I wasn't expecting the rest of you," Washu elaborated.

"But I AM a Crystal Gem!" Steven corrected her. With that, he pulled up his shirt. A shining rose quartz gem was where his belly button should have been.

Washu's eyes widened. "A...a Gem hybrid?! Think of the data! Gems themselves are a very secluded race unless they are conquering another planet...this is unheard of!"

Her eyes landed to Greg, who shifted back uncomfortably. "You are his father! That means...I'm getting ahead of myself."

"Hold on," Amethyst pointed at her. "What do you know about Gems?!"

"Allow me to introduce myself to you all. My name is Washu Hakubi: the Greatest Scientific Genius in the Galaxy. And that's not a bluff. I have over 20,000 years of data to prove it!"

"Twenty...thousand?!" Ronaldo mouthed to himself. Finally, he wagged his finger at her. "YOU ARE AN ALIEN TOO?! IS EVERYTHING A LIE?!"

"I can't be sure," Washu admitted. "Still, let's move this conversation inside. I haven't exactly told anyone about this so don't get worried if they are a bit...annoyed."
Steven looked to his friends and family. The look in his eyes showed them that he really wanted to see what was up those stairs. Amethyst shrugged as her whip disappeared back into her gem. Greg gave a small nod to his son.

"Well, lead the way!" Steven pointed excitedly.

"You're just a ball of optimism aren't you?" She told him as they marched.

They all made their way up toward the top of the stairs. Connie stayed close to Steven and Washu while Amethyst stayed behind them. Trailing behind the group was Ronaldo. He looked to the collection of images he was holding in his suitcase and fought back the urge to cry. There was no doubt about it:

Ronaldo was used. And he was crushed.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#31051 Chapter Three: An Introductory Lunch

Next to the shrine at the top of the stairs in the Okayama forest, a house could be found. This house was very special. Not because a giant floating hot spring was seen above the lake, but rather due to a young man who could be heard calling through his home.

“Has anyone seen Washu?” The male voice called through his house. “She’s supposed to be helping me with the weeding today!”

Coming down the hallway, the young dark haired teenage looked around for any sign of the pink haired female. He looked like a typical Japanese young man, save the rat tail hair that he kept since the early 90’s. The youth scratched his head in confusion searching around for her.

“Miss Ayeka?”

Down the stairs, a dainty purple haired woman appeared. She did not appear too much older than the youth, but looks can be deceiving.

“Yes, Lord Tenchi?"

“Where’s Washu? I’ve been searching for her all morning!” Tenchi replied. “I even braved her lab and you know how much I try to avoid that.”

“Oh dear,” Ayeka bit her lip. "I haven't seen her all day. Honestly, she's in her lab so often that I've stopped questioning her whereabouts."

Clearly concerned, Tenchi hung his head low. "Well thank you anyway Miss Ayeka."

He ignored the concerned look on Ayeka's face as he moved along in the house. 'I'm actually starting to get worried. Nobody has seen her all day, and I know Sasami has Ryo-Ohki so she hasn't gone into space...I just hope she hasn't done anything rash.'

Tenchi started to go out to the stairs to get to his work. Whether Washu would assist him or not, the chores needed to get done. His grandfather, Katsuhito Masaki, would see to that.

He looked down the long flight of stairs and sighed. This was his least favorite chore solely due to the volume of the task. With his tools in hand he began the tedious job.

After about fifteen minutes of monotonous weeding, Tenchi thought he heard voices. Sure enough, he could see the shape of a group of people walking up the stairs. It took him a bit but he was finally able to make out Washu's distinctive hair.

It was then that he realized the implications of Washu with a group of unfamiliar people. It is entirely possible that these were more "old friends from the academy" like Yakage, a swordsman who Tenchi had dueled not that long ago, or Doctor Clay, an old rival who had tried to kidnap Washu by using a clone of her daughter, Ryoko. Alternatively, he was worried that she might be starting some kind of odd experiment that would once again ruin his father's house.

His fears became realized when he could see that one of the people she was talking to had purple skin.

"What are you up to Little Washu...?" Tenchi asked nobody absentmindedly. He tried to listen to what they were all talking about, but it seemed like they were too far away. Finally he heard something. It started in low...then it started to grow.

"He's super duper yummy! Cookie Cat! He left his family behind! Cookie Caaaaaat!" a young voice rapped merrily. Tenchi was surprised to realize they were speaking in English, a language he knew well enough from primary school, but confusing regardless.

"Now available at Gurgins off Rt. 109!" the older gentlemen finished. "I still feel bad I didn't get you any more of those things Steven. It's a shame they've been discontinued."

The purple one laughed. "We took every last one of them Greg months ago, so don't worry about it!"

"...all the money I gave you went to buying ice cream?" he rubbed his head. "Well I suppose it is better than buying up all of the Cookie Kitten cereal. That stuff is nasty."

"Just another failed attempt to use a beloved brand name to sell products," the little girl offered.

"Anything to add Ronaldo?" the familiar voice of Washu stuck out to Tenchi. "You've been quiet for quite some time."

"No..." the last person spoke so quietly that Tenchi could only barely make it out. However, the bespectacled person looked up and locked eyes with the Japanese youth. "And who is this? ANOTHER alien?"

Alien.

Oh no.

Tenchi gulped and prepared himself for whatever harebrained scheme Washu was pulling now.

"Tenchi! Hello! Come here and meet our guests!" Washu called to him.

'Guests...in my house...poor Dad,' Tenchi thought of his father, Nobuyuki. He was a single architect who had to witness his wife, Kiyone Masaki, die while his son was only five. Though a somewhat comical Father, Tenchi wished he got to know him more as a person. He could see the loneliness that he hid inside, but he knew that the various housemates have at least brought a bit of excitement in his eyes.

Odds are, this would be an equally exciting experience.

"Little Washu!" He called to her. "Where have you been? We've been worried! Who are all of these people?"

The little boy in the red shirt with the gold star ran all the way up to him and waved his hand. "Good morning! My name is Steven Universe! Thank you for having us!"

He then bowed respectfully. He looked to the little girl who was with them, who nodded and made her way up to the steps as well.

"I'd like to thank you too. My name is Connie and this is greatly appreciated."

Tenchi did not know what to make of the overly kind children who were acting respectfully to him. However, his politeness took priority over his curiosity and potential concern.

"No, thank you for your kindness...uh Steven and Connie was it? So, you are from America?" Tenchi bowed in return. He honestly had no idea what to say to these kids...not until Washu gave him answers.

"Yup! All the way from Beach City! So you live all the way up there? Do you have to climb these stairs every day?" Steven pried.

"Uh...yes?"

"That's so cool! It's so nice here!"

The Japanese youth turned to the pink haired girl in the hopes she would shed some light on this situation. She sighed and motioned the other, unfamiliar people over to him.

“Tenchi, meet Greg Universe, young Steven’s father; Ronaldo, blog owner and writer of the weird; and finally Amethyst, a polymorphic sentient Gem,” Washu listed off one by one. The purple girl responded with a simple “Yo!”

“…nice to meet you all,” Tenchi bowed once more, hoping that the painful but obligatory introduction would end soon. “So, what brings you all to Japan?”

The teenager, Ronaldo, kicked his foot on the stone stairs and muttered “I’d like to know too…”

“Well,” Washu began. “I was hoping to explain all of this over lunch. I’ve been holding the tantalizing offer of Sasami’s meals over them. Did we miss it yet?”

He shook his head. “No, we are still working on the morning chores…which you were supposed to be helping with…”

The scientist hit her head in mock surprise. “Was that today? I totally forgot!”

“…sure you did Washu…”

“What was that?” She cooed.

“I’m sorry…sure you did LITTLE Washu. Better?” Tenchi sighed.

“They’re funny!” Steven laughed.

The unexpected laughter made Tenchi feel at ease for some reason. ‘He doesn’t seem threatening…I hope Washu isn’t planning on doing anything too crazy…or dangerous…’

*SM*

At the Gem's temple, a bright light could be seen. Two figures materialized on the Warp Pad: Pearl and Garnet.

"That was a complete waste of our time! There wasn't a hint of The Ruins Buster in Japan!" Pearl complained.

"It was important that we saw for ourselves," Garnet coolly pointed out. "Pictures can't always be trusted."

"That Fryman boy will be crushed," Pearl sighed. "Oh well. Steven? Amethyst? Connie?"

Her voice echoed throughout the Temple, but it was met with no reply. Pearl's brow twitched for a moment and made her way to the Beach House where Steven lived.

"Guys? We are home!" She announced when she entered the dwelling. She scanned the room but found no trace of life other than a sleeping pink mass in the center of floor.

"I guess they aren't here. Maybe they went to spend time with Greg?" Pearl suggested.

Garnet spied some papers on the table and picked them up as Pearl began to tidy up.

"I swear, Steven leaves this place a wreck sometimes. It's like he hasn't been here all day."

"It's because he hasn't!" Garnet spoke harshly. She held up the letter Greg had received the previous day.

As Pearl scanned the letter, her face filled with a mix of anger and terror. "GREG TOOK STEVEN TO JAPAN?!"

"And probably took Amethyst and Connie too," Garnet posited. "But how did they manage to get tickets?"

"We can figure that out later! We need to get back there!" Pearl wailed frantically. "They could be in danger! We obviously missed something over there and it will be our fault if..."

"Calm down Pearl!" Garnet ordered. "If we warp there, we will have to search the whole country blind. Thankfully, I think we can find Steven another way."

She nudged her head to the sleeping pile of fur on the ground. Pearl ran over to it and started to shake.

"Lion! Lion! Steven is in danger! We need you to take us to him!" Pearl begged.

The pink mass revealed itself to be a literal pink lion. It cocked its head curiously. After a second, it shook its head and went back to sleep.

"But Steven is in danger!" Again the lion shook its head.

"Lion doesn't think Steven is in danger," Garnet concluded. "Still, do you think you could take us to him anyway? Please? We are very worried about him."

Lion raised his head once more and nodded. He used his nose to point to his mane, which the Gems knew was the only way to travel with him.

"Thank you Lion," Garnet smiled.

Pearl started muttering under her breath repeatedly. "When I see Amethyst, I am going to give her a piece of my mind! Leaving without telling anyone and..."

"Pearl..." Garnet interrupted her. "You're doing it again."

Pearl hung her head in shame. "...I'm sorry..."

*SU*

"So," Ayeka began. "You are a Gem, are you? As in, the conquering warrior race that ravaged the Galaxy for centuries?"

Tenchi hung his head low in shame. When Ayeka found out about Amethyst's heritage, she had a mini heart attack. Apparently her people had fought an incredibly long and violent war which occasionally went to other planets as well. "Gem Colonized Worlds" she called them.

'Funny,' he thought to himself. 'Isn't this planet a JURIAN Colonized Planet? That's what Mihoshi mentioned anyway.' He looked to the blonde woman kneeling at the table. She looked to be a typical Earth young adult, but was actually a First Class Detective in the Galaxy Police. Though she was a bit clumsy, she was actually a lot more competent than even Tenchi gave her credit for.

"Uh...yeah," Amethyst briskly responded. "But I wasn't around for the war. I missed it by 500 years,"

"I see," Ayeka replied venomously.

A young with spiky cyan colored hair drank from a large jug, watching the action unfold. Connie tried to see what was inside but instead gasped. This woman, whose hair looked strikingly similar to Washu's had gems on her wrists. She looked over to Steven to get his attention, but he was busy in conversation with a blue haired girl, clearly trying to ignore Ayeka's jabs at his family.

"What are you staring at kid?" the woman asked.

"Nothing! I...was just trying to figure out what your bottle says," Connie improvised.

"This?" she laughed. "It's called sake! Want a taste?"

Connie sniffed the jug and shook her head. "No thanks...I'll stick with water."

"So..." the blue haired girl asked cheerfully. "What's Beach City like? What do you do for fun?"

The girl was actually Ayeka's younger sister Sasami. Both she and Ayeka were actually Princesses of the Planet Jurai. Tenchi also has some Juraian blood in him on his Mother's side, but he did not know that until roughly a year ago.

Technically, both of the girls were his Great Aunts. Nobody ever liked to think about it and, honestly, Tenchi conveniently forgets about it every chance he gets.

"There's Beach City Funland, Steven! It's a great amusement park with games and rides!"

"Wow!"

"Wait until I tell you about The Big Donut!" Steven began to speak, but his attention drifted to a small, brown animal that he only just noticed. "WHAT IS THAT?!"

"Oh!" Sasami giggled. "That's Ryo-Ohki! She's a cabbit!"

"AND ADORABLE!"

"So..." Greg coughed to get attention and to cut the tension brought about by Ayeka and Amethyst. "Since we are here eating this amazing food (seriously, an eight year old made this?), why don't you tell us why you wanted us here in the first place...Washu? Did I say that right?"

"I agree!" Ronaldo stated.

"Straight to the point, aren't you?" Washu said with a blink. Greg shuddered. "Well quite simply I was hoping to get in contact with the so called 'Crystal Gems.' As I searched the Internet for new information to include in my own growing database, I stumbled upon a most interesting blog: Keep Beach City Weird."

She motioned to Ronaldo, who blushed momentarily before he adopted his serious face. Washu seemed to make a mental note of that and continued. "At first, the theories I read were fascinating bits of speculative fiction, but it was when I got to the parts about polymorphic sentient rocks I realized that you were, quite simply, an unsung genius."

"Speculative fic...wait, what?" Ronaldo gasped.

"There is just one thing you've been overlooking buddy...actually, I'm amazed you haven't picked up on it consider how in your face it actually is."

Ronaldo looked to her in confusion. She pointed her finger to Amethyst's gem. He followed and started back and forth between the two.

"Gems are rocks Ronaldo...living rocks."

A light bulb turned on in Ronaldo's head. He stared in horror at the people at the table. "You mean...you all...you've all been making fun of me!"

With that he got up and left the table angrily. After a moment, he returned and bowed. "Thank you for the dinner. I apologize for my rudeness." Then, he grabbed his shoes and left the house. Steven, Connie, and Sasami got up to follow him, with Ryo-Ohki trailing behind them.

"Good job Washu!" the spiky haired girl jabbed at her. "You made the kid cry!"

"Not. Helping. Ryoko," Tenchi groaned.

The pink haired scientist simply sighed. "I guess I better make this right before something else happens."

At that moment, a pink ball of light appeared in the middle of the kitchen. The group merely looked at it in confusion. From the light, a pink lion with glowing eyes jumped out carrying two very angry women on it.

"Guess I spoke too soon," Washu sighed.

The blonde haired woman pulled a spear out of the gem on her forehead. "WHERE. IS. STEVEN?"

Tenchi resisted the urge to faint and realized that yes, Washu had done something crazy and dangerous in his house again. 'Why me?'
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by drillmaster
#31120 Chapter Four: Perilous Prejudice

Pearl was angrier than she had been in a long time.

When she and Garnet had returned to the Beach House, she was annoyed to have wasted her time. Then her annoyance turned to worry when she realized Steven and Amethyst had disappeared. By the time she pieced together where they actually were, she found herself fuming.

Staring around at the funny assortment of people, she was shocked to see a woman bearing the crest of the Royal Family of Jurai. Jurai, a planet which had resisted Gem control as far back as the days where Rose Quartz still worked with Homeworld.

The dark days.

Jurai had, in many ways, been a rival with the Gem Homeworld. Its empire was large and vast. While the Gems’ way was to harvest a planet and use it for tactical gain, the Juraians subjected its people to a strict militaristic rule. It was, after all, founded and ran by former space pirates.

Pearl did not know whether the Juraian Empire had changed in the thousands of years since she encountered its forces, but despite her own hatred for her Homeworld, she found herself still clinging onto old prejudices.

The other person who raised immediate alarm was a woman with cyan colored hair. She looked vaguely familiar to the executioner The Ruins Buster had started to set out after the war with Homeworld. The Gems had, at one point, learned of a fierce warrior called ‘The Devil Caller’ which was known to kill Gems and organics alike with no mercy.

Rose, upon making the call to sever all connections with Homeworld, had warned them to be on their guard if she were to ever make her way to this planet. And here she was, drinking some Earth liquor and sitting down with Amethyst, who should have known better.

She noticed Greg squirm in his seat uncomfortably. Pearl did not always see eye to eye with the man who took Rose Quartz out of her life, but deep down she respected him and thought highly enough of him to expect him not to pull a stunt like this. Apparently Pearl was wrong.

"Why is there a pink lion in my kitchen?!" the young man asked panicking.

“Who are you to barge in our house and demand things of us Gem!” the Juraian female barked at Pearl and Garnet, ignoring the man's confusion.

“Now Miss Ayeka please cal…” the human male tried calming her down.

“Lord Tenchi, how can you stand for this? They have invaded our house and are pointing a weapon at us!"

‘’Lord?’’ Pearl thought. ‘Another Juraian!’

Garnet cocked her fist. “Amethyst, what were you thinking?! You could have gotten Steven and Connie killed!”

“Thanks for looking out for me Garnet…” Greg mumbled.

“You too Mister!” Pearl added. “How could you take them into an obvious trap without a care in the world?!”

“Trap?” the woman with the cyan started to rise. “What are you trying to say Missie!”

“Woah, chill everyone!” Amethyst got up. “It’s all okay! They aren’t trying to kill Steven! They need our help!”

“It’s true!” the blonde haired woman pleaded. “I mean, we don’t really know why we need your help, but that’s what Washu said!”

“A likely story!” Pear scoffed. “They are Juraians Amethyst! Does that mean nothing to you?”

“Pearl, calm down!” Garnet ordered.

“I’d rather be a Juraian than a murdering Gem!” the purple haired one stood up. Small wooden logs materialized out of the air. “I demand that you leave this house!”

“Not without Steven and Connie we won’t!” Pearl retorted, holding her staff firmly.

“Stand down Pearl!” Garnet tried one final time.

“That’s it!” the other woman roared. “No more playing around! I’ll show you to break into my Tenchi’s house!”

“Ryoko! No! Don’t blow up my house!” the Lord pleaded.

It was too late. She had produced a ball of energy and sent it shooting toward Pearl. Using her staff, she twirled it around so fast it caused the blast to disappear into the air. The woman flew at her behind the fireball and grabbed the staff. Lifting it, and by extension Pearl, she threw it past the lion and through a wall outside.

“Gah!” Pearl moaned as she flew through the air. Though she was caught off guard with the throw, she managed to land outside on her feet gracefully.

Just then, the same woman slammed into the ground beside her. It seemed Garnet had knocked her out as well.

“Oh you asked for it!” She grabbed her earing and clutched it. From nowhere, form fitting red and black battle armor adorned her body.

Sensing danger, Pearl went to strike the woman, but found herself on the receiving end of a punch.

Inside the house, Garnet had managed to get caught in the Juraian’s wooden shield and learned its true power: electrical shocks.

“You…don’t…have…to…do…this!” she groaned.

“I will dictate this conversation while your friend duels that monster woman! I do not know why Miss Washu wished for your assistance, but I hereby revoke the offer. You may take the children back with you, but there will be no more violence in this house! I do not allow it!”

“Miss Ayeka, look at yourself!” Lord Tenchi yelled. “Stop it and look at what you ae doing! They aren’t the ones causing violence: it is you!”

“Lord Tenchi, these creatures are…”

“Just as confused as you are you dolt!” the pink haired girl finally spoke. “I’ll deal with my idiot daughter in a moment, but you are letting past prejudices blind you! You are supposed to be Juraian Royalty! Your Father would be ashamed of you! Hell, look at Tenchi!”

She pointed over to him. “Are you so blind that you can’t see the pain that you are causing the very man you love?!”

Ayeka looked to Garnet, who knew she could not take the power of the Royal Family of Jurai for much longer. Finally, Garnet was free and witnessed the purple haired woman break down into sobs. “What have I done?!”

Tenchi went over to Garnet and offered her his hand. “I’m sorry about that. She’s usually much calmer and refined. Can you stand? Are you okay?”

“I…I’ve got it. Thank you,” she grunted, accepting his hand to get up. She noticed that he was in awe at her height, a typical reaction to be sure.

“What is going on with all of you?!” Amethyst protested. “We are supposed to be the champions of Earth! We don’t get into petty fights over nothing! If Steven were here, he’d…”

She stopped and adopted a look of horror on her face. “Steven, Connie, and the blue haired kid are outside right now trying to find the Fryman kid!”

“That puts them in the line of fire!” the pink haired girl announced with a sense of urgency. “Damn it Ryoko!”

“Wait, Ryoko is your daughter?” Greg asked, running close after Washu to find his son. “Is there anything ELSE I should be keeping up with?!”

*SM*

At the far edge of the lake near a giant tree, Ronaldo hung his head low and cried.

'This wasn't supposed to turn out this way,' the weeping lad thought to himself. 'I was supposed to find the truth out about everything and expose it to the world...but all I found was that the truth hurts. I thought that Connie was exaggerating earlier, but she was just rubbing it in my face, wasn't she? Is SHE an alien too? And Steven...he knew all along and was just stringing me on...'

"Now why is a bright young man such as yourself crying in front of a tree such as this?" a stern male voice spoke from behind him in perfect English.

Ronaldo turned to see an older gentleman observing him. His grey hair was pulled back into a bun and Ronaldo felt his bespectacled eyes measuring up the youth.

"Let me guess: you're polymorphic sentient rock alien too? Just like everyone else I know?"

"Ah, that is a tricky question," the man said, sitting down beside him. "While I can’t speak about the part about rocks, what really IS an alien? Is it a person born ON another planet or is it a person born FROM different planets?"

"Aliens come from outer space! Humanity is from Earth!"

"That doesn't answer the question."

"What even is this?" Ronaldo asked crazily. "You come out of nowhere to offer me advice in the form of riddles...have I stepped into a Campbellian circle of archetypes?!"

"Well I do consider myself a wise old mentor," the man laughed. "But as to where I came from is layered. Do you know where you are right now?"

Ronaldo pointed to ahead of him. "I'm staring at a giant tree!"

"You are presently at the Masaki Shrine," he elaborated. "My name is Katsuhito Masaki and judging by your earlier questions you had the pleasure of meeting my Grandson, Tenchi... though I can assure you he is not a sentient pile of rocks."

"So you ARE an alien...but maybe not of the rock variety..."

Katsuhito shook his head. "You are so focused on your own prejudices that you are blinded by what you have in front of you. What do you think of the tree?"

"It's...really beautiful," Ronaldo admitted. "Steven was saying earlier that we don't have that many trees in our City, and it's true. I've never seen a tree like this anywhere."

"Nor would you on this planet. This is Funaho, a Royal Space Tree from the Planet Jurai."

"PLANET?! Then this must be related to the tree that was in space a year ago!"

Katsuhito scratched his head and then nodded. "You are referring to Ryu-Oh's destruction at the hands of Kagato. I often wondered why the scientists of this planet did not question anything that occurred that day...perhaps they just chose not to."

"Well I don't!" Ronaldo stood up. "I've made it my mission to chronicle the weird things that occur in this world, and I don't pull any punches!"

"So then why is it so bad to know that there are aliens among you...?" Katsuhito started before realizing he didn't know his name.

"Ronaldo Fryman," he said, catching on fast. "I apologize for my rudeness for not telling you earlier. It's just...it's not even the fact that there are aliens, but that Gems are actually the sentient rocks I've been blogging about. When you find out that a person you trusted for so long is actually living proof that your theories are correct, it hurts, you know?"

"Then allow me to be upfront with you so our conversation may continue truthfully. As you guessed earlier I am not from this Earth, though my Mother was. I came to this planet 700 years ago and this is the planet I will be buried on."

The revelation touched Ronaldo deeply. Here was this complete stranger, being incredibly honest and open to him during his time of need. Still, he did have some questions to ask. "Why? Why here? Is it the minerals at the core of the Earth? Have you been harvesting them slowly over the years?!"

The old man laughed. "You should pursue a writing career. No, I wish to be on this planet as this was where my family was born, where my Daughter died...where my Grandson lives. It is a good planet and one with limitless potential."

"It is, isn't it?" Ronaldo sighed. "Since you are playing the role of the wise mentor in my Hero's Journey, how should I carry on here before I enter the Belly of the Whale?"

"Perhaps the 'Belly of the Whale' is facing your other alien friends and finding out their side of things. For all you know, perhaps they aren't trying to 'harvest the Earth's core.' Maybe they are trying to protect it from those that might," he offered. "Is not the end goal of being a hero mastering the world you knew with the knowledge you gained along the way?"

"You really play the part well, don't you Masaki Sensei?" Ronaldo bowed.

Katsuhito rose his eyebrow at the usage of a Japanese honorific and proceeded to get up to return the bow. "Some people are just naturals."

*SM*

The battle between Pearl and The Devil Caller continued beyond the confines of the outskirts of the house and into the surrounding woods. Creating another staff, Pearl gracefully struck and jabbed at The Devil Caller with all of her might.

"You fight pretty well Gem," she told her panting. "You're actually making me lose my breath. That's more than I can say about Ayeka."

"Don't compare me to that Juraian!" Pearl growled.

She intensified the slashing of her weapon, managing to nick the woman's cheek. She bled but for a moment before the wound disappeared.

"Actually, you and her are a lot more alike than you think!" She said as Pearl watched in awe of her healing ability. "You are both pompous!" She shot another volley of energy blasts at her, which Pearl sent flying aimlessly into the woods toward the giant tree in the distance. Realizing that it was time to change tactics, the spiky haired woman willed her sword back into existence. "Full of yourself!" She yelled as she charged at her. "And easily agitated!"

The woman sliced down with all of her might, but Pearl yet again parried the blow and thrusted into her chest. The woman vanished, leaving Pearl with a heightened sense of fear.

The Gem concentrated her breathing and focused on the surrounding areas. She listened intently for any sound of her opponent. Finally, she threw her spear toward a tree, striking the woman as she materialized. She winced in pain and pulled the spear out of her side.

"Gah! You are REALLY pissing me off, you know that?!" she howled. "I'm going to..."

"That's ENOUGH Ryoko!" a stern voice called out.

The two combatants stopped momentarily to acknowledge the voice. It was the young looking girl with the pink hair, leading all of the occupants of the table, including Garnet, who was being helped along by the Juraian male, and Lion, who was being pet by the blonde haired woman. The Juraian woman's face was wet with tears. It was a most disconcerting sight.

"She started it!" Ryoko pouted.

"No, YOU did you silly girl! I didn't raise you to start intergalactic conflicts!"

'Raise?' Pearl thought to herself as she attempted to balance herself.

Ryoko crossed her arms and sighed. "No, you can thank Kagato for that..."

"Kagato?! That's the name of The Ruins Buster! So you DO work for him!" Pearl went to grab the spear that Ryoko discarded, but was blocked by Amethyst.

"Pearl, this isn't going to get us anywhere! We need to sit down and stop this before someone gets hurt!"

"Well look here! AMETHYST is concerned about someone getting hurt!" Pearl laughed sarcastically. "That's a first! Especially since it was you who brought the children here!"

"Now that's not fair! I made that call too, and we were fine before you and the spiky haired girl started shooting up the place!" Greg interjected, standing his ground. "What if Steven were out here? You could have hurt him!"

The Gem's eyes flashed with anger and made a motion to continue her tirade, but stopped when she saw Garnet's expression of disapproval. It snapped her out of her intense hatred momentarily. "I...I don't know what came over me. I just remember..."

"Focus on the present Pearl," Garnet told her. "We are here now, on THIS planet and in THIS place. Let the past go."

"Pearl, was it?" the pink haired girl asked. "Listen, I need your help; ALL of your help! You may be the only beings in the galaxy that can help me crack this puzzle, but it will require all of us to work together."

"'Puzzle?'" Amethyst asked.

"The hell are you talking about Washu?!" Ryoko asked. "Why can't you ever make sense?"

Washu smirked and grabbed her Daughter's wrist. "I'm talking about the puzzle of your gems dear."

The three Crystal Gems looked at the woman's wrist intently and were surprised to see a single red sphere embedded in her skin.

"That's...that's...impossible!" Pearl stuttered. "An ARTIFICIAL Gem?!"

"Who are you calling 'artificial?!'" Ryoko barked.

"Ryoko, knock it off!" Lord Tenchi interjected. "You've caused enough problems for one day!"

"I have a question!" The blonde haired woman who was focused on playing with Lion asked.

Everyone turned to acknowledge the woman who, for the most part had kept to herself. "...I feel like I'm going to regret this, but yes Mihoshi?"

"This lion was very happy before we walked outside but for the past few minutes it keeps looking over to Funaho and looking very concerned. I think something is bothering it!"

"What's Funaho?" Garnet asked.

"Just that giant tree," Mihoshi pointed to the landmark in the distance.

Ryoko and Pearl exchanged terrifying looks. "What. Did. You. Do?!" Washu spat out.

"...I swatted one of The D...Ryoko's projectile weapons toward it," Pearl whispered. At once, she realized the true gravity of her fight with Ryoko. "THE KIDS!"

*SM*

"Ronaldo? Where are you?" Steven called out through the woods. "How did he run ahead of us so fast?"

"It's us! We aren't trying to hurt you!" Connie added loudly. "Sasami, you know these woods right? Do you know where he might have gone?"

Sasami looked around worriedly. "If he ran into the forest he might be anywhere! The only places I can think of are Yosho's shrine, Ryoko's cave, or Funaho...do you think he might be there?"

"I literally have no idea where any of those places are!" Steven said. "Are they dangerous? Could Ronaldo be in trouble?"

"Well, maybe in the cave..." Sasami trailed off. "But we are closer to Funaho, so he's probably there!"

"Meow!" Ryo-Ohki agreed.

"Great!" Steven said with renewed energy. "Where's Funaho?"

She pointed to the giant tree protruding out from the forest. Steven and Connie's eyes grew wide at the sight. "It's just like the Sweden Tree Ronaldo showed us!"

"Sweden? No silly, it's from the Planet Jurai!"

"That's the place with the trees that Washu mentioned earlier!" Connie remembered. "So that's another planet?!"

"This trip is awesome!" Steven shouted. "Well...minus the whole upsetting Ronaldo thing..."

In the distance a loud crash could be heard and the group turned back to the house and saw smoke rise from it.

"My Dad! They could be in trouble!" Steven said.

"No," Sasami shook her head. "Ayeka and Ryoko are just fighting again."

"Again? As in plural?" Connie asked in horror. "Your poor house!"

"I know," Sasami sighed. "Thankfully Washu and Tenchi's Father fix it up every time."

"I know what you mean," Steven said as they made their way toward the giant tree. "I always feel bad when Pearl fixes up my beach house after fights happen...or Amethyst plays a little too rough."

"Does your house get blown up often too Connie?" Sasami asked.

"...no...not that I'm aware of."

The three children started to laugh before they remembered about Ronaldo. Finally, they made it to the large tree and sure enough, there was Ronaldo talking to an older gentleman.

"It's Yosho!" Sasami said.

"Who?"

"Tenchi's honorable Grandfather!"

"It sounds to me Ronaldo that they had tried to tell you before about the nature of Gems before you came here," they heard Yosho tell the Fryman teen. "Are you sure they weren't aware that you DIDN'T know? Or perhaps they didn’t know what your theories were about."

"I don't even know anymore," Ronaldo shook his head. "I feel like such a jerk!"

"Then now is your time to make amends. We have company," he turned around suddenly and smiled at Sasami. "You can come over Sasami...and if I am not mistaken Connie and Steven, correct?"

"They are here?!" Ronaldo panicked. "But I haven't had time to prepare a formal apology!"

He coughed and looked to the three youths. "I know I must have worried you guys, and I know I left the house rudely and abruptly. But I just wanted to tell you that I'm..."

Without warning, the tree started to flash lights of multiple colors. Katsuhito, or Yosho, adopted a serious stance and yelled "Get down!"

A volley of red bolts of energy flew down from the sky, being swatted away from an unsuspecting Pearl not that far away. Steven called upon his shield, but it was too late.

One of the bolts had struck Ronaldo in the back.

“RONALDO!” Steven cried out in horror. He bent down to check up on him, but Yosho (or Katsuhito depending on who you ask) had made it to him first. “Is he okay?!”

“I can’t be certain. The energy struck deep into his spine. This is a very serious injury,” he said grimly.

Connie knelt down and fought back tears. “Use your spit Steven! Just like you did with my eyes!”
He shook his head. “It doesn’t always work!”

“You’ve got to try!”

Nodding, Steven spat into his hands and began to rub over the burned area of Ronaldo’s back. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he whispered “Please work…please work.”

In that instant, to world stopped for Steven as he prayed that his Mother’s healing powers would work for him now. All he could do was wait.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#31127 Chapter Five: Classroom Musings
The area in front of Funaho was still and silent. All eyes were on Steven, praying and rubbing with all of his might.

"What is going on?" Sasami whispered to Connie.

"Steven's spit has healing powers...but it doesn't always work," the girl explained.

The girls walked over to Steven, who continued to cry. Connie went to reach out to him, but hesitated, not knowing what to do. Her eyes met with Yosho's, who gave a stern nod, as if he was telling her that a hand on the shoulder might help.

When she touched him, Steven looked to her and gave a small sniffle. "I...I don't..."

"Look Steven!" Sasami said excitedly. "Something is happening!"

Sure enough, the burned skin on Ronaldo's back started to disappear and his natural skin reformed around it. Steven's eyes grew wide as Ronaldo sat up and patted his back, feeling the hole the blast left in his shirt.

"Dang it! This is my only shirt!"

"RONALDO! YOU ARE OKAY!" Steven shouted loudly and hugged him tight. Ronaldo tried to fight it, but realized that there was no point.

"Did...did you just spit on my back?" Ronaldo started to shiver in disgust, but remembered what he had set out to do before he was struck by the mystery light from the sky. "Ahem! Steven...I'm sorry! There I said it! I was rude and I thought you were trying to make fun of me! Can you forgive me?"

"I don't understand...why are you sorry? We are the ones who are sorry! I don't know what we said that hurt you, but you are our friend! Friends don't let friends get hurt!" Steven held his hand firmly after wiping the tears from his eyes.

"It seems to me that there is a lot of confusion going on," Yosho said stroking his chin. "Perhaps it is best that we return to the house and sit down to discuss this interesting story."

"But what about Ayeka and Ryoko?" Sasami asked. "If they are still fighting, they might hurt them again!"

"I will talk to them Sasami. They will need to curb their anger if there are guests in the house."

The small cabbit started to meow and pointed her paw at the sky where a familiar spiky hair woman materialized. She looked at them and sighed. "Well at least one thing is going well today," she muttered. With a voice as loud as she could muster, Ryoko yelled "THEY ARE OVER HERE!"

"The sake woman!" Connie pointed at her.

"And the one who almost killed poor Ronaldo here," Sasami pointed out, motioning to Ronaldo, who was gazing in awe at the now flying woman.

"Teleportation...flying...what great material!" The lad had retreated back into his memory palace and had started to piece together information for his blog (KEEP BEACH CITY WIERD!)

"Ryoko!" Yosho barked sternly. "That was foolish of you and Ayeka! Do you not realize that our guests can be wounded and killed?! It is bad enough that you two constantly damage the house my Son In Law built for my daughter, but you have endangered the lives of innocent children!"

"Look Old Man, I just got chewed out by Tenchi, I don't need it from you!" Ryoko rolled her eyes until she noticed the hole on the back of Ronaldo's shirt. "Did...shit! Is he alright?"

"No thanks to you or Ayeka!" Sasami interjected. "If it wasn't for Steven's healing spit..."

"Ayeka?" Ryoko cocked her head. "I wasn't fighting the Princess, I was fighting that Gem asshole!"

Connie and Steven exchanged looks. "You fought AMETHYST?!" Steven said in shock.

Ryoko threw her arms in the air. "I don't know names! She's the one with the thing on her head!"

"Pearl?" Steven asked amazed. "Pearl is here?!"

"That's the one! Ayeka was fighting the tall one with the glasses. We were fighting and she swatted one of my energy blasts this way and..." Ryoko took a deep breath. "Look, I'm sorry I hurt you kid. I wasn't trying to...you know..."

It was clear that Ryoko was not used to apologizing. However, while Sasami and Yosho were surprised by her apology, Steven was more surprised by what she said.

"Pearl did this? Pearl hurt Ronaldo?" He whispered.

As Steven considered the possibilities of this revelation, the small caravan of aliens, half aliens, and Greg had made their way to the giant space tree. Leading the pack was Pearl, with a face that was a mixture of relief and regret.

"Steven! You aren't hurt!" She said, rushing over to the boy. She tried to hug him, but Steven took a step back, clearly hurt.

"Pearl, do you know what you did?" Steven told her in a voice he rarely used. This clearly caught the Gem off guard.

"Steven...I..."

"Ronaldo's shirt...aw phooey, the Frymans are going to kill me," Greg groaned. Pearl turned her attention to the bespectacled youth's back and realized the gravity of her action.

"Frybo! Are you..."

"His name is Ronaldo, Pearl!" Steven yelled. "And you hurt him! If my spit didn't work, it could have been really bad!" Tears started to stream down his face and onto his red shirt. "How could you?!"

Internally, the tears pierced Pearl's heart like a sword. She had considered herself to be the knight that protected his Mother, and now she had failed her by failing him. All of her insecurities had started to bubble up and take control. She had failed as a knight. She had failed Rose. She had failed Steven.

She really was a defective pearl after all. She didn't deserve the love that her family gave her. As such, she could not control the stream of tears that followed. She looked imploringly to the boy, hoping that they could move past this, but she knew it would take time to heal wounds that not even Rose's magic could touch.

"Let her be Amethyst," Garnet told her companion. "The two of them will need time. For now, we have other priorities. Ronaldo, are you uninjured?"

The lad was still muttering to himself, factoring in new details into his (now somewhat justified) theory about the world around him. "I'll take that as a yes."

There was an awkward silence as nobody quite knew how to proceed from here. As everyone was either confused, upset, or angry, it threw off the peaceful serenity of the landscape. Finally, it was Yosho who broke the silence.

"I believe that it is time we received the full story about this meeting Miss Washu," he stated simply. It was not a request.

"I believe you are right," she conceded. "I'm going to make an interdimensional doorway that will access my lab. We can discuss it there. Stand back everyone!"

The pink haired scientist started to move her fingers directly in front of her. At once, a black, computer looking device appeared. It was only partially visible and all of those around her could see the brief flashes of light that emanated from it. Finally, a square doorway materialized from seemingly nowhere. Washu opened the door and motioned to enter.

"Step inside folks. I'll try to make this as painless as possible," she told them. When she noticed the worried looks on the faces of the guests she hastily added "Not literally!"

*SM*

"What. Is. This. Place?!" Ronaldo asked, stepping out if the door into the scientist's lab.

The room was wide with seemingly no boundaries beyond the scientific equipment that filled up the space. From giant engines to containment tanks filled with animals the likes of which Ronaldo could comprehend, he had realized that this whole place was possibly the weirdest place on the planet.

"You are now in a separate dimension created and cultivated by me for scientific use!" Washu explained. "Subspace can be so easily manipulated as long as you have the right equipment!"

"SUBSPACE?!" Ronaldo could barely control his excitement.

"It's like something out of one of my books!" Connie managed to get out after the shock of the situation passed. "Do you believe this Steven?"

He looked around in amazement. "I can't Connie! It's beyond my imagination! I feel like I'm in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory or something!"

"Well, the Temple is pretty amazing too, right?" Pearl offered hopefully.

Connie observed Steven's smile disappear and turn into a frown. It was clear that the momentary distraction the lab provided had disappeared and Steven was reminded of the harsh reality of his annoyance at Pearl's earlier actions.

"We are in outer space?!" Greg asked worryingly, not picking up on Steven's behavior. "Wait, how am I breathing right now? Am I breathing right now?"

"Don't get her started," Ryoko groaned. "She's such a show off."

"What did you say Daughter of mine?" She asked venomously. "You know that you aren't anywhere near out of the doghouse yet!"

"Cram it Ma!"

Garnet took everything in and looked to Tenchi. "It seems that you live an exciting life Mr. Masaki."

"I could tell you stories," Tenchi shook his head.

"Now then, if we are all at peace with the settings, we can begin," Washu said with a snap of her fingers. On cue, desks materialized from the floor underneath the occupants, save Lion and Ryo-Ohki. As to be expected, the Beach City residents were confused while the folks from Okayama groaned, clearly used to this. "Did I mention I used to teach?"

"School? Oh man, I dropped out of community college so I wouldn't HAVE to go back to school!" Greg grumbled.

Mihoshi started to laugh and pointed to Yosho, who looked ridiculous in his desk. "You look hilarious!"

"Quiet please!" Washu tapped the ruler that suddenly appeared on the desk...which also appeared out of nowhere. "We are going to discuss why we are all here today. Would anyone care to wager a guess?"

"Oh! Oh! Pick me! Pick me!" Steven waved his hand excitedly.

Washu nodded her head in his direction and he began to speak. "Because of Ronaldo's blog!"

"That is only half right Mr. Universe, but thank you for guessing. Yes, his blog is the catalyst for our meeting, but I have long since desired to work with Gems. This was my first opportunity in over 10,000 years."

"10,000 years?" Pearl asked, trying to keep her mind off of how she failed Steven.. "That was before the war!"

"I didn't see a hand Miss Pearl!"

Pearl looked around. "...why would you need to see my hand? My Gem is on my forehead..."

"Pearl, in school you raise your hand!" Connie whispered hastily. "It shows the teacher that you know the answer or have a question."

"You humans are so confusing..."

"But she isn't a human..." Connie started before being interrupted by Washu slapping the board.

"Do either of you have a teaching degree? No? Then let me continue!" Washu snapped. "As you may or may not know, Gems are a race that tend to keep to their own kind. It is not often that they will extend hospitality to another species unless it is for the express purpose of claiming their planet...at least that is what it was before I was imprisoned but I'm getting ahead of myself."

Tenchi took the moment to raise his own hand and stood up, rolling his eyes while he did it. "Miss Washu? I'm still confused. Are Gems living rocks or aliens with magical rocks embedded in them?"

This question caused Ronaldo's eyes to widen. This was the moment he was waiting for: an elaboration on just what a Gem was.

"An excellent question Tenchi. The answer is quite simply this: they are living rocks that have the ability to create a physical projection of a body. Though they are genderless, most typically they identify themselves as females. That is not always the case as shown by our young half Gem over there, whose human half is clearly male," she motioned to Steven, who waved and blushed. "Is there anything I missed in that brief overview Crystal Gems?"

"Minus shapeshifting and fusing, I think you got it girl!" Amethyst cheerfully told her.

The comment caused Washu to raise an eyebrow. "'Fusion?' Interesting development...regardless, did that make things clearer for you Tenchi?"

"As clear as it's going to be..." He turned to the alien women and bowed. "Sorry if I offended you."

"Don't be bro. It's all good," Amethyst nodded.

"So you ARE polymorphic sentient rocks!" Ronaldo spoke.

"What does that mean?" Steven rose his hand to ask.

Ronaldo blinked. "...what?"

"That word...'polymorphic.' What is that?"

"I don't know either," Connie admitted.

"Me too!" Mihoshi wailed.

Realization set in as Ronaldo finally pieced together why Steven didn't tell him about the Gems. "All this time I thought you were just hiding the truth...and you just didn't know what I was talking about?! Oh Steven! It all makes sense! I am sorry for doubting you and your love of the weird!"

"You know what's weird?" Ryoko whispered to Ayeka, who was still pouting. "That guy."

"Miss Ryoko, you nearly killed that boy and now you are insulting him?!"

"What does that mean?!"

With that, Washu threw two books at them, striking them in the head. "Is school supposed to be like this?" Amethyst asked. "It's kind of awesome!"

"Moving on," the teacher coughed. "It took me several thousand centuries, but I was granted an audience with a Gem scientist, Citrine, who invited me and a select few to visit her on your Homeworld..."

*SM*

"Professor Washu Hakubi, I presume?" The cold female voice spoke through the audio console in the cockpit of the small shuttle that Washu was currently occupying.

Detaching from a larger ship, Washu had been instructed to bring only the bare essentials for her meeting. As such, she had only brought the three unknown variables and her two assistants.

The first was younger man who's long hair had been kept hidden by an ornate headdress.He was a Juraian by birth, but considered himself detached from the empire's expanding interests and focused himself of two things: science and swordsmanship. The only indication that he was Juraian was the aforementioned headdress and Washu had hoped it would not be an issue.

Juraians and Gems did not get along. Go figure. She had debated on asking Yakage to stay behind, but she did not want to deprive him of one of the most important meetings of the century.

Her other assistant was a refined man who's lavish green and purple outfit pegged him as a man of great taste. His long white hair contrasted the green cape rather nicely. Sealing the deal was the small pince-nez that rested on his nose.

Yes, Kagato was always one that caused people to stare.

"This is she, along with my two assistants. Is this Citrine, the renowned Gem scientist?" Washu replied.

"Affirmative. Follow the landing beacon and I will meet your craft. We have to be rather secretive about this, as this kind of meeting is frowned upon by my superiors," the voice informed them.

This caused Washu's smile to falter. Finally, with a theatrical sigh she responded with "Ah, so this is 'off the records.' No problem, we will maintain our present course and shall see you in no time."

"Sounds like we are in for a shorter trip than we hoped Professor," Yakage snorted.

Washu turned to him curiously. "Is that sarcasm or some of that famous Juraian prejudice I've heard so much about?"

"Professor, Yakage here has a point," Kagato pointed out. "This world is so reclusive that the mere fact that we are allowed to be here is curious. It is obvious that the people of this word do not believe that non Gems are worth having around."

"You seem to be rather interested in this, my former student. Is it just the scientific curiosity or is there something else?"

Kagato gave a short dismissive laugh. "Oh come now, you aren't the least bit interested in the power these Gems contain? It is said to rival even Tsunami's abilities."

"Tsunami is a theoretical being Kagato," Yakage reminded him. "If she exists, only the Jurai Royal Family knows of her."

"I was referring to the actual space tree, not the mythical goddess of legend."

"I see."

*SM*

"I have a question!" Steven rose his hand eagerly once again. "Are you talking about the storm? Does this have to do with Lapis?"

The scientist turned to the Gems and Greg in the hopes he would clear up the second part of that question. "Lapis?"

"Another Gem. She can control water," Garnet replied quickly.

"Ah. No, Tsunami is...uh, how do I put this in simpler terms..." Washu started to ponder the question.

"I can answer Miss Washu!" Sasami stood up. "Tsunami is the goddess of the Planet Jurai. She watches over its people and its space trees!"

"But you just said it WAS a tree," Connie said.

"She's both!"

"While the story is stopped," Pearl gingerly rose her hand. "Did you say that Kagato was your assistant? As in The Ruins Buster?"

"Yes...but that doesn't even matter..." Washu started to rub her temples and groaned. "This is getting us nowhere...may I continue? I'll elaborate on Kagato later."

*SM*

The shuttle landed on a discreet platform in the middle of a shining Crystal City. There were shimmering buildings made of glass and ornate temples designed out of a stone like material that was native to the planet. On the platform awaited two individuals. One was a yellow skinned female with thick glasses. She wore what looked to be an ornate lab coat. With her was another female with lime green skin and even lighter hair. She wore a streamlined set of glasses that allowed the visitors to see the green gem on her forehead.

"Welcome to the Gem Homeworld. It is great to finally meet the woman behind the science," the yellow skinned Gem reached out her hand to shake.

"Likewise Citrine. These are the assistants I told you about: Yakage and Kagato," Washu returned the hand shake and acknowledged her associates.

"Greetings gentlemen. I hope you do not mind me allowing one of my technicians sit in on this. Peridot here helps keep my machines up and running. Say hello Peridot."

"I still have to raise my objections on allowing organics on the Homeworld Citrine!" the smaller Gem known as Peridot crossed her arms. "Especially one who appears to be a Juraian!"

Citrine's yellow eyes narrowed as she studied Yakage very intently. "Good observation Peridot, but I see no sign of maliciousness from this organic. However, your objections have been noted and ignored. As women of science, it is our duty to answer the questions of the universe, including the interesting puzzle our guests have brought us."

"If that is your wish," Peridot grumbled.

*SM*

"PERIDOT?!" Amethyst shrieked. "You KNEW Peridot?!"

Washu blinked. "For about a half hour?"

"It might not be OUR Peridot Amethyst," Garnet pointed out.

"This is true...but it sounds like it could have been her..."
“Wait, are all Gems named after the Earth names for rocks…or were our names based off of them?” Tenchi asked.
“Look, can I just finish the damn story?!” Washu growled, then she remembered who was in her class. “Er…sorry kids. Didn’t mean to swear.”

"Citrine..." Pearl tapped her finger to her Gem. "But that was...no, it couldn't be..."

*SM*

The quintet of sentient beings made their way through Citrine's lab. It was filled with all sorts of strange technology that Washu had never seen before. To describe them here would not do the mechanical marvels justice.

"This is certainly an impressive array of equipment! Is this standard in all Gem scientific communities?" Kagato asked, clearly taken back and examining all of the sights around him.

"It is. But you have not come her to look at our equipment, you came here with a question. I'd appreciate it if we stuck to the matter at hand," Citrine said plainly.

Kagato bowed low. “I do apologize. I just find myself fascinated with Gem culture."

"I see..." she narrowed her eyes. "Regardless, would you mind explaining to us just exactly what these 'Gem like items' are Professor Hakubi?"

The pink haired woman nodded and began to type on her own holographic computer. In mere moments, three red gems materialized into her hands. She passed them over to the Gem scientist, who examined them curiously. "I have no memory of who my parents were or where I was born. The only fleeting glimpse of the past I have are these three gems. I have spent my life thus far trying to crack the mystery behind them and I have come up with more questions than answers. This is why I sought out the Gems of Homeworld. Given the lack of data I possess on your species, I have no way of knowing if these originated on this planet or as a byproduct of your people."

"Then allow me to correct a serious flaw in your hypothesis," Citrine started as she put the gems into an intricate looking device. "This is not of Gem design. We have never encountered ANYTHING like this before. It...it is unnatural."

"Unnatural?" Washu asked. "Care to elaborate?"

Citrine tapped her fingers to the side of her chin. She removed her glasses and put the tip in her mouth. "Gems are more than just beings with gemstones embedded in their bodies. We literally are the gemstone. The gemstone contains our being. This gem...does not contain life. It contains something else...raw power."

"Power?" Kagato asked, suddenly far more interested in the conversation than the Gem's lab. "What kind of power?"

"It is hard to say," she admitted. "I believe that if this were linked up to a proper conduit, the energy would be able to be controlled and released."

The sudden change in conversation excited the genius scientist. "What type of conduit are we talking about here?"

"Based on these preliminary examinations, I'd hypothesize that if a biological host were designed to merge with the gems, it would net a far higher output than utilizing artificial means," she said as she had Peridot wheel in a display screen. "Thank you Peridot. Allow me to demonstrate."

She pulled up various videos of Gems firing energy projectiles and summoning magical weapons. "Our gemstones are the source of our powers. For example, I have the ability to create a fine laser which I use in my research. Now, these gems could be used for a similar purpose, but while one gem is enough to rival even a Quartz gem, all three together would be...unparalleled in strength and power. You might hold the single most dangerous objects in all of our known galaxies."

The Gem handed the gems back to Washu, who put them back into the pocket dimension she appropriated for that purpose. "I thank you for the insight on this. It is worth looking into. Perhaps a test run on something like Masses...."

Just then, a loud knock was heard on the door. "Citrine, open up! We know you are harboring off-worlders here!"

Before Citrine and the scientists could respond, the door blasted open and two large, muscular women marched in. Their intimidating image frightened Citrine and Peridot, and yet not the others.

"Carnelian. Agate. You have no right to be in my quarters" Citrine cried. "We are all Quartz Gems here..."

"Save it. You know our planet's rules on off-worlders. They are either to be terminated or put to work. Do you wish to share their fate?" the orangey red Gem pointed her gem encrusted hand at her.

"Come now Carnelian, there's no need to threaten Citrine here. She's our top scientist in the field. She surely had a reason to allow such pathetic people to enter our planet," the blueish black warrior did sneering laugh. "Perhaps they can be useful in our subjugation of the Planet Beta."

The Gem strolled right up to Washu and got down to her level. "What do you say Junior? Want to help with the war effort?"

"Sorry, I've got better things to do tonight than die," Washu laughed and teleported directly behind her. "I do believe we have all the answers we hoped for. Thank you Citrine. Peridot. It's been a blast."

At the mere mention of the word, Washu gave a quick nod to her companions. Kagato sent a small shockwave of energy into the ground, temporarily stunning the Gems. Yakage, on the other hand, produced a wooden sword which he used to knock out the two guards. They erupted into a small *POOF* and returned to their baseline Gem forms.

The trio ran out of the lab and made their way back to the ship. However, another Gem was in their way. She was roughly eight feet tall with curly, voluminous pink hair. She held a sword in her hand and pointed it at Yakage.

"Please put away your sword. You shouldn't be here. If they see you, they will kill you," she pleaded.

"What's to say you won't do the same to me if I put away my blade?" Yakage countered. "From where we are standing, you are an obstacle in our way."

The woman laughed. "Quite simply, if I wanted to, you would already be dead. But Citrine is a friend of mine. If you were her guest, she must have had a reason. Now put that away and get out of here! I've already asked my Pearl to run interference for you, but there isn't much time!"

"Listen to her Yakage," Washu told him. "Thank you. We are sorry that we caused such a ruckus."

"Don't be Miss. Lately, it's impossible NOT to cause a ruckus here. I hope you got what you came here for."

"I can't say..."

*SM*

"That was YOU?!" Pearl asked gasping. "I remember that day...they took Citrine away and...they cracked her Gem..."

The comment caused Washu to fold her arms and sigh. "Well that explains why I was never able to get back in contact with her."
“And you met my Mom!” Steven giggled. “That’s amazing!”

"So let me get this straight: you based me off of Gems? No wonder Kagato used me as a tool..." Ryoko snapped her fingers.

"It also explains why you and Ayeka always fight!" Mihoshi added.

"...no, that would be because she destroyed Jurai," Ayeka said bitterly. "And because she thinks that she has a chance with Tenchi."

Ryoko started to laugh and retort, but Connie raised her hand. "So if that Citrine woman told you all she knew, why did you need the Gems?"

"An excellent question. Quite simply, now that my gems, or at least one of them, is in a host body, I wanted to see if that could help crack the code on what these things are and why I have them!" Washu announced. "So what do you say Crystal Gems: can you spare a sister some help?"

"Uh..." Amethyst started.

"I don't think so," Garnet said.

"What?!"

Pearl got up. "Miss Pink Haired Scientist Woman..."

"Washu!" Greg whispered.

"Yes, Washu, we wouldn't even know where to begin with that kind of research. I mean, I know a little bit about mechanics, but this is a different level of experimentation! Gems are inherently magical...this is purely scientific!"

"You aren't even going to try?!" Steven cried. "It's clear that if anyone can help them, it is you guys!"

"But Steven..."

"No Pearl! First you hurt Ronaldo bad and now you are going to ruin our vacation! Why can't you help them?" Steven pleaded.

Pearl fought back her own tears and sniffed. "We will do it."

"What?!" Garnet and Amethyst said at the same time.

"We'll do it for Steven...and to make up for our earlier behavior," Pearl nodded. "I don't know if we will be of any help, but I give you my word I will do everything I can."

"That's all I ask," Washu smiled warmly.

From his own desk, Yosho, who has been largely silent throughout this conversation, observed Steven give a quick smile to both Sasami and Connie. "All of this learning is making an old man tired. I think I am going to retire back to the shrine...unless my Grandson is going to prepare that welcoming celebration he was talking about earlier."

Tenchi blinked and shook his head. "What are you talking about Grandpa?! When did I...?"

His Grandfather shot him a fierce look and Tenchi understood what he was doing: creating a situation to lighten the mood and to mend strained relationships. Realizing that there was little more he could do, the youth sagged his shoulders in defeat.

"I guess we are having a party."
User avatar
by drillmaster
#31204 Chapter Six: Greg Makes a Friend

As the sun started to set on the dark Okayama landscape, a small car made its way through the wilderness and parked itself in its usual resting spot. It's lone occupant got out of the vehicle, stretched a bit, and made his way toward the house he built.

"Well...the house doesn't look damaged today..." he told himself.”Maybe the girls had a calm, peaceful day for once."

He sighed as he walked down the path, clutching his briefcase as he went. The past year had been a crazy one for Nobuyuki Masaki. In that time, he had gained five house guests, saw his house get moved from the suburbs to the area next to his Father In Law's shrine, and watched his Son grow into a man.

It was also a time of great reflection on his late wife, Kiyone.

Though he had been told of her true Juraian ancestry after they wed, nothing could have prepared him for the dark day she died. It was as if the planet didn't agree with her. She told Nobuyuki to remarry once she knew that she was going to pass, but the man just couldn't do it. He liked to play around with the various women in the house and take up the role of the lecherous pervert, but his heart beat for only one woman.

And now that heart beat only for his son's continued happiness.

"Sounds like there is quite a commotion going on in there," Nobuyuki observed once he got close enough to the house. "I wonder if Ryoko refilled the sake. Lord knows after the exhausting day I had I could use some."

As he was about to open the door, Nobuyuki swore he heard...a violin? "Do I even want to know?"

He got his answer when he slid the door to the side and got a good view of his living room. A giant amp was being set up by Washu and a gentleman Nobuyuki had never seen before. While this was going on, a young boy and girl were playing on what appeared to be a ukulele and a violin respectively. They seemed to be putting on a small show while Sasami and another unknown person (with a rock on her forehead?) were bringing out copious amounts of food and liquor.

"What...what is going on?!" Nobuyuki asked in his native Japanese tongue.

The two children stopped playing and observed the mustachioed, bespectacled man. Then the boy clapped his hands and excitedly said "New person!"

"Wha?"Nobuyuki was clearly caught off guard by the change in language. "Tenchi, there are people in our house speaking English...and one of them is purple! Can you please explain things for your old man?"

"Well," Tenchi started to scratch the back of his head in an aloof manner. "Washu..."

"Say no more. I understand Son," he closed his eyes and nodded. "Aliens?"

"Some of them."

"Ah."

Washu crossed her arms and pouted. "What is THAT supposed to mean?!"

"Sorry for crashing in your pad without you knowing," the balding man who was fiddling with the amp told him. "I mean, we thought that we were invited. It's honestly really complicated and I can barely follow along, but I'm Greg. Greg Universe."

He came up to shake his hand, which Nobuyuki readily accepted. "Nobuyuki Masaki. Make yourself at home. So, what are we celebrating?"

"It's a welcoming party Nobuyuki," Katsuhito, who had made his way from the kitchen, told him. "To show our guests how hospitable we truly are."

Realizing he was not going to get a straighter answer than that, Nobuyuki shrugged and got himself comfortable while the others had their own conversations around them, save the tall woman with the sunglasses and the afro. She seemed to be keeping quiet in the corner. "So Greg, what do you play?"

"Oh, lots of things, mainly guitar. Washu here was going to build one with her computer doohickey so I could jam with my kid and his friend," Greg said, pointing to the two children.

"Hello!" Steven waved and then went back to strumming his ukulele.

Nobuyuki smiled. "What do you know, another Father around here! I'm used to just women, but I guess it had to happen eventually. I assume one of the other girls here is your wife?"

Greg's smiled faltered for a second. "The Gems? Nah, my wife's no longer with us. She gave up her physical form to bring Steven here into the world."

It took Nobuyuki a few seconds to mentally translate what Greg had just told him, but when it clicked, blank shock appeared on his face. "You are an only Father too?"

"Yep. I mean, Steven has the other Gems looking out for him and teaching him how to use his Mother's magical powers..."

"...your wife was a magician?"

"Alien Gem actually. I know, crazy isn't it?"

The elder Masaki looked from the boy to his Father and then to his own Son. "Holy crap. It isn't crazy at all. I lost my Kiyone when Tenchi was very young."

Greg suddenly caught onto what he was saying. "And he's like some kind of alien royalty, right?"

The two men grew silent as the conversations went on around them. In this moment, both of them realized that they were both two of the only people on the planet that experienced the same tragic circumstances.

"Holy crap."

*SM*

"Let's play a game!" Washu said after the jam session where Greg, Steven, and Connie performed for a bit. The session had ended after Ronaldo (who had asked Washu to make him a synthesizer and an outfit comparable to Mark Mothersbaugh) attempted to join in and blew up the newly created speaker system and caused Ryoko to spill her drink all over Mihoshi.

"Games! I love games!" Steven clapped his hands.

"Good, then you'll love this one," she smirked. "Each of you is going to get a piece of paper. I am going to lock you up, two at a time, and you are going to have to ask and answer any and all questions you might have about each other."

"Yay!"

Tenchi blinked and sighed. "That's not how games work Miss Washu. That's more of..."

He stopped when he saw the death glare that Washu was giving him.

"So...let's see who's first..."

*SM*

"So you can fly, walk through walls, shoot your hair like they are needles, create bursts of energy, merge into solid matter, summon ghosts, teleport, shrink matter, send telepathic thoughts, control the little bunny cat thing, balance your metabolism, create a floating hot spring, and can convert water so it can't conduct electricity?" Ronaldo asked scribbling down everything he could on Ryoko, who could care less. "That's astounding!"

"Oh," she shrugged. "I forgot. I can also create an energy sword..."

She stretched out her hand and her gem glowed red. In a moment, the weapon materialized and Ronaldo's jaw dropped.

"You...you made a LIGHTSABER?!"

"If that's what you want to call it."

"You are literally the coolest person I have ever met!" Ronaldo whispered with glee.

*SM*

"So what type of work do you do?" Greg asked Nobuyuki with interest.

"I'm an architect actually,"

"Get out!"

"Don't tell me you're an architect too?!"

"Nah," Greg laughed. "But I DID help design and build Steven's house."

"No kidding?" Nobuyuki was floored at how alike the two men were. "Along the same lines, I've dabbled in singing from time to time. Can't say I'm at your level, but I know my way around a karaoke bar."

"What are you into man?"

"Eh," Nobuyuki scratched his head, thinking of American music that he enjoyed. "The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, The Philosophy Majors..."

"Dude!" Greg interjected. "I think we just became friends!"

Nobuyuki thought about it for a half second before nodding. "Yup!"

*SM*

"...and then I turned on the weather machine and it started to snow inside! Miss Washu was mad at me for a bit but then she hugged me and we played around in the snow for a while!" Mihoshi could not stop talking. "Do you like the snow?"

"It's alright," Garnet gave a short nod. She had tried to be clear that she wasn't going to get involved in this "game," but somehow she had been placed with the ever persistent Mihoshi.

"I love the snow! It's so fun to play in! It reminds me of my home planet where it snowed a lot sometimes! I used to play with my brother Misao before we joined the Galaxy Police and..."

*SM*

Washu and Connie sat down and regarded each other. The girl had impressed the genius with her tenacity and, as such, wanted to know more about her.

"Tell me something, does being involved with magic and aliens ever bother you? Surely it must be overwhelming sometimes," Washu asked.

"Are you playing psychologist?" Connie rose an eyebrow.

"...and if I am?"

"Just curious. Honestly, I love hanging out with Steven and the Gems! My parents can be really strict sometimes, even though I know they are doing it because they love me, but sometimes I just want to be free! I've always read about stuff like this in my books, but to LIVE it?" Connie went on, really showing her passion for her friends. "I wouldn't trade it for the world."

"Do you care if I play Devil's Advocate for a moment?" Washu asked, sitting back in a chair.

Connie thought about it and nodded. "Only if I can do the same to you if I get the chance."

"Done. Based on the weapons and up to date fighting styles, I am going to assume that the Gems often get into serious altercations."

Connie nodded. "Yeah, there are a lot of Gem monsters that seem to attack them."

"Aren't you afraid of getting hurt, or getting Steven hurt?"

"Steven and I can handle anything together. I've been training under Pearl in the art of swordplay," Connie smiled.

The pink haired girl nodded her head and gave a look of approval. "Impressive. It's rare for a human your age to be able to keep up with a Gem. You should talk to Tenchi's Grandfather while your here. Maybe he can give you some lessons."

"Maybe I will. Mind if I ask you something?"

"It's only fair."

"Why do you stay here? Is it because of Tenchi, to be with Ryoko, or something else?"

The scientist thought about it and shrugged. "Can't I pick both?"

"You can, but I'd know you were hiding something."

"The truth is," Washu sighed. "Tenchi is as much of a mystery to me as my gems. He has so many hidden talents that just don't add up. I want, no NEED, to know what makes him tick."

She regarded the confused expression on Connie's face and smiled. "But yes, I do care deeply for my little Ryoko and dear Tenchi. You happy yet?"

"...maybe."
User avatar
by drillmaster
#31317 Chapter Seven: The Plight of Pearl and Ayeka

"They've been in that room for awhile," Ryoko pointed out after about twenty minutes. "I'd worry about your friend kid."

While the "game"was being played, the groups spent the time eating Sasami's delectable treats and talking amongst themselves. Tenchi found the situation to be very awkward, but he knew better than to cross Washu. If she felt this was the best way to diffuse this situation, then he would let it run its course. Hopefully it would happen soon. Ayeka was still sulking in another part of the room, and Pearl seemed to be pacing and talking to Garnet. It was starting to look bad, but Tenchi had faith.

Besides, when was the last time he saw his father so happy?

"Connie is in danger?" Steven asked, the color draining from his face.

"She's joking Steven...isn't she Nobuyuki?" Greg asked.

"Uh..." Nobuyuki started, trying to find the right words. "She shouldn't be?"

"That doesn't sound very confident. Oh god, the Maheswarens are going to kill me, bring me back at the hospital, and kill me again!"

"Oh no!" Steven cried, equally worried. "We've got to save Connie!"

Tenchi, ever the paragon of intercession, stepped in. "Ryoko, knock it off! You are scaring our guests!"

"It was a joke Tenchi darling!" Ryoko pouted, but soon remembered that she was technically in the dog house too. She hung her head low. "I didn't mean to scare the kid. How was I supposed to know he was impressionable?"

"Because he's only, what, ten?" Tenchi shook his head. "I can't believe you sometimes!"

"It's okay Tenchi," Steven said solemnly. "She was only joking. I forgive her."

The comment caused Greg to stop pacing and admire his son. "Aw, good job sport! You get that from your mother."

"You know...Tenchi is a lot like his mother too," Nobuyuki remarked. "Seriously, these similarities are astounding!"

"What similarities?" Tenchi asked, confused.

"We've realized that we might be the only two humans on Earth who have gone through literally the exact same thing. From losing our alien wives to raising a half human son who has proven time and time again to be a hero," the elder Masaki smiled.

"Interesting development," Katsuhito rubbed his chin. "Tenchi, Steven, would you both run to the Shrine and fetch me the bottle on my writing desk?"

"You...need MY help?" Steven's eyes widened. "Steven Universe is reporting for duty!"

A quick look at his Grandfather showed that this was less about getting a bottle and more about either forcing the two of them out of the house or for the two of them to talk. Knowing he was once again just used as a prop, Tenchi put on a smile and let the youth march forward.

"Is that really a good idea?" Amethyst asked as she ate a rice ball. "Steven doesn't know this place at all."

Ryoko let out a small laugh. "I wouldn't worry. The old fart is probably trying to get the two to bind or something, like this stupid 'game.'"

"'Boring game' is more like it. I really don't get it," Amethyst admitted. "Actually, it really is stupid."

"Amen sister!" Ryoko raised a glass. "Want a sake bomb?"

"Is that a drink?"

"Yep!"

"Lay it on me!"

*SM*

"Pearl, you need to get it together," Garnet told her fellow Gem. "Sitting here and ALMOST talking to Steven won't solve anything."

"But Garnet..." Pearl said weakly, looking at Steven leave with the Juraian Prince. "He's so mad at me."

"He's ten. He'll get over it."

Pearl gave a small chuckle. "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get past silly grudges from centuries ago?"

"Because you're not awesome like me," Garnet adjusted her glasses. She went to walk away and gave her a knowing look. "You want to make things better? Make the party happier. And when she offers it to you, don't turn your nose up."

The vague comments caused Pearl to blink confusedly. "I hate it when you do that!"

As Garnet started to mingle with Amethyst and Ryoko, Pearl scanned the room. 'What does she mean by bringing happiness to the party? I...' Then her eyes fell upon the Juraian Princess and it clicked. "...oh. Phooey."

The Gem sighed as she made her way over to the Juraian. This was tough for her to do, but she knew that facing an upset Ro...Steven would be tougher. However, Pearl would soon face a greater challenge from a Juraian:

"You're Pearl, right?" The blue haired young Princess asked her with wide pink eyes. The pinkness unnerved Pearl a bit as it was the color of Rose Quartz, but she moved past it.

"That's right. And you are...Ayeka's sister, right?" Pearl struggled to remember the girl's name.

She nodded her head. "Yup! My name is Sasami! How do you do?" The Juraian bowed to her gracefully.

The small action took Pearl completely by surprise. She was not aware of the customs of the Japanese people and could not comprehend why she, Juraian nobility, was bowing to a Gem who had, at one point, been part of a force planning on invading her planet, albeit uneasily.

"Ummm...why are you bowing?" Pearl managed to ask.

The girl giggled. "Silly, that's how we say hello here!"

"Oh! Well...hello!" Pearl said awkwardly, painfully aware of the tension she was creating.

"Do you want something to eat? You haven't eaten anything all night!" Sasami asked worryingly.

"It's alright. Gems don't need to eat," Pearl tried to wave her off.

The girl gave a quizzical look. "But Amethyst ate a lot of my cooking and Garnet just tried one of my panko shrimps."

The blonde Gem had expected that Amethyst would partake in that silly human pastime, but it was shocking that Garnet are as well. She hardly ever tried to eat.

Then she realized that Sasami had said that SHE made them and memories of Steven trying to cook for her and the other Gems flooded her mind. This led to Pearl remembering Garnet's other warning and, however reluctantly, Pearl knew what she would have to do to get back in Steven's good graces.

"You can cook? Well, if you made them then I will most certainly...try...them..." Pearl gave the biggest she could muster behind her fear and disgust.

"Really?!" The girl seemed incredibly excited now. "I'll go get some for you!"

Gulping, Pearl replied with a simple "Joy."

She scanned around the room, eying Ronaldo and Mihoshi chatting about the Galaxy Police. The sight of him made her feel peaceful, as it was an indication that perhaps Steven's healing powers were coming back after Greg caused Steven's self-confidence to plummet. Of course, it also brought her own self-confidence down as he was a reminder of her failure to Steven.

'No. None of that.'

"I hope you'll like it!" The voice is Sasami snapped Pearl out of her self-reflection.

"Thank you Sasami. I'm sure I..." Pearl stopped as she looked at the lightly breaded food staring her in the face. The texture...the shape...the smell.

This was going to be torture.

*SM*

The night sky was peaceful and soothing. In the distance, Steven could hear unfamiliar birds sing out to each other in. It was a nice touch to the wooded area.

"So, our dads seem to be becoming fast friends," Tenchi told the younger boy. "I haven't seen my dad laugh like that in forever."

"My dad has that effect on people!" Steven hummed happily. "I think it's cool that we all seem to be making friends while we are here!"

Tenchi laughed and moved on. There was something about this boy that seemed to make everything just...serene. Perhaps the tense, cynical nature that he had adopted in the past months being around the constant bickering could use a fresh touch of childlike innocence.

"Hey Tenchi...what do you think our dads meant by them both going through the same thing?" Steven asked before getting momentarily distracted. "Oh! A firefly!"

"Well," Tenchi scratched his head. "Maybe it has to do with them being single fathers?"

"Oh yeah," Steven quietly said. "Hey Tenchi?"

"Yes?"

"Do you remember your mom?"

The question hit Tenchi like a punch to the gut. It was a question that he had been asked numerous times before, but never by someone younger than him. The thought of his mother was always bittersweet. He had shared many happy memories with her before she died, but her death loomed over him to this day.

"I mean, yes. Yes I do Steven," he replied.

The boy looked to him and focused back on the path. "That's good."

"You...you lost your mom too, right?" Tenchi prodded. "Isn't that what Dad said?"

He nodded, looking around for the firefly again. "What was she like?"

"Who?"

"Your mom. I..." Steven swallowed and looked to the ground. "I never knew mine. It's just how Gems are. I can't live while she survived..."

It was quiet for a moment. Tenchi knew that he was still trying to collect himself. The cheerful lad that had brightened the mood was still there...but clouded by regret.

"I mean, I know Connie's mom and Sadie's mom...but they aren't like the video Lion gave me and the stories Dad and the Gems told me about her. I just want to know if your mom was like mine."

The Japanese youth regarded the child and realized that his father was right: this boy was holding the world on his shoulders. He really WAS just like Tenchi. Unlike him, though, Tenchi picked up that the girls he was with raised him as opposed to trying to court him (which makes sense considering his age, but having Juraian ancestry forces one to question these things). He knew love and happiness, but it must have been awkward to be raised by his mother's friends...especially if she had to die for him to be born.

"My mother was a kind woman. Loving, peaceful...she was never without a smile. She made it a point to see me smile and to make every moment count," Tenchi laughed to himself as he sat down on a bench near the Shrine. He motioned for Steven to join him. "But no matter what, I knew what she stood for."

"What?" Steven asked, hanging on to every word.

"Love. Love for me and this world. She loved it here in Japan...with Grandpa and Dad. It was a never ending time of joy..." Tenchi grew silent for a moment. "Until it ended."

Steven patted Tenchi's back. "She sounded so nice."

"She was the best," Tenchi smiled. "Do you know something Steven?"

"What?" He asked curiously.

"Your mom would be proud to see the kind of person you are," he told him, suddenly knowing what to tell him.

His eyes widened. "Really?"

"That's right," he nodded. "The Gems are lucky to have your optimism."

The boy sniffed, apparently trying to hold back a tear or two. Tenchi left him for a moment to get what he needed to get from the Shrine. While inside, he grabbed a few tissues for him.

"You look like you could use this," Tenchi handed him them, and Steven blew his nose like a trumpet. "Come on Steven, let's go make sure the girls didn't kill each other."

"They would do that?!"

"Honestly..." Tenchi chuckled. "I wouldn't put it past them."

Steven returned the chuckle. "You guys are weird!"

"Says the kid with a rock on his stomach!"

*SM*

Ayeka looked out to her half-brother's shrine and sighed. Lord Tenchi and the Universe boy had been gone for what felt like ages but she knew only to be minutes. It took everything in her not to stop him from going and gushing her heart out to him, but the shame of her actions weighed her down.

She had debated on going inside to join the party, but she didn't feel like socializing. It was her family's prejudice that brought her to behave in that manner and it was her own fault for not discarding them earlier. Clearly Yosho could do it. Why hadn't she?

The princess sighted her sister mingling and laughing with the various guests without an issue. She envied her optimistic outlook on life. She didn't have a sense of entitlement like Ayeka had. It was something that she had realized while on this planet and something that she had tried desperately to shake.

Of course, having a barbarian like Ryoko as a housemate didn't help.

"Ayeka, right?" a female voice snapped her back to the here and now. It was the Gem who had put Ryoko in her place.

"Yes, Pearl, was it?" Ayeka recollected.

The two ladies chuckled. "It seems that we are both having a difficult night," Pearl offered. She motioned to the seat next to Ayeka. The princess nodded.

"It would seem that way. Are you enjoying Japan?"

"It's...nice I suppose," Pearl glanced out in the distance. "I mean, when you see one place on this planet, you've seen them all."

"On that I must disagree. I might be from...well I might not be from around here," Ayeka blushed, trying not to bring up her home planet. She noticed Pearl raising her eyebrow at the comment, but did not acknowledge it further. "But even I have to admit that the sights are second to none, even compared to luxury planets like Ryuten or Torkulon. It's rare to find such...variety on a planet."

"I'll take your word for it," Pearl smirked. "I have to admit I've been desensitized to the Earth. We've been here for over 2,000 years."

"My word!" Ayeka gasped. "You have been here even longer than Yosho!"

"I suppose so."

"Miss Pearl," Ayeka breathed deeply. "I'd like to apologize for the dismissive way I treated you earlier. It is unbecoming for me and is a poor reflection on this household's hospitality."

"No, no, no!" Pearl shook her head. "I came here to apologize to you for bathing in and causing trouble for you and the people of your house! It was rude and un-Gem like and..."

The two locked eyes and they both realized each other's anguish over the day's events. It was a clarifying moment for the two opposing women.

Ayeka started to giggle. "We sound like broken records."

"I'd say."

"Might I ask why you Gems are so far away from your Homeworld?" Ayeka boldly asked.

"Homeworld...well we weren't happy with how Homeworld wanted to go about conquering and monopolizing worlds. Rose Quartz, Garnet and I took a stand and forced them off of this planet... Pearl allowed her gem to show brief snippets of battle, images she had hidden even from Steven.

Ayeka stared in awe at the ferocity of the pink haired warrior that was so clearly Steven's mother. The way she commanded the legions of Gems reminded her of when Yosho led the battle against the Kagato controlled Ryoko.

"Yes, Rose was something amazing to watch..." Pearl was lost in the memory of her mentor. Was that longing in her eyes?

"She meant a lot to you, didn't she?"

"She was my everything," the Gem smirked. "I don't think you can understand..."

"I don't know about that," Ayeka replied tenderly. "I might know more than you realize. Lord Tenchi is MY everything...my one and only...and now he's mad at me."

"You know what I think?" Pearl said, trying to calm down the woman. "I think that both of us sitting out here and feeling bad for ourselves isn't going to make things better. We might as well enjoy this unexpected time."

Ayeka blinked and let out a noble woman's laugh. "I do believe you have a point there. I had thought that Gems didn't eat, but I saw you eating one of Sasami's treats. It has made me want one too. Would you care to join me?"

Ayeka noted that Pearl's eye twitched and it took a second for her to smile. "I'd love to," she said after a moment.

"I must say," Ayeka told her as they walked inside. "You did a wonderful job fighting against that shriveled old mummy...despite the unfortunate after effects of course."

"Isn't she your friend?" Pearl asked perplexed.

"Well yes...but it is always great to see her brought down a notch."

*SM*

By the time Steven and Tenchi returned, the party had started to pick up into something enjoyable.

Tenchi stared in shock at the things happening around him. Ryoko was pounding back jug after jug of the house's finest sake with Amethyst. Washu had returned and was engaged in a conversation with Garnet, who seemed to be smiling and clapping along to the music.

But what really got him about the music was his father. Nobuyuki had taken the microphone from earlier and had started to sing a cover of the They Might Be Giants cover version of "Istanbul" while Connie and Greg backed him up. The sight of his father singing at all shocked the Japanese youth, but it made him smile.

'He's really happy,' he concluded. His eyes shifted to Ronaldo, Mihoshi, Sasami, and Ryo-Oki dancing along. It was as if the awkwardness had disappeared in a short amount of time. He looked to Steven, who was in awe of everything going on around him. No doubt seeing Connie okay added to it.

But where were Ayeka and Pearl?

The music stopped shortly after the fathers noticed their sons cheering them on. Nobuyuki's face burned red and put down the microphone. "Tenchi! I...err..."

"Dad, I haven't heard you sing in years!" Tenchi smiled. "You sounded great."

"Well what can I say son? I guess I'm just that good," he laughed loudly.

"Damn straight you are Nobi!" Greg patted him on the back. "Steven, want to jump in on the next song? I stole Connie and could use more back up!"

"Come on Steven!" Connie said excitedly.

Steven ran over to his best friend and gave her a big hug. "Connie! I thought Washu was going to hurt you and turn you into a science experiment!"

"What?" Connie laughed. "Where did you get that idea?"

Washu, who had paused her conversation to acknowledge the arrival of the two, eyed her daughter ruefully. "I have a few ideas..." she muttered.

"Well I'm just happy that you are okay! But where is...?" Steven started before his answer came out of the kitchen.

Pearl and Ayeka brought out new refreshments to give to the parched musicians. "I've got lemonade and something called 'Sapporo,'" Pearl said before her eyes widened at the sight of Steven. "Steven! I..."

Before she could finish, Steven let go of Connie and directed his hug to her. "Pearl, don't be sad! I know you didn't mean to be mean..."

The proud Gem warrior promptly broke down in tears, embracing the son of Rose Quartz. At the same time, Ayeka bowed to Tenchi and, Tenchi being Tenchi, told her he wasn't mad any more either. With the last lingering tension resolved, Steven grabbed his ukulele and the quartet of musicians started up once more while the others danced, some more awkwardly than others. A good time was beginning to be had by all!

"It seems everything worked out for the best," Garnet observed from the sidelines to Washu and Katsuhito, who took a long sip of his drink.

"For now. This week has only just begun," the scientist nodded. "Anything could happen."

The elder Masaki made his way for the door, preparing to leave the celebrations. "Right you are Miss Washu. And with that, I think I will be off. You folks enjoy the night. My place is back at the shrine. After all, my work here is done."

The Gem gave him a confused look. "What do you mean? You didn't do anything."

The Shinto priest merely chuckled. "Didn't I?"

*SM*

Under the Masaki lake, a lone consciousness stirred. Though artificial in nature, this entity was stirred to life by a signal coming from a far off system. Thus was the life of Yukinojo, the A.I. of Detective First Class Mihoshi's police shuttle, which now found its home under the lake as the result of being the victim of constant crash landings.

"This is a priority distress signal for First Class Detective Mihoshi! I repeat, a priority distress!" the signal rang out.

"Yukinojo receiving Chief Nobeyama!" the AI responded back.

"That's a relief. Have First Class Detective Mihoshi contact me as soon as possible! We are dealing with a serious crisis!"

"Understood. What would you like me to tell her?"

"The criminal Doctor Clay was kidnapped from police custody by two female figures of unknown origin. We have reason to believe they are heading to the Solar System. They could be arriving any day now! Just have her contact me immediately!"

"Understood Chief. I will begin hailing Mihoshi now."

With the transmission cut off, Ukinojo began attempting to get Mihoshi's attention...a gesture that would no doubt be futile.