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Whats a Cold? Steven Universe (Pearl)


uniquelyme

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Theres some minor spoilers about the Gem’s abilities but no major spoilers to the plot. You only need to have watched the first episode to know whats going on really. I love the salty relationship between Pearl and Greg so I had to write that. I know I’m pretty late to the Steven Universe party but here it goes:
  

 

 “Careful.” Garnet warned, watching as Pearl held the quivering Gem Bubble in her hands. 
    “Don’t worry.” Pearl reassured, sweating slightly as she concentrated. 
    The bubble in her hands contained a particularly stubborn Gem Monster that the Crystal Gems had captured terrorizing the boardwalk. The spiny urchin-looking creature seemed to have a liking for french fries. It had all but destroyed the Beachwalk City Fries shop before the Gems were able to get it under control. Now all that was left to do was warp it away to the Temple. 
    Pearl was just about to warp it away when- 
    “Hey Pearl!” Steven came running through the door, a huge grin on his face. 
    “Steven!” Shouted Pearl, losing concentration. At once, the bubble popped and the Gem Monster began to expand, stabbing its thick spines in all directions. 
    Pearl gasped and clamped her hands around the creature, containing it. She yelped as its spines jabbed at her. In one quick movement, Garnet bubbled the Monster and warped it away. 
    “Pearl!” Steven yelled. “That was close!” He rushed to Pearl’s side. 
    Pearl shivered and swayed on her feet. A firm hand steadied her. Garnet let Pearl lean into her. “Pearl, are you okay?”
    Using Garnet to support herself, Pearl stood upright. “Yes, fine.” She looked down at Steven, whose eyes had grown wide as dinner plates. 
    “P-Pearl, your gem!” 
    “Huh?” Pearl lifted a hand to run over the surface of her gem. Where she usually felt only a smooth stone surface, she now felt a small chip near the center of her gem. Trying not to let her panic show, she knelt down to comfort Steven, whose eyes were brimmed with tears. “Its alright, Steven. Just a small chip. Its small enough that it will heal itself. My powers might just be a little… uncontrolled for a bit.” The smile that she gave didn’t quite reach her eyes, but it was enough to set Steven’s mind somewhat at ease. 
    “C’mon Steven,” Garnet placed a hand on his shoulder. “Pearl needs her rest.” She gently ushered Steven out the door. 
___________________________________________________________________________

    
    A few hours of exploring the beach and Steven was starving. He headed back to the house, opening the door. He was greeted by an unusual site.
    Pearl lay on the couch, looking a lot pinker than usual. Her eyes were watery and her nose was dripping. Despite the summer heat, she was shivering slightly. Garnet and Amethyst stood around her, looking more than a little confused and concerned. Garnet, who was holding a box of tissues, quickly handed one to Pearl.
    “EETTCHHHHeeew!” With a honk, Pearl blew her nose and discarded the tissue in the overflowing wastebasket beside her.
    Steven rushed over. “Pearl are you okay?”
    “Steven,” Pearls voice was a little raspy. “Yes, I’b absolutely fide. I- I- Ah- ah- HAPPTTSHHHHeeew!” Pearl sneezed into another tissue. She sniffed. “Its just my geb- it seebs that my forb is havig a bit of a reactiod to the crack.” Her face went slack for a moment before she gasped in air and- “EEETTTCHHEeeeww!” 
    Amethyst laughed. “Pearl sounds like she has a duck crammed up her nose.” 
    Garnet frowned. “Thats not funny.” She paused, thinking. “Pearl, tilt your head back so I can check for a duck.” 
    Steven stepped in, “Uh guys, I don’t think Pearl has a duck up her nose. She sounds like she just has a bad cold.” 
    Amethyst made a face. “A what?”
    Pearl sighed, closing her eyes. “A cold. Its a huban illness that looks like, well, this.” She rubbed her temples. 
    Garnet smiled slightly. “Steven, sounds like you're the expert. So, tell us what to do.” 
    Steven looked unsure. “Uh, Pearl, why don’t you get changed into something more comfortable, like pajamas!” 
    Pearl looked less than thrilled about the idea. “But-“ 
    Garnet crossed her arms. “You heard him. Put on pajamas so you can be healed.”
    Steven shook his head. “No, the pajamas won’t make you better. The pajamas are so you’re more comfy. Rest and soup and stuff make you better. Uh-“ Steven paused for a moment, then his eyes lit up. “I know what! I’ll go get my dad. He used to take care of me all the time when I was sick!” Steven turned to leave. 
    Pearl bolted upright, wincing slightly at the throbbing in her head. “Steven! No, I absolutely do not need Greg’s help.” 
    Steven turned around. “But why not?”
    Pearl bit her lip, “Greg and I- Greg is-“ The expectant look in Steven’s eyes caused Pearl to feel a pang of guilt rise in her chest. “Greg is… a busy man I’m sure he doesn't have time for-“
    Steven’s smile returned. “Sure he does! Thats what family’s for!” With that he raced out the door. 
    Pearl glanced uncomfortably at Amethyst and Garnet. 
____________________________________________________________________________
    
    Within half an hour Steven returned with Greg in tow, armed with a thermometer, a few cans of soup, and some cough syrup. 
    Greg looked more than a little nervous as he entered the house and set down his supplies on the table beside Pearl. “Uh- Hey Pearl, how you feeling?”
    “EETTCHHHHHeeewww!” Pearl rocked forward as she sneezed into another tissue then plopped back into the couch. 
    Greg chuckled uncomfortably, “Not so hot then.”
    Garnet looked relieved. “We appreciate you coming to help, Greg. I understand you have the situation under control so Amethyst and I will go now.” 
     Amethyst whined, “Go? But I wanted to see the good part! Watching Pearl and Greg is like watching reality TV where-“
    Garnet crossed her arms. “We have work to do in the temple. Now.”
    Amethyst followed Garnet towards the temple door, but turned to stick her tongue out at Steven before disappearing. 
    Steven raised an eyebrow. How come everyone is being so weird about Pearl and my dad?
    Steven turned to look at the couch. Pearl was glaring at Greg, her watery eyes seeming to pierce holes through the air. Greg’s eyes wouldn't meet her gaze. There was definitely something Steven was missing here. 
    
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is super late but here’s an update o-o.

 

Greg fumbled with the thermometer for a moment. “Okay, say ahhhh.”
    Pearl looked mildly offended, “I’m not a child.” She snatched the thermometer out of his hand and popped it in her mouth. A moment passed. Greg leaned in awkwardly to press the button to turn it on. Pearl’s cheeks flushed mint green. 
    Beep. Pearl pulled the thermometer out and looked at the reading. “It says that I’m 101.2% healthy.” She announced.
    Greg stifled a laugh. “No, it means your temperature is 101.2 degrees.”
    Pearl’s brow knitted together. “Ah. In that case it means that I have a slightly elevated temperature.“
    Greg nodded. “You’re running a fever.”
    “Thats what I said.” Pearl shivered. 
    Ignoring the backhanded comment, Greg went over to the sink to prepare a cold compress. “Steven, get Pearl a blanket please. Shivering will only bring her fever up.”
    Steven nodded and gave a small salute before running off to find a blanket.
    As Greg approached Pearl with the compress, she flinched. “What are you doing?”
    “Its a cold towel. It’ll help with your fever. Here just let me-“
    He struggled with Pearl’s hands for a moment before she relented, letting the cold towel rest on her forehead. She shivered slightly. It was uncomfortably cold. But after a moment it started to feel rather nice.
    Greg smiled. “There. Better?” 
    Pearl frowned. “I suppose.” 
    “Blanket delivery!” Steven yelled, throwing the comforter he had found into the air. It landed covering Pearl completely. She poked around to find an exit for her head. “Thank you Steven, she smiled. Suddenly her expression changed. “Ahh… Ah.. Aah-“ Without a tissue, Pearl clamped her fingers around her nose. AATTTCHHmmmptt!” Pearl brought her hand down, looking utterly exhausted.
    Greg and Steven both winced. Greg chuckled, “Bless you. You really shouldn’t hold those in you know.”
    Steven piped in. “You could explode your heart!”  He waved his arms in the air for emphasis.
    Greg smiled. “No, no, you can’t explode your heart… I think.” 
    Pearl raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t have a tissue and my arms were stuck under this blanket. What was I supposed to do?”
    Greg stared at her for a moment, confused by the question. “Just- achoo!” He pretended to sneeze openly. 
    Pearl looked mortified. “Without covering my mouth? Greg- Steven- Neither of you see a problem with that?”
    Steven and Greg simultaneously shrugged. 
    Pearl rested her face in her palm.
    “Are you hungry at all? I have soup.” Greg held up a can of chicken noodle. 
    Pearl felt her stomach turn. Even when she was well she despised eating. “No thank you. Gems don’t need to eat.” She cleared her throat to try to get rid of the frog that had seemingly taken residence there. The attempt only served to make her cough. 
    “How about some tea then?” The optimism in Greg’s tone was evident. “You don’t have to drink it, but the steam should help with your stuffy nose.”
    Pearl crinkled her nose at the phrase ‘stuffy nose’. It sounded entirely too juvenile. Still, she couldn't help but give a small smile seeing Greg’s face light up at his own suggestion. He really did want to help. “Yes, perhaps tea will help my congestion.” 
    Within a few minutes, Pearl sat on the couch with a steamy mug of tea in hand. Steven had gone up to bed; it was getting late. Pearl attempted to inhale the steam rising from her tea. Failing to hide the gurgling sounds of her congested breathing, Pearl could feel herself start to blush. 
    She snuffled a few more times before she felt a tickle starting to bud in the back of her nose. Her eyelids fluttered slightly and her breath caught. “Ahh.. ah-“ Suddenly she remembered she was holding a steaming cup of liquid. Pearl scrunched up her face. “Ahhh- AAh-“ Pearl was fighting back the impending sneeze, and losing fast. Just when she couldn't hold it back any longer she felt the weight of the mug lift from her hands. “HAAATTTCHHHHHEEEeeeew!” She sneezed openly. Immediately her eyes opened wide and her cheeks flushed green. She could feel a bit of moisture on her lip. She hurriedly brought a hand up to cover it. ‘How entirely undignified!’ She thought.
    She glanced up to see Greg leaning in to balance the mug of tea. He smiled sheepishly and chuckled. “Bless you. I saved the tea.” 
    Pearl continued to stare, hand still covering her mouth where the moisture was now starting to drip onto her chin. “I- uh…” 
    Greg set the mug down on the table and reached to grab Pearl a tissue- the box was empty. “Uhh..” Greg looked around for a moment then, “Here.” He pulled the sleeve of the sweatshirt he was wearing over his hand, like a mitten, and offered it to Pearl. 
    Even with her face half hidden behind her hand, it was easy to tell that Pearl was mortified. 
    Greg caught on to her expression of discomfort. He pulled the sweatshirt over his head and handed it to Pearl, smiling. “Its just like a big handkerchief.”
    Pearl didn’t move to grab it. Greg chuckled. “Don’t worry, I can wash it after.” Still no response. “Or, uh, burn it if that would make you more comfortable.”
    Pearl’s blank expression broke into a smile as she couldn't help but chuckled. Going against her better judgement, she picked up the sweater and used it to wipe her nose, trying to look as dignified as possible. 
    Greg rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, I better let you get some rest. I’ll be back to check up on you in the morning.” He turned to collect his belongings.
    There was a moment of silence. Pearl broke it. “I didn’t need you to come and take care of me.” She said uneasily.
    Greg sighed. “I know I didn’t.” He paused. “What do you have against letting me help you?” He asked gently.
    Pearl’s eyes lit up. “I- I don’t- Its just-“
    Greg smile was melancholy. He already knew the answer to his own question. He had already rehearsed the answer a hundred times in his head. “I know we both loved Rose then. And we both love Steven now. If we can put this behind us for him, I know thats what he’d want.” 
    He turned to make sure he’d gathered what little he brought and began to head out the door.
    “Thank you.” Pearl’s voice came out smaller than usual.
    Greg turned around. 
    Pearl looked nervous, sitting there bundled up in her blanket, her eyes a little watery and pinkish nose twitching slightly. She cleared her throat. “Thank you for taking such good care of Steven. And of me.” 
    Greg smiled. “Of course, thats what family’s for.” 
    


    
    
 

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