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Fanfic / Rose Redemption AU

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With all that Steven has learned about Gemkind and his mother, and her memories surfacing in his dreams, he begins to wonder: could Rose Quartz still be alive?

That is what TheWoollyViking's Rose Redemption AU sets out to answer. It is a series of Steven Universe fanfics where Rose comes back, and with her dirty laundry getting aired out in the meantime, she has a lot to answer for and a family that isn't quite willing to accept her with open arms.

This series can be read on DeviantArt here and Archive of Our Own here.

Note: due to the nature of the fanfics, all show spoilers up to Season 5 barring the finale will be unmarked. You have been warned.

This fanfic series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed with Jasper. She still acts brutal and mean like in canon, but she genuinely wants to make up with Steven after what she did to him years prior. Her experience fighting Rose also teaches her that Vengeance Feels Empty, and subsequent stories have Amethyst imply that Jasper hangs out with the rest of the Earth Amethysts and Jaspers from time to time rather than being alone like in Future.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed with Pink Pearl/Val. She takes part in Spinel's revenge ploy, but quickly grows uncomfortable with it, only staying with her after that out of fear.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Rose, albeit justifiably. As she is no longer a Diamond, instead being in the body of an actual Quartz, Rose does not have the strength and abilities she had in the show.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Rose's smothering can veer into this territory at times, almost to the point of being deliberate whenever Connie is around.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Given the nature of how they made contact with Rose, it is not entirely clear if the Rose Quartz they encounter is the actual Rose or just one of her memories that Grew Beyond Their Programming. This is addressed in "Change", where Steven tells Rose about Pink Steven forming from his gemstone in "Change Your Mind", causing her to suffer an existential crisis.
  • Anti-Mutiny: Fire Agate creates the Rose Quartz gems with the express purpose of destroying the Earth. When Fire Agate is convinced to cancel the operation, the Rose Quartz gems end up mutinying her and decide to go ahead with the plan anyway.
  • Arc Villain: One for each major story arc:
    • "Far From Home" has Fire Agate, who wants revenge on Rose for setting up the war and indirectly causing her fellow gems to get shattered. It shifts to the vein of Rose Quartz soldiers after she stands down and they refuse to obey her.
    • "Old Wounds" has the Alternate Universe Yellow and Blue Diamond, who were responsible for killing their universe's Steven and manipulating the revived Pink Diamond through her fear of having her friends and the Earth destroyed, even though, unknown to her, they'd already destroyed the Earth along with everyone on it.
    • While "Change" doesn't necessarily have one, the closest thing to one is Rose's mental projection of Steven who continually berates her and pushes her toward leaving her family and almost shattering herself.
    • "Broken Home" has 1NK, an exact copy of Rose Quartz, who wants revenge on Rose for bubbling the Rose Quartz gems and taking their likeness. She does so by kidnapping and taking control of Steven to lure her and the Crystal Gems to her so she can destroy them all and supplant her life.
    • "Are We Still Friends?" has Spinel and Pink Pearl/Val in a Big Bad Duumvirate exemple, who want revenge on Rose for abandoning her at the garden and causing her injury, respectively; though Spinel is the one most dominant as the antagonist due to Pink's growing uncomfortableness.
  • The Atoner: The Diamonds are trying to be this towards Rose, but her unwillingness to look past all the torment they put her through has left their attempts constantly spurned and belittled. By the events of "Are We Still Friends?", they seem to have given up and have opted to leave Rose alone, albeit reluctantly.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Steven's condition getting worse in "Snowed In" is shown by him suddenly starting to cough up blood. Since Rose no longer has her healing powers, she ends up carrying him through the storm to her fountain.
  • Body Backup Drive: Rose manages to regain a body by taking possession of an emerging Rose Quartz soldier in "Far From Home". While not nearly as powerful as her original body, she is still effective enough as a fighter. It's not clear, however, if there was ever an "original" Quartz's mind in said body after she emerges, though.
  • Body Horror: By the time Steven is finally rescued at the end of "Broken Home", he is severely malnutritioned from being kidnapped for months without food and water, leaving him gaunt and only alive because of his gem nourishing his body.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Diamonds are genuinely trying to change themselves for the better, but their past treatment of Rose has left her so jaded towards them that she constantly rejects and belittles their attempts, especially White's. As of "Are We Still Friends?", this seems to have finally pushed White over the edge and she is showing signs of her old habits.
  • Call-Back: In "Calm before the Storm", Rose recalls when Steven wonders what kind of bag-lunch his mom would have made in "Lion 3: Straight to Video" and makes him and Connie lunches for their training day.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Rose gets her chance to do this with White in "Fight Night." It doesn't make her feel any better.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After Rose regains a body through one of Fire Agate's Rose Quartz soldiers, she sneaks in as just another member of the army in hopes of finding the others and a way back to their ship.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • As an intentional bit of ironic punishment, Fire Agate had commissioned a vein of Rose Quartz in the likeness of Pink Diamond's disguised form with the intent of leading them to Earth and destroying it. It is through one of these quartzes that Rose was able to regain a body with her astral-projection ability.
    • 1NK is a more fitting version of this, being an exact copy of Rose Quartz rather than just her likeness.
  • Family Disunion: In "Growing Pains", Steven rigs things so that he and his mom could spend family time with Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond, hoping that the three of them could reconcile. What follows is a full-on flop of a day at Funland, followed by arguing.
  • Hope Spot: Chapter 6 of "Change" has Rose almost convince herself to go back home until the mental image of Steven returns and brings her back down and pushes her to shatter herself, something that would've come to pass had Steven, Connie and Amethyst not found her in time.
  • Ignored Epiphany: At the end of ''Are We Still Friends?", Rose constantly spurning White's attempts at atonement seem to have reached a breaking point, and White begins to show signs of relapsing back to her previous toxic behavior.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Even with Rose back and Steven working out his issues with her for the most part, he ultimately starts showing signs of overworking himself, keeping his trauma to himself, and having said trauma cause his powers to go out of control, just like in Future. This is in part because of the new trauma he undergoes from his months-long kidnapping by 1NK and not telling anyone about his nightmares and trauma because he believes Rose will only blame herself as she has done many times since her return.
    • Spinel is still left in the garden due to Rose forgetting, ultimately turning to villainy from her pain as she did in the movie.
  • Ironic Echo: Rose caps off her calling out White Diamond with an icy scoff at her reaction:
    Rose: What're those? Tears? Shape up, dearie. I thought you told me Diamonds don't cry.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal:
    • Fire Agate was a loyal member of Pink Diamond's court that fought valiantly for her diamond against the rebel army, unaware that Pink Diamond was also the leader of that army Rose Quartz. When she believed that her diamond was shattered, Agate was devastated, having been given Fire Pearl as something of a companion to help her stay together. When she discovered the truth, she vowed revenge on Pink on behalf of herself and the many loyal gems that were shattered in the war.
    • In "Are We Still Friends?", Spinel and Pink's original Pearl conspire against Rose and hit her with the rejuvenator, intending on leaving an amnesiac Rose to guard the garden for all of eternity as an Ironic Hell.
  • My Beloved Smother: Rose acts as a more benevolent version of this, referring to Steven as her "baby" and holding him every chance she gets in an effort to make up for lost time.
  • Rejected Apology: When White Diamond tries to apologize to Rose, Rose acknowledges it, but makes it brutally clear that she has no intention of forgiving her.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Due to the Character Development that Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl had over the course of the series (as well as the reality that Rose lied to them all this time about who she was), feelings are mixed when Steven and Bismuth are able to successfully establish contact with Rose.
  • Take Me Instead: When Bismuth finds Rose deep within Steven's gem, Rose pleads that if she has any intention of seeking revenge on her, then she should take vengeance on her and not Steven.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty:
    • In "Fight Night", Rose finally gets the chance to chew White Diamond out for her years of abuse and ends the call with White in tears. Rose later confesses that it did not make her feel any better.
    • When she and Jasper have to share a room, Jasper is far from happy to see her former Diamond. Recognizing her resentment, Rose purposefully provokes her into a fight so that Jasper could learn the same lesson she did and give her some form of closure.