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 LordKaiserthe1st'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.
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 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.
- Blood from the Mouth: Things get serious in "Snowed In" when Steven suddenly starts 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reality Ensues: With the fact that Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond are one and the same now public knowledge among gems, it has cause gems on both sides of the conflict to hate her for essentially betraying their trust. The fact that lives were lost both among the Crystal Gems and from the Homeworld Courts certainly does not help, like in the case of Fire Agate (see Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal above) and the newly un-corrupted Crystal Gems almost refusing to help find a missing Steven because it is what their former leader wanted.
- Rejected Apology: When White Diamond tries to apologize to Rose, Rose pretty clearly gives no fucks whatsoever and 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 confessing 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 get the same kind of closure that she did.