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Fanfic / Selaginella Lepidophylla

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"Selaginella lepidophylla. Siempre viva. Stone flower. —a type of spikemoss noted for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation, and then revive with the tiniest amount of water.

This is why, among its many names, it is called The Resurrection Plant."
Prologue, Notes

"The Crystal Gems have often thought that everything would be so much easier if Rose had never left, that everything would be so much better if she could somehow come back.

Unfortunately, reality isn't quite that simple."
Fanfic summary

Selaginella Lepidophylla is an ongoing Steven Universe collaboration fanfic by DrJekyl, CompletelyDifferent, TheBlindBandit, airamcg (also featuring a chapter by SwordTheGuy).

It's on Archive of Our Own and can be read here, and on Fanfiction.Net right here

Tropes present in this work:

  • Anchored Ship: Rose/Pearl, while Pearl sorts things out with Sheena and considers whether she and Rose can have a healthy relationship.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Garnet asking Amethyst how she's feeling effectively works as this, courtesy of how Garnet typically doesn't ask questions.
  • Author Appeal: With several authors, this comes up in spades.
    • Word of God says Rose Quartz interacting with the Gems without Steven dying is one of the main ideas behind this fic.
  • Back from the Dead: Rose Quartz, thanks to Time Travel.
  • Bad Future: Rose apparently came from one of these. She hasn't shared too many details besides that so far.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The legend of the vampire came about when Pearl reformed in a crypt that one point. Apparently Amethyst never let her live it down.
  • Captain Oblivious: Rose favors polyamory so much that she is willfully blind to the emotional impact her romantic decisions have on Pearl and, to a lesser extent, Greg. She has a rude awakening when Pearl isn't willing to take her back as a romantic partner.
  • The Casanova: Something implied in the series but brought front-and-center in this story, Rose Quartz is established with having met with and engaged with multiple human lovers over the centuries while still engaging in a somewhat similar relationship with Pearl. With Pearl now in her own relationship with Sheena (ontop of finally getting over Rose after so many years), Rose's return complicates things for her all over again. When Sheena learns about this, she refers to her as a "serial humanizer". Even if Rose thought Pearl was okay with this, it still does not excuse her.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Rose coming back makes Garnet even more acutely aware of the weight she's been shouldering ever since her departure, and she grapples with having to continue carrying that and keeping the Crystal Gems together after their former leader's return.
    Ruby: "Being the reasonable one sucks."
  • Cuddle Bug: In their relationship, Sheena like to compare Pearl to a cat (behavior wise), being very tactile to the point where Pearl usually winds up in her lap when they watch a movie.
  • Dark And Troubled Future: Rose hasn't revealed yet just what happened that brought her back to life and made her decide it was necessary to go back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, but what we've been told so far all says it wasn't pretty. Subverted, when Rose confesses that she actually came from an alternate timeline.
  • Deconstruction Fic: of the "Rose comes back and interacts with the Gems" fanfic trope, especially since this is set after a lot of character development in canon (Garnet is more comfortable in her role as leader, Pearl is starting to let go and move on, Amethyst has matured, etc.)
  • Didn't See That Coming: Garnet admits that Rose's sudden return completely eluded her Future Vision
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In Chapter 9, Ruby and Sapphire almost turned their conversation into a mushy flirt fest before Garnet urged them to focus on the problem at hand.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Selaginella Lepidophylla is the scientific name for a plant that is called "Stone Flower", "Resurrection Plant", and "False Rose of Jericho", among other names.
  • Extreme Omnivore: While it was already clear in canon, Amethyst discusses marinating something in soap as part of her meal.
  • Failed Future Forecast: Rose's unexpected return does a real number on Garnet's Future Vision, throwing it into such disarray that she's been forced to avoid using it as much as possible.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Rose is having a hard time connecting with the rest of the Gems, mainly do to being from a Bad Future and that the Gems have changed immensely since the last time she saw them.
  • Foreshadowing: In one of Garnet's visions in Chapter 2, Rose desperately kisses Pearl like she hasn't seen her in a long time. Turns out that Pearl had died in the time Rose had come from.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Though it has yet to be addressed in-story, Rose's internal dialogue (and what we see of her) indicates that she released Bismuth again and had the Breaking Point recreated before returning to the past.
  • Group Hug: Steven initiates this the first time they see Rose. Pretty much everyone finds it awkward and uncomfortable.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Rose Quartz, mostly. Especially towards Pearl.
  • Killed Off for Real: Future Steven, since Rose is alive, and reportedly, Future Pearl, who were both killed in action against Homeworld, and the fates of the other Crystal Gems are also left unclear...
  • Lack of Empathy: Rose plays with this trope in the story - she has no lack of sympathy for others, and very much loves her friends and family, but has trouble understanding their points of view at times.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Of the dramatic nature. It is through Sheena's analysis that she found the idea that gems - especially Pearl - being made made to be nothing but glorified curios, yet they were made in design and function to have emotions and a capacity to dream on their own. She even goes a step further to ask why gems have such seemingly useless human characteristics like similar hands (with the same number of joints and fingernails), hair (including eyelashes and eyebrows), the capacity to cry or have snotty noses, the ability to blush, etc.
  • Local Reference: "Maharlika" is a reference to The Philippines, where one of the authors hails from.
  • Mental World: In Chapter 9, Ruby and Sapphire discuss what they're going to do with Rose inside Garnet's meditative mindscape.
  • Mythology Gag: Garnet mentions playing tennis with Greg, which was mentioned in one of the interviews with the Crewniverse.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The authors' clickbait alternate titles on Tumblr, as well as the humorous promo art (see above) based on the chapter which happened to be one of the most emotionally heavy ones so far.
  • Our Time Machine Is Different: Rose arrived using a modified version of the Time Thing from Steven and the Stevens.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Pearl tries to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with Rose by not letting her know about Sheena, to the point that she stands her up on a date and tries to ignore her calls. Rather unsurprisingly, this backfires.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Rose's main purpose in returning to the past, as it turns out, was to set things down this route.
  • Shout-Out: Steven says Rose's claim about changing the timeline for the better was similar to the plot of the SU equivalent of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Signature Style: It's possible to know who was the main writer of a chapter based on writing style.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Each chapter is told from the POV of a different character.
  • Tears of Joy: Rose begins crying as soon as she warps in and sees the Crystal Gems.
  • There Are No Therapists: With all the trauma everyone has gone and is going through, it would really help if they had one.
  • Time Travel: How Rose was able to come back in the first place.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: It's implied that Rose has no way of returning to the future after she arrives. She's not sure if this is good or bad.
    A warning or a promise? Rose still couldn't tell, but she chose to place all her hopes in the latter.