"The Princess didn't understand why her actions were wrong but she had no idea that it was her kingdom's laws that were wrong until she arrived on Earth and began a glorious rebellion to free her gems. She fought alongside amazing gems as their equal and their friend not their master."
— Chapter 3
What Might Have Been is a Steven Universe fanfic by VioletRoseLily.
In a decision that changed history, Rose Quartz reveals herself as Pink Diamond to the Crystal Gems, and is convinced to do the same to all of Homeworld, swelling their ranks and giving them the boost they needed to win the war. Homeworld is destroyed, the other Diamonds are defeated, and peace reigns across the galaxy.
This fanfic series provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny:
- Unlike Yellow Diamond, Rose finds being called a clod by Peridot very amusing.
- She also laughs when Spinel calls her Rosie Posie with bare toesies.
- Adaptational Heroism: In-canon, Rhodonite mentions that she had to go into hiding when her Morganite discovered her. Here, there is mention of a Morganite joining the Crystal Gems to save a Pearl and Ruby from getting shattered.
- Adoptive Peer Parent: Amethyst has come to see Rose as something of a mother when it was explained to her what a "mom" was, even calling her "Mom" a few times.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Everyone calls Jasper "Buffy."
- Awhile after more and more Pearls joined the Crystal Gems, Pearl earns the nickname "Renegade" to properly distinguish her from them. Pearly (Rose's first Pearl) calls her "White", implying that she was White Diamond's original pearl.
- Rose's first Pearl is referred to as "Pearlie."
- Big Sister Instinct: After a few minutes of interacting with a young Steven, Jasper is given the title of being one of his sisters and she decides that anything that upsets Steven will have to answer to her.
- But Not Too Gay: When a bard wants to write a song based off of Ruby and Sapphire's story, he wants to portray Ruby as a male dwarf because same-sex couples are frowned upon his society for religious reasons. Sapphire has none of it.
- Didn't Think This Through: Garnet points out that with the Breaking Point being an extremely short-ranged weapon, Bismuth would have had to get close enough to Pink Diamond to use it, and even then should have to have gotten passed her entire entourage and Pink would have to have stayed still long enough for her to use it.Bismuth: Your ruby is showing and she's a smart-alec[.]
- Feuding Families: Bismuth, Pearl and Garnet convince Rose to reveal her true form to everybody, knowing that those in the Pink Court who were under the assumption that Rose was the enemy would side with Pink Diamond against Yellow, Blue and White's Courts.
- For Want of a Nail: It is revealed that the defining divergency in events was caused by Pearl secretly following Rose and Bismuth as she introduced the Breaking Point. Just as Bismuth nearly attacks Rose for rejecting what she thought was a winning option, Pearl interjects and accidentally reveals her true identity. It can be presumed that Pearl convinced Rose to let her reform in her tent rather then hide the truth. She eventually convinces Rose to let Garnet in on the secret and thus causes the chain of events that diverges from canon-events.
- The war goes on far longer than it did in the canon series, Amethyst meeting her Famethysts right after emerging.
- Garnet and Pearl manage to take over and evacuate the Human Zoo of its human prisoners, bubbled Rose Quartzes and Quartz guards right after it was finished.
- Pearl breaks it off with Rose and saves herself a lot of jealousy and heartache brought on by Rose's promiscuity, eventually getting together with Bismuth.
- Rose manages to have Steven without giving up her physical form, having encounter human-gem hybrids and learned of a way to reproduce more efficiently.
- Fridge Logic: In-Universe."How did everyone miss the fact that Rose's gem looked different to the real Rose Quartz's gems?" Garnet wondered as she picked one up to examine it."The same reason why no one ever noticed that Pink Diamond's pearl looked similar to Rose Quartz's second-in-command," Pearl replied. "Some gems are just blind to the truth even when it's right in front of them."
- Glacier Waif: Pearl has taught her fellow renegade pearls to use their enemy's preconceived notion that they are weak as a strength, Pearl having taught them in swordsmanship for self-defense and their low status in Homeworld's hierarchy making them perfect spies.
- A God I Am Not: Some early humans come to see Rose as a goddess, one situation involving a human couple asking her to heal their baby of its blindness.
- Hidden Depths: Rose Quartz holds massive hatred for her role as a diamond, taking out her rage on her old palanquin when a random topaz insults Pearl. Garnet acknowledges that this is why she originally spread horror stories about herself before she revealed that she and Pink Diamond were one and the same, actually believing that she was as selfish and destructive as she claimed.
- Humans Are Good: While Humans are capable of the same foibles as Gems, Pearl cannot help but point out that humanity figured out that slavery was unethical much quicker than Homeworld ever did.
- Irony: White, Yellow and Blue gave Pink her second pearl with the intent of helping Pink become a leader. It is unlikely that they were expecting her to become the leader of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits in direct opposition of the Empire.
- I Let You Win: White Diamond let Rose poof her. When Rose asks White about this years later, White admits that she knew she'd have to shatter Rose to win but did not want to.
- Last Words:White Diamond: Oh Starlight, you were always my undoing[.]
- Living Legend:
- Flourite implies that long after the Gem War ended, the Crystal Gems have since settled down and mingled among mankind, inspiring various legends and stories among humanity.
- Garnet is considered to be the first openly-known cross-gem fusions among gem-kind, often sought after for her advice after the war ended. To humans, her story has long since become something of a fable, Ruby and Sapphire portrayed as magical beings of their own respective mythologies, one such legend portraying them as "a dwarf of fire and a mini-cyclops of ice."
- Pearl is considered an idol among pearls for being one of the first pearls to embrace independence and warrior spirit, inspiring devotion in other pearls who turn renegade.
- Bismuth has become a Goddess of War in some African countries, people providing her with resources in return for her weapons.
- Mama Bear: Like in canon, Steven has the tendency to bring out the protective tendencies of the Crystal Gems and of the Diamonds.
- Martyrdom Culture: One of the reasons why Pink was so reluctant to reveal herself was because she knew that her court would mindlessly throw themselves against Homeworld's forces out of blind loyalty for their Diamond, something that drastically contradicts the Crystal Gem's philosophy of free-will and independence. This is something Garnet (being half Ruby, who were created to be nothing but disposable Red Shirts) could understand completely.
- Mythology Gag: When Rose asks if Garnet can foresee any possible futures if the Diamonds are planing any retaliations. She sees two; they corrupt everyone on Earth instead of Rose and two gems next to her, or the creation of the Cluster.
- Not Helping Your Case: Pearl when Steven is born pretty much instantly becomes his second mother."I bet you ten bucks that she's gonna smother him," Amethyst staged-whispered.
"I would never do something like that!" Pearl screeched, glaring at Amethyst. "How could you say such a thing!"
"Doll, I don't think she meant it literally," Bismuth quickly interjected, trying not to laugh.
"She just meant you will be overly concerned about his safety," Greg explained.
"I have no idea what you mean," Pearl said haughtily as she wrapped the blanket Steven was swaddled in more tightly, not wanting him to feel cold despite it being a warm summer day.
- Taking It Well: All things considered, most of the Crystal Gems took it pretty well when Rose revealed herself to them, Moss Agate relieved that she isn't the only one that frightens the others, or Biggs asking whether this means they should call her "Rose Diamond" or "Pink Quartz.""Ahem, so uh, how did the rest of your court take it?" Pearl asked, looking rather uncomfortable."Surprisingly well. Better than I thought they would. When I asked if anyone wanted to return to Homeworld and find places in Blue or Yellow's court, they all said no. Jasper was perhaps the biggest surprise," Rose recalled, not even needing to elaborate on which jasper she was talking about. "She said she would rather shatter herself than fight against me. Hopefully, eventually she will let go of her prejudices after spending some time on Earth."
- Token Evil Teammate: Jasper joins the rebellion not out of any belief towards the Crystal Gems ethos or the sanctity of the Earth, but out of loyalty to her diamond. Because of this, she has a bad habit of trying to enforce Homeworld's rules when around something that contradicts it, like insulting Amethyst's off-color physiology or wanting Garnet to unfuse, only for Rose to scold her for it.Jasper: You know I would do anything for you, my diamond[.] Whether you are Pink Diamond or Rose Quartz, your wish is my command.Rose Quartz: I suppose that's a start[.]
- Trauma Button: Just thinking of her first pearl (or the idea of anyone else sharing her fate) makes Rose either depressed or right to balling her eyes out.