Dance of Death

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Connie woke suddenly, coughing up the filthy water that filled her lungs. She opened her eyes slowly, staring into an intense darkness as she slowly adjusted.
     "Steven?" She whispered, afraid to speak to loud.
     "I'm right in front of you." He growled. Connie flinched. As she began to make out shapes in the darkness, she saw Steven, his finger glowing lightly.
     "You're lucky my healing powers still work. Otherwise that wouldn't of gone so well." He wiped the spit of his fingers and onto his jacket, before pulling something out of his pocket and holding it close to her face. She quickly realized it was her phone and tried to reach out, but her hands were bound and the fast, sudden motion forward made her shoulders burst into pain. Connie quickly realized just how damaged her body felt. Her arms were strained and asleep, muscles tight and a stabbing pain in her neck from sleeping on it wrong.
     "I suppose they would be weaker, even if they do work." He commented slowly, seeing the look of pain and horror on her face. "So maybe it wouldn't heal all of you, or you have to give it time. After all, you're the first person I-" He stopped himself mid-sentence, aware he had begun to ramble. Connie slumped in the chair. She felt tired and sick.
     "Why... Did you do that?"
     "I couldn't have you struggling too much against this weak body." He growled, getting in her face. She flinched backward.
    As Connie really came to her senses, she realized how awful it smelled.
     "What is that?" She asked, wrinkling her nose. Steven gave her a look. She realized as soon as she saw his face again. He hadn't had access to a shower in a month. Steven frowned deeply.
     "What do you care, human?" He questioned angrily. He grabbed a fistful of Connie's hair. She whimpered quietly. "You already smell like the tainted tears, Connie. I must admit it isn't very good." He let go and stepped back. Connie looked at the ground. She had no way out, and this wasn't Steven. This boy was prone to sharp anger and outbursts.
     "Steven, can I please see your gem?" She whispered. "I won't touch it." She added quickly. Steven looked a little upset, but sighed and unbuttoned his jacket.
     The shirt underneath was torn and a darker blue, stained with dirt and mud. The bottom half of the shirt was torn away, leaving a jagged line along the tear, and easily revealing the gem. There was a long crack that went from the edge to center, and it looked dull. Connie looked in horror as he buttoned his jacket again.
      "I'm fine." Steven said, noticing her look. "We have more important things to talk about." He told her, walking around to behind the pillar she was tied to and letting the binding fall to the ground. Connie instinctively rubbed her sore wrists, looking as Steven reappeared in front of her. Now that she was standing face to face with him, she noticed the pink scars climbing his cheek and crossing his lip. He raised an eyebrow.
     "What? I thought I told you I'm perfectly well." He growled. She nodded quickly, still frozen in place with fear. He backed up a bit and held out his hand.
     "I need you to fuse with me."
     "What?!"
     "I need you. Let's be Stevonnie." He smiled lightly. Connie felt herself go pink. He was being so warm... It sounded like him again. Like the real Steven.
     "Why?" She asked quietly, eyes wide. He sighed.
     "I can't tell you, Connie. Please do it." He took her hand in his. "Please."
     Connie nodded slowly and then faster.
     "Yes. Of course I'll fuse with you." She whispered.
     Steven nodded in agreement, spinning her around to the other side and began to dance. Connie followed each step of his familiar movements. In the moment, she had Steven back, and that was all that mattered. Her Steven.
     She saw the sweet pink glow as it enveloped her.
     Then she saw nothing.
     "Steven, something's wrong!" She cried. She sounded like Stevonnie, but she wasn't fused with Steven. Steven was in complete control.
      "What..." She realized Steven was using her. The urge came to scream, but she felt engulfed in the darkness, filling her, choking her, killing her.
     Steven drowned her after all.

     Pearl was beginning to get upset. Connie hadn't returned for hours. She found herself pacing slowly, going over any and all poor scenarios that would bring Connie to an ultimate fate. Amethyst was still on the couch, but she had her fists to her chin and elbows to knees. She looked genuinely upset. Garnet suddenly got to her feet, startling Pearl.
     "I hear the warp." She said in that strong, determined tone. Pearl instinctively rushed to the door. "No, Pearl. Let them come in on their own." Garnet told her calmly. Pearl realized she was right and went back down the stairs, wiping away tears of relief.
     The gems waited ten full minutes before they heard the sliding door open. Amethyst perked up for the first time in weeks. They watched as the tall, beautiful fusion walked down the stairs.
     "Ste... Stevonnie?" Pearl muttered, surprise painted clearly on her pale face. Stevonnie nodded and smiled.
     "I'm sorry for leaving you so worried. Connie is too." Stevonnie apologized.
     "Connie? You're both safe then? Please unfuse so I can see you both safe!" Pearl blurted, running up yo Stevonnie.
     "You sound like Steven." Amethyst commented, although it sounded more like a question. Stevonnie ignored her and kept her focus on Pearl instead. She took Pearl's hand and smiled warmly. "Of course! Just know I- Steven is a little roughed up. Some scratches." She told Pearl, stepping back and Glowing.
     "STEVEN!"

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