squeaklings: (eureka seven - prove myself)
[personal profile] squeaklings
Title: Leaders and Lies
Wordcount: 618
Fandom: Steven Universe
Rating: G
Warnings: Spoilers through episode 100
Summary: Steven begins to doubt one of the most important people in his life.
Notes: I am not 100% with this (this is pretty much just the bare bones of the idea), but this is pretty much my thought process after seeing Bismuth. P.S., Greg is hard to write.



“Hey Dad, if you found out someone you loved wasn’t who you thought they were, how would you feel?”

“Uh…?” Greg poked his head out of his van to see Steven standing near the rear tire, his hands clasped in front of his stomach and his head lowered. He looked small and lost and Greg slid out of the van to kneel in front of his son.

“What’s this about, kiddo?”

“Mom lied about Bismuth,” he said. His face was drawn when he looked at his father, his usual smile shadowed. “Bismuth was wrong, but lying about her wasn’t right, either. And Mom hid Lion from Pearl, too. What else did she lie about?” He frowned and pressed a hand unconsciously against his gem. “Everyone tells me how great Mom was, but…”

Greg sighed and placed a hand on Steven’s shoulder. “Your mom was great, but she wasn’t perfect. No one is.”

“But why would she lie like that?”

“…I don’t know.” Greg sat back on his bottom but kept his hand on Steven’s shoulder. “Rose was a leader—a good one—but that meant she had to make decisions most of us never have to make.” He glanced up at the too-blue sky to stare at a passing cloud. “She did what she thought was right.”

Silence stretched between them. A cool breeze played with their hair, bringing with it the smell of salt and sand. If he squinted, he could almost swear one of the clouds looked like her hair flying in the wind.

He couldn’t claim to know everything that happened back during the War; he’d been told things here and there, but he never tried to pry. Intergalactic war looked good on an album cover, but she’d shown him some of the battlefields and the ruins left in its wake and that wasn’t something he ever wanted to experience. Whatever decisions she’d made, good or bad, meant she and her rebellion saved the world.

If only it lasted, Rose.

“I don’t want to have to lie to anyone,” Steven finally said, his expression hard as Greg met his gaze. “I may be a lot like Mom, but I won’t. A leader or not, it’s not right.”

Greg smiled and moved to ruffle his son’s hair but stopped. Instead he stood and squeezed Steven’s shoulder. You’re growing up too fast for me, kiddo. “A leader, huh? That’s quite the responsibility.”

Red blossomed across Steven’s cheeks. “Well, I mean--you know, in general.”

“You got all the best parts of Rose. Leader included.” This time he did ruffle Steven’s hair. “But you’re still you. And no matter what, I’m behind you one-hundred percent.”

“Daaaad.” Steven chuckled but didn’t pull away.

“I’m serious! It might scare me to death sometimes, though.”

Steven’s smile fell at that. “Dad, I—“

Greg crouched in front of him, a grin on his face. “But it’s ok. You’re as strong as your mother, and you have all of us to help you. Don’t forget that.”

“Ok.” Steven scrubbed at his face with the back of his hand.

With one more pat on his son’s head, Greg stood and stretched and tried not to wince when his back cracked with a loud pop. “Now I don’t know about you,” he said as he leaned against his van in a transparent attempt at nonchalance. “But I sure worked up an appetite. Fish Stew Pizza?”

“Hmm…” Steven rubbed his chin as he looked out towards the boardwalk. “I think that sounds like a great idea!” He grinned at his dad, and if he was still feeling upset he did a great job hiding it. “Hey, Dad?"

"Yeah, Steven?"

"Thanks.”

Greg smiled. “No problem, Shtuball.”

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