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Steven Universe Of The Creek Chapter 9 Reunion From Apart · 12:51am March 6th

Craig, along with his parents, sister and brother, made their way to their grandparents. Bernard texted Steven right before he left and he made sure he’ll be there as soon as he can. During the whole ride, Craig remained silent, not making eye contact with any of his relatives. Last night made him lose sleep knowing full well today is the final day he’ll ever meet with Steven before he leaves.

Nicole notices her son is not happy for the family reunion, but she didn’t forget what he did yesterday. “Craig, you’re very lucky we’re only taking your phone away until tomorrow.” She responded. “If Steven had refused to come to our family reunion, we would’ve kept it for a week.”

“It was curiosity mom.” Craig responded.

“By using Kelsey’s bird to bother one of my friends, while taking a picture of it?” Bernard replied. “You would’ve made more of a mess. What’s so important about taking a picture of his belly?”

“I would tell you, but it’s really personal to him.”

As Duane focused on the road, he had to learn that he just met Steven days ago. Knowing he’s gonna be leaving tomorrow, he would worry less, if it doesn’t affect the family. “If it’s really personal to him, we shouldn't invade his boundaries.”

“Not to mention it’s probably embarrassing.” Nicole added. “The less we know about it, the better.”

“You don’t even know what I felt when I saw it.” Craig retorted.

“You always resist about everything, do you?” Bernard said, crossing his arms, while looking out the window.

Meanwhile, Steven just got on the roadway where the Williams are heading to their family reunion. He didn’t have a good morning however, with a light breakfast, preparing to pack up before leaving, he couldn’t keep his mind off of last night. The only thing he can do is to make a great impression without messing up. But he did find a way. 

The Williams arrived at their grandparents house with two more cars parked on the side. Craig’s cousin, Bryson had been waiting outside for Craig and his family to arrive while the others headed inside instead. As Duane parked his car in the driveway, Bryson headed straight up while Craig got out.

“Hey Craig.” He smiled only to notice his cousin looking straight down.

“Hey.” He responded with a quiet tone.

“Is there something wrong?”

“The last couple of days haven't been the best is all I can say.”

“Long story short, he’s grounded from using his phone for today.” Bernard answered. “It has everything to do with our visitor coming over.”

“But don’t tell him any of this, we’re even lucky he’s willing to still join us.” Nicole shutting the car door.

“Bet our reunion will keep him happy enough.” Jessica added.

“As much as me and the rest of us.” Craig walked past his parents. “Let’s go inside Bryson.” He walked past his cousin as Bryson turned around.

“Come on Craig, it can’t be that bad.” Bryson replied.

“If only we knew what he knows.” Bernard added.

As Craig and Bryson head inside, Steven arrives as he parked his car by the side of the road. Upon heading out of the front seat, he took a deep breath to set his priorities straight. “I’m here.” He smiled.

“I can’t wait to see the look on your face once you meet our grandparents.” Jessica walks up to Steven.

“As long as you don’t get your hopes up, we’re all happy in our own way.”

Just when he walked past Jessica, Bernard followed next to him. “You sure you’re gonna be alright?”

“It’s only going to be for the family reunion. Although it’s also me experiencing what it’s like.”

They walked up to the front door as Bernard opened the door, inviting Steven and his family inside. Craig’s grandparents Earl and Jojo are sitting in the living room where Kimberly, Darnell, and Jasmine took notice of Duane and Nicole stepping inside.

“Duane.” Darnell called.

“Nicole.” Kimberly added while witnessing Steven. “Surprise, you have a visitor here.”

“We don’t usually have guests during reunions.” Jasmine added.

“It was Jessica’s idea.” Nicole replied. “Although he’s not entirely thrilled being here.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Bernard said, closing the door behind him.

“Not completely true, but let’s just say I’m not familiar with these types of family reunions.” Steven said.

“That’s something I expect from homeless people.” Jojo stood up and so did Earl as he and she walked up to Steven. “But if you’re really honest, I promise it will be your best.”

“We have a lot to do today.” Earl padding his hand on Steven’s back. “You’ll feel right at home.”

“Yeah don’t say that.” Bernard replied. “I know it’s hard to believe, but we would rather not answer questions about his life.”

“How come? There’s nothing wrong with expressing family life.” Jojo giggled.

Steven refused to disagree, but not even two minutes in, he couldn’t even last ten seconds without someone asking him a genuine question. “When you say family life, keep in mind families aren’t always perfect.” Steven grinned. “Believe me, as long as my family stays together, our histories have…complicated beliefs.”

“Complicated beliefs?” Darnell wondered. “What do you mean, are you secretly a soldier?”

“He’s only messing with you.” Kimberly added.

“It’s not like we’re gonna see you as a freak.” Jasmine smirked only for Steven to bite his lip.

“Not in that way, but in a disability kind of way.” He finished as he walked away. “I need to go to the bathroom.”

“What does he mean by disability?” Earl asked.

“Maybe he could mean stage fright, in front of people like us.” Nicole answered.

“That can’t be true.”

As Steven headed inside the bathroom, he took deep breaths. While his heart isn’t pounding fast, he couldn’t spend time with the family reunion of the Willams, knowing how his day yesterday keeps coming back to him. Even if it wasn’t their fault, he failed to make a better impression.

“Hello?” Earl knocked on the door. “Are you in there?”

“Yes you can come in, I didn’t lock it.” He answered as Earl opened the door.

“Man, you just got here and you already surprised me.”

“Is that a problem?”

“No, not at all but at the same time, we didn’t even know your name yet.”

Steven signed while lowering his head over the sink. “I’m really sorry, but I had a difficult time yesterday. It wasn’t the worst, but really stressful.”

Soon enough, Jojo noticed Earl stepped aside allowing Steven to come out. Upon getting the phone call from Nicole before they left, she knew what was going on, even if she didn’t expect the visitor to join the reunion in advance.

“What’s your name?” She asked.

“Steven Universe.” He answered. “I would explain why I’m here, but I really don’t want to.”

“Yeah, I’ve always felt these types of emotions even back when I was a teenager.” She took Steven to the kitchen as she poured some coffee in her mug. “I’ve heard that our grandson Craig caused some trouble with you at the restaurant his brother works at, right?” She stopped pouring.

“Yeah.” Steven responded. “Where is he?”

“He and Bryson are sitting in the backyard. We’re not punishing him, he just needs some time alone.”

“Especially the way he said hello without giving us a hug.” Earl added.

“That’s actually somewhat my fault.” Steven sighed. “It’s mainly what I showed him last night. It’s really personal.”

Both Earl and Jojo looked at each other after listening to Steven. “Is this a personal thing of yours?” Jojo wondered.

“It’s hard to believe, but it involves my family.”

From the way of his honesty being clear, the two elderlies wished he could express what his life is like. “I think there’s a chance you could at least tell us what your family life is like.”

“Yeah like, at least tell us one thing.” Earl added.

Steven tried to come up with another way to get out of it but at the very least, he knows how little he can express as long as it’s not huge. “Okay, my dad is named Greg, he’s a guitar player and he was gonna go on a big show to perform only to give all that up for my mom.”

“Who's your mother’s name?” Jojo added.

“Rose.” Steven answered. “Let's just say, it’s impossible to believe a divorce isn’t what caused me to distance myself from her.”

Just when he tried to think of another thing to describe his father, Jojo steps in. “It’s okay, you don’t have to explain anymore.” She smiled. “All you need to tell us is your father. No further information then that.”

“Have you two ever witnessed something that’s worse than a divorce?”

“I’ve taught Craig about wars in his social studies homework. I don’t need to see how bad a divorce is.” Earl said. “If there’s one thing I’ve experienced more than divorces, it is World War II which made me dig deeper on the history of wars.”

“And keep in mind Steven.” Jojo replied. “There’s a lot of things worse that are nowhere close to this family. I may not approve of what Craig did to you, but he has never done anything worse than that.”

Even if Steven is aware Craig’s grandparents are not getting the whole story, he’s happy to know how respectful they are. “If that’s true, maybe his cousin is just like him.”

“Just because he’s close to his age, doesn’t mean he’s like him completely.” Earl said. “Believe me, his parents raised him like the people they are. He might cheer Craig up before lunch time.”

“Speaking of which, we really need to get this family reunion lightened up before it blacks out.” Jojo heading out the kitchen.

“Hope you enjoy being with us. How about you get Craig and Bryson inside to join our family activities?” Earl offered, as he headed out of the kitchen.

With Steven all alone in the kitchen, he’s feeling a little better after meeting Craig’s grandparents and how it played out reasonably well. Although the only person he has let to meet in person in the Williams family is Bryson himself. As he heads to the backyard windows, one of them is open to get the fresh air inside. He saw Craig and Bryson sitting together while Craig told him everything he did yesterday.

“So you were curious about Steven’s belly button?” Bryson asked as Craig nodded.

“I can’t tell you everything, because I promise him to keep his life a secret.” Craig sighed. “I know it’s hard to believe, but the only way to know is to see it for yourself.” Craig couldn’t even look straight at his cousin after how much stress he went through night and day in less than twelve hours.

“Craig it’s not that I don’t agree with you, I just feel you're looking way into this way too much.” Bryson replied. “You had weird people at the creek, I had weird people from where I live, Steven’s probably just as weird, even when he’s old.”

“True, but if the truth ever comes out, you wouldn’t believe anything that’s weird anymore. It’s like finishing the latest Slide The Ferret game only for a cliffhanger that raises more questions than answered.”

Craig wrapped his arms around his legs while lowering his head. Steven knew Craig would feel this way, but at the same time, there’s nothing he could do. He then reached to the backyard door as he opened it, getting the attention of the two boys.

“Craig, Bryson, it’s time to go back inside.” Steven called as Craig looked at him with a blank expression.

“Let me know if you want to play a board game with me, I’m not even in a video game mood if you consider it.” Craig spoke while walking past Steven. Judging by the tone, it really hit him hard without even scaring him.

“I guess he’s barely in the mood to do anything. Seems to me, you're the only one who could fix this.” Bryson walked up to Steven.

“Maybe there’s a way, but I can’t think of one right now.” As Steven allowed Bryson in, he closed the door.

“If only you didn’t have to hide your secret, my cousin wouldn’t be like this.” Bryson headed back to the living room, leaving Steven standing in place. He wanted to set things right for himself but on the other hand, Craig would never expose his secret to anyone, including his family. Of course he also remembered that this is his first time experiencing what a family reunion is like.

“Maybe I should’ve done this earlier than now.” Steven said as he headed to the living room.

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