- Chapter 1 : Dawn of a New Day -


"I…I can't take this anymore, Peridot. I'm sorry" Lazuli clamored standing up.

"No, Lapis…wait!" Peridot answered, grabbing on to the blue gem's arm "I can explain…"

"It's too late, Peridot. I've had enough of this… please… just let me go…" Lapis shouted as she jerked her arm away from her roommate. Wringing her wrist, she spreads open her aquatic wings, covering almost the entire entrance of the barn. The angered Peridot stood up and started rushing towards Lazuli, giving the gem on her back a nice, firm slap-strong enough to stagger her forward, but weak enough to keep her gem undamaged- causing her wings to dissipate.

"Camp Pining Hearts Season 4 isn't as complicated as you think, see, here, Lapis…" And on that moment, Lazuli realized that she has entered yet another lecture about how good the show's relationships are built, and how each character contrasts to their respective partners. Minutes turn to hours, Lapis didn't even realize that Peridot's explanations started to sound like muffled babble. Every once in a while, she'd make sure to nod, or at least move her head a tad bit, just to imply that she is still listening, even though, clearly, she lost interest the moment Peridot mentioned the name of the show.

Pretty much how any day in the barn would end up, Lapis and Peridot, sitting beside each other, their feet dangling from the second floor of the barn, talking about almost anything that crosses their minds, looking out the gaping hole Peri's giant robot outbreak caused.

Lapis is pretty proud on her progress in getting to know Peridot. She noticed what her habits are: in the morning, she would take a walk around the field, maybe take a stroll around the nearby forest. In the afternoon, she would take a dip on the small pond she made for her, and every evening, she would call her roommate so they could binge watch Camp Pining Hearts again. Although Lapis has been long tired of that cheesy show, she still sympathizes with Peridot and watches it anyways. Even though she knows that at the end of the day, she'll start babbling on again and again about the series, and maybe kind of hoped that she never had watched that show in the first place.

As proud as Lapis is to herself, so does Peridot to hers. Even though most of the time, Lapis spends her time sitting on top of the silo, she can't help but notice that their eyes would sometimes meet, and they'd quickly look away shortly after. The barn isn't some place the two could call a home yet, but they both know they're getting there slowly, day by day.

The gems didn't go with Steven's "divided" idea, however, then line he drew is still on the barn floor, but they just choose to ignore it. Peridot successfully negotiated the paint cans from her barn buddy, although to be fair, she never really cared about anything in her side of the barn aside from her brown leaf. To Peridot's curiosity, she got to asking.

"Hey, Lazuli." She called.

"What's up?" Lapis replied.

"So… uh…"she paused for a second, trying to piece together what she's about to say. "is that leaf like, magical or something?"

"No, this is just an ordinary leaf."

"Then why keep it?"

"Steven gave it to me. He gave it to me when I flew with him."

"Is that so? Where did you go?"

"Well, at first, we went gliding through the forest. The one you walk in every day. He explained the seasons to me, and this process called…Fotosympetis? something like that. It has something to do with the flowers..."

Lapis went on telling Peridot about the places they went to. The big city, afterwards, they soared high in the sky, above the clouds. "It was beautiful, as always. I always loved the feeling of being free… being able to soar that high without anyone telling you not to… without anything preventing me from doing so." She added gleefully, followed by a sudden silence. Peridot was confused by the sudden dead of air, she sees Lapis staring in to nothing, as if she was stunned in awe—or in fear.

"Hey Lapis, you alright?" Peri exclaimed in a worried tone. She started shaking Lapis' shoulders, hoping to knock her back to her senses. It was no good. It was then, she realized she was having another flashback of her imprisonment. The post-traumatic stress that would cause to a gem could drive any gem insane. Fortunately, Lapis is able to contain her fears and control them. Although she finds it relatively hard, she hasn't driven to insanity. She tried anything that she could. Snap her fingers in front of her, shout at her face, even bang a pair of cans near her ears. Nothing broke her from her terrifying trance.

Peridot notices Lazuli's hands, shaking, with the brown leaf straddling by her fingertips. Before the leaf would fall off her hands, Peridot grasped her hands, and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

"It's alright, Lapis. You're safe now."

In an instant, Lapis gripped the leaf, along with Peridot's hands, as a tear rushed down her cheek.

"Now, now. It's all okay" (I can't believe we're bonding again!)

"Hey, Peri… if it's too much to ask… could I hug you?"

"Ehhhrm…Sure! Why not."

As their chests pressed on to each other, they feel their warmth interchange. Both has never felt this feeling before—not from a full gem, at least, but a half-gem? Many, many times.— Lapis started sobbing on Peridot's shoulder, as she brushes her soft, blue hair with her fingers.

Peridot's eyes catch on to her Camp Pining Hearts tapes from far against Lapis' back, and got an idea.

"Lapis, get ready. Tomorrow, we're going on a trip of our own"

The two have been hugging for quite a while, but neither of them even mind. The barn's atmosphere was admirable. Having no pollution around, you can appreciate how beautiful and clear the stars appear to be. It was just the two of them, together under the starry, night sky.