COVER (fullsize): link on my bio :)
This is super spoilery, just a heads up!
I've also incorporated a few of my own headcanons from the first version of this story before the new episodes came out. I'll probably add more info as it's released too, but some of them I am keeping. Rose is going to be more morally ambiguous in this than she is in the show, and as such I've added little extra explanations as to why she did stuff that aren't touched upon in the show.If you don't like these being in this then please just ignore those pieces or don't read. Regardless they aren't the main focus of the story.
I have edited Rose Quartz out of being a diamond however :)
Staring at the ocean was a small island of calm in Lapis Lazuli's life.
A week prior, the Crystal Gems had found Malachite, and in the ensuing battle, had transformed into the intimidating form of Alexandrite and split the fusion apart. Lapis was told that she was the only survivor, that Jasper had fallen down through a crack that had opened in the earth. She hoped dearly that she was dead and gone, but had little faith. If Jasper's memories were to be believed, then she had lived through far worse with barely a scratch.
While Lapis had briefly entertained the notion of flying back to Homeworld, the memory of what they had done to her when she last returned was still fresh in her mind. Becoming Malachite had saved Steven and the Gem's lives, and while she was glad she had protected them, the pain of being stuck in the fusion had been unbearable and tiring; so much so that her resilience had slipped when she needed it most and they had formed a true fusion. It was a mistake that she would hopefully never make again.
Life on the earth was not as bad as she had imagined it though. Steven's face was a friendly one, and she appreciated his company. The Crystal Gems however seemed to tolerate her, and nothing more. To her surprise they were far more preoccupied with the startlingly familiar face of Peridot, who had apparently decided to defer to the enemy. It was amusing to say the least, and the comedic value of watching her former captor prance about without her limb enhancers was almost worth being stuck on the planet. Almost.
It was regardless way too much. After all, these were the people who had imprisoned Lapis in the mirror for millennia, and had apparently taken in the brattiest homeworld gem into their ranks too! As much as some of the trio had thanked her for dealing with Jasper, Lapis was certain that Garnet held a mild dislike of her for 'abusing' fusion, as if her component parts were not abusing it themselves.
Lapis frowned, scrunching up sand between her toes. Whatever.
The orange hues of sunset were beginning to edge their way up from the horizon as the sun sank, and Lapis wondered how long she had spent sitting there. The scent of dinner wafted over to her, signifying that Steven would be eating soon. Perhaps that would be a good time to return to the temple; if he was distracted then he was less likely to ambush her... or alternatively he would attempt to get the gem to share his meal again. Lapis shuddered at the thought.
"Lapis!" called a voice from behind her. The ocean gem froze, then curled up tighter. Pearl. "Lapis, ah, Steven wanted to know if you would like to join in on our family games night. And don't worry, we've got Peridot on the leash so the absolute worst she could do is verbally harass you!"
"Leave me alone," replied Lapis, having no interest in talking. All Pearl would do is apologise and trip over her words until Lapis' patience grew thin and she would leave. All of their prior conversations had lasted a few lines at most before ending abruptly.
"Ahh," That was clearly not the answer the Crystal Gem had wanted. "You know, you really don't need to be so flighty about the temple, Peridot is safely tied up, and Jasper is long gone, so there's no chance of-"
"What part of 'leave me alone' didn't you get?" Lapis repeated, turning to face Pearl with a scowl. Her temper was shorter than it had been thanks to the recent events, and the gem before her was one who had been a main conspirator in her imprisonment.
"Well, let me know if there's anything more we can do to accommodate you. I would hate for you to feel uncomfortable. I know you don't want to live in the barn because it's Peridot's space but there must be somewhere we can find…"
"You don't get it, do you? It's not Jasper or Peridot who are making me uncomfortable, it's you and the other Crystal Gems! They may have held me prisoner, but at least Peridot admits to what she did, which is more than what can be said about you and the others," said Lapis Lazuli. She turned back to watch the sunset, avoiding Pearl's distressed gaze. "How many times do we need to have this conversation? Just go away, you don't understand."
Pearl shuffled awkwardly, holding one arm close to her chest, before she lowered herself down to sit beside the other gem. "Lapis, if I had known you were still conscious in there I... I would never have used you. I promise."
"You knew I was in there as much as the others. I'm not going to forgive you, so stop trying," Lapis snorted.
"I'm a pearl, I know more than anyone what it's like to be treated as an object. That's what I've spent my whole life doing. Trust me, I would have taken you out immediately." Pearl said softly, adopting the same position as Lapis, hugging her knees to her chest. "No one ever saw me as anything more... except Rose-"
"And you fell in love with her and everything was amazing and perfect, I know! I lived in your room. You asked me to show you her at least a dozen times a day!" mocked the ocean gem, amused at the embarrassed flush that lit Pearl's cheeks. "But she kept falling for human after human instead, leaving you more and more lonely."
"Stop that," said Pearl, her voice low.
"Until she finally lost it completely and had whatever Steven is with one of them. And now she's dead!"
"I said stop it!" she repeated, more forceful. "I didn't know you were in there, I'm sorry, okay? What more can I do to make you understand that?"
"You could stop pretending that Rose was some sort of wonderful heroic person."
"What do you mean?" questioned Pearl. "I'm not pretending; she was a hero."
"A hero?" Lapis snorted. "Would a hero trap a live gem in a mirror?"
Pearl's already pale skin got even lighter, before she stood up.
"How... how dare you! Rose, she would never do that!"
"Why don't you ask Garnet and Amethyst. They were there." Lapis mumbling, resting her chin on her knees again. "I don't want to upset you, but there's a lot you don't know about Rose."
The taller gem clenched and unclenched her fists, before she stormed off back to the temple, muttering angrily under her breath as she went.
Lapis did not move for the entire night.
She wanted to believe what Pearl was saying, she really did. While trapped in the mirror, the only thing she really had to look forward to was Pearl's daily talks where she would ask Lapis to show her Rose, and rehearse proclaiming her love for her. It began with the pearl simply practicing her lines, before returning a while later, frustrated and clearly unable to say anything, yet after a few years of lacking the courage to do anything about her feelings, Pearl began to talk to the mirror as a sort of journal. The first day of being used as a journal, Pearl had seemed to finally gather the guts to talk to Rose, and returned not long after, furious and ranting about how the object of her affections had picked up some human and decided that he was her true love. Greedy for some enrichment to her otherwise boring life, Lapis would lap up the words Pearl offered, unable to do anything but listen.
There were multiple humans in Rose's life, each one the object of vicious scorn and derision by Pearl as she would describe in (probably over exaggerated) detail their appearance, life choices and so on. At first it brought Lapis Lazuli a dark sense of joy, as seeing her captor in such obvious torment was exactly what she deserved. But as time went on she began to feel more and more sorry for the Crystal Gem, and decided that it was likely a result of having only one living thing to interact with. All feelings of pity were suppressed to the best of her ability when Steven rescued her, however.
The earth game she had played with the gems had been far more fun than she had expected, but regardless of how enjoyable it was, playing with the gems had sapped the enthusiasm from her.
As the sun began to cast its light across the mirrored surface of the ocean, a thick, fluffy object was thrown over her shoulders. She jumped in shock, having been deep in thought.
"Hey Lapis!" Steven beamed as he sat down next her. "I figured you might be cold so I brought you a blanket."
"Thank you, Steven," the gem replied with a soft smile. "But gems don't really get cold. Not on earth anyway."
"Oh, yeah the gems tell me that a lot, but still, nothing beats being all wrapped up in a blanket." The boy said in a very matter-of-fact tone.
Lapis giggled. "I'll have to take your word for it I guess."
"It's a tortilla blanket. You remember my cheeseburger backpack and hotdog kit bag don't you?" After Lapis' somewhat hesitant nod, Steven continued. "Well it's by the same company! I find it interesting that they've branched out into blankets, but it's a change that I for one entirely welcome."
"Pff, you sound just like Pearl when she has one of her moments."
"Really?" gasped Steven, his eyes lighting up. It was clear that he held a lot of respect for the gems. "Hey, Lapis? Um, speaking of her, did you upset Pearl yesterday?"
Lapis Lazuli frowned, "She upset herself. It's not my fault she can't accept the truth."
"The truth about what?" he asked, looking at her with his huge eyes.
The truth involved his mother, but he was just a child, and he was no where near ready to hear the reality of the situation.
"Oh, just boring gem stuff, it wouldn't interest you," said Lapis, a somewhat sad smile on her face.
"That's what Pearl said too... Hey you two need to make up so we can all be a big family again!"
"Yeah! I wish I could have spoken to Jasper some mor-"
"No," Lapis said firmly, looking Steven in the eyes. "She was one of yellow diamond's elite. You wouldn't have been able to do anything to help her."
"Why not? Peridot is fine now, I'm sure I could have worked the old Steven magic on Jasper too!"
"No you couldn't," Lapis replied, shaking her head. "Peridot is just some dumb kid who doesn't understand the complexity of everything going on around her. She never was bad, just really stupid with a mean streak. But Jasper... Jasper fought in the rebellion, she killed countless gems and took pleasure in it. She tortured them for information and... I'm sorry, Steven, just trust me when I say that she is nothing but evil. I was fused with her. I saw horrible things."
Lapis fixed her gaze firmly on the sand, digging her nails into her palms until her mind cleared of the images Jasper had shown her.
"Okay, Lapis. I promise I won't ever talk to her!" Steven smiled, hugging her, though regardless of his promise she decided to keep an eye on the kid. He was too kind for his own good; it was just as well Jasper was probably dead.
"Thank you," the gem replied wearily. "You'd better go get lunch, or whichever meal it is you eat in the morning."
"It's breakfast! Do you want to come with me to pick up donuts? I'll get you one too," he said, hoping his offer would entice her. "They're making them fresh in store now too!"
"Sorry Steven, but eating is still gross to me!"
"Aww," he pouted. "Bye, Lapis!"
The gem waved at him as he walked away, before turning back to the sea. After a while she felt almost as if she was being watched, she whipped her head round just in time to catch a tall figure scrambling back into the temple house.
Well, she needed to take the blanket back inside anyway, and after the thinking she had done the night before she decided that it was time to clear the air between the more amiable Crystal Gem and herself.
"Pearl!" Lapis shouted after finding the door was locked. "I know you're there! Let me in!"
There was no response, but after a few seconds the sound of footsteps approached the door.
"Well well well! If it isn't my informant," laughed Peridot, her obnoxious expression leering at her through the screen door.
"How does it feel to be the prisoner, Peridot?" Lapis said with a smirk.
"Gah! How dare you, I am an honourary Crystal Gem!" Peridot said, puffing her chest out with pride and pointing to the gold star sticker on her leotard that Steven had given her. "Which is more than can be said for the likes of you."
"If that's true then why are you on a lead?" replied Lapis wryly. After the spaceship incident where the pair had somewhat made up, they had settled into a sarcastic, biting sense of humour towards the other. It made dealing with the problems between the two of them a little easier.
"Because apparently it'll help you feel more comfortable or whatever. Look, the gems like me, which is more than can be said for you."
"They like you? I think you mean Steven likes you."
"Amethyst thinks I'm funny!"
Lapis smirked, "She's not the only one who likes to laugh at you. You look ridiculous without your limb enhancers."
"Well of course, we were made to have shorter limbs precisely so we could use limb enhancers," Peridot pouted.
"Sure, if it makes you feel better."
"Urk, well either way, Amethyst is my friend and that's one more than you so NEHHHH!" Peridot bragged, sticking her tongue out at Lapis.
"Ugh! Open the door you little brat!" Lapis shouted, yanking on the door handle.
"Peridot!" The green gem was yanked back into the darkness of the house. "That is not how we treat our guests! I'm sorry, Lapis, come in."
Lapis Lazuli's eyes quickly adjusted to the darker interior and saw Pearl dragging a cackling Peridot away from the door. On the table was a big board game with small houses on top, and a number of wads of money surrounding it.
"Is there something you wanted or were you looking for Steven?"
"Can we talk somewhere?" Lapis asked, throwing the blanket on the sofa. "In private?"
"Hey, I'm a Crystal Gem too! Why can't I hear?"
"Peridot still doesn't understand the concept of personal space," smiled Garnet, sitting at the table folding shirts. She then turned to address the shorter gem, "Leave 'em alone."
"Of... of course, Lapis," Pearl replied, clearly surprised. "Well, come with me."
They took the warp pad, a thick silence between the two as they travelled. The taller gem looked exhausted, perhaps she needed more of that 'sleep' Steven kept recommending. Lapis herself looked much the same, but due to her reluctance to look in mirrors after being trapped in one, she had no clue how tired she looked.
"Are you okay?" Lapis asked, startling Pearl.
"I'm fine, we've just been very busy the past few weeks what with the cluster and Malachite, though at least we don't need to worry about you anymore, " Pearl said with a soft smile.
"You were worried about me? Why?"
"Why? You were trapped down there with Jasper, of course we were worried. You were free finally, and you were trapped again. Lapis, I know you don't believe me about not knowing you were in the mirror, but I was happy for you, knowing that you were free after I'd kept you trapped in there for so long, and," Pearl's voice lowered until it was barely more than a mumble, as she wrung the hem of her top tightly between her hands. "I wish I could have come with you, just for a bit..."
"What?" Lapis gasped, before land came up below them and she smacked hard onto the teleporter. Beside her, Pearl landed gracefully. "Why would you want to come with me? Do you hate earth that much?"
"I don't want to leave earth, but I miss travelling through space," the Pearl explained as she marched through the thick undergrowth with ease, Lapis Lazuli followed her the best she could but her skirt got caught every few seconds on the thorns and abundant twigs. Clearly Pearl's form fitting outfit was far more useful in such terrain, though why she had chosen to teleport to such a forested area was beyond Lapis.
"Pearl, can you slow down? Pearl!"
The Crystal Gem turned, giving her a confused look.
"Sorry, but we have to go fast. One of the others are doubtlessly following us." Pearl muttered, more to herself than to the other gem.
"Oh! Well in that case, hold on tight." Lapis summoned her wings before scooping up Pearl and shooting up into the sky. Sure enough a small purple figure dashed out to where they had been stood moments before.
"Ouaaaah! Put me down! This isn't safe at all!" Pearl cried, looping her arms so tightly around Lapis' neck that the latter was glad she did not need to breathe.
"Where did you want to go?" Lapis asked.
"Ah, just over there," Pearl mumbled, motioning towards a distant mountain side with her foot, refusing to loosen her arms. "How fast can you go? The sooner we land the better."
Lapis smirked, before pushing her wings harder and harder, the ground a blur beneath them. The air on her face cleared her head, and Lapis could not help but grin a little at the speed.
They arrived in a matter of seconds, Lapis gently depositing a frazzled Pearl on the floor before landing beside her. She smirked at how the earlier scenario from the teleporter had been reversed.
The mountain Pearl had picked was admittedly beautiful, with the early morning air refreshing on her skin, complimenting the warmth of the sun on the back of her head. Before her stretched a valley between blue peaks, forests, fields and houses sprinkled about.
"So, how was it? Think any of your Crystal Gems could follow that?"
"I'd, ah, be surprised… It's a five-hour hike to get out here from the pad even for me. I forgot how fast Lapis Lazuli's could go." mumbled Pearl as she smoothed her hair back into place before noticing Lapis' gawking at the world around her. "It's nice here, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is. What are those green things again?"
"Trees. They create the oxygen that the life forms here are so reliant on through a reaction called photosynthesis. It's amazing actually! So-"
Lapis interrupted the other gem, amused at how excited the other was. "I'm just a messenger gem, Pearl. If you want to talk science, then you should have grabbed Peridot."
"Ah, excuse me. I do get a bit carried away sometimes…"
"Where are we anyway?"
"This is somewhere in the Alps, in Europe. It's on a completely different continent to where we were before in North America. It's peaceful," Pearl smoothed her hair away from her face, though it was soon blown all over the place again. "I often used to hike around here to clear my head before Steven was born. After that I didn't really have time since we always had to be on hand. It's nice being back though."
They sat in silence for a bit, watching the birds flitter about, and the distant cattle graze, the sound of their bells carrying through the air to them.
"Sorry, what was it that you wanted to talk about?" Pearl asked, having been distracted by the view.
"Well, I did some thinking last night and… I may be willing to believe that you didn't know I was trapped in the mirror," Lapis said, averting her eyes from Pearl's probing gaze, before folding her arms and laughing somewhat self-consciously. "I mean, really, what kind of pearl would blab on into a mirror about her weird obsession with her superior if she thought someone would be on the other side having to listen to all of it."
Pearl's hand moved to cover her mouth, shocked.
"Thank you for trusting me, Lapis," she smiled, a hint of green brushing across her cheeks. "I really am sorry for being such a pain all those centuries. It must have been a bore having to listen to me blather on."
"Actually, I uh… it kind of kept me sane," Lapis shrugged, a little bashful. Her abdomen felt strange, though she put it down to the nerves of talking about her time in the mirror. "Do you know what it's like to be trapped in an artefact like that?"
"I can't say that I do."
"It's horrible. You live in fractals; the world was an endless web of mirror lined corridors, each one showing a different memory of mine. I tried to get out, but there was nothing else. And half the time it felt like there was something else in there, trying to find me… I never saw it other than shadows at the end of a corridor but…" Lapis bit her lip, trying to control the fear rising up in her chest from recalling her time in the mirror. To her surprise, she felt a hand rest softly on her shoulder and jumped, prompting Pearl to quickly remove it, looking away awkwardly. "Sorry, I'm just… jumpy, you know?"
"No no, I'm the one who's sorry."
"Um, so I was initially turned into this by Homeworld, and they questioned me over information on you, but when they realised I knew nothing they dropped the mirror at the galaxy warp, where I was broken. And that's where you found me, before giving me to Rose as a gift."
"That's right," said Pearl, looking almost smug. "I found you and gave you to Rose, before she gave you back a while later as she thought I could do with a mirror more. See! None of us knew."
Lapis shook her head, staring at her feet.
"Rose initially used me for information, just like Homeworld did, and like them she realised I didn't know anything. She then used me as a test; she wanted to make a method to fix her cracked, corrupted gems. When she freed me, I thought it was finally over, but instead she spent a decade trying all sorts of stuff on my gem to fix it," Lapis laughed nervously. "I mean, I wouldn't have minded if she had asked, and treated me like a fellow gem. But the way she stared at me, it was like I was just some experiment to her. Either way she couldn't fix me, so she stuck me back onto the mirror and gave me to you, making Garnet and Amethyst swear not to tell you a thing. She figured it would upset you."
To Lapis Lazuli's surprise, Pearl did not argue against anything she had said, but instead let out a sigh.
"I'm sorry, Lapis. I don't know what to say…"
"The mirror world was horrible, and knowing that she condemned me to live there for the rest of my life… I almost lost myself. Then I heard your voice, asking me to show you Rose, snapping me back to reality. I wanted to show you what she had done to me so badly but, I couldn't, whatever she had done to me prevented me from doing that," Lapis hugged her legs to her chest, then continued softly. "At first it made me so angry, thinking that you had trapped me in this mirror just to fawn over the gem who had done all this to me. But then as time went on I began to look forward to you talking to me; it had been so long since someone had just spoken to me as a friend, even if you were really just talking to yourself. It distracted me from the memories and the mirrors, and when I listened to you I could block out the shadows in the background."
"I know. I shouldn't have listened. But you were the only real thing in the world. If it wasn't for you I would have forgotten I was in a mirror at all and corrupted like all the other gems you have bubbled in the basement."
It was the most Lapis had ever said to her, and certainly more than the usual 'leave me alone'. Peal wrung her hands, wishing she was less awkward so she could attempt to comfort the smaller gem. If only Steven had been there, he would know what to do. But then, if Steven had been with them then Lapis Lazuli may not have talked.
"It's not that I don't trust you, but you have to understand that I need to ask the others about this," said Pearl. "Sorry."
Lapis shrugged. "The fact you trust me enough to ask the others about it is more than I expected, to be honest."
After a few minutes of awkward silence, Lapis offered to take them back to the warp pad. When they returned to the temple, Steven was sat before the warp pad expectantly, Peridot peering over his shoulder, and quickly pounced on them with what seemed to be a prepared set of questions.
"You're back! Where did you go? What were you doing? What did you talk about? Was it about when you were in the mirror?" Steven asked, tripping over his words a little in his excitement. He then took a deep breath. "Are you friends now?"
"We were just having a chat, Steven," replied Pearl, resting a hand on his head. "Amethyst, Garnet. Come with me please."
The Crystal Gems walked onto the warp pad and teleported off, leaving only Peridot, Lapis Lazuli and Steven in the temple.
"So, Lapis-" Peridot began, but before she had time to finish her sentence Lapis had already left the room, tailed by a still curious Steven. "Rude."
"Hey Lapis, where did you and Pearl go?"
"We just went to talk about stuff, don't worry about it, Steven," Lapis said, and upon noticing Steven being unable to keep up, slowed her pace. "We just had stuff that needed talking about."
"Like how she found your mirror?"
"Yes," Lapis replied softly. "It's nothing you need to worry about though."
"Oh okay, if you're sure!" It was clear that Steven was still going to be concerned about it though. "Hey, while the others are out, do you wanna play a game?"
Lapis pondered the question, then asked dryly, "Would I have to play it with Peridot?"
"Maaaaaybe, if that's alright with you?"
"I don't know, Steven…"
"Aww come on! I know you'd get along if you just try! Peridot has really changed, you saw it! And she's really funny now… well… she's sometimes funny. I thought you two were okay now anyway?"
Well it was not as if she had anything else to do, and the gem's insides were feeling funny again at the thought of the Crystal Gems talking about her abuse at the hands of Rose Quartz. If playing a game with Steven and Peridot was what would take her mind off the churning sensation in her insides then she would give it a go, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
"Okay, but keep her at the opposite end of the table."
"Deal!" Steven stuck his hand out, clearly expecting something. Lapis placed her hand on top of his, confused. "You shake it! It's to seal the deal."
"Oh, okay then." They shook hands, before heading back to the temple.
Peridot really was a lot more bearable than she had been, but Lapis supposed that it was mostly due to the fact that she was no longer under constant stress from the terrifying Jasper. In fact, she seemed almost like a different gem to the distant, serious Peridot that had grabbed her on Homeworld to use as an informant.
"Okay, so we have Pythons and Stairs, Citchen Calamity, Battle Submarines… um, Letter Scramble… any of those tickle your fancy?" Steven called, head deep in the cupboard under the stairs.
"Oooh! Citchen Calamity!" Peridot squealed, already overexcited. It was strangely refreshing to see her so carefree and acting like the very young gem that she was.
"I dunno, Peridot. The rules are pretty complicated for a first time player. Even Garnet gets confused," Steven replied, voice muffled as he dug for more games under the vacuum cleaner. "Maybe we should go for an easier one like Letter Scramble. What do you think, Lapis?"
"I don't mind!" she said sheepishly, holding her hands up. "I'll go for whatever."
"Yeah, don't insult Lapis' intelligence!" Peridot handed her a thick wad of paper. It was clear that Peridot felt bad for her treatment of the blue gem and was trying to make up for it. "Here, these are the rules, just say when you're done reading, 'kay?"
"Um…" Lapis stared at the pages, trying to make sense of the squiggles.
"What's wrong, Lapis?" asked Steven, who had climbed out of the cupboard. "If they're too confusing we can play something else!"
"Oh, of course! Lapis Lazuli's are messengers. They aren't taught to read so they can't snoop about in the messages they carry."
"You don't have to rub it in…" Lapis pouted, embarrassed. "And I can read, just not very well."
"You shouldn't be ashamed of it! It's simply the way you were built," Peridot drawled in an attempt to comfort Lapis. She almost appreciated it. "But if I can learn to use my actual hands and feet, and aPearl can learn to be something other than an ornament, then who's to say you can't learn to read properly?"
"Yeah, we'll teach you Lapis!" Steven announced proudly. "But for now I think Pythons and Stairs would be best. Here, I'll explain the rules!"
The concept of the game was simple, and Lapis soon picked up the hang of it. Despite Peridot boldly claiming that she had 'figured out' how to win at it using logic, Steven thrashed her at the first game through sheer luck alone, with Lapis coming in a close second. Peridot on the other hand kept getting unlucky dice rolls on the final hurdle, resulting in her sliding down twenty places. They played another few rounds due to the 'sheer injustice of being beaten by a pair of clods' before they moved onto a drawing game.
"Hmm, this is hard when we're from different planets…" Steven mumbled, chewing the end of the pen as he thought of something to draw. "What's something that all planets have… Oh! Got it."
In the middle of the page he drew a circle, then added several lines radiating from it. At the silence from the two gems, he frowned, then added a pair of sunglasses to the circle and a smile.
"Steven, what is that supposed to be?" Peridot asked.
"It's the sun! See, those are the rays of sunlight coming off it, and he has sunglasses to protect his eyes."
"Why does it need to wear sunglasses?" said Lapis. "Aren't they to protect your eyes from the sun?"
Peridot thought about it, then chortled, "Maybe it has self confidence issues."
They shared a giggle, Steven pouting at them before the warp pad sounded, and the Crystal Gems landed in the room. Pearl and Garnet both swiftly went further into the temple, with only Amethyst lingering to check up on them.
"Wow, everything's still in one piece! Good job, Peri."
"Yes, well, they were well behaved," the green gem replied nonchalantly, but it was obvious she was happy with the compliment. "The temple is safe under my command. I keep telling you."
"Well behaved? You're the youngest gem in the room other than Steven. Come talk to me like that when you reach a century," Lapis said, rolling her eyes but ignoring Amethyst. While Pearl's company was somewhat bearable due to her company in the mirror, the other two Crystal Gems still made her uncomfortable. "That was fun, Steven, but I'm going to go outside now."
"Aww. See you later then, Lapis."
With a small smile and a wave, Lapis Lazuli left the small house before the temple. Shutting the screen door behind her she turned to face the sea, enjoying how it felt on her skin but still not quite ready to go flying over it. She imagined that Pearl and Garnet were having further discussions inside, and did not expect to see either of them until the morning. Steven was in somewhat capable hands though, so she felt little need to worry for his welfare.
Humans were so delicate, it was so alien to Lapis that a living thing could be squishy to the extent Steven was, and to not even have inbuilt armour! Not to mention that the needs to 'eat' and 'drink' was odd as well. Both were habits Amethyst had picked up, and Lapis pondered their appeal often, completely unable to figure out why the gem had taken them up, but supposed it was due to Rose supposedly getting them all to shape shift internal organs. Weird.
She sat herself down on the sand and resumed her position of watching.
This is going to a medium length story but I've not done one before, so please excuse any pacing issues and so on, I'm not used to writing anything that isn't super long :s I know it's a bit cheesy, especially the beginning but after rewriting it several times I decided to leave it.
A lot of the things in this are headcanons I like, such as the whole Rose being darker than it's let on in the show, and Peridot being a child or very young gem, hence why I had her acting more like a little kid in this.
It's going to be a few chapters long, but updates could be slow as I'm still finishing another fanfic! I'm going to try and mostly stick to canon with this, but in general it'll just a generic 'there's a bit of drama but a happy ending' fic. Also I'll draw a cover for it when i get round to it! :)
Thank you for reading, hopefully you enjoyed it and it didn't seem too rushed 38)