The blue gem looked up from her book at the calling of her name. She saw a familiar and happy face hurrying towards her.
"Hello, Steven," she smiled. Lapis stood up and closed her book to welcome her friend.
Steven hurried right up to Lapis, stopping to catch his breath. On his back, he had a his cheeseburger backpack.
"Are you okay, Steven?" Lapis asked.
"Yup!" Steven said between his heavy pants, "I just….ran all the way here. I forget….how far away the barn is…."
Lapis gave a sympathic smile to her friend.
Steven continued, "Where's Peridot? I was expecting her and Pumpkin to be here with you."
"Peridot is watching Camp Pining Hearts again. When they do that, it gives me some alone time to read," Lapis explained with a smirk on her face.
"Oh, alright. Anyway, I came here to give you something!" Steven said with a big smile. He quickly took his backpack off and started digging through the contents inside.
Curious, Lapis tried to peer inside the bag.
Suddenly, Steven found what he was looking for and raised it up above his head.
Raised above Steven's head was a plush toy. It was a round and blue creature. It had two big ears on the top of it and a zigzagging tail that had a blue ball at the end of it. It's belly was white and it had a two small lips in the middle of it with two more at the bottom to give it legs. On it's face, it had a smile that was directed right at Lapis.
"It's a Pokemon!"
Lapis was still confused, "What's a Pokemon?"
"It's a Japanese video game. Well, it was a game that turned into an anime, a card game, a collectible toy series, and eventually a virtual reality mobile app, with a lot of other fun things in between!" Steven said, "I bought so many of the toys when I was little. Well, littler."
"That….really doesn't explain what this thing is."
Steven continued, "Well, there are these monsters in the game that you capture, train, and battle to become the best trainer."
An expression of concern came over Lapis, "You battle with them? That's horrible!"
"No, it's okay! The Pokemon like it! I think. Anyway, each Pokemon have types, like normal, fire, grass, psychic, and what not. And this cute little Pokemon is a water type, like you!"
Lapis looked at the plush. The smile didn't fade from the plushie's face. "Water-type?"
"Yeah! I think you would be a cool water-type trainer!" Steven said with a smile. He motioned to Lapis to take the plush, "Here, I want you to have Marill! I found it when I was cleaning out some of my stuff!"
"It's name is Marill?" Lapis carefully took the plush from Steven and looked at it in her hands.
"Sorta. Marill is the name of the Pokemon. But when you catch a Pokemon in the game, you get the choice to give it a name," Steven explained, "I would always name my Charmander something like Char-Char."
Lapis continued to look at the plush as if waiting for something to happen.
"Do you like it?"
The blue gem turned her attention from the plush to Steven. She gave a soft smile, "Yes, I do."
"Then Marill is all yours!" Steven picked up his cheeseburger backpack, "I got to get back to the temple. The gems said they have a special mission for me to go on with them!" With that Steven started to hurry back toward Beach City.
It took Lapis a moment to hear what Steven had said. "Huh? Uh, wait, Steven!" Lapis called out to the boy, but Steven was already too far away to hear.
With that, Lapis was now alone again outside the barn. She looked at the plush in her hands. It was about the size of Pumpkin, but much lighter (and fluffier, that part was not lost on her). It was soft and was pleasant for her to hold.
"Marill," she spoke to it. Nothing happened, but the smile remained on. It was infectious to the gem, as she smiled back at it.
A noise came from the barn. Lapis slowly turned because she knew the source of the racket. Peridot was fumbling her way out of the barn with Pumpkin barking and leading the way.
"Now, you see Pumpkin? THAT was a good episode of Camp Pining Hearts! You can clearly see why Percy is superior to all the other campers!" Peridot proclaimed.
Pumpkin barked a few times as a reply.
"I mean, sure, there are some other good possible candidates for- oh, Lapis!" Peridot saw that the other gem was looking at her, "Would you like to share your findings about Percy with Pumpkin? I think we have someone here who thinks Perry is better than Percy. I mean, can you imagine?"
Lapis didn't reply, as she looked back at the plush she was holding.
"What you got there? Is it some new creature?" Peridot moved closer to get a better view of the plush.
"It's a….Pokemon," she answered.
"Pokemon? What kind of creature is that?"
"I'm not really sure. Steven stopped by and gave it to me. He said it's a 'water-type' and it's like me."
"Does Pokemon do anything?" Peridot asked as she examined the plush even closer.
"That's what I'm trying to find out. I haven't seen anything yet."
"It looks like a blue mouse. Do you think Pokemon is related to this planet's species known as mouse?"
Lapis simply shrugged.
Pumpkin started to bark and bouncing on the ground.
"What is it, Pumpkin?" Peridot asked, "Do you want to take a look at Pokemon, too?"
"It's name is Marill," Lapis corrected.
Peridot took the plush from Lapis and lowered it down to Pumpkin's level. "This is Pokemon. Our friend Steven gave it to Lapis."
Inching close to the Marill plush, Pumpkin took a few sniffs of the plush. With a growl, it chomped it's mouth down on one of the little arms of the plush. Pumpkin began to swing the plush wildly from the bitten arm.
"Pumpkin, no!" Peridot called out. She quickly grabbed onto the plush and tried to pull it free.
The blue gem simply looked on in horror.
"Bad Pumpkin, bad!" Peridot shouted over the pumpkin's snarls. With a tug, the plush was finally free.
Peridot raised the plush up in victory by the arm she had grabbed during the fray. The bitten arm was still attached, but torn and it looked as if it were hanging by a few literal threads. She took a look at the plush before motioning it to her friend, "Well, here you go, Lapis. Here's Pokemon."
Lapis was still in shock of what had happened. She looked at the disfigured plush, which was not wet with pumpkin saliva and pumpkin seeds. "St….Steven gave me Marill….and now it's ruined…." Lapis lamented.
"Not entirely. It still has three of its four limbs intact. That's better than some other creatures on this planet! Have you heard of a creature called a snake? It has no limbs!" the green gem tried to cheer up Lapis.
Silently, Lapis took her plush and tried to brush it clean. Her expression was broken and crestfallen. Peridot took notice of this and her mind hatched a quick idea.
"I got it!" Peridot shouted out, "I can fix this!"
Lapis looked at Peridot with a puzzled look.
Without saying a word, Peridot snatched the Marill plush from Lapis' hands and hurried into the barn.
"Peridot? What are you doing?"
"I CAN FIX THIS!" was all Peridot said before disappearing into the barn.
An hour or so had passed since Peridot had disappeared with the Marill plush. Lapis had given up trying to figure out what Peridot could have meant. Instead, she returned to her book. A quiet blanket had returned to the farm. That was, until Perdiot broke the silence again.
"I'VE DONE IT!" she shouted from the barn.
Lapis slowly raised her head from her book.
"I have successfully saved it!" Peridot stepped into view at the barn door with her hands behind her back.
Getting up, Lapis hurried over to the green gem. "You saved Marill?"
"Marill? What's a Marill?" Peridot raised an eyebrow, "Anyway, I have saved Pokemon!" Revealing her hands, Peridot showed that the Marill plush was in her hands. It was cleaned up and looked just as it did when Lapis got it from Steven. The only exception was that there was a threaded stitch on it's arm to repair the tear.
Lapis' face beamed, "Marill looks as good as new!"
"I learned quite a lot from the surgery! Firstly, I discovered that Pokemon is not a living creature. It seems to be a stuffed toy filled with a fluffy fiber. I call it fluft, because it's fluffy and soft," Peridot was start to list things she had discovered, "Second, it does seem to have a unique texture to it's skin. It reminds me a lot of some of the stuffed creatures that I noticed Steven keeping in his home. I think he might be a collector of these strange creatures. Thirdly…."
As Peridot continued, Lapis tuned her out. Instead, she happily hugged the Marill plush. She was elated that Marill was repaired. Lapis then gave a hug to Peridot, who was still talking about her 'findings' about the Marill plush.
"Thank you, Peridot," Lapis said with a smile.
"Of course, Lapis. Now, going back to my findings about Pokemon. Number seven, it seems that it's tail has some buoyancy to it, as if it could possibly bounce on it if given the chance."
Lapis rolled her eyes with a smile.