I watched all of Steven Universe in a week, basically, movie, future, everything. And you know what stuck out to me more than anything? My love for Lapis and Peridot.
I know from a cursory glance at the fanfic category that I'm not the only one who lowkey ships the two.
I was waiting for them to fuse but when the finale of SU Future rolled and no fusion had occurred, I decided to write this instead to explain why sometimes to Gems can be stronger together without fusing.
"Lapis, I've been thinking," Peridot said, hopping on her trashcan lid shield and levitating to eye level with Lapis.
"That's dangerous," Lapis joked, but she sobered up when she saw Peridot's serious expression, "Is something wrong? Did something happen? Is Pumpkin okay?"
"Pumpkin is fine," Peridot assured, "And little Homeworld is fine and… I was just wondering if we were fine."
"Of course we're fine… What… What is this about, Peri?"
"Well, I was with Garnet. Did… Did you know that I almost fused with Garnet once? That's not important. I was with Garnet and I just started thinking and, I was, well, I was thinking about how we haven't fused. And I was just thinking about why…"
Lapis' face fell as she looked at Peridot.
"Oh, Peridot, you know… You know after Malachite, I couldn't, I can't… I don't fuse anymore, it's uh… It felt like a prison, no better than the mirror I was stuck in…"
"I know," Peridot piped up, "Like I said, I was thinking about why, pretty much all morning. I'm not upset, Lapis. I… I don't want to fuse. I know you were traumatized by it, and the concept of fusing has always been offputting for me, not for other people but for me. I don't fuse and you don't fuse and that's okay."
"Right. I… I'm just wondering why you brought fusing up at all. Did someone say something to you? Did Garnet say something to you?"
"No, Garnet would never try to force a fusion if the gems weren't ready for it. I was just… You know Camp Pining Hearts?"
"Of course I know Camp Pining Hearts, that's our favorite tv show."
"Right. And you know how we both think that Percy and Pierre belong together?"
"No, I know how you think that Percy and Pierre belong together and I've just tolerated your ramblings for this long."
"Aww, thanks. Listen…" Peridot lowered back down to the ground and stared at her feet. She hadn't missed her limb-enhancers for years but now she wished she had it because she wished that she and Lapis could be on the same level without her having to use her powers. It got distracting to have to maintain levitation when she was having a serious conversation with someone.
"Hey… I'm listening," Lapis assured, kneeling down and placing a hand on Peridot's shoulder.
"I was just thinking about Garnet, who is so much stronger when she's not just Ruby and Sapphire and I was thinking about Percy and Pierre and I was thinking about the three-legged race and I was just thinking that if I was going to fuse with anyone it would be you, you know?"
Lapis sat back on her legs, thoughtful. Peridot stared at her, feeling like a massive clod for revealing that. Then Lapis smiled.
"Yeah, if I ever fused again, I'd want it to be with you."
"But we don't have to," Peridot said quickly.
"Of course not. And we don't need to."
"But what?" Lapis asked, a little worried. She wanted to calm all of Peridot's concerns but she wasn't going to throw away her boundaries, she wasn't going to fuse again, no matter what. From what Peridot was saying, she didn't want to fuse either, but Peridot seemed uneasy and pressure could make people do things they didn't want to do.
"I just worry that we're not strong together, that we're not Percy and Pierre, that we wouldn't be strong together if we fused and that we're not strong together without fusion," Peridot blurted. Lapis had to laugh out of shock.
"That's what's been on your mind? That we're not strong together? Peri, that's bizarre, look at what we made," She gestured around Little Homeworld, "We did this together, and it's amazing! You should be proud of this. You should be proud of us. We make meep morps together, we're strong without fusing, we're already incredible, Peridot. And no, maybe we're not Percy and Pierre and we're certainly not Garnet but we are something special. Something strong. You don't ever have to worry about that."
Peridot let out a sigh of relief.
"Okay. Okay, good. I just… I worry, because um, well, as weird as it sounds, some people think I'm annoying. And you know, sometimes we argue and you didn't like me at first and…" Lapis leaned over and kissed the top of Peridot's head, which left Peridot in stunned silence.
"You remember Ruby and Sapphire's wedding?" Lapis asked.
"Of course I do. I wore the only dress I will ever wear, and you weren't there."
"Yeah, that was a nice dress. And I was there, by the end of it. I came back. Do you know why I came back?"
"Because Steven talked to you on the moon."
"Because of you. I missed the life we had. I missed sharing the barn with someone. I missed you. I came back for you. I… I'm glad you didn't follow me into space because I needed to realize that my life was here because you were here. Trust me, Peridot, when I say that we're stronger together."
"So… So you don't find me annoying?"
"Oh, I find you super annoying. But I couldn't live without your kind of annoying." Peridot was grinning.
"Why are you smiling like that?"
"I'm gonna tell everyone!"
"Don't you dare, Peridot."
"It's not like everyone doesn't already know you're a big softie, Lapis!"
"I'm gonna tell Bismuth."
"On second thought, maybe I could live without you."
"Nah, you couldn't, 'cause we're stronger together." Lapis stood and Peridot looked like she was about to go tell all of their friends what Lapis had told her when suddenly she levitated long enough to kiss Lapis on the cheek. Then she ran off, leaving Lapis behind, smiling.