After she had some time to think for herself, Lapis had finally realized that she had been wrong to yell at the ruby.
In reality Navy had done nothing wrong, nothing directly towards them at least. What was it that angered her so much then? The answer was clear to Lapis. Jealousy, disbelief, and even her own self hatred.
The small red gem was sitting crisscrossed on the grass, humming a happy tune to Pumpkin. Seeing her innocence only tightened the guilt building inside the ocean gem. Even Pumpkin enjoyed her company, how could she have allowed herself to shout at the poor thing?
Lapis observed her her surrounding, hoping that Steven and Peridot were not around to witness her private apology. She spotted them at the distance, too distracted by the crops to notice Lapis leave her spot.
Lapis peeped her head into the barn.
Navy instantly stopped her humming and flinched at the sound of the familiar voice. She popped her head back at her and frowned, “Oh! It's you… Are you still mad at me for-”
“No!” Lapis interrupted quickly,”That's not why I'm here actually.”
“Oh...It's not?” Navy whispered. She got up from the floor and shyly approached the blue gem, “Can I...help you maybe? Anything please! Anything that can make it up to yo-”
“No! None of that either!” Lapis shouted, a bit more frustrated, “I just…” She sighed one more time, “I just wanted to say that I'm sorry...I was just… I didn't want to believe that there was an easy way to love Earth. Not when I didn't have it easy… I guess I was just a little jealous. I didn't mean to make you feel bad.”
Lapis held herself, awaiting an answer from the ruby. Navy paused for a while, thinking of a response. Suddenly her cheeks flustered, “Jealous of me? You gotta be kidding. You're one of the greatest Earth teachers I've ever had! How could an...an Earth master be jealous of silly old me?!” She chuckled.
Lapis rubbed her neck and smiled, feeling a rush of relief to see her taking it so well. She had already known that the gem was giddy, but the reaction still left Lapis somewhat taken aback “Well...Earth master is a bit of an exaggeration. If anything, Steven's the real master here.”
“Well master or not, I forgive you!” Navy lunged forward and wrapped her arms around Lapis in a tight hug that knocked her to the floor, “I'm so glad! we're going to be. best. Friends! I love Earth!”
Lapis forced a small chuckle, a hug like that was unexpected, and while she didn't mind the new friendship, she was not sure if she was that ready to get close. Nevertheless, she accepted the hug. It was the least she could do for snapping on her earlier.
As expected from a gem her type, Navy left a warm sensation in her. Lapis was actually beginning to enjoy the feeling. Perhaps it would not be too bad to let her stay at the barn.
Suddenly, an odd cynical chuckle came out of the small gem. Lapis pulled away from the hug and shot the right with a questioning look,”Hey, uhhh, What's… So funny?” she said through a forced laugh.
It was then that light red came from in between the pair, right where Navy's gem was placed. Confusion struck the ocean gem. She pulled away from the hug and curiously looked down at the source of light.
Navy held her hand in her gem attempting to grab something. The small chuckles soon became silent snickers. A small red dagger was rushed out her gem. Lapis’ felt her chest halt at the sight. At that point, she knew what was going to happen. She extended her wings and prepared to pull away, Yet with the close distance Navy had, she had just enough time to pull the dagger out of her and strike the Ocean gem right into her stomach.
“ Whoopsie !..” she laughed, “That was for my crew.”
Lapis let out a painful cry, she clutched her wound then collapsed to the ground. She curled to the ground and stared up at the gem in disbelief, “N-Navy? W-why did you-?”
“Well~” said Navy with a giggle, “I have a ship to pilot. I thought I was finally alone but then you showed up and unfortunately I had no choice, you were just... Way . Too. Skeptical!”
Lapis only found the strength to push herself off the ground in attempts to strike at the wicked gem, but was quickly meet with a second wave of pain She fell back to the ground, further intensifying the wound.
“Get..back here...you little…” Lapis said hoarsely, “You're...not getting away…”
“ Oh ho ho! Of course I am!” The ruby soldiers simply leaped over the damaged gem and skipped her way towards the barn entrance, “This is the part where you go poof! Byyyyyye now !” She sang.
Lapis could only watch as Navy fled the scene. Any chance of getting up was hopeless, yet she continued to try, each time resulting in a more excruciating pain in her side. Lapis could feel her form breaking, dissolving, her entire body felt exhausted and she knew that at any moment she would retreat back to her gem. Yet Lapis would not allow herself to poof until she knew that Steven and Peridot were safe.
Her stomach twisted into knots as more time passed. The more time she wasted, the closer Navy would get towards the two most precious people in her life. A single tear of frustration rolled down her cheek. Her helpless crawls were not going to take her anywhere.
Using the last ounces of strength she had left, she desperately hollered her friend’s names. Even so, her diminishing senses were too weak to even hear her own desperate cries. Her vision too started to blur. She could only make out a rapid red streak in the sky that marked the launching of the ruby’s ship, right before the world around Lapis disappeared in a blue puff of smoke.
“Huh? Is that?...LAPIS!!!”
For a short moment, Lapis’ vision was completely obscured by a bright white light, but it soon diminished as she felt herself hit the ground. Before she even had a chance to open her eyes, Lapis was met by a sudden force that tackled her down. She opened her eyes to find a familiar green gem, tightly embracing her in a close hug.
“LAPIS!” Peridot cried again, “You're back!” Her voice managed to crack at the last few words. Peridot affectionately nuzzled her hair into her face, small tears leaking out her eyes. With her mind still catching up to the scenario, Lapis’ only reaction was laying a gentle hold around her partner's waist.
“Peridot...You’re...You’re okay?” She gasped.
Peridot gave her a puzzled look, “ I’m okay??? Lapis! You were the one who got poofed! Why are you worried about me?! I should be the one doing the worrying!” She tightened the hug, "And boy was I worried."
"H-How long was I gone?" Lapis mumbled.
"A week. A very long week." Peridot gently grabbed her hands, "Steven and I came to check on you and...We found your gem on the barn floor. Who knows how long you were just lying there...all alone"
The technician slipped away from her grip and used her free hand to wipe away a small tear, "But you're back now. I'm sure Steven wi-"
Upon her own words, the smaller gem quickly hopped off Lapis' lap and ran back towards the barn exit, “Speaking of which...He was just here visiting you! He just left but maybe we can still catch him!” She Said, hopping on he'd feet, “STEVEN, WAIT UP! IT'S LAPIS, SHE'S BACK!”
It was only seconds later that the young boy sprinted into the day barn, followed by Peridot who was still just as emotional as when she first saw Lapis. She accepted Steven’s hug, who was also tearing up. Steven wiped a tear away and chuckled, “I-I’m sorry, it's just...been so long since...I got a little scared that's all.” the boy sniffed
That was when her last been memories struck her. She could almost feel the dagger piercing inside of her again.
Without saying another word Lapis gently pulled away from the hug and dashed out the barn. If a week had passed by, then chances were, that the gems found a solution by now. They had to. There was no way the red twerp go away with her actions. Yet as she searched the outside of the barn, all the found was a small patch of dirt of where the ship once was.
The ruby ship was gone.
Lapis felt the rage build up inside her throat “Oh that LITTLE-” she was interrupted by Peridot who clutched onto her arm with both her hands.
“So it was her that poofed you, wasn't it?” Peridot grumbled. Lapis only had to nod to trigger Peridot’s reaction.
Peridot flung away from her grip and screeched at the sky, “AHHHH, That CLOD thinks she can just hurt my Lapis and GET AWAY WITH IT?! Oh, if I ever see her little red face again, I swear on Earth I'll take her gem AND I'LL-” The technician's screams morphed into incoherent shouts as she furiously kicked the dirt that the ship was once parked on.
Steven followed Lapis back into the barn wearing a sad look, “Lapis?... I'm sorry. We should have considered your opinion. I was just so caught up on helping others that I...didn't even consider your own feelings.”
Lapis chuckled and playfully patted Steven’s head, “Hey, don't go apologizing. I'm just glad she didn't hurt you too.” Lapis sighed as she watched her roommate continue to yell at the sky, now joined by Pumpkin who furiously growled at the dirt.
Steven smiled,”Well, at least your new form looks cool.” A loud thud came from outside the barn. Peridot had fallen on her face, “Oh! Uhh, I'm going to help calm her down.” Steven said.
Now alone in the barn, Lapis gazed at the sky.
“That was for my crew.”
Navy’s voice echoed through her head. Although she had never met too many rubies in her life, it came to her as a shock to see such loyalty in Navy. Yes, the gem was mad, but only out of sheer protectiveness over her squad. As she stared, deeper into the stars, several images struck Lapis’ mind. At the moment, Navy could be having a happy tearful reunion with her squad, telling them all she had to go through to get them back... a reunion just like Lapis had with Peridot and Steven moments ago.
For all she knew, the group could be on their way back to Earth with an entire army of backup, and she and the others had to prepare.
Sure, Navy was just going out of her way to protect her crew and family. From that moment on, Lapis would do the same too.