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Echolalia

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Peridot likes to repeat words and phrases over and over again. Sometimes she does it deliberately, just liking the sound and sensation of her mouth moving to form the words, and other times it happens without her realising, simply blurting out the words to the confusion and sometimes amusement of the people around her.

Given that her gem seems to work in the same way as the brain of an autistic person, Peridot considers herself autistic. And a thing autistic people often do is called echolalia, which involves repeating words and phrases. And as it seems obvious that Peridot does this, she considers her habit of repeating words to be echolalia too.

One of her favourite things to say it, “Clods!” Ever since she lived on Homeworld, Peridot has always used that word as an expression of irritation, and she has never stopped using it. Although she tends to call people ‘clods’ in a more fond way these days.

So one day, over eight human years since she first visited Earth, Peridot wanders around the beach house outside the Temple, flapping her arms up and down and saying, “Clods, clods, clods, clods…” repeatedly.

“Hey, Peri.”

Peridot turns her head and sees Steven exiting the Temple, his gem glowing on his abdomen. She has known Steven for the eight years she has been on this planet, and he was the one who helped her change her ways and start a new life on Earth. And in the last few months, they have begun a romantic relationship. So she finds her face blushing a deeper shade of green when she looks at him, and Steven grins.

“Clods!” she says, before spluttering and saying, “I mean, hello, Steven.”

Steven wanders over and puts his arm around her shoulders, pulling Peridot close. “How’re you today?”

She shrugs. “Average, I suppose. Very echolalia-heavy, though. Clods!”

He laughs fondly and kisses her hair. Steven is one of very few people who she lets touch her hair. “I love you, Peri.”

“Wow, thanks,” Peridot says, using a piece of echolalia she learned from Steven years ago, and smiles as she kisses his cheek.