To say Lapis Lazuli, Princess of the Blue Realm of the Ocean, was bored would be a vast understatement. Generally speaking, she didn’t really mind lounging around for extended periods of time. So long as she was able to work on one of her many sculpture projects or practice yet another new instrument (Lapis wasn’t particularly good at making music, but she loved the sound of melodies enough to keep trying anyway).
But now? Without those things?
While sitting in the court of the Realm Queen, Blue Diamond, listening to the various so-and-so’s drone on and on about whatever it was they were were droning? Yeah, definitely not Lapis’s definition of interesting or fun. She hardly saw why she had to be there anyway. Her Most Royal Majesty had already announced that it would be her younger, more competent princess, Aquamarine, who would ascend to the throne once her flawless reign came to its natural conclusion (whenever that was, Queen Blue was nearly ancient and showed absolutely no signs of going anywhere). So there was hardly any point for Lapis to have to suffer through that day’s court session. Except, of course, for the fact that Queen Blue’s right hand, Holly Blue Agate, liked form and structure and it looked good when Queen and both Princesses were in attendance at court.
Lapis thrashed her tail, upsetting the calm current. She hardly cared. She sat back on her throne and scowled. Earned an irritated glance from Holly Blue. Lapis smirked back. What was Holly going to do? Publicly berate a Blue Princess right in front of the entire court? Sure, it may be a well-known fact that Lapis was currently out of favor with Her Majesty, but she was still royal. Queen Blue would never tolerate such an insult to one of her own.
“Pssst. Princess Lazuli. Hey! Pssst.”
The voice came from a nondescript, decorative coral in the corner nearest Lapis’s throne. Lapis smiled. Finally.
“Took you long enough to show up, Peri,” Lapis whispered to the coral.
Something green shifted in the coral’s center, though it was invisible unless one was looking specifically for it. “Yeah, well, it took way longer than expected for the crew to unload the cargo. If Captain Jasper just listened to my ideas, I could have us working at 800 times our current efficiency rate, but nooooo.”
Lapis snorted. Covered her mouth before she broke out into full laughter. “Of course,” she murmured.
“Let’s ditch. This has been the most boring hour of my life.”
“You said that last time.”
“Hey, it’s true for all court sessions.” Lapis prepared her spell. Just a little water disturbance to cover their exit. Nothing too too major.
The ensuing boom sent out shockwaves that were felt all throughout the palace structure.
While she raced out into the waters beyond the palace, Lapis knew she’d be in for a berating from Queen Blue herself later, but she hardly cared. Now was the time she got to spend with Peridot.
Peridot. Peridot, who wasn’t of royal birth or of any birth really. She’d been born in one of the smaller, lesser colonies and been far tinier than the average newborn. Thus, she’d been considered unfit to become a full part of the colony and kicked out at an early age. Lapis didn’t know what age exactly or what Peridot had done during the brief time between then and being taken in by Captain Jasper’s mercenary crew—Peri never liked talking about it. Now, she worked as a sort-of accounting manager for Jasper. Or something. That’s what Peridot claimed she was, at least. However, she’d also often told Lapis that the crew always dumped all the worst tasks on her just because she was small and they could.
For all Jasper was a famed ex-general from the Crystal War and favored by both Queen Blue and Queen Yellow Diamond of the Yellow Realm, Lapis hated her with every fiber of her being. Peridot may try to brush off how she was treated as nothing too bad, but Lapis knew she deserved better. Far better.
Peridot laughed, dragging Lapis out of her thoughts. Something in her chest felt lighter. It was always good to hear Peri laugh.
“Did you see the looks on their faces? Ha! Priceless!” Peridot swam in a circle, her tail fins fanning out and catching the sunlight. She abruptly stopped. Her thick yellow-green hair rushed to catch up with her, which bent her ear fins out of place. “You won’t get in trouble for that, will you?”
“I’m a princess, I’m never in trouble.” Lapis swam up to her.
Peridot frowned. “Don’t lie to me.”
“Ok, maybe a little, but it was totally worth it.” Lapis swam around and around Peridot, enjoying just looking at her. It had been far too long since they’d seen each other. She could never forget what Peridot looked like, but the brightness of her green scales, the lightness of her always managed to take Lapis’s breath away.
In Queen Blue’s court, almost everyone was a shade of blue. Lapis herself had a leathery, navy blue tail and hair the same hue. Her skin too was a deep sort of periwinkle blue. The only not-blue part of her was the shimmery, golden veins that ran all over her.
In comparison, Peridot was green like fresh sprouts of seaweed.
Despite what Peri herself said, Lapis knew that she’d never match Peridot’s beauty.
“Hey, Peri?” Lapis asked quietly, so quietly it gained her a worried expression from Peridot, “Can I ask you something?”
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Have…” Lapis began. She bit her lip. “Have you ever thought about swimming away?” She took a deep breath. “Swimming away and never coming back?” Lapis ran a hand through her hair. “I—I hate it here. The only thing that’s good is, is you.” Another deep breath. “I just want to be with you.” Her hands clenched into fists. “I hate who I am here. I hate hating everything. I want—I think I want—to be happy.” She finally looked up at Peridot’s face. “So, so I’d like you to swim away with me.” She held out a hand to Peridot.
Peridot frowned. “Lapis, I…I can’t just leave. Jasper took me in. Without her I wouldn’t even be here now. I—”
“Jasper treats you like shit.” The words were harsh, too harsh. Lapis winced.
Peridot sighed. “I know, but out there.” She gestured to the open waters. “Out there, it’s really hard to survive on your own and you’d be what? A runaway princess. Chased forever by the Queens.” She looked away from Lapis. “Here, at least, we have a 100% chance of living our lives. It may not be the best, but hey we still get to see each other. Sometimes. Whenever the crew has a haul good enough to bring to court. Which isn’t often. Almost never really. So…” Peridot let her train of thought go. “Lapis, I love you, but I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
Lapis reached out to Peridot. “And I don’t want to see you continue to be hurt how things are now.” She paused. “I love you, too.”
There was a moment silent but for the currents moving around them.
“Say please.” Peridot broke it. She clasped her hands with Lapis’s. “Say, Peridot please come away with me because I’m going to run away no matter what you do and that way I’ll at least have you with me to lessen the risk. And then I’ll have to say that the probabilities are likely against us but I care about you far too much to let you do this all on your own cause you’re not as logical as I am and, and…”
“Yes!” Lapis grabbed Peridot’s other hand and pulled in her close. “All those words! Peridot, without you there to be my reasonable half I—I don’t know what I’ll do! I’m too impulsive!”
Peridot grinned recklessly at her. “Yes! Yes! Now I have no choice but to say ‘yes, I’ll run away with you!’” She laughed. Spun Lapis around in a circle.
When they stopped spinning, Lapis leaned in and kissed Peridot. It wasn’t their first kiss, but, given it marked their newfound freedom, it was the sweetest.