“Don’t you have better things to do?”
It’s a sudden question. Ghost Quartz sits up straighter on the windowsill and blinks at Lapis.
“What do you mean?”
“Coming to the library as often as you do.”
Ghost gently closes the book they were reading.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t.”
You could - Don’t.
They know it’s not meant rudely, of course not - it’s Lapis after all. They don’t mean to affect anyone or anything - they just do, by virtue of asking, probing, experimenting, voicing their thoughts almost innocently while seemingly ignorant to the pull they exude with their words, like the invisible instinct that attracts moths to a flame.
Then again, maybe it’s just Ghost.
“As you know, there’s not really much to do in the recovery facilities, and I rarely get sent out on patrols since my partner insists on managing the library every day.” Ah, a bit of them came out as well - though Ghost themself does share the sentiment if they were to be completely honest.
Lapis giggles lightly. “I thought you didn’t like patrols all that much?”
Ghost nods. “I don’t,” I do , “but it does offer more variety than simply staying at the academy every day.”
The other hums as they switch to the next page. “I see. Unfortunately, I won’t learn anything new by patrolling, and all new intel about the Lunarians I can simply get by asking Alex.”
“You won’t learn anything new by reading the same books all over again either.”
That actually makes Lapis look up at them with an almost genuinely amused laugh.
“There’s quite a lot of books here, surely I have to refresh my memory regularly to keep track of it all?”
Ghost opens up their book again from earlier, glances at the page, and then turns back to Lapis.
“What’s written on page 137 of ‘Astronomical Wonders ’?”
Lapis is a good actor for all their worth, but neither Ghost nor them are fooled into believing their innocent hum as they look up in thought.
“I think it’s about… a comet that passes by this planet?”
Ghost hums. “Do you happen to remember when it passes by next?”
“I’m afraid not,” Uh-huh, right. “When would that be?”
“According to this book, tomorrow night.”
“Is that so?”
Lapis is looking at them with their usual calm smile that does reach their attentive eyes, for all it’s worth. Still, their gaze is piercing, knowing what their target will say next but still expecting them to say it - And Ghost, for all their worth, is nothing if not honest.
“Would you like to watch it with me?”
“I’d love to.”
“You-” What ? “You do?”
“Of course. Such events are rare even in our lifetimes and should be observed for posterity. Besides,” they start before Ghost can utter out ‘ Oh ’, “I would love to spend some time with you.”
They don’t say ‘thank you’, even though relief and gratitude are at the forefront of their emotions right now, and instead only offer and a nod and hum in reply.
Over the course of the next day many people ask Ghost why they seem so happy and upbeat all of a sudden, and they’re tempted to tell them of the comet; it would be great to have everyone gathered together, have something new to enjoy when they get so few pleasant surprises in life- but something holds them back.
The other one quietly mutters things that Ghost knows are true, but they choose to ignore those in favour of preparing to stay up at night for the big event.
Still, it's hard to keep themself from yawning once night falls, their inclusions stop receiving energy from the sun and Ghost's body starts feeling heavier and all but demanding for them to go to bed and rest just as they usually would.
But no - this is special.
"Tired?", a voice asks behind them.
They turn around and Lapis wears their ever pleasant smile - no indication that they feel a sliver of the effect that being in the dark should have on them.
"No," they lie, and turn back to frown at the lightly overcast sky above them.
"I hope this clears up soon. It would be a shame to miss such a rare event because of mere weather."
"You're right. Although," Lapis steps up next to Ghost, "you aren't looking at the right portion of the sky."
"Don't you remember? The book said it would appear in Gemini. We would be looking at Aries right now."
Ghost did, in fact, remember that. They consulted the book again just before leaving their room, but it was hard to read the stars when half of them are obscured by clouds.
Lapis really is amazing, huh.
They nod once and follow Lapis in silence as they circle around the academy to find a better viewing point. Just once, Ghost feels a raindrop fall on them and looks up in worry, just before they gasp.
Just behind a long thin grey cloud, a tiny sliver of light blue can be seen. As the cloud moves way with the wind, the tail becomes slightly more visible, becoming thicker and more noticeable, with blue light hugging a white interior and if you really, truly looked, you could see tiny specks of light breaking off from the comet and disappearing into the darkness of the night sky within moments.
Ghost turns to Lapis looking with wide eyes at the comet. It's almost a rarer occurence than the comet itself, and somehow makes the moment all the more special.
"It really is," they reply, and move closer, but careful not to touch the slightly more fragile gem.
Lapis looks back to them and smiles, wide and open with their eyes closing, genuine and bright even in the light of the moon shining down on them, innocent in a way that Ghost would never have thought possible.
They smile in reply, and look up at the sky again, to see that the clouds have moved on to the point where the entire comet was visible - long and sparking beautifully, with a rounded head moving through the sky and outshining all the stars that would normally be visible from the ground. It’s captivating, magical even, and looking at Lapis’ entranced gaze at the sky, with the utmost sincerity, Ghost and the other one both wish for this moment to never end.