Peridot was shaking with excitement, and Lapis couldn’t help but smile as she watched her barnmate.
“Lapis!” Peridot screeched, and, well, that made it easier not to smile. Lapis loved Peridot and all, but she could be hard on the ears. “This project is going to be the greatest meepmorp ever created! Are you prepared?!”
“Not really, Peridot,” Lapis said calmly. “I mean, we haven’t even decided what the project will be. You just woke me up last night and asked if we could make a ‘really big meepmorp’ today.”
“Really impressive, actually!” Peridot brought her hands, balled into fists, up towards her cheeks. “Ohhhh, it’s going to be so amazing! And I had to wake you up,” she went on, her expression becoming stern – even annoyed – as her little fists moved to rest on her hips. “You were snoring.” Lapis shrugged, and Peridot rolled her eyes. “I don’t get why you sleep, anyway.”
“You’re just bitter because you can’t manage it.”
“Well, it’s really hard!”
Lapis shook her head. “Okay, okay, it’s really hard. Fine. Now let’s at least decide what this project of yours is going to be.”
“Big project of ours,” Peridot corrected, once again smiling. Lapis wasn’t sure how she was considered the moody half of the couple when Peridot’s changing emotions were enough to give anyone whiplash, but ah, well.
“Right. Ours.” Lapis smiled. She liked when things were theirs; sharing things – be they physical objects or ideas and plans; thoughts and feelings – was a very intimate thing for each of them. “So… What are you thinking?”
“Well!” Peridot began, eyes sparkling behind her visor. “Last week, Steven told me about… Abstract art! Art is what humans call meepmorps, right? And then I got distracted because Pearl and Amethyst were arguing too loudly, but the idea – abstract meepmorps – it’s interesting, don’t you think?”
“I guess. I mean… If you were distracted, how are you sure what it is?”
“Isn’t it obvious, Lapis? Abstract things can’t be touched, measured, or contained, you know, like happiness or anger, or mathematics or thrill.”
“Okay…” Lapis said, leaving the ‘go on’ implied. Peridot picked up on it.
“So, abstract meepmorps are meepmorps that aren’t… There. Physically, anyway.”
“How does that work?”
“Just- Well, it- Because they’re actual things! Abstract meepmorps are actual things – that aren’t things – that humans actually make, and we’re going to make one, too!”
“How do we make it if it’s not a thing?”
“I,” Peridot began confidently, only to quickly falter, “…don’t know. But the two of us, working together? I’m sure we’ll be able to figure it out! We’re a great team!”
Lapis smiled. “We are, huh?” She reached her hand out, and Peridot reached up and held it; gave it a squeeze.
Lapis gave a nod and let go of Peridot’s hand, then walked over to her easel. Rather than grab a canvas, though, she grabbed a scrap of paper of stuck it up with tape. “Then let’s get to work on some ideas. We’ll brainstorm.”
“Sounds like a plan!”
Four hours went by, but other than the words ‘Abstract Meepmorp Ideas’ in Lapis’ looping script, there was nothing on the paper. Lapis and Peridot sat side-by-side, their backs against the wall. Lapis was beginning to fall asleep, while Peridot was postively stewing, arms crossed over her chest.
“This is ridiculous!” she shouted, jolting Lapis out of her dozing state. “Why is this so hard?! We’ve made so many amazing morps – why is it so hard to make an abstract one?!”
“Maybe you heard Steven wrong. Maybe he didn’t say abstract,” Lapis offered, more out of a desire to pacify Peridot than out of any belief that this was the case.
“No, he definitely said abstract! So why can’t we think of a way to make it? What’s- Ugh!”
“What’s what?” Lapis asked.
“What’s happening to us?” Peridot mumbled. “Are we losing our touch? Back when we first came to Earth, we were always creating things… Improving this barn… But, I don’t know, lately we seem to be stuck. Like we’re just becoming complacent.”
Lapis adjusted her position so she was leaning against the wall on her side, fully facing Peridot. “I didn’t know you had any of those thoughts.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t want to be a downer.” Peridot managed a slight smile. “That’s your job.”
“Thanks,” Lapis said dryly. Then she cupped Peridot’s face in her hand. “Look, Peridot, it’s been a long time since we started living on this planet; we’ve grown a lot, and gotten used to a lot. It’s not going to be the same.”
“But maybe that’s okay, you know? I mean… It’s kind of like us. At first, being together was exciting and new and full of uncertainty. It’s not like that anymore, but it’s still good. We still have fun and enjoy being together. It’s just that now, instead of excitement and newness and uncertainty, we have comfort and trust and love.”
“We do,” Peridot said, her smile growing truly happy. She hugged Lapis tightly. “I love you.”
Lapis nodded, returning Peridot’s hug. “I love you, too. So… Who cares if we can make an abstract meepmorp or not? It’s one little thing. What we’ve got is way more important than-”
“Wait a minute!” Peridot interrupted, calling right in Lapis’ ear. Lapis flinched out of the hug as Peridot leapt to her feet, beaming almost manically. “I get it now! Lapis, can’t you see? Love is an abstract concept. Our relationship is the ultimate, most impressive abstract meepmorp!”
Lapis laughed as she stood, herself. “Seriously?”
“What? It makes sense! It makes perfect sense!” Peridot grabbed Lapis’ hand and twirled herself beneath it, free hand waving in the air. “Oh, we did do it! I knew we could!”
“You are a total dork.”
“A total dork who is part of an abstract meepmorp!” Peridot half-sang, still spinning.
“You’re going to get dizzy.”
“Then we’ll be a half-dizzy abstract meepmorp!”
Lapis couldn’t help it; she was beaming, too, by that point. That was Peridot: excited and weird and wonderful. And together… Well, they really were the ‘ultimate, most impressive abstract meepmorp’, weren’t they?