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Thank You

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Lapis was surprised at how difficult this was. Just go and ask Pearl to go take a walk with her. Seems simple enough.

But she didn't expect Pearl to take active steps to avoid her. She felt like she knew the reason why; Lapis wasn't blind to these types of things.

However, emotions were tricky things. More of a human concept than a gem one. Gems were warriors, and emotions only get in the way of battle. Only a few can control emotions and optimize them in battle. Rose Quartz was an example of this.

Lapis herself was a powerful gem, and her power comes from her emotions. Her name, Lapis Lazuli proved so. She had a better understanding than Pearl about these things, but didn't see a point to inform her about them. Pearl would learn on her own. She herself had just come to terms with these emotions, and could not imagine how Pearl felt. She made no attempt to. She was not Pearl - she was Lapis Lazuli.

And she needed help.

"Leave it to me," Steven said after Lapis explained her situation to him. He was Rose in a sense, and he understood her more than anyone gave him credit for. Lapis trusted Steven with her life, and followed his instructions to wait by the cliff, sit on her picnic blanket, and watch the sun set. To wait.

When she heard footsteps, she didn't turn towards them. She waited for Pearl to take a seat beside her and decide which method to take. Pearl was all about methods, her mind logical. And Lapis respected that.

After a while, Pearl sighed. She eventually took a seat beside her. "I should have known Steven would help you with this," she said.

Lapis didn't reply, and they were silent for a while. She waited for Pearl to break the silence between them, facing straight ahead and not sparing a glance back at her. Together they quietly watched the sun set, the sky bleed a mix of red, orange, yellow, and a tiny bit of purple before navy blue with specks of white took over to become night.

"Why are you doing this?" Pearl asked, and only then did Lapis turned to look at her. Her mentor, her guide, her...

"I wanted to thank you." Lapis shook her head. "No, that's not right. I needed to thank you." Lapis took Pearl's hand in her own and tried to look straight into Pearl's eyes. She was sad to see Pearl avoid her gaze, but she knew Pearl was extremely conflicted. "Pearl, I cannot thank you enough for everything you've done for me."

Pearl at this point turned away, but she didn't remove her hand.

"Lapis," she breathed, her voice lost in the breeze.

Lapis remained strong. "Pearl, thank you."

Now Pearl tried to pull her hand away, but Lapis wouldn't let her go. Even though she looked away, Lapis refused to. "Thank you, for everything." After a few moments of silence she released Pearl's hand, stood up and walked passed her, heading slowly towards the ledge above the sea.

Lapis froze when Pearl grabbed her hand and stood up after her.

"I... I can't promise you anything," Pearl said shakily, and Lapis turned back to her only to see Pearl facing the ground, blushing. "I... I still... Rose..."

Lapis smiled softly as Pearl turned up to her. "I understand, Pearl. And it's fine. I don't expect anything from you." She pulled Pearl close to her, close enough to be an embrace if one wanted to define it that way. "I'm just happy to be here. With you. Because of you. I know I'm being very redundant at this point but.

"Thank you."

Pearl smiled and hugged her back. Her eyes were only on Lapis instead of the shooting stars in the sky.

"You're welcome."