It had been a warp malfunction that caused it - Peridot’s expert modifications turned out to be anything but. Lapis had rematerialised in a strange world; a place where everything looked massively different to the Temple she’d just left.
She’d been in a booth, a strange looking woman turning to look at her. At that point, Lapis’ brain had sort of gone into that place where one is so frazzled that it’s impossible to react - so she ended up idly noting that she didn’t look like a human. Humans had bigger eyes, and their colours were much simpler.
Then the door had opened. Another person, messy-haired and bespectacled, had walked in, stopping a large man with a baton. Her eyes were wide - for a moment she seemed unable to speak.
“Uh… hi, I’m Lapis,” Lapis said at last.
“I know,” replied the newcomer. “I created you.”
She’d been nice, this Rebecca Sugar, and had tried to explain everything nice and simply. Lapis was a car-toon (like Crying Breakfast Friends, that show Peridot didn’t get but she secretly enjoyed), created by Car-toon Network as a form of visual morp for people in Rebecca’s world - the real world, Rebecca never said but Lapis gathered. Everything she was, everything she ever had been, had been created to entertain an audience.
As she was led through the studio, things clicked in her head; it made sense. How her memories of her time before the Mirror were often very vague, how much Steven seemed to attract trouble, how they always seemed to get through even when the odds were totally impossible. It was because she was a story that was supposed to have a happy ending.
Eventually there was another flash of light, and she was home. Back in her colourful, simple, car-toon world, watching Pearl berate Peridot for messing with the warp pad.
“Lapis?” She glanced to the side - Stevonnie was looking at her, their face twisted in concern.
Lapis took in a deep breath, closing her eyes.
She was a car-toon. A walking, talking meep-morp. A story.
She opened her eyes and laughed. It was no horrified reaction to the madness of the situation, no forced guffaw to make Stevonnie feel better, but a real, genuine feeling of joy.
She ran outside before anyone could stop her, jumping down onto the beach and landing on her back, staring at the pastel blue sky. Finally, everything made sense! The universe wasn’t out to get her; it was just telling a story! And there was no way she’d ever find herself abandoned or alone or (stars forbid) shattered, because that wasn’t the kind of story she was living. She didn’t have to worry about anything - Rebecca had it handled for her.
All she had to do was make her audience happy. And from the fanart she’d seen in the studio, she had nothing to worry about.
“Lapis?” Stevonnie was walking up next to them. “You okay?”
“Better than ever,” Lapis replied cheerfully.
She closed her eyes and smiled serenely.
“Everything makes sense now.”