Jasper asked Lapis to fuse in a petty, hypocritical move to get back at the Crystal Gems, and Lapis agreed in order to take some form of control and revenge in a world that had done nothing but hurt her for millennia. Lapis then kept Malachite prisoner at the bottom of the ocean - cold, dark, self-induced suffering, and even Steven's dream self couldn't convince her that it was, ultimately, a pointless gesture kept going purely out of her own spite. Their toxic relationship could have ended at any time, but Jasper's bullheadedness and stark hatred of the situation fuelled her fighting, Lapis' stubbornness and desire for revenge made her pull harder, and they clashed for months on end.
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