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Dia was like the sun, always cheery and bright. It was pretty rare for Dia show any negative emotions. As a matter of fact, Pearl, who had known him all his life, had seen him mad only two times. But right now Dia wasn't mad. He was in despair.

To Pearl, this was quite possibly the scariest thing in all of existence, his worst nightmare come to life. He could predict Pokemon moves and tsukkomi with the best of them, but he couldn't handle his best friend being sad. Pearl didn't know what to do when it came to emotions. That wasn't him. That was all Dia. Pearl was just willpower.

Earlier that day, Dia had left the house on an "errand", returning an hour late and stumbling along the road like a blind man, unable to see the rocks and uneven ground of the worn path. He broke down as soon as Pearl got within fifty feet and revealed the so-called errand was actually meeting Missy at a cafe, where he finally worked up the nerve to confess.

Now Dia was crying on the couch and all Pearl could do was sit down beside him and put his hand on Dia's shoulder, handing him a steady supply of Kleenex and chocolate and telling him it was going to be okay.

What Pearl really wanted to do was to go out and beat up the one upsetting Dia. That was the way he'd always handled things before, from childhood bullies to Team Galactic. The problem was that Missy was his friend to, and according to Dia, she had just bowed her head and apologized. There was nothing remotely cruel at about the rejection, so Pearl couldn't bring himself to hold a grudge against her. She was probably feeling guilty about it anyways. Missy didn't need him to add to her burden.

His Pokegear rang and Pearl used his free hand to grab it from his pocket. Ironically enough, Missy was the one calling. He silenced the buzzing device and turned his attention back to Dia. He needed him more than she did right now.

Dia's sobs had slowed down, but the tears were still pouring down his cheeks. He hiccupped and raised his head to look at Pearl. His eyes were pitiful, and the angry little voice in the back of Pearl's mind was telling him to hurry up and do something already. Screw empathy. His own sheer stubbornness would have to do.

He cleared his throat and began self-consciously. "Dia?" The boy in question sniffled a bit and for some reason, that really annoyed him. The nervousness vanished.

"Dia!"

Dia turned watery blue eyes toward him and the expression on his face was heartbreaking. The irritation on Pearl's face softened almost imperceptibly as the other boy looked at him dully. To him, seeing Dia cry was a sign of the apocalypse. To Dia, the apocalypse had already come.

"What am I supposed to do?" his friend asked. "Everything is so . . . sluggish. I can't see them anymore. Colors, I mean."

Pearl didn't know either. All the willpower in the world couldn't break through depression easily. But still, if Dia made it through the next few days, then maybe he would be alright. Maybe his natural optimism could heal him. Pearl sure as hell couldn't.

"I'm not certain," he admitted. "I haven't got any experience with this at all." He hesitated, something almost unheard of for him. "But I can try."

"Try what?"

"To fix you."