He heard muffled sniffling at the far end of the cavern. It was hard to identify at first, but then a sad familiarity washed over him. Chex.
It was Chex. Why was he crying? No, that wasn't the right question to ask... he knew why Chex cried. He always knew. The reason never changed.
What he meant to ask himself originally was what had provoked it. What had caused it, this time? Though, that didn't really matter. He just wanted the crying to stop. He just needed it to stop.
Devonshire crept forward, but then realized he might startle the weeping creature if he kept on so silently. He stopped to announce his presence with a couple of coughs.
This got Chex's attention. He turned his head, recognized Devonshire, and paused briefly for a moment, eyes locked with his. Ah, good, he'd stopped cryin-
No. He continued once more. The poor Cubone choked on its spit, coughing and gagging in a fit, tears now trickling steadily from the ravines on his skull.
The ravines that hadn't been there weeks prior, when the little fellow had first showed up at his law firm.
"Please," Devonshire whispered, taking a few steps closer, "don't cry. Please."
Chex's lip quivered, but he was simply unable to stop. He turned away again, wiping tears that wouldn't quit. It was so much more unbearable to watch when he turned his back like that... it was maddening, he just wanted it to stop. He just wanted Chex to stop.
No longer fearing he would scare the Cubone, Devonshire swiftly closed the remaining gap between them.
But, now what? He hadn’t a clue. It was just utterly and thoroughly maddening to watch his little friend, his only friend, cry so. A toothy grimace slowly crept its way along his visage. He couldn’t help it. He grit his teeth. What could he do? This was perhaps the only Pokemon who could inspire any emotions in him, and he was crying. It was enough to make Devonshire himself want to cry. If he could, maybe he would hav-
Chex’s soft wails heightened suddenly. All trains of thought were interrupted and none could begin anew. He just wanted it to stop. The world was hellish for him already, horrid visions invaded his whole being during every waking hour. As he never slept, one might even say he lived entirely in his nightmares.
Except when Chex was around.
Everything was better when Chex was around. The world almost seemed... normal, he almost remembered what it was like, as absurd as that was, to really live, laugh, and love again.
But not when Chex cried. It only amplified the darkness of his mind, the fog that swept over any soft emotions. His tears only served to make Devonshire angry at the world for having been so cruel to such a kind, friendly, loving little creature. He yearned with all his heart to make the world a better place for such a shining beacon. There had to be some way to change the world so that this little Cubone had a place in it. He’d make a way, if he had to. Yes, undoubtedly.
“Please,” he repeated, “don’t cry. I’ll make things better soon. For you.”
He didn’t expect Chex to actually reply. No, he knew Chex was a mute, knew he wouldn’t talk now, likely not anytime soon, probably not ever. That hardly mattered, though. He just wanted him to stop crying.
Devonshire’s hand slowly raised in front of his mouth, usually a thoughtful gesture - now one of worry. He didn’t know what to say. So, he decided, he ought to say what was on his mind.
“Master Chex, please...” he started, shifting his weight slowly from foot to foot a few times, “I need you to remain calm. Enough sadness for now, let us leave this cave together.”
Chex glanced at Devonshire for a split second. His head was still mostly facing away from the light, away from the entrance, away from the ghost-- his only friend, as well. He was listening, at least. His sobs quieted some, reverberating faintly throughout the cavern.
“You’re right, there are many things to be sad about in this world,” Devonshire spoke with a quiet authority, “but we cannot face and rectify those things if we’re off crying in a cramped, old hole in the ground, yes?”
He offered a hand, tried to smile. Chex was perhaps one of the (very) few Pokemon who wasn’t intimidated by his smile.
Chex turned his head to meet Devonshire’s gaze as the last of the flow dripped down his skull. He turned back toward his bone club, grabbed it, then used it to prop himself up.
He took Devonshire’s hand and together they walked toward the entrance of the cave.