Rise Kujikawa could easily tell that Naoto Shirogane was breaking. She could see it in the bluenette's face. It was subtle, and the detective prince barely ever allowed herself to falter in public, but Rise knew what was happening behind that facade of intellect and cold attitude the 16-year-old girl had developed at an early age. All of the pressure, all of the pain, all of the stress that comes with life, and topping it all off with Souji dying in a train accident on his way home...Naoto was falling to pieces before Rise's very eyes. It only got worse when she was let off her job for failing a recent murder case, and that was because she was still badly affected both mentally and emotionally by learning that her boyfriend had been killed only mere hours after she last saw him. No one, not Yosuke, not Chie, not Yukiko, not even Kanji, her closest male friend next to Souji, saw how badly Naoto was truly hurting inside. They knew she was suffering from depression, but it was growing dangerously close to suicide. Yet, none of them knew this. Not one of those so-called "friends" of hers. Except for Rise. She felt like she was the only one who actually cared about Naoto now.
When Rise had gone to Naoto's large mansion estate to speak with her privately, the redhead didn't even seem to recognize the bluenette at first. Naoto's skin had lost its lively color, now a deathly pale. There were black circles around her eyes and she looked like she hadn't eaten in days. She was breaking down into a mere shell of the strong young woman she had once been. It made Rise's heart ache to see her dear friend in such a pitiful state. She was beginning to realize that her worst fears were coming true; if she allowed this to continue on, Naoto might end up hurting herself.
Naoto asked if Rise wanted to come in.
Rise nodded, and said yes.
As they headed upstairs to Naoto's room, Rise kept her eyes glued to Naoto's back. She had to think of a way to help Naoto escape this pit she was falling into, to keep her from making a drastic decision that could possibly take her own life in the process. She was willing to do anything in her power to save Naoto. It was much more than enough to have lost someone like Souji Seta; she didn't want to lose another dear friend, especially not Naoto. When they entered Naoto's bedroom, Rise immediately looked to the counter. There was a pistol lying there, with an unopened packet of bullets next to it. Rise could feel the fear for her friend's life swelling up in her chest.
Naoto sat down on the edge of her bed, and offered Rise if she would like a drink or a snack or something of the like.
Rise shook her head.
Naoto then asked Rise what it was that she wanted exactly. For some reason, her voice sounded rather shaky.
Rise took in a deep breath before she began to speak. She told Naoto that she knew how she was deeply depressed over everything that happened, and she was worried for Naoto's state of mind. She avoided directly stating anything concerning suicide, since she didn't want to come off as possibly judging the bluenette's emotional strength too quickly. Rise finished it off by saying she would do anything she possibly could to help her friend get through this tough time in her life. There was silence, and then Naoto sighed heavily in response. A moment later, she began to cry. She was screaming and crying, flinging her arms around like a child throwing a tantrum.
Rise ran to the girl's side, and planning to hug her, when instead it was Naoto herself who grasped tightly around the redhead's waist. For a moment, Rise was afraid that Naoto was going to kill her. She was almost ready to burst out screaming herself. However, Naoto began to speak. She spoke of many things, like how she and Souji would go on walks around the city together, and how her father used to take her out for ice cream when she was a little girl. She spoke of so many things, all of them unconnected in any way. Then she began to focus on what Rise had told her, on how the redhead had told her that she was going 'insane'.
Naoto stared directly into Rise's eyes as she whispered with a maniacal grin and tearing eyes about how she wasn't crazy, she wasn't going crazy or anything silly like that, all she really wanted was some love, just something warm and real to make her feel alive again, something like what Souji had given her back on that cold winter night on Christmas Eve. That was all she needed, she wanted to be loved by someone again. Rise immediately understood, and without even a hint of hesitation, she slammed her lips against Naoto's. Naoto groaned as she slid one hand down Rise's skirt and the other up her shirt. Rise fell forward, taking Naoto down with her as their lips remained connected in a passionate embrace...
Not once during that long night did Naoto ever say Rise's name. All she cried out was 'Souji, Souji, Souji' over and over in eternal despair...her howls echoing in the starry darkness...
In the twilight of the morning, a loud bang was heard radiating from within the mansion's walls, and then there was silence...a scream followed close behind.