Goodbye, Hero

Yeah, I know, a little 'what if Yu died at the end of P4?' one-shot. I did get the idea from the P3 ending, but either way, major spoilers.

March 20th, 2012

Yu Narukami stared down the twisted, malformed, wrathful deity towering above him, his body glowing with the power of bonds, his friendships, and his love. Despite Izanami's best attempts to sway him under the truth she believed from Adachi, Yu's bonds had woke him up, and he felt a new power brimming inside him. This new power felt like he could reach out towards anything, and grasp it.

As Izanami pelted him with attack after attack, Yu stood his guard, enduring every blow she threw his way. Strangely enough, it didn't hurt him one bit. He felt the fatigue and the force trying to push him down to death's cold clutches, but Yu kept his head up, not willing to give up. All while he did this, an erupting force grew inside him, feeling like it was going to seep out of him. He walked closer and closer to Izanami, and as his power built up, his bonds combined, and his entire spirit felt the combined power of humanity's idealism, he picked his glasses off his eyes.

Holding them in his hand, he understood now. Yu understood the truth, something that Izanami couldn't understand.

"Child, what is the meaning of this?" Izanami said, her tone a biting gasp of anger and confusion. Yu only responded by crushing his glasses, and feeling all his power pour into Izanagi. A flash of pure power and light engulfed the foggy surroundings, and from the black, cold, steel visage of Izanagi, laid the white, bright, shining beacon of hope: Izanagi-no-Ookami.

"This is… the Myraid Truth!" screamed Yu, "Izanagi… no… OOKAMI!"

And at that, the combined blast of truth slammed into Izanami. The thick, swirling beam of pure energy, crackling with electricity, rained down on the deity, causing the exposed Izanami was blasted by the sheer power, and she was blown far back, as she was smashed and gutted by the sheer power of the Myraid Truth. Immense satisfaction glowed through Yu, plus he felt pretty awesome at punching out a Japanese deity.

Izanami then chuckled, and began to float, her twisted body dragging beneath her, as she gasped her dying breaths.

"You have done well. I now understand the truth that humans want," cried the ethereal voice of Izanami, "but, child, before I pass, I must ask you: do you understand the 'Price of Truth'?"

Yu vigorously shook his head, "Don't speak anymore, Izanami."

A short, humored chuckle echoed out of the dying goddess, "Hm. I see. Do be prepared though, for you may have the truth, but can you pay the price? I leave that for you to decide."

As she began to fade out, Izanami said to the group her final words, "Children of men… well done!"

And with that, Izanami faded into nothingness.

March 27th, 2012

When Yu Narukami had unleashed the Myriad Truth on Izanami, and she had congratulated them, everyone thought that it was the end. They had won. They had proven humanity's true colors.

Despite being a happy occasion, what with slaying a god and all, it was also a bittersweet moment as Yu was planned to leave Inaba that day.

But nobody knew what was coming up next.

As the moment he had left the television for the last time upon gazing at its true, beautiful form, Yu had complained of migraines and a sudden feeling of weakness. They thought nothing of it, just exhaustion they all thought, until he collapsed at the train station, just before he was about to board the train back to the city. The sight of Dojima frantically calling an ambulance while Nanako cradled her unconscious cousin, pleading for him to wake up, was a traumatizing sight for everyone.

The hospital had said that there were no signs of illness in his body, but at the same time, his entire body was rapidly deteriorating from some sort of unknown problem. His muscles shrank down, his bones became more fragile, leading Yu to go from healthy, thin young man to frail, weak and tired looking in a matter of days.

But what the doctors didn't know, the Investigation Team knew all too well.

It was the end of his life. They all knew it. To earn the truth, he had to die for it. Izanami had made that clear, and while he now understood the meaning of it all now, was it all really worth it, now that he was dying?

To Yu, yes, it was. But to the others, they were pondering that question.

He had made it clear that he was grateful for the year he had in Inaba, and that he was dying with no regrets. While the hospital wanted him to stay, when it was clear they couldn't help him, they let him go spend his last days with his uncle and cousin. He had made one last phone call to his parents, saying goodbye to them, and even got to see their faces one last time through an internet conversation. His parents made sure to let him know that they would miss him, but were devastated to be unable to see their own son off.

At the morning of March 27th, Dojima and Nanako were tending to his tired, aching body by the time the Investigation Team had arrived at the Dojima household, and they had let him lay down on a blanket, while they all circled around him to say their final goodbyes.

Tears were shed, confessions were made, and everyone had gotten out what they needed to get out. In the end, everyone seemed to accept the fact that Yu was dying, but from him, they leant the truth of life, and that alone was enough.

However, Yu had one last request.

But Yu had told them that he wanted to spend his last living moments with one person in particular. "Who is it?" asked Dojima, who was struggling to hold it in, squeezing his eyes shut and turning away as not to let anyone see him crying.

Yu weakly pointed a finger at Rise, who was already quaking with emotion as it was. Rise gasped, and barely held back sobbing, as she began to shuffle towards Yu. Everyone else backed away, to let Yu and Rise have their final moments together.

"Rise..." Yu gasped. He tried to find his footing on the floor, but struggled to get up, tripping up over his feet and nearly collapsing onto the floor.

She shrieked, and tried to hold him down on his blanket, worried he'd aggravate himself in his condition, "Senpai! Please don't move... just relax..."

He smiled faintly at her, but his smile soon faded into a serious expression, "No... Rise… I want to go to the Samegawa... it's a place... important to me... to us."

It was a place they often went to as friends, and even as lovers. The quiet riverside would calm him, thought Rise, and he wanted to feel at peace one last time. A determination reached Rise's red eyes, and she nodded, putting Yu's arm over her small shoulders, helping Yu up to his feet. He had enough strength left to walk, as long as someone supported him, and the entire group, understanding his final wishes, helped Rise walk Yu down to the Samegawa. Kanji and Yosuke both acted as crutches for Yu, while Chie, Yukiko and Teddie consoled Nanako and Dojima, trying their best to stay strong.

The walls all of them put up all broke down when they did reach the riverbank. The group then backed off, tears in their eyes, with Nanako in particular weeping. Seeing the distressed little girl and feeling nothing but the utmost sympathy for her, Rise tried to tell Yu to spend his last moments with Nanako, but he refused, telling her that it may be too much for the child.

"I don't want her last memories of me dying at her side." Yu had told Rise. She understood exactly what he meant.

It was a struggle helping him down the staircase to the riverbank, but she succeeded. Rise sat down on a bench being bathed by the gentle spring sun, helping Yu lay down on the side, letting his head fall onto her thighs. When she placed his head on her lap however, he smiled blissfully, looking right up at her with a spark of joy in his eyes.

"It's so warm..." he gasped softly, his silver strands pressed against her soft lap. Rise couldn't help a smile, and her hand leered down to stroke his cheek, feeling his high cheeks and own smoothly shaved face. She gasped.

She was surprised at the warmth of his face. Despite being on his last reigns of life, Yu's being glowed with the life and energy that had sparked within him through his adventure. She could remember the steely gaze of the senpai she loved, and how as his journey went, it went from cold and nigh-emotionless to loving, caring and supporting. Rise barely held back tears to see that same energy within him, even in death.

Her arms snaked around and began to cradle his head, supporting him while she stroked his cheek, "Are you comfy?" she asked Yu.

Yu only nodded, and smiled at Rise, who returned the smile with a wide grin. However, a grim look soon took over his face, "Rise... why are you crying?"

Indeed, she felt her cheek, and her fingertips felt wet warmth. Despite her smile, she was crying. While she tried to put on her best happy face like she did for the cameras, she was absolutely gutted deep down, and felt sick to her stomach. Tears were too busy streaming down her eyes to stop, and frankly, she couldn't help it. She was watching her friend, her boyfriend at that, live his final moments on this world. She sniffed, and tried to wipe them away with the back of her hand, only for the familiar wetness to drip down her cheeks again. It was no use to try and stop it, she decided.

"Because... because... I never thought I'd meet someone as cool, as kind, as warm... as loving as you, Senpai. I've always been so lonely, didn't know who I was, but you told me who I am. I'm Rise Kujikawa, and Risette. I'm myself. And the best thing was that... I loved you... and you loved me. ... I never told you this, but back in Christmas Eve, I was looking forward to taking you on my tour... but that's..."

She openly sobbed now, her anguish strong in her voice. Loneliness gripped at her heartstrings again, and her body shook with her crying as she wept. "But that's just not gonna happen anymore!" bellowed Rise, watching her tears fall on Yu's gentle face, his expression lightened from the sun in his face.

Rise's eyes shot wide open when she felt the strong, callused, but tender fingers of Yu's hand start stroking her cheek, returning her own gesture. His finger gently wiped a tear away from her eye, and he grinned sympathetically, as he laid back into her lap. "Don't cry, Rise. I want to leave this world with you happy... no point in crying, isn't there?"

She sniffed back her tears, and smiled back, giggling at his little wisecrack even. She cradled him into her lap further, to protect him, to keep him warm on his next journey. Rise was scared... but she felt a warm, glowing assurance from his words. That he knew he wasn't going to fade away, and that he was going to live on in some form.

Yu's body, however, was growing colder and colder, even with the sun's full glow on him. She wanted to scream for him not to die... but his acceptance had a calming effect on her. She feared for him still, but she knew, she somehow knew that it wasn't the end for him. Rise leaned her head down, and kissed Yu's cheek, which was still oh so warm. Feeling the lines of his face against her lips for the last time gave her a redness to her cheeks, and her own face grew warmer, brighter than her own red hair in fact.

She looked out at the river, smiling at the sound of the water flowing through the stream, the warm sunlight embracing their bodies, wrapping them up in blissful warmth. However, a cough caught her attention, and she looked back down to Yu.

"Hey, Rise..." Yu called out, his vocals growing weaker along his body, "I feel... so tired... I... just want to sleep now..."

Rise only brushed her fingers against his cheek once more, to provide comfort, and she leaned her body down, letting their foreheads touch. His forehead was still warm, but getting colder. She saw in his eyes that feeling her own warm head against his made him feel better, and so the girl stared right into his silver eyes, her own red from crying, trying her best to smile, "Just... go to sleep now... okay...?" she choked soothingly.

He nodded, and in one last show of strength, he pressed his forehead against hers, letting her feel his warmth for the final time. His eyelids began to drift to a close, first, they were at half-mast, as if he was struggling to stay awake, yet resisting the temptation to sleep. Rise gently nodded her head, and whispered gently into his ear:

"It's alright, Senpai. Rest now…."

At that point, Yu's eyelids slid to a close. Gathering everything she had, Rise then spoke her final words to her lover, friend, and savior.

"I love you, Senpai."

At that, Yu Narukami was dead.

That was when the rest came down the staircase, looking shocked and devastated. Rise looked up, her eyes soaking with tears, and gently held his cold body next to hers, as the team put their hands on his chest. They, Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji, Teddie and Naoto, all pressed their hands against his cold skin, and from their combined warmth, Rise could almost sense a warm vibe flow through Yu's body one last time.

But as Rise pulled away, and let the team be with him one last time, she saw the satisfied smile on Yu's face. He had died happy, content in his life and his friends.

Reviews and crits welcome. I'm not the biggest fan of the Izanami scene, but I needed some exposition. Enjoy! :D

If this is well-received, I may make versions with different characters, not just Rise.