Disclaimer: I don't own Hyperdimension Neptunia, it belongs to Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Sega and whomever else works on it.
So I'm doing a sequel to Shadows of the Heart. I thought I'd do a one-shot, but it looks like it'll be a few chapters.
They'll be relatively short, but hopefully enjoyable.
To be honest, I never thought I'd write out a sequel this fast.
Nepgear sighed as she looked over the reports. "More monsters on the loose near the borders, huh?" Ever since disbanding most of the military over two months ago, there had been a rise of monster attacks across Planeptune. Not that she didn't expect it. While she still had enough of a military to deal with large monster outbreaks, she couldn't send them out to deal with monster infestations like she could back when she still viewed the other nations as enemies. Fortunately most of the monster infestations were Tulips and Dogoos with an occasional Boxbird or Froggy monster thrown in for good measure. Picking up her phone, she pushed a button and waited for the person on the other end to pick up. "Hello, Jupiter?"
"Hey, sis, what's up?"
"I got a report of some monsters that are getting too close to the roads between Planeptune and Lastation. Are you near there?"
"Yeah, I was going to meet Uni, Rom and Ram at the check-in station and show them around Planeptune."
Nepgear had a tiny smile at hearing that. "If it wouldn't be too much of a problem, would you four be willing to deal with those monsters? From what I can tell it's mostly Tulips and Dogoos."
"Aren't those the only monsters we have outside of dungeons?" Jupiter laughed on the phone. "Don't worry, I'm sure they'll help me deal with them."
"Thanks." Nepgear replied and looked over to the door as she heard a knock. "Someone's here, so I'll see you tonight."
"Sure, don't work too hard." Jupiter said as she hung up.
Nepgear shook her head and got up from her desk before walking to the door and opening it up, revealing someone she didn't expect to see. "Noire, what are you doing here?" She then noticed that Noire was looking a little nervous, which didn't make too much sense, while there was still some awkwardness between Nepgear and the other CPUs, the raw tension and animosity had mostly evaporated between them.
"I heard that there were some monsters running free, if this is a bad time..." She trailed off and Nepgear noticed that she had a bucket with ice in it and what looked like a bottle sticking out from the ice.
"It's mostly mob monsters that I'm sure Jupiter can handle." Nepgear answered her. "The reports aren't saying anything too dangerous. What's in the bucket?"
Noire still looked a bit nervous. "Um... It's wine. It was a gift... From your elder sister to me."
Nepgear's eyes widened.
A few minutes later, the two were in Nepgear's kitchen with Nepgear pulling out two wine glasses and walking over to the table, where Noire was sitting down. She nodded as Nepgear put the glasses on the table. Opening up the bottle, though Nepgear noted that there was a thick layer of dust and grime on the bottle, Noire filled the glasses with red wine.
"Are you here to see if we can get drunk on wine?" Nepgear asked as she took her glass and sat down not far from Noire.
Noire shook her head. "No. Trust me, I've tried to get drunk on all sorts of alcohol." She gave Nepgear a wry smirk. "If I wasn't a Goddess, I would have been a drunken mess for years. Only time I ever got drunk was when I drank stuff that was carbonated."
"Oh." Nepgear said softly and looked at the wine and looked at Noire as she took a sip of the stuff. "Was it Neptune's death that drove you to drinking?"
Noire shook her head. "Nah, I developed a taste for alcohol about a century and a half ago." Nepgear looked at her in surprise and Noire laughed. "What? You don't know? I've ruled Lastation for almost two hundred years now."
"...Oh." That was a bit surprising, while she knew that CPUs could live for centuries and that Iris Heart had lived to be around five hundred before disappearing, it was still surprising to realize that she was so young in comparison.
"Yeah." Noire smirked at her. "Most people think that we're only a few decades old at most, since we look and act so young." She looked at the wine in her glass and sighed. "Neptune got me, Vert and Blanc a bottle of this stuff every five years. I always thought it was going to be rigged to be a prank."
Nepgear tilted her head. "How come you never threw it away then?" She knew that she would have thrown away the wine if she was in Noire's position back then.
Noire shrugged and took another sip of the wine. "I guess, deep down, I felt really touched by the gift, so I created a wine cellar and put all the bottles she gifted to me down there. It was only after we killed her that I bothered opening one." She chuckled softly. "I figured if Neptune had them booby trapped or they were a prank, she deserved to get one last win over me."
"But they weren't huh?" Nepgear asked, getting a shake from Noire. Mentally shrugging, Nepgear took a drink from the glass and her eyes widened in shock. "I...It's sweet!"
Noire smirked at her. "Your sister loved sweet things. I once trapped her in an exploding waffle house because I made a trail of frosted gingerbread men for her to follow."
"...Exploding waffle house?" Nepgear asked, an utterly baffled look on her face.
Noire sighed softly. "When we first met, your sister pranked myself, Blanc and Vert. We got back at her but then we didn't stop pranking each other."
Nepgear nodded, listening silently as she took another small drink of the wine. While she loved Neptune deeply and her sister's death had hurt her so much over the years, it was nice to learn things about her sister.
"Well, at one point, I found out that your sister had quite the sweet tooth." Noire chuckled softly. "So I practiced making frosted gingerbread men and a giant house made of waffles."
"So..." Nepgear began. "...How did you make it explode?"
Noire suddenly started laughing as she remembered how she did it. "I had a bunch of bottles of Diet Nowacola and Fentos." Nepgear's eyes widened in shock. "Yeah, and there were other things too, but when Neptune went into the waffle house, I slammed the door closed behind her, triggering the trap..."
"...I'm almost afraid to ask how..."
"I was fifteen meters away and I still got knocked onto my ass from the explosion." Noire grimaced, she had severely underestimated the power of those explosive cola bottles plus the other stuff she had put in there. "Neptune was mostly okay.. Other than being wrapped in a large, hot waffle cone with whipped cream and ice cream on top of her."
Nepgear gave her an astonished look before her shoulders started to shake and her lips curled upwards. "Oh that... Hee hee hee..."
The two CPUs started to laugh as they thought about the situation. After regaining their senses, they finished their wine and Noire poured them both another glass.
The two sat silently for awhile and slowly drank the wine. "Noire..?" Nepgear finally broke the silence, causing the elder CPU to look at her curiously. "Why did the four of you stop pranking each other?"
Noire sighed heavily and leaned back in her chair. "...It was about a century ago, I believe, maybe less. The pranks were getting more intense every time we did stuff. Sometimes they got pretty close to having someone getting hurt. Well, at one point all four of our Basilicoms were destroyed." Nepgear's eyes widened in shock and Noire shook her head. "Sorry, they weren't completely destroyed, but enough of them were that we had to rebuild. Each of us blamed the other ones for what happened."
"...Did a third party set you all up?"
Noire shrugged at the question. "Possibly, but we never thought about it at the time. We were all mad at each other. Neptune was furious with us. There were reports of a dozen people dead from her Basilicom exploding and hundreds more were hurt. Your sister could forgive a lot, but not having innocent people getting hurt."
"Oh..." Nepgear said softly. "...You think that it was Arfoire? She manipulated you into killing Neptune after all."
Noire sighed softly. "It wouldn't surprise me." She downed the rest of her glass and then poured herself another one, drinking that one quickly. "Sometimes I wish I could get a simple buzz from wine." Nepgear gave her a confused look and she sighed. "I spent the first two years after your sister's death trying to drink myself to death." She had a sour look on her face. "I couldn't even feel it. And I was drinking stuff that could have gotten an Ancient Dragon drunk off its ass."
"You said something about carbonated drinks?"
Noire nodded. "It was... So long ago I can't even remember exactly when." Noire shook her head and gave the younger CPU a small smirk. "Your sister decided to play a prank on me one night. She snuck in when I was tired from working, shoved a bottle of root beer into my mouth and the next thing I know I'm completely sloshed. I don't even remember what happened until the morning." She blushed when Nepgear raised an eyebrow at her. "I somehow ended up tied to a flagpole, outside... Which wouldn't be a problem except that I was in a grass skirt and a coconut top over my breasts... And nothing else."
"...Oh my." Nepgear blushed softly at that and took another drink of her wine. "That must have been... Interesting."
"Humiliating was more like it." Noire groused, her face red as she remembered that.
A few moments later both of them started to laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing.
"So much time wasted fighting your sister, wallowing in my own guilt..." Noire said softly. "I'm going to say something that's going to sound crazy, but..."
"Neptune's spirit visited you after we dealt with Reizume, right?" Nepgear asked, causing Noire to look at her sharply. "She..." There was a small smile on her face. "She was watching over me for years. Ever since I first saw you, Vert and Blanc in Celestia, she was there. It wasn't until Uzume trapped me in a delusional dream that I was able to talk to her and find out the truth."
"So that's how you got her processor." Noire said softly, getting a nod from Nepgear. "I guess she visited you too, huh?"
"She wanted to say goodbye." Nepgear said softly as she finished her wine glass off. She nodded in thanks as Noire poured her another glass. "Her spirit can rest easy now, I think." Noire nodded and raised her glass to Nepgear. Nepgear tilted her head in confusion for a moment before realizing what Noire wanted to do. Raising her glass up, she gently rapped them against each other. "To Neptune, my best big sister..."
"To someone who could have been my best friend." Noire whispered softly and downed the glass in one gulp, much to Nepgear's surprise. "I told you." She said with a gasp when she finished the glass. "If not for the fact that I can't get drunk on this stuff, I'd be a rampaging alcoholic."
"I guess drinking for over a century helps in that regard." Nepgear said as she rotated the glass softly from side to side. "Noire, can I ask you something?" The Lastation CPU nodded to her. "Why did you show up with that picture of Jupiter? You had to know that I wouldn't react well to it."
Noire pursed her lips softly. "...Would you believe that I wanted to die?" Nepgear jerked in surprise as Noire continued. "Uni's more than ready to take over Lastation. I was feeling crushed and I just wanted the pain to end."
"...I felt the same way." Nepgear said softly. "Until that night. When Neptune, you know, the bigger one, crashed onto my bed. She..." Nepgear felt her eyes watering up as she thought about her trans-dimensional elder sister. "She held me and hugged me, she let me cry for so long... I... I would have joined Reizume if not for her."
Noire suddenly chuckled, causing Nepgear to look at her sharply. "Blanc was so shocked to see a Neptune with boobs."
Nepgear pursed her lips softly. "...Have you seen the Memorial Park?" Noire blinked in confusion. "Come on, I want to show you something I had made years ago."
Noire looked around at all the purple flowers and trees. "This is..." She paused, her eyes wide and a tingling feeling went through her body as she looked at the statue of Purple Heart standing there, her katana drawn and pointed down while looking brave and heroic. "...Purple Heart..." She sniffled and walked over to the statue, gently touching it. "It looks just like her."
"Yeah..." Nepgear said softly. "I wanted to put this closer to the Basilicom, but I knew..." She sniffled softly, "I knew that if I did, people might put faith in Neptune still and that would hurt me in the long run. But I wanted something to remember her."
The two stood in silence as they looked at the statue. No more words were needed between them.
'Neptune,' Nepgear thought to herself, 'I know you're watching over me, and I know I'm not alone, but I'm allowed to miss you when I think about you, right?'
'Neptune...' Noire sighed softly. 'Thank you... For being the best CPU.'
For a brief moment, both Noire and Nepgear could swear they saw the Purple Heart statue smiling at them.
"She's still watching over us." Nepgear said softly, a small smile on her face. "Onee-chan, I promise you, I'll live my life to its fullest."
"Don't worry about me, Neptune." Noire whispered softly. "I don't want to kill myself anymore."
They both knew that one day they would join Neptune, but they both wanted plenty of stories and happiness to take with them into the next life when that happened.
Not sure if this is depressing or not, but then again, both of them suffered from severe depression for years.