I know, I know, I know...I'm super late with this. Well over a week late again. And I don't have a good excuse. It's been a combination of writer's block, dying from the heat in this room, and good old laziness. I suppose I took a turn in another artistic direction for awhile, doing lots of drawings and such. I'll include a link or two at the end of this chapter, if you want to see them (yes, they are MaLoRa. I do a lot of LokixMayura stuff).

Anyway, enough rambling, I think. Time to get to work on this chapter that I've been putting off. And I'd like to extend my thanks and apologies for the lateness to the following:

LittleGreenWolf: Yeah, Loki is a bit possessive in my ficcy. hehe You'll see more of that later on.

Natsume: Really? I made your day again? And yeah, Freyr is a lot of fun to write. He's such a silly God. Sorry about the tardiness of this chapter. :x;

Amaya Shinkuyoake: Yeah, I don't catch the grammar mistakes that often. I have to proofread all my work and stuff on my own, so I do miss a bit. Lots more description this chapter, again. lol Sorry about the delay again. I hope it's worth the wait.

akuweaselgirl: Oh, you'll see who it is this chapter. Definitely. hehe

Inari: Loki lays the smackdown when he needs to. XD hehe I had a lot of fun writing that chapter. And this one too. Loki's jealousy will come back into play next chapter though, I'm afraid. Had a few other plans for this one...

ladytigera21: Glad you like it. :D Here's the continuation (finally).

Lokigirl: Well, I don't know about brilliant, but I had a blast writing that chapter, regardless. You'll see what Odin is up to this chapter.

Bibliomaniac: Chibi Loki is darn adorable. Who could resist patting him on the head? lol Certainly not Mayura. I wouldn't say Loki can really control his transforming, but the anger seemed to really bring it out of him last chapter. Yeah, Loki was kind of violent, but I can't see kakusei Loki putting up with Freyr for very long, even if he was a little harsh about it. :x As for Odin...well, you'll see what he's up to in this chapter.

Lovely Doom: I totally agree. This fandom needs to grow and spread ALL OVER THE WORLD. Okay, that's going a bit far, but really, there needs to be more support for this coupling. I expect the fact that it's been liscenced now means MLR DVDs pretty soon. Maybe that will help spread the greatness. Though I wouldn't mind seeing the manga on the bookstore shelves as well... Thanks for the support, though. I'm still going on with the fic. Definitely :D

Lare: Loki's jealousy is hella fun. I love writing that part of him. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until next chapter to see more of that.

Earth Star: I hope this will be interesting enough, and hopefully worth the wait. And yes, Loki's anger is very frightening. :x

Kaira Hiwatari: Glad you're liking it thus far. :D I hope this chapter was worth the wait, as well.

Lucathia Rykatu: Mayura will eventually find out more about the Gods...but there's going to be quite a plot-induced setback to that, for now. You'll see.

Matantei Loki Ragnarok does not belong to me. The Gods belong to Norse Mythology and all character design rights to Sakura Kinoshita.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Chapter 4: Bishounen and Familiar Trinkets?

Silence. Not a single cricket dared to chirp, nor did the wind even rustle a tree. Everything in the vicinity of the park seemed to have frozen. One might think it to be almost foreboding.

Loki was certain the time was right. Odin's message had requested a meeting with him, in this very spot, at midnight. Any moment now...

The moon cast its pale glow down upon him and he heard bells begin to chime in the distance. As if waiting for the sound of the bells as a signal, a figure materialized out of the darkness, a long black cape billowing out behind it as it approached Loki.

The God of mischief stood his ground and stared directly toward the form heading straight for him, unafraid and not the least bit intimidated.

"Loki..." a deep voice broke the silence, the figure stopping in his tracks as he came face to face with the auburn-haired young man. "I expect you wish to know why I wanted to speak with you."

"Get on with it, Odin. It's late already." Loki tapped his foot impatiently, glancing at his watch.

Odin threw his head back with a laugh, his long and dark hair flowing out behind him in the moonlight. He fixed his piercing silver-eyed gaze upon Loki once more, a mysterious and somewhat evil smile curving the corners of his lips. He stood to his full height, which turned out to be quite a bit taller than Loki's true form. "It's been so long, Loki," he spoke mystically, throwing his hair back once more.

Loki faked a yawn. "I'm unimpressed. You could find a much better anime to flaunt your "dark and mysterious bishounen" crap."

The smile fell from Odin's face in an instant. "I wasn't trying to-"

"Oh, please, Odin. Thor told me all about your secret stash of shoujo manga."

Odin inwardly promised punishment to his son, clenching his left hand into a fist in the process. "ENOUGH!" Declared Odin, striking a pose. "I have something important to tell you, Loki."

Kakusei Loki sighed in irritation. "Well, spit it out."

"I, Odin, Highest God of Asgard, give you, Loki, lowly blood-brother and annoying little prankster..."

Odin paused for dramatic effect.

"GET ON WITH IT!" Loki shouted, losing his patience.

Odin extended his arms to their full length on either side of his body. "PERMISSION TO RETURN TO ASGARD!"

A bolt of lighting flashed behind him, accompanied by a rumble of thunder. Odin continued to keep his arms held out.

"Using your Godly powers for something like this..." Loki mumbled, "Odin, I'm sure the Norns could help you with your fixation on these evil bishounen roles."

Odin colored very visibly in the face, shining like a red Christmas bobble in the moonlight. "It's not a fixation, Loki," he spat.

Loki crossed his arms and eyed him with a suffering gleam in his green eyes. "Don't you think the lightning was a bit much?"

"I don't know, I thought the timing was perfect..." Odin mused, then suddenly turned to the trickster God in shock, "But I just told you that you could come back to the world of the Gods! Aren't you overjoyed, dearest brother?"

Loki shrugged. "Who said I even wanted to go back?"

Odin pretended to look offended. "And it took your lovely and mysterious brother such extensive deliberation to come up with this decision..."

The young God of tricks plastered a hand to his forehead. "You're the one who banished me here in the first place." He suddenly thought of Mayura, smiling and greeting him cheerily. "And I've gotten...used to life here. I don't wish to go back to Asgard anymore."

The ruler of the Gods dropped his fake demeanor. "I was already sure you would give me this answer."

Loki appeared even more agitated, if it were possible. "Then you dragged me out here, in the dead of night...why?" he seethed.

Odin shrugged. "Confirmation, I suppose."

"And you wanted to try playing the 'dark and evil bishounen' thing," Loki added, making Odin's face turn red again, "Which character was it, this time? Freya told me about the Legato thing you did a few weeks ago. She was quite unhappy to be dragged into it."

Odin seemed unable to find a suitable reply. Instead, he turned around swiftly, allowing his cape to catch the wind for effect once more. "I bid you farewell, Loki. Your answer this evening will come at a price, I'm afraid." A smile etched its way onto his face, unseen by Loki, and he strode swiftly off into a fog that hadn't been there two seconds ago, disappearing from sight.

"He's really got to do something about that addiction." Loki declared to no one in particular.

.............................

As kakusei Loki readied himself for bed, his thoughts once again drifted to the bubbly, mystery-loving girl sleeping peacefully just a room away. He wondered distantly about his actions toward her. Sure, it was characteristic of the trickster God to behave that way around women. At least, women he fancied.

Why did he still feel that Mayura was different? Sometimes he felt a much deeper connection to her than he would openly admit. So deep in fact...that it scared him.

He could be returning to Asgard at this very moment, and have beautiful Goddesses throwing themselves at him from every direction. He could be getting drunk and having parties every night. He could...he would....

But there was no Mayura in Asgard. There could be no Mayura in the world of the Gods. Mayura was only within his reach here in Midgard. And if he wanted to be with her, be around her, see her smiling face...he had to remain here.

Loki supposed he could head out right this moment and go drinking or even seek other women in Midgard. He just...didn't want to. There was no desire to. He was perfectly happy with the way things were right here in his mansion.

It scared him. It really scared him.

How could the mere thoughts of an annoying schoolgirl cause him to let loose all his previous goals and desires?

Mayura was human. She wouldn't live forever. She was so wrong for him in so many ways. His attachment to her was absurd.

'I have to return to Asgard,' he decided, 'no matter what, I can't stay here. I can't be with her. I don't...I don't need her.'

As that last thought flew across his mind's eye, he felt his chest tighten. What good was trying to lie to himself? He didn't know why he needed her, truth be told, but by all the Gods in Asgard, he did need her. That silly girl somehow completed him like nothing and no one else ever could.

He recalled how upset he had gotten having seen Freyr's attentions toward her earlier that evening. Was he really...jealous? He felt the anger, he was sure of that. So much anger, in fact, that he had taken to inflicting physical damage upon the idiotic God. And he acted in this way just because Freyr had done something as simple as taken her hand or spoke to her tenderly? Why was Mayura having such a strange effect on him?

The God of trickery suddenly felt an anger rise to the surface. He knew Mayura couldn't possibly be a witch or a Goddess or anything supernatural-connected, for that matter. How could she do this to him?

The anger quickly melted into a puddle of guilt. He couldn't blame this on her. His own security, his own feelings, his own being was at fault for this. Not Mayura.

...How did Mayura fell about him, exactly?

Neither of them had been open with their feelings. It seemed more like they were playing some kind of game. Was she really just flustered by him? He blinked after sitting upon the edge of his bed. She had responded. He was sure of it. There had to be something there, even if perhaps it wasn't as deep of a connection as his was to her.

She had to be confused, at least a little. Afterall, she'd known him as 'little Loki-kun' for quite some time. Perhaps...he shouldn't have rushed in to play these games with her. Mayura's mind was probably muddled enough with all the information she had to take in as of late. He wasn't helping things by seducing her with kisses and the like.

Why should this bother him in the least? He was so good at being evil and seductive like that. And Mayura was a lot of fun to play with in that way. Like putty in his hands.

Was it possible he saw Mayura in more of a lustful way? Maybe he just had to satisfy the craving before moving back into his normal groove?

The tightening within his chest returned. It was painful when he thought of Mayura in that way. Something within Loki couldn't bear for him to dare even think of her in that manner.

"Fushigi Mystery..." he muttered to the darkness of his room.

It was Mayura's trademark statement, which he was normally highly agitated by. However, it seemed to perfectly fit for the reason of how she affected him so. A reason that was completely hidden from him and left somewhere in the deepest reaches of a secret that he could not even brush with his fingertips.

Loki smirked. 'But I'm a detective. And I will always unravel the mystery. This is just another case for the great and clever Loki to crack.'

He was almost satisfied with his reasoning. Almost... If only it weren't for the fact that some part of him didn't want to solve the mystery. That the attachment of the God of mischief to this girl was a strange mystery that was better left at just that.

She was changing him. He wanted to think it was dangerous, that it was a path he shouldn't bother to tread upon. He could turn back now and be the same Loki he was before. Yet somehow...he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He liked the fact that he wasn't feeling the need for wine and women and trouble to keep him happy.

He could still be his normally evil and mischievous self around Mayura, it was just calmer. There was no need to cause earth-shattering trouble and problems around every corner. He was content with little scares and small pranks.

Loki still wasn't sure if this change was for better or for worse. All he could be certain of now, as he laid down and closed his eyes, was one single thing.

He must not leave Mayura's side.

Even if not for his own sake, then for hers. Not only because of her reaction to the first time he had disappeared...but Loki was sure Odin was plotting something. And he knew Mayura was either a part of it or was going to get caught in the crossfire. And nothing involving Odin was ever good.

Loki had to protect her and the feelings he held for her, no matter what.

Something was going to happen. Trouble was brewing, though not from his own cauldron for once. And it was going to happen soon.

.......................................

The self-proclaimed female detective of the Enjaku Detective Agency had not been able to sleep a wink. As the distant red light of dawn washed into the guest room, she sat up, rubbing tiredly at her bloodshot eyes.

She did not follow Loki when she heard him leave slightly before midnight the night before. Nor did she lift so much as a finger to investigate anything while he was gone or corner and question him when he returned.

Mayura was simply too side-tracked by the thoughts of Loki she was harboring almost constantly. She was so lost and confused, dazed.... The young boy had turned out to be the God of mischief. That same cute and overly clever little boy she become so attached to during her time at this Agency.

Not only was he a God, but an extremely handsome young man as well. And although it seemed like he might have had a romantic interest in her of sorts, she felt like a toy. She was nothing more than an object he had pulled out of his toy box, right? He would throw her down when he tired of her and pick up a new object to play with. Dieties had no real use for mortals.

Though that is how she felt to a point....there was still something off about it. And she couldn't think of him in that manner. At times she felt as though he was just being charming and overwhelming seductive, and yet at other times, there was a softer and more gentle feel to the way he acted in regard to her. She was still greatly confused about him and strangely attracted to him at the same time. His forceful and surprising actions were sure to make any woman's heart flutter as they had her. Was it just out of suspense and surprise that she reacted in such a manner, then?

Sometimes Loki seemed sincere in the way he held her or kissed her. As if there were some deeper meaning in it that she could not decipher. And it was during these times that she felt not a flutter in her heart, but something akin to a longing. A stronger and deeper beat in her heart.

Even though she knew a bit more about him now, he was still the most fushigi mystery she had ever encountered. There was so much secrecy that seemed to hover over the God of trickery like a misty shadow.

With all these thoughts still present within her mind, Mayura rose from the bed and dressed. It was very early, but she felt she needed to go for a walk. Besides, she might as well get some fresh air to clear her mind a bit. And it's not like she was going to get any sleep in the very near future.

.............................

Daidouji Mayura's morning promenade led her all the way to the park she had grown to love so much over the years. She gazed fondly at her favorite swing, which was swaying in the breeze not ten feet away..

She always used to come here when she was upset or needed to think about something. Perhaps that's why her feet had led her here this very morning.

Trotting over to the swingset, she lowered herself into the black rubber seat and closed her eyes. The wind suddenly picked up and she drifted back and forth, enjoying the cool feel upon her skin.

What would life be like now, had she never met Loki? 'Certainly less confusing...' she mused. 'But dull...and very lonely.'

True, Loki's mansion had been a home away from home for her. She would rush there every day after school, excited about the possibility of strange mysteries that awaited her. And Yamino's wonderful cooking was always something to look forward to.

And Loki....

As indifferent as he was, even cold at times, Mayura loved his company and longed to see him each and every day. Something about Loki-kun made her feel very safe. He could be mean and tease her incessantly about her habits and mistakes, but she knew he would never really intentionally try to hurt her. It was all based in a friendly manner.

Friends.... Was that an accurate way to describe the two of them, now? They had certainly kissed more than once. However, there were no confessions of love or bouquets of roses that Mayura had read about in girl's novels. Maybe Loki didn't really feel for her in that way at all.

Loki could simply just be playing tricks on her now, teasing her again. Perhaps she was wrong to be thinking of it as a possibility of 'more than friends'. It could have even been wishful thinking.

Did she really want Loki to think of her in that way? Mayura wasn't really sure. The fresh morning air and gentle creaking of the swing weren't giving her any of the answers she was searching for. She was as lost as ever.

Sighing in defeat, she allowed her crimson eyes to open.

Mayura blinked curiously as a heavy and dense fog started to roll in suddenly, as though out of nowhere. She was certain she hadn't seen any fog so far this morning. Looking about curiously, she realized the fog was only coming from one direction.

Her eyes suddenly lit up. "Ahh! Fushigi Mystery!"

Leaping out of the swing, she walked quickly toward the thick fog. She didn't slow her pace until she spied a shadow materializing out of the center of the smoky mist.

He had long and shiny dark black hair, part of which was tied back, while two very long pieces framed his face and midnight bangs cascaded over deep amythest eyes. What stood out the most were the huge black wings that were stretched out along either side of him and the very familiar black costume that Mayura could have sworn she had seen before.

Her eyes suddenly broadened and she pointed a finger at him, squealing in delight. "D-Dark! From DN Angel! SUGOI!"

"Dark" clapped his hands together gleefully. "Really? You could tell? Ooo I'm getting SO good at this!"

Mayura walked right up to him and caressed one black-feathered wing. "Amazing...the wings feel so real!" she marveled, looking over his costume in awe. "I could almost swear you were Dark!"

"Dark's" head seemed to swell from the praise."Yes, I do think it is my greatest accomplishment yet."

He winced and Mayura looked slightly concerned. "Are you alright?"

"Dark" lifted a hand to his eye and prodded carefully, as if trying to get something out of it. When he faced her again, Mayura realized the eye he had been poking at was now silver. "Contacts are really such a pain, though. I can't get used to the little buggers." He laughed and Mayura soon joined in.

"So, you enjoy cosplaying?" she asked, still eyeing his outfit.

The man took a very "Dark-like" stance, crossing his arms and looking very confident. "I would like to consider it more like roleplaying."

The female detective could hardly contain her excitement. "Wahhh! Sugoi, sugoi, sugoi! I didn't even know guys were into shoujo manga! You're so cool, Dark-san!"

"Dark" placed a hand upon the side of her face and spoke in a deep voice, "What would a lovely maiden like yourself be doing out at this time of morning?"

Mayura nearly went into fangirl overload on the spot, blushing to the roots of her hair and trying to hold in the squeal that threatened to break out. "Dark" pulled something from his pocket and held it before her eyes.

Mayura had never seen anything like it. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. It looked like a crystalline flower composed of ruby and gold and caught the morning glow to reflect upon its glossy surface, making it appear even more stunning to the eye.

"Do you like it?" "Dark" mused. "I stole this from a heavily secured museum barely an hour ago. It's very rare...and valuable."

"It's gorgeous..." Mayura breathed.

"Shall I...fasten it to your hair?"

Mayura closed her eyes, thinking she was in some kind of shoujo manga, and missed the evil smile the curled around Dark's lips at that very moment. "I would be honored, Dark-san."

As the flower trinket was attached to her bubble-gum locks, Mayura felt a strange sensation overtake her. It was like walking through water. And then...there was a slight pain that erupted within her head. She fell to her knees and wrapped her arms around her head as the pounding increased.

Seeing that his plan had succeeded, "Dark" crouched and launched into the air, his black wings leaving trails of midnight feathers behind him.

'And now is the beginning of your suffering, dearest brother.'

.................................

The God of mischief and tricks awoke in an instant.

Something had just happened. He could feel it. And it wasn't a good feeling.

He charged out of his room, still dressed in pajamas, and threw open the door to the guest room. "MAYURA!"

He stopped dead in his tracks upon entrance and felt the color drain from his face.

Mayura was nowhere to be seen. The room was completely empty.

Without wasting another precious second, Loki dashed from the room and headed out of the mansion. He had to find Mayura, and fast. Loki felt a fury toward his brother mounting with every passing second.

'Odin...if you did anything to her, you'll pay. Mark my words.'

Kakusei Loki nearly sprinted right past the park without a second glance, but he caught a flash of pink out of the corner of his eye. Immediately screeching to a halt, he turned his full attention to the figure crouched in the center.

"Mayura!" Loki called, making his way toward her as quickly as possible. 'Please don't let her be hurt...' he pleaded inwardly.

At the sound of her own name, the pink-haired girl tilted her head up, gazing at Loki suspiciously with unfocused ruby eyes. "How do you know my name?"

Loki nearly fell facefirst into the pavement. "What are you talking about, May-"

His sentence abruptly died on his lips when he caught sight of something familiar shining innocently in he hair. The God of trickery felt his heart skip a beat.

'It can't be...It's not possible. I destroyed that thing, I'm sure of it. I watched it shatter into a million pieces. How could it...?'

His throat constricted painfully. "Odin..."

"DAMN YOU, ODIIIIIIIIIIIN!"

Kakusei Loki's anguished cry rang through the early morning air, holding with it a hybrid of anger and sadness that could not possibly be comprehended.

...............................

Author's Note: That does it for Chapter 4. I hope it was worth the wait. Yes, this was Loki and Mayura centric again, but I really needed them both to reflect on things to build up to the climax I was heading for. Sorry if it was boring or too angsty or anything.
I can't even begin to describe what I was thinking when I did Odin's part. I felt the need to give him a humorous aspect. I hope that doesn't upset anyone. If it does, my apologies, but I'm keeping that aspect with him. I used references to Legato, from Magic Knights Rayearth, and Dark from DN Angel in his part. And they belong respectively to CLAMP and Yukiru Sugisaki. You may see some other bishounen references in his later parts. hehe
Because I did make you all wait so long for this update, I'll add something extra. I've been very into drawing lately and playing with Photoshop. Therefore, here are a couple of fanarts I'll share with you, both LokixMayura. They're on my deviant art account. A link can be found on my profile. Both of the deviations of Loki Mayura should be on the front page. The editor thing would not let me put the links, so I hope you can find them.
With that all said and done, please spare any comments and criticisms you may have. I'll try to get the next chapter out in even less than a week, if possible. Hopefully that will help make up for my tardiness. See you next chapter.