I still haven't been able to decide just how I wish to continue my first MLR chapter fic, so I decided to bring a little New Year MLR cheer, instead - in the form of a fanfic, of course. (I had originally tried for a Christmas fic, but I just didn't have the time...)
And I apologize in advance. As much as I'd love to do a manga fic, I have only read the first volume and I'm having an extremely hard time getting my hands on raws, even (not that I could read them, anyway). So...this will be mostly based in an anime light. Loki's character in particular may be a mix of his anime/manga persona, though. He's portrayed quite differently in both.
Anyway, this is my little New Years gift to the MaLoki fanfiction readers. Oh, and warnings for LokiMayu-ness. But you should come to expect that from me. There are also spoilers for the end of the anime.
Hope you enjoy.
Summary: He hated the trivial parties that mortals loved, even more-so if other Aesir were present. But that New Year's Eve, the god of mischief and trickery came to a firm decision amidst the chaos. (LokiMayura)
Disclaimer: I do not own Matantei Loki Ragnarok or its characters in any way, shape, or form. They belong to Sakura Kinoshita. If you decide to try and sue me anyway, all you will get is a lump of pizza dough.
New Year's Resolution
The minaturized god of fire and trickery lazily trailed his fingertips over the wooden surface of his desk and sighed as he turned to glance outside. A frown immediately graced his young features at the sight that greeted his eyes.
The windows of his study were lightly frosted around the edges and the ground below was sprinkled with white water. A cold wind from beyond the study proceeded to rattle the glass against its frame.
Water, in any form, including its frozen cousin, snow, was most displeasing to Loki. Likewise, the bitter air that accompanied it during this season was not the least bit comforting.
The boy shivered, rubbing his small hands over the black fabric coating his arms. Just the thought of the cold gave him the chills.
However, at least the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season was over. ...And thankfully so was the party Mayura had practically begged him to host.
Why couldn't he just give a solid "No" to that overly-enthusiastic smiling face of hers?
Naturally, everyone had come, even those he was certain he didn't invite (though he wouldn't put it past Mayura to have invited Freyr and company along). And the party itself was nothing short of chaotic. Poor Yamino-kun was still attempting to fix and replace every piece of broken furniture and every shattered item that ranged from precious artifacts to entire windows.
But things were quiet and calm now. The atmosphere he favored most.
And as if waiting for that silent cue, a sudden clang resounded from beyond the study. He turned curiously toward the window and spied a group of people walking by his front gates, one of which seemed to have slid into the metal bars by accident. And just as the fallen young man was helped back to his feet by his comrades, a familiar screech issued from behind the group.
"AHHH! WATCH OUT!"
Amused by the display, Loki couldn't help but smirk as the entire group of males was taken down to the frigid sidewalk, locks of bubble-gum pink hair visibile from the tangled mess.
Mortals were strange creatures, indeed.
And none more-so than Daidouji Mayura.
Said girl rose from the masculine mass below, bowing repeatedly and face bright with both the chilly December air and embarrassment. "I slipped on the ice! I couldn't avoid the collision!" she wailed miserably. "I'm really sorry!"
The group of what appeared to be high school boys took it lightly, laughing the whole situation off. The trickster god couldn't hear what they were were saying from his study window, but decided he didn't like the way the brunette of the pack ruffled Mayura's hair in an almost...affectionate way. Or the way the pink of her cheeks seemed to brighten at the gesture.
For a fleeting moment, Loki wished she'd knock the boy right back onto the ice.
Thankfully, the encounter below was not prolonged. With another bow of apology from boy parties, the male clique walked away and Mayura practically skipped toward the front door of the mansion, looking as cheerful as ever.
Turning away from the window, the Norse god of fire swerved his chair back toward the front of the room and re-opened the forgotten book that laid upon his desktop.
There was no need for her to know that he was expecting her arrival, afterall.
His emerald gaze trailed down to the words on the page before him, but he found himself not actually reading the print. Instead, his concentration was placed upon his ears, and the sound of someone bounding up the stairway to his study.
And somehow, the footsteps were even more rushed than usual.
Come to think of it, even with the little mishap outside, she was nearly ten minutes early today.
Before the musing boy could deliberate any further, the study door burst open, and the all-too-familiar cry of his name echoed into the enclosure as the bright-eyed school girl stepped inside.
He felt himself smile back at her, though keeping as cool and composed as ever. "Ah, Mayura. There are no cases today, no clients, and no mysteries."
Loki could only blink in surprise as she dashed right up to his mahagony desk, excitement not even partially diminished from his casual statement. What else could she possibly be so impassioned about?
"It's New Year's Eve, Loki-kun!" she squealed merrily, gripping both hands to the front of his desk.
The mini-god nearly sighed aloud. Did Mayura get this excited about every single holiday?
"Are you really that enthralled about changing your calendar?" he asked lightly, one eyebrow raised.
She blew her cheeks out; Something he found she did every time she was annoyed. He felt his lips twitch as the smile attempted to return to his features.
"Mou! There's more to the New Year than that, Loki-kun! You're so mean!"
"I am, hmm?" he shrugged. "Well, why are you so riled up about it, Mayura? Enlighten me."
For a moment, the way she looked at him suggested she'd forgotten everything for a split second. She was staring at him with some kind of strange fascination shining in her eyes, lips parted in silent awe.
And as quickly as it had come, the expression completely vanished. "Ah, nothing, nothing!" she waved her hands before her frantically, then pounded a fist into her open hand. "That's right! The New Year means... time for a party!" she declared, pumping the same fist into the air.
Oh, no. He knew where this was going. And there was no way in Asgard's name he was being suckered into it a second time.
"No," he stated firmly. "The Christmas party was enough, Mayura."
Her expression turned pouty. "You have to come, Loki-kun! It won't be any fun without you!"
"You're not asking me to hold a party here, are you?" he ventured suspiciously.
Relief seemed to flood over her features. "Of course not, Loki-kun," she assured him. "You hosted that wonderful Christmas party already."
Loki frowned at the thought of the said fiasco that had taken place just a week before. There had been nothing wonderful about it at all.
"So, this party is...?" he left the question hanging open, gazing back at her curiously.
"Kotarou-kun is throwing a New Year's party tonight!" she burst out happily. "So I ran here straight after school to tell Loki-kun!"
That's why she had come ten minutes earlier than usual? She dashed all the way to his mansion just to invite him to a party?
It sounded strange, even in his head. Though somehow, he also felt a little...happy.
"Tonight, you said?" he questioned further, still trying to remain passive.
Her crimson eyes lit up ecstatically. "You'll come?"
The god of mischief coughed and averted his eyes. "Perhaps."
She near-squealed at his simple admission and Loki felt his cheeks warm slightly. Why in all of Midgard would she be so happy over something so trivial?
"Reiya-chan will be so glad!" Mayura continued, giggling. "She wanted to go with you but was too shy to ask."
As quickly as the warmth in his face had come, it receeded just as rapidly. "Reiya? What do you mean?"
The occult-obsessed girl reached out to pat the boy's head, still giggling. "She's going to be your date, Loki-kun!"
It was as though she'd just picked up the hard-covered book on his desk and smacked it right into his face.
"D-Date?" he finally sputtered.
"Oh!" Mayura squeaked sheepishly, retracting her hand from his cinnamon locks. "I guess I forgot to tell you that. Kotarou-kun requested that everyone bring a date for the evening."
"So you...want me to go with Reiya," he stated, rather than questioned, still looking pale.
Her eyebrows furrowed together slightly as she took in the miniature detective's obvious discomfort. "...You like Reiya-chan, don't you, Loki-kun?" she ventured timidly. "I thought it would be perfect, since you two seem to be about the same age."
They lapsed into silence, Mayura's uneasiness increasing as the seconds past.
"I can tell Reiya-chan that you weren't feeling well or something!" she offered suddenly, breaking the tension. "I didn't mean to try to force you into anything, Loki-kun. I just thought-"
"Who are you going with, Mayura?"
She blinked back at him, taken offguard. "Eh?"
Green eyes stared levely back at her. "Your date."
Mayura turned away from him, leaning her back up against the front of his desk. "Well, no one, yet," she said quietly. "Kaitou-san asked me when I ran into him on the way here, but I haven't given him an answer yet."
The midget god felt something in him clench tightly, almost painfully.
Freyr had asked her. That shouldn't surprise him. But perhaps it wasn't surprise that he was feeling at her revelation.
"Now that you mention it, I suppose I should accept," she continued almost dismally. "If I show up alone, I'm going to look really stupid."
"I know someone who will go with you," The mischeif god offered hurriedly.
Mayura slowly whirled around to face him, astonishment clear on her face. "You do?"
Loki felt an abrupt urge to bang his head on the desk repeatedly. What in heaven's name was he getting worked up about? Sure, he'd entertained the idea in his head for a moment, but he hadn't seriously intended to say anything.
...Though if he didn't go through with it, not only would he be stuck going with Reiya/Freya, but he'd have to endure the company of Freyr as Mayura's date.
And the thought truly sickened him, no matter how much he wanted to deny it.
"Yes, Mayura. He's a friend of mine and...likes parties," Loki explained, trying to keep the tone of his voice even. "I think you've met him before, so it shouldn't be a problem."
With the same stunned expression still present on her face, Mayura blinked cluelessly back at the god-turned-child. "A friend of yours? And you say I've met him?" Her eyes widened in realization, the name slipping from her lips before she could prevent it from falling off of her tongue. "Kami-sama!"
And as soon as the word escaped, she clamped a hand over her mouth.
Had the situation not become so complicated already, Loki might have laughed outright at the sight. Instead, he chose to mirror her formerly clueless expression. "What's that, Mayura?"
"Ah! Nothing!" she insisted, looking very pale, and opted to change the subject. "So, who is this friend of yours, Loki-kun?"
Loki debated inwardly.
A name. He needed a name. And fast.
True, it was merely a name he'd heard Yamino-kun boasting about on some Japanese cooking show the other night. But it was better than nothing.
Mayura looked thoughtfully toward the ceiling. "Ichihara Yukaze..." she trailed off, then cast her baffled crimson gaze back upon Loki. "Are you sure I've met him? I don't recall the name."
"He's...spoken of you."
Mayura's eyebrows disappeared into her pink bangs. "R-Really?"
At this point, things were only going to escalate further into awkwardness.
"You should probably head home and explain everything to Mayura-Papa," Loki suggested quickly, a tell-tale sweatdrop falling down his jawline. "I'll take care of things with Yukaze-kun."
Mayura nodded, still looking apprehensive. "So, I'll see you, Reiya-chan, and...Ichihara-san at the party then?"
How could he have missed that precious detail?
"Ah, pass my apologies to Reiya, if you would. I don't feel up to a party."
The pink-haired girl looked absolutely crestfallen. "You're...not coming?"
He started slightly as he noticed just how nervous and lost she looked in that moment, standing before him in the dim lighting of his study. Did she really rely on him that much? For comfort? Companionship?
Perhaps if he could tell her the truth someday, he wouldn't feel the guilt that had pooled deep within him upon seeing her current expression.
"I'm sorry, Mayura."
It was as much of an apology as he could offer her, for the time being. Inadequate, and perhaps pathetic, as it was.
She turned away from him and silently headed for the door, pausing at the exit just before leaving. "Tell Ichihara-san that the party is at seven, and it's formal dress," she instructed in a hushed tone. "...And have a Happy New Year, Loki-kun."
And with that, she left, closing the door almost soundlessly behind her.
"I'll have him come to your shrine at quarter to seven, then!" Loki called out desperately, even after the door had shut.
He had wanted to say more, but what could he say? It wasn't possible for him to show up in both forms.
And there was just no way he could explain that to Mayura.
Yet the pool of guilt expanded.
...Had she really wanted him to come that badly?
From the bird's-eye view of his window, he watched her sillouhette disappear around the corner of the gates, and his fist clenched at his side in determination.
Kakusei Loki would just have to make it up to her, he decided.
Abruptly, the door to his study opened once more, provoking Loki to turn around.
Yamino stood at the entrance, lacking his tea accessories, and looking rather worried. "Loki-sama, Mayura-san seemed upset as she was leaving. Did something happen?"
The trickster god was silent for a moment, then smiled toward his son. "We're going to a party, Yamino-kun."
The young man blinked behind his spectacles. "Eh? A party, Loki-sama?"
"Right," Loki confirmed. "A party. And..."
As he trailed off, the smile on his face seemed to widen, causing the human-snake to mentally retreat a few hundred feet.
"...And what, Loki-sama?" Jormungand ventured hesitantly.
The devious father grinned outright. "We need to find you a date, Yamino-kun."
Ryuusuke Yamino stared back at him, dumbfounded. "A date?"
At the curt nod from the fire god, the thin pair of glasses slid right off of the bridge of his nose and clattered onto the floor.
"You need a date for the party," Loki explained, then rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I think a visit to the Norns would be helpful."
From the look of horror that resulted on Yamino's face, Loki could have suggested going to the morgue.
Two figures stood just beyond the snow-covered shrine gateway, each bundled in winter gear.
"...Is coming to take you to a party?"
Daidouji Misao did not look pleased to hear his daughter's news, to say the least. "Do you know him, Mayura?"
She laughed, nervously tucking away a lock of pink hair. "Well, Loki-kun says I know him, even though I didn't recognize the name."
The Shrine keeper looked even more perturbed. "That kid detective set you up?"
Eyebrow twitching. Not a good sign.
Mayura swallowed. "Well...There is a friend of Loki-kun's that I've met who hasn't told me his name!" she announced, hoping her father wouldn't blow his top.
"And you'd just...go with this random stranger to a party?" The raven-haired man inquired incredulously.
Things weren't looking good. She needed to change tactics or she was certain her father would forbid her from going.
Mayura clasped her hands together, pouting as cutely as she could manage. "I need a date for the party, Papa! And I wouldn't have been able to go at all if Loki-kun didn't find someone to go with me!"
Big, sad puppy eyes. Work for me. Come on...
Daidouji Misao sighed. The eyebrow slowly stopped twitching and his strict expression twisted to a resigned sort of acceptance.
"Alright, I consent. But just for tonight, Mayura," he warned, waving a finger at her. "And don't you go doing...things with this date of yours, you hear me?"
Mayura flushed vibrantly. "PAPA!"
"And are you sure you want to go wearing that?" he questioned further, gesturing one hand toward her outfit. "Are little white dresses even appropriate for the New Year?"
She pulled her winter coat more tightly around her form, suddenly feeling a little more self-concious of her attire. "Kotarou-kun said it's a western-style party, Papa. I can't show up in a yukata!"
The spirit-sensitive father crossed his arms. "Well don't you think you could have dressed a little more conservatively?"
She was silent for a moment, then, "...Do I look bad, Papa?"
The raven-haired man blinked. "Of course not, Mayura. But I don't trust your date not to notice," he explained, looking irritated again. "Especially since that troublesome child arranged your escort."
Mayura placed her hands on her hips indignantly. "Well I trust Loki-kun!"
"And that's one of the main reasons I'm worried about you!" Misao half-yelled. "Ever since you met that boy, you get into trouble constantly!"
"Pardon me, am I interrupting something?"
Father and daughter both turned toward the deeply male voice, twin expressions of shock screwed onto their faces. Before them stood an unidentified man with golden-blonde hair and blazing emerald green eyes.
The young man bowed, flashing a charming smile. "Ichihara Yukaze. Pleased to meet you."
"P-Pleased to meet you!" Mayura offered in return, quickly bowing to hide the redness of her face. It was Kami-sama!
Daidouji Misao was less taken with the new arrival. "So you're Mayura's date, huh?" He scrutinized the handsome man, determined to find something wrong with him.
"I am," he confirmed, tossing another smile in Mayura's direction, who immediately re-hid her flushed face from view.
The raven-haired man seem to have discovered something he didn't like and backed away from the classily-dressed stranger. "You-You...Are you that kid detective's brother?"
Perceptive as ever, Mayura-Papa. "Just a friend," he clarified.
"But the resemblance..." Misao trailed off, a shiver running down his spine.
Loki ignored the father's uneasiness and held a hand out to Mayura. "Shall we go, my lady?"
Finally lifting her face from its lowered position, she regarded the young man with wide and awed crimson eyes. "Ah, yes," she agreed as she quietly took the offered hand, somehow unable to tear her eyes from him now that she'd dared to look.
As the blonde man began leading her toward the shrine stairway, Daidouji Misao came back to his senses.
"Don't you dare do anything with my daughter!" he growled at the masculine half of the retreating pair.
Loki turned his head around far enough to give the man a grin, but said nothing.
The simple action seemed to infuriate and further the father's resolve.
"Remember what I said about doing those things, Mayura!" Misao shouted after them, determined to get through to at least one of them.
Loki regarded his date as her cheeks puffed out in her trademark irritation habit, and struggled to hold back a chuckle. "Things?" he question curiously, raising one eyebrow at her.
She turned red, and he felt his lips curve.
"I have no idea what he's talking about," Mayura mumbled finally.
"I see," he nodded, inwardly smiling to himself. What a silly girl she was.
They continued their promenade in a rather uncomfortable silence for awhile, Mayura fidgeting incessantly with her top coat button.
"Is something wrong?" he questioned cooly. "You seem a little tense."
She stopped playing with the button long enough to pass him a strained and anxious smile. "Y-You're that Kami-sama I met in the park, aren't you?"
"Does that bother you?" he inquired with a playful grin.
"No," she assured, rapidly shaking her head. "I just...can't figure out why a deity like yourself would go to a party like this." ...Or with someone who said she didn't believe in you.
"I enjoy parties," he shrugged casually.
Mayura giggled. "That's right. Loki-kun mentioned that you did." Loki-kun...
The thought of mature detective boy caused the merriment to fade from her features.
Her date gave her another questioning glance, the same eye-brow raised. "Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," she laughed, embarrassed. It was Loki-kun's choice to stay behind. As much as his decision disheartened her, she couldn't ruin the evening for Ichihara-san.
She glanced at her blonde escort again, who was still staring back at her in the same fashion. There was something about him that made her feel a little more comfortable as they continued talking. His presence had a warmth to it that held an uncanny resemblance to the very person that was missing.
"You know, Ichihara-san...You really do remind me of Loki-kun," she said softly. "And not just your appearance."
Loki knew he should be feeling apprehensive by her sudden speculation. She was a step closer to putting the puzzle together.
However, he couldn't bring himself to throw her offcourse. He was honestly even a bit curious, himself.
"Oh? Why do I remind you of him?"
"See that way you lifted your eyebrow just now?" she pointed toward his face, smiling jovially. "Loki-kun does that too. And your manner of speaking even bears similarities. Fushigi mystery!"
"Maybe we rub off on one another," he suggested with a simple shrug of the shoulders.
And Mayura might have further persisted in her comparision, had a large white building not come into view at that moment.
"Ah!" her eyes widened in realization. "That's the place. Kotarou-kun's mansion."
Loki had to admit, he wasn't really surprised by the towering pristine white house. Mayura had told him Kotarou was well-off financially.
The mystery-loving schoolgirl began fidgeting restlessly once more as they reached the intricately-engraved front doors. "Do you suppose we should knock? Or is there a doorbell?" She curled one hand and poised it before the door, then retracted it before coming in contact with the wood.
Loki took the initiative for her, pulling back the brass doorknocker and proceeding to send out a loud metallic ring twice before situating the brass object back upon its rest. Mayura merely smiled sheepishly at him, having not noticed the metal instrument at all.
Moments later, the grand door swung open, revealing a tuxedo-clad Kakinouchi Kotarou, accompanied by two young women, who were each hanging off of one of his arms.
Mayura rolled her eyes at the display, knowledgable of Kotarou's womanizing nature.
"Daidjouji," Kotarou acknowledged with a nod. "Glad you could make it. And with a date, no less," he whistled. "I'm impressed."
Mayura childishly stuck her tongue out in reply to her classmate's rude remark.
However, once the rich young man's eyes took in her escort's appearance, his eyebrows skyrocketed out of sight. "The man from outside the cake shop?" he sputtered in surprise, instantly recognizing the familiar face.
"Ah, I don't believe I've introduced myself," Loki gave a short bow. "Ichihara Yukaze. Nice to meet you."
The look of shock had still not disappeared from Kotarou's features. "Daidouji, how in the world did you snag this one? Did you stalk him after that run-in?"
She flushed indignantly, stamping one heeled shoe onto the cement. "I did not! Loki-kun asked him to go with me!" she clarified loudly, glowering at the blonde playboy.
The wealthy blonde's eyes immediately sharpened and narrowed in newcomer's direction. "The detective did, hmm?"
Loki attempted a smile, trying to keep his easy-going and cool manner from toppling over. Kotarou was downright sharp as a needle, and was sure to catch onto his secret before Mayura. He'd better tread his ground carefully.
"That's right. He's a friend of mine."
"I see," Kotarou drawled, still watching the young man with an air of distrust as he stepped back to allow them passage. "Well, please come in and enjoy the party."
Loki purposefully avoided the host's penetrating gaze as he led Mayura inside. However, what greeted his eyes beyond the entrance was much, much worse.
Immediately, no less than eight people were recognizable to the god of trickery. In their own secluded group, they stood out like a sore thumb.
Or more like a blazing red banner that spelled "Trouble" in bold lettering.
The group was all collected near the refreshments table. Verdandi heatedly arguing with Thor while Skuld, Yamino, and Urd coversed amongst themselves. And Heimdall, somehow having returned to his own kakusei form, was attempting to keep Freyr and Freya from bickering noisily at each other.
And not only were their voices loud. The clothing each adorned, aside from Jormungand and the watchman god, practically screamed to be noticed. Why did gods have to be so flashy, anyway?
It was going to prove to be an interesting evening...if not a bloody nightmare. Hadn't that terror of the Christmas party he'd been forced to endure been sufficient torture already?
After taking Mayura's coat and hanging the clothing with the other jackets, Loki gently took his date's hand, and steered her in the opposite direction of the buffet display.
Unfortuneately, he hadn't been quick enough.
"Ichihara-san! Isn't that Yamino-san and Narugami-kun over there?" She began tugging him in their general direction. "We should go and say hello!"
Loki sighed in defeat, allowing the energetic white-clad teen to guide him toward the inevitable.
Mayura waved her free hand in a wide arc over her head as they approached, smiling brightly. "Hey, everyone!"
The deafening chatter from the godly group came to halt, each person regarding the arriving couple with a mix of emotions that played out on their features: Yamino attempting to smile though he looked as though he'd love to slither underneath the nearest carpet, Verdandi appearing highly amused, Skuld pouting with an open frown, Thor smirking, Urd attempting to look disinterested, though her eyes darted from the pair to the punch bowl in rapid succession, Heimdall's deadpan expression asking "Could this possibly get any worse?", and the brother and sister's faces twisting between utter shock and horror.
And it was the latter pair who broke the silence.
"YAMATO NADESICO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH LO-"
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING WITH MY LO-"
To stifle both simultaneous war cries, Narugami and Verdandi had taken the quick and precise initiative to clamp a firm hand upon each of their mouths, respectively (Thor further administering a kick to the back of Freyr's shin by personal discretion).
Yamino Ryuusuke took the opportunity to burst forward, nearly losing his glasses in the process. "Yukaze-san! Mayura-san! What a pleasant surprise!"
"Ya-Yami..." Mayura still seemed too taken aback by the siblings' display to form a coherent reply.
Urd stepped out from the assembly, brushing imaginary dirt off of her lavendar gown. "Ignore them," she stated simply, but loudly enough to cover the hushed and desperate whispers that were being implanted into the ears of the gagged Freyr and Freya.
The pink-haired teen's fearful glances at the smothered commotion continued until the siblings were finally released. Though mercifully silent, each were sending death glares to the self-satisfied Narugami and Verdandi.
Now that the uneasy silence had returned, Mayura fixed her gaze back upon Yamino and then blanched as her crimson eyes broadened to saucers. "Yamino-san!" she gasped. "You left Loki-kun alone at the mansion on New Years Eve?"
Urd instantly snorted into her cup of punch, which provoked Narugami to abruptly turn around in a coughing fit that sounded oddly like gasps of laughter.
Loki, still wishing not to speak, silently urged his pale son to say something before the situation could escalate into something even more difficult.
"Ah-Ah-! Loki-sama quite insisted that he be left alone!" Yamino assured the teary-eyed teen.
The human-snake's words didn't appear to have the desired effect on the girl, however. Mayura was just as distraught and looked as though she were attending someone's funeral, instead of a glamourous party.
"If you'll excuse us," Loki bowed politely to the god-clique, pulling his melancholy date toward the waiting refreshements.
Once they had formed a short berth of approximately ten feet between themselves and the colorful collection of Aesir/Vanir, Loki heard the uproar of at least a half a dozen of them burst into uncontrollable and boisterious laughter.
A vein in his temple throbbed as he mentally promised them retribution in the future.
As far as he was concerned, no one humiliated the Trickster God and got away with it.
"I'm sorry, Ichihara-san."
Blinking out of his vengeful thoughts, Loki cast a questioning glance to Mayura, who was briskly wiping at her eyes. "Sorry?" he repeated, baffled.
A smile lit up her features. "I should be enjoying my night with you instead of being a downer," she resolved. "If Loki-kun didn't want to come, I should respect his decision instead of getting upset about it."
The blonde god regarded her appraisingly, impressed by her words. It was rare that Mayura did or said anything that could be considered mature.
Allowing his lips to curve into a charming grin, he gave her hand a small squeeze, and gestured toward the ballroom floor with his free hand. "Would you care to dance, my lady?"
A pretty blush spread across the girl's cheeks as she answered a shy, "I'd love to."
And with that simple acceptance, he swept her out onto the dance floor, one hand fitting snugly to her waist as the other raised her hand in his. Allowing the music to flow with their movement, the couple started a graceful waltz across the marble flooring, turning many of the guest's heads in the process.
Upon spying the gawking spectators, Mayura's movements began to fault and fall out of her partner's controlled rythym.
Loki leaned forward to poise his lips before her ear. "Relax," he instructed with a quiet, but deep voice. "I'll lead. Just follow and you'll be fine."
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Mayura nodded, feeling the attended ear warm rapidly. Had he not been leading at this point, she would have probably collapsed from the striking sensation of his breath upon her skin.
And even through the haze of her overwhelmed state, she realized that too, inexplicably reminded her of Loki-kun.
"I can't believe I got dragged into this," The violet-haired guardian god mumbled, looking around the decorated hall with dismay.
"We all needed a date, Heimdall-sama," Verdandi explained.
"But I have to admit, I never expected him to change forms for something like this," Narugami interrupted, watching the spinning god of fire and his mortal partner whirl by.
"I'm not sure any of us did," The goddess of the past clarified, downing the rest of her fruit punch. "When Yamino-san mentioned Loki-sama was coming with Mayura-san, I was a bit shocked."
Verdandi brushed her hair back with a smile of superiority. "I knew Loki-sama was quite taken with Mayura-san," she declared haughtily. And then abruptly crushed the empty cup in her left hand. "Even though he so thoughtlessly destroyed my brilliant memory charm."
The blonde goddess of the future was glancing everywhere but the dance floor, and pulling on the sleeve of her midnight blue dress. "Can we talk about something else?" she pleaded.
Her sisters each cast her a glance of sympathy, before gasping in astonishment as someone stepped before Skuld with a hand outstretched.
"Ah, I've been a horrible date so far, Skuld-sama," Ryuusuke Yamino commented with a nervous laugh. "But would you like to dance anyway?"
Wide green eyes stared back at him in suprise, before the startled goddess managed a small nod, taking Midgardsormr's waiting hand.
"Yamino-san is such a gentleman, isn't he?" Urd smiled fondly toward her youngest sister and Loki's son as they proceeded into a slightly-awkward waltz.
"Unlike other rude and barbaric thunder gods," Verdandi declared loudly, crossing her arms.
Thor glowered at her silently, then reluctantly leaned his treasured weapon/partner against the wall and took her hand in a resigned manner, dragging the startled goddess of the present into the crowd. "Fine, fine. If I have to dance with my date, even if it happens to be you, I will."
"If you could call that dancing," The guardian god commented sarcastically from his position against the wall.
Urd felt a sweatdrop slide down her cheek, in full agreement with Heimdall's observation. Pity for her brunette sister spread like wildfire. Thor had already managed to "accidently" knock three seperate couples onto their posteriors, and was rapidly heading toward a fourth unsuspecting pair.
The sibling duo, Freyr and Freya, were sitting on the floor, silent tears of envy pouring from their eyes as they avidly watched Loki and Mayura dancing serenely together. Tiny whimpers escaped them every few moments, accompanied by small cries of "Yamato Nadesico!" and "Loki!".
"Think we should do something about them?" Heimdall raised an eyebrow over his visible left eye, question directed toward the short-haired goddess of the past.
"I suppose," she shrugged, tossing her empty cup into the nearest trash bin. "Though I must say, it's strange to see you showing sympathy, Heimdall-sama."
He passed her a suffering stare. "They look pathetic sitting there and whining like that."
Urd smirked, sweeping toward the dismal sun god and waving a hand behind her. "I'll handle dweedle-dum, so dweedle-dee is your problem."
The watchman god sighed, making his way toward the weeping Freya as the goddess of the past pulled the sulking Freyr to his feet.
Pausing amidst a sob, the goddess of maternity and love cast a teary amethyst gaze up at him.
Heimdall glanced at his hand and then held it out a little reluctantly. "A...dance?"
To his surprise, the busty blonde goddess took his hand and allowed him to lead her into the multitude of dancing couples, and miraculously had ceased crying in the process.
Freyr, however, was weeping shamelessly over Urd's shoulder, who looked less than pleased to have her lovely dress soiled by the god's continuous tears.
Oddly enough, Heimdall felt a tiny smile creep across his face.
At least no one was alone on this evening.
Still caught within the dizzying sea of dancing pairs, Loki and Mayura continued their elegant waltz.
"I'm pleasantly surprised, Mayura," the trickster god commented suddenly, forming a teasing smile upon his lips. "Loki had mentioned you were quite clumsy, but you've adapted to this rather quickly."
Her face had gone red and she missed the next dance step, causing them to fumble as she sputtered, "M-Mayura?"
Loki instantly paled.
Complete slip-up on his part. How careless. He'd become so comfortable with holding her this closely that he'd switched back to his familiar referal of her, instead of remembering that he was supposed to be pretending to be someone on much less intimate terms with her.
They came to jarring halt and stood immobile in the crowd, each avoiding the other's gaze.
His spontaneous contemplation was short and perhaps even rash, but Loki solidly decided something within that very awkward moment.
"Mayura," he beckoned her softly.
Still puzzled and slightly perturbed by his use of her first name, she cast her crimson orbs upward to meet the penetrating green. And unable to trust her voice to form reasonable speech in return, she waited for him to continue.
"There's something important I need to tell you at midnight."
Her cheeks flushed from his intense and serious gaze, a shudder running through her body. "At midnight?"
He nodded, quickly pulling her to him in a bold gesture and bending toward her ear again. "Alone. Understand?"
Loki felt her shiver against him as she nodded almost imperceptively, and he hastily paced their bodies back into the forgotten waltz.
There was no turning back now. His New Year's resolution was set.
With the fire god's forceful but graceful lead, the dance flowed right back into its former and perfect rythym, as though it had never stopped at all.
And Mayura suddenly seemed very keen on keeping conversation alive, almost as if she were afraid of being left to her own thoughts. "Is that Narugami-kun and Verdandi-san over there?" she inquired of the blonde god, tossing her head lightly in the direction of the incredibly mismatched couple.
Obediantly turning his gaze to the left, he had to fight down a hearty chuckle. "Taking her for quite a ride, isn't he?"
Thor had just steered himself and his date into the direct path of Freya and Heimdall, trodding on the lovely blonde goddess's golden dress, and losing his balance in the process. The two pairs crashed to the floor in a jumbled heap, their immediate complaints and accusations rising vehemently over the sound of the music.
Mayura opened her mouth to change the subject once more, but was cut short when the horrible noise of a microphone screech rashly issued from the large speakers placed spaciously around the room, causing nearly everyone to cover their ears in alarm.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may have your attention," Kotarou's voice, magnified by the microphone, echoed through the enclosure. "The countdown to the New Year begins in five minutes. Please gather your drinks from the main table and assemble at the far right as soon as possible. Thank you."
Somehow feeling even more confident now that the time was drawing near, Loki quickly tugged his startled teen date toward the spread of champagne glasses, snatching one for her and one for himself.
Offering his arm to her, he smiled with gentlemanly charm. "Shall we?"
Hesitantly wrapping her arm into his, the unusually-shy girl could only nod, her pink bangs hiding her eyes from view.
And that was enough for god of mischief. He was certain his change in demeanor had affected her, not that he could blame her for the sudden introverted behavior she'd lapsed into.
Besides, the biggest shock was yet to come.
Once everyone had gathered below the expensive and ancient-looking time piece, Kotarou brought the microphone to his lips again.
Mayura noted, completely irrelevantly, that his arms were now flanked by two young women who were not the same ones she'd seen him with upon the arrival to his party.
"A quick "Thank you" to you all for coming to my open-house party this evening," the wealthy high school student said with a curt bow to his audience, casting a smile to the pool of couples. "And if you'll turn your attention to the clock above me, the final countdown has begun!"
All eyes were upon the handsome clockface, which was ticking off to the final seconds remaining.
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
The entire hall erupted into cheers, the noise of clinking glasses bursting forth from every direction.
After exchanging polite best wishes of the New Year to one another, Loki and Mayura each sipped from their crystalline glasses, eyes finally meeting for the first time within the past hour.
Taking the empty glass from her slender hand, the fire god led Mayura discreetly away from the commotion, only pausing to deposit the empty cups upon a bare table before searching for somewhere he considered appropriate for his next step.
The sonorous noise of the crowd lanquidly died away as their distance lengthened, and the mystery-fixated girl felt her heartbeat race more rapidly with each further step they took.
"Something important", his rich voice rang through her mind. She unconciously gripped his hand more tightly, causing that same eyebrow of his to quirk in amusement.
"Nervous, aren't you?" he questioned, finally bringing their progression to a halt.
"A little," she finally spoke, twisting her free hand into the fabric of her dress. Glancing around her curiously, she ventured, "Where are we?"
It seemed to be a long hallway of some sort, situatied alongside a gigantic window, which filtered the soft glow of the moonlight through its thick panes and onto the lone couple below.
Instead of answering her question, the bold god of fire lifted the hand encased in his own up to his waiting lips, and laid a chaste and gentle kiss upon the smooth fingertips, eliciting a gasp of shock from the pink-haired female.
"First of all," he began, making sure had ensnared her attention before continuing. "I'm honored to have been your date, Mayura. And I want to apologize for not having told you how lovely you look this evening. In all honesty, my mind was trying to keep track of too many things at once."
"Ah!" she interjected, her cheeks flushed cherry-red from his unexpected gesture and words. "You have nothing to apolo-"
A single finger was pressed to her lips, preventing any more sound from escaping.
He grinned upon seeing her completely stunned visage. "Hush," the blonde god commanded softly. "I'm not finished yet, Mayura."
A moment of silence was allowed to pass before he continued, "Secondly, I want to further apologize for keeping something a secret from you." At this, her eyebrows raised slightly and he removed the finger from her lips. "But before that is revealed, I have a question for you."
Her crimson eyes had turned from their apprehensive luster to a more curious light. "Yes?"
"You mentioned that I reminded you of Loki, right?" She nodded shortly, and he took one short breath before plowing onward. "And if I were to tell you that he and I were one and the same, what would you think, Mayura?"
For one fearful moment, he thought the look in her eyes suggested she were about to turn and flee. But to his astonishment, a smile spread across her features.
"I think that would explain many things I have been wondering about, Loki-kun," she disclosed truthfully. "I can't say it's not a surprise, but I can say it's certainly a pleasant one!"
And before the wide-eyed god could even catch his breath, the grinning teen lunged forward and embraced him tightly. "It's really you, Loki-kun! I'm so glad! I thought you had been left all alone back at your mansion and I was so worried!"
Loki couldn't even register her excited rambling, as he was still completely flabbergasted by her immediate acceptance of something that would be considered absolutely bizarre in anyone's eyes.
She finally pulled back, aware of his lack in reaction. "Loki-kun?"
"This...really doesn't bother you? Or frighten you?" he questioned incredulously, emerald green eyes still broad with shock.
"As long as it's Loki-kun, I'll never feel that way," she assured with a tender smile. "Ichihara-san made me uncomfortable because he only reminded me of Loki-kun. When you were pretending under that guise and getting unnaturally familiar with me, I was more than a little shaken, because at that time, I was certain you were only Loki-kun's friend. It didn't feel right that way."
His lips quirked upward. "And it feels right to you that I and the child detective are the same person?"
"I knew Loki-kun was different," Mayura stated. "Even after I followed you once and discovered your strange power, I was afraid to confront you about it. Afraid of what might happen to our relationship if I were to discover something that could set us apart. And I thought if I found out without you knowing, maybe things would be okay. But I was wrong not to trust you, Loki-kun. I even went as far as to take our friendship for granted when I broke into your study."
"That's in the past, Mayura."
"I know," she continued, nodding slowly. "But I never did get the chance to apologize for what I did. I'm sorry, Loki-kun. From now on, I'll put my trust and faith in you. You can tell me things when you're ready." She gave his hand a light squeeze as her eyes glittered with repressed emotion. "And I also want to thank you for staying here, instead of going wherever it was you had been planning to go. I had no right to ask to see Loki-kun again, but I'm happy that you stayed anyway."
The trickster god stared back at the moonlit mortal, whose importance to him had become immeasurable, and let her hand drop as he raised both of his to gently cup her face.
"Mayura-Papa said something about not doing things, did he not?" the mischevious blonde inquired with a smirk.
Mayura blinked cluelessly back up at him, having apparently forgotten her father's words without a second thought.
"I never did say I would comply with his wishes."
And without wasting another precious second, Loki's eager mouth descended upon hers, taking in the full sweetness of her lips beneath his own. The moon shone dutifully on them from above, casting a thin film of light around the bonded pair as they explored the sensations of each other's touch. Mayura, having long since given way to her initial embarrassment, wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling the fire god even closer. Further impassioned by the mortal's assent to his kiss, Loki deepened the connection.
Neither god nor mortal girl could object to how undeniably right the affectionate gesture felt between them. Forbidden as it might be in the eyes of either side of the spectrum, it didn't matter to Loki and Mayura.
All that mattered, was each other.
"A refill would be wooooooonderful!" slurred a familiar male voice.
Having just re-entered the main hall, hand-in-hand, Loki and Mayura cast amused glances upon the remaining Aesir/Vanir party at the far corner of the nearly-empty establishment.
Thor had just collapsed onto and knocked the goddess of the present right into the empty table behind her, his face completely flushed by alcohol.
"You drunken idiot!" Verdandi exclaimed, blushing to the roots of her chocolate brown hair as she whacked Narugami repeatedly over the head with his own weapon. "Get off of me!"
Yamino, Skuld, and Urd were all watching the brunette pair with identical expressions of hushed and slightly champagne-induced amusement.
The siblings, Freya and Freyr, were contenly curled up on the floor and surrounded by empty glasses, apparently having passed out quite some time ago. Loki found himself silently grateful for that very welcome turn of events.
And Heimdall was at his fomer post against the wall, though slightly closer to the others than he was before. Even with his lack of expression, that simple fact said everything.
The trickster god gently compressed his hand over Mayura's. "Think we should leave that crew to themselves?"
She grinned back at him, nodding. "No use in us interrupting."
He tapped her nose lightly with his index finger. "I can definitely think of something better for us to do," he voiced suggestively.
"You could take me home before Papa decides to tear you apart," she offered innocently.
He mock-pouted with a discouraged sigh. "You really know how to spoil my fun, don't you Mayura?"
"Of course," she readily agreed with a wink. "Afterall, someone has to."
First of all, let me just say...I had not intended for this fic to be anywhere near this long. It just kind of grew and flowed as I kept on writing. So, I'm sorry if that displeases anyone. I always tend to write lengthy stories/chapters.
The plot bunny ran away with me, really. I might even decide to continue this if I that bunny decides to multiply.
Note: Yukaze's name was taken from my previous MLR chapter fic. I was really stuck on what to call Loki's kakusei form without revealing him to actually be Loki, so I went with that name.
I'm also quite sure some of your are wanting to scream "MAYURA IS OOC AT THE END!" But I suppose I beg to differ, in my view of her. I don't believe she's as dumb and horribly unperceptive as she's made out to be in the anime. I just don't buy that. End of story. Of course, any and all opinions or different takes on her personality are welcome.
And I know this was fullof sap, especially at the end. What can I say? I love suggary waffyness, especially mixed with comedic elements. I even included some bantering between Narugami and Verdandi, because that's always the way I figured they might interact with one another. I think it's cute, in a way.
I'm also aware this is too late for New Years. That can't be helped. I've put all my free time this past week into writing it, and the story just kept inexplicably expanding into a bigger fic as I continued. I just missed the New Year by a few hours, actually. So...at least I came close?
Babbling aside, I hope you enjoyed my MLR New Year's story.
Please leave a review if you can spare the time. I greatly appreciate any and all feedback, even if you completely despised the story.
And as always, thank you for reading.