When the Gods Have it Out to Get You
By Alea Seikou

Disclaimer: I do not own Matantei Loki Ragnarok that pleasure belongs to Sakura Kinoshita. I merely borrow the characters to satisfy my own amusement.

Summary: Every girl looks forward to her first real date. Too bad Mayura has yet to realize that she's already taken.

. o . o . o . o . o . o .

Mayura was beginning rethink her views on atheism if only for the fact that it seemed somebody up there had made it their sole purpose to interfere with her dates. This was not to say she had yet to be asked. But being asked and being able to execute said date were two entirely different matters.

The first of such attempted askings came one bright, sunshiny morning when she'd been stopped by her shoe locker by a fellow student, a shy boy, who had inquired, with just a hint of an endearing stutter, if she might like to go get coffee, or tea, or something sometime with him.

And she had blinked, twice, before double checking that he was sure he had the right person.

After much reassurances, a stunned Mayura found herself having agreed to tea on an odd Tuesday. All the more stunning was that it had been only after the fact that she remembered the detective agency had a job for that very same evening.

What dismay she had felt at making such an astronomical screw up, however, had been slowly but surely squashed under the prospect of an illustrious first real date.

So, of course, for her first course of action she'd been left with no choice but to sadly tell her compatriots that she would be forced to stick the evening out.

Her announcement to the rest of the Enjaku Detective agency had been met by shock broken only by the sound of Loki promptly choking on a poorly timed sip of tea as the group turned in tandem to stare incredulously at the ecstatic Mayura.

Or, that is, ecstatic until the point where she'd been struck with the deadened weight of utter silence. Her joyful bounce slowed to an impatient tapping of her foot, arms crossed over her chest, while she'd swung her gaze from the detective, to Yamino, to Fenrir and back again.

Their disbelief had been unflattering to say the least.

As per usual, Yamino had been the first to regain his composure. And, clearing his throat, the young man had just begun to politely offer his congratulations when he was interrupted by a dehersive snort from the detective. Tipped back in his chair with his feet propped upon the desktop, Loki airily opted to start a betting pool on how long she'd be able to last peacefully sipping tea while knowing that they would be investigating one of her beloved 'fushigi mysteries'.

Mayura's annoyance had promptly compounded upon itself.

Oh yeah? Well if that's how they we're going to be about it. She had immediately became all the more determined to make sure that she had at least ten times as much fun as going in some old, musty, only marginally awesome, old building. Her attempt to maintain dignity had been quickly ruined by sticking her tongue out at the detective, and punctuating her declaration with a childish. So there!

Well...that had been the plan at least.

Instead, her date wound up somewhere in the negative, as first, her male counterpart for the evening had arrived late for their agreed upon time. Then, his stutters having returned with reinforcements, he had bowed, apologized for his tardiness and in the same breath concocted a thinly veiled excuse to opt out for the night - you see, his Mother's aunt's cousin just died and it wouldn't be fair to leave his Mother home alone in her grief, right? - And thus, the boy had turned hastily around and sprinted back the way he'd came as though the hounds of Hades were on his heels.

Needless to say the rest of Mayura's evening had been spent with the agency, knee deep in the fushigi mysteries of a musty, old building. Where upon arrival Loki had wasted no time in inquiring, full of wide-eyed innocence, as to the cause of her abrupt change in plans.

If Loki's grin had been perhaps a bit wider as she puffed up with embarrassed indignation and whirled around on the pretext of investigating the first odd object that caught her eye, Mayura simply attributed it to being a figment of her imagination.

For her second date, a likeable enough guy whom had started talking to her in between class times, Mayura had taken care in picking an evening that wouldn't encroach with her duties as assistant detective. And, after popping by Loki's mansion for the well-wishes of her friends, she had headed off towards the movies with full confidence.

Really, she could have sworn she'd had the money for her bus fair on her when she'd left.

By the time Mayura had finally thought to retrace her steps the time for the date had come and gone by a margin of three hours and her backtracking had led her down the street and straight to the desktop of one throughly amused detective and her distinctively patterned purse.

While given the chance, she might have thought to question how her change purse had found its way past three layers of zippers and out of her bag. The girl had been quickly distracted from doing her detective work by a wide grin and a child-sized hand as Loki firmly ushered her back down stairs to where Yamino had already set another plate on the supper table.

Date number three had been an impromptu arrangement by one of their clients. Where, upon arrival for the job, the teenaged boy had grasped her hand and promptly kissed it, regardless of the under-aged audience present. Then had insisted with a flirtatious flourish that she allow him to treat her to dinner after they had completed their investigation.

At her reluctance acceptance, which she was later willing to admit may have been more motivated in regaining control of her extremity rather than by any sort of attraction, the young man would have kissed her hand again in thanks had it not been for the detective's tactful cough and pointed reminder that they where there on business.

In hindsight, Mayura had been more concerned about the fact that it had been yet another failed date plan rather than the peculiar way her would-be romancer had seemed to have vanished in the time it had taken them to deduce that his family's garden pond was indeed free of supernatural activity. But, while her immediate depression had been staved off by a quick thinking Loki whom had gallantly offered to treat her to takoyaki instead, her track record remained.

Still, in the face of her increasing defeats, Mayura had yet to give up. In fact, if anything, she had renewed her efforts in encouraging better luck to come her way.

Of course, this meant first getting to the root of the problem, and, having plopped herself down on one of the sofas in Loki's study to indulge in a good, old-fashioned brain storming session Mayura drew on the only logical conclusion.

"I think I'm cursed."

At the girl's statement, the owner of the aforementioned study glanced up from where he was sifting through the various papers that lay scattered about his desk. The detective raised a brow skeptically. "Really now, do tell."

"I mean..." She placed a finger to her temple, leaning side to side as she attempted to think of the right way to phrase things. "Isn't it supposed to be 'third time's a charm'?" Her eyes got wider. "Or was it 'three strikes and you're out'?!"

"Wait...come again?" Not quite sure of the proper response to such a statement, Loki finished straightening the stack of papers he held into an organized bundle before fixing the girl with an incredulous stare.

Seemingly on a roll, Mayura continued to on her strain of nonsensical mumbling, as she worked through her thoughts out loud. The volume of her monologue rising as she rubbed her chin in contemplation. "I mean, though I could probably get some sort of charm to counteract bad luck...Ah! That's it!"

As through just realizing what she'd said, in true Mayura fashion, the girl drew herself up. Fists clenched in determination as she began the elaborate outline of what was shaping up to be a rather complicated anti-bad luck scheme.

"Oh that," there was an odd mischievousness to Loki's expression as he pieced together the reasoning behind the girl's distress. Tapping the stacked documents in his hand against his mouth in apparent contemplations, his lips curled into a wide smirk before smoothing back into his usual, well-meaning grin.

"...And I think there was some kind of flower that if you count the number of petals, and mix them in the same amount of ginger root-"

"Ice cream."

Mayura blinked, stopping midway in her luck calculations, before turning to look at the detective for clarification. "Ice cream?"

"Particularly peach ice cream, I've read is supposed to be good at helping with luck. Warding away evil spirits and that sort of thing." Loki let the thought sink in just long enough to fully draw Mayura's attention, before giving an exaggerated sigh. Waving the girl off nonchalantly, he turned his gaze back to his paperwork. "But... no. Never mind. It sounded like you had a plan already..."

The moment Mayura's curiosity kicked in was almost tangible.

"Wait, Loki-kun." Moving up from the couch, she hovered eagerly at the front of his desk. "I want to hear more of your idea."

"Well..." Glancing at her sidelong over the top of his papers, he smothered a grin before continuing nonchalantly. "There's really not much to explain. In a case like this, I think the best way to find out is to try it."

She nodded automatically in agreement.

"And, as it so happens," the detective leaned back, his hand shifting between several of his desk drawers before decisively opening one of the top ones. Sifting past stray papers, he drew out an envelope. "Yamino get's these sort of things all the time in the mail. Coupons, free trial offers and all that."

He passed it to her with a shrug, watching her with thinly concealed amusement as she took the envelope eagerly, her characteristic smile returning in full force.

"Thank you so much, Loki- kun. You're the best!" Mayura had no qualms in hugging the detective, chair and all, before darting towards the door as she made to take his suggestion to heart. "I'm going to hurry and try it out!"

Seeing the girl off with a cheerful wave, Loki waited for the sound of her footsteps to fade before calmly rising to his feet and absently smoothing out the wrinkles along the front of his garments. Reaching a hand back into his desk, he drew out a second envelope.

"Loki-sama I've brought you..." Yamino paused in the doorframe. The tea tray in his hands wobbled slightly as he moved to adjust his glasses. Absorbing the significance of long limbs and sharper features in remarkable stride, Midsomgeard graced the god with a knowing smile. "Ah...I'll just save your tea for later then, shall I?"

"Please do," the now decidedly adult Loki adjusted his tie before casually brushing past his son and heading down the hall. "I have a date to keep."

. o . o . o . o . o . o .

I remain undecided in my satisfaction...and my grammar... but plot bunnies bow to no one.

Alea Seikou