- Disclaimer: Matantei Loki Ragnarok belongs to Kinoshita Sakura.
Love Me and More
written by Kurosu
That trademark smirk that caused many women to swoon and pissed off men. He had a way with people, whether they loved him or hated him. It amused him to no end at how far he could go to affect each individual. He read them so easily, piercing right into their hearts, and it was like he knew, just knew how to trigger their emotions.
At that moment, his green eyes caught a new prey. He watched with great intensity.
The girl looked no older than five years of age. Her strange, pink hair curled below her shoulders, being held back by a blue hairband. She wore a simple, blue kimono with a light green obi. She seemed so small and lost in the huge yard of trees and flowers. Her eyes was looking all around, curiosity shone brightly in them. Her arms were locked around a rabbit doll.
Her feet moved one step at a time, very unfamiliar with her new setting. With her doll companion, she bravely began to explore the wonderland of greenery. She was amazed by the many colors of flowers, how huge trees were compared to her, and even the little insects and birds all around.
She spotted a yellow butterfly sweetly stealing the nectar from a flower. She hurried over to grab it, but it flew off as her hand grabbed the air. She chased it, swinging the bunny at her side and humming a cheerful tune, and not once succeeded in capturing it.
He chuckled at her failure. His voice reached her ears, and she looked up, in the trees. She gasped when a boy, about six or seven years older, jumped down from a thick branch and landed next to her. He was wearing clothes she had never seen before, so she stared at him with her mouth opened in awe. He gave her a big grin and placed his hand on top of her head.
Her soft, pink hair slipped in between his fingers, and he lost his smile and took his hand away from her. She peered at him with her round, innocent eyes, and he froze, lost in the depths of caramel, tinted with red. No one had ever gazed at him in such a way before, as if she wasn't looking at him at all but deep into his soul.
"What's your name?" she asked, giving him the sweetest smile ever.
He blinked and shook the stupor out of him, moving over to the tree, and sat down. He rested his back against it before telling her, "You should say your name first before asking others."
"Okay," she replied and sat down next to him, her small body giving her full attention to him, with her bunny in her lap, "I'm Mayura." His eyes were closed, but he heard her shifting positions. He purposely remained silent, but she poked his arm, "Ne, your turn."
Then he pretended to fall asleep, but that didn't stop the girl. She poked him harder, and he continued to ignore her. She pouted and pinched his arm, that caused him to yelp. He glared at her, rubbing his injured arm. "What's wrong with you!" he demanded. He didn't think she would be a brat and bother someone older than her.
"You were being mean!"
"Hey, you pinched me first!"
She stuck out her tongue at him and stood up. "Fine, I don't want to know your name!" she shouted and ran off. She was heading back from the direction she had originally come from when he had first spotted her. He climbed to his feet and narrowed his eyes at her retreating form.
He brushed a hand through his thick, auburn hair, and grumbled, "How annoying."
Later, that evening in the study, he was sitting quietly in the leather chair, enjoying a book. Usually around that time, no one would bother him until it was dinner time. He was completely absorbed in his reading and didn't notice the door opening. It wasn't until the door closed with an audible clack that he noticed another's presence in the room. Without taking his eyes off the page, he waited for the expected person to speak.
When nothing was said, with eyes remaining on the pages, he asked, "Is dinner ready?"
Still no answer.
Quite irritated, at this point, by insolence, he shifted forward in the chair until he sat at the very edge, feet touching the floor and put his book down, looking right into the curious eyes of Mayura. He frowned, "What are you doing here?"
"Loki!" she chirped with a smile. She leaned on the desk, placing both hands on the surface. Her height was barely over the desk, and he saw that childish bunny in one of her hands. "I know your name!" she announced proudly as if she had discovered it all on her own.
"So?" he merely looked away without a care.
"Loki is a big meanie!"
Ignoring her, he picked up his book again and resumed reading. As much as he tried, he couldn't focus on the words. He had read the same line at least ten times already. He followed the girl's form from the corner of his eye.
She walked over to the other side of his desk and stood next to his chair, leaning curiously on the armrest to see what he was looking at it. "Hey, Loki!"
"What is it?"
"What are you reading?"
"What's it say?"
"It says good, little girls shouldn't be bothering other people. They should run elsewhere to play," he explained, giving her an obvious hint.
"There's no one to play with me. Everyone is so busy!"
"And you think I'll play with you?" She nodded as he pretended to flip the page, "Why do you think I would play with you?"
She tilted her head to the side and stated like it was the most obvious answer, "You're small like me!"
If only she paid more attention, then she could hear the sudden pop of an annoyed vein on Loki's head. He took a few deep breaths before speaking again forcing an arrogant smirk upon his lips, "But I'm just a big meanie." He had used her own words against her, and when he glanced at her for a response. He noticed the pout and the loneliness in her expressive eyes. She was staring at her hands that tightly gripped the leather armrest.
"I didn't mean it."
Her voice was so soft and so sad, he would've barely heard her if she hadn't been standing so close to him. Completely caught off guard by the heart wretching response, he just stared at her, awashed in sudden guilty that he brought such a sorrowful emotion to a little girl. At the sight of ears were brimming at the edge of her round eyes, he panicked. After their encounter earlier that day, he didn't think she would burst into tears from this little skirmish.
The book slipped out of his hands and laid forgotten on the floor, as he nervously held up his hands in front of her, gesturing sporadically for her to not cry, not sure how that would help, and it didn't at all. Her sniffles slowly became whimpers, with her shoulders jerking a bit, from the overwhelming need to release her tears. She hugged her bunny, burying her face against the plush, and cried softly, different from his expectation of a banshee scream.
He never liked the sight of a female crying. Not only was it troublesome to see, it was dreadful to his ears. And it just wasn't right for a man to make a woman cry, even if they were both children.
"Ah Mayura, don't cry!" he attempted to appease her, "If you stop crying, I'll... I'll play with you! I promise!"
She stopped crying, calming down to a lot of sniffling, but her face remained against the doll, so he waited for her to finish her waterworks. He closed his eyes, hoping it worked, and tried to push the oncoming headache away, but instead of the end of the sniffles, he heard giggles.
"Okay!" she shouted with glee.
Loki froze, green eyes struck with shock and horror.
The five-year-old girl... had just... played him!
Mayura lifted her head up, smiling, "Loki promised!" Then she ran to the doors and opened one of them. She paused and looked back, "We can play after dinner. Oh, Yamino-san said it was time to eat." She giggled and left the room, leaving a slumped Loki in his chair.
How did he let a little girl get to him so badly.
He slapped a hand to his forehead and groaned, "Aargh, Mayura!"
The young boy opened one of his eyes and looked at the frowning girl, who was leaning over him with her bunny clutched to her chest. He was laying so comfortably on the grass, that the thought of being disturbed was far from his mind, yet it had been so peaceful, definitely too good to be true. The weather was sunny and a little warm, but the shade of the tree and the periodic breeze kept him cool and refreshed.
He sighed and returned to his nap.
"Mou, Loki!" she stomped her feet, "You promised to play with me!"
"I already did that," he replied.
She fell into silence, staring down at him, almost looking thoughtful. Most of the time he was mean and moody, snapping at her irritably, but at that moment, she saw how nice he looked, speaking to her in a much kinder tone. She knelt down and put a hand on his head, and that caused him to open his eyes. Tints of pink appeared on his cheeks as her bright eyes were boring down into his own pair. She didn't say a word but just stared at him, a playful smile on her lips.
He was feeling uncomfortable under her gaze and looked away, pushing her hand from his head and rolling onto his side. His back faced her as he tried to get some more sleep, but strangely, he could feel her eyes watching him. He let out a heavy sigh, rubbing his face wearily.
He heard her moving, and the next thing he knew, he felt her pressed against his back. She had laid down next to him, on her side, and hugged her bunny while it was snuggled in between their bodies.
"Good night, Loki," she whispered before drifting off to sleep. Her free arm draped over him, small fingers clinging to the fabric of his shirt, and he sighed again, a longer one conceding defeat at the hands of a girl less than half his age. His eyes softened, and he smiled faintly at the ridiculousness of the whole situation.
"Good night, Mayura," he returned, placing his hand over hers.
She was such a hand full.
Days went by, and soon, those days became weeks. Weeks turned into months, with each passing season. During that time, Loki came to accept the pink-haired girl in his life. He couldn't deny the growing attachment that both of them had, whether it was because of their ages - being the youngest ones in the household - or the loneliness they shared, but they found comfort in each other.
During the day, they would spend time outside and explore the endless land or just stay in the study and talk about the curiosities of the world. Even mealtimes were spent together, snatching food off one another's plates or giving the icky veggies to the hungry, black puppy under the table, when Yamino wasn't looking.
The young man with round glasses would turn back and half the plate of food would be gone. He would glance at the two of them, and they would share the secret in their snickering. He knew they were up to something but let it slide since they were having so much fun.
Then at night, Mayura would get sleepy from the day of playing, and he would carry her to her bedroom, even if she insisted she wasn't tired and wanted to play some more with him. He would scold her playfully, tucking her into bed, and then sit down near the edge of the bed to tell her a bedtime story.
Sometimes he would read her a fairy tale, where the princess lived happily ever after with her prince, and other times he would make up a story on the spot, about a pirate in search of the greatest treasure of the world, or a banished angel from heaven finding a home on earth, or the adventures of a detective and his beautiful, silly assistant. She seemed to like the stories about the detective and the assistant more than any of the others, and he had to laugh at the thought of them falling into those roles.
But she always held his hand and fell asleep before he ever finished the stories, letting her dreams imagine the rest.
He made sure she was asleep, and then with his other hand, pulled the covers up to her chin. His expression softened at how angelic and peaceful she appeared. How did such a small girl have so much energy, he would never know. Her small hand kept the hold on his as she slept. He could hear her steady breathing, as his fingers teased her pink tresses for a few minutes, never disturbing her slumber. He always did something to prolong the departure from her side, having found that every second without her by his side was dreadfully boring, and painful.
He chuckled, recalling how he had originally wanted to distance himself from her as much as possible, but now, he couldn't imagine his life returning to those lonesome days again.
"Loki," she mumbled his name in her sleep, a slight squeeze of her hand with his, "don't leave. Please don't leave me..."
"I won't," he answered without hesitation.
Loki sat up in bed, calling her name with such urgency, ragged breathing, sweat rolling down his face as if he had the worst nightmare ever. He couldn't remember the details, but he had seen Mayura's teary face as they dragged her from him, forcing their separation. Her voice had been as desperate as he, calling out to each other. He could almost hear her voice in his head again and shuddered at the thought, at the fear, because it had felt so real.
With such a strong feeling, he quickly got out of bed, still in his pajamas, and went straight to the girl's room. His footsteps echoed down the hallway till he reached his destination. Nervous and scared of the possibility that the images were real, his hand trembled as he turned the knob and pushed against the weight of the door, letting it swing open wide. He took a step inside, calling out to her.
He stared at the neatly made bed.
For the first time in his life, he truly felt fear in his heart.
He kept calling her name, running down the stairs. He ran by every single adult, that had awoken to his voice, in the house, who tried to stop him. Out the front door, bare feet running through the grass, across the dirt, over rocks and stones just to reach the precious girl being placed into the vehicle. Ignoring the pain in his feet, he pushed himself harder. He was almost there. He could almost reach her and pull her back into his arms.
At the sound of his voice desperately calling to her, she looked at him from the window, small hands pressed against the glass, her own voice attempting to reach him only to be blocked by the metal barrier, and she started to cry.
She wanted her Loki.
Yamino grabbed the young boy before he got anywhere near the car, as it slowly pulled away into the road. For being half his size, Loki was putting up a fight with all his strength, nearly biting the caretaker's arm off. The boy cursed and demanded the man to release him.
"Loki-sama," he said with much regret, "I'm sorry."
When the car disappeared from view, Yamino finally let the boy go. He watched painfully as Loki, no longer struggling, fell to the ground, on his knees. His fists clenched tightly in his lap, bearing his knuckles white, while his head hung low, hiding the deep turmoil in his chest, like someone had ripped out his heart and stomped on it before smashing it in to a million pieces.
Then something fell.
His hand touched the moisture falling from his eyes, as if they were unfamiliar to him, and they kept coming. His head dropped in to both hands, and he wept.
All he wanted was his Mayura.