Disclaimer: Matantei Loki Ragnarok is copyrighted by Sakura Kinoshita. This is set sometime after the manga but is general and contains no spoilers. Hope you enjoy!

Words

Flitting in the silence, the words went unvoiced, unpinned. Mayura rested with her back against Loki's arm, a tumble of pink hair pooling atop his elbow. Both reclined on the couch, books in hand. The setting sun lit Loki's study, its occupants, and the open pages in a mellow orange glow. Neither spoke, and Mayura's eyes began to close.

Behind her eyelids danced the figments of a dream. She could hear laughter, soft, dimming, as if in reverence for the dead. She felt weightless and cold, her limbs floating on the liquid margin between sea and sky. Wavelets wet her cheeks and receded, tiny splashes of azure and emerald. She felt suspended, dropped from the sky yet pardoned midair from the pull of gravity. It was a sensation akin to death, knowing not which way to progress, movement seeming all the same whether she stepped left, stepped right, stayed still in a pool of time.

In this strange fixture of time, tears mixed with ocean, and the sun continued to set. A book's page crinkled by her ear, and then she was being shaken. The brightest colors dissipated as her eyes registered the twilight washing Loki's study. For one moment, Mayura could not breathe, for reality was painful. Azure and emerald was replaced by darkness, and the strange, still peace she had felt while caught on the margin seemed fearful. Waking had never seemed so vivid and dead.

Tomorrow she would graduate, leave behind a world she knew for a world she had no choice but to discover. When she was younger, the newness of the world had captivated her. It seemed to suggest that everything she saw held something more, a shadow, a spirit, haloing the edges of the world. If she but pursued them, the mysteries she sought would pour through her hands like gold and she would reap truth. Perhaps, by stretching her fingers, she would skim the ghost of her mother which would tell her how to cope.

Loki took the book from her lap and stacked it on the table along with his own. He, too, was a creature of shadow, a mystery dancing along the margin. Sometimes her mind played tricks on her and she thought she saw a boy with his namesake, grinning. They shared the same vivid eyes, yet it seemed a cruel trick, that the person who seemed most real to her was also the most unknown.

She twisted around and enveloped Loki in a hug. His response was awkward, his hand grazing the back of her uniform, but she was comforted. The words which were left unsaid an hour before passed from her lips where they touched against his ear.

His eyes widened a touch, before the briefest of smiles tapped his lips and he knocked his forehead gently against hers.

Idiot, he murmured, I already knew that, and she tightened her hold. Tears had no place in this dark world, where she sat holding a piece of her heart against herself. How rare, how precious, to have love acknowledged and returned, and the world resume its pace.