Friends with Benefits

"Oh my GOD!" Lucy screeched, and spat her orange juice all over the table. It wasn't her best look.

Mirajane floated over and began gracefully wiping away the younger girl's mess blithely. Lucy was failing to stop herself from hyperventilating.

"I—what." She held up her magazine for Mirajane's inspection, her words having deserted her. Mirajane glanced up from her work, taking in the burning flush that had made its way across Lucy's face to the glossy magazine gripped between her shaking fingers.

"Fairy Tail's Burning Couple," Mirajane read dutifully aloud, and watched with some interest and Lucy's ears burned red. After a moment of pensive consideration, the barkeep beamed. "Is there something wrong? I think it's a pretty good picture of you. You look very nice in white."

Lucy gaped, "That—that isn't even close to being what's wrong with this!"

"Oh?" Mirajane arched a brow, "So…"

"It's—It's me and Natsu! On the front page!" Lucy clutched the magazine to her chest, eyes huge, "And—and—ohmygod, now everyone thinks we're a couple."

"Hmm," Mirajane wiped out her bar glass without any apparent distress, before becoming abruptly startled, "Wait, you're not?"

"NO!" Lucy shrieked, and everyone turned to glare at her, wincing from the previous night's hangover. She made some vague pacifying gesture in their general direction, then spun back to her companion. "Of course not!"

"But—" Mirajane couldn't quite seem to wrap her head around the concept, "But—isn't it sort of obvious?"

"I don't even know what you're talking about!" Lucy wailed, jerking on her hair in aggravation, "He just—he just has a hero complex!"

"In bed." Gray muttered, and Lucy dealt him a very impressive round-house kick, sending the older boy flying into the wall. Mirajane blinked in shock. If Lucy displayed half as much murderous intent on her missions as she was right now, she'd have been promoted to S-Class months ago.

"You," Lucy snarled, and pointed a shaming finger at poor, bedraggled Gray, who was currently checking to be sure he still had all his teeth, "This is probably all your fault!"

"Oh, sure," Gray muttered grumpily, "Just when Erza starts acting nice, Lucy goes crazy."

"I am not crazy!" Lucy roared, and thin tendrils of dust fluttered from the ceiling.

"Hey, shut up!" an angry voice bellowed, before Luxus stomped moodily down the stairs. Mirajane and Gray both dived for Lucy at the same time, but weren't quite fast enough.

"Huh?" Lucy hissed in a voice that fairly radiated death, "You got something to say to me, punk?"

Luxus stared at her for a moment, then rubbed his eyes twice. After a moment he simply turned on his heel, muttering about going back to bed.

Mirajane and Gray exchanged look.

"Lucy!" Natsu yelled, and then burst through the front doors, yammering excitedly, "Hey, we got on the front page!"

This was entirely the wrong thing to say. Even Gray managed to give Natsu a 'you-poor-bastard' grimace before Lucy caught the dragon mage around the waist in a flying tackle.

"I am not dating him!" She announced loudly and pointedly to the general public at large. Everyone stared at her in grave silence, and Lucy stared defiantly back.

"We're not?" Natsu piped in surprise.