"Natsu?" Lucy shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. "Why do you ask?"
"I cannot accept this!" Loki proclaimed loudly, holding a hand to his heart dramatically. "He has been becoming too close to you lately! I refuse to acknowledge… cretin like him as a proper rival in love!"
Lucy flushed a deep red and off-handedly scowled. "I-I don't think of him like that!"
Loki very, very briefly considered her statement before vehemently disagreeing. Lucy cringed.
"He's like…" the spirit waved his hands about wildly. "He's like a freakin' rainbow. On legs."
Lucy gaped. "Where the hell did you get that from?"
Loki rolled his eyes; wasn't it obvious? "Princess, he's just as glaringly loud and irritatingly abrupt as one. The only thing he doesn't have in common with rainbows is aesthetic appeal."
Lucy was about to protest, but thought better of it (after all, a comparison between Natsu and Loki was hardly fair). Instead, she sighed. "He's a dragonslayer. You would think the guy would resemble a dragon more than a rainbow."
(His hair was rather pink, though…)
Loki paused in his argument, and quickly reinstated his attack. "A rainbow dragon, then."
Lucy guffawed at the thought of Natsu with rainbow-colored hair. "Don't let Natsu catch you saying stuff like that!"
Loki's eyes narrowed, and Lucy's smile twitched almost imperceptibly. "That's just the problem! How am I supposed to have any proper space to talk to you freely when that damn rainbow-"
"Dragon," Lucy corrected.
"-Rainbow dragon is always hanging around you?" Loki finished his protest with a flourish- Lucy was too busy chortling to notice.
"Look, he's a nice guy," Lucy finally settled down, fixing a stern stare onto Loki. "You're my stellar spirit, and he's my best friend. Can't you guys just, like… get along?"
"No," came two voices.
Lucy and Loki simultaneously whirled around in her apartment to find Natsu, glaring irritably at Leo as he crouched in the window.
"Would it kill you to use the door?" Lucy harrumphed.
"I would kill him before he even dared laid a hand on you," Loki offered. Lucy smacked his wrist as Natsu grinned.
"You guys are impossible," Lucy pouted. The two pointedly ignored her.
"At least I'm not overdue for a haircut," Natsu jibed.
"Hey, my hair's cool!" Loki shot back. "And besides, you have no right to insult my hair when yours is pink!"
(This was clearly a weak spot of Natsu's. Lucy immediately decided that breaking them up was a lost cause when Natsu's eyes lit up, incensed.)
"At least I'm not some playboy who probably has AIDS," Natsu grinned wickedly- Loki gasped dramatically.
"At least I'm not some idiotic loudmouth who wouldn't know a great girl when he saw one!" He gestured at Lucy, who flushed a deep red.
"Don't bring me into this-!"
"What are you talking about?" Natsu said, immediately defensive. "Lucy's a great person!"
"That's not what I meant," Loki said, exasperated. Lucy felt a growing sense of dread settling in her stomach as Loki continued, "You spend all of your time with her, but never once have you made a move on her!"
Lucy gaped at this unexpected turn. "Wait, whose side are you on?"
"What makes you say that?" Natsu countered, and Lucy's jaw dropped even lower. Not only was Natsu not completely oblivious as to what Loki was talking about, but he… he didn't even deny anything!
Lucy pinched herself several times before deciding that this was once screwed up dream despite the fact she wasn't waking up.
"I've offered to spar with her plenty of times," Natsu finished. "She always says no! She pretty much denies me the opportunity to make any moves on her!"
Loki and Lucy simultaneously banged their head into the wall.
"And this," Loki said, rubbing his sore forehead, "is why I deserve you more than he does!" The spirit jabbed a finger at Natsu, who was immediately offended.
("Don't I get any say in this?" Lucy wailed. She was promptly ignored.)
"Excuse me for not being a gay psycho who wears rings and fuzzy jackets. At least I'm not ashamed to show my awesome body!" Natsu leaned forward, and Loki responded in kind. Poor Lucy was stuck in between them, and thus directly exposed to the flaring testosterone.
Any normal girl would be dying of happiness. Right now, all Lucy wanted was to go back to bed.
"What?" Loki squawked, offended. "I happen to have a very nice body!" To emphasize this, he ripped off his shirt. Natsu ripped off his… vest. It didn't make much of a difference.
Lucy flushed bright red and was immediately reduced to a spluttering mess.
"Mine's hotter," Natsu said stubbornly. Loki opened his mouth and found himself unable to deny this (Natsu's body was indeed, of a much higher temperature). Instead, he countered,
"You won't treat Lucy the way she deserves to be treated!"
Natsu bristled. "What are you talking about? Why would I ever treat any of my nakama the wrong way?"
Loki groaned- apparently, he had to be direct. "I'm talking about romantically, you idiot!"
A very, very heavy silence permeated the air. For the millionth time that night, Lucy shifted uncomfortably.
"Well," Natsu picked up again right where he had left off, as if nothing had happened. "Even romantically, I can treat her better than you, because I… like her more. So there."
Lucy almost fainted right there and then- as it was, the poor girl melted.
"No you can't," Loki deadpanned snidely. "And I know what I'm talking about."
"O-oh yeah?" Natsu snarled. "I'll prove it to you! I, I'll… I'll… uh…"
The dragonslayer gave a pause, and Loki decided that this was a good opportunity to push Natsu in the right direction again.
"You'll go out with her," Loki said pointedly.
"Right! I'll go out with Lucy! And it'll be much better than any times you guys have gone out together!" Natsu nodded, determined, as Lucy stared incredulously at the sight.
Loki poofed away before Lucy could mention that they hadn't had any dates or anything of the like, but Natsu was already dragging her outside.
Lucy paused her mental berating of Loki long enough to smile just the slightest at the warmth of Natsu's hand on hers.
They looked up at the stars comfortably for several moments until Lucy sighed.
"You do realize that the term 'going out' isn't just to move outside, right?"
Standing on the doorstep of Lucy's apartment, Natsu turned to her in surprise.
A/N: Review if you love Natsu and Loki just as much as I do.