The Hyper-Metabolism Support Group or The Super Love Quest!
I
*

Every light seemed to be focusing on Usagi's forehead and she swallowed thickly, feeling the lights' heat burning into her skin, a droplet of sweat trickling alongside her face. She struggled for a moment, feeling as if her every breath was barely strong enough to pull out of her chest, and, finally, she managed to speak, meekly, into the microphone.

"Hello," she said shyly, "I'm Tsukino Usagi."

"Hi, Usagi!" came the booming response and she found herself to be temporarily deaf.

She made a quick mental note to wear ear-plugs when near the Saiya-jins, and smiled weakly at the faceless audience. (And what a large audience!) "I've been eating an extraordinary amount of food for each meal since the third grade, and I'm glad to have finally found a group of people who understand me and my eating habits."

A roar of applause (and perhaps a wolf-whistle thrown in) sprang up and, as she stepped off the stage, she found herself enveloped in hugs from total strangers (not that she minded, considering most of them would be termed as bishounen). Tears sprang to her eyes and she smiled happily, and then…

A tall blonde guy in a red trenchcoat yelled: "Donuts!"

What followed would be marked down in history as The Great Donut Free-for-All.

Somehow, in the midst of the dangerous melee, Usagi utilized her smaller frame to avoid the stampede caused by red-trenchcoat-man (1), and pulled back, skirting out to the edge of the volatile crowd. A fireball was thrown a split second after she broke free, and there was a bright, flaring explosion. A moment of stunned silence ensued, and then there was a chipper voice crying, "Lina-san, you fried this half of the table!" Havoc once again reigned supreme.

"If Yasha-ou was here, he'd get me to the table," a high little girl's voice whined to Usagi's left and she turned to see a cute, small girl crossing her slender arms over her flat chest and scowling darkly at the cuter young teen standing before her; his arms were muscular and tan and his hair was auburn, whereas the girl was pale and dark-haired. "You're supposed to get me food!"

"I always have to get you food, Ashura!" the boy complained right back. "Why don't you ever get *me* food? Lazy good-for-nothing!"

"Stop picking on me, Ryu-kun!" The girl, Ashura, stamped her foot and dropped her arms to her sides, fisting her hands indignantly. "I'll tell Yasha-ou just how you've been treating me, and then you'll be in trouble!"

"Yap, yap, yap," Ryu rolled his eyes, unfolding one of his arms to make blah-blah motions with his hand. "He lets you get with everything!" He scowled. "And it isn't fair that I'm not allowed to bring Ryugator, but you have your stupid Shurato! Brat!"

Usagi raised a blonde eyebrow and could have sworn she saw the girl's eyes sparkle wetly for a moment before the two, with clichéd anime synchronicity, 'hmph'ed and turned their backs to each other, chins up. Immediately, the worst thing that could ever have happened to Ryu and Ashura clicked into place.

Usagi decided to play matchmaker.

Now, it's not that Usagi is a bad matchmaker or the like; it's just that she makes it so painfully obvious. And she's rather incompetent, too, but that's not the point. Usually, her predictions hit the spot: look at Yuuichirou and Rei, for example. She appears to have some sort of psychic ability to judge people's compatibility. (Her own love life aside, what with her being hooked up with Mamo-the-baka. Oh. Sorry. Shutting up.) The part she has a tendency to screw up on is the actual matchmaking bit. It doesn't usually turn out too good.

Sadly, no one has ever bothered to alert her of this little fact, so she continues to blithely attempt to match people up. Sometimes, she even goes up to total strangers who she really shouldn't be eavesdropping on, but is anyway.

So is it any wonder that Ashura was suddenly alerted by Shurato's vibrations that something was about to happen? Is it any wonder that Ryu got a sudden, sinking feeling that he was about to wind up in another situation in which he had to engage in physical contact of some sort with Ashura? Is it any wonder that Ryan hit Palla-chan for writing this piece of---oh. Sorry, again.

"Ohayo!" Usagi chirped, swooping down out of nowhere (or so it appeared), causing Ashura to yelp and glomp onto Ryu, who, being the graceful, swan-like being that he is, fell flat on his butt. "Atashi wa Usagi! What are your names?" She beamed innocently at the wide-eyed two, sparkling ocean-blue eyes opened to their most adorable power, and mentally cheered herself on.

"Ashura!" said Ashura cheerfully.

Ryu was futilely shoving at the waif-appearing girl, trying to get her off his abdomen. "Ryu-ou," he muttered.

"Wow!" Usagi squealed, clapping her hands. "You're a real kin---"

Before she could finish her question, a horrible, mind-imploding sound exploded into the auditorium and rebounded off the walls, echoing continuously for a jarring minute. "OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!" went the sound, and it continued as such for an unholy amount of time, causing Gokuu and his sons to clamp hands over their ears and wail like banshee-monkeys (2), Vegeta and Trunks to slowly back away from the trio, Lina the beautiful sorcery genius to pale, Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune to snap her head up from her ice cream, Vash the Stampede to choke on his forty-second-and-a-half donut, and pretty much everyone else to double over in pain, with the occasional character suddenly bleeding from their ears.

Although it was broad daylight outside a minute before, clouds suddenly coalesced outside of the gym/auditorium/really-really-big-one-room-building-with-bathrooms and a stroke of lightning dashed behind the figure standing in the window, illuminating her from behind. A tall, busty woman stood there in a leather outfit designed to cause spontaneous nosebleeds, and her head was thrown back as she cackled in her destructive way.

"Naga the White Serpent has come!" she crowed when, thankfully, she finally stopped laughing. (Paramedics were already en route to treat the motionless victims scattered here and there.)

Usagi slowly uncurled from the fetal position she had adopted, and just as slowly sat up. Ashura was doing the same thing, having fallen off of Ryu when the horror began. Speaking of the Western King/Star…

"Hey!" Ryu bellowed with all his might, his yet-to-hit-puberty voice unfortunately light and therefore ruining the effect. "That's my name (3)!"

"Damn it, Naga!" Lina hollered from where she had jumped onto the French-foods table. "Why do always follow me?!" Gourry, in a brave move to save the croissants, grabbed her and pulled her off the table. Sadly, his hands landed in a rather inappropriate part of her upper anatomy. "Hentai!" the fiery sorceress shrieked. A fireball later, an extra-crispy Gourry Gabriev landed on the floor, eyes little swirlies.

"You stole my name, you stupid b---"

In a move that created nosebleeds all across the room, Naga the White Serpent flipped from her window to land right in front of Ryu. He, in the glorious moment before sudden blood loss through his nostrils caused him to pass out, was granted a sight of Naga's…er…endowments…that most teenaged boys would kill and massacre for.

"OHOHOHOHO!" she guffawed - and the Son family once more began the wailing and gnashing of teeth - and she patted Ryu's unruly hair before he fell to the ground. "I am Naga, and I have stolen no one's name!"

"Gracia?"

A short, dark-haired girl came out from the crowd of convulsing people, drooling men, and those who were still eating determinedly (such as Vash the Stampede), followed closely by a chimera who held his sword at the ready, glaring at the men who dared glance at the princess'…um…

"Amelia?" Naga did a double-take.

"Big sis!"

"Little sis!" (4)

Once more, nosebleeds swept the room and the few doctors in the building all made notes to check if there was some strange virus spreading around causing bleeding through the nose.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I suppose I should apologize for causing your companion to faint," Naga (or Gracia, as it would seem) commented as Ashura fanned Ryu's face with a napkin; the slight girl looked worried and fanned harder. "Men always seem to do that whenever I'm nearby."

"I wonder why," Lina muttered under her breath, a flash of jealousy crossing her garnet eyes.

"I'm so glad I've found you again, Gracia!" Amelia cheered, hugging her sister's arm again. "Otousan will be so pleased!" (Prince Philoniel, to be truthful, was in his chambers back at the castle, bawling his eyes out that his darling youngest daughter needed a support group for her rather voracious eating habits.)

Usagi sat in a chair she had pulled up beside Ashura and Ryu, who were on a bench, and jotted hasty notes in a tiny spiral notepad she was carrying with a pretty Hello Kitty pen (5).

For example:
· Male subject appears to be affected by hormones. Naga/Gracia may be a hindrance.
· Female subject appears to care somewhat for male subject. Glomped him earlier for protection, and is currently attempting to waken him from unconsciousness.

She flipped her spiral shut with satisfaction, and nodded affirmatively. She would need recruits to assist her, she decided with uncharacteristic wisdom. Amelia looked like she would help.

Ryu's eyes fluttered open about this point, landed immediately on THAT part of Naga's anatomy, and he passed out again.

"Baka!" Ashura snapped, and she shoved him off the bench.

*

Palla-chan: Urk. This does suck, Ryan.
Ryan: Told you.
Ryu-ou: I just read your notes for the following chapters. There is no way Ashura and I would get that mushy!
Palla-chan: &.^ But it's cute!
Ryu-ou: ./.; [face-fault]
Ryan: If anybody's reading this, send a nice, toasty little flame to Palla-baka. Maybe she'll take this thing off ff.net.
Palla-chan: Ryu-ou-chan, why are you beating yourself with my nightstick?

*

Footnotes! (For those little number things in superscript.)

(1) "…the stampede caused by red-trenchcoat-man…" Red-trenchcoat-man is Vash the Stampede from Trigun. It's a pun. ;]

(2) "…like banshee-monkeys…" The Saiya-jins *are* monkey-men. Pun the Second!

(3) "'That's my name!'" [Ryu-ou] Hopefully, if you've read RG Veda, you get this. Ryu-ou's name was 'Naga' (which I *think*, but I'm not quite sure, means snake/serpent/etc.) before he became king of his clan's land/etc.; Ryu is his clan's title, and -ou is a suffix for a king. Naga the White Serpent is Lina's companion/rival in the Slayers' movies and some of the Slayers OAVs.

(4) "'Big sis!'/'Little sis!'" Naga is rumored/believed to be Amelia's missing elder sister, Gracia. Personally, I'm one of the people who think Naga *is* Gracia. *grins*

(5) "…with a pretty Hello Kitty pen." I've just always thought Usagi would write with a Hello Kitty pen. :]

*

Usagi: I didn't get any character development!
Assorted Anime Characters: We haven't gotten our roles yet!
Ashura&Ryu-ou: Sicko!
Slayers Cast: Is there a *plot*?
Vash [through a mouth full of donuts]: Mmmf gmhff ffgmgf!
Scary Lawyer Dudes: Miss Purple Mongoose/PallaPlease, we'd like a word with you…
Palla-chan: *hasty escape*

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