Coming Home to Roost
by Shade

Disclaimer: Takahashi, Akamatsu and others own the characters used.

Prologue: All Fucked Up and Nowhere to Go

It all started with a letter.

The plain yellow envelope was delivered in the afternoon and picked up along with the rest
of the mail by Kasumi Tendo. Seeing that it was addressed to the younger of their two houseguests,
she took it into the room that the Saotomes used as their own. There she found Ranma lying
on the floor, dozing off into his textbook assignment.

Shaking her head in amusement, she bent down to gently shake his shoulder.

One eye sleepily cracked halfway open as she made contact.

"Geh...Kasumi? What is it?"

"There's a letter here for you, Ranma."

Groaning slightly, the pigtailed young man stretched out on his arms and legs, joints popping
slightly as he shook his head like a long eared dog to pull himself into full awareness.

"Thanks Kasumi. It's probably another challenge from Ryoga or something like that."

Still yawning into one hand, he reached out and took the proffered envelope with
the other. Using his index fingernail, he slit it open and slid out the folded
letter inside.

Opening it up, he started scanning it without much interest.

Kasumi first realized that something was wrong when she noticed that Ranma seemed
to have turned to stone, his features a ghostly grey white and his entire body frozen
stiff in place. Bulging eyes communicated a terror far beyond mere words and for
a few seconds she was certain that he was going to faint dead away.

"Is something wrong," she asked hesitatingly.

Slowly signs of life returned to Saotome's still pale features.

"I'm doomed," he whispered in a tone devoid of all hope or thought of escape.

After all, where could he run to? They'd simply track him down again and just be
in a worse mood when they finally got a hold of him. It was the kind of moment
where one typically requires the entrance of a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Ranma's father Genma walked in instead.

"What's the matter with you, boy? You look like something the cat dragged in."

It was a testament to just how badly he was shaken that Ranma didn't even flinch
at the mention of the dreaded creature.

"They've found us."

"What, those stupid bill collectors again? What have I told you before, boy?
It's fast or it's free when it comes to dining out."

Ranma shook his head in exasperated negation.

"No Pops, you don't understand. They found us."

He shot his father a meaningful look. Slowly the light of comprehension began
to dawn on the older man's face. His face paled to match that of his son's.

"Oh Hell."

Yeah, that about summed it up for the two of them.

Genma wasted no time after that. He pulled his worn backpack out and started
shoveling in all the basic necessities for life on the road.

"Hurry up, Ranma. We can be out of the city and in the mountains training
by nightfall if we're quick."

When the young man made no move to comply, the older man turned back towards him.

"What are you waiting for! Get a move on," he yelled impatiently.

"They wrote that if either of us runs, we'll get it in the end."

Genma froze as the chill fingers of the Reaper settled on his back.

That was the scary thing about them. When they said something like that,
they meant it. He hung his head in defeat and abandoned the still open backpack.

"So what are you going to do, boy?"

"I dunno about you, but I'm gonna go and get thoroughly drunk."

"But what good will that do," a bewildered Kasumi finally managed to ask.

"Well it sure as heck can't hurt."

Despite their impending doom, Genma found himself starting to chuckle
at his son's deadpan tone.

"Sounds like a plan. Let me just call your mother over first and then I'll join you."

Ranma nodded absently as he made a beeline towards the sitting room where Soun kept the good stuff.


"Kasumi, is dinner ready yet?"

Akane and Nabiki paused to kick off their shoes before entering through the front hall.
It had been a pleasant afternoon devoid of the usual weirdness and violence
that only seemed to take place when Ranma was around. Of course Akane had yet
to realize that her older sister had mooched off of her for most of the shopping
they'd done and was planning on quietly borrowing the rest at the first good opportunity.

The sky was in the final fading stages of reddish twilight, a sharp contrast to the brightly
lit interior of the house. Both girls were looking forward to a set table and a good
meal, it was hard work trying on clothes and spending money like it was going out of style.

But to their surprise the dining table was still bare and no delicious smells emanated
from the direction of the kitchen.


Puzzled, Akane started looking for her older sister to remind her to start cooking
for them. It was then that she noticed there seemed to be some kind of commotion
coming from the Saotome's room. As she headed there, the strong odor of heavy duty
sake mingled with the even smellier aroma of hard liquor hit her in the face like
a brick wall.

"Ugggh! It stinks!"

Eyes watering, Akane finally managed to slide the door open.


It was just as bad as she'd feared.

Dozens of empty bottles littered the floor. The culprits responsible for the
mess were carousing about the room, dancing a jig like they didn't care about
the spectacle they were making of themselves.

And even worse, they were singing!

"Down a bottle of the very best,
Put some hair on that chest.
Swig it around, don't be late
Let that whiskey permeate."

While her fiance's female form had a relatively nice singing voice,
his male form couldn't carry a tune without shattering it into a million
pieces. That lack of talent combined with his father's attempt at a duet
made it an ordeal on par with having one's eardrums scraped raw by bits
of broken glass soaked in lye.

And Akane could have done without that view of Genma's hairy chest thank you very much!

"What good are men today,
Such silly boys who'd rather play.
But they've a use to be found,
Just pull their pants to the ground."


Akane stared with horrified fascination at the sight of her oldest sister.
The normally docile young woman's cheeks glowed with the cheerful blush
of alcohol as she lustily sang one bawdy limerick after another. With her
normally neatly tied long hair all askew and a scandalous amount of leg
and cleavage peeping out from her mussed clothing, Kasumi presented the
very picture of what Akane had always imagined was an "easy girl".

But how had this happened? The eldest Tendo daughter had never done anything
like this before. Had the pervert taken advantage of her!

The unspoken question as to how Kasumi had arrived at her current state was soon
answered as Ranma noticed the lack of fermented grain liquid being ingested by
the singing girl.

Skipping lightly across the room, he snagged one of the few remaining unopened bottles
on a table and popped off the seal with his thumb. Upon reaching his target Ranma
hefted the bottle up and slid the dripping neck past her moist pink lips without
resistance. Kasumi took to it like a baby going after her mother's milk.

"Chug! Chug! Chug!"

Ranma and Genma cheered their compatriot on as before Akane's disbelieving eyes
the level of liquid in the bottle of 90 proof Taipei rice wine dropped at an
alarming rate.

When the last drop had been drained away, Kasumi pulled the mouth of the bottle out
and tilted it neck down over the floor to show that it was empty.

The two males in the room applauded drunkenly.

Flush with this latest infusion of booze, the normally prim and proper housekeeper
carelessly tossed the empty bottle aside, only Akane's belated diving catch managed to save
the floor from a shower of broken glass.

Heedless of youngest sister's dramatic save, Kasumi started pulling at her suddenly
restrictive clothing. Off came her baby chick apron, followed shortly by her top and
long skirt. Soon she was clad in nothing but a simple pink bra with matching panties
and a smile. Ranma and Genma roared their approval and then proceeded to catch up
with the drinking again.

"Kasumi! What are you doing," Akane screamed from her position on the floor.


Getting up on the table, the half-naked Tendo girl proceeded to do her best imitation
of a French Can-Can. That this routine normally requires a long skirt, petticoats
and stockings did not impede her attempt in any fashion whatsoever.

At this point the youngest Tendo daughter had finally had enough.

She let the bottle roll out of her hands onto the floor and got to her feet.
Turning towards the only possible cause for all of this insanity disrupting
her normal order of things, she grabbed the target of her ire by the collar
of his shirt and slammed him up against the nearest available wall.

"Alright Ranma, what did you do to my sister!"

"Oh 'Kane, you need a drink too. No time like the present," he hiccuped.

"How dare you get my sister drunk like that!"

"Ah she's having a great time 'r now. Let 'er hair down, be happy," Ranma giggled at that.

Why had he ever stopped drinking in the first place? He'd forgotten how good it felt
to not have a single care in the world, even in the face of a fate even worse than
a fate worse then death come tomorrow. Even the scowling features of his violent
soon to be an ex-fiancee wasn't enough to dampen the alcohol inspired giddiness.
His father was right after all. Drinking was the solution, not the problem.

"Hey, are you even listening to me!"

Fuck her. Fuck them all. It didn't fucking matter anymore. He was royally fucked anyway.
It was time to let it all fucking out to Akane. Let her fucking know where she really
fucking stood with him.

"Hey Akane. I always wanted ta' tell ya-," he murmured softly with a cheerful smile on his face.

Akane blinked in surprise before leaning in closer to hear his words.
Despite herself, her heart skipped a beat. Could it be, could he actually
be willing to say what he always refused to when he was sober?

"I really, really..."

"Yes? Go on," she urged him eagerly. Hah! Take that, Ukyo and Shampoo!

Ranma's face suddenly paled. His cheeks started to bulge out as he gulped
frantically and his pallor took on a slight greenish grey tinge.

"Hey, what are wouldn't dare! NO!"



"Hey Akane, what's with all the screaming? Damn, it really reeks in here."


"Gah! Uncle Genma, get off me! You're heavy and you stink!"

"Do'n feel so good, lil 'biki."

"Hey, now wait a minute-"




-End Prologue