Ranma, Only Half A Mail.

Akane stormed home. The front door slammed shut. "Where is that baka!"

Kasumi emerges from the kitchen. "Welcome home Akane, how was your day?"

"That pervert disappeared during lunch, and again right after school!"

"I hope he makes it home in time for dinner." Later on, the family is eating
dinner, when Soun eventually notices Akane fuming, and Ranma's continued
absence. He turns to ask "Genma, where's your son?"

"Oh? I didn't notice. More food for us then." "That idiot ran off after
school. He's probably fawning over his fiancees."

Nabiki sees an ideal chance to get a rise out of her sister, "And you couldn't
care less where he is, so you didn't bother to find out where he was, right?"

"Why should I care where that pervert goes?"

* * *

Genma's bellow startles all of the Tendos into full alertness. Akane was
especially angry, as she had just started dropping to sleep. Genma runs up and
shoves a piece of paper into Soun's hands. "Ranma's gone! He left this note on
my futon, and his pack is missing!"

Nabiki takes the note from her father, and reads it aloud, "Bye pop. I'm
leaving with the girl I'm probably going to spend the rest of my life
with. Thanks alot for setting me up with her, pop. I'll write again when I
have an address. Signed Ranma."

"I'll kill him! Konatsu would know where she went!" Akane storms off to get
dressed in a gi, and begin her path of meting out justice. The lone Tendo
rides again!

* * *

The locked door slams open, almost hitting Konatsu in the back. "Where is she?
Where has she gone with Ranma, Konatsu! You'd better tell me now, before I
become angry!" Akane explained while she pulled the Kunoichi off his feet, and
glowered at him."

"Ukyou-sama just went to bed five minutes ago. I haven't seen Ranma today."

"Don't you dare try to cover for her, I know she left town with Ranma after

As Konatsu's look of stupefied disbelief began to become noticed by Akane,
Ukyou walked down the stairs. "What's going on?"

Akane drops Konatsu and faces Ukyou "Ok, where are you hiding Ranma?"

"But Ranma's note said he was leaving town with the woman he'd marry!"

"Oh no. Shampoo!"

* * *

Akane kicked in the Nekohanten's kitchen door, triggering the 3,000 year old
Amazon secret intruder prevention device. The bucket of whitewash overturned
on Akane's head (why did you think Shampoo didn't use the doors?}. She storms
in, and reaches into Mousse's cage, pulling him out by the neck, throwing him
into the sink, and nearly drowning him in hot water from the faucet. "Where
did she take him!"

Ukyou points out "Akane, he needs to breath in order to answer."

All of this had not gone unnoticed, Cologne and Shampoo enter, and add to the

* * *

The Kuno's door blew up inward, sending shards of wood everywhere. It was a
mark of desperation in the other fiancees, that led them to suspect that Ranma
wanted anything to do with a member of the Kuno family.

* * *

Two days later, Ukyou shows up at the Tendo's, Announcing she had a letter
from Ranma. She uses it as bait to sucker Mr. Saotome within striking range,
and the proceeds to pummel him, while the rest of the family read the letter.

"Hey, Ucchan. With all of the arrangements Pop's made for me, you know I can't
honorably marry anyone, and there's no way for me to end any of them
myself. Only my father can do that, since he arranged them. Since he's such a
lazy bastard, It'll be years until he's straightened it all out, so I might as
well go on vacation for a while. I'll return after Pop's fixed
everything. Chiba was lovely, I'll probably write more later. If ya don't show
the other this letter, they'll probably suspect you. Pound my pop once for me,
will ya? Ranma."

Soun, and an injured Genma swear to drag the ingrate boy home, and charge off
to the train station to book a ride to Chiba, with a furious Akane stalking
close behind. This procession is quickly followed by the Kunos, Shampoo and
Mousse, and briefly by Ryouga.

Nabiki is quick to realize that Ukyou isn't following. "Why should I go to
Chiba? Ranma already said he's left there."

Ukyou skips home, safe in the knowledge that only she knew that while the
letter mentioned Chiba, it was postmarked from Yokohama, in the Kanagawa
region of Honshu. The opposite direction of Chiba.

* * *

Three days later, the Tendos receive a new letter from Ranma. "Sorry you guys
missed me in Chiba, but I was already in Mito at the time. I bet you haven't
even begun to get my dad to work off his debts, and are still trying to track
me down. Feel free to search Mito, as I'm mailing this off as I leave the
place. I think my mother deserves the next letter from me. I haven't decided
whether I'll tell her pop's a panda, so if you don't hold on to my pop, he'll
run away, and you'll never see the Saotome's again. If pop's not willing to
stay around, I'll assume he's decided to forsake his pledge to you, releasing
me of all obligation to marry a Tendo."

Only Nabiki is bright enough to notice that the postmark on the letter isn't
from Mito, but from Kofu. Suspecting that Ukyou's letter wasn't sent from
Chiba, Nabiki confronted Ukyou about the envelope. But Ukyou claimed to have
thrown it away, days ago.

* * *

Four days later, a furious Katana-wielding matriarch, is finally reunited with
a chained and padlocked grovelling coward. Her letter read "Dear Mom, the
Tendos probably didn't bother to tell you, but I've decided to go on a
vacation. After months of being beaten up and picked on by people too weak to
defend themselves if I struck back at them, I decided to take a trip. Pop's
arranged so many different people I'm honor-bound to marry, that the only
courses open to me would be either to put up with the abuse until he decided
to fix this mess, or commit seppuku to shame him from making so many
contradictory promises. After months it has become obvious that he doesn't
care about this, and has actively encouraged me to throw away my honor to keep
his fat belly filled. I thought of visiting you, but after all the stories of
pops where you'd prefer I commit seppuku over trivial matters, and the fact
that you let that bastard drag me into this situation by abandoning me for 10
years, I thought it safer to go off on my own. Dad's hiding at the Tendos,
disguised as a panda. The disguise can be removed with hot water. I plan to
return when he's resolved all of the engagements to the other fiance's
satisfaction. Utsunomiya was lovely. I'll write more later."

Nabiki suspected, but couldn't check that the postmark didn't agree with the
letter, it was in fact stamped Toyama.

After the destruction and superficial blood letting ended, some money was
accumulated to pay Nabiki for her thoughts. "If he went to Chiba, followed by
Mito and Utsunomiya, his next stop is probably Fukushima or Yamagata." As the
money was a small amount, she withheld the information that Ranma was probably
headed the other way.

* * *

A week later, they received a letter postmarked from Kyoto, suggesting that
Ranma just left Fukushima, and that their search party was grossly

* * *

Of course it was Ryouga who stumbled upon Ranma's campsite first, but quickly
lost him. Soun, Genma, and Nodoka rushed off to search Okinawa, where Ryouga
said he'd seen Ranma last, but no one else believed Ryouga really knew where
Ranma was. Nabiki commented "Well at least we know that Okinawa is the one
place Ranma isn't."

* * *

Cologne had managed to restrain Shampoo from killing Genma with the warning
"If Genma were to die, Ranma might loose his last chance to end his other
engagements and accept you. Plus it might be unpleasant for you if Ranma's
original sensei were to accidentally defeat you in combat. Why don't we just
work on making his life as unpleasant as possible. Here's a recipe for
uncontrolled flatulence. If the Tendos kick him out, that might end the
engagement with Akane."

Unfortunately for Genma, Mousse overheard this and realized "If Genma dies,
Ranma might be unable to pursue Shampoo!" Genma, unaware of all of this nearly
lost his life, ignoring the cry of "Saotome, prepare to die!"

* * *

Ukyou, and more discretely Nabiki, were quietly searching Osaka, Kobe, and
Okayama, but neither of them ever heard anything useful, except Ranma's
letters, which were postmarked from those cities.

* * *

Finally the postcard postmarked from Hiroshima was obvious enough to clue in
the parents that their searches to the north were wild goose traces, but they
returned empty handed just as the card postmarked from Yamaguchi
arrived. Apparently Ranma had stopped dropping hints that he was moving north,
and merely stated he was leaving the island of Honshu.

Everyone knew Ranma was going to Kyushu. Everyone except Kuno and Genma, who
both independently hit on the idea that if everyone else believed Ranma was
heading south-west to Kyushu, in reality Ranma must be headed off to
Hokkaido. While Soun staked out Fukuoka in Kyushu, Nodoka dragged her husband
(mostly in one piece) back from Sapporo in Hokkaido.

But while Soun was in Fukuoka a letter came postmarked Saga. While Soun tried
to find Ranma in Kagoshima, a letter arrived postmarked Nagasaki. Even when
Soun searched Miyazaki at the same time as a letter postmarked from there
arrived, Soun still found no trace of Ranma.

* * *

Ranma, on the other hand, had spent the most peaceful month of his
life. Barring the one visit from Ryouga, no one else had stumbled upon his
camping site on the roof of Nerima's post office. Forging postal cancellations
and slipping the envelopes into the local mailmen's bags had been surprisingly

Author's note:

If I had any idea where this story would go, I might consider writing more. As
it is, I don't plan to continue this.

I've been off-line for 3 weeks due to the %$#&^%$ phone company and no-one has
reviewed anything of mine in the interim. Very disappointing. Chapter 6 of "A
Short Story about 'The Universe'" will be out shortly. As well as a new
chapter 7 of what will probably be an 8 part "To Tell A Hawk From A Handsaw"