Hello again!

This is an epilouge story to Winds of Change. This was originally the
epilouge to Winds of Change, then I changed it to an interlude, then
back to an epilouge. Wishy-washy, ain't I?

Comments, criticism, etc. -- oddball22@hotmail.com

DISCLAIMER: Do we really need these anymore? If you think I created
Ranma 1/2, then you'd be worshipping me!



Ranma 1/2: New Challenges
Winds of Change Epilouge
Aftermath





Kenji was able to leave the hospital and return to school on
Wednesday. The Tendos and Saotomes were quick to welcome him back into
their home, and he went along with it, desperate to banish the feelings
of loneliness.

Though he couldn't miss the dark look Akane occasionally sent
his way.

A search party had returned to the mountain to look for
Konatsu, but after a week of looking, they still hadn't located his
body. If he was still alive, then he was somewhere else. It saddened
Kenji to learn of the loss. He hadn't known Konatsu that well, but the
fact that the kunoichi came after him spoke volumes of his character.

Wednesday was also the day of his first encounter with
Principal Kuno.

"Aloha!" greeted the strange man in the Hawaiian shirt at the
school gates as Ranma, Akane, and Kenji approached.

"Good morning, Principal Kuno," said Akane wearily.

"To what do we owe this honor?" Ranma asked, sarcastically.

The principal grinned, showing a huge mouthful of sparkling
white teeth. "I hear we be havin' a new student while da big Kahuna be
away, so," he whipped out a pair of shears, much to Kenji's surprise, "I
need be givin' him da haircut. It be school policy, yeah!"

"What?" Kenji stepped back a few paces. "You ain't touchin' my
hair!"

Luckily, Ranma stepped in. "Back off, before I decide I need a
morning workout!" He cracked his knuckles menacingly.

"You no interfere with da principal, or you be ejected from
school," Principal Kuno threatened.

Kenji won over his intial shock and walked up to Ranma. He had
been edgy and looking for a release for awhile now, and he felt beating
up on somebody would be just what he needed. "It's okay Saotome, I'll
deal with him."

"You sure man?" Ranma asked. Kenji nodded. "Okay, be careful.
He's not that good, but he's tricky. Just watch out for the shears and
exploding pineapples."

"Arigato," Kenji turned to the principal. "Okay, you can try to
cut my hair, but when you end up unconscious, you agree to leave me
alone from now on."

"Ha ha!" the principal laughed. "It no matter to da big Kahuna!
Bring it on, yeah!"

The principal attacked, razor shears aiming for his opponent's
head. Kenji easily ducked under the initial onslaught and lanced out
with an uppercut that clocked his opponents jaw up. A few more strikes
disarmed him of the electric razors, and a roundhouse sent him flying a
few feet away to land on his back.

"Well, that wasn't so hard," Kenji remarked.

"Kenji-san, look down!" came Akane's frantic cry.

Kenji's eyes dropped to his feet to see a pineapple sitting
there. A pineapple? Wait a minute, didn't Ranma say something about
exploding pine... He couldn't finish that thought as the ensuing
explosion sent him sprawling into a wall. Ouch!

Principal Kuno was instantly back on his feet. "Hahahaha! You
fall for oldest trick in da book! Now I be gettin' dat hair!"

Yuka and Sayuri walked up to Akane as the fight continued.

"So, what's the latest word on the new hunk?" Yuka asked. "You
didn't say he was a martial artist."

"Sorry, forget to mention it I guess," Akane replied. "But he's
got amnesia."

"Ooh, a cute guy who doesn't know who he is," Sayuri swooned. "I
could help him with that!"

"Sayuri-chan!" Yuka complained. "Aren't you currently going with
Daisuke-kun?"

Sayuri stuck her tongue out at her friend. "A girl can dream."

"Besides, I'm still single and so is he. Any other hangups,
Akane-chan?"

Akane didn't respond as she was still watching the scuffle.
Yuka didn't miss the sharp intake of breath from her friend as the two
combatants worked their way closer to the swimming pool, but she didn't
figure out what it meant. She and Sayuri followed Akane and the rest of
the student population as they headed over to the pool.

"Kenji, look out for the pool!" Ranma yelled. But it was too
late.

With a lunge, the principal crashed into the new student and
they both fell in. Principal Kuno surfaced first and climbed out,
waiting for his opponent. Kenji wasn't far behind, but he had to free
his now-lupine form from the school uniform and dog-paddle to the edge.

"What be goin' on?" The principal exclaimed. "Where go dat new
boy?" Kenji arrived back on land and shook his coat, spraying water
around. He then growled menacingly and advanced on the principal, who
laughed nervously. "Calm down, little puppy..."

The student population backed up at the sight of the wolf, and
the rumor mill went into motion. By the end of the day, it would be
known that the new student was a werewolf.

"So, you still want to date him?" Akane asked sarcastically at
Yuka. She didn't reply, but simply watched Kenji chase the principal out
of sight.





"So he's Jusenkyo cursed, too?" Sayuri asked asked at lunch.

Akane sighed. She knew Kenji wouldn't be able to keep his
secret for long around this school, but she was hoping it would've been
under better circumstances. "Yeah, it happened a few days ago. Any other
info and you'll have to ask him about it. I wouldn't feel right talking
about it."

"But he's not really dangerous, is he?" Yuka asked.

"No more than Ranma or myself."

Yuka tapped her fingers to her chin. "I guess I could give him
a try. He is still kinda cute, both as a man or a little puppy." She
laughed and the other two girls joined her.

"But he's a martial artist and you know what that means," Sayuri
commented. "In this town, they attract trouble. You better know what
you're getting yourself into."

"Well, here he comes now," Akane said.

Sure enough, Ranma and Kenji were coming to join them. Ranma
had taken after the small wolf when he chased the principal out of the
school. The two returned together once Kenji got some more clothes to
wear. The uniform he had on was left in the pool and needed to be dried.

"So Kenji-san, what happened to the principal?" Akane asked as
they sat down.

Kenji blanched and quickly dove into his lunch. Akane was back
to using -san, telling him he wasn't exactly back in her good graces. "I
don't want to talk about it," he said between bites.

Ranma missed it and laughed. "Oh come on, it was funny!" Kenji
gave him the evil eye, but Ranma continued to laugh.

"So what's so funny?" Yuka asked.

"If you don't tell `em, I will!" Ranma threatened. Kenji groaned
and nodded, but continued with his lunch. "Okay man." he turned to the
assembled group that now included Hiroshi and Daisuke. Daisuke and
Sayuri began to cuddle, but stopped when everyone else groaned.

"Well, I followed him as fast as I could," Ranma started. "And
it wasn't easy since that dog can move pretty fast. The pineapple freak
was screamin' and yellin'." Ranma began to chuckle. "I don't think I've
ever seen him that scared! Anyway, when Kenji finally caught up to him,"
Ranma paused at this point and leaned in, waiting until he had
everyone's attention. "He bit him."

A round of blinking took place as everyone stared at a
reddening Kenji. "I couldn't help it, all right!" he blurted. "I was
pretty angry and before I knew it, it happened. I don't know why I did
it."

A thought hit Daisuke. "Where did you bite him?"

Ranma burst out laughing again. "That's the best part!"

Hiroshi's eyes widened. "You didn't..."

Ranma calmed down some and sat back up. "Let's just say the
principal won't be sitting down for quite awhile."

A new chorus of laughter rang out as Kenji finished his lunch.
"Okay, you can have your laughs, I'll be leaving now." He stood up and
went to leave, when he felt a pair of hands holding onto his arm. He
looked down at the girl holding him.

"Oh, don't leave," Yuka said, pulling him back down. "We're not
making fun of you."

"Yeah, a whole lot more embarrasing things have happened to
Ranma," Akane mused.

Kenji sighed and sat back down. "What, aren't you just a little
disgusted at me?"

Yuka shook her head. "Nope, stranger things have happened
around here. I think you'll fit in." She smiled at him and Kenji blushed
a little. She's pretty cute, too.

"Say, isn't Kentaro's party at the end of the month?" Sayuri
chirpped in, changing the subject.

"Yeah, I think you're right," Yuka replied. "Though you're
supposed to bring a date and I haven't got one yet."

"Are you taking Akane, Ranma?" Hiroshi asked.

Ranma stopped eating and looked up to see everyone expectantly
waiting for his answer. To some dumb party? "What? Why would I want
to do something stupid like that?"

Akane turned red, steamed, and did that neat blue battle aura
thingy. "Ranma!"

"Uh, Akane... I ... Uh... I.. I mean... Eep!" His self
preservation instincts kicked in and he ran for safety as Akane
followed, waving around her trusty mallet.

"I guess that means yes," Yuka sighed.

Kenji did a double take. "How do you figure that?"

"Simple, because it always happens like this," she replied.
"Whenever something comes up like this, Akane will want to go with Ranma
and vice-versa, but Ranma says something, or something happens to make
Akane think he's going with someone else. Akane gets mad, chases Ranma,
whacks him, and somehow they end up going together. Happens like
clockwork."

Kenji shook his head. "I guess that shouldn't surprise me, with
what I've seen of them in the past couple of weeks."

"So, you going, Soyokaze?" Daisuke asked.

Kenji started at that, since he wasn't used to being called by
his family name. "Me? Well, uh, I don't know. I mean, I don't have a
date..."

"Perfect!" Sayuri butted in. "You don't have a date and neither
does Yuka-chan! You could go together!"

Kenji and Yuka looked at each other and she blushed.

"I don't mind, that would be nice..." Yuka stammered, then shot
Sayuri a look. Nobody noticed Hiroshi's face fall.

"Great!" Sayuri exclaimed. "Now that's settled!"

Kenji was about to protest, since he knew he would be leaving
and didn't want to get involved. But Yuka was looking happy, if a bit
embarassed.

Akane picked that moment to return.

"Everything settled between you and Ranma?" Yuka asked.

Akane had an strange glint in her eye. "Yep, we'll be seeing
you at the party!" she said ever-so-sweetly.






Somewhere else, the lower half of a figure hung from a tree. If
you listened closely, you could hear the quiet chuckle coming from him.

"She's still got it," Ranma mused to himself with a grin.

He then took the opportunity to chuckle some more.






"Well, I gotta go and do some business with Nabiki," Daisuke
said, standing up.

"Don't tell me you still owe the Ice Queen money, Dai?" Hiroshi
asked.

Kenji furrowed his brow. Something was buzzing in the back of
his head, but he couldn't figure out what.

Akane scowled at them. "Don't call my sister that! At least not
in my presence."

Ice Queen? Where... Then it hit him. `Next time you see
icequeen, thank her for me, for posting all your information on the
internet!' Nabiki... is the Ice Queen? His eyes flashed in anger.
Nabiki! She said she didn't trust me! He stood up.

"Daisuke-san, where is Tendo Nabiki right now?" Kenji asked.

"Where she normally is, in her corner in the cafeteria," he
responded. "Why?"

He began to walk off. "I have some business to discuss with her
also."

Akane glanced at her two female friends in worry.






"Tendo Nabiki."

"Well, I usually don't see you during my main business times,
Kenji-san," Nabiki said, turning in her chair. "What can I do for you?"

Kenji half-smiled, not happily. "Well now, that's the question,
isn't it?"

Nabiki frowned. "Is it just me, or am I detecting a little bit
of hostility here?"

"It's just you," Kenji replied, a cold wind beginning to blow.
"Because there's a lot of hostility here."

"What are you talking abo-"

Kenji lost it and punched the wall just beside her head,
cracking it slightly. "YOU SET ME UP!" The cafeteria was silent after
Kenji's outburst, but he was long past caring.

Nabiki was unfazed. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage.
What is it specifically that you think I did?"

Her calm and cool demeanor was ticking the amnesiac off even
more. "You posted my information online! Do you know what that means!?
That's how the Fire Lord found me!"

"Sounds to me like he was going to find you anyway," she
replied, her voice rising just a little. "And we had no clue as to who
you were. I was just trying to protect my family."

"Don't you GET IT?" Kenji screamed back at her, his face inching
closer to hers. "I was humiliated and tortured because of you! Don't you
care!? Your own father broke his leg coming after me! BECAUSE OF YOU,
KOUNJI'S IN A COMA!"

In his rage, Kenji barely registered that his other fist was
coming up.

"No, Kenji-kun, don't!" Akane yelled, running up to them.

"Stay out of this, Akane-SAN," Kenji snarled. "Your sister owes
me and I'm about to collect!"

"But she's not a martial artist!" Akane protested. "You can't do
this!"

"I said, STAY OUT OF THIS!" he yelled at her.

"It's okay, Akane," Nabiki said coolly. "I've got it under
control."

"But," Akane sputtered in surprise. "Nabiki..."

"Alright you delinquent!" came a new voice. "Release her at
once!"

"Now what!?" Kenji asked, exasperated, anger still coursing
through his veins. He turned his head to see... a small child? "Go away
little girl. This doesn't concern you." He didn't notice Akane step
back, nor Nabiki smile.

Hinako Ninomiya fumed and brandished a coin, to which Kenji
raised an eye. "Little girl!? You... You... delinquent! Happo Five-Yen
Satsu!"

What in the world...? was all Kenji could think as he suddenly
felt his strength and energy leave his body. He soon collapsed to the
ground, unconscious.

Akane glanced up to where Nabiki continued to smile. "Why
didn't it affect you sis?"

"Simple, I wasn't putting out any aggressive feelings or battle
aura."

The now full-grown Miss Hinako walked over to the drained husk
that was once Kenji. "Tendo Nabiki, are you all right?"

"Quite fine."

"Good. Then will someone take this delinquent to the nurse's
office?"

Akane stepped foreward. "I will."

Hinako nodded. "Very well. Be quick about it and return to
class." She left the cafeteria and every male in the room followed her,
drooling and quietly appraising the way her hips swayed when she walked.

"I'll give you a hand, sis," Nabiki said, stepping down to help
her sister lift the body.

"Nabiki?" Akane asked as they walked off. "Why? It looked like
he was going to kill you!"

She was silent for a bit while she looked at the body they
carried between them. "No. I'm starting to think Kasumi was right..."

Akane could only look at her strangely.






Kenji awoke and groaned. Great, where am I now?

"Good morning."

I know that smug voice. "What happened to me?" he asked.

"Simple," Nabiki replied. "You just met Hinako-sensei's unique
gift."

He opened his eyes, and beheld himself laying in a bed in the
nurse's office. Tilting his head revealed the middle Tendo sister
sitting beside him. He sighed. "Come to gloat?"

She smiled. "Of course."

"Why'd you do it?" he asked her.

"I told you. We didn't know who you were. It just a safe
business practice to gather as much information on you as I could. I had
no way of knowing that there was some bad guy after you, and neither did
you." She eyed him. "Or if you did, you didn't tell us."

Kenji closed his eyes and shook his head.

She stood. "Well, there you have it. You could also say that my
Dad broke his leg and Ukyo is in a coma because of you."

His eyes shot open. "That's not fair! I had no idea all that
stuff would happen!" Then his eyes widened in understanding and Nabiki
saw it. She had no idea either.

"There, you see?" she said.

He sighed. "Go away, Tendo."

She smiled again. "Be glad too." She began to walk out.

"One more thing."

"Hmmm?"

"I still don't like you."

She grinned at him. "I'm so glad."







After school, Kenji had recovered enough that he walked over to
the hospital to visit Ukyo, who was still in a coma. Ranma and Akane
were going to drop by later to visit, so he'd have some time to talk
with her alone.

He rode the elevator up to the 3rd floor, checked himself in at
the receptionist's desk and she allowed him to head to room #307. As he
opened the door and slipped inside, he could make out Ukyo's form laying
on the bed and breathing softly in the darkness. The sight stirred a few
pangs of emotion inside him, but he was at a loss as to describe what
that meant.

He left the lights off and made his way into a chair beside her
bed. The girl laying in the bed now, was the complete antithesis of the
lively girl who had hit him over the head with her spatula, and who he'd
enjoyed a good movie with.

"Ukyo-san?" he asked. Silence greeted him and he sighed. "Still
out of it, eh? I wish you come back to us. You're in this mess because
of me." He took hold of her hand and gazed into her face. "I've got a
few things to talk to you about, and I want your opinion." He laughed a
little to himself since he knew she wouldn't respond.

"First off, I should tell you I've been tricked into going to
this party with a girl named Yuka. Well, not exactly tricked. I mean,
she is kinda cute and Akane say she's nice. I just want to let you know
that, I didn't really want to go anyway, since I won't be here."

He let go of her hand and sat back in his chair. "That kinda
leads me to my second thing I wanna talk about." He reached into his
shirt and brought out the small amulet that was around his neck.
Somehow, he didn't lose it when he transformed in the pool. He rubbed it
slightly and it lit up, revealing a directional arrow that pointed
north.

"You see, I've decided to see where this amulet takes me. Maybe
I can learn something about my past. This not knowing will forever bug
me until I know what really happened to me and where I come from. Plus,
I told Akane-san that as soon as I had a clue about my past, I was
leaving." The light from the amulet died down and he replaced it in his
shirt.

"I... can't promise I'll come back. I'll at least try to visit
some time, I guess. Plus, after what I found out today about Nabiki,
makes me all the more eager to get out of this place." He sighed. "My
life just feels like it's in flux or something."

He sat up again and brushed a few strands of hair off of her
face. "Don't worry, I'll stay with you awhile in case you wanna say
something. After all, it's really my fault that this happened to you."
He sensed someone behind him and turned around to see Ranma and Akane
standing there. "How long have you two been there!?" he demanded,
nervously.

Akane face softened. "Not long. Don't worry, she'll come out of
this."

"Yeah, Ucchan's always been a fighter," Ranma added.

"Uh, arigato, I guess," Kenji said, a little relieved.

"So, you're really going to run away again?" Akane asked in a
voice that came out slightly harder than she intended.

Kenji inhaled sharply. "No."

"But, I thought I heard you..." she stated, confused.

Kenji stood up and walked to the window, looking out over the
buildings. "I have to leave. I can't explain it, but there's something
waiting for me out there. Depending on what I find, I might be back or I
might not." He chuckled quietly. "A journey to find myself, I guess. I
need to know who I am. Maybe it's not important to you, since you know
where you come from." He turned back around and headed to the door.
"Just don't try to stop me this time."

Ranma nodded. "Sure, I guess it's okay this time. I think I
understand."

Akane looked back and forth between the two men, her face
becoming increasingly concerned. "But..." she tried to think of
something.

Ranma shook his head. "Don't ya see, Akane? Before his life was
in danger, and that was somethin' we could help him with. We can't do
anything ta help him now."

She glanced back and forth one more time, then acquiesced. "Oh,
alright. But you better at least try to come back!"

Kenji nodded. "I'll try."

Ranma and Akane watched him leave, then started their own visit
with Ukyo.






Kenji started back to the dojo, while Ranma and Akane visited
their friend. So many thoughts swirled around in his brain, but not a
lot from more than a couple weeks ago. Who was he? Who were his family?
Where did he come from? These were questions he'd never be able to
answer unless he did something about it.

So upon his return to the Tendo house, he began to pack.

After spending one last night, Kenji his good-byes and headed
northward in the direction of his home. As he walked along, he couldn't
help but reflect on the twists his life had taken. So many questions and
unknowns assaulted his mind.

But one thing was clear: He was finally going home. For better
or for worse, he was going to try to settle with his past.





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

Author's notes:

If you've read this far, I thank you, that was more than I could do...
*Ahem*. At any rate,
C&C is much appreciated, so please SEND ME SOMETHING! I'LL EVEN TAKE
FLAMES!

I suppose this is also the part where I put down who I thank for all
this. Well, first of all I thank myself, without whose effort, this
great work would not have been possible. *grins*

I thank M. Khan for his pre-readin' efforts. He was pretty brutal in his
comments, but he helped me tremendously by pointing out plot holes.
Hopefully, they've all been fixed in this latest rewrite.

I thank the almighty Takahashi-Megami-sama, without whose genius mind,
we would not have the Ranma cast to abuse in the first place.

And lastly, I thank all the other great fanfiction writers with whose
example showed me what good Ranma fanfiction could be. And when I figure
that out, expect to see my work improve...

If you want me to thank you personally in this section, then CONTRIBUTE
SOMETHING! I could use some objective pre-readers badly...

Stay tuned for my next installment of Ranma 1/2: New Challenges, Wind's
Calling.