You'll Never Walk Alone

Conan looked outside. It was pouring buckets. He was stuck inside. On top of that, it was cold because he couldn't reach the switch to turn on the heater. Kogoro wasn't home, probably out at a bar. There was no milk or beer in the fridge. In fact, the fridge was empty. Ran had left to the grocery store to stock up and had left Conan home alone so he wouldn't catch a cold. He'd put up a good fight against staying but Ran's maternal feelings wouldn't budge. He hated having Ran out of his sight, or more accurately alone.

Ran looked at the food in the cart. She went to the cashier and paid for it. Sixty dollars on what would be gone in a couple of days. She sighed and picked up the bags. She wouldn't be able to open the umbrella but she had to get home soon. She didn't want to leave Conan alone too long. So waiting for the rain to thin wasn't an option. After walking out, a few minutes on her way she had the strongest sense of déjà vu. She'd been in a similar situation before. The only thing missing was Shinichi.

She'd been walking home from the grocery store in the rain, with her hands too full to use her umbrella. She was getting very wet and tired and then coming, more like running, her way with and umbrella was Shinichi. He stopped in front of her.

"Ahh Ran! I found you!"

"What?"

He got her under his umbrella, "Wow, you're wet. Here let me help you," he said as he took some of her bags.

"How'd you find me? No one was home to tell you where I was."

Shinichi took a breath, "Oh well I went in, saw no one was home, and noticed the place was clean."

"What are you implying?"

"Nothing, except your Dad is always drinking, so I looked in the fridge, saw it was empty, and so naturally I thought you'd be at the grocery store."

"I'm sure I locked that door."

"Uhh no... it was open," he assured Ran.

She raised an eyebrow but let it slide.

They started walking to her house but stopped a block short.

"What's that song playing, Shinichi?"

"Uhh I don't know but it's from across the street, c'mon."

He grabbed her hand as they ran across the street. When they were on the sidewalk they found the song coming from an old man's boom box at a newspaper stand.

The song was in English.

"Can you understand it?" he asked her.

"A little."

"Excuse me sir," Shinichi said to the old man.

"Uhh... yeah what can I do you for?"

"Can you start that song playing from the beginning?"

"Oh yeah, sure, no problem."

"Oh and I'll take a newspaper too okay?" said Shinichi as he set down some money and picked up a paper.

The song started playing.

"When you walk, through the storm,

Hold your head up high,

And don't be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm,

There's a golden sky,

And the sweet silver song of love..."

"You know that saying about after having dark times everything comes out better?" Ran nodded. "Well the singer goes one step farther and adds the sweet silver song of love to the golden sky at the end of a storm."

Ran in actuality understood every word but liked Shinichi's explanations.

"Walk on, through the wind,

Walk on, through the rain,

Though your dreams be tossed and blown,

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart

And you'll never walk alone..."

Shinichi looked at Ran, "And so as you're going through those tough times walk on and you'll never walk alone as long as you have hope in your heart." He smiled and blushed a little.

"Thank you sir!" And Shinichi and Ran went on their way.

"So did you like it Ran?"

"It's a pretty song; it was nice not listening to it alone."

"Uhh, yeah. You'll never walk alone." Shinichi smiled more. With me around, he thought.

Ran thought of something, "So, Shinichi, why were you looking for me?"

"Oh, I just wanted to see you and how you were."

"You saw me yesterday."

"Oh, yeah... well I don't like leaving you alone," he said as he blushed.

"Well, that's good because otherwise I'd be very wet right now."

"Yes, it's nice not to walk alone isn't it?"

"Yes," Ran smile warmly at him.

She walked to the canopy of a building a block near her house. Then she realized she wasn't more than six feet from the newspaper stand. And the same song was playing...

Oh Shinichi, she thought, where are you? You've left me alone, and I have no idea how you are, where you are and when I'll see you again.

Tears began to mix with the rain on her face.

"Shinichi, you've given me no reason to hope." Then she looked up.

Conan peered outside the window, still no sign of Ran. She should have been back by now, he thought, I think I'll go look for her.

He went and found his hooded jacket and an umbrella and headed out the door. He walked down the steps. Then found himself jogging to the end of the block. I've done this before, when I was myself. When the crossing signal was lit, he took off running. If he had been his old self, it wouldn't have taken as long but the short legs only gave him so much distance.

He saw Ran up ahead under a canopy carrying groceries.

She probably couldn't use her umbrella. Why does she look so...

Then he heard the song.

It didn't take a genius to realize what was bothering Ran.

"Ahh Ran! I found you!"

Ran looked up completely surprised at Conan. "What?"

"You're really wet. Here give me some of the bags," he took some of her bags.

"Conan, I told you to stay home."

"Well, you were taking too long so I came to find you."

"Oh well, come on let's go home."

"Just wait a minute Conan I want to finish listening to this song."

"Sounds like its over," he frowned.

"Oh, well."

"Do you want to hear it?" He didn't wait for an answer; he went to the old man at the stand. "Excuse me mister, can you play that song over?" And I'll take today's newspaper, if you don't mind." He placed the money on the counter.

"The old man smiled, "Okay kid."

"Thank you mister," and with that he went back to Ran.

Though his cute kid politeness was an act; his smile to Ran was sincere.

The song started and they listened to it.

"Conan, do you understand the song?"

"Not too much," he lied.

"Well it's about love, and even if some bad times come at the end of the storm there's a golden sky and a sweet silver song of love. And so during those times you should walk on with hope ad you won't walk alone..." a few tears streaked her face.

Conan took her hand, "You're never alone Ran. So don't cry. Hold your head up high and don't be afraid. You'll never walk alone."

Ran looked at him unsure what to think until he smiled. It was so simple and reassuring that she had to smile.

"Come on Conan let's go home."

She folded the umbrella, helped Conan get a hold of his bag, adjusted hers, and held onto his hand.

The rain wasn't so cold and hard anymore, and the sun was poking through the clouds.

The storm must almost be over thought Ran and she smiled to herself.

-Finis-