A/N: NightWalker: Midnight Detective belongs to Kiyori Sasano, Ryota Yamaguchi, and the folks at U.S. Manga. No copyright infringement intended. The following is my own alternative ending to the fourth night: "The Golden Dawn," inspired by that 'third alternative' from Night 6, one of my favorites, "The Bottom of a Well," and a bit someone mentioned off a Doctor Who Loch Ness episode (people do use hypnosis to slow the heart rate and save lives). And, yes, the title gives me away as a Viper fan. - whaddya expect (to quote Joey Wheeler). This is my first NightWalker fic. Lucky me. ^_^

Summary: Alternate ending to The Golden Dawn...

Red yellow sunflower, orange, navy blue hydrangea...
Moonlight drifting on the waves,
Moonlight in the perfume...
I'll swim alone in the dark ocean.
I'll run away alone in the dark sky if I can meet you,
Red yellow sunflower, orange, navy blue hydrangea
Drifting on the waves....

""

Split Decision
Evil Overlady

"Riho!" Tatsuhiko Shido held the young brunette girl in his arms. Blood flowed down her bare chest. The pregnant woman he'd rescued, Megumi Otsuka, held back, uncertain of what to do.

Shido turned slit eyes at her. "Get a doctor!" he snapped.

Megumi looked at him wide-eyed, took a few steps back, and rushed off.

"Guni, where's Yayoi?"

The tiny green imp hovered above him. "NOS's got her. Is Riho...?"

"I don't know." Shido cut her off. I hope not. Dear, God... Don't put me in this position. Don't make me choose...

"Mr. Shido..." the young girl's voice came weakly.

She has so much ahead of her... So much light... Don't do this...

"I'd... like to ask a favor..."

"No, Riho, don't say it." I know what you're going to ask... I won't give Cain that pleasure!

There was an alternative... "Calm..." Shido said softly, holding pressure to her wound. "Calm... Feel your heartbeat. Slow it, slow the blood flow..."

"Shido-" Guni started in alarm.

This will work. It has to. I just need to buy enough time for the ambulance to show. "Calm," he repeated.

Slowly, her blue eyes closed.

He held her tight. "My sunflower... Your bud is closed but it shall open again. I will not let you walk into the dark, not while I still have a human heart..."

The sirens got closer and stopped outside the church.

"This way," Megumi yelled.

How'd they get her so fast...? he started to wonder then remembered with a mixture of regret and dark humor. Oh, yeah... Stumpy...

How is Yayoi going to explain this...?

* * *

Riho Yamazaki rested peacefully in the hospital bed after a successful blood transfusion.

Riho had given him blood once before when Yayoi charged after the Stardom Night Breed on her own. He knew both their blood types by taste, fortunately for Riho. It bought the doctors the extra precious seconds they needed to save her life...

That could've been bad... To let Riho die a short but peaceful life or continue on in darkness...

Shido shuddered at the thought.

A high heel fell at the doorway behind him. Yayoi... He'd recognize that perfume from a mile away... "How'd it go?"

"It could've gone worse... You're not going to tell me where you stashed Ms. Otsuka, are you..."

Shido gave a toothy smile. "Trade secret."

"But you're convinced she wasn't responsible for those slayings."

"Not entirely," he told her honestly. "The important thing is they've stopped, and Megumi survived her pregnancy."

Yayoi tightened her lips. "To small victories..."

He'd never seen her so ruffled up.

The detective stumbled into the hospital room and stood beside Riho's bed. "Riho... I shouldn't have left her alone at the office, not after that stunt Cain pulled..."

"We both made mistakes," Shido told her. "The important thing is Cain's dead. We don't have to worry about him anymore."

Violet eyes turned his way beneath auburn brows. "How can you be so sure? You've come away from worse scrapes, and he's so much more powerful than you are..."

Shido wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. "If it comes to that, we'll be ready for him this time..."

She gripped his hand and lay her head on his shoulder.

"Yayoi..." He snuggled her and stopped. "Yayoi?"

Guni emerged from his lavender hair on his other shoulder and grabbed his ear for support. "She's asleep, dimwit... What'd you expect? It's been a long night for all of us."

"Hm..." Shido helped the NOS agent into one of the guest chairs and straightened, looking sidelong with golden eyes at his green companion. "Did you happen to see which way it is to the blood bank?"

Guni sighed and pointed. "C'mon, I'll show you."

He left the two women to rest, his blue hydrangea and his yellow sunflower. He closed the door behind him.

This was it... This was the life he chose... He would renew his vow... to never harm another human being... ever again.

The End