ON YOUR EMERALD GRAVE
He wonders who is going to miss her. He can't think of anyone – she thought that bastard loved her, but he put a bullet in her brain for the money, so not him, no. Her husband is long gone and is unlikely to know, and she was always a trophy to him anyway. Her stepsons – stepson, singular now – always hated her; Keith's seen the kid walk around completely unaffected by how his stepmother had vanished, even before she died. Of course, he was dealing with other stuff there, so it wasn't the most objective of circumstances.
He can't comprehend how this happened – he's a good PI, he's always been a good PI. He's never been that stupid; why the hell did he put his trust in a Fitzpatrick not to hurt the woman who loved him? Kendall wasn't a fantastic person (or even a good person, really), but she was human and she didn't deserve what happened to her. All she wanted was to run off with her boyfriend and her dead stepson's eight million, and to live her life on some cliche tropical island and never bother anyone again.
Maybe he felt guilty – when Kendall was alive, he spent so long thinking she was pure evil, that she had crashed that bus for the life insurance money on her stepsons (wow, that's ironic). He was wrong, and missed the whole truth; he had vague inclinations something was wrong, put he never connected everything to the crash. In the aftermath, it struck him as equally funny and sickening how damn obvious Woody had been about the whole thing – so many boys had quit that team under suspicious circumstances, a few of them had committed or attempted suicide later, and everyone knew Woody's own son was a trainwreck. How were they all so stupid?
Kendall hadn't a thing to do with the crash, apart from her family-by-marriage ties. She had that eight million dollar painting for a reason, after all. The whole world blames the Casablancas family for not figuring out the whole thing sooner, and maybe they had a point. Maybe Kendall was sick of the judging looks she got everywhere in Neptune, but then again, she had always been judged in this town and never really seemed to care. He's not sure if it was genuine or not – he's spent a lot of time acting like he doesn't care what this town thinks of him, and he's never sure if he's being honest about that, let alone someone else.
Lamb had called it his fault, because of the thing with Ed Doyle, and Keith had spent months trying to prove him wrong. It was easier given the bomb, so he didn't have to think about it much. He had been right in the end; that bus had gone off the cliff without anything to do with him, and that was that. He was in the clear, but suddenly Kendall is dead in the middle of nowhere, and that one is his fault. Maybe it's karma, for wanting to prove himself innocent for the sake of pride – what, she died just to teach him a lesson? Hold on, God, that's not fair.
He can't think how to explain it to Veronica – he might end up lying to her, which he does far more than he'd like. Veronica was always the one who pushed him into not giving up; even when he just wanted to let Lilly's case rest and live as normal a life as possible – which he hated himself for, because Lilly was a girl who deserved justice, but he was tired – she insisted, bringing up new evidence and making him pay attention. She did all the real investigating, and even as he was (quite rightly) terrified for her safety, he was more or less okay with it, because it needed to be done and he just couldn't. Veronica figured it out, like she figured the crash out – she was Miss Superstar Detective, and Keith wasn't sure he liked what it was making off her. He was tired of wondering whether or not she was going to get herself killed.
It used to be the other way round – he was a cop, and the big struggle for a cop's family was whether or not they'd someday get the call; their loved one dead in the line of duty. He used to have nightmare about his own funeral, where Veronica and Lianne would bawl their eyes out for him. Oh god, Lianne. He was already stupid when it came to her, he knew that, but it was love so things were different. Celeste Kane told him how ignorant he truly was; how, if he was really such a great detective, he would have noticed what was 'going on right under his nose.' He can't say he knew, but he can't say he was clueless either – he had suspicions; late nights, odd calls, et cetera. As a PI, he recognizes all those signs with crystal clarity now, but he tried to push them away back then. Lianne was his wife and he trusted her, right? She wouldn't betray him like that.
In the end, Lianne had just been another thing the Kane family had taken from him – Jake had always been the one she loved, and Celeste and had driven her out of town with those threatening photos of Veronica (who waited until everything was over to tell him about them). Keith doesn't think Celeste would ever have actually done anything to Veronica – the woman is cold and callous, but not heartless – but it doesn't make the whole thing better. Doesn't make it hurt less, even if he knows he had really lost Lianne years before that.
The Kane family had rounded on him in their attempt to keep the truth about Lilly's death suppressed (and Keith knows they were only trying to protect Duncan; he can't even say he wouldn't do the same if it was Veronica), calling him deluded. It became his mission to prove them wrong, even months (over a year now) since he was proved right. He tried to figure out the truth about Lilly's death, and then when the situation started to sink in, he chose to accept the status quo. Veronica would never let him just keep doing that, because Lilly was her best friend. She needed justice.
And they had done the right thing; found Lilly's true killer. They even freed Jake and Celeste of the burden of thinking their son had killed their daughter, and they were never thanked for it. But somehow, the whole thing got screwed up – Logan is an idiot – and Aaron walked out of there, a free man. Sure, a day or so later he had been dead, but that didn't make the whole thing better. Didn't undo the once and for all proof, that Keith couldn't get justice, or keep his life in place.
He spent so long trying to do the right thing, to help people, to bring justice to those who hurt people – he wanted to be sheriff again, even after he lost the election. If he could get that place of respect and trust back, it would mean that they – the Kanes particularly, but Neptune in general as well – hadn't taken it all from him, not in the long run. But he fucked that up spectacularly when it came to Kendall, and now he's got a priceless Van Gogh under his arm that he shouldn't. Like he said before, maybe it's karma.
He can't think of who will miss Kendall, so he can't think of who will be angry at him for getting her killed. He kind of wishes he knew there was someone wanting him to pay. He so sick of this; of trying to do the right thing and make sure he's doing in for the right reasons, of having to judge and investigate every little thing, of being held accountable when anything goes wrong. He wishes it would all just let go; let him live a normal life and not be responsible for everything – it's been years; has he not done enough yet?
Veronica asks him what's going on and he decides it's not going to happen.