She sees him fall, and she knows that by all means her world should shatter. But the walls remain intact, and the floors stay spotless, clean of blood. At first people stare in shock, and then people start to scream. Shining gold and silver circles fall to the floor, and a select few individuals gather them up, even as their faces show the fear that—they will burn, or melt in their hands, or—it doesn't matter. They are as afraid as anyone else, only their greed shines stronger than the others'.

Like his did.

His faults were like beacons, a dark lighthouse on a darker sea, some giant colossal leviathan she'd caught glimpses of here and there, but never truly seen. Until tonight, tonight when he'd finally unveiled his master plan, the lighthouse keeper's convoluted plot to keep the light alive. He'd meant to kill at least one. He'd succeeded.

And then he'd failed.

She stares at the pyramid of stairs in the middle of the floor, where the shining circles are most concentrated, and she refuses to acknowledge the pricking at the back of her eyes. She will not cry for him.

She always knew he was a dark taskmaster, an even darker soul, but—dear gods, she'd never thought it would have come to this. She'd never wanted it to come to this. She'd wanted that mysterious figure in the rain, that slight man with the lantern in his hand opening the door of the looming striped column for her, waving her in before him with a small smile on his face; she'd never wanted the monster the lighthouse keeper had become at the time of the beacon's lighting.

She wants him back, but that's impossible, of course. The lighthouse keeper died long ago, and the Lovecraftian water horror died tonight.

She wonders if she ever knew the man.

She thinks—hopes—she did, once. If nothing else, that one night in the lighthouse with him had proved that he'd still had some shred of humanity, back then. It was only a quick glimpse, would have been missed in the blink of an eye, but she knows she saw it, if only for half a moment. They'd stopped before they had climbed the ladder to light the beacon, and the top room had been—it was—

She knows she will never forget it, and it is why she is still frozen in place as the sirens approach and people flee the scene. She will never, ever forget it.

The images from that day sear themselves onto her mind forever, overlaid on the scene before her, and she lets the tears fall.