* Jeff_Levitt knocks quietly, and stands back from the door, wringing his hands. He looks like he hasn't been sleeping much. There are circles under his eyes, though he has remembered to make himself more or less presentable. He even remembered shoes this time. "It's me."
* Soze is also smoking, since there's nothing like a nice, oral fixation to get him through the day. He hasn't slept very well since last night either. "Okay," he says, and then he opens the door, stepping back so that Jeff could come inside.
* Soze notices the exhaustion in his eyes. "Hi."
* Jeff_Levitt steps in, his nose twitching from the strong tobacco smell, a pointed reminder that he hasn't had a cigarette in five months. He nods to Soze, "Hey," and he takes the empty chair, lacing his fingers together. "Look um...I wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday."
* Soze takes the other chair. This isn't an interrogation, he tells himself. This is a friend. "I wanted to apologize, too. It's why I asked you here. I could have acted a lot better."
* Jeff_Levitt rests his elbows on his knees and sighs. "I tried to talk to Rassilon about...what he did to you." He hesitates a moment, then just shakes his head. It's not like what he's about to say is a surprise. "He doesn't like you, and he doesn't trust you. I know you know that. I've tried to talk to him, but..." he trails off.
Soze: "It's okay," he says, even though it isn't, really. It's obvious enough from the hesitation in his voice. The way he lowers his eyes. He doesn't want to alienate Jeff by speaking out against Rassilon because, after all, it's no way to gain an ally. "I guess he was only worried about you."
Jeff_Levitt: "No, it's not," Jeff says. "Not really. Yeah, he's worried about me, and he's pissed off. His whole race is telepathic. He doesn't really get the idea that some of us like to keep our thoughts to ourselves. It shouldn't have happened. I'm sorry."
Soze: "It's nothing you need to apologize for. Not you personally." He smiles briefly "So, like I said, it's okay. Are you okay? You look exhausted."
Jeff_Levitt: "I'm trying to put my life back together back home. You know, back in New York. I managed to keep myself from getting declared dead at least, but my author biographies are starting to use phrases like 'eccentric recluse.' Plus Ras is sick from whatever was in Gabriel's mind on top of that."
Soze: "He went inside Gabriel's mind?" he asks, brow furrowed.
* Jeff_Levitt nods. "Yeah. While you were unconscious. He was a pawn. The place was screwing with his mind. Brainwashing him."
Soze: "A mental web," he says, remembering what he heard last night. "Like what happened to us."
* Jeff_Levitt tries not to shudder and nods. "Exactly," he says. "Only this one was controlled. A man named Andre Zeller."
Jeff_Levitt: "Ras called him the Spider."
* Soze takes a drag of his cigarette. This was the man who wanted him dead. "Does Rassilon know where to find him?"
Jeff_Levitt: "I don't know. He seemed to know who he was though."
Soze: "I wonder if it's someone around the Nexus. But who knows. Rassilon seems to know a lot of people."
Jeff_Levitt: "I can ask him, I suppose." He sounds doubtful, however.
Soze: "Don't worry about it. I-- I also want to apologize about... you know. I should have told you what was going on. Out of everyone, I should have told you."
* Jeff_Levitt nods slowly, chewing his lip. "I honestly don't know what to think, Keyser," he says. "Where that thing came from...it's *dangerous.* You wouldn't have got it if he didn't think it would fuck you up in some way. That's how demons *work.*" He sighs and rubs his temples. "But...at the same time, it got me out. And it's probably the *only* thing that could have gotten me out."
* Soze doesn't immediately say anything. He just nods his head a few times, eyes down at his cigarette. He knows how demons work-- how the gift -has- to be dangerous somehow-- but he's sure he can control it and the need is so -strong.-
Soze: "Do you still have it?" he asks, looking up.
Jeff_Levitt: "Yeah. Not with me though. It's not the kind of thing I want to carry around."
* Soze bites his lip. "I had it with me for a month, Jeff. I'm fine."
Jeff_Levitt: "You're not Catholic," Jeff says dryly.
* Soze gives a short, weak laugh. "And I'm sure Rassilon doesn't want me to keep it."
* Jeff_Levitt clears his throat, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably. "Right," he says. "He's still pissed about the last time you used it."
Soze: "And you agree with him," he says, watching Jeff.
Jeff_Levitt: "I lost control, Keyser. I almost *killed* him."
* Soze remembers. It's like a distant dream, but he remembers. "We would've been fine if he didn't try to stop us." He keeps his voice patient. "You know this. He insulted our judgment-- said I was no better than the place that took you-- and he set us off. It had nothing to do with the amulet."
* Jeff_Levitt fidgets uncomfortably. "Maybe so," he admits, reluctantly. "But that doesn't make it any less dangerous. Please Keyser, don't get me wrong, I'm grateful as hell to you. And yeah, that was what got me out of there. I know you were trying to help me think, and it worked for a little while. But that's enough, all right? I don't need it to think anymore, so it's better that we just leave it alone before it does something to one of us."
Soze: "Don't you miss it, though?" he asks, frowning. "The old days, I mean. Don't you miss the... the clarity? Seeing things from two different angles? I mean, Jeff, this is like before, only we have it under our -control.- Think of everything we could do."
Jeff_Levitt: "You *miss* it?" Jeff can't keep the surprise out of his voice.
Soze: "I see the advantages," he corrects. "I think that completely discarding this thing isn't a very smart idea. Think: what if one of us goes missing? What if one us gets sick like last time? What if we need to absolutely, one-hundred percent trust the other? Jeff, this thing guarantees that you have an ally no matter what."
Jeff_Levitt: "I need to share a brain with someone to be an ally, Keyser?" he says, raising his eyebrows. "Look, I'm not going to throw it away. I think that's even more dangerous than keeping it around." He pauses. "But...I have to admit you have a point. It *could* be useful in certain situations. But is it really worth the *risk?*"
Soze: "What risk?" he asks, his patience ebbing away. "Jeff, everything so far has been working perfectly. It's all been great."
Jeff_Levitt: "In other words, it hasn't bitten you, and by extension *me,* in the ass *yet.*" Jeff's own patience is beginning to wear thin. "You are *not* this naive, Keyser. Demons don't give gifts from the kindness of their hearts. They do it to cause pain and spread chaos, and they have no problem disguising it as something benevolent."
Soze: "I think both of us have dealt with a hell of a lot worse." In other words, he doesn't care. He -needs- this, and by extension, you need it too, Jeff. Don't you see how important this is? He takes a rushed drag of his cigarette.
Soze: "I mean, it's -saved your life.-"
Jeff_Levitt: "I'm not *denying* that," Jeff says quickly, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Look, Keyser, why is this so important all of a sudden?"
* Soze laughs like he can't believe it, like Jeff is the one who's lost his grip-- not him. "Maybe because your boyfriend turned me into a zombie last night because of it."
* Jeff_Levitt flinches so hard Keyser might have slapped him. "He...he was trying to protect me." He says, but it sounds lame even to him. He drops his eyes to the floor.
Soze: "I know, Jeff, I've heard it, but that doesn't change the facts." He leans forward. "I'm your friend. I've known you a full year before you've even said Rassilon's name. You don't even listen to me anymore."
Jeff_Levitt: "Jesus *Christ*, did it not occur to you that I actually fucking care what happens to you? That *maybe* I'm worried about what this thing is doing to you? Christ, you sound like a goddamn addict right now, you know that?"
Soze: It's Soze's turn to look like he's been slapped in the face. It's only for a second, though, only until the anger sets in and washes his expression into a cold, hard glare. "Jeff, please."
* Jeff_Levitt presses his lips together and shakes his head. "I'm sorry Keyser, but until I figure out *exactly* what this thing does, hidden costs and all, it's staying with me."
* Soze doesn't speak at first-- he only watches Jeff with those hard eyes. Quiet. Considering. "How are you going to do that?"
* Jeff_Levitt runs a hand through what little hair he has, looking even more tired. "I don't know yet," he admits. "But the Nexus has *someone* who knows about this sort of thing, I'm sure of it. Maybe Nick might know something."
Soze: "You don't trust me to keep it safe." The glare melts away. Now he only looks tired.
Jeff_Levitt: "L-look, just...let me look into this, okay? I just think this might be affecting you in some way you're not realizing. That's all I'm saying..."
Soze: "They're not going to find anything," he says, standing up. "I'm telling you, they're not going to find anything."
Jeff_Levitt: "And if that's the case, I will very happily admit to being wrong," he says, almost pleading. "But I need to be *sure.*"
Soze: For a moment, he looks like he's about the lash out at Jeff, his entire body tightening but then he closes his eyes and exhales, turning away. He holds his cigarette to his lips. "I have given you a perfectly valid argument. I--" Another breath. "Never mind. I should get back."
* Jeff_Levitt flinches again when Soze tenses, but he doesn't quite move away. He stands up instead. "Yeah," he says. "I should too."
Soze: "Let Rassilon know that I don't want to keep fighting." He doesn't look at Jeff. "We have enough to deal with otherwise."
Jeff_Levitt: "I'll let him know." He sounds relieved.
* Soze slips out his PINpoint. "I'll be seeing you, then."
* Jeff_Levitt nods. "Yeah," he says. "You too."
* Soze disappears.