"Good to see your on time." It's 8pm on the dot, and you're opening the door to a very irritated Levi. He pushes past you and walks in muttering.
"Tch, greetings and I still think this is ridiculous Y/N." He stops when he enters the living room and turns to look at you. "So what exactly are we doing here?"
"What we're doing here Levi, is to assess your emotional state and the impact it has on your job. I will be looking at you from various angles; your past and whatever else I deem necessary just to give you the short list that I'm fairly certain was explained to you in court."
"So basically you're here to annoy the ever loving shit out of me?" "I'm afraid so" "Tch."
"Tch, yourself. Your childhood is not in your files tell me about it." He starts speaking, but in exasperation you put your pen down, not bothering to write any of it down.
"Mom died when I was 4. Spent three days with her corpse. Got taken in by a guy named Kenny. He abandoned me. Aren't you going to write that down?" He asks sarcastically.
"Wow that has got to be the most pathetic answer I've ever gotten." you say, "tell me about your mom what you can remember." "She was prostitute. She was kind and loving. End of story".
Agitation is showing on his face and his fingers are digging into the arms of the chair in which he's sitting. With a grin, you get up and move over to where he's sitting.
You sit on the arm of the chair, and he looks at you in irritation. "Levi, how long do you want me up your ass? Because the longer you half ass play along, the longer I'm going to be unfortunately attached to your miserable hip."
He looks at you in shock. He's not used to being spoken to in that way. Sighing, he looks away. "We lived in filth and poverty, renting a room at the brothel in which she worked. But she did her best for me, and tried to shield me from it all as best she could."
"How did that make you feel then, and how does it make you feel now?" "I was always happy when she was feeling well, and when there weren't any male suitors in the room. Then I just felt afraid and scared for her. I was never really sure if they
were hurting her or not. Now, I just feel like life handed me a giant shit sandwich and forced me to eat it."
"Tell me about Kenny." "He's a vile and dangerous man, but he taught me what I needed to survive. Honestly, he kept a lot of who he was a mystery."
"Why did he leave?" "Don't know. Sick of caring for a miserable brat? I had gotten into a fight with another kid and won. I looked for him, thinking he would approve. All I saw was his back, walking away. That's the last time I saw him."
"And?" He sighs in resignation. " I always hated the man. Still do and I especially hated having to rely on him for so long." You continue to write on your pad of paper.
"What are you writing, exactly?" "Everything you told me. Whether you believe it or not all of it is important in some way. The most tellin statement I heard was approval. You were 'looking for approval'. Why?"
"Can I please go now?" He's getting angry again. "I'm afraid not. Can you tell me what your end of the day routine is like?"
Momentarily surprised by the subject change, he relaxes in his chair. Grabbing a coin out of his pocket, he starts rolling it dextrously across his knuckles; making it dance and pop up into the air before catching it and repeating the cycle.
"You're very good at that." You say, watching closely. He just shrugs, continuing his little routine.
"It calms me down." "Is it the act itself? Or the repetition of pattern?" He looks at you questioningly.
"I notice you manipulate the coin in a repetitive fashion. It doesn't deviate." Sighing, he puts the coin in his pocket. "I don't know. Maybe both."
"Fair enough, and also a very good de-escalating tool. Try implementing it more." You're both silent for a few more minutes, and he's about to ask to leave again when you speak.
"Your end of the day routine?" You prompt. "I don't really have one." "It's painfully obvious you don't want to be here, so-"
"That's not true! I want to be here, I just think it's ridiculous." "Well this ridiculousness is the sole reason you're here, in the exact place you just claimed you want to be in the first place."
He opens his mouth, then closes it again only to once again open it, only for nothing to come out. He must look like a landed fish, he thinks.
"Alright, your hour is up so-" "Wait. Only an hour? Can't we talk longer?" "Oh, but Levi I thought this was all ridiculous...."
You smile at his reddening face, and it only makes him redder. 'The hook drops in the water, worm dangling enticingly, the Levi-fish bites'. He thinks. 'Fuck, I feel like I'm laid bare (Naked) here and there's nothing I can do about it.'
"I just mean I feel like we did a lot of talking, but didn't resolve anything."
"things are not going to resolve themselves that quickly. Not things of this magnitude anyway. Look. I realize my line of questioning was strange, and we didn't touch on any one topic heavily.
All I was trying to do was fill some narrative holes. Believe me, if you think I was an annoying asshole tonight, wait until next time."
"I don't think you're an asshole..." His face is flaming up again. "Ah! But you do think I'm annoying! Nice. I only need one more thing from you before you go."
"Uuuugh, fuck. What now? My potty schedule?" "You know what Levi? Sure. That would be great. The way you act, I'm guessing you haven't shit in years." Your sarcasm actually causes the man to snort laughter, and you smile.
"How do you want to complete your 180 hours? One hour a day? Two? Once a week? You tell me." "How about once a year?" He asks with a grin.
"But you just got done saying in no uncertain terms that you didn't feel one hour was enough." "Fine. Two hours, three days a week. See how badly I want to be with you?"
Your eyebrow raises at this statement, but you say nothing. You don't have to. He's doing a fine job embarrassing himself. No need to add to it.
'Why the fuck did I say it like that? That's not what I meant at all!' Feeling uncomfortable, he stands and prepares to leave. You follow him to the door and place your hand on his shoulder. He pulls away, with only a barely discernible clenching of his jaw.
"You didn't do too badly today. It's not easy to talk to a stranger, I get that." "You don't feel like one." He says, and turns to walk away.