Al settles into closer company with Gil and, as the year draws on, finds the key he needs—if he can use it.
He frowned down at the sheaf of papers in front of him, the delicately colored and carefully labeled concentric circles and the dissertation below on their interrelations. "All these accounts and explanations… they all talk about joy," he murmured.
"Of course." Alec-san blew on a carefully copied page to dry it and pulled up a fresh sheet of paper, turning to the next page. "They speak of the pathways to completion, to perfection, if you will."
Al frowned some more, tapping his pencil against his chin. If that was so, then why was it only fear that he remembered?