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“But what if he doesn’t like it?” Joe looked back around the doorframe at the lone person in the library.

“It’ll go fine.” Francoise followed his gaze. “You won’t know unless you try, right?”

“I know, but…”

Jet snorted, pushing away from the wall to clap a hand on Joe’s shoulder. “You’re not going to find out just standing here staring at him.” The supportive hand turned into a firm shove. “Go on, lover boy.”

“We’ll wait for you by the side door,” Francoise called, and the two of them were gone down the hall.

“Traitors,” Joe muttered after them. He turned back to the library, only to see he’d gained some attention. “I, uh. Hey Tsutomu.”

Tsutomu waved in greeting, motioning an invitation towards the chair opposite him. Joe shook his head slightly, making sure he was facing Tsutomu as he spoke.

“Thanks, but I can’t stay long. Junior’s picking us up soon. I just wanted to, uh, give you this.” He dug through his backpack and tried to ignore Tsutomu’s surprised look when he slid a red envelope across the table. “And, uh.” He could feel his face flush as he carefully signed the words Mr. Kozumi had helped him learn before turning and darting out of the library. “Okay, see you tomorrow!”

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