The question is why

“Where have you been?” Dan asked.

Bran shrugged, walking over to the couch and slumping down on it, throwing his legs up over the arm of it. “Downtown.”

He hadn’t told Dan about Rudolph. It was weird – he’d told the older man all about Daniel and hadn’t done it the other way around. If he mentioned him now though, he’d have to mention that fact. Bran didn’t feel like explaining that. Especially since he couldn’t explain his interest in the card player.

The one secret he’d kept from his best friend.

Dan grunted in response to his answer, satisfied enough with it. He tossed him over a soda. Bran caught it, making a face at the shaken can. He pointed it in Dan’s direction, miming opening it. Dan didn’t flinch and Bran didn’t follow through.

“Do you want to play cards?” Bran asked.

Dan rose an eyebrow. “Cards?”

“Yeah, come on. I want to see that brain of yours work, you giant.”

Dan was taller and broader of shoulder than him, though he was also much more book learned than Bran too. What Dan was good at and what he was terrible at surprised most people. Bran was too familiar with him to be surprised. But they hadn’t played cards since they were boys. Simple games, nothing like what Rudolph had taught him.

Maybe Dan would be good at this. Or not. Or maybe Bran wanted to do this to get a bit more practice in. Maybe he would surprise the gambler next time they saw each other.

Dan got up from his desk and moved over to the couch, shoving Bran upright as he sat down where Bran’s head just was. “Fine. What’s the game?”

“It’s called Time Stasis.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Me neither, before. I think it’s a newer one. Looked like fun though. I got the rules down.”

Bran didn’t feel guilty about keeping his acquaintanceship with Rudolph a secret from his best friend. Though his lack of keeping new things to himself should have been a sign that there was something odd about the fact he had.

The one secret.

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