House arrives late on Friday morning, to find his new fellows waiting on him and his desk chair in two large pieces and four small ones. The seat has been removed from its base, and the four bolts are lined up neatly on the desk.

Taped to House's computer monitor are two blurry snapshots of the Scene of the Crime: Lucas, lying in an undignified tangle on the rug, looking shocked and then confused at the sudden collapse of the chair. House's oversized tennis ball sits a few feet from his side.

"So," House begins.

"I took the photos," says Kutner, jumping up with all the eagerness of a five-year-old who knows the answer, "but it wasn't me."

"Of course it wasn't," House agrees. "That would have been done by someone I can't fire." He's out his door and bursting through Wilson's in a matter of seconds.

.


.
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"You got the wrong guy," House gloats. He slaps the printed pictures atop whatever boring form Wilson's filling out.

Wilson barely glances at them. "I watched it happen," he says, turning his computer monitor so House can see the video feed from the camera hidden somewhere on House's shelves. "You really do think everything's about you, don't you?"

"Since it was my chair you rigged, that seems reasonable."

Wilson sets down his pen and looks up at him. "You," Wilson says, "are bright enough to inspect your chair before you sit. He isn't."

"You mean ..." Good God. This thing has turned out better than House could have imagined. Not only did Wilson retaliate, he went for a bonus round. "You really are my hero."

Folding his hands behind his head, Wilson leans back a little, smiling that softly evil smile. "He likes to pretend he's you. He should face some of the hazards of that, don't you think?"

"He's an idiot." He really is, but Wilson bothered to prank him, and ... that might not be a good thing after all. "You don't ... like him?"

"He annoys me. Fire him, House."

"I will, as soon as I find him. Answer the question."

"He's my new best friend and we're already planning a road trip to L.A. What part of 'fire him' did you miss? C'mon," he says, getting up and switching off the incriminating video image on his monitor. "You're buying my lunch today."

House merely smiles, following him out the door. Sure, he'll buy. He'll even do it cheerfully, just to watch the suspicions and theories begin to grow like kudzu in Wilson's brain. House will encourage those wicked vines, fertilize them, and then ... he's not sure what then, but something.

He'll figure it out over lunch.

.

~end~