AN: I'm changing the time line from the show by a few days, speeding things up.
"Go to sleep," Kutner demanded, maybe an hour later, and ran a hand through my hair. He had successfully convinced me t lay down, take a coupe pills; he'd even put an arm around my shoulder, and made me to put his favorite show on the television, but I was determined to stay awake. Although I don't know why that was. "I'll still be here when you wake up."
"That's what I'm afraid of," I whispered, tiredly. He made the puppy dog eyes again. "Don." He sort of nodded, trying to look like he usually did. Now his hand moved down to my shoulders, rubbing in circles.
"Look, Greg, if you don't want me here, I can go back. Of course, they'll have to send someone else, and you barely like me, let alone—I don't even know who they'd send," he admitted, like a toddler after a cookie.
"Was that crappy attempt to threaten me, or a crappy attempt to try and get me to compromise with you," I asked, and let out a small yawn, despite my best efforts to cover it up.
"The second one. I just don't know who you like except for Wilson, and he's not dead. So…" I turned my attention back to the TV, but had no idea what was happening, and decided to change stations. Some cop show was just starting. "Uh—I don't think you should be watching this," he whined, as a shadowy figure shot some woman in a mini-skirt. Three blasts. She fell to the ground, blood everywhere. I checked my watch, tiredly, 3:00 AM. "I'm surprised you didn't throw that away. Sentimental, old fool." I rolled my eyes. "Come on, just switch back to cartoons. I think Family Guy is on. Watch that."
"Make me," I ordered unable to prevent another yawn. On screen two detectives were leaning over the body. I blinked a couple of times. He whispered something stupid like, just relax, and let me take care of everything. The next thing I knew, they were trying to get a hold of a suspect but he was nowhere to be found. I remember thinking, what the hell is wrong with this episode; doesn't make any sense. I blinked again; they were involved in an intense interrogation. I half paid attention, closing my eyes, but that's the last thing I remember for a while. I slept for so long that sun was going down through the window behind us. "How long was I out for," I asked groggily. Kutner smiled, and kissed my head. "Stop being weird. If I wanted someone to baby me, I'd call Cameron."
"Sorry, I just like this stuff…and I'm apologizing again, sorry." He blushed a little. "It's about 7:00. You finally passed out at around 4:30. That's what happens when you don't sleep for three days." I didn't blush, didn't even look away. "Oh and by the way Cameron did call," he explained, almost gently. I sighed. Oh goodie, I thought, rolling my eyes. "Good news is; you might actually be able to finally hit that."
"Is that why she called or was it one of those generic, I love and worry about everybody messages?" Kutner made another face, the one he made when he thought he was in trouble. "It's not a case, is it?" He nodded. I rolled my eyes again. The phone rang once more. I picked up, talked for a minute, and agreed to come in and look at the thing, but hadn't actually made any promises about taking the case. Alison was already waiting in my office when I (and Kutner) arrived. I stared out the window, towards Wilson's window, the whole time she was talking. I came up with a theory, handed the folder back, and insisted she run the tests herself. Oddly enough she did it.
"You should go talk to Wilson," Lawrence suggested, standing behind me with his hands on my shoulders. I sighed, and waited for Jimmy to go down to the cafeteria so I could at least have an excuse for following.
"Egg white omelet, no bacon, and the whole wheat toast," he told the cafeteria worker. Even Kutner looked shocked. I questioned him about it, but he deflected. "You're wearing the watch Kutner gave you for Secret Santa," he explained. I've been wearing it every day for eight months, I thought. Shows how much attention you've been paying to me.
"This baby has four different functions, including—stopwatch," I said, gauging his reaction before insulting his food some more. "So I can time your lectures," I added. "Stop watch, not the bacon. Though I could use that too, of course I'd probably get sick before you make your point…" Then I went upstairs to my office.
"Yeah, that's exactly what I meant when I told you to go and talk to him," Kutner whined as soon as we got there. I sighed, sitting down and making the "what the hell do you want"face. "Why don't you just tell him about us?"
"Because he doesn't know that I'm a—because I'm tired," I responded, looking at my feet. "And something weird is going on. Did you see what he ordered? Jimmy never gets that healthy garbage."
"Maybe he's trying to loose weight," he suggested, idiotically. I shot that one down. Wilson always worked out when he wanted to do that, and he'd eat less, but still scarffed down the same foods. "Maybe he…I dunno, sorry. Guess I left more of my brains on the wall than I remembered." I let out a small laugh.
"Am I at least right about the patient?" He had no idea, which was a bad sign, and things only got worse from there. Guy got sicker, Wilson had the most disgusting lunch on the planet, which meant something, I just had no idea what, and (of course) Kutner had absolutely no insights whatsoever into anything at all. "What's the point of having a dead guy following me around who is supposed to know everything in the Universe if he can't handle a simple diagnostics case," I mocked later, back in my office.
"Your cases are never simple. Even that magician who had Lupus got complicated 'cuz we gave him the wrong blood. Oh, and be nice to Cameron. She's going trough some hard—difficult—stuff right now." I raised an interested eyebrow. "I don't know exactly what, but I see what you see and am sensitive enough to assume it may not have anything to do with me." He probably would have said more if we had been alone another couple of seconds, but there was some sort of an emergency with the patient. I dealt with it as best I could, and then went home, where I sat on the sofa watching TV and nursing a beer for the rest of the night.
"What is Jimmy doing," I shouted at Kutner. He raised his arms in a helpless gesture. "Oh thank God you're here! Whatever would I do without your sage advice," I mocked.
"Even if I had an idea, good or bad, you wouldn't listen to anything I have to say," he explained. I shrugged. He had a point. That's when I realized something, something huge. "Wow, that was actually…you can relax, House," he instructed. "You always listened to me when it counted. Don't feel too—how many times to I have to tell you I didn't shoot myself because of anything you did?"
I shrugged then added, "how about 42?" He chuckled, lightly. "I'm goin' to Wilson's place. You gonna come with or what?" Lawrence followed me, and he was actually quiet the whole time we were there. He watched, giggling a little when I stuffed a potato chip in my mouth, my face two inches away from Wilson—who didn't even flinch.
"I'm going to sleep," Jimmy told me a few hours later, rubbing his lips between yawns. "Unless you need something." I shrugged. "You gonna stay on the couch tonight?" I pretended not to give a crap. "I can give you a ride to work in the morning."
"Whatever," I muttered; looking over at my invisible friend, as if to ask if he'd figured anything out. He said nothing, did nothing. "Not gonna sleep at my place, might as well not sleep here. You're couch is more comfortable than mine." The guy raced back over, and sat down beside me, touching my hair, gently, but not the least bit sexually. At least, I didn't think it was sexual.
"Have you gotten any sleep since—since," he seemed genuinely concerned about me and I thought about messing with him, saying no, telling him I was going for the world record, but changed my mind at the last second and nodded. "In that case—since you're gonna be up—feel free to raid the refrigerator."
"I'm okay," I lied, then stayed up all night watching crap on TV and pretending like I couldn't hear Kutner. When he asked why I wouldn't answer, I told him, "Because, if Wilson overhears, he'll have me locked up in the nuthatch, probably even the same one as his brother. That way he can visit us both at the same time." I could tell he wasn't sure how to react to that. The next morning Jimmy had Bran Flakes and skim milk. Nobody said much of anything, except Lawrence, who kept trying to get me to open up to Wilson. Back at work I had to jump right back into the case, which—I guess—was good because it meant I was too busy to deal with whatever this food thing meant, and I didn't have to feel like a moron. Until Taub came up with the great idea; the great idea that should have been mine. "Did you think of that," I asked Kutner when he had gone. "I didn't think of that. How could I not come up with that?"
"If you could do this all on your own, solve every case, think of all the crazy treatments, do the tests by yourself, talk to the paitents and their—okay you get the picture—you wouldn't need any of us. You picked me, Taub, and Hadley because we can come up with this stuff on those rare occasions when you do drop the ball, or too messed up to think it up on your own because your boyfriend died and your only other friend is treating you weirdly."
"Yeah, sure, whatever," I muttered, and then went to go see Jimmy. Maybe he'll have an answer for me, I thought. "I lost my mojo," I explained. He made fun of me. "I think I'm losing my mind."
"Good," Jimmy said, frank and bluntly. I couldn't believe my ears. Lawrence told me to sock the guy. My brain told me to push him, (physically) to yell, scream, do something! And another part of me said I oughta fall to my knees and collapse in a fit of tears; let him see how big of a breakdown I was having.
"I'm supposed to be the guy who sees everything and yet…I didn't see it coming with Kutner, which doubly sucks because we were practically living together. I have no idea what's happening here with you, and Taub just came up with an idea for our patient that I should have thought of on my own. I'm two seconds away from taking advice from my pet ret and all you can say is good?" Jimmy went on this obnoxious rant about how I should be losing it, and the way this shit just happens for no reason. He even said the same thing about Taub that Kutner had. Then, he realized something huge.
"And as you—you and, you were. Wait. You were...with Kutner?" I nodded, and Jimmy stared, mouth agape. I may have actually blushed. "So you're," he whispered, stopping himself before he finished that sentence.
"A fag?" He looked positively mortified, and started rubbing the back of his hand against his lips so hard he almost broke the skin. "Not really. More like a 3 on the Kinsey Scale."
"Oh," Jimmy said, not at all intrigued. Crap I thought, and looked to Lawrence nervously. Is he still gonna like me or did I blow it big time.
"Don't worry. He's interested, not disgusted," he explained. Wilson got a page—though I suspected it was a fake one—and had to leave, but not before telling me I should feel free to snoop around. I did, but found nothing. "You should go downstairs and get something to eat. Haven't had anything in almost two days." Kutner dragged me to the cafeteria, and made me buy a sandwich, which I had most of, but couldn't finish.
"What is going on in my life," I whimpered, pulling apart the last few pieces, of bread and cheese and playing with them. He shrugged sadly. "You're no help." I left my plate there, got up, and went back to my office where I spent the rest of the afternoon pouting. Then, I saw Jimmy heading for the vending machine, and followed the guy again. "There's no health food in there," I taunted. He turned around and smiled. "So, what are you gonna get?" There was a secret meaning behind my statement: Please talk to me.
"I haven't decided yet," he lied—badly. The secret meaning behind that statement was: I'm a little freaked out right now, why don't you leave me a lone for a little while, okay?
"But you already put your money in. You never do that until you're sure what you're going to get." Secret meaning: Please stop ignoring me and act like you don't hate me. He picked D10. "Gummy bears? But you hate gummy bears!" He shrugged, as he started to walk away. "But more importantly, I hate them." Wilson raised his eyebrow. Secret meaning: about fucking time. "You manipulative bitch!"
"What the Hell is going on here," Kutner asked, pathetically. I smiled. Wilson gave me a little shoulder pat, smiling. "What, he was just—screwing with you? That's—he had you…" I threw him the shut the hell up look. "You couldn't eat or sleep for three days, and you're gonna let him get away with it?"
"You needed me to help you realize that things are still okay," Wilson explained. I nodded, and even smiled a little more. He said more, about Amber, and us, and life, but I wasn't really paying attention. "It's okay if you're still a little, or even a lot, mad at me."
"You manipulative bitch," I repeated Jimmy actually sort of hugged me—still as a friend, I think—and he promised he wouldn't do anything like that ever again. "Don't say that, and definitely don't do it. I like things the way they are now…well, the way they were before, and they're getting towards being that way again." Then, I solved the cause, cured the patient, and Jimmy and I went out for burgers and beers.
"So, um—if you don't mind me asking—when you and he…I mean, how exactly did you work out the whole, um. You know what, this is probably completely inappropriate. Nevermind."
"You wanna know about the mechanics of how he and I do—did it? Not just 'cuz of the gay thing, but because I'm—because my leg isn't exactly set up for screwing guys or girls, but especially guys." He didn't actually blush this time, but his ears did turn slightly pink.
"Like I said, you don't have to tell me." He stared down at his shoes, one hand disappearing under the table. I knew he wouldn't start playing with himself in a public restaurant, but I liked the idea of him getting turned on by thinking about me and sex. It's sort of years to be honest. I had spent twenty years being friends with the guy, and yet I'd never really thought about him that way before Kutner brought it up. Jimmy was—is—sort of pretty, almost feminine. And he liked me, which requires that the person be insanely kind, sensitive, and understanding.
"You might not want to embarrass the guy like that, unless you want him to be too chicken to go near you for like a month," Kutner warned, worried I might go into more detail than I had. I just smiled.
"I can be quiet," I told him almost silently. "I mean, uh, mostly I'd sit on the couch or lie in bed or prop myself up with pillows, in the bed, and then he'd sit...in my lap. After that it's not really too different from girl on top—opps, did I just humiliate you?" He wasn't blushing, but it was close. I smiled, running my tongue back and forth across my upper lip.
"Uh, no, no you did a pretty good job of being discreet, which for you is actually impressive. Maybe I should nominate you for an Oscar," he teased, almost back to normal for us.
"Maybe I should get wasted and drunk-dial that nurse, and get her to—" I started to say, but stopped when Jimmy made the puppy dog face. "Shit—I won't say anything like that ever again, I promise."
"It didn't bother me because of what happened to Amber. I got dumped. And don't blame yourself. This was just a rebound relationship anyway." I smiled, opening a straw and blowing the wrapper at him.
"Good to know," I muttered. "I was starting to worry you didn't understand the concept of a rebound." He threw a French fry at my face. "Aren't you supposed to be the responsible one?"
"The two of you really are perfect for each other," Kutner moaned. "Why not just squirt a bottle full of ketchup all over him. Maybe you can ruin his nice, new shirt." I shrugged. Wilson asked about my relationship with Lawrence.
"He was funny, and thoughtful—and I usually hate that almost as much as I hate adorable and sweet—both of which he also was, and I dunno. I'm really gonna miss the guy. Just not sure what…"
"You let yourself be vulnerable again. After Julie and I got divorced, I swore I was done dating, but then I met Amber and just—and I just realized that you don't want to hear this. Forget I said anything, again."
"You don't hafta feel awkward. I mean, of all the stuff I could point out that was screwed up about or wrong with CT—I mean Amber, you could probably come up with ten more things about Kutner, all of them way worse than her stuff." I admitted. He smiled, and Wilson actually laughed. And not just the little snicker either, the real one, the way he only laughed when he thought something was really, really funny. "And we could each come up with just as many things we liked about them."
"That's true." A minute passed. Two. Three. "If you want to go back to calling her bitch or whatever, you don't need to worry. I won't get pissed," Wilson promised. I didn't say a word. It wasn't that I'd changed my opinion of her, I was just—I don't know for sure what. I felt weird about the whole thing. Almost as weird as it felt talking to Dead Kutner, actually. "She was sort of—well she was kind of a bitch."
"Yeah, but I still feel messed up right now," I explained. Jimmy nodded. He also promised me that the feeling would go away eventually, but, it was still bizarre. He dropped me off at home an hour later. Technically, he parked, helped me stumble, drunkenly to the couch, and we sat, talking with for forty minutes before he took my not so subtle hint (i.e. me telling him to leave, now!) seriously.
"Are you sure you're okay to be alone right now?" Wilson was worried about me, but then again, he was always worried about me. This wasn't too different from our usual.
"Yes, sure, I'll be…something," I said, sighing. He smiled, put his hand on my shoulder, took a step towards the door, came back, hugged me, said goodbye, lingered in the entryway, like he expected me to beg him to stay, and finally left.
"You did good tonight," Kutner said, uselessly. I laughed, but when he sat down beside me, I pulled his arms around my shoulders. We sat like that for a while, and eventually, the half-drunken tiredness just seemed to fade away. I got up, poured myself a scotch and walked to the piano, not really playing, just to sort of mess around a bit. I don't know long I was sitting there before it happened—again—but this time all I could do was sit and stare, pathetically, like a little kid.
"Congratulation," a familiar, yet unfriendly voice taunted. "You solved another case." Amber floated across the room, stood beside me, bent down and spoke directly into my ear. "Guess you're not losing your mind after all. I sighed, and thought about trying to jump up and run to the bedroom, so I could get away, but decided she—like Kutner—could probably walk through doors and stuff, or catch up with me.
"Yeah, except for the hallucinations and talking to people who aren't there." Amber looked around the room, her hair swinging just a little, all pretty and smooth.
"People," she questioned. I almost laughed, and started to look for Kutner. "House, I'm the only one here." No, no, no, no, this is a trick; it has to be! She's screwing with my head. Yeah that's it.
"So, they what—didn't trust Kutner to keep an eye on me, and brought you in to make sure that I don't do anything stupid or crazy?" She didn't say a word to me, just sat down beside me on the little piano bench, and lay one delicate palm on my leg, along the inside of my thigh.
"Kutner? They? Maybe you are losing it after all," she giggled. "What are you talking about?" The hand on my leg slid closer towards my crotch, fingers reaching for the fly. Against my better judgment, I told her everything, about Kutner, the "afterlife," Wilson, the gift that was still on a shelf in the kitchen, no longer hidden in the box. "He's dead House; he can't be in your apartment, or anywhere else for that matter."
"You're dead, and still here. You are talking to me, trying to jack me off, or fuck me, or suck my cock. You keep teasing me. In more ways than one." She laughed again, fingers reaching around and popping my jeans open. "Wh-what are you doing?" I was suddenly that tiny, terrified toddler version of myself, and the bitch—while still appearing to be herself—was the monster who'd tormented me in dreams, nightmares, and waking world for more than half my life.
"Only I'm not really here," se explained. "This is all in your imagination. So, I'm trying to make it interesting for you. Trying to make you more comfortable." Blah, blah, blah, I thought, brushing her hand away.
"But if you are in my—if you really are just a hallucination, does that mean Kutner is too? Am I insane? Am I, whatever," I asked, a little nervous, and a lot confused. She shrugged, reaching for me again. I shivered, trying to figure out why this was bothering me so much. Amber was pretty, and—according to Wilson—a good lay. So, I should have no reason to be scared of her, but I was. "Then, why are you here?"
"Probably because you feel guilty about what happened to me and to Wilson, and to Kutner."
"But—I…" She pushed me down flat on the seat, so I was almost laying on it. Amber slid my pants down past my hips, and climbed onto my lap. "Stop," I begged, suddenly terrified of her. I began to shriek. The next thing I knew, I was back on the couch, face down, staring up at Lawrence's t-shirt, and feeling his hands softly stroking my hair, while he sort of shook me with the other.
"You were screaming in your sleep; I figured you were having a nightmare or something. So, I woke you up," he explained. I nodded, silently, and felt my hand on my chin, but didn't move it away. "Did I do something wrong?" I shook my head. "Wanna talk aobut it?"
"No, but since you're gonna make me discuss this no matter what I want, might as well take control of the situation." He seemed even more worried about me than before. "You disappeared. Amber showed up. She wasn't actually being mean, but I was still kind of scared of—stuff, and I...she pushed me down on the piano bench, and tried to mount me, which usually I would of liked, but I always feel powerless in dreams… Especially sex dreams." He nodded, hugging me tightly.
"You don't have to worry, I won't leave until you're ready for me to go," he promised. I didn't have to tell him he was being an idiot specifically. The annoyed grunt did it for me. "Oh knock it off; we both know you're terrified of waking up alone again. Before I came into your life you were used to it. When we were together you were okay with it, but started to lose it after a couple of weeks, but now." Lawrence shook his head. "Can't leave 'till you're okay."
"You had no qualms about "leaving me all alone" when you offed yourself." More puppy dog eyes. I looked away. "Stupid," I muttered. Lawrence asked to whom I was referring; him or me. "Both of us, I guess. You because of what you did, because of this, and for expecting me to believe anything you say to me ever again. I'm stupid because Wilson practically offered to sleep over and I made him leave. Plus I'm starting to believe you, not just the stuff you say, but that it's really and truly the ghost or whatever of the real Kutner." He sighed and did that weird arm pat thing Chase did when I came back to work after getting shot a few years back.
"Amber was sort of on the—uh—short list of people to come and annoy you until things gets better," he explained, after a minute. I could actually feel my own eyes get all wide like a couple of saucers. What? "It's a difficult enough transition from death to…the other place, and they wanted to send someone right away. I was perfect except for the fact that I'm still recovering form…I want to be here, House. I like you, and I'm the only one who could do this," he continued to explain. I sighed, yawning. "Don't worry," he explained, almost gently.
"What happens if I'm never ready for you to leave," I asked, more to annoy him than out of actual concern. Maybe I was a little curious but that was totally different. I'm always curious about something. "You said a week maybe two. What if I'm still really messed up then? What if I'm not beter six months from now, ten years from now?"
"You'll be with Wilson in less than six months. Before the end of the year, you'll be living together. He will make you want to never so much hear my name again, let alone feel like hanging out with my ghost." I laughed just a little—again—and sighed. "You just wanna be normal for once, right?"
"I want it not to hut anymore." I was sort of freaked, and hurt, and I was still trying to calm down after the whole fiasco with Jimmy. I'd pretended it hadn't bothered me, hadn't upset me in the least. But it wasn't, I wasn't. Stuff had technically worked out and everything was supposedly fine. We were fine but…it still bothered me A whole week of not knowing what my best friend was doing, a whole week of him lying to me, basically hurting me, without knowing it, and even after he'd fessed up, I still wasn't doing so well. I wanted Jimmy to mess with me, and his messing with me turned me into a nervous, unhappy wreck. Not that it was too far of a drive. "Is that the same thing?" I asked, not even a little annoyed.
"Yeah," he explained, rubbing my back. "Sort of. It's okay to feel that way," Kutner tried to offer. "You wanna hear that, which is weird because you're not really worried about that stuff." Kutner began to quote, "Life sucks, and most people would rather rip your throat out than spend five seconds being decent to each other. They hurt each other, they hurt you. So, it makes sense that anyone who is even a little bit nice to anyone—especially you—is either trying to trick, or will one day leave them."
"Are we doing impersonations of each other? Oh! Can I be Foreman? That way I'll get to sleep with Thirteen and I can get away with making really bad jokes about his family and his car stealing days." I couldn't figure out why Lawrence was wasting his time restating something I'd told him almost two years ago. "I already knew that."
"I know. You've believed that since you were 12." Seven, I thought. "Maybe even young, and all I did was go and make things worse." I rolled my eyes. Get on with it already. "Wilson won't be able to make you believe otherwise, but you guys are perfect for each other. He goes up with wounded, needy people and stays with them until they're strong enough to not need him anymore. Then, he gets bored and dumps 'em but, even with every bit of his attention focused on you, that's never gonna happen to you, Greg, and you won't drain his abilities either. If anything, he'll feed off of your pain and anguish and depression, and you'll feel slightly better because he's actually going to be there every single time you need him. There won't be any girlfriends or wives to get in the way. His brother's getting healthier, so he won't have to worry about that anymore, and he'll. Even if you kept him up all night on Thursday because you had an abused kid as a patient and freaked out, you won't be afraid to wake him up at 4:00 AM the next day." I do that now. "You hold back sometimes, mostly because you're afraid he'll leave, or stop liking you, or something." I grunted, not making any actual sarcastic retort. He was sort of, kinda (not really) right
"But Wilson already tried living here once," I muttered, but it took me way to long to think that one up. "Didn't work out so well. He goes to bed early; I stay up late. He gets up at down; I sleep in. And he's a neat freak who thinks I'll actually do chores." Kutner smiled listening to my comments, like he was expecting them. "You have an answer for that too? What a surprise. Oh, hey in this amazing, perfect, new life is my leg gonna heal itself?"
"First off, there's no such thing as perfect. Second, yes there are differences between the two of you but the last time he lived here, guy was going through a bad divorce, which made every little wrong thing you did seem way worse than it was. He'll be better now." I tried to think of something clever to combat this, but didn't totally hate the idea, and I knew he'd realize anything I said was just me trying to be annoying. "You should be afraid of opening up to him, or me." I'm not afraid of anything involving you, I wanted to scream. "You're scared I'm gonna leave before you're fixed, and then you won't be able to handle living anymore. I told you, I'm not leaving until you you're ready."
"What if I tell you to leave, but I'm not actually okay with it yet," I asked, which was pretty much the only thing I'd been all that worried about—aside from freaking out over Wilson's prank—since I'd decided to let myself believe this really was Lawrence Kutner.
"Well that one actually does sound like you. That your plan?' I shrugged, pulling away. "Relax, I'm not gonna listen to your words, when I know what you're really thinking," he explained. "No, I can't read your mind, not exactly but I know how you think well enough to figure out a thing or two. I'll stay until you're really ready," he promised. I told him I didn't need to hear that, but when he said, "Yeah you do," we both knew it was sort of the truth. I lay there tiredly for a while, but didn't feel much like going back to sleep. I was still a little freaked out over my dream. Sex dreams for me were never really about sex. I mostly had this feeling like I was being attacked—regardless of who was doing me, or who I was doing—in them. I didn't tell Kutner about this, but the guy still seemed to understand. I decided to stay awake, and lay on the sofa, staring up at his face, listening to him tell me all about his favorite toys, books, movies, and TV shows. It was almost like he had never died at all. Kutner even told me about his Guinness world records. Almost all of it was boring, but I think he wanted to make "So," he prodded sometime later. "You ready to go and open up your birthday present?"