Author: Mary Ann Summers
Spoilers: Simple Explanation
Summary: Kutner's internet history.
Author's Note: Written for the Kutnerfest, prompt "Kutner and the internet".
( KuternetCollapse )
The screenname wasn't overly inspired, but it was a special inside joke. A bittersweet one, oddly enough, an angry retort by a girlfriend in college who thought he spent more time playing first person shooter games and chatting online then with her.
"You're on the internet so much," She had snapped exasperately. "They should start calling it the "Kutnernet".
What she didn't realize, was that discovering the internet had been a saving grace for Kutner. When he first logged on he had been fifteen years old and a bonafide loser. He was too smart, not atheletic enough and not handsome enough to run with the in-crowd. In his freshman year he'd been quite a bully, but by the next year he was just held with disdain as "the weird one."
The internet was new and exciting, and even if back then you had to pay by the minute and the modems only went to 2400 bauds and tied up your phone line. His parents were good to him, he had his own phone line that wasn't getting calls anyways. But online, he started finding people that actually wanted to talk to him, people who understood what it was like to be thought of as a loser.
And suddenly life didn't feel quite so lonely.
The next year two big things happened in Kutner's life, that would shape his path and interests for the rest of his life. He decided he wanted to be a doctor and he discovered roleplaying games. Those seemed to be on opposite sides of the life spectrum, but oddly enough both helped him get his act together. At school he studied, he stopped bullying, he tried to get along with the other students. And at home he let out his feelings through a handfull of characters he created.
He never told his parents about his new method of coping. They wouldn't have understood and probably would've questioned his sanity. But for some reason it seemed to help when he could pour his anger and confusion into a character and then have them deal with it. After all, if he could write a character getting through a crisis, then wasn't the power to get through it himself already inside of him?
When he started college and moved out on his own, he started playing first person shooters and started watching anime along with his usual sci-fi fare. His freshman year was marked by great grades and dressing up as Nuriko from Fushigi Yugi for an anime convention. His girlfriend had picked the costume, but wearing makeup was a small price to pay to finally lose his virginity. The internet provideth yet again.
As college wore on, he attended more conventions and bought a small fortune in gaming equipment. He went through three girlfriends, two laptops, eighteen game controllers and discovered two new fandoms. And somewhere in all of that he found himself too.
In med school his first person shooter days were all but eliminated and "Kuternet" was silent except for weekends. Years later, when Twitter took hold, he would mourn not having it available when he was a med student. But he perserved, and cherished the one day a week he got to himself to indulge in some internet satisfaction.
When he finally became a doctor most people thought he'd outgrow the internet, video games and fandom. Those people would be wrong. His internship and residency were almost as bad as being in med school, but once it was over he found himself getting a better paycheck and actually getting some time to enjoy non-doctor related things.
Kutner getting on House's team was enough to launch him into another hobby, collecting memorabilia. It took him four months to track down the Star Wars blaster he wanted, but when he did it was mounted in it's own display case and given the space of honor on top of his TV.
Then one day, to the great dismay of his friends, Kutnernet disappeared from the online radar. Sometimes work would take him away for a couple of days, but as it turned into a week everyone began to suspect something serious was wrong. His online journal and website sat silent, without updates. And within six months, they realized he wasn't coming back ever.
One friend who had his home address later found out that Kutnernet had commited suicide months ago. The off topic group for players in his favorite first person shooter were shocked and saddened. He seemed like a happy guy with alot to live for and a place of respect amoung their online community. But maybe the internet wasn't enough when he still had to go face the outside, offline world day after day.