Sorry - for those already reading this - I screwed up and deleted chapters instead of documents! Stupid me! So I'm reposrtign the first three chapters.

Prologue

"Hello asshole!" the voice on the phone said.

"Bob." House replied, recognizing it immediately. "How's it hangin', weirdo?"

"Like always, jerk. Listen, I'm going to be in Princeton next week. Think you can tear yourself away from that hospital this time?"

"Maybe. If you're buying."

"Those days are over. You're the big shot doctor now."

House smiled. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen Bob. Over twenty years for sure. They'd been supposed to get together a few years earlier, the last time Bob had been in Princeton, but House had had a patient and couldn't get away.

"I think we can work something out."

He could hear the laughter in Bob's voice. It was always like that with them. They talked to each other once in awhile on the phone over the years, more recently on email, but it was always as though they'd spoken hours ago instead of months or years.

"Okay, Greg, next Friday. Where's a good place/"

"Callahan's on 6th. What time?"

"Seven. And if you cancel again, I swear this time I will beat your sorry ass."

"Ha! As if you could. But I'll be there."

They hung up. God, it would be great to see Bob again. He sat back in his chair and thought about when they met.

It was his freshman year at Johns Hopkins University. He even remembered the date: April 1. April Fool's Day. And what a fool he'd been. Of course, he'd been a fool about a woman. Only a woman could make a man really behave like an idiot. Correction, only a beautiful woman. The funny thing was, even though he remembered that she was beautiful, her looks eluded him.

In his mind's eye, he could see long golden hair and a curvy, sexy body. He'd certainly fallen hard when he'd first seen her in History class. And she talked to him. And went out with him! He thought he'd died and went to heaven. The girl of his dreams was his.

Until she stood him up.

Her roommate told him. She was out with a senior who lived in a house off-campus. He got the address and started walking, then running to the house. It started to rain on the way, getting harder as he got closer. Before long, he was soaked to the skin. And the rain kept coming.

When he found her house, he banged on the door.

The guy that opened it was shorter than him, but probably weighed close to three hundred pounds. Dull brown hair, in a shaggy cut that looked do-it-yourself. Loose jeans and an equally loose, oversized Hopkins sweatshirt completed the package. He looked younger than House. He didn't even look like he shaved yet.

"Hey, what's up?" he asked House.

Out of breath from the run, House panted out, "Is Patrice here?"

The guy at the door rolled his eyes. "No, she's not. She's out with Brock the Jock."

"Shit!" House spit out.

The guy shook his head. "Come in from the rain. You're dripping al over the porch. And I will tell you a story."

House stepped in and the guy disappeared, then returned seconds later with some towels.

"Dry off, or my housemates will kill me." He handed the towels to House. "Who are you?"

"Greg."

"Hey, Greg, I'm Robbie."

"Hi, Bob."

"No, it's Robbie."

"Right, Bob. What do you know about Patrice?"

"Sit down. Want a beer?"

House nodded. Bob went to the fridge and pulled out two beers, then sat down and handed one to House.

"She's a bitch, Greg. She and Brock the Jock have been together all year. Then they fight or she feels 'neglected' and she goes off and dates other guys until Brock gets all weepy and begs her to come back. And she drops the other guy like a hot potato."

House shook his head. "No, she's…"

"A bitch. Yeah, yeah, I know she's pretty. And she made you think you were the only guy for her. Big deal. She's a bitch."

"But god, is she gorgeous? Don't you get a boner every time you look at her?"

"I don't."

"Are you gay?"

"No. Look Greg, she's not worth your time. And not worth running here in a thunderstorm and maybe catching pneumonia over."

House still looked so depressed, so Bob continued. "Are you a freshman?"

House nodded.

"Well, I'm almost a junior. Been here a little longer than you. And I've seen bitches like her before. She's not worth it."

"You're a junior? You look younger than me."

"Hey, I've got a baby face, what can I say?"

House took a drag on his beer, thinking about it. "So you think there's no chance with her?"

"No fucking way."

House nodded. "Thanks for the beer. Guess I'd better get back to my dorm."

Bob looked at him, considering. "Have you done your housing for next year yet?"

"No."

"Second year, you can go off-campus. Brock the Jock is a senior and he's leaving. So is one more person. If we have six people guaranteed, and give the landlord three months rent in advance, he'll save this place for us. What do you think?"

House was confused. "About what?"

"Living here. Unless you really love the dorms."

"I really don't love the dorms. What's the rent?"

Bob told him and House thought about it. It was a good deal and it would be really cool to be in a house instead of the dorms.

"I'll take it."

"Great. Come by tomorrow and you can meet the others."

"Okay." House got up and headed for the door. "Good meeting you, Bob."

"Same here, Greg. And by the way, the reason the name is Robbie is that it's short for Roberta. I'm a girl."

"No fucking way!

"Yep. Want me to show you my boobs?"

"What boobs?"

"Ooh, harsh. They're there. Just kind of surrounded by the fat."

"Come on, you can't be a girl. You don't act or talk like a girl."

"My mom died before I was two. I was raised by my dad, uncle and three male cousins."

"Damn. I never would have guessed."

"Is it a problem?"

"If it isn't a problem for you, why should I give a fuck? Ah, sorry."

Bob laughed. "Don't stress, man. I'm used to it. Been using that language since I was a kid."

House smiled. "I have a feeling this is the start of a beautiful friendship."

"Play it again, Sam."

They both laughed and had another beer.