Part II: In the bar.
“My friends are nerds,” Venkman said, morosely staring into the bottom of his glass.
“Mine’s more of a geek.” House replied, suddenly realising he hadn’t seen Wilson all day.
Venkman sighed and looked up at House, “You know what they’re probably doing now? Researching something really spooky but really important for the future of mankind. That’s what they’re doing. Probably.” He finished his drink and waggled a finger at the bartender to get his attention.
“Well that sounds pretty dull.” House nodded at the bartender to pour him another shot too, before continuing, ”Sitting here drinking with me is much more fun, so what’s your problem?”
Venkman sighed dramatically, and slumped back down in his chair, “They’re doing it without me. That’s my problem. They don’t need me, they’ve got each other to bounce off ideas and theories and whacked out, totally insane experiments. It used to be just me and Ray, we’d work together on projects - he’d do all the legwork and I’d be in charge of the presentation, and we’d get straight As - all the time! Then, after college, I met Egon, and I thought to myself, “Hey, this guy’s smart. He could help me get a PhD or two. So I started hanging out with him. Of course, I couldn’t just ditch Ray – can you imagine him out in the real world all by himself?
House tried to interrupt and point out that he hadn’t actually met Ray, but Venkman was in full stride with his sorry reminiscing, “…He wouldn’t last five minutes, so I had to introduce him to Egon and naturally they hit it off big time, with their boring conversations about particle theory and cross-transmorphorical time contingencies and….,” Venkman struggled to think of further examples, “Science stuff,” he exclaimed, waving his drink around in his hand before managing to find his mouth. He sighed again, “Anyway, what about your friends?”
“Friend, singular,” House corrected, “I’m his one and only. Except when he gets a girlfriend who becomes a wife, who then becomes a shrieking banshee, then I have to turn to ‘Project Free Jimmy.’ and spring him out.”
Venkman snorted, “Ha! At least I don’t have to worry about that kind of thing with Ray and Egon.”
He drank some more, looking vaguely around the bar. Spotting a group of men laughing together and playing pool, his face fell. “You know, I really am a crappy friend. I made Ray sell his family home.”
House shrugged, “I lost Wilson his job.”
“I got us all kicked out of the university because of my stupid research projects.”
“I lost Wilson his job – again.”
“I got us all thrown into jail.”
“I got Wilson to bail me out of jail.”
“I twisted Ray’s ears.”
“I hit Wilson with my cane.”
Lost in his own, regretful thoughts, Venkman didn’t seem to hear what House was saying. Until House drained another drink, took a deep breath and said, “When he split up from his third, (and hopefully final) wife, I let Wilson stay at my place, but kicked him out after one night. Then I ate all his food, made him do all the housework, played tricks on him until he snapped and then I deleted all the messages from realtors so he wouldn’t leave me.”
Venkman stared at House for several long seconds. “Man,” he finally decided, “That’s really messed up.”
Finishing his own drink, Venkman resolutely stood up and held his hand out, “Doctor House, it’s been a pleasure being stuck, first in an elevator, then in a bar, with you, but I am going now. I am going to get my friends back.”
House shook the hand and half-smiled as the drunken man stumbled out into the clear night air. He sat at the bar thinking for a few moments before pulling his phone out of his pocket and dialling #001 on speed dial. It rang for a couple of seconds before it was answered with a wary, “House? Are you ok?”
House grinned into the phone, “Hey Wilson, guess what’s on TV tonight, I really think you should come over…”
He paid his tab and gingerly got off his stool. 'Poor Dr Venkman,' he thought to himself, 'You really should take the time to appreciate your friends before they give up on you and find someone else.'
He smiled at the evening ahead of him. Just him and Wilson and no third, fourth or fifth party ever needed to get the party started.