The Secrets of Beta Sigma Beta by nicksgal
Story Notes:
A note from 2021: Hello! This is unlikely to ever be updated, but please feel free to read and enjoy what is there!

This story has an extra special surprise, so I hope you'll stay tuned for it. :o)

Also, there's some underage drinking and language and stuff like that. So if you don't like it, be forewarned.

1. Chapter One by nicksgal

2. Chapter Two by nicksgal

3. Chapter Three by nicksgal

4. Chapter Four by nicksgal

5. Chapter Five by nicksgal

6. Chapter Six by nicksgal

Chapter One by nicksgal
Author's Notes:
Yay, new story from your's truly! I know it's been a while, but it's not fantasy, so you may just enjoy it. :o)

Chapter One: The Concert, or I Want to Go Too!

I flopped down on the couch and let out a sigh. “After all that performing, I just want to sleep.”

“That’s all you ever think, isn’t it?”

My head slammed against the arm of the couch, “Ow! Brian!”

He let out a laugh, “Did a pillow really hurt that much?”

I rubbed my head and scowled as I tossed the pillow back at him, “But the arm of the couch…”

Brian shrugged as the pillow landed at his feet, “It’s just another pillow, isn’t it?”

“Well, yeah, except that it has a couch inside it!”

Brian laughed again. “There’s a smaller couch inside the couch’s arm? Wow!”

“That’s not what I meant!” I flopped down on the couch cushions once more, “I have a headache!”

Kevin leaned his head into the living room. “Are you sick?”

I leaned my head against the couch arm, “No… Brian just…” I looked up at him. “Is your arm okay?” Sorry, Kevin… I know it’s not my fault, but… Sorry… I wish I could say that.

He stared down at his arm. It was in a blue sling, “Well, it’s as good as expected.” He smiled. “Nick, what’s that look on your face for?”

I gave him a scowl, “What look?”

He laughed, “You’re looking at me like you’re sorry for something again.”

I ran my hand through my hair, “It’s not that….” I looked up at him again, “Hey…”

“Yes?” Kevin walked into the room. He was wearing a Zorro costume, complete with sword.

“H-Hey!!” I sat up quickly and pointed at him.

“I think you are sick, Nick…”

“W-Why are you wearing a costume?!” I stammered. Why is he wearing a costume? His shoulder is hurt… “Y-Your shoulder is hurt! Why are you wearing a costume?!”

“You’re right, I guess I am wearing a costume while my shoulder is hurt,” he chuckled.

There was a laugh. “Why didn’t you just tell him he was sick?”

“I can’t just tell him he’s sick, AJ,” Kevin shook his head.

AJ leaned against his door frame, “Why not? You’ve done it before.” He was wearing a Phantom-like costume.

“He was fourteen, AJ. You can’t tell a nineteen-year-old he’s sick. Trust me, I’ve tried.”

“Well, I’m not Nick.”

“Why are you wearing a costume too??!”

“I thought he wanted to go to bed?” The sound came from behind AJ.

“Sorry, Howie. I threw a pillow at him.”

Howie walked into the living room, holding small plastic vampire teeth in his hand. “Why would you do that when he was sleeping?”

“It’s only eleven thirty!”

A pillow hit Howie in the face. He looked a little annoyed as he picked it up from the ground and clenched it between his arms.

I turned around. Sure enough, Brian had come out of our room dressed as Superman.

I put my head in my hands, “Even Howie, and Brian?”

Brian put his hand on my shoulder. “Hey, it’s okay buddy.”

“You’re all going somewhere without meeeeeeeeeeeeee!” I whined.

“Well, you’re only nineteen, Nick,” AJ shook his head.

“But Halloweeeeeeeeeen is my favorite holiday!” I whined again.

“Sorry, buddy,” Brian patted my shoulder again.

“But I bought a costume and everything! Why are you going trick or treating without meeeeeeeeeeeee?!?” Yeah, I know, I’m still whining. But this is Halloween and desperate times call for desperate measures!

“You’re nineteen, Nick…” AJ raised an eyebrow.

“So? I wanna go!”

“We’re in our twenties,” AJ prodded, “Why would we be going trick or treating?”

“Because it’s Halloween!”

“And at almost midnight?”

“More tricks, less treats?”

“When we’re famous, Nick?”

“Won’t all our fans be in bed by now?”

“Maybe? Depends on how far they drove to see us.” Brian laughed as he put a pillow on top of my head.

I tried to look up at him as he leaned on the pillow.

“Brian, you’re heavy!” I batted him away.

Of course that only made him put more weight on the pillow.

I let out a heavy sigh, “So you’re not going trick or treating?”

“Not last time I checked,” Kevin gave me a chuckle.

“Then where are you going?” I pointed at him, “Especially you and your injury.”

Kevin held his shoulder lightly as he laughed again, “We’re going clubbing, Nick.”

“And people wouldn’t recognize you there?” I rolled my eyes.

“It draws less attention than ringing peoples’ doorbells at nearly midnight.”

I gave him a scowl. I’ll never admit that he’s right. Not as long as I live.

Kevin shook his head, “I don’t know why you would want to ring doorbells this late anyway. It’s Colorado.”

I crossed my arms and continued to scowl, “So?”

“It’s cold,” Howie piped in.

“So?” I stuck my tongue out at him.

Brian reached for it as I quickly pulled it back into my mouth.

“Man…” he gave a jokingly defeated sigh, “I always miss it by that much.”

“What are we, Brian, four?” A large grin spread across my face. Hah, take that, Brian.

“Says the guy who stuck his tongue out in the first place.” Brian patted the pillow he was leaning on. I think he was trying to pat my head, but I can’t be too sure.

I turned back to Kevin, “So you’re all getting dressed up and going out to the clubs?”

He rubbed his shoulder slightly and smiled, “That’s right, Nick.”

“When are you gonna get that checked out?” I cocked my head slightly.

“Tomorrow. It’s a good thing we have a day off between shows.”

“We have a day off?” Really? Cool! I was mentally pumping my fists right then. A day to play video games? I’d take it.

Kevin shook his head, “You just go where you’re told without keeping track of things, don’t you?”

“Yeah, so?” It’s easier for me that way; less to remember.

He shook his head again, “Never mind.”

I rested my hands in my lap. Having Brian’s weight on my head wasn’t really bothering me anymore… That’s probably a good thing. “Hey Kevin… Since we have a day off tomorrow, can I come too?”

“Why are you asking me?” He chuckled slightly.

“It was your idea, wasn’t it?”

Brian starting putting more pressure on the pillow on top of my head again. “AJ’s actually.”

“Huh…” I paused.

I zoned out of the subject for a minute as I watched Kevin and Howie finally sit down in the living room. Howie sat at the end of the couch I had finally stopped sprawling myself across. Kevin eased into an armchair across from the couch and rested his head on the fist of his uninjured arm.

He really didn’t look good.

“Aren’t you going to ask me for permission to come?” AJ burst my deep thought.

I looked up slightly, “Well, I know you like me more, so I just assumed I was coming.”

Everyone was silent for a minute. I went back to staring at Kevin’s shoulder. I bet it would be even harder than normal for him to play video games…

“Well, you can’t come, Nick.”

“Wha?” I looked up slightly.

AJ crossed his arms, “I said you couldn’t come.”

“Why?” I was floored. AJ told me I couldn’t go? That doesn’t make any sense! Okay, sometimes I annoy AJ, but it’s AJ! He’s down with anything!

“You’re only nineteen.”

“So? I know that!” I was starting to get really sick of him pointing out my age to me. Yes, I’m nineteen, and no I don’t care if that makes me too old to go trick or treating. I’m going anyway! And why would that keep me from going clubbing with them?

“No one would have an eighteen and over night on a Sunday, Nick…” Brian paused, “No parents would let their kids go out on a school night.”

Oh…. That’s why… “But college! Parents don’t tell them what to do.”

“There’s probably plenty of bars closer to campus if they really feel like it.” Brian patted the pillow again.

“But I wanna go…” I pouted.

Howie leaned over, “Brian makes a lot of sense, Nick. We can all go out together next time.”

“Let’s ask Billy!” I clapped my hands, “I bet Billy can find one!”

“I thought Superman’s name was ‘Clark,’ Nick.”  Brian laughed.

“Really, because the only Superman I’ve met is really named Brian.”

Brian patted my head again, “You know I only use my powers for good, Nick.”

“Which means not helping you get into the club,” AJ nodded.

“I don’t know who made you boss just because it was your idea,” I grumbled.

“Me, because it was my idea,” AJ smirked.

I crossed my arms and continued pouting, “Whatever.”

There was a knock at the door. Howie looked at Kevin and got up slowly. It seems like Kevin is our usual door answerer, but he seemed pretty out of commission right now… So I guess Howie took over the dad position for a while. Which I guess is a good thing… He doesn’t roll his eyes as much as Kevin.

Howie pulled open the door slightly, “Hey, Billy.”

He pushed his large form into the doorway, “You guys getting ready to go out or will it be a little longer?”

I hopped off the couch in a flash, “Billy! Just the person I wanted to see!”

“Nick?” He looked confused as I ran over to him, “Why aren’t you already playing Mario or something on your Nintendo?”

“That’s not all I do Billy,” I pouted.

He crossed his arms, “What do you want this time, Nick?”

“Want, what makes you think I want something?” I pretended I was appalled. Just how does he see through me so easily anyway?

“You get this look on your face,” he responded; another voice had said it in unison. The heavy sigh of Kevin soon followed, so I assumed it was him.

Brian laughed pretty loudly. He had also stolen my spot. That jerk.

“Billy…. Can’t you find out if a club does eighteen and over tonight?”

“Can’t you, Nick?”

“Well, if there is one, I need to put my costume on.”

Billy shook his head, “I’ll check the front desk and be back in five minutes.” He turned and closed the door behind him.

AJ crossed his arms, “Wow Nick, you’re pretty desperate to go aren’t you?”

“Nope,” I gave him a smile and slipped into mine and Brian’s room.

“Desperate!”

“I’m putting on my costume!”

ΔΔΔ

We stood outside the nightclub. It was cold. It was really cold. “Ah! Why is it cold?”

“It’s October, Nick.” Kevin shook is head.

“So?”

“And it’s Colorado.”

“So?”

“And it’s midnight!”

“That arm is making you annoying.” I crossed my arms and gave him a smug look.

“So we take you somewhere and you complain?” AJ rolled his eyes.

Kevin waved AJ off and then nodded at Howie who snapped a masquerade mask over my face.

“Ow, what was that for?”

Kevin patted my head, “No one’s supposed to know Batman’s identity.”

“Maybe Brian should have been Batman and you should have been Robin…” AJ smirked, “You’re attached to his hip after all.”

“Ha, ha.” I rolled my eyes.

Brian put his arm around me, “What concerns me more is that they turned an old church into a nightclub!”

“And still called it ‘The Church,’ Brian?”

“And that they hold an eighteen and over night on a Sunday! It boggles the mind!” He laughed.

I laughed with him and wrapped him into a hug before snapping a mask on his face too.

Brian rubbed the back of his head, “That snap really does hurt.”

“Clark Kent may wear glasses to conceal the fact that he’s Superman, but this Superman needs a mask to hide his real identity.”

Brian laughed.

“Hey, Howie’s paying! Me too, Howie?”

“No, Nick.”

Brian shook his head, “Your attention span is like a goldfish.”

“Why?”

“It’s three seconds long.”

“Yeah, but I don’t think about food every three seconds.”

“Are you sure?” AJ smirked.

“No, I think about video games every three seconds, got it?”

“Not going to stick your tongue out at me?”

“No, I don’t feel like it.”

He laughed, “That’s new.”

I put my arm around AJ. “It’s Halloween, let’s just all have a good time.”

He pushed me away. “God, you’re so difficult until you get your way.”

“I do what I can.”

We laughed as we entered the nightclub.

AJ paused.

“AJ?”

“Well, now this is a pretty sight.”

I followed his gaze. There were tons of girls in costumes littered about the place. AJ’s gaze was at least a little hard to keep as it kept darting from girl to girl. It was then that a small, black cat crossed our paths.

“Me-yow,” he grinned and patted my back, “See you later, Nick.”

“Hey, AJ!”

I jolted forward, felt wet, and then heard a splash…. That’s probably out of order, isn’t it? And while my inner thoughts were focusing on my inner monologue and my confusion over whether I should have heard a splash first or if I should have felt wet first, all my mouth could manage to shout was “C-Cold!”

“I… I’m sorry.”

Cold… Wet… Girl? I turned around. Now, I could go on and on and on about her luscious dark hair or the way her deep brown eyes looked so concerned over something as innocent as spilling a drink. But the really important detail was that she was dressed as a bunny. So, that’s really all you need to know.

I gave her my trademark smile, the one that made all our teenage fans melt. “Don’t worry about it. It mostly got my cape.”

“Oh, just your cape.” She giggled, “Do you want some help with it?”

I smiled again, “Well, it does untie in the front, but it’s right under my chin so I can’t see it.”

She smiled and went straight to undoing the knots Brian had put into it. “I’m really good with knots actually. When I was in high school, I was one of the managers of the Boys’ Swim Team and this one time my best friend got his drawstring stuck in a knot and inside his drag suit. But I managed to get it out and unknotted. So I’m pretty good with knots.”

Manager…. Boys’ Swim Team…. Drawstring… Male best friend… drag suit… whatever the hell that is… and knots…. Wow she rambles a lot! But she did say she wasn’t in high school anymore and that sounds fantastic!

“There!”

“What?” She’s over excitable.

“I untied it.” She smiled and held up the cape. “I’m… sorry it’s wet.”

“Don’t worry about it.” I gave her a smile and took my cape back. It smells… Hmmmmm… “I don’t think it’s water you were drinking.”

“It’s a… margarita.”

“You don’t look twenty-one.” I gave her a small smile.

She looked down, “I’m…. I’m not. I’m here with my Big Sis. She likes Pauly Shore movies and had a Goth phase in high school. And on the wall outside her room, she has this really funny quote wall and mini sharpies to write on the quote wall and my favorite quote on it is ‘Can someone call my shoe?’ Isn’t that funny?” She laughed again. “I’m sorry, I’m rambling again… I do that a lot… Or that’s what I get told anyway…”

“Your older sister is a Goth and likes Pauly Shore movies?”

“No, no, no, she was a Goth in high school. But yes, she still likes Pauly Shore movies.”

“Pauly Shore?” I started laughing, “Which one is she?”

“That one.” She pointed to a tall blonde at the bar who was dressed in a navy uniform. My mistake, not gothic at all. And pretty cute too.

“But wait, you’re in college and still live with her?”

“Well, actually I didn’t meet her until I went to college.”

And I thought my family was dysfunctional.

“No, no, no, it’s not what you’re thinking. We’re not related in the ‘her parents are my parents and vice versa’ sense.”

“What? Do I have a stupid look on my face?” How the heck did she know what I was thinking? Only Kevin and Brian could do that.

“Why? Do I have a stupid look on my face?”

“No, you just answered the question I was thinking about…”

“Oh, because every time someone asks me that question, they say that I have a pretty stupid look on my face.”

I laughed, “You? No.” You’re too cute to look stupid. I gave her that smile again.

“Thanks.” She smiled back.

She looks really pretty when she smiles.

“But the reason I knew what you were thinking is that I used to be really quiet and shy before I got to college.”

“You? Shy? I’ve only known you for what? Ten minutes? I can’t see it.”

“I’ve changed since then. But… What I was like back then helped me become a better listener and… I could just look at people and see what they were feeling. It helped a lot because I could figure out problems without having to ask for them… You know?”

“Yeah, kind of like how I know Kevin is in a mood by the look on his face.”

“Uh, yeah, probably just like that. Anyway, my Big Sis and I aren’t related per se, but we’re sorority sisters. It’s like having a family away from home.”

Like a family away from home? It’s like the fellas…. “How many sisters do you have?”

“About one hundred and twenty.”

“Wow… I only have four… brothers, that is.”

“I don’t know… I think four would be better than hundreds.”

“If you have hundreds, then you have a bigger support system, right?”

“A bigger support system with many more holes. I think that when your support system is smaller, you know that you can depend on them more.” She gave me an almost sad smile, “That’s why we have families inside that large number… So we feel like we have a support system that can be there for us in a pinch.”

“That sounds… Really amazing.” You seem really amazing too. “Do you… Do you want to dance with me?”

She turned around quickly. “I um…”

“It’s the least you could do for ruining my cape.”

She lowered her head. Wow, maybe that was a low blow… “I’m still…”

“I’ll forgive you if you dance with me.” I flashed my smile again.

She reached her hand toward mine and gave me an equally flashy smile, “Okay… Let’s dance.”

I took her hand and pulled her away from the spill and her glass.

“So, why Batman?”

“I… like comic books a lot…” I paused, “That makes me sound really nerdy, doesn’t it?”

“No. People make fun of me for the music I like all the time.” She flashed that smile again. “And anyway, I saw a Superman here too. It was kind of funny to see him wearing a mask. But actually, I think the mask thing is pretty cool. It makes everyone that much more mysterious…” She started laughing, “I’m sorry, I’m rambling again.”

“It’s fine, it’s nice to know that you always have something to say.”

“Thank you.”

“So, tell me about your sorority.”

“You’re not going to get me in trouble for drinking, are you?”

“No, I know how that goes…”

She smiled, “Okay. Well, we’re the ultimate combination of class and sass. And we all have a lot of fun. We just finished up Homecoming and it was amazing. We were paired with the Sigma Pi boys and we made a giant airplane for the theme. Isn’t that fun?”

“Sounds like it. What else?”

“Well, we have our formal in a couple weeks. We get to put on formal wear and go to a nice venue and dance… And there are cute desserts…”

“It sounds a lot like Prom…”

“Yeah, it’s like big people Prom.” She laughed.

“Can I kiss you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“I want to kiss you.”

She turned her head, “I don’t kiss people whose names I don’t know….”

“I’m Nick… Nick Carter.” And that’s going to be my deal breaker, isn’t it? It’s the nineties. After we released I Want It That Way, there can’t be anyone who doesn’t know our names. Sometimes it sucks being a Backstreet Boy.

She smiled anyway, “It’s nice to meet you, Nick. I’m Vie… Or, umm, Veronica Laurens.”

“So, Veronica… Will you kiss me now?”

She smiled, “I have a better idea. Why don’t you come hang out in Boulder with me tomorrow? The Pi Kapps are throwing a Halloween party, and I could probably get myself in plus one. Want to go?”

“Is that a frat or something?”

“Only one of the strongest fraternities on our campus. Plus, I can guarantee that any party of theirs is better than this place.”

“Sure… I’ll try.”

She pulled out a sharpie and grabbed my arm, sliding the sleeve of my costume up my arm. “Here’s my phone number…” She scrawled the number on my arm. “Okay?”

I stared down at the number. Wow… I coughed, “Yeah, I’ll give you a call if I’m free.”

She smiled, “I hope you do.” She turned slightly, “Oops, I gotta go. Bye bye!”

I watched as she ran off toward the bar. She grabbed the arm of the tall blonde and they walked out of the club together with a few other girls that must have been in their group, and their sorority.

I stared down at my arm again. “Wow.”

Chapter Two by nicksgal
Author's Notes:
Yay, chapter number two! I guess a lot of people are remembering when I was updating PBox and it took me like two months to update, so they aren't reviewing or reading. :( Well, here's another chapter. :D

Chapter Two: The Day Off, or And Then I Was Really Stupid and Drooled on my Arm

I rolled over and blinked slightly as I realized that light was filling the room. Someone should make it illegal for the sun to blind you so early in the morning. You got that, sun? You are now public enemy number one! And I’ll deal with you soon!... Right after I finish sleeping. I pulled my blanket over my head and closed my eyes again. My peaceful sleep was quickly ended as I was greeted with a pillow to the face once again. I groaned.

“Brian, why do you hate me?” I groaned again.

“Because it’s nine thirty and you should be up.”

“After yesterday? No.” I rolled over and closed my eyes.

“It’s not like we let you drink in public… Or at all…”

“I smell like toxic death…”

“And this is news to you?”  Brian laughed.

I pulled my blanket off my head and sat up, “Not like my normal smell… Something more…. markery smelling?”

“Face…” Brian started cracking up. “So funny!”

“Why are you laughing? I wanted to sleep!”

Brian tossed another pillow at me.

“What was that for?”

“Get up and look at your face.”

“I don’t wanna get up…” I groaned and flopped back on my pillows.

Brian chuckled, “Yes, you do. I promise.”

“Fine, if you promise,” I rolled my eyes before rolling out of bed, “I think you inherited Kevin’s busted arm syndrome.”

Brian examined his arm, “Nope, doesn’t look busted to me.”

I shook my head as I walked toward the door, “Not the busted part, I meant the anal part that AHHHHHHH!!!”

Brian started laughing again. “Face!... Hilarious!”

I stared at the mirror in front of me. Why was my face black? Why was my face black? Why was my face black? Why was it… markery smelling? “Why does my face smell like marker?!?!”

“Why does your arm look like someone slobbered on it?”

“Shit!” I stared down at the scribbled mess that was my arm.” Shit! I needed that!”

“Needed what, Nick?”

“On my arm! Her number was on my arm! And I can’t call her if I don’t have her number!”

“Okay Nick, calm down. Let’s think this through. Whose number?”

“Veronica… Laurens…”

“That’s a girl… You didn’t tell me about a girl!”

“Well, I danced with a lot of girls.”

“But you remember this one’s name!”

“She invited me to a party.”

“On a Monday? That’s a school night.”

“It’s a college party.”

“Like an apartment party?”

“Something with pies and carps…”

“Pie and seafood? Not my choice of a good meal, even at a college party...”

“Maybe she said ‘parks’…”

“That doesn’t make sense either, Nick.”

“What about pie cans? Like a big party where everyone makes pies from canned pie mix?”

“Like pumpkin pie?”

“Yeah, I mean, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do with jack o’ lanterns when Halloween is over? Mash the skin and bake it in a pie?”

“Oh yeah, Nick, especially the rotted ones! They’re delicious!”

“Now you’re making fun of me.”

“You use the insides of fresh pie pumpkins, Nick.”

“Like you cut open the pumpkin and there’s a pie inside?”

Brian put an arm around me, “Maybe you should spend less time rambling and telling me about the party she invited you to and more time telling me about her.”

“Well, she rambles too… a lot.”

“Is that different from your rambling?”

“It’s more… long winded?”

“More long winded than you? Is that even possible?” he started laughing again, “I have to meet this girl!”

“I’m not long winded!”

“Have you ever listened to yourself? ‘And I had this dream where I was being chased by gremlins and they were shouting “feed me” and I was screaming and….’ Tell me that’s not long winded.”

“It isn’t.”

Brian grabbed me into a noogie, “You’re just saying that because I told you to.”

I grinned, “Maybe.”

“You’re being extra annoying for this early in the morning,” he laughed.

“You too, especially since you started this by waking me up.” I stuck out my tongue.

Once again, Brian reached for it. And as usual, I pulled it back inside my mouth at the last second. You would think this would get old, but it really doesn’t. Brian and I have too much fun for it to get old.

“Missed again!” He shook his head.

“Missed again, like always!” I  laughed.

“Want to get breakfast, Nick?”

“When my face looks like this? You’re kidding. I can see the tabloids now… ‘Backstreet Boy Nick Carter Develops New Skin Disease! He was last seen at a local Colorado restaurant with a black, putrid smelling face.’”

“Putrid?”

“You know? Like vomit.”

“Your face doesn’t smell like vomit, it smells like sharpie.”

“Sharpie… Vomit… Same thing.”

He laughed, “How about room service?”

“Now you’re talking!”

“Let’s get eggs.”

“Pancakes, Brian, Pancakes!”

“Greasy, breakfast cake-like food, perfect for the morning after a Halloween clubbing event!” Brian put his arm around me.

“With extra syrup!” I laughed.

“You really know how to live, Nick,” Brian laughed as he patted my shoulder.  “You really know how to live.”

We walked into the living room. AJ and Kevin were sitting in front of the television. As usual, AJ was busying himself with the remote and the various channels flashing across the screen. Kevin was rubbing his shoulder again, which wasn’t so unusual after yesterday.

“How do you guys feel about pancakes?” Brian called out to them.

AJ stopped scanning the channels momentarily. “After last night? Pancakes sound amazing!” He quickly went back to scanning the channels.

“What time is your appointment, Kev?” I yawned.

Kevin continued rubbing his shoulder gingerly. “Noon… So I guess I have enough time to eat pancakes with you, sleepy head.”

“I didn’t mean me.” I rolled my eyes, “Brian wanted you to eat with him.” I laughed a little.

“Oh…” Kevin looked down as he continued rubbing his shoulder.

I cocked my head to the side slightly. Is he upset about that? I was totally kidding. You know that, don’t you, Kevin? My mouth screwed into a slight frown.

Brian pinched my arm, “You know, you can say things out loud sometimes.”

“Ow, Brian!”

AJ and Kevin looked up from the television.

“Nick… Why is your face black?” Kevin gave me an odd look.

“I think he has the Black Death!” AJ pointed at me and started laughing.

I rolled my eyes, “The Black Death didn’t turn your skin black, it made it blotchy… And it’s not a disease, it’s sharpie.” I turned to Brian, “And I should have bet you money on what would have happened if we went out to breakfast.”

“But you didn’t,” Brian laughed.

“Wow….” AJ stopped laughing abruptly, “Nick corrected me about something school related?”

Kevin stopped rubbing his shoulder momentarily, “I’m still more concerned that his face is black.”

“Where’s Howie?” I turned my head quickly.

“Still sleeping,” Kevin stared straight at me, “Why is your face black?”

Wow, he just hits hard and fast with the questions! He didn’t even really stop to think about where Howie was… I squirmed. You’re too intense, Kevin. I decided to give him a nice eye roll, “I already told you it was sharpie.”

“You drew all over your face? Wow, that’s a new low, even for you, Nick.” AJ laughed.

“I didn’t draw on my face, I drooled on my arm.”

AJ paused, “Huh… That sounds just as weird.”

“I was sleeping.” I rolled my eyes.

“With a face like that, maybe we shouldn’t call you Kaos…” AJ laughed, “How about Slobber?”

“Or Drooly.” Brian laughed as he picked up the hotel phone from the stand near the bathroom door.

“You guys sure are getting your insults in early today,” I rolled my eyes.

“Well, it’s our day off from work… And each other,” AJ snickered.

“That’s definitely my idea of a day off.” I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t you ever worry that those’ll roll back into your head or something?” AJ responded dryly.

I rolled my eyes again.

“Apparently not,” Kevin chuckled.

I settled into the small space on the couch in-between AJ and Kevin.

“There’s no room for your ass there, Nick,” AJ laughed.

“There is now!” I stuck out my tongue and went to lick him, but he quickly clamped his hand over my mouth.

“And we wonder why people think we’re gay,” he smirked at me.

I licked the palm of his hand.

AJ pulled his hand away quickly and stared me down, “Not cool, Nick.”

I giggled.

AJ shook his hand slightly, “Typical.”

Brian plopped down in the chair across from us, “I got some pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice, and milk coming up for everyone. Maybe we can wake D when it gets here?”

“And extra syrup?” I almost bounced in my seat. Pancakes sounded amazingly delicious right about now.

Brian laughed, “I thought that was the whole point of eating pancakes.”

“So, who’s waking D up?” AJ had gone back to surfing the channels.

“Rock, Paper, Sisters!” I shouted.

“I’ll mediate,” Kevin rubbed his shoulder again.

“Let’s go!” I put my fist in front of me.

Brian laughed and AJ shook his head.

“Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!”

Brian and AJ both held out scissors, I had paper.

“Not fair, you two have the same one! Best two out of three! Rock, papers, scissors, shoot!”

This time it was two rocks and a scissor. You guys suck!

“Shoot!” “Shoot!” “Shoot!” You guys suck a lot!

Kevin held his head in his hand, “Nick, just give up.”

“Best fifteen out of twenty! Shoot!”

There was a knock at the door. “Room service!”

AJ pushed me off the couch, “Kevin called it; you lose. Go wake up Howie.”

“But pancakes… And syrup….” I sniffled.

“He’ll love the sight of your face first thing in the morning,” he snickered.

“I hate you all.” I pouted and shuffled toward Howie and AJ’s door.

ΔΔΔ

I sat in the back of a taxi with Billy as it drove down a little highway. I fiddled with a napkin in my hand. “Three-zero-three, five-nine-eight, one-two-two-eight. University of Colorado at Boulder. Pi Kappa Phi,” I mumbled to myself.

“What’s that, Nick?” Billy asked.

“Nothing Billy…  I just can’t believe Kevin had this…”

I stared at the smeared mess that appeared on my arm and sighed.

Kevin and I were the only ones in the living room now. I think it was because Kevin had gotten ready hours ago for his doctor’s appointment. He was showered and everything by the time Brian and I walked into the living room this morning to order pancakes. And I was still here because I had lost the rock, paper, scissors competition for the bathroom. Howie was in it now. And next to sleeping in the latest, Howie was known to take the longest showers. And I blame that on his hippie ponytail.

“So are you getting anxious to clean that up?” he laughed.

I shrugged and slumped down on the couch, “I don’t have to be anywhere right away… And if I can’t figure out what this smear used to say, I won’t be going anyway.”

“So you didn’t just draw on your arm for the fun of it?”

“I’m pretty sure that we discussed that I’m nineteen plenty of times yesterday.” I rolled my eyes slightly.

He gave me a smile despite that. “You know, I seem to recall you excitedly coming up to me yesterday blabbering about rocks and pies at the night club.”

“Rocks and pies, huh? Did you worry that I was drunk?”

“You know, I considered it at first, but it was too random even if you had been drunk.” He chuckled, “And then you showed me your arm, so I assumed you were confusing words.”

I lowered my head, “Like ‘resign’ and ‘reside,’ right?”

He chuckled slightly again, “Yes, something like that.”

“I think I remember coming up to you… I know I ran up to Brian and I think you pulled me away then.” I laughed.

“That’s because Brian was entertaining some fans.”

“Wow, I thought all our fans went to bed early on Sunday nights.” I giggled.

Kevin smirked, “I made Brian eat his words.”

“Sometimes you’re almost as much of a prankster as me and Brian!” I kept laughing. That is something Kevin would do, especially when Brian was being anal about it. Man, Kev, no one gives you as much credit as you deserve.

He rubbed his shoulder again, “But since Brian was preoccupied, that meant I had to deal with the rambled mess that was your story about some rabbit, rocks, and pies.” He laughed, “But I had Billy do some research for me.”

I cocked my head, “What kind of research?”

Kevin held out a small napkin, “When you were rambling, I jotted down the phone number on your arm. I figured you’d take a shower and forget about it.” He put his hand to his face to hide his laugh, “I didn’t think you’d slobber all over it though.”

I took the napkin from his hand, after giving him an appropriately timed eye roll. I stared at it for a minute, “This is the phone number that was on my arm?”

He nodded and gave me a small smile.

“Maybe it’s no so bad having you for a baby sitter.” I laughed.

“I’ll remember you said that next time we fight about something,” he smirked slightly.

“University of Colorado at Boulder?”

“I asked Billy to look up any colleges in the state that had names similar to rocks.”

“Wow…” I paused, “Rock and Boulder aren’t really the same thing, are they?”

“No,” Kevin laughed, “But Billy really had your back a couple times yesterday.”

I screwed my mouth slightly as I stared at the napkin, “Pi Kappa Phi? What’s that?”

“You were going on and on about some fraternity party. You mentioned pies and hats. So I figured it was where you were meeting the girl you went on and on about. Billy looked the house up too. I’m impressed he got a real fraternity out of ‘pie hats’.”

I stared at the napkin for a minute and then looked up at him, “Kevin…”

He laughed, “You aren’t going to cry are you?”

“I’m nineteen…” I rolled my eyes.

We both started laughing.

I stopped for a minute, “Hey Kev?”

“What?”

I leaned my head on his uninjured right shoulder, “Thanks.”

Kevin messed my hair a little, “You’re welcome, Nick.”

I smiled as I kept staring at the note.

Billy knocked my arm lightly, “You can call her.”

I blushed slightly. That was embarrassing. Imagine his reaction if he knew I was actually smiling about Kevin… I shook it off and pulled out my cell phone.

Ring, ring, ring…. And more ringing, and more ringing… And more ringing… Aren’t college girls attached to their phones? Especially ones that are in sororities? Ring? Click? Yes!

“Hello?”

“Veronica?”

“Yes?”

“Hey, it’s Nick.”

“Oh, hi, Nick! It’s almost five, so I didn’t think you would call today.”

“Yeah, I just passed this red bridge… Did you want me to meet you at that fraternity?”

“Oh, well, it’s Monday, Nick…”

“Right, you told me to meet you today.”

“Well, I was hoping you would have called earlier… I’m getting ready for Formal meeting right now.”

“Was I supposed to dress in formal wear?” Shit, she didn’t tell me that yesterday.

She laughed, “Not you, silly. The first meeting of every month is Formal, so the entire sorority dresses up in formal clothing and we have a fancy dinner.”

Sounds complicated…. “Oh, when will you be done?”

“Around seven.”

“Should I turn around?”

“Did you bring a costume?”

“No… it’s still wet…” You should know that, since you did get it wet… My poor, poor Batman costume…

“Okay, great! Go to Crossroads Mall and there should be a Halloween store there… And everything should be on sale! It’s exciting.”

“What are you going as?” I wonder if she has a second costume… that would be amazing. Maybe a devil… or an angel… Or a cat. Girls in college always seem to go as cats.

“Oh, I have another bunny costume. But you should go as whatever you want. Maybe a naval officer? That would be cool. Because you get to be near water and wear a uniform and ride in a boat… Sorry, I’m rambling again.”

“Another bunny costume, huh?” I laughed. She was adorable when she rambled. “Sure, I’ll get a navy uniform… if I can find one, anyway. Sales mean everything’s gone right?”

“Maybe some stuff, but I’ll bet you can find one.” Her voice smiled. “Oh! Do you know how to get to Crossroads Mall?”

“Hang on…” I pulled the phone down and looked toward the taxi driver, “Do you know how to get to Crossroads Mall?”

“You’re going to have to get me directions, sorry.” The driver shook his head, but smiled anyway.

I pulled the phone back to my face, “No, I don’t.”

Billy handed me a pen.

“Okay, take the 36 all the way to the end, and it’ll turn into Twenty-Eighth Street. Keep going to Arapahoe and you’ll see the Crossroads Mall a couple streets up on your right. You can’t miss it.”

I scribbled her directions on the back of the napkin. “Okay, I got it.”

“Great!” she sounded like she was smiling again. “I’ll meet you there around seven, but it might be a little later than that, since I have to get there.”

“That’s fine,” I smiled.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay by yourself?”

I shook my head, “I’ll be fine. I have a friend with me.”

“Oh…” she paused, “I don’t think I can get him into the party… Sorry.”

“Don’t worry,” I smiled, “He’s just here to make sure I got up to…” Rock… Rocks… I looked at the napkin, “Boulder!... okay…”

She giggled, “Alright, Nick. I have to get downstairs for dinner, but I’ll see you soon. I want to take you to this restaurant later, so save room.”

“Okay.” I smiled.

“I can’t wait to see your naval officer costume.”

“You’ll love it.” I couldn’t help but grin.

“Perfect. Bye bye.” The line went dead.

I put my phone back in my pocket.

After Billy finished giving the rushed directions to our taxi driver, he turned back to me. “So I’m your friend now?”

“Well, it wouldn’t go very well if I said my bodyguard followed me up to Boulder so I didn’t get mobbed by crazy fans. That would never impress her!”

Billy laughed, “Nick, I think you’re turning into a hopeless case. All for a frat party and a girl dressed as a rabbit.”

“She was…” I paused for a moment, “Sweet. Her rambling made me feel comfortable.”

“That’s because she reminds you of another rambling fool.” Billy gave me a wink.

“Come on, I don’t ramble that much!” I crossed my arms and sulked. I was just getting it blow for blow lately about the rambling and being nineteen. What next? Being blond?

Billy shook his head, “Someday, you’ll look back on all the times everyone teased you and laugh.”

“Ha, ha. Like that?” My voice dripped with sarcasm, even I could hear it. I cringed a little. I hate to admit it, but I hated getting moody when everyone made fun of me. I sulked further into my seat anyway.

“Cheer up, Nick. There’s a bunny coming to meet you in a few hours. Not a Playboy bunny, but I bet you’ll be excited to see her anyway.”

“I am excited to see her.” I decided to keep sulking. That’s what you get Billy! I’ll teach you to pretend you’re AJ! And then I’ll teach AJ!

“Your face doesn’t look it.” He laughed.

I gave him a big grin to appease him.

“And one more thing, Nick.”

“Whaaaaat?” I whined.

“I know I can’t go to the party with you, but I’m going to get you around one, got it?”

“One?” I let out a groan and continued to sulk.

“I wouldn’t complain if I were you, Cinderella only got until Midnight.”

“Fine…” I rolled my eyes and sat up. “Why one?”

“The bus leaves at four.”

“Can’t the bus stop by and pick me up?”

Billy shook his head, “You can’t inconvenience everyone else.”

I opened my mouth.

“Or make Brian pack your stuff.” Billy interrupted.

I crossed my arms again and pouted. Damn, he had a point.

“I’ll be there at one, got it?”

I sighed and rolled my eyes, “I got it, I got it…”

Who cares if Cinderella only got until midnight? Cinderella didn’t go to a frat party.

Chapter Three by nicksgal
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the delay! Real Greek life took over my writing time. But please enjoy this new gift; it's longer as a result. And don't forget, next chapter is the special surprise. :D

*FYI, I also decided to change the female lead's name from Victoria Laurens to Veronica Laurens, sorry. :( Just so you know.

Chapter Three: The Party, or Hi Nick, Thanks for Finally Coming to College, We Were Afraid You Got Lost

Plans had changed and I’d ended up closer to the campus than I had originally thought I would be. I shivered as I stood on the corner of some streets in front of a restaurant, “Damn you, cold.” I stared down at my sweatshirt. I’d definitely dressed for the weather at least this once, so why was it being sucky? I’m usually not this cold and I’ll be wearing shorts in Alaska or something… assuming we actually toured in Alaska…

“This is why you get sick.”

Get out of my head already, Kevin. I let out a sneeze.

I could hear him laughing at me.

Seriously, get out of my head. If Kevin weren’t really like that, people would think I was crazy by now.

I sneezed again.

Just for that, I’m totally sneezing on you when I get home, Kevin.

“Nick!”

I ducked behind the corner of the building slightly. I know it sounds stupid, but I’ve had enough time with crazy fans shouting my name and mobbing me that, really, I can never be too careful. I say that… But here I am standing on a street corner in some strange city. I’m definitely a mugger’s dream right now… Or something like that. I can see the tabloids now, ‘Nick Carter mugged on strange street corner. The Pop Star is unable to comment because he is currently unconscious.’

My phone rang, rather loudly actually, and I dropped it out of shock. I backed against the building for a minute before bending down to pick it up. Because the six inches I moved would really save me from getting stabbed or kidnapped! Especially because of the street lamp right in front of me! I almost felt like I was taking a bath in the light when I went to grab my phone. Seriously, why the hell was it so bright out? It’s never dark enough when I’m trying to sleep, it’s never dark enough when I’m trying to hide, and it’s never dark enough when I’m trying to run away! I need to start dressing in black from head to toe like AJ! Then I could hide in the dark too… Being a beanpole like he is probably doesn’t hurt either…
 
And then someone else’s hand on the phone stopped my rambling thoughts. Maybe I don’t want it if a ravenous fan touched it… And it’s really sad that that’s what worries me the most. I could just walk right up to a serial killer or kidnapper and ask which foot he wanted in the body bag first. I could feel my face turning pale. What if it really was a serial killer or a kidnapper? I pulled my hands back quickly and put one up to my face as I backed into the wall again. Please be gentle.

There was a playful giggle, “I thought I saw you. Are you hiding from the Greek police?” She held out my phone.

Ahhh!!!, The…. Who? I uncovered my eyes. Sure enough, there was Veronica. “Greek Police? Like they eat lots of food and drink strong liquor while they’re on duty?”

She laughed, “Greek Police, as in members of the Greek system that monitor parties the fraternities and sororities hold.” She motioned my phone toward me again.

I took it from her and put it in my sweatshirt pocket. It was at that precise moment that my stomach grumbled. I lowered my head out of embarrassment.

She just laughed. “Aren’t you glad we’re going to eat?”

She pulled me around the corner, pulled open the door, and shoved me inside the restaurant I’d been standing outside of for what felt like years…. In the dark… hiding from serial killers and kidnappers. Oh, and rabid fans… They were almost the same level of terrifying, except not.

My eyes grew wide as I took in the atmosphere. The bar directly in front of me was huge, complete with a chalkboard sign proclaiming “Flip Night!” Whatever the hell that was. “This is a restaurant?”

“Welcome to The Sink,” she smiled, “The only non sake bar left on The Hill.”

“Last time I checked, a bar is not a restaurant and you’re not twenty-one.”

A man in a waist apron walked by us, “Two for food?”

“Yup,” Veronica smiled.

He grabbed a few menus from a slot and motioned for us to follow him past the bar.

“It’s a restaurant and a bar,” she smiled at me as we walked.

She continued smiling as she stared at my face. I must have looked shocked or amazed. There were murals all over the wall, and writing! What kind of restaurant is this?

“It’s a college restaurant,” she offered with a giggle.

She read my thoughts again! Damnit, she’s like a rambling, non-anal Kevin. She’s like what you would get if Kevin and I were the same person… A rambling mind reader! And that could be terrifying.

The waiter set the menus on the table, “He’s from out of town, isn’t he?”

“Sadly, not everyone gets to permanently enjoy the awesomeness that is Boulder.”

The waiter laughed, “Isn’t that the truth?”

The two of them high fived and laughed together. I guess it was some sort of secret Boulder handshake? I kept watching as they pounded fists. It was totally some secret handshake. I bet there’s a club out here somewhere.

The waiter then dropped a sharpie on the table with a smile, “Let him sign it as a memento.” Where the hell did that sharpie come from? I was watching his hands the entire time!

Veronica smiled as she picked up her menu, “Want to share a pizza?”

I shook off my amazement and smiled, “I love pizza!”

She gave me a large grin, “Good. The Sink doesn’t have the best pizza on The Hill, but I felt like it was something you needed to see in Boulder…. Well, that and I’m not hungry enough to eat one of their famous burgers.”

“Well, you’re the expert on Boulder and…” I stared up at the ceiling, “This place is pretty amazing!”

She smiled and passed the sharpie to me, “Want to give it your John Hancock?”

“Hell yeah!” I took the sharpie from her and uncapped it as I proceeded to kneel on my stool. The ceilings were that low! I kind of felt like a four year old writing on the wall with a crayon… I think I even stuck out my tongue a little.

”””

We were walking out of the restaurant about an hour later. I’ve never heard of a girl eating two dinners, but I ended up with leftovers anyway. So I guess neither of them were really big dinners? Or she just threw her pizza on the floor when I wasn’t looking. There was one point during dinner where she kept staring at a particular patch of ceiling and smiling… I’d gone to the bathroom, so I couldn’t blame her, but it was weird that she kept looking in the same place…

She linked her arm in my free one. It startled me a little.

I laughed to cover up my surprise; “So, we ate pizza at a restaurant that let me sign its ceiling, where are we going next?”

“What, do you want the grand tour?”

“Who wouldn’t? Especially if I can sign more ceilings!” I laughed and then stopped for a minute, “Okay, this is really bugging me, what the hell is Flip Night?”

“Flip a coin, call the side, and if you win, your drink is a quarter.”

“That’s a really good deal!”

“I know, right? When I’m twenty-one, I’m totally taking full advantage of it!”

I laughed, “It’s nice to know that you’re planning ahead.”

She tightened her link on my arm and smiled, “It’s all part of my five year plan!”

“Wow, right down to what you’re drinking on Monday nights? That’s pretty exact!” Okay, I lied about her not being anal… If Kevin and I were gay, and were born like thirty years ago and had a love child, this would be that love child.

“I’m kind of obsessed.” She laughed.

I smiled as she pointed out restaurants along the strip. Which ones were good, which ones were bad… And telling funny stories about times she was drunk and screaming about sandwiches. I don’t know either, sorry. We were walking next to a tattoo and piercing parlor when she pointed across the street excitedly.

“Do you like creepies?”

“Do I like what?”

She pulled me across the street and stopped in front of a small storefront, “Creepies.”

“You mean crepes?”

“No, but yes.”

I laughed again. This girl was practically impossible to understand.

I laughed even harder as she pulled me into the stand and ordered some unknown combination of ingredients.

“Do you like nutella?” she burst with a smile.

“No?”

“You don’t know what it is, do you?”

“No?”

“It’s okay, you’re eating a banana split.” She handed me the first crepe that was finished.

“Hot!” I pulled my hand away before I grabbed it.

She shook her head and wrapped six napkins around it before handing it back to me.

I’m not going to lie, watching her do that made me feel just a little embarrassed. Like I was a six-year-old being taken care of… What was with me feeling like a child today? I shook it off and took a bite of the crepe. “This is good!”

“Duh.” She grinned at me as she grabbed hers and linked arms with me again, this time with the arm holding the pizza box. She pulled me out of the crepe store and ran across the street, just narrowly missing us being splattered by a bus! Another good headline, ‘Nick Carter is hit by a bus!’

Bus!” I screamed. Of course, by that time, we were already across the street. And the bus had already gone by.

“Relax,” she smiled, “Pedestrians have the right of way in Boulder twenty four seven.” She bopped my head a little and I’m pretty sure I got cream puff on my nose. It felt just a little gooey.

She stopped at the top of a flight of stairs and lit her face up with her cell phone, “Welcome to the Underpass… Muahahaha.”

I was torn between laughing and making fun of her… I guess they’re both the same thing. I started cracking up.

“It’s not as scary as it sounds.” She motioned down the stairs toward the small tunnel underneath the street. It was probably only about one hundred feet long or something…

“You’re so….” What was the word I was looking for? “Awkward? I thought sorority girls were supposed to be the most poised and popular people? Like beauty queens and super models?”

“It’s more like Rose Queens and Super Deltas,” She laughed and then shook her head, “Also, I happen to fit in really well in my house, thanks. Besides, I’m not the one with cream puff on my nose.”

Shit, I knew it. I ran my sleeve against my nose. I could just feel the stickiness of it.

“Yuck, Nick. You have at least six napkins… Now your shirt is sticky…”

I stared down at my crepe. I did have a lot of napkins, didn’t I? “I’m wearing a costume later?”

She unlinked her arm from mine and started skipping under the underpass.

Maybe Brian was right… Was it possible for there to be a person with more energy and rambling stories than I had? I like to think I’m pretty unique in my randomness, but she was showing me up time and time again. I shook my head and ran after her with a grin.

When I finally caught up to her, she was hopping down a flight of stairs.

“So is this what you do in Boulder all the time?”

“Sometimes… I mean, I also have a life.” She laughed.

“Like going to parties and hanging out with frats?”

“And going to class and doing my homework and working and being a good Tri Delta… I promise being Greek is about more than a social calendar.” She laughed again. “I just tried really hard to clear my schedule for yesterday and today. I mean, I couldn’t not go to Denver or to Pi Kapp’s party, you know?”

“I guess…”

School, work, and the Greek system…. That sounded a lot more fun than going to meetings or working around the world… Not being near my brother or sisters… Fighting with the guys… Running away from mobs… Or anything like that…

It’s kind of funny, actually, that I was the one living the surreal life with cameras and paparazzi and thousands of screaming fans across the entire world and yet, this place… Normal, ordinary college was what seemed surreal to me. It almost made me feel stupid, like I didn’t really belong.

It’s a little sad, actually.

“Sit down.” Her voice smiled.

I finally noticed that we were standing in an outdoor amphitheater. It was like I was about to sing a private concert for one. I haven’t done that in a long time…

She smiled up at me.

I don’t know why, but there was something so comforting about her being there in front of me. Even if I felt out of place, she was really welcoming. Kind of like… a smile.

“Sing me a song,” she smiled.

“What kind of song?”

“How about… Heaven in Your Eyes?”

My heart stopped. No. “N-No.”

She didn’t move. She just kept sitting on the edge of the stage, watching me curiously.

“You tricked me.” She knew me and didn’t say anything? Why? Why?

“I invited you to a party and you came. How is that tricking you?”

“You knew who I was and you didn’t say anything!” I started backing up. Don’t fans usually say something?

“Oh, please, Nick.” She rolled her eyes.

I stopped, “You… rolled your eyes.”

“Duh, you deserved it.” She shook her head, “Welcome to 1999, Nick. In case you haven’t noticed, the Backstreet Boys are probably one of the biggest bands on the planet!”

“So?” I know that! What does that have to do with anything?

She rolled her eyes again, “What I mean is, everyone knows who the Backstreet Boys are. You’d have to be living under a rock since like 1997 or be... you know… Amish. How many weeks has Millennium spent at Number one?”

“Ten…” I answered under my breath.

“Ten, huh?” She shook her head and stood; “Now how do you expect people to not know who you are?”

I was dumbfounded. She was cute, and she hadn’t screamed in my face when I first met her… And she’d been nice to me this whole time. What was I supposed to do? “You don’t want anything from me?”

“I invited you up because you looked so lonely at The Church… Plus I did spill my drink on you, so it’s only fair…”

“And you’re not going to be whoring me out to any of your friends?”

“Well… I did say you were interested in pledging a fraternity, so I guess I’m whoring you out to boys?”

My face screwed into a strange expression. “That’s not quite what I imagined…”

She laughed, “I didn’t think it was.”

I gave her a small smile and she patted the empty space next to her.

I walked over to her and sat down. “So, where are we?”

“This is my favorite place on campus. They hold the Shakespeare festival here every year… And it just reminds me of this outdoor lecture area we had at my high school. I used to sit out there for hours and just think. It’s comforting to me that way.”

“You sit and think all by yourself in this giant amphitheatre?”

“Sometimes you just need to put yourself back into the big picture. Sometimes we think we’re… bigger than we are, I guess…”

I leaned back on my hands, “No, I know… Sometimes I used to sit in the empty arena before shows and think that it all seemed like too much…” I gave her a small smile, “Sitting here with you in this amphitheatre is really, pretty comforting.”

“Thanks, you too.”

I closed my eyes a little as I put my hand on top of hers. I opened my mouth slowly, “I need you tonight…. I need you right now…. I know deep within my heart, it doesn’t matter if it’s wrong or right…. Cuz I see Heaven… In your eyes….”

I opened my eyes to see her smiling.

“I totally stand by my position now. They should have never changed the words of your solo.”

I started laughing. Any normal fan would have asked for that song to brag to their friends about the emotional song Nick Carter sang just for them. She just wanted to hear the words. Veronica, you’re something else.

“You know what, Nick? I have a small, small idea.”

I laughed, “Should I be afraid to ask.”

“I say we have a party! Let’s have a party!” She started cracking up.

“No,” I laughed with her, “No more cheesy song titles in conversations.”

She put her hand to my shoulder, “Don’t worry, Nick, I’ll never break your heart.” She couldn’t keep a straight face.

“Enough!” I kept laughing.

“You’re so larger than life, even the perfect fan couldn’t tell you to quit playing games with my heart even though I want it that way…” She blurted it out with a small melodious tone to her voice. Seriously, she was almost singing, but not quite there yet.

I’m pretty sure I laughed for five minutes straight. By the time I was done I was gasping for breath. “Enough… That’s enough…”

She laughed with me.

“No more singing,” I took another deep breath.

“That’s okay.” Her small smile became a large grin, “I was serious about the party.”

“Oh, is it time to go already?” I stood up.

She looked at her phone, “Well, it’s ten fifteen now, so… after getting ready... that would put us there around eleven, so yeah… Now is good.”

“When does it start?”

“Ten.”

I pulled her up quickly and awkwardly, “Doesn’t that mean we’re already late?!?!”

She shook her head, “It’s a fraternity party. Only serious girlfriends show up when it starts… Besides, we’re on the list, so we’ll get in for sure.” She smiled again and grabbed my hand, “So let’s go!”

I was about to enter my first fraternity party… I wonder if it’s really like Animal House with the loud music and kegs flying through windows… And how many of these guys were just going to be drunken douche bags? Or are the stereotypes of frat guys like the stereotypes of boy bands? You know, where they’re not really real? I don’t know…

”””

Veronica and I walked up to the white house. On either side, there were giant classic looking Greek houses… Like in the movies! This one looked more like an apartment, but it was still a giant. And that was just the outside! I started walking toward the door.

“No…” Veronica grabbed my hat, and then pulled me away.

“Isn’t this the house? There’s a ‘pi’ on the side?” Take that! I recognize that Greek letter from my calculator in school. I’m sure I had a smug look on my face, because I felt pretty proud of myself just then.

“Yes, this is Pi Kapp, but no one goes through the front door.”

We walked behind the house, only to find a large line of people, mostly girls. I stared at it in shock. We came late and had to wait in this line? That didn’t make sense… “Why is there a line?”

“Relax,” she put up her hand before she skipped over to the bouncer holding the list. “Kolbe!”

I followed her path and noticed another guy standing beside the bouncer with the list. He looked younger and was actually dressed in a costume. Was that one of the frat guys?

He and Veronica hugged and for a moment, I felt a twinge of jealousy. That was until she pointed over at me. I know I’m used to people pointing at me and screaming my name, but being singled out right here made me feel embarrassed. At a place like this, I’m not the type of person everyone would pay attention to… Here, I’m just Nick Carter… Not Nick Carter the Backstreet Boy.

The frat guy”Kolbe, I guess”leaned over to the bouncer and they had a quick conversation before Veronica waved me over.

I speed walked over to her.

She grabbed my hand excitedly, “They have room for two more, let’s go, Nick!” She put my naval cap back on my head before grabbing the frat guy’s hand and following him inside.

“We have room for two more because you’re on our list,” he laughed.

“Yeah, but it sounds cooler when you just happened to let us in,” she giggled.

“Well, you are on the list, so I guess that means you’re pretty cool.”

“Well, duh.”

He shook his head and laughed. “Is he twenty-one?”

She shook her head.

“Sorry, Laurens,” he smiled a little as he took out a sharpie and drew two black x’s on her hands. He turned to me, “I have to get you too then. Just because you’re not a brother.”

I put out my hands for him and they also got x’s on them. Question though… If I was a brother, would I have gotten in without the marks? That would be pretty cool. And Kevin wouldn’t be here to keep me away from alcohol and I could just have a party. Just like a real nineteen-year-old would do.

She put her hand on his shoulder, “Sorry for being so rude, Kolbe.” She motioned toward me, “This is Nick Carter, he just transferred from a small liberal arts school, and he wanted to join a fraternity.” She turned to me, “Nick, this is Adam Kolbe. He’s the Risk Chair and he’s dating one of my sisters, Bree Bernard. They’re adorable!”

“Is that my standard introduction?” he laughed.

She stuck out her tongue, “Duh, because you are.”

He shook his head and turned to me. He stuck out his hand, “Nice to meet you, Nick. Laurens was pretty excited about me getting you on our list.”

“Thank you for that,” I smiled, before pausing, “Laurens?”

He motioned over to Veronica, “Vie. Calling people by their last names is a fraternity thing. If we’re willing to call a girl by her last name, it means she’s in pretty tight with the brothers.”

She shook her head, “I am not.”

He let out a chuckle, “I guess there are some brothers who still call you ‘Vie’… And even ‘Veronica’… Hey, speaking of that, how is Weyslan?”

She smiled, “He’s good. Working hard.”

He smiled, “Good. I wish here were here sometimes. Being Risk isn’t fun without him trying to get me to take a pull of the hard stuff.”

They both started laughing again. What is it with people in Boulder and their inside jokes? I guess I understand this better though… Just because these two seemed like they were actually friends. Who was this Weyslan guy though?

She put her hand on his shoulder, “That joke was probably the funniest prank I’ve ever heard.” She smiled wistfully, “I miss his witty sense of humor.”

“‘If it’s raining, why aren’t you wet?’”

They started laughing again.

“Okay, okay, so I was being an idiot,” she confessed.

I stared blankly at their inside joke fest.

Kolbe looked up at me, and I think he noticed how lost I looked. He put his arm around me, “So, are you serious about rush?”

He changed the subject so quickly; I was a little caught off guard. “Ummmm… I think so?”

Veronica gave him a pat on the back, “Rush him hard, Kolbe. I trust you.”

He winked, “If I’m not too busy with my Risk duties.”

“Don’t worry, I think you can rush him hard while keeping everyone in line. Aaron’s not here to tempt you with pulls.” She winked, before scanning the room slightly. “Where’s Cole?”

He pointed over toward the bar, “Try the bar. LeSparks is over there too.”

“Great!” She smiled.

“I’ll rush him hard.” He gave her a pat on the back, “Go have fun with Cole and LeSparks… just not at Weyslan’s expense.”

“Don’t worry, I’m okay.” She waved as she walked away, “But that’s what I like to hear, Kolbe! We have to leave at one, so I’ll come find you!”

And then she was gone. Crap, she left without me. She really wasn’t kidding when she said she would whore me out to her male friends.

“So you’re a sophomore?”

I was startled for a second at the sudden subject change, but then decided to just play along with Veronica’s game, “Um, yeah.”

“Me too,” he smiled, “How about we get you a drink?”

We walked over to the bar where Veronica was posing for two guys.

One fluffed up the tail on her bunny costume. “Is Weyslan okay with you wandering around in that?”

That wistful smile crossed her face again, “You know he hates Halloween, Graham.”

The second guy smirked, “To see you in that outfit? I bet he would love Halloween.”

It’s true; there isn’t any guy that wouldn’t look at her boobs almost spilling over the top of her corset. And even though I was distracted by the fact that they were talking about that Weyslan guy again, I couldn’t stop staring either.

She giggled, “We’ll take a picture and send it to him then!” She held out a camera and posed with the two guys. She then stashed the camera back into the top of her corset when the song changed. “Graham, Cole, I love this song!”

I listened for a moment over the cheers. It was ‘I Want It That Way.’

“Here’s your drink,” Kolbe smiled at me as he handed me a beer.

I took it with a smile and then turned around to see Veronica walking away with the two guys. But, I still didn’t know who this Weyslan guy was… He obviously was someone that all of them knew… And really well, too… But why did that bother me so much? Veronica… Why does that bother me?

”””

At three that morning, I lay in my bunk on the bus. I rapped the wall next to me lightly. “Kevin?”

There was a slight stir.

I rapped it again, “Kevin.”

“What?”

“How did your appointment go?

“I just dislocated it…”

“That’s better than it being broken…”

“Yes…”

“Nick, go to bed already!” AJ shouted.

“Kevin…” I lowered my voice to a whisper.

“What?”

“Can I talk to you?”

I watched as Kevin’s legs slid out from his cubby. I followed him quickly.

Kevin sat down on the couch just outside our cubby holes, “What is it, little man?”

I sat next to him, “Do you ever think you made the wrong decision?”

“About going to the doctor about my shoulder?”

“No… Not going to college.” I could feel my eyes shaking as I stared up at him, “Don’t you ever wonder if you belonged somewhere else?”

“Nick, maybe sometimes it seems like college would have been better, but we’re here now. I wouldn’t trade this time with you guys for anything.” He put his arm around me, “Besides, if we all went to college instead, we would have never met.”

“We could have all been in the same fraternity. Brothers for life!”

Kevin let out a chuckle, “We’re already brothers, Nick.” He tousled my hair, “Besides, we wouldn’t have gone to college at the same time, so AJ would be the only one you could have met anyway.”

I lowered my head, “But it just seems… so much more normal.”

“No, it seems amazing to you because this is normal… But it’s amazing to a lot of other people.”

He could read me like a book.

He patted my head, “I know it’s hard sometimes for you not to have friends your own age… But all of us are here for you. Brothers for life.”

I felt the couch jolt a little as he stood up.

“Don’t think about it for too long.”

I lay down and curled up in the fetal position on the couch. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? Sometimes it felt like I’d gotten lost going somewhere… Was there some other life for me that I was missing out on? I buried my head in my arms. Sometimes I wondered…

Chapter Four by nicksgal
Author's Notes:
This is the chapter with the special surprise! Thank you for being patient with me. :o) And sorry. :(

Summary: Knock, whistle, and knock again and you may be allowed to open the doors to the prestigious Beta Sigma Beta. Nick Carter was a GDI, and damn proud of it, but a bet forced him into the world of secret societies where letters mean more than that a girl belongs to the "blonde house" or a guy lives in a perpetual "keg party." This is the pledgeship of Nick Carter; if you would like to join him in his journey, turn your Pledge Book to page three and begin your descent into the secrets of Beta Sigma Beta. 

Chapter Four: Bid Day, or The Day I Made a Really Stupid Bet

Spring Semester had just started at RMU—University of the Rocky Mountains at Boulder. It started normally, just like my past three semesters here. Professors would run through the syllabus on the first day, hoping they would actually be able to start the course as planned. I don’t know why, since even if you start class work during the first week, it’s still always the easiest week out of the semester… probably because no one actually does any of the assigned work anyway. And then the next week, everyone freaks out because they’re so behind. It would be nicer if every day was spent going over the syllabus, but this is college. And college isn’t like that, unfortunately. That’s probably why you have to pay for it.

Meanwhile, students thought up genius ways to avoid learning for that extra day or two. Because there was always at least one way to get around the set blocks of time the teacher planned for going over the syllabus.

"What's your policy on absences?" "It's on page three of the syllabus." "Oh. I don’t see it there." “It is.”

"Is the class curved at the end or on each big test?" "There is no curve." "That can't be right… What if everyone fails?" “Then you aren’t learning what you should.”

"Your office hours aren't on the syllabus." "Wednesdays at eleven." "But I have class then…" “You’ll figure something out.”

"Can I go to the bathroom?" "No."

Genius, right? Right. What's with these professors anyway? Don't they know that the first week of class is for slacking and finding study buddies? Like that blonde in the front of the class with huge tits. That's the study buddy I'll be hooking up with. I’ll bet I can get her by the end of the week, tops.

She turned, and I could finally see the sweatshirt she was wearing. Navy letters on a yellow sweatshirt. K-Y-M… What the hell is ‘K-Y-M’? Shouldn’t I know that? It’s on the tip of my tongue…

She let out a laugh. It was the kind of laugh that made you want to grind your teeth… Like that show with the one actress with that really annoying laugh… "I'm so glad we'll have all those strangers out of our house soon. I mean, there was this one girl with dreds down to here!" She motioned at her waist, "And I was like, why are you even rushing? To prove a point? No one will like you! Not even the Rho Taus! God!"

The girl she was with also wore a long-sleeved jersey emblazoned with ‘K-Y-M.’ She brushed her hair back as she laughed as well. It wasn’t quite as annoying… But that’s kind of an understatement. "I saw her; poor thing was trying so hard not to be a GDI. It's pathetic, really. Since you know, the Rho Taus like everyone! But, at least we get to release our new spring line! The Kappa Mu babies will be adorable, so it was all worth it!"

The girls squealed and giggled as they packed up their things. They clutched their designer bags as they adjusted the fur on their god awful boots. Then they left the room.

I wish that conversation had gone in one ear and out the other… I let out a groan. I hate the Greeks. They are so full of themselves. God! (Did you hear my impression? It was great, wasn't it? I know, I know, I should go into acting.) I rolled my eyes as I pulled out my phone and flung my backpack over one shoulder.

I can't believe Amy wants to be a part of that.

Maybe I should call her to see how she's feeling though… I’m sure it’s stressful trying to impress a bunch of shallow, designer-toting snobs.

Amy… Where to start? Cute, sweet, and practical Amy. An English major and harder to crack than a diamond. And yet… She wanted to be in that world of strange letters and secrets. I still don’t know what’s alluring about being a world where everyone talks about you, and everyone else, behind closed doors.

I shook my head as my phone rang.

"Nick!" she sounded like she was smiling. She was always smiling. At least, she was always smiling these days… Would her smile go away when all of this was over?

I shook off the feeling and put on my best smile. "Hey! Want to get lunch?"

"Oh God, Nick, I'm so nervous, I can't even think about eating."

"That's not healthy…" But it is stereotypical. Apparently eating disorders made you popular in college? Thanks go out to the Greeks again.

"But today's the day I find out which house I got! I'm so nervous!"

Last year, smart, practical, sweet Amy refused to go through the demeaning thing called “Rush.” This year, for some reason, the same sweet, practical, and smart Amy decided she would torture herself by speed-dating a bunch of hypocritical snobs for the past week. At first she thought she belonged with the squiggles, then the peace signs, then the shoes and shopping bags… And you're starting to get how meaningless these symbols are, right? What’s the point of having arbitrary letters to represent your identity? Don’t people already do that with their name-brand clothing anyway? It seems pointless to me.

"What are your choices?" But see, I’m a nice friend and I pretend like I’m interested anyway!

"Well, I really want Tri Pi."

"OhMyGod! It rhymes… That's like sooooo cute!!" I imitated the valley girl speak those K-Y-M girls had just been twittering in. I think it made me a little sick to my stomach… I’ll just find a new study date.

"You sound like an idiot." I know they sounded like idiots; that’s why I made fun of them. Amy, pay attention to my jokes! You know I’m hilarious.

I decided to change the subject; "And you sound like you're hungry. Come on, let's eat."

She paused and sighed, "Can we go somewhere I can get a salad?"

"Only if it's also somewhere I can shove a Snickers down your throat."

"….."

Her silence was killing me. Seriously, Amy! When did you develop an eating disorder? I don’t like it!

"Okay, deal. Meet you at the Student Center in five?"

"Sure." I hung up and opened the door as I stepped into the cold air. I pulled my sweatshirt hood up as I walked outside. A smile spread across my face; she'd thank me later for making her eat.

ΒΣΒ

Amy, in her normal wisdom, had chosen a cheeseburger over that salad she mentioned. Honestly. What kind of girl would eat a salad to impress other girls? It's nonsensical. Just like it’s nonsensical for a great looking girl to starve herself. These are all things that people need to learn—especially because a lot of people in college do things that make absolutely no sense.

She looked up at me and mumbled something. Well, not really mumbled, just that she started talking right after she had taken a huge bite of that cheeseburger. I do that all the time… But I’m used to me doing it. She’s usually pretty lady-like.

So that fact that she did it caught me off guard. "What?"

She swallowed and started laughing.

"What?" I whined. But let's keep the fact that I admit to whining a secret between us, alright? It’s one of those things that I will go to the grave for before admitting to doing it out loud; I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t.

Amy continued laughing, "That must have been really garbled if the King of talking with his mouth full couldn't understand."

"Ha ha ha ha ha…" I rolled my eyes.

She took a breath, "Sorry. I asked if you were still going to make me eat that Snickers. I don't think I'll have room for it…"

I shook my head, "No. I mean, you did eat a cheeseburger, that's even better than a Snickers." I gave her a short wink.

She laughed. "Where are you off to next?"

"Bio… And Music Theory 4." I took a bite of my sandwich.

"Fun…." She shook her head.

"Hey, I don't like English, but you don't see me rolling my eyes at your classes."

"Sure I do. All the time."

"So, what about you?" I rolled my eyes. If anything, it was just to spite her.

"American Lit after 1860, then I have to go home and get ready for Bid Day."

"Aren't they supposed to be your 'loving and supportive sisters' now? Why do you have to doll yourself up for them?" I shook my head. Women. Women who make themselves look good to impress other women… Do you see the logic here? I don’t.

"Well, there will be photos… And yes, I'd like to look nice…"

"But why? It's not like you have to impress other girls."

She shook her head as she picked up her glass, "Nick, you just don't get it..."

"And especially the Greeks, no one can impress them," I spat.

She slammed her glass on the table, "I'm about to be one of those Greeks, Nick! Does that mean I'll fit into your narrow classifications who's good and righteous in the world?!"

"Amy…" No…. I just don’t want you to become something you’re not…

"I mean it, Nick! You should learn to accept people!"

"Pfft," I laughed and spat at the same time, "Tell that to the Greek system." They need to here it more than me. Amy, I you change, I wouldn’t like it… but I’d still like you. I wish there were a way for me to tell you that… I really do.

She grabbed her tray in a huff and stood, "God, Nick! No wonder you're a GDI!"

I stood as well, "Excuse me?"

"You heard me, you're a 'Gosh Darn Ignorant'!" She stormed off with her tray.

I sank back into my seat. 'Gosh Darn Ignorant,' huh? What was it that chick in class said?

"I saw her; poor thing was trying so hard not to be a GDI. It's pathetic, really."

I guess being ignorant is a little pathetic, but… I shook my head. That’s not it at all. Amy… I think maybe we're both the ignorant one.

ΒΣΒ

There was finally some peace and quiet in our house, for the first time this entire semester. Amy was off gallivanting with her new “sisters” (though I had yet to find out who these “sisters” were), Morgan had holed herself up in the Delta Delta Pi house waiting for their new recruits, and Blake was out on a date with his girlfriend, Sam—she was in the Business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi . God! Why am I surrounded by all these fucking Greek letters? I buried my head in my biology text book. I wish textbooks had built-in guns. It’s only been three days and I’m already ready to shoot myself…. I think it’s because everyone is running to the Greek system with open arms.

The door opened as I let out a loud groan. “Nick?”

I looked up to see Amy walk through the door carrying a teal cup filled with that crinkly paper you fill gift bags with. I watched a few pieces spill on the floor. Thank God I wasn’t the one who cleaned this house.

She gave me a smile, “I can’t believe Bio is that frustrating, you totally aced last semester.”

I scratched my head as I tossed the book on the coffee table. Should I tell her the real reason? I shook my head and decided against it, I mean… I wouldn’t want to bring up that fight we had earlier, especially now that she obviously was in one of those sororities. “No, it’s nothing…” I laughed to throw her off my trail. She’s smart; she’d figure out the real reason eventually.

She shook her head and set the cup on the coffee table next to the couch where I was sitting.

I gave her a small smile and patted the seat next to me. “So, what’s the word?”

Her face lit up instantly as she pulled her camera from her bag. “Tri Pi!”

I laughed slightly, “Morgan won’t be too happy about that.”

She shook her head as she turned on her camera, “It’s okay; both Morgan and I know that I’m lacking plastic.”

“Like breast implants?”

She raised an eyebrow, “Nick….” She shook her head, “No, nevermind. Look at my pledge class!” She thrust the camera in front of my face. “Tri Pi is the diverse house on campus, so we have a lot of different types of girls.” She beamed.

I studied the picture for a moment, and then laughed, “You’re right, it is diverse! There’s a lot of brunettes, a lot of blondes, and even a few red-heads! And look, I see an Asian girl!”

Her smile fell slightly. “Nick, that’s not funny.” She snatched the camera from my hand and picked up her cup from the coffee table. “I’m still mad at you.”

There was a loud pound on our door. I nearly jumped off of the couch and shit my pants. I stomped over to the door and thrust it open, “I know this is a college town, but damnit, it’s midnight on a Wednesday! Seriously!?” There was no one there.

“Nick, it’s Thursday… Technically…”

“God Damnit!” I almost slammed the door, but the glitter on the floor practically blinded me so I had to back into the kitchen and shield my eyes. I waved at Amy… Or the door… I couldn’t really tell the difference. “I think you’ve been vandalized…”

“Don’t you mean us?”

I tried to clear the spots from my eyes by blinking. “No one in their right mind would vandalize me with glitter!” I rubbed at my eyes, “Damnit!” Blind me with glitter, maybe. Maybe… I rubbed my eyes even harder than before.

It looked like she shook her head. “I hate it when you swear…” She walked toward the door and let out a high-pitched squeal. God, she’s already turning into one of them. That high-pitched shriek is the mating call of sorority women and teenyboppers the world over. “It’s a fish with my name on it!” She hugged herself tightly as she stared lovingly at the door. “It’s so sweet!”

I rolled my eyes, now that I was finally able to see again. She probably wasn’t the only one that had one, and they were probably all made month in advance without any regard to the girl who was actually receiving it… And it really was a cheap trick to win them over. Love us; we painted you a poorly crafted fish! “God, I hate the Greeks.” I muttered under my breath.

Amy abruptly turned to me again, “That’s it, Nick!”

I turned slightly as I resisted the urge to pound my head against the wall. That glitter was still scrambling my brains. “What’s it?”

“I’m sick of you making fun of the Greek system!” She put her hands on her hips, “There are a lot of good people in it!”

I let out a low laugh, “Yeah, right.”

“There’s me!”

“You accept a bid and suddenly you’re Greek? I don’t think that’s how it works.” I rolled my eyes. Amy, you have no idea, do you?

“I bet you wouldn’t even last through the recruitment process, let alone get into a house! You’re such a jerk, Nick!”

“Who would want to get into a frat?” I rolled my eyes and put my hand to my head. And why does all of this make me a jerk? You’re the one who started yelling at me!

“I’ll bet even if someone took pity on you, you would drop before you were initiated.”

I struck my fist against the wall, “I wouldn’t join in the first place! So why does it matter if I would drop or not?” I hate the Greeks! That’s what we’re fighting about, remember?

She gave me a smug sneer, “You’re such a wimp, Nick.”

I released my clenched fist, “Excuse me?”

“Be a man and pledge!” She looked down on me with her sneer, “I hate people like you.”

It was baffling. Amy was this sweet and gentle girl. The Greek system grabbed her, and suddenly she was this entirely different person. An entirely different person that hated me… “Amy…”

“I’m betting you, Nick. What will you do about it?”

I hated that icy stare Amy was giving me now. I shook my head slightly. In order to get back the Amy I liked, did I really have to join the Greek system? I slammed my fist into the wall again. Damnit. I hate them! I hate the Greeks! I smacked the wall a third time before I finally turned back to her. “What do you get if you win?”

She smirked, “The satisfaction of knowing that I won.”

That’s not a great prize in this bet… “What do I get?”

“If you manage to get yourself initiated, I’ll set you up with the hottest girl I know by that time.”

“Like Stacy?” I blinked. For real? Stacy was a sex kitten! Maybe I would, for Stacy…

She rolled her eyes at me. “Nick, I’m in the Greek system. If you do get initiated, I’ll probably know someone even hotter by then.”

I bit my lip. Stacy… Or someone even better than Stacy? Tempting… Very tempting… But if I lost, I’d have to deal with a gloating Amy. But Stacy…. Or someone ten times better than Stacy? “Deal! I’ll do it!”

“Great. Blake was also going to rush, so I’ll get him to pass the information on to you tomorrow….” She paused, “I know you don’t have to go to all the houses, technically, but for the sake of our bet, I think you should….” She waved a hand at me, “Anyway, I’m going to bed.” She turned toward her room, down the hall, “Oh, and Nick?”

“What?” That was the longest ramble of instructions and information I’d ever heard. Just go to bed, already!

She gave me that smirk again, “Someone like you will definitely get eaten alive by the Greek system.” She wandered back to her room and shut the door.

I stood in the kitchen for a minute, and then slammed my fist against the wall again. Eaten alive? What exactly have I gotten myself into?

ΒΣΒ

Nick wanted to help alleviate some of the confusion you may have about the Greek system at RMU.

University of the Rocky Mountains at Boulder-A University located at the base of the foothills in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. It is at least partially based on a real University… partially.

Jersey-When referring to clothing worn by any member of a fraternity or sorority, this simply signifies a shirt with the house’s letters, regardless of style or material. Under this logic, a long-sleeved thermal shirt is a jersey, a short-sleeved v-neck is a jersey, and a tank top is also a jersey.

“K-Y-M”-Visually, the closest approximation to the Greek letters ΚΥΜ, or Kappa Upsilon Mu. There will be more about this house’s stereotype on campus later. This house’s nickname is “Kappa Mu.”

Rho Tau-The nickname for the house ΡΟΤ, or Rho Omicron Tau. There will be more about this house’s stereotype on campus later.

Tri Pi-The nickname for the house ΠΠΠ, or Pi Pi Pi. As Amy states, this house is known as the “diverse house” on campus because there are so many personalities within it. It is also considered to be one of the sweeter and “real” houses on campus.

GDI-Unlike Amy’s meaning of “Gosh Darn Ignorant,” this acronym actually means “God Damn Independent.” This is how members of the Greek system often refer to people outside the Greek system. It can be used in both a slightly chiding way, as in “Chris, you’re such a good guy, why are you still a GDI?” It can also be used in a harsh manner, as in “God, I hate that fucking GDI! He just sneaks into our parties and drinks all our damn beer!” Would be hopefuls often wish this distinction was actually the house ΓΔΙ, or Gamma Delta Iota.

Bid Day-The day on which Rushees, or Potential New Members as they are currently called, receive a Bid Card pronouncing their requested membership into a chapter. It usually says something to the effect of “________(sorority) cordially invites __________ (Rushee’s name) to become a New Member of __________(sorority’s campus chapter) chapter _____________ (college or university).” This process is different for fraternities and sororities, as will be shown later. Since it was left out of the story, the sorority process generally has the rushees all go to one location where they are handed an envelope with their bid. They listen to some speeches about Greek life and female power. Then they are allowed to open their envelopes. They go to their chapter representatives, are then led outside where the rest of the chapter is waiting. Then the entire chapter runs back to their house (sometimes through traffic, lol). Afterwards they have finger food and introduce themselves, take pictures, and then go attend a sisterhood activity like a tea or ice skating.

Rush-The Recruitment Process. This name is being phased out in favor of terms such as “Formal Recruitment” and “Informal Recruitment.” This is similar to the phasing out of “Rushee” (the person being recruited) for the term “Potential New Member.” And also similar to the phasing out of “Pledge” for the term “New Member.” Though fraternities still use these less “PC-terms.”

Delta Delta Pi-The sorority one of Nick’s roommates (Morgan) belongs to. Its Greek letters are ΔΔΠ. There will be more on this house’s stereotypes later. The nickname of the house is usually shortened to Delta Pi.

Alpha Kappa Psi (ΑΚΨ)-One of the few true organizations referred to in the bulk of this story. This is an Honors Business fraternity with both male and female members. It differs largely from the social fraternities and sororities that are portrayed in this work (And thus why its real name is still used).

Chapter Five by nicksgal
Author's Notes:
This has been on my computer since summer, since I was super smart and wrote the middle before the beginning. lol Anyway, I've been having a bad week, so I thought that it might cheer me up to update again. :o)

Chapter Five: Formal Recruitment Day One, or My Father Owns a Yacht… Does Your Father Have a Seven Figure Salary Too?

Remember the last time someone told you high school was hell? They were lying through their teeth! High school is nothing like the crap that is fraternity formal recruitment at RMU. But maybe I should back up.

In case you forgot, here is the situation I am currently living with:

One of my roommates, Morgan, is in the sorority Delta Delta Pi. She likes to flaunt her money and the fact that she’s rubbed elbows with Hollywood’s hottest stars. Her favorite phrase is “Like Ohmygod!” And she lives by the theory that blondes have more fun. While I agree, my idea of fun does not include the local mall. At some point this past semester, she convinced both our other roommates that they belonged in the Greek system. I have yet to forgive her.

My second roommate is a guy named Blake. We met in the dorms a year ago, but since he’s an engineer, he feels like he lacks a social life, even though I’m one of his best friends. And I’m one of the coolest people you will ever meet, I promise. So, for his lack of social life, he is currently putting himself through the hell of fraternity rush. I secretly hope it kills him.

And then there’s Amy. She’s the reason I’m in this mess in the first place, all because going Greek turned her into Little Miss Mega Bitch. She’s been nicer since our bet, but I’m still weary of when she’ll bear her fangs again.

And then there’s the matter of the bet that got me into this mess. I had to sell my integrity as a human being for a set up. But I still think I got the better end of the bargain. Amy didn’t want money or anything, so her loss!

Because of all of that, here Blake and I are going through the motions of RMU’s fraternity recruitment. Here’s what I understand so far:

One, the Greek system is really into cattle-like tendencies. “Impartial” members of the fraternity system group their fresh meat into smaller herds at the student center and hand them a name tag with their name and a number. Then these “impartial” members lead these herds in a cattle drive to the various houses. Once the herds are taken inside the house, they meet a herd of frat guys all dressed exactly alike before they are herded to the next house. Moo.

Two, the Greek system is full of posers. You get herded around a meet-and-greet only to find out no one has anything in common with you, or that they might, but, like I said, they’re total posers. “Would you like to meet my brother? He climbs mountains too.” “That’s right, why just the other day, I climbed Mount Vesuvius.” Mount Vesuvius is a volcano half-way across the world, genius… Even I know that.

Three, the Greek system is full of cover ups. That means, you can hear about as many alcohol-related and drug-related incidents in the paper as there are frats on campus. Ask them about it in a rush party and the answer you get is, “Speaking of parties, did anyone tell you about our Formal yet? We always go away from the RMU area and rent out a hotel for the fraternity and our dates. We have crazy nights in the hot tub before Formal.” “With alcohol?” “Well sure, if you’re over twenty-one. And there’s a really nice dinner before the dance. Some of the most fun I’ve had with the other brothers is at formal.” The more daring ones will go a step further, and instead of telling you about a nationally supported party called “formal,” they will proceed to twist your questions about their blatant alcoholism towards their philanthropies and the good they do for the community. Why can’t they just come out and say “We help people so no one cares about the riots at our parties.”

Four, the Greek system is clearly filled with closet homosexuals. While I was getting herded around a party, one member came up and licked the face of the member I was talking to, at which point the member I had been talking to hugged the licker. I tried to resist saying something, but Amy didn’t say I had to be nice when I went through rush; “You just licked a guy…” The licker rolled his eyes, “It’s not being gay; it’s brotherhood!” With that he walked away and I continued to stare blankly. Come on, that’s so gay.

Five, the Greek system is full of its alleged stereotypes. You know what everyone thinks of stereotypes. You hear them and laugh. All African Americans are good at basketball. All women can cook seven course meals. Everyone from San Francisco is a crazy Liberal. Florida is full of old people, except during Spring Break. Everyone in New York talks with a Brooklyn Accent. Everyone from Texas is a redneck, a cowboy, or a redneck cowboy. And why do we laugh at these stereotypes? Because some of them can be true. Because sometimes, some of them are true… So the drunken frat boy? The slutty sorority girl? Walking STDs? Some of them are true.

And I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’re being such a jerk, Nick!” Either that or you’re saying “Oh man, that is so true, Nick!” Or you’re in the Greek system and you’ve officially stopped reading. Screw you. I bet it’s because you recognized all the fakeness I’ve pointed out and you’re offended. Well, good riddance to you.

So, where to begin on this process? There’s really no incident worth mentioning in detail so far, so I guess I’ll just run through the RMU fraternity system.

Kappa Epsilon Gamma (ΚΕΓ), or K-G, is the frat with the parties that get overrun with cops in two hours flat. Their Greek letters should be a good indication of that. The perks of being a K-G include a house with a few single occupant rooms, an intramural soccer team, and pre-game parties with beer that isn’t Keystone Light. It could be Milwaukee’s Best for all I know, but I was assured it was not Keystone Light. Oh, and apparently the K-Gs are the only frat that openly talk about their alcohol use, so I guess they get points for honesty. The K-Gs also like to party with the girls from Delta Sigma Zeta.

Rho Lambda Lambda (ΡΛΛ), or Lambda, is synonymous with hippies. Are you in need of a marijuana fix but your dealer is out of town? No problem, the Lambdas have you covered! It’s the only house where a frat boy would be caught dead with dreds or long hair. I like to call them “the brothers of Pot, Liquor, and Love.” A few of the brothers had interesting things to say, but I’m sure they were high out of their minds. Most of them date girls in Rho Omicron Tau, but that might be because they’re the only Greek girls that are into dreds.

Beta Beta Beta (ΒΒΒ), or Beta, is the wealthiest fraternity on campus. Morgan and her Delta Delta Pi sisters frequent their parties because they have the most expensive alcohol. They were quite thrilled that I knew her, actually. I like to call them “the brothers of Bush, Bills, and Bibles.” More than one conversation began with a political comment—is this The Future Congressmen of America? I also overheard another conversation that began, “My father holds parties on his yacht.” (Greek-speak for “So how does your father spend his seven-figure salary?”) And every brother was a bible thumper from the Bible belt. It actually came into conversation that a rushee was Jewish, to which a brother calmly replied, “Does that mean you eat Chinese food on Christmas?” (Greek-speak for “I’d hit you with my Bible, but I’ve heard your roommate is the shit.”)

Xi Tau Mu (ΞΤΜ), or Xi Mu, is pretty indescribable. In their free time, they snowboard, climb mountains, skateboard, surfboard, and so on. I think my group’s Rho Chi said it best when he shouted “EXTREME!!!!” as we walked into the house. Though I’ll admit my day got a little better when I started talking to some of the brothers about surfboarding. This is also where the “I climbed Mount Vesuvius” conversation originated, though not with me. That brother in particular was a skateboarder himself; so I’ve gathered the “meet my brother” move is pre-choreographed. These guys only go for Sigma Tau Delta girls, who I’ve heard can be pretty athletic themselves.

Delta Iota Kappa (ΔΙΚ), or the Delt, is synonymous with drunken douche bags. I’m almost certain that this is where the image of the stereotypical frat house originated. So, basically, if you’ve seen Animal House, you’ve seen Delta Iota Kappa. And yes, this is the house where I witnessed the brother licking. Now I don’t know about you, but I happen to have a biologic brother, and we definitely don’t act like that. Or maybe there’s something that changes when you get brothers that aren’t actually related to you. I still think it’s gay, though. You can often catch the Delts cavorting with the Alpha Sigma Sigma girls and the Kappa Upsilon Mu girls. But a few of the brothers also go with the Sigma Tau Deltas and the Beta Lambda Deltas.

Theta Eta Theta (ΘΗΘ), or Theta Eta, is the “smart” fraternity. It’s comprised primarily of engineers, pre-med students, and pre-law students. It’s the perfect place for Blake really… Lots of smarts… Not a lot of personality. The reason? They’re zombies. Even their name proves it: Theta Ate-A Theta. That’s what happens when you become an alumni, the collegiate brothers eat you! It makes perfect sense. Anyway, they like to talk in SAT words, so be forewarned. And when you see them at the library, the girls they’re eyeing over their books are probably Phi Lambda Alphas.

Sigma Epsilon Chi (ΣΕΧ), or Sigma Chi, is the Playboy mansion of the RMU Greek system, except comprised of men and appealing to women, instead of the other way around. Oh, and they don’t dress like Bunnies. Pick an STD, any STD, and they’ve probably got at least one case of it in the house, usually more. Women like to frequent their parties because the brothers look like models. But I’m not sure if women are a good trade-off for being the human version of a pigeon. They run with the same sororities as the Delts, which may or may not be a good thing for the girls.

Iota Phi Chi (ΙΦΧ), or I-Phi, is the backbone of the Greek government system. Their members are usually the Presidents of IFC, and they tend to win the Student Government elections as well. They live by the motto that Greeks will rule the world. They are out-spoken and boastful. The topics at their Rush parties are limited to what the Greeks can do to dominate the world. I’m surprised world peace didn’t come up. To them, parties mean business. What an oxymoron. They would never be caught dead with women who aren’t Pi Alpha Nu girls. Though one brother told me under his breath that he was dating a girl who had been a legacy at Pi Alpha Nu, but she ended up pledging Beta Lambda Delta. He told his brothers that she transferred schools. It’s actually a little sad.

Nu Rho Alpha (ΝΡΑ), or Nu Rho, is the house populated with southerners. Some are gentlemen and some are rednecks, but they're all southern. It was actually funny, because at the party the fraternity president had a cowboy hat and a bolo tie. One of the other rushees joked that his boxers were probably a confederate flag pattern. No one had the balls to ask, but I’m pretty sure it was true. They were probably the most hospitable members of the Greek system I’ve ever met, even when I admitted I’m not southern. Unlike the Betas, I feel like they were still being genuine in their conversation. It was a nice feeling and the first time I really felt glad Amy forced me into this process. But enough with that sap. No Nu Rho is complete without a Theta Epsilon Chi girl on his arm, even when he’s wearing confederate flag boxers.

Chi Alpha Lambda (ΧΑΛ), or Chi Lam, represents the west the way Nu Rho represents the south. The house's theme song is undoubtedly anything by the Beach Boys. And yes, this is despite the fact that they're a fraternity. Not that the Beach Boys fit into this category, but fraternities play more bad top 40's hits than any group I know. Seriously, only fraternities could get away with playing crap like 5ive. Only fraternities. Who? Oh you're right; they were a flash in the pan. And why the hell do I know them? Maybe I do belong in this system. Anyway… A typical brother in this house is tall and blond. Most of them surf too. The house is, unfortunately, divided between the NorCal and the SoCal factions. But at least they all go for Beta Lambda Delta girls.

Alpha Theta Omega (ΑΘΩ), or ATO, is the disciplined fraternity. Every member of the house is in RMU’s ROTC program. Big and Little brother pairings are based on which sect of the armed forces brothers intend to serve on. The house even plays a sort of inter-house war game. It all sounds intense. And I don’t even know why they participate in formal fraternity recruitment anyway. They don’t even consider taking a pledge unless he’s a member of the ROTC anyway. That’s just a little petty, don’t you think? And no, it’s probably not any better than recruiting based on money, possessions, or political views, but it’s open rejection based on a stereotype. Not cool. The fine Psi Sigma Beta girls the ATOs hang out with, however, are very cool.

With all of this in mind, you can understand my apprehension as my group approached our last Greek house. It looked the same as all the other houses on Greek row. Large columns rising to the second floor overhangs of looming mansions. Metallic letters hanging over the ornate door frames. But there was almost something eerie and sinister about this house…

I’m just shitting you. It was totally normal. But there was something about this house.

Our Rho Chi led us to the steps and rang the doorbell. The other groups of rushees gathered around nervously. That reaction didn’t really make sense to me. I mean, this was the last house everyone here was going to. They visited eleven houses before this, so what was the issue? It’s not like this party would be any different from the others. Everyone here would have pointless conversations with the brothers about formals and sororities and living in the house. I have yet to talk about anything that really mattered to me in these houses. That’s just Greek life, I guess….

The door opened and a brother in a suit appeared in the doorway. “Hi, welcome to Beta Sigma Beta.”

Beta Sigma Beta… I started my mental run through in my head. The brother who answered the door didn’t look at any of us as we walked in. That’s poor form. I surveyed the house. It was too tidy for a fraternity… Maybe that was only because of rush….

“Hey, I’m Jason.”

I turned my head slightly. A tall brother stood in front of me and a guy next to me. He gave both of us a warm smile.

“Mark.” The guy next to me extended his hand. The two shook.

The brother turned to me with that obnoxious warm smile.

“Nick…” I fumbled over the words and gave him a weak shake.

“So you’re both freshmen? Do you know any brothers?”

“My roommate pledged last semester.” Mark interjected quickly with a smile.

“Oh yeah, who?”

“Chris.”

“Jacobson? He’s my roommate’s Little Bro! He’s the shit!” They high fived.

The brother turned back to me, “You’re a freshman too, Nick?”

“Sorry,” I shrugged, “Sophomore.”

“Hey, me too! High five!” I gave him a weak high five as well. What an annoying frat guy….

He put his hands behind his back as the two of them discussed how they were both from California. What an awkward way to stand. Why would you put your arms behind your back? It looks uncomfortable… But that’s when I caught it out of the corner of my eye. Another brother was trotting over to us, quickly, with a large smile on his face. I’d only been standing here for a few minutes, so it wasn’t time for the choreographed brother switch yet… And they think the rushees don’t know about that. I laughed to myself slightly. I see… I’m being difficult. A small smirk crossed my face.

“Hey, Jason.” The second brother smiled when he reached the three of us. His speech drawled in a southern accent.

Jason turned to the brother who had just approached us, “Brian! I thought you might like talking to Nick, you have a lot in common.”

“Do we now?” he smiled. His voice drawled again.

“That’s right,” I continued smirking, “We do.”

“Well, then let’s go chat over here.”

I followed him a little farther away from the brother I had been talking to. Once he was sufficiently far from other brothers, he stopped.

“So, which house do you really want?”

“What?”

He let out a short laugh, “You don’t want to be here, so which house do you want to pledge?”

“I don’t know…”

He laughed again, “Then you aren’t really in a position to be difficult, don’t you think?”

“So the awkward hand position basically meant ‘Get me away from this obnoxious person’?”

“I’m impressed you noticed that. So, tell me why you’re here Nick…”

I recounted a short version of the fight Amy and I had had, conveniently leaving out the terms of our bet. I also explained that Blake was going through rush too and that Morgan was a Delta Delta Pi. Throughout my entire explanation he nodded, as if he understood.

When I was finished, he gave me a smile. “It sounds like you’ve got a pretty complex reason for rushing.”

“Is that Greek-speak for ‘stupid’?”

He laughed and shook his head. “I’m not allowed to judge your reasons for going through this process, they’re not mine to judge. And I actually find it pretty commendable that you’re at least trying, when it sounds like your opinion of this system is pretty... sub par.”

He sounded really… sincere…. Just like the southerners at Nu Rho… I crossed my arms slightly, “Why did you rush?”

He smiled, “Well, I’m from Kentucky and it’s a pretty big thing in the South. Anyone who’s anyone is Greek. My father was Greek, my Grandfathers were Greek, my Great-Grandfathers were Greek, and so on and so forth down the line since fraternities were founded. My mother was a debutante and a sorority sister too. It’s just the way things happen in the South, even if you don’t really want to be Greek.”

“You didn’t want to?”

“Not especially.” He smiled, “But my cousin, Kevin, came here to RMU and pledged here at Beta Sig. When I transferred up here the next semester, he told me to at least go through for him and the rest of my family. In the end, I did end up going Beta Sig too and it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

“Even though you didn’t want to go through…”

“The thing about the Greek system is that it’s interlaced with all these rules and stereotypes. But in the end, you join because of something you felt in your heart. There’s something very welcoming in this house, even without Cousin Kevin.”

I looked down at the floor. Something in your heart, huh?...

“So, tell me, Nick, if you weren’t going through this right now, what would you rather be doing?”

“Well, some friends and I are trying to get together an intramural basketball team.”

“Only intramural? You’re tall enough to be at least club.” He laughed again.

Is it weird for me to say that I was becoming obsessed with this guy’s laugh? I’d heard a few brothers at other houses laugh, but it always seemed stifled and forced. He was… really laughing…

It made me want to laugh too. “Height isn’t everything. You do need skills too.”

“Don’t tell me you can only try one new thing a year. It’s the Greek system this year? Then club basketball next year?” He laughed again.

He was… making fun of me. This was new for the choreographed, serious parties I experienced before.

I couldn’t help but laugh again, “Sure, and senior year, I think I’ll be really daring and try changing my major or something.”

“That close to graduation?” he smiled, “What a waste. I’ll bet you’re great at whatever it is you do.” He chuckled.

“Music,” I smiled, “My major is music.”

“Me too,” he smiled, “There’s a lot of us here, actually. Are you voice too? Or an instrument?”

“Voice… But I play the drums.”

“I’m a guitar man myself.” He strummed an air guitar.

“You can’t strum an air guitar! All air guitars are electric!” I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing.

But, then again, so did he. A few brothers and rushees near by turned slightly to stare at both of us holding our sides as we laughed. After a few disapproving looks from his brothers, particularly one fairly tall one with bushy black eyebrows, Brian calmed himself with a quiet chuckle.

“We’re not being very Rush party appropriate.”

“Laughing is taboo? Well that’s no fun…”

“Well, parties are a way for brothers to get to know rushees, so it is pretty obnoxious if we’re over here laughing our lungs out.”

I started laughing again. Laughing our lungs out? He was slowly becoming one of the funniest people I knew and I didn’t really know him at all.

The other brothers were slowly performing the choreographed dance where they switched rushees.

Brian gave me a disappointed look, “It looks like I’ll have to give you up to another brother soon.”

“What is this, speed dating?” I laughed.

He gave me another smile, “It does seem like that, doesn’t it?”

“How about I give you my phone number then and you ask me out on a date.” I gave him a wink.

He laughed again, “How scandalous! I’ve only known you for five minutes.”

He received another disapproving look from the brother with bushy eyebrows. They looked like caterpillars… I could almost swear they were alive.

Brian shook his head, “You don’t miss a thing, do you?”

“Huh?” Man, he interrupted my train of thought about fuzzy caterpillars on that guy’s face.

He laughed quietly, “I get a disapproving look and you go and stare at the people giving them to me.”

“Sorry, he just… gave you a really stern one… twice actually.”

He laughed, “Tall with living eyebrows?”

He read my mind! How the hell did he read my mind?!?

“Your face tells me yes. He does that a lot actually…” He laughed, “You’ve managed to pick out our President, also known as my cousin, Kevin.”

“Shit, you’re related to the President?!”

He crossed his arms, “He was related to me before the Beta Sig presidency ever crossed his mind.” He smiled again.

I was inclined to actually give this guy my cell phone number so we could be friends when I gave up on joining a fraternity. I sound like a woman.

“So… You like basketball, music… What else?”

“Video games. I own every game station ever made!”

“Even Atari?”

“Especially Atari!”

“And it works?”

“Why wouldn’t it?”

He let out a low whistle, “That’s pretty impressive… I like Mario Kart Racing myself.”

“Me too! I’m always Yoshi.”

“Toad.”

I couldn’t help but stare at him in awe. We were a match made in heaven. And I sound like a woman again….

“Wipe the drool off your face.” He laughed.

Out of the corer of my eye, I noticed some brothers walking rushees to the door. I turned back to Brian, “Are they getting kicked out?”

“No, the party is over.”

“Why?”

He laughed, “All good things must come to an end, Nick.”

“But I was…. having fun.” My answer surprised even me.

He smiled, “Me too. At least you can carry on a conversation outside of dues, formals, and parties.”

I laughed, “I was about to say the same thing.”

He laughed again as he stole one last glance at my name tag. He ushered me toward the door. “Thanks for the chat, Nick.”

“No…” I smiled, “Thank you.”

I was about to step out the door when he addressed me again, “And Nick, don’t give up on the Greek system so easily. You might be surprised.”

I stared at him for a moment. He gave me a smile and blended back into the house. The door shut in between the two of us.

Maybe I had been wrong about the Greek system…

ΒΣΒ

Nick’s cheat sheet of the Greek houses on campus:

Fraternities:

Kappa Epsilon Gamma
Rho Lambda Lambda
Beta Beta Beta
Xi Tau Mu
Delta Iota Kappa
Theta Eta Theta
Sigma Epsilon Chi
Iota Phi Chi
Nu Rho Alpha
Chi Alpha Lambda
Alpha Theta Omega
Beta Sigma Beta

Sororities (More on all of them later):

Delta Sigma Zeta
Rho Omicron Tau
Delta Delta Pi
Sigma Tau Delta
Alpha Sigma Sigma
Phi Lambda Alpha
Kappa Upsilon Mu
Pi Alpha Nu
Theta Epsilon Chi
Beta Lambda Delta
Psi Sigma Beta
Pi Pi Pi

ΒΣΒ

And more Greek insight from Nick.

Keystone Light/Milwaukee’s Best-Of course you know that these are beers, their significance is that they are really bad beers often served at fraternity parties. Why? They are cheap and easy to purchase in bulk. The consistency of Keystone Light is similar to water, with beer flavoring—often referred to as “Keystone Water.” Milwaukee’s Best is often lovingly referred to as “Milwaukee’s Beast,” if that’s any indication of its taste.

IFC-The acronym for the North American Inter-fraternal Council; it’s the governing body for every national fraternity. On campuses, it is also the forum for members of the fraternities to come together as a community and discuss things like recruitment or PR.

Big and Little-When men first pledge into the fraternity, they are given a sponsor (called a Big Brother) who effectively is there to show the pledge the ropes and help him through the pledge process. The pledge becomes the Little Brother to his Big Bro. These lineages form families as Big Brothers have their own Big Brothers and Little Brothers have their own Little Brothers. Some members have multiple Little Brothers, so their Little Brothers’ Little Brothers may even have “Uncles” and “Cousins” in their family lineage.

Greek row-Many campuses have all their Greek houses on one street, called “Greek Row.” Some have separate “Sorority Rows” and “Fraternity Rows.” And then others have houses spread all over the University’s off campus student residential/bar/restaurant area.

Rho Chi-A Greek version of the term Rush Counselor. Although, a national honors fraternity also used the same Greek letters and banned the outside use. The new term for the same position is Rho Gamma, or Recruitment Guide. The Rho Chi’s job is to help recruits through the recruitment process.

Chapter Six by nicksgal
Author's Notes:

Yay, a new update! I hope you all are liking the JDR collaboration. I sacrificed this one for it.

Have an update. :o)

Chapter Six: Formal Recruitment Day Two, or Exactly How Does Someone Difficult Manage to be Liked?

I once again found myself burying my head in my biology textbook. I hate biology. And I hate the fact that I have to take it. And as hard as I tried to concentrate, I couldn’t help but think of Brian over at Beta Sigma Beta. I wondered who else he laughed and made jokes with… And which guys he helped get asked back. Maybe I should have gotten his phone number… And maybe I should stop obsessing over the guy…. I let out a groan when there was a knock on the door.

“Why?!” I shouted.

“I’LL GET IT!!!” Blake ran into the room and threw open the door.

“Hey, Blake.”

I turned around. I think that guy was Blake’s Rho Chi. I turned back to my biology book. Whatever, I didn’t have to worry about the Greeks anymore. I did the first day and I was done.

“How are you doing today, Adam?”

“Great. I brought your invites. Umm… Is your roommate Carter?”

“Yeah, he’s one of them. Right over there with his head in the book.”

“Great… Mike asked me to grab his invites too. Here. See you later.”

I picked up my head as the door shut. “Wait… Did he say I have invites? Why?”

Blake shrugged, “I don’t know. Here.” He handed me an envelope. “Let’s see what we have…” He tore open his envelope and his face fell slightly.

“You’re disappointed?”

“There’s only two…”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “It could be worse… You could have none.” I gave him a smile.

He gave me a smile back, “Yeah.”

“So which ones are they?”

“Theta Eta and I-Phi.”

Smarts and… more smarts. Perfect for Blake.

“What about you?

I shook my head and shrugged. “I probably didn’t get any. I even got told I was being difficult.” I handed him the envelope back.

“Then why would they bring you an envelope?”

“Probably so I didn’t show up to ask about it. It’s easier to get rid of people that way.” I laughed and sat back down on the couch.

“You’re not even going to look?”

I gave him a smile as I pulled out my notes, “Nope.”

“Do you care if I open it then? I’m curious.”

I shrugged, “Whatever.”

There was silence and a crinkle. “Wow…”

“None, right?” I chuckled, “I must be the most difficult person in the entire world.”

“No… actually there’s a lot more than none…”

Wait… that can’t be right…. I masked my surprise the best I could, “You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not… K-G… Xi Mu…. Sig Chi…”

I stood as he was reading off the names. I grabbed the envelope from him. He held the papers in his hands.

“Chi Lam…”

I stared at his hands. Why? Why did I get these when I was such a brat yesterday?

“The thing about the Greek system is that it’s interlaced with all these rules and stereotypes. But in the end, you join because of something you felt in your heart.”


Brian… Maybe Brian… “Ummm… Is there one from…”

Blake looked at the papers in his hands, “Nope, that’s it…” He handed me the envelope and walked back to his room with his own envelope.

I felt… a little sad… I don’t really know why… It was just a fraternity after all… I shook my head and threw the envelope, “Damnit.”

A fifth small piece of paper flew from the envelope. I bent over and picked it up, turning it over slowly. Beta Sigma Beta…

“And Nick, don’t give up on the Greek system so easily. You might be surprised.”

I smiled. Brian… Thanks.

ΒΣΒ

The other four parties were a blur of more talk about parties, surfing, philanthropies, and living in the houses. Of course, that was especially awkward because the brothers were no longer in their houses and chose to go to local restaurants on the University’s social and residential thoroughfare, College Avenue. The real problem was that the only thing I could think about was Brian… And I sound like a woman again…

I buried my head in my hands again as I walked toward my last party of the night once more. Beta Sigma Beta had rented out local restaurant and bar The Faucet. The Chi Lams had mentioned that they tried to get it as their location this year, but the fraternities seem to have territory when it comes to their out of house rush parties. And Beta Sigma Beta's territory was always The Faucet.

I hung out by the door for a moment. Why was I even here? And would I actually get to see Brian again? I shook my head. Why did I care so much?

Other rushees walked past me. Some of them talked to each other excitedly. Others, like me, were dragging their feet. I took in one last breath. Okay Brian… Here I come. I pulled open the door to The Faucet and put on my best air of confidence. I was already labeled as "difficult," so why not "conceited" too?

"Nothing gets you down, does it?"

It felt like I jumped ten feet in the air. Shit, that came out of no where! I grabbed my chest and took in a few breaths to compose myself.

There was a laugh.

Wait, I recognized that laugh… I turned and sure enough, there was Brian standing right next to me. "Brian!"

"You finally showed? I was starting to think you decided to drop out after all."

"No, I had four other parties to go to…"

"Wait, wait…" Brian held his hand up, "Mr. Difficult to a fault got invited back to other houses? Wow…"

"Maybe I wasn't as difficult as we all thought." I gave him a warm smile.

He started laughing again. "Oh, no, you were definitely a pain the butt." He leaned closer, "This is a secret, but I had to fight pretty hard to get you back here."

Brian… Why?

He gave me a wink, "So play nice today, okay?"

"With you? Sure. As long as we can strum air guitars and laugh our lungs out again."

He laughed, "Well, today I thought I would sing into a fork instead, you know, since we’re at a restaurant."

"Only if I can play the air drums with butter knives." I laughed also.

He gave me a thumbs up, "Perfect, but there's someone I want you to meet."

My face fell slightly, "I can't talk to you again?"

"No you can. We can talk to whoever we want at this party." He turned away slightly, "But if you just talk to me, you'll only have one person here who's got your back." He laughed again.

Is it bad that that's all I really want? I just want to be friends with Brian. Who cares about the fraternity?

"Nick?"

I shook my head, "Sorry, yeah, I'll meet whoever it is you want."

Brian led me through the rooms of The Faucet until we reached a table where a few guys were sitting around a round of Cokes and laughing loudly. At first glance, I couldn't tell if they were brothers or rushees, but after examining their interactions, I assumed they must have been brothers. After all, apparently I'm the only rushee that would ever dream of dying from laughter at a rush party because they're serious stuff. I rolled my eyes at the thought.

Brian elbowed me slightly as a large smile grew on his face.

I winced.

One of the guys at the table looked up and started laughing, "Brian! Don't hit rushees! Kevin will kill you."

"Cousin Kevin?" Brian rolled his eyes, "I'm not scared of him."

"I would be," a second piped up, pulling a pair of sunglasses down his nose. "Who have we got here?"

"You're only a sophomore, of course you're still afraid of Kevin." The third brother shook his head as he moved down a seat for Brian.

Brian pulled a fifth chair to the table before sitting down next to the brother that had moved for him.

They all stared up at me.

"Sit, sit!" The first commanded.

As I sat down, the brother wearing the sunglasses pushed them back up the bridge of his nose.

"Aren't you going to introduce us, Rok?" he asked.

"Sorry," Brian rose a hand and motioned toward me, "This is Nick."

The third brother laughed, "Oh, so this is the abnormally difficult one."

"G-grant," the first stammered, "He's not supposed to know that, right?"

Brian shook his head, "I already told him, but he was so obnoxious, even he realized it."

Grant laughed, "That's pretty bad. We can only go off of what Johns told us."

I furrowed my eyebrows, "Who?"

Brian leaned over to me and whispered, "The guy who asked me to rescue him yesterday."

"Oh…."

He laughed again, "Anyway…" He motioned to the guy next to him; "This is Grant. He's my roommate and we're on the Club Basketball team together."

Grant reached over Brian and extended his hand, "It's great to meet you. Even if Johns didn't approve of you, I know anyone Brian recommends that highly has to be the shit!"

"Ummm… thanks…" I smiled.

Brian shook his head and laughed again. "And across the table we have Grant's two Little Brothers…"

"Biological? Wow!"

Grant laughed again, "These two are too crazy to be related to me."

The one across from Grant, the stickler for rules, reached his hand toward me also, "Nate."

The one in the sunglasses looked at the others and produced his hand as well, "Alex. But the brothers call me AJ."

"Hey, do you want a Coke or some other soda?" Grant asked as he stood.

"There's a soda besides Coke?" I laughed.

Grant snapped his fingers and pointed at me, "I like this one, Brian. He's quick on the draw." He picked his glass up from the table. "Refills? Get 'em now or get 'em yourself."

Nate and Alex shook their heads.

Grant rose his arms in the air, "Your loss." He smacked Brian on the back, "Be back with one for you too, buddy."

Brian coughed and hid it with a chuckle.

Nate and Alex both leaned toward me.

"So," Nate started, "Other than being difficult, we don't know anything about you… Tell us something interesting."

"Interesting?"

"Yup, something that would set you apart."

"Well, I like surfing…"

"Boring," Alex rolled his eyes. Or at least I think he did. I couldn't tell behind those sunglasses. And why the heck would he wear them inside? I would bump into things.

"Ummm…"

Grant sat back down and pushed a Coke towards me and one towards Brian.

"Oh, I watched Brian strum an air guitar yesterday."

"But we already know all about B," Grant laughed.

"Yeah… You would… Wouldn't you?"

Alex leaned forward, "Well, I didn't know you could even strum an air guitar."

"That's what I said!" I started laughing.

"Please," Brian shook his head, "Real men play the acoustic guitar. It takes more skill because your hands aren't moving fifty miles an hour and people can actually see what you're doing."

Grant shook his head, "Music majors…" He turned to Nate, "Am I right, Little Bro?"

"Everything is about skills with them," he laughed.

I leaned forward, "What are your majors?"

"I'm business," Grant smiled, "Accounting. It's practical."

"Biology," Nate smiled.

"I'm taking Bio this semester."

"Me too," he smiled back. "Oh, and I'm still waiting for an interesting fact."

I paused for a moment. "I can shove my whole fist in my mouth, wanna see?"

Everyone but Brian leaned forward expectantly, "Yes!"

I rose my fist to my mouth, but Brian pulled it away, "No!"

Grant shook his head, "You're no fun, B."

"I don't want to deal with it when he suffocates."

Grant laughed, "Always the thinker, aren't you, B?"

"So, would you want to deal with it when he suffocated?" I gave Brian a wink and motioned toward Grant.

"I don't want to deal with anyone suffocating." Brian admitted with a laugh.

Grant grabbed his chest and gave Brian a sniff, "That stung, B."

"Well Nick, there you go. That's what this system is all about." Brian started laughing.

"Keeping people from doing stupid things? Are you sure?"

"Well, if by 'stupid,' you mean something like shoving their fist in their mouth, then yes!" Brian continued laughing.

Grant shrugged, "Well, that's a damper on things then, I've never tried shoving my entire fist in my mouth."

"It's not too late to start," I prodded.

Grant put his hand to his chin, "You know… I think I'll save that for once I'm out of college and I'm trying to win bar bets in my forties." He laughed.

"See, maybe you should work on jokes to tell at bars. They're friendlier than trying to win bar bets."

Grant laughed, "I'm a business major. We're practical kind of guys, so we're not very funny."

Alex rolled his eyes, "You're lying through your teeth." He turned to me, "What kind of joke would you tell?"

"Well a duck, a kangaroo, and a koala walk into a bar in Australia. The bar tender looks at the three animals and turns to the duck and says 'Sorry, this is a Marsupial bar, we don't serve ducks here.' So he gives the kangaroo and the koala a drink and tells the bouncer to take the duck outside. Disgruntled, the duck eventually sued the bartender and the headline that appeared in the newspaper was 'Duck Billed Platypus.'"

There was a long silence. I grabbed my Coke and took a gulp. Did they not get it?

Alex started laughing, "You have to be kidding me, that's it?"

"That's it."

Everyone but Brian roared with laughter, "That's the worst joke I ever I heard!"

Nate smacked the table with his hands, "Did you make that up?"

"Well… yes…"

"While you were on drugs?"

They roared with laughter.

I pouted for a moment, but went with it anyway, "Well, I tried sniffing coke once… But the ice cubes got stuck up my nose."

They stopped laughing for a few moments.

"Burn!" Grant shouted, "BURN!!!" He began cracking up again.

I started laughing, and so did Brian. Eventually, even Alex and Nate started laughing again.

Grant patted me on the shoulder, "You're something else, buddy."

I smiled, "Thanks."

He leaned across Brian slightly, “I’ve got your back.” He gave me a hard smack on the back.

I coughed and started trying to hide it by laughing.

“Looks like you fit in already.” Nate chuckled as he motioned to Brian.

Brian gave me a smile.

Alex leaned forward, toward Brian, “When are you going to introduce him to D?”

Brian smiled, “We’ll talk about that soon. It looks like the party’s about to end…”

I turned around. Brothers were herding rushees out of The Faucet. I turned back to my table and smiled as I stood. “I’d better go too, then. Thanks for talking with me today.”

Grant waved, “Hope to see you again soon, Nick.” He elbowed Nate and Alex until they waved as well.

Brian stood up also, “Come on, I’ll walk you to the door.”

When we were leaving, he patted my shoulder, “Thanks for playing nice today.”

I put my head down slightly, “It was… a lot easier today for some reason…”

“What did I tell you?” he smiled, “Something about this system could surprise you.”

I looked up at him only slightly, “What if I don’t know that it has yet?”

He patted my shoulder again, “There’s still time.” He smiled. “Oh, how did your roommate make out?”

“Blake?”

He rolled his eyes, “No, the girls that are already in the system.”

I stuck my tongue out at him.

He grabbed for it and I shrunk back. “Wow, Brian, juvenile much?”

“I was about to say the same thing.” He laughed.

I shook it off, “Blake got asked back to Theta Eta and I-Phi.”

Brian nodded, “Good. He sounded like that’s where he belonged when the other guys were talking about him.”

“You can peg where guys should go?”

“Sure. It’s a skill you learn when you’ve been in the system for a while.”

“What about me?”

“Where’d you get called back?”

“Here, K-G, Sig Chi, Chi Lam, and Xi Mu.”

“Interesting.”

“What?”

Brian smiled as he pushed me out the door, “Ask me in a few days.”

“Wait! Brian!” Damnit, he already walked away. Damnit! Why… Why wouldn’t he answer me? “Brian!”

I shook my head and walked home. It was time to do my Bio homework… And you know how much I love that.

ΒΣΒ

I leaned against the door frame of my apartment for a moment before I opened the door. All three of my roommates sat at the bar stools near the counter between the kitchen and the living room.

“And the prodigal son returns.” Blake shook his head as he stood.

“That’s a good one,” I laughed. First Bio and now this? I hate my life.

Blake ignored me and continued walking toward his room.

“Blake, come back,” Morgan called after him.

Amy patted the now empty seat next to her. “Sit down, Nick.” She smiled.

Amy was back to being her nice and sweet self. This bet really did turn around our relationship these days. Part of me wanted to hate her. But she was still one of my best friends. Why does the Greek system make everything so complicated?

I sat down on the stool in-between the two girls.

Morgan leaned toward me, “So, how was the Beta house? Did they like you?”

“Uh, no…. They didn’t invite me back.”

She hit the counter, “What? I specifically told them to invite you back.”

“It’s okay, Morgan.”

“No it’s not! You would be a perfect Beta!”

Amy leaned forward, “Morgan, he’s not a trust fund baby.”

“So?!”

“Beta only likes trust fund babies.”

Morgan flipped her hair, “Okay… It’s okay… Where did you get invited back to?”

“K-G…”

“Their parties are okay…” Morgan brushed her hand against her hair again, “But that’s all. You don’t want to be a K-G.”

“I don’t know…. A lot of them are really nice,” Amy shrugged.

“No, no,” Morgan shook her head, “They throw good parties. That’s it.”

“But…”

“That’s it.” Morgan took in a breath, “Where else, Nick?”

“Sig Chi…”

“Aww, Nick they think you’re pretty and that you get around…”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Nick…. You have to be diseased to be a Sig Chi. No girl actually wants to date a Sig Chi.”

“Plus they’ve all got the collective brain cell of a jock.”

“Jocks happen to be very good looking.”

“And stupid.”

“And good looking.”

I slammed my hands on the counter. I’d had just about enough of this argument. “I’m done.”

“Nick…” Morgan started.

I stood up, “I’m done with this conversation.”

“But, I want to hear about the rest of your parties, Nick…” Amy protested.

Morgan grabbed my arm, “Nick, come on…”

“Why? Why does it matter so much to you?”

“Why does it matter?” Morgan stood as well, “The Greek system is the most important thing to me. And I want my friends to get into good houses.”

“Well, Blake and I aren’t destined to be Betas. Doesn’t that bother you?”

“Yes!” She gripped the side of the counter, “It bothers me a lot! But I’m dealing with it, so you can deal with this conversation!” She shoved me back down to the stool.

I almost got the wind knocked out of me. I took in a breath and stared at her.

She sat back in her stool and folded her hands over each other. “Now, where else did you get invited back to?”

“Chi Lam.

She put her hand on my shoulder, “Oh, sweetie, you’re not from California. They would never keep you.”

“Florida is… almost California….”

Morgan started laughing, “Oh Amy, please…. Florida wishes it were California.”

“Morgan…” I started.

“Next house, Nick, next house.”

“Xi Mu.”

She put her hand on my shoulder again, “Nick, do you really want to be in a fraternity where all the other houses scream ‘extreme’ as you walk by?”

“They like surfing.”

“They wear their pants at their knees.”

“They do seem a… little over the top, Nick,” Amy agreed.

“Who else, Nick?” Morgan smiled.

“Beta Sigma Beta.”

Morgan stared at me blankly. Almost… There was a twinge of something else there too… I just couldn’t figure out what it was…

“What?”

“I just… don’t know a lot about them, they’re really secretive…” She seemed to stammer over her words.

“They’re good guys. I like talking with them.”

“Nick, they’re even more exclusive than the Betas and ATO. They don’t even have open parties that often.”

“One of the other pledges used to date one last semester,” Amy piped up, “They’re one of the strongest fraternities on campus. They’re supposed to be really good guys.”

“Why doesn’t she date him anymore?”

“His dad developed health problems, so he transferred closer to home.”

“Cute.”

“I think you should go for Beta Sig, Nick.” Amy smiled.

Morgan laughed, “Nick, you know Amy hasn’t been in the system as long as I have. Listen, the Beta Sigs haven’t even had a party with the Delta Pis. That counts against them pretty highly.”

“Aren’t the sororities the ones that organize fraternity mixers?” Amy scoffed.

“Well, sure, but they never said they were interested.”

“That’s because you all always go with the Betas.”

Morgan put up a hand, “Amy, we’ll discuss this in a minute.” She turned back to me, “Nick, your prospects aren’t very good… But I think if you can keep them interested in you, Chi Lam is your best choice.” She patted my shoulder. “Good luck.”

Amy leaned in to me, “I still think Beta Sig is a good choice.”

“Amy, I’m not done talking to you! What right do you have to knock on the Betas?!”

Amy stood up and followed Morgan, “Why is everything about the Betas with you?!”

“The Betas are a very reputable fraternity!”

“You’re not Pro Greek, you’re pro money!”

“I can’t believe you would say that, Amy!”

I buried my face in my hands. This… this is why I hate the Greek system.

The girls continued screaming about something.

I shook my head. Brian… I don’t know what you see.

ΒΣΒ

And as always, there’s so much Greek lingo out there. Nick sends his regards.

Invites-An invitation to a Rush party. The first party at every house is open to all rushees. In more informal rush situations, subsequent parties may also be open to whoever is interested. In formal rush, most parties following the first are invitation only, so invites let the rushees know if they are welcome back to the house.

College Avenue
- RMU’s hub of restaurants, bars, and residencies. It is bordered by Greek Row on one side.

The Faucet-A popular campus restaurant and bar located on College Avenue. It is Beta Sigma Beta’s “Rush Turf” for out of house parties.

Fraternity mixers-Sorority hosted parties held at local bars and restaurants. They can also revolve around an activity such as skating or bowling. They are usually theme parties, such Studio 54 or Brownies and Boy Scouts. Only one fraternity is invited to court the sorority sisters for the night.


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