What better way to celebrate the end of a case than with burritos?
Disclaimer: Don't own Bones, I'm just borrowing. The waitress, the BurritoLoco, and the tall guy with the beanie are mine.
So...whose team are you on? :)
"Wow. Look at all this stuff."
Hodgins took a menu from the pile in front of his wife and smiled. He wasn't sure if it was because she was pregnant or not, but she had sure seemed excited. In fact, they all were a little anxious to try out this new restaurant in town. And more than a little deserving, they thought, since they'd spent the last week and a half working on one of the most demanding cases they'd had the entire year. While solving the case had not been anything close to easy, they were the best of the best, and to no suprise, had gotten it done. They decided to go out as a team to celebrate. Though they all loved the diner's burgers, they felt it was time to try something new, and agreed to head to Mario's. It had been around for a few weeks but none of them had been able to try it.
"Oh, yum." Angela mumbled, practically gawking at the items listed on her menu. "I've been craving Mexican food like crazy."
"You've been craving every food like crazy," her husband corrected.
"Hey, I'm eating for two. Remember?" The artist motioned towards her belly, and pouted. She hated the prospect of gaining weight during her pregnancy, but she could swear there was not only a baby inside of her, there were three other stomaches.
"Of course I remember," he smirked. "How could I forget little Jackie?"
"Little Jackie?" Booth questioned, as he flipped his menu open. The rest of the team was already picking out their orders.
"Well, we don't know what the sex is yet." Hodgins explained, "So for right now, that's what we're calling it."
Booth nodded then nudged Sweets, who was seated beside him, in the arm. " kid's menu is right below the burritos."
The psychologist quickly responded with a glare. He was always the butt of Agent Booth's jokes, which more often than not dealt with his youth. The rest of the team sniggered, much to chagrin.
"Speaking of burritos..." Hodgins mused.
"I've never seen so many burrito options before," Angela exclaimed, eyes wide. "Oh my God, I want them all."
"You know what? You get whatever you want, Ange. How many burritos you want. I want Little Jackie to be properly fed."
Angela chuckled, though she found the idea absolutely fantastic. Although she despised her swollen ankles, and protruding belly, it was definately worth it. She wanted a child so badly. In fact, she had warned Hodgins before that she wanted a million of them. She had a thing for chaos. Cam had compared having a house with kids running rampant like a chaotic day at the Jeffersonian. Somehow, Angela liked that idea. And it didn't help that Hodgins waited on her hand and foot.
"Hey, Hodgins. You call me when that baby is born, all right? Maybe we can set it and Sweets up on a playdate." Booth suggested. The team roared into laughter. Sweets, who rolled his eyes at the second joke at his expense, did not find it nearly as funny.
"Ha, ha." He drawled, "Hilarious."
"Ah, relax Sweets." Booth smirked, clapping the young man on the shoulder. "You know we're just messing with you."
"Let's try to get through one meal without picking on eachother, shall we?" Cam asked, from beside Angela. Sweets visibly agreed with her suggestion. Booth shook his head, not really on board. He couldn't help it, he enjoyed it too much. Sweets was such an easy target. Although he gave the kid a hard time, it was obvious he was extremely fond of him. At first, he'd insulted him by underestimating how much potential the psychologist/profiler had. After Sweets had proved himself and earned some well deserved respect, Booth continued to do it in fun. It was like his calling.
"So, Angela..." Dr. Brennan began. Sweets was thankful for the subject change. The anthropologist set her tall glass of water down beside her napkin-wrapped-utensils and smiled, "Have you and Hodgins thought of any names you would want to give the baby?"
"Yeah, 'cause no offense, but Little Jackie just doesn't work that great for a boy." Booth added.
"Well," Angela said, sharing a glance with her baby's father. "If it is a boy, we like the name Thomas."
"Little Tommy Hodgins," Booth mused.
"I like Jack, too. But I don't know. We haven't thought about it all that much. We'll know when he's born, I guess. He or she, " Angela corrected. "It might end up being a girl. Hopefully."
"Little Jacqueline Hodgins?" Sweets suggested.
The gang exchanged smiles. Suddenly, the waitress showed up beside the table with her notepad at the ready. She cleared her throat and gave them a smile that clearly said 'I hate my job but I need the money'. Everyone at the table could see it, even though only one was a trained psychologist. She began, "Hi. You all ready to order?"
There were a few nods rallied around the group, and all but one of the menus were piled up in the middle of the table. "Alright," said the waitress, grabbing at her pen. She turned to Booth, "What can I get you, hun?"
"I'll have the Mexicombo."
"With chicken, rice, and beans? All right." Scribble, scrabble. "And for you, dear?"
"I will take the Arroz con Pollo," Brennan requested.
The waitress nodded and wrote the order down on her notepad. She turned to Sweets, but before she could get his order, she was interrupted.
"Uh, what is the BurritoLoco?" Angela asked. She was still looking through the list of burritos they had to offer her and her undying hunger. There were so many options, some sounding delicious, some sounding less, and some that were just plain odd. Somehow, they all appealed to her.
"Oh!" The waitress smiled. She dropped her arm to the side and looked at Angela excitedly. "The BurritoLoco Challenge is something new we're trying."
"BurritoLoco Challenge?" Hodgins asked, grabbing for Angela's menu. "Where's that?"
"Right under GigantePicante." Angela said, pointing to it. Hodgin's eyes widened at the description, and photo. It was the biggest burrito he'd ever seen.
"Oh, yeah. Someone's gotta be real loco to eat that."
Dr. Brennan, curious at to what the excitement was about, turned to the waitress. "Can you explain?"
"You have forty-five minutes to eat the BurritoLoco. It's made with beans, and cheese...um, carne asada. There's rice. And french fries."
"French fries?" Hodgins repeated, in disbelief. "How much does that thing weigh - twelve pounds?"
"Six, actually." The waitress smiled, "Would you like to try it?"
"A six pound burrito? That's crazy," Cam said.
"If you win, you get a free T-shirt and your photo on the wall." The waitress pointed towards a wall across the room. There was a banner with the title 'Wall of Fame'. There was only one photo to date, of an overweight man holding up his prized shirt. "If you lose..." She then pointed towards the opposite wall, properly labeled 'Wall of Shame'. There were seven photos with people sporting sad faces. "You get your picture put up there, and we get the right to humiliate you for the rest of your life."
Angela laughed. "That actually sounds like fun..."
"We had a party come in here for lunch, today." The waitress told them, "Two guys went head to head, to see who could finish the burrito first."
"And they actually did it?" Brennan asked.
"No, they didn't make it in time. When their forty-five minutes were up, they went on who had finished the most. They had bets going around, it was a lot of fun."
"Head to head burrito feasting?" Angela smirked, "We could so do that."
"That's a lot of burrito," Cam mumbled.
"I think we should do it."
"Are you kidding? Nobody can eat that much in forty-five minutes," Sweets said.
Hodgins nodded in agreement, "Yeah, Ange. I think that's just the pregnancy talking."
"Oh," The waitress smiled, actually not having noticed Angela's belly. "Congratulations."
"Thank you," Angela replied, ever determined. "We're gonna need a moment."
"Suuure thing," The waitress nodded. "You guys decide what you want to do, and then you let me know. I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Thanks." Angela promptly took to looking at the menu. The others just looked confused. "Okay, so...We can get two BurritoLocos and do what those other people did. We'll go by who eats the most."
"What? Angela, that's ridiculous." Brennan exclaimed, "A six pound burrito is much too large for one person to consume during one single meal. I believe you'd feel uncomfortably full, afterward."
"It's possible, Sweetie. Okay?" Angela pointed towards the 'Wall of Fame'. "That guy did it."
"He's a big guy," Booth replied. "Probably eats that much all the time."
"Will you guys just have some fun? We've been working our butts off and I think we deserve six pound burritos. Now, we could go boys versus girls. We can pick one of each."
"I nominate Sweets," Booth yelled. The psychologist glared at him, somewhat nervously.
"Because...I already ordered the Mexicombo." Explained Booth, as if it were obvious. He grabbed at his soda and took a sip.
"If it's boys versus girls, I'm out." Cam said. "There's no way I'm eating that."
Brennan nodded, raising her hands up rather innocently. "And I'm good with my Arroz con Pollo."
Sweets frowned. So that left...
"Oh no! I'm not going up against Angela!" He declined, in horror. He wasn't sure he even wanted to go up against anyone at all. By the look of determination on Angela's face, it was obvious someone was going to be chosen for the battle, and Sweets felt he hadn't had enough war training. He hoped he really would not be elected to make the sacrifice.
The pregnant woman narrowed her eyes. Booth asked, "Why not?"
"Because..." Sweets sputtered, "She's pregnant!"
"Is that a valid argument?" Brennan questioned.
"No, he's right." Hodgins interrupted, "Angela's been a food-vaccuum. It wouldn't be fair."
"Thank you..." Sweets exhaled, relieved.
"And Sweets is too scrawny, anyway." teased Angela. It was the psychologist's turn to narrow his eyes at her.
"I have a high metabolism."
"Well, why don't we try regular teams? Not boys versus girls," Cam suggested. She motioned towards Angela, Hodgins and herself. "One team," then to Brennan, Booth, and Sweets who sat opposite them. "Two teams."
"If us three are a team then you're up, Sweets." Booth confirmed.
"But then I'd still have to go against Angela..." He complained.
"Well, look. To make it fair, we'll have you and Hodgins go up. I've seen you both attack your food before. It'll be a good match. How's that?"
"I've never attacked my food," Sweets denied, rolling his eyes. Hodgins appeared to be doing the same.
"Yes, you have. You attack your burgers like a rabid animal. Right, Bones?"
The anthropologist frowned, imagining the young man pouncing on his food and foaming at the mouth. It was really an odd image. "I've never seen Sweets maul his food like prey, Booth. And him having rabies is highly unlikely. Unless, of course, he's been bitten by an infected animal, like a raccoon..." She turned to the psychologist, "You haven't been bitten, have you?"
"It was just a figure of speech, Bones. Relax." Booth said, shaking his head at his partner's misunderstanding. She nodded, though she was still obviously confused.
"Are you really up for this, Dr. Hodgins?" Cam asked.
He merely shrugged. It was Angela who answered with, "But I wanted to eat the burrito."
"You can't eat the burrito if there's gonna be a versus here," Booth told her. "Sweets is too afraid of you."
The psychologist frowned, "Not afraid. Just...aware."
"Ok, Hodgins and Sweets. Man vs Man, burrito vs burrito. I get to eat the leftovers." Angela said, thinking it a good oppurtunity to order a different burrito for herself. The rest of the team seemed mostly content with that.
"And what's the cost?" Asked Booth.
"Winner gets to be King of the Burrito!" Hodgins cheered. Cam and Angela rolled their eyes at his sudden enthusiasm.
"Loser has to pay for the other team's meals?" Angela suggested.
"Uh, no." Sweets deadpanned. "You're pregnant, and you're on the other team. And Hodgins gave you the green-light to get whatever you want. I don't have that kind of money."
Everyone but Angela smirked. "How much food do you think I'm gonna get?" She asked, glaring at him none too seriously.
"More than I can afford."
"Fine. Losing team has to split the bill. How's that?"
The six of them exchanged nods.
"Works for me."
"So, it's settled then!" Angela exclaimed, happily. She was pleased her idea was coming true, despite the fact that she'd practically forced it upon the others. She could only imagine the hilarity that would ensue when the battle began. Anxious, she turned in her chair to wave the waitress down. "Brace yourself, boys!" As the waitress approached, Angela grinned evily. "We'll take two BurritoLocos."
"I don't know if I can eat that much," Sweets mumbled, insecurely.
"Of course you can, Sweets." Booth declared. He was standing behind the pyshcologist, who'd moved to sit in the middle seat beside Dr Brennan, rubbing at his shoulders like a trainer would to someone who was about to enter the ring. "Our money's on the line."
"Which is why you should probably forfeit," Angela challenged. "Because Hodgins is going to beat you bad."
Team Sweets glared at the artist, motivated to prove her wrong. "Team Hodge-Podge isn't going to beat us," Booth announced with confidence. He honestly believed that they could win, if the kid used the right approach. He patted Sweets' back, encouragingly. "We've trained this one well."
Hodgins, who also moved to the center seat directly across from Sweets, chuckled menacingly. He, too, felt a bit nervous but that was mostly from the stress inflicted by his team members. While the BurritoLocos were being created, the two teams had split to prep their challengers in private. While he felt confident that he could win, he also worried that he would lose and cost his team. Literally.
"We'll just see about that," the entomologist shot back.
"Yeah, we will see." Booth sneered, "When they put your picture up on the Wall of Shame."
"I think you mean the Wall of Fame," Cam corrected. "Slip of the tongue."
"And, Hodgins is going to get a nice T-shirt, too." Angela added. She had no doubts that he would need one, after stuffing his face into the messy, gargantuan deliciousness of the BurritoLoco. There would be bean-stains on his shirt for the rest of eternity.
Booth laughed, dismissing the other team's threats. Dr Brennan decided this was the perfect time to step up and defend her team. "YOU LOSERS ARE GOING DOWN."
Team Hodgins and the other members of Team Sweets were surprised by the anthropologist's sudden competetiveness. Booth raised his eyebrows and smirked. Frankly, he was proud of her. "Way to go. You tell 'em, Bones!"
Brennan stuck her tongue out viciously at Team Hodgins, then looked at Booth for approval. He nodded. She smiled, looking as cocky as Booth's belt buckle.
"All right..." Linda the waitress interrupted. "Are you guys ready to start the BurritoLoco Challenge?"
"YEAH!" Team Sweets hollered.
"BRING IT ON!" Cheered Team Hodgins.
"All right!" Linda the waitress grabbed at her stopwatch. "You both know the rules. You must eat as much of the BurritoLoco as you can, until the time stops. I'm going to be watching the official clock, and I will stop by every now and then to tell you what time you guys are at. There may be no help from your support team, except to cheer you guys on. Winner gets a Mario's T-shirt, their face up on the Wall of Fame and the official title of King of the Burrito. Loser gets their face up on the Wall of Shame, and their team's gotta pay for the other team's food. Are we understood?" She paused to glance between Sweets and Hodgins, who both nodded. "All right. Then good luck to you both, and enjoy. The challenge starts...NOW!"
"Go, go, go!" Cam and Angela yelled. Hodgins and Sweets wasted no time grabbing their burritos as best as they could manage, and digging in. It would not be an easy challenge. The first bite proved that.
"Oh my God, that looks so delicious!" Angela cheered. "Come on, Jack! You can do this."
"Sweets! You're gonna have to take bigger bites than that!"
"Don't answer him, Sweets." Brennan forbid, not wanting the psychologist to get distracted. She turned to Booth and answered for him, "You told him to pace himself, Booth. You don't want him to choke."
"No, of course I don't want him to choke. If he chokes, we lose. If we lose, we have to pay for Angela's food bill. Come on, Sweets!"
Sweets had actually taken to ignoring most of what his team was saying, as soon as the time began. Not that he did not need it, but he would rather focus on the matter at hand. To pace himself, that was his strategy. He knew that if he overfilled himself with BurritoLoco goodness too quickly, his stomach would not welcome any more later and that would inevitably end with Team Sweets' loss. He was determined to win this thing. He wasn't about to let Booth and Brennan down.
"Oh my God, they're really going at it." Cam commented. The pathologist had seen horribly mangled bodies, but the mess the two had made was somehow more disturbing. And yet, she could not look away.
"Yeah. Now, that's what I'm talking about." Booth cheered. "Come on, Sweets! You can do this."
"Come on, Hodgins! Show the other team what you're made of. Show them what Team Hodgins is made of." Angela praised. "You can beat them!"
"All right, Sweets! You got this. You got this."
"Show that little boy how it's done!" Angela cried. "Make him run home to his mommy!"
"Yes! Consume that food like an infected raccoon would!" Brennan tried.
"Come on, Hodgins. Do it for Little Jackie!"
"LET'S GO, SWEETS!"
"LET'S GO, HODGINS!"
The two challengers met eyes for a second, mouths still stuffed with food. It was apparent to everyone but their respective team members that they were annoyed.
"Let's go Swee-eets!" Clap, clap. Clap,clap,clap. "Let's go, Swee-eets!" Clap, clap. Clap,clap,clap."
"Hodgins, Hodgins! Here's our man! If he can't eat it, no-one can!"
The BurritoLoco Challenge contestants had started to get an audience. Several curious customers huddled around the table, amused, helping to cheer the two on. Within a few minutes, they both had a decently loyal fanbase.
"All right, BurritoLoco Challengers!" Linda the waitress yelled. The entire restaurant hollered. Hodgins and Sweets were suddenly aware of just how much attention they'd brought upon themselves. The thought did little to help their confidence. "The official time is at ten minutes! That means you've still got thirty-five minutes to go to eat as much burrito as you can!"
A loud woo! rung from around the circle, strangers chatting with strangers about who they thought would win, who they thought would lose.
"You got this, Hodgins!" Angela hollered, over the sounds of their audience. "You're winning. You're winning!"
It did appear that so far the entomologist had the psychologist beat. Hodgins relished the thought that he was in the lead, but knew better than to let that get to his head. There was still plenty of time for Sweets to catch up, and he was definately not far behind.
"It's all right, Sweets! You can still win this thing!" Booth encouraged. The Team Sweets supporters clapped their hands in agreement. Booth decided to bring Team Hodgins' future offspring up for motivation. "Angela's pregnant, Sweets! Remember, Angela's pregnant!"
"One minute left!" Linda the waitress called out.
Hodgins and Sweets were both visibly relieved to hear the news. While the BurritoLoco proved to be quiet delicious, they both had decided never to eat a burrito for the rest of their lives. It was something they had both agreed on, no real words being said.
Hodgins exhaled and grabbed a french fry that had escaped from its tortilla wrapped prison, and forced it into his mouth. He was certain he would not only never crave a burrito again, but any food in general. Dr Brennan had been right. He felt uncomfortably full. He glanced at the psychologist across the table, and pushed his plate away. He could not eat any more.
Sweets, however, did not give up just yet. While it was evident he was struggling (horribly) to get any more food down his throat, Booth had been breathing down his neck, chanting for him to eat as much BurritoLoco as he could in the last few minutes. Team Hodgins and Team Sweets were at a draw.
The next thing the challengers knew, Linda and the restaurant patrons were counting down, "Five...four...three...two...one! All right, teams. Put the burritos down!"
The psychologist did so, exhaustedly. He'd never been more relieved for a meal to end. He'd never lived through forty-five minutes that had lasted so long. He felt like he was going to be sick. Hodgins wiped his mouth and tossed the napkin onto his plate, not at all looking forward to feeling so bloated for the rest of the week. The two exchanged glances, and shook their heads, a silent conversation being held. That officially ruined Mexican food.
"Hey, good job, Sweets!" Booth said, clapping the young man on the back. Sweets looked up at him and smiled, though he said nothing. He was anxious to hear the outcome of the challenge.
"Yes. I am most impressed by your ability to consume your food!" Brennan praised.
Team Hodgins, Team Sweets and the entire restaurant held their breath as they waited for the results.
"All riiiight! And the winner, of the BurritoLoco Challenge...The free T-shirt...their name up on the Wall of Fame...and, the title of King of the Burrito, is...Drum roll please!"
A tall guy with a beanie hat conveniently drummed on the table.
Linda the waitress opened her mouth to announce the winner, then stopped. The two had about the same amount of food on their plates. "Well, guys. It looks like this...is a tie! You both ate about the same amount of BurritoLoco deliciousness." The two teams frowned, "However...to find out who the winner is...we're gonna go with an audience vote!"
The crowd cheered.
"All right, people. Choose wisely. Let's hear it for Team One!" Linda the waitress pointed to Team Hodgins. The crowd screamed, clapped, hoot and hollered, and stomped their feet. As soon as the cheering died down, Linda turned and waved an arm over Team Sweets. "Now let's hear it for Team Two!"
Again, the crowd screamed, clapped, hoot and hollered, and stomped their feet for the team.
"And, last but not least...!" Linda yelled. Cam, Hodgins and Team Sweets looked confused. "Team number three!" The waitress waved an arm in the direction of another table, where Angela sat. There was a plenty more than half-eaten BurritoLoco on her plate, and a confident look on her face. The others had been so enthralled in the boys' head to head battle that they hadn't noticed another member enter the war. This time, the crowd cheered twice as loud as they had for either of the other teams.
Though he had obviously lost, Hodgins raised his arms up and proudly yelled, "That's my baby!"
Even Team Sweets, who looked very defeated, cheered for their friend.
"All right! You people voted. Angela..." Linda the waitress shouted, after leaning in to take the artist's name. "You are officially Queen of the Burrito!"
"Oh my God. It's beautiful."
Angela, Queen of the Burrito, admired her photo on the Wall of Fame with bright eyes. She held her prized T-shirt in her hand, thumb up, grin wide. When she turned around to see what the other's thought, she frowned.
Hodgins and Sweets both looked indifferent, hands cradling their over-filled stomaches.
"What's wrong with you two?" She asked, noting their odd expressions. Hodgins groaned, and waved a hand, not wanting to say more. He drew in a deep breath and trudged out of the restaurant, wanting to relieve himself of the smell of Mexican food and defeat.
Booth placed a comforting hand on Sweets' shoulder, wary about his team member's sudden change of face. "Sweets?"
"I think I'm gonna be sick."
The special agent turned the psychologist around with break-neck speed, pushing him towards the bathroom.
Angela sighed. "Well, don't take too long. You still gotta pay for the bill!"