"So my aunt had to have one of her molars extracted. Turns out she had a popcorn kernal stuck in there, and it got infected."
Ty raised an eyebrow. "Is this the same aunt with the pineapple in the nose?"
Nick nodded, smirking. "The very same."
"I still don't get how it got stuck up there," Kelly mumbled through a mouthful of spaghetti.
Owen leaned toward Digger. "Are we really going through this again?" he muttered.
"Apparently," Digger muttered back, and Zane had to choke back a laugh.
"For the last time, Doc, it wasn't the whole pineapple!"
"I get that it wasn't the whole pineapple! I just don't understand how someone could not notice they had a piece of fruit lodged up their nose for three months!"
Owen hummed around a bite of salad. "If it made it all the way up into the sinus cavity, it probably felt just like congestion."
"Wouldn't a good sneeze just knock it outta there? I mean, how big a chunk are we talking, here?" Kelly continued, looking at Nick.
"How the fuck would I know? I wasn't there when it came out!"
"Was it bigger than a breadbox?" Zane asked, lips twitching as Nick turned his way.
Nick wagged a finger at Zane. "Don't you start!"
"Are we talking one of those big chunks you get at a salad bar, or was it pre-mushed?" Kelly went on.
"Pre-mushed?" Ty asked weakly.
"Like, pulpy and stuff."
"Oh my god."
Kelly cocked his head, considering. "I guess if it wasn't pulpy before, it sure was after being up there for three months."
Nick covered his face with his hands. "Kels."
"Some of us are trying to eat, here!"
"Why are we talking about this again?" Ty asked plaintively.
"Because you brought it up?" Nick said pointedly.
"Let's talk about something else, then."
"A wise decision." Nick nodded in Zane's direction. "Garrett, you haven't said much tonight. You have the floor."
"Another topic, got it. Huh..." Zane thought for a moment before the impulse struck him, and although he knew he shouldn't, he couldn't help himself. "Ok, so. Pineapples. Fruits or berries?" he said with mock enthusiasm.
A collective groan sounded around the table.
"Fuck me sideways."
"Oh, fuck no!"
"Not this again."
Nick pursed his lips. "Actually, we established that they were coalesced berries. Remember?"
Zane snapped his fingers. "That's right! How could i forget the coalesced berries?"
"Maybe you blocked it out like a sane person," Ty said, swiping at his face with a napkin.
"There are no sane people sitting here, only crazy assholes." Nick shot a sideways glance at Ty. "Speaking of which, I still owe you for the chocolate covered strawberries, don't I?"
Ty cleared his throat, laying his napkin neatly in his lap. "Let's just go back to the nose thing again."
"Did I ever tell you that when I was a kid, I used to be able to snort string and have it dangle out of my nose and my mouth at the same time?" Kelly said suddenly.
This time Zane couldn't hold back a grin. "You were that one kid in class that stuck a bean up his nose, weren't you?" he laughed.
Ty just looked aghast. "Why the fuck would you do that? No, let me rephrase. Where the fuck do you even get the idea to do something like that?"
Kelly shrugged, then eyed his plate of pasta with a speculative air. "Spaghetti is kind of like string. I wonder if I could do it with spaghetti."
"The sauce would sting like a bitch."
"I'd suck it off first," Kelly insisted, and Zane heard a muffled snort come from Nick's direction. A wicked grin spread across Kelly's face. "How about it, Nicko? Wanna help me practice-?"
"Nope! Nope! Nuh-uh," Ty interrupted, bringing both hands up to cover his ears. "LA-LA-LA I'M NOT LISTENING!"
"I'm with Six on this one," Owen chimed.
"Ditto," said Digger. "Doc, if you and Irish gotta do the sex thing, go find a bathroom stall like normal people."
"Broom closet works too, in a pinch," Zane added mildly.
"LA-LA-LA-OH GOD, MAKE IT STOOOOOOP!"