Date Night in a Jar
Rachel twirled into Brody's arms as they practiced their choreography for Please Don't Stop the Rain.
"So," he asked, dipping her gently, "Today's your date night, right? What are you planning to do? A musical?"
"Please, Brody," she said, rolling her eyes. "We've seen every musical on Broadway twice. No, after extensive research—"
"Two hours on Google," he grunted, lifting her over his head Dirty Dancing style.
"—I've decided on a show that's far more their taste than mine, but I'm sure will be quite fun for all of us. I've never seen this show before. Should be fantastically exciting."
"What is it?" he asked.
"I'll explain more as soon as you feed me," she said, grabbing her bag. "Come on. Let's get to lunch before July gets in here and tells us to run the dance five more times."
"Amen," he mumbled.
"What's up, Caleb?" she asked, not pausing from where she was beating the shit out of a punching bag.
"Your girl just called. Said to be ready in thirty; she's picking you up."
"Got it," she said. "Thanks." She walked over to her cell phone and, sure enough, had a missed call and a few texts from Rachel. "This place really should lower the volume on the music," she mumbled, taking her gloves off. Checking the time, she picked up her bag and jogged toward the showers.
Quinn hated Friday critiques. This was the toughest professor she'd ever had, and he insisted on always meeting with her on Fridays.
"Meetings during the week are rushed," he always grumbled when she jokingly complained about him ruining her weekends. "There's a glimmer of true talent buried in the sludge you hand in, and I want to make sure we have time to dig it out."
He was her favorite professor. Old, crotchety, with absolutely no patience for the entitled little assholes he saw everyday (his words, not hers). The driest sense of humor she'd ever encountered, coupled with the fact that he specialized in bluntly telling you why you were shit at writing, made him the most useful member of faculty as far as she was concerned.
She still walked away from his office with a headache that afternoon. Her phone buzzed in her pocket, and she pulled it out to read the text.
We're outside in a neon blue cab. Rachel says it's part of date night, so hurry your ass up! I want to find out what the surprise is!
Quinn rolled her eyes and made her way through the labyrinth of the English department and out to the street. She spotted the cab right away. It was, indeed, neon blue. "How are my ladies today?" she asked, sliding into the cab.
"Sore," Santana said. "I forgot to grab an ice pack."
"Do we need to swing by home first?" Rachel asked.
"No, I'll be fine."
"You just want to know what our date night is as soon as possible," Quinn said shrewdly. She spotted the cab driver glance at them in the rearview mirror and quirked an eyebrow. He dropped his gaze quickly and she turned back to her girlfriends.
"How was your critique?" Santana asked.
"Brutal, but I got the highest grade in the class, and what passes for approval from him."
"What did he say?"
"Quote: Most of the students I see are full of hopes, dreams, and shit. The fact that you're apparently full of piss, vinegar and only 15 percent shit, really gives me hope for America's future."
Rachel looked horrified while Santana just laughed.
They chatted for about fifteen minutes, until the cab pulled up outside a nondescript building.
"We're here," Rachel said cheerfully.
"Where is 'here' exactly?" Quinn asked as they got out.
Rachel paid their driver and squeezed in between them so she could link their arms. "It requires quite a bit of explanation, so I'll wait until we're inside. This is just the dinner portion of the evening, though. Follow me, loves!"
They walked into a lobby that was just as blank as the outside of the building, and Rachel led them into the elevator. She hit the button for the fifth floor and hummed quietly as they rode up.
"This is where she kills us, right?" Santana faux-whispered.
"Oh god, they're going to find our bodies in the woods," Quinn said dramatically.
Rachel snorted and turned to them. "If I killed you, no one would find you."
"Walked right into that one," Santana said as the doors opened.
This floor looked different. It wasn't nondescript like the exterior—in fact it was all electric blue like the cab they'd ridden in. There were about seven tables set up with silver curtains around them. A hostess in a masquerade mask smiled at them and pulled out a few menus. "Miss Berry," she said, nodding.
"Madeline. Having a nice day?"
"Of course. Right this way, ladies."
She led them over through the curtains to the corner table. A bottle of wine was chilling on the table already, and she sat their menus down in front of them. "Marxus will be over shortly to take your orders."
"Thank you, Madeline," Rachel said, smiling brightly. She turned back to Quinn and Santana, who were looking slightly stunned. "Have you guys ever heard of Phantasm?"
"Law & Order: SVU?"
"No, and no," Rachel said. "Phantasm is a…for lack of a better description, restaurant chain. It's fusion food, and one of the…selling points is that it's exclusive based on secrecy. You have to jump through serious hoops to find out when and where the restaurant will be that week. After that, though, the staff is super accommodating and wonderful. It's super personalized. Now, look through your menu so we can order when Marxus gets here."
They had a delightful dinner, chatting and watching the dancers and contortionists. Once they'd finished dessert, they went back downstairs to find the bright blue taxi by the curb again.
"Does anyone need to use the restroom? We have a long ride."
"This is where she kills us," Santana said.
"Seriously," Rachel said, laughing. "Come on, we're on a time frame."
Santana gasped and grabbed Quinn and Rachel by the arms. "No fucking way!"
"Come on, Santana," Quinn said as they stepped out of the car. "This is awesome, Rachel."
Rachel smiled. "It's their newest show. I figured Trans Siberian Orchestra would go over well with everyone. Let's go, it looks like they're opening the doors."