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Shichi's Tales of Sex and Doom (and Fluff and Randomness)

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"Come on!" Kagome urged him. "You need to hurry up, or we'll be late for the show!" She wore her best evening dress and Shippo was almost similarly well attired, still arranging his clothes with some distaste, but hurrying as much as he could. They darted out of the house and into the first available cab.

Shippo took out a notebook and looked at the picture of the man again. "So you're certain this is the guy," he said.

"Yup." Kagome felt proud of herself. Shippo didn't suspect a thing. All that planning of how to take a poor European actor and make him believe he was in his own personal 'Man with A Red Shoe' story would go straight to the trash, but it was worth it. Basically, the story for the actor was that he was intensely bothered by a newspaper man called Nishikawa, so the two of them would 'save' him and eventually make him certain that he was accidentally tangled in a Yakuza operation.

When they got to the theater, they rushed down corridors until they found the visiting troupe. Kagome went straight to the actor at hand. "Anthony, you must come now! Nishikawa is trying to reach you!"

"Who?" the man asked, then something dawned on him. "Nishikawa? The... newspaper man?"

"Yes! Come!" she urged him. "Hurry!"

"Indeed, hurry, there isn't much time," Shippo also urged.

The other actors stared in confusion, but Anthony came with them, rushing down corridors led by Kagome. However, after two turns and running about until they reached the backstage, she stopped right behind a curtain and turned to the Westerner. "I'm sorry, sir," she said.

"What's going on?"

"She was attempting to play a prank on me, I'm afraid," Shippo said, with a look towards Kagome. "She thought I wouldn't notice there was nobody who hired us, or that it was the first of April. I wasn't had."

"Oh," Anthony said, looking confused. "Well, then, erm..." He walked slowly towards Shippo, who frowned at him. "There's not much to do, but, erm..." He extended a hand towards the fox demon, who reluctantly took it. Anthony smiled and nodded, then suddenly pulled them both through the curtain and on the other side. Kagome rushed to the right of the backstage to see what was happening on stage from the shadows, so she wouldn't be seen by the audience who was watching a play just then.

"This, my sirs," said Anthony in a booming voice, "is that scoundrel you've been waiting for! Up and tell them what you've done! Tell them why you never come! And if thou, shadow, hast offended, tell them that and all is mended!"

Then Anthony walked to where Kagome was, head held high. Shippo just stood there, blinking at the actors and the audience. "Erm," he said.

"Erm," the actors said.

"Godot!" a woman's voice shrilled from the front of the audience. "Godot! He's come!"

Kagome and Anthony high-fived. "Best prank ever," the man said. "That troupe so got on my nerves during my stay here. Ah, well, I guess I'll never be able to set foot in Japan again because of the shame, but I think it was worth it."

"Your career will be fine?" she asked tentatively.

"Of course. I'll tell people I was pranked by a man whom I believed to be the producer of an experimental theater show. I'll say it was that woman who cried. She won't be in trouble, I doubt anybody will recognize her."

Kagome grinned. On stage, Shippo started reciting something that may have been a fragmentary Shakespeare knitted with Noh. Best. Prank. Ever. She just had to agree with that.