By Melisma <email@example.com>
Submitted August 1999
Summary: Kyle Griffin gets a taste of how the other half lives…
"Hey, you guys!" Jimmy called as Lois and Clark exited the elevator and headed toward their desks. "Didja hear the news? Kyle Griffin got let out of jail early for good behavior. Can ya believe it?"
"The Prankster?!" Lois asked incredulously.
"Yikes!" her husband chimed in, anticipating a day of Lois-nervous-babble and Perry-nervous-obsessing. The *last* time they had crossed Griffin's path, it hadn't been pretty.
"Lois, Clark, Jimmy! In my office now, please!" Perry's voice rang across the newsfloor as if on cue.
"Okay, kids," the Chief started in as soon as all three were settled. "The Prankster is loose, and I wanna make sure he doesn't come after us again. Any ideas?"
As Clark was about to say that he was sure Superman would be keeping an eye on the dangerous practical joker, Jimmy spoke up. "Uh, Chief?" he said. "What if we give the Prankster a piece of his own medicine? Pull a prank on *him* before he can pull one on *us*?"
"Ooooh, Jimmy," Lois grinned. "I like it! It doesn't have to be malicious; just give him an idea of what it's like to be on the receiving end. I'd *love* to get even with him for almost costing me my presidential interview, not to mention just scaring me to death …" She looked over at Clark. "You think Superman might be persuaded to help us, sweetheart?"
"I could ask him," Clark allowed, a smile that matched his wife's creeping across his face. "He might like to get even for the contact lens stunt …"
"I know *I* would, for making me wear Lois's dress," Jimmy added, making a face.
"Oh, I dunno, son — I thought it looked pretty good on you. But my poor tie … ," Perry chimed in, surprising the others that he was even *thinking* of endorsing Jimmy's idea. Clark had been certain that his boss, if he didn't forbid it outright, would tell them that he didn't want to know of their plan in order to be able to deny any knowledge of it.
"Okay!" Jimmy exclaimed. "CK, should we go ahead and plan it and then you invite Superman? Or could you call him and ask him to help us plan?"
Clark pretended to think for a minute. "Naw, let's just plan, and if he wants to join us, he can," he said finally.
"So what do we do?" Lois asked. "Shortsheet his bunk? Substitute salt for his coffee creamer? Put a rubber snake in his shaving kit?"
"No, no, darlin'!" Perry laughed. "Those are juvenile-type pranks. Griffin is a world-class prankster, and we are a world-class newspaper. So we gotta pull a world-class newspaper-type world-class prank on a world-class prankster." He punctuated his last sentence by slamming his right fist into his left palm. "Nope, here's what I propose …"
And the three younger journalists leaned in as he outlined his plan …
Kyle Griffin lay quietly on his bunk, not yet willing to open his eyes and greet the morning. For some reason he had had the *weirdest* dreams last night. Something about lights and floating, but he just couldn't remember. After a few minutes of fruitlessly trying to drift back to sleep, he gave up. He tried to stretch, but his arms refused to move. Alarmed, he opened his eyes and was greeted by blackness, even though he could feel the sun's warmth on his face. He tried to move his legs, but met with a strange resistance. Griffin panicked. "Victor!!!" he bellowed, relieved that his voice was functioning, at least.
After a painfully long moment he heard his accomplice enter the room. "You called, b … What the *heck*?!" Victor broke off in confusion.
"What?!" Kyle demanded, not in the mood to be toyed with. "I swear, Victor, if you don't tell me, I'll … I'll stuff you back into a rat-infested basement!"
"No, no!" Victor's voice squeaked at the reminder of his worst nightmare, but he managed to get control of himself. "It's just … Why are you and your room all wrapped up in newspaper?"
The elevator doors opened with a ping of the bell, and the Daily Planet's editor-in-chief, his junior photographer, and an award-winning journalistic duo spilled out. All four had circles under their eyes, but the ear-to-ear grins gracing their faces were more noticeable to their curious colleagues.
"I swear, Chief, that was the coolest prank I've *ever* been a part of!" Jimmy bubbled.
"It was a stroke of genius to use old issues of the Planet," Lois giggled. "Bet he felt like a fish on ice this morning!"
"I wouldn't debate you on that, Lois," Clark declared loyally. "But I'm worried that he and Victor will figure out that it was us because of that, and feel obligated to get even with us."
"How can he be sure it was us, CK?" Jimmy retorted as Perry steered them into his office so they could gloat discreetly.
"That's true," Perry added. "They're both smart, to be sure, but how could they trace it back to us? We never left a note, and they might just think whoever did it just used our paper because it was the only one at hand."
"Or they might think it was someone from the Star," Lois countered, "who used our paper to make them *think* it was us. Don't you love pushing Griffin's buttons?" she grinned.
"Yeah," Perry agreed, then changed the subject slightly. "I thought it was a nice touch for Superman to persuade the DA's office to let us borrow Griffin's light-flash/freeze gizmo, too. But it *was* too bad he couldn't join us."
Jimmy laughed again. "Imagine … Using the Prankster's own invention to immobilize him so we could truss him up like that!"
"And where did you ever learn to work with paper like that, Kent?" Perry wanted to know.
"I learned origami from an elderly Japanese man I met once," Clark said a little vaguely. "He had a real knack for tying secure knots with paper that you would think would just come apart at the slightest touch." He didn't mention that Superman had rescued the wizened gentleman from a burning apartment, and that Tanaka San had taught him the craft out of gratitude. Clark was still feeling a little guilty over last night's escapade. After all, he wasn't the type of person to pull such stunts. At least, not unless he was under the influence of Space Rats!
"And he taught you well," Lois smiled, recognizing her husband's mood change by signs which only she knew to look for. "If you're still worried about the Prankster, maybe you could ask Superman to keep an eye on him for us."
"That's a good idea your wife has, Kent," Perry approved. "I think we taught Griffin a lesson, and I'm not gonna worry about it anymore. Let's get back to running this paper, shall we?"
And with that the four of them pushed the matter of Kyle Griffin onto the back burner, and life resumed its normal, generally serious, routine.
— you think?