THE STRIPPER STRIKES AGAIN
A Superman Returns story
by Rachel Smith Cobleigh

"So I hear The Stripper struck again," Jimmy said, far too cheerfully for eight o'clock in the morning. Perry picked up the decaf pot—what was the point, really? he wondered—and scowled sideways at Jimmy, uncomprehending.

"You know: that guy who keeps leaving his clothes in the elevator." Jimmy shook his head and poured a creamer into his coffee, stirring absent-mindedly. "It's sure been a while. I thought he'd been fired or something."

Perry grunted and kept filling his mug. If it had to be decaf, at least it could be black.

"You know, the strange thing is, they say there's never any underwear in the pile. Weird, huh?" Jimmy said. Perry gave no response. "I mean, if you're going to take off your clothes, why stop there? Plus, I heard the suits don't look cheap, either. That guy's losing a chunk o' change." Jimmy nodded authoritatively.

Perry put the pot back on the burner, took a sip from his too-hot liquid, and grimaced. He left Jimmy by the coffee pots and walked towards his office, remembering the first time he discovered that Clark had left his clothes in the elevator. Perry had taken those and all the other suits he'd found out to be dry-cleaned. They were all still hanging in their bags in the back of one of his closets at home. There were at least half a dozen of them. Someday he'd give them back, but not yet. That boy's gotta be more careful, he sighed to himself. One of these days, somebody else is going to figure it out. He took a sip to hide his smile and went into his office to begin another day.

Author Note: If you watch closely, when Clark goes off to rescue the missing Lois, he leaves the elevator maintenance access panel in the ceiling open behind him, and you can clearly see clothes drifting down through the hole...