The Long and the Short of it Is…

By Wendy Richards <>

Rated: G

Submitted May 2003

Summary: As Lois and Clark's relationship develops, Lois decides that she'd like a haircut. A response to Tank's haircut challenge.

A Haircut Challenge Response

Author's Note: Once upon a time — well, fairly recently — a certain Tank Wilson posted another of his trademark evil vignettes on the Fanfic Message Boards, at It was a sequel of sorts to the Future series. Not surprisingly, he got yelled at to write more and give us a final sequel. And this was his response:


Okay, there has been a small amount of interest in my continuing the scenario I set up in my last little vignette. If this is truly the case, then I will consider writing more about Lois and the new world she will be forced to discover under one condition (Well actually two).

Since it's basically Wendy's fault that I posted this in the first place, I think it only fair that she be the one to 'pay the tax' as it were. But she will not be singled out here. Since she and her 'good buddy' Kaethel are the founding members of the horrible TSTPLFGADH (The Society To Prevent Lois From Getting A Decent Haircut, or something like that), I think it only fair that Kaethel be included in this little proposition.

Here's the deal. I'll unretire if…

Wendy and Kaethel each (not collectively) include a short haircut for Lois in one of their stories. I'm not talking about a couple of sentence throw away either. The haircut experience can either be a positive or a negative one, but it has to be a significant element in the plotline. We, the gentle reader, need to experience the action and the consequences. We need to share in Lois' thought processes before, during, and after.

It's not too much to ask… is it?

Tank the RETIRED (who figures he's pretty safe considering the aversion those two fabulous fic fashioners have to the preferred short-haired Lois)


Well, how could I resist a challenge like that? Incidentally, an illustrated version is posted here:;f= 3;t=000011

All rights to the characters belong to DC Comics and Warner Bros; no infringement of copyright is intended by their use in this work of sillyness.


"Oh, hi, Clark!"

Lois looked up as her boyfriend arrived, and smiled as he jumped down from the windowsill. He did tend to prefer unorthodox means of entry these days, she thought; he was probably still in that honeymoon period of getting used to the fact that she knew about him, and was revelling in his freedom to do Super things openly around her.

"Hi, Lois." He spun quickly, coming to a halt in front of her wearing a T-shirt and jeans. "So, did you decide what you want to do today?"

They had the day off; Lois thought privately that Perry was feeling guilty about sending them off on what should have been a romantic getaway, but had turned out to be a nightmare in which Clark had almost died and she herself had been close to ending up as a megalomaniac's plaything.

She frowned. "Well, I've sort of been thinking…" Running one hand through her hair, she trailed off.

"Isn't that dangerous?" Clark grinned and made a pantomime of ducking. "Okay, so what have you been thinking about?"

"My hair," she said, looking straight at him. "What do you think of it? And be honest, Clark — none of your evasions or 'I'd love you if you were bald' promises, please."

"Well, actually, I would love you if you were b- " he began; Lois grabbed a cushion from the sofa and threw it at him.

Clark caught it and grinned. "Okay, I take it that's not the answer you wanted, huh? So what's bothering you?"

"I need a haircut," she told him. "My hair's a lot longer now than it's been in a long time — I don't think you knew me when it was as long as this before. Anyway, I don't think it suits me this long. I should have got it cut before now, but… well, it's never easy to find the time, and keeping appointments isn't exactly easy in a job like ours, and -"

"Lois!" Clark interrupted her, laughing. "If you're trying to tell me that you want to get your hair cut today, that's fine! I don't mind."

"Aww. Thanks, Clark." She meant it, too; this was the first day off they'd had together since they'd admitted that they were in love, and she knew that he'd been looking forward to the time together as much as she had.

But it wasn't only his agreement to her taking up an hour of their previous time together which she'd wanted. "But I wanted your advice, too."


"Yes. How short do you think I should go?"

"Uhh…" He hesitated, looking clueless.

"Well, do you want me just to get it trimmed — you know, a couple of inches off, so it's back to the length it was when we started dating? Or five or six inches — the way I had it about eighteen months ago? Or maybe even shorter? How about a complete restyle? You know, I've been wondering how I'd look with something completely different — a layered style, or maybe a perm, or a pixie cut, or…"

"Slow down, Lois!" Clark teased. "Look, whatever you want to do is fine by me. It's your hair, and you know I'll love you anyway no matter what."

"Yeah, I know," she said, feeling just a little impatient. Why couldn't he tell her what he really thought? "But you must have *some* preference!"

Clark paced the length of her living-room, then paused and raked a hand through his own hair. "Okay. I thought the way you had it about eighteen months ago, when we were investigating that magician, was too short. And, yes, you're right; it's a little bit too long now."

"It's getting hard to look after," Lois explained.

"You know the way I've most liked your hair?" Clark said.


"When I first met you," he said. "It was… I don't know — just a softer style. You had it parted at the side, not the centre, and it was really flattering. I loved it that way — but then, that's when I fell in love with you."

Lois walked straight over to him and kissed him. "You really know how to make me feel good," she said. "But — hang on — are you saying that my hair's never been really nice since?"

"Lois!" he grumbled. "You know I'm not!"

"Okay. So you liked my hair like that." Lois thought for a moment, then shook her head. "It was too difficult to look after. I had to wash and blow-dry it every morning to keep it looking like that, and I hated it."

"Okay, so why not try something different, then?" Clark suggested. "I really do like your hair longer — though okay, not as long as it is now. I like being able to run my fingers through it," he added, grinning. "But if you'd like to try something else, why not?"

Yes, why not? Lois thought. It was only a haircut, after all. And if she didn't like it, well, it would grow out within a few weeks anyway.


Lois emerged from her hairdresser's, her arm in Clark's. He'd insisted on coming with her, even though she'd assured him that he'd be bored rigid. He'd sat reading a magazine while she'd had her hair washed — an experience she always loved. Unless she got a total moron doing the job, having her hair washed was one of the most relaxing, stress- relieving experiences there was — well, apart from anything Clark could do for her. He really was skilled at massages, she thought, smiling in enjoyable reminiscence.

She'd had a lengthy discussion with the stylist before moving to the basins; she'd been shown numerous photographs, of styles which made her wince and determine to stick to her bob. And finally, she'd seen one which she did like. Clark, when he'd been consulted, had smiled his agreement.

"I think it would suit you, sweetheart," he'd said warmly.

"Sweetheart?" she'd queried, feeling warm inside at the endearment.

Clark had flushed slightly. "Do you mind?"

"Not at all." She'd hesitated then, before adding, "You know, I always thought I'd hate being called names like that — I mean, that I'd feel belittled or something like that. But I know you'd never do that to me…"

"Never, Lois," he'd assured her. "You know I think of you as an equal in every way. But I would like to call you 'sweetheart', if you don't mind."

"I don't mind," she'd said, feeling almost shy. "But you do realise that now I have to find something to call you?"

He'd grinned. "Well, as long as it's not Farmboy or Lunkhead, I don't mind."

She'd cast a quick glance around and noticed that nobody was paying any heed to their conversation. "How about Flyboy?"

His bark of laughter had sealed his fate. Flyboy it was.

And now here she was, feeling almost naked without the long fall of hair at her nape. She'd sneaked peeks in several mirrors on the way out of the salon, barely able to believe each time that the woman in the reflection was her. She looked so completely different!

"Are you sure you like it, Clark?" she asked her boyfriend, for about the twentieth time since the stylist had finished her work. "I mean, it will grow out — I could have it cut in a bob again in about six weeks, I guess, and it'll get longer…"

"I like it," he assured her once more, not looking at all irritated by her continual need for reassurance. "It's very different — but it suits you. There's enough of it left for me to run my fingers through… and I think I can see an unexpected bonus, too." He grinned at her.

"A bonus?" She halted, giving him a quizzical look.

"Yeah." He grinned again, then moved closer to her. "See, with your hair this short, your neck is free and available, and so I can do this…" He lowered his head, and a moment later she felt his lips nibbling at the side of her neck, and a moment later trailing kisses along her skin. She shivered at the delicious contact.

"Oooh… Well, as long as you keep doing that, I'll never let my hair grow long again!" Lois exclaimed.

"Naah," Clark said. "How about we compromise? You keep it like this for a year or so, and then you go back to your longer style for a while? And then I'll tell you which I prefer."

She gave his arm a swipe with her hand. "You just want to have it both ways, don't you, Flyboy?"

"And what's wrong with that?" He grinned at her again. "Hey, if that guy Wilson — you know, Perry's contemporary from journalism school — can say he's retired when he's still turning out an article a month, I can have my girlfriend's hair alternately long and short, can't I?"

"Good point…" Lois mused thoughtfully. "Okay, Clark, I'll tell you what. If Wilson writes anything longer than around a thousand words in the next year, then I'll grow that softer bob back for you in time for our wedding. All right?"

She giggled as Clark's expression took on the appearance of a goldfish's. Well, she had decided this morning that it was about time she accepted his proposal of marriage.

Raising an eyebrow, Clark said, "How about I see if Wilson needs any story ideas…?"