By Tank Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: April, 2003
Summary: A boyfriend who never criticizes her looks proves something of a challenge Lois Lane can't resist.
NOTES: I'm always getting flak about the fact that I preferred the short-haired Lois Lane of early season three and late season four (but not the slicked down look) over the longer shoulder length bob of season two, or even the chin length bob of season one. I really have nothing against those looks, I just prefer the shorter style on Teri Hatcher (who is still the best live action Lois Lane ever). That being the case, I often find excuses to bring Lois to a shorter-haired look in many of my stories that involve a season one or two setting. It's almost become a sort of trade mark.
So, of course, I sometimes engage in a little good-natured encouragement to other writers to let Lois embrace the shorter hair in their stories. It seldom works, but there are a few writers who will 'walk a mile' in the other direction just to avoid such a thing. Even if it would be logical to their tale. My good friend and sometime writing partner, Wendy Richards, is just one of those people. She must have had some sort of trauma with a pair of scissors in her own life, at one time, to make her such a staunch defender of the shoulder-length bob.
As it came about, Wendy was posting a story on Zoomway's MBs that cried out for Lois to cut her hair. It would have fit very logically into the story. But when I suggested it; well let's just say that it didn't meet with much enthusiasm. Also at this time, a couple of vignettes appeared on the boards supposedly in honor of Wendy's birthday. Then it came to me! What better present for a woman so stubbornly opposed to the natural feminine practice of changing a hairstyle than a vignette centered around just such a situation. And thus, this little effort was born.
As with all my stories, this was first posted on Zoom's boards and now it comes to the archives as its final resting place. As always, all characters are trademarked and copyrighted to their respective owners. Any and all feedback is welcome at TankW1@aol.com.
Lois Lane nervously finger-combed the short, feathered hair that framed her face as she stepped into the elevator at the Daily Planet. It was quite a different look for her… but that was the point. Some would say that it was a bit of an overkill just to accomplish her goal, but then that was Lois Lane.
Things had been going quite well between her and Clark lately. After the emotional wringer they had put themselves through recently, what with Dan Scardino being around to complicate things and then that awful lawsuit against Superman by that wannabe musician, it was nice that things had calmed down. There had been some very trying days for Lois, but the good that had come out of it had been a better understanding of herself, and what she wanted. She was able to admit that what she wanted was Clark. She was able to admit that to him… and herself.
Since that night, their relationship had progressed with a new understanding. An understanding that it was possible to be best friends, and more. And, of course, the perks of a closer relationship were quite nice too.
Clark really was a one in a million type of guy. He was handsome, funny, warm and loving. He was firm when he needed to be, but compassion and kindness toward others was probably his strongest personality trait. Unfortunately, that sometimes proved to be an irritating sticking point for Lois.
Given her past with men, Lois was all about trust. It was a paramount issue with her. Having been hurt badly in the past, both by her father and former lovers, trust had become something that she guarded jealously and was even more miserly in giving. It took quite a bit for Lois to allow Clark to see who she really was, and to trust him implicitly.
Not that she was afraid that Clark would betray her trust and purposely do anything to hurt her. He loved her. She knew that. It was just that he had an irksome habit of feeling he had to 'protect' her. Not just physically. That was something she could understand, even if it did bug her, but they were dealing with that. No, it was more the fact that he was too quick to 'spare her feelings'. He would never say if he didn't like a particular dress, or dispute her choice of a movie. Just once she'd like him to tell her the truth. That he didn't like something. Which is what had led her to this moment.
She knew that Clark really liked her hair longer. He was constantly stroking it and playing with it when they, well… she blushed unconsciously at the thought. She figured he was like most men who thought that longer hair automatically made a woman sexier and more feminine. It didn't matter if it was practical, or fit the person's face. Just the longer the better.
She looked at the mirrored wall of the elevator. Well, Mr. Clark Kent was in for a shock. She grinned grimly as she fingered the short, dark tresses that brushed her cheek. He was going to hate this short hair, and she was going to make him admit it!
Lois stepped off the elevator and, with only the slightest hint of nerves, headed for her desk, not looking to either side to see what kind of reactions she might be getting from the rest of the newsroom.
"Hey, Lois, wow, that's really a different look for you." Lois gave Jimmy a weak smile as he approached her. "What did CK say when he saw it?"
Lois shrugged. "He hasn't seen it yet."
Jimmy clucked his tongue. "I'm surprised CK went for it when the two of you talked about it."
Lois raised a brow and skewered Jimmy with a baleful stare. "And why would I have needed to discuss it with Clark? It's my hair, not his."
Jimmy held up his hands in surrender. "Okaaay." Jimmy, like a trapped animal, looked around for a way to escape. "Ah, I think the Chief is looking for me. Catch you later."
Lois suppressed a grin of triumph. This was going exactly as she had planned. Men! So predictable.
As she approached her desk, she noticed Clark was busy typing, his face buried in his computer screen. Probably some last second finishing touches on his latest story. It was perfect, he hadn't noticed her yet. She marched up and sat on the corner of his desk.
"Good morning, Clark."
"Good morning, Lo…" Clark had pulled his head away from the screen to gaze up at Lois, only to have his mouth drop open when he finally saw her.
Lois barked out a short laugh. "Close your mouth, Kent, you'll gather flies."
Clark had to swallow before he found his voice. "Lois, you cut your hair?"
Lois fixed him with steady, defiant stare. "Yes."
Clark nodded. "Um, it looks nice." Clark leaned back in his chair and made a point of appearing to really take in Lois' new look. "It looks real nice, I like it. It suits you."
Lois rolled her eyes toward the ceiling and sighed. "Oh, Clark, can't you just once try not to spare my feelings? Can't you tell me the truth? I know you don't like it, but I do, and that's why I cut it. But I'd feel much better if you'd just admit to your real feelings about it." Lois began to wave her arms about. "How will I ever know when you're telling me the truth, or if it's just another case of 'let's not hurt Lois' feelings'?" Lois stood and leaned over the intimidated Clark. "We are two individuals, with individual likes and dislikes. Disagreeing once in a while isn't going to cause our relationship to fall apart."
Clark frowned. "Lois, I disagree with you frequently. Just yesterday I told you I didn't think that Baker was the councilman taking the bribes."
She waved off his comment. "I don't mean stuff like that. I mean me. Never once in all the time I've ever known you have you ever criticized me, personally, or physically. Now I know that I'm a pretty impressive package." She had a sardonic grin on her face. "But even I have bad days and don't always look or act the part of Clark Kent's perfect feminine ideal." She reached up and tugged on the short dark locks. "Just admit that you preferred my longer hair and don't like that I cut it. Then we can discuss it rationally and move on."
"Real funny, Kent."
Clark stood up and took Lois' hand. "Okay, let's discuss this new haircut rationally."
He led her into the conference room, closed the door, and began to pull the blinds so no one would be able to see them. Lois watched his actions anxiously. It was just a haircut, what was Clark getting all secretive about?
Clark turned and clasped his hands around Lois' upper arms. He captured her eyes with his. "The truth?"
Apprehensively, Lois bit her lip and nodded. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
Clark directed Lois to a chair and pulled one out for himself, facing her. "Do you remember way back when you asked me what I'd say to my wife if she went out and changed her look on a whim. Dyed her hair red, and cut if all off, if I remember what you said. Did it to please me, but it looked ghastly. That's the scenario you set up. Do you remember?" Lois nodded. "And how did I answer that?"
"You said you'd tell her that you preferred it the way it was, but if it made her happy then it was fine by you… or something like that." "That's right." Clark placed his hand alongside her cheek. "Now, listen to me. Lois, I think you are the most beautiful woman I've ever known. You were beautiful with the chin-length bob I first saw you in. You were beautiful when your hair grew out to shoulder length. And you are still beautiful with this short haircut." He leaned in and gave her a quick, tender kiss. "Your look is no more or less beautiful because of the length of your hair; just different."
Lois had to fight the feeling to throw her arms around Clark and kiss him senseless. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Those are lovely sentiments, but you are still avoiding the question."
Clark laughed and spread his hands wide. "Okay, I admit that when I first saw you I was… surprised. But — truthfully — not disappointed, or displeased in any way. Lois, you look very good in short hair." Clark gave her a smoldering look. "Actually I find it quite sexy." He leaned in and nuzzled her neck. "Oh yeah, this is really nice."
Lois gasped as Clark began to plant little kisses up and down the back of her newly exposed neck. He slowly worked his way around to the front, repeating those tiny kisses on her throat. A low moan started to grow in the back of Lois' throat. Without thinking, she reached out and grabbed the back of Clark's head and pulled his lips to hers.
It was like a fire growing out of control. She knew if she didn't stop it now she might not be able to. Suddenly Lois pushed herself away from him. She could see the desire in his eyes. A desire she knew was mirrored in her own. A small sense of panic was building in the bowels of her being.
Clark ran his tongue over his lip. "So, have I convinced you that I'm telling you the truth?"
Lois jumped up and made a show of looking at her watch. "Oh my gosh." Apprehension was evident in her voice. "Look at the time. I, I… have to return that video from the other night. If I don't get it there right away I'll incur a late fee." Lois began backing her way toward the door. "I'll catch you later." With that she darted out the door, leaving a very confused Clark to stare after her.
Fifteen minutes later Lois was standing in front of Cindy's Salon. It was where she'd been having her hair done for years. She and Cindy were long- time friends. Taking a deep breath, she walked through the front door.
Cindy spied her old friend immediately and stormed to the front of the shop. "Lois Lane, you rat! After all the times *I* suggested it," she said peevishly. "You went out and got your hair cut by someone else."
Lois shook her head. "No, I didn't." She reached up and pulled the short-tressed wig off her head. Shaking loose her own long locks, she walked over to an empty chair in the small salon. "But I am now." Lois pulled the shears out of the glass of disinfectant they rested in and gave them to Cindy as she came up behind her. "Cut it off."