By Kaethel <Kaethel@wanadoo.fr> and Tank Wilson <TankW1@aol.com>
Rated PG 13
Submitted November 2003
Summary: What happens when a very evil writer cuts and dyes the hair of another very evil writer? Find out in this bit of total insanity.
Kaethel: This story is entirely Tank's fault. Right, you're going to say I always find someone to blame for my stories, but it's all true! I was just a passive reader this time, enjoying Tank and Wendy's 'Soul…Mates' challenge, when suddenly I became a victim (an *innocent* victim!!) of Tank's enthusiasm with hairstyling: here's what he wrote in the epilogue to that story: "But Kaethel was a trooper. She didn't say a word as I cut off most of her hair, and then made her look like a lost child of Bozo the Clown." Could I really let Tank get away with such an evil line? I'm sure you will all agree that it deserved… REVENGE! And revenge it got. <g>
Tank: Right up front I have to say that this really isn't my fault. I, innocently, intended to write a short, humorous, if modesty evil, vignette in honor of Halloween. But it seems I have some problems when it comes to the lovely ladies from across the big pond. They just can't seem to realize when a story is actually finished. This time, though, it wasn't Wendy who felt the impulse to add to an already finished story. This time is was Kaethel, Wendy's evil twin. (Can someone who is already evil have an evil twin?). Anyway, she felt compelled to 'add' to the story, which, of course, meant the I had to respond. Which then lead to… well, you can see for yourself. All I have to say is… it wasn't my fault.
Some things you need to know before you read on:
1) Tank and Kaethel have a longstanding "fight" about Lois's hair (should it be short or shoulder-length?).
2) Elena (but her friends call her "El"), our most evil FoLC, is a huge admirer of Tempus, so much that she's been nicknamed Mrs Tempus.
3) Yvonne Connell has bodily harmed Elena's "husband" in one of her stories, something El has been trying to get her favourite author to fix for a long time… without success so far. ;)
4) Kaethel is known on the fandom for her dislike of planes.
The authors wish to thank Tricia Walpole for her thorough editing of the story for the archive. Always a pleasure to work with you, Tricia! :)
And now without further ado, here is…
~ Bozo the Clown's Long Lost Daughter vs Nearly Headless Tank — The Ultimate Fight ~
By Kaethel and Tank
Chapter 1 ~ A Proportionate Response ~
by Kaethel the Red-Haired Maniac
Jimmy was pacing back and forth in the seedy alleyway behind the planet, the weight of the sharp axe on his shoulder becoming more and more painful to his sore muscles. What was Wilson doing? Would he even take Jimmy's cryptic message seriously enough to feel the need to check out what it was about? Would he just dismiss it as something that couldn't possibly arouse his interest? He had never had a high opinion of Jimmy, after all, and the young Planet photographer was perfectly aware of where he stood with the Planet's official… what was Wilson doing already? Style consultant, that was it. Lois had growled enough about what a waste of money that was back when the guy had been hired a few years earlier. Lately, though, she'd become less vocal about it. For some reason that Jimmy couldn't fathom, she had taken a liking to Wilson.
The point was, Wilson *would* show up tonight. As long as it gave him a chance to make Jimmy suffer, that horribly evil man wouldn't pass up the occasion.
Tonight would be the last time, though. The very last time.
Jimmy had waited all these years to take a well-deserved revenge on the evilest individual he had ever met, and after what the man in question had done to the new intern, there was no question about it. He would not let Wilson get away with it. Not this time.
He checked his watch for the tenth time in four minutes and raised his face towards the darkened sky. He knew that Superman was busy helping with the earthquake in China, but he still wasn't feeling safe. He was perfectly aware that what he was about to do could send him straight to jail, with a life sentence or even worse. And the fact that his future victim wasn't from the same universe wasn't likely to give him mitigating circumstances in front of a jury.
No, the only way to get out of this mess unscathed was to make sure no-one ever found the corpse. He could always borrow the guillotine that his Italian buddy secretly kept in a vault right under the hyenas' cage at the Metropolis zoo. He wouldn't tell her what it was for either — she had recently displayed a rather blatant admiration for his arch-nemesis, so she wouldn't agree with what Jimmy was about to do.
But Jimmy didn't care. All that he cared about tonight was that the man had ruined a Planet employee's hair, and that was simply not acceptable.
It deserved capital punishment.
If not worse.
Suddenly, he saw the dark, tall and bearded individual haunting his thoughts make his way towards him. The man looked unbelievably cheerful for someone who was so cruel, and had been particularly evil with the new Planet's intern. How had he managed to talk her into getting herself a haircut by Lucy, Jimmy didn't know, but he'd obviously misled the young woman and promised her a very sexy haircut. As it had turned out, she looked like a broomstick.
A brightly red broomstick.
A migraine-generating broomstick.
He couldn't blame his girlfriend Lucy for the mess, though, even if she had been the one to perform the cut… and the awful dye. Admittedly, the dye had been her idea, but Jimmy's enemy had been right there, behind her, pushing her to seek her worst ideas for a hairstyle.
None of it was Lucy's fault. True, Lucy couldn't cut hair properly to save her life: the awful cut she had given him the previous day was even more evidence of her incapability to do anything with hair that didn't turn into complete disaster. At least she hadn't managed to talk him into that electric blue colour that she wanted to try on him. The only thing he was grateful for was that Lucy couldn't possibly cut her own hair. This, at least, was a relief. If their relationship got onto the next level, he would never have to worry about coming home to find her bald or with a brightly orange dye. As long as she didn't find a hairdresser as unskilled as herself, that was. He loved her dearly, but there were some things that even a man in love couldn't deny.
However, Jimmy also knew that his future victim had had a hand in the slaughter of the new French intern's head, and that was just unacceptable. He'd never liked the man, anyway. And the feeling had been quite mutual. Jimmy knew that, given the chance, Wilson would never pass up the occasion to make him suffer. In fact, he was progressively becoming paranoid: he was pretty sure that Wilson wouldn't hesitate to kill him if he could.
Well, he wouldn't be given the chance.
At least, once chopped into pieces, Tank Wilson wouldn't be able to inflict more horrifying haircuts onto other Planet employees. Thank God he hadn't taken care of Lois yet! Though Jimmy didn't doubt that Tank was seriously thinking about the possibility. What would Jimmy become if that happened?
Tank approached him with the confidence that always characterised him when he talked to the young Planet photographer. Somehow, only Lois Lane seemed to intimidate him a little — Jimmy suspected that Tank had a crush on her, but why would he want to slaughter her hair then escaped him.
"Olsen," Wilson acknowledged with just enough politeness to set Jimmy's teeth on edge.
Jimmy Olsen didn't wait one second longer before he lifted his heavy axe. The head that rolled onto the alley a second later still sported that cheerful grin, but at least Jimmy knew that it couldn't be associated with evil haircuts any more.
Satisfied with a job well done, he turned away and marched towards the Planet, eager to tell his friend Kaethel that she'd been avenged; shaving Tank's head would wait. After all, Jimmy was pretty sure that Kaethel would want to come back here and do the honours herself.
Chapter 2 ~ Sometimes Things Should Be Left Well Enough Alone ~
by Tank Wilson — Style Consultant for the Daily Planet
Lois was depressed. Clark walked next to her, his arm around her shoulder as the partners in work, and life, made their way back to the Daily Planet. She was returning from one of the worst assignments in her career. At first, Lois had balked at being the one who had to cover the final resolution of the sordid affair but relented when she thought about it. She just couldn't let anyone else be the one to write up those final moments. Moments that had ended the life of a friend of hers.
Clark hadn't been able to accompany her to New Troy State Prison, but he'd been there when she'd come out. Being a witness to an execution was, at best, an unpleasant situation, but when it was a former friend of yours who was the one executed, it was torture. Lois had to sit quietly, tears rolling down her cheeks, as Jimmy Olsen was electrocuted by the penal system of New Troy.
"I still don't understand it?" Lois moaned as she and Clark entered the newsroom floor. "Why would Jimmy do such a thing? I knew he was sweet on that new intern. And he was upset by the haircut Lucy gave her, but why attack Wilson." Lois shook her head sadly. "It just doesn't make sense."
Clark sighed. "Who knows? He must have suffered some sort of break down." Clark sat on the corner of Lois' desk as she wearily slumped into her chair. "What ever happened to that intern? What was her name?"
"Kaethel." Lois grabbed Clark's hand for support. "She was given twenty years without bail, as an accomplice."
Clark shook his head. "The weird part is, Jimmy might have gotten away with it if Superman hadn't gotten back early from that earthquake. Turns out it wasn't as bad as originally thought."
"Yeah," Lois sighed. "He found Wilson's body and used his super breath to freeze the body, then took it to Professor Hamilton. Luckily Hamilton was able to use his process to clone a new Wilson."
Clark gave Lois' hand a squeeze. "But that sealed Jimmy's fate. Wilson was able to identify Jimmy as the one who had murdered him, and when Henderson went to Jimmy's apartment, he found the axe which still had Wilson's blood on it."
A few more tears slid from Lois' eyes. "And when confronted with the evidence, Jimmy confessed." She laid her head against Clark's large hand. "Why, Clark? Why would Jimmy do it? Wilson's just a darn nice guy. Why would anyone want to hurt him?"
"I don't know." Clark fingered soft, short ends of Lois' new layered hairstyle. "I was skeptical, but he was sure right about you. You do look terrific in short hair."
Lois was able to smile through her tears. "Yeah, I really like it too. I don't think I'll ever let it get long again."
Clark placed his finger under Lois' chin and tilted her head toward his. Leaning in, he captured her lips with his own. It was a kiss of comfort and compassion. He was telling her that she wasn't suffering alone, and that he would always be there for her. They had both lost a friend that day, but they still had each other, and they would find a way to carry on.
Chapter 3 ~ Escape From the Haircut ~
By Kaethel, Bozo the Clown's Long Lost Daughter
Kaethel threw her copy of the Daily Planet to the far end of her prison cell and let out an angry growl. That… that *fink*! Even dead, even *headless*, he had managed to get his way and throw havoc into the world as she knew it.
Lois Lane had cut her hair!
And… she held back a sob… Jimmy was dead. Sweet, innocent Jimmy had died because he had wanted to avenge her, and there hadn't been a damned thing she could have done about it. If only he had come to her first, explained what he wanted to do, she could have talked him out of it. She could have swallowed her pride, worn a wig and prevented Jimmy from murdering Tank Wilson.
She had known from the start that the two men couldn't stand each other. It had been very clear in the meaningful glances they exchanged whenever they had to be in the same room. She remembered overhearing Clark Kent say once that if looks could kill, Jimmy Olsen and Tank Wilson would have both been dead a long time ago. They had disliked each other all their lives. Jimmy had always been afraid of Tank, or so he had confided in Kaethel. And Kaethel suspected that he had every reason to be wary around the bearded style consultant. For some reason, Wilson didn't seem to want to stick to cutting Jimmy's *hair*. He had once cut the boy's ear with his hairdresser's scissors, and Jimmy had suspected that it had been on purpose.
Kaethel had been forced to cope with an infamous Tank-hairstyle, but at least she had got out of it mostly unscathed. Well, barring the humiliating experience of being called Bozo the Clown whenever she met people these days. But her hair would grow back, and the dye was bound to fade after a while. It wasn't like she'd stay orange and spiky for the rest of her life.
One might argue that she didn't have to care, since she was looking at spending the next twenty years in jail.
She sighed wearily. If only she could find a way to get in touch with other supporters of the long-haired-Lois cause outside…
"Are you sure it's the right key?" a voice whispered into the night.
The sound was enough to wake Kaethel with a jolt, and she straightened on her uncomfortable bed. She huddled herself in a corner of the cold cell, ready to pounce on the intruder. Heart thudding, she listened for sounds coming from the door.
"Of course I'm sure," another voice hissed back. "You don't think I rented a helicopter and took all those risks for nothing, did you?"
"What if she's not in her cell?"
"And where would she be? Last time I checked she wasn't gifted with ubiquity."
There was a growl and a… a squeak?!? — then the door opened to reveal two hooded figures… and… and a small rodent sitting on the tallest one's shoulder, and wearing a hood too! What was that rodent doing with a hood?
"We're here to set you free," one of them said.
Kaethel looked at the two by four that one of her impromptu guests was holding. "What is that for?" she asked warily, frowning in suspicion.
"Oh that!" Was Kaethel imagining things, or was there a grin hidden behind the hood? "Nothing. It's… well, you'll see, it might come in handy."
The rodent squeaked in agreement under its mask.
"Now come on! We can't waste any time!"
"Wait! I can't follow you without knowing who you are. Or why you're trying to set me free."
The three hooded figures cocked their head to the side, then theirs hoods were lifted off. Shrugging off her surprise at seeing the small rodent lift its own hood with its paw, Kaethel gasped as she found herself face to face with two women and a rat, all of them smiling friendlily at her.
"I'm El," the one holding the two by four said. "I can't deny that I like Mr Wilson a lot, but it's Olsen who chopped his head off, not you. Not to mention I like the idea of heads being chopped off. I'm sure my late husband would, too, if he hadn't been insensitively killed by a fellow colleague of Tank's. And when my partners here — " she gestured towards the other woman and the rat, " — promised me a little action, I couldn't resist." She grinned down affectionately at the two by four in her hands.
"I'm Wendy," the second woman said. "I've always preferred Lois Lane's long hair, and when I read in this morning's paper that she had chopped off her hair, I knew I had to get you out of jail so that we could find a way to make it grow back. I always tried to talk Tank Wilson out of that stupid haircut idea, but he wouldn't listen. For some reason he was convinced that Lois would look much better with short hair. But the truth is, a world with a short-haired Lois Lane destroys the balance between good and evil, and we can't let that happen. Besides, I've given this brand new two by four to El for her birthday, and I had to give her an occasion to christen it."
"I'm LabRat," the rat said then, and Kaethel almost fell over upon hearing a rodent speak. "And I know what it is to be locked in a cage all day, even if Bernie feeds me cheese whenever I want and gives me pencils and paper to write. But here they haven't even given you pencils and paper, so I sympathise. Besides," LabRat added with a mischievous smile, "I'm sure it's going to be entertaining to watch El use her two by four."
"What do you need the two by four for?"
El grinned evilly, a sight that didn't truly reassure Kaethel. "You'll see."
As they made their way onto the prison's roof, it dawned on Kaethel why the two by four was needed, and she wondered for a minute if twenty years in prison wouldn't have been better than… than… than having to get inside that… dratted flying thingy.
"It's a helicopter," El explained with an evil grin.
"I know what it is," Kaethel growled. "Is it absolutely necessary?"
"Unless you want to bungee jump from the roof, yes it is."
A few minutes (and use of the two by four) later, they were airborne and flying towards a small town in Minnesota where rumours had hinted at the existence of a bearded ghost who cut the hair of every woman he came across. This time, they would make sure his scissors were broken and impossible to repair. He could haunt beauty parlours all he wanted as long as he didn't hold a pair of scissors.
Nearly Headless Tank was sharpening his pair of scissors when he heard the knock on his door. He stopped humming the soft rock song that had haunted his mind for the past couple of minutes and frowned. He didn't expect any visitor tonight. In fact, he hadn't expected any visitor since that brainless kid Olsen had chopped his head off. He'd been lucky to find his head again and crazy-glue it back to the rest of his body. But despite Dr. Hamilton's so-called miraculous DNA reconstitution, he was not only nearly headless, but his clone had quickly degenerated into immateriality, which, while it allowed him to sneak into houses and cut women's hair in their sleep, was rather annoying most of the time.
Thankfully he had found a way to type on a computer keyboard and stay in touch with the world through that system. These days, he spent his time writing fantasy stories about haircuts. But something was missing in his life.
Of course he had been very happy to learn that Lois Lane had finally cut her hair of course. Deliriously happy even. Of course he had been even happier when the news of Jimmy Olsen's death sentence had reached his house here in Minnesota.
But now that Lois's hair was short and that Jimmy was dead, what could he possibly do?
He was bored. Incredibly bored. And there was something not right with the world; somewhere in Metropolis, Lois Lane and her fiance were doing icky stuff; even the short hairstyle hadn't dampened Clark Kent's enthusiasm about his future bride.
So much for hoping that Lois would move to Minnesota and spend the rest of her life with him!
So he had to find another way to occupy his mind.
The knocks on his door became more insistent, and he rose from his chair with a growl.
"We know you're in there, Wilson! You can't hide!"
"I'm a ghost!" Tank retorted with a smirk. "Of course I can hide!"
"We'll hunt you down until you give us your scissors!"
Tank opened the door, feeling safe in the knowledge that whoever was behind it was powerless against him.
"I recognise you," he said to the three women and the rat standing in front of him, their hands on their hips and their expression disapproving. "You," he pointed to the woman sporting a very short and brightly red hairstyle, "are the French intern that Lucy used for her haircut exam." He moved his gaze to the tallest woman, "You… you sometimes work with me, but you never believe me when I tell you Lois would look much better with short hair. We always fight about that." He raised his eyebrow at the third woman and didn't hide his disappointment. "I thought you were a fan of mine!" he said reproachfully.
"I am! But I couldn't resist the lure of taking the scissors away from you. They're good torture instruments! Might come in handy to force Evil Yvonne to resurrect my husband!"
"And you… you're a rat!!"
The rodent nodded and waved its paw at Tank.
"What do you want from me?"
"Your scissors," Tank's fan said with bright, eager eyes.
"And a potion to make Lois's hair grow back," Bozo the Clown's long lost daughter added.
"And a promise never to retire from fanfic writing," Tank's partner demanded.
The rat squeaked and stood on her paws to waggle a claw at him. "And a promise to send all your stories to my cage."
"And what if I don't accept the deal?"
"Then… then we let our two by four equipped friend take care of you."
"She has a guillotine, you know?"
"And she knows how to use it."
"I'm already headless," Tank argued stubbornly. "And you know I'll cut Lois's hair again if you let it grow back."
"It's all right, we can deal with that."
Tank sighed and shook his head. These women were quite stubborn and obviously very determined, and he wasn't sure he wanted to convince them to go away. Maybe they were right. Maybe it could be fun. "I accept," he said after a short moment's reflection. "I won't retire ever, and I'll even let you win on the topic of Lois's long hair. Occasionally. But on one condition."
"That you never ever resurrect Jimmy in any shape or form."
(c) Kaethel and Tank Wilson — October 2003