By Jill <DrMcCoY97@aol.com>
Submitted: May 2004
Summary: An unfortunate accident brings changes to our heroes that a certain FoLC won't be too unhappy to see in this Tank Haircut Challenge Vignette.
This was written in response to the haircut challenge (the one to bring Tank Wilson out of retirement) on the FanFic message boards (http://www.lcficmbs.com/) — the whole thing doesn't focus on Lois' haircut, but I took a very circuitous route to get to the haircut, and threw in a little added bonus for Tank (considering how much he loves Jimmy).
Don't take any of this seriously, it's probably the strangest thing I've ever written and I blame it on lack of sleep, too much studying and being sick, all at once. I want it to be known ahead of time that I actually like Jimmy very much as a character, and honestly I like Lois better with her hair a little longer, sorry Tank. And thanks so much to LabRat for GEing this for me.
The characters are not mine…they and any other recognizable elements belong to DC comics, Warner Brothers, ABC…and whoever else would like to claim them. The idea for this story was mine, so I take any and all blame.
Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.
It had taken them weeks of research and tracking down leads, but one of their tips had finally paid off — they knew where the illegal weapons shipment was being stored. The guns and explosives were being stored at a fireworks warehouse on Bessollo Boulevard, down by the waterfront, waiting until they could be shipped overseas.
Lois and Clark quickly informed Perry of their lead and headed out of the newsroom, grabbing Jimmy Olsen and his camera as they headed for the elevators. They were going to need pictures to take to the police and if nothing else, Jimmy was useful as a photographer.
When they arrived at the warehouse, the whole area seemed deserted. The building was set right on the water and there were no other buildings anywhere close to it. The front entrance to the building was secured by a large, sturdy-looking padlock.
"Now what?" Jimmy asked, staring at the padlock. "You want me to try to pick the lock?"
Lois smiled at Clark and he winked at her before answering Jimmy's question. "Nah, Jimmy, I don't think that lock's as strong as it looks. One good hard yank will probably be all we need." Clark grasped the lock and with minimal effort snapped it in two pieces. He pulled the door open and gestured for Lois and Jimmy to enter ahead of him.
It was dim inside the main room of the warehouse; the windows were grimy, letting only a modicum of light into the large storage space. A light powder seemed to cover parts of the floor and most of the crates that they could see.
"It looks kinda dusty in here, like nothing's been moved in months. Are you sure this is the right place," Lois asked.
Clark nodded. "Bobby seemed pretty sure about this information." He bent down and touched the tip of his finger to the light layer of dust on the floor. Standing back up, he looked closer at the powder on his finger, then sniffed it carefully. His brow furrowed in a frown and looked curiously at Lois. "It's flash powder. They've got flash powder spread all over the floor and boxes."
"Flash powder?" Jimmy asked.
"They use it for pyrotechnics in movies, to make controlled explosions. It's usually a mixture of potassium perchlorate and aluminum flake powder. It burns pretty hot and fast. But I don't know why they'd have it all over the place in here — it's not the safest stuff to have around."
Lois shrugged. "It doesn't matter. We just need to find the guns, get some pictures and get out of here. Come on. Jimmy, you go check out some of the crates over there, see what's in them," she said, pointing towards the left side of the big room. "Clark and I will check out some of the ones here by the door."
All three moved off to start examining the crates. After a few minutes though, they heard Jimmy grumble, "Man, it's too dark in here, I can't tell what's written on any of these. I should have brought a flash light."
"Hang on a second, we've got a spare in the Jeep. I'll run out and get it for you," Clark offered.
"No, wait, I've got a lighter here, I should be able to see ok with this," Jimmy said.
Clark was already on his way out the door, but he turned back in shock at Jimmy's words. "A lighter?! No, Jimmy, don't!"
But it was too late, Jimmy had already flicked the lighter open and the flame sprang to life, even with super-reflexes and speed, Clark couldn't get to him. The powder on the boxes ignited immediately.
As the explosions began, Clark grabbed Lois quickly around the waist and pulled her out the doors, knocking her to the ground a few feet out of the building and covering her body with his own as the building behind them exploded.
The loud explosions continued for several minutes; the flash powder had burnt itself out in seconds, but its explosions had triggered all of the fireworks in the warehouse and they subsequently went off in an overwhelming display of lights and harsh reports.
When the explosions had ended and the heat from the fire had calmed to an almost bearable level, Clark gently moved off of Lois and helped her to her feet. Hurrying her further away from the heat of the blaze, Clark quickly started to inspect his wife for any signs of injury. She didn't seem to be bleeding, and nothing was broken, he noted, x-raying her. But when he stopped frantically searching for any serious injuries, he spotted a much more superficial problem.
"Lois, your hair!"
"What?" she asked, still looking shell-shocked, but unconsciously reaching a hand to her head to feel for her hair. It was still there, but it felt kind of funny, and definitely shorter than it had been.
Clark stared at his wife's hair, the shiny dark brown bob was singed and charred all around the edges, several inches shorter in places than it had been a few minutes ago.
Lois sighed as she ran her fingers through her hair, trying to assess the damage. "Well, I was thinking about getting it cut again anyway. Maybe to the same length and style it was right after we got married. What do you think?"
Clark nodded, "Yeah, I think that would be fine. I liked that style on you."
Lois turned back to face the burning warehouse and gasped, "Oh my God, Clark. Jimmy! He was in there! He's dead!"
"Yeah, it exploded too fast. There wasn't anything I could have done," Clark told her unhappily.
"Well, now what are we gonna do? How do we tell Perry about this?"
"We don't tell Perry about this. We're gonna do the same thing we did last time Jimmy blew himself up. We'll hire a new photographer and get him to change his name to Jimmy, just like we did with this Justin Whalin kid. Perry was only confused for a few days last time. As long as we keep calling the new kid 'Jimmy' he'll never figure it out."
Lois nodded in agreement. "Ok, we can stop at the Planet and get the applications from the personnel office. But I have to do something about this hair. We can look over the applicants while we're at the hairdresser."
The man watching the scene from his car parked a few yards away, smiled to himself. Mr. Wilson would be pleased, very pleased indeed.
A few hours later, Lois walked out the hair salon, her dark brown hair lightly framing her face. She reached up a hand to fluff it and smiled. Yes, she definitely liked this style, it suited her and it was much easier to take care of. She'd have to remember that the next time she got an urge to let it grow out again.
Clark followed close behind her, still sorting through a couple of applicants' files. "I think we've got a good start here. We should have a new Jimmy in a few days…and maybe this time we'll find one that won't blow himself up."