This is a fan fiction story based on characters from the Lonesome Dove television show,
which belong to Rysher Entertainment and Hallmark. No infringement on copyrights is intended. Most of the other characters also belong to someone else, except Sharon and Donny, who really exist.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The idea for this story came from a round robin I, and a few other fans of The Bearded One, participated in last November. One of us wrote the beginning and ending lines of a story, and then each wrote her own version of the middle. We could take the story in any direction we chose, but we had to begin and end with the same two lines. It was interesting, and very entertaining, to see what ideas grew from those two little lines.

In this story, I decided to showcase my favorite character's vast vanity and boundless beauty as a basis for a humor/parody/crossover. I also wanted to pay tribute to some of my other favorite male characters who, along with Clay Mosby, possessed one of the physical characteristics I have always found very appealing. Alas, it is something most of the actors who played them no longer possess.


The Bold and the Beautiful
or
Lather, Rinse and Repeat

by Brenda McFarland

Clay was perched on the railing of his balcony, smoking a cigar, when the stagecoach arrived. He tracked it with feigned disinterest as it rounded the corner in front of the Ambrosia Club and slowly came to a stop in front of the freight office.

He watched the passengers disembark. Even from this distance, he could tell they were in town for the conference being held in Curtis Wells.

As a member in good standing of the Shoulder Length Hair Club for Men (referred to by its members as simply The Club), Clay was pleased his town had been chosen to host The Clubís annual gathering. To his surprise, it had taken very little persuading on his part for the Special Events Committee of the SLHCM to accept his offer to host this yearís festivities.

After briefly observing the newcomers from his balcony, he turned and headed through his office, grabbing his suit jacket on the way. He shrugged into it as he headed across the inside landing, and paused to check himself out in the full-length mirror he had Zeke install on the back of the door leading to the outside stairs.

He straightened his tie; he made sure ever hair was in place. Then he checked his tailor-made outfit. To greet arriving members, he had chosen to wear the gray suit, along with a black satin, textured vest, and a black silk tie. He thought the black satin set off his raven locks to perfection.

Satisfied with his appearance, and totally oblivious to the rolled eyes of the people in the bar, he went out the door to greet the latest arrivals.

No hat today! After all, he wanted to prove he was the host with the most (and best) hair, even if being host disqualified him from entering any of the contests (unfair hometown advantage). This was especially true of the contests in which the winners were selected by a public vote, for, of course, the servants (oops, citizens) of his town would vote him winner of every contest they could. And they wouldnít do it just because, like most would think, he was the Town Boss, but because he was so obviously the reigning King of Hair. Since he knew this without a doubt, there was no need to prove it by making his fellow members, some of them very influential, look bad in comparison. All he would have to do is stand next to them and his superiority would be obvious to every living being in sight.

He met them as they arrived, escorted by Zeke, at the entrance of the Dove. Putting on his best smile, he exchanged greetings and shook hands all around, taking stock of each of the three men as he did so. He hadnít met them before, but he knew each of them by reputation.

The first man, Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, shook hands as he spoke. "Itís a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Mosby." 

He had a strong grip, probably from all those sword fights, Clay thought to himself. Clay thought his hair, while dark and the required length, seemed a bit limp and unsure whether it should curl or not. Otherwise, he was an extremely handsome man. His Scottish brogue rivaled Clayís own Southern drawl in the killer accent department.

The second man, Byron Sully from Colorado Springs, seemed a quiet, somewhat reserved man. He shook hands, but only nodded in reply to Clayís greeting. Clay admitted to himself, a bit sourly, Sully did have great hair. It fell in soft medium brown waves to just past his shoulders. Clayís ego perked up on seeing Sully was dressed in buckskins. While some women might prefer the Rugged Mountain Man look, most of the women Clay knew did not. They preferred the Dandified Son-of-a-Bitch look. (Clay, himself, frequently ordered from the Dandified Displaced Southern Prince Catalog.)

The third man was Tristan Ludlow. Tristin was the only member, so far, that Clay considered being even close to his own league. Tristan had gorgeous wheat blond hair, highlighted naturally by the sun. It fell softly to several inches past his shoulders. He had bright blue-green eyes, handsome even features, a boyish smile, and a calm expression. He was dressed in casual, but obviously expensive clothes. He wore a white shirt, no tie, brown pants and tan vest. The ensemble suited his boyish good looks perfectly, Clay thought, a bit enviously.

Tristan seemed very open and friendly. He returned Clayís greeting with much less reserve than the other two. Overall, Clay was glad he wouldnít be competing against him and that he had a good excuse not to. It would very embarrassing for Clay to lose, especially to a blond, in front of the town citizens.

Tristan came from a very rich and powerful family outside of Helena. The Ludlows owned a ranch about half the size of Montana. The eldest son, Alfred, was slated to become the first Lt. Governor, maybe even Governor, as soon as Montana became a state. Therefore, it was doubly beneficial that Clay couldn't compete against Tristan. He wouldnít want to show him up only to lose the political good graces of the Ludlow family.

As he held the door open graciously to usher his fellow club members inside, two more abruptly exited through it. One of them thanked Clay with a sarcastic, "Why, thank you, Mosby, so kind of you."

Gritting his teeth, Clay managed to hold his temper and simply nod in reply to Austin Peale and his companion Earl Hastings. If Clay ever found out who sponsored their membership in the SLHCM, heíd have their scalps (literally) on a silver platter!

But there wasnít anything at the moment he could do to correct the situation. He had to admit Hastingsí looks had been improved by lopping off of about 6 inches of his stringy hair, along with a bath and shave.

Austin hadnít been to a barber in so long, his hair fell straight down past his shoulders. Also, he had apparently made a recent visit to a stylist for a make-over. Still, it was obvious the two were far below the usual standards for membership.

Well, a midnight visit from a few of his "boys" and a barber would rectify the problem. One of the foremost rules of the Shoulder Length Hair Club for Men clearly stated: Members may not have hair shorter than their collars. Once you cut your hair shorter than that, your membership was null and void. You had to wait until your hair grew back to the required length before reapplying for membership. Then there was no guarantee you would be readmitted. He smiled broadly at the thought, briefly confusing both Austin and Hastings.

After seeing his guests settled (they were exchanging hair care tips with Amanda when he left them), he headed over to the Opera House. This was where the vender displays were set up, and where members could register to compete in the various contests.

As he headed down the boardwalk, he spotted Call sitting on a bench in front of Twylaís Ė not his usual place. He seemed to be watching the comings and goings from the Opera House with interest.

Clay came to a stop in front of him and nodded. "Mr. Call."

With his characteristic smirk, Call gave a standard reply from the Rule Book of Call. "What do you want, Mowsby?" [Not a typo]

Clay smiled. "Nothiní in particular. I just noticed you seem to be admiring the parade of fine looking, well-groomed men with shoulder length hair passing by. Thinking of applyiní for membership? Your hair is close to the required length, but Iím afraid the rest of you is in need of a lot of work. If you like, I can call my stylist and schedule a make-over for you. He is usually booked up, but Iím sure I can get you in. Of course, that wouldnít guarantee anything as far as membership goes, you understand. Even my power and influence has its limitations."

Call snorted. "I would have had my yearly haircut by now, but with all the dandified SOBís in town, the line at the barbershop has been out the door for days. I have had my yearly bath, though. I wouldnít even worry about cutting my hair, but the last thing I want to be mistaken for is one of you Dandified Great Hair types."

Clay smiled. "Ah, yes, I forgot. Youíre a member of the Stinky Bounty Hunters Club, arenít you?"

Call, loosing patience with this witty repartee, quickly shot back a reply. "Itís the Grimy Bounty Hunters Club, Mowsby, and itís for sure a club you could never get into." After that, Call slouched and pulled his hat down over his eyes, effectively dismissing Clay.

Clay gave a snort of his own, before turning on his heel to continue on his way.

Both men were left with a feeling of accomplishment after their exchange. It was a town ordinance that they exchange sarcastic comments and barbs at least once a day. It gave the town residents a sense of security, and a feeling that all was right with the world.

Using the Mosby Strut, he entered the Opera House. He made the rounds, checking to make sure everything was in order, and exchanging polite greetings with fellow members as he did so. At the registration booth, he noted most of the different categories seemed to have enough men entered to make for a good competition. 

Some of the categories this year included Best Brunette, Best Blond, Best Wavy Hair, Best Straight Hair, and the much coveted Best Overall Hair. There were other categories not as prestigious, but still important, such as Best Dressed - Casual, Best Dressed - Evening Wear, and Overall Best Dressed. Oh, and letís not forget The Peopleís Choice award!

Clay felt certain, if entered, he would win every contest, except Best Straight and Best Blond.

There were venders from all over the country. He was especially pleased with this yearís response, because of the arrangement he had made with them. Instead of booth rental, they would give him 5% of their gross sales for the weekend event. (Taxes, you understand.) A good part of that -- and how good was up to him alone to decide -- would end up in the town coffers.

He looked around. He had made sure there were a variety of products available for sale, many of which had not been offered in years past. These included skin care products such as Oil of Olay and Ponds (a good moisturizer was a must for any Dandified SOB.) The Paul Mitchell and Herbal Essence booths seemed to be doing a brisk business. And the Norelco booth was also busy. Clay reminded himself to purchase a new beard trimmer before the weekend was over. He knew that without his beard he would have no more authority than Will Truman.

Noticing Luther standing in front of the Salon Selectives booth, he sauntered over to him.

Luther turned, holding a bottle of Aloe Mango Styling Gel. "Hey, Mosby."

Clay nodded and gestured toward the bottle Luther had been studying, "If I might make a suggestion? Perhaps the Vanilla Floral would be more suited to your needs."

Luther shook his head and put the bottle down.

"Na, why waste good money on this stuff? All I need is lye soap and bit of bear grease after I rinse."

"Hmm, of course," Clay replied with a touch of sarcasm. Well, he thought to himself, that explains the beautiful sheen to Lutherís hair -- and the slightly gamey smell..

Luther was an honorary member of The Club. Bill Cody had proposed it, and Clay had seconded the motion. He hadnít really wanted to because Clay thought Luther was not up to club standards, but if he hadnít, it would have reflected badly on Clay himself. Besides, who would have thought Luther would accept? (Hell, itís a good thing Cody was a founding member. Clay doubted if he would be granted membership today.)

"I didnít see your name on the list for any of the contests. Donít you intend to join in the festivities?" he continued.

"Oh, I just havenít made it over to sign up yet," answered Luther. "I plan on entering the Best Brunette and the Peopleís Choice contests."

Clay smiled his ingratiating Town Boss smile. "Good luck to you. I'm glad to see a local resident entered, since I am unable to win Ė uh, enter Ė myself."

Clay was glad he wouldnít be competing against Luther in the Peopleís Choice. Luther was tall, dark, and handsome. He had long chestnut brown hair, but, most importantly, he was very well liked in town.

Clay nodded and reached up to give Luther a parting pat on the shoulder. He turned to continue making his rounds to check out the displays.

He stopped to pay his respects at the memorial set up for Ares, God of War. Sadly, Ares had been called home by his father, Zeus, to Mount Olympus earlier this year, and wouldnít be coming back. He was not only a god, but a god with flashing black eyes, black shoulder-length hair, and a fine physique. He was a tough competitor, and won many of the contests held by The Club.

"Clay!" Someone called from behind him, interrupting his reverie.

He turned and greeted the man with pleasure. "Donny! I didnít know you were coming! Itís good to see you!"

As the two men shook hands, Clay reflected on how much long hair and a beard improved Donny Osmondís looks.

Clay and Donny had become acquainted when Donny won the Mosby-Look-A-Like contest awhile back. Clay thought he was the best choice, but had been prepared to find fault with him, since "There Can Be Only One" Mosby.

To his surprise, he found he very much liked the handsome young man, especially after Donny told Clay his reason for entering the contest had been because of his great admiration for Clay. In addition, winning it was a greater honor than all the many awards he had won in his life. Well Ö after that, Clay looked on Donny O as sort of a brother.

Donny grinned. "I wanted to surprise you. I hadnít planned on attending initially, but Sharon encouraged me to. She told me I needed to come to enter the contests, since you canít. After all, she told me, if you canít have the real Mosby, a look-a-like is the next best thing! She said I would be a shoo-in to win, since I wouldnít have you to compete against."

Laughing, Clay agreed and added, "Itíll show blonds might have more fun, but it is us brunettes who rule the world!"

Donny continued. "I decided she was right, and I should come mainly because it has been awhile since you and I have had a good visit."

"You must stay with me at the Ambrosia. Iíll have one of my men get your bags from the Dove." (Mosby knew where Donny was staying because Mosby knows everything. If you donít think so, just ask him. Of course, it doesnít hurt that the Dove is the only hotel in town.)

Donny started to protest and Clay held up his hand. "Please, I insist. Itís the best room in town and will give us more opportunity to talk."

Donny gave in with a grin. "Well, if you insist, and I know you always get what you insist on. Iíll be glad to impose on your hospitality."

At this moment, a commotion outside drew their attention.

Ike came running in and hurried over to Clay. "Mr. Mosby, you better come. Thereís a fight!"

"Who?" Clay barked.

"Two of your club members. At least, I think they're both club members. They both got long hair and one of Ďemís that Fabio fella."

"Damn!" Clay ran out, with Donny close behind.

Outside they found Fabio rolling around in the dirt with another man. Clay recognized him as Vin Tanner, from Four Corners. Vin was one of the Magnificent Seven -- the one with the longest hair. (Privately, Clay thought the name of the group was ridiculous. Why, you might as well call yourselves the Stupendous Seven!)

"Alright! Thatís enough," Clay ordered. At the sound of Clayís voice, Zeke magically appeared (like Radar in Mash), and quickly stepped in to stop the scuffle between the two men.

"Who, or what, started it?" Clay demanded.

Both men pointed at the other. "He did!"

Clay motioned to Vin. "You first."

Vin pointed to Fabio. "He told me I have dandruff. I donít take that kind of insult from anybody."

Fabio turned to Clay and tried to sound sincere. "I only mentioned that a little bit of Head and Shoulders would take care of that flaking. I was only trying to help a fellow member."

"Then he," Fabio pointed to Vin, "started ranting and attacked me."

Vin started forward, but was stopped by Zeke. "I donít need hair care tips from you, bottle boy!"

Enraged, Fabio shrieked, "How dare you! These are natural highlights! I spend a lot of time in the sun."

"Yeah, right." Vin smirked.

Privately agreeing with Vin, Clay nevertheless refused to take sides.

He sighed. "Gentlemen, we have laws in this town and they include no brawling without my permission. I donít remember either one of you applying for a brawl permit. Not to mention, insulting club members in public could jeopardize your membership. Now, Iím sorry, but I am going to have to put both of you in timeout until tomorrow. Zeke, lock them up Ė in separate cells."

Both men protested, until Clay threatened to extend the timeout two additional days. That would mean they would both miss out on all the dinners, speeches, and contests.

As Zeke silently led the men away, Fabio was heard to moan, "Please, I need to stop and get my Health and Beauty aids. I must condition my hair every day!"

Zeke, with his only lines in this story, told him, "You should have thought about that before you broke the law. Besides, bathing water is forbidden in timeout."

Watching them go, Clay just shook his head. He turned to Donny. "It looks like itís going to be a long weekend."

Donny put a hand on Clayís back. "I think youíre right, Clay. How about we head over to your place and Iíll buy you a drink?"

"Since I own the place, how about I buy us both one?"

"Sounds good to me. Make mine a sarsaparilla." Donny started down the walk, then turned back to wait for Clay to join him.

Clay dusted his hands off, and with a sigh, headed in the direction of the Ambrosia and a glass of the good stuff.

THE END

Dedicated to the memory of Kevin Tod Smith, who played Ares in Xena and Hercules
March 1963 - February 2002

Send Brenda your feedback here!
August 10, 2003


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