Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Book Universe

Five W's And An H (or: Educating Gia)
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Gia's not in books (or BU fics, save for a bit at the end of RKORadio's "Sam's Great Escape," #3 in his Sam Series.) Gia'd make a good Flamingo, influenced by Kathy Santoni's sister who started them - she acts like them in "Is It True About Stephanie." That was considered for the Chronology, but with districts a bit different in books since schools are different, she's more likely in a different Middle School. Plus, it seems Flamingoes in Steph's grade are all named.

RKORadio's Samantha used with permission. Sam Series 5 ("Samantha Strikes Back") & 6 (Samantha Goes to Paris") referenced, as is book "The Story On Older Boys" - while some books are TVU, this book is pretty clearly BU, w/Steph's excitability, trying to be like D.J. - plus she would be as tall as D.J. if not an inch taller by 9th grade.

"Third year of 7th grade" from "Breaking Away," Danny dated Kirsten, then 21, in "Rock the Cradle." Flamingoes' peace w/Steph and friends in last chapter of my "Quite A Catch," it's implied at end of some books, so events entering high school are likely. John Muir 6-9th in books. S.A.D.D. changed in '97, change mentioned sounds like something Steph (and Gia in the TVU, as Steph influences her earlier) would be involved in.

"Phew, what a summer!" Stephanie Tanner said, as she and her best friends, Allie Taylor and Darcy Powell, looked over schedules at lunch, after a morning filled with activity.

"What a Middle School career!" Allie declared. "We sure had some adventures."

Stephanie agreed. "And now, those snobby Flamingoes made peace with us, Michelle won't have any problems in Middle School with that type of kid - they'll also make sure the really mean kids aren't a problem when Samantha gets there next year - and we'll have peace now that we've started high school."

"The Flamingoes were started by Kathy Santoni's younger sister. Maybe now, D.J. and Kathy could be friends again. I know part of why D.J. didn't want anything to do with her was to protect you," Darcy said, before noticing a girl sitting by herself, who looked to be a couple years older than them. "Hey, come on and join us!" she called.

Stephanie agreed, as Darcy went to talk to the girl. D.J., a college junior, had been a mother figure to Stephanie - starting tenth grade - and Michelle - starting sixth - since their mom died when Stephanie was five. Their dad, Danny Tanner, had other help; his brother-in-law Jesse moved in then, as did Danny's best friend, Joey Gladstone. Jesse and the woman he later met and married, his wife Becky, and their twin boys had moved out a few weeks earlier, after ten years. Joey was close to proposing to his girlfriend of several years, so the comedian might move out when they married, too. But, D.J. was always very proactive, as well.

D.J.'s friend Kathy had a baby in high school. Kathy's sister formed a snobby clique, and tried to steal Danny's - and Mr. Powell's - phone cards so Kathy (and the clique's girls) could use them. D.J., sicne she was like a mom, broke off contact with Kathy to protect Stephanie, Michelle, and Samantha, who was a year younger than Michelle and who saw Stephanie as a mother figure, since Samntha's parents paid no attention to her.

"D.J. and Kathy talked a bit at the end of our eighth grade year," Stephanie said. "Kathy knows the ball's in her court." Stephanie paused a moment. "She may call our babysitting business or something when she's ready. D.J. figures she's still embarrassed."

Allie agreed, as Darcy and the other girl came over. "By what her sister did, as much as anything, I bet." She introduced herself and Stephanie, and asked Gia's name.

"Who cares? I'm not gonna be here much." Gia Mahan spouted, "I already lost part of summer with summer school."

Allie smiled compassionately. "That's rough."

"I already flunked seventh grade twice, and my mom didn't want me flunking another grade," Gia said, with a "harrumph" at the end.

Always inquisitive, and catching things like a detective, Stephanie noted, "So, you didn't take summer school after seventh grade?"

"I didn't want to waste a summer. But, my Big Sister, Kirsten, convinced me to last year. She thinks I can actually go somewhere in life," Gia finished, referring to a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, which she'd been in since her parents divorced.

"I think I remember seeing you with her once at the mall; my dad dated Kirsten once. Weren't you really excited that you'd stopped smoking?"

Gia told Stephanie that was true. "I've been smoke free since!" The others congratulated her, and Gia hedged a little, but admitted, "I guess Kirsten's had some good advice. But, I still plan to split from here the day I turn 18."

"Maybe you'll find something you enjoy in the extra-curricular activities," Darcy recommended. "Steph's been on the newspaper since we started in sixth grade."

"There's the yearbook, too, plus S.A.D.D., that Steph's going to be in," Allie added.

"Last year, at John Muir, Steph helped with the proposal that got them to expand their focus and be renamed 'Studnets Against Destructive Decisions,'" Darcy noted.

"Right; if colleges see you really improved, and got more involved, you could still be accepted; I mean, I'm not sure what you were in before, but it really helps to have a bunch of people to hang out with who do fun things and really try to help. I know, D.J.'s volunteering so much at San Francisco State..." Stephanie stopped herself, as she sensed Gia's tired look. "Sorry, I get carried talking away sometimes."

"Actually my look was because I can't believe I'd want to go any further," Gia said. They learned more about Gia's past as they ate, and Gia learned about the others.

As D.J. picked Stephanie up from school, Stephanie told her about Gia. "Allie said Gia sounds like Uncle Jesse probably was by this point. I mean, sure, Gia's had a really bad divorce to live through, but it sounds like she was a rebel even before then."

"You might be right. Still, Steve only got into one college, and it had a poor reputation," D.J. noted. "He didn't know what he wanted. He's always been a great guy; but he lacked direction. It took not being accepted to wake him up. He went to community college for two years, and once we started dating again at my prom, he got in with Grandpa Nick's extermination business, as an apprentice. He's doing really well now," she finished as they pulled out of the lot and drove away.

Stephanie nodded. "Gia's had a few wake-up calls. A joyriding accident, barely avoiding becoming like Kathy Santoni - she says Kirsten helped her see this guy only wanted her for her body, and that Gia didn't' deserve to be treated like that by a guy - that sort of thing. It sounds like it's taken that much just to show her she should listen to Kirsten."

"Well, keep trying to encourage her. You've got a good heart. It took our mom lots of time and effort to keep Uncle Jesse in line, though. And, even she couldn't keep him from dropping out."

"True," Stephanie said solemnly. "Uncle Jesse says she guessed, and then held that secret over him to keep him from doing other things. Still, there was the Dr. Dare stuff."

D.J. nodded. "I'm not saying Gia's going to be that bad. Trying to get her into clubs like you're planning, and showing her she can accomplish things if she puts her mind to it, is a good strategy. Just don't be too disappointed if she doesn't take to it right away."

"Thanks, Deej."

As the week went on, Stephanie decided it might be tougher. She was much more mature than she might have been without D.J. being proactive. She could have gotten through to Gia about some things. But, Kirsten's tastes were a little wilder, and she was willing to do things Stephanie would never do. Kirsten could get on Gia's level with clothing and some behavior, while being mature enough to stay away from certain things and warn Gia away from them. Indeed, Stephanie realized that - had D.J. not been proactive - she might have gotten carried away enough to try a few little things with Gia, though she'd have never done any of the really wild stuff.

Now, Stephanie was more mature than she would have been. So, she tried a different tactic. The following week, Gia joined Stephanie at the first meeting of those who wished to join the newspaper staff. "Okay, what am I doing here?'

"Well, just tell the teacher what kinds of things you're interested in, and then when we meet with the editor, he or she will assign you a small task, so you can try it out."

"I mean, why did I come here?" Gia corrected her. "I could be at the mall."

"True," Stephanie said slowly, as she tried to find a positive. "But, maybe you'll decide to be a reporter someday. You need money to buy stuff, after all."

Gia sighed. "Are you sure you're not related to Kirsten. That's what she always says, too," she spouted.

Stephanie realized Gia probably clashed a little with the more mature parts of Kirsten, too. She joked, "Money is important on this planet, though you might find one where it isn't somewhere. Maybe you could do a fashion column. Or gossip. Or...something." Stephanie could tell Gia wasn't very excited.

"We don't get graded on these, do we?"

"No, but if you do a good job, you get your name in the paper right above the story." She could tell that had sparked Gia's interest a little. "Sounds kind of neat, huh?" Gia shrugged. "Okay, now one thing to remember, it's very important for reporters to know the 5 W's and the H. The first one is Who?"

Gia looked oddly at Stephanie; she'd half paid attention, while gazing at a boy. "What?"

"No, that's the second one. The first one is Who."

"I don't know. My guess would be you."

Stephanie shook her head. "No, Gia, W. When you write, the most important thing you want to tell the readers is who the article is about."

"Okay, so, the first one is Who?" She pointed at the boy. "If I write about him, could there be a 'C'?"

"Now, why would you put a 'C' in there?' Stephanie asked, holding out a hand.

"Because, he's so cute!"

Stephanie gave an accepting nod. "Okay, I fell for it. Now, you've got Who, then there's What."

"I don't know."

"Gia...What is the second W."

Gia threw up her hands as everyone quieted down, and the teacher prepared to speak. "I just told you, I don't know what the second W is. I'm not even sure what the first W is."

"That's why I'm telling you. And, What can't be both W's," came Stephanie's exasperated voice.

"Why not? You know, like the 3 most important things when selling real estate - location, location, location," Gia said as the teacher shushed her.

Stephanie groaned inwardly. This might be tougher than she thought.

"Hey, Steph," Danny said as he picked her up from school. "How did the newspaper go?"

Stephanie said they were fine as they rode away. "The only problem is, it's hard to get that Gia to focus. I thought for a time maybe I should have waited and convinced her to come to the first Yearbook meeting in a couple days. Then, as the meeting went on, I realized she might have tried to make it so only boys' pictures were in the yearbook."

"I hope you're not thinking that way." Danny chuckled at his protectiveness. "Sorry, old habits die hard, I guess. At least she's got someone who will help her keep from being like Kathy Santoni. Of course, it only takes one time getting too excited, so you really have to be careful, and I better stop before I bore you, huh?"

"Yeah. Look, Dad, I know you're trying really hard. But, I need to feel like it's me helping Gia, okay? I'll come to you for advice, if I need, but, if she would come over because I'm helping her on an article, please don't try to help with her attitude."

"Gotcha. I guess you handled those Flamingoes pretty well, huh? Although, they weren't as bad as they could have been, all things considered, but, well, what I'm trying to say is that you really have shown some maturity, especially since you went to Europe last summer, after 9th grade; and, I'm rambling again, aren't I?"

"Definitely. Although, one nice thing; if Gia hears you once, she'll realize I don't ramble as much as I could," Stephanie joked. Danny concurred.

A few days later, Joey picked Stephanie and Gia up from school after getting Jesse. "My uncle and Joey host a radio show together," Stephanie said after introducing them.

"Do you play any wild hip hop?" Gia asked. "Or is your music dull like Steph's?" Jesse pretended to have chest pains as Gia said this.

To Jesse's surprise, given Joey's comical nature, Joey rescued him. "We play light to medium rock; no really raunchy lyrics, but, I think you'd like it."

"Maybe, if I was a little kid," Gia scoffed.

"Well, when Michelle's friend Mandy was Principal's Assistant like Steph in grade school, she did enjoy relaxing with the comedy," Joey admitted.

"Gia, there's a lot more to good music than what you're lookin' at. I mean, yeah, some of my stuff has a strong beat and talks about rebellion, but there's a big difference between singing 'Born To Be Wild' and talkin' about specifics, like some of that," Jesse finished.

Gia turned to Stephanie said blurted, "I thought your dad was the one who rambled."

"Well, I'm sure he rubbed off a little in ten years," Jesse said.

"Gia, that's not the point. I told you, I like stuff that's milder, but it's still fun. Like the Beach Boys; have you ever even heard them?" Stephanie wondered as they all left the car. Jesse and Joey were picking up some stuff Joey had before their radio show.

"No, but I might not mind looking at them," Gia countered.

As Joey held the door for the other three, Jesse spoke, "You know, Danny was right, Gia, you're just like me at that age." He told himself Gia was perhaps wilder, but that this was probably because of the divorce. "I know you'd like to just do your own thing, and not worry about your future or consequences. But, it's important to think about other people, too. 'Cause, they really do matter. And, they'll help you out, too."

"Sure; just like we talked about S.A.D.D.," Stephanie said as Jesse and Joey went down to Joey's apartment, and the teens went upstairs. "You're really glad Kirsten helped convince you that you had a future, right?"

Gia relented after a moment. "Yeah, I guess. I just don't know what to do with it. Or, why I should work at it."

"Well, let's start working on our article," Stephanie said as she looked into the room she shared with Michelle for the time being - and with Samantha when she wasn't at a friend's house, as it was easy to fit a rollaway bed next to Michelle's. Michelle had wanted to stay roommates with Stephanie a few more months, till she got used to Middle School. The bedroom D.J. had just left to move up to the attic was a guest bedroom for the time being. An office, of course, was in the fourth bedroom, as it had been since Stephanie was two, and Danny got a bonus working the '84 Olympics.

"You guys busy in there? Gia and I can use the guest room."

Michelle looked up from the music she and Samantha were listening to. "We can go, too; we're just trying to pick out a good tune for Samantha's ballet practice." Samantha had been to dance school in New York that summer, and would be a professional someday.

Gia looked at some of the music. "These are all kiddie songs."

"You sound like a really bad example," Samantha said bluntly. Michelle thought the same thing; she wasn't as good at it, but would still enjoy those songs; she'd gone to Samantha's first practices, too, when Samantha was in Kindergarten, to encourage her.

"Well, I'm trying to help Gia, anyway; I think you'll really enjoy covering the football team, Gia," Stephanie said as they left and went toward the guest bedroom.

"But, you can't see their faces as well, with the helmets," Gia responded.

Stephanie just hook her head. As they sat in the guest room, she asid, "Never mind that. Okay, you have who and what. Next is When..."


"Right, now."

"Is what?"

"Gia, I just told you, What is the second W."

"I don't know; what is the second W?" Gia asked to be funny; she sensed she was getting Stephanie's goat. She liked having someone try to pay attention to her like this, though.

"Good," Stephanie said, holding out her hands, "you've finally said it."

"Said what?"

Stephanie wasn't sure what to say, so after a moment she just spouted, "Exactly. Now, as I was saying, next you have When. The first two are crucial. You don't have to be too specific on the time, just saying last week is fine for the game, instead of the exact time and date. But, usually a reporter will want to mention when it happened."

"When what happened?"

"Whatever the story's about."


"No, that's the fifth, there's one before why."

"One what before why?"

"Well, what is before why, but there's a word between what and why."

"Okay," Gia interrupted, confused as Michelle and Samantha watched. "So, it's Word?"

"Well, 'Word' begins with 'W', but that's not it - It's Where."

"You just told me, Tanner; it's between What and Why."

"I know I told you that," Stephanie said as the younger girls giglged.

"So?" Gia asked, "What is between what and why? Wait, that's impossible, What can't be between itself and Why."

"This is funny," Samantha remarked with a big grin.

"If you like this stuff so much, instead of that music you like, why don't you do a ballet to an Abbott and Costello routine?" Gia suggested.

"Gia, ballet is where you dance," Samantha said with a laugh.

Sensing Gia was about to say she didn't really care, Stephanie said, "You know, maybe you two ought to just go back to your room and plan stuff. This could take a while." After they left, Stephanie said, "I know you don't like to think about others much, but there's a lot of fun stuff out there. You just need to get involved in it."

"Sure, that's why you think the newspaper will be so rewarding for me," Gia said. "You sound like one of those parents that talk about stuff building character."

Stephanie sighed. She hadn't minded Samantha at least meeting Gia a little, because she'd been really well behaved at dance school, and seemed very good about controlling her impulses. Samantha's character had developed very well despite the neglect of her early life, though she was an uberMichelle when it came to bluntness.

Gia, on the other hand, had had little chance to develop concern for others, partly because of her nature, partly because of the bitterness in her family, even before her parents divorced. Gia was still reacting to everything, and not thinking much.

"The newspaper helps you learn more things," Stephanie said. "But, I learned a good definition of character at a leadership seminar Dad got me into once. 'Character is who you are when nobody's watching.' So, while the newspaper, and reading and writing in general, broaden your horizons, you develop character by choosing to do what's right, no matter whether anyone sees you or not. So, I don't think the newspaper builds character, but it helps you to develop habits that lead to good character."

"Leadership seminars, character; are you sure you're in my grade?" Gia asked, hinting that Stephanie was sounding more like an adult.

Stephanie confessed, "That was a real ramble, huh? I'm sorry if I'm trying too hard, I know I've got my mom's excitability. But, I really want to help you."

Gia hated admitting that she liked - and needed - people to help her, but Stephanie's friendless otherwise led her to at least mumble a "thanks."

"You're welcome. Okay, back to the football game. Ignoring our quarterback's looks..."

"...Only for a minute," Gia said, holding up a finger. "And, I thought you said I should write what's important."

"Gia, someone's looks are only important in a newspaper article if the looks are part of the news itself. It wouldn't matter in a football game."

Gia thought of a way. "What if it rained for a week and it was all muddy, and his helmet flew off as he was diving into the end zone?"

Stephanie had enough experience with helping others to pounce on that. "Wow," she said with a smile. "Gia, that was great; it was really creative!"

"It was?" Gia paused. "Wow, it was, wasn't it? And, I was just bugging you."

"See, you have talents," Stephanie said, admittedly grasping at straws, but knowing it was important to encourage someone like Gia in any way possible. She seemed like she could have been a Flamingo if they weren't nicer now. "Anyway, say I'm writing an article. I want to write it about our team at the game this evening - that's who."

"Our quarterback, especially."

"Sure," Stephanie conceded, "if he does something noteworthy. Let's say we write that he throws for four touchdowns - that's what happened."


Stephanie nodded, thinking Gia had gotten it. "Exactly, that's when. Now, they don't have to be order in your article, and not all the W's need to be in there. I mean, everyone knows why - there was a game scheduled. Unless you think he'd go out and do it during a math test," Stephanie said in a somewhat comical voice, which caused Gia to loosen up and chuckle a little. "But, if I wanted to put all five W's in there, it might say something like, 'The quarterback threw for four touchdowns in the first half because the other team was expecting Bayview's star runner to push it in each time they got inside the five."

"Okay, so let me see if I have this," Gia remarked, thinking as she spoke. "You write about who doing what where, when they did it, and why."

"Exactly; you've got it! There's just one more thing."

"What's that?"


"Oh, that's easy. You take a pen, and start writing stuff down," Gia teased.

"Are you trying to drive me up the wall?' Stephanie thought better of her question right away - she knew she could get a little overly zealous sometimes. "Sorry, I know, I am pushing you a bit; but, I really want to help. Anyway, How tells how it was done - although a lot of times, like here, how kind of blends with why or what."

"I don't know. No, he's on third, right?" Gia couldn't help but snicker as Stephanie shook her head. "Look, I appreciate you trying to help. Wow, did I say that?" Gia asked herself out loud. "I guess I don't show a lot of appreciation sometimes. But, you're trying to spend time with me, anyway, and not thinking of me as just a big loser."

Stephanie smiled. "Of course. Our dad really struggled when our mom died; would have a lot more without D.J. as team captain of sorts for a while, even with Uncle Jesse and Joey here. But, one thing we always showed each other was, there's always going to be someone there to help you, and pick you up when you're down."

"I can really use that sometimes," Gia admitted.

"I'm sure. There will be times I have to put distance there; as I've said, I've always been like a mom to Samantha, and I do want to keep her away from really bad influences. I've still got my babysitting business with Allie and Darcy. And, of course, there'll be boys; that goes without saying." Gia agreed. "So, my plate's full. But, I really want to try to encourage you. You really have potential. And, I hate to see anyone throw that away."

Gia looked down for a moment. "You'd say that to your dog, wouldn't you?"

"Well; he is well trained. I guess my nature is to get excited and see positive in anyone."

"I thought so. It does feel good to hear it, though," Gia spoke pensively. "You'll probably never want to sneak into a concert, though, like Kirsten did once, will you?"

"No." Stephanie thought for a second, and then decided to admit it, since Michelle and Samantha were out of hearing range. "I might have done a few little things, which I'd never do now, if I didn't try so hard to be like D.J.. I pretended to be a student on her campus after school for a few days last year; I was an inch taller than her and could pass for a freshman, and there was a boy I kind of liked. But, there can be lots of really fun times within the rules, too, and even there, I didn't do anything really bad."

"Pretending to be more mature?!" Gia shook her head. "That, I just don't get."

"Well, hopefully, you will someday," Stephanie said.

A few years later, Gia stopped by the Tanner home. "Hey, Steph," Gia asked, as Stephanie opened the door. "How as Paris?"

"Incredible; I've got so many cool stories to tell you. Although, I felt like I was on The Love Boat for a while," she confessed. "It was really special for Samantha, but it seemed like I lost chaperones left and right to the love bug," she joked.

"Isn't that how Paris is supposed to make you feel?" They laughed. "Anyway, I'm moving in a few days; I found a nice place near campus." She looked at the warm, inviting living room as they walked upstairs. "I can see why you're living at home, like D.J. did; I'm sure this place has such warm memories for you. I just want to be away."

Stephanie said it meant free room and board, too. "I understand why you'd want to go, with what you've been through, though. I'm sure if you come back here when you're done, then, you'll do a great job."

Gia admitted that might be true, as Michelle and Samantha entered the room. "There's a lot of inner cities where I think I could really connect with the kids as a teacher, though. It's going to be hard to pick just one."

"You'll do great wherever you are," Michelle said with certainty.

"I've been praying for you," Samantha said. "I hope you finally figured out that 5 W's and an H thing Stephanie was telling me about, though." She hadn't had much contact with Gia, especially not early, but even in the last few months, when Gia had improved markedly in her attitude, Samantha still recalled how Gia was messing the words up.

"Sure," Gia insisted, keeping a straight face as she teased, "It tells you that some guy named Who did something, and why Who did what, except between knowing what and why, Who has to pick a time to know when."

"I think you're still a little mixed up, if that's how you remember it," Michelle said, though she thought Gia was probably joking.

"Well, if I am, I think Steph's even more mixed up."

"How do you figure that?" Stephanie wanted to know.

"Well, you said there are five W's and an H, right?" She agreed. "Well, Who, What, Where, When, and Why all have an 'h' after the w. And 'how' has a W on the end." The others were giggling at the weird way Gia was explaining it. "So you don't have 5 W's and an H. You really have 6 W's and 6 H's." Stephanie stared ahead, dumbfounded, until Gia finally broke down and started to laugh. "Gotcha."

"That was good," Stpehaie said with a laugh.

"I have to bug you - you might not have called it 'building character,' but you've really helped me." Gia confided that she was a lot like their Uncle Jesse. "I don't like to admit it, but I needed you. I'm glad you were there for me, Tanner. You really helped me make a fresh start at Bayview." She got a lump in her throat. "And, most importantly, you helped me see why I should. I'm glad you thought I mattered."

Michelle said warmly, "Everyone matters. We should matter to everyone. And, even if you didn't feel like it with that divorce, you mattered to someone."

"That's why God moves people to care; just like Stephanie and the others did for me," Samantha pointed out. "So we can show others His love and so they receive it."

Stephanie said her friend Harry from grade school might go to Japan. "His mom lived there; she met his dad there, and they lived here a few years," she began, knowing she'd discussed this with Gia. They didn't go to church every Sunday, but the girls, at least, had gone often, like their mom; more since Michelle's minor horse-riding accident. So, just as Stephanie knew to pray for her stuffed friend, Mr. Bear, she at least knew how to tell people about God - and, just as importantly, to show it. "We've got plenty of people here who need to receive His forgiveness, so He can give them love, joy, peace, strength, wisdom, all that good stuff, and get them to His perfect Heaven, if they just ask."

Gia nodded slowly. "Like me, huh?" She sighed. "I made a big mess of my life - I could get kind of mean for a while even after I met you, though not as bad as in Middle School. I guess I need to receive that now, while I have the chance, huh?" she said, recalling stories of how Jesse had sought that change, after Pam died, seeing how short life was.

"Sure; you're just like me and everyone; we all sin, and fall short of His perfection, so we can't get to His perfect heaven on our own, where there won't be any of that anger, backbiting, suffering, pain, stuff like that can't exist there," Stephanie said. She reminded Gia about their Uncle Jesse. "Just admit that you fall short, and believe that Jesus Christ, God in flesh, took the punishment on the cross for you, personally, when He died, and rose from the dead. Then, choose to turn from your sins - repent - and receive Him as your Lord and Savior; invite Him into your heart to make a change on the inside."

Gia prayed then, and trusted in Him to forgive and save her from her sin, like she recalled Stephanie saying she had, after she'd wrecked Joey's car. "Thanks," she remarked. "I'm so glad to know people like you. You really cared about me; and..." She breathed heavily. "And, about making sure I didn't mess up my life any more."

Stephanie smiled broadly as she said, "That's what friends are for."