Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Book Universe

Helping Hands
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger" drew many conclusions when we read it, including one like D.J.'s that I did. I had put it up here, but the Misc. books part is so crowded, so I thought it easiest to just merge it into a story.

Jesse recovered fast on TV from his appendectomy, so it was caught *really* early. (He could have still been in a little pain and recovering in the next ep., of course, without changing anything.) So, this has him wait a few days, which he would have without being in the hospital at just the right time to mention it, given his stubbornness at times. This leads to Danny canceling dates, but as noted, Vicki is still there, as she's mentioned in the first 2 Stephanie books. Also, in the "real Tanner Universe" Joey hosts the party and they left for the hospital a couple hours after Danny, as noted. However, my story "Michelle's Night Out" is just an AU off of the TVU, as she wouldn't even want to sneak out in books, and besides, Danny would have had time to talk with her in the Book Universe.

Also, a couple books reference a fall anniversary, which adds to the twins always being 5 years younger than Michelle in books.

"Guess what we learned in school today, Uncle Jesse!" Michelle Tanner, five, said excitedly as she ran in the back door. She stopped, taken aback. "Hey, you're Allie's Mommy." Allie Taylor was nine-year-old Stephanie's shy, soft-spoken best friend.

"Yep, I am. Everything's okay," Mrs. Taylor said as she left thecarriers three month old Nicky and Alex were in. She walked over to Michelle and Stephanie. "Your uncle's just feeling a little sick right now. So, he called and asked me to be here, and then went up to lay down."

"He felt kind of bad Tuesday, and a bit worse yesterday," Stephanie said as she put her backpack on the table. "But, just going up and laying down isn't like him."

Mrs. Taylor said maybe the worst was passing. "It could be a stomach flu or something. He knew with your dad having dates as 'Bachelor of the Month,' starting yesterday, your aunt Becky would be busier at the station. Let's see," she said. She looked at a piece of paper with instructions and listing where things were, as D.J. and Kimmy came in from high school, where they were in ninth grade. "I'm supposed to ask if you want me to take you down to the station for the 'Ranger Joe' show, Michelle." The phone rang. "Oh, Allie probably found my note." She answered it.

Kimmy whistled. "Wow, Deej, it's busier than usual here. But, I sure hope that's not one of your dad's dates. She's got a wedding ring on."

"No, Uncle Jesse probably had to go somewhere," D.J. said. Stephanie explained what Mrs. Taylor had told her. That made sense, and D.J. could see why it was busier than usual. The girls' Uncle Jesse, and dad's best friend Joey, had moved in over four years earlier to help raise them after their mom, Danny's wife Pam, died in an accident. Jesse was now married to Danny's co-host, Becky Donaldson. The couple had three-month-old twins, Nicky and Alex. But, Danny was the bay Area bachelor of the Month, and Joey hosted a cartoon show now. Jesse was usually the househusband, though he had a band and was a professional musician, too.

"Will you be okay here, D.J.? I'd like to get Allie to her piano lesson after I drop Michelle off, but I can come right back," Mrs. Taylor said.

"We'll be fine. Michelle's probably ready to go," D.J. said. Michelle was anxious to tell about what she'd learned, but Allie's mom said she could tell them on the way.

"Hey, speak for yourself," Kimmy said to D.J. as Mrs. Taylor prepared to leave with Michelle. She told the woman, "I'm not fine. We're supposed to finish 'The Lady or the Tiger' for Monday, and I don't have any ideas."

"I thought I heard you always copied off of D.J.," Mrs. Taylor said.

Kimmy said she couldn't this time. "Our English teacher told me to try to do my own work this time. It's supposed to be creative writing, after all." They left. Kimmy turned back to D.J.. "If only I hadn't copied off you in that essay. This is where I really need your brains, not some dumb essay about what some writer meant when he wrote."

D.J. instructed Stephanie to help with the twins. She and Kimmy went upstairs to check on Jesse. As they walked, D.J. said, "Kimmy, you're supposed to use your imagination. I know that gets you laughed at sometimes, but I'm sure a lot of the kids in our class will have unique ideas."

"But, all I can think of is, will he choose the lady, or the tiger?" Kimmy looked at the second floor office, which has been a bedroom before being redone in the mid-80s, before Michelle was born. "Maybe your dad's got some stuff in there that can help."

"Kimmy, think." They opened the door to the attic, and went upstairs. "What if he decides not to choose the door the princess points to?" D.J. felt better, as she saw Jesse sitting up on the bed in their apartment. "How are you feeling?"

"Better. Listen, don't tell Becky, okay? I'm sure I just worked too hard on stuff earlier this morning, then I was just too tired by the time Joey left for his show."

"We'll talk about that later." Turning back to Kimmy, she told her, "I've got an idea where the princess has pretended to be so sad she'll need to wear a veil to hide the mountain of tears. Only, it's one of her maidens under the veil, and she's hiding behind the door. That's what our teacher means by creative writing," D.J. finished.

Kimmy turned to Jesse. "If you had your choice, would you choose a lady, or a tiger?"

"Kimmy, there have probably been millions of love songs written to ladies, but who has ever written a love song to a tiger?" Jesse asked wearily as he went downstairs.

"He's got a point," Kimmy said. "Wait; what about 'Eye of the Tiger.' No, that's just about the eye. I wonder what happens if you have the foot of a tiger."

D.J. had no idea how to respond to that one as they followed Jesse downstairs. "Anyway, so you have a couple people you can think about - the young man, and the princess."

"There was a princess?" Kimmy caught D.J.'s look. "Hey, don't blame me. The story said he was semi-barbaric, and I didn't pay much attention after that when we read in class. I was too busy imagining the king becoming a werewolf or something."

D.J. sighed. With the office in the fourth bedroom, she'd grown up being very proactive. Stephanie and Michelle - especially Michelle - were much better than they would have been. But, at times, being proactive with Kimmy meant having to think for her.

Friday at supper, they could all tell Jesse was feeling worse. "Jess, you've hardly touched your meal," Becky said worriedly. She'd come home right after she and Danny did their show early this morning, so Jesse could rest today.

"I said I'm fine, Becky," Jesse groused. "Can't a guy feel sick once in a while?"

"Sure, but when the symptoms are like yours, I think you should go to the doctor," Becky said with compassion. He refused. "You're not afraid, are you?"

"Me, afraid? Are you kiddin'? What's there to be afraid of?" Jesse asked.

Kimmy, who was eating with them, suggested, "Maybe he's having twins."

"Funny, a few days ago they reminded me of what some people said about sympathy pains. Thing is, our boys are three months old," Jesse said, insisting they change the subject. Becky, meanwhile, tried to think of how to get Jesse to the ER; his pains were really a concern to her, though it didn't seem like they were serious enough to go tonight. If they weren't much better tomorrow, she considered, they'd go.

Kimmy obliged in changing the subject. "Okay. If you were the woman in the story we read, and you had to choose to let the man you love go to your rival or be eaten by a tiger, what would you do?" Hardly skipping a beat, she added, "Remember, this is a vicious, man-eating beast."

Stephanie looked down at her plate. "For one thing, I'd be thankful I was eating noodles and not meat right about now."

"Are you still stuck on that story? D.J.'s finished. Right, Deej?" Joey asked.

"Yep. I want to polish it a bit, but basically, there's some drama when the young man lifts the veil a little too quick, so the king sees who it is. The king throws the veil back on who he thinks is the princess, hollers 'Guards,' and orders the maiden put in the dungeon. Eventually, the princess talks her father into letting the man live, since they got married in secret under the stadium while everyone was looking for them," she finished. "The king may be semi-barbaric, but the princess can always be a little nicer."

"See? How can I compete with that? That's why I always try to copy off her."

Danny corrected her. "You're supposed to do your own work."

"It's not my fault D.J.'s a budding genius,' Kimmy countered.

"So? Maybe in yours, the princess just replaces the tiger. Then, her guy's safe either way," Stephanie suggested.

Kimmy looked oddly at her. "And what, wear a tiger suit? Even I wouldn't be likely to fall for that."

"Maybe if she growled loud enough," Michelle remarked.

"Kimmy, the teacher wants something that shows creativity. It doesn't have to be fancy," Becky said. "Like the Elvis wing they built recently at the hospital."

"Huh? What Elvis wing?" Jesse asked, as he overheard.

Becky faked shock. "I thought I told you, when I came home early today to be here with the girls when they got home from school."

"You never mentioned an Elvis wing." He turned to the others. "Did you see anything after Michelle's party? There was what, six, seven hours of labor? Surely, you had to see somethin'."

"Oh, it hadn't been started yet. They got a special grant. Straight from Graceland," Becky said. "They had to put it up real quick, or they'd lose the funding."

"Cool. Yeah, sure, maybe tomorrow, since you're off, we can go," Jesse said, secretly glad that he was getting a way to go, just in case there was something wrong. That way, he could get help, while if it was nothing, he'd find that out, too.

"First thing, I promise. It's right near the ER." She winked at Danny.

Danny hoped Kimmy wouldn't spoil it. As expected, she fell for it, too. "Cool, an Elvis wing. Hey, maybe I can get some ideas from the doctors on call. And, get a look at the handsome young medical school residents," Kimmy said. He realized Jesse was probably really sick, and just not telling anyone; though knowing Becky, she could have convinced him the Elvis wing was real eventually.

Danny excused himself, as they were all about done. "I better go check on my dates." He was actually going to cancel them.

Soon, Kimmy was in the kitchen with D.J., Joey, and Michelle. "Hey, if I can't copy off D.J., I wonder if it's passed down. Hey, Michelle?"

Michelle turned from where she was helping Joey load the dishwasher. "What?"

"What would you choose? A lady, or a tiger?"

"Could it be like Hobbes?" She was referring to the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," with the boy and his wild imagination, including a tiger who was his best friend.

Kimmy's eyes lit up. "Hey, that's a great idea. This could be how Hobbes got his start." D.J. tried to stop Kimmy, but her friend was too excited. "Your sister's great, Deej." She left to start writing the paper.

"She might do okay, Deej. I got a good grade when I wrote about the man magically charming the tiger, and gaining special favor with the king that way," Joey said.

"I hope you're right, Joey. This is Kimmy, though. Which means anytime she has to use her imagination, it could get...strange," D.J. finished.

Monday in school, as English class was about to start, Kimmy asked how Jesse was. "I didn't have the chance to ask before we got to school. I was having fun with this story."

"Oh. I'm sorry, Kimmy. I may have misjudged you. I guess you really did put some effort into it. Anyway, he's doing a lot better; Becky got him down there Saturday, and they admitted him with appendicitis. He had to have it out. He'll be in the hospital no more than a week. Dad's cancelled all his dates or put them off for now. Although, he says he doesn't mind because he has his eyes on the weather lady. The one that was his co-host while Aunt Becky was on maternity leave," D.J. finished.

"Good. I'm glad everything's all better."

D.J. volunteered to go first, which was no surprise. She told of a grand plan, a furious father, and finally, a daughter whose love was such that even the barbaric, or semi-barbaric, would find in their hearts. As she'd said to her father, he wanted her to be a great queen, after all. "'Well...this is going to take some getting used to. I'll want to make sure that he is providing for you correctly, treating you like the princess you are. I'll keep very close tabs on him. But...I suppose I must accept it. But, do this one thing,' the king requested. 'What?' she asked with a little concern. 'Instead of this really fast thing you had under the stands, let's have a real wedding. So I can give you away properly.' She said 'yes,' and they embraced."

"Excellent work, Miss Tanner. As you say, parental love would come even from this king, the story seems to hint." The teacher knew others would tell of many combinations of choices by the princess and by the man as he saw the signal - and numerous thoughts afterward. Not all would fit perfectly. But, as long as the idea followed the story, even with some creativity involved, the student would get good marks.

He had to wonder, though, when Kimmy raised her hand.

"Well, Miss Gibbler. This should be interesting. I take it you did all your own work?" She said she had. "Go ahead."

"Thanks." She stood in front of the class. "The man saw which way the princess was pointing. He quickly pulled some Frosted Flakes out of his pocket, in the hopes it would convince the tiger to like him." The teacher shook his head as Kimmy used a number of other fictional tigers, finally finishing with a bit of technobabble that sounded like it could have come from Star Trek, ending with, "And that, my friends, is how Calvin's best friend Hobbes came into being. Part real tiger, able to morph into a stuffed animal, and immortal."

As she gave him her paper and sat down, the teacher said, "Thank you for sharing that. It was interesting. I'll give it that." He really wasn't sure what else to say.

Near the end of the week, Mrs. Taylor was there as the girls all got home again. Danny was working on the show while Becky was with Jesse. "Guess what, girls, your uncle is coming home today," she announced. They were all excited, including Allie, who had been coming to the Tanner house with Stephanie . "He'll need rest, and be sore for a while, but thankfully, he'll be all better in a few weeks."

"That's great, Mom," Allie said.

Stephanie agreed as Danny came in the back door and hugged his girls. "So, how did that paper go?" Stephanie asked Kimmy.

"Well, guess what? The teacher said as long as I don't copy off D.J., I should get all the help I can from her. He said it's probably the key to graduating high school before I'm thirty." She turned to D.J.. "He said it sounded like I hadn't even read the story when the rest of us read it. I wonder how he knew. I'm usually better at hiding that."

"Well, I think the fact you didn't know how he got there had something to do with it," D.J. suggested.

"Could be, I suppose. Although, he did write this." She pulled out her paper from her backpack. "'If you'd read the story, and stuck to one theme, like the magical tiger, it could have been an A paper. Instead, you had everyone eating a sugary cereal, and logic took off on a sugar rush and never returned.' I think this means I have promise."

D.J. knew the teacher was just trying to find the bright side to a very weird paper. "You do. It just needed focus. Probably a lot of focus."

Danny smiled at the way D.J. tried her best to help her dumb and very weird best friend. "Thanks for watching Nicky and Alex, and being here for the girls all this week, Mrs. Taylor."

"Oh, you're welcome; I don't say a lot about money, but Stephanie's probably told you we can always use a little extra cash." She had. In fact, if Mr. Taylor hadn't gotten a job recently, they might have had to move at the end of the school year. "Do you need anything else?"

"No, thanks, we're fine." She and Allie left. "Boy, what a couple of weeks. I'll be glad to start dating again."

"Ask me out, Daddy," Michelle said as she sat in his lap.

"Well, we had talks about that; we had time since we weren't busy preparing for the babies at the same time. Maybe Joey can take you and Steph some night and we can double date," he kidded. "I'm just glad we're always here for each other."

"Me, too. Copying off me might not be a good idea," D.J. said to Kimmy. "But, I'm sure glad I can help you. You need it sometimes," she admitted lowly.

"I know. Thanks, Deej." They hugged.