Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Melina Universe

02 * The Godfather (parts 1 & 2)
Written by: Doug Fowler

Second in the Melina Universe, where Jesse and Becky adopt Melina, in my mind would be a two-parter in place of "The Long Goodbye" and "Road to Tokyo" - again, parts would be like our TVU, especially Danny and Vicki deciding not to break it off and Jesse in Tokyo, though with Jesse...well, you'll see. Some of it might be more implied if they aired it, as with other times, instead of outright saying how much D.J. had to do if Danny was that lax, but that's part of making it a more complete story here, too.

Michelle Tanner, five and nine months, frowned as she walked into her house. Papouli, her great-grandfather, and Melina - who was Michelle's nearly six-year-old Greek cousin and Jesse and Becky's new daughter - were talking in the living room.

"It's over. A few more days, and Teddy will be history." Michelle sat on the step leading down to the main room, and sighed. Her only consolation wasn't much of one - she hadn't been grounded for anything, so she had learned earlier about Teddy's family moving, and had been able to spend lots of time playing with him before he moved.

Suddenly reminded of it, Melina turned to Papouli and said, "I wish you didn't have to leave."

"I know," Papouli said lovingly, patting her on the head. "I have many friends and relatives back in Greece, though."

Joey Gadstone walked in from the kitchen. The comedian was helping Danny Tanner raise his children, Michelle and her sisters. "Have you seen Danny? I found this great deal on the Cartoon Network and I need to borrow his credit card, mine's all maxed out."

"Besides, your family is already giving enough charity," Papouli finished in an understanding tone to Melina before telling Michelle he understood about Teddy.

Joey could tell Michelle needed cheered up. He walked over and sat beside her, lovingly wrapping an arm around her. "I know how you feel, we moved all the time when I was a kid, and the only thing that stayed with me was my favorite sports teams from when I was in Detroit for two years. But, you can write letters to each other now that you're learning to write."

"Yeah, but I don't know how to make them into words," Michelle complained.

"That's okay. I'd like getting a postcard with a letter on it," Melina said. "Guess who's moving into that house?"

"She is right, Michelle," Papouli said excitedly. "Your Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky will move in, and you and Melina will only be a couple doors away from each other. You can see each other all the time!"

As the other adults in the family, plus Michelle's sisters Stephanie and D.J., came downstairs, Melina said, "I'm glad you came with me while I was being adopted here. I wish you could stay forever, Papouli."

"Awwww, look at that." Danny turned to Jesse, his brother-in-law. Jesse had moved in at the same time as Danny's best friend Joey to help raise his girls. "It's just like after Pam died, when my mom left."

At that moment, their annoying next-door neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler, walked in the door, wearing a garish outfit with large swirls on it.

"Correction, almost like back then," Jesse noted, holding up a finger. "Somehow, Kimmy wan't quite so annoying when she was here to help D.J. while she grieved over Pam's death."

"Good point; it was different that first year or so."

"Ow, Kimmy, give us time to get our sunglasses on before you come in with that thing. It's so bright you probably have to pay an electric bill for it," Stephanie cracked.

Kimmy turned to D.J.. "Let's hit the mall, Deej, tomrrow's the first day of school and I need some stuff to go with this outfit."

"You mean like an on-off switch?" Stephanie teased.

"Hey, watch it, squirt," Kimmy corrected. "I'll have you know wearing this gets me noticed by boys."

Stephanie admitted that was true. "They have to cover their eyes so they can't see your looks," she countered.

D.J.'s boyfriend, Steve, stepped in next. "All set?"

Danny wanted to know where they were going. "Just a minute, Steve..."

"In that case, what's in your kitchen, Mr. Tanner?" Steve began walking toward the kitchen.

"On second thought," Danny interrupted, "I'm sure you'll just be at all the usual stores. Why not go now, and we won't have to restock our refrigerator." D.J. and Danny hugged, and she, Kimmy, and Steve left in Steve's car.

"Will you at least stay for our first share day, Papouli?" Michelle asked.

"I certainly will; then you and Melina and I can teach your class that Greek dance we learned."

"Everyone will love it, I'm sure," Joey remarked. "They're going to think you're so cool, Melina!'

Melina smiled, any worry over that first day in a new school disappearing slowly. "I hope you're right." Stephanie promised to be there to help, too.

That night, D.J. and Stephanie were talking in D.J.'s room with Melina. "You're going to have so much fun in your new house," D.J. remarked.

"I know; I can be over here all the time. Just like Kimmy!"

"Melina, here's some advice - never compare anything you do to Kimmy. In fact, with most things, you should do the opposite," Stephanie declared.

"I know; she is kind of weird. I'm glad I don't have to cross her yard to get to our new house. I think a skunk was in Kimmy's yard today."

D.J. assured her that, "That wasn't a skunk, their washing machine broke and her mom had all their socks outside and was washing them by hand."

"You should be in bed; Michelle's asleep already," Stephanie noted.

"Just one more story. Please! I want to know more about our family," Melina pleaded.

D.J. sighed. Melina wasn't nearly as pushy or defiant as Michelle could get, but D.J. still had to set limits. "One more. We'll talk in your room."

The girls walked upstairs, and as Becky checked on the twins and Jesse talked on the phone downstairs with his band, D.J. and Stephanie sat on Jesse and Becky's couch and continued.

"You know that cross necklace our Uncle Jesse, your new dad, wears?" D.J. asked. She nodded; she'd never heard any stories about it. D.J. explained about God's love and forgiveness.

Jesse walked upstairs and listened sadly as Becky walked out of the nursery, and D.J. continued.

"That necklace was our mother's. She always said he should have it if something happened. To this day, he's worn it quite often, and always thinks of our mom, his big sister, Pam, when he puts it on. Because he was a real rebel as a kid, just like we've told you. Our mom kept him from going even further. And yet, as mad as she'd get at him, she always showed an inner love and compassion and forgiveness that really made him think. She showed who God was by the way she acted toward him, always loving him no matter what he did." Jesse, especially, was getting emotional. Becky walked over and put an arm around him. "That necklace is a symbol because of the cross, but it's also a symbol of a big sister's undying love and devotion. Just like we will always have for you." Jesse nodded and wiped away a tear in the background. "Okay, time for bed."

Melina could tell D.J. meant it. Becky came over and picked Melina up, taking her into the crowded nursery and tucking her in.

"Thanks, girls...that was beautiful," was all Jesse could say.

Becky could tell something was wrong once the girls went downstairs. They followed D.J. and Stephanie into the living room once Melina was asleep; Stephanie had her pajamas on and was about ready for bed. "What is it, Jess?"

"Aw, Becky, it's how the girls told Melina about that necklace. I'm glad you did, Deej," Jesse emphasized as Danny dusted a table. Joey entered the room from the kitchen. "It's just that I kept meaning to, but put it off to be with the band. Course, the real problem was I didn't want to people to see me all emotional thinking about Pam."

"We all get that way sometimes; especially Melina still," Joey noted.

"I know, but...that's something that's part of being a godfather, that's why my cousin picked me. Just like how you called the church van and had it pick you girls up that one time, Deej. Or you and Steph, Joey, how you told her about the great forgiveness and unconditional love our family had when Steph backed your car into the kitchen."

Joey said "Hey, no problem" in his Popeye voice, and did the trademark laugh.

Jesse threw up his hands. "My goddaughter's getting her spiritual training from a couple young cousins and a perpetual cartoon character. I'm the one who's supposed to be the godfather."

Joey walked up to him and did his Godfather impression. "You could put a fish's head on someone's pillow."

Jesse looked strangely at him. "Don't be ridiculous."

"Yeah, where would he find a fish's head, anyway? I mean, it's only a fifteen minute drive to the pier and all, but still..." Danny wondered aloud.

"I bet there's one in Kimmy's sock drawer," Stephanie offered.

Jesse ignored the jab at Kimmy. "Let's face it, guys, I'm her father. I should be able to act like Danny and...didn't you just wax that table today?"

"Huh?" Danny stopped. "Oh, yeah. Just thinking about Vicki." Vicki was his long-distance girlfriend, who was flying in from Chicago early tomorrow.

"Okay, I should act like most fathers. Maybe not like Danny."

Danny put down the dustcloth. "Hey, don't worry about it, Jess; it's just all of us pitching in, like when Pam died."

"Sure, we're all part of one big family. And we always will be, even when you move a few doors down. Even if you moved to the moon," Joey added.

"Thanks," Jesse deadpanned, "I prefer a place where there's air, though."

"I've had to be like a parent to Michelle lately again, anyway," D.J. lamented.

Becky lovingly stroked her hair. "It'll get better soon, I'm sure. Your dad just goes through these phases sometimes."

"Yeah, and the first one lasted till she was almost four," D.J. noted, in a bit of a huff. She was frustrated, as she could get at times, thinking of the situation. She wasn't really dedicated to helping, so she'd reacted instead of being proactive with Michelle. She'd punished her consistently with timeouts and taking away privileges till Michelle was almost four, but D.J. was in school and had other things to do herself, so she couldn't always be there.

Still, Michelle saw her as the boss till she was four, and even when Danny started punishing, though he tried to be consistent she still saw D.J. as the one in charge of the toughest punishment. She just generally knew to obey Danny most of the time.

However, Michelle had gotten very used to knowing how much she could get away with. If she and Stephanie had gotten on a plane to New Zealand - which they might have for some adventure if they hadn't been looking for Melina in the airport a month earlier - Michelle would have been grounded for weeks, and not known Teddy was leaving till now. She also would have been reminded that Danny was willing to punish her, and thus not tested quite as much.

However, even then she'd have known Danny would be too focused on Vicki to correct her. So, Michelle would still have refused to come down for school the next morning, despite Joey's insistence. Now, she was pushing limits even more.

Melina stepped into the room Michelle and Stephanie shared. "Come on, Michelle, we don't want to be late for school."

"I'm busy," Michelle said, playing with toys as if she hadn't a care in the world.

Jesse's booming voice was next, telling Michelle to get downstairs now. "Michelle, that sounded like he meant it."

"So? He never punishes me. And, my dad's too worried about whether he should break up with Vicki. I could tell last night and this morning. Even if Uncle Jesse told, he wouldn't come up here." In fact, Danny was in the kitchen hearing, but not paying attention to, Jesse and Joey ordering Michelle to come downstairs.

"Wow," Melina said. "So, you can get away with anything when your dad's like that?"

Michelle looked up from a doll. "Not really. If D.J. learned what I was doing, I'd be in big trouble," she said in a foreboding voice. "But, she and Steve left already, and they dropped Steph off early since she's the Principal's Assistant and can help any new kids feel welcome."

"I won't tell," Melina promised. "But, I do want to get to school."

When Joey announced Teddy had come, one of his last days there, Michelle ran downstairs, with Melina right behind. "Hey, Michelle. It sure was great to hang out with Joey all last Saturday."

"I know. We had a great time together." Michelle handed him a piece of paper. "He wrote my address again, in case you forgot that other piece of paper."

"Don't worry, it's packed. You got our new one in Texas?" Michelle nodded. Joey and the three children left. Melina looked back, still stunned that not only her new dad, but even Michelle's dad hadn't said anything about Michelle's delays.

That Saturday afternoon, once Michelle and Teddy finally said goodbye, the moving process began for Jesse, Becky, and their kids.

Melina ran upstairs to see if they'd forgotten anything. As she got to the second floor, though, before making it up to the attic, she saw Stephanie anxiously moving all her stuff into Joey's room. "What are you doing?" Melina asked.

"This used to be my room," Stephanie said excitedly. "Then it was Uncle Jesse's, then it was Joey's and now it's mine again! Finally, my own room!" She leaped as if leaping onto a bed, only to land in a pile of stuffed animals. "Of course, I'll need a little help getting my bed in here."

"Dad saved the pink bunnies," Michelle said, bringing a pile of old wallpaper with pink bunnies on it into Stephanie's room. She dropped them on the floor as Stephanie gave her a strange look. "He likes to save all our old stuff."

"Michelle, I am too old for pink bunnies. Why don't you take them?"

"If anyone should have them, it's Uncle Jesse." She noticed Jesse carrying a box in the hall. "Uncle Jesse, do you want these bunnies?"

"Are you kidding? I can't believe Danny saved that stuff. If anyone should have them it's Melina."

"They're all crumbled up," Melina said, not wanted wrinkled wallpaper.

"That's because my dad fished them out of the trash after Uncle Jesse redid the room."

"Well, Mom did make those bunnies," Stephanie said, picking up a scrap. "I guess you know how I feel, huh, Melina?"

She nodded. "That's why Mr. Bear's there for you, huh?"

Stephanie nodded, and pick up the stuffed bear, hugging it tightly. "That's right. He always reminds me of Mom. Note that I'm not actually talking to him, though." When everyone was looking away, she whispered, "At least not right now" to Mr. Bear.

"I heard that," Melina said. Stephanie walked over and gave her a hug, which Michelle joined in, too.

Joey and Danny came downstairs from the attic. "Hey, thanks for helping me get all that sutff up there, Steph. Man, that attic's even bigger than the basement was. Now I can get some stuff out of storage and even buy more stuff."

"With Uncle Danny's credit card?" Melina asked innocently.

"Sure..." He caught Danny's glare. "No, actually, I'm going to start being more responsible with my money."

"I'll miss you so much, Uncle Jesse," Michelle whined.

"Oh, I know you will," Jesse said, imitating her. In his normal voice, he reminded her, "You've gotten used to me not being there all the time for you, with Aunt Becky and me having our own kids. And, we're gonna be right down the street, you won't even have to cross the street!"

Melina assured her, "We'll be together all the time."

"That's one reason I've been ignoring some stuff," Danny told Jesse as he helped Jesse carry some stuff downstairs. "I know she's going to miss you. In a way, the last eighteen months has been like the transition we should have had when you and Becky first got engaged."

Jesse agreed. "Yeah, I know. We should have transitioned to D.J. being a mother figure, then it would have been perfect. It's just so hard, you know, trying to figure out how to be that father figure. Just like with Melina, man."

"You're doing a good job."

"Yeah, but when will she feel like calling me 'Daddy' and stuff like that? I mean, I know she just lost her dad, but she hardly saw him when he was in the hospital, and for long periods a few times before that, because of those other situations. It's like Papouli was her dad."

Danny put a hand on Jesse's shoulder at the door. "It'll come, Jess. You're doing better than you think."

"Man, I hope so."

A couple weeks later, after Papouli had left and Jesse, Becky, and the kids had settled into their new house, Melina picked up the phone. "Hello?" She turned to Jesse. "It's for you, It's Fat Fish Records."

"Tell them to take a message," Jesse said absently, frustrated that his song was only number 99 in the U.S..

"He said to take a message. Okay, I'll tell him. They said your song is number 1."

"What?" When Jesse asked for the phone, she ran away giggling gleefully, claiming she was playing "secretary" and couldn't. He finally corralled her and told her to take a lunch.

"I'm just doing my job." He kissed her on the cheek and put her down before starting to talk on the phone.

"Melina, come here a minute," Becky instructed, walking away from feeding Nicky and Alex. "Melina, that wasn't very nice to not give your new dad the phone, was it?" she asked calmly, kneeling and looking her square in the eye.

"But, I was just playing," Melina protested.

"Well, I guess it shows you've adjusted just as well as Steph had when the guys moved in - remember that story about her not giving them the diapers?" Melina nodded. "We're supposed to be nice and help each other, though, and you weren't. Go to your room and think about that for a few minutes." Melina nodded slowly and walked upstairs sadly. Becky wouldn't have punished her had she said she was sorry right away, but this was one of those times she was copying off Michelle a bit, and Becky wanted to stop that.

Jesse explained once Melina went upstairs that, "My song's number one - in Japan!" Becky jumped excitedly. After they embraced, Jesse said, "They want me to do a two-week tour there. You and the kids can come, too!"

"Oh, Jess, I don't know...Melina's just now adjusting well to her new school, and her new friends."

Jesse sighed. "Yeah, I guess you're right." He moped over to a chair and sat. "Aw, Becky, it'd be so easy if it was summer; well, then I guess we'd still have to think about sitters. I know it's hard with three. And yet, if I go by myself, I'm gonna feel like I'm abandoning you...."

"Jess, go! This is your big chance. It might never come again," Becky reminded him sweetly, wrapping her arms around him. "I'll make it here. Melina will probably have a bunch of sleepovers with Michelle, and you can just enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame."

"Actually it's two weeks," he said as he rose. "Are you sure, Becky? Are you really sure?"

"You bet. You have a dream, Jess. Just help me feed these two for a couple minutes, then we'll go up and let Melina out of her punishment and tell her."

Melina was looking downcast while sitting on her bed and swinging her legs when Jesse and Becky entered. "I'm sorry, Uncle Jesse."

"Aw, it's okay, we love you," Jesse responded. They hugged, and Jesse said, "I got some great news. I'm going to Japan for a two-week tour!"

They talked about it as they walked downstairs. Once Jesse and Becky were alone, Jesse said, "Are you sure you'll be okay?"

"Why, what's wrong?"

"I don't know." He put his hands in his pockets. "I guess I'm just wondering if I'm being a good father leaving you here. I mean, when my cousin named me godfather, I'm sure he didn't envision I'd be leaving on this trip only six weeks or so after I got her. And then there's this whole Uncle Jesse thing. Yeah, I know we agreed to let her call us what Michelle does till she feels comfortable with Mommy and Daddy. But, that just reminds me of how much Michelle kept saying she missed us - she used it as an excuse for not listening a couple times with Danny."

Becky knew that was something D.J. could handle - she thought Michelle might just be using that to get her way with a few things. "That'll take care of itself. As for Melina, just give her time. Wasn't it just nine months ago you worried you couldn't provide for us?" Jesse chuckled while nodded sheepishly. "Things take time. Let's get you all packed."

Melina spent the night Jesse left at the Tanners', as Jesse would have to catch a very early flight. Michelle told her that she was only using missing Jesse as an excuse - D.J. was spending enough time with Steve that she was getting away with more than usual.

The girls had been practicing the Greek dance Papouli had taught them, and the next day Melina and Michelle did it for the other first grade classes on the playground. "You sure are good at that," a girl in another class, Denise Frazier, told them. "How come your great-grandpa came instead of your dad?"

Melina explained, "Well, he's the one who lives in Greece. My grandpa spends time in Palm Springs, and he grew up during World War Two. He doesn't like to think about Greece 'cause it makes him sad about the war. And my new dad's in Japan right now."

"She's being adopted. Her dad back in Greece passed away," Michelle explained.

Melina felt very good - the kids seemed to have a lot sympathy for her, encouraged in this by Michelle and Stephanie. Once back in their classroom, though, Melina admitted that she didn't know when she'd start calling him "Dad."

That Friday night, Jesse called to talk to Melina, who was in the kitchen. "Hey, how's my darling girl?" Jesse asked.

"Fine. Is it morning there again?"

"Yep, the day's totally switched around," Jesse said. "Hey, I called home, I heard you were over there on a sleepover."

Melina nodded. "Yes, but Michelle says D.J. caught on to her." Jesse didn't say anything, but he was a little relieved as Melina explained that Michelle had just been pretending to miss Jesse so she could get away with more - till D.J. caught her. "Mciehlle can sleep over with me, but that's it. And, she's doing D.J.'s chores for a week."

"Yeah, that sounds like D.J., all right."

"Uncle Danny punished her, too. She went to school with that biker look for fun, even though he said know. She gets no sweets and can't watch TV for three days." She felt very sorry for Michelle.

Jesse did, too. "Okay, well, listen, you help your cousin feel better, okay? Where is she?" She was helping Danny set up the sleeping bags in her room. "Well, give my love to her, I gotta go. I love you."

"I love you, too. Mommy said I can stay here all weekend," Melina said excitedly, anxious to spend time with Michelle.

"Mommy says that, huh?" Jesse sighed. Melina had just started to call Becky "Mommy" now - but that was because she hadn't seen her biological mother since she was a year old. After well over a month, hearing "your new Mommy" over and over had gotten her used to thinking of Becky as Mommy, though it did seem a little strange to Melina when she thought about it. She'd just been so excited she blurted it out here.

He wished she would call him "Daddy." Instead, she had referred to him as her "new dad" when talking with friends a time or two before he left, but hadn't called him "Daddy" to his face yet.

"Well, listen, you keep being good and listening to Mommy. We're really proud of you." They said "I love you" again, and he hung up, somewhat dejected. They were crazy about him there in Japan - he was a real rock star. And yet, Melina hadn't yet called him "Daddy." He hadn't realized just how hard the wait would be till he heard it. Being named fodfather, and now legal guardian and soon-to-be father, was one thing. Having Melina feel like it was true was something else entirely, something he wanted, but that would be painfully slow in coming.

Melina and Michelle fell asleep at the usual time for sleepovers, which was long after their normal bedtimes. Melina awakened in the middle of the night, but figured Michelle must be in the bathroom or something. Instead, she'd snuck out to watch TV and also grab some forbidden cookies.

She and Michelle awakened at about the same time the next morning. Michelle was back in her sleeping bag. "Where did you go last night."

Michelle explained. "Pretty tricky, huh?" she said with an impish grin.

"Do you like being bad or something?" Melina said, hands on her hips.

Michelle waved her off. "Nah, I don't like it. It's kind of fun to get away with stuff sometimes." Melina's eyes grew wide as Danny and D.J. walked into the bedroom behind Michelle. "My dad's easy to fool."

"What about D.J.?"

"D.J., you gotta watch out for; she can get really loud when she has to be."

"In that case, I better cover my ears."

"You're not going to tell on me, are you?" Michelle asked with a pleading look.

"I don't have to; she's right behind you." Michelle's eyes grew wide as she turned and gulped, looking right up at D.J.'s angry stare. "I better go change in the bathroom."

"Steph's in there, you can use my room. I saw where Michelle was when I checked on you after I got up to go to the bathroom. I have a few things to say to her," D.J. said, placing her hands on her hips.

Melina changed, and then ate breakfast. She walked into the living room to see Michelle sitting gloomily next to Danny on the couch. She sat on the other side of Michelle and consoled her, while Stephanie sat in a chair.

"Uncle Jesse may be your Godfather, Melina, but D.J. just acted like one, too - she made Michelle an offer she couldn't refuse," Danny explained, rubbing Michelle's back to comfort her. He told Melina what Michelle had done.

Michelle agreed. "D.J. said if I keep acting up I might not get my next birthday party. I'd be five forever then!"

"I thought you wanted to be four forever last year," Stephanie noted.

"That was before I knew how much fun five was. Now, I can't wait to be six," Michelle explained. "If I learned to ride horses last summer, while D.J. was away, what will I learn to do next? Maybe I can learn to drive."

"I bet you'll learn to behave a lot better now," Danny said sweetly, lovingly kissing her on the forehead as she smiled.

Melina rose happily. "Come on, Michelle, let's go out and play. Or, do you have to go to your room yet?"

"D.J. sat me in the corner while you were eating breakfast - I have to eat yet." Michelle sighed. "Daddy says since I haven't been listening to him at all, I'm going to have to listen to D.J. for a while."

Danny nodded sadly. "That's right, sweetheart. I just want you to learn to obey the rules. And, you've always known to obey D.J. like a good girl, like that time you were out of control for me before I started punishing you, and you took that rake and started raking the leaves right when ordered you to." He hugged her. "I just ignore too much, thinking about Vicki these last few weeks, and you just get too far out of control. I guess Dr. Sinclair was right; I waited so long, it's going to be hard for you to see me as the boss one hundred percent," he said remorsefully. He found it ironic that Jesse was worried so much about being a good dad, when in fact Danny had lost control in some ways again, and D.J. was really the one to keep Michelle under control till she was almost four.

D.J., meanwhile, was fretting about an editorial she had to write concerning the election for class presidents this year - Kimmy was running for tenth grade class president, and D.J. knew Kimmy could never make it as president. "If Kimmy won, I'd be propping her up all the time imagine," D.J. fretted to Joey the next Friday afternoon.

"I can see where that would be hard; propping someone up can get mighty difficult. Unless it's just a cardboard cutout, of course," Joey joked.

"That might be an improvement if she wins early next week," Stephanie noted.

D.J. shook her head. "I just don't want to see my best friend impeached. And with the name of her group, the 'Party Hearty' party, I just have a feeling if I don't watch her all the time, they're all going to get thrown out of office after their very first party."

Kimmy actually managed to win the election. Before Danny and his girls and Joey went over to Jesse and becky's home to welcome them back, she showed up to announce it.

Danny looked at D.J.. "If you ever want to transfer..."

"No thanks, Dad," D.J. said with a laugh. "I know I'd get a little uptight before, but that was just because I was afraid I was going to lose my freedom totally. So, I'd try to distance myself from everything sometimes." She put an arm around Michelle. "But, I know with Melina helping, and with everyone else chipping in, we're going to make it. Because I can tell you've learned your lesson, Michelle."

Michelle blushed. She'd tried to ask Melina to sneak dessert and stuff for her, and Melina had told D.J. right away what Michelle was doing. D.J. and she had had a very long, sad talk about what could result - should and long-term - from Michelle's continued disobedience. And, Michelle had shaped up very quickly, and was continuing to obey very well now.

"We know you will be, honey. I know Melina told you all about Stavos, just like we did. D.J. might have worried a little too much about how tricky you could become," Danny remarked, "but we know you're going to be good." She nodded, and Danny and then D.J. gave her a hug. Michelle would never try to sneak restricted privileges again, nor would she ever be near as defiant again, as her behavior improved markedly.

She listened to D.J. most of the time as the real boss in her life, but D.J. had leanred to accept that; and Melina certainly helped. "At least now, you get a taste of your own medicine when Melina gives you that puppy dog look when telling you to behave."

Stephanie pondered aloud, "From the stories we've heard about Stavros, I'd even rather have Kimmy in charge of something. At least she wouldn't steal any money."

"Of course not!" Kimmy asserted. "Blow it on faculty mud wrestling pits, maybe..." D.J. hoped she was joking.

Both households were on hand later in Jesse and Becky's new home as Jesse arrived home from Tokyo. "Hey, I'm back," Jesse said as the youngest girls ran up to him and hugged him. "Oh, I missed you guys so much. You, too," he told Nicky and Alex, who had toddled up to him next.

"You were gone a long time," Melina said.

"Yeah, and I might have been gone a lot longer, but I kept thinking about you." He looked at Michelle. "And you, of course." Although, truth be told, he wouldn't have called or written postcards if it hadn't been for Melina. Having his own daughter was thrilling. "They wanted me to do a year-long tour, but I'm happy being right here."

Becky handed Jesse the phone. "It's Stavros, I'd told him when you were coming home when he called a few days ago. He'd gotten the number from Papouli," she whispered.

Jesse sighed. If it hadn't been for Melina coming, he wouldn't have heard about Stavros. In fact, Stavros might have even conned him into letting him come to America. The family had tried to keep the problems quiet because of embarrassment over the things Stavros did, after all, so they hadn't told anyone. However, now he knew, thanks to Papouli telling him about Stavros' get rich quick scheme and some of his other conduct while Papouli was here with Melina.

He placed his hand over the phone. "I don't know what to say, I mean, he cheated my cousin out of lots of money, he's cheated other people, too. He's stolen things from people. My aunt, Pop's sister, is totally disgusted with him. And, he's calling at about 2 AM Greek time, too. I'm surprised that phony didn't call collect and reverse the charges."

Michelle took the phone. "I'll handle him, Uncle Jesse." She glared into the phone and spoke. She was comfortable with it since her behavior had improved markedly. So, she scolded Stavros, "You better never bother us or anybody ever again! 'Cause if you do, my big sister D.J. will come after you, and you'll be in the biggest trouble of your life!" She hung up in a huff.

As several of the Tanners tried to suppress mirth at Stavros being told off by a nearly six-year-old, Jesse embraced her. "You sure sounded tough on him there, munchkin."

Danny knew Jesse was unaware of how badly Michelle had been behaving, and didn't want her to feel any more embarrassed by saying she was thinking of how D.J. had reacted when lecturing the last time. So, he said, "She's heard how bad Stavros is. I guess she's settling it with him for her own piece of mind."

"Yeah, I guess you're right. So now he'll start being good, huh?"

"You have my word on it," Michelle pledged.

"Well that's good enough for me. I'm just glad to be home right now, with the people who love me no matter what," he said, having finally come around, after considering the thought of a year-long Asia tour, to realizing that being home with his family was what mattered most, whatever he was called.

Melina gave him a hug. "We're glad, too. We missed you...Daddy," she said weakly, trying it out to see how it sounded.

He noticed right away. "Wow, did you hear that; she called me 'Daddy!'" Jesse spouted excitedly.

"It still feels a little weird, huh?" Becky said soothingly. She could tell the girl wasn't totally comfortable with using the term yet.

"Yeah, 'cause I still remember my other daddy."

"Hey, I understand, Melina. These things are gonna take time to get used to." Jesse smiled. "Take as long as you want. I'm just glad you gave me the chance to hear it once. I guess I'm not doing near as bad a job as I thought of being a dad to you, huh?"

"You're doing great," Melina said, as they embraced warmly.

(Author's Note: I don't know if she'd call him that this early, even if she hadn't seen her other dad often. However, it's possible she might try it out, as I said she was doing. More on point, though, is that I wrote what seemed like a good episode as it might be written had they split the Olsen twins and had Mary-Kate as Melina like in "Greek Week." And, I think regardless of whether it's a bit fast, the writers would have had an episode, early in the 6th season, where the end is Jesse hearing "Daddy" from her. And, the end of his Tokyo tour sounds like a very logical time. One more MU story will follow, where she helps Sam from RKORadio's Sam series.)