Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Melina Universe

05 (final) * Chicago Reunion
Written by: Doug Fowler

When last we left (the epilogue at the end of "Mathcmakers") Danny & Vicki had gotten back together at the end of the MU version of "Claire and Present Danger," gotten engaged on Valentine's Day again (MU's "Dateless In San Francisco"), and married in the finale. Now, 8 years and a few months later, the family is going to Chicago to see Joey in a comedy special, and also a Cubs playoff game. What follows is a collage of hopefully entertaining scenes I had in mind, plus a crossover with Two Of A Kind as continued from Episode 3 of the MU, with RKORadio letting me use his idea of Carrie marrying Kevin's brother, and what could be part of a reunion movie for this universe, though I couldn't think of much else for a plot, as I'm busy with lots of other stuff and wanted to get this out of the way,.

So, it's Ashley as Michelle and Mary-Kate as Melina, along with them as Mary-Kate and Ashley Burke. Confusing, huh? :-) Cub fans, rejoice, for the MU TOAK universe holds a special surprise - well, okay, it happens in 2003 even in the regular "Full House" TV and book Universe (See "Flight of the Knuckleball for how it happens, as Steve Tanner's presence on the pitching staff makes the difference"), but still...

"I got them, girls!" Kevin Burke declared happily as he ran into their Chicago home. "Cub playoff tickets!"

"Oh boy!" shouted Mary-Kate, Ashley, and Samantha Burke, almost in unison, as they ran downstairs. Samantha added, "How did you manage to get so many?"

"So...many? I don't understand," their dad asked, suddenly very confused.

Ashley explained. "Dad, the Tanners are coming out to Chicago."

"What?!" Kevin got nervous, trying to figure out how to handle the situation; he was incredibly orderly, just like Danny Tanner - except he wasn't the neat freak Danny was. "How many of them?"

"Well, let's see," Mary-Kate said. "There's Mr. Tanner, of course, and his wife, Vicki, and their four kids..."

"Right. Vicki used to work here in Chicago, and they had a long-distance relationship for a while, then they got back together what, late in '94?"

Ashley concurred with her dad. "Yeah. So there's the three girls from his first marriage, to Pam, who died back in 1987, when Michelle was a baby..."

"Not to mention the fact D.J., the oldest, is married now and has a three-year-old girl named Pammy."

"Right, Mary-Kate," Samantha interrupted, "then Mr. Tanner and his new wife had a baby back in 1997, so that's..."

"A lot," Kevin said, his head spinning. "Okay, I don't know if we can get enough for this round, but maybe for the next anyone else coming?"

Samantha nodded. "Remember Melina, she and Michelle helped find me and then you adopted me back in '93?" She was a year younger than Kevin's twin girls, Mary-Kate and Ashley.

"Okay, so Melina's coming, too...with her parents?" Kevin was suddenly getting flustered - he was glad he didn't have to organize this huge party. It sounded more like a class trip.

"Right," Ashley said. "Jesse and Becky Katsopolis, and their twin boys, Nicky and Alex, along with Melina and the other two kids they adopted later."

"Seven more besides the Tanners?!" His eyes widened.

"Except these were Bay Area kids, not from Greece like Melina was before she came to live with Jesse, who was her godfather," Mary-Kate finished.

Kevin nodded slowly. "Right ...anyone else?"

"Well, there's Joey Gladstone, but he's coming with his wife and kids separately," Ashley explained. "He's doing a week of comedy shows out here when the next round of playoffs is on; that's why the others are all coming out. He figured though it was a little late, it would make a nice fifth anniversary trip for him and his wife. They had one boy themselves, and of course the two from her first husband, who died back in '94." She told her dad what week that was.

"Oh, I don't need to get playoff tickets for this round for them? But next round, when they become available, let's see, if the Giants beat the Marlins we'd host games 3 through 5, but if the Marlins win and we beat the Braves we'd have home field, which 6 and 7. Got it." He paused. "But wait, if they came out very late Saturday and the Giants win, they could see a game 4 Sunday, too - unless there's a rainout..."

"Whoa, Dad," Samantha said, holding up her hands, "don't you think we need to beat the Braves first?'

"Oh. Right. Of course. We are the Cubs. Which means we'll probably lose, anyway. So, why am I worried? We probably won't even see the second round."

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Kimmy Gibbler, D.J.'s often very weird best friend, entered the Tanner home. D.J. and Steve were visiting with their three-year-old, Pammy. "Hey, Deej; I left a message, I figured you'd be over here. We managed to get the bartender lost."

"Kimmy, what are you talking about?" D.J. asked as she looked up from a book she was reading Pammy.

"Why, the party for the baseball playoffs. Duane was in charge of refreshments, and I was in charge of getting a deejay. Duane told me 'Lou's the bartender,' so I figured he wanted me to lose him."

"Kimmy, I think you'd better talk to Duane. I'm sure he meant his name was Lou, not that you should lose the bartender." D.J. explained the confusion for her little girl.

Kimmy got one of her confused, surprised looks. "I didn't think of that. I better call Duane and ask him to pick up the bartender. I dropped him off in downtown San Jose." She pulled out her cell phone. "Should I ask Duane to check on entertainment for next week, if the Giants get that far?"

"Actually, Suzie got off from her nursing job, so we're all flying out to Chicago now for vacation and to see Joey's act," D.J. said. "Joey, Suzie, and their kids are flying out separately."

Danny and his son, Marcus, came in from throwing a football around in the back yard. "Hey, Mr. T.," Kimmy said. "I heard about your vacation. Sorry I won't be able to go with you like in the old days, now that I'm hitched."

"We'll get by without you." Danny studied the book Pammy was reading. It was one Samantha had made on a computer and sent to the Tanners, with characters with different shaped heads - Charlie Circle, Sammy Square, Rickey Rectangle, and so on. "Oh, look, what adorable talking polygons."

Pammy closed the book. She knew from D.J.'s explanation that words had confused Kimmy. And, she'd heard a joke - told by Michelle's boyfriend, Jeff - about the "gone" in "polygon." So, she advised, "Keep them away from Kimmy. She'll think they should be gone."

"Only if one was named Polly," D.J. assured her.

Days later, Danny was on the phone with Kevin. "I got the playoff tickets. We had to buy seven ourselves, my three girls, their nanny, and now my brother and his wife, Carrie, will be here," Kevin said. "People couldn't believe how many tickets we wanted."

"Good. You got my money order for our share?" He did. "Down the left field line in foul territory sounds like a good place. Are there lots of foul balls hit down that way?"

Kevin wasn't sure. "I suppose some in your family could catch one; we'll practically have a whole section. I guess Marcus is really excited to get one, huh?"

"Well, yes, but it's not that. I'm just worried about someone getting hit by one," Danny admitted.

Michelle snickered as she overheard her dad on the phone. She shook her head as she carried her suitcase down and sat it beside the Hale family luggage. "Your grandpa is so protective," she said to Pammy, who was "feeding" a doll her bottle as she sat on one of the bags.

"What's that mean?"

"It just means he worries about safety a little too much sometimes. And other things."

Marcus ran in the door holding a video camera. "You just saw D.J. and Steve putting stuff in the van while Steve tried to eat a sandwich; now let's hear what Pammy has to say. Pammy, say something." He pointed the camera at her.


"Isn't she cute? This is Marcus Tanner," he said pointing it at himself, "signing off till the next scene, which will be the arrival of the Katsopolis family." He turned it off. "I love making videos."

Stephanie entered from the kitchen, and reminisced about doing the video for Jesse and Becky's wedding. "You take after Dad in a huge way, Marcus."

The boy, a couple months shy of seven, knew everything about such equipment from following Danny around. It helped, of course, that the camera was a very simple one. He quickly turned it on when Vicki entered. "This is a special news flash - Mom is back from dropping off our flat-coated retriever, Midnight, at my friend's house. Say something, Mom."

"Something," she said as she kissed Danny. "All ready to go?" He was. "Good, I'll make sure everything's turned off. Are we sure we don't need anything else?"

Marcus was complaining that Pammy had used the same joke moments earlier, while doing an editorial. Danny watched for a second, and then said, "Maybe more batteries for the video camera wouldn't hurt."

"This will be the first time you met Samantha," D.J. told Pammy as they waited for their flight to board. An immense amount of carry-on luggage was around them. "Your grandpa and I helped find her a good home out in Chicago where she was adopted. She used to live here."

"Why was she 'dopted?"

D.J. tried to think of how to explain. Becky chimed in with, "The couple that had her just couldn't take care of her very well. So, someone else who loved her very much offered to take care of her instead."

"Thanks, Aunt Becky," D.J. said as Pammy thought about that for a second. "I wasn't really sure how to explain that. Just a few months ago, saying adoption meant you came from the Mommy's heart instead of her tummy was enough to satisfy her."

"Well, I've got the experience of talking about it with our kids more," she remarked.

"Did you take her there?" Pammy asked.

Steve answered this time, remembering that something happened to Kevin's wife that Pammy might need assurance about. "No, honey, what happened was, the family that had her had some cousins out in Chicago. The cousins came out here. And, a couple years later the mom died, just like your Grandma Pam is in Heaven? Remember us telling you about Grandma Pam?"

Pammy remembered hearing about Danny's wife. "I got her name."

"That's right Pammy, you remember Mommy telling that story, huh? But, I'm going to always try to be here for you," D.J. comforted her. Only then did they realize Marcus was filming the discussion. "And if I'm not, you'll have even more tapes than we did of our mom."

"Does she remember us?" Pammy wanted to know.

"We've seen her a couple times, but the whole family hasn't," Stephanie said. "She's adjusted really well to life out there."

Melina looked up from some reading - she and Michelle were seniors, and had a fair amount of homework to do to make up for the few days they'd be gone from school that week; when the Cubs got home field they decided to go out late Tuesday, after school, and be gone Wednesday through Friday. "I helped her, too. It wasn't a huge problem going out there. Some of the worst kids might have made a few jokes about her being from someplace else, but all you get is teasing in first grade."

"Yeah, bullies only like to be physical. If someone's different, they aren't physical because of that. Then, they just throw bread at them," Steve said, referring to a story he'd heard about Stephanie, who shot him a look.

"That's not bad. They throw rice at weddings," Jesse and Becky's youngest two chimed in at almost the same time.

Michelle tried to get the younger ones away from thinking about how Stephanie had teased a boy named Walter. "Anyway, Samantha wouldn't have had trouble even in high school, moving to a new place. They'd just figure she was an exchange student; they never get picked on because they're from someplace else, after all. From what we've seen, bullies never pick on kids who carry themselves with confidence."

Pammy stood up and tried to pick herself up with her arms. "I can't carry myself."

"What she means," Melina said while putting her papers away and standing, "is that mean kids at that age pick on kids they think are easy targets. The ones who shuffle along instead of picking their feet up. And, they look down a lot; they don't smile."

"That's right, if she moved in high school, she'd still walk with a smile on her face," Jesse remarked.

Melina picked her books up before putting them in her carry-on. "She would move with confidence. And, she'd hold her head up high instead of looking at the ground. Like this." Melina carried her books in a large circle like she had all through school, with a smile on her face and her head up high, taking confident strides. She came back to Pammy and said, "That's what it means to carry yourself with confidence."

"What if I walk like this?" Pammy stood, cocked her head to one side, put her thumbs in her mouth, and stuck her tongue out before walking in a circle.

"Then you attract silly boys like Jeff," Melina joked, looking at Michelle. "Of course, he's turned out pretty nice, huh?"

"He sure has. Before we left, he asked to the prom in the spring," Michelle said excitedly.

"All right!" Melina and she gave each other high fives. "Now we can double date. Brandon asked me, too. It's kind of early, but when you've been going with someone for over a year - a lot longer for you - I guess it happens that way."

"Yeah. And, we've only got seven more months till the prom," Michelle said.

The girls kept talking about the prom, graduation, and so on as the family boarded the plane. Marcus stared in awe out the window as the plane took off. Danny turned around, hearing them discuss prom dresses, and how bad it would seem if they wore the same dress as someone else. "Why is that a problem?" Danny spouted. "Brides' maids all wear the same dress."

Vicki turned from observing the fascinated look on their son's face, and told Danny, "You never change, do you?"

"Well, it does seem a little odd. I guess at a wedding, you have them all wanting to give the bride center stage, but still..."

Steve interrupted. "Hey, when I asked D.J. if she was going to wear the same dress as some other girl she took the whole rack in to try on."

Nicky asked Alex and their younger sister Melanie, "How about sports? They all wear the same uniform."

"Yeah, I know, it's weird," Alex said.

"They don't mind since they'll get dirty anyway," Melanie said, acting like she was sure of the answer.

"Good point, the dirt will be in different patterns on the uniforms," Alex realized.

Nicky told Michelle and Melina, "If you wear the same dress as some other girl, just get yours dirty."

"Guys, I think you're giving your Uncle Danny heart palpitations talking about getting them dirty," Jesse joked.

The huge reunion which took place after the plane landed in Chicago was very exciting. "Remember when I came out to visit you that one weekend, the summer after we got engaged?" Danny asked Vicki.

Vicki smiled broadly. "How could I forget? It was a little over ten years ago," she told the others, "and Danny and I went to Mike Ditka's restaurant. Of course, I figured he'd get the steak, but he managed to show me a way to eat ribs without getting your hands too messy!"

Mary-Kate was stunned. "How did he do that?"

Danny said it was simple. "Once you get enough sauce from the ribs, wipe some on your fries as you eat them."

"That's a good idea, Mr. Tanner, that way you don't accidentally eat part of the napkin because it's got so much sauce on it." Everyone looked oddly at Steve. "What? I only did it twice."

"It was only one little piece," D.J. assured everyone.

"So, where's Joey and his family?" Ashley asked.

"Right here," Joey said, coming from a different terminal. "Hey, it's great to be here in Chicago, home of the tallest man-made thing in the world. No, I'm not talking about the Sears Tower; I'm talking about the pile of money Michael Jordan made from shoe contracts."

"Actually, if you count the point on top, there is at least one taller structure in Asia," Kevin pointed out.

"Dad," Samantha remarked, "you're spoiling the point of the joke."

"That's okay - I'm sure the Professor would agree that Jordan's pile of money is even higher," Joey commented.

"I can't wait for the game in a few days," Becky said.

Michelle rubbed her stomach. "I can't wait for those Wrigley Field chocolate malts Samantha tells me about in her e-mails," she declared.

"Let's have an eating contest," Nicky challenged Alex.

"Boys, do you have to be so competitive?" Melanie asked impatiently.

"Sure we do," Alex said. "We're twins."

"Daddy says just as long as we don't challenge Steve," Nicky added.

"The boys do play football," Jesse reported. "Michelle probably told you all about that. They both play wide receiver." Noticing Becky's concerned look, he continued. "I think my wife is just starting to accept the fact that they could get hit by some big, huge linebacker."

Becky breathed heavily. "Jess, please, the safeties and corners are big enough, don't make me think about linebackers, they look twice as big. I can see one of the boys standing up to a kid his size, but one of them could get creamed by a 200-pound kid."

"Come in," Jesse said, "they're tough, why I'm sure each of them could stand up to one of them 200-pounders."

"Oh, look," Melanie screamed, seeing a celebrity. "I can't believe it's her!" The schoolgirl knocked both Nicky and Alex over as she ran to meet her favorite actress. The boys collapsed to the ground in a heap, bumping heads.

"Ow!" both said loudly.

Rubbing his head as several of the party walked over to where Melanie had seen Dakota, Nicky said, "Mom, the linebackers aren't the ones you have to worry about."

"You should see her when we wrestle," Alex added. "We might have to stop letting her win."

"I heard that," Melanie shouted.

After an enjoyable night of comedy, the next day the families spent time sightseeing again, enjoyed a late lunch at Harry Caray's restaurant, and got to Wrigley Field early for the game. They sat along the left field line, toward the outfield, anxious to catch a foul ball. They watched the game with great anticipation until the top of the eighth, when a Florida batter hit a routine foul ball very close to the field of play.

"No, don't touch it," Kevin Burke said as he blocked a fan's attempt to go after a foul ball. Danny assisted in blocking fans as the Cubs left fielder reached into the stands to catch the ball for the second out.

The Burkes' friend Carrie was stunned. "Are you crazy, he could have caught that ball! Every fan dreams of catching a foul ball, especially in a game like this."

"We're aware of that tradition," Kevin said, "but if the fielder misses it, who knows what could have happened."

"Oh, come on, there was nobody on base, and the pitcher still could have gotten him out," Carrie said, flailing a hand.

"One can never be too careful," Danny said.

"Oh, right. So you're telling me that if our left fielder doesn't catch that ball, a club being shut out 3-0 by a great pitcher would suddenly erupt for eight runs before two more men could make outs, one of our fielder's would make an error on a routine ball, and not only win this game easily, but come from behind the next night to win against one of the best pitching staffs in baseball?!"

"We're the Cubs, Carrie," Kevin shouted. "These things happen! It's just like the black cat that jinxed us back in 1969!"

The argument continued until the top of the 9th. The Marlins managed to get a run, but then...

"I don't believe it; we're about to witness baseball history," Mary-Kate exclaimed!

"Fifty-eight years without a pennant, and there's a ground ball to second, the throw to first...yes!" Ashley shouted. The entire crowd erupted in celebration, and began to storm the field.

Jesse had to say, "I think she's right, Kevin, look at the way they finished it off, of course they would have won."

"Okay, okay, let's just drop it; we won the pennant, that's what matters."

Samantha and the boy Mary-Kate and Ashley had hooked her up with gazed excitedly at the field. "This is so exciting. I always wondered what it would be like to witness history." He agreed.

"You've really helped her to become a fine young lady," Stephanie complimented Kevin's twins.

"Thanks," both said. Ashley added, "I think you guys could have done a great job yourselves."

D.J. agreed; they done so with Michelle, and helped with Melina, though she hadn't needed near the help Samantha had.

They would watch the Cubs win the World Series back home. For now, they celebrated a fabulous game and the excitement of being together as a family. Because as Stephanie remarked, the magic of having a wonderful, loving family like the two of theirs can make anything happen. Even a Chicago Cubs pennant.