Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Alternative Season 9

1. Some Things Will Never Change
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Since some books seem to be TV Universe because characters are a bit closer to TV selves (Michelle still more like Jesse, though a lot better than earlier, for instance) or because of calendar conflicts, it's clear D.J. commuted to a local college, likely San Francisco State (one book has D.J.'s college seem much like it, and they'd have the TV, radio, etc. back in the late '70s) like Danny & Joey did. Here's how I might start a season 9 - except one part about the change in S.A.D.D. is only in retrospect now, as the change mentioned was made in 1997 - making reference to those books that are more TVU, too, where she's still a bit more like Jesse than in most books, yet there are changes. (Two are noted here. She'd never have time for all the extra work for an All-Star team while class president in books. And, the tap dancing one shows her being just a bit more like Jesse than she usually is in books - with Denise replacing Mandy quite easily . A couple others not mentioned also show that.)

Some Things Will Never Change

Thirteen-year-old Stephanie Tanner was sitting in the bedroom she shared with her younger sister, and talking to her best friend, Gia.

Eight-year-old Michelle - soon to be in fourth grade, as she was born several weeks before the December cutoff date for entering school in California - merrily skipped into the room. "Would you like your hair done? D.J.'s doing mine." D.J. was eighteen and going to San Francisco State this year for the first time.

"No. Sounds like fun. Just don't make it as perfect as your Uncle Jesse's," Gia said.

Danny's brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis - who later married Danny's co-host Rebecca Donaldson and had two twin boys, Nicky and Alex, three - and Danny's best friend from school Joey Gladstone had helped raise Stephanie, Michelle, and eighteen-year-old D.J. since the girls' mother died in an auto accident. He was crazy about keeping his hair perfect.

"Watch he doesn't overhear you, Gia; he hates to be teased about that," Stephanie said.

Gia relented. "He's got enough stuff to make fun of; like his love of Elvis. Or, how macho he is." Gia talked down to Michelle as she continued. "That means he acts like a really tough guy and he's scared to let his feelings show."

"I know what it means. He's not scared of anything," Michelle boasted.

"That's just it," Gia told her. "He acts like nothing bothers him. That's been my whole problem; I never thought about others' feelings because I didn't want to seem vulnerable. That's why I told your sister to stand a boy up, for instance; it's what I would have done." Gia looked directly into Michelle's eyes. "You have feelings though, don't you?" Michelle said of course she did. "Do yourself a favor. Don't take after your Uncle Jesse." She turned to Stephanie as Michelle left. "Well, Tanner, after her horse riding accident you wanted me to be nice and help people more. How was that?"

"Well..." Stephanie was unsure what to say, so she let it slide for a little while. In a way it was good advice, because being too much of a rebel or going overboard with the macho image was bad. Jesse did hold things inside too much at times. On the other hand, Gia had dissed their Uncle Jesse.

"Hey, Deej, you got a minute?" Stephanie asked a few days later as she and Gia entered D.J.'s bedroom.

"Just a second," she said, carefully braiding their younger sister Michelle's hair in a very fancy way. "I asked Michelle if there was anything special she wanted to do with me before I start college, since I'll be busier." She finished the second braid. "So, I've been fixing her hair real fancy quite a bit lately."

"Isn't San Francisco State your dad's old school?" Gia asked Stephanie and D.J..

"Yep. He had to accept at someplace close because he and our mom were so close." Their mom, Pam, died when D.J. was ten, Stephanie five, and Michelle a baby. Michelle had been looking in the mirror, but now D.J. turned her around and smiled as she said, "Not only is it a great journalism school, if I go into that instead of nursing, I told Dad going where he went was his reward for not pressuring me. And, Michelle, I don't care how busy I get, if you have any problems with him pushing you to do something, you come to me and I'll take care of things. Understand?" She said it in a friendly, loving way, but with a hint of insistence, too. "I don't want you riding off someplace again like at that horse jumping contest last spring!"

"Okay. What would you have done?" Michelle wondered, trying to see if Gia's advice worked. Maybe handling things like D.J. would be better.

Stephanie spoke while D.J. was thinking. "I can see D.J. scolding Dad and Elizabeth's mom." She shook her finger and tried to sound authoritative. "'Listen to you two, you sound like a couple spoiled children! Now you shake hands and be friendly, or we're turning this jumping contest around and going right home!'"

Gia concurred. "I can see your sister saying that."

"She'd do it, too," Michelle said, recalling the fight the two adults had had over which child was better, but also how D.J. had handled her a few times when Michelle was a bit wild and the men weren't doing anything.

D.J. thought about a few times she'd gotten in Danny's face because he'd been acting too strict; she'd done it to Jesse and Joey, too. Sometimes they'd been right a little, but went too far, like when they eavesdropped on her at a drive-in on a date. However, as Gia had been told, sometimes D.J. was in the right, even if she'd not been as respectful as she could have been.

"Yeah, I've matured over the years, but Steph's right. When I was younger, I'd have done just that. And might have last spring, if I'd known how bad it was."

Michelle looked lovingly at her, glad someone would always stand up for her. "It's nice when you're just my sister. But, I almost like it better when you're like a mom." Though when that included punishing Michelle, while she understood and accepted it, it was a little embarrassing. So, she left out that part. Danny hadn't punished Michelle till she was almost four, and Michelle would have been far worse had someone not set limits, with how lax Danny and the others were before then, and even afterward a few times.

Jesse entered with Nicky and Alex. He'd overheard as he came from their attic apartment and talked with Joey, who lived on the second floor. "I know the feeling, munchkin," he told Michelle. "D.J. reminds me so much of your mom, my big sis, sometimes. Hey, good luck with orientation today."

"Yeah, don't worry, Deej, you'll make lots of great friends. It'll really be interesting," Joey added.

Jesse looked askance at him, recalling advice Joey had given to Michelle before Kindergarten. "Yeah, what'll really be interesting if she talks like Bullwinkle."

D.J. spoke up. "Hey, that's what helped Michelle get her memory back. Well, it was how Steph helped her after that that made her feel comfortable and remember her this time, but you get the picture." Michelle had fallen off her horse and gotten amnesia for a short time while riding out on the trail to avoid the pressure Danny had put on her. "She remembered Steph had helped her so much some other time when she was scared and in a big place with a bunch of strangers."

"Yeah. I wandered off 'cause I tried to be too much like Uncle Jesse." Jesse smiled proudly. He'd been her mother figure since she was a baby. "But, all being like him gets me is trouble."

Jesse's smug look disappeared. "Well, I know I haven't always been the best role model..."

"I want to be just like you from now on, D.J.."

Jesse looked downcast; he's been so proud to be the "mother figure" upon moving in, to be the one Michelle turned to for everything. It hurt to think she didn't want to have him as a role model anymore.

Suddenly, Kimmy Gibbler barged in; Danny and Becky were doing their show, and Joey had left the door unlocked after letting Gia in to see Stephanie.

Kimmy was D.J.'s best friend, and annoying to most of the others in the family; she was also quite dumb and strange. The fact she was carrying a football helmet with her didn't seem all that unusual, considering it was Kimmy.

"Daddy, can we stay?" Nicky asked.

"We wanna hear Kimmy say something dumb," Alex added.

Jesse nodded. "You can enjoy the comedy show for a bit, then Joey and me have to get you two to your friend Cooper's while we tape an interview for our radio show."

"Hey, Deej. I thought you got your own room years back to get more privacy." Turning to Michelle, Kimmy handed her the Bayview High football helmet. "Here, it's a football helmet my brother Garth used when he played high school football one year. I thought you could use it when you play this season. Only, try not to get it scratched where he got Joe Montana's autograph."

"Don't you think that's a bit big for Michelle's head?" Gia asked. "I got promoted for the first time in three years and even I know that."

"Yeah, but her dad's so worried about another concussion, I figured he could stuff the rest with cotton."

"Kimmy, our dad's taking Michelle to get a real soccer helmet later," Stephanie explained. "We were wondering if D.J. could get us a ride to the mall now, though. Dad said Michelle could go, too, and he could just pick us all up and drop us off before he takes her to look for helmets."

"Oh, that's right, you're going to freshman orientation." Kimmy ran over and hugged her. "I'm gonna miss you, Deej."

"Relax, I'm still living here." Danny hadn't wanted to spring for a room when she could live at home, but more importantly, she still wanted to help with Michelle, and while Gia had settled down a lot, she was still concerned about her, and wanted to help Stephanie do even better than Stephanie had been doing helping Gia. "I'll be helping with Michelle and Steph and Gia a lot, after all. I'll just be at the library a lot when I'm not in class. And, helping out with school projects." D.J. promised, "You and I can still study together anytime. You'll just have to ask me all the questions."

"So, I can help you study, and I don't have to learn anything? Why didn't you think of going to college years ago?" Kimmy asked before stopping to think for a moment. "Wait a minute - you said 'soccer.' I was telling that new family from England that moved into the area last month about Michelle, and they called it football."

Stephanie interrupted. "Kimmy, in the rest of the world, soccer is called football.'

"Really? So, do they call baseball golf, then?" All, especially Nicky and Alex, laughed - to the preschoolers, changing names like that was the easiest form of joke to understand. "What do they call basketball? Tag?"

Nicky tapped Alex and said, "Basketball, you're it!" He ran out of the room, with Alex following. Jesse and Joey trailed.

"Well, in that case," Kimmy opined, "I better get Garth's helmet back before he misses it. It's still not gonna be the same around here, Deej."

"I know. But, trust me, you and I will still be friends. And, you can still try to apply to beauty school."

"But, what if your new friends at college don't like me?"

Gia submitted that, "They have to. Everyone likes a good, clean laugh."

Later that day, Danny and Michelle were in the living room. "Awww, you look adorable in all that soccer gear. And that helmet, wow, it matches your uniform perfectly!"

"Dad," Michelle protested, removing her helmet, "I don't want to look adorable, I want to look professional."

"Sorry, honey. I know." He sighed and said, putting an arm around Michelle. "I just want you to be protected from any kind of injury. I know most soccer injuries are to the legs and ankles, and you don't even learn how to head a ball much at your age, anyway. But, still, if anything happened to you..."

"Did you have to kneel down and beg the league to give me a waiver to wear a helmet?"

"No; no, they said a written request would have been enough. But, the point is, I wrapped the entire apartment in padding when D.J. learned to walk. And, with your mom dying the way she did, even though it wasn't as bad as it looked last spring when you got hurt, anytime you're out even an instant is still a grade three concussion, and I wish there was some way to wrap you in foam padding when you go out there on the soccer field."

Becky entered from the front door, Jesse from the kitchen. Jesse and Becky kissed, and Danny thanked Becky for covering for him at the station, doing the work on the next day's show while he took off a little early to shop with Michelle.

"Hey, Munchkin," Jesse said tiredly. "You haven't seen the boys around, have you? I'm playin' Candyland with 'em, and I can't find 'em anywhere."

"Huh?" Becky asked. "Am I missing something?"

"They're changing the names of their games. Candyland is what they call Hide and Seek," Michelle explained. "Dad, I'll be fine. D.J. told me I'm supposed to come out of the game if I have even the slightest headache."

"D.J. told you that, huh?" Jesse sat down. "I was hopin' to talk with you about that stuff. How you can really get hurt even if you don't know it, an' we don't want that to happen."

"I know. The doctor told me at my last checkup. Wanna see my new helmet?" Michelle put it back on.

"Wow, that looks great!" Jesse and Becky said.

Joey came downstairs. "Jess, the game's over, the boys decided to watch cartoons." A plastic hockey puck came flying down at them from above, and hit Joey on the head. "Which is apparently now their term for playing hockey."

"I saw that," Becky said with a laugh. The boys stopped playing when they saw her, and they and Becky ran gleefully toward each other.

While Becky was walking into the kitchen with the twins and learning about their day, D.J. came in. "Hey, how was orientation?" Danny asked.

"Great; I got all my classes, and figured out where the important buildings are. Don't worry, Dad, the cafeteria's way down on the list. That's one more reason I didn't take room and board; I can buy some meals there, but I love your cooking."

"And you're going with Steve again," Joey added. D.J. admitted that that was part of it.

"Look at my new helmet," Michelle said. Showing it off, she asked, "D.J., what if I'm the only player who wears one?"

"Aw, come on, munchkin, you won't be the only one," Jesse said. "I mean, even if you are, so what, it's for your own good."

"Sorry, Uncle Jesse. I'm not going to be some macho kid. I have feelings, too." Michelle went upstairs with D.J. to talk.

"Huh?" Jesse asked Danny, "Where's she gettin' that kind of talk?"

"From Gia. Gia's still got enough of an attitude she tells Michelle exactly how things look. Now that she hangs out with Steph and Michelle more, Michelle's starting to assert her independence more. And, thankfully, Gia's matured enough that she can point Michelle in the direction of her sisters. Steph's been doing that, too."

"Danny's right," Joey said, "it's just like a couple years ago when Steph insisted that D.J. take her to the store because they were looking at..." He studied Danny's face. "Well...necessities."

Danny shook his head. "Thanks, Joey, it still doesn't make it feel any better. My girls are growing up so fast."

"Tell me about it," Jesse said. "You know, I used to be so proud of those 'famous talks' we'd have. I mean, I was just like Papouli. I could share my experiences, my successes, my failures, and I could do it in a way that made me sound like the wisest man in the world. Just like I always felt about Papouli, you know? That was really a big thing to me, back when she thought I could do anything, make any problem go away."

"I wish she'd come to me for something like worries about her helmet, too," Danny confessed. "But, I have to realize that she's starting to make her own decisions, be able to see more clearly who the best people are to go to for something like that. I sure didn't do a very good job of helping her with that horse jumping contest."

"Man, you gotta stop feeling bad about that; everything worked out okay," Jesse said. "She wasn't even in any danger; it was that stupid hospital and having to wait for hours in the emergency room just to have someone tells us later she woke up woozy in the ambulance and when they said she 'regained consciousness' they meant she was finally fully alert and coherent on that 'Glasgow coma scale' thing."

Danny promised, "Oh, I don't feel bad anymore. If I did I'd be cleaning obsessively." He chuckled. "No, I guess it just taught me that I don't always do the right thing. She still turns to me for a lot of things. If Michelle feels better talking with D.J. about this, well, there are a lot worse people she could turn to than D.J.."

Joey concurred, doing one of his impressions. "Danny's right. Take Yosemite Sam, for instance. I mean, do we really want Michelle to go around saying, 'I'm the roughest, toughest gunslinger north, south, east, aaaaand west of the Pacos!'? Of course not."

Jesse promised to think about it, and he and Joey left to do their radio show. As they left, Kimmy walked in the door.

"D.J.'s upstairs counseling someone," Danny joked.

"Already! She said she didn't think she'd start getting involved in volunteer efforts for her first few weeks! Hey, Blondo, are you sure there isn't anything I can help you with?" Kimmy asked, as Stephanie and Gia came down the stairs.

"Were you in Students Against Driving Drunk with D.J.?" Gia asked. Kimmy said she was. "Stephanie had some really good ideas for this school year. In fact, she thinks we should work to get it renamed Students Against Destructive Decisions."

"Gia's right; it's the one club she was wiling to be in last year, and she's really made great strides. We've been talking with some people, and come up with some goals for the club that I think are really within reach. We'd like to help students understand how to consider consequences and make good decisions. Gia knows what kind of path she was headed down before I met her. And, I still remember how scared I was when D.J. didn't eat for three days before she started eating regular again," Stephanie finished.

Kimmy shook her head. "You two are just too far ahead of me!"

Stephanie and Gia left, saying they were headed for another friend's house. Becky entered with Nicky and Alex. "We're going down to the park to play Ping Pong," Becky said. "With a Frisbee," she added as they went out the front door to get into her car.

"I think Hairboys twins are beyond me, too. Or, maybe they're just weird." She looked at Danny. "I know; you've always thought the same thing about me."

"Kimmy, D.J. and you have been best friends since you moved next door. And, you were friends before that." D.J. and Michelle came downstairs. "You two will always be friends. Deej, remember the time you were playing cops and robbers when you were nine? Kimmy was pretending to be a bad guy and tried to tie you up?" Danny asked, trying to lighten the mood a little, even though it would be embarrassing for Kimmy.

"Yeah." D.J. told Michelle, "I convinced her to untie me because her 'boss' had only said to tie me up, and never told her to leave me tied up." Michelle giggled.

"See what I mean? Gia's right; the only thing I'm good for is comic relief. Of course, it's better than nothing."

D.J. had to admit, "When we were really little I was your friend out of pity sometimes, it's true. But, once we became best friends, we could do all sorts of things together, and have fun, and laugh our heads off sometimes. I really grew quickly to enjoy being friends with you."

"It did turn into something special. Thanks for having pity on me back then, Deej. I really needed a friend like you. And, I guess I still do."

"Of course. I'll just be volunteering to help even more people because San Francisco State has so many opportunities for that. There are lots of people who need that help," D.J. said.

"I want to help people like that, too." Michelle talked about several kids who she thought could use some help or guidance in starting to be nicer.

About a week later, Danny and Michelle came home from her first soccer practice. "Hey, Michelle, how did it go?" Becky asked, looking up from the book she was reading Nicky and Alex.

"Great. This year, I want to make the traveling team that plays over the winter and spring." She would get onto that all-star squad, though as the last pick.

Danny knelt down and said, "Now, honey, I'm not putting any pressure on you. If this is what you want, though, then I say go for it."

"Of course it is. I'd like to be the best at something. Is D.J. home?"

"She's in her room with Kimmy," Becky said. "Jesse and Joey should be home in a few minutes, they're bringing pizza."

"Great, I'm starving." She ran upstairs.

D.J. and Kimmy were studying in D.J.'s room. "Now, Kimmy...Oh, hey, Michelle, how'd it go?"

"Great. I'll tell you after I get my stuff off," she said, referring to her pads and helmet.

Once she left, D.J. said, "Okay, Kimmy, now I'm going to need to start learning this stuff early. Let's try this vocabulary I wrote down," D.J. said, covering her eyes as she handed Kimmy a sheet of paper.

"Fine." Kimmy looked at it, and handed the paper back to her. "What's this word say?"

"Kimmy, if I look at the word I'll see the definition."

"See? How am I going to help you study? I need to ask you what this stuff is first."

"Okay, maybe the really scientific stuff is a little rough, but you can still give me the definition, and I'll try to say the word. And you can ask me other stuff."

"I guess." Kimmy thought for a second. "It's really like learning a new language."

"Sure. And, you had trouble with some of the stuff we learned before, anyway."

"You're right. I guess it'll be like old times." Kimmy rose. "And even better, I don't have any books to take home, or have to copy anything. This could turn out to be pretty cool."

She left, and D.J. went over to the younger girls' room, where Michelle was telling Stephanie and Gia about her first practice. "They put me with the nine and ten years olds since I'll be nine in November, but Dad didn't seem worried," she said.

"Are you?" Stephanie asked.

"Not as long as Dad doesn't embarrass me by going over safety rules all the time."

Gia agreed. "If I was your big sister, if you got hit in the head at all I'd come out on the field and pull you out of the game myself." Michelle gave her a look. "What? Stephanie's always telling me how worried she was after your concussion."

"That's not a bad idea," Stephanie joked. She could get very anxious, and always needed to know what was going on, even now she was excitable, just like her late mom. So, she was cautious when it came to these things.

"Come on, guys," D.J. said, "Michelle assured us that she'd be careful. She's going to report any problem at all if she gets hit, and they don't even head the ball much. Dad talked to the coach; she's very good about making sure players come out of the game after any sign they got hurt. I'm sure that won't be a problem." And, it wasn't; Michelle wouldn't have any other concussions.

Jesse popped his head in. "Pizza's here."

"Great," Stephanie said. She went to wash up, while Gia left.

"D.J. was right, Uncle Jesse," Michelle told him. "The kids thought my helmet really looked cool."

Jesse wandered into the room. "I knew they would." He sat on the floor at the foot of Mich4elle's bed. "So, how come you didn't want to talk to me or your dad about it?"

"Cause my sisters understand me. If you lost your memory you wouldn't have nightmares like I've had a couple times."

"Yeah, that is pretty scary, isn't it?"

"Steph's always there for me. And, D.J. even says it's okay to cry if you get hurt. I like being a big girl. I'd never want to be a crybaby. But, it's nice to show my feelings, too. Like Abby did when she twisted her ankle today; it really hurt."

Jesse invited her to sit on his lap. She did. "Well, yeah, I mean, you can't just keep everything bottled up. I guess I do act a little tougher than I need to, huh? I mean, you can't really tough nothin' out like a man, if you're a girl. And, even if you weren't just cause there's no crying in baseball like that movie says doesn't mean there can't be in soccer."

"There is crying in baseball if you really mean tug of war," Michelle pointed out. "That's what Nicky called baseball when he skinned his knee." The others were just glad the twins were tired of that - at least for now - and calling games by regular names again.

D.J. sat on Stephanie's bed. "Michelle, I'm glad you want to mature and be nicer and think of others more. But, our Uncle Jesse's done a lot of good things, too."

"Yeah. It's just, in a way, you've had to help me grow up, too," Jesse acknowledged.

"I guess so." Michelle thought for a minute. "But, Gia said being like you caused her even more problems." She really wanted to avoid that, though it would be a hard habit to break. A couple months later, when she twisted her ankle a little and didn't know how to explain that it felt better than the others feared, she wound up sneaking out with Denise to go to a tap dance tryout, for instance.

Jesse agreed. "Yeah, like that time even Steph said not to cry after Papouli died. And, I'm sure you figure things would have worked out better if you'd done whatever D.J. would have done at that horse jumping contest. Whereas with me, I'd have probably done the exact same thing you did, just quitting and goin' out on that trail."

"It caused me more than that. You say rules are meant to be broken. But, DJ. always made sure I learned to be good!" She lowered her head, thinking of how tough D.J. had had to get at times.

"I know," he said tenderly. "But, remember how I told you she was bein' just like your mom was with me, and how I pulled that Dr. Dare stunt?"

Michelle blushed a little. "Yeah. I asked if our mom was gonna spank you." D.J. had never had to, and never would have hurt Michelle's bottom, just her feelings. But, Michelle didn't know that. D.J. had only mentioned it because - while the men would never consider it - Michelle had gotten so good a couple of times at manipulating the men, especially Danny, who went through spells where he wouldn't enforce limits.

"That's the time. You remember what I said then? I said if you really wanted to be a big girl, and do what was right, you listen to your big sister. Just like I did. 'Cause I wasn't always the best authority about some stuff; but she really tried hard to be."

D.J. sat beside Jesse on the floor. "Uncle Jesse's right. That's a great example of a time when he did have good advice. And, there have been lots of others, too. I think you're just growing up, and starting to realize you don't always make good choices yourself."

"Yeah," Jesse said, "and that's great you wanna change. In fact, that's what we've always hoped you girls would do, is grow into caring, responsible adults."

"Go ahead and try to be like me. I haven't always done the right thing, but I think I'm helping you to turn out pretty well," D.J. said.

Michelle climbed into her lap and hugged her, blushing slightly as she muttered, "Even when I was my baddest."

"Just like Mom would be with Uncle Jesse." D.J. looked Michelle in the eye. "But, don't totally dismiss Uncle Jesse. You can stand to lose a bit of the attitude you've got from him, and be a bit more polite, although you're way better than that time around Disneyworld." She blushed a little, but D.J. knew that had been on Michelle's mind, so she didn't feel bad bringing it up. "You've obeyed so well the last couple years. And, you've got the great parts of our Uncle Jesse, too. I can just see you sitting my own kids on your lap and having one of those 'famous talks' with them years from now. Can't you, Uncle Jesse?"

"You bet. You are gonna be the best at those talks. I bet you'll even be as good as Papouli."

"As good as that? Wow!"

"Yeah, someday you might be." Jesse confessed, "I think I felt a little down the past few days 'cause I wondered if you'd ever listen to me a lot again. I kinda liked the idea of bein' able to give those talks like Papouli would. But, you know, sittin' here talkin' with you, I've come to realize maybe that's not important. What's more important than you listening when I try to imitate Papouli, is that you grow into a wonderful, happy, and healthy young lady. And, to tell you the truth, I think imitating D.J.'s a great way to go about that." D.J. beamed proudly.

"Okay. But, I'll still be your munchkin. And if D.J. says what you say is okay, I'll listen to you. Capiche?" Michelle asked.

"Capiche," Jesse said with a laugh, as they hugged.