Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Alternative Season 9

8. Going For The Gold
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Two books referenced, but it's TV universe. Late Feb. episode, one of six 9th season ones (2 just a scene) with Jesse, as John wanted phased out, though Jesse referenced in others of course). Steve signed for season 9, so fills D.J.'s role. Candace and Andrea would be in 4 - the opener (mentioned below), the finale ("Tanner All-Stars"), & maybe 1-2 around Christmas, as the opener films before college began. I had D.J. in at first, as Candace acted yet. You'll see what D.J. & Kimmy's lines would have been like, D.J. thanks to Steve, Kimmy thanks to Kelli, Michelle's soccer teammate. Also, a bit of the change from "Thank You For Being A Friend" shown. Caleb from "Same Place, New Faces."

Why 2 books are here: One, "The Problem With Pen Pals," includes a kids' show Michelle tries out for, and while it's not the main part of the story (which has Michelle matched with a pen pal from an overseas school via computer) it still fits very well here. It's likely the same in both universes. The situation is the same as the book. It's more likely Michelle takes loss easily in the Book Universe, but it's still rather likely in the TVU; she's lost the Jesse attitude, a carry-over from the 9th season opener, "Some Things Will Never Change." The other, "Doubles Or Nothing," had no room in the Book Universe calendar, Steph's not in the tennis club in any other book, and she, Gia, and Mickey work well in this one - Mickey replaces Darcy and Gia replaces Allie. It explains where Mickey went near the end. Yes, she's friends with Steph when we don't see, but there had to be a reason she doesn't hang out with them much.

Kelli played by the Olsen who isn't Michelle (they wanted to separate them for a season 9.)

Allusion to the 9th season and series finale, "Tanner All-Stars," too.

Going for the Gold

(Teaser - Boys and sports - Stephanie, Gia, Nicky, Alex)

Stephanie Tanner, fourteen, and her best friend Gia Mahan, fifteen and a half, were sitting in the room Stephanie shared with her younger sister, Michelle, nine. "Okay, we need a unique topic for our sports story. Any thoughts?"

"Not right now. My mind is on the boys."

Sephanie told herself not to roll her eyes at her best friend, who had been held back twice. "Gia, I know you struggle like our Uncle Jesse at first, but you have to focus."

"I know."

"It's a few weeks till March Madness, too early for a baseball preview, our school teams aren't that great; come on, help me think."

"I told you...boys."

At that moment, the Tanner girls' four-year-old cousins, Nicky and Alex, ran into the room playing a combination of football, baseball, and a few other things - all with an invisible ball, so they wouldn't break anything. They were the children of Jesse Katsopolis and Rebeca Donaldson. Their Uncle Jesse had moved in, along with their dad's best friend, Joey, to help raise Stephanie, Michelle, and D.J., now a freshman at San Francisco State who also still lived there, when their mother died.

"Like I said, I'm thinking about boys - those boys."

"I guess you really are learning what's important," Stephanie said, considering the bitter divorce in Gia's life and how bad of an attitude Gia had when they first met, a little over a couple years ago.

Stephanie spoke as she and Gia went downstairs. "Dad, do you have any sports ideas?"

Danny was enthused - he was always very involved in his girls' lives, and he was really hoping that they'd get more involved in school activities - especially sports. "I'm glad you mentioned sports. They really are fun topics." The talk show host - along with Becky - was a former sportscaster. "If a few things had gone differently, the 49ers might have got to the last four Super Bowls. For instance, Charles Haley left to go to the Cowboys just before they went to three of four. You know, you two really should go to more games; you're only young once."

"What was that, Dad?" Stephanie asked.

Danny was excited - he thought he was getting through to them with no effort. "Well, you can afford to be more active at school; D.J. had to help with Michelle more, but she managed to be in S.A.D.D., the school paper's editor in eighth, and valedictorian. So, you could certainly be in more than S.A.D.D. and your school paper. You don't have to have as many volunteer activities as D.J. at college; she still lives here, but at times it seems we see more of Steve."

"No, I mean about the 49ers - could they have really done what the Bills did?" Stephanie thought for a second. "In fact, if they did, they could have won."

"Hey, yeah, Tanner, your dad's right. And if they'd won that game against the Giants, they'd have maybe won three straight there."

"Let's do it." Stephanie and Gia ran off, and Danny sighed.

D.J. was in her first year at San Francisco State. Kimmy Gibbler, her annoying and dumb best friend - who was trying to get into beauty school - often helped her. D.J.'s boyfriend Steve and Michelle's soccer teammate Kelli came in the back door.

"Bye, D.J., thanks for the ride," Kelli called as she waved and Jesse came up from the basement studio.

"Steve, you're not goin' with them?" Jesse asked.

"Can't; they're going to the library. They don't have food," Steve quipped. What's wrong, Mr. Tanner," he asked Danny.

"Oh, it's Steph. Her rebellious phase is over, but she and Gia still aren't in near as much as I was in school. Or even D.J.."

"Maybe she feels you're putting too much pressure on her to be like D.J.," Steve suggested.

"I can't put pressure on her; I'm too thrilled she's going slow and courting Caleb," Danny said.

Kelli smiled. "Kimmy was talking about that. She said who wants a boyfriend where you've got someone staring at the two of you."

Steve smiled. "I've heard about how you'd stare at D.J. and her boyfriends."

"Hey, I would not stare, I would simply stop in for a minute and, well, investigate." He caught Jesse's look. "In a slightly awkward way sometimes."

"Is that what D.J. meant about looking for stray ketchup bottles?" Kelli asked. Steve nodded, recalling the story of D.J.'s thirteenth birthday party.

Danny held up his hands. "I admit, I got a little carried away. But, Steph and Caleb are having lots of fun. And, she and I both know you can have a fun, enjoyable relationship without it being all about looks," he said as Steve got something from the refrigerator.

Steve chuckled and grinned as Jesse looked at him and teased, "Yeah, it can be about food."

Joey came in from the living room. "Jess, I just got off the phone with the manager of the Smash Club; I thought you were still busy so I took a message."

"What's the message?"

"He's giving his two week notice."

"What?! That's impossible!"

"It's not impossible. It's not like he said I stopped eating," Steve quipped.

Jesse turned back to Joey, and hung his head. "Ah, I should have known it was coming. He said he wanted the job to build his resume toward a bigger gig elsewhere; he's had it about a year and now he's goin' somewhere bigger, huh?"

"He said he had an offer to run the day to day stuff somewhere in L.A.."

"I knew it. Guess we're gonna have to look for applicants; hey, shorty," he said to Michelle as she walked in, having been at a friend's house. "You don't know anyone who would be Smash Club GM, do ya?"

"Hey, Kelli. I could try, but I'll be too busy. We've got the traveling Alll-Star soccer team. Plus, Aunt Becky told me about a kids' show at your station, Dad. I want to audition to be the host."

"That'd be great. Now, I won't put pressure on you; but, if this is what you really want, then go for it. Anyway, Jess, how would you hint to Steph and Gia about middle school activities?"

"Oh, we got a whole mess of schedules at the radio station; I'll bring some home Monday." Danny thanked him.

Early next week, Danny had just finished decorating - really, covering - the refrigerator with magnetic sports schedules when Stephanie and Gia came in from school. "Oh, Steph, you're just in time. Doesn't the refrigerator look great?"

"I think your dad's flipped," Gia told Stephanie. "If he wanted to wallpaper something, he should put them on the walls. Nobody wallpapers the refrigerator."

"It's not wallpaper; I just wanted to get all the schedules of various middle and high school teams so you have a choice. Look." He pulled one off and showed her. "DiMaggio Middle School Volleyball. You know, everyone goes to the football, basketball, even baseball games, but when I went to school, the volleyball team had something like five fans in the stands."

"Cool; thanks, Dad," Stephanie said with little interest. "Anyway, our story's hit a snag. We had the Cardinals draft Herschel Walker, so he could have good seasons for a really bad club while not being traded; that takes key players off of Dallas. We kept Haley with the 49ers. And, we have one difference in that NFC title game. But, we're hung up on getting them past the 1991 Redskins."

"That was one of the most dominant teams ever, but 8 straight would be neat," Gia said.

"Uh, Steph, don't you want to talk about your school's sports teams?"

Stephanie put a hand on his arm. "Dad, if you want to come to a game, do it. Nothing's stopping you. Just don't try to clean the dirt on the ball field."

"I'll remember that. Oh, Caleb's in the living room; your Uncle Jesse and Joey are interviewing his dad, after you suggested it." They went into the living room.

Meanwhile, Jesse and Joey were interviewing Caleb's dad in the recording studio, where they planned to do their show live. They thought it would be nice if they could announce the new person on the air. "So, you see, Mr. Wilson," Jesse was finishing, "I still own the place, and kind of oversee things, but I need someone to handle day to day stuff, like the last fellow did after Michelle's accident."

"And, it doesn't have to be music," Joey pointed out.

"Yes it does."

"Jess, come on, what's wrong with a little comedy?"

"What's wrong? Joey, we do enough funny stuff on the radio, thanks to you. The Smash Club is my one respite from a world that seems to have forgotten what good, wholesome music is all about. It seems like nowadays nobody likes good lyrics anymore. I'm sure you've found the same thing, right, Mr. Wilson?"

"Oh, certainly, that's why I think more of an emphasis on family entertainment is vital."

"He means comedy," Joey whispered.

"Well, that is part of it," Mr. Wilson added.

Jesse was in shock. "Tell me you didn't just say that."

"Well, Mr. Katsopolis, lyrics are getting more vulgar and risqué - I'm sure your general manager told you that when it came to getting new bands."

"Yeah, but that's the sort of thing we're hiring someone for, so they can find the right bands for young people without all that hippety hop stuff, or whatever you call it."

Joey serenaded him, "Come on, Jess, music changes, but comedy is the constant that keeps us all happy." He sang with the voice of Sam from "Casablanca," "You must remember this. A face is still a face. A pie is still a pie. On this you can rely. As time goes by." Jesse held his head in his hands. "And when the people meet a really silly treat. They laugh until they cry. They don't need all those other things. As time goes by."

"Snap out of it," Jesse responded angrily, slapping him lightly on the head like the Three Stooges. "It's bad enough I have to miss the little munchkin winning the anchor's job on that kids' news show."

Becky had brought Nicky and Alex with her while picking Michelle up from school and bringing her down to the station. Michelle was anxiously looking forward to saying she'd earned a spot, partly to impress her pen pal, partly to be like her dad. And, even partly to be like D.J., who always wanted to be the best.

However, Nicky and Alex got in front of the camera, before the auditions were to start. They were hilariously cute. Even Michelle had to laugh, as Nicky and Alex wadded a couple papers up and started playing football with them. Then, Nicky used a pencil to bat one, and started running. He slid into the desk a second later, and Alex shouted "you're safe." Nicky said, "No, I'm Nicky."

The producer came out, and watched the comedy. He looked at his assistant. "You know, they say little kids sell things really well. I was thinking of having one of our reporters do the opening, too, but this is...just perfect, really. I mean, we want it to be fun."

"Sure, we're not going to have any really sad or scary news," the assistant agreed.

Finally, the producer walked up to Becky and introduced himself. "You're with 'Wake Up San Francisco,' right?" She nodded. "You know, I still want us to have reporters and things, but when I look at the way your boys are acting, I love it." They were now reading fake news stories upside down in front of the camera. "Instead of an older child, I'd like to have them open it with just their fun and games. After all, we want kids to get their parents to tune in; and, I think it might get the parents to, as well."

Michelle looked a little downcast as Becky turned to her and smiled sadly.

(Commercial break)

"I'm sorry, honey," Becky said honestly. "They didn't mean to do it."

"I know. I'm a little disappointed, but...not too much." She ran and hugged Nicky and Alex. "Great job, guys," she said happily. "Everyone's going to laugh so hard."

"What did we do?" Nicky asked.

"You were yourselves, that's what important. And, if Michelle's pen pal is as nice as she seems via e-mail, she'll accept Michelle really well, even without having her own show."

D.J. had arrived home from the library by the time Becky brought the others home; she'd gone upstairs to get ready for supper, but Steve was in the living room. "Hey, how's my favorite anchor," Danny asked as he hugged her tenderly.

"Fine, Dad. But, I didn't get the job. Nicky and Alex did."

Steve raised his eyebrows, remembering how badly he'd heard D.J. had reacted when Stephanie won a spot in a commercial over her. "How do you feel?" he wanted to know.

"Fine. I know they weren't trying to do it. I'm happy for them."

"Well, we're really proud of you. Especially for how you're taking it," Danny agreed with Becky.

Michelle could tell Steve was stunned. "Didn't you think they could do it?"

"It's not that. I have to be honest; D.J. told me about when she was a year older than you, and Steph did that to her in that Oat Boats ad. She was furious with Steph. Remember that Oat Boats thing, Steph?" She asked as Stephanie and Gia came downstairs.

Stephanie recalled. "She chased me around the table like crazy, and wouldn't even talk to me for a little while."

Becky could tell Michelle thought that was odd. "Remember, Michelle, D.J. had had her room taken over by Stephanie, she'd just lost your mom less than a year earlier; a lot of things were changing for her."

"I'd still be happy for Nicky and Alex, though."

"I think you'll understand better when you have your own kids, Michelle," Danny said. "Sometimes the older one feels a little more entitlement to everything. And, sometimes it's just different personalities." Michelle ran upstairs to tell D.J.. "Like with sports; you know, Steph, just because I pushed volleyball doesn't mean you have to watch that, the basketball season's still got a few games left. And, your school's baseball season will start soon."

"Dad, why are you doing this?"

"Doing what? I just want you girls to enjoy different things, that's all. You're only young once." He admitted that maybe he was pushing it a bit much. "I just don't want to see you spending your whole time looking at boys. I know, now that you and Caleb are together, you don't do that, but Gia needs something else to do."

Gia pointed out that, "The baseball team will have a lot of nice boys on it." Stephanie admitted that was true.

"Well, I didn't mean to go there for the boys."

Steve told him, "Well, Mr. Tanner, relationships are a big part of their lives. Just like having fun is a big part of Michelle's," he finished as she came back downstairs.

"Yep. D.J. gave me a big hug. She said she's so glad I'm a good sport with Nicky and Alex. And she said we must be doing something right," Michelle said as she came downstairs.

"That's right; that's what's really important; and what makes me proudest," Danny said.

Jesse and Joey were done with their radio show a short time later. Caleb's dad had been helping as they discussed, on air, different trends in entertainment. "All right, my man, great job," Jesse said. He thought for a second. "Did you really mean what you said, about comedy being the key to drawing people? 'Cause, I don't want the Smash Club to be a comedy club. I know they had a small share of comedy, but, it's there for music."

"It's not just comedy; it's variety that's needed. Too many people want something to tickle their fancy; Caleb says Stephanie's tastes in music have gotten more conservative again the last few months. I'm sure if you ask her, she'll say there's something that just isn't right about some stuff. Entertainment should be for the whole family; it's why you wanted to remove the requirement of being over 18, right," Mr. Wilson inquired.

Jesse was forced to agree. "I guess part of me just longs for the way it was when I was growin' up."

"We all do that, Jess," Joey said.

"Yeah, except you haven't grown up yet," Jesse cracked. He paused a moment, and added regretfully, "It is gonna be harder and harder to find quality new bands like the Beach Boys. Even the harder rock from the '70s, which I never cared for as much, looks tame compared to some new stuff," Jesse said. He hated to admit it, but he added, "We have been struggling, though I don't like to tell people. It seems like fewer people want to come to just hear music, anyway, but especially if it's not gonna have the stuff some people put out. So...I guess what I'm tryin' to say is, Mr. Wilson, if you'd like to come on as the manager, you got the job."

Comically, it was Joey who pumped his fist and shouted, "Yes, more comedy!"

"Thank you, Mr. Katsopolis; I accept."

"Well, it's not just comedy..."

As Jesse was trying to explain, Nicky and Alex ran down. "We got the job," they declared. Michelle and Becky came down with them, and explained as the boys sat in Jesse's lap.

"Hey, I'm proud of you, boys. I'm proud of you, too, for being such a good loser," Jesse said. Michelle thanked him.

"We make people laugh," Nicky said.

Alex added, "Laughing is good."

"Any, good, wholesome entertainment is good." Joey sang, "The world will always welcome humor. As time goes by."

Stephanie and Gia arrived home from school a few days later, to see Danny and Joey in the living room. "Hey, how did the newspaper story go," Danny asked as Stephanie handed him a copy of the school paper. He looked at it as she spoke.

"Great, Dad; thanks for the idea. Everyone was talking about that alternate universe. We made it seven in eight years, and had them win that close NFC title game in 1983 to make it an even 10 Super Bowls. They don't make the mistakes the Redskins did, so it's 7-3 Raiders at the half, then they come out and score, miss the extra point, but their All-Pro secondary intercepts Jim Plunkett twice, which happened to him sometimes, and they pull out a 22-20 win."

"Marcus Allen's amazing run gives the Raiders momentum, but Ronnie Lott returns an interception for a score on the Raiders' next series. The 49ers get all the momentum," Gia explained. She turned to Stephanie. "You were right, Stephanie. There is a lot more to sports than guys. There's strategy,," she said as they went upstairs.

Jesse, Caleb's dad, and Michelle and Kelli - with a plate of cookies and milk - came in. "Joey, ready for the radio show? We just got done goin' over possible acts for the Smash Club. I never knew there were so many talents people would want to come and see," Jesse added.

"Hey, why not; Nicky and Alex sure have a knack for being silly," Joey responded.

Jesse grinned proudly, despite how he disliked being silly all the time. "Yeah, I gotta admit, I'm proud of 'em. Hey, the show should be about on," he said. They turned it on and watched the boys throwing paper around and other funny stuff; Michelle laughed the hardest. "What an intro. You gonna try to do some reporting there?" he asked Michelle.

"Maybe a bit. But, I don't need to do it to please my pen pal. I got an e-mail from her at school today. She admitted she'd been making a lot of stuff up about what she did. So, I didn't have to worry."

Danny said, "It's tempting to try to be popular. But, the most important thing is that you learn to be yourself. Because, you're a wonderful young lady, no matter what."

"Yeah, and we're really proud of how you encouraged your cousins," Jesse said.

Michelle told them it made sense. "D.J. and Stephanie always tried to help me. What D.J. needed back then was a good big sister to show her how to do it. I hope she got to see that at the library." Danny was sure she had.

Stephanie and Gia came down then. "Oh, hey, Dad, I almost forgot. Can Gia and I stay late at school tomorrow; we want to watch the first baseball game."

"Sure, I can pick you up. What changed your mind?"

"Well, Dad, I just forgot how much fun it was. I mean, sure, I joined that tennis club with Mickey, when the school had a push to get kids more involved with different clubs. We haven't done much since in it, though."

Gia said she was glad. "I didn't even join it with you, and you still got me to play with Michelle, Nicky and Alex against you and that other girl so you could help improve her skills against Mickey and one of her friends." She shook her head. "If I had joined, you'd have me as wild about athletics as Mickey is now."

"True; once Mickey stopped smoking, she was able to enjoy sports like she did as a kid. Now, she's on three teams; one each season." Stephanie was amazed at how much Mickey devoted herself to sports. "She was always into them, but she picked up some bad habits from..." She realized that Gia was probably the one that had started Mickey smoking. "Well, other people."

"She means you," Michelle said, speaking to Gia, who tickled her lightly in response.

"Anyway, I don't plan to ever be as dedicated as Mickey. She's so busy she never has time to spend with us. But, getting ideas for that story really helped me remember how much I liked sports when I was younger. But, this time it shouldn't be playing," she promised Gia.

Danny admitted that he was glad, as Jesse, Joey, and Mr. Wilson left. "I have to confess, part of why I pushed it was me wanting you to be the way you were when you were little. It's rough seeing you kids grow up so fast."

"I know change is rough for you, Mr. Tanner. But, I think even you would have hated to have the same team win 7 of 8 Super Bowls, and 10 of 15," Gia said.

"I talked to a couple teachers who said they thought it would destroy the league; it's not like when baseball had little competition," Stephanie remarked. "Thanks again for the idea on the what-if."

Being only nine, Michelle hadn't really thought about the possibility of history being anything but set in stone before this. "Steph and I talked about it some the last few nights before bedtime. It seems kind of weird to think of history changing."

"I'm sure it does I guess it all happens for a reason, even if we don't understand. Even I'd get a little bored seeing the same team win every Super Bowl. So, what's next; getting the Cubs to win one World Series?" Danny asked.

"That would be tricky," Stephanie said with a nod.

That Friday night, the Tanner household, Kelli, Steve, Caleb, Kimmy, and Gia were all at the Smash Club; one of Stephanie's friends watched Nicky and Alex. They had just finished enjoying the acts; Michelle and Kelli were a bit sleepy at the table with Michelle's sisters and Danny, as they prepared to go home.

"Hey, great job, Jess," Danny complimented him as Jesse walked up to them. "People really seemed to love it."

Becky agreed from the net table. "You'll be packing them in soon."

"Yeah, I bet you're right. There's still gonna be music here," Jesse hastened to add. "That was the original intent; a place where teens could come to hear new bands play, with no alcohol served."

"I'm sure there will be. D.J. and I are just glad you're willing to change with the times," Steve noted. "Like D.J. says, it's good to know there's a place where the times change, but the priorities of good, clean fun are still around."

Stephanie agreed. "That's what my friends and I want."

Kelli agreed. My parents, too. Although, Kimmy asked about a mud pit, too." Jesse looked oddly at her. "She said you can always use it for tractor pulls or something."

"I don't think so," Stephanie said, at a loss for words otherwise.

Michelle added, "I think D.J.'s going to need a talk with her."

"Well, I don't know where Kimmy's mind is, but Steph's right. Mr. Wilson said by not bein' one of the crowd and promising performers with no cursing, raunchiness, and so on, I've got a chance to carve out a niche with this place and actually draw more people in the long run."

"I think he's right," Danny said. "There's always going to be a place for good, quality family entertainment."

Joey finished his bit on stage by singing his comedy version of "As Time Goes By," as the others left. "...The world will always welcome laughter. As time goes by."