Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

We Are Family
Written by: Doug Fowler

Episode 168, "A House Divided," is clearly a dream, as you'll see; too many things off or out of character, unlike a few with 1-2 I've shown a realistic way (as my prfile mentions) and it can be a joke otherwise. This shows how it came. In 2001-2, when scripts were allowed, I had one about Kathy Santoni's struggles, which a few people said would have made a good episode. I have a snippet from the end here, though I don't have the story anymore. (She was married in "The Apartment," but fan consensus for the Chronology was it didn't last.) That & mention of D.J. and college show why Michelle might worry. The argument D.J. refers to is from "Good News, Bad News." Even in books clearly TV canon, not Book Universe canon, D.J. stays at home. Jesse & Becky's later adopted kids are in a few of my fics & RKORadio's, "An Itch for a Niche" shows them when older.

Danny Tanner let out a huge "whoosh" of air. When Michelle, his seven-year-old girl, asked what was wrong, Danny looked her in the eye and stammered. "Remember we talked about how D.J.'s friend Kathy...well, made a big mistake because, well..."

Michelle spoke nonchalantly. "D.J. told me. Kathy Santoni had a baby way too young."

"Right." He sighed; he hated to see his girls grow up, and wished he could keep Michelle from hearing about such things. "Anyway, she got married, but her husband left. She's really stressed. Your Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky got a call to go to her place to help." Jesse Katsopolis and his wife Becky lived with the Tanners, and helped raise Danny's girls, as did Danny's best friend, comedian Joey Gladstone; Jesse and Joey had moved in after Danny's wife died when Michelle was a baby. "She hasn't had time to clean the place in weeks, with her school, work, and the baby."

"Just thinking about not cleaning would stress you out," Michelle responded.

"That's true. Anyway, remember before the baby was born how Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky said they'd be willing to adopt?"

"Sure; that means a baby doesn't come from your tummy; it comes from your heart."

Danny smiled proudly. "Right." He took a second to reminisce about the time last fall.

Kathy Santoni had stopped by with her newborn. "I just wanted to say 'thanks' - for everything," she told Jesse and Becky. "I hope you're not upset that I'm keeping Scott."

"Ah, you're gonna make it," Jesse said. "You're facin' up to your problems. Not like that one Becky told about who left a baby on someone's doorstep in Nebraska."

"I'm trying. I found a part-time job for after school, thanks to you; and, my mom's helping with rent for the first year, so...if my marriage works..." she trailed off.

Becky tenderly put a hand on her shoulder. "You can call us anytime you need help." Kathy thanked them again, and left.

Becky brushed back a tear as she and Jesse sat on the couch. "I just want him to have the best life. It's going to be so hard for her."

"I know," Jesse said, putting his arm around Becky. He wasn't sure what to say.

After a moment, Becky said, "Jess...what if we adopt a child who's maybe a toddler, or a bit older? I mean, where we still have most of their lives with them, but, well..."

Seeming to sense what his wife was thinking, he finished for her. "Sure, we got our names in the system now; we've had a couple home visits, why not?"

He said he'd figured she might keep Scott; Becky finally admitted she had, too. "She'll do a good job; I think she's really committed to it," she remarked.

"Sure. I'm feelin' the same thing you are. The munchkin hit the nail on the head when she said when you adopt, the kid's gotta come from your heart. We really had him in our hearts. But, we'll hear about him from time to time. And, one day, some kid who needs us even more is gonna come along." Jesse smiled sweetly, and told Becky, "They're gonna be so lucky to get you for a mother." He said "have mercy," and they kissed.


Beck in the present, Danny explained that Kathy Santoni was really stressed, and needed Jesse and Becky's help. "Kathy's worrying about how she can handle things again. If they did adopt, they'd have to move for more space." Michelle frowned. "I know, it's rough. I need to leave for our dinner meeting at the station in a couple minutes." Danny and Becky hosted "Wake Up, San Francisco" for a local TV station. "Joey left already to do that big comedy club out in San Jose, and D.J.'s about to leave to go to Kimmy's. So, now we need a sitter, too..."

"Steph did it last Christmas." Michelle reminded him. D.J., seventeen, and Stephanie, twelve, were her older sisters. Jesse and Becky had twin two-year-olds, Nicky and Alex.

Danny recalled as Jesse and Becky came from the kitchen. "That was a simple routine of putting them to bed, though. This will be finishing feeding them and the whole pre-bedtime routine. Of course, with a two-year-old, everything is about routine, so I suppose it could be done ..." He looked at his watch. "And, if I keep talking I'll be late."

"Relax, Dad. It'll be just like that time Kimmy was here. Steph had to do everything then, too." Kimmy was quite dumb, and didn't like babysitting children who needed fed or diapered. "Right, Steph? I know you can do it," she said, turning to Stephanie.

Stephanie blurted, "Of course I can," before she could stop herself. Her excitability gave way to concern. "Did Michelle just talk me into volunteering for something, Dad?"

Danny put his hands on Stephanie's shoulders. "Well, you are growing up. I guess...I have to let go, and let you try. It's just so hard to think of you growing up sometimes."

"Danny, chill out," Jesse said. "You're askin' her to babysit, not run your station."

Becky smiled. "Handling two-year-olds is tough," she said as she opened the door to the kitchen, "but the boys shouldn't give you many problems." She looked. "D.J.'s taking care of their food right now for us, before she leaves; so that's one less worry. I know your dad got supper for you girls earlier since he'd be leaving."

Stephanie agreed. "That'll help. And, so will getting the right pajamas this time."

"Yeah, it'll be a piece of cake," Jesse promised her.

"Emergency numbers are on the fridge. We should be back tonight, I've just got to help Kathy calm down since her parents are out of town, and we're going to help tidy up, that's all," Becky said. She and Jesse said goodbye to the twins, and they and Danny left at about the same time as Kimmy stepped in the back door and asked if D.J. was ready.

"Just about. I just have to pass the torch to Steph."

"Blondo's gonna torch something? Maybe we should stay, Deej; it might be interesting," Kimmy suggested.

D.J. shook her head. "I mean, I'm going to make sure she's comfortable watching three." She turned to Stephanie and said, "You remember my story about my first non-mother-daughter slumber party, when you had chicken pox, right?" Stephanie nodded. "If you're at all unsure, tell me. I'll stay home."

"I can do it, Deej," Stephanie said with confidence as the twins started getting fussy in their high chairs. Kimmy gave them strange looks, making them laugh. Stephanie wasn't as into babysitting as she would have been had D.J. been proactive, with Stephanie taking after her if that was the case. Still, she didn't mind it; she just wouldn't make a business out of it like she might have otherwise., watching lots of kids outside the family.

D.J. smiled. "Okay. But, don't hesitate to call me at Kimmy's the first sign of trouble." Stephanie gave her a tired look. "I know; I just remember how I was at first. You'll do a good job. I'm sure when I'm in college and volunteering everywhere, you're gonna be helping so much. Just like you help Gia now." D.J. and Kimmy left.

Michelle had numerous questions as Stephanie and she wiped the twins off before getting them down. "We're making progress," Stephanie said excitedly. "You boys are learning to eat with a utensil in your hand. Of course, you hold it sometimes while putting food in your mouth with the other, but it's a start."

"Steph, what did D.J. mean about volunteering?"

"It's just something a lot of kids do - especially at San Francisco State. Of course, she wants Stanford most," Stephanie said as she led the boys into the living room. "Let's read now. That's how we've gotten Michelle to love reading, huh? Well, that and D.J.'s diary." The boys each pulled a book from the childrens' books that were in the living room, on the wall opposite the couch.

Still on the previous subject, Michelle said, "But, if D.J. goes to Stanford, she'll move."

"She'll be home on weekends, though. Stanford's not that far away." Sensing Michelle was still uncertain, Stephanie said, "I know. Instead of reading, let's tell a story. We'll take turns." She sat on the couch, with Michelle next to her, and Alex crawled into Michelle's lap. "Do you want to start?"

"I want to talk about where everyone's going," Michelle said.

Seeing the twins were occupied for the moment with looking through the pages of their books, Stephanie addressed her sister. "Michelle, nothing's for certain. I've helped Gia to be nicer to her mom and to stop smoking - she finally quit a month ago. Her grades went up a bit, though not enough to keep her from having her third year of seventh grade next year. If D.J. had to, Stanford's not that far away. She told me she could commute, and help me keep an eye on Gia then. She'd be there for you too."

"But, Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky might move, too," Michelle remarked.

"It seems like a lot at once, huh?" Stephanie told her, "If Kathy was going to give her baby up for adoption, it would have been right at birth. She's too attached now. She's just really stressed, and since Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky helped during her pregnancy, and she feels like she can talk to Aunt Becky, that's where they are tonight."

"I know. But, they could adopt someone else," Michelle said. "They'd still move."

Stephanie put an arm around Michelle. "I know you worry about things at your age. I remember around my seventh birthday, I felt sad about being stuck in the middle all the time. But, it'll work out. Just like I've had a great life as a middle sister."

"What did you do?"

"Well, I tried to marry my friend, Harry," Stephanie confessed. "So, I wouldn't suggest that; besides, he moved. But, I still remember the silliest dream I had. I even dreamed I was flying in a spacesuit, and Dad just asked me to clean the cobwebs or something."

"Did you stop worrying then?" Michelle asked, as she and Stephanie started pointing to things in the boys' books as they spoke with each other.

"After I talked to Dad about it, yeah. We're always going to find time to do special things together. D.J. can plan special sister time, or I can, when she goes to college, for instance. And, if Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky move, it won't be for a while. And you can have a special place for sleepovers, and help when they do adopt," Stephanie finished.

"How will that stop me from worrying now?" Michelle asked.

Stephanie thought for a moment as they read to Nicky and Alex. "Keep the boys occupied while I clean the kitchen. Once we get ready to put them to bed, we can create our own crazy story. You can turn your worrying into something funny." Michelle said that sounded like a good idea.

Michelle had prepared the twins for a story where they all take turns telling part; of course, Nicky and Alex would only be verbal enough, at their ages, to fill in one little bit, but that was enough for a good bedtime story.

They gathered in the attic apartment, and sat on Jesse and Becky's couch. Stephanie began excitedly. "'Once upon a time, there was a family who all lived together. Suddenly, someone did something. Let's use Joey. What did Joey do, Nicky?"

"Eat," he said. When Alex's turn came, he was asked to name a food, and said "pizza." Then they both started talking at once.

Stephanie smiled. "Let Michelle have a turn. Joey ate pizza...where?"

Michelle giggled. "The bathroom."

Stephanie laughed. "Did you hear that? That's so silly!" The twins echoed Michelle's laughter. "It sounds like one of those Mad Libs. Okay, there was a family who all lived together, and Joey ate pizza in the bathroom. I guess it's my turn." She hummed. "What made it crazier was, King Danny was having a cookout in the half bathroom by his room." Danny had a toilet and mirror just off of his bedroom.

"And Nicky and Alex and their family had a fish fry in their bathtub," Michelle added.

"Oh, this is getting silly! What kind of food was in that half bath downstairs?"

Michelle suggested both pick a food. Nicky answered with something like "spaghetti," and Alex said "applesauce."

"There's a good combo," Stephanie joked. "Not everyone was able to cook in their bathrooms. So, they all wanted their own bathroom to cook in."

Michelle shook her head. "I want them to stay together, though."

Stephanie agreed. "Okay, so instead of moving to their own homes, they bought this great big palace. But, they needed someone to buy their old place."

Not getting the flow of the story, the boys had been saying words at random. "Slide," Nicky said.

Stephanie nodded. "Okay, you probably meant a sliding board, but I'm going to throw something funny in. Something I hope you boys never do. Not even your dad would ever do it, because he knows he could break it. Instead of walking down the stairs, one of the people wanted this palace to have it where you could slide down them."

"This is getting good. To get from one floor to the next, they put in a water slide. To get back up, they rode a ferris wheel," Michelle added.

Stephanie was glad to see Michelle was having fun. "Uncle Danny didn't want to sell the little palace he'd had before. But, then Queen Kimmy the Weird came along."

"Why did they call a queen that?" Michelle wanted to know.

"You never heard how they put descriptive words after kings and queens sometimes?" She hadn't, so Stephanie explained. "There have been names like Peter the Great, or Louis the Fair, but there have been odd ones, too. Anyway, King Danny never cared about money that much; he loved the little palace they'd had. However, Kimmy the Werid offered him big money."

"How big?" Alex asked. Both boys laughed as Michelle held her hands out really far.

After a couple more minutes of the story, both boys said "Comet." "That's right, we didn't put Comet in the story," Michelle said. He was their Golden Retriever.

Stephanie looked at her watch, and they put the twins to bed as she spoke. "Well, it's time for bed. You boys and Michelle can put him in wherever you want. Because the family realized the best part was, they could have all their food together once they got done cooking in their bathrooms. And they all sat down and had lots of great meals together. And they lived happily ever after." Once they'd tucked the boys in, Stephanie and Michelle went downstairs. "How do you feel now?"

"Better. I'm still not sure; it seems kind of weird to think of us not being together. But, now I have something to think about instead of worrying. And, if I have a weird dream, I'll know where it came from," Michelle replied.

The next morning, as the family gathered at breakfast, Jesse and Becky talked about how the previous evening had gone. "I think we really helped a lot. Her stress level's a lot less now than what it had been," Becky said. "She's glad to have a mom closer to her age, too, to talk to about things, rather than just going to hers all the time. Early thirties seems a lot closer to a seventeen-year-old than mid-forties."

"Michelle was worrying about you guys moving out; well, and D.J. going to college in the fall of next year," Stephanie said. "I told her there was nothing to worry about."

"Yeah, Steph's right. But, anytime you wanna talk about anything on your mind, just let me know," Jesse told her.

D.J. echoed what Stephanie had said, about always finding time for her sisters. "I'd save a lot on room and board if I lived here," D.J. mentioned. "I could more easily afford an apartment later, after college. Plus, college food isn't nearly as good as home cooking."

Michelle said it was okay. "I always said Steph was a genius. She helped last night, too." Giggling, she added, "I had the silliest dream." Michelle described what she recalled.

"Boy, that was almost as crazy as the story we made up with Nicky and Alex," Stephanie remarked. "For instance, there's only one bathroom in the dream, but we've got a bunch."

"Sure; and if I need quiet time I use the recording studio in real life. It has a red light saying not to disturb, unlike the bathroom. I'd know I wouldn't be disturbed," Joey said.

"I wish you'd do that more instead of always acting like a goofball," Jesse added.

Joey snickered. "I guess being goofy is more like me. The stress part probably came from you thinking about Kathy," he told Michelle.

"Maybe. Oh, guess what else happened. Remember we had Joey eating pizza, Steph? In my dream, a pizza delivery guy goes into the bathroom!"

Everyone laughed. "That is crazy," Danny said. "They hardly step in the door."

Stephanie supposed, "Michelle could have remembered me moving into the bathroom once, too. Anyway," she rambled, "Dad wanted a new house, but he hates change, and this place reminds us of Mom." Danny agreed; they wouldn't think of it, just for that reason. "Right. Plus, Dad, you're never money hungry. Other parts of that dream are weird, too. Some guy didn't leave after learning Kimmy invited him in and he was intruding. Uncle Jesse was said to have slid down the banister, but he's too heavy."

"Remember when you said we should put Comet in the story ourselves? Somehow, my brain put a whole bunch of animals in my dream," Michelle added.

"Well, it sounds like you really helped Michelle, Steph. And, you girls did a great job of watchin' our boys," Jesse said proudly.

Three years later, the Tanners were at Jesse and Becky's, to see three-year-old Melanie, who had just come to stay with them for good, after a weekend visit last weekend. As Melanie played with Nicky and Alex out back, the sisters reminisced.

"It's hard to believe the attic's my place now," D.J. said. Turing to Michelle and teasing her, she said, "Not that it wouldn't keep you from my diary if you really wanted it."

"It wouldn't matter; Steph always taught me the most important thing," Michelle said as Stephanie walked up to them.

"I know. One time when I was the editor of our school paper, I was arguing with Kimmy." Turning to Stephanie, she said, "You wouldn't have even had to say what you'd read in my diary, about how much she frustrated me so often. You could have just shown her where it was, or what I'd written just then. But, you didn't."

Stephanie smiled broadly at her. "Of course not. I could never stand to hurt you like that; or ruin a friendship. As crazy as she's always been, I didn't really understand till a few years ago, but Kimmy'd get teased so much, she learned to get along with people that way. Unless they were really close like D.J.," she finished for Michelle. "All that joking around was really just all in fun."

"And, I know now we'll always have fun together. We're only a few blocks from here. And, D.J. didn't move when she went to college," Michelle noted.

"And, when I do, I'll always stay close by," D.J. said.

"You mean when you marry Steve," Michelle kidded her. D.J. grinned dreamily, and Danny said not to hurry.

Melanie ran up to them. Stephanie picked her up and twirled her a bit as Jesse and Becky came outside. "I remember you said the agency saying it was important to have a big, stable, extended family." To Melanie, she said, "I know you've had it rough. But, you new family's got so much great, unconditional love No matter what you do." She smiled, recalling when she'd backed the car into the kitchen, and the amazing feeling she'd had knowing that she was loved no matter what. She blurted an additional, "It's just like the love God has for all of us; all you have to do is receive it. You'll always be part of the family." Jesse and Becky agreed, reminding them she needed to hear and see that a lot.

"I'm sure she's been through a lot," Danny said. "But, we'll always be there for each other. I know, I joke about not wanting D.J. to marry too fast, and things like that. But, it's not about being in the same house. It's that no matter how busy we get, we're always going to have that time and great, unconditional love with each other."

"Of course. That's what a family is," Michelle added.