Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

Parties and Showers
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: This is a sequel to "Pushing the Limits," where it's shown why Michelle may have been so good around the wedding cake when she was so wild with the samples just a few months earlier. And, how Michelle would know about spanking for "being bad," for Jesse to ask "was Uncle Jesse a bad boy" when that chimp hit him, as if Becky could be impersonating Michelle playing (instead of his saying "was Jesse a bad boy.") It goes with the Chronology, though, basically pushing Michelle's actions with the cake into the next morning, which seemed a bit more logical. While Joey's dad might not have died this fast, it is a logical reason why we never see him.

"Hard to believe, in just under a month..." D.J. Tanner's voice trailed off as she hugged her youngest sister, Michelle, who was now a recent college graduate. The females of the Tanner family - sisters D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle - were preparing for Michelle's bridal shower.

"Thanks for all the planning you and Steph have done. I'll make you proud, D.J.."

"You always have."

"Well, you had to get pretty tough on me at times." She wasn't afraid to admit it - besides the sisters, the only one in the room was D.J.'s oldest girl, Pam, daughter of D.J. and Steve hale. Pam, eight, was helping decorate. "Remember Aunt Becky's shower?"

"I thought you said your first memory was your first day of Kindergarten," Pam said, recalling that her Great-Uncle Jesse and Great Aunt Becky were married earlier that year; she was very good at remembering dates.

"My first clear one. Stuff's fuzzy with my behavior then; it's kind of mixed with a couple other times, like after Disneyworld. But, looking through our photo albums reminded me of stuff I've been told, anyway. I know it was sadder than this one will be."

D.J.'s very dumb and annoying best friend Kimmy Gibbler walked into the room as Pam asked what had happened. Kimmy said she was going to pick up a few more things.

Michelle said "okay" and explained, "Remember when we told you about your mom trying to deal with me, Pam, and how I dove into all those samples?"

"Oh, yes." The eight-year-old smacked her lips and shook her head, drawing the expected giggle from Michelle at her expression. "You were a wild kid, Aunt Michelle."

Michelle agreed, feeling just like their Uncle Jesse had talking with Michelle back then. Except, Michelle was quite humble, thanks to D.J.'s influence. "Steph was sad 'cause of the talk your mom had to have with me. Dad baked a cake for us the day before the one for Aunt Becky's shower, and I did kind of like with the samples. Then, Joey got a call...well, let's start at the very beginning," Michelle suggested.

"A very good place to start," D.J. said with a smirk, referring to the song "Do Re Mi" from "The Sound of Music."

Kimmy burst out in song to be funny, but showed her lack of sense, too. "When you sing you begin with ABC, when you read you begin with Do, Re, that how it goes?" She thought a second, and concluded, "It must be, the musical notes are A through G."

Like her mom had often been with Kimmy, Pam wasn't sure what to say. "I think we've finally found the source of Kimmy's problems in school," Stephanie told Pam glibly.

Once Kimmy left, D.J. decided they'd done enough till Kimmy got back, and suggested they sit down. "This is a great time to share memories," she said as Pam sat in D.J.'s lap, with Stephanie and Michelle on either side of them on the couch.

Stephanie began. "Your Grandpa Danny had only started enforcing limits with Michelle a few months earlier. So, your mom had to step in. By this time, our dad was disciplining her, but it was a struggle. He hoped the bachelor party would cheer him up; your Grandpa Joey helped organize it, since our Uncle Jesse didn't want to be raunchy, and knew Joey was a comedian who would do fun stuff," she explained, as they told of the bachelor party and wedding shower before Jesse and Becky's wedding.

Newly nine-year-old Stephanie came downstairs and saw their dad, Danny Tanner. "D.J. got Michelle out of timeout; she's still talking with her while she gives her a bath," she said that morning. She'd eaten breakfast, then gone upstairs to get dressed. She could tell her dad looked sad, so she hugged him. He was thankful, as they embraced and Stephanie said, "She's trying to be just like Mom would have been with a kid like Uncle Jesse. D.J. would never hurt Michelle's bottom; just her feelings." She seemed to be reminding herself of that as she said it.

"Thanks, Steph. I know." Danny wasn't sure what else to say. Ever since Danny's wife, Pam died, almost four years ago, he'd struggled. Pam's brother, Jesse, and Danny's best friend, Joey, had moved in to help raise the girls, but raising a toddler wasn't as easy as they'd thought. You had to enforce limits, and they hadn't done that till Michelle was almost four. And now? "We'll have a family meeting and...well, talk about this."

"Yeah. Dad, is it okay if I skip it? I mean, I know what will be said. And, I sorta just called for a ride."

"Go, Steph. Have fun. Try to figure out what odd bake sale items Kimmy might make in a few weeks," Danny suggested, trying to cheer her up. He knew she didn't like to think about what Michelle had done, and what D.J. was saying. Being with her friends at the church Pam used to take the girls to would help. "Remember when Kimmy did strudels in the shape of the Wise Men?"

That brought the hoped for smile to Stephanie. "Yeah. That was funny. They know we're planning the bachelor party and shower; they'll probably be glad just to see me there." The family didn't attend often, only all going, for the most part, at Christmas and Easter. But, she fondly recalled certain lessons; like about prayer. She remembered praying for her favorite stuffed bear's safe return, and despite how busy she knew God was, He'd let Mr. Bear be found after a few days. "I'll be back in plenty of time to get ready for Becky's shower." They talked for a moment, till the horn honked; Stephanie kissed him and ran out the front door.

"What was that, the church van?" Jesse asked. Danny told her it was. "What's wrong?" He looked at the cake on the table as Joey joined Danny in beginning to clean up the mess. "Whoa, somebody got their lines from 'The Three Bears' mixed up - looks like somebody was sitting in that."

"It's part of the reason Steph called and had them pick her up this morning. She doesn't like to think about what D.J.'s talking with Michelle about; did you see the kitchen yet?" He hadn't; he'd just come down the front steps. "Come on, I'll show you."

"What should we do with the rest of the cake?" Joey asked. "it's still good, except Michelle was in some of it." He cut a piece for himself, and Danny shook his hed.

"Michelle hadn't been allowed dessert because of her attitude and things like hiding the wedding ring you got for Becky," Danny reminded Jesse. "She'd be allowed some today if she was extra good, but she snuck down last night, and instead of sneaking a cut slice like with her birthday cake...well, she just got up on the table and started eating."

It wasn't quite as bad as when she crawled for thirty seconds through a bunch of cake samples a few months ago, but Danny admitted he'd had no clue what to say.

D.J., meanwhile, was finished bathing four-year-old Michelle. The preschooler thought about what D.J. had said - about how Danny and the other adults would never do it,that it was only D.J.'s job. She asked solemnly as she put on a shirt and suspenders, "Did Mommy ever do that?"

"Mom and Dad never even thought about it with us. But, they talked about how they'd handle a kid who was totally rebellious like our Uncle Jesse used to be. They decided, while Daddy could never spank, she would spank a kid like that, if they had no more privileges to take, or chores to give. In other words, nothing else worked. Now, it's my job." Michelle blushed and buried her head in D.J.'s chest, pledging to be good.

D.J. considered how little Michelle seemed; and how tender she'd seemed as D.J. helped bathe her. She wiped a tear from her own eye as she thought about what she and Michelle had just discussed. "I don't get no shower cake now?" Michelle asked sadly, as D.J. cuddled her and tied her shoes.

"Not today. We'll save a piece for you tomorrow, if you behave perfectly. You understand what I mean, right?"

She nodded. "I'm not going near it today. Only really bad princesses crawl on tables."

"That's right. And, for you to get a piece tomorrow, you need to be really nice and not even get a timeout or anything. How about I do your hair?" Michelle said she wanted a couple pony tails. As D.J. did her hair, she pondered the talk they'd had. In a way, she couldn't fathom it; even though she'd tried to gauge exactly how much would be, as she'd told Michelle, "just enough" to get through to her heart.

And yet, she had tried everything else; with Danny ignoring so much. She knew Michelle needed a much clearer boundary; so soon after the samples she'd snuck more of her birthday cake, then eaten all the filling out of some cookies, then...D.J. sighed. Their pediatrician, had been stunned, knowing they never believed in it, but had understood D.J.'s worries months earlier, and how Pam said they'd handle a real rebel. He knew parents who did it, and advised the following: Explain what would lead to it and how to avoid it; be calm, so it didn't teach aggression; and, be very loving so she'd humble her without humiliating her. D.J. had agreed with all of that, but it was still hard..

The men had cleaned the mess up by the time D.J. and Michelle came downstairs. "Cheer up, Danny," Jesse was saying. In a few hours, we will be in comedy Heaven."

"That's right. What could be better than an All Stooges Bachelor Party?" Joey asked.

"Just so you know," Jesse cautioned him, "I'm only accepting this crazy idea because I want something that's wild but not raunchy. This does not mean I am fair game for any other comedy you ever pull."

"Why, soitantly," Joey said, impersonating Curly from the Stooges and sitting a banana on Jesse's perfect hair. "Is that hair or a hat? Let's trying adding a tassel and see. Nyuk, nyuk...Ow," Joey said as Jesse slapped Joey head lightly.

"The party's not for hours," Jesse rebuked him

Danny noticed Michelle looking sadly at D.J. when Jesse playfully slapped Joey. "Guys, please; Michelle knows you're just playing, but..."

"Come on, Danny, lighten up. Why, look at those two; take away Michelle's pony tails, and don't they remind you of Alice and Dennis Mitchell? The size difference is about right for Dennis the Menace and his mom, Dennis had navy suspenders, not red one, on the covers of the earliest books, and Michelle's got a pal Joey." He led the others to the side, out of Michelle's hearing. "Besides, stars are the universal symbol for pain in comics and cartoons, and the couple times it's mentioned Dennis got it, there's no stars."

"Why do I feel strangely comforted by that?" Danny asked.

"I don't know, man, but you can't just live your whole life like it's a cartoon," Jesse said.

"No, not entirely. Steph's too humble and nice to be Margaret, and I don't know who you'd be in this scenario," Joey admitted.

Jesse shook his head and turned away. "I'm not even gonna try to understand that."

"As funny as it sounds, Joey's right. As long as I don't go calling D.J. Pam, it's okay to have a little fantasy." He asked Michelle what she wanted for breakfast. "Your sister went to church; she got picked up early. But, we're gonna have lots of fun here till the wedding shower. Especially with Joey keeping us entertained, huh?" Michelle agreed.

Danny was saddened at the "family meeting." They no longer had a "talking stick" to give to a person who wanted the floor. Comet chewed it up when he was a puppy. That brought to mind the fact they'd squirted him with a spray bottle when into something he shouldn't be, an idea given by one of the Honeybee mothers in Stephanie's hive. It had worked very well in keeping their Golden Retriever out of trouble, as the suddenness of getting wet was something he really disliked. D.J. reminded them Stephanie had tried squirting Michelle once when she stole Steph's cupcake, and it didn't work..

Still, as Danny pulled the cake for Becky's shower out of the oven early that afternoon, he felt confident. Joey would liven things up and make this a fun bachelor party for Jesse. And, Danny knew Michelle would be good. Then, however, the phone rang.

It was for Joey. He went into the kitchen to talk, as the girls went out the door to the car with their party dresses on, ready to go to the shower. When Joey came back in, he looked crestfallen. Unsure of what to say, he simply stared straight ahead and said, "It was about my dad. He's dead."

"Was Grandpa Joey's dad really sick?" Pam asked, back in the present.

"It was part that...hey, Denise," Michelle exclaimed, having risen to open the door. The best friends since first grade exchanged a warm hug. "You're really early."

"This is my best friend's wedding shower. Plus, I had to thank Stephanie." Denise told Stephanie, "You got me on the road to the White House; you and Joey taught me to stand up for my rights all those years ago when you helped us after we got those Rigby shrimps," she said, referring to a character who had mailed out little bathtub toys instead of the big stuffed animals they expected.

Michelle's other best friend from then, Teddy, Denise's fiancÚ, stepped in the door. "Can we stick with the Board of Education for right now?"

"Sure. Anyway, I'm coming later, but Teddy and I were coming by," Denise said as Becky came in. "We had to tell you about my first endorsement for the Board race." Everyone congratulated her when she told them. "I have a good chance, as young as I am; I've helped with Bo McIntyre's campaigns for a while."

Becky recollected fondly. "I remember that name. The day Steph wrecked Joey's car, I was going to a business dinner with him, to get up to speed on his career before we interviewed him on our show. Danny knew him from his heroics in winning the AP national title in college as an underclassman, before his injury. By the time I met him, Bo was a neurosurgeon in residency, and was ready to announce plans, on our show, to enter politics. He's not as conservative as where I come from, but he's tempered a lot of the more radical voices in the state; 'the rule of common sense,' as he calls it," she explained.

"So, are your other kids with Steve?" Denise asked D.J..

"Yeah, he and other guys are trying to keep tabs on them while setting up for Jeff's bachelor party. And, with the class clown Jeff is, and Joey involved, I suspect there will be a ton of April Fool's-type pranks there," D.J. explained. Jeff had been in Michelle's grade, but in a different class, in elementary school, and gone all through middle and high school with her. Michelle said he combined the best quality of Danny, Jesse, and Joey.

Once Denise and Teddy left, the mention of Joey reminded Pam of the story. "They were telling me about your wedding shower and Uncle Jesse's bachelor party."

"Well, let's continue the story, then," Becky said, asking where they'd stopped. "Okay,. Joey had gotten a distressing phone call, but despite the fact he wasn't close to his dad, it was hard to him to tell himself that 'the show must go on,' in a way..."

"Oh, man," Danny said. "Just when you two were getting to know each other again."

"I know. That was one of his assistants who called. He had an aneurysm in his brain." Joey slumped into a chair. "He was so happy when we talked early last week."

Stephanie popped her head in to ask if Danny was coming with the cake. "In a minute."

"There's a full military funeral, probably the middle of next week." He would be gone in the afternoon, a few days before Stephanie got her glasses, as it turned out. "You don't have to come; I might go...I don't know."

The horn honked. "I better go. I'll be back soon. I'll tell them what happened," Danny said as he picked up the cake and left. In the car, he told the girls. "Turns out it was a real blessing that you helped Joey and his dad get back together a little," he remarked. "They never got really close, but it'll be hard for him. It's good we have all these preparations," he said as he drove them to the home of the friend hosting Becky's bridal shower.

Danny carried in the cake he'd baked for the shower, following behind the girls. Michelle exclaimed, "Don't worry; I'm not touching that cake. I'll be the good princess!"

The hostess offered Michelle a cookie. "You look so cute in that outfit,' she said.

"No, thank you. D.J. says I can't have any sweets. I was bad," she said matter-of-factly.

"I'm proud of you for saying 'no,' Michelle," D.J. said.

"And, I'm not diving into that cake," Michelle spouted. "I don't want 'Queen D.J.' to spank me," she said with a blush. The hostess said, "Aww."

Danny felt embarrassed, too. "We've never done that with any of the girls, but..."

"Danny's just had problems with Michelle since Pam died," Becky said quickly. Danny thanked him for rescuing her. "But, he does great at everything else."

"Right. I've always set firm limits, it's just that I never disciplined Michelle till about three months ago. But, I always told her what was right and wrong, it's just that when she crawled into a bunch of cake samples I didn't say much, because..." He felt the look as he realized he'd blurted out something Dr. Landress had said no kid of that age would ever do; and, he knew the hostess was stunned. "I better stop before I embarrass myself any more," he finished, asking Becky to help him.

"It's just something his wife talked about with a real rebel, if there was no other option," Becky commented. Knowing Michelle was out of hearing range now, she added, "D.J. would only hurt her feelings, but of course, Michelle doesn't know that. And, Michelle's really good otherwise, and she listens and controls herself very well. It's just that he's let D.J. handle things with just this one situation, because he has been a little lost. Anything short of her wrecking the cake would just mean a normal timeout today."

"I'm sure your wife was a wonderful woman," the hostess added sympathetically.

Danny agreed. "She was. I often thought we'd set a record for longest married couple. We've got some long lives in our families, and with how close we are, and how much love we had for each other and for the girls..." He looked down. "I'm sorry, I've been dusting your countertop for a while, haven't I?" He left after saying goodbye to the girls.

Michelle could tell the hostess had been a little stunned about the samples, and asked Becky if she'd ever done that. Everyone encouraged her that she could be a good girl, and she finally was distracted by some coloring books D.J. had brought.

Stephanie made sure Michelle couldn't hear a moment later, and walked up to Becky. "Aunt Becky, can we talk?" she asked, already used to thinking of her as family; she been calling her that for a few weeks.

"Sure, what's on your mind?" Becky asked.

"I'm just thinking about what D.J. said. And, how Michelle thinks it might feel if she crawled on a table into a cake today. I don't even like the word 'spank,' I say 'hitting.' Maybe if I was mom to a real rebel..." Stephanie trailed off.

"I understand." Stephanie sat on Becky's lap as Becky continued. "Steph, the important thing is, Michelle knows D.J. loves her. Michelle just asked if I ever dove into cake. I told her we didn't hit, but if I had at her age, my parents would have had the talk D.J. had the first time. It was funny, though she did deserve timeout and a suitable lecture for her age. But, to them it would be serious enough to warrant such a threat."

"I guess people were tougher then, huh?" Stephanie mused, trying to remember when she'd first heard of it; she knew it hadn't been by Michelle's age. "It's just I hadn't heard of the idea at her age. At least, I never saw a parent in my playgroup hit their kid. And, Michelle's tough, but she's sensitive underneath. She'd scream at the doctor's after a shot when she was younger, though now she's quiet to get a lollipop. If D.J. had to do it lightly, Michelle might really cry."

Becky thought about how to respond. "Yeah. But, it sounds like D.J. talks like your mom would have. We know D.J. wouldn't hurt her bottom." Stephanie concurred. "It's just emotional; Michelle thinks it might hurt. If she wonders how it'll feel, if D.J. would do it, those 'love pats' would be more effective. She wouldn't realize it didn't hurt." They talked about how others disciplined, and Becky said, "Your family doesn't do that, that's what's important. Your dad and Uncle Jesse and Joey would never hurt any of you, and neither could I." She revealed to Stephanie that she'd slapped Jesse for a very dangerous "Dr. Dare" stunt, but he was an adult.

"I know," Stephanie said with confidence. "I just think about what others feel like."

"That's because you've got a good heart. There's a difference between doing it in love, and doing it in anger. You're at the age where you start to realize that worse stuff goes on. But, it's still important to think like D.J. says she did when she had this talk with your mom. Just remind yourself that most families discipline in love."

"You're right, Aunt Becky. Thanks," Stephanie said with a smile. They hugged. "D.J. says she always just presumes the child feels love from somewhere."

"Right; and if you worry, just pray the kid feels love from somewhere, and God will bring someone along at some point," Becky said. It was a lesson that was hard on Stephanie, but as Jesse would say later, when she had to report a boy in her class who was abused, thanks to her, someone would help him. She'd been the one God had called on to help. Stephanie felt much better after this talk.

"It's not about to happen, anyway. I might just be too anxious, like Mom would get."

"You are, Steph. But, that's part of what makes you special. This is just like those families back home. We knew we were loved no matter what; we just knew our limits, we knew certain ones were tougher than others, so we didn't cross those tougher ones. Michelle will behave," she said with certainty.

"I know. Speaking of how others feel; I wonder how Dad's feeling."

Danny hadn't been helping to set up for the bachelor party; he was too busy cleaning. "What are you doin', man?" Jesse asked. "Our guests will be here soon, and Joey's wallowing in pity."

"I know, Jess. I just felt sad and embarrassed at that wedding shower."

"What, 'cause of what Michelle said? Danny, relax, Steph's pretendin' she's at a party a hundred years ago, Michelle's gonna be distracted real fast, and we've got bachelor party guests coming to this house who expect laughs." After a moment, Jesse threw up his hands, and walked over to Joey on the couch. "Joey, I never thought I would tell a grow man this, but, be a Stooge! You got people counting on you, and Danny's doing the spring cleaning two months early!" He tried to imagine what Joey was thinking. "Is it what Michelle's thinking? Because I guarantee you, she's gonna be good; we had a long talk about that this morning. In fact, I feel so confident, I think Becky could playfully slap me and I'd think she was impersonating Michelle playing."

"It's not that, Jess. That's the part I have the cartoons for." He rose and paced a little before saying, "But, when was the last time you saw a cartoon character die?"

"I can't remember when the last time was I saw a cartoon character do anything."

Joey proclaimed, "You wouldn't understand, then."

"What's to understand, you didn't need a cartoon to help you understand how to help Danny when Pam died?"

"Jess, that was helping a friend, being there for him. I didn't need a cartoon for that; anybody can do that if they're a good enough friend." Joey thought a moment, then continued. "I guess part of me wishes I'd tried to talk to him before the girls set it up for him to come hear me when I opened for Wayne Newton last fall. He just didn't seem to show any interest in me; he didn't accept me for who I was."

"They what's the problem? If he didn't, then it took the girls doin' that to get him to listen," Jesse said, as usual expecting an easy solution.

Joey agreed that that might be true. "I guess part of me's like you, though, Jess. O always worried a little about becoming my father; not like you, but some. But, what if I'd started putting Michelle in timeout earlier? D.J. actually asked me about it once, and I just said it was up to Danny." He confessed that, "I guess maybe part of it is Michelle diving into that cake like with the samples. Even though I know it's going to turn out okay, so I don't need to worry about enforcing rules now." And, in a way, he was glad he didn't; he wanted to be there as a friend, as part of a happy family, one who gave advice and was listened to, but not as a disciplinarian. To him, that was still Danny's job; it was just D.J.'s, too, in extreme cases.

"Joey, my man, I know how it is not wanting to become my father, but I see a lot of things I have in common with my dad. I've got a bit of a quick temper, though not like his; I can be stubborn; Joey, I've got traits in common with my dad. I don't think you and your dad shared any common traits."

Joey thought for a moment. He'd always been so happy-go-lucky, so non-confrontational. He took after his mom in so many ways. His dad had tried when he was home with the measles - his dad had called them chicken pox, but Joey and his mom knew what they really had been. "Well...maybe you're right." He looked at Danny cleaning the piano keys, and then turned back. "It's just so final."

"I hear ya," Jesse replied, patting him on the back and thinking of his phony graduation, the one he skipped out on, pretending he was sick. He wished he could tell Pam now he'd dropped out. But, then again, Pam probably knew... "There's some things I wish I could tell Pam. I wish she could be here for the wedding. Bet you feel the same, huh, Danny?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah. That, and thinking about Michelle. Don't blame yourself, Joey; I should have been starting timeout when she turned two like Dr. Landress said. I know she'll behave now, but I can't help but think about how I wish it was Pam having that talk with her. I know either way, it wouldn't hurt; it'd just scare her. But, the image I have if it would happen, of her wailing because her feelings hurt and she's scared, even though she's not hurting physically, and of D.J. hugging her and crying with her, it would seem a lot better if it were Pam who had to threaten it. When you're married to someone you love so much, you trust them like you would nobody else."

Jesse agreed. That's what he and Becky wanted - a marriage where they were committed to loving and trusting each other no matter what. "That's what it's all about."

"That's what we'll have, too," Michelle said dreamily. The others knew they would.

"Did you know my mom would only hurt your feelings?" Pam asked. She knew D.J. had never done it, and if she had would have only hurt Michelle's feelings, but had never thought about whether Michelle knew that till now.

Michelle tried to recall. "I was either five or six when we'd had a talk about it, when I was really low on privileges; I had faith she knew just what would be needed to get through to my heart, I thought maybe...but I sure didn't want to find out."

D.J. agreed. "When we were through a few problems after Disneyworld, when I'd had to threaten it before you started to behave and obey the rules, Michelle, you came out and said you'd cry like a baby after just a few light fwaps. I didn't say anything. I figured Mom wouldn't have told our Uncle Jesse what she'd do if he actually joined a gang or do something else really bad. But, I kind of wondered if maybe you did know what I'd do; or, maybe you were just showing me how you'd been affected by just our talk. Because you did start to obey very well after that." By the end of camp that summer, she was obeying Danny's request to return a rabbit to the camp without question, doing her chores without complaint, and so on.

"I'm glad you never let me get tempted to go that far." D.J. was also very glad that she had never done it to Michelle.

"By a few months after Disneyworld, you really wanted to obey rules; you even had a bit of an attitude about it," Stephanie said. "Maybe trying too hard to overcome what you'd been like before. Here, though, while our Dad and the others tried to sort through their problems, I was slowly getting used to accepting that you were just going to grow up a little differently than I did, , just knowing that D.J. had to be tougher on you than anyone would have to be on me, because of how much Dad ignored."

D.J. emphasized her warn, tender side a lot that day, like a mother who has to get tough but is tender and caring underneath. Michelle knew D.J. would normally be just a fun-loving sister. More importantly, Stephanie sensed a real bond. Michelle knew "Queen D.J." just lovingly helped her learn to behave

Stephanie told Becky as everyone started to mingle at the bridal shower, "I'm anxious to meet your mother. She really sounds pretty nice." Becky said she was. "I guess I'm starting to get used to it. It wasn't a problem when D.J. told her it was possible a few months ago; I guess we'll get through this, too."

The hostess announced that they were going to cut the cake. "Okay," one lady joked, "ready to dive in?"

"Are you nuts?" Michelle scolded, putting her hands on her hips.

"That's just a saying," Becky explained quickly. "It means they're going to all eat it fast; sort of like digging in. Nobody would literally dive in."

"Good. You don't want to be the bad princess. Or Queen D.J. will break your heart."

Not knowing what else to say, the lady simply promised, "I'll be good, don't worry." She shrugged and whispered to a neighbor, "Kids that age are very literal," not expecting that someone had actually done that.

"You were right, Aunt Becky," Stephanie whispered, the little interaction confirming it for her. "I've always been able to tell what kind of tears someone cries, or when they're lying, or whatever. She's okay with do it. I guess that's what's important." Becky agreed.

Michelle never crawled on tables again, as she said, "Only bad princesses do that." She loved to practice being good. She was learning self-control was vital.

D.J. let her have a leftover piece of cake Monday, and was really enthused. She would quickly show her warm, "soft touch" side by giving Michelle her old piggy bank, going back to being "just a sister" for a good while.

Back at the Tanner household, Danny, Jesse, and Joey were reminiscing about Pam. "We all had things left unsaid. I'm just glad we always said 'I love you' before one of us left."

"You're right, Danny. See, Joey, you and your dad got to talk I don't know if you ever got all sentimental like Danny here," Jesse said, discussing one other similarity between his dad's and Joey's. "But, maybe your dad was afraid to, or maybe he had to build that back up. I don't know if he was ever in a war, but I know eight years of World War Two and the Greek Civil War might have caused a lot of my dad's anger problems."

"Maybe. Yeah, I didn't realize there was that civil war after World War Two. That must have been rough," Joey consoled him.

"What's important is, we gotta deal with what we got. That's why this family's so important to me; I've learned to really appreciate everyone. And Becky. Pretty soon, we're gonna start our own family. I know, with my rebellious nature, I might struggle; I'll need you guys to help me. But, I hope I never forget how important it is to put your family and friends first. They're the ones you can never replace. I know it's gotta be tough, even if you didn't get to know your dad well."

Joey breathed deeply, and divulged, "Well, not as tough as I was making it out to be. I think I was looking too forward to the future, and what could be. But, you're right; we didn't have a great relationship. Maybe it wouldn't have grown into anything special. Maybe this whole thing happened when it did so I wouldn't be trying for five years to build something that couldn't be built."

"Well, look at it this way. You gave it your best shot," Danny replied.

"Yeah, just like you, Danny, with trying to set limits for Michelle," Joey returned. "You've done a great job."

Danny finally smiled. "You're right. If nothing else, I've raised the girl who's become like Pam to Michelle; in the same way Pam was for you, Jess."

"Yeah, we're all pitching in together to help. It might be a little tougher. But, everything happens for a reason, I always say. And, the important thing is, you've got a really good kid, other than her occasionally treating cakes like swimming pools, and Joey, you took advantage of that chance to make things right with your dad, if nothin' else."

"Yeah. You're right. Thanks, guys, for helping cheer me up," Joey said, putting an arm around each."

"Was that fellow going to call your mom, or were you supposed to?"

Joey told Danny the fellow had, and that he knew his mom would be busy till later that evening. "I'd like to talk about it with her, but while we've got a few hours, let's be Stooges." Joey, Jesse, and Danny started impersonating the Three Stooges.

"And, that's it," Michelle said. "I had a few more problems over a year later, than again just before and after our Disneyworld trip, but it didn't bother everyone near as much."

Stephanie agreed. "It was like our Dad wasn't enforcing things, so you tried to find a more definite boundary, and we knew just want you'd do; you went near that boundary, you were reminded what and where it was, and you back away from it."

"I'm glad I've always been better behaved than that, though." Pam tought for a moment. "I guess I'm about the age you and Steph were when you first started noticing differences in families, huh, Mom?" she asked D.J.

"That's right," D.J. said, giving her a hug. "I'm just so glad we can discuss it freely, and you feel comfortable coming to me with any questions. And, most importantly, no matter what happens, we've got the most important thing in the world; unconditional love."