Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

Wishing You Were Here
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Sequel to "Pushing The Limits." The pacing of "The Devil Made Me Do it," a 5th season episode by Nicolas Wall and Jane Paris, is odd; this represents the most likely scenario. In the "real Tanner universe," Michelle would not be in her room all day - no 5YO would be just for disobeying. 10 minutes is punishment to her, especially if denied TV and kept inside. (They are sent for a few minutes to think about being grounded.)

The Gumby incident (See my story "Gumby On Rye, Hold the Mayo," which has been updated a bit) explains the restrictions after normal punishment. Danny's "rest of the day" is likely to make it logical for the actresses. They might be in their trailer (more than a room) the rest of the day if they messed with expensive stuff. The character is different. (Note that Danny had just come from her room and looked all over the house *before* - he didn't expect her there. Jesse's question sounds like he wondered why he said she's not in her room when "grounded" means not going anywhere in other episodes. Steph does say "grounded, in our room" in ""Hole In The Wall Gang," but is excited, and sounds like she's saying two different punishments.).

The other girls' scene had to look longer to get them air time in both halves. They'd play football till lunch, then Jesse would resume working. It was later afternoon when Michelle was sent to her room, 3:30 or 4, and then she was let out.

Why am I telling you this? To help you understand the pacing of this solely TV Universe story, and why D.J. says what she does here, while Danny thinks about Pam...

Danny Tanner noticed the determined look on his daughter D.J.'s face. The fifteen-year-old, her best friend Kimmy Gibbler, and Danny's middle girl, Stephanie, ten, had just come from an afternoon break of frozen yogurt. "So, she ran away then, huh?" He could tell D.J. was upset.

"Yes, but your Uncle Jesse has a plan to teach her not to run away again." Jesse Katsopolis held up an empty suitcase, which Michelle would not know was empty. Jesse's dad had used that trick when he ran away once, making him think it meant he couldn't live there anymore. He never did it again.

Jesse was the brother of Danny's late wife, who died about five years ago. He and Danny's best friend, comedian Joey Gladstone, had moved in to help Danny raise his girls. Jesse then married Danny's co-host, Rebecca Donaldson. They lived in the attic apartment and had five-month-old twins.

D.J. said nothing more than a simple, "I want a talk with her when she gets home."

Danny hedged a bit - D.J. could be so much tougher than he could. However, there was part of him that was grateful, a part that still grieved his wife and missed her terribly. He'd tried to stand up for himself, proving to D.J. that he was handling this today. However, he could understand why D.J. was concerned. "I'll punish for this too...I think. Although, she might learn her lesson."

"She stuck her Gumby action figure in the microwave and shorted all sorts of things out, so Uncle Jesse needed new recording equipment. She was grounded for a week - no TV or dessert either. She still doesn't have dessert for almost another week. So, almost the day she's ungrounded, she goes and disobeys an order not to touch his stuff. You said she wasn't really sorry - she was just having fun, you said." D.J. shook her head. "No TV for a week, at least. And, she still has some chores from that Gumby."

Danny calmly let D.J. flail her arms and complain at him. If only you knew, he thought, how much I miss Pam right now. But, maybe that's why I let you react like this...why I didn't punish Michelle till she was almost four.

Still, he was grateful that D.J. sounded like Pam in how she'd discipline. Pam always had things running so smoothly. "Okay...but first we have to get her back here. In the meantime, why don't you grab some food?"

Becky walked in at that moment with the twins, Nicky and Alex. "Well, one of them's on solid food. For premature infants, five months is pretty good."

"Mmmm, baby food," Kimmy spouted. "Maybe after we grab some of that, Deej, we can all play with rattles."

"Kimmy, there's a joke about your brain there that I almost can't pass up, even though we started being nicer to each other," Stephanie said.

"Say it, squirt. I like how we know we have things in common now. But, I still like the old days, too," Kimmy said as Danny shook his head and left.

Jesse kept telling him to be strong - he didn't want to scare his little princess like this, using Jesse's trick. It worked. But, while he scolded her about running away, he also thought a little about how he hadn't wanted to see her grow up. Because, when she was a baby, Pam was alive. He hated change, and without Pam to help him through change, he found it tough to cope. Which was why he was always so nuts about cleaning. It took his mind off of the loss.

So, too, did corny jokes. As he and Jesse waited in the kitchen, while D.J. and Stephanie talked with Michelle, he said, "Well, I guess now we're in a Dennis the Menace comic, huh? First sneaking out at night, now running away. Joey always wanted to be a cartoon." Joey was a kid at heart and loved to watch cartoons, as well as doing other comedy. "Now he's living one. After all, Dennis even had a pal named Joey."

Jesse shook his head. "Danny, please, one cartoon-crazed person in this house is enough." He'd grown to like Joey, but still couldn't stand how childish he was at times.

Stephanie walked into the kitchen. "D.J. said this talk's going to require some privacy. But, don't worry; she said it'll be just like the wedding cake."

Danny had to sit down when he heard that. "Oh, my. I wish I was in there with her. I know this is D.J.'s territory, to react when things spiral out of control, but still..." He shook his head. "It's all my fault. Steph, are you sure she's not doing what she talked about if Michelle had dove into that wedding cake?"

"Hear for yourself." She pulled a glass off the table, which was partly set for dinner, and handed it to Danny. "Hold it up to the door."

"Steph, that would be spying. I only do that if your older sister's with a boy. Although...thanks for the idea."

"Come on, man, it'll be simple, D.J. will say the word, Michelle will cry and hug her tight, she'll promise to be good, and she will. Besides, you know D.J. would only hurt her feelings."

Since Danny wans't using the glass, Stephanie was. "Yep, that's just what D.J.'s saying."

"Let me see that." Danny held the glass to the door. "You know, when you put one of these to your ear, you can hear the ocean. Just kidding."

"You miss Pam, don't you? That's when you're corniest, right?"

"You bet, Jess."

If only she were here, Danny said to himself, we'd have a much better behaved girl. He knew Jesse was right - Michelle would shape up after this talk. She only had it because she'd been so wild lately, and had almost no privileges. D.J. would only give very light slaps - though she called it a spanking - if Michelle snuck out of timeout or tried to do something that was restricted because of punishment.

The Tanners never spanked. Pam had only mentioned it as a possibility for a child like Jesse - and Michelle took after him a lot. D.J. had said the same thing, light slaps that only hurt the feelings. Only as a last resort.

Danny couldn't have imagined D.J. ever mentioning that when Michelle was little. But, Michelle had been so out of control she'd crawled on the table for over 30 seconds eating wedding cake samples. And, D.J. had been worried about what would happen at Jesse and Becky's wedding, with the real cake.

How did I let things get this way? Danny asked himself. Michelle was usually a very good girl, but once again, like with the samples, she had very little self control. Had D.J. been proactive, none of this would have happened. Now...

He dreaded the thought of D.J. hurting Michelle's feelings. The only thing he could think of was, he hoped they hugged afterward if it ever happened, because he wouldn't know who to hug first. He knew it would break both their hearts. Then, at least he could hug both at the same time.

He shook his head, forcing that out of his mind. It would be okay; Michelle would listen, just like she was so good around that wedding cake. Still, as D.J. called them to come back in, he knew he had to say something to regain control. But, what?

Kimmy had long since left - she knew when D.J. needed to be alone with one of her sisters. It was one of few things she knew. But, even she would have been comic relief as he walked back into the living room, and instantly hugged his princess. "You're going to be good, right?"

"I like being a good girl!" Michelle was confident she could be good; D.J. had sold that point well. Danny did the same, as Jesse waited by the steps. He'd have a talk with Michelle upstairs.

"You know, I know you don't normally like being in your room as punishment. Supper will only be about 15 minutes; I'll come up. We'll eat together and talk more about what you did today. Understood?" She understood, and Danny told her no TV for a week. "You know you're low on privileges...look, I'm sorry D.J. had to say what she did."

"It's okay, Daddy. I know I've been a bad girl."

"Well, listen, I know you're going to be a good girl. And, you're going to accept your punishment up there."

"You bet I am. My room will look like Disneyland."

Danny laughed. "Well, maybe not that much."

"There's two things it's way better than," Michelle enumerated. "One is running away. Two is what D.J. said," she remarked in a much lower voice. Danny hugged and kissed her.

He took her dinner upstairs and ate supper with her. They talked about the importance of being good - she'd wanted the "bad Michelle" out of there right away. Danny wished he could tell her how gentle D.J. would be with her; but he dared not spoil the surprise. He knew he wouldn't if it was Pam, and this was another Jesse they had.

Pam. There was that thought again. It came at times like this, when he had to discipline, when he had to correct things, especially with his baby, Michelle. It was at times like this that he wished she was there. And, that he probably relied on D.J. too much.

She was so lucky he'd never actually called her Pam.

"Are you sad, Daddy?"

The question could have come at that dinner he ate with her before letting her out of her room. Instead, it was almost a year later. He and Michelle were scrubbing tiles; doing all the spring cleaning with Danny had been her punishment after D.J. caught her sneaking sweets when she wasn't supposed to have dessert, and other misbehavior.

It had been easy for a while - he actually punished her for calling the "Funny Buddy" line. She hadn't liked it, but in time, she would have accepted that hour early bedtime for a week. However, a short time later, he'd made a dinosaur-sized gaffe.

"Yeah, I guess, a little. Let's take a break." They put the supplies away, and Danny and she walked downstairs. He'd been doing bits of spring cleaning over several weeks with Michelle, and they'd gotten to know each other well. Most importantly, Michelle was starting to learn to have empathy for Danny.

They sat on the couch, with Michelle curled up in his lap. "I wish I could just hold you like a baby again."

"But, Daddy, I'm a big girl."

"I know. I know."

"Does that make you sad?"

"No, no, it's not that. I'm glad you're a big girl. You listened again when D.J. and you had that talk, so she didn't...well, you know." Michelle nodded slowly. "And, you can do so much. It's just that, sometimes, I haven't handled things too well. Because, well, I miss your mom so much."

"Does it hurt?"

"Oh, yeah. Big time."

"I'm never taking a drink at all!" Pam had been killed by a drunk driver.

"Well...that's good, if you want to follow that rule. That's a good thing. But, when I just told you the dinosaur wasn't your fault, when you wrecked it, and then told you you could tell me anytime I was making too many rules, and I would back down...well, I was thinking of your mom. And, I was hoping you'd have the maturity of...well, of me, and not take advantage of that. Because, then I wouldn't have to worry so much."

Michelle hugged him, and they embraced warmly for a few moments. "Now I know why D.J.'s so mad if I take advantage of you." She blushed, thinking of how - even after being grounded for three weeks with no TV after her wandering and bossiness at Disneyworld - she still tried to take advantage of that promise. She even remembered the time less than three years ago when Danny wasn't punishing her at all. If D.J. hadn't reacted then with timeouts and revoked privileges, she'd have been much worse.

And now, she was going to try even harder to be good than before. Because, she was starting to mature enough to understand Danny.

As they spoke for another moment, D.J. happened to walk in. She sat beside Danny, and put a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Dad."

"Oh, hi, Deej."

"Seems like Michelle's obeying everything just like she should. I guess we can totally give you back the reins, huh, Dad?"

"Well, maybe. Uh...Michelle...why don't you go play somewhere now." She left. "Actually, Deej, Dr. Landress says we might have some problems. She still sees you as boss. Only now, she'll obey me because you've taught her. And, she is starting to mature and understand me better." Danny sighed. "I'm sorry I've had such trouble letting my grief go."

"Dad, it's okay. You've done a lot more than some; when I'd talk to my guidance counselors now and back at Van Atta Junior High, they'd tell me about fathers who can't get up in the morning, older siblings who are forced to get their younger ones up for school, fix meals, everything. We've got it lucky."

"It still upsets you, though, that I force you into Pam's role at times."

D.J. agreed. "You'd never considered hitting any of us, but you know what? Even with all the ignoring you've done, all the times you did nothing to enforce limits, you've done enough with Michelle that a heart to heart talk about the consequences a few times was enough. I can't see ever having to mention that again now." And, she wouldn't

Danny said, "It's just that I wish Pam was here so much sometimes. She always had everything running so smoothly. Now, with Vicki, maybe I'm distracted by that, too."

"At least you're not cleaning too obsessively," D.J. replied.

"True." Danny thought a moment. "You know, I remember telling your Uncle Jesse that first Thanksgiving, I don't think the pain ever goes away. Maybe I haven't dealt with it as well as I could have. But, there always will be a part of me, even though I know where she is and that I can see her again someday, that longs for her to tell me I'm doing a good job, that I've raised you girls right. I just need to know that she'd approve of how I've done."

"Well, Dad, I knew Mom all my life. I can tell you one thing. She'd be right there by your side, helping you through everything. And, I honestly think she has been, somehow. Just like I think about her when I have to discipline Michelle." D.J. looked down for a minute. "Maybe you can't hear her telling you you've done a great job. But, I know one thing. I think she's been watching. I think she probably likes what she sees so far. And, we'll always be here to help you."

"Thanks, Deej," he said as they hugged.