Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

How Sweet It Is
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: Danny prays the blessing in the Thanksgiving ep., Stephanie prays for Mr. Bear's return ("Goodbye, Mr. Bear"), Michelle prays "what do I do" when tempted to reveal Becky's party is a baby shower, so this portrayal as very casual believers is plausible in the TVU. (See my "They Grow Up So Fast" for the slightly different Book Universe, part of why Kimmy isn't teased much, etc.; a few books mention Michelle or Steph praying, or skip Sunday morning in a series of weekend events as if to say they could be in church.) Kimmy baked strudels for a church in "Just One of the Guys." Steph's friend Lisa hosted her Honeybee slumber party, and lived close enough Stephanie walked home in bare feet. Others vanish in earlier seasons, likely from moving; it'd be too coincidental if all did, so Lisa being at a Christian school explains it well.

This shows time between Vicki breaking up with Danny ("The Perfect Couple") and the first episode of the New Year weeks later ("Is It True About Stephanie"); he'd have been having problems for weeks till that episode. TV Michelle post-Disneyworld has some attitude from the Jesse influence, but behaves better. This could happen later, as Michelle wouldn't have the consistent learning, but this is logical, as there is a bit of change in her behavior; more so in books that are clearly TVU. Though "Full House" isn't mine, the movie idea is. If you can make it into a movie, I could try to write it. :-)

Michelle Tanner, seven, sat in a big chair in her home's attic apartment. Nicky and Alex Katsopolis, the two-year-old children of her Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky, sat on her lap. "Your dad says he's too busy because of his club. So, what shall we read?"

They said something that sounded like "Charming."

"Prince Charming? Which one? One married Snow White, one married Cinderella, and one married Sleeping Beauty. I guess they were brothers."

"Like us?" one asked.

Michelle hummed. "If there were three like you, they'd be triplets. I'm not sure." Jesse and Becky came out of their bathroom. "But, their dad would be King Charming. Right, Uncle Jesse? He was the king"

Jesse was only half listening, and thinking of his idol, Elvis. "Huh? Oh, yeah, the King was charming. He had women falling all over him."

"Jess, she's talking about Prince Charming's dad," Becky told him.

"And, since there were three of them, I guess you just said Elvis had triplets," Michelle joked. "You're right. Reading can be fun."

Becky chuckled. "Yeah. Plus it helps you understand why it's so odd when your dad tells your cousins about Red Riding Hood and the Three Bears." Danny had recently broken up with his long distance fiance, Vicki. He was having problems dealing with the change.

Jesse walked over to her and smiled, considering how much his youngest niece loved sweets. "I know what you're lookin' forward to even more. That contest to bring the most visitors to Sunday School over two months. If you hadn't been goin' from time to time with Lisa's mom in that church van, you'd have been a visitor at the beginning and still brought the most visitors by the end."

"Uncle Jesse, are you sure I can't take Nicky and Alex as visitors?" Michelle asked.

Becky smiled. "Michelle, you've been up and down the street with us, you've asked lots of kids at your school. You've had enough visitors I'm sure you'll win."

"Maybe. But, you know what happened when the hare took a break," Michelle countered.

"You got any tortoises in your department?" Jesse teased. When Michelle shook her head, he said, "You'll be fine, then."

After Michelle read to Nicky and Alex that evening, she and Becky went downstairs. Danny, father of Michelle, Stephanie - almost twelve - and D.J. - almost seventeen - was rearranging cushions. His wife, Pam, had died in a car accident six and a half years earlier. Last weekend, he'd broken up with his fiancee, Vicki Larson, who took a job as a CNN anchor in New York. "Dad, are you sure I can't get visitors from your show?"

"Sorry, sweetheart. I haven't met any kids who would be in your department. Although I could ask the guy coming on our show tomorrow," he said. "He built a several hundred square foot model of San Francisco out of red and green Jell-O. Maybe he can make some Jell-O people for you. You'd just have to make sure the room was refrigerated."

"Sorry, Dad; I don't think that counts."

Danny sat on the sofa. "Michelle, I appreciate how badly you want to win that five pound chocolate bar. But, some of the regular church kids will be really excited, too. And, they can explain more to potential visitors about everything."

"So, you're saying I'm not going to win it?" Michelle asked.

"I just don't want you to be disappointed if you don't, okay?"

"Well, I guess I have to be the tortoise," Michelle said as D.J. Tanner, D.J.'s boyfriend Steve, and Kimmy Gibbler came in. Kimmy was D.J.'s dumb and weird best friend.

Kimmy was thinking of the Christmas play Saturday, and thought Michelle might be in it. "The tortoise? I don't think tortoises belong in a Christmas play."

Stephanie looked up from where she'd been reading. "Since when do you care about timing? You baked strudels in the shape of the Wise Men for a bake sale in February."

"She's got a point; it might not be a Christmas..." Steve stopped suddenly. "Kimmy, you can bake strudel? Could you do some this weekend? I haven't had strudel in at least a few weeks." Steve always seemed to be eating.

"I think Michelle's referring to the race with the hare," D.J. explained.

Taking the other spelling, Kimmy said, "Who tries to race with hair?"

Joey Gladstone had come from the kitchen as Kimmy said that. He was a professional comedian, Danny's best friend, and Jesse's partner in helping Danny raise the girls. "At least she'd win. She's always got a head of hair. Get it? Ahead of hare?" he said, explaining the play of words between "hair" and 'hare." The others just shook their heads and chuckled at the rather obvious pun.

"Michelle's worried about winning that contest," Danny remarked. "You know, even if you don't win, they will be giving out random fun stuff, too, just like in Bible School."

Michelle gave him a tired look. "What good is a slinky compared to five pounds of chocolate?"

"You'd ask what good a shiny new car is compared to chocolate," Stephanie teased.

"You drive a car," Kimmy explained, taking her literally. "You don't drive chocolate."

"Of course, you don't have insurance or car payments with chocolate," Joey joked.

"Well, maybe someone can make a chocolate car," Steve suggested.

D.J. smiled sweetly at Steve. "Don't give Michelle any ideas."

Michelle blushed a little. She was used to the routine. D.J. was her boss if Danny ignored things, since Jesse and Joey didn't enforce limits with her. Still, Danny was weak now, given how poorly he sometimes handled change. He was rearranging everything, and would be for a couple more weeks. Part of her wanted to get away with more; and, she knew D.J. knew that, too.

She got her mind back onto the contest. "Come on, guys," Michelle said. "Dad's right. Steph's friend Lisa won every year in that Sunday School department. Sunday's the last one before Christmas. I've gotta try like crazy to win that big candy bar."

"Maybe you could borrow some of Lisa's friends," Kimmy suggested.

Stephanie spoke up. "Kimmy, Lisa's in a Christian school. That's why I didn't even have her going into sixth grade. We were in Honeybees, but we weren't in school together."

"Oh, that's right." Kimmy turned to Michelle. "Tell you what, Squirt Junior, I'll take you there. We can raid their school."

"Kimmy, visitors have to want to come, you can't drag them like pirates," Danny said.

"Sure," Stephanie added. "Lisa's mom says it's not about stuff you have to do. It's about wanting to be good and do good things, because of the ultimate Christmas gift."

Kimmy thought for a second. "I guess if you can't get visitors that way, raiding a school wouldn't be a good way to get a boyfriend either, then, huh, Deej?"

"No, it wouldn't be," D.J. said with certainty.

Danny - and some of the others - and Kimmy often teased each other. He wondered if anyone would want to be Kimmy's boyfriend. He ignored that thought, and turned to Michelle. "Honey, all you have to do is sound excited, and make friends like you do so well. Make them in other grades, too; each grade has three classes. I'll get you there real early tomorrow morning. It'll be a nice change of pace for me. How does 5 AM sound?" he asked. She looked tiredly at him. "Bit early, huh? How about a more normal time?"

"Thanks, Dad. You're the best." Michelle said, hugging him before going upstairs.

The next day, Jesse and Joey had just gotten home from their radio show as the Tanners sat down to eat. All the decorations were up; they were even eating on Christmas plates. "So, how'd your show go?" Jesse asked his wife and Danny.

As usual, Danny rambled about it. He concluded with, "The only problem with the Jell-O mold of San Francisco was, it felt weird when we started eating a part that collapsed," Danny said. "I felt like Godzilla."

Joey announced, "I was a bit bored, since the girls were at school, and Jesse took the boys to the doctor. So, I wrote a song."

Jesse looked oddly at him. "You wrote a song?" he asked in disbelief.

"Well, it was for advertising. I told one fellow during my last comedy tour that we used to do it," Joey explained. "He called today and asked if I could make an ad for him."

"I hope you told him I was the one with the songs," Jesse said, already worried.

"Oh, I did; I just didn't think you'd be interested. But you can sing it if you want. It goes like this." To the tune of "Born Free," he sang the shoe company's name and, "shoes, so many kinds to choose. So please do not confuse them with a hat or a shirt."

Jesse was dumbfounded. "What? That's crazy, man, when you do a shoe ad you talk about rich leather, or custom designs. And, who in their right mind..." Jesse turned to Stephanie's friend Mickey. She was usually too busy with sports, but had some free time near Christmas. "Mickey, would you ever put shoes on and then say, 'I thought I was putting shoes on, but maybe it was a hat'?"

Joey explained, partly singing, "Well, I had to find a rhyme with, 'You'll love to wear our shoes, in grass, in snow or in dirt.'"

"Oh, sure, what's next, you readin' my boys the nursery rhyme about an old woman who lived in those shoes?"

As Jesse shook his head, Mickey said, "Actually I think it's kind of catchy."

"You're just sayin' that to be contrary," Jesse protested.

Michelle shook her head. "Uncle Jesse, it's not Mickey, quite contrary. It's Mary, Mary, quite contrary," she joked.

Danny added, "It has a certain rhythm. I've tried a little songwriting, too. For instance, I thought about a new theme for our show." He sang with a silly grin. "We make you feel right at home; it's the best talk show you can know. With Donaldson a-and Tanner by the Bay. It's time to Wake Up San Francisco..."

Mickey tried hard to sound understanding. "I know you said your dad gets like this sometimes because he misses your mom, Steph. But..." She wasn't sure what to say, but she felt Danny had just gives corny a whole new meaning.

"And, I thought 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' was elevator music. That parody would put your audience right back to sleep," Jesse responded.

"Well, it was spur of the moment yesterday," Danny alibied. He liked to be extra corny at times, to avoid thinking about missing Pam; the breakup with Vicki made it a bit worse.

"You know, we have a guest next week who sounds interesting. He's producing a movie," Becky interrupted, trying to rescue Danny.

"Oh, right. I told Michelle about him to give her a conversation starter before school - you know, talking about family entertainment. He loves family-friendly ideas," Danny said. "You know that parody song 'This Song Is Just Six Words Long'?"

Michelle pointed out, "That's seven words."

"That's part of the humor," Becky said. "He got permission from the writer to use his parody song as basis for a movie. This kid's in a garage band like Jesse used to have. His friends need him to write a song. He's got severe writers' block. His little brother's teasing about how mushy teenagers like to be, and tells him to write the lyrics 'I love you, you're so nice,' over and over. And, he does, not meaning for them to see it."

Danny continued as she took a bite. "His friends all make fun of it, and how he couldn't even rhyme it. But, his kid brother is so proud, he makes contact with a record producer, and suddenly this older brother is a big star, and his friends are all jealous. They eventually make up and join him on tour. It should be really funny."

"Has your family ever heard of spoiler warnings?" Mickey asked Stephanie.

"Don't worry. I couldn't remember all that," Michelle said. "I just asked if they liked to have fun. Just like we do."

"Plus, it won't be out for at least a year, anyway. So, you got a lot of promises to come?" Stephanie asked.

"I could use Lisa's number. Most said they'd try to get their parents to bring them. But, if I'm going to win that big candy bar, I want to see if they need rides."

Lisas's parents had taken Lisa and picked Michelle up in the church's 15-passenger van Saturday, so they could visit some of the kids Michelle invited. They came back and stayed for lunch. "How are things at DiMaggio?" Lisa asked Stephanie.

"Better. I haven't thought about asking Dad to let me transfer since October," she joked.

Danny smiled. "I knew you'd make friends. And, I've admitted, I was too judgmental about Mickey at first. I was practicing for when you start dating," he joked. "But, Joey was right; we call him Joey and everyone respects him, for instance."

Lisa's mom asked how he was dealing with the breakup with Vicki. "I just wondered because you don't see many people serve soup with knives and forks, but no spoons."

"Oh, sorry, I'm just trying to change things. You know, change can be good."

"Unless you're trying to eat soup with a fork," Becky said as she got spoons and passed them around to everyone.

Once Lisa and her parents left, Michelle went upstairs to start helping Jesse decorate a small tree he and Becky had bought for their apartment, in addition to the big family one downstairs. "Did you always like Christmas, Uncle Jesse?" Michelle inquired.

"Well, munchkin, I put a few decorations up, once I got my apartment." He looked at a couple ornaments with Pam's picture, and sighed. "But, I never understood till your mom died. I told the minister who was doin' her funeral about how wild I'd been. He told me about God's forgiveness bein' a gift. I received it, and now look at me. Part of me changed when your mom died. Yeah, I fought it at times, like when I moved out. But, there was always somethin' tuggin' at me. It was sayin' I was loved no matter what, and I'd always be part of His family, but I belonged with you guys. And, it was true. 'Cause bein' here, it's opened up parts of me I never knew were there. That's how to know someone who says they believe, versus someone like me. Anyone can say something and not mean it. But, with me, there was a change right away; it was just slower because I rebelled at times, and wouldn't listen to that part inside me."

"How did it change?" she asked

"I wanted to be with family, and do what's right. Not that I always did." He sat, and she crawled into his lap. "Remember how I dropped out and had to go back to school? A few months after I met Becky, we were all together. I was so close to sayin' I lied all that time about graduating. But, I couldn't find words. Then, your dad rambled about how I musta had trouble 'cause I missed your mom. I never found time again. I was still forgiven, but I fell back into the habit of sayin' I graduated. God kept tryin' to get me to tell, and I wouldn't listen. Finally, it was like, 'I'm cornered, I gotta tell the truth.'" He chuckled. "Guess I'm still a bit of a rebel. I guess sometimes I even overreact to your dad's corny jokes; like that theme song of his. He got so hyped up about Vicki; breakin' up might be bringin' back memories of losin' your mom. It's not as bad as when she died, of course, but, it probably wasn't the best thing to say, huh? Sorry, munchkin."

"That's okay. You're still a great uncle."

He said "thanks," and they hugged. He was so thankful to live in a family where they could laugh and kid around with each other, and still feel that unconditional love.

Sunday morning, Michelle was the first one up. She woke D.J., used the phone, and went back to wake Stephanie. The seven-year-old jostled her awake, and D.J. entered. "I called Lisa's mom for the church van," Michelle said as Stephanie moved tiredly. The adults would go on Christmas Eve - they almost always went on Christmas and Easter.

As usual, Stephanie was witty even when half awake. "Don't you mean the five pound chocolate bar van?"

"Come on, Steph; we should be glad she wants to go. That background really helped me when Mom died. It was rough, but at least I had peace to know things could be okay. It doesn't always seem like it at the time, since we miss her in this life." Especially Dad, she mused. "Still, I knew it wasn't the end; we'll see her again someday," D.J. said.

"True. Plus, I prayed to God when Mr. Bear was missing," Stephanie said as she sat. Mr. Bear was a stuffed bear and best friend for Stephanie when Pam died; he'd been a gift when Michelle was born. He'd been lost for several days when Stephanie was seven. "We have friends we wouldn't see much otherwise, too. Plus, you got support, just like from your school guidance counselors, when Dad wouldn't put limits on Michelle."

"Right. And, you've really been good while Dad's struggling," D.J. encouraged Michelle.

"I know. Once, I almost talked him into baking cake for supper. But, I realized you wouldn't like that," Michelle replied.

"We're really proud of you for not doing that," D.J. and Stephanie said. Danny hadn't always been consistent enforcing rules with Michelle, but D.J. had been, so Michelle knew what proper boundaries were.

The girls caught the van, and arrived with several others, including two senior citizens who didn't drive anymore. Michelle's mind was on that big candy bar as her class's teacher told the Christmas story. The youngsters left the classrooms on the side, and gathered in the main room, toward the end of Sunday School. "And now," the leader said, "we have the grand prize winner, of the five pound chocolate bar."

"Please let it be me, pleeeease," Michelle said while looking up.

The speaker said a few things to be funny and to try to keep the kids entertained, as they insisted on asking who it was. "You really want to know?" They all said "yes." "All right; let's hear it for Michelle Tanner!"

Michelle ran excitedly to the front of the main room as the others cheered. She could almost taste the treat she loved so much. She'd overwhelmed the next closest kid.

D.J. smiled as she popped her head in after youth group, before the main service. She motioned Michelle over, and Michelle said she'd won. "I knew you could do it. You'd do anything for that big of a chocolate bar, huh?" D.J. asked.

"You bet. I have to get it after church, so I'm not tempted to eat it."

"Great; be good." D.J. mussed her hair a little, and left.

Michelle thought about the candy bar quite a bit. But, part of her - even after all the trouble she'd been in after Disneyworld - also thought about taking advantage of Danny.

Just feeling like take advantage bugged her, as the childrens' church program continued. Michelle liked to answer questions, though she couldn't as well as some. When the teacher asked for an example of sin, she once said, "Taking advantage of my dad when he's sad." Michelle knew it wasn't nice to treat her dad that way - it was sin just like lying, being mean, and so on. She really wanted to be good.

"Jesus came because He loves you," the teacher was saying. "We think of Him as a baby at Christmas. But, did He stay a baby?" Another answered. "Right. Jesus grew up, and lived a perfect life, because Jesus was God. He never sinned. We've all sinned; even me, even the minister. Sin separates us from God. We're born with a sin nature. The world was made perfect, but people choose to sin. We can't reach Heaven because of our sin. Heaven couldn't be perfect if God let sin in. We need changed, then, don't we? And, that's the gift God gives us; that change that lets us go to His fabulous Heaven!"

Michelle knew Heaven would be so amazing! She wanted to meet Pam so badly. But, also, she didn't like taking advantage of Danny, or other bad things. She knew a change like Uncle Jesse talked about would be the best Christmas gift ever.

"Sometimes we choose to do wrong, because of that sin nature, though we know we shouldn't, don't we?" the teacher asked. "We say, think, or do bad things. That separates us from God's perfect love. But, Jesus gave us the best gift ever! He took the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. And, He rose from the dead the third day. He did that for each of us. He washed our sins away. He has forgiven us. He wants us to trust Him to save us from our sins, so we're not separated from His perfect love anymore."

Michelle knew Jesse hadn't always listened to that part saying to follow the right path once he moved in. But, he'd been changed on the inside. Michelle wanted it, too.

The teacher continued. "It's a gift. Just like you'll get gifts. You don't do anything to earn a gift. You just take it and open it. It's the same with Jesus. We have to want Jesus to save us - through what He did on the cross for you - and come live in our hearts and forgive us," she said. "Once He changes us on the inside, He lives in us. We can have a personal relationship with Him then. We can know for sure we're going to Heaven. And, He'll help us here. He'll help if we turn to Him because we're tempted, and He'll give us a way out. He'll give us peace and help if we're worried, or confused, or sad, or anything. We can celebrate with Him if we're happy. That's what Christmas is all about - that gift God gave each of you. It's the gift of salvation; you get your sins all washed away. But, it's also a personal relationship with the Creator Himself. All it takes is receiving, by faith, what He did for you on the cross, when He took your sins away. It's turning from your sins, and trusting Him to forgive you, and to make that change on the inside. You can talk to Him and do that right now by faith. Just like opening a gift."

Michelle was excited. She wanted that. She quickly agreed, when the teacher asked if anyone wanted to receive that free gift of salvation through Christ's forgiveness. Lisa's mom, who was a helper, went to talk quietly with her about it.

Michelle bounded up to D.J. and Stephanie as they picked her up. "Guess what?!"

"I knew you'd win that candy bar," Stephanie said.

"Even better! I asked Jesus to forgive me and live in my heart," Michelle said excitedly.

D.J. and Stephanie hugged her elatedly. The teacher said she seemed to understand. "She may be a bit young, so if she thinks she needs to later, let her. It's a bit hard at that age," she told D.J., "especially with kids who don't hear about it a lot. But, I know children who understand at her age; thankfully, it's all by His grace anyway. So, we know someone too young to understand would be with Him, anyway."

"We'll be sure to talk about it with her, and encourage her. Thanks," D.J. said.

After her riding accident a couple years, Michelle announced- as she and Stephanie were picked up from summer camp - that she'd received Christ's forgiveness. "I remember from before. I just understood it more now," Michelle told Danny.

"A good illustration can make it clearer. Or, maybe you finally grasp some key concept. But, as long as you meant it now, or when you were younger, that's all that matters. There was a bit of a change after that Christmas," Danny recalled..

Stephanie agreed. "We all mess up, because of that nature we're born with. I wish I'd been nicer to Kimmy. Kimmy says with all the teasing she got at school, that's how she relates best, except for really close friends like D.J.." she explained. "That's why Kimmy teased us, too; though she was always good about not teasing about us missing Mom. It's better than it was, but ...well, I've matured since your accident. Even just praying for you to get better, I've thought of things I want to do better. So Gia understands, for one." She smiled. "But, we've made it through anyway, huh?" Danny and Michelle nodded.

"And, if you ever would really slip up, honey, I want you to know just what I told Steph when she backed the car into the kitchen. I'll always love you, no matter what. There is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you," Danny promised.

"I told someone at church about that time. They said that's how God loves us," Stephanie said before they got in the car. "He'll never kick us out of the family once we're in it. But, we have to receive His forgiveness, through what he did for us, by faith. Like I had to come home that time I wrecked the car, or I wouldn't have known I was forgiven." She smiled. "That'll make a great Sunday School illustration."

"I thought about that that Christmas. He gave us the best gift ever. We can talk to Him and ask Him for help with anything, at any time," Michelle said. "I just had to decide I wanted it. Like I wanted that chocolate. But, I couldn't do anything to earn forgiveness; it was a gift. And, His forgiveness was way better than even that chocolate bar."

"It sure was," Stephanie agreed. "We'll be in that perfect place with no suffering, no pain, nothing like that, someday. We'll see Mom again." Danny grinned sadly; at least he wasn't missing her like he had been. "And, we're loved no matter what here, too. Just like you've always shown us, Dad. Thanks," she said warmly.

"It's my pleasure. I'm glad to know we all have such great love for each other."

"Me, too," Michelle said as they all hugged.