Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

California Dreamin'
Written by: Doug Fowler


Viper Heinz finished playing his solo on stage at the Smash Club. The muscular, tatooed guitarist bowed as the crowd of college age students - and some younger - cheered, then spoke into the microphone. "Okay, everyone, the band here's gonna retire for the night, but you can look forward to more rock and roll next weekend," he declared, hollering the words "rock and roll." Viper was a kind, caring man, but a bit of a rebel - much like the band's former leader, Jesse Katsopolis. Viper enjoyed the flash and excitement of being on stage. Even if it was doing polka music, as his father had. Of course, being something of the rebel, he'd quickly taken up rock music.

"Sure a good looking one in the second row," another member, Mongo, remarked.

"Yeah, that's true. Of course, the most beautiful girl in the world is too busy with college right now." And, he said to himself, she's become close to her old boyfriend again. But, he forced himself to recall that there would be other ladies. Jesse had been with quite a few before settling down to marry a local TV host, Becky Donaldson.

Steven Hale, meanwhile, was looking around for Jesse, the Smash Club's owner. While Jesse hadn't run the day-to-day operations since the previous May, he thought Jesse might be in the back room, which had recently been turned into a place where some band members could hang loose if they wanted. He walked in the door.

Almost at the same moment, Nelson Burkhardt did the same thing. He was very rich, and had wished to talk to the Smash Club's manager about booking a good friend of his in the entertainment world.

"Hey," Viper said while turning around. "I thought I'd have this lair to myself tonight."

Steve noticed the guitar still around Viper. "Sorry, I was just looking for Mr. Katsopolis. Hope your performance went well. I guess he's not here?"

"Nope. He might be in a little later."

"Is the manager here?" Nelson asked. "I wanted to ask about future bookings. I've got a good friend who's an up and coming singer."

"He's busy, I guess. I haven't seen him since early this evening, when his cell phone went off." Viper took his guitar off, laid it down, and collapsed into a chair. He pulled out a soft drink from the tiny refrigerator next to him. "Want some soda pop?"

"Sure, thanks." Nelson took the soda offered, as did Steve. "Performing probably tires you out, huh?"

Steve shook his head and gestured with his can of Pepsi. "Come on, it seems like it would be pretty easy to me," he declared. "Now, extermiinating, that's rough work. The owner's dad has me filling in full time for him while he's in Greece with his wife, though. And, I've run into a problem I've never seen. I just thought I'd better ask, Mr. Katsopolis about it, since he was in business with his dad before he went into music."

Nelson snickered. "Come on, you don't have to hide it from us. You like his niece, D.J., and you've stayed close to the family. So, you can call him by his first name."

Steve decided he should admit it. As he and Nelson sat, he said, "D.J.'s a wonderful young woman. And, yeah, we've only been back together for about five months, since the prom. But, there are times I dream."

"About him being your Uncle Jesse, too?" Steve nodded toward Viper. "I can dig that. I gotta admit, there were times he was more than just a band leader. He treated us like family. It was a little like when my dad had the band and I was...well, in it at a young age." He'd been nicknamed "Tiny Hine" back then. Not knowing these men really well, he didn't want to mention that part, lest they could tease him.

He continued. "I completely understood when he said 'goodbye' to us. His little niece, Michelle, had been hurt in that horse-riding accident. And, he realized family was so much more important. I think they all did. It's the same reason he stopped running the Smash Club's day-to-day stuff. But, that just shows that being in a band is hard work," he insisted. "It's lots of rehearsing, lots of work getting everything organized, even if you only play here. And, there are times when I start thinking about the same stuff; family. That's why I don't go out partying all the time like Mongo and the others. I like to stay here and think. About life. 'Cause Michelle's all better now, but who knows what could have happened."

"Just like when D.J.'s mom died in that car accident, and Jesse and their dad's best friend Joey moved in to help," Nelson added.

"Exactly." Viper nestled the pop can close to him, and said, "She's right in what she told me out here over the summer. It's not what you can get that's important in a relationship. It's what you can give. I was thinking all about what I could get earlier, when I went with her. But now, if she wanted, I could give D.J. a good life. No matter if it's polka, rock and roll, or whatever, we'd have a great time."

Viper and D.J. kissed. "Welcome to Los Angeles" banners hung from their motel room. They continued to kiss as porters brought their luggage into the honeymoon suite, two floors up from where the rest of the band would stay.

D.J.'s sisters were next in the door with bags of their own. "Wow, it looks like you two haven't stopped kissing since the wedding last month," Michelle declared as she gazed at them.

Stephanie gazed at her thirteen-year-old sister. "Come on, Michelle. We came here to sightsee."

"You came to sightsee. I came to be with the band. Besides, this is a really cool sight right here," she kidded, dreaming of the day when a boy would sweep her off her feet like Viper had D.J..

D.J. and Viper remained with their faces a few inches apart. She merely glanced at Michelle. "Are you sure bringing her with us was such a good idea?"

"Hey, she was singing with our Uncle Jesse's band when she was two."

"Yeah, things like 'I'm a Little Teapot.'" D.J. fingered Viper's buttoned collar. He would never wear a suitcoat - he felt trapped in them. A short-sleeved Polo shirt was the most he would dress up with at any time; even at his wedding. "Thirteen's kind of a rebellious age, you know., honey."

"Exactly. That's why she's here with Stephanie, before Steph goes off to college in the fall. Michelle has been wanting to get out, and what better way to do so than touring with Downright Jubilant Thumpers."

"There are worse ways," D.J. confessed.

"Hey, I named the band after you, sweetheart. D.J.T.. I'm hopelessly devoted to you-ou-ou," he sang.

"Are those two going to relive the '70s in music every night, Steph?" Michelle asked.

"Would you rather have that, or continuous Elvis?" Stephanie retorted.

"You've got a point."

"Hey, while we do stuff together, sweetheart, your sister can chaperone Michelle. We'll only be gone on tour for a month. Your dad won't get too lonesome."

"Well, that's true." D.J. smiled. "I guess we've been over all this before, huh?"

"Hey, you're concerned about your youngest sister. The men were pretty lax at times, so you had to step in, and now you want to make sure she's not falling for temptation. That's great. Because, frankly, it's just like when I was little. There's something about music. But, it's far greater when that music is done as a family." They kissed again.

A couple days later, D.J.T. was rehearsing before a performance.

"I'm in it for you. You're in it for me. We're in it for love," Viper and D.J. sang, with the others as backups.

"Okay, I think we've got that down cold. Take five," Viper announced. He and D.J. walked off the stage, and almost ran into a positively giddy Michelle.

"He kissed me!" she shouted.

D.J. was taken aback for a second. Obviously, Michelle had just gotten her first kiss. But, how, and when? And, would the shock ever wear off D.J.'s face?

"Isn't this great?" Michelle asked.

Viper turned D.J. toward himself as Stephanie entered the studio, having parked the car. "Hey, sweetheart, remember that fourteen-year-old I mentioned a couple days ago, Roger Morris? Family's touring in some of the same places we are. I bet that's who she means."

"He kissed me in the best part of the Matterhorn," Michelle declared.

"Michelle, you are too young to have someone kiss you there..." D.J. threw her head up and muttered, "Listen to me, I'm sounding just like Dad."

"Yeah, especially since the Matterhorn is a ride at Disneyland," Stephanie reminded them.

D.J. knew that she was getting a little too excited. She took a moment to collect her thoughts. "Viper...I'm sorry, this is all happening so fast. I mean, we only met this family what, two days ago?" She'd been trying to avoid the subject whenever it came up, as she had reservations. "You know how boys in bands are!"

"No, I don't," Viper teased.

"D.J.," Michelle said, pleading only slightly. "Roger is a very nice boy. He kissed me. We talked about such cool thing. And, he kissed me. He kissed me!"

"Did she mention he kissed her?" Stephanie joked to lighten the mood. She could tell D.J. was a little distressed.

"Look, this is..." She held her hand to her head, then addressed Stephanie. "Steph, you were watching them, what happened?"

"Well, I was in the seat behind them, and they seemed to be inching closer as we got to the tunnel to go into the dark. Then, they both sort of locked lips for an instant. Although according to Einstein's theory of relativity, that stretched out to about four years in their minds."

"Make it five," Michelle said dreamily.

D.J. walked around while rambling. "Okay, so my little sister has been hanging out with this boy, along with Steph, for two days, and then in some fleeting flurry of hormones, they kiss!"

"I know, isn't it romantic?" Stephanie asked.

"Steph, we're supposed to be on the same side here. Trying to keep Michelle from getting carried away," D.J. exclaimed.

Viper held D.J.'s shoulders and spoke calmly. "Hey, sweetheart, don't get so bent out of shape, it's okay. I know, we didn't really have time to talk about the kid, but you just have to trust me on this."

At that moment, a fellow with a Texas accent walked up to them. His wife and three children followed closely. Roger and Michelle instantly made eye contact and smiled at each other.

Stephanie had to motion Michelle to introduce everyone. "Oh, yeah, D.J., this is Roger, and his parents, and his two older brothers. This is my oldest sister, D.J., and her husband Viper."

"Pleased to meet y'all. Hey, I hope y'all aren't too upset, I guess Roger and Michelle got a little excited over at Disneyland earlier today."

"Well..." D.J. wsn't sure how to respond, except that she wanted to be polite while also trying to get the two to keep their distance a little. Although, these certainly didn't look like what she pictured in a band.

Mr. Morris continued. "We've been good friends of Viper's cousin for quite a while. Roger here almost didn't want to come touring with us. Seems Southern Gospel singin' can get a little tedious sometimes for boys his age."


"But then, I told him, 'Son, you're liable to get on tour with our group, and meet the sweettest, loveliest girl you ever laid eyes on.' And, I was right, wasn't I?" he asked Roger. "D.J., you have obviously had some part in bringing up this fine young lady since your mom passed away. And, you can be proud of her. She's got the same values as we try to teach. Honesty, purity, a love for other people; yeah, she and Roger got a little excited, but who wouldn't? It's why you have chaperones."

"Your right, Sir. It's great to meet you."

D.J. apologized to Michelle for sounding upset, then sighed and turned to Viper. "I'm sorry Viper."

"Hey, I understand. It's okay. We should have talked more. These folks, they're the cleanest cut bunch you'd ever want"

"No, it's not that. It's just...well, sometimes it's just so amazing that I'm with you yet, in a band. I think about what you seemed like at first, and what some other kids, like our Uncle Jesse when he was young, are like. I mean, a lot of them are nothing like you. You're warm, kind, caring; you just know how to treat me. I shouldn't have made that comment about kids in bands." They embraced. "I love you, Viper."

"I love you too, D.J.."

Viper sighed as he finished his can of pop. "Yeah, D.J. and I would make beautiful music together."

"Neat idea. The only problem is, D.J.'s not the kind who wants to go and stay in motels half her life."

"Half her life? If I'd gone any further, Nelson, you'd have learned I had her on pace to be a gold record seller by age thirty. Then, she could retire," Viper declared.

"Nelson does have a point, though, Viper. D.J. loves family. You're right that she'd be concerned about Michelle. But, while she'll focus on a career, it won't be the kind where she ends up very far from home."

Nelson agreed with Steve. "That's right. She can have a great home with me, do whatever she wants, and go wherever she wants. She's one girl who did not love me just for my money, unlike the private school girls I knew. D.J. knew the person inside was what counted."

"Of course, lots of gold and stuff outside doesn't hurt," Viper said sarcastically.

Nelson held up his hands. "Look, I cared about her for who she was, too. I'll even admit, we might have our differences when it comes to children. But, she and I had talked about the future sometimes. And, I can say without a doubt that life with her would be great. And, I would still be able to give, and to meet her concerns, if she were to become D.J. Burkhardt." He closed his eyes, and considered such a world.

"Here you go, honey," Nelson declared in the living room of the couple's incredibly posh Victorian home. He whipped out a fabulous diamond ring. "Happy 40th birthday!"

"Oh, Nelson, it's so incredible." She gushed over it for a second, then said, "Have the children come home yet?"

"Michelle should be getting home with them shortly." They kissed. "Isn't it great having your sister as a nanny? With her and her husband in the one bedroom upstairs apartment, and their kids here, too, with ours, it probably feels a little like it did growing up, huh?"

"Yeah." D.J. tried not to sound discouraged as she placed the ring on her finger.

"Hey, what's on your mind?"

"Oh, I was just would be nice to settle down a little. I mean, it's such a rich lifestyle we have."

Nelson smiled sweetly. "Come on, honey. We don't go to all those fancy parties and stuff like some people. And, look what it's brought us. Who else would have been able to afford to fly the whole family from Nicky's college graduation to Alex's a hundred miles away the same day?"

"It's not that. I mean, it's great that it happened, but..."

Michelle came running in with a 12-year-old boy and five-yearo-old girl, plus her own two small children. The five-year-old girl ran up to D.J., but the boy was still talking on a cell phone. "Well, I've gotta run, we just got home. Nice talking to you. Bye." He flipped it off, then ran to see D.J. and hug her.

"Michelle made me sit in the car," the girl complained bitterly.

D.J. looked askance at her. "What did you do?" Placing her hands on her hips, she said, "And, don't make me have to hear from Michelle. I want the whole truth!"

When the girl explained her misdeeds, Nelson scolded her. "We got you your own telephone because we felt we could trust you, young lady!"

D.J. pulled Nelson aside. "Honey, that's really not a very logical consequence to her being so rude and bossy."

"Why not, it affects how much she can talk."

"That's true. However, I think just sending her to her room rather than taking her phone away might work best. And TV for a couple days. That's where she gets some of that."

"Maybe you're right," Nelson remarked. "I guess I'm still not great on this 'Dad' stuff. I'm lenient enough, I probably sound a little like your dad at tiems. But, you have to admit, they have so many things you can take away, you and Michelle can each rest easy. Unless one of our kids was a regular Calvin and Hobbes, as wild as that cartoon kid, neither of you would ever have to consider spanking. And, I know you hate that thought; nobody in your family ever did it."

"Right, and even a gentle one would be very hard for me to think about. But..." D.J. shook her head, trying to gather her thoughts. "Nelson, it's this whole thing with making them such rich kids so fast. I mean, Joseph having his own cell phone, not just a separate line in this house; televisions at age seven. The kids get lots of time with us, but they don't need so many things, with or without that."

"But, honey, you don't want them to lack anything, do you?"

"No; but, still..."

Michelle walked up to them and whispered, "I think the promise of a new Porsche at 16 is a little nuts."

"Yeah, maybe. Okay, we'll make them work for their own cars," Nelson promised.

"Honey, it's not just that. It's...well, I think a lot of this money could go to better use. Feeding the poor, giving to missions..."

"Stephanie really dedicated herself to the Lord after that scare with Michelle's accident. She felt she had to after their fight just before. And, what happened? She wound up as a missionary, and I send her $100 in support every month."

"True, not many missionaries have people taking them on for support themselves. You've really done great things for my family, even for Kimmy. You know how I had to keep helping her so much when we were in school, with her learning problems. And, I'm thankful for that."

"I know how to do this, too." He embraced her and the children, and said, "I love you."

D.J. said "I love you" back, and smiled. The richness could be toned down a bit. But, he was right. What they had was so important. They knew that love was the best thing they could give.

Nelson grinned and said, "D.J., D.J., D.J.."

"Yeah, she's great," Steve said. "I'd love to give her all the best of everything, too."

"But, don't you see? I know what's important. And, I can afford to give them the stuff of their dreams, on top of that."

Viper made a point. "You don't know what it's like to struggle, though. In a way, having to start fresh with this band after Jesse left was the best thing that ever happened, because it was the toughest. And yet, we're on our feet now."

"He's right, Nelson. However long it takes, I know that I can make a good living for her, too. Maybe it wouldn't be with all the fancy stuff. But, we'd be happy, and if we became poor we wouldn't worry and think it was all over. Because, we'd have each other."

"So would we," Nelson said.

"Us, too," Viper remarked.

"Right, and if she were to choose one of you, you know what? I'd be happy if she was happy." The others agreed; they'd matured quite a bit in the last half year or so. "But, while I wish for her all the best things life can bring, I know I could provide them for her. And, we could make it through anything."


Horns sounded as Steve and D.J. looked at the huge throng gathered in a large banquet hall. "Happy 50th Anniversary" banners hung everywhere, it seemed, along with a pitcure fromt he prom Steve's senior year, when he'd taken D.J..

Danny Tanner started walking around and picking up confetti with his cane. "Hey, congratulations. I'd like to propose a toast..."

"It's not time for that yet, Dad," Stephanie remarked.

"Yes, but I'm 95. I don't know how much longer I'll have."

Kimmy, D.J.'s best friend and maid of honor, grinned at him. "Oh, come on, Mr. T. As long as there's stuff to clean, you'll stick around."

'Yeah, that's why we'd never want to put Dad in a nursing home. Too little to clean, he'd go nuts," Michelle remarked. "Besides, we love you too much, Dad," she said, embracing him.

"Aw, thanks, pumpkin. I've been so blessed, with three lovely daughters, twelve grandkids, thirty-two great-grandkids, many great-great grandkids again? And that's not counting Jesse's and Joey's kids and grandkids and...did I say kids yet?"

"You did, Dad." D.J. took out her reading glasses and looked at the cake. "Hey, it says the eldest of the great patriarch."

"That was Kimmy's touch," Michelle explained.

Kimmy walked up to her. "Yeah, Deej. Your dad's got so many kids and grandkids, he was sort of like one of those old timers from Bible days, like Abraham or Jordan."

"Kimmy, Jordan is a river. People didn't name their kids Jordan back then."

Kimmy glanced at Stephanie. "Really? That explains the strange looks I got from the kids when I subbed in your Sunday School class."

"Well, it's fitting in a way. Things have gotten so bad, it seems like we're one of the last families to keep those traditional values," Steve remarked. He embraced D.J. and spoke warmly. "And, this wonderful lady has been the real heart and soul behind that."

"You've got that right," Michelle said with great conviction.

"I still think you're a little tough, Deej, but...It would be so much easier for all of us if Pam were still here," Danny remarked. "But, we all pitched in and got through it, didn't we?"

Steve had begun eating the cake. "Steve, don't you want to see the guests first?"

"Oh, sorry, Deej. Don't worry, my appetite isn't what it used to be. I'm down to three pieces of cake after dinner at times like this, in case you hadn't noticed."

"I still don't know where you put all that," D.J. told him.

Steve explained that it was easy. "The way my memory's going, some days I think it's 20 years ago. And, I think my stomach suffers fromt he same displacement. There's a chamber that gets filled 20 years earlier."

A large number of gifts began to be placed on the table, and Steve was invited to make a speech. He stumbled up to the podium, and began to speak. Before he could get many words out, though, he fell asleep.

"He always does this after a big meal," D.J. explained.

When he woke up a second later, he said, "That was a good nap. Okay, now wife and I, we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary this year. We have had the most incredible marriage. Sometimes it may be hard for you kids to appreciate, but when we were first married, there was no such thing as robot spouses, and Virtual Reality machines you could go into and never have to come out of, except to eat and go to the bathroom. There were such things as families, with chidlren. And, they were pretty common, while now they'er so rare."

"Yeah," Kimmy interrupted, "It's getting so bad I almost expect Mr. T. To start building an ark."

Steve ignored the comment. "But, regardless of the time, till Christ returns for His people, one thing will remain. The Tanner tradition of love, warmth, and family. It's been rough to endure the taunts of people who say I should give up and just live my life in a machie, as it has been for all of you. But, I have never once regretted staying with my beautiful family. And, I will stay for 50 more, too."

"We could mke it through anything, even if we wind up with perfect robot spouses being available."

Jesse had popped his head in the door at that instant. "Robot spouses? Hey, I just hope they don't try to make robot Elvis impersonaters. That would really be an embarrassment to his memory. What are you guys doing here?"

"Oh, having some man-to-man talks," Viper explained.

"Yeah, about dreams, stuff like that. Say, I got a question," Steve began.

Once Jesse had answered their questions, he explained that he had just decided to come to check on everything, since the manager had had to leave early. "It's great to see you guys are all friends. With D.J.'s studies, the least she has to worry about is what guy to pick."

"Yeah, let alone having to go on tour and sing with a band," Nelson remarked.

"Or having to figure out how to convince her kids they don't need new Porsches when they're 16," Steve said.

Viper shook his head and said, "And to think of her having to deal with keeping her kids out of Virtual Reality chambers...."

"What?" Jesse was dumbfounded. "New Porsches; virtual reality? What are you guys talkin' about?"

Steve shrugged. "Oh, nothing, really. Just a little California dreamin'."