Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe
Make Up San Francisco
Thirteen-year-old Stephanie Tanner gazed lovingly at her little sister sitting next to her. She spoke merrily. "Well, Michelle, the doctor says your tests are still clear after five weeks."
Michelle, eight, nodded slowly. "Which, knowing Dad, means I'll be riding horses again in about twenty years."
Danny Tanner, their father, shook his head as they drove home from the doctor. "Michelle, I promised you I was going to have faith. You still don't have any headaches, right?"
"Dad, I told you I'd tell you at the first hint there was anything wrong. You've gone over the warning signs dozens of times."
Stephanie smiled. Her dad, as usual, was overprotective. But, he was doing pretty well, all things considered. Michelle had fallen from a horse. Her injury had looked a lot scarier than it was. She only had amnesia, thank goodness. It lasted for a week, all but a day and a half of which was spent in the hospital. But, it could have been a whole lot worse.
Danny repeated his promise. "You can go to overnight camp in early August, I checked and they have an opening. You can play sports now, the doctors say you're clear. But no soccer till August. And you can ride horses when next school year begins."
"Cheer up, Michelle," Stephanie remarked, patting her on the back. "Dad's just making sure everything's all right." Indeed, Stephanie felt a little overprotective of her at times, too, after that accident.
Stephanie noticed a broken down car far ahead. It was in their residential neighborhood, on Girard Ave. "Look. We should stop and help them."
Danny Tanner hesitated. "Well...it's not always that safe..."
"He has children." Stephanie noticed that the black man looking under the hood was very well dressed, with a nice, colorful sweater. A college aged fellow - maybe a little older - was with him. So was a teenaged girl, plus a girl Michelle's age. The youngest girl was spinning like a ballerina. The teenager was bouncing a little boy. As the got closer, she noticed someone reading in the back seat. She looked to be a little older than Stephanie and Michelle's sister D.J., who had just graduated from high school.
"That's a good point," Danny remarked, pulling over behind the station wagon. "I always say to stay with a family with children if you're lost and can't find the police, don't I? They should be safe. I suppose we should stop. In fact, I suppose I should get out of the car, because I probably look pretty weird parked here and talking."
Stephanie listened to her dad talk as she exited the car. She walked up to the teen. "Hi, I'm Stephanie Tanner. My dad will get out as soon as he stops rambling."
"This is ridiculous," she heard the older black man remark. "I'm a doctor, not a mechanic."
"Say that with a Southern drawl, Dad, and you'll sound just like Dr. McCoy on Star Trek," noted the younger man.
The father looked at his son. "Theo, I think this car calls for another of his quotes. He's dead, Jim.'"
The teen looked back at Stephanie and extended a free hand. "Hi, I'm Rudy Huxtable. This is my little nephew, Jackie. Named after the great Jackie Robinson."
Michelle suddenly appeared behind Stephanie. "I did a report on him for school last March." "You did a report on that little boy," Stephanie teased Michelle. She turned back to Rudy. "Who's that acting like a ballerina," Stephanie wanted to know. She noticed that the station wagon was a rental.
"Just Olivia." Rudy looked at Michelle. "Jackie Robinson was a great man. Can you tell me some about what you learned."
Stephanie grinned. Rudy was probably a great babysitter. She took an interest in Michelle right away. That was something Stephanie tried to do with her charges.
"I could tell you almost anything - I remember it all now," Michelle spoke proudly.
Stephanie noticed Rudy's puzzled look and explained. "Michelle fell off her horse and lost her memory for a week last month," she explained.
"Another reason why I continue to refuse to get a pet. Even if you could sit on one, unlike my late, great, bird Charlie, it would throw you off," the black man remarked as he walked up to them. He spoke to Danny, Stephanie, and Michelle, extending a hand to each. "Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable."
"Danny Tanner." He introduced Stephanie and Michelle. "You're scheduled to be on Wake Up, San Francisco, aren't you?"
"Yes, tomorrow. Word must travel fast since I delivered the Stephenson Sextuplets," Cliff remarked.
"Actually, I'm the co-host," Danny explained. "We spoke via conference call last week."
The face seemed to slowly dawn on him. "Yes, now I remember. You're the one who kept dusting the table while we spoke. Anyway, we've hit some serious problems. Not only are we lost, but our car has broken down. And, we're too late to claim our reservation with the motel. I just called, and they are booked solid."
Michelle laughed. "Well, you guys ought to stay with us. We could have a slumber party."
Stephanie hoped she wasn't quite serious about her suggestion. She rolled her eyes. Michelle could still get on her nerves. She was getting a lot better at putting up with it, though. "Michelle, I'm sure they can find somewhere else..."
Danny grinned. "Actually, you would be more than welcome to. How many do you have in your party?"
"Party is not the right word," Dr. Huxtable noted. " Convention' is more like it in our house. When one person leaves, two move back in."
"Sounds like our house," Stephanie remarked.
"Anyway, I am, as you know, Dr. Huxtable. This is my son Theo, and my daughters Rudy and Vanessa, who is reading something right now. My granddaughter Olivia is spinning like a top, while her brother Jackie is just lounging in his aunt's arms; their parents are off traveling somewhere. But, don't be fooled - at age two Jackie is a disaster area waiting to happen." Huxtable paused. "My wife is trying a big case back in New York. I wanted to bring some of my children with me on this trip. My other daughter, Sondra, is with her family on vacation, before her husband goes into his internship program. Otherwise, we'd have even more with us. I figured my personal babysitters' club would be able to handle things while I appeared on your show."
Stephanie spoke quickly. "Wow, you guys sound as busy as we are. My mom died when I was five, and Michelle was a baby. D.J., my older sister, was only ten. My dad asked his brother-in-law, Jesse Katsopolis, to move in to help him. His best friend from college, Joey Gladstone, moved in, too."
Theo interrupted. He smiled happily. "I think I've heard him a few times. He likes funny voices, doesn't he? And he has that puppet...that woodchuck...what's his name?"
"Mr. Woodchuck. Right. Anyway, then Jesse meets and marries Dad's co- host, Rebecca Donaldson. Now, they have two boys, three-year-olds Nicky and Alex. So, all nine of us live there," Stephanie concluded, weary just thinking about it.
Cliff looked at Danny. "They just keep coming, don't they?"
Danny agreed. "We'll want to get up bright and early for our morning show. Steph, our house is just a couple blocks away. Take Michelle, Rudy, Olivia, and Jackie home, and call the tow truck." Stephanie directed them to follow her.
"Your dad didn't say anything abut a guest room," Rudy noted.
Stephanie explained that they didn't have one. "I figure Olivia will sleep with Michelle and I. We'll let you borrow our sleeping bags."
"Dad won't mind. My brain handled as much wildness at my welcome home party a few days after I recovered my memory," Michelle explained.
"I know Dad. He'll have a precise schedule as to where everyone sleeps. My guess is Theo will go in with Joey," Stephanie continued as they walked. "Jackie will sleep in one of the twins' old cribs. Vanessa will room with D.J.. And...Rudy, you'll probably sleep with Olivia and us."
Rudy's bright, cheerful face suddenly grew grim. "That could be a problem."
"What's wrong," Stephanie wondered as she heard Michelle and Olivia talking about Barbie dolls.
Rudy sighed. "Olivia and I had a big fight a couple days ago. We've hardly spoken to each other." Stephanie hummed. This was not good. However, maybe if she told about her fight with Michelle right before the accident, it would help. "I want to tell you about a fight my sister and I had."
Rudy held up a hand. "I know what you're going to say. Your dad told mine about how you wouldn't forgive Michelle until you found out she was hurt."
Stephanie nodded. That sounded so terrible, the way her new friend put it. But, it was the truth. Thankfully, she'd turned over a new leaf, and she and Michelle had a real friendship now. They still annoyed each other, but they put up with each other quite well.
Rudy seemed to debate how to put this. "It's different for us. I never told Olivia anything like that. She knows I love her. And, I'm pretty sure she loves me. But, we're living in two different worlds. And, we just can't stand to be around each other. I'll spend all my time here looking at cute guys. She'll probably play Barbies with Michelle the whole time." Stephanie noted some disgust in Rudy's voice.
Stephanie listened. Already, Michelle and Olivia were discussing Barbie accessories. Michelle had the idea of a Barbie clothes swap if she ever got to New York, where the Huxtablres lived.
This would be a very tough road to hoe. It seemed like the others were brought partly because Rudy didn't want to babysit Olivia. But, Stephanie knew one thing. She was going to get these two talking again.
Dr. Huxtable was on the phone with his wife. "Yes, we're here, dear." He opened the kitchen door. The kitchen was teeming with life, as fourteen other people vied for spots at two tables. A card tables was set up to help accommodate the large gathering. "I'm having trouble hearing you, though. The motel was closed, so we've got a room at the Tanner residence. I feel like I'm looking in a mirror, sweetheart. Except it's more crowded than our place.
"What's that you say? You're coming early tomorrow? You won your case? Wonderful. I'll put the proprietor on and let him give you directions." He handed the phone to Danny.
Stephanie grinned at Dr. Huxtable sat. This was so much fun. Already, several friendships had been kindled. Michelle and Olivia, of course, had already traded addresses and made plans to trade Barbie merchandise. They would make great pen pals. Theo and Jesse had lots of fun discussing music. She learned Dr. Huxtable's father was a jazz musician! He'd played with some of the greatest. Vanessa and D.J. were planning a trip to the mall for makeovers early tomorrow. And, of course, her dad and Dr. Huxtable had been discussing parenting. As she listened, it sounded like the men were quite similar in styles, methods, and so on. Dr. Huxtable wasn't nearly as protective as Danny, though.
Still, there was Rudy and Olivia. The former was having fun talking with Stephanie and D.J.. But, she didn't want much to do with Olivia. She'd been thrilled when Becky volunteered to sit at the card table with Olivia, Michelle, Nicky, Alex, and Jackie.
Theo passed Stephanie a very strange look. "You put a car into the kitchen," he exclaimed.
Stephanie grinned in embarrassment. "Just thought the R' button meant radio' once. I'm sure none of you has ever done anything like that."
Rudy shrugged. "Dad still has a picture of the kitchen after the mess I made. But it was nothing like that!"
Theo explained. "She tried to make something in the blender. But, she didn't put the lid on. Food went everywhere. And, I just came in and sat down to eat. That's what the picture's of. I figured if it was her mess, she should clean it up. And, Mom said I was right."
The pizza delivery man showed up. Joey went to pay him as Danny spoke nervously. "That would have been...uh..." He placed the phone back on the receiver.
"Dad's such a neat freak. He would have had a cow," Michelle said.
"How could he have a cow? I thought people could only have babies," Olivia said.
Stephanie laughed. She noticed Rudy rolling her eyes. "Come on, Rudy. I thought that was cute. She is so like Michelle."
"Cute is for preschoolers." Rudy paused a moment. "Okay, I guess it was kind of funny. But, still, why do we have to discuss my bad stuff. I wanna know about Stephanie's. Because I can just see Theo using it in one of his stories - he's got his first novel out next month."
Vanessa nodded. "It's a really good family values type of story. And, he plans to make it into a series of books. He did pretty well in school even with his dyslexia. Now that he's learned to overcome that, he's writing like gangbusters."
Rudy added one final reason why she wanted to hear about Stephanie. "I'm sure that's more interesting."
Stephanie laughed. "And embarrassing. Come on, Michelle. I would not have been grounded for three weeks, with no friends over for one of those weeks, and no allowance for a couple months, if I just turned the blender on without putting the lid on."
"You would have had lots of extra chores, though," D.J. said.
"At least you can talk about your most embarrassing moment," Dr. Huxtable remarked as he grabbed a slice of pizza. "Dad, give it up. Get a dog like Comet here," Rudy said.
"I've always loved dogs," Vanessa added. "My fiance says he'll let us put a dog on the list of wedding presents we want."
Danny admitted that he never wanted a dog, either. "But, the children brought Comet's mom home, and Comet just sort of grew on me."
"Yeah, after her puppies grew in my bed," Jesse said.
"You can let things grow on you. You never sat on a bird," Cliff remarked solemnly.
Stephanie enjoyed the lively discussion. They soon had drifted to so many different topics, it was incredible.
Vanessa and D.J. sat with Jackie in Nicky and Alex's room. "Now, Jackie," Vanessa said, "if you get lonely, you know where we'll be right?"
Jackie nodded. "Downstairs."
Becky walked in with Nicky and Alex. "It's going to be harder for him. But I'm sure with all of us, we can keep him happy. Say, have you seen my husband?"
"He's in the basement with Theo," Vanessa said.
Theo pulled out a CD from his suitcase. "Now listen to this. I think you'll hear some similarities between this and at least early rock and roll."
Jesse and Theo listened. The melody had more swing to it than rock. However, even Jesse, the rock musician could detect a little of what Theo was saying.
"Now, let's hear one of your songs."
Jesse grinned. "Heh. Okay, which Elvis song do you want to hear?'
Theo laughed. "Wait, Jesse. Elvis is not someone I think of as a jazz musician." "Oh, yeah? He's the king, he could have done anything." He led Theo over to his recording studio. "Observe." Jesse pressed a few buttons and spun a few dials. Suddenly, a sound was emerging which sounded much like a saxophone. And, it was playing the tune to "Blue Suede Shoes." He added several other instruments. He then turned to Theo. "Now, you tell me that couldn't be a jazz hit."
Theo laughed. The idea of Elvis Presley playing jazz had seemed ludicrous. But, the tune to "Blue Suede Shoes," slowed down a bit, contained enough of Rock's Rhythm and Blues roots that it could pass for a jazz song.
"Okay, I've got to admit, I wouldn't have believed it. But, I suppose it could be. Now, let me show you something." He played a few of Charlie Parker's tunes on his CD player. "What could Elvis have gotten out of that?"
Joey walked down to the basement. "Having a jam session, huh?"
"Well, not really a...well, yeah, sort of." Jesse smiled. "I kind of quit the band for now, I just do the Smash Club and our radio show," he explained to Theo. "And someone else does most Smash Club stuff that I used to handle. I'm devoting lots of time to my kids, ever since Michelle's accident I've known that's where I'm meant to be."
"That's what I want to do. I might stay home and write while my wife works; along with my working with troubled kids. I think it'd be great. She's a pediatrician; we've been married two months. She couldn't get off to come out here." Theo grinned. "So, you were in a band, huh?"
Jesse tried to sound cool and modest. However, Joey wouldn't let him. "Oh, yeah, he had a big hit with his song Forever.'"
Theo was stunned as Dr. Huxtable walked downstairs. "You wrote...I can't believe it! We had that song in our wedding!" He turned to his dad. "Dad, did you know this is the man who wrote Forever.'"
"Yes, and I can see he's probably not only writing forever, but staying awake forever. It's almost midnight, and I heard lots of noise when I came out for a little snack. I'm glad neither of you has to get up at five to be on television."
"I'm gonna turn in, too, everyone else is in bed. Are you coming, Theo?" Joey wanted to know.
"Oh, I think I'll stay down here with Jesse a little more. This is so cool!"
Cliff nodded and looked at Jesse. "That's fine, just be careful with my son. I don't want to wake up tomorrow and see him with that wild hair and dressed in sequins and talking like Elvis."
Theo smirked and lowered his voice a little, trying to play a trick on his dad. "Hey, that's all right, Papa, don't worry."
Cliff and Joey headed back upstairs. "I'm glad my son has a steady job," Cliff muttered.
Stephanie awoke and looked over at the younger girls sleeping. She'd gone up to bed around 11:30. Michelle and Olivia had finally worn each other out playing and talking, and had just fallen asleep when she got up there.
She grinned. Michelle could make friends with anyone so quickly. And, so could Rudy. She'd learned that Rudy was one of the best babysitters in her area. But, she like preschoolers the most, and didn't like to think of Olivia as another babysitting job. "How can I think of her as a babysitting job," Rudy had joked, "she never leaves."
She noticed Rudy wasn't there. Had Rudy gotten up before her? No, she suddenly remembered. Jackie had felt scared in the middle of the night. Rudy had gone upstairs to sit with him. Maybe she was still in the twins' room, on the floor or something.
Suddenly, Rudy came scurrying into the room. "Have you seen Jackie," she wondered hastily.
"No, isn't he up with you?"
"I sat up with him for an hour around three this morning; oh, I was so exhausted. I must not have heard him get out of his crib."
Suddenly, Nicky and Alex came rushing into the room. "Michelle, Michelle," they hollered.
Nicky turned to Alex. "What's the new girl's name?"
Michelle! Olivia! Michelle! Olivia!" The girls turned over slowly as the boys woke them up. The twins wanted to start playing with them right away.
Rudy sighed. "Finally, Olivia gets a taste of her own medicine."
Stephanie spoke to Nicky and Alex. "Boys, did you see Jackie?" They nodded. "Where?" "Last night, in the crib," Nicky explained.
"She means, just now, did you see him?" Rudy grumbled as they shook their heads. "Oh, boy, I looked downstairs, I looked in the other rooms. I looked everywhere in this house."
Stephanie gasped. "You mean...you think he wandered off?"
Rudy simply frowned and nodded her head.
"Guys, wake up," Rudy shouted. She hadn't thought to check the basement. Now, she and Stephanie were looking at Theo and Jesse, as the men slowly awoke.
"Oh, man," Jesse said. "I can't believe we stayed up all night. What time is it?"
"It's 8:30," Stephanie said. "I know, we all had lots of fun last night."
Theo inhaled deeply and wiped his face with his hands. He yawned. "8:15? So we did get about two hours of sleep."
"What were you guys doing," Rudy wondered adamantly.
Jesse grinned. "Oh, man, we just had the best jam session. We used all Theo's jazz CDs he brought, plus all my old rock and roll stuff. We compared a bunch of different artists, and I was almost believing that Elvis was really a jazz artist by the end."
Theo shook Jesse's hand. "Hey that was fun, man. I never would have thought an electric guitar and a saxophone could be in the same group together. But, with your recording equipment, we made it work."
"Listen." Stephanie counted on her fingers. "We're looking for Jackie. Rudy found the front door was left unlcoked. Our dads and Aunt Becky are obviously gone. Vanessa and D.J. left, this one place D.J. knows for hair styling and makeovers opens at eight. Joey's looking for Jackie with Michelle, Olivia, and the twins in all their favorite hiding places."
Still half asleep, Theo asked "how can Winnie and Nelson be looking, they're in Myrtle Beach."
Rudy rolled her eyes. "Not Sondra's twins, his twins," she said, pointing at Jesse.
Jesse sighed. "Okay, look, we're gonna check around the neighborhood. Let's get our faces washed, and we'll organize search groups. We'll meet in the living room in five minutes."
Stephanie walked with Rudy and Olivia toward a park several blocks from them. They would search the area between their house and the park, as well. Jesse took Michelle and the twins in the other direction. Joey and Theo drove around looking for signs of the toddler.
Olivia held Stephanie's hand as the three walked for a while. They called Jackie's name a few times. Olivia held tightly as they did so.
Stephanie glanced down as the little girl. She could tell Olivia was fighting back tears. "It's okay to cry, dear."
"I know, I just don't like to," Olivia noted.
Stephanie grinned. "Nobody does. But, sometimes when we're scared we have to." They got to the park. Stephanie would try the grade school playground after this. "It's important to pray, too. D.J. had us do that right after we learned Michelle got hurt."
"Did it help?" Stephanie nodded. Soon, Olivia stopped, closed her eyes , and folded her little hands together while in the middle of a large mud puddle.
Rudy murmured "she's standing in a mud puddle" to Stephanie before going to look in a small oak grove.
Olivia joined Rudy. The teen was sitting against a tree, looking frustrated. "It's okay to cry. Stephanie said so," Olivia told her.
Rudy wished she could smile at the little girl's comment. "I just don't feel like it." She grumbled. "Where could he be!" Stephanie looked around the trees while the others talked.
Olivia sat beside Rudy. "Sometimes I get more scared than this. Like when Mommy and Daddy leave cause Daddy's in the military." She suddenly formed a big frown and stared at her shoes. She whispered "sometimes I'm scared they'll never come back."
"Oh, Olivia." Rudy automatically put her hand on the small girl's back. "I didn't know you were scared of that."
"What do you care? All you think about are boys," Olivia said tearfully.
Rudy frowned. "I think about you.. I guess it would be hard. You already lost one mom, huh? Is that why you bug me and try to hang around me so much," Rudy wondered.
Olivia nodded sadly.
Stephanie grinned as she spied on the girls.
Rudy hugged Olivia. "I guess I've never lost anyone like that. I never thought that's why you hung around me so much lately. Your mom and dad came back with Jackie so fast, and they a few months later they just left again. I wonder what it was like for Stephanie, when her mom died."
"I don't know." Olivia got up. Stephanie could tell she didn't want to talk about it. Come on. Let's go look by the birds. Jackie likes birds."
"Yeah, he likes to feed the..." Rudy looked at Stephanie with alarm. "There's no pond around here, is there?"
"No water, you don't have to worry. The ducks only gather here because kids feed them." Stephanie followed the girls over to where the ducks were.
They were looking high and low in the park, calling out Jackie's name. Rudy tried to start up a conversation. "Olivia...where do you think he would go."
"I don't know. He never wandered off like that," Olivia remarked. "Aren't you supposed to know? You say you're a woman."
"That's just biologically." Olivia looked strangely at Rudy after she said that big word. "Are you talking to me?"
"Sorry, Olivia." She sighed. "Look, I know it's hard to understand. But, just because I'm your aunt doesn't mean I know everything." She grumbled, and looked at Stephanie. "Yeah, I know. I should be grateful, huh?"
"I never realized how much fun it was to have Michelle look up to me until recently. Hey, let's go to the playground. Follow me." Stephanie led them out of the park.
"You're even grateful at two in the morning when she asks you if birds yawn," Rudy wondered incredulously.
Stephanie nodded. "That's when I start rambling. My voice puts Michelle to sleep." Rudy remarked that she would have to remember that.
"What do you do on Women's Day then? I thought that's when you learned everything," Olivia wanted to know.
Rudy explained it was just a tradition. "Mom does something very special with just us when we...well, you know." She turned to Stephanie. "Do you have anything special? I know it's gotta be hard with no mom. But, does your Aunt Becky or someone do anything special?"
Stephanie pointed out the playground. "Hold hands, this is a busy street." They crossed. "Last month, Aunt Becky got D.J. and me a True Love Waits' pledge card. We both signed it, and agreed to remain pure till marriage."
"What's that mean," Olivia asked Rudy.
Rudy grinned. "I guess I can't say ask your mom,' huh? I wish I could, though. She's my sister. And, I miss her, too," she admitted reluctantly.
Stephanie looked at Olivia as they entered the playground. Rudy began calling Jackie's name. "Olivia, that's something you need to ask your grandma. But, I can tell you that I'm proud of my decision to wait for my one true love. And I've got a pledge card all ready for Michelle, when she has her first big crush."
"That's a neat idea." Rudy thought for a second. "Olivia, tell you what. That's something I'll give you on Women's Day. And, if Mommy and Daddy aren't done travelling yet, I'll do anything you want that day - it'll be just the two of us."
"Super," Olivia shouted.
The girls searched high and low. They decided to go home a different way. But, as they walked, they still found no signs of Jackie.
Rudy and Olivia seemed to be a little more confident - helped by the fact they were friends again. They had lots of fun chatting on the way home. But, Stephanie felt worse and worse. She was terrified that something had happened to the toddler. Rudy and Olivia began to worry, too, as they walked. They were soon weeping in each others arms.
After Stephanie let Rudy and Olivia comfort each other, she decided they'd better get back to the house. It was about time to rendezvous. Maybe someone had found something.
She hadn't realized it was almost 10:30 AM already. She noticed Dr. Huxtable just coming home with her dad. Aunt Becky was still down at the station. She couldn't stand to tell Dr. Huxtable the bad news. But, the other girls would like it even less.
She walked up to Danny and Cliff just as Vanessa and D.J. were getting out of D.J.'s car. Each had wonderful looking new hairstyles. They'd had so much fun. It would be such a shame to disappoint them.
Still, she had to. "Guys," she said, fighting back tears. "I'm afraid Jackie's missing."
Dr. Huxtable looked strangely at Stephanie. "Well...then who's that," he asked, pointing to Vanessa.
Suddenly, Stephanie realized that she had only glanced at the college students. Upon closer examination, Vanessa was pulling Jackie out of his car seat!
Stephanie, Olivia, and Rudy nearly ran over each other getting to Jackie. Michelle wasn't far behind. "D.J., you found him," Stephanie shouted.
"Where was he," Olivia asked nervously while Rudy scolded him for running away.
"What, what are you guys talking about," Vanessa wanted to know. Her innocent voice seemed oddly insincere.
"I want to know, is he lost, or isn't he," Cliff wondered. "Because if he isn't, I am."
Vanessa hedged a moment. "Well, D.J. wanted to leave a note, but the more we talked, the more we thought it might help Rudy and Olivia start co-operating."
"On what," Cliff wondered. His eyes were bulging, and immense confusion lined his face.
"Yeah, on what," Stephanie, Rudy, Olivia, and Michelle asked all at once. Joey and Theo pulled up at this time.
"On finding him," D.J. explained. "Vanessa said you guys would figure it out," the oldest Tanner girl said, referring to Joey, Jesse, and Theo. "But, she said Rudy and Olivia wouldn't guess that we took him with us."
"What?! You had us worried sick," Stephanie screamed.
"Yeah, how rude," Olivia admonished them. Michelle chuckled. "She doesn't just take after me. I taught her to take after you, too, Steph," she joked.
Danny held up his hands. "Wait a minute. I think I see what's going on here."
"That's good," Dr. Huxtable said. "Maybe you could explain it to me."
Stephanie saw another rental car pull up and a black lady get out as Danny spoke. "It sounds like our girls have one important thing in common, Dr. Huxtable - sneaky plans." He turned toward D.J. and Vanessa. "You deliberately failed to leave a note because you wanted Rudy and Olivia to make up, didn't you?"
D.J. held out a hand. "Well, Dad...taking him with us before anyone else was up was my idea. Not leaving a note and making it look more like he'd wandered off was hers."
"D.J. said to leave it someplace secret like the cookie jar," Vanessa said. "But I knew that was the first place Olivia would look."
Olivia shook her head. "Second. First I thought the dog might have taken the note."
Cliff held up a finger for a second. His wife, Claire, snuck up behind him. "So...you mean to tell me you took the baby, knowing you could leave a bunch of men clueless, and a bunch of ladies running to each other to help solve the mystery?"
Claire kissed her husband, then turned to the others. "I don't know what's going on, but I bet it worked."
"Like a charm, Mom," Rudy declared as she put her arms around Olivia. Olivia turned around, and the two hugged.
"Heh, heh. This is my wife, Claire. And, she could tell you all sorts of fancy schemes our children have pulled over the years," Dr. Huxtable said. He and Claire exchanged a long kiss before he introduced the others.
Michelle grinned. "Dad...you and Mom probably would have been kissing like crazy like that when you got old, wouldn't you?" He agreed solemnly.
Stephanie fumed. She was glad to see everyone back together and happy. But, she still wished she had known about this. "D.J., I was almost more scared than I was for Michelle, because at least I knew she would be cared for at the hospital," she shouted.
"That's right," Danny told them. "You could have told the rest of us."
"Yeah, we were all really worried," Theo admitted.
"And you didn't even think that maybe they took Jackie with them? You didn't call the mall? I'm shocked, especially at you, Theo. This sounds like something in one of your books," Claire noted.
Theo uttered a nervous laugh. "I'll be sure to use it now, Mom."
D.J. looked guilty. "Okay, you're right. We should have let the rest of you know, at least." "Yeah, we're sorry," Vanessa said remorsefully.
"Well, now I've gone from being mad at Olivia to being mad at you, Vanessa," Rudy said. She gave an ornery grin. "But don't worry. After hanging around Stepahnie, I've got a few good jokes to pull on you in return."
"Oh, Rudy, come on, at least we're all here, safe and sound." Claire added that the boy in her case was, too. She turned to Cliff as the younger children went around to the backyard to play. Rudy followed them. "Charles' adoption is complete. He has a wonderful family now in Brooklyn who are going to give him so much love."
Stephanie could help but ask. "Uh...Charles? He...wouldn't happen to be from here in San Francisco, would he?" She knew it was a longshot. But, she'd always wondered what happened to the classmate she helped to protect by reporting the abuse he suffered.
Claire nodded. "Why, yes, how did you know?"
Stephanie told her the story. She was really depressed, though. She feared Charles blamed her for having to leave, especially if he was moved across the country.
"I see. You know, I remember him telling me about a girl named Stephanie who was willing to help him. He's really thankful you spoke up, you know?"
"He is," Stephanie shouted.
"His father never could stop drinking. There was no mother, so a couple tried to adopt him. Then they moved to New York becasue of his job. It was hard to get the judge to agree to let him be adopted clear across the country, but we prevailed, and we got him a home he'll be safe and happy in."
Stephanie was so excited. She hugged Claire, who hugged back. "Thanks so much. I worried about him a lot at first, but...you know, even later, he was always in the back of my mind."
"I knew it would work out," Jesse said.
"You know, you and your family have to come to New York now," Cliff said.
Claire nodded. "That's quite a big group. Although I imagine we could find room."
Cliff chuckled and joked. "Well of course, dear, because at least they would leave eventually; I'm not so sure about some of our kids."
"A trip like that would be fun," Danny said. "With making sure Michelle was okay, we haven't really had time to think about where to go on vacation."
Stephanie grinned. "Well, whenever we do it, we're going to have lots of fun. I feel like we've made lots of new friends."
Cliff agreed. "We certainly have."