Fan Fiction - Written by Paul Austin - Alternative Universe

Kimmy's Smart Twin
Written by: Paul Austin

A/N: Andrea Barber, who played Kimmy, played a character on a soap opera, Caroline Anna ("Carrie") Brady, till 1986, when they chose to age her character three years in a couple months, from ten to thirteen, & hired a new actress. Other weird, soap opera-like stuff happened with that family, too, but what if Carrie Brady lived in a normal TV universe? (Kimmy's joke alludes to the soap family like only she can.) Well, if Carrie was in a normal family, you could have a story like this.

The camp and concepts are from "It Was A Dark And Stormy Night," by Mark Warren and Dennis Rinsler. Kimmy and D.J. were counselors in the same cabin, & these things could occur. But, here, they are in different ones. The story explains Michelle away from home 3 straight weeks at only 6.75, which seems a tad young. Plus, this is the dividing line between the wild & disobedient Michelle of TV Universe seasons 5 & 6 and the Michelle who was pretty good if a tad rude at times the rest of the way, except for a couple times, one of which was enough out of character to be a dream (end of season 7) anyway. And, Michelle by early season 8 was saying how good she had it, & telling Stephanie "Don't rock the boat."

The ending shows Sam as the author "Me" and I picture her in the TV Universe. BTW, stories 2-5 in the Sam series (Book Universe of course) are revised, #4 (PM&NS) rewritten as we ironed out her growth as a character, so you might enjoy reading.

Anyway, as Kimmy and Carrie work together, it would become apparent that Carrie was...

Danny Tanner, doting father of three, sighed as he finished signing up the youngest of his girls for three weeks at Camp Lakota. "It's hard leaving them for a few weeks, huh?" the registrar said kindly, sensing Danny's anxiety.

"Yeah, there'll probably be quite a few tears at first. But, I should be okay after a few minutes," Danny said. While the person at the camp desk assumed he was joking, his best friend Joey Gladstone, with whom he'd brought the girls the hour drive to camp, wondered. Danny was very protective, and also very sentimental. He hated to see any of his girls grow up. Joey knew especially well, because he and Danny's brother-in-law, Jesse, had lived with him and helped raise his girls for six year.

Danny hugged his oldest daughters & exchanged "I love you"s, then knelt down and looked his youngest in the eye. "Now, honey, you're sure you'll be okay?" Michelle nodded. "Are you absolutely sure?"

"Dad, I'm going to be seven in four months."

"I know, but that's a young age to be here all three weeks, the other girls your age are in day camp or just staying a week and coming home, though Denise will be back next Monday, and she's only six months older than you, and so will a few others. I mean, I know, you're going to say D.J. and Steph are here for you, and it's true, D.J.'s staying all three weeks because she's working here, but..."

"Dad, I said I'll be okay."

Danny sighed. He could tell Michelle was quite resolute. Even if there were concerns, she likely wouldn't show them by now; she had begun to take after her Uncle Jesse quite a bit - indeed, the tone reminded him a little of Jesse. "Well, all right. Now, we talked about how D.J. is your boss for three weeks. And, I expect you to listen to her like you would me."

"D.J. says I have to obey better than that," Michelle muttered.

"Well, behave yourself, anyway." Danny grinned. He'd always had trouble disciplining his youngest; he not only hated to see her grow up, but he didn't like making her sad because her smile always reminded him of his late wife, Pam. Pam had passed away after a drunk driver hit her car when Michelle was a baby.

He hadn't punished Michelle at all till age 3.9, and over the last year he'd been very inconsistent again. So, D.J., Michelle's oldest sister, who was 16, had had to become a lot tougher, even tougher than before Michelle was 4, when Michelle would listen very well to her even if she knew Danny wouldn't send her to her room or remove dessert or TV privileges. He remembered everyone scattering so he and a lady could be alone at the table, and Michelle had remarked that she had to eat in her room because D.J. told her to. But, Michelle had rebelled against D.J. a little, too, at times.

After Danny hugged and kissed his youngest, and they exchanged "I love you"s, the six-year-old heard from D.J.. "I'm going to be in your cabin, but you know I'm your boss even if you're not right where I am, right?" Michelle nodded.

While Danny said his final goodbyes to Michelle, the middle Tanner sister, Stephanie, eleven, jogged off to where she'd be staying. After dropping her stuff off in her cabin, Stephanie said hello to several boys being let off a bus who were going toward the registration place in the main lodge. Then, she, it couldn't be, could it?

"Kimmy, I can't believe it. For once I don't feel like I'm looking through a kaleidoscope at your clothes wearing," Stephanie teased the teenager. She appeared to be 16, just like Kimmy. She supposed it had to be D.J.'s best friend, the weird, dumb, and annoying Kimmy Gibbler. Kimmy had signed up to work at the camp because D.J. was doing it.

"I'm sorry, do I know you?"

"You're Kimmy, that means you hardly know anything."

"You must have me mistaken for somebody else," the girl said with an obvious New York accent. "My name is Carrie Brady."

As that point, Stephanie saw Michelle running off to her cabin in the distance. D.J. and Kimmy walked up to them. Stephanie did a double take. Carrie - who had been walking toward the tent where workers got their assignments - looked almost exactly like Kimmy. There was a little difference in the voices, but otherwise...

Kimmy noticed right away, too. "Wow, look at that; it's like I'm seeing myself in a mirror. Except, I don't know where my reflection would get those clothes."

Carrie introduced herself to the girls, and D.J. introduced herself, Kimmy, and Stephanie. "You do look a lot like Kimmy. When were you born, Carrie?" D.J. inquired.

"March, 1976."

"Wow, I was born in January, 1976." Kimmy looked quite pensive as she said, "It's amazing. It's like we were separated at birth."

Stephanie quickly corrected her. "That's two months apart!'

"Well, she could have had trouble finding her way out for a couple months."

"No, that would be you," Stephanie cracked.

Kimmy asked Carrie about her family.

Carrie told where she lived and said, "It was...well, since none of the little ones can overhear, I'm sure Stephanie would understand. My mom wasn't married to my dad right away. But, we moved there to be with him when I was about 6, and she married him then. He's a really nice police officer."

"Don't worry, I understand. D.J. and Kimmy know someone like that, in their class," Stephanie said, referring to Kathy Santoni, who they'd learned recently was about five to six months pregnant.

"Yes, and I'm very impressed you haven't blabbed about it to anyone else," D.J. said proudly.

"That's sad, to be having a baby and not even be in 11th grade yet. Is the boy staying with her?"

"Maybe. I don't know his age, but...let's just say that she knows who it is, and they are trying to work it out so they can get married before school starts," D.J. explained. "But, yeah, it is a shame. Her life will never be the same."

"Certainly not something I'd ever want to do," murmured Stephanie, not knowing what else to say. "I overheard D.J. and Kimmy talking about something Kimmy heard, I could tell whatever it was, it was a real bombshell. They decided they may as well let me in on it when I kept insisting, so I know what to avoid since I'll be going into Middle School this year. When they filled me in, and asked me to keep it quiet, it was like, how could someone that age do that? Even Kimmy could never be that dumb! I hope your parents were older, at least." Carrie told Stephanie they had been.

"So, back to your dad. Seeing as you're kind of like my twin, I wonder, has he ever been killed and come back to life?" Kimmy inquired. Stephanie's eyes bulged at the weird question as Carrie said "no." "Nobody's ever tried to impersonate him, or aged several years in a couple months, in your family?"

"Kimmy," Stephanie said, flailing her hands, "what do you think she lives on, some soap opera?"

"Hey, you never know; that's what these evil twin stories remind me of. Maybe her dad's got an evil twin, too. Just like Carrie here could be my evil twin."

"Evil twin? Try smart twin," Stephanie declared.

D.J. interceded. "You'll have to excuse my friend Kimmy. Her imagination goes off a little sometimes."

"A little? It eloped with her brain and they never came home." Stephanie cracked.

Carrie decided that there must be some animosity between Stephanie and Kimmy; probably because Kimmy was D.J.'s best friend, so Stephanie might be jealous of the time they spent together.

Carrie continued. "My dad was going to be attending a convention this week, then my parents decided to take a little two week vacation afterward, sort of another honeymoon. So, I decided to come out here and work in the camp. I helped in the kitchen at a Honeybee camp back home last year, when I was 15. I was even a helper with the little ones when I was 12. The inner city Honeybee clubs need lots of helpers."

Stephanie smiled. She fondly remembered her time in the Honeybees, as did D.J.. The Honeybees were a Brownies-type club for girls . Jesse's wife of a couple years, Becky, had even been in the Honeybees back in Nebraska. The Honeybees used Camp Lakota every year, an hour away from the Tanner home, with a corresponding camp for boys across the soccer field, also on the lake.

"I can imagine. I'm a cabin helper over with the Chickadees, that's our sister Michelle's cabin." D.J. explained that, "Our dad has been pretty lax lately about discipline, he just got engaged over Memorial Day weekend, and since early last fall, starting when Michelle wasn't obeying orders to come down for school, he's had lapses in discipline, sometimes major ones, again. He didn't punish her at all till she was almost 4. So, I've had to be tough on her sometimes, especially the last few months. I think she's learning pretty fast, though, that it's best to obey Dad's more lenient rules."

D.J. hoped this short explanation would help Carrie understand if she asked for help in watching Michelle. Some of the other counselors, and the head camp staff, knew these things, but Carrie probably didn't, since she'd likely just arrived herself - she didn't yet have a camp t-shirt on like the other counselors. Carrie confirmed that she was just going to sign in, but she'd help if need be.

"Great. I pushed for Dad to let Michelle stay three straight weeks, but she wanted to come, too, and I'm sure she's ready. She'll be with her Honeybee club friends, her best friend Denise is in her cabin, and my friend Hannah and I will be right there for any of the little ones who wake up at night, even for them to snuggle with if they need. Michelle's the youngest by half a year, then after Denise there's another half year difference to the next youngest in her cabin, besides her and Denise the girls are eight and up. Denise is pretty tough, but if Michelle needs that mothering time, the other kids will understand. Denise would help make sure of it."

"Sounds good. I'm with the Doves' cabin," Carrie said. "And, I think you're right; girls just naturally understand those things better, for the most part."

"Oh, it's the doves," Kimmy said, suddenly comprehending. "I'm working there, too, but I thought the name was 'dove.' I was thinking maybe our cabin had a swimming pool with a nice, big diving board."

Carrie was dumbfounded. "You thought, with all the other bird names for the cabins, that ours had something to do with diving?" She muttered to D.J., "I can see why your sister thinks Kimmy's dumb." Indeed, the contrast between the two standing there was incredible to Stephanie.

"Kimmy used to tease her quite a bit herself when she was young." D.J. knew Stephanie wouldn't be fazed by Kimmy's remarks. The two sometimes seemed like a great comedy team. "Kimmy's just matured out of most of it, except for a few jokes about Steph being so bright. But, Steph's only eleven, and maybe still getting back at her a little for earlier times." And, some of it Kimmy might deserve, D.J. admitted to herself, recalling the time they'd argued over who was dumber, and Kimmy proceeded to spell dumb "d-u-m."

Carrie understood. "Well," she remarked politely, "it'll be quite interesting working with you, Kimmy."

"Same here. I always wondered what it was like to be a twin."

As Kimmy and Carrie chatted, D.J. jogged off to the Chickadee cabin, to see if Michelle had met any of her other bunkmates; five other girls besides Michelle and Denise would be there. This would be one very interesting time.

Late the next morning, Stephanie went jogging, barefoot, into the Doves' cabin.

"Carrie...or are you Kimmy? Well, does one of you have some plastic sandals?"

"I thought I saw you with D.J.'s."

"You did; I lost them at the bottom of the lake. Uh...are you Kimmy or Carrie?"


"That's what I thought; you have a New York accent. If you were Kimmy I was going to just ask to borrow yours so I could lose them, too."

"You mean you'd put your feet in them?!" Carrie shook her head; she couldn't imagine how Kimmy's feet could smell so bad. While she didn't like teasing, since Kimmy wasn't there, she thought a little joke might help make a nice segue way into a talk with Stephanie about it. "Honey, you don't want your feet in those. If you dropped them in the lake they'd arrest you for pollution."

"Tell me about it," Stephanie said, rolling her eyes.

Carrie pulled some sandals with an adjustable strap out of her bag. "I brought a couple extra pair in case one of my girls needed some."

"Smart thinking. You been with the Honeybees since you were little?"

"No, they didn't have a club near where I lived. But, when I was eleven, my dad started volunteering to help fill in in one inner city patrol. And, he heard about how much fun it was. I was too old to be a Honeybee, but I got into a version for older girls that was really fun. And, I wound up teaching some of the younger 'Bees things like cooking, sewing, stuff like that."

"Neat. Ever go for a hike in the woods?" She had a couple times. "Great. It'll be lots of fun. D.J. and Hannah are taking their girls after lunch, and I'm coming along for the ride. Well, the walk."

"Cool. Maybe Kimmy and I can bring our cabin along, too." Stephanie rolled her eyes. "Come on, Stephanie, she doesn't tease you anymore, does she?"

"No, but she's so annoying. Dad and Uncle Jesse even say she's annoying. Face it, most of our family wishes she wouldn't come around ever."

"Well, that might be true, but D.J. likes her. And, your sister probably takes pity on her. I hear you used to help younger kids in grade school," Carrie remarked.

Stephanie confirmed it. "Younger ones, yes, or my age. I want to help them because they're younger. But, Kimmy's five years older! She should have more of a brain than our dog Comet by now."

Carrie realized that Stephanie probably had rather high expectations of Kimmy because she herself was quite bright; D.J. had told her that Stephanie was reading at age four. She imagined it was like someone had once said about superstar athletes. They usually didn't make good coaches because they couldn't understand what it was like to have only ordinary skills, or relate to someone like that. Stephanie wasn't quite that bad, but she only seemed to understand when kids her age or younger needed help. Carrie could understand why Stephanie wasn't willing to cut Kimmy much slack. Indeed, Kimmy seemed pretty dumb to her after just half a day of knowing her. But, she wished there was a way to get Stephanie to be a little more compassionate toward Kimmy.

D.J.'s boyfriend, Steve, a counselor with the boys, joined the Doves and Chickadees on the hike. Several girls giggled at the looks the couple gave each other, and a couple of them even spread the idea that Steve and D.J. might be married. Steve had graduated high school recently, and D.J. was only 16, but to primary school age girls, they seemed older.

The start of the walk passed somewhat uneventfully, except for Kimmy regaling the group with stories of how she'd gotten poison ivy when little. D.J. and the other counselors used such stories to teach about some of the hidden dangers of the woods.

After Kimmy told a story involving trying to pet a skunk, Stephanie declared that, "In the Romper Room of life, children, you must remember that Kimmy personifies the 'Don't Bee.'" Spelling bees from the last couple years were just one way in which Stephanie had greatly increased her vocabulary.

"You know, Kimmy would have been more insulted if she'd understood that," Hannah noted.

"I know. I love to talk over her head."

"Hey, watch it, squirt," Kimmy scolded. "Haven't you ever heard it's impolite to talk in a language people don't understand?'

A potential wisecrack about English was interrupted by Michelle scampering along the trail to follow a sound of some type. "Oh, no, look, a rabbit," Michelle said sadly.

"What is it, Michelle?" Stephanie asked as she hustled over to where Michelle stood.

Kimmy responded quickly. "A rabbit is a cute, furry animal with buck teeth and long ears. See, I know some things."

"You're right," Stephanie deadpanned as she looked back at her while bending down to see it, "I'm sorry we ever doubted you."

"He probably doesn't have rabies, though. Now raccoons, my brother Garth and I tried to bring one home once; we even gave him a name, 'Kemosabe.' We each wound up needing rabies shots after it bit us."

"Kimmy's right," Carrie said as she knelt next to Michelle, trying hard to emphasize the positive lessons that the girls could learn from this. "Some wild animals you should never touch, or even approach, because once they get hurt they become really vicious. And you need to be careful with this one, because rabbits do bite. But, it looks like his leg is broken, and I think it would be wise to take this rabbit..."

"His name is Gilbert," Michelle interrupted.

"...You named him already?!" She nodded. "Okay, we should take Gilbert back, rabbits don't have much protection against the elements."

Carrie helped a few other girls search for leaves that were safe for Gilbert to eat, while D.J., Stephanie, Michelle, and Denise searched for a few twigs and some vines. Denise almost grabbed poison ivy before Stephanie warned her away from it.

The girls gathered back around the bunny, and a couple tried to force feed it while Michelle and Stephanie turned the thick twigs into a splint, wrapped the ivy and such around the splint and leg, and then tightened it.

"Don't force him to eat," Carrie advised, "he'll eat on his own when he's ready." The rabbit started nibbling a little. "Is there a brook nearby?"

"She's right here," Kimmy said, pointing to a girl named Brooke from their cabin.

"I mean a small stream. If not, we can get him some water back at camp."

Michelle was already cuddling him. "Can I take care of him?"

"Sure, Michelle. I think it's wonderful to see your maternal instinct coming out," Carrie encouraged her. D.J. did the same.

Carrie stood and spoke lowly to D.J. while Steve, Hannah, and Kimmy watched the others. "You know, my dad says there are some kids who the best thing you can do is give them responsibility to handle something or to care for someone else. I think Michelle's like that, from what you describe."

"You're probably right. She decided recently she was too old to play with her cousins, who are just a year old, but she'll probably come around to wanting to eventually."

"She's had inconsistent rules from her dad, so what she needs is something to make her want to control herself, so she can help someone else, on her own. Discipline is good to teach her that, and she needs to know that she will face consequences whenever she breaks the rules, even if it's just from you."

"Oh, she does, believe me. I trick her into my chores, or out of privileges, quite often. I even let her try to do it to me, though she always loses. I save those in reserve for when our dad won't do anything. By now, she knows I'll do that, and that she has to listen when I lay down a chore or take away a privilege as punishment."

"That's a clever thing to use. But, she also needs more of a reason than just because it's right, because of how inconsistent your dad's been."

"Thanks, you're right. It's getting instilled in her. I think it's getting instilled pretty well in fact. But, I imagine being a policeman, your dad sees lots of cases of kids who just need a little encouragement in that way."

"Try a lot. Back around my 11th birthday, I became really good friends with a couple kids who moved into a foster home on our block. I got to help them with a lot of things; they were about five and four. The family ended up adopting them, and it inspired my dad to want to help in the projects."

"I see. A person to help like that, that's something Michelle could use, once we get some other behavior straightened out. She's to the point now where I think if she tried to take advantage of someone, just having the hose turned on her would likely teach her. But, we just want to keep her improving. Then, in a couple years, I think she could be that type of role model, just like you're saying."

"That's good. And, don't worry, it seems like Michelle will improve pretty fast. But, there are some kids who you have to spend a lifetime directing toward better habits."

Kimmy stood, with Michelle next to her carrying the rabbit. "I helped feed him a little, and also worked some with the splint so it didn't come loose."

Carrie inspected the splint. "It looks like you did a very nice job, all of you did. My dad's taken survival training, so I know quite a bit about this sort of thing."

"Wonderful. Say, I was wondering, maybe we should get some Trix from the cafeteria. Rabbits must like them a lot, that one in the commercials certainly does," Kimmy added.

Denise gave a goofy grin. "Silly Kimmy, Trix are for kids."

"I think we were all thinking the same thing," Michelle added.

"Well, while we're all standing around in the woods," Kimmy suggested, "maybe we should have some fun. Let's see who can do the best Wolfman howl, it'll give us some good fodder for ghost stories to tell the kids in the other cabins." Kimmy gave a loud howl.

D.J. leaned closer to Carrie. "Like you were saying about spending a lifetime..." Carrie nodded her understanding.

Later that evening, as several members of D.J.'s cabin were out kicking a soccer ball around, Michelle jogged over to her new friend Danielle, who was carrying something black. "What's that?" she asked.

"A stray cat," Danielle said. "We get a lot of them around where I live." Michelle and Denise lived very close to each other, but the other girls in their cabin were from other Bay Area Honeybee clubs.

"Cool. I'm almost getting the hang of this power spitting." She spit into the woods. "Boy, that went far."

"Yeah. Just don't ever spit into a strong wind. That's dangerous."

"Not as dangerous as it would be spitting at D.J.."

"What would happen?"

"I don't know. I did it to Stephanie once, and D.J. told me she never wanted to see me spit at a person again. Then she said especially if she was lecturing me about something!" Michelle said, shaking her finger like D.J. would. "She didn't say what she'd do, but the way she said it, and that look..."

"You're right. It's best never to try that. What she said sounds Mom-like."

"Aren't black cats bad luck?" Michelle wondered aloud after a moment of petting it.

"He won't be all black if we put something on him, like flour or powdered sugar."

Michelle grinned mischievously. "Hey, yeah, what if we put a big white stripe of powdered sugar down his back."

Danielle laughed. "Yeah, cool, like a skunk. And then..."

"...fool Kimmy," both said at once.

"I love the way you think," Michelle said.

D.J. had said the cabin couldn't have two pets, and Michelle was already caring for Gilbert. So, Danielle gave the cat to the Robin cabin. Then, in the morning, Danielle and Michelle snuck into the kitchen and borrowed enough powdered sugar to make the cat appear to be a baby skunk to...well, to Kimmy, if nobody else. But, Kimmy was the most fun to fool anyway for them, because of how dumb she was.

They slipped the cat into the Dove cabin once the girls returned from breakfast and were tidying the place.

Carrie calmly picked the cat up. "Oh, you poor kitty cat, you got powdered sugar all down your back and on your tail," she said.

Only then did Kimmy walk in. She turned around in time to see Michelle and Danielle looking frustrated. "Hey, what's the matter? Someone take your rabbit or something?"

"No, you were supposed to be in the cabin a couple minutes ago," Michelle said tiredly.

"I think they were going to fool you with this cat," Carrie explained, holding it up. "Probably because it looks like a skunk."

"You're right, it does. For a minute, I was wondering why you didn't smell."

Brooke, the leader among the Dove campers, spouted, "I thought I saw it was a cat, but I thought there could be a skunk around because it really smelled over there."

Kimmy looked at where she pointed. "Nope, that's where I'm putting my old socks. You know, they're really nice to me here. They're actually letting me get this stuff washed every couple days so it doesn't stink up the place." She turned toward Michelle and Danielle. "How would you girls like to help me clean my socks?" Michelle held her nose and shook her head vehemently. Danielle copied quickly.

"Girls, a few little practical jokes are okay," Carrie said as she knelt down to their level. "But, how do you think that poor cat feels?"

"It would like the taste when it cleans itself, I'm sure," Danielle declared. She loved doughnuts like Michelle loved ice cream and cake - especially powdered sugar ones.

"But you wouldn't want someone to do that to Gilbert, would you?" Michelle, especially, looked sad at that question. "Where did you get the powdered sugar, anyway?" Michelle told her. "You girls weren't even supposed to get in there. There's a lot of stuff there, and you could even get hurt on something if they're cooking in there. I think maybe D.J. needs to talk to you a little bit."

"You mean lecture us?" Danielle asked sadly. Carrie nodded.

Michelle quickly offered to confess herself, rather than Carrie telling D.J.. She knew, given how she'd been behaving otherwise, D.J. would be calmer if she admitted what she'd done. And, she was right. D.J.'s lecture to the two wasn't nearly as long as it would have been.

However, D.J. began to keep extra close watch over Michelle and Danielle that morning, to make sure they didn't try anything else - she hadn't been all that happy about Michelle's power spitting, though she let that slide, knowing that Michelle knew it was bad to ever spit at people. And, after a talk with Danielle on the subject, she concluded that Danielle wouldn't spit at people, either. So, she let them have some fun.

"Did your girls finish their postcards home?" D.J. asked Carrie and Kimmy once the girls were taking their turn in the swimming pool, an hour after lunch. The boys were working on crafts; they would switch spots after an hour and a half and the boys would get to use the pool.

"Yep." Kimmy glanced over at the girls playing water polo in the pool, then turned back to D.J.. "I even wrote one myself. I decided it was best to remind my parents who I was."

"You could do that just as easily by staying home instead of being at our house all the time," Stephanie remarked. She was seated next to D.J. with a towel around her, taking a break from the water.

"That happened to be a joke, squirt," Kimmy declared.

Carrie tried to defuse the situation by telling a joke of her own. "I've used this one on postcards a few times, it's like if someone's mixing up their words - 'The weather is here, with you were beautiful.'"

"I'm sure Kimmy wishes she was beautiful, too," Stephanie said glibly.

"The looks aren't important, though; she has a beautiful mind."

"Carrie, you've seen her in action - I don't know if she has a mind." Stephanie held out her hands. "Last night at our campfire, she threw a bunch of wet sticks on the fire! Instead of stoking it, she put it out!"

"Hey, I just figured it would dry them off real fast, then we wouldn't have to waste all the dry sticks. I thought fire was a little more powerful than that. Look at what it did to Chicago in 1871. We studied about that last year."

Carrie sighed. It was getting harder for her, too, to accept Kimmy as possibly on her level of intelligence. "I'll admit, the way she was thinking wasn't all that logical; and maybe she wasn't thinking very well," she whispered to Stephanie as D.J. and Kimmy discussed some of their kids. "But, still, I don't think she needs that brought up all the time. You want to be a good example to these younger Honeybees, after all."

"Everyone can see it, Carrie. The little ones can always tell."

"That's true." Carrie tried to think of a way to explain.

"Besides, Michelle doesn't tease her like I do. And, I've done it around her. Maybe not as much as I normally do, though," Stephanie said as she pondered it. "Okay, I guess I can keep it down a little here. But when I think of a good one-liner, I like to use it."

"I can tell." And, she was beginning to appreciate some of Stephanie's zingers, such as the imagination and brain eloping.

Maybe her main concern should be Kimmy, she considered. Once Kimmy got into the deeper end, and Stephanie got in on the other side, she turned to D.J. "How do you deal with Kimmy's, well, eccentricities?"

D.J. couldn't help but smile at Carrie saying that, when she looked so much like Kimmy - she knew "eccentricities" would never come from Kimmy's mouth.

"Well, Carrie, it's rough. I guess sometimes I've gone along with little things, not thinking about how they'd become big things, because I didn't want to make her feel worse. I don't want anyone to know this, but we hitchhiked once a few years back," she whispered. More loudly, she said, "I sort of had to put my foot down more when she was Student Council president this past year. She had some weird ideas, and only Council checks and balances plus my work kept her from getting impeached. But, it was my not being blunt enough in an editorial that caused her to get elected in the first place."

"Hey, D.J., hey, Carrie," said a voice behind them.

"Oh, hi, Mrs. Tomlinson." The Tomlinsons were the camp's directors.

"I just thought I'd let you know, D.J., Michelle was splashing too much and accidentally hit someone. She said she was sorry, but when one of the lifeguards told her to take a timeout for five minutes, she was too wound up, and just wanted to play. She didn't want to obey or get out of the pool, even though she knows the rule. She finally got out when they reminded her you would come pull her out; she didn't want embarrassed like that."

D.J. thanked her. "Michelle's being kind of bossy still, and a little disobedient; not bad yet, but she's seeming a little rebellious. I started watching her more closely to make sure she didn't get in more trouble than she did with that little prank. And, she wrote a postcard home and said sarcastically that she had to write it or she couldn't go to lunch. Even after I'd told her I was cutting her a little slack in some things. And, well, I told you the problems we've had."

D.J. knew the couple didn't know all of the problems. She could have told of numerous things Danny had ignored except for a few talks with Michelle the last eighteen to twenty months - Michelle sneaking out at night, not coming down for school when Danny was too focused on his relationship with his girlfriend, and digging a huge hole in the ground to try and "dig through to Japan" were just the start. Things had gotten better for a while because D.J. had emptied her reserve of chores that Michelle could do, plus given some stern lectures & tricked her out of some privileges, but by then Michelle knew Joey and Uncle Jesse just weren't going to enforce things; and Danny generally could be counted on to ignore some things.

Michelle had been upset he'd even punish her when he gave her a week of an hour early bedtime for something she'd known was wrong a few months ago; Danny had hoped copying D.J. would work well, just like he had putting her in her room for the first time when she was almost four. It had, but the, she'd gotten worse when Danny totally let her off the hook for breaking a dinosaur at a museum playing tag - who knew how bad things would have gotten if D.J. and Stephanie hadn't gotten very loud and vigilant then. And, Danny had promised to be more lax on rules then, though combined he and D.J. had clamped down on a few things since. For instance, Michelle was not allowed to pick out her own clothes - she'd snuck away in a store once and bought some stick-on tattoos which Danny didn't allow, and had liked some biker-chick looking items. She could be so much like Jesse at times. She would be allowed to pick out her clothes again, and would do it responsibly, starting a few months later.

Mrs. Tomlinson knew numerous things had snowballed till Disneyworld and after, when Michelle was really bossy and rude, yet Danny had merely lectured about wandering off, as he hadn't wanted to spoil the vacation, and hadn't even removed her dessert when they got home. And, the couple also knew Michelle was just like Jesse, and somewhat rebellious that summer.

"Well, D.J., you know there's a place available if you need to time her out there, or...whatever else you need to do," Mrs. Tomlinson finished lowly. "We know from what your dad and you said that you're allowed to be like a parent to her here."

"Thanks. I think our dad didn't want to think about having her whine and complain about losing dessert or something, because he was too happy about getting engaged at Disneyworld. That's been the main concern all along, I think, not wanting to see her sad. But, it's made it a lot tougher for me." That was what their Aunt Becky had suggested during a discussion with D.J. about Danny's laxness once.

"I suspect he's always had trouble seeing her sad, because sadness makes him think about your mom's death."

"You could be right, Mrs. Tomlinson. I'll talk with Michelle later today." She passed Michelle a very harsh look as she was sitting in a chair in timeout. Michelle caught the gaze and lowered her head, so D.J. figured they could just talk more calmly later; Michelle knew she wasn't being all that good.

However, D.J. had to correct Michelle about a couple other things, and even remove her dessert privilege that day, before they had the chance to talk alone that evening, in the cabin after supper. Michelle, of course, was reluctant to talk, but D.J.'s glare told her she'd better talk with her now, so D.J. didn't have reason to give her any chores - there was plenty she could make her do at camp, after all.

"Now, Michelle, you understand why I'm not letting you have ice cream tonight," D.J. asked as they sat on Michelle's bunk.

"Come on, D.J., give me a break. I only snapped my towel at a few people." That - along with rudeness from earlier that day - had been the reason D.J. took her dessert away.

"Michelle, I've been giving you quite a few breaks. I only made sure you wouldn't spit at other people, but instead I let you and Danielle practice that power spitting. And, you've been good about obeying that rule. But, you heard Kimmy joking about snapping towels, and you just decided to try it without even thinking of how it would hurt other people!"

Michelle lowered her head. She'd realized after hitting the first person with a towel it wasn't very nice. "I'm sorry, D.J.."

"Not only that, but you wouldn't obey a timeout instruction when you knew you'd done wrong, and also have been somewhat disobedient a couple other times the last few days. Plus, you seem like you don't appreciate how little I am correcting you compared to what I could do." D.J. put an arm around Michelle. "I've been very proud of you handling Gilbert. But, you need to learn to listen to others and follow instructions."

"But, why can't you be like Daddy?" Michelle had begun to call him "Dad," but at times like this, still lapsed in the more juvenile "Daddy."

"Two reasons. First, you know you deserve to be punished when Dad doesn't punish you sometimes, at least to be sent to your room for ten minutes or so. And, second, when you are let off the hook, you take advantage of it!" Michelle squirmed a little. She knew D.J. was right, but she didn't like to admit it. "Dad called breaking that dinosaur an accident, and totally blamed Uncle Jesse, and you just kept trying to get away with stuff, especially after Disneyworld!"

"I don't like your rules, though," Michelle said, fumbling around for an excuse, though she knew she deserved tougher rules for a while. She was really starting to appreciate Danny's lax rules, and didn't really want to take advantage of them. However, like Jesse, who was a mom-like figure to her, she didn't always like to admit she not only should be better, but that she wanted to be. She liked to try to be macho. Losing her dessert was a big thing for her, and she was feeling chastened by it, though.

D.J. turned Michelle toward her, stared straight in the eye, and declared, "I could be a lot tougher, though. You were being sneaky and trying to defy even my rules, which you known to follow since way before Dad was punishing you," she said, softening her tone a bit by the end, then considerably with the next statement. "I almost had to be last month, when you were out of control enough, huh?" It was a warm, tender voice, yet with a glare that said she loved her very much, but that she meant business.

Michelle blushed, something it took a lot to make her do. D.J. sensed that Michelle was embarrassed enough, and so had lightened her tone considerably by the end. "I was really naughty then. You said you might hafta spank my buns," she finished in a whisper.

"None of the adults in our family would do it, or even consider it, but you know I would," D.J. reminded her, sad to have to even think about it. D.J. would only give light pats that just hurt her feelings, of course. But, Michelle didn't know that. And, just the concern that it could sting a little bit was shocking enough to make her behave.

D.J. knew that, too; it would break her heart to hurt Michelle even a little bit. "I know even a few little fwaps that only hurt your feelings would be a spanking in your mind, since it's never been done, huh?" Michelle nodded slowly. That was D.J.'s preferred method, in fact, if she ever did it; she didn't want to hurt anything but Michelle's feelings, so she'd stop her defiance. But, she did want Michelle to think it was possible that D.J. would hurt her bottom, so the shock would be greater if she such light fwaps & it would be sure to work. Thankfully, just talking about that with Michelle one day had done wonders, and she had started behaving a lot better; Michelle was just testing D.J.'s limits.

"I'll be good, D.J.," she promised sheepishly as they embraced. "I love you." Michelle knew she could get way out of control if she wasn't careful, and though she wouldn't admit it, she was glad D.J. reeled her in when she was getting out of control, before she got too bad.

"I love you, too. I know you'll be good," D.J. said quite calmly as she hugged Michelle and kissed her lightly. "I'm a lot tougher than Dad, I know. But, you know what, Michelle? If you just start trying to behave, like with me letting you power spit, you'll find you really can have some freedom within the rules. I won't have to get as tough. You just need to get it in your heart that if Daddy says something, you should do it, so I don't have to enter the picture."

"I know, D.J.. I will, I promise."

D.J. smiled; she could tell the promise was genuine. Indeed, she just got too anxious sometimes because Danny was so lax. In retrospect, perhaps, she wondered if the mention was like when she was 6, and certain, but yet with a little doubt, tht she would not go down the drain in the bathtub. So, she put Stephanie in the tub first, knowing the one-year-old would not go down the drain, yet wanting assurance.

D.J.'s threat, in fact, had spread, as one of their cousins had started copying D.J.. He'd seen D.J. emphasizing in a lecture to Michelle by hitting a pillow and saying "bad" a couple times. D.J. wondered if Alex was hitting the new beds Jesse and Becky had gotten them and saying "bad bed" - she figured the twins wouldn't like changing from cribs.

Regardless, considering how much Michelle had taken after their Uncle Jesse at times, she'd wanted to make sure things didn't get out of control again. Jesse, it was said, had spent his whole childhood in the principal's office; D.J. had wanted to ensure Michelle never got that bad. Thankfully, like most well-mannered kids, Michelle had saved her wildness for at home.

While Michelle started to be in control of herself more, Kimmy's presence meant other kids could still easily trick her. Once such instance occurred a couple days later, during the weekend.

"Has anyone seen my clothes?" Carrie asked seriously as she popped her head into the door of the chickadee cabin. The pants she was wearing with her camp t-shirt were orange with gaudy pink polka dots.

The girls laughed hard. "Too bad Kimmy's weren't stolen; you could just follow the smell." Stephanie said as she and Michelle fed Gilbert.

"Guys, this is serous. All her extra clothes were put into my stuff, and mine just vanished while we were at the pool." Carrie thought for a second. "There were some boys around Steph's age who have been sneaking around pulling pranks, but this is the worst. They probably figured I'd miss mine first, so they just hid Kimmy's knowing she could be...well, I haven't liked to say it much, but clueless longer."

"Don't worry, Carrie; Kimmy knows she's clueless," Stephanie consoled her.

"Well, you may be right, but it's still not nice to say."

Stephanie agreed. "That's true. So, Kimmy's walking around here in her bathing suit?" She was. "Thanks for the warning."

"Those boys wouldn't act that way if they knew D.J. would handle them. I don't know what she'd do to me, but I don't want to find out!"

"I know," Stephanie said as she lovingly put an arm around Michelle. "You can see why the younger kids respect me so much. I love 'em. But, when they act up, they know I'll be really loud. But, it's hard with older kids; if anything I'm like a junior counselor here for the younger ones, but the counselors for the older ones are all adults."

"Yeah. Well, I can say one thing. With some of the pranks that have been pulled, if you did them, Michelle, you would have very little free time the whole next two weeks, given how many chores I'd have you do," D.J. said with a smile.

"Yeah, and the rest I'd probably spend in timeout," Michelle said bluntly. "Instead of Greasy Abe doing the cooking, they'd be talking about Greasy Michelle's food."

"They're trying the chores thing with a few of the boys, but there are a couple really rough characters," Carrie noted.

"Hey, anyone seen Carrie's clothes?" Kimmy asked as she stepped in the door in a one-piece deep blue swimsuit with huge fish and even some green fringe that looked like seaweed on it.

"We were just talking about that," Denise said.

Danielle was the first to start giggling as she noticed Steve approaching with his eyes covered, though all but Kimmy had full clothes on. "Male counselor entering Chickadee..." He uncovered his eyes and looked at Kimmy. "Beach?"

"No, it's the Chickadee cabin. I just came by to see if they found her clothes. But, don't worry," Kimmy reassured him, "everyone else in here is of sound mind and clothing." Kimmy thought for a moment about her joke - she had meant to make a play on the term "sound mind and memory." However, several giggles erupted around her. "Somehow that didn't come out right, huh?"

"No, it didn't; it makes it sound like you're not of sound mind," D.J. explained, as if she hated to break it to her.

"Her clothing style isn't very stable either," Stephanie said glibly.

Steve sighed. "Well, don't worry, I'll help you all get to the bottom of this. Taking someone's clothes shouldn't be tolerated!" He looked at the pants Carrie was wearing. "Forcing you to wear those shouldn't be tolerated, either."

"I know," Carrie said, looking doubtfully at the pants. "I don't mean to be rude, but...your clothing is, well..."

"Out of style?"

Carrie told Kimmy that wasn't really the problem; she knew if Kimmy was really poor, she might feel hurt by that comment. Besides, the bigger issue was, "It's just, well, your wardrobe is so loud..." She struggled to think of what else to say.

"Trust me, she knows. She and I swap clothes quite a bit," D.J. said.

"She even let me have one of her sweaters," Michelle chimed in. Stephanie had borrowed a sweater from D.J., which was originally Kimmy's She then got mustard on it, and it had shrunk horribly when she tried to wash it.

"Well, don't worry, we'll find who's responsible," Steve repeated.

Later that day, they'd discovered the culprit behind the hidden clothing. However, a couple of the rougher kids were up to even more mischief, as Stephanie learned a few days later.

D.J. saw her coming into their cabin with some bracelets that the older kids had made. "I see you got some friendship bracelets," D.J. said excitedly.

Stephanie began chirping about the boys she liked. There were some very nice ones over in the boys' section. However, "It's not all fun and games over there. Putting most of those rowdy boys to work has helped, but this one boy, he went and wrecked one of the bathrooms. That was the last straw, they sent him home," Stephanie muttered. "His parents came to pick him up."

Denise whistled. "Wow, they must really be mad!"

"Not as mad as D.J. would be," Michelle declared. Denise started to say that at least Michelle would be sent home and not have to face her, but a look from Michelle told her to keep quiet. "I wouldn't be sent home; D.J. would deal with me right here."

"She'd put you on a 24-hour work detail," Denise surmised aloud.

"24? Try 72. She'd find a way to make a day last that long!" Inside, she wondered if D.J. might do some work on her bottom beforehand, but D.J. was fair. If Michelle did something really bad and was remorseful, D.J. would clamp down like a vice when it came to watching her and keeping her in line. She'd find a way to avoid spanking. But, it really didn't matter, because Michelle's personality was such that she'd never want to do anything really bad, anyway.

A few other kids obviously fell for temptation much more easily. "Steve said he thought it would help for you to come talk to a few of the kids along with him," Stephanie said.

"Sure, Steph." D.J. led the girls out to the soccer field and got them involved in a game before she went over there, with Hannah and Kimmy keeping an eye on the Chickadees.

Suddenly, one of the girls ran into the cabin complaining of a bee sting. Hannah looked ready to help, but was pleasantly surprised when she saw Kimmy deftly removing the stiner. "You're not allergic, are you?" Kimmy asked. The girl sniffled and shook her hed. "We don't have any meat tenderizer - Hannah, grab D.J.'s antipersperant. Some of the stuff in that cuts down on the venom's effects."

Hannah handed it to her. "Thanks, Hannah. I knew D.J.'s would work - we've borrowed each other's before. Actually, this might be mine," she said as she applied it.

Kimmy then applied an ice pace to the finger. "You're supposed to put cold on this for ten to thirty minutes. Also, some calamine lotion would be helpful. And, we'll have to get the nurse's station to give her an antihistamine for the swelling."

Michelle had entered by this time, and walked with Kimmy and the girl to the infirmary. Once they got back, the others had returned, and she told them about the bee sting, her friend had gotten, but that Hannah really didn't' have to do anything. "Actually, Kimmy's the one who helped her," Michelle told them.

Carrie concurred. "She even knew what she would have had to do if someone were allergic to bee stings."

"Right; although I'd rather call D.J. for that one," Kimmy admitted. The concept of helping someone int hat situation was quite daunting to her.

"Well, I guess it's true what they say," Stephanie remarked casually. "Give a million Kimmys a million years, and one of them will do something intelligent."

"Sure she can, Steph," D.J. said. "Just like when she babysat the time I had to go help Dad and Joey out. She's a pretty good babysitter when she's putting forth the effort. And, she's a pretty nice friend, too. She was certainly right about letting you in on Kathy Santoni," D.J. finished, whispering so the others didn't hear.

"I guess you're right," Stephanie admitted. "I probably should lighten up some, huh?" She breathed deeply. "It's just so hard when you've spent your whole life teasing someone."

Carrie explained that, "The whole idea of helping someone is that you make them feel they can accomplish things on their own. Now, granted, D.J. sometimes went a little overboard letting Kimmy copy everything of hers. But, at least she's helped her. And, who knows, you might meet someone next year who you need to help a lot."

"You're right. And, I'd want them to treat Michelle nicer, and for Michelle to do the same to them. Sorry, Kimmy; I'll try to be nicer to you."

"Same here, squirt."

Stephanie rolled her eyes. "Just don't call me squirt."

Almost three years later, the Tanners were gathering for a dance recital. And, after talking with Carrie, they'd be meeting her, too; someone she knew was performing in the same ballet recital.

Danny smiled proudly as Michelle skipped over to the friend they were there to watch in the lobby before the recital. She had matured so much in the last three years. Her comment to Stephanie when she'd been rebelling, telling Stephanie how good they had it and saying, "Don't rock the boat," showed she really wanted to be in control of herself, obedient, polite, and so on. She was a normal kid, but at least he didn't have to secretly be concerned that she'd start to take after Jesse.

"Look at her, Jess. She's so happy for Sam in her first ballet recital."

"Yeah, man. She's startin' to sound just like Pam used to at times." Jesse turned toward Joey and said, "I can see you and your fiance are gonna have great kids just like that someday." He thanked him.

"It's a shame, though; Sam's so young, and yet when D.J. started working with her, she started out with a lot more of an edge than Gia did when she and I became friends," Stephanie noted as she spoke to Kristen. "Of course, you know Gia smoked, whereas Sam never did, but Sam did other stuff, and Gia had that same really disrespectful attitude toward her mom and school - her grades were horrible at first."

Sam's foster mother agreed. "Having Michelle around is like surrounding Rocky Road ice cream with cotton candy." Kimmy looked very strangely at Kristen, unable to grasp the analogy of a hard and bumpy road being made softer. "Never mind."

Michelle, meanwhile, was hearing all about the dances Sam would do, and trying to encourage her. "Isn't this great. You don't have to be a ferocious pit bull anymore. You can be a graceful, beautiful swan," Michelle said enthusiastically.

Sam smiled. The wariness had finally disappeared. Like with her foster mother- soon to be adoptive mother - Kristen, Sam felt comfortable around Michelle. The Tanner family was so nice. She gazed at her pink ballet tutu and said simply, "Thanks, Michelle."

"You know what, Sam; you should go by Samantha, now that you'll be adopted. Try to start a new life."

"I'll try," Sam replied as Kristen led her backstage to where she'd be preparing to perform.

D.J. suggested that the Tanners go in and find Carrie's seat. "She's out here after her first year of college, and she has a friend Steph's age who's dancing in this; one of her former Honeybee girls back in New York City who moved out here."

They found their seats, and D.J. sat next to Carrie. She began to explain the situation. "Remember how you said Michelle was the type who could be a real leader if she was just encouraged a little?" D.J. said proudly, grinning ear to ear.

"Deej," Danny interrupted behind her, "why don't you let me brag a little; Michelle is my daughter you know."

"Simple," Kimmy said, "if you start talking, the way you babble, you might never stop."

Danny looked at Kimmy. "I would stop when the show started."

"Oh, sure. Half an hour from now. You talked her ear off when we introduced you last winter, when she came out to interview for the internship she'd doing." She looked at Carrie. "Mr. T. dated her mother, Kristen, once." Kimmy looked blankly ahead for a moment. "Come to think of it, Mr. T.'s dated a lot of women once."

"May I continue without interruption?" Danny asked.

Jesse intervened. "Yeah, Gibbler, why don't you go dance some ballet up there. Then you won't be talkin' to us. And I'm sure the girls would just love a giant elephant ruining their recital."

"Anyway," Danny continued, "she's right, I did date Kristen once, about 5 years ago. She's 26 now, and she and her husband signed up to be foster parents. Well, they got Sam, and soon after that, late last summer, they moved into our district. They're in the process of adopting Sam, it'll be final in the next month or so. And, Michelle has been a really great influence on her."

"We've all tried. There have been times I've wished we could have helped sooner, like if she'd been in our district from the start, so we could have found out about her in Kindergarten, when I was in fifth grade. But, we've all banded together, and really been able to make a difference," Stephanie stated.

"She'd been a ward of the court since that time when she was close to 8 and she and a few older kids wrecked an area playground. She'd been a latchkey kid for a good long while before that, and, well, Kristen and her husband are the only real family she has. We've tried to make ours like a second one, though."

Carrie nodded. "I understand. Yeah, it sounds like some of the cases my dad handles. Back in New York, well, let's just say that sort of thing isn't that uncommon. It might be a good idea if they don't even take any more foster kids in, at least for a while, to give her the full attention she needs."

"That's their plan, yeah," Joey said at about the same time as his girlfriend, to whom he'd be getting married in a few months.

"Their parents were just way too busy with work, it wasn't drugs like your dad might see sometimes, but I'm sure it's the same sort of result," Becky said.

"You're right. Some of these kids are so starved for attention, they'll turn to anyone. San Francisco may seem like a big city, where lots of stuff happens and people can get lost in the shuffle, but it's nothing like New York," Carrie remarked. "I'd really like to do some kind of social work when I get out of school."

D.J. knew the feeling. "I may have been a little tougher, a little more worried than I needed to be about Michelle. But, I knew Dad needed some help, and I was there to back him up. Michelle's situation was really easy compared to some, though. I didn't realize how lucky I had it, with both Kimmy and Michelle."

At the intermission, after which the smaller girls would go home, with older girl scheduled for after the intermission - the Tanners and Carrie met Sam and Kristen out in the lobby.

"Nice to meet you," Kirsten said after introductions were made. "My husband's out getting the car. How did you like the recital?"

"It was fabulous; though I think Michelle enjoyed it even more." Carrie indicated with her head Michelle and Sam chatting excitedly about the performance; Sam had been one of the best dancers out there. Few could believe it was her first recital ever. "I hear she's given her lots of encouragement."

"Yes, she and Stephanie talked to Steph's old instructor about her, last fall. You could almost say they discovered her, like an old-time talent scout, just trying to see what she could do while having fun playing."

Carrie couldn't help but laugh; Michelle might be a little too excited, from the coment she heard. "Just think, Sam, next year you'll be as old as Steph was when she almost got to go to dance school in New York. Maybe you can go there!"

"Michelle..." D.J. said, warning her with her look to calm down and be quiet. She didn't want to raise Sam's expectations too much, although by next spring it would become apparent that Sam could be recommended and accepted into the special program that summer.

"Wow," Sam said hesitantly while clutching several large bouquets of flowers. "Do you really think I'm that good?"

"Of course you are," Kristen said tenderly as she hugged her. "But, no matter what, you'll always be very special to us." She knew Sam needed to hear that over and over, all the time. But, it was finally starting to sink in some. And, while Samantha would always have troubles emotionally, at least she'd have a good pro career and a happy marriage someday.

After they said goodbye to Kristen and Sam, Carrie complimented Michelle on the great job she was doing. "I'm sure you do everything you can to help Sam."

"Thanks. I'd like to do more, though."

"I'll admit, I get her started like that; I think about how much better things could be, how much more comfortable she'd be and how much better she'd probably wind up being, if we'd found out about her before this. Two, three more years of people paying attention and being good to her would have made a huge difference," Stephanie elaborated.

Carrie concurred. "You really are helping, though. Take it from someone who hears stories about this kind of stuff fairly regularly; if she's trying, then that means she at least feels like she deserves that love and success, and that's important. It's when they think they're not worth it, that they can't or shouldn't succeed, when the problems surface, but that won't be a major problem, I don't think."

"You know, that's what I told Michelle when I introduced her; I joined a group in college that works with underprivileged youth, especially foster kids, my first week there. I'm one of the few in our club that still lives at home and just commutes, but in a way, it's better." D.J. expanded on how she was introduced by saying, "I saw Kristen at an activity a few weeks later, and I realized who she was. And, when I heard how she'd helped so far, and what was needed, right away, I thought to myself, what a chance for Michelle to start to do what I've done for Kimmy."

"But, how can Sam copy all her homework? Michelle's a grade ahead," Kimmy asked out of the blue. D.J. said she'd explain later.

"A lot of times, networking like that is really the key to enabling such youths to overcome the obstacles in their lives," Carrie said.

Stephanie's eyes grew wide at Carrie - looking almost exactly like Kimmy - spouting such an intelligent sentence. "Boy was that ever a contrast!"

"I'll say. I don't know if that was supposed to be English or not."

Stephanie felt sorry for Kimmy, in a way; it seemed like that should be easy to understand.

Carrie explained. "It just means it's important to encourage others. Just like D.J. does with you, like Stephanie with Gia, and like Michelle with Sam."

"That's right," Danny uttered. "Pam always said, 'Give away a smile, it's free.' And, you girls have been giving away love, and warmth, and compassion, and encouraging others about how good they can be, for a long time. I know I tease about how annoying Kimmy is; but I know she's the type who really needs you, Deej. And, each of your friends is so lucky to have people like you girls to help them."