Fan Fiction - Written by Paul Austin - Alternative Universe
It's mostly sci-fi like Star Trek (and the book "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisted") that had characters and actors switch places. Well, here's what happens when a young Jodie Sweetin changes places with Stephanie for a day. It's assumed the Book Universe Stephanie is the "real" one because, frankly, the book situation is, on average, more plausible than the TV Universe. Finally, this idea is at least a couple years old and probably more, before news about what the performer has overcome, but it was felt that somehow that should be alluded to; hope it sounds good the way it was done.
Stephanie Tanner smiled broadly as she waited to get her ninth grade school picture taken. She remembered fondly her grade school class pictures - some of them she could only now remember fondly, of course. Still, even the time her nose was broken just before the pictures were taken was funny, in retrospect. That had been seven years earlier, after all. And, a broken nose wasn't as bad as pimples.
She felt her face to make sure she didn't have any pimples, and then began to feel faint under the hot lights. It was taking a while, and...and...
"Stephanie, are you okay," her best friends, Allie Taylor and Darcy Powell, said at once as a small crowd gathered around her. "You fainted."
"Yeah...I'm okay, I guess," Jodie Sweetin said in a daze. The girl, recently turned fifteen, looked around, studying the situation. She had thought she was at a photo shoot, now all of a sudden she was here; it looked like a school, with class pictures being taken.
"Come on, Steph, they said your name, you're up next," Allie said.
"Oh; right, thanks," she said as she walked in front of the camera and sat. She flashed a nice smile as she pondered the name. Stephanie?
Darcy piped up once she was done. "You wanted me to remind you to walk Michelle home after school today; is now a good time?"
"Sure, thanks." Okay, she told herself, I thought I was at a photo shoot, but I had had trouble sleeping. Maybe we're trying to shoot a pilot for a renewed "Full House" series. It was a logical explanation for the names. "What about Nicky and Alex?"
"Well, yeah," Darcy said, "everyone else will be gone for a while, so you have to baby-sit for about half an hour."
"Are you sure you'll be okay?" Allie asked.
"I'll be fine..." She almost said Gia, but this certainly didn't look like Gia; she had dark brown wavy hair, and she was a bit shorter. Still, the explanation fit well with the way a pilot would begin. "What was your name again? I think I almost said the wrong name."
"Allie. And this is Darcy." Allie looked strangely at her. "Are you sure you didn't hit your head when you fainted just now, Steph?"
"No, I'm fine." She looked at all the cameras, and wondered when the scene would end. As the bell rang, she decided that was probably it. She'd hear "cut" any time now; she was surprised she hadn't heard it with the name comment, though maybe that part of the scene was finished.
However, Jodie didn't hear a "Cut!" Instead, she simply wandered the hall for a moment, until the girl named Allie showed her where her next class was. Thankfully, it was the last one of the day.
She was late getting to it. "I'm sorry," she said, "I came in late." Noticing the students all staring at her, she said, "Aren't we going to do this scene again?"
"We could try, Miss Tanner, but I can't unring the bell. Just sit down," the teacher said tiredly. "Do you have your homework assignment?"
"Probably." She started fumbling through her backpack as she sat at her desk. "What class is this again?"
"History. Do you need to go to the nurse or something?"
Jodie used her ad libbing skills by faking tiredness as she searched for a history notebook and pulled it out once she saw what looked like one; it was. "No, no, I'm fine; I've just had a really rough day. Actually, that thing about the class was a joke D.J. told me she told in college once, she was so stressed. Here it is." Okay, I had the homework all ready; the prop people are doing a good job. But, what's going on? Am I in school here for the day to get the feel for being Stephanie again? It should be easy.
"Thank you, Miss Tanner,' the teacher said as he took the paper. "If you think you have it rough now, I'm sure D.J. can tell you college will make this seem like child's play," he said, a hint of lecturing in his remark, as if to say she'd better be ready for the real challenges.
"I'm sure." She noticed something else odd, as she looked around her. The kids - including herself - all had warmer clothes on than they would in Los Angeles. She decided that maybe they were filming this part in the San Francisco area. That made sense, since they'd done that in season eight, back on ABC. She'd heard rumors that the WB network might pick them up, but they hadn't. Now, apparently, they would.
Jodie asked Allie and Darcy how to get to Fraser St. Elementary as she puzzled over why she didn't remember anything about that. She recalled the name of the grade school from the show, but was startled as she turned around to say goodbye to them, only to see that the school name said "John Muir" and not DiMaggio.
She slapped herself mentally. Of course, she said as she walked to the elementary school. She knew there were "Full House" books; she'd done photo shoots for the covers in different poses. Her best friends were different, and that was probably the school name. In fact, now that she thought about it, Allie and Darcy were probably her friends from there.
She knew very little about the book universe, but she suddenly walked much more confidently. Jodie decided that the people at the WB had wanted to go in a new direction. They must have figured the experiment with Gia failed, she told herself. So, they're making it seem like it's a somewhat new universe, albeit with the same family.
Michelle spotted her quickly. "Steph, Nicky and Alex don't believe there's really a country called Turkey," she called out, holding the Kindergarten boys' hands as they walked down to the sidewalk. "Would you please tell them I'm right?"
Jodie laughed inwardly as she backed Michelle up. She hadn't seen a script, but maybe they were supposed to ad lib? If so, this was a good one. "You know how your dad's family came from Greece?" she asked as she took one boy's hand and the four walked down the street. "The country Turkey is right next to Greece."
"So where's Ham?" Nicky asked.
"And what about Chicken?" Alex added.
"Sorry, boys," she said with a laugh, "no other countries with the names of meats. Hey, uh, Michelle...why don't you lead."
Michelle looked oddly at her, then agreed. "Sure, I guess."
"It'll be fine, Michelle, I trust you." Jodie didn't know where they were going, and suddenly realized that she didn't see any cameras. This was a really strange way to do a scene - unless the cameras were on all these houses. But, they looked real, not like the props studios used. Then again, if they were really in San Francisco...
Stephanie praised Michelle for looking both ways before crossing the street.
"Thanks, Steph. I guess this is just how you do it building Samantha's confidence, huh?"
Jodie agreed. She didn't know who Samantha was, but figured it was a new character, so she played along like she knew her.
As Michelle raved about how Samantha saw Stephanie as a mother, Jodie was sure of it. New direction was right; Jodie would be playing a Stephanie Tanner who was even more of a leader, one who would never joyride with Gia or any of the other stuff, though she likely got into scrapes trying too hard to do stuff. She apparently babysat a lot.
Samantha was a year behind Michelle in school, and on her way to dance school this summer. Jodie didn't know the full details, but she'd be filled in when the need arose. Perhaps being told like this was supposed to make her reaction more natural?
"See that tree? It's called an oak," Nicky said.
Alex added that, "Our teacher said it comes from a nut."
Jodie nodded as the boys continued to talk about nuts and squirrels. She'd been awaiting a punch line about Kimmy, but it never came. All of a sudden, those comments about Samantha that seemed like information for viewers of a pilot dissolved into the background, as normal conversation took place. She tried to figure out why in the world Nicky and Alex were talking about such mundane things. Even if they were doing a "Full House" movie, not a TV show, this made little sense. TV shows had been done live in the early days of TV, but not movies.
Michelle turned back and looked at Stephanie's confused expression. "What is it, Steph?"
"This scene is really long," Jodie said honestly. "And, when he said 'It comes from a nut,' I thought there would be a punch line about Kimmy making them."
"They're not professional comedians, Steph. Jeff could have come up with that, but he doesn't know Kimmy that well." They crossed the street after looking. "They're good about not teasing her too much, but I guess that would be okay."
Jodie nodded. Teasing back and forth between Stephanie and Kimmy had gotten out of hand a touch sometimes. She'd thought it was very funny, but she could see the prodicers deciding to tone it down.
However, something else struck her, now that they'd walked about six blocks, far too long for a scene, unless they only wanted to keep little bits. "I'm trying to figure out whether you look more like Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen," Jodie said.
"Steph, what are you talking about? I don't look anything like them. My hair is strawberry blonde, their hair is darker," Michelle remarked.
Jodie was flummoxed with that line. She supposed that they were acknowledging that Mary-Kate and Ashley existed in the "Full House" universe. Still, she couldn't imagine someone else playing Michelle - and this looked like a composite, if anything, between the two, albeit with lighter hair. The notion was too confusing, so she let it slide, though had she really read the Michelle books closely she would know Michelle's hair was said to be strawberry blonde there.
Soon, they were home, and they led the twins up to Michelle and Stephanie's room. Jodie played a game with Nicky and Alex while Michelle worked on some homework and wrote in her diary.
Jodie chuckled as she looked over. Michelle was trying to write with both hands at once. It seemed Michelle was better with her left hand; much better. But, she was efficient enough with her right that she'd wanted to try it.
However, she got the signals crossed and wrote as the answer to a math problem, "He sure is cute."
"You must have a boyfriend, huh?" Jodie said with a smile.
"She likes Jeff," Nicky said. Jodie remembered that Michelle had mentioned that name earlier.
"Guys," Michelle said tiredly. "Okay, you were right, about what you said earlier, Steph," Michelle admitted as she erased the comment on her paper. "I can't believe how some people can write with both hands at once."
"I'm sure it takes a lot of talent." Jodie almost asked what she had told Michelle, but she was beginning to wonder about the idea of a new TV series. Too many things looked strange about the set - there were four walls, with no place for cameras, in the living room and in their bedroom. The living room wall that normally would have the cameras mounted on it was instead covered with family pictures
She glanced out the bedroom door, then stepped back inside. "Are you looking for something?"
"The back stairs seem to lead downstairs," Jodie commented. Also, though she didn't say it, a door existed that probably led to the attic. Also eliminating the TV series idea was that things took too long for them to be actual scenes in a TV show or even a movie.
Michelle scratched her head. "Where else would they lead? The moon?"
She was just trying to figure out what it could be - probably a dream - when Danny and Becky came home. The boys ran to Becky while Danny hugged and kissed his girls.
"D.J.'s bringing supper after she's done studying at the library," he told them. "Steph, Allie called and said you fainted, and then you appeared disoriented." That hadn't been the word Allie had used, but it was just the kind Danny would.
"I'm fine," Jodie ad libbed. "You've seen me eat, it's not like when D.J. wouldn't eat for three days." She remembered that episode well. "I figured that would be the first thing you'd worry about." That would make sense whether it was a show they were filming or a dream.
"I'll say; you really woofed down your dad's casserole last night," Becky said as the boys began having fun by playing the game by themselves, moving pieces and drawing cards haphazardly, as if playing with rules only they could comprehend. They were starting to read, but not enough to play that game without some help.
Michelle inserted that, "She sounds like you said I did when I had my concussion."
"Oh, Steph, you didn't try to jump any horses like you did last Christmas, did you?" Becky noted that, "It would probably be too late for something to pop up now, if you did that then."
"Sure, I remember..." Jodie tried to think. "I remember playing in a band a couple years ago."
"Steph, you were never in a band," Danny said.
"Oh, right, I wasn't." She was mad at herself. She'd forgotten already that if this was the filming of a pilot episode - and now it seemed like that was possible again, since he said she hadn't been in a band as Stephanie - they'd dropped the idea with Gia. If they were going with an alternate universe concept, she likely hadn't even known Gia. "Well..." She glanced over at Michelle's closet - the Honeybee outfit, of course! "I was in the Honeybees, just like Michelle."
"Good, you remember that," Becky said. "But, memories further back usually come back before short term ones, that's what the doctors told us those few days Michelle was in the hospital."
"We're not saying you've had a concussion, sweetheart," Danny began.
"But, I didn't Dad. I mean...I remember meeting Allie in Kindergarten," Jodie said swiftly. "And..." She struggled to remember an episode from when she was wee little. "...And, I remember Allie and Darcy being at my tenth birthday party when Tommy Page sang."
Danny looked oddly at her. "Honey, Darcy didn't move here till a year later."
"Take your time, Steph," Becky said.
"Do you remember when you and I baby-sat those triplets in the Imaginarium last year?" Michelle asked. Jodie had to admit she didn't.
Jodie sighed. She tried to remember episodes, and apparently she'd gotten those right, but her memory was still very spotty.
"Do you remember when you helped Michelle make that Mother's Day card for D.J.?" Danny asked.
"Are you kidding? How could I forget that?" Jodie asked. That really would have been a memorable episode.
"I don't know, but it sounds like you did," Michelle pointed out.
Jodie shook her head, deciding it had to be a dream now. "Come on, I remember that," she ad libbed. "D.J.'s probably got the card framed and hanging in her room."
Danny wasn't sure what to say about the sudden forgetfulness of the girl he presumed was Stephanie. "Well...I'm sure things will start to come to you. But, if this forgetfulness persists, we're taking you to the doctor in the morning. Now, let one of us know right away if you have any headaches, or dizziness, or nausea!" he said warningly. He asked Michelle to help keep a watch on Jodie.
"You think it could be that bad?" Michelle asked worriedly, ignoring Jodie's claims that she hadn't hit her head.
"It shouldn't be, but we have to make sure." He hugged Michelle. "I know you'll look out for her. She should be fine." He hugged and kissed Jodie, and he and Becky left the room.
After they had eaten supper, Nicky and Alex asked Jodie to come jump on the trampoline with them. Jodie complied; she figured by now that it was a dream. Unless someone had had a very strange new concept for a television show - reality shows hadn't appeared yet - they were not filming one. On the contrary, what they discussed at dinner was very ordinary. They'd had subplots centering around loose teeth, learning to tie shoes, and so on; that was how they made the show realistic, there wasn't always a lot of drama around everything. However, there were still more important main plots. And, nothing approaching an interesting main plot was mentioned tonight. It was a normal, family dinner conversation.
"You were funny at supper," Nicky said.
"Thanks." Jodie said as she climbed and bounced. "I think Michelle's right; I should try to become a professional comedian. Especially that joke when Uncle Jesse asked how school went, and I said we were learning hieroglyphics." She thought for a moment. "Or maybe when I said I remembered playing in the World Cup in 1994 for the U.S.." Indeed, she'd given a number of strange responses, which she'd passed off as jokes. That was what dreams were supposed to do, have very strange features, not be boring, right?
Suddenly, she slipped, and wound up partly tumbling out of the child trampoline. She scraped her hand; it wasn't bleeding, but it hurt....wait a minute, Jodie thought to herself. Things aren't supposed to hurt in dreams!
Suddenly, a whole flurry of feelings went through her. If she was awake, and thus able to feel pain, she couldn't be dreaming. If they'd gone all this time without a director, or cameras, or anything, then she certainly couldn't be filming anything for TV. But, then that meant...wait a minute? Had the Tanner family been real? Was she really playing the part of a real character when she was Stephanie? She'd never heard about the incidents being based on a real family. And yet, they were so closely linked, in some ways...
"Guys, what year is it?"
"It's this year," Alex said.
"I mean the number; 1997?" They agreed, and she realized that the families had to be running parallel. It couldn't have been a family in the past. This unnerved Jodie even more; if the characters were all a good deal older, she might buy it. It would be sort of like "Little House on the Prairie," then. However, she had jumped, somehow, into the body of Stephanie Tanner. A girl who was apparently living the life Jodie had portrayed, with a few exceptions.
The only problem was, who could she tell?
"Guys, there was an office on the second floor; does that mean Joey lives in the basement?" He did. Jodie leaped up and ran into the house, hoping to find the one person who would have the imagination to believe what had happened - she had somehow changed places with Stephanie.
Joey was in his basement apartment fiddling with a raccoon costume. "Joey..."
"Oh, Steph, you're just in time. Try this head on." Jodie took the raccoon head with great curiosity; it did seem to fit her, but what was it for? She soon learned, as he said, "I rigged it so the black part around the raccoon's eyes changes color when you flip a little switch, for next Saturday at the basketball game."
"But...it doesn't fit you. It fits me," she said sheepishly, trying to imagine herself in a raccoon outfit.
"Well, sure, Steph, you're the one who wanted the raccoon mascot for John Muir." A comical series of events had led to Stephanie insisting a raccoon that was captured and used as a mascot be freed; one that, ironically, would not be written as a book till a few years later, when "My Three Weeks As a Spy" came out. As a compromise, Stephanie had agreed to wear a mascot outfit, at least for this year.
She took off the head and examined it. It looked quite interesting. And, while the TV version of Stephanie...there she went again, thinking of it like it was actually a series. She couldn't believe this was real life yet. And yet, it was. The TV version of Stephanie might have disdained it even after Michelle's accident. However, she knew now the book Stephanie would not only draw closer to Michelle, but be a bit more willing to take on an adventure like this.
She reluctantly agreed that, "I guess I can see Stephanie wearing this."
"Well, sure, you're Stephanie, after all."
"Actually..." How would she explain it so it made any sense at all, even to Joey? She wasn't sure, but she had to try. "I'm from a...parallel universe. I played Stephanie, but my name is actually Jodie Sweetin." She didn't bother looking at him to see if he believed her. "I was doing a photo shoot - I'm an actress, after all - and, I fainted. When I woke up, I was here, in school."
"So, wait...if what you're saying is true, where's Stephanie?"
"You believe me?!" Jodie said in shock.
"I'm not sure yet, but if you are Stephanie now, then that means Stephanie is you, right?"
"Oh boy. I hadn't thought of that," Jodie said, her eyes growing wide.
"Do you think she's okay?"
Jodie wasn't sure what to say. This was not the reaction she expected, but it did make sense, considering the loving bond everyone had for each other in this family. She could tell that it was just as warm and friendly as the one portrayed on TV, only more so in some ways. For instance, she hadn't told Michelle she wouldn't forgive her before the horse riding accident; she'd merely shown a bunch of embarrassing photos to her crush. Someone had mentioned that during supper, when talking about pictures.
"Well...I'm sure she's fine, she's probably just coping with the fact she has no siblings and a really small family compared to this one, and trying to figure out how to get back." She decided to note, "She...that is, I...sometimes went to a few parties I shouldn't, but it sounds like this Stephanie wouldn't do that."
"You're right. Okay, good; as long as she's okay," Joey said with relief before realizing something else Jodie had said. "You say you played her?"
"Yes; on a TV show called 'Full House.'" Jodie suddenly realized how she could corroborate her story. "Let's go see Michelle, I said something to her on the way home that would make no sense otherwise." Joey agreed.
Joey wasn't sure what to believe - he now figured this wasn't a concussion. It sounded like an elaborate practical joke, except that Danny had said Allie and Darcy had commented about Stephanie not seeming to know anything at school. And, it didn't make sense that she would just start the joke on the spur of the moment like that. He supposed it could be possible she had changed places.
They found Michelle grooming their dog, Comet, in the girls' room. "Michelle," Joey asked, "Did Stephanie say something strange on the way home?"
"Where do I begin? First she said something about Nicky and Alex having punch lines, and even something about a scene, that didn't make any sense at all. Then, she thought I looked like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen."
Joey sized her up and said, "There is a resemblance, but not exact."
"Yeah, if I was a hundred feet away, but she was right there. She didn't seem to know where things were as we walked home or in the house. She even looked surprised when she realized the back stairs led to the kitchen."
"Then it's true," Joey pondered aloud.
Michelle asked what was, and Jodie explained. "But, don't worry, Michelle, your sister is fine, I'm sure."
"Okaaaay...in that case, I'd better come up with something to tell Samantha; she's over at Courtney's right now. Not that you know who that is." She picked up the phone and called.
"Samantha would probably have heard of how disoriented you were...that is, Stephanie was, so Michelle's calling to tell her Stephanie's okay."
"Not that this isn't totally freaky," Michelle confessed with her hand over the phone while someone went to get Samantha. "But, at least I'll be helping her feel a little better. I can freak out later, after I've taken care of her," she teased, thinking of the girl she protected just like a younger sister.
Jodie listened as Michelle ad libbed beautifully, talking about an accident involving elements and compounds that sounded like they were way above a fifth grader's level. She beamed - was this Michelle a child prodigy or something?
After Michelle hung up the phone, Jodie was brought back to Earth. Michelle said, "She'll have forgotten all about this by the time she gets to a high enough level of science to know the chemicals I mentioned don't exist."
"Except for the cure," Joey noted.
"Right. I remember D.J. pulling that one on me." Michelle looked at Jodie. "Oh yeah, you don't know - she once said she needed a glass of dihydrogen oxide, and I thought she'd have to go to the drug store."
"And, of course, that's H2O - water," Joey said.
"Which means when I told Samantha the solution, she figured you needed some medicine and you'd be disoriented for a little bit till it passes. And, we get Steph back." Michelle sighed heavily. "I think I'm about ready to freak now. Where is she?"
"She's fine, Michelle; I just don't know how to figure out how to get back."
"Well, if she fainted once, fainting again should probably get her back," Joey said casually. It made perfect sense to him.
Jodie agreed. But, "How do I go about re-creating that? I don't think just any fainting will do."
"I agree; probably under a bunch of hot lights; maybe if we get you to a warm area with that mascot outfit on tomorrow morning, before the game," Joey offered.
"You mean Steph will have to spend the night away from here," Michelle said worriedly.
"Yeah, but I wouldn't worry. You and I know Steph will find a way to make things work out really well, anyway," Joey said.
Joey and Michelle gathered everyone in the living room once Nicky and Alex had gone to bed. He explained the situation as best he could. The others - especially Danny - were mostly worried about where Stephanie was. "How do we get in touch with this parallel universe?" Danny asked.
"Why, you want to go clean it?" Jesse asked. "Look, this is a cute story and all, but do you really expect us to believe this?"
"Do you have another explanation?"
"Joey's right," Becky said. "As strange as it sounds, I don't know that there's anything else it could be. I mean, we've had enough psychologists and such on our show to know that people don't just one day start thinking they're from a parallel universe without either some serious head trauma or other major problem, and all the evidence seems to indicate that there was none."
"I don't even know if head trauma would explain this," Danny said dejectedly. From what Allie and Darcy had said, it happened so suddenly that there couldn't possibly have been anything else causing it.
Only now that they were done worrying about Stephanie - and Jodie had assured them that Stephanie would be totally safe, and not likely to be harmed by the ordeal - did they start to consider the other freaky fact they had learned. From what Jodie had described, there was a television show that was very closely based on their lives, occurring at the same time as they were living it.
"Do you remember any air dates," D.J. asked, "or at least seasons?"
Jodie thought. "Well, the one with Tommy Page was on my actual tenth birthday, I think. If not it was really close."
"In other words, they had to be writing it before I even got the idea of having Tommy Page on my show," Danny responded in awe.
"How can that be? I mean, guessing a few things right is one thing, but...how could they even guess that Steph would crash Joey's car into the kitchen around when she did, and even why, because you thought R meant radio. That's just weird," D.J. said.
Becky agreed. "This is beyond invasion of privacy, it's...I don't know if there is a word for it," Becky acknowledged.
Danny was more intrigued by the differences. "If everything was the same, then you could argue for some strange cosmic connection between fantasy in one world and reality in another. But, why do I have an office in the fourth bedroom while the TV series doesn't?" he inquired.
"Maybe whoever's doing it doesn't want to be a copycat," Michelle suggested.
"Actually, it's simpler than that," Jodie reminded her. "Remember how I mentioned that there are also books based on the series? Well, in the books, there is an office. D.J., you were apparently the oldest one besides your dad on the second floor the whole time, and that caused you to bond much more with Michelle and with Stephanie. So, there is that 'strange cosmic connection' your dad spoke of; but it's to the book universe"
D.J. agreed that that made sense. "I've always felt a little more of a need to care for you and Steph, Michelle, than it sounds like D.J. did on TV. I even went forward in church - we don't go all the time, but somewhat regularly - and dedicated myself to it."
"If our television is anything like yours, Jodie, that's not something a network is going to want to put on the air, anything with spiritual overtones," Danny stated. "Unless, of course, it's a show like 'Touched By An Angel' that is specifically for that."
Though Jodie didn't recall it, Danny had prayed the blessing at Thanksgiving in the first season, and Stephanie had prayed to God for Mr. Bear's safe return when he was missing in season two. Jesse often wore a cross necklace, too. However, it did seem like this family was a little more spiritual than the one in the TV series, though not incredibly so. They didn't read the Bible all the time, but books mentioned the girls praying a little more often, or at times had Sunday morning omitted in a sequence of events that happened on a weekend, to imply they might be in church.
Instead, she simply agreed. "That's interesting that you have that show in your universe, too. I'm beginning to think, more and more, that this is a parallel universe - there are so many things that are the same. But, of course, it wouldn't be all the same; television often exaggerates." At that moment, Kimmy entered. "Speaking of which..."
"Hey, everyone. Just got back from beauty school," Kimmy reported. "By the way, Deej, we were talking about wigs in class today. Did you know that almost nobody in the Whig Party in the United States wore wigs? I always thought they all did till today." She was in a few course, including one in the evening.
"As a matter, we all figured that, Kimmy. That style went out in the U.S. long before the Whig Party started," D.J. said.
"I always figured they all wore wigs like George Washington did. Except, his was made of wood."
Jodie's eyes grew wide. "I don't believe it. Kimmy's just as dumb in real life."
"Really? You mean I wasn't in real life before?"
"Kimmy, that was his teeth that were made of wood. Come sit down, we need to talk," D.J. informed her. "We found out Kimmy has a slight learning disorder, but she can still get a little confused at times," D.J. whispered politely to Jodie. "Well, okay, a lot."
Jodie explained the situation. "The strangest part is, the girl that played you is really smart, she's the exact opposite of you."
"Really? Do I ever get any guys in that universe?"
"No...at the end of the series you were stuck with this guy who only said 'whatever.'"
"Sounds right. Duane and I have been going off and on for a couple years now. Did I get to be tenth grade class president, too?"
"Yeah, but of course, on television they don't mention much, except they implied you had a lot of help from D.J., the two of you always did stuff together, especially that year." Jodie thought for a second. "Do I want to know some of the things that happened at those Student Council meetings?"
"I...think we should spare Kimmy the embarrassment," D.J. suggested.
Becky remarked that, "It still seems so bizarre. I mean, where did the writers get the idea to do such a series? How many episodes were there?"
"192. Of course, the thing about television is, they gloss over lots of stuff, like consequences of things. For instance..." She studied Michelle for a second. "No, somehow I can't picture you knocking over a priceless dinosaur like in one of the episodes."
"Are you crazy, Steph...I mean, Jodie. That was Aaron Bailey who did that."
Jodie laughed. "Well, there's one thing that sounds logical, at least."
"Yeah. I'm glad I'm not in his class at school; we have a few different classes for each grade. When Jeff heard about it that Monday, he said, 'Now I know what killed the dinosaurs! Aaron Bailey!'" Everyone laughed.
"That would have been a classic line," Jodie said. "Somehow, I wish we'd done that instead." With a broad grin, she added, "It sure is great to sit around and reminisce - even though I only really lived through little bits of it. And even the bits I did weren't always what happened to you guys, huh?" She thought for a second. "Still, too many similarities to be a coincidence, though."
"You're always welcome here. As long as you come here on your own next time," Joey said.
"Thanks. We are like a family, the performers, we're really close. But, still..." She sighed. "It seems so much more interesting and fun here."
Jesse looked her in the eye. "Yeah, but you know what? You seem like the kind of person who can really accomplish a lot of great stuff. You don't need to rely on what size your family is, or what you're performing in, to have a good time. You're special the way you are. You can really make a great impact on people, if you just put your mind to it, and think about them. After all, what's given me the greatest joy was everything that happened after I chose to move in here and help."
"Thanks. You know, it's funny. I can see that really being a line in an episode." She nodded slowly. "And, it's good advice. You're right."
"Well, sure. I mean, somehow the show did wind up being pretty close to the way we've lived. In fact, who knows, someone might write fan fiction someday and have me saying just what I'm saying right now," Joey said matter-of-factly, his imagination letting him think anything was possible.
Jesse scoffed at the notion. "Yeah, right; and I suppose they're gonna have me responding just like this." He turned to the others. "Can you believe him?"
"Well, whether it's accurate or not, she did mention this girl named Gia. Now, Stephanie never met a Gia, but I think maybe it's a good idea to find out about her, just in case," Danny suggested.
"I'd like to be the one to check with you, Dad. And, leave Steph out of this when she gets back." D.J. explained about the Flamingoes, a snobby clique that harassed Stephanie and her friends, competing for boys and everything, at John Muir. "I know they probably weren't around in the TV series, but Kathy Santoni's younger sister headed them up at first. I'll probably be willing to get back with Kathy as friends after this year, it seems like things are calming down a bit with the Flamingoes, but I just don't want you around another girl like that if I can help it. I mean, I don't want Stephanie to be."
"Yeah, that Gia girl sounds like she was a Flamingo till Stephanie helped her in the series," Michelle added.
"So, you and Kimmy never went to her baby shower or anything?" D.J. shook her head. "Wow."
"I've kept in touch with her some," Kimmy offered.
"I hope you get back together. I guess it is rough, with her younger sister trying to use Stephanie to steal your dad's phone card. I can see why you sort of put things on hold with her. Whereas that doesn't happen on the show, since you're not near the mother figure of..." She still found it weird to say. "Of real life."
"Well, I better get home. Dad said if he got any roadkill while he was out driving today, he'd make some stew." Kimmy left, as the others got queasy looks.
At about the same time, Stephanie Tanner found herself in a world where complete strangers seemed to know her. She wandered the streets a bit after her photo shoot, not knowing the parents who would pick her up, and someone asked Stephanie to say "how rude." She thought it was quite strange.
She couldn't figure out how to convince people that she was Stephanie Tanner - so she simply chose to act like she wanted to be Stephanie for a while. And, as long as that was proving to be a positive thing, Stephanie told the people who said they were her parents she wanted to go to a few area hospitals and simply visit sick people. Why not? If being Stephanie provided some people with enjoyment, she would do it - after all, it was easy to do since she was Stephanie.
Still, she found it hard to fathom that she was in a real life situation. The last thing she remembered was fainting. She deduced that she must be having one of the strangest dreams ever. Since she hadn't gotten hurt in any way, she didn't think anything of it.
She found herself feeling hungry before her visit to one hospital, so she stopped to eat. That wasn't unprecedented; she'd had times when slight feelings entered her dreams. She remembered one time she slept on her shoulder wrong and it hurt a little for a moment when she woke up. While she was sleeping, she dreamed she was playing baseball and got hit by a pitch. Since the hunger went away, she forgot about it for a while.
"Stephanie, say 'how rude,'" another stranger said.
"How rude!" Yes, Stephanie told herself, complete strangers are asking me to say something, they know me and I don't know them. This is one freaky dream.
Even the next morning, after waking up, it wouldn't be too bad, though she'd begin to wonder. Hunger was a lot different than the feel of a scrape like Jodie had felt. Nothing that happened to one while asleep could rationally explain the feel of a scrape. Hunger, or feeling hot or cold, was different. And, to top it all off, she'd had a dream that night where she was back in her universe, with her friends and family. So, in a way, she wondered if maybe the next day was a continuation of the dream, though by the end, she would really start to wonder what was happening.
Back in the Tanner universe, Jodie woke up the next morning in Stephanie's bed. It being Saturday, Nicky and Alex came bounding in. She playfully greeted them, then suggested they go awaken and play with Michelle a bit. They did, and she put some of Stephanie's clothes on and went to see D.J..
"Hey, how did you sleep?" D.J. asked.
"Okay, I guess." She sighed. "I wonder if this happens often. I would hope not."
"Me, too. Somehow, I can't imagine being married already." D.J. resumed brushing her hair, thinking of what Jodie had said before bed the previous evening. She inquired, "How would I have met a Russian hockey player, anyway? I mean, it sounds like you've got a lot of the same values and stuff as Stephanie; we're just typical Americans. Typical American girls generally don't meet Russian hockey players," she said with great astonishment.
"I know. From what I've seen of all of you, Joey's comedy is the most like the performer who played him. Or maybe Michelle's most like the performer. I guess, having to be like a mom, there were times you thought there were two of her," she finished with a laugh.
D.J. joined her sitting on her bed. "True. Although, the television version of Michelle was a lot wilder than our Michelle. I'd have had to be a lot tougher. It sounds like on TV, our dad waited maybe six months longer than he did here to start punishing Michelle. And, with things like going wild after those chocolate samples, or the dinosaur or Disneyworld..." She exhaled sharply.
"They can't take the time to show every time someone gets punished; they wouldn't even have time to mention it in some episodes. There's a few things where the dad never punishes, and yet since Michelle is pretty good by the end, it figures you'd step in anyway. But, since you never had to deal with that, that could be why there's no mention," she surmised.
"I don't know if I'd take the connection thing that far, but...it does make sense."
At that point, Michelle entered. "Allie and Darcy called - they want to know if you're you or if you're Jodie." She thought for a second. "That sounded weird."
"I know; I guess we haven't switched back yet. Hopefully at the basketball game; I never asked, is it an afternoon game?" It was. "Good. Just tell them not to worry; Joey's got a plan to get us flipped back."
"Okay. By the way, I was wondering - how would that work if I got switched with the girls who play me? Would there be two people inside me?" She scratched her head. "But, then my brain would have control two people."
"I doubt it'll happen to anyone again, Michelle," D.J. comforted her. She left.
Jodie loved the friendship and fun of the large family. She spent the morning playing a board game with her sisters, listening to Joey's comedy, and just hanging out and telling stories. It was very fun and relaxing.
As they prepared to leave for the game, Jodie got changed and packed up the mascot outfit in the younger girls' room. Michelle was outside with the twins.
Danny walked into the room with D.J. and Jesse. "Oh, Jodie...uh, you are still her, right?" Danny asked. He really hoped Joey's plan worked, but didn't worry because he really couldn't think of anything else that could.
"Well, we found out about Gia," Jesse said, starting to try to avoid the subject. "There is a Gia Mahan, in another district; I guess her mom found a different apartment n our universe. She dropped out of school about a year and a half ago, and is getting her GED, taking night classes. It kinda figured, I guess; all the other friends and everything exist in both universes. In fact, D.J. even remembers how Allie was maid of honor at Steph's play wedding with Harry back in first grade. So, some nameless extra coulda been her."
"So, will you get to the point? What about her?" She thought for a second. "If she dropped out of school...wait a minute, she was in seventh like me, but she was ahead when I was in sixth..."
"So, she got held back that year anyway," D.J. said. "But, here Steph never knew her."
Jesse concurred. "Right, Steph isn't there to help her improve her grades, or...didn't you say she smoked?" Jodie nodded. "I'll tell you, the girl you played may have gotten in a few more scrapes, but overall, she still had the leadership qualities of our Stephanie."
"And you've got a lot of the qualities of the character who was my uncle. What are you hiding?"
"You can tell, huh?"
Danny sat next to her, and suddenly, Jodie was reminded of a scene where Danny tells Stephanie Gia had been in an accident. "Well, we checked through the schools, and area telephone directory. And...this Gia is two years older than Stephanie. Which sounds about right, I guess. And, you can probably tell I'm stalling, too?" She could. "Well, she dropped out because she had a baby on the way."
"Becky called and talked to her for a few minutes. Said they were thinking of doing a story on teen moms for 'Wake Up, San Francisco,' once the school told us about her dropping out, then we checked and got an address," Jesse said.
Jodie was in shock - it felt a lot like she'd performed it with Gia in the joyriding accident. "I don't believe it - is she okay?"
"Well, it's making me think about trying to get back with Kathy sometime," D.J. said. "Girls like that really need a lot of help and support. And, I don't think I need to be quite as protective as I did with Steph going into sixth grade. At least, I'd like to give her more of a hearing. Kathy stayed in school, at least."
"I just feel so awful. What if I'd come here a few years ago?"
"Yeah, but then you'd have had problems with them Flamingoes. Plus, you have a girl Steph's steering right in Samantha. I don't know if you would have had time to help Gia. Er, that is, if Steph would have had time," Jesse said.
Jodie had to agree. "She really needs a lot of support. Well, at least you can start to help her. Maybe you can, D.J., if Stephanie's too busy." D.J. agreed; it sounded more like her league now, especially since she was in a college that helped a lot of people with problems, at San Francisco State. "Thanks for finding out."
"Hey, no problem. Maybe that's why you came," Jesse responded.
"Yeah. Maybe." She looked at the men. "Can I...have a couple minutes alone with D.J.?"
"Sure; we'll take this down." Danny carried the bag with the mascot outfit, and they left.
"Pretty shocking, huh?" D.J. asked.
Jodie asked to talk to her in her room. Once they were alone there, she said, "Look...I didn't really feel comfortable telling the guys, but...well, it's been a lot rougher not acting on my show than I let on."
"I imagine it would be, after that long."
"You're not near as conservative as the actress' brother, but I can tell you try to be close to God in how you love and care for others and stuff." D.J. agreed with her. "Well, what I'm trying to say is...would you please pray for me? I don't want to give away too much, except, well...it would really mean a lot."
"Sure." They embraced. "That's unusual, but not as much as her being married," D.J. remarked, considering both facts about the person who played her. That someone would have a brother who was radically different didn't strike her as all that odd. After all, their Uncle Jesse had been a huge rebel before settling down, the exact opposite of their mother. The actress marrying, though... "It's probably easier asking for prayer from someone you won't see again," D.J. joked.
With a slight nod, she said, "Yeah. And, sometimes it's so hard to know where to fit in. I think your Uncle Jesse was right last night, but it's really hard for me sometimes. But, I'm sure, somehow, I can really do some good. In fact, I imagine Stephanie's found a way to try to do some good in my world."
"It seems like book characters are developed more and can handle things better than on TV. Although, you're right, something has to happen between the episodes, like with how well Michelle turned out. Or like a secret clothing factory on Gilligan's Island that let them keep having different clothes to wear."
"Yeah. Still, if a book's more realistic, it makes sense that the book one would be the one that could possibly link up." She started laughing, and D.J. joined in. "Here we are talking about this with such seriousness, it's crazy. I guess that's one thing that shows how comfortable I feel with all of you, though," she remarked.
"I'm sure it does. You'll do great. And, I promise, we'll be praying for you."
"Thanks, Deej," she said as they embraced, unwittingly using the nickname her character had.
About half an hour later, Jodie was in the girls' locker room with her raccoon suit on, practicing jumps and spins with D.J. and Becky there. It was ridiculously hot in a mascot's outfit, as one would expect. Suddenly she started to feel dizzy, and needed to sit down. D.J. and Becky lowered her to the floor gently.
Stephanie suddenly woke up with her raccoon suit on - why couldn't she remember much about the last day? "Deej, Aunt Becky...I must have fainted."
"Steph, is that you?" they asked excitedly.
"Yeah, who else would I be?" Stephanie asked, confused.
"Guys, come on in! Stephanie's back!" Becky shouted.
"All right!" Joey said excitedly. Everyone took turns giving Stephanie big hugs.
Stephanie was confused. "Wait a minute...what's going on here?"
"Steph, while you were gone, someone else was here," Danny began rambling. "That is, in your body; you were someone else, and...tell her," he begged someone, anyone.
Joey tried to explain how an actress who had played her had somehow switched places with her for a day.
"So that explains...here I thought it was just a long, weird dream. I had people asking me to say 'how rude' all the time, I had a different family. I woke up at a photo shoot of some sort, so I just played along; I figured if being Stephanie was that good I'd go along with it." She shook her head. "Wow, this is weird...where'd Michelle run off to?"
"To get Samantha. She thinks..."
D.J. didn't have time to finish. Samantha and Michelle came running in, with Samantha giving her a big hug. As the two embraced, Samantha asked, "Did the quadroquintro-whatever wear off yet?"
"You know, Michelle said you needed to take lots of dihydrogen oxide."
Michelle couldn't help but giggle as Stephanie cast a confused look at her. "Well," Michelle said, "she's okay. But, she won't remember the accident in the science lab that caused a very rare reaction," she finished, looking at Stephanie.
Stephanie got the hint. "Oh...right, that. Yeah, last thing I remember is just getting to science class, and then...well, of course, I can't explain what happened, because I don't remember it, right?"
After Stephanie performed as the mascot, the family had fun together at the Tanner home. While Samantha helped Becky put Nicky and Alex to bed, Stephanie talked with the others in the living room. "It sure is nice to be back."
"So, where were you? You said something about being famous because you say 'how rude.?" Michelle shook her head. "That's weird. I mean, I think it, I even say it a little, because I'm your younger sister. But, we don't even say it as a family. It's not like when Denise Chow's family sometimes likes to say 'I'm ready, set, go,' because Denise said that instead of 'I'm ready' when she was little."
Stephanie laughed. "I know; a family picking up on a saying is one thing. But, I couldn't believe how many people knew it." She was sure she'd been in the same world inhabited by the actress, now that she heard about the actress' story. "After the first person asked me to say that, and the people - well, her parents - said that lots of people recognized that line, I just figured, 'Well, I'm having a weird dream, I may as well have some fun.' I explored the world a little and also made some people happy. I visited a local childrens' hospital and a nursing home, and Jodie's going to have a couple more appointments on her calendar now, thanks to me."
"What about the guy who played me," Jesse asked. "Did he have good hair?"
"I didn't see an episode, but I suppose so. Actually, it could have been exaggerated even more - we all know you like to clean, Dad, but the dad on the show was way more nuts about cleaning, from what I heard," Stephanie said. "I asked people about episodes, pretending to see if they knew their trivia, because, well, if it's a dream I figure I'll hear some really weird stuff."
"And since it was close enough to our family, you probably naturally figured it was a dream," Joey remarked. "Just like I dreamed once Jesse was a professional ballerina."
Jesse looked at him oddly. "I hope the show was closer to reality than that."
"It was. It's just that none of the fans ever heard of a friend named Allie or Darcy who appeared on the TV show." She'd asked about the TV show specifically, so hadn't heard of the books. "They figured I was just testing them. They said some stuff that was real, like me helping Charles, but some said one of the most touching episodes was a few years ago when Papouli died, even though he's still alive. Of course, he had his heart problem and got a pacemaker a few years ago when he came over Thanksgiving to meet Samantha. If he comes a few months later, well, I probably figured that's what I was worried about. What if he had come later?" She paused for a second. "That must have really seemed weird to her to come and realize this was real."
"She even said I looked like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. She said they're huge back where she's from. That's what seemed so weird to me." Michelle said,
"Well, Michelle, they do a bunch of videos and things back in Jodie's world. I don't know anyone who watches soaps; I suppose the people who played you or Aunt Becky could exist in our world, Uncle Jesse. But, the others..."
"They probably just went into different fields," D.J. said.
Danny reminded Michelle, "If the Olsen Sisters played you, they were discovered as babies back there. So, Disney doesn't have to decide to include some little kids on their New Mickey Mouse Club in 1989. It was the comedy of a few baseball skits they did that made them popular enough to start on the road to stardom with 'Win Twins.'"
"Yeah," Michelle said, "where the little girls inherit the Minnesota Twins baseball club. That movie is so cute; especially when they do those Abbott and Costello routines."
"And the sequel; fans found them really adorable running things, just like in the Mickey Mouse Club skits," Joey said.
Stephanie added that, "Funny thing is, in Jodie's universe, the movie came out a few years later as 'Little Big Leaguer,' and it was a preteen boy, not two Kindergarten girls, who own and manage the club. I did hear about that movie when I was visiting someone last night. Of course, in our universe, the movie was bigger. They lucked into the fact the Twins won the World Series in 1991, a month before 'Win Twins' came out."
"I've heard the Disney executive who came up with 'Win Twins' resembles me a little," Joey said. "But, the names are mostly different on the stars she mentioned."
"Right. It's just that instead of four or five cute movies over the last six years the Olsen Sisters...hey, Samantha," Stephanie said lovingly. She cuddled Samantha as she climbed into Stephanie's lap. "It's so nice to see you helping with Nicky and Alex. It's really fun to care for someone else, huh?"
She rested her head on Stephanie's chest and said, "Yeah. I'm just glad I'm not doing diapers yet. Are you all better now?"
"Yeah, I am. Everything's fine now. We sure are lucky to have such a great family. I guess in any universe, we'd be really close."
Danny concurred. "It's great to know we can help so many people; even those from different...well..." He recalled they didn't want to scare Samantha - she'd been very neglected early in life and really clung to Stephanie. She might be greatly concerned it could happen again if the switch was made known. "Well, places."
Samantha wondered what Danny was talking about. "Well, it could be someone from his show, or who posted on some message board, right?" Becky offered.
"Yeah, I guess so," Samantha said, and the matter was dropped. The truth was too weird to be believed, anyway.
Stephanie agreed. "Right. No matter what, even if it's just a little bit, we can help someone. Even if it's just a smile. After all, our mom always said, 'Give away a smile, it's free.'" Stephanie whispered, unheard by Samantha, to the others. "And that's true in any universe."