:fanfiction - by Doug Fowler:
Author's note: In the book series, Jesse moves into the attic and Joey the basement almost right away, if not right away. (He could use the alcove for a few months like in the series.) And, the 4th bedroom, in the TV series is an office in the books. So, how does that make things different? Well, here is how I think the B.U. (Book Universe) might start, signaling also how Michelle starts off on a path to be a bit more compassionate & well- behaved, more like D.J. than Uncle Jesse..
SOMEBODY WHO NEEDS YOU
A worn out Danny Tanner picked up the phone. "Tanner residence."
"Mr. Tanner, I hate to bother you..." the lawyer on the other end spoke hesitantly. "But...the bag
you dropped off...well, it appears to be your laundry."
"Oh my goodness. I am so sorry. I'll be right down...as soon as I give Michelle lunch, change
D.J.'s diaper...no, wait, that's impossible, D.J.'s ten years old. Make that fix the diaper on
Stephanie's tricycle...oh boy." The frazzled father's head spun. His wife, Pam, had died almost two
months ago, and he was getting all confused. It was already hard enough for him - he'd just
decided to dump all the papers in a bag and take them down to the lawyer's office, as he'd grown
to admit he couldn't look at that stuff right now. He'd just let the lawyer do everything needed to
transfer everything to him. That way, he would be able to concentrate on his girls.
"Daddy, did you really want us to put papers in the washer?" Stephanie, five, asked with great
skepticism. She was holding up an envelope with "deed" written on it.
"Oh, no, honey, those are for the lawyer. I'll be right there," Danny said into the phone before
hanging up. "Oh, how did your mom ever do it?"
"Do what, Daddy?"
"Oh, everything, hon. Laundry, chores, finding time for you girls, feeding the baby..."
"Feeding the baby's easy. First she gets that hungry look in her eye," Stephanie said with a
glimmer in her eye and a smirk on her face. "Then you sit down and lift your shirt."
He knew Stephanie missed her mom a lot. He tried to explain as tenderly as he could. "Stephanie,
.honey. It's a little more complicated for me. You see, I can't produce milk. Only women and
assorted farm animals do that."
"But, how does Michelle get milk, then?"
"Well, the doctor put her on a formula that I have to make, remember?" They'd been over that
before, but he knew it probably hadn't registered; there was so much going on in the five-year-old's mind. "But, it's okay, your mom was about to wean her off of it, anyway." He didn't know
this - in fact, Pam Tanner had breast-fed Stephanie till she was a couple months older than
Michelle was now. However, he was trying his best to make sure everything seemed as normal as
possible to Stephanie.
"Mmmm...Okay. Speaking of food, is it normal to eat ice cream for lunch?"
"No, why..." He suddenly noticed his oldest girl. "D.J., what are you doing?"
"Making my own lunch. You seem a little busy, Dad," D.J. explained as she scooped some ice
"Oh, no, it's not that. It's just that your Grandma Tanner went out shopping as soon as I came
back from the lawyers, except now I have to go back because I gave him our laundry," he said as
he walked from the laundry room to the kitchen, on the same floor of the large, Victorian house.
"And, the baby's diaper needs changed, too."
"Oh, I can do that," D.J. offered.
"Will you? That's great, Deej. You are a lifesaver!"
Danny sighed. "Look, it's all going to be all right, girls." He embraced them. "I just need to go
upstairs to my office and get a couple other papers I just remembered. All the other papers I took
- well, I wanted to take to the lawyer were in living room desk. Except now they're in the laundry
room," he finished nervously, knowing he needed more help.
"I'll watch Stephanie and Michelle," D.J. said.
"Honey, that's okay, you're too young to do that yet."
"Dad, really, I want to help."
Danny faced a decision - one of many he would have to make alone for the rest of his life. It
seemed overwhelming. The thought of not having the woman he'd been married to for over eleven
years - they'd married right after the prom - by his side was daunting, to say the least. And yet, he
didn't want his ten-year-old daughter thinking she had to do everything.
"Deej, that's great that you want to help. But, your Uncle Jesse said if I ever needed anything, he'd
be right there for me and you. For you three and I. No, he'd be there for me is the right way to say
it..." Danny sighed. He was usually very precise, something that helped a lot in his job as a
sportscaster, for which he'd been given grieving time off for several weeks. "Anyway, I'll call him
or my best friend Joey, and ask them to come babysit."
And think about doing this for the next seventeen year, he thought to himself.
Several days later, Stephanie walked out of the nursery where she and Michelle slept. She walked
toward the fourth bedroom, which her dad had converted into an office. He'd thought about
turning it back into a bedroom when they learned Michelle would be born. But, Pam and Danny
had decided for now to leave things as they were. Danny had no qualms about girls sharing a
room, but he wouldn't have wanted a girl to share even a nursery with a boy.
Stephanie peeked into her dad's office. "The coast is clear," she whispered to a couple stuffed
animals she'd been carrying.
Long-haired Jesse Katsopolis, younger brother of the late Pam Tanner, was babysitting. He
walked in and noticed Stephanie squeezing one of her bathtub toys with all her might. "Whoa,
whoa, whoa, hold it, little lady. What are you doing in your dad's office? And, second of all, what
are you doing to that dolphin?"
"Errggghhhh," she grunted, gritting her teeth. "I'm squeezing it."
"I can see that. But, you can't get blood out of a turnip."
"I'm not trying to get blood out of a turnip, Uncle Jesse. I'm trying to get milk out of a dolphin."
Jesse raised his eyebrows, and sat down next to Stephanie. "Here, let me see." He looked at it,
then looked at the dog next to Stephanie. "Nope, sorry, kiddo. I'm afraid you can't do that. These
toys were made in China. You don't want Chinese food, anyway; an hour later you're hungry
"It's not for me, Uncle Jesse. It's for Michelle. 'Cause Mommy's not here," she said mournfully,
shedding a tear.
Jesse sat her in his lap. "Aw, Steph, I know it's hard. Not a day goes by when I don't get teary
thinking about her. And that's tough for a guy like me. When Michelle's alone in the nursery, a
couple times I've just spilled my guts to her about so many things, about all the 'thank you's I
never got to say for how she helped me growing up. And, you know what?"
"What, Uncle Jesse?"
"I don't know this is all gonna end. But, I know your Grandma Tanner's leaving in a couple days.
And, I told Danny, I'm gonna move in to help you guys. I think it'll help me, too, to get over it, if
I have something to hang on to. You girls mean more to me than anything."
Stephanie sniffled, and wiped her eyes. "Thanks, Uncle Jesse."
Stephanie laid in her room that night with Mr. Bear cradled in her arms. He was a dark stuffed
bear with a brown detective's outfit. He'd been given to Stephanie by her mom when she brought
Michelle home from the hospital.
They looked over at the baby, and Stephanie whispered to Mr. Bear. "I wonder if Michelle will
remember Mommy. I know I will.
"We told Daddy we could stay here and not have to sleep with Grandma. Do you think we can do
it? I think we can." But it's still lonely, she told herself, even with my best friend, Mr. Bear, by my
"Soon that apartment will be finished upstairs. It'll be so nice having Uncle Jesse live here. Joey's
moving in downstairs. But, it won't be like Mommy, will it? I miss her."
Danny poked his head into the nursery. "Steph, honey? Are you still awake?"
Danny walked into the nursery, and sat down on Stephanie's bed. "Look, I know you probably
feel a little lonely. And, I do too. I have to sleep all alone."
"I have Mr. Bear here. That's what I told D.J.."
"I know. Don't be afraid to come to one of us for help if you feel scared."
"Okay. Won't you be lonely?"
Danny smiled sweetly at her. "I'll be fine."
The day Uncle Jesse and Joey moved in, more silliness ensued. Stephanie had watched them
totally mess up removing Michelle's diaper, clean her by splashing sink water on her, and use a fan
to dry her. Then, they wrapped her in paper towels when they still couldn't find diapers. All when
she could have easily told them where the diapers were and assisted them, though she was not
allowed to change them by herself.
Danny told Stephanie he was disappointed in her. She hung her head as he talked to her in the
living room. "I know you thought it was funny, the way Uncle Jesse and Joey did that. I
understand. But, think of what Michelle went through. I know she's only a baby. But, babies have
feelings, too. And, there was no need for you to let her be totally embarrassed like that. We're a
family, and we need to work as a team to help each other. I'm sure you wouldn't want someone
doing that to you."
Stephanie sighed mournfully. She was rather sensitive, and even this lecture was enough. "No,
Daddy. I'm sorry."
"I know. But, you will get no dessert tonight because of how you refused to help, when you could
tell Michelle needed someone with a clue to help change her. You need to think of others."
"I love you, sweetheart." Danny hugged Stephanie, then let her go play before standing up and
addressing D.J., who had entered the room. "Deej, can we talk a second?"
"Sure, Dad." They sat on the couch.
"Honey, Stephanie told me she's lonely. She...well, I don't know if you heard what she did. It
wasn't really bad, but it was, well, it was like Dennis the Menace. Testing the limits in a good-natured way, but getting out of hand. And, she needs a role model...some stability right now."
"Well, of course. That's what Uncle Jesse and Joey are here for."
"I mean at night. If she's scared, she can wake you up and talk and stuff, and maybe she won't
think about testing the limits."
"Me?! You want her waking me up in the middle of the night?" came D.J.'s startled query.
"Well, not every night. She just needs to know you're there. She needs a friend."
"She has Mr. Bear."
"She needs a human friend." Danny rested a hand on her shoulders. "We might have moved her
out of the nursery soon, I don't know. But, now she can rest securely with an older sister, rather
than having to worry about a toddler climbing out and getting into her bed at all hours of the night
in a year," Danny finished.
D.J. fretted. "You mean you want her to room with me forever? What about Michelle, won't she
get scared or lonely?"
"Well, she can get used to having her own space for a while. She's been used to it with Steph
wanting to sleep with Grandma, after all." He hoped he was explaining himself clearly. He like to
ramble, and feared he was starting again.
D.J. sighed. "Well...maybe. I'll think about it."
Moments later, D.J. snuck into the nursery while everyone else was busy. She found Michelle in
her crib, grabbed a bag of her toys, and placed it in the crib with her. "Hey, Michelle. Let's go for
a ride. Wheeee," she exclaimed cheerfully as she started to push the crib it across the hall, down a
door, and toward her room. "Unnnh, wheeeeee!!!!! Unnnnnh, wheeeee!! Unnnnnhhh, whee!
Unnnnnnhhhh, we." She took a deep breath, and asked Michelle, "Why do they make cribs so
Danny walked upstairs then, and almost ran into Michelle's crib. She looked at him as he
addressed D.J.. "Deej, is this your idea of a solution? Making your room into a three-sister
"No, Dad. I'm rooming with Michelle. Steph needs her own space. Michelle won't wake me up at
all hours of the night. Plus, she'll respect my privacy...for now, anyway."
"Deej, honey, the baby's fine. Steph's the one who needs you. I don't like to say it, but Michelle's
not going to remember any of this in a couple years. But, if Steph goes another night without a
companion like you it could scar her for life."
"Well, Dad, Grandma Tanner's got her bags packed upstairs. Maybe Stephanie can go with her."
"I'm sure she'd enjoy that...for about two seconds. Then the first thing she'd do is cry 'I want my
Daddy.' But, you know what?" Danny added, his face brightening. "With Mom gone, the next
thing out of her mouth would be, 'I miss D.J..'"
"Nice try, Dad."
"It was worth a shot. Deej, why don't you want to room with Stephanie?"
D.J. mulled it over. "I just like the idea of having my own room, all to myself. I mean, I've always
had one. With Michelle moving in, at least I'd be able to keep her away from my stuff while she's
little, and train her not to get into my clothes, my toys, and all that stuff. But, if you don't like
that, why can't we open up the office and make it a bedroom?"
"Because, if anyone's going to occupy that office, it would be your Uncle Jesse. But, it's a lot
easier, right now, to think of Stephanie moving in with you, than taking all that time just so he can
be a floor closer. We're a team. And, we have to work together. We need you to room with
Steph, Deej. I need you. And..." He sniffled. "Part of the reason is you're one key link to Mom. I
can see you becoming even more like her. You're warm, you're compassionate." He allowed
himself to chuckle. "And, you already take forever in the bathroom like she used to do."
They were both smiling now. "Yeah, she did. And, remember how she always said, 'Give away a
smile, it's free.'"
"Oh, I loved that. Deej, I can tell, you love reminiscing about her just like me." D.J. nodded and
grinned at the happy memories. "Steph needs to see that. She needs to see that we can not only
have the assurance of seeing her again in Heaven, but here on earth, while we live, we can have
her in our hearts forever."
D.J. sighed heavily. "Okay, Dad. I guess I'll give it a try." They moved Michelle's crib back into
Stephanie first placed Mr. Bear inside Grandma Tanner's largest bag, then stood inside it herself.
She scrunched down to the point where she thought she could zip it shut, but she couldn't quite
fit. So, she pulled the zipper up as far it would go.
Once Danny walked into the living room of the upstairs apartment, Stephanie announced, "I'm all
Danny did a double-take, as only Stephanie's head and arms stuck out of the bag. He'd just talked
D.J. into letting Stephanie room with her, and now this? "Packed for what? Get out of there,"
Danny ordered mildly. Stephanie complied - she was usually very well-behaved and compliant,
though she could be quite a chatterbox. But, kids sometimes did weird things when grieving.
"Steph, what were you doing in Grandma's garment bag?"
"I want to go home with her. You won't have to worry about bedrooms, then. Plus, I can't help
Michelle like you say we need to."
Danny sighed as he sat on the couch, with Stephanie seated on his lap. They snuggled as he said,
"Steph, we love you very much. You don't have to go to Grandma's for things to get better.
They'll get better only if we work together as a family."
"But, I can't do anything for Michelle. At least D.J. can change diapers and cook a little."
Danny smiled wistfully. "Honey, you can help in lots of ways. You can help Jesse and Joey - this
is really new for them. And, they need you to show them how Mommy would have done things."
"Well, like diapering, giving the baby a bath, feeding her, that sort of thing. They hardly know
anything about babies. You can sing to her...you've got a lovely voice. You can tell her stories, so
she learns what Mommy was like."
Stephanie sighed. "But every time I think of Mommy, I think of how much I miss her."
"We all do, sweetheart. But, we need to remember the happy times, too. And, one way to do that
is to remember her smile, her love, the way she made you feel good whenever she walked into the
"Yeah." Stephanie still frowning a little. "It's so lonesome, though."
Danny understood. D.J. had said soon after Mom died that she didn't want to live there anymore;
it just hadn't felt right. "Tell you what, Steph. How about I get you some company?"
"Whoever it is, it won't be Mommy."
"No," Danny whispered. "Will D.J. do, though?"
"It's worth a shot, right?" She nodded. "Let's go down and talk about moving your stuff into
Danny, Jesse, and Joey met D.J. and Stephanie in D.J.'s room a short time later. D.J. welcomed
Stephanie, and then said, "Okay, I'll let you stay, kid. Of course, we're going to have rules."
"Like what?" Stephanie asked.
"Well, this will be my half of the room, and that over there," she said, pointing, "will be your half.
You will not come into my half unless I say so. You will..."
Stephanie looked sadder as Joey shook his head. "Wait a minute, D.J.. You don't need sides. This
is a bedroom, not a volleyball court."
"But, Joey, this is still my stuff in my room. It's not like I'm sleeping in her room."
Danny sighed. "Deej, I thought this was such a great idea a few minutes ago. What happened?"
"Well, Dad, I need privacy, too."
"Come on, it's not like we're asking you to let her read your diary," Joey joked to lighten the
Jesse smiled wistfully. "No, I remember bein' that age with Pam five years older. And I can
promise you that's gonna happen soon enough, anyway." Danny passed him a "you're not helping"
look. "Err, that is, even if she doesn't room with you."
"Well, that's true, Jess. I guess it should be obvious to the girls that you didn't room with Pam, but
still..." Danny looked about ready to continue rambling, then abruptly turned to D.J.. "Deej, I
need some support here. At least tell me I'm on the right track."
"Dad, for the fact Mom's not here, you're doing great. You did a good job with Steph. Grounding
her from dessert for not helping with diapers and letting Uncle Jesse and Joey have all those
problems is just how she would have done things."
Danny grinned hopefully. "Okay, good. See, this idea will work too, Deej."
"Well, Mom would have added a 'how rude.' And, she'd probably give just a little lecture on how
we can't just watch people have problems while we do nothing." D.J. hastily added that, "Your
focus on how Michelle had to go through that was good, though. She'd mention that."
"Thanks for the scouting report, Coach," he kidded D.J.. "I guess I'm not all that experienced yet
- I really still let Pam do most of the discipline with Steph."
"Yeah. You know, Dad..." D.J. thought for a moment. She shed a tear. "It's just so sad. Michelle's
not going to have Mom at all. She'll never remember her, will she?"
"No, honey. But, she'll have us," he said, putting a free arm around her. "And, I should have this
thing down by the time she's a toddler..." he said with great hesitation. "Or, definitely by
"I'll help, Dad."
"Well, the first thing you can do is let Steph share your room with no restrictions on space. She'll
be expected to respect your privacy as much as you do hers."
Joey smiled. "Yeah, Steph. For instance, Mr. Bear..."
"Nobody touches Mr. Bear but me," Stephanie interrupted decisively.
"And nobody touches my diary but me," D.J. added.
Jesse held up a finger. "Okay, there's a start. But, you two have things in common, too. Steph
might crawl in bed with you a few times because she's lonely, and you can help her."
"Right, but you can set rules, like she has to be quiet and close her eyes," Danny remarked as he
realized something. He grinned. "Nice work, guys. See, we're learning already," he complimented
Jesse and Joey grinned. "Hey, we are, aren't we?" Jesse replied.
D.J. grinned. "Yeah, I'm starting to like the sound of this. I guess I can help you some, Steph,"
she said with confidence. "And, I can help you, too, Dad."
Danny fidgeted slightly, greatly desiring to keep D.J. young, to let her be a kid. He didn't want her
to be a parent yet, not even to have to help him. That was what Jesse and Joey were for; she didn't
have to do anything.
Still...D.J. would be on the same floor, and the men not. D.J. would be getting Michelle up at
times and doing other things just like Pam. Later, she'd likely come into D.J.'s room int he
morning, not climb stairs to see Jesse. Danny would still have the final say. But, she'd be doing
little things just like Pam, anyway. That was the real clincher - some things, at times, would just
be easier for her than Jesse or Joey.
"Well, honey...I don't really want you to; I mean, Andy Griffith had Aunt Bea for Opie, and I
have..." Both of them laughed. "They're not exactly Aunt Bea, are they?"
"They'll get there." He thought for a moment. "But...I guess you'll be doing some stuff. Honey, I
don't want you to have to. But, maybe we could work together, for a little while, while Michelle's
little. All of us."
A few days later, D.J. awakened to the sound of Michelle's cries from the nursery. She walked
into the nursery, and began talking excitedly to Michelle about the beautiful day outside as she
changed her diaper - just like she remembered their mom doing.
Danny walked into the room. "I'll do that, Deej," he said. Jesse offered the same, as he'd just
Instead, it was D.J.'s sweet talk and warm smile that greeted the baby, rather than Jesse's at times
macho attitude. "It's okay. I'm about done here, anyway," D.J. said.
Jesse thought about saying D.J. would make a great mother someday. Before he could, though,
his eyes welled up thinking about Pam.
"There we go; all done, Michelle!" D.J. exclaimed happily as Joey and Stephanie each entered the
room. The baby squealed with glee. Everyone watched as D.J. picked Michelle up and carried her,
bouncing her slightly.
Jesse sighed and turned to Danny as they followed D.J. downstairs. "Man, she's good. Me, I'd be
asking what she wants to do, sounding like a real tough guy at times. D.J.'s just got that
mothering instinct." He sniffled. "Just like Pam."
D.J. kissed Michelle on the cheek and sat her in her high chair in the kitchen. "Steph, why don't
you get her bib on her; that'll help us," Danny suggested, to give her something to do.
"Okay." Stephanie went to a drawer, pulled out a bib, and with Joey's help put it on Michelle and
tied it in back
"Hey, let's let your Uncle Jesse try to feed her now," Danny suggested.
Joey chuckled after a moment, as Jesse began to try and feed her. "Good thing she can't throw it
back yet, or you'd be Uncle Messy."
"Hey, you wanna try this?" Jesse inquired. He was clearly having problems.
"I'll have a chance sometime, Jess." Joey had taken Jesse's remark literally. "We'll all be pitching in
to help. She's gonna feel like she has three dads, five moms, I don't know how many aunts and
uncles that'll mean," he quipped.
"Sure. Your mom was so wonderful," Danny told the girls. "But, we're making it so far without
her. And, I'm sure we always will."