Step By Step: Happy Birthday To Him

JT, Dana, Karen and Rich are in the Lambert's living room talking about the plans for Rich's birthday.

"So, I'm thinking all of us go dancing later. I found a date for JT and she's bringing her brother for Karen." Rich says to JT.

"Why aren't you going to hang out with your folks?" JT asked.

"Oh, they said they went on a trip to scuba dive in Japan." Rich replied.

"But didn't Japan just have a huge tsunami?" asked Dana.

"Oh my god, Mommy!" Rich ran into the kitchen to call his parents.

"C'mon Karen, I want to show you something." Dana called out to her sister. They both ran up the stairs. They went into their room.

"You've got to see it, it's so wonderful. It's the perfect gift for Rich tonight." Dana squealed. She held up a wrapped gift box.

"Well, I'm not sure, but I don't think he's gonna want a box. Especially not a box wrapped so tacky." Karen noted.

"The box is not the present. The present is what's in the box." Dana replied, and with great care, unwrapped the box and opened it. She picked up a silver pocket watch on a footlong chain.

Karen was so thrilled by the thought of a present that she forgot that it was for Rich. "Dana, it's beautiful! I have just the outfit to go with it. Thank you!" She grabbed it with greedy hands but Dana gripped onto it hard. They both pulled and the chain was pulled off. The pocket watch fell to the ground and the glass on the watch cracked in many different pieces.

"Karen! I can't believe what you did. This cost so much money. I don't have any left! You ruined it!" Dana sat on the bed and looked up to the ceiling. "What am I going to do? I don't have anytime to get a gift."

Karen sat next to her big sister. "Dana, I'm so sorry. I know you really put some value into that gift, and I'll help you, no matter what it takes."

"Okay, do you have $200 and a car so I can go get a new watch?

"Um, no. I may be pretty, but I'm not rich. But someday, I'm gonna marry a rich guy with a Corvette and I'll have your back then."

Dana fell back into the bed and sighed.

"Look, I've got an idea." Karen said. "You go through the window, and sneak into Cody's van..."

"Cody's van?" Dana got up and stared at Karen like she was suggesting that he jumps into shark-infested waters. "I'm going to get help from the guy who protested because he thought they were serving Chiwawas at Taco Bell?"

"But I bet Cody has something that you can give Rich." Karen was frusterated.

"I can't give Rich a second-hand present." Dana walked to the window. "But I do have a plan. I can go out the window and go into the kitchen when Rich gets out. I'll make him something for his birthday."

"Why would you do that? We already made him a cake." Karen was baffled by Dana's suggestion.

"No, you know how Lily always makes a pot decorated with Froot Loops for Frank's birthday?" Dana said.

"Yes, but since when has Rich been asking for a vase with Trix glued on it?" Karen said.

"No, Karen, I'm not going to do cereal pottery. I'll make something while you stall Rich and JT from going upstairs or into the kitchen."

"Okay." Karen said, with loyalty. "But what do I say when someone asks where you are?"

"Just say what comes to your mind." Dana took a sheet off of Karen's bed, and wrapped it up like a rope. Then she threw one part out the window, and tied the other side to a dresser. "See you on the other side." She saluted Karen.

Karen ran down the stairs. Rich was out of the kitchen and talking to JT, who was watching TV.

"So where's Dana?" Rich asked. " You've been up there a pretty long time. Isn't it time to go?"

"We...might have to be late." Karen ad-libbed. "Dana', changing her clothes. She said that her outfit wasn't the kind to go dancing in."

"Yeah." JT joked. "Barky's tail was probably sticking out of her jeans."

Suddenly, there was a loud crash, and you could hear something in the bushes."What was that?" Rich was surprised.

"Um, I don't know." Karen started yelling to Dana. "I'LL GO CHECK!"

"Ow. Next time, I'm using the comforter instead of the sheet. Why didn't I take the stairs?" Dana whispered to herself.

"Dana!" Karen exclaimed, walking into the backyard. "You're being way too loud!"

"I'm okay, thanks for asking. I'll try to be more quiet when I fall from a second story window." Dana sarcastically remarked.

"You do that." Karen went back into the house.

A stray tabby kitten watched Dana get up and walk out of the bushes. The kitten meowed at her.

"Hey, this isn't a free show." Dana whispered. "If you want to help, you can buy a new gift for Rich."

The small kitten rubbed against Dana's legs and and purred. Then he softly bit her.

"Ouch!" Dana said, only out of shock. "I guess you're looking for some food. If I want you to leave me alone, I might want to feed you. The cat meowed, and walked to the door. "Mewww." She picked the cat up and walked inside.

"Okay, milk. Milk and... hey Cat, do you like leftovers?" Dana pulled out a carton of milk and a plastic container with meatloaf in it. "I don't think you care."She cut a wide sliver of meat from the loaf and put it on a napkin. She poured some milk into a bowl and pet the kitten. "You're kind of cute for a flea bitten fuzzhead. I guess that's what Sam saw in JT." The cat looked up and looked at Dana, and went for the meatloaf. She took a bite, and then forgot it and lapped up the milk.

Rich stood up. "I'm going to get the cake. I bet Dana will come down any minute."

"NO. I mean...let me get the cake. It is your birthday, so you shouldn't have to get up." Karen said. She laughed nervously, and went into the kitchen.

Karen was surprised when she saw Dana giving milk to a kitten. "Dana! Oh, never mind. Where's the cake?"

"In the oven. And I'm going to get a present for Rich, but this little nuisance was being VERY pesky." Dana complained. Karen took the cake and told her sister, "I can't hold them longer. The dance club closes in two hours, so hurry up!"

"Fine." Dana said, grudingly. "I'll find something, anything. Now, let's see..." She looked around the kitchen. She then saw a set of salt & pepper shakers that didn't have anything in them. She gave them to Carol for her anniversery. "I don't have anytime to be picky. I guess I can give him a second-hand present, but he won't want salt-shakers. He'll want... a sugar shaker! A more convienent way to put your sugar in your coffee. That's good."

The kitten looked up from his slightly devoured meat loaf and an empty bowl. He jumped off of the table and headed for the door to the living room. "Not so fast." Dana caught him. He picked him up and put him back on the table. "I'll make a leash for you. You can't go out there. Here." She took some green tinted plastic wrap and turned it into a sloppy bow. "Oh, I can't find anything to wrap the shakers. Come on, you little bug, let's go get wrapping paper." Dana picked up the kitten and headed upstairs.

Rich sank into the couch and sighed. "When is Dana coming down? The club closes soon, and I think the cake is melting."

"Oh, she'll come down any minute." Karen gave a false smile.

"Well, I'm going to check and see if she's okay." Rich said. "Maybe something happened. "

"Um...just let me check on...the...cake." Karen stood up and headed for the kitchen once more.

JT said "But the cake's right here!"

"So?" Karen replied, and went into the kitchen.

"Dana, Rich wants to go upstairs and check on...where are you?"

"Dana?" Rich knocked on the door.

"Okay...don't let Rich hear you." Dana whispered to herself. "If he hears you, he'll come in." She hurried to wrap the shakers in the wrapping paper, but couldn't find any tape. "Oh, come on! No tape?" Dana said out loud, forgetting that Rich was on the other side of the door.

"Dana, are you okay? I'm coming in." Rich worried.

"No!" Dana cried. But Rich opened the door.

"Dana, are you all right? You've been up here for like, an hour. What's wrong?"

"Um..." Dana thought quick. "Happy Birthday!" She held up the wrapped shakers, but the first thing Rich saw was a orange striped tabby kitten, with a wrinkled green bow, cleaning his whiskers. "Oh, my gosh, he is so amazing! You remembered."

"Remembered?" Dana said, dazed.

"That when I was 6, I had a cat named Freckles. He looks just like Freckles. How did you know? Where did you get him?" Rich was stunned by the adorable cat that he just picked him up and forgot about Dana or going dancing. "I'm going to name him Dots. This is better than a car. I got my childhood pet back! I'm going to teach him tricks, and buy him clothes, and he'll sleep next to me, and he'll eat at the table with me and JT. Oh, thank you, Dana, thank you!" He put down Dots, and hugged Dana, who was in shock. "Well, okay, no emotion, no kiss, no 'you're welcome'...that's okay. I GOT A KITTEN!!!!!" Rich was hysterical. "Woo-hoo! JT, Karen, I have a cat!" He yelled downstairs and left the room.

Dana sat down on the bed again. "What just happened?" She sighed. "Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter." She dropped the salt shakers, picked up Dots and opened the door. "Rich, don't forget Dots!" She left the room.



Dana: Staci Keanan

Rich: Jason Marsden

Karen: Angela Watson

JT: Brandon Call

New Story Coming Soon: Something Old, Something New.

Carol looked at Dana with watery, yet happy eyes and a smile you could never wipe away. "You look so beautiful. I never thought this day would come. I always thought that when it comes to you, you would always be my perfect angel, always next to me, always someplace near, but's just scary how time goes by. It will seem like minutes go by, and then this happens to Karen, and only days when it will happen to Al and Lilly. I'm just glad that you decided that we would all be here. Oh, I love you, honey." She hugged Dana, remembering great times with her. "Now, get out of here, and make me proud."

"I will, Mom. Promise." Dana cried.