Tanner All-Stars

A/N: late in '01 or so when scripts were allowed, I wrote a possible finale. With the Chronology and all, I have a better idea of where things might go. It's a 9th season finale. I think various people would be too busy to be in every episode, even the Olsens. (Michelle would be on the traveling All-Star team from the book "My Almost Perfect Plan," which is TV Universe due to time and overscheduling problems if it was Book Universe. Another character could be absent at times as a chaperone. If they split Mary-Kate and Ashley, one of them could then be a soccer-playing friend, too.)

Caleb may be semi-canon. No scripts could have even be written yet for season 9 many months before, but I heard an arc idea - like Steve returning - had Steph liking Andrew, & another boy asking permission to court her. I have no way to verify it, but I felt Caleb, mentioned in the TV Universe part of the Chronology, was a good fit. Also, my baseball idea is here from another story; I changed & resubmitted it a year ago. Kids don't lose interests that fast, and I think they'd bring it back, like in my story "Going For the Gold."

With many stars busier, they'd probably only have gone 1 more season, with numerous episodes missing several stars (like the last year of "The Cosby Show"). While proposals and the situation with Stephanie and Caleb comes to a head earlier than in the Chronology, as is the date of Stephanie marrying and having her first child, this is how I'd do the "Full House" finale it and similar to how I envision them handling it:

Tanner All-Stars – a 9th season series finale

Jesse Katsopolis and his niece, Michelle Tanner, walked in the front door of the Tanner home, where Jesse, his wife Becky, and twin four-year-old boys Nicky and Alex lived. One of Michelle's best friends in fourth grade, Denise Frazier, ran up to her. "Michelle, they said you'd be back from your game soon!"

"Yep. It was great. We beat Orange County 4-2. I got to play a few minutes." Michelle was the worst player on it, but she was still a player on her area's traveling All-Star team for soccer.

Jesse sat his suitcase down more tiredly than Michelle had, as Becky, Nicky, and Alex ran in from the kitchen and up to him. "Yes, and let me tell you, traveling as a chaperone for an area all-star soccer team is way different than being with the band was," he finished wearily as the boys, then Becky, embraced him.

"They have a lot more energy, don't they," Becky said with a laugh.

"Not only that, I just can't imagine the band ever playing some of their songs. It's like it never ends. It just goes on and on, my friend. Somebody started singing it not knowing what it was, and now they'll keep on singing it forever just because…" After saying the last faster, he shook and slapped his head comically, and went, "No, get out of my brain!"

(Opening theme)

Danny walked downstairs, and he and Michelle hugged and kissed. "Welcome home. I heard you had a good game."

"Yep. Our next game's a home game. Then we get to play in a tournament up in Oakland, then if we win that we get to go to a regional tournament in Denver," Michelle said excitedly.

Stephanie spoke up next. "Denise was hoping you'd be home soon. Guess what she heard the day you left with the team."

"Did you get the position?!" Michelle asked excitedly.

Denise nodded happily. "Yep. I get to be a Principal's Assistant just like Steph was."

"All right!" They exchanged high fives. Michelle was thrilled for her friend. She'd started by calling Stephanie a genius after she helped her first day of Kindergarten, referring lots of other kids to Stephanie. After a few months, the principal gave Stephanie more and more duties, seeing what she could handle. Because San Francisco was such a liberal area and experimenting like that was rather common, they'd decided to make a PA position like they had in Australia and Britain; one where a girl handled discipline and comforting, allowing the principal to handle administrative stuff. "This is super. Just think, Nicky and Alex; next year when you start Kindergarten, my friend Denise will be helping out with the comfort and discipline and stuff."

"But we want you," Nicky said.

"Yeah, just like you had Stephanie," Alex added.

"Now, boys, Michelle will be able to help you. It's just that Denise will be doing that with the whole school. I bet you're excited, huh?" Jesse asked her.

"Yeah. I had to watch a tape with my mom and dad about some of the bad stuff that can go on, though, that police might have to know about," Denise said sadly, shaking her head. "Some of it was really sad."

Stephanie understood. "After the incident with Charles, when they decided to make the office permanent, I had to watch that tape with Dad, too, just so I'd be able to know what to do, or how to help, if any other problems came up like that."

"I never saw it, but I hear it caused a real nightmare," Michelle said.

"Awww, did you have a nightmare from it?" Denise asked Stephanie with compassion.

Danny interjected, "No, I'm the one who had the nightmare. It's so hard thinking about what all you kids have to face in school now, in the mid-'90s."

"Well, you have really matured from when we first met you," Becky complimented her. "I'm sure you'll do great, Denise."

Michelle looked down a little. "I influenced her as much as she influenced me." Danny lovingly stroked her hair, reassuring her. "But, I've improved a lot, too. D.J.'s made sure of it." The others agreed.

A short time later, Joey entered the kitchen, where D.J., Steve, and Kimmy were sitting and talking. "Hey, you heard Michelle's team won?" D.J. had. "Say, can you give me your opinion?" he asked them.

"Sure," Kimmy spouted. "That's an ugly shirt."

"Kimmy," D.J. scolded lightly.

"He asked for an opinion."

Joey held out his hands and spoke a little anxiously. "It's about Suzie. You remember how we met almost a year ago, when I was the entertainment at one of Michelle's friend's birthday parties?" They agreed. "Well, it's close to two years since her husband died, and we're really getting close. And, I'm actually thinking the 'm' word."

Kimmy felt D.J. and Steve looking at her. "What? I know he means marriage. Did you think I thought he meant meat loaf?"

"No, that would be me," Steve admitted.

"Anyway, do you think it's too soon? I mean, we've said 'I love you,' her kids, Justin and Wendy, understand I'm not trying to replace their father, and they both love me."

"As a father figure, or as a comedy act?" Kimmy asked.

Joey sighed. "That's just it. I could offer advice and make things fun for you kids, and except for grounding you once and a few other things, Deej, I never had to enforce limits or anything. But, real fatherhood?" He shook his head.

"Well, look at how Mr. Tanner was with Michelle, and she turned out okay," Steve said.

D.J. agreed. "Steve's right. Dad had some depression, not wanting to think of Michelle as growing up, since she was still a baby when Mom was alive. But you won't have that. You can just do it with Suzie a few times till you get the hang of things. Just work with her, and ease your way into things."

"Yeah, you're right. I guess that's what Dr. Landress kept trying to tell your dad to do with you and Michelle, huh? Till you had to force it on him by letting her swim in the kitchen. And even then he struggled for a while," Joey recalled.

Kimmy gave him a look as Jesse and Becky came downstairs. "Give me some credit, too. I'm the one who came over and helped her blow up her water wings and fill her pool."

"Yeah, you're a real superfluous helper," Jesse kidded. "You were right, Beck, it's fun to use big words like that. Which is why I don't wanna settle for the half-day program. I'm really excited that our boys are going into the all-day Kindergarten program like we had Steph and Michelle."

"Uh, honey, about that…"

"Wait. First, Jess, how did you know when to ask Becky to marry you?"

"Oh, well, the first time, I just thought it'd be a fun idea. I didn't think about the consequences. The second time, I just knew there couldn't be anyone else. And, my grandparents' Golden anniversary just made me think about how I wanted to spend the next fifty years of my life." Becky smiled happily as he put an arm around her.

"It's been such a thrill. But, you know," Becky added, "we didn't set a date right away. So, if you're wondering about Suzie, you don't have to have a date. You can wait a year. It's more of a guarantee that it will happen, at this point."

Joey grinned broadly. "You're right. We can just take our time, once I propose. Thanks." He left, as did D.J., Steve, and Kimmy.

"Yeah, that was super advice you gave the kid. Just 'cause you propose doesn't mean it has to be tomorrow," Jesse said as he and Becky drew closer.

"Yeah. Just like my advice about Kindergarten."

Jesse backed away and started pacing a bit. "Aw, come on, not that again."

"Jess, you keep pushing the all-day program, and I'm telling you it's too much. I don't think they're ready," Becky insisted.

"They gotta be ready. Come on, you finally got me to enjoy learning. Just like that 'superfluous helper' joke I pulled with Kimmy just now," Jesse pointed out.

"Oh, that's a good reason to be educated," Becky said sarcastically.

"Come on, you gotta admit it's true with Kimmy."

Becky agreed that he'd had a point. "Still, why do we have to put them in Kindergarten at all?" Jesse was somewhat aghast. "Jess, the schools here have a December second cutoff date, the boys were born less than a month before that. Back in Nebraska there's be no question that they'd be still in preschool next year."

"We're not in Nebraska. Do you see any cows?"

Just then, Nicky and Alex came in with Michelle and Denise. "Mooooo," the boys said.

"I thought I'd get some practice playing school," Denise explained, "but the boys wanted to play farm. So, we compromised."

"Oh, that reminds me, Steph's school's baseball team has practice for their playoffs tomorrow," Michelle remarked. "I'm coming home to drop my stuff off. Can you give me a rid, please? Steph's staying there."

"Yeah, sure, I'll give you a ride," Becky offered. She turned to Jesse. "See, there's another reason why it's better to wait. What if some day our boys want to play sports? They're decent size now, considering they're only four and a half, but if we wait another year they'll be able to play baseball or basketball a lot better."

The twins were reminded of sports by Becky's comment, and one of their favorites. "Football," Alex said. He and Nicky ran into Jesse, but not enough to knock him over.

"Whoa, whoa, not indoors. This isn't the Astrodome," Jesse said.

"Let's play football," Nicky insisted.

Becky gasped. "Jess, what if our boys want to play football in high school? Do you realize how big they'd have to be? We've got to hold them back a year!"

"That's okay, they don't hafta be 300 pounds. They can be receivers," Jesse said.

"What, and let some 300 pound behemoth run into them?"

"Becky, it's not the 300-pound guys that cover receivers; it's the 200 pound guys." She was still shocked. "Aw, it's okay, they don't grow that big in high school. Look, I'll just take 'em out and play with 'em now, it's a nice, leisurely Sunday afternoon, and you can worry about that later. Maybe they'll want to play baseball by then." They left.

"Well, just in case, we better stay and watch Steph's team to encourage them," Becky told Michelle, who agreed.

Once Becky, Michelle, Nicky, and Alex got to the ball diamond, they overheard Stephanie saying to Gia, "This could be a major crisis."

"Let me guess; both of you like the same boy," Michelle blurted.

Stephanie explained, "It's the pitching staff, Michelle. A major flu outbreak hit over the weekend, and now they're really shorthanded. They've got a starter for tomorrow, but if they make it to Saturday it's anyone's guess."

"Stephanie kind of likes the catcher, too. She thinks he's cute." Stephanie gave Gia a look. "Well, you said you did," Gia noted.

"Let's not get into that, okay. I'm going with Caleb, and that's that." She looked around "Where'd Michelle go?"

"Who cares; I want to know why our catcher has to wear a mask."

"Think, Gia," Stephanie insisted, "if he didn't, one foul ball and he might look very uncute."

Gia supposed that was true. "But, what I wouldn't give to be on that mound facing him. But, if you go for the catcher, I notice Bret's on the team; that boy you told me about when you pitched back in fourth grade."

"Yeah; that was cute, how I was back then. But, boy, facing the hitters now, even in Middle School, would be pretty daunting…" Just then, the coach walked up to the girls. "Hey, Coach," Stephanie said politely, trying to figure out why Michele was with him. "Did she wander into the dugout or something?"

"Hello, Miss Tanner. Your sister was telling me you used to pitch Little League. You know, if you wanted to play, we could really use you right now," he said. Stephanie's mouth flew open, as she didn't' know what to say, gawking at the coach, then Michelle.

(commercial break)

The Tanners, plus Steve, Kimmy, and Caleb, had just gotten done eating pizza in the Tanner kitchen, as Stephanie told her story. "So, there I am, blurting out a 'yes' before I knew what hit me; well, after rambling for a minute about how I used to pitch." She had to laugh. "It's just like when Michelle called me a genius that first day of Kindergarten and started telling all these other kids to come to me, too. It's no wonder they decided to experiment with that PA position then." She took a sip of pop as others said they were proud of her. "I probably won't get into many games, if any; so, I figured, why not, I'll be in the bullpen, I'll have some fun, and be able to hang out…" She gulped. When Michelle looked ready to say something, she shushed her.

It was no use. Nicky and Alex had both overheard. "She likes the catcher," Nicky said.

"Not with Caleb here," Stephanie whispered adamantly to him, feeling like she wanted to crawl under the table, oblivious to Caleb's understanding, and somewhat relieved, look.

"Oh, yeah," Alex realized. "Daddy says you can't like two at once."

"How do you choose?" Nicky asked nobody in particular.

"Well, maybe I can help," Caleb said hesitantly. "I…well, it's kind of good that I'm home schooled. I was a little afraid to approach you after what happened yesterday."

"What happened?" Joey inquired.

"Well…you know I've been thinking about the ministry for a while. Yesterday we had a missionary presentation; I can't begin to describe how it felt. It's as if every time he said the word 'go,' my heart was being stirred. Stephanie…you know I care a lot about you. But, I've had a heart for some of the unreached peoples of the world for a while now. And, I really feel like I might be called to be a missionary."

"Wow…Caleb, that's incredible!" Stephanie said quickly. Realizing what she was saying, she quickly added, "but, what about us?"

"Maybe I'll just work in a missions office or something. There's missionaries to the Chinese community here. Or, maybe you'll want to come, too."

Jesse patted him on the shoulder. "Well, we're proud of you, man." He fingered the cross necklace he sometimes wore. "Goodness knows, Pam put a lot of effort into sharing that love and forgiveness of Christ with me. So glad the girls and I have received that salvation. I only wish she'd lived to see what I became. What the girls have become. You go out there and be the best one you can be."

"Yeah, and don't worry, Steph. It's really early. I'm sure you'll find someone with the same goals and values who's planning to stay here," D.J. said.

"Right. And, that doesn't mean we can't still be friends. And, pray about it; who knows. You said you prayed a lot after Michelle's accident," Caleb noted.

Stephanie agreed. "I really rededicated my life then. To being the right kind of person. The kind who forgives easily and loves everyone and doesn't…well, act a bit like Gia. Worrying about Michelle really woke me up."

"And, Gia's really improved, tanks to you," Becky consoled her.

"Yeah. Now I don't see a female Jesse when I think of her," Danny said.

Joey piped up, "Say, when Michelle goes for her soccer tournament, I don't have to be chaperone, do I? I kind of promised Suzie I'd babysit Saturday afternoon. She has a baby shower for a friend of hers."

"My game will be then…" Stephanie laughed. "Yeah, right. As if I'll get to pitch."

"I don't have anything the following weekend," Michelle noted.

Danny agreed. "Look, D.J. and I'll go there, Jess, you can chaperone again…"

Jesse initially refused. "Are you kiddin'? You know that 'little red wagon' song, where each verse is a little bit louder and a little bit worse? The loudest our band ever played was between verse eight and nine. Nothing's louder than a bunch of screaming kids; especially when it's mostly girls."

"Jess," Becky said, "I have an idea. I can stay with them part of the time, and we can bring Nicky and Alex along and split duties. They'll enjoy the weekend getaway." Jesse really liked the idea, till she added, "And, you can see how they'll benefit from having another year of preschool."

"Aw, come on, Becky, Kindergarten is the gateway to the future," Jesse retorted.

"And, why can't they take life a little slower? I mean, look at Caleb, he wants to be a missionary now, but he's not off to do it this minute."

"Actually," Caleb said, "I signed up for a short term mission trip in a couple months."

"Which means I guess I better set my sights on the catcher, Zack Browning." Stephanie sighed. "Yeah, I know, Dad. I really have learned a lot in this year of being with you, Caleb. About patience, about wholesomeness, about guarding my mind from the really bad stuff out there. About making sure I'm the leader with Gia. You've been the kind of boy I needed. And, when I think about boys – like Zack – it is just so I can have a nice, casual relationship, without having to have all the sensual stuff right away."

Danny agreed. "I think you've really grown a lot this year. I'm proud of you." Jesse and Joey said the same thing.

That Saturday, Joey saw Justin off. "I'm gonna ride my bike over to Trevor's," he said. "They know I'm coming."

"Okay, call if you need anything." Joey smiled at the boy, who was almost ten. "Fatherhood," he muttered.

"What's that?" four-year-old Wendy asked. She looked like she was half asleep on the living room couch. Joey had been playing baseball, and a number of other fun things, with them; actually, with the energetic play of the kids, it had turned into something like Calvinball, the game invented by the hyperactive comic strip kid where the rules were never the same twice.

"You look like you need a nap. Here," he said as he walked over, picked her up, and cradled her as he sat. He rocked gently by himself as he said, "I'm just thinking about what it means to be a father. What I'd be like, how I've helped Danny's girls – that's Michelle and her sisters." He smiled dreamily. "Jesse said he knew it would happen for me someday. I always wanted to be a kid, and just play around." Wendy looked like she was asleep. "Are you asleep?" She didn't respond. "Well, I guess it's safe to say, I'm a little scared. I'm thinking about asking your mom to marry me; in fact, I have a ring. I could do it when she gets home, but…it's just such a big step. Being a father is so much more than just playing house. I can't really put it into words."

He smiled sweetly at the little girl in his arms.

"Just hearing 'Daddy' someday is going to be so amazing."

Meanwhile, Danny was at the game with Steve and D.J.. "Don't get too close," he said as they kissed. "Sorry, force of habit."

"It's a real blowout, and they're only in the fourth inning. I better go to the bathroom so I can see Steph pitch if she comes in," D.J. said. She left.

"She's quite a woman," Steve remarked.

Danny got nervous for a second before agreeing. "She's…she's…a woman, isn't she?" He sighed. "I guess she is. Steve, you've heard…sometimes it's still…"

"I understand, Mr. Tanner. We've gotten so close over the last year, and sometimes I think…what if we were married, and I had kids, and something happened to her. I can't guarantee I wouldn't act the same way you did. Except, eating might be what cleaning was to you." Danny agreed. "And, I'm still working with your father-in-law so he can turn the exterminating business over to me." He looked at Danny with real surprise in his face. "Mr. Tanner. I mentioned marriage, and you didn't break out in a cold sweat."

"No, I didn't. Blanked out for a second," Danny joked. Steve looked concerned. "No, I'm just kidding. You know, I wouldn't want it to happen before D.J. graduated college. But, the two of you have such a different relationship than the first time, it's so deep now, I can tell you've really put a lot of thought into everything, you've considered how you'd deal with a lot, the pros and cons of stuff, and, well, if you were to…" He sighed. "Let's just say I wouldn't mind you calling me 'Pop' someday. Not right now."

"Don't worry, Mr. Tanner. I think after D.J. graduates will give me enough time to have some money saved up, anyway."

In the next inning, D.J. returned to her seat just as Stephanie entered. "Looks like I got back just in time. All, right, you can do it, Steph."

Stephanie smiled at her family while gazing in at the catcher. Gia was sitting with some other friends, from Students Against Driving Drunk, one of the clubs they were in. She saw the S.A.D.D. sign, and thought of her mother. She always knew she'd be proud of her. But, this was one of those times when Stephanie just wanted to accomplish so much. Indeed, as she talked to Zack, that was the only thing she could think about to keep from thinking of him. "I'd like to blow a fastball right by the hitter," she said on the mound."

"I don't think so. You're only really good pitch is the knuckleball. I mean, it's impossible to catch, it must be impossible to hit, too." Stephanie laughed, loving the sense of humor. "Of course, lots of pitches are impossible for me to hit. Except, somehow, in the last game and today…well…"

"You've done really well." Were her teeth showing too much, she wondered.

"Yeah. Where'd you learn that pitch?"

"Cousin Steve. He had a scholarship to Stanford; now he's in the majors. Got called up a few weeks ago," Stephanie remarked.

"Cool. Anyway, go get 'em."

"Yeah." She hoped she could concentrate on the game. Although, at least now, he had his mask down as he crouched behind the plate. She threw the first pitch, and the batter hit a fly ball and made an out.

Later that evening, Jesse and Becky were talking in their upstairs apartment. "Okay, boys, bath time," Becky said.

"No bath," they said as they ran off.

"See, Jess, they just want to play; that's what this age should be about."

"The afternoon's not that structured in the full day program. They even have naps if you want, though Joey and I didn't know if when Michelle went; we didn't worry about it with Steph, she was so active. And, Steph and Michelle both liked it."

"But, Steph was more than ready academically, and you guys were so new at parenting, it was easier for her after Pam died. And, when Michelle went, we had the twins coming, plus careers," Becky insisted. "She did pretty well, so Danny went for it. But, even then, some of her attitude back then was from being the youngest in her class."

"Look, I know you want to baby our boys, but they'll have each other. And, Michelle will be there, too; wait another year, and nobody will be."

"But, if we wait another year, maybe they'll be ready for the full day program."

"Look, this isn't getting us anywhere, we're arguing the same points…I'm just gonna go get 'em for their bath, and we'll worry about it later." Jesse left, frustrated.

Meanwhile, Michelle, Denise, and one of Michelle's soccer teammates, Kelli, were sitting around the living room talking with Joey, Stephanie, Justin, and Wendy. "We're glad you got to come to the game, Denise," Kelli said.

"Thanks, it was fun," Denise said.

"We'll all come to your game next week," Michelle promised Stephanie. "Justin and Wendy are spending the night since Suzie's working at the hospital tonight. She switched shifts with someone so she could go next weekend."

Danny came in. "Steph, Gia's on the phone. Sounds like she's over the flu."

"Thanks, Dad. I've been so focused on baseball, the little we've talked, I forgot to tell her about Caleb. I'll take it in my room," she told him, jogging upstairs as she finished.

As Danny went back into the kitchen, Nicky and Alex came from there into the living room, kicking a soccer ball. "No bath," they were shouting.

Behind the door, they heard Jesse saying "Yes, bath," before he came charging in.

Wendy saw the boys run right past her, and then said, "D.J.'s already got my bath ready, but… why not." She picked up the soccer ball and began running and giggling.

Joey got too caught up in the moment when Wendy picked it up; Joey started running himself. "Okay, Wendy's the running back; the bathtub is the end zone. Then when she gets it there the two of you can try to score in your bathtub end zone. Come on!"

"'The bathtub is the end zone,' that's crazy," Jesse complained as he tried to corral Nicky and Alex. "Wendy, that's not a football."

"It is, too," Kelli said decisively. "Go anywhere else in the world, it's called 'football.'"

"We're not anywhere in the world; did I say that?" Jesse asked as he ran, realizing how goofy it sounded.

Denise placed her fingers in her mouth and whistled. Seeing Nicky was running fastest and egging the others on, she grabbed him. "I got the ringleader," Denise said, carrying him to the couch. "Kelli, hold him there a second till he calms down. You," she said to Wendy, "do you want me to D.J. to come down carry you or do you want to be a big girl and go up there on your own?" She ran up with the ball, with Denise grabbing Alex then. "That's D.J.'s problem now. Hey, calm down. Now, your dad said it was bath time."

As Denise, Justin, Kelli, and Michelle helped calm things down, Joey collapsed in a chair. "Oh, great; I couldn't keep control at all, and Denise just took charge like that." He snapped his fingers.

Justin came over to him. "Don't worry, Mr. Joey. Little kids are like that sometimes."

Joey agreed. "Yeah." Out of their hearing, as Michelle went upstairs, he muttered, "I don't know if I can be a father figure if I can't get things under control as well as she could. Maybe marriage isn't for me."

Meanwhile, Michelle entered her and Stephanie's room. "We finally got the little kids in the bathtubs. You didn't say how you pitched yet." She noticed her older sister looking really glum, with her head in her hands on her bed. "What's wrong, Steph?" she asked as she sat beside her.

"It's a boyfriend problem," Stephanie explained gloomily.

"I thought you were going to go with Zack, since Caleb's not going to be here."

"That's just it. Gia figured I was still with Caleb. She got Zack's number from one of the cheerleaders. She called to congratulate him on the game, and she said they talked for over an hour." Michelle hugged Stephanie, who broke into a small grin as she returned the embrace. "Thanks. I was kind of nervous before I went into the game, but I only gave up a couple runs in two innings." The hug ended, and Stephanie remarked, "I was so worried about liking two boys at the start of the week. Now I'm afraid I don't have any."

(End Part 1 of 2)