Chapter 1 - BTTF IV
CHAPTER ONE – BACK TO THE FUTURE PART IV
It had been six months since Marty parted ways with Doc on that stretch of train tracks leading to the sky. Marty still had the night terrors waking him in a cold sweat, silent tears staining his cheeks. Jennifer could only put up with so much, but she was eighteen, she wanted to have fun, not a boyfriend who had post-traumatic stress regarding an incident she was still half convinced was just a vivid dream. Marty hid his condition well, he knew if his parents found out they would want him to get psychiatric care. What was Marty supposed to say? As Doc would say, "Tell them we are time traveler's, they'll have us committed." Oh how he missed his best friend. Marty laid in his bed as the rain lightly pattered against his window. Another terror had just woken him from his slumber. It was always the same, the Delorean careening into the ravine with the train still attached, Doc and Clara are stuck on the locomotive, and all three no chance of escaping.
It was summer vacation in Hill Valley, a vacation before college. College, somehow had eluded Marty. He didn't feel ready, or connected. He had taken to spending most of his time in Doc's lab. At first he would come once a week, just to make sure nothing was stolen. The valuable parts of the time machine were recovered after the wreck, the time circuits, flux capacitor, all laid in a heap on the floor. Marty would nudge them with his Nike dressed foot, and look at the photo on the wall of him and Doc in 1885 in front of the clock. He would mutter to himself and leave. It took a whole month of this routine before Marty found himself putting knick knacks on shelves, dusting, and finally giving what was left of the Delorean a respectful home.
Life in the McFly house had become crowded. Linda had her new boyfriend living with them, Lorraine and George were constantly entertaining guests from the Country Club now that his father was a literary success, and Marty felt like he had disappeared into the background, so it wasn't surprising when Marty first slept at the lab no one noticed he was gone. By the end of the month he had completely moved in. He made an area for a bedroom, there was a working kitchen, and he even had a place to practice guitar. He never told his parents that he left, but he knew they figured it out when they stopped by one day after seeing his truck in the drive, and didn’t think to ask him when he was coming home. Marty explained he wanted to spend the summer there, and shortly after collected the rest of his belongings from the McFly house. At least he could have his night terrors in peace.
A bowl of mac and cheese in his lap, Marty kicked back and watched a little TV. He stretched and yawned as he drank a Pepsi Free. It had continued to rain well into the day, and was almost cold for California. He wrapped a blanket around himself and started to close his eyes. A light rapping sound aroused him. Cautiously he walked to the door and opened it just a crack. A woman in a trench coat stood on the door step. She wore skinny jeans and a pale pink sweater. Her blonde hair was soaking but her eyes sparkled the clearest blue.
"Can I help you?" asked Marty, knowing even if
she was a raving beauty anyone who was looking for the Doc was also looking for
trouble, which was the last thing Marty needed right now.
"I'm looking for Doctor Emmet Brown."
"Yeah you and a lot of people lady."
"Nothing, what is the nature of your business?"
"Well it’s a bit personal."
"Are you Marty?"
"Marty my name is Laura Brown, I'm a distant relation, and I am looking for Doc, can you help me?"
There was something about her, something about the way she said “Doc.” Marty wanted to help, he really did. He scanned her closely for any resemblance to Doc, but he couldn't see one. She was fair skinned, blonde hair, blue eyes, she didn't look like Doc or Clara, and still something told him to trust her. He put his hand to his head as he leaned against the door jam. Suddenly he felt like George McFly from 1955 and immediately straightened up.
"Please come in."
Marty ushered Laura past the kitchen area and motioned for her to sit on the old sofa next to his chair. He brought her a towel for her hair, and watched as she rang out the droplets of rain.
"My apologies for letting you stay out there but if
you are truly related to Doc you will know I have to be on my guard."
"I understand completely."
"You will also know I don't have the answers to everything, my current situation is a bit strained." Marty said weakly thinking about all those sleepless nights.
"You are living here now?"
"Yes I moved in at the beginning of the summer, I needed some time to ... think."
"Marty I understand," Laura said holding Marty's hand warm against her chilled skin, "I am the granddaughter of Verne Brown, and my father was named Daniel. Do you understand?"
"You're the Doc's great granddaughter."
"That's right, and it has taken me ages to track you down, I have been here for the better part of six months."
"Hill Valley isn't that big of a town, I’m not that hard to find, my family is in the phone book."
"Yes this is true, however I felt it best to give you some space. I have been observing you at a distance. I was concerned for your safety. I did not want to confront you right away with this information, but now that I see you are on your own I thought this would be a good time."
"I don't know where Doc is, and I don't have a time machine to bring him back." Marty barked.
"I have been waiting awhile for his return, I can wait a little longer," she said releasing his hand and lying back against the couch.
"You and me both."
"You were his best friend, he will come back for you."
"I sometimes wonder, how you did you know about me anyway?"
"Family history, you are a legend, mind you I thought a lot of it was fantasy, Grandpa Verne always liked his tall tales, but then one day after I had been in college a couple years I thought, would it really be any harm to look you up and see? I found out I had the years timed just right, and I was here when the train hit the Delorean and when Doc arrived the last time."
"Why didn't you make yourself known then?"
"I had to let those events happen just as they were told to me, I couldn't interfere. It was hard but I figured if it was true, then I needed to let the time line play itself out."
“You sure sound like the Doc.”
“I will take that as a compliment,” she smiled.
"But the future can change?"
"Yes it can, but the past cannot."
"But it was the present when you witnessed it."
"True but it was already my grandfather's past."
Marty stared at her perfect features as she explained time travel and causally as though it were second nature. A huge part of him missed this, to be able to talk about the strange and fantasy as if it were normal. He wanted to hold her but something told him not to approach her too quickly. They continued to talk well into the night. He found out Laura had grown up in New York. She had gone to University and had a bachelor's in Metaphysics. She never wanted to become a doctor, and only pursued science in a hope to better understand her great grandfather's work. Her real passion was art, and at twenty two she had become quite accomplished. Marty was fascinated at the way she carried herself.
The sun started to creep over the edge of Hill Valley, Laura had crashed against Marty's shoulder. They sat together under a blanket, while Marty fought to stay awake, for fear another night terror would grip him. He smiled, he missed that form of human contact, it was worth sacrificing a night’s sleep for. The innocence before things would get complicated. Laura stirred in his arms.
"Oh my, is it morning?" she gasped.
"I'm sorry, I should have woken you but you seemed exhausted."
"I guess I was, I usually don't trust strangers enough to sleep in their homes, but I guess you aren't really a stranger are you?"
"I suppose not." Marty smiled brushing a loose piece of hair off of her cheek.
"I really should go," she said appearing not to have noticed his contact.
"Where are you staying?"
"I am renting a house."
"Look Marty, I want to see more of you, I want to talk to you about your experiences, would you be interested in joining me for dinner tonight?"
"Only if I can take you out."
"Marty, it is only fair for you to know," Laura said sitting up placing her hands in her lap, "Emmet had a lot of investments, he was a very wealthy man and his kids were smart, we parlayed that money and I am independently wealthy. I am also the last of the line, Marty, I will buy dinner."
He walked her to the door, she smiled pretending not to notice the bags under his eyes. She reached out and touched the side of his face, instinctively he pressed back against her hand.
"Get some sleep, kid." she laughed.
Marty frowned at being called "kid." He would prove to her who was a kid. He reached down and grabbed her hand pulling her forward by just one step and he kissed her. She pulled back at first, but found herself drawn to him, her fingers brushing against the collar of his t-shirt.
"I usually don't let people do that," she smiled
"I'm sorry I usually don't do things like that."
She nodded, "Well I better be off, and I will pick you up at eight."
Marty's eyes followed down the direction of the street where a shiny unmodified Delorean sat at the curb.
he said in disbelief.
"It’s not a time machine, but yes its mine."
"You can pay, but you have to let me drive."
"Deal," she smiled again, quietly she turned and walked to the street.