By Flaming Trails
A BTTF/ X-Men Crossover
Disclaimer: I own neither BTTF nor X-Men. If I did -- well, read on!
Note: Okay, technically, this is a crossover with the X-Men movies. But I will being using elements from the comic books/novels.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2002
Alkali Lake, Canada
4: 42 P. M.
Jean Grey had never concentrated harder in her life. Her eyes almost seemed to fill with fire as she held back the waters with half her consciousness and lifted the Blackbird with the other half. She no longer cared what happened to herself. All that mattered now was that her friends would live. They couldn't die now. Not after all they had been through. Locating Professor X's mind, she used him as a mouthpiece for her last message to Scott.
Or, what she thought was her last message.
Unbeknownst to the severely distracted X-Men, there were two other figures observing this scene, about a mile up in their flying DeLorean. Marty McFly leaned out the passenger side door, eyes wide behind a binocular card. "Holy shit, Doc, are you seeing what I'm seeing?!"
"If what you're seeing is a jet aircraft with an exceptional body design, yes," Doc Brown replied, just as surprised as Marty. "Great Scott, look at it. I wonder what it's doing here?"
"Looks like trying to get off the ground before that flood hits," Marty reported, looking from the wall of water back to the jet. "Jesus Christ, I wonder--"
His voice abruptly cut itself off as he spotted something else with the futuristic binoculars. There appeared to be a woman standing in front of the jet, holding up something with her hand. "HOLY SHIT! Doc, there's somebody down there!"
"Well, of course. I'd assume that jet has passengers."
"No, no, somebody in front of the jet! Looks like she's holding something up."
"What??" Doc took the binoculars from Marty. Sure enough, he could make out a red-headed woman in front of the wave. "Great Scott! Once the barrier falls--" his voice dropped. "She'll drown."
Brown eyes met blue ones. Both of the time travelers knew about the consequences when you played around with the space-time continuum. They had changed the future, the present, and the past multiple times in their trips.
But they also knew it would be extremely hard for them to just stand around and watch someone die. Especially for Doc.
"You know, Doc," Marty said slowly, "it is the future. If any paradoxes happen, we'll actually have some time to fix them."
Doc looked back down. Instead of seeing a red-head fighting for her life in front of wall of water, he saw a brunette about to fall to her death in a ravine. His expression became determined. "Marty, I need you to listen to me very carefully. . . ."
Jean's power was at its height, manifesting now in fire-colored eyes and glowing wing-shapes around her hands. She suddenly knew with all her heart that she was going to succeed. She directed almost all of her will into raising the Blackbird, saving merely a fraction for holding back the waters. At her command, the engines fired and roared to full power. She could sense the attempts of the others to save her now, but blocked them all. She was at peace with herself and her choice. If her life had to be taken in exchange for her friends – so be it.
The Blackbird finally rose into the air, ready to fly away safely. Jean smiled, sending a last I love you to Scott. Then she prepared to let the waters engulf her.
Suddenly, a pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist and lifted her off the ground. Jean screamed and lost control of her powers. Whoever had grabbed her – Nightcrawler? No, it couldn't be – accelerated upward just in time to avoid being swept away by the wave. Jean turned in her captor's grasp, frightened it might be Magneto, or someone worse.
A total stranger stared back at her. He looked roughly 60, but Jean could feel that, internally, he was much younger. His white hair stuck to his skin where the water had splashed him. "Are you all right?" he asked, brown eyes intensely worried.
Jean needed a second to answer that. Her powers had waned, leaving her exhausted. Her broken leg throbbed terribly, in time to a pounding headache. Added to that was the fact she was being held by a stranger, and suspended from what appeared to be a flying DeLorean, of all things!
Then she thought about what had just transpired, with both mutantkind and humankind being threatened. This was nearer "all right" then that had been. She managed a nod.
The man gently pulled her inside the DeLorean. At the wheel of the car was a younger man, with brown hair and blue eyes. Was he the first man's son? His grandson? Jean couldn't tell. It hurt too much to focus her telepathy.
The driver gave her a worried frown. "She okay, Doc?"
"I think she's in shock. She's going to need medical attention."
Marty nodded, then looked down at Jean. "What's your name, ma'am?"
"Grey," Jean gasped out. "Jean Grey."
Then she fainted.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
Hill Valley, California
4: 15 P. M.
Doc carefully landed the car out of sight. "All right, Marty, you stay here with Miss Grey. I'll be right back."
Marty glanced around the alley they had parked in. "So this is 2020, huh? Doesn't look too different from 2015."
"It's more advanced. I got the train hover-converted in this year. Medical technology has also advanced further, which is more relevant to our current situation." Doc opened up his door.
"Hey, Doc?" Doc looked back at him. "Do you think it was wise to take her here?" He motioned toward Jean, still out and currently slumped across the seats. "I don't want what happened with Jennifer to happen again."
"Miss Grey needs more medical assistance than I can give her. Her leg appears to be broken in multiple places. And it's not like I'm stupidly abandoning her in an alley this time. If she wakes up and starts asking difficult questions, my sleep inducer's right in the glove compartment."
"Okay, gotcha Doc."
Doc nodded with an appreciative smile. "I'll return in five minutes, and we can plan from there." Grabbing the "Nike" gym bag he used to store emergency changes of clothes, he was off.
Some minutes later, Jean groaned and blearily opened her eyes. Immediately, a cacophony of thoughts and voices beared down on her. She pushed them away with a small effort and focused on the one nearest. Uh-oh. She's waking up. I hope she's too dizzy to notice where we are.
Jean was astonished. She recognized the mind-voice as one of her rescuers. Why on earth would he not want her to know where she was? Baffled, she sat up a little to get his attention.
"Hey." Jean turned to see him sitting behind her. "How're you doing, ma'am?"
"Okay. Where am I?"
"In the Doc's car. He's gonna be right back."
That really didn't answer her question, proving the teen hadn't wanted to answer it. She probed his mind using her telepathy. His name was Marty, he was 19 years old, from California, and surprisingly no relation to the older man – the aforementioned "Doc."
She glanced around the car, making Marty fidget. The first thing she noticed was a large readout near the steering wheel, with three LCD displays:
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12TH, 2020, 4: 16 P. M.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12TH, 2020, 4: 21 P. M.
TUESDAY, APRIL 9TH, 2002, 4: 42 P. M.
Jean's eyes went wide. 2020? Is this some sort of joke? Or – no. It can't be. Can it?
The rest of the car looked similarly weird. There was a keypad beside the display, with some sort of touch pad beside it. Behind her, crammed into the back, was a Y-shaped device labeled the "flux capacitor." Beside that was a flat screen like a TV screen and another touch pad. The ceiling of the driver's side had quite a few buttons and switches on it. Somebody with a lot of technical know-how had built this – thing. Jean wasn't quite ready to admit to herself what she thought it was.
She turned to ask Marty a question and saw him reaching for the glove compartment. She quickly used her telekinesis to grab his arm and hold it. "What's going on? Where are we?" she asked, trying to remain calm.
Marty tried to pull his arm free of her teke restraints. "Listen, Doc went to get some help for your leg. We're in Hill Valley."
Marty got decidedly nervous, yanking harder on his frozen limb. Damn it, what the hell is going on here?! Why can't I move my arm! If only I could grab that sleep-inducer. . . .
Jean looked to see Doc there, holding two large bags and frowning deeply. His clothes had changed since she'd seen him last – a purple shirt with a gold coat. "What's going on here?"
"She's kinda demanding where she is," Marty admitted, staring down at his arm. Jean took pity on him and released it. The teen promptly shook it a few times and bent it experimentally.
"Who are you?" she asked first. "I'm grateful for you saving me, but I would like to get your names?"
The pair glanced at each other before replying. "Dr. Emmett L. Brown," Doc formally introduced himself. "This is my assistant, Marty McFly."
"McFly? Brown?" She knew those names. They were important. She thought back, trying to recall where she had heard them.
Then it came. Scott was a bit of a sci-fi buff, and one of his favorite authors was a man named George McFly. And Jean knew that a lot of the girls in the school listened to the music of a Marty McFly.
But the name "Dr. Emmett L. Brown" was far more important. She had heard his name from Dr. Hank McCoy, a friend who had helped the X-Men with designing the Blackbird. Hank had introduced them to Dr. Brown's ideas, calling him a genius in the fields of quantum and temporal physics. Many of his theories were considered revolutionary, but utterly fantastic.
But, apparently one hadn't been fantastic enough. "Oh God," Jean murmured. "This isn't – this isn't a time machine, is it?"
The looks on Marty's and Doc's faces told her she had hit the nail on the head. Marty once again tried to reach for the glove compartment, his thoughts revealing concealed panic. She threw a teke shield up in front of the door.
Doc looked at her, his brown eyes intense – and frankly, kind of spooky. "How did you know that?"
"Doc, I told ya, you gotta make this stuff less visible," Marty interjected.
"We don't usually have passengers who have no knowledge of the car's workings," Doc replied, eyes still fixed on Jean. "Most people just think of this as a strange clock."
"I might have too, but I know about your work," Jean rushed to explain. "A friend of mine introduced me to it. He said you were one of the leading minds in temporal physics. I even recognize this thing." She pointed to the flux capacitor. "I just guessed that it was a time machine."
The frown lessened a little. Jean attempted to read his thoughts, but only got painful static. "I suppose I can't fault you for that. However, I can't just let anyone know about my machine."
"We've had bad experiences," Marty added, glaring at the glove compartment. "Doc, you install some new security feature? I can't get into the glove compartment."
Doc reached over and touched her teke shield. Suddenly, Jean felt a sharp pain in her head. She yelped as Doc's hand somehow managed to pass through the shield and destroy it.
Both men gave her a funny look. Marty kindly made sure that no one was accidentally leaning on her injured leg. But Doc's expression worried her. It was a kind of half-frown, half-smile, the kind that said something he'd suspected had been confirmed. Oh, shit, what if he can tell I'm a mutant?! It would be just my luck to fall into the hands of a pair of mutant-haters.
Then, much to her surprise, Doc actually smiled at little and pulled back. He settled her comfortably between the seats and got into the car. Marty frowned at him. "Doc?"
"Don't worry, Marty. I've got a feeling we can trust Miss Grey."
"Doctor," Jean automatically corrected.
"Dr. Grey," Doc nodded.
"Just a gut instinct, Doc?" Doc nodded again, looking pretty sure of himself. Marty shrugged, still looking very concerned. "You're the doc, Doc. I trust you to know what the heck you're doing."
"Relax, Marty. I'm more experienced than I was in 1985. Besides, we have the added advantage of blackmail," he grinned at Jean.
Yup, he knows. Apparently, he's willing to keep my mutant abilities a secret in exchange for not telling anyone about his time machine. I can live with that. Besides, who would believe me?
"Blackmail? Doc, we've known Dr. Grey for, what, ten minutes?"
"How long did it take me to fall in love with Clara?"
Marty smiled a little. "Okay, that's true. But this is different. Do you know her from somewhere? Whatcha got on her?"
Doc gave Jean an apologetic look. "I have to tell him. He's my best friend." Looking back at Marty, he explained. "She's a mutant, Marty. My guess is a telekine. That would account for us not being able to get into the glove compartment." Marty raised an eyebrow in confusion. "She can manipulate objects with her mind."
Marty was suitably impressed. "Is that true, Dr. Grey?"
"Guilty as charged," Jean sighed. As long as Doc knew. . . . "What tipped you off, Dr. Brown?"
"When I reached for the glove compartment. I could feel something blocking me, then it vanished. I have some knowledge on the mutant phenomenon, so I made a logical guess – much like yourself with the car. You lost your concentration right then, didn't you?"
Jean nodded. "I guess I'm not fully recovered from what I did at Alkali Lake."
Marty's eyes nearly fell out of his head. "Holy shit, you were holding back all that water by yourself???"
"Yes. I had no other choice. If I hadn't stopped the waters, my friends would have died."
Marty nodded, an understanding smile on his face. Jean received some rather odd flashes from his mind right then. One involved Marty yelling at a younger version of Doc during a storm. The other had him facing off against an Old Western gunfighter! I guess they've had some adventures! "By the way, what were you doing there?"
"The time machine had malfunctioned on a previous trip. I went to Alkali Lake to ascertain my repairs were adequate. I was positive it would be deserted. . . ." Doc gunned the car into the sky. "That's water under the bridge. This is our deal, Dr. Grey. You keep our secret, we'll keep yours. It's necessary that my time machine remain unknown to the general public."
"My lips are sealed," Jean promised with a smiled. "But I owe you guys already. Thank you for getting me out of there in time."
Both Marty and Doc blushed a little. "It's not like we could just stand there, right?" Marty replied. "And not help?"
"We know all too well the consequences of altering the time-line, but in your case, it was a risk we were willing to take." Doc pressed his thumb against the touch-pad, then typed a date in. "You'll be staying with us for a day or two to recuperate. I'll figure out the best time to return you to your proper temporal frame in the meantime."
"You're too kind." Jean noticed that the first readout had changed to:
SATURDAY, MAY 15TH, 1987, 10: 19 A. M.
Wow. I would have been about ten in that year. I'm getting goosebumps. "That where – when you live?"
"Precisely. Brace yourself for temporal displacement." He hit the gas. Jean held onto the seats tightly. The speedometer raced upward, going to 60 – 70 – 80 –
There was a triple sonic boom once they reached 88 miles per hour. For a fraction of a second, Jean felt like she was suspended outside time. Then they were back, zooming over the town. Doc quickly flipped a switch. "So no one can see us," he said.
They landed fairly quickly, beside a large, ancient farmhouse. A brown-haired woman, roughly in her 40s, was waiting outside, watching two young boys rough-house on the grass. The younger of the two waved at the car. "Hi, Papa, hi Marty."
"Everything go all right, Emmett?" the woman called in a slightly-nasal voice.
"With the car, yes." Doc opened the door and helped Jean out. "This is Dr. Grey. She's going to be staying with us for a little while."
"Pleasure to meet you," Jean said politely.
Clara blinked. "Hi. Where did you come from?"
"Alkali Lake," Marty said. "She was there the same time we were. She was gonna drown," he added in a softer voice.
Clara understood. "So you're from 2002," she said. "You told her about the time machine, I see."
"Don't worry, dear, she's given her word she won't tell anyone else about it."
"Your husband is blackmailing me," Jean added, unable to keep a slight grin from her face.
"I don't think I understand. . . ."
"I'll explain momentarily. Marty, help her into the house."
Marty helped Jean in and onto the couch. "I always think life can't get any crazier," he grumbled, paradoxically smiling. "Comfy?"
"Yeah." Jean settled herself. "And I know the feeling. You guys have had a lot of adventures with that time machine."
"Well, sort of. That one's technically new – the old one got smashed to bits by a train."
"In the Old West?" Marty's eyes bugged again. "I'm telepathic as well as telekinetic. I caught some flashes of you in different time periods."
"Oh. I'd fill you in some more, but it's a really long story."
Jean smiled. "I can think of a better way." She extended her hands to frame Marty's head. "Just relax." She closed her eyes and concentrated.
Just like that, she was inside Marty's head, watching the drama unfold. He skated up to Twin Pines Mall. Or was it Lone Pine Mall? There seemed to be conflicting memories. Marty impressed upon her that he had two sets of memories due to time-traveling, and that these first ones were pretty much the same.
He met up with Doc's dog, Einstein, then watched in astonishment as Doc steered the DeLorean out of the back of his van. Doc had Marty videotape the first experiment, using Einstein as the test subject. He positioned the car right in front of them, then began to accelerate it with the brake on. Jean chuckled as Marty tried to scoot away. Doc noticed him and gave him a look, making Marty scoot back.
He released the brake, sending the car at them. Just as Marty and Jean were sure they were about to be run over, the car glowed, then vanished with a triple sonic boom and a bright flash of light. Doc jumped for joy, making Jean laugh out loud, then explained to them how he had used the time machine to send Einstein a minute into the future. Right on schedule, Einstein returned, none the worse for wear.
Doc proudly showed them the inner workings of the car. Right away Jean could see that the original model wasn't quite as sleek – although, to tell the truth, the new model wasn't too classy either. The LCD display was twice as large, the touch pads were missing, and so was the flat screen in the back. Despite all that, it was still an extremely impressive machine. Jean fully agreed with Marty's thought that Doc was a genius.
Doc explained how, although basically electrical, the car's time circuits ran on plutonium. He refueled and prepared for his trip into the future. Then Einstein started barking at something – a Volkswagen van coming down the hill. Doc, panicking, told Jean it was the Libyan terrorists he had ripped off for the plutonium. Jean dove for cover behind the DeLorean as they started shooting. Doc tried to return fire with an antique handgun, but couldn't get it to work. He tried desperately to escape, but instead ran right into the Libyans–
Jean's eyes snapped open as Marty's head ducked below her hands. She reached out and held Marty's arm. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. You didn't know." Marty took a deep breath. "It was – like I was living it all over again."
"I know. My telepathy's never acted like that before. Usually I just get a series of quick impressions. This was more like climbing into your skin." She blinked a few times to clear her head.
Doc came in just then, trailing Clara and the boys. "Glad to see you're settled. I've explained everything to them." He knelt by her side and produced something that looked like a snap-on cast. He carefully snapped it around her leg and pressed a few buttons. It got uncomfortably warm for a moment, then cooled down. "There. In a hour or so, you'll be as good as new."
"Thanks." Jean heard her stomach growl and suddenly realized she was ravenous. "Could I have something to eat, please?"
"I'll fix you a sandwich," Clara offered kindly. "Tuna fish or chicken salad?"
"Tuna fish, thanks."
The older of the boys, with brown hair and eyes, inched closer. "Papa says you're from the future." Jean nodded. "We're from the past."
"Yup, the 1800s. We lived there for a little while, then Papa built the time machine, and we moved here so he could be with Marty." Marty blushed at that statement.
"You guys aren't still jealous of me, are ya?"
"It's true," the younger one, a blond, grinned. "And you'll never make us believe you're not related to us somehow."
Jean couldn't help but snicker. "What's your names?"
"I'm Jules," the brunette said.
"I'm Verne," the blond nodded.
"I'm Jean." Glancing over at Doc, she added, "Jules and Verne?"
"He's my and Clara's favorite author," Doc said, a bit indignantly. "I'm going back to the future to find out when I can bring you back. I'll return in roughly a hour or so." He gave his kids and Marty hugs, then exited to the kitchen. Jules and Verne followed.
Marty looked at her. "You wanna – finish – you know."
"Later, after I've eaten."
Marty shrugged. "It's just that the last part of it – the Old West and Clara – that's really Doc's story. You'll want to read his mind too."
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."
Saturday, May 15th, 1987
2: 33 P. M.
Doc looked in on Jean, who was now situated in the guest room. "Everything all right in here?"
"Everything's fine. Verne drew me a picture after hearing my story." Jean held up a crude drawing of Doc lifting her to safety.
Doc chuckled. "Verne loves to draw. I don't think I'll be surprised if he grows up to be an artist."
Jean frowned. "Don't you know already?"
Doc shook his head. "I try to stay away from personal futures. No man should know too much about his own destiny." He sat down beside her. "I got all the information in order. There was one major event after you disappeared that I feel you could possibly have a negative effect on. A presidential speech about mutants that I feel might have been influenced by other mutants, friends of yours. Therefore, I'm going to take you back roughly a month after that event."
"All right. But why do you think it was influenced?"
"Right at the beginning, there was a power outage, and then the president had some files on his desk that weren't there before. Sounds like something a mutant could do to me."
Jean had to nod. "Does knowing what's going to happen in the future ever bother you? Like with that letter Marty gave you?"
"Ah, that's why you asked. If it doesn't apply to me, my family, or my friends, I'm not adversely affected by the information. That letter contained knowledge that nearly drove me insane with worry." He frowned a little. "Has Marty told you about all our adventures?"
"Not exactly. . . ." Jean explained about her telepathic powers. "He told me to read your mind if I wanted the full story on the Old West. Frankly, it all fascinates me. You have my word I won't repeat it to anyone else. Cross my heart."
Doc looked concerned. "Well, I suppose. One moment." He closed his eyes. Jean thought she saw the lights flicker. "All right."
Jean framed Doc's face and concentrated. She saw first Doc's role in the first adventures, almost in fast-motion. She slowed it down when Doc was preparing to land and pick up Marty. "Be careful!" Marty yelled over the walkie-talkie. "You don't want to get struck by lightning!"
Perversely, the DeLorean was immediately struck by two bolts. The car spun wildly out of control as the time circuits activated. Then she and Doc were in the air above a desert – and falling. Doc tried to bring the hover system on-line, but it had been shorted out by the strikes. Desperate, he–
Jean's eyes opened wide. Doc jerked away, suddenly very pale. "Great Scott," he moaned.
"You're a mutant," Jean whispered, stunned. Doc looked at the bedspread. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"For the same reason I wasn't going to tell you about the time machine," he muttered. "I didn't want anyone to know."
"Does Clara and--"
"No. I was too scared to tell them." He looked up at her pleadingly. "Please, don't say a word. A good number of the citizens of this town won't even speak to me. I couldn't bear losing my family or Marty. Please."
Now who has blackmail material? Jean couldn't help thinking. But she could understand Doc's fright. She remembered how frightened she had been when her telepathic/telekinetic powers had manifested. And Doc didn't have a Charles Xavier to help him. "You're keeping my secret? Then I'll keep yours. But you owe me."
"Fair enough." They shook on it.
Tuesday, May 27th, 2002
Graymalkin Lane, Westchester County, New York
1: 19 P. M.
Scott Summers walked dejectedly out onto the grounds. He wished Professor Xavier hadn't started talking about Jean. Every time he started to feel any better about the world, some mentioned Jean and reminded him he'd never see her again. Never feel her thoughts merging with his again. Never smell her hair again.
Never see her walking along the – grounds. . . .
Scott blinked. There she was, walking along, looking around the place gratefully. He shook his head. No. It can't be. She's dead. I saw her die. Still, he couldn't prevent himself from calling out, "Jean?"
She turned and saw him. A smile appeared on her face, radiant as the sun. "Scott!" She ran toward him, looking so real he could touch–
"JEAN!" Tears streamed from his eyes as she ran into his arms. "Oh, Jean, baby. . . ."
"I missed you, Scott," she breathed, saying it with both mind and voice. "I love you so much."
Scott was almost beyond speaking. He pulled her close, thanking God for the miracle that had brought her back to him. "I love you too," he whispered, wondering when the other X-Men would notice. Far off in the distance, he heard three booms – looked like Storm had seen her. "I've missed you – we've missed you. How the hell did you get out of there?"
Jean smiled enigmatically. "I had some help from a friend," she replied, glancing up at the sky.
Scott wondered what she meant by that, then decided he really didn't care. He kissed her passionately, thinking, My Jean, a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Jean got a thoughtful look on her face. Hmmm. . .Phoenix. . . .