Sunday, October 27th, 1985
Hill Valley, California
3:15 A. M.
The peaceful late-night stillness was shattered by a triple sonic boom. In a second flash of light, the DeLorean appeared, coasting along the rails. Just like for a regular train, the warning bell began to toll, and the stop signs lowered as they passed through the intersection.
Clara had her eyes closed tightly. "Did we make it?" she asked fearfully.
Marty and Doc looked around. A relieved smile lit Marty's face as he saw the Hilldale sign and modern road. "We made it!"
"Welcome to 1985, Clara," Doc said cheerfully.
Clara opened her eyes and glanced around. "I'm so glad." Suddenly her eyes flicked to Doc's shoulder. "Emmett, you're bleeding!"
Doc looked where the bullet had nicked him. "It's just a scratch, and I'm damn lucky it's just a scratch. Buford must have had a hard time aiming on the train, thankfully."
Clara nodded gratefully. "I'm just glad everything's over with. I don't know if I want to ever travel through time again."
"I most wholeheartedly agree. It's probably best to just let time take care of itself." Doc opened his door as they rolled to a stop. "Let's go home."
They all piled out of the car, Clara looking all around in wonderment. Doc, noticing her state of undress, gallantly handed her his heavy coat. He glanced back at the DeLorean with a frown. Then he climbed back in and, with skilled, careful hands, removed the flux capacitor. "Just as a souvenir," he answered Marty and Clara's questioning looks. "This machine was my dream for 30 years."
They understood. Doc tucked his keepsake under his arm. "So --" he began, grabbing his and Marty's luggage from the back.
"We gotta see Jennifer first," Marty interrupted. "I gotta make sure she's all right. I still can't believe we just left her there. What if somebody tried to hurt her? Or -- do what Biff did to my mom?"
"I wouldn't worry about it. Before I went searching for you, I found a heavy spanner and put it by her side so she wouldn't be defenseless. And now that our regular time line is restored, she'll be fine. We should go to my house first, however -- then we can take my van to hers." Marty conceded the point.
Clara openly gawked at the electric lights she saw shining on the road. "How do they work?" she asked, interested. "Like light bulbs back in 1885, back East? How many of them are there?"
"Millions. We've made many improvements over the past 100 years," Doc smiled. "We have many electrical devices now. I'll show you some later."
"Hey, if you want, I'll lend you my U. S. History book," Marty offered. "It's got a ton of info on the past century. You'll be caught up in no time."
"Why, thank you Marty. I appreciate it."
It wasn't all that far to Doc's place from the railroad tracks, which was good. Marty was very thankful that no one was out to see them. After all, all of them were still dressed for the Old West. And poor Clara didn't have much of a dress left after her adventures. Even with Doc's coat on, she was a little too revealing.
Doc sighed as his garage came into view. "Home sweet home."
Clara seemed concerned. "Emmett, no offense, but it seems rather -- small."
"It'll fit us until I find a house. It's bigger than it looks, honestly."
As Doc unlocked the door, a gray blob of fur ran out to meet them. "Einstein! Hi boy!" Doc said, scratching the dog's head. "Did you miss me?"
Einstein certainly seemed to have. He licked Doc's face, then Marty's as the teen patted him. Coming to Clara, he sniffed and whined in puzzlement. "That's Clara. She's going to be moving in with us."
"Hi Einstein," Clara said, holding out her hand for inspection. Einstein gave her a through sniff and let her pat him.
Doc's garage was comfortingly familiar after Doc and Marty's days of excitement. Marty sat on the cot by the door and just listened to the ticking clocks for a minute. Damn, it feels good to be home.
Clara looked around the place. "Now I know why you want to marry me," she grinned. "You rather desperately need a housekeeper."
"It's my own organizational system. I know where everything is. Mostly."
Both Clara and Marty snickered. "Over here is the worst," Clara added, pointing to Doc's research area. "What happened? It looks like something blew up."
"Blew up? What are you talking about?"
"This mess in the corner. I don't know what it's supposed to be."
"Let me see. . . ." Doc's jaw dropped. "Great Scott! Marty, did you hook up to the amplifier?"
Marty gave a sheepish nod. "Sorry Doc. Your phone call came after I tried to play some tunes."
Doc grumbled to himself as he inspected the damage. "Suppose it's my fault for not telling you earlier. So what happened? Are you all right?"
"Well, it kinda blew me into one of your bookcases. I was a little sore earlier. I tried to put all your stuff back in the right place, but --" he shrugged. "If you need any help reorganizing it, I'm here."
"It wasn't that organized, really. You can help me repair this amp, or build a new one in my new house."
"I don't know if Clara would like that," Marty snickered, starting to feel antsy again. "Can we go see Jen now? This place ain't Hell Valley by any stretch, but you never know who might be wandering around at night."
"I'll drive you over, then drop you off at home. I want to apologize to her about my actions with that sleep-inducer." He glanced over at Clara, asking with his eyes if she wanted to come.
Clara waved him along, yawning. "It can wait until morning. I'm exhausted!" She sank down onto the cot. "I'll be here when you get back." Doc nodded, kissed her goodbye, and escorted Marty to the van.
Sunday, October 27th
3:37 A. M.
Jennifer was still sound asleep on the porch when they pulled up to her house. Marty examined her with a frown. "I thought you left -- wait, would it have disappeared when I burned the almanac? The whole 'thinking fourth-dimensionally' business?" Doc nodded, pleased. "Okay." Marty hopped out and sat down beside her. "Jennifer?"
Jennifer smiled a little, but slept on. Marty gently poked her, then leaned down and gave her a kiss. Midway through, he felt her lips respond to his. "Humm -- hi, Marty," she yawned, sleepily giving him a hug. "I had the weirdest--"
She paused when she saw his clothes. "Marty, what are you wearing?"
Marty smiled, only too happy to be reunited with the woman he loved. "I've gone cowboy." He kissed her again. "Are you feelin' all right?"
"Yeah, mostly." She frowned, blinking. "But I had a really strange dream. Doc had built a time machine, and he took us to the future. And suddenly I was in our house in the future, and I got to see your parents and our kids." She made a face. "We got married at the Chapel O'Love."
"Don't ask me. But it's definitely not where I want to get married in real life."
"Me neither. Sounds like we eloped."
"Yeah, that's what I thought. And your mom said something about a traffic accident that ruined your life, and that I deserved better. She was really being mean to you behind your back. And you got fired from your job -- which might have been a good thing, you seemed to be working for Needles." She looked thoughtful, unaware for the moment of Marty's bug-eyed stare. "You know what's weirdest? It feels like my dream actually happened. But that's silly. How could I go from Doc's car to our house in a few seconds?"
"Because I'm an idiot, that's why," said Doc, startling both teens. "Jennifer, I want to apologize to you. I made a major miscalculation, and you had to suffer the consequences."
"Jen -- it was real," Marty added, taking her arm. "Doc built a time machine and took us to the future. What's this about me working for Needles?"
Jennifer was baffled. "He -- well -- but what happened? How on earth did I end up in our house? I was in the car with you guys, asking all those questions--"
"You were asking so many questions about the future, I panicked and sleep-induced you," Doc confessed. "I didn't want you to know too much about your own destiny. But instead of keeping you in the car, I put you in an alley. I foolishly assumed it would be safe -- after all, according to my plan, Marty and I would be gone for only a few minutes, and you'd wake up at home. But when we came to pick you up, the police had already found you and were taking you 'home.' I would have been there earlier if not for traffic. I'm very sorry. The only excuse I have is that I was still inexperienced in time travel."
"I'm sorry too, Jennifer," Marty said. "I should have gotten on his case more."
Jennifer looked at both of them. "Well, I guess I can forgive you. I was acting like a real ditz in the car, wasn't I?"
"You were curious. So was I. I should have recognized that and warned you before doing anything drastic. I didn't mean for you to be traumatized."
"I know you didn't." She hit him lightly. "But don't pull that stunt again!"
"I can't. We destroyed the time machine."
"Destroyed it?" She examined Doc and Marty's clothes. "I guess you guys went to the Old West after taking me home. What have you been doing?"
"I'll tell ya in the morning. I'm exhausted. I don't think I've gotten a decent night's sleep since I started time traveling." Marty mock-glared at Doc. "Why couldn't you sleep-induce me instead of her?"
This earned a chuckle from both Doc and Jennifer. "I require sleep myself. We'll give you all the details in the morning, I promise."
"I'll be ready for ya."
Marty gave Jennifer a parting hug. "I'm sorry we didn't get to go to the lake."
"Me too. But with any luck there'll be other times." She kissed him goodbye. "I'll see you in the morning."
"See ya." Marty followed Doc back to the van.
Sunday, October 27th
10:15 A. M.
"C'mon kid, up and at 'em!"
Marty blinked open his eyes. His father was standing over him, a cheerful grin on his face. "I guess it was a late night at the lake. Did you have fun?"
Marty flung his arms around his father. George started, then hesitantly returned the hug. "What's this for?"
"Just glad to see you," Marty said truthfully. The memory of George McFly dead by Biff's hand was still fresh and painful. "Yeah, it was a late night. Where is everybody?"
"Getting ready for brunch, just like every Sunday."
Oh, right. Marty had a vague memory of that now. "That's what I figured," he covered, yawning. "I'll be down in a minute."
After savoring a hot shower and changing into fresh clothes, Marty headed down the hall to the kitchen. Linda was chatting on the phone with one of her boyfriends. Dave was filling out a form of some sort, probably for work. Lorraine was flipping through George's novel. "Hey guys," he said, smiling brightly.
Linda and Lorraine nodded their hellos. Dave looked up. "Hey bro. You came in pretty late last night, didn't ya?"
"Yeah. Jen and I got to talking about -- well, all sorts of stuff."
Dave nodded, a sneaky smile on his face. "Must have been a nice chat, she walks to talk more. She called and said to meet her this afternoon in Oak Park."
"Oh, Dave, I believe Marty when he says they were talking," Lorraine gently chastised. "Your father and I had plenty of dates just to talk and snuggle."
"Yeah, Dave, get your mind outa the gutter," Marty said. Dave just grinned and went back to his form.
George appeared on the scene, frowning. "Lorraine, have you seen my glasses?"
"They should be in your suede jacket, honey. Honestly, we should buy you a case or a string or something. You keep losing them."
"I also keep forgetting to buy the case," George said, retrieving the wanted item. "I should just keep my contacts in all the time."
There was a knock at the door just then. "I'll get it," Marty said. He opened the door to see Doc, Clara, and Biff standing there. Doc and Clara had obviously gone shopping that morning, as Clara was sporting a very pretty modern dress. Biff had changed into a red sweat suit. "Hi Marty," he said politely. "I'm here to do some more work on the truck."
"Right in the garage," Marty said, trying to hide the contempt he felt for the man before him. After dealing with at least four versions of him, and an ancestor, Marty didn't exactly feel glad to see him. "And don't forget--"
"Two coats of wax, I know, I know," Biff nodded, heading for the garage. "Little prick," he murmured under his breath.
Marty ignored this and turned to Doc. "Hey Doc, how ya doing?"
"Fine, fine. How are you?"
Marty glanced back at his family. "Just great," he smiled.
"Hi Dr. Brown," Linda called, hanging up the phone. "Who's your friend?"
Doc and Clara exchanged a loving glance. "This is Clara Clayton," Doc introduced Clara. With a very subtle wink at Marty, he added, "My fiancee."