Back to the Doctor
Go West, Young Man Part 7
Marty, Daisy and the Doctor were thrown to the floor, the lantern shattered, but the cave continued to rumble and move.
"It's a cave in," Daisy yelled, pulling Marty back to his feet. The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver for light and they kept running, dizzy and out of breath, rocks falling behind and beside them, each one seemingly only just missing them. Then, light, beautiful glorious light – the kind you could drink up and feel full on.
Marty's legs gave out and he let himself crumple to the ground, his breathing ragged.
"Oh my god, you're bleeding," Daisy noticed the gash on Marty's arm for the first time, his makeshift bandage haven fallen off somewhere during their mad dash to freedom. "Doctor, help him."
"I'd much rather have a real doctor," Marty muttered.
"I am a real doctor," the Doctor almost sounded hurt as he bent down and looked over his wounds. "But, uh, no harm in a second opinion."
Marty didn't sleep, but he dreamed. A fever of memories gripped his mind, memories spanning over a hundred years, and yet still somehow only a month. They collapsed together until he knew they were not so much ideas as a person in their entirety, compiling to a moment where he was sitting by a pond, leaning against a tree, Jennifer's head resting on his lap as she read a book.
"I keep having strange dreams," he said, looking down at her face.
And while it was Jennifer's face, there was something different – more wild – about her eyes and her hair was as black as the depth of space.
"Of course, silly. Who else would it be?" She smiled up at him, a smile that told him that she would never have a child, that Jennifer would never exist, that now and for the rest of his days he would be living with the guilt of-
Marty's eyes jolted open and he stared wildly around the room trying to get his bearings. He felt hot and dizzy and some rational part of his mind knew he was sick while the rest was trying to figure where – and when – he was.
"Doc?" He called out, the only word that seemed to have any meaning at this point.
"Hm?" A voice answered, and Marty felt something on his leg shift.
Marty looked down to see in the dim light a figure sitting next to the bed, their head nestled on his leg instead of a pillow. The head shifted and black hair fell away to find Daisy's pale face.
"Hey, you're awake," she stared at him with bedroom eyes, and her mouth in a half smile as she propped her head up with her hand. "Good morning."
"How long was I asleep? Where am I?" Marty looked around the strange room, but the morning light was too dim to make out any useful details other than four walls, a door and furniture.
"Just the night," Daisy leaned back and stretched, letting out a yawn. Marty stared at her dumbfounded, she looked like a centrefold model doing that. He desperately tried pushing that image into the deep recesses of his mind. "We figured you should have a proper bed, so we took you back to the Brown's place. I figured, you being his friend and all, he wouldn't mind."
Marty looked at the bandage around his arm. He could feel the wound hidden underneath, it slowly throbbed with pain, but it was manageable.
"How are you feeling?"
"Good. You have to be nice and healthy for time travel."
"What did you say?"
"Your Doctor told me all of his secrets. He owed me one."
"Wait, he told you about the TARDIS?"
"Blue box? Bigger on the inside? It was a hoot."
"He let you inside!"
"Of course, and he told me all about your little intergalactic tour."
"Jesus Doc," he looked worried for a moment. "You didn't see anything… uh, weird, in the TARDIS, did you?"
"You mean weirder than the basis of every concrete fact I ever knew suddenly becoming essentially useless?"
"… Oh good." So long as Daisy hadn't seen Jennifer he might escape this without destroying his timeline… again.
"Either way. I'm glad you're awake, I found something," she walked over to a desk and lifted something thin off of it. She came back and handed an envelope to Marty.
He held it up to the window, squinting at his name scrawled in ink. "I guess he forgot to send it."
"No," Daisy sat back down as Marty saw the seal was broken. He looked at Daisy in mock accusation.
"What? I was bored…"
He opened the letter and read the first few lines.
If you're reading this then I was right to plan ahead for this eventuality. As I've been getting closer to building my new time machine, a sensor I had been trying to build began picking up some strange radiation. I have yet to deduce the cause or meaning, but I theorize it is the residue of a search. I grow increasingly paranoid that there may be someone looking for me. It also made me realize there are too many unknowns out here and they must all be planned for!
Marty smiled, it was good to know one of his doctors thought plans were a good idea.
I hesitate to give you any sort of concrete schedule, lest this fall into unsavoury hands, not to mention that it's difficult to give you any kind of schedule, what with the temperamental time fluctuations, but I have compiled a list of destinations and time periods Clara, Jules, Verne and I have planned to visit…
"Thank god his mind comes up with all these crazy precautions…"
Daisy ignored him and leaned forward to put her hand on his. For the first time she didn't look certain. She bit the corner of her bottom lip.
"I have a favour to ask," she looked him intensely in the eyes. "A big favour."
"What is it?" Marty felt nervous.
She took a deep breath. "I need to get out, of here. I keep telling myself I'll make enough money to escape one day, but I know I won't. So help me. Take me with you, I don't mean forever, just to your next stop. As long as I get out of this trap I'm in I know I'll be fine. And then," she smiled as a tear managed to escape her clear eye and roll down her trembling chin, "then I have the whole universe to see, and I'm so ready to see it."
It was unbearable to stare in her eyes, so he looked at her delicate hand, and her thumb gently caressing his skin.
If Daisy left, if Daisy had the life she had always dreamed of and wanted, Jennifer would never be born… And if Daisy stayed, and spent the rest of her life suffering, Jennifer would be. How could he ask this woman to give up her life for a girl she would never even meet?
"It's not my decision."
"I know. I asked the Doctor myself when he was giving me my money. He gave me 10 whole dollars, you know, and I realized I'd never actually held that much money before, and in a month it'll probably be gone. It made me realize how trapped I was. So I asked, and he froze, like he wanted to say yes but he couldn't. He ran off before I really had a chance. That's why you need to-" Marty started pulling away when Jennifer grabbed his hand with both of hers and their eyes locked. "I need you to convince him. I need you to help me. To save me! Please… save me Marty McFly."
"Okay," Marty freed his hand from her grip. "I'll go and speak with him. I just need…" he went to pull the covers off himself when the brightening light revealed his clothes hanging up on the other side of the room. "I just need some privacy, to get dressed."
"Okay," she smiled, then leaned forward and hugged him, kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you. Thank you so much."
She got up and left Marty alone, and for a minute he just sat there in stunned silence. Finally he managed to drag himself to Doc Brown's desk and he sat down to write a letter. When he was finished he got dressed and walked out to the TARDIS which the Doctor had moved to the back yard of Doc Brown's house.
The Doctor was standing by the consol and looked up when Marty walked in.
"Well you're up bright and early."
"Yeah, crazy dreams kept me up," he took a step forward, sternly closing the door behind him. "Hey, listen Doc, we gotta take off fast."
"Why? What's the matter?"
"We got to get out of here before Daisy finds out we're leaving."
"Oh," the Doctor looked away. "Right, well I guess we best be going."
"We're doing the right thing, right Doc?"
The Doctor looked up at Marty. "What matters is that it's what has to be done," he slapped his hand down, hitting a lever, and the TARDIS breathed out of time.
Daisy heard the noise, the strange husking wheezing of the TARDIS. She ran to the window and saw the TARDIS dissolve into nothing.
"No," she choked, then hiked her skirt as she ran down the stairs to catch them. She threw open the door, just in time to see the last blink of blue light and then – storm clouds building in the atmosphere, an oncoming storm, and Daisy was alone.
She didn't say another word, or scream or cry, instead she turned around and walked back inside. There, on the kitchen table, she saw a sealed envelope sitting on the table. For a moment she was too angry to open it, she wanted to tear it up and throw the pieces onto the fire, but she pushed the urge away and walked up to the table, opening the letter.
I know you're angry with me right now, and believe me when I say that you deserve to be angry at me. I wish I were better at letters. The truth is you can't come with us, because one day you're going to have a son, and eventually a great-granddaughter. If you left, that might change and never happen.
I'm sorry this isn't fair, but Daisy, you can still get away from this life you're in. You're the strongest woman I've ever met, and you shouldn't be afraid to go out and live your life (just, you have to do it in your own time, on your own planet).
Please take care of yourself, not for your unborn kids' sake, but for your sake and for the people who love you.
Daisy paused a moment, then tore up the letter – she didn't, however, throw it in the flames.
To Be Continued in: Zombie in Z Minor
(Oops, sorry this is a little lake. Essay + Pokémon White = Forgetfulness. Anyway… So if you've been reading these comments you'll know the original ending had a very different mood, i.e. happy. Basically when I wrote the outline I hadn't figured Daisy's character out, and once I had I knew she was the kind of person who would go off with the Doctor and whom the Doctor would be pleased to have along for the ride – but she's one person who can't. I wanted Marty to have to make a rather difficult decision, essentially choosing between Daisy and Jennifer. If only Marty could realize Daisy's the way better choice – if only because she has use of her motor skills. Also: trying to write a fever dream is fun! Hello free-floating consciousness! I tried not to make the dream too long, but hopefully it was confusing, Freudian and maybe even uncomfortable for your mind to process – as fever dreams always are.)