Disclaimer: I don't own Back to the Future. It's a fact, look it up!

Author's Note: Well, happy new year (late, I know) to everyone and welcome to my sort-of 'Back to the Future IV'. Or at least, it is a BTTF IV in that it is a direct sequel to the Trilogy and details with Doc and Marty having another insane adventure, with the main subplot being 'Will Doc end up back in 1986 or not'? Or at least, that's the main question Dr. Emmett Brown is concerned about.

Now, this story was written after the BTTF game came out, and rereading it I found out a lot of the game's plot had subconsciously leaked into this (specifically the alternate reality, convincing an alternate version of your friend to help you, and some other things) but there's no way I could avoid it without rewriting the whole story. But I ensure you that the story is mostly different, and that the main ideas could and would probably have been concieved even if the game had not come out. Now, there are a few references to the Game, with some sentences directly lifted from it, but those are just that - references. And I would think that's okay. Anyway, have fun - or not - reading this new story. And don't forget to review!

I'll Be Back In Time


Sunday, October 27, 1985
1:13 PM PST
Hill Valley, California

"Hey Doc! Where ya going now, back to the future?"

"Nope! Already been there!"

Marty McFly grinned and took a step back as the enormous steam train folded in, and then lifted up from the ground. He lightly squeezed Jennifer's shoulder as the time machine ascended into the sky, turned around and accelerated to eighty-eight miles per hour. After reaching that speed, the vehicle lit up and vanished into the past with an enormous explosion. Despite the fact that the train was in the sky, several feet away from them, Marty and Jennifer had to take a step back to prevent being blown back into the grass again.

Two familiar fire trails shot out of the place the train had once been, and subsequently dissolved after a few seconds. Marty stared at them, the last remnants of a hectic weekend. A gasp from Jennifer brought him back to reality. He looked at his girlfriend to see that she was watching the place the time train had departed from just like he was, only much more astonished.

Marty grinned at her and gently patted her on the back. "Relax, Jen" he whispered. "It's just a time machine."

Jennifer frowned, and smiled at him. She probably realized that to him, time machines were 'just' normal. He had been spending quite some time with them, after all. "You must have had quite a weekend" she said. "Travelling through time…"

Marty grinned again. "You bet" he said, gently steering her towards the truck. Jennifer looked at him in a way that made him blush. Even if this was all he had been forced to go through the entire mess for, it would have been worth it. Jennifer Parker was one clear reason for his idea that being trapped in the past was a dystopia – she simply wouldn't be there, and without her, Marty wouldn't want to be there.

However, Docwas not here. Marty came to a halt, thinking about the last words he had shared with his old friend. Doc had come back here 'to pick up Einstein', as he put it, and to ensure that he, Marty, wouldn't be worried. That was all very nice, but the seventeen-year-old couldn't help but think that those sentences implied more. That Doc, even now that he had got a time machine at his disposal once more, might not want to move back.

It did make a lot of sense. Though Marty still couldn't grasp that Doc had managed to father two sons of whom the oldest was at least seven or eight years old, he did get some of what it meant. To him, a few hours had passed since his departure from 1885. To Doc, years must have gone by. If Doc's home was in the 19th Century, with a wife and kids, would he really want to give all that up just to please one 1980s kid?

"Marty?" Jennifer asked. She nudged his side. "Are you all right?"

Marty looked at her, and from her to the truck they had reached. Sighing, he put his hand on the car. "Yeah, I'm fine" he said. "I was just… thinking. About Doc and everything."

"I can imagine that" Jennifer replied. "You did just go through an amazing adventure. Where have you been? When have you been?"

Marty smirked. "Too much places to keep track of" he said. "The fifties. The future. The Old West. Only a weekend passed here but it was more like two weeks for me, if not three."

Jennifer grinned. "So that's why you were acting like you hadn't seen me for a week yesterday" she said. "Because you really hadn't."

"That's right" Marty confirmed. "I had just spent a week in the 1950s. My first time trip. Doc revealed the time machine to me that night, but he was then shot by Libyan terrorists." Jennifer gasped, but didn't say a word. "When I was fleeing from them, I ended up in 1955. I, accidentally prevented my parents from falling in love, and worse, my mom got a crush on me."

Jennifer frowned. "How on earth did you manage that?"

"Actually, it was very easy" Marty muttered. "Dad was supposed to meet Mom because Mom's Dad hit him with the car. However, I pushed him out of the way and so I ended up unconscious in his place. When I woke up, I was in my mom's bedroom – she must have been tending to me ever since I was knocked out. And she was madly in love with me." Marty shook his head. "I can't imagine what I would have done if I hadn't managed to get her to fall for Dad instead."

"I suppose so" Jennifer whispered. "But we can talk about that later – and I see the issue is making you uncomfortable. Why were you thinking about Doc?"

Marty shrugged. "I was imagining that he might not want to come back now" he said. "I'm not sure how long he's been in 1885, but it must have been quite some time. Sure, it'll be nice to stay in 1985 for a while, and if he would show up this afternoon with another mission for me then I'd blow up on him, but…" He shrugged again. "He didn't even say anything, you know? No confirmation and no denial. Just that he came back to pick up Einstein and that he didn't want me to be worried. That kind of implies that he's staying in the Old West for good, but…"

"I understand" Jennifer said, patting Marty's back. "I hope it won't come to that, but… well, at least he did give you that picture to remember him by. I know it's not much, but at least it's something."

Marty sighed. "Right" he muttered. "I do hope he'll come back, you know. My life just won't be the same without Doc. After all that trouble I went through to save his life… twice… it's probably kind of selfish, since he's got Clara and all, but I would really miss him."

"I know" Jennifer said. "But well, it's all in the future. Or perhaps in the past, where and when Doc is now, but even then…" She swung an arm around his shoulder. "Why don't you focus on clearing out the wreckage of the car and recovering from your adventure, and then you can think about Doc later." She smiled. "He might be back before you know it."

Marty nodded. "You might be right" he said. "I would really like to believe that. But even if it isn't going to be true… well, you've got a point about the car as well. We really can't leave it lying around." He walked over to the truck and opened the trunk. "Let's see. How much do you think we can store in here?"

"Not much" Jennifer replied. "What are you planning to do? You can't take the entire car…"

"I won't" Marty said. "We'll just have to take the most important things – the flux capacitor, the time circuits and the Fusion reactor, and any other things that may look important." He smirked as he saw the confused look on Jennifer's face. "I'll explain it all later. Let's get to work now."

Jennifer nodded, and they set off towards the car wreckage. As they did so, an image of Doc floated through Marty's head once more. He wondered where the inventor might be. Was he still in the 19th Century? Had he made a decision about his future? What had happened to Jules and Verne, to Clara?

Marty shook his head. Never mind that, there was no way he could get answers to those questions now. And that might be for the best – he'd really like a few weeks to relax, even if that meant spending time without his best friend. However, he already knew that one day, he would seriously start missing his friend, and wonder about the answers to those questions, answers he knew he couldn't get right now. But perhaps, just perhaps, there would be a day he would find out. And waiting for that day would certainly be worth it.