A/N: Set the night Marty first arrives at Doc's house in 1955.

"What do you think is wrong with it, Doc?" the teenager asked as Doc backed the Packard up to the trailer beside the garage and Marty tugged, latching the hitch together so the ball met the hollowed-out cavity of the metal tongue of the trailer. It clicked in place as Doc picked up the wires for the trailer's brake lights, connecting them to the car. He tested the lights as Marty picked up the heavy canvas car cover and tossed it in the backseat of the Packard.

"I can't say really until we get it back here," Doc got into the car as Marty joined him. "might be an altenator problem."

"Is that the thing which directs the power from the battery?"

"Yes." Doc didn't think that Marty was the type of boy who knew much about cars. The teen met his eyes and guessed what he was thinking.

"It was the last semester in 8th grade and I had a choice of chorus class or shop-er what they called car repair," Marty explained. "I chose shop so that I didn't have to sing."

"Makes sense." Doc sniggered a bit as he put the key in the steering column and turned the car on.

Once they were back in the garage, Doc unhitched the trailer and came inside as Marty pulled out the suitcase 1985 Doc had packed. He left it on the DeLorean's hood as he pulled out the camera and his Walkman from the passenger side seat and rooted through Doc's electrical supplies. When he found what he needed, he plugged the video camera into the TV inputs and turned it on.

"Glad I just put batteries in this sucker..." he murmured as Doc pawed through his elder self's suitcase. Doc had been ogling a Playboy magazine and muttering to himself and Marty had to hide a smirk.

"Hey Doc, come on." the teen had discovered Doc's nudie magazine stash practically when he first walked in the door of the scientist's garage about 4 years ago in 1981. Marty had purloined a few of them to look at that night in his house when everyone went to bed and spent a few hours highly entertained by the lurid photographs. To his knowledge, Doc had never found out about what he did.

After the revelation about the lightning bolt, Marty stuffed his hands in his pockets and shed his red down vest. He'd gotten so many comments about it being a life preserver that he threw it in the DeLorean's trunk so nobody would see it again. Doc was already pulling parts out of his workbench drawers, ready to start on his hastily devised plan. Marty watched halfheartedly, barely realizing how tired he was. Once Doc was on a roll with a plan, there was no stopping him no matter what time of day it was.

Near 11, Marty sat down on the red couch as he watched Doc a bit. Copernicus jumped up next to the teenager and settled down, his front paws on Marty's thigh. He sighed and put his head down on top of his paws, closing his eyes sleepily. Marty stroked the dog's head, feeling his own eyelids getting heavy as well. He leaned back and stripped off his denim jacket, pulled his suspenders off, then stretched out a bit, carefully not jostling the dog.

Flashes of Doc getting shot passed behind his eyes and Marty opened them with a little gasp, not realizing he'd been dozing for several minutes. He took several deep breaths to try to calm himself down as 1955 Doc leaned over the DeLorean and began to pound away with a hammer.

Settling back further in the couch, Marty tried calling up past happy memories with Doc. There were a few times when Doc had helped him study for science and math tests and he'd returned with good grades in all of them. With Doc helping him out, he'd raised his grade from a C to a B average and it had climbed up since then. He wasn't a straight A student by any means, but he was certainly pleasing his parents.

Marty's mom Lorraine had initially forbidden him to work for Doc, though when she saw his grades were improving, she had relented and let him stay an hour later at Doc's garage as long as the homework was kept up on. Doc had become like a father figure to Marty and it seemed to him that they both knew it. The scientist would always perk Marty up when he sensed the teen was down for any reason.

Without even realizing it, Marty drifted off to sleep with the dog still on his thigh.

Around midnight, Doc paused in his work, conceding that he needed to go to the hardware store in the morning to buy more parts for his project. He set down the ratchet and hammer, turning to the living area of the garage to ask Marty if he was tired.

Turning off the overhead light illuminating the DeLorean, he closed the gullwing door and walked into the living area where he saw Marty asleep on the couch with Copernicus next to him. The scientist paused again then turned off the lamp at the end table where Marty was. The teenager shifted in his sleep slightly, his expression darkening a bit like he was distressed in his dreams. Doc was inwardly fascinated, as he'd read all about the science of sleep and he knew that Marty was dreaming now. His eyes under his lids were moving frantically and the expression of distress deepened his features until Doc got concerned.

Debating whether to wake him, Doc sat down in the armchair for a moment. Marty gasped and woke up, covered in a cold sweat, his heart pounding in his ears. The teen blinked and his blue eyes settled on Doc who had started to stand up just as Marty focused on him.

"Marty? Are you all right?" Marty tried to wipe the cold sweat off his face, disturbing Copernicus a bit. The dog jumped off the couch and went straight for his master's lap.

"Ugh," Marty sighed. "I'm all right, Doc. Just a bad dream."

The scientist didn't look convinced at that statement but chose not to pursue the matter. "Well then, let's get up to the house. Come on, pup." he motioned for the dog, who loyally followed his master as Doc shut off the lights and locked up the garage. Marty followed listlessly as Doc entered his house and showed Marty where the guest bedroom was.

It was an average-sized bedroom with cherrywood door molding and furniture made out of maple. Doc fished out a pair of old pajamas and handed them to Marty, who looked at them with disgust. Oblivious to his new friend's uncomfortable feelings, he opened up the linen closet and handed the teenager a never-opened toothbrush and some toothpaste.

"I try to be prepared," Doc explained. "my father was a Boy Scout."

He sure wasn't prepared the night the Libyans came after him, Marty thought bitterly as he smiled and thanked Doc.

"My room is just across the hall here if you have any problems." Doc bade him goodnight and disappeared into his own room, leaving the door ajar for the dog.

The pajamas were too big for him as he suspected, so Marty threw them back in the bureau and took off only his jeans and button-up shirt. The teenager checked out his own personal bathroom and had to smile as he saw the countertop was made out of granite and there was a claw-footed bathtub complete with a ring on the ceiling for a wraparound curtain with shower apparatus. Marty pulled a few towels out of the linen closet and hung them up so they were ready for him in the morning.

Climbing into bed, Marty was about to turn the light off when he saw his door creak open a few inches. Copernicus came into his room timidly, his tail wagging hesitantly. Marty smiled and patted the bed, permitting the dog to jump up. Copernicus did so, giving Marty's face a grateful lick. Getting comfortable, Marty turned out the light and snuggled up with the dog, the reassuring presence of whom made Marty more relaxed and he fell asleep right away.

At 8 AM the next morning, Doc woke up, stretched, and commenced his morning routine. When he was ready for the day, he knocked on Marty's door and received no answer. Curiosity overcame him, as he'd never had anyone stay in the mansion as a guest before, and peeked into the room. Seeing that Marty was still sound asleep, he boldly stepped into the room until he was right beside the teenager and his dog. Copernicus gave his master a halfhearted wag, still too sleepy to do much else. Doc smiled down at his pet and let his gaze transfer over to Marty.

The scientist watched Marty sleep for a long moment, noticing with a little dismay that he hadn't worn the pajamas Doc had pulled out for him last night. They were too big for him as Doc thought they might be, so he wasn't inclined to press the issue. He needed to go shopping for Marty anyway and he mentally began to make a list of what to get. He took out a small legal pad and a pen and picked up Marty's jeans, making a note of the size, doing the same with the shirt and sneakers.

Marty was lying on his back with Copernicus lying down on one of his arms. The dog had positioned himself so that his head was near enough to Marty's so he could give him a good lick without effort. Doc reached over and smoothed out the bedsheet a bit, suddenly feeling a bit protective of Marty while he was asleep. Perhaps it was the vulnerability Marty projected while he was sleeping, Doc supposed. He didn't think much of it now as there were jobs to do.

"Want breakfast, pup?" Doc asked Copernicus in a low voice. "Come on then." the dog hopped down and trailed his master out to the kitchen.

Once he was finished with breakfast, Doc decided to let Marty sleep in. He'd had a long day yesterday and besides, from what Marty had told him, he was still recovering from a concussion. The scientist jotted down a quick note and left it on the table in case Marty woke up and didn't know where he was. Copernicus whined for a few moments after Doc left in the Packard, but he went back up to Marty and cuddled with him again.

Returning successfully from his outing, Doc picked up a few shopping bags and brought them up to Marty's room. It was almost 11 and Marty hadn't moved an inch from when Doc had checked on him earlier. Remembering Marty had a concussion, he fetched a small brown leather bag with his father's medical instruments in it and returned to the teenager's room.

Marty woke up, feeling like his right arm was being crushed. He opened up his eyes lazily to find that Doc had put a blood pressure cuff on his arm and was now using the hand pump to inflate it.

"Doc, what are you doing?" he mumbled sleepily.

"I'm checking your blood pressure. Shhh." Doc pressed a stethoscope disk just below the cuff and put the ends in his ears. Feeling like an invalid, Marty watched and knew that no protesting would get him out of Doc's examination of him.

"Your blood pressure is completely normal," Doc informed him. "lie down, I need to listen to your heart."

"Doc, I'm not dead," Marty did as he was instructed. "you should have done this yesterday."

"Marty," Doc's tone was stern and Marty had heard that tone from his friend several times over the years. "you suffered a mild concussion yesterday when you were hit and you were unconscious for how long? Nine hours?"

"So they say." there was still some mild pain in his head from that episode.

"Be glad I'm doing this now," Doc kept a smirk to himself. "if the accident happened here, I would have no choice but to wake you every 2 hours and ask you the same questions in repetition."


"To make sure you suffered no brain damage or memory loss." Doc listened to Marty's heart, checking the pulse rate. He examined Marty's eyes to make sure the pupils were of equal size and the teenager passed the examination.

"All right, you can get up now. Take it easy today." his friend cautioned as Marty sat up. "I got you new clothes you can wear." he indicated the shopping bags.

"All right, this'll be interesting." Marty said slowly as Doc gathered up his bag and left the room.

Marty took a shower and pulled out tan colored chinos and high top canvas sneakers in black with a white toe. He chose a white sleeveless shirt and put the items of clothing on. Copernicus hopped down from the bed, lashing his tail and looking up at Marty with his big brown eyes. Marty laughed and patted the dog.

"You know how to mooch with your eyes, you know that?" they left the room and started downstairs to see Doc in the living room. "So Doc, what are we doing today?"

Doc looked up from his notebook where he was drawing out his plan for the DeLorean. "I honestly would like to know how a man like me came to know a teenager like you."

Marty grinned and sat on the couch. "How much time have you got?"

"I don't need specifics, please!" Doc demanded. "Can you give me a general overview? It would help if we're to spend the next week together at least." he added.

"All right, I can work with that." Marty thought for a moment. "My mom forbade me to have anything to do with you and being a teen like I am, I got curious, you know? I sneaked into where you lived and you found me. Instead of being mad, you told me you'd seen me about town a lot and wondered if I would like a part time job."

"I did?"

"Yeah and you didn't mind I sneaked in. I think you were glad of the company. Everyone called you a weirdo and labeled you as dangerous but I didn't believe any of it. Besides, I just wanted to irk my mom." Marty gave him a crooked smile. "Besides, it worked! I had a job with fifty bucks a week and you let me look at your record collection."

"What did your mom think of all this?"

Amused, Marty sniggered loudly. "She didn't like it at first, then she kind of lightened up a bit when she saw I was returning home in normal shape. She also lectured me about being responsible and saving my cash. You helped me with my homework, my grades went up, so she never bothered me about working for you again."

Doc smirked. So many people thought he was loony tunes and he was just as sane as the next person on the street. Popular misconception and if people wanted to subscribe to popular misconceptions, they were losing out on what a good guy he really was. Doc warmed up to Marty even more now, gratified that he looked beyond his reputation and befriended him. Marty watched him and grinned. "I don't regret your friendship to me, Doc. Not one bit." he cuffed him on the arm as he got up.

"Yo, what's for lunch?"

Doc jumped up. "Damn, I forgot to go to the grocery store!"

While Doc was getting his errands done, Marty looked over the book collection in the library and selected a book titled Dracula by Bram Stoker. Sitting down on the leather couch, Marty opened up the book, allowed Copernicus to sit in his lap, and began to read.

At around 4 that afternoon, Doc came in with several bags of groceries. Copernicus woke Marty up by leaping off his lap and barking. Groaning, the teenager rubbed his eyes as he realized he'd been sleeping for the past 2 hours. Blearily he got up and bringing the book with him, watched Doc unpack the bags and put items away as he picked up a piece of paper and slid it into the book to mark his place.

"Marty, are you all right?" Doc threw the bags away and looked over to see Marty rubbing his eyes.

"Yeah, Doc. You just woke me up from a nap, that's all." he grunted.

"Sorry about that."

"It's all right." the teenager muttered. "I feel kinda low today anyway." flashes of Doc's murder shot through his mind every time he closed his eyes and it wore him down.

"Still feeling the effects from the concussion?"

"Yeah," Marty admitted. "my head still hurts some."

"After supper, you go straight up to bed and I'll give you some medicine to help," Doc suggested as he wrestled a package from the last bag. "sound all right?"

Marty suspected the medicine would make him drowsy, not that he didn't already feel that way. "That's all right, Doc."

As promised, Doc gave Marty some medicine to help with his head and as Marty suspected, it knocked him cold for several hours. He was already in the new checked pajamas Doc had gotten him that day and Marty tried to read for about 15 minutes after he took the medicine but it was no use.

Two hours later, Doc came in to check on his friend. The scientist checked Marty's heartbeat and pulse in his wrist as Copernicus licked Marty's face and whined.

"It's all right, Copernicus," he soothed his pet. "Marty's just sleeping."

Marty stirred and groaned at Doc's voice. "Doc?" he croaked.

"Marty, go back to sleep."

Marty's eyes flickered open for a moment. " ... 'm dizzy."

"That's just the medicine. Not to worry, Marty. I'm here to look after you this week." he really meant it too. Doc had already begun to think of Marty like a surrogate son. Marty gave a vague smile and drifted back to sleep.

Doc smiled as well, silently promising Marty that he would get him home.

Monday night

"Science fiction theater..." Marty mused, walking home towards Doc's house, a smirk growing on his face as he walked.

Marty opened up the door to Doc's garage and walked in, a curious little smirk on his face. Doc poked his head up from where he was looking at the time circuits for the DeLorean.

"How'd things go today? Did he ask her out?"

"Not yet, Doc."

"Damn!" the scientist smacked his hand down on the hood and swore as he drew it away, forgetting the car was made from stainless steel panels. "What is it going to take for him to work up the nerve to ask a girl out? It should be astronomically simple!"

Marty laughed. "Not necessarily, Doc. I was a nervous wreck before I asked my girlfriend out for the first time. She was more than understanding about the whole dating thing and said yes."

"I suppose you'd be right about that." Doc admitted. "I never had much experience with the opposite sex."

Marty shrugged. He could see that easily in Doc's eccentric personality. He didn't think any girl especially in the fifties would find Doc very endearing. The teenager knew that stereotypes ruled in those days though the teen crowd was doing their best to smash them down. Crossing over to the kitchenette, he got himself a snack and sat down, playing chess with Copernicus for about 30 minutes.

Finally, around suppertime, Marty helped Doc make supper, then as they were cleaning up in the kitchenette, Doc noticed Marty had a weird smirk on his face.

"What's on your mind, Marty?"

"Oh, I think I have an idea for how to convince my dad to ask out my mom," Marty set the last plate in the drying rack. "He's a big nerd, likes the science fiction stuff, what we call sci-fi in my decade. He told me that nobody on earth would be able to convince him to ask my mom to the dance."

"So you'll assume an alien persona for this?" Doc asked as Marty crossed to the DeLorean and pulled out his yellow radiation suit.

"Wouldn't be hard to convince him to ask out my mom in this outfit. When I first landed, old man Peabody thought I was an alien." he pulled out the hood and put it on. Doc rolled his eyes and sniggered as Copernicus started barking. Marty removed the hood and laughed.

"Hey Copernicus, it's me!" the dog sniffed his hand and barked a puppy bark this time.

"Good idea, kid. I'll drive you and make sure you have a fast getaway in case something comes up." he volunteered.

Marty barely heard him as he combed through Doc's suitcase, wondering what other items he could come up with that would scare his dad. Together, he and Doc set the plan for midnight. The teenager sprawled out on Doc's red couch with the dog again, engrossed in the Bram Stoker book.

Swinging down into the Packard, Marty remarked on how the chloroform had worked well as Doc started up the engine and drove out of the driveway. When they arrived home, Doc wanted to take another look at the videotape Marty had made. He asked Marty if he wanted to see it too and Marty had paled considerably until Doc had thought he was going to faint. The teen shook his head no, said he was going to bed, and beckoned to the dog. Copernicus had followed, sensing that someone was in need of his doggie comfort.

Once in bed, Marty put aside the Dracula book and stroked the dog's furry head, remembering the time when he had come down sick with tonsillitis and his mom had to call Doc and tell him that Marty wasn't coming in that week. Doc had understood and when Marty had his tonsils out, Doc had come to visit him. Marty was about 15 at the time and going through some peer pressure at school. Doc had counseled him through it and offered to talk whenever Marty needed it. Marty had thought of his working for Doc as working and counseling sessions in one, schoolwork and emotional. Doc really understood where Marty was coming from and he always treated Marty like an adult.

After he'd awakened following the operation, Marty had found himself in a private room with cards and flowers from his friends that told him to get well soon. When his vision cleared and he was able to think somewhat, he saw Doc sitting nearby his bed, reading an electronics magazine.

The scientist had looked up and smiled at seeing Marty awake. He came closer and began to talk. "Marty, I'm glad you're awake. Your mother called me 4 hours ago and said the surgery was successful. I've only been in here for about half an hour."

Marty was about to attempt to speak when Doc interrupted his thoughts. "Don't talk, Marty. Your throat is bound to be sore and talking will just make it worse. I've got paper and pen if you really want to talk, per se."

Marty had nodded gratefully. Doc always seemed to know him better than anyone else. He listened on as Doc began talking about his work, Einstein, and random other things that engaged the teen's mind and took it off of the pain he was in. By the time George had showed up, Marty was about to fall asleep and Doc was just about to leave. He greeted George warmly, told Marty to rest, and left.

All that was on Marty's mind now as he tried to sleep and wondered what would happen when he got back to his present time. During the walk into Hill Valley after stashing the DeLorean days ago, he had gotten emotional a few times but forced himself to think of the good times with his friend.

He tried doing that now, of Doc teaching him how to drive standard for his learner's permit and various other things until sleep finally caught up with him. Copernicus licked his hand and gave off a grumbling sound, causing Marty to faintly smile in his sleep.

Doc got up at his usual time around 8 a.m. and looked in on Marty. He was still asleep and Copernicus was still at his side. The scientist beckoned for the dog and he came willingly. Feeding his dog, Doc wondered for a moment why Copernicus was so glued to Marty's side recently. He knew dogs had a sixth sense when it came to human emotion and though Marty didn't look it, he seemed to be in need of a dog's moral support.

Copernicus chomped and slobbered away in the corner as Doc made coffee and sat down at the table. Marty came in, not looking well rested at all. He was a shade pale and there were bags under his eyes as he mumbled a good morning and sat down next to Doc.

"Marty, you don't look very well," Doc told him, giving him some coffee. "do you feel all right?"

The teenager yawned. "I'm all right, Doc. I didn't sleep well last night."

Doc let it be. Any more inquiries would irritate Marty and he knew the after effects of the concussion were completely gone by now. "Better hurry up or you'll be late for school."

"Aw, Doc..."

"No, you know the plan," Doc gently scolded. "off with you now."

Saturday night before the dance

Marty underlined DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 1985 with the calligraphy pen and waited for the ink to dry before folding up the letter and sealing it. He picked up the pen and ink and returned them to Lou with a mumbled word of thanks, then while Doc was fiddling around with his wallet, trying to find the permit, he slipped it into Doc's coat pocket. Casting a backwards glance at the DeLorean and Doc, Marty climbed into the Packard.

The 1941Packard was an automatic and Marty found his left foot looking for the clutch. With a mildly irritated smile, he set off for Lorraine's house.

His mind still on Doc, he lost himself in his thoughts again as he drove. Marty had some bad times in school with peer pressure and one incident was particularly vivid in his mind.

He'd come into Doc's garage with an embarrassed flush to his face and the scientist had noted that immediately. Seeing as how Marty was so distracted he'd set the dishwasher on a longer cycle than usual, he pigeonholed Marty and asked what was bothering him.

"Some guy at school was harassing me Doc, that's all." he grunted. Doc knew that wasn't right. Marty had been harassed plenty of times and he'd never let it bother him.

"There's more to it isn't there?" Doc was more intuitive to people's emotions than one might think. Marty shrugged his shoulders.

"All right, Doc. One of the guys at school was bragging about how many girls he'd, er, slept with and started asking me if I'd done it yet. I told him I wasn't going to rush it and the girls would like that better, then he started in making fun of me."

Doc nodded. He'd faced the same thing once upon a time.

"Some girls nearby overheard and said they would... be my first. I didn't want any of that, then all the guys and girls started making fun of me. I tried to ignore 'em like you said, but it just got so bad. To make things worse, Strickland came over and started whining at me because I was causing a scene in the hallways before class. He always calls me a slacker and all that crap, but it just seemed to cut deeper than usual today. I cut my last class and came here." Einstein wiggled his muzzle under Marty's hand and Marty smiled, caressing the dog.

"Well, Marty, I think you did the right thing today. You didn't get into any kind of trouble and you came to the one person you could trust." Doc announced, cuffing him on the shoulder. "Will the school call your parents if they find out you cut class?"

"If they did, nobody would be home." Marty answered. "Dave's working, Linda's doing something, and Mom and Dad are working until 6 tonight."

"All right." Doc stood up. "The best thing for you to do is be distracted. You'll be surprised how often it helps you."

Marty grinned. "What do you want me to do first, Doc?"

Steering the Packard into Lorraine's driveway, he honked once and shifted the car into park. His teenage mother came out wearing a peach colored dress and white heels with a white cloth shawl over her shoulders. Lorraine got into the car and greeted Marty warmly, to which he replied nervously, shifted the car into reverse and backed down the driveway.

During the ride, he was too nervous to really respond to any of Lorraine's quips and sallies, so he let her talk on and on as he concentrated on driving.

Lone Pine Mall

"Well, I figured, what the hell?"

Marty rolled his eyes as Doc got up and he did likewise. The place looked very much the same except the name of the mall was different. "I thought it was the Twin Pines mall, Doc."

The scientist looked confused. "Oh no. It's been the Lone Pine mall ever since they built it. Funny story goes with that actually. Old Eustace Peabody swore that he had an alien visitor one night which took out one of his pine trees."

"I bet," the teenager smirked as he petted Einstein. "should we refuel the car before the cops come?"

"Great scott!" Doc cried. "Back into your radiation suit-where's the DeLorean?"

"Stalled out in the town square again."

"Thought I fixed that." Doc and Marty got into his van and they parked it at his garage. Walking to where the DeLorean was sitting, they refueled the plutonium and were in the car as sirens flashed by. Marty heard rich Libyan cursing and yelling as Doc checked the engine of the car. Einstein sat in the passenger seat with the teenager, licking his hands.

"So what's the issue this time, Doc?"

"The altenator isn't giving it enough power. Damn!" he wiped his greasy fingers on a rag in his pocket. "I'll get that replaced in the future so this doesn't happen again." he tried the car and it started up.

Driving into Lyon Estates, Doc swung widely and nearly took out a hedge as he passed into Marty's driveway. Marty swore and hung onto the dog for dear life. His friend's reckless driving often scared him, even though nobody was around at that late hour.

He popped open the door and asked Doc a few things, shaking his hand and patting Einstein goodbye. He waved with his skateboard as the DeLorean accelerated and vanished. Barely muffling a yawn with his hand, he opened up the fence and left his skateboard underneath his window. Crawling in, he yawned again, kicked his shoes off, pulled his suspenders down, and collapsed on his bed.

His alarm woke him at 10:28 the next morning and sitting up, he briefly wondered if his trip was all a nightmare. Putting on his sneakers, he caught sight of the demo tape he made a week before. Jennifer told him it was great and she wouldn't lie. He figured he'd send it in so she would stop nagging him about it rather than the fear of getting a rejection letter. The teenager put the cassette in a brown envelope and wrote out the record company's address. Walking down the main hall, he hoisted up his suspender straps again and looked around.