Disclaimer: Titanic and all the characters don't belong to me..* sob*

Author's note: I've decided to write this because Cal's portrayal as an 'unimaginable bastard' and ultimate bad guy is really getting on my nerves. I wonder how many people noticed that Rose wasn't a saint herself and it was also her fault that their relationship didn't work out. She never gave the guy a chance!!! This story is basically Cal's thoughts after he finds the drawing in the safe and an attempt to explain why he came up with the plan to frame Jack for stealing Heart of the Ocean. Personally, I think it was a completely human reaction to fight for the woman he loved, even if it meant playing dirty. I wonder if all the people who think of him as a villain would nicely step aside if someone was taking away the person they cared about. I certainly wouldn't.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story! And please, leave a review, no matter if you love or hate Cal… I just hope there are still some of his fans left. Or am I an extinct species? Well, then I'll get to have him all for myself, mwahahaha…
Ok, end of the ramblings…


"-I've got a better idea"-

Leaving Lovejoy with a questioning look on his face, Cal went into the drawing room and sat on the couch, hiding his face in his hands.

To tell the truth he had NO idea what to do and how to behave. He felt numb and empty, almost unable to believe what he just found out.

Almost. It was obvious - Rose did what she had always wanted to do - ran away from him, left him, finally "broken free" from him, the devil incarnated.

He was sick of it. Nothing he ever did was right. No matter how much he tried, she would always be displeased with him and reject him. To her, he could never be anything else but a heartless bastard, who cared only about his money and appearance. He could kneel before her and declare his love over and over again in most sincere words and she would still think he was just pulling an act to trick her into marrying him. He could give away heaps of money to help the poor, establish a charity organization and found orphanages in every major city of the Eastern Coast and Rose would say he was just trying to boost his image. No matter what good intentions he might have, Rose de Witt Bukater would never believe in them. She accused him of not caring about what she thought or liked, but every time he tried to talk to her, to simply get to know her better, she would make a laconic reply and stare off into space with that melancholic expression of hers, as if the world was crashing upon her head. He had often wondered what made her so unhappy. Now he knew - it was him; he was her greatest misery, their upcoming marriage a menace upon her future.

"Darling, now you can keep us both.." - how much bitter irony dripped from each word! How much hate and contempt flashed at him from between the lines!

"Darling"- she used to call him that quite often, but now the way she had said it rung in his ears and he realized how mocking was the tenderness of her voice.
Each time he had touched her, she stiffened. He had thought it was because she was not used to being touched by a man. No - it was because she hated HIM touching her.. She didn't mind being touched by that pathetic painter, to show her naked body to him.

Again, Cal looked at the accursed picture, feeling his insides cringe with anger, grief and regret. How seductively she gazed from it, at.. JACK, the way she would never look at HIM.
"..locked in your safe" -so that was what life with him was to be for her - a cage, an iron prison she craved to escape from..

What had he done to deserve this? Could she not see that he loved her? He could have had almost every other girl - he was rich and could marry whomever he liked. He knew her family was ruined and he didn't care. Hell, everybody knew - it was a public secret everyone whispered about ever since Henry de Witt Bukater died. People said he was crazy to marry her, when he could find a hundred other, better matches. Yes, of course, she was pretty, but she didn't have a penny! He didn't give a damn about what they said. Why then did she think he was obsessed with appearances ? Why did she think all that mattered to him was money?
He hadn't forced her to marry him. He asked her and she agreed. He thought it was because she felt something for him. Well, at least she seemed to, at the beginning of their relationship. Now it was so obvious her mother was forcing her to marry him. For money. Even if she had felt something for him at first, later on it was all because of Ruth's persuasion. One might call him blind not to see that earlier, but.. Hadn't he really seen it? Or was it just wishful thinking that made him ignore her rejecting behavior and stubbornly interpret it as a sign of something else? And hope - hope that everything would be alright, someday, somehow.. Well, he couldn't be blind anymore. Not after this..

And why??? Why did she do this to him?

He hadn't been a perfect fiancé, but she never gave him a chance anyway. There were times when she really tried his patience and he had behaved in a way he later regretted, but Rose treated it as a confirmation of her opinion about him. From the beginning of their courtship she looked at him with scrutinizing eyes, searching for a smallest fault, almost delighted when she found one, completely ignoring the good side he showed her. She saw what she wanted to see.
He was protective of her, sometimes even over-protective, he admitted that, but she saw it as possessiveness. He wanted to show her how much he loved her, so he gave her most beautiful things he could buy. Every time she opened a gift from him, he looked at her hopefully, trying to catch a glimpse of warmth in her eyes, but all he ever saw was this blank, distant stare. He was never taught how to speak about his feelings, but she made it an even harder task than originally. He went to her many times, intending to start an honest conversation, tell her plainly how he felt, but when they were face to face and she regarded him with that cold stare, suddenly all he wanted to say felt foolish and pathetic. She already thought he was too pompous anyway.
Lord, the last thing that anyone could say about him was that he was shy - a self-confident, successful businessman who didn't flinch or hesitate when he had to shout at a whole group of men if they hadn't done their work properly, turned speechless when he was about to talk to his own fiancée. There was always this silence between them, silence overflowing with unspoken words and misunderstood actions.

For God's sake, if she didn't love him, why couldn't she just TELL him???!!! If he was doing something wrong, at least he had the right to know to make it better. She just convicted and condemned him without a trial.

He opened himself before her that night when he gave her Le Coeur de la Mer, tried to tell her how much she meant to him and ask her what was wrong, but she kept that bleak expression, staring into the mirror, slipping further and further away from him, shutting him out so plainly that he could hear the door slamming in his face.
It was driving him insane. He rarely lost control over himself, but that morning after she went to the steerage party with Dawson, he just couldn't hold out any longer. He regretted his explosion afterwards, but he was just a man, for pity's sake, not a saint!!!

Now this- she made love to and ran away with a man whom she had known a couple of days, while she had never let him, her fiancé, kiss her. Could she have made it more plain that she hated him???

Everything just went crashing on his head. What was he supposed to do now?? Draw back like a well-bred gentleman or perhaps be noble, shoot himself and make everyone happy? Or maybe just act like a normal human being and let go of his anger?

He loved her, damn it. He loved her and she hated him and there was not a thing he could do to change that. If only she cared a little. If only she cared enough to tell him she was sorry but it wouldn't work between them. She WAS NOT sorry. She didn't give a damn about what he felt. In fact, she thought he didn't feel anything at all. Rose de Witt Bukater left him with less regret than you leave a broken hair pin. And he would give his very life for her. He would give up everything he had if only there was a chance she would love him.
Oh, how he hated himself for it.! Why couldn't he be the man she thought he was? Heartless and cold?? Maybe then he wouldn't feel this maddening pain that seemed to tear him into pieces.

Funny how helpless one can be. What do you do when you find out that the person most dear to you will never return your feelings and, moreover, thinks you are the most despicable creature on Earth?

What do you do????!!!!

Cal shut his eyes and massaged his temples. The storm of thoughts and voices was giving him a violent headache.

"I see you've had that undertaker of a manservant follow me, how typical"

Cal's eyes snapped open. He regarded the drawing with a sad expression and softly caressed the face that gazed seductively from the sheet of paper. God, he would do everything to make her look at him like that.
Yes, she hated him. She despised him. She was ready to live in a gutter just to be away from him. He should give up. But he couldn't, he couldn't let go.
There was one more thing he would try. The idea that came to his head was exactly what Rose thought "typical" of him. His gaze fell from the face on the drawing to the diamond on her neck. He was probably going to make himself even more despicable in her eyes by executing the little devilish plan that formed in his head, but he had to try it. If there was a chance he could get rid of Dawson and get Rose back… Well, she had never really been his, but… He loved her, more than he had realized. How could he let her go without a fight?
He would be playing dirty, but then again, what else did she expect of him?

He got up and went to the safe.

"Lovejoy!" -he called, taking out the case with the Heart.

A bitter, dark smile formed on his lips as he glanced at the drawing one last time before putting it away.

~What you see is what you get, d a r l i n g~ - he whispered and locked the safe.

~E N D~

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