TOGETHER FOREVER

Jack and Rose raced through the stairways of the ship, searching for a way out. After being shot at by Cal and narrowly missing drowning behind a locked gate, they were finally nearing the deck. Jack saw a door in the partially flooded corridor.

"Come on, Rose!" he shouted, grabbing her hand and pulling her along.

Rose ran beside him, but she was growing tired—so tired. Why couldn't they both just get into a boat? So many of the boats had been launched half-full, there had to be room somewhere. They burst through the door onto the tilting deck of the ship. Not twenty feet away, a lifeboat drifted, having literally floated off the ship. Cal, brandishing an oar, was knocking people away from the boat.

"Rose, I want you to try to get on that boat. I think Cal will let you on...you are his fiancée, after all."

Rose shook her head. "I'm not going anywhere without you...and I most certainly won't go anywhere with him." She shuddered inwardly, remembering how Cal had shot at them over and over until he ran out of bullets.

"Rose, you have to get into a boat. You know how cold the water is. You won't last long out there—"

Rose interrupted him. "I'm a survivor, too, Jack. That's something I've learned these past few days. And I will not leave you to get into a boat with a man who tried to kill us."

Jack opened his mouth to argue with her, but fate had decided things for them. All of the thrashing around the lifeboat had caused it to drift closer to the deck.

Cal noticed Jack and Rose standing on the rapidly tilting deck. "Rose, get in the boat!" he shouted, setting the oar aside.

Rose looked up, startled. "No!"

Jack pushed her forward. "You have to get in the boat, Rose."

"Not without you."

A wave suddenly washed over the lower deck, pushing several passengers, including Jack and Rose, into the water.

"For God's sake, Rose, get in the boat!" Cal was becoming frustrated. She would sacrifice her life to stay with the gutter rat!

Cal swore under his breath. Then, before either Jack or Rose could react, he leaned forward and grabbed Jack's shirt, dragging him into boat. Passengers cried out as the boat tipped.

"Now, will you get in here?" he demanded. He hated the thought of helping Jack Dawson to live, but if it would mean that Rose survived, he would do it. Despite his actions earlier that evening, he still loved her.

Both Cal and Jack leaned forward to help Rose into the lifeboat. Rose jerked away, her fear of Cal warring with her love for Jack. Cal saw the fear in her eyes and cursed himself, knowing that if he had had any chance at all of winning her back, he had lost it when he had taken Lovejoy's gun. Nevertheless, he still wanted her to survive.

Rose tried to move away from Cal, but found that the icy water had already stiffened her limbs. Reaching forward again, Cal grabbed her arms, nearly toppling out of the boat as he did so. A moment later, she was safely in Jack's arms.

With the help of several of the men, Jack among them, the boat was moved out of the way of the sinking ship. Once safe, Jack and Rose huddled together for warmth and comfort, while Cal sat sullenly shivering several seats down from them. They watched, helpless, as the ship split in two and sank.

Within moments, the air was filled with screams as the people in the water felt the cold and begged for help. Jack grabbed an oar, intending to row back for some of the survivors, but Cal knocked it from his hands.

"No! They'll swamp us!"

Pushed beyond his limits by the strain of the sinking, Jack punched Cal, nearly knocking him out of the boat. The lifeboat swayed and tilted, and someone shouted, "Let them get out of the boat! Then we'll have room for passengers who won't try to tip us over."

Rose moved forward, sitting down between Jack and Cal. Both men stopped, afraid of hitting Rose.

"Stop it, both of you!" Rose shouted. "If this boat tips over, we'll all die." She turned to Cal, ignoring her fear. "If we're careful, we can bring a few people on board without swamping the boat." Grabbing oars, she and Jack began to row, despite the protests of the passengers.

A few survivors had managed to swim near to the lifeboat, and Jack and Rose, with the help of a few other passengers, pulled them in. By this time it was growing quiet, and the boats began to be gathered close together. Afterwards, one boat went back to look for survivors, but they found only six.

There was nothing for the seven hundred survivors to do but wait. Some cried, or tried to sleep, though the bitter cold made sleep nearly impossible. Others talked quietly, as if afraid to disturb the tranquility of the sea. Rose and Jack moved into another boat, away from Cal, who spent the few hours passing a bottle of brandy around.

Early in the morning of April 15, 1912, the Carpathia arrived to pick up the survivors. Jack and Rose were helped from their boat, and given warm blankets to wrap themselves in. Cal went to the first class area, found Ruth, informed her that the wedding had been canceled, and then, in a twinge of conscience, offered to support her as long as necessary. Ruth, however, having heard about Cal's attempt to kill her only child, wanted no part of him. She joined Rose and Jack in third class, having realized that there were far more important things in life than class and money.

The Carpathia docked several days later. Jack and Rose were married on April 26, 1912, with Ruth's approval.

Cal returned home. He married in 1915, and lived prosperously, if less than happily, until the stock market crashed in 1929. Given the choice of living in poverty or dying right away, Cal put a pistol in his mouth.

Jack and Rose were married for sixty-nine years, and had three healthy children. Ruth lived with them until she found a job, discovered that she actually liked working, and joined the Women's Suffrage movement alongside Rose and Molly Brown. Rose worked for a time as a waitress, then quit when she landed a small role on Broadway. She went on to become quite successful as an actress.

Jack, too, was successful. Shortly after he and Rose were married, an art dealer bought a drawing from him and insisted upon showcasing Jack's work. The Dawsons lived prosperously, and traveled extensively over the years.

Jack died in 1981. Rose was filled with grief, and almost didn't want to go on, but Jack had realized that she had many good years left, and had made her promise to make the most of them. Rose did as he asked, returning to the stage despite her age, traveling around the world, and speaking on behalf of the poor. She moved in with her granddaughter Lizzy in 1992, and lived with her until her death in 1996.

After she died, Rose returned to Titanic, where Jack was waiting for her. They traveled on for all time, together forever.

The End.