Author's Note: I don't own anything that has to do with the movie Titanic! I got the idea for this story from Howie Day's song, Collide. Anyways, I hope you enjoy…
Rose stepped off the Carpathia and was immediately thrown into a frenzy of reporters. Everyone pushed and shoved their way either away from the Carpathia or towards it, and she fought desperately to get as far away as possible. It was too much too soon. She had lost too much, there was so much heartbreak surrounding her that she found it difficult to even stand. She made her way over to a bench and quickly sat down, feeling overwhelmed by the crowd and the severity of her situation.
"Miss? Do you need to see the survivor's list?" A strange man asked kindly.
She managed to force a smile and shook her head. No, she didn't need to see the survivor's list. She already knew who had survived and who had died. Her lower lip began to tremble and tears brimmed in her eyes. No, she couldn't cry. He wouldn't want that. He wanted her to survive, to live for the both of them. Jack. The name almost escaped from her lips, but it wouldn't. It was far too painful to utter that name. Jack, Jack, Jack. He was gone. Surrendered to the icy waters that had taken Titanic with him. But he wanted her to live. And she would.
Nodding to herself in newfound determination, she abruptly got up from the bench and began to walk. She didn't know where she was or where she was headed, but it was a start. A step in the right direction. Suddenly, a smile broke out on her once grief-stricken face. Despite all of the pain and heartache, she was free of her chains. Free to go wherever and do whatever whenever she chose to. And she knew that somewhere, wherever he was, Jack was smiling down on her.
Jack Dawson stepped off the Carpathia with Tommy Ryan right behind him. The glare of the sun shocked his senses and he had to shield his eyes when he realized it wasn't just the sun that caused such a bright glare. Reporters swarmed the docks, like vultures waiting for their prey. The display sickened him and he was grateful that he and Tommy had managed to slip out of the crowd unnoticed by the reporters. They quickly left the dock and headed for the nearest shelter they could find.
"Jack, look! They're putting up Titanic survivors for free for a whole week!"
Jack's eyes flew to the sign and they quickly entered to arrange for a room. Once they were settled in, Jack threw himself onto his bed and began rubbing his temple.
Jack's eyes opened momentarily to reveal a concerned Tommy. He nodded and closed his eyes again. He just needed a few minutes to rest, that was all. Everything was fine. He heard footsteps and felt Tommy pat his shoulder.
"Don't worry. It'll all come back eventually." Tommy said reassuringly.
Jack cringed at his words, not wanting to be reminded of his predicament. Yet, Tommy's words brought back the memory of the previous day's events because that was all he could remember.
"Jack? I'm Tommy. You don't remember me, do you?"
Jack shook his head, desperately trying to recall the man in front of him, but his efforts were in vain.
"The nurse told me that you know me."
"Yes, we were on the Titanic together. I haven't known you that long, but I want to try to help you."
Jack grimaced. "Thanks, but I don't need your help. I can manage just fine on my own."
Tommy laughed and placed a hand on Jack's shoulder good-naturedly. "You never seemed like the type to accept help to me. But that's exactly what I'm going to do. We're friends, Jack. I know you don't remember, but we are."
"How much do you know about me anyways?"
"Only the bare minimum I'm afraid. But I'm willing to tell you everything I know."
And that was that. The first memory Jack had was waking up in a strange room, having absolutely no idea how he had gotten there. There were so many holes, so many nameless faces that flashed in his dreams. And it was so frustrating he couldn't think straight. Just the very knowledge that his life up until several days ago was a complete mystery was enough to make his head spin. But the faces overwhelmed his thoughts and flooded his dreams. There was a little girl with bouncing brown curls, a dark Italian man, a tall, wealthy-looking man, and a woman…she was always somewhere in his consciousness. Her porcelain face framed with fiery red curls. The smile that haunted his dreams. Those images were prominent in his mind and he wondered if they would ever leave. Yet, whoever she was, she was beautiful and part of him wanted those images to stay with him forever. But the other part of him wanted them gone…because he felt guilty. He had absolutely no idea who she was.
Tommy re-entered the room and met Jack's surprised eyes. Apparently, he hadn't known that Tommy had left. Silence encased the room for several uncomfortable moments until Jack finally spoke.
"I keep seeing these faces, Tommy."
Tommy nodded in understanding and quickly sat down across from where his friend sat.
"I might be able to help you with that."
Relief shown in Jack's eyes and the words tumbled out of his mouth.
"A little girl. She has brown curls and…"
"Cora. Her and her father were staying in the room next to yours. I don't either of them survived."
Jack nodded, a grim expression overtaking his once hopeful face.
"There's this dark-looking man. Sometimes I can hear his voice and he's talking to me about the Statue of Liberty…"
"That's Fabrizio. He was your best friend, Jack. From what you told me when we were on the ship, you two traveled all over Europe together. He didn't survive, Jack. I know that for sure."
Jack bit his lower lip to stop it from trembling. This was too much too soon. He didn't know how many more stories like this he could take. But he had to ask about the woman. He had to know if she survived.
"Tommy, there's one more I want to ask you about. I keep seeing her everywhere. She's gorgeous and…" He trailed off, not sure if he wanted to keep going with this one. Maybe it was better if he never knew.
Tommy's brow crinkled in desperation and frustration. He was talking about that first class woman, Rose. He had checked the survivor's list while they were still on the ship, but there had been no Rose Dewitt Bukater on the list. Maybe it was best that Jack didn't experience this loss. After all, he didn't remember her and Tommy didn't know much about what had happened between them anyways. Perhaps some things are best kept in the past.
"I'm sorry, Jack. I don't really know who you're talking about. She must have been someone you met before we did."
Jack simply nodded, slightly relieved that maybe she hadn't been on Titanic, that maybe she was out there somewhere waiting for him. But he didn't know her name, didn't know where she might be. His life got more depressing by the minute.
Rose Dawson couldn't believe her good fortune. The first restaurant she had tried offered her a job on the spot and there was even a room for rent above her new place of employment. It was a waitressing job but she knew it was the best she would be able to do for awhile. She needed more money before she could head out for the horizon that beckoned to her.
The first place she went was a nearby bank to deposit most of Cal's money and the Heart of the Ocean. She took out some of the money so she could get herself started. She would definitely need clothes and some furniture for her new home. Determined to enjoy her newfound freedom, she also found a bookstore and helped herself to several books that she was sure Cal and her mother wouldn't have approved of.
Making her way back the Marie's Café, she headed up the stairs and entered her room. Luckily, it already had a bed and with a little fixing up, she knew she could make it feel like a home.
After an hour of cleaning and minimal decorating, Rose stepped back and surveyed her handiwork. She nodded to herself with approval of a job well done and resigned herself to her bed. She sighed and rolled onto her side.
Suddenly, her heart constricted and her lips began to tremble ever so slightly. She immediately sat up and looked around her. She was free but that freedom had cost Jack his life. Without warning, the tears that she had been fighting back for too long began to flow freely down her cheeks. Her entire body shook from her muffled sobs and she began to punch her pillow in despair.
It wasn't fair. Jack should be here with her. He should be comforting her and holding her in his arms. He should be telling her how much he loved her and how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. But her wildest dreams were impossible and sometime she would have to face reality. Jack was dead. And she was alive. But at that moment, she didn't feel very alive. In fact, she felt very much like she had before she had met Jack. Trapped in a world of despair and pain. Except this time, the despair and pain was from a different kind of unhappiness, it was from her broken heart.
Jack ran feverishly down the street, in desperate search of some kind of store. Anything that would sell what he needed. Something had just taken over him and he couldn't stop the force that pulled him. When he finally found what he was looking for, he quickly purchased the items and ran back to his room in the same hurried fashion.
He ripped open the package and began drawing rapidly. He had to. He had to get the images out of his mind. As they appeared before him, he drew picture after picture in a frenzy of speed, sweat, and desperation.
When he had calmed down and looked back at the drawings he had just made, the first thing that struck him was the fact that almost every drawing was of some part of her. Eyes, a mouth, a smile, a shadowed figure, the back of her head, any image his mind had found he put on paper. In an rush of utter frustration and agony, he ripped the papers apart and threw them across the room. He stumbled out of the room, angrily wiping away the tears that had fallen down his cheek.