Genre: Alternate Universe/Romance
Rating: PG, later on R.
Warnings: Slash/Femslash, Shoujo-Ai otherwise known as Lesbianism.
Summary: What if the Jack Dawson that stepped upon the decks of the Titanic was a woman? Appearing as a man and befriending then falling in love with one Rose De Witt Bukater? The AU, Gender-bending, Lesbian version of this blockbuster movie. Yes it's Titanic with a twist!
Authors Notes: Don't read if the subject matter is not to your liking, and don't flame with homophobia either. Please, if you're going to flame, at least have some good reasoning behind it, whether it be with critique on the writing quality, characterization (yes I know Rose wasn't a lesbian in Titanic, this is a 'what if' after all) so don't say that aspect is OOC or whatever. Also, Jacqueline Dawson masquerades as a man so don't think I forgot when she is sometimes referred to in the male pronouns.
Chapter One: A Somewhat Desperate Meeting.
Jack Dawson's eyes fell on the woman by complete chance, and by her own decision kept them on her. She was well-dressed, obviously a first-class passenger. Her bored expression lighting over the excited bodies beneath her without so much as a flicker of notice. Then a man in similar expensive attire came up beside her, they entertained a few words, she looked around irritated, met Jacks eyes briefly without interest and left the upper-deck disappearing from sight. Jack turned back towards the ocean, leaning against the guard-rail, watching the last line of land sink beneath the horizon. An elbow nudged her side, her eyes darted over Fabrizio.
He snorted humourlessly,
Children darted back and forth across the deck, exuberant over the magnitude of the ship. Parents watched with mild fear, pulling the youngest back to safety when they dared to climb upon the barrier. Clothing outfitted in worn browns, grays and blacks. Cheap fabrics of the lower-class made rough with wear and age. Jack stood amongst them, indistinguishable from the rest. It was the way she preferred it. Being apart of the crowd allowed her the freedom she craved as well as the security to not be found out. People looked at her and saw a handsome young man of lower-class beginnings, but clean and tidy and otherwise appealing which was not something her companion could say.
Fabrizio was currently in mid-conversation with an Irishman who's clothing carried as much dirt as his. Disinterested she turned her attention back to the children playing a few feet away, immediately taken by the little girl sitting on her father's knee. Making a grab for her drawing case Jack realized it was still sitting on her bunk, packed in her rucksack below deck. Resigning herself to fetch it later she made a gesture to Fabrizio that she was going to go walk around some more. He nodded, his animated discussion with the Irishman not stopping.
The past day flitted in and out of her mind as she walked the miles of decking afforded her. The chance poker game and following ten minute rush to get onto the ship before it set sail was like a dream. She was finally going back home to America, even though some memories of her life there she preferred not to think about. How her family would be outraged by her appearance. They would no-doubt disown her on site or try to put her in the asylum again. But she wasn't going to see her family, she'd steer far clear of Chippewa Falls and would be happy to never set foot there again. New York though, she'd been there once and never forgot. It was along her trip upon leaving the country in the first place. She'd been awed by the buildings, amassed upon the sky, towering concrete and glass, and then she was away on a cheap working vessel, dressed for the first time as a boy and meeting the quick smiling Italian, offering a game of cards to pass the time.
The sun had lowered almost to the horizon by this time, its glare painful on her eyes as it was reflected by the water. Fabrizio yelled out to her from the distance, they would be going downstairs; the crew was ringing the bell as the 3rd class dining hall was now open.
Having left the Italian once again to his socializing, Jack made her way along the now midnight decks of the Titanic, drawing case firmly in hand. A cigarette bobbed from her mouth, a nameless tune rising with unintelligible words. The cold was powerful but not enough to make her retreat below. She could only take so much of it down there, the spaces though generously large, still made her feel claustrophobic. The build-up of smoke would quickly overwhelm and irritate her eyes, making it much less enjoyable. So she would climb up on deck to the veritable solitude the frozen air gave her. Content to meander at will.
On one particular night such as this, Jack laid on a secluded bench mapping the stars dreamily in her minds eye. She heard footsteps in the distance but paid it no notice until she felt the gust of wind as the body hurled itself past where she was sitting, sobs echoing on the metal. Now curious, Jack sat up and saw as the figure, a woman leant against the railing at the far end of the ship. She stood, carefully putting out her cigarette and tucking it behind her ear she walked towards the audibly distressed woman. As she got closer she recognized the bored rich girl from the deck, days before. Her face now distraught and pale, hair unkempt and whipping in the biting wind. She watched her place a foot on the rail, step up, the next foot swung over the top and placed on the opposite side. She'd managed to get completely over the side before Jack realized what she was doing and balked.
"Don't do it!"
The woman jerked her head up, cheeks glistening with tears, surprised and angry by the others presence.
"Don't come any closer!" she stuttered, teeth chattering with cold and fear. Jack stepped forward carefully, hands rising in a peaceful gesture.
"I'll jump, stay where you are." Jack decided to try the cocky reply in hope that it would anger her enough to see reason.
"No you won't." the woman's face flushed with annoyance.
"How dare you say what I will and will not do!"
"Well if you were going to jump you would have done it already." Her eyebrows furrowed "You're distracting me that's why, go away!" Jack stepped closer. "I can't walk away, what kind of person would I be to leave you here alone? You're upset, I see that… here…" she drew the cigarette from the perch of her ear, put it to her lips, striking the match and lighting it. Holding it in her forefingers she took it from her mouth and held it out towards the other woman. "You don't have to do this… come on, just step back over the railing and have a smoke with me." Jacks stomach felt like lead as her words left her mouth, all on bravado. She felt as if she could throw up.
But those words appeared to not have the desired effect and the woman again looked out towards the water below with miserable determination. So Jack tried a different approach.
The sound of boots hitting the deck made the suicidal woman glance up in surprise. "What do you think you're doing?" Jack started unbuttoning her thick woolen overcoat, not looking up. "Well I can't very well let you do it can I? I'll have to jump in after you… sure I'm not looking forward to it but there aren't any other options."
"You'll be killed!" she exclaimed. Jacks coat dropped soundlessly by her boots. "I think I could survive the fall, it's the water being so cold that I'm worrying about." A hint of uneasiness touched the woman's features her voice losing some of her prior boldness. "How-how cold?"
"Freezing, give or take a degree. Cold so bad it feels as if a million knives are stabbing you all over your body. You can't breathe, you can't think, at least not about anything apart from the pain. I once fell through some thin ice while I was ice-fishing with my dad back when I was a kid…" You mean you were following your brother and father in the hopes they'll let the little girl join in but you stumbled and fell instead, almost dying. "… I know what its like, which is why I'm not looking forward to jumping in there after you."
"You're not going to…"
"Like I said before, I don't have a choice, so I'm hoping you might agree with me here and climb back over."
"With all due respect Miss… I'm not the one hanging off the back of a ship." She held out her hand "Come on… you don't want to do this."
A beat, and the woman's frozen pale fingers slid over hers. Jack gripped them firmly and grinned "I'm Jack, Jack Dawson."
"R-Rose DeWitt Bukater…" her voice stammering from the cold. Jack helped her get a footing and asked if she could tell her that again later. A sob and a laugh escaped her throat, breaking the tension and gravity of the moment, and then her dress with so many beautiful shimmering red colors got caught beneath her slipper, her foot shot off of the rail, her body lurching, falling straight down and then abruptly stopped as Jacks hand held desperately to hers. Her scream heard by a couple of crewmen further down the ships deck
Jacks muscles screamed as she held her weight by one arm.
"Don't panic!" She gasped "Just give me your other hand, its okay, you can do this, its okay…" Rose's body scrambled against the frozen metal of the ship, slowly inching upwards as Jack lifted her inch by inch. Breathe rasping with willpower it seemed an eternity had passed when finally Jack gave one last heave and Rose was over the edge, collapsed on the deck, breathe ragged from fright. The crewmen arrived to find Jack standing above her, her boots and coat thrown upon the ground.
"This is a mistake." Jack sighed as the handcuffs snapped shut, pinching her wrists. Rose sat in shock with a blanket wrapped around her. A man who looked as if he'd just come from the smoking room walked briskly up to her, concern clear in his features. Giving her the once-over he stepped over to Jack, a look of rage upon his features.
"How dare you assault my Fiancé!" at these words Rose appeared to come to herself and stood. "Cal…"
"… You're going to spend the rest of this voyage in the brink."
"I have everything under control…"
"Its not what you think… Jack, he… saved me…" at those words everyone turned and looked at her. Jack silently wondering how she would explain her brush with suicide.
"We, I mean I… was leaning over the edge. I… wanted to see the, the…" she made a roundabout movement with her hands,
"The propeller?" Cal blurted confused. "The propellers!" Rose continued. "I wanted to see the propellers and I slipped! If Jack hadn't been there I would have surely fallen."
Jack, the two crewmen, Mr. Lovejoy the head of security and Cal Hockley all stared at her in surprise. Lovejoy turned to Jack with suspicion.
"That was what happened then?"
Jack raised her eyebrows, hiding her surprise and relief. "Yeah… that's, pretty much how it happened." Cal gave one last look to Rose who nodded quickly in agreement and he gestured for her to be released. Lovejoy uncuffed her and she spent a moment rubbing the skin around her wrist. Cal fixed the blanket tighter around Rose's shoulders and moved for them to depart when she stopped.
"Darling, he saved my life, surely he deserves a reward of some kind?" he looked at her as if she'd suggested they sleep in the third-class section. Shaking his head he pulled out a few bills (much more money than Jack had seen for a while) and handed them to her. He paused a moment, then smiling he shook her hand.
"Thank-you Mr. Dawson I don't know what I would have done if she'd fallen… you couldn't possibly refuse a dinner invitation? Tomorrow night in the dining hall. You could regale us with your heroics; it'll make for far more interesting discussion." Jacks hand felt suddenly small in his firm grip, she smiled thinly.
"I couldn't possibly…" she started to apologize when Rose spoke up. "It would be an honor if you could." A spark of hope lit her eyes, something that would make next nights dinner somewhat bearable. Jack paused in her refusal, and thinking she would regret it later. Accepted the invitation to dinner. She watched Rose be carted off with her rich husband to be, letting a breathe escape her in relief. Mr. Lovejoy watched her carefully, then handed her a cigarette from his case.
"It happened all so quickly… I'm surprised you found the time to remove your coat and unlace your boots." Jack remained silent. Lovejoy raised his eyebrows, smiling once, then he turned and walked away. Jack shook her head, suddenly exhausted.
To be continued.