The Whistle

Based on situations originated by J. Cameron

I'm sure that by now you know that I'm not James Cameron and, therefor don't own Titanic. I'm just a fan who -still- can't accept that Jack died.

Rose felt frustrated. There was not a more appropriate word for it: she was frustrated. After spending all day with Jack, hiding from her mother, she couldn't believe that she had been found just in time to be placed on a lifeboat with the woman she practically hated. And the worst part was that Jack had been pushed away from her. Now the Titanic was sinking and she didn't have a clue as to Jack's faith. She just prayed he had found his way to another lifeboat. She needed him; she wanted to start over and she needed him by her side, to guide her, to protect her… She couldn't picture herself starting over alone. Jack had to join her.

She hadn't noticed that tears had formed in the corner of her eyes. What if Jack didn't make it? Would she go back to her fiancée and pretend nothing had happened? Or would she have the strength to turn her back on her mother and Cal and move on, with nothing more than Jack's memory to keep her company? She doubted she was strong enough to break free; at least not alone.

She looked up once again and saw the Titanic slowly but surly sinking. At the beginning she had held some hope: Titanic was the unsinkable ship, the floating palace. Surly they were evacuating them as a precaution, not because they were in real danger. But there was no doubt about it now. Half of the ship was under water and there didn't seem to be a way back. Deep inside she knew that in a matter of minutes she'd be gone.

Rose was unable to look at it for any longer, so she looked down at her shoe, trying to stop the tears. She couldn't lose it; not yet. She had to remain calm. She sighed and felt a bit more serene, but she didn't look up though.

She was surrounded by other women that seemed to be in the same state of shock than her. Some sobbed, some whispered prayers, but most of them stare quietly at the ship. Only one of them acted completely naturally, as if nothing had happened.

"Do you think we'll have to stay here for much longer? It's very cold and I'd like a cup of tea," she said loudly.

Rose looked up, a mixture of emotions filling her. People were dying and all the woman could think about was tea? She should be thankful she was on a boat!

"Shut up, mother!" she suddenly snapped. This was too much for her. She had put up with much of her mother's attitudes, but this was more than she could handle. "Don't you understand that people are dying out there? Don't you realize that the water is freezing cold? Are you aware of the fact that in a couple of minutes hundred of people could –and will, in fact- die?" she asked in a whisper, not wanting to spread panic among her companions.

"Why should I worry about them? You're here, right? Rose, you're my family and I'm yours. All we have is each other. Now, I understand you're worried about Cal, but…"

"Oh my God," Rose said in disbelief. "I can't believe it. After everything that has happened, you still think I'm worried about Cal? I'll tell you mother, if he dies tonight I won't spill one tear over him. And as for that family thing…"

"Come on, Rose. We both know this is not you talking," Ruth told her, looking nervously around the lifeboat.

"No, mother, you're wrong. This is me! This is who I really am, only that I didn't know before. I've tried my best to please you, but nothing I ever did seemed to be enough. Now I'm going to do what I want, when I want. And if you don't like it, then you can…" but she never got to finish her statement. She felt someone pulling her sleeve and forcing her down –she hadn't even noticed that she was on her feet by now.

"Calm down, Rose. There's no need to lose it," Molly Brown, another woman on the boat, gently told her.

"I'm sorry, Molly. I don't know what got over me," she apologized, hiding her head on her hands. She sighed, once again trying to regain composure, but before she could, her mother gave all of them her own views on Rose's behavior, and she couldn't take it any more.

"You must excuse my daughter. She became very fond on a steerage boy and she has started acting this way. Nothing a day shopping won't fix," Ruth explained.

The girl looked up, not knowing what to say to hurt her mother like she had hurt her.

"Jack was no steerage boy," she said, trying to keep her voice as normal as possible.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Wasn't he the man that joined us at dinner? Or did he have a poor twin brother?" Ruth asked coldly.

Rose had to bit her tongue to stop herself before saying what she really thought. "You know what I mean. Jack was a better man than any of the others I met… He was brave, sweet, noble… in other words, he was a real gentleman, which is more than some of your…" but she couldn't finish. She took a hand to her mouth horrified.

She noticed Molly Brown shacking her gently, trying to bring her back to reality, but she needed more than that to shake away the shock of what she had just said. Jack was this and that? Why was she talking of him as if he was dead? Why had she given up hope already?

"Rose, are you still here?" she heard Molly asking her. She shook her head and felt the tears falling down. She couldn't lose hopes yet! Jack was the only good thing in her life and she couldn't lose him yet. She had to hold on for as long as possible.

"When we dock," Rose announced, turning to her mother. "I'm getting off with Jack."

"Oh, Rose, don't be absurd. We all know that you were with him only because it annoyed me," Ruth said almost laughing.

"Mother, I love Jack. And I'm not going to let you or Cal or anyone come in the way of my happiness again. Take a good look at me, mother, because after we dock you won't see me again. I promise."

She turned around and directed her attention to the ship, which was almost vertical by now. She silently prayed for Jack to make it out of this alive. She had already announced that she would break free and there was no turning back. But without Jack she knew she wouldn't last a whole day.

"Please, Jack, come back to me," she whispered.

It was past two in the morning when Titanic finally disappeared. Rose had seen it happened, her gaze blur for the tears. It was hard to believe that something so big, so luxurious, so supposedly safe, was gone, but it was the cruel truth.

As soon as the noises from the sinking itself died out, a new set of sounds reached Rose's and everyone else's ears. And it was a far more distressing sound: the cries for help of the many people floating nearby.

Rose had thought that nothing could upset her more than those cries. She covered her ears, not wanting to hear them, but she soon discovered that the worst was yet to come. After merely minutes, the voices too died out, and the silence took over. That silence could only mean one thing: death. No sooner had the voices shut, Rose prayed for them to come back. She whished someone would say something; she didn't like that silence at all.

She hadn't realized that another lifeboat had approached theirs. The officers exchanged a few words and then ordered the women in Rose's lifeboat to move to the other one so this one could go to look for survivors.

Ruth was one of the first to move, and she dragged Rose with her. She tried to fight her, but she knew that she would have to move anyway. Still, once on the other lifeboat, she made sure to sit as far from her mother as possible and tried to put as many people between them as she could. After a few minutes both boats were ready and they parted.

Rose followed officer Lowe and his crew with her gaze. She hoped someone else followed his example and together they found hundred of survivors. But she knew too well that that was impossible. The most rational part in her hoped they could save so much as ten, knowing that the cold water must have killed most of them by now.

"Is anyone alive out there? Can anyone hear me?" Lowe's voice echoed.

Besides the light of his flashlight, Rose couldn't see him. She followed that glow, trying to distinguish a familiar face, but they were too far from the place where Titanic had been to see nothing. She could tell, however, when they stopped, probably attracted by a signal of life, but she noticed that they only stopped five times.

Five times… Was it possible that only five people had survived in the water? She refused to believe it; she had probably lost track. They couldn't have stopped only five times.

After a while, she noticed that the light was getting bigger. Officer Lowe was coming back. There wasn't anything else he could do for them. It was over.

Rose continued to look at the light. Was she really expecting to see Jack waving at her from behind Lowe? Not really. But it was better to focus on the light than on the silence.

And then, suddenly, she heard a sound –the most incredible sound in the world. Rose watched as officer Lowe commanded the boat back towards the mass of lifeless bodies. She heard him yell something, but did not care. That sound filled her.

There was someone out there blowing a whistle to catch their attention. Someone who hadn't given up yet; someone who had some hope left. Despite the water, despite the cold, despite everything, there was someone still fighting.

The women in her lifeboat looked up at the light –the only thing visible through the darkness. The officers too stopped rowing for a while and let that sound be the only thing in their lives for just a second. And they weren't the only ones. The wind, although imperceptible, carried the whistle through the vast ocean. All the survivors heard it and, for as long as it rang in their years, they felt safe again. That whistle blowing seemed to be telling them not to worry.

Rose closed her eyes and put her mind in blank. All she heard saw or felt was that whistle blowing. She heard it even after the person blowing it had been lifted to the boat. She heard it even after they had restarted their journey. As a matter of fact, she would still hear years later, everytime she thought of Titanic. That whistle would, from now onwards, represent hope to her. But of course she didn't know that now.

All she knew now was that the whistle brought her joy and relieve. She would soon find out why.

An hour or so later, Rose noticed lights on the horizon. It was far too early for sunrise, she thought. The women on the boat seemed as lost as her, but the officer quickly told them that the lights they saw were rockets.

"Another ship is coming," he explained. "Don't worry, they'll pick us up in a couple of minutes. I'm sure."

But they had to wait another hour before they could consider themselves out of the water. Her lifeboat, number two, was the first one. A Jacob's ladder was thrown from the Carpathia and officers on both sides helped them up. Rose noticed her mother making her way first, so she waited. One by one, the women exited the lifeboat. Rose placed behind a particularly large woman and managed to remain unnoticed to her mother, who happened to have her back turned to her when she stepped on the ship.

She quickly grabbed one of the blankets the officers were giving around and covered her head with it. Then she headed to the third class deck. She had already promised her mother that she wasn't going to go back to that life. Just when she turned a corner, she heard her calling her name. Still, she didn't turn around. It was too late now.

Once she thought she was safe enough, in a place where neither her mother nor Cal would dare enter, she sat down on a bench and sighed. Somehow she felt much calmer than the night before. She knew that it would take them a while to pull everyone up on the Carpathia, so the only thing she could do was wait. She was sure that this was where she was supposed to be –had Jack lived or had he died.

After a while an officer came and placed a mug full of some hot liquid on her hands. She thanked her and drank it in a desperate attempt to warm herself. The coat, which was still splashed from the night spent drifting, wasn't enough and she was using her blanket to hide her curls –definitely her trade mark- from anyone who may recognize her. There was only one man she wanted to see, and she was sure he didn't need to see her hair to find her. Anyway, she drank her coffee –because it was coffee- and felt instantly better.

She couldn't stay still for long. After a couple of minutes she jumped to her feet and started wondering around the third class deck, but everywhere she turned she was greeted with crying women or people looking sympathetically at her. That made her mad. She didn't need their sympathy. She knew that Jack was alive. She didn't know how, she just knew. Every since hearing that whistle she had known.

She walked towards the stern of the ship; to the place where it had started. Here she had met Jack –at least in a place that looked like this. She could hardly believe that it had only been four days ago. For her, the few days spent with Jack had been like a lifetime. She had been born the moment she had taken his hand and let him pulled her back into Titanic. How could she care about anything when Jack was looking at her with those beautiful blue eyes?

She knew that Jack would come here to try to find her. She noticed a couple of boats still floating nearby and wandered if Jack was in one of them. Could he see her in the distance? She thought about waiving, but she knew it would be stupid.

She focused her attention on the horizon again. It was sunrise already. It was incredible that just twelve hours ago she had been making plans with Jack regarding their future together.

"When the ship docks, I'm getting off with you," she had announced.

"That's crazy…" he had replied, thinking that she had lost her mind.

"It doesn't make any sense, I know. That's why I trust it."

And they had kissed. Rose took a finger to her lips, almost feeling him. Their last kiss… After that they had seen the iceberg and they had immediately known what was to come. He had taken her to her family and had stayed by her side for as long as possible. But when her time arrived to get to the lifeboat he had had to leave. He had kissed the back of her hand, smiled at her and turned. She would never forget the look on his face. He hadn't needed to use words; his eyes did the talking for him. Rose had known what he had meant: he would find her. And she had trusted him and she had hoped he was right.

That was why she couldn't stand people looking sympathetically at her. Why did everyone just assume the worst? Why couldn't they at least wait for all the lifeboats to be emptied? Or was she being irrational, trying to hold on to something impossible? Well, she didn't care. To her, Jack was alive until proven otherwise.

By the time the last lifeboat arrived, most Carpathia passengers had waken up and were gathered on the deck to see what had happened. Rose knew that the crowd would be enough to hide her from her family, so she dared go to the deck to see if Jack was there.

Boat number twelve was the one commanded by Lowe; the one –the only one- that went back to look for survivors. While the officers helped its passengers, Rose scanned the crowd, but didn't see Ruth or Cal. She turned her attention back to the officers.

The first passenger was already on the Carpathia. A group of nurses walked towards him and wrapped him in several blankets. They did the same with the second and the third and the fourth… Everytime Rose saw them, her heart bit faster, but only for a split of second. She soon realized none of them was Jack.

Four people were already on the Carpathia. If Rose was right, there were only two people left on the boat. She saw one officer reaching out for the next survivor and then she saw another hand. The sun reflected on something the man was holding; something silver. The glint blinded her for a second, but she blinked it away. Could it really be?

She opened her eyes again just in time to see the officer pulling the man up. He landed next to the officer, apparently too exhausted to move one inch. The nurses were about to get him, but Rose was faster.

"Jack!" she cried rushing towards him. She grabbed a pile of blankets from one of the nurses and threw them over his shoulders. She also gave him her own blanket. "Talk to me, Jack!" she begged.

He hadn't moved at all while she did all this. She strolled her hands around his hair and chest, but still he did not stir. She noticed that he was cold as ice, so she was starting to get worried, but she noticed that his eyes were open. He was conscious, only in shock.

She sighed, a bit more calmed. He was alive, that was what mattered.

"It's okay, Jack. It's okay…" she whispered gently.

She reached for his hand, but realized that he was already clutching to something. She curiously looked down and gasped, for Jack was holding a silver whistle.

"It was you," she whispered. "You were the one with the whistle. That was why I heard it and knew everything was going to be all right. It was you, Jack!"

It was hard to stop the tears, but she knew she had to. She couldn't break down yet; she had to be in one piece for Jack. She stood up and pulled him to his feet; then, she put his arm around her shoulders and walked him the hospital ward. One of the nurses helped her and in no time she was placing him on a bed. The nurse left to bring him dry clothes and Rose sat by his side.

She suddenly noticed that his eyes were closed.

"Jack?" she called. "Open your eyes, Jack."

Once again, she received no answer from him. She placed her hand on his chest, praying to feel his heart bit. But not even that could calm her down. She needed to hear it from him. She needed to hear his voice telling him that everything was going to be all right.

"Jack, please!" she begged, unable to hold the tears. "Please."

She placed her head on his chest and heard his heart bit. He couldn't leave her now; not after everything that had happened. He had made it this far, why not a bit more?

She sobbed quietly, her tears falling into his collar. His head went up and down with every breath he took.

There was no way she could survive alone. Jack had showed her that life was for living it and it was because of Jack that she was here right now. He wouldn't leave her –she wouldn't let him.

"You have to go now, miss. We'll call you if anything happens," the nurse, who had returned carrying a pile of clothes, told her.

Rose nodded and pulled herself up and looked at Jack again.

"You promised you'd find me," she whispered. "I'll be at the stern," she then informed the nurse.

"I'll send someone in a few minutes. As soon as we know what's wrong with him," she promised.

Rose nodded gratefully and left.

The nurse had been right. Less than fifteen minutes later, Rose was told by one of the officers that Jack suffered hypothermia and pneumonia. His condition was severe, but since he was young and healthy he had a great chance of surviving.

Rose had been grateful to hear this, but she was still worried. She wouldn't aloud herself to relax until she heard Jack telling her it was okay to do so. She wanted to be next to him, but the officer had been clear: no visits.

She sighed and suddenly realized how tired she was. She hadn't slept in thirty-six hours and she had been wandering around the ship for four. She spotted an empty bench nearby and sat on it, completely incapable of staying on her feet for one more minute. She lay back and stared at the sky above her. The sun shone just like it had shined yesterday. How was it possible? After last night, how could the sun shine like nothing had happened? Hadn't it heard the news?

Now she was talking crazy. Surly the lack of sleep and the shock had messed her up. She yawned. Maybe she should try to get some sleep. Besides, she could hear of Jack any minute and she better be on her best.

She noticed something on her hand. She opened it and found the silver whistle. She must have taken it from Jack without noticing. Smiling, she put it back into her pocket. That whistle meant so much to her –to them, actually, her and Jack. That whistle had given her hope when she had almost given up. That whistle had helped Jack surviving and had brought him back to her. She decided that she would always treasure that whistle, and smiled at herself. Then she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.

She was waken a couple of hours later by the same officer than before. The news he brought this time were far more pleasant: Jack was awake and had asked after her. Rose jumped to her feet and followed him into the hospital ward.

Jack was sitting on his bed, pale as he sheets, looking expectantly at the door. At his sight, Rose felt that she could finally let go; she didn't have to pretend to be strong anymore; Jack was there, Jack would take care of her.

She smiled at him and made her way towards the bed, where she was received by him. He took her hand in his and gentle pulled her closer. She was surprised to feel that his hands were still cold, although his chest and neck was as hot as fire.

"Fever," he explained, noticing her concern look. "Don't worry, nothing a few days resting won't cure."

"How are you feeling?" she asked.

"I've been better and I've been worst," he replied smiling. "Don't worry, I won't die. It takes more than a flu to kill me."

"Flu?" she repeated looking up at him. "For what I've heard, you have more than a flu. The nurse told me you suffered from hypothermia and pneumonia."

Jack shook his head showing her how little he cared. "I feel perfectly fine, so don't worry. I could as well have a flu."

Rose smiled and placed her head on his shoulder. "In the end, that's all that matters."

Jack kissed her forehead and lean back on his bed. Truth be told, he didn't feel as great as he had told Rose, but he didn't want to worry her. He closed his eyes and tried to catch his breath; even the few words he had spoken had been a great effort.

He felt Rose squeezing his hand gently and opened his eyes. He found that she was looking at him with love glowing in her eyes.

"You don't have to pretend you feel great," she remained him.

He smiled gratefully at her. "I will get better," he promised.

"I know you will. But for now I can take care of you, don't worry."

He kissed her again and then, looking smiling at her he said the words he was meaning to say every since that third class party.

"I love you, Rose."

For a split second she looked utterly shocked, but then she too smiled at him and replied.

"I love you too, Jack."


Hope you liked it! Now you know what to do, don't you? Yes, you guessed: review. Thank you!