Authors Note (Hannah554): Last chapter guys, please take the time to read the note at the bottom when you've finished reading. Thanks for reading and for all the great reviews.
The Carpathia had been picking lifeboats up for a while when it finally picked up the one with John aboard. The survivors from the water were still wrapped up in blankets to keep the cold air away from them. John could still feel his wet clothes sticking to his body but at least he'd stopped shivering. He helped Elizabeth and Teyla to step off the lifeboat and onto the deck of the Carpathia before doing it himself. It was almost as much of a relief to be out of the lifeboat as it had been to get out of the water. Once Ronon and Carson joined them they were ushered away to where the third class survivors were being taken care of.
There were stewards and officers from the Carpathia as well as the Titanic taking down names and helping people to find out if loved ones were aboard or not. People were crying, grieving for those they believed to be lost or desperately trying to find them in the hopes they'd been on a different boat or were on another ship. There were some unused benches near the railing so they headed that way sitting down before someone else could take them.
"Maybe we should find out if they have some dry clothes we can change into, at least until ours are dry," Teyla suggested shifting uncomfortably underneath her blanket.
"I think they're a little too busy at the moment," John said looking around him; there wasn't a single crewman or officer that wasn't doing something to help the surviving Titanic passengers. "We should wait until things calm down."
"I'm going to go and find Laura, she doesn't even know I'm alive," Carson stated as he watched a young woman desperately beg an officer to help her find her husband. The officer was trying to tell her that he didn't have the man's name on a list yet but he'd keep an eye open for it. Another woman was in tears as she searched around asking people if they'd seen her husband and teenage son, she was describing them to everyone but no one had seen them.
Elizabeth hugged Carson before he left and then sat back down next to John and leant her head on his shoulder. They were all tired; none of them had been able to sleep aboard the lifeboat that had rescued them. There had been three other survivors pulled from the water, the red haired man who had cried himself to sleep and not woken up until the Carpathia had picked them up. Another man who hadn't said a single word the entire time they were on the boat and third man who had died shortly after his recue. John understood how lucky they were, not only that they had all survived in the water but that they had survived out of it as well.
"John," Elizabeth said sitting up straight again and gesturing ahead of them. The woman they had met below decks was there, the one who had lost her children. Sally and Jeremy were both with her the two children bundled up in blankets as a steward gave them a hot drink to warm them. John smiled slightly; it was good to know that they had made it, that after Elizabeth had left them in the stairwell they had gotten to the boat deck and onto a lifeboat. The woman spotted John and Elizabeth across the deck and nodded her head gratefully; she too relieved to see that the people who had helped her were alive. She had probably assumed the worst after both John and Elizabeth were washed down the corridor by the flood of water.
It had taken Carson a few minutes to convince the steward at the bottom of the stairs that he was in fact a first class passenger. Once the man had seen the expensive suit he was wearing, one that had probably been ruined by the water, he had let him pass. He was now searching the upper deck for his wife, there were a lot more first class passengers from the Titanic than third class which was odd considering that aboard the Titanic there had been a lot more third class. He knew from John and the others though that third class passengers had been kept below decks while the crew had started loading first class passengers into the boats.
It was sad to think that all of the people around him now had been given more of a chance to live simply because they had more money. So many people must have died still trapped below decks because no one had bothered to go and get them out. There were more men up here as well, most were still women but more first class men had survived than third class. He still had to wonder how many of the people here had lost husbands, fathers, sons or brothers.
He finally found his wife; she was sitting with Rodney, a coat that he didn't recognise covering her shoulders. She looked like she'd been crying at some point and Carson wished he'd been able to stay with her, that he hadn't had to lie to her and leave her aboard the lifeboat. He was relieved to see her, even though he'd known she was on one of the boats, that there was no reason for her not be safe it was still a relief to see her, to be sure she was okay. He walked over to where she was and he was almost standing right in front of her when she finally looked up and saw him.
She froze completely and Rodney noticed the sudden change turning to see him as well. Carson closed the rest of the distance between them and Laura stood up to throw her arms around him. The blanket than had probably been partly responsible for the fact that he hadn't died after being pulled out of the water fell to the floor as he caught her in his arms holding her as tightly as his tired body would let him.
"I was looking for you, I couldn't find you," Laura whispered against his neck and then stepped back. "You're soaked."
"I was one of the few people they rescued from the water," Carson informed her and she grabbed him again, realising just how close she had come to losing him and the thought scared Carson as much as it obviously scared her.
"You stupid man, why did you lie to me?" she questioned though he guessed she already knew the answer.
"It doesn't matter now," Carson told her. "We both made it and if you hadn't got on that lifeboat we might not have."
Laura nodded as she stepped back allowing Rodney a few moments to hug him and berate him for nearly getting himself killed. Once Rodney was just about done with his rant she put an arm around him again and he was as keen to have that contact with her as she was.
"Have you seen Elizabeth anywhere, we haven't been able to find her either?" she asked him and Carson hesitated before answering. While they'd been aboard the lifeboat Elizabeth had told him about everything that had happened, about Simon chasing her with a gun among other things. Right now Simon had no idea if Elizabeth was even alive, come to think of it they had no idea if Simon was alive either, but Carson wasn't sure that Elizabeth wanted people to know yet.
"She's on the lower deck with John," he told her after a moment. He knew Elizabeth well enough to be sure she'd want Laura to know she was okay and Laura wouldn't say anything to anyone else, neither would Rodney. "They were both pulled out of the water as well."
"Is she alright?" Rodney questioned and Carson shrugged.
"As alright as she can get after spending so long in the freezing water, any longer and none of us would have made it," Carson replied feeling Laura tighten her hold on him.
"How many people did they rescue from the water?" she questioned.
"Eight but one died afterwards," he told her.
"I still can't believe all of this happened," Rodney said shaking his head and looking around at the people who were trying to pull themselves together, most of them had lost someone that day, some of them had lost whole families to the water. Carson was glad he wasn't one of them.
They'd managed to get their hands on some dry clothes and their own had been taken away to be dried and then returned to them. Despite that, the cold still hadn't gone away, it felt like it was inside her now, a part of her and she hoped it was a feeling that would eventually be gone. They hadn't had chance to sleep yet and Elizabeth was so exhausted she daren't close here eyes for fear she would just fall asleep where she sat. John and Ronon had gone to get them all something to eat, the Carpathia had prepared hot meals for everyone, even the third class passengers were being well take care of after everything that had happened to them.
"If you hadn't met John do you think you would have gone through with it?" Teyla asked her, with the two men queuing up for food Elizabeth and Teyla had the chance to talk properly for the first time.
"I don't know, there was never a question in my mind that a month from now I'd be marrying Simon but whether or not that would have changed nearer the time I don't know," Elizabeth replied thinking carefully about her answer. She had never loved Simon and he had never loved really loved her. He would have done anything to please her but it wasn't out of love, it was something else, like keeping an employee happy so that they would do their job.
"I suppose it doesn't really matter now," Teyla said smiling. "You did meet John and now you're down here with us."
"I don't consider that a bad thing," Elizabeth replied with a smile of her own. The people around her had very little, some of them probably had nothing anymore having lost it all aboard the Titanic but she'd seen herself that not having everything that money could buy didn't mean you had to be unhappy. These people were different now, many of them had lost people, loved ones as well as their possessions but she knew most of them would land on their feet. Already they'd started banding together, helping each other to get through this and she was sure that up in first class it wouldn't be the same. There were exceptions, there were always exceptions but the majority of first class passengers would mourn their own losses, deal with everything themselves. Some of them would never recover from this, they didn't know how to deal with this kind of loss, it was possible some of them had lost too much aboard the Titanic to ever fully recover. They didn't know how to live with little, or even just enough to get by, she didn't doubt that some people would be completely destroyed by this despite surviving the disaster itself.
As her eyes scanned the deck she caught sight of someone coming down the stairs from the upper deck and after a moment she realised it was Simon. She turned around reaching for the blanket that was still around her shoulders and pulling it up over her head to hide. Teyla saw her reaction and looked behind her for the source of it picking Simon out easily.
"That is him?" she questioned and Elizabeth nodded moving the blanket so that it would hide her face as Simon walked around the deck.
Teyla moved so that she could watch Simon over Elizabeth's shoulder, her eyes subtly following him as he searched for Elizabeth among the survivors. Elizabeth hoped that John didn't come back while Simon was still there, he'd recognise John just as easily as Elizabeth. She could hear footsteps right behind her and she knew it was Simon; she froze in place, not even daring to breathe until he moved away again.
"He is leaving," Teyla stated and Elizabeth risked a look, turning her head slowly to where he was walking back up the stairs. He reached the top and she saw her mother standing there, looking at Simon who shook his head. Elizabeth's heart sank as she watched her mother walk away with Simon, she was doing the right thing though, she knew she was. She said a silent goodbye to them and to that life; at least for now she was walking away from it all.
"You two alright?" Ronon questioned sitting down next to Teyla and giving her the plate of food he'd brought for her. He looked strangely at Elizabeth who was still hiding beneath her blanket and she lowered it back to her shoulders as John took a seat next to her.
"We are fine," Teyla replied as she ate her food and John gave Elizabeth hers. She offered him a small smile in return as she ate, the hot food helping a little with the cold feeling that still wouldn't leave her. John was looking at her, he could tell something was up but she didn't want to talk about it at that moment and he obviously knew that too. Instead she leaned closer to him relaxing against him so that he'd know that what was bothering her had nothing to do with him.
"After this, I think I'm gonna sleep until we reach New York," Ronon said, Teyla was nodding her agreement next to him.
"Actually, I think I'm going to find out what their plans are for sleeping arrangements," Teyla stated and then stood up taking her food with her. "You coming Ronon?"
Ronon stood up and followed her complaining about wanting to sit down and eat not carry his meal all over the ship with him. Elizabeth smiled as they left, in a strange way Ronon reminded her of Laura, they were both stubborn, fiery, outspoken people, there was never a dull moment with them around. She wondered if Carson had been able to find her, she knew he'd let her know that she was alive but she hoped word didn't get to Simon and her mother, not yet anyway. Right now they were probably assuming the worst and that left her with a break from them, one day she'd have to tell them, her mother at least, that she was alive but for now she preferred they didn't know.
"Are you okay?" John asked her and after a moment she shook her head.
"No, but I will be," she replied and reached a hand up to his neck, kissing him lightly. It was the first time they'd been alone, well semi alone if you included the hundreds of people around them, since long before the Titanic had sunk. She wanted nothing more than to curl up with him and sleep; Ronon's idea of sleeping for the next few days was incredibly appealing.
"Hurry up and eat, I want to sleep," she ordered with a smile and he kissed her again.
"Yes ma'am," he replied in amusement.
They had finally arrived in New York, the Carpathia was in the docks and Elizabeth could tell straight away that news of the Titanic had already reached the press. Looking over the railing of the ship she could see swarms of reporters everywhere, all of them eager to get the details of the story. Elizabeth knew she didn't want to have to face them but she also knew the only way she was getting out of here was by going through them.
"Well, we made it," Ronon stated looking down at the people gathered there.
"It's just a shame we're on the wrong ship," John added, they should have arrived aboard the Titanic, instead they had sailed in on the Carpathia, many of the people they'd left London with gone now.
"We'd better get moving, we can't hide here forever," Teyla said and the four of them started moving, heading for the ramp that led off the ship and into the docks below. They'd barely reached the bottom before they were swarmed, questions being thrown at them from every direction.
"Were you aboard the Titanic?"
"How many people were killed?"
"Did you lose any members of your family?"
"Where did the ship sink?"
"What did you see?"
"How do you feel about surviving this disaster?"
They ignored all the questions; John's arm was around Elizabeth helping to pull her through the crowd. He and Ronon were keeping the reporters back as they moved, pulling Teyla and Elizabeth behind them. The reporters didn't give up easily, they kept asking questions, trying to stop them and get answers all the way to the exit and around them other passengers were getting the same treatment. Some people were stopping and talking to the reporters, others were just trying to get away. As if going through the Titanic sinking hadn't been enough they were now being forced to relive it all. The reporters disappeared one after another until they reached the exit and they all went back to find more passengers to interrogate.
"Elizabeth," a voice called and she felt dread run through her as she recognised it. She turned back to see Simon and her mother walking over to them. She moved closer to John gripping his hand in hers as she watched them approaching. Ronon moved Teyla behind him and stepped closer to them as well, he knew Simon had chased them through the Titanic with a gun. In fact, other than when she'd spotted him on the deck of the Carpathia the last time Elizabeth had seen Simon was when he'd been shooting at her.
"You're alive," her mother said as she and Simon came to a stop in front of them.
"We thought you were dead," Simon stated as he tried to step closer to her but Elizabeth took a step backward from him and he stopped again.
"Why didn't you come and find us, let us know you were alright?" her mother questioned and for the first time in a while Elizabeth thought her mother might actually have been concerned about her. After months of allowing Elizabeth to be miserable just to secure her own future her mother seemed to have actually been concerned for her.
"I didn't want you to know," Elizabeth replied honestly. Her mother looked surprised, her eyes darting to the people she was with and finally landing on John looking over him with an air of superiority, like she was looking at a bug.
"How can you say something like that, I'm your mother and you were willing to let me think you were dead?" her mother said angrily, outraged by the daughter she had never truly known. "This whole affair has been ridiculous Elizabeth and these people have obviously been a bad influence on you."
"No mother, they're the best thing that's happened to me," she replied and Simon stepped forward reaching for her arm. Elizabeth backed off again, keeping her face calm but gripping John's hand tighter, she was grateful to him for keeping quiet. She was sure he wanted to say something, do something but interference from him would only have made things worse, made this harder for her.
"Stop this nonsense Elizabeth, now come on," Simon said trying to reach for her once again.
"No," she told him firmly looking both at him and at her mother. Behind them she could see Carson, Laura and Rodney; all three of them were watching the scene quietly from the background. "I'm through being your prisoner, I never wanted this marriage and you both knew it. You were happy to make me go through with it anyway, making me feel bad that my heart wasn't in it. I'm living my own life now, making my own decisions and I choose to walk away from you."
Simon looked angry but Elizabeth couldn't bring herself to care, he wouldn't do anything stupid with so many people around. Her mother just looked shocked, Elizabeth had talked back before but never like this, in the end she had always backed down and let her mother win, She was done with that though, she was tired of battling through her days and wishing each one would end just so she could do it all again the next day.
"And mother," she added. "I'd stay away from Simon if I were you; he spent the better part of fifteen minutes chasing me through the Titanic with a gun."
She didn't bother waiting to see their reactions; instead she turned around to leave pulling John along with her. Ronon and Teyla followed along behind and Elizabeth didn't even look back when she heard her mother call after her. A different voice called her then and she stopped to wait for Laura and the others. Laura hugged her as she reached her and Elizabeth smiled at the warm greeting she could always count on from her friend.
"I've been telling you to do that for ages," Laura stated with a grin.
"Where are you all going now?" Carson asked and John shrugged.
"No idea," he told them with a smile.
"Well there's room for you at our place for as long as you want it, at the very least you can come and have dinner with us," Carson said and Laura nodded.
"The house is too big for just us anyway, there's about a hundred rooms there that I don't think I've ever even been in and if you get fed up with us there's always Rodney's place," she stated.
"What?" Rodney exclaimed. "Okay first of all, don't exaggerate there isn't even a hundred rooms in your house, it's more like twenty five and secondly, don't volunteer my house as a shelter for the homeless."
"Rodney!" Carson chastised and Elizabeth just laughed at him, always blunt but that was just his way and she wouldn't want to change him. She had a feeling John and Ronon might need some time to get used to him though. Everyone finally agreed to go for dinner before the reporters could find them again and Elizabeth wondered what their lives would be like now. The Titanic had changed everything, it had changed all of them and she knew that nothing was ever going to be the same.
There were 2,223 people aboard the Titanic, over 1500 of them went into the water when the ship sank and of those just 6 were rescued, only 706 passengers survived. In total 1517 people lost their lives that night many of them third class and crew. May they not be forgotten.
Authors Note (Hannah554): Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed the story. Titanic was a great movie and I'm glad I got the chance to sparkify it.