The Same as it Always Was

by Mackenzie L.

This piece was a requested one-shot for Benjamin Guggenheim. He doesn't have a lot of character development in the movie, but I sort of went with my gut impression on what was going through his mind.

* I do not own Titanic.

Such a fine ship she was. She was a beauty upon the ocean, wearing the crested waves like a wild and lacy blue taffeta gown.

If he had to pick an ocean in which his body would be forever lost, it would be the Atlantic. The word 'Atlantic' sounded upstanding and proud. It was so majestic and strong. Just as he had hoped his own name would sound for years to come.

And was it so terrible that he was thinking of his name at a time like this? When a man is about to die, what else is there left to think about? His wife and children, of course; but he had long since exhausted the thought of his family. In fact, it was somewhat of a bittersweet surprise to realize that he had never truly stopped thinking of them since he had boarded this God-forsaken ship.

Nevertheless, he was not going to have any regrets. Regrets were for the weak, and he was most certainly not weak. He considered himself a man of many dreams, impressively few of which he felt he was leaving unfulfilled. Because he had lived a mostly fulfilling life. All he had ever wanted was to dance a slow waltz with high society that would last until his ripe old years, and here he was on the grandest vessel on the sea, and he was ready to die.

Dear Lord, he was ready for this, he realized with a start.

It was not the first chuckle that had burst free from his lips as he sat there by the staircase, pondering his life, and it was neither the first chuckle that had earned him a good number of outraged stares from scurrying passengers who hoped to milk the last drops from their insignificant lives.

How could they be so crazed with this panic?

How wonderful it was to be content in a time of chaos. And what was there on land that the sea could not offer for a gentleman's death? He would die a man of honor, regardless of where he happened to be on the globe. His would be a proud death, a fine death - he would be in perfect health and ready for his life to end. Better to die in the state he was in tonight, than in fifteen or so years down the road and be helplessly bedridden.

It was all a matter of pride and contentedness.

Yes, he would give the Titanic his permission to whisk him away to the depths of the Atlantic.

Ah, such a striking name it was. Atlantic.

And so with a brandy in his hand, and his mistress safely tucked in the back of his mind, he would enjoy these last few moments in this fine, polished wood vestibule, in a chair fit for a king, and his top hat secured above his head. He would show no affect by the poor souls that ran crying from the water. It was only water.

He was the same person, inside and out, even on this last night of his life - and he was very proud to be this man, to bear this name.

Death was not something to be feared; he wished he could share this precious bit of advice with the men who obviously thought less of themselves. To have been fortunate enough to have lived a prosperous and satisfying life and to hold a first class ticket between his fingers for this voyage was a blessing, regardless of whether or not it ever reached the harbor.

He grinned wryly to himself and drained the last spicy drops of his brandy, savoring the warmth that cocooned him like a trusty blanket.

With a long look around the elegant rotunda, he realizes even more just how wonderful and even uplifting a setting this is, for death. He had never really taken the time to appreciate the remarkable architecture, the time that went into creating such a beautiful place for men like him to feel at home. The solid panels and lovely globes of light looked warmer and more inviting than ever amongst the screams and hollow rush of water. It was easy to ignore the sounds when his head was adrift in a brandy-induced homeostasis.

And if he did not look hard enough, it was easy to bypass everything but the lavish and somehow comforting interior of the ship he had grown to love and trust.

If he was being honest, it was the same as it always was.

A/N: So what do you think? Is he simply a proud old rich man? Is he truly ready for death? Is he in denial?

I quite enjoyed the character exploration on this little piece. R&R or ponder silently.