A/N: Ok, just for the record, I am in now way a Rose/Cal fan. This was just a quick write that I thought of, that would be an interestsing twist. Not to mention that I love the quote I used for the title and first line. Please read and review!
"I always win, Jack. One way or another."
I would never forget hearing Cal utter those words to Jack. Anytime I ever started to feel guilt for doing what I did, I thought about those words and felt better about it.
"Rose! Thank God I found you," Cal shouted as he found me on the steerage deck.
"Cal, I see you pushed your way past plenty of women and children in order to get here."
I'm not sure where the energy came from, but I could feel Jack's strength, which was what kept me going.
Cal paused, as if unable to respond, however that only lasted a moment.
"You must come with me, now, Rose. Your mother is worried sick. I still cannot BELIEVE that you did what you did. Turning away from the boat she was on, jumping out of another. What WERE you thinking?"
I didn't answer, knowing that he wouldn't be satisfied with anything I had to say, anyway. I allowed him to carry me up the deck, and over to where my mother was waiting, frantically. Though, I couldn't imagine why. Wait, I take that back. I knew why. Because, without me, she couldn't get the money she needed from Cal to pay off her debts. That's all she needed, all she wanted. Maybe I didn't have Jack with me now, but that didn't mean that I had to give up everything that he had taught me. After all, wasn't revenge supposed to be sweet?
Being back on dry land, back in Pittsburgh, put Mother and Cal exactly where they had been before, if not worse. For now, they felt that because of our "ordeal", as they called, that everyone should feel sorry for us, not thinking of the fifteen hundred people who lost their lives. The one internal joy I had, however, was the fact that Cal had to eat his words.
"The water is freezing, and there aren't enough boats. Half the people on this ship are going to die," I told Mother matter-of-factly.
"Not the better half," Cal scoffed.
What Cal hadn't realized was that it wasn't only the "other" half that had suffered. When the papers got word of the deaths of John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, among many others, he realized that his words weren't going to be kind to him.
The wedding went forward, as planned. Somehow, I knew that it would, and hadn't had the strength to argue. However, before the wedding, I found out a little piece of information that was absolutely wonderful to me, and would be the perfect way of getting back at Mother, Cal, and any of the others who gave me a hard time.
"An heir, Rose. You have done me well, Rose," was all that Cal said when the baby was born. To be perfectly honest, I was somewhat excited. After all, wasn't this what I had had to hold me on for the past nine months? The fact that I had been carrying Jack's child, and would make Cal think that it was his? Sooner or later, it would all crumble down.
"I'm glad I was able to help you out, Cal," I said dryly, my mind wandering to Jack, how clearly I remembered his face, and how happy he would have been to have a child, a son.
Since Cal was no help, which I hadn't expected him to be, I chose to name him Thomas, after Thomas Andrews. Of course, I would have loved to have been able to name him Jack, after his father, but that couldn't be done, could it? There was also no way in hell that I was going to name him after Cal, or anyone in Cal's family. I knew that Jack had respected Mr. Andrews, as had I, and would be happy having his son named after such a wonderful man.
Time went by, and in true Hockley fashion, Cal had little to do with Thomas, after all, what use was a small boy to him? He just needed him to be his heir, to inherit everything once Cal was gone. I knew that one day, I would share the truth, and watch everything crumble around Cal, although I just wasn't sure when it would happen.
Then, in October 1929, my chance came.
The stock market crashed, causing people to go crazy, insane, doing things that they would have under no other circumstance have done, including jumping out of windows and committing suicide in other ways.
"I can't believe it has come to this!" Cal screamed, throwing things across the room.
I can't believe it either, I thought. This was just the chance that I had been waitng for all these years.
"What could possibly be funny, Rose?" Cal said, with a sneer, that I knew he had inherited from Lovejoy, after all those years of hanging around in his presence.
"Well, Cal. It seems to me that you don't ALWAYS win. You know, the way you think you do?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" he said, as an ashtray smashed into the fireplace.
"It just happens that right now, when your world is sinking, kind of like it almost did seventeen years ago? That I have another piece of information that you might find…interesting."
He laughed, that sort of laugh that he had always saved for those he had felt to be lower than he was, which was almost everyone.
"The stock market crashed, Rose. We're going to lose everything. Note what I said. WE will lose everything. Not me, but we. After all, you are my wife. Andrew, our son."
"That is where you are wrong, my dear Cal."
"On what account? That you aren't my wife?"
"Au contraire, but the fact that Andrew isn't OUR son."
It took Cal a few moments to register the words that I was saying. As his face registered what I was saying, my face slowly turned into a smile.
"That's right, Cal. I, your wife," I winced at the word, "am Andrew's mother, but you aren't his father."
"That's perfect, Rose. Just perfect. Kick me while I'm down, why don't you."
I couldn't believe him. I honestly couldn't.
"You were right, you know. I was a whore to the gutter-rat," I said, quoting his exact words.
That did it. A look of recognition crossed his face.
"You mean, that scum, that pile of… and you! You bitch!" he screamed, lunging for my throat. I was too quick for him, however. I pulled the gun out of my pocket and held it on him.
"Would you like to make this easy, or make it hard?"
"What are you talking about, you deranged, slut?"
I cocked the trigger.
"It means, either I can pull the trigger, or you can."
He eyed me, eyed the figures on the paper that he had obviously gone over very carefully to realize just how much he was going to lose.
He grabbed the gun, and held it up toward his mouth.
"You know, I truly loved you once Rose."
And with that, he pulled the trigger.
I could almost hear the words from Jack's mouth.
"Looks like I won this time, Cal."