"Next stop, Santa Monica!" the conductors voice jerked Rose from her light sleep. She had been on the train for days now, sleep her only solace. In her dreams, she could imagine him still alive, still with her. She didn't have to think about what had really happened. She didn't have to face the reality of never seeing him again.

It seemed like the events of Titanic were only yesterday, when they were actually three months past. Rose leaned her head back in her seat and closed her eyes.

Santa Monica.

She had dreamed about going there ever since April. Ever since she met him. . .

But they were supposed to go together; they were supposed to spend the rest of their lives together. She kept hearing the word over and over again in her head. Together.

But they had been ripped apart. By ice.

After the Carpathia had docked, Rose had no idea what she was going to do. All she had with her was a dress, a coat. . . .and an overwhelming diamond. She refused to sell it, however. It was all she had left of Jack.

Luckily, she found a great amount of money in her other coat pocket. She used the money to find a small apartment and eventually she found a job as a waitress. The pay wasn't much, but it was enough to secure her.

After two months, however, she felt like she needed to do something else. So she headed out for the horizon--she headed out when she felt like it.

The freedom she had gained was an amazing thing. She could do whatever she wanted, talk to anyone she pleased, and she could be herself for the first time in her life.

"Approaching Santa Monica!" the voice rang out again. Rose started to gather her things. She was finally here. She didn't know how long she would stay, but she knew that she definitely had an agenda.

As she stepped off the train and onto the platform, she could smell the sea in the breeze. She hadn't even looked at the ocean since the Titanic. But it was time to see it once again.

She hailed a taxi and headed to a nearby inn. She got a room and unpacked her things.

Rose looked around the room and sighed.

"Oh, Jack. I wish you could be here with me. . ." as her voice trailed off, tears began to well up in her eyes. She shook her head; she would not cry anymore. Jack would have wanted her to survive. She had to honor him by making it count.

She took one last look around her room, pulled her hair back, and headed for the beach.

At the first glance of the ocean, a wave of sadness passed over her, threatening to make her break down. All of those people. . . .Jack. . . .

Rose stood until the feeling passed, and looked straight at the ocean, a determined look in her eyes. She was going to do this. She had to do this.

She paused, and remembered what she said she would do.

"Say we go sometime, to that pier. Even if we only just talk about it. . . ."

"Naw, we'll do it. We'll drink cheap beer, ride the roller coaster till we throw up. . .and we'll ride horseback, right in the surf. But, now, you gotta do it like a real cowboy, none of that 'sidesaddle' stuff. . ."

Rose opened her eyes, and looked down the beach. She saw a small stable a few yards ahead. She headed towards it.

"Excuse me, sir? I would like to use a horse, please." she asked the old man that owned the stable.

"Of course, miss. Over there's where they are, and they're all saddled up and ready to go; you can choose which ever one you want." He smiled at her.

"Thank you very much, sir." Rose gave him the best smile she could, and headed over to the stable.

She found a beautiful mare that seemed very gentle, and lead it out of the stable. She climbed up on it with little difficulty, and started to trot down the beach.

Something felt wrong, and then she realized she was riding sidesaddle out of habit. She slowed to a stop and reset herself on the horse with one leg on each side. It felt awkward to her at first, but she quickly became accustomed to it and began to trot down the beach again.

She was doing it. She was riding in the surf at the beach at Santa Monica. Something she had been dreaming about for months.

She wished Jack was with her. She knew he was, in some form; he would always be with her. But she wanted him alive. And no matter what she did, she could never change that.

Rose began to look at all of the people she was riding by. All of the families having picnics together. Some people dressed in lavish clothes, clearly not suited for the seashore. Rose cringed, remembering how she used to be one of those people. There were others, dressed very plainly. Some looked like they even made their home at the beach.

Rose sighed again, breathing deeply the scent of sea salt. Her eyes wandered over to the park, where the roller coaster was. She would have to go there tomorrow; she wanted to stay on her horse for a while longer.

Then something brought her attention to a long row of benches. Most of them were occupied by artists. Some were drawing people, some seemed to be attempting to capture the beauty of the sunset by charcoal.

Rose turned her head away, then chastised herself.

'Rose, you can't go on like this. You can't turn away every time you see something that reminds you of Jack. . . .'

With that in mind, she started trotting even faster down the beach. There were not many people by this time, the sun had begun to set into the horizon.

Soon, the horse was riding very fast down the beach. Rose again got the feeling that she was flying. Unintentionally, she began singing softly to herself.

"Come, Josephine, in my flying machine. . ."

Rose found herself actually smiling, for the first time in three months.

She eventually slowed the horse down and began to ride back to the stable. As she passed the row of benches again, she noticed that many of the artists had gone home for the night; only a few remained. After a few moments, Rose realized that there were barely any people left on the beach.

Rose shrugged and continued to ride. Suddenly, she remembered something that she wanted to do. She wanted to have a picture of her riding her horse on the beach to take home. Rose slowed the horse down and began to look for someone to ask to take the picture for her.

She only saw one person near her, a man sitting on the bench all by himself.

"Excuse me, sir? I was wondering if--"

"No. I'm not drawing any more today. Come back tomorrow." the man said roughly. He was wearing a long coat and a hat, and Rose couldn't see any of his face.

Rose frowned and narrowed her eyes at the man's rudeness. She hadn't even noticed the drawing paper and charcoal surrounding him.

"Actually, sir," Rose said, her voice slightly icy, "I was wondering if you could be so kind as to take a picture of me on my horse."

The man looked up slightly, but not directly at Rose. He seemed to be far away, not really paying attention. Rose bent down on her horse, trying to get a better look at the man. She still couldn't see his face. She brushed it off; she just wanted a picture from the man, it didn't matter what his face looked like.

"Uh. . . .sure, miss. Where do you want me to take it?" He said, his voice tired and not as edgy.

Rose let out a breath and looked around.

"I would like it over there, with the roller coaster behind me, please."

The man, still looking at his shoes, nodded and began to walk over in the direction she had indicated.

"Here is my camera," Rose said, and handed it to the man. He took it and brought it up to his eye so quickly that Rose still didn't have the chance to see him.

The man brought the camera up, and looked through the viewfinder to focus on the woman. He finally brought the picture into focus, and what he saw made him drop the camera in the sand.

Rose looked at him in disbelief. How dare he throw her new camera down like that?

Then, for the first time, she saw his face. His hat blew off in a sudden gust of wind, and Rose took a deep intake of breath.

Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Artist. Jack. . . .Jack. . .

'But it's just not possible,' Rose thought to herself.

But it was. It was him.

Jack looked at Rose in equal disbelief. Was it really her? His Rose?

It was. It was really her.

He couldn't speak for a few moments, neither could she. They just looked at each other, the reality of the situation setting in.

"Rose?" Jack choked out softly, as if to really make sure it was her.

"Jack? Oh, Jack. . ." Rose quickly dismounted the horse and ran to him. He held her close, not willing to let go of her ever again.

Rose began to weep, praying that this wasn't all just another dream. When she pulled away from him, she looked into his eyes. Jack's eyes.

She felt lightheaded, she could barely breathe. But they were together again, at last. She had given up on the possibility, but now her dreams were coming true.

". . .How?" she asked him finally.

"I. . .when we went into the water and got separated, I got picked up by a lifeboat. I thought you were dead. I looked for you all over the Carpathia, but after a few hours they admitted me into the infirmary for the rest of the trip; apparently I had sever hypothermia. But all I could think of was you. . .and then I checked the list, and you weren't on it."

His voice trailed off, and Rose blushed. "Yes, I was on the list Jack," she said to him softly.

"No, you weren't," he said, confused. "I checked for a Rose DeWitt Bukater and there wasn't one. I even checked for a Rose Hockley out of pure desperation. But you weren't there. . ."

Rose looked away for a moment, and then looked back into his eyes. "I was on the list, Jack. . .as Rose Dawson. . ."

Jack's eyes popped slightly when she said this. Dawson? She took his last name? How. . .why. . .she. . .

Unable to do anything else, he just took her into his arms again, breathing in the scent of her hair. She was with him. And she loved him enough to take his name. . .

"I'm sorry, Rose, I just--I just am in shock right now. . .I can't believe you're here." Jack said.

Then another realization dawned on him. She was there, in Santa Monica. Riding a horse in the surf. Riding "like a man". She had come to do everything they had talked about.

Jack shook his head in disbelief. He had been in misery the past few months. He spent a week in New York after the sinking, hoping and praying that by some miracle
he could find her. When he didn't, he headed back to California to try and draw for some money. He had sat at the same bench every day for the past month or so, drawing the sunsets or drawing people that asked him to. He had never had the same inspiration, however. He just drew like a robot, never trying to capture emotion the way he once had.

But she had gone on. She had made a life for herself, and was doing everything they had talked about in honor of his memory. The thought brought tears to his eyes.

He looked down into her eyes and stroked her hair. She was beaming through her tears, she hadn't been so happy in three months. . .neither had he.

Rose looked up at Jack in amazement, finally and completely realizing that she was not dreaming.

Then, finally, Jack closed the distance between them. He leaned in for a kiss that both of them had dreamed so long about but had given up the hope for.

They kissed for a long while, standing in the surf at the Santa Monica pier.

They had reached their horizon at last.