To Buy Love With Love

by Mackenzie L.

Requested one-shot for Ruth Dewitt-Bukater. Rose's mother takes her daughter's life into her own hands. With love.

A/N: I've always had a profound empathy for Rose's mother. I understood where both sides were coming from in the mother-daughter relationship, but I feel like Ruth was only trying to help Rose in the only way she knew how. She sees money as the only means for security, and security as the only means for contentedness, which, admittedly, was what many women were taught and believed in the Victorian era. In my insight, I supposed that Ruth's intentions were sound, and her love for Rose was a bit overwhelming for her; as a result her frustration when her daughter refused to go along with her plans and created a conflict, her natural reaction as a mother was to be protective, but her frustration forced her into a less sensitive, less patient approach.

* I do not own Titanic

There are some who would say that a mother's instinct is perhaps the most intense instinct to be found in the plush perplexities of this earth. She could be a wonder of the world, if she so desired. With a daughter like Rose, she could have been a great many things, none of which she particularly wanted to be.

From the day she was born, she saw that delicate head of flame-colored silk and knew she was going to be one of those daughters.

A wil-o-the-wisp, spit-fire, never-stays-in-one-place kind of daughter. A daughter that society would try to stamp with its big swollen boots and never flatten.

She was the star of a childhood that saw her hanging from chandeliers and stepping into puddles while wearing the finest lace.

Why should a good Christian woman be cursed with such a daughter? Naturally, it was so easy to love her, but so much easier to be dissatisfied by her.

Why could she not simply stay in one place, do as she was told, sit up straight and use her manners?

Instead she was all over the Atlantic at once, and never following orders, not even from a man who was so clearly a perfectly stable superior.

Angels above could not have sent her a more ideal or more dreadful match than Caledon Hockley. Ruth saw the man he was. Oh, she was not blind to that kind of man. She could pick them off the street like rats with a stench of money on their tails. They were the worst of the best, and the best of the worst. But they were the only husbands that could keep a house and secure a wife, and most importantly keep that wife in line. This was exactly the kind of man Rose needed. But neither Hockley nor Rose deserved each other.

Hockley deserved a wife who could keep her feet in her shoes for more than a minute, and her baby Rose deserved someone who would not treat her like a speck of dust that rested on his shoulder, just hoping to cling along for the ride.

A mother wants the best for her daughter, always. And sometimes 'the best' comes in the cruelest, most unfortunate, but most sickeningly timely packages.

So if she decided to one day take a candlestick to the back of his neck while he slept, so be it. At least she would have a life to pick apart and piece back together.

In the meantime it was frightfully interesting to watch them together. The curious ways they interacted. The constant, unflattering dispute between courtesy and sarcasm that fired between their mouths and eyes. A masculine hand finds a pinched waist to hold and suddenly the world is a blind bat. They walk beside each other, in delightfully stiff promenade, and to the eyes of strangers they are a couple. A happy couple, maybe.

Oh, no. She laughs bitterly to herself as a respectfully aged woman should sometimes find the moment to do.

It was precisely as she had feared.

Just inches away from stuffing her pockets full of delicious green flakes, they were parted by a damned idealist. A boy in torn trousers and a borrowed tunic.

Every concocted plan is carefully sealed by reason and redemption. And there it goes, all the fine work swirling down the drain.

Love is envious of money. Truly. Love envies money.

Love ruins all reason, and spits upon the wicked, and sometimes it spits upon mothers who only want the best for their daughters.

This mother can see those things sparkling in the frisky but frightened blue eyes that watch from beneath unruly blond fringe. She sees the novelty her daughter has become in the eyes of this matchless mongrel.

So, he wanted in on the game, did he? Let him join, for this game has already chosen its winners and its losers. They will part at the end of this endless cruise and go on with their lives. This is only a brief interlude in the passage of a young woman's destiny. Her mother will see to these things, because a mother is the only one with eyes wide enough to see them.

Won't it be a blessing, a miracle? She asks her daughter. Won't we be grand again, little girl, like we used to be? Won't we have that security to wrap our ankles in, and that solid, stalwart future to hold up our telescopes against?

When these things are back to the way they once were... Won't we be mother and daughter again?

Will we allow money to bring us these things, or will we take a risk on love that could never be real or safe or profitable or everlasting?

Surely that Rose is an eager one at her raw stage of youth. This is only a spirited test for her heart, and like every other, she will pass over it like a dragonfly over a lake. With a brief kiss to the surface, it leaves a ripple and that ripple fades away.

Her mother will see to that.

Because this kind of thing does not happen on some ship in the middle of an ocean in the middle of a barking crowd. This is a plan that takes time, and a careful set of fingers

Like every other mother, she will peer over the edge of her teacup and have nothing but eyes full of glassy love for her daughter. She will be a woman, and she will be a wife, and she will find her love when the time is right.

Rose will bloom.

Her mother will see to that.