Disclaimer; I don't own Titanic. The ship or the movie. ._.


a titanic fic

my piece of paradise

Because paradise only came to her in her dreams now.

Because paradise was being aboard the ship of dreams, hand in hand with Jack and watching the endless blue seas, never understanding how New York could be at the end of all that beautiful blue.

But paradise was only a figment of her memory, because she had no Titanic anymore, no Jack, and certainly no paradise.

The sleep that followed nights of tears and sobs and gasps of breath sometimes offered Rose comfort.

Because in her dreams, she was still sailing on the Titanic, restored to all its grandeur and heading for a new land, not lying, broken and disfigured, at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Because in her dreams, Jack was there, his crooked grin unwavering and his blue eyes twinkling.

When she woke up, she could barely breathe, because all she could think about is how Jack had seemed so alive and real, almost as if he had never left her. But he had, and all that was a painful twisted dream, and it was those moments of crushing realization that made her cry and scream and lament over how unfair life was. Even the bright June sunlight offered no solace, because looking out the window and seeing the lovely green oak trees, she remembered Jack talking about how summer was his favourite season because everyone was so happy and cried because he'd never wake up to June sun again.

But the dreams were so taunting, so painful, a lasting reminder of what she'd never be able to have. Even shooting stars in August night skies couldn't bring a smile to her face, because her one wish in the world was truly impossible, because not even the skies and heavens could bring Jack back to her. Because Jack was dead and cold and rotting in the Atlantic, and Rose wanted to throw up at the very thought. The dreams mocked her, making everything seem so perfect for those few blissful seconds, before cruelly yanking them away and bringing her back to reality.

And Rose wanted to live in those dreams forever- to fall asleep to the thought of Jack and never departing her happy place. But she always does wake up, to the dull view of her apartment ceiling and listening to the sound of automobile honks and shrieking crows.

When Rose married Charles Calvert, she returned back to her bit of paradise, where Jack was sitting, beaming. He had tears in his eyes and a small, longing smile, but he stood up and laughed and walked away for one final time.

When Rose woke up that morning, she held the Heart of the Ocean close to her, remembering how Jack had drawn her and how perfect life seemed at that moment. But life was good again, because she remembered how to love and smile and all those little things that made each passing day great again. She could now feel the sunlight on her skin and the butterflies in her stomach that fluttered each time that special person smiled. But she'd let go of the past, and the paradise never came back.

But she still missed Jack, the poor artist who had kissed her and held her and dug himself a special place in Rose's heart. Charles wasn't a Jack, and Jack wasn't a Charles, and it wasn't fair to be comparing the two all the time, something Rose did that always made her feel immensly guilty.

And Rose had kids, just like Jack had said. She had a beautiful baby girl, with bright red curls and curious green eyes. And Rose had called her Josephine, never revealing her full reasons to Charles, who had never questioned her reluctance, bless him. Then God had gifted her with two lovely and mischievous fraternal twins, little Diana and Simon.

Rose had a perfect family, and a perfect husband, and almost nothing felt greater than seeing herself on the silver screen for the first time. She saw her name roll down the credits of a moving picture, rode a horse on a beach in Santa Monica after riding the roller coaster so many times she threw up, and went fishing and flew and did all the things she'd promised Jack she would.

And she still remembered him, in the little ways. She remembered him whenever she saw the seafoam blue waters at the pier, the crumpled up balls of sketch paper on the street, or everytime a warm spring breeze blew past her and brought back smells of smoke and cheap beer and wild mint and dandelions.

She'd never loved Charles the way she loved Jack, and Rose felt ashamed and guilty over this fact. Maybe she was afraid to love again, because she didn't want to be hurt again or for another one of her selfish reasons. But Jack had managed to dwell in her forever, his words giving her the strength to smile, to laugh, to move on with her life.

In ways, she always had a bit of paradise in her, because Jack's words never left her. They instilled in her a lasting memory, of words whispered over passionate moments or hours spent leaning over the rails, watching the waves and talking about meaningless things like family and weather.

And Charles did inevitably leave her, dying from a stroke at age 87. But he'd lived a healthy life, and he had a nice little funeral service where Rose spoke, about how great of a man he was.

And it hurt, too. But it didn't hurt as much as Jack, another thing that made Rose feel painfully guilty and made the weight on her shoulders so much more heavy.

She let the memories of Titanic go, but never fully, because she could always remember the new china and rolling waves, no matter how many times she tried to forget. And the little peace she had found had been uprooted when Brock Lovett brought everything crashing back, and so she returned to Titanic, after 84 years.

The waves didn't seem nearly as frightening in the day as it had at night.

And she talked. She talked about Jack, about Cal, about her life on the Titanic, those few wonderful days that seemed like forever.

They'd listened, of course, and eventually gave up on finding the Heart of the Ocean, both for lack of funds and lack of heart. And in the dead of night, she climbed up on the railing and dropped the necklace into the waters, where it truly belonged.

And that night, paradise came to her again, but this time, it was reality.