AN: I had to change a few things in this chapter because I decided to change something else later on, and it wouldn't have worked if I kept what I had for this chapter. BY THE WAY...I have someone I want to introduce you to at the end of the chapter... ;)
Disclaimer: Um...Well...Let's see...NOPE, still belongs to James Cameron!
Rose felt as if she were outside of both time and herself as she came onto Carpathia, barely able to stand, but with a sense of security to feel Jack's arm around her, helping keep her steady. He'd told her before the first Titanic survivor was even on board that he would be by her side the entire time, and he stayed true to his word through everything they had to go through before finally getting to rest.
That afternoon, Cal showed up in search of Rose, ignoring the officer who told him he probably wouldn't find any of "his people" in the third class area. Rose and Jack hid their faces with the blankets they'd been given as soon as they stepped foot off the lifeboat.
Cal didn't give either of them a second glance as he turned and left.
When one of the officers taking down names for the survivor list approached them, Rose did something completely unexpected.
"Excuse me, may I take your names down please?"
"Jack Dawson and-"
"Rose Dawson," she said, looking up at the man suddenly with wide eyes. He wrote them down on the clipboard in his hands, then smiled and nodded politely to them. "Thank you very much," he said, "and welcome aboard Carpathia, Mr. and Mrs. Dawson."
Jack stared at her after the man left, too surprised to speak. She studied him for a few moments, gently tracing his jaw with her fingers. "Rose DeWitt Bukater died when Cal started shooting at us, Jack," she said finally, her voice quiet so that only he could hear it. "Rose Dawson was born out on that door in the middle of the Atlantic"
Jack smiled, taking her face between his hands and pressing his forehead to hers softly, much as he had on their flotsam-raft. He looked directly into her eyes as he spoke. "Rose whatever-your-middle-name-is..." She laughed, and the sound made his heart soar.
"You have just made me so incredibly happy. The only thing that could possibly make this any better is if we were in Santa Monica right now."
"Drinking cheap beer?" she asked half-teasingly.
"And riding the roller coaster until we throw up, yes, of course," he replied, closing the small distance between them. "By the way," she said when they pulled apart for air. Rose looked up at him past her long, thick eyelashes as she smirked a bit playfully before continuing.
"My middle name. It's Angela."
He silently mouthed out her full name to himself; Rose Angela Dawson. Since he was still in a daze after everything they'd been through, it took a moment for his mind to fully comprehend all three words, but once it had, Jack smiled and said them again, but this time out loud; "Rose Angela Dawson."
She returned his smile as he twined their fingers together and softly kissed each of her knuckles before kissing her lips. Almost immediately after they separated, they heard a voice say, "Rose? Jack? Is that you?"
They turned to find that Molly Brown was watching them with wide eyes. As soon as she could see their faces clearly, she said, "My god." Before either of them could even blink, Molly was beside them, hugging them both tightly, and they hugged her right back."
"God, Rosie...When your mother told me what happened and why you ran off so quick, why I..." She shook her head. "I thought for sure that ya'll'd both drowned below deck or somethin'. I was prayin' for both of ya the entire time we were stuck in those lifeboats. Just kept lookin' up at the stars and thinkin' to myself, 'Dear Lord, if they somehow managed to survive by some miracle or somethin', please just let them be safe and together.'"
She was rambling somewhat, but neither Jack or Rose seemed to really mind; they were just as happy to see her as she was to see them. When Molly stopped to catch her breath, though, Rose took the chance to tell her something important.
"Molly, you should know that Rose DeWitt Bukater is among the victims claimed by Titanic," she said. Molly was, of course, extremely confused by this. "Rosie, I don't...You're talkin' nonsense, honey, you're still alive. The cold musta messed with your head or somethin', 'cause you're-"
"What I meant," Rose interrupted, gently taking Molly's hands in her own, "is simply that my name is not DeWitt Bukater anymore. I'm a different girl now, Molly, and I am more alive than ever thanks to Jack!"
"But...If your last name isn't-"
"Molly," Jack said, "allow me to introduce Miss Rose Dawson. Rosie, this is my good friend Mrs. Margaret Brown, more commonly known as Molly."
For the first time since either of them had met her, Molly Brown, the chatterbox of a woman who always had an opinion about everything and rarely ever shut up once given the chance speak freely, was speechless.
She looked at Rose. Then Jack. Then Rose, then Jack, then Rose, then Jack, jaw on the floor the whole time. Jack laughed, finally breaking the silence between them, and Molly suddenly remembered how to blink. She shook herself out of the weird stupor she'd gotten stuck in and said, "Jack Dawson, you and your girlfriend have got some real serious explainin' to do right now, ya hear?"
Jack nodded as he put his arm around Rose's waist, drawing her a bit closer against himself. "Yes, ma'am," he said, grinning cockily.
On the outside, he just looked like a regular 20-year-old guy from steerage. (Of course, out of all the ones with girls, he was with the most beautiful, but aside from that, he didn't have anything that made him stand out in any way.)
On the inside, though, he was so thrilled to hear Rose referred to as his girlfriend that if he wasn't trying to avoid being recognized by any of the first class survivors, he would have swept Rose off her feet and taken her to the bow of the ship to fly again before taking her to the stars and back.
AN: OKAY, so I told you had someone to introduce you to, and so I plan on doing just that! JOJO, GET OUT HERE!
Jojo: I'M BUSY!
Me: *drags her in by the ear*
Jojo: OW, OW, OW, OW, WHAT GIVES?
Me: Stay, puppy! Okay, everyone! This is one of my more recent OCs. Her name is Josephine, but she goes by Jojo. She's Jack and Rose's great-granddaughter. She's got Jack's eyes and artistic talent with Rose's hair, only it's wavy instead of curly and it's a lighter shade of red with thin blond streaks. ANYWAY, Jojo, tell the people about yourself!
Jojo: *sigh* I'm 17, I left home at an early age, I live in Santa Monica, I like to draw in my free time, I work part-time as a waitress at a place called Cora's Coffee Shoppe, and I do competitive dance. My partner's name is Conner and our trainers' names are Lizzie and Logan and the three of them are my best friends. Oh, and Maggie annoys me.
Me: HEY! Oh, and she sees ghosts. Titanic's victims to be specific. Jack follows her around everywhere she goes. He's like her mentor and guardian, sorta.
Jojo: And lately he's been hovering over my shoulder every single time I break out my art supplies just so he can pester me about my shading. DAMMIT, JACK, FOR THE LAST TIME, THEY'RE MY DRAWINGS, I'LL DECIDE HOW THE SHADING SHOULD LOOK!
Me: ...Anyway, I made a Facebook page for her, which I'll put a link to on my profile for anyone who has an FB account and is interested in checking it out. She's pretty awesome!