AN: Here's the next chapter for the anniversary. I would've posted earlier, but I was watching the movie, and then I had to at least attempt to settle my emotions down after subjecting them to that, so... n_n"
Anyway, here it is, and I'm gonna try to have the next chapter up before I go to bed tonight, but no promises, 'cause I'm turning in early because I'm sick. I'll start right after I get outta the shower I'm about to go take, though, I promise. This was originally two separate chapters, but I mushed them into one because they seem to make more sense that way. I'll shut up now. Disclaimer: I AM NOT JAMES CAMERON. MY EGO IS A PERFECTLY HEALTHY SIZE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. XD
Disclaimer: I AM NOT JAMES CAMERON. MY EGO IS A PERFECTLY HEALTHY SIZE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. XD
After they got back to Earth, they just lay there in each other's arms. Jack held Rose's gaze, neither one making any sound except for the occasional sweet nothings they whispered to one another every so often in soft voices, as if afraid that to speak too loudly would break the spell they had fallen under. Then Jack whispered something without really thinking about it.
"Marry me, Rosie."
She studied his face to see if he was serious, then realized he was. "Jack...are you sure that's what you want?"
"I've never been more sure about anything in my life. I love you and I want to be with you forever. I want to be able to lay next to you like this every night and wake up every morning with you in my arms. I want you to be the last thing I see before I close my eyes and fall asleep, and the first thing I see when I open them the next day. You already took my last name, so why not make it official?"
"How soon do you have in mind?"
"Whenever you want, just as long as it's before we dock. I want to be able to walk off this boat married to you, Rose. It would mean everything to me to have that happen. More than all the diamond necklaces in the world, and it would more than make up for the sentimental value of all the drawings I lost when Titanic went down. Please, Rosie...Do me this honor, please...It doesn't have to be a lot of people if you don't want. It could just be us, the preacher, and Molly could be the witness, maybe Casey. Please say yes, Rose...please say you'll marry me, please..."
She didn't answer right away. He was afraid her hesitance meant she would say no, and he tried to brace himself for disappointment as best he could. "Jack," she said finally. "Jack whatever-your-middle-name-is Dawson, you are babbling endlessly like a mindless fool."
"I can feel a huge 'but' coming on."
She smiled and kissed him, then pulled back and looked into his eyes. "I love you, too, Jack."
"...So...Is that a yes?"
"It's a yes."
Jack was speechless with shock and joy, and Rose giggled at the expression on his face. When he finally found his voice again, he sat up and put his hands on either side of her face. "Rose...Rose, Rose, Rose, my sweet, beautiful Rosie...You have just made me the happiest man alive on this entire Goddamn planet. I'd marry you right this very minute if I could, Rose, I love you so damn much."
He was experienceing so many different emotions at the same time in that one single moment; love, desire, passion, lust, longing, and hundreds more. He couldn't even put names to some of them, and it felt as his heart would burst from how overwheling it was. He'd never felt so many things all at once before in his life, and it was both strange and wonderful for him now that it was happening for the first time. Looking into her eyes as they broke their kiss for air, he somehow knew—perhaps by whatever instinct had allowed them to communicate without speech in the lifeboat—that Rose felt the same and was going through it all, as well.
Hardly aware of what they were doing, the couple went to the stars for a second time that night. "By the way," Jack whispered as they began drifting to sleep, "it's Nicholas."
"What is?" Rose murmured against his chest. "My middle name," he replied. "It's Nicholas." She smiled as he kissed her forehead and they drifted into a peaceful sleep.
They wasted almost no time, and when Carpathia docked in New Tork, they stood on the deck, not caring that they were getting soaked by the pouring rain, and stared up at the Satue of Liberty as one of the few married couples who had either found each other again through the survivor list, or managed to somehow stay together by some miracle.
For Jack and Rose Dawson, it had been a miracle combined with their own sheer determination.
Rose covered her hair with a blanket as they stepped onto the plank that would let them off the boat. By that point, standing out was the last thing either of them wanted to do, and with such a bright and unique color, there was a bigger chance of that happening, so she did the logical thing and hid it from sight.
Over thirty thousand people waited to greet the Titanic survivors, including the stampede of reporters and photographers, which was six feet deep at the foot of the gangways, with others perched on top of cars and trucks. They jostled to get close to the surviovors, tugging sleeves and shouting questions over each other's heads. There were several hundred policemen present trying to keep the crowd back and not quite succeeding all the way, despite giving their best efforts. There was an immigration officer at the end of the gangways asking for names, and this time, Jack answered for both of them.
"Names please, sir."
"Jack and Rose Dawson."
"Thank you. Please head to the holding area over there for processing."
"Jack," Rose said as they moved foward with the crowd of dazed immigrants, "we're both American. Why are the sending us for processing?" Jack leaned over a bit to get closer to Rose's ear so she would be able to hear him. "Probably because—"
Several people flinched in surprise at the blinding glare of a photographer's magnesium flash. Then a sudden commotion broke out as a pair of men broke through the cordon and ran to embrace an older woman who was among the survivors. She cried out in joy, and flashes exploded as the reporters swarmed like bees towards the emotional scene, feeding off it like ants on a picnic. Seeing their chance, Jack grabbed Rose's hand, using the confusion to an advantage as he led her away from the crowd, weaving in and out of the throngs. They moved with purpose, and nobody questioned them with all the chaos going on everywhere.
They managed to escape, finally, and once they were out of the crowd, they slowed down a bit before finally coming to a complete stop and looking around. "Now which way?" Rose asked. Jack looked at their options; keep going down the dock, or turn left and head towards the first few buildings on the street. Finally, he just pulled a dime out of his pocket. Showing it to Rose, he said, "Heads we go straight, tails we make a left."
"Alright," she said.
He flicked it into the air, then caught it and smacked it onto the back of his hand. He nodded. "Left it is, then," he said. They took each other's hands again, and for the first time in what felt like years, their feet touched hard, solid, firm ground.
"I never want to set foot on another boat again for as long as I live."
"Sounds like a plan to me. I'd rather stand on the edge of an active volcano."
Rose laughed. Thankfully, they wouldn't need a boat to get where they were going. Just a train, their own feet, and some determination. They already had two of those things. Now they just need to take care of the train part, which wouldn't have been a problem if Jack still had his art supplies. Unfortunately, however, all the paper, conte crayons, and everything else were at the bottom of the ocean along with his portfolio, which was still locked in Cal's safe in Rose's stateroom closet.
Remembering the safe made Rose suddenly notice that she was still wearing Cal's jacket. She made a face and yanked it off. As she was about to throw it into a tree, Jack caught her by the wrist suddenly. "There might be something in the pockets we can use," he said. Rose looked at it again. "Maybe..." she said, feeling around in one of them. Her fingers closed around a cold, hard object, and she frowned in confusion. They both gasped when she pulled it out.
"The Heart of the Ocean..."
Jack took it from her palm, almost seeming afraid of touching it, as if it would burn his hand. "I can't believe he was so stupid and careless," Rose said, watching as Jack turned it around hin his hands over and over again. "What should we do with it?" he asked. "Sell it?" Rose shook her head in response to this. "No," she said, "then he might be able to track us down. It would be an instant give away that I survived."
"So, what? Just...keep it?"
"Until we can figure something else out, I don't see any other choice."
Jack nodded and slipped the necklace into his pocket. "Let's see if he left us anything else..."
As it turns out, there was a huge wad of cash in the other pocket, still a bit damp from when Rose had been in the water.
"My God, Jack...this is a thousand dollars just by itself!"
Jack's eyes were saucers on his face. "That's enough money to get tickets to Santa Monica and still have some left over! Hell, we could go all the way to Mexico or Canada with this if we wanted!"
"Then what are we waiting for, let's go find the train station!"
"WATCH OUT, SANTA MONICA! JACK DAWSON IS COMIN' BACK! WOO!"
Both feet were still on the ground, but for the second time in the past week, Jack Dawson felt like the king of the world with only the location and reasons being different. And this time, he had a beautiful queen beside him.
AN: I'll go take that shower so I can get to work on the next on ASAP!