Finding that Rose had already gotten up to start her day, Jack decided to get dressed and step outside for some air. Maybe the early morning sun will revive his inspiration, that’s been lagging since the shooting. Thinking that he was alone, he lit a cigarette and let his thoughts drift back to the earlier days of his marriage. When It had just been himself and Rose, basking in the love they had found. When he had been so sure that his mother loved his father with all her heart.

"So you smoke huh? I’m surprised," a hated voice snorted. "Never thought I’d see the day when a Dawson had a cigarette in their mouth."

"What do you want?" Jack glared at his stepfather.

"For you to give your mother a break. She doesn’t deserve what you’ve been giving her," Dean loked at Jack, studying him intensely. The boy looked so much like his mother, it was scarey, but right now he was looking at Andrew. Sad and accusing.

"Oh? Well I happen to think that she deserves exactly what I’m giving her and more. Tell me, why did you have to come along and destroy everything? Why didn’t you just walk away from her ?" Jack took a long dreg on the cigarette, hoping that it’d calm his nerves like it did in the past.

"Why couldn’t you walk away from Rose?"

The question took Jack off guard. So much so that he had dropped his cigarette. He frowned, wondering just how much he knew about Rose’s life before their marriage and if Cal and Ruth had sent them. Sure the thoughts were impossibly paranoid, but he had learned a long time ago not to underestimate people and the lengths they would go to get what they want.

Quickly stamping out the ruined cigarette, Jack glared openly at his mother’s husband. "What was that?"

"Why didn’t you walk away from Rose? I thought that the girl looked a bit familiar and last night it came to me where I’ve seen her before. I saw her face in this article about the Titanic tragedy. Her maiden name was Rose Dewitt Bukater and she was the fiancee of the steel tychoon Caledon Hockley. She was supposed to have perished with the ship; but instead, I find her here in Chippewas Falls, happily married to my wife’s oh so charming son. So I know that Rose wasn’t exactly free when you two met. So tell me Jack, since you’re an expert on the subject. Why didn’t you walk away from the practically married Rose?"

Jack leaned against the house, his eyes dark with anger. "You know nothing about Rose and me."

"Just like you know nothing about your mother and myself."

"I know all I need to know. Ok, you want to know the difference between you and myself? I’ll be happy to tell you. If Cal had treated Rose the way she deserved…if he had really loved and respected her as a person and hadn’t treated her like a piece of property…I would have walked away. There would be no reason for me not too. She would have been happy. You on the other hand didn’t care if my mother was happy or not. You wanted her, so you just took her."

Dean looked at Jack, a strange gleam in his eyes. "Is that what you really believe? That I took your mother away? Just like that?"

Before Jack could answer, Lily and Rose walked out on to the porch. Rose frowned when she noticed the way the two men were looking at each other.


"Good morning Miss. Dewitt Bukater," Dean greeted, knowing that the conversation was over.

"Shut up," Jack growled, not even wanting the other man to address Rose.

Rose walked up to her husband and laid a hand on his arm. "I go by my married name now Mr. Mitchum. Rose Dawson. Dewitt Bukater was my married name. Jack…let’s go for a walk. We need to talk."

"About what?" Jack frowned.

"Things. Now come on," She pulled him off the porch and towards lake Wissota.

Dean frowned. "What was that about?"

"Rose is going to make Jack understand. I told her our story Dean. Now she’s going to tell Jack…she’s going to try to make him see what it was like for me."

"Lily…I don’t know. The kid is stubborn like his old man. He can’t see pass his anger."

"I have the utmost faith in Rose’s influence over my son. If anyone can make him understand…it’s her."

"Well I hope you’re right Lil. That’s all I can say. For your sake, I hope you’re right."


Jack and Rose walk towards the lake in silence. Jack sighed as he felt Rose’s head fall to his shoulder, as she held tightly to his arm. He wondered what she had to talk to him about. So far she hadn’t said anything.

"Rose sweetie…what did you want to talk to me about?" He broke the silence, stepping away from her so they could talk face to face.

Rose bit her lip. She had no idea how to start the conversation. Jack just stood there. His eyes full of love and concern. He was so handsome, innocent, and hurt. Would hearing this really help him? Or would it cause him to push her away as well?
He held her hands gently in his own. His eyes bore into her soul. "Just tell me."

Rose sighed, knowing that he wasn’t going to be too happy with her, but she had to do something. All this anger was destroying him. He didn’t even draw anymore because of it. "This morning…I sat down with your mother and had her tell me about her relationship with Dean and your father."

"Rose…why would you do that?" The hurt in Jack’s eyes deepened, breaking Rose’s heart. She didn’t want to hurt him anymore then he already was. She had to make things right. She had to make him understand.

"I did it for you Jack. I saw what the situation with your mother was doing to you. I had to put a stop to it somehow."

"How was listening to my mother’s excuses helping?"

"…I thought that maybe I could understand what she did, that there would be a good chance that you’d understand too if you heard her explanation from someone you loved and trusted.

Jack’s eyes changed to where they betrayed no emotion, but inside his emotions were waring against one another. He was angry with Rose for wanting to understand his mother’s side, but he loved her even more for her concern and desire to make things right for him. "Ok. What’s her story? Why did she pretend to love my father when she really wanted Dean?"

Rose bit her lip nervously, hoping that her plan worked. "Well…her life Jack…I can relate to it because it’s not too different from my own."

"Rose…how is your life similar to my mothers? She was a married woman. You weren’t. She had a son that needed her, you didn’t. Her relationship got someone killed. Ours didn’t."
"But she was forced into marriage Jack. Forced by overbearing parents; my mother was trying to force me to marry Cal, a man I didn’t love."

"But that’s where the similarities end Rose."

"No Jack. Not really. We both love you dearly and when you hurt, so do we. Jack please, I know you’re angry with her. I know you’re hurt over what happened to your father. But Jack, it was an accident. She never meant for anyone to be hurt. All she wanted was what we have. A chance to be happy and secure with the once she loved; Just like I’m happy and secure with you."

Jack sighed, feeling the wall he had built around his heart start to crumble. When Rose put it that way, it was hard to hang on to his anger. But, how did his momther get Rose to come to such a comparisian? What did she say? "Rose…why do you say this? What did she tell you?"

Rose smiled gently and took another step towards the lake. "Come Jack. Walk with me and I’ll tell you everything she told me."


"Jack, do you trust me?"

Jack frowned at the all too familiar question. He had asked her that numerous times on board the Titanic and each time she had trusted him completely. Now she was asking the same of him. The only answer he had was the answer from his heart. "I trust you. Always have."

"Well trust me now. Walk with me and listen. By the time I’m done, you’ll understand why I came to such a comparision."

Jack sighed in defeat. No was no use fighting this. So tightening his hold on Rose’s hand, Jack followed and listened to Rose tell his mother’s story.


Jack and Rose had been gone for a full hour. Lily and Dean sat on the porch, eagerly awaiting the young couple’s return.

"Do you think the girl talked some sense into that boy?" Dean asked.

"I think so. If anyone could get through to my son, it’s Rose. They love each other so much. They kind of remind me of us. Young, in love, optimistic," Lily sighed dreamily.

"Before your parents ruined everything," Dean snorted, just as Jack and Rose approached the gate, returning from their walk.

"Jack? Rose?" Lily got to her feet, noticing that the anger in Jack’s eyes was no longer there. To her surprise and relief, Jack hugged her tightly.

"I’m so sorry mom. I didn’t know. I’m so sorry for how I treated you," Jack buried his face in his mother’s hair. "Please forgive me."

"Oh my darling son. You have done nothing to be forgiven for. I understood. I love you Jack. So much. And I’m so pround of you. You’ve grown up into a fine young man and you’re going to be a wonderful father.

Jack pulled away and smiled at Lily who wiped the tears from his eyes. "Rose explained everything. I love you mom and I understand now. I really do." Slowly he turned to Dean and offered his hand. "I can’t say that I’m your biggest fan now, but I do respect you and accept your place in my mother’s life. Welcome to the family ."

Dean ony smiled and accepted Jack’s hand.

"Oh this is so wonderful," tears appeared in Lily’s eyes. "Now I can tell both of you our happy news."

"What news?" Rose took Jack’s hand.

"Lily and I are expecting a baby of our own. We just found out yesterday," Dean grinned happily.

"Congratulations," Rose hugged her mother in law tightly.

"Yeah," Jack forced a smile again, thinking of his father. "Congratulations."

"Well come on. Let’s get indoors. It’s getting chilly out here and I haven’t had breakfast," Dean hustled his wife inside.

"Jack?" Rose looked at her husband in concern, not sure how he was taking the news.

"I’m fine Rose. Just surprised. That’s all. Come. Let’s get inside. I don’t want you catching cold," Jack took Rose’s hand. Together they disappeared inside the house and that was where they stayed for the remainder of the day.