Based on some situations originated by James Cameron.
Full of confidence, Jack strode out of his room and back towards the main stairwell. He'd taken a few moments to decide on his line of attack, straightened his rugged attire as best he could, and gathered his "ticket." As he reached the bottom of the stairs, he noticed that the attending steward had been replaced since his last visit, which further widened his roguish grin.
The man met him at the top with an almost rude, "Can I help you?" Jack noticed the lack of a "sir" following the question. The previous evening had seen the uniformed individuals full of subservient "sirs" and "as you pleases." Inwardly, Jack grimaced, but he didn't let it reach his face. He had a part to play.
"Yes. I have to return this to Molly Brown." With a flourish, Jack presented the tuxedo she had leant him the previous evening. The steward's expression barely changed, which was a distinct disappointment. Jack had been hoping for at least a little astonishment to help him get past.
"Very good, sir. I will see that it is delivered to her immediately." He reached out and grabbed the clothes out of Jack's hand.
He was ready for that, though. "Fine. I suppose you can explain to her why the jacket is missing, then. You can also explain why I didn't deliver it personally like she asked." Jack lowered his voice conspiratorially. "Frankly, I'll be glad to not have to do it myself. She can get quite riled up about these things sometimes."
Now the steward was visibly shaken. He quickly searched and found that, indeed, there was no jacket. He had no way of knowing that Rose had worn it back to her suite the night before. Neither man was aware that Rose's maid, Trudy, at that exact moment, was trying to decide what to do with it. Both knew though, that something had to break their impasse.
The steward's head wrinkled in thought. "Whose tuxedo did you say this was? Mrs. Brown's?"
Jack smiled to himself. Rose's tutelage was paying dividends already. "Yes. Her real name is Margaret, I know, but I can't help calling her Molly like the rest of her friends." Such information was certainly not publicly available.
The evidence seemed to be heavily weighted in Jack's favor, who could see the attendant mentally counting the costs of letting him deliver the tuxedo himself. On the one hand, bothering an important passenger with a ruffian would be an offense, but probably only a minor one. On the other hand, willfully inhibiting a message from reaching its destination, if discovered, could really land him in hot water. He reached the only decision he could in the circumstances. "All right, lad. You can go. But I can't take you myself. I'll send you with the next steward who comes along."
It was only a brief wait, since the servers had to be constantly prowling the ship, ready to fulfill the demands of the passengers. The man Jack had been talking to hailed another one. "Take this man to see Mrs. Margaret Brown."
"Room B15," Jack interjected helpfully, trying to add yet another bit of weight to his arguments.
"He is to return this tuxedo to her and give her a message. Once he has done so, bring him back to the third class area. Watch him, mind you." The other man looked reluctant but had no choice but to obey.
Still trying to prove himself, Jack semi-led the way to Molly's room. The steward's tentative knock was answered by Molly's maid, who greeted him with a solemn, "Hello again, Mr. Dawson."
The steward looked a bit bemused. "You do know him, then?"
Then, Molly bubbled into the scene. "Of course we do. You wouldn't think our Jack a liar, now would you?" Turning to Jack, she asked, "What brings you back up here today? Gonna turn those handsome, devilish charms on me?"
He had forgotten the power of Molly's presence. That surely had influenced the decision back at the top of the stairs as well. Swallowing, he replied. "I'm here to return the tuxedo you lent me last night. I really appreciated it. I was also hoping we could maybe talk a bit."
Jack caught a brief look of consternation pass through her face, but he felt reasonably certain the other man missed it completely. "Why, shore! Come on in." She continued over the steward's protests. "Now, you run along. We can take care of him ourselves."
She then shut the door in the face of English calm nearly spluttering its protests. Turning to Jack, she asked in a less jovial, but no less imposing, tone, "You know you could've kept it…"
Jack interrupted her softly. "It just felt wrong." A period of silence ensued while Molly tried to read the emotions crossing his face and Jack tried to decide how much to trust this woman he barely knew. The pause stretched. Drawing a deep breath, Jack broke it. "There's something else."
Molly almost sounded perturbed. "Well, that was pretty obvious, Jack. What is it?" Her tone suggested that she didn't have all day, but it was also one that spoke of some concern for the situation.
As much as Jack didn't want to further intrude on his benefactor, he felt a stronger calling to continue his quest. "I have to talk to Rose again. This was the only way I could get up here." He continued more softly to his shoes. "Plus, I was hoping you could help me find her."
Molly looked deeply at Jack in response. He, in turn, was surprised and impressed by the communication that stare conveyed. For someone who wanted to join the ultra-elite social classes represented on Titanic, she seemed too deep and compassionate a person. Molly was probably the only one at the previous evening's dinner table who sensed that anything remarkable had happened.
She obviously was aware, though. The look he received asked him questions about the previous evening, questions he wasn't sure he would be able to answer. He could feel her probing for information about the note, about where he and Rose had gone, and about their feelings for one another. When she spoke, it wasn't to interrogate him, although he almost wished it were.
"Now, son. I know you aren't my flesh and blood, but you owe me enough to at least listen to what I have to say." She waited for Jack's nod, which he gave, not exactly reluctantly but lacking any hint of enthusiasm.
"Let me start out by saying that I'm all for love. I know what power it has and how wonderful it can be. I saw you two last night passing looks and notes. You're lucky most of 'em there were too interested in preening themselves to pay attention.
"But you have to think about Rose, too. Right now she's engaged–engaged, Jack–to one of the richest, most eligible bachelors in the world. She has meals, servants, clothes, paintings…everything that money can buy."
Molly held up a hand to forestall Jack's protests. "Now, I know as well as you that there are some things money can't buy. But, realistically, what can you offer her? You've probably got, what, ten dollars? She spends hundreds of dollars in a day, oftentimes. We both know that you can't give her that, no matter how much you might like to.
"You might think it's best for both of you to be together. And, maybe you're right. But don't get too egotistical and start to focus only on yourself. If you truly care for her, you'll consider what's best for her, too. You may think she'd be wisest to give it all up and run away with you. I just don't know how happy she'll be without all the things she has now."
A fire smoldered in Jack's eyes. "What makes you think she's happy now? 'Cause she isn't." For a brief moment, Jack considered telling her the real story about what had happened on the stern of the mammoth ship, but he knew he would never betray any trust Rose placed in him–especially not that one. The shared secret of what really happened was one of the many things that had helped bring them together.
Again, Molly's look penetrated rather deeply, but again she steered the conversation away from prying too deeply into their relationship. "Jack. I've been there. I've seen both sides. We weren't always rich. Now, looking back, I don't know how we did it. I'm sure if things went the other way around, I'd be living a life full of regrets. I don't want either of you to have to deal with that."
The scrutiny returned, but this time it was briefer, as if some of her earlier need to rush off was reasserting itself. "Ultimately, it comes down to this. It's not your decision."
Jack sighed. "I know that. Really, I do. I just gotta talk to her."
"She'd be giving up more than either of you realize."
"Probably." His voice was rock-steady as he confronted her close-mindedness. "But that's gonna be true either way, isn't it?"
This time it was Molly's turn to sit back and think, as both had been leaning progressively further forward during their conversation. She seemed to reach a decision. Echoing Jack's earlier sigh, she turned to him. "I have to finish getting ready to go to church. They're holding a special service for a few first class patrons who didn't want to attend the regular one. It's in the main dining room where we ate last night." She paused briefly and closed her eyes. "Rose will be there, too." The words came out reluctantly, almost as if she didn't choose to say them. Some other force took over and made her tell him that.
Shaking her head in confusion, she stood to go finish her preparations, although she looked fine as far as Jack was concerned. As she reached the doorway, she turned and spoke over one shoulder. "Good luck." He then heard her mutter as she walked out of the room. "It better be good."
As Jack sat there and thought about what Molly had said, he realized she was right about several things. He didn't really have the right to make the decision for Rose, but he did have the right to make her realize there was a decision to be made. But, if he were going to do that, it did have to be good. He'd never considered himself particularly eloquent and trying to plan a speech went contrary to his very nature.
As he was considering this, he also wondered why Molly's words had affected him so. Had Fabrizio or Tommy or anyone else tried to dissuade him or alter his path, he would have ignored them, or very nearly so. Was he also affected by the influence of wealth? Did Molly's money make her words more meaningful? Or was it just the force of her personality?
Shaking off that line of thought as thoroughly unproductive, Jack returned to composing his speech to Rose. He would start with a compliment. Everybody always enjoyed hearing an honest compliment. He remembered her look of surprise and gratitude on the deck following his bypassing her physical appearance to comment on the person beneath. It couldn't be something superficial or banal. It had to touch her soul. He wasn't quite sure how to do that at this moment, but he wasn't concerned. He liked thinking on his feet better than planning what to say anyway.
With that realization, he decided he'd just go find Rose and talk to her. He'd tell her how he felt and then let the chips fall where they would. If they were going to be together, he had to stay himself.
"Molly," he called out, intending to go with her to the service.
"She already left, sir. Don't you remember her taking leave of you?" Molly's maid looked down on him disapprovingly. He wasn't sure whether it was his clothes, his unconcern for Molly's departure, his familiar tone of addressing her, his social standing, or something else entirely. Truth be told, he didn't care, either.
"Oh, yes," he lied glibly. "Could I get some paper to leave her a note?"
The maid got him the requested item and a pen as well. Jack quickly scribbled a note.
Thanks again for all your help. I really do appreciate it.
PS Rose has your tuxedo jacket.
He told the maid, "Please see that Molly gets this note." He then bade her farewell and cheerfully headed off to find Rose and to tell her just how he felt, no matter the cost to himself (or to her).
It was two turns and a stairwell later before Jack realized he wasn't sure where he was going. He thought he was retracing the path he'd been led down twelve hours earlier but something felt wrong. A few more passages and he was certain he was lost. This really frustrated him, since he knew that it was a short walk from Molly's room to the grand staircase.
Along the way, he felt the stares of other passengers. He just scorned them at first, but as the number of them grew and people began calling for stewards, he began to feel more out of place and more like a pariah all the time.
In the beginning feelings of desperation, he even approached Colonel Gracie to ask for directions The man, who had seen him dressed both as he was now and in the tuxedo he'd been lent, completely failed to recognize him. He did, however, provide Jack with directions to the main dining room, albeit in a rather perfunctory tone.
Jack thanked him graciously and followed the directions, past another gauntlet of stares to reach the entrance to the magnificent staircase. No one was manning the entrance door tonight, allowing him to pass through uncontested. He started down the stairs, keenly feeling the lack of Rose's arm through his. Just the thought of seeing her again filled his heart with joy, and soon he was almost skipping down the stairs.
Just before reaching the level of the worship service, he saw Thomas Andrews, inspecting the ship as usual. As a litmus test to see if ANYONE would recognize him from the night before, he greeted him warmly. "Hello, Mr. Andrews."
The older man never hesitated. With at least as much feeling as Jack had expressed, he replied. "Hello, Jack." However, he was more interested in his inspection and writing in his notebook than in talking with anyone–regardless of social standing.
As he descended the last few steps, Jack wondered if Rose could similarly see past the exterior to the man inside. He anticipated that she could, but he had no guess about what her reaction to that man would be.