Based on some situations originated by James Cameron.
It's hard to say whether the beds squeaking, water running, or hushed voices were responsible for waking him, but Jack slowly stirred and opened bleary eyes to a room bustling with quiet activity. Fabrizio noticed his movements and greeted him. "Morning. If you don't hurry up, you'll miss breakfast. Again." He stressed the last word meaningfully. Often enough, Jack had missed breakfast and then complained all day about being hungry.
Muttering under his breath, Jack got up. A look in the mirror prompted him to wonder about what Rose saw in him. He ran fingers through the unruly mop on the top of his head. His shave from the previous afternoon was still sufficient since he rarely needed to shave more than once a week anyway. As he slipped out of the expensive, but uncomfortable, clothing of the night before, he wondered to himself how he had slept in that.
"You were out a bit late last night, my friend." Fabrizio's answer let Jack know he had once again voiced his thoughts without realizing it. Jack's grimace tightened as he remembered the time with Rose. As he thought about it, too, the pressure and tension of the whole evening came back to him, explaining the slight tinge of a headache.
Pulling on his second shoe, he asked Fabrizio, "Ready to go?" A slight widening of the eyes and a grin on his friend's face let Jack know that he'd been ready long ago and had only been waiting for him.
As they walked toward the mess hall, Jack felt the coldness and barren immensity of the ship around him. What scant hours earlier had been exciting and mysterious was now simply drab. The halls hadn't changed. Jack hadn't. Only one thing was different and he felt that difference keenly. Stifling a sigh, he quickened his step to catch Fabrizio just at the doors to the dining room.
As they strode through the doors, Jack drank in the common sights and sounds. Children and families traveling together clearly marked out their territory. Several large religious communities were traveling to the promised freedom in America. They always sat in a rigidly defined pattern that made sense only to them. Single men, most going to find their fortune, dominated the rest of the seating area. It was to one of these groups that they turned their steps.
Even though they arrived after the scheduled start of breakfast, the servers provided them with ample helpings of oatmeal porridge, vegetable soup, roasted pork, and fruit--just a sampling of the many items being served that morning. Their attitude, however, was markedly different than the subservient, as-you-wish demeanor of the night before. Purpose and an almost frenetic urgency had replaced it. However, the better service had its price--one that was paid in stuffiness.
The food, too, while significantly better than much of what Jack had eaten, paled in comparison with the scrumptious fare served to the wealthy passengers. Minor flaws that would cause food to be rejected by the sophisticated were barely noticed by the simple mass of humanity surrounding him. Water had to be poured from great pitchers placed on each table instead of crystal goblets being attended by a tuxedoed steward. The multiple servers per table have been replaced by so few that the food barely seemed to arrive at tables. However, Jack only felt the pain of the loss of Rose, not the lessening of creature comforts.
Additionally, the conversation ebbed and flowed in completely different patterns. Whereas everyone's focus the night before had consistently centered on the speaker, this morning saw different topics arising at various locations and wending their way through an ever-changing eddy of competing dialogues. The attention of others was no longer a foregone conclusion as the speaker had to rely on his (or her) own wits and presence (not the mere act of speaking) to maintain the interest of listeners.
As Jack's consciousness increased, he became aware of the topic of conversation around him. Fabrizio was telling of his experiences the night before. He spoke of Helga's intelligence and her looks. He told of the shock that he had experienced when he realized that she was significantly stronger than he was. He went into detail regarding their walk back to Helga's room and the rapture of their brief good night kiss. The only thing he didn't talk about was the language difference.
Still feeling the burn of Rose's flight the night before, Jack asked about that very subject. "So, what about all the huge differences between you? How can you even talk to her?" To his surprise, it came out in an extremely bitter tone, which had not been his intention. On further reflection, however, it seemed to match his mood pretty well.
The others that knew him gaped a little at this question. Normally, Jack was so jovial and upbeat. He didn't let minor matters like language, wealth, unassailable odds, hunger, or anything else phase him. His attitude this morning took them quite by surprise. He could feel their questioning looks but chose to ignore them, focusing on his chum's reaction.
Fabrizio rose to the question, deciding to look past the style in which it was asked. "Well, such things do 'na matter so much. Yeah, it is tough, but we fight through it, no?" He then paused briefly before deciding to push on with his friend. They'd been through a whole heap together, and he knew that Jack wasn't one to desert his friends over a minor matter. He forged ahead with his question. "What happened with miss uppity-up rich girl that has you so fed up with life last night and this morning?"
"Her name's ROSE! And she's not uppity." The words slipped out before Jack realized what he was saying. Then, he shook himself and took a deep breath before trying again. "Sorry, Fabrizio. It's just..." Well, he just didn't know how to describe it. Nevertheless, he gave it his best effort. "She's just so wonderful. But...well, we're different. I feel like I know her, but at the same time, we seem to come from such different worlds. Last night was perfect, but...then she left and everything felt so..."
"Empty?" somebody supplied. Jack nodded. It fit perfectly. He felt empty. Something was missing. Once he identified the feeling, identifying what was missing was easy. Rose was missing. He had to see her again. He resolved at that very moment that he would not let the ship dock without talking to her again.
He declared his intention to Fabrizio and the other few interested breakfasters. "I'm gonna go see her again. Today." Their looks ranged from shocked to bemused.
"What are you gonna to say to her, Jack?"
He pondered briefly. "I have no idea." But, he vowed to himself, it would be good and worth listening to.
"How are you gonna get to her? There are gates, ya know. And even if you get past those, this is a big ship. You could look for her for hours and in that time you'd surely get caught."
Jack felt the beginnings of a smile creep to his lips--the first since Rose had left the previous night. "I have no idea," he stated simply.
Fabrizio took up the questioning. "And what difference would it make? What can you possibly say to bridge the gap? I saw that engagement ring on her finger, and I know she didn't get it from you."
The grin on Jack's face started to show and widen. "I have no idea."
After long experience, a close friend knows what the other is thinking. The Italian knew exactly what the American was thinking. "But you're still gonna do it, aren't ya?"
The smile widened further. "Of course!"
As breakfast concluded, Jack started to consider those questions and a multitude of others. The main issue was what was he going to say to Rose? How could he make her change her mind? Was it his right to try to bring her down to his level? He wanted to make sure that it was fair to Rose, but he had to be able to live with himself, too. What compromises could they make? Were their problems even solvable by mere mortals?
With a head still swimming with more questions than answers, Jack headed for the main stairwell leading to the upper levels. The gate was closed and locked, of course, but there was a steward nearby. Walking up to the man, Jack tried to convince him to open the gate. "Excuse me," he said, "I have a message for Miss Rose DeWitt Bukater in first class. Please open the gate and stand aside, so that I may deliver it."
The steward visibly sized up Jack, who apparently did not meet the necessary qualifications for admittance. With a slight sneer, he haughtily replied. "Give me the message and I will see that it gets delivered to her, if she exists."
"I have to deliver it personally." The brazen approach had worked in more situations than he could easily count, so he wasn't about to give up without trying now. However, this steward had obviously been trained to deal with exactly these situations.
"I'm sorry, sir, but without a ticket or a special invitation, no one is allowed into first class. Perhaps, under very special circumstances, it might be permissible, but you are not allowed up there." His voice was firm and he seemed very solid in his stance.
Jack tried the newest and final trick in his bag. He tried to assume Rose's most haughty, condescending manner. In a tone that he hoped would brook no argument, he looked down his nose at the steward and commanded, "I must see Miss DeWitt Bukater immediately."
The expression on the other man's face let him know in an instant that he had not been successful. Without even waiting for the inevitable dismissal, Jack turned on his heels and marched away.
As he strode away, he repeated his vow. He would see Rose and he would tell her just how he felt. She would have to deal with the consequences; as would he, he suddenly realized. He wasn't sure exactly what consequences they might be, but he was prepared to face many tribulations to see more of the fascinating girl he had met.
Jack explored other ways of getting up into the first class section, but every stairwell he found ended in a locked door or gate. He did find a way down to the engine rooms, but the heat and noise drove him away quickly. He considered trying to use some of the passages marked Crew Only, but they always seemed to be patrolled and he'd already been warned once about being where he didn't belong. A second infraction might land him in chains.
Only one other gate had a steward passing by. However, the only thing that man told him was that the main stairwell was the only one to be used by third class passengers wishing to get into a different part of the ship. All of Jack's pleading was to no avail.
Eventually, he'd had enough and headed back to his room to collect his thoughts. He figured he would also be able to start planning what he would say to Rose while he decided how to get to her. It simply would not do to get the chance to talk with her and waste it because he wasn't prepared. He started composing in his head, but he didn't even know how to start. "Give it all up and run away with me" summarized his feelings much better than he could have possibly imagined twenty-four hours earlier, but it seemed too demanding and insensitive. But nothing else he was able to compose could adequately convey his emotional concern and ties.
His feet eventually brought him back to his own room, which, somewhat surprisingly, was completely empty. "At church," Jack muttered to himself. He knew he should have gone himself, but he wasn't able to really concentrate that morning. Church services often bored him anyway, and he knew that that morning's would not be able to wrest his attention away from Rose.
His trip to his room was not in vain. As he glanced around the room, his eyes chanced upon his way to the upper decks. As he stared at the item; the glimmer of an idea took shape and clarified. He would be able to use it as his ticket through the gate and into the first class area. It might even take him to someone who would help him. Now, the only remaining question was what he was going to say to Rose.