Credits: This fanfiction is co-authored by two tumblr friends and me. Author credits go to citiesofsong and lovelurpak on tumblr. Credit for the idea that sparked it all goes to citiesofsong. Thank you, ladies! :-)
Disclaimer: The usual. We don't own Cameron's Titanic or anything or anyone in it, etc., etc.
I. Greeting Lucy Barnes
One moment, the boat deck and A-deck levels of Titanic's Grand Staircase, bathed in the ethereal glow of yet another perfect day, contain just a few passengers chatting and strolling about. In the next moment, over 1,500 people fill the first-class entryway. They are not at all perturbed to so suddenly find themselves here; in fact, they're getting used to it.
Captain Smith is in his customary place on the boat deck level, looking out over the gilded oak and wrought iron railing, down at Honour and Glory Crowning Time. The clock reads 2:20. Usually there's someone standing in the landing before the clock as soon as they all arrive, but there are times, like this one, when no one appears. The Captain pulls out a roster, (even he is not quite sure where it comes from,) and reads off the next name: "Miss Lucy Barnes of Surrey, England."
An awkward silence. Thomas Andrews stands on A-deck, near the French doors to the promenade, his brow furrowed in concentration. Lucy Barnes… Ah, yes, I know her. White Star employee, assigned to tidy the rooms on A-deck during the maiden voyage. Sweet girl. He remembers some sort of crisis on board where he cupped her cheek and told her to "set a good example" for the worried passengers, but the memory is opaque.
"Who are we stood around for this time?" mutters a saloon steward to some of his mates.
"I think it's a maid… Does anyone remember her much?"
The steward shrugs. "No. But she made me a cup of tea once. Let's give her a cheer. It was a damn good cup of tea."
The Captain calls out again, "Miss Lucy Barnes, 24 years of age, newly hired by White Star for the maiden voyage. Any close friends of Miss Barnes are welcome to step forward."
No one comes forward. Mr. Andrews winces slightly. Perhaps he should go up to the landing himself, just so there's someone for her?
Just then, there's a knock on the French doors. It's not Lucy, but an elderly woman whom no one recognizes from the voyage. Mr. Andrews politely excuses himself to speak to her.
"I'm here to see Lucy; is she here yet?" she asks earnestly.
"No…" Mr. Andrews is thoughtful. This woman resembles Lucy, at least from what he can remember of the young maid. And by her accent, it sounds like she's from Surrey… "Might I ask your name, madam?"
"Cornelia Barnes. I'm Lucy's mum."
Mr. Andrews sighs with relief. Technically, they're not supposed to let in anyone else for these events, besides the guest of honor. Captain Smith set that rule after several people dissolved into tears over seeing people in the crowd who "weren't on the ship before." (No one quite knows 'before what,' exactly…) Also, there was that embarrassing- albeit hilarious- incident where a steward's wife asked to be let in to greet him… Then his Southampton mistress showed up… followed by his New York mistress…
But in this circumstance, it seems the right thing to do. "Right this way, madam." Mr. Andrews leads her up to the landing. Captain Smith nods in approval at his ship's builder.
A moment later, there is an especially intense, beautiful glimmer of sunlight through the French doors. A young blonde appears out of the light, wearing a maid's uniform, her eyes wide with shock. She walks in slowly, almost floating past passengers and crew as they smile and applaud. In joyful tears, mother and daughter embrace after many years, perhaps decades, apart.
Then they, along with most of the crowd, disappear.