And Let Her Go

By: Fala not a Yank nanny Tzipori

Written: September, 2003
Fandom: Chicken Run
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst/Romance
Pairing(s): Mac/Ginger, Rocky/Ginger, implied Fowler/?
Warnings: Soft slash, light swearing, Scottish vocabulary and accent, probably OOC
Plot: Mac talks to Rocky about her past relationship with Ginger.
Spoilers: Yes. Lots. If you haven't seen the film, you'd do best not to read.
Dedications/Thanks: I was very much inspired by TalkingHawk's fic about Rocky which is a very personal and romantic piece with a nice, casual syle (very easy on the sap-intolerant reader). A delightful read it is, so do check that out ^_^
Other comments/schtuff: This is from Mac's POV and she's addressing Rocky. Let's assume that at this point, Rocky is able to understand her at least somewhat ^_^; I added bits of her dialogue from the film in italics here and there just because I thought them fitting. They don't really mean anything, so feel free to pay them no mind ^_-

NOTE: All Scottish words/phrases followed by a number in brackets are translated at the bottom of the page.

And Let Her Go

I think it began with the turnip.

. . . No, that doesn't quite sound right. I guess I should say I think it began to end with the turnip'. Aye, that would be more accurate, even if the juxtaposition there is enough to make you rip your own feathers out.

So, anyhoo, the turnip. That little demonstration.

We tried goin' UNDER the wire an' that didnae work. So, the plaun is we go OVER it.

She and I had come up with a new escape plan. This plan involved a catapult. I made a smaller version of the thing for when we told our idea to the others. The scale was a little bit off and the mechanics involved made for a more powerful thrust than I'd intended, but this couldn't be helped. We had limited resources, you know.

Anyway, that evening we had our meeting and showed our plan to the others. I took the cover off the little catapult and everyone looked a trifle nervous about it. Rightfully so, too. If they didn't have their doubts about the plan when she and I just started talking about it, they certainly had more than that by the end of the meeting. I wanted to show them how the catapult worked, how it would get them over that confounded fence, so I loaded the thing up with a stand-in turnip.

This is us, richt? We get in like this . . . wind er up . . .

An' layt er go! I said. I said that right before hitting the switch. I hit the switch. The catapult sprung. The turnip went flying. The turnip bought it as Fowler said. Aah, the foreshadowing! Let me tell you, inevitability is one factor too many of us mathematicians fail to mind in our calculations.

Well, I think seeing that turnip splattered all over the wall was enough to fley [1] off any followers we might've had.

Like, I said, I think it began there, with that turnip. It was the beginning of the end. Och, but that phrase is so overused . . .

That night, I was right scunnert [2]. All that work putting the model together, all those hours I practically asked for Carpal Tunnel syndrome what with all the pencil-sharpening I had to do, because I can't very well draw up plans without a pencil that can write, of course . . . Well, I'd done it all for nothing. Turnip mashed, escape plan scrapped, back to the drawing board with me.

She'd simply walked out of the hut, leaving the rest of us to our qualms. I watched through a crack in the door as she wandered out into the yard, perfectly steady for all the caoch [3] the others had given her for the botched escape plan. Then I watched her collapse against the fence and sob.

Augh, I wish I'd'a gone out there right away and told her it would all be alright. I was going to, but . . . well, I never got the chance.

Anyway, the night the turnip bought it was the night my world went a-whummel. That was the night you fell from the sky.

From then on, things between me and her changed. She was quiet. Very quiet. Distant, too. She was right radge on you. You had her respect, but not her trust. You weren't good enough for her, even if you were good enough for any of us. You were right braw [4] and bonny and had stolen the hearts of a'ane [5]. Aye, I could've gone for you myself. I didn't though. I was too stuck on her.

But like I said before, when you fell into our lives, things changed between her and me.

Welcome back, hen. Is there a new plan?

That was when she started to get really cold. Allerish [6]. Distant. She didn't want to take strolls around the yard at midnight anymore. We did that quite a lot, you know. If the moon was bright, it'd be casting our shadows because we'd be out there, walking wing-in-wing. We'd usually stroll around the perimetre of the yard. I'd have one wing in hers, while I let my other wing trail along the wire fence. Her feathers were soft and warm on my right while the fence was steely and cold on my left. I think we both liked moonlit nights. I've always been partial to starry nights myself because I liked the way I could see the stars in her eyes. Her eyes reflected Virgo on the night I told her how I felt about her. After that night, we always took walks or sat on the roof of our hut together and just . . . were.

On nights when we didn't walk, sometimes she'd come down to my nest. Sometimes we'd lie beside one another and whisper back and forth. Sometimes we did more than that. The first time we tried to kiss, both of us had our eyes closed and she missed her aim and ended up chipping my glasses with her beak. This was awfully embarrassing, of course, but looking back, it was actually quite funny.

Anyway, that all stopped when you came.

She'd still talk to me, of course, but it was all business. There were no more strolls, no more whispers, and definitely no more kisses.

I was sairly tried [7] by it all. So many times I wanted to go up to her and say Gi' us a cheeper, hen! [8] but I knew that would be asking a fat lot of her. We had a fair bit to deal with right then, what with our plan to fly over the fence and we were all a'wye an' athort [9] as it was. I didn't want to add to her problems.

Are we still on?

But I was undone the night I saw her with you on the rooftop. Our rooftop.

I saw your shape next to hers against the moonlight - our moonlight - and, well, I'd venture to say I felt like that turnip. Seeing the pair of you like that hit me so hard.

I ended up going to Fowler's quarters. After a great deal of banging on his door, he finally answered. He was right surly at having been woken up, but I just didn't care. He'd opened the door and scowled at me. It was a peculiar scowl, dark and droopy, like he was still half-asleep, which he probably was.

Good grief, what could you possibly want at this hour?! he said.

Cuid ye please let me in, I said more than asked.

I guess he saw the tears in my eyes because he did let me in and didn't say a word when I went so far as to go ahead and sit on his bunk. At that point, I couldn't be arsed to ask first. Like I said, I just didn't care.

I said, Luik, I just need some-ane te be nice to me fer aboot five minutes an' then I'll let ye alane.

Fowler grunted a bit, looking at me. I think he was trying to look less annoyed and more concerned. He didn't do a very good job of that.

What's the matter? he asked. So I told him. I told him how she seemed to be slipping away from me and how I'd seen her on the roof with you.

If we cuid just see it fer ourseilves that micht answer some queistions.

He'd known about us. About me and her, I mean. We didn't exactly make it totally bloomin'-obvious, but when you live in a confined space with a lot of others, it's no use trying to keep something to yourself, see? He hadn't been nice about it either. He'd said that what was between us was nowt but codswallop and he'd see us . I don't really know why I'd chosen to come to him with my woes. I suppose I didn't want to try taking it to someone in our hut because I'd probably end up waking everybody. I didn't exactly feel like sharing my misery with the world. Being that Fowler was the lone occupant of his quarters, he was the one to talk to, even if he himself would probably just make me feel worse.

No surprise there. When I finished my sob story, he just shrugged and said Well, what do you want me to do about it?

I said, I just wanted to be heard.

He said Well, I heard you, alright. Does that satisfy you? He sounded like he just didn't care at all. He probably didn't. Not at that point, anyway.

I said.

Well what in Queen Mum's name did you wake me up for then?! he yelled. He was shaking his walking stick at me and was obviously angry. He said If that's all the good nattering has done for you, why don't you leave me in peace, go back to your nest and forget about her?!

And I said I wish I cuid. That seemed to surprise him. He gave me an odd, sort of questioning look.

I love er. I really dae, awat fu' well [10]. I said. I meant it, too. At least, I'm pretty sure I did. Folk say I love you all the time and it doesn't mean anything. Abusers say it. Cheaters say it. All sorts of deceivers use it to cover their arses. I'd said it to Ginger a few times and I'm fairly sure I meant it. Then again, we of science know that nothing in life is certain.

I was no little bit surprised when he actually gave me a sympathetic nod. and don't really go together, do they? It was right odd.

He said to me Now, buck up, old girl, what-what! He didn't say it in a drill sergeant-like Buck up, old girl, though. It was more an encouraging, supportive kind of Buck up, old girl. Wonders never cease do they?

Feelings get the best of us because that is their way, he said. And we let them because it's what we want.

Then, of course, he had to talk about back in his day because he's pompous like that.

Back in my R.A.F days, they tried to stomp that out of us. Bad show, it was. he said. He was standing at his mirror, facing it with his wings folded behind his back. I could see his reflection. His face was hard with arrogance, but dark with a sort of sad nostalgia.

Tried te stomp whot oot o' ye? I asked him.

Couldn't have soldiers and officials getting all soppy could they? he said. A rhetorical question. They didn't want a covey of Nancies. They wanted troops. So that's how they ran the show. All salutes and Yes Sir!'s and left, right, left, right, left, right's. . .

He kind of trailed off there and I swear I saw his tailfeathers droop a bit right then. I think he realized I'd noticed this because he immediately straightened and saluted his reflection.

Did a fine job of it, too, he said. But they didn't have it all in a grip. After all, feelings, sentiments . . . he stopped for a bit there. I swear, if I'd dropped a feather I'd've heard it meet the ground, things had gone so silent.

. . . Love, he finally continued. I must say, it was right odd hearing him say that word. Well, they're bloody hard to get rid of! he said, stomping. It was almost like he was angry at himself. Maybe he was. He still refused to face me. Trying to smash the feelings out of a lad is like trying to smash a bluebottle with bare feet, what!

Now this was getting interesting. I asked 'Ow d'ye know aboot all that?

Then, he turned really slowly and gave me this long, stern kind of look. He opened the drawer of his bureau and took out a bit of paper. It looked like he'd torn it out of the Post, or something, and it was yellowed, creased and old-looking. He passed this to me and said Don't let it cross your mind that you're the only one who's been in that boat.

It was a black and white photograph printed onto a news page. The original picture had obviously been of a squadron of roosters, but most of it had been torn away. Only two roosters were visible, standing beside one another in the remains of the photograph. One of them was very handsome and smiling brightly. He looked quite a bit like you, come to think of it. The other was most definitely a much younger Fowler. I couldn't help but smile.

He quickly took the photograph back and turned his back to me again, no little bit embarrassed.

When daes it go away? I asked.

He sighed then. It never goes away, dear girl. Why do you think I've kept this clipping all these years? he said. Again with the rhetoric.

he added, It will stop hurting.

I asked.

He put the photograph back and closed the bureau drawer. He said When you let her go.

I don't know how to describe the way I felt just then. It was a heavy sort of relief, I think. Mostly heavy. It was right adwang [11] on my heart. I got up to leave.

I said, halfway out the door, 'Oo was

Fowler sort of twitched at that. He pulled the covers down to the foot of his bed, even though it was obvious that he didn't plan on having a kip any time soon.

Finally he said Fletcher. Lieutenant A. L. Fletcher. In the service for a year and a half, deserted under fire. Fowler growled a bit and added Ruddy Welsh pansy.

Out of respect, I waited until I was well out of earshot to bust up laughing. It was nice to be able to laugh that night, even if laughed so hard I ended up crying.

Anyway, it took me a while, but I came to realize that what he'd said was perfectly true. I had to let her go. So I did just that.

I told myself over and over again that she would be happy with you -as she seems to be- and I would be happy if she was happy. And you know what?

I-I believe ye, but . . .

I soon started to actually to believe it. I must say, for a while there, I couldn't help thinking that I was just joshing myself. I distracted myself with work. We had a job to do and everyone was banking on me for calculations, blueprints, engineering, the lot. Still, I couldn't ignore that feeling I had deep down, that I couldn't go on without her, even if she had found happiness. Looking back, that was very soppy of me, wasn't it?

Well, either way, it went on like that for while. Then, all of sudden, I got to a turning point.

The wings of our aircraft had just unfolded. All of the pieces were falling into place. The great heap was ready for takeoff and all my hard work was about to amount to something for aince [12].

Anyway, I was standing there, ticking things off in my notebook, and up she comes, braw and bright like the sun. She patted me on the shoulder and looked at me. When she looked at me, she was beaming.

That night the stars were shining. I could see them in her eyes. There were other things there too. Bright things. The moon overhead, the lights from our runway, and me. I was still there. I would always be in her eyes with the stars even if I wasn't in her heart.

She smiled and I smiled back. I even laughed a bit, in spite of myself. It was right then that I found I was able to let go.

I wasn't at all bothered when she climbed into the plane with you. Not even when she kissed you. You've saved her life plenty of times. You came back to her even though it meant risking your neck. You've made her happy.

We're givin' her all she's goht!

That's all I could ever ask of you.

It took a spot of time and a great lot of patience, but now she's happy and I am too. We're living in a paradise, away from chopping blocks and fences and pie machines. She's going along with you and she's been smiling more brightly than should be legal. I'll wager you two are planning on putting forth a few bairns, aren't you? If you are, I say go for it. She would make an excellent mother, I'm sure.

Maybe I'll meet a rooster lad of my own and we'll have kids ourselves someday. For now, I'm more than fine with being a professor. I've always wanted to teach. Actually, just the other day, I was giving a physics lesson and it made me think about these things, everything that's happened up till now, I mean.

That little catapult I'd made proved useful after all. I was using it to demonstrate the dynamics of thrust and momentum.

Safety at all times is imperative . . .

One of my students was the test subject. After the turnip episode, I had enough wits about me to give the poor wee babe a helmet. So I loaded him up and things went basically the same way they had the first time . . .

. . . wind er up . . .

. . . Minus the ker-SPLAT!', of course. Anyway, I've been having a think ever since. About you, about life, about love, and of course, about her.

Well, let me just tell you right now, you'd better take good, fine care of that hen, or I'll have your giblets for gewgaws! Oh, and there're a few things you should know. First of all, she doesn't have a very big appetite, so don't worry if you think she's not eating enough. She just eats . . . well, like a bird. Also, she likes relaxing little games like cricket and hopscotch. Especially on summer afternoons. And you really should know that she likes to take charge. If you're thinking of pulling that I wear the tailfeathers around here routine with her, I'd forget it if I were you because she just won't have it. And never touch that hat of hers. I tried it once and she nearly took my wing off. I must say, she's downright snarky about that thing! And I think you know by now that she really hates pet-names, so I won't say nowt about that. Anyway, above all else, make her happy. Always. If you can do that, I wouldn't have it any other way.

. . . an' layt er go!

~ end

So, I wrote the first Chicken Run slash to appear on, did I? Hoo boy. In any case, please tell me how you liked this (or did not like it, if that's the case. I have another one that I intend to post, but I'd like to know what your thoughts are before I do. Also, if you liked this, do visit my new Mac/Ginger site at

1. fley: frighten
2. scunnert: upset
3. caoch: rubbish
4. braw: fine, brave, handsome
5. a'ane: everyone
6. allerish: weird
7. sairly tried: awfully brought-down
8. Gi'us a cheeper, hen!: Kindly give me a kiss, dear!
9. a'wye an' athort: all over the place, chaotic
10. awat fu' well: (adds emphasis to what has just been said)
11. adwang: tiresome, oppressive
12. aince: once