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It was easier for her to move through the thick underbrush in the forest than it was for Big Macintosh. He lumbered through clumsily, just keeping her in sight. And then just like that she was gone. He stopped to look around, panic rising. She was still crying somewhere up ahead. And so he pushed on, breaking through to the more sparse part of the forest, just before it turned back into a field on one side and Ponyville on the other. She was crouched down at the edge of the stream, legs tucked under her, wings folded tight against her small body. Her turquoise eyes were locked on her own reflection, watching herself as the rain fell down around her.

The ground had to have been cold underneath her and Big Macintosh felt the need to scoop her up and protect her from the elements. She looked so much like Fluttershy that this past year had made it hard to look at her for long, let alone be a real father to her. Her yellow coat that faded to orange then red at her ears and the tips of her wings, her pink mane and tail with streaks of orange throughout, all matted and soaking. Even in the gloom of a storm she still looked like a winter sunrise. Her coloring was what prompted her parents to name her Morning Glory

She must have known he was standing there watching her because her head lifted eventually, heavy lidded eyes so full of sorrow. It made him move. The rain and the cold didn't matter as he got down on the ground beside his daughter, trucking his legs under himself as she had. "What are you doin' out here, Glory?"

"Aunt Applejack was worried."

"So she sent a little filly out into the storm?"

She shook her head and sniffled. "I snuck out."

Big Macintosh sighed. "You are more like your aunts than you'll ever know."

They were silent for a long time and she wouldn't meet his eyes, either face to face or in their distorted stream-water reflections. He saw her shiver and readjusted himself so he could drape a strong foreleg around her and pull her closer. This started the waterworks again. Not knowing what else to do, Big Macintosh lowered his head and laid it across her back, embracing and forming a sort of protection around her at the same time.

"I miss her, Daddy."

Her quiet confession brought his own emotions on strong once more and he answered her in a choked voice. "I know, darlin'. I miss her, too."

"I'm startin' to forget what her voice sounded like."

There was a twisted part of him that wished he could forget the sound of her voice, or somehow give all his memories of Fluttershy singing, her gentle laugh to their daughter. Maybe it would make the pain less. Or maybe it would just make the pain less meaningful. "I can't forget it. You sound a lot like her."

Glory lifted her head, searching her father's expression. "I do?"

"Especially when you sing. Both my girls always sounded like angels. You start missin' your mamma you just sing. That's all you need to do to remember her."

She bit her bottom lip, looking like she was weighing whether or not to say something else. At length she seemed to make a decision and the lip she'd been worrying began to quiver. "I miss you, too, Daddy."

Big Macintosh looked at her quizzically, his brow furrowed. "I'm right here, darlin'. I've always been right here."

"No you haven't. It's like you died with her. You never talk to me, you never play with me, you don't even really look at me anymore. It's like you're not even really here."

He opened his mouth to rebut and he found he couldn't really make an argument. Her words stung but mostly because they were true. It was exactly as Applejack said to him that morning, that he hadn't been living, just surviving. That meant mustering up enough energy to get himself out of bed every day, to eat, to work, even simply to breathe sometimes. When it was all said and done and the sun had set on another day there just wasn't enough in him to give to anyone else. His sisters could take it, but ignoring his own daughter? How could he have let that happen and for so long? How could a father forget about his own daughter?

Sorrow can break even the strongest workhorse.

Fluttershy told him that when Granny Smith died. He'd felt so angry and at a loss that it all came to a high pressure breaking point and he didn't know what to do with himself. Much like now, though this sorrow was different. The gentle reminder from his beloved may have been whispered in his ear right then for all he knew, the memory of her sweet voice still so strong. He could almost see her across the stream, watching them sadly. You can't change the past, my love. It's your now and all the tomorrows that matter.

"Daddy?"

He blinked, pulled from his thoughts. His imagined vision of Fluttershy faded away and he fought the urge to chase it. He could still feel the little body in his grasp and the warmth she gave him, small as it was. It kept him there, grounded him. "I'm sorry," he said at length. He managed to tear his gaze away from the opposite bank and nuzzle against his daughter's cheek. "I been lettin' myself get so wrapped up in my own hurtin' that I forgot I'm not the only one who lost her. Can you forgive me for not bein' here for you?"

Without a word, Glory wiggled out from under his leg and threw her hooves around his strong neck. "I swear it'll be different from now on," he promised, holding her as close as he could. "We'll do this together."

"I love you, Daddy."

"Love you too, sugar. C'mon. Think it's time we headed back to the farm. I'll make us both some hot chocolate."

She let go of him and smiled. "With mint?"

"With mint, just like your mamma used to make," he assured, kissing her forehead. "Climb on up."

Glory scampered around and climbed up onto Big Macintosh's back. She wrapped her hooves around his neck once more and giggled. "Soon I'll be able to fly an' you won't have to carry me like this. Scootaloo said I'm doin' real good an' she expects me to take off any day!"

"I don't have to carry you like this now, but I will. An' I want to. It's what I do."

"Cuz you're my daddy?"

"You got that right. Did I ever tell you about the day we told your auntie Applejack we was gonna have you?"

"No!" She clutched him tighter in excitement. "Tell me!"

"Well she an' all her friends were at the cafe talkin' about somethin'..." He turned back for home feeling lighter than he had in a long time. There was still a lot of healing that needed to happen and there would always be a piece of him missing. But now he realized it was not only his journey to peace. Morning Glory needed him to show her everything was going to be all right, that they could still be a family. He was determined to be the father she deserved and the stallion Fluttershy always believed he was.
Finished! That is just about the saddest thing I have written in awhile. No more tear-jerkers from me. At least, not anytime soon.

Part One: [link]
Part Two: [link]
Part Three: [link]
Part Four: [link]
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:iconkarei-syn:
Karei-Syn Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah....I have decided I can't handle a FlutterMac break up. I can already tell I'll have nightmares....
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:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh dear. :(
Reply
:iconmakerify:
Makerify Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
... I'll admit... I cried..
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Awww. You need a hug! :hug:
Reply
:iconmakerify:
Makerify Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
U v U
Reply
:iconbluewolf675:
Bluewolf675 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
So... I read all of them... Mostly because I've been wallowing in my own sorry about me and my girl breaking up, and I apparently like to torture myself with love stories... And oh my god, so sad. I freaking cried. My ex was a huge pegasister and always called me her Big Mac, and that only made it worse...

And beyond that, Fluttershy is just so adorable...
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh my dear... :hug: I'm sorry you're going through a painful time right now. And I understand about having that masochistic side that makes you read sad stuff when you're already down. I hope things get better for you soon.
Reply
:iconmykah16:
mykah16 Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
so beautiful happy/sad ending (because he bonding with glory, and because fluttershy died)
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, even though it made you cry. :( I always find that to be a catch 22.
Reply
:iconmykah16:
mykah16 Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
sad is good so be happy :D think pinkie pie! and why wouldnt i enjoy it i totally love your work :)
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! That's the best compliment to hear. :iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconmykah16:
mykah16 Featured By Owner May 7, 2012
your so welcome :D
Reply
:iconlightning198:
lightning198 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
good sniff sniff
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:iconlightning198:
lightning198 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
SNIFF SNIFF
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Is it a good sniff sniff or a bad sniff sniff?
Reply
:icondreamingofperfection:
This was the only chapter that made me really cry. Although I loved the others, you captured Big Mac and his daughters relationship perfectly! Good work!
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much! :)
Reply
:iconpowerpunkbrat666:
powerpunkbrat666 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
wow that was beautiful. at some point in the story i actually cried.....
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! I'm really glad to hear it touched you.
Reply
:iconbobthelurker:
BobtheLurker Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Manly tears: They have been shed. This was an amazing and heart-breaking story :iconclapplz::iconclapplz::iconclapplz::iconclapplz:
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much. I accept your manly tears!
Reply
:iconecho908:
Echo908 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
a sad story indeed, but I'm happy that he finally came around in the end for his daughter. She sounds like a sweetheart btw, one of the best fluttermac children idea's I've seen :). So, now does he go and talk to twilight? or any of the other friends?
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That'll probably come in time. And thank you, I kind of love Morning Glory.
Reply
:iconsteps-of-silence:
Steps-Of-Silence Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This made me cry, and I can't wait to tell my friend Ash that I cried over a freaking mlp story... still absolutely adorable and sad
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Aw, thank you. <3
Reply
:iconwittypun7:
wittypun7 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011
You do know morning glory means waking up with an erection?
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Not in my world. >_>
Reply
:iconthefirewolfauthor:
TheFireWolfAuthor Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
Manly tears man manly tears, sorry I haven't commented lately but I've been busy.
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Aw, no worries, sweets. Glad to see you're still around.
Reply
:iconthefirewolfauthor:
TheFireWolfAuthor Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
Yeah I'm not dead yet, excellent story
Reply
:iconxxkawaiimonsterxx:
XxKawaiiMonsterxX Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Digital Artist
i loved this story it made me cry
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Aw, thank you dear.
Reply
:iconpumpalolo:
Pumpalolo Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
OMG i think its safe to say that i didnt expect for fluttershy to die. But i do give you kudos because you managed to bring a tears to my eyes.
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Aw, thanks!
Reply
:icondavid245611:
david245611 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011
wow im acually crying now :'(
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm glad it touched you! <3
Reply
:icondavid245611:
david245611 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011
wow im acually crying now :'(
Reply
:iconcaptainprower:
CaptainPrower Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think there's a really fitting song for this story.
It's called "Don't Take The Girl", by Tim McGraw.
I could just see Macintosh singing it to himself.
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh my gosh, yes! That song kills me.
Reply
:iconblancexpression:
blancexpression Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Aw, now you've made me cry... I haven't had a good cry over a fanfic for a long time. It was very tenderly written and bittersweet :)/ It made me think of my grandfather, who passed away a few years ago. Great job on this, it's very well written!
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Aw, thank you so much. It's hard losing someone, especially when they are family. Many virtual hugs to you.
Reply
:iconblancexpression:
blancexpression Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
Thank you :) He was the foundation of the family, and it's still hard. But your fic made me think of the good things in life.
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well I'm glad for that part at least.
Reply
:iconjudgementmaster:
JudgementMaster Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Fluttershy dieng? guess we will find out how, or will we? Nah prob not, more than likely there wont be a twist of some sort. Anyway good chapter!
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You must have missed part four?
Reply
:iconjudgementmaster:
JudgementMaster Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry dude, I cant read it becaues its set to mature
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ooooh. She was killed by feral cats in the woods of Hoofington. >_>
Reply
:iconjudgementmaster:
JudgementMaster Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
So what happened to her "stare" and good with animals?
Reply
:iconphasingirl:
phasingirl Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
She was blindsided by them and didn't have a chance to work the stare.
Reply
:iconjudgementmaster:
JudgementMaster Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhhhhhhh. Anyway, seven.
Reply
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