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Mother Knows 20% Better [Closed:Rainbow Dash and Zap Apple]

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When he asked about her goggles Dash grinned hopefully. "They're over in my locker!" She shepherded him in the right direction. "Let's go check 'em out!"

 

The pair made their way through the barracks. Dash nodded to a few Bolts that were still inside. Daily training was starting in about five minutes so most of the pegasi were already out on the field stretching and getting warmed up. That was fine as it made it easier to keep her little guy on a straight course to their destination. 

 

Once they'd made it to the locker room Dash led him to her locker and opened it up. Inside was her flight suit, washed, pressed, and folded. Alongside this was a peg from which hung her flight goggles. And then there was something on top of her flight suit. 

 

"Hey Zappers!" She moved to the side to give him room. "Looks like there's something else in here. On top of my flight suit. What are those?" She waited to see what the little guy would think about the pair of flight goggles she'd had made for him. They would fit him and he wouldn't have to hold them up with his hoof to get them to stay over his eyes!

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Zap's eyes wandered around as his mother led him into the locker room. He could tell this was very much a privilege most ponies never got to experience. Only those who earned the right to wear the blue and yellow streaks could enter such a sacred place, save for a few media personnel and family members. He could tell he didn't belong here, at least not yet. Despite the friendly gestures from his mother's teammates, he felt a sense of earned respect and accomplishment that made Zap feel inferior to the program, and he was lucky to get a peek.

 

When Rainbow Dash showed him her folded suit ready for her next session, she also hinted towards an extra pair of goggles. But something was off about them. "Um, these are too small for you, Mommy." He picked up the goggles and attempted to wear them. When the elastic band snapped the back of his head and cowlicked his mane, he winced out in minor pain at the pressure the sensation of wearing something that actually fit him had. The feeling of having something tied to your head like this was something he had never had with goggles that were far too big for him.

 

"Hu! Are these my goggles!?" He asked as he looked at his mother, his eyes plenty enlarged and glossy.

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Dash couldn't help but grin proudly as the little guy snapped his goggles into place. She winced a little as the band snapped a little too hard. Reaching out she rearranged his mane quickly so that the band wouldn't pull on him. "Gotta slip them on," She readied her own pair, slipping her hooves between her head and the band. "Like this. I'll help you next time if you want, until you get it down."

 

"Yep, those are for you Zappers!" She placed her own over her eyes. "So the trick is to wear them around for a while until you get used to them. You can still see pretty much everything, but they do block a little vision to the side, see?" She waved her hoof next to his head on the right, out of view now that the goggles were in place. "You get used to it after a while." She encouraged him. "Plus, now when you reach those high speed you won't have watering eyes!" She knew he hadn't reached a speed high enough to cause tearing yet but he eventually would! "Oh, and take them off whenever you want, if they get uncomfortable or something."

 

She stepped back, observing her son done up like a Wonderbolt recruit. Gosh it was exciting to see him this way. Of course if it ended up not being for him she'd not pressure him however, there was a good chance he'd be a champion flier just like she was! 

 

"You ready for practice Zappers?" She nodded towards the door. "I'm sure there's some fun stuff you can do out there!"

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Zap held himself in place while his mother fixed his hastily fastened pair of goggles from catching his mane. Once she let him go, he looked around with his goggles, observing everything he could, trying to see things in a new perspective. She was right, everything was basically the same, but it made you feel a little more ready to take on the air at the expense of a little peripheral vision.

 

He stepped around a little and accidentally tapped his head and his hooves on a few benches and lockers. The depth perception he was used to was a little modified by the goggle's shape, but he would get used to it with little effort. Knowing that goggles were a tool used by fast fliers to not get the high speed watery eye, something Zap could only accomplish while sitting still and being upset, he was more ready than ever to attempt to fly faster than he had ever before. He was already motivated by the visit, and now that he felt he had a piece of the action strapped to his head, he could actually take the test to not just see if he could go fast, but exactly what level of fast he could accomplish. Was today the day he would follow in his mother's hoofsteps and make his first ever rainboom?

 

"Yes!" Zap scampered out of the locker room and back down the long hall they came from and raced towards the front door in front of everypony.

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Rainbow grimced slightly as her little guy bumped into a few things but he soon got himself straightened out. Before she could blink he was racing down the hallway towards the training fields. Her heart swelled with pride. He really was her little guy! She found herself often seeking connection to her son. It came so easy to AJ but for RD it took time and diligence. Sure she loved him to pieces it was just the deeper connection that she wanted. Right now she felt it strongly. He loved the same things she did when it came to flying. She'd do whatever she could to make him feel accomplished by the end of today, even if she knew he was a bit young for a rainboom.

 

Various Wonderbolts stepped to the side as Zappers charged by. They smiled half smiles at each other. Knowing he was Rainbow's son made what he was doing permissible, but only that fact. Ponies were not usually allowed to get away with what was happening but this was different. They all felt pride seeing the little guy because their mother was one of them. Rainbow trotted by, chuckling with her comrades as she went. Yep! This was gonna be an adventure!

 

The training session was almost over for the Wonderbolts which left lots of room for Zappers and Rainbow to do as they wished! Rainbow caught up to her son and directed him to the same grassy area that had first landed on. She nodded to where a set of agility hoops had been lowered nearer to the ground. This would be fun. 

 

"Ok Zappers, I know you want to fly fast but let's get our wings loosened up ok? See those hoops over there? Follow me!"

 

She took off at an easy pace towards the hoops and began to weave in and out through them. She glanced back, wondering how Zap would do. The hoops were placed on poles that would flex if they were bumped into so he should be just fine.

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Zap was involuntarily trotting in place waiting for his mother to give him the green light on flying around. But first, she instructed him to follow her through the rings. Zap jumped up and started flying and slowly made his way towards the rings to follow his mother. He did not zigzag the rings like a professional, but he was able to get through the rings fairly easily except for the last one in which his left wing accidentally smacked it as he fluttered through it. The sound and feeling of the wing on the ring made Zap freeze his wing tempo for a moment but after a short fall was able to get his rhythm back and maintained a safe flutter before hitting getting close to the ground. His biggest hindrance seemed to be turning. He had to completely stop his forward movement in the air before he could turn to his next target to fly towards it. He needed to learn how to bank, but this was fine because with the support he was getting, he was well on his way!

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It was not a bad attempt at all. Rainbow knew he needed to work on banking but some things just came after time. She was pleased that he'd made it through all the hoops at any rate. He was going to be a great flier someday! She met him after the last hoop.

 

"Great work there Zappers!" She nodded towards the next activity they would try.

 

"I know you want to work on flying fast!" She began flapping over to a long straight away that was marked out by stationary clouds. There was one cloud pillar about 250 meters away from another in a straight line. "This is the clocking track we use for sprints!"

 

She reached down and picked up a checkers black and white flag. "So I'll wave the flag and you fly from here down to the other pillar. Fly around it and pass by this pillar as fast as you can and I'll time you!"

 

Not wanting him to have a hard time with the turn she coached him. "So, the trick for you is gonna be to slow down before you get to the far pillar. That way you can come around it without loosing control. I'll fly with you the first time ok Zappers?" She'd give him some tips on backing when they got to the far end of the track. "First round will be for practice, no time yet."

 

Sh gripped the flag in her muzzle and spoke around it. "Three, two, one, go!"

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Zap followed his mother to the sprinting course. "Oh yeah!" Zap involuntarily muttered aloud. This was more his style, trying to go for absolute speed. Maneuvers would be taught and experienced eventually, but to him they meant nothing if he couldn't at least get some speed in a straight line. Zap stood at the marked starting line and aimed towards the cloud pillar. Knowing that his mother would be there to guide him, he felt he had free reign to experience the challenge for what it was. "Go fast, but slow down by the turn. Got it!" Zap squeaked. Rainbow Dash counted down, and waved the flag indicating he was free to go as fast as he could.

 

He launched and flapped his wings in an aerodynamic way that made sense to him. All things considered, he was going pretty fast, accelerating to a speed that was pretty impressive for someone his age. But soon, as he got close to the cloud pillar, he stopped his forward momentum by angling his body back and transitioning to a flutter. Slowly but surely, he was able to hover around the cloud pillar, and as soon as he had a straight line back to the start line in sight, he angled forward again to attempt to gain as much speed as possible. Within several expected seconds, he crossed the line and continued passed it, only starting to slow down once he was cleared of the clock. Even he knew you don't start slowing down until you crossed the line. It was an inefficient deceleration, but eventually Zap was able to slow down to a flutter and softly land on the ground. Afterwards he turned towards his mother to see what level of appreciation he had earned. "I wanna do it again!"

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Rainbow clapped her hooves together as Zap came roaring back towards her. He really was getting better at building up speed! Of course there was lot to work on but that's why they were out here, for practice...and fun!

 

"Wow Zappers, that was awesome!" She trotted towards him. "Of course you can do it again! You did really well around the cloud pole just do it like that again ok? And way to not slow down until you've crossed the line! This time once you cross the line try to angle your wing like this." She showed him the slope. "That will swing your legs forward and help you to slow down quickly." She chuckled. "We like to do everything fast huh? Even slowing down!" 

 

She'd stay near him when he tried the directions for stopping. The nice thing was in this section of the training yard even falls wouldn't see you too beat up. The grass was soft and dotted with pillars made of puffy clouds. Rainbow sighed as she watch Zap line up for another run, wishing AJ could be up here to see this.

 

"One, two, three...go!" She clicked the clock to start and watched to see what Zap would do on his second attempt. 

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Zap caught his breath and lined up for another go at this relatively easy sprint course. He felt elated that he was improving, to finally hear the wind whistle around his ears was a sensation he had yet to experience. He wanted more. Having gained the confidence with the first attempt, he wanted to make sure his second attempt would be faster yet. He wondered how his mane would flutter through the air.

 

He lined up, angled his hooves for a dramatic take-off, and waited for his rainbow mother to give him the signal. Once she finished the countdown, Zap zipped away. He was no where near breakneck speeds, but he was starting to realize the addictive properties of flying fast. The aerodynamics of his ears pushed air around him. Occasionally he would feel the air pressure around his flank. The strain of his wings scooping through the chilly air gave him goosebumps. He stretched his front hooves forward, attempting to mimic the posture he always say her mother perform. And once he got to his full speed, he was hooked.

 

Time slowed as he hurled himself towards the cloud pillar. For a small moment, he could hear the faint cheers for him. It could probably just be his mother and her friends, but it also felt like he was racing in a Wonderbolt derby, leading the pack of blue and yellow lightning strikes, entertaining the upper crust and rural fans alike. He wondered what kind of pegasus streak his tail was making. Was it like his mother's patented rainbow? Or was it something completely different like an orange and yellow zigzag. Maybe it was a stream of apples, or maybe even a corkscrew of the many different apple hues a pony finds at the orchard. He glanced behind him to see.

 

After catching a glimpse, he could see his streak but only barely. Unsurprisingly, it matched his tail colors, but it was a lot less streamlined than he thought it would be. Maybe he needed to go faster for a better effect. He looked forward again and noticed the cloud pillar approaching quickly. It startled him and caused him to angle up way too soon, and he over-corrected by pitching forward. His speed was still up, but his angle of attack was descending. He overtook the cloud pillar, and when he tried to bank the corner, he failed to protect his wings from the turbulent change of airspeed, and it caused him to flip upside down. And just like that, he was in a roll. He could not escape the roll, and only a few seconds would pass before his uncontrolled descent caused him to brace for impact with the tarmac below him.

 

He crash landed on his backside, making an unsatisfying crunch with the pavement. For a few seconds, he tumbled with his momentum while the ground killed his speed. He slid to a stop and was immediately embarrassed. He wanted to get up and continue the race, so he attempted a recovering take-off.  Maybe he could still put a fast time up. But as soon as he lept to take off, his wings shuttered and he fell back onto the ground. And it was at this moment he noticed the overwhelming pain coming from his right wing. Laying down, he looked back at his wing. His brown complexion turned paler when he noticed his right wing appeared to have another joint. Zap Apple had broken his wing and he began to cry.

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Rainbow glanced at the clock and then back to Zappers as he made his way down the track. He was flying like a champ! Certainly improving for sure! She was so proud of him! She began to take to the air to follow her son when she heard somepony land behind her.

 

"Wow! Gotta hoof it to yah Dash! That kid's gonna be some flier any day now!" Spitfire clapped a friendly leg around Dash's shoulders.

 

Rainbow turned and grinned. "Yeah, probably ready for the Wonderbolts derby in a couple months!" She laughed, happy to get a complement from the captain.

 

"He's got talent," Spitfire watched him begin to take the bank around the pillar. 

 

Dash stood, facing away from Zap, enjoying the praise from Spitfire. "Yeah, he can't wait to join the Bolts!"

 

Suddenly Spitfire's face turned to a deep grimace. "Ah Dash?" She took to the wing, hurtling towards the fallen flier. "Got a colt down here!"

 

"Ah horse apples!" Dash quickly over took Spitfire and made her way to the tarmac. How in Equestria had he ended up here? Nowhere near the course and the soft grass she'd set him up on. This was the last thing he needed. "Zappers!" She got down next to him, noticing the broken wing right away. "Come on, let's go!"

 

In a blur she'd scooped up Zap and blasted out of Cloudsdale. She was headed for Sweet Apple Acres, for a pony she knew from experience could set a broken wing. The same mare that would be railing her later for letting this happen...

 

"APPLEJACK!?!"

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Zap's mind raced as he was clutched by his mother to the rescue. He was in pain, but it wasn't what he expected from an injury like this. It was highly uncomfortable, a small expression of movement from the broken limb would send him trembling with pain. But it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as the embarrassment of him having to be carried off, not finishing the race, and abandoning all those he didn't know but were cheering him on. He wanted it to end, but he felt like his wing might be forever ruined. "Dashie, it hurts, but I need to finish the race." He said with a whimper, not minding the extra pain he would endure with a slight jostle from the panicked mother. "My wing hurts." Zap's mind continued to venture into uncharted territory and his worst fears began to muster. "Am I ever going to fly fast again?" His tears welled up. "Am I ever going to fly again?" In the corner of Zap's wet eyes, he could see the colorful array of apple trees that adorned the only place that could display that kind of splendor. Zap had always thought that he would go to the hospital like that one time when he coughed twice in a row and Applejack rushed him to the doctor. Why was he here? Did earth mommy know how to fix a wing?

 

When they arrived to the farm, Rainbow Dash set Zap Apple down gently and called out for Applejack. Zap Apple then realized he still had the capacity to pick himself up with his legs. He did so, trying not to move any of his muscles that influence his wings. Once he stood up and looked back at his wings to see for the first time what the injury in question looked like. The wing actually looked pretty normal. But it felt like half of his wings were missing. It felt like he was constantly being stabbed in the back for making gestures with his feathers. He grimaced even though the look of his orange feathers seemed par for the course. It wasn't enough that it looked fine. It didn't feel fine.

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Applejack was resting against a tree, a single stalk of corn in her mouth and the brim of her stetson pulled down to cover her eyes.

Applejack had been working her flank off all day long. She worked her flank off all day long every single day. Guard, farmer, business owner, mother- heck, she was forgetting a few things and yet two an a half full-time jobs plus motherhood was enough to break the back of any mare. Except Applejack. She had gotten up at the crack of down and with her day off from having to watch Zap, a day off due to previous hazard conditions from the Guard, and the town market was closed. She deserved a day off but she hadn't taken one, instead diverting all of her energy into tacking her tasks with more gusto and verve than she would naturally. And that was saying something because she could put a lot of gusto into her activities.

 

But she had completed her work and was now just relaxing. Her beads of sweat were dried off in their majority and her body had seemed to enter into the half-asleep stupor that characterized a real good rest in her life. The sounds of the orchard, the sweet, warm breeze, the far-off howls and chirps and laughter of fillies in colts in towns. She knew it wouldn't last but she knew even more that it was right and proper to enjoy it while she could. It always seemed like such a nice rest would be interrupted by something awful but she reckoned that was just her memory playing tricks on her. As she breathed lightly and allowed herself to wallow in the joyous miasma of her sweet nap, she knew it was only right for her to enjoy it.

It was in this stupor that the sounds of alarm first reached her. 


Her ears twitched and her stetson was raised ever slightly, allowing the sunlight to penetrate her eyes as they slowly opened. She had a hard time making it out even as the words started to bring her out of hr stupor and into greater consciousness. It was only when the second alarm was raised that her heckles joined in. She got up out of her napping position and spit out the stalk as she arranged her stetson all proper like. It was then that she realized it was Rainbow Dash who had been yelling out her name- in a panicked tone no less. "Rainbow, what in tarnation-" she began before her mind fully awoke. She had been with Zap Apple! What had happened?


"What happened to Zap Apple, RD?!" She yelled as she tried to spot the pegasus. It was a big orchard after all, though it wasn't long before their yelling would pinpoint one another. "What happened?" She would ask in a low, rumbling tone when they did meet up.

 

Especially as she was galloping. She knew the direction of Cloudsdale and where Zap could be dropped off. She galloped and galloped, though when she did spot her little stallion through the trees she slowed down, not wanting to frighten him. "Hey there sugarcube, are you okay?" She would ask as she trotted calmly in. It was an act. She was a little bit angry and a lot more scared for her little fella. She saw the way he stood and the way he looked at his wing- keep calm, keep calm. "How does yer wing feel, Zap?" She asked as she got close to him and gently pulled him in, both to give him a hug and to inspect his wings, making sure to avoid touching them just yet 

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Rainbow was terrible at remaining calm. The only thing she could think about was what it felt like to have a fractured wing. She's had one herself not that long go and in that case it had been AJ that had set the wing and saved her ability to fly...well at least her ability to fly like she did. Her heart was beating like a trip hammer and tear brimmed under her eyes. She had to be tough for their little guy but she was not good at controlling herself. Plus, it was obvious that AJ was mad at her. Of course she was. She had every right to be. 

 

RD couldn't lie to AJ, that much she knew. She'd have to tell her mare how she'd been lapping up the praise of a certain flight master of the Wonderbolts instead of keeping track of Zappers as he tried his best at some speed flight. He'd crashed and burned and she could have stopped it all from happening. Too late now.

 

"H-he was flying fast and then..." She spoke so Zap couldn't hear. "It's broken AJ. The wing's broken I saw it." She suddenly realized she should have taken him to the hospital, not here! "Oh Tartarus! I wasn't even thinking. I brought him here because you fixed my wing so I thought you'd fix..." She kept her voice low and away from their son, at least she had that much sense. 

 

It was a huge mistake but too late now. "Should we take him to the hospital?" She once again was depending on AJ to make the right choices. RD was a failure again and she knew it. 

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Zap Apple would be territorial if anyone other than one of his mothers came to touch him during this time of anguish. However, Applejack had a way with words, and even the way she walked towards him felt like a pain reliever prescribed to him by his pediatrician. Although even Dr. Horse's bedside manner was never as comforting like the sound of home. "It's my wing. It, it hurts, I think it's broken." Zap said whimpering to his mother, while also attempting the most grown-up face he could. He wanted to feel like a strong fast flyer. Mimicking the swagger of Rainbow Dash was always a template, and even in times of pain would he strive for that kind of reflection.

 

Zap realized in both of his mother's reactions to each other that no one knew for sure exactly what was wrong with his wing. He knew it hurt and that it might be broken. But there was always more that needed to be answered. "Am I not going to fly now?" Zap asked as if it was an ultimatum. He wasn't playing dumb. He knew ponies got sick, got better, broke a bone, got better. But the panic that surrounded him made him feel like it was much more serious than that, and all he could do is either assume his fate or ask questions. "Do I need to give my goggles back?" He said worryingly, touching his goggles that were wrapped around his neck.

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This was what she got for allowing Rainbow Dash to take Zap Apple out for a fun day.
Did they go see a projector show?
Did they have a nice fly about the town?
How about teaching her something?
No.
Rainbow had to be the fun mom.
Had to take him somewhere dangerous, most likely. Based on the goggles and the general look of him, probably the Wonderbolts academy. Zap Apple hadn't even been to flight camp yet and Dash was looking to get him hurt!
Taking Zap Apple there and allowing him to get all amped on account of her super cool Wonderbolt mom was a surefire way to get him hurt. But of course that didn't go through Rainbow's mind, because of course it wouldn't. She wanted to show her colt a good time. Be the cool mom, the fun mom. 

 

Applejack reached out and patted Rainbow on the shoulders, though her eyes were still on Zap Apple. "RD, Ah'm...so, so angry right naw that Ah can't really think about it," she said with a sigh as she looked around. "You probably shoulda taken him ta tha hospital, but what's done is done. Ah'll inspect it. Ah need ya ta get mah medical kit from tha silo near tha house, and stat," she said as she took her hoof off of Dash and took a few deep breaths. She would have to remain calm while she worked with her son, lest she just get angrier at Rainbow over what was certainly just an unfortunate accident. She was petting him gentle atop is head to soothe him and keeping him in her loving embrace as she started to inspect him.

 

"Yer Ah smart little fella, Zap. It sure is broke," she started as she felt around his injured wing. She didn't touch the body of the wing itself, rather she felt along the feathers. Luckily the wing hadn't suffered from a compound fracture. Judging by the way his feathers bent and the wing had moved, she could guess it wasn't a mess inside. It looked like, for better or worse, a simple breaking of the bone in the wing.

"You'll fly again, after yer healed, Zappers. Can't tell you how long that is but it'll happen, not too long Ah'd hope," she responded truthfully while she focused in on the bad part of the wing. The main break was between the second and third wing joint. The Radial had snapped like a twig near the middle, but the reason the wing had that odd topsidet han was that the Ulna had broken near the top. This'd be hard, but luckily there was no blood or major damage except the break.

 

"Keep yer goggles on. Why, yer a little cutie with them. Do you like 'em?" She asked as she saw Dash return.
"Thanks," she said quickly as she opened it up with her free hoof and flipped it to face her soon-to-be-wife, pointing at the scissors. "Gimme seven feet of veterinarian tape," she ordered as she continued to reassure her son. "Was that a gift from Dashie? What did you two do today? Meet any nice ponies?" She asked as she started to work. It would hurt Zap Apple no matter what but by focusing on the events of a fun day- after all, Rainbow was the fun mom- hopefully everypony would remain calm.
She was gonna have to set the wing, bandage it up, and then make sure to follow through with it. She hadn't seen any other damage and pegasi blood flow wasn't robust enough for the damage to be anything more than minor but that was no reason not to be careful. With a breath and as everypony was discussing their day, she went to work resetting her son's wing.
She would go as gently and easily as she could, but there was no way it wouldn't hurt. 

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AJ was ever the honest one. The strong one. The smart one. The one that actually thought before she did. 

 

As her fiance got to work on their son RD did nothing but beat herself up mentally. Well, she also tried to keep the grimace off of her face and keep things positive. She had to for Zappers. She knew Applejack wouldn't let this go, probably ever. But that was better. Rainbow couldn't be trusted. She couldn't handle anything. Not even one little day with just her and Zappers. 

 

Dash did as AJ bid. Fetching supplies, cutting and hoofing over tape, keeping her danged mouth shut. She;d never felt this awful. Well, she had actually. But this felt the worst right now cause it was happening now and that was how RD rolled. In the moment as always.

 

She listened to AJ's soothing words, somewhat placated by them. It had been a fun day. A good day. A day to remember. It would be a day to remember, just not how RD had planned...

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Zap was emotionally miserable. He did not like the situation he was in. This was probably the most traumatic he's ever felt, even more than the time he was inches away from being a timberwolf snack. Though as a consolation, his emotional pain was suppressing his attention away from the inflammation that was forming around his broken bone.

 

As Zap laid down he allowed his mother to inspect her and feel around his wings. He trusted her, but it didn't keep him from wincing every time he felt pain either because of her hoof pressure or because he tried to move his wing in a direction that was now anatomically forbidden. Through all of this, he was well enough to respond to Applejack's small talk. "Yes, I like them," he said frowning. If he had the gusto and maturity he could crack a smile, but all he could do is pretend to be a big pony in his voice. "Yeah Dashie got it for me. We went somewhere, I don't know. We were having fun."

 

He was being discreet. Zap did not want to get Dashie in trouble. His mothers seemed to be primed for a big fight, and he saw through it easily. He was no expert on parental relationships, how they formed, why they formed, and big pony things they talked about. But he was smart enough to know that they were not happy, and that particularly when Zap was taken care of, his earth pony mom would be extremely angry at Rainbow Dash. And though Zap could admit to himself and anyone that this situation was not ideal, he did not want to fault Dashie for doing what she did. Because up until the accident, it truly was a pegasus colt's dream.

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She inspected the veins along the wing. Luckily he was still young enough that underneath his feathers his wing was still thin enough for her to inspect visually. None of them seemed distended or bruised, discolored or in other states of duress. That was good. It meant she didn't need to worry about bloodflow to the wings drying up and causing more catastrophic damage. "Well, momma Dashie sure has some good taste, doesn't she?" She said as she drew her hoof over her son's face before reaching down to cup it. "What was yer favorite part of the day, sugarcube?" She asked as she took a breath and looked to the hardest part of the work. Not only did she need to concentrate, but it was where it would hurt the most for Zap, at least for a few moments.

 

Applejack moved her hooves gently to stiffen the bones. It'd hurt her little fellow a lot and she was here to soothe him as he cried, but it was what it was. When the wing was straightened enough, she started to wrap it up with the tape. Not too tight because then she could do a nasty number on feathers and a pegasi foal needed proper feather development, but snug enough to keep the wing together. Just like taking care of a baby bird! Her baby bird. "Such a strong little stallion. I'm sorry it hurts Zap Apple, but you should heal up just fine. We all get hurt but soon enough you'll be back up in the air, okay?" She said as she finished wrapping it, and then bit off the end and tied it together. "And maybe we should be discussin' flight camp soon. RD?" She asked as she stepped away from Zap Apple to observe him. "How's tha wing lookin'?"
 

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RD couldn't help but watch as AJ worked her magic on their little guy. Every time the bones moved she felt the grinding in her own heart. This. Was. All. Her. Fault. Well, her fault and more accurately her pride's fault. She'd never be rid of it. She both loved and loathed her darned to Tartarus pride. it was going to get her killed, probably by the hooves of her wife to be, someday. 

 

Speaking of pride, she was ever so proud of both AJ and Zappers. How they could work together to get through something like this? It was remarkable. It was also awful. She was so mixed up. All RD wanted to do was run into the orchard like she had that one time before, after the huge fight she had caused. Could she ever do anything right? it seemed not. Her stomach dropped and she felt sick.

 

She listened as Zappers tried to cover for her. He really was a strong, brave, and loving little guy. She knew he'd grow up to be something great!

 

The AJ mentioned something about flight camp, questioning her.

 

"Flight camp?!" She gulped at the words. "Uh...yeah! Yep! Zap's gonna be great!" She felt herself wanting to scream. Wanting him never to leave the ground again. Why hadn't he just been born an earth pony? Then she couldn't ruin him.

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Zap's attention was successfully being pulled away from the calamity happening along his spine. The tender loving care of an earth pony mother who was really good at wrapping bandages began to show its advantages. It's a good thing Applejack read those fourteen books on pegasus foal-rearing. "My favorite part." Zap winced involuntarily. "My favorite part was the streak I made when I flew fast. It was like Dashie's a little. Except it was colored like you." Zap reached out with a hoof and touched her mane, noticing the contrast between the orange earthy hues with the golden sunshine of her locks. Just then when she moved his wings dramatically to make sure they were positioned correctly, Zap Apple began to wail for a short few seconds.

 

Once Applejack stepped away from her work, she asked him how his wing felt. He stood up slowly and looked back at his wings. One of them was completely wrapped and splinted. The wing that was broken swelled up slightly and made him feel uncomfortable. Zap clenched his teeth, looked at his mothers and then looked back at his wings. "It feels awful! This is the worst!" Among the residual pain Zap was feeling, he began to lament on the ordeal he knew he would be under. How long would he be grounded? "Flight camp?" Zap could hear the attempt at signalling joy. "When's that going to be!?" Zap teared up as his coltish angst began to overtake his emotions. "It'll be forever from now." Zap yelled. He felt anxiety from what he was going to be doing for the next weeks or months or years. Everything about his life was changing and it was not pleasant.

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Applejack had to admit to a little bit of pride at the idea of her colors forming the vapor trail behind Zap Apple as he flew high and mighty at the Wonderbolts facility. She was still pretty peeved at Rainbow for not teaching their foal to fly before trying to get him into something far and above his ability, but she'd be lying if she said the image didn't take hold of her heart. She had so much pride in her family. So much love. It was the seat of her anger but also the seat of her love, which was so much stronger than anything else. "Well, Ah bet yer tha best lil' flier them Wonderbolts ever did saw. And the handsomest, ta boot," she said as she tried to keep his spirits up.

 

Which he needed. He felt the pain now. His little cry made her heart ache but she knew it was for the best. He would need to heal for a bit but it could have been so much worse. Wing injuries were rarely as terrible as the stories would have you believe but they were also just as often worse than you thought. Luckily he was young and his wings would be fine. But that was the least of her concerns. This was a traumatic experience for him. Getting hurt in the midst of having a ball was a surefire way to develop some sort of complex about the activity. And considering he was a pegasus with a Wonderbolt mother, that couldn't do. He was gonna be a proud Apple, a proud pegasus, and a great stallion. Not on her watch!

 

She approached him and bent down, giving him a half hug away from the wing. "Shhh shhh shhh, its a-okay sweetie pie. It won't feel good now but everypony gets hurt. It's part of bein' a big pony," she said as she pulled back, absentmindedly fixing his mane, "yer a big colt now. Yer gonna heal up just fine and then yer gonna be flyin' around with momma dash. Probably 'fore tha harvest in tha fall at worst, probably in tha summer," she said as she took a deep breath. "Ah know that ain't gonna feel soon but yer gonna be doin' it 'fore ya know it," she said as she gave him one last big kiss. "Whatcha wanna do now, sweetie? Need ta rest Ah think, but..." she shot a look at Rainbow and smiled, "it's supposed to be yer big day with Dashie. Still wanna do that?"

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EQD Training Grounds Day 4: Rainbow Dash on Tears by ...

 

Keep it together Dash. She thought to herself. It was all too much though. She'd injured her precious little colt. she'd let down the love of her life...again. She'd watched as Zap had to endure pain that was her fault. Rainbow's heart was ready to burst from all of it. And then, AJ asked if Zappers still wanted to spend the day with her? She was so kind. Sure, she knew she'd get it from AJ later for this but still, in the moment, she'd asked if Zappers still wanted to finish their special day together.

 

Rainbow wiped tears from her eyes, trying to mask her emotions. 

 

"If yah want to Zappers, we uh could..." She choked back a sob. She had t hold it together. "We could go back to the farm house, get some of Granny Smith's apple cookies and some milk, and I could read you some Daring Do?" She looked lovingly at her son. Hopefully he wouldn't be mad at her. "I-if you want to..."

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