because ehekic said I could
Santana crouches next to Cassidy. “This is where you strike, with the top of your foot,” she says, touching the side of Cassidy’s leg, a couple inches above the knee, towards the back of the limb. “Do you feel that right there?”
“That’s where you hit. If you do it right, it’ll cause your opponent to lose control of his leg for a little bit. The leg will feel tingly and numb, like when you hit your funny bone,” Santana elaborates, tapping Cassidy’s elbow as she stands up again. “Okay?”
“Okay, Tana,” Cassidy nods obediently. She’s a fast learner, taking to Santana’s fighting lessons like a fish to water. Cassidy’s such a smart girl; she doesn’t question why Santana wakes her up at the crack of dawn to sneak through the unpatroled, neglected section of the fence that separates the District from the woods, so that Santana can teach her the skills that she and Brittany had had to learn the hard way.
If Santana had her way, Cassidy wouldn’t have to do this. But the Capitol had already taken so much from Brittany just so Cassidy could exist, and Santana knew it would always want more. The only thing Santana could think of was to prepare Cassidy, somehow.
Just in case the Capitol decides to take her, too.
So it was illegal to train kids for the Hunger Games — so what? The Career bastards notwithstanding, Santana’s pretty sure there was a time in the distant past when it was illegal to make kids kill each other for someone else’s fun.
When their session is done, Santana watches as Cassidy carefully packs up her hunting knives — a gift from her mothers’ latest trip to the Capitol for the Hunger Games. Cassidy’s more than comfortable with them now. She no longer flinches just before she makes a throw; she respects what the blades can do, but doesn’t fear them because she knows how to control them.
Santana’s no stranger to pride; she has guarded her own pride jealously for as long as she can remember. Her pride is often black and blinding and has taken more away from Santana than she cares to admit. But when it comes to being proud of someone else — of Cassidy — she only feels a warm glow inside of her chest as she watches her little girl grow up. Her little girl — Brittany’s little girl, Brittany’s beautiful daughter, and she’s the lucky one who gets to share this wonderful child with Brittany.
“Ready to go home?” she asks, when Cassidy’s finished.
Cassidy nods; Santana reaches out and Cassidy eases herself into the space between Santana’s arm and chest, letting Santana’s arm loop loosely around her smaller, thinner shoulders. Santana can’t help but hold her daughter close.
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