Disclaimer: All characters belong to people that aren't me.
Author's Note: This story was written in response to a challenge at lvd_las on Livejournal. The challenge was "The Weapons We Wield."
Your Best Weapons Are Made Of Honey And Cyanide
"Why are we doing this again?" Damon asked, easily dodging a badly executed right cross.
"I need to learn how to defend myself, Damon," Elena answered for what seemed like the thousandth time.
"No you don't. That's what I'm here for." He rolled his eyes when she tripped while circling him. "And you need to remember to find your center of balance. You won't do any damage at all if you fall down when you're trying to hit somebody."
Elena stopped moving and tried to find her balance, as he suggested. She was so used to the way she moved; it was tough to recognize what she was doing wrong. "You can't always be there."
"Sure I can. You scream loud enough and I come running. Or Stefan does. Either way, we can be there before any violence from you is necessary." Damon caught her fist in his hand and released it quickly.
She sighed. "Can't you pretend you're fighting like a human and let me get a hit in if it would actually have landed on a normal person? It's not like it would actually hurt you." She tried to kick him in the stomach, but he sidestepped it. "Okay, so you and Stefan could be shot up with vervain and I may have to do some fighting on my own."
He put a hand over his heart. "But Elena darling, you trying to inflict violence upon me always wounds me." Damon grabbed her foot during her next kick and pulled, making her lose her balance and fall. He caught her before she hit the mat and set her back on her feet, then backed away again. "If there's somebody who knows what vervain does to us and is trying to hurt you, then they're a vampire, and you don't stand a chance against them no matter how well you can defend yourself."
Elena glared at him, indignant. "I might have a chance against a newly turned vampire."
Damon gave her his biggest smile. "Maybe. But a newly turned vampire wouldn't know about vervain."
"That's it!" she yelled, turning around to leave the room. "I don't even know why I came to you with this. I should have just gone to Stefan..."
He raced around her to cut off her exit. "You didn't ask Stefan because you knew he'd just tell you to throw bunny rabbits at the threat until it went away. Anyway, I've helped, haven't I? You never said I had to do so without snarky commentary."
Elena's mouth turned up at the corner. "I need a drink of water. Wanna pick up again in five?"
Damon shrugged like it didn't matter to him. "Whatever. I'll be around if you want."
He watched her leave the room and retreated into his own thoughts. He would never tell her, but the tricks he taught her in a sparring session would never be her greatest tools with which to defend herself. The unfortunate fact was that she was identical to Katherine. Given that, she had the same weapons in her arsenal. Elena could level a man with a glance. If she pouted in just the right way, she could have that same man begging to bring her the world.
Damon had the feeling Elena was too good to ever use those weapons. But he would still rather she never even knew she had them at her disposal. So he would teach her to defend herself with her fists, feet, and anything she could grab. But for her real weapons, she was on her own.