Sidebar: You know what would be a neat twist? If Stefan's jealousy grows such that instead of deciding to protect Damon from Bonnie, he chooses to side with her. But I'm overcome with my shameful desire for the triangle right now, in anticipation of this next scene, which really turns out to be a diamond instead, so let's get to it.
Gilbert Gables; Exterior: As Elena climbs her front porch steps, she meets up with Damon, who's just heading out of the house. Elena eyes him and asks, "What are you doing here?" Damon: "A failed and feeble attempt at doing the right thing." Elena: "Which was..." Damon smiles and shakes his head as he says it's not important. "Let me take this for you." He removes her heavy gown and other things from her arms, and places them on a chair (or table, or something -- who cares) so they can talk. Elena follows him and thanks him. Damon: "You know, I came to this town wanting to destroy it. Tonight, I found myself wanting to protect it. How does that happen? I'm not a hero, Elena. I don't do good. It's not in me." Elena: "Maybe it is." He shakes her off and gives her a crooked smile. "Nah. No, that's reserved for my brother, and you, and Bonnie. Even though she has every reason to hate me -- she still helped Stefan save me." Elena asks why he sounds so surprised. Damon: "'Cause she did it for you." He closes the distance between them. "Which means that somewhere along the way, you decided that I was worth saving." His voice cracks at that last bit. And then: "I wanted to... thank you... for that." Elena: "You're welcome." Damon looks at her like he hasn't seen her in years and moves in to kiss her. On the cheek. Oh, that's so sweet. I'm melting. Crap. I'm such a sucker.
As he pulls back from the chaste peck, Elena's eyes find his. He's been around the block and then some. He knows what he's seeing, and so do I. I yell at my TV: "What happened to 'I love you, Stefan'?" Gah, Elena! On the hand, can you blame her -- because man, look at all that pretty, and she's what? Seventeen years old. I'm pretty sure I had two boys on the hook a couple of times at that age. Not on purpose. It's just... choosing is so hard sometimes, right?! Right?!
Damon's gaze travels from Elena's eyes to her lips and then back up. She waits, expectantly, and he knows it, but he moves ever-so-gingerly toward her just the same. She doesn't move. She doesn't even flinch. She looks at his lips and then his sweet baby blues, and finally, he moves in for the kiss. It's gentle at first. Their lips part nearly as soon as they meet, but then she, She, SHE moves in for more. I'm dying here. And yet I can't blame her, not for a minute. Her mouth is softer this time, more yielding. He takes her head in his hands as their kiss grows more passionate. And... and... and...