Before Season 2 drew to a close, it had not been particularly DE (or indeed, প্রণয় triangle) friendly. Instead, the writers chose to do the unthinkable, and throw the ত্রিভুজ right off its tracks, slowing the development of DE's relationship right down until আপনি began to wonder if it was moving anywhere at all. But all the anguish, blood, sweat and tears DE went through (not to mention the fans), were worth it. It made the finale even আরো rewarding in the end. I know that some DE shippers think that 2x21 was the turning point we'd been waiting for, but for me, the finale was the turning point in DE's relationship.
"I know I don't deserve your forgiveness but I need it."
Knowing he doesn't have much time left, Damon goes to Elena's house, seeking and hoping to find peace in her forgiveness before he dies. When Elena reveals that she can't forgive him (at least not yet), Damon doesn't fall to his knees, and reveal the extent of his injury to emotionally manipulate her into forgiving him, which would have been easy to do. He tells her to take all the time she needs, in spite of knowing that he doesn't have time on his side to wait for it. He understands that he's done a terrible thing and wants Elena to forgive him of her own accord, because she wants to and is ready to give it to him, not because he's been bitten and she feels she has to.
When Damon gets home, he pours himself a drink, opens the curtains and takes his ring off. I think it's very significant that he does this after seeing Elena. She can't forgive him, he can't find the peace he wants...so why wait? What hope does he have left? What's holding him here? He's done an unforgiveable thing, and he deserves to die. I believe that seeing Elena definitely influences অথবা speeds up Damon's decision and attempt to kill himself.
"I know আপনি প্রণয় Stefan, and it'll always be Stefan..."
The scenes in Damon's bedroom can be paralleled with the scenes in 2x01, in Elena's room. Here, Elena refuses to leave Damon, even though he warns her she could be in danger দ্বারা being near him. These were truly incredible scenes - one of the many vids of the চুম্বন scene has already received 73,159 মতামত on YouTube - which is an astonishing feat considering that it's only been up for 3 days.
I know that some DE shippers are not completely convinced that it meant anything, but I believe it's at this very moment when Elena, maybe for the first time, actually begins to doubt herself. She moves in closer, rests her head against Damon's shoulder - and she doesn't acknowledge that Damon's words, the very words she herself spoke and at the time, believed - are true. She could have moved away, she could have ব্যক্ত "I'm sorry", but she didn't. I know Damon's dying, but I'm not sure if Elena really believes that Damon will die. She certainly seems to be holding on to the hope that Stefan will find a cure. If I had been told that someone I cared about অথবা loved might die, I don't know if I could let myself believe it either. What I'm trying to say is, just because Damon is suffering from a 'fatal' wound, it doesn't mean that Elena is obliged to প্রণয় Stefan any less. If she knows she'll always প্রণয় Stefan, then Damon dying doesn't change that. In 2x20, Elena reveals to Stefan that she doesn't know what প্রণয় is, and then adds "I know that I প্রণয় আপনি Stefan." I think the finale was the first time Elena showed signs that she doubted her relationship with Stefan would last forever, and for someone who has previously been so vocal and sure of her love, then the significance of that can't be ignored.
"...But I প্রণয় you. আপনি should know that."
My eyes filled up when it came to this bit. Damon knows that Elena loves Stefan, and that "it'll always be Stefan", but it doesn't matter. He still loves her, even though there's no hope অথবা chance that she'll reciprocate his feelings. Some might say that unrequited প্রণয় is প্রণয় in its purest form because আপনি প্রণয় knowing that you'll get nothing in return. Perhaps that's why Elena cries. অথবা maybe it's because she's known about it for a long time - even before Stefan tells her, and tragically, it's only now - when Damon is at death's door - that she can finally acknowledge it to herself, and to him.
"I like আপনি now, just the way আপনি are."
This was moment when the dynamics of their relationship shifted. It was such a huge thing for Elena to say, after the ups and downs of their friendship from Seaon One up til now. Her feelings for him (although at the moment they're still pretty much undefined), are real. She sees him for what and who he is, and she accepts him the way he is, imperfections and all. This statement changes everything. I can't even begin to describe how much Elena's প্রণয় and acceptance of Damon means, অথবা how vital it is to their relationship. It's such a simple thing for her to say, but the meaning behind it is so powerful. It can't be overstated.
I don't believe Elena kisses Damon out of pity. Although Damon is in a bad way, I don't think she kisses him because she feels sorry for him. At least, it never came across that way when I saw the kiss. I also don't know if pity is reason enough for Elena to চুম্বন him; yes Damon is apparently 'dying' but she didn't have to চুম্বন him if she didn't want to. Pay attention to the song in the background, and it parallels DE/Elena's feelings in the scene:
"I should go before my will gets any weaker
And my eyes begin to linger
Longer than they should,
I should go before I lose my sense of reason
And this ঘন্টা holds আরো meaning
Than it ever could"
There's no trace of pity in her eyes. The চুম্বন is genuine. I think that in doing so, Elena accepts Damon's love, and confirms that he means a lot to her.
Everyone already has an idea of how Elena will come to terms with this new development in her relationship with Damon; theorising that she'll deny it অথবা pretend it didn't happen. I think much of how she reacts will depend on the path the writers want to take her on, and how she copes with Jenna and John's deaths. Let's remember she's হারিয়ে গেছে her adoptive parents, her aunt, and her biological parents. Extreme loss affects people in different ways, but it can often lead আপনি to re-evaluate your life and what আপনি want from it, as well as your relationships. Elena has হারিয়ে গেছে so many people, and she knows how abruptly someone's life can be cut short. It could make her value the relationships she has in her life a lot more. Last year, Kevin and Julie ব্যক্ত in an interview that when Damon became worthy of Elena, then it would be time for them to have a conversation about where their relationship was heading (or words to that effect.) Whatever happens, the প্রণয় ত্রিভুজ is finally up and running, and the most exciting thing is, their story has only just begun...
image credit: Invisible-Tears