Disclaimer: The characters and other things from The Vampire Diaries don't belong to me. Credit goes to the rightful owners.
"Cute PJs." Damon said casually to Elena as she entered the room, twisting around something on his fingers, betraying his tension beneath the calm exterior.
"I'm tired Damon," Elena replied, a hint of warning in her voice as she watched him step closer.
"I brought you this," Damon said dangling her necklace in front of her, his pathetic excuse to see her and know that she was safe.
"I thought that was gone," Elena said in surprise, Damon shaking his head with the ghost of a smile on his face as memories flooded his mind, particularly when he held the same necklace in his hand, clasping it around her neck, refusing her challenge for him to compel an answer out of her.
"Thank you," Elena continued reaching out for the necklace but Damon pulled back his hand.
"Please give it back…" she said as fear crept into her eyes, unwillingly as her mind automatically recounted that fateful night. It played in her mind—how she walked in and found him, just like tonight, with that look in his eyes that almost made her run to him when he saved her.
"I just have to say something," Damon said stepping closer to her, the words almost spilling out of him with urgency.
"Why do you have to say it with my necklace?" Elena said instinctively pulling away from him as flashes of his urgent kiss, the anguish in his eyes and Jeremy dead in her arms.
"Because what I'm about to say is probably the most selfish thing I've ever said in my life," Damon said, his eyes reflecting the pain behind the decision.
"Damon don't go there," Elena pleaded, her heart beating rapidly as her mind continued on overdrive, making her relive the horror of a night so much like the one unfolding before her and in anticipation of the words that will define why he stood at the bottom of the stairs, stared at her like she was the only thing that mattered.
Elena wanted to run or cover her ears and shut her eyes. She wanted to pretend it wasn't happening but her body refused to obey her command. She stood in front of him, frozen in silence, eyes locked on his as he changed her life with three words she never needed to hear to know.
"I just have to say it once. You just need to hear it." Damon insisted, closing the gap between them, looking into her eyes, nodding slightly as he found the courage to speak the truth before accepting the role he has to play in her life.
"I love you, Elena." Damon said simply, finally knowing what those words meant.
What he thought he felt before for Katherine wasn't love. It was an obsession—destructive and poison to his existence, nearly destroying everything that made him who he was.
But this time it's real because it turned the monster into something worth saving, a person who knew how to walk away from a good thing and a man who understood that he didn't need to be loved in return.
Elena opened her mouth, wanting to speak, respond, anything. But words escaped her as Damon continued with his confession, tearing down his own defenses with every syllable, "And it's because I love you, that I can't be selfish with you. Why you can't know this. I don't deserve you. But my brother does."
Damon leaned in and Elena's mouth opened, ready to protest but her voice continued to elude her as she felt his lips touch her forehead, numbing her with fear as she felt his goodbye in that single moment. Elena's breath caught in her throat as he pulled away, her eyes glistening with tears she couldn't understand and refused to let fall. She loved Stefan and Damon was…she didn't know anymore. But she found she didn't need to nor want to know what he was other than someone who loved her. Elena stared numbly ahead, completely overwhelmed, instinctively avoiding his eyes as if it would preserve his words just a second longer. Everything he said resonated in her and she didn't want to let it go. She didn't want to let him go.
Elena frowned slightly as Damon reached out and placed a hand on her face, caught up in disbelief that he will go through with it and compel her to forget.
'It's too soon. Wait. Please. Damon. Don't please. Wait. It can't end like this. We can't end like this.' Elena thought in absolute confusion, everything inside her in conflict as she remained in a stunned silence.
"God I wish you didn't have to forget this but you do." Damon said hoarsely, allowing only a single tear to stand witness to what he just let go, believing that finally he was doing right by her.
Elena blinked and found herself alone in her bedroom. She was jarred by the cold metal she felt on her neck and she reached up to touch the pendant she knew wasn't there moments before. She looked around her cautiously, taking in the fluttering curtain, turning around to find no one.
She fingered her necklace and sat down on the bed, wondering why her pulse was racing. Her hand fell away from the pendant, forehead knit in confusion as she realized that while could not explain the nagging feeling she was missing something about how she got back her necklace, somehow she knew who was responsible.
Elena sighed as she walked towards the open window, staring outside before shutting it, as if expecting to find him there. She walked back to her bed, curling up into a ball as she held the pendant tightly in one hand as if it held the answer to the unexplained tears falling from her eyes,
"What is it you needed me to forget, Damon?" Elena whispered in to no one, her voice unsteady as she continued, "And why...why does it feel like my heart is breaking?"
A/N: One-shot for now but if inspiration strikes I might continue it. That scene held a lot of potential that can lead into a happy ending, which I think we won't see anytime soon on the show :P Anyway, hope you enjoyed the story :)