Alas, the very end.
You know, at the start of this fic, I did not have any intention whatsoever of killing Rose. I was going to save her and give her a ring and a potential future with Damon as more than his "special friend." But as I was writing, it struck me that this could not be so. Rose was dying; she was going to die. Nothing I have ever written has agonized me like this has. I paced my house, pulled my hair, and wrestled with this, but it could not be written any other way. I have given this more passion than anything else, and I hope you don't all hate me now.
They bury Rose in Damon's unused grave, laying her charred body down in the dirt at the bottom of the hole Damon dug.
As the others trudge back to the boardinghouse, young faces aged, Stefan helps his brother pile dirt upon the corpse.
(Every year, Elena places roses on the grave. Every year, after they've died, Damon removes them.)