Summary: Because humanity continues to elude him…and he doesn't want it that way – not for him, not for her.
"I miss being human…I miss it more than anything in the world."
He remembers a time when the urge to kill wasn't an urge, and when the smell of blood didn't scream 'murder' in his mind. He remembers that hunting wasn't a distraction, but a sport, and didn't involve humans but game like birds.
He remembers the time when he was human, and God damn it, he misses that.
He misses being a human more than anything in the world and yet, it's the one thing that seems to be just out of his reach; just within the grasp of his fingers.
It's unattainable, and that angers, and frustrates, and saddens him.
He remembers how it is to be human, and sometimes, he'll act it to a T; but he never feels genuinely human – he feels like a lame actor playing a really good part – and it feels awkward and wrong, and that saddens because humanity shouldn't be something he has to work at. It should be within him already.
But he's a vampire, and his humanity flew out of the window the day he became one.
Now he has to work at it, and it bewilders him because the thing that should be ingrained in him is the most elusive thing he's ever seen – and he's been tripping and failing so miserably over the past century and a half he wonders why he's still trying.
He tries for her.
"I can't be what she wants me to be."
When Damon's with Elena, he feels like he actually needs the air he breathes. She's like his ray of sunshine – his light in the darkness – and suddenly with her, humanity isn't something he has to work at so hard anymore.
She makes it easy. So goddamn easy Damon feels like laughing sometimes.
How can one person make this one thing he's been trying – and failing – to get right for so many years make it easy?
He feels human and like he matters with her – like he hasn't lost this one thing that he's been trying to reach out to for so many years.
But just as he's grasping it – just as he thinks that he's finally getting this humanity thing right – something slams into him and reminds him that that's not who he is.
Because when Elena brings out the human that he once was, when he starts feeling himself fall just a little bit harder for her, and just when he might just start to care a tad bit more, the vampire that he is comes out and stops him.
The vampire snatches his humanity away every time he starts to care and feel and love too much.
(Every time he starts to feel human).
The vampire reminds him that humanity isn't what he does and being human isn't what he is and that he should stop trying so goddamn hard because he's not going to change.
Elena's not going to make him change. No matter how much he wants her to.
No matter how much he needs her to – because she doesn't love him as much as he loves her, and she can't help all of him if he doesn't have all of her.
Because Elena is just as elusive as his humanity – and there's nothing he can do about that.
And it hurts so much, and he's been broken so many times in the past there's only so much hurt he can take before he snaps and breaks for good.
So the vampire in him comes and sweeps his broken and raw and vulnerable humanity away, and reminds him that that's not who he is, and that's who he'll never be.
And as his fangs pierce Jessica's throat, Damon can't help but agree.
Author's Note: First of all, I'd like to give a freaking standing ovation for Ian Somerhalder for that last scene, because it was brilliant – freaking brilliant. If that's not Oscar-worthy acting, than nothing is.
Seriously, I think this is the first time we see true and raw Damon for the first time, and Ian got him down to a T it's not even funny – I think that scene has moved me far more than his confession at the end of "Rose", because this is a real piece of Damon; one that's just on the brink of getting what he wants but doesn't see it.
If nothing has proven his humanity so far, than this, by far, does. I wanted to do that scene justice, and I hope I've achieved at least some semblance to reality – please drop in a review.