Damon was dying.
There was no getting around that. He was about in die, as much as Elena wanted to leave, as much as she did not want to see Damon die in her arms, she could not leave him.
"I don't want to die" Damon murmured. "After 145 years I still feel like my time isn't up yet"
"Shhh" Elena whispered, stroking his face gently.
"Do you think Stefan hates me?" Damon asked hoarsely.
"No, of course he doesn't. If he did, he wouldn't be going to Klaus to ask for a cure"
"I don't hate him either. I thought I did, but now I realize it was my own choice. He just wanted his brother…and I would have done the same thing"
Elena didn't reply. She just kept stroking his face and shushing him.
That was when she noticed the tears falling from his face.
"I don't want to die. Oh, god…" He moaned. Elena felt more tears slide down her face as she saw him. It was just heartbreaking. Damon crying because he was in pain and his life was slowly slipping away.
Stefan walked into the room, his feet dragging behind him. There was pain on his face, like he failed someone, like he just lost someone he loved very much.
Of course, Elena thought. He didn't find the cure after all. And now his brother was going to die.
"Is he still…?" Stefan asked, edging slowly to the doo, because if the answer was yes he wouldn't want Elena to see him break and he would just go into the woods or something and fall apart there.
"I'm alive…barely" Damon said softly.
Stefan breathed a sigh of relief, and then walked over to sit on the other side of his brother. He wrapped his arm around Damon and pushed some on the hair off his face before letting his arm fall into his lap.
"Stefan…I'm sorry about everything. I never meant to cause you so much trouble" Damon said, more tears falling out of his eyes.
"I know, Damon. I'm sorry for turning you" Stefan choked out, tears gathering in his eyes.
"No, I understand it now. I probably would have done the same thing. You never gave up on me like father did, like anyone else would have, and I…I love you, brother"
Stefan fell apart.
"Damon, please don't die on me now" He pleaded. Elena was hysterical.
"Take care of each other. Don't let Klaus…" Damon couldn't finish. Breathing was getting much harder and the pain was becoming worse and worse by the second. "Elena, I love you. Take care of my brother"
"I will Damon…and I love you too. You're my best friend" She smiled through her tears.
Stefan didn't feel jealous. He didn't admit it, but he rather see Damon spend every day hitting on Elena right in front of him then him dying.
"I…Oh, god….." Stefan sobbed
Then Damon died with Stefan and Elena holding him. And what better what way to die then with your brother who you thought hated you and the girl you thought could never love you holding you. With both of them holding him, Damon didn't feel so scared anymore and let go.
Elena screamed, and Stefan cried harder and pressed his face into his brother's hair.
For hours, they both lay with Damon. Stefan thought Elena fell asleep, but he wasn't sure.
One thing lingered on his mind, a thought that would never go away, one that would always haunt him.
He never told Damon he loved him.