Stefan and Elena or Damon and Elena?
Such an age old question. It definitely ranks right up there with Fermat’s Last Theorem.
As much as I’d love to be able to make light of it, the dynamics of the relationships - and the impact any changes would have on my favorite characters - are one of the most heated topics in the fandom for my favorite show. I'd really wanted this to be oh so much more eloquent, but I was up with a sick child till 4 this morning. Since we're talking about love, I thought this post still had to go up today.
Before I begin, though, I have to take a moment here to say that my first loyalty lies with the Brothers Salvatore. Like Elena in the third book, Stefan and Damon’s relationship is always at the forefront of my mind. While I don’t think that means Damon should turn his back on any feelings he has for Elena, I do want whatever happens on the “Elena front” to leave the brothers’ relationship intact. They’ve come too far - and we see too many glimmers of the relationship they had before Katherine entered their lives - for it to break apart again. I could literally watch Stefan and Damon banter back and forth all day long...but that’s the topic for another day.
I start with Stefan and Elena because they’re the pairing that actually is a couple at the moment. It also doesn’t hurt that Elena has chosen Stefan for now. I’ll admit that in the books, I’m a Stefan/Elena fan through and through. I love the fact that Elena sees her flaws more clearly when Stefan enters her life - even though she’s wrong about why he’s rejecting her at first.
In the show, it isn’t such an easy call for me. In the pilot, Elena was still reeling from the death of her parents. She’s trapped under the weight of her own sadness and the responsibility of trying to deal with Jeremy’s issues. The connection she makes with Stefan helps her to realize she can move on - even if her life has been forever changed.
Stefan is Elena’s harbor in the storm, and neither of them want to do anything that would endanger that very important safety net - even when they sometimes should. Elena and Stefan truly love each other, but it seems they’re afraid of looking at the hardest issues facing them.
They’ve skirted around the “what the future holds” issue.
Elena did get to ask Stefan her “vampire 20 questions” immediately after she found out what he was, but she’s held back other questions.
For those answers, she went to Damon. Yes, part of it was a matter of circumstance. Damon had “borrowed” her for a day off - even if she wasn’t really in on the plans. While they were in Georgia, she had some important questions to ask.
Why does she look like Katherine? (Of course, Elena had just discovered her similarity to Katherine at this point. She didn’t have a chance to ask Stefan because she’d run away.)
Does this mean she’s part vampire?
How do vampires eat? I really would have assumed she would have had a few of these “mechanics” conversations with Stefan (especially the “vampires can’t procreate” discussion considering what had happened the night before), but I think it is easier to examine from a distance.
She turned to Damon when she needed those answers.
Damon and Elena’s relationship is most easily described as “what could be.”
They each show such incredibly different sides of themselves when they’re with each other. Even Stefan and Katherine could hear the intensity in their exchange when Elena was fighting to get in to see Stefan.
Damon needed a Lexi in his life to help him realize who he could be. That person was Elena. She gave him a connection to his humanity he’d thought he’d lost forever. When he is with her, he’s no longer the vampire who kills with abandon - he’s the man who was trained to be the Southern gentleman. Recently, we’ve seen those two sides at war with themselves. However, when he’s with Elena, the better side seems to be winning.
Elena changed drastically when her parents died - even Caroline and Bonnie have spoken of the person Elena “used to be” - someone we don’t seem to see when she’s with Stefan. To be a cheerleader, Elena had to have the fire and the passion we see in her interactions with Damon - whether they’re arguing or she just happens to be highly intoxicated. Uncle John sensed the charged intensity between them when he found them discussing Caroline’s plight.
Elena brings out who Damon could be. Damon shows us the Elena that once was.