Elena Gilbert Appreciation Week: Day Four. We'll get him out of this

Nov 11, 2012 01:56

Elena Gilbert Appreciation Week timetable can be found here: LJ Tumblr.

Elena Gilbert Appreciation Week, Day Four (Nov. 8) - favorite Elena ship

Catching up with the Appreciation Week like a pro ;).

Since I didn't want to write a general post about Damon/Elena (one day I will figure out a one paragraph long reply to a question “Why do you ship D/E?”. Today, however, is not that day), I figured I'd just take the last episode (TVD 4x05, The Killer) and make a case study out of it. As good an example as any, right?

We'll get him out of this and we'll compel him down to the Bahamas
AKA: She straddled him on a bed while pointing a phallic object at him, and then they plotted a murder together. What does your ship do?

image source

Warnings: Damon/Elena. I ship it. Because Elena. You have been warned.

Guys, this episode was Damon/Elena in a nutshell! Most of the things I love about this ship were there for the taking. Elena's POV was always very important in this ship, but this season is some fucking epitome of the show focusing on what D/E does for Elena. I can't.

When in doubt, accuse Damon

One of my favorite things about D/E is that Elena is always, always, always allowed to be mad at Damon. Sometimes she has every right to be mad, sometimes she just lashes out and accuses him for no good reason, doesn't matter. She's angry, she's hurt, she expresses it without hesitation.

Elena: You told me to kill him. So I did.
TVD 4x05, The Killer

This is an absurd accusation, because all Damon did was give Elena some know-how after he couldn't talk her out of killing Connor. Elena isn't angry because he told her to kill. She's angry because he didn't warn her how it would feel, because he wasn't there with her, because he didn't magically make the problem disappear... Take your pick. Elena is angry at Damon for not doing something he couldn't possibly have done. Because they live in Mystic Falls, someone is always there to get there, and now that Elena has the physical ability to snap someone's neck, she would've killed sooner or later. Hell, he did his best to talk her out of this particular kill, and he failed. Elena is mad at him because he believed she could kill, and now that she did kill, she feels like she can't handle it. Elena's irrational anger at Damon is a spontaneous expression of her emotional turmoil. Elena Gilbert, the girl who works so hard to keep her Good Girl facade, not only feels comfortable with being irrationally angry with Damon, but also the minute she sees him, she automatically expresses her emotional turmoil she usually does her best to hide from everyone. Damon is allowed to know she's in pain.

Filter is overrated

Let me sum it up. Elena Gilbert, The Good Girl, randomly pushes a guy she knows is attracted to her onto a bed, straddles him and points a gun at him to make a point.

Damon: Bang, you're dead. Now what?
Elena: Head shot's no good. It has to be the heart. So now you're dead.
TVD 4x05, The Killer

I love how Elena uses Damon's own tactics against him, makes an obviously sexualized move and breaks his personal space in order to intimidate him. And his reaction? He's impressed. Not surprised (because he expects just about anything from her at this point), not scandalized (lol), not uncomfortable (a girl he's been pining for for months just pinned him to a bed, and it doesn't matter). Elena can be this person with him. She can body-troll him, she can point a gun at him, she can manhandle him, whatever. Elena doesn't even think twice about it, because she knows that with Damon, anything is fair game.

The thing is, they never talked about it. Damon never told Elena: “I will love and accept you unconditionally”. Elena doesn't know that this is how he feels about her; she might suspect it, but she doesn't know. She acts the way she does because her self-worth and identity are not contingent upon Damon's opinion of her. Her actions are not motivated by fear he'd reject her: not because she knows he won't do it, but because his rejection wouldn't affect her identity. Elena just does whatever the hell she wants with him, because she doesn't stop to wonder what he'd think of her.

To be clear: I don't think Damon only wants Elena when she's at her worst, I don't think he wants her to be like him. He just wants her, period. He's fine with her either way. There is a fic quote that explains this far better than I ever could (and everyone should totally read this fic, because it's made of awesome):

“Leave them on,” he says, sometime later and she looks up startled; she’s different from his dream because her hair isn’t falling over her breasts just so. And man, his dreams so need a reality-check, because this is better, which is just sad.
“What,” she says, and she heard, he knows, so now he knows the answer.
“Leave them on”, he says again, because sometimes he does things he doesn’t have to do.
“It sounds…weirdly kinky,” she says, and scrunches her face in thought and he doesn’t want the heels anymore, he just wants her face scrunched up in thought. He always wants exactly who she is at whichever moment she is it. That’s the oddest sentence he’s ever made up in his head.
youcallitwinter, blower's daughter

Fuck yeah teamwork

Elena is a fixer, she's a problem-solver. She needs to DO things, otherwise she'd go crazy. Damon understands that: not because he's so awesome, but because that's his MO as well. It's very telling that when Damon and Stefan find Elena digging a grave in the woods, Damon's initial reaction is to step back, while Stefan's is to step in and try to take the shovel out of Elena's hands. Damon understands Elena's coping mechanism because he shares it, and that's why they make such a great team in crisis.

Elena: Then I need to get in there.
Damon: No, Elena, this guy is dangerous!
Elena: So am I, Damon!
Damon: Then you need to be smart.
TVD 4x05, The Killer

They work together, they communicate, they adjust. It has nothing to do with their emotiona bond, they simply make a good team. I love how, when Elena absolutely refuses to stay put, Damon recognizes he lost and immediately starts working in a different framework. I wouldn't even view this in the context of respecting Elena's agency. Damon doesn't insist because he knows he wouldn't win this fight. They work together not because “Elena wants to help”, but because they can do more as a team than each of them can do alone. Damon is not “letting” Elena make this decision, because it's not his place to “let” her do anything. She's not looking for his permission to go. They simply put their heads together because they figured it would be the best way to make things work.

In conclusion: everything is Elena and nothing hurts.

meta, fandom: the vampire diaries, how unfortunate, elena gilbert is amazing, elena gilbert appreciation week

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