Anakin's eyes open to find himself in a body of water. He isn't sure what sort of body of water it is, only that he is beneath the surface. His lungs are screaming at him to release the stagnant oxygen inside. He opens his mouth, releasing large bubbles and a scream for help that is lost in the water around him. His arms grasp at nothing, trying to hold onto something, to use some sort of momentum to pull himself up. Dark blonde curls are floating around him, his eyes the same colour as the water he is drowning in. As time goes by, more rapidly than he can register the water begins to turn black. It creeps up from beneath him, getting darker and darker and more solid. He kicks, trying to get at the surface but no matter how hard he propels himself he gets no closer to it. The blackness is latching onto him now, pulling him further under. He is screaming for help now to anyone that can listen, but of course no one is there. It consumes him until there is only a flash of his human arm reaching for someone else's left.
Vader sits bolt upright in his bed, breathing heavilly as if to accomodate for the lack of oxygen he had in his dream. He pushes the covers aside and gets out of bed, padding to the fresher to splash some cold water on his face. His eyes catch his now dripping visage in the mirror, metal hand reaching forward to touch it. He closes his eyes, dropping his hand, using the other to push off of the edge of the sink and stagger for a few steps before he regains his stride and walks to the couch. With a quiet groan, the piece of furniture accepts his body weight. So he sits with his head in his hands and his elbows on his knees, searching for the power to banish the dream from his mind. The dream that he has now had every night since going to the soul healers. The dream that will not let him close his eyes without appearing two nanoseconds later. It is always the same. It never changes in the slightest. Some ghost of him always ends up waiting, begging for someone to rescue him. Vader is beginning to forget that Anakin ever exsisted in the first place.
There is a familiar presence in the room. He looks up and sees nothing at first. He looks all around the room but is not afraid, is not angry or violated or anything that he would have expected himself to be at the feeling of an intruder. As he is looking behind him, a kind voice speaks. "Oh Ani..." His attention immediately snaps back to infront of him. He nearly begins crying at what he sees. Standing before him in a transluscent blue mist is Padme. She is smiling at him, a sad, loving smile. "What have you done?" She reaches forward to touch his face and while the gesture is visible, there is no sensation of touch. His eyes well up with tears and he speaks the only words he can think to say. "I'm sorry...Padme...I'm sorry." The salty droplets streak down his face unabaited. She caresses his face, pain evident in her expression. "You can still stop this, Ani. You can still bring balance to the force, build a happy future for our children."
His eyes squeeze shut and he rests against the back of the couch. "I can't...there's no hope for me now. Anakin is gone now, Padme, consumed by Vader." He reaches forward to touch her, but his hand passes straight through her only adding to his agony. She doesn't appear afraid of him like Obi-Wan did. She appears only to want to help him, to be utterly devoted to the boy he once was. Maybe...maybe she can still see the good in him. "You're being typically unreasonable, Anakin Skywalker." There is a note of fondness in her voice as she moves to sit next to him, brushing hair from his face. "You are still you. You still live and breathe in this body." His adam's apple bobs in his throat as he swallows painfully. "I failed you. I...I fell in love with Obi-Wan and then...then you were gone and I couldn't set things right with you. I was so torn. I'm still so torn. Help me...please. I don't know what to do." "Look at me." He does.
She rests her forehead against his. "As much as that hurts, I know that with him you are in safe hands. That he would never do anything to harm you or to put you in any sort of danger because he loves you as much as I, if not more. Do not worry about betraying me now, I'll punish you for that later." She is, of course, joking. "I am only worried about you right now. I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you sooner. It was a matter of crossing the galaxy to find you, of pushing through the layers and layers of darkness. Please...stop this. There has to be a way for you to come back to me, to come back to Obi-Wan." "I don't know...I just don't know." The tears pour freely from his eyes now. "I wish I could touch you, Padme."
He reaches his hand up and holds it just outside the slim outline of her waist. "I wish that I was strong enough with the force to bring you back to me. I wish that the people I love weren't afraid of me, didn't hate me. There was no other path for me. Why can't he understa-" "Shhhh. He will understand in time. There is always time, but sometimes there is not nearly enough when you need there to be. You are my husband; I will always be with you, even in death. You just have to open your heart to me." Her tone changes from comforting to almost stern. "Palpatine is using you. I wish you could see that." She wraps her arms around him, resting her cheek atop his head. "I wish I could help you break away from that, but there is little I can do as I am now." He has stopped crying at this point.
He rises quickly, shivering when he passes through her. "You're wrong. He would never...Chancellor Palpatine is my friend. He would never betray me." She sits back against the couch. "Ani, stop this. You're blind. He's a Sith Lord, for force sake." He begins to pace, snarling under his breath. "Well who are we to decide what is good and evil in the galaxy? Huh? How do we really know that the force makes the distinction between darkness and light? Why should we? This is all relative isn't it?" He stands straighter, convincing himself of his own words. "We're going to make the galaxy better, stop the wars, stop the Jedi from taking over. They killed you, Padme, I won't let them go unpunished for that." "Ani, you're wro-" "It isn't right! It isn't fair." He is getting himself worked up again. "I will avenge you, Padme. You can count on that." She is too overwrought with emotions to hold herself together any longer. She begins to fade from view, looking horrified, shaking her head. When she is completely gone, Vader stares at the spot on the sofa where she was sitting. "I will. I promise you that I will."