Title: Blue
Author: Stormqueen
Timeframe: Sometime after ROTS (contains some spoilers)
Genre: Personal Reflections
Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, memories of Padme and Obi-Wan
Summary: Vader reflects on blue.
Notes: This is a response to the COLOR challenge on the Jedi Council Forums, in which one must chose any color and write a story about it. Mine, originally enough, centers around 'blue.'

Anakin Skywalker had loved blue.

Blue was the color of the sky, and it was almost always the same, gorgeous shade. Excepting planets with abnormal atmospheres, it sparkled with its own light, blanketing the world below with a cheerful, azure warmth. No matter how many clouds attempted to mar its pristine surface, the bright color would burst forth, hinting at the beauty hidden behind the curtain of white.

He had stared up at it for hours as a child, dreaming of the mysteries it held, of the promises of a different life beyond Watto's junk shop. Even when it darkened to a deep midnight, with stars studding its surface like brilliant diamonds, he would gaze heavenwards, knowing in the depths of his heart that one day he would be free.

Blue had been the color of the skies above Naboo.

He had stared upwards as he had lain in the grass of the lake country, Padmé nestled by his side, and as the sky stretched around him, he had never felt happier. He had basked in the sapphire expanse, letting his mind drift aimlessly, and he had never wanted to come back to himself, to come back to the world where he had to be parted from those he loved.

His eyes, Padmé had told him, were the exact same shade as the sky above her home planet. The next time he'd found himself in front of a mirror, he'd stared at his reflection, peering into the irises of his eyes, trying to validate her claims. To his general shock, as he'd never really studied the color of his gaze before, he'd found that she was right; his eyes shone with the same blue that covered Naboo.

"I'll always have a piece of Naboo to take with me, then," he said when he was inevitably caught, watching as a stunning smile rose to Padmé's lips.

"Just like I have my necklace to remind me of you," she whispered, snuggling into his embrace.

Blue had been the color of his lightsaber.

No matter how many he lost, destroyed, or otherwise ruined to the infinite displeasure of Obi-Wan, the blade would remain a crystal-clear blue. He'd tried to pick a crystal that would make it green for once, just for a little variety, but it seemed his soul was destined to be attuned to those that imparted the blade with an azure hue.

Blue, it seemed, had been his color, despite the black he wore.

It had represented so much to him, and it had come to symbolize freedom, along with the new life he had started as a Jedi. It was the color of the skies he escaped into when hurrying off a planet, either coming or going on a mission. It had decorated the racer he'd piloted, the one that had won him his release from slavery.

But he was not Anakin Skywalker.

He was Darth Vader, heir to the Galactic Empire, and Dark Lord of the Sith. He answered to no one, save his Master, the Emperor, and he hated blue with every shred of his being.

Because blue was Anakin Skywalker, with his eyes and his lightsabers. Vader's eyes were hidden by his mask, shrouded in darkness, never to be seen, and his lightsaber was blood red. He had poured his hatred into making the weapon, just as he did with every action he took, and he couldn't help the thrill of pride when the blade burned a deep, fiery ruby.

Blue was a color Anakin had associated with Obi-Wan as well, with his misty eyes that shone with the perpetual calm that had engulfed the man. Anakin had longed to see his Master's eyes bright with praise and laughter, the cerulean depths losing their cool quality and shimmering warmly. The expression had never failed in buoying Anakin's flagging spirits when faced with yet another failure in training, and he had done all he could to see it as much as possible.

The thought of Obi-Wan sent rage searing through Vader.

Blue had been the color of the Jedi's eyes, especially when he had turned his back on one he had claimed to love like a brother. Obi-Wan had left Anakin on the banks of the lava flow, his eyes darkening with remorse as he plucked the lightsaber from the black sands, immune to the words screamed at him. His blue-gray-green eyes had melted to a bleak navy, smoke curling around him, and the hurt of the perceived betrayal lancing through what little was left of Anakin.

It had fueled Vader; it still fueled Vader. Anakin hadn't betrayed Obi-Wan. He never would have betrayed Obi-Wan. By drawing his lightsaber first, the Jedi had struck the first and possibly final blow on Anakin's weakening soul, letting Vader's anger permeate his being and give him the strength he needed to face his former mentor.

Vader hated Obi-Wan just as much as he hated blue. He didn't care if it was the color of skies, the color of escape, or the color of serenity. Vader had been born from red-orange flames, ones that had seared his flesh to black, and he would never forget the lesson he had learned through Anakin Skywalker's death.

Blue was the color of weakness. Red was the color of strength.

And he, Lord Darth Vader, had purged himself of all weakness.