Disc: Well, no.

AN: This fic, which took me a total of three hours straight or so, doesn't have much to do with the Naruto canon. It was just me trying to play with Gaara's mother and how Yashamaru describes her. The names I gave to her and Kazekage aren't official. The personality I gave her probably isn't official either. I wanted to give this fic a kind of sense of horror, especially because we're familiar with Gaara and how he really felt. I don't know if this quite deserves an R, but better safe than sorry, right? Enjoy.

MOTHER

The first thing Yashamaru heard when he rang the doorbell was the sound of the toilet flushing down the hall. He waited. Moments later, Tsukiyo came to the door. She was wiping vomit off her lips with a wet rag. She looked like a mess.

"Use tissue instead, neesan," he said absently, out of habit. It wasn't as if she ever listened to him. "It's better for your lips."

Tsukiyo stared at him for several moments as if trying to figure out who he was. When she finally recognized him, her face lit up with a brilliant smile. "Yashamaru!" she said delightedly, giving him a hug that was as strong as ever. "You've come to see me! It's been so long!" She led him in through the door and into the living room. "Oh, it's been weeks since I had the strength to clean up around here... It's a mess! I'm so sorry."

"I helped you clean up last Thursday, remember?" asked Yashamaru gently. "We washed the windows and everything. You helped do the laundry."

It hadn't lasted long. Dirty clothes lay scattered around the room in half hearted piles. A bra was draped over the TV, which was blasting daytime soaps at full volume. The windows were covered with a thin layer of sand. One of the lamps, which had been given to her as a wedding present, lay smashed on the carpet.

His sister waved her hand dismissively and flopped down onto the shirt-covered couch. "Well, whatever." She looked up at him. "Yashamaru, will you be a darling and make me some tea? Kettle's in the kitchen."

He turned off the TV, picking up the bra by the very edge and placing it in a laundry basket next to the wall. "Of course, neesan."

Tsukiyo groaned and clutched at her head. "And can you get me some painkillers?" she asked. "I'm getting an awful headache. And while you're at it, make me some toast. I just threw up breakfast and I'm hungry again. And turn off the lights. It's too bright in here."

"Yes, neesan," Yashamaru replied dutifully. He was used to her moods and her dependency on him by now. The old Tsukiyo, who was always good natured and responsible, had become a memory by the end of the first trimester. Now she was only a vague dream.

The kitchen was a similar mess. Dishes were piled high in the sink, and everything from the cupboards was spread out on the counter. Yashamaru cleaned and replaced objects as he searched for the kettle. He finally found it in the fridge, which was otherwise empty, and began boiling her some tea.

He searched for a loaf of bread, but the only one he found was stale and beginning to mold. She had some instant ramen sitting on the counter. That would have to do.

When by the time he had discovered a bottle of painkillers that wasn't empty already, the water had boiled. He made the tea as quickly as possible and took a tray containing the fruits of his labour back into the living room. On the way, he flicked off the light switch.

Tsukiyo had curled up into a fetal position, her stomach protruding almost comically from the dressing gown she wore. Without even trying, Yashamaru could tell that she was completely drained of chakra. Tears streamed down her bright red face.

"He tried to do it again," she said softly as he placed the tray beside her. "He tried to get out. He's trying to get out more often now. Any way he can." Her voice broke into a sob. "I hate him so much."

Performing a hand seal for more power, Yashamaru rolled her onto her back and began a healing technique that would at least take away some of the stress. "It's okay," he replied. "It's okay. Everything's okay. Would you like something to eat now?"

Tsukiyo nodded, rising back up into a sitting position. "Thank you," she squeaked, looking down at the ramen and beginning to slurp it up ravenously.

"Kankuro and Temari have been asking about you," said Yashamaru cheerfully, trying to at least make her feel better. "They'd like to come and visit, but I said that you weren't at your best right now. Anyway, they're going to make you a Get Well card."

His sister's eyes filled with warmth at the mention of her children. "Oh, my darlings!" she exclaimed, taking a swig from her mug of tea. "My babies! Are they doing well? Are they eating? Who's taking care of them? What are they doing in school? They're being good, aren't they?"

"Good as can be," responded Yashamaru. Now probably wasn't the best time to mention that Kankuro had been found skipping classes and been beaten within an inch of his life by Kazekage. "They're both very good students. Temari especially."

Tsukiyo giggled. "My little kunoichi angel," she said happily. "Tell her that mother longs to see her, and that maybe if things get better before the birth we can go out together... Kankuro, too... They can show me all their new skills..." She broke into tears again. "Oh, I miss them."

"You'll definitely see them again soon," lied Yashamaru with what he hoped was enough confidence to convince her.

It seemed to work. His sister brightened considerably, and with a smile polished off the rest of her ramen. "What about Raiden?" she asked. "My husband, my darling, dearest, precious beloved Kazekage-sama? Is he well? Does he talk about me? Why does he never visit me?" She pouted. "He never does, you know. I haven't seen him in so long. Why not?"

'Because he's trying to forget that you exist,' thought Yashamaru, although he didn't say it. "I don't know," he said instead. "I'll try to talk to him about it. Is that alright?"

Tsukiyo's expression shifted. An unnatural look of rage passed across her face. "If he does," she hissed, "I'll rip his balls off and eat them." Her fist connected with the wall, which cracked open to expose the insulation. "That bastard! That lousy, uncaring bastard! How could he do this to me? I've got a monster eating its way out of me, and it's all his fault! Aren't I supposed to be his wife?"

Her hair, Yashamaru noticed suddenly, was greasy and unwashed. It stuck together in clumps, caked with grime and the ever present sand. A small patch behind her ear seemed to have been ripped out. She had probably ran out of shampoo again. He made a mental note to buy her some more.

With a cry of hatred, Tsukiyo smashed her empty tea mug onto the floor. In what seemed like slow motion, it shattered into countless pieces. He remembered that it had also been a wedding gift. The painkillers, little blue pills, were still lying on the tray. She picked them up and popped them into her mouth with a savage crunch of her teeth.

"You look so shocked," she giggled seconds later, as she swallowed. "Of course I'm only joking, Yashamaru. I could never do anything like that to Raiden. I love him so much. He means everything to me. That's why I went through with this." Her voice had a slight edgy quality to it.

"Of course, neesan," Yashamaru said softly. He felt a sudden pulsing hatred for his brother-in-law. "I know that."

Tsukiyo giggled again. She sounded suddenly like a little girl. "Yashamaru," she said playfully, "would you like to know a secret?"

"Hm?" Instantly suspicious, Yashamaru nodded. "Sure," he replied.

His sister nodded and untied the cord of her dressing gown, letting it fall away from her belly. "Look!" she exclaimed with a sort of maniac glee.

Her stomach was swollen like an oversized blister. The skin was stretched seemingly paper-thin over her body. Purple-blue lines ran parallel to her body, covering the huge bulge of her torso like thin bruises. The nipples of her breasts were swollen as well. As Yashamaru watched in horror, grains of sand dripped out of them like water from a tiny faucet.

"Look," she said again, softly this time, caressing her stomach. "Yashamaru, look. Those are claw marks."

Yashamaru, inwardly scared but trying to control his face so as not to upset her, shook his head. "Neesan," he responded very gently, "those are just stretch marks. You had them with Kankuro and Temari as well, don't you remember?"

"You're wrong," Tsukiyo said with a shake of her head and a sick grin. "You think so, but you're wrong. These are claw marks from the inside. He's trying to get out. All the time. Any way that he can. Claws, teeth, anything. I can't sleep anymore because," she made a gesture, "the minute I relax- snap! The monster tries to eat his way out of me."

Moving forward onto the couch, Yashamaru enfolded his sister in a hug. There was nothing he could say.

Tsukiyo collapsed in his arms, tears beginning to fall from her eyes once again. He didn't want to look any closer, for fear that he would see sand mixed into them. "He hates me," she whispered. "He hates everything but himself. He wants to kill everything but himself. He wants to get out of me. It hurts. It hurts so much."

Yashamaru had previous felt sympathy and pain only for the old Tsukiyo, who had been an ever present force in his life and had been so happy on her wedding day. Now, he felt for the new Tsukiyo as well. This woman had gone insane because it was the only way to deal with the horror her life had become.

For the first time, but not the last, he wondered what kind of monster she was giving birth to.

END