Title: We All Fall Down, Like Toy Soldiers

Series: Saiyuki

Rating: M for themes of violence, incest, and abuse (can't get any worse, can it?)

AN: This is Gojyo's Mom's story. I don't know what really happened prior to their father's walking out, so I'm making it up. Listen to Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus-it's eerie.

The ringing in her ears wouldn't stop as his hand connected over and over again against her stinging face. She'd learned long ago not to cry, tears only fueled his anger or joy; she never could figure out if this was fun for him or not. He'd never bothered asking her opinion on the matter of course. She'd tried to get away at first. She had, but there'd been Jein to think about and the only other life she knew was being a whore. She'd never drag her precious son into that world if she could avoid it.

So she took it; the yelling, the mental anguish, the physical abuse, even the other women. She had, but she wouldn't take this. She'd kill herself before she accepted some other woman's child into their house and a half-breed human mutt at that! What did he take her for, some weak willed human who would just bow down and submit to his every decree? Forget the fact that she had until now, that never even crossed her mind, she was simply following her instincts, protecting what was hers, her marriage, her home, her child, her own blood.

She struck back, surprised shock giving her the first blow, her long claws becoming a slashing force to be reckoned with. That was the only blow she landed though. He was just too strong, too fast, and too angry. His fist connected painfully with her jaw and she felt the teeth break free, the coppery liquid of her own blood flooded her mouth and she spat the fangs and syrupy red goo from her damaged mouth, the jaw cracking and popping sickeningly.

After that it was a blur, she remembered falling, his heavily booted feet kicking her savagely across her unprotected stomach; she knew by the way her internal organs shifted that she'd never have children again, if she survived the onslaught of blows that is. Claws were broken under feet, her eyes swollen shut from his fists and angry red welts rose in a criss-cross over her arms, back, and legs as his belt whipped down, cutting through the air with a sharp whistling sound.

She cried out when the door was slammed open, a thirteen year-old Jein struggling valiantly to protect her from his own father. A surge of motherly instinct flared as he was thrown across the room, she'd claw his eyes out for touching her precious boy!

Throwing herself at him she managed to latch her fangs into his shoulder fiercely, ripping flesh and denting bone as she clung on desperately as he tried to fling her off; finally letting go as he simultaneously kicked and struck her away. He glared contemptuously at the pair of them huddled in the corner together like wounded beasts before flipping a leather jacket over his shoulder and walking out of their small house.

She wished she could say she never saw him again.

She wished, but she couldn't.

Every time the boy walked in the room she saw him, saw his anger and contempt and her blood and future and everything they'd lost in his red-hair and eyes. It was like he was mocking her, every fake smile and tender touch. She hated him. Hated him for destroying her happy home and taking the gorgeous black haired youkai from her bed and his strength from her arm and all she wanted was to get it back from him, take back what the little boy had stolen from her with his big, pleading, frightened eyes that reminded her too much of her own weaknesses and she swore she'd never be weak again. Never again.

She'd make him learn that.

She'd make him be afraid. She'd show him who was weak with her claws and fangs and smile as his blood ran underneath her nails until a gorgeous black haired youkai who was her strength and support and much more tender than she remembered would gently take her hands from around his throat and lead her away to forget the pain and the terror and the loneliness.

She just wanted to forget.

But then she'd wake up and it would be a dream and he would be there to gloat at her weakness and she'd fly at him, harpy from hell or bringer of death, yes, she'd end this once and for all as she choked her stolen life from his pale little neck while his eyes begged and pleaded and his mouth mumbled something that could have been 'mother,' but she wasn't his and never would be and then her body jerked of its own accord and there was blood on his terrified face but not his, it wasn't his, she hadn't done that, she couldn't. She was a mother after all.

Wet gurgling spilled out of her mouth as her eyes slipped shut, "This…doesn't...hurt…"