Disclaimer : I don't own Claymore
"Go away! I'm not coming out!" a rather immature voice shouted stubbornly inside the room, much to the irritation of the group assembled in front.
"Damn it Clare!" Deneve snapped exasperatedly. "Stop being a child and open the door."
"I don't wanna!"
"Can't we just break the door?" Helen suggested.
"Captain ordered us not to." Tabitha reminded.
"Come on! She won't know." the brash warrior begged, already coiling her arm in order to drill through.
Her attempt was interrupted by Miria tackling her. "HELEN! DON'T YOU DARE!"
"Aww, why?" Helen's voice was remarkably similar to Clare's at the moment.
"Because you'd ruin this fic! And I don't want the author mad at me!" Miria screamed while darting nervous looks around.
If this fic was ruined, the next one would most likely be another Miria-torture.
The mere idea made her shudder.
"Could you remind me how exactly this happened?" Yuma asked.
Helen snorted. "Well, while you were having your moment of glory saving Pigtails, we ran into the Awakened that Clare is so dead set on killing…"
"She got her ass handed to her." Deneve finished.
"This has nothing to do with that." Clare defended from the other side of the door.
"Right… you're not mad about the butt-kicking you received?" Helen challenged.
"The failed Awakening?"
"Getting your face shoved into the ground?"
"It has happened before."
"Oh yeah, I forgot. Ophelia, Irene and Galatea." Helen counted on her fingers, ignoring the sound of Clare gritting her teeth. "But they had the decency to use their hands. Priscilla stomped on your head."
"I'd rather be stepped on than this." Clare growled.
"Clare… You know I am not the most outspoken person here but I need to ask… WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Yuma yelled, the quiet Claymore apparently fed up with this ridiculous situation. Helen looked at her, rather impressed at the volume.
"…" Clare mumbled incoherently.
"What did you say?" Yuma asked, tapping her foot with her arms crossed on her chest.
'Wow… scary…' Helen thought.
'Miria's got competition.' Deneve couldn't help but smirk.
'I think I'm in love… not wait, I love Captain…' Tabitha mentally scolded herself. 'Maybe I could get them both…'
"Chapter 100. Page 8. Top frame." Clare repeated, getting herself a collective "huh?"
"The one where you're charging Priscilla?" Miria asked.
"Yeah." the heroine of the show confirmed.
Cynthia, who had been silent till now, was obviously confused. "What wrong with it?"
"Can't you see?" Clare shouted indignantly.
"NO I CAN'T!" Cynthia shouted back.
"I GOT A PANTY SHOT!!!"
Looking at the issue, the assembled warriors could indeed see Clare's skirt flapping as she ran, exposing her underwear (or what passes as underwear on their uniforms).
"OH COME ON!" Helen screamed in exasperation. "You can't be mad at this! Do you think this is the only fanservice in this series?"
"Helen's right." the voice of reason AKA Miria offered. "You had a couple bath scenes and the whole 'naked in inner world' thing, not to mention that nice shot when you emerged from it."
"Yeah, and your breasts did look bigger after that." Tabitha added.
This got her a strange look from everyone. Tabitha blushed. "It… it did look like it." she stuttered.
"Funny you'd notice that!" Clare snapped. "Anyway, these scenes were plot-driven."
"Fine! You want to play that game Forty Seven? You think you're only fanservice girl here?" Helen challenged. "Let's recap. Ophelia spent her last moments topless…"
"Ophelia had the lower body of a huge snake and was a complete psycho." Clare shot back.
"That shoots Agatha and the Abyssal Eaters too I guess. Fine. Still Clarice flashed her butt in a freaking church… Jean spent an entire fight with only an open cloak on her shoulders… Deneve can't finish a fight with her clothes intact…"
Deneve had an uncharacteristic scowl on her face. " Not to mention it keeps getting worse… soon I'll be fighting naked."
"That's what you get for being a regenerative type." Clare snorted.
"Please Clare. Cynthia and Yuma are defensive warriors too, and the worst they get is a missing sleeve. Heck, even Galatea had it better against Agatha and I'm sure readers would have enjoyed it more if she had ended as I usually do."
At this moment they could have sworn they heard mournful cries of cheated fans all over the world.
"Where did you find a new top anyway?" Cynthia asked.
"Dunno… plot hole I guess. Still, why is it always me anyway?"
"… Riful actually stripped and conveniently waited to put them back on…"
"Lolicon rejoice." Miria mumbled.
"… Isley mooned us…" Helen shuddered at the memory, which was echoed by Deneve.
"Huh?" Yuma asked confused at their reaction.
"… in his awakened form." Helen finished.
"Mooned by a thirty feet tall horse's ass… the horror…" the stoic warrior looked like she wanted to cry.
"At least I was lacking depth perception at the time."
"Lucky you." Deneve mumbled.
"All right… next example?" Miria asked as she wanted to get the image out of her head.
"Priscilla is about to engage in a literal catfight naked. And before that she pranced around in the buff too."
"The amount of fanservice has skyrocketed lately." Miria sighed.
"Don't worry big sis, your time will come." Helen cackled ominously much to her leader's embarrassment and Tabitha's anticipation.
"Actually, Miria did have a panty shot too." Cynthia piped in.
One would forever wonder which was louder : Miria's indignant scream or Tabitha's squeal.
"Just after your duel with Clare in the north; you know, the shot where we're all together." the pigtailed warrior reminded.
"I THOUGHT NO ONE NOTICED THAT!!" Miria yelled before looking up. "YOU HAD TO BRING THAT UP RIGHT? COULDN'T YOU SPARE ME JUST THIS ONCE?"
As if on cue…
--- Author note : Miria's panty shot was graciously reminded to me by my wonderful beta Shiek927. Thank you man! PS : sorry Miria, I swear I was going to let you off the hook. ---
"What was that?"
"Someone is really having fun with the fourth wall." Deneve commented.
Miria muttered a few choice words about insane fanfiction authors and detail-obsessed beta readers before continuing. "Anyway Clare, we still don't see the problem. Showing your underwear isn't such a big deal after all that."
"Big words considering how upset she just got." Helen whispered to Yuma.
"NOT A BIG DEAL? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?" Clare roared from behind the door. "Panty shots are usually done in light-hearted series! Is Claymore a light-hearted series?"
"Uh… no?" a still puzzled Miria answered.
"Precisely! We are supposed to be tragic characters tossed in hopeless battles against ancient conspiracies and overwhelming odds! And tragic characters DO NOT FLASH THEIR PANTIES!!!"
"Aren't you overreacting a little?" Yuma asked dubiously.
"You know, she may have a point." Cynthia pondered.
"And why me anyway? I am supposed to have had it the worst! My purpose is to take revenge against Priscilla! I have to hate her, loathe her, live in a unsightly…" Clare ranted as the light began to dim as if to enhance the atmosphere.
"There she goes again…" Helen groaned.
"Clare, the author is going to be really upset if you go into emo avenger mode… and making him upset is not a good idea." Miria warned. She had to stop Clare before she went on about killing her best friend to unlock some fancy power.
"… That bad?" Clare asked in a small voice.
"We are talking about the guy who had you screw up the entire land with sex yoki, made me go through tickle torture, turned us into sex-crazed lunatics, got me drunk and puts Rubel in bed with Rachel simply because he doesn't like him." Miria commented somberly. "So yes, I'd say it's bad."
"Speaking of which, Rubel ran past us as he was chased by Rachel. She was wearing a BDSM dominatrix outfit and the shark attack theme of 'Jaws' was playing." Cynthia added.
"Fast or slow?" Helen asked.
"He's fucked then." Helen concluded, which got a nod from Deneve.
"… Okay." Clare concluded pitifully as the lights returned to normal.
"Now back to our topic."
"Right. My point is that there is a difference between plot-driven nudity and a gratuitous panty shot. The latter is plain ecchiness and comedic relief that does NOT fit with the overall theme of the show. This is just the beginning I tell you! Mark my words : soon Claymore will be one of those comedic shonen harem manga. And I won't stand for it!"
By now they could picture standing with her arms crossed and a pout on her face.
"Comedic shonen harem manga?" Yuma repeated.
"The ones where several girls compete for a single man?" Cynthia asked.
"YES! Well, there is also the occasional lesbian in the mix." Clare added as an afterthought.
"We don't have that many male leads." Helen stated pensively.
"There are the Organization's men…" Cynthia counted.
"Are you nuts or just plain desperate?" Deneve deadpanned
"Isley and Rigaldo…"
"Dead and digested in one case. Resting in pieces in the other." Miria stated
"That moron doesn't know the difference between a man and a woman for crying out loud!" Helen shouted.
"Those two guys we met in Rabona…"
"Support characters. They don't count." Yuma reminded.
"Who does that leave then?"
In the ensuing silence Clare suddenly had a bad feeling.
"Clare's boy toy!" Helen snapped her fingers with a bright grin.
"Wasn't he taken by the Organization?" Tabitha asked.
"Oh yeah." Helen sighed dejectedly.
"With the newer generation of warriors?"
"How many? About forty right?" Miria asked for confirmation.
"Not counting the trainees." Deneve added.
As the gears in their heads turned furiously, Helen bolted for the exit.
"Helen! Where are you going?" Miria shouted.
"To the Org! If this turns into a harem, no way I'm getting stuck with the leftovers!" the running warrior yelled back.
Six pairs of eyes - Clare included – blinked; the realization settled in that they wouldn't be able to secure their nookie if they stayed here.
Then the stampede began.
Surprisingly or not, and for all her speeches about revenge, Clare was the most motivated.