Disclaimer: I do not own Claymore or it's characters; all rights go to Norihiro Yagi for creating such an awesome series. I just own the plot and theories divulged here within these words.
Solitary Was Our Tomb
"Hey Lady… are you an ordinary person?"
The question broke the meditative silence and her body stiffened, defensively. The clear water rippled and her reflection stared up at her, the trademark scar, her only reminder of the left eye that once presided there, distorting in a starburst pattern in the vacillating stream.
"I can sense only the slightest yoma energy from you. It's so small, as if it's about to flicker out."
Again the awkward silence was broken by the young, feminine voice perched at the edge of the tree-line and this time she turned her head ever so slightly to gaze back on the newcomer. A young girl-barely more than a child still-stood there, patiently awaiting an answer, a hidden expression of curiosity and excitement pulling at her youthful face. Blonde hair framed her delicate features in a lose ponytail and clashed gently against her gray and ivory bodysuit.
Finally turning to fully face the young child, she gazed outward, silver eye narrowed faintly, "Are you a trainee from the Organization?"
The tell-tale sign of satisfaction spread across the girl's pale face. "I knew it," she offered a genuine smile before directing another blatant question to the older woman. "How can you make your yoki aura fade out?"
Curiosity enveloped the girl's very reaction and was so tangibly obvious that she felt surely, should she reach out, she could touch it. But she offered no answer to the inquiry and instead closed the gap between them with deliberate steps, her bare feet raw and unforgiving against the dirt and sticks decorating the forest floor. "Do you have a sister?"
Confusion fluttered over the girl's face briefly, the question sounding so odd to her ears as her mind pieced the answer together with a shake of her pale hair. "No, I don't."
"I see," the older woman consented, her features drawing up in relief. A slim hand slipped from beneath her dark cloak and momentarily found a resting place atop the girl's head, the gentle tousling of hair turning into a reassuring pat that took the child by surprise. "Good."
Stepping away, she turned and drew the hood of her cloak up over her own blonde hair and proceeded back to a makeshift path that weaved through the trees, leaving in her wake the slightly baffled girl who had happened upon her in the woods. As she made to slip unnoticed into the forest background, the heavy shuffling of leaves caught her attention and from the corner of her eye she saw a large figure emerge into the clearing. He was a bear of a man, surly and bald, with a jagged scar arching above his left brow; he was clothed in rags pieced together to form a crude outfit with a leather belt cinched at his waist and his oversized legs were bare from the calves down. Unsure of the scene playing before her, the cloaked figure stopped and watched the interaction between the pair cautiously.
"Hell, here you are again," he stomped determinedly toward the girl, a scowl settled deeply on his face as he growled with indignation at the sight of her. Reaching out a muscled arm, he deftly snatched the girl's hand in his own, the action eliciting a slight grimace from the child as he gave a single, quick tug. "How many times is this? Cut it out, you little brat!"
"Hey, wait-" she spoke with calm authority as she leveled her gaze at the man. "She skipped out of training and came here?"
The man, clearly not used to being spoken to so directly by an outsider turned a murderous scowl to her, his chapped lips turning into a snarl as he snapped back at her vehemently. "It's got nothing to do with you. Mind your own-" his threat suddenly died as the figure adjusted the hood enough for him to catch a glimpse of her face. He flinched as if he'd seen a ghost, though she could hardly blame him, for to him, a ghost was exactly what she had become. Recovering enough to find his voice, he feebly stuttered a name that resisted to be spoken, "Ra- Rafaela. What are you-"
"Just tell me." Rafaela's tone didn't allow any room for nonsense as she fixed the man with a glare, the starburst scar puckering tightly at the corners of her face. "She escapes from training sometimes and comes to this town?"
The man stood a good half foot taller than Rafaela but seemed less imposing standing before her as he maintained an iron grip on the girl beside him to prevent her from running off again. Feeling the tension building up at the base of his neck under the hooded woman's glare, he gave a curt nod in answer to her question. "Yeah, no matter how many times we scold her, she doesn't listen. She's a problem child."
Rafaela turned her steely gaze downward to the girl, impressed to see her staring back up at her with just as much conviction written on her face. I don't believe it… even if it is the closest town to the Organization, it's still far away. And on top of that she had to come through a wilderness full of yoma and wild beasts. This child… she allowed her thoughts to cease as the man once more began pulling the girl behind him roughly.
"Come on now. I was told to hurry and bring you back, let's go." His rough movements caused the girl to protest loudly at the mistreatment as she idly shuffled behind him, unwilling to comply and forcing the man to tighten his grip on her wrist as he dragged her along.
Rafaela watched indifferently, her expression unreadable as the pair crossed her path and headed for the opposite route. Just as they reached the edge of the clearing where it met the wooded foot-path, Rafaela turned her head the slightest bit in their direction, the question forming on her lips before they disappeared.
"Girl… what's your name?"
Solitary Was Our Tomb is basically a side story that I want to explore involving the encounter between an exiled Rafaela and a young Teresa who was still in her training days with the Organization. So yes, this prologue is basically a re-write of Volume 12-Chapter 64, Kindred of Paradise of the manga. Its word for word from the manga translations I found with a bit of description added courtesy of myself to give the reader a better visual of the scene happening. Especially if you aren't familiar with the manga- and no this story doesn't contain spoilers, so rest assured.
Warning: This story is NOT a Rafaela/Teresa pairing fic. If that's what you were looking for, you may as well turn back now, cause you won't find that here. It's a Rafaela/Teresa-centric fic nonetheless, but it strictly explores the kinship of comrades that could have been had this meeting taken place when Rafaela wasn't in exile.