A/N: Just got into claymore recently. Clare is quite the complex character and honestly? The yoma scare the bloody hell out of me! My Fairy Tail Yukino idea (oneshot) is next by the way, as is Kagura! Look forward to 'em! As a note, this will be a short story, comprising of only two or three chapters. Hope you like it and I apologize for any OOC!

"What makes a monster...what truly makes someone a monster...is their heart. Not their appearance."

~Subject X

Renegade

Clare was on the hunt.

She'd been on the hunt for several days now. Hunting for him. He was by far the most elusive of all her targets; because unlike most monsters, unlike most yoma, he went to every effort to hide his prescence from others. Juxtaposed to his continued existence the Organization had ordered his termination, deeming him Subject X. Subject X, was an extremely deadly yoma, skilled in the art of yoki maniplation. Demon Energy. By using that energy, he'd slain several claymore, several of her sisters.

And he would kill her too, if she wasn't careful. But that didn't matter now.

Clare wanted him dead. She wanted to kill him. She wanted to flay him to pieces, tear him limb from limb and-careful. With a cry of exquisite agony she tore herself back from the brink. She needed to calm down. Needed to control herself. Her desires. Her urges. But Clare wanted it so bad. So bad it hurt. She trekked through the woods eerily aware of the abundance of cover provided by the forest. She had to find him. No. She would find him. And then, as though summoned from the wood by her thoughts, there he was.

The forest parted abruptly the branches and trees giving way to open plain as far as the eye could see. Beyond that plain, alighted upon the hillside stood a shadow; a spectre of darkness, a creature of the night and nightmares. A phantom, in human form.

He stood before her, on a small hillock, still as a god. Silent as death itself. His back to her, he overlooked the town below, black coat fluttering in the breeze. Subject X. His blond hair glittered like gold in the light of the moon, his coat like the finest of ebony. His lips turnd down into a small frown as she approached, a grimace of self-castigation.

"It's a nice evening, isn't it?" When he spoke she held no delusion. He knew she was here. Even before she'd set foot into the forest, he'd known. He'd always known. This one was dangerous, this yoma. From what her superiors had told her, he held the ability to sense yoki, suppressed or no. And now he'd found her out.

Dread like a weight dropped into Clare's stomach.

She'd replayed this scene countless times in her mind. Different times, different places, different seasons, but each of them each scenario, always ended the same. It ended in her death.

"Why, it would appear someone's come to kill me," he murmured aloud, his words trickling like water between them. "Again." He took a step backward, heedless of her, of the claymore in his ribs. He turned, his visage reappearing over his shoulder, lazily regarding her with a baby blue iris. "So, what'll it be?" he asked, words a lazy drawl. "Have you come here to avenge your sisters, or are you just here to kill me?"

Clare refused to honour him with a response.

"Tell me, do I look like a yoma to you?" He growled, voice ripe with strife and expasperation. "I tried to tell the same thing to your friends and," he gestured mutely to himself, to those stains of blood and gore flecking the white shirt beneath his coat. "Well, I'm sure you can guess the rest."

Clare rarely felt anger, such as it were. But now, here and now, as this man so plainly described the death of her sisters, she felt rage. Deep, all encompassing rage. Before he could speak, before he could defile them with his words any further, she struck. Her claymore bit into the man's shoulder, shearing through flesh and bone like a knife through butter. Deep arterial spray gushed from the wound, spattering them in gore, the both of them.

The blond didn't so much as flinch.

"Was that really necessary?" He tore his gaze away from her, inspecting the severed stump that had once been his right arm. "I just wanted to talk." Even as she looked on he gave a mighty shudder, his entire body convulsing in a great heave. Flesh and bone and finally sinew sprouted from his collarbone, winding their way into existence once more much to her dismay. Within seconds, his entire arm was restored, lacking only the sleeve of the previous limb.

"H-How?" Unbidden, the word left her lips. "How could a yoma-

Subject X beat her to it.

"So you can speak." He chortled softly. "And here I was beginning to think we wouldn't get along."

"Why would

Despite herself, Clare felt honor-bound to reply.

"Why would I speak to a yoma?" she countered, her eyes snapping silver and slitted.

"Ah, yes." A rolling of the eyes. "The shapeshifting arguement again. At least let me say this before you try and chop off my head. I am not nor will I ever be, a yoma. You can tell your superiors to cram that up their asses and leave me the hell alone." His gaze softened at the word alone, just a tiny bit. "I'd very much like to get back to my world, so if you and your lot would kindly stay away from me, we could avoid this pointless bloodshed-

A small slice opened upon X's cheek, running parallel, to his whisker marks. He blinked. Touched a hand to his face. Chuckled, as the wound, slithered shut. Dabbing the blood from his face, he shot her a wither glare.

"Claymore, you'll have to do much better than that if you want to piss me off-

Thump.

His left arm flopped away from him, dropping bonelessly to the earth. Subject X was about to reach for his lost limb when Clare struck again, lopping the fingers from his right hand with all the precision of a surgeon. Blood spurted forth, spurting across her chest plate. There was no delay this time. He regenerated all too swiftly, his limbs restored in the blink of an eye, as though he'd never lost them.

A knife manifested in his hand-a kunai,actually-and she found her strike

"Fine." X breathed. "Have it your way, then."

The man, sighed. It was as if Clare had ceased to exist. It was like watching her parents-her family!-die all over again. Between the sparkling spars of darker red the whites of Subject X's eyes swirled like droplets of blood hitting water, first dispersing, then staining the whole. The ruby red color ballooned through his eyes, thickened until it was solid and then it spread. Through his whiskered cheeks, up to his hairline, then down his neck, standing out starkly when it finally filled his lighter fingernails as if they'd been painted a sinister scarlet.

"You should be honored." He grinned, a gorgeous streak of white in the darkness. "It's been a long time since I last let him out. Such a long time." Clare had only an instant to wonder what those words meant before all hell broke loose. Before the shit hit the fan. Before his eyes flashed red and became slitted.

Before the tails bubbled forth from his back.

The man, started laughing. It was a low, unreasoning cackle, unrelenting. Mad. Not a pretense this time. The young claymore froze. Despite herself, despite all the training all the suffering she'd endured to this point, she froze. Red blood spilled out of his hands onto his body, covering every part of him like a shell, like an enormous suit of armor. He was magnificent, terrible, powerful. He ran toward her, screaming defiance, and it suddenly occurred to her that he'd improved more than just his defense.

He'd gotten faster, too.

Cruel claws crackled across her face, breaking Clare's jaw, sending the claymore sprawling. She raised her blade at the last instant and he caught it in his teeth-in. his. teeth!-grinning around the mouth full of metal. He bit down. Hard. The blade shattered, like so much glass. Left with only the hilt and pommel Clare backpedalled, abruptly aware of her weakness, of her vulnerability.

Too little, too late.

He swatted the sword from her hand and pounced. Fingers like boiling water closed around her wrists, scalding her skin, forcing a cry of pain past her stony facade. Clare gave another cry, one of defiance, and bucked. Lashed out with her feet, catching him in the chest. She may as well have struck steel for all the good it did her. Plated boots melted upon contact with the corrosive energies surrounding and encompassing his form. Clare yelped-wincing as her jaw screamed in protest-and kicked them free before they could burn; before they could touch the sensitive skin beneath.

The beast above her laughed; dark, full of exultance. His claws tore at her chest, savaging her armor like so much scrap metal. It was futile. Any resistance she And then, as abruptly as it begun, it ended. He laughed, softly this time, and rolled away, much to her disbelief. The moon was fading now, the night pregnant with the dawn. Had it truly taken that long to Clare cast a glance for her quarry, desperate to see where he had gone, only to find him laying beside her.

"Have you learned your lesson yet?" As he rose he changed, the crimson cloak sliding off his shoulders, revealing the man beneath the beast. Evidently he'd not survived his transformation intact. Burns lined his arms and face, fading now in the wake of his reversion. The longer she looked, the harder it was to believe he'd been a monster not even minutes before. The eyes were the last to chance, scarlet shimmering into sapphire once more.

"Why?" she asked.

"Hmm?"

"Why didn't you kill me?"

"Should I have?" he brushed imaginary dirt from his collar.

"You're a monster!" she exclaimed aghast, glaring at him over the horizon. "I don't need your pity!"

"What makes a monster...what truly makes someone a monster...is their heart. Not their appearance." He stood woodenly not taking enough care. Clare propped herself up as well, leaning on her elbows for support. Her armor was scorched in places, melted outright in others. Her breastplate, practically nonexistent. It occurred to Clare that he could resort to another form of attack and continue the fight, but her mind was inexplicably filled with fear as the red clad warrior brought the edge of the claymore to rest against her throat.

"My name is Naruto." The man took the broken blade away from her throat, and cast it aside. Then he did the most ridiculous thing. He grinned. "Nice meeting you, Clare." He grinned even wider when her eyes widened, as she sputtered in surprise, demanding to know how he knew her name. She never did get the answer to that question. Because, at that very moment an earsplitting cry rent the air asunder. It was a terrible bestial wail; an inhuman cry of pestilence and filth. Claymore and shinobi alike, both jerked their gaze toward the town below, each shared one thought.

"Now that," Naruto beamed, "is a yoma."

Clare blanched; not out of fear, but of disbelief. Because Naruto had turned toward the cliff, a most curious gleam in his eye. She realized it in the same instant that he began to run; because he was running for the cliff at fult tilt. It was with a small pang of confusion that she realized he wasn't going to stop.

"Wait, you can't possibly-

"Ja ne!"

Naruto leapt, long and high, the vermillion sun setting fire to the mists as he careened into the village below.

A/N: Hahahaha! That's right! Naruto ISN'T a yoma! He's his actual self from the shinobi universe, though he came to be trapped in the Claymore realm does remain to be seen. He seems to have easily made a mess of Clare, I wonder how he'll handle an Abyssal One down the road?

R&R! =D