XIII Replacement

1. Stop and Stare

Axel poked his head out of the common room. A few doors up, Demyx and Luxord were doing the same from the castle's kitchen. Right across from them was Zexion, also spying into the hall. Some Dusks and an Assassin were crowded around him, watching, waiting for something. Two other Organization members rounded the corner but it was not them they were watching for. Between the two men, who happened to be Xemnas and Vexen, was a little girl no older than seven. She looked fragile, as if poking her the wrong way would shatter her very nonexistent soul. Light brown, ragged hair hung just past the girl's shoulders and she'd occasionally brush it out of her frightened green eyes. When she saw everyone staring, she gasped and clung to Vexen's coat. Xemnas pulled her off by the arm and forced her along.

As the girl passed Axel, she stared up at him questioningly before turning her head again. He noticed a small scar on her upper left cheekbone in the shape of an "X".

"Axel! Go to the supply closet on the top floor and get the smallest black Organization outfit you can find," Xemnas ordered. "Then bring it back to the common room and wait for the girl and Demyx." The Superior paid no attention to Axel's groans and kept ushering the young girl down the lengthy hallway of the first floor. Number VIII dragged himself to the elevator and pressed the "up" button. Before stepping inside, Axel cast another look in the girl's direction. She was staring right back at him, emerald eyes wide and curious.