North had suspected there was a darkness in Faye, something hidden behind her bright smiles and energetic laughter, but had never found much proof.

She was good at keeping secrets, if nothing else.

But out in the open, with no way to escape or hide, North began to see the shadows leak through.

Whenever Bee was awake, Faye made a point to have a topic ready to discuss, as if constantly testing the younger girl's wit in case of concussion.

The conversations ranged from weather patterns to medical advances to philosophy, flawlessly blending from one to the other in a meticulous tangle that only they could follow.

It was fascinating to watch, in North's opinion.

Then Bee would fall asleep, and the smiles would fall away, this blankness settling in as quicksilver eyes took in the brunette's dreaming face.

"Is not good to have masks." The Christmas patron noted softly, gaze scanning the quiet medical bay instead of the teenager he was speaking to. "One or the other must be true. Should choose which feels best."

"…What if neither of them feels right?" Faye wondered, subdued in a way that felt unnatural to North's ears. "What if whatever I am is some hybrid of the two, and no one likes it?"

What if no one likes who I really am?

The question hung in the air, unspoken, and Faye took a breath to steady herself, Gomamon shifting on her lap as if feeling her upset.

"As I was couldn't protect them, and neither was what I hid away…What do I need to do?"

North could only offer a smile, clapping a hand on her shoulder so those cracking eyes finally focused on him.

"Be yourself. Is always enough."

There was a shift in her face, and Faye smiled, less enthusiastic but just as bright.

Sometimes, all a person needs to hear is that they will always be good enough.