Marching feet. Thousands of them. Ringing through the night, through the years. Cody's heard them all his life, one way or another: watching his grandad on parade, on the television, the feet of his friends around him.

In his dreams.

There are times he dreams of war, of blood and death and fear. He's learned to live with that.

But Cody can't say why the dreams that wake him crying are these - a million soldier's feet on asphalt, marching. He hasn't been near a dress parade or army drill in a decade, but in his head, it carries on - it never stopped.

Nick doesn't understand - Cody doesn't have the words to make him understand. He tried once, a long time ago, but Nick's own nightmares live in the jungle. Now he tells Nick he doesn't remember, gripping Nick's hand to keep him close.

When Nick holds him, Cody can let go. Nick may not understand the sound, but he understands Cody's fear, understands and loves him all the more.

Nick's hand on the back of Cody's neck soothes his racing heart, Nick's strong arms hold him in the present. Nick's voice drowns out the endless marching feet.

However dark the night, Nick brings him home.