He woke up, everything was dark. It took him a while to find out that he was on a boat. It scared him, how had he come here? Panic was rising inside of him and then he felt something beside him; rather someone. His eyes adjusted to the darkness and he recognized that the person beside him was his best friend. „Nick", he whispered.

Cody was shocked, Nick was here with him. He was supposed to be far away from this place, far away from him. Things had been bad for him since he had come to join this company, but Nick had always prevented worse without knowing it. Just the respect and fear that the other men felt with Nick Ryder around had been enough to keep the bullying low and most times non-violent. Cody had never told him what was going on.

Then, one day a disaster took place. 'Charlie' found them and they were attacked. Several soldiers were wounded. Cody was in the middle of friendly and enemy fire and was hit twice. He broke down, screaming in pain and scared for his life. Nobody came to help him. They just let him lay there, didn't care if he was to be killed or not.

When one opposite soldier came close enough to put a blade on his throat, ready to kill him, he heard someone yelling "Cody, no!" Followed by several shots from both sides. His attacker fell down on him, dead. Nick was at his side, pulled him out of the firing line. When he woke up again in a small sickbed, nobody was at his side. He asked for Nick, but nobody told him that his friend had been badly injured, while he had rescued him. It was just a coincidence that he found out after a few days. Nick had been brought back to the US. Not long after Cody started working again.

And until now they had been writing each other. Cody missed Nick, but he never mentioned in any letter, that they treated him like shit, since Nick wasn't there to protect him. He was humiliated and beaten on a daily base, nobody was there to help him. They did things to him, that were better left unspoken.

He wanted Nick with him, but every time they pushed him out of their camp at night and did whatever they had on their mind just then, he was grateful that his best friend was far away and didn't see his heavy tears and his mistreated body.

Now, he was sitting here in a bed, a real bed! On a boat!, and Nick was sleeping next to him. His arm around the blonds waist. But when had he come back? Was back the right word in the first place? Because Cody didn't know where they were.

He got up, hesitated for a moment, when he thought Nick was waking up and left the small room. He got outside looked at the quiet water in the darkness. There was no light, except the moonlight. Everything was peaceful, too peaceful for his taste, had he learned during the war years, that silence often came before fighting situations with the enemy. He was scared to be at this boat, that place he didn't know. Everything was a blur. Suddenly there was a blinding light, he went down on his knees and started screaming.

Nick woke, when Cody left the bed, but was too exhausted to really comprehend it and fell asleep again within seconds. But his sleep was disturbed by a nagging feeling that something was going to happen, so he was up in no time, when he heard his friends screams. He followed the voice and ran toward Cody, who was sitting on his knees, bent over and vomiting.

"I'm here buddy, let me hold you." Nick took his friend into a soothing embrace, but was surprised, when Cody pushed him hard on the floor and ran away from him. "Cody!" Nick got on his feet. "Come back, stay with me!" But the blond man kept running like the devil was following him.

Nick was irritated by this unexpected reaction and ran after his partner. He almost caught him, but Allen sped up and the dark haired man fell back. His friend disappeared around a corner and then there was a loud noise. An engine roared up, he ran around the corner and heard Cody' body flying through the air before he saw him landing on the hard ground. The car was already out of sight.

But he didn't have eyes for it anyway, his focus was on his motionless friend. Fear grabbed his heart. "Babe?" He turned him around. There was some blood running down his temple, but other than that there were no obvious injuries. He shouted for help, but it was in the middle of the night and nobody reacted. He thought about running back to the boat to call 911, but didn't want to leave his hurt partner alone.

He was torn, tears were stinging in his eyes. "You have to be okay, Cody, do you hear me?" Nick wasn't a doctor, but he was pretty sure that nothing was broken.

"Nick?" Cody was fighting his way back to consciousness, he was irritated. He wasn't lying in Nick's bed anymore and his best friend was hovering over him with wet eyes. "What happened?"

Nick didn't know what to say. He was too relieved to see his friend conscious and able to speak, but shocked at the same time, that the man didn't seem to remember that a car had pushed him several feet through the air. "You – you were run over by a car. Don't you remember? You ran away from me and then it happened."

Cody shook his head. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Last thing I remember was that I fell asleep in your arms in your bed." They were both silent for a long moment. "Do you mind helping me up?"

"Oh God, sure, buddy. Sorry, sorry." Nick helped Cody on his feet and took most of his weight on their way back to the boat and their room.

"I think, I'll take you to the hospital, pal."

"No, no, I'm fine. Just need some rest, okay?"

Nick wasn't sure it was the right thing to do, but he was so scared for his friend that he didn't want him out of his sight and control. Something a hospital wouldn't allow. "Okay, babe, but I'm going to wake you every few hours."

"Thanks, Nick!"

While Ryder took care of his partners head wound, he explained Cody what had woken him and how he had tried to catch the fleeing man only to find him hit by that car and without a sign of life.

Allen didn't remember anything of it and wondered why he hadn't let Nick hold him. He knew that it always calmed him to be close to his friend, his family. So everything he heard made him worry, but his head hurt so bed, that he fell asleep pretty soon. Nick was lying close to him again, shivering, still in shock about what had happened in front of his eyes.

It was going to be a long night and he had a lot of thinking to do.