[The Army, blessedly, expedites Ben's trip home. He and Guriel go on a transport from Bagram to Ramstein in Germany, and from there on a commercial flight to New York. They're flying coach, which Ben hates, because he knows that can't be comfortable for Guriel's wing like it is, but he can't afford the upgrade to first.
They're in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, on a planeful of cranky people giving Guriel a side-eye. No one's had the guts to actually say anything, however, for which Ben is grateful. It's dark, and he's dozing off in the aisle seat...
When a three-year-old several rows up decides he's had enough of this shit, thanks, and decides to let everyone on the plane share his displeasure.
Ben's eyes snap open. Amber. Hair sprouts across his shoulders under his uniform, and there's nothing of either him or Dhibi looking out from under his suddenly-shaggier brows.]