Playing with mood. How's connor in this?
(same warnings etc as last chapter, plus moody!Connor)
Even with the burden of sleeping child in his arms, the lock on Jimmy's door is nothing for Connor to pick. He shifts the little girl's weight and pulls his gun. A glance at Murphy shows him that his brother has moved Jimmy's weight to his off-hand side as well. They nod, together, and then Connor turns the doorknob while Murphy kicks it open. They tense, waiting for some enemy to show themselves, but nothing materializes.
Murphy gives him a smirk to say, "See? I told you it might not have been personal and if it was, and those guys knew where Jimmy lived, they'd've just waited here for him." And fucken hell, if there's one thing Connor hates, it's losing an argument with his brother, especially when Murphy has logic and passion on his side.
Despite his annoyance, he hopes that Murph is right--that taking this man and his child home is safer for them than calling an ambulance-- that the cops won't look for witnesses to the Saint's latest accomplishment further than the buildings that made up the alley-- that the bond between man and child is something wholesome and good even though she doesn’t call him Da. He hopes this is a good idea. It sure as hell doesn’t feel like it.
Connor frowns and walks into the dingy little apartment. The living-room has a fold-out couch, opened and strewn with bed-sheets. The kitchen is a stretch of countertop along one wall, interrupted by a two-burner stove and a half-sized fridge. Two doors are open to the left. Behind one of them is a claustrophobic bathroom, lit by the tired light of a yellowed bulb that hangs from the ceiling. Behind the other though, is a twin-sized bed, covered with pink sheets and a daisy-patterned coverlet. It's not exactly neat, but it's been made none the less.
He draws back the covers with his free hand and settles Lily in for the night, taking off only her shoes. As he tucks her in he feels the sting of long-abandoned dreams, unfulfilled hopes. Men like him and Murphy cannot afford to have children. He refuses to leave orphans or a widow behind him when something happens and the forces aligned against them grow too focused to defeat.
Still, the man he would have been aches inside for what he cannot have.
Murphy has Jimmy laid out on the sleeper-sofa and he's busy digging through the duffle bag that holds their first-aid stuff when Connor comes out of the little girl's room. They both look up, but it's Jimmy who speaks first.
"She okay? She need me or somethin'?" He's shaky but he tries to sit up anyways. He's pale under the blood and bruises and maybe going into shock. Even hurt, he has good lines--full lips, long lashes, high cheekbones, but too strong to be other than masculine.
Murphy pushes Jimmy back with one hand and tries to open the child-proof cap of a bottle of pills with the other. The brothers' eyes meet, and Connor can see the silent plea in Murphy's gaze. After all this time, a year or more of killing people--evil men, but people-- Murphy still can't stand to see someone suffer, an innocent in pain.
"Make him better," Murphy's eyes say, and Connor helps him press their patient back down to the rumpled sheets. This better not be about Murphy getting laid, Connor thinks to himself.
"She's fine," he tells Jimmy. "Leave her t' rest."
Murphy leaves the bottle and goes to the "kitchen" for something to wash the pills down with, comes back with a beer. Connor watches as he pours four of the big white tablets into Jimmy's palm, the same number he himself took the last time he was shot. The same number Murph took when they flipped a car and his shoulder was dislocated.
Connor takes two of the pills out of the grimy hand and puts them back in the bottle. "Easy on his liver now, Murph."
Jimmy crunches the painkillers between his teeth and washes the bits down with the beer. A grimace for the taste but he's not complaining.
Murphy shoots Connor a pained look and for all that it was the right thing to do, he regrets reminding Murphy that neither of them is likely to die by liver damage or lung cancer before bullet or blade or fucken explosion made an end of them.
There is nothing he can do to ease his brother's mind besides helping their new friend. He starts sorting through the first-aid stuff. After that time when their Da shot them, they'd learned more about treating the wounded and being prepared for injuries. He unrolls the suture kit. That scalp wound, at least, needs some stitches.
"Listen to me," he tells Jimmy, before the pain killers start to muddy his thinking. "I'm no fucken doctor. If you're hurt in a way I can't fix or if I think you'll be dyin' on us you'll be waking up in hospital. Do y'understand?"
Jimmy nods, but he's tense again. "What the fuck am I supposed to tell the police, that happens?"
Connor shrugs. "Whatever y'like." But exhaustion and the pills and the aftermath of adrenaline are taking their toll and he's not sure Jimmy hears him before those ridiculously long lashes flutter closed.