Connor shifted and bit back a wince. Whatever was on those claws, it’d slowed his healing to an almost-human rate. Frankly, if this was what Dawn, Jo, and the other normals faced when they waded into the fray, he was a little in awe of their willingness.
Ellen, of course, noticed the wince and her mouth tightened a bit. Still, she must have been learning something from Jo’s bouts of rebellion because she just said, “You can meet up with us when you’re better.”
Connor tensed because in the short time they’d been traveling together, Ellen and Jo had come to matter a great deal to him and the Winchesters attracted trouble like bees to honey. Of course, tensing caused everything
to hurt and he had to close his eyes against the pain. When he opened them again, she had on that Stubborn Mother’s Resolve Face that she whipped out on Jo when she was being difficult so he sighed and said, “Yeah, fine.”
If he sounded a little petulant, she chose to ignore it as she nodded, reaching over and pushing his hair out of his face said she said, “Good. And we promise not to get into too much trouble while you’re away.”
This time, the pain in his chest had nothing to do with pulling stitches. She’d been doing that a lot since he woke up, the reaching out to touch thing. He’d only ever seen her reach for Jo that way, which was confusing.
“Of all the stupid-,” Dawn was griping as she barged into the infirmary, cutting herself off when she saw Jo and Ellen. Her face brightened as she flopped down beside him, her shoulder bumping his.
Ellen scowled but Connor smiled. Dawn treated everybody like they were indestructible, no matter how banged up they were.
“Who’s stupid?” he asked.
“Oh, everyone,” she said, waving the question away. “What’s your progress report say?”
Connor scowled, damning magic’s ability to give extremely precise results as Jo chirped, “67%”
Dawn smirked at him and he felt himself pout. “I’m fine
.” She snickered and he narrowed his eyes and asked, “And how’s the search for deadbeat dad going?”
There was a flash of pain in her eyes and he felt a surge of guilt. She covered it up with a bright smile, though, as she said, “It’s a challenge. I like challenges.”
Ellen was giving him a look, one that pretty much demanded he apologize, but instead he took Dawn’s hand and squeezed as he said, “Speaking of challenges, Jo and Ellen are going to help the Winchesters.”
Dawn groaned even as she squeezed back, acknowledging his mea culpa without talking about it as she said, “Do you need help? Like, I’m not sure an army of slayers would be enough to keep those two out of trouble, but if you want, I can see if anybody else’ll go with you?”
“No,” Ellen said staunchly, probably remembering exactly how badly Connor had been received. “We’ll be fine. Surely they couldn’t have started that much trouble.”
The look on her face gave lie to that proclamation, but she crossed her arms and smoothed away her doubt before Connor could offer to accompany them again.
Connor shifted a bit, then said, “It’ll be one job, then I’ll be good to go out in the field again.”
He’d even let Willow use magic if it meant getting him back out with Ellen and Jo.