Title: The Tap Out Job Post Ep

Author: Jenn

Rating: K+

Summary: Like the title says, a post ep for The Tap Out Job. Takes place a couple days later. E/S friendship – maybe pre romance.

Hearing the knock on his apartment door Elliot groaned. He was still sore from the beating he'd taken a few days before. But he was at least he was at home in his own comfortable bed.

The knocking came again.

"I'm comin'," he called, before carefully getting out of bed. He pulled on jeans and a tee shirt before answering the door. He found Sophie, holding a large paper bag in her arms. "What's going on?"

"I brought you breakfast," she said, walking in past him.

Moving to his table she set out two covered plastic cups of orange juice, two muffins, and some fruit that had been in the bag.

"What's going on?" Elliot asked again, a bit more of an edge to his voice.

"I wanted to make sure you were okay," she admitted, turning to face him.

"I'm fine," he told her. He'd never admit it, but her concern caused his heart to soften, and, in his opinion, it was already far too soft where Sophie was concerned. The whole team really, but especially Sophie.

"The bruises seem to be healing," she admitted, looking at the injuries she could see. "Let's eat."

Sitting down, he saw that she'd brought him a blueberry muffin from the nearby café. His favorite. He didn't have to look at hers to know it would be a peach-coconut muffin. It was what she always ordered from the café.

Breakfast was quiet, but comfortable.

"You really hate the fighting, don't you?" Elliot asked when they were almost done.

"What I do… no one gets hurt. At least not physically," she added, seeing the look he gave her. She hoped that would be answer enough, and that he wouldn't pry any further. She looked away so he couldn't read her eyes.

Suddenly pieces fell into place for Elliot. Her acting ability in real life, but not on stage. Her reaction to any violence. "You were abused as a child, weren't you?" His tone was gentle, but still made it clear he expected an answer.

"Yes," she admitted quietly.

"That's why you're so good at acting. Your first role was the happy little girl. The girl no one would imagine was being beaten. He beat your mom too?" Elliot asked, sure the abuser had been her father.

"Yes," she admitted, still not looking at him. Images from her childhood flashed through her mind.

There was a moment of silence, before Elliot spoke. "Are you scared of me? Because I… use violence and hurt people… like he did."

Her head whipped up, and she reached out to put her hand over his. "You are nothing like him. Nothing. Don't ever say anything like that again. Of course I'm not scared of you. You'd never hurt any of us. You'd never hurt a child… or anyone who was innocent."

She looked away before continuing, "I feel very safe with you." Being around Elliot was the only time in her life she'd ever felt truly safe.

He reached over and gently tilted her face up so their eyes met. "No one is ever gonna hurt you like that again," Elliot swore.

She gave him a small smile. "Thank you." Sophia used her free hand to pick up her cup and drink the last of her orange juice. "I should go. You still need your rest."

"Yeah. See you later, Sophie."

Once she was gone Elliot called Hardison. "Hey, Elliot."

"I need you to find someone for me."

"Who?" Hardison asked, curious.

"Sophie's dad."

"Why? What's going on."

"Just find him, Hardison," Elliot said.

"You want me to find him, you answer my questions. Why do you want to find her dad? Is she okay?"

"She's fine. But once I find him, he won't be."

"What are you going to do?"

"If he's still alive, I'm gonna kill him."

"Why, Elliot? What did he do?"

"He beat Sophie's mom… And Sophie too."

"I'll find him," Hardsion promised. He hung up the phone and started working on his computer.