When you were a hitter, you had to be able to take a hit.

Sophie was still walking on eggshells around Eliot, trying so hard not to hover, yet feeling compelled to do something after the beating he had taken in the boxing ring. Even after all of the time spent working with the team, Eliot wasn't familiar with having someone care how he felt after a job; he certainly wasn't used to pillows, ice packs, heating pads, pain killers and whatever else he needed at the ready. He never asked for anything because if he really needed it, he would get it for himself, but Sophie was pretty good at anticipating what he wanted.

With no job immediately following the one they'd just finished, all Eliot needed was some time to heal. There was no doubt in Eliot's mind that he'd come out of all of this better than before. Sophie didn't get it and it was just too hard to explain. Eliot had no trouble dealing with pain, in his line of work you just got accustomed to it. But this time around he had an advantage he never had before, something that made his recuperation a little easier to take – every twinge in his back, every bruise on his face, every ache in his arms reminded him that he was the one who carried the pain, not Sophie.

It had nothing to do with Sophie being a woman or thinking she was weak in any way. Eliot had seen steel in Sophie when she confronted Nate, as only she could; she had her own strength, but this was Eliot's. The pain was his to carry, because he could - in a way none of the others would be able to. And, he was proud to do it. Not in a "I'm so wonderful, give me a medal" proud, but in a very satisfied, job well done kind of way.

When you were a hitter, you had to be able to take a hit, and Eliot would take one for the team any day.