Title: Empathy

Author: Kyouryoku Senshi

Rating: PG-13

Keywords: Doggett/Scully friendship, Pregnant Scully

Spoilers: Per Manum, Empedocles

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Summary: "Thereís something I need to ask you, Agent Doggett. Why were you so determined to find Mulder?"

**

Scully quickly made her way to the door when she heard continuous knocking. Mulder had just gone out for a run; he couldnít possibly be back already could he? She looked through the peephole at the same time she heard Doggettís voice. "Agent Scully, itís me, John Doggett."

She couldnít explain it, but she was glad to see him.

He managed a smile as she opened the door. "Hi Agent Scully, I just thought Iíd drop by to see how you were doing," he held a box of chocolates out for her. "I know youíve recently acquired a taste for something other than yogurt. Barbara definitely had a taste for chocolate during her own pregnancy," he mentally slapped himself for blurting out that last part.

"Who?" Scully started before Doggett cut her off.

"Er, Nothing. Letís just say I know some of these things."

Scully gave him a quizzical look that told him that she wasnít going to let him off the hook so easily. She let it slide for now. "Well, the baby doesnít seem to care for the menu choices. Or so it seems lately." She smiled. "I shouldnít be too surprised, I think it takes after its father," she splayed her fingers over her belly.

"Come on in," she offered as she closed the door behind him.

"Uh, I donít want to intrude on you or Mulder," he started, suddenly feeling awkward.

"No, youíre not intruding on us, Agent Doggett. Mulder is out for a run, which usually lasts about an hour or so."

He nodded as he sat down. Scully placed the candies on the counter before taking a seat next to Doggett.

He sighed. "Are you sure youíre okay, Agent Scully? The baby?"

She smiled. "Yeah, weíre fine. I trust these doctors."

He nodded. "I know you had an amino done a few months ago, an amino that could have endangered your baby by the mucous membrane rupturing if you werenít careful. I know I sent those men to help you and Mary Hendershot, I hope you understand that I only had the best of intentions."

Scullyís lip trembled slightly at the memory. She was on her feet and thrashed about in an SUV after her treatment, not to mention drugged. But it wasnít necessarily because of Doggettís men. She went to those doctors out of desperation. "Donít blame yourself, Agent Doggett. I know you were trying to help us and that youíve been on our side all along."

He nodded.

She sighed, preparing herself for what she was about to say next. "You could have held me back, knowing my pregnancy. You could have broken the news of my pregnancy and they could have held it against me. Case would have been closed. I need to know something, Agent Doggett. You promised me youíd find Mulder. You told me youíd help me. Why?" she whispered.

John looked away, not ready to discuss this with a pregnant woman.

"You risked your reputation for me, for the X-Files. Why do it?"

John knew where this was going and started to get up. "Some other time, Agent Scully." Before he could make another move, she was on her feet, grasping his hand to prevent him from further movement.

"Please, John. Tell me."

Her mind was running with what seemed like a million questions since Mulder had helped Doggett on a case that involved his son. Mulder wouldnít tell her and she didnít know where to begin or how to ask.

"Agent Doggett," she repeated.

"Tell me, about your son," she blurted the words out.

He sighed and when she could see the immediate pain in his eyes, she almost wished she wouldnít have asked. "Iím sorry," she whispered.

Doggett sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "Itís okay, donít be. I assumed you already knew, that Mulder told you."

"Mulder hasnít told me anything. I think, in a way, he understands. He gives you more credit then he lets on, Agent Doggett. Heís only told me that he was on a case with you and that it involved your son."

Doggett nodded, digesting this information.

Scully watched as he retrieved his wallet and handed her a photo. A smiling picture, probably a school photo, of a blonde spiky-haired little boy in a brown plaid shirt . "This is my son, Luke."

He watched Scully smile at the picture and glanced at the back. The writing said "Luke John Doggett". "Heís beautiful," she whispered.

Doggett took a seat next to Scully and folded his hands. "Nine years ago, he was kidnapped, he was seven years old," he started, looking away.

He heard her gasp. "Iím so sorry," she whispered.

He couldnít bear to face her. He knew she was feeling it, too.

"He was riding his bike around the block, his mom counting his laps. He waved to her each time he went by and after the sixth time around, when he doesnít come back, she goes looking for him."

She reached over and gave his hand a supportive squeeze.

"Lying on the sidewalk. There's no witnesses no ransom demands no clue as to who took him or why. The cops search door-to-door block-to-block for two days. Nothing. No news at all. And after three days they find him in a field." His voice suddenly caught in his throat. He still couldnít face her. He didnít want her to see him like this, with his guard completely down.

"Oh my god, John, Iím so sorry," he could her own voice breaking. She tightened her grip on his hand.

"When I got that call from Barb, she had completely lost it. I think she might have been angry with me, for giving her hope that we would find him safe and it never happened. Monica was the lead investigator of the case, itís how we met. She had expertise with satanic ritual abuse cases. We worked that case together while I was in the NYPD."

"I, we did everything we could to find him. At least, I thought we did, Barb and I. I didnít understand how it could have happened. He was a good kid, wouldnít talk to strangers. We never left him unattended. We never found the killer," he finished with a sigh.

He looked up to see a lone tear slide down Scullyís face. She griped his hand tighter as he continued.

"Not only did I lose my, son, but I lost Barb, too. She surprised me with divorce papers. After I lost my resolve, I think our marriage began to fail. I couldnít think about anything else, but what more I could have done to find my son," he placed his head in his hands.

"Thatís why you came to the X-Files isnít it? Why you were so determined to help me find Mulder alive, even though you could have used my pregnancy against me like everyone else," Scully whispered.

John watched as she caressed her baby.

"I may not know the details, but knowing you now, Iím sure you did everything you could to find your son, Agent Doggett. You need to stop blaming yourself. Heís in a better place now and heíd want you to continue living your life. Whoever did it, will be brought to justice Agent Doggett."

John managed a smile and nodded. "Thanks."

Scully looked down at her belly and sighed. "I understand how you feel, Agent Doggett. I guess we all have our reasons for keeping certain things quiet. I had a daughter, Emily; she died when she was three."

John turned to her. "Iím sorry, Dana. But if I may ask, I thought you werenít able to conceive?"

Tears welled in Scullyís eyes. "I thought so, too. It might sound strange, but I only knew her for a short time. My ova were stolen and she was created as a result."

She saw confusion make its way across Doggettís features. "Iím not following you."

"I didnít carry her. She was created as an experiment, an alien-human hybrid. I donít expect you to understand, but she was being used as a lab rat. She lived with a foster family, they were killed and I was going to legally adopt her after learning she was mine. However, she was ill and I didnít want her to live through any more tests. I had to let her go," her voice broke. At that moment, Doggett embraced her.

"Iím sorry, Dana, I had no idea."

A minute later, Scully composed herself. "I guess weíve both suffered a fair amount of losses."

John nodded. "Itís never fair to lose a child, Agent Scully."

"But everything happens for a reason."

He swallowed. "Yeah, youíre probably right," he chose that moment to stand. Scully smiled. "Thank you, Agent Doggett."

"For what?"

"For confiding in me," she whispered.

"Same to you," he watched as she rubbed her belly.

"You never know Agent Doggett, thereís always another chance. Never give up on a miracle."

Doggett smiled. "Yeah, never give up on a miracle."

He didnít ask, but he knew the origin of that phrase and he allowed himself to believe in it too.

END