Title: Empathy

Author: Kyouryoku Senshi

Rating: PG-13

Keywords: Doggett/Scully friendship, Pregnant Scully

Spoilers: Per Manum, Empedocles

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Summary: "There's 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 couldn't possibly be back already could he? She looked through the peephole at the same time she heard Doggett's voice. "Agent Scully, it's me, John Doggett."

She couldn't explain it, but she was glad to see him.

He managed a smile as she opened the door. "Hi Agent Scully, I just thought I'd drop by to see how you were doing," he held a box of chocolates out for her. "I know you've 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. Let's just say I know some of these things."

Scully gave him a quizzical look that told him that she wasn't going to let him off the hook so easily. She let it slide for now. "Well, the baby doesn't seem to care for the menu choices. Or so it seems lately." She smiled. "I shouldn't 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 don't want to intrude on you or Mulder," he started, suddenly feeling awkward. "No, you're 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 you're okay, Agent Scully? The baby?"

She smiled. "Yeah, we're 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 weren't 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."

Scully's 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 wasn't necessarily because of Doggett's men. She went to those doctors out of desperation. "Don't blame yourself, Agent Doggett. I know you were trying to help us and that you've 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 you'd find Mulder. You told me you'd 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 wouldn't tell her and she didn't 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 wouldn't have asked. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

Doggett sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "It's okay, don't be. I assumed you already knew, that Mulder told you."

"Mulder hasn't told me anything. I think, in a way, he understands. He gives you more credit then he lets on, Agent Doggett. He's 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". "He's 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. "I'm so sorry," she whispered.

He couldn't 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 doesn't 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 couldn't face her. He didn't want her to see him like this, with his guard completely down.

"Oh my god, John, I'm 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, it's 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 didn't understand how it could have happened. He was a good kid, wouldn't 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 Scully's 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 couldn't think about anything else, but what more I could have done to find my son," he placed his head in his hands.

"That's why you came to the X-Files isn't 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, I'm sure you did everything you could to find your son, Agent Doggett. You need to stop blaming yourself. He's in a better place now and he'd 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. "I'm sorry, Dana. But if I may ask, I thought you weren't able to conceive?"

Tears welled in Scully's 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 Doggett's features. "I'm not following you."

"I didn't carry her. She was created as an experiment, an alien-human hybrid. I don't 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 didn't want her to live through any more tests. I had to let her go," her voice broke. At that moment, Doggett embraced her.

"I'm sorry, Dana, I had no idea."

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

John nodded. "It's never fair to lose a child, Agent Scully."

"But everything happens for a reason."

He swallowed. "Yeah, you're 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, there's always another chance. Never give up on a miracle."

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

He didn't ask, but he knew the origin of that phrase and he allowed himself to believe in it too.

END