Title: "Pieces of the Puzzle"
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR
Rating: PG-13
Summary: John Doggett tries to fit together what he
knows about the relationship between Agents Mulder and Scully. Told in first person, Doggett's POV.
Timeline/Spoilers: This is a postep piece for "Per
Manum". It's kinda/sorta a follow-up piece to "Keeping the Faith" (Scully's POV) and "Inklings" (Mulder's POV) but it's not necessary to have read either of those to understand this.
Disclaimer: Much as I would like to claim them, Mulder and Scully are the property of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. Doggett ain't mine either.
Archive: Feel free to archive anywhere.
Feedback: If it's nice or contains *CONSTRUCTIVE*
criticism, feedback is valued. I'll warn you right
now, I have yet to "warm up" to Dogsbreath and this
story reflects that. If you're a big fan of his, bail
now. Don't flame me for failing to portray him in a
sympathetic manner.

She's pregnant. With his baby. That knowledge makes
things so much easier and, conversely, so much more
difficult. I understand, now, the level of her
desperation to have him back. Early on, I realized it
went beyond the concern two partners - even long-term
partners - usually have for each other. So, I figured
they were lovers, as well. It wasn't exactly a huge
leap of highly developed deductive reasoning. The
scuttlebut around the bureau has had them knocking
boots ever since the first few months of their

Other things, little things, make more sense now. Like why Skinner is so damned overprotective of her. Those mysterious phone calls from doctors and labs. And why she goes to the bathroom approximately 15 times in an eight-hour day. I feel bad, though. If I'd known she was in what used to be called a "delicate condition" I would never have made such a complete asshole of myself when I was first assigned to investigate his disappearance; never said some of the things about him to her that I did.

When I reach the office the next morning, there's an
envelope with her handwriting on it lying on my desk.
On the front it says: I figure you have the right to
know the whole story.

I open it and find a single sheet of photocopied paper inside. When I unfold it, it takes me a moment to understand what I'm looking at - a marriage license. Fox William Mulder, age 38, Dana Katherine Scully, age 36, performed by the Rev. Patrick McCue, witnessed by Margaret Rose Scully and John Fitzgerald Byers; dated the day before he disappeared.

I thought I'd reached the depths of self-loathing
yesterday, when I found out she was pregnant. Now,
however, as I realize the man we're seeking is not
only the father of her unborn baby but her husband, as well, I begin to castigate myself all over again. One of the first rules - not only of my F.B.I. training but also of a certain level of basic human decency that I've always tried to adhere to - is that you offer the family of the victim your sympathy. Yet, when investigating the disappearance of a fellow
agent, what had I done? Offered his pregnant wife not
my sympathy on the sudden disappearance of her
husband, but unfounded speculation that he might have
been involved with another woman. Shit. I really am a
complete asshole. True, I didn't know they were
married, or that she was expecting a baby, when I was
assigned to head up the investigation into his
disappearance, but that's of little comfort to me now.

When she comes in, I hold up the envelope. "I assume
Assistant Director Skinner knows?"  I ask.

"Yes. Mulder told him on their way out to Oregon.
Strangely enough, we weren't really planning on
breaking any rules. We planned to ask for immediate
reassignment for both of us. I was going to go back
out to Quantico, he was going to return to Violent
Crimes. This time around, we weren't even going to
fight to keep the X-Files open. It was only after he.
. .disappeared. . .that I realized my only chance of
finding him lay in keeping the X-Files open and
remaining an active agent within this division.
Skinner agreed not to make the information public
until Mulder was found. I guess you're going to tell

I suppose I deserved that. From her perspective, all
I've ever done is kick her when she's down, beginning
with the moment we first met. I shake my head. "No.
I'm not telling anyone, unless I think it would help
you. Look can we go somewhere - get some coffee or
something  - and talk about this away from the

She nods and leads me out the door. We settle into a
booth at a coffee shop down the street. Once we have
ordered, I make my pitch.

"Agent Scully, can we start over?"

"What do you mean?" she asks dully.

"I mean, I want to begin the investigation into Agent
Mulder's disappearance as if this were day one. I had
a lot of preconceived opinions - that he was some sort of nut, that his disappearance was most likely
voluntary - that hampered my ability to do my job. I
no longer believe he chose to leave. He wouldn't have
abandonded you. But some of the information you
withheld from me could have hampered the
investigation, as well. If I try not to be a jerk,
will you try to be honest with me?"

She nods slowly.

"First of all, I want to say I'm sorry. What should be a joyful time in your life - new marriage, new baby - has been full of stress and fear. I'm sure my attitude has only made the problem worse. You have my

"Thank you," she replies quietly.

I plunge into what is, for me, a salient fact here.
"How did you get pregnant?"

That nets me an unexpected response. Agent Scully
bursts into laughter and says, "Jesus, Agent Doggett!
No wonder your marriage failed. Didn't your father
ever teach you about the birds and the bees? We
started kissing, got naked and then Mulder put his"

"Uh, that would come under the category of a little
more information that I need to know, Agent Scully," I interrupt quickly. "I was under the impression that it might have been necessary for you and. . .your
husband. . .to use medical assistance in order to
conceive. You're saying it was a natural conception?"

"Yes," she answers, but then takes a deep breath.
"However, in the spirit of mutual cooperation, your
assumption about my fertility was one both Mulder and
I shared. About eighteen months ago - before Mulder
and I ever became lovers or even talked about marriage - we attempted to conceive using in vitro
fertilization. It didn't work. Later, once we became
lovers, it truly never crossed either of our minds
that I might become pregnant just by. . . the normal
method. I'd been told, by several different doctors,
that the only way I might even possibly be able to
have children would be through some sort of assisted

"Hold on," I say confused, "the two of you tried to
conceive a child together before you got married?
Before you were even thinking about marriage? Isn't
that putting the cart before the horse?"

She sighs and looks out the window. "It was more a
case of my putting my own wishes ahead of Mulder's. At the time I asked him to provide. . .a donation. . .I wasn't interested in becoming anybody's wife. What I wanted to be was a mother. I wasn't involved in a
relationship - a romantic relationship, I mean - but
Mulder and I were very close, in a platonic sense. So
I asked and he said yes."

"He must love you very much," I say slowly.
"He does. He has, for a long time. I love him, too. I
have for a long time,  but I think it took me a lot
longer to actually fall *IN* love with him than it
took him to fall for me."

"Excuse me if I'm being dense again, but does Agent
Mulder even know about the baby? Or did his
disappearance occur before you realized you were

"To answer the last part of your question first," she
replies, "I found out I was pregnant about fifteen
minutes before Skinner told me Mulder had been
abducted. As for whether or not Mulder knows. .
.obviously, I didn't have a chance to tell him, but
I'm not sure that means he doesn't know or at least
suspect. Mulder is very intuitive. He said something
to me, immediately before he left that, in retrospect, leads me to believe he might have suspected I was pregnant -  even before I knew myself. I probably shouldn't have laughed at you when you asked how I got pregnant. It seems highly unlikely that I'd conceive when I wasn't making any particular effort to do so, after I'd failed while using the most highly developed medical assistance available, but apparently that's what happened."

"It happens that way more often than you might think," I assure her.

"How do you know?"

"It's not important."

"I'd like to know."

I shrug. It's hardly a deep, dark secret. "When my
parents first married, they wanted kids; my Mom,
especially, really wanted a baby. Apparently she was
hoping to conceive even on their honeymoon. They got
married in the1950s and, by the standards of those
times, my mother was practically an old maid by the
time she and Dad met up; she was in her late 20s when
they married."

"But they had problems?" Agent Scully asks

"Yeah," I agree. "Things were different back then, of
course. There were few medical resources to actually
cure infertility. On the other hand, abortion was
illegal and single motherhood was considered a
disgrace, so there was a steady supply of healthy
newborns available for adoption by any stable,
two-parent family who wanted them."

"You're adopted?" she asks.

"No," I say, shaking my head.  "After five years of
marriage, during which they were unable to conceive,
my parents adopted a baby. My older brother, Mark. I
was born ten months later. Apparently the very first
night they had a baby of their own in the house, my
mother was able to relax to the point where she could
conceive. I'm not doctor, but I'd suspect something
similar happened with you and your husband; that you
were only able to get pregnant when you weren't. .
.obsessing about it."

She nods. "Yeah, you're probably right. Oh, there's
something else. It really doesn't have anything to do
with my being pregnant, per se, but it will keep you
from wasting time investigating a lead that doesn't
have anything to do with Mulder's disappearance. You
know those weekend trips to North Carolina you were so interested in?"

"You're going to tell me what was going on?"

"Sure. When an engaged couple seeks to be married in
the Catholic church, there's a series of mandatory
pre-marital counseling sessions they're required to
attend. That's what we were doing down there. You meet with four or five other couples, and a priest, to discuss the requirements and responsiblities of

"You two had to drive all the way to North Carolina
for that?" I ask. "They don't offer these sessions in
Maryland or Virginina?"

"They offer general sessions in every diocese in
America. There are specialized sessions, however, for
couples with varying needs," she explains, "for
couples entering into second marriages or interracial
marriages, for instance. This particular session was
designed for couples over the age of 30 who had never
been married before. We had the choice of attending
the ones in North Carolina or sessions with a bunch of twentysomethings near D.C. We chose the North Carolina option. Most of the other couples were professionals, as well - lawyers, professors, journalists, people like that; several of them worked together, just as Mulder and I did. If it's important, I can get you the names of the priest who co-ordinated the sessions and some of the other participants. They can vouch for the fact that Mulder and I were there every weekend."

I shake my head. "No, it's not important. I guess I
can understand why you didn't tell me  about this
earlier. You want to hear my current theory on what
happened to Agent Mulder?"

"As long as you're not still operating under the
assumption that he was servicing the secretarial pool, sure."
"I'm sorry about that remark; it was uncalled for. I
no longer think he left voluntarily, but despite what
A.D. Skinner saw - or thinks he saw - I can't buy
alien abduction, either."


"I've read the X-Files. You and Agent Mulder have put
away a lot of bad guys over the years. I'm not talking about the psychic mutant vampires and all that crap. I'm talking about the psychopaths, the serial killers, the ecoterrorists, the bank robbers and the kidnappers the two of you have crossed paths with. I think one of those - one of them smart enough to hone in on Agent Mulder's obsession with extra- terrestial intelligence - laid a trap for Agent Mulder. Lured him out to Oregon with stories of alien abductions, then put on some sort of sophisticated smoke-and-mirrors show for Skinner while they snatched him."

"You think he's dead, then?" she whispers.
"I doubt it. Somebody willing to go to that much
trouble most likely wouldn't be satisfied with simply
killing him. They'd want to keep him around - torture
him, either mentally or physically. Maybe use him as
bait to capture you, as well. My bet is, he's still
alive. And we're going to find him, Agent Scully."

A single tear is sliding down her cheek. "I just want
my husband back. Well, that and to have a healthy
baby. It's funny; all my life, I've pursued career
goals and shunned traditional gender stereotypes. But
it's come down to this. . .I'd turn in my F.B.I.
badge, give up my medical license, anything. . .just
to be with Mulder and our baby."

"I don't think such extreme measures, will be
necessary, Agent Scully. Look, I'm going back to the
office. Why don't you go home, get some rest?"

She nods and leaves the cafe. I walk slowly back to
headquarters, still feeling like a jerk, but at least
convinced that maybe I finally have the information I
need to do the job I was assigned to do.