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Not Doing Too Badly

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"Agent Scully?"

Scully looks up, not sure whether she's surprised that the new-but-not title sounds strange or if it doesn't. The speaker, a thirty something woman who may have been in middle school when Scully first joined the FBI, smiles at her and continues, "The Deputy Director will see you now."

Scully nods her thanks, walks to the door and opens it, closing it firmly behind her. "You asked to see me, Sir?" she says, crossing her arms over her chest, keeping her face neutral. There's a smile in her voice that she can't keep back though, and she knows he hears it when he throws his pen down on the desk and stands up, all in one smooth movement. 

"So this is how it's going to be?" John Doggett approaches her, arms outspread. "You're finally back workin' with the Bureau and I gotta summon you to my office to get to see you?" By the time he finishes, there's a grin on his face that's matched on hers and she meets him halfway across the office, his arms going around her waist, hers landing on his back as he pulls her into a hug. 

"I'm sorry I didn't get to tell you personally," she says when they part. He gestures to the couch in the corner of the office and she leads the way there, dropping into it and leaning back, enjoying the familiar company. "It all happened rather quickly..."

"So I hear." He sounds amused and she quickly puts two and two together. 

"You talked to Skinner."

Doggett shrugs. "One of the advantages of being my old boss's boss: he's gotta report to me now. I am looking forward to hearing your take on things though." Scully opens her mouth to tell him but he holds up a hand. "Not now," he says. "I think Monica would kill me if I got the scoop before she did... You're invited to dinner, by the way, you and Mulder if he wants to come..."

His voice falters and Scully wonders if her smile looks as tight as it feels. "I can't speak for Mulder," she answers, side stepping the question he hasn't asked, "but I would never turn down Monica's cooking."

Doggett tilts his head. "Well, I can't promise her usual dozen courses and choice of desert... Matter of fact, you might be looking at takeout."

Which doesn't sound like Monica and Scully suddenly realises just how long it's been since she's been at their house. "Of course... and how are Monica and Gracie?"

Doggett chuckles. "Gracie's great. Ten going on thirty, torn between thrilled that she's finally getting the kid brother or sister she's been asking for for years and terrified about what life's gonna be like when she's not a one and only any more. Monica's..." There's a long pause before he settles on, "Enormous." The adjective of choice surprises a laugh out of Scully and she thinks that she should be more affronted on her friend's behalf. She would be too, if it wasn't for the look on Doggett's face when he said it. His grin has turned into a beaming smile and his eyes are dancing. "Her word, not mine." He holds up his hands in mock surrender. "I keep telling her she's beautiful, she's just not hearing it so good right now. And she's tired a lot, so, takeout."

"How much longer does she have?"

"Five and a half weeks." Doggett's answer is prompt and Scully blinks. "We're counting." He shakes his head, runs his hand over his lips. "We thought we might've been too old when Gracie was born... having a second, ten years later?" He shakes his head again and Scully leans in, remembering the same conversation months ago with Monica. At least this time there were no tears. 

"But everything's ok? With the baby?" 

Just like that, Doggett's grin is back and he's on his feet, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. When he opens it, he reaches in behind the picture of him and Monica and Gracie, pulls out a folded up picture and hands it to her. "See for yourself," he says and she unfolds it to see a sonogram picture of what indeed is a perfectly healthy baby. "Ten fingers, ten toes is what they tell me; hell if I know, all's I can make out is a blob." It's the kind of self-deprecating comment she's used to from him and she knows he can see more than that but she doesn't push him on it. "And if you can tell whether it's a boy or a girl, don't tell me."

As a matter of fact she can't, but that's not why her eyebrows climb. "You don't want to know?"

Doggett shrugs as he takes the picture back. "We figure this kid has surprised us plenty, let's keep it going." He stares at the image, lets out a long breath. "It's crazy, Dana... Luke would've been thirty this year, you know that? I could be someone's grandpa, and yet, here I am, heading for fifty six, looking at sleepless nights and diaper changes, and I wouldn't change a thing." He chuckles, rubs his hand over his chin. "Beat that with a stick."

Scully looks around the office, feels the weight of her badge suddenly heavy in her pocket. "I know what you mean," she murmurs. "I never thought I'd be back here, that's for sure."

"What is it they say... Life is what happens..."

"When you're busy making other plans." 

They say it together, share a smile and for a moment, it's like it's fifteen years ago and they're sharing that basement office, the two of them against the world, or certainly the FBI, or maybe a bit of both. She recalls their first meeting, how she never thought she'd trust him and she marvels at what a gift his friendship has been, how he'd been there for her through some of the worst times in her life and continues to be, even now. 

Maybe he's thinking the same because he says, "First day  working together again and I don't have a glass of water over me... We can't be doing too badly."

"No," she says and she smiles, reaches out and closes her hand over his. "Not too badly at all."