Empath: I think I have taught my sociopath friend a ton, over the years, about how to imitate the type of behavior you refer to as "empathic." Or, perhaps, I give myself too much credit and he has just learned on his own.
M.E.: Oh, I'm sure you taught him a ton about how to pass. I constantly check with my friends all the time to make sure I am passing, help me pinpoint weak points, vet potential plans of attack. I've devoted crazy amounts of time to passing, but I figure it is all the better to enact my own little machinations.
Empath: He functions quite well in society, unless he takes a disliking to a particular person, in which case he is given to psychologically smashing them into tiny pieces. Which, if that person happens to be someone else I care about, tends to cause tension in our relationship.
M.E.: Have you ever been a target of his psychological warfare?
Empath. Not directly. For whatever reason, my friend has decided I am one of the few "sheep" in the world that he truly likes. Maybe because I (sometimes tacitly, sometimes explicitly) accept him as a sociopath, even when I am horrified or exasperated by his actions.
M.E., I think you're right, sociopaths can/will sometimes pick out favorites among the empaths, people they are fond of. Like how Dexter is sort of inexplicably fond of his step sister. Similar to people with Asperger's and others with low degrees of empaths, sociopaths can be extremely loyal.