Betrayal of Trust
Disclaimer: DOC does not belong to me. The show is created by the Johnson brothers.
Spoilers: And Baby Makes Four
Summary: Missing Scene where Nancy confronts Richard Black and quits her job, and comes to terms with having been deceived by Richard.
Challenge: i2eye Fan Forum's 3rd Anniversary M/S & A/S Challenge. DOC #7. This story won the award for Best Missing Scene (tied with my other story, 'Precious Memories').
A/N: Thanks to tisme73 for looking this over for mistakes!
Finished: 29th of August, 2010
"You're the one who made all this possible. I don't forget that kind of thing."
Richard's words kept reverberating in Nancy's head as she sat on the couch in the doctors' lounge. She didn't have to think very hard to figure out just how she'd helped him. The conversation with Tippy, Crane, Derek, and later also Clint, had her defending Richard, trying to convince the others just why Richard's help was welcome. Yes, even though she wasn't an owner of the clinic, and didn't have any say in the decision whether or not to sell the clinic to Prima Trust, she had influenced the general opinion of Richard Black.
The mere fact that she was dating him had confirmed people's own good opinion of Prima Trust's liaison. Not even the generally well respected opinion of Clint had been enough to counter that. And it hadn't been for lack of trying on Clint's account. Somehow he had picked up on something no one else had, and he had tried to warn them, had tried to warn her specifically. With a blush, Nancy recalled the conversation she'd had with Clint during lunch. More specifically, their argument. Looking back, she realised she had only read in his words what she'd decided to hear. Her inner conviction that she could not possibly be dating someone who was trying to pull the wool over their collective eyes, had made her blind to the true meaning of Clint's words, and instead she had taken offense. After all, Richard Black would not try to deceive them – she was dating the man, so it just wasn't possible.
Except, that same kind, charming Richard Black had fired Donna and Clint, a day after the takeover contract was signed, and Tippy had been knocked down to part-time. And she'd personally witnessed Richard's behaviour towards Donny, and how Clint had jumped to Donny's defence when Richard had started to physically kick the savant out.
"Just Doctor Cassidy showing his true colours I suppose," Richard had said casually when she'd barged into Donna's – his office earlier today. No, Nancy knew Clint could act rashly when someone started messing with people he cared about. Coming to Donny's aid was no change in personality. She and Clint had been friends too long to even consider that a possibility. The radical shift had come directly from Richard Black.
Why? Why was Richard acting this way? Surely, there must be a good explanation for this. Maybe he was acting under orders from Prima Trust. Or maybe there was some other reason she couldn't think of right now. On some level, Nancy recognised she was grasping at straws, but she needed some answers. Answers only the corporate representative could give.
A text message on her cell phone shook her from her reverie. 'Bev about to deliver. MMH.' Tippy had sent it. Clint must have been too busy to call or send the text message. Ignoring the voice in her head that said he was avoiding her, she rose to go to Manhattan Memorial Hospital.
Just then the man that had caused such turmoil in her life poked his head around the doorpost. "There you are. Ready for dinner?" Nancy hesitated.
"Something wrong?" Richard asked, taking a step forward so he was now completely inside the room. His concerned expression had Nancy wavering. How could a man looking so sincerely concerned cause such trouble and pain for her friends? Aware that Richard was still waiting for an answer, she forced herself to reply.
"Well, actually, Beverly Jackson – one of my friends – is at the hospital, about to deliver."
"Would you like to go there?" Richard proposed immediately. "We could go there and wait."
Nancy cringed. "Yeah, that's probably not such a good idea." At Richard's questioning gaze, she expanded, "Ms DeWitt and Clint will be there too…"
"Ah," Richard nodded, looking to the side for a moment. Then he looked down and did another step forward, his eyes finding Nancy's again. "Well, as long as doctor Cassidy refrains from violence, I'm sure we can sit in the same waiting room for a couple of hours."
Nancy bristled at the implication Clint would just attack him, but what really got to her was the flash of smug satisfaction on Richard's face when he spoke. Despite his words and apparent behaviour, Richard was too pleased about the implication that Donna or Clint would either be angry, hurt or uncomfortable in his presence.
It was this look which Richard had quickly hidden again, that made the decision for Nancy. While she really wanted to be with her friends to wait for news about Beverly and her baby, she realised she needed answers to some questions, and she did not want to prolong the doubts and uncertainty that had been wreaking havoc inside her today.
She would go to dinner with Richard and find out the answer to some questions. She found herself hoping against hope that there was some reasonable explanation for the whole situation.
"I don't think that's such a good idea. No, let's just go to dinner. I'll just need to send Tippy a text message."
Richard smiled and bowed his head in acceptance. "I'll go grab our coats then."
It was a silent ride to the restaurant. Once they were seated and had ordered something to drink, Nancy looked at Richard again. Taking a deep breath, determined she would get to the bottom of this, she spoke up.
"So, what are all these changes at the clinic about? What happened to 'if it's not broken, don't fix it'?"
Richard leaned back and studied her. "I'm glad you've decided to have dinner with me tonight so I can help you deal with this. Thanks for putting aside your initial anger."
Nancy's eyebrow rose, hoping it would be enough to keep him going, because she honestly wasn't sure what would come out of her mouth if it would open.
"Basically it's like we've been saying the whole time – we're just making sure the few things that weren't working as well as they could be, will be better," Richard explained, the smile still on his lips.
"So you just fire Ms DeWitt when you promised her a job at Corporate?" Nancy asked forcefully. The man across from her didn't seem bothered.
"It was not a promise, merely a hypothesis, nothing on paper," Richard easily discarded the argument.
"Does she know it wasn't a promise, because she didn't seem like she was aware of that," Nancy countered.
"Donna is a business woman. She knows how these things work. When you're redundant, you're out, it's as simple as that."
"Redundant? Without her, the clinic would not be where it is now, and you call her redundant?"
"Yes. I've been doing this job for a while now, and it's like we discussed: with Donna moved out of that position, it leaves a big opening for you. Until you've learnt more about it, I can manage doing both my job at corporate and at the clinic."
"She could have stayed in her current position," Nancy argued again.
"And that would have left you as a nurse for the rest of your life." Richard shook his head. "That's not what you wanted, remember."
"You asked me if I wanted to move up, and I only said there weren't a lot of places for a nurse to move up to! Just because I'm interested, well, that doesn't mean you have to kick out one of my friends from her job!"
Perceiving Nancy's anger as anxiousness and nervousness, Richard put a calming hand on Nancy's hand.
"Nancy, trust me, you'll make a great administrative manager. You've got the potential, you've got the desire. Focus on your own job. Don't worry about Donna, she'll find a new job, I'm sure, and will be just as happy, if not more."
Unwilling to give into the argument, but knowing she wasn't going to win the argument that way, she moved on to the next question that came to mind.
"What about Clint? A few days ago, you were saying you wished you could find more like him, and now you fire him?" She swung her hands up to put more force behind the argument, forcing Richard to let go of her hand. He sat back again.
"You saw him – he attacked me," Richard said, opening the menu which had been lying unopened in front of him.
"After you attacked Donny!"
"That halfwit had no business being there in the first place. For all I care, doctor Cassidy takes him along when he goes back to whatever backward town he came from," Richard said, looking through the list of meals. Nancy couldn't believe it. Clearly, he wasn't going to pretend any further that he liked Clint Cassidy. How could she have been so totally blind for this man's ruthlessness?
"It's pretty clear doctor Cassidy does not fit in," Richard added. Nancy shook her head. "He's different, sure, but that doesn't mean he doesn't fit in. He's fit in just fine these past few years," Nancy argued. "The nurses and the other doctors and just about everyone else respects him and his opinion. Even doctor Crane, even if he doesn't particularly like him."
Grinning, Richard added, "Well, as I seem to recall, you don't care much for doctor Crane's opinion."
Her thoughts instantly flashed back to that moment a few days ago, where doctor Crane had suddenly been praising her skills as a nurse just because she and Richard were dating, and had basically just tried to impress Richard. She'd made it pretty clear to Richard then that, like he'd just said, she didn't care much for doctor Crane's attitude and opinions.
Still smiling, Richard looked at Nancy again. "Look, it was pretty clear doctor Cassidy did not like me. You yourself indicated he wouldn't have been too happy about me being there in the same room, waiting for news on your friend."
"That may be true, but-"
"And," Richard interrupted, "if I remember correctly, we did talk about doctor Cassidy's acting a bit… jealous towards me. While I said at first that he'd probably be able to keep that out of the workplace, I know he was against the take-over by Prima Trust. I know he tried to keep the owner doctors from selling Westbury. So, aside from the attack today, he obviously isn't professional enough to keep his personal issues out of the work place. I'm glad the owners saw this as well, and didn't just blindly take his side without thinking over the proposal of the buyout properly."
Clint's words echoed through her mind again. "I don't know enough to be for or against it. Problem is, I don't think anybody else does either."
"Maybe they should have thought the proposal over more carefully," Nancy muttered. A little desperately, she realised they would have, had they not thought Clint was jealous. Suddenly something clicked. Richard's words from when she'd told him they'd need to talk about his seemingly high opinion of doctor Crane, came back. "Trust me, I know exactly what kind of person he is. The trick is knowing how to use it."
"You used me," she stammered, before regaining control. "You used me and my friendship with Clint to make him seem to have something against you!"
For a moment, Richard closed his eyes and shook his head, before that deprecating smile returned on his face. "Look, Nancy, you're too close to the situation to analyse it properly, and it's all still too fresh. The facts are: Westbury's bought out by Prima Trust, and will start working more efficiently regarding both time and resources. That includes firing people we don't need. Don't worry, like I said, every promise I made to you I intend to keep." He'd taken her hand in his again.
"You never intended to keep Donna or Clint, did you?"
"It's all about efficiency. They no longer fit into the organisation Westbury will be from today onwards." Richard seemed to be tiring from going over the same things again. "I see you're still having trouble. How about we order, and once we've had something to eat, and you've had some time to think about it, we can discuss it some more. I'm sure I can help you through this."
Richard waved a waiter over. Nancy shook her head at his nerve to act as if she was the one with the problem!
"No Richard. This is over! This isn't something you can just sweep under the rug and pretend nothing's wrong!" She couldn't work with this man anymore! She just couldn't. Finally she could clearly see just what kind of man he was. She had some evaluating to do, but one thing she knew she had to do, "You can look for another nurse and administrator, 'cause I quit."
"Ma'am, can I get you anything?" the waiter asked in concern, but Nancy rose from her seat.
"Yeah, a cab. No, never mind, I'll do it myself." Within moments she'd gathered her coat, purse, scarf, hat and gloves.
"Nancy please," Richard said, also standing up. "You're overreacting." When she didn't seem inclined to even look at him anymore, he pleaded, "At least think things through, and when you've calmed down we can talk about it."
Too angry to respond, Nancy left. The waiter hesitated, uncertain as to what to do, until finally Richard returned to his seat and ordered as if nothing had happened. She'd be back. She cared about him, and once she'd thought things through, she'd come back to him. Yes, although he hadn't counted on Nancy quitting her job, the rest had worked out just as he'd planned. The 'incident' this morning had just helped things along. Now he didn't have to make up a reason for firing doctor Clint Cassidy. And without Donna there, it would make his… creative bookkeeping that much easier. Life was good indeed.
Angrily, Nancy paced out of the restaurant, into the snow. Richard had betrayed her. He'd used her! He'd played them all, had manipulated them! Why had she let him? How could she have dated a man who, as it turned out, had then betrayed her – betrayed her trust and her friends' trust. Well, except for Clint's, she supposed, because she wasn't sure Clint had ever trusted Richard.
With a start she realised – Richard's betrayal was bad, but… she had betrayed Clint. She swallowed. It wasn't about the fact they had disagreed; that had never been an issue. They would always respect each other's opinions, even if they didn't agree with each other. Only this time, she hadn't respected his opinion at all. Instead, she had pretty much called him jealous. And Richard had played right into that. She snorted. As if Clint would even be interested in her in that way, especially now! And to top it off, she'd done something she'd regretted the moment the words had left her mouth, but she had been too angry to take them back or apologise at the time. She had been condescending towards him because of his country background. The look he'd given her then… it had stayed with her the rest of the day. Even now she cringed as she remembered it. Yes, she had been betrayed, but she'd betrayed the best friend anyone could possibly wish for.
She needed to make it up to him. As soon as possible. In the end, he'd been right – Richard Black was a smooth city-slicker… smoother than she'd encountered before. Yes, she needed to apologise, and hopefully he'd be able to forgive her. She hailed a cab. The cab driver asked her, "Where to, Miss?". Time to face the music. She wondered if Beverly had delivered yet. Anxious but determined she responded, "Manhattan Memorial Hospital, please."
She owed everyone an apology. A certain country doctor most of all.
Phew, this was a difficult ride. I needed Nancy to confront Richard, but still not have her voice everything and all her anger, because in the episode afterwards, she pretends to have changed her mind and returns to work for Richard (for a day). Since Richard fell for it, Nancy must have somehow not voiced everything about her opinion of him and what she'd discovered. Anyway, I hope it worked. Thanks for reading! Z.