A/N: This fic is a requested piece by a good friend. I have found writing it to be interesting, but imagine it will get a lot harder as the story continues as the requested storyline is really quite angst ridden. I'll give warnings at the chapters where things get a bit more intense as to what to expect/ not to read if this bothers you, and please just bare with me as this is something I've not tried before.
For those lovely people amongst you reading my 'Sleepover' fic between these two characters (and possibly 'Predictable' as well) I am continuing these also, I am just hoping to get this one done around Christmas too. Please please please review!
Wilson looks up from the patient files waiting for him at main-desk with mild curiosity. He takes in the side-profile of Vogler, who stands across from him at the other end of the reception booth; large and overbearing. Vogler's interest appears to be directed towards something just beyond Wilson's view, and with the small, predatory smile touching the corners of his dark lips, Wilson has a sinking suspicion as to who may be approaching from the elevators.
He sighs and stacks his folders neatly, deciding to take leave before House can get started on another ridiculous battle of wills with the new and equally frustrating chairman. Opting on a detour around the reception's counters to the stairwell- so as to avoid heading in the exact direction in which the arguments are destined to start- he throws a cursory glance over his shoulder; hoping to catch House and penetrate him with a stern warning before heading back up to the oncology department.
To his surprise, House is nowhere to be seen and it's Cameron who walks towards the desk- head bent over a chart of some kind- gracefully meandering around the group of trainee nurses headed in the other direction. Wilson makes a move to step back towards the desk, thus making himself more visible to her, assuming the younger doctor is on her way to either to the Clinic or Cuddy's office and both are in his current direction. He raises an eyebrow when Vogler moves out from the desk, effectively blocking her path, and deduces where the large man's attention had previously been focused.
She looks up from the papers in her hand and smiles warily.
'I was hoping you could accompany me to my office a moment, I have something I'd like to discuss'
Wilson's eyebrows furrow together, not keen on the thought of Vogler approaching any of House's employees with a bid for discussion. Despite his certainty that Cameron would no more intend to provoke problems for House than he would himself, he is also becoming increasingly confident that Vogler is more than adept at twisting events to his advantage. And Vogler's advantage is starting to spell serious bad news for the diagnostics team.
Cameron appears to be thinking something similar as she remains silent for a beat, searching the Chairman's face with wide, green eyes, before looking back down at her chart and taking a step to her left, out of his shadow
'Now's not a great time, I need to be getting back to-'
'-Is Dr House claiming that I'm forcing him to get rid of one of you?... I assume his goal is to stir antagonism towards me...'
She stops walking- having succeeded in placing a good five feet between them while excusing herself- and turns back to Vogler, who waits curiously for her answer.
'...and your goal is?'
'I am forcing him. I'll do whatever I can to ease the transition for whoever he choses...'
He takes a step towards her and she compensates by taking one back. Wilson moves further behind the desk, now uncomfortable and not wanting to distract her or let her know the conversation is being overheard. Cameron refuses to lower her eyes from Vogler's, but her response is quiet and unsure
'If you're feeling guilty about your decision, there is an easy solution-'
'-I don't feel guilty'
'Then... why approach me and tell me all this?'
Vogler smiles at her as if this is the question he was waiting for all along.
'Because House is refusing to chose one of you... I can't allow the running of a department with so little appreciation for rules, and his neglect to perform this simple task just reinforces my concerns... He would rather I erase you all- while allowing him to continue playing this little game of oneupmanship between you in the process- than just do what has been asked of him'
He closes the gap between them and continues in a much lower tone, placing a hand on her upper arm which she looks at warily, mentally forbidding herself to give into instinct and move away
'I want to offer you a chance, Dr Cameron. I believe there must be some positive factors to your diagnostics team, which perhaps I just have yet to see'
He lets his eyes travel hungrily downwards with perverse openness, before returning to her now unnerved gaze
'I really must urge you to reconsider your declination to talk a while in my office, as I am sure we can find a way to make your future here very positive. Who knows, you may even give me a reason to revise my decision when it comes to ceasing this hospital's use of a diagnostics unit. I have a feeling you may well be quite... persuasive.'
Wilson watches Cameron remove his hand from hers, and, when she finally speaks, her tone is ice cold
'With all due respect- you have made your thoughts on the practice of diagnostics quite clear. It may be best for myself and the others to simply apply elsewhere; other hospitals do not tend to see unusual medicine as a loss of profit, but rather as a beneficial practice when saving lives'
Vogler's large features flush angrily for a brief moment before he shrugs, takes a step back, and regards his right hand as if inspecting for dirt. When he continues his voice is dangerously silky
'And who, may I ask, will be writing your reference when you apply to those other hospitals, Dr Cameron? House? When Princeton is done with him, you will be better off without his name anywhere near yours. Of course in such a case, a member of the board would be more than happy to give you a glowing reference... but I would bare in mind who owns the board before you get too busy planning your future. I am offering you a hand, and you will need it. I suggest you reconsider throwing away all those years of medical practice, and think hard about how your stubbornness will affect your colleagues...'
He gives her one last look before turning his back, effectively dismissing her
'As I told Dr House, I need some sort of decision by Monday or the whole team will be let go. If you wish to discuss... anything... in the mean time, please make an appointment with my secretary.'
Vogler takes a file, seemingly at random, from the desk and walks briskly off towards the elevators. Wilson regards Cameron uncomfortably as she stands where Vogler left her, head slightly bowed, fists clenching and unclenching slowly. He slips around the counter until he stands just in front of her, wishing her hair wasn't so damn long and falling over her face so as better to gage her expression. He clears his throat awkwardly and she looks up at him.
Her expression, he finds out, is unreadable.
'I saw you talking to Vogler'
He states lamely, inflecting the man's name to form a question. He decides it may be wise not to mention the fact he had heard the entire conversation, and rather let her fill him in on it.
'Oh. Yes. He just wanted to gather some information on our current patient. Legal needs it, I guess...'
She begins walking towards the clinic and Wilson falls in step next to her, peering at her through quick side glances. Her mouth is set in a thin line and he's not sure if she's looking pale or if it's a trick if the fluorescents. One thing he can say for certain is she looks decidedly unhappy. He sighs and slows his pace, Cameron matches it automatically.
'Has House gotten any further in his decision making?'
She shoots him a startled look before sighing and coming to a stop outside the Clinic.
'No. I don't think he will... Before, when we were sure Chase was feeding information I guess we thought once House knew or had enough of it, he would get rid of him'
'And Chase is still here... this week it appears to be my turn when it comes to House being convinced once of us is a screw up. If Foreman's lucky, he'll miss his go due to Vogler's ultimatum. Looks like I'm 'it' unless something happens before Monday'
She says it casually, almost as if bored. Wilson moves directly in front of her, so as to stop her disappearing into the clinic.
'Did you screw up?'
'Then House knows that. He won't fire you'
'He should, if he wants to keep the team running'
'You're a good doctor, and an equally good employee. House won't fire you...'
He steps a little closer and looks down at her sternly, holding her arm in the same place Vogler had not so long ago
'I don't know what's going to happen, but this is House's game. Don't play it for him... and don't let Vogler make you feel that it is your duty to sort anything out'
There's quite a lot more he wants to say, but her expression is already dangerous and he knows that while she is probably now fully aware how much of the conversation with Vogler had been overheard, its insinuations are not something she wishes to hear out loud. He gives her a kind nod, and moves away to let her through. She gives him a strained smile before slipping into the slightly chaotic Clinic waiting room. Wilson sighs as he watches her narrow shoulders droop slightly and realizes that whatever his advice, she may be making her own decision.