Exaggeration and Blank Verse
Battlestar Galactica
Horatio Hornblower
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series

Vogler has no idea what he’s doing. In many ways, of course, but in particular, in terms of dealing with Greg. He wants Greg to be obedient, to do as he’s told, to jump when the boss-man walks into the room- he hasn’t yet figured out that Greg’s more likely to stick that cane out and trip him.

Vogler’s good at breaking people down, at training them to be wheels in his machine. He has to be, or he wouldn’t be where he is. He doesn’t know that he’s meeting an immovable object in Greg. Or maybe it’s two immovable objects meeting each other. They’re more alike than either would ever admit.

Greg’s not making any secret of the fact that he’s disappointed in the way I’m dealing with the whole situation. He thinks I should be up in arms, outraged at being stepped on, not just shrugging my shoulders and thinking of England. He doesn’t get it- he doesn’t have a clue either, in many ways. I’ve thrown myself against the immovable object of Gregory House for how many years now? Can you blame me for being a little tired of fighting The Man?

He really doesn’t know what he does to people, how utterly exhausting it can be to be on his side. (Which is precisely why most people don’t bother.) He’s demanding, he’s unforgiving, and he does not bend. If you lack an instinct for self-preservation and stay around him long enough, you get shaped by him. Broken and trained, just like Vogler’s trying to do. Greg’s not as blatant about it, because I honestly don’t think he’s doing it consciously. He’s just pleased when the people around him eventually fall into line and learn to behave. Or when they disappear from his life for good and without benefit of a forwarding address.

He’s done the same thing to Lisa, over the years, even though her pride would kill her before she’d admit it. But he’s shaped her too, knocked her down and rebuilt her into something he needs in his life. Simultaneously a support and something to fight against. He needs a guarantee of a good conflict before he can get up in the morning.

He’s doing the same thing to the doctors on his team, though they’re too wrapped up in themselves to figure it out. I sympathize; I was them, back when I first met Greg. I think I was most like Cameron, the poor kid- too dazzled by his brain and his take-no-prisoners way of living to protest being cut down and belittled until I was battered into something he could use. She’ll get used to it after a while; she’ll go a little numb, she’ll brush it off with a smile. Or she’ll run.

If I tried to explain this to Greg, that he surrounds himself with the weak and malleable personalities he claims to despise most, he’d tell me I was being an idiot. The strong personalities he professes to respect get away from him at the first opportunity. But Vogler’s a special case- someone just as stubborn and dug-in as Greg himself. There’s no way this can end amicably. One of them has to lose. I have no idea which it’s going to be, but it makes me uneasy. I learned a long time ago- Greg taught me- that it’s a lot easier to go with the flow than fight all the time. I have a feeling, though, that at some point in the near future, when he’s exhausted every other alley he can find, Vogler’s going to try to get at Greg through me. And then I’m going to have to make a choice. That’s not going to be a good day for James Wilson.

Maybe I can call in sick.

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