How would an up front conversation about that go? That's not really my style either. In this instance we both know each other pretty well so I suppose there could be some sort of graceful way to address the topic of workplace relationships ahead of time. Experience just makes me shy away from that. Nothing gets you friend-zoned faster than telling a girl you like her, you have to show her. She is very career oriented so for all I know she has the same reservations if not more. And of course, there's no way to discuss the possibility of her being batshit.
i meant a conversation post-split if that's what it comes to, as a way to confront the potential awkwardness head on. but then like you said, the batshit scenario is always possible and totally unpredictable, and if that's the case, the conversation could go... poorly.
that's a f*cking rough story andgar. never know how the chick will react, so you gotta be pretty damn certain before you try anything drastic.