Author's Note: The scenario is a little unlikely, but I figured it would make good use of Cuddy's motherly instincts and Cameron's underlying vulnerability, so I played both up a bit and I hope it works out!!
Allison Cameron swayed slightly as she fought to keep her eyes in focus and her concentration on the voice beside her. Without thinking she lifted a hand to her head. "Dr. Cameron?" Dr. Cuddy asked her, worried. The younger woman had turned pale, her thin body trying to keep balance. She put an arm around her shoulders to steady her. "Allison? Can you hear me?" she tried again. Cameron turned towards her vaguely as she lost her fight to keep consciousness and collapsed into Cuddy's arms. "Shit." Cuddy muttered as she lowered her to the ground, quickly assessing if her co-worker was still breathing. Her breaths came slowly, but they were there. "A little help?" she called in the direction of the nearest nursing station. The nurse looked up, saw the body on the ground and headed over with a gurney.
"What happened?" she questioned as she helped Cuddy lift the too-light Cameron onto the stretcher.
"She fainted" Cuddy didn't elaborate. "Let's get her to a room."
Cameron blinked slowly as she came to. The room was too bright, and she raised a hand to shade her eyes, confused to find an IV in it. "You're awake." Cuddy commented, hurrying over. "How do you feel?"
"Not good." She shifted onto her side and curled up, tucking a hand under her cheek. "What happened?' she asked, looking up at Cuddy with shadowed eyes.
"You passed out on me." Cuddy smiled wanly.
"Oh." Cameron looked embarrassed. "I get light-headed sometimes."
"When did you last eat?" Cuddy asked her quietly. Cameron frowned.
"What day is it?"
"Tuesday night." Cameron sighed and closed her eyes again.
"Yesterday morning." She answered dully.
"Why do you do it?" Cuddy asked helplessly, sitting down on the bed beside the small figure.
Cameron looked at her sadly. "I don't even understand. Why would you?" she questioned. Silently she reached out and grasped Cuddy's hand, so the other woman wouldn't think she was angry. "Thanks for being here though."
Cuddy stroked her hair softly with her free hand. "We all need friends sometimes." Cameron nodded.
"Yeah." She whispered, drifting back into sleep.
Cuddy woke her sometime later with a tray holding a glass of milk, a mug of coffee, an apple, and oatmeal. "It's as plain as I could make it" She replied to the look on Cameron's face. "And the milk is skim." She helped Cameron to sit up and placed the tray on her lap. Cameron picked up the coffee eagerly.
"Thank you." She smiled shyly at her boss. "You're being very kind."
"I'm worried!" Cuddy sat down on the edge of the bed again.
"I know." Cameron sipped the warm drink. "How long do I have to stay?"
"We'll assess you and make treatment recommendations. But you should be able to sleep at home tonight." Cuddy told her kindly. She looked at the floor and then back up at the younger woman, who was watching her. "Allison…" she trailed off. "Would you consider therapy?"
Cameron laid a hand on top of hers gently. "I've been in and out of therapy for years." She told her boss gently.
"Oh." They sat in silence for a few minutes.
Suddenly Cameron pulled herself upright. "Dr. Cuddy…Lisa…" she started. "Would you do the assessment?" she pleaded. Cuddy blinked in confusion.
"Me?" she questioned. "Why?"
"I'd rather as few people know about this as possible. You're already involved, and I can trust you won't tell House."
Cuddy nodded, understanding. "Alright. They're basic tests, so that shouldn't be a problem." Allison smiled at her gratefully.
A few hours later, Cameron stepped up on the scale and waited while Cuddy adjusted the scale, her eyes widening as she moved the marker to lower and lower weights. It finally stopped at 95. For Allison's 5'7" frame, the number placed her at a scarily low BMI. "Okay." She commented, trying to keep her voice neutral. Cameron slid her a sideways look.
"It's about 15, isn't it? I know it's bad." She reached out and squeezed Cuddy's hand. "But I've been worse."
"I'll need some blood." Cuddy struggled to stay professional with her skeletal co-worker, who out of House's team she was probably the closest with. Cameron nodded and sat back down. Cuddy grabbed the equipment, starting by taking her blood pressure. It was very low. Sighing, she tied the rubber band around Allison's upper arm and swabbed her inner elbow with alcohol. "Little pinch." Allison looked away as the needle went in, her mouth drawn. "Damn." Cuddy announced.
"What?" Cameron looked up at her.
"Your vein collapsed. I'll need a smaller needle." Cuddy pulled out the one she had in, chucking it and grabbing another one. Carefully she inserted it in a slightly different spot. "There." She popped the first vial in. "Let me know if you get dizzy." She looked up at Cameron, watching her face for any signs she might be feeling faint. She replaced the full vial with another. "We're going to do a full nutritional panel."
"I know you do." Cuddy smiled a little, popping out the second vial and replacing it. "Last one for now."
"For being here." Allison laid back against the bed as Lisa removed the needle. "I appreciate it."
Cuddy pulled up the blankets over her and smiled. "I'll always be here." She handed Allison a cup of juice mixed with water and asked her to sip a little. She was pretty pale. Cameron nodded.
"Okay." She took a few sips and started to fall asleep. Lisa gently took the cup from her and put it on the bedside table in easy reach. Silently she reached over and tucked the loose strands of Cameron's hair behind her ears. Then she went to drop off the blood samples.
"Come home with me." Cuddy burst out, as Cameron climbed out of bed, preparing to dress.
"Come stay with me." Cuddy begged. "I'm afraid of you being alone. At least for tonight." Cameron looked surprised.
"Really?" Lisa nodded.
"Please." The concern on the older woman's face was obvious.
"Alright. If you're sure." Allison nodded slowly. Lisa looked relieved.
"Thanks." She turned around so Allison could change. "I'll take good care of you."
"I know you will."
Allison smiled at the house as Lisa led her to it. "It's beautiful, Lisa."
"Thanks. I have a spare room set up and everything." Lisa assured her.
"Could…" Allison shook her head. "Never mind. That's silly."
"What?" Lisa's voice was twined with curiosity.
"I get cold." Allison looked up at her hopefully. "Could I share with you?"
"I guess so." Lisa wasn't sure how she felt about the concept. Housing Allison was one thing, sleeping with her was something entirely different. But she guessed Allison hadn't picked up on her tendencies.
"Thank you." Allison looked down at her toes. "You've been so wonderful to me." Lisa blushed.
"Like I said, we all need friends." She unlocked the door, and guided Allison inside. "If I make some dinner, will you eat some?" she questioned.
"I'll try." Allison said sincerely. "Could I sleep a bit though?" she looked exhausted.
"Of course." Lisa took her upstairs to the bedroom and tucked her in. "I'll bring you something when it's ready."
Allison woke to a wonderful aroma. "I made soup." Lisa announced, carrying two bowls on a tray. "Plain veggies and broth. Nothing else except spices, I promise." Ally smiled and sat up, taking the bowl that Lisa passed her.
"It smells wonderful." She complemented. Lisa climbed up on the bed beside her.
"Carrot, orange, and nutmeg. It's one of my favourites." She grinned. "Enjoy."
Allison made her way through the bowl quickly. It was nice to have someone who appreciated her need for control but who worked within the constraints to try and put her at ease while providing nutrition.
"Want some more?" Lisa asked when she noticed the bowl was empty. Allison shook her head.
"Sorry." She smiled ruefully. "It was delicious, but I'm stuffed."
"Okay." Lisa didn't push the subject. She'd eaten, and that was enough for the time being. "Want to watch a movie with me?"
"Sure." They made their way back downstairs again, Lisa stopping to drop the tray off in the kitchen.
"I have a pretty large selection." She opened a cabinet door, revealing tons of DVDs. "What do you like?" Allison looked through the shelves. She picked up one.
"Could we watch this?" she held up Garden State. "I've heard it's great, and has a happy ending, which I could use right now."
"Works for me." Lisa took it from her and stuck it into the DVD player. She turned to find Allison already curled on her couch under a blanket. "Warm enough?" she questioned. Allison nodded, so Lisa went over and curled up beside her. Allison moved so her head was on Lisa's thigh, using her as a pillow, and Lisa automatically placed a hand on her head, stroking her hair as they started watching the film. When it ended, she found that Allison was fast asleep and smiled. "Allison?" she murmured, receiving no response. She squeezed Allison's shoulder. "Allison, wake up."
"Mmm?" she raised her head slightly from Lisa's leg. "Oh. I fell asleep."
"Yeah." Lisa helped her to sit up. "Bed time, I think."
And with that they went to bed.