DISCLAIMER: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other related entities are owned, trademarked, and copyrighted by Anthony E. Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, CBS Worldwide Inc., Alliance Atlantis Corporation, CSI Productions and CBS Productions. This is fanfiction and is written purely for the fun and enjoyment of the fans without profits being made what so ever.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This idea came after watching "You've Got Male" and the phone call Sara made asking the other person on the other end of the line if they wanted to do something. I came up with the someone. I also thought of the hell Catherine was going through in "Outside the Box" about what a lousy way it was to find out Sam Braun was her father.
SPOILERS: Season Two, most specifically "You've Got Male"
THANKS: many, many thanks to Lewis for being my beta.
ARCHIVE: Only with the permission of the author.

6 Degrees
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 12

Lindsey had finally fallen asleep and was now curled on her sofa in her mother's office, tucked under both Sara and Catherine's CSI windbreakers. She had had an eventful day, shopping with her father at the mall, playing on the playground at her favorite MacDonald's while she ate her Happy Meal and of course the spider. The large super ball was held in her little hands, now clear of 'spider-germs.'

For what seemed like hours the girl asked Sara what she might expect at the Pirate show and Sara could only hazard a guess for she had never seen the show, but knowing her friend Lindy it promised to be funny, daring and acrobatic. She didn't know if there would be ships and cannons and walking of the plank, or would the adventure take place at port, if there was plundering, pillaging, and treasure hunts. Catherine finally had to tell her daughter to hush so they might get back to work.

Lindsey fell asleep reading a full chapter of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." the book had been a gift from 'Uncle' Greg-o. Of course being her mother's daughter, Lindsey wanted to try to solve the crime in the book and figure out who really betrayed Harry's parents before she got to the end and so she had started taking notes of the clues she had read. Junior CSI indeed.

Sara was happy to oblige the girl in her run-on sentences of questions for the entire hour the girl had started her inquisition, but was gratified when the tyke finally fell asleep. The wonders of reading a book! Catherine had told her daughter she could read two chapters, so that she and Sara might return to work or there might be no party tomorrow if they didn't process the work tonight. That seemed to work; Lindsey scuttled off to her mother's office and cracked open her new book.

Once little puzzles were no long an issue, Sara turned to her blonde counterpart, with a string of her own questions. "What happened? Kingsley give himself up? Find the drugs, anything?"

Catherine chuckled despite herself in seeking the similarities between her child's excitement and that of her friends................ 'friend?' Catherine swallowed hard, 'of course she is a friend, and a beautiful one at that. I don't want to be stubborn anymore, I don't want to show her this falseness anymore......I just want her to see, the me of who I am....I just want to be......'

"I am going to tell you what you told Linds, Sar. 'Take a breath girl for crying out loud or you'll pass out!"

They both laughed.

'God she's adorable with that little blush.' Catherine mused. 'I love allowing myself the permission to enjoy it, enjoy her....'

"Sorry Cat, living vicariously through you. I hate being grounded to the lab" Sara wasn't even aware she had used the forbidden nickname, apparently neither did the blonde. No one quite understood why Catherine hated that particular shortened version of her name. Well

Nancy did. It was because in her dancing days Catherine was Kitty-Cat. And yet when Sara said the name it was uttered with such a personal touch, it carried none of the weight of the past with it. Which was why Catherine only allowed Sara to use it. And only now did the reason why dawn on the blonde.

"At least this time it isn't because you maxed out on overtime." Catherine patted the brunette's arm, secretly enjoying the firmness of muscle she found there. "By the way how are you feeling?"

"Fine as long as you don't tell me to take it easy." There flashed the adorable gapped tooth grin that had everyone on nightshift even Grissom admiring if not swooning over. "I took a pain-killer about an hour ago. The ribs are kinda tight if I sit too long."

"Sara, honey you've been sitting in front of a computer monitor since shift started."

"Not true I had to rescue a bouncy ball from a ferocious spider."

Catherine grinned, "Those drugs make you feel a little loopy?"

"I am not operating any heavy equipment nor driving." Came the answer. "Cath I'm fine. I'm not even touching sensitive evidence. I am just chasing rabbits."

To this the older woman frowned not understanding the metaphor.

"Please, I don't want to go home, not yet." Sara appealed. "I am fine. Really!"

Gingerly Catherine stroked Sara's cheek her thumb absently tracing over the delicate lines of Sara's mouth. "I am concerned Sara, that's all. You had me worried out there. No 'worried' isn't strong enough. Sar, I was terrified you were hurt. Hurt worse than you are. I can't help but get protective. It's in my nature."

Sara felt all words tumble out of her mind, for she had nothing, absolutely nothing, at all to say to the confession. Her heart felt as if it was far too large to be contained behind her already aching ribcage. Her eyes glinted in tears for the sheer overwhelming compassion she felt wafting off the blonde and into her. For that one single moment Sara felt her blood warm, searing her from the inside out. 'I think I fell in love...'

The heat of her blood must have seeped through into Catherine's hand, for there was a hitch in the blonde's breathing. She didn't snatch her hand away, but let it fall gracefully away from the soft smooth flesh of Sara's cheek. They didn't exchange words, offer explanations, or apologies; they remained silent, their eyes meeting accepting what passed between them. Their lips pulled back into a soft smile of the fantasy that perhaps there might be something more. What was more astonishing was that neither had felt uncomfortable in the touch or the slow withdrawal of it. Somehow it just felt right.

When the quiet lapsed to stillness, Sara lifted her dark eyes, "I didn't find her in the database yet," the tone was almost defeated, as if she had somehow failed the girl. "Catherine, how can a mother not care, not know where her little one is? You know where Lindsey is every minute of the day and night even if you're not physically with her. I don't get it. I don't think I want to."

"She belongs to someone Sara, we'll find her."

"What did you find?" Sara asked plaintively.

Catherine took a breath, her hand still close to Sara's, neither moving toward or away from it.

"You were right about Kingsley using the dog to hunt Stirling." Catherine started. Her mind flashed to scene.

Catherine Willows accompanied by Brass, Olsen and Mirer moved forward to the place Kingsley called home. Mirer would go around back to ensure that if the former football star was indeed home he would not try to flee the scene.

The place itself was a shabby apartment building whose beige-painted hallways smelled vaguely of uncleaned carpets and somebody cooking spaghetti. The years had not been kind. At this hour of the evening one of every one of those brown doors stood wide open; somewhere a baby screamed on, uncomforted. That in of itself irked Catherine to no end.

They found the door to Kingsley apartment but on hearing no answer to the knocks, Brass had Olsen break the door down, each entering with guns pulled "LVPD! Mr. Kingsley!" Brass boomed out, but there was no answer, not that the police had expected one.

Olsen moved past Brass so that they might secure the scene before allowing Catherine to enter. Once they were satisfied it was safe enough the blonde CSI moved in, her nose wrinkling as she did. The placed smelled faintly of old cooking grease, dog piss and ancient coffee, of mildew and spilled stale beer. She would move from room to room taking cursory snap shots of everything at least twice and from multiple angles.

The walls were a water- and grease-streaked cream or yellow. The carpet in the living room was as least as ancient and worn as those in the entry hall. The linoleum in the kitchen was one of those aged patterns of roses and ferns designed to look like carpet and the original colors could only be guessed at, particularly in the dim light.

In the living room were two seat-sprung leather chairs, a lamp between them with a forty-watt bulb. On the adjacent wall was an out of place massive plasma screen large screen television set complete with surround sound and sub-woofers. The entertainment center had a DVD / VHS player, and three top game counsels that the boys at the lab would be drooling over. Kingsley seemed to have raided a Blockbuster video store from the extensiveness of his video library. The man must have had every new release out there. There was some major cash involved.

Catherine's moved from room to room, slower this time taking everything in. In the kitchen was a large bowl of water, with bits of dust and fur floating in it was well as drowned fly. Even waterlogged, the fly was evidence and was collected. The food bowl had dried chunks of canned food, as well as dry kibble she bagged the whole thing for evidence as well as taking samples of the water for tox.

The hall closet revealed several pairs of sneakers, boots and a pair of cleats. They were bagged and tagged for evidence as was the, of all things, cattle prod Catherine had discovered. Perhaps the dog was given more of an incentive to attack then booze and drugs. A few jolts from the cattle prod would definitely spark a volatile response in an already aggressive breed of dog.

The table with the forty watt lamp was covered with Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Penthouse and Barely-Legal to name but a few porn publications. Catherine didn't need the ALS or Luminol to tell her what the stains on the leather were. Shaking her head she would take samples of the semen stains following procedure by the book. The table not only contained the periodicals but a hidden drawer. Inside Catherine discovered nearly a kilo of white powder, a mirror and razor blade as well as a dozen or so shortened straws. They were all recovered for evidence after photos were taken. Along side the bag of blow, the blonde found yet another bag this just as familiar as the coke. A bag of Dunbar Tobacco.

"Looks like we have our man." Brass said his hang dog expression lighting in the prospect of bringing the case to a close. Having formerly supervised CSI a full year ago, the old detective knew solid evidence when he saw it. "Yeah, Sara's on to something. Kingsley trained his dog to hunt the Dunbar tobacco and five will get you ten the cattle prod and coke were training tools. Tank smells burning Dunbar get hit with electricity and he's going to turn on whatever smells like that pipe tobacco. The coke had him so juiced he doesn't recognize its his owner hurting him, only the smell."

"Son of a bitch." Brass grumbled.

"Literally." Catherine smirked. "We got him, now we just have to catch him."

"I've had an APB out on the jock's sorry ass for three days, Catherine. He might have skipped town."

"Not without his dog." Catherine shook her head, "Or this much blow." she held up the brown paper sack that contained several thousands of dollars work of cocaine. "No he's hiding, and I'm almost wiling to bet my paycheck Coach knows exactly where Kingsley is."

Standing up, and feeling her joints ache from too long of kneeling Catherine felt the weight of the shift upon her shoulders and it wasn't even half over yet. Of course she was worried over Sara. She was an innocent in all of this and she had been nearly killed, and somewhere somehow another innocent had gotten in the way. A girl not much older then Lindsey had her life stolen from her all out of some arsehole's need for revenge.

The bedroom was in disarray, the bed unmade, clothing clean or dirty scattered across the floor in heaps that threatened to come alive. The smell of sweat, old sex and rancid liquor stung the nostrils enough to make the eyes water. Once more Catherine set about collecting samples, she had discovered several unique hair fibers on the bed, the sheets were bagged as well.

Inside the closet Catherine found something that looked a bit out of place in a football player's home, despite the team jersey the teddy bear wore it simply didn't fit the rest of the decor. "That son of a bitch." her mind already racing placing the bear in the custody of little Janey Doe.

"Could have been a gift from one of the cheerleaders, it does have Kingsley's number on it." Brass offered as he peered over the blonde's shoulder.

"My daughter has the whole collection, they have a bear for each sport on campus."

Catherine turned to look at the hang dog expression on the detective who shrugged with a nearly amused expression.

"What can I say I live for the days when my little girl was in pigtails, collecting teddy bears and skipping rope."

At that Catherine smiled, thinking of her own little pigtailed girl who skipped rope and collected stuffed animals. "I hope you're right, Brass. Because I don't want to be right on this one." her blue eyes gave the bear a dubious look as if to willing it to talk and tell her to whom it belonged. Tracing epithelials from the plush material would tell her soon enough who owned the bear. If it was a little girl, Catherine was willing to bet, there would be more than skin cells on the fur as all children suffered nightmares and more often than not tears and sweat leaked on to a beloved stuffy.

"I need to get back to Sara." Catherine said before correcting herself, "The lab... I have to get this stuff back to Sara... at the lab." She couldn't believe she slipped. Slipped? It wasn't a slip why would it be a slip? 'Because you do want to get back to Sara, not the lab.' her inner voice accused her.

Catherine finished her recounting Kingsley's place, it hadn't dawned on either of them that Catherine during the whole time she had been telling Sara what had happened that she had taken Sara' hand into her own and was tracing the fine lines with the pad of her own thumb. It felt too good to stop doing what she was doing. Sara was enjoying the touch more than she wanted to admit, it wasn't the painkillers now that was making her head swim. Shifting in her seat a little on the pretense it was her ribs going stiff again rather than admit to the shiver going down to her groin. She didn't want Catherine to stop the gentle touching, it was one of the most sensual things she had ever had done to her and all the blonde was doing was tracing the lines of fine bones on the back of her hand.

"I 'll be back in a moment, I need to get something to drink." Catherine's voice was almost a purr. "You need anything?" her blue eyes were dilated, showing she too was struck by the sensuality.

Sara meekly nodded, "A soda will be fine, thanks."

"Back in a flash." Not even thinking Catherine pressed her lips to Sara's in a quick kiss. So quick so soft like one those just because kisses happily together lovers give one another for no particular reason at all.

Catherine was at the threshold of the break room door before she realized she had just kissed Sara Sidle!

Sara was still sitting at the computer, her dark eyes starring she had just been kissed. On the mouth. By Catherine Willows, This was no mistaken motherly compassion. This was a deliberate lover's kiss. No mistake about it. It was so quick and so filled with sensuality and passion and at the same time, a kiss that only secure lovers give one another. It wasn't even a new lovers' 'I cant keep my hands off you,' kiss, this was an established familiar kiss of two people deeply in love.

Catherine felt her feet betray her and turn around. Lift foot, put foot down. Lift foot, put foot down. Lift foot, put foot down. 'No..no..no my body is taking me back to Sara? No!' Lift foot, put foot down. 'She'll kill me!' Lift foot, put foot down. Lift foot, put foot down. 'I kissed her. I kissed her! I wanted to kiss her... those lips just beg to be kissed, I..... I.....' Lift foot, put foot down.


'Shit, there she is out in the hall. Those gorgeous deep melt in your soul chocolate eyes looking at me. Run Willows, just run!' "Sara...I...." 'Not running? Why am I not running?' Lift foot, put foot down. Lift foot, put foot down. 'Now I am standing next to her.....oh ...crap crap crap...'

Catherine didn't protest as the younger woman pulled her into her own office. Lindsey was still fast asleep on the sofa, snoring little kitten snores.

There was no malice in the deep doe eyes of Sara, no anger in the face at all. Catherine only saw wonder, and fear and yes...yes there it was adoration.

They stood nearly nose-to-nose, and out of some reflexive action their foreheads pressed together, their eyes watching the other's lips as they spoke.

"So..." Both said. Both would smile.

"I didn't expect to do that." Catherine whispered.

"I gathered." Sara was still smiling, the cuteness of her gapped tooth grin appreciated up close and personal by Catherine. "I didn't expect to want more." Sara admitted.

When they spoke next it was as if one person was speaking, not two people discussing things. Catherine only knew no one had ever been able to follow her train of thought so precisely.

She had started to speak, "It felt..."

Sara filled in the gaps, "....natural."



"I don't regret it." Both said, and both would answer in chorus, "neither do I."

Twin smiles.



"What now?" Catherine asked.

"I was hoping you'd know, I don't have a clue." Sara whispered.

"I don't know." Catherine's voice dropped an octave, sending shivers down Sara's spine.

"Boy are we in trouble."

"No boys." Catherine teased if only to see that smile again. She wasn't disappointed. Sara smiled brilliantly, their mouths almost kissing, but not quite. "You said you wanted more?" Catherine hoped she hadn't come off sounding as pathetic as she had sounded in her ears.

"I did....I do....." Sara stuttered.

This time Sara led the kiss. Still tentative, still soft, still ginger but still oh so comfortable, so at peace, there was no awkwardness as their lips embraced each other. Once more it was an epiphany of delight and welcome passion. Their souls had known, had recognized each other long before, the kissing wasn't new but yet it wasn't tiresome. It was like coming home. It just felt right.

Neither woman rushed the kiss, no hunger, no lust, contented blissfully sated passion. The kiss to convey love not heated desire. Pureness and adoration. Nipping, explorative lips clashed caressing each other in satin softness. From the sofa two blurry blue eyes watched as the would-be lovers embraced and kissed. A soft tiny child's voice whispered to herself "Yes!" a tiny fist pumped back in the accompanying gesture of triumph.

Part 13

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