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 14

Sara felt the weight of the accident; the night and the new turn in the relationship with Catherine descend upon her. Her ribs let her know just how much they didn't appreciate all her efforts to solve her case, and they were letting her know in a rather large and painful manner.

Because she had been driven from the Hospital to CSI HQ, she had no way to get home unless she asked someone from the nightshift. Of course she could ask Grissom, but she didn't want to hear the 'I told you so' lecture. The guys were pulling overtime and not around, there was Greg

of course, but she didn't want to ask him because he would be hovering over her waiting for a chance to coddle her. And Sara didn't think she could shoo him away before he was all over the place trying to do everything. And then there was Catherine.


A woman who had given her the most intimate, the most pleasurable, the most powerful kiss she had ever experienced. Catherine who had crept into her heart a long time ago, who made her feel real. Catherine who had the power to crush her into the smallest speck of life all for a few words. Catherine who made her feel wanted, Catherine who made her feel like a shadow of life. Catherine who made her feel: dark and light, but she was made to feel something, anything, everything.

"Catherine?" Sara asked as she tapped on the window pane of Catherine's office door.

The blonde turned as she was gathering her sleeping girl into her arms to carry her to the car. As soon as the blue eyes landed upon the statuesque brunette she flashed a soft warm smile of pure welcoming.

"He-ey." Catherine greeted, "You okay?"

"Um...."Sara wanted to say she was fine, that she was just tired. "A little sore," she admitted truthful. "Probably nothing a good dose of sleep couldn't fix."

"I am not surprised, Babe you took a hell of a beating and back to work within twenty-four hours of your hospital stay."

Sara shrugged. "Say...can I ask you a small favor? I... um. Need a ride home."

Catherine grinned. She was now holding Lindsey in her arms and moving for the door. Sara shifted so the blonde could pass her and yet help keep the door open. Catherine took her own opportunity to lean over her daughter's body and placed a kiss upon Sara's inviting lips. "Sar I

already planned on giving you a lift home. You can't drive yourself at the moment." another kiss. "You ready?"

Sara had been drawn in by the kiss and for a brief moment had forgotten that there was anything outside that touch of softness. "Huh?"

Catherine smirked. "I asked if you were ready."

"Ready?" Sara blinked. "Oh!"

"Shh you'll wake Lindsey." Catherine giggled as she shifted her child once more into her arms. For skinny seven year old (well eight tomorrow) Lindsey was becoming heavier as the moments passed.

"Sorry." Sara whispered. "And yeah I have everything." she gingerly lifted her carry-all wincing as she did so for the ache in her ribs was now traveling up her arms and down her legs. She hoped to reach the car soon or the pain would overcome her self-control and she would be

forced to take a seat and wait it out.

Catherine laden down with her precious cargo didn't notice the deliberate slowness as they were traveling to the garage. While she was placing Lindsey into the back seat and securing her in, Sara climbed into the front seat. Or at least she tired to. She took four tries to get in, at last she had to use the frame of the door and the car to hoist herself in, by the time she her ribs were screaming in pain as they had when they were first struck with the tree limbs. Her breath became labored, and her head was swimming with the throbbing hurt.

When Catherine touched her on the back ever so slightly Sara jumped causing yet more pain to lance through her in a white hot flash of agony. She couldn't stop the yelp that escaped her carefully controlled reserves.

"Oh god, Sara I didn't mean to hurt you." Catherine gasped; feeling in the pit of her stomach the awful tang of regret one feels when you accidentally bring harm to a loved one.

"Give me a moment." Sara swallowed hard trying to make the pain go away.

Catherine wanted to rub Sara's back but with all the bruises and lacerations it would only add to the pain. So instead she stroked her would be lover's cheek offering what little comfort she could give.

"I'm okay now." Sara said her voice still a little unsteady.

Catherine knew that to be only half true, Sara was a stubborn and refused to allow anyone to think her weak. The deep slow breathing was drawn in with deliberate care for it must have hurt a bit each time Sara inhaled. Catherine's sympathy when out to the woman who had captured her imagination, even her heart. Leaning over the steering wheel, Catherine placed a kiss upon the cheek of the brunette. "As long as you're sure you're okay," this time the kiss touched Sara's lips.

Sara leaned into the touch of her lips, her hand sliding under her lover's hair to hold the nape of her neck. Kneading the flesh there caused Catherine to catch her own breath. Others had touched her neck but never had anyone had such an immediate reaction. She felt her muscles contract in her center as the desire flashed white hot from her mind to her core. All that with just a touch to her neck!

She couldn't help the moan that bubbled up nor did she really try to. She answered Sara' dominance with her own. Still mindful of the ribs Catherine cupped Sara's face with both hands, and pressed her lips harder, her tongue slipping out seeking entrance into Sara's mouth.

Sara felt herself float into the kiss willingly, automatically she leaned herself into Catherine's dominant demands on her mouth not strategically sound for healing ribs however. She grunted a bit in pain, but still she thrilled to the kiss.

Whispering into her lover's mouth Catherine smiled 'Why do I get the feeling that was not a sound of pleasure?"

"Um...I wanted it to be." Sara grumbled.

"I'll let the evidence speak for me." Catherine teased. "And the evidence says your ribs are killing you."

"Don't listen to them, they just don't want me to have fun." Sara pressed the kiss until she grunted again. "They're only fibbing." She tried once more but Catherine easily pushed Sara back. "Not while you're in pain." To soften the rejection, Catherine once more stroked Sara's cheek without words telling her what they shared wasn't going to be a one-day thing. Sara trusted it more than any verbal promise for Catherine's azure gaze held more truths than any speech. They showed her more love than Sara had felt in a long time.

"Okay." Sara smiled she took the blonde's hand and kissed it before she allowed Catherine to slip from her hold.

Once again not saying a word Catherine pulled out of the garage and onto the boulevard. The lights of the strip and cars faded into background noise as Sidle thought of the past few hours and how she came to fall in love. She hadn't yet told Catherine for she hadn't believed the truth of it herself but if she wanted to be truthful, Sara had to realize that her under the heart crush for Catherine Willows had always been there. Strange it had taken the daughter of a dominatrix to

fully point it out.

Sara's mind drifted back to work, old habits were difficult to break. Janey Doe had a name, Lyeanna Rush and she belonged to someone, Joy Kingsley. Now it was up to the police to find and tell Joy her little girl was dead. The cops were still hunting Maxwell Kinsey and the Coach

was still suspected as an accessory to murder.

Sara must have been more tired than she had thought because it came quite a shock to her to feel Catherine's lips upon her lips. "Wake up, Sleeping Beauty." The Blonde whispered. "We're here."

Sara blinked away the groggy floating state her mind had been lulled into, to see the building she lived in outside Catherine's window. She hadn't even felt the Tahoe jitter as the blonde parallel parked the beast.

"Oh..." was all the brunette could manage. Rubbing her eyes with her hands, gave her an almost child-like facade to which Catherine was grinning at.

"Come on I'll help you up." Unbuckling her seatbelt, Catherine opened her door and moved around to Sara's side of the SUV. She had to wait a moment to allow a pick-up truck to pass its tires squelching on the wet pavement from the light rainfall. The scent of ozone was thick in the air a promise of more rain, Las Vegas' idea of oncoming winter. Sara fortunately had sense enough to unbuckle her seatbelt before Catherine opened the door or the automatic spring reaction would have snapped the lose belt back hard against the young woman's tender rib cage.

"You need help inside?" Catherine asked once she managed to steady Sara.

"No I should be fine. Besides the elevator is working so it's all good." She flashed her cute gapped tooth grin that Catherine was growing to love more and more every time she saw it.

"Okay then." The older CSI stuttered, still not sure it was good idea to allow this treasure so far from her protection when she was still so vulnerable.

But this was Stubborn Sara Sidle in her arms not whimpering Eddie Willows who became a pathetic woos when he was hurt. Of course Sara's bravado wasn't out of some ill attempt at machismo, it was simply Sara had not had the pleasure of having someone close enough to care for her and it was a little disconcerting for the brunette to become accustomed to the idea that she now had someone she could lean on.

"Call if you need anything, Sara." Catherine used her best mother's voice. "Anything okay it won't bother me." She knew only the firm voice would cut through the hesitancies someone as self-reliant as Sara. The firm voice of Catherine gave Sara empowerment over her own reluctancy.

Sara grinned, and pressed her lips to Catherine, confirming her love and thanks to the powerful woman before her. I am so fortunate to have you here." Sara whispered before she headed into her building.

Catherine had waited until she saw Sara slip inside the door and head for the elevators before she drove off. 'I must have stored up some hefty Karma in a previous life to find her.... okay so I am giddy. Lady Heather... I could kiss you.' Catherine smirked. 'But I think I'd prefer my Sara's kisses.' The smirk turned into a puzzled expression '"MY" Sara' I guess I am the Dom.' The smile was very much there as she neared the stoplight to go back onto the Strip to take her home.

Sara watched the SUV take off in the reflective surface of the elevators. She wasn't necessarily waiting for Catherine to drive off before she stepped into the 'vater but her eyes couldn't believe what they had read.

"Out of Order. Of all the dumb luck!" she groaned. She lived on the fifth floor that meant ten flights of stairs with ten steps on each stairwell. That was one hundred steps in all. Her ribs already screamed at the idea she would have to climb them.

Grabbing a hold of the railing, Sara started the mountainous climb. She got to the third step before she was grunting. She bit her lower lip determined not to allow the weakness overcome her. By the twelfth step she was breathing heavily and hunched over. By the fifteenth she was on hands and knees.

Stopping on the steps to gather her breath and her strength, Sara debated on calling Catherine on the cell phone to come help her. There was bravery and then there was stubbornly stupid. Drawing in a breath, Sara winced, realizing how utterly painful it was. Each time she inhaled it hurt so badly she almost curled up into the fetal position, but she didn't dare move because moving hurt. Closing her eyes Sara willed herself to lean against the wall just to relax a moment.

The pain was still very much with her.

Catherine's cell rang. At first she was going to ignore it. She had no desire to go back to the lab and if it was Eddie calling to apologize with some lame excuse why he dumped Lindsey off at the CSI HQ she didn't want to hear it. Her ex-husband had decided that he had bought their daughter all sorts of gifts on a credit card so that somehow let him off the Karmic-hook of bad parenting. 'Still better a bad-father than no father.' Catherine said bitterly. She herself had no true father growing up there was Sam Braun who hung around her mother, and 'it was too late to drive back so he had a sleep over' but her Dad thought Catherine was pretty much a waste of flesh. Sam Braun was a better father than her dad ever was.

Eking out a living as a waitress in Seattle with a would-be Rock-star at age sixteen had forever alienated her from her family. She was never one to live a life as a fifth generation Montana Rancher, and horses be damned even if she could ride them before she could walk. Her father told her never to come home, her mother said 'cash up-front.' Next stop was Las Vegas. Ironically now her younger sister Nancy and her mother lived in Vegas, and they made some sort of semblance of family.

The phone had routed the call to messenger and Catherine thought little more about it. Who ever it was would call back if it was important.

Sara groaned as she heard the robotic voice tell her Catherine was not available. Swallowing back the pain, Sara was determined to try to reach her apartment, she seemed out of options at the moment. And she couldn't very well stay the night on the steps.

Two steps… Nope not going to make it. She sat back down, cursing her body for not healing already. "They make this easier in the cop-shows" she grumbled. "Catherine is going to think me some sort of wimp...."

The phone rang again. This time Catherine made her drifting mind stop from thinking of her past to actually pay attention to the phone and picked it up to see Sara displayed on the screen caller ID. She was frantic when she realized that it had to have been Sara who called first. "God something must be wrong for her to call me up like this...' Catherine had already made up her mind and at the next light she had turned her Tahoe around and headed back to Sara's loft.

"Sara? What's wrong?" Catherine yelped the words serving as her salutation.

'Sorry to bother you.' the brunette's voice was forced and labored. 'But I am kinda stuck.'

"Sara you're scarring me what's wrong."

'I am on the steps and I feel so stupid, but the 'vater is out and I...'

"Oh gods you don't mean to tell me you tried to climb the stairs!"

'Yeah..I thought I could make it.' a hard swallow. 'I overestimated the pain-killer. Not invincible after all.' Sara tried to laugh off her embarrassment but she only managed to cause pain to her side.

"I'm already on my way, Honey hang tight"

Catherine was almost tempted to hit the lights on the Tahoe so she could swiftly return to Sara's apartment complex. But it would cause far too much commotion and Sara certainly didn't want Officer Pandemonium on her doorstep asking her questions. It was only a matter of moments, as Providence proved to be on Willows' side and had all the lights turn green. Catherine made it to the loft in record time. She parked in the exact same spot she had when she had dropped her new lover off and placed the SUV into park.

She got out of the drivers seat and went to the backseat. She would never leave her child alone in the car no matter how short a time she thought she might be away. A car was not a baby-sitter.

"Wake up sweety." Catherine cooed into her child's ear.

"We home?" Lindsey groggily mumbled.

"Not quiet Honey, we have to help Sara. Come on, Little-one up and at'em."

"Aw Mommy can't I stay here?" Lindsey closed her eyes and lay back down

"No, now come on Sweety, it will only be a moment, Sara's hurt and we have to take her home."

"Our home?" the girl was now upright once more.


That seemed to alert the child and she mobilized herself into action, she had secretly wished for her mom and Sara to get together now that they seemed to be, Lindsey was becoming protective of her tall Spider-slayer hero. The girl followed her mother into Sara's apartment building and trailed up the stairs to see the woman in question leaning up against the wall under the hand rail with her eyes closed.

"SARA!" Lindsey belted out and ran for the young woman.

Catherine was hot on her heels. "Sara?" Her voice was inflected with the same fear but a gentler tone.

"Hey." Sara sighed "Thanks....It's really..."

"Nevermind" Catherine smiled knowing that Sara felt awkward at having to call for help because she was stuck on a stairwell. "Come lets get you home." Catherine knelt down and laced her arms under Sara's back and legs, using gravity to help ger lift the taller woman she was surprised to find that Sara weighed less than she thought she would. In fact Catherine would hazard a guess Sara weighed less than she.

Sara grunted in slight pain and gasped in surprise as Catherine lifted her. "You can't carry me all the way up" She was still shocked she was being carried in the arms of woman she had only recently showed her festering love be seen. She felt like some screaming Meme in a B-rated slasher gore feast.

"Not even going to try. I said home, meaning my home." Catherine breathed each word as she took one step at a time. Her back was pressed against the railing to help guide her down so she wouldn't jostle her cargo needlessly. Reaching the lobby, Catherine deposited Sara down so she might walk herself but still use the blonde as crutch. Going ever slower the trio made it back to the car, Lindsey wanting to be helpful had gone ahead and hit the lock button on the key that unlock the doors and open them up at the same time. It was both a security and time saving device the LVPD department had installed in their vehicles.

"You okay Sara?" Lindsey asked, her blue eyes darting back and forth between her mother and Sara.

Sara ruffled the girl's hair and this one time the child didn't mind the strange adult habit of messing up one's hair. "Yeah Kiddo, I will be."

"I am glad you're coming home with us Sara. Mommy takes good care of me when I feel icky. She'll take great care of you Sara." Lindsey smirked thinking of having seen the kiss earlier. "You can sleep in my bed and I can sleep with Mommy. I do sometimes anyway. It's okay really."

"Oh sweety thank you, but I can't ask...." Sara was cut off by Catherine.

"Sara her bed is only a twin but it's a damn sight better than the sofa. And my guest room isn't a guest room, I turned it into my office."

"An office away from the office; watch out you're going to turn into Grissom." Sara joked.

"You already accused me of that." Catherine reminded her counterpart.

"Only now it's becoming more apparent." Sara said. "Only no bugs."

"Bugs are ewww." Lindsey added her contribution to the conversation by sticking out her tongue and making a sour face of distaste causing both women to snicker.

"Seriously Catherine, Lindsey thank you.........it um.. Well thank you." Sara said her voice a little more stoic, and measured. Whether it was because of the pain or the generosity of opening her home up to Sara, Catherine would never be able to tell, nor did it matter.

"I told you, to call me anytime. I want you to get better Sara."

"Me too! Me too! You can come to my birthday party. Well gosh after all its your friend the other Linds who is a Pirate. Its going to be so much fun."

"Lindsey, we both want Sara there." Catherine commented first making sure Sara didn't read into something that wasn't there between the lines, "But she might not be up to it."

"Well...um..... if she's not Mommy then we can do the Pirate thing later and we can have a quite party at home. I just want Sara there." Lindsey said with all sensuality.

Sara felt her face go red hot, she had never dreamed of being so accepted by a child so rapidly. But if she had thought to recall it wasn't the first time a child clung to her or related to her so easily. Sara had never thought herself the Mothering child relation gal, but the kids apparently had other ideas and were not shy in showing the former

Californian how mistaken she was.

"Oh Lindsey that is so sweet. One way or the other, I'll be there okay. I think with some rest I'll manage the Pirate Party."

The girl smiled at once. "Well if you're not, Sara, Mommy will just carry you back to the car and we can go home." She said it so deadpan that the women could not help but snicker softly.

"My hero." Sara didn't think she leaned slightly over and kissed Catherine on the cheek.

In her back seat Lindsey only smiled. Catherine's heart raced for a two fold reason one she receive a wonderful little kiss with a person she was rapidly falling deeper in love with and two, Lindsey had seen the kiss but when she looked in the rearview mirror she saw her girl was smiling widely.

"Hey just doing my job." Catherine smirked back. She touched Sara' cheek softy as she had done before when Sara had been in so much pain. "Making sure you're okay. Besides I don't want Dr. Rothery to get on my case for not looking out for you. For a tiny woman she sure can pack a punch."

"Some one hit you mommy?" Lindsey was defensive all of a sudden thinking that someone might have harmed her mother.

"No," the blonde chuckled. "It's a figure of speech. I meant Sara's Doctor Rothery, who is very small, has a very fiery temperament. No one messes with her. Still if I ever got hurt I'd want her on my side. I'd definitely take you to see her Linds."

"You know she's about as powerful in spirit as Lady Heather." Sara commented almost to herself. "If Doctor Rothery didn't already have a partner, I'd say she and Lady H, would make a good couple."

"Sara Sidle playing cupid now?" Catherine teased. The light banter at least was keeping Sidle from thinking of the ache in her ribs and so Catherine had no qualms about continuing the mindless prattle.

"Not hardly. Though I kinda got the feeling someone else played the part." She winked at the blonde. "Not that I mind, in fact I think a thank you gift might be in store."

"Addressed to who though?" Catherine cocked her head. "Lady H or Zoe?"

"How about both?" Sara suggested.

The conversation became a drone of "tall-Talk" which bored Lindsey to tears. She only cared her mom and Sara were kinda together. She looked out the window watching the ever familiar lights of the Strip go by. She watched the reflection of a black Corvette in the tinted windows of the SUV weave in and out of traffic behind them. It had been following them since they had left Sara's house the second time.

The girl didn't think anything of it because there were always hot rods in Vegas. Even her Daddy drove one. She continued to watch the car even as they pulled in to the street where she lived and into the drive-way. Only then did the black car speed away. Lindsey wanted to see who was driving the car but she could only see that it was a blonde man, besides there were far more important things to think about like Sara spending the night. The black car and the blonde driver were soon forgotten.

Part 15

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