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 15

Sara shifted in the twin bed trying to get comfortable. But she found to her dismay that she could only remain in one position from a little over seven minutes. Turning and adjusting her body only served to shoot red rivulets of pain through her spine and into her ribs.

"You okay?" a soft voice came from the threshold of the Lindsey's door. Sara looked up to see Catherine hovering waiting to come in but not wanting to push her presence upon the younger woman.

"Yeah, just... trying to get comfortable." Sara admitted.

"Sara, Hon maybe you should take your prescription."

"I hate the loopy feeling." That made Catherine move into the bedroom and sit gingerly at the side of the bed, her hand stroking the dark locks of hair away from Sara's eyes. She lent down and kissed Sara's forehead. "And the loopy feeling matters when you're sleeping how?"

Sara chuckled. "I guess when you put it that way not very much." the brunette's hand clasped over Catherine's unwilling to let go so soon.

She loved the comfortable place the blonde placed her in. It scared her to death at the same time. Never before had she been so utterly relaxed and so quickly with a potential lover. Had she truly given her heart to Catherine? Why did it feel so utterly natural, so utterly right?

What Sara was feeling now became an unpleasant reminder of how solitary her life sometimes was. How could she feel such love for Catherine?

Everything they would share, their thoughts, their feelings, their desires – excited and enthralled Sara more than she thought possible. Every day as she got to know the older woman that little bit more, her mind, her thoughts, her soul, Sara began realizing that she loved Catherine a little bit more. And it terrified her.

For Catherine's part, she couldn't stop thinking about Sara. About holding her in her arms or about the weight of Sara in her arms, her slender strong body against her smaller softer one. About Sara using Catherine's skin as a canvas for her touch, knowing what it would do to her. She couldn't stop thinking about Sara's mouth on her own, playing with her lips, about fantasizing of Sara teasing her breasts, kissing her in those places that were meant only for Sara and Sara alone. No one had ever made Catherine feel like Sara did. No one ever would.

Joy filled Catherine's heart when she thought of Sara and she found her soul was quiet and at ease. So quickly and so profoundly it all made sense. A thousand kisses were not enough to show Sara what Catherine felt, they would be a down payment only on the true value of Sara's heart. Catherine had fallen for this lanky young CSI and she felt herself willingly going for the whirlwind, willingly falling into the hurricane of joyful emotions erupting within her. "I'll get you some water."

"Um... Cath can I have milk? I don't know why really but I always use milk to take meds." Catherine leaned in and kissed Sara's lips. "Sure," her hand reached and stoked the cheek of her lover enjoying the softness of the pale flesh. "You need a heating pad? It might help."

Sara thought for a moment and sheepishly nodded, actually it sounded like a great idea. "You know you're cute when you're shy." Catherine teased, kissing Sara's nose. "Be back in a short." The blonde rose and drifted quickly out of her daughter's bedroom so she could quickly tend to her girlfriend's needs. It was half way down the steps to the kitchen that Catherine stopped. "Girlfriend?" A sly smile spread on her face. "Why not? ... She already has my heart. God I have it bad." She was so giddy the blonde was almost skipping into the kitchen as she collected Sara's milk.

Sara had almost slipped back into sleep by the time Catherine returned to her side. Her eyes opened at the feel a motherly feathering of her hair and a soft butterfly kiss on her cheek. Her eyes blinked back the sleep watching mutely as Catherine set down the glass of milk already slick with condensation so that she could open the bottle of painkillers.

"Here." Catherine whispered handing two capsules for Sara to take before she held the lip of the glass to her mouth. Swallowing back the pills took a bit more effort than Sara was ready for; she couldn't believe just how tender her ribs in fact her entire torso felt like someone had taken a meat tenderizer to it.

"Thanks." Sara managed before laying back down. Sighing heavily she found herself smiling at the care lavished upon her by this remarkable woman.

"How'd you know I wasn't sleeping well?"

"I didn't. I just wanted to make sure you're okay." Catherine admitted. "Typically I get up and check on Lindsey but she's all starfish-mode in my bed, even stole my pillow. But I still needed to make sure you're fine. Sorry, it's the mother in me." Catherine of course wasn't at all sorry, and it was revealed through her impish grin.

The grin that Sara found absolutely adorable. Catherine leaned down and kissed Sara's delicate lips tasting remnants of milk on her breath. "I hope you can sleep now." The blonde said softly. She soothed back the strands of dark hair before her hand cupped the angular jaw line.

Sara nodded she was stuck dumb at the sheer pleasure rippling through her. Not something as pedestrian was sexual pleasure but the contented pleasure one feels simply being in the company of your partner. Once more it almost frightened her how easily she was falling for Catherine how quickly, how much she longed to feel the slightly small woman against her in her arms once more.

She read the same desire in the blue orbs that looked at her; Catherine was enthralled too and nearly as skittish at what they were sharing. "I think I can." Sara answered at long last having found her voice. "Thank you Catherine, I mean not just for the milk and pills but…for not making a big thing out of having to collect my sorry ass from the steps...opening your home to me."

"Hey it was nothing Sara, you've done the same. And besides... I kinda liked big tough Sara Sidle having to lean on me even for a moment. And no you don't have to worry, no one at the office will know I had to carry you down." Catherine stroked the hair once more. The gesture was quickly becoming a touch of affection. "Sara you fell out of a tree, beaten up by limbs on the way down into a thicket of thorns and had a 190 pound man fall on you, its okay to feel pain. What's not okay is for you to be IN pain when you don't have to be. And I don't mind having you here Sara, you're welcome here. So just relax and try to get some sleep."

Unknown to the ladies in the Willows home a black Corvette sat parked on the other side of the street watching the door. It had done so since the Tahoe had parked in the drive. The blonde driver had seen what would have been a hall light blink on and remain on, and presumably a kitchen light that was on only for a moment. The driver continued to watch the house even as the hall light turned off and the house became quiet once more.

Blonde Driver had studied the actions of the two women ever since they had vacated the campus of UNLV. When he had first spotted them he didn't know what to make of it. They were investigating the death the child and he was understandably intrigued. How could he not be? The brunette chick...Sara Sidle had definitely made an impact upon him even from a distance. The blonde chick was a class-A bitch, a want-to-be-dyke with power issues. A woman like that needed to be taught a lesson about her place in life. But the brunette...now she grabbed his attention.

She was the type who didn't look outside her box because she was focused on work. Some girls were like that, and they were always the best fucks in school because they were such bookworms. They didn't think they were very pretty, or that anyone would look at them twice and when they did they were so thankful for the attention that they eager to feel physical attention. Easy lays. In his experience it was the bookworm, workaholic bitches that made the best fucks and they were already subdued. They were said to be shy, quiet types, and it didn't take much to conquer them and make them comply. He waited only half an hour more before he turned the ignition on his car and pulled out of the parallel parking and drove slowly away as not to draw attention.

Sara flickered her eyes open to a soft scuffling noise coming to the left of her. At first she thought it an element of her dream of falling though a hundred tree limbs. But then disorientation settled in and Sara knew felt a wave unsteadied whirls gambol through her. The unsettledness eased when the young woman recalled where she was: Catherine's home.

She opened her dark, beautiful eyes to the sight of Lindsey trying her absolute hardest not to make a sound but in that attempts she was making more noise. Each time she made a sound the girl winced. She looked over her shoulder hoping she had not caused Sara to wake and was disheartened to see that yes in fact Sara was awake. "I'm so sorry, Sara." She uttered. "Mommy said not to wake you and I tried so hard not to make a sound..." she was near tears, Sara took pity on the girl and patted the bed beside her.

"Come here Squirt," she smiled. Lindsey rose and shuffled her feet through the carpet and sat up in the bed when Sara reached for her there was a tiny spark of electricity making both yelp in surprise then giggle "Static electricity." Sara snickered. "It happens in fall sometimes when the air is a bit more ionized. You build up a charge by dragging your feet. And when you touched me you grounded yourself allowing the harmless electrical charge to pass through you into me, that's why there was there was a spark. "

"That's CSI stuff?" "Physics actually." Sara corrected. "I actually went to college to gain a degree in theoretical physics."

"If I shuffle my feet on the carpet and touch mommy will she get zapped." 'Count on it." Sara said with a smile. "And your friends. Just don't touch anything metal it will react as a conductor and shock you harder it won't hurt you but it will sting worse and make sure you don't touch anything electrical you can damage it."

The child smiled and thought of a devilish way to shock her mother and her best friend Janet. "Are you feeling better from last night? I was worried when Mommy had to help you down the stairs."

"I am still a little sore but I'll be fine." Sara answered in truth her rib were once again violently reminding her that she had sprained several of them "and don't worry about waking me sweety I was already kinda awake as it was. I just didn't want to get out of the cozy blankets."

"Sometimes I get like that too." Lindsey admitted "Being under the blankets is so nice and sometimes I don't want to get up for school." This caused Sara to chuckle. Imagining a frustrated Catherine trying to get her little girl up and out of bed and ready for school. Classic story. Sara lifted herself out of the bed and found the littlest Willows there to lend a willing cheerful hand.

"I'm okay," Sara once again reassured the girl, "I just need to catch my breath."

"Okay." Lindsey nodded but still didn't move away from the woman who had quickly become a friend. Next to her Mom, Lindsey felt Sara was the bravest person on the face of the Earth, after all the young CSI had braved giant spiders to retrieve her bouncing ball. Not even her father would have done that, he was terrified of spiders even harmless ones like Daddy Long Legs.

"Mommy left some cloths for you Sara, 'something comfortable for your owies'." The girl informed Sara.

"Thanks." The young woman turned and saw that there were a pair of sweat pants and an extra large tee-shirt, which wouldn't be too tight and not too large to be confused for sleepwear. There was even a fresh pair of socks.

"I'll go tell Mommy you're up." Lindsey made her excuses, "I can't wait for the afternoon Sara! We get to go see the Pirates...that is um if ...um…if you are okay..." Lindsey dreaded the thought they might have to cancel because Sara's 'tummy and sides' hurt. But like most soft-hearted children Lindsey was empathetic towards others in pain. "I can't wait either, Squirt. Not to worry, I'll be ready. But what about your Aunty wouldn't you rather she was there?" Sara asked.

"I want you Sara. Besides Mommy said it's your birthday present to me, so you have to come Sara." Lindsey shoved her hands into her pockets. "Jeremy my cousin is coming and so is my other best friend Janet. Aunty Nancy can't come she's a dentist and she has to go into the office, some she got called in 'cos another dentist called in sick."

"Aw okay." Sara nodded understanding. "Maybe next time she can go, the tickets I gave your mom are for the season, it means they're good for about a year."

"Cool!" Lindsey smirked. "Thank you Sara." She wrapped her arms gently around the tall brunette hugging her, "You're the best. I am glad you're here."

"Thanks kiddo."

Sara came down the steps in time to see Catherine opening the front door answering the knock that had sounded, revealing a little girl of a very slight build nearly the same age as Lindsey. "You must be Janet," Catherine smiled as the child stood there painfully shy hugging her backpack to her chest tightly. The girl only nodded. "Come on in, Lindsey just sat down for breakfast, your welcome to join her."

The child didn't go in right away instead she cast a glance at what must be her mother standing behind her. The woman was nearly as gaunt as the child save for a slight pouchy belly that smacked of too much beer. She had stringy mousy black hair and hollow dark eyes, from her years of abusing cocaine, Catherine knew that look all to well. This woman was a user.

"Hi I am Catherine Willows." The blonde held her hand out for Janet's mother to take but she didn't the woman only glanced scornfully at the offered hand as if it would bite her. "Cheryl." The woman said. "Look you if the kid gives you any troubles go a head and give her a licking. A few swats to keep her in line."

"I'm sure that won't be necessary." Catherine commented diplomatically. She was already cataloging the apparent abuses of the girl: As much as she hated Child Services being in her face about Lindsey because of what her arsehole of an ex-husband had done, they did have their uses. "She and Lindsey get on famously."

"Janet can put on airs thinking she's better and smarter than her mother, don't let that little face fool you." Cheryl commented. "You better not give her any fucking shit, none of your stories. You listen to your elders girl or I'll beat your ass until it bleeds you got me!" Janet only nodded. In an action that surprised both Catherine and Sara as well as the wee girl, the woman smacked the child on the back of the head making her lurch forward.

"Hey!" Sara yelped from the stairs. She made a move for the door but her ribs caught her short and she gasped in a pain and stood still for a moment to catch her self before she took a header down the stairs because of her ribs.

"You answer me" Cheryl snarled ignoring Sara.

"Yes Ma'am." Janet said meekly. "I'll be good I promise."

"You better be, I don't even know why I let you stay, you don't deserve it, but you'll be out of my hair, so don't you make any trouble."

"I promise I wont." Janet said nearly wincing. Catherine had had enough. She put a hand on the girl's shoulder and felt her heart wrench as the child flinched. " Sweety go to Lindsey and have some breakfast." She pulled Janet in and stood between her and the scowling woman at the door. "Look you don't need to bully the girl," Catherine said sternly, "In case you don't know I am with the Las Vegas Police Department," Catherine left it at that allowing for Cheryl to work out the threat on her own.

There was a sudden paleness that washed over the gaunt woman and she took a step back apparently worried more over the drugs coursing through her veins rather than her child being taken away. "Good for you." Cheryl said, feeling braver now that she was a few steps back from the door.

"But just so you know that little bitch is a liar and a sneak thief." Cheryl turned leaving the house and an open mouthed staring Catherine and glowering Sara.

"Why are mothers like that allowed to keep their kids and never investigated when the great ones have Child Services breathing down their necks because of the figgin' lies told by a louse of a man?" Sara turned and headed slowly to the kitchen: she wanted to check on the girl.

Lindsey had Janet laughing and the incident at the front door soon forgotten. Both girls were eating Fruit Loops, and Sara decided it had been a long time since she indulged her inner child. "Did you two eat them all or did you leave some?"

"You eat Fruit Loops!" Lindsey was agog. "I though t the only grown up who ate Fruit Loops was Uncle Greg."

"Well I like them on occasion." Sara answered. "Hey there Munchkin," she addressed Janet "mind handing me the box?" The girl hesitantly obliged. "You're Lindsey's best friend Janet right?" The girl nodded. "I'm Sara." she held out her hand to shake the child's hand. Janet thought it was the greatest thing in the world to be greeted by an adult like an adult.

Catherine came into the kitchen to see the tiny brunette girl laughing and giggling with Sara, it was remarkable but the child could have been Sara's daughter, they even shared the same gapped tooth grin which Catherine found extremely adorable. She stepped up to the table and still carrying the smile she addressed the table.

"What's all this? Who started the party without me?" Sara winked, "We decided we were too hungry to wait for you. Right girls?"

"Right" both girls said, though Janet was a bit shyer.

Catherine knelt before the little dark haired child, "I am Catherine, Lindsey's mommy. I am glad you're here and able to spend the night and go to the Pirates of the Caribbean with us at Treasure Island. The only thing you have to do is have fun okay?" The mom in Catherine wanted to reach out to the girl but she was terrified she would scare the girl again. Apparently she knew only the touch of pain and Catherine railed against it. She had made a silent vow one she knew Sara shared with her that they would make it right for the girl. Somehow they would make it right. The image of little Lyeanna Rush's mutilated body on the campus was too new a wound to ignore that yet another child was in danger and this time there was something both women could do before she too ended up on the casualty list of inhumanity. "Thank you for inviting me." Janet said dutifully, I've never been there, are they really pirates?"

"Oh Sure." Lindsey answered, "Sara's friend is one, she said she's one of the Captains her nickname is just like mine. Linds. Only it's short for Lindy not Lindsey. She can do this really neat trick with a coin. She makes it roll over on her and it's so cool, you have to see it."

"Janet you're very welcome." Catherine smiled and squeezed the girl's arm and again the child flinched. Both Sara and Catherine exchanged looks. "Sweety..." Catherine whispered, "no one here will ever hit you, you're safe okay? No one will hurt you."

Janet only nodded.

"Linds why don't you go play until your aunty drops Jeremy off?" Catherine directed. "Don't worry about the dishes this time I'll take care of it." Lindsey grabbed her friend's hand and tootled off. Sara watched them go before she turned her attention back to, "She's in Lindsey's class? She seems really young."

"Six, at least that's what Linds said. Apparently Janet skipped a grade. The kids at school give her a hard time because of her age, she's new and in fact the teacher is a bit protective of her so Linds took Janet under her wing."

Sara smiled at the thought that Lindsey was the girl's bodyguard and confidant. She knew from her own experience it was rough moving to a new place, trying to fit in and having a friendship with the authority figure. Sara had to find her own way into the Hub of CSI and it wasn't an easy task for a group so tight, for a long time Sara felt like the old man or rather odd woman out. '...when ever the sprit moves you and in your case Sara I'd say never...' The words still rang in her ears.

"Hey you okay?" Catherine placed a hand on Sara' arm, the fingers of her other hand delicately traced Sara's jaw "Yeah...Just...um never mind." Sara retreated into herself rather than admit where her mind had taken her. "Sara...." Catherine voice was both soothing and a warning.

"Come on...what?"

"Just it sucks being the new kid...that's all. You raised a great kid Cath you should be proud." "Well she's a lot better at showing charity than I ever was." Catherine admitted. "Janet didn't have to prove or fight for Lindsey's respect," Blue eyes met brown, "I am sorry you had to for mine, Sara. It should never gone down like that..."

"No." Sara agreed. "But its past, and besides if the past led us here...then it makes it all worth clashing heads with you." Catherine leaned in kissing Sara softly upon her lips. "This morning...made me remember it's never okay to hurt someone."

Sara smiled into the kiss, "Unless your Lady Heather." the joke of course was to ease the tension, the possible downward spiral that in Sara's mind would ultimately lead to a fight. Apparently Catherine was already bristling but she couldn't retain the defensiveness when someone was kissing you and smiling. It just doesn't work. The kiss of course was transferred from soft lips to a charming gap-toothed grin and Catherine snickered. "Does that mean we have to pick out a 'safe-word' now?"

"How about safe-word?"

"Safe-word for our safe-word?" Catherine pulled from the kiss her blue eyes sparkling. "Why not? It's a novel idea." Sara was still smiling. "And not easily forgettable."

"True enough." Catherine said. "So 'safe-word' it is." This time when Catherine pulled further back she wasn't on the defensive. "Speaking of pain how are you feeling?"

"You want the truth or something that will make you feel better?"

"That bad?" the blonde softly spoke as she caressed the softness of Sara's cheek loving the velvety texture of unblemished skin. "Take your pills," it was a command yes but gently given. "Cath...."

"Sara, your doc gave them to you for a reason, you don't have to play tough bitch with me, now take the pills. And no loopy defense either. You're not driving to Treasure Island anyway."

"Yes 'Mom'." Sara grumbled heading for the stairs of course that only added to another grumble why everyplace had to have stairs. Her ribs hated her for making them jostle in the climb.

"You're cute when you're flustered." Catherine called after her. "Yeah? Just remember that next time we're butting heads in the labs." Sara shot back with merriment in her voice. In truth Sara was grateful for the prescription it was going to be a very long day.

Part 16

Return to C.S.I. Fiction

Return to Main Page