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 16

Sara came back into the kitchen after retrieving her medication to find another woman standing near Catherine. With the same blonde hair and blue eyes this woman could only be Nancy. Sara studied the woman for a moment longer and saw that Nancy had the same high cheekbones and elfin jaw line as Catherine and stood a few inches taller.

Catherine, upon seeing her sister's momentary distraction, looked up from her coffee to see her Sara standing at the threshold almost uncertain if she should intrude upon this sisters' moment. The blonde CSI was also quick to note Nancy's almost defensive posture. It was time for damage control. There had been a few times Catherine had complained about Sara's presence at CSI HQ and she knew that Nancy would have an almost negative view on anyone who had gained Catherine's contempt. Ever since she had left Boozeman Montana when she was sixteen Catherine had been a very willful and dominating person and Nancy, much to the chagrin of their father, idolized her sister. Why else had she moved to Nevada but to be closer to her 'big Sis?' Hell even their mother had moved to Nevada but both sisters knew that had to do more with Sam Braun than any other reason.

Catherine was confident even now, she placed a comforting hand upon Sara's arm gently guiding the younger woman into the kitchen proper, "You want some coffee?" was the first question out of her mouth.

"You know it. You have anything better than that swill we drink at work?" Sara asked. Of course the only time the coffee was actually good was when Greg had either brought Sara some of his own brew or he had left it unguarded in the pot.

"Work? So you must be Sara Sidle." Nancy commented in a tone reminiscent of dry - ice.

'Must be a family trait.' Sara joked within her mind. "Yeah, and I take it you're Nancy."

"Sorry I should have made introductions first. Sar..." Catherine deliberately used the new nickname. "This is Nancy, my big little sister." Catherine rubbed Sara's back again deliberately as to defuse the inner mercury in her sister. Ever since they were little girls anyone Catherine hated or didn't like Nancy didn't like either just on principle. The soft show of affection was a buffer.

Nancy was about to blurt out that she had heard much of Sara from Catherine but decided the better of it, of course Sara and Catherine would assume she was referring to all the hostility that previously wrapped them in a shroud of discontent. Catherine was touching Sara in a manner only a best friend or lover would use. Catherine wasn't the only one in the family that could piece puzzles together, perhaps the spats Nancy had heard so much about was do to the fundamentals of bickering best friends or sexual tensions... two years of tension though...

"I'm sorry to hear what happened to you on the case. Catherine can't tell me a lot of what happens at work but she said you were injured and she was worried about you."

This made Sara smile a little, "Falling out of trees and being nearly doggie chow not on my list of things I want to experience again."

"That and spider wrangling." Catherine chorused. "Sara rescued Lind's rubber ball from Grissom's tarantula."

"Oh you put your hand in a tarantula cage?" Nancy was aghast. Of course having arachnophobia she wasn't too keen on spiders of any kind, it was the one thing she had in common with Eddie. Spiders were just plain nasty, gross monsters with eight legs.

"Yeah it was a flesh eater too!" Lindsey yelped as she came into the kitchen followed by her cousin Jeremy and Janet. "Sara is so very brave!" Lindsey beamed causing Sara to blush. "She's my best friend. She even told the 'hell hound' where to go."

"Lindsey where did you hear that!" Catherine barked.

"Uncle Greg. He said 'Sara showed the hell hound who was the real queen of the mountain'."

The other kids giggled at hearing their 'leader' curse. The adults themselves were hard pressed not to laugh. It was difficult when a child used such language in the right context.

"Well don't repeat it, most grown ups don't like hearing kids swear." Sara said diplomatically.

"I think Greg needs to know what is okay to say in front of kids." Catherine answered. "

Nancy saw the little dark headed child who was practically Lindsey's shadow and looked up to Sara, "Catherine didn't say you had a child."

"I don't" Sara frowned not catching on. Then she turned to see the gapped toothed grin of little Janet who was amazed someone other than Lara Croft could beat 'hell hounds' and giant spiders and as good friends with real pirates. Sara had no idea she had another child with the case of hero worship on her hands. 'God it's me at six!' she stared at the miniature version of herself. 'She really could be mine...'

"My bad, sorry its just... well I'm taking off before I dig myself to China." The adults laughed the kids looked at one another not quite getting the joke. "Jer, give Mommy a hug and have fun with the Pirates."

Catherine turned to Sara and again thought, just like Nancy, that little Janet truly could have been Sara's daughter but she could not have known that today that mistake would be made again.

By the time the three children and accompanying adults left the house a black Corvette was parked just opposite the building. The blonde driver had to pretend to be looking at bills as not to attract notice of the Willows woman as she frowned at seeing the black sports car.

The Blonde Driver couldn't tell what was being exchanged between the ladies but Sara followed the head gesture of Willows. A few more words and Willows would shrug. 'So Sidle has a little spawn...'

It was nearing one in the afternoon by the time the gang crawled out Catherine's SUV in the parking lot of Treasure Island. The large Hotel and Casino was carried the motif adventure and piracy. The kids were a bundle of energy and wanting to run headlong into the hotel. They were caught short by two sets of hands upon their shoulders.

"Hands!" Catherine ordered. Lindsey grabbed her mother's hand and Sara's allowing Jeremy to clasp onto Catherine's free left hand and Janet' Sara's right.

Sara winked at the lost child and smiled "You're going to have a good time I promise you. Stick close to me and Catherine okay?" She squeezed the child's and felt it squeezed back. "We don't want to lose you in this crowd, you're too special." Sara had a sinking feeling when the girl had a puzzled _expression at the last of her words, realising that little Janet rarely was given a compliment or made to feel she was anything but a burden to her mother. It was something all too familiar for Sara. No child should be made to feel they were a mistake and unwanted. Better they be aborted before they were born than made to feel their mother terminated love while alive and make a child wish they were never born.

At least today Sara thought, despite the fact it was Lindsey's birthday, she might be able make it special for Janet for a few hours. She was, so she thought, never one for kids. Children on the other hand thought differently.

"Don't worry Miss Sara, I'll stick really close."

The crowd waiting to be allowed in entrance into the Pirates Cave where the theatrical dinner performance was being held ambled about almost aimlessly. Janet a bit nervous drew closer to Sara when she saw a tall blonde man seemingly pushing his way through the crowd making a bee line for what she thought was her guardians for the evening.

Sara chuckled at the formality, "Just Sara, Janet unless you want me to call you Miss Janet."

This seemed hilarious to both little girls holding her hand as the both guffawed, which earned her a quizzical look from Catherine and the boy, but Sara only shrugged.

Everyone was trying to take in the fullness of detail on the atrium. The motif of a dockside was exacting down to the wooden posts bound by thick hemp rope with a fiberglass pelican perched upon one of the posts. Large barrel with XXX marked on the side were stacked along side other barrels marked gunpowder. Statues of pirates were spread everywhere holding loot, drinking, or caught in a frozen moment of time sword fighting. Nets hung from the ceiling. Around every corner were open-lidded treasure chests and though many a child and adult tried there would be no moving of the glued treasure the chests contained. Everything from gold, to gems, to silver chalices was on display. Lining the walls like some gallery were large fresco style paintings one looking remarkably like Captain Hook and yet another like Captain Morgan from a certain brand of rum. There were paintings of other pirates as well Henry Morgan and Captain Bartholomew, Black Beard and Long John Silver. There were several other pirates painted but those were the ones, the children and adults recognized immediately.

The foyer was also filled with nautical artifacts held in glass cases, sextons, maps, ancient campuses, antique swords daggers and pistols. There was a cannon and a mound of iron cannon balls next to it of course welded together for safety reasons. The Museum part of the front hall offered a wealth of information on Pirate history, the truth about buried treasure, earrings as well as the peg leg and eye patches. Apparently being a sailor was a very dangerous occupation in earlier centuries.

In some of the exhibits Lindsey and her friends looked at made them scrunch their faces. "Ewwww it looks like something in Mister Grissom's office." the youngest Willows commented below was a plate of fish, bread and small white worms that was in fact weevils. Of course once fresh bread and fresh fish had run out, the pirates were left with salted beef, and hard bread called sea biscuits.

"Did they really eat that?" Janet asked.

"I am not eating worms. They wont serve us worms will they Aunty Cath?" Jeremy had a pained look on his face.

"Well only if you run off and not stick with Sara and I." Catherine answered easily. "See they reserve that for naughty little pirates who run amok without their pirate parents permission, or aunties. And that includes running off in the gift shops"

Jeremy couldn't tell if his aunty was serious or not.

"Maritime law." Sara piped up. "Its either that or walk the plank." "I'm not going anywhere." Janet said squeezing Sara hand hard to make her point she was going to be a good little pirate.

"Mommy!" Lindsey was exasperated.

"Whaty?" Catherine smirked.

"You're fooling."

"Actually they did eat the weevils as an extra source of protein when things got truly rough. You can ask Grissom next time you see him." said Sara.

"Yuck!" all three stuck out their tongues.

The kids left the replicated food exhibit to look at the Jolly Rogers, a host of skulls and skeletons in various forms revealed that it wasn't just a skull and cross bones that made up a pirate flag.

"Oh I like the one holding up heart." Lindsey said

"Its bleeding." Jeremy pointed out. "A skeleton holding up a bleeding heart.

"I think he cut it out with his sword." Janet pointed, her hand still firmly clasped in Sara' she wasn't going to chance losing Sara weevils or no weevils.

During the entire wandering of the museum and the atrium where a patron could have their portraits taken by the pirate statues or some of the actors (save for the pirate captains) there was a strange but familiar ditty that had annoying way of getting into your mind and staying there:

Yo ho yo ho yo ho
A pirate's life for me...
We pillage, we plunder
We riffle, we loot
Drink up me hearties yo ho
We plunder, we ravage, we don't give a hoot
Yo ho yo ho yo ho
We extort, we pilfer, we pillage, we sack
Drink up me hearties yo ho
We maraud, we embezzle, we even highjack
Drink up me hearties yo ho
We kindle, we char, we flame,
Drink up me hearties yo ho
We burn up the city we really are a fright
Drink up me hearties yo ho
A pirate's life for me
We be sea-rats, we are beggars, we are no good
Yo ho drink up me hearties yo ho
Ne'er-do-wellers, fliers heart of the party yo ho yo ho
Drink up me hearties yo ho

Just then from the speakers and subwoofers sounded a massive cannon fire causing everyone to jump. Janet eyed the blonde man and he had stopped for a moment in his tracks but the look in his eyes was the same look of contempt her mother gave her, Janet shivered.

"Hey it just the speakers see?" Sara pointed to the walls thinking the girl's reaction of fear was due to the loud blast.

Catherine herself was soothing Jeremy who had all but shaken off his aunty's hand to cover his ears. Lindsey on the other hand thought it was great, in her own excitement she was jumping up and down and clapping. "It's starting! It's starting!" she belted out her own trembling was pure over-stimulation.

The speakers once again boomed forth this time in a clear voice of an ancient voiced male, "Come aboard maties if ye dare and explore the myth of the old seadogs and hear the tales of the scallywags. But be warned once ye aboard our ship landlubbers there be no turning back."

Twin doors massive in girth and height opened as if on their own, the pneumonic power that controlled them carefully concealed. The children of course believed it was magic and were thrilled to be able to go into cavernous chamber beyond.

"No fear of ye of evil curses and the high seas says you," the voice continued. "Properly warned says I. Enter now ye swabs and become a willing captive of the Pirates of the Caribbean!

As the group surged forward they showed their tickets to pirate crewmembers who would direct people this way or that way to their tables. The house lights were on leaving the vast center arena dark. The chamber was constructed like a Grecian amphitheater, complete with stadium seating. The chairs of course were benches alongside long wooden banquet tables. Catherine, Sara and the kids were shown the privileged box, very near the front, directly positioned to be the closest to all the action.

"Its my birthday today," Lindsey proclaimed boldly to her ticket taker.

"It is!" the young woman dressed in a blue and white striped shirt, ragged black britches and thin soled shoes uttered in an amazed voice. "Well girl, have a happy birthday." and out of her pocket she handed Lindsey a large plastic gold medallion and two smaller silver ones to Janet and Jeremy. "Avast mate!" she called out to a lad similarly dressed to her, " We're taking on a birthday girl!"

"Hazaha!" the young man yelped. "How old are ye girl? 72? 97? Surely not a 103!"

Lindsey and the other kids chuckled. "No silly I am eight! Today I turn eight! My mommy's girlfriend got us tickets to see you guys and Lindy! She's a pirate Queen."

"Aw lucky girl me Hearty!" the man said, "and a good birthday to ye as well." Even though the characters must greet at least a hundred patrons for special occasions they made it sound as if it was the first time that day there was any such thing.

"Says ye know Captain Blackbird Lindy! She's nigh uncatchable, no long drop with a short rope for her." the female pirate winked to the parents. "Aye lets see yer tickets there ye lubbers... oh aye the Captain's table! We'll have a cabin boy take you to your table ladies and young sir, 'member this when ya dine take what you can get and give nothin' back, young scallywags."

Lindsey grinned broadly loving the whole atmosphere of pirates. The music in the background continued to play, making the three children sing along with it at the top of their lungs.

Yo ho yo ho, the pirate life for me,
The flag o' skull and bones
A merry hour, a hempen rope,
And hey for Davy Jones!
We pillage, we plunder
We riffle, we loot
Drink up me hearties yo ho
We plunder, we ravage, we don't give a hoot
Yo ho yo ho yo ho!

Just as the music died out the whole of the house was dark

"Dead men tell no tales!" a voice boomed out. Softly the sound of drums sounded, echoed by the soft sounds of winds and the waves hitting against the hull of a ship. Then all at once a spot light shines near center stage.

"Look Sara!" Lindsey cried out, "its Lindy! Oh look she is so cool!" Sara grinned at seeing her friend. Lindy was garbed in classic pirate captain garb, a mockery of the 1700's dandy. A double-breasted red coat fastened around the waist with a broad gold belt. She wore both a dark blood red do-rag and a tri-corner hat with a large white ostrich plume sticking out behind the hat. Her black leather britches came only to the knee or at least it looked as such for she wore knee length cavalier boots. Upon her hips she had a flintlock pistol as well as a cutlass, a dagger and a pouch presumably filled with prop shillings or gold. She stood upon wide railing separating the audience from the pit of the theater before the crowd her fists balled upon her hips in a classic Peter Pan stance.

"Are you ready to set sail ye swabs!" Lindy belted out. The crowd cheered.

"Oh that be terrible! I said are ye ready to set sail?" Lindy asked again. This time the audience roared at the top of their lungs, Lindsey and her friends the loudest amongst them. The three kids sat between Sara and Catherine jumping up and down their excitement clearly visible.

"Now that is better you landlubbers! Let there be wind in our sails! I am Captain Blackbird Lindy! Pirate Queen. And scourge of the Caribbean." That was the cue and lights lifted to the stage below. The arena the size of a football field was made to look like a lagoon complete with scaled down galleons perfect for a water battle. Around the lagoon was a dockside completed with faux front of Caribbean town. Palm trees, thatched roofs of the buildings, barrels, an ancient well, torches burning and nets and coiled ropes completed the setting.

"Belly up to yer tables take a swig of your grog, not for you kiddies you're too young, but we have fine tasty drink'ins for ye. Just ask your serving wench. And be nice to 'em to or I'll make you walk the planks, ya dogs." The crowd laughed.

"There will be plenty of that goin' round." a new voice barked out. A man dressed in a black long coat similar to Lindy's he had a large belt around his waist and he also wore a three-cornered hat. His blue woolen britches were knee length and he wore white stockings and leather buckled shoes. He had large brown eyes and blonde stringy hair pulled back into a braid with a blue bow at the tip of the tip.

"Hello Threepwood."

"That's 'Captain' Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate!"

"If you say so." Lindy said dismissively. "Mighty Pirate." She chuckled, she teasingly back handed the block in the stomach "What say you we greet this motley bunch properly?"

"Wind in your sails, matey, Wind in the sails."

"I'll take that as a yes." Lindy said "Harken ye lot and welcome to the Pirates of the Caribbean! Adventure, food, grog and fun, what else can you fill a night with!"

Lindsey and the kids clapped causing Catherine to look not at her daughter but at the woman that had made it possible. The blonde rose and moved to crouch beside Sara and kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you for this...it's perfect."

Sara beamed. She had completely ignored what was going on as she was caught up in the blueness of Catherine's eyes. "My pleasure. But really it was Lindy who..."

"No Sara, it's you, you made it possible. Lindsey is having a great time as are the others." The kids were clapping and cheering as the bantering between two distinctly different crews of pirates started to get into it. They had given a brief history on the day and life of a pirate, and occasionally slipping into a verse of "Yo Ho."

Their waitress or rather serving wench came by with their orders, the kids meals varied from burgers, fish and chips to chicken strips and silver tankards of root beer Sara had the stuffed Portobelo mushrooms and artichoke hearts in wine sauce. Catherine herself opted for a T-bone steak, with sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers. Each had a salad and a bowl of chowder.

The show went in an argument over how the song was sung because someone forgot about eating the really bad eggs. From there, it went onto the claim of a treasure. The brawl went into sword fights and general battles. With Captain Lindy Blackbird so named because of the giant raven she had as a companion rather than a parrot and Guybrush Threepwood who still insisted he was a mighty pirate. The pirates decided to take the battle to the water. The pirate ships shot blank cannons but the smoke and noise was deafening. Several children and many an adult covered their ears. Guybrush Threepwood the Mighty Pirate decided that the trial was rigged and thus had picked a fight with Captain Lindy Blackbird Pirate Queen.

Swashbuckling and acrobatics ensued, pirates were slicing at one another with their cutlasses pushing each other from the rigging, masts and railings of the decks to land in the great deep pool of water. The sea-battle was overly melodramatic but that was what made the whole thing a wonderful performance. It was staged and carefully choreographed with ex-circus acrobats and stunt people from the entertainment industry. Finally the sword battle on Captain Threepwood's ship came to a draw.

"I call trial by balance and blade. According to the Code of Morgan and Bartholomew you have to comply!" Guybrush bellowed.

"Very well if it's the trial by balance and blade ye want then it's the trial ye get. 'Captain' Guybrush Threepwood"

The tiny woman turned to the audience and belted out in a loud voice the explanation of what the trial was. "The trial of balance and blade was set up so the competitors would stand upon a large platform of wood which was held aloft four feet on an axle or fulcrum that would teeter the plank back and forth. The idea of course was to simulate the rocking and shifting of a boat deck. Well if they were on dry land. If they happened to be on a ship it would take place on the forecastle deck"

"If a competitor fell off they automatically failed the contest. One not only had to either spill first blood, knock the opposition off the platform or disarm them. Sometimes the trial was held to stave off listlessness and have a bit of friendly competition. Sometimes the trial was held because of a dispute was commencing and when your at sea you get bored which is a dangerous thing at sea and this was one of the competitions Pirates came up with. On dry land of course they used the rocking platform. I of course being a Mighty Pirate," Threepwood continued the explanation, "will draw first blood!"

"Aye now get to your positions!" belted out one of Lindy's pirates. The platform they were to mount was near cargo-loading area of the docks; above their heads beams crisscrossed giving structural strength of the hoist.

One of the portly pirates with scraggly white hair, cried out "Ten sterling on Blackbird!"

"Fifteen on Guybrush!" a scrawny pirate with a patch over his eye countered.

"Twenty- seven on Blackbird!" Another cried out.

"You lot!" a tall black haired pirate pointed to where Lindsey's group was sitting. "You scream and cheer for Captain Blackbird! Let her know you're on her side you scallywags! And wave your little Jolly-Rogers every time she makes a hit on yon twit over thar' Now lets hear it!" Catherine, Sara and the kids cheered with the loudest of those on their side, the waved their flags with fanatic support of their "champion."

"BA!" Yelped a portly white hair pirate with a white and blue shirt and stocking cap" Captain Threepwood's side can do better, come on maties! Cheer on the Mighty Pirate!" and the other side cheered.

The Smee-clone of Threepwood's side would banter urging his side to cheer louder and harder than the Gangly's side, until he urged them into a frenzy of cheers. For a few moments it would go back and forth.

"Aye, you got the idea!" Gangly said, "Now lets have it!"

Both combatants leapt on to the platform making it teeter-totter Lindy kicked the legs from under her enemy making him land flat on his ass. But she remained balanced and laughed. "Mighty Pirate, indeed."

"Not fair!" Guybrush wailed. "You cheated."

"Pirate." Lindy shrugged as if it explained everything.

"Never a matter you scallywag. Today, by myself, twelve people I've beaten." Guybrush proclaimed in a voice drunk with pride.

"From the size of your gut, I'd guess they were eaten." Lindy countered as she parried the blow.

"I've got muscles in places you've never even heard of."

"It's too bad none of them are in your arms."

"Give up now, or I'll crush you like a grape." Guybrush dodged in with a thrust of his blade

"I would if it would stop your WHINE-ing." Lindy's voice became sing-song as she emphasized the syllable wine making a pun on the word itself, her own sword parried the blow and came around Guybrush's blade locking the hilts together.

"My ninety-eight-year-old grandmother has bigger arms than you," grunted Threepwood as he tried to use force to push Lindy back.

"Yeah, but we've both got better bladder control than you." Lindy said through her teeth.

Threepwood pushed his advantage. "I'm going to put your arm in a sling."

"Why, are you studying to be a nurse?" Lindy smirked

"My stupefying strength will shatter you into a million pieces." Guybrush nearly had Lindy off the teetering platform if she fell off she would lose the match.

"I'm surprised you can count that high," Captain BlackBird merely stepped aside allowing for the momentum to toppled Guybrush to hard wooden surface. The landing catapulted her onto a high beam over the plate on which she landed with choreographed precision that came with endless hours of practice. The crowd of patrons exploded into a roaring laughter and applause. Even more so when Lindy cut a rope sending down a net load of fish onto the platform so it would catapult Guybrush onto the same beam as she. Of course he was to land with a more clumsy style and had to grope for purchase.

"Hey, look over there!" Guybrush tried distracting the pirate queen as he himself tried to regain his balance.

"Yeah, yeah, I know: It's a three- headed monkey." Lindy almost sounded bored, she lurched with a deft thrust taking Threepwood's hat off with a swipe.

"That was my best hat! Your knuckles I'll grind to a splintery paste!"

"I thought the bean dip had a strange taste." Lindy made a face, and the crowd ate it up. Laughing and clapping as the pirates now danced from beam to beam, trusting and parrying sword blow after sword blow.

"Your arms are no bigger than fleas that I've met." Guybrush grunted as he nearly lost his balance. Lindy almost sounded shocked, "So that's why you're scratching! I'd go see a vet." Again the crowd's laughter rose in volume.

"People consider my fists lethal weapons." Threepwood tried once more to intimidate his opponent. Lindy only waved her free hand in front of her face that was scrunched into a grimace. "Sadly, your breath should be equally reckoned."

"Only once have I met such a coward." Threepwood pushed his advantage and forced Lindy onto a back into a corner.

Her deft agility lent her the grace of a feline as she leapt off beams and onto the railing of her ship far below. "He must have taught you everything he knows."

"You're the ugliest creature I've seen in my life." He almost sounded desperate to gain the upper hand in the insult contest. He followed his prey, now taking wild swipes of his cutlass, cutting nothing but air.

"I'm shocked that you never have gazed at your wife." Lindy easily replied as she feigned to the left and came around to the right and struck a hard blow with her saber. Metal kissed metal in a very theatrical climax.

"My forearms have been mistaken for tree boughs." Guybrush boasted as he now appeared to have the upper hand.

"An over-the-counter defoliant could help."Lindy shot back blocking yet another blow.

"I've out-wrestled octopi with these arms."

"I'm sure that spineless creatures everywhere are humbled by your might..."

"Do I see quivers of agony dance on your lip?" Threepwood sneered.

"It's laugher that's caused by your feathery grip." and with that she disarmed her opponent the sword flung into the air and came back down into the deck plating. Guybrush would not be bested he threw a handful of dirt into Lindy's face causing her to caught and blink from the plume of debris in her face. Once her eyes had cleared she could see Threepwood held a pistol into pirate queen's face.


"Pirate!" Guybrush laughed. "In fact I am a mighty pirate!" Lindy looked at the pistol and turned to the audience. "Okay kids guns are not toys! And never, never point it at someone." Of course the theater would give a general disclaimer. With her sword she hit Guybrush's wrist with the flat of the blade making him drop the gun. She took a small bow and grinned, " and I am the winner!"

"Aye! Captain Blackbird is indeed the winner!" the other pirates cheered. They bashed their tankard of grog together and drank heartedly. Lindsey Janet and Jeremy, unable to contain themselves, cheered hard in a jeering sing-song chant until their little voices cracked. "Our captain won, our captain won!" Little Janet in her exuberance hugged Sara tightly, forgetting that the woman was hurt. That was until Sara gasped loudly, unable to stop the moan of pain.

"I'm so sorry! I am sorry!" Janet yelped flinching waiting to be struck when it didn't come she peeked at the lanky brunette. Sara was still recovering from the squeeze to her ribs she didn't look angry as Cheryl would have been but in great pain. Lindsey, Catherine and Jeremy looked over and to see what the commotion was all about. Janet started shuddering she expected Catherine to strike her just as Cheryl had told her too.

"I'm okay...I just need to catch my breath." Sara said gently.

"I didn't mean to...to...to..." Janet shuddered, so confused as to why no one was hitting her.

"I know you didn't." Sara said now sitting up the wash of pain slowly ebbing away from her.

"It was an accident." Lindsey said. "And besides Sara's super tough!" The two woman looked at each other hidden smirks behind smiling eyes.

"She is at that." Catherine echoed. "Janet you didn't do anything wrong." That broke the girl she leaned on Sara's lap hiding her face crying.

"Why is she crying?" Jeremy asked. "I don't get it."

Sara stoked the little back not knowing what else to do but with the look from Lindsey and Catherine she guessed she was doing the right thing. What the boy didn't get of course was the overwhelming sense of relief a victim of incredible abuse feels when given compassion. It was an aspect of the Stockholm Syndrome. The abused identifies with their captor and understands so little else that tenderness is an alien emotion.

"Janet, its okay," Sara cooed

"Hey Janet buck up 'kay? We can have dessert soon!" Lindsey tried. The girl looked up and smiled snuggling into Sara's protective embrace this time extremely mindful of the ribs. During the commotion neither CSI noticed a blonde man looming behind them, intently watching. He watched as Sidle kissed the dark haired kid's forehead and soon had her giggling. Of course he was so intent on watching Sidle and Willows that he hadn't noticed the booming of cannon fire until he looked up to watch the pirates now milled about the two ships.

Captain Blackbird stood with one boot on a keg and in her hands a scroll.

"Hear ye! Hear ye!"

"What are you doing?' Guybrush barked.

"Calling this motley crew to order."

"You make it sound like Judge Judy is lurking around." At this the crowd giggled.

"If she is, it all stays in the port of Vegas." Lindy retorted. The crowd roared in laughter.

"Alright fine I'll do it the pirate way!" She harrumphed. "Hey you Scallywags we got some important bits of information, it appears we have some birthdays and special days." Lindy went on to list a few names people whose birthday is was, whose anniversary it was. "And of course, there is a wee little pirate in the audience Lindsey Willows is all of eight years old, Happy Birthday Linds!"

Lindy took a rope from the rigging of Threepwood's ship and swung onto the dock she then ran up to Lindsey's section and from her own head Lindy removed her hat and plunked it upon the girl's head.

"Oh WOW!" Lindsey yelled clapping her hands and giving the older Linds a massive bearhug. "Thank you this is so cool! I can keep the hat?"

"Ya sure you'bet'cha." Lindy winked. "Oh and here for your mates 'Captain' Willows." Lindy pulled out two gold doubloons from her pocket, and handed them to Janet and Jeremy. They were mocks of Spanish gold, not the souvenir coins with the pirate logo on it they were given earlier. The two children poured their thank yous to animated Pirate Queen. To Catherine Lindy gave a plastic card that carried the logo of the Pirates of the Caribbean, "This will give you employee discount if you want to go to the gift store, if not I'll pick it up from Sar later." A wink and Lindy went back to the stage. While she was gifting Lindsey with the hat the other pirates were milling about the crowd first giving metal coins to those who were celebrating something special, to others they threw plastic gold coins and jewels.

Three hours and the theater was at an end. Cannon fired and another round of the Yo Ho theme song was belted out by all the pirates, Guybrush Threepwood Mighty Pirate near the end shouted out "and eating really bad eggs!"

Lindy grinned " Buck up me hearties yo ho!" And the house went dark.

Part 17

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