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 19

Gil Grissom rushed into the interrogation room nearly pushing Brass to the wall. "Want to tell me why 'my' CSI was attacked?"

"Gil you want to take a step back?" The low bass of the detectives voice hovered over the residual panic still clinging in the room. The sad hound dog eyes held more guilt than Grissom could force into the older man.

The boyish face converted into a grimace of malcontent but he let go of his friend and counterpart in homicide on hearing Catherine's voice barely under control and still raw with emotion.

"Max Kingsley attacked Sara just as she walked in the door. He sacked her like a tackling dummy, Gris. Sara, let alone Brass or myself, had no chance to move before he was on her." Catherine's ears still rang with the guttural yelp of pain and fear coming from Sara. "Gris he was in cuffs, and he was still able to bulldoze his way over the table and into..." her voice wavered for a moment but Catherine refused to admit defeat even to her emotions. "He was shot and subdued..."

Catherine didn't say that uniforms were not at his side even as he was receiving treatment at the Palms ER. Grissom locked on to the last bit. At least Sara had retribution. "Dead?"

"No." Brass answered and told him what Willows had not.

So payback only, not retribution.

"Grissom," Catherine said, "I need to be at the hospital. What he did to Sara...."

"I am driving." Came a curt reply.

For a moment Catherine wanted to protest, a tiny insecure part of her mind would become the devils advocate if Sara saw Gill Grissom she would no longer need her Catherine. 'No Sara loves me, cares about me at least... I am sure as a woman can be without actually hearing the words. I know I am in her heart, the one she wants... even if no one else does.' Catherine tried to convince herself and continued to do so the entire drive to the Palms Hospital.

Hank looked at the semi unconscious form lying on the bed before him. Her neck locked into a C-collar, her body strapped down on the gurney her lungs exhaled a raspy breath labored and slow. Her pulse was erratic and thready. It would be easy... so easy... just to...

He carried on looking down at the beaten woman, her chest already darkening with deep bruises, this time tomorrow her entire chest would be black, blue ichor green and a ghastly yellow hues. Her little blonde hussy lover would be repulsed. Of course she wasn't carpet munching considering her injuries at the moment what was a few more weeks?

Sara's eyes blinked open, the pain still numbing her mind, her vision blurry but yet clear enough that she recognized she was in the back of an ambulance. She also recognized the blonde EMT from the first time she had been injured. "You... know you... Pedigrew right?" Sara uttered softly.

"Yeah, I helped you last time."

Sara blinked trying to fight her way from the gray haze of pain. "Where's... Cath–er...ine?"

"She's not coming." Hank lowered his voice whispering, so that Sara alone might hear. His lips now brushing against her earlobe. "She doesn't think it's a good idea to be with you. Considers being in a homosexual relationship would be damaging to her daughter."

Sara opened her eyes trying to blink away the haze of thoughts running in her mind.

"She only felt sorry for you. You're damaged goods Sidle, bad things happen to you, do you think she wants you near her perfection? Everyone knows she's the pretty one."

Sara didn't want to hear anymore. She was rather unremarkable. And that damn gap in her tooth, her flat straight black hair, too large brown eyes, an oval face not the perfect heart shape.... Her voice smoky, too long legs, too skinny body. Now a broken shell of a body with too many scars, too many bruises.

"She doesn't really want you Sidle or your baggage. She said as much. Damaged goods and baggage, do you really expect a confident classy doll to want you? You might as well do them a favor, when you close your eyes don't open them again. I can help you with that." the smile on his face was demonically angelic. He took out a hypodermic watching as Sara's dark eyes became large and fearful.

Grissom barely had the black Tahoe parked before Catherine unbuckled herself and vaulted to the pavement. The long legged ex-stripped sprinted down the parking lot and into the foyer of the hospital's ER. In a matter of seconds she was leaning over the reception desk, her voice commanding and urgent. "CSI Catherine Willows I am here for my partner CSI Sara Sidle. S a r a S i d l e. she was assaulted by a detainee during interrogation. I want to see her now!"

"Ma'am.. Can you slow down?" The nurse said.

"Look you. My partner was brought in from the LVPD now where is she?" Catherine growled slowly losing what tenuous hold she had on her emotions.

"Willows." The voice seemed almost lip-synched from the nurse. Catherine looked puzzled for a moment before she saw Doctor Rothery coming alongside the counter. "Come with me."

"Doctor with all due respect policy..."

"Nurse Daniels I highly recommend you don't dictate policy to me. You have no grasp on the connections team members have in the law or fire departments. We had this discussion before." her doe eyes glowed with passion and fire. "And her CO has every right to be here too." "The Lilliputian physician turned her gaze now to the CSIs. "You two, follow me." she didn't look behind her to see that they complied, to her there was no question she would be obeyed.

"Doc." Catherine had to speed up to keep up with the tiny woman. "Sara...."

Rothery swallowed before she spoke. "She's recovering. She's very lucky. The three previously cracked ribs are now broken and four more are now sprained. She has a concussion and a hairline fracture to her sternum. That is going to be very painful for her, and its going to take some time to heal. She suffered a collapsed lung during transport. She's also in shock She isn't very responsive. I think that seeing you might help her come out of it."

Catherine and Grissom both made a move to enter the ICU room, but Rothery placed her small hand on the man's chest. "You. Not so fast." Brown eyes blazed with authority and passion. Grissom found himself steered away from ICU into a small out of the way nook. The expression in the eyes hadn't changed. "You hold a PhD so I assume you're smart enough to understand the phrase 'light duty in work detail.' I also think you're intelligent enough not to go against a doctors orders, or am I wrong?" The question was rhetorical as Rothery continued her heated chastising. "Light duty! Means light duty! Paper pushing, filing, sit in a chair lab work. Sidle had no cause to be in the field, nor in an interrogation room! Now matters are worse. You're lucky she didn't have a punctured lung Doctor Grissom. You're her supervisor act like it! Oh and by the way no work. Absolutely not, zip, naught, none, no work for a month. If she can't be grounded and listen to reason and stay on medical leave then suspend her for a month WITH pay and make her stay out of your labs and out of the field!"

Grissom knew the woman had every right to be angered. The doctor was deeply concerned over her patient and though Grissom felt attacked he also felt grateful that his beloved CSI had someone such as Doctor Rothery on her side.

"For the record, Sara wasn't in the interrogation room she was delivering a message to Catherine when she was jumped." Gil had all but accused Brass of the same thing of needless jeopardizing Sara's health. "Doctor, I would never intentionally bring harm to any of my CSIs, and I am as protective of them as you are your patients."

This calmed the fiery-tempered physician. The eyes changed from rage to deep concern. "Doctor Grissom. I am deeply concerned over these new injuries. Especially those to the sternum. Though a hairline fracture it will cause her some problems. If she follows medical orders it will not impede her position in the field. Fortunately she isn't police officer or it might as she could, even after healing, be neutralised by a perpetrator. It will be awhile before she's ready to run a marathon."

"You said a month down-time, will she be able to come back to full duty?"

"If and I repeat 'if' she follows them to the letter, light field duty. I don't want her carrying more than five pounds however, those heavier field kits will have to be either handled by a partner or an assistant."

Grissom nodded his understanding. "Thank you for caring for her as you have. This job seems more than a career to you."

"It is." The Lilliputian physician remarked. "I know you're her supervisor and to some extent her friend but right now only her partner and family can see her."

"Partner?" Grissom frowned. "Well she and Miss Willows are not official partners like police officers."

Rothery had learnt to keep a professional distance in her personal life because she had been forced repeatedly to face bigotry in the workforce because she was a lesbian. Somehow, in some eyes, that made her less of a person thus less of a physician as if it had some bearing on her ability to heal. Rothery would never place another in that position if she could help it.

"Regardless the regulations remain the same. You can however look through the glass window to see her, but I can not allow you in for two days. But Miss Sidle might feel better knowing that you're here for her. And any message you wish to convey I'll give it to her."

"Tell her to get better." Grissom said simply. "And I'll see her in two days." that was added with a small smile.

"I can do that. Oh and doctor Grissom, the bullet extracted from Mr. Kingsley is in an evidence bindle, I'll have a nurse retrieve it from my office for you."

"Thank you." Gil was almost embarrassed to have thought he nearly forgot about the fact Catherine had shot the perp. "You work with a lot of people from the LVPD." It was not a question.

"Yes, and I know what's important for a case. Both Miss Sidle and Mr. Kingsley's clothing have also been bindled for evidence. Just stop by the Nurse's station show them your id and tell them I okayed transfer of custody to you."

Catherine tiptoed into the ICU ward to see Sara hooked up to oxygen that would help restore her collapsed lung. She shifted a lock of dark hair back as she had on the sofa last night, her lips as they had before briefly touched the brow.

'She doesn't really want you Sidle or your baggage. She said as much. Damaged goods and baggage, do you really expect a confident classy doll to want you. You might as well do them a favor, when you close your eyes don't open them again. I can help you with that'

"Sara honey, we've got to stop meeting like this. You worry me, babe. You worry me a lot. You're going to give me gray hairs. You and Lindsey both.' She feathered the hair back once more. "You know some might run from this...."

'She only felt sorry for you. You're damaged goods Sidle, bad things happen to you, do you think she wants you near her perfection?'

"I am not going to." Catherine leaned in close, her lips brushing against Sara's ear in much the same way Pedigrew's had earlier only this time the contact wasn't foul, or unwanted. This time the touch didn't make her skin crawl. "I care for you Sara. Even all bruised up you're beautiful."

'Everyone knows she's the pretty one.'

"So smart, so incredibly smart. So beautiful, you're so pretty Sara. And brave, and I enjoy your dry humor. And you have such an adorable smile. I love the gapped tooth smile, it's so cute. Sara, babe, come on open those dark chocolate eyes for me." This time lips touched her cheek.

Grissom watched through the glass, he was exceptionally adept at reading lips what he discovered between his two female CSI's was more than breathtakingly surprising. He was stunned. He had always thought the relationship between Sara and Catherine neutral at best, granted they worked extremely well together, their professionalism always superceding their dislike for one another. Grissom respected them for that. But to see them together like this, as...as...what lovers... was not something he had foreseen. Rothery's comment about partners now became all the clearer. She wasn't talking about partnership between two law enforcement officers she was talking about lovers.

Sara opened up her eyes at first things were a dark blur, her head swam in a haze of fuzzy remembrance and blistering raw pain. "Cath..."

"I'm here sweety, I'm here."

Sara drew in a relaxed breath that ended up anything but relaxed. The sharp dull ache slammed into her chest. The very act of breathing was excruciating. Sara had learned before that breathing through her mouth slowly lessened the pressure against her sternum and ribcage. If breathing was pain, speaking was torture. "You here. Safe. Sleep." Unable to hold open her eyes Sara fell into the blanket of darkness allowing the numb anesthetic laced sleep to take her.

Catherine vowed if only to herself to stay as long as she could. As a forensics scientist she wasn't exactly required to be there during the questioning of the Coach, she simply couldn't contemplate the idea of leaving Sara alone and in such obvious pain. Rothery's nursing staff seemed to mirror themselves from their dynamic diminutive leader. And though they adhered to the regulations fairly tightly they were never unprofessional.

Nurse Daniels harbored no ill feelings for the CSIs she was simply one to follow the regulations of the hospital. With so many panicked friends and family members seeking out their loved ones who had been hurt Daniels had to have a slight edge to her in order to overcome that fear and talk to the more rational side of people. Most of the time her monotone calm voice was enough to bring calm enough to the panicked to get them in a state where she could deliver information as needed. Daniels entered the ICU room of Sara with that same calm demeanor.

"I'm sorry but ICU visiting hours are over, if Miss Sidle is stable enough tomorrow she will be moved to a private room where visiting hours are longer. I am sure you can understand our wish is the same as yours to see her well again."

Catherine could only nod she understood completely, but she was still reluctant to give up the woman she had fallen for. But the nurse was right, the desire to see Sara well again was paramount and therefore took precedence over her own need to stay with her lover. Kissing her forehead once more Catherine reluctantly left Sara, for the night.

"I love you."

Part 20

Return to C.S.I. Fiction

Return to Main Page