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"
ARCHIVE: Only with the permission of the author.

6 Degrees
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 2

"We, can not afford to take myth for face value." Professor Dimitri Stirling of West Los Vagus University neared the end of his lesson for the two hundred series of Archaeology. His words echoed back at him faintly through the moderate lecture hall. A single voice near the middle of the classroom chuckled at some private joke, known only to himself. That particular student received a harsh glare from the professor.

"Archaeology is the hunt for fact, not truth. If it is truth you thirst for Doctor Mitchnier's philosophy's class is directly down the hall." His comment gained a few chuckles from the students intrigued by the day's speech.

Dimitri reached into the pocket of his waist-coat and pulled out a gold pocket watch. He flipped open the lid ignored the tune Banish Misfortune' pipping out of it as he glanced at the hands displaying that is was three minutes to six of the clock. He closed the lid with his thumb and restored the watch to its place.

"It appears time has consumed itself for we are out of it. I suggest you read chapters three through seven in your textbooks of which I know most of you haven't even opened in perpetration for Wednesday's class. Remember in three weeks your essays on the subject of the pursuit sacred artifacts through modern archaeology via myth will be due. They must be at least ten pages to be acceptable for grading. And no late papers will be admissible. Try to remember that this essay will count one-third towards your midterm and your final grades." He gave a warning through silken authority.

Several groans chorused through the classroom. The professor if anyone looked cracked a smile. As if he thrived sadistically on the academic pains of his students.

"I'll be available in my office Wednesday and Friday but not Thursday if anyone has any questions." Dimitri said. "Class dismissed."

Ninety-five pupils collected thick textbooks and three-subject notepads and slowly migrated out of the classroom. He was of average height just two inches over six feet. He had the lean physic of a man known to consume books rather than nutrition. His face angular with high cheek structure in the bones. Dark chocolate deep brown eyes harmonized well with his neatly trimmed black beard that encircled his handsome face. He wore his wavy black hair just past his shoulders up in a ponytail.

He knew all the things about history that history itself had forgotten. He could whip through the Times crossword puzzle in about four minutes. He made you feel a couple of cents short of a dollar if you spoke to him for more than twenty seconds. He had an IQ like a overseas phone number. Dimitri wouldn't know light if he ran into it in a blackout.

Even as he walked into his office his secretary approached him. She was an slightly aged woman with chestnut hair salted with iron gray. She could have easily passed for Dimitri's mother. Mid-fifties yet still fit and heathy. She was a woman who could readily adapt to her employer's odd behavior with scrutiny. He trusted her. She was also his living appointment book and daily planner. With so much knowledge contained in his mind the good doctor could be a bit absentminded. Miss Emily Greeson remedied the problem.

"Sir? Your mail." She stood up from behind her own desk, as handed him a fat stack of envelops strapped together by a thick rubberband. "Your mediaeval literature class papers still need to be graded so does the exams for your classics and renaissance classes." She reminded him.

"Thank you Emily. Have the papers stacked and readied for me to go through."

"Sir they have been stacked for the last three days."

"Oh?" Dimitri brushed a hand through his beared. "Yes. . .yes of course." He mumbled.

Emily skirted around her desk fallowing Dimitri into his inner office.

"Sir?" She approached in a softer tone. " Miss Blackwell came to see you. She said not to forget your date tonight."

"Tonight? We have a date? Did she specify what sort of date we are to be engaged? " Sullenly the good doctor shock his head. "I don't ever remember making one."

"If you did you neglected to tell me." Emily retorted. She almost seemed despondent.

Dimitri rounded his oaken desk though one couldn't tell there was such a thing under the cluttered of papers and mountains books staked on its surface. He pulled out a Dunbar pipe from the middle drawer and a draw string red leather pouch. Holding the pipe between his teeth he opened the pouch to fill the bowel with a hardy smelling tobacco.

"You had better dress stylishly there is no telling where the woman will take you. It is not a faculty function," Emily said watch as her boss lurch into his pockets for his silver lighter she knew was laying atop of the desk. She watched him hunt for it pondering how long it would take him to spot it.

"Strange. I wonder when we made plans? There's not a gallery opening or a recital?" he was still hunting for his lighter.

"Not tonight processor." Emily reached over the mound of ungraded reports and research material for the lighter. "Looking for this?"

Sheepishly the professor smiled. "Thank you." Lighting the bowel he puffed twice before he said. "Perhaps I should call and cancel or reschedule. I am sure whatever it was it wasn't that important or you would have known."

Emily suppressed the urge to cough as she waved her hand in front of her. "I am going to buy you a new flavor. That stuff is retched." She snorted again.

"Hummm?" Dimitri frowned and took the pipe from his mouth with a curious look of befuddlement. He didn't seem to mind the smell or the taste of the Dunbar tobacco. It was what he had always smoked. It had a thick robust flavor and reminded him of his homeland in England..

"You know Professor, I think that is a good idea. At the very least you can decipher what sort of engagement you were supposed to go on."

Dimitri was lighting his pipe again. "Find her number and ring her up for me will you, Emily?"

"Of course." The older woman smiled to herself. She hated to admit it to anyone but Emily Greeson had a mild crush on her employer. And more to the point she was more than a little protective of him, not unlike a surrogate mother. "I'll cancel for you if you want."

"Cancel? Oh yes um, good. Yes cancel. Thank you, Emily." He took a puff.

Several minutes latter, Emily stuck her head back in. "Sir? I couldn't reach Miss Blackwell's office. I've tried her home, she wasn't there either. I left messages at both places."

"Excellent work, Emily. I'll be home if you need to reach me." He shoved a stack of paperwork into his brown leather soft-sided briefcase before turning off the green glass shaded desk lamp. "Emily? Tonight isn't it your card-game night?"

The secretary seemed pleased he recalled her activities when he had such a difficult time remembering his own. "Yes it is every Tuesday."

"I'll walk you to your car. Call me if the weather turns for the worst, I'll come and pick you up. I'll be home all evening."

Emily kept her tongue but she relished the idea of his sheltering offer. Despite the fact it was made from pure platonic motivations. Dimitri's care for Emily was not unlike that of a good son. When her home had been leveled because of a freak tornado three years ago he had offered to help her rebuild, he had also offered space in his own home. She took the latter if only she would become his housekeeper. She had stayed with him ever since.

Emily Greeson had parked with the rest of the faculty of the Liberal Arts and Classics department in the parking lot to the Liberal Arts building. Lights flickered from the street lamps fencing the car park. Only half of the time did the lights work. Administration had promised students, staff and professors alike that they would be up and running within the month. That was two months ago. Administration was never known for its prompt response.

In the last three days reports of violent attacks had generated. The shadows and cold rain brought out the darkness in a soul. Scheming malice lurked behind every broken shadow threatening to take the just and good into its black maw. What was worse the true villainy of the criminal or the imagined?

It was for this reason, Dimitri felt it wise to walk his aid to her Vintage Nash Rambler. He had ever since the lights started faltering, almost as if he had a precognitive vision of the atrocities to come. Miss Greeson was not about to protest her protective escort. The good doctor always waited until she had her car started and was down the street before he turned for either his own car or for his office.

Emily zipped opened her purse plunged her hand to the bottom were she knew somewhere lay her keys. "Sorry," she said, her breath coming out in a plume of cotton-candy vapor. "I know I should have them at the ready. . ." she started but stopped whence she saw Dimitri's attention had waned to freshly cut lawn. What had gained his attention so?

Blood fresh-fallen on the emerald grass: a drop as bright as a clear-cut ruby, red as a single spot of wine on a green lace cuff. More than one drop of blood had been shed. The blood pooled in the puddle on an embankment near the parking lot now trampled and muddy. A child lay motionless yet the evil that had done this had not left her dead.

Emily gasped her hand clapping her mouth. "Saint's preserve us!"

She rushed to the babe's side but Dimitri was already there. Gingerly he rolled the child over. Her face cut and bleeding still puckered in angry purple-green bruises. He shed his coat and wrapped the babe into its offered warmth.

"My heavens who could have done this!?" Emily was in tears. Her hands frantically dug threw her handbag digging for the pocket cellar phone. "I'll get 911."

The streets were brightly lit; blue and gold street lamps, white headlights, the red and green of traffic lights, the buildings with their random patterns of single lit floors partway up their immensely high sides; highest of all red blinking lights marking the very tops of the casinos of the strip—the distant matching blinking lights of airplanes, the cyclops lamps of passing police and news helicopters.

Far from all the light and the distant sound of traffic the wind whistled through shedding trees just now beginning to prepare for the deep slumber of winter. The air refused to give up its chill even as autumn was fast approaching. Dew only now forming under the midnight moon began to crystalize in what threatened to become a blanket of puddles upon the manicure lawn of LVSU.

"Catherine are you going to be okay with this?" Grissom asked as he approached the blonde CSI. She hadn't moved from the victim's body since they arrived in the Tahoe.

"I am a professional Grissom." came a curt answer.

"I can't stay I have suspicious circs at Caesar's Palace. I was requested personally...there were bugs. You'll need someone."

"Give me Sara." Catherine said in a tone that would not be denied.

Gil blinked his hazel eyes, it was very rare Catherine requested the younger woman.


"I'll need her...." she paused, "for the case."

Grissom nodded already speed dialing Sidle's number.

Sara had felt better than she had in several months since she had come to Las Vegas. Granted in several months this was one of the rare times she had not spent her days off at the lab. Her first year in Vegas she spent trying to prover herself. Not only as a competent CSI but as someone worthy to be in Gil Grissom's team.

Everyone assumed she had no life, that work was all she lived for. No one truly knew the power that drove Sara. 'In The Beginning' isn't that were all things start including personal habits, problems and hang-ups? In this case it couldn't be more true. If someone ever became interested enough to write a biography of Sara Ophelia Sidle, they would find a trail of evidence leading to the cause of why she was the way she was as an adult.

Sara Ophelia Sidle the only daughter of ex-hippies running a Bed and Breakfast. The evidence would point that Sara always needed a bigger stage. Everything about her as a child was outsized. Her intelligence, her energy, her curiosity. And unlike her parents, Sara always maintained perfect self-discipline. Growing up, the roles were reversed for Sara and her parents, more so because when her older brother was fourteen he had left home leaving Sara alone. The Sidle's kept telling their daughter to take it easy and she kept coming up with business models for how they could take their B and B public and then franchise the brand. All this before highschool.

As a teen her drive, her penance for her parents lack of work ethics only became stronger. Sara was pretty much all or nothing in high-school, and as talented as she was, it was said grace didn't come with the package. Her peers resented her and she did nothing to ease the resentment. Sara was a perfect example why great athletes make rotten coaches. Things come so easy to them that they can't understand why everyone else doesn't perform to their level.

It was in college when she turned eighteen Sara Sidle for the first time knew happiness. She was in her element. All her extreme dedication in high school paid off. In fact it paid for her to go to Harvard. In Harvard she finally dated. Not because she had some dedication to piety to keep her virginity. Her parents after all believed in free love and marijuana, she simply didn't have the time. Between making sure her parents taxes were paid, they stayed in the black and kept themselves healthy, not to mention alive and her diligent dedication to study she didn't have time.

Dating hadn't actually gone well for her, but she had tried. But people and Sara not good bedfellows. Problems either criminal, physics or materials and element analysis she could figure out and solve. She didn't know how to relate to people. She didn't know how to solve a personal problem. It's a learned skill, one taught at an early age. Sara having to take full responsibility for her parents left little room for inter-personal relationships and social obligations. Its hard to be personable when you have to cover for your parents because they were high from smoking grass all the time. So Sidle did the only thing she left to her, her work and hid in it. She always seemed to be in a hurry, always thought something ought to be done about something, and was at a loss to govern one thing----free time. When she wasn't investigating a crime scene she was researching at home, or in the lab or listing to her police scanner.

Sara pursued her career with tenacious rigor because the one thing she hated was to be labeled with the Sidle legacy of irresponsibility. Even Catherine would admit Sara did more so more than any other of the CSIs both day and night shifts. Lindy had noticed this early on and had asked Sara once 'What are you afraid of if you slow down? You don't want to crash and burn, SOS. It will only lead to some nasty shit you don't want to be apart of and can't escape from. Might be all Zen-but its true.'

Sara recalled perfectly Lindy's answer to her question, it rarely wavered. 'How in the hell would you know? You go and become Buddhist?'

'I'm three days older then you SOS, wisdom comes with age.' Lindy of course had been born September 13, yes in fact it was a Friday. Sara was born in the same hospital three days latter, on the 16th in 1971. And yes Lindy had become a Buddhist. She may play act comedic violence but she was a pacifist through and through, her own penance for her parents rather volatile nature. After all they were hardcore bikers with multiple knife and gunshot scars to prove it.

Sara was feeling extremely cheerful when she logged in for work. She loved the briskness of the early August nights in the desert. Of course the days would be scourgers but the tempter dropped so suddenly at night it was enough to warned heavy jackets and hats. The desert was strange that way: bake in the morning, freeze at night. Even the ground would have frost creeping up upon blades of grass and in some cases even windshields of automobiles, from the rain that had fallen and crystalized in the chill of the night..

Nick, Warrick noticed almost immediacy the near glow Sara had as she strode purposely into the brake room. They looked one another with an assuming smirk. But said nothing as they went back to the magazines they were reading. Well almost said nothing.

"So who is he?" Nick questioned his brown eyes twinkling in mirth.

"Excuse me?"

"You're humming." The Texan's smile grew.

"I wasn't humming." Sara became defensive.

"Yes you were." Nick gibbed. "Sounded kinda like that old song 'Who are you."

Sara's face became still, her lips a thin line of tolerance. "Can't a girl be just happy?"

Warrick wisely kept his lips shut but he was privately laughing inside. Yep that newspaper was certainly very interesting. So was the stats of the baseball scores he had been reading over and over since Sara and Nick started their conversation.

"Sure." Nick shrugged. "So he got a name? That guy you were flirting with over Liquid Man when we repelled down in the desert a few months back?"

"Hank the EMT guy? No." Sara had, had just about enough of the banter and decided to end the play. "No meat, no men I am your woman."

That stunned both men and shocked Nick Stokes into utter silence and Sara flashed a self congratulatory impish grin. "Where's everyone else?" Sara said now changing the subject as she took a Styrofoam cup from its stack near the coffee machine, hoping to be fortunate enough to have had Grego's special brews in the pot. After adding two packets of sugar she stirred took a sip and frowned. Foliger's French Roast, darn-it-all anyway....

"Gris and Cath were just called on a DB at UNLV." Warrick answered. Before he could further give information, Sara's cell rang with a text message for her to meet Catherine at the university by personal request of Willows herself. This stirred Sara's mind into warp-drive. Putting the coffee in the sink half drunk she sprinted out of the brake room heading for the storage area of field kits.

Nick turned to his companion smirking, "Maybe it was something you said."

Warrick simply starred at Stokes. "Still good to know she didn't go out with 'Hank the EMT.' the last word was a sneer.


"A real man wouldn't have minded she had smelled like death that day. He's all wrong for her."

"No meat, no men....so maybe the question you should have asked, 'who is she?' Warrick said.

Catherine was crouched near the lifeless form of a girl no older than Lindsey. Her mind already processing the evidence. "I am going to find who did this to you." She said softly. Her eyes narrowed as she found something that looked like hair in the girls wounded cheek. Taking out a pair of tweezers, she pulled the fibers from the wound and placed it into a bindle. There were more green fibers trapped in the mud on the sweatshirt. It too was placed in a bindle.

"Catherine?" Sara announced herself as she stepped mindfully up to Catherine gaging her steps because of the prospect of disturbing the crime scene. "What do we have? Body dump or primary?"

"Neither actually." Catherine said. "She walked here on her own."

"Walked?" Sara paused looking around her, she noted a the parameter of the area blocked off with the yellow crime scene tape, the despaired couple talking to Brass, several cars, several flickering lights and puddles of muddy water and oil residue from cars. "How does a seven year old get onto a collage campus this late at night?"

"Good question. Brass is interviewing the witnesses who discovered the body. A Doctor Dimitri Stirling and Emily Greeson, they called 911. The child died before the Paramedics arrived. Apparently Professor Stirling attempted CPR but the vic was beyond saving. No ID on the vic yet. Brass has a uniform checking Missing Persons.

"Coroner already pronounced her: eight twenty–eight thirty. The red foam on her lips could because of blood in the lungs. Multiple contusions, lacerations. My guess she died from the beating. We'll know more once Robbins possess the body. I need you to walk the Parameter."

"I'm on it." Sara started to walk away from her partner then studied the blonde for a moment. "Catherine?"


"Lindsey's safe." She would say no more as she began to re-walk the path the child had taken trying to reach a place she thought would be safe.

Catherine spun around her blue gaze resting upon the lithe form of the younger woman. Sara didn't ask if she was okay, didn't ask if she could handle the case. All Sara said was what Catherine needed to hear. That her daughter was safe and sound. This wasn't Lindsey laying into a small pool of blood. Her baby was safe and sound with Nancy.

Catherine had taken photo's of the vic position, blood evidence, taking a note of the lack of splatter. Something did catch the blonde's eye. Mud smear on the girls' face. 'She was face down when she was found.' she said.

911 had been called, during life-saving attempts the paramedics would have to have rolled her over. Either that or the first witness on the scene. After taking several more photo's of the vic and the surrounding ground, Catherine would gesture for the coroner take the tiny mutilated body back to CSI building.

"The rain earlier in the evening makes it hard to process the scene." Sara complained once Catherine fell in step next to her.

"We'll take what we can, process the rest at the lab." Catherine said. "Rain may have compromised our scene but....doesn't mean we wont get significant evidence."

"I am thinking we pull casts from the shoe prints around the vic and scene. We might just get lucky."

Catherine nodded agreeing. In fact she was about to suggest that very thing. "What did you find?"

Using her flashlight as a pointer Sara outlined the path the child had traversed across the parking lot to the grassy knoll. "The blood tail states our vic ended here on the mound after she crossed the parking lot from the east. I found a small hand print on the side panel on a Hummer about four yards from here. Got photos, scrapings."

"Licences number?"

"I got that too," Sara explained. "But it looks like she used the car to support herself."

Both ladies could almost envision the child stumble and to catch herself from falling put her hands on the Hummer. She would have propped herself up before stumbling on. There was no indication that she had ever been in the vesical let alone struggle to get out of it.

"We still need to find the owner of the vehicle if only to rule them out," said Catherine.

"I'll get Brass to run the plates."Came Sara's answer with a nod of the head.

Walking the perimeter previously Sara had, had already laid out the numbered yellow markers and cones. Catherine started snapping photos, collecting what blood samples. The path snaked back along the parking, across a sidewalk and down a street and into a new thatch of grass.

"The grass obscured the trail." Sara announced. "I'll call for scent dogs and some uniforms." Catherine nodded. "Sara the lighting here is better here than the parking lot at Liberal Arts. Still no playgrounds."

"So what is a kid doing out here this late at night?"

"Million dollar question." the blonde muttered. "So brake it down for me." Catherine said, gaining Sara's undivided attention. There were several reasons why blonde had asked the younger woman to be her partner on this case. Some of which she didn't want to get into at the moment. Sara would fold herself into the case and emerge herself into the evidence so completely that she could see herself in the victims place. Yes all the other CSI used the theater of the mind's eyes to lay out a scene but the way Sara saw it gave the brunette an extra edge.

"Okay....the vic is beaten, perhaps as punishment? I flee home. I'm hurt, scared. I'm unable to focus. I leave the park, I see lights, a big building. Safety. Maybe I know a student here, a member of the facility. Thinking its safe. But my injuries take their toll on me. I stumble near the Hummer, catch myself. My body is too weak from the beatings. I fall in the lawn, until...."

"...until Professor Stirling finds her." Catherine finished for Sara. "So where did she come from? The tracks disappear in the medium between the lots. Its late but not late enough for students not to be wandering around."

"You know reports on the scanner said there have been attacks out here. Eickle and his team are on it. Check out the lighting," Their flashlights pointed to the flickering street lamps, its dark here makes for an easy primary."

Catherine nodded sullenly. "Dark, rain, midterms makes a perfect recipe for anxiety attacks. Only this time the attack hit a little girl."

Sara took in a deep breath. "Sometimes I hate this job. I'll get scent dogs and uniforms start a search."

Catherine nodded her consent. "Yeah go a head. I want to question Brass about the good professor." Catherine nodded her head in accord. She watched as Sara made the call and moved to wait for the K-9 units to arrive.

Catherine approached the area where Jim Brass had detained the witnesses. At first glance Catherine could see the protective nature of the tall male as he had his arm touching the woman's shoulder more to give comfort than to indicate possession. As if the arm was for support and nothing more. The woman was shacking, her eyes red from tears of empathy.

'She's never seen a dead body let a lone a child's corpse.' Catherine assessed. 'But he has...his body language is a little off. Old theory Cat..... 'first on the scene, first suspect.' She watched as the Professor lead the older woman powder blue antiquated Nash Rambler. Then he returned to the deceives' side.

Jim had seen the blonde CSI coming an took the liberty to make the introductions. "Professor, this is Catherine Willows form the Crime Lab."

"Crime Lab. Yes." his boots shifted on the ground. "Forensics I understand. As I told Inspector..er...Detective Bronze...."

"Brass." Jim corrected. "My name is Brass not Bronze."

"Apologizes. Similar mettles." The professor shrugged. "I spotted the child first. Miss Greeson did after. She called for the paramedics while I tried to give CPR. I must go, Miss Greeson has had quite a shock you can imagine."

"This will only take a moment." Catherine insisted. "I need to know how you found her."

"Barely alive." came an abrupt answer.

"No I mean the possession of her body."

"It was laying head to the East."

Catherine bit down a frustrated sigh. "Sir, this will go faster if you cooperate."

"But I am cooperating!" He snapped out. "Now if you don't mind, my assistant needs to be taken home."

"Sir we're only interested in the truth we can have a uniformed officer take Miss Greeson home and you can come Down Town," Brass ordered."."


"The truth is an abstraction." Dimitri murmured. "And I do not want to go down town, I do not live in that direction." The professor said in earnest. He blinked at the reddening face of the portly detective. "Did you mean to tell me I am to go up river? I can understand why one's dander is up but you need not threaten me constable."

Catherine rolled her eyes. "Professor, you found the body near death but I need more details how exactly did you find her?"

"Oh... well she was face down in the mire. I rolled her over and covered her with my overcoat. The girl was not garbed for the cooling weather and her feet were unshod. The poor poppet was given the dirty end of the stick by persons unknown."

"Yes I noticed she wasn't wearing shoes." Catherine pointed out. "Professor..."

"Miss Willows, I shall answer your queries straight away on the morrow, tonight I must attend Miss Greeson she's a bit knackered as you can plainly see." A tip of his head the professor moved around to the other side of the car and got into the drivers seat.

Brass and Willows both watched as the blue Rambler moved away. "I'll have him watched." Jim said running a hand through his hair. "His body language tells me he is guilty."

"Yeah I caught that." Catherine said. "You speak to his assistant?"

"Not much." Brass admitted. "Shell shock, wasn't too coherent."

Catherine nodded once more taking it all in. "I want this area left secure for now. I am going back to the lab to see what Sara's found."

As Catherine was talking to the witnesses. Sara waited for the K-9 units to show. It would be about another hour before they showed but it wouldn't take long for the bloodhounds to sniff out the path in the grass the girl had taken. It would lead to a thicket of wild roses and evergreens.

"Pull the dog away." Sara commanded to the bloodhounds handler. She would wait as the officer pulled back before Sara herself came in with a camera and the yellow place cards. What they found were bits of cloth both from the vic and possibly the perp and a doll now covered in blood and mud. Her imagination allowed the scene to play out.

The girl was sitting her playing with a doll, the perp approached her. So why didn't Jane Doe run? And why was she out here playing with a doll? The perp used his fists and..... Sara frowned as she saw a small tree limb laying near the root of the tree. Taking a picture of it and the spray of blood on the trunk she bagged both for possessing.

She had nearly finished her task when a shadow crept over her. Sara's heart slammed heard into her chest bone. Her hand went for her gun and she spun her weapon raised ready to engage would be assailant.

"Shit Catherine!"

Catherine held her hands up in surrender. "Easy Sara, this time its good news."

Sara signed heavily and placed the nine-mil back into the holster. "I have news of my own. I think I found the primary. For what ever reason....little Jane Doe was attacked here. Cath she was out here playing....and he beat her to death. Used a branch, blunt force trauma, there's blood splatter on the trunk, check it out. What kind of sick- beats a seven year old to death?"

"What kind of parent allows a seven year out at night?" Catherine returned, her eyes mapping out the splatter of blood "Drop off." the blonde concluded, after all blood splatter was one of her specialties. Looking back up she picked up the other conversation, "Eddie's an arse but not even he would leave Lindsey alone. He loves her."

"I want to nail this guy Catherine," Sara's voice was a low growl.

Catherine looked to her younger campion and saw vindication reflecting in the chocolate orbs. It was the same expression found in her own indigo eyes. The image of the girl flashed in her mind and so to did Lindsey angelic features. Without realizing it Catherine's hand had found its way to her neck to the silver peace symbol necklace Lindsey had given her last year for mother's day. It wasn't terribly expensive, but that wasn't the point. Lindsey had bought the necklace with her own allowance money that she had saved up for a long time. It had quickly become a mother's favorite piece o f jewelry.

"When you can...don't you usually give Linds a call about now to wish her sweet dreams?" Sara commented watching Catherine's fingers fidget with the necklace.

"How did you know I call my daughter?" Catherine was intrigued. But her only answer was a simple shrug of the shoulders from Sidle.

"If you want I'll go back to the lab get a head start." Sara's smokey voice became as soft as whispered kiss upon the ear.

Sara started to walk towards her Tahoe carrying her's and Catherine's kits that were now filled with bindles of evidence. "Oh and Cath?" She placed the kits in the storage area in the back and then shut the door of the SUV. "I know because you're a terrific mom. Of course you'd call Lindsey to wish her good night. I'll met you back at the lab." With a small smile Sara turned and climbed into the drivers seat and drove away.

Now in her own Tahoe, Catherine did what she did every night. She called up her sister so that she might wish her baby girl a good night and tell her she was loved dearly. Work became Catherine's passion but Lindsey is her life.

Having reached Nancy, Catherine only had to wait a moment before a sleepy voice answered.

"Hi Mommy,"there as a yawn.

"You're tired Honey, I didn't wake you?" Catherine's voice was soft, gentle.

"No. Aunty let me stay up until you called. You called later than normal."

"I know Honey. But I had to talk to someone about my new case."

"I understand Mommy, but you always call." Lindsey's voice was cheerful. "You're not like Daddy, you always keep your promises."

Catherine winced at her daughters reference to Eddie 'Lowlife' Willows. The only reason Catherine kept the name Willows was for Lindsey. Or she would have gone back to her maiden name after the devoice. Deflecting the sting of Eddie's uselessness with her affection for her child, Catherine pretended she wasn't affected by Lindsey's admittance. "I love you sweetheart. I'll see you in the morning."

"Okay. I love you too," Lindsey said around yet another yawn. "Mommy?"


"I liked having lunch with Sara today. We should do that again, I like her. She's smart and very pretty."

Catherine's frown over Eddie faded as she thought of the young beautiful Sara Sidle. Sara was extremely observant, but she was oblivious to her own beauty. Apparently those around her were not. Lindsey noted it, Greg certainly did and apparently that Lindy woman had. The boys including Grissom knew Sara had a gentle beauty to her. And Catherine had to admit, she too was drawn into Sara's presence.

"We'll see Honey, okay?"

"Can we have her over for my birthday?"

"We'll see Honey." Catherine repeated. "Right now you need your sleep. Know that I love you."

"Me too." Lindsey said before she hung up the phone. Both Mother and daughter feeling a little better because of the call.

Moments passed:

"What do we have?" Catherine asked as she came into the lab Sara dominated.

"Rape kit came back negative," Sara said with a sigh of relief. "I took scrapping under the under the fingernails. They and blood samples are with Greg now. Epithels were discovered in back of the neck and her mouth, they too are being tested. Warrick's E-Nose picked up some interesting elements: tobacco, perfume, bubble gum and ethanol. Trace isolating them now."

"What else?" Catherine asked leaning up against the counter where Sara had the child's clothing laid out in front of her.

"I was checking for fibers." Sara shifted the shirt under the magnifying glass.

"I found some on the vic," Catherine admitted. "You find anything more?"

"Processing the scraps of cloth found in the brier. The witnesses any help?"

"Not much, he's all jittery, and she cant talk. I want you to go with me tomorrow when I speak with him." Catherine knew Sara was more at home in the lab then interviewing. Sidle was after all not a people person, which made her perfect to be a member of the Nerd Squad. "He might be more open to us than Brass. I think our good detective intimidates the professor."

"And you don't want to take a female uniform because....." Sara left the rest unsaid.

"I need your eyes." Was all Catherine would say. "Talking to the guy alone I can handle. But Gris wont allow a CSI to go it alone. And despite what you may think Sara, I don't strive for solos. And in this case I'll need you there."

Sara was struck dumb.

Chapter 3

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