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 21

Kingsley rolled over to drugging his dog, and training it to attack anyone with the sent of Dunbar tobacco and the tune of 'Banish Misfortune'. He hadn't never planed his niece to ever get hurt and when she had, he panicked. He already had priors. He couldn't afford a third, he was going rot in Southern Desert or High Desert forever if that happened. Of course attacking Sara Sidle in full view of two witnesses and filmed he was gone, no holds bard. Lyeanna Rush would be avenged by justice as would Sara. Somehow to Catherine it didn't seem good enough, the man needed to suffer for what he had done to that little girl because of his hate, the man needed to suffer for the pain he gave Sara.

Coach roger Shannahan story held up. He offered shelter to a person he had felt lost his home, and he hated Stirling for losing his best quarterback, but at the same time respected the professor for keeping his linebackers and starters still on the field for the tutoring. Which brought Catherine back to Dimitri Sterling and Emily Greeson.

She had betrayed Dimitri to Maxwell Kingsley because she was tired of playing second string to a memory. She was almost reminded hourly of the ghost that stands between herself and the good Professor. After listing to that little tune in a watch given to Stirling by Lady Heather the only woman Dimitri had asked to marry, for eighteen years, grated on her. Emily would always be the other woman, even if her competitor had long since withdrawn her claim on Dimitri. But the professor wouldn't let go.

Dimitri was committed, loyal to a fault..Lady Heather had broken things off between herself and the professor as soon as she became pregnant. The poor sap doesn't even know he has a kid. The strange thing Emily had never told him, of course she felt the news would have devastated him. She knew of Zoe because she had been the book keeper for the dominatrix before she quit.

In her rage of jealousy of a long departed ex-lover Geerson had given Max Kinsey the Watch that was used to train the dog to hunt down and kill the professor. She had been charged with conspiracy.

Emily claimed she had tossed it out the window in his office. The professor had looked for it for months He was devastated he thought 'he' had lost it. For her part Emily couldn't stand the watch Heather had made for him, but his sorrow was worse. In the end Emily had ordered a new watch for him. She even went as far as to insure the same inscription engraved on it so Dimitri wouldn't know it was a replica.

If Stirling knew about his daughter Zoe not once did he give any sign of it, Emily had yet to tell him his connection to her. Perhaps her conscience started working once more. He know only that Emily had done what she had done because the ghost of Lady Heather still lingered in the man's heart. As did Emily, he hired her lawyer. The councilor had made a deal with the DA charges would be for child endangerment, Geerson would serve only five years. Dimitri had proven his loyalty and stood by the woman who had aided Maxwell Kinsey who wanted Stirling dead or seriously maimed. Love did strange things to people. Sometimes the innocent had to pay the price. Sometimes they were seriously injured, sometimes they were killed.. This time it had been both.

The case was put to bed, the evidence locked up ready for trial as were the guilty. It would be six months before it would go to the courts, by that time Sara would have a full recovery, but the scares would remain.

Memories carefully buried, tediously tucked away, came flooding back. Horrifically so. The constant vigilance that kept them at bay waned in the stupor of sedative meant to keep pain back from its assault. Unable to waken Sara was now prisoner of such memories.

There were precious few places Sara could find to hide and read. Born to two bohemian hippies the early years were very much a blur filled with the familiar scent of burning "grass" sitar music and the reciting of Jack Kerouac. Sara Sidle felt her life as if it were one of the waves crashing on the shores of the beach near her in Tamales Bay an hour and a half outside of San Francisco.

The Sidles had their Bed and Breakfast "Sidling Away," but Sara had bigger dreams for it. She thought the whole experience could be made public and then franchised. Her parents had other ideas.

Her intelligence, her energy, her curiosity always outstaged her parents. Especially her mother. And Laura Sidle wasn't about to allow a mere get of a girl to out do her. Sara knew that her mama held contempt for her, contempt for the perfect self-discipline. That Laura never had. Laura held that same contempt for the business models Sara was always coming up with. The one thing Laura gloated over was the fact, Sara was a complete failure with the human experience. The girl could play a guitar, unravel the most difficult of mathematical equations and she became sucked into the world of quantum physics so much so she had earned several scholarships in science and math that would lead her to Harvard. Laura Sidle would always loath the fact this get of a child possessed such intellectual power.

There was a time when Sara was in Junior High the family had moved to Modesto for awhile. Close to Tamales Bay the city was more than a change of pace it was a change of things between Laura and Sara. As dreams and memories go they are often overlapped, and seen through the eye of a third person as if you are both experiencing the events and watching ones self on a mental television screen. Laura was never remise in telling Sara she would not amount to much always holed up in some dark corner. But then what she except from a 'get of a child.'

When she was little, Sara never truly understood what it meant, only that it was very obviously a bad thing. Things were okay when her mother was high. Sara was forgotten about then. She would have to rely on herself if she wanted to eat, clean clothes or a clean body. Since she was five Sara had to self-reliant. She had learned of course take out was pretty easy to get a meal, but she had learned how to cook, work the stove, and what was good for her and what wasn't.

Of course when her mother was drunk things were worse than a forgetful parent. Sara dreaded coming home from school, coming home from her hiding places and discovering that her mother was once again drunk. When Laura had been drinking it always meant pain.

The hand flew so quickly Sara hadn't even realized it connected when she found herself on the floor. Her head hit against the wall of the hallway her eyes blazed black for a moment sending flashes of light before her eyes. Her face burned deeply from where the blow had landed. She scrambled to her feet knowing her mother would scream at her if she remained down.

"I was calling you for hours, where the hell were you?" Laura snarled. "You lazy fucking slob." "I ...I was at school...its only three thirty......" Thirteen year old Sara stammered. That gained her another strike and again Sara fell hard against the wall. Sara knew if she didn't quickly bolt out the door of her school regardless of teacher warnings not to run in the halls and get home her mother would beat her for being late.

Before she could climb to her feet a second time a hand held her scruff pulled the teen's head painfully back, nails gouging her flesh as Sara was hauled to her feet. "Are you trying to be funny?"

"No Laura." Sara answered, swiftly. Since she was little she had been forbidden to call her mother by any maternal title. It had always been Laura. "I was at school.....honest. I tried to run home quickly." tears started, but Sara tired hard not to let them fall it would only make her mother more angry.

It was too late. "Are you crying!" Laura growled.
Sara shook her head denying it. She swallowed hard, trying to be brave, trying to act like a stone, like she didn't exist. She tried to pretend she was somewhere else and whatever was happening would soon be over. The stink of stale whisky on her mother's breath was too much for the girl to take in, nearly wanting her to gage. The rank scent of old marijuana was worse, but Sara knew if she gaged her mother would become furious.

"You want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about. You're pathetic! A little know it all stuck up bitch. You know I should have pulled you out with a hanger before I squeezed you out." Laura was over the edge, this time it wasn't a back hand but a full fisted blow that sent Sara spiraling to the hardwood floor. Dazed she couldn't get up even when she saw the belt that was always near the door rising in the air. One. Two. Three.. The hard leather stuck the thirteen year old across the back and legs. "Matt was good enough to adopt you. Even gave you his name."

Sara shuddered as the belt came down again and again. "He's not your real father you little worthless get! You know who your father was? " another blow. "Do you?!"

Sara tried to swallow nodding that yes she knew the expected answer.

"Say it!"

"He...he was....he...he raped you...Made me.... " Sara uttered. "I ....owe you my life...you...you...you.... kept me ...even..." Sara hollowed as the belt slammed hard against her back ripping into her flesh again and again. She knew she had to finish the well rehearsed words or her mother would kick her in the ribs again, or brake another bone. "...you....you...you kept me....I owe you...I am sorry...I was made...sorry... you...were st...st...stuck with me......" her words hitched in her mouth, her lungs burning. "I'm sorry."

"That's right, that fucker raped me, and left me you." Laura's anger was beyond control. The only reason she stopped was her arm had grown tired. "And you owe me your entire existence!" Laura turned up her nose as she saw a wet pool pour from Sara's crotch. "You pissed yourself."

Whimpering softy, Sara attempted to move her trembling limbs, tried to curl herself into a ball. Every movement, no matter how small hurt; where her body touched the floor, where her limbs touch each other. The pain was beginning to subside at last, and as she slowly pushed herself upright on her still shaking limbs. Every muscle in her body shrieked its objections as still hypersensitive she tried to move. Hands slick with sweat and blood slipped on the hardwood floor, unable to gain purchase. Sara clawed at the gaps between the floorboards, finally managing to get a grip and lift her head and shoulders.

"You get rid of those clothes and clean up that mess. God thirteen years old and you piss yourself. Disgusting! Next time you think of smarting off to me you remember the 'Judge' is always waiting for you. What should I expect from a rapist's get? Pathetic worthless ugly little thing you are."

Sara looked up her eyes swollen from tears and fear watched as her mother staggered away, going into the 'study' before Laura closed the door, Sara saw her mother snatch from the bar a bottle of tequila. The thirteen year old girl closed her eyes unable to remain conscious the pain was too much bare.

"Shhh." Sara heard a soft sound enter hear ears. The thirty year old woman flickered open her eyes. She was instantly aware of the pain in her chest, her entire body felt like one massive bruise. "You were having a nightmare I think."

"Dr. Rothery?" Sara tried to focus on the small woman before her but it was so difficult in keeping her eyes open, much less concentrate.

"I'm giving you something more for the pain. Whatever haunts your dreams Sara, cant hurt you here. You're safe." a gentle hand feathered back a whiff of mislaid forelock. "You're safe, now."

"Oh my god...." Sara opened her eyes and saw the image of her seventh grade science teacher Roxanne Hansen. "Come on sweety, let me help you."

"I messed myself..." Sara was in tears once more for allowing her beloved science teacher seeing her in such a state. She knew her blood, sweat and urine had stained her clothing. "I'm embraced....I'm sorry....you see me....like this. I'm sorry."

"It's okay, it doesn't matter, I am going to help you." Miss Hansen kissed the bloodied cheek. "Please....go..it will make it worse....please Miss Hansen, if Laura finds you.... please... it will be so much worse.....please just go.....she can't see you." Sara pleaded, begged. "Please....please." "No child." the soft spoke blonde feathered away a stray lock of hair. "No. I thought something was up when you refused to enter the science fairs, or help me after school. I came here hoping to talk to your parents into letting you ...Oh Sara, honey..... had I known sooner...." blue eyes filled with tears. "I'm not going to let you be hurt anymore, You're going to be safe, I promise you. You're safe now."

Sara didn't seem to know who held her...."

"Your safe child, your safe. You don't have to be sorry anymore." Hansen said her voice confidant and strong lending that strength to the broken child she held in her arms.

"Safe now...." Sara uttered in a drugged stupor. The blackness came again and the pain in her chest faded and so did the memory of what was. "I'm sorry...rape...stuck with me...sorry....sorry I was made...sorry......"

And for a time her dreams lay undisturbed from the pain and terror her mother had given her. The memories of being taken away by child services, the trials, the judges, the councilors and investigators. Foster parents some good, some in it for the money, three years 'The System' had her before Sara was taken in by her favored aunty. By that time she was sixteen. And soon the life she had had in Modesto would be over. The scares would forever remain.

Catherine wiped the tears from her eyes, she had just glimpsed a moment of her lover's past. The blonde had come to see her love before going into work for her new shift. And though Sara was locked in a sleep to keep her from feeling the excruciating suffering of her crushed sternum she had dreamt. From the sound of it her dreams were nearly as bad as the agony of her broken body.

"Doctor?" Catherine addressed they tiny woman. "Can't you give her something where she wont dream?"

The tiny doctor didn't look like she had slept in three days, her normally pristine self was rumbled. Her scrubs were wrinkled and the lab coat looked as if it might have doubled as a blanket only a few hours ago. Of course Willows' investigative eye deduced the physician must have spent the last two days of Sara internment at the broken woman's side. Something Catherine herself would do if not for her daughter's needs.

"I can now. I was concerned before because of the slight concussion, I couldn't risk her going into a coma. That danger is past. She's had dreams, bad ones from what I could make out. Does she normally talk in herself.?" Doctor Rothery asked, compassion thick in her heart.

"She doesn't usually sleep." Catherine answered but at the quirk of a red eyebrow from the doc, the CSI clarified herself. "She seems to always be in the lab working. She's always working." Catherine kissed her love's forehead. Though they had yet to make love, there was no other word for Catherine other than lover for Sara, for in her heart that was what the younger woman was. Her lover.

She felt Sara's hand grip her own hand tightly, yet she was soundly asleep. The blonde brought it up to her lips and kissed it. Rothery only smiled at the tenderness shown to the unconscious brunette and she was glad of it. After Sara was released she would need a great deal of healing and it was quite evident not all of it was to do with the body. She would leave the two alone giving them what privacy the ICU ward could afford.

Catherine leaned over softly kissing the tender beautiful face of the woman who had captured her heart, and found a place in the palm of her soul. "Safe, you're safe Sara. I love you baby." For the moment she had, Catherine leaned into the nook between Sara's shoulder and her neck and softly kissed the flesh there. "You're coming home with me Sar and I'm going to take care of you, no arguments. I'll pull rank if I have too. I'll even pull a Lady Heather and do the dom thing." Catherine grinned.

Part 22

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