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 28

Catherine hesitantly approached the young woman who had stumbled her way out of the morgue. The young blonde's back slammed against the brick wall her hands covering her face. The small blonde looked even more minuscule in her grief. It took the CSI a moment to identify the other woman.

"Lindy?" Her voice soft, as not to startle the other as she approached. Whatever had happened Catherine knew Sara's friend had just lost someone, made worse by the fact that if she was in the morgue it had come to rest upon Lindy's shoulders to recognize the body.

Red rimmed blue eyes looked up, meeting Catherine's own. "I was her closet friend." Lindy explained meekly to an unasked question. " Alex's parents kicked her out cus she is ...was ....gay. She's my room-mate. An old buddy..... I'm her only family, she doesn't have anyone else....except the crew...."

"I am so sorry," Catherine said not knowing what else to say. It was something she had said more than a few times to the families and friends of victims. It was a fact, CSIs meet people on the worst day of their life. Catherine had a sickening feeling that Lindy was here because of the case Warrick and Nick were tag-teaming.

A murder at Treasure Island. The boys had been called in to investigate. Somehow Catherine having only the barest of facts before her put it together. Alex had been apart of the Pirates of the Caribbean, the pirate dinner action theater show, located at the Treasure Island casino, had died under suspicious circumstance. Only a day and a half ago as Catherine recalled when she and Lindy had both been here at CSI HQ reviewing tapes, the younger blonde had been called in for an emergency meeting with the stage director. Apparently it was more than an emergency. It was murder.

"Lindy, I am due to pick Sara up at the hospital after shift, you can come with, or you can go to her now..."

"No, she's got enough on her plate," Lindy said through a tight throat, thickened by the need for air and the vain attempted to hold back the well-spring of grief.

"She's your oldest friend. I think I know Sara enough to know she'd want to be there for you." Leaning closer Catherine whispered. "You were there for her often enough during her darkest hours, let her be there for you now."

Lindy remained mute, she was straining so hard to keep her composure she didn't dare speak. Catherine had no trouble at all as she held on to the smaller blonde's elbow and guided her to her tiny closet of an office. Once the door was shut, Lindy sank on the small two seat divan and wept until her whole body quaked.

Catherine mouth formed a thin line. Even having a career that dealt with the dead, Catherine was accustomed to the grief of the survivors of victims, she knew how to give her condolences and yet detach herself from them. This was different. Maybe it was the connection to Sara, maybe it was something else but there was a pull to Lindy, Catherine had only ever felt with Nancy and now her new lover.

"I can promise you, this lab will do its best to bring justice for your friend Alex. That you have your answers and some sort of peace. I know whose working on the Treasure Island case.... they are very good. I know Sara would want it, but given her connection to you, she wont be allowed to work it even if she were not on hospital leave. Nick and Warrick are reliable and very professional."

"Look..."Lindy managed, "I....I gotta go. I can't stay here anymore." The young woman all but bolted from the office, down the hall, through the warren of labs and out of the building.

Sara hadn't realized just how much paper work there was to fill out, despite the cramp in her right hand from all the writing she was joyous that Janet Sullivan would now be safe. Given a hearing and trial of Cheryl, the adoption Sara wanted was pending, but Child Social Services had given the CSI hope that it was a very good possibility that Janet would be a more permanent addition in her life.

Of course there would be more paperwork. The hospital at the most immediate and later at the school. Social services would make a call, fax the probative information needed concerning Sara becoming Janet's guardian, and of course the court order that Cheryl Sullivan would if out on bail be allowed no where near her child nor would she ever.

Janet watched from her bed to the open door at the woman who would be taking care of her. She thought her hero was not only very brave for slaying Shelop but so very beautiful. Janet decided right then and there she wanted to be just like Sara when she grew up. Quietly Janet watched as Sara was talking to the nice doctor who had made everything better. It was almost too surreal for the child to grasp. She had a difficult time processing the fact she was going to be safe, that this moment in her life was real. She closed her eyes tightly, opened them and then closed them once more.

"He-ey?" Sara said putting her hand on the girl's knee. "Are okay?"

"Yes," Janet said, and yet her eyes were still closed.

"What are you doing?"

"Waiting," came the response.

"Waiting?" Sara titled her head slightly.

"To wake up," Janet opened her large brown eyes and studied Sara and smiled when she discovered her 'angel' wasn't going to vaporize into nothingness.

"Wake up? But you're already awake," said Sara.

"I know. I didn't want to be a sleep and you be just an angel in my dreams," Janet explained softly as if she spoke more than a whisper she would indeed shatter the wonder of the truth before her.

Sara blushed at the comment of her being an angel, that was something she had never thought herself to be. "I'm real sweety, and so is the fact you're safe now," Sara wanted to reach for the girl's face but memories of her own past prevented her. It took years for Sara to tolerate her face being touched without flinching.

Slow and gentle Sara reached for Janet, allowing the girl to see there was no harmful intent in the touch. Looking deep in to brown eyes that matched her own with exactly the same shade of brown, Sara uttered, "Believe it Janet, you're safe now." They would share a smile of comfort and easy relaxation. "Now, I think we should get you ready, Catherine and Lindsey will be here shortly to take us home."

For a moment Janet flashed to the house she had shared with her mother, it must have shown in her eyes because Sara squeezed her little hand. "My home is now your home....our home."

Janet flashed a full Cheshire grin that was an exact replica of Sara's right down to the gap in the front teeth. Sara herself at that moment was stuck with a feeling of du-ja-vou. It was herself in a mirror twenty-four years ago.

"Janet," Sara started, keeping her voice soft, low and comforting, "when you go back to school you, I and your teacher are going to have a talk. She's going to know that I'm your guardian now and that things will change. I think Miss Fox already knows about some of the things that had happened..." Sara paused and said very little more. The young woman knew from her own experience in the past, that shame dogged your footsteps. Shame, that all the beatings, all the yelling was your fault. There wad shame in the discovery that the beatings weren't a normal thing, and you were abnormal because of it. Worse than the shame was the pity. Well-do-gooders who only meant to help, but made it worse because you didn't want the attention, they gave you when they did find out about the past.

"Janet....I know what it's like. I've been in your place, I know what it feels like to get hit and not know why. When I was your age, I was hurt too."

Janet's brown eyes watched the woman before her. "Your mom hit you, brake your arm and stuff?"

Sara nodded.


"Something is wrong in their heads, and their hearts. And they think it's okay to hurt someone weaker than they are. It isn't, but it's like when you go into a very dark room and you can't see anything, before you turn the light on. Their hearts don't see and it gets clouded. And so they hit, and brake, and say bad things."

Janet allowed the words to sink in for a moment, just as Sara had years ago when her own foster mother had said the same words to her. "Then how come I feel like....like I make it happen?"

"Because they want you to believe that's the way it is," Sara said honestly. "They're lying and it gives them feeling they are more powerful. The smaller and weaker you feel the bigger and stronger they feel."

"That's stupid to feel strong by making someone small feel bad," Janet scowled.

"Pretty much," Sara nodded. It struck her how surreal it was to be on the opposite end of the conversation she had, had with Samantha fourteen years ago.

"Cheryl, must be the biggest strongest person," Janet said meekly. She had hoped Sara was stronger, than Cheryl. That Sara was strong enough to keep the safe feeling Janet was now experiencing forever–that it would never go away.

"No," Sara said rubbing her thumb on the back of Janet's little hand. "You are stronger. You are very brave to have lived through all of that. Strong people don't have to hurt others, to be strong. It's kinda hard to explain, sometimes I don't even fully get it all. I know that you and I had some crummy times, but it's going to get better. I promise. I will never let anyone hurt you like that again, Janet."

"Sara?" The child seemed almost hesitant to ask her nest question. "Are you in the hospital because your mother hit you?"

Having spent far too much of a percentage in the hospital because of Matthew and Laura Sidle's abuse, Sara couldn't help but reflect on that time of her life. A time filled with lies, made up truths and pain. A grim and miserable time that prolonged itself because Sara didn't know anything could have been any different. This was the way things were everywhere with every family. It was the reason as child, Sara had decided to have none of her own. Because she didn't want anyone else to suffer lachrymose days filled with terror.

Now fourteen years latter that same soul was holding a child's hand wanting to be a mother. Sara decided she would always speak the truth to Janet even if she had to edit it for a child's ears. "No my mother didn't hit me, this time. You know Lindsey's mommy and I have the same job? We find evidence to put bad guys away in jail. Well this bad guy tackled me and hit me hard enough to hurt me and I had to be in a hospital for a week to make me better. Doctor Rothery helped me like she did with you."

"She makes everything better," Janet smiled as she thought of the tiny doctor. "Sara?" the girl asked once more. "The bad man who hurted you, did he get put in jail?"

"Yes. A colleague of mine, Detective Brass put him in jail. He will be in very serious trouble because I am with the law enforcement...that means the police...well his hitting me like he did was filmed and we have video evidence as well as physical evidence that he hit me."

"And an eye-witness."

Sara was almost surprised a six year old would know the correct terms. But before she could ask, Janet spoke. "Sometimes I watch that show Law and Order. Only things are different on there. The cops wear gloves and get evince they don't have guys like you doing stuff. They just give it to the lawyer guys and the judge makes a trial."

"Well....yeah they have what 55 minutes to tell a story on TV. Not a lot of time. Of course they have to speed things up. You don't see the CSIs on that show do the work, which would be kinda boring to watch, I think as an audience member. But it never goes that fast and being a CSI isn't boring, not to me anyway. Sure in a few days or a week, we can gather all sorts of evidence and then give the evidence to the sheriffs' office and in a few days, weeks, months even a year or so there will be a trial. And yep we have to testify to the evidence we gather, but it never goes as fast as it does on Law and Order. A hearing might be that quick, but not the trial," Sara explained. "And the police have to call us in to gather evidence, but they are correct in showing that the detectives wear gloves on the scene of a crime so they don't contaminate the evidence."

"Will...will that happen to Cheryl? Catherine gathered evidence and you took those special pictures of my muscles." Janet asked softly, worry still dogging her words.

"It wont take months sweety. It will take days. Right now Cheryl is in jail pending a hearing. The judge will see the evidence and want to talk to you and we go from there. But you have a home with me Janet, okay? I promise to keep you safe."

Janet believed Sara. In her experience she had no reason at all to believe any adult, but she believed Sara. For once in her short life the girl didn't feel as if there were some predator lurking in the dark waiting to pounce on her and deliver her doom. The pit in her stomach had felt as if it was filled. However the brightness in her life, there was a nagging bit that Janet feared that Cheryl would come and snatch her right out of her new life. She took a hold of Sara's hand and intended to never let go of it. To Janet with Sara in her life, the world felt smaller and a safer place than it had in a long, long time.

Catherine was pulled to a halt in her tracks when she came into the room to collect Sara and Janet, for the sheer visual appearance of the two. Once again like a few before her, had the blonde not known the truth she would have mistaken Janet to be Sara's biologically. It was not so much the two shared the exact same shade of dark mahogany brown eyes, or even the same rich brunette hair. But it was the shape of those eyes, the shape and lines of the delicate mouth, the angle and lines of the nose and beautiful oval face. When Janet was older she would probably have the same high cheekbones as Sara, which would add to the closeness in their appearance.

And for a moment Catherine could imagine a six year old Sara looking at the world with wide too-ancient-eyes. Knowing a bit of her lover's history and putting the rest of it together for herself, Catherine's heart broke.

Catherine's own childhood wasn't great but it wasn't terrible either. The presence of Sam Braun in her young life tended to even the scales. He was more of a father to her than her own. There were times in her life that young Catherine imagined it so. That Sam would whisk them away to his castles in Vegas and she would live in a fairytale world. Sam was more of a fixture in her life than her dad, who was always off selling and buying horses, making deals for studding out his stallions and training his horses. He was hardly ever home which meant Sam Braun was over quite often.

Sara's father.... was abusive and tyrannical. Catherine was absolutely convinced better a bad father than no father, she had her own childhood that had given her that perspective. Her dad was never around. When he was, he was still not 'around' he'd come home fuck his wife, tell his girls they were pretty and it was their looks that would get them life. So better look your best. Mom of course said 'cash up front'. Even Sam commented on beauty and spirit were assists to a woman, no man wanted a woman smarter than him so better play it down or you end up a dyke spinster.

Better a bad father than no father. Sara would disagree. Better no father than a bad one. But that wouldn't stop abuse. Janet was a clear icon of the no father scenario. No father and her mother took it out on her. Apparently Sullivan had blamed the girl for running off her father when Janet was teething. That brought Catherine's mind back to Eddie Willows, he was the bad father, but he did love Lindsey in as much as Sam loved Catherine herself when she was little.

Better a bad father than no father. Catherine didn't know what to think now that she knew of Matt Sidle's wrath on his child. He had been murdered and Sara saw it all. She saw her mother kill her father.

'I just wanted to be safe. I was sixteen when that wish came true, but at a great price. A murdered abusive father, a mother just as abusive put away supposedly for life. Funny how the parole boards work.'

The words became as lead in Catherine's mind. Just how would seeing your father murdered shaped your life? Would you lash out at the world, at the people who loved you, take extreme risks just to feel, or become so reclusive that it was like breaching the Great Wall of China to get into your heart? All of the above?

A little sparrow had breached that wall surrounding Sara's heart and was now smiling and giggling little girl giggles with the lanky brunette.

"Hey you two, ready to go?" Catherine commented as she made her presence known.

"Let's blow this popsicle stand," Janet said in a mock adult tone causing the adults to snicker.

"Where's Lindsey?" Sara asked looking around the blonde's body for the little ball of energy.

"School," came the answer. "But when I pick her up, I'll bring her over if that's okay." Blue eyes steadied upon Sara's brown. Janet looked hopeful, she had never been allowed to have anyone over to her former home. She couldn't help but wonder if Sara would say yes or forbid it like Cheryl.

"That will be great. Once we're settled and everything back to normal pace they could even have a sleep over," Sara said referring to her injured sides.

"Watch it Sidle, you might be mistaken for a real mom," Catherine smiled as to take any sting her words might have carried.

The younger woman merely shrugged with a contented smirk, "What, you going to give me lessons?"

Since her questing of Child Social Serves nearly a year ago, Catherine had been constantly on her guard concerning her parental activities. Eddie calling in the government to question her mothering skills had been a blow to Catherine that she had never gotten over. She wondered what sort of mother she was and tried so hard to be apart of her girl's life and everything she was interested in and doing. Having Sara say what she said was a tremendous character boost to the ego.

"I think you're doing fine, Sar. But any help I can give you along the way I'll gladly do. I'd be lost without Nancy's help, and it feels good to be there for someone else I love."

Sara's heart felt as if it had stopped beating at that particular moment. Hearing Catherine say she had loved her was as breath stealing as if she had run a series of a hundred laps in a marathon. The smile that spread across her lips reflected in her forever expressive eyes. "Thanks, Cath," she stepped foreword unsure if Catherine would appreciate being affection in such a public place as a hospital but they still had the semi-reclusive privacy of the private room. Growing bold, Sara gave a small peck on Catherine's cheek, whispering, "I love you."

Catherine was astounded at the boldness in her girlfriend because she knew Sara tended to be shy when not in her element which meant the lab or processing a scene. Taking the small gesture for a grandiose display of love, Catherine felt her own heart hammering in her chest.

Automatically Catherine wanted to hold Sara, kiss her until both begged for air but that wasn't practical with young eyes watching, the mother in Catherine stopped her from doing what her libido demanded, Sara's broken ribs stopped the lust from acting, for love was more potent and thus didn't need instant gratification.

"Come on, let's get you two home," Catherine remarked. Her blue eyes smoldering with the same fire that burned with in Sara's dark orbs. For a moment they had lost each other in that gaze but it would soon lift as the trio left the room.

Catherine watched the haunted look behind the too old eyes, too old heart of the small girl fade in the brightness of being with Sara. It was if the woman's very presence had performed some sort of exorcism that she wasn't even aware that she had preformed.

The dimness that was in the girl's eyes only a day before had begun to lift. It was odd for at that moment Catherine didn't know which girl she had been thinking of. There was a brightness in Sara's eyes that the blonde had scarcely ever scene before, and that was only when she had solved a particularly gruesome case and the perps were getting their comeuppance. Catherine thought of two particular moments when Sara's eyes sparkled just so, just after their very first kiss and during the first admission of their love, those rich brown eyes had glistened and carried a brightness, Catherine savored.

Sara and Janet making a home together was a great thing indeed. For both of them. Catherine smiled more to herself than to anyone else. 'Sara the Mommy.' Touching softy her lover's back, Catherine tried to convey her private thoughts. She would lean close so that she could whisper the words, "I don't think there is any sweeter title in the world than mommy, Sara. Now you get to be one. Enjoy it."

Home, nearly two weeks gone and Sara felt the heaviness of stress she had been under lift. The woman hadn't even been totally aware she had been carrying such a weight until she crossed the threshold of the hall to the loft.

Dark rich wooden floors, polished cedar wood walls, furniture from Ikea it was perfection.

"Such a heavy sigh," Catherine said as she passed Sara who still lingered in the threshold. "Feels good to be home doesn't it?"

"Yeah," Sara smiled, as habit she threw her carry all, keys and CSI issued nave jacket on to the bar that separate the dinette from the kitchen. "It feels great," She turned then to see Janet lurking in the corner of the doorway as if she were too afraid to enter her new home.

Sara took her ward by the tiny hand and led her into the apartment. "Come on sweety, this is you're new home. Take a look around."

With Sara's prompting the child tip-toed into the seemingly spacious loft. Of course it was only spacious due to Sara's flare for maximizing space and design. Despite the fact Sara had given her the keys to the loft, Catherine hadn't gone past the kitchen not wanting to brake the great trust her lover had given her. Besides a home tour was far more fun with the homeowner rather than peeking about. It would feel far too much like work otherwise.

"Okay well there's's the dinning room," Sara said pointing to the bar and stools. I tend to eat in the office." She smirked as she pointed to what might have been called a breakfast nook had been turned into her office complete with a beautiful dark wood desk flat plasma screen Dell computer, subwolfer, state-of-the-art speakers and shelf that held several forensics textbooks, biology

an entomological book, ballistics, and several textbooks on physics, quantum mechanics and forensics history. And several other source materials on criminalist logistics.

"Light reading?" Catherine asked once she read the titles of the office library.

Sara only shrugged. "I kept all my books from college, picked up a few more along the way and of course the new books the guys and Gris gave me." she gestured to the stack of books she had in the carry all.

Leaving the office, Sara moved to the livingroom, the black leather sofa and lunge chair that was the type you could sink in and live. Comfortable with a capital C. When you listened to the police scanner and read textbooks it was nice to be comfortable. Both sofa, chairs were placed in a circle facing each other and the entertainment center.

The entertainment center had a plasma screen Panasonic TV, DVD/VHS recorder, and a stereo that was top of the line a year ago.

"Wow," both Catherine and Janet said as one.

"I .... lived alone,"came a half offered explanation from Sara. "Nicky has the same system," she further explained having feeling the need to justify the expense of her systems and 'toys'. "Janet, I don't have a lot of movies that are G, but I do have PG stuff that's okay for you to watch."

Janet remained mute but she smiled at the thought she wasn't being ignored but spoke to as if she was a mini-adult.

Of course Sara had meant most of her Sci-fi vids, a few of the fantasy including the Harry-Potter completions, Big Fish, the Matrix movies, and Tomb Raider and other such movies. "I'll rearrange but most of the R stuff is on the topshelf already, I don't want you watching those until your older, okay?"

Janet nodded she wasn't going to endanger her new home just to watch one of the grown-up-movies. "Okay." besides Ceryle had let her watch most of the gore-feast movies like Freddy Kurger and Chucky and yes they were scary, gross and yucky but Janet also found them boring, and actually rather stupid. They didn't tell much of a story, not like Harry Potter which was one of her favorite movies. Janet was rather glad that she hadn't spotted the movies Cheryl liked in Sara's collection of tapes and DVDs.

"Same with some of the music, kiddo." Sara's voice called the girl's attention back to the present. "Most of it's fine to listen to," Sara placed a CD of Mimime on the topmost shelf, "some not so much okay. They say things that you really shouldn't hear. But if you want to listen to anything, just show me and we'll put it in the stereo."

Catherine noted Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, Dead Can Dance, Melissa Ethenrich, Midnight Syndicate, a few sound tracks and several home burned disks from something called Honeypot Productions, close at hand with some of the covers open. Sara's fourteen disk cartridge was brimming with the artists laid out before them.

Sara had a massive collection of older music, "Glen Miller?" Catherine laughed.

"Something my er..." Sara smirked that cute gapped-toothed grin at Janet, "my own foster mother liked, though she would never admit it. But she liked to dance to it. It brings back some happy memories for me. Sometimes Samantha would put it on and the few of us she fostered would just be silly and dance to Glen Miller, like we were Flappers and whatnot. It was a lot of fun not to worry if we were just acting silly."

"Somehow, I can't see you dancing to this," Catherine waved the CD in the air.

"Well....there's dancing and then there is dancing. There is no way I could do what you did, Cath. But Samantha taught me the Fox-trot and a bunch of old-time dances, like the Lindy and the Jitter-bug. And nooooooooo, I wont dance, so don't even ask."

Catherine was smiling trying to imagine a moody-goth science nerd Sara dancing to Big Band music as a kid. Somehow in her head Catherine equated Sara to Wednesday Addams and there was just no room for old-style dances in her imagination for the images.

"Come on Janet, I'll show you the rest of the place," Sara distracted the girl and hopefully Catherine from trying to envision Sara's teenage years.

The blonde watched as the two brunettes walk down the hall, again swept up in the idea they were related. Lingering in the living room, Catherine noted one of the walls that had the floor to ceiling Ikea bookshelves overflowing with mystery paperbacks, Isaac Asimov, Anne Macathery, philosophy, several more books on forensics, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. LeGuin, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Sir Arthur Cannon Doyal, all of the collective works of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple countless dozens of mystery writers. There were even a Steven King novels.

Thinking she might be missed, Catherine passed the bookshelf to find her lost brunettes. She found them in what would become Janet's bedroom. Catherine didn't know what to expect when she saw the room. Here she found a twin bed that looked brand new, a small dorm room desk, and two shelves both empty, but waiting to be filled with children's books. And other nicknacks children tended to collect.

"This was pretty much just used to store guitar and drum set. I had Greg come and box them up. Lindy's willing to house them at her and Alex's place. Well the drums anyway, I put the guitar in my room," Sara said.

"You play the drums?" Janet asked.

Sara nodded, " Another holdover from my foster mom. She was totally into music, she played and taught me how to play the guitar and drums. Samantha, used to be a busker at the California Renaissance fairs, when she wasn't saving kids lives and hearts. Her speciality was the lute, dulcimer and the older stringed instruments. She was really good."

"Is that her music in the living room?" Catherine referred to the homemade disks. At Sara's frown it was apparent the other woman didn't know what Catherine had meant, "Honeypot Productions."

"Oh!" A deep red blush crept up Sara's features. "No. That was something I was into in college. Me, Lindy, a mutual friend of ours, Alex and a few others played. It was our group."

"You were in a band?" both Catherine and Janet asked once again in unison.

"Garage-band more like it," Sara said. "I'm better as a CSI. I love to play, sometimes it helps me, unwind. But I haven't done so in a long time, and it's something I don't let everyone know. We all kinda went our separate ways, lead different lives now. Lindy and I sometimes get back together and play. She plays base, she smokes. And, I bounce from drums to guitar. But when Lindy and I play it's the strings not the skin."Sara explained.

Sara stopped as she saw the glimmer in Catherine's eyes fade just a little. "Cath?"

"Sara, she should tell you, but I think Lindy's going to need you very soon. Something happened to Alex."

"Something?" Sara frowned not liking the weight shifting in her stomach nor the horrible sick feeling she felt, "something like, CSI is involved, something?"

Catherine only nodded. She edged closer to her lover, wanting to hold her but not knowing what her next step should be with her reclusive girlfriend.

"Who's taking the case?" Sara demanded, her voice growing dark and sharp.

Janet looked up at her guardian, worried that things were not as good as they first might have seen. When an adults voice grew dark and shape as Sara's now had become the next thing was the hitting and yelling.

"Nicky and Warrick.," Catherine placed a hand on Sara's arm. She hadn't known that a younger woman knew Lindy's roommate as well as she did. "Sara, I'm sorry. Lindy had to ID the body, I told her to call you..."

"She wont, anymore than I would have. Different reasons," the sharpness faded from her voice as it became morose. "I am way too private, and she ...well I just got out of the hospital and I have a new daughter, Lindy wont want to weigh me down with what she thinks is her problem."

Janet's eyes widened as she heard herself being called daughter in the first time in her life, and by none other than her hero. It astonished her into immobility. She sat upon the bed thinking over the words she had heard. 'New daughter?... I'm a daughter... I get to be Sara's daughter!' Even as young Janet was assimilating the new idea she had not forgotten that her hero....dare she even think it....her mom was hurting. Something bad had happened and Sara was hurting.

"Catherine, I have to ...."

"You have to be her friend. You have to be okay with yourself grieving for a friend, you don't have to play investigator. Trust Warrick and Nick and lean on me. Because I'll be here for you, just as you are for Lindy. You have to take care of Janet." Catherine smiled at the girl who had not yet moved from her place on the bed. "You've had a lot happen to you in short a mount of time, Sara, take the time to process it all, or you'll burn out."

Catherine could have kicked herself for dropping the bomb on what should have been a good day and a fresh start for the new family. But if Lindy had called and told Sara, she had seen Catherine at HQ, the brunette would have been pissed off, the blonde hadn't said anything.

"Thanks for telling me," Sara said softly, "I'll give Lindy a call." Looking at Janet, it dawned on Sara just how much the girl had overheard. Her young face was a wash of complex and confused emotions.

"Janet, honey....look it's okay, I wont send you away. A few things came up, someone hurt a friend of mine, and another is going to be very sad about it. I have to make sure she's going to be okay, just like I'm going to keep you safe." Sara said moving from Catherine's arms to sit beside Janet on the bed that was still covered in plastic.

Sara was nearly lost in the large staring eyes of the child. She could not have known the resolve in the girls' heart nor the powerful impact the word 'daughter' had been for her. "I know that." Janet admitted. "Anyway you're Sara slayer of Shelop, of course you'll make things better."

"Slayer of Shelop?" Catherine knew the reference to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but how it related directly related to Sara having forgotten, that the younger woman had put her hand in a spider tank to rescue a rubber ball for Lindsey. The blonde had an idea it was a title that Sara would not soon lose, if the children had anything to a say about it.

"Lindsey's ball." Sara offered as an explanation

"Oh that's right!" Catherine smiled. She leaned close so that Janet couldn't hear, "but you didn't kill the spider."

"I want my job." Sara retorted. "Kill Grissom's baby? Not likely." She smiled for the first time since receiving the news of Alex's death.

It was indeed going to be a very long week.

Part 29

Return to C.S.I. Fiction

Return to Main Page