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.
WARNING: its going to get dark. Physical and sexual abuse issued are heavily discussed. Rating M for Mature, subject mater is very much on emotional up-setting level but it is nothing we haven't' seen on the show itself or LAO / SVU.
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 33

The door to the locker-room had not closed properly giving Catherine a clue to where Sara had disappeared. Almost hesitantly the she opened the door, to be welcomed by the sound of someone near the stalls dry heaving.

Sara groaned, the pressure of vomiting wracking her broken ribs with such torment, she was openly weeping. She felt as if she were pounced on once more by her abuser, his fists coming down on her ribs, smashing them. Her memory did not take her to Maxwell Kingsley, but a much older antagonist.

"Sara, Honey?"

"Oh, god," a broken voice croaked out. "I can't do this."

Catherine's first thought was of the man that lingered in the foyer, now no doubt Brass had him safely tucked away in an interrogation room. A man that so clearly terrorized Sara, the horror of his appearance had sent the young woman fleeing, as if for her life.

"Let me help you," Catherine carefully approached her lover as she would a feral cat. "It's okay...I'm here. No one is going to let him hurt you."

"I'm so ashamed," a muffled voice came behind the blue door of the bathroom stall.

"It's okay, baby, it's okay, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Sara, we're worried for you, all of us. Honey, let me in."

"No," there was no power behind the defiance. A weak plea to be left alone.

Catherine lowered herself to the floor, her back resting against the partition between the two stall doors, she gathered her love would come out from the seclusion of the stall when she was ready. There could be no forcing it. "You don't have to be ashamed, Sara." Catherine purred.

What seemed like hours was in truth only five minutes. But time was relative, and it could stretch into infinity when you were sitting on the cold tile floor of a locker-room with aching ribs and a nightmare waiting for you outside that door.

The door opened, slowly, Sara's face carefully hidden by the drape of her hair. With the sight of Catherine patiently waiting there, the once strong young woman broke, hot tears slid down her face, her body meekly shuddering with the strength it did not possess. The redheaded-blonde didn't hesitate, she gathered Sara into her arms holding her as she wept. As she would with Lindsey to sooth away night-terrors Catherine stroked the dark hair, calming Sara's own terror.

"Remember? You can hold onto my hand and never let go, Baby." Catherine whispered, lending her lover her strength. Her power. Giving her Sara her love. "Hold onto my hand, Sara."

Grissom was taken aback by the sheer unquestionable resemblance between the young beautiful woman he knew and this man calmly sitting in the interrogation room being grilled by Nick, Warrick and soon Jim Brass.

The CSI was reminded of a long dead controversial pharaoh of Egypt. Akhenaton formally known as Amenhotep IV abolished the native cults of his people proclaiming Aton the sun was the only god. The introduction of monotheism wasn't what triggered the entomologist's arcane mental library, it was that Akhenaton was astonishingly feminine in all depictions of him: narrow waist, wide hips, his face angular not chiseled, he would have made a very beautiful woman. Indeed his sister-wife Nefertiti was gorgeous, as was Sara Sidle. And what looked wonderful on her, was almost freakish on a male.

This man's epicene body, with its curving contours, and long full lipped face, dreaming expression, the almond shaped heavy lidded eyes could very easily make him be mistaken for a woman. Grissom was thinking not of the long dead Egyptian but of the man sitting on the other side of the two-way mirror. He was probably addressed ma'am as often as he was sir. He wasn't androgynous, but effeminate.

"His physiognomic and physical irregularities explain why Janet looks so astoundingly similar to Sara." Grissom said turning to Brass. "They are indeed related. I'm going to find out how."

"I'll find out his story." Brass turned to his long time friend, "I think we need to do some damage control." he added softly. "Sara's reaction....she's terrified of him, and that scares me."

Grissom nodded. "Sara is a very private person, she guards her solitude more than I do. She's more isolated. I think I'm beginning to see why. The way she reacts to domestic abuse and rape cases make a little more sense than mere empathy. You know I accused her of being too empathetic with victims, and that chasing rabbits was going to burn her out. She never let the brutality of Kay Shelton's death go. She lost it with Shelton, I never saw such hate in her eyes when she went after him when he denied he had beat and murdered his wife in the hallway. Pamela Adler's rape got to her as well, she looked for three days for Pamela's name in the Missing person's reports."

"She's not chasing rabbits, Gil. She's chasing justice for her past. And that pretty-boy punk knows why."

Neither man wanted to speculate the horrors Sara had lived, at the hands of a man she so feared she had fled from him, as though hounds of hell were at nipping at her feet.

"I want to get this over with, so I can have him behind bars," Brass said. "Get something from her, Gil so I can."

The entomologist nodded slowly, his eyes locked onto the man behind the glass, demanding to see Sara that he had to explain things to her; he had to tell her the truth. The truth was what Gil Grissom did for a living. Now was the time to gather the evidence.

Sara held on, tightly cradling Catherine's hand against her chest, willing herself to regain some sort of composer. Just as she felt something of herself coming back, a creek in the door and male figure backlit by the light in the locker-room, Sara felt her heart drop, fear returned.

All she could see was herself so young.......

The shadow descended upon her, 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, the world 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 Matt would throw worse at her if she remained down. It was always worse if she didn't get back up.

Pain exploded at the base of her skull coursing down her spine then out to her limbs. As the spasms racked her body, she yowled in fear and shock. She had not moved quickly enough. The next moment, Sara was staggering backward, her face burning from the force of Matt's backhand. Colliding with the side of the wall, she found herself abruptly sitting back down

"You were born a girl that means you are owned. You are less than nothing. When you grow up, you'll have to find a man willing to take you in. You will learn your place little girl. You're so very smart, the teachers even want to bump you up more grades.... why haven't you learned that you are less than nothing?" Matt was angry. His rage over came him, even on her hands and knees Sara made a ultimate target, like kicking a dog, Matt slammed his foot into Sara's abdomen, sending her up by the force of the impact before she fell down again, "You'd be pretty if it weren't for that Bugs Bunny mouth of yours. So smart but not pretty. You think you're smarter than your ol' man don't you. Is that why you're trying to pawn off your ideas for my B&B? Hum....? You're nothing, Sara."

She was falling but back arched and limbs rigid, she was unable to move to save herself. She slammed to the floor, the impact knocking any remaining air from her lungs. Wave upon wave of fiery agony surged through her body as she lay there unable to gasp for breath, it stopped and her body went limp. But the pain remained. Sara tried to speak but her throat was so dry and sore that she began to cough, sending fresh agony lancing through her body. When the coughing ceased, she pushed herself up on her hands until her head and chest were clear of the floor. Brown eyes regarded her dispassionately

"Sara....." Matt's voice raped her ears.

"Sara?" this was the voice of Gilbert Grissom not Matt Sidle. "Sara, who is that man? What's going on?" he stepped forward, slowly, mindful of the fear factor as he would have with any victim.

Sara's body shuddered despite the will of the brunette that she remained composed. Grissom was no threat to her, would never bring her harm and yet the prior fear remained thick within her memory. The sudden appearance of the man from her past had completely obliterated any sense of self peace Sara contained.

Now she was a child once more, terrorized and victimized. She had to rise, get up before it became worse. It was always worse if you stayed down.

"Sara, who is he?' Grissom was insistent, his own fear for his protégée's well-being came out as demanding.

"Dead." Sara said. "He's dead."

Grissom looked confused. He didn't know if Sara was stating a fact or if she were threatening him. In any case he needed clarification.

Catherine seemed to sense his impending inquest, her arms tightened around the woman who captured her heart, her eyes locking on to Grissom, not wavering as she shook her head. She helped Sara to her feet, feeling the younger woman struggling to get back up. For a moment it felt as if Sara believed her very life depended whether or not she could stand.

"He is supposed to be dead. ..." Sara's voice grew weak again. Her ribs, her fear, her grief the haunting memories had sucked all the energy from her. She knew most of her weight was on Catherine, but the blonde said nary a word.

Catherine continued to stroke the silky dark hair, trying to calm her frantic lover, even as her arm wound around her waist, lending her the power and strength she needed to stay on her feet. Grissom watched for a moment, and for that moment wished he was the one holding Sara, offering her comfort, strength and protection. His own blue eyes looked to the azure eyes of his long time friend, silently asking for help.

"If P.D. is going to hold him, Sara they need a reason," Catherine said. "Sara... you knew him from before. Honey... you spoke about the blood on the walls and your mom... are you saying that's your ... father?"

Sara looked green, the trembling started once more. Her legs barely sustained her.

"Sara, he can't be your father," Grissom started but stopped from the explosion of defiance from his young CSI.

"I KNOW who I saw standing there!" Sara all but roared. "He looks exactly the same! Exactly the same!" She tried to remain standing up but nearly collapsed under the weight of her own pain, both physical from her abused ribs and her shattered heart. Catherine fell with her, never once letting go of her lover's hand. "He looks the same, he hasn't changed," her voice became soft, "he hasn't changed. ...."

Catherine and Grissom exchanged worried looks, but said nothing, knowing it would do little good. Right now they had to find away to calm Sara down to a level where she could manage her emotions.

Sara's head snapped up. "Janet! He... he wanted Janet. I won't let him near her!" Sara used Catherine as leverage to regain her footing. "I.....adopted her...she's my 'daughter' now! I won't let Matt near her! I won't. He can't take her!" Sara's face went ghostly pale, the blood draining from it. "Oh god... what if he already snatched her..."

Rationality was something Sara was seriously depleted of. Reason had fled from her as she had down the hall way not seven minutes ago. Catherine however was collected, calm and the icon of rationality. Taking her cell phone from her hip she hit the speed dial for her house. It only took a few rings before Nancy answered.

"Nancy, I need you to put Janet on the phone." Catherine said as a means of hello.

'I just got the two giggle-monsters calmed down enough to go to bed, Sis, what's up?' from the sound of it, despite her affirmation she had put the girls to bed, Nancy's voice betrayed her. The younger sister had fallen asleep in front of the TV. The background noise had the clear 'Bong-bonk' sound of Law and Order or one of its many incarnations.

"Sara needs to talk to her....daughter. It's a bit of a 911 for her right now." Catherine became insistent.


"Please." Catherine looked up from her phone call to see Sara pacing the woman's side of the locker-room like a caged tigress. Had she a tail like the stuffed animal Lindsey had given her, it would be swishing back and forth almost as a bull-whip about now. Why that image popped into Catherine's mind she had no clue, she did how ever have a hunch.

"Sara." Catherine stopped the pacing by effectively putting her body in front of Sara's . "Here."

"What?" Sara looked at the phone as if she had no idea how it appeared there or for that matter how to use it.

Catherine helped her with the slight fog of memory relapse, she held the phone to her lover's ear. "Now say hello."

"Hello?" Sara obeyed.

"Sara?" a very groggy girl's voice whispered.

"Janet!" Sara suddenly recalled it was called a cell-phone and how to use it without assistance. Snatching custody of the bit of technology from Catherine's hand, Sara resumed her pained pacing. Her agonized ribs for the moment ignored. "Honey, hey...I called to ...to make sure you're okay."

"I'm fine Sara." Janet said softly a little confused. "I'm okay, Good. I love spending time with Lindsey," there was a rustling noise as the girl must be covering the mouth piece of the phone so no others could hear her, " I put on the good-nights, and I still didn't have an accident." she whispered. "I have Sara-tiger with me too, she smells like you, Sara. I'm safe."

Grissom and Catherine watched nearly astonished as Sara's fear filled eyes sparkled, a smile tugged at the corners of the young CSI's mouth, threatening to come into a full blast grin.

"Giggle monsters, ehe? You and Lindsey I'd say that's an apt description of you two. Then again so are squirrels."

Even at her discreet distance Catherine could hear Janet's giggles.

"Okay , well go back to bed, Baby. Just remember, I'm a phone call away, you need me for anything, you call me."

"I promise Sara," Janet vowed.

"Good girl." Sara seemed to hesitate. But there was a question on her mind she had to ask.

"Hey. Janet...did Cheryl ever talk about your father?" Sara looked down at her Doc Martins, "Maybe it was bad things, you can tell me, Sweety."

It got suddenly silent on the other end of the phone.

"Baby can you tell me?" Sara prompted. "Please try to remember okay?" the voice became extremely soft and urgent.

"Only he left cus of me."

"Janet...." Sara stopped, "Baby, I know. ...its rough, but can you recall anything else? A name, maybe?"

"Um his initials are....um start with a M and a S?" There was a slight lilt to Janet's words as if she wasn't quite sure about the answer.

Sara teetered on her feet. . 'M. S. - Matt Sidle.' the smile faded - the paleness in her features turned nearly green. 'God no wonder she looks like me! Oh god.....'

Sara fell back down her back banging painfully against the lockers.

Catherine and Grissom were at her side a heartbeat later.

"Janet," Sara uttered the name as a prayer. "I have to go. Just remember you're very brave, and your Sara loves you."

"Love you to Sara." Janet answered. "Catch the bad guys."

"I will." Sara. Said as if she were a knight promising an oath of a quest. The cell phone was disconnected, and as it had appeared in her hand Sara had no idea how it had disappeared or reappeared on Catherine's hip. "I will." she repeated.

"Sara?" Catherine held onto her lover, her eyes darting between the woman in her arms and the man at her side.

"He won't get her. He won't!"

"Alright, why don't you start explaining yourself, Mr. Sidle." Brass demanded, sitting down opposite of the masculine version of the young woman he had in his heart adopted.

"Sara must think I'm dead. Probably with good reason." the voice was a low smoky whisper. Dark brown eyes looked around the table from the hound-dog expression and beady eyes of Captain Jim Brass to the thick stocky body of a young Texan to the lankier, taller body of the black guy.

"Oh, I think it's a bit more than that, I've never seen CSI Sidle react that way," Jim said leaning forward.

"Sara doesn't freak out like that, man." Nick Stokes gritted out between clenched teeth.

"I need to see her," Sidle said trying to stand up, "I need to explain things to her. Hopefully make her understand, what happened."

"Yeah, that's good start. Explanations. Why don't you rehearse with us? Make us understand what 'happened.' Because, I'm telling you right now, you won't get anywhere near Sara." Brass affirmed.

Warrick had been watching the man with cold eyes, he like the others was struck by how surreal it was that this man resembled their friend. He was more pretty than he was handsome. Even with his short flat top hair cut, he looked like Sara, well if she had gone all stone butch. What Warrick was staring at was the tattoo on the man's arm.

"Guys check the art on the bicep." he said making his co-workers and Sidle look at the tattoo on the man's right arm. It was of a young girl with a cute gapped tooth grin. "That looks like Janet. The receptionist said you claimed to be the girl's father."

"I 'am' her father," Sidle nodded. His hand stroked over the face reverently, "but this isn't Janet, it's Sara."

That got everyone's attention.

Catherine supported her trembling lover as she escorted Sara back to the interrogation rooms down at NLVPD. The older woman's hand painfully held by Sara who would not let go. Catherine would not ask her to or even to lighten the grasp.

Catherine was quite possibly the only one who had known of Sara's tormented past. Well not the only one. Lindy had been there the whole time.

Words haunted Catherine as she looked at the phantom expression behind the doe eyes of the taller woman. Sara had once told the strawberry blonde , 'No child should be made to feel they were a mistake and unwanted. Better they be aborted before they were born than made to feel their mother terminated love while alive and make a child wish they were never born.'

Catherine knew of course, apart of Sara's bewilderment in the locker-room had much to do with the overwhelming sense of relief a victim of incredible abuse feels when given compassion. It was an aspect of the Stockholm Syndrome. The abused identifies with their captor and understands so little else that tenderness is an alien emotion.

So overwhelming the emotion, it could paralyze one, make them flee, become suicidal or lock themselves into a endless cycle of abuse. The adrenaline rush the victim feels when so young becomes an addiction. Catherine knew as did Sara, children of abuse often look for a mate that would do the same to them as their parents had if only to feel that rush. Sara had found that rush in impetuous acts on a scene of a crime, confronting abusers as she had with Shelton. Sara chases rabbits with rape cases. She hears them scream in her sleep. Catherine knew why those types of cases were devastating to her. Lindy had confided in Catherine, letting her know that not only had Sara been excessively abused as a child but raped as well not only as a young college student but as a child, chronically by her father. It was no wonder she related to little Brenda Collins, and her mother-sister.

The bravery Sara was exhibiting now astounded Catherine. Never was she as proud of Sara as she was at this very moment.

Words too spun wildly around Sara's mind, her spirit nearly crushed by them:

Taking, forcing, ripping, stealing, nothing. nothing... discarded, torn... taking... fear... terror. Words... so many words... skin to skin, bone to bone... choking... gasping. Reluctantly Sara found herself rousing to the present moment it felt like rising through deep cold water as the dead were said to rise. More images flashing - spiraling: Matt towered over the small child. She was only six years old and yet her eyes were five times that age. "You're a smart girl Sara....do as you're told....."

Images of her mother. Laura being beaten time and again, Sara wept silent tears for the mother Laura could have been. Yes, Laura sometimes hurt her, but only when she was drunk. So drunk Mom didn't know what she was doing. As long as Sara remained quiet, practically invisible Laura left her alone. Matt was another story. Matt was always another story.

Sara remembered all of it so close to the surface, the flashes of memory-dream because of the meds in the hospital, the nightmares relived because of Janet's own plight.

Sara remembered.

Pain exploded at the base of her skull coursing down her spine then out to her limbs. As the spasms racked her body, she yowled in fear and shock. She was falling but back arched and limbs rigid, she was unable to move to save herself. She slammed to the floor, the impact knocking any remaining air from her lungs. Wave upon wave of fiery agony surged through her body as she lay there unable to gasp for breath, it stopped and her body went limp. But the pain remained. Sara tried to speak but her throat was so dry and sore that she began to cough, sending fresh agony lancing through her body.

Sara yelped, crying hard, unable to focus she fell but the pain stayed with her. When the twisting finally stopped with a loud pop, she lay there panting, waiting for the agony to subside, mercifully, she passed out. Matt had broken her arm because Sara had refused to get 'The Bag' for Matt so he might beat Laura with the oranges that would have been inside. He wanted to beat his wife but leave no visible bruise behind.

Sara bit down on the bile rising in her throat, the memory so new so old:

Pain was the first thing she was aware of when she came to. Sara tried to open her eyes, panicking until she remembered she'd been hit by Matt. He had backhanded her, the blow had been hard enough to send her spiraling across the room, the former hippie, had struck another blow at the side of her head. His next blow sent her staggering across the ottoman near one of the chairs. She landed unconscious heap. Blood seeped slowly from the cut above her rapidly swelling eye.

Sara learned at an early age how to make herself into nothing, fade from the mind. Sometimes it worked so well they would forget about her for weeks. She would be able to scrounge for food, order take out, and hide. Sometimes she wasn't fast enough to get away, fast enough to hide and be forgotten about.

Catherine watched the tormented face of her lover change, pain lancing the brown eyes, she flinched when Catherine reached for her. The slight movement broke Catherine's heart. For so long all Sara knew of touching was that it inevitably brought pain.

Sara's voice was so distant when she spoke, that it was almost as if disembodied. "Matt told me once that 'love is a powerful thing.' he said he refused to live without Laura. I was forced to watch him as he raped my mother...he took her from behind. His words.... 'See that is what happened here. I refuse....I won't live without you, my Laura..." he knelt by her then, she was panting, sweaty. His voice...I remember it was husky from his lust, his hand brushed the matted hair away from her face almost tenderly. "You force me, Laura. You don't actually think I want to hurt you, do you? No...I don't, but you force me to hurt you, Laura. You force my hand.' His voice contained sympathy of pure falseness. I watched him as he untied my mother leaving her in the kitchen.

"I tried to cover my ears and not look, I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me whole. The blood and sweat was nothing in comparison to Matt's hand upon me, wherever the hand touched, so dirty. He told me I had better start listening. 'You think you're too smart for this family? You're lucky you have us. Have 'me' to take care of you. Maybe you should learn a lesson of my generosity. And you'll learn to be grateful.'

"He taught me his brand of gratitude." Sara shivered. She had not known, nor had Catherine that the door to the interrogation room was ajar, enough so that the four men inside could hear every word Sara was saying.

Three sets of eyes looked at the effeminate man in the chair. Hate radiated from them. Loathing and contempt. There was no doubt in the sable eyes that had the camera not been on, the three would have jumped him.

"I'm not that man..." he said meekly, not wanting to hear the testimony. The memories blinding him as it had Sara. But her low smoky voice continued.

"He always told me....things like:'You should be indebted to me Little Get! I gave you a hunger. You can survive a long time on hatred. I gave you that hatred. Hate me but be honest about it.' He'd always lean close to me then, like some depraved grinning beast, "Free will is a folly, lies that leaches the flow of real life. You and your mother are repugnant. Your little girl altruism is worth nothing. Remember your rage when you saw your mother's blood. When you saw your blood. I gave you the will to survive. I only gave you the will to live. You owe me.' It was always like that, mostly during the summer. In school he'd forget me, Laura had her turns then. But only when she was drunk. She was drunk she'd forget herself, she take what ever Matt did to her out on me. Matt...he was always just... just him.

"My mother warned me, telling me we both knew how he could get when he was angry and I was never to get him angry. That things would be okay if I did just as I was told. When...when Mark left....things got worse. They drove him to suicide. LSD overdose or something like that. He and Lindy were my sanctuary"

Sara's voice drifted as she recalled the times she was forced to live in the cellar. She recalled the hopelessness she felt each summer during her time there. The tears slid from her eyes, the sound of the padlock and the retreating sounds of footfalls. She sat curled on the cot, the tears grew into sobs. There were many times that Sara would draw her legs up under her chin, her arms bruised and battered pulled around the already long limbs and her head bent as the sobs wracked her body.

"I always knew the constant attacks, would lessen her survival." the haunted voice came back, startling Catherine, who was now crying in her mourning for that lost child in California.

A wave of nausea and dizziness swept through all of them, a reaction to the pain Sara suffered Catherine, the guys on CSI and the captive. Jim Brass held murder in his eyes for the man sitting down. No father should ever bring such torment to his child. He had been a drunk, a lousy father back in Jersey, absent most of the time but he never once hit Ellie, not like Matt Sidle had Sara.

Brass found himself wanting to gather Sara into his arms and let her know a father's warm embrace, a father's care.

Catherine found herself reevaluating her motto of 'better a bad father than no father.' Nick made a point to remember to call up his father and tell him thank you for being the good father he was. That his 'Pancho' loved him and appreciated everything he was given. Warrick never knowing his father was almost grateful that he had walked out on him and his mother. He already knew his father didn't want him, but he never had to feel it. Not like Sara.

"When I was in the cellar though, Matt would forget about me. I had books to read, I read everything I could." Sara said softly. "I read all the old National Geographics that were stored in the place. Seemed like hundreds of them I read all of them three or four times over. In some twilit zone-y way, I owe my early education to Matt. There was even an old set of encyclopedias down there that I read cover to cover. I even learned how to survive. That a body can go three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. I learned that paper, certain insects, even my own blood could sustain me for a while. I learned that the pain that was constantly stabbing my insides was just another aspect of life."

The fog of Sara's mind took her back further. One of the first times in the cellar after her father had beaten her, broken her arm and ribs. She remembered each breath she took was agony. She remembered the prays "Oh...God. Mommy... it hurts..." The voice of a child to her mother. "Let me die, Oh God... please..."

"I can't help but wonder if there is a murder gene..." Sara flinched as the memories assaulted her.

"Arterial blood sprayed along the walls. Laura's second stab sliced into the Matt's chest, directly into his heart. The knife raised cast off from the blade became red paint, the tang of iron filled my nostrils until it was the only thing I could smell. Laura moved with preternatural speed, so quickly that she appeared to be nothing but a blur of motion. Unsheathing her knife again and again in the cavity that was Matt's chest. Bits of flesh and muscle clung to the blade of Laura's knife. Her face, shirt front and hair became coated.

"I...really wasn't aware of what happened. I recall my mother making this screeching noise, the sickening slurp of meat against metal. There was so much blood, so much. It pooled a thickening red puddle around the body seeping its way slowly to me." Sara shivered and felt Catherine's arms hold her tightly, but loose enough so her broken ribs were not further assaulted today. "I saw what death throes were like in a human body.... Matt's body convulsed. I had only ever known beheaded chickens to flop around like that. Blood everywhere. Coating so much of the walls, the floor, Laura. Me. Iron in the air so thick it was the only smell in existence.

"I turned my head from the mutilated body of my father to the image of my mother to see a young cop puking. I had no idea how much time had elapsed from Matt's murder to the sound of someone retching. I became known as the girl whose father was killed by her mother." Sara looked up to the door of the interrogation room, and flinched. This was the same room Maxwell Kingsley had pounced on her, beating her, shattering her ribs. Ironic really when she thought about it. Old memories, new memories, same pain.

In all that pain, in mist of memory Sara saw the face of Janet.


"He won't get Janet." Sara said, her voice where once distant, disembodied and ghostly was now iron. The door slammed open with force. Like a Grecian Fury, or Valkyrie, Sara stood before the memory of her tormentor. Thunder became her voice "You. Will. Not. Have. Her!"

Everyone in the room was on their feet, all staring at Sara, at the fire in her eyes. Each held that same fire. "Detective Brass." Sara's eyes never left those of the man she believed to be her father.

"I want this man, Matt Sidle to be arrested on charges of chronic child abuse, chronic child molestation and rape of minors, and chronic spousal abuse." Placing her hands on the table, her face inches from that which was far too familiar, "Janet, will never know you. You will never do to her what you did to me or Mark. I'm all grown up now Matt. You can't hurt me anymore. And you will never hurt her. NEVER!"

"Sara." the man stood, or at least he tried to but Nick and Warrick slammed their hands down on the other's shoulders. And forced him with not too gently back down into the chair.

"Look cuff me if you want," this was said to Brass, "but Sara. Please... please... I have to explain....I'm not dead."

"No shit! I don't know how you survived it. I saw your carcass. What was left of it. I was there, I saw it all. That night I knew what that 'safe-place' wasn't a made up place. I got put into the System. But, see living with you as my father... helped me survive the group homes. I was in them for awhile. But if I could survive 'the cellar', 'the bag' and 'the judge' I could survive those other places." hate seethed from Sara's lips. Her voice a dangerous growl of a tigress

"Sara," the man was all but pleading now, tears making wet streaks down his face. "Sara... Small Fry..."

Sara once more found herself stumbling backwards. Her eyes grew large. Only one person in the universe knew she had that nickname and he was supposed to be dead, LSD overdose, or a .45 slug in the head, which ever Laura had told her a given day of the month. But then again Sara was so convinced the man before her was Matt Sidle, a man she knew had been stabbed to death. Was it any more difficult to believe it was her brother?

Mark's death was hearsay, believed only because Laura had said it was so.

"Small Fry... you gott'a believe me! I know god I know I look like the bastard, but its me...Marky. Oh god Sar..... I never knew... Laura said you... you were killed by a drunk driver while on your bike coming home from a science fair....I was never to come home, never to write, I was just to stay away. They hated me for running away... I . Small Fry, I never knew... God please!"

"You look just like 'him'," Sara's voice growled.

"I'm not Matt Sidle. It's me Marky....

"You look just like did, the day he died."

"I'm not him, Small Fry." The man... Mark... Matt ... was defeated. "I'm not him. I have his face. I'm not him. Take my blood, DNA.whatever to prove it. Small Fry....it is me. Your big brother. Oh God.I - I never would have let you stay... I thought ... I thought you were dead. She said you were dead."

"You look just like him" Sara's voice repeated.

Catherine had had enough, she pulled Sara away from the room, her eyes looking to the mirror "I'm taking her home Grissom. She's in shock." there was no resistance from Sara as she was led out of the room, and none coming from the observation room. Catherine's arm supporting the lanky body of her lover. Once again the hand found a home in Catherine's, never letting go.

Behind them Mark / Matt Sidle wept.

Part 34

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