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.
By Elizabeth Carter
"So do you like them?" Sara asked of her partner once they returned to CSI HQ.
"Greeson. Her entire life is centered around Stirling. Her entire focus is on him. A reverse Oedipus complex. She mothers him, but she's in love with him. You can see it in her eyes. My gut tells me she didn't do it."
"Okay, I'll buy. Stirling.... something about him...He's..." Sara was wracking her brain to come up with an adjective.
"Grissom on steroids?" Catherine offered.
"Yeah, only creepy." Sara frowned. "The man is a certified genius, has no short term memory to speak of, Greeson loves him enough to cover for him."
"Thinking the old ''he''s so nice, always quite, then he went wacko'' bit?" Catherine nudged.
"We gotta follow the evidence right?" Sara answered. "He plays the clueless card pretty well. Might be theater, might be real. Either way he is still seriously odd."
"Who's odd?" Grisom''s broke in to the women''s conversation.
"A suspect on our Little Jane Doe." It was Catherine who answered. "First on the Scene is professor at the college. The classic absent minded professor."
"What he killed the vic and forgot he did it?" Grisom frowned. "What does the evidence say?"
"Likely candidate. He had reasonable doubt why his epithels are on the vic, DNA on the mouth. His alibi is questionable. Time of death his secretary / housekeeper says he was with her at the time Jane Doe was killed. But she is so infatuated with him she might be pulling a code red, and covering for him." Sara took the explanation further.
"Motive?" Gil titled his head slightly to the right, his eyes never leaving either Catherine''s or Sara''s lips.
"None right now," Catherine said.
At that moment the sound of pagers went off. All three of them checked their hips and looked.
"Robins," Catherine answered.
"I''ve got Greg," came Sara.
"Humph." Grisom frowned once more. "Apparently Hodges found something for me." he walked away his head in a file. "Keep me posted." the graying man flung over his shoulder.
"Divide and conquer?" Sara asked of Catherine.
"Meet you in a few," Catherine said as she touched Sara''s arm in passing the younger woman.
Sara felt a rush of heat burn her at the place of contact, her stomach under attack by phantom butterflies. Trying not to be too obvious as she swallowed hard, the brunette smiled revealing the cute gapped took smile as she could only nod at the blonde.
''What the hell was that?'' Sara chided herself. In seeing Catherine''s blue eyes sparkle the butterflies swarmed back. Shaking her head, Sara sucked in a small breath of air trying to steady herself before she found her voice. "Yeah sure."
Catherine stopped into Doc Robbins morgue steeling herself for the site of a tiny girl the same age, same size as her baby girl laying on the slab. The little one needed justice, justice demanded Catherine and Sara deliver it.
"Hey Doc," Catherine announced herself as she waltzed into the aging doctor''s domain. "What did you find?"
"Catherine always welcome," the man''s soft eyes smiled, he knew who hard it was for the CSIs at time to come in here. Not because they were squeamish, but because come cases hit them harder than others. And yet they took the cases. The age of the victim would have captured the beautiful blonde''s passion of justice.
"Little Jane Doe, as you know her rape kit came back negative," Robbins said easing the mother in Catherine. "She has multiple contusions along the torso, lacerations riddle her body. Blunt force was used to shatter her rib cadge, she took a hard hit in the pelvis and the femur of her right leg giving her a hairline fracture."
"A broken leg? How was she able to walk?"
"Trauma to her spinal-column pinched the cortical artery in cerebral cortex sent her body into cold shock. You''ve heard stories about the walking wounded?" At Catherine''s nod of the head he continued, "pulmonary edema, caused the foam around her mouth. She bled out when a lung aggravated and finally pierced her lung."
"She walked away from the primary, about a block and a half. So what? Had she stayed where she was she would had survived?" Catherine found.
The doctor nodded. "She might have stood a chance. See here?" Robbins pointed to the heavy lacerations. "I found rose thorns in the wounds. From the pattern of the lacerations she was thrown into the roses with great force." The portly doctor turned the child''s hand over.
"Defensive scarring," Catherine continued when she saw the deep cuts. "She fought off her attacker."
"Yes but see the knuckles and finger tips, scaring goes along down her arms. Almost as if she was dragged. She had the same scarring along her torso, legs and chin. I also found timber residue and this dark substance here... tree sap."
"Primary was in a thicket of woods, she was hiding from her assailant and he dragged her out." Catherine let her mind work the scenario out in her head. She saw the child scarred, crying out huddled in the thickets of thorns mindless of how they were cutting into her little body. The blonde saw the assailant reach in and pull the girl out, take up the bough that was handy upon the ground and with all his strength lay into her. When the girl continued to cry and fight, he picked her up by her little jacket and flung the body into the brier like a useless toy.
"There are not aberrations consistent to an adult''s hand along her ankles or neck. But these marks here on her left wrist are older than the resent bruising. There are also ruptures in the tendons in her arm that are consistent with a forced upward momentum."
"Forced like being yanked up from a sitting or pron position," Catherine concluded.
"Forced stretching Catherine that''s what her body is telling me." Robbins titled his head to one side and back. His ancient eyes resting upon the blonde. "She was also bitten."
"Bitten? Human?'' Catherine''s face fell into an _expression of disdain.
"With this bite radius I hope not. With the spacing of the incisors I would safely guess canine."
"Dogs....could be the reason why she left the hiding place....or was there in the first place." The blonde CSI pondered. "I''m going to need an impression of the bite mark."
"My heart be still Sara Sidle graces my lab." Greg Sanders flashed a massive ear to ear grin. He spun around in his chair a few times before rising to stand near the tall brunette. He seemed almost out of place in the CSI labs with his spike hair, black Skinny-puppy tee-shirt and playful flirtatious eyes when ever they fell upon Sara Sidle.
Sara rolled her doe brown eyes but flashed the young lab-tech a smirk. "You paged?"
"I put a rush on the samples you gave me last night. I even ''pulled a Sidle'' and gave into some overtime. Sorry CODAS didn't spout out anything on your suspect. But it is XY. I did get some interesting results on one of the samples you gave me, however. Care to make a wager?" The young man's eyebrows wiggled playfully.
"Greg, a seven year old girl was killed, does it look like I want to play games?" Sara growled, causing Greg to wince.
"Um...sorry....er..right. Okay, well one of the samples that came back was not human." He handed her a sheet of data laying on the printer's output tray.
Sara studied for a moment, her chocolate eyes becoming darker in her puzzlement."Canine?"
"Correct-to-mundo, Sara-girl. Doggie drool. Same with some of the fibers you found. Puppy was shedding."
Sara continued to study the paper. "Greg, I want you to compare the male saliva you were given last night to these samples we took today. Priority, Greg!"
"Everyone thinks their's is priority. I am only one man. One hunk of a man...but there is only one of me." Greg leaned closer, his boyish grin spreading from ear to ear. Greg held the boxed swap container in his hand and frowned. "Hey...is this right? Dimitri Stirling?"
"Yes, you know him?" Sara titled her dark head, her doe eyes intently watching the young tech.
"He had a seminar at Sanford for biology. He's one hell of a professor. Had this whole thing on biology, really really fascinating. Got me into forensics. ''Understand what is within, you will understand what is without.'' The guy is the love child of Einstein and Newton." Greg finished with an almost nostalgic puppy-dog expression on his choirboy face. "He's a suspect?"
"Yeah, I've talked with him. He's like Grissom's long lost twin or something. Greg, look, you might have some fond memories of him, but you need to stay objective, or do I need to get someone else to run the tests."
"Ah come on, Sara, don't do that," he almost whined. "You know you can count on me. I'll definitely put this on priority."
" Thanks, and ah, Grego, look, do me a favor," Sara started, pinning the tech with her dark doe eyes.
"For you, Sara, anything," he was still smiling, his body almost but not quite invading Sara's personal space.
"Don't give Catherine any grief....kids cases....hit too close to home."
"Oh, protective aren't we? I like that in my girls."
"Okay! Okay." He held his hands up in surrender.
"What else do you have for me? What about the fingernail scrapings?" Sara pressed.
"Humm, well, that took a little longer. I know you and Cat's case is heavy but.....it isn't the only one. Still running it." It was at that moment the analysis machine beeped, a second later a sheet was spat out from the printer. Sara made a reach for it, but her hand was covered by Greg's
"Hey...if you get your answer what do I get?" his dark eyes feigned a puppy-dog expression.
Sara smirked, "Give me the paper and I'll tell you," Sara's voice dropped an octave merging into a seductive purr.
Greg let his hand up, his body trembled, waiting for Sara's touch. He wasn't expecting the frown that found her lips. "XX?" She was hoping for something that would give her a definite lead to Jane Doe's killer. "Wait a minute, it's her own DNA?"
"Yeah," Greg nodded still waiting for Sara to make good on her word. He had always fantasized what it would be like to kiss her. "The other substance under the nails was timber."
Sara started to turn, leaving for her favoritelab to start running comparison FTIR analysis on the child's clothing and the swatch she found near the brambles by the fir tree, so she might be able to detect foreign substances.
"Hey! Forgetting something?" Greg pursed his lips for a kiss.
Sara smiled and moved forward as if to give the young man a kiss but ended up patting his head. "Good lab-rat," she whispered. "Oh, and don't you ever call her Cat. Catherine hates that nickname."
"My, we ''are'' protective." Greg sprouted his ever boyish smile.
Apparently Sara hadn't heard or didn't care to make a retort. Her head was stuck reading the documents the DNA lab delivered and started to make her way to the evidence lab. Without so much as a word.
It had been a few hours later that Catherine waltzed into Sara's favored lab, the one directly across from the blonde's own office, and leaned on the examination table, her blue eyes watching the younger woman. Sara's head was pressed into the rest of the microscope, her hands turning the dial, making the fibers she was studying come into focus. Sara had yet to acknowledge her presence. It wasn't out of a lack of courtesy, it was simply that Sara was so engrossed in the work before her that nothing short of a lab exploding would get her attention.
Catherine found her lips curling into a smile. 'Lindsey is right, Sara is beautiful. So talented. She's an artist.....'
"What did you come up with," Catherine decided it was time to announce her presence causing Sara to start with bit of surprise. For her trouble, Sara playfully and lightly back handed the blonde's arm.
"ARE you trying to give me a heart attack?" Sara grinned. "Last night not good enough for you?"
"I can always make you gasp for another reason," Catherine commented, forgetting for the moment she was supposed to keep her flirtatious daydreams to herself.
"Excuse me?" Sara blinked.
"What do you have?" Catherine turned the conversation back to the bits of evidence on the table.
"Not much," Sara lamented, then proceeded to lay out the information Greg had given her. Figuratively laying it all on the table, Sara moved from the scope and gestured for her counterpart to take a look. "The fibers we collected on the vic and the rose bushed don't match. But.." Sara paused for emphases. "What does match on the swatch and the vic's clothes is the presence of tobacco."
"Let me guess....Dunbar pipe tobacco," Catherine finished.
Sara nodded. "Yep. So how many people do you think on campus smoke an English pipe tobacco?"
"I can only think of one. I'll get some of the dayshift interns to start calling the local stores around UNLV to see it there are any regulars. It's a specialty tobacco so you can't just go into a convenience store and pick up a pouch." Catherine gained only a silent acknowledgment from her partner and so she started once more. "You said you had canine DNA?"
"Yeah, Greg-o is running the DNA we collected today, but like I said, Stirling isn't in CODAS. I am going to have Jackie run his prints, but we know that all faculty members are printed and have a background check....."
"Right, so we can get a copy of that. The canine DNA matches the evidence Doc found. She was bitten by a dog. He's thinking a big one. Have uniforms beat the shoe-leather to find if anyone within a ten block radius of the crime scene has a large dog."
"What about the lead with Blackwell?" Sara questioned, her dark eyes sinking into the blue ocean of Catherine's eyes.
"Back burner. I don't want to rule anything out, but I don't think it will give us anything. Like you said, it looked like Jane Doe supported herself. Though Blackwell's connection to Stirling and Lady Heather...I don't know, it's just too odd."
"No such thing as a coincidence," Sara quoted her own mentor, Gil Grissom. She was rewarded with a small smirk of amusement from the blonde. "Hey, speaking of that...Um, I know you're Gris's second, so you have my home number for 911's but... you didn''t happen to give it to anyone, did you? I mean, it's unlisted," the brunette hinted.
"Right Sara," Catharine's words were dripping with sarcasm. "I e-mailed it to every telemarketer out there in the free world, just so they can harass your cute arse."
Sara flashed a playful, sardonic grin. "Well, it's just that Lindsey called me."
Catherine stared opened mouth, then snapped her jaw shut. "My Lindsey?"
Sara only nodded.
"Sorry she bothered you." There was a hint of bitter tolerance in the blonde's voice.
"No, not a bother, I'm just telling you. She's a sweet kid," Sara decided to defuse the situation.
"Nance said she sometimes calls her friends at school and talks about a half hour to each of them. What did the munchkin say?" Catherine was pressing for details.
"She got my machine, she only commented on sharing lunch yesterday and she kinda wanted to do something similar sometime." Sara deliberately neglected to mention the invitation to the birthday celebration. After last year the young woman didn't know how she would be received. She didn't want to hear any more jokes about spirits moving someone to give gifts or what not. It pained her to know Catherine thought her incapable of brighter emotions. 'I am not Wednesday Addams for crying out loud, I am just...careful.....' Sara frowned, which quickly turned into a smirk. 'Wait a minute. She just called my arse cute!'
"She must have gotten into my purse and read my pocketbook. I'll talk to her about privacy issues."
"It's not an issue, Cath." Sara wanted the subject dropped. It wasn't her intention to make Catherine think she was angry about Lindsey calling, but she simply felt she should have mentioned it. "I'm sure she tries to get the guys over for dinner and stuff."
Catherine shook her head, "No not really. She gets along with Greg very well, but then they tend to have the same mentality," the blonde chuckled. "And she adores Warrick, but she doesn't call him up out of the blue and invite him over for dinner. She really took a shine to you."
'At least one of the Willows women did,' Sara dismissed the thought.
The space between them had grown awkward and the air thick with what should be next. "So we have sufficient reason to call Brass and have Stirling brought in for questioning, " Catherine commented, changing the subject. "You might have been right about that creepy vibe you got from him. Maybe he has a dog."
"I want to take a second look at the primary," Sara commented.
"Good idea, see what the sun brings out. Still no word from Brass about a missing child,"Catherine frowned.
"No... They're sending her pic through the database to see if it kicks anything out on the nationwide missing children lists," Sara answered. "Catherine....."
Sara was interrupted by the ringing of a cell phone. Both woman looked at their sides, it was Catherine's. Looking at the Caller-ID caused a deep frown on the blonde's face. Turning away from Sara, Catherine flipped the cell open and answered it. "What is it this time?"
Sara tried to make herself scarce, but Catherine was standing in the doorway, her whole body language screamed how completely angry she was. To her credit, Catherine kept her voice low and guarded. "I can't believe you. She was counting on you." There was a pause. "Yeah, like all the other times she's made to understand your broken promises. Bastard, you leave me to wipe the tears away." Catherine snapped the phone shut but that was all the movement she made.
Sara was still unsure on what she should do for her co-worker. What she wanted to do was to reach out and some how make it better, make the pain go away, the disappointment go away.
"A piece of arse beats out his daughter. He has her for only two weekends a month, and he promised to take her to Circus Circus for her birthday. He wanted ''the big party'', so I had a small one planned at home...."
Sara bit her lip. "I am sorry, Catherine."
"Yeah, me too." Blue eyes were brimming with unshed tears, but the blonde refused to shed them. " I know Lins. She won't want to go to that place because her Daddy promised to take her and now ....." Catherine wavered a hand in front of her as if to dismiss the pain of betrayal. "It's not your problem...never mind."
"Um....Cath...." Sara stepped forward, tentatively touching the smaller women's shoulder. "I ...um...look .."
"Sara, don't." Catherine shrugged the other's hand off. "You don't need to feel sorry for me. I don't need that. Let's just get back to work."
Sara turned away, her long dark hair covering her face. 'Why the hell do I sound like Greg?'' Aloud she said, "Look Catherine.... Never say never."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" The blonde was stymied.
"You said 'when the spirt moves me and in my case it will be never.' Well, look, Lindy wants to give me season tickets to ''The Pirates''. Take them. They are transferable, so when Lindy sends them over I'll give them to you. You, Lindsey and your sister have a great time." Puffing out a sigh, Sara continued. "I'm going out into the field." With that the younger CSI pushed passed the still staring Catherine and moved into the hall, heading for the exit.
By the time Catherine regained her senses enough to trail after Sara, she was already climbing into the Tahoe and peeling out of the LVPD parking garage.
"Damn it!" Catherine snarled. 'Gods, Cath you're a fucking bitch. She reaches out to you and all you do is slam her face into the wall and bite her head off. ... Shit, it's like I am back in high school being queen bitch to the science nerds.' Turning her body, Catherine moved back into the lab. 'Figures....I was a bully in high school and Sara is a self-admitting science nerd...'
"Don't tell me you and Sara are locking horns again," Warrick commented upon seeing the long face on his friend. They were both standing in the hall near reception. "She zipped out of here like a bat out of hell."
Catherine tried to smile. "No, she wanted to...help me out with Lindsey's birthday. Wants to give me tickets for Pirates of the Carribean over at Treasure Island."
"Boy, she's got some nerve," the tall lanky man teased. The somber expression on Catherine's face quickly exorcized his joviality. "So what happened?"
"Ever feel like you want to take something back but you got a feeling you can't?"
"You didn't accept them and she didn't take rejection well?" Warrick pressed.
"No, not exactly. Eddie called to cancel his promise to Linds and Sara leapt in to help. I bit her head off and she still goes and tries to help. Season tickets...."
"You know, sometimes saying sorry over a cup of coffee actually helps." Warrick's hazel eyes sparkled in merriment and concern for his would be sister. "I think she tends to take things personally but doesn't want to show it. You know Sara, her face might be impassive but her eyes give it away all the time. You see her heart in her eyes. 'Eyes windows of the soul' type of thing."
"Since when did you become poetic?" Catherine's voice was still low and guarded.
"Sara might not have come in our circle in the best circumstances and, yeah, it took me a while to warm up to her. But, Catherine, if I can do it, don't you think you can?" He patted the blonde''s back. "I love ya', Cath, but sometimes you are little hard on her. She doesn't make it easy for herself, granted, but you know....."
"What?" Catherine narrowed her blue eyes.
"You know, when Nicky and I were working that one case with the arson and Gris was nowhere to be seen. You told me in the locker room, we did a great job and that I should pass the praise on to Nicky. It felt great to hear you say that. The three of us, like Linds, kinda like to hear your approval. Sara especially. When was the last time you told her she did a good job?"
"She's got Grissom for that," Catherine said off handed, not wanting to think about what her big little brother was telling her.
"Yeah, maybe. But it's your approval she craves, Cath. You're both talented women playing in the boys only club and you've been here longer, doing it longer. And it sucks when the person you look up to....never mind." He squeezed her arm. "Just babbling. Nicky and I have to take apart a car interior that's been detailed trying to find evidence of transfer."
Catherine smiled thinly, still digesting what Warrick had said to her. "I have my own work cut out for me. DB turned out to be a seven year old child."
"No wonder you're on edge. You alright?" the young man's eyes tinged with deep concern.
"Yeah, I'm dealing. Our suspect .... I don't know, the evidence points to him but we still haven't found a motive. Sara's creeped out by him, and she doesn't even know why. He's like Dracula, Grissom and Einstein all rolled into one."
Warrick though a moment and almost smiled, "Doc Stirling, right?"
"Yeah. Sara tell you?"
"No, man... I had him for a few courses back in the day. Suave British accent, a pipe and a gold pocket watch that plays some weird tune, and always thinking ten times faster than light. Man's got some serious brain power, but swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool when it comes to common sense. His classes were always the toughest, most challenging. We'd joke around that he could entertain the devil and kill him with his tests."
"It's not the devil he might have killed," Catherine murmured.
"Dim Stirling?" Warrick frowned. "Damn.... I didn't think he had it in him..."
"Quiet, nice type," Catherine mocked.
"Yeah, and well and the man's a wimp. He got the life beat out of him because one of the cheerleaders was coming on to him and the boyfriend got pissed off. Stirling didn't even raise a fist to defend himself. It took seven guys including myself to pull "Jockstrap" off of the prof. All Stirling said was ''the first one to resort to violence is the first to run out of ideas.'' The man's a devout pacifist, like Zen-Buddha pacifist.
"The thing is, he had a lot of girls and a few gay dudes all gooy-eyed over him, but he like never noticed. I am talking some serious babes, like you and Sara...." Warrick had the good graces to blush. That gained him a warm smile from Catherine. "Um, anyway...he never once made a move on any of them. He was questioned by the Administration because students were seen coming and going from his office at all hours, thought he was doing some reinventing on their grades if they did a little favor for him. I was one of the kids."
Catherine's blue eyes widened in shock as her mind raced to the darker implication of Warrick's words.
"Not like that!" The man balked. "Look, he loves teaching, it's his passion. He left his door open for tutoring to anyone needing help. His tests were murder, but he was there if you needed his help or he pointed you in the right direction. Hell, he helped me pass my biology and physics classes. He's got this way about him, I can't explain it.
"You admire him," Catherine commented. "I don't know if I should listen to this. It could cloud my judgment."
"Cath, I'm not going to tell you, you are looking in the wrong direction. But.. I don't think he has it in him to kill. He doesn't have the balls to stand up for himself when he's being attacked."
"He's built like Grissom, Warrick, not exactly your athlete," Catherine retorted.
"No, I mean....snippy-do-da." he made a cutting action with his fingers.
"There was a long standing rumor... he like fell in love a long time ago, proposed to this woman...some lady...I mean you know, the Lord and Lady type of Lady. She refused and he..went all serpranio."
"You saying he's not gay..he's a eunuch!" Catherine stared. "He is a little effeminate despite the beard. He might have been a bore or what ever...but I didn't think eunuch."
"That's the story. I don't know if it's true or not, but the man is more celibate than the Pope. It's like if he couldn't have her, he wouldn't have anyone," Warrick shrugged. "I've been in love and out of it. Had my heart ripped out and served on a silver platter by women, but nothing would make me go get clipped. He's got serious heart issues. Maybe that's what's got Sara all creeped out by him...she's got issues herself."
"Don't talk about Sara like that," Catherine said quickly.
Warrick smiled but said nothing.
"I mean we all have issues. You know anything about Emily Greeson?" Catherine pressed.
"Other than the fact she fawns over Stirling like Grego fawns over Sara? Not much. She used to be a bookkeeper for...some alternative entertainment thingy about twenty years ago, at least that's what the stories are about. Anyway, apparently she saw him and she left her old work to be with Stirling.
"Greeson lives with him. Hell, she lives for him. She's deeply in love with him. She acts like she is his mother sometimes, or his wife....she handles everything. Without her he'd be lost. The man's short term memory is like a sieve. She has to reminded him of everything, I mean everything. He can't function without her. I guess that's what you get when you trade in your common sense for extremely high intelligence. Grissom forgets to raise his head out of the microscope and see the family around him but he isn't near as bad as Stirling. Catherine, I don't want to influence your case, but maybe the Doc isn't a suspect." Warrick shrugged his shoulders.
"Greeson? She destroys the one thing Stirling can't give her. There is a twisted sense of motive there. I have to meet up with Sara, there is a lead we put on the back burner that might...have more to do with this case than we thought. Besides..." Catherine grinned. "Las Vegas has its own Lady who happens to run an alternative entertainment establishment."
"You mean Lady Heather? Oh hell, you're thinking Lady Heather is the ''Lady'' old Stirling proposed to and she shot him down! No wonder Lady H was turned on by Gris, he and Stirling are cut from the same cloth," Warrick chuckled.
Catherine grasped him by the lapels of his leather jacket. "Not a word, Warrick! Got me?"
"I got you. Chill, Catherine." He was still smiling. "Hey, leave the rough stuff up for Lady H."
He pinched his fingers together and ran them across his lips before winking. "Better let you go, Catherine. Sara's waiting for you."
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