DISCLAIMER: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other related entities are owned, trademarked, and copyrighted by Anthony E. Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, CBS Worldwide Inc., Alliance Atlantis Corporation, CSI Productions and CBS Productions. This is fanfiction and is written purely for the fun and enjoyment of the fans without profits being made what so ever.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This idea came after watching "You've Got Male" and the phone call Sara made asking the other person on the other end of the line if they wanted to do something. I came up with the someone. I also thought of the hell Catherine was going through in "Outside the Box" about what a lousy way it was to find out Sam Braun was her father.
SPOILERS: Season Two, most specifically "You've Got Male"
ARCHIVE: Only with the permission of the author.

6 Degrees
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 5

Sara tried not to think of the burning words spoken by Catherine. She had grown accustomed at the fine art of excusing and justifying the blonde's demander.

'I was new to the crew'

'I came in investigating a man who as Catherine's brother in all but DNA'

'Just because we are both females doesn't mean jack, we are only supposed to be CSIs.'

'I am a little younger so she thinks Gris will turn his attention to me, rather than her.'

'I was hand picked and asked to move here, and I am no Holly...not a friend....'

Oh there were several others, a whole plethora in fact. Sara had used them to excuse Catherine's behavior and disregarded them as easily was one disposes of the latex gloves after a case is closed. Yet it was becoming increasingly difficult to create and disregard the justification. Sara would do what she always had done since she was a child when struck with the unpleasantness of words, she would throw herself into work, and conquer the task set before her. That is why she was so good at it.

Sidle reached the campus grounds of UNLV in relatively short time. Not truly realizing she had made the trip with relatively little time and was now lugging the tote of equipment across the parking lot to the thicket of trees and brier. Here she set the case down to free up her hands and take a closer look of what she might have missed last night. Which wasn't much. She was after all a very adapt CSI.

Over head a squirrel chastised the presence of the obtrusive human. After all it had, had quite enough over the last couple of days thank you very much, and it felt it no longer had to entertain the akward bumbling two legged creatures. It was bad enough to entertain the near-wolves that constantly yelped and chased a hard working squirrel. Didn't anyone realize that winter was coming and the nuts had to be harvested and hid for the long nights of cold?

Sara looked up into the thick boughs of the pine tree to see a seriously pissed off squirrel. Very cute but bitchy. "So what you and Catherine go to the same school?" Sara chuckled to herself, thinking well she was on the UNLV campus where indeed Catherine Willows gained her Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology. "I bet you saw everything didn't you hairball?"

The squirrel was still chittering and scolding, causing Sara to giggle all the more. Taking the camera from around her neck, the young criminologist started taking pictures, of new blood drop off and dark hairs caught in the thicket of thorns. They had been easily missed the night prior as they were caught in the underside of the briar patch. Tweezing the new evidence free Sara deposited them into bindle thinking they might belong to the dog that had bitten Janey Doe.

Her sharp eyes also caught a faint reddishness to the thorns where she had recovered the dog-hair. Methodical and precise, Sara would have four more blood swaps for Greg to test.

Shifting her foot, after all she had been kneeling quite some time the tip of her boot came in contact with something mettle. Frowning with puzzlement Sara began to brush away the senna-red fallen needles of the fir tree to reveal a besmirched golden surface about two inches in diameter.

Taking a photo of the item, a now identifiable as a pocket watch Sara turned to retrieve another bindle to deposit her find when her hand snagged a bit of the rose bush and tore through the latex and into her hand.

"Damn it!" she snapped, watching a thin red line appear on her skin. Tucking her left hand near her body, so she wouldn't contaminate the scene with her own blood, she once more started to retrieve the small manila envelope. Using the forceps she used to collect the fibers clapped onto the watch chain, plucked into the packet. It was at this time her phone went off, causing Sara to sound very much like the grumbling squirrel not forty-five minutes ago.

"Sidle." She snapped into the mouth piece.

"Ah...hey. Call at a bad time?" it was Catherine.

"Not really." Sara was now detached, waiting for her blonde counterpart to chew her out for the hurried exit from the labs. It wasn't something she wanted to hear right now. Not that she ever wanted to be chastised by Willows. "Want a progress report." Sara nearly snapped. It wasn't just the small altercation in the lab earlier but her left hand was feeling rather squishy in the latex glove as the blood was now making the interior slimy. Not to mention is was painful.

"That, and I want you to meet me at Lady Heather's."

"Grissum's dominatrix?" Sara frowned. She had gathered everything and was now making her way back to the Tahoe.

Catherine's lyrical voice chuckled, "Don't let him catch you phrase it that way. But yes. I think we need to follow up on this lead. I know we thought it a little fruitless, but there was something Warrick said."

"Wait a minute you're talking to Warrick about OUR case?" Sara was now more than vexed, her increased pace in walking proved just how irritated she had become. "You talk to him and not me about the case. The one you and 'I' are working?" Reaching the black SUV she slung open the back and slammed the case down into the back with enough force to cause the shocks in the vehicle to bounce.

"Sara!" Catherine's voice was not rebuking but still held the tone of a mother. "You're blowing it out of preparation." She took a steady breath and restarted. "Warrick had Stirling as a professor, he knew something of the man's past. Something that had to do with Lady Heather about twenty years ago. I am following a hunch here Sara."

"Something happen twenty years ago?" Sara's pencil fine eyebrows knotted in puzzlement. "Okay I'll bite what is the relevance to the girl?"

"Possible motive for our killer."

"You're thinking something happened between Lady Heather and Stirling that turned him into a child killer?"

"No, not Stirling. Greeson. From what Warrick told me she worked for Lady Heather, where she met and fell for the absent minded professor, but he was seeing her boss." Catherine proceeded to tell her partner everything what Warrick had related. In the end Sara had agreed it was a possible motive.

"That reminds me," Sara said referring Emily Greeson's new connection to the case. " I found a gold pocket watch, piping out the same tune we heard Stirling's play. Thinking either he lost it and got a replacement, or Greeson took it and planted it, and got a replacement for him. She actually might be trading on his absent mindedness."

"Good idea. Which is why I want to talk to Lady Heather."

"Brass meeting us there?" Sara questioned.

"No he's still hunting the leads we gave him this morning. And with Lady Heather, we wont need a uniform. She isn't a threat, even if she is a suspect, she wont be a threat to us. She wasn't the first time we did a meet and greet."

As Catherine was talking Sara was trying with a single hand secure the case and evidence she had collected while trying to keep the hand she had scratched tucked against her body. She hissed in pain as she removed the glove now gummy from the blood and sweat.

"Sara, what's up?" Catherine' s voice betrayed a hint of concern.

"Nothing, just scrapped my hand. And before you say anything I kept it away from the evidence. And 'yes' I will bindle the glove." Sara was already defensive.

"Sara, I didn't say anything, I know your competent," the strawberry-blonde sighed, she couldn't blame the younger woman from her tone of voice. "Look what happened in the lab, I took my frustration out on you and you're right all you wanted to do was help out." It wasn't exactly what one would call an apology but it would do. "I think Lindsey would love the pirate thing. Thank you."

"No problem." Sara answered. "Oh, you'll have to give me the address for Lady Heather's last time it was just you Grissom and Nicky."

"Yeah, poor Nicky is still recovering from what he saw there," Catherine chuckled. "I think the poor guy was pale for a week."

Sara couldn't help but laugh herself, for a month afterward Nick Stokes was still trying to exorcize the ladies of bondage, whips, chains and rubber masks. Give him a scuba guy in a tree any day of the week.

It would take another forty-five minutes for Sara to meet up with Catherine at Lady Heather's. The gothic castle stood on the hill in its own forbiddance. The ambiance was only accented by the candle light which seemed to be the only lighting within as well as without.

'Creepy....' Sara shook her head, suddenly sympathizing with Stokes. Brown eyes noticed another black SUV, the engine still warm. Its driver waiting patiently by the door.

"Glad you could make it, I was beginning to become concerned." Catherine greeted her counterpart.

"Wow, this place is a gothic wet-dream." Sara uttered causing the older woman to chuckle.

"Wait until you see the inside, let alone the Lady herself."

"After you," Sara gestured talking a half a step back allowing the blonde to take the lead. Catherine would announce their presence by ringing the bell but didn't wait for anyone to answer. After all the castle was place of business as well as the private domicile of the enigmatic woman who owned the establishment.

Lady Heather was a vision to behold. She was the embodiment of grace and eloquence and seemed to the eye to be almost ethereal and beyond surreal. A dark Bonducella angel in the flesh. She was a woman who was not only in control of her surroundings but herself, she perfectly contained, and very much aware of the power she held. Her dark red mane hung in painted perfection. Her eyes... almond shaped and with the perfect stroke of mascara were made to appear feline, which added to the hypnotic effects. To any who looked within the emerald orbs saw their soul reflected back, and you knew almost instinctively she knew your most buried and deepest secretes. Despite her best efforts not to apprehensive Sara shifted under the gaze.

Sara was astonished, yes Catherine Willows was a very beautiful woman but Lady Heather was its definition. The tall dark dominatrix garbed herself in black translucent lace that flew freely about her hourglass shaped figure. Her perfectly sculpted breasts were concealed erotically behind a strapless bra. An equally tantalizing bikini covered her lower half. Her shapely legs were perfectly complemented by the knee length leather stiletto boots. Her full lips begged to be kissed, as did her delict curves of her neck which was adorned by a black chantilly lace choker.

"Welcome back Catherine. Are you here for pleasure or a more professional capacity?"

"Professional," Catherine smiled. "A few questions that could clarify a few issues for us."

Lady Heather's emerald eyes swept past the blonde to Sara, who was still mute. Catherine followed the gaze to see Sara bewitched by the dominatrix. "Lady Heather, this is CSI Sara Sidle."

Sara smiled and took Catherine's lead, she tilted her head ever so slightly as she noticed that dominatrix did not shake hands. "Lady Heather." there was no doubt in Sara's mind now about the 'Lady' part. At first she thought the self-proclaimed title to be almost absurd, but this woman was indeed regal.

"What answers to you think I have that could assist you on your case?" Lady Heather was if anything direct.

Sara remained silent watching for Catherine's cue. After all the blonde was the primary on the case. "A Doctor Dimitri Stirling and an Zoe Blackwell. Is Miss Blackwell an employee here?"

If Lady Heather was stilted by the questions none could say she was. Her eyes, her expression completely impassive. Her body so controlled Sara could not help but envision the dominatrix was almost vamperic.

"Follow me." She would say no more but lead the CSI's up the red carted flight of stairs that wound around a stained glass window of a white robed fem-fatale and up yet another flight of stairs that was less ornate. Until she crossed into the west wing of the castle past ladies getting dressed, and the screams of males enjoying their liberation into submission into her private chambers.

Like the rest of the antiquated domain this area had hard wood floors and remnants of ages past from the fire screen, to the furniture that was decisively Elizabethan and Edwardian.

"Though private, my area is open to all. The discussion we are about to have is not." Lady Heather explained.

Lady' Heather's private chambers were as ornate as the rest of the domicile. Hardwood floors a walnut wardrobe gilded with gold leaf. A suit of armor polished to a sliver mirror shine, near it a shirt of chain-mail and red ostrich feathers. On top of the mantle all manors of masks from steal, to leather to lacquered wood. The thing that caught Sara's eye was the iron maiden or at least that what she thought it was, tucked neatly in one of the corners. Defiantly used for torture at one time was now an item for display. Along the walls hung fetish magazines in frames with none other than Lady Heather as the cover story. Golden hand cuffs, and red silk drapery also decorated the chamber.

Softy as a whisper a piece of baroque music softly played. Loud enough to be heard, but yet remain unintrusive. Both Catherine and Sara turned their head trying to pinpoint the familiarity of the music but neither could lay a finger on it. Never dismissing anything, they would each place it in the back catalog in their mind's eye filling cabinet.

"The music...I enjoy some civility from time to time. 'Banish Misfortune' its one of my favorites." The red-head smiled. "I noticed you both admiring it. Let us sit and talk of the sorted topic of death, the reason you are here."

Intrigued by the words the dominatrix had spoken, the two CSIs would find themselves seated upon red overstuffed chairs whose legs ended in carved lion's paws, near a tortoise shell octagonal table. It was no wonder that Grissom was mystified by this woman she was sensuality and power. Sara once more found herself thinking of a feline, or perhaps even Cleopatra, whose own sensuality nearly toppled Rome. Was she here now reborn in Lady Heather whose presence could threaten to topple yet another empire?

Sara shifted under the scrutinizing gaze of the dominatrix, a gaze Catherine was quick to follow. The blonde knew that gaze it greeted her when she first met the fem-fatale. Lady Heather held them both with her eyes, and in silence looked searchingly at each woman in turn. Not even Catherine could long endure her glance. Sara blushed and quickly turned her head.

At length the Lady Heather released them from her eyes, and smiled. "Zoe and Dimitri. They are in a word, family. Zoe is my daughter, and Dimitri is the man who helped me create her, though he does not know it." She looked at Catherine her green eyes seemed to ignite with a baleful fire, her lips still curled in the felinesk smile, "and it must remain that way."

Catherine perused her lips together, her head titled to the side as she nodded. "Alright." the wheels inside the blonde began to click. Emily was looking better as the night progressed. This admission only added to the suspicions. "Lady Heather, this actually might play into our case. Does anyone else know he is the father?"

"The knowledge of my child's parentage has a barring on your case?"

"Yes." Sara answered quickly.

"That is your assumption." Lady Heather corrected. "Zoe's parental identity leads to someone's death. That is your business, death isn't it?"

Sara looked to Catherine, who nodded. "We found traces of blood on her car panel that matches the blood of our vic."

"But that isn't why you are here. Or you would have come to my doorstep with officers and a warrant for her arrest, rather than yourselves. You want to talk, not take in a suspect." Lady Heather reasoned.

"The blood on the car was a lead, yes. But its your connection to Stirling that lead us here, Lady Heather. Obviously you were involved with him, and you never discussed Zoe with Dimitri. The departer was amiable?"

"Do you mean did he rage because I rejected his offer for marriage?" Lady Heather titled her head, "He was crestfallen but he's not a man of violence. In fact he is far from it, in the like of Mahout Gandhi."

"A man not into violence comes to a fetish club?" Sara frowned. "That doesn't follow."

"He came here, for me. He was already submissive. My will was his, his liberation. He was a little bit of civility before dark, when all the needy little boys show up." She smiled thinking fondly on the man who sired her daughter. "He and I learned a great deal from each other. He spends his life uncovering ancient and arcane worlds and so he indulged in the sublet desires. He accepted the fact I knew what he desired, though he hid it from everyone else, and that terrified him. If he knew he gave me what I desired, a child...Zoe, he would done what Victorian civility told him he must do."

"Marriage. But you didn't want that." Sara said softly.

"Miss Sidle, there are a lot of things you can give a man, your time, your money even your heart but the one thing you can never ever, ever let go is your power. If I consented to marry him, I would have given him my power. Not in the mundane bit as a man and wife of Victorian stigma, but he would have consumed me. He is a man you can love, even care for but not one you want to make a life with."

"Which brings us back to the original question," Catherine interjected. "Did anyone else know Dimitri was Zoe's father."

"Other than the hospital staff?" The dominatrix nodded ever so slightly. "My former book-keeper. Emily Greeson."

Sara and Catherine exchanged glances, they both sighed and nodded.

"Emily is your suspect." Lady Heather said, "Who was killed?"

"Lady Heather....." Catherine started but stopped when she saw another woman enter in the chambers. The girl was no more than eighteen, her dark red hair cut short and unruly as it hung over her forehead and into her eyes. The mom in Catherine wanted to tell the girl, to get the hair out of her eyes so she could see. The girl's eyes...were as near bewitching as Lady Heather's own. Perhaps a shade or two lighter green like the color jade.

When Lady Heather laid eyes on the girl, her full lips pulled back into a smile. "Zoe, what I have told you about coming into my chambers like that?"

"Sorry!" the girl said her face blushing. "I er...didn't know you had clients..."

Sara's mouth opened and shut, Catherine chuckled.

"Oh no, no, no we're not clients we're with the Crime Lab." Sara fumbled.

"Mom?" Zoe ignored the CSI's and looked with her own feline like eyes to her mother, her voice filled with concern. She knew some time ago one of her mother's dominatrix's was murdered. Her mother had taken it hard. And only Zoe knew how devastated she truly was.

"It is nothing to worry about," the dominatrix placed a comforting hand on her child's arm. "Miss Sidle and Miss Willows are only here to ask questions. I want you to go with Miss Sidle in one of my chambers, and answer all the questions she has for you, including any pertaining to your father."

Sara looked to Catherine for permission to go. It was uncommon for a subject to dictate terms on question that didn't involve a lawyer. At Catherine's nod of the head, Sidle stood up and followed Zoe out of the room.

When they had departed, Catherine turned back to Lady Heather. "She's beautiful."

The red head smiled brightly her face aglow with parental pride. "Yes she is."

"So she know's Dimitri is her father?"

"Other than the fact Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny aren't real what hard secretes do you keep from your child?" Came the red-head's voice.

"Oh there is a lot in my past I wont tell Lindsey until she's maybe old enough to handle it."

"But you 'will' tell her." There was no doubt in Lady Heather's voice. "You will tell her because you will want to establish a foundation of trust. Telling her everting in your past you hope she will tell you everything in her life."

"Says the mom of a teenager." Catherine smiled, nodding.

"I told Zoe about her father sometime ago. And when she met him, she complied with my request he would know nothing of it. She cares for him but didn't him as a permeant fixture in her life. Dimitri's mind is unique. And he requires special handling. Emily saw this too, but she was willing to devote her energy, her life and her power to him."

"I met him, he isn't the overbearing type." Catherine paused curiously.

"No? And his absent-mindedness isn't overbearing and life consuming? He needs constant parental care. I wanted a child, not two and not the a man I share my bed with. He is a good man but not life material. But Emily thrives on it, she is a submissive. She had fallen in love with him. Knowing his needs and her desires I gave my blessings."

Catherine nodded taking it all in. "What about the hearsay about him being a eunuch after you turned him down."

"I don't know if that is true or not, Catherine. What does your evidence tell you? What I do know he said he would not love another as he did me. Some people can take that and distort the facts, its like looking through a stained glass window. You gain the image but it is colored."

"Lady Heather the victim was a child, no more than seven years old. What you are telling me fits the motive. Emily knows you loved Dimitri, had a kid by him and now he can't or wont love another woman. Emily sees the one thing she can't have with Dimitri and kills it, in her mind she is killing the emptiness."

Lady Heather's eyes darkened with the vague bitterness all those of great heart have when they hear of a child being murdered. "I hope you're wrong about Emily, but I hope you find the killer." She took a breath and watched Catherine for a moment. "You want to know if I let Emily go."

"Yeah," Catherine nodded. "It couldn't be easy to know someone else lusts after your man."

Lady Heather grinned. "Dimitri Stirling was may things but he wasn't my man, that intones ownership. He was a lover. As I said, when he left she did to. They needed each other, but at the time they didn't know it. Emily wanted to leave, I let her. She asked to be Dimitri's housekeeper and assistant. She wanted to be his submissive." The dominatrix laughed, "only he doesn't actually know he has Emily as his submissive. Get two subs together and they serve one another, without knowing the language. That's a set up for matrimony, not romance. He loved me very much Catherine, but I couldn't love him like he needed me to. Emily could love as he needed and she could make him happy. I want his happiness."

"And you made sure he had it, that he was looked after. Maybe you loved him more than you're admitting." Catherine said softly. She was gifted with Lady Heather's smile.

"Catherine, please don't take this the wrong way, because I would never assume to dance another dominatrix's game unless they are mine, but you should give your sub her release soon, or you will lose her."


"Sara." Lady Heather's green eyes sparked almost playfully. "I know the military has the code 'don't ask, don't tell'. I gather the police department have a similar creed? You don't have to hide behind pretense with me. Its not who you love its how you love. Genital is only an accessory created by nature."

Catherine opened her mouth to deny the assumption she was Sara' lover let alone her dominatrix. A part of her was shocked, the other intrigued how Lady Heather had surmised such a thing.

"She looks to you for permission and you in a soft silent communication consent to give it to her." the red-head said as if reading the blonde's mind.

"I am the senior CSI." Willows deferred.

"Then you are denying the desire you have for Miss Sara Sidle," it wasn't a question. "You must have a very strained relationship with her. You both speaking the language but neither of you are listening. You've dominated her, and she willingly gave you the control, but she will not let go of her power. You are ensnared by her silence, that secrete hidden part of her that not even Gil Grissom knows. She gives you her submission and excepts some sort of acknowledgement, some reward, some release, and when she doesn't receive it you have confused her so she becomes agitated and marcel around you. And in turn your passion becomes hostile."

Catherine now shifted becoming increasingly unnerved that Lady Heather had uncovered, outlined and displayed her entire relationship with Sara in only a few minutes. The dominatrix hadn't even known Sara that long, and yet her observations were dead-bang.

"Either you control your desire or your desire controls you. You don't control anything by repressing it and pretending it doesn't exist. Do that and you've given your power up. Conquer what you desire Catherine, or she will leave, and you will have lost everything."

"And if I told you Sara would be a Dimitri for me?" Catherine countered.

"Then you are being untruthful to me as you are to yourself." Lady Heather's face was lite with the beguiling smile she used to enchant others.

Chapter 6

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