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 6

Where Lady Heather was grace and refinery one might expect one of two things a carbon copy or a complete opposite. Zoe was actually in between. She carried herself with assuredness and command but were Lady Heather glided, Zoe pranced.

The chamber Zoe had chosen was more opulent than the cozy study where Lady Heather held several meetings of clients or her own private guests. This chamber like the rest of the household had hardwood floors shined to a high gloss that seemed to mirror those who tread upon it. Sara saw ornately carved wooden chairs of walnut that like the others in the household ended in lion's paws. Save these chairs were not set about a table but positioned upon a dais. Above the 'thrones', two large, leaded windows with diamond-shaped panels of red and white shown in moonlight.

The rest of the floor was covered by a plush rug, the design on it a woman in leather astride a black panther, and on a leash a male garbed in bondage gear as if he were a hound. Trophy shields line the walls, giving it a distinct medieval feel to it. Sara found herself drawn to a large mural on the west wall depicting none other than Lady Heather, clad in a leather teady and chain-mail that would have Xena envious. It is inscribed with the words 'your liberation is through domination.' The east wall had a plethora of chains and wool lined cuffs to bind clients, beyond the chains was a table lined with flails, whips and ostrich feathers. Tools of the trade no doubt.

"So your mom has her own clients in here?" Sara pondered more to herself than to Zoe.

"Sorta, she supervise mostly. Oversees everything. A place like this is used to help married couples find some sort of peace through domination and submission.

"A woman willingly allowing herself to be submissive to her husband. I think society already has that covered." Sara scoffed.

"Who ever said it's the guy that is the dom. Sometimes inside these walls, people let the tripe of society down and free themselves."

"Sounds like your mother's words." Sara smiled.

"My mom is pretty dead on, on things. She's never been wrong when she calls someone on something. She will use this room to train couples in their own liberations. Or she uses it to train other doms." Zoe explained. "Its also pretty quiet." Zoe bounded up the steps and plunked herself in one of the two thrones and guested with one hand for Sara to take the other.

'Eighteen gotta love it,' Sara thought granted she was only ten years older than the kid, but right about now it was a large generation gap. 'Greg would fall head over heels for her....' Zoe was dressed in ripped Levis 501's, engineer boots and a skin tight camouflage mid-drift tee-shirt that had writing in white box letters 'Damn it's snowing outside,' Sara could see a silver dragon belly-button ring, and a butterfly tattoo that was barely visible above the waistline of the jeans. Both ears had four piercings, that made ten in all with the one in her tongue. Zoe, the daughter of a dominatrix was a Goth.

"So you're here about what happened at the university?" Zoe said in a voice that would have been her mother's twenty some years earlier. "I don't have a lot of 411, detective," the girl shrugged apologetically.

Sara smiled, "I am not a cop, I am a criminalist."

"Oh like that forensics show on the Discovery Channel!" Green eyes lite up. "You can really snag a guy on a piece of chewing gum?"

Once more Sara nodded. "It's not all we would use but yes, something like that could help lead us to the perp."

"Wicked!" Zoe sat cross-legged on the chair, her arms resting comfortably on her knees. Different enough from her mother to make a statement. Zoe could never deny she was Lady Heather's daughter for they resembled each other so closely, so like all young adults she desperately needed her own identity.

"Miss Blackwell...."

"Just Zoe's fine. Blackwell is my grandmother's maiden name, in case your wondering my mom is like Madonna and Cher or Angelina Jollie only uses one."

"Okay...Zoe it is." Sara nodded taking it all in. Her mind of course reasoned when Zoe had been old enough, she had decided her take own last name and chose her grandmother....Something Sara might have done if she thought about it at that age. Of course it would have further alienated her from her family. Like she needed that.

"Zoe, Miss Greeson said you sought out Dimitri Stirling for academic help?"

"A head start on my theses for my senior year. I mean he is a walking encyclopedia, you know the type?"

"Oh yeah." Sara nodded thinking of Grissom.

"And well he is my father, I wanted to know what he was like. He's a nice enough guy, extremely smart but a little loopy. I guess why mom didn't want to be with him. He takes up so much of Emily's life, she has none of her own. My mom can't live like that, and I don't blame her. People might think it mean she didn't tell him about me, it isn't. She protected him by not telling him I am his kid. She made Emily promise too."

"She made Emily Greeson promise?"

"You go say no to my mom, see how long it lasts." Zoe's lips curled int a very feline like smile that was indeed Lady Heather's own. "My mother is the sort of woman you don't say no to. She always has control even and especially when you don't know it. Everyone does what she wants. She's like that. Hell she can control the 5th Infantry Panzer Division if she wanted." The girl smiled once more then in a voice that could belong to the Lady herself said "You will jump a thousand feet off this plane and don't concern yourself with a parachute. Jump that tank over that cliff, gravity isn't an issue."

Sara snickered, recalling once upon a time she might have mocked her own mother, and for a moment she gave a thought of Lindsey mocking Catherine in much the same way. It was after all a very daughter thing to do. "I see what you mean."

Zoe smiled. "Look, I don't know what your thinking, that's my mom's thing, she's spooky that way, but...Dim Stirling isn't your man. I am glad I inherited some of his intelligence, added with my mother's and some of her incites...I'm doing okay in the gene pool thing. I think that's why Mom chose Dimitri to father me. Hell I am almost genetically designed." Zoe chuckled.. "My mother has ovaries made out of titanium, Dim well he's all marshmallow. A wet paper sack would beat the hell out of him. He is so passive he makes Gandhi look like the Rock.

"I know some people think that maybe the only thing people that passive can control or dominate is a kid or an animal but...Dim he's very Zen. To him violence is abhorrent. His grandparents suffered Alswitz. They even have the brands on their arms." Zoe pointed to her own arm as if to demonstrate. " They had to sneak their daughter out of Prussia their homeland, and she grew up in England and married into the Stirling family from Oxford. Dim is passive because his past wasn't. He didn't kill this kid, I am sorry a baby like that died, and I hope you and your partner snatch the guy, but Dim, isn't him."

"I don't say who's guilty or innocent, Zoe, I only follow the evidence, I let it speak to me because it never lies," Sara said gently. "The music playing in your mother's private area. I recognize it. Did your mother give your father a gold watch." The CSI decided to change tactics.

"Yeah, she did," Zoe smiled, "he still wears it. I think it's his prize possession."

"That isn't a common tune."

"No."Zoe flashed the 'Lady Heather smirk' "My mother was in Oxford about twenty years ago, its were she met Dim. According to her, some buskers were on the street playing it and Dim said it was one of the songs he enjoyed most. 'Banish Misfortune' and all romantic-like he said his misfortune was banished when he met my mom. Sappy if you ask me." Zoe shuddered in the typical fashion of a teen and thinking of parental romantic life. She like the rest of the kids in the world believed sex and parents was a whole large ewww factor. Taking a breath the eighteen year old continued, "He followed her to Vegas, shortly there after I come about. Just before they broke up and went their separate ways, she gave it to him for Christmas. She had the watch imported from Switzerland, with the song 'Banish Misfortune.' I guess she wanted him to remember her fondly."

"So its not a common song one would hear from a watch."


"Your mother had it ordered, so....Miss Greeson would have placed the order?" Sara was fishing she knew it but the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. And the kid seemed to want to talk and open up, so Sara obliged.

"I don't know. Mom probably started the whole thing but, Emily was the bookkeeper then. She probably knew about it for tax reasons. Why?"

"A CSI, thing." Sara dismissed the question not wanting to say that it now added to the evidence against the seemingly kindly Emily Greeson. 'Aunt Bea my arse....'

"So you're a sub, huh?" Zoe unfolded her legs and stretched like the feline she resembled.

"Excuse me?" Sara stared gapped mouthed. The question had come out of left field and blind-sided the brunette until she only stare in her stymied state.

"The blonde....she holds the reigns right? Hey that's cool, I play the team myself. Of course I have to be twenty-one before mom will let me consider to go to Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, but she doesn't have a problem with it. She's real cool that way, even if she's like very very protective. I am her only child, she can't have anymore on account of the diabetes. She nearly lost me and her own life during the pregnancy and later the delivery.

"You know she said for my first car I had to get an SUV because they are safer? I talked her into a Hummer....said if the military uses them, they must be sturdy and safe. She researched it and agreed. It was my birthday present and graduation present all rolled into one. Of course when I drove home from Harvard she nearly put me in one of those..." Zoe pointed to the chains. "But Mom...she's really cool about a lot of things. Me being a lesbian doesn't faze her, though I think she scares any girlfriend I have, half to death. Lot of my friends' parents are way to uptight."Zoe chuckled, "then again, Mom is queen of the Dominatrix. She has lady clients that want a female dom or even a sub what ever they require. She's really good at reading people. Hell her gaydar works better than mine and she isn't really gay. She's just.....mom."

"Um, Zoe what you said earlier...Catherine Willows and I....I mean she isn't my...we're not..." Sara stopped not understanding why she had to clarify anything to an eighteen year old kid.

"We work scenes together."

"If you say so," Zoe shrugged. "You don't strike me as a closet type, Sara Sidle CSI. But hey your secrets are yours but maybe you shouldn't be so nervous to let someone know a few of 'em. You know if you're not with the blonde....."

Sara held her hand up and backed up a little, "Zoe, I am flattered but jail-bait is a line I never ever cross and two your mother would kill me. And probably put 'me' in one of those things.' Sara pointed behind her shoulder wit her thumb to the chains dangling on the wall. "And Catherine would have a whole new crime scene to investigate."

"That's not a no," Zoe stepped forward, flashing her best Lady Heather smile. One she knew worked on her former girlfriends, and anyone else she felt like flirting with would fall for.

"Yes, Zoe it was."

"Not a chance in hell, eh?"

"No." Sara smiled softly. "Zoe, thank you for the help, it actually clarified a few things."

"Hey Sara... you know you might actually like it. The chains I mean."

Sara looked at the chains and the whips and shook her head, "I don't think so." Of course the next time Catherine laid in on her about something, a pair of handcuffs and a big feather would do wonders to cheer Sara up. Having Catherine squirm under her from tickle torture, pleading for freedom... 'WHOA! Where the hell did that come from? Okay time get out of here....'

Thirty minutes latter both women were back in the lab processing the new fibers and blood Sara had collected at the college. Catherine looked over to her partner and couldn't stop but think of what Lady Heather and Warwick both had commented on. Some how the young man and a dominatrix had both spotted the need within Sara to have Catherine's approval. 'How did I miss it? I am a good ...no I am a great CSI and I've missed this? Maybe I didn't want to see it like Lady Heather, said.'

"What?" Sara asked.

"I didn't say anything." Catherine quickly countered.

"You signed heavily. Means something's bothering you, but you haven't found a way to say it. And you're rubbing your forefinger with your thumb...like a smoker wanting a drag. So...what?"

Both Catherine and Sara had stopped smoking early last year. In fact when Sara had fist come to Los Vagus she was on Nicorette gum, the same as Catherine.

"I am just thinking about Lady Heather, she has a way to get to you."

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

"That stands to reason, Lindsey is a lot like me. Zoe a clone of her mother, only Goth?"

"Yep. And yeah Lindsey is a lot like you, blunt and pretty. Me? I am nothing like my mother," Sara said suddenly. "I don't ever want to be."

Catherine knew vaguely that Sara's parents were hippies and had no work-ethic to speak of. In fact they were so abysmal at work, Sara had gone to great lengths to be the extreme polar opposite. "I don't think there's a chance of that happening, Sara. You work hard at what you do, and it shows."

Sara's face light up brighter than the casino lights on the Strip. The expression so astonished Catherine that the blonde couldn't help but think of how truly beautiful Sara really was. Stilling the arrant outlawed thought and Lady Heather's haunting voice inside her mind, the blonde turned back to the gathered evidence on the table.

"You said you found this in the brier?" Catherine picked up the packeted golden watch with rubber gloves.

"Yeah, I accidently kicked it. It was covered in all the foliage, it played that same tune as Stirling's watch."

"The same song in Lady Heather's room." Catherine recalled.

Sara explained what Zoe had told her about the watch and Emily's connection to it. "A watch that anyone who knows Stirling or takes his classes would know about it. Planting evidence? It wouldn't be the first time a perp did that. And she has motive, framing someone she cant have because he cant or wont give her what she wants. He gave it all to Lady Heather."

"You know Cath, that's been bothering me. Why didn't Greeson set Lady Heather up?"

"Maybe Emily is more afraid of Lady Heather, and more angry at Stirling. We saw the man, and from Zoe's and Lady H's testimony even Emily Greeson herself, Dimitri Stirling is a handful to care for. I know I'd go nuts if it was me in her place. Emily might be at the end of her rope with him. She's frustrated, both emotional and sexually and she wants release."

"If he's set up..." Sara paused thinking, waiting for Catherine to follow her lead, "Greeson might think the PD will take him into custody she comes in all hero like and maybe he'll finally give her what she's been wanting, his heart."

"Or his bed." Catherine tossed in. "I've seen a lot of people do a lot of crazy things for sex. Jealousy is an ugly mother."

Sara nodded her agreement. As she reached for one of the bindles containing the hairs of the dog, her left hand brushed against the table making her hiss in pain. "Damn it. Still hurts."

Catherine turned and for the first time took a good look at the bandaged wound on her counterparts palm. The large band-aid was starting to darken indicating Sara had inadvertently reopened the wound. The latex glove would contain any drop off, nevertheless Sara tucked the wounded appendage close to her body mindful of the evidence table.

One could never be too careful with evidence.

"Let me give you a hand with that." Catherine said taking Sara's hand into her own.

"Oh funny," there was a playful smirk on the brunette's face.

"Oh gods, I didn't even mean the pun." Catherine chuckled."Come on, lets get this fixed."

Sitting in the brake room, Sara sat holding her hand out as Catherine gingerly peeled back the latex glove and set about to remove the band-aid and grimaced. Yes she looked at a hundred dead bodies in the morgue and so she wasn't squeamish anymore, but a living person hurt, some one she knew and her heart twitched in sympathy. Or maybe it was just the mother in her.

"This looks deep," the blonde said.

"Yeah well the bush just reached out and bit me. I can see why Janey Doe's body was so torn up. Catherine, she had to be pretty scared to willingly dive into rose bushes with quarter-inch thorns."

Catherine used a bit of gauze to clean the wound with alcohol-rub causing Sara to flinch. "Sorry." At first she thought it was the alcohol that caused Sara's reaction but at a closer inspection the blonde found a bit of substance caught in the wound track. "You got something in here." Catherine said, "it looks like a bit of thorn."

Sara leaned in trying to flex her hand but it was still caught in Catherine's grip. Taking a pair of tweezers out from a sealed back Catherine shifted the younger woman's hand so she could see better.

"Don't move, I am an old hand at this. Lindsey gets a splinter at least every month climbing trees. I wont hurt you, Sara."

"I am not worried," Sara threw up a bit of false bravado. Catherine hid her smile, she knew that tone of voice, it was the same as her little girl's. Lindsey would let out a soft whimper though she tried to be big and brave when Mommy was fixing the usual scraped knees and bumps all kids are known to collect.

Gingerly as possible, Catherine fished out the offending sliver with a smirk of triamph, going on instinct as she would have with her child, she kissed the 'owie' before she realized what she had done.

"Ah... um..." She paled when it suddenly hit her she just kissed Sara's hand. "Sorry...Lindsey...I was thinking of her when...."

Sara tried to speak but her mouth was dry. Swallowing she attempted once more. "Its um...okay..knee-jerk reaction from Mama Catherine. Its all good."

Both were silent for a moment, not sure what to say next.

"I...think I'll go back to the Layout room and start analyzing the shoe-prints you recovered." Catherine said a little uneasily.

Sara who was opening up a new bandage nodded indicating she had heard the blonde. "I got ..um..dog print."

"Good. It should lead us to the breed" Catherine lamely commented. She felt like an idiot, why the hell did she kiss the hand? Right about now the wanted to go back to Lady Heather's and smack the dominatrix in the head for planting thoughts of romancing Sara Sidle in her head. "You okay now?"

Sara nodded mutely.

"Okay." Catherine was edging for the door, she wanted to run, but she didn't want Sara to think...well she had to be honest she didn't know what she wanted Sara to think. "Okay."

"You said that." Sara said so softly that Catherine found herself staining to hear them.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" the blonde shifted uneasily.

Sara flashed a very toothy grin. "Someone played nurse and made it all better. Even kissed the boo-boo." She smiled again causing Catherine to blush. The older woman would never tell her younger counterpart the reason for the blush was because she found that particular grin on Sara extremely sexy.

'Lady Heather made me do it.' Catherine blamed her newly named devil.

Chapter 7

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