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 7

Catherine knew she couldn't avoid Sara for the rest of the day. It was only a little kiss on the hand and easily excused. It wasn't like she had planted one on the young woman. Okay she had to be truthful, since Lady Heather had opened up a door, a door Catherine desperately wanted to remain locked she had thought what would it be like to caress the soft skin or even to kiss Sara Sidle.

'Kiss.....not on the hand.....Great I am going to have to go see a priest to exorcize Lady Heather from my head.' The blonde rubbed her forehead, as if to waylay the headache encroaching. 'It's way past my shift, too many hours and not enough food, sleep or Lindsey-time...so okay no wonder my mind is playing with me.' Satisfied with her reasoning, Catherine felt at least she was able to face Sara after what had happened in the brake room a few hours ago.

It seemed that Catherine wasn't the only one to be touched by the long hours of the shift. Of course Sara put in a lot of long hours, if she wasn't carful she would max out on overtime for the month and Grissom would force her to lab-work rather than the field. Catherine knew her young counterpart loathed to be 'grounded' to pure lab-work. And she had to be truthful, Catherine enjoyed working a case with Sara. The way her mind worked, the way she pulled her entire being into a case and gave everything of herself was to Catherine inspiring. She just wish Sara wasn't so self conscious about herself...

'......It sucks when the person you look up to....okay Warrick you deliberately left that bit out....but you meant the person you look up to doesn't acknowledge you. Yeah its partly me. I can complement the boys on their work, even Greg but why can't I say "good job, Sara"? You know if I worked my arse off and the one person I wanted to hear 'good job' from, never did, I'd get a little bitchy too. "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." So maybe you're right Lady Heather, let's test that little theory of yours.'

Her mind so wrapped up in her own internal thoughts, the blonde hadn't realized she was in Sara's lab until she was past the threshold. Well it wasn't Sara's lab per-say but everyone had dubbed it her lab since it was her favored. It didn't have any less or any more equipment than any of the other evidence rooms, so no one knew why above all the others, she liked this one the most.

Catherine always felt like some tropical fish walking the halls or working the sterile, institutional ambiance of CSI HQ. And how could one not think of aquariums with the blue-tinged fluorescent lighting and the glass walls around all the labs? Only a few of the glass walled labs had blinds and there were those were the layout rooms were sometimes they had to use ALS. (Alternative Light Sources) to revel body fluids. The offices too had blinds for privacy issues. Catherine looked directly across Sara's lab and saw her own office. Until today Catherine would never had thought any thing more of the location.

'She chooses a lab that is closest to me...' Catherine cleared her thought catching the brunette's attention. "What did you find out about the fibers?"

"Remember that old movie Omen?" Sara answered the question with one of her own.

The blonde nodded, "Demon Dogs, that Daemon kid from hell and the creepy butler guy."

Sara nodded, "Right. Well after the movie hit the screens the popularity in the rottweiler sky-rocketed. A lot of people wanted one of the 'hell hounds,' especially with the male audience."

"All the little boys wanted a big-bad-ass dog. Big guns, fast cars and bad-ass reputation dogs a lot guys trying to make a statement." Catherine commented dryly, "or compensating for something else." The blonde CSI looked over the evidence. "So the question we have now is the hell-hound apart of the case or it is just crossing paths with our vic?"

"We know the dog bit her." Sara began, "you know I found unknown male fibers in the thicket, the owner of the dog maybe?"

"The dog could be a repeat visitor, maybe he saw Janey Doe there was curious, big dog, she freaked and she dove into the thickets."

"He sniffs her out, she kicks at him, dog bites,"Sara picked up the train of thought. In their minds eye both saw a terrified girl being tormented by a rottweiler, mindless of the briers. "But she was beaten.....we have motive for Emily but no evidence that places her at the primary."

Catherine knew how thorough Sara was, how dedicated she was if there was no evidence of Emily Greeson at the Primary there was not to be found. "Maybe she had an accomplice?"

"Dog owner?" Sara offered. "The blue cloth I found is wool consistent with the wool used in Letterman jackets. And as bonus the blue is UNLV colors."

"Dog owner is a jock." Catherine nodded. "Maybe he collected his dog, didn't see the girl and left? It was pretty dark, he yanked the dog by the collar, dog trying to get to the girl wouldn't listen..."

"So..." Sara picked the ball up and ran with it, "he used force and in doing so he caught his jacket on the thorns and like myself the thorns bit him too. It's a theory."

Catherine watched Sara as the younger woman's mind wrapped along the same lines of thought of her own. She wanted to be truthful to herself, Catherine was always fascinated by Sara's process of thought. It never occurred to the blonde they often finished each other's sentences or ideas.

Until now.

'Thank you Lady Heather...'

Catherine nodded, "Good call Sara," she was about to say more but she was caught off guard by the simplest smallest of smiles form the brunette. Her doe brown eyes sparkled in slight merriment, and it caused Catherine to think she liked that look, and wanted to keep that expression in those melt your heart chocolate eyes. "I think we should bring Emily in, show the watch see if she folds. The only persons who would have known about the watch's tune is Lady Heather, Zoe, Dimitri and Emily. A jock doesn't get into Renaissance music."

"Not exactly Metallica or Mimenmim." Sara nodded. "That's very circumstantial, circumstantial evidence Cath, that places Emily at the thorns."

"Better idea?" The blonde was almost defensive, but she managed to keep the ice out of her voice. And so her words came out playful-sardonic.

"Nope," Sara shrugged. "Brass, call yet with Hell-hound's owner?"

The blonde was about to answer when the cell-phone at her hip rang. "Willows." in a moment she mouthed the word 'Brass.'

"Speak of the devil...." Sara whispered, with a smile toying at the edges of her lips.

Catherine strained this time to contain herself as not to giggle in the Captain of Homicide's ear.

Sara busied herself with securing the evidence once more, if Brass called it could likely mean they were out in the field once more. And for a moment she was struck by the soft ethical beauty surrounding the golden form of Catherine. Catherine was always so empowered, so assured it drew Sara in and kept her in the web of desire for the older woman. What drew Sara in the most was the cerulean storm of Catherine's blue eyes. A sapphire abyss Sara felt she would willingly fall in to, if only the word was given.



"I called you twice. You were OTSing." Catherine warmly chidded.

"OTSing?" the brunette frowned.

"Out There Somewhere." Catherine explained. "Your mind was wondering, you okay?"

"Sure." Sara felt a blush creep up on the edges of her ears and threatened to take her face. A small embarrassed smile "Um...what Brass have to say?"she wanted the subject changed from herself to the case.

"His people were able to put together a list of the Dunbar pipe smokers. Dimitri tops them. Then there is Emily Greeson who a few of the local shop owners know as well as Dimitri Stirling. Of course there are the tourists but one that stuck out in one of the shopkeepers as a young man who purchased several pouches. He said it was going to be a 'thank you gift' because "Proff Stirling helped him out and he didn't want to give the man a bow-tie.'"

"A jock?"

Catherine nodded, "Had a letterman jacket."


"Brass is checking it out now. They have a composite sketch going from the shopkeepers description and the PD will have the surveillance tape from the store sent down to us. Archie can get a still from it and we can have more to go on. He also has a list of large dog owners around the campus, he's going to send it with the tape."

Catherine watched her college for a moment knowing Sara had a reputation on working fueling herself with only coffee, but the blonde was feeling hunger creep up on her and it had been several hours since they've eaten anything. "I don't know about you but I am famished. What do you say we pop over to the deli get something to eat while we wait from Brass to get back to the station?"

"You know now that you mention it, I am a little hungry." Sara took Catherine's offer with appreciation. Having secured the evidence she followed the blonde to a quick jaunt across the street to 'The Cop Shop.' Its owner was a retired beat-cop who had inherited the place from his uncle some time ago. Most of the officers and criminalists were frequent patrons. So much so that when any one of them came in the cook knew what they preferred on any given day.

Fifteen minutes latter and the ladies were back in the brake room feasting on an egg salad sandwiches, large pickles and diet cokes. Only because both women liked the taste better. This is where Captain Brass found them.

"Can I talk either of you in splitting?" The aging detective said taking a seat near Catherine. He knew she was less possessive of personal space than Sara. It was Sara who handed him half of her meal with a smile. The sad-eyed detective returned the grim with one of deep gratitude. "Thanks," he rose the eggsalad sandwich in a mock toast and took a hefty bite out of it. In three bites he would have the entire half consumed.

Jim Brass had a low-key demeanor that shielded a resolute professionalism that he always carried with him. He was consistently sharply dressed, a sorts coat this time gray a lite blue shirt a darker blue tie with gray and micro thin gold diagonal stripes and navy slakes and black loafers. From the handkerchief pocket dangled his gold detectives badge. He always wore a suit and tie and the years he had spent behind the badge shown in his deep eyes.

"You know that Professor Stirling made a few unhappy campers." Brass Said around his second bite of sandwich. "A few footballers and the head coach. It seems Stirling doesn't have school spirit. He failed a linebacker on a few tests, it was enough to bench the boy. The coach didn't like it, said he'd' make Stirling see things a little clearer.'" Brass took the final bite out of his meal, before finishing. "The ballplayer....Max Kingsley was a little more violent. Seems the kid threw a few punches at the Professor, enough to send Stirling to the hospital for bruised ribs. The thing is he didn't press charges. The school expelled Kingsley."

Catherine and Sara shared knowing glances, holding them for a few moments..

Brass saw the silent communication between the criminalists and had to smile. "I have an APB out on him being as we speak ladies. We'll get him."

"Does this particular jock, have a dog?" Sara asked.

Brass smiled, "How did I know you were going to ask that Sara? As a matter of fact he does. The interviews we took of the other students we even have a name and face to the jock . It matches the description we were given from the shopkeeper. That video will make it a little more concrete."

"Jim, we need you to haul in a Miss Emily Greeson, we have a motive." Catherine began to explain what evidence they had compiled and the testimonies of both Lady Heather and Zoe Blackwell. And it looked more and more like Greeson had an accomplice in the jock.

"We'll bring her in." Brass agreed with Catherine. "So... Lady H and the Proff eh? No wonder she and Griss have a thing going. I keep telling him to get a sports car, its less expensive and safer."

The ladies shared a soft chuckle, but added nothing more to the detectives comment.

"You know this Greeson is up against some stiff competition, the ghost of a lover ...hard thing to compete against. If Stirling is hanging on to the memory of Lady H, its no wonder Greeson snapped. She'd have a grudge to hold especially from some of the interviews we had a few of the students they either claim the good professor Stirling is either celibate or..um..."

"Snippidy-do da?" Catherine suggested and watched the detective shift uncomfortably and nod.

"The coach of the football team even contributed to the rumor. When we asked him about making Stirling seeing things clearer he was quick to say he would never hit a monk. We asked him about it and said Stirling was a eunuch and more priestly than his own minister. You just don't hit a guy like that."

"So making him see things clearer wasn't a physical threat?" Sara asked.

"The coach said he had gone to the Dean and tried to get Stirling on report for prejudice against athletes. But it didn't hold because Stirling always has his door open for tutelage. Kingsley had an open door, the jock was too macho to take it. Anyway the coach has most of his people withdraw form Stirling's classes and take another professor's; counting on the one thing that would hit Stirling hard, losing students."

"We have motive for two people to move against Stirling," Catherine sighed, "and a possible conspiracy. Kingsley sets Stirling up for murder.....they chose a child...a child Stirling cant or wont give Greeson. Stirling is known to have a gold pocket watch, smokes a particular brand of tobacco in his pipe all planted at the primary. You know Greeson might play the hero card and turn Kingsley in saving Stirling from a possible murder charge. Kingsley was known to beaten Stirling up, and Stirling is the reason why Kingsley was expelled."

"The story gets better," Brass added "According to the coach, Kingsley was being looked at by the pro-circuit. When he was expelled he lost his chance to go pro."

Sara's eyes met Catherine's and both gazed at Brass steadily. "Big time motive boys and girls." Catherine commented. "We gotta find this guy."

"We can hold Emily Greeson for twenty-four hours on the evidence we have, it might do her a bit of good to sit in the cell for the night and interrogate her in the morning. Its been a long day Ladies." Brass said. "Goodnight Ladies."

"He's gotta point we had an early start today, I want to get home catch some z's, myself."

"Sounds like a plan...later."

"You may want to try getting some sleep one of these days yourself Sara," Catherine said walking towards the threshold. "Latest thing....they say it's really catching on."

Sara's lips curled into a half smile, "Not around here. I'll the prints from Archie and then call it a night."

"Ah huh."

"Honest, Catherine! You can't live on coffee highs forever."

"Sara Sidle just put down coffee?" Catherine mockingly held a shocked expression.

"I am just filled with little mysteries like that."

"Good thing I am a CSI-3, I'll figure it all out."

Both would snicker.

"Seriously Sara go home and get some sleep." Catherine used her best mother's voice she used on Lindsey to get the girl to comply with bedtime. Obviously it worked on older girls as well.

It was just before two A.M. that Sara Sidle made it home. She had gone over all the notes Brass had of the dog owners that lived close to campus. Max Kingsley just happened to be one of the owners of a large breed of canine. In fact his dog was a rottweiler that the next door neighbors were none to fond of. Threats of calling animal control had been made numerous times by the wife. The thing was the Mrs. had been shot down each time because the husband liked Kingsley in the game, so gave leeway for the mut.

The young Asian technician had come through with a second rate photo of Max Kingsley from the video feed from the tobacco store security camera. Kingsley was a young Caucasian, with black hair, hazel eyes and stood a towering six-eight and weighing an easy two-fifty. He looked like he could bench-press a Buick. Thick muscled and thick headed. On his right biceps, which Archy had been able to augment and get a separate print, Kingsley had a tatoo of a death's head joker complete with a forked tongue hanging out, holding up a chainsaw and blood spatter. Under it a rottweiler with it's teeth bared and the words 'Bad to the Bone' scribbled under it. A guy like this couldn't hide for long, especially if he had a bad-ass reputation as a linebacker for UNLV. Besides according to LVPD, his dog was still at his place, Kingsley wouldn't leave the animal alone for long.

The thing that disturbed Sara greatly that the national data-base of missing children had come up negative on the little girl. Dental records would be the only next lead but that report had only been filed this morning so a positive ID would have to wait until the next day.

Catherine and Brass had been right it had been a long day starting at noon and going on until well past midnight. Generally speaking the CSI graveyard shift didn't call it a night until six in the morning but Grissom would order both ladies to call it early since they clocked in nearly a full shift early. Of course this wouldn't be the first time nor the last time his people pulled double shifts.

Sara hadn't realized how tired she was until she found herself waking the next day on the sofa. Granted her couch was comfortable which was why she bought it from Ikea, but it wasn't the dense comfort of her own bed. And add to the fact her dream had been a bit on the disturbing side.

She rubbed her hands through her hair wincing as she encountered a few knots. The dream that took her hostage still dominating her imagination. It was a bizarre trip her mind had taken her.

Sara found herself standing upon the deck of a clipper ship, its three masts towering above her, their sails billowing in the wind, waves were crashing up against the highly lacquered sides. For a moment Sara thought herself on a set of a pirate movie, but the salty sea air was more real to her than the water used in a studio tank.

Lindy appeared before her garbed in Seventeenth Century regalia that was reminiscent of Captain James Hook from Peter Pan minus the prosthetics. Her golden hair pulled back into a ponytail and fastened by a red silk ribbon, her legs covered in leather britches and caviler boots. She was even wearing the tri-corner hat and large ostrich plume.

"Hey you, " Captain Lindy bounded nearer to Sara. "We have two ports ahead. Port side lays Boy's Town, to the Starboard we risk a storm but the city is said to be worth it. Containing treasurers of red-gold and sapphires."

"Boy's Town?" Sara frowned.

Lindy had mistaken the question for a desire of destination. "You want it, you swim to it. Watch out though water's teaming with sharks."

"Sharks?" Sara parroted

"See down there?" Lindy handed Sara an spyglass.

Sara took it with a puzzled expression marking her face, she saw only a man swimming. Blonde and blue eyed, his face smiling with pure charm. "I don't see a shark," Sara said.

"Really?" Lindy shrugged. "You sure? They've been patrolling the waters for a while. That one with gold on him, he's the lowest forms of sharks."

"How's that?" Sara frowned

"I don't trust him. Never trust a smiling shark. The sharks that charm, cheat. They eat hearts."

Sara studied the swimmer. She recognized him...it was Hank the EMT. She had thought him cute, and she liked the way he looked at her, blue sparkling eyes. A looks she had wanted another pair of blue eyes to look at her but never would. The golden hair she would like to have run her finger through, because the red-golden mane she wanted to touch she never would. She could settle for him. "I thought he was nice." Sara felt the need to defend herself.

"Smiling sharks, Sara. You're a California gal you know better."

Sara watched the swimmer and for a moment it was as if he was a werecreature. Like a werewolf he morphed from man to beast and back again.

"Shark," Lindy shrugged as if it explained it all.

Sara turned back to the water and Hank was no longer there but a golden shark with blue soulless eyes in his stead. Yet in the water there was another swimmer. "He wont change." Sara pointed to the new person swimming about.

" The grey shark, they are even worse than smiling sharks." Lindy shrugged once more.

"Not Grissom."

"Been living in the town De'nile long? Any port in a storm I guess..."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Sara hissed.

"Look at all the flotsam and jetsam around the gray shark, SOS. See it all? Go try and swim with the grey shark and all you get is a quick trip to Davy Jones' locker and a rotten liver. Too much, far too much even for a pirate."

Sara looked through the spyglass once more and saw that the gray shark not Grissom was weaving in and amongst hundreds of kegs of ale. Now looking Sara saw literally thousands of them.

"Thought you said you wanted to be nothing like your mother? Didn't your mother crawl inside a keg and never come back out? Look you want to drown yourself swimming with that nearly toothless grey shark and the ale it swims in be my fucking guest. Bullet be easier and less messy. One hell of a major problem to be left with, swimming that route" Lindy turned from her friend. " I never stopped you from your path....Hey Seadog!" the small blonde captain commanded one of the sailors of her ship. "Sara wants a short walk off the Port side, set the plank up."

"What are you doing?" Sara bulked.

"You want to go to Boy's Town, you get off my ship and go. I am not going to watch you swim to that port Sara Sidle."

Sara watched as two of the pirates set up a plank right over the golden and grey sharks.

"Aim for the kegs you might get lucky. It numbs the pain of landing wrong for a while."

"I don't want to take a walk..." Sara protested. She watched the golden shark coming closer for her, nearly jumping the wake of waves to get to Sara. "No! I wont go there."

"The only other option is the storm SOS. A hell of a storm."

"But the place beyond the storm lies the city of red-gold and sapphire." Sara hinted. "I want to go there."

"You sure? It's a hell of a ride."

"I'll ride the storm. I want her."

Sara woke feeling if possible even more exhausted than she had been when she first fell asleep. She had heard once about being shocked out of REM sleep. It left one disorientate and groggy. Well that was exactly how Sara had felt. Her mind continuously wrapped around the images in her dream. Why she had seen both that Hank guy, one she had met only twice and the second time he ran from her.

Of course he had called a few times but Sara had put him off stating it was not a good time when he wanted to go out, she didn't exactly have a free evening. But yes she had found him attractive and she had to admit flirting with Boy's Town was some times fun. And he was pursing her and it had actually made Sara feel special, as if she was worth being perused.

"Lindy's never flirted with boy's town, hell she's never had sex with a male...Not that she hates men but she doesn't want sex with them...of course she'll call then sharks." Sara tried to rationalize the dream. Grisom turning into a gray shark surrounded by thousands of wooden barrels of ale. So much in fact if any one attempted to swim the lagoon they would surly drown. But what did Gil Grissom and Hank have to do with the threat of alcoholism? "Fuck Mom's an alcoholic and they say it can be passed on.......Mike...he smokes grass.... Mom and Dad grow their own weed...so... what Mike's the drugy and I end up the boozer? So Lindy swoops in on her pirate ship to give me some cosmic karmic warning?" Sara mumbled to herself wandering from the living area to her bedroom and from there the bathroom.

Normally Sara was a very clean person, but she had left a trail of clothing from the sofa to the bed so she might hop into a cool shower in hopes to wake her up. And if that didn't wake her up, a cup of espresso or five would.

"And what's up with a treasure city of red-gold and sapphire?" Ducking her head under the chilly droplets of water Sara couldn't help but envision a woman of refine beauty. Her hair a shimmering golden-red, and her eyes endless depths of sapphire. With that thought burning within her, Sara turned and completely shut off the warm water until the freezing temperatures hit her skin causing her heart to jump, and her breath to hitch high in her throat. Her skin shivered in goosebumps as the frigid water assaulted her body. One word, one image became an inferno.

Catherine..... ever beautiful and forever unattainable Catherine Willows.

Catherine hadn't had much success on that front either. Her own sleep was haunted by vision that would have Freud spinning, and Lady Heather saying 'I told you so.'

Sara had been bound in silver chains that were suspended between to slender poles along a runway. Catherine recognized the set immediately from her former life as an exotic dancer. The music in the background was perfect for dancing. The former stripper watched from a two-fold experience one as if she were a patron at the side of the runway, and in her own body.

She watched herself dance up to the bound Sara, she could almost smell the heady sweet musk of the other woman, she felt her fingers play their own dance along the delicate flesh, listing as Sara moaned her name. Catherine would pull away enough to make Sara lean for her but the silver chains held her in place. Desire and lust apparent in the dilated dark brown orbs.

From a distance the seated Catherine saw Lady Heather dressed in sheer black lace, smile with feline grace as the dancing Catherine, stripped for her bound lover. Catherine continued watching hypnotized as her dancing doppelganger mesmerized the chained Sara with her seductive swaying of hips and arms.

"Please..." Sara uttered, begging Dancing Catherine to touch her, but the stripper wouldn't. Catherine saw past the tormented woman, the dancer to Lady Heather.

The dominatrix purred as she spoke. "You are denying the desire you have for Sara 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. Liberate her Catherine and liberate yourself."

Still drawn into the voyeuristic play Catherine witnessed as Lady Heather now took the stage and glided up behind the stripper. Moving her hands the red-headed woman grasped hold of Dancing Catherine's hand and started to guide the stripper in a whole new dance.

"Liberate her and you liberate yourself Catherine."

At this point Dancer Catherine turned to Watching Catherine. There was a discernable difference between the two. Watching Catherine was a CSI-3. Her blonde-strawberry locks were cut shoulder length. Dancing Catherine had a long cascading golden mane, not to mention she was twenty years younger. When Watcher touched Dancer they merged into one. Their touch sensual, stimulating as they worshiped the bounded Sara, even as their hands touched her the chains fell away leaving the younger woman free. The Dancer / Watcher moved forward her touch bringing moans from Sara.

"Liberate her," Lady Heather ordered.

Watcher / Dancer took dominion over Sara's mouth, kissing her until the brunette sunk to her knees. The blonde followed. Their bodies laying side by side, their breaths as one. "I will liberate you." Catherine heard herself saying. She felt her hands trailing down the long legs of her young lover. Her fingers teasing the heated outer lips of her center, and was rewarded with silky wetness. Dominating the kiss once more, Catherine worked her fingers deep into Sara's core as her tongue dove into her lover's mouth.

Catherine felt her hands none to gingerly bring her dream lover to climax, even as her lips continued their assault on Sara's mouth, her own want for this woman became a molten pool of desire and need.

"Who are you?" Lady Heather purred into Catherine's ear. "Who are you?"

It seemed the words encoded in her ears over and over. It took a moment for Catherine to jostle herself from slumber to hear the Who's 'Who Are You' playing on her clock-radio. Striking the radio's snooze button Catherine lay in the bed staring at the stucco ceiling of her bedroom, her mind still reeling from the dream.

"You just had to go and put that image in my head didn't you?" Catherine growled at her phantom devil that called herself Lady Heather. "Perfect way to start my day lusting after a woman, who will never see me more than the bitch....the bully...." Catherine threw a pillow across the room and thumped against the far wall and lay there on the floor. "So are we always what we were in high school? Grisom is still a ghost. Nicky is still the reliable guy. Warrick is still the quite one and Sara is defiantly a science nerd. Hell she has a BS in physics. So what I have to be the bully? No I am just confident, self-assured. And I refuse to take crap from powerful jerks who are used to giving it all day." Catherine muttered to her ceiling.

Sighing inwardly she gave a thought to her little girl. Lindsey was just as self-assured, just as confident as her mother, but where Catherine was a self admitting bully in school, Lindsey had turned the power she had to protect the weaker ones. "Okay Baby-girl," the blonde addressed the image of her beloved daughter, "Mommy is going to take a page out of your book. I'll be the protector. Besides...Sara kinda needs someone to look out for her."

Catherine thought of that blonde EMT that buzzed around CSI HQ. Something about the boy set her teeth on edge. He smiled way too much and not the cute Greg Sanders puppy cuteness smiles either. Catherine had seen a few guys like that in her former life, and they were always hiding something, always up to no good. Sara was a big girl granted, but she seemed pretty naive about love. She took it for face value, thinking people would approach love as she would, in a straight forward manor. She may not wear her heart on her sleeve but someone so guarded like Sara Sidle could be seriously hurt if she let those walls down and allowed the wrong person in. Catherine decided to follow her little girl's example and watch out for the new kid.

Chapter 8

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