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 8

Showered and dressed Sara went about making a meager breakfast for herself and of course she started her espresso machine wanting a good jolt of caffeine to start her proverbial engines. Thinking of the dream and Lindy's role in it brought the young CSI to other thoughts. Picking up the phone she dialed her friend's number and was slightly relieved and disappointed she got the answering machine. Lindy seemed to be a good reader of dream images and Sara didn't feel up to talking to the tiny woman about what she had envisioned the night before.

"Lindy, its Sara. I am going to take you up on those tickets. Its perfect for Lindsey's birthday. I wanted to ....um....well Lindsey's father crapped out on her, guess some skirt is more important than a promise to his little girl. We...I mean Catherine wanted something special, Lindsey's a great kid and well this would be perfect. If you could have the tickets messengered over to CSI HQ, I'd really appreciate it. And thanks again Linds, know it or not you're a lifesaver." With that said, Sara hung up. 'Cath and I clash more than I'd want, but her little sweetheart needs to have a good birthday.' Sara thought to herself. 'And Catherine wont hold out on the tickets just to spite me, besides..she did say she thought the pirates would be fun.'

Frowning at the now empty cup, Sara for a moment became puzzled as to why int ended up like that, she didn't recall drinking the last of it. Dismissing the bit of absentmindedness as mere tiredness she poured herself a second mug of the heady coffee. Rethinking her dream, Sara grabbed the phone and hit redial.

"Linds...yeah its me again." Sara said into the machine. "You get into the images of dreams. Sharks and men and men into sharks and drowning barrels and storms and gold and sapphire. So what? I kinda figured a part out for myself, going to Boy's Town...um that's where the sharks where swimming around could be a little dangerous. But dangerous how? And why is it so important I go through a storm for gold and sapphires. I am not materialistic so why do I want this red-gold and sapphires? I am not a pirate, so why am I chasing treasure?" Sara took a sigh. "Okay dream-speaker lay it on me....what's going on? Give me a call."

At the same time Sara was on her third espresso, Catherine had picked her little one up from school and was heading for her sister's place to drop Lindsey off when they turned into MacDonald's.

"So what did Dad do now?" Lindsey asked as the car was parked.

"What?" Catherine's blonde eyebrows hit her bangs. "What makes you think you Daddy did anything."

"Mom..." the girl drew out a long breath. "The only time you actually 'willingly' take me to Micky-D's is when Daddy goofs up something. I am a kid of a CSI, Mommy, I notice stuff too."

Catherine smiled proudly as she looked at her beloved daughter in the rearview mirror of her car. "Yes you are very observant, and your ol' Ma is getting very predictable."

They both climbed out of the SUV and silently held hands as they walked into the fast food restaurant. Lindsey would order a chicken nugget happy-meal and Catherine decided to forgo meat and get one of the new salads MacDonald's had been advertising. Sitting in a booth, Catherine decided that now would be a good time to confirm her child's suspicions over Eddie.

"Your Daddy is sorry but he had something come up and he can't take you to Circus Circus." Catherine hated making her ex shine but she would never put the man down in front of her little girl. Lindsey as half him after all and Catherine never wanted her daughter to despise herself for what her mother didn't like in her father. "You know I can take you to Circus Circus for your ninth birthday and you can invite your friends."

Lindsey said nothing as she dunked her nugget into the barbeque sauce.

"Sweety, your Daddy will take you shopping tomorrow, and I am sure you'll have fun at the mall."

"Yeah I guess." she left the nugget to stew in the sauce and began to push a fry around in ketchup.

"Sweety, I know you're disappointed but your Daddy does love..."

"Mom...come one. Daddy loves his work more we know that okay? I don't want to talk about it."

Catherine's hold on her rage was boiling threatened to consume her and her child if she wasn't careful. She would not scald her child with her anger if she could help it.

"The small party at home... I can invite some friends?"


"I want Janet. And....and...I want Sara there." Lindsey looked to her mother with wide blue eyes. The softness of the blue melted the inferno of rage Catherine was storehouseing. "Mommy, I like her a lot. Janet and Sara....they both have sad eyes, but they...um.. Well when they smile you want to smile too. I like that."

Catherine reached out and kissed her girl's brow. "Do you know how special you are?" she cooed, her anger all but forgotten.

Lindsey shrugged but smiled. "You know Janet is teased from the others. Mostly Ashley and her gaggle of idiots."

Catherine scarsly contained her giggle, 'gaggle of idiots' was one of her terms for the system that couldn't prosecute the guilty on some of the evidence CSI found.

"Miss Fox kinda took um.....Janet...' The girl paused chewing her lower lip as if to summon the word that was evading her. :What did you say that time about wings?"

"Taking someone under a wing...means protecting someone and helping them learn at the same time." Catherine winked.

"Right. Well that's what Miss Fox did for Janet. Some of the others really tease Janet about it, mostly Ashley. But Janet, I think needs Miss fox to do 'under the wing' thing, 'cuse we've been talking and Janet's family kinda sucks. Lots of kids have divorced parents that's no big. But I think she needs better ones. I think Miss Fox thinks so to. Miss Fox is awfully protective of Janet."

"How does this make you feel?" Catherine was trying to understand the scope of everything she had been told.

"Sad. Oh, not 'cause Miss Fox gives attention to Janet, but because...well I don't think Janet has a mommy like I do. Janet is just quiet and she gets teased for that too, she has the same sad eyes Sara has." Lindsey repeated. "I think I 'under the wing' too with Janet like you do with Sara."

Catherine winced. 'No baby, in truth your mommy pulled an Ashley, I didn't take Sara under my wing. Maybe I should have. And Teacher's pet....Grissom's pet..... so okay my little girl just hit me with a clue-by-four..... gods and I call myself a CSI-3....'

Something else struck Catherine but without further evidence she couldn't make any sort of statement about child abuse. Suddenly she wanted very much to meet this little Janet who Lindsey had grown very found of. Keeping her thoughts to herself about abuse, Catherine broached a new subject or rather she brought up the original subject. The birthday party.

"Honey instead of a weekend party how about we all go see 'the Pirates of the Carribean?'

"Oh can we? That's so wicked! Yeah! And Janet can come?" Lindsey was practically jumping up and down.

"Sure. Actually it was Sara's idea. She had four tickets...."

"Whooohooooo!" Lindsey yelped gaining the attention of every parent and every kid and every part time worker in MacDonald's. "Oh mom that is so tight." With out a care in the world, the child launched herself into her mother's arms and gave her a might seven-year-old bearhug.

The anger over Eddie had been eradicated, replaced by gratitude for a certain young brunette. "We better finish up, Baby-girl, Mommy has to get to work early. I have to ask questions with some people, before we have to let them go."

Lindsey knew her mother worked hard, but where her daddy only managed singers, her mommy did something important. She put bad guys away, and sometimes to do that the girl knew her mother couldn't wait for her shift to start. And she knew that before she went to sleep her mother would call and tell her she was loved and to have sweet dreams. It didn't matter if Lindsey was with her Aunt Nancy or with the nanny, Mommy always called.

Neither of the Willows woman held on to their disappointments or anger over Eddie not showing up for a birthday, after all Sara and the pirates made it better.

Despite the three cups of homemade espresso and the meager sleep she did get Sara Sidle drawn and quartered. She slipped into the break room just as Greg's forty dollar a pound coffee finished brewing. 'Bonus!' Sara smiled 'First cup of the pot. Taking the pot from under the brewer she poured herself a cup and then a second. "Just finished." She handed the seconded cup to Catherine.

The blonde stared at the younger woman with blank eyes. "How'd you know it was me?"

"It was either you or Grissom, both of you walk rather softly." Sara shrugged.

"Confused for Grissom? You better go back to bed Sidle." Catherine smiled taking the offered cup and set it back down so she could add her sweetener.

"If I did that, I'd probably have more funky dreams."

"You too?" Catherine brought the mug to her nose and inhaled the robust flavor of the coffee. "Oh one of Greg-o's! Sometimes you gotta love that boy."

"For having this coffee in the pot this morning, I could kiss him." Sara joked.

The blonde chuckled, "Oh please do! He'd always bring in his coffee if you did." Catherine sat down near Sara at the table not realizing her leg was touching the other's. 'Hell if you kiss half as good as your dream-persona I'd bring in a hundred dollar a pound coffee....if that was the reward or incentive to bring more. "So you have weird dreams?" Came Catherine's opening.

The brunette nodded, "Something about sharks, floating debris I'd drown in if I thought about swimming to port, or face a hell of a storm if I chose to sail on."

"Sail? You were on a boat?"

"Yeah, the old-fashioned clipper ships. I decided to brave the storm, going to El Dorado or something like that. A city of red-gold and sapphire. See weird." the younger woman took a deep sip of her coffee. "You dream?"

'Yeah I stripped for you and I dominated you, and we had excellent sex. Had you crying out my name begging to cum again....and again.....all while Lady Heather watched.' what Catherine said was "I don't really recall, but yeah it was odd. Not bad, I think I really liked it but it was odd."

Coffees finished, and the warm conversation waning whereas of the prospect of going back to work loomed heavily and waxed each passing moment. Officially both ladies wouldn't be on shift for another couple of hours but they had come in early so that they might interview Emily Greeson.

Placing their cups near the sink, Catherine unexpectedly embraced Sara in a hug. The younger woman was so shocked she stood still her brown eyes wide and staring making her look even more doe-eyed.

"I told Linds... about your offer for the pirates...she's thrilled. Thank you. Her smile because if it turned my day around."

Sara was still starring at Catherine dumbfounded. "Um..." was all she was able to articulate.

"I just wanted to say thank you."


"You okay?"

"Um... huh?"

Catherine couldn't blame her young counterpart. After all she had never offered a friendly guesture to the woman before, was it any wonder Sara was stone shocked? "I said thank you."

"Oh!" a blush crept up upon the brunette. "Oh um...you're welcome."

Catherine snickered, "Come on Bambi, we have a suspect to interrogate."

"You know Bambi was a boy." Sara found her voice.

"Details, details." Catherine shrugged smiling. A smile that infected Sara. "Suppose you are going to tell me the girl deer's name?"

"You have the child, Cath not me. I just remember Bambi was a boy, Flower was the gay skunk, and Thumper was the rabbit."

"Closet Disney fan." Catherine accused. "So you tell us you listen to a police scanner when you are secretly watching Disney cartoons. Ha! I know your secrete Sidle."

Sara didn't know what to make of this jovial side of Catherine, the side only the guys knew. But she did know she liked it though it did frighten her little. 'Just don't hurt me, Cath...don't lead me on thinking I am becoming a friend....to....be shot down...it will hurt a lot worse than swimming with the sharks and drowning in a keg....'

Emily Greeson looked every one of her sixty-plus years. Her skin looked almost jaundice in the harsh lighting of the white bricked interrogation room. Catherine was not the only CSI who thought the small chamber resembled a padded cell. It worked however on a psychological level on detainees. Many suspects crumbled in here, scumming to the environment as well as the officers doing the questioning.

Sara stood with her arms crossed over her chest on the other side of the two way mirror as Brass and Catherine sat opposite of the grey haired Greeson.

"You held me in here because you think I killed that little girl?" Greeson's grey eyes leveled on Catherine was if she had betrayed all woman kind, for even suggesting she had something to do with the death of a child.

"Mrs. Greeson, we need you to answer some questions, maybe clear a few things up." Brass started. "There is significant evidence to hold you for conspiracy to commit murder."

"What!" Emily was still looking to Catherine for answers.

"It must be hard," The blonde started, "to play second string to a memory. You are almost reminded hourly of the ghost that stands between you and the one you want. After listing to that little tune for eighteen years, it has to grate on you. To know you're the other woman, but your competitor is long since withdrawn her claim on him. But he wont let go. It's the one thing you want him to forget but he wont."

Emily turned her gaze from Catherine for the first time since the CSI had entered the interrogation room. "You don't understand. He...he's committed, loyal to a fault...and she cast him out as soon as she became pregnant. The poor sap doesn't even know he has a kid."

"You never told him." Brass frowned. "Explain that to me."

"It would have devastated him. I love him." Emily's voice became defeated and monotone. "I have to protect him. He....his heart...its so gentle....but I didn't kill that child, I would never hurt anyone."

Catherine looked to the mirror giving Sara her cue.

Greeson looked up when she heard the door open and the slim dark-haired CSI entered carrying with her a small clear evidence bag. Sara let Emily see the watch within the bag "I found this in a thicket of thorns neat a grove of pine trees. The same thorns that little girl was beaten and left for dead. She climbed out of the thorns and headed for safety. Or what she thought was safe."

Greeson's eyes remained glued upon the watch in the bag.

"We checked, the song 'Banish Misfortune' isn't a common song for a pocket watch, in fact that watch was specially made. A watch which you ordered for your former employer. A watch she gave the father of her child." Sara almost snapped. "So you want to tell us how this watch, an exact duplicate to the one Professor Stirling carries was found in the thorns?"

Her hand was shaking as Greeson reached for the bag containing the golden watch. "I...I...I couldn't look at it anyone, knowing what it meant for them, to her, to him....especially him. So I tossed it out the window in his office. You know he looked for it for months? He was devastated he thought 'he' had lost it. I couldn't stand that stupid watch, but his sorrow was worse. I ordered a new watch for him. I even had the same inscription engraved so it was the same as the one I got rid of."

Emily wiped her eyes trying to hold her composure, but was failing miserably.

"How touching," Brass continued Sara more terce methods. "You just happen to throw a very expensive sold gold watch out the window of your lover's office, where your accomplice just happens to be walking by."

"Accomplice?" Greeson shook her head denying the words of the detective. "What are you talking about?"

" Max Kingsley, a former student of UNLV. Expelled because his assault on the professor. Maybe this will refresh your memory." Catherine handed the photo Archie had managed to take from the Tobacco shop security camera as well a photo taken from the university's paper with Kingsley in his football uniform.

"He...." Greeson looked at the photo and to the two criminalists and back to the photo. "You think I had something to do with him, and Dimitri?" her gray eyes became cold steel.

"You said it yourself, Dimitri is loyal, the problem is he's loyal to the wrong woman. You're in love with him."

"That's not a crime and that has nothing to do with that punk!" Emily screamed.

"No the crime is a child had to die because you couldn't get what you wanted. But Kingsley might have been able to help you get it." Sara's voice dropped a few octaves. Even Brass shifted uncomfortably from the venom lacing the young CSI's words.

"I didn't have this child killed. Its not what you think. I love him, I never wanted anything bad to happen." Emily paled, her forehead beaded in sweat "I am not saying anything until I get a lawyer." Emily clammed up.

"Fine." Brass said, "But do yourself a favor. If you know where we can find Kingsley, it will go a lot better for you. An accessory to murder doesn't have to be preset, just help out....'lose a watch', for example. We want someone for the murder of this child, and so far it looks like you are the most likely suspect."

"Let me lay it out for you," Catherine said. "Dimitri won't return your love the way you want him to. Like you said you couldn't stand the watch and what it represented and the secretes you know that come with it. Its got to be very hard to know the woman who gave him that watch was the last person he loved. From that comes a chid, a child you will never have.

"That gold watch comes in real handy to pay off a guy who already has a grudge against Dimitri. He killed Kingsley's career and so Kingsley would think nothing of sending Stirling to Carson City. But here's the tricky part. You hold all the aces, and you point to Kingsley....as the killer and exonerate Dimitri who had been set up for their girls death. Gold watch, Dunbar tobacco looks like a perfect set up if you don't look to closely. Everything seems to point to Stirling. Only he didn't do it, but you...." Catherine paused watching Emily for a moment as she shifted in her seat once more "You are connected. Emily, see the thing with evidence you take a close look and you find the real culprit. Right now things are pointing to you and Kingsley."

"I don't know where that boy is." Emily mumbled. "I just wanted Dimitri to love me....no one was supposed to get hurt....." grey eyes landed on the gold watch this time there was no stopping the tears that fell.

"Tell that to the little girl.....whose laying in our morgue unclaimed." Sara growled.

"I want my lawyer." Emily repeated.

"So where does this leave us?" Sara turned to Catherine, both women were leaving interrogation.

"Where else?" Catherine said. "Back to square one: find evidence that Kingsley did it....or evidence that exonerates him. Emily admitted to the watch and telling Kingsley about the tobacco, we might be able to hold her on that alone for conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor but she'll be out soon."

"I want someone for this Catherine. Someone's has to answer for that little girl."

Catherine placed a hand upon the lean back of her young counterpart. "I do to, and we will, Sara. Someone is going to answer for it. We have to concentrate on what cannot lie."

"The evidence." Sara nodded pulling on the well knowing Grissom-isum. "Emily, she has motive, access and opportunity, and now she clammed up. She's in it."

"Kingsley defiantly had motive. I want to go talk to Stirling our jock." Catherine said. "He might know more than he is admitting to."

Sara nodded, "I want to go back to campus myself, Kingsley had a very noticeable falling out with Stirling, I want to talk to the coach. I don't buy the 'I am not hitting him because he's a monk-type' excuse."

"You think the coach is covering up for Kingsley." Catherine concluded.

"Yeah. He's gotta be pissed one of his star players was kicked off the team and out of the school because of Stirling. A player that could have gone pro, in a way, Coach's rep was just as tarnished as Kingsley's." Sara offered.

"Lets grab some uniforms." said Catherine.

Heading out to the Tahoe, Sara's cell phone rang, unclipping it from her belt she looked at the id.

'That's a curious expression, a frown-smile." Catherine commented.

"Um its Linds...."

Catherine's eyes widened.

"Oh I mean Lindy not your Linds..." Sara clarified, "It won't take but a moment, I'll meet you in the Tahoe in a minute."

Catherine patted Sara's back something she had actually done in the past and headed for the black SUV.


"It's a personal continuum." Lindy said.

"What?" Sara was clearly frowning.

"The dream, it's a personal continuum. And hey you're from Cali...you know better than to hit the waves when sharks are mucking around. So easy don't swim with the sharks babe."

"And my dream is telling me, men are sharks?"

"Its your dream, not mine. Maybe its just one guy."

"Two sharks."

"Okay so just don't get all tied up in guys who look like sharks." Lindy chuckled. "Storm....well l think Robert Frost, babe."

"The road less traveled. Only I am on the sea."

"Yeah water is sometimes defined as spiritual, so maybe you are given two ways for your spirit to go. One very clearly dangerous, the other looks very dangerous. So you are on a personal continuum. And well they say go for the gold right? Gold is precious and sapphires are precious stones, so maybe it's the award for going the other route. The one that only appears dangerous."

"So I take the storm." Sara said. "I already got that from the dream, you're not telling me much."

"Yeah? Remember this SOS, the Titanic sank in very calm waters, and the Ark sailed fine and dandy in one hell of a storming deluge. A lot of times the calm is far worse than a storm. At least that's what the fortune cookies say." Lindy snickered. "That tell you more or do I have to come over and get Zen on your cute ass?"

Sara found herself smiling at her friend's humor. "Thanks, girl."

"Not a problem. Oh, I'll have the tickets dropped off tomorrow. I'll make sure your girlfriend's little one has a blast. See ya around."

It wasn't until Sara was sitting in the Tahoe that it dawned on her that Lindy had called Catherine, her girlfriend. The sudden lightness she felt after her talk with her long time friend suddenly turned a little cloudy. She'd have to clear up that small matter before it escalated into something it was not.

Chapter 9

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