Author's Notes: This fic is for all of those who liked my attempt at humor. (A special shout-out to TLWROX, who *demanded* a make-up/out scene…:D) I was really glad and flattered that you liked that one :) thanks, guys! You're the best!

This fic can be seen as a sequel to 'Caught in the Middle'. Please go read that one first, because there may be some references to that one in this. Anyways, you know what to do after you read it, so… reviews are more than welcomed!

Disclaimer: The show, characters and anything related to 'The Lost World' is not mine.

A Lover's Spat

It was a beautiful, quiet day at the tree-house. Around them, the plateau once again welcomed the dawn of a beautiful day, its inhabitants already up and about, trying to find some nourishment for itself and its young. The lush forest was wild and active with vigorous movements, and it hummed with different sounds of life. Some scouted for luscious fruits and nuts. Others attempted to dine on fresh, breathing meals. These animals were given yet another day to fight for its survival and the survival of its own blood.

Inside the tree-house, the inhabitants lived harmoniously, exchanging smiles and nods as each went along his or her own way. It was a beautiful, quiet day, one that needs to be treasured because it never did come along too often. It was very rare for the members of the Challenger Expedition to be enjoying this type of day; one that was peaceful, and quiet, and very, very, serene.

It was enough to make George Challenger scream with frustration.

Oh, what he would give to disrupt the undesirable peace that settled over the plateau.

He was sitting on the table, brooding over the latest problem that he had encountered with his ice-machine, as well as the silent war that was raging between two fiery, stubborn people. In his hands he nursed a cup of coffee, and every once in a while he will take a sip from it after he had sufficiently recovered from the bitter aftertaste that comes along with every drink. But he was very unwilling to just throw the coffee away; the taste was enough to make his senses go haywire and keep himself from going to sleep.

Sometimes, just sometimes, Challenger just had to appreciate the fact that one of them was a total disaster in the kitchen. Granted, the coffee was already a day old, but then again…

He shook his head to clear that thought, but after that his brain just automatically created a new one. The past days the house was unusually quiet. Roxton and Marguerite hasn't spoken a word to each other – well, a civil one, anyway – and it's driving Challenger, Veronica and Malone insane. They were used to petty fights, silly banters and occasional sweet nothings between the two, but… this…?! Certainly nerve-wracking. It was very unsettling.

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a slight noise. He turned around to see a very troubled-looking Marguerite Krux walking towards him. George frowned. It was considered the usual for the woman to be the last one to rise from bed, but for her to be up this early… something just had to be wrong. "Morning, Marguerite." He greeted.

His answer was a mere nod from the woman. Marguerite barely looked at him as she went straight towards the pot that has the coffee. She lifted the lid, peered inside and grimaced. "Augh," she said, wrinkling her brows in distaste. "Hasn't anyone been kind enough to start a fresh pot of coffee this morning?" She said as she carried the pot over to the side and emptied it.

Challenger looked down on his coffee, contemplated on doing the same thing to his cup, then decided against it. "It's an hour before sunrise." He explained. "The others are still asleep."

Marguerite shrugged. "Well, then." She said. "Guess that leaves me to do the coffee again." She smirked at him. "And I know just how much you all love my coffee."

He raised his cup at her, as if raising a toast, then took a big, hearty amount. He almost gagged.

Fortunately, Marguerite has already turned her back on him so she didn't see that he had already spit his coffee back to his cup. "So," she said casually as she poured in the coffee over the fire. "Nobody's up yet?"

Challenger wiped his mouth with his sleeve. "Still sound asleep." He pushed his cup away.

Hmm. A little bit of this, a little bit of that some of these and a dash of this little thing here… "Well, I'm glad they get to sleep." She said sourly.

"Didn't you sleep well?"

Marguerite glanced at him. Nutmeg on coffee? Sure, why not. It's not like I'm drinking it. "Not for a second," she said. "At first I thought I was back in London, because I kept hearing the sound of a coming train. Then I realized it was Roxton's snoring I kept hearing!"

Challenger smiled at her. "I'm sure you're just hearing things, Marguerite."

"I am not!" She said defiantly. She whirled around to face him, one hand on her hip. "Didn't you hear it, George? I'm sure the reason why you're up this early is because you heard it too." Marguerite turned around to work on her coffee. She took it off the fire. "Talk to that caveman, will you? Advise him to put a pillow on his face so that he won't snore that loud again. Or better yet, tell him to plug his nose at night so that he won't snore at all!"

Challenger just chuckled. "I can't believe you two are still not talking to each other." He said.

Marguerite snorted. "Talk to him?" She said distastefully. "I'd rather grab my ruby from the mud pit with my mouth."

"That'll keep it busy for a while."

Challenger looked at the person who spoke. "Morning, Roxton." He greeted.

His answer was a mere nod from the man. Roxton barely looked at him as he was busy returning Marguerite's glare.

Marguerite felt her blood boil at the sight of the man. How dare him! "Oh, look. The train has pulled on its station." She quipped instead. "That'll stop it from making that horrendous noise."

Roxton frowned at her. "Huh?"

"As much as I love having an intelligent conversation with you, your highness, I would like to make up for the sleep that I lost while I was happily listening to you snore." Marguerite stepped away from the stove, still exchanging daggers with Roxton. Then she smiled at Challenger. "George, I just loved your coffee." She said sweetly.

"My coffee?" Challenger sputtered out. "I—"

"Oh, it was the best coffee ever!" She continued. "I would have drank it all up if I wasn't too concerned of having his highness here cut my head off because I forgot to leave some coffee for him."

Roxton's face grew red with rage. "Marguerite—"

"Oh, well. Time to sleep now. See you in a few hours!" And with that, she gracefully exited the kitchen.

Silence fell between the two men.

Until…

"The nerve of that woman!" Roxton fumed. He walked towards the coffee pot and poured himself a cup. "Calling me names, making fun of me every chance she got… tell me, George, when is she ever going to stop?!" He made a grand gesture with the hand that was holding his coffee cup, and the liquid inside it splashed all over the counter, but it went by unnoticed. "It's not like I didn't try to retrieve her jewel for her, you know. I even damaged a shirt because of my attempt." He then slammed his coffee cup at the table so hard that the remainder of his coffee jumped off the cup and landed on the table.

Challenger could see that the man before him was enraged beyond words. "Well, you know Marguerite." He said in what he hoped was a soothing tone. "She's—"

"Damn right I do!" Roxton said, and finally noticing that his cup was now empty, he went to the pot and refilled it to the brim. "She's sneaky, ungrateful, conniving… she's a witch! A witch, I tell you!" He frowned at his coffee. "Sometimes I think I hear her chanting something from her room… that woman's got so many secrets, and one of them must be that she's a practitioner of black magic!"

Challenger smiled at him. "I'm sure you're just hearing things, Roxton."

Roxton faced him. "She's the one hearing things," He said loudly, "because I DO NOT SNORE!" Dignity filled his last words.

"Calm down, Roxton." Challenger said patronizingly. "Veronica and Malone's still asleep. You don't want them to wake up to the sound of your voice, do you?"

He just shrugged, then sat at one of the chairs. "Sorry." He said. "It's just that that woman—"

"Oh, I'm sure you two will grow past that and be able to live civilly with each other again." Challenger told him as he stood up. "But to be honest, I think that I prefer you two shouting than ignoring each other as you have been doing for the past days."

Roxton glanced at him, a smile finally tugging at the corners of his mouth. "It has been pretty silent around here, hasn't it?" he said.

"Without you two screaming at each other?" Challenger shook his head. "Certainly. It's enough to drive me and anyone in the plateau insane."

"Hmm." Roxton looked down on his coffee. "Well, it's her fault anyway." He said. "But at least she has enough decency to leave some of your coffee for me."

Challenger frowned. "Roxton, I never made—"

Too late.

He'd already taken a hearty drink of Challenger's coffee, and was now busy trying to purge it out of his system. "That was—" *cough* "What on earth—" *cough* "I thought—" *cough* "Challenger!" *cough cough cough*

"But I didn't make that coffee, Roxton!" Challenge protested as he saw the other man look at him with pure wrath on his face. "Marguerite did!"

"Oh, that witch!" He fumed, still trying to get rid of the god-awful taste in this mouth. "She's gone too far this time!"

Then Roxton walked out of the kitchen and headed straight towards the woman's room. "MARGUERITE!!!" he hollered along the way.

Soon, shouts were exchanged, insults were hurled, and the bloody tree-house just shook from the wrath of two fiery, stubborn people.

Challenger sank down on one of the chairs, his head cradled on his hands.

Peace at the plateau?

Oh, what he'll give to have that back.

fin