A/N: Hello, folks! Just a quick note to let you all know that I'm back and writing like mad to get this story finished. I'm not giving any deadlines though because by now you know I suck at those. Apologies for not getting back to everyone who enquired about the status of this story, I was in the middle of renovations, having my ceilings replaced of all things, I don't recommend that, it's messy times one hundred. Plus you have to pack and unpack all your stuff, and wash the walls and floors several times. Anyway, NaNoWriMo has inspired me to get back into the swing of things so I'll see you all back here in due time. As always I'm really grateful for all the feedback, not to mention deeply humbled that so many of you have stuck with this story even though it seems that it's never going to end. You're awesome! And speaking of awesome people, Nervert has done his beta magic on this random chapter, so a big thanks to him. I did however have to retype it, may my previous laptop rest in peace, so if you spot any typos, those are all mine.

I still don't own Chuck.


Knife Fight! (In a Manner of Speaking)

"If she wants to know if the milk's off, you're tasting it."

"I hardly think that's a two person job, Casey."

Chuck had no idea why Sarah wanted to see both of them, or if she wanted to see both of them. Maybe he'd misunderstood Maggie, though he hoped not. Casey had not been impressed when he had interrupted his Scotch and World War II documentary on the word of a four year old. Chuck fell back a step, letting Casey into the kitchen first. Then he gave the butler a wide berth and veered to his right, stopping in his tracks as he took in the scene in front of him.

"I think the milk's fine." Chuck couldn't take his eyes of the two women circling each other. It was the second to last thing he would've expected to have seen today. "Sarah," he said, taking a tentative step towards her, "maybe you should put that down. It looks really sharp."

"Nah," Casey said. "My money is on Lou. She's small, but I bet she's scrappy."

"Not the time, Casey." Chuck ventured another step forward, unsure of how to proceed. Without warning Lou swung the non-stick frying pan, but Sarah deftly deflected it with the back of the meat cleaver. The clang of metal striking metal hung in the air as both women took up their positions again, ready to attack. If either of them had noticed they had an audience, they didn't let on. Chuck knew he had to do something before someone lost an eye. Or an arm.

He threw a quick glance at Casey, who had apparently decided that this was an opportune moment to make a phone call, leaving Chuck no choice but to intervene himself.

"Sarah," he said in his calmest tone, "this is not how you deal with problems in the workplace."

"Depends on the problem," she replied.

"It's a misunderstanding," Lou added. "And for the record, I'm just defending myself here."

"You took the first swing," Chuck pointed out. Lou flicked a withering glance at him, making it clear that his conflict resolution skills needed some polishing. "Okay," he said, "how about this — you both put your…uh…utensils down on the count of three and then we talk this out?"

Neither woman responded to the suggestion, but he counted down anyway. Three came and went.

He was probably going to regret his next move, he thought as he dropped to the ground, but appealing to their rational sides wasn't getting him anywhere and he was running out of ideas. He crawled in under the table and emerged on the other side, pushing to his feet between the two feuding women, facing Lou. With his hands raised defensively he hoped that he could convince her to surrender her weapon, and perhaps Sarah would follow suit, but the next moment Lou took another swing and he ducked just in time for the edge of the pan to slice through his curls. Lucky for him he'd missed his last haircut appointment.

Sarah growled and lunged at Lou, but Chuck managed to spin around on his knees, grabbing her by the waist and holding her back. He braced himself the best he could as Sarah was strong, which didn't surprise him, given how toned she was. He forced himself to stay focused on the situation instead of the way her abs moved against his cheek. She looked down at him with narrowed eyes.

"Chuck, what are you doing?"

"Keeping you out of prison because dropping by your cell to tell you who the President is is not really my idea of an ideal first date."

Sarah arched an eyebrow. "First date?"

"Second first date," he amended, curious as to what she'd regarded as their first date — lunch in the cage or tequila and kissing at the club. Either way, they needed a do-over. He could do better, something more romantic, perhaps starting with drinks at —

Casey derailed his train of thought. "Spare me the lady feelings," he grunted, stepping up behind Lou. He wrangled the pan from her hand and held it above his head, out of her reach.

Deeming it safe Chuck pushed to his feet and gingerly took the cleaver from Sarah. Judging from the murderous look she shot Lou as he did so, he'd disarmed her in the nick of time.

Casey must have noticed too. He frowned down at Lou.

"What did you cook?"


A/N: Sorry if that was mean, but I didn't want to spoil you too much. I may be bending the site rules a little, so if anyone is taking exception to this please inbox me or send me an anonymous review and I'll take it down, no hard feelings.