Title: First Impressions
Rating: PG-13 for mild language
Summary: How Abby was recruited to NCIS... Pre-series.

Author's Note: You listen to Right Through You by Alanis Morissette on the way to work, and you end up writing this... XD One-shot.

The waiter shows a portly middle-aged man to my table, and I rise to meet him, giving him my most professional smile. "Mr Hammond?"

He holds out a clammy hand for me to shake. "Ms Sciuto, I presume?"

He pronounces it skee-uto, but I decide not to correct him. I really want this job. "Just 'Abby' is fine, sir."

When we're seated, and Mr Hammond has ordered wine for both of us, he gives me an appraising once-over. Catching sight of the tattoos on my neck and arms, and my dark clothing, his eyebrows shoot up. "Is this… your usual attire, Abby?"

I can tell he doesn't like what he sees, and it's not just the tatts. I'm not blonde, my neckline doesn't plunge as far as my navel, and I'm not showing any signs of wanting to sleep my way to the top.

I already know I'm out of luck.

"So," he asks, "what can you do?"

I begin to outline my skills and qualifications, gesturing emphatically now and then to hold his drifting interest. A woman with a skirt split right up to the waistband passes our table, and I know I've lost him. Torn between disappointment and irritation, I give up.

"… and DNA sequencing. I actually wrote my dissertation on whether or not the dinosaurs listened to Metallica, with a secondary paper on the merits of telling bored corporate bosses that some women do have intelligence as well as glamour model bodies…"

The dinosaur comment completely passes him by, but the latter part of the sentence permeates his mind, alright. His attention snaps back to me as he gasps like a grounded fish. "If your aim was to impress me, Miss Skee-uto-"

"It's pronounced Sciuto," I tell him, getting to my feet and downing the rest of my wine in one – might as well get something out of this moron. "And for your information, I can do way better than your dead-end company."

It's probably not true – being a project manager for Hammond Technologies' forensic division is the position of my dreams – but my career would totally stall under this lecherous asshole's control. I get the feeling that promotions come only to those who put out, and while my taste in men is pretty diverse, Edward Hammond isn't exactly my type.

So I leave him there, storming away from the table and kind of enjoying the melodrama. Just as I reach the door a hand brushes my arm, and a quiet voice says, "Hey."

Confused, I look up into a pair of amused, intense blue eyes. Wow. I blink up at the tall, silver-haired guy who's pulled me up short, and try not to drool.

"Abby Sciuto, right?"

Bonus points to him for pronouncing my name right. Wait… how'd he…? "Do I know you?"

He shrugs, dropping his hand back to his side. "Sorry. Couldn't help but overhear your conversation. Name's Gibbs."

I glance back at Hammond, who's gone an interesting shade of puce. "Sorry if I interrupted your meal."

The guy – Gibbs – shakes his head. "You're looking for a job?"

If this was anyone else, I'd tell them it was none of their business and walk away. But his eyes are compelling me. "Yeah. For a while longer than I'd hoped, I guess."

"My friend's a pathologist," Gibbs says, indicating an older guy sitting at a nearby table. He smiles at me and raises a hand in greeting, and I can't help but smile back. "He actually understood a lot of the stuff you were saying, and it sounds like you're pretty qualified. We work for NCIS – stands for Naval-"

"Criminal Investigative Service," I finish with a tiny thrill of realisation. "My dissertation wasn't actually on dinosaurs. One of the cases I researched was handled by NCIS."

An intrigued light in his eyes, he nods. "Just so happens we have an open slot for a forensic specialist at the moment. Don't suppose you'd be interested?"

Shooting him a thousand-watt smile, I nod vigorously. "You have no idea!"

He beckons for me to follow him and leads me to the table. "Ms Sciuto, meet Dr Donald Mallard."

Dr Mallard shakes my hand, gesturing for me to sit. "A pleasure, Ms Sciuto. Or do you prefer 'Abby'?"

Wow, how loud was I talking? Half the restaurant must have heard me. "Abby's fine, Dr Mallard."

"Please," he says. "Call me Ducky."

Ducky? I like this guy already! "Nice to meet you, Ducky. So tell me about this job…"