It was 9:30 pm. Detective Anthony DiNozzo had been on the job since before dawn and still had a long drive home to his Baltimore apartment. He had only to drop off evidence at the N.C.I.S. forensics lab and he could finally be on his way. He'd been reluctantly-very reluctantly-partnered with Special Agent Jethro Gibbs for the past four days working a Baltimore based homicide. But, this was his first visit to Gibbs' home turf.

Tony had, frequently and vocally, questioned Gibbs' grasp of the whole 'partner' concept. DiNozzo had conceded that Gibbs had jurisdictional lead, but not that Gibbs was his superior. They were not in the same agency or command structure, therefore Gibbs should dismount his high horse and join Tony down on equal ground. Gibbs had ignored Tony's complaints, ignored Tony himself most of the time, except to bark out orders. Gibbs had yet to call Tony by either his Christian name, surname or rank. DiNozzo was only 'you'. As in 'hey you' or 'you-take a statement'.

In his own turn, Tony had yet to address Gibbs by his given names. A very pissed off DiNozzo had driven back that first night calling him every unflattering and profane name in the book. Until he'd pulled up to the crime scene, forced a smile on his face and walked up to Gibbs and said "So, Jed, it looks like we're working together."

In their first forty eight hours as a team, Tony had, in addition to Jed, addressed Gibbs as Special Agent Bligh, Special Agent Queeg, Special Agent Khan and Il Duce. He introduced Gibbs to the very attractive forty-something barista of his favorite precinct coffee shop as Special Agent Miguelito Loveless. Mostly, though, he just called the N.C.I.S. agent 'hey' to get his attention when absolutely necessary. Gibbs responded no differently to the more colorful appellations than he did the 'hey'.

Their third day together, Gibbs had begun the morning by reaming Tony out and casting crude and totally unwarranted aspersions on his intelligence. Tony had correctly labeled the evidence. It had been the clerk who had misfiled it. DiNozzo didn't bother explaining or defending himself. But, Tony did spend the rest of the day and that night calling Gibbs Sgt. Carter and exclaiming 'Shazam!' at every possible opportunity eliciting no response whatever from Gibbs.

Gibbs had, earlier this night, curtly dismissed Tony, giving him orders and directions to the forensics lab and the name, Abby Scuito, of the tech. He found the lab and entered to find Miss Scuito, her back to him, leaning over a table. His gaze went immediately to the vicinity of her derrière which wasn't well defined under the long lab coat. She stood and turned to face him, decked out in ultimate Abbyness-her lips were their reddest, her platforms their highest and her accessories were at their most abundant and eclectic. Tony's eyes widened.

"Whoa!"

Abby put her fists on her hips and squinted at Tony.

"Whoa?"

Tony, covering quickly, half shrugged and shook his head.

"Whoa? No, no, I didn't say whoa. I said hello."

"Oh, no, you didn't say hello. You most definitely said whoa. And, it was not a stop, rein in the team, whoa Nellie type whoa. It was a 'what the hell is that', taken aback, I-don't-believe-it type whoa."

"I think I know better what I said than you. Maybe you should get your hearing checked because I said hello."

"Liar."

Tony stood there a moment squinting back at Abby before huffing and raising his shoulders and conceding her point but remaining unrepentant.

"So, what if I did? I mean, come on! I walk in expecting Velma in polyester pants and sensible shoes and instead I get..." He held out his arms, moving his hands up and down as if directing her attention to herself, having a hard time vocalizing exactly what he had gotten. Then, with a small appreciative smile he said. "A Martian geisha."

Tony seemed suddenly intrigued by the two perfectly coiffed hair orbs resting on either side of the top of her head. He stepped closer and pointed towards them moving his index finger in a swirly motion.

"I'm digging the little knotty buns. How do you get them to-" His hand moved towards her head as if he was going to reach over and touch said knotty buns and Abby swacked his hand away.

"Hey!" Tony yelped, "What was that for?"

"For insulting me!"

"I did not insult you!"

"Did too!"

"Did not!"

"Martian geisha?"

"That was a compliment!"

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A/N: Here's a list of the nicknames Tony uses for Gibbs and their origins:

Jed: There's an old comedy TV show called 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. There were characters named Jed and Jethro on the show. Tony calling Jethro Jed was a dig, deliberately confusing the two names.

Bligh: Captain Bligh from history and the movie 'Mutiny on the Bounty'

Queeg: Captain Queeg from the movie 'The Caine Mutiny'

Khan: Klingon commander from 'Star Trek'

Il Duce: The nickname of Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist leader during WWII.

Miguelito Loveless: Dwarf evil genius from the TV show 'The Wild, Wild West'.

Sgt. Carter: From the TV show 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'. Sgt. Carter was Gomer's superior and Gomer wasn't too bright. 'Shazam' was Gomer's favorite exclamation.

Velma reference in Abby's lab: Velma from the cartoon 'Scooby Doo'.