DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN NCIS OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS!

THE HIGHEST SCORE

"Okay team, I hold here the solution," Abby announced bounding into the bullpen waving some papers around that she held in her hand. "These right here," she addressed the agents who were staring at here, placing a copy on each of their desks, "will finally put an end to all the bickering and debating you all have been doing the past few weeks." She looked at the satisfactorily.

"We haven't been bickering," Tony denied the accusation looking insulted while he glanced through the papers. "And really Abby," he tilted his head and looked at her with disbelief holding the papers up for affect, "How is this suppose to settle anything?"

"It's an IQ test DiNozzo. It measures in-tell-i-gence," Tim enunciated with a smirk.

Tony narrowed his eyes and glared at the younger agent, "Well thank you McObvious. Everyone knows that's something you can't accurately measure."

"I do not know, Tony," Ziva eyed her papers, "In Mossad we took similar tests. If you did not score high enough," she smiled at him, "You were put to death."

"Harsh!" Tony squirmed. "Still we're talking about intelligence in investigating, not who aced advanced physics or who knows how to kill someone a dozen ways with a paper clip."

"A-ha," Abby interjected, "That's why I specially made these tests. All the questions are related to how observant and thorough you are when it comes to solving cases." Abby stood watching her friends. Not seeing the excitement she was hoping for, her smile faded. "If you really don't want to do it, I'll take them and shred them," she pouted holding out her hand waiting for them to hand over the papers.

"I am interested Abby," Ziva assured her friend. "This could be very enlightening, no?" she practically dared Tim and Tony to refuse.

"Yes Ziva I believe you have a valid point. Okay I'm in," Tony threw back at her.

Tim had sat down and was already writing on the papers. "Hey McQuizzer shouldn't you wait for the rest of us, before you start?" Tony was rushing to sit at his desk to get started.

"I'm only filling in my name and other vital information. Besides I don't think it's a timed exam like a lot of them normally are," Tim explained.

"Have you taken many Tim?" Ziva asked curiously.

"When I was younger they tested me to place me in the most challenging classes. Then, of course, with early admission to MIT they tested me to make sure I was adapting okay. Never had any negative reports," he smiled warmly at her.

"Whatever McSmarty-Pants. Let's find out how well you are at investigating, huh?" Tony goaded.

"You're on," Tim clipped back.

"I'll take on you both," Ziva looked at them confidently.

"Ah, I think you mean you'll take us both on," Tim corrected nervously.

"That is what I said. No?" Ziva look confused but winked at Abby.

"Right," Tony nodded. "We'll finally prove that I am the best agent," Tony crowed.

"Hmph," Ziva took her papers and sat down with her back straight, "we shall see."

All of them were quiet as they began filling in information and answering the first few questions.

Tim was sitting confidently concentrating on the analytical portion. Tony was hunched down hand in his hair working through the same, as Ziva answered them stoically.

When the questions became more interpersonal Tony sat up and smiled more assured of his answers that came more quickly. Tim concentrated a little harder and answered a bit hesitantly. Ziva continued to answer showing no signs of distress.

A short essay was the portion.

"How does an essay answer get evaluated?" Tony asked.

"Only I know that answer and I'm not telling," Abby smirked.

Looking over the question, Tim asked, "Do we each have the same question?"

"Of course McGee. I need to match and compare how you all answer," she said.

"Right," Tim looked to his paper and began to compose his essay. Tony scribbled away completely sure of his answer. Again, Ziva sat and merely answered the question.

Gibbs walked in to find all his agents busy at their desks. For a change there wasn't any argument in the works. Happy they were hard at work he was prepared to take a seat at his desk to make some calls, when he saw Abby standing off to the side watching the three agents.

He walked over to her and whispered, "What's going on Abs?"

"Geez Gibbs, you scared me," she gasped her hand on her chest. "They're taking my IQ test."

"You're wasting their time on an intelligence test?" he frowned.

"No, it's an Investigative Quiz to find out who the best agent is," Abby explained.

"Right!" Gibbs snapped grabbing the paper off McGee's desk which was the closest to where they were standing. Gibbs smirked handing it back. The glance alone was enough to enable him to determine how each of the members of his team would score.

He had to hand it to Abby. She was able to concoct an exam that highlighted each of their strengths. Sitting at his desk he found a copy of the test on his desk. Holding it up he lifted an eyebrow at Abby who shrugged and smiled, "I didn't want to leave you out."

The three agents groaned at her. Of course Gibbs would out score them. Gibbs smirked at them and quickly filled out the paper and handed it to Abby. As he watched his agents still furiously scribbling away, he got up and walked to the elevators shaking his head lightly.

Finally having all the papers Abby left to do the scoring. With no sign of the boss around Tony crowed, "I still think I'll have the best score."

"Ya think DiNozzo," Gibbs asked coming around the partitions with his fresh cup of coffee.

"Of course I meant out of the three of us," Tony indicated his teammates.

"Uh huh," Gibbs sat. "I'd wager the best agent is the one who is able to work despite all this nonsense." Gibbs looked at McGee and Ziva at their desks. Tony quickly sat and tried to get back into his cold case.

While waiting for Abby, Tim had found a new lead on his case and was following up with a witness. Ziva had discovered he case was solved, but the guilty party had died a few months ago. Tony, still flustered and unable to focus on his case, wondered how much he'd out-scored his 'Probies'.

Abby finally arrived wearing a big grin, a bounce in her step as she sashayed into the bullpen.

Tony was on his feet leaning against the front of his desk, arms folded and legs crossed, "So you've come to tell my little agents that I am the master?" he smiled his signature charming smile.

"Nope," Abby shook her head making her pigtails flap wildly. She approached a now sullen Tony and patted him on the shoulder.

"You did score the highest on the intrapersonal skills," she consoled him.

"Gee thanks Abs," he smiled dejectedly returning to sit back behind his desk.

Tim and Ziva exchanged conspiratorial smiles. "So was it Ziva or I that scored the highest?" Tim asked.

"Neither," Abby smiled proudly, but seeing their confused looks she told Tim he'd scored the highest on the analytical portion while Ziva nailed the essay portion, which asked them to "List the best ways to interrogate an uncooperative witness/suspect and explain."

"So it is a three way knot?" Ziva asked her eyebrows knitted together.

"No it wasn't a three way TIE," Abby corrected and answered.

"So who scored the highest?" Tony asked perplexed, then remembered that Gibbs had taken part in nodded as Abby pointed to their boss.

Three groans broke the silence. Gibbs just smirked.

"Hey don't be upset," he offered, "I scored highest because I was smart enough to hire all of you to be on my team."

He got up, gave Abby a kiss on the cheek and left his agents who were slowly accepting that they were all a vital part to the team.