A lonely Barnaby Joyce wasn't expecting to get along with Malcolm Turnbull after their raw and furious arguments.
There was shouting, screaming, "the whole lot" and colleagues had to bundle him out of the room like he used to do to folks at an Armidale pub when he was a bouncer.
But now the nation's most senior government figures work well together, despite not being close.
The deputy prime minister has shared a rare insight into his relationship with his boss and some surprising political bedfellows in an interview with GQ.
Mr Joyce hadn't expected he and Mr Turnbull to put their huge blue over the carbon tax behind them.
"After that it was raw but now we respect each other," the Nationals leader said.
They trust each other's confidence and they're friendly.
"But we're not close."
Mr Joyce, who reveals he had a childhood ambition to be prime minister, is happy where he is and with the job he's doing.
He ranks himself an 8.5.
"Maybe that makes me sound full of myself, but I know how bloody hard I've worked. A pollie who scores themselves six or less is pretty useless."
The straight-talker says he's warm, driven and a little lonely.
"As you go up the tree in politics, your circle of friends becomes less and less."
Mr Joyce lists crossbench senator Nick Xenophon as a friend: "If I talk politics to Nick, I'm absolutely certain it stays in the vault".
Ditto Labor's Doug Cameron.
"(He's) a crazy, left, lunatic unionist but if you told him where you hid your keys, he wouldn't tell anybody," he said.
As for Tanya Plibersek, Mr Joyce believes the deputy Labor leader is "off with the fairies", but opposition frontbencher Anthony Albanese would be a threat as leader because he would talk to his people.
Asked who he thinks Tony Abbott is targeting with his recent musings, Mr Joyce thinks the former Liberal prime minister is talking to himself.
"And he's got to stop," he said.