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Author's Chapter Notes:
He hid it so well for so long, but he slipped up at the wrong time, and he got busted good and proper. Short oneshot, complete, Abby/Ducky, UST, cute, fluffy. Warning: 30 year age gap.
Written, as always, for my adorable gray haired husband, the world's only Abby/Ducky shipper.

Warning: Huge age gap.

He'd hidden it so well for so long, right from the start. It had become second nature, some secrets are so important that keeping them, hard as it may be, just happens, no matter what. This was not the kind he could just bury, it kept climbing back out of the hole and hitting him with the shovel, but he just developed two trains of thought, the one he should be having, and the real one, then just ignored the latter. It worked well for years. Dr Mallard was a controlled, experienced man, he could make it work.

You would think it would take a situation of huge stress to break the pattern that was established so well, but it wasn't that, it was the secret itself. When it was standing right in front of him, it strained his resolve, distracted his carefully constructed barriers. Of course, he always coped... Almost always. It only takes one slip, and out of hundreds of occasions, he only made one, but she caught it.

She had bounced out of the elevator just after knock off time wearing something particularly distracting and effortlessly skipped, in platform boots, into autopsy.

"Do you have my results?" She asked excitedly.

"Yes, your micronutrient levels are all perfectly healthy"

"Yes!" She did a theatrical air punch "stupid vegetarian hating nutritionists don't know anything! I told you!"

"I never doubted you"

"Thank you Ducky!"

She bounced forward, grabbed him, kissed his cheek and hugged him tightly. With her cheek pressed firmly to his, and indeed most of her body pressed firmly to his, the scent of her skin all around him, her exuberance and affection, his concentration lapsed.

He ran both hands gently over her back (which was probably quite acceptable) and allowed the slightest little groan to escape the back of his throat (which was almost certainly not).

Her eyes widened, although he couldn't see that. She froze, for just a second, which he certainly felt, as panic hit him. She pulled away, grabbed his hand and, with a look of determination, pulled him toward his office. He was not looking forward to this conversation.

As she slammed the door hard, he had a vague notion that this was going to be even worse than he'd imagined. As she roughly grabbed his shoulders and pushed him against it, he was surprised by the idea that actual violence might be involved, but quickly realized that with Abby's erratic emotions, he probably shouldn't have been. When she pushed her body against his and quickly, eagerly began kissing him, conscious thought left completely as he hungrily, desperately kissed back. Eventually, reluctantly, she pulled away and looked at him.

"Arn't you meant to have a psychology degree? With profiling and that kind of thing?"

He nodded

"Then how come I had to jump you?"
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