Donald Mallard, Ducky, his friends all called him, did not typically consider himself to be risqué. He was still young, only twenty-eight, but his years in medical school, in war, had steadied him. And then he met Sid.
Sid Hammerback was nineteen. Young, outspoken, free spirited and with eyes that made Ducky melt. It was terribly wrong, but when they came together, passionate kisses and long hours of making love, Ducky couldn't bring himself to care. It was foolish and risky, but it made his pulse race and his entire body thrum. He was hopelessly in love.
It could never last of course, not in their time, not when people frowned so, on the love of two men. Their last night broke Ducky's heart and in the years that followed, it was never fully healed.
Years passed, they never saw each other, although the odd time, one would find an article, written by the other and smile, just to see his old lover's name. Sid married, had children, Ducky did not, but was content just the same, with his work and his friends.
The idea of a conference in New York, was not eagerly anticipated, especially not in the middle of winter, but Shepard made insistent noises and said she was sending Gibbs along too. Ducky made arrangements for someone to watch his mother and agreed to go.
New York while a splendid city in many ways, like Washington, was too crowded, another city that never slept. Ducky was happily grumbling along, telling Gibbs some story that Gibbs he suspected was no longer listening to, when a set of familiar eyes caught him from across the hotel lobby.
Ducky froze mid stride, mid sentence.
"Ducky?" Gibbs questioned.
"Sorry, sorry Jethro, I thought I saw someone I knew, but it wasn't," Ducky lied, moving quickly to follow Gibbs.
Sid had changed, older now, lines that weren't there when last they met, hair that was now grey, but his eyes... his eyes still made Ducky melt. He glanced back, seeing Sid still watching him, as a woman, with silver hair and soft green eyes, approached Sid, slipping her arm though his.
Ducky nodded understanding across the crowded room and continued to follow Gibbs. It was a thrill, a quiet delight, to set eyes upon each other, for that brief moment, but a moment was all it could ever be now, what they had was everything once, but now it could be nothing more than a sweet memory from the past.