Inspired by (and a few lyrics stolen from) 'When the time is right', by Griffin House.

Disclaimer: Don't own the show, don't own the song.

When the time is right

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When the time is right,

Don't hold back.

When The Time Is Right – Griffin House

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When will the time be right? That's the question, and he knows it's a bloody complicated one at that. He's done a lot of reckless things before; jumped in too soon, not thought things through, made mistakes that cost him friends, his job, the ability to move without pain for a few days. But this – her - it's different. She's too important to risk, what they have is too precious, and if he gets the timing wrong on this, he stands to lose a hell of a lot more.

People think it's easy, making a move on a woman, confessing your feelings, taking the next step, especially when you know – almost for certain – that she feels the same way. He's seen her looks, studied her face and her eyes enough to know how she feels. So what's stopping him? He's read his daughter's pointed looks, he's seen the way Torres raises her eyebrows at him whenever he expresses jealousy, he knows that most people must think he's a fool for not telling her everything, especially now she's divorced. But she's not just some woman he fancies; she's his business partner, she's his best friend, she's the best thing that's ever happened to him apart from his daughter, and he'll be damned if he's going to risk losing her just because he got greedy and asked for too much.

He's always pushed for more than he's been given, always wanted to run the extra mile, always taken things one step further than most people would. But with her he holds back. Whether it'll last, he has no idea. Sometimes the desire to just grab her and pull her close to him, to kiss her, hug her, whisper in her ear how much he loves her, is so strong, he isn't sure he'll be able to resist it. But something holds him back; the fear, that she won't reciprocate his feelings, the worry that her fear will govern her response and make her walk away, the unthinkable prospect that they might not make it work as lovers, even if they try, and that that would deliver a crushing blow to their friendship that he knows there would be no way back from.

Sometimes it feels like they're running out of time. How long before another man comes along and sweeps her off her feet? There'll be no going back once that happens; she's single now, this could be his chance, and yet he still holds back. The time still doesn't feel right, somehow, and that's one of the reasons he worries the time never will be right. They're both single – if the time isn't right now, then when?

Another part of him thinks it's ridiculous to feel that they're running out of time. She's here; she's been here for so long, despite everything that he's put her through, and he knows she always will be there. He hasn't earned it – he's not arrogant enough to think he actually deserves her devotion – but he knows it'll last. The future of their friendship seems laid out before them, stretching even further forwards than it does back, and time doesn't seem such an issue when he realises that what she gives him now, what her friendship provides him, is already enough to last a lifetime.

Part of him thinks their journey is irrelevant; it doesn't matter where you start, it only matters where you end, and if the end they're heading towards is together, he'll happily accept any path to that destination. Another part of him thinks perhaps their journey and their end aren't so different. If what they have now - their friendship, their closeness, their love, even if it never progresses to anything physical or romantic – is all they'll ever have, then that's the definition of their relationship. Every moment they've shared, every smile, every hug, every laugh, is part of that, it's all of that, and perhaps expecting – or hoping – that their relationship will change and reach a more satisfying conclusion is pointless, and ultimately unnecessary. If at the end of it all they can look back and see a friendship that spanned the decades, an understanding that ran so deep, a trust and loyalty that never faded, isn't that enough?

At the same time, he can't keep going like this forever; not without a dream, however unrealistic, that one day things might change. He's never been much of a romantic dreamer -he'll leave that to her and her romance novels – but he oscillates between the quiet satisfaction that she's already brought him more happiness than he deserves and clinging to the hope that one day there'll be some sort of sign, something that will guide him to his next move, which will be the right one. He has to wait for the right time, and it hasn't come yet; he's accepted the fact that maybe, it never will. But it might. And if it does, he'll be ready. When the time is right, whenever that may be, he won't hold back.