Inspired by the title of the Snow Patrol song of the same name. I own nothing to do with the song or the show, sadly.

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking

Everyone hears the metaphorical tick tock from time to time; feels the pressure from some unknown force weighing down on them; imagines an hourglass where the grains of sand have begun to pick up speed.

The ticking clock in your mind can tell you you're running out of time to prepare for that interview, that it's not long until your birthday and another year has slipped by, that an important decision must be made, and you're not yet ready to make it.

Of course, there's the biological clock that everyone talks about, but she's tired of hearing those two words, especially when they're so irrelevant. That clock – however it should be renamed to suit her circumstances – has been ticking in the back of her mind for a long time. Some days it's louder, some days she's almost able to forget it's there. It blends in with the rest of the noise, ticking so quietly in the background she barely notices it above the din of everything else.

Lately, though, she's felt like there's another clock ticking somewhere. She isn't entirely sure what it means, but she hears it most in the gaps in conversation when she's taking to Cal – in the beats between words, in the comfortable silences that stretch between them, in the pauses when they communicate without using their words.

It might be a gentle smile, or a soft touch. It might be an expression she can't quite read, or a laugh that hides just a little too much. It might be a kiss on the cheek, a hug, a lingering embrace. Then the retreat which follows – his, hers, both – and the shiver she feels at the loss of the moment they've just shared. There's the warmth that seeps through her skin at his touch, and the cold that replaces it when he steps away. She's never been able to put a name to any of those feelings – perhaps never dared – but she feels it. And now, she hears it too.

Somewhere, a clock is ticking.