Hi everyone!:) Hopefully this won't turn into a huge author's note, but I'd just like to say a few things. I've only recently become hooked on the Nanny...mainly because of Niles and later on because of CC and their whole relationship. And now I'm totally in Niles&CC mode (I'm not even kidding...I'm sad like that) and so I just had to write a one-shot. It's a bit...sad for a "Nanny" fiction and I'll promise you there'll be more happy stuff to follow...but this just popped into my head. Please read&review,I'm always open to constructive criticism!:) I'm now off to watch "The Finale", though I really don't want it to be the last episode!:(
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own anything....if I did own the Nanny,moooore Niles&CC stuff would've happened much earlier on!lol
He was standing at the altar watching as Fran gracefully walked down the aisle towards even as a smile passed over his features,he couldn't help but risk a side glance at the blonde woman who was sitting in the first row. C.C. Babcock, the bitch of Broadway,was known to be a bitter,mean woman, but he had long ago learned to see through her icy exterior. And right now it was only too blatantly obvious how much she was hurting. And although he couldn't have been happier for Fran and Maxwell, all he really wanted to do was to hold C.C. in his arms until she felt better.
The entire situation felt completely surreal,things were just passing her by, while she was still trying to come to terms with the harshness of reality. He didn't love her...he had never even noticed her...and she didn't know which one of these two hurt more...She knew that Maxwell's love for Fran was the thing that had pushed her over the edge but that wasn't all...The emptiness inside her had been there much longer,as a matter of fact she couldn't recall a moment where she hadn't felt invisible. That's why she always said what was on her mind, whether it was cruel or not...but at least that meant that she would get noticed.
This morning she had woken up with a feeling of dread, with the knowledge that she wouldn't be able to survive their wedding, but with the certainty that she had no other choice...she needed to be strong. And then,when Nanny Fine hadn't turned up at the altar her grip on reality had slipped...she couldn't be strong anymore and so the crazyness had enveloped her once more and she had just let herself fall into its soothing darkness. She had only really regained control when she had felt Niles' soft pressure on her arm and his insistence to lead her away. But now all that was left was the hurt and the shame,because she had, once again, let herself go. She prayed that the ceremony would be over soon, she would only stay for a drink during the festivities and then leave...no-one would notice her absence in anyway.
The one drink had turned into eight,when Niles joined her. He handed her a glass of Scotch which she took gratefully.
"I'm not really supposed to...do that." she muttered pathetically as she downed that drink.
"How many times have you not done that tonight?" he teased her and she managed a weak smile.
"About...eight." she pretended to hesitate.
They sat in silence for a moment and C.C. began to wonder why he hadn't left her side yet.
Then, heaving a deep sigh, she said melo-dramatically: "Oh Niles, now that Maxwell is taken my life is over!"
She meant every single word and yet felt the need to make it sound overly dramatic.
"Oh Ms Babcock,you always underestimate yourself!You have a lot to offer a man: you're witty,you're sophisticated,you're beautiful,you're sexy."
She didn't even look up at his words,she was sure he didn't mean it. And even if he did...it wouldn't change the fact that she had to return to an empty apartment and she knew she couldn't cope with that...she simply didn't know what she would do to herself. She completely missed his worried looks when she failed to respond and was only brought back to reality,when she felt the soft pressure of his hands.
"Lets dance." he said gently and she allowed him to lead her to the dancefloor.
He held her close to his body,so that she could feel his scent enveloping her. And she was too weak to act against her instincts which told her to lean closer into the embrace, so close that their cheeks were now pressed against each other. The touch of his hands was gentle as he maneouvred them around the dance floor.
"You really are hurting, aren't you?" he whispered into her ear.
She felt unable to answer and instead pressed her body closer against his,urging him to hold her even tighter. She trusted him like she had trusted no other man in her life and she knew that he wouldn't use this weakness against. He liked to tease her, it was a vital part of their relationship, but he would never hurt her now, of that she was certain. But as they moved around on the dance floor her eyes eventually drifted over to Fran and Maxwell who were in each others arms, exchanging soft gestures of affection. And that was when it came back to her...all the things she would never have. Even Niles' embrace was a lie in its own right,just a way of briefly comforting her before he could move on with his life...but what he didn't know was that she would never be able to move on. She felt a lump in her throat and had to push him away. She had to get out,regain her composure...just get a grip somehow and she couldn't allow anyone to see her tears.
He found her outside on the balcony. She stood close to the edge, her hands on the rail and her eyes closed.
"I hope you're not considering to jump, you know that witches can only be killed by water." he joked half-heartedly.
"What's it to you?" she practically spat,an angry fire burning in her piercing blue eyes as she hastily tried to retreat from the balcony.
"I wish you'd stop running away." Niles voiced gently and she stopped in her tracks.
"Don't you see it's the only way for me..." she whispered so quietly that he almost doubted hearing it.
"C.C..." he pleaded gently,taking off his coat and placing it around her shoulders "this isn't like you..."
Even though she had his back turned to him he could tell that she was close to the breaking point, that she was holding on to the last shreds of dignity she had left. And the only way he knew to get her out of this was to take things lightly,even though he knew that they were far more complicated.
"How would you know that,Bellboy?" she asked,turning around to face him now.
He could still see the tracks of tears on her face,but right now the only thing that betrayed her icy manner was the quivering of her lip.
"You don't know me..." she continued angrily "no-one knows...I'm invisible to all of you..."
"No,you're not." he argued back "How can you even say that? And did it ever occur to you that it might be your own fault? You're always hiding your true self from us,never allowing us anywhere near you, you can't really blame the others for giving up trying."
"The others...what do you mean?"
"You're breaking my heart,C.C....I've always seen you or what you were trying to hide. But I accepted it as your way of coping with life, that's why I tried not to take offence,that's why I started teasing you back. So you would know that if you needed someone I'd always be there for you."
He could see that she was contemplating his words for a moment,and for a second he could tell she was visibly softening, but then something changed and suddenly she was cold again.
"Spare me your sob story,Butler Boy." she said cruelly "I'm not interested in your side of the story, nor your twisted feelings."
It hurt...every single word hurt. He searched her eyes for evidence that she was lying, that she was just trying to protect herself but when he could find none his pain turned into anger.
"You're not the only one who knows what it's like being invisible,you know?I'm the Butler,always serving people...always in Maxwell's shadow. Well , I can deal with that in the work place but I..." he paused, collecting his courage " I love you C.C., from the first moment you walked through that door. But you never saw me,you always saw Maxwell. I hoped that maybe if we tease each other for a while you'd come to see the real me and maybe you'd...But I see now that I was wrong,you will never see just how much you were missing..."
They stood in stunned silence as he waited for her to reply. When, after a while, she still remained silent he turned around and left.
It was late at night when he heard a faint knock on his door. His mind was still groggy from sleep and so he thought that it would be Fran again,needing one of her midnight snacks...when ,of course, in reality she was away on her honeymoon. He grumpily got out of bed and,putting his bathrobe on,shuffled to the door. When he opened it he saw C.C. standing in the dark corridor,she looked small and lost and oh so vulnerable.
He was wondering how she had gotten into the house,when she quietly said: "You left your coat,Bellboy."
And he opened his arms,signalling her that their fight was forgotten, and allowed her into the safety of his embrace.