Ok guys, this is my first fanfic EVER and I know it's a bit lengthy and wordy because I am a dialogue and narration aficionado so stick with it and if it sucks don't shoot me I'm too young to die! I've read all the Niles/C.C. fics out there so I took it as my civic duty to contribute something to the group. So after…months… here is the result. This story has been both my best friend and worst enemy at times but I think I've accomplished something…at least readable. Yes, it is finished, but I will be posting it in parts at intervals at my discretion bc I am evil. Muahahaha. Enjoy and comments would be nice but are not necessary if this is a complete disaster, in which case I'd like to continue living in my make-believe world where I am a fabulous writer. La-di-da, la-di-da, la la.

Disclaimer: I do not own The Nanny or its characters. And this disclaimer goes for all chapters!

Ringing in the Love

Chapter One

"But Maman I made that silly agreement with you years ago! Before I moved to America!" Niles was livid, storming the kitchen as he spoke with his mother on the phone. "Are you seriously going to hold me to something I promised over twenty years ago?" the butler furiously questioned.

"Fine, if those are the circumstances then I will meet them and visit you in one month." Niles couldn't believe what he was getting into. "Yes, until then, goodbye," he spoke contritely now, afraid he would lose control of his anger if he didn't.

Fran wandered into the kitchen after hearing the commotion. "Hey Niles, what's with the yelling? Did Ma stop by and eat the rest of that cheesecake you hid in the freezah? I told you, you've gotta wrap it up and write Slim-Fast on the front and she'll never go after it!"

Niles couldn't help but crack a smile at the Nanny's seriousness. "No Miss Fine, I was just speaking with my mother and apparently I'm in a bit of a predicament. You see after I graduated college Maman was adamant on me finding a wife and starting a family of my own. So she bribed me with her grandmother's wedding rings, and said I could have them to give to the woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with. The single condition was I had to choose my bride before my forty-fifth birthday, and unfortunately that's a little over a month away, and without even a girlfriend I doubt it's feasible. Now my mother wants to meet the woman I have selected so she can hand over the rings. Oh Miss Fine, I don't know what to do! Those rings are so beautiful and I've always dreamt of giving them to my future wife. I can't bear the thought of Maman giving them to charity or worse to one of my sisters! I feel so stupid making that promise but I was barely over twenty and forty-five seemed light years away. Now I'll be stuck going to Super Pawn if I ever want to get married." Niles dejectedly put his hands on his head at the table.

It wasn't like him to get so emotional over silly little objects but for some reason he had grown attached to the idea of giving his woman those rings, and the thought of his fantasy being ripped apart was killing him.

"Niles, calm down, everything will be alright. Don't worry, I'll come up with a plan and we'll get you those rings somehow. This is just like that time my cousin Sheila needed a kidney and we snuck into the emergency room where some McDonald's worker was being treated and before you knew it, bada-bing, he was giving up body parts like they were French fries and we got ourselves a cruise to . . . oh wait that was from the Taco Bell guy . . . meanwhile I've never seen a beef burrito so big if ya know what I mean, ah-ha!" the nanny let out her signature laugh.

"Miss Fine while I find your stories amusing as always, I think I'll ask Mr. Sheffield to help me on this one." Niles needed his old pal to come through for him now, and he really didn't have the patience for more of the nanny's shenanigans, as endearing as they usually were.

"Alright I hear ya, besides Loehmann's is having a massive sale and I don't think I can handle another project right now. Keep me posted on your plans!"

"Will do," Niles responded. And with that she left.

And the object of his disdain walked in.

"Niles have you seen my little doggy treats for Chester? I thought I brought them into the office with me but I must have set them down in here before breakfast." C.C. Babcock sauntered into the kitchen looking more effortlessly beautiful than the butler cared to admit. Her side swept golden hair shined perfectly with the curve-hugging royal blue dress she unfortunately covered with a fitted black blazer just begging to be removed.

After the usual quick and inconspicuous once-over, Niles responded to the woman who had been bringing him such infuriating confusion lately. It seemed like she kept baiting him for a new fighting session every chance she got. If he didn't know any better he'd say she was seeking his attention. But of course he had nothing better to do, so he was glad to oblige.

"Are you sure you weren't feeling a bit peckish, Miss Babcock? I know how much you enjoy a good snack…or two," he added with an obvious glance-over this time, a trick he learned long ago. He could look her up and down as much as he wanted as long as it was coupled with an insult.

Little did he know C.C. not only noticed how often he eyed her but always felt a surge of self-consciousness whenever he did so. It was as if that whole hour she spent preparing to look presentable had gone to waste with one stare. And she hated that she cared what he thought but she couldn't help it. Why do I let him get to me?

"Although my dog's food is far more appetizing than anything you've ever conjured up in here I was somehow able to resist, now tell me where are you hiding them? I don't need to strip-search you do I?" she asked with mock disgust.

"Please, I know you'd only enjoy that," Niles countered.

"No I don't particularly enjoy looking at ghastly images voluntarily," C.C. couldn't resist the smile in her eyes.

"Oh is that why you don't keep any mirrors in your apartment?"

"Niles! C.C.! Come on I can hear you both from the office and it doesn't sound like any work is going on so let's break this up." Maxwell Sheffield walked into the kitchen looking stressed out and a little tired. His and C.C.'s latest play had just been diagnosed as an utter failure and embarrassment to the whole theatre world so he wasn't in a great mood.

C.C. conceded and headed back to the office after giving Niles a goodbye death glare that he returned in kind.

When she was out of sight Niles decided to approach Maxwell about his problem. "Sir, if you wouldn't mind, could I seek your advice on a personal matter?"

Max was shocked; Niles usually didn't have any personal drama, and if he did he always kept it to himself. "Sure old man, what's on your mind?"

He told Max the story and expressed his anger at possibly never getting the rings.

"Niles I have to admit I didn't think you'd care so much about those rings. You're not even seeing anybody now are you? Not to sound rude but even if you get the rings do you have at least a woman in mind to give them to?" Max was surprised to see Niles so distraught and knew he'd help him any way possible, but just wanted to gauge his butler's mindset.

Niles quickly peeked into the office through the open door and saw C.C. sitting on the green sofa. With one leg over the other, a stack of papers in her lap, and a water bottle at her lips, she took a few sips before adjusting her designer glasses and marking up the papers with her pen. She was in her element and Niles smiled. She can look so innocent sometimes. Wait what was Mr. Sheffield just asking me?

"No, as you know I'm not seeing anyone now so there's no one . . . in mind I suppose." he turned again to his employer.

"Hmm, well that could pose a problem for bringing your future fiancée to meet your mother so you can get the rings. If only there was a way we could somehow fake this . . . oh my I've got it! It's so obvious! We could hold auditions and find a woman to act like your fiancée, you take her to meet your mom, get your rings, we pay her for a job well done and send her on her way, and you put those rings on the woman of your dreams!" Max was so excited for coming up with such a brilliant plan he could barely contain his sheer glee. Not only had he found a way to help his friend but it would give him a small break from the bad luck he'd been having lately in the theatre. A refreshing new project might be just what he needs to get back on track.

Niles was intrigued by the idea and knew it was pretty much his only option.

"Alright, I'll go along with it, as long as I agree with the choice of actress I suppose, and we'd have to spend a lot of time getting to know each other for the week I go to England so it looks good. But I guess it could work."

"Fantastic. I'll let C.C. know and we can begin auditions tomorrow!" Max slapped his hands together and started heading for the office.

"Wait, why does Miss Babcock have to be involved?" for some reason Niles just didn't want her to be a part of this process. He didn't want her picking out a woman for him when he knew she . . . she was . . . the only one he wanted? No! He watched as she now uncrossed her legs and recrossed them again, switching from right to left. Well, maybe sometimes.

She licked her lips out of habit while concentrating on the material in her lap. Maybe all the time. But it's just lust so there's no reason to get caught up in it, Niles surmised. And she has absolutely no feelings for me at all, so she wouldn't be uncomfortable with this right? Annoyed yes, but she'd get through it. Wait why do I care if she'll be okay?

He now realized Max had been giving some speech about how C.C. always plays an integral part in selecting actors for their plays and that if they didn't use her excellent skills, Niles' chances of getting those rings would be all but ruined.

Of course the only hopes I have in getting married would rest with that woman. It's only fitting. Even when I want someone else she still manages to take control over the situation.

"Fine, she can help, but tell her to keep the snide comments to herself so she doesn't chase the actresses away, alright?" Niles let in, hoping this wouldn't be a mistake.