"Why don't we hang up this coat for you and-Why Dr. Crane! You're soaked!"

"It's okay. I'll just get a towel and dry off." Niles said.

"You'll do no such thing!" Daphne said "Now you march right back there to your brother's room and put on

some dry clothes. I'll pop yours into the dryer and they'll be ready in no time!

"Thank you, Daphne." Niles said.

When he was gone, Daphne hurried into the kitchen and returned moments later with a cup of tea."

Her heart beat rapidly as she sat on the sofa, staring out of the window at the blurry Seattle skyline.

Suddenly she heard footsteps and her heart warmed when she saw Niles emerge from the hallway, looking

quite handsome in his brother's shirt and trousers.

He looked at his appearance self-consciously. "Well they're a little big, but I think they'll do."

"You look wonderful, Dr. Crane. Now why don't you just sit right here and we'll share this pot of warm tea?"

He walked over to the sofa and sat down beside her. His presence immediately sent a pleasant fragrance

wafting through the air.

"You're wearin' cologne." She remarked.

"Just something I found on Frasier's dresser."

"It smells nice." She said. "Here. Let me fix you a cup of hot tea."

"You know, you really don't have to go to all this trouble." Niles said.

"Nonsense. It's no trouble at all." Daphne said as she poured them both a cup of tea.

Niles smiled sadly.

"Dr. Crane, can I ask you somethin'?"

"Sure."

"It's not me place to be askin' so if I'm outta line just say so."

"What is it, Daphne?"

"Well... I know how much you loved your wife, but I've never really heard you say so. And I was just wonderin'

why her leavin' has you so upset."

Niles sighed. "Wow."

Filled with embarrassment, Daphne put her hand over her eyes. "Oh God. You're right. I shouldn't have asked.

I'm sorry."

Suddenly she felt his hand on her back. "It's okay."

"He was silent a few minutes before speaking again. "I guess I'm... just afraid."

His honesty touched her. "Dr. Crane, what in the world could you be afraid of? You're the bravest man I know!"

"Daphne, I'm not brave. In fact, I'm far from it. I'm just... so afraid of being alone."

"Dr. Crane, you can't possibly think that you're alone. I mean, I know that Mrs. Crane is gone, but you have

your father and your brother and..."

She took his hand in hers.

"You have me."

"Daphne."

She pushed a lock of blonde hair from his forehead and then, before she could stop herself, she leaned toward

him and kissed him.

When the kiss ended, he drew back slightly and gazed into her eyes.

"You kissed me."

"Oh... I must have lost me head for a moment. I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize." He said.

"Why not?"

"Because, I just..." When his voice trailed away, he slid his arms around her neck and kissed her again.

It was the sweetest kiss she'd ever known.

Seconds later the door opened, and they both looked up to find Frasier standing in the foyer.

"Dr. Crane!" Daphne exclaimed. "How did the show go? Did the critic give you a good write-up?"

Frasier walked toward them. "Never mind that. Niles, I've been so worried and while I was doing my show I

realized that... well I don't care about ratings and all that nonsense. I just want you to be happy. You're my

brother and I love you."

"I am happy." Niles said, gazing at Daphne. "And I love you too, Frasier."

Frasier glanced at his little brother in surprise. "Why Niles! You're smiling!"

He watched with astonishment as Niles and Daphne shared another kiss.

"Daphne, what's the meaning of this?"

Daphne grinned. "Oh, I just gave him a bit of cheerin' up. I think Dr. Crane's gonna be just fine."

THE END