"That was a delicious meal, Daphne." Frasier said as he laid his fork on the empty plate.

"Oh, thank you, Dr. Crane." Daphne said, touched by the compliment. "I was hopin' you'd like it."

"Well I loved it." Martin said. "I haven't enjoyed a meal that much in ages."

Daphne could feel her cheeks reddening and she laughed nervously. "Oh, well thank you, Dr. Crane. Mr. Crane."

Martin rose from the table and grabbed his cane. "Well, the game's about to start and I think I'm going to go

watch it at Duke's."

Frasier looked at his watch. "Actually I should be going, too. I have a meeting at the radio station. No telling

what they're up to now."

"Have a good time, Dr. Crane." Daphne called to him.

"Thank you Daphne. I'll try." Frasier said as he pulled on his coat. When he opened the door to leave, Daphne

ran to catch him. "Dr. Crane! Might I have a word?"

"Certainly, Daphne." Frasier said. "Dad, why don't I meet you in the lobby?"

"All right, but hurry up, will you? I'll miss the tip-off! Duke and I made a bet on the Sonics, you know!" Martin

said.

"Dad, why did you and Duke bet on the home team?" Frasier asked.

"Why not?" Martin shrugged as he walked out the door.

"Have a good time at Duke's, Mr. Crane!" Daphne called to Martin as he walked out the door.

When they were alone, Frasier smiled. "Well, Daphne. What's on your mind?"

"Dr. Crane, I'm afraid I owe you an apology."

"An apology? Whatever for?"

"For this mornin'. I'm afraid me mind was somewhere else, while you were tellin' your story about the piano. I

can assure you, it won't happen again."

"Actually I hope it does."

She narrowed her eyebrows. "What do you mean?"

Frasier smiled and touched her forearm. "It's been nice, seeing you so happy. I hope it continues."

"Thank you, Dr. Crane. That means a lot to me."

When he was gone, she turned to the kitchen and began clearing the dishes from the table while singing a

familiar song.

"The way a fool would do madly..."

No sooner had she put the dishes into the dishwasher when the doorbell rang.

She rolled her eyes as she untied her apron and tossed it onto the counter, and then went to answer the

doorbell.

"Forget your briefcase again, Dr. Crane?" She asked as she opened the door.

Her heart skipped a beat when she realized she wasn't speaking to Frasier.

"Dr Crane..."

How was it that she hadn't noticed how incredibly handsome Niles was; dressed head to toe in a white

sweater and white pants? He'd looked wonderful last night in his blue blazer, but now...

She grabbed the side of the sofa to steady herself.

"Hello, Daphne." He said. "You certainly look beautiful this evening. Going out?"

Her cheeks burned as she glanced down at her light blue dress with tiny yellow flowers, smoothing an

imaginary wrinkle from the fabric.

"No, I just..."

"Is that a new perfume?" Niles asked sniffing her shoulder.

"Oh yes. I-it's called Midnight Song." She said touched that he'd noticed.

"It's simply mesmerizing." Niles said.

"Well... Thank you, Dr Crane.. I-I mean, Niles."

"So is Frasier home? I was hoping to discuss our latest squash game."

"I'm afraid you just missed him. He left a few minutes ago for a meeting with Roz."

"Oh, well that's too bad. But since I'm here I'll just say hello to Dad."

"I'm sorry to disappoint you again, Dr. Crane but your father's gone to Duke's to watch the Sonics game."

Daphne said.

At this news, Niles smiled, almost causing her to melt. "So, it seems that we're alone."

Her mouth curved into a smile. "So we are."

The silence between them made her heart beat faster and she couldn't help gazing out the window. She turned

to find Niles holding two glasses of champagne.

"Thank you." She said taking a glass.

She returned her attention to the window "It's a beautiful night; the sky all covered in stars like that."

"It's a beautiful view..." He replied, staring right at her. He moved closer to the window. "I don't believe I've

ever seen a sky this clear before. It's amazing."

"Would you like to take a closer look?" Daphne asked, suddenly feeling shy.

He smiled and followed her out onto the deck and they stood at the railing, staring up at the night sky.

The moon was fuller and brighter than she'd ever seen it.

"It's breathtaking." She sighed.

She took a sip of champagne. "Dr. Crane... Niles... Did you really mean it? You really do love me?"

He took the champagne glass from her and sat it aside.

Then he took in his arms...

And stole a kiss in the night...

The End