"I don't think I can go back to your brother's, Dr. Crane." Daphne said as they stood in the lobby. "Too many
memories. And besides, what if Sherry is there? What would I say?"
Niles turned to her and put his hand on her shoulder. "Daphne, do you trust me?"
Daphne smiled. "Of course, Dr. Crane."
The admission warmed Niles' heart.
"Okay then. There's nothing to be worried about."
They stepped into the elevator and within seconds the door opened on the 19th floor.
Niles' breath caught in his throat when Daphne took his hand and they walked across the hall to Frasier's door.
Slowly he reached out and knocked on the door. As they waited for someone to answer it, Niles found it \
impossible not to kiss Daphne's soft, silky hand. Before he could stop her, Daphne let go of his hand and stood
hidden in the corner.
"Niles..." Frasier said when he answered the door. "What brings you here?"
"Well Frasier, I'd like a word with you."
"Certainly. Come in." Frasier said, opening the door wider. "Care for a drink?"
"No, thank you." Niles said, glancing at Daphne, who stayed hidden in the hallway.
"Oh, Hey Niles." His father said from his chair.
"Hi, Dad... Where's Sherry?" Niles asked.
"Oh... Well... She's gone." Martin said.
"Well, thank God for that!" Niles said. "That woman is nothing but trouble."
His comment caused Frasier and Martin to raise their eyebrows.
"Niles, what are you talking about? Martin asked.
"I'm talking about Daphne!" Niles said. "Or have you forgotten about her already?"
Frasier moved toward his brother. "Of course not, Niles! In fact, I-."
"Save it, Frasier! How could you? And you too, Dad!" Niles yelled.
"How could we what, Niles?" Frasier asked.
Niles was filled with a rage he hadn't felt in a long time. "You fired her and left her to fend for herself on the
streets of Seattle! Why, I should have your license revoked! How dare you!"
"Niles, I never-."
"Forget it! Thank God she showed up at my door! Otherwise... Oh I shudder to think of what might have
happened to her!" Niles face burned with anger.
"She was with you?" Frasier asked, his face reddening to match his brother's.
"Yes, and I'm not going to apologize for it! I took her in and let her spend the night." Niles said.
"Damn it, Niles, why didn't you call me? We were worried sick! I've been up all night, trying to think of where
she might have gone." Frasier said.
Suddenly the door opened, and the three men turned to find Daphne standing in the doorway.
"Hello, Dr. Crane. Mr. Crane." Daphne said, her voice quivering.
"Daphne, thank God!"
To Niles' surprise, Frasier walked over to Daphne and threw his arms around her, holding her tightly. "I was so
Daphne looked at him through tear-filled eyes. "Y-you were?"
"Daphne... Of course we were worried. How could you think otherwise?" Frasier asked.
Niles sighed. "Look Frasier, this is all very admirable, but that's no excuse for firing Daphne." Niles said.
"Niles, for the last time, I didn't fire her!" Frasier said.
"Dr Crane, I know the meaning of pack your things and get out!" Daphne said, pulling out of his embrace.
"I knew this was a bad idea." Daphne said, glancing at the door. "I'm just gonna go."
Frasier smiled and took Daphne's hand. "Please, have a seat." He said, gesturing to the sofa.
"Daphne please..." Frasier said. "Just let me explain."
Daphne sighed. "All right."
Reluctantly she sat down on the sofa next to Frasier and glanced worriedly at Niles.
"Daphne, I'm afraid I owe you an apology." Frasier said. "You see, when you and Sherry-."
"No, Dr. Crane. It was all me own fault. I should have never let her get to me. I just got so... mad, and-."
"It's all right." Frasier said, putting his arm around her. "But I'm afraid that I am the one at fault. When you and
Sherry were arguing, I was so concerned with Dad's blood pressure that I didn't even think of what her hurtful
words were doing to you. The moment I ordered you out of the house, I regretted it. And when you actually
left... well, I was beside myself with worry. I had no idea where you might have gone. I don't know why it never
occured to me to call Niles."
Daphne raised her head from Frasier's chest. "You were really worried about me?"
Frasier smiled. "Oh Daphne, of course we were worried about you! We love you!"
Daphne looked at Niles who smiled at her.
"Thank you, Dr. Crane." Daphne said, hugging Frasier. "I love you, too."
Finally she pulled out of Frasier's embrace and walked over to Martin. Using his cane for support, he rose from
"Mr. Crane, I'm so sorry!" Daphne said, starting to cry.
Martin hugged her warmly. "It's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. Sherry can be pretty overbearing
"But I had no right yelling at her the way I did." Daphne said.
"It's all right." Martin said. "In fact, I should be thanking you."
"Thanking me? Whatever for?" Daphne asked.
"For getting rid of her. Truth is, I was about to dump her myself. She's bossy as hell and a real pain."
"Daphne, I'm so sorry for throwing you out." Martin said.
"That makes two of us." Frasier said.
Worriedly, Niles looked at his father and brother. "Frasier? Dad? I know how you feel about my... affection for
Daphne and you have every right to be angry, but I just couldn't help but take her in. You see, she was upset,
and hurting and... I just couldn't stand to see her like that because I love-."
"I'm not angry with you, Niles." Frasier said. "In fact, quite the opposite."
"What are you saying?" Niles asked.
"I'm saying thank you for taking such good care of her. I trust he treated you well, Daphne?" Frasier asked.
Daphne smiled and looked at Niles. "He was wonderful, Dr. Crane."
Frasier looked at his watch. "Well, I should be heading off to the station and Dad, don't you have that poker
game at McGinty's?"
"Poker? At this hour?" Martin asked, glancing at his own watch.
When Frasier shot him a look, Martin smiled. "Oh yeah... The poker tournament! I'd almost forgotten about
that! I should probably get going."
"We'll see you later." Frasier said as he and Martin walked out of the apartment and closed the door behind
Minutes later, Daphne and Niles found themselves alone in Frasier's apartment.
"Daphne, can I talk to you?" Niles asked.
"Certainly, Dr. Crane."
"Is it all right if we go out on the balcony?" Niles asked.
"I'd like that." Daphne said. "It's a beautiful day."
They stood face to face on the balcony; the early afternoon sun shining on their faces.
"Daphne... There's something I need to tell you." Niles said.
"Yes, Dr. Crane?"
Niles swallowed hard. "I wanted to tell you last night... Well, actually I wanted to tell you so many times..."
Daphne smiled and pulled Niles closer, his heart skipping several beats when she kissed him tenderly.
"Daphne..." He sighed as she pulled away and smiled at him. "What..."
"I love you too... Niles."