Daphne lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. It was her day off, and Niles was at work, so she had the whole Montana to herself.
It had been six months since she and Niles left her wedding to be with each other. Every day she would tell herself, it wasn't a mistake, and she knew it wasn't. Despite the major setbacks with Mel and Donny, Daphne was the happiest she had been in her entire life. And Niles was to thank for that.
She didn't understand how she didn't notice it before. He would stand rather close to her, he would flush when she would say anything perverse, and he would take time out of his schedule to help her with her problems.
Now that she had been thinking about it, it was pretty obvious he had been in love with her.
"I'm just so damn oblivious," she muttered to herself. "He had suffered so much over the last six years because of me. Perhaps I don't deserve him after all."
The rain began pouring harder than it had been all day. The colognse and perfume bottles on the dresser began to tremble.
Daphne sat up, glancing around the room.
"Is it an earthquake?" She asked herself. The earth did begin to tremble slightly. Daphne tensed up; she had always hated earthquakes. Just as soon as it came, it was gone. She let out a sigh of relief. "What was that?"
Her eyes landed on the closed door, which all of a sudden, began to open.
"Niles?" She asked.
But, it wasn't Niles. It wasn't anybody. The door opened by itself!
Daphne was pulling the covers over her head; it was something she did when she was scared, especially when she was child. Her brothers found pleasure in frightening her out of her wits.
"Niles?" She asked again, even though she knew he wasn't there. "Dr. Crane? Mr. Crane?" Her voice began to crack.
"Hello?" A voice said.
"Who is there?"
The door closed again, and before Daphne's eyes a figure appeared out of nowhere.
She was ghostly, but she looked solid at the same time. She was very beautiful. She began to step toward Daphne, who wanted nothing more than to run out of the Montana as fast as she could and not look back. But, she couldn't move. There was something strangely familiar about this ethereal woman.
"Hello?" The woman said.
"Hello," Daphne replied.
"You're Daphne." She smiled.
"Y-yes, I'm Daphne."
The woman sat next to Daphne on the bed and put her hand on her cheek, stroking gently. Daphne had no idea what was going on, but she wasn't scared anymore. She felt safe.
"I've always wanted to meet you."
"How do you know me?" Daphne asked.
"I've been watching you for a while. Ever since you stepped into Frasier's, Martin's, and Niles's lives."
Daphne's eyes widened. "You're Hester… Hester Crane. Dr. Crane and Niles's mother. Mr. Crane's wife."
Hester nodded slowly, still smiling.
"I heard you talking to yourself. Thinking you don't deserve my son."
Daphne looked down at her hands.
"You mustn't think that, Daphne," Hester said sweetly. "You've been so kind to my boys. They've been missing a woman's touch since I passed on, a woman's kindness. And you brought that back to them. You've transformed my dear Martin. He's so much kinder. Niles has finally broken free from the clutches of Maris and Mel. Frasier has loosened up."
"He's still tightly wound," Daphne laughed.
"I know he is, but he's so much better," Hester said. "It's all thanks to you."
"It wasn't only me," Daphne protested. "Roz has done a great deal."
"Yes, I can't forget lovely Roz Doyle." Hester nodded. "But you… you can't possibly think that you aren't worthy of my Niles. You have made him so happy. And I thank you for that."
The doorknob downstairs began to jiggle, and the door opened.
"Daphne? I'm home!" Niles called.
"Niles is back," Daphne said to Hester.
"It's better if he doesn't see me. Goodbye, Daphne. Thank you so much for everything you've done." She kissed Daphne on the cheek before dissolving into thin air.
Daphne stared at the place where Hester was, hardly believing that this really happened.
"Hello, my love," Niles said, coming through the door. "How are you?"
"I'm fine," she said. "Actually, no I'm not."
"What's wrong?" He sat next to her on the bed.
"I'm more than fine. Niles, if your mother ever met me, what would she think of me?"
Niles smiled. "She'd think you were the kindest woman in the world. And she would be happy you are in our lives."
"I love you, Niles."
"I love you, too, Daphne."
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her deeply.
Daphne sank into the kiss, feeling extremely lucky at the moment, but not as lucky as Niles was feeling.