Niles couldn't help but smile as he watched his brother mingling with his party guests at the Elliot Bay Towers. Frasier looked as though he was having the time of his life.
And why not? Everyone in Seattle knew that the Crane brothers threw the best parties. After all, they'd been doing it for the past eleven years; competitively and jointly.
And Niles thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.
However, he had to admit that even he couldn't have topped this party. It was definitely a night to remember, filled with good food, wine and laughter; a wonderful evening to be sure.
But it was also bittersweet... because it would be the last such evening they'd all spend together.
Ignoring the ache in his heart, Niles made polite conversation with the many guests that filled condo 1901. In all the years that Frasier had been a tenant at the exclusive Elliot Bay Towers, Niles had never seen the place so full of life.
All around him, the guests laughed and shared memories. Some of these people Niles had known his whole life, but others he'd only recently become acquainted with... all thanks to his brother.
Near Martin's beloved chair; engrossed in conversation were Bulldog Briscoe and Gil Chesterton.
While Bulldog ranted about the Mariners losing to the rival east coast football team, Gil was going on and on about the latest restaurant he'd reviewed with the vile food that even Eddie wouldn't have been able to tolerate.
Next to Frasier was Roz Doyle, his producer, who was hanging on his every word. However, Niles knew that the tears in her eyes had little to do with the conversation at hand and more with the flood of emotions she was feeling about Frasier's impending move to San Francisco.
Beside Roz was Alice, who seemed unfazed by her mother's sadness.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Ronee and Daphne were engrossed in discussion of a different sort. Niles didn't have to eavesdrop to know that Daphne was sharing yet another story about their newborn son. Since David's birth, she hadn't been able to talk about anything else.
And Niles wouldn't have had it any other way.
But really, who could blame them? They had the most perfect child imaginable.
Suddenly he couldn't resist crossing the living room to the kitchen to take Daphne in his arms for a passionate kiss.
"Niles!" She laughed, gently pulling away from him. "What are you doing?"
"I'm just trying to show you how much I love you." He said, grinning mischievously as he kissed her again.
"Now Niles, there'll be plenty of time for that later." She said with a wink. "But the party's still going strong. Why don't you go keep your brother company for a while?"
He smiled, leaning in to kiss her again, sighing when she returned his kisses with a playful laugh; blissfully unaware that Ronee was watching their every move.
"Whoa, Niles!" Ronee laughed. "What's gotten into you? You know, you and Daphne could teach your father a few things about spontaneous romance!"
Their faces reddening, Niles and Daphne broke off their series of kisses and smiled at each other.
Trying to avoid Ronee's amused glance, Niles cleared his throat and looked at Daphne. "You're absolutely right, my love." He said with a nervous laugh. "Frasier's my brother and I should be spending time with him because... well..."
He swallowed hard; and kissed his wife's cheek, knowing that there was no need for him to finish his thought.
For he knew that Daphne and Ronee were thinking the same thing...