A/N: This is a continuation of "My Beloved" which is a story I wrote back in February of 2011. If you haven't read it, it would be very helpful to do so as this story takes place immediately where that one ends and therefore includes spoilers. I wrote "My Beloved" on a whim and realized that it was just waiting to be continued! As always, thank you for reading!
Frasier could only stare in disbelief.
"What in the hell was that?"
Her hand still pressed against the door, Daphne brushed the tears from her cheeks and slowly turned to face her boss.
"I-I'm not quite sure."
"Well, I'll tell you what it is!" Frasier bellowed. "It's an absolute disgrace!" At that moment, Martin hobbled into the living room; Eddie scampering behind him.
"What's going on in here? I can hear you all the way in my room!" Martin yelled.
"Dad everything's fine, now just go back to bed!"
"How do you expect me to sleep with all that yelling going on? And who was that at the door?"
"That was Niles." Frasier said irritably. "As usual, he's picked the most inopportune time to try and tell Daphne how he feels about her. And this time I wasn't able to stop him."
"Oh geez, not this again!"
Daphne's eyes widened. "You knew about this?"
"Well, yeah! I thought everyone-."
"And you didn't tell me?" Daphne cried.
"Now Daphne, don't get upset! We were just trying to protect you."
"Protect me? From whom, Dr. Crane? Your brother? What could you possibly-."
When her heart began to race, she quickly crossed the room.
"Daphne where are you going?"
But she was already running to her room.
Minutes later, she returned to the living room, dressed in jeans and a red sweater.
"What's going on?"
"I have to get out of here."
"But it's after 3!"
Ignoring Frasier's glare, Daphne grabbed her coat and headed for the door.
"I'll be back as soon as I can!"
"Don't do anything rash, now!" Frasier warned, when she closed the door behind her.
As quickly as possible, she entered the elevator, willing it to go faster.
It was crazy to be going out so late and she was sure that Mr. Crane and Dr. Crane would soon be following close behind; if they weren't already.
But as her thoughts drifted back to Niles, she blinked back tears. Her mind was filled with so many questions; how was it possible that Niles was in love with her? And after all the hints that went unnoticed, why didn't she see what everyone else saw? Why didn't anyone tell her that Niles felt this way about her? And worst of all, why now?
It simply wasn't like him to show up in the middle of the night; for any reason. Shouldn't he have been home with his wife?
The thought made her wonder...
The unanswered questions tore at her heart and it was only when she reached the parking lot that she spotted him. He was leaning against his silver BMW with a pained look on his face.
She hesitated before going to him; unaware of what to say or do. But she couldn't stand to see him hurting so much and she longed to be able to help him.
Instinctively, her fingers went to her lips where just moments ago, his lips had been; demanding and urgent, yet soft and caressing. If she closed her eyes, she could still feel his lips on hers. It was a feeling that she never expected to experience and now that she had, she never wanted to forget.
Slowly she approached him, taking great care not to startle or upset him. From the looks of things, he was upset enough as it was.
He whirled around, his face reddening when he saw her.
The instant their eyes met, she began to cry.
"Dr. Crane, I-."
"Dear God, I've upset you! I'm so sorry, Daphne. I never meant to hurt you."
"You didn't. I just-."
When she moved closer, he took her hand and kissed it.
"I need to explain."
"It was horrible of me to show up unannounced in the middle of the night and I feel I should explain my actions. I owe you that much. Please, Daphne."
She smiled, blinking back fresh tears. "Well, if you feel that strongly about it, all right. But perhaps we should go back inside."
"I'm sure your brother and father have gone off to bed. I'll make you some tea and we can talk in the living room."
"I wouldn't want to impose."
Daphne took his hands and squeezed. "Dr Crane you could never be an imposition. Now come on."
They walked hand in hand into the building and when they reached the lobby she turned to him.
"Dr. Crane? Can I ask you something?"
She swallowed hard, hoping that she could get the words out. "Have you really loved me since the day we first met?"
"Yes." He said without hesitation. "I took one look at you and instantly fell in love. You were the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen."
New tears spilled down her cheeks and she smiled, unable to stop staring into his beautiful blue eyes.
"Please, Daphne... Don't cry. I couldn't bear it."
"I'm sorry. I just... I never thought..."
"I never meant to tell you this way. I mean, I was going to tell you eventually. I've wanted to... so many times how I felt but I didn't know how."
"So what changed your mind?"
"Um... Well, earlier tonight something happened."
"It was horrible, Daphne!"
"What was horrible?"
His voice trembled as he spoke.
"I had the most disturbing dream of my entire life, although it felt more like a terrible nightmare!"
His frightened expression touched her heart and she reached out to hug him.
"It's all right. You're safe now." She whispered, rubbing his back
When he was a bit calmer, he drew back and gave her a heartwarming smile.
"Thank you Daphne. You're an angel, but I'm afraid it will be a long time before I forget that horrible dream."
Daphne held him closer. "Oh, Dr. Crane... I'm so sorry!"
To her surprise, he stared into her eyes, brushing a lock of hair from her forehead.
"It was so real, Daphne. I thought I had lost you forever and-."
She gasped in disbelief.
"You had a nightmare about me?"
"Yes, and it was horrible!"
"What happened?" She whispered, attempting to calm him once more by caressing his cheek.
"There was an accident and... Th-they said you had died... I just... I couldn't believe it."
"I had... so many chances to tell you how I felt about you and then it was too late. You were gone and I loved you so much... I love you so much. I couldn't bear to think that I'd never-."
He was crying now; the tears coming one right after another. And those tears were blurred by the ones in Daphne's eyes.
Her trembling hands reached out and brushed his tears away as she kissed him tenderly.
When he cried even more, she took him in her arms and held him close; surprised at how much he was trembling.
She whispered words of comfort as soothingly as possible.
"No wonder you were afraid to tell me. Now just try to relax... You're safe now. And I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."
Finally he calmed some and looked into her eyes. "I just... When I woke up and discovered that I'd been dreaming, I knew I couldn't wait another moment to tell you how I felt. I love you, Daphne."
She saw him smile when she used his name for the first time, but she didn't wait for his reply.
Her mouth was on his, kissing him over and over again; each kiss deeper and sweeter than first.
"I love you too, Niles."
Her mouth never left his as she said the words he'd waited so long to hear. When she drew back, she glanced out of the lobby window, surprised to find that day was breaking.
"Your father and brother will be up soon. Maybe we should go inside."
"I'm sorry disturbed your sleep, Daphne."
"Hush..." Daphne said, silencing Niles with a kiss. "It was worth being woken up to find out that you love me. It's not often I'm awoken only to find meself in a dream come true."
The kiss he gave her in return was urgent and demanding, much like the one he'd given her several hours before she found herself falling deeper and deeper in love.
"I should probably be going home." He said, drawing back much too soon.
"But it's so late. Why don't you just stay here and get some sleep?"
"Oh... I don't want to be a bother."
She smiled and kissed him once more; a lingering kiss that made her heart beat faster.
"You're the man I love. You could never be a bother."
Niles wrapped his arms around her in an embrace that was so warm that she melted against him; sighing at the way his heart beat in time with hers.
After several minutes of being in each other's arms, they walked hand in hand to the elevator.
The condo was quiet when Daphne unlocked the door and she was grateful for the fact that both Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane had apparently chosen to sleep in.
She coaxed Niles onto the sofa and kissed him. "Now, just wait there and I'll make you some tea. Or would you prefer coffee?"
Niles looked at her thoughtfully, stroking her hair. "Actually why don't I take care of you?"
"Oh, but you're me guest and-."
"And you work so hard, taking care of Dad and Frasier. You deserve to be pampered." Niles said. "Now, would you like some coffee or tea? Breakfast perhaps?"
Daphne found it impossible not to smile. "Niles, you're spoiling me!"
He smiled and kissed her. "You deserve all the pampering in the world, my angel."
Her eyes filled with tears. "I love you so much, Niles..."
"And I love you. I'll be right back."
Niles disappeared into the kitchen returning moments later with a tray of food and a pot of tea.
"I took the liberty of making you breakfast, so I hope you don't... Daphne?"
Concerned when he didn't see her right away, he sat the tray down and crossed the living room.
"Daphne, where are you?"
He stopped suddenly, overwhelmed with relief and love when he saw her lying on the sofa. Her head was propped against the sofa cushions and she was sound asleep. She looked like the angel that he always knew her to be.
As quietly as possible he went to her bedroom, returning with a pillow and a blanket. Taking great care not to wake her, he gently placed the pillow under her head and draped the blanket across her body.
Forgetting all about the breakfast and tea, he was perfectly content to watch her sleep.
But soon he found himself dozing off and he gently moved to the sofa, taking her in his arms.
And minutes later he was asleep, dreaming of the future that could only be more wonderful than he'd ever imagined.
Because he had his angel at last.