Author's Note:Dedicating this story to Andrea (iloveromance) since she loved "Safe and Sound," so much, and I kept her waiting so long for this sequel! Also thanks to Leigh Ann (leighann415) for reading drafts! *Hugs*
Niles and Daphne kissed quickly before knocking on Martin and Ronee's door. They had made these Sunday dinners a tradition since Frasier was gone. Though he and Ronee were very happy in their new married life, it was obvious that Martin missed his older son. Niles missed his brother, as well. Daphne did her best to help them both. She was grateful that David would have an opportunity to grow up around relatives who loved him.
Ronee opened the door, and hugs were quickly exchanged. Within minutes, the four adults, along with David, were seated around Martin and Ronee's dining room table. Niles told the group about a recent breakthrough he'd had with one of his patients. Daphne beamed at him proudly as he related the story. She knew how hard Niles worked, and how much he cared for his troubled patients.
When the story was finished, Martin spoke up. "You guys hear about that prison break the other night? My buddy Frank was one of the cops who brought the guy in. Said the guy was surprised he got caught. Yeah, a guy breaks out of a maximum-security prison, and no one's going to go after him. Idiot." Martin rolled his eyes in obvious annoyance.
Daphne nervously looked over at Niles. The last thing she wanted to hear about was the recent escape from prison. She'd been scared to death when she heard the story on the news. Once she realized she was in no danger, she was embarrassed at how she'd let her imagination run away with her. Suddenly, without even realizing Martin was still speaking, Daphne spoke up. "Um, I just remembered I forgot to change David's diaper. Excuse me." With that, she took her son and quickly left the room.
"What's with her?" Martin asked Niles.
Niles didn't know what to do. He understood why Daphne had walked out of the room. He wanted to comfort her, to tell her no one thought any less of her for being worried about her safety. But he also knew that his father and Ronee were both concerned about what they'd just witnessed. He looked back and forth from his father to Daphne. Finally, he realized Daphne needed him more. He walked into the living room, where he found Daphne sitting on the couch, holding a fully-clothed David.
Daphne looked up when she saw her husband enter. "I'm sorry for making a scene like that. Your father must think I've lost me mind."
Immediately, Niles went to her, putting his arms around her. "It's OK," he said softly, kissing her hair. "I'm sure Dad would understand."
Daphne kissed his cheek. "Thank you."
Niles smiled. "You're welcome." He took David from her. "Let's go back inside."
Daphne nodded in agreement and got up from the sofa. The three of them went back into the dining room, where Martin and Ronee looked at them in confusion. "Is everything all right?" Ronee asked.
"Yes," Daphne replied as she returned David to his highchair. "I'm sorry for interrupting your story, Martin. When that man broke out of prison, Niles was at work. David and I were home by ourselves. And when I heard about it, I was so scared."
"He was nowhere near the Montana," Martin replied. "I know a lot of guys on the force, and they know that my son lives in that building. If I thought you were in any danger, I would've called you. Hell, I would've gotten you out of there myself."
Daphne blinked back tears. "Thank you," she said. "I guess I was a bit ashamed of meself, for getting so carried away."
Martin shrugged. "There's nothing wrong with being afraid. I was scared to death every time I was called to a crime scene. I guess I had good reason." Martin nodded at the cane that sat next to him.
There was an awkward silence. No one quite knew how to respond to that. Niles finally spoke. "I know it's strange to think about it, but I'm actually glad you were shot, Dad. If you hadn't been, I might never have met the love of my life." He and Daphne kissed for a long moment.
"I guess I should be glad you were shot, too," Ronee said. "If you hadn't been living with Frasier when he ran into me that day at the furniture store, I wouldn't have had a chance to see you again."
Martin reached across the table to squeeze Ronee's hand.
Just then, David giggled as one of his toys fell to the floor with a thud. Daphne reached over to pick up the toy and return it to her son. "I guess I got an awful lot out of all of this, too." She kissed David's cheek.
As Niles looked around the table at the faces of the people he loved, he realized just how lucky he was. He could not imagine his life without Daphne or David. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her. He leaned toward her, wanting to whisper the words softly into her ear. But he stopped himself at the last moment. After all, they would be leaving soon. Why should he limit himself to mere words? Love was always best demonstrated by actions. But the depth of his love could not be expressed in a single night. For that, he would need a lifetime.