To her surprise, Niles took her hand.

"Where are we going?" She asked again.

"You'll see." He grinned in reply.

Minutes later the car slowed to a stop in front of a building that Daphne had never seen before.

"Where are we?"

"Close your eyes." Niles said as he took her hand and helped her out of the car before leading her inside.

"Okay, you can look now."

She gasped as she slowly opened her eyes and was greeted by a staff member.

"Welcome to the King County Animal Adoption Center." The woman said cheerfully.

"Adoption center?" Daphne repeated.

The staff member smiled. "Yes! Come on, let me show you around!" '

Niles watched; his heart warming when he saw how happy Daphne was. She walked down every aisle, admiring the puppies and kittens that were just waiting to be adopted.

And when she was asked if she'd like to hold one of the animals, she didn't hesitate.

"Do you like him?" Niles asked as she cradled a black Labrador puppy against her chest.

In response, she sighed dreamily.

"Oh yes... Isn't he sweet?"

"He certainly is!" Niles replied, patting the dog's head.

"Oh, and look at these!" Daphne said excitedly as she was shown another bin of puppies.

Niles took a deep breath to calm his nerves. "So... which one is your favorite?"

"I couldn't possibly choose!" Daphne replied. "They're all so wonderful."

"B-but if you had to choose." Niles went on.

"Oh, Dr. Crane that's quite a decision!" Daphne laughed. "But if I had to choose, I think it would be him."

She held up a Corgi puppy, which nuzzled her cheek.

"I think he likes you!" Niles said with a smile.

Daphne stroked the dog's fur. "I've always wanted a Corgi, but me mum refused. She said they were much too expensive."

Without hesitation, Niles reached into his pocket and handed the staff member his credit card.

"We'll take this one."

Daphne's' mouth fell open in astonishment.

"Dr. Crane, what are you doing?"

"Well since you were so heartbroken about losing Basil, I want to buy you a puppy of your own." He explained.

Daphne could hardly believe what she was hearing as a tear slid down her cheek.

"You'd do that for me?"

"I'd do anything for you, Daphne."

"But why?"

"Because you deserve all the lo-happiness in the world." Niles replied.

Daphne handed the Corgi puppy to the staff member and turned to Niles.

"I-I don't quite know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything, Daphne. It was my plea-."

He gasped in surprise when she hugged him fiercely, placing a gentle kiss on his cheek.

"Thank you so much, Dr. Crane. I wish all men were as sweet as you."

His face reddened when she kissed his cheek once more.

"Well... Perhaps we should get the paperwork together and get this little guy home." Niles managed to say.

"A-actually, Dr. Crane I've changed me mind."

"Oh. Well, the center has lots of dogs. Perhaps we can find another one. I'd be happy to-."

"This is the sweetest thing I can ever imagine; you wantin' to buy me a puppy." Daphne said. "But what possible reason could you have for doin' something so kind?"

He was silent for several seconds before answering.

"Because, Daphne. I love-."

Daphne laughed, interrupting his near-confession and looked at her watch. "Oh dear, your brother and father are going to start worrying about us if we don't get back soon!"

"What about the puppy?" Niles asked.

"He's very sweet but I think Eddie is more than I can handle right now. Besides... your father and brother would be furious if I came home with another dog!"

Niles smiled, trying to hide his disappointment.

"I'm sorry for being so aggressive about the puppy. I just wanted to make you happy."

When he lowered his head in shame, Daphne wrapped her arms around him and placed a tender kiss on his burning cheek allowing her perfume to waft under his nose.

When their eyes met once more, she smiled.

"You already have, Dr. Crane."

THE END