Author's Note: Thanks to Annika (BaronessBlixen) for allowing me to continue her wonderful story, "Numb." Hope this lives up to the expectation! And thanks to Leigh Ann (leighann415) for reading drafts. Hope I can get this finished and posted soon!


Daphne walked into Cafe Nervosa, planning to grab herself a coffee to go before returning home. But she stopped when she entered the coffeeshop and saw Dr. Crane and his younger brother seated at a table. She was glad to see that Niles was looking much better. The mere thought of the pain he'd endured after tripping and falling onto a marble statue caused Daphne's heart to ache. She'd apologized profusely for causing the accident. But she didn't think he'd understood her very well. Whatever painkillers he'd been given must have affected his mind. Because he kept saying the same thing over and over again, "I owe you." It didn't make any sense. Daphne shook her head, pushing those thoughts aside. She was sure he was probably embarrassed by the whole experience.

She walked toward the counter, praying no one would notice her presence. Once again, she stopped. Clearly, the two brothers were having a conversation. She knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, remembering how she hated the way her brothers invaded her privacy when she was growing up. But she realized they were talking about her.

"Suddenly, I realized, I just had to tell Daphne," Niles was saying.

Frasier reacted with surprise. "You told her?!"

Niles smiled, blushing a bit. "Yes, I did. But, thanks to that quack-dentist, she couldn't understand me. She thought I was saying 'I owe you.'"

"Oh," Frasier said. "That is awkward. What are you going to do now?"

Niles sighed. "I'm not sure. I want to tell her, of course. I've wanted to tell her for years. But this isn't exactly how I pictured it."

Frasier was quiet for a moment, thinking. "Well, why don't you come over for dinner tonight? Maybe once you see her again, you can just go from there. Just do whatever your heart tells you to, Niles."

Daphne could hardly believe this. His mind hadn't been affected by drugs. He'd been trying to tell her something else. Something that came from the heart. Suddenly, Daphne turned, leaving the cafe before anyone could stop her.