Author's Note:This story began as a one-shot, and it's currently two chapters w/ a third waiting to be written. Hopefully in the end, it'll be melt-worthy! Thanks to Leigh Ann for reading drafts! :)
Daphne stood at the door to Dr. Crane's apartment, desperately trying to compose herself. She could still hear her therapist's words in her head. "What about Donny?" Daphne had asked. "He's the man I love."
When the shrink had responded by asking, "Are you sure?" Daphne was forced to realize that, no, she wasn't sure. And so, she'd driven straight here. She refused to dwell on the fact that she'd come here, instead of seeing Donny. But she just couldn't face him yet. Not when she was this upset and unsure.
After taking one last breath to pull herself together, she knocked. The door was answered quickly.
"Daphne, what's the matter?" Niles asked, immediately concerned. "Come in. Have a seat on the fainting couch. I'll get you some champagne."
Daphne nodded, walking over to the expensive couch. Niles handed her the drink. "I'm sorry for showing up here unannounced," she said.
"You're always welcome here. Now, I can see that something's upsetting you. At the risk of stealing a phrase from my brother, I'm listening."
Daphne smiled at the familiar words. "I was just at me therapist's office."
Niles nodded, remembering. When she'd caused a four-car pileup on the street below Frasier's apartment, a judge had sentenced her to mandatory counseling. Niles had prayed that the sessions would help her get to the bottom of whatever had upset her so much.
"I think I know why I got so angry. But now I'm even more confused. I just don't know what to do." Once again, tears began to fill her eyes.
Immediately, Niles put his arms around her, rubbing her back as he held her. "Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Why don't you just tell me what Dr. McCaskill told you? I promise you that nothing you say will leave this room." He reluctantly let go of her, relieved that she'd stopped crying.
Daphne squeezed his hand. She wondered if she could even bring herself to say the words. "Well, it seems that me feelings for Donny aren't quite as clear as they were before. I'm having doubts."
Niles smiled, relieved to hear that this was nothing more than a simple case of cold feet. He'd seen this sort of thing a thousand times in his patients. When a person begins to seriously contemplate the fact that he or she is about to promise their life to someone, doubts will almost always appear. But, in most cases, the doubts were quickly erased. "Daphne, everyone has second thoughts about marriage. It's perfectly natural. I'm...sure you and Donny will have a wonderful life together." Niles did his best to ignore the ache in his heart as he said those words.
"But, Dr. Crane, there's more to it than that! Lately I find meself thinking about someone else."
Niles' heart skipped a beat. "Someone else?"
Daphne nodded. She felt herself blush. "I never expected to find meself feeling this way. But I don't think I can deny it any longer. Dr. Crane...I think I'm in love with you."