Niles couldn't believe his eyes. His brother and father were in the living room, crying! It just didn't seem possible. And for the life of him he couldn't understand why one

silly and, (let's face it) atrocious painting could have caused so much heartache in the Frasier Crane household. To make matters worse (much worse); seeing his father

and brother sobbing made Niles start to cry as well. And Niles Crane was a man who never cried.

But now he had good reason. Maris, in her vindictiveness over their recent separation, had literally stolen away his guests for his carefully planned party. And he'd

reached the boiling point. His emotional kettle was overflowing and he just couldn't take it anymore.

"Nobody wants to come to my party!" he cried, joining in with Frasier and his father.

The three men were still crying when the door opened. Niles turned in horror to find his angel standing in the doorway, staring at him and his brothers in utter disbelief.

"What is going on here?" she demanded.

"I've made… our father cry!" Frasier sobbed.

"What? But I don't understand!" Daphne replied. "How could this have happened?"

"H-he didn't like my painting!" Martin sobbed, pointing to the hideous painting of a bullfighter and a matador that was now sitting beside the fireplace instead of

hanging over it.

"Well, I don't like it either, but that's no reason to cry!" Daphne said firmly. "Now why don't you just forget about that silly painting?"

"It was a gift for my eldest son and he doesn't appreciate it!" Martin whimpered.

Daphne marched over to Frasier, her hands on her hips. It was a stance that Niles knew all too well, for it meant business. "Dr. Crane how could you? Your father was

only trying to be nice and buy you that painting. Now I don't care if you don't like it or you do like it, but stop crying and tell him thank you for God's sake! You're a

grown man so start acting like it! My God, Frederick has better manners than you do! I'm ashamed of you, Dr. Crane!"

Niles shuddered. He'd never heard Daphne quite so bold before and he liked it! And amazingly his sobs quieted. But his tears didn't completely disappear. And when

Daphne came and sat beside him on the piano bench (where he'd been playing a sad rendition of Fur Elise), he braced himself for a lecture. Deeply ashamed, he hung

his head low.

"Hello Daphne." He said in greeting, unable to look at her beautiful face.

But somehow she could tell that he'd been crying. "Oh, Dr. Crane, what happened?" Her voice, when she spoke, surprisingly wasn't harsh at all, but rather soft and

warm. "Your father didn't buy you a horrid painting too, did he?"

Niles tearfully shook his head. "No..." He shivered at the sudden touch of her hand on his chin, raising his gaze to meet hers.

"Then why are you crying?" She asked softly.

Her words made the tears return in full force. "Nobody wants to come to my party!" He sobbed.

He was sure she would laugh. He would have bet money on it. But to his amazement, she didn't laugh at all. Instead she took him into her arms, affording him the

intoxicating scent of her hair as she rubbed his back. "I'm so sorry, Dr. Crane. First your separation and now this! I can only guess this is the doing of your wife! I don't

mean to speak cruelly of her, but I wish she could see what she's done to you, reducing you to tears like this! It's not right! But to hell with those people!"

He drew out of her arms, staring at her in confusion. "What?"

"To hell with them!" She repeated. "If they don't like your painting then they're not worth your time, Dr. Crane!"

"You're right, Daphne. I suppose it was pointless of me to continue with my party planning while the guest list continued to dwindle."

"That's not what I'm saying, Dr. Crane. Not at all! To hell with them! If they don't have the courtesy to come to your party, that's their problem. But don't let them spoil

your fun!"

"I-I don't understand." He said, his eyes wide with confusion.

"Have your own party!"

"My… but I already-."

"No, I mean plan the party for you and not for those insensitive twits!"

"I don't-."

"I bet your father would come to your party. And your brother… Oh, we could invite Roz, Gil, Bebe and even Bulldog!" She threw back her head and laughed musically.

"Oh, wouldn't he be a sight at a party? And you know I'll be there."

He was so happy that he nearly cried again. "Y-you will?"

"Of course I will!" she said enthusiastically. "We should start planning it right away to give the guests time to RSVP. Oh, this is so exciting, I can hardly wait!"

Her arms engulfed him once more and she laughed moving him back and forth. He couldn't help but sink into her embrace. It was heavenly.

"Daphne…" He said, his face pressed against her shoulder.

"Yes, Dr. Crane?"

He lifted his head and smiled at her. "This means the world to me. Thank you so much."

She smiled back and touched his hair. "It's my pleasure. Now where should we begin?"


"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of everything. Of course I'll leave the wine selection up to you, since you're much better at that than I am. And I'm sure your brother

would be more than happy to help you out. Oh, this will be the most fun I've had in a long time! Now why don't you get your brother and start working on a wine and

guest list and whatever else you'd like to have and I'm going to go to the market to see what I can find. There's so much to do isn't there? The invitations, the food,

the music, oh and I must buy a new dress, although I'm not sure-."

"About what?"

"The dress code. Is this going to be a formal party or casual? I know it's none of me business, for this is your party but if you don't mind my saying so, I think formal

parties are so much more fun and you and your brother and father look so handsome in your tuxedos."

He felt his cheeks flush and then saw her smile.

"I'm sorry if I embarrassed you Dr. Crane but it's the truth. You're a very handsome man and I'm sorry that your wife couldn't see that. But don't worry. There's

someone special for you. I know there is."

"Thank you, Daphne. And I think you're right. Formal parties are much more fun."

"Then it's settled. I'm going to the store right now to buy a new dress and food for the party. And then I'll get the invitations out right away." She moved away from

him and went to grab her purse.

As she stood at the door he smiled at her. "Daphne?"

"Tell your brother I'll be back in a little while but that if he thinks of anything else that we need while I'm gone, I'll be happy to go out again."

"All right, but Daphne?"

"Yes, Dr. Crane?"

His heart warmed at the way her beautiful brown eyes were gazing at him, even from the short distance of the door to where he stood.

"Dr. Crane, are you all right?"

"I-I just wanted to say…."


"Thank you, Daphne. This means so much to me, you have no idea."

She went to him and hugged him tightly. "Well, now you know how I feel about you, Dr. Crane. Always."

His sadness was forgotten, replaced with complete and utter happiness.