"Hey Fras!" Martin said the moment that Frasier walked through the front door. "How'd it go today?"
For a moment Frasier said nothing, but when he sighed, Daphne looked up from her ironing. And she was shocked at the expression on his face. "Dr. Crane, what's wrong?"
"Oh, it's nothing really. Actually it is something. Or rather someone."
"Who? One of your callers? Ah, don't worry about it. If it's really serious, they'll call back or find a shrink who can help them."
"Well thank you for the vote of confidence, Dad!" Frasier snapped. "Actually I was talking about Niles."
Again Daphne looked up at the sound of her friend's name. And she couldn't ignore the apprehension that filled her chest. "What's wrong with your brother?"
"Well, nothing really. But ever since he moved into the Shangri-La-."
Martin put down his paper and sat up in his chair, a smile on his face. "The Shangri-La? Oh that's a great place! Niles will love it there! They have all kinds of activities and he'll meet all kinds of new friends."
"Dad, this isn't summer camp! This is his home, where he has to live for most of his life!"
"Yeah, and it's a great home, so what's the problem?"
"Not to Niles, it isn't! And frankly, even though I tried to convince him that it was, it made me shudder just to be in there."
"Well if you weren't so hoity toity all the time-."
"Dr. Crane…" Daphne interrupted, hoping to end the bickering between father and eldest son. "What's wrong with your brother?"
"Oh it's just… he's not used to being in that type of environment, Daphne. He's depressed enough as it is, and I'm afraid that if he is forced to stay there any longer than he has to, well…"
She put down the shirt she was ironing and went to him. "What are you saying?"
"Niles is… Well, he's hurting right now and I can't blame him. Maris is not one of my favorite people by any means but the fact that she treated him so badly just burns me
up! And now this! There's no way that the Shangri-La will ever feel like home to him."
"Oh Dear… Is it really that bad?"
"No, Daphne. It's not. Frasier is just over-exaggerating, as usual!" Martin said. "The place is fine! He just needs to get used to it."
Daphne had never seen Niles' apartment at the Shangri-La, but now she was worried. She knew how much his expensive tastes and his personal belongings meant to him.
She could only imagine how bad his place must be; especially if Frasier spoke so strongly about it to the point of worry.
The question was out of her mouth before she could stop it. "What can we do?"
Frasier shook his head glumly. "I don't know Daphne. I just don't know."
"Well… I'm sure that in time he'll get used to it, and it's only for a little while." She tried to keep her voice as upbeat as possible but she knew that Frasier didn't buy it.
Martin, however, looked at her and smiled.
"You see, Frasier? Daphne's got the right idea! Niles will be fine, I'm telling you! Just don't worry about him. He's always bounced back from stuff like this and he'll bounce back from this too!"
Frasier sighed. "I hope you're right, Dad. Because losing his apartment at the Montana and being forced to live in the Shangri-La is a crushing blow. Oh and did I mention that he just told me this morning that the utility company shut off his heat?"
Daphne gasped. "But it's freeing outside! It must be thirty degrees out there!"
"See Dad? Daphne understands!"
"Well why don't you ask him to stay here?" Martin snapped.
"Dad, you know I can't-."
"Why not, wise guy? You don't want your brother to freeze to death, do you?"
"I just can't! Niles and I… we'd never get along for that length of time! You know that!"
"Well then what do you think we should do?" Martin asked. "Seems like we ought to do something."
Daphne thought for a moment and then smiled. "You're right Mr. Crane. We shoudl do something. And actually I have an idea, but you'll probably think it's daft."
"Who cares if it's daft?" Frasier replied. And then he recoiled from her look of annoyance. "I-I mean… I'm sorry, Daphne. What's your idea?"
She wanted to tell him, but then thought better of it. And so she simply smiled. "You'll find out soon enough. But I think that he's going to love it."