Niles sat on his fainting couch, sipping his glass of Chablis, thinking about what Frasier had said. What did his brother know about love? He hadn't had a serious relationship since Niles could remember. And how dare Frasier make him feel guilty for giving Daphne advice! Niles had done so on the basis of trust. People didn't just get up in the middle of the night and come over to his apartment without a valid reason-especially in such dreadful weather. Couldn't Frasier have at least thanked him for being concerned about Daphne's well-being?
If what Frasier said was true, and Daphne and Donny really had broken up, Niles hated to think of Daphne hurting but in the long run it was the best for everyone. She didn't deserve Donny, not if the man was trying to pressure her to move up the wedding date. He didn't respect her one bit and that made Niles very angry.
Every word that Frasier had said to him resonated in Niles' head like a bad nightmare. And suddenly Niles had a terrible thought. Donny didn't respect Daphne enough to listen to her and understand her wishes. But Niles was guilty of more than the potential breakup of the woman he loved and her fiancé. If he really and truly loved Daphne, he would have told her long before now-before he was ever subjected to watching Donny get down on one knee in Frasier's living room and promise Daphne the stars while she accepted his offer for his hand in marriage. Like Daphne had said-if you love someone you should want to marry them as soon as possible. Shouldn't the same be true for telling someone how you feel about them?
He stood and crossed the room and went to sit by the window. The sun was beginning to set and he wondered if Daphne was seeing the sunset as well. At this time of year, clear sunsets were hard to come by, for they were usually obscured by clouds. But tonight the skies were destined to be clear. He imagined sitting in this very spot, watching the sunset together as she rested her head against his shoulder. It was something that would never happen-not now and perhaps not ever.
Frasier was right. Daphne and Donny would get back together and things would be good again. With any luck, Donny would see that Daphne needed to be part of planning the wedding and it would be a beautiful ceremony. Niles wasn't sure he'd be able to handle it, seeing Daphne marry another man. Accepting Donny's proposal had been bad enough, but seeing Donny slip a ring on her finger and promise to love her forever….
He felt sick and he was certain it wasn't from the wine. He drank the rest in one gulp, ignoring the dizziness that followed and the way the room began to sway. He glanced at the bandage on his hand, where he'd cut himself on the glass from the teacup. It was most likely healed by now, but he didn't have the heart to remove it. Daphne had taken such care to wrap it carefully that he couldn't bear to see it ruined.
He sighed deeply and brought his wine glass into the kitchen, placing it carefully in the sink. He'd wash it out later. The wine had made him tired and he knew that he needed a good night's sleep. It had been a very long and harrowing day. Hopefully when he slept, his dreams would be of the woman he loved-even if he could never have her.