He was still angry and upset but he did his best not to show it. Perhaps he was being ridiculous and he knew that he was ruining Daphne's trip to Boston, but he couldn't help the way he felt. When he'd asked Daphne to accompany himself, his father and brother to Boston, her eyes lit up like stars and she threw her arms around him, kissing him repeatedly. "Oh Niles, really? Oh, this is so exciting! Thanks you so much!"
He barely had a chance to answer, the way she was kissing him over and over again, but he certainly didn't mind the affection and returned it in ten-fold. Minutes later his lips were still burning from the touch. Oh, the the way she made him feel. How had he gotten so lucky?
He knew that the romance was certain to continue in Boston, for even though he'd not been there in years, he remembered how romantic it seemed. But never in his life did he dream that he'd be visiting his brother's former city with an angel. If it was in fact a dream, he never wanted to awaken. And he could hardly wait for the chance to show his love the time of her life in Beantown, as it was so often called.
At the airport, he smiled, remembering the look on her face when he'd explained to her that Maine was the state that was famous for lobsters and Boston was famous for its beans. She looked at him in disbelief and rolled her eyes. "Beans? What kind of city brags about bloody beans?" She had a point, he supposed. For it was rather unusual. But Boston was a romantic city as well as a city full of history and he was determined to show her just how romantic Boston, Massachusetts could be.
However, the romantic intentions were shattered by the unwanted publicity by Frasier on his radio show. How dare he tell a caller on air about Niles' bed-wetting problem? He may not have mentioned Niles by name, but who else would share a bunk bed with the famous Dr. Frasier Crane as a child? It was humiliation times a million as far as Niles was concerned.
Niles meant what he'd said. There was no way that he was going to introduce Frasier's speech. Not now and not ever again. Frasier had gone too far this time. How had his older brother become so cruel?
And to make things worse, they'd run into Frasier's bar-buddy, Cliff Clavin who assumed that Frasier was there for his retirement party. Now Niles would be forced to deal with the people from Cheers, and God forbid they find out about what Frasier had said on air about his little brother.
He was on his third glass of wine (at least he hoped it was wine… the bottle was labeled wine, but nothing else, a sight which made him shudder) and the only consolation was that it seemed to taste better with every glass; surely a sign that the alcohol had gone right to his head. And that was exactly where he wanted it. The less he remembered about this horrible night the better. Daphne seemed to be having a good time, making conversation with the Cheers gang, but Niles was completely and utterly miserable.
Perhaps he should just leave. She had plenty of people to take her back to the hotel and as it were, she didn't seem to notice that Niles existed; a fact that pained him deeply. He knew that she loved him, or at least he thought so. For what other reason would she accept his proposal? But still he couldn't shake the feeling of insecurity. He thought that falling in love with a goddess would make him a better person. And for the most part it had. But he was no closer to being respected than he'd been before.
Completely and utterly depressed, he rose from his chair, leaving his half-empty wine glass on the table beside him. But at the last minute he chugged it down, startled by how the alcohol rushed to his head. Whoa…
The room swayed back and forth and he held onto the door to steady himself. He didn't need his coat; he wasn't cold. The alcohol had warmed him up nicely. He moved nice and slow, hoping he wouldn't fall. And when he reached the front door of the Somerville Town Crier, he was filled with relief.
A rush of blustery air blasted him, causing him to wince. He knew that he should get his coat, but he wasn't about to go back in there, not ever. All he wanted was a cab to take him to the hotel where he could sit in their luxurious suite and read. So much for a romantic evening.
He stood on the sidewalk for what seemed like hours, watching the cars go by. And nary a cab in sight. Finally he sat down on the curb and hung his head low. It was a very un-Niles thing to do; sit on the sidewalk where millions of feet had passed over it, but he was completely and utterly miserable, so it seemed fitting that he be miserable physically as well.
Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. "Niles?"
He turned his head and then rose to his feet in one fluid and very wobbly motion, nearly falling against her.
"Sweetheart what are you doing out here? It's freezing? I was looking everywhere for you and I got worried."
"I'm no good for you, Daphne." He said, his voice slurring slightly. But he was perfectly aware of what he was saying.
She grabbed his cheeks lightly in her hand and turned his face toward her. "Now you listen to me, Niles Crane, I'm not sure what's gotten into you but that's simply not true! We're made for each other, don't you know that? Now what's wrong? Are you still upset about what your brother said?"
He looked away, but she turned his face toward her once again.
"Well wouldn't you be, if one of your brothers said something about you-even without saying your name-on the radio for everyone to hear?"
She released her hold on his face but kept her hand on his cheek. The touch of her skin was so soft and warm.
"I'm sorry that Frasier said that, Sweetheart. And I think that the two of you need to talk about it. But right now I think I'd like to go to that lovely restaurant and have a romantic dinner with me husband, whom I love very much."
Niles mouth fell open. "Y-you would?"
"Of course I would, you silly sausage! Now come inside with me and I'll get your coat. You don't have to go back to the party if you don't want to. I was having a good time but I can see that you weren't, so I don't mind leaving. Besides, I want to see the sights of Boston. Isn't that why we came?"
He nodded wordlessly, suddenly feeling guilty about being so angry with his brother. Frasier was just trying to make a point and he hadn't mentioned Niles' name on air. Daphne was right. Perhaps if they just talked about it-
"Niles, are you all right?"
He smiled and touched her cheek, bringing his lips to hers for a soft, sweet kiss. "I love you, Daphne."
"I love you too, Niles Crane."
"Let's go and tell Frasier and Dad that we're going to L'Espalier alone. We can go to a different restaurant another night. Tonight I want you all to myself."
"That sounds lovely."
They turned to go back into the Somerville Town Crier, but as soon as they reached the door, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her passionately. "I love you, Daphne Moon. And I can't wait to show you how romantic Boston can be."
"I have a better idea… for tonight anyway. I know you went to a lot of trouble to get those reservations but by any chance could you cancel them?"
His eyebrows rose. "What? Cancel them? But why-."
She grinned mischievously and took his hand, leading him back into the Somerville Town Crier. "Let's go back to the hotel and get out of these clothes. And pretty soon, you'll remember Boston for a lot more than just the place where your brother used to live, if you know what I mean."
His jaw nearly dropped and before he could say another word, she was kissing him passionately. He drew back, his lips burning once more from The feel of her mouth against his.
"That was just a preview of what I have in store for you when we get to the hotel." She said, her breath warm against his cheek.
His heart raced as he took her hand and they hurried into the Somerville Town Crier to retrieve his coat. He could hardly wait to find out if Boston really was as romantic as he dreamed it would be.