Neither of them said a word as they entered Frasier's apartment, but the silence between them said all they needed to say. Never in his life had he felt more humiliated and Niles was all but certain that Frasier felt the same way. Why did they constantly strive for something bigger only to have it backfire in a way that neither of them could have possibly imagined? It was just who they were and for the most part the failures were minimal. But now…

The door opened and for the first time in his life, Niles was ashamed at the sight of Daphne's angelic face. "Oh, you're back!" She said brightly, kissing his lips as she brought him into the living room. "So how was it? Was it everything that you always thought it would be?"

Niles turned to his brother and grimaced. But neither Crane brother said a word. And then Niles felt her soft hand on his back. "Did something happen Darling?"

His heart warmed at her sweet name for him. Since the moment he'd laid eyes on her he'd dreamt of being with her, of hearing her call him honey or darling. But he never dreamed that he'd ever be so ashamed to hear those words now.

"Something happened all right!" Frasier began. But Niles couldn't listen to his brother's recount of the horror that they'd gone through. Instead he made a beeline for the hallway, hoping to get away from the horrid memory. But he knew that he'd never be able to forget it. He sighed deeply, letting the memory burn in his mind.

In their quest to make their way to the highest level of the exclusive spa, he and Frasier found themselves in the ally, with no way to get back in. Wrapped in their spa attire, barely able to move, they were forced to move… very slowly, toward the front door and ask to be let in. With nary a glance at any of the staff members, or even a soul, they scooted down the hallway and into the treatment room where they quickly removed the evidence and after showering and changing into their clothes, hurried out of the building, vowing never to return again. It was completely and utterly humiliating and Niles was sure that they were the laugh of Seattle.

Now he sat on Daphne's bed, deeply ashamed. He considered going home, but he'd barely had time to stand when the door opened. Embarrassed even further, he stood and turned to find her smiling at him.

"Daphne I'm sorry I came into your room. I-I was just…"

"It's not my room anymore; remember? We have our own room and our own home." She went to him, smiling as she encircled him in her arms for the most wonderfully soothing hug imaginable. She held him for a long time, affording him the intoxicating scent of her hair. He closed his eyes, holding onto her while she softly rubbed his back. "Your brother told me what happened." She said quietly. "I'm so sorry. I know how much that club meant to you."

"I'm a fool, Daphne."

She gently drew out of his arms and looked at him. "No you're not! You're nothing of the sort, Niles Crane! You're wonderful and I love you so much."

He stared into her eyes, content to stroke her beautiful cheek. "I love you too, Daphne."

And when she kissed him again and again, his humiliation simply melted away.

THE END