From the kitchen he peered into the living room wincing at the sight of Daphne's' obnoxious brothers. Dear God were they really here, standing in Frasier's living room? He didn't know much more of them he could take, and despite Frasier's reassurance, Niles couldn't shake the feeling that there was a very good chance his son or daughter might take after one (or all) of them. It was a horrible thought. Of course he never said as much to Daphne because he knew how much she loved her brothers. It was the same way that he loved Frasier. But at least he and Frasier were alike…like brothers. Daphne and her brothers were as different as night and day, and he wasn't the only one who saw it. Where they were brass and outspoken, she had long since softened when it came to brashness. But she definitely had their genes and that's what worried him most.
He tried to heed Frasier's advice that the baby would also carry the Crane genes inside of him or her, but still the thought of his firstborn child behaving like Simon Moon overwhelmed Niles. He wanted to share his feelings with Daphne, but he didn't dare. She was so emotional as of late, and mentioning her family might bring her over the edge-and most likely get him thrown out of the house. True she was worlds away from Maris and treated him with the love and respect that he'd always dreamed of. But in her emotional state, he wouldn't have been surprised if he ended up sleeping on Frasier's couch for more than one night. And it was best to keep his worries to himself.
He quickly finished pouring drinks for everyone and just as he was about to walk into the living room he was cornered by Stephen. The man might have been Daphne's favorite brother, but Niles still felt intimidated by the tall, thin and surprisingly handsome man.
"Miles, right?" Stephen asked when their eyes met.
"Actually it's Niles." he replied, chuckling when Daphne's stocky brother Michael came up beside him and smacked him on the arm. The tall man jumped and turned around.
"What in the hell was that for?" Stephen demanded.
"Bloody hell, Stephen! I already told you that! His name is Niles, not Miles! He's your brother-in-law now so you'd better learn his name!"
"Ow!" Stephen cried. "What are you hittin' me for? I just met the man!"
"Well, I'm telling Daphne!" Michael yelled. He turned around and stormed into the living room. "Daphne, there's something you should know!"
When Michael was out of sight, Niles and Stephen laughed.
"I'm sorry about that Niles." Stephen said, emphasizing the correct pronunciation of Niles' name. "He's right. I shouldn't have screwed up your name."
Niles smiled and shook Stephen's' outstretched hand. 'It's all right. Don't worry about it. And you're right. We haven't known each other very long. "
"Well, Manchester is a bloody long way from here. You know, even though this is my first time here, it makes me realize how much I miss Daphne."
Niles smiled and nodded. "I understand. And you're welcome to visit anytime. We promise to come and visit after the baby is born."
Stephen smiled. "I'm going to be an uncle. I never would have thought."
When a silence fell between them, Niles cleared his throat. "Well, I should get these drinks out there, so-."
But Stephen's hand on his forearm prevented him from moving.
"Nothing. I just-."
"I just wanted to thank you."
Niles was taken aback. "Thank me? For what?"
"For what you've done for Daphne."
"Well, Frasier is the one who hired her, so-."
"No, I mean after that. I can see how in love the two of you are and when she calls and talks about you, her voice… it's different."
Intrigued, Niles stared at his brother-in-law. "Different?"
"True love. Now I don't usually believe in that rubbish, but when Daphne first told us about this bloke, Donny, I never said anything. But I could see that her heart wasn't in it. And then when she explained that she'd broken up with him to be with you and the way you rescued her."
Niles chuckled, his heart warming as he remembered their intimate moment on the balcony. "Well, I wouldn't say rescued, but-."
"Whatever you did, I've never seen her so happy. And I can't wait to meet my nephew."
"Or niece." Niles quipped.
"It's a boy, I can feel it."
"Don't tell me that you're psychic like Daphne."
"No, Daphne's the psychic c in the family. "I'm just hopeful."
Niles smiled. "So am I."
"Stephen, can you come here for a minute?" Niles father called from the living room.
"Sure, just a minute, Martin." Stephen replied. He lifted the tray from Niles' hands. "I'll take these drinks out there."
When Stephen was gone, Niles walked into the living room and smiled at his beautiful wife. Almost immediately she slipped her arms around his waist. "What were you two talking about?"
"How much we love you." Niles replied. "But I think I have your brother beat."
Daphne laughed and leaned to kiss his lips. "Niles…"
"I love you, Daphne."
"I love you too, Niles. And I'm sorry if me brothers' are bothering you. I just hope that our baby doesn't inherit any of their genes."
Niles smiled and pulled her closer, kissing her with everything he had. He glanced in Stephen's direction. "Actually that wouldn't be so bad."