A/N: sorry it took so long to get another chapter out here. Starting school online has been something else. Also, I just wanted to say thank you to smthnborrowediamblue for your sweet review! Enjoy this chapter, I've still got a couple more down the road!
Niles got in his car and drove until he was standing in the lobby of Frasier's hotel. He picked up his phone and called his brother. Frasier picked up quickly and uttered a mixture of irritated and confused all with one "hello."
"Frasier, I'm here in the lobby and I really need to talk to you."
"Niles, what the hell are you doing here? What could have possibly happened in the past two hours that would prompt you to show up at this time of night?"
"You have no idea. I'm serious, can I come up? I need your advice." Niles said.
"You want my advice? Oh, alright then. Charlotte's already asleep, why don't I come down and we can chat in the lobby." Frasier said before hanging up the phone and throwing on a t-shirt and pants. He could hardly believe how dramatic his brother was being, but when he stepped off the elevator and saw the hollow look of desperation in his eyes, and the drooping shoulders of a man so concerned with posture, he rushed to his side.
"Niles, what's the matter?" Frasier said in his most calming tone that he'd used so often with the troubled callers of his radio show. Acting on impulse, Frasier reached out his arms to comfort his younger brother. Niles welcomed the embrace before sitting down on a nearby couch. Frasier sat down beside him.
"It's Daphne. I mean, my god Frasier, I just don't know what to do." Niles began, the words falling out of his mouth as his eyebrows furrowed closer together.
"Go on, what happened with Daphne? She's not hurt is she?" Frasier asked with growing concern.
"No. It's not like that." It's hard to articulate words you never thought you'd have to say. Niles drew in a deep breath, "Daphne has another child."
Frasier's mouth dropped and he brought his hand to his lips. "Niles you can't be serious. What did she say, how did this happen?"
"She told me after dinner. It must have been all the talk of adoption. We were sitting in bed and she started crying. She was just a teenager, Frasier, and she gave the baby up for adoption in Seattle." Niles said, speaking slowly and keeping his gaze fixed on something in the distance.
Frasier looked up at his brother, unable to remove the gaping expression from his face. "I can't believe this. How could she not tell you?"
"She said she was scared. I mean, you should have seen her face, Frasier. I've never seen that kind of hurt before. I just didn't know how to react. So I got up and I left. I left her sitting alone in the dark."
"Well, I'm sure this came as quite a shock to you. You may even be feeling angry." Frasier began, analyzing his brother like a wounded patient.
"Yes. Maybe. I mean, for all the years we've been together, she kept this from me. I'm not quite sure how to feel. But the worst part is that all I want to do is hold her in my arms. I love her so much Frasier, and I walked out on her. She took a chance and opened up to me, and what did I do? I ran like the coward I am and always have been." Niles swallowed hard, his eyes on the verge of tears.
"She's still the same woman you fell in love with. I think you know what you need to do." Frasier paused and let out a deep sigh. "Go home, Niles. What good does it do you to sit here telling me this? Talk to her."
"You're right. Thank you, Frasier." Niles stood, hugged his brother, then headed for the door. As he drove home, his head began swirling with all the possibilities of what he would say to Daphne. The events that took place tonight were certainly unexpected, and just thinking about it made his stomach twist. They'd had their fair share of troubles, but always came out on the other side stronger. They would figure it out together. So what if Daphne had another child? The thought still felt foreign as it passed through his mind, like it was all a hazy dream he could barely remember.
Niles walked up to the door of the apartment he shared with the love of his life and their wonderful son. His heart beat faster with every step, and his feet began to drag as he realized how tired he was.
The key turned in the lock, waking Daphne from where she had fallen asleep crying on the fainting couch. Illuminated by the light of a small table lamp, his thinning blond head poked through the door and Daphne let out a sigh of relief.
"Niles," she said soft and timidly.
"Daphne," his keys dropped into the ceramic bowl next to the dragon figurine on the table by the door. It was a pinch pot that David had made them in art class when he was in third grade. David was so proud and his face lit up when he revealed to Niles and Daphne what he had hidden behind his back. Niles had cherished that time with his son, but now he couldn't help thinking that Daphne had another child, a grown woman with a life of her own, with whom she'd missed all of these moments.
Niles walked over to the fainting couch and sat down next to Daphne, taking her hand in his. She lifted her head and smiled sadly at Niles with her eyebrows lowered and her lips never parting. "Daphne, I'm so sorry I left. It was a coward's move. I got scared, and I didn't know how to handle it," she moved closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder. "But I'm right beside you now, and I will be every step of the way. I'll support whatever you decide to do next."
"Thank you, Niles." She said as she brought her lips up to kiss him.
"I love you, Daphne." Niles said.
"And I love you." She replied.
A/N: hope you liked it! Please feel free to leave a review with your thoughts! I definitely wrapped this up kinda quick and neat, but I couldn't leave them mad at each other too long cuz I'm a sucker and I didn't want to write that lol.