Note: this is my first submission. It's a continuation of the conversation between Frasier and Martin after Niles storms out following The Big Fight in
'And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon,' taking a direction that I kind of wish it had gone. Feedback is welcomed and greatly appreciated :)

'Frasier', its characters, and canonical dialogue are not my property.


"How's a corned beef sandwich sound?" Martin got up from his chair and headed to the kitchen.

"I am appalled!" Frasier bellowed indignantly.

"Well, no problem, there's some smoked turkey in here, too." Not that Martin really cared whether Frasier wanted anything or not.

As he started pulling things out of the refrigerator, Frasier sulked in behind him.

"What is my offense?" he started solemnly, "What egregious sin have I committed, that I should be so maligned? Was I to just sit idly by and watch these two misguided souls embark on doomed relationships? Would they have thanked me for that? Not very likely, I dare say."

"Who moved the mustard?"

"Top shelf, door."

"Bingo."

"And then, when they were perched on the very brink of disaster, I snatched them from the gaping maw and placed them gently into one another's arms. But am I accorded a hero's welcome for my troubles? Am I hoisted on their shoulders and paraded about the room?"

Martin turned and handed Frasier the mayonnaise, "I don't have my glasses, what's the expiration date?"

"Last week," Frasier read.

"I'll chance it." Martin shrugged, took the jar back, and opened it.

"No!" Frasier continued, still unphased, "Those two ingrates turn on me like vipers, and make me the villain of the piece. Well, hear me now, this day forward, Frasier Crane will not interfere with those two! This is it! Finished, finito! NON-QUAM POSTEA!"

"Uh-huh."

"I know I've made declarations like this before, but I tell you what, Dad, you mark the calendar! You note the time on your watch!" as Frasier pointed to his own, "This! Is! It!"

"Well, if you figure out a way to get them back together, I'll be in my room if you need any help." And with that, Martin turned back toward the living room, sandwich in hand.

"Have you been listening to me?"

"Well, I tried not to, but some of it still got through."

If Frasier had not already blown his gasket at Niles, he might have done so right then, as he followed his father back into the living room. "Well, very funny! Nice to know you can still snark even in a time like this!"

And with that, Martin put his sandwich down on the table, having finally had enough."You know what Fras, fine. You're right. You're right about this whole damn thing. That's what you wanna hear, so I'll say it! You're a real saint! What you did was so righteous and holy, I can't believe you're not being fitted for a shiny freaking halo as we speak!"

"Dad..."

But Martin would not be interrupted, now fuming with unbridled rage at his older son, "I mean it's not like I sat down with you at the Wayside bar and warned you that anything could hit the fan once you got involved!"

"And what if I HADN'T gotten involved? What if I HAD let them wallow in their damned silent misery without either of them knowing how the other felt? Would THAT have been the better alternative?!"

"There was no such thing as a 'better' alternative here, Frasier! Crown yourself the almighty cupid all you want, but I doubt Donny or Mel consider you a hero!"

"For God's sake Dad, do you honestly think that I didn't do the right thing?!"

"There's not a doubt in my mind you did the right thing! But you had to know there'd be consequences! No matter what you did or didn't do, two people were gonna wind up getting hurt! Say what you want about Mel, but do you REALLY think Donny Douglas deserved to get gutted and humiliated in front of his family?"

"Of course not! But what else could I have done?"

"Maybe nothing! But even if you could, you would've done the same damn thing even if I told you not to. You know it, I know it. So maybe it's time to start thinking about what you can do NOW, Fras! And you can start by dropping the arrogant "Frasier Knows Best' act! Because the three of you fighting over who's right and wrong isn't solving a damn thing, it's only making things worse! Take my advice, for once: stop barking aloud to anyone within earshot about what a knight in shining armor you are, and start acting like Niles' brother and Daphne's friend! Lord knows they need all the support they can get right now."

Finally, silence had seeped into the room. Martin went to pick up his sandwich, as Frasier stood in contemplation of what was just said.

Just as Martin turned to head toward the hall to his room, Frasier spoke, much calmer, "...You know I hate it when you're right."

"Hell, I almost hate it when you admit it."

And with that, Frasier went back into the kitchen to put everything away, finding that it helped to ease the last embers of tension he still felt. As he threw away the expired mayonnaise, he noticed Daphne come in.

"Hello, Dr. Crane," she started uneasily.

"Daphne." Frasier continued organizing unabated.

"Making yourself a sandwich?"

"No, Dad did."

"Hope he didn't use the mayonnaise, I meant to throw it out."

"I've seen him eat worse."

"I'll say. Remember when he dropped his hot dog at the petting zoo?"

With everything put away, Frasier began wiping down the counter, simultaneously holding in an inner laugh and inner cry at Daphne's last witty retort.

Daphne broke down first. "Oh, Dr. Crane, I'm so sorry I said those things about you! I didn't mean them!" she said tearfully.

Frasier followed suit, "Oh, I know, Daphne! Come here."

They hugged and made up, knowing that neither could take back what was said minutes ago, but that things could always be made right, as long as they tried. As long as Frasier, as his father said, could be her friend.

Now all that was left was to make things right with his brother.

-END-