He woke with Eddie lingering over him and Martin at the end of the bed.
"Oh, God" he muttered, stretching. Frasier was nowhere to be seen.
"What happened, son?" Martin inquired.
"To be honest dad, it is all a bit of a blur. Daphne rejected me." The look of pity of Martins face made Niles believe he felt truly sorry for him. He knew his father wasn't the most supportive when it came to him and Daphne, but he still appreciated the fact that he didn't say 'I told you so!'.
He could still remember the argument he and Martin had had about four years ago, and deep down he knew that his father was right but his love for Daphne was getting in the way of his common sense.
"Where's Frasier?" a look of terror covered his face. What if he'd gone to speak to Daphne? God knows, Frasier was always interfering in other peoples relationships, but he definitely didn't want him involved in this one.
"He's just gone down to the bar. He thought you'd need a sherry when you woke up."
They both stifled a laugh.
Niles sat up. "I think I'll need something much stronger than a sherry!"
As if on cue, Frasier entered the room, brandishing a bottle of brandy in one hand and an envelope in the other. He looked calm but the look in his eyes told a different story. He had obviously had a run-in with someone.
"What's in the envelope, Fras?" Martin asked.
"Erm...., it's from Mel. It's the rings." he repeated somberly.
"I don't understand" Martin chimed in.
"I broke up with Mel, I thought it was for the best. I couldn't live day in day out with her, knowing I loved somebody else. It wouldn't be fair to her at all." he answered.
"I'm glad you're the type of guy who would give a woman that amount of respect, Niles."
"Well, why don't we all pour ourselves a glass of brandy? I think we all need it after such an eventful night." He forced a smile.
"Good idea." Niles and Martin replied in unison.
They all poured themselves a glass. Niles downed his and poured another one.
"Be careful, Niles, you don't want to collapse again." Frasier advised.
Niles shot him a warning glare.
"Niles, have you ever thought that the reason you told Mel tonight wasn't because you couldn't bear the thought of lying to her, rather it was because you weren't happy in your relationship with her? I mean, you could've carried on happily and Mel wouldn't have been any the wiser. Of all times to tell Daphne, you had to tell her now? Why not 6 months, a year ago?"
Niles looked angry. "Are you forgetting, a while ago, when I was going to do just that! YOU stopped me, remember! YOU were the one who said I would get rejected!" His shouting turned into a murmur. "And you were right." He turned away from Frasier and Martin, Frasier seemed ashamed of himself for making his borther angry. "I don't understand why you have to kick me down everytime I get up again. I don't think I can handle anymore criticisms tonight."
"I agree with Niles", Martin chimed in. Frasier looked up, questioningly. Martin put his hand up to protest before Frasier could say anything. "I know that I haven't been the most caring people when it comes to Niles and Daphne, but he loved her. No doubt about it. And the fact that you make him feel bad for it, well, it's not right. Niles doesn't need a psychiatrist right now, Frasier, he needs a brother and he needs you to support him. If you didn't interfer all the time, there wouldn't be two people left heartbroken here tonight."
Niles eyes were teary and he nodded in respect to his father. He had never stood up for him against Frasier like that. He'd always left them to it.
Martin left the room, but the feeling of tension had not disappeared.
Frasier hung his head in shame, looking into his glass of brandy silently.
Niles left too, leaving Frasier to think about his words and so that he also, could reminisce on better times.