The next day was never-ending stress for Grace in New York as well as for Oliver in Washington. The only thing getting Grace through it all was knowing that Annie was away from the mayhem. There was no reason for her to witness the deceit. It made her feel sick to her stomach. Hundreds of people showed up, not one of them Annie's parents.

By afternoon she couldn't bear the crowd any longer. She sent a telegram to Oliver in Washington asking him to come home. Once it was sent, she realized there was nothing he could do by the time he would get home, but if nothing else, she needed his emotional support.

Having to tell Annie her parents weren't found broke Grace's heart. Part of her was relieved when Oliver asked her and Drake to leave the room. However, she couldn't find it in herself to go far and ended up listening in through one of the doors. When Oliver called her back into the room the thought crossed her mind that she'd given herself away by how quickly she responded. Those thoughts soon left when all of a sudden he waltzed her around the room.

Realizing his actions – and realizing her instant approval – they pulled away from each other in a panic. Had it not been for their lowered inhibitions the night before they might not have panicked. Recovering quickly, Oliver told Grace to start preparing for a celebration. Overjoyed by the fact Annie was going to be adopted after all, she ran off to tell the rest of the staff and change for the party, toppling over a tray of glasses in the process…

Called again, she reappeared in the office, this time in a teal gown. This caught Oliver's eye immediately. It became clear they weren't going to be able to keep their interests at bay for much longer. And as long as Annie would be staying there wouldn't be any need. A change would already be in motion. They might as well adjust to two things at once. At the party, they danced without question, happy for the delightful turn this otherwise awful day took. Granted, for Annie, it was bittersweet, but even she had a wide smile on her face. That is until Mr. and Mrs. Mudge showed up. Their visit hadn't been long but it ended with Annie running from the room screaming leaving tears in the eyes of the entire household.

Grace knew something was off. What exactly that was she didn't know. Her worry surrounded Mr. Mudge. That much was certain. Sharing her concerns with Oliver, he sprang into action. This left her alone for most of the night, making some calls of her own in another room. Oliver came and found her at one point.

"Any luck?" she asked as soon as she saw him.

"Yes and no. The FBI is sending something over as we speak regarding the identities of Annie's parents. Those people we met are not them."

"Who are they?"

"That's what we don't know. They're still searching."

"Thank goodness we found that much out before morning. We have to keep Annie far away from them."

"Do you think she's in any danger?"

"I don't know… I'm sure all they're after is the money."

"I feel guilty for how relieved I am."

"Me, too, if I'm being honest," she said.

"I know I'll never be her first choice. And as of right now I don't know whether her real parents are dead or alive. But I'm grateful she'll be here at least a little while longer."

"She will always love her parents… that doesn't mean she can't love you as well."

"I know."

"There's still a couple hours until sunrise," Grace said, running her hand down his arm. "Why don't you go lay down?"

Oliver shook his head. "I need to be awake for the telephone. I'll be okay."

"Don't be stubborn. There are chairs in the office. You won't miss the phone when it rings."

"What about you? You haven't rested, either."

"I might go lay down after I peek in on Annie. Come find me if you hear anything?"

"Certainly."

And he stayed true to his word. A little over an hour later he received the word he was waiting for. When going to find Grace, he was surprised to stumble across both her and Annie in the foyer. Here, he and the President told them the truth. Oliver was glad to have Grace at his side as President Roosevelt broke the news to Annie of her parents' deaths. This came as more of a surprise to Annie than to Grace. Even so, Annie was able to admit a part of her had already come to this conclusion long ago. After a final moment of tears, attention went forward to the immediate problem. Who are Ralph and Shirley Mudge?

Tracing the knowledge of the locket back to Miss Hannigan, they knew enough to keep her occupied at the party until they could question her. Fortunately, a telegram from the FBI came sooner telling them everything they needed to know. In no time, Miss Hannigan, Rooster Hannigan, and Lily St. Regis were cuffed and on their way to jail.

With the mysteries settled and the hope for the future renewed, Oliver reached a hand out to Grace. This new life included her and he didn't want to keep it a secret from anyone. With all the joy filling the room, seeing Annie reunited with Sandy (and Molly, too), Grace and Oliver couldn't help but steal a kiss, excited for their life together to begin.


I'm tempted to write some sort of epilogue at some point but for now I'm going to end the story here as this is where the show ends. Thanks so much for reading!