A/N: Hi there. Remember me? Anyway, I don't know how long its been since I last updated, but it seems like forever. Hard to believe that this has been going on almost (if not) a year now, huh? Anyway, I'm back. I'd finished this chapter long, long ago but lost it until tonight. Hope it's worth the wait. OK, all together now, I do NOT own any of these characters, which are owned by Steven Levitan Productions, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television.

MR GALLO GOES TO WASHINGTON

Based on characters created by Steven Levitan

Dennis Finch and Maya Gallo rode back up in the elevator, hand in hand, every once in a while stealing brief, yet passion filled kisses in the empty car. Before returning to the building, they had decided that they would spend their first truly romantic night together that evening, a combination of popcorn, wine and Casablanca. Bogie had been Dennis' idea--while Star Wars was, by far, his favorite, in his book, there was no one cooler than Rick Blaine.

When the doors opened onto Blush, they separated with a quick look and another silent 'I love you' before returning to their respective positions.

Back in her office, Maya found Elliot, seated on the couch and watching her with a goofy smile on his face.

"Hello, Elliot."

Elliot stood up and stood in front of her desk, the goofy smile stuck on as if painted. In the course of their relationship, she'd come to recognize the Muppet-like expression as the one he wore whenever he had a secret he couldn't keep.

"Hello..." he answered, barely containing a laugh, "...Maya."

Maya draped the coat she'd been wearing over the back of her chair to dry, then sat down and looked at him a moment. Silently she wondered what on earth had attracted her to him.

"Did you want something?" she finally asked after the eternity of watching him stand there and grin like an idiot, hands behind his back and rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.

"Oh," he answered, still rocking and smiling, a sing-song quality in his voice, "Nothing...Maya."

"Elliot, I know that look..."

He could contain it no longer. He let loose with a fit of laughter, falling to his knees red faced and working to catch his breath. When he finally did, he began to chant.

"Maya and Dennis, sittin' in a tree..."

Dennis flung open the door to Jack's office, finding the publisher-candidate on the phone.

"Jack, I need..."

Gallo held up a hand to silence Dennis as he spoke into the handpiece.

"That's right," he said, "I want that running right away. Yes, and I'd like an audio version for the radio spot as well...Thanks, Devin."

He hung up and turned now to Dennis, who had been nervously waiting by the door.

"Now, Dennis," he said, folding his arms across his chest and leaning back, "What can I do for you?"

"Well, I need some advice...I mean, a friend of mine needs advice."

"Of course, Dennis. Always willing to help out. Have a seat."

"No...no, thanks. Anyway, this guy I know. He works for a rich guy, you see, and he's...well, he has some feelings for this rich guy's daughter, and he doesn't want the rich guy to, y'know, have his shot or something."

Jack nodded. "I understand. Go on."

"Well," Dennis stammered on, "This guy, he wants to know, how should he tell this rich guy about it."

"Ah. I see." Standing, Jack crossed the office and stood close to Dennis.

"The first thing, Dennis," he told him, "Is to assume that the rich guy knows all about it."

Maya had a hold of Elliot's collar and pulled him up and over her desk, close to her face.

"You know?!"

"I saw you with one of Jack's spy gizmos," Elliot squeaked out as the grip tightened, "Could you, please...just let go..."

"Does my dad know?"

Elliot squeaked again, not words this time but just the sound.

"Talk, DiMauro, or I swear, they'll never find you!"

"He knows!" Elliot finally forced out, "He was there! Maybe if you...just a little..."

She released him and he slid to the floor, coughing.

She'd intended to ease into telling her father about her feelings for Dennis. Break it to him gently, give him a chance to absorb the news that his daughter was in love with the man who was almost a son to him. He wasn't going to take it well either way she told him, but to find out like this...

"Dennis."

Dennis swallowed hard, then asked, "How long?"

"About six years."

"I...six years?"

Jack nodded. "I've known the whole time."

He turned and strolled back to the window as Dennis stood with a confused look.

"But how..."

"Clues, Dennis. You don't get to be in my position without learning to read people. Take you and Maya for instance. The way you talk to her when you thought no one was around. The way you'd go out of your way to protect her when things didn't go right. The way you cried when you found out she was marrying Elliot."

Dennis, who had been looking down at the floor thought this, now looked up in surprise.

"Bet you didn't know I knew about that. Or the fact that there was a look of deep loss in her face when you married Adrienne."

"Really?"

"I kept my mouth shut because I'd hoped it would go away. Then today, I saw you and her with my spy scope. I knew then that there was no more point to hoping that anymore..."

Just then, the door burst open.

"Dad, don't you dare!"

Jack looked at Maya, confused. "Do what?"

"Oh, don't pull that innocent act with me, Jack Gallo. You have chased off every guy who ever had any true feelings for me, but not this time!"

Maya had the larger man backed against the desk, bending backwards before the force of the tsunami that was Maya Gallo when she got rolling.

"I didn't run off Elliot," Jack offered in weak protest.

"And don't expect forgiveness for that anytime soon! See, you run off the ones you shouldn't and when you should, you don't! Before today I didn't have the guts to stand up to it, but now I do. And do you know why?"

"Why?" Jack looked past her at Dennis, who seemed to possess the common sense to stay out of the way.

"Because of all the guys, Dennis Finch is the only one who's worth it. I love him, and he loves me and I refuse to let you or Elliot or anyone else get in the way!"

"OK."

She took in a deep breath to prepare for the expected reply, but hadn't expected him to give in that easily. She froze, did a double take, then said, "What?"

Dennis came up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "OK, Hurricane, he's had enough."

Returning to his upright position, Jack straightened his suit. Maya and Dennis stood before him, Dennis with his hands on her shoulders, both with even, but worried, gazes.

"You love him that much, Maya?"

"Yes, dad, I do."

"Dennis?"

"I'd die for her, Jack."

Jack let out a sigh. "I want it made clear, Maya, that I do not approve..."

Two hearts sank into their respective shoes.

"...But, then again, do any fathers really approve of the men their daughters love? Their happiness is all that matters. If Dennis makes you happy, then I won't interfere."

Maya ran up to her father and hugged him. "I love you, dad."

"I love you, too, pumpkin."

"So," Maya said, backing out of the office, smiling and wiping away a tear, "I guess I'll go back to...uh...work, that's it. Dennis, I'll see you tonight."

Dennis smiled at her, nodding, as she left. He then turned to Jack, smiled and nodded to him and stepped towards his own desk.

"One more thing, Dennis."

"Yeah, Jack?"

"I allowed Elliot to live after he broke my daughter's heart. It's a mistake I won't make twice."

I'm kind of tired, since it's a quarter to midnight here. I hope this lived up to expectations and I hope it won't be so long until I update again. I promise, there is an ending to this and we will arrive there. Until then, everyone, to quote Tony K., if your out on your bikes tonight, remember, always wear white.