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Always and Forever

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It was a long hallway with that ubiquitous dingy black and white vinyl tile that looked like it hadn't seen a buffer since the building was built. Scully slowly but surely walked to the last door on the right that had the words "Returns" painted on the frosted glass panel. Shifting the box she carried to her hip, she reached for the antique glass doorknob and opened the door.

Inside the office, the light was dim except for a brilliant spot light coming from a lamp near where an older woman sat behind the reception desk and blinked up at Scully through thick glasses.

"Can I help you?"

"Yes." Said Scully, "I was told this is also the recycling department."

"That's correct."

"I'd like to return these for recycling, please".

The woman stood up as Scully heaved the box up onto the counter. She removed the top of the box and peered inside at the contents. Her eyebrows lifted over her thick glasses.

"These are very special. We don't see many of these in this condition. Are you sure you want to part with them?"

"I'm sure," Scully said with a smile. "I don't believe I'll need them any more and to be truthful, they make me a little sad."

"I can imagine. Well, let's take them out and see what they're worth." The woman reached in and brought out a beautiful case that glowed with rubescent light so bright she had to squint to look at them.

"As I said, I don't see many of these in this condition. And so many! "

"Well, I've been collecting a long time."

"Oh, and these, well, I'm going to have to measure these." She said lifting out a large bottle of glistening blue liquid.

"Whatever you need to do." Scully said.

"So, okay, let's see what we have here." She pulled over an ancient adding machine, the like of which Scully had only seen in museums. She opened the case and began to count out the contents. She held one of the objects up to the bright light and admired the depth of color and sparkle. She sighed.

"Most of these I get are faded and gritty. Whoever gave you these must have loved you very much."

Scully smiled softly, remembering. "Yes. He did. He does. I just don't have a need for them any more."

"And these,"she said, pouring the contents of the second container into another container. "They're lovely."

"Let me add it up. Let's see. 1500 goodbye kisses, obviously filled with a lot of feeling and an ocean of loving tears... that bring us to..." The woman chewed on her lip as she punched in the numbers and pulled the crank to total up the value. "That comes to exactly 2.659 Happily Ever Afters."

"I only need the one, thank you." Scully said.

Just then the door to the office opened and Fox Mulder strode through with a happy smile and twinkling eyes.

"Hey, Scully! There you are. I've been looking for you." He said reaching out to grasp her hand then moved to drop a kiss on the top of her head as his arm went around her waist. "You ready?"

"Almost." She turned back to the older woman who was looking at them over the top of her glasses.

"I see how it is." She said.

"Yes. We were in a dangerous line of work for a long time and our last case didn't work out very well. These are all the goodbye kisses he gave me when he'd leave me and those are the tears I shed for loving him. Now that we're here, we just won't need those ever again. " Scully looked up at Mulder with a blinding smile.

"That's beautiful. Now if I can get a signature?" She said pushing a logbook towards Scully who quickly signed.

"Here you go. Enjoy that." She reached into a drawer beneath the counter and pulled out a golden disk. She handed it to Scully.

"Oh, I'm sure we will." Said Scully. "Are you ready, Mulder?"

"I've been ready my whole life, Scully."

With a nod to the woman, Scully and Mulder walked out into the hallway and on to their Eternity together.