Hello all! Just wanted to say yet again thanks for reading and reviewing and for add to favorites! Hope you'll continue to do so even the smallest ones!! Glad you're enjoyed it! This is the final chapter for this story, and I must tell you I really enjoyed writing this whole story, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks for reading and feel free to let me know what you thought, no matter how much time goes by. Thanks for reading once again!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
It was moving day, and only hours away from leaving to California. Edith was standing in the dinning room when Elizabeth and Barney entered the house.
"Hi there Edith, you ready to go?"
"Oh yeah." Edith said not sounding very convincing
"Oh what's the matter Edith?" Barney asked concerned
"Oh noting, I was just remembering how this room used to look with the shelves there, full of the dishes." She told him and her, "I remember when I first put them there I thought they looked so beautiful."
"They did look beautiful." Elizabeth agreed smiling and Edith went on.
"And how the dinning room table was here. We had so many meals there, with Mike and Gloria, and you two, and Steaphy, and then sometimes just the two of us. And homework was done there, and games were played. Oh and we had our Thursday chats here remember?" Edith questioned Elizabeth, who smiled and nodded through her own tears.
Just after those two words were said, the water works began and the two women shared a hug. Barney watched the embrace a sad expression plastered across his face.
"Aw come on now girls, don't start," he started to say but they continued, "or else I'm gonna…" but before he could finish he was crying and had become part of the embrace.
Just seconds into the embrace Archie walked into the house from the front door, stopping in his tracks when seeing the three's embrace.
"Jeeze I knew youse were watching that 'Two's company' too much." He stated as he walked over to the trio who separated when they heard his voice.
"Oh I'm sorry Archie." Said Edith
"Yeah we can't help it." Elizabeth went on to say.
"I just got something in my eye." Barney said wiping his eyes.
"Yeah tears." Archie said before letting out a quick laugh. Barney just glared at Archie, but he ignored it and went on to the reason for why he came in, in the first place. "Hey Edith, come out here a minute." he told his wife.
"What for?" Edith asked wiping her eyes with her tissue.
"Just come here." he simply said before grabbing her hand and dragging her to the front door, not noticing the two others following behind him. Right before opening the door to go outside he noticed the twosome and frowned. "Did I call for the side bananas?" he asked sarcastically. And while the couple frowned and exchanged looks, Archie opened the door and brought Edith out with him, making sure to close the door behind him.
"Archie what is it?" Edith asked wondering more and more what it was Archie had to show or tell her.
"Just hold on, now close your eyes." He instructed her.
Edith smiled a small smile as she did what she was told. Archie, who still had Edith's hand in his own, pulled her over to the pillar they had been standing in front of just days before.
"Alright, open 'em." He told her so she did.
"Oh Archie!" she shrieked smiling away.
"You really like it?" he asked looking over at her.
"Oh of course I do!" she said in her usual cheerful tone. "What is it?" she questioned changing to another familiar tone. Confusion.
Archie rolled his eyes and let out a frustrated sigh. "Over here Edith. Right over here." He said pointing to the space where a few days ago a carving was rediscovered.
This time the carving was found looking darker and deeper. It was quite obvious Archie had recarved it.
"I love it!" she said smiling and Archie himself smiled too. To thank her husband Edith through her arms around him and kissed him deeply. Seconds into the kiss however a noise was heard.
"Eh hem." The couple's kiss broke but they stayed in the embrace as they looked over to see who it was. There standing in front of the older couple was a younger couple, the couple who would be renting their house.
"I thought we were suppose to be the newly weds." the young man told his wife, who playfully hit his arm.
"I hope were not too early." The young woman half stated half asked.
Archie and Edith replied while pulling apart looking somewhat embarrassed.
"We was just looking at an old carving." Edith explained, I hope you don't mind."
"Oh not at all. After all this house is still as much yours as it ever was." The two women smiled.
There was some silence, neither couple wanting to say what needed to be said, but both would be similar, dealing with the same subject.
Archie finally broke the silence, clearing his throat, "Well I guess since I gave youse the spare keys and all them other keys, I better give you ours." He said reaching into his pocket and taking out the keys.
Slowly he handed them to the man. The young man reached out and grabbed them, but Archie seemed to have a bit of trouble giving them up. Archie just couldn't seem to let go of the two keys that had once been on both his and Edith's key rings, no matter how much the man in front of him tried.
"We'll take good care of it." He reassured Archie, breaking Archie's grip slowly
"Yeah, yeah I know." He responded in a muffed tone.
The young couple smiled.
"Oh I hope you don't mind if we take one last look around?" Edith questioned
"Oh no go right ahead." The young woman replied.
"Yeah we've got some boxes in the car we have to unload." The young man explained before he and his bride walked off the porch and back to their car, with Edith and Archie thanking them as they left.
In some way this couple had reminded the two of them of how they once were, which was probably one of the reasons they had decided to rent out their house to them. Edith began walking back into the house looking at Archie, before stepping inside. Archie remained outside on the porch for awhile longer before starting to go in, and when he did a voice stopped him.
Archie turned around to see his niece running his way.
"Hey there Rose Marie, where've youse been?"
Stephanie ignored that fact that once again her uncle failed to get her name right, "I was saying goodbye to my friends." She explained.
"Oh." Was all her uncle could say before she went on.
"We are still going to California right?"
"Nah your Aunt Edith just gotta really bad case of spring cleaning." Archie answered with the response leaking with sarcasm, "Course we're still going."
"Good." Stephanie smiled and Archie looked at her with a puzzled look, was this the same girl who had been upset about the move to California, just months before?
"My friends and I were looking at those brochures Aunt Edith gave me. And those California guys are…" before Stephanie could finish her though Archie, knowing what would come next and not wanting to here it, interrupted her.
"Would you get in the car." He demanded more then suggested.
"Ok." Steaphy simply said before skipping off the porch and over to Barneys car while sing a Beach Boys tune. "I wish they all could be California guys…"
Archie looked up skyward and groaned, "Ah geeze the lost Beach Girl." And then began walking inside once again. And once again he stopped when he saw the young man, who reminded him of himself walking up the porch with two large boxes in his arms.
"Where'd Mrs. Bunker go?" he asked placing the boxes on the floor.
"Oh she went back inside to go look around one more time and get some of our friends." He told him, and the man nodded Archie though continued to ramble. "Yeah cause we're getting breakfast with them, 'fore we leave." The young man continued to smile as he listened to Archie. Ok so maybe he wasn't exactly like Archie, but Archie could see that one thing they had in common.
That look he had in his face, was a look Archie once had. A look of happiness and excitement about starting his life with his new bride, having job, a house, and starting a family.
"Hey you know one of our first memories here," Archie began to tell him, "was when I carried her across the threshold here. Just something youse may wanna consider doing."
"Thanks, Mr. Bunker. I think I will." He said smiling Archie smiled some too before both men went their separate ways. Archie walked into the house to find his wife standing in front of the stairs looking spaced-out.
"Hey Edith?" he called breaking her daze as she looked over at him, tears still in her eyes.
"Eh, where's Barney and Elizabeth go?" he asked trying to stall.
"Oh they went out the back, they're gonna wait for us in the car."
"Oh yeah, ok good the kid's in there too." He rambled and Edith just nodded.
Finally he asked the question that could not be delayed any longer, "You ready?"
"No." she said sadly, "I don't wanna move!" she cried wrapping her arms around him, as he groaned.
"Ah geeze Edith come on." He tried but she continued crying. "Hey come on Edith, we'll be back." He told her trying to cheer her up.
"We will?" she asked wiping her eyes with her handkerchief for the hundredth time.
"Sure we wills. Once they find out about the darn furnace, they'll be calling night and day till we do somthin about it." Edith shook her head "Oh Archie…"
"I'm only joking…"
"You mean we ain't coming back?" Edith asked on the verge of tears
"Ah Geeze" Archie groaned as he realized what he had done. "Course we're coming back geeze hey with us living right next-door to the Meathead we're gonna need a lot more trips out here to get away." before Edith could respond he went on, "We'll stop by and then get on outta there to a fancier looking place."
Edith just took a deep breath, "Ok." she said smiling a small smile.
"Ok." Archie repeated.
Truth be told Archie wasn't too happy about leaving this house wither, but was doing a pretty good job at hiding it.
Slowly they walked over to the door that over 30 years ago Archie carried Edith across. Archie opened the door for his wife but she didn't walk out just yet. Instead she stopped and looked at her husband, "I guess that old saying is true." she said not only to him but to herself.
"Yeah, I guess so." he agreed and after a few seconds of silence he frowned. "What saying?"
"Oh you know, 'All good things must come to an end'." she quoted.
"Oh yea, yeah. That's a good one there, Edith, but I think I can top it." he stated and then shared his quote, "One door opens and another one closes."
Edith smiled, sure it wasn't right but she got the point.
Archie smiled back at her, but their stares came to an end as they looked once more at their home. Where their little girl had gotten married, where they celebrated holidays, where quite a few arguments were had, but mostly where they had laughed, loved, and lived.
Archie and Edith looked at each other, no words were need to be said, they shared a small smile before Edith slowly walked out the door and over to the Heffner's car.
Archie stepped out and closed the door a bit only himself between the door and it's frame, looking around once more. He then turned off the lights, closed the door and walked off to catch up with Edith.
Well there you go! The last Chapter of As Time Goes By! Thanks for Reading! Hope you liked! Please review! Special thanks to Gray Rainbows, Needles, Alex B. Goode, and riarox for reviewing and adding to favorites! Oh yes, and because this was a 'real final episode' for All in the Family I took the liberty of creating a video montage of the show, like ones you sometimes see on other final episodes. (Yes I have a lot of free time) Thanks again everyone and be on the look out for another story coming soon, unless you're already getting tired of me grin Have a Nice Day!