Oh you guys, this is so bittersweet. I might cry after I finish writing this, no lie…
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except a heart full of sappy emotions because this journey is now officially coming to a close.
It was still very early in the morning when Klara Donowitz started to wake, the fog of sleep slowly fading away as she began to return to consciousness. For a moment she wasn't entirely sure what had woken her – she could not blame the rising sun, because the light peeking around the edges of the bedroom curtain was still the dark-blue color of dusk. And it certainly hadn't been a noise that had roused her, because the house and all of its occupants were completely silent (which was a rarity in and of itself). Knowing that she would probably not get back to sleep now, the thirty-two-year-old woman started to turn her head to see if her husband was awake as well. That was when something else began to register with her senses…
A pair of lips was currently making their way down her stomach with slow, unhurried kisses.
A smile immediately spread across Klara's face as the blonde determined that her husband was indeed also awake. She only hesitated for a moment, debating whether or not she should let him continue to think she was still asleep and see what sort of mischief he was getting up to, but finally decided to push the covers away so that she was able to see him. As the chilly bedroom air hit her husband he paused in his ministrations and met her gaze, propping his chin up on her slightly-rounded stomach – though it was still quite dark in the room, she could clearly see the sly smirk spreading across his full lips.
"Good morning, Mr. Donowitz." Klara greeted, moving a hand so she could run her fingers through his thick hair. Though they were both still naked from their love-making the previous night, neither felt any sort of shyness or embarrassment over the amount of exposure – those feelings had long disappeared by this point in their marriage. "Enjoying yourself?" She asked him teasingly.
"Good mornin', Mrs. Donowitz." He returned in a husky voice. "Good mornin', baby." Donny added, greeting the new life that had been growing in Klara's belly for the past few months. He then moved his head to press a kiss against her hip, immediately making her breath hitch a little as the action sent shockwaves through her body. "And yeah, I'm very much enjoying myself." Donny finally answered, turning his dark, desire-filled eyes back up to hers.
Klara, now very much awake, had to suck in a steadying breath as Donny started to kiss his way back up her body. She happily wrapped her arms around him as his familiar, comforting weight settled over her, exploring the terrains of his muscled back with her hands – his lips continued to journey over her skin until they finally met hers in a kiss.
For eight years now she'd been making love to this man, but Donny still ignited a fire within her that no other had ever been able to – one look, one touch, one kiss and she was a helpless mess of burning desire. And currently, as she eagerly received his fiery kiss and buried her fingers into his hair to keep him close, Klara would have loved nothing more then to take advantage of their private time together and make love to her husband again like she suddenly, desperately wanted to. Unfortunately, she was also acutely aware of the fact that time was not on their side at that particular moment.
"The children will wake soon." Klara informed him between a few hungry kisses – she momentarily forgot about her argument when he lowered his face to her neck, nipping teasingly at the sensitive skin there. "Darling…" She half-protested, half-sighed, quickly losing the battle with herself.
Donny lifted his head again, taking a moment to push her blonde hair away from her face. "It's still early." He reassured her, dropping another kiss onto her lips – then he smirked. "Long as ya don't scream, they'll never know..." He stated saucily.
Klara rolled her eyes good-naturedly at the arrogant smirk on his face. "I do not – "
Her protest was cut short when his lips claimed hers in another eager kiss. The move quickly rid her of any coherent thought and Klara could no longer resist giving in to temptation, wrapping her limbs around him securely as she returned his fervent kiss. Donny began to shove the rest of the covers away impatiently so that he had better access to her, only detaching his lips from hers so that he could sit up and drag her to the center of the bed once they were freed from the confining sheets. Klara couldn't stop the giggle that escaped her lips, sharing a mischievous smile with her husband and feeling as though they were two hormone-driven teenagers attempting to get frisky whilst also trying not to get caught doing so. Donny was just settling over her again, leaning down to claim her lips in another passionate kiss, when –
"I said no! It's mine!"
They froze mid-kiss as the voice of their eldest child echoed down the hallway – they then both let out simultaneous groans of dissatisfaction. When another child's voice sounded only seconds later, now arguing with the first, Donny pulled his lips from hers and looked down at her with a very disappointed expression. "I warned you." Klara told him regretfully.
"It's six-thirty in the mornin', for fuck's sake." Donny said in utter disbelief, shaking his head. "That's it." He heaved before collapsing on top of her in defeat and resting his head on her chest. "We're puttin' them up for adoption." Klara bit back a grin of amusement and began absent-mindedly toying with his hair. "It's gonna be a long, very painful day…" He murmured, sighing to himself.
"I am sorry, meine liebe." Klara told him, using her favorite pet-name for him and moving a bit so that she could kiss the top of his head – when it became apparent that the arguing children were no closer to resolving whatever issue they had, she gently pushed against her husband's shoulder, urging him to move. Donny immediately protested, even tightened his grip on her so she couldn't escape. "The boys will wake Ava." She told him, shooting him a look.
"Alright…" Donny conceded, rolling onto his back and allowing her to get up.
She felt his eyes on her bare form as she got out of bed and went to retrieve her nightgown, smiling to herself when he cursed regretfully – in true Bear Jew form – under his breath before sighing heavily. Once she was dressed and had slipped on her silken bathrobe, Klara took a quick moment to lean over the bed and plant a lingering kiss on his lips – he wrapped a large hand into her blonde tresses to prolong the kiss before finally releasing her. "Later, husband. I promise."
"I'll hold ya to that, blondie." There was no doubt in her mind that he would. "Better go 'fore I don't let ya – I know ya not wearin' anything underneath that gown…" Donny then warned her, already toying with the hem of her nightgown.
Klara laughed, swatted his hand away playfully, then tossed the covers back over him before heading out of the bedroom to intervene with their arguing sons.
The high-pitched bickering came to an instant halt when Klara opened the door to her and Donny's bedroom, and the two young, arguing boys in the hallway both turned towards their mother in surprise. When it came to their appearance, both of the boys greatly resembled their father – they had olive-toned skin, thick dark hair, and dark-colored eyes framed by impossibly long lashes; both were also currently watching her with the same, wide-eyed expression that Donny wore whenever he did something to provoke her wrath. Klara surveyed the scene for a quick moment, eyeing the toy truck that Lee (their eldest son) and Otto (their second-born) were fighting over, before quirking her eyebrow and crossing her arms.
"What is the meaning of this then?" She asked patiently.
The seven-year-old and soon-to-be six-year-old immediately began attempting to tell their side of the story, both yelling over the other as they each tried to be heard by their mother – they had inherited their father's argumentative streak and her stubbornness to boot, traits that they loved to use against each other and something that would surely drive Klara andDonny to madness at one point or another. She let their yammering go on for another moment before finally raising a hand to silence them.
"Boys, it is too early in the day for this." She reprimanded with a shake of her head. "And far too early to even be playing with your toys." The German added, only feeling slightly guilty for having to scold them – as much as their arguing drove her insane, reprimanding her children was never something she enjoyed. Nevertheless, Klara stood her ground against her sons. "Do you not need to be getting ready for school? Hmm?"
"But Ma – " Lee began to protest.
"School isn't for – " Otto pitched in, trying to help his brother now.
Klara held up another hand to silence them for the second time, effectively ending their argument – they could be as temperamental as they wanted, but both Lee and Otto knew better then to talk back to eitherof their parents. "Give it to me." She instructed, extending her hand in Lee's direction. Otto watched in silence as his older brother stomped over and handed the truck to his mother with a grumpy expression. "Go on, get dressed." She instructed, pointing in the direction of the boys' rooms. "And do not wake your sister." Klara hissed at Otto before he could go stomping into the bedroom he shared with his younger sibling.
Once they had both trudged back into their bedrooms, Klara shook her head and decided that she might as well get breakfast started – she paused by each of the boys' rooms to make sure they were doing as they were told (which they were, but they did not look happy about it), checked on the sleeping Ava, then continued on towards the kitchen.
It had certainly been an adjustment when she left France and moved to Boston with Donny.
Not only had Klara never stepped foot on United States soil before, but the culture was rather different from what she was used to back in Europe. And, as some might have guessed, a German moving into a heavily Jewish community so soon after the war ended had proven to cause a few difficulties in the beginning – war hero's wife or not, many of the people in her and Donny's neighborhood still had been unsure of her while strangers she interacted with in daily life usually regarded her with scorn upon hearing her German accent, as though blaming her for what the Nazis had done. In fact, it had even taken a long while for Donny's family and friends to finally come around. Donny's parentshadn't been very fond of her for the first few years of their marriage, which, admittedly, she had actually somewhat understood – if Klara had been in their shoes and it had been her first-born son that had returned home from war with a German, impregnated wife who also happened to be the sister of a famed Nazi, well…she imagined she might have reacted much the same as they had.
But as time went on and the dust of World War II finally settled, all of that eventually began to fade away. Donny's friends became herfriends, their neighbors warmed up to her and accepted her into the community, and, even though she and her mother-in-law still had their differences now and again, Klara was very much a member of the Donowitz family. Her life was a simple one, a life uncomplicated with all of the danger and secrecy and troubles that had plagued her when she was younger – all of that had been left behind the moment that she and Donny, as a married couple, had stepped onto the plane that would take them to America…to their salvation.
Nearly twenty minutes passed before Lee and Otto, now dressed and ready for school, joined her in the kitchen…or rather, lingered outside of the kitchen doorway and quietly argued over who should walk in first; neither seemed to want to take the lead, both clearly still worried that their mother might be upset. Since Klara had her back turned to them it was easy to conceal her smile of amusement as she heard Otto whisper, "You go."
"No way, you go." Lee hissed back. "You started it anyway."
"I did not." Otto whispered back moodily.
They quickly fell silent and plastered on innocent expressions when Klara turned around, frying pan and spatula in hand. "Come and sit, both of you. Breakfast is ready." She told them to bring a halt to any possible argument that might be hovering on the horizon. The boys did so hastily, elbowing each other the entire way, and took their seats at the kitchen table. They were a bit fidgety while Klara plated their breakfast, glancing between her and each other uncertainly and trying to gauge if they were still in trouble or not, but when they both received kisses on the cheek the boys immediately brightened up. "No more arguing, understood?" She told them pointedly, pointing at them with the spatula.
"Yes, Ma." Lee and Otto answered almost simultaneously, even though she knew without a shadow of doubt that they would not stick true to their word.
Now that the boys were in better spirits they began eating their breakfast and chatting away excitedly about the plans for the upcoming night – Aldo, or Uncle Aldo as the children called him, was in town and would be stopping by for dinner. Klara happily joined in on the conversation as she prepared a plate for Donny and Ava and set them before their designated chairs at the table, equally as excited by the thought of seeing her old friend. Since Aldo was a busy man and lived in an entirely different state, almost two years had gone by since they'd been able to coordinate a visit; she knew Donny was looking forward to seeing his former commanding officer even more then she was.
"Look who I found wanderin' around." Donny announced when he stepped into the kitchen about five minutes later. Klara, who had been plating her own breakfast, turned around before immediately grinning – he was carrying their daughter Ava, who looked tiny against his broad chest and was still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
"Good morning, liebling." Klara said affectionately, moving to Donny's side so she could run a hand over the girl's messy, dark curls and press a kiss to her forehead – unlike her brothers, Ava was the only one so far to have inherited her mother's blue eyes and fair skin. "Did you sleep well?" Ava nodded, smiling at her sleepily as she tucked her head underneath Donny's chin and tightened her arms around him. The sight was heartwarming; it was a widely known fact that Ava absolutely adored her father and worshipped the very ground that he walked on.
"Do I get a kiss, too?" Donny asked as he shifted Ava in his arms, wagging his eyebrows in the process.
Klara smiled and leaned forward to kiss him, placing a hand on his freshly-shaven cheek – though time had aged him the slightest bit, gifting him with a few age-lines and a hint of grey around his temples, Donny was still the most handsome man in the world to her. Having just freshly showered and gotten ready for work, the scent of his aftershave, pomade, and soap engulfed her as her lips lingered against his. She relished in his masculine scent and the feel of his lips for another moment until the boys made sounds of disgust, causing her to pull away with a smirk. "Breakfast is ready." She told him.
"Thank you, I'm starved." He said gratefully, placing Ava in the seat next Otto.
"I should think so." Klara shot at him with a teasing smile, the heat he'd stirred up earlier still simmering within. "You have been quite busy since last night…" She added, looking him over for a moment with a gleam in her eyes.
Donny immediately shot her a heated, albeit warning look – Klara just smiled in response, knowing fully well what she was doing to him and enjoying torturing him a bit. He started to open his mouth and say something in return (probably something equally as saucy), but Lee beat him to the punch. "What are you talking about?" He asked, clearly confused. Otto and Ava both looked equally perplexed.
"Nothin'." Donny answered hastily, wiping the look from his face and heading for his seat as Klara laughed quietly to herself. Donny only paused to ruffle Lee's hair, kissing the top of his head, then did the same to Otto – both boys grumbled a bit as they fixed their hair but Klara knew good and well that they enjoyed the affectionate attention. "So, excited to see Uncle Aldo?" Donny then asked as he settled into his seat at the head of the table and began eating his breakfast.
The question launched the boys, plus a now much more awake Ava, into excited chattering. Klara joined her family at the table after collecting her plate and took the seat opposite of her husband, sharing a smile with Donny as she settled in to have her morning meal with her family.
Now she wasn't entirely sure if it was because of Aldo's impending visit or if it was because this month marked the eight year anniversary of the fateful day that Donny Donowitz literally barged his way into her life, but she could not help but look around at their family, at the life they had made for themselves, and feel awed with how far they had come since the war. Had anyone told her nine years ago that she would someday be married to a handsome, loving, famed Nazi-killer, that they would have three beautiful children and another on the way, and that they would be living in America, Klara surely would have laughed in disbelief. But nevertheless, this blissful life was hers – it amazed her so much sometimes that Klara would have to pinch herself just to make sure that all of this was actually real, and that she wasn't in a dream.
Sometime later, as breakfast was coming to a close, Donny clapped his hands together and checked the time. "Alright, boys. Time for school." He announced. Lee and Otto immediately grumbled and began protesting. "Oh, stop ya whinin'." Donny shot at them with a smirk. "Go get ya stuff for school. We're leavin' in two minutes." He then instructed. "Get a move on."
While the two boys left the table and disappeared into the recesses of the house, Klara continued to eat her breakfast. "When will Aldo arrive?" She asked Donny curiously.
"Around seven, I think." He answered.
"And is he finally bringing a woman with him?" Klara continued with raised eyebrows. "He has been seeing someone, has he not? Someone named…" She struggled to recall the name of Aldo's last girlfriend. "Catherine? Cassandra?"
"Caroline." Donny corrected. "He was seein' her. Not anymore."
Klara was unsurprised by this. Donny and Aldo had gained a good deal of notoriety after the story of Hitler's downfall had spread and this had certainly served the Southerner well – by this point, she had lost count of how many women the rugged man had dated and then left heart-broken in his wake. She looked over at Ava and widened her eyes comically, pulling a giggle from the young girl. "What ever shall we do with your uncle, Ava?" She asked dramatically.
"I can be his girlfriend!" She volunteered with a bright smile.
"Over my dead body." Donny announced with a snort before Klara could get in another word. She smiled over at him in amusement, knowing exactly how overprotective he was of their charming daughter and how much it terrified him to acknowledge the fact that she'd someday be dating. "If I could have it my way, ya'd never leave this house."
Ava just pouted at him in response, making Klara laugh.
Lee and Otto returned in the next moment with their schoolbags in hand, and while Donny stood from his chair and wiped his hands on his napkin, Klara got out of her own seat and went to kiss her sons. "Have a good day at school." She told them as Donny leaned over to kiss Ava on the cheek and say his goodbyes. "Study hard and pay attention." The German then instructed. "I love you both." Klara finished before turning her attention to her husband when he appeared at her side, a hand come to rest on her back.
"I'll meet you at the door." Donny said to Lee and Otto, sending them on their way. As they left, he looked down at her with a growing smirk. "How 'bout I try'ta leave the shop early today? Maybe then we can…" He glanced over at Ava for a moment. "…get ready…before Aldo's here." He stated suggestively, his hand sliding lower on her back.
"Do not hold your breath, I will probably be too busy." She answered with a sweet smile before leaning up and kissing him – he immediately deepened the kiss, their tongues reacquainting themselves as he pulled her closer. Klara leaned into him for a moment, enjoying the kiss, then gently pulled away. "Alright, I will think about it." She conceded, drawing a devilish look from him. "I love you, Mr. Donowitz." She murmured, pressing one last, quick kiss against his lips.
"I love ya, too, Mrs. Donowitz. I'll see ya later." He responded in kind. "Bye, munchkin." He added, smiling at Ava before turning to trail after the boys.
Klara watched him go for a moment before turning back to Ava, smiling and shaking her head in amusement when she saw that she child had managed to get half of her plate on her pajamas rather then in her mouth – distantly she heard the front door open and close, signaling the departure of Donny, Lee, and Otto. Klara walked over to the table and patted Ava on the head, sharing a smile with her. "Come, Ava. Let's get you cleaned up."
Later that evening…
After there was an enthusiastic exchange of greetings filled with hugs and excited words, after their hearty dinner had been consumed, the happy reunion taking place in the Donowitz house finally moved into the living room. In the lounge chair next to the radio sat Donny, relaxing and nursing a drink, while on the floor in front of him were Lee and Otto, both still playing with the new toys that had been gifted to them by the Donowitz's guest. Klara was sitting on the couch with a sleeping Ava resting against her chest – the three-year-old had tried valiantly to stay awake but the late hour had finally won the battle – and next to them sat their guest for the evening, Lieutenant Aldo Raine.
"Another, Aldo?" Donny asked, holding up the bottle of whiskey that the Southerner had brought and waving it at him invitingly.
Aldo half-smiled and nodded his head, holding his glass out towards his friend. "Don't mind if I do, Sergeant Donowitz."
Donny didn't hesitate to fill his glass up, pouring him a generous helping. Klara sighed contentedly as she listened to the music sounding from the radio and relaxed further into her seat, bringing her own glass of red wine up to her lips so she could take a sip – her eyes met Donny's for a moment and she offered him a loving smile, a gesture he responded to with a lopsided smile and a quick wink.
"So…" Aldo said, catching the couple's attention again. "How's business at the barber shop treatin' ya, Donowitz?" He asked Donny conversationally, draping a casual arm over the back of the couch as he made himself comfortable.
"Not bad, Lieutenant." Donny answered with a nod of his head, settling into his own chair again as he set the whiskey back down on the table. "Finally talked Pop into expanding, so we've got a bigger place now. Hired on a few extra guys, too." He explained. "It's goin' good so far. Busy, but good."
Donny had said all of this with a proud smile on his face and Klara could not help but to feel proud too, having always admired his dedication and loyalty to the family business; his involvement with Hitler's demise had opened up many doors for Donny upon returning to the States, but he'd stuck true to what he loved and enjoyed and had gone back to work with his father as soon as they had settled back in Boston – the idea now was that he would takeover the business whenever his father finally retired, and this was a plan that both Donny and Klara were perfectly content with.
"Good'ta hear, good'ta hear…" Aldo said, nodding his head to Donny before taking a long drink.
"And you?" Klara asked, resting her chin on top of Ava's head as she turned her eyes over to Aldo. "What have you been busying yourself with?"
"Well, ya'd be happy'ta hear that I finally got outta the moonshinin' business." He announced, looking proud of himself – Donny and Klara shared surprised looks. "Truth be told, tanglin' up with the law was gettin'ta be kinda tirin', not'ta mention I can only use the 'I helped kill Hitler' line so many times…" Donny chuckled, shaking his head in amusement while Klara rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "Opened me up a little bar instead, right there on the edge'a town. Business is goin' perty good so far."
"I am glad for you, Aldo." Klara told him, happy to hear that he'd finally stepped away from a business that could put him behind bars (well, maybe not for long – he was still Aldo the Apache) and that he was now running a proper business. "Now all you need is a good woman in your life. It is time to settle down, is it not?" She questioned pointedly, making Donny conceal his grin of amusement by taking a large gulp of his whiskey.
Aldo waved a hand, dismissing her suggestion with a snort. "Not really a priotity'a mine, Mrs. Donowitz." He told her truthfully. But then he smirked over at her, a hint of mischief gleaming in his eyes. "'Sides, all the good one'r taken." Aldo said before winking and taking another drink.
Klara flashed him a flattered smile while Donny quirked an eyebrow at his friend good-naturedly. "Ya hittin' on my wife, Lieutenant?" He asked with a mock-threatening tone.
"Why I'd never do such'a thing." Was Aldo's dead-panned response. The three of them chuckled for a moment, enjoying the light, companionable air that had surrounded them – it was nice to be in each other's company again and not under extreme circumstances, as had been the case so many times in the past. After a few moments of silence, where the living room's occupants listened to the radio or played with their toys, Aldo spoke again. "I talked'ta Utivich not that long ago, him 'n 'is wife'r expectin' another child." He updated them.
"That right?" Donny asked with raised eyebrows – Klara took a moment to try and remember how many children the Basterd already had; she was fairly certain this would be his seventh (he'd already had one child before going to war, something she hadn't learned of until they were on their way to the States). "Busy man." Her husband commented with a smirk.
"Yeah, seems 'e ain't the only one." Aldo reminded him. "Congratulations, by the way." He added, raising his drink to Donny first, then to Klara. "How 'bout you boys?" He continued, his inquiry directed at the two Donowitz boys. The question quickly drew the attention of Lee and Otto. "You excited 'bout havin' another brother 'r sister?"
Lee and Otto both nodded, though the older of the two boys was much more interested in his toy then he was in talking about his future sibling – Lee's attention shifted back to his toy almost at once, but Otto's stayed focus on Aldo. "I hope it's a boy." He piped up truthfully while nodding his head.
Aldo smirked. "Why's that?"
Otto glanced at Ava, pulling a little face. "One little sister's enough, Uncle Aldo. Trust me." He stated with wide eyes.
This pulled a round of laughter from the three adults – they chuckled heartily as Donny reached over to ruffle Otto's hair, but Klara instantly fell silent when she realized that the young child in her arms was beginning to squirm. The German glanced down with a cautious look, hoping she hadn't woken Ava, then frowned apologetically when the young girl raised her head and began to rub at her eyes tiredly.
"Momma…" She half-questioned, half-whined, looking a bit disoriented as she slowly began to wake up again.
The men instantly fell silent while Klara clicked her tongue regretfully. "I am sorry we woke you, liebling." She apologized, kissing her dark curls. Ava yawned widely, pulling a smile from Klara, then rubbed her eyes again. "Are you ready for bed?" Klara asked knowingly.
The German started to get up when the little girl nodded her head, but did not make it very far before her husband was getting out of his chair and ushering her back down to the couch. "I'll take her to bed." He offered, pressing a quick kiss to Klara's lips before gently lifting Ava from her lap. "You just relax." Donny ordered next – he then smiled at Ava, nodding his head towards Aldo. "Wanna give your Uncle Aldo a goodnight kiss?"
Klara had to hide a smirk behind her hand at the face Aldo pulled when Ava nodded her head. Though the man liked the Donowitz children just fine, he was not, by any means, a touchy-feely person. And, more often then not, the attention the kids lavished on him at Donny and Klara's encouragement usually made him uncomfortable…which truth be told, the couple only insisted the children be so affectionate in the first place just because they both found their friend's awkwardness to be downright hilarious. And at that moment, Aldo did not disappoint as Donny helped Ava lean over so she could plant a kiss on his cheek and tell him goodnight – he stuck true to form, offered a pinched smile, and awkwardly patted Ava on top of her head.
"G'night, runt." Aldo told her gruffly. To anyone else he might have sounded unfeeling, but since they knew him the words actually seemed rather affectionate.
As Donny straightened up to his full height again and shifted Ava in his arms, he cast a look down at his sons. "C'mon, boys. Bedtime for you, too." The two boys almost immediately started to protest since they both wanted to stay and visit with the adults, but their father shook his head at once. "Ya stayed up late enough already and ya got school in the mornin'." He reminded them sternly. "Bedtime."
Lee and Otto grumbled in disapproval but got to their feet obediently. They stopped so that Klara could kiss them both on the forehead, they both hugged (a still very uncomfortable looking) Aldo and thanked him for their gifts, then the boys begrudgingly followed their father and younger sister out of the living room. Aldo watched them go for a moment before turning his attention over to Klara.
"They're gettin' big." He commented, shaking his head and finishing his glass of whiskey. "Seems only yesterday you was pregnant with Lee."
"You do not have to tell me." Klara agreed with a sigh, getting to her feet so she could grab the whiskey bottle and refill Aldo's glass. "Time passes so quickly now that I can hardly keep track of it anymore. Before I know it, I might find myself with grey hair and grown children and it will have come in the blink of an eye."
While Klara began refilling Aldo's glass, the Southerner turned a curious look up at her. "Ya'll told the boys anythin' 'bout the war? Ya know, now that they're older?"
Klara pursed her lips and shrugged a shoulder, setting the bottle down now that Aldo's glass was full again. "There is some that they know, but much they do not." She revealed. "They have been asking many questions recently...but how could they not when their father is constantly being stopped by strangers wanting to express their gratitude?"
Aldo nodded his head. "Guess that would spark'a bit of curiosity, eh?" Klara nodded her agreement as she settled back onto the couch. "I been meanin'ta ask – do ya still speak'ta those Remy 'n Dieter fellas?"
A grin stretched across the German's face at the mention of her longtime friends, and she nodded her head in confirmation at once. "Oh yes, especially Remy." She told him. "How could I not? He did, after all, save my life." Klara then said, even though Aldo did not need reminding since he had been present at the time. "Remy and his family plan to visit this summer actually. I am quite looking forward to it – the last time he visited was just after Otto's birth." They fell silent for a few seconds until Klara smiled at her friend, reaching over to place a hand on his shoulder. "It is good to see you, Aldo. You should visit more often."
When Aldo turned his head and met her gaze, there was a small smile on his face – it was a rather warm expression for a man like Aldo Raine. "It's good'ta see ya too, Donowitz." He reciprocated, reaching up to pat her hand before he knocked back some of his drink. "And I'm happy fer you 'n Donny. Ya'll come a long way."
Klara nodded her head in concurrence, sipping her wine quietly for a moment. "I was thinking that very thing earlier today." Klara admitted, looking to Aldo with another small smile. "I always have thoughts like that this time of year." Klara then raised her eyebrows at Aldo. "Donny and I will have met eight years ago this month."
"Eight years? Already?" Aldo let out a low whistle and shook his head for a moment, looking awed, before a curious look overtook his rugged features. "Do ya ever think about all that? About them?" He asked bluntly, his eyebrows furrowing together interestedly.
"About Landa and Kurt?" She asked equally as direct – the names felt strange on her tongue since it had been years since she'd uttered either one of them. Aldo nodded in confirmation. "Not really." Klara admitted with a shake of her head. And it was the truth - she'd long pushed them into the recesses of her mind, seeing absolutely no reason to dwell on either man now that they were out of her life. "Sometimes I might think of Kurt in passing, perhaps when it is his birthday or when I hear his name on the street, but I do not usually think on him for long." Klara explained. "And as for Landa, well…I ignored anything and everything having to do with him while he was still living."
Aldo nodded his head. "I don't blame ya." He stated before pursing his lips. "Ya know, two years have already gone by since Landa bit the dust. It's too bad 'is killers weren't never caught, they deserve a medal fer what they did." Aldo thought on this for another moment – probably recalling the not-so-pleasant details surrounding the night Hans Landa was murdered in his home – before shrugging his shoulders. "Oh well, asshole still got what 'e deserved."
Klara nodded her head in agreement, having heard this very statement from her husband at least a hundred times before. "That he did."
Donny chose that moment to reenter the room, letting out a sigh of relief as he made his way over to them. "Kids are finally settled in." Donny announced, snatching up his abandoned glass of whiskey before flopping down into his chair ungracefully. "Now the real fun can begin."
This had been said with a glint in his eye that Klara knew could only mean trouble – she knew good and well how rowdy Donny and Aldo could get when they were reunited and, more often then not, she was usually the one tending to two beyond-intoxicated men at the end of the night. The German decided that there was no use trying to deny the inevitable and stood from her seat, intent on at least getting the kitchen cleaned up before she had two drunken fools on her hands. But Donny seemed to have another idea in mind, because as soon as she was on her feet he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her onto his lap.
"And where are you goin', Mrs. Donowitz?" He questioned with a quirk of his eyebrow.
"To clean the kitchen, Mr. Donowitz." She responded with a sweet smile. When Donny frowned and started to protest her leaving, she placed a finger over his lips to silence him. "It has been ages since Aldo was here last – you two stay here and enjoy a one on one conversation for once, yes? I will be back in a short while to rejoin the festivities, I promise." Klara reassured him before kissing his forehead and then gently disentangling herself from him grasp. "Now drink and reminisce." She commanded the men, heading for the kitchen now. "I will return shortly."
"Don't gotta tell me twice." Aldo stated; Klara saw him down the rest of his drink just before she turned the corner. "Refill me, Sergeant Donowitz." His voice echoed down the hall good-naturedly. "That's an order."
Klara was seated in front of her vanity, preparing for bed and running a brush through her hair, when Donny finally entered the bedroom and quietly shut the door behind him. He immediately began to undress, working at the buttons of his shirt with unhurried fingers. When he shrugged the button-up shirt off of his shoulders and tossed it away carelessly, Klara could not help but watch him through the mirror and admire the sight he presented – his sleeveless undershirt didn't do much to conceal his muscled back from her eyes. Donny must have felt her staring because he turned to face her, not looking as unsteady on his feet as Klara had expected him to be by this point in the night.
"Is Aldo sleeping on the couch?" Klara asked, raising her eyebrows at him through the reflection in the mirror.
"Yeah, passed out more like. I didn't trust 'im to get back to his hotel in one piece." Donny said with a nod. He started to make his way over and didn't stop moving until he was right behind her – Klara smiled as he leaned down to wrap his arms around her and pressed a few kisses along the column of her neck. "You're lookin' very beautiful tonight, Mrs. Donowitz." He complimented.
"Thank you. You are rather dashing yourself." She said in return, setting her brush down with a contented smile.
Donny tilited his head and silently watched her for a moment. "What'cha thinkin' about?" He asked, choosing to prop his chin up on her shoulder instead as his eyes met hers through mirror.
Klara sighed and leaned back against him, reaching up to place one of her hands on his sturdy arm. "I am thinking how happy I am." She told him truthfully. "Happy to have this home, our children…you." A smiled turned one corner of Donny's mouth upward. "I am grateful for everything we have been blessed with."
Donny sighed and turned his head, moving a hand now so that he could gently turn her face towards his – his lips met hers in a lingering, loving kiss. "I am too." He said once he'd pulled away just far enough to be able to meet her gaze again. "We've come a long way, haven't we, blondie?"
"We have." Klara agreed, toying with his hair for a moment – then she cracked a grin. "Now that I think about it, it has been years since I last saw you covered in blood." She said teasingly. Then she quirked an eyebrow at him. "Has the Bear Jew turned docile?"
"Absolutely not." He denied a bit huffily. "He's just waitin' for the right time to show himself. Just wait until the boys'r teenagers…you'll see." Donny joked back, making her laugh quietly for a moment. Donny then leaned forward and pressed his forehead against hers. "I love you, Klare." He told her, the expression on his face a bit more serious now.
Klara moved her hand to his cheek – by God she loved this man. "And I love you, meine liebe." She responded before kissing him again. "Now take me to bed, lover." Klara whispered breathlessly once they parted again. "I believe I made you a promise."
A devilish smirk appeared on the corner of Donny's mouth and he wasted no time complying with her request, quickly pulling the German up to her feet before scooping her up effortlessly in his arms. Klara laughed lightly, wrapping her arms around his neck as she was carried bridal style to their bed, but did not turn her eyes away from the loving gaze of her husband even once – he only paused so that he could turn off the lamp on the bedside table, then gently set her down on the mattress before joining her in bed.
Yes, her life was a happy one now and so very different from the one she'd led in Europe. There was no more war threatening to destroy them them, no more enemies hovering around or trying to disrupt the peaceful existence they'd worked so hard for – now it was only her, Donny, their family, and a life full of love and peacefulness laid out before them.
When she had still been a Bathurst and hoping for a future just like this with the man called Bear Jew, she hadn't known whether this life could even be possible; it had seemed like an unobtainable dream. Yet here they were, married and in love and raising a family together. The life that she'd yearned, that she and Donny had dreamt of in the darkest of times, was not only real but also far better then either of them could have ever imagined. She and Donny had overcome the hardest of obstacles but had prevailed and been given a second chance. They had three beautiful children, another addition on the way, and a comfortable life in Boston. But best of all, they still had each other.
And neither Klara Donowitz, nor her husband, ever intended to take what they had for granted.
Oh. Em. Gee. It. Is. Done.
I would just like to say a big, huge, GIGANTIC thank you to everyone that has stuck by Donny and Klara and saw them along this journey. It's been a long road for everyone and I'm happy to have provided so many with a story that they enjoyed so much. I also loved this story and Donny & Klara...I've had a wonderful time writing this and its been an honor. Thank you so much for all of the support you guys! Hope to see you again!