Hi all! So I'm sure a lot of you are surprised/confused to be getting a new update for this story, but this little one-shot popped into my head and I had to get it down! I debated posting it as its own stand along thing, but then decided it would probably be better to just add it to the end of Fraulein and the Basterd if I wanted it to reach the people who would really want to read more about Klara and Donny. Hope you guys like it!
Just for a little insight, the idea that fueled this little blurb is this: Klara and Donny's daughter is grown and going on her first date, and it basically makes Donny have an existential crisis.
Klara finished securing the zip on the back of her daughter's dress, then stepped back and clasped her hands together, smiling widely. Ava, her one and only daughter, looked incredible. At fifteen years of age, she had blossomed into an absolutely beautiful young woman. And in that moment, as she stood there in her formal dress, with her dark hair done in a pretty style and her makeup looking perfect, that beauty only shone brighter. Klara suddenly felt emotional as she wondered how Ava had grown up so quickly. What had happened to the energetic little girl who had played baseball with her brothers until the sun went down? Where was the young girl who had played dress up in Klara's clothes and followed her father everywhere he went as if she were his shadow? That little girl was gone, replaced by the gorgeous, mature, young woman standing before her now. The same beautiful, young woman who was about to go to her first formal dance at school.
Ava smoothed her hands over her pale blue dress, then turned around to face Klara. "How do I look?" she asked nervously, uncertainty shining clear in the blue eyes she had inherited from Klara.
Klara stepped forward and placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders. "You look stunning, liebling," she told her with a wide smile. "Nathan will not know what to do with himself when he sees you."
Ava's shoulders instantly relaxed under Klara's hands and a smile of relief stretched across her pretty face. "Good!" she said, before turning back to the mirror to check her makeup.
The chiming of the grandfather clock in the living room had Klara patting Ava on the shoulder and heading for the door. "He will be here soon," she said. "I will get his boutonniere ready while you finish up."
Ava smiled at her through the reflection in the mirror. "Thanks, Mama," she said.
Klara nodded, then turned to leave Ava's bedroom. Just as she reached the door, however, it swung open and a short, dark-haired figured suddenly burst in. It was Omar, Klara's fourth and youngest child. The twelve year old darted past her before Klara could stop him and planted himself next to Ava's vanity, leaning casually against the mirror and looking up at her with dark, scrutinizing eyes. The smirk that had appeared on his face was a familiar one – in fact, it was the exact same one that Donny wore whenever he was going to say something sarcastic.
Klara knew, without a doubt, that Omar had every intention of teasing his sister – he was fully aware of how nervous she was about her date tonight and clearly wanted to seize the opportunity to give her a hard time about it, something his older brothers would have happily done themselves if they had not been away at college. Being the youngest and having gone through years of being picked on by Lee and Otto, he'd had no choice but to toughen up and, over time, had developed a bit of a harsh sense of humor. And there was nobody he loved to take that out on more than his sister, who was always an easy target when it came to her brothers' mischief.
"You're wearing that?" Omar asked, his tone full of doubt as he looked his sister over.
Ava froze, then turned a look on her younger brother. "And what is wrong with what I'm wearing?" she asked defensively, narrowing her eyes at Omar.
"Nothin'…if you're tryin' to scare the guy away!" Omar said with a snort.
Ava bristled and shot a pleading look at Klara, clearly wanting her to intervene. Klara, in turn, frowned and crossed her arms over her chest, her stern gaze settling on her youngest son. "Omar," she said firmly, making the boy look to her. "Leave your sister alone. Now is not the time."
Omar held his hands up, his expression becoming a mask of innocence. "What? I'm just talkin' to her, Ma," he said innocently.
Klara, who was very much not in the mood to play referee, threw her hands up and turned to leave. "I will be back in a moment," she said. "Try not to kill each other while I am gone."
She left Ava's room and started down the hall, unsurprised when, only seconds after she left, she heard the two siblings begin to bicker at each other. Klara rolled her eyes and sighed heavily, wondering when the years of her children finding joy in tormenting each other would come to an end. But then she thought of Lee and Otto, who were now nineteen and eighteen respectively, and how they still loved to pick on each other to this day. The tormenting would likely never come to an end, she was sad to admit to herself. Not until they were all adults and had families of their own, anyway. Or so she hoped.
Klara walked through the living room, glancing at the arm chair near the sofa, where her husband of twenty years, Donny Donowitz, sat. "I swear," she said as she passed by, "Omar is becoming more and more like you the older he gets."
Donny said nothing in response, just grunted. Not thinking much of his lackluster response, Klara continued on with every intention of going into the kitchen to retrieve the boutonniere that Ava had gotten for her date and then hurrying back to her daughter's bedroom before her children went to war with one another. But after only a few feet she stopped and frowned, because it finally registered in her mind that something was off with the man she loved more than anyone in the whole world.
Turning back around, Klara went back toward her husband. Donny was in his fifties now, though one would have thought him younger just by looking at him. He had only a bit of gray around his temples and a few fine age lines on his face, but otherwise was still fit and still as handsome as ever. Currently, however, he sat in his favorite chair in dead silence, his elbows resting on the arm rests and his fingers steepled together in front of him, his lips turned downward in a frown. Klara came to a halt just in front of him, one eyebrow lifting upward.
"Donny," she said slowly. "What are you doing?"
He looked up at her and gave her the same, far too innocent expression that Omar had only moments ago. "I'm just sittin' here," he answered, his tone just as innocent as his expression.
Klara looked at her husband, then looked down at the object next to him, the very object that had made her turn back in the first place. "And why is that out?" she asked.
Donny raised his brows, then grabbed the object she was referring to. It was his treasured bat, the one that he had used to bash in the heads of Nazis during the war. For the past twenty years it had been on display on a shelf in the study, normally going untouched unless Donny was showing it off to friends or if it became dusty and needed to be cleaned. Now, however, Donny leaned it casually against his shoulder, looking so very much like The Bear Jew she had first fallen in love with that it made Klara's heart skip a beat.
"Well," Donny said, his tone perfectly casual, "my plan was to sit down with Ava's date and show him my friend here," he explained. "I heard he's a fan, so I thought he'd be interested to hear about all the Nazi skulls I caved in during the war."
Klara nodded slowly. "Alright," she said. "And then what?" she asked next, having a feeling there was more to this than Donny was currently letting on.
Donny smiled now, but it was a smile that immediately put Klara on alert. It was not the sweet, warm, loving smile she was used to seeing – it was the demented, possessed one that he had always worn when killing, or talking about killing, Nazis.
"Then I intend to inform him that if he decides to try anything with our daughter, then The Bear Jew's gonna come outta retirement. And he's gonna be the first victim," he said matter-of-factly.
Klara had had a feeling that might've been what Donny was going to do. Sighing, Klara stepped closer and pinned her husband with the same stern look she'd given their son. "Donny. Meine liebe. I understand you are not thrilled that Ava has a date to the dance tonight, but you cannot threaten to kill him," she told him firmly.
"Sure I can," Donny countered, clearly not seeing the issue here.
"Ava likes this boy," Klara reminded him quickly. "And if you scare him away, she will be extremely upset. Is that what you want? To hurt your daughter's feelings and make her angry with you?" she questioned.
Donny snorted and gave Klara a look. "What I want is for our daughter's innocence to still be intact by the end of the night," he shot back, finally getting up from the chair and standing to his full height. "I was that kid's age once," he told her, his brows raising knowingly. "I know damn well that boys like him only want one thing. And if this little schmuck thinks he's gonna get it from my daughter, then he's got another thing comin'."
Klara sighed and closed the distance between them so she could place a hand on her husband's neck. "Donny, Ava is a good girl," she said reassuringly. "She would never do anything like that. You know that." When Donny just grumbled under his breath, Klara gave him a look. "Do you not trust your own daughter?"
"Me not trustin' her ain't the problem," he said. "It's that kid I don't trust."
"You do not even know him," Klara pointed out.
"I don't wanna know him," Donny retorted sourly.
Klara sighed and started to say something else, but a knock on the door beat her to the punch. She glanced at the front door, then looked back to her husband. Donny's expression had gone from unhappy to aggressive in the blink of an eye, his handsome features set in a menacing scowl now as he glared at the door. He moved to walk past her so he could go answer the door, but Klara stepped in front of him and stopped him with a hand on his chest. His eyes dropped to hers, and as their gazes met, she pointed a firm finger at him.
"I will answer the door," she said, leaving no room for argument.
Donny grumbled under his breath again, but didn't try to stop her as she turned and went to the front door. Klara paused with her hand on the knob to shoot one last warning look at her husband, before putting on a friendly smile and finally opening the door.
There was a good looking kid of about sixteen on the other side. He was tall, slender, and had both dark hair and dark eyes. He was dressed in a suit that looked perhaps a little bit too big for him and carried a small, plastic box that contained the corsage he would soon be giving to Ava. As he smiled at Klara, it was very obvious that he was extremely nervous – his cheeks had gone bright red, he couldn't seem to stand still, and he gulped audibly as he nodded to her.
"Good evening, Mrs. Donowitz," he greeted politely.
"Hello. You must be Nathan, yes?" she said in a friendly tone. When the kid nodded, Klara stepped aside and motioned for him to come in. "Please, come inside. Ava is almost ready."
After Nathan came into the house, Klara shut the door behind him. She turned and saw that Donny had not moved from the spot that she had left him in. She also noticed, with a cringe, that he had not put down his bat. Nathan himself stood rooted to the spot, his eyes trained on Donny with a combination of fear and admiration, clearly too nervous to do or say anything. When Klara cleared her throat, Donny tore his gaze from Nathan and looked at her. Klara gave Donny a look and glanced pointedly at Nathan, silently signaling that he should greet the boy who would be taking their daughter out. Donny stared at her for a second, then finally moved toward Nathan. When he reached the kid, who was practically shaking like a leaf by now, he extended a hand.
"Donny Donowitz," her husband said authoritatively to introduce himself, even though Nathan already knew very well who he was.
Nathan looked at the hand Donny had extended, glanced at the bat that still rested against his shoulder, then finally shook Donny's hand. "N-Nathan Kauffman," he said.
The two shook hands for a moment, and Klara did not miss the way Nathan winced as they did. No doubt Donny was trying to squeeze the life out of his hand. She decided to intervene and moved to Donny's side, resting a hand on her husband's back and giving him a quick, meaningful look. Donny easily deciphered the meaning of her silent message and released Nathan's hand. Neither of them missed the way Nathan shook his hand out slightly, as if trying to get rid of the pain that was likely there now.
"We have heard so much about you," Klara said, her friendly smile never faltering. "It is so nice to finally meet you and put a face to the name."
"Thank you, Mrs. Donowitz," Nathan said with a jittery smile. "I've heard a lot about you as well. Both of you," he added, shooting a look at Donny. He hesitated, then turned toward Donny a little more and stood a bit straighter. "Mr. Donowitz, sir, I would just like to say how…how honored I am to meet ya," he said, seeming to gain some of confidence back. "You are a real hero, and I feel lucky to be standing in front of ya now."
Klara smiled at those kind words. Donny, however, didn't seem all that impressed. "You should feel lucky to be takin' my daughter out," he corrected the kid. "Trust me when I say that ya not the first one 'ta come around here lookin' to take her out. You are the first one she seems 'ta actually like though." Donny then snorted and gave Nathan a once over. "Can't see why," he added doubtfully.
Nathan turned beet red, while Klara immediately shot her husband a look. "Donny," she hissed sharply. "Be nice," she told him in German.
"This is me bein' nice," he muttered back in English, having been married to her long enough and heard her speak German enough times to understand her native language now.
"Trust me, Mr. Donowitz," Nathan spoke up as he recovered from his embarrassment. "I am honored to have Ava as my date tonight. And I swear to you that I will take very good care of her. She will be perfectly safe with me," he said with a reassuring nod.
"She better be," Donny said warningly, his eyes flashing. He then took a step forward and pointed at Nathan with his bat. Nathan pressed his lips together tightly and his eyes crossed a little as he eyed the end of the weapon with trepidation. "Because if somethin' happens to my little girl, ya got me and her two older brothers 'ta answer to for it," he threatened.
"And me too," a new voice interjected, making everyone glance toward the hallway.
Omar had evidently decided to stop teasing Ava and had come into the living room to see his older sister's date. He now stood with his arms crossed over his chest and wore a scowl that was eerily similar to Donny's, his eyes narrowing as he glared at Nathan. As much as he loved to give his sister a hard time, Klara knew that he adored her. And despite him being younger, that didn't stop him from being protective of her.
Omar walked toward them and came to a halt between Klara and Donny. Donny gave his son a proud look and rested a hand on his shoulder, looking even more menacing now that he had reinforcements. Klara just closed her eyes and sighed heavily, shaking her head and feeling helpless to stop what was happening.
"That's four Donowitz men ya gotta deal with if ya do somethin' stupid, boy," Donny told him with a smirk. "It'd do ya good to keep that in my mind if ya start feelin'…" Donny paused and gave him another glaring once over. "Frisky," he finally finished.
Nathan gulped audibly, then vigorously shook his head. "I would never do anything like that, Mr. Donowitz," he insisted, his voice shaking a bit. "I would never do anything to disrespect Ava. I swear it."
Donny gave the frightened teenager a long, hard look, as if trying to determine whether or not he was lying. Finally, after evidently coming to the decision that he was indeed being truthful, he nodded firmly. "Damn right ya wouldn't," he said, and Klara knew that was about as close to any sort of approval that Nathan was going to get.
A moment of tense silence passed after that, where no one said or did anything. Unable to stand the tension any longer, Klara decided it was time to collect Ava so that she and her date could move along before Donny said or did anything to spoil their evening. Just as she started to move, however, Ava mercifully stepped into view, looking shy and nervous and seemingly unaware of the uncomfortable conversation that had just taken place.
Everyone looked at Ava, and Klara couldn't help but smile proudly when she saw how stunned Nathan was by her beauty. She glanced up at Donny, whose expression had finally lost some of his edge now that he was looking at his daughter, then raised her brows at him when she was able to catch his eye. He sighed heavily, the fight leaving his features at once, replaced by something that looked like resignation.
"Ava, you look…" Nathan paused, letting out a breath, before smiling. "You look absolutely beautiful."
Ava blushed again. "Thank you. You…you look really good, too," she said in return.
Nathan grinned, looking equally bashful. "Thank you."
Ava shared another smile with her date, then looked over to her father. When she saw that Donny was holding his prized bat, she almost immediately frowned with alarm. "Daddy?" she asked uncertainly. "Why do you have the bat?"
Donny cleared his throat, looking like a kid who'd just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Just, uh…showin' it off," he lied, before quickly moving to place it on his chair, well out of reaching distance.
Klara took that moment to finally retrieve the boutonniere for Nathan. She went into the kitchen to take it out of the refrigerator, before walking back into the living room and handing it to Ava. Soon enough, the two began helping each other put on the corsage and boutonniere while Klara, after quickly grabbing the camera, stood nearby and took several pictures. When they had finished, the two teenagers posed dutifully while Klara took a few extra snaps of them by the fireplace, looking awkward, but still sweet, as they smiled for the camera. Klara thought she heard another grumble from Donny when Nathan's hand found its way on Ava's waist, but he didn't say anything aloud about it.
Klara finally stopped taking pictures after Ava gave her a pointed look that said they needed to get going. "Alright then," she said, setting the camera down. "Have a wonderful time tonight! Be safe and dance until your feet hurt!" she encouraged.
"We will," Ava said with a smile.
Klara hugged Ava tightly, then released her and stepped aside so that Donny could hug her next. He sighed as he wrapped a strong arm around his daughter's shoulders, but smiled down at her nonetheless. "You look beautiful, munchkin," he told her sincerely, which made Ava beam so bright, the sun paled in comparison to her smile. "Have fun, alright?"
"Thank you, Daddy. We will," she said with a nod.
Donny let Ava go, albeit reluctantly so, then turned a look on Nathan. "When does the dance end?"
"Ten o'clock, sir," he answered.
"Then Ava better be home by ten thirty sharp, ya got that?" Donny demanded with a stern point of his finger.
"Daddy – " Ava started to say.
"Ten. Thirty. Sharp," Donny repeated with emphasis this time.
"Yes, sir," Nathan immediately agreed, nodding quickly.
Ava, having finally picked up on the fact that her father was on edge and that it was probably time to get her date out of the house before anything went awry, grabbed Nathan by the hand. "Alright, we should go! We'll be back later! Bye!" she said hurriedly.
Ava practically dragged Nathan to the door after that. As they walked outside, Klara, Donny, and Omar followed them, stopping once they were in the open doorway to see them off. Klara smiled in approval as Nathan, who appeared to have driven his parents' car, helped Ava into the passenger seat like a gentleman. When Nathan hurried around to the driver's side, he paused before getting in to wave to them one last time. Klara waved back while Donny merely glared and crossed his arms over his chest. As for Omar, he scowled and pointed to his own eyes with his index and middle finger, before then pointing said fingers threateningly at Nathan in a silent warning of I'm watching you. Nathan quickly jumped into the vehicle after that, then the two were on their way.
They all watched the car go until it had disappeared around the corner. Once it was no longer in sight, Klara raised her brows at Donny. "Well?"
Donny shook his head. "I don't like him," he grunted.
"Me neither," Omar agreed.
Klara looked at her husband, glanced down at her son, then rolled her eyes to the heavens. Of course they didn't like Nathan. She would bet that Lee and Otto would have said the same thing if they had been present, too. "Well, I liked him," she said firmly. "He seemed sweet."
"He seemed like a wimpy little – " Donny began to say in return.
"Donny," Klara interrupted, knowing fully well that her husband had been about to call the poor kid a bad name. "Not in front of Omar," she scolded.
Donny heaved, then finally headed back inside. Klara ushered Omar inside next, then followed them in and shut the door. Omar immediately went to sit in front of the television and watch his favorite evening show, his attention shifting elsewhere now that Ava was gone. As for Donny, however, he went to retrieve his bat, before heading for the door again. Klara stepped into his path, feeling genuinely concerned for a moment that he was going to follow Nathan and Ava to the dance.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"I ain't goin' to kill the kid, if that's what ya thinkin'" he said with a heave. "I'm just goin' onto the porch. That alright with you?"
Klara eyed him suspiciously, then finally nodded and moved aside. "Just try not to hit anyone with that thing, alright?" she called after him as he opened the door and stepped outside.
"No promises," she heard Donny mutter before he slammed the door shut behind him.
Klara sighed and shook her head once Donny was outside, then turned a look on Omar. He just shrugged at her, then turned his attention back to his show.
Klara let Omar stay up a little later than usual since it was a Friday night, but he still fell asleep in front of the television before nine. It took a lot of poking and prodding – Omar tended to sleep like the dead – but finally she managed to wake him long enough to get him off the living room floor and into bed, where she tucked him in and kissed his dark hair before leaving him to sleep.
With Omar in bed, Klara went back into the living room, where she shut off the television. She then went into the kitchen and grabbed the wine that had been opened at dinner to pour herself another glass. With her wine in hand, she went back into the living room, heading straight for the record player this time. She perused the record collection that nearly every member of the family had contributed to by now before she finally settled on one by one of her favorite German singers. The record was one of the few that she had brought with her when she had moved to America after the war.
When the familiar music began to play, Klara swayed in place for a few moments, smiling to herself as she closed her eyes and sang along with the song. When she opened her eyes again, she looked to the clock, which told her it wasn't even nine fifteen yet. Klara took a sip of wine, then glanced toward the front window. She could see Donny's silhouette as he sat on the front porch in the chair he had not left even once since going outside. Sighing to herself, she contemplated her next course of action before setting her wine down and going to the front door. She opened the door and then leaned against the frame, crossing her arms as she waited for Donny to acknowledge her. When he finally looked at her, she raised her brows.
"You have been out here for two hours," she said. "Do you intend to stay there all night?" she asked.
"No. Just another hour or so," Donny answered with a casual shrug.
So he planned to stay there until Ava came home, then. With a sigh, Klara pushed off the doorframe and went to stand in front of him. "Come inside," she said. When Donny made no move to get up and turned his eyes back to the street, Klara reached out to brush some of his hair back. "Please, meine liebe," she said in a gentle tone. "Will you come inside with me?"
Donny's eyes met hers again, and when she gave him a pleading look, he finally heaved and stopped resisting. He stood from the chair and, after she grabbed his hand, he followed her inside. Once they were in the living room, Klara took his prized bat and set it gently off to the side, before pulling him further into the living room. Smiling up at him now, she stepped in close and slid an arm around his neck, still holding his hand with her own. She began to sway in time with the music, which made Donny sway as well.
"What are ya doin'?" he asked with a quirked brow.
"What does it look like?" she asked with a small laugh. "I want to dance with my husband."
Donny heaved. It seemed as though he wanted to tell her that he wasn't in the mood for dancing, but he also seemed to realize that Klara wasn't going to take no for an answer. It took a second or two, but he finally slid an arm around her waist and pulled her closer, taking the lead as he gave in and began move to the beat of the slow love song that was playing.
Klara smiled and rested her head against his broad shoulder, content to merely dance with him for a long few moments. It had been ages since they had just danced together. Between being busy with work and children and taking care of the house, it wasn't often they had moments of privacy like this. She intended to take full advantage of the fact that they were alone, no matter how bad of a mood he currently was in.
"This is nice," she murmured. "How long has it been since we danced with one another?"
"Can't remember," Donny admitted.
"Then it has been too long," Klara determined.
Donny made a sound of agreement. "I haven't heard ya listen to this record in a while," he commented as they swayed in spot. He pulled her a little closer, his grip on her tightening just the slightest. "Takes me back 'ta when I first brought ya home," he said, and when she lifted her head to look at him, she could finally see a smile on his face for the first time that night. "You used 'ta listen to this all the time."
Klara nodded. "It was not easy, moving to America. Having a little something from Germany to ease the transition helped," she said with a shrug. "Having you by my side helped quite a bit too, you know," she added with a smile, unable to stop her fingers from toying with the hair at the nape of his neck.
Donny smirked. "Stop. You'll make me blush."
Klara just laughed and leaned into him more, letting her head rest on his shoulder again and smiling to herself when she felt him kiss her blonde hair.
The song they had been dancing to ended and changed to a new one. They continued to sway in place in comfortable silence, and Klara could not help but feel proud of herself for finally pulling Donny out of his funk. He seemed to be in a much better mood now, which was exactly what she had set out to do when she had brought him inside. When she raised her head to look at him again, however, she found that maybe he wasn't doing as well as she had thought. His eyes were glued on the clock, which was slowly inching closer to nine thirty, and there was a tell-tale crease between his brows that told her he was still very much thinking about Ava.
"Staring at the clock will not make her come home any faster," Klara pointed out gently.
Donny spared her a glance. "Just keepin' an eye on the time," he excused.
Klara eyed him for a second, then sighed. "Why are you so bothered by all of this, meine liebe?" she finally had to ask. "It is only a dance."
Donny heaved. "Doesn't matter," he said. "She went with a date, Klare. A date."
"And there is nothing wrong with that, Donny," Klara reassured. "I was going on dates when I was her age. It is perfectly normal."
Donny shook his head. "I know, I know," he said. "It's not really even that that's botherin' me."
"Then what is?" Klara asked patiently.
Donny heaved. "I'm just...tryin' to figure out when the hell Ava grew up," he finally admitted. "I feel like she was just a kid yesterday. Then she came out of her room tonight lookin' so grown up and so beautiful…" Donny pressed his lips together for a moment, before turning his eyes down to Klara's. "I love the boys with everything in me, but Ava is different," he told her. "She's my baby girl, Klare. My little munchkin. I've always been the most important man in her life. But she's turning into a woman, and it hit me that…someday she's gonna meet someone she falls in love with. Then she's not gonna need me around anymore," he concluded with a frown.
Klara sighed sympathetically at his words. She could not blame him for what he was feeling – she had been having similar musings about how grown Ava was earlier that night. But she did not believe he was right when he said there would come a day where their daughter would no longer need him. Ava might be grown now, but nothing had changed in the way she viewed her father. She had always had a special bond with Donny, a special connection that was undeniable. Ava loved her father, and Klara knew that would never change.
"Yes, Ava will grow up and meet someone and will someday have a family of her own," Klara agreed. "But even then, she will always need you," she added firmly. "No matter what happens, you will always be the most important man in her life. You are her father. She loves you, Donny. She always has, and she always will. I promise you that."
Her words seemed to have finally done the trick. The worry that had been in his eyes began to slowly melt away, and when he released a heavy exhale, the tension that had been in his shoulders eased. "You're right," he agreed, nodding slowly. After a second or two, he flashed an apologetic smile. "Sorry for how I been actin' tonight. All of this just…really threw me for a loop."
Klara moved her hand to touch his cheek. "You have nothing to apologize for, meine liebe. I understand," she said, which made him relax even further. "And just in case you have forgotten," she continued, smiling affectionately now, "you will always be the most important man in my life, as well. Us Donowitz women would be lost without you."
Donny smirked widely and leaned down, so that their faces were only inches apart. "You sayin' you're still in love with me, Blondie?" he asked, and though his tone was teasing, his eyes were full of adoration. "Even after all these years of puttin' up with my shit?"
Klara wrapped both of her arms around his neck, pressing closer to him. "Helplessly so," she confirmed.
Donny grinned, then finally closed the distance between them to capture her lips in a long kiss.
Klara, knowing that neither one of them would be going to bed until Ava came home, convinced Donny to have a glass of wine with her after they decided to take a break from dancing. One glass turned into two, and before long they were sitting cuddled together on the couch, where they talked and laughed and stole kisses from one another like a couple of lovesick teenagers.
It was around ten twenty when headlights swung into the driveway, briefly flashing through the front window and catching their attention at once. Klara and Donny both looked to the window, before looking at each other. Without even having to discuss it, they were both off the couch in an instant and hurrying toward the front window, where they both peaked around the curtains to see what was going on outside.
Ava and Nathan had returned and were slowly walking up the path to the front door. They were talking, though they were too far away for Klara to understand what they were saying. As they reached the porch, they both stopped and faced one another. Their expressions had turned shy and their cheeks had gone an almost identical shade of pink. Klara knew what might happen in the moment – Ava and Nathan might kiss.
She glanced at Donny, who glanced back. She felt like they should leave and give the teenagers their privacy, but, at the same time, she was extremely curious to see what would happen. She looked back to Ava and Nathan then decided that yes, they should definitely go. Before she had the opportunity to suggest this to her husband, however, Nathan suddenly began to lean toward Ava. Klara was frozen, her eyebrows shooting up. But Nathan did not kiss Ava. Not on the lips, anyhow.
Nathan kissed Ava on the cheek, then smiled as he leaned back away from her. Klara couldn't tell if Ava was disappointed or not from the angle she stood. "Thank you for going to the dance with me," she heard Nathan tell Ava. "Can I…can I call ya tomorrow?" he then asked.
Ava nodded at once. "Yes. I would like that," she said with undeniable happiness in her voice.
Nathan grinned with satisfaction. "Great," he said.
Klara couldn't help but smile and shoot another look at Donny. He looked surprised, but pleasantly so. "He didn't try 'ta kiss her," he said with a shake of his head.
"And he brought her home before curfew," Klara pointed out. "Looks like she found herself a gentleman," she added with a meaningful look. "I told you he was a good one."
Donny snorted, though he wasn't looking at Nathan with quite as much distain as he had been earlier that evening. "I wouldn't go that far," he said. "But…I guess he ain't all that bad," he finally, reluctantly admitted.
Klara smiled, then glanced back to the window when she heard movement outside. She realized Ava was coming inside and quickly jumped away from the window, not wanting to get caught spying. Grabbing Donny's hand, she hastily pulled him back to the couch, where they both proceeded to resume their previous positions and pretend as though they had been there the entire time.
When Ava came inside, there was a large smile on her face. That smile did not falter when she saw Klara and Donny sitting on the couch together. "Hi, Mama. Hi, Daddy," she greeted, closing the door behind her.
"Hello, liebling," Klara said back.
"Have fun at the dance?" Donny asked, raising his brows.
Ava's expression turned dreamy almost instantly. "We had a wonderful time," she practically gushed, kicking off her heels by the door and walking further into the living room. "I am quite tired, though, because we danced all night long. I think I'm gonna go to bed," she told them. She did, indeed, look quite exhausted. "Tell you about the dance tomorrow?" she offered.
"Sure," Donny agreed.
Ava smiled, then leaned down to kiss Klara's cheek first, then Donny's. After that, she yawned widely and started out of the living room, practically floating as she headed for her bedroom. "G'night, Mama. G'night, Daddy. I love you," she called over her shoulder.
Klara watched as Donny's expression softened considerably. "We love you, too, munchkin," he said back in an affectionate tone.
Ava flashed a large grin at him over her shoulder, then disappeared into her bedroom, shutting the door behind her. Klara stared at the closed door for a moment, before turning her attention back to Donny. Now that Ava was home, he was back to looking exactly like his normal self again. Klara grabbed his hand and squeezed it, before lifting it up to her lips to kiss his knuckles.
"Come then, husband," she said. "Let us go to bed ourselves."
Donny nodded in agreement. He stood from the couch and extended a hand to her, helping her up as well. While Donny started turning off all the lights in the room and making sure that all the doors and windows were locked, Klara took the wine and their glasses into the kitchen, deciding she would clean the wineglasses in the morning. By the time she rejoined Donny in the living room, the house was dark and quiet. He grabbed his bat and, together, they started down the hall that led to their bedroom. He paused to stop into the study however, leaving Klara to watch from the doorway as he carefully put his bat back on the shelf it normally occupied.
Donny gave his prized possession a gentle pat, then turned around to rejoin her. Klara kissed him when he reached her, then grabbed his hand and led him into their bedroom, gently closing the door behind them.
So that was it! Just a cute little look into Klara and Donny's life twenty years post war. Hope you guys liked it!
P.S. While I've got you all here, I wanted to say that I am actively working on a rewrite for Fraulein and the Basterd. Same plot, same story, just better dialogue, new scenes, and overall better writing. Is this something you guys would be excited to read after all these years?