In My Defence

Isak makes some sort of inarticulate grunt while sleep apparently haunts the man, then suddenly he snarls aloud and sits bolt upright, swinging an arm out at some unseen assailant. Of course, he is rewarded with nothing but air for his trouble, and his eyes fly open in a momentary panick before the dim realization that it was simply a nightmare crowds its way into his senses. Apparently the danger is past. He heaves a few deep breaths to try and catch up to himself, and finally he closes his eyes, leaning back on his good hand. "Not past yet", he grumbles to himself.

Matti is dozing on one of the pallets, his chest, and both hands bandaged. He's not an invalid, but with both hands hurt, he can't really hold a rifle or ski right now. As Isak makes noise, he cracks open one eyes, glaring at him sideways with his generic, surly scowl, "What are you flailing around for, Isak?"

Vesa has been awake, just watching the snow outside. With fresh stitches he can't really walk, so he has to be content with just being restless. He looks over at Isak at the noise, raising an eyebrow.

Marja is, fortunately, mostly over her cold by now. It didn't turn to pneumonia or worse… luck is with them sometimes. So she's been straight back to work, especially upon the worst of the hurt men. She's now heating a fresh thing of boiling water upon the fire… she gets it into proper position then turns her small body facing the room once more, looking over the men and boys laying there, hurt… Seeing who might need something first.

Erkki wanders on in, brushing off some snow off his legs after stomping his feet. He sniffs the air and frowns. "There any coffee?" he asks gruffly, pulling his fur hat off and tucking his gloves into his coat pocket. He hobbles towards his corner of the crowded cabin to dispose of the clothes, glancing at those awake.

Isak leans forward in his bed, idly rubbing at his face to slowly work some sort of energy into it. Mildly muffled against his hand, he responds with a simple 'Nothing', before swinging his legs over the side of the cot and resting his elbow on one knee, face in his palm.

"Nothing." Matti grunts sourly. "Thanks for waking me up, then." As cheerful as ever. He glances at Erkki, offering a silent nod towards the other man. Slowly, he levers himself up by his elbows, getting off the pallet. He walks to the coffee pot, glancing at Marja, "Would you pour me a cup, Marja? Got some trouble lifting heavy things right now."

Erkki sits down on a stool by his stuff and starts arranging some of his items, sorting it through, stuffing some dirty clothes into a sack to be taken outside for laundry later. He glances at Matti and nods back at him, then sits still and contemplates something for a moment before he bends down and digs something out of his old backpack. Pulling it out it's a cloth-enwrapped item and unwrapped it proves to be a leuku.

Vesa looks over towards the door as Erkki comes in and smiles, glad to see the man up and moving around. He scratches the side of his head and does another restless glance about the cabin, then picks at a fold of his trousers at his uninjured knee. "Have you been down to Pyyvaara, Erkki?"

Marja smirks slightly at Isak's nothing, but she states gently, more to the room on the whole…"The coffee will be finished in just a few minutes and I'll give you all some. it is good for you… but you are hurt… That includs you, Isak, so sit back and relax.. You have done your jobs, now let me do mine." Marja stands there, staring back at the coffee, waiting impatient for it to boil and brew…

Isak looks out from the corner of his eyes at Matti and actually shrugs. "I'm sure you could get peace and quiet out there." He tilts his head toward the door to the cabin before reaching down to pull on his boots with his good hand.

Erkki shakes his head at Vesa's question. Marja is given a small smile - the promise of coffee can make even he look marginally happy for a moment. The leuku is held up and examined for a moment, then he stands up and limps towards Matti. "Cousin, I figure that now that your hands are of no use you should get this one. I took it off a russian a while back." He holds the large knife out, handle presented first.

"I would, but I can't ski right now, can I? Besides, not exactly balmy out there." Matti shoots a baleful look at his brother-in-law, before turning to his cousin. He stares at the knife in Erkki's hands, moving closer. Instead of taking the knife he bends closer, inspecting the carvings on the polished handle. Suddenly he chuckles, gingerly taking it in his right hand. "Thanks, Erkki. I've been looking for this. It must have dropped off me when I got knocked out on the Suomussalmi Road."

Vesa watches the presentation of the Leuku curiously. Hearing Matti's words, he grins a little bit. Possessions coming home, now that's justice.

Surely it was Marja's extra powerful glare that finally gets the coffee brewing… but the pot is boiling and Marja listens to it, waiting for it to seemingly finish. She might make it a bit stronger than some like, but then she's brewing rations… so really, that probably means as coffees go it's going to be weak. She scoops up a small tray and some of those reused metal cups, pouring out mugs for each of the men behind her. Once she's got them all poured out she turns back to the room with a smile…"Who else wants coffee?" She know Matti does, so she goes their first, handing over a mug.

Erkki is near Matti so he reaches for a cup as Marja comes closer. He looks rather content about the leuku. It's not everyday he has a reason for feeling good about something he's done - he has to stand there in silence and contemplate his generosity while sipping his coffee. "I don't need to carry around all that junk anyway," he explains to Matti to take the edge off of any kindness he could've shown. "The machinegun is enough." He grabs another cup to head over to Vesa with.

Isak moves over toward where the coffee is being served, and smiles appreciatively at Marja before taking one of the proffered mugs. Lifting it to his lips, he takes a sip of the bitter liquid, then looks to Marja once more. "My arm's feeling much better today," he moves his left arm, still in its sling, around a bit, to prove the motion it still had, "think I can get rid of the sling."

Matti nods to Marja, offering her a strained smile. The pleasant expression was not designed for his angular, surly face, as he accepts the mug in both hands. Matti nods to Erkki. He's not used to showing or receiving fancy words, so he's definetely in tune with the other man's actions. He mutters to Isak, "I wish I could say the same." He winces as he works his other arm. Apparently not healing very well.

Vesa plinks his fingers boredly against the small piece of metal he's wearing around his neck, his uninjured foot tapping against the foot. He looks up as Erkki starts heading his way, and grins a little.

Marja frowns a moment at Isak's comments about his arm, and she turns her slender form away to rest the coffee's left down, just two of them.. one for herself and someone extra. She then walks over to Isak's side, "I don't think so, not yet at least… but give me a look at that arm and we'll see, at least." Not worth debating the sling if she doesn't know how he is actually feeling

Erkki makes himself comfortable somewhere close to Vesa, squinting at the others. "If we all played an instrument we'd have an whole orchestra," he notes randomly about all the wounded. He looks around for Sonja and Henrik, when talking about instruments. "The boy destroyed or ate the drum yet?" he asks casually of the young man.

"Nah," Vesa replies to Erkki, shaking head. "He doesn't take after you -that- much. Mr. Svenonius gave him a rattle thing, too…" He makes a small motion of his head towards Luukas. "Henrik's gonna drive Miss Sonja crazy in another week I think."

"Mr Svenonius… Goddamnit kid, can't you call people by their first names?" Matti stares at Vesa, apparently feeling irritable due to his wounded state. He sips his tea, glancing from Erkki to Vesa.

Marja blinks a moment as she carefully peels the bandage off of his arm…"Isak.. this arm is actually looking wonderful. We'll keep the bandage around the newly healing skin but… yes, I do think you can be out of this sling. Just be careful with the hand, still, of course." Marja carefully unwraps all the bandages from his arm and hand so she can keep it cleaned out and put new ones on. Sonja was sleeping, so she doesn't mnd doing it at all. she chuckles over her shoulder to Vesa…"Henrik could never drive her crazy.. she is his mother. All he does is perfect. The rest of us, though…."

Isak just couldn't seem to let that by, weighing in with, "Bah, an act. Mother or not, sometimes, you just get annoyed." To Marja, he offers a slight smile and makes a show of rolling his arm and shoulder a few times, as if testing the limb out. "I am always careful." It was a lie, but one any nurse would be used to by now.

"Sure, if you call me Vesa instead of 'kid', -Matti-," Vesa looks over and replies to the Mannikainen pointedly, before he looks back at Erkki.

"Sounds to me he's taking after me just fine," Erkki says with an obnoxious grin, leaning down so his arms rest on his knees in a lazy comfortable position, mug of coffee held in both hands as he sips from it. Vesa's response to Matti makes him laugh out loud and he almost spills some of the cherished coffee. "Ohh, hear that, /Herr/ Mannikainen? Equality goes both ways, eh?"

"Okay… Vesa. That's the spirit." Matti grins at the younger man with sudden humour, idly blowing on his coffee to cool down the liquid. He glares aside at Erkki, muttering, "Shut up, Erkki." Well, the world is back to normal.

Marja smirks coldly to Erkki as she hears that comment…"Perhaps, and he'd truly have a role model if you'd just -marry- her and do your actual job concerning your son." He brought it up first. She glares at him and then stands up from Isak, going over to Matti and Vesa instead…"Alright, gentlemen… bandage changing. Who's first?" Her smirk from before softens, daring to give Vesa a small smile, just for a moment..

Vesa grins a bit at all that, looking satisfied now. He looks over at Marja. "Hey, kids drive their mothers plenty crazy, you know." He ain't sayin a thing about the marriage bit, oh no. Then to Erkki, "I was practicing with the MG before we went to Pyyvaara last night. I think I know how to get it loaded up faster now."

Isak turns his eyes from Marja to Erkki and back again. -Now- it all made sense. Vesa's words, however, get a tip of an imaginary hat from Isak. It's always worth it to see one of those two get their just desserts… particularly from the carpenter's apprentice.

Matti shakes his head at Vesa, his eyes darting to Marja. For some reason, he seems very amused by something. He raises a hand, indicating the other man, "He seems worse off. Better check him first." Still, there's some kind of private humour in his grey-blue eyes.

"You Korhonens seem to suffer from this odd notion that I care about such things as being a role model to anyone," Erkki tells Marja with an unsympathetic snort. He looks sideways at Vesa, his interest switching immediately to what the young man said. "Yeah? Good. Wish I could've been to Pyyvaara with you lot, I'm itching to fill some Russians with lots of lead and you and I, we make one good team."

Marja smirks to Matti as he mentions Vesa looking worse off…"Vesa looks just fine from where I'm sitting…" She gives the boy a slightly longer look before shaking off whatever she is thinking and going back to Matti. "Your hand..come on…" She goes for his hand that is looking the worst of anything, carefully beginning to unwrap it from the old bandages. She's a bit slower than the other girl's in her nursing, but it's because she does her best to be extra careful and gentle. And she rather likes sitting and talking with the boys.

Vesa smirks at Isak and nods eagerly to Erkki. "Just don't touch that DP 27 the Russians had down in Pyyvaara. I think it's cursed." Then: "Huh?" That's his response to Matti as the man directs Marja his way. He sits up just a little straighter and cracks a faint grin at the girl, but relaxes once she seems to take to Matti instead. His eyes linger on her back a few moments, then return to Erkki.

Isak moves over to the large table with his mug of coffee and slides onto the bench, content for the moment, apparently, to rest his elbows on the tabletop and stare into the dark liquid in his mug.

Erkki might not be Mister Perceptiveness when it comes to, oh, things like romance. But he'd be blind and stupid if not noticing those looks shared between Vesa and Marja. He grins slyly at Vesa, then cocks his head and turns a scrutinizing gaze at the young Korhonen daughter as if to see if she's really that interesting. He nudges Vesa in the side with his elbow. "I'd do her."

Matti snickers at Vesa, shaking his head. He extends his mangled hand, his angular, thin face distorting as he winces with pain, however gentle Marja is being. As Erkki speaks, he glares at the other man, muttering, "Try to behave, Erkki. Not everyone is like you." The words and the glare seem habitual… Not much heat in them anymore. These converations have been had many times.

"Sure you would," Vesa replies, sounding mildly grouchy. "And Dr. Korhonen would find another real good use for those clamps," He folds his arms, slouching back against the wall a little.

Marja knows it hurts, and so she doesn't even hesitate or move too much as she hears Erkki's words. They do make her blink, though, just pause in her motions as she swallows back… some words… she then keeps with removing the old bandages, putting them in the used bag before she reaches for a cloth and some alcohol to clean out the worst of the wounds. She has just gone quiet, though, and is blushing a bit harder than she was before…

Antti has arrived.
Antti arrives from the East.

Antti trudges through the snow on skiis, toward the small cabin. Breath misting in the air from the exertion, the elder of the Mannikainen brothers pauses to take a few breaths before stepping out of his skiis and stomping the snow from his boots outside. Antti skiis poorly, but with decent speed. He doesnt care what people say about his skiing.

Erkki finishes his coffee and stands up to rince the mug out, limping over to the kitchen area. "Yeah yeah," he says and is still in a rather good mood. "'Don't talk to my daughters! Don't look at them! Blah blah!'" he says, trying to mock the good doctor Korhonen. "So, I slept with his daughter once - so what? Much fuss about nothing, if you ask me."

Isak turns to look at Erkki, and takes a long, deep breath. Getting into a brawl with a wounded man wasn't exactly the most honorable thing to do. Instead he raises his voice just enough to be heard over the gasps and chuckles usually associated with such a comment and says simply, "Not so smart to embarass and generally annoy the people keeping your sorry hide alive, I think."
"Whether or not you agree with their traditions", Isak adds.

Sonja stirs from slumber, and looks around blearily. First thought - where is Henrik? Who knows what he gets up to while Sonja sleeps.

Matti winces again, as Marja fits on a new bandage. He shakes his head at Erkki and Isak, muttering, "No, he stays alive out of sheer spite. Don't need medicine none." Matti glances outside, as he hears the stomping from the porch. As Antti walks in, he nods to him silently. Coffee is prepared, and he's currently sipping some.

Vesa raises both brows at Erkki's response and then Isak's. All this conflicting stuff for a teenage boy to be hearing! What parts will he actually retain? Who knows. He looks over towards Sonja as she stirs, then at the door when it opens.

Marja just grumbles something beneath her breath and finishes wrapping up Matti's wounds. She then turns her body towards Vesa, but she's not being nearly so daring to look into his eyes as she was before. She's just a bit embarassed and awkward now, her hands not so deft with pulling off Vesa's bandaging either. Stupid Erkki.

Antti nods to Matti as the other greets him, before turning a look around the room, brows knit. "Who pissed in the coffee, here?" Setting down his rifle, he walks toward where the antitank gun was stored.

Erkki only goes so far and now shuts up. Perhaps because Sonja woke up and he realizes that Henrik is sitting on the floor playing with his toys, or rather, trying to eat them up, the wooden horse in one hand and the rattle in the other while the drum sits on the floor. He's figured out that he can bang the rattle against the drum and throw the horse away; someone always brings the horse back and plays with him for awhile then so he'll stop being so noisy. THe boy now throws the horse and Erkki sighs, moving to pick it up and return the toy (that he actually made) to his son. "WHy'd you name him Henrik?" he asks abruptly of Sonja.

Great, now Vesa's got a blushing girl bending over his lap. This could be great, uh…private dream material if it weren't for the actual situation. He winces slightly as she's less than gentle on the bandage, though it's not really too bad. "Stitches are fresh…"

Marja realizes that her hands aren't quite as steady as she should be and she actually curses, though just softly beneath her breath. She pauses, pulling her hands back a moment and just taking a breath. "..I… I am sorry, Vesa. I just… I mean… Erkki… and all that… And you are… quite so handsome, I mean… Just… Never mind." Now she's blushing even harder. Damnit. She moves to pick up another cleaning cloth and some alcohol. She just needs to breathe and do her job. "…T-the…the stitches look good."

Matti glances at Antti, smirking. Still, he drinks the coffee. If Matti is being surly, it's nothing in particular caused by the situation - just his generally charming disposition. He peers at Vesa's legs, calling out, to Marja, "So, are those legs looking good?" It's hard to say whether there's intentional double meaning there. The faint amusement invades his narrow face once more.

Sonja gets up, and stretches, yawning. Ugh, she feels horrible. "You burned down Pyyvaara?" she asks the room, figuring someone will know. And then she looks over Erkki. "Why not Henrik? It's a good name. The first bishop of Finland was called Henrik.". So there you go. Then she frowns at Marja, wondering whats going on.

Antti eyes Matti sidelong at the other's called teasing, sniffing once and muttering, "Looks like your hands have had more use than his legs, little brother." As Sonja speaks up he shakes his head and looks to the doctor's daughter, "No. The houses are still standing. Regular Army is further west on the same road, so it looks clear for awhile."

Wait, what? Vesa just kind of stares at Marja, not sure if that all just came out of her mouth or if he's just abruptly started running a really high fever. "…so do you." Of all things, THAT comes out of his mouth. "I mean! Not…sorry! Sorry…about Erkki. He didn't mean it." Yeah, right. "Are you, uh, okay?"

Marja doesn't tear out the stitches, actually, but at his comment of 'so do you' her hand that is holding the small bottle of alcohol just shakes, pouring out a good bit straight onto Vesa's wound. Good news, it won't be infected. Bad news? That's going to BURN like a bitch. She realizes what she's doing and uprights the bottle again…"Oh… Oh god… Vesa… that'll sting… I'm sorry…I mean… are you okay? I'm okay… are you okay? I'm sorry…" She just kinda flutters over the wound now,not wanting to touch anything and make it worse. Definitely disinfected.

"We rigged the houses up so we can torch them, if we're forced to fall back from the village." Matti glances at Antti, shaking his head before murmuring wryly to Sonja, "You should have called him Lalli, Sonja. The man who axed that goddamn English mystagogue was a greater hero than any bishop or churchman ever war." He snorts at his own words.

"It is a good name," Erkki agrees, giving Sonja a thoughtful look. "I was just curious where it came from." He bends down and scoops the boy up, settling him with surprising ease onto his left arm so he can carry him around even as he's limping. The boy pokes Erkki's face with the rattle and then throws it hard, right at Antti. Erkki watches Vesa and Marja with curiousness and he gives his young companion a big grin and a thumbs-up.

Matti glances aside at Vesa and Marja, wincing in sympathy. And laughs, having to stop to cough at the slight twinge from his bruised chest. Wow, he's a real fount of sympathy.

Isak just nods once in the general direction of Vesa and Marja, and figures that at least their small moment can have one less gawker. He turns toward the approaching Antti and cups the warm mug of coffee. "Have the supplies been cleaned out of Pyyvaara yet?"

So much for the dream material. It takes a second for the alcohol to register, but once it does Vesa reacts like lightning. The expletive that comes out of his mouth is in Russian - he can't help it - and he grabs an edge of his blanket to try and soak some of the disinfecting waterfall. "It's fine!" He gets out through his teeth. "It's fine, leave it alone!"

Antti shakes his head at the fumbling taking place across the cabin, muttering to Isak, "Not all of them. We're still supposed to be holding the place. Came up here to get the Solothurn. Will do us more good down there, than here-" His further words are held at the thrown rattle. Looking to Erkki briefly, he turns his regard onto Henrik, his eyes narrow in a suspicious look. "Hey," he rumbles, reaching down to pick up the rattle, and asks, voice thick with feigned suspicion, "What are you doing, little wolf?"

Sonja gives Matti the Eye as Saint Henrik is abused so, and otherwise ignores him. And blinks when Henrik looks about to get revenge on historic axemen by trying to kill Antti with the rattle Luukas made. "Henrik, no!". She heads over to Erkki, to reclaim her child. "You can't let him do that and not even do anything about it, or he'll grow up to be a criminal or something.".

Marja yelps and draws back at Vesa's somewhat violent reaction. That really had to sting. He just begs her to leave it alone but… it's unbandaged! She can't! "…It… but… Bandages…Needed…" She doesn't even really manage to get out an entire sentence there, her cheeks so blushed they're almost beet red… it goes all the way up to her ears, actually, pale skin showing the blush violently. She just has that deer in head lights look. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry… I'll make it better! How can I make it better?!" She asks him, desperate… lost to help, but wanting to.

"I think that was his intent." Isak remarks of Erkki's actions, or lack thereof, before hearing the slight commotion caused by Vesa and Marja. He lifts his bandaged hand to his face to cover it in empathetic embarassment for the pair, just shaking his head at the comedy skit come to life.

It's really odd how Sonja, despite Erkki claiming otherwise, seems to have him under control. Compliantly, Erkki bends down and slides Henrik over to Sonja with utter carefulness. The boy laughs and grabs for the rattle again, pleased that Antti brought it back. He aims to throw it again, but is stopped by Erkki this time, who grabs the rattle and frowns at the child.

"Oh, relax Sonja. Throwing things at Antti is not crime - it's a national service. I used to throw things at him all the time when we were kids. I think he's still got the scar from when I was practicing knife-throwing." Matti grins, looking at his brother. Growing up with no parents, the Mannikainen boys were known to be just a… tad on the wild side. He just shakes his head at Vesa and Marja, snickering. He seems to be getting considerable amusement out of it, anyway.

"I dunno, just…let it air out or something! I got it, okay?" That was sharper than Vesa had intended. He grits his teeth, still mopping up the excess alcohol and not in the mood to slap a bandage directly on the burning stitch line.

Antti mutters aside to Matti, "Of course I still have the scar.. pity you were'nt TRYING to hit me, or I'd have been the safest one in Finland.." Shaking his head as he brings his regard back to the Rattle-hurler and the two about him, the farmer mutters in his typical even tone, "You know, Erkki. Sometimes you're nearly a real man." That spoken, he turns back toward wrangling his own family's rattle thrower: Matti.

Sonja jiggles Henrik when she has a hold of him, and plants a kiss on his head. "He's been grumpy lately. I suppose it had to come eventually, he's been good up till now.". She glances over Matti while Erkki does the discipline thing. Poor Henrik is running out of allies. "Well, Henrik is a bit young for knife throwing, and he's a good boy in any case.".

Just let it air out. Right. Marja nods quickly, a few shakey times…"Yes… yes… I…just… sit… relax. I'll… go… you know. Somewhere else. I'll be back…" She admits, and then forces herself to turn away. So much for even getting a first kiss before they all die. She sighs and brings the dirty bandages back to be tucked away with the others before picking up some new ones… searching for anyone else who needs help and NOT looking in Vesa's direction…

"That's just what I told you, Antti. Damn, I can still remember the thrashing you gave me." Matti smiles slightly. Their's was a hard, and grim childhood - kind of harsh, when those are what your happy memories from yore are like. "Mind you, I don't think I'll be throwing anything for a while. I could teach HENRIK to throw, too. Wouldn't you like that, Lalli? Wouldn't you?" He glances at Sonja, pushing her buttons as he coos to Henrik.

Vesa doesn't seem to notice Marja's retreat. His attention's on his leg and making it stop with the burning. He keeps the blanket pressed against the edges of the stitches, teeth kept firmly together. His eyes flicker over towards Matti and Sonja, that being something to try and focus on rather than the alcohol.

"Give him time." Isak said to Sonja, regarding Henrik. "Soon he'll be the little terror all boys are required to be." He gets up from the table then, and plucks his now empty mug off the table, moving over toward whatever served as a kitchen to drop the thing off. Moving past Marja he offers a cheerful "Good coffee" before continuing on.

"Henrik is not going to be a saint murdering axeman." Sonja frowns at Matti. She stalks to the door. "Anyway, I'm going to Pyyvaara for a bit, if its safe, which you tell me it is.".

Antti answers Sonja, "Yes, Pyyvaara is safe. Wait a moment, and when the sled is loaded up, you can have a ride to the town."

"Are you kidding me? that man was a saint, himself. Saint of the common man, axing down a snotty class terrorist and crusader from abroad." Once, Matti's words might have been completely serious. Now, there's a good dose of self-irony in there, a healthy skepticism towards the vision of messieurs Marx and Engels. He bends down to ruffle Henrik's hair, muttering, "You'll grow up to be a fine boy, Henrik. You keep practicing that axework!" And with that, he moves back to his pallet.

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