Finland
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Finland
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Joined: August 15th, 2011, 4:15 am

September 28th, 2014, 10:46 pm #21

The fight Tino had been hoping for came instead as a swift, frank thrashing. He hadn't had time to react to the strong hand gripping roughly at his comparatively delicate wrist, had only just begun to feel the burning pain of bones being clamped down on too tightly and barely sensed the tugging sensation in the rest of his arm before he found himself being unceremoniously chicken-winged. Truthfully, the manner in which the ex-fighter could move was impressive. Even through the thick, protective fabric of his jumpsuit, the man was rippling with muscle from neck to calf; his strength was obvious. His speed, however, was not.

Tino only realized he'd gone facedown when the nerves and tendons in his shoulder alerted him of the rough torsion that threatened to rip the joint out of its socket and when his mouth suddenly tasted of blood and gasoline-soaked gravel. Things seemed to slow down then as he found himself under the mechanic's full weight.

"Ate shrimps like ya fer d'nner in there," came the ominous warning. For the moment, Berwald had him pinned in a manner that made seeing his face all but an impossibility. But if Tino were the mechanic, he would have been smiling. Sneering with a wolf's grin. He could practically hear the mocking in his voice and see the Swede's visage fall dark as he remebered the thrill of the kill and his blood began to pump feral once again.

"Dun push y'luck."

So in kind, Tino grinned back, even as the heavy creature on top of him leaned close enough for his breath to blow like pressurized steam across the shell of his ear. The soft whisper of air deepened into some sort of animalistic rumbling, and the Finn's smile grew wider.

"Impressive," the prey quipped, trying again to blink away the abrasive bits of sand that had hit his eyes when he fell and blinded him with his own tears. Straining his neck as far as possible, he was able to see the beast keeping him pinned and remarked with bloodied lips, "Pity you went into retirement."

Moving underneath the other proved to be a difficult feat. More likely an impossibility in the littler Nordic's current state - he was weak from detoxing and growing weaker from a diet that consisted of what little he could steal or afford. Not that he would have ever proven a fair match for this brute; the Scandinavian was way out of his weight class.

Nonetheless, Tino did his best to demonstrate that he'd like to get up, pressing his back and hips up and into the other as well as he could. The campaign resulted in three or four bucks before his reserves were tapped and, with a grudging sense of resignment, he was forced to wait for the shopowner to choose to remove himself.

If he wasn't sore before, he certainly was now. Oxenstierna's incarceration had certainly proved why the fight hadn't gotten any more heated, much to Tino's disappointment, yet those three little movements had been enough to know that he wasn't getting away without a serious backache.

Of course, if Magnusson were to hear about his bottom bitch trying to pick a fight with the man who was working on his bike, he'd be in for another throttling later. Might as well get warmed up now.

As a token of insurance just in case his outlandish behavior had given the mechanic any reason to reconsider doing the work he needed, Tino slipped in a covert little reminder, commenting, "Spend the money I gave you well? It's been a while, after all." Turning his head, he spat the blood pooled between his lips and bottom teeth onto the ground and watched the thirsty dust absorb it and turn it into little rusty spots.

"There's more, you know. That was just a downpayment." He grinned at his announcement of this latest development; Berwald was probably caught totally offguard. Good.

"More work in it for you, you know, but more cash." Turning his head again, he nodded to his own bike. "It could use some work, and I've got the connections to make sure you live very well for the next several months. But it's all up to you."


The land where all our wishes become wondrously fulfilled,
The land where all our fetters fall,
The land where we cool our bleeding forehead
In the dew of the moon.
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Sweden
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Sweden
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Joined: September 28th, 2011, 12:10 am

November 5th, 2014, 1:34 am #22

The way Jouko appeared to completely take the take-down in stride, unnerved Berwald. He obviously wasn't dealing with as big of a rookie he thought he was. The smaller man had been part of whatever gang he was in for a decent amount of time if the physical threat literally weighing down on him, didn't phase the junkie one bit. The Swede was now uncertain of how to beat the bravado out of this one; it wasn't everyday someone didn't openly retreat as soon as Berwald started pulling his intimidation tactics.

“Yeah! Get him, papa!”

At the sound of that familiar young voice, the mechanic froze and rushed to his feet quickly, just in time to catch sight of his boys sprinting down the sidewalk towards the shop. School bags were tossed carelessly aside and before Berwald could stop them both Peter and Larsson were upon Jouko in an attempt to help their dad.

Just as quickly, Berwald had an arm around both youths and hauled them off and away from the gang member, before any harm could befall them. He'd done so with a bit more strength than he'd wanted to in his rush to protect his progeny, as both boys complained about the hold.

“Ow, dad, let go!” grunted Peter, the taller and oldest of the two. He kicked his legs to try and free himself, but his dad's grip was too secure.

“Fuck!” swore Larsson, trying the limp noodle technique. His attempt was a failure as well.

“Language,” growled Berwald in a clipped tone, adjusting his grip and then setting both kids back on their feet a safe distance away from Jouko. “Bags. Inside,” he ordered, pointing at the discarded backpacks, then gesturing towards the garage in one swift and steady motion, causing the boys to start whining in protest.

“But dad-!”

“Papa, we want to help kick his butt!”

“In. Side,” repeated Berwald, glowering quite darkly at both kids. Their mouths snapped shut, they skittered towards their dropped bags, and then raced into the garage, using the door at the back of the shop. Larsson, the braver of the two, lagged behind a bit and tried to hide behind the counter to loiter. That was until he heard his dad's foot steps stomp towards him and with an 'eep!', was up the stairs and into the apartment right behind his brother.

Standing halfway inside his garage, Berwald wondered why his boys were home so early from school. A look at the clock confirmed that they were indeed early, and that he hadn't simply forgotten to pick them up from bus stop. Walking over to the telephone at the desk, he looked for recorded messages; there was indeed one from the school, explaining that due to a broken water pipe all of the children had been sent home, so an inspection and repairs could be done. Classes would be cancelled the next day as well and parents should expect a call on the morrow, to be informed of when classes would resume.

Meanwhile, both Peter and Larsson had set up camp in the apartment window on the second floor and were alternating between making faces at Jouko and gesturing rudely. They ducked down though, once Berwald re-emerged outside to deal with the junkie.

“S'best if y'left,” the tall mechanic ground out, looking both angry and nervous. Scanning the other side of the street, he couldn't find the mysterious man from that morning.

“M'gonna f'nish this job n' then dun want 'nythin' t'do wit' ya or th'pals y'run wit',” Berwald added, giving the road another good look, before turning his gaze on Jouko. Then his face hardened, shoulders squaring and he drew himself to his full height. “Bring 'ny trouble t'm'boys n' th'bike's not th'only thing I'll work o'er,” the mechanic threatened, icy eyes promising a lot of pain, and this time, there was nothing being held back in that stare.
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Finland
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Finland
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Joined: August 15th, 2011, 4:15 am

November 5th, 2014, 3:59 am #23

Simpering humorlessly, Tino pushed himself up on his elbows enough to allow his ribcage room to expand with a breath, then weakly dropped down. Just as he was preparing himself to inform the weight on his back of the dangers of shrugging off his offer so quickly, a mob of tiny voices and quick footfall kicked up a ruckus just down the street.

Craning his neck the other direction, the Finn had just enough time to make out two sets of sneakered feet making a beeline for him before he felt the rubber toes digging into some exposed bit of upper arm not covered by Berwald's body.

"Vittu," he spat, more caught off-guard and peevish than pained or truly angry. Were these kids? Their feet had looked too small and kicks felt to weak to be men. And had they said--

At once, the pressure on his back forcing him into the unforgiving gravel lot was gone.

"Ow, dad, let go!"

The Swede must have taken more out of him with that manhandling than he'd initially thought, Tino decided, because getting off the ground wasn't as easy as he'd anticipated. The Finn sort of rocked to one side to gain enough momentum to roll to his feet, using the cuff of his sleeve to wipe away the gravel embedded in the skin over his jaw.

His ears must have taken a blow, too; there was no way he was hearing correctly.

"Dad?" Berwald was already across the lot, shepherding the little lambs away from the thug sprawled out on his property. With a laugh, the downed biker repeated, "Papa?!"

It explained a lot - why the mechanic always made sure that no one visited his shop during certain hours, why he insisted on giving no glimpses inside the door to his private residence.

"You have kids."

The burly blond wasn't listening, too busy ordering the two boys into the house with their bags and scolding them for their adult-rated language.

With his opponent occupied, the Finn sprang to his feet and did his best to ignore the heaviness he felt in his limbs and the way his muscles didn't respond as quickly as he was sure they once had, instead giving attention to the ache in his shoulder that he was almost certain was the result of an overextended rotator cuff. If nothing else, at least, it would give him something to contemplate other than the feeling of bugs under his skin and the hunger gnawing away from inside his stomach that had come to plague him in recent days.

It was when he'd been rolling his neck, trying to realign his vertebrae, that Tino had seen their little faces appear in the upstairs window. One towheaded one and one ginger, they couldn't have been much older than eight or nine years old. And if their physical appearances didn't show their patrilineage well enough, their spunk certainly did - they were already flicking him off and the Finn thought he could read their lips forming the words "dra åt helvete". A round-cheeked grin was all Tino offered in response.

"S'best if y'left," Berwald cautioned in a tone that gave away more worry than Tino was certain he would have liked to be known. "M'gonna f'nish this job n' then dun want 'nythin' t'do wit' ya or th'pals y'run wit'." Any thoughts that Tino had once had about the impossibility of Berwald striking an even more fearsome silhouette were destroyed when he witnessed how the man morphed into a protective mama bear. "Bring 'ny trouble t'm'boys n' th'bike's not th'only thing I'll work o'er."

Tino wasn't sure he'd ever seen eyes so blue look so fiery.

"Relax, Papa" he carped, pulling his gaze away from the window. "I didn't even know you had kids. I know what you must think about some sort of junkie thug, but I promise I haven't slipped so low as to hurt a child." The Finn reached into his mouth with his middle finger, dug in against the folds of skin between his cheek and jawbone to rake out the pooled blood, and pulled his finger back out to observe the glistening red saliva. "But you think about my offer. Think about what a bonus like that could do for them." Tino punctuated with a nod towards the window. "Sleep on it."

He'd swaggered - to hide the limp he'd picked up - back to his bike, heaving a leg over and plopping himself into the saddle of his metal steed. "Hm, and one more thing, Swede." Lopsided smile returning, Tino cast a glance back over his shoulder. "When you threaten someone's life, you should make sure that's something they value. Me, I'm not scared to die." Mirroring the actions of the children upstairs, the Finn offered a blood-crusted middle finger before roaring down the street.


The land where all our wishes become wondrously fulfilled,
The land where all our fetters fall,
The land where we cool our bleeding forehead
In the dew of the moon.
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Sweden
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Sweden
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Joined: September 28th, 2011, 12:10 am

February 12th, 2015, 2:32 am #24


Behind all of the fearsome protectiveness, lied discomfort. An unease crawled across Berawld's back as he listened to Jouko talk, watched the other man swagger back to his bike and climb in the seat. More money would certainly help, but at what cost? The cash would need laundering before Berwald would feel safe dumping it into his savings account. All it would take would be for one cop to come sniffing around and with the mechanic's luck, the pig might just arrest Berwald on the spot for suspicious activities. Once convicted, you always made the top of the suspect ladder. Then he'd lose his business, lose his boys...

Growling that train of thought away, Berwald followed Jouko with his eyes carefully.

"When you threaten someone's life, you should make sure that's something they value. Me, I'm not scared to die.”

Grunting in response to the blatant lack of self preservation, the mechanic watched the motorbike roll away. Then he scanned the street, looking for that weird fellow from earlier, the turmoil of money versus the welfare of his children aggravated by the lack of the stranger's presence. Feeling paranoid, Berwald called it a day and hauled all of his equipment and the unpainted bike back into his garage. He locked up and then headed upstairs, listening to the cheers and jeers from his kids.

They assaulted their papa with questions about Jouko, questions Berwald evasively answered and shifted the subject to school, finally getting to ask about the water pipe.

“Ja, I bet it was totally Peter's fault, because of his big shits!” cackled Larsson, dodging a swipe from his older brother and seeking shelter behind one of his papa's legs.

“Language,” the Swede reminded the younger one, competing with Peter's “Did not!”. He was unable to hide the slight grin at that comment, taking some solace that at least he seemed to be the only one worried about the day's guest.

Which reminded him; he'd have to get someone to watch the boys tomorrow, if he was going to get the paint job finished at all. Looking at the time, he distracted Peter and Larsson with games and picked up the phone to give his parents a call. Grandma and grandpa always liked it when the grandkids visited, Berwald was sure he might even be able to get the kids there tonight. It would certainly help him sleep easier for the time being.

**

The school called the next day to tell Berwald that classes would be cancelled until the following Monday, since repairs would take a little longer than previously assessed. With a sigh, he'd once again called up his parents to tell them the news and his mother reassured him she'd be more than happy to watch over her favourite sailor and crazy pumpkin for another night. Grateful for the weight lifted from his shoulders, Berwald assured his mother he'd have his painting done by evening and would be by to take his kids back in the morning. She tutted and scolded him into at least agreeing to stay for lunch.

One problem solved, the mechanic set himself to tackling the second issue of the day; getting that damn motorcycled painted so that it could dry and be that much closer to being done with dealing with biker gangs. A task that kept Berwald busy well into evening. Job done and with no children to tuck in for the night, the Swede decided it would be nice to go to a bar and do some drinking. He certainly needed a few beers to help him contemplate everything that was going on. Making sure he had enough bus fare on him and a backpack with some essential tools, he started his commute to his preferred biker bar.

Some of the patrons recognized him and greeted him warmly, Berwald giving nods in return and inquiring about the state of their rides, as well as the riders themselves. Exchanging a few favours for cash, the tall blond had two hogs tuned up, a tail light fixed and set appointment for some brake pad changes, withing the first hour of arriving at the bar. Pocket now full of cash, the Swede claimed he was thirsty and that he might check on some of the other bikes if anyone else had any issues with theirs, once the need for beer was quenched.

Grabbing a seat at the bar, he ordered two bottles of lager to start with. One he drained in one go, thanking the bartender and handing over the recently earned money in exchange for the drinks. Grabbing onto the second bottle, Berwald spied a lone table in a corner of the establishment that was currently unoccupied and meandered his way over.

Sitting down with a sigh and taking a sip from the beer in his hand, the Swede settled in for night of deep reflection, observing the crowd inside the bar idly as he thought.
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