He is one of the main protagonists of The Slash.
Tick has wavy blond hair, and is always depicted with his eyes closed. He is usually seen smiling, with a childlike countenance. He always carries scissors on his belt.
Tick is a strange, soft spoken young man. Like Ladd Russo, Tick has two contrasting sides to his personality. One the one hand, he is kind and quiet - often described as "innocent" and "child-like." On the other hand, his deportment lies in stark opposition to the fact that he is a competent and effective torturer.
His reputation is such that many regard him with fear, calling him sadistic or psychotic. While it cannot be argued that his torture methods are brutal, it should be noted that that he is rather calm and relaxed when it comes to torture. He claims that his scissors are cursed and when he does his job, it is in fact his scissors who does most of the work, which may explain his duality. One could describe his typically affable demeanor as misleading, but it certainly isn't an act. It is genuine enough that when he and Luck Gandor first meet, Luck cannot bring himself to be angry with Tick or his situation.
While Tick might seem passive, he has taken the initiative in a remarkably active manner in the past. When his friends and family are threatened, he will protect them in his own way - as demonstrated when Dallas Genoard attempts to murder Tim. Tick makes it explicitly clear that if Dallas goes after Tim, Tick will go after Eve (all the while stabbing Dallas with scissors). He makes sure to direct all of Dallas' hatred towards him and away from Tim, indicating that he'd rather himself be in danger over those he cares about.
Tick's central philosophy is as follows: as long as he can cut with his scissors and feel the flesh sear from his tools, he is one step closer to believing in reality. He believes in anything that can be broken, and part of the reason he cuts with his scissors is to test the bonds of others. He wants to believe in bonds (those of friendship, of family, of love) that will not break, and so he tests them. His fixation with cutting things can be compared to the similar values of associate Maria Barcelito; they both have a high affinity to cutting things, albeit with different tools.
Tick often refers to himself as dense or dumb (especially when he compares himself to his genius brother Tim) and at first glance it might seem that he is indeed in his own, oblivious world. However, Tick is more intelligent and perceptive than he lets on (or perhaps than what he believes). For example, Luck Gandor initially believed that Tick was dense and ignorant to his situation -- only to be instantly contradicted when Tick showcased complete awareness of his stepfather's debt, his intention to see Tick and run off with Tim, and his own (Tick's own) precarious situation. Furthermore, Tick instantly recognizes Tim when he spots him in the Genoard manor (while Tim mistakenly thinks that Tick did not recognize him at all).
Based on Tim's observations, it seems that Tick honestly believes himself to be a fool in comparison to those around him.
Despite the fact that he is aware of his stepfather's true intentions, Tick states that he "loves [his] father a lot" alongside his brother.
Tick talks in a slow and placid manner, often elongating the vowels in various words.
After Tick and Tim's father died, their mother married a clockmaker. Their mother dies of tuberculosis before they settle down, and Tick and Tim proceeded to live with their stepfather above his shop.
One day, the brothers are sitting together when Tim asks Tick why he carries scissors. Tick replies that he doesn't know, but it could have something to do with why Tim is so smart. Tim insults Tick, but Tick takes the insult in stride. When Tim asks why he isn't mad, Tick answers that Tim is right. He is a lot smarter than Tick.
1925 EditIn September 1925, Tick's stepfather sells him as collateral to Luck Gandor in order to pay back a loan of $2025.50 he squandered in gambling. Luck describes Tick as having "a voice so relaxed it almost seemed to melt into the air, a marked contrast to the sharp metallic sound of the tools he held. His willowy body made it impossible to gauge his strength at a glance. He looked amicable enough, his eyes curved upwards in half-moon smiles. There was nothing else remarkable about the boy, and so the eye was naturally drawn once more to the scissors in his hands. ...It felt as though the scissors were the boy's true form, while his actual body was simply an afterthought."
At first, Luck is not willing to accept the clockmaker's proposal, but Tick catches his interest and he agrees to try his skills out for a day. Luck and Tick converse as they walk down the road; during the conversation Luck asks if Tick understands the situation he's in. Tick's answer is both accurate and unruffled: "Mmm, I think that Father borrowed money without being able to pay it back... So he sold me to you as collateral, Mr. Luck."
Luck warns Tick that if he deems the boy useless he'll stick a debt reminder on him and return him to his stepfather. He demands to know if Tick really understands what it means to help the mafia, and wants to know if Tick is prepared to get his hands 'dirty.' Would he be able to kill someone if Luck asked him to? "If you told me to, Mr. Luck." As Tick walks, he constantly opens and closes his scissors.
The two pass by Randy and Pezzo, and Luck learns that the clockmakers owes the Martillo Family money too to the tune of twelve thousand dollars. When a furious Luck turns to go back to the store, Tick smiles and asks him to stop, saying that his father is already done for. He never had the money to pay back the Martillos or the Gandor - in fact, he owes money to around eight other people too. He thinks that his stepfather is probably going to run away tonight with Tick's little brother Tack Jefferson (aka Tim). Tick explains that Tim is "really smart" - a genius - unlike himself, so his father probably thinks he'll be alright as long as he has Tack. Since "I [Tick] just get in the way," his stepfather was thinking of abandoning him anyway, since he doesn't have the money to feed Tick.
Luck asks how he can still smile, and asks if he hates his brother too. Tick says that he loves his stepfather and brother a lot. Luck decides that he still can't let this pass, but Tick clutches his arm and says that Luck doesn't know what he might be worth. For all he knows, Tick might be worth his father's debt. Luck had promised that he'd try Tick out for a day. There is a hint of nervousness that has crept into TIck's voice - and Luck is relieved to see that he really does have emotions after all. ("...He fully realizes the situation he's in, and he's long since come to terms with what he'll have to do.")
Luck grudgingly says that if the clockmaker does run off and if Tick proves to be worthless, he (Tick) will be stuck holding the debt. He asks if Tick is really okay with all of this, considering he didn't even get to say goodbye to the family he is trying to protect. Tick responds that he doesn't think he'll regret it, and besides the links between people aren't cut that easily. However, that means that people are easy to cut. You can touch them, which means you can cut them. That makes him both sad and happy.
Tick is present when the Gandor brothers are deliberating over how to punish Edith in early 1932. Tick suggests they cut her hair, since hair is a woman's pride and joy. The brothers and Edith agree to the suggestion, and Tick gives Edith a haircut that turns out to be very fetching.
1933 - The SlashEdit
In September 1933, Luck orders Tick to meet with a certain group of unknown delinquents who have been dealing in bootlegging on Gandor turf. Luck orders Maria to accompany Tick as his bodyguard. He expects Tick to coax this gang (led by Jacuzzi Splot) into working with the Gandors for protection fees unless they want to face another territorial dispute. Tick cheerfully accepts this mission whilst trimming flowers given to him by Edith. Maria observes him as he trims the flowers, and thinks that he would not be a very good florist.
Later after meeting with the Daily Days, he and Maria discuss their philosophy of why they prefer their beloved tools (her two katanas and his scissors). Tick feels that he cannot 'feel' the real world nor can he know what bonds and family mean until he cuts...something. What is uncertain. He says that their mission could turn dangerous, but Maria steadfastly declares that she will protect him no matter what the outcome. The two bond easily, attracting looks from passersby as they enter Millionaire's row (looking for the Genoard manor).
As the two accidentally overshoot the estate by several blocks, Tick talks to Maria about his family issues concerning his brother, and hopes that he will reconcile with Tack someday. They realize they missed the mansion, and figure that they should enter it via the back. They are confronted by Chane Laforet, who engages in a battle with Maria, much to Maria's delight and Tick's dismay. Chane promptly leaves them after she hears Jacuzzi screaming. Tick decides to enter via the front door.
Once Tick arrives, he spots and recognizes Tack (who is now called Tim). They exchange glances before Tick asks what is going on. Tim tells him he and the Larvae have business with Jacuzzi, but due to the circumstances they'll come back later. Tick suggests that he conclude business with Jacuzzi now, as depending on Jacuzzi's response to Tick's question -- Tim and co. might not have the opportunity to later. Dallas (who is present) charges toward Tick and swipes scissors from his belt (he intends to attack Adele. Tick falls to the ground, but manages to physically stop Dallas from moving. He passionately says that his scissors shouldn't be used for such barbarism.
The timely arrival of Ronny Schiatto and Ennis prompts Maria to sever Dallas' arm. Ronny and Tick exchange greetings, during which Ronny reveals to the group that Tick is the Gandor Family's torture specialist (much to the crowd's disbelief). The fight in the mansion escalates into a brawl between the women until Ronny decides to disperse the problem by teleporting Adele's and Maria's weapons away.
Adele mains Isaac Dian's ear, and an infuriated Ennis demands that Adele apologize to him. Tensions soar, but the scene comes to a close when Nice Holystone detonates a smoke bomb. Jacuzzi's entire gang retreats into the mansion depths; Tick grabs a devastated Maria and they make a run for it.
In the rain, Tick attends to a wounded Maria and she tearfully apologizes for claiming to be unbeatable and for not being able to protect him or fulfil their agreement. Tick dismisses this and claims that they can redeem themselves once the rain ends. He snips the air with his scissors, and the narration notes that the sounds are lonelier than usual.
The next day, Tick and Maria leave their hideout to return to the Gandor family, intending to report their failure. They pass by the manor. Thinking something is up, Maria takes the lead and heads for the door. They are greeted by Eve Genoard. Maria decides to take Eve hostage alongside Fang Lin-Shan, much to Tick's chagrin. Eve recognizes Maria from 1932, and Maria forces Fang to lead them to Jacuzzi's hideout.
Upon arriving at the harbor hideout, they are met by Chane and Claire Stanfield. The six of them decide to head to the Babel Restaurant at the Mist Wall. They take the elevator to the top floor restaurant, where Maria confronts Adele. Tick stays on the sidelines, observing the situation until Dallas detonates a bomb. Tim is weakened by the explosion, and a vengeful Dallas begins dragging him and Adele toward the shattered windows, intending to toss them out said openings.
Tick intervenes, stabbing Dallas multiple times with his scissors. He warns Dallas that he knows where Eve lives and that he will go after Eve should Dallas do anything to Tim. He states that Dallas should direct all his hatred towards Tick and not his brother Tim, and once he is certain that Dallas has done as he asked (and makes sure that Dallas knows his face) he proceeds to push the incapacitated Dallas out the window.
Tick and his younger brother reconcile, and Tim is shocked to learn that Tick had known who he was all along. Tim is also shocked to learn that Tick did not kill Tim's childhood pet hamster Jimmy (an incident that caused Tim to hate Tick). The brothers go their separate ways, and Tim promises to meet with Tick again whenever he is next in New York.
In the aftermath, Tick reports to Luck everything that he has learned and witnessed. Luck tells him (and Maria) the Gandors and Martillo factions have received their cuts from Jacuzzi's exploits, but he is angry that both Tick and Maria failed to report it before Ronny did (it is noted that Tick has a slightly strained smile when Maria enters the room). Luck tells them that if they want to be paid, they'd better go try and sell their information to the Daily Days.
- Tick is similar to Walker Yumasaki from Durarara!!, another light novel series by Ryohgo Narita. Both are normally depicted with their eyes shut and have rather cheerful personalities. Both are familiar with torture methods.
- He and his brother are like yin and yang in their names and personalities.
- Their names (Tick and Tack) are a joke referring to their father's occupation as a clockmaker. Tick and Tack are the onomatopoeia for a clock keeping time.
- In the English dub of the anime he was referred to as Chick by Luck Gandor in the first episode.
- Ryohgo Narita notes in the second book of the Slash that Tick and Maria's journey in the book is arguably one of the longest entries in the series.
- Tick uses his scissors for almost everything, from cutting vegetables to trimming flowers.
- In the anime, Tick (alongside Elean Duga and Eve) witnesses Gustavo Bagetta murder the Gandor brothers and the brothers' subsequent regeneration in 1932. He also witnesses Bartolo Runorata shoot Gustavo and make a deal with Eve. This entire scene does not happen in the light novels; the 1932 timeline was radically changed.
- In 1932 ~ Summer: Man in the Killer, one of the Gandor men comments that Tick plays with the neighborhood kids when he has nothing else to do. It is implied that it might be common for the Gandor men to see kids hanging out with Tick at the jazz hall.