|“||The things I felt for my dad and my brother, when my dad got rid of me... If someone hurt me, would my feelings for them have broken? Maybe that's all I want to know. And so, with all sorts of people, I take these scissors and–||”|
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 and soft-spoken young man. Like Ladd Russo, Tick has two contrasting sides to his personality. On the one hand, he is kind and quiet—often described as "innocent" and "childlike." 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 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 and intention to run away with Tim, and his 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 biological father dies, their mother marries a clockmaker and they move to New York. Their mother dies of tuberculosis before the boys are fully settled in the new city, and Tick and Tim (then known as Tock) proceed to live with their stepfather above his shop.
One day, Tim asks Tick why he carries scissors with him everywhere he goes. Tick replies that he does not 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 is not mad, Tick answers that Tim is right: Tim is more intelligent than he is.
Tick's stepfather calls Tick down to the shop one day in September in order to present him to the young Gandor Family executive Luck Gandor. He proceeds to sell Tick to the Gandors as debt collateral, in lieu of the $2025.50 he owes the Gandors but has no way of repaying in money.
At first, Luck is not willing to accept the clockmaker's proposal, but Tick catches his interest and he agrees to give Tick a one-day trial period. During his conversation with Tick as they exit the shop and walk down the road, he asks Tick if he truly comprehends the situation he is in—and is surprised to find that Tick is fully aware of what his stepfather has done.
Luck warns Tick that if he proves useless, he will be sent back to the stepfather with a debt reminder. He again tests Tick by asking him if he understands what dirty work for the mafia entails—if he would kill someone else if Luck asked. Tick replies that he would, shocking him.
The two briefly encounter the Martillo Family executives Randy and Pezzo, and Luck learns that the clockmaker owes the Martillos twelve thousand dollars. Furious, Luck turns to go confront the clockmaker, only to be stopped by Tick. Tick explains that his stepfather owes eight other people money, and that he never had the money to pay any of them back. He suspects that his stepfather plans to run away that night with Tick's little brother Tock (Tim), clarifying that Tock is a genius, whereas he is dull. Since Tick only holds the family back and is another mouth to feed, his stepfather has no reason to bring him along.
Luck asks how Tick can still smile if he knows all this, and if he hates his brother. Tick denies this, countering that he sincerely loves his stepfather and brother. When Luck still proves unwilling to leave the stepfather alone, Tick reminds him that Luck does not yet know what he could be worth to the Family, and of his promise to try Tick out for a day. At the note of worry in Tick's voice, Luck is relieved to see that Tick has emotions after all.
Concluding that Tick knows and has come to terms with what he will have to do for the Family, Luck warns Tick that he will be sent back to the clockmaker with a debt reminder if he proves worthless after all. He wonders if Tick is all right with leaving the family he is trying to protect, and Tick affirms that he is; he does not believe the bonds between people are so easily cut. However, he does believe that people themselves are easily cut, which he simultaneously finds 'fun' and 'sad'.
On New Year's Day, Tick and Felix "Vino" Walken spread out Tick's newly bought set of scissors on a center table in Coraggioso's basement in order to test them out. Vino amuses himself by splaying his hand and jabbing the tips of a pair of scissors into the spaces between his fingers, at an increasingly swift pace.
Tick watches Vino in admiration, greeting Coraggioso waitress Edith when she enters the basement and informing her of the new scissors purchase. Looking back at Vino, Tick remarks that he would like to try his own hand at the impressive display someday. Vino advises against this plan, recalling how painful it can be if one misses and cuts oneself, and Tick demurs and decides he will try it on his next torture victim instead.
So saying, Tick calls out to the Gandor brothers and informs them that Edith has arrived, prompting them to emerge from a back room. Edith confesses that she has betrayed the Family, explaining first that her boyfriend has gone missing after stealing drugs from the Runorata Family—the Gandors loathe drugs—and that an information broker at the Daily Days will only give her information on Roy's location on the condition of an information exchange. The information that the broker wants is something that Edith concluded only mafiosi like the Gandors would potentially know, and so she had no choice but to appeal to the Gandors for help.
The Gandors acknowledge that she must be punished for concealing information, but cannot come to a consensus over how to suitably punish a woman. As the brothers talk among themselves, Vino stops juggling five pairs of scissors so that he can whisper something into Tick's ear. Thus prompted, Tick asks the Gandor brothers if he can cut Edith's hair as punishment for her wrongdoing. The Gandors decide that this punishment will suffice, and Tick cuts Edith's hair in a way that makes it look more stylish than it had previously.
Once the haircut is finished, Luck asks Edith what sort of information the information broker wanted. When she replies that she is looking for a hitman named Vino, Vino—who had been attempting to juggle twenty scissors—looks over and identifies himself as the hitman in question.
After the January incident, Edith and Tick become solid friends.
That August, Tick comes across a young teenager called Mark Wilmans standing outside the Coraggioso. Noticing that the boy looks unsure of himself, he asks if something is wrong and assures him that the bar serves juice for children (as opposed to just alcohol)—something he can vouch for as he orders juice there all the time. Mark follows Tick down into Coraggioso's basement, where he freezes up once more at the smell of tobacco and group of Gandor men playing poker at a nearby table.
Tick heads into the kitchen to fetch Mark a meal, and overhears Maria Barcelito teasing Mark about the danger of children hanging around mafiosi. He calls out a warning that she should not scare visitors, emerging from the kitchen shortly thereafter with a ham sandwich and an apple; the top half of the apple has been sculpted in the likeness of a man and woman holding hands. Mark is awed at the skilled craftsmanship, but Tick snips the figures in half.
During Mark and Maria's ensuing conversation, Maria accidentally reveals that the Gandor brothers are immortal. Tick admonishes her for revealing a strict Family secret, and then gently suggests that it would be in Mark's best interests if he ceases enquiring into the matter. After correctly guessing that the reason Mark visited Coraggioso was to seek out information on Immortals, Tick warns Mark that he should not seek out information at places like Coraggioso: places where asking for information or favors always comes with a price, and where going into debt is dangerous for the debtor.
Sincerely worried for Mark's safety, Tick then asks if Mark has heard of Ice Pick Thompson, the serial killer currently terrorizing the streets of Manhattan. When Mark nods, Tick confides that Ice Pick Thompson has murdered several members of the Gandor Family, and warns him once more to be careful.
At the same moment, Carl Dignis enters the basement office in search of the Gandor brothers, bearing news on Ice Pick Thompson. With the Gandor brothers absent, one of the Gandor mafiosi leads him into a backroom for a private talk. Tick informs Mark that Carl is a Daily Days reporter, and that Mark can ask the Daily Days for information on immortals without risking his life. Mark thanks Tick and leaves the office.
In September, Tick relays the story of how he joined the Gandors to his latest torture victim, heedless of the man's screaming and sobbing. He informs the man that he has tortured countless people over the past eight years in order to witness what it takes for their familial bonds to break, and that some people discard their bonds immediately while others remain silent no matter how grossly they are tortured. Tick believes that his current torture victim is one of the latter group, and he respects the man's strength.
Luck interrupts the torture session and orders Tick to go on break while he takes over. Tick leaves the room as ordered, only to return out of genuine worry and warn Luck that the man may die without medical treatment. He is relieved when his warning is acknowledged, and heads upstairs for his break.
The same month, Luck assigns Tick with a negotiation mission: he wants to seek out a certain group of unknown delinquents who have been carrying out criminal operations on Gandor and Martillo turf without permission, with the aim of convincing the leader Jacuzzi Splot to work with the Gandors for protection fees. Later, Tick is busy trimming flowers given to him by Edith while Luck briefs Maria on her role in the mission, which is to act as Tick's bodyguard. Maria heads over to Tick's table once the briefing is finished, and from the shredded state of the flowers judges that Tick would not be suited for florist work.
After a visit to the Daily Days, Tick and Maria discuss their philosophy of why they each 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', though what that 'something' is uncertain.He says that their mission could turn dangerous, but Maria steadfastly declares that she will protect him no matter the outcome.
The pair eventually reach Millionaires' Row, but are so engrossed in their conversation that they accidentally overshoot the Genoard Manor, their final destination. Tick confides his concerns over and desire to reconcile with his long-gone brother Tock to Maria before he finally realizes that they missed the manor; despite his protests, Maria elects to enter the manor via the back door rather than the front. She is barred from entering by Chané Laforet, who promptly engages her in battle. Maria is delighted while Tick is dismayed, but the fight is ultimately cut short when Chané hears Jacuzzi screaming. Chané dashes into the manor with Maria hot on her feels, and Tick decides to enter via the front door as he originally intended.
Upon entering the manor and surveying the crowd of people within, Tick immediately recognizes Tock (now called Tim) as his younger brother, despite the other's vastly different appearance. He exchanges a glance with Tim, but makes no indication of recognition since he assumes Tim's appearance means that he has distanced himself from his past. Instead, Tick simply chastises Maria for fighting despite their bosses' orders.
Tim looks over to the Larva and signals for them to leave the manor, remarking that they will return to continue their discussion with Jacuzzi under better circumstances. At this, Tick suggests that the Larva conclude their business with Jacuzzi first, since Jacuzzi's gang might potentially no longer exist in the future—depending on how they respond to Tick's own item of business.
The doorbell rings, announcing the arrival of Ennis and Martillo chiamatore Ronny Schiatto. Tick expresses his surprise that Ronny has come to negotiate in person, and Ronny wastes no time in demanding that the delinquent gang decide whether they are the Martillos' friend or foe. Though Jacuzzi has finally come around from his dead faint, the situation turns into a standoff, Oblivious to the tense atmosphere, Tick wonders why no one is moving.
Upon fully regaining consciousness, the previously dead Dallas Genoard stands and lunges at Tim in fury, only to pause at the tension in the room. The only person willing to look at him is Ennis, and Dallas, recognizing her, charges toward Tick and snatches a pair of scissors from Tick's belt. Tick falls to the ground, where he grabs Dallas' wrist and demands that Dallas return his scissors. Dallas is unmoved by Tick's plea that the scissors must not be used for hate or malice, but his attempt to stab Tick is thwarted when Maria severs his offending hand.
Maria is momentarily surprised when Dallas' hand regenerates, but recovers and remarks that he is just like her bosses. She takes great delight in slashing Dallas over and over, but switches her attention to Adele after Tim orders Adele to intervene. Maria and Adele's fight is forcibly ended when Ronny teleports their respective weapons out of their hands and into his own. Isaac & Miria compliment him on his magic trick, only for Adele to cut Isaac's ear with her spear. Ennis demands that Adele apologize to Isaac, and tensions escalate until Nice Holystone detonates a smoke bomb. In the ensuing chaos, Tick takes hold of a devastated Maria and dashes out of the manor and into the pouring rain.
The two eventually take refuge from the weather in an abandoned building near Grand Central Station, where Tick assists Maria in tending to her wounds. Tearful, Maria apologizes for having claimed she was unbeatable, and for not being able to protect him or fulfil their agreement. Tick apologizes in turn: he thinks that it might be his fault that Maria lost, since he had not been capable of fully believing in the certainty of success like Maria had. He promises that he will try harder to believe in her, and that he has not seen her pride or soul yet broken.
After Maria falls asleep, Tick mutters to himself that the situation has become complicated, and wonders if there is someone who is powerful enough to cut through the tangled threads ensnaring all involved parties.
The next day, Tick and Maria venture out into the rain once more and head back to the Genoard manor, unwilling to return to the Gandors empty-handed. They are greeted by Eve Genoard, rather than one of Jacuzzi's delinquents, and Maria impulsively takes Eve and her chef Fang Lin-Shan hostage—to Tick's immense chagrin. Eve recognizes Maria from a previous encounter in January 1932, and Maria forces Fang to lead them to Jacuzzi's hideout.
Jacuzzi is nowhere to be found once they reach the hideout, which is empty save for Chané and Vino. Now a party of six, the group heads for the Mist Wall, the New York headquarters of the Nebula corporation. Vino's attempt to pick the lock of the front entrance is made redundant when Ennis arrives and kicks one of the front doors down.
With Eve and Fang remaining outside, Tick, Vino, Chané, and Maria take the elevator to the Babel Restaurant to the top floor. Vino and Christopher Shaldred exit the restaurant to fight on the roof, with Chané and Hong Chi-Mei following, and Maria tentatively confronts Adele.
Tick remains a passive observer of the events that unfold until Dallas commits a suicide bombing by setting off the explosives tied around his chest. The explosion injures Adele and weakens Tim, both of whom Dallas seizes after he regenerates and drags toward the shattered windows, clearly intending to throw them off the skyscraper.
Springing into action, Tick internves by stabbing Dallas multiple times with his scissors. During the assault, he warns Dallas that he knows where Eve lives and that he will go after Eve should Dallas do anything to his brother Tim. Furthermore, he tells Dallas to direct all his hatred towards him rather than his brother, 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 through the open window.
Tick and his younger brother reconcile, and Tim is shocked to learn that Tick had known who he was all along. He is further stunned when Tick denies killing Tim's childhood pet rat, an incident which caused Tim to hate Tick as a youth. Tim promises to meet with Tick again whenever he next visits New York, and the brothers go their separate ways.
In the aftermath of the Mist Wall incident, Tick reports to Luck everything that he has learned and witnessed. When Maria joins them, Luck announces that the Gandors and Martillos have received their cuts from Jacuzzi's exploits, but condemns Tick and Maria's failure to report the outcome of their mission before Ronny contacted Luck (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, their only chance is to try and sell their information to the Daily Days.
In February, Tick attends the Runorata Family's casino party at Ra's Lance along with the Gandor brothers, Maria, and other hitmen the Gandors have employed: Alkins; Ladd Russo and Graham Specter; Laz Smith and Mark Wilmens; and one person who has yet to be identified.
- According to 1932 Drug & The Dominos, Tick lives in Coraggioso.
- 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 Tock) are a joke referring to their stepfather's occupation as a clockmaker, as Tick and Tock are the English onomatopoeia for a clock keeping time.
- In the English dub of the anime he was referred to as Mr. Chick by Luck Gandor in the first episode.
- Ryohgo Narita notes in the second novel of the Slash that Tick and Maria's journey in the novel 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 2007 anime, Tick, Elean Duga, and Eve witness 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. These events do 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 often entertains the neighborhood children when he has nothing else to do.