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Don't Fall in Love

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The first time Tyki met him he went by Deak. It was an old, run down tavern that he and Bookman walked into, intending to stay in one of the rooms upstairs and not bother with the ruckus the customers downstairs were making.

Tyki was posing as a human then, drinking and gambling with his other human friends in a much needed bout of pure pleasure. As much as the Bookman clan were impartial observers, they stood out quite a bit, so it was easy to think they were highly important people. That was the only reason Tyki had looked away from his fun in the first place.

It was a pretty instantaneous recognization, even before they entered the Order and became his official enemies. The Earl had pointed out the panda-like eyes of the senior Bookman and the eyepatched Bookman Junior to Tyki before but said nothing else past that. But at the time, Tyki felt like he was saying "Recognize them, but don't touch them."

So when Tyki saw them, he decided to heed the Earl's warning and ignore them like they were no different from anyone else who walked through that door. His friends who were currently engaging in a bar-wide arm wrestling contest, however, didn't heed the same warning in their tipsy state.

"Hey, that guy looks strong, doesn't he?" one of them pointed.

"Huh? That old man?"

"No, you idiot, the one with the eyepatch!"

"Him? No way. I could take him."

Tyki couldn't help but smile. He knew he shouldn't get involved, but he couldn't help his desire to seek out pleasure and right now that Bookman Junior looked like the most interesting person in the room. The Earl's warning made him seem like a grandiose piece of art he shouldn't touch, which meant the urge to touch was only heightened.

"I bet he could beat you," Tyki spoke, blowing out a plume of smoke.

"Oh, you wanna get in on this, Tyki?!" his friend smiled."Then get that guy over here and let's start a betting pool! It's Eyepatch verses Taylor!"

While the betting pool began to pile up, some of his other friends called over to Bookman Junior. He didn't look all too thrilled to participate, however.

What had the Earl said about them? Right, Bookman have no hearts. They throw away emotion for the sake of knowledge, so of course the young apprentice would have no pride as a man urging him to participate. Instead he just looked to Bookman with questioning eyes, probably leaving the decision to him. But him leaving now just wouldn't do, not when Tyki was already this excited.

Amongst the hollering from his friends, Tyki spoke up."C'mon! This'll be a valuable experience, boy!"

He knew, if anything, that would spur them into action. The Bookman's eyes turned to meet his and the recognition was clear as day. Tyki should've expected as much, but it seemed his apprentice didn't yet know of him, at least the him in his human form.

At the way the Bookman's stance changed, Tyki knew he was going to let his junior go. Meeting a Noah in their human form was quite the experience, after all. Though that wasn't Tyki's original intention, he was content.

With a few words from Bookman, his apprentice turned to them with a nasty grin which made Tyki's heart beat out of control."Alright, I'll take you on!"

All the bar-goers cheered at his admission, clearing the way for him at the table they were mainly using for their competition. Tyki sat back to watch with a smile, taking another drag of his cigarette in satisfaction. Now that the junior Bookman was here, there was little chance he would be leaving until much later in the night.

"Alright, let's see what you got, Eyepatch!" Taylor taunted from across the table, slamming his arm down and awaiting the Bookman's grip.

"Don't blame me if you lose all your money!" he taunted back, meeting Taylor's grip with a hearty squeeze.

"Now play fair, guys!" his friend organizing everything spoke, speech beginning to slosh."Ready, begin!"

The tension in each mans arm was immediate and the show was on. But as much credit as he gave Taylor, Tyki knew the Bookman would win. There was no way he could watch a battle one-sidedly without gaining a bit of strength himself.

"You got this, Taylor!"

"Show-'em what you got, Eyepatch!"

And before anyone knew it, the match was over and Taylor had lost. Following the brief silence was a wave of hollers and boisterous laughter. Money was thrown around, pints of beer clinked together, and suddenly the outsider with the eyepatch had become apart of the group.

Everyone, along with Tyki and the Bookman, drank their hearts out and continued their stupid competition with glee. The Bookman was put through the ringer, man after man falling down to his superior strength as he won one competition after another with a bright and buzzed face.

"He's unbeatable!" his latest opponent said after another loss, throwing his arms up in defeat and not realizing the weight he put on the chair he sat in as he fell over onto the floor.

The Bookman laughed at his victory."C'mon! Keep-'em coming! I've still got plenty of energy left!"

"Shit, who hasn't challenged him?!"

"We've got to take him down!"

"Tyki!" one of his friends called to him, realizing Tyki hadn't had his chance against the Bookman's apprentice yet."You haven't fought him yet!"

"Tyki!"

"Right, if it's Tyki then maybe he can do it!"

Tyki smiled around his cigarette."Are you sure?" he asked."Though I look like this, I'm pretty strong."

"Bring it on," the Bookman smirked back at him."Let's see what you got!"

Tyki's smile widened and he sat up and made his way to the Bookman, tossing his cigarette aside along the way. Everyone around them hollered and cheered as he slowly took his seat, a tension building between them instantly.

It was clear they were both buzzed. And though Tyki knew Bookman didn't have hearts, he wondered boy's was thumping as hard as his was right then.

"The legendary showdown between Tyki and Eyepatch!"

"Woohoo!"

"No hard feeling, boy, but I can't have you beating all of us." Tyki smirked.

"Those are big words." Bookman's apprentice smirked back."Let's see you put your money where your mouth is."

They both grasp each others hands across the table, not even waiting for anyone to say anything before they started their competition.

Now, normally, Tyki's strength as a Noah would give him a massive edge to easily beat the Bookman, but it seemed the alcohol in his system didn't want him going all out at the moment. The Bookman, too, seemed to be giving into the buzz of alcohol which made their duel a lot more pathetic than it looked on the outside.

Still, it was tense as Tyki noticed instantly that they were evenly matched. From then on, it was a matter of mental strength rather than physical. Tyki knew his pleasure would win out, especially against a Bookman, and grinned wider as he knew he was nearing victory.

But, suddenly, the drunk body of Taylor fell on the table right where their arms were linked. Both of them narrowly avoided being crushed by him, simply watching as the table they were using was suddenly snapped in two.

There was a silence between the two of them as they stared down at the sight of drunken Taylor resting in the middle of the broken table, mumbling randomly. Amidst the absurdity of it all, they couldn't help but burst into laughter. The duel didn't matter anymore and it never did. In the end, they were all just having fun.

More alcohol was passed around and Taylor destroyed more tables and chairs in a glory of drunkenness. Everything grew more jovial as someone got on the piano and a beaten down guitar and began to spew out music, making people sway and slur out verses of songs they could barely remember.

At some point Tyki and the apprentice's arms landed on each others shoulders as they swayed and sang along with everyone else. Tyki could distinctly remember looking down at him and seeing that bright, carefree smile of his and wishing it would be the only thing he saw the rest of his life. He, at that moment, had become utterly smitten with a man who didn't have a heart.

But still he smiled and laughed along with the Bookman, enjoying the heat radiating off him and forgetting what he had been so concerned about regarding the Order, the Bookman, and the Noah. He was just enjoying the delicacies of a human life, drowning himself in his innate pleasures with newfound glee.

And so, along with all his friends, he laughed.




Tyki had forced himself to forget that night. Or, at least, he thought he had.

When he had seen the Bookman apprentice again, now known as Lavi and working for the Order, he thought he had gotten over it. He even fought him and hurt him, so he felt that surely that was the end of the pleasure he felt that night. But seeing the dead look in the Bookman's eye and his limp form barely holding onto life at the hands of his family, he knew he was just deluding himself.

He hadn't forgotten the boy with the eyepatch who singlehandedly took out all his friends in an arm wrestling competition or his bright, blinding smile or the jovial laughter that leaked from his lips like laughing was the easiest thing in the world to do. He wanted to see that joy again, not this.

So when Sheril had slammed Lavi into the far wall of the room they were in, force cracking it and probably parts of Lavi's body as well, Tyki knew he needed to stop him. If he didn't, Lavi would die before he even got the chance to see him smile again.

"C'mon, Sheril, cut it out," he said, attempting nonchalance even as he pulled out a cigarette in the hope of calming his shaking hands."You're gonna kill him. The Bookman's only going to have a tighter mouth if you kill his apprentice."

Sheril's anger didn't subside, but at least he was listening to Tyki."Right, right..." he mumbled off, closing his eyes briefly."My sweet Road..."

"Go take a breath outside, then we'll continue later, okay? I'll watch the two of them for you until then."

Sheril nodded, glancing at the two Bookman and then making for the door. He gave Tyki one last cautious look.

"They're not going anywhere, don't worry." Tyki shushed him away with his hand.

"They better not," Sheril responded."I'm far from done with them yet." And with that, he slammed the door behind him.

Tyki took one last drag from his cigarette to calm his nerves before putting it out. He forced himself not to rush over to the hunched over apprentice like a fool, but it was hard not to. Seeing the damage up close as he knelt to Lavi's level only made things worse, and he couldn't even do anything to help him. The Bookman probably wouldn't want his help anyways.

Still, if anything, he wanted to be gentle. Lavi had gone through enough already, so he could spare him that much.

Before Tyki could move Lavi back to the chair, however, the boy breathed out a small chuckle which startled him. Tyki met Lavi's eyes and realized that he was staring directly at him. He raised an eyebrow in question and Lavi answered in a small, raspy voice.

"What a funny face..."

Tyki was still beyond confused and was sure his face made an even funnier expression upon admission. He wasn't sure what to say, if anything. He hadn't expected Lavi to be even conscious at this point.

Yet, he kept talking."Your fear is clear on your face, Noah...I've seen something similar, but never on you. You love me, don't you, Tyki Mikk?"

Though placed like a question, it was clearly a statement. Tyki was shocked, blood running hot as he couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"You remember..."

"Bookman have great memories. Even drunk, I would never forget," Lavi mumbled to him in such a drawl way that Tyki couldn't get a read on him. He didn't know whether he was screwed or saved."When we saw you on the train that day...When we saw you reveal yourself on the Ark...It's like you wanted me to find out."

Tyki remained quiet, letting Lavi say as he pleased. He wouldn't admit to anything, because that would mean he lost. He couldn't have Lavi figuring out exactly how much he cared about him, because he couldn't delude himself any longer: Lavi would be the end of him.

"Even now, you look so desperate...Despite being a Noah."

Tyki blood ran cold at his words. There was no way Lavi could have the same feelings as him. He couldn't skew the lines between friend and foe like Tyki could, like he loved doing so much before.

"I wouldn't talk too much, Eyepatch," Tyki said, watching Lavi's labored breathing."I would save your energy for when Sheril comes back if I were you."

Lavi let out a wry smile."It's fine."

Tyki raised another eyebrow.

"Just don't let me die."

"Hah?!" Tyki couldn't help but raise his voice slightly in his disbelief."Keep you from dying? That's not possible, boy. Why would I want to risk my life for you anyways?"

"It's possible...You could do it. Because people always do stuff like this when they're in love, right?"

He was trying to manipulate him. It was a clear, absolute tactic that Tyki knew he could do nothing against. He didn't think the boy had it in him, honestly. Didn't think he was paying attention enough to notice. It was Tyki's fault for underestimating him and slipping up instead of keeping his walls closed.

"You're the Noah of Pleasure, right?" Lavi whispered, body beginning to creak forward to the point where Tyki had to hold him by the shoulders to keep him upright, their faces now side by side."There are many different kinds of pleasures. Remember: Which one was your favorite? Which one do you crave the most?"

Tyki's mind instantaneous went back to the tavern. He thought of the alcohol, music, and laughter. He thought of Lavi there next to him, bright smile on his face as his warmth leaked over Tyki's skin. He thought of Lavi looking up at him with that same smile, laughing jovially like there was nothing either of them had to care about, because there never was.

Tyki couldn't help the small chuckle that bubbled past his lips."You got me," he gave in with a somewhat blissful sigh."Geez, you don't hold back, do you?"

He leaned further forward, picking up Lavi as gently as possible to take him back over to the empty chair in the room."I was planning on doing so anyways, so I guess it doesn't matter much."

Lavi let out a small, pained laughed in response.

Tyki noticed Bookman give them a small once over before returning to look away from the pair. Tyki felt like pouting.

"Were you in on this too?" he asked the Bookman, who he knew wouldn't respond."I feel like I've been played a dirty hand, but I guess that's what I get for messing with the Bookman clan."

Tyki gently placed Lavi down, frowning as the other hissed in pain at the action even with how gentle he was trying to be. It was clear that just keeping his siblings away for awhile wouldn't cut it. He needed to treat Lavi properly when they were away or else something other than parasites would cause him to die.

"Haven't you heard the old phrase, Noah?" Lavi smiled."Don't fall in love with a Bookman."

Because they won't love you back.

"It looks like I was a little late on the pick up."

Tyki situated Lavi properly in what he felt was the most comfortable position. The pair looked into each others eyes briefly, and Tyki wondered if he would ever make him feel anything like his friends at the Order made him feel.

In one final action, Tyki lightly grasped at the tufts of Lavi's hair and placed a small kiss to his temple, pouring as much love as he could into the small action.

"I'll keep you alive as long as I can, Lavi," he whispered to him."I promise."

Lavi smiled in return."I'll hold you to that, Noah."