The Strong One Doesn't Win

Disclaimer: I do not own The Demon's Lexicon or any of its characters. All of it belongs to Sarah Rees Brennan.

Even after a lifetime of living as a human among humans, Nicholas Ryves was still more demon than anything else. True though it may be that he had a far greater feel for human emotion than any other existing demon, they still greatly confused him. For example, words and their multiple indirect meanings were still foreign to him.

However, there was on human phrase that he decided he understood quite well. And, of course, the one who embodied into something he understood was his older not-brother, Alan Ryves.

From the beginning, Alan had manipulated everyone and everything into a situation in which he would obtain his desire, and in the end, Nick had been set free.

Merris Cromwell, unofficial but widely recognized leader of the Goblin Market, believed herself to be so socially and politically powerful. She was rich enough to run her Goblin Market business on not but traded favors. That wealth came from blood money from the Mezentius House, a place of demon imprisonment, a place where she was Queen. Yet, she was afraid of young teenaged Alan and the power he could wield against her in the Goblin Market social circle. All he had ever shown there was kindness.

Arthur Black had spent the final sixteen years of his life chasing after the Ryves family to catch a demon, coveting the power it possessed. It was Olivia who had escaped with the demon baby, and yet it had been Alan who had kept it . . . him. Alan was the one who had raised him. Alan had been the one to always protect him. Black had Anzu place a second tier mark on Alan, thinking they were luring them to the Obsidian magician's circle to trap the demon. But that supposed trap was no more than a means to Alan's end. The magic circle meant to enslave became that which led to the gift of freedom. It was what enabled Alan, who was no magician and definitely no dancer, to be the first and only one to ever command Nick's demon's power. Alan had set him free, and in the end, it was the lifeblood of Arthur Black that saved the life of Alan Ryves.

Every lie Alan had ever told. Every action he had taken. Every word spoken. Every look. Every touch. All of them had led up to that moment. And after he had tasted freedom, Nick found he was still tied to the frail human he had called his brother his entire "human" life.

So the saying he found he understood embodied in his brother? The strong one does not win, the one that wins is strong.

Alan had won. With his messy red hair. With his poor eyes that needed glasses to see. With a burned limp leg. With extreme self-sacrificing, almost self-crippling kindness. Being fragile, even for a human. Alan had won. Alan was strong.

That had been his truth ever since he was little. Nick had never seen Alan as anything but. And as his thoughts floated around with his elder not-brother at the center, Nick thought that someday he would be able to understand words enough that he would finally be able to stop hurting Alan with his.

A/N: Done with my first Demon's Lexicon fanfiction. It's more a drabble than anything else, I know. But the idea was in my head and just begging to be written, so hear it is. Like it? Hate it? Wanna tell me everything that was wrong with it? Knock yourself out (aka Go for it). Yes, I plan on writing a second fanfic for this book, though it probably won't be related in anyway to this one. Not much else to say here. See you next fic.