Is it bad that I saw the characters and, before I read that they were original, I saw it as kid Moran protecting kid Moriarty? That was without thinking it through or anything. Only after realizing "hey that's a space tick" did I wonder "wait, why is Moran protecting Moriarty from a space tick?" Then I was confused, and then I read your description, and then I was unconfused.
So yeah. That's the journey I went through with your picture.