"Cosmic Gir– Cosmic Man," he self-corrected. His face was blank, so I couldn't tell if he was embarrassed or mad at himself for forgetting. At this point, I was just glad that he'd bothered. "Do you want us to take him from here?"
I studied Floyd and resisted the urge to put my hands across my chest. It was still unfamiliar in the suit, and I wasn't happy with the way it appeared. I also missed the cape. Maybe I would have to bring back the cape. Sure it sucked in the wind sometimes, but it provided a little bit of cover in times like these. Naieema had assured me that my ass looked 'hella fine' from the back, but I still didn't know if I wanted it to be all over my fanpages. Talk about B-roll.
"No, I'll take him." I waved a hand at the cars and stopped traffic. "You want me to move this first?" Clearing accidents to the side of the road was one of the few things I did that endeared me to the local populace more than anything else. If you see a semi on its side, and you can literally drag it to the shoulder, stop and fucking drag the semi. Don't be a dick, boys and girls.
So I moved the truck off to the side, stacked the cash machines in the sidewalk, wrapped my hand around Floyd's wrists like a vice and pulled him up into my arms before taking off. His eyes fluttered open, and he smiled, and it was the saddest thing I'd seen in a while.
It's not Floyd's fault that he has three missing teeth—I knocked them out four years ago, and sadly, his alien biology won't allow him to receive implants, courtesy of the prison medical program. On the other hand, he literally fell into my fist. He was falling off a building and I was trying to catch him and he was pulling out a firearm and I was trying to not get anyone shot and he was trying to totally shoot me, and the next thing we knew, we had collided in midair like two drunken teens on the prom night dance floor.
His head rolled to face me as I coasted over the back of the police station toward the front. There would be a unit waiting there to put him in the manacles that I designed especially for him years ago. You would think, by now, Floyd would have just given up on the whole criminal thing and gotten a job in the movies, or maybe a roaming carnival. He had many fine qualities. Somewhere.
"You know," he said quietly, "I liked you better when you were a chick."
I seriously thought about just dropping him.
-- from "Pedal to the Mettle" by Gretchen Crane