"Predi leaned against the long, cold chrome wall, the stick in her mouth hanging like a cigarette between her lips.

"What is that, anyway?" I asked.

Predi's brows rose. "What's what?"

"That thing in your mouth. Is it a cigarette?"

"No, it's a stick from what used to be a lollipop with gum in the center. They used to have a lot of them in the Old World. What? You don't have them in the upper tier?"

I shook my head.

"Well, fancy that. You would think there would be all kinds of delicacies up there. But you would know better than me." Predi smiled, taking the stick from her mouth and flicking it into a nearby trashcan. The motion's easy, even as I studied her fingerless black gloves.

She took another candy from her jacket's breast pocket, peeled the wrapper, and put the green colored globe in her mouth, the stick resting comfortably from her parted lips.

"Aren't you worried your teeth will rot?" I said, shifting a little from where I leaned against the wall beside her.

She shrugged. "Teeth are replaceable. Doesn't come cheap, but I s'pose they're cheaper to replace than another set of lungs. Or heck, even one lung. Kysratian doctors grow them easy, but the surgery's not. Besides, there are personal perks to this kind of candy that make it worth losing a tooth in 50 years."

Predi paused a moment, before giving me a wicked side glance. "If the guy I like kisses me with his tongue, he can still taste the flavor."

She laughed, probably because she saw the sudden flood of red spreading from my neck to my hairline.

"Oh don't be so gullible, 'cause I imagine you thinking the same. Here. I'll give you one to tide you over for now. If we're going to find my brother, we'll need all the energy we can get. A sugar rush won't kill you, not any time soon. Compared to where we're going, sugar's probably the sweetest way to die.""

- from my YA cyberpunk WIP, title pending.  Predi's the transgendered character in my YA cyberpunk universe.  The narrator's Dita, my protagonist.


I'm not even sure if I'll keep this scene, but it shows the personality of the characters well, I think.