Disclaimer: Disclaimed.

"Oh no, that won't do at all." The voice is like a lilting screech and the others who line the walkways of the Saiyajin spaceport stiffen. Vegeta notes their irritation alongside his own but does not give into their baser impulses, even when the voice repeats its shriek. "Couldn't bother to read my specifications, huh?" He begins towards the newly-arrived ship with a glare. "I didn't send them for kicks, you know," the voice says. He turns a corner and sees its source: a strangely colored woman in a tech suit. Her hands are on her hips. A third-class Saiyin is snarling at her.

Vegeta clears his throat and the third-class hops to. "Is there an issue," Vegeta says; it isn't a question so much as a command to quiet down and spare him the details.

"Shut it," the woman says with one finger raised in a gesture he supposes is meant to be threatening. "I only want to hear from you if you can be useful and fix whatever mess this idiot's made."

Vegeta silently dismisses the third-class and crosses his arms. He cocks his head and waits.

"Hey-hey you!" the girl shouts. The third-class has departed in an imbecilic scurry and Vegeta decides that from then on, he will hate any third-class that shares such features. The girl, meanwhile, pivots and puffs out her bottom lips. "Well, thanks little man. Thanks a lot. You want to take care of all this now?"

"Little-" he says before he can stop himself.

But the girl is shoving a tech pad at him and shouting orders to her crewmen. They scatter from her and she grabs him by the shoulder and spins him in place so that he can follow her. "-none of the materials are even here, which slows me down more than you'll want to deal with, and nobody even bothered to send on a prototype of your-" He blinks at the tech pad and her constant, touchy intrusions along the lines of his arm as she punctuates her frustration. "-which I need! Hey-are you even listening to me?" And suddenly she has paused to ogle him. "Look at you," the girl says. "All puffed up like a cat."

"What's a cat?"

"It's a-" She pauses and scrunches up her face. "Hi. I'm Bulma," she says. She extends a frail limb and smiles. "Can I help you?"

He won't bother to parse the significance of her outstretched hand or the easy way in which she answers him. It doesn't fit his notion of what Frieza's captives should be. "Why are you here?"

"I didn't want my planet purged," she says, as secure as his own father in the lizard's allegiance to hastily drawn treaties. "I mean," and the words come out of her mouth like a guffaw as she flaps her hand and his dry, red world. "Why give up all this?"

He presses his scouter and sneers. "Was there a battle?" he says. "Did many people die?" She has hardly a power-level at all; she could be mistaken for a warm rock in combat.

"There was," she says. But her voice is chipper and she turns her attention to a primitive writing utensil and a clipboard. "Before I negotiated a treaty. Lost people."

His tail quirks and he almost has to grasp it in his fist to keep it still. "That doesn't bother you?"

"Oh yeah," she says. She looks at him for a brief moment, her eyes steady on his face. The girl is a bad liar; some simmering emotion pulls at the corner of her lip. "Yeah," she says. "Don't know how to cope. I try not to think about how things could be different." She turns her face away and the movement of her shoulders suggests a hidden snicker.

It's too much for him. His tail unwinds and smacks at the clipboard. "What sort of response is that?" he says. The clipboard clatters at her feet. "Don't you have any sort of honor as a captive at all?"

"Oh," the girl says. "Hey-that's not a belt. That's a tail."

What-? He spares himself a glance-he's been careless. He secures it at his waist and settles into a frown.

"Hey," the girl says. "You all have them. Hey, um. Is that-" She knots her hands into each other. "-is that, you know?"

"A tail," he supplies.

"I mean, I can see that!" she says and her sudden blush runs right up into her hair. She licks her lips, and he thinks she is attempting a slyness when she then says, "Does it do anything dangerous?"

"Like what?" he says and he is immediately satisfied with her shiver.

"I don't know," she says. She looks at him suddenly and stills her face. "How could I know?"

"Maybe you've heard stories," he replies. He laughs then-feels its fullness in his throat. "You'd better hope he calls you off world before you have to find out." He walks on without her and she lingers behind a moment until she thinks to catch up with him.

"Will he?" she says. She's panting.

Vegeta finds this distasteful. "If you're useful."