Disclaimer: I do not own DragonBall, any of its characters, connections, sequels, products, and so on.

Note: This is a remake of my original "Sickness" fanfiction, centering on Bulma and Vegeta. Please be kind to me, yoroshiku.

Sickness: The Remake

One

With a groan, Bulma turned over under the covers. Her alarm was blaring at her, making her wince as she remembered just why she'd chosen such an obnoxiously loud one. It was to get her up, she reminded herself; late nights came often with how she stayed in the lab, driven to finish a project before she went to bed, rather than to set it aside. Perhaps it was obsession, but in the long run, it was damn stupid.

Especially because she set her alarm to get her up five minutes before a certain housemate would be up and bellowing for service. For someone who was clearly in her debt, he sure didn't act anything like it. She supposed he could at least show some gratitude, but she also understood his point of view -- he was a prince, raised like a prince. Much like her, being almost a princess, and raised like a princess.

It was odd how alike they were for being totally different, as long as you looked at it from a certain way. He had his skills and power, being of a warrior race, his entire short stature completely overwhelmed by the amount of pride within him. Alternatively, she had her own skills, an intelligence far beyond that of the everyday person, just as much attitude as he, and a pride great enough to rival his. And that was precisely the reason why they couldn't get along.

She slapped at her alarm until the annoying noise stopped, heaving a sigh. She felt more tired than usual today, she realized, forcing herself up. She doubted she had enough spunk to argue with the prince who was most likely just getting up himself. That was a bad thing, too; when she didn't argue, he always got a pleased kind of expression, like in his mind he'd won some battle. It was all about the battles for him, wasn't it?

She wobbled as she got to her feet, fighting off a wave of dizziness. Her footsteps were heavy as she crossed the room, heading for her personal bath. As soon as she entered the room, overlooking that she should've closed the door, she leaned against the sink, head down. If she didn't know any better, she'd start to swear that she was sick. Which was ridiculous, really. She took vitamins and such, medicines meant to keep her at the peak of health.

When she looked up, meeting her gaze in the mirror, she wasn't so sure anymore.

She looked like she'd been run over by a car. Her skin was so pale it was like looking at a dead woman, with unhealthy purple discoloration under her eyes, virtually no pigmentation to her lips. . . Now she was positive she'd caught something, but from the facts given, she could only assume it was something fatal.

She hoped it wouldn't come to that, even as her legs gave out and she collapsed. She was panicking and she knew it, breath coming harder as she fought off the fear starting to rise in the back of her neck. For a moment she tried to speak, to make her vocal cords work, only to find that everything in her was preventing her from accomplishing such a simple task. There was even a ringing in her ears, which she supposed is why she didn't hear Vegeta's angry voice until he was at her door. How long had he been calling for her, she wondered? Long enough to get fed up with waiting, certainly, and that tended to take a while.

He opened the door, though she couldn't see it from here. Closing her eyes, she tried gulping in air, as he undoubtedly looked around for her. With his hearing, she thought, it wouldn't take long for him to pick out her harsh breathing and find her. She could only hope he wouldn't be cruel and overlook her current situation.

She noticed the instant he spotted her, because that was when he abruptly ceased yelling for her to answer. Now that her eyes were closed, she found, no amount of effort she gave would open them. She tried again and again, getting her eyelids to do no more than flutter.

". . .What the hell is wrong with you, woman?" Vegeta said, his voice cutting through the ringing in her ears. Maybe it was because her hearing was muffled, but he sounded less rough than usual.

She managed a moan in response, though she did try to give a more intelligible reply. I think I'm sick, she thought, wishing for a moment that he was telepathic and able to hear it.

His footfalls brought him closer, and then she felt him shove her shoulder. It shot searing pain through her, which was surprising in itself; he'd never hurt her before. She gave a kind of hiss at the shock, and his hand drew back.

"You look like shit," he commented.

Thanks for that,

she thought sarcastically, wanting desperately that she could make her voice work.

She heard him give a sigh, obviously thinking about what he should do now. Without her make some kind of insanely huge breakfast for him, he was probably stuck. Though she didn't doubt his ability to feed himself, she knew he'd much rather have someone else do it for him.

Then, surprisingly, she felt herself lifted, and pain everywhere she was touched. Did he grow spikes overnight or something? Surely she couldn't be this sensitive. She heard herself give a painful kind of grunt, and then she was back on her bed, from the feel of it. The trip had felt too short to her, but then, she was too busy trying to wrap her mind around what the hell he was doing to notice how much time passed.

That worried her, too. Since when did she lose the concept of time while thinking, regardless of what she was doing? She struggled again to open her eyes, hearing his heavy footsteps as he left the room. Knowing him even slightly told her that his hunger came first, before the needs of others. She imagined he'd go first and foremost to the kitchen, stuff himself raw, then return -- if at all.

Mentally, she went over her symptoms, counting them out as she discovered them. She was weak, discolored, shaking a bit, in pain when touched, unable to gather the strength to speak or even open her eyes. So she started making a list in her mind of known sicknesses, crossing out those that didn't fit logically or match up physically. Certainly a woman couldn't get something like testicular or prostate cancer, for instance.

As time went by, she could almost feel her mind slowing and her body getting heavier. She was dozing off, which she supposed was a good thing -- unless it was a precursor to going comatose. She fought feebly against the sleep calling for her only for a short while, and then she jerked awake when her bed was nudged.

She could open her eyes now, she noted, staring up at a very disgruntled prince. He was standing almost against the bed, apparently having shoved it to wake her up. Arms folded, glare in place, he looked no different than any other time she'd ever seen him.

"What?" she said, surprised that she could talk now. Apparently that light doze had replenished a bit of her strength.

"The house is still deserted," he told her. "Your fucking parents haven't come back yet."

Her reply was, "Duh. They'll be gone for the rest of the month." Her mouth felt different, she noted; her tongue was too thick. Her words had definitely been slurred.

She saw his jaw clench, obviously very unhappy with her. "Do you need medical attention?"

She thought about that. Certainly he wasn't concerned about her -- everything about him denied it furiously. He was just worried about losing a slave, or something like that. She said, "I don't think so."

"Good."

She almost jumped, thinking she would lash out at him if only she could; he reached for her. She knew she couldn't do much against him, reiterated by how strong his arms were as he lifted her. If only she could struggle, just a little, enough to annoy him and prove she wasn't just a tool.

"What the hell, Vegeta?" she managed, noting he was heading for the stairs, held a bit too tightly against his chest.

"You're going to help me," he told her.

She snorted, glad she had enough attitude to fight him even a little. "You're trying to tell a weak, sickly, human woman to help you?" she retorted sarcastically.

"I don't know how to use your kitchen the way you do," he snapped, voice gruffer than usual. Good, at least he was as unhappy about this as she was. He descended the stairs not in a walk but in a float, apparently deciding to end the trip as quickly as possible.

It was a good idea, she admitted. Every step he'd taken had shaken her a bit, just enough to upset her stomach a little more. All those stairs would've likely made her vomit, if only she had eaten a better dinner last night. Reaching the kitchen, he balanced her in one arm, drew out a chair, then deposited her in it all in a few second's time.

She felt like cursing at him now, since he hadn't done much to prevent her from sliding off. He noticed it the same time she did: when she nearly fell over. Catching her none-too-gently, he draped her arms over the table and made sure she was leaning forward before stepping back.

"Now," he said, in an ordering tone, "how do you usually start?"

This was the part he was never around for, she remembered. He tended to wake up, yell for either her or her mother, then start with morning exercises or something until the food was ready. And, she recalled, they never had to call for him, either; he knew probably from scent alone just when everything was prepared.

"Turn on the oven," she told him. "The dial -- twist it to the right so the arrow is on 4-7-5." When he did so, roughly enough that she imagined the oven wouldn't be able to take too much of his abuse, she sighed inwardly. This was definitely going to be an adventure, just trying to keep him from destroying everything. She warned him now, before giving any further instructions, to try to not break anything.

And the glare he greeted her with actually made her smile. Right now, she realized, he was depending on her more than at any other time. He would obey for his own means, that glare said; he wouldn't ever give her this chance again. With a mental decision made, she chose to milk this for all it was worth.

- - - - -

Chapter One, hopefully not too different from the original. Also much shorter than I would've wanted, but hey, I doubt I'll get too many flames for trying to stay true to the original. Please review, those of you who've read the first version, and tell me how it's turning out. Yay? Nay? Maybe?