It was all just a dream. If she just closed her eyes, it would all go away… he would go away, just disappear…

Firmly believing that, she shut her eyes tightly and repeated her logic softly to herself, "Just a dream… just a nightmare, it will all disappear…" but a faint, cold, deep voice shook her.

"Stupid ferry woman…"

Her eyes snapped open, and there he was, red orbs glaring viciously down at her. She gasped softly as the realization hit her.

Dream no more. This was reality

Dream No More

Chapter One

Another mission, more demons to slay, more arguments, and more of crabby Hiei; what more could a ferry girl want out of her vacation? Botan had been promised a weeklong beach getaway, with warm sun, hot pool boys and bottomless booze; so as far as she was concerned, there was a LOT more she could want out of this vacation day. And yet here she was, in the middle of Enma-knows-where, waiting for the team to finish up yet another mission before she could leave. She was going to kill Koenma when they got back; he would have hell to pay for calling her off her long-awaited break. But until then, she decided, she would just have to grin and bear it.

"Um, Botan? I think you can let us off your oar so we can fight now," Yusuke said, jerking her back to reality. She then realized that she had kept them hovering for no fewer than five minutes while she fumed about the injustice of the situation. She landed, and the four young men all clamored off. She made what she hoped was her cutest cat face at them by way of an apology before she was up in the air again.

" I'm just going to sit here and watch, okay?" she called after the four retreating figures of the Reikai Tantei.

"Yeah, sure, whatever. Just don't leave without us okay?" Yusuke called back at her.

"Come on Urameshi, I'm gonna kick so much tail!" shouted Kuwabara.

Hiei scoffed at this remark, and Kazuma took it upon himself to start insulting Hiei.

"Here we go again…" Kurama sighed.

Shortly after they disappeared, Botan was able to see bursts of energy, indicating that the fight had started. As she floated on her oar, she contemplated what this mission was about, and found that she couldn't remember why Koenma had even sent them into the field or more importantly why he had postponed her vacation. Just as she was about to get her out communicator and ask Koenma, she heard someone cry, "Botan! Look out!"

She spun around just in time to see a rather unfriendly looking demon appear behind her, sporting a malicious grin. In a frantic attempt to do something, she whipped around her oar to smack it in the head. Unhappily, her oar broke apart on impact, which left her to drop from her perch forty feet in the air toward the very hard ground.

As she dropped, Botan heard the old saying in her head: "It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end." She closed her eyes and waited for the bone-shattering impact that awaited her, but it never came. Instead, she found herself inexplicably in the arms of a familiar fire demon, and firmly on the ground.. "Thanks," she breathed, still shocked.

He glared at her in reply, and then dropped her nonchalantly to the ground and walked away to rejoin the fight.

She sat up and rubbed her rear as Kurama disposed of her attack. "I guess I really shouldn't have been expecting anything more from Hiei," she grumbled, glaring at him.

The team made quick work of what was left of the opposing force, and turned to Botan. "Okay we're done, let's go now," said Kuwabara impatiently.

"Well in case you didn't notice, my oar got smashed back there! I have to call Koenma for a portal now. It's not like I carry extras!"

"And if you had been paying more attention you foolish woman, you would still have your precious rowing device, and I wouldn't have had to save you," Hiei said grumpily.

"Don't you blame this on me! I shouldn't have to worry about it! You four ought to take care of these things so I don't need to! And furthermore," she exclaimed emphatically, "I'm supposed to be on vacation right now."

"If you're on vacation, you shouldn't take orders from that little brat," he retorted.

"Don't bring your logic into this!" she shouted back.

As the fight continued, the air around them seemed to blur and grow distorted. Kuwabara was the first to notice, but Kurama and Yusuke ignored him when he tried to point it out. By the time Hiei and Botan saw what was happening, it was too late, and they disappeared.

Hiei's energy vanished, and the argument stopped abruptly, causing their three companions to turn around and stare at the now empty space Hiei and Botan had been standing in. Kuwabara was the one who voiced the question they all had on their minds, "Uh, guys? Where'd they go?"

The next thing Hiei and Botan knew they were piled in a very suggestive, ungraceful heap in entirely new surroundings.

Winded from the fall, and from Hiei's fall on top of her, it took her a moment to choke out a raspy "Where are we?"

Hiei flitted off of her and began to dust himself off several feet away. "And how do you expect me to know, you foolish woman?"

She growled a little at his rudeness, but decided to leave it alone for the time being. "I wonder how we got here…" she mused, more to herself than to him. Suddenly, she remembered her communicator in the pocket of the jeans she had been wearing, took it out, and tried to send an SOS to Koenma, but found that it was fried. "Oh great, you're broken," she said grumpily to the device. "Now we're REALLY lost."

Hiei made another rude comment about her intelligence, which she one again chose to ignore as she observed her surroundings. They were in a mountain forest, thick with tall old pine tress. There was a chill in the air, and the few small deciduous trees that there were around them were almost completely devoid of leaves, indicating that fall was nearly over. She shivered a little when the wind picked up, and was glad she hadn't dressed for the beach.

Hiei watched Botan for a moment, and, becoming bored, started to walk off.

She watched him go for a few seconds before her mind registered what was happening. "Hey! Don't leave me here," she cried and she began to run after him.

Unhappily for Botan, Hiei was not in the mood for being followed and soon she had lost sight of him completely. A half an hour had passed, and Botan was effectively exhausted from chasing after Hiei the entire time. She finally had given up on the idea of sticking together and sat down on a log, her breath coming in shallow pants.

The wind began to pick up, and storm clouds began to roll in over the trees. Within 15 minutes, large white snowflakes began to flutter down from the sky. Botan sighed to herself as she contemplated her situation. She was cold, had no supplies or anywhere to go for shelter, no way of communicating with anyone, and she was alone. Additionally, she was now completely convinced that she wasn't going to be able to take that beach vacation after all. She huffed in frustration. While she was not really the outdoorsy type, a trip to a little cabin in the woods all alone with a handsome and athletic young man would normally seem rustic and romantic to her. The romance was lost, however, when there was no cabin and she was stranded with Hiei. She certainly acknowledged that he was good looking, but he certainly wasn't the type that would enjoy cuddling to keep warm.

She huffed and said, "Well, Hiei, I hope you freeze to death, wherever you are."

Three figures sat watching these events play out on a large screen in a dark room. One was an older woman, seated on an ornate throne. On her one side was a young man in a military uniform, and on the other was a small, younger woman. "Milady, are you sure they are the pair we have been looking for?" asked the younger lady as she glanced at the screen they had been watching. "They do not seem to get along at all. How can they be the ones?"

"Patience my child. You will see soon enough," the queen responded.

"Captain?" she continued, getting a salute from a young man too her right. "Bring them here."

"Yes ma'am."