New chapter one

**** I know I had requests for another council story, but I decided to go with something different. A premise that just seemed like fun. The good news is that if ya'll like this one, too, I will do a fourth story with The Council more involved. I am veering from the sisters from now on. They may make cameos, but are no longer the driving force for this series, I think. That said.here goes.

A/N: So far in my story, Spike and Angel fulfilled a part of a prophecy, and were granted permission to keep on their paths towards redemption. Buffy discovered she truly loved Spike, and, eventually, the Scoobs accept it. Then The Council, mostly Mr. Travers, tried to stop the rest of the prophecy from coming true by ridding himself of the Slayer and Spike.

Instead, The Council was changed forever, as were Buffy and Spike.

Now, both human and carrying enhanced powers bestowed on them from the sisters through the strong love of The Pure and her lover, T'mure, Buffy and Spike set out back to Sunnydale to save the world, and live. Should be easy as pie, right?

Title: Akoshta: Past's Problem

Auththor: Kaylorin

Beta Read By: RogueAngel

Rating: R

Synopsis: Part 3 of Akoshta. The Scoobies get settled back into their Sunnydale lives, but receive some unexpected visitors. Old friends, old enemies. New problems.

Disclaimer: Believe it or not, I don't own Any of ME's series. Would be nice if I did, but I just borrow the characters. Feel free to archive, just let me know where it's heading at kaylorin90@yahoo.com. If you see a beta reader's name displayed, it's been edited and is ready to go.

Dedication: This is new, but I really have a few people to thank. My beta readers; RogueAngel, morgain and LadyEmma. Also members of BC&S, especially you Bitches. And of course, JuniorK. Thanks girl. Also The BtVS Fanfiction Club for nominating Akostha's title story to represent Spuffy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Settling In

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quentin sat at his desk, looking over the paperwork needed to convince the prison holding Faith to release her to The Council. He didn't like using his contacts like this, it was frivolous, but he either needed to convince Faith to fight for them, or...well the 'or' was obvious.they would need a new Slayer.

Excerpt from "Self" by Kaylorin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

His years as warden were almost over, and he was grateful. His position in the penal system was becoming more tiresome as the years wore on. He ran a tight ship, but he was slowly drowning in the sea of criminals whose numbers grew each year. At least here he had silence. In his small, comfortable office with a view of the yards, he watched as young women walked from one area to another. Some exercising, others lifting weights. Some sat on benches playing cards. Others had the few board games that had been approved for the group of thieves, murderers and kidnappers.

He turned back around in the seat that was worn from too many hours of deskwork and conferences. His old desk chair was the one thing he wanted to take with him after he finally retired.

The stack of papers and letters he had to look through loomed before him. With a sigh, he did his daily in-box check. Most were requisitions for different items used daily in the prison. Others were letters from officials of various standings who wanted a report on this or that. A few were more personal letters, and, as he neared the end of the pile, one such personal letter caused him to go white.

The envelope was the same type they used with each correspondence. The prison's address was written neatly in a familiar script, and the beige envelope was sealed with a mark pressed into the red wax, something he recognized from movies made of past events such as civil wars. One he also knew meant that a group called The Council had a request of him. Long ago, when he first retained this post, he was warned about these people. The group was known for many reasons, one being their insurmountable power to get things done. Anything. Although the warden knew of them, he had only had contact with them the first time two years ago. When a young woman was brought in for murder.

Faith was the woman's name, and special compensations had been made for the woman they were told was strong beyond imagination. She had never caused problems. Could even be called a model prisoner, and she had earned herself enough respect that he was sure early release was imminent.

He opened the letter and read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Jeez, Spike, how did you ever get this thing in the crypt?" Buffy asked as she helped him carry a large oak desk through the Summers' front door. They'd already gotten his dresser upstairs. Now all that was left were a few boxes and a rug.

"Minions," he answered, offering no further explanation.

They stopped at the foot of the stairs, not at all looking forward to taking this piece of furniture up them. "You know, maybe we could just put this in the far corner of the dining room. It would look real nice." She smiled sweetly at him.

He tilted his head and looked down at her. "C'mon, Slayer. Den's upstairs, so the desk goes upstairs." Spike leaned on the desk's top. "Unless you've changed your mind?"

Dawn, who'd been standing behind them, waiting for them to move, came in through the door carrying a cardboard box, and tried to wiggle past the pair and their burden. "Oh, no, you don't. Buffy said you're moving in." She set the box on the floor then straightened up and eyed her sister as she crossed her arms. "You're moving in."

Xander walked in from the back door carrying a rolled carpet, setting it down in the living room. "I thought this discussion was had? As in, already settled?"

Buffy shook her head at her friend, then looked at her sister. "He is, Dawn." Glaring at Spike, Buffy proceeded to lift her end of the desk again. "Well?" she asked Spike, who had yet to pick up his end.

"Right then." He lifted it carefully, and the two headed slowly up the steps, followed by Dawn.

Xander headed back out to his truck. "Anya, hand me that box." She'd been standing in the bed of the truck, trying to decide which box to take in. Several were the recent purchases Spike had made since they'd gotten back from their visit with The Council. She shoved a box towards him, and picked one out to carry herself as well.

"When are Tara and Willow getting here to help?" Anya asked as she stepped down from the truck, Xander's hand holding hers to steady her.

When she was standing on the driveway again, Anya followed Xander into the house. "I told you before, they still haven't finished unpacking their place from before we left a month ago."

The couple walked up the steps and into the master bedroom where Dawn was unpacking some of Spike's CD's, and set their boxes down on the floor next to the bed.

Suddenly Dawn crinkled her brow as something caught her attention. "Wait a minute," Dawn called to Spike after Anya set her box on top of Xander's. "How could minions have helped you? You didn't move into the crypt till after the chip, and chip-Spike didn't have minions." She headed into the den with Anya and Xander trailing her; all three were curious.

Spike pushed the desk into place next to the other one, while Buffy unpacked one of the boxes that had already been brought up. Several books and folders began to fill the newest addition to the den. "Yeah, well, that's not entirely true," he said when he saw the others walk in.

Buffy set a folder into the drawer. "You had minions? After the chip?"

Xander found himself very interested in this. Anya thought he must have been very resourceful if he had minions after the Initiative's experiments.

"Oh, no." He shook his head. "But Harm had a few, plus, I'd used that crypt a few times.before the chip. A few things were already moved in by then."

"You'd been using it? When?" Buffy hadn't heard that before.

"Ohhh," Dawn nodded. "It was when Angelus and Dru were. 'gettin' it on'. Wasn't it?" she asked with no tact at all.

Anya laughed at the teen's use of slang.

Spike grunted in response. "Yeah, that's when I first found it. Started moving things in, just as a precaution. Had to 'ave a place to stay, especially being in a wheelchair." He stroked the desktop. "Took me forever to restore this thing. though."

Buffy and Dawn looked at each other, eyes wide. Buffy then stared at the man who seemed to reveal more and more about his long existence, the closer they became. "You restored it?"

"Oh, yeah!" he said, smiling. "Found it in the junkyard. Was a mess, but it had some character."

"Now I'm scared," Xander announced. "We have something in common." He faked a shiver.

"Huh." Buffy said, blank faced, then turned around and headed for the door. There was still a pile of things that had to be moved from the trucks Xander had loaned them from his job. She walked down, now more ashamed for not knowing he'd had the crypt long before her freshman year in college. Not only that, but the guy had more little extra talents hidden than she thought she'd ever know about.

"I don't think she saw that one coming," Dawn said as Spike led her back down the steps.

"None of us did," Xander agreed, walking with Anya down the steps behind them.

Spike smiled; knowing he could still shock the Slayer gave him a thrill. "Guess not."

The five of them spent much of that Saturday unpacking and getting Spike settled in. A change of blanket on the master bed, a few knick-knacks and some strange additions to the CD collection were some of the more subtle things done to make this place his home as well. Changing it, but not redecorating.

Other things had been done earlier in the week. After they'd gotten back from London, Dawn made a huge production about throwing out the frozen bloodbags. Spike took a few moments to look at the house in daylight. He was taken on a mini shopping spree, primarily to obtain a few items that he hadn't required before they'd gone to The Council. Toiletries, mostly. Then, of course, there was the ultimatum made by Buffy.either condoms or celibacy.

After her declaration, he did something he had hated to do. He went to Xander for help. After all, it wasn't like they even had that sort of thing in his day. Not that William had known of anyway.

Slowly, as the days went by, he accumulated several items he would need in his newfound humanity. Then Buffy had come by last night with a question. "Exactly how would you feel about moving into the house?" And that led them to this.

With the final touches of his toothbrush in the bathroom and his favorite beer in the fridge, he was home.

Buffy pulled the kerchief from her hair and flopped onto the couch. "Please tell me there's nothing else?"

"That's it, luv," he said as he fell onto the seat beside her.

"Good," Dawn said as she sat on the other side of Buffy. "Cuz I'm beat."

Xander and Anya sat in the armchairs across from the three and relaxed into the cushions.

"A nap. A nap would be so much of the good right now," Xander said as he laid his head against the back of the chair. They had spent the better part of the morning lugging Spike's things up from his place and the early afternoon moving him into the Summers house.

Just then, the door opened and in breezed Willow and Tara. "Hey, guys. Did we miss all the moving?" Willow asked as she took in the sight of her worn friends.

Tara came up beside her. "We tried to hurry."

"S'alright ladies." Spike waved them off. "Got 'er done. How did you two fare?"

"We're all unpacked. I couldn't believe how much we had left," Willow said as she seated herself on the floor. Tara joined her.

Xander sat himself up a little. "So, what's the plan for tonight? Bronze?"

"I'm not really in a Bronzey mood. Maybe a movie fest?" Buffy offered.

"I am not watching '10 Things I Hate About You' again," Spike declared.

Dawn was about to argue when the phone rang. "I'll get it!" She leapt out of her chair and made a mad dash for the cordless phone in the kitchen.

"Look." Xander pointed at the scampering teen. "Energy. I remember energy."

"Buffy," Dawn called from the kitchen, "it's Giles."

"Well bring it here," Buffy called back. "It's, like, the whole reason for having a cordless," she muttered to herself.

Dawn handed her the phone a moment later. "Hey, Giles. What's up? How's it going being the big boss?"

Giles voice came to her through the wires that connected continents. "Quite well. I have some news that I wanted to tell you as soon as I could."

"Oh, yeah?" She sat up a bit. "What is it?"

Giles cleared his throat. "Well, it seems that The Council has a reserve of funds. Quite a bit, in fact." He paused. "Buffy, we could pay for your university, even Dawn's when the time comes."

Buffy was filled with shock and glee. "Are you serious?"

"I'm very serious. There is something else as well. We could pay you a fee. Weekly or monthly, whichever you think will be easier for you. But, Buffy. Buffy, you'll be well off. Those bills, all of the worry you've been having, you will easily be able to take care of it." He cleared his throat. "With a budget of course."

She didn't feel the tears, but the strange looks she was getting from her friends made her realize them. "God, Giles. That's.I mean, thank you."

"If anyone deserves it, it's you. And how are things there?"

"Good. Spike is.is moving in."

"I suspected as much," he said. She awaited the sounds that meant he was cleaning his glasses, but they never came. "And everyone else?"

"Well, Anya opened up the store. Xander's been working all week. Willow and Tara finished up their registration, and Dawn did, too. I think we're set."

"You just remember to call me if you need anything, ok?" Giles asked.

"I will. Bye, Giles." Buffy was about to hang up when the rest of the group all began to yell "Bye, Giles!"

"Tell them I'm thinking of them," she heard Giles say before the line went dead.

Buffy pressed the off button. "He says he's thinking of us," she shared.

"It's still weird, him not being here," Xander said.

The room was quiet, until Spike interrupted. "So, why don't you ladies find us some suitable entertainment?" he motioned to Willow and Tara, who both nodded. "You and I and the Bit can finish unpacking," he motioned to Buffy. "That is if you don't mind being on snack detail?" he asked Xander.

"Sounds like a plan to me," Willow said as she stood up. "I'm in a pizza mood myself."

"Chips. We need chips." Spike cast his vote.

They were interrupted again by a knock at the door.

"People knock?" Buffy asked as she stood up and went to the door. She opened the door and froze at the sight.

Xander and Anya watched her open the door, but couldn't see who it was. Buffy stood there, not saying a word. Xander leaned back trying to see who was standing outside the door "Buff, who is it?"

When Buffy didn't say anything, the whole group looked at each other strangely, and got up to see who was at the door.

"Holy cannolie," was all Xander could come up with as he stared at the familiar face.

"Uh oh," Willow mouthed to Tara, who had only met this girl once. Once had been more than enough.

Dawn crossed her arms and gave the woman the snake eye. "Come back to kill and torture some more people?"

Spike had no clue that the female was, so he watched for Buffy to make her move. Instead, Buffy still stood there, not knowing what to say.

The young brunette still standing on the other side of the threshold heard the silence coming from the Slayer in the house, and greeted her with one hand on her hip. She tried to keep her eyes on the porch's wooden floor, barely peeking at the people staring at her. "Hey, B."

************************************* ****************************** Well, there you have it folks. The introduction to my next story. And I didn't even get to the villains (yes, plural) of this one. I hope you like what I have in store.