Very short. I know. What's worse.I'm taking a break from Akoshta again. You guys are gonna hurt me. I know. On the good side...I'll be doing another fic. Details below.

**********Big Exciting News!!!!************ Akoshta's title story just won second place in the Buffy the Vampire Fanfiction Club. *snoopy dances all around*

Title: Akoshta: Past's Problem

Author: 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.

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Rupert Giles moved hurriedly past the lines of doors and towards the lift with Michelle running behind him. Once inside, the mirrored doors closed and the Head of the Council of Watchers wiped his brow with the back of his hand then looked at Michelle. "We must contact Sunnydale."

He pressed a button and the lift lowered several levels before stopping.

Michelle looked behind her down another balcony, then to the Watcher. "Sir?"

"I'll need you to call on Richard. Christian, as well. Have them gather the elders and tell them to join us all," he ran off the details of her first minor mission.

"Come? Where?" Michelle asked, still a bit dazed from everything happening to her.

Giles gripped one of her shoulders and looked down at the young raven- haired girl. "To the Council Meeting Hall."

Michelle began to shake. "Y-yes, sir." She turned slowly, and walked off of the lift, letting its doors close behind her.

It took her a moment to collect herself, but soon she was knocking on the newly trained Watcher's door.

Giles waited until the lift reached the ground floor of the Commons then walked out and into the main halls of the Council's headquarters, towards the Watchers' Halls. These were areas few of the children had seen until a week ago. Many of the youngest still hadn't been here.

The Headquarters were open for any of its members to wander, and children were not banned from the halls, but, because of the Headquarters' size, they rarely had reason or opportunity to come here. These halls were still fairly new to the Head himself, but he knew the way through this particular area. He would never forget when he was brought here to be told he had his first charge, an unknowing Slayer in the states.

He smiled while remembering his excitement at the time as he made his way past the painted faces lining the walls, now of Watchers, before turning to stand in front of the huge oak double doors that led to the room with but one purpose. To announce the new Slayer and her Watcher.

The doors creaked as he opened them, and he entered the secluded room quietly.

This room was unchanged by time. A large table, crafted from ancient wood, was carved ornately with designs and engravings portraying miniature monsters being chased by equally miniature women. The room was different from any other in the Council, for it retained the original walls, also wood. They shone from the varnish even after centuries. The ceiling, however, was white and a matched set of three crystal chandeliers hung over the long table to provide light.

At the head of the table was a large chair. His chair now. Behind it was an area used to set the tea and pastries, as the calling of a Slayer was celebrated. The long counter that lined the back wall had similar carvings as the table along the edge. On it sat a simple silver tea service and small empty plates that would normally be filled with tiny cakes and cookies.

Beside the empty plates was what Giles was after, a telephone, the only addition that had been made to the room in the last 100 years.

Somehow now, the device to contact the outside world seemed to taunt him. Daring him to call and find that Buffy was dead, and he felt shamed, hoping that in fact, it was Faith who'd been defeated.

Silently, he removed his glasses and cleaned them as he walked towards the phone, each step causing his gut to clench.

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Sunnydale California: Summers Residence

The phone rang several times, echoing off the walls. A moment later, the answering machine clicked.

"Hello," Buffy's voice came. "You have reached the Summers'. We're not here, but hopefully we'll come back. Leave a message and we'll get back to you." Then the annoyingly long beep came.

At first, no one spoke.then all at once. "Buffy! If you're there, please do pick up." Another long pause of silence.

"Dawn? Faith?"

No one answered.

"Oh, dear God." And the machine cut off the call.

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Giles sat in his oversized seat with his head in his hands as his elbows rested against the highly varnished surface of the grand table.

"I do not believe that Mr. Giles would request the children as well," the crackling voice of an older Englishwoman snipped.

"He did, I assure you," Michelle explained as she followed the crowd of adults inside along with Richard and Christian.

"I understand why you would be here, miss," another voice, this time male, said evenly. "And the young Watcher, as well."

Giles looked up at the small crowd of elders.

The other man continued, "But why the young magician? He is not yet fully trained."

"Because," Giles said, "he is gifted. And we may need all the help we can get." Giles placed his spectacles back in their place and stood up. "Please, everyone sit down. We must hurry."

The adults and children all settled into seats. Michelle took her place next to Giles and Richard beside her. Christian sat further down the table, his place in this still not known to him. A mass of tweed filled the room, all with faces turned towards their duties and their newly appointed leader.

"As all of you here know, Michelle was next in line as the Chosen One," Giles began. He'd discussed the matter with these people before he'd told Michelle, mostly to find out how many, if any, of them knew. None had been aware. "She has come into her powers, which means either

Buffy or Faith has died."

"I would presume the rogue," a nearly bald elderly man said. His glasses were firmly in place against his dark skin that gave away his heritage as African. "When the Slayer fell last, none was called."

"I disagree," the woman who'd been complaining as she'd entered earlier argued. "We were never fully apprised of Miss Summers' condition. She could have been in a limbo of sorts from what I gathered. Therefore her energy was never free to pass to another upon her second death."

"Because it had already been passed," the elderly man countered.

"Please!" Giles said a bit too harshly. He looked down the table, then back up to the Watchers. "I realize this is still of some debate, but we cannot solve it now. We must prepare for the worst."

"Excuse me, sir," Christian's voice called from halfway down the table. "Couldn't you call?"

Giles shook head. "I have. There is no answer but her damned machine."

"So we must send Michelle," Mrs. Koch, one of the educators of future Watchers, offered.

Giles nodded. "That much is evident. But I must appoint a Watcher, and my first choice would be Richard."

Murmurs were immediate. He was too young and had only just been promoted. Giles considered the events of Buffy's visit as his 'graduate test.'

"I realize why some of you may have objections, but I do believe that it would be for the best," the Head of the Council Spoke clearly. His mind was already made up on this point.

The whispers quieted, and again he had the full attention of all sitting at the table. "The reason I bring up the discussion is, I wish to send Christian as well."

"What?!" The young brunette's face was covered in shock.

"Absolutely not." An old man with white hair shooting out in every direction stood up. "There is no reason."

Giles calmly raised his hand. "I realize this is quite out of the ordinary." The old man eyed him. He'd been one of the few who'd opposed several of the changes Giles was bound and determined to make. "I have reasons. For one, even his instructor has told me he will soon surpass her natural talents. Also, I know of one practicing witch in Sunnydale who could help him tune his gifts and another who has more knowledge of spells than most of you." He looked at the small group of spellcasters on his right.

The instructor he spoke of nodded in agreement. She had sensed the power in the redhead, and the calm and patience in the blonde. Whether they both practiced or not, they would be able to give the young and talented magician the extra training and care she herself could not.

"And," Giles removed his glasses, "if something has indeed defeated Buffy.then there is a powerful force in Sunnydale. One that will need to be destroyed." He placed his glasses back on his nose. "They may need all the help they can get."

"Why not send one of us?" a woman with her brown, yet graying, hair tightly pinned into a bun asked.

"Would you work with the.civilians you met?" Giles asked her pointedly.

The woman was about to speak, then stopped herself. "When will they be leaving?"

Giles knew he'd won and looked at Michelle. "Can you be ready in a few hours? I want you three in California as soon as possible. If something is amiss, the others will need your help."

Michelle looked back at Richard then at Christian. Both boys were nodding. She looked up at Rupert. "Yes."

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Dawn laid face down on the ground, her forehead resting on her arms as she finished crying. She'd just lost her sister and in an all too familiar way. Memories of Buffy running into a leap to her death flashed over and over again in the youngest Summers' mind.

Willow crouched next to the teen's shaking form and ran her hand across Dawn's shoulders. "Dawnie?"

The recovered witch felt the single tremor in the child's back. "Dawnie, it's ok. She isn't gone. Not this time."

Anya stood near Xander, who was now trying to coddle Dawn as the others were. The ex-demon felt for the teen but was unsure of how to handle the situation. Buffy wasn't dead, merely missing.

Xander had fallen next to the now vanished vortex as well but had moved to the whimpering girl. "Yeah, Dawn. Buffy's just." He didn't know what Buffy was. He was fairly sure she wasn't dead, but had no clue as to where, or, to be more precise, when she was.

Dawn lifted her head and turned to Xander. "She's what? Lost somewhere in time.another dimension? Where?!?"

"Dawn..." Tara called from behind.

Dawn pushed herself up and sat next to where she'd seen her sister disappear. "Well. Do you know?" she asked Tara roughly.

The blonde shook her head in the negative. "We don't know exactly, b-but we have a good idea."

"A good guess," Anya added enthusiastically, then saw the shocked looks everyone gave her. "A very, very good guess?"

Dawn scoffed at her words. "A good guess. Great!" She let her head drop forward, trying to hide the reborn onslaught of tears. By pure will, she kept them at bay. She was older now, could help, and she was going to get her sister back.

With a final sniffle and a wipe at her eyes, she looked back up at three very concerned faces. "Well?"

Willow gave her a hint of a smile. "Well what?"

"Well, where do you think she might be?" Dawn said as though it was the most obvious question in the world.

Tara ripped at the hem of her skirt as Willow explained the information, or lack thereof, in Sam's diary. She shared what little Buffy had found on their brief visit to the sisters while Tara dressed the wound on Dawn's hand carefully then tried to wipe the blood from her head.

"So, you think it has to do with Sam and Ashton. Like if they don't hook up, neither will Buffy and Spike. And that's a big deal for the sisters, not just us." Dawn gave her version of the long and short of it.

Willow nodded. "And that crystal, the one Harmony had, must make a difference somehow. They didn't just need it to open the portal."

Xander, who was still sitting next to Dawn, looked up at Willow. "Will, if we could find out what that crystal can do, and I mean everything it can do, we might be able to fit it into Sam's diary. I mean if something happened and there isn't a real explanation, or even if it is but something went wrong."

"Then it could have been a botched attempt to use the crystal, and the crystal istelf might never have been mentioned." Willow finished.

"There is one obvious moment they might try to ruin. It's not an apocalypse, but it would certainly change things," Tara offered quietly. She looked at Willow, then Dawn. "In the diary, it had the

first meeting. Where Sam and Ashton met."

"Really?" Dawn asked, surprised. "I thought it had something in it about her loving him, but how could anyone fill out her diary on their meeting in England? Wasn't her Watcher here? I mean in the United States?"

Tara nodded quietly.

"The other Watchers." Xander shook his head. "They were following her. Making sure she did as she was told."

"It looked that way to me," Tara agreed sadly.

"To Buffy, too," Anya nodded, remembering when Buffy first read the diary of the now elder Slayer.

Dawn studied her newly bandaged hand then stood up. "We better get crackin' on the books then. If we can figure out when Buffy is." she turned to Tara, "can we open a portal for her to get home?"

Anya piped in on this. "That shouldn't be a problem." Willow and Tara looked at her with discomfort. "What? All I'm saying is that the crystal isn't hard to get. It's the bloo-"

Xander gripped his wife's hand quickly, trying to signal her to be quiet.

Dawn threw her bandaged hand up. "I got it Anya." She let her arm drop back to her side. "At least we have all the ingredients."

They all looked back at the absent hole in the ground, then walked out of the empty rental space, hoping to find their missing Slayer and the former vampire.

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Look for my newest story adventure, a Trek/Buffy X-over. Oh yeah...I'm a Trekkie. Smack me. Lol. It'll be TNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation). May turn out absolutely ridiculous, but I have to at least give it a shot. Coming soon to a fiction site near you. Probably here. And yes, there is a fourth part of Akoshta, but I need to do a little homework on WW2 again. Anyone know good sites to learn about WWII Europe? E- mail me if ya do. (Yes.. big freakin hint there)