All right, here's the teaser for the sequal to Time's Redemption! I hope you enjoy this short beginning, and please do let me know what ya'll think. :) Thanks so much for reading!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm having to balance keeping this story straight with both what I wrote in the first story, and with everything we discovered in the last couple of episodes in the fourth season. I was writing the first story from a slightly different perspective, since I wrote it just before then. After all, the finale changed what we knew/thought we knew about several characters. Anyway, I'm trying to stay true to those new revelations, as well as to everything that happened in Time's Redemption. It's an interesting balancing act, but then again this is an AU anyway; we'll see how it turns out...I hope you like it. :) And yes, I realize that I'm writing Ruby as blond here. There's a reason for that. No final rush to save Dean from going to hell, no confronting Lilith then, no Lilith kicking Ruby out of the Katie Cassidy body. Therefore, right here we've still got Katie Cassidy body Ruby. *shrug* It made sense at the time.

"Time's Lessons"

Summer was only just beginning, but in Bobby's kitchen the mid-day May air was hot and humid anyway. Lunch was finished and on the stove, but the petite blond by the counter was the only one in the room even picking at the food.

"Are you sure this time?" Dean demanded.

"Of course I'm sure," Ruby answered hotly, popping a potato wedge into her mouth. "Why would I be here if I wasn't sure? I know where Lilith is. She's holed up in some old convent for a little while. We can take her out."

He didn't need any more encouragement than that, but Bobby had other ideas. The other hunter grabbed his arm before he could start for the door.

"Wait, wait, wait! We need a plan, Dean. We need to know the layout of this place, cover all the bases. We're not even sure if this'll work."

"Oh, we'll make it work," Dean growled. "We're not letting her slip away again." Maybe a few months ago he would have been more cautious, more prone to think long and hard, but not anymore. He was tired of chasing the bitch. Maybe her involvement was indirect, but it all came down to the fact that she was the reason Sam was gone.

Lilith was going to pay for it.

"All right, but let's just think about this…"

Ruby launched away from the counter. "Think about this? We can kill her! Now! It'll take several hours to get there; we can plan on the way."

Dean wanted to agree with her, but he looked uneasily back at Bobby, knowing the man was right. They couldn't just rush in half-cocked. That had been Ruby's stance too, once, but recently she seemed just as impatient as he was to have the job done.

And right now, she was at the door waiting. "Come on, guys! Bip, bip, bip!"

The reference was lost on him. "What?"

"Some old show I caught once or twice; never mind. Let's move! We have no idea how long she and her minions will be there. We don't want to lose her."

"Okay, okay! Give us five minutes, would you?"

Ruby's eyes rolled. "I'll be in the car," she huffed, and let the screen door smack behind her.

"Back seat!" Dean shouted after her. "I really hate her," he muttered as soon as she was gone. Even now, he wasn't entirely sure they could trust her as far as they could throw her. He sighed and turned back to Bobby. "She's right, though; we can't let this chance get away. Lilith never stays put for long." Too many opportunities had already been lost—too many leads useless before they could be followed.

Lilith had to die, if the world was ever going to be safe again. She had to die if Sam's sacrifice was ever going to really mean anything in the long run.

Bobby sighed. "All right. I'll load up all the rock salt I've got here. No matter what the layout, we should be able to corral them enough to get the rock salt down and trap them. Depending on how close together they are, we can exorcise them in groups. You have the knife for Lilith?"

Dean's hand went to the sheath on his belt, tucked safely away under his shirt. "Always."

"I want to know how you plan to kill her without gettin' flung in a wall first."

"I'll have to take her by surprise. She'll be plenty distracted."

Bobby grimaced, and Dean knew he wanted to protest. Instead, he conceded. "Well…she did say it would take a few hours to get there. Plan to spend it all on the phone talking this through. I'm not going in unless we do."

Dean let out a pent-up breath. "Thanks, Bobby."

"Don't thank me until she's dead and we've both made it out of there alive."

"I hear you…" His eyes strayed toward the back of the house, toward the other door he couldn't see from here. "Get the rock salt and get to the cars. I'll be right back."

Bobby looked at him in confusion for a moment, but then understanding dawned and he nodded once. "All right," he answered quietly.

Dean weaved through the house without seeing anything; he'd spent enough time here in the two years since Sam's death that he could get through blindfolded. He swept through the matching screen door at the back of the house—

And stopped dead in a motel room he hadn't seen in two months.

He spun to glance behind him, and saw only the motel door and a darkened window, curtains tightly drawn.

"What the—"

"We needed a safe place to talk."

Dean twisted back to see Castiel standing in the middle of the floor, not looking the happiest he'd ever seen him. And was the angel fidgety?

"Isn't this the—"

"Yes. Though nothing happened when you were here in this timeline, this room was pivotal in the original sequence of events."

"This is where Sam came back from…"

The angel nodded. "It is."

Dean frowned in confusion. "Still…why use this place? Why bring me here? What's going on?"

"You are not really here. This room is not real, by your understanding of the word. It is outside time and space. As I said, I merely needed somewhere safe for us to meet."

"Then why make it look like this room?" he asked again. It wasn't important, really…but just being here was making him sick to his stomach, even if he wasn't clear on the details of what had happened here the first time around—the time around when Sam had been alive to be here.

His breath caught.

Damnit. Would it ever get any easier?

Castiel seemed suddenly apologetic, and explained quickly. "I am sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I had no choice. My speaking to you now is dangerous. There are those that would not want me here, and I could not risk being discovered. This room has already been created this way once—outside of time—and so was easier to create again, and less detectable. It would be difficult to explain beyond that. Your human mind—"

"Wouldn't get it. Yeah, okay, whatever. What the hell is going on?" he repeated.

"Because of Uriel, we knew that there are angels working for the demons' cause. They want Lucifer to rule. However…the situation is more grave even than that." The angel took a breath. "I have recently discovered that there is…another faction, working against our Father's plan."

"Another faction? How can there be another one?"

"This faction pretends to want the will of God. Instead, they want Lucifer to rise, so that he can be defeated again—after he destroys this world. I cannot fathom why…but it is true. I am ashamed to say that I have been fooled, in the past. Many of the orders I have struggled with have come from them—not from the Father."

Dean swore. "Well that would cover it, wouldn't it?" He squinted. "Wait…that's what you wanted to tell me a few weeks ago, wasn't it? Before you got booted back to heaven for a while."

Castiel nodded. "Again, it was them. That is why we needed this safe place."

"Damn…that makes a whole lot more who aren't on our side, doesn't it?"

"Indeed."

Dean swallowed. "Anything else?"

Cas looked at him intently. "Only that Lilith must die. She must die now, before the process of releasing Lucifer can begin. She is close to gaining what she needs to start. You must take this opportunity, and you must kill her."

"What does she need to start?" he questioned.

"Trust me, Dean; you do not want to know. Just get this job done, if you want the world to be saved."

"You don't have to tell me twice," Dean agreed. He glanced around. "How do we get out of here?"

"I will return you in a moment."

"Are you coming? It'd be a whole lot easier with you along."

Castiel shook his head slowly. "I cannot. The others would notice my movement, and all of those that want Lucifer for whatever reason to rise would stop us. You can go undetected longer without me."

"Okay…makes sense…but what about Lilith's powers? It'll be a little hard to stab her if I'm stuck to a wall."

"I do not know that I can help with that...."

"Come on, something. Anything. We need an edge here."

The angel fell silent, contemplating for a long moment. Then Castiel's hand snapped to Dean's forehead, and a sudden burst of white light sent him flailing backward. When he regained his balanced and pried his eyes open, Cas hadn't moved.

"What the hell was that!"

"I am sorry; it could not be premeditated, or the others would trace it more easily." The angel sighed. "You are now immune to her powers—to any demon's powers. It will not last forever…perhaps twenty-four hours."

"Are you serious?" Dean gaped incredulously.

Cas nodded.

"Well…what about Bobby?"

The angel shook his head. "It will be a wonder if that was not noticed. I cannot risk it again. You must use the advantage while you have it. Lilith must die tonight."

Dean took a deep breath. "Right."

Castiel gave him a long look, and then nodded once more. "Good luck."

Then Dean was standing in the grass behind Bobby's house, and the angel was gone. He blinked, and realized he was right where he'd been heading in the first place. Dean sighed and looked down at the wooden cross that marked Sam's grave—just on the other side of the trees behind the house.

"Well…you heard him, Sam. Lilith dies tonight, if I have anything to say about it," he promised.