SPOILER WARNING FOR ANY UK READERS (who have NOT seen the newest season yet): This fanfic will contain many episodes of the second half of season 9. READ AT YOUR RISK.

A/N: Welcome, one and all, to the sequel of "Stupid Cupid"! I'm so sorry for making you wait this long, but I was terrified about even attempting this story. Anyway...

I have the entire story mapped out, but this does NOT mean I won't take any input from you wonderful people. This fic will take place over the rest of season 9 (starting just before "Last Stand" and ending at, dun dun dun, "Mayday.") I guess you can consider it a countdown. It's more dramatic than action-packed and will be EXTREMELY RAINY...

So, without further ado, I present:

A Cupid's Quarrel

Chapter 1: I Can Dream About You

He was rushing, barely giving his lungs the chance to inflate. Who could blame him? He had made a mistake, the biggest mistake of his life. He had to tell her. No, he needed to tell her.

Ryan Wolfe needed to tell Natalia Boa Vista that he loved her.

It was that simple.

Flying up the stairs of the building, taking two steps at a time, Ryan finally reached the entrance door to the lab. The door swung open dramatically, much like this moment. Without much thought or realization of an audience, the male CSI dashed to her lab room, DNA, and grabbed Natalia by the hips.

"Ryan! What the-?" she exclaimed, a test tube leaving the grip of her delicate fingers to meet the floor. She had no chance to finish her thought as Ryan pressed his lips against hers passionately. Natalia gave into the embrace, her hands grasping around his neck.

"Natalia Boa Vista, I love you," Ryan proclaimed. Natalia's eyes widened sweetly. "I know I should have admitted that before, but I'm doing it now."

"I love you, too," she replied just as loving.

"But that's not all," he gulped, attempting to regain the confidence he had seconds before. "I, uh. I wrote the original letters."

It was that moment Ryan became aware of his surroundings. The walls caved in and faded off while Natalia's expression shifted into hurt.

"What?" the brunette whispered. "You did what?"

"I wrote the love letters," Ryan confessed again as he watched the room dissolve around them.

"The entire time I thought I was being harassed by a maniac, it was just you?" Natalia yelled and stepped back in fear.

"No, I mean," he hesitated. "I-."

"I can't believe you let me go through all of that!" She continued to yell and step backwards, betrayal etched in her eyes. "Stay away from me!"

"Natalia!" he shouted out. "Natalia!"

Quickly, Ryan's body shot up from his slumber. The sweat dripped from his brows, his eyes closing at their own will.

"My conscience is trying to tell me something," he stated breathlessly. "Keep that in mind." Peering over at the alarm clock near his bed, he noticed the time dolefully. It was three in the morning. Ryan knew he wouldn't be able to fall back to sleep until he calmed his nerves. With little energy in his body, the CSI groggily pulled himself out of bed and headed to his kitchen.

The fridge door, at first, wouldn't budge. Ryan winced, realizing he was using his right arm. The pain shot from his healing gun wound near his lower, right torso to the length of his normally muscular body. He couldn't wait to get back to the gym, but Doctor's orders suggested otherwise for an indefinite time.

He grabbed for the door again, this time with his left hand. It opened easily, but little suited his appetite, the usual reaction he had been getting nowadays. Nothing had seemed appealing since he returned home from the hospital; Ryan blamed it on boredom. He was ready to get back to work, the cases, his friends…

Natalia? Maybe. He still wasn't sure. The brunette visited him in the hospital the following day after being held overnight for low blood sugar observation. He promised himself the moment he returned home, he would devise some plan, any plan, to fix this mess he created.

So far, Ryan still had nothing. This idea of walking into war with no strategy whatsoever kept him up at night.

He grumbled lowly. Not a single item in his fridge looked good… still.

Back to bed, I guess…

Closing the door, Ryan jumped suddenly as he attempted to contain his screaming.

"Hey, Wolfe," the man announced with a snarky grin as he appeared from behind the closing refrigerator door.

"Jesse?" Ryan questioned, his hand to his heart. "What are you doing here?" He stopped himself short of continuing that previous thought. Jesse is dead Wolfe, Ryan remembered. What the hell? "Are you haunting me or something?" Ryan carefully probed.

"If that's what you want to call it," the former CSI joked, chuckling at Ryan's exasperated reaction. "You left in hurry last time, Wolfe," Jesse scorned. "And I'm going to assume you ignored everything Speed and I advised you to do."

"You know, for being dead," Ryan quipped, "you're not very quick." He walked away hastily, hoping to jump back into bed and lose sight of the ghoul.

Jesse appeared and blocked the staircase, a smile placed pleasantly upon his face.

"Okay, I take that back," Ryan mumbled. "What do you what?"

"I... well, we want you to realize the mistake you're making," Jesse stated, an eyebrow arched disdainfully. "You are only going to push Natalia away."

"Yeah, that's kind of the point, Cardoza," Ryan sneered as he glanced behind the male, contemplating some sort of escape from this unnecessary conversation. "Now, can I go to bed?" He attempted to maneuver around Jesse, but the determined spirit blocked him.

"It's not the kind of pushing away you'll want, Wolfe." He sighed disappointedly. It was obvious his words weren't getting through. "Just… don't do anything you'll regret."

"I know what I'm doing," Ryan retorted as he crossed his arms against his chest. Truth was, he had no idea what he was doing. But he wasn't going to admit that to anyone; not to Jesse, Natalia, or even himself.

"Fine," Jesse grumbled. "It's time to wake up."

"Huh?" Ryan shot back, confused.

"Wake up!"

His sleep was broken by his cell phone buzzing in his right ear. Ryan rubbed his heavy-set eyes vigorously, laying in the comfort of his own bed.

It was February 17, his first day back to work since being shot. Three grueling days were spent resting and not at the lab catching criminals. Ryan hated his days off to begin with; being forced into sitting and doing nothing pushed him close to crazy.

The cell continued to buzz. Maybe he should answer the call.

Quickly, Ryan blindingly grabbed the phone, barely muttering a greeting into the speaker.

"Ryan?" questioned a jolly voice that giggled a bit.

"Natalia!" he exclaimed. "Hey, what's going on?" Okay, so maybe he wouldn't begin "Operation Deviate" just yet. God, that voice, he thought spiritedly. Well, I wouldn't mind waking up to it every day… wait, no. Remember: you are doing this for her.

You value your friendship more than a broken heart.

Wait, isn't she still talking?

"Ryan? Are you even listening?" Natalia probed suspiciously.

"Yeah, sorry," he apologized, feeling rather foolish. "What were you saying?"

"I was asking if you need a ride to work," she hesitated, "you know, considering what happened to your car… and, well…" Her voice drifted off, embarrassment setting in as they both recalled last week.

"No, it's fine," Ryan sputtered out a little too shortly. "I, uh… I have a rental until I get the car situation figured out." He smirked subconsciously, realizing the brunette couldn't see it.

Natalia could hear it, though, and mirrored the grin.

"Okay," she stated. "I guess I'll see you at the lab."

As they exchanged quick "goodbye's," Jesse's voice echoed in Ryan mind.

Don't do anything you'll regret…

"I know what I'm doing!" Ryan shouted at the top of his lungs. I think…

A/N: Alright, there you have it... a stubborn Ryan story, =). To me, this beginning DOES feel a little rushed, but I was desperate to post it for you guys. I promise to get it all written up in the next 2 weeks because the moment school starts back up, I won't have any time to myself to type, =(.