The Queen of Hearts

(NOTE: This Valentineís Day fic is dedicated to my little sister, Danielle, who requested a V-Day story starring Questa. And that is exactly what sheís getting.)

In an effort to get away from the scene at the unified guild safehouse, Questa Devereaux went for a walk into the French Quarter. It was a nice, sunny day and in spite of numerous couples walking hand-in-hand, it was a good day for a walk, and Questa enjoyed his.

He decided to go see a fortune teller. Normally he hated that kind of thing, but he was bored and thought it would be funny to see what the lady said to him, plus it would give him something to tell the others when he got back to the safehouse, which, when he left it, was a sea of flowers and chocolates.

Questa shook his head at the memory. Remy had gone all out this year and sent a ton of Valentineís Day goodies to Bella Donna, Mercy, Singer and ZoŽ. And the girls were very, very happy with it, especially since they werenít indulged like that very often. The guild guys tended to not be romantic in the least, especially towards their female counterparts.

He chose the fortune teller who had the best reputation within the city, Madame Selene. He wasnít expecting her to be able to tell him anything he didnít already know, but he still thought it would be funny.

Madame Selene, after receiving payment from him, gave him his fortune. As Questa had figured, she told him things he already knew. But she also did something he wasnít expecting.

She handed him a playing card. And not just any playing card. She gave him the Queen of Hearts.

"Today on your walk, you will meet a real queen of hearts, someone who could change your life forever." She told him. "What happens is up to you, but you are destined to meet this girl, and it is meant to happen today."

Questa couldnít get any other information out of Madame Selene, but she wouldnít tell him anything else, except that he could keep the card.

He went on his way, and took the long way home. He didnít give what Madame Selene had said much though, simply because he didnít believe in fortune tellers and didnít think she had any idea what she was talking about. Little did he know that by the time he got home, heíd change his mind.

Two blocks from the safehouse, Questa witnessed something heartbreaking. There was a girl on the sidewalk, a few feet from a toppled wheelchair. She was trying to drag herself to it and failing. And the heartbreaking part was, no one was stopping to help her.

The assassins were not normally helpful, caring people. They were meant to kill people, not help them. But Questa found himself unable to turn away...unable to ignore the girlís plight. The good-heartedness of the thieves was rubbing off on him.

Questa went over to the girl. He righted her wheelchair and set the break, then picked her up and placed her in the chair.

"Dere you go."

The girl looked up at him with a smile, her brown eyes filled with a deep gratitude. "Thank you so much..."

The first thing Questa noticed was her voice. It was the most elegant and charming voice he had ever heard in his life. Even better than Belís. The second thing he noticed was her beauty. Those deep brown eyes were accompanied by long, wavy hair the exact same shade of brown, a smile that could only be described as perfect, and an adorable dimple.

Questa couldnít help but smile. "Youíre welcome."

The girl studied him for a moment and Questa blanched slightly under her scrutiny. With his unruly, spiky hair and visible scars on his body, he knew he wasnít the most handsome guy on the planet. Far from it, in fact. But the girl didnít share his opinion of himself.

"Did anyone ever tell you that you are good-looking?" She asked out of the blue.

He blinked. "Uh..."

She smiled even more. "Well you are. And you have the most beautiful eyes Iíve ever seen on a man."

His stunned reaction to this caused her to laugh out loud. And she had a very charming laugh. Questa decided he liked the sound of it. "Well you do." She told him matter-of-factly. "Iím Lindsay Delacoeur."

Questa smiled to himself upon doing the mental translation of her last name into English. Hands in his pocket, he held onto the card Madame Selene had given him. "Iím Questa Devereaux."

Lindsay held out her hand. "Itís nice to meet you, Questa Devereaux. Thank you again for helping me. You are a true gentleman." Questa shook her hand with a small smile. Dealing with people was not his strong suit, but he was doing a pretty good job. At least he thought so. "Nice to meet you too...aní nah, Iím not..."

"Yes you are. And to thank you properly for being such a gentleman, I would like to treat you to coffee...if you donít have anything else to do right now...I mean..." She continued quickly. "If you donít have a girlfriend or someone youíre heading home to..."

Questa smiled. "Non...nothiní like dat. Jusí a crazy famíly who probíly havení noticed dat Iíve been gone for over an hour. Iíd like to go for coffee wití you." Oh mon Dieu! Lookit me, doiní de socializiní tíing! Dere musí be a full moon cominí tonight...

Lindsay was obviously happy by his response. They went to a nearby coffee shop and she did indeed treat him to coffee. Questa sat down at a table designed for wheelchair access, and Lindsay took her spot across from him. Before Questa knew it, they had refilled their coffee three times each, hours had passed and he had completely missed dinner. He found himself being perfectly honest with her...telling her the truth about who he was and what he did. Something about her just brought out the truth in him. He just could not lie to her. He wouldnít have felt good about it if he had. And the really good thing, as far as he was concerned, was the fact that she accepted it without question and didnít seem to think less of him.

Questa walked Lindsay home that evening. He hadnít wanted to just leave her at the coffee shop. She appreciated it and said as much when they got to her house.

"Iíd like to see you again, Questa..."

He smiled. "Iíd like to see you Ďgain too, Lindsay..."

Lindsay took out a napkin from the coffee shop and the pen she had in her purse. She wrote down her phone number on the napkin and handed it to him. "Call me sometime?"

"Sure." Questa said as he took the napkin. "Iíll call you tomorrow." He leaned over and kissed her cheek spontaneously.

She smiled, bid him good night and went into the house.

Questa stood there for a few minutes, holding the napkin, a funny look on his face. His life just took a turn for the better and it felt good. As he turned and headed away from her house towards home, he put the napkin in his pocket...and noticed something.

The playing card had vanished.