Silent Night

Xander Harris and Jesse McNally stood in the dark, silent street, watching the new arrivals with undisguised fascination.

Tall, gaunt and hovering about a foot over the ground, the silent, grey-skinned creatures with disturbing metallic teeth gleaming in rictus grins, seemed to communicate through elegant hand gestures and subtle movements of their bald heads. Their finely tailored attire was spotless, their blue and red eyes and metallic teeth unnerving even to the undead. They traveled in pairs, one carrying an old fashioned doctor's bag, the other empty handed. Strange, hunched figures in untied straightjackets scampered around them as they made their way through Sunnydale. There were at least six Gentlemen and twice that many of their hunched minions.

Jesse grinned cheekily and sent the floating beings a two fingered salute, to which the creatures nodded graciously. The pair stepped behind the creatures, curious as to what they would do.

The Master had explained the situation to them when they discovered their voices gone, discovered everyone's voices gone. They were called The Gentlemen. Even The Master was unsure as to their nature, but he was familiar with their techniques: The Gentlemen would steal the voices of an entire town or village, then gather seven human hearts for some unknown ritual before leaving again, releasing the voices as they departed. They posed no threat to the Vampires or other non-humans, and could not be killed by anything but a human scream. Opposing them was pointless, since they could not be stopped and only wanted a handful of human hearts, barely worth noticing.

Both Xander and Jesse found them too weird, too unusual to simply ignore.

They wanted to watch.

They wanted to see these beings in action, and maybe learn a bit more about them. It wasn't even so much out of natural Vampiric sadism than genuine curiosity, both boys had been 'nerds' in life and that had carried on into undeath. This was something new, something that might be cool.

They wanted in.

Jesse, long, lanky and strikingly handsome, wearing a black turtleneck and black jeans, and Xander, also tall, good-looking and well-muscled, clad in black leather with a white wife-beater, looked out of place with the immaculately dressed figures of The Gentlemen and their grungy, stooped henchmen.

They followed at a short distance, just a few feet behind them as they glided through the streets, passing various homes, apparently seeking a specific heart. When they stopped, the two boys burst into silent laughter.

This was just too perfect.

They were standing in front of the home of Larry Blaisdell. The jock who had made their school lives a nightmare. Being shoved into lockers, dunked in toilets, beaten and mocked, humiliated and abused. Xander remembered one particularly unpleasant occasion when Larry and his goons had dragged him and Jesse out of the gym showers and intended to throw them out the locker room exit into the school parking lot, bare-ass naked. Oz and his friends had stopped them, the small musician staring down the dumb hulk until he backed down, releasing the poor, scared boys. After that they'd practically worshipped the ground Oz walked on.

And now the school bully was a White Hat, a Vampire hunter that followed that old fart Rupert Giles, a thorn in their collective sides. Ironically, Oz was the field leader, the brave little hero at the forefront of all of their battles to rid Sunnydale of Vampires and other dangers. The White Hats had helped them at times, unknowingly, of course, seeing Oz stake their Sire, Darla, had been one of the best moments of their unlives. But The White Hats would gladly stake them, as well.

One Gentleman knocked politely on the front door, and Larry, being a fool, opened it. The human was ready with a stake, but before he could react the minions had him pinned to the floor and ripped open his shirt. The Gentlemen glided inside, and one turned and politely waved the Vampires inside.

Apparently that was sufficient to allow them entry, and they took up position out of the way of the action, but with a good view of the procedure. One of The Gentlemen pulled a shiny scalpel from his bag and handed it to his fellow, who took it with a grateful nod. He moved downward, not bending, just changing orientation until he was floating horizontally over Larry's body, and quickly and efficiently cut into his chest with the incredibly sharp scalpel, then held out his hand for another tool, an antique bone saw, cutting open his sternum while Larry screamed in silent agony. Next came the rib spreader, pushing the bone part to get to the heart, at which point the arteries and muscles were cut away with the scalpel, and Larry finally went still. The 'surgeon' then used a pair of what appeared to be forceps to pull the bloody heart from the chest, placing it into a large jar the other Gentlemen had pulled from the medical bag. The minions released the body and the group slipped silently away.

As much as they wanted to follow, the boys couldn't bear to see all of that blood go to waste and hungrily descended upon Larry's bloody remains, drinking their fill. After wiping their face clean on a nearby blanket, they hurried back into the street to see several of The Gentlemen converging on the old clock tower. Xander grinned and indicated that they should follow.

GGGG

Inside the clock tower, The Gentlemen assembled their stolen hearts and congratulated one another on a successful harvest, smiling and clapping appreciatively. The young Vampires watched as the elegant beings packed away their tools, picked up the now full jars, with one picking up a medium sized wooden box, and floated toward the corner of the room, where a dark purple gash appeared in the air, expanding into a large portal. The Gentlemen and their minions passed through, and, just before the rift vanished, one turned, smiling, and opened the wooden box. White streaks shot out from the box, rushing into the town, and one rushed into each of the boys' mouths.

With a nod and a wave, the final Gentleman vanished, the rent air repairing itself instantly.

As soon as the gash closed, screams of horror broke out across Sunnydale.

Everyone's voices had returned.

GGGG

Jesse quickly dragged Xander into the shadows as the White Hat's van came into view, parked in front of Larry's house. They could hear a few screams, a lot of sobbing and angry words from Oz about the heart-stealing visitors. It was obvious that they'd been fighting the beings all night, unaware that they just couldn't be killed.

Not wanting to be caught by angry, vengeful Vampire hunters the pair headed off in a different direction, sticking to the shadows until they reached one of the more well-hidden entrances to the tunnels leading to The Master's lair.

The sun would be up soon, and it was time to be getting home.

GGGG

"Cant Even Shout,

Can't even cry,

The Gentlemen are coming by.

Looking in windows,

Knocking on doors,

They need to take seven and they might take yours.

Can't call for mom,

Can't say a word,

You're gonna' die screaming but you won't be heard."

GGGG

The End.

Notes-

This is not The Wishverse. This is a different AU where Jesse, Xander and Willow were turned together, and Buffy was killed shortly after arriving in Sunnydale.

Jesse deserves more love, he really does. He was Xander and Willow's best friend since they were in diapers, and Xander accidently staked him. I think that's why Xander hated Angel and Spike so much, they kept getting forgiveness, love and understanding, they even got souls. They were both brought back from the dead, when Jesse, who had never harmed anyone to the best of my knowledge, was just written off as a demon, a monster by everyone but Xander and forgotten.

I see Vampire Jesse as eager and high energy, while Vampire Xander is more laid back and prefers to let others handle things. I also see Vampire Willow as the most evil of the trio, between her dark magic (Dark Willow) and her Vampiric nature, along with what we see of her casual sadism. The boys fear her, with good reason. She's powerful enough to rule Sunnydale, and possibly much, much more, on her own. Not that the others aren't evil, but Jesse is more fun-loving and Xander lacks ambition, not wanting the responsibility of rank and power. He likes to watch others suffer, but doesn't care enough to go out of his way to cause it. In other words, he's lazy. Xander and Jesse are the muscle, and they handle everyday things, like running The Bronze, while Willow is the brains and magic.

Jesse's actor, Eric Balfour, is an incredibly attractive man. I've only seen him in one movie, 2010's Skyline, but he was great. He also has a LOT of full nude scenes in other movies, (but not Skyline), it's like he's allergic to clothes. He actually said that he wished he could be naked all the time. Which isn't such a bad thing, as he has a fine body and a truly magnificent ass. Among other things...

I made the surgery more descriptive and gave The Gentlemen tools they may not have had in canon for realism's sake. There are scalpels that are specially made to slice through bone, such as the sternum, but I thought an old-fashioned bone saw fit in better with their Victorian demeanor.

I chose Larry because he's a bully and someone who both boys wouldn't mind seeing dead, as Vampires, at least.

I like Oz, he's so cool and collected, except when his girlfriend is running around on him, and he's willing to let her be with Tara despite loving her so much he went to Tibet and learned Buddhism to become a better man/Werewolf for her. He deserves a good mate.

A wife-beater is an old term for an undershirt. Why the Hell they call it that I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to know.

The poem, of course, is not mine. Nor are any of the characters.