Giles/Xander

The last jelly

Xander's head was down, nose nearly brushing against the page. No, this position wasn't helping either. Valence shells just did not make sense. He sat up and resumed thumping his pencil against the textbook.

Giles emerged from his office, looking irritated about something. He tipped up the lid of the donut box and fished around inside for a moment.

"I thought there was another jelly," Giles said.

"You had *two*."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Just, uh, surely there must be a limit to how many jelly donuts an Englishman can eat."

Giles rummaged through the donuts again. The waxed paper crackled. Giles closed the box without taking one of the plain sugar ones. He paced around the study table and came to rest into the chair next to Xander. Xander could smell wool, that weird rum cologne Giles wore, and sweat. Giles had been in the library since before Xander got in that morning, and it was nearly, ye gods it was past two am now.

"I was saving that donut," said Giles.

"You're not the only one who likes them."

Giles said something under his breath Xander couldn't catch. Then he gestured at Xander's textbook. "What seems to be the trouble?"

"Valence shells."

Giles took the textbook and leafed back a few pages, eyes flicking over the diagrams. He muttered to himself again. Then he said, "Tell me what you know about electron shells. Let's get those down first."

Xander hedged. "Uh, nothing?" At that moment, the library door banged open behind them. Both men reacted instantly, dropping books and turning. Xander reached into his backpack and pulled out a donut, wrapped in paper napkins. Giles looked at what Xander held in his hand, and twitched up the corner of his mouth in a brief smile.
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Note for readers: this is a response to the writing exercise I posed for myself yesterday. I encourage you to write your own version! Maybe one that does a better job than mine does of getting demons to loom over the conversation.