Prompt #24

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                Prompt: Hey, can you do the scene where Brennan gets in trouble for the second time and how Ted reacts

                A.N.- This is so much shorter than I thought it was I'm so sorry???

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                The car was tensely silent. Ted hadn't even turned the radio on. He was just gripping the steering wheel far too tightly, staring straight ahead.

                I looked out of the window, trying to think of something to say and knowing that talking would only get me in more trouble. I looked down at my hands, which were stained red from the paint I'd been using when I'd been caught.

                Stupid and careless. We should've had a lookout. We should've been more careful.

                Too many mistakes. Too clear in hindsight. Too late.

                Ted parked in his driveway and got out of the car without a word. I got out too, following him inside and to the kitchen.

                He dropped his car keys on the table and turned, gripping my shirt. He pushed me against the wall.

                "A second chance. Your parents made sure you had a second chance, and you blew it. Third time is not the goddamn charm, Brennan. You just ruined your own future and I don't pity you for your stupid actions," he snapped.

                I felt my own anger rise and gripped his arm. "That scumbag sexually assaulted my friend."

                "Then you tell the cops so they arrest him instead of you! You know what? That 'scumbag' is going to get away as a victim now while your future lies in ruins because you think you can take everything into your own hands. Because you're too brainless to think about consequences. You wanted to be a hero and now you're a martyr. Congratulations, Brennan. Good luck getting a job with your record," Ted said, releasing me and stepping back.

                "Someone had to do something," I insisted.

                "Yea, the police. The people who are trained to handle these situations. Not a kid," Ted said. "And don't even tell me you were working alone, because there's no way. If you'd just tell the cops who else was involved, they'd take it easier on you. Maybe even let you off."

                "No," I said fiercely. "It was just me. Think what you want, but mine is the only name they'll ever have."

                "I am not a stupid man," Ted said.

                "Which is exactly why you're going to keep your mouth shut. It was me," I said.

                "Go pack your bags," Ted said, turning away from me. "Go. You won't be my problem anymore. You're lucky the police were willing to accept the deal to send you to Constance Academy."

                I stared at his back, clenching my fists. Why did it always end like this? Why did every adult turn their back on me when I tried to stand up for the victims?

                I looked down at my bandaged hand, knowing the scar would always lurk underneath, a reminder of just another time I'd stood up for the victim and fallen for it. Raised my whole life to do the right thing but always punished when I did.

                "I don't regret what I did," I said.

                "Of course you don't. Because you're a stupid, stupid kid who doesn't think about his future," Ted said, slamming a fist against the counter. "You're reckless and when the consequences finally catch up to you, you'll have nothing left. This Academy is all you have left now, Brennan. You fuck up there and you're done for. No one can save you after that. No one will waste the effort. You're self-destructive and no one can save someone like that."

                I turned my head away even though he wasn't looking at me. He was right. Of course he was right.

                This Academy was my last chance. I'd start at a new school and if I screwed up there, I'd get no more chances.

                "I'm going to change your cell number in the morning. Any contact with your old friends, and you're cut off permanently." He shoved a window open, letting the cold breeze in. "You want them to only have your name? Don't put more on their list."

                I knew I'd be incriminating my friends if I messaged them. It would be better this way. No contact with them, not even Noah. I could live with that. I'd have to live with that.

                "A school for troublemakers," I said.

                "Keep your head down for once," Ted said. "Not that I'd expect you to stay out of trouble."

                He sounded so tired and angry. So defeated. Even Ted had given up on me. My parents, Ted...

                "I'll keep my head down," I said, a quiet promise. "No more trouble out of this idiot."

                "Don't make promises you can't keep. Go pack," he said.

                I went to my room, shutting the door and sliding down against it. I hugged my knees to my chest, biting my lip.

                Fuck. I'd really fucked up this time.

                I closed my eyes, resting my head against my knees. I'd stay out of trouble. I'd prove to Ted that I could keep this promise. I'd earn his trust back and get my life on track. For once, I'd think about my future and work hard to keep myself out of trouble.

                I'd do it. It'd be hard, but I'd do it. Constance Academy would be my last chance and my best one. I'd show everyone that I could get my life together and make something of myself.

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