"Yeah, I know," Brendon mumbles, shuffling his feet around on the worn school carpet.
There's a small pause, and then Pete sighs and sits up, rubbing his face frustratedly. "How many hours are you pulling at the mall? Like, in a week?"
Brendon winces, shrugs a shoulder. "Thirty, thirty-five?"
"Jesus." Pete drops his pen on his notebook, slouches back in his chair on the other side of the desk. He sort of wants to brain the kid, but he'd almost cried looking over Urie's file after Smith showed up looking all determined and worried, so he figures Brendon deserves one free pass. "Okay, well." He exhales, and looks up. "I talked to your teachers, and we can switch you to first block AP Bio and move your free period to after lunch, so you can get early dismissal. That way you're not at work too late. Cool?"
Brendon looks up, his eyes wide. "Um. Wow, yeah. You can really - "
"And you're going to be meeting with me every Friday for the rest of the year," Pete adds, snorting at how fast Brendon's face falls. He rolls his eyes at the little groan the kid gives. "I'll pretend that was a sigh of gratitude at my saving your dumb ass from even more sleep deprivation, thank you," he says primly, picking his pen up again. "And you're going to make sure you have Tuesday afternoons off so you can go to math lab, because you need better than a D on your transcripts to go to college - "
Brendon scoffs, and then quails at the severe look Pete gives him.
" - because you are going to college, Brendon. You are going to sit with me and write eight million essays on why scholarship people should give you money, and then they are going to give you money, and then you are going to go to school." He pauses, and then thinks what the hell and continues. "You deserve better than just this."
The kid actually cracks a smile, and stops looking so hunted. He gives Pete a sidelong look for a second, and then sits up a little, looking less hopeless. "You've been talking to Spencer, haven't you?"
"Don't know what you're talking about," Pete grins, reaching for the stack of LGBT scholarship forms he printed out earlier.