Stiles wasn’t there when Derek woke up. He waited in the dark, listening, and then identified the telltale hum of the TV in the living room on low.
He shrugged on a shirt and went downstairs. Sure enough, Stiles was on the couch with the TV on, the volume low enough that Derek could barely hear what was playing.
Deliberately, Derek stepped on the squeaky step.
Stiles jerked around. “Oh, shit. Sorry. Did I wake you?”
Derek shook his head. “It’s okay. I couldn’t sleep anyway.” He walked over to sit down on the couch next to Stiles. “What are you watching?”
Stiles shrugged. “No idea. One of the Anthony Bourdain series, I think. There’s a lot of drinking going on.”
Derek laughed quietly and rested his arm along the back of the couch. He couldn’t quite reach Stiles, but that was okay. He just wanted Stiles to know he was here. “The man definitely knows his food. And his beer.”
“Yeah. It almost makes me want to sign up for culinary school or some shit,” Stiles said. “Just…get out there and go some place else, you know? See something I’ve never seen. Road trip around the US and find the best cheeseburgers and curly fries. Fly to Japan and try sushi. Go deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida.”
“Take a tour of all the pubs in Ireland and Scotland?” Derek asked.
“Exactly.” Stiles nodded firmly. “Now you’ve got it. Just…remember what it’s like to be a normal fucking person for one damn day.”
Derek understood that feeling better than he wanted to admit. “Let’s do it, then.”
Stiles frowned. “Do what?”
“Road trip across the US. Go deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida. Fly to Dublin and take a tour of all the pubs. Go to Japan and try sushi.” Derek shrugged. “Let’s go do all of it.”
Stiles gaped at him. “You can’t be serious. Are you serious?”
“A hundred percent,” Derek said. “You’ve just graduated, you don’t have a job yet–”
“Thanks for reminding me,” Stiles muttered.
“–and I have more money than I know what to do with,” Derek finished, as though he hadn’t been interrupted. “Why not take a couple of months and get out?”
Stiles’s breath hitched, and it confirmed what Derek had suspected: that he needed out of Beacon Hills, needed to be away from everything for just a little while.
“You’re really serious,” Stiles said, still boggling at him.
Derek nodded. “I really am.”
Stiles slid across the couch until he rested against Derek’s side, and Derek dropped his arm around him. It settled something in him to have Stiles close, tucked up next to him where Derek could keep him safe.
“My dad would never go for it,” Stiles mumbled, his voice thick with sleep.
“Your dad loves me,” Derek said. “I think he might surprise you.”
“Mm.” Stiles nuzzled into Derek’s side. “Wanna swim with dolphins with you.”
“We can do that too,” Derek murmured into Stiles’s hair. “We can do whatever you want.”
“‘Kay,” Stiles said sleepily.
Derek kissed the top of his head. “Get some sleep. I’ve got you.”
A soft snore was the only response.