“Are you sure about this?” his dad asks. He’s been worried since Stiles first asked him, and it’s been easy to see.
Stiles doesn't really get why—he doesn't think driving through America for a few weeks before college is any more dangerous than spending three years of high school battling supernatural horrors—but he’s not going to discredit his father’s worry. If it was dad leaving for weeks, Stiles would be worried too. After all they’ve been through, they hold tightly to what they have left.
“Yeah, dad,” Stiles answers, face breaking into a smile when the Camaro pulls up to his curb.
He has his pillow tucked under his arm and his suitcase is already in the back of the Jeep. Derek insisted on paying to get it fixed up, claiming it was a courting gift and that if Stiles refused to let him do so, he would be rejecting Derek’s courtship. Stiles wasn’t going to do that, not when Derek was trying so hard to show both Stiles and his father how much he cared. He wasn’t going to be happy about all the money Derek was spending on him, though.
Despite all his protests, Stiles couldn't deny that it was nice to have the Jeep running smoothly again. It drove better than it ever had in Stiles’ possession, and it was nice not having to worry about his car breaking down every time he drove it. He was especially happy now, seeing as he had been able to convince Derek to take the Jeep.
The trip had actually been Derek's idea. Stiles had a… hard time, after the Nogitsune’s possession. It wasn’t a surprise that he struggled during the following months, though it was surprising how few of his friends noticed what a hard time he was having. For a while, he couldn’t sleep at night. The darkness of his room reminded him too much of what being locked in his own head had been like, and Stiles couldn’t go to bed like that—terrified of what he knew the darkness held.
It had taken him weeks, months, before he was able to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, and still he couldn’t sleep a full night if he was alone. Having someone else in the bed—whether it be his dad or Derek—helped when he woke breathless from his nightmares, reminded him that they had beat the Nogitsune, that he was no longer possessed.
And Derek had suggested the road trip. It would be something for Stiles to lose himself in before he started college, and hopefully, it would give him something to focus on when he was away from his family. Stiles brought his pillow to the jeep, smiling at Derek as the man got his own bags from the trunk of his car.
“It’s going to be fine, Dad,” Stiles says again, laughing when he’s pulled into a tight hug. He holds his dad just as tight and tries to ignore the burning in his eyes.
He knows his dad is going to be safe from the supernatural. The Nogitsune had left behind its knowledge—a gift Stiles had never wanted—and Stiles had been able to cleanse the Nemeton. With that done, Beacon Hills had calmed down on the supernatural front, the Nemeton doing its job at protecting the town instead of calling evil to it.
Of course, Stiles will always worry about his dad, and he doesn’t pull back from the hug until his dad does. John clears his throat, and Stiles watches in amusement as he turns toward Derek and sticks out his hand.
“You and my boy better take care of each other, alright?” John says, shaking Derek’s hand before pulling him into a big, Stilinski hug.
“We will,” Derek answers, smile soft in a way Stiles knows is only for him, one he will always be honoured to receive.
Stiles is very, very excited for what the summer’s going to bring.