Title: All Around Me
Characters: August/Pinocchio, Henry, Geppetto, Archie/Jiminy, & Charming; implied Emma/August
Summary: They say True Love's kiss can break any curse, but there are different kinds of love.
Warnings: (Spoilers for Season Two) This is one of my many takes on how August is going to return tonight. I'm on the West Coast so I still have hours to go before this sucker airs and I had to write this.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Notes: I just have a lot of feeling about August and Henry, okay?
He's been fighting it for hours, slipping in and out of consciousness.
His blue eyes fight against the blur of images in front of him and he forces them shut once more.
"HE'S IN HERE!"
Someone throws themselves at him with a force that would have knocked the wind out of any normal man, but-
He reaches out to hug them back and realizes he's still trapped in his wooden form, unable to move.
She's the only person he wants to see. The one he's been dreaming of since those final moments before time stopped, his last memory of her face. If he'd been meant to die, that would be the way to die. But he wasn't dead…
"She broke the curse," he whispered, relieved.
"Pinocchio! Archie! He's alive!"
August feels his father's tears fall onto his cheeks as he presses a kiss to his forehead.
"We'll explain later, your majesty."
"My boy, my boy."
He still feels arms around his waist and he works up all of his strength to open his eyes and focus them on his surroundings.
"Emma?" He asks, smiling when he realizes its Henry staring back at him. Next to his father and Emma, the kid was exactly who he wanted to be with him. "Hey kid, I don't suppose your mom is hiding out in the hallway somewhere?"
He's grateful that while his body might not be back to normal, at least he can speak. He doesn't want to imagine the horror of being trapped in his body, unable to speak, but perfectly aware of his surroundings.
Charming shoots him a glare and Geppetto kisses August's cheek, still crying happily.
"Of course my boy would want to know where his Princes-oh," Geppetto stops himself from speaking further and August recognizes that tone. Something's wrong.
Henry watches him for a long moment, his bottom lip quivering and fear rushes through August.
"Someone tell me where in the Hell she is!"
August tries to sit up, to move himself to action, but he can't manage it. He's not used to this new body and everything is stiff, too heavy to function properly.
He makes eye contact with Charming, who regards him for a long moment, and then, upon realizing that August was worthy of the information, spoke.
"She and Snow are gone. They were sucked into a portal with a Wraith. Back to our land, we hope."
"You hope? That's not good enough!"
"We're trying to find them," Henry whispers sadly, his fear evident in his eyes.
Screw this, August thinks. He's been a Wooden Boy before; being a Wooden Man couldn't be much harder. Mustering up every bit of strength he had left, he forces his body to cooperate and pulls Henry against him, returning his hug. Henry wasn't his son, but somewhere between coming to town, falling in love with the kid's mom, and nearly dying, he's come to think that maybe he could be the kid's dad, someday.
"Hey, kid, we're going to find your mom, okay? I promise you, I'm not losing her again. I will always find her," he whispered, determined to never fail her again.
From across the room, Charming punches the wall.
"I guess…the princess found her own…well, you," Archie muttered, trying to calm Charming down.
"Yeah, but that's not my problem," Charming growls, muttering about wasting time on saving men who'd been defiling his daughter when he should be saving them.
Henry frowns, trying to ignore his grandfather.
"Yeah, kid, I promise."
Henry throws his arms around August's neck and August winces, trying to ignore the amount of pain he's in.
"I love you, August."
"Yeah? I love you too, kid."
"Always," he whispers, kissing the side of Henry's head.
The moment his wooden lips make contact, a warm, white light flooded the room, bringing with it a strong gush of wind.
August pulls away from the kid, quickly realizing how easy the simple task was when a moment earlier it had been impossible.
Henry pulls away, smiling.
August stares down at his hands which are no longer made of wood. He pushes himself out of bed and inspects both hands, then his arms, and then brings his hands up to touch his own face.
August scoops Henry up; pulling him into a hug as Geppetto joins in, hugging them both.
"This is the happiest day of my life," his father beams as August sets Henry down.
"Yeah, well, not mine." August moves to slip on his boots and grabs his jacket, pushing past Charming. "Come on kid," he says, ignoring everyone else for the moment, he's a man on a mission after all.
"We have to go find a way to save your mom."