Disclaimer: I don't own Once Upon A Time and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: I am just so angry and sad they did that to August and I had to fix it. Hope you enjoy!
Emma didn't realize she was holding her breath in anticipation and worry until after the magical cloud disappeared and August was his adult self again. She was so relieved she nearly burst into tears but settled for hugging him instead. "I missed you so much," she murmured. She sniffled and then moved back so Geppetto and August could talk. She had been trying to figure out a way to return August to normal for months now and couldn't believe it had finally happened. They owed Rumpelstiltskin again, but that was okay. Neal and Belle would make sure he'd stay on the right track.
"I just want to tell you that I never want to be a little kid again. De-aging fucking sucks. Granted, it saved me from dying, but no thanks." August's memories had returned to Pinocchio only a few weeks after the Blue Fairy turned him back into a little kid and it hadn't gone well at all.
"As long as I get to have you in my life, I don't care how old you are." Geppetto kissed the side of his head and beamed at his son.
"Thanks, Papa." August hugged him and then ruffled Henry's hair. Before his memories had returned, Pinocchio and Henry had become friends. It had been pretty nice actually.
"We should go celebrate at Granny's!" Snow was thrilled that this had happened. She had been against the transformation in the first place and hadn't understood why everyone else had been so happy about it.
"I am starving." Returning to his adult self had taken a lot out of August and he needed to eat something before he passed out.
The rather large group began walking towards the diner. Emma slipped her hand into August's and squeezed it. He stared at their linked hands before grinning at her as they continued on their way.
Ruby gasped when they all came in and she saw him. "Hey, my little man is all grown up now!" She had spoiled Pinocchio rotten these past few months, which wasn't new considering she had done it back home before the curse.
"Thanks for that. Getting free cake is a bonus, but I'll pay for it from now on." August didn't want to take advantage of Ruby or Granny.
Granny scoffed. "Nonsense. You will get free cake today and then you're on your own." She headed back to the kitchen to grab the piece of cake she always set aside for him.
Emma and August sat down next to each other in the booth. Neal slid into the other side of them. "So, you're a real boy now. You going to take advantage of that?"
"What are you talking about?" Emma stared at her ex-boyfriend in confusion as August rolled his eyes.
Neal rolled his eyes in return. "Please tell me you two aren't this dense. Emma, you just spent months freaking out about August never getting back to this and hung out with Pinocchio when you didn't have to."
Emma sputtered. "He was hanging out with our kid. Was I supposed to leave them alone?"
He turned to August. "Just tell her. Anyway, I'm going to go con a piece of cake off of Granny and leave you two idiots alone." Neal smirked and then left them alone.
Neither noticed Snow, David, and Henry slide into the booth next to theirs, which worked to their advantage. They wanted to eavesdrop on Emma and August's conversation.
"So nice of him to throw me under the bus like that."
Emma laughed. "I shouldn't be laughing, but hey he's done it before. Don't be surprised."
That sobered August immediately. "I really am sorry for you being sent to jail. If I had known you were pregnant, I wouldn't have done that. But Neal wasn't good for you."
She put a hand on his arm. "Hey, we've had this conversation before and I told you that I forgive you. Forgive yourself. For me, please."
"I was a little kid when we had this conversation last week. And how can I forgive myself? I don't deserve forgiveness from anyone."
"Stop that right now. August, you can't keep doing this to yourself. Just accept that I forgive you and move on. I have. Besides, Neal and I are better off as friends co-parenting our son. With Regina, but that's beside the point right now." She refrained from asking him what Neal had been telling him to tell her.
He sighed and decided to listen to her. Emma was stubborn and she'd just keep insisting that he forgive himself if he told her he couldn't. He still didn't deserve any forgiveness, but he'd accept hers and keep apologizing. "So, I guess you want to know about what Neal was telling me to do." He was going to chase him down later for this.
She shrugged and tried not to let her impatience show. "Maybe."
He couldn't believe he was confessing his feelings to her in the diner, but everyone else did seem busy. And Emma had grabbed his hand earlier. August could take this risk. "I'm in love with you. Have been for a long time, since I first came to Storybrooke. And Neal somehow knows and has been bugging me to tell you. He won't let it go. I want to be with you."
Emma bit her lip and just beamed at him. "I'm in love with you, too, you idiot. It took me a long time to realize it, but I am. And you're my best friend. These past few months have been hard without you. And I was so worried about you after the curse broke, but I had to deal with so much other shit and had to push it down. It hurt, but I couldn't think about you being dead. After the Blue Fairy turned you back into Pinocchio, we went home and I cried. Actually, I cried a lot over these past few months. It wasn't easy without you there. You were a cute little kid, though." So polite, too. Emma was glad that Henry had found a friend in Pinocchio. Considering that August and Henry had bonded before the transformation, she hoped the friendship continued.
"Thanks." August couldn't believe that Emma was actually in love with him. He had never expected her to return his feelings. He had worried that she would kick his ass after she found out the truth about why she had been sent to jail and hate him forever, but was so grateful that hadn't happened. After he realized that Emma was staring expectantly at him, August made his move and kissed her.
They were interrupted by Snow squealing loudly. David and Henry winced while Emma and August reluctantly drew away from each other. "Sorry. But I'm just happy for you two! All I want is for Emma to be happy, and I'm glad it's with you, August. You two are good together." She had thought there was something between them before the curse broke and to be proven right was exciting.
"Okay, doing this in public was probably a bad idea. And we have no privacy back home either, so we need to find some place where we can be alone." Emma felt a little stupid for doing this in the middle of the diner, but she honestly didn't care. She was the happiest she had been in a long time, if ever.
"We need to have a talk, Booth, but that'll be later. You deserve this right now." David eyed him warily before breaking out in a grin and then laughing at the look on his face.
"Thank you?" August honestly wasn't sure how to respond to that.
Henry temporarily joined them in the booth. "I'm glad you're with my mom. Just make her happy or I'll be really mad." He then rejoined his grandparents.
Emma laughed. "I think my kid just threatened to kick your ass if you hurt me."
"He could take me," August quipped. He had no intentions on hurting Emma any more, however. He was going to do his best to treat her well. And now that he had another chance as an adult man, he was going to do better in every other way as well. He didn't plan on being selfish or untrue again. August had learned his lesson.
She snorted. "So, how is being an adult again?" She couldn't imagine being turned into a little kid and having to relive her life a second time.
"It is really nice. And I'm not going to squander this opportunity I've been given." He was going to be spending a lot of time with his father in the next few weeks.
"That's good. Now, you up for some free cake?"
"Always." He thanked Granny when she set two plates down in front of August and Emma. She winked at them and then walked away.
August and Emma still had a lot to talk about, but that was fine with both of them. Not all of their problems were resolved, but that would happen soon. And they still had to deal with the daily problems Storybrooke threw at them. They could get through anything now, especially since August was an adult again. Turning him back into a little kid had been the wrong move and it was a good thing the situation had been resolved.