[personal profile] dragontreasure26
Title: Reset – Robert 2.0
Characters/Pairings: Aaron Livesy/Robert Sugden, Adam Barton/Victoria Sugden, Paddy Kirk, Chas Dingle, Diane Sugden, Chrissie White, Lachlan White, Lawrence White, Cain Dingle/Moira Barton, Finn Barton.
Summary: In saving Adam's life on the day of the helicopter crash Robert is injured and loses his memory; when he returns to the village he appears to be a completely different person, a new and improved Robert Sugden. While everyone prefers the new Robert, Aaron struggles to deal with losing the man he fell in love with.


Chapter List: dragontreasure26.dreamwidth.org/227156.html


Aaron managed to get the rest of the afternoon to himself; Robert had gone upstairs when the returned from the scrap yard to sleep, dealing with his memory loss was clearly exhausting him. Aaron relished the time alone and spent most of it in his room just lying on his bed, thinking things through; he was annoyed with himself for being so weak, for still having feelings for Robert despite all that had happened. He knew he just had to keep reminding himself that Robert was a liar, a game-player and keep telling himself that he was better off without him.

Aaron’s thoughts turned to the car fire that had almost killed Adam, Chrissie was responsible he just knew it … and now she had disappeared. Sam Dingle, the Whites game keeper, told him that Lawrence, Chrissie and Lachlan had all gone away to the south of France. Was it out of guilt? Aaron wondered.

Aaron wasn’t sure what he was going to do about it; part of him kind of understood what Chrissie had done – being with Robert did kind of drive you crazy, make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. But then again, Adam could have died. Val and Ruby had died.

Aaron looked up when he heard his bedroom door open. “Hey luv, you okay?” Chas asked.

“Fine,” Aaron replied moodily; he hated it when his mother fussed over him.

“You’ve been up here all afternoon,” Chas said. “Why don’t you come down and keep me company at the bar eh?”

Aaron shrugged. “I’m not in the mood,” he replied with a sigh.

Chas came into the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. “You’ve been with Robert all morning,” she commented.

“Only because Diane asked me to show him around the village, and take him to the B&B to get his clothes,” Aaron replied defensively.

Chas pursed her lips, on the one hand she was worried about Aaron spending so much time with Robert but she also knew that Diane needed the help at the moment. “Does he remember anything?” she asked. Aaron just shook his head. “Good,” she replied.

“You think it’s a good thing?” Aaron asked turning to look at his mother.

Chas nodded. “Yeah, because it means he can’t mess with your head,” she replied. “Come down when you feel like it,” she said with a kind smile before leaving the room.

Aaron closed his eyes, his mother was wrong – Robert like this was messing with his head even more than ever.

---

Later than night, Aaron watched from the bar as Robert, Adam and Victoria played pool together on the other side of the pub.

“You can’t take your eyes off of him,” Chas muttered under her breath as she placed another pint down in front of Aaron.

“Keeping tabs on me are ya?” Aaron growled.

Chas sighed. “I’m just looking out for you Aaron,” she replied crossly. “I’m worried you’re going soft on him given his condition, but you can’t because when he gets his memory back he’ll suck you right back into all of his games.”

“I’m not a kid, I can handle it,” Aaron snapped at her.

“Hey Aaron come over and join us,” Robert suddenly called across the pub.

“Yeah I’m getting slaughtered by the Sudgen’s here, help me out, mate,” Adam laughed. “Only because of these,” he said nodding toward the crutches.

“As if, you were rubbish at pool before you broke your ankle,” Victoria scoffed.

“There’s a pint in it for you!” Robert added with a smile and a wink.

Chas glared at Aaron in warning, but sick of her treating him like a kid Aaron defiantly got and headed over; he took the pool cue from Adam and potted a few balls quickly.

“Wow this one’s a champ,” Robert said placing his hand on Aaron’s shoulder, squeezing it tightly as he gave it a little shake.

“You owe me a pint,” Aaron replied nodding toward the bar, ignoring the prickle of excitement that shot down his spine at Robert’s touch.

“Okay hint taken, I’ll get another round in,” Robert said heading over.

“No no no!” Adam said practically hopping after him on his crutches. “I told you tonight’s on me.”

Victoria took the opportunity while Robert was out of earshot to corner Aaron. “What does he know?” she whispered.

“About what?” Aaron asked.

“You know what, you two,” Victoria hissed. “Does he know about the affair?”

Aaron shook his head. “No he doesn’t know and he never needs to know, we’re finished remember?”

“Okay,” Victoria said backing off when she sensed the hostility from Aaron. “I just didn’t want to put my foot in it that’s all.”

Aaron sighed. “Sorry,” he said knowing he shouldn’t have snapped at her. “It’s just hard, all of this,” he said glancing over at Robert. “I just think it would be easier all round if we just say nothing.”

“And if he works it out?” Victoria asked. “He keeps asking me about Chrissie, why they’re splitting up so soon after getting married.”

“He won’t work it out if everyone keeps their mouth shut,” Aaron huffed.

Victoria rolled her eyes. “You think that’s possible in this village?” she asked. “We’re going to have to figure something out sooner or later,” she replied. “Chrissie won’t be France forever you know.”

Aaron knew this was true, feeling panicked he was about to reply but at that moment Adam and Robert retuned with a round of drinks. Aaron drank down the pint quickly, much to Robert and Adam’s amusement but he needed something to numb his thoughts. It was just too much to handle right now.

---

“Fancy another game?” Robert asked once they’d said their goodbyes to Adam and Victoria, it was late, the pub had closed hours ago but the four of them had played on long after last call.

Aaron shrugged, since he and Robert were both currently living in the pub there was nothing to stop them continuing and besides he’d drunk so much that his mood had really mellowed. “Sure,” he replied casually.

Robert handed Aaron the cue. “You can break first,” he smiled warmly. “If you can still see straight that is,” he chuckled.

“Course I can,” Aaron replied taking the cue, ignoring the slur of his words and the slight spin of the room as he turned toward the pool table.

Robert smiled, leaning against the bar and watching Aaron line up his shot. “I’ve enjoyed tonight, it’s the first time I’ve felt normal since waking up,” he told him.

Aaron’s eyes lifted from the table and darted over Roberts, it was so strange to see them so warm and full of happiness – no dark plots or manipulation. “So what do I get if I kick your arse then?” Aaron asked managing to hit the balls despite not potting any.

“I don’t know, how about I buy us dinner?” Robert offered as he pushed himself off the bar and headed over to take the cue.

Aaron paused, he glanced at Robert. “Dinner?” he asked his heart beat quickening.

Robert nodded, his fingers brushing Aaron’s lightly as he took the cue from him. “Takeaway, few beers, something like that,” he shrugged in suggestion. “I’m … well it’s pretty lonely being left with your own thoughts when it’s all just black,” he said blushing a little as he confessed this.

Aaron knew he shouldn’t, that he should steer clear of Robert after all they’d been through but he found himself nodding. “Make it a curry and I’m in,” he said watching the red blush creep across Robert’s face, God he looked hot he found himself thinking, a familiar twist in of desire curling in his stomach. “You make a mean curry, if you can remember how.”

“I’m sure it will come back to me, but you’ve got to beat me first,” Robert replied cheerfully as he leant over the table.

Aaron’s alcohol soaked brain was too slow to prevent his eyes sliding over Robert’s arse, or sweeping up his back and over his strong shoulders. He was unable to stop himself from growing hot with desire, thinking about stripping the blonde down and having him right against the pool table. “Rob,” he mumbled fighting the urge to reach out and touch him. There was nothing he wanted more than Robert right now, he needed something – a sign that the old Robert was there, somewhere.

Robert turned to look at Aaron. “Aaron?” he asked a small frown creasing across his forehead.

Aaron’s eyes drifted over Robert’s lips, soft and pink, and wondered what it would be like to kiss him now. This Robert was gentle and kind, would his kisses be the same? Or would he kiss him like the old Robert? Rough and dominating? Would Aaron still feel the rush and the thrill he always used to feel when Robert kissed him? Aaron quickly shook these thoughts from his head. “Just, wish you’d get your memories back,” he said with a sigh, not quite drunk enough to tell the other man just how much he missed him.

“You and me both,” Robert sighed as he turned back to the table to finish his shot.

---

The next evening Robert ended up cooking after all despite Aaron losing the pool game (which was to no surprise of either of them since he was barely able to hit the balls let alone pot them). Robert didn't mind cooking, it was something to occupy his mind whilst he was still recovering from the accident, and he wanted the excuse to just be with Aaron ... being on his own was just awful, having no memory really did make him feel lonely. When he was with Aaron he felt normal, because Aaron didn't give him the sympathetic smiles that everyone else did, he didn't treat him like an idiot or an invalid because of his memory loss; most of all he didn't fuss and Robert cherished that. “Here you can chop the onions,” Robert throwing a couple in Aaron’s direction. “I’ll get the rice on,” he told him. Aaron caught the onions, pulled out a chopping board and started to dice them up. Within a few moments he felt tears burning in his eyes. Robert noticed when he came over to collect the onions and put them in the pan. “Big baby,” he chuckled not hesitating to reach out and stroke away Aaron’s tears.

Aaron froze at the intimate touch. “They’re really strong,” he said breaking eye contact with Robert and heading over to the sink to wash his hands. He felt Robert’s eyes on him the whole time. “So what next?” he said swallowing nervously.

Robert picked up the onions and threw them into the pan with the oil. “What spices do we have?” he asked.

Aaron shrugged as he headed over the cupboard to have a look. “I don’t think Diane is a big spice fan,” he replied. “There’s a few things here,” he said digging them out.

Robert took various jars and added different quantities to the pan, shortly followed by the meat. “I don’t understand how this memory thing works,” he sighed as he stirred the contents of pan. “How can I can remember how to do this,” he said looking down as the curry bubbling away. “How can I remember how to drive, how to tie my shoe laces but not remember a thing about my own friends and family?”

Aaron shrugged. “I’m not a doctor mate,” he said grabbing a couple of beers from the fridge and handing one to Robert.

Robert just hummed under his breath. “It’s frustrating,” he sighed.

Aarons swallowed down a mouthful of beer as he studied Robert, feeling sorry for him. “Must be pretty lonely too,” he replied.

Robert nodded. “It’s difficult, sometimes people around here look at me strangely, and some people seem angry but obviously I don’t know why.”

“Like who?” Aaron asked his heartbeat starting to quicken, he knew he hadn’t exactly done a good job of hiding his feelings from Robert, whatever they may be.

Robert looked down at the pan. “Your mum, Paddy, Andy,” he replied in a small voice. “I know he’s busy with Jack and Sarah but he’s my brother right? Why hasn’t he even spoken to me?” he asked.

Aaron shrugged. “You two are either best mates or at each other’s throats, just the way it is between you I guess.”

“What do we fight about?” Robert asked looking up at Aaron, desperate for answers. He hated all of the secrecy, whenever he asked Victoria or Diane about it they just told him it was a long story and not to worry about it.

Aaron didn’t know what to say and he didn’t feel it was his place to say anything; he was relieved when his mother walked in the room so that he could avoid Robert’s question.

Robert smiled at Chas. “Good evening, you’re welcome to join us for dinner,” he offered. “There’s going to be plenty.”

Chas tried to smile back politely but it only came out as a grimace. “No thanks, I’m working tonight,” she replied. “You’re having dinner together then?” she said glancing at Aaron uneasily.

Aaron rolled his eyes. “Just a curry and a few beers,” he replied.

“Are Adam and Victoria coming?” Chas asked.

“No,” Aaron replied knowing she was only asking to find out if he was spending the night alone with Robert.

Chas just looked disapproving before she left the room.

“She doesn’t like me,” Robert said glancing at Aaron. “Did I upset her somehow?” he asked.

“It’s fine Robert, don’t worry about it,” Aaron replied feeling more than a little stressed.

---

During the course of the evening Chas kept finding excuses to come out from the bar to the living room where Aaron and Robert were working their way through the Marvel movies. Aaron was slowly becoming more and more wound up by her continued interruption and headed over to confront her about it. “What is your problem?” he hissed under his breath so Robert couldn’t hear.

“I’m worried luv, you two have been cosied up on that sofa all night,” Chas replied.

“He needed the company, nothing’s going on between us,” Aaron told her. “Stop checking up on me.”

“You’re softening, I can tell – you can’t get involved with him again,” Chas replied worriedly.

Aaron sighed angrily. “It’s not like that,” he muttered. “He needs a mate right now, that’s all,” he said before heading back over to the sofa. That’s all they were, just mates. He just felt sorry for Robert that was all, he kept telling himself.

“Everything okay?” Robert asked glancing at Aaron worriedly, he’d lost his memory yes but that didn’t make him an idiot. He could feel the tension between Aaron and his mother, the hatred Chas had for him and he was determined to find out what was going on.

“Fine,” Aaron smiled reassuringly as he picked up his can of beer from the coffee table and drank down the rest of its contents quickly.

 
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