[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


Robert sensed that Aaron was trying to distance himself from him; the young mechanic had suddenly started to spend a lot more time at the scrapyard, and always seemed to have somewhere to rush off too when they ended up alone together. Robert suspected it was Chas’s influence, ever since the cross words she’d had with her son a couple of nights previously Aaron hadn’t been the same - as if he was trying to prove something to his mother.

Robert’s suspicions were confirmed when Victoria invited them both over for dinner; Adam was away meeting a potential new client for the scrap yard, and she didn’t want to spend the night alone. Robert had agreed eager to spend time with his sister, but Aaron had declined saying that he was busy.

“Sure you don’t want to come?” Robert asked pulling on his jacket.

Aaron, who was sitting at the kitchen table, glanced up at him. “I can’t,” he replied getting up and throwing the majority of his tea down the sink and heading quickly for the door.

“Why not?” Robert said following him out of the room, he was sick of Aaron running away from him. “Vic would be pleased to see you.”

“I just can’t Robert,” Aaron snapped as he headed for the stairs.

Robert instinctively reached out and grabbed his arm to stop him; Aaron span around, his heart beat quickening with excitement as Robert closed in on him, he loved it when Robert got like this with him – loved being handled roughly by the older man. However, one look in the blonde’s eyes told Aaron Robert had only done this by instinct, like the old Robert was in there somewhere trying to reach out to him.

“Sorry,” Robert said smoothing his hand down Aaron’s arm as he quickly backed off when he realised what he’d done; he was shocked at how roughly he’d grabbed him. In that moment his mind had been flooded with images, like scenes being played over in his head, only quick brief flashes– a field – a car – a barn – but he wasn’t able to focus on any of it but he knew there was something familiar about being this close to Aaron, familiar about intensity in younger man’s eyes at that moment. “Sorry,” he mumbled again shaking his head to clear the fragments that still lingered in his mind, itching at him, trying to tell him something important.

Aaron’s eyes tracked over Robert’s wishing he’d see the Robert he recognised staring back at him. “Tell Vic I’m sorry alright,” he said shaking off Robert’s hand that still lingered on him before heading up the stairs, conscious of Robert’s eyes on him.

----

“Vic can I ask you something?” Robert asked taking his eyes off the television to look over at his sister; he’d been over at her place for a couple of hours, they’d had dinner together before retiring to the living room where Victoria introduced him to one of her favourite binge watch TV shows.

Victoria glanced at her elder sibling. “Of course,” she replied with a kind smile. “It can get quite complicated at times,” she said thinking her brother was referring to the plot of the show they were currently watching.

“No not about that,” Robert replied. “About Aaron.”

Victoria reached for the remote controlled and paused the DVD. “Go on?” she asked with intrigue, had her brother remembered something?

Robert sighed. “I get there sense something is not quite right, his mother hates me, Paddy hates me … and it’s got something to do with Aaron, I keep seeing them whispering to each other, arguing over something. I thinks it’s me from all the dirty looks they’ve been giving me and it’s driving me insane. I thought things were alright with me and Aaron, that we were mates, but now he’s avoiding me.”

Victoria sighed and opened her mouth to reply.

“Don’t say it’s nothing to worry about,” Robert cut across her. “Everyone keeps telling me that, fobbing me off and it’s really annoying. I want to know,” he said crossly. “Please Vic,” he added in a softer tone when he realised she wasn’t the cause of his frustration. “You have no idea how hard this is.”

“I don’t know exactly what happened, you kept a lot of secrets Robert,” Victoria replied in all honestly. “I just know that Chas thinks you’re a bad influence on Aaron and that she wants him to keep away from you, I think it’s just best if you wait until your memories come back.”

Robert sighed with impatience, but nodded. “Okay,” he replied grumpily.

Victoria felt bad, but she didn’t know the details of what had gone on, all she knew was that Robert had got Aaron involved in the raid on home farm whether that was before or during their affair she wasn’t sure. Victoria did know that whatever had gone on between Robert and Aaron hadn’t been a one off, and it wasn’t just a mistake as Robert had told her, she suspected there were feelings involved, believed that her brother had been in love with Aaron and was just too afraid to be open about it. Telling Robert about this now wouldn’t do any good, and besides Aaron had told her it was over between them for good so she didn’t want to overstep the mark and cause any unnecessary trouble. It was their private business that they could deal with when Robert got his memories back, luckily most of the village where too busy with the aftermath of the crash to sit around and gossip too much.

“Do you think Chrissie is going to come back?” Robert asked.

Victoria chewed at her bottom lip for a moment. “I don’t know,” she replied with a shrug. “I guess she will eventually but I wouldn’t go there Robert, you two weren’t exactly in a good place before the accident.”

“I still can’t wrap the head around the fact I’m getting divorced,” Robert replied glancing down at the wedding band on his finger. “Diane showed me the wedding photos, we looked really happy. How can it have all gone so wrong so quickly?” he asked glancing at his sister. “Please Vic, give me something,” he pleaded desperately.

“You both had affairs,” Victoria replied. “From what you told me, which wasn’t much by the way, Chrissie’s was just a kiss … but your’s, well it was more than that,” she said trying not to say too much.

“Oh,” Robert replied, he’d suspected it was something like that since it was a common reason for people getting divorced. “That’s the sort of guy I am huh?” he asked with a sigh.

“I guess old habits are hard to break,” Victoria replied. “Believe it or not, you were quite the heart-breaker back in your day,” she told him. “Let me think there was Nicola, Debbie, Katie … and that’s just to name a few.”

“Katie?” Robert asked with a frown. “As in Andy’s wife? Seriously?”

Victoria just rose her eyebrows. “Well I did say you were a player,” she commented.

Robert chewed at his bottom lip, he had no memories but he couldn’t believe he was the sort of person to cheat on his wife so soon after making all of those vows. “So was it one of them? An old flame?” he asked glancing at her. “Was it Katie? Is that why Andy won’t talk to me?” he asked.

“Andy’s busy with the kids,” Victoria replied.

“But he hadn’t even bothered to see me, or even call,” Robert replied. “I’m not an idiot Vic I can tell there is something going on. Did I cheat on Chrissie with Katie?” he asked.

“No,” Victoria replied quickly. “It wasn’t her, I don’t know who it was but it wasn’t her okay? Now can you just drop it,” she said grabbing the remote and re-starting the programme; she really did hate lying to her brother.

Robert sighed as he slumped back against the armchair, he thought he’d been getting somewhere – finally getting some answers only to be blocked once more.

---

When Robert returned to the Wool Pack later that evening he headed upstairs to the bathroom and stripped off ready to get in the shower. Just as he pulled his shirt off the bathroom door opened and Aaron came in. “Oh sorry!” he cried with embarrassment. “I didn’t know you were back, sorry I should have knocked.”

“It’s fine,” Robert replied with a shake of his head. “I was just going to shower.”

“Sorry I’ll go downstairs,” Aaron said backing out the door, stopping as Robert turned around to switch on the shower and let it heat up. “I didn’t notice that before,” Aaron said looking at the dressing on Robert’s lower back; he hadn’t seen it when Robert had got changed in front of him on his first day out of hospital.

Robert glanced over his shoulder at what Aaron was referring to. “Oh,” he said a little embarrassed. “I got burned in the accident,” he replied with a shrug. “I’ve got to change the dressing actually,” he replied. “Could you give me a hand?” he asked. “It’s just a bit difficult to reach and Diane fusses too much.”

Aaron swallowed hard, he knew he should say no and keep away from Robert as his mother had told him but he couldn’t help but find himself nodding. “Okay sure, after you’ve showered?” he asked.

“Come to my room in a bit?” Robert asked. Aaron again nodded as he hurriedly backed out of the bathroom.

---

Aaron knocked gingerly on Robert’s bedroom door a few moments after hearing him leave the bathroom; he entered when he heard Robert ask him to come in and found the blonde sitting on the edge of his bed, just in a pair of boxers sorting through some medical supplies. “The hospital gave me all this rubbish,” he told him. “I can ask Diane if you’d prefer, it’s kind of gross to look at.”

Aaron shook his head and made his way over. “What do I need to do?” he asked.

“First you need to take the old dressing off, apply this ointment and then put a new one on,” Robert said handing Aaron a pair of gloves and a bottle of medicated lotion. “I’ll lie down, it makes it easier,” he said laying down in the middle of his bed on his front.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Aaron said sitting on the side of the bed and gingerly picking at the corner of the old dressing.

“Do it slow,” Robert replied. “The skin is really sensitive.”

Aaron swallowed hard, being so close to Robert like this was painful, really testing his limits. Aaron shook the thoughts from his head and slowly peeled at the edges of the dressing, it was okay at first but the closer he got to the middle the more Robert hissed with pain as the stickiness caught at the light hair on his lower back and the burnt skin underneath.

“You need me to do the rest?” Robert asked knowing the bandaged went underneath the hem of his boxers.

“I’ve got it,” Aaron said his fingers shaking a little as they delved lower. “Okay I’m going to have to do the middle now,” he said once all the edges were free.

Robert nodded, turning his head to the side so he could look at Aaron. “Thanks for this,” he said with a soft smile.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Aaron asked his eyes darting over Robert’s. “Have you been in pain all this time?”

“All the free booze has helped,” Robert smiled jokingly. “It’s fine mostly,” he added in all seriousness. “Just this bit that I hate.”

Aaron stroked his hand over Robert’s bare shoulders. “Okay I’ll be gentle,” he reassured him.

Robert nodded, smiling encouragingly at Aaron, concentrating on the warmth of his hands on his skin because he knew the worst part was about to come. Robert hissed as Aaron started to peel away the dressing but the younger man knew it was best not to stop – to just get it over with – unlike Diane who stopped every few seconds and made the whole thing much more of an ordeal than it really needed to be.

“There it’s off,” Aaron said his hand sliding down Robert’s back to comfort him.

Robert let out the breath he’d been holding. “Thank you,” he replied.

Aaron picked up the bottle of ointment and a clean cotton pad. “Not over quite yet, but there’s a whiskey in it for you when we’re done,” he told him.

“Sounds like a promise,” Robert replied with a playful quirk of his lips. “And there’s me thinking you were avoiding me.”

Aaron reddened slightly, he hadn’t been expecting Robert to bring it up so bluntly, that was more the old Robert's style.  Aaron’s eyes traversed over Robert’s burn skin as he gently applied the lotion. “Yeah well maybe I have a bit,” he replied not looking Robert in the eyes as he concentrated on being gentle, trying not to cause Robert any more pain.

“Why?” Robert asked, hurt in his eyes. “I’ve hated it.”

Aaron sighed, as he gently placed a new dressing over the wound; he wanted to tell Robert that he’d hated it too but he kept quiet. “You’re done,” he said tugging up the hem of boxers and slapping Robert playfully on the arse as he slid off the bed. “I’ll get you that whiskey,” he said heading out of the room.

Robert slid to the edge of the bed and packed away the medical supplies; he wished Aaron had just told him what the deal was rather than walking away. Robert pulled on a t-shirt and then headed down to the bar where found Aaron pouring a generous couple of measures into two tumblers. “Here,” he said holding out a glass to Robert when he spotted him.

“Thanks,” Robert said clinking glasses with him before knocking back it’s contents.

“Couldn’t you have had your dressing changed at the hospital?” Aaron asked taking Robert’s glass and topping it up.

“They wanted me go back in for it but I insisted Diane could do it, didn’t want to go back there,” Robert replied with a shrug.

Aaron just nodded, he understood, he wasn’t the biggest fan of hospital either. “You’ll have to go back eventually, if you don’t start remembering.”

“Yeah I know,” Robert sighed. “But they’ve already done a load of tests and scans, I don’t see what else they can do. I just need time I guess.”

“You’ll get there,” Aaron replied reassuringly.

Robert sighed. “Maybe it’s for the best if I don’t remember, I’m not sure I like the person I used to be,” he confessed.

Aaron glanced at him, a little surprised by his words. “What do you mean?” he asked.

“I’m getting divorced Aaron,” Robert replied with a weary sigh. “I cheated on my wife only weeks after getting married from what I can gather, what sort of guy does that? An idiot that’s who, I’ve seen the pictures, she’s beautiful, not to mention rich.”

“Money isn’t everything,” Aaron replied feeling himself grow hot under the collar. “It’s not fault that you fell for someone else, someone real,” he added defensively. “And Chrissie wasn’t exactly a Saint, she cheated too.”

Robert frowned a little. “You seem to know a lot about it,” he commented.

Aaron swallowed down another mouthful of whiskey. “Well you moved in here when she kicked you out so I heard all about it from Diane,” he lied.

Robert’s eyes tracked over Aaron’s. “You’re lying, it’s more than that, what aren’t you telling me?” he asked.

“Nothing,” Aaron said setting down his glass. “I’m going to bed,” he said making his way out of the bar.

Robert set down his own glass and went after Aaron. “Aaron wait, don’t walk away,” he said following him out into the hall. “Talk to me.”

Aaron’s head started to spin as he felt everything catching up on him, part of him wanted Robert to know, the other didn’t. He didn’t know what to do, he wanted to escape but at the same time he wanted to stay. He’d missed Robert over the last couple of days, even this new version who he’d started to grow rather fond of after spending some time with him. He was Robert, just the cleaned up version, the one with no secrets, no games to play. The person Robert always had the potential to be. The Robert Aaron could see himself having a future with, and he still wanted that future, he realised.

“Aaron?” Robert asked as the younger man hovered by the stairs. “Please, I hate this.”

“I hate it too,” Aaron whispered tears prickling in his eyes. “All I want is for you to remember,” he said, the words spilling out of his mouth before he could hold them back. “I’m an idiot, after everything that’s happened … after everything you’ve done I should be running a mile but I’m not because … God if you only just remembered!” he cried in frustration. He really needed to talk to the real Robert Sugden right now.

“Remembered what?” Robert asked, his heart starting to beat with anticipation because deep down he knew exactly what; he wasn’t an idiot, he’d seen the way Aaron looked at him, saw the raging emotions in his eyes everything from hate, to desire … to love.

A tear dripped from Aaron’s eye and ran down his cheek. “Us,” he said stepping closer to Robert. “I want you to remember us,” he said reaching out and brushing his fingers against Robert’s, too frightened to talk hold of his hand.

Robert stared at him, like a deer in the headlights, and Aaron was sure he was about to bolt. Sure that he’d ruined everything by opening his stupid big mouth. But Robert didn’t run away; in fact he moved closer and before Aaron even knew what was happening his mouth crushed against his in a bruising kiss.

Robert was kissing him, Aaron suddenly realised.

Holy fuck, Robert was kissing him.
 
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