[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



Without invitation, Chrissie sat own opposite Robert in the booth he was currently occupying. “So what happened?” she asked gesturing to bruised face and cut lip.

Robert’s eyes tracked over his wife’s, he saw no concern in them, just scorn. Robert took an instant dislike to the woman and did not like the vibe he got off her. “Aaron,” he said simply.

“Ah lover’s tiff was it?” Chrissie smiled smugly.

Robert felt himself grow defensive and had to bite his tongue to prevent himself from snapping at her; Chrissie was clearly pleased that things hadn’t worked out between him and Aaron, that his affair had meant nothing and had cost him everything. “What do you want Chrissie?” he asked, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

Chrissie took a sip of her wine. “We still have the matter of our divorce to settle,” she told him.

Robert shook his head. “Until I get my memory back I won’t be signing anything,” he said firmly. Robert knew until he understood more about what had happened between them he couldn’t agree to any terms of the divorce; and his gut was telling him that he couldn’t trust Chrissie, since he had nothing else to go on he simply had to follow it.

Chrissie sighed angrily. “What difference does it make Robert? You’re not getting a penny out of me,” she snapped. “How do you even know you’re going to get your memories back? Or how long it will take if you do? I want this divorce over with so I can move on.”

“I don’t know,” Robert said with a shake of his head. “But I’m not signing anything at the moment so maybe it would have been better if you stayed in France,” he added curtly.

Chrissie pursed her lips. “And miss out on the satisfaction of seeing you take a punch from the man you threw away everything for? No thanks, this is far more entertaining.”

Robert was about to reply, but was distracted by the sight of Aaron walking out from behind the bar with Paddy and Chas. Robert noticed Aaron had a rucksack slung over one shoulder and his eyes were red and puffy – he’d been crying he realised. As Robert’s eyes swept over Aaron’s he had the sudden feeling that this wasn’t the first time Aaron had been in tears because of him. Robert felt a tug at his heart strings as the thought sunk in and he hated himself for being the sort of person that could hurt Aaron.

Aaron only made brief eye contact with Robert before throwing Chrissie a dirty look as he headed out of the pub. Robert wanted to go after him, but the threatening look he got from Chas as she passed was more than enough to put him off the idea. Perhaps it was best if he left Aaron to cool down after all.

When Robert’s eyes turned back he noticed Chrissie had disappeared, his attention had been too focused on Aaron to notice. Robert glanced around the pub and noticed she’d joined her father and son, who he recognised from the wedding photos Diane had showed him.

Robert slid out of the booth and headed upstairs to his room, he couldn’t deal with the White’s right now and the way they were whispering under their breaths, clearly plotting against him.

----

Robert only managed to get an hours peace before there was a knock at his door; rather than get up to open it, he lazily called for the person to come in.

“Feeling better?” Victoria asked heading over and sitting down on the bed.

“I’d like to think I’ve had worse days, but I can’t exactly recall right now,” Robert replied with a tired smile. “But yeah I’m okay Vic,” he added reassuringly.

Victoria sighed sadly as her eyes darted over her brother’s injuries. “You know you can talk to me Robert, I might be able to help.”

Robert just shook his head. “It’s fine, honesty,” he said staring up at the ceiling rather than looking his sister in the eye.

“Aaron punched you, it’s obviously not fine,” Victoria argued.

“I pushed his buttons, I deserved it Vic,” Robert replied.

Victoria glanced down at her fingers that were twisted together in her lap. “I overheard Chas telling Paddy that you and Aaron, that you …” she started to say before blushing red.

“Slept together?” Robert said helping his sister out. “Yeah we did,” he replied noticing how his stomach flipped over at the thought of it.

Victoria looked up at Robert in surprise. “Wow, it’s really weird hearing you being honest about it,” she told him. “Whenever I tried to talk to you about Aaron in the past you just shook me off.”

“I wish I knew why Vic, but I don’t,” Robert said with a shrug.

Victoria glanced again down at her lap. “I think you were in denial,” she replied half expecting Robert to snap at her and tell her to leave; she was surprised when Robert said nothing and so decided to continue – she wasn’t quite sure how far she could push this new Robert. “You were very defensive, insisted you weren’t gay, insisted it was just a mistake, but I know Aaron meant more to you than that.”

Robert rubbed his fingers over his forehead, his head aching as his thoughts swirled around and around; he’d heard so many different of himself that he didn’t know what to believe anymore. “You practically told me I was a womaniser the other night, and now you think I’m gay?”

“Perhaps you were just over-compensating?” Victoria suggested. “I mean you were obviously not comfortable with the idea of coming out, or maybe you’re bisexual? You and Chrissie were pretty loved up when you first came back to the village.”

“Vic I don’t know,” Robert sighed. “I don’t remember who I was back them let alone anything else,” he told her. “The last thing I remember is waking up in the hospital, there’s nothing before that. All I know is the here and the now.”

Victoria’s eyes tracked across Robert’s. “Well … right here right now how do you feel about Aaron?” she asked.

Robert thought about it for a few moments before he answered. “Confused,” he eventually replied, and it was the most truthful answer he could give.

“Not confused enough to sleep with him,” Victoria countered. “You must have felt something?”

Robert coloured slightly. “Well yeah there was obviously a physical attraction,” he replied, there was no point trying to deny that. “But it’s more than that Vic and that’s the confusing part because I feel that there is more to us than a fling, but I don’t understand because Aaron said after the affair was out that I was desperate to get back with Chrissie. It’s just frustrating I can’t remember,” he added crossly.

“I wish I could help you,” Victoria replied. “But you kept everything so secret I have no idea how you truly felt … if I’m honest I suspect you wanted Chrissie back for the big house and the fast cars, and I think … well think you truly did care for Aaron. That you loved him.”

Robert rolled over and buried his face in his pillow. “Vic I’m tired can we talk about this later?” he asked. Truth be told he just didn’t want to hear any more about how he used to be – he didn’t like the sound of the person he was. Giving up someone he loved just for money? He didn’t deserve Aaron by the sounds of it.

Vic got up, leant across the bed and pressed a kiss to her brother’s cheek. “Come and find me if you feel like talking,” she told him. “You’re not a bad person Robert, you saved Adam’s life, I’ll never forget that,” she added before leaving the room.

---

Paddy sat down on the sofa next to Aaron and handed him a cold ice pack to put on his swollen knuckles. “We should talk,” he said gently.

“Talk?” Aaron scoffed. “Just have a go at me Paddy it’s what I deserve,” he muttered hissing slightly when the ice pack met with his aching hand.

Paddy took in a deep breath as he tried to form his words diplomatically. “I don’t think sleeping with Robert was a good idea,” he told Aaron.

Aaron looked up in shock. “I meant have a go at me about punching him,” he said quickly. “Who told you about me and Robert?” he asked colouring slightly.

“Your mum,” Paddy replied. “What were you thinking Aaron?” he sighed. “I thought you weren’t interested him anymore?”

“I can’t just turn it off like a tap,” Aaron snapped. “I tried but I … I’m weak okay?” he added bitterly. “I’m tired of fighting it, I’m tired of trying to hate him.”

“You’re still in love with him,” Paddy realised.

Aaron rubbed the cuff of his sleeve over his eyes to prevent his tears from falling. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “I know you probably think I’m an idiot, but I can’t help it Paddy, especially since his accident … it’s like he’s become the Robert I always wanted him to be, the Robert I knew he was deep down.”

“But it won’t last Aaron,” Paddy told him. “We’ll soon have the old Robert back, the one that killed Katie, the one that shot me and threatened Leo.”

“He didn’t kill Katie,” Aaron said. “It was an accident.”

“And you believe that after everything else he’s done?” Paddy asked with a raised eyebrow.

Aaron nodded. “He’s capable of a lot of things Paddy but not murder, and he’d never hurt Leo it was just an empty threat. I know him, and I believe that what happened to Katie was an accident.”

Paddy just sighed, he himself wasn’t convinced. “So how did you end up hitting him?” he asked deciding to change the subject, there was no point arguing over Katie, only two people knew what really happened that day, one dead, and one with no memory. “Come on Aaron he must have said something to provoke you?” Paddy pressed.

Aaron shrugged. “Even without his memories he still managed to get under my skin,” he sighed. “Paddy look I know you mean well but I don’t really want to talk about it okay?” he said getting up, grabbing his rucksack and making his way upstairs.

“It’s not going to go away Aaron, you’ll have to face Robert at some point,” Paddy called after him.

----

Aaron didn’t sleep at all that night, and the next morning the noise from April and Leo was driving him insane so he left Paddy’s early to go for a run. The moment he was out of the village Paddy went over to the Wool Pack to tell Chas. “He’s gone running again,” Paddy told her, both of them knowing what had happened last time he’d taken up jogging.

Chas sighed. “We can’t let him start hurting himself, not again,” she said in a whisper hoping Diane who stocking up the bottles in the fridges couldn’t hear her, little did she know Robert was skulking just around the corner listening to every word.

“Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt,” Paddy replied. “If we go after him now we’ll only end up pushing him away, he’ll think we don’t trust him.”

“I don’t,” Chas replied. “Not when he gets mixed up with Robert,” she added.

“Let’s give him half an hour,” Paddy said. “I’m sure he’ll be back by then,” he added with a reassuring smile.

“Fine,” Chas said glancing at her phone to check Aaron hadn’t tried to contact her. “But if he ends up getting hurt again I’ll kill Robert,” she muttered.

“I’m sure there will be quite the queue,” Paddy replied. “I’ll call you in half an hour,” he said before heading out of the pub.

Robert slunk away and let himself of the back door of the pub; he wasn’t sure what Chas and Paddy meant exactly but he knew Aaron was potentially at risk of hurting himself – and all because of him. Robert set off, determined to find him.
 
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