[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 found Aaron sitting on the grass drinking from his water bottle; the mechanic had his headphones in his ears and so was startled when Robert suddenly appeared and sat down beside him.

Aaron tore his headphones out of his ears. “What do you want?” he asked gruffly.

“Good morning to you too,” Robert said, but there was a smile on his face as he said the words.

Aaron’s eyes darted over Robert’s, surprised he was even speaking to him given the fact he’d had punched him the day before. “I’m really not in the mood for this Robert,” Aaron muttered slurping down some more water.

“Give us some, I’ve been walking around ages trying to find you,” Robert said holding his hand out for the bottle.

Aaron eyed him suspiciously before handing the bottle over and watched as Robert drank from it. “Why were you looking for me?” he asked. “After another punch are ya?” he asked, though there was no malice in his tone – more defeat.

“I’ll take another one if it helps,” Robert replied. “If it stops you from hurting yourself,” he added more gently as he laid his hand over Aaron’s knee.

Aaron’s eyes snapped toward Robert. “What are you talking about?” he asked defensively as he shrugged off his hand.

“Paddy and Chas are worried about you,” Robert told him. “Worried that you’ve started running again, that you’re going to hurt yourself. I wasn’t sure what they meant but I had to come and find you to make sure you were alright.”

“Of course I am,” Aaron replied stiffly. “I just wanted to get away from Paddy’s, the kids were doing my head in.”

Robert glanced at Aaron knowing he wasn’t going to like what he was going to bring up next. “Your scars,” he said gently. “Did you hurt yourself because of me?” he asked gently. “It’s just that your mum said you always ended up getting hurt when you get involved with me.”

Aaron looked down at the grass and played with a blade between his fingers. “It wasn’t because you,” he muttered. “It started before you even came back to the village.”

Robert waited patiently, hoping Aaron trusted him enough to talk about it. “Did I ever do anything to you … to … to make you do it again?” he asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Aarons sighed angrily. “There’s no point dredging up the past, especially when you don’t remember.”

Robert’s eyes darted over Aaron’s, and he couldn’t help but notice he hadn’t denied it. Robert felt sick to his stomach. “For what it’s worth I’m sorry, whatever I did, however I hurt you, I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Aaron muttered keeping his eyes fixed firmly on the grass so Robert couldn’t see the tears burning in his eyes.

“It’s not,” Robert said. “There more I know, the more I hate myself. I’m scared Aaron, scared of what I’ll find out when I get my memories back.”

Aaron thought about everything – Katie, Paddy, the raid on home farm. Robert had only been back a year but he’d managed to make a lot of enemies. “You’ve made some stupid decisions, but haven’t we all?” he replied. “Everyone has done things they regret, including me.”

Robert glanced at Aaron. “Do you regret what happened between us?” he asked. “The affair?”

Aaron thought about it for a while. “I wish I’d had the courage to tell you to make your mind up sooner, to choose Chrissie or me once and for all,” he told him. “It started out as a fling but then feelings got involved, that’s when I should have stopped. I wish I’d been stronger, I wish I’d been able to resist you, to not put up with your crap for so long. It went on for months Robert, you used me and then cast me aside when it wasn’t convenient.”

Robert swallowed hard. “I wish I could explain, but I can’t.”

Aaron shrugged. “Doesn’t matter now,” he said getting up and dusting himself down. “I’m heading back to the village, I guess I owe you a pint for your face?”

A small smile crossed across Robert’s face. “I guess you do,” he said getting up. They both hovered for a few moments. “You didn’t answer my question, do you regret the affair?”

Aaron looked away from Robert and focused on countryside stretched out in front of him for a few moments; he thought about that first meeting with Robert, the call out which had all just been a rouse. Aaron had known Robert’s fancy car had nothing wrong with it before he’d even arrived, he’d sensed something building between them – the heated discussions between them always had an underlying flirtation, and there had been more than one desire filled gazes that passed between them. Aaron was attracted to Robert from the moment he’d met him, despite Robert being far from his usual type with his pretty boy looks and expensive clothes. He thought about their first kiss, the rough, desperation of it. He thought about Robert shoving him against his car, how his blood had set on fire – desire had turned to lust and he wanted Robert in that moment more than anything. Aaron hadn’t cared one bit about Chrissie’s feelings when Robert had taken him for the first time in the back of an old car in the garage. He hadn’t cared about Chrissie when they snuck away together for a night. And he hadn’t cared about Chrissie’s feelings when he’d fallen in love with her husband.

“Aaron?” Robert asked gently.

“No I don’t regret it,” Aaron replied. “Come on, I’m buying,” he said heading back off toward the village.

Robert’s heart fluttered in his chest at Aaron’s words and a grin spread across his face; from all accounts he’d put Aaron through hell during their time together but to know Aaron didn’t regret it meant the world. Robert followed Aaron back down to the village for the first time since the accident, since he’d woken up, he felt like he had a purpose. And that purpose was Aaron.

---

“They’re just talking,” Paddy whispered to Chas, the two of them peering out of the Wool Pack window at Aaron and Robert who were walking through the village back toward the pub. Paddy had come over, he and Chas were going to head out and try and find Aaron after he’d not returned for his run or answered any of their calls but just as they were about to set off they’d spotted him, with Robert of all people.

Chas pursed her lips. “I wish Robert would just leave him alone,” she muttered.

Paddy sighed, suspecting that both Robert and Aaron were to blame for not keeping away from each other. “Aaron told me last night he still has feelings for Robert.”

Chas’s eyes snapped toward Paddy’s. “What? How?” she asked incredulously. “Why does he tell you these things and not me?” she added.

Paddy shrugged, he pulled Chas away from the window just before they were spotted by Robert and Aaron. Chas quickly made her way back behind the bar and Paddy took his seat in front of it, both of them quickly changing the subject just as Robert and Aaron walked in.

Victoria and Diane, who were sitting at one of the tables by the door surrounded by menu plans, were more than surprised to see Aaron and Robert enter the pub together. “Boys? I hope there isn’t going to be any trouble?” Diane asked glancing between them worriedly, the bruises on Robert’s face fully formed overnight reminding them all of how nasty things could turn.

Robert just shook his head at Diane as he and Aaron headed over to an empty booth. “I’ll get you a drink,” he said giving Aaron’s shoulder a squeeze as he sank down into it.

“I’m buying,” Aaron replied.

“You can get the next one,” Robert said heading over to the bar before Aaron could argue.

Paddy looked over at Aaron. “You didn’t stay for breakfast, Rhona did the complete works,” he told him, not daring to mention the run or how worried he’d been.

“I wasn’t hungry,” Aaron muttered. “I went for a run, a normal run okay? Nothing to worry about,” he added glancing at Paddy and then his mother who was giving Robert the evil eye as she poured two pints for him and Aaron.

Robert ignored the hostility from Chas, handed over the money and then set down the drinks on the table before taking a seat opposite Aaron. “I say we deserve these,” he grinned at Aaron.

Aaron rolled his eyes at Robert. “Me maybe, you barely broke a sweat,” he teased.

“Hey I’m still recovering,” Robert replied playfully, ignoring the unhappy look Chas shot him from across the bar. “That’s the furthest I’ve walked since coming out of hospital,” he told him. “Speaking of which I’ve got to go in later, more tests to do apparently,” he sighed.

Aaron took a sip of his pint. “Nothing’s come back then?” he asked glancing at him.

“Just flashes, nothing I can hold onto properly,” Robert replied with a sigh. “Got to be a good sign though right? Seems like something is going on up there,” he said tapping the side of his head.

Aaron simply nodded; they sat for a few moments in silence, it was tense, not because of the fight they’d had yesterday but because they were both fully aware that Chas, Paddy, Diane and Vic were watching them like hawks. “Chrissie’s back then?” Aaron eventually asked.

Robert nodded and Aaron couldn’t help but feel secretly thrilled at how glum his expression looked. “She’s pressing me to sign the divorce papers,” he told him.

“You can’t,” Aaron replied quickly. “Not while you’re still recovering from the accident, you can’t remember anything so how can they expect you to agree to anything?”

“Precisely,” Robert nodded. “I told Chrissie I’m not signing anything until my head is sorted out, she wasn’t happy but there isn’t anything she can do.”

“You need to make sure it’s what you want too,” Aaron replied. “Before the accident you were doing everything you could to get her to forgive you, to save your marriage.”

Robert just shrugged, he wasn’t so convinced – he felt nothing for Chrissie when he laid eyes on her so couldn’t understand it. Aaron on the hand … he was different.

“How’s the face?” Aaron asked glancing Robert’s swollen cheekbone and split lip.

“Not so bad,” Robert replied with a shrug.

“I’m sorry,” Aaron said in a whisper.

Robert smiled at him kindly. “It’s okay, I understand … I pushed you too far with what I said, it wasn’t fair, you’re right I don’t know you.”

“You do though,” Aaron sighed. “Even without your memories it seems.”

“I overstepped the mark I know, but I stand by what I said,” Robert replied. “I don’t want to fight with you and I want you to be happy Aaron so I won’t bring up the past again, if that’s what you want.”

Aaron sighed. “I don’t know what I want Robert,” he mumbled.

“Well isn’t this cosy?”

Aaron looked up to see Chrissie and Lawrence standing over their table. “Sorry into interrupt … whatever this is,” he said glancing between Aaron and Robert. “But I’d like a word with my husband.”

Robert glanced at Aaron and nodded. “Why don’t you get another round in?” he said.

“Dad grab us a table and a couple of menus,” Chrissie said to Lawrence. “And mines a large white wine,” she added taking the seat opposite Robert as Aaron vacated it.

Chrissie produced a file from her briefcase and placed it on the table in front of Robert. “My solicitor has drawn up all the paperwork all you need is to sigh,” she said pushing the file toward him. “Then this will all be over and you’ll be free to do whatever you please,” she said glancing over at Aaron deliberately.

Robert pushed the file back toward her. “I’ll have my solicitor check it when I have my memory back, not before,” he told her.

Chrissie pursed her lips. “It’s a good deal, money and that stupid car you love so much” she muttered snatching the file back up and holding it out to him. “I suggest you take it before I change my mind and the next one it less inviting,” she said trying to force Robert to take it but he flatly refused. “Would you rather have nothing? Because it doesn’t get better than this Robert,” Chrissie snarled.

“It’s not about the money,” Robert replied much to everyone’s surprised for Lawrence, Chas, Paddy, Diane, Victoria and Aaron were all listening to the conversation.

“Well if you think there is any chance of us getting back together then you’re delusional,” Chrissie laughed.

Robert shook his head, despite not remembering anything he just knew that he didn’t want to be with this woman. “I just want a clear head before we proceed, why are you pushing this?” he asked, his eyes narrowed with suspicion.

“Because I want rid of you,” Chrissie snapped. “I want to move on and while we’re still married I can’t,” she said getting up and stuffing the file back in her briefcase. “You ruined my life Robert, why can’t you just do the decent thing and let have this one thing, I’m offering you more than you deserve,” she said as she walked away. “Come on dad, I don’t feel like eating here anymore,” she said heading out of the pub.

Robert watched Chrissie and Lawrence go before sighing deeply. “Don’t worry pet, this will all be over once you get your memory back,” Diane said with a kind smile.

“Speaking of which haven’t you got more tests today?” Victoria asked.

Robert just nodded, feeling thoroughly depressed. Aaron set another pint down in front of him. “Probably shouldn’t if you’ve got to go to the hospital,” he said unsurely.

Robert took the glass and gulped down the beer. “I can take the bus,” he replied needing the drink more than anything.

---

After their second pint Robert left to go to the hospital, Diane, Vic and even Aaron offered to go with him but Robert just shook his head and told them he wanted some time alone before leaving the pub.

“Should we be worried?” Diane asked, she and Victoria looking to Aaron.

“What you asking me for?” Aaron shrugged before heading behind the bar; truth be told he was worried about Robert – he seemed pretty down, and Aaron knew not having much progress with his memories was beginning to get to him.

Aaron heading to the living room and flopped down on the sofa; a few moments later the door opened and Paddy and Chas walked in. “What is going on Aaron?” Chas asked. “First you punch Robert then you’re going off on little jaunts around the village and having drinks together?”

Aaron closed his eyes. “Can you guys just back off?”

“No we can’t!” Chas cried angrily. “We were worried sick about you when you went off this morning.”

Aaron felt himself grow angry. “Then how come you didn’t come looking for me?” he snapped. “How come it was Robert who found me?”

Paddy sat down next to Aaron. “We wanted to give you some space,” he told him.

“Your head is obviously all over the place at the moment, do you even know what is happening?” Chas asked. “Robert’s dragging you into his web again.”

“No he isn’t,” Aaron replied. “Just leave it please, I’m dealing with it. He’s not the same Robert he was.”

“Right now maybe not, but he’ll get his memories back,” Chas warned him.

“He’s changed,” Aaron said getting up and heading over to the door. “And I think even when his memories return he’ll still have changed for the better.”

Paddy and Chas exchanged a worried glance. “You’re not thinking of getting back together with him are you?” Paddy asked.

“Aaron?” Chas pressed.

Aaron didn’t reply, he left the room and headed upstairs to get away from the two of them and their questions. Questions he just didn’t have the answers to right now.
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