[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, have you seen Robert?” Victoria asked when she found him in the café later that afternoon.

“No,” Aaron said with a sigh, he’d come to the coffee to escape from everyone but somehow he still seemed to have been cornered. “Why?” he asked noticing her worried expression.

“I’ve tried calling him, I wanted to know how his tests went but he’s not answering any of my calls,” Victoria replied.

Aaron drank down the rest of his coffee and got up. “He’s probably still at the hospital, you know how long these things take,” he said with a shrug as he headed out of the café.

“I guess,” Victoria replied following him. “Well will you let me know when he gets home?” she asked.

“Sure,” Aaron said heading to the scrap yard, maybe he’d find some peace there he decided.

---

Aaron didn’t return home until later that night, he’d spent most of the afternoon at the scrap yard taking apart the burnt remains of the two cars sitting in front of the porta-cabin. When he did get back, he avoided his mother who was working behind the bar and made his way upstairs. As he made his way up, Aaron remembered his earlier conversation with Victoria and headed down the corridor to Robert's room. Aaron was surprised to find it empty, he checked the bathroom and downstairs but Robert was nowhere to be found.

“Hey Vic, you caught up with Robert yet?” Aaron asked finding her in the pub’s kitchen.

Victoria shook her head as she flew around the kitchen trying to prepare the food orders that were coming into the kitchen thick and fast. “No, I’ve tried calling him all day,” she said piling fresh chips onto a plate. “Please Aaron, could you go and find him?” she asked. “For me?” she added seeing the hesitation in Aaron’s eyes.

“Okay fine,” Aaron sighed making his way out of the kitchen; he didn’t want to admit it but he was a little worried about Robert too.

Aaron searched the village, and failing to find Robert, he headed to the hospital – the last place anyone knew Robert had gone. It didn’t take Aaron long to find him once he’d arrived, he was sitting on a bench outside the hospital clutching a bottle of vodka. Scratch that, on closer inspection Aaron noticed it was an almost empty bottle of vodka.

“Robert,” Aaron said sinking down on the bench beside him. “We’ve been worried about you, what are you still doing here?” he asked. “Why are you drinking out here on your own?”

Robert leant against Aaron’s shoulder and sighed heavily. “Aaron,” he mumbled as he swigged down more vodka. “What are you doing here?” he slurred.

“I came to find you, ya muppet,” Aaron replied pretending to be cross but he couldn’t help the heavy layer of affection that laced his voice. “I don’t think you need any more of this,” he said taking the bottle out of his hand. “Why didn’t you just come back to the pub if you wanted a drink?” he asked.

Robert just laughed into the cool leather of Aaron’s jacket. “That would only be sensible,” he chuckled.

“Okay come on,” Aaron said getting up and dragging up Robert up with him. “Food and bed, that’s what you need right now,” he said dumping the bottle of vodka in a nearby bin as they passed it.

Robert stumbled along, gripping onto Aaron tightly so he didn’t fall. Aaron steered them toward the bus and they clambered on the next one that came. “Is he going to be sick?” the bus driver asked eyeing up Robert suspiciously.

“No,” Aaron replied quickly.

“Maybe,” Robert giggled swaying on the spot.

“Shut up,” Aaron hissed elbowing Robert in the side as he handed over a pocket full of change to the bus driver, he didn’t want to get thrown off because he knew he didn’t have enough money for a taxi and it would be a very long walk back to the village otherwise.

Robert collapsed into an empty seat near the front of the bus and pressed his head against the cold glass or the window. Aaron sat beside him. “Can’t believe I had to come and find you,” he smiled at Robert. “Victoria’s doing her nut in worrying about you.”

“Sorry,” Robert mumbled.

Aaron looked into Robert’s eyes, he knew there was something going on – something that had caused Robert to turn to drink, but the bus wasn’t the right place to talk about it. He needed to get Robert home and sobered up first. “Tea and toast, that will sort you right out,” he smiled encouragingly as he pulled out his mobile and sent Victoria a quick text to let her know he’d found Robert.

Robert’s head rested against Aaron’s shoulder. “I feel sick,” he grumbled.

“I bet,” Aaron grinned. “Come on our stop is next,” he said taking hold of Robert’s hand and getting up. Robert clutched his hand tightly, he couldn’t focus and the bus was swaying from side to side making him feel even more sick.

“Have a nice night fella’s,” The bus driver said noticing their joined hands as they climbed off the bus. Aaron just rolled his eyes in response.

---

The cool air as they walked through the village seemed to be doing Robert the world of good, he was still drunk, exceptionally drunk, but he wasn’t slurring his speech so much and was walking more or less in a straight line (with Aaron’s guidance of course).

When they reached the pub, Aaron decided to use the side entrance to save half the village gawking at Robert if they went through the pub. Aaron steered Robert through to the kitchen and sat him down at the table. “So are you in a good enough state to tell me what’s going on?” he asked flipping on the kettle.

Robert shook his head and just clutched his cup tightly in his hands.

Aaron quickly prepared the tea as well as a pile of buttered toast and set them down in front of Robert. ““Here eat,” he coaxed. “Did something happened at the hospital?” he asked. Robert again said nothing. “Eat,” he urged. “Trust me it will help.”

Robert sighed. “Nothing can help me,” he muttered. “I’m broken Aaron, I’ve got nothing now,” he mumbled.

Aaron’s eyes darted over Robert’s. “What do you mean?” he asked.

“My head s’broken,” Robert said tears forming in his eyes.

Aaron reached out and laid his hand over Robert’s, he’d never seen him look so crushed. “I know it must be scary,” he said gently. “But it’s just going to take time,” he added reassuringly. “You’ll get it sorted eventually.”

Robert shook his head. “No, don’t you see?” he said slipping his hand out from underneath Aaron's. “I’m stuck like this, for good.”

Aaron’s eyes widened. “You mean your memories?”

“Gone for good,” Robert said pushing back his chair, and getting up. “I need to lie down,” he mumbled swaying a little on the spot. “The room is spinning.”

Aaron quickly got up and followed Robert out of the room, worried he’d hurt himself on his way up to his room. He soon realised he had good reason to, Robert tripped and almost hit his head on the bannister as he headed out into the hall.

“Come here,” Aaron said grabbing hold of him and helping him up the stairs. “Don’t give up hope yet Robert,” he whispered. “You had flashes right? That has to mean something. So don’t you give up, just don’t.”

Robert buried his face in Aaron’s neck as he helped him up the stairs. “I love you Aaron,” he mumbled. “And I’m sorry, I’m really sorry if I’ve ever done anything to hurt you.”

Aaron’s skin prickled with delight and his stomach did a strange flip flop when Robert said those words. “You’re drunk,” he said not daring to believe him. “You need to sleep,” he said pushing Robert’s door open and sitting him down on the bed.

Robert began un-buttoning his shirt and Aaron’s mouth went dry as he watched him. “I saw Chrissie,” he told Aaron looking up at him, a tear escaping from his eyes and running down his face. “I saw her, I signed her divorce papers.”

“Robert? No!” Aaron cried. “You shouldn’t have signed anything, not in this state at least.”

Robert shrugged as he kicked off his jeans. “What’s it matter anyway?” he mumbled. “She would have taken it all anyway, left me with nothin’ this was just easier.”

Aaron placed his hands on Robert’s shoulders. “Look at me,” he instructed.

Robert’s brilliant blue eyes lifted to rest on Aaron’s, Aaron stroked away the tears from his cheeks. “Making you sign that while you were intoxicated was wrong,” he told him. “I’ll sort it okay? You can’t be left with nothing, it isn’t fair.”

“How are you going to sort it?” Robert asked with a frown, his hand lifted and closed around Aaron’s wrist. “I don’t want you getting involved with her,” he added.

“Don’t worry about me,” Aarons said with a shake of his head. “Just concentrate on getting better,” he told him.

“I can’t be fixed,” Robert replied more tears dripping down his face.

Aaron shook his head. “I don’t believe that,” he told him firmly. “The Robert Sugden I know wouldn’t let something as trivial as memory loss get in his way, despite what the doctor’s might say. He can be quite stubborn that way,” he added with a smile.

Robert smiled back, but it was a sad smile if anything. “I want to remember,” he told him. “I want to remember seeing you for the first time, kissing you the first time, I want to remember us,” he said echoing Aaron’s previous words.

“Not all of it you don’t,” Aaron replied sadly. “There’s stuff I’d rather forget.”

Robert hung his head in shame. “I’m sorry Aaron,” he mumbled.

Aaron shook his head. “Wasn’t just you Robert, I did some bad stuff too,” he told him as he drew away. “You need rest,” he told him.

“Stay with me,” Robert replied quickly.

Aaron was tempted, sorely tempted but he felt he’d be taken advantage of Robert’s drunken state if he did. “I can’t,” he replied.

“You don’t want me?” Robert asked reaching out, taking hold of Aaron’s belt and pulling him toward him. “Are you sure?” he asked sliding the zipper of Aaron’s jeans down and looking up at him.

Aaron’s heart started to beat hard against his chest and felt his blood rushing south as his eyes roamed over Robert’s lips, thinking about being inside that lovely mouth of his. “You know I do,” he replied, shrugging free, stepping back and zipping his jeans back up despite this. “Doesn’t mean I should.”

Robert’s eyes drifted over Aaron’s. “You didn’t think so the other night,” he replied.

Aaron sighed. “A lot has happened since then,” he replied. “And you’re drunk, you don’t know what you’re saying … what you’re doing, signing those divorce papers proves that.”

“Am I a bad person?” Robert asked up at the ceiling.

Aaron shook his head quickly. “No,” he breathed reaching out and pushing his fingers through Robert’s hair. “Get some sleep,” he said pressing a kiss to his forehead before heading for the door, knowing if he stayed much longer he’d be tempted to stay the whole night.

“I don’t blame you,” Robert sighed as he flopped back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling, at least it wasn’t spinning anymore he thought. “Why would anyone want to be with someone like me?”

“Get some sleep Robert, we can talk about this when you’re sober,” Aaron told him.

---

Aaron headed down stairs, grabbed his jacket and pulled it on. It was late, but that wasn’t going to stop him heading up to the White’s to see Chrissie – she had to answer for her actions, she’d clearly taken an advantage when she’d found Robert alone and vulnerable at the hospital. What the hell was she playing at?
 
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