[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 was dreading dinner, he just wanted to escape, to run away with Robert and spend other night at the hotel … anything to avoid his mother and Paddy. But Aaron knew he couldn’t avoid them forever, Robert was right, they’d have to face everyone eventually and it was better to get it done sooner rather than later. Whether they liked it or not Chas and Paddy just had to accept that he and Robert were together now.

Aaron was sitting on the edge of his bed after just having finished a shower; he was staring at the wall, thinking about everything that had happened since the helicopter crash and so was startled when there was a sudden knock at his door. “Aaron luv, are you coming down?” Chas called through the door.

“In a minute,” Aaron replied crossly. Chas pushed open the door and stepped inside. “Mum,” Aaron moaned covering himself with a towel.

Chas just rolled her eyes. “Your shoulder still looks bad,” she said glancing at the wound he’d sustained from the crash. “When do you get your stitches taken out?” she asked.

Aaron glanced at his shoulder, it didn’t look too bad to him now that much of the swelling had gone down. “I’ve got to go back next week,” he replied with a shrug.

Chas hovered uneasily, she could feel the tension between her and her son. “Come and have a drink downstairs, Victoria won’t be long with dinner.”

“Yeah okay, let me get dressed first,” Aaron replied.

Chas nodded and left the room, hoping that over the course of the evening Aaron would soften toward her; as much as she didn’t like the idea of him with Robert she didn’t want to lose Aaron over it. No, she just had to grin and bear it. Robert would get his memory back eventually and soon he’d turn back into the nasty piece of work he always has been and always would be – Aaron would see sense, and she would be there for him when he realised what a mistake he had made.

Aaron picked up his phone and sent Robert a quick text. “Hope everything is okay,” he wrote knowing Robert was at the hospital getting some test results. “Come home soon, I can’t do this dinner without you A x” he added before getting up and starting to dress.

----

Robert smiled at Aaron’s text as he got off the bus and started to make his way through the village. “On my way, get the drinks in I’m sure we’ll need them,” he started to type out but before he had a chance to send it he bumped into Lachlan.

“Watch it,” Lachlan muttered shoving past Robert.

“Hey, there’s no need to be like that,” Robert replied crossly. “I know things didn’t work out between me and your mum, but there is no reason we can’t be civil.”

Lachlan scoffed. “After everything you have done you expect me to just pretend everything is okay?” he said with a shake of his head. “You might not remember Robert but I do, you ruined my life and I will never forget that,” he snapped.

“Ruined your life?” Robert asked. “Look I had an affair, which was wrong I know but that’s between your mum and me.”

“You think that’s what this is all about?” Lachlan cried angrily. “Ever since you came into our lives you’ve been nothing but trouble – getting your boyfriend and his mate to break into our house, threatening my mother, almost getting my grandad killed! You’re a psychopath Robert!”

Robert swallowed hard, his head spinning with all these accusations. “What are you talking about?” he asked his hands shaking. What sort of man was he? Was he really capable of all that?

Lachlan just rolled his eyes. “Memory loss, yeah that’s real convenient,” he muttered under his breath before walking away.

“Lachlan,” Robert shouted after him but Lachlan did not listen and broke into a run.

Robert stood in the middle of the street, confused and not sure what make of the teen’s accusations. Robert knew there was only one thing for it – he’d have to go to Home Farm, speak to Chrissie and find out exactly what had happened for himself. He had to know if what Lachlan had said was true.

---

After dressing Aaron headed downstairs and waited anxiously for Robert in the bar, wondering what was taking him so long – he knew what time dinner was supposed to be. Aaron started to worry that something had gone wrong at the hospital, but Robert had promised him that he would call if that were the case, that he wouldn’t wind up in the same state that Aaron had found him in the last time he’d gone to the hospital.

“No sign of Robert yet then?” Chas asked setting another drink down in front of Aaron.

“Bet you’re loving this aren’t you?” Aaron huffed in reply.

Chas sighed. “You think I like seeing you like this? And knowing its Robert who’s done this to you again?” she asked. Aaron took a long drink from his pint, he feared if he said anything it would only cause more trouble.

“He had to go to the hospital for some test results, you know what they’re like, he’s probably still stuck in the waiting room,” Diane said from the bar.

“Doubt it since our Sam reckons he’s been up at Home Farm most of the afternoon,” Cain cut in as he approached the bar. “Told you he was trouble,” he said glancing at Aaron. “Probably got his memory back and went straight after Chrissie and her money again.”

Aaron swallowed hard glancing up at his mother who just looked sorry for him. Chas opened her mouth to say something, but Aaron got up quickly. “Don’t, just don’t,” he snapped not wanting to hear anything she had to say.

“We did try and warn you,” Chas said quickly.

“Shut up!” Aaron cried tears forming in his eyes.

The pub door open and Robert entered; Diane, Cain, Chas and Aaron all turned to look at him. Robert stopped, a little taken aback to find them all starting at him, accusation in the elder Dingle’s eyes and tears shining in Aaron’s. Robert’s eyes rested on Aaron’s. With one look Aaron could see that nothing had gone on between Robert and Chrissie and that Robert’s memories hadn’t suddenly returned. Aaron could see something was wrong and quickly headed over. “What’s going on?” he asked.

Robert glanced at Chas and Cain. “Not here,” he said taking Aaron by the elbow and steering him back out of the room into the hall.

“Should we go after them?” Chas asked when they’d disappeared out into the back.

“Nah leave ‘em be, we just have to be there to pick up the pieces when he’d done playing his games with Aaron,” Cain muttered.

---

“What is it?” Aaron asked worriedly as they made their way out from behind the bar, noticing that Robert seemed really distressed. Robert paced the hallway, up and down, over and over. Aaron just stood and watched, waiting for Robert to talk – he waited what seemed like forever before he had to ask. “Is it your test results? Is there something wrong?” he asked.

Robert shook his head. “No, the results didn’t show anything,” he with a shrug, he hadn’t been expecting them to, so although it was a disappointment it had been expected.

“Then what is it?” Aaron asked anxiously. “Talk to me Rob, don’t shut me out. Cain said you were up at Home Farm today?” he asked.

Robert sat down on the stairs and looked up at Aaron. “Should have known he’d have his spies on me, no one trusts me do they?” he sighed.

Aaron dug his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. “I trust you,” he told him. “So tell me why you went up there?” he asked.

Robert looked up at Aaron. “How much do you know about me? I mean really?”

Aaron frowned. “What do you mean?”

Robert swallowed hard and looked down at his feet. “I’m scared that if you knew the truth you wouldn’t want to be with me,” he confessed. “I found some stuff out today, things that I did … before the accident, things I wish were left forgotten,” he sighed.

Aaron crouched down at the foot of the stairs and looked Robert in the eyes. “There is nothing you can tell me that I don’t already know,” he told him. “I know it all Robert, every bad thing you’ve ever done, even from years ago, when you were a kid, you told me everything,” he said. “And I told you everything as well, stuff that I’ve never told anyone, because I trust you, because I love you,” he said his fingers curling tightly around Robert’s.

Robert stared at Aaron. “You do?” he asked unsurely, he simply couldn’t believe that he deserved Aaron’s love.

Aaron quickly realised that he’d not actually told Robert how he felt, he’d told Chas, Paddy and Cain – everyone but Robert himself. “Of course I do,” he told him. “I’ll always love you Robert,” he told him. Aaron knew the words he spoke were the truth because despite everything that had happened between them and Robert had still found his way back into his heart.

Robert’s arms were suddenly around Aaron’s neck and he buried his face in his shoulder. “I’m a monster Aaron, Lachlan told me everything I did – setting up the robbery, almost getting Lawrence killed. I’m sick. I’m sick in the head, I must be.”

Aaron drew back and looked Robert in the eyes. “No you’re not,” he told him firmly as he cupped his face with his hands. “You’re not a bad person, believe me Robert. I know you better than anyone.”

Tears dripped from Robert’s eyes. “Lachlan seems to think so, I get why he hates me, he has every right.”

Aaron stroked away his tears with the pad of his thumb. “He’s not exactly a saint Robert, trust me on that,” he told him. “No one is, everyone in this village has done things they regret,” he told him.

Robert gripped Aaron’s hands tightly. “All I wanted was to remember, I kept thinking about all the good memories I’ve lost … I didn’t think about the bad ones hidden away, maybe it’s a good thing they’re never coming back.”

Aaron pressed a kiss to Robert’s lips. “We’ll talk through all of this later okay?” he told him. “I’ll explain everything,” he promised. “We just have to get through this dinner first, if you still feel up to it?” he asked. “I can tell you’re sick or something?” he offered.

Robert shook his head. “No,” he said determinedly. “I want to show them that they’re wrong about us,” he told Aaron. Aaron smiled and nodded in agreement. “Let’s do this then,” Robert said pressing quick little kisses to Aaron’s lips as he got up. “I’m going to go and wash up first, I’ll be back soon.”

“I’ll get you a drink,” Aaron smiled embracing Robert and hugging him tightly. “I love you,” he told him again, wishing he’d said it sooner and promising himself he’d say it more. He just wasn’t used to being able to be so open with Robert. “We’ll get through this together.”

“Love you too,” Robert replied. “I’ll see you in a bit,” he said brushing his lips against Aaron’s in a soft kiss before breaking away and heading up the stairs to the bathroom.

Aaron watched him go, he knew Robert was far from okay but if they could get this dinner over with then he could concentrate on helping him.

----

Aaron sighed heavily when Victoria came out into the bar and told them dinner wouldn’t be long and that they should all sit down at the table. Robert hadn’t yet come down, perhaps he had just bottled it, perhaps all the hostility from his family had put him off – maybe Robert thought it wasn’t worth being with him. Aaron wouldn’t blame him.

Aaron felt uncomfortable as he headed out of the bar to the kitchen-diner behind; he grabbed a can of beer from the fridge and then sat down at the far end of the dining table, avoiding eye contact with Paddy who hovered around clearly wondering whether it was okay to talk to him or not.

“Hey pet how are you holding up?” Diane said placing some cutlery down on the table in front of Aaron.

Aaron glanced up at Diane and smiled. “I’m good Diane, really,” he smiled reassuringly.

“Don’t let them get you down,” Diane said giving his shoulder a squeeze. “I’m really pleased you and Robert found each other again.”

“Thanks,” Aaron smiled up at her gratefully.

Paddy approached once Diane had headed out of the room and took the seat to Aaron’s left. “So you’re back,” Paddy said patting him on the shoulder. “I wasn’t sure how long you were going to be away for.”

“Just wanted to get away for a night, got nothing to hide so no reason to stay away,” Aaron replied bluntly as he cracked open the can and took a long drink.

“Where did you go?” Paddy asked.

Aaron shrugged. “Just a hotel in town,” he replied.

“Oh,” Paddy replied. “Well err … did you have a nice time?” he asked awkwardly.

Aaron rolled his eyes, wondering why Paddy was bothering to make small talk with him. “What’s with the questions Paddy it’s not like you care,” he said; he just couldn’t deal with him right now. Aaron heard the door open and glanced around hoping it was Robert, but it wasn’t, it was Finn Barton.

“Hi Aaron,” Finn said blushing a little as he straightened his shirt before taking the seat opposite him.

Aaron decided he’d rather talk to Finn then Paddy or his mother who was clearly pleased that Robert hadn’t shown up yet. So much for trying to make amends. “Are you here to help Victoria out with the cooking?” Aaron asked Finn.

“Oh no, I’m staying for dinner … Chas didn’t tell you?” Finn asked. “She invited me, I thought … well I thought she might be trying to set us up?” he added shyly.

Aaron swallowed hard. “Did she say that?” he asked through gritted teeth, why would his mother try and set him up with Finn when she knew he was with Robert? Was she trying to cause trouble between them? How dare she?!

“Not exactly,” Finn replied with a shrug. “So I take it I’ve got it all wrong?” he asked.

Aaron rubbed the back of his neck, feeling a little embarrassed. “Well I’m with someone actually, so yeah I guess you did.”

“Oh,” Finn said disappointed. “Okay, well that’s great, good for you,” he said in the most sincere way he could muster. “Look I’d better see if Vic needs any help,” he said getting up from the table and heading off as quickly as he could.

Aaron felt a little bad for Finn, he was clearly embarrassed but Aaron didn’t know what he could do about it. Aaron kept glancing over every time the door opened, hoping for Robert – Diane came in with Doug, shortly followed by Cain and then Chas carrying a tray with a bottle of champagne and set of glasses on it. The cork was soon popped and glasses passed around as most of the dinner guests aside from Victoria and Finn took their seats. “Shall I leave one here for Robert? Or isn’t he coming?” Chas asked hovering by the empty place on Aaron’s right.

“Of course he’s coming,” Aaron snapped taking the glass and setting it down where Robert would be sitting.

Chas huffed but said nothing as she continued passing around the drinks. Aaron pushed back his chair, deciding to go and see where Robert had got but he was only half way out of the room when Robert came in.

“You okay?” Aaron asked worriedly. “You’ve been up there ages.”

“I’m okay,” Robert replied giving his arm a reassuring squeeze. “Just needed some time to sort my head out, I’m good I swear,” he smiled confidently.

Aaron nodded, wound his fingers through Robert’s and led him over to the table; he squeezed Robert’s hand tightly and brushed his thumb over the back of his fingers, hoping to reassure him. “You’re sitting here with me,” he told him as he gestured to Robert’s seat.

Robert smiled and sat down, taking a deep breath as he did so. Robert looked around the table – Diane, Doug and Adam all gave him an encouraging smile but Chas, Paddy and Cain pretty much ignored him. Robert quickly drank from the can Aaron had left for him on the table, this was going to be more difficult than he thought. Robert smiled at Aaron when he felt his hand slide over his thigh; his own hand disappeared under the table and laid on top of his.

“Who’s the guy with the glasses?” Robert asked glancing over at the younger boy in the kitchen with his sister, the only person in the room he didn’t recognise.

“That’s Finn, Adam’s half-brother and Vic’s best mate,” Aaron replied quietly, but there was plenty of chatter at the table to drown them out “He’s only here because of my mother’s meddling,” he muttered. “I don’t know what’s she’s playing at.” he sighed.

“What do you mean?” Robert asked.

Aaron shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his fingers closing around Robert’s once more. “Thing is, he and I kind of had a fling a while back,” he said deciding that being truthful was for the best. “Before you even came back to the village.”

“Oh,” Robert replied looking crestfallen. “So I’m guessing she’d prefer that you were with him rather than me,” he asked biting his bottom lip worriedly.

“Probably, but it’s not going to happen,” Aaron said shaking his head quickly. “It was just a one night stand, I was drunk … and he was sort of just there,” he explained. “After you and I got together, well when we were just sort of seeing each other and you were still with Chrissie … I kind of used him to make you jealous,” he added sheepishly. “Nothing actually happened between us, I just wanted you, I’d fallen for you even though we agreed not to get attached … but I couldn’t help myself, I thought if you saw us together you might realise that it was me you wanted not Chrissie. My mum is trying to play matchmaker,” he said glancing over at Chas who was talking with Cain and Paddy. “She’s obviously trying to cause trouble between us, but you have nothing to worry about. I told Finn I was already with someone.”

Robert just nodded. “Well thanks for telling me the truth.”

Aaron’s eyes tracked over Robert’s. “You don’t have to worry, I’m not interested in him. Never have been. What you and I have, it doesn’t compare,” Aaron told him.

“That your subtle way of telling me I’m better in bed?” Robert chuckled.

Aaron grinned as he leant forward. “You’ve got nothing to worry about there,” he whispered in Robert’s ear.

Robert shivered with desire, wishing he could forget this stupid dinner and take Aaron upstairs to bed. Show him just how superior a lover he was. Robert drew back a little. “Am I usually the sort to get jealous then?” he asked.

“A bit,” Aaron replied with a laugh. “But I kind of like that side of you,” he confessed.

“I bet,” Robert said with twinkle in his eyes.

Aaron leant forward and pressed a kiss to Robert’s lips, he was surprised when Robert kissed him back … this was new territory for them, being public regarding their relationship but Aaron was sick of hiding. He loved that this new Robert didn’t care what anyone thought either.

“So what else did they say at the hospital?” Aaron asked as they drew apart, he dare not turn to look but he could feel his mother’s disapproving eyes on him.

Robert just shook his head. “Tests results showed nothing, they want to do more but I don’t see the point,” he said with a sad sigh. “They’ve already told me there’s little chance I’ll remember anything.”

Aaron gave Robert’s hand a reassuring squeeze. “I know but you have to let them try,” he told him. “I told you Robert, memories or not we can make this work, together okay?” Robert smiled and nodded. Aaron wrapped his arms around him. “Everything is going to be okay,” he whispered hugging him tightly. “Sure you’re up for this?” Aaron asked drawing back and looking him in the eyes.

“I’m sure I’ll survive,” Robert said pressing a kiss to Aaron’s lips before picking up his champagne glass and clinking it against his.

Finn watched Aaron out of the corner of his eye as he helped Victoria in the kitchen. “So how long have they been back on then?” he asked.

“Not long,” Victoria replied taking the roast potatoes out of the oven.

Finn pursed his lips. “You think it will work out this time?” he asked glancing back over at the table, his eyes tracking over Robert and Aaron’s faces – a knot of jealously tightened in his stomach as he watched them, so clearly happy together.

Victoria glanced at Finn and could tell he was jealous. “Yeah, I reckon Aaron’s really off the cards for you now,” she said trying to let him down gently. “But you know what they say, plenty more fish in the sea and all that,” she added trying to cheer him up.

Finn just sighed in disappointment.

“Right everyone grubs up!” Victoria announced as she carried a huge roasted chicken through from the kitchen and placed it ceremoniously in the middle of the table.
 
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