[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



“I don’t know why she even bothered organising this stupid dinner,” Aaron muttered under his breath to Robert. Throughout the whole evening Chas had barley spoken a word to Robert, and the little she did say had been far from kind – so much for wanting to build bridges, Aaron thought crossly.

“It will be over soon,” Robert replied with a reassuring smile.

Aaron just sighed. “Yeah but we’re going to have to put up with this every day, I’m not sure I can,” he grumbled. Aaron glanced up at Robert when he noticed he’d turned quiet and looked rather hurt. “I don’t mean us,” he said quickly, realising how his words sounded. “I just hate this, I just don’t want to live like this. After everything we’ve been through I just want to be happy – or at least have a go it.”

Robert smiled slightly. “Well …” he said thoughtfully. “When my divorce money comes in we could get our own place?” he suggested.

Aaron glanced at Robert in surprise. “Me and you move in together? Are you sure?” he asked his heart beat quickening in excitement.

“Too fast?” Robert asked blushing a little.

Aaron shook his head quickly. “No, not for me. I’m just a little surprised,” he confessed. “Doesn’t it feel that way for you? Me and you being together must feel pretty new?”

Robert slid his hand under the table and tangled his fingers through Aaron’s. “I may not remember being with you before the accident, but I know how I feel about you,” he told him. “I love you Aaron.”

Aaron smiled, still getting used to such words coming from Robert’s lips so easily. “But you need that money, so you can start afresh, Chrissie hasn’t left you much.”

You are my fresh start Aaron,” Robert replied, his eyes not leaving his so he was left in no doubt. “The settlement was good, we’ll have more than enough to get a decent place in the village, as much as they drive us insane I know family is important to the both of us.”

Aaron nodded quickly. “Okay,” he replied his heart beat starting to race. “Okay if you’re sure then let’s do it,” he replied eagerly kissing Robert’s lips.

Robert grinned happily giving Aaron’s hand a tight squeeze. “Until then we just have to put up with this a little longer okay?” he told Aaron.

Aaron nodded kissing Robert again, the two of them ignoring the cross look on Chas’s face and the sigh of disappointment from Finn. “I’ll do my best,” he said glancing over at his mother who was glaring at Robert, cold dislike in her eyes.

---

Aaron felt as if he’d been sitting at the dinner table forever, he’d grown more and more agitated as the meal went on as his mother kept making little digs at Robert whenever she got the chance. Aaron knew if it went on much longer he would soon snap. Robert remained strangely calm, although Aaron did notice the grip on his knife and fork tighten every time Chas opened her mouth.

“I’m not putting up with this,” Aaron muttered to Robert. “One more comment and I’ll -”

Robert closed his fingers around Aaron’s. “Don’t, it will only make things worse,” he whispered.

“How can you be so calm? Just sit there and take it?” Aaron hissed. The old Robert would have stood up to her, said something vicious in retaliation before leaving the table – Aaron wasn’t sure if he was relieved or disappointed with this new cool and calm Robert he found himself sitting next to.

Robert sighed. “I’m just tired of fighting Aaron,” he said under his breath. “We know how we feel, we know we’re going to make this work so we have nothing to worry about,” he told him. Aaron just nodded, but wasn’t convinced he would be able to show as must restraint.

“So Robert, our Sam says you went to see Chrissie today?” Cain said glaring at Robert as he lifted his can of larger up to his lips. “Care to enlighten us to why you’re sniffing around your ex when you’re supposed to be with our Aaron?”

Aaron glared at his uncle – was he deliberately out to cause trouble? It was bad enough with his mother on Robert’s case, he didn’t need him getting involved too. Robert, on the other hand only smiled in politeness. “Yes I did go and see Chrissie,” he replied calmly. “I bumped into Lachlan and, well he made quite a few accusations about me so I went to see Chrissie for the truth.”

“You don’t need to explain yourself to them,” Aaron told Robert.

Robert just smiled at Aaron reassuringly. “I’ve got nothing to hide,” he said, his eyes turning to fix back on Cain’s. “So is there anything else?” he asked. “Any more of my whereabouts you wish to question?”

“Watch your mouth son,” Cain warned.

Aaron noticed Chas smirking at Cain’s words, clearly enjoying the situation. “I’m not having this,” he said getting up. “Come on Robert, let’s just go.”

“You can’t, we haven’t had dessert yet,” Victoria piped up. “I spent ages making it.”

Diane nodded quickly. “Yes, please let’s finish our meal,” she encouraged.

Aaron glanced from Diane to Victoria. “You expect me to carry on sitting here whilst they keep making digs?” he said almost laughing at the impossibility of it.

“Aaron, just sit down its okay,” Robert said tugging on his elbow.

Aaron shrugged free. “No it’s not,” he snapped, a little more harshly than he meant – none of this was Robert’s fault after all. Aaron turned to his mother. “I thought the whole point of this dinner was to make amends? You’ve done nothing but be rude to Robert,” he told her. “We’re together, you need to accept it or get over it.”

Chas set down her cutlery. “I wish I could, but I can’t Aaron. I’m only looking out for you luv, believe me.”

Robert glanced from Chas to Aaron and back again; he didn’t want Aaron to fall out with his mother over him. “Aaron,” he said gently tugging on his elbow again, wanting him to sit down so they could at least try and salvage some of the meal.

“No Robert I’m not having it,” Aaron said crossly. “Why can’t you accept that he’s changed?” he asked his mother.

“Because I don’t believe it!” Chas snapped. “He’s a psychopath and this is just another one of this twisted games!”

“Hold on, that’s a bit harsh,” Victoria said quickly coming to her brother’s defence.

“It’s true,” Chas replied. “He’s played games with you before Aaron, how do we know he’s not doing it again? That his memory won’t come back the second it’s convenient?”

“It won’t,” Robert said quietly as the pair continued to argue. “It’s permanent, my memory loss is permanent. I’m stuck like this.”

The room fell silent and all eyes turned to rest on Robert’s. “What?” Victoria asked. “Permanent?”

“Oh pet why didn’t you tell us?” Diane asked getting up and heading over to his side of the table. “Oh that’s awful!” she cried. “How long have you known?”

“Just a few days,” Robert replied. “Diane please, don’t fuss,” he said as Diane pulled him into a tight hug.

Diane pulled back and glared at Chas. “You have your answer, can’t you leave the boys alone? They want to be together.”

“Only now that Chrissie has finished things for good,” Chas replied. “He had no intention of ever leaving her before, he used Aaron and dumped him the moment he became inconvenient.”

“Mum,” Aaron sighed crossly.

“You might have forgotten everything he did but I haven’t,” Chas said glaring at her son.

“We’ve both done things we regret,” Aaron told her. “But we want to be together, can’t you see this is a fresh start for us?”

“Fresh start?” Chas scoffed. “How can you want anything to do with him after everything he put you through?” she asked. “And I know he had something to do with Katie’s death, I can’t prove it but I know,” she said glaring at Robert.

“Hey now there is no need for that,” Diane cut in. “You can’t just go throwing around accusations,” she said. Victoria nodded in agreement.

“Katie? As in Andy’s wife?” Robert asked confused.

“You two were at each other’s throats before she died, she told me you burnt down her and Andy’s caravan, that you tried to stop them from getting the farm, and you ruined their wedding day,” Chas said ignoring Diane and Victoria’s requests to stop.

Robert glanced at Diane, Vic and then Aaron. “Is that true?” he asked, they were the three people he trusted to tell him the truth. “Tell me!”

There was a long silence. Paddy opened his mouth and desperately tried to think of something to say to ease the tension in the room, he closed it and then opened it once more. “Uh …” he said glancing at Aaron worriedly. “Look -”

“Forget it, I can see it written all over your faces,” Robert said getting up, feeling sick to his stomach; his eyes darted around the table, and finally came to rest on Aaron’s which were brimming with tears.

“Robert!” Aaron shouted after Robert as he fled the room, but Robert didn’t stop. Aaron got up. “Why did you have to open your stupid gob?” he shouted at his mother.

Chas just glared up at Aaron. “We can’t just sit around here and pretend none of it happened, he needed to know the truth.”

Cain nodded. “You needed a wake-up call, he’s still the same lowlife piece of scum he was before memories or not.”

“That’s my brother you’re talking about!” Victoria shouted at him.

“This was our chance to start over, to put the past behind us, but you had to ruin it didn’t you?” Aaron said to his mother over the sound of Diane, Cain and Victoria arguing.

“Where are you going?” Chas asked as Aaron got up and walked out of the room. “I was just trying to protect you,” she said following him.

“You’ve always hated Robert, you couldn’t accept he’s changed. You didn’t believe me, you didn’t trust me,” Aaron hissed at her as he made his way to the stairs.

Chas reached out and grabbed Aaron by the arm. “Aaron he’s trouble.”

“He is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Aaron told her. “After I lost Jackson I thought I’d never be happy again,” he said holding back his tears from falling. “But then I met him, I love him mum,” he told her. “And if I lose him because of you I’ll never forgive you,” he said snatching his arm free and heading up the stairs.

---

Aaron stepped into Robert’s room and was crushed at the sight of him packing a bag. “Rob what are you doing?” he asked although he already knew the answer.

Robert just shrugged his shoulders. “What does it a look like I’m doing Aaron,” he said under his breath as he zipped up his bag.

“You can’t leave, where are you going to go?” Aaron asked. “Robert,” he snapped when the blonde didn’t answer. “You can’t just run away.”

Aaron expected him to get angry, start slagging off his family but he didn’t. That was the old Robert’s style. Aaron watched as Robert sank down on the bed. “And you expect me to stay?” he asked looking up at him in despair. “How can I? Your mother made it perfectly clear how she feels about me.”

Aaron sat down beside him, he reached out and grasped hold of Robert’s hand expecting him to reject his touch but Robert clung onto his hand like it was a lifesaver. “We knew she didn’t approve of us but we haven’t let it get in our way so far.”

Robert looked down at their joined hands, he rubbed his thumb over the back of Aaron’s fingers. “The things she said about me, about Katie,” he whispered. “There more I find out about myself the more I hate the person I used to be.”

“It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t change how I feel about you,” Aaron said squeezing his hand tightly.

Robert looked up at Aaron quickly. “So it’s all true then?”

Aaron’s eyes darted over Robert’s. “It’s not like it sounds,” he said with a heavy sigh. “You and Katie were arguing yes, but she was just as much to blame as you. And her death, you were there but it was an accident.”

Robert got up quickly, grabbing his bag and slinging it over his shoulder. “I’ve got to go,” he said heading for the door.

Aaron got up. “I’m coming with you, just let me pack some things.”

“No,” Robert said shaking his head. “I’m sorry Aaron, I just need to be alone right now,” he said quickly heading out of the room.

Aaron followed him. “Robert you can just give up on us,” he said heading down the corridor after him. “Please, please don’t give up on us,” he begged.

“I’m not,” Robert said stopping and turning to him. “It’s just too much right now, just give me some time okay?”

“You said you loved me, that we could move in together,” Aaron said tears dripping down his face. “Did you mean any of that?”

“Of course I did,” Robert replied stroking away Aaron’s tears. “But please Aaron, let me be on my own, just for a few days okay?”

Aaron bit at his bottom lip. “We’re a team, we should be together.”

Robert cupped Aaron’s face and pressed a kiss to his lips. “I love you, and nothing will ever change that,” he told him before breaking away and heading down the stairs.

“Robert!” Aaron cried following him down only to find all the dinner guests at the bottom watching them.

“Robert?” Diane said worriedly. “Where are you going?” she asked noticing his packed bag slung over his shoulder. “You’re not leaving?”

“I need to get out of here,” Robert said going for the door. “I’ll be at the B and B,” he said looking up at Aaron who was sitting mid-way up the stairs. “I’ll call you okay?”

“Don’t go,” Aaron replied helplessly.

“No, let him run away,” Chas cut across him. “Just like we knew he would. Just like he always does when things get a little tough.”

“Mum!” Aaron hissed. “This is all your fault.”

Robert opened the door, but was stopped by Victoria. “You don’t have to stay at the B and B, come and stay with me,” she offered. “Robert, you’re my brother, you’re still recovering from the accident.”

“I’ll be fine,” Robert told her. “Please Vic I appreciate it but I just want to be alone,” he said before heading out of the place.

Diane sighed heavily when the door slammed shut. “Well that’s that then, he’s gone,” she said pressing a handkerchief to her eyes. “Oh what would your father say?!” she cried as she looked at Victoria.

“Come on,” Doug said wrapping an arm around Diane’s shoulder. “You need a drink,” he said steering her toward the bar.

“I hope you’re happy with yourselves,” Victoria snapped crossly, glaring at Chas, Paddy and Cain over her shoulder as she and Adam followed Diane and Doug to the bar.

“Aaron,” Chas sighed glancing at her son who was sitting halfway up the stairs with tears streaming down his face. “This is what we were trying to protect you from.”

“Don’t,” Aaron said getting up. “Just don’t,” he snapped as he headed upstairs, slamming his bedroom door shut behind him.
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