[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, detangled himself from Robert, rolled over and sat up; he stretched out his body which ached pleasantly and smiled happily to himself as he remembered how he and Robert had barely been able to keep their hands off each other from the moment they’d arrived back at the B and B.

“Hey you’re letting the cold air in,” Robert moaned wrapping the covers tightly around himself.

Aaron just chuckled; he leant over and pressed his mouth to Robert’s, his fingers carding through the blonde’s hair. “Fancy going for a drink?” he asked between kisses.

Robert kissed him back, coaxing Aaron back down onto the bed. “Wouldn’t you prefer to stay here with me?” he asked with a coy smile.

“Tempting,” Aaron replied with a quirk of his lips. “But I’ve worked up quite a thirst this afternoon,” he told him.

“Oh really?” Robert smirked as he rolled Aaron onto his back and slid over him. “So that was as good as you’ve got then?” he asked leaning down and dotting kisses up his neck. “Or could you go another round?” he whispered.

Aaron shivered with excitement. “Really tempting,” he said squirming a little. “But not as tempting as a nice cold beer.”

Robert drew back and opened his mouth in mock outrage. “You’re choosing beer over me?!” he admonished. “Well see if I ever let you in my bed again.”

Aaron grinned, knowing Robert was only teasing. He stroked his fingers through Robert’s hair and over the back of his neck. “I’m sure you will,” he smiled. “So what do you say? Drink?” he asked again.

“Woolpack?” Robert asked with a grimace. “I’m pretty sure I’m barred for life.”

“Diane won’t let her bar you,” Aaron replied. “Come on, I want to show them that we’re don’t care what they think,” he said. “We can invite Vic and Adam if you want? You know they’ll always fight our corner.”

“I guess,” Robert replied. “I just wish we didn’t have to fight at all,” he said with a sigh. “Why can’t people just mind their own business and let us be?”

Aaron laughed. “That’s impossible in this village!” he replied. “But we have nothing to hide Robert, nothing to be ashamed of.”

“You maybe, but I do,” Robert said biting his bottom lip. “After all those awful things I did how can I face anyone now?” he sighed.

Aaron slid his hand around Robert’s neck and brought him down into a kiss. “We’ve talked about this Rob,” he whispered not wanting him to get down again, the last thing he needed was for him to push him away again. “Look we’ll leave the pub for now, until you’re ready,” he said. “We can stay here, as long you need.”

“No I can’t keep on hiding,” Robert protested. “I’m just worried that’s all, I don’t want to cause you anymore grief,” he said twirling his fingers through Aaron’s. “It’s not fair on you, all this tension with your family because of me.”

“That’s everybody else’s fault not yours,” Aaron told him. “You and I are what matters, how we feel and I love you, okay?”

Robert looked up and smiled. “Love you too,” he said pressing three quick kisses to Aaron’s lips before he moved off him. “I take it you’re buying the first round then?” he asked, sliding to the edge of the bed and sitting up.

“Alright, but there’s no rush is there?” Aaron asked reaching out and tugging Robert back down by his elbow. “I’m not sure we’ve completely made up for the last few days yet.”

Robert just laughed. “I thought you’d worked up a thirst?”

“Well then, help me work up an appetite and you can buy me dinner,” Aaron grinned at him.

“You’re on,” Robert agreed quickly.

----

Eventually Robert and Aaron made it out of bed and after showering and having a quick meal in the B and B restaurant they headed to the pub. Aaron reached out and slid his fingers through Robert’s as they approached The Woolpack, knowing that despite his bravado Robert was nervous about facing everyone again after the disaster that the meal had been a few days previously. Robert glanced at their joined hands and then smiled at Aaron. “We’ll get through this together,” Aaron told him.

“Together,” Robert confirmed, feeling much braver with Aaron at his side.

Spotting Chrissie headed their way, Aaron expected Robert to let go of his hand but Robert’s fingers only tightened around his. Robert sucked in a deep breath before he stopped and greeted Chrissie, hoping she would be just as amicable – he didn’t want another person to have to avoid in the village as well as the Dingle clan.

Chrissie’s eyes fell to rest on Robert and Aaron’s joined hands. “So am I to take it congratulations are in order?” she asked curtly. Chrissie sighed before they could answer. “Well I guess it was always just going to be a matter of time,” she muttered.

Aaron noted that this wasn’t said in bitterness – more defeat and it gave him hope that one day they could put the whole affair behind them and move on.

“Look Chrissie, I don’t remember what happened you know that, but I love Aaron and we’re together now,” Robert told her, he didn’t want her to think he was just being with Aaron out of spite or to hurt her in any way.

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me,” Chrissie replied with a shrug, like she couldn’t care less what Robert did. “You’re a free man now Robert, you can be with whoever you want, as can I.”

Aaron’s thumb stroked across the inside of Robert’s palm reassuringly and he felt Robert relax beside him. “Well I just want to say I’m sorry for hurting you in the past,” Robert said knowing his words were only the first step in making amends. “I wish I could remember so I could explain my actions, but I can’t so a sincere apology is all I can offer.”

“Robert it’s fine, it’s over now,” Chrissie replied in a bored voice. “Now if you don’t mind I’ve got to get back to Lachlan.”

Robert just nodded quickly. “Sure, okay,” he said as she walked off briskly.

Aaron watched as she walked away before he turned to face Robert. “That went unexpectedly well,” he said a little stunned to say the least.

Robert glanced at him. “I think she has taken your blackmail really seriously, I suspect she will leave us well alone now for fear of ending up in court over the fire.”

“Good,” Aaron replied, as much as he didn’t like to think about blackmailing Chrissie he was glad he’d got the outcome he’d wanted – he had enough grief surrounding Robert from his family, he didn’t need the White’s interfering as well. “Come on,” he said heading up the steps to the pub door; he stopped and turned when they reached the top and glanced at Robert who looked a little reluctant to enter. “We can go back to the B and B if you like?” he offered, not wanting to push him if he wasn’t ready.

Robert shook his head. “No,” he said turning to smile at Aaron. “If I can face my ex-wife then I can face your lot.”

Aaron smirked, facing Chrissie was nothing like taking on the Dingle’s but Aaron didn’t tell Robert this, otherwise he was pretty sure he’d never get him through the door. “Come on then,” he said heading inside. “I’ll get the drinks, you find a table,” he said before heading for the bar.

The pub was practically empty so there wasn’t exactly a fight for free tables but Robert knew Aaron was just keeping Robert away from the bar where Chas was serving and was grateful for it; he sat down in a cosy corner by the fire and was greeted by Diane who’d come over to collect empty glasses from a nearby table.

“Hello pet, how are you doing?” Diane asked.

Robert smiled up at her. “I’m good,” he nodded. “Look I’m sorry for running out on dinner …” he started to say.

“You don’t have to apologise,” Diane said quickly. “But you’re coming home right?” she asked. “Soon I hope? It’s not been the same here without you.”

Robert smiled uneasily. “I’m not sure I can come back,” he confessed. “I think it might just make things worse.”

“But you and Aaron have obviously sorted things out?” Diane asked glancing over at Aaron who was waiting at the bar.

“We’re good, we’re more than good actually,” Robert said unable to stop the smile breaking across his face. “But I don’t think I can live under the same roof as Chas, Aaron and I … it will just work better without her interfering so I think it’s best if I stay at the B and B until my divorce money comes through and we find our own place.”

“That serious between you is it?” Diane asked a little surprised.

“I love him,” Robert replied simply.

Diane’s eyes swept over Robert’s and she smiled when she found only truth in them. “Oh pet I am pleased for you!” she said giving him a hug. “Aaron is a lovely lad, you two are just right for each other and if I’m honest I never did think much of Chrissie, thought too highly of herself.”

“I couldn’t possibly comment,” Robert replied with a smirk.

Aaron headed over and set down two pints on the table, he got the distinct impression that Diane and Robert had been talking about him. “Alright?” he asked hoping Diane wasn’t going to start scrutinising their relationship.

“Yes pet,” Diane said laying her hand on Aaron’s shoulder. “You two have a good night,” she smiled happily. “I’m off out with Doug, speaking of which I’d better go and get ready.”

Aaron just nodded, he sat down and sipped at his drink wondering what Robert had said to Diane to make her smile like that. “We should join them, double date,” Aaron teased.

Robert just laughed. “Why not eh? I bet they’re off ballroom dancing or something.”

“I’ve seen your dance moves, you’re not half bad,” Aaron told him.

Robert smiled. “And yours? I don’t see you as much of a dancer,” he said with a slight smirk. “More of the mysterious type that hangs around and watches from the shadows.”

“I’ll have you know I’ve got plenty of moves up my sleeve,” Aaron replied playfully. “But they’re only revealed when everyone else in the room is absolutely trashed so they can’t remember the next day.”

“I see,” Robert replied with a small smile. “So you’re telling me if I get drunk enough tonight I can have a private show back at the B and B later?” he asked, a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Oh I don’t know about that!” Aaron chuckled.

Robert laughed and sighed happily as he picked up his drinks and took a long sip – being with Aaron was just so easy. He knew he was lucky to have him.

“Vic is working tonight and Adam had gone into town with some mates,” Aaron told Robert. “So it looks like it’s just the two of us.”

“Great,” Robert replied, because as much as he liked the company of his sister and brother-in-law, he relished spending time with Aaron alone. Victoria always tried to fill in gaps in his memory, thinking she was helping but it only depressed Robert. Things with Aaron were just easier, because when Aaron brought up the past Robert didn’t feel so low … when Aaron talked of them, when he remembered the little things like how he always cuts his toast into squares not triangles, how he insists on sugar going in his tea before the water not after … ordinary things … well it filled Robert with a warm glow.

Aarons smiled, reached his hand across the table and clasped Robert’s. “I love you,” he told him.

Robert gripped his hand tightly. “I know,” he replied. “And I love you.”

----

When their first pints were nearly empty, Robert dug out his wallet prepared to pay for the next round when two fresh pints appeared on the table next to them. Aaron and Robert both looked up and were more than surprised to find Chas standing beside the table. “Mum?” Aaron questioned.

“These are on the house,” Chas said gesturing to the drinks. “Robert I owe you an apology, my behaviour at the meal was uncalled for,” she said glancing over at Paddy who nodded is approval and gestured with his hand for her to continue. Chas shifted uncomfortably on the spot, she glanced at Aaron and then Robert. “You two are determined to make a go of things so I guess … well I just don’t want any more fighting.”

“Neither do we,” Aaron said gently. “Mum I don’t want to fight, but I’m not giving up Robert.”

“I know,” Chas nodded. “Look let’s call a truce eh?”

Robert nodded quickly, eager to put things behind them and focus on his future with Aaron.

“Prove me wrong Robert,” Chas said glancing at the blonde. “Or so help me God there will be hell to pay, and it won’t be just me you’ll have to deal with.”

Robert’s eyebrows rose, he was not used to being so openly threatened; Robert glanced at Cain and Paddy who were both at the bar, their eyes on him. Robert’s eyes them swivelled to rest on Aaron who just smiled slightly. Robert quickly understood that this was the best he was ever going to get from Chas and the Dingle clan in a way of acceptance of him being with Aaron. “I won’t let you down,” he told her.

Chas just nodded before heading back behind the bar. When she was gone and Cain and Paddy had turned back to face the bar Robert let out the breath he’d been holding and sank back against the chair he was sitting in. “Wow that was intense,” he said shakily.

Aaron pushed his pint toward him and just smiled. “Relax, it’s just their way. They’re just protective.”

“Protective?” Robert said with a chuckle.

Aaron grabbed his hand. “Sure you want to get involved with me and my family?” he asked with a playful smile.

Robert grinned, tugged Aaron toward him and pressed his lips against his. “I don’t scare that easily,” he whispered between kisses.

----

“I’m glad to see you happy Aaron,” Paddy said as the younger man came up to the bar to get another round of drinks in; Victoria had finished her shift and joined them and had even managed to coax Andy into joining them for a drink. Andy still bore a lot of resentment toward Robert but they were talking … it was a start, Aaron knew it would just take time.

“I am happy,” Aaron said handing over the money to his mother who he could tell was listening to the conversation as she poured the drinks. “Robert and Chrissie have called a truce, he and Andy are talking which is a start … things are working themselves out.”

Paddy glanced over at Robert who was talking with his siblings. “It’s like he’s a different person to the Robert we knew a few weeks ago,” he said unconsciously touching the top of his arm where he’d been shot.

“That Robert has always been there, deep down,” Aaron replied. “That’s the Robert I fell for, I’m just glad everyone can see who he really is now. I’m grateful we had a chance to start afresh. We have a future together now," he said glancing over and smiling at the man he loved.

Paddy watched Aaron and saw how deep his feelings ran, he laid his hand on his shoulder and nodded before glancing at Chas and smiled reassuringly.

Chas chewed at her bottom lip, still not sold on Robert but she knew she had to keep her mouth shut for the sake of her relationship with her son. Time would tell, and Chas, seeing for the first time truly how much happier Aaron was with Robert, found herself genuinely willing to give him a chance.

One last chance.
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