robert sugden is struggling, and not a single person has noticed.
or, aaron gets out of prison and wants to know why none of his family was looking out for his husband.
Robert Sugden was good at putting on a brave face. It was one of his greatest talents, really, being able to hide his true feelings underneath a layer of snark and disinterest, and he’d spent ten years using it to his advantage, away from Emmerdale, away from his family.
People only saw what he wanted them to see. That was how he’d always gotten by, people had never really seen the real him, the true feelings he hid under a soulless smile and an expensive haircut.
Aaron saw through him. Aaron had always seen right through his bullshit, been able to read his moods and thoughts and feelings in a way that had scared Robert, once, but made him feel safe, and loved, and appreciated now.
But Aaron wasn’t there.
Aaron was banged up, and he’d be there for the next year of their lives (not if Robert had any say in the matter, but judging by the sympathetic looks from Aaron’s solicitor at their last meeting, he didn’t have a say) and Robert was the one who’d been left to run things, keep everyone going.
It was fine.
Of course it was fine, it’s not like he was the one in prison or anything. Robert just had a few more people than he was used to relying on him, Liv needing a brother right now, the Dingles always needing him for something or other, because he was one of them now, and Aaron wasn’t there to help.
But it was fine.
It had to be fine, because Robert didn’t exactly have a choice in the matter. He had to keep their lives going, the scrapyard ticking over, keep the work on the Mill going so that Aaron had a life to come back to.
Robert wasn’t going to have his husband come back to a wreckage of a life, a life Robert couldn’t keep afloat on his own.
No, that would make him weak.
Robert Sugden was not a weak man, not when his husband needed him to be the strong one.
So Robert dug out his brave face again, and he got on with it.