Disclaimer - Original story, plots and characters belong to Emmerdale and ITV. I own nothing.
Aaron heads to the back room of the pub, Hazel follows. Liv is about to join them when Chas stops her, explaining that they need some time to themselves. Liv is confused to who this women is and why she has just an impact on her brother. Chas sighs and says she will explain it all to her. Hazel looks around the room, thinking it hasn't changed one bit since the last time she was here. She sits down. He can feel Aaron's eyes on her. She looks up "Well, don't just stand there, pour me a drink!"
Aaron smirks "Large white wine?"
"You remember" she was impressed.
After he makes Hazel a drink, he pulls over a chair from the table and sits across from the women in front of him. He has no clue what to say, the last time he saw her was at Jackson's grave in 2012. when she told him to go out and see the world and to live his life. Then it clicks to him "August the 7th!" he scoffs to himself. He honestly forgot. "Hazel, I'm so sorry, I-"
"You forgot, listen don't you go beating yourself up about it, you've had a enough going on" she notices his expression "Bob filled me in" she states.
Aaron doesn't say much, he doesn't even know where to start.
"Married eh? Who'd of thought it" she gives him a smirk.
He stares down at his wedding ring "Yeah, well that's complicated right now"
"It always is, sweetheart" she takes a large gulp of her wine "I'm just going to finish this then I'll phone a cab"
Disappointment now shows on his face "You leaving?"
"I got to get back to Hutton, I'm staying with Aunt Polly"
"You've been here all this time?"
"Just a week, flew in from Norway. Been staying there for a while now. Met a lovely bloke, hands like shovels, very good with his hands him"
Aaron makes a cringe face. She has defiantly not changed, he thought. "Can't you stay a little bit? It's good to see ya" he smiles. "have you already been to see-" he stops what he's saying.
"First thing I did when I got here" she sees Aaron nodding, but his eyes are staring at the floor. "But I don't mind going up again, if you want to"
Aaron nods. He won't lie, it's been a very long time since he visited Jackson's grave. After he got with Robert, things changed and he was happy, very happy, didn't stop him from thinking of him though. He would always think of Jackson.
With the summer nights, it was still light outside, they can see the sunset peaking through the sky, it was a beautiful night, Hazel smiles. Hazel sits down on a bench near the gravestone. She lets Aaron go over himself. He remains there for a few more minuets until he joins her at the bench. "You know I asked him, to marry me" he hides a smile.
"I know, he told me, he told me everything"
Aaron rolls his eyes, feeling embarrassed "of course he did"
"I knew you loved him, Aaron. I knew before you even did. But it wouldn't of been a life for ya, you knew that and he knew that"
Aaron's eyes are filling up with tears "why do the men I love leave me" he scoffs as he wipes his tears with his sleeve "Jackson, he thought I deserved better and now Robert, the only two, I have ever truly loved, both gone" he sighs "I know it's not the same, Robert isn't, you know but he might as well be, he wont see me, he wants me to move on without him"
Hazel sighs "Jackson was miserable Aaron, you know that. He wasn't Jackson anymore, love. All he wanted was the best for ya and it's the same as your fella now. What kind of marriage you going to have if he's locked up in prison for most of his life, you would be so unhappy and lonely and if a hot piece of man candy comes along you're going to be tempted because of how lonely you feel and then the guilt eats away at you for even thinking about it, that's not a life Aaron, I don't know this Robert, but I agree with him, I know you don't want to hear it, but you got to live" she grabs Aaron's hand and squeezes it. "Remember the last time we were here?"
"Do you remember what I said to ya?"
"There's a whole world out there, Aaron. Live it"
"Do it! You've been through so much, you deserve happiness. I'm so proud of ya you know that?"
"Because you've grown up. Okay maybe still a little hot headed, but from the things I've heard about you, the good things. Aaron eight years ago would of never done those things, putting his heart on the line and completely letting himself be himself. I'm so proud of ya"
Aaron smiles "That was down to him, Jackson" he stares at his grave "He helped me, he changed my life and made me realize that I was capable of love and someone could love me"
"You did that all by yourself, sweetheart, he just gave you that little push"
They sit for a while longer, chat about times with Jackson, Aaron's time in France and Hazel's weird travel stories. He forgot how much he actually missed her and how much he needed this.
Once they got back to the village, Aaron tried to convince Hazel to stay for a bit longer, but he understands why she has to go. She promises to stay in touch this time. She gives him one last hug before she gets in her cab and drives off. He watches her go. Chas by his side comforting him. He needed this, he didn't realize it before but he needed to see her, she is the only one that tells him exactly how it is and he feels a lot better after their chat. Everyone is right, he does need to live is his life and not hide away from the world, but doesn't mean he's given up on Robert either…