Categories > TV > Red Dwarf > Forwards1 Reviews
A.J. Rimmer is one, indeed.
Perhaps that was all there was to what they had done, after all. Just two people who would, in the normal course of things, never share two words, thrust together in a course that was as far from normal as was possible to imagine. Sniping and bickering was just a natural outcome to two people who shared so little forced to be so close - and, when they had been too long alone and hit some kind of breaking point, trying to find some kind of physical satisfaction was only natural, as well. Anything beyond that - well, that was just ludicrous. The malfunctions of a too-long-alone hologram - after all, Holly and Kryten hardly counted as company. Not that this new Lister and Cat were any kind of guarantors of sanity.
It took three days for Rimmer to talk himself into this mindset. On the fourth, Lister crawled into his bunk, late at night, as Rimmer was dozing off. No hesitation, no prelude; the man lay full-length on the bunk - given the narrowness of the bunks, he was pressed up against Rimmer - and ran one hand up and down Rimmer's side, feathering gentle kisses on the hologram's cheeks, saying things too quietly and breathily for Rimmer to hear them clearly, but they certainly sounded sweet. There was nothing frantic or desperately lustful about it, and Rimmer started to shake. They were gentle tremors at first, but as Lister ran his hand to the small of Rimmer's back and kissed the hologram gently on the lips, they turned into spasms. Lister pulled back slightly. "Oi," he said, the furrows in his brow appearing very deep in the dim night-time illumination, "what's wrong, man?"
Rimmer pulled away, pushing himself back against the wall. "Just stay on your own bunk, /miladdio/!" he snapped.
"I thought..." Lister started, sounding confused.
"Fine time to start, smeg-for-brains! Get your grotty self off of my bunk," Rimmer ground through his teeth.
"Righ'," Lister muttered. "Whatever." He slid out of Rimmer's bunk, then hopped up into his own. Rimmer waited until the sounds of Lister rearranging himself on the bunk had stopped, and the sounds of his snoring drifted down instead. Then Rimmer grabbed his pillow and buried his face in it, letting spasms wrack his body. He saw, as he had as soon as this Lister had slid into his bunk and started to touch him, his Lister. The Game headset on, grinning vacantly; giggling, sometimes, or sighing, or moaning. Walking nowhere, talking to nobody, tongue out to kiss what was only in his head. Growing thinner and thinner, wanting less and less to eat what Kryten tried to coax down his mouth. His cherubic cheeks becoming hollow, skin dry and pasty, bones showing through his clothes - until, one day, he simply stopped breathing, a delighted grin on his face.
For him, the Game; for this Lister, Ace. For all of those Listers, across so many dimensions, there was always something Better Than Life. Better than him.