Categories > TV > Red Dwarf


by Roadstergal 0 reviews

Gapfiller for the cockpit fade-to-black in Stoke Me A Clipper.

Category: Red Dwarf - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst, Humor - Warnings: [!!!] [X] - Published: 2006-09-06 - Updated: 2006-09-07 - 1198 words - Complete

The low hum of Starbug's engines filled the cockpit. For once, no alert signs were flashing. Kryten had withdrawn from the cockpit to give the two men some privacy as they followed Ace - Arn, as far as Kryten was concerned - to his final resting place. He had dragged Cat off along with him. Lister sat in his pilot's seat, guiding Starbug with a light touch on the flight stick, and Rimmer sat uncomfortably in the seat Cat vacated, plucking at his unfamiliar flightsuit.

Starbug drifted along the sea of light-bee coffins, the glowing red ring in the distance resolving itself into individual beacons just outside of the plexi viewscreen. Lister looked out over the breathtaking sight with wondering eyes.

"Are you really going to be the one to break the chain?"

Well - why not?

Rimmer looked at Lister. "And pass on the smug gittiness and bakofoil fashion sense to the next hapless version of myself?"

Lister sighed and looked down at the flight stick in his hands. "Do you believe in anythin'... more than yourself?"

Yes, I do, Listy. More than you could imagine.

The old Rimmer, the one you lived with three million years ago, would have had an instant answer to that question. Space corps regulations. Astronavigation. Up the ziggarut, lickety-split. Making your parents proud. All things - he would have said with a wrinkled nose and a sneer - that a sleazy space-bum like you wouldn't understand.

But I'm not so quick with my answers, now. The answers trouble me more and more. I dream things I should not dream. I know that you've changed, as I have; your boots are clean, these days, and your long johns are white; you attempt to look the same grotty bum that you always were, but you have risen above that past Lister. Beyond that - I see you with different eyes, now. Even the old you, the one who chewed his own toenails and had curry stains dating back to the twentieth century decorating every article of his clothing - I cannot see that old Lister with the same disgust I remember that old Rimmer feeling.

I fight it. With so few constants in this crazy, dangerous universe, one where everyone we meet is intent on killing us, imprisoning us, sucking out our brains, marrying us, or some other similarly foul scheme, I hang on to old habits and old ways of thinking.

But they have crumbled, despite my best efforts, ever since my death. And now, when you ask me that question, the right answers do not spring to my lips. Instead, I look at you and am quiet - for too long. Long enough for you to look up, see that I am mutely studying your profile, and see that the answer is written (in English and Esperanto, for your convenience) all over my face.

You are braver than I am, Listy. You always have been. I have not dared to utter a word, or to try to touch; even when you put your hand on my inner thigh, back on the psi-moon, I could do nothing but stare at it, mutely. It took every bit of courage I possess - which is not much - to touch your shoulder when Legion upgraded my light-drive. And dear lord, the song it sang to my sense-starved fingers was a siren's call that only my extreme cowardice could resist.

But cowardice is not in your nature, only instinct. So when you see me studying you as if I were trying to paint your portrait, you put your gloved hand on my cheek and let that be your overture. And I play the coward, again, and say yes only by not saying no.

Your lips are soft and warm. They taste like cigarettes and stale lager. Your tongue, when you push it inside my mouth, is equally unspeakable. But none of the girls who have reluctantly kissed me have done it so wholeheartedly; holding nothing back, sucking on my tongue, moving your lips to feel the sensation of them scraping against mine.

It is the most sexually alluring thing I have ever experienced. And so I disregard the stale butt-end taste and lick the inside of your mouth, trying to make you feel what I am feeling now, this ludicrous surge of sexual excitement.

If I am leaving anyway, there is nothing to fear.

Lister broke away from the kiss and breathed huskily into Rimmer's ear, "So real..."

Rimmer licked his lips nervously and looked away. The view that caught his eye was the sea of Rimmer-coffins, and his mouth ran dry at the sight of.. /himself/, expired billions of times in billions of ways.

Had it been worth it? For all of them?

Rimmer contemplated the sight, trying hard not to lick his lips again and taste Lister on them. He heard a hiss behind him. He turned to see that Lister had slapped the cabin door close switch, and was regarding him with a gentle, slightly goofy look of sadness.

"If yeh believe in somethin' more..." Lister stepped closer and took Rimmer's absurd fur lapels in his hands.

Yes, ever since you met Ace, that it what I have been. Not-Ace. I am Almost-Ace, now, and that is what you are feeling as you run your hands down my gold flightsuit, unbuttoning it with what I would almost call devotion, running your stubby, warm fingers under my shirt and up my chest in a way that makes it hard to think...

As you pull my trousers open and lower your beautifully cherubic face, licking and sucking me until I harden, all I can think is - would you do this for good old Arn?

Your wiry hair tugs at my fingers as I try to stroke your head. My orgasm hits with a million red beacons flashing in my eyes, dancing as I spasm, calmly blinking as I collapse back into the seat.

When you kiss me again, I taste my bitterness over your acrid ash.

Lister stroked Rimmer's cheek, too fiercely; the studs on his gloves caught on Rimmer's cheek and left red streaks. "Rimmer..."

Rimmer tore away and swung back to face the stars.

Lister pressed the door release and left the cockpit.

Later, Kryten confessed worriedly to Rimmer that he had seen Lister using the memory-erasure unit. It's something that the mechanoid would not have dreamed of confiding to Arn. But he came to the newly minted Ace with all of the childlike trust a human would place in a priest.

Rimmer assured Kryten that Lister was merely removing a rather acute memory of Arnold's death. Rimmer found it almost pathetic, how readily Kryten was reassured by such a pat answer. It must have been the wig.

The question Lister had asked him in the cockpit now had a sure and ready answer. Rimmer was certain that he believed in something more than himself. And he knew, with equal certainty, that what he believed in did not believe in him. Yet. He wondered if he could change that. Was it worth the risk? The near-certainty of some painful end before he returned?

It had to be.

"It's been a blast, fellas..."
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