carmilla: Rimmer and Lister in their respective bunk beds. Caption reads 'Bunkmates' (Rimmer/Lister)
[personal profile] carmilla
SUMMARY: Lister makes amends. Post ep for Thanks for the Memory.

Lister found Rimmer on the Observation Deck, staring moodily back towards the moon where they’d buried the memory of Lise Yates.

“Hey, man. How’re you doing?”

“Go away, Lister,” said Rimmer, not moving a muscle, “go play with the Cat or something.”

Lister shook his head. “He’s decided it’s all my fault his foot is broken, he just hisses at me whenever I come near him.” He paused. “Besides, I wanted to see you.”

“Well, here I am, look all you like.”

“You know that’s not what I meant.” Lister decided to try a long shot. “Come for a drink with me?”

Rimmer’s hands, clasped together behind his back, tightened visibly. For a long moment, he was silent. Then, with a sigh, he turned around.



They’d tucked themselves away in a corner of the Officers’ Bar. Rimmer was drinking hologramatic white wine; Lister, something ridiculously tropical-looking that came served in half a coconut. He cleared his throat, awkwardly.

“Look, man, I just wanted to say again… I’m sorry for that whole mess with Lise. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Rimmer grunted and drained his glass; Holly quietly refilled it.

“I didn’t mean any harm by it,” Lister persisted, “you could see that. It was meant to be... a present, I think. Something nice.”

“Just drop it, would you, Lister?” Rimmer snapped. Then he shook his head, and muttered, “I’m not drunk enough for this.”

“For what?” Lister asked, beginning to let his irritation show. “Doing the decent thing for once and accepting an apology?”

Rimmer stifled a small chuckle. “Something like that, yes.” His empty glass refilled itself again. “Look, Listey...” He hesitated. “Just forget it, OK? That’s what we were meant to do, anyway. Forget the whole thing. It doesn’t matter.”

“But it does,” Lister insisted, “if it didn’t, you’d be able to talk to me, or at least look at me.”

Rimmer glanced up, and dropped his eyes to his wineglass again. Another half of its contents seemed to have vanished. “OK,” he said at last, “I accept your apology. I know you were just trying to be nice.”

Lister nodded, and after another minute or two of silence, got up to fetch himself another drink. When he returned, Rimmer seemed to by trying to steel himself to say something.

“It wasn’t a bad thing, you know,” he said at last. “I want to pretend it was, but it wasn’t. It was… it was like your sandwich.” Lister looked confused. “The triple fried egg sandwich with chilli sauce and chutney. By rights it should have been horrible, but it wasn’t. Something about you makes it alright.”

Lister’s shoulders un-tensed. “So you’re not really mad at me, then?”

Rimmer sighed. “No. I’d like to be, but I’m not. I... appreciate what you wanted to do for me, even if you thought that was the only way you could do it.”

Now Lister was confused again. “Only way? How do you mean?”

Rimmer shook his head, but he was smiling this time. “Forget it. Doesn’t matter.”

For a couple of minutes, they contemplated their drinks in silence, but it was their old, companionable silence, and they were happy in it. Then, softly at first, music started up; a girl’s husky voice singing to something with a jazzy feel to it. Lister grinned.

“Thanks, Hol. Knew you’d come through.”

And Rimmer, incredulously, recognised the words she was singing.

I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the wood, I know I could always be good....

“The ship’s archive’s got pretty much everything on it, if you know where to look,” Lister told him. “Hol did a search for me. There was this one other thing I wanted to say to you,” he added. (The girl was singing, ‘Although he may not be the man some girls think of as handsome, to my heart he carries the key....’)

“Arnold J. Rimmer, you may not be a triple fried egg butty with chilli sauce and chutney, but you’re alright. At least,” Lister grinned, “I think so.”

“Thanks, Listey,” said Rimmer, eventually. “I think you’re alright too.” He was distracted by the warm, glowy feeling he felt coming from the pit of his stomach, a feeling he was fairly sure had nothing to do with alcohol. He looked up suspiciously. “Lister, how I feel now, it’s not something you’ve put in my head, is it?”

Lister smiled at him. “No way, man. That’s just us.”