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“The truth is… I love you.”

Lister pressed rewind on the video Rimmer had left for him before running off to be Ace. He found it not long after the second death of the Red Dwarf crew (or first death of the second crew, was it?). He had played it all the way through only once.

The first time, after those words, he had slammed his hand down on the stop button of the console and not approached the video player again for days. Then he’d watched it completely; every small sad smile, every bashful glance away from the frame, every grimace of regret. Once.

After that, he played just that one line over and over. The crux of the confession, the bare beautiful honesty of Rimmer’s long-term awkwardness around him.

Now he was back and Lister wasn’t sure how to approach the subject.

Fortunately, the subject approached him.

“You found it…” Rimmer said from behind Lister’s chair. He swivelled round with a sheepish grin. Rimmer cringed. “I must have sounded like such a pathetic goit.”

“Actually I thought you were really cute.”

“Give over…” Rimmer bashfully glanced away exactly as he had done in the video. “Really?”

“Really.”

Rimmer cleared his throat. “How cute? If one were to measure.”

“About a kiss’s worth of cute.”

“Just one?”

“Yeah,” said Lister as he stood up and wrapped his arms around Rimmer’s waist. “But it’s gonna last so long even you’ll come up for air.”