His memory gone?
All their years together erased?
All they went through, all they had experienced?
Arnold J Rimmer left the science room, his head pounding, his breath – that so unnecessary but real feeling – having left him. Dizzily he leaned against a wall and slowly let himself slide to the floor.
This could not be happening to him; he could not be losing the one person who knew him, truly knew him. All their conversations, all their moments … Lister knew him in a way no-one else had ever known him. He was his friend, his brother … his lover. Their relationship had evolved over the course of decades, centuries. Those last few years of living as lovers had brought Rimmer a peace he'd never known before. Happiness, after 700 years he'd found happiness in the arms of a man he'd loved from the moment they had met. It had taken Lister longer to love him. Well, he probably hadn't made it easy for the Scouser, of course, but it had been worth waiting for.
Lister's loving gentle kindness, the nightly chats in each others arms, the way he'd comfort him during one of his panic attacks. The way he KNEW him, really KNEW him!! Would all this be lost forever?
He didn't think he could handle that.
Kryten didn't seem too fazed about it all, which surprised him: if Lister went back to 23 he wouldn't even know the Android that had been his “mother” for years. He recalled Kryten saying Lister's memory could be restored from the CC cameras, the black box. Sure, but that would not restore his feelings for all of them, would it? It would be like installing scenes from a random TV show: images without meaning.
This thought brought out fresh panic in Rimmer: What if Lister's thoughts about their relationships changed once Kryten installed his new memory? What if he was disgusted about it all? All their conversations, all they had shared. He had told Lister his innermost feelings and thoughts. What if he shut him off for being pathetic or a pervert?
Silent sobs shook Rimmer's thin frame: it had taken so much to let down his guard, reach out and finally find peace with the man he loved. They had build a world together on this cold empty ship. They had grown old together and formed a family with Kryten and the Cat. After all those years of love, how could he go back to living with the boy who had despised him?
“Memory erased.” A computer voice announced cheerfully.
And Arnold Rimmer's heart broke.