“You have got to be kidding me, right?”
Squirming with guilt under the hologram’s shadow, Lister shrugged pathetically. “It was part of the deal.”
Rimmer stared back at him, mouth agape. “Plugged in? Are you mad?!”
“Well - ” Lister fumbled uselessly for a bright side like a drunkard searching out the light switch. “ - at least he can't move anymore.”
In the awkward silence that followed, he chuckled weakly, hamster cheeks bunching in a winning grin. At Rimmer’s deepening scowl, he drew back in apology, the pained laughter dying on his lips as he swivelled back on his chair to another mournful bite of pain au chocolat.
Rimmer glared at the dreaded toaster which had now taken pride of place on the central table of the Sleeping Quarters. Blissfully unaware of the bickering before him, Talkie was happily humming Fly Me to the Moon whilst prepping his fifth round of toast.
Hazel eyes screwed closed with barely-restrained rage. “So let me get this clear in my head,” Rimmer muttered stiffly, pinching the bridge of his nose. “In order to secure the winning vote - against me, I hasten to add - you effectively sold your soul to this devil of a device. An eternal damnation of half-stale bakery goods and - ” his tongue swirled inside his mouth as he sought the right words, “ - unfinished business,” he added tightly.
Talkie’s fascia lit up red in affront. “I'll have you know, my products are served up perfectly fresh, I thank you so much!”
“Shut your grill, or I'll send you on a tour of the sector via the nearest airlock.”
“Look, don’t take this out on him,” Lister groaned. He stuffed the last bite into his mouth before using his free finger to tap his temple. “It was all goin’ to y’head again, Rimmer,” he mumbled through his chewing mouthful, shaking his head as he swallowed. “If this was a deal with the devil, I did it to save your soul.”
“How valiant,” Rimmer snorted flatly. “He says, happily scoffing down chocolate pastries.”
Lister gave a weary sigh. “You know it wasn't good for you,” he insisted, a rare sincerity steeling his tone. “You and power is not a good mix. Trust me.”
“Oh well, that’s just the icing on the cake, isn’t it Listy?” the hologram harrumphed, sulking into folded arms. “Not only did I fail to have your support as my running mate, but I lost the election thanks to this toast-obsessed, insanity-ridden appliance that has NO awareness of personal boundaries!”
“He’s not totally insane,” Lister countered meekly.
“Listy, don’t take the biscuit. He’s a currant bun short of a baker’s dozen.” Perplexed, Rimmer blinked as he threw his hands wide. “WHY can’t I stop with the bakery metaphors?!”
Lister managed to subdue his wince. It had to be said, Rimmer hadn’t been quite right since his weekend spent locked up in the garbage hold with Talkie. It had taken a hard reset of the hologram’s system just to stop him from running screaming out of the room any time Kryten served up anything vaguely toastable.
“Look, I promise he won't keep interruptin’ us like last time, okay?” the Scouser soothed as he stood, rubbing his hands up and down Rimmer’s arms. “Our business can most definitely be finished - ” His hands sank down suggestively to cradle the man’s arse, rocking playfully back and forth. “ - in any manner of your choosing.”
With a reprimanding shake of the head, Rimmer plucked away the roaming hands and returned them to their owner. “Your promises may have swayed the voters but you won't be swaying me,” he asserted. “As long as that thing is in our quarters, there won't be any business to conduct in the first place.”
Dark eyes pinched as Lister’s mouth dropped open, aghast. “Oh come on, man!” he pleaded. “I made him a promise. My word as an honest politician. I can't go back on that.”
Rimmer’s jaw seemed to chew over the prospect. “Well, I suppose - ” he sighed wistfully. With a grace of a smile, he slowly leaned down towards him until their lips were barely millimetres apart.
But in the same moment that Lister triumphantly tilted his head up for a kiss, Rimmer deliberately angled it back out of reach. And as Lister’s gaze quizzically searched his, he added with a smug smile, “ - that’s where good morals gets you.”
“But - !”
“Ping!” Talkie chirped merrily. “Your scrumptiously hot, buttered toast is now ready, Dave! Enjoy!”
At Lister’s despairing groan, Rimmer cocked his head. “Enjoy!” he echoed, his tone sarcastically perky. And with a teasing tug of the eyebrows, he swivelled on his heels and left.
Four days he’d been cut off for now. And it was certainly no cake-walk.
But if there was one thing you could say about David Lister, it was that he was no quitter. And armed with the most cherubic of faces, he could also play the innocent to great tactical advantage.
His white onesie may have appeared angelic, but it was quite the robe of temptation, he’d found. With its oversized neckline allowing his bare shoulder to peek forth and the cut of the crotch cradling his package to the delight of the onlooker, this seemingly-simplistic outfit was nothing short of his battle armour. Anything that faced it would most certainly be conquered.
As Rimmer emerged in a cloud of steam from the shower room, he paused suddenly, thumb frozen as it tucked in the corner of his towel lapped round his waist, when he clocked the man stood before him.
“Good mornin’,” Lister offered with a smile, his words more loaded than the heavily-buttered toast he’d been forced to scoff daily.
“Hmm,” Rimmer hummed in intrigue as he thoughtfully finished securing the towel into place. Hazel eyes gave an appreciative once-over of the infamous white onesie. “Diversion tactics, I see.” He threw the man a sideways glance. “That’s rather underhanded for an ‘honest politician’ I must say.”
“Admit it,” Lister sang seductively. He held his hands on his hips to best frame the breakfast buffet on offer. “You totally wanna give me some sugar right now.”
“If it’s something sweet you want - ” Rimmer winked back, closing the gap purposefully between them. He dipped his head in line with Lister’s before stopping sharply, face hardening, “ - get Talkie to cook you up a croissant.”
As the hologram brushed past him, frustratingly aloof, Lister span back in protest. “Oh come on, man,” he begged, all decorum lost. “Don’t be like this.”
“Uh-uh. You wanted to follow the path of the honourable politician, remember?” Rimmer tutted, striding towards the bunk where his uniform was neatly hung. “You made your bed - ” He glanced over his bare shoulder to shoot him a raised eyebrow. “And now you can lie in it.” And as Lister opened his mouth hopefully to speak, he swiftly added. “Alone.”
“Owwwhhh!” Ironic really, that Lister’s loud sulking cry was strangely akin to a child that had just been refused a treat from the baker’s shop.
“Can I cook you up something delicious to eat, Dave?” Talkie piped up helpfully from the table. “Hot cake? Crumpet?”
Dark eyes watched intently as Rimmer unhooked the towel to dry himself, the white sheet slipping for just a moment to reveal the wet glistening skin of his arse.
Lister released a heated sigh of frustration. “A couple of buns would be great,” he muttered sadly.
Ten long days had now passed, and if Lister kept up this pace of swapping bonks for bagels, he’d soon be tipping the scales. Something had to be done and fast.
That evening, Rimmer palmed open the door to the Sleeping Quarters with a yawn, wandering inside with a stack of navigation books clutched under one arm. Noticing the onesie-bedecked figure sat waiting purposefully for him at the table, he halted uncertain.
With his chin resting regally upon steepled fingers, Lister regarded him with unnerving sincerity. “I’m callin’ for an amnesty,” he declared, voice solemn.
“O-kay,” Rimmer drawled, cautiously placing his books on the table. His eyes pinched in curiosity. “That’s rather a big word for you. Have you been reading your Ladybird’s ‘Big Book of Politics’ again?”
Lister’s hands sank to the table in offence. “Doesn’t matter where I found it,” he pouted, much more in his own manner. “I’m callin’ for one.”
“Alright, sorry!” Rimmer soothed sarcastically, hands aloft. “I’m listening.”
Lister nodded in reprimand before straightening once more. “Resolvin’ this - ” he cleared his throat, “ - drought crisis is of national importance.” His carefully-chosen words had obviously been well-rehearsed.
Rimmer’s brow pressed into a flat line of confusion. “You’re the last human alive, you modo. You are ‘the nation’.”
“So, by default, it makes this a national crisis.”
Lister patted the suspiciously-silent toaster beside him in indication. “This afternoon, Talkie and I held a conference - ” he explained, “ - and you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve negotiated a trade deal.”
Rimmer’s eyebrows raised subtly in interest. “I see.”
“One night of peace a week for an extra round of toast at breakfast.” A sly smile stretched across his cheeks. “And the amnesty starts tonight.”
The beginnings of a smile threatened to tug at the corner of Rimmer’s mouth as the full implications of this amnesty came to light. “No interruptions?” he ventured.
“Well, I don’t know - ” Rimmer hissed through his teeth, mock-solemn, as Lister stalked towards him with a playful grin. “I’d have to consult with the rest of my party on this, you understand?”
Now only millimetres apart, Lister palmed the hologram’s cock through the fabric of his trousers, only to find that it was already saluting its approval. “I think I’ve got this one’s vote,” he winked.
Rimmer gave a low growl of appreciation. “You make a very persuasive argument, Mr Lister.”
Drawing back with a wicked grin, Lister hooked a finger under the obscenely loose collar of his onesie until his second shoulder was freed, then slowly peeled it downwards until he was wearing nothing but a suggestive eyebrow.
The adam’s apple of Rimmer’s throat bobbed visibly as he swallowed, steadying his breath with a distracted nod. “A very persuasive argument,” he managed.
Stepping out of his puddle of pyjamas, Lister wrapped his arms around the man’s stiff neck. Tilting up his head, he left a trail of slow, lingering kisses along the length of Rimmer’s quivering jawline until they reached his mouth. Tugging lightly at the man’s lower lip with his teeth, he prompted with a purr. “And your verdict is?”
“Well, erm - ” Rimmer's voice was less stable than a hung parliament. “In this current climate, one must, um, consider the, uh -- ohhh, smeg it all --!”
Lunging forward into a fiercely passionate kiss, Rimmer’s hands grappled desperately at every inch of Lister’s naked body. The Scouser moaned his appreciation as they kissed, fumbling unseeing towards the lower bunk in a desperate lock of lips before tumbling onto the sheets with little decorum.
Pushing himself upright to straddle the hologram, Lister grinned happily, his bare chest heaving. “Do the thing?” he begged breathlessly. “Please?”
Knowing exactly what the man was after, Rimmer brandished a smug grin before his eyes sank closed in concentration. And in a hushed, breezing whisper, the projection of his clothes melted away.
“Yeeeah!” Lister’s hushed victory cheer was met with a blushing chuckle as he lowered himself down onto the smooth warmth of Rimmer’s body, dark eyes sinking happily closed as he peppered the man’s mouth with kisses.
However, Lister’s kisses slowed in confusion as the lips below his slowly morphed into smooth skin then hairy tufts. Blinking his eyes open once more, he sighed when he realised that Rimmer had now turned his head to regard the toaster warily.
“Do you think it’s watching us?” the hologram whispered.
“Course not, y’smegger,” Lister assured with a roll of the eyes. “I already told you, he’s offlined for the night.”
Rimmer squirmed self-consciously. “Can't we throw a tea towel over it or something?” Despite the pleasurable nibbling that had now started up on his earlobe, concern continued to needle him. “I know that's probably contravening some health and safety guidance but frankly I'm willing to take the - ohhh okay, you’ve got my attention now.”
The long, successfully-distracting lick up the hologram’s neck retreated back into a cheeky grin. “Fancy me lickin’ somethin’ else?” Lister illustrated his proposal with a teasing grind against Rimmer’s crotch.
The suggestion sank in quicker than hot butter on toast. “Oh, smeg yes.” Rimmer threw his head back with a moan as the Scouser slowly slithered down his naked body, leaving a path of loving kisses in his wake.
“You are so hot, y’know that?” Lister ground out in between kisses. He growled in appreciation as he took in the gorgeous sight of Rimmer writhing with pleasure beneath him. “Do you know how smeggin’ delicious you look?”
A shuddered sigh gasped forth without permission. Rimmer bit his lip hard and groaned as he felt a warm, tickling breath against his cock.
Lister brushed his lips teasingly lightly along its length. “You don't know how long I've been waitin’ to get that in my mouth - ”
“Oh god, Listy, yes!” Rimmer gasped desperately, gripping onto his pillow hard. “YES!”
Suddenly, a flash of LED lights lit up from the table. “If you wanted something hot and delicious in your mouth, why didn’t you just say?”
With a startled yell, the pair sprung up so quickly that Lister cracked his head on the underside of the bunk above, each scrabbling to free themselves from an inelegant tangle of limbs and bedsheets.
“Oh, boy!” the toaster chirped innocently. “It sure sounded like you fellas were hard at work!”
“Talkie!” Lister blurted, rubbing at his throbbing head. “You said you'd give us some privacy!”
“I was!” the toaster insisted. “But I wanted to be on standby in case you had any sudden urges for any toasted snacks. Thank goodness I was tuned in!”
Rimmer yanked up a sheet to cover himself. “Have you been watching us this whole time?!” he spluttered.
“Of course not!” Talkie replied with a cheerful laugh. “After all, I can’t see you. My grill only allows me to take in the spectacular views of the ceiling. I’ve just been listening in!”
“Oh well, that’s far less creepy!”
“Talkie,” Lister ground out through gritted teeth. “We’re kinda busy right now, if you don’t mind?”
“Oh? Whatcha up to?”
Two sets of eyes darted awkwardly to one another. “Er - negotiatin’ and talkin’ politics and stuff,” Lister mumbled, scratching self-consciously at the nape of his neck.
But even a toaster with minimal artificial intelligence was finally able to read between the lines. “Ahhhh, so you two are knocking breadsticks?” he probed loudly. At the pair’s guilty silence, his LED fascia sparkled with delight. “Well why didn’t you say before? I’d have left you fellas to your business!”
Flushed cheeks sagged in genuine surprise. “Really?” Lister managed.
“Of course!” Talkie assured with a twirl of its browning knob. “And after you’ve finished, I can have some hot scrummy toast waiting for you!”
Lister let out a long growl of frustration. “We. Don’t. Need. Toast.”
“After intimate activities, everybody needs a little sustenance, am I right?” The suggestive click of an unseen tongue was punctuated by a double-bounce of its lever.
A shudder wormed its way up Rimmer’s spine. He didn’t know how it was possible for a kitchen appliance to come across as lecherous, but this particular model could easily list it under the ‘Features’ section of its instruction manual.
“Will you shut the smeg up?!” Lister snapped. “We don’t want any extra smegging toast, post-coital or otherwise!”
“You sure? You always liked a post-activity round with Miss Kochanski when you first bought me. Oh, those were the days!” he sighed wistfully. “I could always butter it on both sides if that’s your new-found preference? Or are you more into the buns than the baps nowadays?”
“Oh my god.” Red with embarrassment, Lister buried his face in his hands. He didn’t need to look at the hologram’s reaction to know the scowl that he would now be sporting. The grind of his teeth was perfectly audible from here, thank you very much.
“So why don’t you two return to your griddling,” Talkie soothed. “Don’t mind me!”
“Talkie - ” The anger bubbling up through Lister’s words was now dangerously obvious. “I'm warnin’ you - ”
Talkie’s browning knob twirled in flirtation. “ - and I’ll toast up a little something to tickle your fancy whilst you tickle one another’s - ” The chirpy voice was cut off suddenly by a projectile boot that knocked it from the table and sent it crashing to the floor.
A disbelieving scoff spluttered past Rimmer’s open-mouthed stare at the splintered pile of sparking metal. “Nice shot!”
“That is IT!” Lister fumed, all decorum lost. “I don’t give a smeg about what I promised the little smegger! That toaster is not spendin’ another smeggin’ second in this bunkroom!”
Rimmer bathed in the hot glow of Lister’s rant. “So what happened to being an honourable politician?” he smarmed coolly. “Keeping to your party’s election promises?”
“I know, I know,” Lister relented, his words lost amongst despairing groans that sighed into his palms.
“I mean, going back on your word?” Rimmer pressed on in earnest. “Merely using him as a way to win?” And in that moment, the hologram’s face darkened with lust. “Do you know how smegging sexy that is?” he ground out hotly. “God, you’re as bad as I am.”
The Scouser blinked his surprise as Rimmer surged forward with a low growl, gathering him in up his arms and pledging his allegiance with vows of heated kisses. As Lister finally plucked himself away with a gasp, the hologram flashed him a lecherous tug of his eyebrows.
“Now,” he solicited, “if there's no further interruptions?”
“Not from me, man,” Lister assured breathlessly with a tilt of the head. “Besides,” he prompted with a wink, “I was always taught it was rude to talk with your mouth full.”
“Oh-ho-ho yes.” Rimmer brayed triumphantly as he allowed himself to be pushed back to lie down in the bunk. “Yes in-smegging-deedy!”
His arousal quickly flared once more under the stoking of Lister’s kisses that hummed in playful intrigue around his cock. His hands snaked back to grip onto the pillow to steady himself.
“Oh god,” he moaned as the tip of Lister’s tongue teased its way up his length before feeling the hot breath of an open mouth hover over the head. “Yes!” he writhed. “YES!”
Both men jumped in a choked gasp of shock as the door to the Sleeping Quarters hissed open. A skutter chirped in greeting as it struggled to tug inside a castor-wheeled trolley that bore the huge bulk of the blue chocolate bar dispenser.
“Mr Lister,” came the pompous greeting, the dispenser’s screen illuminating as she spoke. “I trust this is a good time to talk over your party’s policies on button fascia updates?”
“Ah.” Lister’s eyes pinched awkwardly. “Erm - ?”
Burying his face in his hands, Rimmer growled loudly into his palms before rolling out of the bunk. “Ohhh, it’s perfect smegging timing!” he groused with unbridled sarcasm, snatching up his towel before storming off into the shower room.
Lister tugged up the bedsheet, plastering on a pained professional smile that flinched as another “Perfect!” barked in an echo from the tiles.