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Memories Are Like Tattoos

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Past - A bar on Europa (Canon Compliant)

“C’mon Davey, just think how much he’ll freak out!” Olaf Petersen roared, his Danish accent thickened by his drunkenness, as he pat the shoulder of his friend.

“He looked pretty freaked out when we left,” Lister laughed, words slurring nicely with the buzz he had cultured into a nice drunk haze.

“Besides, you didn’t have a problem with the last one you got,” the Dane points out, hoping it was the right thing to say.

“I don’t even remember getting that one, thank you very much,” the Scouser snapped, words slurring even more now.

“Your face was priceless when you got it, shame we didn’t have a camera then.”

“You’re not getting a picture this time either cause I ain’t going it Petersen, no way no how.”

Lister felt very firmly about this fact too, which is why, when he woke up two days later back in his bunk, being yelled at by Rimmer and with the dryest throat he’d had in some time, he thought nothing of blacking out after that. Later, when he was getting a much needed shower, by his standards, and he found the tattoo on his thigh, he swore he’d get his friend back somehow.

 

Present (Canon Divergence from M-Corp)

“You envied me, before the accident I mean,” Lister suddenly said, his head turning to focus on Rimmer from where he lounged, comic book resting on his chest.

“What are you talking about Lister?” Rimmer slowly looked up from his revision books scattered across their table to the top bunk.

“I didn’t know it was envy then, that was after you left to… you know… but you felt it after the accident, that’s for damn sure.”

“I still have no idea what you’re talking about, you pea brained cretin.”

“When I kissed Petersen.” Lister watched closely for a response, but that look wasn’t there between his typical faces of thinking, realisation, and further annoyance.

“The only thing I saw is that you were clearly enthused for your trip to Gayville Sol System and getting your buddies involved in your bisexual romp around the moon.”

“Nah man, I think you're secretly in love with me or something, cause I’ve seen it since then and it’s always when someone else is into me.”

“I think” Rimmer spoke slowly, “your memories came back too quickly and you’ve finally gone space crazy.”

There was a long moment of silence between them as Lister stared Rimmer down, seeing if he would crack like the old days, but there was nothing there. For a second, the Scouser had doubts he might be wrong, but then the tip of the hologram’s tongue peaked out and it was enough of a sign for him.

“Whatever man, but you know I’m right.” He went back to his comic, wondering if maybe, someday, the spark he thought was there between them actually did mean something more.