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Rough Awakening

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Gelfs, hundreds!! Can't outrun them!!


They've got Rimmer? Where is he? No, must run on!!


They're closing in, they're smegging closing in!!

“Listy, wake up, you're having a ...”

They've got me! Hit, fight, punch!! Ah, got him!


That's no Gelf …

“You punched me you utter bastard son of a bastard's child!!”

“Rimmer?” Lister woke up drowsily and blinked a few times. When his vision had restored he scanned the room to find the Hologram curled up on the floor cradling his nose in his hands.
“Smeg, did I do that?”
Rimmer nodded, glaring at his bunkmate balefully.
“Aw, I'm so sorry man. You shouldn't have touched me like that. I'm not used to you having a body yet.”
He climbed out of the bunk to check up on his friend.
“Well, at-least you're indestructible.”
“Being indestructible is not the same as not feeling pain, you goit.” Rimmer hissed painfully.

“Well, I'm sure it's not that bad, you just gotta get used to it.”
Rimmer glared. “Get used to pain? How dare you say I'm not used to pain? Pain was all I knew for most of my life.” He groaned as another wave hit.
Feeling guilty Lister gently took Rimmer's hands. “Come Rimsy, let me see the damage, maybe it's not as bad as it feels.”
After thinking it over for a second a reluctant Rimmer slowly let go of his nose as Lister cupped his face in his hands.
The Scouser cringed, Rimmer's nose was already turning blue and a tiny bit of static holo-goo was dripping from it.
“Smeg ...” Lister muttered. Immediately Rimmer's eyes shot up to him.
“What?” He urged. “What is it. Is it that bad? Did I lose my nose?”
Despite the situation Lister sniggered at this, it was such a typical Rimmer over-reaction. “Of course not, you smeghead!” Then he got serious again. “I'll get Kryten, okay?” Rimmer nodded.
Lister first went to their freezer to get some ice, which he gave to Rimmer.
“Cool it with this, that always helps, okay?”
“Thanks.” Rimmer mumbled as he took it and pressed it against his battered nose.
“Aw man, I'm so sorry, and you were being nice to me as well!” Lister sighed.
“Well … You couldn't help it, I guess” Rimmer groaned. Then he shrugged. “Just get Kryten.”

Lister was relieved to hear Rimmer's nose wasn't broken, it was a slight contusion, but still very painful. Kryten created a cold pack for the Hologram, gave him a holo-sedative and put him to bed in the Captain's room as the bed had an adjustable bedhead. To sooth his injury Rimmer needed to sleep propped up.
Lister wasn't happy about this: he didn't want Rimmer sleeping in another room, having the Hologram in his room made him feel safe, especially now he was suffering nightmares. It was only 3.30, that was a heck of a long time till morning. A heck of a long time to be on his own.
For about fifteen minutes Lister lay on his own in the top bunk. No use. He then crawled into the bottom bunk, to feel Rimmer to … smell Rimmer? Wow, had he really cracked up that fast?
Since when was he co-depended on Arnold J Rimmer? Right now, feeling alone, claustrophobic and scared he didn't care anymore, he just needed comfort.
Quickly he got out of bed and ran to the Captain's bedroom where he jumped into bed and crawled against Rimmer. He'd make sure he was out before the Hologram woke in the morning.

What Lister didn't know was that Arnold Rimmer wasn't asleep at all, the holo-sedative was slowly kicking in, but he wasn't drowsed enough to not feel the pain anymore. He'd heard Lister running to the room and had pretended to be asleep as he was too drained for conversation. What he hadn't expected was to find himself with his arms filled with scared Lister. What he certainly hadn't expected was liking it so much. A warm body seeking comfort with him, he'd never been asked to comfort anyone. Lister needed him, sought him out for warmth, care. Him not Kryten.
He wasn't useless to the crew then. Lister needed him. The pain faded as he reveled in Lister's warmth and the knowledge that he was needed by the man he'd secretly loved for decades. He'd protect him from any nightmare, no matter how many broken noses it would give him.
Gently he wrapped his arms around him and stroked his back.
“It's okay Listy, I'm here. I'll always be here.”