Rimmer moseyed down the corridor towards the Sleeping Quarters. After a long day of being brave, he decided it would be best to head to bed straight away. He was pleased their excursion had not been for nothing and was looking forward to getting back on schedule first thing in the morning.
He strolled along the corridor, passing a vid screen on the way, where Holly appeared. "Heading to bed, Arnold?" she asked.
"Yes, Holly, after today's excursions, and my own exertions, I'm just going to hit the springs and snooze for twelve hours," Rimmer replied.
Holly smiled. "Well, you've certainly earned it. You were very brave today, you know. I had no idea you could move like that."
Rimmer faltered at the compliment. "Yeah… Neither did I…," he said unsurely.
"I'm really proud of you, Arnie."
"…Thank you, Holly…," he said, feeling a little uncomfortable.
"Well, I'll leave you to it. G'night."
"Yes, goodnight, Holly."
Holly blinked off the screen
Feeling very perplexed, Rimmer decided to ignore it for now and scurried off down the corridor towards the doors just ahead. He jammed his hand into the door lock and found the room to be very dark.
"Lights," he said.
The room lit up, and he saw Lister was snuggled up in his bunk under a blanket, blinking through the new light in the room.
"You going to bed as well, Lister?" he asked, strolling into the room.
"Er, yeah, man, I am… You too?"
"That was the plan, yes."
Rimmer walked across towards the table and started to put some books away, but he noticed the tone in Lister's voice.
"Anything the matter?"
"Not really… I just… After everything that's happened…"
Rimmer nodded. "You just need some time to yourself?"
"…Sort of, yeah. Do you mind?"
"No, not at all," Rimmer replied, deciding to be understanding for once. "If you need some privacy, I'll leave you to it."
Rimmer started to leave the room, but he stopped at the hatchway when he realized something.
"Oh, hold on, just let me grab something," he said, walking over towards his bunk to grab a book he'd left discarded there some time ago.
While he was getting it, a foot fell out from under Lister's blanket and drooped down over him.
He reversed his way out from the bunk and started to say, "Okay, I'll just…," but he stopped when he saw the foot. He stared at it for a few moments before he spoke again. "Lister?"
"There's a foot hanging out of your blanket."
"…Yeah, so there is."
"…I can't help but notice something."
"Your Athlete's Foot seems to have finally gone away, and your god-awful foot odor is gone."
"And, if I'm not mistaken, you're wearing nail polish…"
Experimentally, Rimmer extended an exploratory finger and gently grazed the bottom of the foot in question with his fingernail. The foot suddenly leapt upwards, and from under the blanket, a small stifled giggle escaped.
Rimmer shook his head.
"Right, I'll just go find somewhere else to sleep then," he decided.
"Yeah, thanks…," Lister sighed.
Rimmer headed for the doors.
"Lights!" he ordered, and the room dimmed once more. "G'night, Listy."
"Good night, Rimmer!" a chorused reply yelled.
Rimmer rolled his eyes at the giggles from the darkness and trekked for the lift. He figured he'd want to sleep on a different floor entirely tonight.
Author's Notes: And so, here we are at the end of a few months that I'll never get back. The grand finale in which everything is set and laid out. I seem to recall in my earlier drafts that I almost didn't go with this ending. But I'm very satisfied, so I'm glad I did.
Thanks to all who have read and even more thanks to those who reviewed. Thanks for seeing this story through to the end.
Stay tuned for more Red Dwarf fics from me, including a Christmas-themed one-shot, and the next feature length story, Animal I Have Become. ;)