In the spirit of diversification, I’ve decided to publish the bit of fanfic that I entered into the BTL competition some time ago. I don’t know if it will be published in BTL, so I’ve decided to give it an airing here. You lucky people. It’s been tweaked by Austin, so he should really have a co-author credit, although he may not thank me.

It’s meant to provide background to Rimmer’s one pre-death sexual encounter, and it’s called ‘Thanks for the Memory’: enjoy!

Rimmer awoke to the sound of his beating heart.

Tonight was going to be the night. He could feel a tangible buzz of excitement, and an unusual feeling of euphoria pumped through his body. This was even better than when he was told that he could join the Space Corps, and the ecstasy of the thought that he could begin to build his career without the interference of his family. He got out of his bunk, blanking out the snoring of Lister, and stood to attention. An extra-special salute today, he thought, and almost dislocated his wrist with all the effort. Then he grabbed his ‘Gagging4it’ shower gel with his other hand, and made his way to the shower. Stepping into the water, he watched it trickle down his chest. “You stud,” he thought.

* * *

Lister awoke to the sound of Rimmer humming maniacally. Through his groggy eyes, he could see Rimmer in the shower, the humming reaching alarmingly military proportions. He knew not to ask. He slid out of his bunk, scratching himself, and rubbed some deodorant under his arms. Shaking his head, he crept out of the room and started making his way to the club.

Walking through the entrance, he caught sight of Chen, Petersen and Selby, and Lister could tell from the amused expressions on their faces that he was in for a hard time.

“Guys! How are ya?” said Lister, hoping his joyful demeanour might deflect any teasing they were thinking of.

He was therefore disappointed when Chen grinned and replied: “Fantastic! We’ve just been setting up a sweepstake around how many officers have slept with Kristine!”

“Yes,” said Petersen, joining in. “We’ve already got 500 dollar pounds. Kristine is clearly a busy lady.”

Lister sighed. “Yeah, yeah, guys, very funny. I know you’re only trying to put me off, but you don’t understand. Kristine and I are meant to be together. It makes sense, it’s part of me plan.”

Chen reached across the table and put his hands on Lister’s arms. It wasn’t pleasant, but Lister tolerated him all the same. “Look,” Chen began, “Kristine’s a lovely girl, I’ll grant you that, but she’s an officer. I’ve been on mining ships long enough to know inter-rank relationships never last: look at Petersen and his track record.”

“Yeah, but Petersen never even hangs around for the cigarette, man,” replied Lister.

Petersen nodded. “I’m a busy man.”

Chen glared at Petersen and continued. “Yeah, fair enough, but there’s plenty of other people who have tried and failed. Just look at all the officers that flock around her. They may all be chinless wonders, but they’ve got more money and better prospects. Even if you DO get a look in, do you really think you won’t be worrying yourself sick over all the other blokes who have a few more stripes? When it comes down to it, women think for the long term, and what’s really more attractive to an ambitious young lady like her? A non-existent farm in Fuji, or a nice house in one of the more attractive areas of galaxy real-estate? Why don’t you be like me? I stay within my own rank. I’ve never been disappointed so far.”

“Yeah, but Chen, if a woman’s got two legs you count that as a bonus.” Lister dodged the beer Chen spat at him and continued. “This plan’s the only thing keeping me sane, stopping me from chucking chicken soup at crew members, stopping me from hard-wiring a skutter to go mental at officer briefings, stopping me from murdering Rimmer in his sleep. She’s part of it. She’s got to stay.”

Petersen handed Lister a beer. “Drink, and I shall show you the true beauty that lies within Red Dwarf.”

“Oh, no,” Lister groaned. “You’re not going to drop your trousers again, are you?”

* * *

When Rimmer marched into the club – fresh, smart, his chest almost bursting with pride at his appearance – he did not expect anything to dampen his enthusiasm. He certainly didn’t expect a faceful of beer accompanied by Petersen’s spit. Temporarily blinded as he was, he knew who had done the deed even before he heard them laughing. Brushing the mixture away from his eyes, the inanely grinning group of monkeys that Lister hung around with were straight in front of him, with Lister trying to hold in his mirth.

“Sorry, man,” Lister began. “Petersen was aiming for me…”

“But I saw a far more attractive target when you walked in, Rimmer. Well, I use the word attractive in its broadest sense, of course. I have a Danish word which is of far more use when describing you.”

He sneered, and Rimmer replied, “How delightful. If you ‘gentlemen’ would excuse me, I’m going to spend the evening with people who are further up the evolutionary chain than yourselves.” He marched off, rather quicker than he had anticipated, due to Petersen raising himself up from his chair with a threatening look on his face. “Goit,” thought Rimmer.

With the sound of Lister saying, “Petersen, he’s not worth it, man, have another beer…” fading as he made his way to the other side of the club, Rimmer relaxed again and quickly surveyed the damage. Some beer on his front, which was annoying, but his body heat should soon get rid of that.

That reminded him. The pheromones he was wearing should overcome any stains on his shirt. With his chest puffed out, Rimmer strided up to the bar. The woman serving gave him a nervous look, which increased Rimmer’s confidence. “Ah, the nervous look!” he thought. “I’m intimating her already!”

Rimmer lowed his voice. “A gin and tonic, please.”

“Sorry?” she asked, with an even more nervous look.

“A gin and tonic.” His voice faltered a bit. When she returned with the drink, he gave her his staff card, and she inched away again.

“Not bad,” thought Rimmer, “but I shouldn’t waste myself. There’s only one lucky woman who’ll be having the full Rimmer experience tonight!” He was jolted out of his thoughts by the sensation of his card hitting his arm. The server was some distance away. “Wow!” thought Rimmer, “She can’t even bear to be near me! This stuff must be good!”

When he saw Yvonne, she was flexing her muscles for the amusement of her friends. The several gin and tonics Rimmer had managed to drink were taking effect, and he swirled his current drink around in his glass in what he imagined was a suave manner. He was proud of the evening so far. His shower gel had been a great investment, as by the fifth gin and tonic, the woman behind the bar was so affected by him that she had made her male colleague serve Rimmer. However, Rimmer still made sure he teased her with a few smouldering looks, which provoked her colleague into a jealous rage. Which seemed to come to its natural, logical conclusion when he grabbed Rimmer under the arms and lifted him like an infant and told him not to return to the bar if he valued his kidneys.

“Stride like a panther, then pounce,” thought Rimmer as he staggered over to Yvonne. She didn’t have time to react before Rimmer tripped, sending his drink flying into her face. Yvonne sputtered and ran out of the door towards the ladies’ loo. Rimmer, his determination unfaltering, followed her.

Yvonne, trying to dry her face, looked at Rimmer with a confused expression. Her bid to drink all her friends not just under the table but right into the medical suite as well meant she didn’t have her usual lightening-quick and rather violent reactions.

“Erm…” Rimmer began.

“Whatsh?” slurred Yvonne.

“Erm…you’ve got something in your eye!” Rimmer said quickly, advancing towards her.

Yvonne was very quickly pinned up against the wall, with Rimmer trying to get his face as close to hers as possible. She reacted rather hastily, and with a metallic ‘BANG!’ managed to hit her head on an inconveniently placed pipe. Rimmer gasped, but before he could decide whether to escape or not, Yvonne put her arms around him with a dreamy expression on her face and murmured, “Arnorm…Arnea…normald…?”. Rimmer saw his chance.

He replied, “Yes, it’s me, you gorgeous creature!” and mumbled under his breath, “Well, it’s close enough.”

Yvonne cried out with joy and dragged a stunned Rimmer into the nearest cubicle…

* * *

Lister was grinning as he walked down the corridor. It had been a good night. The boys from the Dwarf had shown them all how to party, and he’d been impressed by Selby’s attempt to send a skutter mad with repeated visits to the bar. He’d have to go and visit him in the medical suite tomorrow. When he waltzed into his bunk room, he was surprised not to see Rimmer there. “What was he doing?” he thought. “Surely he’s got an astronavigation exam to fail to revise for, or another exercise routine? It’s 4am, for smeg’s sake!” Lister was just thinking about rearranging Rimmer’s revision timetable when Rimmer marched in, looking even more smug than usual.

“Ah, Listy.” Rimmer began, “Listy, Listy, Listy…”

“What’s up?” asked Lister, with a great deal of suspicion.

“Enjoy your evening, Listy?” Rimmer asked.

“Yes, I did. And what did you get up to? Have you just finished ironing your underpants, or something?”

“Ah, Listy,” continued Rimmer. “I’ve had a exquisite evening, and the best thing about it is that you’ll have to wait for ME to tell you all about it. For once, I’ve had a social encounter on this ship which hasn’t been spoilt by you and your moronic friends staggering in to intervene.”

“Oh, no,” groaned Lister. “Who is the poor woman, and why weren’t we fast enough to stop you? What did you use, your hypnotism technique? Or did you just knock her out first?”

Rimmer twitched. “I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait, Listy m’laddo. I’m a gentleman.”

Lister smiled. “What use is that when you can’t attract a lady?”

“You’ll see, Listy, you’ll see.” Rimmer smirked.

Lister sighed and crawled into his bunk.

* * *

In the medical suite, Yvonne awoke to the sound of Kristine’s voice. “Yvonne? Are you alright? We found you unconsious in the ladies’ loos with, erm…in a bit of a dishevelled state.”

Yvonne suddenly sat bolt upright. “Krissie, you’ll NEVER believe the dream I’ve just had…”

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