“Aaah!” The android’s scream rang throughout the corridors of Star Bug.

Kryten stood, his eye sockets wide, in the door to Lister’s corridors, a fresh basket of laundry tucked under his arm. Before him on the bed was the sight which had caused his cry; Lister and Rimmer, half naked and lying together. “What is going on here?” Kryten demanded.

“Nothing’s goin’ on!” Lister exclaimed, sliding quickly away from Rimmer.

Rimmer was on his feet in a second, and, being a hard light hologram, instantly clothed as well. “Ah, Kryten,” he stated confidently, striding up to the mechanoid and patting him on the shoulder. “We were just about to summon you for some fresh towels. See, we were just exercising.”

“Exercising?” Kryten looked between the two humanoids. “But, you were half naked!”

“Yes,” Rimmer replied, “I was just trying to teach Lister here a bit of yoga to get rid of that pot belly of his. And, as you should know as a service mechanoid, humans nearly always shed clothing to exercise. Seeing as we have no specific exercise clothing, we did as best we could.”

Kryten frowned, knowing that his programming commanded him to believe anything a human said. He couldn’t quite accept the explanation, though, the humanoid to question being Rimmer. “I have a full yoga manual in my software, sir,” he replied, “and I don’t recall seeing that position in it. I also don’t recall yoga calling for physical contact between participants.”

“As I said,” Rimmer retorted, “I was attempting to assist Lister in his feeble attempt to grasp even the simplest yoga positions.

“If you say so, sir.” Kryten looked again between them, feeling something bubble up inside him which he believed was the equivalent of suspicion. “Really, sirs, you two have been acting quite peculiar since Rimmer got his hard light body. You seem to be making all kind of excuses to be alone together, and I just can’t imagine why, given your, Mr. Lister, profound dislike for Mr. Rimmer.”

“Kryten, believe me, I can’t stand him,” Lister stated, pulling on a t-shirt and rising from his bunk, leaning against the wall as he gestured to Rimmer. “He’s every bit the jumped up git he always was!” Lister ignored the affronted look Rimmer shot him, but the exchange was not lost on Kryten’s eyes. The mechanoid wondered why, after years of insults from Lister, Rimmer would now begin to acknowledge them. “It’s just that, well,” Lister continued, “This hard light technology is fascinatin’, isn’t it? If I’ve been spendin’ more time with him, it’s just so I can investigate a bit.”

“Really.” Kryten always found it easier to believe the amiable Mr. Lister, although a strain of suspicion still remained in his mind. “I wasn’t aware you were interested in scientific exploration, sir.”

“Oh, I am!” Lister nodded vigorously. “Don’t you remember how fascinated I was to learn about the various functions of your groinal socket?”

“I recall a fair amount of sniggering during that discussion, sir,” Kryten replied.

Lister grinned and shrugged. “What can I say? Technology is fascinatin’!”

“Well, sir, I hope you’ve been taking some notes on your discoveries. Very little is known about this amazing hard light technology,” Kryten commented, finally remembering the laundry basket under his arm. “Would you like me to put away your laundry, sir?” he questioned.

Lister and Rimmer both seemed relieved for the change of subject. “Yes, Kryten, thanks,” Lister replied. He shot a meaningful glance at Rimmer. “Don’t you have shoe trees to organize, smeghead?” he shot.

Rimmer brushed off his uniform, standing up tall. “As a vital member of this crew, I naturally have many important duties to attend to. I bid you both adieu.” He strode quickly from the room without a glance back.

“Thank goodness he’s gone,” Lister commented as Kryten began to tuck his laundry away in his wardrobe. “I am fascinated by this hard light stuff, but bein’ around Rimmer still drives me nuts! He’s such a prat.”

“Agreed, sir.” Even though he could only see Lister out of his peripheral vision, Kryten could’ve sworn he received a dark look for that statement. He finished putting the laundry away, standing and gazing at Lister. “Are you quite sure you’re alright, sir?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Lister frowned at him. “Why?”

“Well,” Kryten headed for the door, turning back to look at Lister just before he stepped out, “If I may say so sir, I do believe thou dost protest too much.”

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