5. Handcuffed together: Well, I firmly believe Ted knows how to get out of handcuffs, so I assume them being handcuffed together is a case of Ted being a dick and pretending not to know just to annoy Booster, and shenanigans ensue. Either that or they’re alien handcuffs or something and they have to flee the aliens while trying to make it to the Frees’ house so that Scott can uncuff them and they wind up crashing an alien spaceship on his front lawn and he’s super pissed.
12. Sharing a bed: It’s just that after Ted comes back he has nightmares, and Booster is terrified that if he lets Ted out of his sight he’ll disappear, so they keep putting off going to bed, and after four days of waking up on the couch together with cricks in their necks, Shel tells them to stop being ridiculous and just share Booster’s bed already. So they’re lying back to back in the dark, pretending it’s not weird, and Booster times his breath out of sync with Ted’s so he can make sure Ted’s still there without touching him, and they’re both so tired that falling asleep is easier than either of them would have predicted.
In the morning Booster has his face pressed between Ted’s shoulder blades, and they don’t say anything about it but Ted moves his toothbrush into the bathroom closest to Booster’s room, and that seems to be that.
Something I’ve wondered.
Do you think, near the end of the run, with the knowledge that the entire universe was about to be reset, Giffen and DeMatteis were like, “Just let us do it. Just let us have Booster tell Ted’s grave that he’d always loved him, it’s not even gonna count in a few months please.”
And then we got issue #39 instead.
Which was basically the same thing.
Because the thing is, it really would have mattered so much just to see that in print, in canon, even if it was all about to be swept away. The worst thing about this sort of wink-wink nudge-nudge mentality is that it invalidates same-sex relationships as worthy of discussion, of recognition. Those of us who want to see ourselves reflected in the media we consume remain tin-foil-hatters, crazy for pointing at things that nobody is willing to acknowledge or entertain.
Would it have been as good as a full narrative where a same-sex couple build a relationship in plain sight of the reader and are treated as more than yet another set of doomed lovers? No. But it would have meant a lot to see Booster mourning that possibility along with us, a man of the future hemmed in by the past.
Good news: Despite watching shows about how bodies decompose and looking at owl ear holes, I do not recall having any gruesome dreams last night.
Bad news: What I do recall dreaming last night was there was a TV show where Ted Kord came back to life and was going to be bros with Jaime and reunite with Booster.
How have I never seen this before
So I think my fascination with Boostle stems from a preoccupation with regret and second chances.
As heroes, Booster and Ted both want to prove themselves after making mistakes, to validate the way they’ve lived and reassert themselves as the good guys.
Ted’s death is particularly tragic because it stems from nobody taking him seriously except Booster, who was ultimately prevented from being able to help. Left on his own, it’s apparent that Booster left a lot of things undone or unsaid, and it haunts him.
Fanfiction that revises the past by having the two in a romantic relationship and/or rectifies Ted’s death is a way of trying to rescue these characters from their tragedy, by fulfilling them in ways outside the events that shaped them. When Booster gets Ted back and confesses his love, the reader feels that mistakes are not meaningless, but serve a purpose; here, to push Booster to meet his potential as a hero and be rewarded for his suffering.
Is this noble, “high” art? Probably not. Tragedy amenably resolved loses its power to portray human failure, but I’m much more partial to portraying human triumph, personally.
Booster’s been going about this all the wrong way
he shouldn’t be looking for ways to prevent Ted’s death
he should be looking for way to bring him back after he dies
Goodness knows there’s about a billion fics outlining exactly that.