He was something of a legend before Jon had ever seen him. He was the one on the posters.
The Time Agency's intake that year all remembered him from that poster - eighteen years old, a perfect smile, dark hair and blue eyes - a bright lad from the distant colonies being sent off to be a Time Agent. Even more special, given that the Boeshane Peninsula was now a bombed-out wasteland, and the former inhabitants were basically a refugee community in some city a long way from the formerly-idyllic Boe.
Jon, at nineteen, is not disposed to be impressed by anything or anyone, least of all some cute colonial with a poster-boy's smile. He's got his own stuff going on - he never thought Time Agency training was going to be all fun, but the fact that they're based on Earth - that burned-smelling, knackered-out husk of what was once a nice planet - feels like a personal affront.
When the First Year cadets get assigned to their first classes together, he finds out that this kid has a name no one can pronounce. The language of Boeshane is elegant and complicated, full of swooping syllables and impossible vowel sounds. Some people make the effort, but it's easier to yell 'Oi! Blue Eyes!' than learn the pronunciation.
Jon has no time for this. Jon does creative nicknames, possibly as a reaction to his own super-simple name - the second most common one in the galaxy. So - because of the posters, and because Blue Eyes feels unimaginative - he started calling the kid Boeshane Boy.
It took less then a week for them to get into a fight over it.
'It's really simple,' he'd snarled, his arm against Jon's throat, pinning him to a wall, 'it's pronounced - ' and off he goes, all eighteen syllables or whatever. Jon looked studiedly bored.
When he'd finished, Jon asked what turned out to be the worst possible question.
'Fuck me, man, what did they call your brother?'
A stab in the dark, intended to raise a laugh from the slightly worried knot of students surrounding them. The savage punch in the gut he received was a complete shock.
'Don't you dare talk to me about my brother. Don't. You. Dare.' Face pushed very close for emphasis. Blue eyes blazing with rage.
Then he'd turned, released Jon, stormed away - not in defeat or resignation, but as though he couldn't trust himself to stay in the same room.
Jon had laughed it off, wheezing slightly.
Later, some kind person caught up with Jon and told him what had actually happened to the brother. Jon, feeling very slightly ashamed of himself, (not that he would have admitted that to a living soul) makes amends the best way he knows how, which is flirtation.
And it turns out, Boeshane has this fierce sex drive that works in tandem with his aggression
So they end up on Jon's bed, still almost fighting, but with blatent teenage erections that neither of them is going to mention first.
'Just. Say it,' Blue Eyes snarled.
An arm across his throat. Jon melts in expressive and excited ways for breath control. He whimpers and pants dramatically, and moans the wrong name just to irritate the kid further.
'Fucking say it.' Blue Eyes has met a terrifying match in this rough, cool-eyed boy with the perfect cheekbones, who mixes desire and disregard so beautifully. This sudden, harsh jump from fighting to aggressive sex is new to him - it's a million miles from the sweet, gentle, teenage progressions of love and affection the way he learned it back home. But since then he's lost his home, lost his family, gone to war and come back changed, and if violence is what's going to get them both off, he's fine with violence. He followed up the command with a shove, pinning the older boy with his full weight.
'Bollock off, Boeshane, I'm not learning that fucking rigmarole.'
A thrash, a struggle. Jon gets on top, and Blue Eyes is staring up like he loves him and hates him and doesn't know what to do next. He's trying to fight Jon and grind against him both at once, eyes full of cold rage.
'I hate you,' he snarls, struggling viciously.
'Never had hate-sex before?' hissed Jon, grabbing at Boeshane's cock, which is pressed hard against his leg. The pressure makes him gasp between clenched teeth.
'Never hated anyone as - hot as you - ' the sentence dies off but it's near enough to a yespleasemore for Jon to keep going.
'Newsflash, poster-boy,' growled Jon, starting to rub him harshly, ' You're going to have to live with being "Boeshane Boy" or "The face of Boe" or whatever-the-hell til you leave this place, because no one has time to learn your actual name.'
His hand, jerking fast, finding a rhythm and going with it. Blue Eyes is almost crying, grabbing at him, groping him, and swearing in every language he knows. It takes all of a minute for him to come, arching his body under Jon's, yelling out in fury and lust.
* * *
Jon rolled off after Blue Eyes came, not caring to pursue his own climax. Violence has catharsised him just fine for now. He fished in the bedside drawer for the half-bottle of spirits he keeps there. He took a long swig - selfishly hungry for alcohol - then mutely handed the bottle over.
'You don't know what it was like,' gasped the boy, his voice coarse with thick horrible spirits.
Jon was silent, not even trying to conceal his irritation. Drama-queen, he thought.
'You even want to know?' demanded the boy.
'You're going to tell me anyway.'
'OK. I lost my father and my brother in one day. I lost my mother eight months later because she couldn't cope without them. I spent those months knowing I was the one who fucked up.' Pause, more liquor. 'I never want to see that fucking strip of land again. I never want to think about it again. I buried those memories because, you know what, I want to actually have a life here? And my aunts and my cousins and the people I know pulled the money together to get me here, and they were so proud of me and that hurts too, and I never want to even think about the fucking. Boeshane. Peninsula for the rest of my life.'
'Shit, mate - ' Jon began.
'Nah, fuck off. Fuck off. Don't go there with the clever answers, I don't want to hear them.'
'I was going to say,' and his harsh, flat voice, silences the semi-hysterical recital, 'that if you have that much shit in your past, you should learn to live with it.'
Jon, still a precocious teenager, knows it all. He took a swig of spirits, handed the bottle over.
'Maybe "Boeshane Boy" is the best possible name for you. Because, even if it hurts, you have to get used to being from the Boe. To coming from that fucking mess.'
The boy is looking at him, jaw-dropped and pained, the bottle forgotten in his hand.
'Otherwise, anything that goes wrong for anyone you care about, you're going to go "Oh shit it's all my fault", aren't you? I know you are, you're that type of guy. And, dude, this is the Time Agency. Shit's going to go wrong.'
He reclaimed the bottle.
'So I'm just going to keep calling you Boeshane Boy, til it stops hurting you, because I think that's what you need.'
His tone is so casual it's almost insulting. So flat and harsh it is like a statement of what will be. And the truly terrible thing is, he's right. Blue Eyes can tell he is, and that's probably what makes him lean over eye-to-eye with Jon, well within his personal space.
'You are - so wrong,' he growls against Jon's mouth. 'You are a - sociopathic, screwed-up dick - '
There's more kissing - or maybe it is better defined as biting.
'And man I want to fuck you.'
'Right here, Boeshane Boy. Take your best shot.'
They fuck like they fight - uncontrolled, nasty, intent.
No one else in their year can understand the dynamic, or why they keep seeing each other after the first few times. Or why the poster-boy suddenly started answering if you called him 'Boeshane Boy'.