Title: By any other name
(Warning, spoilers for the Doctor Who S3 finale)
Title: (A Boe) by any other name
Characters: The Face of Boe, the other Face of Boe
Summary: Of course he's not *the* Face of Boe
Warning: Spoilers for DW S3
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Torchwood characters, I'm only borrowing them, and I promise to return them in minty fresh condition when I'm finished.
Notes: Just a sort of idea that came into my head...and sounded better there than on paper. Ah well, hope you enjoy it.
It was said that the Face of Boe was the last of his kind. That was in some way true. What was not said, because it was not known, was that he was also the only one of his kind...or at least the only one to travel through this particular universe.
It was a custom of his people, that they would send the young of their tribe out across the multitude of universes. There they would explore and learn and perform a great deed before returning home to their family. For his people could send themselves across the border between universes as easily as a boat crossing a river.
As was the custom on these journeys, they created for themselves a name, an identity, a whole history for themselves so that they could blend in among the strange denizens of their new home. He let his thoughts wander among the galaxies of this strange new world, listening to the thoughts of the people, seeking a name, a myth, a fantasy that he could spin around himself and use as the basis for his life.
The fifty-first century was where he started his journey. Although his mind smiled at the thought of counting time in such tiny measurements. For his people, a century or more could pass between the drawing of each breath. He let his thoughts wander, through galaxies and planets and landmasses and peninsulas and finally found a thought that caught his attention. A thought, an image...he heard the denizens cheering, 'the Face of Boe'.
The name tickled his fancy, as did the images it generated. "Boe", he thought to himself, letting his thoughts spread throughout the universe.
A few millennia later, he was ready. 'The face of Boe', his legend spread throughout the galaxy. In a universe, which had sentient trees, beings made out of metal, sentient reptiles and slugs, somehow a giant head in a jar was easily accepted.
"They say he is the last of his kind"
Such a small universe it is to him, but to them it is so large that nobody finds it strange that they have never met anybody like him. He is well respected, well liked, he travels through this tiny universe but never finds the great deed that he knows he is destined to do.
And then one day he meets another 'Face of Boe', or to be more exact, he meets the one who was the original 'Face of Boe' that he picked up on all those centuries ago. It piques his interest, for the humans of that particular time and place should have all died long ago. His people do not believe in coincidences, but they do believe in destiny, and he believes that this creature may have some part to play in his.
So he seeks out this human who at one time bore his name. Intrigued by this man who bore so many names in his mind, Boe, James, Jack, Lover, Impossible one, Force of nature, so many names, so many lives. He had only intended to brush the surface of this ones mind, to see what path this one has taken that has led him to this place, to this time. But this human craves contact, and since physical contact between them is impossible, he not only accepts the telepathic touch, but welcomes it, revels in it, raises it to a level of intimacy usually reserved only for the strongest pairings of his people.
Memories are shared between them. Thoughts and feelings, love and sorrow. The human has known so much of both. He has lived through more pain than most people will ever know, but instead of being embittered and twisted, there is still a shining light of optimism that shines so brightly within him that will never be quenched. Boe searches for the source of this light and finds a memory...a man who only looked human on the outside, and a woman who was only too human on the inside and more memories of the same man with a different face and a message...
It is somewhat disconcerting to find a memory of ones own death in somebody else's mind. Even if it's only a second hand memory, a story that he had been told by a friend, it is still disconcerting. "You gave him a message," the human tells him, both with words and with thoughts.
Boe has always known that he will return home once he has fulfilled his destiny, once he has performed a great deed. He does not know if that message is to be his great deed, but he does know that it is important. So he waits and lets even more rumours build up about him. That he will reveal his last words to a wandering traveller.
Many many years later, he feels that the time is right; that he is living out the memory of the story he plucked from the young human's mind. He sends out a message to draw near this wandering traveller, but when he meets him, he realizes that he has chosen the wrong time and his destiny cannot be fulfilled yet. So he waits through another breath until they must meet for the third and last time. Holding the lives of so many people in his care, using his life force to keep them as safe as he can, he realizes that perhaps this has been his destiny all along, the great deed that he had to perform.
As the sky splits asunder, he smiles to himself, closing his eyes for the last time in this universe...and opening them again in his own.