I write too much stuff about booster liking ted, now for the other way around.
as a dude from a pretty homophobic period of time in the US, ted would probably be really slow on the uptake of his own feelings. he’s probably completely convinced himself he only likes women, will only ever like women, and can’t accept liking a guy very easily. its not something he can easily accept because of how he (and anyone in that time period) was raised. if someone jokingly talks about him and booster as a couple, he takes it just as that: a joke, and not people thinking there’s chemistry between them, some clear sexual tension that apparently ted can’t see, or won’t see.
But there are small things, small points ted starts to notice that he quickly puts down to other reasons. the first is probably ted’s reaction to seeing booster without a shirt for the first time. now, booster is clearly a fit guy. this is made pretty clear in the original booster gold run. booster may get super strength from his suit, but he notices the important of keeping up his body health and power so he doesn’t end up relying on the suit completely. he definitely isn’t acrobatic or flexible in any sense of the word, unlike ted, but he definitely makes up for it by being pretty damn muscley, just not to a gross level. reasonably, attractively fit and active. so ted decides the reason he finds booster with no shirt on hot as hell is because EVERYONE KNOWS BOOSTER IS ATTRACTIVE. he thinks “i probably just have minor body envy, and every single person on the planet probably finds booster attractive, its too clear for them not to. even blind people can probably tell he’s attractive, its practically radiates off of him”
then there’s the weird fact ted likes how booster smells, which was majorly weird and ted never goes down that train of thought ever again, but he thinks its probably just the fact booster wears perfumes, of all things, and perfume’s a pretty feminine thing so ted’s brain goes “there, all explained, lets never think about how good booster smells again” never mind the fact more times then not the scent of perfume should be drowned out by just how sweaty and disgusting people can smell after fights
even worse are the personality aspects that ted loves so much, but those are easy to make platonic. booster cares about ted on levels very few people do. booster probably cares about ted more then the person ted has a crush on. booster believes on ted, even when it’s misguided. booster is charming is charismatic when he needs to be, but also a complete idiot who couldn’t flirt to save his life. booster is full of heart and even when booster gets angry he’s angry for all the right reasons and never means his words in a bad way. booster treats every one of ted’s inventions with the same child-like glee and absolute trust in ted’s abilities that he does every time. even when the rest of the world treats ted like a joke or forgets about him completely, booster is still there. even when booster leaves the justice league and claims to never come back again, he visits JUST to see ted. booster is loyal and protective and the best friend ted could ever have, who goes along with his stupid schemes and has complete faith in him and jokes with him and laughs with him and cries with him and its hard to not fall deeply in love with someone so perfectly amazing in every way, even with their faults and-
the second that thought enters ted’s head, ted realizes he is completely and totally screwed over in love with a GUY and thats when the internalized homophobia kicks in, hard