“I know it kind of—”
“—came out of nowhere, but—”
“Reid!” Hotch knew his voice sounded sharp, but he needed to get past the sheer amount of Reid’s explanation. He knew his interruption had worked when Reid looked at him, blinking.
“—Sorry. Um. Yeah?”
“Reid…” And now was the truly difficult part. He knew what he wanted to ask, but he also wasn’t sure how to say it except bluntly. So he swallowed his pride and asked, “Have you had… feelings for me? Is that why you’re—”
It was Reid’s turn to interrupt. “What? Hotch I— …Wow, that’s… really vain of you.”
Hotch’s eyes widened. “Vain?”
“Yes, vain. Just because Greg has a passing resemblance to you doesn’t mean that I’ve had feelings for you.”
“Passing resemblance? Reid, he looks exactly like me!”
“Now you just sound jealous. Maybe you’re the one who has feelings for me.”
“Reid—” Hotch began, his tone scolding, but Reid cut him off.
“No, you don’t get to accuse me of having feelings for you and then stop me from saying the same thing back. I don’t have feelings for you, Hotch. I have feelings for Greg. That’s why I’m dating him. And if you’re self-conscious because he looks a little like you, then it’s your problem, not mine.” Reid turned and left the room Hotch had called him into. Greg had been standing outside, talking to the rest of the BAU members, and now Hotch was left to do nothing but watch as Reid settled beside a man who looked like his reflection with a smile that he’d not seen in years.
They looked happy. Reid and Greg looked almost insufferably happy, and he knew that part of the problem was how he was only now facing his doubts about dating. Sure, he’d met Beth, and he’d decided to give having a social life a try, but the idea that someone with his face — not exactly his face, he interrupted himself. Greg was carrying a little weight and Hotch had shed his in Pakistan, and there was no heaviness to how he stood, no sense of being downtrodden or empty, no darkness in him from trials he’d had to face—
“Oh God,” Hotch muttered, a hand rubbed over his face. “I’m jealous.”
Not over a romance, he knew even as he said it. But that someone with a face that was practically his could be so happy and could make someone else so happy without going through the internal turmoil that had taken him over since his divorce gnawed at him. He didn’t want to think it was possible, but it had to dance its way into a police station in jeans, a T-shirt, and a leather jacket, doing a bad Freddie Mercury impression.
Reid had been right. It was his problem. So he had to deal with it. Taking a deep breath, Hotch stepped out of the tiny office and approached the couple, extending his hand once he was close enough. “Nice to meet you, Greg,” he said, tapping into the part of himself that was honestly happy for Reid. “Be good to him.”
“Every day,” his doppelganger promised, shaking his hand, and Hotch nodded, grateful when Reid sent a smile his way. It’d take time, but he could deal with it - the idea that his face could be happy. For now, he was just glad to see Reid smile again. It was about time one of them got the chance.