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Omar heard a knocking at the door and realised that it must be Guzman and Nadia as he and Ander had agreed to babysit for them today so that they could have a date night.

“Ander, they’re here!” Omar shouted through to the bedroom before he moved towards the door. Omar opened the door just as Ander emerged from the bedroom, drying his hair with a towel. As soon as it was open little footsteps went crashing through the apartment towards Ander.

“Uncle Ander!” The little girl shouted as she ran and hugged him around the legs, almost knocking him off his feet. Ander started laughing and ruffled her hair before he picked her up and carried her back towards the others.

“I swear to god I feel like that kid loves you two more than she loves us sometimes.” Guzman said, laughing, as he entered the apartment, hugging both Omar and Ander on his way in. Nadia did the same before they made their way into the kitchen where Ander placed the three-year-old down so that she was sat on the kitchen island with her ankles dangling off the edge so that he could remove her shoes.

“Thank you guys so much for doing this.” Nadia said “I feel like we haven’t had a day to ourselves in forever, but you’ll get it when you have kids.” She said casually, smiling in her daughter’s direction. Omar’s head shot up at this remark, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. Sure, he’d thought about having kids before, he and Ander had been married for almost six years, but they were only 29 and he didn’t know if they were ready for that kind of responsibility. However, when he looked over at Ander, he was just smiling in Nadia’s direction as he finished pulling the last shoe off his niece’s tiny foot. “Marina, are you gonna be ok with Uncle Omar and Uncle Ander?” Nadia asked as Marina started nodding her head vigorously. Guzman had wanted to name their daughter after his sister saying that it was almost like giving her another chance at life, even if it was almost 10 years after her death, and Nadia had whole-heartedly agreed.

“We’ll be fine,” Ander said looking in the direction of his sister-in-law. “won’t we?” He finished looking down at Marina before starting to tickle her, sending shrieks of laughter echoing through the flat.

“I think that’s our cue to leave.” Guzman said, chuckling at his daughter’s glee. “Come on, she’ll be fine.” he continued as he began to push his wife towards the door. “Everything you’ll need is in the bag and we’ll be back at noon tomorrow to pick her up. Have fun!” He shouted and then pulled Nadia out the door before she could change her mind.

———

Omar and Ander spent the day with Marina, having tickle fights, (in which Omar and Marina would team up and therefore Ander inevitably lost) building forts, (one of which collapsed on top of Omar’s head, which made Marina and Ander roll around on the floor in hysterics) and watching Disney movies. However, when they were in the middle of Cinderella, Marina asked why it was always a prince and a princess and never two princesses or two princes like her uncles so Omar decided it was time to make dinner instead of having a discussion about the long history of homophobia with a three-year-old.

It was now seven o’clock and Ander was busy helping Marina brush her teeth so that they could put her to bed so when the phone started to ring Omar went to grab it.

“Hello, Omar speaking.” He answered.

“Omar, I’m so glad you picked up I thought the two of you might be out.” Came the voice down the phone.

“Oh my god, Lu!” Omar exclaimed, “It’s so nice to hear from you, you haven’t called for like a week, I thought you might have disappeared.” He said chuckling at his friend’s constant need for contact with them.

“Hey!” Lu yelled, annoyed that Omar was mocking her but also laughing since she knew it was true. Lu had become much closer with Omar and Ander after she moved to New York with Nadia, she had even been one of the bridesmaids at their wedding. But when their time at Columbia had ended they both got offered jobs in New York, Nadia had declined in order to come back home and live with Guzman but Lu had accepted and stayed and had lived in New York ever since. “Anyway, I’m on my lunch break ‘cause it’s one o’clock here, but I only have a certain amount of time and I need to talk to both of you. Is Ander there?”

“Yeah, he’s here but we’ve been babysitting Marina all day so he’s getting her ready for bed.” Omar said as he started walking towards the spare bedroom that he’d seen Ander carry Marina into a few minutes before.

“Oh, you have Marina there?” Lu exclaimed excitedly, “Can I talk to her?”

“Of course, just give me one second.” Omar said as he entered the spare room and settled onto the end of the bed beside Ander who was tucking Marina in. “Guess who’s on the phone!” He said to Marina as she looked at him sleepily, worn out from the days activities.

“Who?” She asked, sleepy but still intrigued.

“Auntie Lu!” Omar replied, putting the phone on speaker and holding it between the three of them.

“Yay! Auntie Lu!” Marina cried shooting upwards to get closer to the phone.

“Hey sweet girl,” Lu said and began chatting to the little girl for the next ten minutes. The three of them stayed on the phone with Lu until 7:30 when Marina started to fall asleep and Ander decided to switch the light off and quietly leave the room.

“Hey so you said you wanted to talk to us about something.” Omar said into the phone as he and Ander settled onto the couch.

“Oh, yes, of course.” Lu mumbled, remembering why she had called in the first place. “I have some time off work so I wanted to come back to Madrid for a week and I was wondering if I could stay in your spare room?”

“That’s great that you’re coming home, and of course you can stay with us.” Ander replied looking up from the phone towards Omar who also had a large smile, seeming very happy that their friend was returning, even if only for a short period. “When are you coming though?”

“I was hoping to come two weeks from now if that isn’t too soon fro you guys? I also have something really important that I want to tell you but I’d rather do it in person.”

“It’s not too soon at all, we can’t wait to see you!” Omar said happily. The three of them chatted, discussing details of the trip for another 20 minutes before Lu had to go because her lunch break was over and said she’d call again soon, all of them saying goodbye and then hanging up the phone.

———

It was later that night and Ander was lying in bed while Omar was finishing undressing.

“Hey, can I talk to you about something?” Ander said as he looked towards Omar who was now climbing into the bed beside him.

“Sure, what’s up?” He replied as he settled down and began to stroke his fingers through Ander’s soft curls.

“It’s just that, earlier, when Nadia made that comment about us having our own kids, I saw your face and you looked terrified. I guess I just always assumed that it was something that you wanted but… maybe it isn’t?” Ander felt nervous as he looked up into Omar’s eyes, suddenly scared that Omar would say he didn’t want any of that. Because Ander wanted all of that, he wanted it a lot. Sometimes he just found himself daydreaming about he and Omar running around with their own child just like they did with Marina, he didn’t care how hard Nadia said it was, he wanted it more than anything.

“Hey, no, it wasn’t that I don’t want that. Of course I want a family with you.” Omar said and Ander felt a flood of relief wash through him at hearing those words. “I just looked scared because I knew that you would want to talk about it as soon as I heard Nadia mention it and... I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I didn’t know how to tell you. I think we should start trying to figure out how we’re gonna have a baby. I mean you’ve been thinking about it, I’ve been thinking about it, it just seems like the right time, don’t you think?”

Ander felt tears fill his eyes as a wide smile press across his face. At first he said nothing and simply pulled Omar towards him and kissed him. Once he pulled back he said “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear that.”

“So what do we want to do? Adoption? Surrogacy?” Omar said, speeding up as panic started to set in.

“I don’t know. I think we should talk to Nadia and Guzman, they’ll know how to help us. Besides we don’t need to talk about that right now, I’m just happy.” Ander said as he reached across Omar turning the lamp off before wrapping his arms around his husband as they both fell into a blissful sleep, dreaming about the family that they were about to create.

———

The next morning arrived and so did Nadia and Guzman at precisely 12 o’clock.

“Mama!” Marina shrieked as she saw Nadia walk through the door and ran into her arms as Nadia picked her up and spun her round. Meanwhile Guzman walked over to the kitchen, after kissing his daughter on the cheek and ruffling her hair, where Ander was preparing lunch for the five of them.

“Hey man, how was your night?” Ander asked Guzman as he started helping him peel vegetables.

“Well we didn’t get much sleep if you know what I mean.” Guzman replied laughing while Ander simply rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“Dude, would you shut up? That’s my sister you’re talking about.” Omar yelled as he’d overheard them from where he was stood talking to Nadia. But that just made Guzman laugh more and Ander found that he couldn’t help himself either. Nadia, however, did not find the situation funny and slapped Guzman gently across the face after sitting her daughter down in front of the television. Seeing Guzman rub his slightly pink cheek made Omar and Ander laugh even more while Nadia simply smiled to herself while leaning over the kitchen counter.

“Anyway,” Ander said, trying to move the subject away from Nadia and Guzman’s sex life. “we need to talk to you about a couple of things so do you think we could just let Marina eat on the couch so that we can chat?”

“Yeah, of course, but what do you need to talk about?” Nadia asked looking concerned but simultaneously still glaring at her husband.

“Nothing bad, let me just finish up here and then we can talk.” Ander replied.

Ten minutes later Ander had served lunch to everyone and the four of them were gathered around the kitchen island while Marina sat on the couch, enthralled in some sort of cartoon.

“So the first thing is that Lu is coming to stay in a couple of weeks, we said she could stay with us but my guess is you’ll want to see her too.” Omar began looking across the island towards Nadia and Guzman. Nadia’s face lit up as a huge smile came across her face at the thought of one of her best friends coming home.

“Oh my god that’s amazing! I can’t wait to see her, it’ll be so nice to have another girl around here for a while. No offence.” Nadia said looking up at the guys.

“None taken.” Ander said, laughing at Nadia’s child-like glee at the thought of Lu coming back, even if it was just for a week.

“Oh goody, my ex-girlfriend’s coming home.” Guzman said sarcastically, causing Nadia to punch him hard in the shoulder. It wasn’t that Guzman didn’t like Lu, it was just that he couldn’t help but find the relationship between his wife and his ex slightly odd. He was also put off by the fact that his daughter could find out exactly how they knew her Auntie Lu, and he didn’t like that at all. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding.” He said looking towards Nadia while rubbing his upper arm, starting to get slightly pissed off at the physical abuse he was receiving from his wife. “Anyway, what’s the other thing you wanted to tell us?” He continued, looking ahead towards his best friend and brother-in-law.

“Well…” Ander started, looking sideways, towards Omar who nodded for him to continue. “We were talking last night and we decided that… we really want to have a baby.” Nadia gasped and put her hands up to her mouth in excitement while Guzman clapped his hands fist pumped the air. Ander looked over at Omar, chuckling softly, and wrapped his arm around Omar’s waist, pulling him closer.

“So how are you gonna do it?” Nadia asked getting straight down to business, “Are you gonna adopt or use a surrogate?”

“We don’t know.” Omar answered “We were hoping you could help us with that?”

“Hand me a pen and paper, we’ll make some sort of list and you can decide using that. I always find it easier to make a decision when I can see it on paper.” Nadia said, being the smart one in the situation, as always. The four of them spent the next 40 minutes coming up with pros and cons and this is what they got:

Surrogacy:
Pros:
- One person will be biologically related to the child
- They’ll be more involved with the pregnancy
- They’re guaranteed they’ll know the baby from the moment its born
- They won’t have to wait too long
Cons:
- It’s really expensive
- One person still won’t be biologically related to the child and they would have to decide who
- They would have to find someone to be their surrogate because they wouldn’t want a stranger
- It might not work on the first go
- It might be harder because they’re gay

Adoption:
Pros:
- Gives a child a home
- They wouldn’t have to pick who was related to the child
- They could know the baby from when it’s born if they find the right adoption agency
Cons:
- Also quite expensive
- Could take a really long time
- No one will be related to the child
- They might not experience the pregnancy or the birth
- It might be harder because they’re gay

“So, here’s what we’ve established.” Nadia said looking up at the other three with a serious look on her face. “Surrogacy means one of you would be the biological father of the child, but it’s a lot more expensive than adoption. Adoption means you would be giving a child a home but it could take years for you to go through the system. And in either case the fact that you’re not a heterosexual couple could harm your chances. So, does that help you at all?” She asked hopefully.

“I mean, I think I know what I want.” Ander said looking cautiously towards Omar, “What about you?”

“I think we should go with surrogacy, don’t you?” Omar asked, “We’ve been waiting for this for long enough already and I don’t want to wait any longer.”

Ander simply placed a chaste kiss on Omar’s lips and replied, “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

Nadia couldn’t contain herself any longer and let out a little shriek of excitement that was very out of character for her, and went round and hugged Omar and Ander as Guzman did the same. The four of them continued chatting for another half hour before they noticed that Marina had fallen asleep on the couch and Guzman and Nadia decided it was best if they took her home. They all said goodbye and then the three of them left, Guzman carrying his daughter’s sleeping form in his arms as they made their way towards the elevator.

———

The next two weeks went by in a complete blur for Ander and Omar. Firstly they had to start research on surrogacy, how much it would cost, where they would need to go, etc. They found out that Nadia hadn’t been kidding when she said it wasn’t cheap but luckily they both had well-paying jobs and enough savings to easily go through with it. As well as this they were making arrangements with Lu for when she arrived and they were helping out with picking up Marina from her new preschool when Nadia and Guzman couldn’t make it back from work in time.

It was now the night before Lu would arrive and the two of them were cuddled up on the couch, both exhausted from the hectic two weeks they’d just had. Omar and Ander now co-owned and ran one of the biggest nightclubs in their area. After high school they had both done business degrees and now Ander ran the money side of things while Omar handled the day-to-day running of the club. They loved running the business together, mostly because they were their own bosses and therefore got to pick their own hours, but with work on top of everything else they’d been doing, they both felt completely drained.

“I’m so fucking tired.” Ander complained as he rested his head back on Omar’s chest, “I’m so glad Lu’s plane doesn’t land till 2:30, if I had to get up any earlier than 11 tomorrow I think I might die of sleep deprivation.” he finished as Omar chuckled at his husband’s ability to make everything so dramatic.

“So I was thinking earlier,” Omar began, looking down at Ander who had sat up slightly to listen to him. “we’ve been so caught up in all the formalities of the surrogacy stuff that we haven’t even thought about who our surrogate could be.”

“Urghh” Ander let out a groan at the thought of having to try and figure out yet another part of this never-ending system. “Well, we need someone we know, but we can’t ask any colleagues, whether they’re our friends or not, ‘cause technically we’re their bosses and that would be a violation of HR.”

Omar let out an internal sigh at hearing Ander say this because, even though he knew that was true, it ruled out a large proportion of the women they felt close enough to to ask them to carry their baby. “Then I have no idea who to ask.” Omar sighed, looking defeated.

“What about Nadia?” Ander suggested, looking up to where Omar was massaging his temples to try and prevent yet another migraine.

“No, I don’t want to ask Nadia.” Omar said, deciding to expand on that after he saw the questioning look on Ander’s face at his quick and defiant answer. “It’s just that I know if we asked then she would say yes and I don’t want to put her and Guzman in that position. I think that Nadia would be fine with it, but I think Guzman might find it weird and it would be confusing for Marina. Plus, I’m not sure that Nadia would be as ok to give up the baby at the end of it all as she would pretend to be.” Ander simply nodded his head, understanding where Omar was coming from. “My first suggestion was gonna be Rebe.” Omar continued, “But, like you said, since she technically works for us, we can’t ask her.”

Ander put his head in his hands, his brain beginning to hurt from all the complications of this stupid process. Rebe would have been the perfect person; they’ve known her for a long time, she doesn’t have a partner who might find it awkward and she’s not exactly known for becoming massively emotionally attached to things. This entire process was starting to become way too overwhelming and Ander was starting to feel like he was drowning. But he wanted a family with Omar more than anything and if this was what it took to get it then so be it.

———

It was the next morning and Guzman and Nadia arrived at 1:30 with Marina so that they would be there as a surprise when Ander and Omar brought Lu back to the apartment. Marina was jumping around in excitement at the fact that she was going to see her Auntie Lu and Nadia almost looked as if she was going to join her. Nadia and Lu had lived together in New York for four years and they had been inseparable so, it was safe to say, that when Nadia returned to Spain it had been incredibly difficult for her without her best friend.

Ander and Omar arrived at the airport and, when they saw Lu coming out of of the gate, rushed towards her. They all hugged and exchanged excited greetings before Ander took her bags and they all made their way to the car.

They arrived back at the apartment at around 3:30 and when they opened the door Lu let out a loud squeal of excitement at seeing Nadia and Marina and ran towards them, hugging them very tightly.

Once everyone had calmed down and Lu had also greeted Guzman they all settled down at the dining table to eat the late lunch that Nadia had prepared, while Marina sat watching cartoons as she had eaten earlier.

Lu told them lots of exciting stories about New York and her job, Nadia and Guzman filled her in on the joys of parenthood, as well as the lack of sleep, and Omar and Ander informed her that the club was doing really well. After everyone had properly caught up with each other Lu said she needed to tell them all something.

“So, I have a surprise for you all.” She said a huge smile on her face as she mostly focused on Nadia. “I’m moving back home!” She exclaimed as Nadia ran around the table to hug her and the three guys laughed and Nadia’s giddy reaction while also congratulating Lu. “I got offered a much higher paying job here in Madrid and, as much as I love New York, I decided it was too good an opportunity not to take.”

“So, when are you moving back?” Guzman asked curiously.

“Umm… now!” Lu said looking slightly anxiously round the table as they all looked at her, shocked. “I know I’m kind of springing this on you all but I really wanted to tell you in person. And Ander, before you ask, no I’m not planning on staying here forever I’ve already bought my own apartment it’s just that it won’t be ready till next week.” She said, eyeing an amused looking Ander, as that had been exactly what he was about to ask.

While everyone else was still in shock, Guzman got over it rather quickly and said, “Well, maybe with this new fancy job and big salary of yours, you’ll be able to pay me the €100 you owe me.” he looked towards Lu with amusement in his eyes, knowing exactly what he had just done.

Lu’s head shot up with a jolt and she turned towards Ander and Omar, “You two decided to have a baby?” She shrieked, looking happier than ever.
“What? How the fuck did you figure that out?” Ander said looking towards Omar who appeared just as bewildered as him. They had decided they weren’t going to tell anyone else until they’d picked a surrogate so the fact that Lu just blurted it out really didn’t help them.

“Oh, me and Guzman had a bet on for how long it was gonna take for you two to realise you both wanted kids. He said it would happen this year and I said it wouldn’t happen till later.” She said, making a waving gesture in the air as if that was something she could just brush aside. “But anyway how-”

She was interrupted from her next question by Ander who had began glaring at Guzman as if he wanted to strangle him which amused Guzman to no end. “So you two had a bet,” he started, now turning his gaze to Lu “on how long we would remain miserable and childless?” Omar, who had now caught up, was now staring at Lu with a look of disbelief on his face.

“And you said it would take us two years?” Omar asked incredulously.

“Well, you both really busy with work and…” she trailed off, unable to get out of the hole she’d dug herself into. “But that’s not what’s important,” She said, quickly recovering, “your going to have a baby!” she squealed as she rushed towards where they were sat and puled them both into her arms.

Ander and Omar couldn’t help smiling at the fact that their friend was so happy for them and quickly forgave her. However Omar thought it might take longer for Ander to forgive Guzman considering the way he was currently glaring at him as Guzman laughed at the scene before him.

———

The first few days went by quickly with Lu visiting everyone and dragging Ander and Omar along with her. As well as going to the club with Rebe, Carla, Samuel and even Nadia and Guzman as they’d managed to get a babysitter that wasn’t Omar or Ander.

Now it was three days since Lu had arrived and Ander and Omar were sat on the couch talking about the appointment they had tomorrow at the surrogacy clinic, as it was the closest time they were able to get one.

“They’re gonna ask us which one of us wants to be the biological father and we don’t even have an answer for them.” Ander whined as Omar brushed his fingers through his curls.

“Then we’ll figure it out, there must be some way of the doctor deciding without us having to do it.” Omar stated, attempting to reassure his husband that everything would go smoothly. They went back and forth for about ten minutes, Ander getting increasingly panicked and Omar still trying to calm him down.

“But we don’t even have a surrogate.” Ander said turning his head to look Omar in the eyes, “Surely we should have picked a surrogate before our first appointment, I know they said it wasn’t necessary but they did say it was better if we did.”

Omar was about to reply when Lu’s voice echoed towards them from where she was stood at the entrance to the spare room. “I’ll do it.” She said. They all stayed silent for at least a few minutes, Ander and Omar just staring at Lu as she stared right back.

“W-we can’t ask you to do that Lu.” Omar said looking at his friend as she made her way towards them and sat down on the coffee table so that she was facing them.

“You’re not asking, I’m offering.” She stated, as if it was the easiest decision she’d ever made. And in a way, for her, it was. Lu knew she’d done and said some pretty nasty things in her life and this would be a way to make up for that slightly, she would be helping the people that she loved get something that they wanted more than anything else in the world so, really, what more could she ask for.

“But Lu, you’d be giving up so much for nine months. You’d have to stop eating certain foods, you wouldn’t be able to drink, you might not be able to date and you’d even have to take time off work.” Ander said, still staring at Lu as if he didn’t quite believe he’d heard her right.

“I don’t care.” She said simply, “If it helps you, then I don’t care. I know how much this means to the both of you and it would be amazing if you thought I was good enough to do this for you. I mean everybody knows that I don’t get particularly attached to things so there’s no chance of me becoming overly attached to the baby and I could even live with you through the pregnancy, if that would be something that you wanted?” She asked tentatively.

Omar looked at Ander, a glimmer of hope in his eyes and Ander just nodded. “Lu, that would be amazing.” Omar said “But you have to be 100% certain that you’re willing to do this because, you know, once it’s done, there’s no going back.” Lu said that she was sure, but Omar was still uncertain so he said, “At least talk to the doctor tomorrow, so that you can understand how everything works before you agree.”

“Ok, I can do that.” Lu said, a wide smile breaking out across her face.

“Thank you.” Was all Ander said as he leaned forward and hugged Lu, tears rolling down his cheeks. Omar quickly joined in, tears also in his eyes and the three of them sat there hugging and crying happy tears for what felt like hours. Omar and Ander contemplating the fact that they were finally going to get the family they’d always wanted.

———

The next morning it was a rush to get out of the door, all three having slept in and not having nearly enough time to get ready. They eventually made it to the surrogacy clinic with five minutes to spare before the appointment, all cursing under their breath at the fact they had had to run three blocks because that was the closest parking spot they could find. Lu had particularly struggled considering she was in heels, but then again when was she not.

They all walked in to the doctor’s office and sat down in the chairs on the other side of her desk.

“Hi, I’m Dr Sánchez, it’s so lovely to meet you all.” She said shaking each of their hands as they all smiled and told her their names. “So, I take it you two are the happy couple,” she said gesturing between Omar and Ander, “and you’re their surrogate.” she gestured towards Lu and they all nodded. “So first of all we just need to go through few formalities.” She began as she pulled some forms from out of her desk, “I need some information on Lu first, mostly medical, but also about your relationship with Ander and Omar.”

Lu nodded and agreed but then Omar interrupted before they could go any further. “Sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt but I just wondered whether you could talk through the whole process with Lu first because we really care about her and we just want her to fully understand what she’d be going into.” He said looking between Dr Sánchez and Lu whilst he spoke.

“Of course,” the doctor replied, “we always want to make sure that all of our surrogates feel completely comfortable throughout the process.” She spent the next 30 minutes explaining the entire process to Lu including that the baby would not be biologically related to Lu as they would use an egg donor and that Lu would simply be growing the baby. However she also told Lu that it was likely to put a lot pressure on her body and that pregnancy would have lots of side effects both physically, hormonally and mentally. Lastly, the doctor explained that even though Lu was carrying the baby that after she signed the required forms she would have no legal right to any parenthood or visitations of the child and that once she did it there was no going back.

To the last part Lu replied saying “Oh yes, I understand that completely, this will be their child,” she looked towards Ander and Omar “I’m simply helping them get there.” she said.

“Perfect, I think that’s everything so if you’re sure then we can get back to these forms. Although you won’t sign the parenthood forms until the day of insemination so that you have time to back out between now and then.” Dr Sánchez stated, making sure Lu understood the legal formalities of the process. She then began asking Lu the questions on the forms which made Ander and Omar feel increasingly uncomfortable considering many of the questions were to do with Lu’s cervical and uterus health and Lu had to try and prevent herself from sniggering at the looks on the boys faces. The questions then moved onto the relationship between the parents and the surrogate. They had to say how they met, how long they’d known each other and whether Lu would continue to be in the baby’s life after the birth and if she was what role she would play.

“Okay, we’re all done with Lu’s questions.” The doctor said, turning to face Ander and Omar, “Now we need to know who’s going to be the biological father of the baby. Have you two made a decision yet?”

“Ummm no, we were hoping that was something you could help us with.” Ander said, looking hopeful, as he really didn’t want to have to make this decision.

“Absolutely!” She replied, “What we would sometimes do would be to take samples off both of you and then you wouldn’t know who was the father, which is an option, but considering the two of you are of different ethnicities it would probably be quite obvious who was the father. Now that’s still something we can do, but there’s a list of questions that might help you to decide first.”

“Yeah, that sounds good.” Ander answered as Omar nodded his head.

“Okay, firstly, do either of you have any severe mental health conditions?” She asked to which they both shook their heads and she marked something down on the sheet in front of her. “Do either of you currently suffer from any of the following: diabetes, heart disease, high/low blood pressure or early-onset arthritis?” And they both shook their heads again, “Alright, next, have either of you ever suffered from a severe health condition at any point in your lives?”

“Oh shit, I didn’t even think about that.” Ander whispered as he looked sideways towards Omar and Lu, who both had looks of sympathy on their face, and then he remembered Dr Sánchez was still staring at them. “Sorry, I um, I suffered from leukaemia almost eleven years ago, when I was 18-years-old.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” The doctor replied looking with pity towards Ander. “In terms of whether that means you could still father the child I wouldn’t say that it’s a massive disadvantage. However there is a possibility that it was genetic and therefore that you could pass it onto your children so it could be a better option to go with Omar.”

Omar looked towards Ander questioningly, “Look,” Omar began, “if this is something that you want then I’m willing to take that risk, ok? You got better and you’ve been clear for eleven years and I’m going to let that cancer take yet another thing away from you.”

Ander looked away from Omar and down at his knees before taking in a large breath and then exhaling whilst saying “No. No, I couldn’t do that. I won’t take that chance because I don’t want anyone to suffer the way that I did, especially not our child.”

“Does that mean we’re going with Omar?” Doctor Sánchez asked tentatively.

“Yes.” Ander said quickly before Omar could make any more arguments.

“Okay, perfect. That’s all I need from you today, Omar we’ll make an appointment for you to come back next week so that we can create the embryos and then we’ll make an appointment for the insemination at whatever time works best for the three of you.” With that the doctor stood up to shake all of their hands again before they exited the room and returned home.

———

The next two weeks went by incredibly slowly for Ander and Omar, as if the universe had decided to drag out their childless misery for just a bit longer. Lu got the keys to her new flat so they went shopping to fill it with furniture so she could move in with Lu repeatedly promising that she didn’t mind moving back in to live with Omar and Ander once she was pregnant. Omar also went back to the clinic a few days after the first appointment so that the doctor could create the embryos.

Now it was Tuesday, A.K.A the day of insemination, and the three of them were all sat in the clinic’s waiting room once again, waiting for Doctor Sánchez to call them in. When she finally did she greeted them before they all sat down.

“So today is the day.” She said, looking excited for them, even though she must be used to it by now. “Lu, I have some forms for you to sign but firstly you need to be completely sure that this is something you want to do.”

Ander and Omar looked nervously in her direction, both secretly praying she wouldn’t change her mind. “I’m sure.” Lu replied simply as she took the pen from Doctor Sánchez and quickly scribbled her signature onto the forms after scanning over them.

“Alright then,” Doctor Sánchez stated “Lu, you come with me so we can do the procedure, you two can stay here until its over and then we’ll come back through.”

Ander and Omar sat nervously chatting about anything other than children for the next 20 minutes. Neither could properly focus as they both felt anxious at whether this would work even if they wouldn’t know for the next few days.

Soon after Doctor Sánchez walked back into the room, followed swiftly by Lu, and took a seat back at her desk before turning back to the three of them. “Okay, so we’ve carried out the procedure but I’m afraid now you’re just going to have to wait. The earliest you’ll be able to find out if you’re pregnant could be in a few hours or it could take up to twelve days so it’s completely up to you when to take the pregnancy tests. Although if I were to give you advice then I would say to wait the twelve days and then take a test so that you can avoid any unnecessary disappointment.”

The four of them continued to discuss the details for a few more minutes before Ander, Omar and Lu thanked the doctor and exited the room with the understanding that, should Lu become pregnant, Doctor Sánchez would be the one to carry out all appointments and to deliver the baby when the time came.

———

Ander felt like every second that went by was an hour for the next twelve days. Neither he nor Omar could sleep at the thought of their baby possibly being formed at that very moment and yet they didn’t know. Neither could focus on work and Rebe was on the brink of smashing their heads together just to make them ‘run their own goddamn business’ to put it in her words.

It was now the day they’d been not-so-patiently waiting for and Lu was stood in their apartment, having just walked through the door, alongside Guzman and Nadia who had insisted that they needed to be there and had even found a babysitter for the occasion. At first Ander failed to comprehend why they felt the need to be there but then realised he really couldn’t care less as long as Lu was there.

As Lu took off her coat and put down her bag she pulled a small box out with a mother and baby printed on the front of it before making her way towards the couch where the other four sat. “You know,” she said as she sat down, “I was reading through some of the brochures that Doctor Sánchez gave me and if I’d known you can’t wear heels when you’re pregnant I might not have agreed to this.” She finished with a smirk on her face, but no one else was laughing, they were simply staring at her intently and Ander was bouncing his leg up and down while Omar put his hand on it in an attempt to soothe the nerves of his husband even though he was just as nervous.

“Okay, okay, jeez, I’m going.” Lu said as she grabbed the box again and made her way towards the main bathroom. Two minutes later she emerged, pregnancy test in one hand and her phone in the other with a timer on its screen. As she took a seat again between Ander and Omar so they could see the timer she felt the nerves begin to seep in. She still knew she was doing the right thing and she still really wanted to do it but now that she was sat with a pregnancy test in her hand the reality of it all began to hit her. Her body was going to change, so was her diet and so was her lifestyle and that’s a pretty scary thing to take on, especially since she was essentially giving up the thing that most other women do it for. But she also knew that Ander and Omar were going to make the greatest parents ever and that if she had decided not to do this then she would have been kicking herself for the rest of her life.

Suddenly the timer went off and she quickly snapped out of her thoughts and flipped the test over in her hands to see what it said.

“Negative.” Omar said with a sigh. It had been the expected result for the first try but Ander and Omar still couldn’t hide the disappointment that made Lu feel somewhat guilty.

“Hey, Lu.” Nadia said tentatively reaching over to touch her friends arm. “Can you come over here with me a sec?” The asked, nodding her head towards the door to the bathroom.

Lu got up, curious to see what it was that Nadia wanted. Nadia grabbed her wrist and dragged her into the the spacious bathroom before closing and locking the door behind them. As Nadia turned to face Lu she pulled two more pregnancy tests out of her pocket. “I tested negative at first too when I was pregnant with Marina. Apparently false negatives can be quite common. You might not be pregnant but it’s at least worth a shot right?” Nadia, looked up smiling at her best friend. “I didn’t say anything in front of Omar and Ander ‘cause I don’t want to get their hopes up. But I think you should at least take them and if they’re negative then we just wont tell them.”

Lu said nothing and simply pulled Nadia into a large hug. Then she quickly grabbed the tests out of Nadia’s hands and began to unbox them.

The girls stayed in the bathroom for another ten minutes waiting for the timers to go off. When they did Lu simply stayed sat exactly where she was, too anxious to get up and look at the tests they’d left on the sink, so Nadia pulled herself up and walked over to where the tests lay. She picked them up and immediately felt tears prick her eyes as she held them up for Lu to see.

The girls burst out of the bathroom and Lu ran over to Omar and Ander with the tests in her hands. “I’m pregnant!” She exclaimed, shoving one test into each of the boy’s hands.

“What? But how? The other one was negative.” Ander said, not quite believing her.

“It was a false negative, according to Nadia they happen all the time.” Lu said as she looked back towards Nadia.

“Congrats man!” Guzman said, slapping Ander on the back and trying to hide the tears that had unexpectedly come to his eyes.

Ander and Omar were in shock as they turned towards each other, both having now stood up from the couch. They both had tears rolling down their cheeks as Omar gripped Ander’s face with both his hands and looked into his eyes. “We’re having a baby.” Omar said simply as he stared at his husband in awe. Ander said nothing and simply grabbed Omar’s face and crashed his lips against his own. They were finally getting it. They were finally getting the family that they both so desperately wanted.

———————————————————————————————————————————

Over the next couple of weeks Lu gradually moved her stuff into Omar and Ander’s apartment until it got to the point where she’d essentially taken over the whole thing. But what surprised Lu the most was that neither Omar or Ander cared in the slightest. The only thing they could focus on was the baby.

Lu had told them that she wanted to move in with them so that they wouldn’t miss out on anything, and while that was completely true, she was also doing it for herself. The truth was that she wasn’t sure she could handle all of this on her own. As much as she wanted to do it she was also scared, mostly of the connection people kept telling her she would form with the baby. She knew that it wasn’t hers and she was okay with that, but she couldn’t help being frightened at the thought of having to give up yet another thing that she loved.

As far as the pregnancy was concerned though, she wasn’t too worried. She was strong and healthy the only thing that really worried her was the thought that people might think that she’s fat instead of pregnant. However, as all three of them were about to find out, each trimester came with it’s own challenges and none of them were very pretty.

———

First trimester:

It was 7am and Ander and Omar were lying in bed trying not to think about the fact that they would have to get up in less than half an hour. Ander had a thrilling day ahead of calculating the profits and losses of the club, when what he really wanted to do was stay in bed all day with Omar instead.

“Hey, I just thought of something.” Omar said “When are we gonna tell our parents?”

Ander froze, he hadn’t thought of that and the thought of telling his parents-in-law that they were having a baby was enough to make him want to crawl back under the bedsheets and stay there forever. “I didn’t even think of that. We’ve been so wrapped up in the surrogacy process that I totally forgot.” He said looking at Omar with a worried look on his face.

“Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out. Although I do think it’d be safer to tell your mum before we tell my parents.” Omar replied, cringing at the thought of his father’s face when they eventually found out. “And what about your dad? Do you want to tell him?”

“I haven’t spoken to my dad in almost four years. What am I gonna do ring him and say ‘Hi dad, I know we haven’t spoken in four years but I’m having a baby. Oh, and it’s with Omar, who is also now my husband.’? Yeah, I can see that going down really well.” Ander was being rude to Omar and he knew it, considering it was a perfectly acceptable question for Omar to ask but Ander couldn’t help being bitter. The last time Ander had seen his father was six months ago, Antonio had been walking down the street that the club was on and Ander was walking the other way. Antonio had walked straight past his son as if he was a stranger and it had taken Ander weeks to get over it.

“Okay, then we don’t have to tell him.” Omar said, feeling sorry for his husband. Sure, his relationship with his own father was fractured and far from perfect but Ander’s was practically non-existent and Omar knew how much that hurt him, even if he didn’t always show it. “But I think we should tell your mum soon, she’ll be happy for us you know she will. You and I have both heard the hints she keeps dropping. I don’t think there’s been a single time we’ve visited for the past year where she hasn’t mentioned the word ‘grandchildren’.”

This made Ander chuckle slightly because it was true. He knew how much his mother wanted grandchildren and, considering he was an only child, he and Omar were her only hope. “Yeah, I think we should too, I’m meant to be meeting her for dinner next week so we can tell her then. But what about your parents?”

“If Marina can be half-white and half-christian and they still love her as much as they do then I’m sure that they can get over this. But maybe it’s safer not to tell them until later, when we’re more certain there’s no chance of complications?”

“Yeah, that sounds like a goo-” Ander was cut off by a strange noise echoing through the apartment. “What is that? I think it’s coming from the bathroom.”

Omar and Ander hopped out of bed and threw some clothes on before rushing towards the source of the noise. When they slowly pushed open the bathroom door they saw Lu curled up by the toilet bowl, throwing up the contents of her stomach. Immediately Ander rushed forward to gather up her hair and start rubbing her back, remembering from his chemo days how horrible it was to feel like this.

Meanwhile Omar jogged over to the kitchen to grab Lu a glass of water. When he returned to the bathroom he handed the water to Lu and sat down on the cold tiles with the other two. Lu was now sipping the water Omar had given her and was leaning against Ander who was still rubbing her back.

“Thanks.” She managed to croak out, her voice hoarse from the retching.

“You’re welcome. What happened? Are you okay?” Omar asked, concern for his friend all over his face.

“It’s nothing, it’s just the morning sickness. That’s what happens when you’re two months pregnant.” Lu said with a sarcastic laugh.

“You mean this has happened before?” Ander asked.

“Yeah, every morning like clockwork at 6am for the past two weeks.”

Ander and Omar both immediately felt guilty. They hadn’t known that Lu was suffering like this but they still felt bad for not noticing.

“Hey, you know when we said we wanted to be there for the whole pregnancy?” Omar said, looking Lu straight in the eyes, to which she just nodded “We meant the bad bits as well. You’re doing this all for us so that means if you feel ill at any point, even if it’s 3am, you need to tell us okay? And we’ll be there to help you.”

Lu just nodded with tears in her eyes, which she blamed on the hormones, as she wrapped an arm around each of their necks and hugged them both tightly while thanking them.

———

It was now one week later and Omar and Ander were stood on Azucena’s doorstep waiting for her to answer the door. Today was the day they were going to tell her about the baby and Lu had promised to come round in a while as soon as she was finished with work. Both of them were considerably more exhausted than usual as they’d been up every day at 6am with Lu due to her morning sickness.

Suddenly the door burst open and Azucena appeared behind it with a huge smile on her face. She immediately pulled her son into her arms and hugged him tightly before doing the same with Omar. They all greeted each other as Azucena ushered them in and out of the cold. Ander could smell the scent of his favourite meal as a child wafting throughout the house and smiled to himself at his mother’s thoughtfulness.

Omar went into the kitchen and started pouring the wine that he and Ander had brought while Ander helped his mother serve up dinner. They all sat down at the table and made small talk about the club and Las Encinas for the next 20 minutes until they had all finished eating. After that Ander cleared up the plates and Azucena served the dessert and started to speak again as she sat back down at the table.

“Anyway,” she started, looking at her son and his husband with a slight hint of mischief behind her eyes, “I was talking to my friend Maria the other day, you know the one I’ve known since uni? And she was telling me that her son is having his first child! Isn’t that exciting?”

Omar, who had been taking a sip of his wine at the time, had to prevent himself from spurting it all over the table from laughter. Ander looked at Omar with annoyance but couldn’t stop himself from smirking.

Ander then took his husband’s hand and looked at his mother. “Um, actually, we have some news.” He said, watching as his mother’s eyes lit up but he could tell she was trying not to get her hopes up. “We’re having a baby.” He finished simply.

Suddenly his mother squealed with joy, which definitely wasn’t something Ander heard her do very often, and jumped up out of her seat to hug the two of them. When she pulled back she started firing a barrage of questions at them before they could even start speaking. “How? Are you adopting? Do you have a surrogate? Who is she? Do I know her? When is the baby due? How long have you been hiding this from me?”

Ander eventually shushed his mother and got her to sit back down in her seat so that he and Omar could explain everything. “To answer all your questions, no we’re not adopting. Yes we have a surrogate, and it is someone you know. We have only been hiding it for a couple of months and the baby is due in November, so just under seven months from now.” Ander figured it was best just to tell his mother everything otherwise she would just keep nagging them until they did.

“Oh, this is so exciting!” Azucena exclaimed, “I’m so happy for both of you, but you still haven’t told me who the surrogate is.”

Ander looked warily at Omar who simply nodded his head indicating that he would tell his mother-in-law so that Ander didn’t have to. Although Lu was a top student at Las Encinas both were aware that Azucena wasn’t her biggest fan due to the unending amounts of drama that she caused.

“Um,” Omar began, “well, originally we were going to ask Rebe but because she’s our employee, legally we can’t. But when Lu came back to town, she offered, so Lu is our surrogate.” He said the last part quite quietly and without looking Azucena in the eye. The two boys sat silently waiting for her reaction for what felt like hours but in reality was only a few seconds.

“That’s amazing!” She said, making Omar and ander look at each other in shock, “Anyone who does something that kind and selfless for my family is a good person in my book.”

Ander broke out into a huge smile as he hugged his mother again and they all began chatting about the details and all the things they would need once the baby arrived and whether they wanted to find out the gender (they did not). About 15 minutes later there was a knock at the door and Lu entered the house. Azucena welcomed her with open arms and the two began chatting about the challenges of early pregnancy with Lu complaining that almost all food could now make her nauseous.

Later in the evening Azucena came up to Ander and sat down gently next to him so that they could talk while Omar and Lu were wrapped up in a heated debate about some reality TV show. “So, do you think you’re going to tell your dad?” She asked her son cautiously.

“I don’t know Mama. It just seems a bit weird you know? How do I just suddenly talk to him after all this time?” The two of the were silent for a while, Azucena saying nothing as she knew ander had something else to add. “Plus, I’m scared. There are so many things in my life that he doesn’t approve of. I didn’t tell him when I got married so why do I need to tell him about this?”

The fractured relationship between her son and his father hurt Azucena but she understood why Ander didn’t want him to know. “Okay, so you don’t tell him, that’s okay.”

Ander leaned his head on his mother’s shoulder as she wrapped an arm around him, “But… do you think that… maybe… you could tell him at some point?” Ander looked up at his mother, praying that her answer would be yes, it wasn’t that he didn’t want his father to know, it was more that he didn’t want to have to be the one to tell him.

“Of course I can.” Azucena said as she kissed her son on the top of the head. “Course I can.” She whispered.

———

Second Trimester:

Lu was now just over five months pregnant and her baby bump had grown considerably and Ander and Omar were becoming more and more excited by the minute. The morning sickness had gone away after about the third month however the second trimester of the pregnancy was now proving to have its own set of challenges which the boys were even less keen on than the ones from the first trimester.

It was a Saturday afternoon and Guzman, Nadia and Marina were coming over. The now four-year-old had been informed of the pregnancy in the best way you could explain surrogacy to such a young child, she had been incredibly excited at the thought of a little cousin but had to be sworn to secrecy so that Omar and Nadia’s parents (who were still unaware of the situation) didn’t find out. They were planning on telling them tonight at dinner which meant Omar’s anxiety had skyrocketed ever since they’d made the decision.

There was a knock at the door and Ander rushed over to open it before Omar could get there, willing to do absolutely anything to get out of Lu’s general area. When he opened the door he was greeted by Nadia who was holding Marina and she quickly leaned up to kiss him on the cheek before entering the apartment. Guzman quickly followed and pulled Ander into a bro-hug as soon as he’d shut the door.

“So, how’s everything going?” Guzman asked as the two of them moved over into the kitchen to quickly catch up before they ended up caught in the others conversation.

“It’s - it’s… interesting.” Ander said, avoiding looking his best friend in the eye.

“Come on,” Guzman laughed, “tell me the truth.”

“I’m so excited for the baby and I’m really happy but… Lu is driving both of us absolutely insane. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful to her for doing this for us, but I don’t think I ever realised how much of a handful pregnant Lu would be.” Ander said, looking slightly ashamed but also happy to finally get it off his chest.

Guzman was laughing but he understood where his friend was coming from, Lu could be a handful at the best of times never mind when you pile a shit ton of pregnancy hormones on top of it. It took him back to when Nadia was pregnant which made him shiver. Nadia was usually the sweetest person you would ever meet but she turned into monster during the second trimester of her pregnancy with Marina. “I feel your pain man, I really do.” He said looking at Ander’s exhausted face.

“I mean I totally understand why she’s being like this and, honestly, with everything she’s doing for us, she deserves to be able to be a bit bratty. But this morning alone, she’s insulted me 24 times, and yes, I have started counting.” Ander said, a grimace coming across his face.

Suddenly a voice came floating from the living area, “Ander, don’t make a face like that, you’ll get worse frown lines than you’ve already got. Oh and also, I need another green tea!” Lu shouted before turning back to her conversation with Nadia on weird pregnancy cravings.

“25” Ander said pointing at Lu whilst he put the kettle on to make the tea. That made Guzman burst out in hysterics, earning a dirty look from Lu at his sudden outburst.

The five adults spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and playing with Marina until it was time to head over to Yusef and Iman’s house. Guzman and Nadia left early to drop Marina at home with the babysitter with the promise that they would meet the other three at the store.

As the boys were putting their shoes on Lu looked at them inquisitively. “I still don’t understand how we’re going to hide the bump from them before the two of you get the balls to actually spit it out.” She said, not attracted to the idea that she was going to have to make extra effort to try and hide the fact that she was pregnant.

“We’ve already told you Lu.” Omar said, “Nadia and Guzman are going to arrive first and while my parents are distracted we’re going to sneak in and sit you down at the table, once you’re sat down they wont be able to see your bump. All you have to do is not get up from the table before we’ve told them.”

“Fine, whatever.” Lu said, rolling her eyes.

 

When they arrived, they carried out the plan with no faults and before they knew it Ander, Omar, Nadia, Guzman and Lu were all sat around the table with Iman and Yusef eating the meal that Iman had prepared.

They were all making small talk, the parents asking about all of their jobs while Nadia and Omar also made sure that the shop was doing well. Suddenly Omar and Ander’s phones both went off at the same time and they both apologised for not having them on silent.

When they looked at the message it was from Lu. ‘The two of you better grow some fucking balls right now and tell them because this baby is pressing on my bladder and I will NOT wait any longer!’

Omar and Ander looked at each other while Lu glowered at them from the other side of the table. It was now or never, they were going to have to tell them at some point so they might as well do it now.

Omar waited patiently for Nadia to finish talking about her new job at a fancy law firm before he started speaking. “Mama, Baba, Ander and I actually have some news that we’d like to share.”

Yusef and Iman at looked at him curiously, “Go on son, you can tell us anything.” Iman said.

“Umm, we’re um… we’re having a baby.” He replied, almost inaudibly.

Iman gasped with what looked like excitement while Yusef dropped his fork onto his plate as his eyes widened. The whole room was silent for about a minute, all of them waiting for Yusef to speak first.

To everyone’s surprise Iman started speaking before her husband, unable to hold in her excitement at another grandchild. “Well I think that’s absolutely amazing!” She said, her eyes sparkling with happy tears.

Omar relaxed slightly while Ander smiled. Ander had always felt quite close to his mother-in-law, even after their first disastrous meeting in the hospital, the two had managed to forget all about that and were now rather close, or, as close as you can get to your strongly muslim mother-in-law whilst being white, atheist and gay.

Yusef suddenly cleared his throat and they all immediately looked towards him. “I’m happy for you.” He said simply.

Omar let out a huge sigh of relief, feeling as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “Thank you Baba.” He replied as Ander smiled and squeezed his husband’s hand under the table.

“But,” Yusef added and Omar felt a sinking feeling in his stomach, immediately expecting the worst, “if you don’t mind me asking, how exactly are you doing this?”

Omar was about to open his mouth when Lu opened hers instead. “I believe that I can answer that question.” She said standing up and displaying her baby bump in all its glory, “Now if you’ll excuse me, this baby has been pressing on my bladder for the past half an hour.” Lu rushed out of the room towards the bathroom, happy that Omar and Ander’s news had gone down well but also desperately needing to get to the bathroom.

Yusef’s mouth dropped open once again and Omar had to spend the rest of the evening explaining to his overly-religious parents why surrogacy was morally okay. Eventually it seemed like they understood the concept, or at least understood it as much as they ever would and all of them made their way home with smiles on their faces.

———

It was now later in the week and Omar was working late at the club as there’d been a mix-up with the latest delivery but had promised to be home soon.

Ander was currently enjoying one of the very few moments he got to himself as Lu was napping in her bedroom, or at least that’s what he thought. Two minutes later Lu emerged from her room and Ander internally groaned. He loved Lu, even more now that she was doing this for him and Omar, but he really needed a minute of peace and quiet.

Ander didn’t look up and kept his eyes trained on the TV as Lu sat down and continued staring at her phone.

Over the course of the next 40 minutes Ander noticed Lu getting closer and closer to him on the couch and he could tell she wanted something and he was beginning to wish that she would just spit it out. After ten more minutes and Lu inching even closer Ander couldn’t take it anymore.

“Lu! What do you need? You keep getting closer to me and it’s really weird.” He said, slightly regretting his outburst but still not willing to take it back.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Lu said slyly as she ran her finger over Ander’s chest.

Suddenly Ander realised what was happening, he’d read on a pregnancy website that women tend to get pretty horny as the hormones increase, but he didn’t really think that Lu would ever resort to this.

“Okayyy…” Ander said, quickly standing up to try and get himself out of this situation. “Wh-why don’t we stop that, and I’ll-I’ll get you some green tea instead.”

Ander was about to move towards the kitchen when he felt Lu’s fingers wrap around the belt loops of his jeans. “Nooooo, don’t go!” She said, tightening her grip on Ander before he could tear himself away. “You’re too pretty.”

Ander could feel himself getting more and more flustered, it had been a long time since a girl had hit on him, the wedding ring usually threw them off now, and he wasn’t quite sure what to do. “You-you’re pretty too Lu, but I-I think we learned a long time ago that this doesn’t work for me.” He said cautiously, clearly Lu was going insane from the pregnancy hormones since she’d never in their lives shown any interest in him, even before she knew he was gay.

However complimenting her was clearly the wrong thing to do as Lu seemed to completely disregard the second part of his sentence and simply pulled him closer, her hands edging closer to the front of his jeans as Ander tried to fight off Lu’s unbelievably strong grip.

All of a sudden a noise sounded through the apartment as the front door slammed shut.

“What the actual fuck have I just walked into?” Omar asked, unable to keep the smirk off his face. Lu seemed to suddenly snap back into reality and rushed towards her room slamming the door behind her.

Ander collapsed on the sofa, still unable to comprehend what had just happened. When Omar sat down next to him Ander explained and Omar was practically rolling around on the floor in hysterics by the end of it, apparently he found the idea of Lu hitting on his very gay husband to be the funniest thing in the world, Ander however, was not quite so amused.

Ander and Lu couldn’t look each other in the eyes for a week after that. Lu had apologised profusely to the both of them, blaming it all on the pregnancy hormones, but Omar really couldn’t care less, finding the entire situation too funny for words. It was safe to say when Guzman found out he also shared Omar’s viewpoint and had field day teasing both Ander and Lu on the subject while Nadia was slightly more sympathetic to both parties but also found it rather funny.

———

Third Trimester:

Lu was now eight months pregnant and therefore now had a very large baby bump. It was three months after ‘the incident’, as they liked to call it, and Ander and Lu were able to look each other in the eyes again and had even been able to see the humour in the situation, eventually.

It was a random Sunday afternoon and Ander was piling up cushions on the couch to try and help Lu get comfortable even though that wasn’t something she’d been able to do for a month now. She’d moved past the stage of being mean for no apparent reason but now simply complained about everything. However Omar and Ander didn’t really care at this point, the only thing either could focus on was making sure Lu, and therefore the baby, was healthy and safe.

Out of nowhere there was a knock on the door. Omar looked at Ander questioningly as he didn’t think they’d been expecting anyone but Ander just shrugged as he headed towards the bedroom for more cushions.

Omar went to open the door and felt sick as soon as he saw who was on the other side. Out of instinct Omar slammed the door shut again in the person’s face, unsure as what to do next.

Lu looked over at Omar with a puzzled expression, she didn’t know who was there and therefore had no idea who Omar had just shut out. “Who is it?” She asked.

Omar moved over to where she was sat to whisper something just as the person started banging on the door once again.

“Jesus, why hasn’t anyone answered the door?” Ander said as he rushed towards it.

“No, Ander, don’t!” Omar shouted after him. But it was too late. Ander had swung open the front door and was now frozen to the spot.

“Dad.” Was all Ander’s brain could think of to say. Antonio was stood on the other side of the door, a look of fury on his face.

Antonio’s gaze immediately found Omar and he started marching towards him. “You don’t slam doors in people’s faces! What the fuck were you doing?” Antonio said, pointing his finger in Omar’s face.

That was all it took to bring Ander back to reality. “Get the fuck away from him!” Ander said as he moved towards his father and pushed him away from his husband with force.

“Whatever.” Antonio replied, “Ander I need to talk to you. Alone.”

“Fine. Come with me.” Ander said, leading his father towards the bedroom. He slammed the door shut behind them and turned to face his dad. “What are you doing here?”

“Your mother called me. She told me you were having a kid. And that you’re married. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, you were never the most supportive father were you? And as for the wedding, we didn’t want you there. It was as simple as that.” Ander said the last part while staring his father straight in the eyes. He no longer gave a shit about what this man thought of timor the way he chose to live his life. If Antonio wanted to work on their relationship then maybe Ander could try but if he didn’t, Ander didn’t particularly care. “Why do you care anyway? I saw you a year ago on the street and you just walked past me like I was a stranger.”

“Well you hadn’t talked to me in three years so I figured that you wouldn’t have wanted a big family reunion!” Antonio was shouting at this point but Ander stood tall, not allowing hiss father to see the fear and dread he felt inside. “That’s besides the point anyway. I came here to talk to you about what your mother told me.”

“It is not besides the point! You’ve been a shitty father ever since I came out to you! You didn’t even come to the hospital when I had fucking leukaemia!” Ander was screaming at his father, the tears rolling down his face.

“I had things to sort out! You abandoning your entire career for example!” Antonio exclaimed, uselessly trying to come up with an excuse for neglecting his ill son.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Ander said, his voice laced with sarcasm, “That’s alright then, you were smoothing things over with your tennis friends rather than visiting your dying son!”

“It’s not my fault that you fucked up your entire life Ander! You fucked everything up and now you run a fucking club that gets swarmed by drug addicts every night, you’re married to that rude asshole and you’re having a fucking baby with another man!”

Ander took a deep breath and composed himself. Then he spoke to his dad in a strangely calm voice, “I don’t give a shit what you think of my life. The way I see it is: I run a successful company, I’m married to the love of my life and we’re about to start a family. I’m aware that I fucked up your career slightly by quitting tennis and I apologised for that a long time ago. But you never apologised to me. You never apologised for your fucked up homophobic views, you never apologised for not seeing me while I was ill, you never apologised for hurting my mother, you never apologised for shouting at my husband time and time again, but worst of all, you never apologised for being such a shitty father. But actually, I wanted to thank you. You’ve taught me how to be a good parent to my child because I will never, ever, do any of the things you did to me to my baby. I will be everything that you never were. I will accept my child, I will love them and I will be there for them no matter what. And that, is more than you could ever do for me. Now get the fuck out of my house and don’t come back.”

Antonio’s eyes were wide and his mouth was agape. Suddenly his shoulders slumped, accepting the fact that he’d now officially lost his son forever. He slowly walked past Ander and exited the room but Ander didn’t move until he heard the front door slam shut.

As Ander walked back out of the bedroom he glanced up at Lu and Omar who were sat in silence just staring at their feet. As soon as Omar saw Ander he jumped off the couch and walked over to him.

Omar put his hand to Ander’s face and tilted his head up so he could look him in the eyes, “Are you okay?” He asked.

“Actually, yeah, I am. I’ve needed to do that for a very long time.” Ander said as he tried to put a smile on his face, but Omar could see the sadness in his eyes even if Ander didn’t want to admit it.

“Hey,” Omar said lovingly, pulling Ander’s head towards his own so that their foreheads were touching. “I’m proud of you. But you know it’s okay to be sad.”

“I know.” Ander whispered before leaning in to kiss Omar gently but passionately. When he pulled back he whispered, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Omar whispered back.

All of a sudden they were pulled out of their little world by Lu’s voice. “I really do hate to interrupt ‘cause that was really sweet but um… I think I might be having contractions.” She said, hands on her stomach and pain in her eyes.

“What?!” Omar and Ander exclaimed at the same time.

“But how?” Ander said, looking bewildered. “You’re not due for another three and a half weeks.”

“I don’t fucking know! I’m just telling you what I’m feeling!” Lu shouted grasping her bump tighter as another wave of pain came on.

“What do we do?” Omar asked, looking increasingly panicked.

“Call the fucking doctor!” Lu screamed.

Omar grabbed his phone and found Dr Sánchez’s number in his contacts before pressing call. After what felt like decades, she picked up.

“Hi Omar, is everything alright?” The doctor asked, sounding slightly concerned.

“Um… I’m not sure, Lu says she thinks she’s having contractions.” Omar replied.

“Okay, has her water broken?”

“No.”

“Alright I need to ask her a few questions. Can you put me on speakerphone?” Dr Sánchez asked and so Omar did as he was told.

“Hi Lu can you hear me?” She asked through the phone.

“Mhmm” Was all Lu could mange in reply.

“Okay. I need you to tell me how often the contractions are coming and whether you have felt dehydrated or particularly stressed within the last few hours.”

“They don’t seem to have any sort of pattern and yes I have definitely felt very stressed recently.” Lu replied, the current contraction seeming to dissipate.

“Okay, well, it sounds to me like you’re having Braxton Hicks contractions, which means they’re not real its just a way of preparing your body for the real thing. Put your feet up, drink lots of water and they should go away within the hour. If they don’t then call me and come to the clinic.” Dr Sánchez said calmly.

They all thanked her and then hung up the phone. Luckily they were Braxton Hicks as Lu stopped feeling them twenty minutes later. However Lu couldn’t help but begin to feel extremely nervous. Some of those contractions had hurt like hell and it wasn’t even the real thing. She couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread whenever she thought of the fact that, very soon, she was going to have to give birth to an actual baby, and that scared the shit out of her.

———

It was now November 22nd and the baby had been due on November 18th, so it was safe to say that at this point Lu was very uncomfortable and very annoyed. Her and Ander were alone at the apartment as Omar had had to rush to work to sort out some sort of delivery emergency that Rebe coolant deal with on her own.

“You know, when I agreed to carry your baby, I agreed to carry it for nine months. I was under the impression that that was the expiration date for little arrangement but apparently not.” Lu said looking up from the couch at Ander who had just walked in from the kitchen.

Ander chuckled, having gotten used to Lu’s complaints by now and sat down on the couch next to her. “I would love to help you out Lu but I’m not there’s much either of us can do at this point.”

“Urghh, well the least you could do is help me up off this couch, I need to take a nap.” Lu replied, hating the fact that she was at the point where she couldn’t even stand up on her own.

Ander laughed again and stood up to help her off the couch. As soon as Lu stood up there was a splashing sound and they both felt water hit their feet.

“What the fuck?” Ander said, his first thought being that one of them had knocked over a glass.

“My water just broke.” Lu whispered as they both just stood there, frozen to the spot. “Shit! My water just broke!” She was shouting now and Ander sprung into action.

“Okay, it’s okay. You call Omar.” He said, tossing her his phone. “Tell him to meet us at the doctor’s. I’ll grab your bag and everything else we might need.”

As soon as Lu hung up the phone to a panicked sounding Omar, Ander was crouched in front of her, putting her shoes on.

*

They made it out of the door and to the clinic in record time with Omar arriving five minutes after them and rushing to the room that they’d been put in.

Currently Lu was lying in a bed, in a hospital gown and squeezing Ander’s hand so hard he thought she was about to break it while simultaneously screaming through the pain she felt from the contractions.

Omar rushed to Ander’s side and quickly pecked him on the lips before turning back to Lu. The next hour went by in a blur, Lu’s contractions becoming longer and more painful while Ander and Omar were doing everything in their power to try and make her feel better. Nadia and Guzman had arrived 20 minutes after Omar having dropped Marina off at Nadia’s parents considering it was getting late.

Nadia had taken over from Ander in trying to comfort Lu as she knew the pain she was going through but it was becoming increasingly useless.

“Oh my God!” Lu screamed as yet another contraction hit her. According to Dr Sánchez she wasn’t even close to being dilated enough and the baby wouldn’t be coming for at least another few hours, but that didn’t stop the endless pain that Lu felt she was going through. Originally, Lu had said she didn’t want an epidural because she didn’t truly believe that it was as bad as everyone said it was, and also she wasn’t sure that she’d get the chance to do this again so she wanted to try a natural birth. Nadia had warned her against it but Lu had been stubborn, as always, and insisted that this was what she wanted. However, now she was experiencing the searing pain, she was beginning to regret her decision. “Urghh, I give up! Give me the drugs, I don’t care!”

“Are you sure Lu? You’ve already come this far.” Omar said, trying to be encouraging.

“Shut up and get me the fucking drugs!” Lu yelled.

Omar rushed to get the doctor so that they could do the epidural and as soon as the effects started to kick in Lu was very happy that she’d changed her mind.

The labour dragged on for another seven hours. It was now 3am and Guzman had fallen asleep hours ago and even Nadia had began to doze not long ago. But Ander and Omar were wide awake and hadn’t left Lu’s side the entire time. Both of them were too excited (and nervous) to sleep.

At 3:30am Dr Sánchez entered the room to check on Lu and revealed that she was ready to go to the delivery room.

Ander and Omar woke up Nadia and Guzman to let them know what was happening. Guzman stayed in the room and promised he would call Omar’s parents and Ander’s mother while Nadia went with them as Lu had insisted that she needed her best friend by her side.

The next thirty minutes were filled with the sounds of Lu’s screams and the encouragement of the others, including the doctor.

“Come on Lu, you’re so close. Just one more push.” Dr Sánchez said.

“I don’t think I can do it.” Lu whispered, looking exhausted and defeated.

“Of course you can do it!” Ander said “Lu, you’re the strongest woman I know, if anyone can this, it’s definitely you.”

“Exactly.” Omar said, backing up his husband, “Lu, listen to me, we are more grateful than you will ever know for what you’re doing for us. I know - we know - that you can do this. Just one last push.”

“As much as I appreciate all of that could you all just shut the fuck up! I’m doing this to get this fucking baby out of me because, no offence, but I’m getting very sick of it!”

With that Lu screamed as loud as she could as she pushed one last time and all of a sudden a loud cry burst through the room. Lu’s body collapsed in exhaustion as Nadia leant down to wrap her best friend in her arms. Meanwhile, Ander and Omar rushed to the other side of the room where a nurse was cleaning their brand-new baby. As soon as the nurse was done she passed the baby into Ander’s arms with the words “You have a baby girl.”

Ander and Omar looked down towards their daughter and the moment they saw her they were in love. Omar took her tiny hand as Ander hugged the baby closer to his chest. They both had tears running down their cheeks as they stood, staring at their baby in awe. Ander passed the girl into Omar’s arms so that he could hold her but he stayed right by Omar’s side.

Once the two of them managed to rip their eyes away from their child they looked up at each other. “We have a baby.” Omar said, barely believing the words coming out of his own mouth.

“Yeah.” Ander said, “Yeah, we do.” he kissed Omar quickly and then looked back down at their daughter. His heart felt more full than it ever had before. She hadn’t even opened her eyes yet but he knew that he loved this baby more than anything else in the world, nothing could even come close to the love that he felt right now, and nothing ever would.

*

It was three hours later and they were all gathered back in the room that Lu had been in before. Lu was lying in the bed looking exhausted but also over the moon for her best friends. Ander and Omar were watching and whispering as Guzman held their daughter in his arms with Marina looking at her excitedly over his shoulder.

Azucena, Yusef, Iman and Marina had all arrived shortly after the baby was born and since then she had been passed round to be held by all the people in her life that would always love her. When Lu had held her she’d told the baby how much her Auntie Lu was going to love and spoil her but Nadia had seen the look in her eye and couldn’t help but think about it.

“Hey,” Nadia said as she sat down on the edge of Lu’s bed and took her hand in her own. “are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I’m exhausted and I’m not sure if I’ll ever walk again but other than that…” Lu trailed off, chuckling slightly.

“You know what I mean.” Nadia said, looking at Lu sternly, “I know the kind of bond you make with a baby that grows inside you. Just promise me that you’re okay?”

“I promise. I knew she was never mine. I did this for them and look at how happy they are.” Lu replied, pointing at Omar and Ander who now had their baby girl can in their arms. “I’ll love that baby so much, but they’re her parents. They love her more than anyone else ever will and that’s a good thing. I would do this a thousand times over just to make them as happy as they look right now.” As she finished speaking she looked at Nadia who had tears in her eyes and the two girls quickly hugged.

“Anyway,” Lu said, speaking up and shaking herself to try and stop herself from crying (again). “have you picked a name yet?”

The whole room went silent as they looked over at Ander and Omar who smiled at each other briefly and then looked back at everyone else.

“We have.” Omar said, who then nodded at Ander to indicate he should tell everyone.

“Okay, everyone say hello to Carmen Lucrecia Muñoz-Shanaa.” Ander said, looking happily at Lu and then back down at Carmen.

The whole room started buzzing with approval as all eyes landed on Lu, but she didn’t say anything, she simply lay there with her mouth hanging open for a few minutes before she managed to pull herself back together.

“You’re… you’re naming her after me?” She whispered so quietly that they could barely hear.

“Well, middle name.” Omar said jokingly before turning more serious. “But yes. We wouldn’t have her if it wasn’t for you so it felt right to make sure that she always had you with her, at least in her name.”

Lu smiled as a tear rolled down her cheek and Nadia hugged her gain tightly.

“So,” Omar whispered looking at Ander so that only he could hear him. “is this everything or is there something else you want?”

Omar had meant it as a joke but Ander took his time to look around the room before replying.

Guzman had Marina in his arms as he and Nadia stood by the bed chatting to Lu. Azucena was stood in the corner with Iman and Yusef, the three of them chatting away quietly and Azucena laughing at something that Iman had said. Finally, Ander looked down at the perfect little baby in his arms who opened her eyes and blinked right back up at him before he turned back to Omar.

“No. I have everything I want. You, are all I want.”