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Unconventional Family

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“Emma, you said you’d ask him to dinner yesterday,” Regina said, arms crossed.

“I know. And I know we’ve decided he’s the best choice, but it doesn’t make it any less awkward, you know?” Emma replied, jamming her hands into her pockets. “What if he says no?”

“Then he says no,” Regina told her, “and we’ll keep looking.” Regina approached Emma, and gripped her shoulders-- something that has always calmed Emma’s nerves.

“Alright, I’ll ask him to dinner today,” Emma promised.

“Don’t forget, the reservations are for seven on Tuesday,” Regina reminded her.

“I know, I know,” Emma replied, shaking her head and smiling.

“Good,” Regina said before kissing her cheek, “have a good day at work.” Emma kissed her partner’s lips before grabbing her red leather jacket and heading to the station.

---

“He’s late,” Regina muttered, checking her watch.

“He’s Neal ,” Emma reminded her. “You still sure about this?”

“Issues with punctuality don’t deter me,” Regina replied.

Emma looked over at the door just as a slightly frazzled looking Neal barreled through the door.

“I’m so sorry,” he apologized, “traffic was murder and, if I’m honest, I could’ve left my apartment a bit earlier.”

“Your honesty is endearing, Mr. Cassidy,” Regina remarked.

“Please Regina, it’s Neal,” he said, “We’ve known each other long enough for first names.”

“Of course, Neal,” Regina corrected herself.

The three of them ordered their food and engaged in a bit of small talk while they waited. Finally, the food arrived and Neal caved first.

“Alright, Ems said you two had something important to discuss with me?” Neal said tentatively. Regina and Emma looked at each other before looking back at Neal. Regina took Emma’s hand under the table, steadying her.

“Well, Regina and I have been together five years now and we’re thinking about starting a family,” Emma started.

“That’s great!” Neal exclaimed, “That’s really exciting news.”

“Yes, well, that’s why we’ve asked you here tonight,” Regina said. Neal furrowed his brow.

“You asking me to be the kid’s godparent or something?” Neal asked.

“Or something,” Emma told him, looking to Regina.

“Neal, we know a lot of great men, but we believe you to be the best choice amongst them,” Regina took a deep breath to steady herself. “Neal, would you do us the honors of being our sperm donor?” Neal slowly set down his fork, processing the information he just received.

“You- you want me? You want me to be your sperm donor?” Neal asked, shocked.

“You can take time to think about and you can absolutely say no,” Emma told him hurriedly, “we know we’re asking you to do something big and-”

“I’ll do it,” Neal interrupted.

“Wha… you will?” Emma asked.

“Yeah, of course I will,” Neal replied, “you two would be great mothers. I can’t think of anyone better to take care of a kid I’m a part of.”

“We also know it might be asking a lot of you,” Regina started, “but we would like you to be in the child’s life.”

“Really?” Neal asked. Emma and Regina nodded.

“We think it’s important that, even though we will be the kid’s moms, that the kid knows where they came from,” Emma said.

“We don’t require you to do anything,” Regina interjected, “we just ask you visit every now and then. Answer any questions the child may have as best you can.”

“Yeah, I can do that,” Neal told them. Regina’s eyes welled with tears as she beamed at him.

“This means the world to us, Neal. Thank you,” Emma told him, still a bit in shock.

“Ems, I do anything for you. You know that,” Neal smiled. “We’ve been best friends since we were kids. Who better to raise my kid?” Neal paused. “Do I call them my kid? I don’t really know the protocol here.” Emma and Regina exchanged looks.

“We aren’t really sure of the protocol here, either,” Emma admitted.

“Most couples go to a sperm bank,” Regina said, “not many couples we know ask people they know to be a donor.”

“Would you rather be Uncle Neal?” Emma asked. Neal leaned back in his chair and lifted his hands in a shrug.

“Why don’t we let the kid decide? Might be easier on all of us that way,” he said.

“That sounds acceptable,” Regina agreed. “Now, I’m sure you have other questions. Nothing is off the table. You may ask anything about all of this.”

“Who’s carrying?” Neal asked. Emma gripped Regina’s hand tighter before answering.

“I am,” she told him, “we originally thought Regina would be, but the doctors told us that she can’t carry.”

“Oh geez, I’m sorry sorry Regina,” Neal apologized. She gave him a slightly pained smile.

“It’s alright,” she replied, “the hard part is going to be getting this one to take it easy.” Neal laughed as Emma gave Regina a faux offended look.

“I can take it easy,” Emma defended.

“Do you want me at any appointments or anything?” Neal asked.

“Only if the doctor thinks you should be there,” Regina told him. “That shouldn’t be necessary, unless you wish to be there.”

“I’ll probably leave that to you two,” Neal admitted.

“Like we said, there’s no pressure to be too involved,” Emma reminded him.

“We’ll all take it step-by-step,” Regina reassured.

“So, what exactly do I have to do?” Neal asked.

“There’s a clinic we’ve researched and chosen to aid in this process,” Regina told him, “we’d like to go there in the next few weeks with you so they can test your… quality.”

“My…? Oh. Oh yeah, sure,” Neal shifted awkwardly.

“We want to try and get pregnant in the next few months,” Emma said.

“Sounds like you have a lot of confidence in my sperm,” Neal replied. Emma laughed.

“You could say that,” she said.

“I can check my schedule for next week,” Neal told them, “so we can set a date to go to the clinic.”

“We can’t thank you enough,” Reigna told him sincerely.

“Hey, anything for my two favorite ladies,” Neal said grinning.

“Guess we should finish our food before it gets cold,” Emma announced. Regina rolled her eyes affectionately, while Neal chuckled-- all of them digging back into their food.