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2k. Interlude 2 - Part 6 - Light Blue Touch Paper and Retire

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Light Blue Touch Paper and Retire
March 2269
"So what was it you wanted to talk about?"
Luke closed his eyes for a moment as he heard Lily's question, grimacing at the thought of what would follow. He'd come back from Demon's check-up and told Lily what was gnawing at her sister, and her reaction had been similar to his own. While Lily had lain down on her side in the lounging pit to take a catnap—a habit she’d picked up when she’d gotten bigger with her babies—Luke had gone to lean on the window seat, looking out over the landscape, thinking about nothing and everything. He'd only realized that Lily had gotten up again when she stood behind him and asked that question.
He wasn't looking forward to this, but he might just as well get it over with now. Luke turned around and looked at Lily, trying to find a way to say what he had to say. "I..." Luke took a deep breath, then continued, "I think it would be better if we didn't have any more sex until after the babies are born."
Lily was staring at him. Her open mouth was moving, but no sound was escaping. Finally, she managed to utter, "What?!"
Luke flinched at her tone—incredulous, hurt, angry, and accusing. Still he looked at her firmly and explained, "You are very small, and both John and I are taller, so even if you were expecting only one child, it would probably be big in relation to your size, which can lead to problems, if not during pregnancy, then at birth. But you're carrying twins, Lily, and even if twins are smaller than singles, together they still weigh more, and together are bigger. With twins, there’s always a risk of premature delivery. The risk for you, especially because of your size, is higher."
Lily made an impatient gesture and interrupted him, trying to rein in her temper, but not entirely succeeding. "I am not made of spun glass, Luke. I thought you knew that by now. And you said yourself that I am physically very fit! I've read books and watched data crystals about this topic since I found out I was pregnant, and the one thing they always repeated was that as long as you're comfortable with it, do it!" She puffed out her anger and stepped up to Luke, resting her hands on his chest, a conciliatory smile on her lips as she purred, "And I feel very comfortable with what we do."
Luke looked off to the side and said, "I'm not joking," realizing before the last word had left his mouth that he'd made a major mistake.
Lily shrank back, staring at him as if he'd slapped her, and the wounded look in her eyes, coupled with the incredulous expression on her face, stabbed through his heart. But a split second later, her expression changed; he could literally see her temper flare. Her eyes seemed to burn him to ashes.
Luke wanted to apologize, to tell her how sorry he was to have said something so stupid, to beg for her forgiveness, but his mind went blank and his lips moved without a sound escaping. [Really smart move, Raven. I thought you wanted to live long enough to celebrate your birthday next week? Count yourself lucky if she doesn't tear you to pieces...]
When Lily finally exploded, her voice sounded like a roar. "You think I'm joking?! These children are a part of me in a way that they'll never be of you! You think I'd jeopardize them? Not even for the great sex we have!"
Luke couldn't help but take a step back in the face of her fury. She'd never been afraid of showing her feelings, and he’d seen Lily happy, sad, frightened, horrified, loving, and angry, but never in such a rage. He was unable to tear his eyes from her, while the strangest thoughts went through his head: discussions he'd had with his sister about women and their "true nature," the Amazons, the triple Goddesses of ancient Earth cultures, and Hindu Goddess Kali the Destroyer. It was as if Lily, in her righteous rage, had become someone bigger than herself.
He felt small before her fury, incredibly small and weak, and somewhere deep down inside, buried beneath all the civilized layers, in a tiny little corner of his self that still remembered living in caves and using hides for clothes, Luke felt fear. But in that moment, he suddenly understood, not just intellectually, but in his guts and in his heart, that there was a truth in these ancient archetypes, in the threefold Goddesses—maiden-mother-crone—and the life-death-life cycle. He understood that all these concepts Sara had discussed with him weren't just empty metaphors. All of this went through his head in a flash.
Lily had only just finished shouting at him when Luke sank to his knees before her, leaning his forehead on her swollen belly and closing his arms around her waist. He could feel her sharp intake of breath at the unexpected touch, and looked up at her, his eyes full of emotion. "Lilith, I know there is no apology for what I just said, but I want you to know I am sorry. And that I love you and I love our children. So forgive me if I become overly protective. I am a doctor, but no gynecologist, and this is the first time I've become a father." His voice cracked, and he placed a gentle kiss on her belly, then leaned his cheek against it.
Lily closed her eyes, but couldn't help the tears running down her cheek, her rage gone as fast as it had come. Her hands gently touched the top of Luke's head and smoothed his dark blond hair, then she put her fingers under his chin and nudged gently to make him look at her again. When he did, she could see his cheeks were wet, too. Her voice was raw when she softly said, "We love you, too," then sank to her knees and drew him into a long, passionate kiss. When they broke it, Lily leaned her forehead against Luke's and chuckled, "So that was our first marital dispute, huh?"
Luke joined in her chuckle. "Well, if all of them are over so fast..."
Lily straightened and looked at him. "But the reason for our dispute is still unresolved." She bit her lip for a moment, then said, "I can promise you this: no more sex while hanging from chandeliers." She was relieved to see a tiny smile creep onto Luke's face and continued, "I promise to be careful and listen to my body very closely, so I won't miss anything that could signal that something's wrong."
Luke smiled at her lovingly. "And I promise to try not to be over-protective anymore. Just warn me if I am, OK?"
"Oh, that I will. Definitely," Lily answered with a grin and kissed him again, sliding her right hand down to his ass and squeezing lightly.