The seasons pass and with each of them, we learn snippets of what transpired between Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess.
"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days -
three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
It was midsummer and the sun was brilliant and the birds were singing and the world had become more colorful, more beautiful, more alive and they were engaged and he was happier than he could have possibly imagined and she was at his side and he felt, for the first time, that life was worth really living, not just maintaining.
It was midsummer and it was raining and humid and he was sick and she was scared and she tried to hide it from him and he couldn't stand the thought of her worrying about him or seeing him so weak and pathetic and he made a choice and decided that he wouldn't regret it.
It was midsummer and the Thames sparkled in the light of the sun and he had taken more of his drug in one week than he'd ever done before and it didn't matter because he was strong and fast and brilliant and so impossibly in love.
It was midsummer and he'd committed to courting her properly and the Clave was taking its sweet time in deliberating whether or not they would be allowed to marry and she was afraid for their future and he was not because there was no future for him that did not have her in it, the Clave be damned.
It was midsummer and her hair curled in the heat and the humidity and her skin glowed and her eyes sparkled and one day, when walking in the park, she caught a bit of sun and now her nose was lightly freckled and it was the most adorable thing he had ever seen and he had to stop himself from kissing the tip of her nose every time she walked into the room.
It was summer's end and he found her crying in the stables and when he asked her why, she told him it was because she was barren and she wanted more than anything to give him a son and he'd held her and hadn't been able to say anything for a long time because he knew that if they could have a child, at least she wouldn't be alone when he was gone, and finally he reminded her that her love for him was the most beautiful gift in the world and that there wasn't anything else that she could give him that could possibly be more precious to him.
It was summer's end and the stars were bright in the night sky and she was warm in his arms and her lips were soft on his and where there had been fire in his veins from the fever, there was now fire in his veins from where Tessa's fingers brushed against the skin of his neck and lightening shooting from his fingertips where he could feel the shape of her body beneath them.
It was summer's end and he was strong and happy and the only thing wrong in the whole world is the fact that his yin fen supply had depleted drastically in the last month and he was afraid to ask Will to purchase more, lest his parabatai discover the truth that it was not solely the power of Tessa's love that made him well.
It was summer's end and the night were getting colder and and they were next to each other and she was chilly and he put his arm around her and he told himself, not for the first time, that they desperately needed a chaperone and then her cold lips met his, the first kiss she'd ever initiated, and he lost the ability to think coherently.
It was autumn and the leaves were changing and they were planning a wedding at Christmas and he introduced her to green tea from China and they sipped it from tiny painted cups at an al fresco tea shop and he could tell she didn't like it, though she kept drinking it and he loved her because he knew it was for his sake.
It was autumn and she was wearing gear and her eyes were bluer because of the black and he was helping her learn to throw a knife and it brought him back to his first day at the London Institute and even though Tessa was nothing like Will, he couldn't help but be comforted by the fact that when he was gone, the two people he loved most in this world would at least be able to throw a knife to protect themselves.
It was autumn and he barely had any yin fen left and he would have to tell Will soon and he did not know how he could possibly explain to his soul's other half that he was accepting the acceleration of his death, and their parting, in order to be all that he could be for Tessa.
It was autumn and she was radiant in her wedding gown and spectacular in the face of the worm Benedict Lightwood had become and he loved her even more fiercely for wanting to fight and for her level-headedness compared to Tatiana's screaming, but when Will ordered her out of harm's way, he could not help but be relieved that she, at least, would be safe from the demon-worm.
It was autumn and the moon was full and he was playing his violin, trying to work out the way he had fallen in love with her into music and none of it sounded right because she was perfection and his music, though lovely enough in its own right, could never compete with how lovely her face was when she smiled.
It was autumn and she was willing to risk her life for his and he was not willing to allow her to do so and Will's hand was burnt and something had to change.
It was autumn and they were getting married the next day and the world, which had been so twisted and wrong that day before, was now glorious and rich and he had never been happier than he was when he looked at her face.
It was autumn and the Institute had been attacked and Tessa had been kidnapped and he had run and run, but it had done no good, for he was injured and she was gone and had taken with her his will to live.