Once upon a time, when you were still sunlighthouses and shimmering existence wherever you were needed most, you found him. He was November, shaky on his first last legs, and you saw through the mind-twistings he feigned to the mind-twistings that were really there, knotted up in his dreams.

You were still birdsong then, and thunderstorms, and your bodyheat melted the frost claws that held him tight. You held onto him as his November deepened. When he howled, you howled with him, and the wind played with your voices and pressed the softness of your lungs against your cageribs—and then against each other's.

November became solstice, and you felt him shiver through that long night and didn't mind the coldbitten nails that grazed your skin. He slept when the moon drowned below the treeline, but the iceflakes began to drift in like small animals seeking the pulsing riverheat of your blood, and chilling you. He lay there, vulnerable as his world turned slowly towards the light, and you knew that when the sun sank its teeth into the horizon he'd finally see it. And then—

You have seen many Novembers. You have melted many glaciers. The winds whispered—or so you thought—that there were more to find. There were, of course, but when you fixed them they were gone, and all you were left with was earth and icewater grass and chills.

And now you are shaky on your first last legs, and your equinox has passed too quickly, and you want to plunge your hand into him and feel the pulse of the heart you patched back up and sink your nails into the blaze of his soul

—but you don't.

The first searchlight-sunbeam strokes the distant cloudcurves, and you lean down to press your mouth against his and let his fire burn you one last time. And then you sleep.

When you wake, he is gone, and the first tendrils of sharp-edged icewater grass leave bruises on your fragile skin.