Yellow Yarn

(Kinda long, read on ao3?)

“Steve, it’s yellow. It’s seriously just yellow,” Bucky complained, leaning up against the bin of yellow yarn his boyfriend was currently examining. They’d been standing there for seven goddamn minutes, Bucky counted, looking for the right goddamn shade of yellow for Nat’s scarf. Realistically, Bucky should have known what he was getting into when he agreed to come yarn shopping with Steve. Sure, they did other things too—they got lunch, other gifts for their friends, but saved the yarn shopping for last, and Bucky had been dreading it.

Perched over the bin, Steve had one finger pressed to his lips. He was stuck between a golden yellow (kind of like the color of Whinnie the Pooh), and one resembling more of a butterfly daisy.

“Which one would go better with Nat’s hair?” Steve asked, picking up a spool of each color and examining them closer, weighing them in his hands, it seemed. Bucky groaned.

“They’d both look fantastic, just use them both,” he whined, and Steve looked scandalized.

“Bucky! That’s ridiculous. These colors don’t go together.”

And with that, Bucky whined, practically draping himself over the yarn bin, head resting on the soft material that was causing him so much anguish at that moment. Steve ignored this performance though, and continued weighing the yellow yarns in his hand. After another thirty seconds, Bucky started throwing the yarn at Steve, hitting his chest each time.

“I (throws yarn) want (throws yarn) to (throws yarn) go! (throws several spools),” he whined out, looking up at Steve desperately. Steve was trying, trying so hard, not to laugh, keeping his eyes on the yarn. Bucky was such a kid, he was so desperate to leave, and Steve didn’t find it annoying. He found it adorable and endearing and if he wasn’t so preoccupied with the yarn literally at hand, he would have felt bad.

Finally, after what Bucky swore was an eon, Steve settled on the butterfly daisy yellow yarn before dragging a very relieved Bucky to the check out. Steve made his purchase, and as he was loading the bags into the car, he felt something press against his behind. He stood, turning around and looking confused as he saw Bucky pressed against him. The brunet just smiled though, pecking Steve’s lips softly.

“Love you, punk.”

***

The week before Christmas donned brisk and cold in New York, so Steve and Bucky stayed in their toasty apartment. Knitting needles were placed in Steve’s practiced hands at all times, save for meals and sleeping and those times Bucky couldn’t keep his hands off. Steve made some great progress in his gifts. Nat’s scarf was finished, and so were Clint and Wanda’s fingerless gloves, and by the day before Christmas Eve, Sam’s hat was nearly finished. He was just beginning the last pattern of striped colors when Bucky flopped down next to him on the couch. How the Grinch Stole Christmas was playing in the background, and Steve hummed carols under his breath. Bucky smiled, resting his head on Steve’s shoulder and pulled the new blanket Steve had made around him more.

“Almost done?” he murmured softly, breath tickling Steve’s ear. Steve smiled at his knitting needles, nodding but not taking his eyes off of his work, nor did his humming stutter. It was silent for a few more minutes, and Bucky watched the animated film while Steve finished Sam’s hat.

Less than a commercial break later, Steve was finished and proudly presented Sam’s hat to Bucky. It was simple enough, with alternating blue, green, and orange stripes and a fuzzy ball at the top. Bucky nodded his approval, smiling at Steve.

“Looks great,” he said, before pulling on Steve’s shirt. “Now come to bed, I need to snuggle.”

Tony always threw a massive Christmas Eve party, and it was here that everyone would exchange gifts. Steve and Bucky lugged Steve’s knitted gifts as well as the store-bought ones to the main common area, which was spectacularly decorated with silver tinsel, red and green tea lights, and Christmas-scented candles. A wide spread of food was available too—turkey and ham, potatoes, stuffing, eggnog, cookies, brownies, cake, and meatballs were just a few of the delicacies on the large dining table.

Bucky and Steve were the talk of the party. They showed up in complimentary, yet equally hideous, Christmas sweaters that Steve knitted. When he found out about “ugly Christmas sweater” contests, he knew he had to participate, even if there was not one of these contests at this particular party. So, Steve wore a very red sweater complete with an awful pattern of rows of reindeer, rows of jingle bells, and rows of tea lights (green, of course). Bucky’s sweater was Green, and had reindeer tangled in (red) tea lights, ringing the jingle bells to spread holiday cheer. The sweaters were hideous. Everyone adored them.

After they had all eaten and drank their fill, it was time for presents. Bucky and Steve presented Tony with a new Iron Man painting for his workshop (Steve found this work at a local art show somewhere in Manhattan and bought it from a very stunned looking 18 year old, who was later hired to do commissions for the Stark Foundation). Tony said he loved the painting, and judging by the awe in his face when he said it, he really did mean it. This same artist was paid to paint a picture of War Machine, and after being presented with the gift, Rhodes launched into a dissertation of how cool the painting was, and how more needed to be produced. Pepper was given several of those “easy office organizing” supplies and a sweater knitted by Steve—this sweater was oversized, blue, and very, very fuzzy. He knew that Pepper hated these cold New York winters.

Clint rushed out immediately after receiving his new gloves, claiming he had to try them out right away. Wanda was thrilled with her gift and hugged Steve, thanking him no less than 8 times. For the first time in a while, Nat genuinely smiled when she was presented with her scarf, and Bucky realized with a pang of guilt that the color yellow that Steve finally chose did look great in Nat’s hair, so the wait by that particular bin was indeed worth it. With Bruce still MIA, Sam got his present last. He opened it, and had no immediate reaction.

“I’m not really a hat person,” he said softly, and Steve immediately tried to smooth things over.

“You don’t have to wear it, I just wanted you to have it—“ Steve tried, but then Sam interrupted him, putting the hat on his head.

“I love it man, back off.”

Later that night, back in their own loft, under their own knitted quilt and surrounded by each other’s limbs and love, Steve reflected on the day they had. Everyone had laughed and eaten more than they should have, and the company the group shared was well appreciated. Bucky even had a nice conversation with Tony, which was a big plus from their original first meeting. Everything was okay, everything was good. Steve realized, just before he fell asleep, that this was the first time in many, many years that he’d spent Christmas Eve surrounded by family.