Ok but Steve knows how to shine shoes because he used to get up early on good days and cross the bridge from Brooklyn to the area around Wall street and catch businessmen coming off the train. He was short and the tools needed could fit in his pockets with no problem, he didn’t mind kneeling and using his knee until they cobbled together a shoe shine box using some scraps they found in a junk yard, painted really flashy because even at 10 Steve had an eye for style. It wasn’t easy work but if the weather was right they could make a dollar each in a day, (on bad days they might cobble together 25 cents) and didn’t answer to anyone but themselves.
Unlike being a paper boy since he couldn’t lug huge stacks of paper around or ride a bike or yell without coughing. Bucky could, but Bucky could do anything. Steve liked this, because he could do this, and he was the best damn spit polisher this side of the bay.
After he joined the only shoes Steve really ever shined were his own ( though on one memorable occasion he was responsible for shining his entire regiments as a punishment for getting caught with a chorus girl.)
Anyhow fast forward like 70~ years later and Sam has to go to a funeral of one of another vet who he was really close with and he’s really devastated, barely able to pick himself up that day. Steve helps him pin his medals when his hands shake, tie his tie because his vision’s blurry, attach his cufflinks when he’s lost them (they were right here!). All the while Sam is lost in his head trying to figure out his eulogy and he almost goes out the door in scuffed dress shoes when Steve (who is not attending because it’s a private ceremony and the paps are ruthless about digging up the past of anyone Steve attends a funeral of) just kneels down in front of him with a damp towel and some shoe polish and he goes to work, shining those shoes to a mirror finish, talking about what seems like nothing in a very old Brooklyn accent with Sam’s foot perched on his knee as he snaps the towel around.
When he’s all done, Sam has composed himself, at least enough to drive to the venue, he’s got a quarter of a smile on his face and he’s ready to face another bad day.
Because Steve may be terrible at talking about feelings and memories and the past but he’s really good at doing little stuff that adds up in a big way.
…My @ mentions aren’t working but y'all know who y'all are