The youths on Derek’s street have it in for him. It’s the third time this month they’ve taken a baseball bat to his mailbox. He stands with his hands on his hips, gazing down at the smashed up wood, and pondering what sort of revenge he can take on the fourteen year old assholes that won’t land him in prison. Perhaps, he could egg their houses. Laura would like that.
"Man," he looks up sharply to see Stiles grinning and shaking his head, waving Derek’s mail in the air. "Again?"
"Yes," he says shortly. "I don’t know why it’s always me."
"Maybe because you give them the best reaction? Also," Stiles gestures at his chest, "I bet at least one of them has a crush on you."
Derek rolls his eyes, holds his hand out for his mail, “Sure, that’s why.”
"Dude, I’m serious. That first morning when you came out all guns blazing with the towel," Stiles’ eyes glaze over briefly, and then he shakes himself. "I was a little afraid you were gonna strangle me with it.”
Thank you, Sam.
( Seriously, I want a Cap belly warmer. )
Steve shows up to an Avengers meeting in August wearing a red white and blue scarf that hangs down nearly to his knees, with little pieces of yarn sticking out anywhere there’s a color change. When Tony stares, Steve shrugs. “Bucky hasn’t figured out how to weave in ends yet,” he says, toying with one of the errant pieces. “Pretty good though, right?”
Tony says nothing. Tony’s not sure there’s anything to say, except, maybe, that knitting needles sound pretty fucking dangerous in the hands of the Winter Soldier.
In September, Natasha pulls her tablet out of a black knit pouch with red edging; in October, Sam’s wearing a pair of thick grey fingerless gloves, little black wings adorning the tops. Clint comes home one day November wearing deep purple arm warmers, and a few days later Bruce walks by wearing the exact same ones in green. By December, Thor’s storing Mjolnir in a little silver knitted sack, and when Steve and Bucky show up for the Christmas party in matching handmade sweaters, holding hands and generally looking much more like something out of an adorable Hallmark commercial than Tony would’ve guessed upon meeting Barnes six months ago, he has to admit it: he’s hurt.
"I am not hurt," he hisses at Pepper, when she finds him sulking. "I am — confused. And! Cold! If Barnes is going to knit things for the entire team then, I mean, whatever, I don’t care. I’m just saying, it’s not exactly fair, is it? Everyone getting something and me—”
"Tony," Pepper interrupts, giving him her gentlest exasperated eyeroll, "Bucky left something for us in the foyer."
It’s a blanket, as it turns out, red and gold striped. Pepper wraps around her shoulders immediately and refuses to give it back, even when Tony tugs her into a kiss and tries to use the distraction to steal it off her. It looks awesome, though, and it feels pretty damn comfortable for the, like, eight seconds Tony gets his hands on it before Pepper sails away, still wearing it around her shoulders. Huh.
Tony sidles up to Steve at the next Avengers meeting. “Hey,” Tony says, “you were right: your boy’s pretty good with a needle. You think he could make a hat that says ‘War Machine Rox,’ spelled with an X? I need a good birthday present for Rhodey.”
Steve beams at him.