The Ones I Used To Know
"I have to say, I'm surprised."
Bucky and Steve looked at each other over the breakfast table, and then at Tony, in a certain resignation. One or the other of them was going to have to take Stark's bait, or he would stand there all morning.
"Your turn," Steve said, going back to his coffee and crossword.
Bucky sighed, tossing down his multi-tool into the pile of mostly-dismantled Kalashnikov scattered over the table. "Fine, Stark," He said. "Why are you surprised?"
"It's what--" Tony looked at his wrist, which was bare, "--two weeks before Christmas, and I have not heard one peep out of either one of you. No griping about how materialistic everything is, how much the holidays used to be better back in the day, not even an eye-roll for the Darth Santa down at Midtown comics. I was expecting some real Rockwellian nostalgia wank by now."
Bucky put his chin in his hand, but was otherwise unmoved. "Oh, you mean like our folks used to do?"
"And their folks before that?" Steve put in, forgetting he had told Bucky to field this one.
"And how basically everyone in every generation has bitched about how Christmas was better at some point in the past, never mind that it never was?"
"Ah," Tony said, as Steve and Bucky looked at him expectantly. "Yeah, that. Seriously, nothing? Nothing about the good old days from Uncle Sam on Ice and his sidekick, the living unexploded bit of WWII ordinance?"
"America's a Capitalist Society, Tony." Steve took a long, serene pull of his coffee. "Christmas shopping keeps the wheels of commerce moving."
"Bread and circuses," Bucky put in.
Tony folded his arms in patent disbelief. "I would expect," he said, "at least a tiny twingy bit of nostalgia for the good old days."
"Darth Santa's kinda cute," Bucky commented, offhandedly.
"Got your Amazon wishlist done, Bucky?" Steve asked, checking his phone. "I guess with Prime I don't have to do all one order, but..."
"Yeah, only it started bugging out after about fifteen pages of loading it with ammo and socks. Yours?"
"I do, but gift cards are easier," Steve said. "Otherwise everyone always tries to get me red white and blue things only I don't actually... Sorry, Tony, are you gonna shut your mouth or should I hang a 'for rent' sign off your nose?"
Tony Stark made several noises, which were mostly various explosions of air and none of which managed to be words. "I don't believe it," he managed, at last.
"Believe it," Steve said. "Or did you never read any Truman Capote?"
Bucky's eyeroll was flawless. "Seriously, I would take a set of bluetooth headphones, some doc martens, and four iTunes gift cards over a goddamn orange and box of lead jacks any day."
Steve made a noise of agreement, and Tony Stark, utterly flabbergasted, threw up his hands and stalked from the room. There was a long pause, and after a moment Bucky leaned out to make sure Tony was gone before leaning over the table, and stage-whispering over his disassembled assault rifle, "Oh, but God you know the cookies were so much better."
Steve put down his crossword at once. "I know, right? Have none of these kids ever heard of suet?"
"Like I did not fight the Nazis for fucking Chips Ahoy."
"I know, Bucky, I know."