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Baby Alpaca Love Letters

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It all started with a pair of knitted, red and gold, fingerless gloves.

Tony walked into his workshop, blueprints for his latest gauntlet design already forming in his mind, and the gloves were just… sitting there.

The blueprints evaporated. There was no packaging, no note, or card. Just - two fingerless gloves with thick stripes of red and thin stripes of gold. Tony walked over and picked them up, running his hands over them. He had no idea where they had come from. Someone must have dropped them off - a gift for him? But from who?

He could ask JARVIS but the privacy protocols he’d put in place when the team moved in, meant he’d only reveal the gifter if there was a security breach, and if there were a security breach, he would have told Tony already. So that meant it was someone who had access…

The more he fondled the mitts, the more he became convinced that they weren’t store-bought. They were perfectly soft and had a satisfyingly cosy squish when he squeezed them. But, though they were masterfully done, the stitches were just uneven enough, and the lengths of the gloves just different enough that it was clear they weren’t machine knit. Someone had knit these by hand. And, apparently, for Tony.

What.

Tony slipped the gloves onto his hands, more on autopilot than anything, and immediately hummed with pleasure. They fit him perfectly, and Tony could feel right away how warm they would be. A faint memory drifted back - him complaining about how cold he had to keep the workshop to keep his equipment safe. In Malibu, the intense air conditioning had been nice compared to the hot dry crackle of SoCal sun. But in New York in winter? It was pretty harsh. But it was necessary, so Tony layered up and dealt with it, but he was nothing if not vocal about the hardships of his billionaire genius lifestyle, so everyone got to hear about it. Which didn’t bring him any closer to figuring out who had left them, but it made a little more sense, maybe.

He tried typing a little and found that the design of the gloves allowed for plenty of finger movement - he could probably even work on the armour itself like this - and kept him deliciously warm.

Plus, he was never, ever, going to complain about something being Iron Man red and gold.

Tony got sucked back into his work, and it wasn’t until hours later, getting ready for bed, that he pulled the gloves off and wondered again who had given them to him. Whoever it was, he was grateful.

**

Tony all but forgot about the secret glove gifter, though he didn’t forget about the gloves themselves. He wore them everyday, not just in the workshop, but outside too. The weather was rapidly crisping, and the news assured them that New York was destined for a brutal winter. Tony had never been good at buying warm clothing, and the armour was self heating so he only had to worry about it when he was being Tony Stark instead of Iron Man.

And Tony Stark didn’t used to go out much. He went to parties, and business meetings, and awards ceremonies, but they were all indoors and involved a jump to a cab and then another short run to whichever building he’d been dropped off at. But now he was living with the Avengers, and strangely enough that seemed to mean going outside all the time. Steve and Clint especially, were extremely fond of doing horribly outdoorsy things like walking around and looking at things, and Tony found himself dragged along all too often.

When the ice opened at Rockefeller Center, Steve insisted that the whole team go. Tony was loathe to admit that he didn’t actually know how to ice skate. He’d gone through a brief and tenuous rollerblading phase in his teens, but after a broken elbow and the discovery that rocket powered roller blades were harder to perfect than they looked, he’d given up on the whole thing. Unless you counted his repulsor-powered boots now, but Tony didn’t.

Still, the team wanted to go, so Tony agreed. He booked the entire ice rink, and they closed it off just for Avengers and their guests, and Tony bought skates for everyone who didn’t have them, including himself. As the day of the party arrived he found himself getting more and more nervous.

He spent the whole night before in his workshop, going through his normal stress cycle of booze, insomnia, and manic creation. By the time the sun came up, he had an empty scotch bottle, two new plans for Clint’s arrows, and a solid tension through his shoulders. JARVIS warned him about how late it was getting, and he made his way back up to his room with a sigh. Time to change into every piece of clothing he owned and embarrass himself on ice in front of a group of astonishingly well-coordinated superheroes.

Tony walked into his bedroom to grab his thickest pair of pants, and there on the bed was a hat.

It wasn’t a hat Tony had ever seen before, and he knew that, because he did not own a hat. The hat matched the gloves, thick stripes of red, thin stripes of gold, and was the same squishy, cozy yarn. It also had a distinct handmade feel, with no tags or packaging.

Tony found himself looking pointlessly around his room as if his secret Guardian Knitter would appear, or be revealed by some clue left behind. But other than the conspicuously placed hat, everything was the same. He rolled the soft fabric between his hands and thought it through. It had to be someone who knew they were going skating today - the coincidence was just too much otherwise. And it had to be someone that JARVIS trusted enough to let up to his room. That didn’t narrow it down by much though; most of the same people would have access to both. Tony pulled the hat on his head and turned to look in the mirror next to his door.

It… looked pretty good actually. A tuft of dark hair stuck out from under the ribbed cuff and the top of the hat slouched attractively over Tony’s head. He held up his hands, still clad in his gloves from his work-a-thon the night before and smiled at the way they matched. He loved them. He wished he could thank the person who had given them to him. Maybe wearing them to skating today would be thanks enough. Tony got dressed with more spring in his step than he had before.

The Avengers gathered in the lobby, laughing and sipping coffee from takeaway cups. Tony caught Steve’s eye as he joined the group, and he saw Steve’s eyes flick up to his head. “Nice hat, Tony.”

Tony patted his head. “Thanks. It was a mystery gift.”

Nat raised an eyebrow, and Clint laughed. “Oooh, Tony has a secret admirer,” Clint joked.

“Excuse me, I have a Guardian Knitter, they’re very different.”

Everyone laughed as they set off for Rockefeller Center in good spirits. Tony found himself falling into step at the back of the group, next to Steve, as they piled out of the town cars Tony had ordered. Steve shot him a look. “You alright?”

Tony was feeling nervous again. He didn’t mind being bad at something, but he minded being that bad at something in front of this many people. The ice rink had been blocked off for their party, but it was still out in the open and anyone could watch. And the party itself had grown, with everyone inviting friends, and those friends inviting more friends. Tony was more than happy to foot the bill to give everyone a good time, but he was starting to wonder if his best bet was to fake a sprained ankle on the way to the ice.

“Fine,” he said to Steve, too short and too sharp. Steve frowned, and Tony instantly felt like a heel for taking it out on the guy. “Sorry. I’m a bit - uh - not good at skating, and I think this is going to be one of those Tony Stark humiliation events like that time we sparred without the armour.”

“That wasn’t humiliating,” Steve assured him. “Just deeply embarrassing for you.” He smiled brightly, and Tony couldn’t help but laugh. “Don’t worry.” Steve wrapped an arm around Tony’s shoulders and tugged him close. “I know how to skate, I’ll hold your hand.”

And, well, he did.

Tony stepped out on the ice with a deathgrip on the sideboards, only to have Steve peel his hands off the railing and take them firmly in his own. Tony stared at his gloved hands clutched in Steve’s blue and white mittens and let himself be tugged slowly away from the safety of the edge.

“This is embarrassing,” he said.

Steve smiled. “More or less embarrassing than trying to skate on your own and falling on your ass?”

Tony paused. Steve did something magical with his skates, spreading them wide, then pulling them together again, and he started to slide backwards, Tony in tow. “Okay, that’s fair. Don’t let me go.” His thighs were shaking as he fought his skates’ desire to teach him how to do the splits.

“I won’t.” Steve caught his eye. “I promise.” Steve slid backwards again, and Tony’s grip on his hands tightened. “Look at me, Tony. Stop looking at your skates.”

Tony’s eyes snapped up to Steve’s, and he felt his centre of gravity shift. It made him wobble for a moment, but then Steve pulled him closer, urged him to stand up straighter, and it got easier. It took them a long time to make it around the rink once, but the second loop went faster, and by the third, Tony was pushing himself along with short, unsteady strides. Steve skated along backwards, Tony’s hands still in his, easily dodging the other skaters, leaning gracefully into the curves. His cheeks were pink from the chilly weather, and he was smiling in that big, earnest, Steve way that he had when he was particularly happy. It was a nice day, Tony supposed. It was nice that they could all be together.

He just hoped that the paparazzi had been kept clear of the area because he really didn’t need photos of Captain America leading Iron Man around the ice in their adorably colour-coordinated knitwear. And now that Tony looked, he realized that Steve’s mittens were blue and white in the same way that his fingerless gloves were red and gold.

He was going to ask where Steve bought his, wondering if he knew the secret knitter, or had also received anonymous gifts, when the two kids of one of the SI board members zipped by, caught up in a tense race. One caught Tony’s elbow, and he lost his balance, sitting down hard on the ice before Steve could catch him. Steve quickly pulled him back to his feet.

“Shit, are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” But when Tony stretched up his butt complained loudly. Steve pulled Tony in close so he could balance more easily then stretched his skates out far, bracing. Tony rested both his hands against Steve’s chest, finding steady again.

Steve shot him a sympathetic look and reached out with one hand to straighten Tony’s hat where it had slid down over his eyes. Tony blinked up at him.

“You sure you’re alright?”

Tony nodded and they set off again, working their way around the rink in big, lazy circles. It wasn’t long, however, before Tony’s ankles started to protest, as did his butt, so he thanked Steve for the lesson and shuffled his way over to the exit. He pulled his skates off and leaned against the boards, watching the others play, taking videos on his phone. Steve and Nat were both excellent skaters, and Tony watched happily as Steve swooped her up into his arms and the two of them spun across the ice, laughing.

**

The Guardian Knitter didn’t strike again for three weeks, which was all for the best because Clint, Natasha, and Steve had been away on a mission the whole time, and Tony was exhausted trying to stay on top of everything with just Bruce and occasionally Thor. New York seemed to be threatened by a new super villain every other day, and Tony found himself facing off baddies on his own more often than he would have liked.

By the time the others returned, a win in hand, Tony was so wrecked that he crawled into bed and slept for two days straight. When he made his way back down to his workshop next, there was a snug looking pile of knitted fabric on his keyboard. He picked it up and stretched it out. It was a scarf, but shorter and wider than usual, and the two ends were connected to make it into a loop. If he doubled the loop over his head, it perfectly cradled his neck in a cloud of warm red and gold yarn. He tucked the edges into the collar of his shirt, imagining how perfectly it would work with his jacket.

**

The next gift was a pair of socks, thick enough and warm enough that they were practically slippers. And now there was no avoiding the fact that somewhere out there was a knitter who was churning out item after item just for Tony. He wasn’t sure how long it took to make a scarf or a pair of mittens, but whoever it was must have been putting an awful lot of time into red and gold things for Tony. At first, he could have chalked it up to someone who cared for the people in the tower in general worrying that his hands were cold, but as his pile of gifts grew and the rest of the Avengers assured him that they weren’t being gifted the same, he became convinced that some mysterious person was dedicating all their knitting time to keeping him warm.

It was weird, but also kind of nice, not knowing who the knitter was. Sure, he wanted to know, but the answer might be disappointing - maybe Pepper was buying things for him at a handmade market - or they’d come with some kind of strings attached, and he’d become enamoured of the idea of someone picking out yarn and patterns that they thought he’d like. He even spent some time online, looking at knitting patterns and supplies, wondering if he should leave a gift in return. But he never knew when the Guardian Knitter was going to come by, so that would be hard.

After the socks, which Tony wore to every movie night with the rest of the team, he received another thicker pair of gloves with fingers, a tiny knitted Iron Man doll, and a second warmer hat with a bobble on top, all in rapid succession.

He kept a basket of the gifts in the workshop, unless he was wearing them upstairs, and he got in the habit of wearing all of them at once, fiddling with various ends of scarves and flipping the brim of his hat over his eyes while he thought out loud. He was dressed up in two hats, his scarf, both pairs of gloves, and the socks, and making the little knitted doll walk across his desk when Steve walked in and burst into laughter.

Tony pointed the doll at him, repulsor up. “Hey, don’t knock it til you try it. Wool helps me think.”

Steve shook his head in amusement. “I wasn’t knocking anything. I think you look amazing. I just need you to sign this.” Steve held out a clipboard with a stack of SHIELD forms on them and Tony flipped through, speed reading the contents, then grabbing a pen and tugging off one of his gloves to sign the bottom of the last page with a flourish. “Thanks.” Steve turned to leave, but as he walked towards the door, Tony realized he was wearing thick woolen socks that looked kind of similar to the ones Tony was wearing but in different colours.

“Hey, who gave you those socks?” he called out.

“Hmm?” Steve looked at his feet then back up at Tony. “No one.” He walked out.

Huh. No one had given Steve his socks, which meant he’d bought them somewhere, which meant someone probably bought the things Tony had as well. That was a disappointment. He’d really enjoyed the idea of someone making them for him. He tugged at the edge of the scarf, weaving it through his fingers, trying to pinpoint why it made him feel suddenly awful to discover that the gifts were purchased.

He supposed… he’d like the idea that someone would put that much time into him. That he wasn’t an afterthought. Someone hadn’t just seen something at a store and swiped their credit card and that was that. Someone had taken the time to pick a pattern and work their way through hundreds of stitches, all to try and keep Tony warm.

Still… someone taking the time to buy him things was nice too. Someone had noticed he was cold, that was nice. Maybe Steve was the one buying them. He liked taking care of his team, and he was the most likely to notice that Tony was cold. Either him or Pepper.

He shot off a quick text to her, not able to stand the suspense anymore and feeling somewhat disillusioned with the whole thing.

Are these knitted things from you? If so, thanks. Been nice to keep warm. <3

She didn’t reply, so he assumed she was in a meeting. As he drifted back into work, the thought evaporated as his brain heated up with thoughts of gauntlets and miniaturized repulsors again.

**

He didn’t get a reply from Pepper until the next day. He was trying to balance his plate of toast on top of a mug of coffee to push open the door to his office when his phone buzzed. Three short vibrations to signal someone texting from his Priority List. “Oh for -” Tony set the plate and mug on the floor, opened the door, then held it open with his foot while he picked his meal up again. He set the plate and mug on the desk and pulled out his phone but -

There was another knitted gift waiting for him.

His phone and food forgotten, Tony pushed his chair aside and lifted it up. It was a sweater, charcoal grey and perfectly soft to the touch. It was heavy and solid, felt like he could wear it on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic but it was also smooth and draped nicely over his arms when he held it. And with this one there was no question it was handmade. There was no tag, and on the inside was one tiny thread that hadn’t been snipped closely enough, and it stuck out, a beacon of homemade-iness.

There was no question that the sweater would fit him perfectly, but Tony still let out a small squeak of surprise when he pulled it over his head and it settled easily onto his shoulders. It was like wearing a blanket. He turned to catch his reflection in the glass doors. Correction - it was like wearing a really flattering blanket.

He stood there in stunned stillness for a long time before he remembered his phone. The text was from Pepper, at last, a reply to his earlier question.

No? Not sure what you’re talking about, but glad someone is keeping you warm :D <3

Huh. That was it; he was out of theories.

He had no choice but to dive back into work and try and forget about the Yarn Fairy. Maybe one day he’d come down and catch the person in action. For now, Tony snuggled down in his new layers and fiddled with his Iron Man toy while he thought.

**

Tony had long since lost the ability to tell the difference between hunger and a need for coffee, so when his body ached with something he ventured upstairs to satisfy both needs. Steve was sprawled on one of the armchairs, sketching, a crossword open and balanced on his knee.

Tony mumbled a greeting then started rummaging around in the kitchen, getting coffee started and digging around in the fridge.

“There’re muffins in the cupboard over the sink,” Steve said from his chair, without looking up.

“Hmm, thanks.” Tony reached and pulled open the cupboard. A plate of muffins sat on the bottom shelf, fresh and enticing. He went to grab one but his hand wouldn’t move - the cupboard handle had caught his glove in the screw that held it to the door. He wrestled with it for a moment, then tugged too hard and heard a heart-stopping rip. “Fuck!”

Steve was at his side in a moment. “What’s wrong? Did you hurt yourself?”

“No, worse,” Tony whined. He frowned down at his hand. There was a torn thread between the thumb and the index finger hole and it had unravelled several stitches and looked as if it was about to get worse. “I can heal, my favourite gloves can’t.” Tony decided to blame lack of sleep for the way his bottom lip was threatening to wobble. He really liked these gloves; they were perfect to work in.

“Let me see.” Steve reached out, and instead of taking the glove off, he chose to cradle Tony’s hand in both of his, as if Tony had been the one hurt.

“I can’t just get a new one. The Knitting Fairy left these.”

Steve chuckled. “I thought it was the Guardian Knitter.”

“Both. Either.” Tony sighed. “Do you think if I left a note on my keyboard begging for a new one, one would appear?”

Steve studied Tony’s face for a long time, then pulled on his hand, gently leading him away, out of the kitchen. “Come on.”

“Where are we going?” But Steve didn't answer. Steve pulled Tony into the elevator and up to the floor with Steve’s apartment on it. Steve walked them both right through his front door, keeping Tony’s hand clenched securely in his. They walked down the hall to the living room, where Steve sat Tony on the couch and finally released him. Steve pulled the lid off a chest by his TV and started rummaging through it. Tony leaned forward to look.

It was full of yarn.

And not just yarn - needles, books, crochet hooks, scissors and little kits with sewing needles in them. It was jam-packed with knitting supplies. Tony gaped at him. “You’re the Guardian Knitter?!”

Steve smiled a little, but Tony could see the edges of discomfort. “I guess…” He grabbed a set of needles and a ball of yarn that matched the red used in Tony’s gloves and crouched in front of Tony. Instead of taking the glove off, Steve used Tony’s hand as a darning egg, holding the fabric smooth while he teased his needle in through the exposed loops of the stitches.

It was a long time before Tony could speak again, hypnotised by watching Steve work the hole closed. When he could, the only thing he could think to say was, “Holy shit.”

“What?” Steve looked up from the glove to Tony’s face, searching for something there, but Tony wasn’t sure what. He was pretty sure the only thing to find right now was awe.

“You made me all those things - the hats, the scarf - Tiny Stark?”

“Who is Tiny Stark?”

“The little Iron Man.”

Steve laughed. “Oh right. Uh, yeah, I guess I did. I mean, yes. I made those things. For you. Um.”

A hundred questions burbled up in Tony’s chest and the one that beat its way to the front was, “You knit?!”

Steve shrugged. “Everyone knit during the war. It’s very relaxing, and we needed a lot of socks and stuff. But now you can get really nice needles and there are patterns on the internet for all kinds of cool stuff. There’s a yarn shop around the corner where you can get baby alpaca - in the city. It’s wild.”

“And you made me all this stuff?”

Steve shrugged again. “Sure.”

“Why?”

Steve’s eyes drifted up from the glove fix towards Tony’s face. Two needles stuck out of the two sides of the tear in the glove, a little row of stitches on each, and Steve paused from where he was sewing the two ends back together, the little hole closing as he moved along. His eyes were bright and a little wild, full of something Tony couldn’t name.

“Because I like you, really like you, and I wanted to do something nice for you,” he said, almost breathlessly.

“But you didn’t tell me it was you.”

Steve shifted on the floor, and his lip popped between his teeth for a moment where he chewed it mercilessly. “Yeah…”

Tony was struck by the intensity of the waves of discomfort that were rolling of off Steve and he backtracked hurriedly. “I’m sorry, it’s fine. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I just - I’ve been wondering for months and I”m a little stunned, is all. But you know, thank you. I love them all, dearly. Some of the best things I own, really.”

Steve took a breath that was definitely steeling for something, and Tony found himself bracing for impact too. “I made the gloves because you said your hands were cold, and I was going to give them to you myself. But then you weren’t there so I left them on your desk. And then the next day you came up to the common room, and you were wearing them. Something that I had made. You were - wearing them… and I realized, uh, that I was in love with you. And then I couldn’t tell you I’d done it because, god, it would be so obvious. And then I couldn’t seem to stop making you things and you kept wearing them and -”

“Steve.” Tony cut him off. His free hand came up to rest on Steve’s shoulder. “Take a breath.” Tony found himself uncharacteristically calm in the face of Steve’s meltdown.

Steve took several shaky breaths. “Sorry. That was… a lot. Anyway… I’ll fix this and you can be on your way. Or you can take it off now, and I can fix it like this, since I’ve picked up the stitches, it’s fine. You can, uh, go.”

“Can I thank you first?”

Steve’s eyes flicked nervously up to Tony’s then back down to the floor. “Um. Okay?”

Tony’s hand circled up from Steve’s shoulder to the back of his neck. He tugged a little and Steve’s eyes snapped back up, trying to figure out what was happening. Tony leaned forward and - very gently, to give Steve a chance to pull away - pressed their lips together.

Steve had looked so shell-shocked by the whole thing that Tony expected it to be like kissing a startled goldfish, but the second Tony’s lips met Steve’s, Steve lost all control. He dove at Tony, crawling up his body to half lean over him on the couch, one knee up on the cushion next to Tony’s thigh. One hand fisted in the fabric of Tony’s grey sweater. Tony tipped back and gripped the back of Steve’s hair with both hands, hanging on for dear life as Steve angled him into the deepest, filthiest kiss he’d had in a long time.

Tony arched back into the couch cushions, a moan rumbling out of his throat as Steve licked at the seam of his lips, but Steve ripped out of his arms at the sound, staggering back several steps and slapping his hand over his mouth. The parts of his cheeks Tony could see were bright red, and his eyes were wide and terrified.

For his part, Tony felt utterly debauched, he slumped into the couch, trying to catch his breath, arms thrown wide from Steve’s rapid escape, one with two knitting needles and a tail of thread still sticking wildly from it.

“I’m so sorry,” Steve whimpered, not removing the hand from his mouth.

Tony swallowed several times, trying to remember which way was up. “What?”

“Oh god, Tony, I’m so sorry. That was awful. I shouldn’t have - oh my god.” Steve’s other hand joined the first until his whole face was buried completely in both palms.

“Awful? I thought it was pretty fucking brilliant, but maybe that’s just my surprised boner talking. Why was it awful?”

“I -” Steve’s face reappeared. “I’m screwing all of this up.”

Tony pushed himself to his feet so he was standing chest to chest with Steve. He waved his needled hand about. “Screwing what up? You told me you were in love with me, and I kissed you. I thought that was going very nicely, and then you ran away like I bit your lip off or something. I didn’t bite your lip off, did I?” Tony peeled Steve’s hand away from his face and smiled. “Nope. Still there. Still kissable.”

Steve’s eyes pinched unhappily. “I don’t know what I’m doing,” he admitted.

“Did you not want to kiss me?”

“No, I did.”

“Do you not want to kiss me again?”

Steve flushed. “No… I do.”

“Seems straightforward to me.” Tony leaned in closer, settling his hands on Steve’s arms.

“No, I -” Steve gripped Tony’s hips and held him a solid foot away, muscles tense. “I don’t get it. This doesn't make sense. It’s - it’s too easy…”

“Are you calling me easy?” Tony smirked, his thumbs stroking over Steve’s skin of their own volition. The needles stuck in his glove bounced around.

Steve blanched. “No! I - this - I don’t get it. I told you I loved you and you… kissed me?”

Tony nodded slowly. “That’s frequently how that goes.”

“But you don’t like me like that.”

“Says who? Cause they lied.”

“No one… said… I just… really?”

Tony pulled Steve close again, not trying to draw him into another kiss, but leaning into his space, sharing heat and breath. “Really. Have I been thinking about it, imagining us like that? No, I can’t lie, it never occurred to me before. I honestly thought were straighter than your knitting needles. But, Steve, you’re one of my best friends, you made me all this amazing stuff, you taught me to skate. You’re kind and sweet and hot, and damn that shield throwy thing you do is impressive.” Tony winked. “I took your confession as an offer, and I’m saying yes. Is that not what you meant by it?”

“No… I mean, yes! No.”

“Steve, honey, you’re going to have to find some other words in there somewhere cause I’m pretty confused.”

“It wasn’t what I meant by it because I never thought in a million years you would… want to say yes.”

“Well, I do want to say yes. Is that okay? Good? Would you rather I said no?”

Steve stared for a long, tense moment, and Tony stayed silent watching Steve process what had just happened. And then Tony was gathered in strong arms and Steve’s mouth was on his again, hot and insistent. Tony moaned into the kiss, drawing them both back down onto the couch. Steve loomed over Tony, one knee braced between his thighs, his hands wrapped tightly around Tony’s waist. Tony clung to Steve’s shoulders, arching up to press their bodies together. Steve was like a giant furnace, a glorious, warm blanket wrapped all around Tony, legs wound together. It was fantastic. Tony, hooked his arms under Steve’s and let his hands wander down his back, exploring the vast expanse of muscle and down to the alluring curve of his ass. Tony grabbed two handfuls, but Steve jerked backwards at the touch and winced.

“Sorry, too much?” Tony snapped his hands away.

Steve grimaced and pressed his hand to his own butt. “No, sorry, you poked me with the needles.”

And that was too much. Tony looked at the hole in his glove and the needles framing it and burst out laughing. Steve joined him a moment later, and they crumpled onto the couch in a hysterical mess.

When they calmed, Steve gathered Tony up in his lap and set to work finishing the mend on his glove. “So you really like these, huh?”

“I love them. Best piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. I still can’t believe you knit.” Tony snuggled backwards until his head was settled comfortably on Steve’s chest. Steve pulled a blanket over the two of them from the back of the couch that Tony now realized was also handmade. How had he never noticed before? Steve was drowning in handknits.

“Knitting’s fun, you should try it. It’s not as complicated as it looks.” Steve wound the thread through the stitches, closing the hole, and Tony watched, mesmerized.

“It sure looks complicated to me.”

“Um. I could show you, if you wanted.”

“Yeah, that could be fun. Give me something to do while I think.”

Steve smiled. “Something besides dressing up in all your knitwear and playing with your Iron Man toy?”

“Something in addition to dressing up in all my knitwear and playing with Tiny Stark. I do a lot of thinking, I need variety.”

Steve chuckled and pressed a kiss to the side of Tony’s face. Tony hummed with pleasure. Honestly, he wasn’t sure why it had never occurred to him to do this with Steve before. It made perfect sense, and it felt perfectly right to be here in his arms.

“So what do you want to learn to make first?” Steve asked, closing off the last of the hole and weaving the end of the yarn in to hide it.

“A red and gold patterned sweater that has my face on the front -” Tony gestured over his chest “- and says, ‘I AM IRON MAN’ on the back.”

Steve blinked down at him for a moment, then laughed and pressed another kiss into his hair. “How about we start with a red dishcloth?”