"I'm not the Grinch!"
"Fine, then you're Scrooge!" Bucky yelled back exasperatedly.
"I am not!" Tony countered furiously, spinning to glare at Bruce when the other half of the Science Bros contributed with a quiet "you did say bah humbug yesterday", gasping out a faux-pained "et tu Bruce!?" as he clutched his wrench to his chest.
Turning his attention back to the assassin slouching against one of the workbenches, Tony folded his arms and scowled, "I am not a Scrooge. I'm not the Grinch either if anyone is the Grinch, it's Brucie, what with the whole green thing."
"You are a Scrooge, Tony! Refusing to take part in Secret Santa and saying bah humbug literally makes you Scrooge."
"No, it doesn't!"
As the pair continued to argue, Steve slipped into the lab unnoticed, perching on the edge of Bruce's desk to observe, "what's going on?"
Bruce sighed, slipping off his glasses to rub his eyes, "Tony won't take part in Secret Santa. Bucky is... less than pleased."
Nodding as if nothing was out of the ordinary, Steve turned back to the duo and called out, "Hey! You two wanna settle down or do I need to get Pepper?"
While Bucky snorted, Tony's eyes went wide as the genius shook his head furiously "no no no, no Pepper".
"Tony" Bucky pushed all his patience into his voice and posture, "help me out here pal. We always do Secret Santa. It's easy, you pick a name, you buy that person a gift, you put it under the tree and that's it. You're done. C'mon!"
"I'm bad with gifts!" Tony yelled.
"No you're not!" Bucky only just managed to keep his own volume in check, "you're not bad at gifts at all . When you overthink it and it's to make up for whatever bullshit you've put Pepper through that week, then yeah, you've made some crappy choices, but you give us all gifts all the time!"
Tony slumped over his bench, banging his head once before straightening with a wince and rubbing his forehead where he'd hit a screwdriver, "I'm not good at the little presents, you know this. Rogers speak some sense into your husband" he whined.
"Sorry Tony" Steve shrugged sympathetically, "I'm with Buck on this, we all do it, we're all less than great at it, except for Natasha who is freakily good at the whole gift giving thing, but we're family it doesn't matter if the gift is a little weird right? Isn't that what the whole Secret Santa/White Elephant thing is about?"
Before Tony could argue again, Bucky patted his shoulder consolingly, "look, how about this, as long as you don't pick me I will help you, and if you do get me, Stevie will help you, yeah?"
Tony narrowed his eyes calculatingly, gaze flitting between the two super-soldiers momentarily, before giving in with a nod and a defeated rush of breath, "fine, but when this all goes wrong it's your fault."
"Sure, anything you like" Bucky agreed readily, "now pick a name out of that hat" he waggled the top hat filled with paper under Tony's nose.
"Where did you get a top hat from anyway?" Stark asked as he stuck his hand in.
"Steve stole it front Clint. C'mon who'd you get?"
Tony opened the slip of paper carefully, letting out a relieved sigh at the name printed on it before flipping it around to show Bucky.
"Alright!" Barnes laughed, "see? Nothing to worry about. You're still a Scrooge though."
"Yeah yeah bah humbug" Tony grumbled, waving a hand at the two soldiers in dismissal, "now get out, go terrorize someone else, shoo."
At an unnoticed gesture from Bruce, Jarvis started up a Christmas playlist as Bucky and Steve headed for the door, only for both of them to pause and spin to look at Bruce, Tony doing the same, when the scientist unexpectedly said, "Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful and triumphant" his cheerful expression somewhat ruining the impression.
"Grinch" the other three yelled in sync, pointing at Bruce who allowed just a hint of green to creep in around his temples as he grinned.