Steve/Bucky Recs List and Other Goodies From the Marvel Cinematic Universe

I’ve been getting increasingly obsessed with Steve/Bucky (aka Stucky) lately, and thought I’d start a small (not so small anymore – oops?) recs post to help keep track of and share some of my favorite fics and vids for the pairing, as well as some other Avengers-related goodies from the Marvel fandom.

As I mentioned in my Marvel movies review, I don’t read comics to any significant degree, so these recs will focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

My favorite genres for Steve/Bucky fanfiction include:

  • post-CA:TWS (bonus points for Bucky/Soldier/Asset POV)
  • first kiss and/or first time fics in any era with good UST and pining
  • humor

I like fics in which Peggy, Natasha, Sam, and/or the other Avengers have good characterization and get to be awesome as well. I’m a multishipper, so sometimes this means the fics recced here have past, side, or background pairings other than Steve/Bucky, including Steve/Peggy (my second favorite Steve ship), Bucky/Natasha, Clint/Natasha,  Sam/Natasha, Tony/Pepper, and several OT3s. Just check the tags if you’re easily turned off by certain ships.

If you’re a return visitor and want to see what I’ve added since the last time you were here, the latest additions are marked NEW.

Please note: some of the fics listed here contain content that may be triggering for some people and some contain adult content. Please check tags and ratings carefully before reading, especially if you are underage and/or have any triggers. Also note that I am unable to list PWPs on this page, but you can find my PWP recs on my new fanfiction recs blog Infinite Variation.

My Favorite Steve/Bucky Fic

♥ The Infinite Coffee and Protection Detail series, by owlet

Which is, ironically, gen, not slash, although it could easily be read as pre-slash. (UPDATE 09/2015 YOU CAN TOTALLY READ IT AS PRE-SLASH, BECAUSE IT NOW OFFICIALLY IS! \o/ See below for details) I’ve read it more times than I care to admit, because I often read it as a sort of palate cleanser between darker and angstier fics. It does a really wonderful job of being funny and hopeful without ignoring or trivializing the trauma and legitimate emotional pain that Bucky and Steve have both experienced and are still trying to work their way through.

This series includes:

This, You Protect

The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect

60,000+ words of funny post-CA:TWS fic in which the Asset’s mission resets from Kill Steve Rogers to Protect Steve Rogers on the helicarrier and he sets up surveillance, leaves unconscious HYDRA operatives lying on Steve’s doorstep like an oversized pet cat, gets addicted to coffee and grilled cheese, befriends a group of old people, and gradually turns back into somebody resembling Bucky Barnes. Grumpy, sarcastic Bucky Barnes. Tons of fun.

Team-Building Exercises

Integration into adult human social dynamics requires attention and effort. Especially with this bunch of damaged bozos.

The sequel to This, You Protect, which consists of interconnected one shots set after contact. The whole thing is just as delightful as the first, but I especially recommend Maria Hill and the Excellent, Wonderful, Very Good, Super Great Day, which just about killed me from laughing. (Not to mention the mental images!) And Couple of Tricks, But Mostly Treats, which made my heart grow maybe ten sizes. Oh, Barnes. ♥

Truth, Justice, and the Cheating Cheater Way

Don’t play cards with Captain America. Just don’t. Especially if you’ve pissed him off recently.

A funny one shot set during the Howling Commandos era, expanding on a memory the mission briefing referenced in This, You Protect.

NEW ADDED 09/2015! Owlet just posted a slash sequel to This, You Protect and Team-Building Exercises! And boy, if you thought our boys were adorable in those fics, wait until you see them in love!

♥ Upgrade: Advanced Happiness Skills

Barnes’s body does a new thing. Thanks for all the trouble, body.

~dies and is dead~ Of happiness. Warning: brief and non-graphic mention of sexual assault

NEW Added 10/2015 A Chance To Try Bravery

“Changed his mind about touching,” Bucky said. Just … what?

Steve’s POV on one of the scenes in Upgrade: Advanced Happiness Skills. This is the first time we’ve seen things from his perspective, and it’s interesting to flesh out a little more of the worldbuilding and his perspective on how much Bucky has changed (and stayed the same) through the years

Steve/Bucky Fic Recs

Steve/Bucky slash fics I’ve enjoyed. Listed alphabetically by title. Particular favorites marked with ♥

♥ 4 Minute Window, by Speranza

“Look, if they catch me,” Bucky muttered, “they’re either going to kill me or they’re going to put me in a box with a little window and—Steve, I can’t.

A nice reversal of popular fanon tropes: post CA:TWS Bucky saves Steve. I was skeptical of Natasha’s characterization for part of the fic – I don’t think she of all people would be that slow on the uptake – but overall it was really enjoyable and well-written, and it makes a great comfort read.

Also comes with hilarious bonus fake Yelp page (spoilers for the fic) and several sequels, of which I especially like Scenes From a Marriage: The Kandinsky, which is lovely and has bonus great Natasha characterization, as well as some nice bits with Tony and Pepper. (Honestly, all Speranza’s other fics have great Natasha characterization, I don’t know why 4 Minute Window pinged me as a bit off. But regardless, it’s not enough to detract that much from enjoying the fic.)


Accidentally on Purpose, by nekare and notallbees

After Bucky drunkenly kisses Steve by accident, it just seems to keep on happening, until it’s not so much by accident anymore.

Steamy slow build fic with pre-serum!Steve.


NEW Added 12/2015 ♥ Ain’t No Grave (Can Keep My Body Down), by spitandvinegar (WIP)

It’s six in the morning, and Steve is heading out on a run when he nearly trips over a bouquet of sunflowers on the front steps of his brownstone.

For a second paranoia takes over, and he kicks the flowers a little, waiting for them to explode. They don’t. They also came with a card, which he picks up. The front of the card has a tasteful picture of the Brooklyn bridge at sunset. It’s very nice and sedate, like the kind of card you would buy to give to your boss. On the inside someone has written a short message in big, shaky block letters.

I AM SORRY FOR SHOOTING YOU.

Steve sits down hard on the steps.

I’m having trouble figuring out how to do justice to this fic. It has one of the most memorable Buckys I’ve read yet – deeply damaged, unstable, foul mouthed, and drug addicted, but still fundamentally a caretaker, both to Steve and a pair of OC homeless teens he takes under his wing. The OCs (both the homeless teens and several others) are outstanding, there are some good interactions with Sam, Tony, and Natasha in particular, and the Steve is reminiscent of another of my favorite fics, Sparked Up Like a Book of Matches (recced below): smart, damaged, cynical, and more of a troll than you’d expect, but also still fundamentally Steve in his kindness and earnestness. The fic itself is frequently laugh out loud funny despite dealing with some pretty weighty stuff. Just all around a great read. I could barely put it down.


All the Angels and the Saints, by Speranza

In which Steve Rogers loses God and finds God and loses God, and also: Bucky.

Steve is a socialist and on-and-off atheist. Speranza has become one of my favorite authors in this fandom, and this is my favorite of her fics so far. It has great historical details and really intense, emotional Steve/Bucky with excellent characterization of both of them, as well as an especially good OFC as Bucky’s younger sister. The sex scenes are both blazingly hot and illuminate characterization better than almost any other fic – fan or original – I’ve ever read. Really highly recommended.


But We Can Try, by hetrez

Bucky said, “These are love letters, Rogers. You’ve been drawing me love letters.”

Sweet fic about Steve, adjusting.


Circling Back, by chaya

Steve looks for Bucky, Bucky finds Steve, Steve tries desperately to put Bucky back together. Bucky tries desperately to let him.

Almost 60,000 words of satisfying post-CA:TWS Bucky fic with a focus on recovery. Lots of Natasha and Sam being wonderful friends for Bucky and Steve as they work through their various issues. Also has pretty good characterization of the other Avengers and guest appearances by T’Challa and Peter Parker, among others. The sequel, Catenary Chain, is also good and though it’s mostly on the fluffier side, has several chapters that give an absolutely heart-breaking perspective into what was going on in Bucky’s head in the early chapters of Circling Back. Both fics did have some side ships I didn’t really get the appeal of.


Close to the Sun, by thebrotherswinchester

Steve’s known Bucky his whole life.

Nice fic that draws from the legend of Icarus and goes from pre-serum to post CA:TWS


Collected Letters (1930-1943), by brokentoy and triedunture

The collected private correspondence—unedited, uncensored—of Steven Rogers, later known as Captain America, and his longtime companion, James B. Barnes, spanning the years from childhood to World War II.

Lovely, sad epistolary fiction.


Come To Morning, by emilyenrose

He figured it was natural, kind of—well, not natural, but he and Steve spent a lot of time together, and Steve didn’t get so much attention from girls, which was a crying shame because he was a good guy and a girl could do a lot worse. But it meant maybe Steve got a bit confused, because sometimes he would look at Bucky with this look. This bright, astonished look, like he was seeing something so good he couldn’t quite believe it was real. It made Bucky squirm inside, a little.

Bisexual!Steve and pining.


Coming Out Party, by Speranza

“It’s just a party. I can crash a party, don’t you worry.”

Just ~1800 words of adorable schmoop in which Bucky and Steve get to dance together, have lots of sex, and also troll Tony Stark. So, a winner all the way around.


The Company You Keep, by orbingarrow and tatemshope [WIP]

Post- CA:TWS

On the run, Bucky’s plan boils down to stalking Steve’s friends to find out what kind of man Captain Steve Rogers is, beyond the biographies. They are all more than happy to share.

This is ultimately a Steve/Bucky story. Everything else is friends being awesome and trying to do the best they can with a shitty situation.

A nice post-CA:TWS fic where Bucky goes to Bruce first because he’s least likely to accidentally kill him. Lots of the Avengers (and Sam) being great friends to Bucky and Steve, and some really good dialogue from Bucky and Clint in particular.


cross this river to the other side, by defcontwo

In 1943, the Howling Commandos wrote goodbye letters to be given to their loved ones in the event of their deaths.

In 2014, Sharon Carter finds those letters in a tin can in an abandoned HYDRA base.

Bucky is put on trial and Steve and the surviving Howling Commandoes come together to support him.


Don’t Ask, by AnnaFugazzi

Captain America and Bucky Barnes were like brothers. Everyone knew that.

After accidentally overhearing Steve and Bucky in an intimate moment, the Howling Commandos have to come to terms with their relationship.


Eat Rotten Fruit, by birdbrains [WIP]

Steve keeps discovering implanted Hydra triggers that restrain or enhance Bucky for set periods of time. It’s putting a crimp in Bucky’s plan to pretend everything is normal post-WS, and he tests Steve’s patience by turning it all into a joke. But Steve can take a joke.

An interesting and often quite funny (if you don’t mind gallows humor) take on Bucky’s post-CA:TWS recovery, with Steve and Sam who are also damaged and trying to cope. The author notes that she’s writing the series somewhat out of order and there are some inconsistencies between the different stories as a result.


everywhere we go (we’re looking for the sun), by Lyaka

Once upon a time, the night watchmen would have given him sideways looks, a young man walking alone down 33rd street on the wrong side of midnight. These days they looked his uniform and nodded respectfully instead. Bucky hated it. He wished he could go back to the ragged boy he’d been, take Steve with him into the past and hide there together.

Bucky coming home, the night before he ships out.

I like to think something like this happened after Bucky went off to go dancing and Steve went off to meet Erskine and his date with destiny.


Five times Steve kissed Bucky, by Paragon

(+ once, finally, it was the other way around)

Five times fic with great kissing.


Fluff, by MoreThanSlightly

“Dr. Foster, this is a tower full of highly trained soldiers, spies, and geniuses. If we can’t track down and subdue a frith—um, small Asgardian mammal, then nobody can,” Steve says. He tries to look reassuring. It must not be working. She’s still looking around like it might pop out at any moment.

“Frithrkottr,” she says. She takes a deep breath and tucks some errant strands of hair behind her ear. “It’s furry. Kitten-sized.”

“A real cause for panic,” he says, trying to make her smile.

She doesn’t look calmed.

Cute!


the food of love, by biblionerd07

Bucky and Steve communicate through food. Sam is a good person, so he doesn’t complain about his kitchen being taken over. Not too much, anyway.

Aww.


Geriatric Road Trip 2015, by what_alchemy

Bucky was the eldest of four.

Oh geez, this might be the sweetest thing ever. This makes the third Steve/Bucky fic to make me cry, but in this case, it was tears of joy.


Good Boy, by triedunture

Bucky is still adjusting to life with the Avengers, and Steve is willing to do whatever it takes to make him feel comfortable. Increasingly, though, what seems to make him comfortable is strangely intimate.

Surprise, Steve! You’re a gentle dom and Bucky wants to be your pretty pet!

Canon-based Dom/sub stuff with sub!Bucky is a little hit or miss for me, because Bucky spent more than 70 years being treated like something subhuman by HYDRA and fics have to tread pretty carefully around that to make me buy that he’d ever want to be dominated again.

This fic was one of the rare hits. I thought it did a particularly good job of setting up the psychological aspect for Bucky in the aftermath of his treatment by HYDRA.


Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square, by Speranza

Natasha wanted to tell him the whole story of wartime London and the pub and seeing who Steve Rogers was before he lost everything, and meeting The Winter Soldier only to find out that he was just a young charmer named Bucky Barnes.

A satisfying time travel story


Gravitation, by OdsBodkins

“He couldn’t remember when he first started feeling the pull. Perhaps it was too long ago, or perhaps it had been gradual, something that crept up on him. But by the time he was sixteen, Bucky knew that the axis of his world spun around Steve Rogers in the worst possible way.”

Inspired by finding out that in the prequel comics for Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky are in art class when the news breaks about Pearl Harbor.

Bucky tries to hide his feelings for Steve by sleeping with half the girls in Brooklyn. It doesn’t work. Also has Bucky/OFCs.


Gravity, by Mici

You’re twenty years old, and the moment that he’s in your arms and he looks into your eyes, you know that he’s going to break your heart.

Lovely, heartbreaking reflections about Bucky and Steve growing up together from Bucky’s mother’s POV. Written in second person.


♥ Hard To Say, by betty days

“What worked for me was a nice, solid punch in the face. I’m not sure that’ll do much for you, though. Looks like you’ve been through enough already,” Hawkeye said.

***

The Winter Soldier is overdue for a reboot. His friends disagree.

Really lovely and sweet. Warning for more than 17,000 words of second person POV, but it’s less annoying than second person often is because it’s written more or less like the Soldier talking to himself (well, thinking to himself – in this fic, the Soldier’s most lingering symptoms post-HYDRA is aphasia) as he figures out how to be a person again on Clint’s farm.

Note: I download longer fics like this in mobi format to read on my Kindle, and some of the formatting for the Soldier’s missions and other programming got messed up for this fic, so make sure and view it on AO3 as well so you can be sure not to miss anything. To make it readable on Kindle, I downloaded the file as html, swapped out the pre tags for p in Notepad++, and converted back to mobi, which got rid of the special font but at least made it readable. I’m sure someone with more time or inclination to mess around with it could fix it better, but that was my quick and dirty solution.


have you ever thought just maybe, by Desdemon

“JARVIS,” Tony called thoughtfully.

“Yes, sir?”

“Those young people are in love,” he said.

In which Tony matchmakes, in typical Tony style. Cute!


Heart, Have No Pity on This House of Bone, by Sena

The higher-ups call it Operation Watchtower, but to Bucky Barnes and the rest of the men on the ground, it’s Operation Pestilence. Bucky doesn’t mind that much. He was the one stupid enough to enlist, after all, alongside a bunch of other guys stupid enough to enlist. It’s their own damn fault they’re sitting in muddy holes in the ground getting malaria and eating whatever they can steal from the dwindling Japanese food caches.

Sometimes Bucky crunches his way through a tin of fish heads and gazes out at the sea, wondering if the US Army’s forgotten them there on Guadalcanal, wondering if there’s a US Army or a Navy even left to remember them or if the Japanese have won and nobody’s bothered to let the GIs know. Then he decides fuck it and chucks his tin of fish heads at Foghorn because he’s in the mood to wrestle and Foghorn’s always up for a fight. They both come out of it laughing and a little bloody and feeling better because, hell, Bucky figured out pretty quick that living or dying is largely just a matter of chance, so why worry?

Really atmospheric fic about Bucky in the Pacific pre-Captain America: the First Avenger. Has unrequited Steve/Bucky and Bucky/OMCs. Warning: graphic descriptions of violence and miscellaneous gross stuff like dysentery and gangrene that soldiers had to deal with in WW2.


How the Story Goes, by Chex

The Winter Soldier has never been in love. He understands the concept – a sort of loyalty but without the purity of purpose that he associates with that term. Love creates more weaknesses to exploit. Dedication to a mission or cause does not.

(Prompt: Past Steve/Bucky, Post TWS the Asset falls in love with Steve all over again.)

Nice post CA:TWS fic from the Asset’s point of view as he figures out who he was and who he is.


I can’t remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends), by gwyneth rhys

“And this is the thing, Steve. I would rather relive this day for eternity than watch them win and you die, or see you be enslaved to them the way I was.”

Every fandom needs a few good Groundhog Day fics, and this is a really satisfying one in which Bucky relives the day of the attack on the helicarriers many, many times, and refinds himself (and Steve) along the way.


i love you like rlb, by tolieawake

I love you like rlb has become a well-known, accepted and valuable component of American vernacular. The meaning of the letters ‘rlb’ is unknown, but is uniformly considered to be a statement of a great romantic love, commitment and sacrifice.

It was Dernier as first said it. Steve never imagined that something like that could have survived the war and all the years in between.

In which Tony goes insane trying to figure out why that phrase affects the Cap so much, Bucky teases the press, and Steve and Bucky love each other like rlb.

Cute fic that’s entered MCU fandom vernacular.


i was found and now i don’t roam these streets, by hipsterchrist

They’ve decided to start producing Bucky Bears again, now that he’s all shiny and redeemed and fighting for good on this big Avengers misfits team. “He has a little shiny gray arm,” Bucky says, wiggling the stuffed arm in question, one of the tweaks made in the new model. It takes Steve a second to realize that Bucky’s got a small smile on his face, actually looks a little bit proud around the eyes.

Or, Bucky relearns himself and how to be on a team, the rest of the Avengers try to get answers, and everyone watches too much Criminal Minds.

Lovely


Kiss Me Hello, by kehinki

Bucky and Steve take to kissing each other hello, goodbye, goodnight. It’s all very platonic until it isn’t.

Cute, fluffy kissing fic


lacuna, by alcibiades

The Winter Soldier doesn’t remember Steve Rogers, but he needs Rogers’ help.

OR: The one where Bucky doesn’t remember Steve, but falls in love with him anyway.

Steve joins Bucky on a rather sad and frustrating Revenge Road Trip, while Bucky relearns how to be human and both of them relearn each other. Melancholy, but lovely and ultimately hopeful.


Legacy, by Monstrous Regiment

Four months after the spectacular failure of Project Insight, Bucky Barnes, once more (mostly) himself, turns to the only people he knows he can trust to help him cut a bloody path through HYDRA: the descendants of the Howling Commandos. The Legacies.

(Or: Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers douche it up with the descendants of the Howling Commandos through Europe and America, blowing shit up. Being a little shit is genetic, apparently.)

Really fun fic with a mix of action and domesticity, a post CA:TWS Bucky with attitude, and a slightly overwhelming number of awesome OCs (plus some familiar faces).


Let’s Fall in Love, by Desdemon

“I really am sorry, dollface,” Bucky said, his eyes huge and stupid. “I’m just flapping my gums, you know what a chucklehead I am.”

Cute fic about Tony sending Steve and Bucky to a speakeasy themed bar to pick up intel, and what follows.


lonely houses off the road, by Etharei

Barnes is now glaring at him for some reason. It’s somewhat terrifying but also, oddly, a little reassuring— because that’s emotionright there, which means there’s still somebody behind those eyes. Somebody who seems to think Sam is being a bit slow on the uptake. “Time parameters exceeded. Mission failed.”

“Wait.” Sam narrows his eyes. “Is this some kind of… report? Debriefing?”

Mission report,” confirms Barnes, looking pleased. Well, looking slightly less murderous than before.

In which various people deal with things they never signed up for, but at the end of the day no one’s particularly surprised.

Cute post-CA:TWS fic in which Bucky stalks hangs around the Avengers and bumps into each of them before finally returning to Steve.


The Man on the Bridge, by boopboop

Steve Rogers turning up at Tony’s door in the middle of the night might be a bit out of character, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. Stranger things have happened.

Steve Rogers turning up at Tony’s door with an amnesiac assassin – who may or may not have some of Tony’s personally designed hardware attached where his arm should be – well that’s just far too interesting to turn away, even if Tony is trying to avoid all things S.H.I.E.L.D these days.

This was one of the first Steve/Bucky fics I read and it was more or less exactly what I needed. 100,000+ words of post CA: TWS with a good mix of action and recovery, and nice characterization of the other Avengers. Tony POV, although there is an epilogue from Steve’s.


Memory, by emilyenrose

He remembered nothing. After the first few weeks, he asked to be called James.

Post-CA:TWS fic in which Bucky remembers little of his previous life, but helps dismantle the remains of HYDRA by Steve’s side. On a mission to re-capture Loki’s staff, he touches it and his consciousness gets replaced by that of Bucky in 1945, right before jumping on the train. This is one of those fics that sticks with you for a long time after you finish reading – it’s beautifully written but also thought-provoking and painful. It’s the second Steve/Bucky fic to make me cry – it ends on a hopeful note, but broke my heart several times over along the way.


Mistake on the Part of Nature, by idiopathicsmile

Steve takes in Bucky’s betrayed look and Sam’s confusion, follows Sam’s gaze to the pile of mangled fruit in the trash can. Sudden comprehension fills his face.

“Oh,” he says. “Bucky found out about bananas.” 

In which an American icon is mourned. But probably not the one you’re thinking of.

Super-Soldiers Against Modern Bananas! Very cute.


My Brother, The Hero, by Odsbodkins

Becca Barnes is eight years old, and her big brother can do no wrong.

The events of the two Captain America movies, from the perspective of one of the sisters Bucky leaves behind.

Nice outside POV fic on Bucky and Steve’s relationship through the years, from the perspective of his younger sister Rebecca Barnes.


No Gods, No Masters, Just Me, by OddityBoddity

Bucky Barnes is free. No gods, no masters. It’s going to be a god damned shit show.

Enjoyable post CA:TWS fic. I liked this quote about Bucky a lot:

He likes this. Dark, quiet, careful movement, senses straining. Even before the fall, he was the man in the shadows, the surprise second act when someone was beating up a skinny asthmatic with a big mouth, the sniper on the hill. He’s always been the dirty part of getting things done. Even before they changed him. It never bothered him then and it doesn’t bother him now.


Out of the Dead Land, by emilyenrose

Someone is building machines that look and act like people. Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier tries to be Bucky Barnes.

Another post CA: TWS I enjoyed. In this one, Bucky doesn’t really remember Steve but tries to treat becoming Bucky Barnes like a deep cover mission.


Painted in Indigo, by nekare

“You should be careful of that one,” Mr. Hendrickson says, with a nod to Bucky outside the window. “It ain’t right. Looking at you all the time as he does. The way he should be looking at girls.”

Steve laughs, because damn, but what a ridiculous idea.

Or, five times Steve caught Bucky looking at him, and the one time he looked first.

Sweet, hot fic with pre-serum Steve


Practice Makes Perfect, by nekare

It’s August and sweltering when Steve asks, out of nowhere, if Bucky wants to try kissing. Just to see what it’s like. Bucky then spends far, far too many years pretending it didn’t mean anything at all.

Practice kissing and pining. Beautiful fic that goes from age 13 to post-CA:TWS.


the prosecution rests, by dirtybinary

The Asset has to admit, ending a mission with Captain America crying into his lap is pretty unexpected. Even for him, and he is trained to anticipate all contingencies.

The Asset runs into his ex-mission halfway across the world. Surprisingly, very little fighting ensues.

Post Ca:TWS fic with funny internal commentary by the Asset, and good banter. Implied Steve/Bucky, but easily read as gen.


Rain and Darkness Too, by Jamesina

Post-TWS: Steve talks and Bucky listens.

Despite the slightly ominous sounding title, this post-CA:TWS fic is on the happier side of the angst-fluff continuum, with a relatively easy and straightforward recovery in which Steve and Bucky put each other back together (with help from Sam, Natasha, etc.) and then buy themselves a fixer-upper in Brooklyn and alternate home repairs and making up for 70 years of lost time. The one shot sequels are also good: I’ll Get By series.


Reciprocity, by osprey_archer [WIP]

Bucky had been treated like a thing for decades. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he’d learned to see other people that way.

Bucky’s years as the Winter Soldier have stunted his empathy so badly that Steve’s not sure Bucky is capable of emotional connection anymore. But Steve keeps trying anyway, and Bucky is happy to take advantage of that.

Bucky doesn’t think there’s anything “post” about his PTSD and clings to unhealthy coping mechanisms, while Steve struggles with caretaker fatigue on top of his own PTSD and depression. A unique and complex take on post-CA:TWS recovery fic, with a callous and paranoid Bucky who’s hard to like. Even for Steve, who loves him. Borderline dub-con in the early chapters.

The slowness of the recovery does make the eventual breakthroughs all the more satisfying, however – I don’t want to scare anybody off thinking this series is unrelentingly dark or depressing. There’s interesting commentary and a bunch of related ficlets by the author here and here, especially Bucky Barnes the Bolshevik.


Run to the Rock, Run to the Sea, by Sharksdontsleep

It’s easy to get lost when everyone looking for him is dead or soon dead. He lays the Mission on the river bank, looks for life signs. The Mission’s chest inflates, deflates, once, again. The wounds in his back and shoulders leak blood, his pulse faint but present. It’s enough.

Lovely post-CA:TWS from Bucky’s POV. Also has background Natasha/Sam.


Run Until the Road Runs Out, by ignipes

Sam’s along for this ride because he’s not about to let Steve Rogers go it alone, but Steve’s not the only one who needs a friend.

Steve/Bucky, but focuses more on friendship between Bucky and Sam.


sam deserves better than these assholes, by lazulisong

IM SORRY BUT SAM WILSON STARING IN BAFFLED WONDER AT STEVE AND BUCKY AND HOW WEIRD THEY ARE ABOUT EACH OTHER

A series of mostly domestic one-shots about Steve and Bucky living with Sam post CA:TWS. A few are unfinished or could use more polish, but most are really cute and entertaining reads.


(NEW Added 11/2015) Scrap Metal, by Scappodaqui and tinzelda

Steve and Bucky write each other during the war. With more than your usual inclusion of spam & jam sandwiches, chickens, radar-evasion devices, Dum Dum Dugan’s hat, and that dumb lunkhead who plays Captain America. Who’s that, Steve? Oh, just some guy I work with.

Another really enjoyable WW2-era epistolary fic. Funnily enough, although I’m usually careful about checking tags, I didn’t read the tags on this fic very carefully before I started and thus it took me way longer than I am going to admit to catch on that they weren’t actually talking about ice cream. I’m dumb sometimes, what can I say? 😛 Even if you go in prepared for a lot of censor-evading literary devices, you will probably want to reread this fic at least once just to catch everything. This Bucky and Steve are much smarter and much better writers than they might initially appear, and it’s fun to tease out all the double meanings and extended metaphors. To assist in unraveling everything, you’ll probably want to read the short prequel and various side fics.


Selfies From the Underground, by eleveninches

Tony reminded himself that the second the incorrect password was entered, the phone would destroy itself and any data on it. And there was no way someone named Tepid the Magnificent would guess–

“I’m in,” said Tepid. “Soon I’ll know all of the Avengers’ secrets.”

Tony briefly closed his eyes. “Steve. What was your password?”

“It’s ‘password,’” Tepid replied.

Or: Tony and Steve get captured.

Fun crackfic.


Sincerely, Your Pal, by lettered

“[…] lesbians and gay men writing letters to their lovers and friends faced the special problem of wartime censorship. Military censors, of course, cut out all information that might aid the enemy, but this surveillance made it necessary for gay and lesbian correspondents to be careful not to expose their homosexuality. To get around this, gay men befriended sympathetic censors or tricked others by using campy phrases, signing a woman’s name (like Dixie or Daisy), or changing the gender of their friends. Sailors became WAVEs, boyfriends became WACs, Robert became Roberta. There must exist, hidden in closets and attics all over America, a huge literature of these World War II letters between lesbians and between gay men that would tell us even more about this important part of American history.” – Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women In World War Two, by Allan Berube

A well done and often delightful epistolary fic featuring letters between Steve and Bucky (and eventually Steve’s sister “Susan”) starting from Bucky’s time in Basic.


Somebody Get that Kid a Sandwich, by toffeecape

There would come a day when Sam Wilson could no longer put off a complete debriefing session with his Momma. On that day, Sam hoped to escape the conversation alive by glossing over ‘following a juiced-up supersoldier on a brainwashed assassin’s revenge tour’ in favor of ‘convincing a traumatized war hero to come in from the cold with the power of Wilson family recipes.’

Nice Sam POV as he and Steve help Bucky destroy HYDRA in the aftermath of CA:TWS.

The first in a series that also includes background polyamory involving Tony/Pepper/Rhodey, Tony/Bruce, and Pepper/Natasha, and an interesting origin story for the metal arm.


somebody hears you. (you know that.), by kaydeefalls

There are many voices in his head these days. The Winter Soldier’s memories are the most coherent, but Barnes is far more persistent. Maybe because Barnes actually had a voice of his own, once.

(He’s got to figure out who he is before he can worry about what he wants.)

Lovely post-CA:TWS as the different identities in Bucky’s head try to figure out who he really is


♥ Sparked Up Like a Book of Matches, by Sena

Steve lives in Stark Tower and doesn’t have much to do when he’s not going after Hydra strongholds. He attends charity events to make Pepper happy. He goes hiking with Sam. He hangs out with Clint in Bed-Stuy and watches Dog Cops. Sometimes Tony gives him super alcohol in a sippy cup. Sometimes he sees Bucky out of the corner of his eye and wonders if it’s real or if he’s starting to lose his mind.

Alternately, the one with terrible jokes, a foot chase through the Lower East Side, and a tiny little robot named Shitcan.

Enjoyable and often hilarious post-CA:TWS fic with an especially smart, cynical, and snarky Steve and great interactions with the other Avengers, especially Sam, Tony, Natasha, and Clint.


Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film, by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, and tigrrmilk

“Heil Hydra,” the enemy agent shouts.

“Heil this, motherfucker,” says Captain America, shooting off a rocket.

Steve and Bucky find out Hollywood has been busy since they went away. A historical survey, including but not limited to: one set of exploded genitals, a brief interlude in France, Mel Gibson and other masterworks of casting, eight Academy awards, several dinosaurs, and something Tony Stark has ominously dubbed “the masterpiece.” Art included.

This is almost more of a gen fic, as the Steve/Bucky is pretty minor, but I love stuff like this. It’s a mix of excerpts from critics reviews, screenplays, and academic papers about a bunch of (fictional) Captain America movies made in Hollywood (and France) in the years after Steve’s disappearance, interspersed with Steve and Bucky’s reactions to the films. Lots of fun!


Steve Rogers Might Wear Tights, but He’s Not Your Pin-Up Girl, by RosaLui and what_alchemy

Bucky enrolls in a college course about Captain America. It doesn’t go well.

Hilarious collection of documents (mainly an essay written by Bucky, with the professor having a meltdown in red ink all over the place) relating to a college course Bucky takes about Captain America.


Steve Rogers’ Perfect Ass and Other Workplace Hazards, by AggressiveWhenStartled

Bucky Barnes was a violent, jealous asshole and they were all going to die and was that idiot Peter still filming.

I started giggling when I read the summary and didn’t really stop until some time after I finished reading the fic. Hi-freaking-larious.


That Time Steve and Bucky Got Married, by ipoiledi

“What the fuck is this?” Bucky demands.

ipoiledi is best known for her scorching PWPs (see my fanfiction recs blog for recs), but this a really funny and adorable bit of fluff in which Bucky freaks out after Steve gets seriously injured on a mission and the hospital won’t allow them to see each other because they’re not legally related, so he drags a befuddled chaplain along for a bedside wedding.


Things the men of the Howling Commandos are no longer allowed to do in the SSR, by Odsbodkins

The Captain America: The First Avenger version of Skippy’s list

Cute! I agree with the commenter who said that SNRFB ought to become part of the official ship terminology for the HMS Stucky. 😀


Things We Lost in the War, by gwyneth rhys

Tell me what is really true. Tell me if I belong to you the way I think I do, if these are not just lies someone put inside me to warp my mind. Tell me this pounding in my chest is what I feel for you and not fear.

Post CA:TWS, Bucky is doing surveillance on Steve but not ready to deal with people so much yet, so he and Steve write each other letters instead. Occasionally gets a little on the nose about emotional states, but overall a really lovely and thoughtful fic. I always appreciate fics that do a good job of acknowledging that Bucky isn’t the only one with major issues to work through in the aftermath of everything that’s happened to both of them. (All of them, really. There’s some good stuff about Sam and Riley’s relationship in here, too.)

Features a literary Bucky who likes poetry, so it gets positively swoon-worthy at times.

I want to feel your heart beat inside my chest, feel your breath inside my lungs.

Plus, Rilke.


Tin Soldiers, by idrilka

In his 2009 book on Captain America comic books, war photography, and American propaganda, Everett claims: “There is nothing to suggest that either the graphic novels issued during the war or the photographs taken during Rogers’ stay with the Howling Commandos can serve as a basis for a queer reading of Rogers and Barnes’ relationship. But even more importantly, there is nothing to suggest that such a relationship ever existed in the first place, and as such, those queer readings are not only misguided, but also libelous” (197).

[from: Lynn E. Anderson, Captain America: Behind the Mask. Steve Rogers and the Contemporary Hero Narrative (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 242.]

In the aftermath of Steve’s return to the world of the living and the battle of New York, the academia and the Internet react.

More wonderful fictional nonfiction, mainly excerpts from academic books and social media posts, including live Twitter/Tumblr commentary on the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier from DC residents and fans. Clever and fun.


To Be Modified as Necessary, by ignipes

They only need ten rules to ensure (relatively) peaceful cohabitation.

Funny fic about the Avengers learning to live together at Stark Tower. Also has Clint/Natasha, Bucky/Natasha, and Thor/Jane.


To Memory Now I Can’t Recall, by Etharei

While on a mission storming a HYDRA facility, James Buchanan Barnes touches one of the many strange alien devices collected by the Red Skull. He does this, in fact, twice— in the past, and in the future.

Next thing he knows, Bucky Barnes is opening his eyes in the 21st century, which is full of great gadgets and coffee, and at least includes his old pal Steve. (And, inexplicably, a different Stark.) Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier finds himself in the middle of World War Two, helping Captain America hunt down HYDRA (which is at least familiar), pretending to be Bucky Barnes (which is not), and figuring out the very noisy group of soldiers who call themselves the Howling Commandos.

Another satisfying time travel fic.


(NEW Added 10/2015) Too Long We Have Tarried, by kototyph

Bucky picks up the ring and holds it between them. “Steven Grant Rogers,” he says solemnly. “Will you marry me?”

Based on the prompt: “the ‘remember when we were 20 and you had just broken up with your girlfriend and you drunkenly made me promise to marry you if you were single at 30? well happy birthday, jackass, here’s a decoder ring I just pulled out of a cereal box. Marry me.’ trope.” It starts as Bucky and Steve hilariously trolling each other and ends up punching you unexpectedly in the feels.


To Stop My Mind From Wandering, by Lynchy8

“Leaving the man – the mission – the mission who was a man who was also important, so important, more important than this mission… which was terrifying because nothing had ever been more important than a mission before… leaving That Man on the banks of the river, had been almost impossible.”

After the fall of Hydra, Steve goes in search of Bucky in the hope of bringing him home. Meanwhile someone has broken into Steve’s D.C. apartment, but what kind of burglar or assassin buys paint and drywall mud?

Post CA:TWS in which Bucky refinds himself with the help of home repairs


United States v. Barnes, 617 F. Supp. 2d 143 (D.D.C. 2015), by fallingvoices and radialarch

The Associated Press @AP
Winter Soldier set to stand trial for Washington D.C. massacre and treason apne.ws/1og6SWE

Newspaper articles, courtroom transcripts, Twitter posts, and more from the trial of James Buchanan Barnes.


The Way Up, by dirtybinary

It’s a long road to recovery, but Bucky’s got this. Breaking into Steve’s apartment sounds like a good start.

Post CA:TWS fic that’s on the cuter side of the angst-fluff continuum.


we did not make ourselves, by M_Leigh

It is like steel, the determination inside of you that tells you you will achieve this, that you will find him. Nothing will stop you. You are two sides of the same coin, you and he: he cannot escape you forever. Bucky runs. Steve follows.

I took awhile to get around to actually reading this despite a recommendation from a friend with great (and very similar) taste because, well, 25k of second person POV. Attack of the second person, indeed. But I really liked it when I finally got around to reading it. Lots of great flashbacks to Steve and Bucky’s childhood and teenage friendship, and a thoughtful take on how the war affected both Steve and Bucky.


What We Asked For From Each Other, by Speranza

“I don’t like pain,” he told Banner. “Or assassins. Or boyfriends, actually.”

Some good Tony POV on Steve and Steve/Bucky. Has Tony/Steve (warning: consensual, but under the influence of alcohol and Hulk tranquilizers) and Tony/Bruce as well.


Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, by cjmarlowe

Bucky turned it over and over in his head that Steve had never been with a girl. It had honestly just never occurred to him, because it was Steve and Bucky thought Steve was just about the greatest guy in town. Everyone else should have thought that too.

First time fic with pre-serum!Steve.


with the lights out, it’s less dangerous, by musesfool

Bucky says it’s what friends do, they help each other out, and it’s their little secret, right?

Musesfool has always been wonderful at blending sex scenes with great characterization.


The Words that Were, by OddityBoddity

Bucky is starting to remember the things he’d really rather keep forgetting.

Post-CA:TWS about Bucky, recovering.


You Just Had To Make It Weird, by IAmShadow21

Steve and Sam are in the middle of nowhere, the absolute opposite of civilisation, just following a lead on Hydra and checking in to a cheap hotel and finding an awesome diner with great food and even better looking pie.

Then Bucky Barnes turns up and ruins everything.

Post-CA:TWS fic on the funnier side of the continuum, with a pretty functional and competent Bucky who’s also kind of a troll, and Sam getting grumpily caught in the crossfire of 70 years of pent-up UST.


Your Blue-Eyed Boys, by Feather

Steve has no plan. Not because he hadn’t tried to make one. He’d tried to make lots of plans. Plan, adapt, plan again, tried to think of every contingency.

And then he’d thrown them away, because there wasn’t much point. What could you plan for? He couldn’t guess the possible contingencies, the situations, the potentials. And he sure as sure hadn’t figured on what’s happened now, on coming back to his place and finding Bucky here. He hadn’t even hoped for that.

He hadn’t realized he could.

Thoughtful post-CS:TWS recovery fic.


Your Favorite Ghost, by augustbird

It’s harder than Steve ever expected to bring Bucky home.

Another post CA: TWS I enjoyed.


Your Lack Of An Answer Is Kind Of An Answer: Four Questions Natasha Asked Steve Rogers, And One Time Bucky Barnes Answered, by Speranza

“All right, I have a question for you. Oh, but you don’t have to answer it. I feel like if you don’t answer it though, you’re kind of answering it, you know…”

What it says on the tin.

Steve/Bucky AU Fic Recs (Canon-Divergent)

Some of the fics listed in other categories have minor canon divergence of various types (i.e. Steve was orphaned in childhood instead of in his late teens/early 20’s as suggested in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), but they’re still recognizable as essentially MCU-verse. This category is for fics that make one or more major changes to canon, like one or both of them surviving the war. Or Steve being a woman.

Listed alphabetically by title, particular favorites marked with ♥.

20th Century Limited, by Speranza

“Where am I? Where is this?” and he was in Brooklyn, he was on a beach, the train was shaking around him. He was in the plane, ice splintering up onto the windshield. He was in a tank, tubes trailing from his face, from his groin. Christ, he was cold. There was still ice on his fingers. He was in the Grand Canyon. He was in Times Square. This couldn’t be Times Square. Where the hell was this? “Tell me! Where am I, who are you, where’s—” —Bucky?

AU in which the serum creates a telepathic link between Steve and Bucky and they keep finding each other throughout the years even when frozen. Has a thoughtful exploration of how canon might be different if Steve knew in advance that Bucky was alive and captured by HYDRA, but the real pleasure is in the world Steve and Bucky create for themselves while they’re frozen, which is both beautiful and fun, like the train journey they take together to the Grand Canyon in which they enliven half-remembered Midwestern scenery with a battle between dinosaurs and spaceships.


A Century of Sleep, by Firefly_Ca

Once, when they’re talking about his work with the V.A., Sam mentions that bad memories have a way of burrowing themselves deep down inside a person’s mind, waiting for an unguarded moment to push their way back to the surface. At the time, Steve couldn’t help but think it was unfair, that the worst moments of your life are the ones that never leave you. But memories are apparently complicated, especially when they get tangled together with emotion. Sometimes the memories that cause the most pain come hand-in-hand with the key to putting yourself back together.

(A.K.A. AU where Steve and Bucky meet in a reform school, bad things happen, things get better, then worse, time passes, angst again, and finally violence of the intensely satisfying variety.)

An AU that sticks pretty close to canon in some ways and strays off in others. Pay careful attention to the warnings if you have triggers, especially relating to child abuse or graphic violence – reform schools have a terrible reputation for a reason, and this fic doesn’t shy away from the horror of Bucky’s years as the Winter Soldier either. I liked the characterization (including a bunch of well-written OCs), and enjoyed the revenge/justice subplot. Although sex is a very minor part of this fic (Steve is asexual or graysexual), I also wanted to commend the author for a really good first time scene. Fics often depict Bucky as being substantially more experienced than Steve (which is a perfectly legitimate and likely interpretation of canon), but in this one they’re both pretty inexperienced and there is adorably awkward (and realistic, tbh) fumbling and confusion.


Here we are, just about the same, by Mici

Seventy years after crashing a plane, Bucky wakes up first.

Steve wakes up a few minutes after him.

Lovely fic where Steve and Bucky crashed the plane together and wake up together in the future


Into That Good Night, by Nonymos

Steve Rogers has lived for entirely too long—long enough to see the world’s end. The heroes are gone, and the Earth is pushing what’s left of mankind towards the exit.

But when a makeshift team rises from the ashes, when a mysterious presence all but drags Steve there, he begins to think there may be hope yet. As they shoot for the stars one last time, Steve will get proof yet again that the future is nothing if not an echo of the past.

More futurefic than AU, really, although it’s AU for several other Marvel films, including Guardians of the Galaxy. A clever and plotty sci-fi fusion with the film Interstellar (though it’s not necessary to see that film before reading the story – I’ve never seen it) that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The emotional beats were also spot-on. Melancholy (it takes a very, very long time for Steve and Bucky to be reunited) and bittersweet, but satisfying. Bonus Dylan Thomas.


Not Easily Conquered, by dropdeaddream and WhatAreFears

This is a trilogy containing the following fics:

A Long Winter

In 1945, Steve Rogers jumps from a nosediving plane and swims through miles of Arctic Ocean to a frozen shore.

In 1947, Steve Rogers marries Peggy Carter.

In 1966, the New York Times finds the lost letters of Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes.

 

This fic is really well-written, but almost unbearably sad. Steve barely aging while his friends and family get old and die around him, drowning in grief over Bucky, and losing Peggy to his ghosts and the nasty realities of the Cold War makes spending 70 years on ice and waking up to find the whole world gone start to seem like a lucky break.

♥ The Thirteen Letters

Womb to tomb, sweetheart.

Prequel to A Long Winter, and my favorite part of the trilogy. Along with Speranza’s Half of the History We Shall Never Know, Sena’s Heart Have No Pity on This House of Bone, and a few others, this is one of the best WW2-era Captain America fics I’ve ever read. Incredibly emotional and powerful, both on love and war.

It is mostly canon-compliant and could easily be read as a stand-alone fic if you don’t want to put yourself through the wringer with A Long Winter, as long as you know the premise of the AU.

Not Easily Conquered

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” Peggy says, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

The conclusion of the trilogy. There are several great trial fics in this fandom, but this is the first I’ve seen where it’s Steve who’s put on trial.

In addition to the trilogy, there’s also now NEC fanfic (I love fandom): Bone of My Bones, set during the latter part of Not Easily Conquered (the third in the trilogy).

Were you taken from my rib? You must have been, or maybe I was made from yours. And God damn, I want it. I want back inside you.


Parts Per Million, by legete

Everybody–including Steve himself–had been surprised when he’d turned out to be an alpha. The other boys had pegged him for an omega, and a bad one at that; one of the many jokes at his expense was that Barnes only liked him because Steve was even lower on the food chain than an omega with delusions of beta-status. Steve can still remember the feral grin Bucky’d given him after they’d heard that one for the first time, blood on his teeth from his split lip, and the way his voice had cracked when he’d said “I like you for a lot more’n that, Rogers.”

Prior to losing my mind over Steve/Bucky, I’d been in a bit of a fandom drought for several years – reading very little fanfiction in any fandom – so I entirely missed the rise of the Alpha/Beta/Omega (aka Omegaverse) genre. To those unfamiliar with the genre, it’s basically a biological AU in which humans go into heat and have various other animalistic traits, like scent-marking. When I noticed A/B/O, I was initially kind of excited, because for reasons too TMI to go into in a fic reccing post, I’ve been contemplating the various ways in which life would be better, worse, and just plain different if humans had estrus cycles rather than menstrual cycles since I was about 12. Then I realized that, like, 90% of A/B/O fics involved mpreg, which deflated my interest considerably. I read mpreg very occasionally if it’s accompanied by something else of interest, like interesting worldbuilding (i.e. The Ties That Bind), but prefer to avoid it.

This fic initially caught my eye for the simple reason that it had Steve/Bucky with A/B/O dynamics and NO MPREG (glory glory hallelujah), but I thought it did an interesting job examining how both Steve himself and his relationship with Bucky would have been affected – physically, psychologically, and socially – by the transition from small, sickly asthmatic to supersoldier. Has alpha!Steve and omega!Bucky.


♥ Reconstruction, by rageprufrock [WIP]

In which Stephanie Rogers is the complicating element in the sweeping romance of Bucky Barnes and Lady Liberty.

A really thoughtful and well-written always-a-girl!Steve fic that follows canon closely while still doing a good job of considering what would be different if Steve Rogers had been Stephanie Rogers instead. The characterization is fantastic throughout, including Steph and Bucky of course, but also some especially nice stuff with Peggy, Howard, Colonel Phillips, and Dr. Erskine, plus several great OFCs as Steph’s compatriots in the USO. The whole thing is so vivid and absorbing you kind of forget that it’s an AU at all and that Steph is really Steve and neither of them actually exists. For example, in this verse the real identity of “Lady Liberty” is still a state secret, and the story is interspersed with excerpts from books, articles, and other media written about Bucky Barnes and Lady Liberty’s epic romance, most of which get everything so wrong that you actually start to feel insulted on Bucky and Stephanie’s behalf.

Also check out 10, 15, 18, a lovely series of vignettes from Bucky and Stephanie’s relationship starting in childhood and going through his enlistment, and Feast, which is two scenes of PWP, one pre-canon and one post-CA:TWS. Though neither fic is officially the same verse as Reconstruction, they might as well be.

[Note: As you may notice, it’s been some time since this fic was updated and I was a little worried it had been abandoned, but as of June 2015, the author confirms she’s still working on it.)


Your Kind of Idiot, by dirtybinary

In which Bucky doesn’t fall from the train, Steve has company when he wakes up in the twenty-first century, and neither of them knows how to talk about their feelings unless they’re about to die.

Nice AU where Steve manages to rescue Bucky on the train and they go down together on the plane

Steve/Bucky AU Fic Recs (All Other AUs)

Modern AUs, high school/college AUs, meet cutes, etc.

I was slow to start reading non-canon divergence AUs for this pairing, because the fact that Steve and Bucky were “best friends since childhood, inseparable on both schoolyard and battlefield” is a major part of its appeal for me and also, in my opinion, very central to the characters and their identity. As a result, a lot of the type of Meet Cute AUs and similar rom-com plots that are popular in fandom don’t 100% ring true to me for these particular characters, whereas I think many other fans find the main appeal of the pairing in the hurt/comfort elements, for example, so for these fans the “identifying” element that makes Steve and Bucky Steve and Bucky whether they were born on the 1910s or the 1990s might be the fact that one or both of them is dealing with chronic illness, disability, PTSD, trauma, or similar.  However, over time I’ve started dipping my toes into other types of AUs more, and even though I still feel like I’m reccing some of these fics as great Steve/Bucky AUs and others more as good reads where the main characters just happen to have the same names and some of the same traits as Steve and Bucky, your mileage may definitely vary depending on which aspects of the pairing appeal most to you.

Listed alphabetically by title, particular favorites marked with ♥.

Apes Debemus Imitari (We Should Imitate the Bees), by buckysbees

Steve operates a fruit & veg stand at a farmer’s market. Bucky keeps bees and has started up a honey shop just opposite. They’re failing to get along. Steve gets along a lot better with the anonymous friend he’s been writing letters to. In fact, he’s rapidly falling for him.

A pretty cute The Shop Around the Corner/You’ve Got Mail AU.


♥ Breadth Requirements, by SkyIsGray

Steve’s never met his Psych TA in person, but he’s a little obsessed with their snarky, flirty email conversations.

Steve’s never made any headway with the hot guy who sits in front of him in Psych, but he’s a little obsessed with his mouth.

College AU, no powers. Fantastic banter, and I really identified with this version of Bucky. As someone who also struggles with anxiety and thinks of myself as “better behind a keyboard,” I spent most of the fic wanting to give him a hug. Flirty!Steve was also cute.


Is It Still Pretending If I Already Want You?, by OhCaptainMyCaptain

Based on prompt: Pretend Boyfriends AU where one of their families is always wondering why they’re never in a relationship, so the other offers to pretend to be their boyfriend for some family event”

Basic Steps to Getting Yourself In a Pickle With Both Your Family and The Guy You’ve Secretly Crushed On For Five Years (A Guide):

STEP 1: After being perpetually single and constantly making up excuses to your family, give in and lie about having a boyfriend.
STEP 2: Agree to bring said boyfriend to the family cottage for a week so he can be your date to your parents’ wedding anniversary party.
STEP 3: Panic.
STEP 4: Say ‘yes’ when your best friend and closet crush – who you’re convinced isn’t interested in you that way in the least – offers to be your pretend boyfriend.
STEP 5: Try your best not to fall in love with them during the trip.
STEP 6: Fail miserably.

This author tends to overuse epithets a little bit, but writes brain-meltingly hot sex scenes (several of her other fics are also recommended, but I can’t link them on this page due to taboo content – see my fanfiction recs blog for additional recs for this author) and a nice balance of fluff and angst. This particular fic is a cute AU (modern, no powers) with a rom-com type plot, troubled Bucky, and a really adorable Steve.


just say you do, by bibionerd07

Steve just wanted a job. He wasn’t expecting a marriage proposal. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to accept.

Sweet, slow burn modern AU in which chronically ill artist Steve and traumatized ex-POW Bucky enter a marriage of convenience. I love this one because even though Steve and Bucky aren’t childhood friends, it nails the progression from strangers to friends to lovers and the characterization rings really true to me as what Steve and Bucky might look like if they’d been born in modern times instead of the 1910s.


Like You a Latte, by ellevaire

There’s a coffee place two doors down from their apartment, because this is Brooklyn. It’s cute and homey and possibly the perfect place to write stuff, Bucky thinks, but these thoughts fall to the wayside when he makes eye contact with the guy behind the counter. It’s kind of like a movie. Bucky can feel time slow down, and as they make eye contact, he would swear on his life that he hears Careless Whisper playing somewhere in the background.

~4k words of Bucky Barnes pretending to be cool and using really shitty pickup lines.

Funny modern AU with really, really shitty pickup lines and some fun stuff with Clint and Tony as well


A Long Way From the Playground, by tesselated

“Actually, I am dating someone.” He says.

What ends up happening is, he says the first name that comes to mind.

What ends up happening is, he blurts out, “Steve Rogers.”

Without thinking, obviously. Because if he had been thinking, he would have thought of something better than this.

And that’s how Bucky ends up bringing Steve as a date to his sister’s wedding.

Another cute fake relationship fic, with lots of snappy, snarky banter.


♥ Middletown: A Study in Suburban Life, by M_Leigh

In which Bucky is the new kid, Steve is the square who takes him in, Tony and Pepper fight over valedictorian a year in advance, Thor remains a golden god, Loki remains a drama queen, Natasha commits an act of vigilante justice, Clint somehow fails to make a your mom joke, Darcy is a Satanist, Jane is a goth, Sif is fine thank you very much, Sam climbs a tree, Peggy says no, Rumlow is a bully, and Mrs. Rogers, Mr. Coulson, and Ms. Hill are all very long-suffering.

Or: the story of the year Bucky Barnes finally learned how to talk to at least one other human being, discovered J. D. Salinger, started to try in school (kind of), got a haircut, landed a punch, almost got arrested, and kissed a boy on the mouth.

High school AU. This one had a couple characterization choices I disliked (especially dumb!Thor, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine) and a few others that puzzled me (Pepper, is that really you? I wasn’t convinced), but overall was a really entertaining read thanks to the witty and insightful narrative style, which is based loosely on that of Middlemarch, one of my favorite books of all time and probably another reason I enjoyed this fic so much. I laughed out loud frequently reading it, even while my heart ached for Bucky. I thought the characterization of Maria Hill and Sarah Rogers was also especially good. Other ships include Thor/Jane, Clint/Darcy, Tony/Pepper, Loki/Sif, Sam/Peggy, and some others.


Perfectly Right Wrong Number, by melonbutterfly

It all starts because Steve is too dumb to handle his smartphone.

A wrong number AU in which Bucky Barnes doesn’t enter Steve’s life (meaning: Bucky wasn’t born until the eighties, but Steve is still Captain America) until Steve accidentally dials the wrong number. Wherein there is a lot of texting, some advice via Natasha and Darcy, a bit of pining, and a first date in an amusement park. Oh, and on top of being a disabled veteran, Bucky is a professional catwalker. Literally.

Cute


Slide to Answer, by relenafanel

“What do I do?” Steve appealed into the phone. “I’m freaking out.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. It lasted so long that Steve pulled the receiver away from his ear and frowned at it. Pay phones were old. Maybe this one wasn’t working despite the obvious dial tone when he picked up.

“Ok,” a stranger’s voice said over the phone. “First acknowledge the fact that you dialed the wrong number, but be quick about it because my cab is a few blocks away from my own plans and I’m about to drop some truth bombs on you.”

Another cute and funny wrong number AU


♥ Snake Eyes, by boopboop [WIP]

There’s a lot of expectation attached to Steve Rogers’ name. It’s taken him years to prove his own worth – that he’s made it so far in the USNA on his own merit and not just because of his father. He’s close though – there are only a few more months until he graduates and gets to stand on his own two feet. It’s taken a lot of effort to get there, and a lot of sacrifices.

Bucky’s beyond the point of expectation. When your father and grandfather have both been President – and your mother nurses political ambitions of her own – brilliance is a foregone conclusion. He’s just counting down the final months of his confinement to the glass cage of the White House and he’s determined to put that whole world behind him.

But as the days standing between them and their dreams dwindle, Steve comes to realize he might have made one sacrifice too many, and Bucky learns that his freedom comes at a cost he’s never going to be able to pay.

Marvel/Political Animals AU

AU/crossover/fusion with Political Animals (as well as elements from Kings). Take TJ Hammond’s piano skills, drug habit, and sexual promiscuity and append them to some Winter Soldier-level trauma and abuse, and what do you get? Your heart broken, that’s what.

Seriously, this fic is even more painful and traumatic than most of the non-AU post-CA:TWS recovery fics I’ve read (probably because there’s nothing “post-” about the abuse in this fic, it is ongoing), so check the tags carefully before reading and look to your own mental health if you think anything might be triggering for you. If you think you can take it, however, it’s really well-written, tense, and gripping despite some typos and other spelling/grammar errors. You can find discussion, reference photos, and side drabbles on the author’s Tumblr here.

Check out the trailer here:


(NEW ADDED 10/2015) Venus in Vibranium, by bettydays [WIP]

“To be a Lead’s Support is a substantial responsibility,” Natasha says. “You must be Agent Rogers’ personal assistant, bodyguard, chef, maid, best friend, boyfriend, and whatever else he wishes you to be.”

***

In exchange for a bionic arm and a hefty paycheck, Bucky Barnes takes on a gig working for the now-retired Captain America, AKA Bucky’s lifelong hero, Steve Rogers.

I struggled a little over whether to put this up with the Canon Divergent AUs or here and eventually decided it was different enough to go here. Venus in Vibranium is a BDSM AU in which Steve is still Captain America but Bucky was born in modern times. (As were Peggy and Angie, apparently.) BDSM AUs often read like an excuse to play out the author’s kinks on the page, but this one has some really interesting worldbuilding and characterization choices in addition to a D/s dynamic with dom!Steve, brat!Bucky, and switch!Natasha. In particular, it explores how Steve might have turned out differently if he’d grown up and gone to war without Bucky having his back.

Note that although Steve/Bucky is the only romantic relationship in the fic, it also contains Steve/Peggy, Bucky/Natasha, Steve/Natasha, Peggy/Angie, and Steve/Bucky/Natasha. (Which are all A-ok by me – love them, in fact – but the author has mentioned on her Tumblr that she’s gotten a lot of complaints about it, like some people didn’t read the tags or something. I dunno. Read tags, people. It saves everybody trouble.)


♥ You Were Standing There, by thebrotherswinchester

Bucky accidentally breaks into the wrong house while drunk. The wrong house happens to belong to Steve Rogers.

Modern AU, no powers. Bucky’s a vet with PTSD, Steve is Natasha’s incredibly hot neighbor. Bucky accidentally breaks into Steve’s apartment instead of Natasha’s one night while drunk. Also has Sam/Natasha. I really liked the interactions between all four of them in this one.

Threesome and Moresome Fic Recs

Fics I enjoyed that involve Steve, Bucky, and one or more other people. Listed alphabetically by title.

The Deep End, by emilyenrose

In this story: exquisitely tragic and beautiful Russian romance, James Bond shenanigans, designer drugs with highly specific effects, Steve Rogers’ overactive imagination, a swimming metaphor. Also: a villain has a secret sex room, some assassins join the mile high club, and Captain America punches a shark.

Fun Steve/Bucky/Natasha with sex pollen (but also a conversation about consent).


(NEW ADDED 10/2015) The Fifties, by Speranza

“Because everything’s all right, isn’t it?” Bucky said. “Everything’s great. I’m so happy; I never thought I could be this happy. You’re happy, too, aren’t you, Peg?”

I’m not going to say too much about this one for fear of spoiling it, but it’s clever and emotional, like so many of Speranza’s stories.


Half the History (We Shall Never Know), by Speranza

This is a war story.

Really thoughtful and well-written exploration of war and how it affected Bucky, Steve, and their relationship, both during the war and post CA:TWS. Good characterization and dialogue, lots of realpolitik. Steve/Bucky/Peggy, Steve/Bucky/Natasha, and all combinations and permutations thereof.


i am on a lonely road and i am travelling (looking for the key to set me free), by irnan

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

Wherein Natasha Romanov has a bucket list and a metaphorical feelings-cat, joins the Victoria Hand Rescue Society Inc, and is absolutely not dating either or both of her super-soldier BFFs from the 1940s, no matter what Nick Fury thinks.

Lovely Steve/Bucky/Natasha from Natasha’s POV as she tries to figure out who she wants to be post-CA:TWS. Nice cameos from Sam and the other Avengers as well.


Kelly, the Well-Meaning and Very Confused Barista, by chaya

An outside observer confuses the ‘barbershop quartet’ as one woman with a really bad habit for cheating. Complete fluff.

Really cute outside POV on Steve/Bucky/Sam/Natasha.


Now or Never, by MoreThanSlightly

Men are, by and large, a waste of Peggy’s time. Oh, certainly, there are a few who aren’t entirely useless, and some of them aren’t bad to look at. But she’s never been very interested in what they have to offer. She has more important things to do, like win the war.

That’s why it’s so frustrating that she can’t stop thinking about Steve. She should have better control over herself.

Steve is the only man who has ever caused her such trouble.

That is, until James Buchanan Barnes opens his mouth.

Peggy and Bucky team up to take Steve’s virginity.


Practical Mathematics, by Grey_Bard

After a hard shift saving the world, Stark – in his infinite wisdom – has decided to bond with Steve by talking about his favorite subject. Well, third favorite, after building things and smart-mouthing people.

Steve is pretty sure none of his experiences really count. Tony is starting to wonder what Steve’s definition of “is” is.

Funny story in which Steve is technically a virgin. But only technically. Steve/Bucky/Peggy, among others.


Storm, by MoreThanSlightly

“Perhaps you’re worth the trouble after all,” Peggy tells Bucky, and he grins. They’ve developed a cautious, teasing relationship. Steve is absurdly grateful that they tolerate each other at all. He fantasizes, sometimes, that they might even like each other in the same way that he likes—

“God, Sergeant Barnes, if this place has hot water, I’ll kiss you.”

Nice Steve/Bucky/Peggy first time fic with plenty of banter


This is not, by surgicalstainless

Peggy Carter stepped out of 1946, and into 2015.

This is not a story about that. Not really.

Oh man, I really wish something like this would happen in canon! That would be so perfect. Steve/Bucky/Peggy.

Non-Steve/Bucky Shipper Fic Recs

This category had some fics that I enjoyed relating to Steve, Bucky, or the Captain America films with ships other than Steve/Bucky, but I decided this post was getting too long and you probably didn’t come to a Steve/Bucky recs page looking for ships that aren’t Steve/Bucky anyway, so I removed the recs. However, you can still find them all on my new fanfiction recs blog Infinite Variation.

Gen Fic Recs

This category had some gen fics I enjoyed relating to Steve, Bucky, or the Captain America films, but I decided this post was getting too long and you probably didn’t come to a Steve/Bucky recs page looking for gen anyway, so I removed the recs. However, you can still find them all on my new fanfiction recs blog Infinite Variation.

Steve/Bucky Vid Recs

Finding good Steve/Bucky vids has been harder than I expected considering how popular the ship has become since the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A lot of the ones on YouTube rely heavily on voice clips from the films, which I’m not really a big fan of. However, there have been a few gems.

Listed alphabetically by title. Particular favorites marked with ♥

The End of the Line and Lies in Dust, by Pteryx Videos

“I wake up, they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost”.

Both of these videos have more voiceovers than I personally prefer, but they’re better chosen than most and the beats are spot-on.


Problem, by talitha78

Bucky Barnes is a goddamn problem.

A fun vid with a lot of emphasis on the Winter Soldier being a terrifying badass assassin, sadly marred by blurry or low resolution video quality in many parts. (I get the impression it may have been done partially off cam footage before the DVD was released.)

Dreamwidth | Tumblr

Edit: Here’s a link to the remastered version.


When You Were Young, by vi0lace

“Whoever he used to be — the guy he is now, I don’t think he’s the kind you save.” (He’s the kind who saves you.)

My favorite Steve/Bucky vid so far.

Dreamwidth | Tumblr


Where Are You?, by Fabella

Steve can’t give up on Bucky

Fabella has been one of my favorite vidders since my days in the Supernatural fandom, and this is a beautifully edited and emotional vid,  even though the lyrics don’t 100% work for me as a Steve/Bucky song.

Tumblr

Gen Vid Recs

Some gen vids I enjoyed related to Steve, Bucky, or the Captain America movies. Listed alphabetically by title. Particular favorites marked with ♥

Bad Guy Wins, by voordeel

Trying to kill Steve Rogers Winter Soldier had almost killed Bucky Barnes

Interesting use of special effects and audio clips.

Tumblr


Clint Eastwood, by giandujakiss

Two little boys had two little toys.

Giandujakiss often uses unusual song choices, and somehow they always seem to work. This one’s no exception.

Dreamwidth


Everybody Wants to Rule the World, by VilyaXxX0llwyna

Nice editing in this gen vid.


Freedom Ride, by sallysparrow017

A.K.A. Steve Rogers, Fandom Bicycle 2k15

Technically not gen, but Steve/EVERYONE. And who can blame them? Unf.

Tumblr | AO3


Hey Ho, by Thuvia Ptarth

Sound out the trumpet noise

This is a general MCU vid, including Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk films, and it’s an incredibly powerful indictment of the darker side of the MCU: its frequent glorification of the military-industrial complex. The editing is also sharp as glass and beat-perfect.

Tumblr | Dreamwidth | Livejournal | AO3


Seven Nation Army, by hagabong

A short and effects-heavy homage to the Winter Soldier.

Steve/Bucky Fanart Recs

Gen Fanart Recs

Steve and Bucky Meta Recs

Useful Info For Steve/Bucky Fic Writers

Pretty much everything ever posted on Steve Rogers is Historically Accurate. Also:

Tumblr Tidbits

Funny or thought-provoking commentary from Tumblr on the Captain America films. Some Steve/Bucky, some gen.

More Steve/Bucky Rec Lists

Comments

  1. hi! so, i was trying your link for the gen fic rec and i fucked up. so instead of clicking the i am over 18, i clicked the i am under 18 and now i am blocked from seeing the entry, i was hoping you could help me? i swear i am 30 years old

    • Hi kriszeth, sorry it took me so long to reply. If you clear your cookies, you should be able to visit the site with no problem.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Steve/Bucky – OTP, hits the same “tragically separated childhood friends” sweet spot as Remus/Sirius (check out my Steve/Bucky recs list) […]

  2. […] well, I guess that’s what fanfiction is […]

  3. […] shipper, I am also a multishipper and am rarely truly OTP about my OTPs (I love me some Steve/Bucky/Natasha, for one) but man. It was written horribly, from their actual dialogue together to the blatant […]

  4. […] – If you like fanfiction, I have some good Peggy fics listed on my Steve/Bucky recs page, including Steve/Peggy, Steve/Bucky/Peggy, and […]

  5. […] most interesting and best-written relationships are canonically platonic friendships (i.e. Steve & Bucky, Clint & Natasha, Tony & Rhodey) or family relationships (i.e. Thor & Loki), not […]

  6. […] my system, but with it temporarily being satisfied by the millions upon millions of words of free Stucky slash fic on AO3, I decided to try poking around the New Adult genre a little to see if anything caught my […]

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